The year is almost up, and that means that once again, it is time! Time for Re-cap Mania! Everyone will be recapping! From Keith Olbermann to Joel McHale to Barbara Walters to Hulk Hogan!
Here is my recapathon, as I did last year, stolen from my pal Librarisaurus Rex. As usual, I am encouraging you to steal it, make it your own, and then let me know so I can come peep your'n.
1. What did you do in 2008 that you'd never done before?
As you know, I think that the true stuff of life is made from the small stuff, so let me start this one by saying this. I had the most spectacular, funkariffic slam dunk fall, while rollerskating. I have had many a spectacular fall in my day, but oddly enough, never when rollerskating. I made up for that lack like crazy this year, all with one fall. Oh how I wish I had footage to share with you. It was like a Nascar crash, except without a car. I think there may have been flames and everything. I also spent an inordinate amount of time on Facebook. And I now have a friend who has pulled a plane around, and really, how many people can say that?
2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Well since I didn't make any I technically didn't fail at my new year's resolutions. I kept all zero of them. Also, I am resolving to not make any again this year. See how I set myself up to succeed?
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Um, I don't think so. I'm feeling all kinds of anxiety about saying that. If you gave birth this year, and I am forgetting it right now, I am so sorry. This is just the sort of faux pas that would be typical for me. You had a baby? Oops! I hadn't noticed! Pass the Ginkgo!
4. Did anyone close to you die?
Yes, a dear friend of mine. It's weird to talk about it on a blog, so that's all I'm going to say about that.
5. What countries did you visit?
You know this question always chaps my ass a little every year. I stayed in America, ok? My meager travel funds are allocated for me to go visit my parents as much as I possibly can. LAY OFF.
6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
Oh, I don't know. What did I lack in 2008? I can't think of anything significant. A dishwasher would be nice. Oh, I know. A winning lottery ticket. Sign me up for one of those.
7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory?
Many fine things happened in twos this year. Two fine couples and friends of mine got all hitched up had dang fine hootenannies to celebrate. I went to two especially nice birthday parties for my wee friends who turned one year old each. My two relatives from New Zealand came to visit me, which was tres exciting. It was the year of number 2. Wait, that doesn't sound right.
Oh, and November 4 was kind of big. You know, if you're into that sort of thing.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Staving off loneliness via my cocoon of friends and family that love me.
9. What was your biggest failure?
Failing is all about goal-setting, and goal-setting is not my strong suit. I failed to post 30 times in November for NaBloPoMo. Good enough answer? I also entered into a coat-buying contest with BioGirl and my other friend Borgsmith, which I failed miserably because I didn't even complete the contest. But really, who enters into a contest about buying a coat with their friends? I deserve to fail, just for doing that.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
No, I made it through unharmed for another year, despite rollerskating crashes.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Supplies for a brand new roof. I keep telling you that a brand new roof is more exciting than it sounds. Perhaps some day you'll believe me.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My friends Neighbor H and Lil' R had all sorts of firsts this year. They are walking around on their own, and communicating with words and charades, and eating more and more grown up foods. These two are little one-year-olds, by the way. In case you were confused.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Two words. Prop 8.
14. Where did most of your money go?
To this question I offer you another question. What year will it be when the answer to this annual question is NOT "mortgage?"
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
So, I don't know if you heard, but I have this friend named BioGirl. I'm sure I must have mentioned her at some point, but in case you missed it, we are two peas in a pod. And for the past five years she up and left me to go get her a fair piece of book learning. This year was the year she finished all that education nonsense and moved back home where she belongs. The excitement on this was OFF THE CHAIN, yo.
16. What song will always remind you of 2008?
You Are Free, by Mates of State. I think I listened to that song all year non-stop. Also, Don't Stop Til You Get Enough by Michael Jackson. I went to a lot of parties with dancing this year, and that song was always on the playlist.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Happier.
b) thinner or fatter? About the same, I guess. I don't know.
c) richer or poorer? A tad better off than last year. Baby steps, you know.
18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Seeing my moms and pops.
19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Lying awake at night.
