Ok, brace yourself. I am going to talk about Scott Baio again. Wait! Before you click away from here! Hear me out! I assure you, this post will have relevance. Who knew that Scott Baio would lead to not one, but TWO blog posts? Thanks, Chach. I owe you one, even if you are kind of a hoochie. Or, as you would have us believe, you were a hoochie. Past tense. The artist formerly known as Skankbomb. Whatevers.
So on his show last season, Scott took a long hard look at his friends. Most of them are ok. There's a guy who lets everyone call him "Cooch" which, although he seems like a nice enough fellow, the fact that he would allow this makes me look at him askance. Scott's other best friend is Wayne from the Wonder Years, who I cannot help but think of as "Scrote" because wasn't that what he always used to call Kevin? So yeah. Cooch and Scrote. Kind of an unfortunate pair. But really, they seem ok, despite the names. Then, there's Johnny V. Johnny V. needs to be re-named Johnny V.D. and that's all I have to say about him. So in this episode, Scott decides that he needs to "break up" with Johnny V. It is his most toxic friendship, and so he has to get rid of him. And he does.
Getting out of a bad friendship is hard. Have you ever done it? Have you ever had it done to you? Breaking up with a romantic partner is so much easier. We have social conventions on how to do this. We have words to describe it. We have ways to talk about it. But breaking up with a friend? No one really talks about how to do that, do they?
Well, I'd like to offer you all a way to think about the friendship break up. See, back in my homeland, not only do we have turquoise ocean waters and coconuts falling from the trees, we also value a friend just as much as we value a husband, a wife, a girlfriend or a boyfriend. And when you place that much love and care into these friendships, getting rid of a friend is on the same level as getting a divorce. It's yooge. And when something is yooge, as a concept, you have a name for it. So in the South Sea land where I come from, we call friendship divorce: friendcutting. Friendcutting can be a noun or a verb. "We had a fight and then we had a friendcut." "She totally friendcutted me!" "I'm going to friendcut him for that." Friendcut. It's the perfect word for when you have to say that the bonds of friendship are done broke.
I have taken this concept of friendcutting and I have added some terms of my own. Because there is more than one way to get the Cut.
1. You can get the Chop. This is a severe form of Friendcutting, where the Cutter tells the Cuttee that it is over. Balls out. It's when someone tells you in no uncertain terms that you suck as a friend and that it is over. Pros: There's no confusion. Everyone knows where you stand. Cons: It's way harsh.
2. The FriendSlice. This is when you tell the person straight out that you don't want to be their friend any more, but you try to be nice about it. It's kind of like the "it's not you, it's me" method of break ups. It's like "I'm glad we had our time together as friends, but it's just not working for me any more. Still love you." Pros: You can kick someone out of your life without having to feel like as much of an ass. Cons: It can be kind of passive aggressive. "I don't like you any more. Now let's hug it out."
3. The Cold Cut. This is when you just totally freeze someone out and don't give them any indication that you were even friends in the first place. It's all "who are you again? I don't believe we've met." Pros: It's over and no one has to ever speak of it again. Cons: Ice, ice baby.
4. Indirect drift. This is when you just drift away from someone, not even intentionally. Time passes, you don't do a good job of keeping up with that person. You feel kind of bad about it, but let's face it, if you felt REALLY bad about it you would do something about it. So away you drift, and they drift, until you can't see each other across the miles. Pros: No confrontation! And you don't have to feel like the bad guy. Cons: You'll probably feel guilt, because you've fooled yourself into thinking that you didn't mean for this to happen. Will you try and change it though? Prolly not.
5. Directed Drift. This is when you intentionally drift away from someone in a pre-meditated manner. The exact same thing as #4 up there, except you totally mean to do it. Oops, forgot to return that call. Huh? What? Your friend stopped by? I'll get back to them another time...or not. Oh, there they are, across the grocery store...I'll just pretend that I didn't see them. They'll never know. Pros: Again, no confrontation necessary. Cons: If the other person doesn't take the hint, this can be a long, drawn out process.
6. Statue of Liberty Non-Cuts. This is for you folks out there who have no boundaries whatsoever and will take on just about anyone as a friend and keep them no matter what. Bring me your tired, your hungry, your annoying masses, yearning to breathe in the air of clingy friendship, even though I hate you I will endure being around you, just because. Pros: You'll never be at a loss for company, as you will accept anyone. Cons: No standards friendship is a dangerous, soul-sucking thing. It's akin to the loveless marriage.
7. Chop Chop Salad: This is when you keep trying to break up with a friend, but they keep coming back and you keep trying to make it work. The cycle of breaking up and getting back together makes the chopping happen over and over until your life is like a shredded up salad. This usually has an endgame of someone finally doing a successful chop and puking out the friendship like a big old Salad Shooter. Pros: You can keep the hope alive for a little while, and who knows? You could save the friendship. Cons: Did I mention that one or both of you ends up shredded in this situation? It's brutal.
8. The Friendship Whittle: This is when you don't actual cut someone out, but you re-configure the friendship to make it better. You mold something nice out of something dysfunctional. You work it out. You make a piece of wood into a nice tobaccy pipe.
Really, the Art of the Friendcut is multifaceted, much like the breaking off of a romantic relationship. But I am a firm believer that sometimes, this has to be done. And having a name for it is the first step in making it easier to think about. So that's my present to you.
I have to admit to you that I have done every single one of the above Friendcutting techniques. Some of these I am proud of (like the FriendSlice and the Whittle) and others I am not (like the Cold Cut).
And you know what else? If you feel like you made a FriendCut in error, you can attempt to woo your friend back to you. Repair the damage. I call this The Friendship Suture. It is, out of everything that I have outlined here, the most delicate and difficult to do. I can only think of two times where I have successfully Sutured.
Next time you have a dysfunctional friendship, consider your options. There is a way out.
Ok, brace yourself. I am going to talk about Scott Baio again. Wait! Before you click away from here! Hear me out! I assure you, this post will have relevance. Who knew that Scott Baio would lead to not one, but TWO blog posts? Thanks, Chach. I owe you one, even if you are kind of a hoochie. Or, as you would have us believe, you were a hoochie. Past tense. The artist formerly known as Skankbomb. Whatevers.
I grew up with all kinds of ambivalent feelings about holidays. Almost all holidays. Name a holiday and I will spew back at you some sort of love-hate crap associated with it. For example:
Postive: Parties and staying up late and feeling like you can start anew! Negative: All this pressure to change your life with resolutions and such can really get to be a drag.
Positive: Eating and friends and days off from work!
Negatives: That whole Native American genocide thing.
Positives: Again, parties! And fun/funny costumes. And candy. All good stuff!
Negatives: Bossy costume people who make shy people and/or people who aren't costumey feel bad. Or work places that make you dress up in themey outfits. Halloween peer pressure is very high maintenance.
Positives: Celebrating love! What could be better than that?
Negatives: All this coupley hetero "you complete me" boolshizz. Gross.
I don't know why I am like this. I think it's partly because I have two very strong character traits that sometimes go toe to toe with each other. One part of me is just really a very happy, genial, accepting person. Hey, you want to celebrate something? I love celebrating! I'm IN! Another equally strong part of me is an introspective, critical thinker type person. Wait a minute. What does this all really mean? And does it mean something to me for real or just because everyone else is making a big hooey about it?
Not only do I have a split personality in that way, I have this split personality thing in another way. Culturally. I was born in the US, but as child of immigrant parents. One part of me is all you better believe I am as American as you! And the other part of me is all this American stuff isn't mine. Not really.
When I was growing up, my family did it up on all the holidays. No one ever overtly told me that Thanksgiving wasn't mine, or Christmas, or St. friggin' Patrick's Day. There was no difference in how we celebrated holidays if you compared our house to any other house in our city. But somehow, the message seeped in. I never really felt ownership of holidays. There was always a part of me that felt like I was just playacting the part of holiday-celebrater. Not all of me, but a part of me. And the thing is, it works both ways. When I go back to the place where my parents were born, those holidays don't seem like they're completely mine either. So I get half of both, but whole of neither.
So. This time of year. The Big Holiday Season. Puts me in a tizzy. How much do I envy the people who just celebrate because they know this holiday-- it's theirs. I look around at my friends and I see a certainty about how they celebrate that I never have felt in my entire life. They all do things a bit different from each other, depending on their religious beliefs, or their family traditions. But they are (well, most of them are) all American. And so they know what they want to do for the holidays, and they just do it. Simple.
