Saturday, April 30, 2005

My Swatch Was Paisley With Red Bands

I don't remember who or what it was, but someone the other day said something that reminded me of my 8th-grade boyfriend, Archie.

He was in 7th grade, which made me a big-time cradle robber back then. He was cute (which I think is required if you're named Archie), and very, very shy. I think we may have only kissed once. We signified our going outness by exchanging Swatch watches. I wore his big chunky one, he had my little girly one.

One day after about 3 weeks, I just got tired of him. I told his friend to give him back his Swatch and retrieve mine for me, and that is the way Archie knew we were through. There was no drama, no fuss.

Wouldn't it be nice if everything in life were that easy? Although maybe not as mean.

Reflection


Bridge in Georgetown

Friday, April 29, 2005

Girls' Night Out


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Bang, Bang, Gimme a Break

'Twas a time I would get mighty indignant at getting carded. At 21, it's a hassle. After that, it's an affirmation and a compliment.

Last night, Malia Vale and I rocked out with the Shins. Before the show, we had dinner at this cute little Mexican place. She ordered a mojito, and was promptly asked for her ID. I ordered the same and said, "Do you need to see my ID?" The waitress was like, "Um...sure, whatever." Thanks, lady. Come on, I'm not weathered and grizzled.

All was right again when we arrived at the club and were asked if we were over or under 21. As we hopped into the over-21 line, some nice bouncer man who was totally lying said, "Are you sure you're over 21?" I said, "I love you."

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Pensive


Taken in Georgetown.

It Plays the Songs, Not Me

One of the things I've been wanting to do forever is to learn to play the guitar. When I'd see bands with girls in them, such as Hole or Pony Up or the Aislers Set, I'd get all inspired, ready to get a guitar of my own and be a rocker girl. (Edited to add: how could I have forgotten Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth, or Liz Phair?) They look like they're having so much fun up there. After seeing Maria Taylor open for Ben Lee this weekend, I thought, I need to quit saying I'm going to do this and just do it.

First of all, never mind that I just said Courtney Love may have had a hand in inspiring me (although, she did also inspire me to never, ever do heroin, so...thanks). Second of all, never mind that I have massive stage fright. But when I'm a rocker girl in a club, I can do some shots before the show to relax. When I was 11 and taking piano lessons, my teacher and parents probably would have frowned upon that. Wait, is this how alcohol problems get started?

I've always dreamt big. Too big, and I still do. I don't really have an alarm that says, "This might be out of your league." It often leads to disaster, but I can't help it.

In 6th grade, after I'd been taking piano lessons for about a year, I announced to my mom that I wanted to play "Grand Old Flag" for the school assembly. Where this idea came from, I'm not sure. The school was definitely up for it. But mom, rather than encourage me, asked if I was sure I wanted to do that. After all, I was still fairly new at this. Cue tantrum: "Yes! I'm ready! Why are you always trying to talk me out of everything?!" Fine, she sighed. The next piano lesson I had, mom went in with me and told my teacher my big plans. Teacher flinched and asked if I was sure. "It's not the easiest song for a beginner." Tantrum: "But I can learn it! There's a few weeks left! Stop telling me I can't do it!"

They had no choice to let me do it, because I may have dreamt big, but I tantrumed bigger.

And six weeks later, if I had known the phrase "In yo' faces, suckas!" back then, I'd have said it to all the haters. I learned the song. I was ready. Bring it on: the fame, the fortune, the contract rider. "Grand Old Flag" was going to be my ticket out.

The big day finally arrived. There are only two things I remember about the day. First, my teacher was very excited. She announced to all my classmates that I'd be accompanying the students as they sang, and that I would soon become rich and famous and they'd regret making fun of me and would, for the rest of their lives, clamor to be my friend, and I wouldn't pay attention to them, because I would be too good for them by that point. OK, not that last part. But that's when I started to shake. I'm pretty sure I turned white. Wait. I actually had to play in front of the entire school? When did I agree to that?!

The second thing I remember is the actual assembly. I stood off to the side near the piano which was at the front of the room so everyone could watch me screw up, and watch the agony on my face as I did so. I couldn't stop my hands from shaking, and I don't know if you know this, but you need your hands not to shake if you're going to play piano. It's just a little detail. I kept trying to will the students to leave and go back to class, to just leave me alone with the piano. Then I'd be fine. No, they were staying. And they wanted to hear me play. Or rather, they were going to have to hear me play, whether they liked it or not.

The song started. "You're a grand old flag, you're a high-flying flag..." I'm pretty sure I got the first note right, but it was all downhill from there. They were singing so fast. My hands were shaking so hard that my fingers needed just a little extra time to find the right keys. I couldn't keep up. I just hit the odd note here and there, always three steps behind, and eventually resorted to just plunking out the tune on single keys instead of the grand rendition I'd been planning. My fingers kept slipping, and it sounded no better than if I had just turned around and sat my butt on the keys. Finally, the stupid song ended, and I played a nice middle C and held it, just for a decent finish, to make it seem like maybe I hadn't been playing like ass all along, that it was just everyone's imagination. I glanced over at my teacher, who looked visibly pained.

And that's when it all goes blank. Maybe some of the other kids gave me crap after the assembly or stuck my head in the toilet during recess or used me for target practice in dodgeball, I have no idea.

Anyway, I have no intention of really performing in public with this thing. It's just for fun, and a guitar is a lot more portable than a piano.

But just in case...should I demand lillies or hyacinths in my toilet?

Straws


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Ten Significant Albums for Me

I'm sort of stealing an idea from Malia Vale here. And go ahead, laugh it up at some of the albums. I'm not going to be all, "Oh, Captain Beefheart's Trout Mask Replica totally changed my life" just for some street cred. Because...have you seen that album cover? Have you heard that noise that comes out of the speakers when you play it? It makes Satan and Baby Jesus cry in unison.

