Nov 29, 2004

You know, Peter Cetera. From the band "Chicago?" Yeah.

Okay, so I read back over what I last wrote and realized that I am giving the impression that every conversation I ever have with anyone is related to sex. This is totally not the case! It's just that they make for the best stories. Although, I went to a party Saturday night that was basically a high school reunion, and one guy who I don't know very well had the audacity to eavesdrop on me all night and then finally ask me, in a very loud Outdoor Voice, why every conversation I have is related to sex.

To him I say, Hello! We are all friends from HIGH SCHOOL. At this point in our lives, what else do we have to talk about? Also, quit eavesdropping. And furthermore, that time when you were standing with us out on the balcony and we were saying how that one guy's hair looked like pubic hair? It was not me who initially made that comparison. I just, you know, went along with it. (Yes, I'm going to hell.)

So, yeah, I admit it. I talk like a sailor when I drink. Lock me up!

This party lasted a crazy-long time. Geologic eras actually came and went in the time this party went on. That apartment's walls must be made of steel, because we had the music on REALLY LOUDLY, and also we spent a lot of time out on the balcony, and a lot of bad drunken singing was done, and there were no complaints from the neighbors. (Maybe our singing was actually good!) We were Reliving Our Lives Through Music.

At one point there was a big group of us outside, and we were remembering, through song, the hits of Peter Cetera . The glory of love from "Karate Kid Part II" was sung, as was Next time I fall in love (which is a duet with Amy Grant) and After All (which is a duet with Cher). Then the boys got freaked out that they were actually transmogrifying into women as we stood there, so we sang "Cherry Pie" and "Pour Some Sugar on me."

When it got really late, we busted out the Weezer and Liz Phair CDs, which for most of us (the cool ones, ie. me) were the only things keeping us (keeping me) alive during high school. Lots of drunken and air-guitaring/drumming and singing (not only by me!) commenced. At one point I slurred, "Liz Phair was, like, the Bob Dylan of our generation, right?" and my friend Joaney said, "Totally, because she had a bad voice and, like, awesome lyrics." And we shared a wistful look and a moment of silence for our own rock star careers that, alas, never got off the ground.

Finally I went home, and I spent Sunday with the blinds drawn, doing laundry and vacuuming and watching Apocalypse Now to atone for my drunken singing sins. I am taking requests for my next karaoke appearance.


Nov 28, 2004

Snippets from Thanksgiving


1:00pm - Woo hoo hoo! I get out of work early!

1:05 - I call a friend who is still at work and gloat. Am a mean girl.

1:10 - Get on the metro to go home to my mom's.

2:30 - In the kitchen of mom's house in Gaithersburg. Oh god. She wants to start cooking already. Need wine.

2:35 - 4:00 - Make sweet potato casserole. Cut up green beans. Hmmm, the cornbread stuffing recipe she has calls for already-made cornbread.

4:01 - Um, we don't have any cornbread.

4:02 - On computer, searching for cornbread recipe.

4:04 - This one looks easy. Make cornbread.

4:05 - 4:14 - Really really easy. Probably won't be very good. Crap.

4:16 - Oh goody, Home for the Holidays is on! Love Holly Hunter and Robert Downey.

Later that evening, after lots of wine. Watching Waiting to Exhale...

Mom: Oh, this part is so romantic. This is that guy she falls in love with because he's such a good lover.

Me: [Dying a little inside] No he's not! Remember, this is that gross guy she tries to fall for because all the hot guys have been messing around with her, but in the end she's just not attracted to him!

Mom: No no no. This guy is a VERY good lover. In the bedroom.

Me: [Eww!!! And, what? Where else would he be a good lover? And also, no, you're wrong.] Ew, Mom. Let's just...not talk.


9:00 am - noon - Cook cook cook. Try cornbread. Is grody. Try sweet potatoes. Are great! Am one for two.

Noon - 2:00 - Clean windows and glass doors. Vacuum. Get dressed all pretty.

Afternoon - Flurry of activity. Aunt, uncle, cousins, the elderly.

Conversation with my aunt about my painting class:

Me: Yeah, so we're doing figures now.

Her: Naked...naked figures?

Me: Yup. A woman now, and a man last month.

Her: A man?!?? Can you see his, can you see, you know, his penis?

Me: ...

Me: Yes.

Her: Aaaaahhhh!!! Oh, no! Oh, that must be so embarassing.

Me: You mean, for him, or for us?

Her: For everyone! Everyone involved!

Me: Ha ha. Actually I like it a lot. And I think he gets paid pretty well for it. You know, it's pretty hard. I mean, it's hard work. Physically. You know. Ahem.

Her: Is it, um, flaccid?

Me: ...

Me: ...

Me: Yes.

Her: Wow, I wonder if that's, um, difficult? For him to maintain?

Me: You know, I wonder that too.

Her: Hmmm.

Me: Yeah, pretty wild, huh?

Her: Let's go get more drinks.

Me: Yay!

Later - Drink drink drink eat eat.

And then - Pie!!! pie pie pie! Love the pie.

