Archive for March, 2009

My oppressed youth

Monday, March 30th, 2009

Growing up, my brother and I were a little different from our companions. Yes, we were really scrawny, and yes, we took radishes in our lunches, and yes, I almost exclusively wore stirrup pants from Lands End, but there was something else about us that made our friends gasp. We. Didn’t. Have. Cable. Our parents remain unnaturally proud of this. They imagine that they saved our lives by robbing us of cable. Or that they enriched the world. Or something. When they tell someone this (full of pride. Like bursting at the seams with pride.), the response is always “Oh! Your children must be so creative! They must be so different!” This is so fucking laughable to me. I have the creativity of a corpse, and my brother’s idea of creativity is flirting on the internet.

Our lack of creativity is probably derived from one very important source: we are obsessed with television shows (also my brother is writing his dissertation, which I imagine robs him of a lot of free time in which he could be, say, screenprinting flyers or, like, knitting little cozies for his ipod). We never had the opportunities our peers had to hang out with Kelly and Zack and Slater. I never got to grow up with Michelle and Stephanie and their dad with the unfortunate hair and their annoying neighbor. I couldn’t tell you what the Wonder Years involved, and I thought Blossom was about some girl with a green thumb until college. That means that we don’t know what you’re talking about when you talk about television. Because we are two individuals who secretly want to fit in, we are trying our hardest to catch up with you. In the break room at work, I want to talk about the Office, goddamnit. I want to know about ER! I want to know about Heroes and Lost and all those other shows about which I know next to nothing.

This is why I have a very enthusiastic appreciation for television shows. It might be unhealthy. It probably is. I have next to no standards regarding television, as I have no, say, childhood gauge for television. If it is trashy, and even remotely interesting, I will probably be obsessed with it. I will watch re-runs of the stupidest things with the greatest interest. I’m talking Designing Women here. And Newhart. And Salute Your Shorts. Pete & Pete. Goddamn Seventh Heaven. These things are so foreign to me that they’re incredible. In a heroic attempt to save my brother and I from rotting brains and a “ruined” childhood, my parents inadvertently set us up for adulthoods of deep, sincere television loves.

I didn’t by any means have an oppressed youth (that title was merely a hook). I had a nice, quiet childhood full of impending anxieties about my future. My friends growing up were Felicity Merriman, Playmobil and Breyer horses.  It was fun.  But now I am ready for television, and having new friends in the Buffster, Heidi Klum, and all of the fun people I have yet to meet on the mean streets of Baltimore.

Battling the common cold.

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

I am currently terrified that I might be getting a cold. I have that weird itchy throat feeling. It started yesterday on the bus. My head got all bloaty, and my eyes were burning, and I was sneezing like mad. I kicked into cold-battling overdrive last night. No way am I getting sick this week. NO WAY. It is THAT time of year schoolwise, so hello tons of papers and hello tons of patrons. My precautions consist of:

  • frenzied handwashing (seriously every twenty minutes. I am out of control and was almost incapable of using public transportation today)
  • slurping down an Emergen-C once an hour (wasn’t this stuff debunked? Why am I still relying on it? I hope the debunking was debunked)
  • crossing my fingers and eating a Zinc lozenge every two hours
  • hoping that Emma is on to something with this incredible, delicious soup (I think you are, Emma! It’s amazing! I used way more garlic than you said to, but I am a garlic-hound and it only made it more tasty!)
  • laying on the couch last night, snuggling with my dogfriend reading Daddy’s Girl (Debbie Drechsler), David Chelsea is in love (David Chelsea), Aviary (Jamie Tanner) [I am honestly Not Wild About This Book At All), the Sportswriter (Richard Ford)--I know, I'm still reading it--and watching Always Sunny incessantly.
  • treating aforementioned dogfriend with all the love I can offer her. I don't like to be all animal-hokey (okay, yes I kind of do), but I swear she can tell when I am not feeling 100%, and on those days, she snuggles me like her life depends on it. Oh, this dog. Last night she got her special, favorite dinner of: normal doggie kibble (1/2 serving), 1/4 of an apple, 1 whole carrot chopped and peanut butter. Isn't this the face of a champion snuggler?
my special dogfriend

my special dogfriend

Time will tell if I’ve escaped the wrath of the common cold. Back the fuck off, cold. I’ve got my eye on you.