Not so at my house. Every year it's the same damn thing. Do I get a tree for Christmas or not? And stockings? And mistletoe? Is Christmas, the way that it's celebrated in this country, mine? Should I do that? Some years I do, some years I don't. The years that I do, I always feel a little bit like a fraud, but at other times I really like it. The years I don't, I am always wistful at the cozy trees that reside in my friends' houses. It's like I am looking in on someone else's house and it's cozy and warm in there, but I can't quite get in. But I also feel good that I'm not feeling that fraudulent feeling. So it's part good and part bad. I just never feel whole. Either way.
The older I get, the more I am trying to make things my own. I feel like that's the only solution that feels ok to me. I do this all the time with other parts of my life. For instance, the way relationships are set up? So many things I hate about that model. So, my relationship with Nordic Boy has to be made our own. Just because the rules don't apply to us doesn't mean I can't participate, you know? So we'll do this whole relationship thing, but on our terms. So I've got to figure out a way to do this with the holidays. For instance. Eating and parties are two things I never have a problem with on any holiday. Those two things are consistently what I find positive about every holiday I can think of. So my December holiday? Has to involve these things. Also, loved ones. Yes to those, please. And giving/getting a little giftie-poo is a nice thing. So check yes on my list for that.
That's the stuff I am sure about. The other stuff? I'm still all mixed up over. Maybe that's what I should be celebrating. Not to get all Coom-Bah-Yah about it, but I'm just all mixed up and that's sort of beautiful in its own way, right?
Or maybe I could saw a tree in two pieces and put up half of it. That would be uniquely me, wouldn't it?
Tell me, what are some holiday things that you do that are just ALL YOU? Things that you do not because it's tradition, not because it's what you're supposed to, but just because you've made the holiday all your own? Go ahead. Inspire me.
I've really been jonesing to write a post that is cohesive. Just something with a clear beginning, middle, and end, all on one topic. See how I set the bar really, really low for myself? A clear beginning, middle, and end. What kind of chimp can't do that?
This chimp, that's who. Not today. Just ain't going to happen. Ahh, to set one's sights so, so low and then not be able to follow through. My parents would be so proud.
So, NaBloPoMo doesn't include the holiday weekend, right? Because, like, that's a holiday. See my reasoning there? It all works out perfectly logically in my head.
Hey, as long as we're talking about me sucking at things like cohesive posts and logical thought, you want to know something else I suck at? Listing my interests. Bet you didn't even know that that was a skill. It totally is. You can test your skill by asking yourself this question: so what do you like to do? Find that question easy to answer, and you are an Interests-Lister. If you do what I do, which is say something like "um, I don't know. Sit? I like to sit. Also, I like to walk around." This means you are in my demographic. The interest-listing-challenged.
See, I was getting my hair did the other day, and I was with a new stylist. (The search for a stylist that does not intimidate me with floofy hipster cool, nor beat me to a pulp is still going strong). And this stylist was super perky and chatty. She asked me: "so, what do you like to do?" And me? What did I say? "Uh, I don't know. Lots of stuff."
Lots of stuff. What kind of doofus says that? The stylist then started asking me if I was interested in specific things, and it just so happened that everything that she asked me about was something I don't do.
Her: So, do you like winter sports? Snowboarding, skiing?
Me: No. I have a really deep hatred for cold, so I never really got into that kind of thing.
Her: Oh. How about baseball? You a baseball fan?
Me: No, not really. I've never seen a game.
Her: You know, Seattle is really great though because it's such a nice looking city that you can just have fun while drinking some coffee and sitting at a cafe.
Look at that. She's trying to be all nice and tell me that it's ok that I don't do ANYTHING and that I can't even list any sort of interests. She's making it ok for me, the Hobby Retard. So kind of her.
I don't want to be the Hobby Retard, really I don't. But I think our society is set up to make all of us feel like, if we're going to claim an interest, we have to be really, really into it. An aside: ha haaaa. Look at me, talking about SOCIETY. What a dork.
For instance, I have a small drawer in my home where I keep some nice paper, and some stickers, and a rubber stamp or two. When I feel like it, I might make a nice homemade card for someone on their birthday. Not every birthday card, but sometimes. To me, this is not enough of a part of my life to make me a "crafter." I don't feel like I can CLAIM that. Who am I, making a card two or three times a year, to list card-making as a full-fledged interest? The same could be said for painting, or writing, or hiking, or traveling, or baking, or yoga. These are all things I may do, here and there, when the mood strikes. I am not dedicated to these things. I may not do them or think about doing them for long periods of time. So are these things really hobbies of mine?
I look out there in the world and I see people really going full throttle on their hobbies and interests. I have a friend who always makes her cards. SHE is a crafter. I have another friend who trains for triathalons. SHE is a runner. I have this other friend, who I made a card for a couple of times, and he still asks me ALL THE TIME, "so how's that card-making going?" This always makes me uncomfortable. What does he mean, how is it going? I know, I know, he's just being nice and trying to make conversation, but still. I hate the thought of being one of those meat-eating vegetarian types, not really doing something but claiming that I do. Just doesn't sit well with me.
Part of me thinks that this whole unsettled feeling I get around hobbies and whether I can claim them may just boil down to a question of stuff. It seems a big part of hobby-ing in our society (there I go again) has to do with the stuff that you accumulate to do it. I don't have enough knitting stuff to really be a knitter. I don't go to yarn stores and salivate over the merch. I don't have enough painting stuff to really be a painter- in fact, I have three or four canvases that I just paint over and over again each time I want to paint. When I exercise, I don't have special shoes, or outfits, or journals where I keep track of the times I go or how I did or what goals I have.
So what does that leave me with at parties when someone asks me what I like to do? I'm not sure. Maybe I should just try and be honest about the things I am dedicated to. The things I do think a lot about and have to do because I love them so much? Who says hobbies have to be things like knitting or photography?
Here is my new and improved list of my hobbies/interests: listening to people tell good stories either in person or via books, tv, movies, music or blogs; having a good meal whether I cooked it, you cooked it, or someone else cooked it; being observant about my surroundings; laughing; hearing something new; silent reflection; non-silent reflection; general thinky-ness; being around kind people; creating or looking at art or design; getting a good night's sleep.
I'm going to try and bust this approach out the next time I'm at a party and someone asks me what I like to do. It may take me out of the Hobby-Challenged demographic and into the Weird-Lady demographic. But let's face it, I'm probably in that demographic already anyway.
I know. Giblets are disgusting. But it sounds cuter than "disjointed moments from yesterday."
Roll out of bed. Slowly.
Nordic Boy goes to the hippy dippy granola cafe down the street to get us some bagels. The place is notorious for the slowest service around (the staff are all hanging loose, dude) but the baked goods are tasty. Nordic Boy comes back after an entire hour of waiting in the slowest line known to man.
Nordic Boy: The service is so bad in there. No one seems to know what they're doing. But, it's Thanksgiving, so I just kept saying to myself, over and over: I'm thankful to the hippies for teaching me patience, I'm thankful for the hippies for teaching me patience.
Me: I'm am so digging that, dude.
Nordic Boy: Yeah, it was far out.
Me: Live in The Now, you know?
Nordic Boy: Totally.
Me: I'm going to take a shower and then figure out what to wear.
Nordic Boy: Wear something comfortable. For all the eating.
Me: You mean, it's not going to be Spanx-giving for me today?
Hardy har. I makee the jokee.
We set the table and then I decide to make placecards from a Martha Stewart article I found online. Then I notice that the directions say the process will take me three hours. Who the hell is making three-hour placecards? I ditched Martha and made my own design. Piss off, Martha.
Neighbor J, B, and H arrive as does Delium and Jennifer. Wine is uncorked and ceremoniously poured into water glasses. I have no interest whatsoever in owning wine glasses, so our guests have to swill from tumblers. Classy.
Jennifer (to Nordic Boy as he whips up the gravy): So, are you the cook in this house?
Nordic Boy: Oh no. It's 50-50, pretty much. Evenly split. Yeah, LG helps out all the time.
Total. Bald-faced. Lie.
Little Hannah makes her cute, happy, creaky door noises and thoroughly entertains us all.