And then and then - Clearing table, dishes, Tupperware, divvying up of leftovers, dishwasher, bagging the trash. Coats. Saying goodbye to all relatives.

Later still - Family is insane! Sweet Mary. Am worn out. Zzzzzz...sleepytime now. Go to sleep and dream of pie.


Nov 27, 2004

Post-game wrap-up

So, the big day has come and gone. We had a nice dinner. Everyone was very well-behaved and there were no screaming matches or broken glassware involved, even after the liquor and wine were imbibed, so that's a success. I made sweet potatoes with marshmallows, green beans, and cornbread, which was dry and not so good, perhaps because I used the first recipe Google gave me. We had way too many pies. I ate some of two, and spent the rest of the night in elastic-waisted pants.

Then Friday I had, like, appointments. People to see, people! I had coffee with a friend from high school who now teaches Engish as a Second Language in Texas, and lunch with a friend who still lives in Gaithersburg but I hardly ever see him because he's not really into making the great thirty minute trek downtown. I had to return his Zoolander DVD to him, which I had been holding onto for about a year. I should just break down a buy a copy for myself.

My mom drove me home and we went to the big Hecht's downtown for some Spending of Money I Should Be Saving for School. I am very excited about this fleece bathrobe I bought, which, as I emailed someone just now, I haven't taken off for twelve hours. I am going to lobby Congress to pass legislation making it socially acceptable for people to wear their bathrobes in public, because DAMN, this is one comfy bathrobe.

Now I am watching "Message in a Bottle," because I am a sucker. I know I will cry, because I always cry, and yet...and yet...I cannot look away! I must be a girl. Hope everyone else is having a lovely holiday weekend too!


Nov 24, 2004

Like sands through the hourglass...

I am very excited to be seeing my dad for Christmas. He lives in Georgia, in the town where I was born, so I don't see him too often. When my parents first divorced and he moved back there, I used to go twice a year: a week for Christmas and also for a long time in the summer, a whole month sometimes. But as I got older that became kind of hard to manage, being away for so long and missing my friends and not having a whole lot to do down there during the day when he was at work. (Really, what can a 9-year-old do in an empty house all day? I watched MTV, mostly. Am excellent at music trivia now.)

And then during high school I always had part-time jobs, and I wanted to be going out with my friends at night, so at some pint I stopped going to see him during the summer altogether, and now I just see him for a week in December. I am here near my mom and stepdad during Chanukah (we are Jewish) and with my dad and stepmom and her kids and their families for Christmas (they are all Christian). It is a pretty amazing time for a Jewish Yankee girl like me. My stepmother is pretty traditional and southern, although not really religious, so she goes all out with the decorations and the tree and the ornaments, many of which are about twenty years old and represent different events in their family's history.

And she cooks and cooks, and there is always a pot of water filled with oranges and cloves sitting on the stove which makes the house smell great. Sometimes they will go to church, like on Christmas Eve I think, which I always skip. My stepbrother is only a year older than me and he stays home too, and we just hang out outside and smoke and talk. He is a really nice guy. When my dad and his mom first started dating, and in the early part of their marriage, he and I were like 11 and 12, and we were both still in that immature, "boys/girls suck!" phase, so we fought a lot, which I secretly loved.

Growing up I was an only child, and then when my parents split up and my mom started working full-time I was a latchkey child, and I grew to be really sick and tired of always hanging out alone, and living in such a quiet house with no chaos. My dad's and stepmom's house was certainly chaotic. When I was there, I went from being this perfect only child to the baby of the family, and I totally acted out and made lots of messes and blamed everything on my stepbrother, and it was so much fun. I loved not being an only child! And I think my stepbrother actually liked having a little sister to annoy and be annoyed by.

It was especially fun when they'd leave us alone in the house (don't worry; there was no Flowers in the Attic situation going on! No forbidden love!). I don't know about you, but I am a huge fan of the Calvin and Hobbes comics. I actually own, like, three of the books. One of my favorite things in that strip is when Calvin comes home from school, and he puts his hand on the doorknob and opens the door just a little, and Hobbes comes FLYING out of nowhere and tackles him and they roll down the porch steps, and then Hobbes sits on Calvin's chest and tells him how happy Hobbes is to see him.

So, my stepbrother and I would do something similar. I would just be walking through the house and he would LAUNCH out from behind a bedroom door and tackle me. And then we would wrestle. I love wrestling, I don't know why. Not watching it but doing it. I just think it is really fun. So anyway, we used to wrestle. We can't do that anymore: with our age difference it's a little, um, inappropriate, and also now he weighs like 100 pounds more than me and I would like to remain intact. But there are the memories!

Wow, I guess I had a lot to say. Sorry for the rambling. I must just be in a contemplative mood due to the holidays and the fact that I have nothing to do at work today except type type type. Anyway, Happy Thanksgiving, you guys! Thanks for listening to the Days of My Childhood.


Nov 23, 2004

Am the fifth Golden Girl

I feel all gross because I haven't gone to the gym in two or three weeks now. Going to Phoenix for that week sort of messed up my schedule and willpower, especially since I spent most of my nights there drowning my stress with minibar Pringles and wine. (Which is a really good dinner when you are coming off of a fifteen-hour workday, by the way.) But lately I feel like a lard pig, so I need to get back with the exercising thing.