My own personal brand of heroin

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

Yesterday I grew tired of doing mountains of tedious library school homework (and visions of imperfect dresses danced in my head) so I begged OMC to drop his extremely interesting writings on Chiefdoms in Belize, or whatever, and go on a superfun date with me to West Mifflin, haven of all things cheap.  “We could even,” I suggested, with flirtatious eyelashes,” see if TWILIGHT is playing at the Dollar Theater!!!” (which of course it was, because I’d already checked).

Very much against his will, lured in only by the promise of popcorn and a Coke all to himself, OMC succumbed to the beauty that is Twilight.  I say that thickly, with a heavy sense of sarcasm, because unless you are 12, a girl and foolish (or, well, 23 and a girl and still pretty foolish) this movie is Bad.  Capital B Bad.  That didn’t stop me from loving it.  I loved it for a myriad of really embarrassing reasons, but for the sake of maintaining any coolness I might appear to have, I will say that I also loved it for these reasons:

  • Edward has THE BEST wardrobe.  I don’t know anything men’s clothing, but he wears a coat that is dreamy and grey and tweedy and fitted and fabulous.  Bella’s wardrobe sucks.  She dresses like the bulk of her clothing came from Gap Body (essentially what I am saying is that she wears pajamas, or some incarnation of pajamas for the majority of the movie).  What does Edward see in her?  Find a woman who can dress like you, boy.
  • Edward’s bedroom is practically the essence of awesome.  I know even less about furniture than I do about clothing, but holy hell, his day bed/couch/Eames thingie: I want it.  I need it.  And a cuddly vamp to share it with.  His bookshelves!  SWOON.
  • (Library dork time) Bella’s information-seeking habits pleased the nerd in me to no end.  She perfectly demonstrated what a gazillion boring SPEC Kits and ARL papers took pages and pages to “show” me: teenagers like Google!  They use it for everything!  Shock!  The.  End.
  • The scenary.  Hello, Pacific Northwest.  You are gorgeous.  You are full of moss, and fog, and rain, and moody teenagers.  Sign me up!

An armful of imperfect Anthro dresses, a bellyfull of Dollar Theater popcorn and one grumpy, bored OMC later, I was satisfied.  In case I wasn’t clear enough (I wasn’t), OMC is the best, most tolerant, kindest boyfriend ever.  I owe him at least three viewings of Mad Max and maybe even some terrible choose-your-own-adventure Dragon Lance viewings.   An excellent Sunday of postponing so much schoolwork.

Life wish-list

Friday, March 20th, 2009

I think this post will be something that I come back to time and time again to update. A running list of my obsessions, if you will.

  • Lucy Knisley-French Milk
  • Adrian Tomine-Scrapbook-
  • Leanne Shapton-Important Artifacts and Personal Property from the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris, Including Books, Street Fashion, and Jewelry (this is already winning as my favorite book of 2009)
  • All of Y (I only have 1,3-6. I lent 2 to someone and I forget who.)
  • Jason Lutes-Berlin collected volumes (I HAVE TO HAVE THESE. I must have a benevolent and wealthy admirer out there. Where are you? Buy me these PLEASE. These are so good and important and relevant. I must own them.)
  • etc
  • etc
  • etc

Spring break.

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

I don’t get a spring break, because I am a working class schlepp, so that title is a big ol’ joke. I get the week off of classes, which is good and fine, but otherwise–HAH. 9-5. I am taking an untraditional mini-vacay tomorrow and going north, the way the birdies don’t go (so not Cancun). OMC are taking a brother-trip to Toronto for a long weekend (we both have brothers there. We are so friggin’ cute. We planned it that way.)

I had to put off Louise Erdrich readings because I think I burnt myself out. I finished the Beet Queen and ultimately have high praise for it, but when I started to read the next in line, Tracks, I just couldn’t do it. I feel bad about this, but I’ll pick it up again later (I accidentally have two copies of it checked out of two different libraries. This signifies I have two problems. One: forgetfulness, the other: obsessiveness). Over the weekend I instead started the Sportswriter, by Richard Ford, which I kind of think is hilarious but am not sure if I’m supposed to. I will get back to this, too.