Topics of conversation cover everyone's interests. Neighbor J tells us about fonts and how everyone has a font that is "so them." She reveals that Nordic Boy and I are "so Futura." Of course, then everyone wants their font-fortune told. Neighbor B tells us about voice command software developing and we all do our best impressions of voice command robot voices, while saying totally inappropriate things that voice command robots would never say. Delium tells us about zombie movies and the best way to avoid getting one's brain eaten, which will totally come in handy for some of us some day. Nordic Boy tells us about U-values, and as usual, psyches everyone up to do home improving. I swear if there was such a career as "home improvement motivational speaker," Nordic Boy would make a hundred jillion dollars at it. When he preaches the gospel of energy efficiency, people start to say amen and get out of their seats to start home improving.
This story is revisited and everyone's gut is busted all over again.
Pie and ice cream is consumed, games are played, stories are told, love is felt.
Back to bed as frost sparkles on the windows, my throat aching from the belly laughs. The full, full belly laughs.
After dinner is over and guests have gone, we have this little chat.
Me: So...what are we having for dinner tomorrow?
Nordic Boy: Why are you even thinking about that?
Me: We shopped and prepared so much for today that I don't think we have anything left to eat tomorrow.
Nordic Boy: I don't know. We'll figure it out tomorrow.
Me: Whatever we have, it's got to have more veggies. As much as I love Thanksgiving food, my body doesn't feel right if I don't eat a lot of veggies. Corn and green beans weren't enough for me tonight. I'm all full of starch. Ugh.
Nordic Boy: Ok, so we'll go back to lots of veggies. TOMORROW. Why are we talking about it now? Are you worried you're going to get scurvy from one starchy meal?
Me: No. Unless your body can feel temporarily scurvish. Then yes.
Nordic Boy: Oh my god.
Me: I'm shutting up now.
I am going to start off today by saying something totally nauseating. Ready?
I avoid making, writing, or saying out loud any sort of "I am thankful for" lists, not because I am a grumpypants who is dead inside and can't come up with anything to say, and not because it is kind of a sappy thing to do, but because I have so much to be thankful for, from the really, really big stuff to the day-to-day minutae, that a list seems so inadequate that I just don't even start.
Are you barfing now? Just a little? More than a little? I'll wait until you're done. Go ahead. Hold your hair back and let thy cookies tosseth.
Despite the barfy nature of what I just said, I decided that today, I am going to attempt such a list. I'm not going to think about it, I am just going to start typing and let the thankfulness flow, no matter how disorganized and jumbled it all comes out and no matter what kind of goofy things I may reveal about my thanky feelings. I'm just going to blah blah blah and then click publish. Ok, so this is normally what I do anyway so maybe it's not so different except for the gratidudinal nature of the blah blah blah. You got me. But I'm still doing it. Here goes.
I'm thankful for heat. Heat in my house, heat in buildings, hot water heaters. What the hell did people do before heated houses? I don't want any part of that shit. Heat. Yes. Hallelujah.
On a related note, I am thankful for leggings that can be used in place of long unnerwears. It's just more attractive. And warm. So far I only seem to be thankful for heat-related objects but I promise to diversify from this topic now. Just know that I am also grateful for sunlight and hot chocolate and steam and gloves and warm beach sand and slippers and blankets. Heat is good.
I'm thankful for thank yous. When you're in my line of work, the thankful phrase, the look of gratitude, the sigh of relief that you've helped someone out and treated them with respect can lift me right off the ground.
I'm thankful for phones, email, video-conferencing, snail mail, and texting. I know lots of people think that we're overburdened by this stuff, and I totally get that, but I live far away from many of my loved ones and all of these things make us all seem so much closer. Now if we could just invent that transporter...
I'm thankful for Tivo. Shut up. I just am.
I'm thankful that I live in a city that still has recognizable seasons but is not buried in snow for 6 months out of the year. Oh shit, I veered right back into being thankful for heat-related topics again. Sorry. Heat is a big factor in my life.
I am thankful for my pals Allison and Map, who almost kill me with laughter every time I see them and have loved me unconditionally for my whole entire life, even through my Bananarama outfits, blue mascara, and every embarrassing crush I have ever had.
I am thankful to be kissed awake every morning.
I am thankful for colors. Aren't colors awesome? They're so goddamn colorful.
I am thankful for parents who modeled so many great things for me, including laughing hard and listening well.
I am grateful for the movie Xanadu.
I am grateful for this innate ability I have, which I don't quite know how I got, to get the hell away from draining, exhausting people. I just slice them right out, and I am so glad I know how.
I'm thankful for Biology Girl, who I can say anything to, from my shopping lists to my nonsensical musings on imaginary people to any secret that I have in my stash to big, heavy, teary talks and she is always interested. That girl will talk to me about paint drying if I wanted to.
I'm thankful that I never had really big, tall 80s bangs.
I'm thankful that I know what it's like to be poor, lonely and sad. I'm even more thankful that I'm no longer any of these things.
I'm thankful I can speak the language my ancestors spoke.
I'm thankful that my years as a dancer didn't leave me with ugly feet.
I'm thankful for Nordic Boy, a stand-up guy, all salt of the earth and stuff, who has never been mad at me for one second or even slightly perturbed by me no matter what kind of shit I pull and who cracks me up and dances with me and cooks me up dinners and is so frickin' consistent about everything it's crazy and who is by far the smartest person I know and who looks at me all moony and also is totally sultry. I know. He sounds too good to be true. But he is. So, so true.
I am thankful for kind people, in all situations and places.
I am thankful for the word succubus.
I am thankful that places like Ace Hardware and Ikea play cheesy oldies so that I can relive my youth. Where else would I hear "Don't wanna lose you now" by Gloria Estefan, which is a song we had to sing in choir back in the day?
I am thankful for my pal Neighbor J, who writes bad poetry with me that makes us cry with laughing and is the only person I know who can keep up with me in clothes-shopping and who feels like a family member in the best possible way.
I'm thankful I have nice hair that covers the fact that I have a small head under it all.
I told you this list would go on and on if I started. I feel like I am just getting warmed up but I will spare your having to hear any more since I already made you feel barfy once and no blog post should have multiple pukey points.
So, to wrap this all up, I am thankful that I am me. I like that I know who I am and that I don't quite fit in with anyone but in that misfittery I manage to fit in with everyone, and that I have a super genial disposition wherein I don't get mad a lot and that I'm from where I'm from and I know who I know and that I take care of my body and myself first before I take care of anyone else and I don't ever feel guilty about that and that I write people snail mail letters and cards and that I always make room in my life for the people that I like and that I rock the librarian gig on the daily and that I don't have any room in my heart for bitterness which makes my life sweet sweet sweet.
And also? I'm thankful for you guys. I love reading what you have to say and you're all so ridiculously kind in your emails and comments. Blog friends are real friends, one of you said to me a while ago. Thanks for that.
Now let's stop all this gratitude and go do what this holiday is really all about. Eating until we pop out of our pants.
Happy Thanksgiving, homies.
With Thanksgiving coming up, let's talk about food, shall we?
Things I Believe About Food
(Caveat: I know some of this is totally irrational. But if you wanted rationality, you wouldn't be reading this blog right? This is the blog where I talk about my Celine Dion nightmares and argue about the difference between pajamas and leisure pants, after all.) So here we go.
1. I grew up in a house where I seldom ate the same thing for dinner twice in a row, ever. It was all about variety in our house. To this day, eating the same food twice in a row (pizza? AGAIN???) seems wrong to me. I am always amazed at people who can make a huge batch of something and eat it all week. I am a very non-monogamous eater.
2. Oh, you know what? BioGirl has a friend who knows Doris Day. IN PERSON. FOR REAL. I adore Doris Day so being two degrees of separation away from her is more than I can BEAR. This totally has nothing to do with food but I just thought about it and it was so thrilling that I had to tell you. Ok. Moving on.
3. Processed, packaged food was doled out very sporadically in my childhood house. This has had some strange repercussions. Like, the only time we ever had pop in the house was when we were sick (7-Up for a yucky tummy) or on holidays. My parents would serve us Faygo Red-pop (that reference is for all you Michiganders out there) in wine glasses to make us feel all grown up on Thanksgiving and birthdays. And we could have a Coke when we went out to this Chinese restaurant in our town, which was like, maybe twice a year. Even now, I like Coke with Chinese food but hardly ever any other time, and I think of red soda as a Very Fancy Beverage, akin to a nice Merlot.