Another reason I have been really lazy is that I've been having problems with my shoulder for an embarrassingly long time now; like, over a month. It feels like a dull ache when I lift my arm in a certain way or lean on it at a certain angle. At first I thought I was just exercising too much (ha! that'll be the day), so I took a break from the aerobics classes that involve weights. It didn't change, so then I thought maybe it was like muscle tightness, and I tried doing lots of stretches, but that didn't work either. Finally I resigned myself to the fact that my body is no longer a Youthful Self-Healing Body, and I called my uncle, who is an internist. I probably should have done that weeks ago, but I really did think it would just go away on its own.

Okay, my uncle is brilliant. He asked me all these detective-esque questions about the pain and about my lifestyle. Finally he deduced that I have hurt myself painting. Embarrassing, yes. But true. He is a genius. All this time I assumed I pulled something exercising, and never even realized that my gym routine has been the same for months, while my painting routine has changed since I started with that class in September. Like, I used to just paint abstract stuff, so the canvas would be on the floor and I would sit and lean over it, but since this class is realistic painting, we use easels, so my one arm is up in the air for like three hours at a time. Why did this not occur to me? Is astounding. Also is astounding that I have injured myself with a continuing ed art class. Honestly, that is sad. And wussy.

Anyway, Uncle Doctor said it sounds like supra-something-something-tendonitis, and he gave me a referral to an orthopedist(!) just down the street from my office, and I have my appointment this afternoon. I am so scared of going to the doctor. Not of regular checkups, but of specialists and injuries and surgeries. Mainly of surgeries. However I think that tendonitis just involves taking anti-inflammatories and physical therapy and learning how to do the activity you need to do in a different, non-injuring way. Hopefully.

That will be pretty wild if I have to paint with, like, a shoulder brace for the rest of my life. All the kids at school are going to point and laugh at me. They'll be like, "There goes granny. Watch out, granny! Don't fall and break a hip!" D'oh!

Here is a Hanukah something to amuse plays that "Hey Ya" song, so watch your speaker volume if you're at work.


Nov 22, 2004

Shake n Bake...and I helped.

I cooked up some chili yesterday. It is pretty good; not as good as the chili from Hard Times Cafe, but they create chili professionally, so I'm not taking it too hard. When I first moved into my apartment, my mom let me bring a whole bunch of pots and pans from her and my stepfather's kitchen, but I only used the smallish ones so a few months ago I gave her back the big ones that were just taking up space. Of course those would have come in handy last night, but oh well.

I cooked the turkey meat in two shifts, and then the actual chili in two more shifts. It was good practice. My kitchen looked like an assembly line. I was even bright enough to freeze most of it, since I already have a whole bunch of perishable things. Also I cannot wait for the Thanksgiving leftovers! My mom is all crazy-Atkinsy and will not want to keep anything around, so I need to prepare for a major Tupperware influx.

As far as the Mouse v2 goes, I may have been hasty. I left traps out all weekend, sprinkled with Cheerios, and nothing has happened, so maybe I really do have a ghost-daughter haunting me and making the rustling noises in the walls. Although, hello, daughter? Choosing a studio apartment for your "haunting n' hanging around" was not so bright. Next time, find a yuppie couple with one of those fancy new condos down the street. The hardwood floors and metal spiral staircases will sound great with those chains I know you're itching to drag around.

Yesterday I did see Bridget Jones part 2, and I am sorry to say that it was baaaaaad. Whoever adapted it from the book made a lot of wrong decisions, because the book is great, but the screenwriter changed and added and deleted things crazily. So the plot was more convoluted than it had to be (Bridget would get all mad at Mark for something, and it would seem to come from nowhere because key scenes had been left out), and even the dialogue was illogical.

Plus what was up with Renee Zellweger being so incredibly squinty / pouty? I know that is her schtick, even in real life, but she took it to a very bad place in this movie. And I loved her in the first, so it makes me sad.

HOWEVER. Hugh Grant can do that thing where he wears that blue shirt and leaves it partly unbuttoned and then leans over and whispers and has those blue eyes in ANY DAMN MOVIE HE WANTS. Even in this one. He was the one redeeming factor, and my friend Azalea agrees with this. There was that one scene where he and Bridget were making out that we had to watch through our fingers, because we were freaking out so much over the hotness. Who knew I was such a slave to the man-cleavage? Is news to me.


Nov 21, 2004

The Return Of

I think I may have another mouse. Late at night when I am lying in bed I keep hearing scratching sounds everywhere. I try to turn on the lights really fast while staring into the kitchen, looking for movement, but I haven't seen anything yet. Possibly the building is just settling. Or maybe I am living in my own personal The Others scenario, and soon I will turn a corner and happen upon my as-til-now-nonexistant daughter, who is inexplicably old, and she will crow "Are you maaaaad?" and I will shriek and wet my pants. As you do.

