Jul 31, 2004

The windows are attacking!

I had a nightmare last night! A nightmare! Am I five? Yes. Yes, I am. Mommy, please come look under the bed to check for monsters.

It took place in an Alternate Reality in which I had a crazy luxury apartment that did not have bars on the windows. All ground floor apartments in DC have bars on the windows, even in the nice neighborhoods. Both of them. (Gratuitous DC shot. Hey, "shot!" Tee hee, I made a pun! Shut up.)

Anyway, in my nightmare I HAD a nightmare that someone broke all my windows while I was away at work, and when I got home the blinds were down so I didn't notice. And then (still in the secondary layer of nightmare) I was sitting around one day and someone from the outside just pushed the blinds out of the way, hooked his leg over the windowsill, and came right in, while looking at me the whole time. And I froze, terrified, and then started screaming at him to get out, and he just snickered and then invited all his friends in, and then people looted my apartment as I watched. For some reason I didn't run out the door, I just watched them steal stuff and then leave.

Then, in the dream, I woke up and thought "Wow, that sucked," and went about my day. But later I noticed that the window really was broken! And most of my stuff really was gone! Which meant that what I had thought was a nightmare had actually happened! And I freaked out, because that is some freaky shit right there. I called the cops but they never came, and I waited around for them for hours, and during that period more people broke in and stole stuff. This just went on and on! My apartment had a big gaping hole in it, and I kept calling people to come and fix it and for some reason (in the dream it made sense) nobody would come. Plus the burglars were really scary, and I was constantly braced for one of them to attack me.

So when I woke up for real, I was all tense and exhausted and ready for attack, and I feel awful, like I got about 7 minutes of sleep all night.

I checked the window, and it is in fact not broken, so that is good. What a bad dream! Why am I dreaming in weird meta layers designed to be extra-freaky? I think I took about 5 years off my life last night.


Jul 30, 2004

Five seconds to Yuppiedom

I bought a new cellphone. It is new and shiny and flips open and did I mention new? So new. So flippy. When you flip it open a musical jingle plays, and the lovely splendid full-color screen shows an African savannah-type-scene, and your choice of ringtones includes waltzes and jazz tunes, which play in delicate, twinkly tones. I am in heaven.

I'm sort of shocked by the overwhelming love I feel for this phone. My old phone was the free one that came with my plan, and it was shaped like a brick, with a similar heft, and was very functional and utilitarian and I never gave it much thought. It was just sort of there. Like tap water or kneecaps or ballpoint pens. I did always wish that it was able to sound nicer when it rang. The coolest ring it had was the Mexican Hat Dance, if we define "cool" as "least fucking annoying." But I've had it for two years now, and it's always worked fine.

Also, I don't buy expensive things very often at all. Especially electronics. I only just broke down and got a DVD player about 3 months ago, and you can bet your ass it was the Ghetto McCheapy one. But sometimes, you just gotta say, What the fuck? (tm the best friend in Risky Business) So when the sudden feeling of phone boredom hit, I decided to indulge it and splurge a little.

Best. Move. Evah!

When I got home last night and saw the package sitting in the hall, I swear to god, I got such a rush of glee that I emitted an Ewok-esque squeal and clapped my hands like a little girl. And though I have only had my new phone for half a day, I love love loooooove it. Am so happy with my new useless impulse buy. Am maniacally flipping it open and shut. Am proud to have Done My Bit For The Economy by throwing my money down a wormhole. A wormhole of beautiful shiny flippy colorful twinkly phones! Glee! Overwhelming glee!


Jul 28, 2004

Big borrowed suitcase

In my apartment there sits a GINORMOUS, world-traveling suitcase on wheels.  The bottom of it is caked in a fine mist of dust from Uzbekistan, from when Poppy was wheeling it through the dirt roads on her Peace Corps travels.  This luggage has lived, guys. 

I went to her apartment to pick it up the other night, after we saw Fahrenheit 9/11 (rock!), and she went through the pockets first and discovered all sorts of forgotten little things.  Like snapshots and stickers and chunks of Central Asian soil.  While I'm in Salt Lake City I think I'll sprinkle some smelly lake water on it, to balance out the elements.  (If you're into that kind of thing, which I'm not.  I just think it would be another badge of honor for the suitcase.)