20. How will you be spending Christmas?
I spent it with a whole lot of Nordic Boy, a whole lot of relaxation, a whole lot of snow, and it was a whole lot of awesome.
21 is missing. Time to take a breather...
22. Did you fall in love in 2008?
Yep, over and over and over again, all with the same dude, which is rather lucky when you think about it.
23. How many one-night stands?
None, but I did have a 365-night stand. Oh baby.
24. What was your favorite TV program?
Usually I get my news from newspapers and the interwebs and NPR, but this year I watched a ton of news on tv. BBC news and CNN news, mostly. I wouldn't call that my "favorite" though, but it was oft-watched tv. My favorite program, if I am going to be dead honest with you, was So You Think You Can Dance. Don't you judge me.
25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Hatred levels constant, sir.
26. What was the best book you read?
This question was so not written for a librarian. But, if pressed, I will list the following...Last Night at the Lobster, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, Pete and Pickles, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Blackstock's Collections: The Drawings of an Artistic Savant, Out of Place...ok, stopping the list now.
27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I got into Helio Sequence more this year. I am behind the times, I know this.
28. What did you want and get?
29. What did you want and not get?
Even more time with the peeps.
30. What was your favorite film of this year?
I re-watched a bunch of William Holden movies, and they were delicious.
31. What did you do on your birthday?
BioGirl and Nordic Boy threw me a birthday party! There were cupcakes, and billiards, and dressed up fancy guests and EVERYTHING. It was a grand affair.
32.What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I wished that I could have seen my friends Alli and Map this year. Our annual trip didn't happen and I missed them like crazy.
33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
To quote Blair Waldorf of Gossip Girl: "tights are not pants!"
34. What kept you sane?
A hearty diet of laughing, silly dances, and talking nonsense.
35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I have had an ongoing girl crush on Kate Winslet since Heavenly Creatures in the early 90s, and she was everywhere this year, yes? Hi Kate! Call me!
36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Did you hear about a little vote we had here? For President? No? I'm not surprised, it wasn't covered much in the media.
37. Who did you miss?
A lot of people. Too many. I hate this question.
38. Who was the best new person you met?
I re-met a lot of very cool people this year (thanks, Facebook!). "Reunited and it's understood! Reunited and it feels so good!" ...Sorry, just felt the need to sing a little Peaches and Herb there. Also! My friend Borgsmith (even though he challenges me to coat buying contests that I can't win).
39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008:
Keep looking for a stylist until you find The One.
40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
I'm a living sunset
Lightning in my bones
Push me to the edge
But my will is stone
Fools will be fools
And wise will be wise
But I will look this world
Straight in the eyes -Ben Harper
I feel like I have to say something profound. That's kind of a lot of pressure. Listen, let's just say that 2008 was a year full of things I'd never thought I would see, both good and bad, and things that I know to be true holding fast. I thank my lucky charms (purple horseshoes and all) for what I've cobbled together. 2009 is on deck! Let's knock it out of the park.
The year is almost up, and that means that once again, it is time! Time for Re-cap Mania! Everyone will be recapping! From Keith Olbermann to Joel McHale to Barbara Walters to Hulk Hogan!
Ok, ok FINE, I shall give you a break from my award-winning film shorts. Once again, I fear that my blog is entertaining no one so much as myself. I watched that Scarface one multiple times, and it still makes me bust a nut laughing.
So last week was a doozy. We had days and days of snow. It felt like it would never end. It was gales of fun. The local newscasters' eyeballs almost popped right out of their heads with the dramatic reporting that they did. It was all BLIZZARD BLITZ and SNOWY SMACKDOWN and BEWARE THE BLACK ICE until you just wanted to knock someone out. I don't watch the local tv news much, but I am going to go out on a limb and say that they don't seem to be in the business of lessening panic.