So my mom, who lives about a half-hour away, came downtown to see me yesterday. We meet up like once a month for lunch and she usually takes pity on me and drives me to the grocery store so that I don't have to walk, which is awesome. Yesterday I bought a ton of food, including actual real live vegetables, since I am on that Cooking Kick and all. Which was sort of stupid, since I'll go home Wednesday night for a couple of days, and it will probably all go bad. That is the main problem with vegetables, you know. They don't last through seasons and decades and nuclear holocausts like, say, Pop Tarts. I think this is one of their biggest flaws. Apart from, you know, the fact that they are green. And that you have to chop them and "sautee" them.

Plus, and I know I am only the 9 billionth person ever to be making this observation, but buying produce for one? So sad. So so sad. You end up with a conveyor belt full of plastic bags containing four mushrooms, one pepper, three apples, etc, along with your enormous case of diet vanilla Coke. And those bags of pre-cut salad? Forget about it. Those get brown and liquidy about seven minutes after being opened, no matter how you store them. I go in cycles buying those things; I'll be on a health kick so I buy one, and then I need to eat it for lunch and dinner two days in a row, and even then the lettuce is getting progressively more, um, wet, and by then I am so tired of it I never want to see salad again. A few weeks later, salad calls me up and asks if it can come over and explain, and it gives me a back rub, so I forgive it and buy another bag, and the cycle of life begins anew.

My mom also drove me and my enormous portrait painting to class, to turn in for the exhibition, which was really nice. I can't believe I only have three classes left; the semester flew by. Now I will have weekends free again, in case I ever get less lazy and start short trips. I should really take advantage of those cheap Chinatown buses to New York.

Okay, I almost forgot: my mother is also taking an art class at the college near their house this semester. She's taking Drawing 101, and they share a studio with the Drawing 102 class, which involves figure models. This FREAKS HER OUT. She is totally anti-nudity. (I think she may shower fully dressed.) When she dropped me off at school yesterday, she saw all the paintings from our Naked Man project lying around, and she got all "Oh my god nudity in art??? What will they think of next, fire? The wheel??? about it. It was pretty funny. Then she said, "You know, in my class they separate the models from my side of the class with these screens, but THERE ARE GAPS BETWEEN THEM. I mean, I poked around one one day (???!!) and there was this young girl just lying there, and these young guys were drawing her? And they were, you know, looking at her!" (Well, usually the drawing turns out better that way. Ahem.)

That reminds me of the time when she and I were shopping for a dress for my senior prom, and we were in this huge dressing room together, and she was sitting on a bench talking to me while I struggled to get a backwards dress zipped up and then twist it around so that it was facing the right way, you know? And I didn't have a bra on so I flashed her, and she totally went "OH MY GOD! I can't believe I just saw that!" and she COVERED HER EYES and would not look again until I promised her that I had the dress all the way on. And yes, I CAME OUT OF HER so I don't know what all the fuss over my one boob was about. She's sort of odd, me ma.

Ah, enough reminiscing. Am going to meet my friend Azalea to window (yeah, right) shop and possibly see the new Bridget Jones movie. V good.


Nov 18, 2004

All the answers!

To all the inquiring minds who want to know (ie. Chris) :

Dinner was at Zaytinya. That's pretty hip, right? It was very very good. The place is gorgeous: high ceilings, candlelit, and with white walls and funky decorations, like big chem-lab beakers filled with orange and yellow liquid. There was even a fireplace, which we were seated right next to so as the evening went on, more and more layers of clothing were removed. (Sort of a more upmarket version of strip poker?) I had a gin and tonic and then later the red wine came out, and it was, um, slightly higher quality than what I am used to (*cough* Bessie's Bargain Liquors *cough*), so I got a little buzzed. Not drunk! And not even the drunkest one out of the five of us, so really I was positively restrained.

And since everyone else was involved in Hardcore Business Talk, ie. gossiping about other people in the business, and it was a tapas place, I had free rein in the ordering for everyone. So we had spinach and feta cheese pastries, and these fritters with beef and currants, asparagus, eggplant stuffed with stuff, and shrimp with spices and tomatoes. Also the complimentary bread looks like a doll-sized pillow and literally emits a little puff of air when you tear into it. Very unique! I'm sure there were other high-falootin' ingredients involved, but those are the ones I recall. Anyway, we had tons of food. I definitely recommend it for a romantic night out, for those of you who also live in DC.

As for the dressing up thing, I feel I need to clear something up: I did not mean to give the impression that I am genuinely flirting with the Chicago guy. It is just for fun. (He is married.) So, I was dressing up for myself. And for the waiters. I think they appreciated it, because my gin and tonic was stroooong. Who says customer service has gone downhill?


Nov 17, 2004

J'aime my kitten heels!

I am so totally dressed up today. It is very exciting and thrilling for me. Am even wearing my big-girl shoes that make clicky noises when I walk down the sidewalk, which I think is so hot. Every time I wear them out, I realize how comfortable AND hot they are, and I decide to wear them all the time, but then the next morning rolls around and I just put on my red Chucks, like usual.

However today I look like an Ann Taylor billboard, as most of my nice clothes are procured during Ann's lovely wonderful sales. Although I don't think the Ann advertising team would ever outfit their models in exactly the outfit I am wearing, as it technically does not match (plum-colored dress and a light pink cardigan), but I think it looks pretty cute and punky together, especially with my plum hair.