Jul 25, 2004

Letter to my footwear

Dear new shoes,

*Sigh*  Where to begin?  I had such high hopes for you.  You were exactly what I was looking for: funky black flats for walking around in.  Good with skirts, good with pants.  You know, versatile. 

I loved you and I took you home, and started to break you in, and you performed really well in and around my apartment.  All those trips to the corner store and you never let on that trouble was brewing.  So when I left the house this morning to walk around all day, I expected you'd be your typical comfortable selves. 

I did not expect for you to get pissed off somewhere around F Street and start attacking my heels with razor blades and machetes.  I did not expect to have to hobble around for hours, cursing myself for not having the taxi fare to get home, and cursing the nasty dirty DC sidewalks for being too nasty and dirty for me to take you off and walk home barefoot.  Which I was tempted to do.  Because you suck. 

And now my heels are cut to ribbons and I will have to wear flip-flops all week while they heal.  Plus I have a dilemma: do I take you with me on that big work trip next week, as I had wanted to do, or will you hurt me again?  If you tell me that today was a one-time thing, the final breaking in stage, I will believe you, because you are so cute.  You really are.  And you know it.

What the hell, I'll bring you along.  I'll just carry my flip-flops around for back-up.

Let the healing begin.


Jul 24, 2004

Am losing it, slowly

Last night a friend came over for takeout and we watched the Sigourney Weaver/Jennifer Love Hewitt movie Heartbreakers and I liked it.  Dear god, I liked it.  I liked that JLH was a raving beeyotch and I bought the two of them being mother/daughter and I actually enjoyed watching JLH and Jason Lee kiss.  (Jason Lee is really cute.  Who knew?  Must re-watch Clerks.)

What is going on with me?  I have always prided myself on having a deep, fiery JLH hatred.  Is this a hormonal thing?  Am I turning into a girly girl?  Will I start wearing tube tops and chunky platform shoes when I go out at night?  Stay tuned.


Jul 23, 2004

Rockin the lat pull machine

The gym. Exercising. Being tired. Being sweaty. Being...not home on the couch watching The Golden Girls on Lifetime. I am a lazy lady.

Last night I dragged my ass in there though, because I hadn't gone in 3 days and was already becoming lethargic. Since I am such a wuss that when I get the tiniest bit tired I'll just slow down, I prefer taking a class to voluntarily using The Machine of Tedium and Pain (which you might know as "the treadmill"). I need incentive to keep moving, and being surrounded by other sweaty people seems to do it.

But Thursdays there are no good classes, so I was on my own. Ah, crap.

I was doing well though. I did some running, some stepping, and some elliptical...ing. And then I noticed it was raining pretty hard outside, and of course it was the first day of the week that I had not carried an umbrella around all day, so I had some time to kill. So I did a whole second workout of weight machines, guys! And it felt good, damn good. At this rate I am going to be a fitness machine.

Ooh, look out everyone - I think my biceps just twitched.


Jul 22, 2004

Oh sweet LORD, it is hot out

Because I am a supergenius, it's only just occurred to me to lower the blinds on the window next to my head. It made the temperature drop by about 30 degrees.

Of course today my boss has sent me on 4 separate errands. They have been pretty spaced out over the course of the day, but still. I get just enough time to, like, stop panting, before I am sent back outside. I had to go 3 blocks down the street this morning at around 10:00, and it was already like walking on the surface of Mercury.

On my way back from the bank I had to do the Starbucks run. Now, my boss complains about his wife frittering money away, but almost every day he pays cash money just for a plain hot coffee, when there is free coffee in the office kitchen. I don't get it. Why spend $1.50 for black coffee when you could spend about 30 cents more for something special? Whatever. I am just grouchy about it because it scorched me through the cardboard holder-thing, and my hand is all pink now, like a little piglet.  Soooh weeeeeeeeee! (That was my piglet noise.)


Jul 21, 2004

Sad, sad, singleton foods

I bought a box of White Castle frozen mini hamburgers, because I am a 25-year-old woman with the soul of a 38-year-old divorced man, and I eat a lot of frozen dinners. It is embarrassing but true. I got this personality quirk from my father, who, when he was a 38-year-old divorced man, spent an entire year living on salads from the Giant grocery store salad bar, canned soup, cereal, Hungry Man frozen dinners, and Slim Fast shakes. (I swear I am not making this up.) It is a wonder he never got scurvy, and Thank God he met/married my stepmother, who is southern, and cooks meals that do not include, for example, "mono-diglycerides" (read from an actual food box in my kitchen).