1) In the Aeroplane Over the Sea - Neutral Milk Hotel
I've tried to get a several people into this album, with no luck. In fact, when I first heard it, I liked it OK, then shelved it for a year. Then I brought it back out and...boom...something connected. It's not everyone's taste. Jeff Mangum has an odd voice, and nothing about the band is in any way traditional. It's a mass of funky instruments, the lyrics are hugely obtuse (think Decemberists). But when this album finally connects and you get it, it hits you deep in your soul. I know there are people out there who have had a similar reaction to this album, because it's something of a phenomenon that it continues to sell very well for a band that is no longer together and an album that has gotten minimal publicity. But I haven't met any of those people, although I'd like to. If you're thinking of giving it a listen, listen with headphones. It's the only way!

2) Us - Peter Gabriel
I remember going through a breakup that really, really bummed me out. This album came out around the same time, and it coincidentally was also about breaking up. Synchronicity. I listened to it non-stop for about a month (especially Washing of the Water), and then I moved on. Thanks, Peter!

3) August and Everything After - Counting Crows
THE soundtrack to my senior year of college. The two will forever be tied in my mind. In fact, at my internship senior year, I worked with a guy who was a member of the Himalayans, Adam Duritz's band before they morphed into the Counting Crows. He shared a songwriting credit on "'Round Here," and he gave me a demo tape of theirs which included that song and 3 or 4 others. It broke a few years later. Sadness.

4) It's a Shame About Ray - The Lemonheads
This came out just before my sophomore year in college. I've never been any good at figuring out lyrics on my own, and if you've never looked in the disc cover, the lyrics are there - in one giant jumbled mass. They took a line from one song, then a line from another song, and so on until the whole page was filled with the lyrics. So, one night before the fall semester started, I sat down and sorted out the jumble, and now every song is permanently etched in my brain. Too bad there wasn't a class in Lyric Decoding, 'cause I would have gotten an A.

5) Thriller - Michael Jackson
My friend Andrea and I bought our cassettes on the same day. We made our moms play it whenever they shuttled us around. We both got the poster of Michael wearing the yellow sweater vest (HOTTTT), and we were under the impression he was cute. Ah, to be 8 and naive again.

6) The Wall - Pink Floyd
I'm not the biggest Pink Floyd fan, but I think this is a really great album. You can hear and feel the madness. When I got depressed, this used to be my go-to album, which really creeped my roommate Kari out. She said I was the only person she knew who liked to listen to music that actually makes you even sadder.

7) Awake is the New Sleep - Ben Lee
It's a little premature to say, but I have a feeling this is going to be the soundtrack of this time in my life right now. Making changes, learning, growing, doing things I've been wanting to do for a long time.

8) Purple Rain - Prince
When I left California, I vastly underestimated how many cassettes I would go through in 12,000 hours of cross-country driving. Especially when you're driving through places lie Ozona, Texas, and it's all country-western or sermon radio. This was the only tape I didn't get sick of, even though I listened to it approximately 400 times. Plus, it amused me to be driving through Nowhere, Texas or Alabama screaming the lyrics to "Darling Nikki." Don't they arrest you for that in some parts? (I also had "The Way We Were" in the car with me. I mean, what?)

9) Little Earthquakes - Tori Amos
I know it's cliche to say this album spoke to you as a female, but guess what? This album spoke to me as a female. I felt like Tori was my pal, that she understood, she knew guys were jerks and feelings are complicated. I find her annoying now, but this album meant so much at the time.

10) Nevermind - Nirvana
The first time I was on my own and everyone left, I put on this album. No particular reason, really, but it reminds me of independence. It also reminds me how sad I was when Kurt killed himself, and how I stayed up all night that night watching MTV's coverage, in shock.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Wanna See Ben Lee?

Tonight's your chance. The venue they're playing tonight is doing a live webcast of the show!

Just go here, and click on the "watch our shows live" button on the upper right. I don't know if you're going to be able to see the show or just hear it. The possibility of seeing it gets me too excited, so I'll just keep my expectations on the low side. If it turns out we can see him, too, then it's the icing on the cake!

The site says Ben takes the stage at 9:15 CST.

Issues, Most Likely

It's not at all unusual, but I totally trash talk the computer in my head. As I was closing Windows last night, I got this error message: "Windows has experienced and error and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience." It's like when you try to dump somebody, and they see where you're going with the whole, "We need to talk..." thing, so they interject and try to beat you to the punch, even though both parties know who had the idea to break up first, so don't even try it.

So anyway, when Word tried to dump me first, I was like, "Oh, yeah? I was shutting your ass down anyway. I don't need you! Nobody does! And don't tell me you're sorry when you don't even mean it. That came off as totally robotic and insincere. I hate you."

Kissy Kissy


Nabby workin' her charm.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Awake is the New Sleep

My body appears to be staging a revolt. It's all anarchy, all the time. In college, I slept when I slept for as long as I could. Staying up until 2 a.m. meant I'd be sleeping in until roughly noon, if at all possible. For years, I'd try to always sleep for 10 hours, at least. A lot of days, there were afternoon naps. Sometimes I'd stay up for a few days. My point is, I did what I want.

My record for staying up stands at 60 hours (and I don't intend to break it) during finals my junior year. The first night was sponsored by coffee. The second night was sponsored by Satan and No-Doz, and they are bad, bad sponsors. I was so loopy by the second night that I didn't realize how many No-Doz I had been taking and by the next morning, I was seeing shadows out of the corner of my eyes and feeling a little jumpy and paranoid. I asked my roommates not to talk to me, as I was so on edge I thought I might lose it. It goes without saying that I would have done better on my finals if a) I had studied steadily all semester instead of cramming and b) rested like a normal person. Who the hell does that in college, anyway?