Other readings:

  • Jar of Fools: a picture story - Jason Lutes (Sherman Alexie wrote the intro and I was like, “Argh hero.” Pretty dec.)
  • Sweater Weather - Sara Varon (this book is fucking adorable and you will hug it close to your chest and want it to be your friend and drink hot chocolate with you, if you are anything like me. It reminded me infinitely of Salamander Dream, by Hope Larson, which is equally adorable and friendable.)
  • Walking Dead v.2-3 – Robert Kirkman & Tony Moore (I don’t want to think these are good, but there it is, they kinda are. Oops? I read v. 1 over a year ago and then kinda forgot about the series because I was so obsessed with Lucifer.)
  • Preacher v. 1 - Garth Ennis & Steve Dillon (This, so far, is AWESOME. I love the story. I loooove it. It’s seriously so exciting.)

Also, I finally got season 3 of Always Sunny (thanks OMC!!!). This show is probably for people who don’t have morals. What can I say. I think it’s incredible.

In Toronto, I will get to visit my favorite bookstore of all time, which means I will return with piles of loot that I don’t and won’t have time to read for months. This is part of being me, though, and I have accepted it. Stoked!

A confession. (movie) march madness

Friday, March 6th, 2009

I’d never seen the Outsiders before yesterday.  I think this was one of those movies that I feel like I should have watched in middle school, but never really did, so I just always pretended I’d seen it (like Caddyshack.  And Braveheart.  Also have never seen these.  But probably should.)  This movie is a great favorite of OMC’s.  Cherry Valance, as played by Diane Lane, is his dream girl (next to me, theoretically).  He has a tattoo of her.  No joke.  He knows most of it by heart.  He would be a greaser.  And would live with Darryl, Sodapop and Ponyboy (I would too, but for different reasons KNOWWHATIMEAN *cough* Sodapop *cough cough*)  It’s always kind of been a sore subject between us, that I hadn’t seen it, and that I didn’t honestly want to.

That has all changed.  I feel like I’ve been caught up on some ritualistic rite of passage.  I feel like now I can hang with OMC and his myriad of brothers.  I also feel like I kind of missed something.  I DON’T GET IT.  This movie is honestly pretty awful.  It is seriously made for middle school English classes.  It’s cheesy, and kind of lame, and generally made me go “eh.”

It is mere moments from the weekend, and since next week is SPRING BREAK OMG I don’t have any schoolwork to do, so I am looking forward to two days of sitting in the park, reading so much, not doing schoolwork, going to yoga maniacally, and dog-sitting for a fluffy, fluffy pup.  Which means I can snuggle with two dogs.  And that means my life is absolutely, positively perfect.

Things to come

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

Here in Inconsistent-weatherville, PA, sometimes the prospect of glorious spring and summer days to come is all that keeps me going, trudging through the cold. Yesterday I seriously had boogers frozen to my scarf. Gross. I like winter. I really do. But, there comes a time when I am like, “Yo, enough’s enough. Give me one day without socks. JUST ONE DAY.” In honor of this feeling (which I will likely forget the moment I start accumulating sweat in the place behind my ears where my glasses rest, making them consequently fall off), I present you with a list of things I look forward to in the months to come:

  • short shorts (I am a huge fan of really short shorts)
  • popsicles from Shur-Sav
  • farmer’s market openings & subsequent produce goodness
  • wearing dresses/skirts without tights (also pretending that I own this anthropologie dress because it is straight out of Clueless)
  • lazy days at the Bloomfield beach
  • river swimming/canoing
  • sitting on park benches for hours with my dog, reading trashy magazines
  • maybe playing frisbee (MAYBE)
  • hikes/walks/camping
  • getting frustrated with how long, hot and heavy my hair is and trying to cut it off daily
  • OMC defending his dissertation and resembling a human being again (no offense)
  • sitting on the porch for hours with my dog, reading trashy magazines & drinking good beer
  • nurturing my little potted plant babies
  • etc
  • etc
  • March Madness

Please remind me of this list in 5 months when I am bitching incessantly about not owning an air conditioner. Seriously. Link me back here?