Anyway, I was very excited about my new adorable teeny burgers, but who would have thought that they'd involve actual cooking?! These are verbatim instructions from the box:

1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Barely cover bottom of the broiler pan with steaming hot water.
3. Place the slotted portion of the broiler pan on top of steaming water.
4. Remove frozen cheeseburger(s) [and who are they kidding? nobody could eat just one] from wrapper, separate, and place on slotted broiler pan.
5. Cover cheeseburger(s) and slotted portion of broiler pan with foil and seal tightly.
6. Heat for 15-20 minutes.
7. After heating, let pan sit for 2 minutes before removing foil.

First of all, "broiler pan?" This is way classier than any kitchen accoutrements I own. I had to improvise by putting the water in the bottom of a small frying pan, putting the burgers in my pasta strainer which I balanced on the rim of the pan, and stuffing foil down around the strainer's interior.  The whole contraption just barely fit into the oven, and I don't mind telling you that it was hard, sweaty work.

However, this was a mighty tasty burger (tm Pulp Fiction). The buns were actually sort of crunchy, which is impressive for something that comes from a box. It was like a little taste of Ohio, right in my kitchen. 


Jul 19, 2004

Things you shouldn't tell people over the phone

Saturday evening I fell asleep for a couple of hours and woke up just in time to clean my apartment a little before my friend Poppy came over. She's in grad school and she's just gotten home from 2 months of traveling around Eastern Europe, including spending some time at this Polish student work camp. Poppy is crazy. At some point during her recent jaunt through Slovakia, she got her nose pierced, which I think is pretty hardcore. A few years ago she even spent 6 months in the Peace Corps in Uzbekistan, which is also hardcore.

So, we hung out and had some drinks, and we had a lot to talk about. A few weeks ago, she had an affair with another traveler and told her live-in boyfriend about it over the phone, and he flipped out and sent her all these crazy angry emails, leading her to worry that he would harm her two cats. So she emailed me to see if I could go to her apartment and rescue them, but my building doesn't allow pets at all, so I emailed my mom to ask if she could take them in, and she was willing to, but by that point Poppy's boyfriend had sent a calmer email and she decided things were okay, so we could scrap the whole Mission: Save Cats thing.

But when she got home last week, her boyfriend had moved out and taken all his stuff with him (amazingly, he didn't trash/take her stuff, although he did rip up all the photos of her), and she has no idea where he is. The whole thing is just very dramatic and insane.

We talked for a long time and then went out for drinks and talked some more. It is so great to have her back in DC again!

In other news, apparently at one point the official Bush/Cheney site had a banner-making feature, where you could type in some text and it would produce a sign with your slogan on it, but they got so many anti-Bush visitors to the site making disparaging banners that they ended their little project real quick. This site is a collection of some of the slogans, and it's pretty funny, if you are of the more left-wing persuasion. It plays a stupid song though.


Jul 17, 2004

Leaving the house can work out well

This is such a great weekend so far! Friday I went to the gym after work and took this really strenuous class that I figured would exhaust me, but I guess the exercising-regularly thing has finally kicked in, because afterwards I felt really good and hyped-up. So when a girl I know from a past job called and asked if I wanted to join her friends to go out dancing later, I was like, "Yeah, bring it on!"

And it was excellent. We were planning to go to Five, this club I had been to once before and loved, because they play good trance, the guys there don't get all up on you, and the room is super air-conditioned. On our way my friend and I met up with the other 2 girls across the street at Lucky Bar. After a while we were talking to a group of guys who seemed fun and non-lecherous, and eventually we were all dancing in a big sweaty mess, so we stayed for a long time. The four of us kept sort of trading boys to dance with, which was funny. Happily, none of them were too talktative during the dancing, which is a trait I sort of hate because you have to stand still and scream into each others' ears, and I don't have a very loud voice and ALSO I have pretty poor hearing in these situations, so it all just gives me a sore throat.

We didn't leave to go the club until 1am, and by then the music had changed from trance to reggae and stuff, but it was a fun time.  I got home at almost 4am, making it a really late night for me, as I am an old woman.

Saturday I had an 12:00 appointment with a new dentist I had found through my new dental insurance (yay, job!) who I already was sort of in love with because A) she had Saturday hours, and B) her office was one block from my apartment. It was actually a first-floor apartment in a nearby building, which, being from the suburbs and the land of office parks, was new to me.