After those finals, I finally did come home and crash good. I slept and slept and kept on sleeping, and when I woke up, I was as refreshed as anyone would be after a No-Doz binge.

But in the last few weeks, my body has decided it is done with that. It's got its own schedule now. It didn't really consult me on the matter, but whatever. Maybe this is what I get for feeding it so many Wow chips. Obviously, it doesn't know quality.

These days, regardless of what time I go to bed, I wake up at 9. If I stay up until 3, my body is like, "Sucka, you better not do that. 'Cause your ass is getting up at 9." Yesterday morning is when I realized how serious my body is about this getting up at 9 BS. After the Ben Lee show, me, the Mr. and Malia Vale hung out for a couple hours, drinking wine and listening to music. She took off around 2, and I went upstairs to work on photos. I really can't sleep when I know there might be some good photos on my camera, and I must see them and work on them and make them better, and then, then, I can sleep.

There I was, working on a few dozen photos until 4 a.m. When I finished, I set the alarm for 1 p.m. and passed out. Which brings me to this digression: I would be the lamest rock star ever, because I would always set the alarm, even if I'm planning to get up at Rock Star Time and partied like Keith Richards.

Five hours later, I woke up with my brain buzzing. I puttered around, stared into space, tried to will myself into going back to sleep. No go.

Could it be that I've actually managed to accrue a sleep surplus, and it's now being collected?

Watching the Show


I really liked the idea of this photo, but the people in it moved before I could figure out the correct exposure. Phooey. It's way too dark, unfortunately, and I had to lighten the hell out of it in Photoshop.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

My Big Cheeseball Post

Here are the pics from Ben Lee's show last night. You shouldn't have to sign in. I'll just say that if you haven't seen or heard Ben Lee, you're missing out! Seeing him live is something special, whether it's a packed house like Friday night or a small crowd like yesterday. You'll always leave with a big old smile on your face. Last night, the crowd was small enough that he and the band set up on the floor and we gathered in a circle around him (he didn't make good on his threats to have us sing Kumbaya over and over and over, thankfully). Thanks to part determination and part luck, I had a front-row seat.

Most of the show was stuff from the new album, and he played without a set list. About 3 songs in, he blew us away with this amazing cover of "Emperor's New Clothes" by Sinead O'Connor, that started off just him and his acoustic guitar and gradually built to include the rest of the band. You know how moving and amazing it was? I didn't want to take pictures. I know! I was shocked, too. I felt like picking up and snapping my camera would actually wreck the moment. I've never felt like that before. So, there you go.

Lovely


From night two of our Ben Lee extravanganza. More pictures are on the way. Meanwhile, bask in the adorableness.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Ben Lee Rocks the Black Cat


Click here to see more photos!

Friday, April 22, 2005

I'm Sorry, This Is Not That Kind of Blog

Every so often, I get a search in my referrer log that makes me laugh.

A couple weeks ago, apparently "hairy butt crack pictures" (it was in quotes, too) led someone here. I'm a little disturbed that they're not looking for a solution to their own problem, and in turn, doing their part to make the world's butts a little nicer. No, they want pictures of other people's problem. Whatever floats your boat, I guess, but I hope Mr. or Mrs. Hairy Butt Crack knows that there are more attractive parts of the human body to admire. Branch out!

Today I got, "Na na na nananana na na." Well, of course! Nananananananana right back atcha.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Bel-fourrrr Bel-fourrrrr Bel-fourrrrrr Bel-fourrrrrr

Everyone's been asking me lately: "How are you getting along without the hockey season?" My family has been writing, expressing their concern. My friends have all been wondering what we'll do with all that free time. Some people have wondered how Nabby is taking it. After all, she is named after someone who will one day be known as the greatest goalie of all time (step aside, Sawchuk. You don't have a power play goal!), so I guess she's bound to feel a little down about it, too.

Well, I'm muddling through, thanks. I can fight off the tears and stay strong. There are good days and bad. I try to focus on the silver lining. I'm not staying up until 5 a.m. 3 to 4 nights a week watching games. I'm not spending hundreds of dollars on tickets or driving hundreds of miles to see games. I'm not stressing out about the logistics of seeing the Sharks in the Cup Finals, which I will stop at nothing to attend when and if the chance arrives. I'm not testing the limits of my vocal chords from screaming at jerks like Tie Domi and Eddie Belfour. I'm not wondering if the Mr. and I will die when we wear our jerseys in Philadelphia or New York.

On the other hand, I wonder: is this the season the Sharks would have won the Cup? It would totally figure, you know. Whenever they get within sniffing distance, something derails them. Like when Teemu Selanne MISSSED AN OPEN NET AT CLOSE RANGE. OH MY GOD, TEEMU, WHO DOES THAT? I miss my autographed Evgeni Nabokov jersey. It's just hanging out in the back of the closet like a sad, old, forgotten relic. My grandkids will see it and ask one day, "Grandma, what's that?"
"That's a hockey jersey, kids."
"What's hockey?"
"It's when big guys with sticks and no teeth would push a piece of plastic around on ice, and sometimes they'd get tired of doing that, so they'd throw down their sticks and beat the shit out of each other and make each other bleed. And at the end of the game, they would shake hands. It was so fun."

Oops


The shutter went off accidentally, but I kind of like the picture anyway. They're old fronts to pinball machines.