As much as the snow was a hindrance to getting around the city, all in all it didn't affect us as much as some, which was nice. When we couldn't drive, we could still walk to the grocery store each day, and restaurants and stores and all like that. It was cool to be out in our neighborhood, walking around, with no car traffic to be found. There were parents and kids using the hilly streets as sledding runs from morning until after 10pm, and everyone seemed to be outside, just enjoying themselves. I had almost forgotten what it was like to shovel snow off a sidewalk. I also realized that since I moved to Seattle, I don't really have snow-appropriate shoes any more, which kind of appalled the Midwestern girl in me.
Nordic Boy had a bunch of days off from work, but I only had two, and we had the best time just relaxing. And by relaxing, I mean we had the best time spazzing the fuck out playing with our new Wii games. There were wipeouts. There were challenges made and challenges accepted. There were talents uncovered.
For instance, my mild-mannered Nordic Boy is a MANIAC on the boxing game. We weren't boxing each other, because, I don't know, that just feels weird to go all aggro like that against one's beloved. So he was boxing the Wii opponents. And dudes, he was beating the serious shit out of each and every one of them. Within seconds, Mike Tyson style, they were each knocked out. Who knew that Nordic Boy had fake boxing skills?
I admit that in every game, Nordic Boy gets a higher score than I do. There are some where we are almost even, with him beating me by a little, and there are some where he beats me by a lot. But he pretty much always beats me. Aside from the sporty stuff, we have the Wii fit, which has things like skiing, and balance games, and yoga. Again, he's better than me at all of them.
There's this game- I can't remember if it's on the Yoga part of the Wii or the Balance part. Here's how the game goes. There is a candle on the screen. You sit down on the Wii board, and the board senses your movements. If you move, the candle flickers. If you breath unevenly, the candle flickers. The object is to keep the candle still for as long as you can by remaining perfectly still. It provides distractions in the form of various sounds and background surprises that will break your concentration.
People, I ROCK THIS GAME.
Skiing, golf, tennis? Eff that. If you want someone to COMPETETIVELY SIT DOWN, you need to get me.
In other news, I may be on the verge of selling the couch I own and buying a new one. This quest for a new couch has been long and arduous, and if the one I have my eye on right now doesn't work out, my heart shall breaketh into teeny tiny pieces. I need the perfect couch to practice all the Olympic sitting that I do, you see.
I wanted to take a nice, idyllic video of the rare sight of snow in Seattle on a peaceful day in the neighborhood. Problem was, Nordic Boy was watching Scarface.
Happy holidays from me and my spooky snow banshee.
I have never seen this much snow in Seattle.
For real. Seriously.
Do you guys remember that awful rapper named "Snow?" Who sang that ridiculous "licky boom boom down" song? That song is SO NOT RIGHT. Even worse is that it is a beautiful winter wonderland outside right now and my first thought when I look at it is that effin' song. Yick.
So for those of you that bore the brunt of my caterwauling about the cold weather in Seattle the other day, sorry about that. I had my moment there, and then I commenced with the Shutting Up The Complainy Weather Talk. I mean, really. Boo hoo, my life is so hard, I have to deal with snow. Yeesh. What an ignoramus I can be.
But yes, there is snow here. For Seattle, it's actually quite a bit of snow, and the fact that it's been the second big snow within a week (with another big one coming this weekend) has been all the talk around here. I have taken some walks around my neighborhood and around my workplace this week in the snow, and it feels very normal and nostalgic for me. I wouldn't go so far as to say I MISS the midwest snowfall, but it does hearken me back to my own days of yore.
Some random thoughts about snow...
When I was a kid, I had to walk around my block in order to catch the bus to get to school. Words cannot express how deeply and how accutely felt was the hatred in my heart, trudging through the drifts each day. I was not a huge fan of school to begin with, and so it was an extra insult to me that I had to put in that much effort just to get there. Fuckin' bus stop. It kind of plucks my last nerve just thinking about it now.
At school, there was always a STRICT NO TOLERANCE POLICY about throwing snowballs on school grounds. I mean, it was big, hairy trouble if you even THOUGHT about making a snow ball, let alone throw it at someone. This was probably a very good policy, as snowballs often hurt like hell. Chances are there's going to be some really hard snow in there, or even ice. Accidentally (or on purpose?) get a rock or two in there and it ain't no joke. The bad part of this policy was that as soon as you crossed the boundary from "on school grounds" to "off school grounds"? It was Snow Ball Armageddon. It was like all the pent up no-snowball energy was released right outside of school and so as soon as you stepped foot out there each afternoon you had better say your prayers because you were for serious about to get creamed.