This dentist, I now love. She was basically Blanche Deveraux, but black, and Blanche is my favorite Golden Girl. 

I was there for like two hours, because she was the funniest woman ever. After the check-up, she regaled me with stories and introduced me to all of her friends, who were hanging out in the waiting room with her college daughter (the receptionist), and they all told lots of stories as well. When I left, the dentist wrote down every phone number she has, and said to call her if I had any questions, or just wanted to talk. How totally funny is that? I might just do it, too. She was that nice.

Anyway, this two-hour-appointment business was just fine, because I didn't have any plans for the afternoon, knowing that after a dancing night I pretty much just want to slug around the house mainlining Advils and liquids. But when I left her office (for the 10-second walk home), it was such a nice breezy day I decided to pull out my list of nearby galleries I have wanted to find.

And I discovered the two most amazing places ever! Signal 66 is down a crazy alley, past a row of garages and carriage houses. You get to the back of a brick building, ring the bell, and are buzzed in. Inside you go through a maze of rooms: one huge open room with sculpture on the floor and paintings on the walls, an installation of a bathroom, a teeny darkened room with videos playing, and an upstairs hallway. I was the only person in the place, and whoever buzzed me in never made an appearance, so I was alone the whole time. I had a moment of "in the Lifetime move about my life, is this going to be the climatic scene in which I stupidly go to a secret warehouse in a DC alley by myself and am tragically murdered?" But it went away pretty quickly, because this place was so amazing, and some of the art was really great. I have to go back and take some notes so I can remember it all better.

The other place I found was called Warehouse, and it's a little coffee shop/theatre/gallery space. I took some fliers for upcoming plays they are doing (one is about Jackson Pollock and is a pay-what-you-can show) and also I met the lady in charge of the art, who told me to send her my slides to see about getting into a show there.

I really need to try this whole "going out" thing more. Just so you know, I am not an actual hermit. It's just that my weekends are always either totally activity-packed, or I go 48 hours not moving more than, like, 6 muscles.  Is everybody like this, or is it just me?


Jul 15, 2004

I can multi-task

So, that trip I booked last week for my coworker Canvas was cancelled. I'm sort of disappointed he's not coming, because I don't know him all that well but he's a pretty funny guy, and I'm sure he and my boss and I would have gone out for a drink after work. Oh well. Here is the IM conversation we had while I was on hold with the airline:

Me: geez canvas, you are so fickle

Him: oh i know
Him: when you get to be 100 years old like me, you'll understand...

Me: i am playing a tiny violin for you!

Him: not too loudly, please -- loud music makes me nervous!

Me: invest in earplugs

Him: eh?

Me: earplugs! you know...to make the music quieter...
Me: i wasn't trying to be rude, just kidding

Him: oh puhleeze!!!! i was just being OLD... like "eh? can't hear you!"

Me: o my god - i fall for that joke, literally, EVERY time someone says it to me!
Me: it is my achilles heel

Him: game set and match to the sassy one in DC!!!

Me: d'oh! leave me alone. it is embarassing being so gullible

Him: thanks for the laughter... i'm sure you know that we've been moving so fast there's been no time for giggles!

Me: yr welcome! don't make yrself crazy. later skater


Me: i am on hold cancelling your flight!!!!
Me: i will be here forEVER

Him: it's always my fault isn't it?

Me: stupid wacky hold music.

Him: tiny violins? (what you send out comes back to you, you know...)


Me: god bless ata for being easy to deal with. i am now going home!

Him: ciao, bella!

Me: adios amigos!


Jul 14, 2004

Yeah! Awesome art show

Recently, two of my pieces went up in a group show at a gallery here in DC. It was a pretty awesome thing - my first real art show. And this was going to be the last week of the exhibition, culminating in Third Thursday, which is where all the galleries in the neighborhood stay open late and have schmoozing and boozing.

But! I have just gotten news from the gallery director that in the past week, there has been a flurry of media coverage and interest in the show. Apparently, it will be reviewed in the Post this week, a fancy department store wants to exhibit it, and a local arts organization is interested in sponsoring it to become a traveling exhibition! Holy crap! I feel so ridiculously lucky to be part of such a success, especially for my first show.