4. The lack of packaged food also had the result of me coveting certain things as if they were gold in my youth. I had an aunt that didn't have anything against packaged food and I would go to her house and gorge myself on frozen pizza and Keebler Fudgestripes until I was blue in the face. It was awesome and felt so SPECIAL. To this day, sometimes I walk by Funyons in the grocery store and stop and go "wow! Funyons! Can we have that??" Who am I asking permission from? I am an adult, I can bring some goddamn Funyons into my house if I want to. But I hardly ever buy them. It seems too special for just me. Funyons are like, food for company.
5. We were a very sit-down-together family when it came to eating. I still do this and have never, not once, EVER, eaten food standing over a sink. In fact, I find it hard to believe that people actually do that. I half-convince myself that this is just something that people SAY they do, like go to the gym every day or bake their own bread in the morning or something, but that no one really, truly does it. I know I am wrong about that, but I can't help myself from doubting.
6. I miss Blue Moon ice cream so bad sometimes that I think about planning a trip back to Michigan just so I can have some. Does anyone out there know about Blue Moon ice cream? If you do, can you please describe the taste for me so I can explain it to Nordic Boy? Thanks.
7. I don't know if I could live if I couldn't have hot, spicy food. It's like an addiction. Certain foods just don't taste right unless they are burning the skin right off of your skull. You know what I mean? The kind of hot that is so good that while you're eating it, you're all "whoo!" like Cher? Come to think of it, maybe that's why she was always "whoo"-ing and sticking her tongue out like that. Maybe she had a mouthful of Tabasco or something. Whoo!
8. I was always a kid who brought lunch to school, and never bought lunch. I was always jealous of the buyers. When I think back to the nasty food that I was so frickin' jealous of, I want to smack my former self across the back of my head. I mean, the rectangle pizza with that kibble meat on top? What was the story with that? And the taco meat that seeped orange oil? Gah.
9. When I was growing up, we had tea time in my house every day after school. Sometimes my mom would make these crepe things that were basically like little pancakes that you put jam on. Tea and snacks. It rocked and I miss that.
10. I believe that Necco wafers are an evil plot to try and get kids to eat chalk. Who, you might ask, would want kids to eat chalk? And for what purpose? Don't bother me with details, people. The Necco company is chalking our children!
11. When I was in high school, I thought the Olive Garden was WAY FANCY.
12. I shop at small markets. I went into a large chain grocery store over the weekend (I couldn't find fried crispy onions for the top of my green bean casserole any where else) and I almost cried with the magnitude of it all. 8 million aisles! Surgery-bright lights! Aisles the size of, well, something huge! Where the fuck is everything? How many types of cereal can the world POSSIBLY NEED? Aaaaahhhhh!
A big part of my job is to be plugged in to what people are saying. Heck, I even have to pay attention to what people aren't saying. The point is, being an observant sort is a big old plus when you are in my line of work. Being able to communicate is key. Trust me, there is nothing worse than a librarian with communication issues, as many people have told me. (And about that? Why must people always tell me about the crusty mean librarian that they had when they were kids, or that they saw when they took their kid to the library? I am not responsible for all the librarians around the world, people! I don't know why that librarian was mean to your kid. There's no librarian mind meld that I can do with them to make them act better. I am sorry that you had a mean librarian once at some point in your illustrious life. I feel the need to apologize on behalf of all the hordes of kind, hard working, smart, lovable librarianfolk I know. We're sorry, ok? All of us. Really truly sorry).
This weekend though. I felt disconnected from people. Confused. As if I were dropped into another culture of which I know nothing and I am trying to muddle through by communicating via charades or something. And Nordic Boy, he is right there with me. We were lost this weekend. Totally lost.
Episode #1, In the Anthropologie store.
I bought this pair of pants at Anthropologie that were as cute as can be. I loved them in the fitting room. Then I came home and tried them on again, and as I walked around my house, the pants felt a great need to be at one with the floor. It was as if gravity in my house was way stronger than in the store, and the pants wanted to just fall right off of me. Walk, walk, walk. Sag, sag, sag. So I took the pants back. And had this conversation:
Me: I'd like to return these pants.
Anthro-lady: Was there something wrong with them?
Me: Oh, they were just really droopy on me.
Me: Droopy. They were droopy.
Anthro-lady: What does that mean?
Me: You know...saggy. Like they were going to fall off.
Anthro-lady: Oh! Saggy! Ha ha! And what did you call that? Droopy?
Me: Uh. Yeah.
Anthro-lady: Ha ha! That's funny!
Is it just me or does it sound like this lady has never heard the word droopy before? Isn't droopy a word? Of course it is! There was even that cartoon dog named Droopy and everything! DROOPY.
Episode #2, at dinner
Nordic Boy and I went to dinner on Saturday night at this italian place that we've been to many a time before. When we got there, we could see that there was only one table open for two, and the rest of the ones that were open were large tables for 6 or more. The hostess took us over to a huge table.
Me: Is it ok if we have that table over there?
Her: Oh. Yeah, but are you sure?
We sat down.
Nordic Boy: Why did she not want to seat us here?
Me: I don't know. She looked kind of concerned for us, didn't she?
During the course of that meal, the server asked us not once, not twice, but THREE TIMES, if we were sure we were ok at that table. "Are you sure you're ok over here?" "Let me know if you want to move ok? It's really no trouble." And, at the end of the meal, "thanks so much for putting up with that. We'll get you a better table next time, I promise!"
We kept looking around, trying to figure out what the hell was wrong with this table. It wasn't cold, nor was it hot. It was spacious, yet cozy. The table was stable and not wobbly or anything. It wasn't near any obnoxious people nor was it near the bathrooms. What was wrong with that table? WE WILL NEVER KNOW.
Nordic Boy went to a party on Sunday night. He came home early, around 9:30.
Me: How was the party?
Nordic Boy: I had to get out of there.
Nordic Boy: You ever go to a party where you can't understand anyone?
Me: Oh, was it too loud?
Nordic Boy: No, I could hear everyone. I just couldn't understand them. Like, what they were talking about. And when I would start talking about something, they would all nod their heads and give me a sympathetic look, like I was their slow cousin and they were all just humoring me to be nice. But I couldn't be mad about it, because when they would start talking I was doing the same thing. You know what I mean?
Me: Totally. I hate being the slow cousin.
Nordic Boy: I'd rather be the slow cousin than be surrounded by a party full of slow cousins.
Me: Good point...hey, can I ask you something?
Nordic Boy: Yeah.
Me: If I said the word "droopy" to you, what would you think?
Nordic Boy: Huh?
Me: You're giving me the slow cousin look.
Nordic Boy: So are you.
This weekend, the air smelled like snow. You know what I mean?
In honor of snow, and winter, and holiday fun, take a look at this. Scaring the jeebus out of little children is a sign that the winter solstice is just around the corner.
Santa could make your pee your pants.
I am not able to see humor in politics without a little help from my imaginary boyfriends, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. Usually, on my own, I am not watching BBC News and cracking up. On the contrary, usually it is a whole bucketful of somber, sobering stuff. I still keep up with the news, but it's not something that naturally lends itself to chuckles for me. Until today. Did you guys hear the one about the King of Spain and Hugo Chavez? Doesn't that sound like the start of a joke? Well it IS something hilarious, and it happened for reals. The King of Spain totally got all diva and and told Chavez to SHUT UP. He really did! I was hoping that Chavez would have come back with "You shut up!" but unfortunately, the shutting up commands stopped after only one round. Dang.
I went and had me some public speaking time today. I gave three presentations in two hours and now I am NEVER TALKING AGAIN. I am so tired of hearing my own voice I am not even kidding. I wonder how people who talk a lot, just as part of their personality, can stand it? I just heard myself talk for only two hours straight, which in the grand scheme of things really isn't that long, but SHIT. I needed the King of Spain there to tell me to zip the lip.
So after my three, count 'em, three presentations, I was leaving the venue, and a couple of people came over to tell me that they liked what I said and really got something out of it, and not only that, they were specific about what they got out of it. It was SO NICE. What nice, thoughtful people they were to do that. It made me think that I am totally doing that the next time I hear someone talk and it was relevant and helpful to me. Because really, I did my two hour tap dance in there, and then I shook hands with a bunch of people who said thanks and were polite, but then I just got my coat on and started to head for the door, and not having any idea if what I had just spent my afternoon doing was worth it to anyone at all or if my voice was just the background white noise for everyone's mid-afternoon open-eyed nap. So yeah. I guess I don't really have a point to make other than yay for those thoughtful people.