Oh my god! Am so excited for the eating! And the drinking! And also, slightly further down the list, the conversation! The new guy we hired in Chicago is here and he is so funny. Lately we have been IMing each other in French. He is much better than me but my crappy conjugations don't seem to have driven him crazy yet, so I am getting some good practice time in during work hours. Oh, my college professors would be so pleased! In school I was always That Girl Who Sat Waaaay at the Back and Hid Her Face So As Not To Be Called On, and consequently when I later tried to use my meager French skills on the streets of Paris, people usually gave me a kindly look and answered in English. (To be completely truthful, I was grateful.) Ah, those kindly Parisians.


Nov 16, 2004

Errands are, like, hard and stuff

I think my painting is officially fixed. I won't be embarrassed to hang it on the wall next to my classmates', so I am declaring Success and keeping my hands off it so that I don't mess it up any more.

I just got back from doing two errands for my boss. I had to find some presentation covers for this meeting he has tomorrow afternoon. He was looking for a very specific type of binding, so I was concentrating so hard on finding it that I forgot that he needed four sets, and I came back with a few different options but only one of each. Am an idiot! He was not mad, he just sort of shook his head in that "you're an idiot" way I have come to know and love. I tried to play it off by saying "Obviously, two errands are one too many for me, ha ha ha!" but he and I both know that one errand is one too many for me, so whatever.

(My other task was to go to Starbucks, in case you were curious. Regular coffee for him and a latte with skim milk for me.)

On the way back of COURSE I ran into Slash, that guy I had the boring date with the other weekend. I was going to wave and keep going, but he stopped so we had to make small talk on the sidewalk. Awkward.

I am very excited that the hilarious Chicago coworker guy is coming to town tomorrow for those meetings with my boss. Especially because we are all going out for a totally fancy dinner afterwards (you heard it here first: hell has frozen over, because I have been invited out for a schmancy work event). Five of us are going to a painfully hip restaurant and I am going to eat like eating has never been done before. Clear the aisles!


Nov 15, 2004

Fucking striped chair fabric

Ugh, I am so pissed off at myself. I found out a few weeks ago that the school where I take my Saturday painting class is putting our stuff up in a little show in December, and the deadline for our submitting pieces for consideration is this Saturday. I knew that I still had work to do on this one portrait that had started out pretty well, but I totally underestimated how much, so I only just started on it yesterday. After spending hours on it, it still looked like crap. I was starting to get sort of worried about it, because it's oil paint, so it needs a long time to dry; I can't keep working on it all week if I have to bring it in Saturday. So, since I also am totally burned out and haven't been sleeping well and am starting a cold, I took today off to keep working on it.

Well, I have put another couple of hours into it and I still hate it. I don't think I'm going to be able to get it to the point where I would feel okay showing it in public. Argh! I am just so frustrated with myself and my stupid procrastination. Also what totally frustrates me about it is that the face, which is the most complicated part, came out really nicely, and it's the stupid chair the model was sitting in, with all the fabric draped over it in little folds and undulations, that looks really bad and amateurish. Stupid-ass chair! I am almost tempted to cut out the head part of the painting and just submit that.

So, damn. The only painting I am going to submit is the one we just finished with the male figure model. Ah well. At least I'm having a day off!


Nov 12, 2004

Al the news that's fit to print

My umbrella was nowhere to be found today, the one morning I actually needed it, so I was forced to wear my Emergency Backup Slicker buttoned up to my chin. I spent the entire walk peeping out from under the hood like a little mole. I was hoping that I had left my umbrella at work, but alas, no. This is odd. Where could it be? Umbrella, come back to me!

Also, by yesterday afternoon I was sure I was home free from that guy Slash calling me again, since our date had been on Sunday. So wouldn't you know, he called. In a moment of chickenshitness, I had programmed him into my phone as DONT ANSWR, so that I could just let him leave me a message or two, then get the hint and quit calling, but in the end I decided that that was too cold, and I had to just tell him. So I answered, and we made small talk, and then he asked me if I wanted to go out for a drink this weekend, and I took a deep breath, and then...the phone at work rang. So I had to put him down, answer the phone, deal with that, then pick up the phone and tell him I wasn't interested in going out again. Like, how many indignities could I put this guy though with one phone call? He has to hold for like thirty seconds and then get dumped? Yikes. Sorry, Slash, wherever you are...

So, what else? Oh, Wednesday evening I stayed really late at work and sent off some jpgs of my paintings to some local galleries and art dealers that I had read about on a local artist listserve. And then when I got into work Thursday, I had a message back from one of them, but it was sort of sketchy. Like, the email address I had sent to was, and the reply contained my original message, but the address it had come from was all crazy, like It was a spammy type of address. Also, the reply was just "Great to hear from you. Please send more images." I'm thrilled that this dealer is interested if this is all legit, know. It seems weird. So I sent some more images and we will see, I guess.

That's all I got.


Nov 10, 2004

Drink your dinner!