Even more good news: As a follow-up to my last post, everything in my bathroom is now working fine.


Jul 13, 2004

Stupid urban plunger

Gah!! I have broken my toilet! Stupid urban plumbing! And I went out to the little supermarket nearby to get a plunger and the only ones they sold were tiny, and by that I mean that the actual round plunging thing is tiny, which is totally unhelpful, but also that the handle is short. The handle! That can only lead to disgustingness.

Of course I bought it anyway, because I was desperate. And of course it did nothing. Why would the store not sell normal-sized plungers? Just because, in a city, we have small apartments and bathrooms, that doesn't mean that they contain mini, dollhouse-sized toilets! For god's sake, I need an effective toilet apparatus, stat! Preferably something Costco-sized.

To top it all off, my bathtub faucet picked last night to get all tight and unturnable, so that when I went to take a shower about half the water came out the shower nozzle and the other half kept coming out of the tub faucet. So I told the building manager about it as I left for work, and he said it will be fixed today, but now I am all freaked out that somehow, inexplicably, the repairman will need to fix it through the toilet pipes, and he will discover that I have broken my toilet too!

I know I am being totally ridiculous and hysterical about this, that everybody breaks the toilet sometimes, and that it is not a moral failing on my part, but still. I am aware that I am insane and neurotic. Let me be.


Jul 12, 2004

I am not paid to do PR for Starbucks. This is all out of love, people.

I don't go to Starbucks very often at all, so I might be about three years behind on this, but I've just found out that frappucinos come in low-calorie versions. I tried the coffee flavor and it was very good; hardly different from the standard version. Hypocritically enough, even though I laugh at the ridiculous proportions the whole low-carb low-blah blah blah craze has reached, I have to admit that I am pleased to now have a healthier option at Fancy Coffee World.

Last summer, a friend gave me some Starbucks gift cards for my birthday and as a pick-me-up, because I was unemployed and not taking it very well. I think she had gotten the idea from a story in the Onion about a guy who was unemployed and totally demoralized, to the point where his only reason for leaving the house every day was to go to the local Starbucks.

Now, this article could have been written by me. I was a sad sad girl. For the first few weeks of joblessness, I used my free time to explore the city, walking around unknown neighborhoods and visiting the most neglected of the Smithsonian museums, so they'd feel popular, but that ended real quick. DC is seriously hot in the summer. And I hate the heat. Pretty soon, my daily routine had been pared down into endless cycles of classifieds-reading, resume-sending, and TV-watching.

Lo and behold, the Starbucks cards turned out to be the most brilliant gifts ever. Like the guy in the article, I now had a reason to peel my ass off the couch. And since I was poor and getting poorer, using free money alleviated the $3 coffee-splurge guilt. The daily trek for coffee had ended my pathetic hermit life!

I did eventually get a job (thanks, God), so my coffee-shop-frequenting has gone way down. But I haven't forgotten you, Starbucks! You were there for me in my hour (season) of need! I will recommend you as a cure for unemployment-related-depression for as long as I live.

And, if you don't mind my saying so, your new light frappucinos are delightful.


Jul 11, 2004

The lord our Bill

Three people in my family have July birthdays, so we all went to my grandma's apartment today for a get-together dinner thing. My grandma and her live-in boyfriend have a gorgeous condo in a big highrise, with a balcony and plants and art and beautiful furniture. The live-in boyfriend thing kills me. Most of the other tenants in their building are elderly too, so the two of them have let everyone else believe that they're married, so they don't have to deal with people's disapproval. They're living in sin and covering it up. Awesome.

(One good thing about this arrangement, from a purely selfish perspective, is that if I ever live with someone without being married, my relatives can't object. How risque can it be if Grandma does it?)

So today, my mom and stepfather were there, as well as an aunt and uncle and 2 of their daughters. Nine people. We had drinks, we sat around the living room, we opened presents. After the present-opening, I counted three copies of the new Bill Clinton book lying around. This is hilarious. The ratio of Bill Clinton book to human being was 1 to 3, which is totally appropriate for us. Bill is a God to my family. Lord Bill. Sir Bill. The Honorable Bill.

Next, as is our usual, we bitched about the current political situation and declared Fahrenheit 9/11 our official Family Film. My aunt was in really fine form today. She was telling us about this guy she works with, who is against gay marriage because he feels its legalization will somehow "devalue" his marriage. My aunt's response was something like, "Well, if your marriage is that shaky to begin with, a little counseling might be in order."