And on that note, I need to shut up, even typing-wise.
And hey, did I ever show you guys the awesome Christmas ornament that Bio-Girl made for me? It is to die for. And so useful.
I worked a split shift today, and so during my extra long lunch break, I headed over to the local T-Mobile store because I needed a new charger cord because Nordic Boy decided to go on his latest business trip with his cord and my cord. Perhaps the separation of the two of us was just too much for him so he had to make sure our cords stayed together all week, even if we couldn't. Cord love. So deep. Anyway. You know what? Everyone was in the T-Mobile store. Not even exaggerating. The whole entire city of Seattle was squished into this store, buying up cell phones like there was a shortage or something. It was way weird. I stood in line for like, ever, which was really insane because the store is laid out in such a way as to not have a clear space to line up and no straight pathway to create one's own line. So we all just sort of milled around, and the salespeople would call on people like it was the Price is Right. "You! You're next!" they would say and point at the next lucky cell phone desirer. Surprisingly, everyone (including yours truly) just accepted this method. Well, I almost accepted it. I tried to rebel at first. "YOU!" the T-Mobile lady said and pointed at me. "Um, actually, I think he was here before me," I said, and pointed at the guy who was standing next to me. The lady did not like that I was taking back my power by pointing at someone else. The only pointers allowed were wearing T-Mobile staff lanyards and she was clearly not going to giving up her pointing power. "You!" she said again. The guy looked at me with a "go ahead, save yourself!" look and I went ahead of him. I'm not proud of it, but we were clearly the sheep and she was clearly the border collie in that situation.
Totally unrelated. (And by the way, I have to say that when I am feeling especially lazy about writing, the first thing that seems to go down the terlet is transitions between ideas. I remember taking creative writing classes in high school and college and always hearing about how important it was to master the art of transitioning from one idea to the next, and I always thought it was super over-emphasized, like sentence-diagramming. But now, I see I should have been paying more attention.)
As I was saying. Totally unrelated. (And, now that I talked about transitions, does that count as a transition? And how come every time I type the words "totally unrelated" I start parenthetical babbling?) I totally cried watching "Keeping Up With The Kardashians" this week. Can you believe that shit? It was an episode about when their dad died. I am such a sucker.
Lastly, and still unrelatedly, I find books and lists that have the words "before you die" in the titles totally morbid. "1001 Books to Read Before You Die!" "1000 Places to See Before You Die!" "100 Films to See Before You Die!" I mean, GAWD. Why can't it just be "1001 Books to Read Because They're Cool"? Or maybe just "100 Films to See"? I guess it's not as dramatic but still. Stop with the death stuff. It bums me out.
See, the first point I made was about me transitioning from no phone cord to new phone cord, then I talked about transitioning as a concept, and then I talked about two death-related topics, and isn't death the ultimate transition?
I am so themey. Bet you didn't even notice.
Me: You want to know what I did at work today?
Nordic Boy: What?
Me: (insert library-related story about how I rocked the library world with my genius but that I can't tell you about because I don't want to get dooced)
Nordic Boy: Wow! That's great!
Me: Hell yeah it is. (And then I break into the Crank That dance).
Nordic Boy: What is thaaaat?
Me: I'm Soulja Boy! Check it!
Moral of this incident: I am silly, yes, but I am current and hip and down with the youth of today. Nordic Boy, you will notice, did not point this out.
Me: (first thing in the morning) I don't wanna go outside in the cold!
Nordic Boy: Come on, you're going to be late!
Nordic Boy: Get up!
Me: I am going to chain myself to this house. Just like Boy George did to that guy. I am going to be that guy AND Boy George, all at once.
Moral of this incident: I am current and hip to the crazy machinations of 80s icons. Once again, Nordic Boy does not notice this.
Me: This week is the premiere of Project Wunway!
Nordic Boy: The premiere of what?
Me: Project Wunway!
Nordic Boy: What is with the Elmer Fudd?
Me: It's not Elmer Fudd. It's Heidi Klum!
Nordic Boy: My power, my pleasure, my pain!
Me: I get it! You're Seal and that's that Batman song!
Nordic Boy: Totally.
Moral of this incident: I am current and hip to big shows and big supermodels and big fashion and alla that. Nordic Boy, AGAIN, does not feel the need to comment on this.
Me: (doing a crossword) Mmmmmmm--mmmmmm-mmmmm
Nordic Boy: Why are you squeaking like that?
Me: I'm not squeaking. I'm being a Skexie.
Nordic Boy: What?
Me: A Skexie. Like from The Dark Crystal?
Nordic Boy: That is the geekiest thing I have ever heard. You are such a geek. And what is that reference? From like 20 years ago?
Yeesh, one nerd-like reference and all the previous hipness is forgotten. I must learn to be more diligent.
There are those trends from our youth that we all admit to sharing. Everyone had a copy of "Thriller" by Michael Jackson, didn't they? Or perhaps you were more a "Hysteria" by Def Leppard sort? Ha ha, remember when we used to wear Day-Glo? Hee hee, acid-washed peg-leg jeans! Ho ho, VC Andrews books!
I am convinced, however, that there are the pop culture items that we think we love alone. You think to yourself, did anyone else remember Frankenweenie? Nah. They don't. I was the only one. And you feel alone in your cheezy love, but also sort of glad no one else remembers it, because it is so bad, SO cheezy, that it would be too painful for anyone else to know of your love.
This is how I feel about Father Ralph.
Anyone know what I am talking about? I am talking about (and I barely can make myself type this out) THE THORN BIRDS. I, at an entirely age-inappropriate time in my life, had a burning love for Father Ralph. That's right. The priest that raised up little Meggie from toddler-dom to womanhood, and then turned his fatherly love for her into sexy-forbidden-horizontal-lambada love for her. Father DeBriccasart. De-frickin-Briccasart. Doesn't that sound like a combination between fricassee and brisket? So meaty. And I loved it. LOVE, love, loved it. I am always so forgiving of my youthful self, and I almost always can remember what it felt like to love the things I used to love in my childhood years, but this one? I can't do it. Former me, I don't GET YOU. Former me, I totally judge you for this. I mean, EW. Ick ick ick. Leathery, orangy Richard Chamberlain? Wearing priest dresses? Really????
Yes, really. I can barely remember watching the mini-series on tv, and I can't imagine HOW I was able to watch this at such a tender age with my very media-conscientious parents around, but I did. There are certain scenes of it that I have a hazy memory of, like Meggie's pink dress, and Father Ralph chasing her down the beach (oh dear jehosephat) and other nasty bidness like that. I then remember discovering that this epic miniseries was based on a book, which I read as a teen and recommended to all of my friends who loved Father Ralph just as hard as I did.
When I went to college, I had just about forgotten about Father Ralph and his smudgy eyeliner. (He totally had smudgy eyeliner on all the time. I swear.) Then, one year in college, I was sick for like a week. And during that week, I watched bazillions of movies. And when I was at the end of this week, I was at the movie store, and completely out of ideas. Until I saw him. On the shelf. Father Ralph! You have returned to me! I rented it to see if it was all I had remembered it to be.
It wasn't. I rolled my eyes at it. I laughed at it. I couldn't believe that I had loved it so much. Could. Not. Believe. Then, towards the end of the series-- (because yes I totally watched it all. All nine million hours of it)-- some scene came on. I wish I could remember now what it was. But the melodrama! It sucked me in! And I started to tear up. Oh, the forbidden love! They can never be together! Waaaaahhhhh!
This is the precise moment that my friend U. walked into the room. I may not remember the scene I was watching, but I remember my friend's face. He looked at the screen. Father Ralph in his be-frocked glory. He looked at me. Teary-eyed. He just stared at me and Father Ralph. Our forbidden love exposed.
My friend laughed at me. And you know what I did? I tried to DEFEND it. No really, it's a good movie, I lied. It's not what you think! My friend knew I was talking crap. He could smell the shame on me. It was the scent of Father Ralph, emanating off of me. We never spoke of it again.
Yesterday, I saw U. I hadn't hung out with him since my birthday, and he brought me a present. I am always, always open to accepting presents. So exciting.
I opened it. And what did I find? This.
The Thorn Birds: The Missing Years
The Missing Years?! The Missing Years.