Okay, overnight this has turned into a food blog, but whatever, I had to share. My mom sent me this link to a set of holiday-time-only sodas in Thanksgiving dinner flavors! Yes! How disgusting is this? That's right; pretty damn disgusting.

The flavors are:
Turkey & Gravy Soda
Cranberry Soda
Mashed Potato & Butter
Green Bean Casserole
Fruitcake Soda

Sweet Mary Mother of God! Is nothing holy? This totally reminds me of that classic SNL commercial, which came out right around the time of the Crystal Pepsi launch and was for crystal clear turkey gravy. It was stupendous. Phil Hartman did a voiceover describing how delicious and traditional-tasting the gravy was, but in a "new improved" color: translucent! And then there was a shot of someone pouring this thick, viscous, clear goop over a turkey, while the audience all made gross-out noises. It amazes me just how disgusting it actually looked. There is just something vile about a clear meat product, I suppose.

Also, in her email my mom said that she and my aunt are tired of cooking so we are doing Thanksgiving dinner at a restaurant this year. I am now in a deep depression because this is one of three real home-cooked meals I get a year (the others being Christmas dinner and Passover Seder. I have a complicated family situation, guys). I offered to host Thanksgiving dinner in my studio apartment; such is the degree to which this news has depressed me. So I may need to go out and get those recipe books you guys offered (and thanks very much for those) sooner than I thought...


Nov 9, 2004

Martha Stewart better watch her back

I would like to start cooking proper meals from recipes. What I have been doing since college is just sort of cobbling together dinners from really random, disparate types of food. It's always worked fine for me; I don't have a very gourmet palate and I'll eat most anything (I'm like a goat).

Most nights, dinner is some combination of the following: veggies with dip, cereal, yogurt, apples with peanut butter, sandwich, soup, pasta with marinara sauce, applesauce, dried fruit, frozen waffles. But gawd, when I type it all out like that, I am forced to admit that I live mainly on finger foods, and that I am sort of behind, in a human-development, growing-up way. So I have decided that I want to try and rectify the situation.

In my defense. In my house growing up, my stepfather got home from work much earlier than my mom did, so he would start dinner and she would sort of finish it up as soon as she walked in the door. (I wasn't, like, waited on hand and foot or anything; I did the dishes.) So we mainly ate random things thrown together too, and while our typical random things was not quite as basic as mine, they were items such as Shake and Bake chicken, frozen turkey burgers, canned vegetables, and salads made from iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, and dressing. (On a side note, this is why I despised salad until about a year ago, when I discovered the Signature Salad at Cosi, and realized that the phrase tasty salad was not an oxymoron coined by anorexics.) Not exactly the best example of "home cookin'," right?

Now, the few times that I've thrown "dinner parties," if you can still call them that when you and all your friends are sitting on the floor eating off of an Ikea coffee table, I have really enjoyed doing all the chopping and cooking necessary to end up with an actual prepared meal. The problem, I think, is that I live alone, and it seems a waste of time and energy to do all this work just for myself, when I'm not even all that bothered about what I eat. Also, when I walk in the door I'm pretty much hungry enough to gnaw on my bedspread, so spending hours filleting things is probably out. But I do think I would like to try that trick where you cook a lot on Sundays and then freeze things in small containers to eat periodically. I can definitely handle that.

So. I am going to start doing something totally foreign to me: I am going to collect recipes. And then I will copy them onto index cards and put them in a little box. Oh, the humanity! The homemaker-osity! What next? Will I start darning socks and crocheting lampshades? Building barns with the help of a few dozen Amish neighbors (tm Witness)? Only time will tell. Baby steps!

Anyway, I am open to recipe suggestions, and will eat anything except broccoli. I promise to try anything suggested to me and I'll let you know how it goes. Bonus points if it can be made with the ingredients I currently have at home. Just kidding! Ha ha. (I think.)


Nov 8, 2004

IMs Gone Wild!

Along with a pretty productive day of doing my actual paid work, I had a long, protracted IM conversation with the Chicago coworker. I thank him for making the day fly by.

Him: well, how did it go last night?

Me: barftastic, thanks for asking.

Him: what - is that good or bad??
Him: i mean the Slash thing and all
Him: does that mean you partied a lot?

Me: ha. Well, nothing catastrophic happened. The food was good. But i am really REALLY not interested. Had to keep dodging his offers of getting together next weekend.
Me: Can I get your opinion? At the end he said he'd call me later in the week. Do i have to, like, break up with him over the phone after 1 date, or is it acceptable for me to not return his call? (Both sound awful.)

Him: you need to have me over so i can answer the phone. Enraptured. He'll never call again.

Me: !!! What will you say? !!!

Him: I’ll act like it's hard to breathe and it won't matter what i say...

Me: you are cracking me up!
Me: oh, what would [Boss] say...

Him: you tell me...but you need to be straight with the guy.. Sooner or later you have to deliver the same message, so why not immediately?

Me: hmmm. Yes, okay. I will come out and say "I don't feel like we've really hit it off" and that I'm "not interested." That sounds so cliche and harsh though! Ack.