I love my crazy lefty Jewish relatives.


Jul 9, 2004

Booking travel is the newest bane of my existence

Don't ever try to book a non-stop roundtrip flight between Chicago and DC, and a DC hotel room cheaper than $200, six days before a coworker needs them. Just don't. Especially during tourist season. Avoiding doing this will save you eight hours of your workday, hundreds of mouse clicks, and thousands of angry thoughts about your boss. (Yes, I know it's 'ridiculous' that every available flight leaves at either 6am or 10pm. You know what would make this easier next time? Your asking me to make his reservation with more than 6 days' notice.)

I am going home now (well, an hour from now), and I never want to see another Please wait -- we are compiling your flight results! pop-up box as long as I live.


Jul 7, 2004

The annual cold

Ever since I was a little kid, I have gotten sick on my birthday. Usually it is just a cold (and yesterday was no exception), but the year I turned 10 my annual illness was a stomach rebellion instead. That birthday started out really well: my mom drove my friends and me out to a local stable, and we got to pet the horses and be led around on them for a while, and then we sat out in the grass and had cake and presents. For some reason which I have long since forgotten, and even though I had never actually tried it before, I had asked my mom to get strawberry cake, instead of something normal.

I'm sure you can see where this is going.

Yup, I threw up in the car on the way home. I think I had the foresight to roll down the window at least, but still...party foul. The car went silent, and then my friends got all "Ew, gross!" I was sick the rest of the day, and needless to say, my party did not get good PR at school the following Monday.

I was telling all this to my boss today and he thinks it must be psychosomatic. That makes sense, which is embarrassing. What kind of a person gets so stressed out about her birthday that she makes herself ill? Especially as a child? I must've been one cool kid. (Except not.)


Jul 6, 2004

A very merry unbirthday

Here are some of the people with whom I share my birthday :

50 Cent
Nancy Reagan
Sylvester Stallone
Geoffrey Rush

Yikes! At least Geoffrey Rush is sort of cool. I like that movie Quills.

Check out this site: http://www.famousbirthdays.com

I went to a Mexican restaurant for lunch with a few girlfriends. We had some excellent food and margaritas, and I got to wear an enormous sombrero while the waiters sang to me. A Polaroid was taken and shall promptly be burned, because the angle is bad and it makes me look like I have 29 chins.


Jul 4, 2004

Three beer minimum

Man. What has happened to my drinking tolerance?? I never used to get bad hangovers, but it's 2pm and I still feel like a tiny carpenter is working away inside my head. I went out last night to meet Miz Azalea at a street party about 8 blocks from my apartment, at a friend-of-a-friend etc's house, and got drink drank drunk. I had some wine and sandwiches (classay!) before I left, and then I had, seriously, 3 beers at the party...oh, and a hit of someone's, er, "natural tobacco," if you will.

Well, okay. Written out like that, I did actually have a lot. I walked home alone, which was profoundly stupid, and thank God I made it okay, because I was bobbing and weaving down the sidewalk in a very "please mug me" way.

It was a really fun time; I knew almost nobody so I got to meet a lot of people, which I enjoy. We were all hanging out in the alley next to the house, and there was music from a laptop being played insanely loudly from huge speakers, and somebody hauled out a video projector or something, to show films on this white sheet rigged up at an angle way above our heads. Miz A had about 4 heart attacks when they put on something called "Depeche Mode 101," delightedly explaining which band member was which, and what was happening. ("Okay, now they're in Nashville, and they're asking this cashier guy why nobody's bought tickets to their show that night...")

My favorite new acquaintance from the evening was a lovely guy with whom I told embarrassing stories about Miz A and slow-danced to that awesome Lightning Seeds song, "Pure and Simple." He had me from the moment he told me that my job field (event production) sounded inane. (He said this in the most delicate way possible.) He was also really cute, and it is my loss that he is, of course, gay.

We (well, the hosts) set off an impressive fireworks show in the street. It was sort of sporadic through the night, and then culminated in a grand show of pyrotechnic might...the Grand Finale! Some neighborhood kids, bored, shirtless, and sweaty, and too young to drive to Pennsylvania for their own illegal-in-DC fireworks, watched from across the street. Seeing them explode with delight, jumping around and hooting and hollering during the finale, made my night.