The Fresh Wind and the Bright Sky

Non-Sequitur

Just because I have an iron immune system doesn't mean I haven't had much medicine. I love the stuff. Love love. Nyquil? So very yum, especially cherry flavor. What's not to love about a medicine that comes with its own shot glass? It's a little party, until you pass out. I pop a handful of antacids if I come across a bottle, heartburn or no. As a kid, Sucrets didn't last a day in my backpack. In high school, sometimes I'd go to the newstand down the street and buy a magazine and a roll of cherry Halls to munch on in homeroom. The other students would be like, "Who smells like menthol?" and move away. When the Mr. gets sick, I always steal a handful of his cough drops. They are so good. I even prefer to drink my Pepto Bismol as opposed to taking the tablets. It's like liquid cotton candy.

I don't know what's wrong with me.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Rest


Photo Friday contribution

Cones


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Ten Diets I've Attempted With Varying Success

1) Starve Yourself for As Long as You Can Diet
When: Freshman year of high school
How I Did: Lasted about a day, lost nothing
Commentary: Really, not a good idea. I almost passed out in P.E.

2) South Beach Diet
When: Last year, before the wedding
How I Did: OK. Lost about 5 lbs, but I think it had more to do with the fact that I don't really have all that much to lose. The weight loss wasn't as dramatic or quick as it had been with some of my friends.
Commentary: Actually, a surprisingly decent diet once you get past the first two weeks. You can't really quibble with anyone who suggests cutting back on sugar and processed food.

3) Atkins Diet
When: 2003
How I Did: Lost about 7 lbs the first week, got sick in the second and gave up
Commentary: Seriously, what a stupid ass diet. It's fun for about 3 days, and then one day you wake up and remember you're having eggs for breakfast, and there will never be anything but eggs for breakfast again, and when you die, they will find you buried in a mountain of eggshells, and they will do an autopsy and find that you were made of nothing but eggs and that's why you died, and you will literally have to stop yourself from barfing.

4) TOPS (Taking Off Pounds Sensibly)
When: Freshman year of college
How I Did: Lost about 25 lbs, and have managed to keep the better part of it off since
Commentary: The only diet plan I followed where the word "sensibly" actually meant something. I did this with my dad and stepmom, and while I had fun, I think it's more of a social group for older women and not a regimented weight loss program.

5) Slim-Fast
When: 1989-1990
How I Did: Lost about 10 lbs
Commentary: Those chocolate shakes were hella yummy, especially when you add fruit and ice cream to them. No surprise that it failed.

6) The Eat Sensibly, Except for One Spoonful of Peanut Butter Every Day Diet
When: 1984
How I Did: Please
Commentary: My best friend at the time, Andrea, and I concocted this ridiculous diet. Day one was fine, but by day two, our spoonfuls of peanut butter were more like softball-sized scoops.

7) Weight Watchers
When: 1982, 1984 and pretty much ever since 1998
How I Did: I'm up and down
Commentary: WW is pretty much the only plan I can consistently follow. TomTomClub and I used to joke that if you wanted, you could have 12 margaritas and a peanut as your menu for the day. What is bad about that kind of diet, I ask?

8) The Ramen Diet
When: College
How I Did: Didn't gain the Freshman Fifteen, but probably was a little bloated considering it was just noodles soaked in salt
Commentary: Wasn't by choice. Food 4 Less sold this stuff by the case for like, $2. You just cannot say no to that.

9) Eat Great and Healthy All Day, Celebrate By Having a Pint of Ben & Jerry's When You Get Home Diet
When: College, post-college
How I Did: Hahahaha
Commentary: Dude, if this worked, I totally would be a millionaire.

10) The Zone Diet
When: 2002
How I Did: Not well at all
Commentary: The menu plan would be impossible for a math whiz to figure out, with the 1/3 this, 1/3 that and the sigma sign and the bell curve and percentages and infinity. Break out the fancy graph calculator! It made my head hurt. No wonder celebs just have the meals delivered so they can save the brain power for memorizing lines.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

On the Bus, That's Where We're Ridin'


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Man, I Really Go On Sometimes

Last night, around 2 a.m., I dropped my Honda off at the dealership for the scheduled maintenance. I do this so they'll work on it first thing in the morning and call me by noon to tell me it's ready and I can get on with my life. Except that blew up in my face this time. Turns out the Mr. has something work-related to do and I'm stranded at home. He offered me his car, but it's probably better that I be stuck here and actually get something done for once. Which, of course, is why I'm sitting here blogging instead of cleaning the bathrooms.

So, I dropped off my car. Whenever I do that, I feel a twinge of guilt as I remember that I never treated my previous car as well. It was a now defunct Geo Metro Lsi. Yes, those cars you see on the road and snicker at as you watch them attempt to accelerate. I had no choice to get it, though. The Subaru stationwagon I had couldn't pass the rigid California smog check without a $1,000 fix, which was more than the car was worth. Dad then suggested it was time I get a new car. He gamely listened as I threw out dream car options. A VW Jetta! A Miata, maybe? Hey, maybe a scooter! Bless his heart, he took me to a VW dealership and let me have the rude awakening on my own: I could not afford those things on the crap salary I was pulling. As we left the dealership and I was feeling a little sad, he told me he didn't think VWs were well-made, anyway. Yeah, screw 'em!

After scaling back a little, my only option pretty much was the Geo, the Geo and the Geo. OK, the Geo it is, then! Commence years of merciless mocking. My boss at the time called it "the Roller Skate car." My grandfather called it "that piece of crap." Whenever he talked to my dad on the phone, he'd ask, "Hey, is she still driving that piece of crap?" "I'm afraid she is, dad." "Oh, that stupid car. She's going to kill herself!" Other cars would zoom by me on the freeway. Some would tailgate and bully me, challenging my car's right to even exist. Hey, I questioned it, too.