Him: Wanna hear something harsher??? He thinks there's a shot and he's psyched..and there isn't

Me: i know. Believe me, i have been the one who took the guy at his word when he said he had a great time and would call, and never did! Dating is crap. I need a mail-order husband.

Him: you really want one?

Me: totally. Preferably one who cooks and cleans. Maybe i need a wife.

Him: wow

Me: don't even pretend to be all shocked, you caveman.

Him: oh my god
Him: maybe you'd better take his calls

Me: ??? Are you saying that i have an unattainable dream?

Him: well....that’s hard to say as we've never met

Me: i think we met once – [Boss] brought you into our office for 1 sec. I see that i made a deep and lasting impression.

Him: that was you?

Me: i want whatever drugs you are on

Him: yes you do

*pause, during which I assume he IMs my boss, who is sitting ten feet from me*

Him: [Boss] says i'm harassing you and that you will sue us

Me: that depends on what the definition of "is" is

Him: you know as well as i
Him: so when is my stationary coming?

Me: it is there - just tracked it on FedEx and the receptionist has signed for it

Him: stalker

Me: ha. It’s the good kind of stalking

Him: I am having a riot doing this....most artists are a bit grim

Me: ah yes, the tortured soul of the contemporary artist.

And now there is only an hour until I get to go home. Good times.


Nov 5, 2004

TGIF (even though I sort of hate that expression)

It has finally gotten cold here, and about time, too. Being able to go out in a tank top on Halloween just felt wrong somehow. All those memories of my parents making me cover my whole costume with a big coat because it was so cold out, perhaps?

I am going to be alone in the office again. It is a nice break from taking down requests all day. Now the only time I have to steel myself for orders is when my boss's cell number shows up on the Caller ID, and that only happens a couple of times a day. Wheeeee, NPR! I'm sure there are little organizational things I could / should be doing right now, but I just can't be bothered. Am so burned out. Have not had any substantive time off (like, more than a Federal Holiday) since last Christmastime, and it's starting to get on my nerves.

I like how people are still wearing their Kerry / Edwards buttons around the city. I think it would be fun if we all just kept wearing them until the next election, as a show of solidarity and protest. A symbol of the resistance, if you will! That is my big idea so far for how to keep the Democratic Party spirit alive during this dark time.

Okay, I do have one interesting thing to write about. I met this guy while out for Halloween last weekend. He was dressed as Slash (I was the Devil) and we talked and he was perfectly nice, but I'm not interested in him in that way at all. However I gave him my number when he asked, because I am a dumbass. So of course, according to Murphy's Law, he called. (Why are the guys you are actually attracted to never the ones who call? Is so frustrating.) We agreed to go out this Sunday, and I tried to be, um, breezy on the phone, but I assume he's wanting to be more than friends, so I think that, in the interest of not leading him on, I am going to have to tell him straight away that I don't.

Now, was I even being fair to have agreed to go out with him? Should I have just told him all this on the phone, so that he could have decided then whether he felt like even seeing me or not? Ack, is so tricky. I would know what to do if I didn't wish to see him in any way, but he was a fun guy and I'm all about making new friends, so I didn't want to blow him off completely. Dating is weird. I need, like, a handbook or something.


Nov 4, 2004

The parental units

I am having a weird, waking/dreamlike feeling lately. Like, the days are passing, and I'm filling them up with something, but I'm not too involved or attentive to it. I am just coasting along. I can't even bring myself to get too worked up about the Reelection Nightmare, which is weird, as I love being able to rant and rave. Probably it is some combination of last week's time change, the Phoenix trip and accompanying jet lag, and the rainy weather. Whatever it is, I am alone in the office for the next two days, and I have the NPR on, and the soothing melodic voices are lulling me to sleep.

I was on the phone to my stepmother last night. It was her birthday and my dad had done a surprise party for her at the local country club, which was pretty out-of-character for him. He is getting really thoughtful in his old age, ha ha. I asked her about the food, because I love hearing about that stuff. I have eaten at their country club before, and they do one buffet of appetizers and entrees and another one of desserts. And these are Southern desserts, so you know that they are intense. I got pretty excited hearing about all the pies. What can I say? I'm sad. Everyone thinks I accepted my offer to SCAD because it's such a good school, but they are overestimating my ambition. I really accepted because of the good local pie.

My stepmother also said that she and my dad were thinking about coming up for a visit next spring before I leave DC, and that they want to time it with the end of my job so that they can help me move. This is great great news, not only because I've lived here for a year and a half and this will be the first time that they have come to see me, but also because now it means that I won't have to spend eighteen (?) hours in a U-haul truck with my mom, who has been insisting for months that she drive to Georgia with me, because she's so worried about my making the drive alone. It's cool for her to feel this way, and to express it, like, once, but she just won't take no for an answer. She's acting like it's totally unbelievable for me to go on my own, like people don't move themselves long distances on their own every damn day. I love how she is so worried about my being in a truck for 1.5 days, with a cell phone, on a big highway between DC and Georgia, when at age 20 I spent ten days taking a bus ALONE through Europe. Selective memory, I guess?