I looked at this present- a gag gift, in all senses of the term. Ha ha, funny! Gag.
He so called me out on that one. He remembered, all these years, when he caught me crying over Father Ralph. And he brought it back. In front of OTHER PEOPLE, even.
Oh the shame of it. Father Ralph, you've besmirched yet another young victim.
Please someone. Make me feel better. Did Father Ralph ever touch your heart? Your dirty, dirty heart?
Donnie and Marie were on Oprah last week. Did anyone see it?
I had a Donnie and Marie lunchbox that was handed-down to me by a sibling when I was a little kid. I kept my crayons in it. It was purple and sparkly. When I would think back on this lunchbox as an adult, I would wonder. What is with Donnie and Marie? I can barely remember them. What was the deal with them again? And why did they have any kid-appeal at all?
Seeing them again brought it all back, people. It was the clothes. The crazy, technicolor, over-the-top, 70s threads. As I watched the clips of them on Oprah, Nordic Boy pointed out that my jaw was hanging open and I had one hand on my stomach. It was too good and so, so bad, all at the same time.
Click here to see some sparkle.
Once again I have left my daily blogging until the last minute of my day. I am seeing that weekend blogging is going to be the downfall of this whole NaBloPoMo biznazz. At some point, anyway, but not today! Time, I cheat you out of making a fool of me once again, bwa ha ha haaaaaa.
Time may not be making a fool out of me, because I can do that myself, no probs, holmes.
Snippets from my Sunday. I mean Saturday. Whatever the hell day it is.
1. Just got back from seeing my pal in this. It was good, and despite the name, it ain't drrty. It's legitimate thee-ah-tah and it was good. Plus, they let you take snacks into the theater with you. And we found a parking space only one block away from the place. Snacks plus good parking plus a good old fashioned dramedy equals fook yeah is all I am saying.
2. Went to a fabric store chain today. Let's call it Flo-Ann's Fabrics. That place has got to be the most disorganized boolshizz I have ever tried to navigate. What the hell is going on in Flo-Ann's Dysfunctional Fabrics? Everything is messed up. The fabrics aren't where they should be, and the staff don't seem to know where they even ARE. Plus, they give a million bags for things. I bought two yards of two fabrics and some thread, and they put the thread in a leetle plastic bag and then the fabrics in seperate bags. And when I told them that actually, I was fine without any bag at all, they (three of Flo-Ann's finest) all froze and looked at me like I had pudding on my drawers or something. Flo-Ann, whoever you are, you need to get it together. Your fabrics deserve so much more.
3. Nordic Boy and I went out for thai food today. Whenever we go, he orders brown rice and I order white. When the server brings us our meals, they always invert our rice. I get the brown, and he gets the white. It doesn't matter which thai restaurant we go to, this is guaranteed to happen. Our only theory is that they think I want the brown because I'm brown, and he gets the white because he's Whitey. They match us up with the rice. If Nordic Boy ever starts a rap career, I am voting for his name to be Vanilla Rice.
Listen, I said I would post once every day in November. I never said the posts would be quality or anything.
My bed is calling me with its siren song. Smooches, all.
People, in general, do not bother me. When I am feeling positive about this quality, I think of it as a sort of openness towards people. When I am feeling negative about this quality, I think of it as a sort of aloofness towards people. I like to think of myself as open. I don't like to think of myself as aloof. I don't know which one it is in reality, and I suspect maybe it's a combination of both. Not sure. I'm not angry hardly ever at all, because I don't tend to take things personally. If you're acting like a jackass, most likely it's your own stuff that's got your knickers twisted up. Is that just a way for me to deflect responsibility for making other people mad? Maybe. I don't know, because most of the time, people don't get mad at me. Unless you count wackjob patrons of the library, and if you do, then believe me, that anger most certainly has nothing to do with me, and more likely has to do with the hatred people feel for the demon that is the photocopy machine. So maybe my not being bothered by people is a reciprocal result of not being bothersome to people. I don't bother other people, so they don't bother me. It all comes out even that way. Just a theory.
The point is, I am not bothered. I am not bothered by the fact that Britney and Lindsay forget to wear underwear sometimes, I am not bothered that Library Patron Marvin wants to yell at me about the CIA who are after his toenail clippings, I am not bothered by the comeback of legwarmers. I may have critical thoughts about these things, or feel a little sad about these things, or completely disagree with these things, but my blood pressure will not go up about them. An angry patron is not going to make me cry, as can happen with some librarians. It would never occur to me to cry about that. I work with all different types of people, I have friends who are a lot different from me in their views and beliefs, and although their differences may surprise me, or astound me, or even give me momentary flashes of frustration, within moments it all just rolls off my back. The more I think about this, the more I suspect that this could be a result of plain old laziness. Letting people get to me is just too much energy. Why not kick back and sip a Bacardi instead of getting all bothered by someone? No contest. Being mad or kicking back? What kind of idiot chooses being mad?
Ok, so what this is leading up to friends, is that I, Miss Unflappable, am officially bothered. There's this person I know, and holy smokes does s/he bother me. Not only does s/he bother me, it bothers me that s/he bothers me so much. And I am kind of done typing s/he so let's just pick a gender. He. He bothers me. To the point where I sometimes want to run away from him like he's a house on fire. I am kind of thrown by this, as it is a feeling I am entirely unused to feeling. I don't quite know what to do about it. Not to brag (ok maybe a little to brag but to also make a point too), but the empathy part of my brain can usually make me see everyone's perspective. Not that I like or agree with everyone's perspective, but I can see it, and accept it. Not this time. So what do I do? I can see that, overall, this person is a good person. There is nothing particularly revolting about him like he doesn't kick puppies or shit on my doorstep or deny that gays exist in his country or anything like that. (Wow, did I just say shit on my doorstep? I'm sorry. I was just trying to think of revolting things that would merit my feelings and that's what I came up with.) But if you made a list of every behavior that annoys me, he happens to have them all. And it's not like he's directly mean to me or anything like that, so it's not like I am going to confront him. What would I say? You are annoying me just in your general you-ness, so could you please stop being you when I'm present? And it turns out that I have to be around him a lot, because other people that I know and like are around him a lot. So if I distance myself from him, I distance myself from them too. (An aside: it baffles me that no one else seems to be bothered by this person. Other people seem to like him just fine. In fact, someone who I love dearly just recently described him as "awesome." I thought to myself: really? Awesome? Because I'd call it more like, oh, I don't know, UNBEARABLE. Which makes me think more and more that this is all me. Which adds to my feeling bothered).
But you know what? I don't want to distance myself from him. I would much rather do what I usually do in situations like this: Get Over It. I listen to my own frustration with this person and I am like Oh my GAWD, you are being ree-dikulous. It's like a challenge to me now. I want to hang out around him even more. To find the humanity in this person. To listen to his voice. His loud, grating, talking-over-people, won't-shut-up voice, and let it roll right over me, right through me.
So far, it's not working.
Tell me, what do you do when you have to be around someone who bugs the shit out of you and you can't really get away from them? I need help. I am completely inexperienced at being bothered and I have no skills at handling it. I am Bothered-Challenged.
I went this whole post using the word "bothered" like a million times, and never once tried to parlay it into a punny "hot and bothered" reference.
Oh what the heck.
Hott and bothered,
Things I didded today. A list, yo.
1. Got up at 7am even though it was my day off because I am apparently all geriatric like that.
2. Showed up at Anthropologie a few minutes before they even opened their doors this morning, because I like to scare the staff there with how I stand outside and fog up the windows with my ardently felt desire.
3. Ate two halves of a cupcake, shared with Neighbor J, one chocolate with vanilla frosting and the other vanilla with chocolate frosting. I hummed "Ebony and Ivory" to myself in my head as I did so.
4. Held sweet Baby Neighbor H on my lap and listened to her make cute baby creaky-door sounds and watched her smile all afternoon. Sweeter than the cupcakes, that was.
5. Came home to find Nordic Boy home from his business trip and tried to ballroom dance our hellos to each other, which even though a valiant effort was made, it turned into him sort of dragging me around the room. Isn't that really what ballroom dance is, though? I believe they call this "leading."
6. Won a caption contest over at Berg with Fries. I get a prize and everything. If you go over there (I'm too tired to add the link in but it is over there in my sidebar) you'll see I mostly won because I had the biggest mouth. If only I could win other things for talking horseshit, I would be set for life.