I lost interest in the Geo after about a year. I took it in for oil changes once a year, at most. And when you think about the fact that I was driving 90 minutes to work (one way) four days a week at the time, that's a massive amount of abuse. How it didn't just decide to die and leave me stranded one day, I'll never know. I put 30,000 miles on the car in the first year alone. The A/C broke about 2 years in, and I never fixed it. While moving from one state to another, I had it on a trailer behind my U-Haul, and somehow managed to take out my great uncle's mailbox with it. It left a giant dent in the passenger side door, which wasn't a big deal because nobody ever wanted to ride in that car with me, and who could blame them?

The only time it had a tuneup was when I announced to my family that I was leaving California and moving to the East Coast, and yeah, I was driving that piece of crap over there. Mom refused to let me leave without having it looked at.

I put whatever could fit in the Geo (not much) and left. Outside Fresno -- barely 3 hours into my trip -- the driver's side windshield wiper blew off in a torrential downpour, and I spent about 2 hours leaning to the right as I drove so I could see. The bare wiper left a permanent scratch in the glass. Despite the bad omen, the rest of the trip went smoothly. I even bought a replacement wiper in San Bernardino, but it didn't rain the rest of the trip. Figures.

One day, when it was about 6 years old, the Geo died. The fan belt snapped. There was some manufacturing defect that was causing it to slice over time. That's when I went to the Honda dealership and decided to get a real car, one that'll put up a fight on the road. One that makes a quick getaway after one extends the finger. These things are important!

The salesman inspected the Geo for trade-in value, and informed me that I'd almost have to pay him to take the car. Before I whipped out the checkbook, he agreed to give me $200 credit for it. Believe me, I thought that was generous. As I drove my new car off the lot, I saw the Geo parked there, looking all sad and abandoned and I felt a little bad. It did get me across the country in one piece. And parallel parking was going to be harder. That clown car could fit anywhere.

A few months later, I was leaving work one night when I saw a car parked outside the pizza place across the street: the Geo. My Geo. It had been reincarnated as a pizza delivery car. I was like, "Right...good luck with that, guys."

Monday, April 18, 2005

Little People


I pretended like I was taking a picture of the blooms on the tree, because I am too chicken right now to just walk up and start snapping pictures of total strangers. I'm working on that. The duplicity!

Note to Hallmark

I had to swing by the drugstore today and get some sympathy cards for friends who lost their stepdad this weekend. Choosing one that doesn't make me (and possibly them) gag was made a little easier when I picked up one and read it only to find that it rhymed.

Is it just me? Or is this totally not the time for rhyme-y cards?

"Sorry to hear the sad, sad news
Now you must have the blues.
Well, chin up, life goes on
Even though your loved one is gone."

That's not what it said by the way. But maybe I have a bright future in the offensive card-writing business?

Sunday, April 17, 2005

I'm Everywoman

It used to be that whenever I saw someone who resembled someone famous, I would just blurt it out. Who doesn't want to know what celebrity they look like, right? Turns out, a lot of people. And Darren's post the other day only further proves my point. Unless you're going to tell someone that they look like Catherine Zeta-Jones or George Clooney, and even then I'm not so sure because there's always a chance that you'll find the one person who thinks Zeta-Jones and Clooney are hairy trolls, you really should just keep it to yourself.

Once, I told a bartender he looked like Eminem. The fact that I thought Eminem was an attractive, albeit tiny little man, didn't matter. For the rest of the night, I got the stink eye instead of drinks. Another time, some friends and I were at the Stinking Rose, when we couldn't resist the urge to inform our waiter of who he looked like. I don't remember who the celebrity was (and it couldn't have been that bad...I would never tell someone that they look like Sloth from the Goonies), but our previously friendly, jovial waiter turned to an instant asshole.

It was around then that I started rethinking the whole idea. Maybe I should stop. But then, at a blackjack table at the Luxor in Vegas, there was this guy who totally looked like Noah from 90210. It was either him, or his low minimum blackjack playing twin. I asked the Mr., and got a blank face, because that would be forcing him to admit that he had seen 90210. I was on my own with this one. After playing all the various outcomes in my head, I just came out with it. It could not be helped. He took it well, but that could be because he claimed to not know who Noah was. His friend, at least, was helpful and said he knew exactly who Noah was and that he, indeed, was not bad looking. So, there you go. Get their friends on your side, and if they get mad, you can spread the anger around a little bit.

My stepdad was once stopped by some guys at a concert. One of them said, "Hey, man! I know who you are! You're Graham Nash, dude!" Who I guess he does kind of vaguely resemble. My stepdad, being the wonderfully awesome person that he is, said he was indeed Graham Nash, and would they like an autograph? Sure! they said. Later, he told my mom that he thinks he misspelled Graham.

Even the Mr. very startlingly looks like Ron Livingston.

On the flip side, I've never really been told who I resemble. The one time I sought opinions on the matter (in a thread about celeb lookalikes), only one person answered, and she lamely offered Julia Stiles. Nice try, but no, I look nothing like her. I'm not even blonde, for chrissake. The people I do tend to resemble are other, boring everyday people. Kids have mistaken me for their mom. I must hold the world record for hearing, "You remind me of this girl..." or "Are you related to...?" In college, a girl I worked with named Vanessa and I apparently resembled each other so closely that her acquaintances would talk to me, thinking I was her, and vice versa. We didn't see the resemblance, though. But it got to the point that if someone I didn't know struck up a conversation, I would ask "Are you looking for Vanessa?" Usually they were.

I suppose that's what I get for years of unintentionally insulting people.

She Love, Love, Loves Her Bed


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Saturday, April 16, 2005

Weeds


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Friday, April 15, 2005

Jack of All Trades, You Know the Rest


This is not just a cleaner/alterations/repairs place. It's also a market. Now, maybe they do a fine job, but I'm a little wary of the fact that they do everything. I can't bring myself to take my clothes for alterations at a place that also sells muffins.