Plus I can never forget what it was like when she and my stepdad moved me into my apartment, and how she was such a wild maniacal crazed beast all day that I think I suffered about nine mild heart attacks. The incident that sticks in my mind most was when my stepdad and I were putting together the Ikea furniture, and she started unpacking the boxes by just taking random things out and putting them in the kitchen and bathroom cabinets. But none of the shelves and drawers had been cleaned in awhile, so I asked her to do that first, and she just refused. She was like, "I don't really like cleaning, so I'm not going to do it. You can do that yourself, after we leave. I like unpacking, so I'm just going to do that."

So I went all crazy and told her not to put my stuff on the dirty shelves, because I'd just have to take it all off and then clean and then put it all back, and it was a waste of everyone's time, and if she wanted to be helpful what I really needed her to do was to just wipe a damp cloth over the stupid shelves already. And she would not do it! And this an example of the ridiculous fights we always have! Because she is batty! So you see why I have been dreading having her "help" me with the move-out.

I can't foresee that having my dad and stepmom around for it all will be nearly so frustrating, because they are crazy in normal parent ways. Like my stepmom getting on me about not cleaning up the kitchen to her crazy Martha Stewart standards, or my dad telling me to quit complaining about my job because "there are starving children in Africa who would love to live in America and have my job," or something to that effect. (I am not making light of the epidemic of starving children in Africa.) Normal crap, where you respond by rolling your eyes and muttering under your breath, like any normal bratty child would do.

Not putting all my clothes in a big heap on dirty filthy shelves, Mom. Gah!!! Deep breaths! Crazy!


Nov 3, 2004


Sweet dear lord. I will not pretend to have a sophisticated grasp on the nuances of, well, anything related to politics, but I have something to say, which is HOLY HELL, PEOPLE! Who are these die-hard Republicans? Most of the people I know who always vote Republican have said to me that they couldn't bring themselves to vote for Bush this time.

And why are the people who voted for Bush due to their fear of terrorism, above all other issues, usually the ones living in isolated, sparsely-populated areas that are not likely targets? They seem to be constantly vibrating with fear, more so than the people of New York and Washington, which seems nonsensical to me.

Oh, Ohio. Oh, America. Why why why? Another four years, for real? The sadness, it is overtaking me. Bitch, bitch, moan, moan, etc.


Nov 1, 2004

Photos from Phoenix

Okay, here is a pictoral story of my business trip:

Behold the gorgeousness of where I stayed!

The sky was blue and it was about 80 degrees every day. So the walk between my room and the ballroom was lovely. That was pretty much the extent of my sightseeing all week.

This statue reminds me of the one in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

There were very nicely manicured lawns.

This is where I stayed. It was called a cottage. Sweet, yes?

2nd room
My fancy schmancy room.

Artistic bathroom mirror shot.

Well, there you have it. I stayed at a gorgeous, expensive resort in Phoenix for a week. I ate a lot and worked a lot and did not sleep a lot. Nor did I get to take advantage of the pool, tennis courts, spa, golf course, or hiking. Kind of a shame. But the event went off very well, and I learned a great deal, and I have a new gay boyfriend (Ed from the graphics department). So it was a success.


Mouse Killer

The poor mouse sat in my apartment for hours yesterday. I called a bunch of my friends and everyone told me that I had to, like, bludgeon it, that that was the only humane thing to do. But I didn't think I would be able to do that, so when the maintenance guy finally got my note and knocked on the door, I asked him about it.

He was like, "No, I'm just going to put it in the trash." And I said that I didn't think that was right, because it was suffering already, and he just said, "Well, a lot of things suffer in this world." I was sort of gawping unattractively at him then so he just took the bag from my hand and walked off. I made one more attempt to get him to kill it but he was dead set on doing nothing of any value, and I was unable to get him to change his mind. I feel pretty bad about it. I suppose at that point I really could have grabbed the bag from his hand and just told him that I would take care of it myself, but for whatever reason I didn't, which is pretty shitty. Now all I can do is just prey that the thing is dead already, and that it was quick.

Those sticky traps are supposed to be more humane than the regular snapping ones, and I guess that's true if the snapping one doesn't hit the mouse in a fatal place, but honestly I don't see a huge improvement. I was talking to my dad, and he said that maybe I should invest in some cage-type things, in case this ever happens again, since now I see how crappily the building is at dealing with these things. This is a good point. I can now add "mouse cages" to my list of unpleasant items necessary for apartment living, along with "industrial-strength roach spray" and "mildew killer."

Once the mouse was officially out of my apartment, I cleaned really well. I hadn't vacuumed in a long time. It's funny how when I lived in those group houses during college, I was all annoyed at the people who never cleaned up after themselves, and now here I am, living alone, a big gross slob. However, in my defense, those people were filthy. I mean, I don't dust or vacuum very often, but I am not to the point where I leave pans of scrambled eggs out for weeks, or take off my band-aids in the shower and leave them there, or try to get around trash duty by hiding my old pizza boxes in the OVEN. God, when I think back on it all, it's amazing that none of those apartments ever had mice.

I slept a LOT last night, which was great. I still have some photos from Phoenix that I want to post, so hopefully I will get around to that this evening.