7. Wrote a hastily crafted blog post so as to fulfill my duties to NaBloPoMo and crashed into bed by 10:30. I am only half cognizant of what I am typing right now and the proof of that is that I just used the word "cognizant."
Must sleep. Granny is so tired.
I am having a busy day, and am running around from meeting to meeting, and am just now having a scarfed down lunch at my desk during a much-needed break, and I have no time to even be typing this right now, and after work I am busy, and damn this whole post-every-day thing this month, so, instead of my usual ravings, you're getting a photo today, except, um, I don't really have a photo to share... um...
Oh! You want to see something way hott? You know you do. It's something that gets my engine going, if you know what I mean. Wink wink.
He never forgets to do the dishes.
I haven't had lots of experience being on a farm. I didn't grow up around many rural people, and so my knowledge of how farmers roll and what country life is like is very limited. I have never been on a hay ride or been to a barn dance and am aware, even as I type this, that both of those things may just be farm stereotypes that don't even really happen any more. Like many things, scarily enough, I may have just picked up these ideas from the movies. Hayrides just make me think of Inga from Young Frankenstein (Roll, roll! Roll in zee hay!) and barn dances just make me think of Laura Ingalls. So you see, I have no idea. However, one of the best memories of my childhood takes place on a farm.
Each fall, my mom and dad would drive me outside of our factory-clad little city. We'd get off the expressway and onto long, windy roads that were lined with orange and red trees and large expanses of flat, grassy, midwestern goodness. From there, we'd end up at an apple orchard. At this apple orchard was a big red barn. In the big red barn was heaven. Fresh apple pies, apple fritters, apple jellies, applesauce. (I sound like an apple version of Bubba from Forrest Gump, don't I?) There was a big apple press in there for apple cider on the spot. There was even a big old fashioned doughnut making machine. As a kid, I would stand there and watch as the doughnut batter was mixed and then fried, and then placed directly into my hands, the cinnamon-scented heat still rising off of it. We'd eat up some apple stuff and then I'd get to go run around in the crispy leaves between the rows of trees. Little kid paradise, for sure. I loved every minute of it. The drive with my parents, watching the landscape change from lots of houses to lots of trees, the barn, the eats, the stomping through the orchard. If I could get even half of the feeling of those memories back, I would cry with happiness, I swear to Johnny Appleseed.
So, in my doldrummy mood that I was in over the weekend, I happened to come across a mention of an apple orchard in the New York Times archive. The article was about scenic orchards around the country, and one of the ones listed was only a couple of hours away from Seattle. I told Nordic Boy the memories this evoked for me, and he suggested we take a roadtrip and find a little slice of that appley feeling.
So, before I knew it, we had gone from this
On the way, we stopped at a little grocery store/gas station/bank/coffee shop and were welcomed with a sign that said
Where Friends Meet Friends
How quaint is that? Where friends meet friends! Right there in front of the vending machines! Lookee, even the Coke and the Pepsi, such bitter rivals in other places, stand next to each other in what I swear looks like a friendly stance, like Oscar and Felix. I'll have you know that I stood there for a good ten minutes while Nordic Boy filled up on gas and went on a pee break, and I didn't meet any friends, but I still appreciated the thought.
We got to the orchard, and I soaked in the scenery, while Nordic Boy immediately started shopping. Who says I am the power shopper in this relationship?
Our ugly yard needs help, yo.
Seriously, he is here to buy, people.
And although there wasn't any cider press or doughnut machine, we did frolic about the place.
"Oh my god," I imagine the orchard owners saying to each other, "are they running around playing tag? Crazy city folk."
And although the leaves weren't orange and red, they were still sufficiently crispy for tromping through.
We bought ourselves a bag of apples and oh yeah, a compact strawberry tree (an unexpected bonus), and headed home. It wasn't the same as I remembered from when I was a kid, but it did maybe 25% of the trick. Had they had doughnuts, it would have made up for a lot. Add a doughnut to anything and life just seems better.
Truly, it was a sweet day. And, in the way that memories pile up, I am sure that some day, I will long for a day like this in the same way that I now long for the apple orchards of my childhood. Piling on the good memories is what life is all about, Charlie Brown.
I don't know why I just said Charlie Brown there. Didn't that sentence seem like something Linus would say?
I'm going to let you guys in on a little secret. I've been feeling lonely lately. I am not a wallowing, sad sack type by nature, so when I get to feeling this way, it kind of throws me for a loop. When the lonliness sets in, where do you put it?
I know that I am inundated with social happenings, so it seems a weird thing to feel lonesome. It's not a lack of people around me that I am feeling, it's the lack of specific people that I miss so much. Usually, I am a career long-distance champion. I grew up with most of my extended family living on an island in the South Pacific without ready access to telephones and getting to see them only once every two or three years. I have lived my entire adult life across the country from my beloved mom and dad. I know how to manage having people far away, as my phone bill and snail mail tendencies will illustrate. I am a five-star keeper-in-touch lady. If you are important to me, we'll talk often, and lovey feelings will remain in tact. This is totally second nature to me 99% of the time. But when that last 1% hits, it hits kind of hard. It gets blown all up out of proportion and starts to feel a little ridiculous, but not any less real. I miss my peeps, you guys. My parents. My pals Alli and Map, who I wish lived down the street from me like they used to when we were kids, instead of ten billion states away. Biology Girl and Neighbor J, my two best friends who are far away and each busy nurturing a newborn PhD thesis and a newborn baby, respectively (sorry Bio-Girl, but the baby is way cuter than that thesis of yours). Nordic Boy being away on business each week. I am good at being alone, but sometimes, the aloneness can feel...palpable.
Wow, see what you get when I have to post every day? You don't know what you're going to get- I usually wait until I am my usual chipper funny girl mood to post. But now, I just have to run with what I am thinking about for the day. There is not one lick of pop culture fun in me this morning, unless you want me to talk about my thoughts on how Kris Jenner on Keeping Up with the Kardashians looks like Cruella DeVille? Anyone? Anyone? I didn't think so.
The good news is that, for whatever reason, my genetic makeup seems to be that I am unable to feel bad about shit for more than like, a couple of hours. It's like I get sick of the whining in my own head and I tell myself to shut the hell up and get on with things. I'm a glass half full kind of person, despite the fact that "glass half full" is sort of an annoying expression. I'll feel the lonely for a little bit, then I start to tell myself that hey, at least I have these people in my life who love me, even if they are not in the exact geographic location that I would prefer them to be. In fact, I am hearing that voice in my head right now. Shut up. Get on with things. You're right. Totally right.
Oops, I think I just let the cat out of the bag that I hear voices in my head and I talk back to them. Well. Now you know that.
Anyway, one thing I don't miss? You guys! Wait, that came out wrong. What I mean is, blog friends are awesome.
So, to recap.
1. If you're a loved one of mine and you're out there reading this, I miss you.
2. Mrs. Jenner probably wears puppy coats.
3. I feel bad sometimes, but not too bad, because that's a waste of time.
4. Blog friends rock the hizzy.
5. Lastly, I hear voices.
Tell me, what do you do to cheer yourself up?
P.S. Hey Library Guy, if you're reading this, you commented last week that you are doing NaBloPoMo, but I don't have your link. Email it to me or comment it, wouldja? I want to read you.
I love crosswords. I know the hoity toity thing to say about crosswords is that you do the New York Times one, especially the Sunday version. Ooh la la, I am such a smarty pants, doing the Sunday crossword.
I am not saying I would turn away the New York Times crossword puzzle. I am saying that I much prefer other puzzles. My puzzles of choice are usually books of (surprise) movie-themed, tv-themed, or other pop culture themed crosswords. It is the one item that I buy in a book store. It hearkens me back to my childhood, when I would devour the tv-guide crossword as soon as it arrived in the mail at my parents' house. Who needs clues like "1930s Czech president" when you can have clues like "1954 Burt Lancaster western"? Really. No contest.
So last night. I'm lying in bed doing a crossword. The clue is "'A Perfect Storm' sight." I have no clue what that could be.
Me: Hey, have you seen the movie "A Perfect Storm?"
Nordic Boy: Yep.
Me: What was it about? I know it was a boat movie. And it had George Clooney and Marky Mark in it.
Nordic Boy: Feel it! Feel it!