It's a floor wax, and a dessert topping! As an aside, I don't know why this week has been so SNL-heavy. I don't even watch the show anymore.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

You Really Like Rock 'n' Roll, All of the Fame and the Masquerade

From the ages of about 7 to 13, I was a Mormon, baptized and everything. It didn't work out, obviously. I mean, when you tell me I can't have diet Coke, we're going to have some insurmountable issues.

After years of begging, mom finally relented and let me stop going to church, as it was seriously cutting into my Shirley Temple-movie watching time on Sundays. When I left, my whole view of the world as I knew it didn't really shift, as it did for dooce. I was always a bad, rebellious child, and church was not going to stand in my way. The message never really sank in. Yes, I just said that I watched Shirley Temple movies, yet was also supposedly "bad and rebellious." Don't ask me to explain it.

I do have one enduring memory, though. A scar, if you will. What dooce says about music in the church is very true. KISS supposedly stood for "knights in service of satan" and AC/DC stood for "anti-christ/devil's children." Oh, sure. It's hilarious now, but at 8 years old, having nightmares that KISS has just murdered your entire family, grandparents included...not pleasant. It didn't help that my babysitter's son happened to be a huge KISS fan, and he'd regularly tackle me to the ground and try to light my hair on fire.

Now that kid was Satan.

Berries


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Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Cherry Blossoms


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Ten Funniest SNL Skits, In Random Order (We Got Ourselves a WRITER!)

1. James Brown's Celebrity Hot Tub Party

2. Wookin' Puh Nub

3. Colon Blow

4. That's Not Yogurt

5. Happy Fun Ball

6. Gap Girls at the Mall

7. Yo Soy El Nino!

8. Matt Foley: Motivational Speaker

9. Chippendales

10. The Sinatra Group

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Plastic


Another Photo Friday entry

Those Popables Are Just Silly, Don't You Think?

I'm very PMSy right now. On Sunday, I considered getting a giant bag of peanut butter M&Ms and letting that suffice as my food for the day. That's pretty much a sure sign. Thankfully, I thought better of it and resisted. On Monday, I didn't have any money in my wallet, otherwise I would have bought out all the vending machines. Avoiding the temptation was a cinch.

Today started off well. Got up, had what Malia Vale calls my Breakfast of Champions (salty, buttery oatmeal and coffee), went to the gym and Home Depot. I needed some soda, so I stopped off at the grocery store. And that, my friends, is when it all went to hell. I stood in the candy aisle for probably 10 minutes considering all my options: dark or milk chocolate? Pure chocolate, or something cut with nuts or caramel? I just know the butchers were laughing at me, especially since I was still in my gym clothes. Next time, I'll be sure flip them off. Then I thought, cookies! Yeah! I sprinted over to the cookie aisle and dumped a big bag of chocolate Oreos in my basket. Chocolate and cookie and fun to eat. Everybody's happy. By everybody, I mean the multiple personalities that emerge in me at this time every 3 weeks.

Then I went to check out. Three 2 liters of diet soda and a mess of Oreos. Like it's not obvious what I'm up to. And that's when I saw him: the weird guy at my gym who wears a gold necklace and shaves his legs and head. He was in line ahead of me, using a debit card to pay. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw him glance over. He had to have seen the Oreos. Not that I care what Mr. Gold Chain and No Body Hair thinks, but suddenly I felt like a huge fraud. Like I'd just gone to an AA meeting with this guy, where I got up and spoke about how well I was doing and how great sobriety feels, and yet there I am behind him buying Jack Daniels. He didn't say anything, which is to his benefit, because what does he know about PMS and the cravings I've been fighting for two-plus days?! He doesn't know me! Step off, hairless dude!

Ahem.

Anyway, I did not put the cookies back and now I'm feeling kind of ill.

Burp.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Arrrrghhh

As I strolled by the organic/natural section of the market last week, I noticed this: Pirate's Cannon Balls. Be sure to read the description. Pirate's Cannon Balls are flying all around your head!

What's next? Pirate's Schweddy Balls?

Dog I Met Last Week


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Sunday, April 10, 2005

And Look, If You Order $2,500 or More, You'll Get 15% Off!

I'm conflicted about reading Candyfreak. While I'm nowhere near Steve Almond's level of freakdom, I already have enough candy vices without being introduced to more.

Tower Redux


One of the towers I posted recently, re-cropped and converted to b&w.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Nabby Rocks, Nabby Rolls


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Friday, April 08, 2005

Save Arrested Development

Go here and sign the petition, send it to all your friends and then for pete's sake, go watch the show.

P.S. I just realized that I told you not to trust me when I say a TV show is good, but this is one of the few exceptions. It really, really is hilarious. No sappy music, I swear! Unless you count Mrs. Featherbottom's jingles.

Ahhhhhhh....Everywhere You Look, There's A Hand to Hold Onto

Before comments up and got deleted in the Haloscan switch, Alyssa had snerked in one about about my love for "Charles in Charge" when I was 11. I was like, puh-leeze. That's nothing. I have always had a spot in my heart for terrible TV. I don't mean terrible as in "Shasta McNasty." I mean terrible as in obvious jokes, sappy music in the last 3 minutes when someone learns a valuable lesson, convenient plot devices and horrible acting/mugging for the studio audience by toddlers.

You can rest assured that if I say a TV show is terrible, it really is absolutely horrible and should be avoided at all costs. But if I say it's great, you probably shouldn't take my word for it.

Let's hop in the Terrible TV Time Machine, back to a time where theme songs were both catchy and painful to listen to.