Also, an almost cinematic detail: the cops rolled up with lights and sirens on(!), at the moment the fireworks ended! How perfect is that? Everyone with any sense (that includes me) ran into the house and hid in the basement until the hosts could mollify them into going to fight actual crime (it's not like we don't have any). Well, who am I kidding? We weren't being sensible; just...well, just pussies, really. Hey, I can own up to my faults.


Jul 3, 2004

Shut up and cut

For the first time ever, I sent something back in a restaurant. I was having brunch with my mom and ordered the "fresh-squeezed orange juice." Fancy fancy yuppie beverage, I know. When it came, there was no pulp and it was blazing neon orange-colored, and tasted nasty. Like crap-ass oj you buy from the corner store during times of real emergency. Anyway, I asked the waiter about it, and he was like, "Oh, we don't do fresh oj anymore; we just haven't changed the menus yet." Alrighty then.

I know it's totally reasonable to send something back when it's not what you ordered, but still I felt like such a bratty diva. I was very polite to the waiter the whole time, out of fear he would do something obscene to the food.

My mom and I got along fairly well all day, for us. We're like oil and water. (When I am poured into her bottle, I immediately bead up into little gelatinous baubles. Ha ha, not.) We just push each other's buttons like champs. I am trying to recognize our patterns and not let myself react badly when touchy subjects come up, but it's difficult to change 25 years of interactions. (More like 16, actually. I don't think I became such a hellacious brat until age 9 or so.)

So anyway, earlier today I got a haircut. I go to this haircutting school, which works fine for me. I have shoulder-length straight hair in little flippy layers, so it's not complicated and I have faith that the average hair student can replicate what the last one did.

(I love how some people are amazed when I tell them I go to a haircutting school, that I would "trust" my hair to anyone with less experience than, like, Vidal Sassoon. It's not like I'm going to a med student for my gall bladder surgery, for God's sake. Have some perspective. It's hair; it'll come back. And anyway, does anyone actually notice less-stellar-than-usual haircuts on other people?)

The guy who cut it today did a very good job, but he was pretty Chatty Cathy about it. One of the reasons I like the hair school is that all the stylists are about my age, so you can have fun conversations and stuff, but this guy just got on my nerves from the start. He was very hesitant about everything, and asked me if I was doing okay after every move he made. Like, was the bib-thing tied okay, was he massaging my head too hard, did I mind if he pumped my chair up higher, was it okay that he started the haircut taking the ends off and then did the layers? That last one really got me. Like, you're the hair student, dude! Do what you have to do! I don't care what order you do things in, or whether you hold my hair back with this clip or that one! Sheesh. Also, he was singing along to the radio. That part was actually pretty funny, especially when he was blow-drying my hair, because the dryer would be droning on and on and then suddenly he'd turn it off to adjust something, and he'd still be booming the song out for a second before he adjusted to the silence.

It was like "rrrrrrrrrrreeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrr...EEEEEerrrrrrr..." - click - "GONNA SOAK UP" - realization - "the suuunnnnnn..."

That was pretty entertaining.


Jul 2, 2004

First is the worst...

Blogs ahoy!

Today on my walk to work I passed a really pretty girl wearing a t-shirt that said I love nerds. That was awesome. It reminded me of "Napoleon Dynamite," which I saw last night with my friend Miz Azalea. This movie is hilarious. I laughed so much I sort of both peed and cried, if you can picture such a thing. (On second thought...erk, sorry; too late.) We were kvelling from, like, the credits. At the first full-body shot of Napoleon, I stared in shock and awe at the screen for 5 seconds before turning to Miz A.

Miz Azalea: Are...are you seeing this? I mean, his boots?

Me: Dude, his hair.

Miz Azalea: Is that a glittery horse decal on his shirt?

Me: His, um, trunk. Is shaped. Like a tree trunk.

Miz Azalea: Why is his mouth gaping open?

After the movie, Miz A wanted smores from the late-night coffee shop, so we indulged. Smores are not as good as I remember them being from when I was a kid. But we had a good time chatting and we made plans for the 4th, and for my birthday, which is soon after. Miz A told me a story about water sex from her recent trip to the beach with her boyfriend, and I told her that I recently ran into an old pal from high school, who had hugged me four times when we said goodbye, and that those hugs were the closest thing I have had to sex in (dear God) months. Ah, good times!