(an aside: in our house, any mention of Mark Wahlberg must be punctuated by the refrain "Feel it! Feel it!" just as he barked it out in his smash hit "Good Vibrations." This is required behavior in my house. If you ever come over, and Marky Mark is mentioned, you must say this. Are we clear?)
Me: What was the movie about?
Nordic Boy: Well, it was about this storm.
Nordic Boy: And it was perfect.
Me: The movie was perfect?
Nordic Boy: No, the storm was perfect. Hence the name of the movie.
Me: Really? A Marky Mark movie is going make you say "hence?"
Nordic Boy: Feel it! Feel it!
Me: You're not helping.
Here it comes, homies. The Weekly. From me to you.
Weekly TeeVee: When I was in school, there were a couple days a week where I could watch tv during the day. On those days, there were times when I could not tear myself away from TLC. Dating Story. Wedding Story. Baby Story. Makeover Story. I could suck a whole day away watching this tripe. That love didn't last long, and I moved on from my TLC days from there. Until recently. I heard about this show called Jon and Kate Plus 8. It's a reality show where this married couple deal with the ups and downs and logistics of having 8 children, all under the age of 10. A pair of seven-year-old twins, and a set of three-year-old sextuplets. I didn't think it would be something I would watch regularly, but I was curious about it, so I tivo-d a couple of episodes. One night, Nordic Boy and I were hanging out, and I turned it on. And for the next hour, we sat there in absolute silence. Our jaws were agape. Our eyes couldn't look away. WOW. Listen, all you parents out there, do not send me hate mail when I say what I am about to say. That show? That show was the epitome of Librarian Girl's own personal hell on earth. I'm not judging Kate and Jon and their gaggle of little ones. They seem happy. But dude, I'm serious as a heart attack when I tell you that imagining myself in a situation even half as kid-filled as that makes me nauseous. I would rather take Carrot Top, Pauly Shore, Ron Jeremy, and my 7th grade math teacher who had dandruff in his eyebrows out on a date than be anywhere near that situation. I am talking about choosing a romantic date with all of them over proximity to Jon and Kate. Hell, a naked date with all of them. I think I am through with TLC for a good while. That traumatized me.
Weekly Wow: Have you ever heard of Design Within Reach? I like that place. Mid-century modern makes me feel like unicorns and rainbows and fuzzy slippers, so when I discovered that store, I was down with it. And after I bought a few items from there, they started sending me catalogs. This week, I got their holiday catalog, with all their gift ideas in it. Who the hell buys stuff from a furniture store when they are shopping for gifts? Here Aunt Betty, I bought you an Eames chair! If that weren't enough, they had this item for sale. A drain plug. For SEVENTY DOLLARS. Are you friggin' kidding me? It's a DRAIN PLUG. That thing better be able to make jelly doughnuts and rake up my leaves for that amount of cash. Design Within Reach? More like Design Outta Touch. Or Design Batshit Crazy.
Weekly Worst Moment: Last year, as you may remember, we had to be lights-out party-pooper house on Halloween. Now that our yard is safe (still ugly, but no one will die if they cross the property line), we were all excited to hand out candy. Our neighborhood is full of kids and we were going to dole out the sugar and ooh and ahh at all the pirates and princesses! We were ready! And you know what? No one came! Not one trick or treater! Our streets were empty. I guess the thing to do now is for kids to go to Halloween parties or to trick or treat in shopping centers and stuff. So that was crap. At least we have the three bags of Snickers Minis to make us feel better.
Weekly Best Moment: Birthday Month was brought to a close with a super scrumptious dinner out on the town with my friend H. She picked me up, she took me to a restaurant that had disarmingly romantic lighting, we ate a bucket of yam fries (you know it's a truly fancy restaurant when you can still feel ladylike while eating out of a bucket) and had matching dinners of puff pastry filled with portobella mushrooms, leeks and mushroom-pecan pâté, and had what I adore most in the world: good conversation. It was birthday-rific on all levels, made me feel very appreciated, and just the sort of event that I had been craving all month.
Weekly Photo: This week, Seattle-ites were blessed with something that we don't often get. A week of sunny, crisp, clear autumn days. When I was growing up in the Midwest, fall was my favorite season because of days like this. The orange crunchy leaves, the blue sky. There's something about the combination of those two colors together that make me really happy. Since I moved here, those kind of days have been few and far between, and I have learned to not expect a string of days like that all in a row. But this week. It was loverly. I went for a walk around the lake near my house and felt glad that even though I live in the city I can see stuff like this.
Listen, I know my camera phone sucks and I am slanting the photo, but still. It's pretty, right?
What is with the slanting alla time? I don't know what is wrong with me.
You guys are so smart! It was Michael's. Michael's is a land of crafts the likes of which are somewhat scary to me, so going there on the day after Halloween was very appropriate indeed. I could have walked around and taken pictures of stuff in there all day long. For instance, pine cones with glitter all over them. What exactly is the point of pine cones with glitter all over them? What does one DO with that? And how does it relate to crafting? Putting aside the fact that glittery pinecones, as a concept, is totally wacko, if one were to want a glittery pinecone and one is a crafter, then wouldn't you get a plain pinecone and apply the glitter yourself? Buying a pre-glittered pinecone is craft-cheating, as far as I am concerned. And Michael, of the Michael's chain of craftery, should not be peddling such wares.
And here are a couple of more wares at Michael's of which caused me oodles of bafflement.
Exhibit A. Found in the Christmas aisle. Giant fake rubies and emeralds. I ask you, why? Why?
Why, to make some superfly bling for your honey, says Nordic Boy, also known as America's Next Top Hand Model.
Exhibit B. Found in Super Creepy Items for Sale aisle. Teeny tiny carny folk. With moving parts. Buy the whole set and your house would be filled with miniscule animatronic fun!
Let's fill our entire house with these and then you be Mothra and I'll be Godzeera, kay?
I wish I had more photos, but Nordic Boy made me stop taking pictures because I wasn't focusing on what we were there for. Yeah, right, Nordic Boy. We're in a place where they sell something called the "Natural Ball Value Bag" and you're blaming me for wanting to take pictures?
So although I could have done my whole month of NaBloPoMo by taking photos in Michael's, I didn't. Why, you may ask, were we in Michael's to begin with? Let me start at the beginning.
A conversation with Biology Girl, Part 1, a while ago.
Her: What are you doing this weekend?
Me: I am going to a clothing exchange party. So tonight I have to go home and prepare.
Me: I have to go through my closet and figure out what I am giving away.
A conversation with Biology Girl, Part 2, last week.
Her: What are you doing this weekend?
Me: I got invited to a costume party. But I have been so busy, I have no costume. So I may have to spend my Saturday coming up with something. Think I can do it by Saturday night?
A conversation with Biology Girl, Part 3, yesterday afternoon.
Her: What's up?
Me: I have to run to Michael's and then maybe to Paper Zone.
Me: I have to come up with a craft. I got invited to a craft party, and I have no craft!
Her: What is with you? How come every time you have social plans, they involve homework?
Me: You don't understand. I had to bail out of the costume party because I had no costume. I almost missed the clothing exchange because I didn't have time to go through my clothes. I am not missing another party because I am unprepared!
Her: Don't you ever just, like, HANG OUT?
Me: Yes. Just not right now. Shut up about that and help me come up with something.
Let me just say this. Biology Girl and I, when we are together, are the two laziest gits you are ever likely to come across. Our main activity? Sitting down. Sometimes the sitting down involves eating, or watching tv, or chatting. Sometimes we sit with our feet up, sometimes one of us will lie down on a couch and the other will sit on the floor. If we are feeling extra feisty, we may go out for some ice cream. So I think that the thought of me actually getting up off of my ass for social reasons might be a little jarring for her.
I am sorry to say that Michael's didn't help me prepare. I just couldn't figure out whether I wanted to make a wreath and tree from faux peacock feathers or a shaggy ribbon footstool. The decision was too much, so I had to leave. It was like Sophie's Choice, being in there.
I went home and completed my homework with things I already had there. I am ready to craft tonight! Bring it! I am all in. Half ass, I am not, nor never will be.
I'm starting of my month of daily posting with a bang, people!
Just kidding. I am too tired to muster up even the usual nonsensical gibberish that I can usually come up with.
Instead, I give you this photo that I took today. I ask you, what store was I in that had an aisle boasting these three items?
That's right. It says "Birds, Fruits and Vegetables, and Moss."
I shop at the truly classy stores, ya'll.
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