The Brady Bunch started it all. Come on, when Peter's voice is changing and they have to sing "When It's Time to Change"? Gold. You know you can't not dance when the Brady Kids bust into song and their "sha-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na. Sha-NANANANA!" The astroturf lawn, it never needed mowing! "Something suddenly came up" became an acceptable and plausible way to blow off a date, especially if they're sporting a giant schnozz. I remember scaring Trish when we were roommates in college by dutifully setting my alarm each morning for 9 a.m., just so I could watch the Brady Bunch before heading off to class. Some people start with Raisin Bran, I started with the Brady kids.

Diff'rent Strokes. Ah, those crazy Drummond kids. Remember the episode where Kimberly ate the entire sheet of cake and Arnold's panicked look as he hid and watched her? Or the episode with the bank holdup, featuring a tour de force by Tootie from Facts of Life?

Speaking of Facts of Life, who didn't want to own everything in that tacky little store they opened later in the series? That giant inflatable palm tree was the greatest thing ever. Actually, I have to hand it to this show for teaching me about the darker issues in life: suicide, homeless teens and that rich girls need love too.

Silver Spoons. The only show I actually aspired to be on. When I heard they were casting a girlfriend for Ricky Schroeder, I sent numerous letters to him, begging for the part, seeing as how I was actually in love with him and therefore would be believable, and swearing I was totally adorable. Which was a complete lie, but I figured once they just got me down to LA, there would be no turning back.

Rocky Road. I don't remember much about this show, except for the theme song and that it aired on TBS. I probably just liked it because it reminded me of ice cream.

Punky Brewster. Aw, how cute was little Punky? It makes me feel so old to know that she's now with child. Ack. Also, I'm surprised George Gaines is still alive, seeing that I thought he was about 100 years old when the show was on. My enduring memory from this show is the "Just Say No" one, where the Chicklets try to push dope on Cherie and Punky and they are shut down.

Family Matters. Yes, I watched this on ABC's TGIF nights. Willingly. You just shut up.

Full House. This used to be my dirty little secret. I would watch the reruns at home, alone. I don't know why. It's like when that meth user on Intervention last week said doing meth wasn't even fun anymore, she just needed to do it to function. A few years ago, I stopped hiding it. When TomTomClub and I were roommates, I believe she caught me a few times. The Mr. catches me regularly and always asks, "Why are you watching this crap?" The answer: I DON'T KNOW.

Lone Tree


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Thursday, April 07, 2005

Lights Inside the Library, Apartments Across the Street


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Convenient Parking Is Way Back, Way Back

This Henry business is starting to make me very irrational and insane. Tonight, the Mr. came home from work around 7 and wanted to know where I would like to go to dinner. I suggested either this one place that serves up 1 lb. burgers (that's after cooking, yo) or this Italian joint that serves 5 lbs of spaghetti per person.

"But can we wait a few minutes before leaving?" I asked. "Henry isn't home yet, and I don't want him to take my spot."

We parked on the couch and killed time by watching parts of Bend It Like Beckham and Friends. Every time I heard a car, I'd look out the window. "Is that Henry?! Is he home?"

I suggested that maybe the Mr. move his car up a little, to make it impossible to park in front of our house, but our neighbor Maya wasn't home, and I didn't want to involve her in our War of Principle if she happened to get home before Henry did.

Around 8 p.m., starving and sort of realizing how ridiculous I was being, I cried uncle. "Let's go to dinner." Fine, Henry. You win this time.

As we were driving home and turned the corner onto our street, the Mr. started cackling. "Henry's in your spot! Hahahahaha! He took it!" He is fully enjoying how mad this whole thing makes me.

"Dammit, I'm getting a crowbar tomorrow." Then, after having counted to ten, I suggested a more peaceful solution: that he just fill up our recycling bin and put it on Henry's hood, but he wasn't having that.

Yeah, I need to get a life.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Another Water Tower


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Ten Things That Are Just Wrong

1) Popcorn-flavored Jelly Bellys, which I can't find on the web site. If they've been discontinued, I hereby nominate roasted garlic as the new wrong flavor.
2) Sugar-free candy, because it gives you severe gastrointestinal issues, trust me on this one.
3) Iced coffee.
4) When the cashier at Target cryptically asks if I'd like to "save 10% on [my] purchase today." First of all, 10% is lame, all right? Especially when all I have in my basket is a stick of gum and a greeting card. Second, I'm not falling for that and I don't appreciate the ruse.
5) Veggie Booty.
6) Timberlands/Manolos with heels, such as the ones J.Lo wore in "Jenny From the Block."
7) Whacked-out serving sizes. Who the hell eats half a muffin?
8) The way they do real estate in New Zealand.
9) The fact that I've been on hold with my bank for the last 10 minutes, and it's after midnight. Are there seriously this many people awake right now? The Muzak isn't helping matters.
10) The new reality show from the Federlines, which is so wrong that it's really just oh, so very right.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Sunday Brunch


The manager getting us more coffee.


Leaving


I turned the contrast way up on this one.


The recipe is: donut, sausage, donut, sausage, donut. The kiwi slice is for a little fiber. I did not order this, I just drooled a lot.


I totally second that sentiment.


Hanging chickens lend that certain aura...

Rural Mailboxes


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Leaning on the Horn is Also Fun

From the time I was of legal age to get behind the wheel, I've been hearing, "You're going to get yourself killed doing that one of these days!" What is it that I'm doing? Why, flipping people off, of course.

The way I look at it is, people need to know when they're acting like jerks or being idiots, and I'm just imparting a little knowledge. Most idiots don't know they're thus, so if I'm not going to tell them, who will? Probably a lot of people, but sometimes with these idiots, you really need to hammer the message home.

I have almost gotten killed, actually, but it hasn't stopped me. One time I was on a date in downtown San Jose when I got into a screaming match with this really large guy who could have strangled me with one hand. But he cut me off. Unacceptable! When it became clear that this guy was going to follow me all over the city until he actually did kill me, I did my best getaway. But not before extending the finger once more for good measure. I know, I know. So stupid. I just can't help it. This finger, it has a mind of its own. If it didn't match my other fingers so well, I'd swear it was grafted onto me at birth. I do have some sense, though. You won't find me extending the middle finger in, say, Compton.

When the Mr. and I are out and someone is rude to him, I'm bouncy and breathless as I ask "Can I flip him off!? Can I can I can I? I will! Please let me!" He never lets me, because he doesn't have a death wish. I'm not sure he's ever flipped anyone off while driving, actually, which I know would make his mom very, very proud to know (hello, Susan!).

My mom, however, is probably shaking her head and wondering where it all went wrong and expressing surprise that it hasn't ended badly yet.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Just Say No, And List the Reasons Why

Oh, I'm sorry. Did you stop by expecting an actual entry? Then I have failed you, dear reader. I blame it on my addiction, which I admit I am powerless against. It has become something larger than myself. Than any of us.

See, this morning as I was uploading a picture, I thought of an entry. I'm still working on another, longer one, but needed an interim one, since the longer one isn't quite ready. The idea came swiftly, and once the Board of Directors in my head deemed it suitable for blogitude, I thought, "I should write this down" because I was heading out and wouldn't be able to work on it right then.

Because that's what I am. A dirty, lowlife addict. Of lists. I can't function without one. At the bookstore, I am lost without one. I would never know what music to buy without my Amazon wish list. The video store? Forget it. Without my grocery list, I would just circle the aisles in a trance. I NEED THE LISTS. Some days I even write the command "Wake up" on my to do list, so helpless am I without one. Many days, I also write "Take shower." So, my addiction can be a good thing for the general populace, too.

But you can see where this sad, ugly story is going, can't you? I didn't write it down. And now it's gone. Ah, the price of addiction.


Brick

Sunday, April 03, 2005

We Need to Go Back

Attending a general audience with the pope on our honeymoon last May was absolutely one of the highlights. For me, at least. The Mr. probably thinks I'm going to say it was the gelato. Actually, if I say that the Vatican itself was one of the highlights, that would encompass the gelato stand just behind it, which was one of the best gelatos I had the whole time there. Coincidence? I think not. Of course Vatican gelato is going to be better than average.

Anyway, for me personally, seeing such an icon was pretty cool. When he came out in the Popemobile, the crowd went hush, then gradually began their cheers as he circled, eventually working up to a frenzy of sheer joy and excitement. There were choirs singing beautiful hymns, young kids laughing and shouting and singing for the pope, holding up signs in foreign languages.

Overall? Pretty awesome.

Sideview

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Because Blogger Sucks With the Commenting...

Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added. Oh, jolly day!
Also, it appears that any previous comments have been deleted/lost in the transfer. That is not so jolly.

For Pete's Sake, Chock Your Wheels

I'm Just Saying: Put Your Food Down, Then Read


Are you sure you would want kisses from this dog?

Often on our walks, Nabby will find some food someone has tossed onto the sidewalk (as an aside: seriously? How hard is it to put chicken bones in the trash and not on the street where my dog could choke on one? Whoever is doing that needs to STOP IT.). One of us usually has to pry it out of her mouth, and at some point you have to weigh how much it matters that Nabby is doing a death grip on a slice of bread vs. how much you need your fingers.

Her other New Favorite Thing To Do is to go under the house while I'm locking the door and have herself a little cat crap snack. Carb-loading for the big walk, I guess. I usually try to keep her from going under there, but sometimes she just gets away when I'm juggling a bunch of things.

Yesterday, she made it under there and scored huge. When I yanked her out, she had a giant hunk of cat crap hanging out of her mouth. As she heard me shriek, she bit down on it, and it broke in two. A boulder-size piece fell to the sidewalk. I pulled her away from that, but she still had a mass in her mouth.

And she merrily chomped away and swallowed, knowing full well that her mouth was safe from my fingers. I was so not going after that.

Friday, April 01, 2005

This is TOP SECRET. Did I Give You Permission to Look in Here? PRIVATE.

I got all inspired by the journal entries by Stephanie over at Greek Tragedy and decided to dig up my own. I kept one pretty regularly from age 11 to 20. They sit in a corner of the guest room, and we each pretend the other doesn't exist, like good friends who don't bring up embarrassing incidents ever again, no matter how funny it was, such as the time you were talking to a guy you really, really liked with a booger hanging out of your nose.

I grabbed the first one I ever owned, circa 1985, opened it, and took one look at my teen-girl bubble script and started to cringe immediately. I was boy crazy, pudgy, depressed, prone to high drama and insecure, and before I could even finish an entry about it all here, I put it down and gasped for air. There is just no way I'm going to publish any of that. It was bringing it all right back, and a little too swiftly for my taste.

Maybe reading one or two entries a night would have been a better way to approach the journal, instead of 50 entries all at once. Baby steps, baby steps. The other problem is that unlike Stephanie, I displayed absolutely no knack for writing. I didn't record important details about my family and their quirks, other than the time I descriptively noted that my brother was "a dork." I didn't talk about interesting things I did or my views on life in general.

A pie chart would show the breakdown thus:
OHMIGOD, I love [insert boy's name here; a new one every 5 minutes]: 95.5%
Mom totally is SO MEAN. You don't even KNOW: 2%
Brother is, like, SUCH A DORK!!!: 1%
School SUCKS! I hate math!: 1%
I want to marry Simon Le Bon. Why did he go and marry Yasmin? She's not right for him! She doesn't know what he needs!: .3%
"Charles in Charge" is SO funny: .2%

In other words, pretty much a Tween Diary for the Rest Of Us (the rest of us being NOT Anne Frank, Anais Nin or Stephanie).

Bars