And speaking of getting obliterated? I had two older brothers. And when we would play out in the snow, they and their friends would throw a lot of snowballs. And they would often want to have a sort of target practice. So they would tell me to go stand in front of our closed garage door so that they would have a nice target to aim at. AND I WOULD DO IT. Listen, I never said I was the brightest bulb in the socket.
Although there was a strict no tolerance policy against snowballs in my school, there was no rule against grabbing a handful of snow and shoving it down a classmate's shirt, or if you were extra talented, down a classmate's pants. We were very classy children where I grew up.
As a teenager, sometimes my friends and I would go to a local empty parking lot in the car and do doughnuts on the ice in our cars. We got pretty damn good at it. Don't tell my parents about that one, ok?
We would sled down hills using the tops of garbage cans. This seems very antiquated and Oscar-the-Grouch-ish to me now. Sometimes, if the streets in my neighborhood were icy enough, we would just sled down on our butts without a sled of any kind. That seems very tough and badass, don't it?
Lots of kids would wear snow suits. In Michigan they were not called snow suits. They were called "snowmobile suits." They looked especially sassy with a nice pair of moon boots.
In gym class in middle school, we took a whole unit on snowmobile safety and certification. I think my mom still has my certification card somewhere. I have never in my life actually been on a snowmobile, but goldangit I am certified.
Even in the dead of winter, we always still had recess outside at school. I remember huddling with my friends and the recess ladies near the doorway, all bundled up. Good times.
I never ate snow. I thought it was gross. I also never got my tongue caught on a frozen metal surface, but I know kids who did. They were always teased to high heaven.
We never, and I mean NEVER, had a snow day. I don't care if there was 6 feet of snow on the ground, you were going to school. It sucked.
These are my snow-related thoughts for today, people. Hope you have learned a little something, even if it's only that when your brothers ask you to go stand in front of a wall of some kind while they make up a pile of snowballs, DON'T DO IT.
Sometimes, at work, we do these appeciation activities, which sound excruciating when described, but I actually don't mind so much. I am not a trust falls type of person but the stuff we do at work doesn't bother me. One that often gets done is a variation of something like this: slips of paper get handed out. On each slip of paper, you write something nice about a co-worker. You put their name on it, but not yours, and then they all get collected, and then you get all the slips of paper back with your name on it, and you have a nice pile of complimentary appreciations about you to take home and put under your pillow, or sew together into a quilt, or shred up and sprinkle onto your ice cream sunday. Or something.
I think the idea behind this activity is nice. Ok, yes, it is cheesy and contrived, and maybe this doesn't work so well in a situation where you hate your co-workers and the nicest thing you can think to write on a slip of paper about them is "I love the way you leave the office every night because that's when I know I won't have to see your STINKIN' PUSS until the next morning which makes me cry with happiness instead of the constant stream of sobs I utter when I can smell your curdled soul in the cubicle next to me." But in my case, I like my co-workers, so it's not like that.
One thing that is funny to me about this activity, though, is that it really highlights to me that my "work persona" is very low key. People at work don't know me for my propensity to fall down, or my ability to quote screwball comedies of the 40s, or my love of all the cusses, or my very silly sense of humor and tendency to giggle 90% of the time. Because at work, I am...well, WORKING. I'm concentrating on my one-million-item-long task list and running around getting information out to The People like the godless commie librarian that I am. I don't have a lot of time for acting the fool when I am at work, at least not overtly. I save all that shit up and cut loose, footloose, at home and with my friends. At work I am kind of a librarian machine. A smiley one, but still.
So when we do these activities, I get little slips of paper that say things such as...
I appreciate how you deal with everything so calmly.
You always make me feel much more tranquil about everything.
Thanks for keeping the workplace around you so serene.
Your quiet leadership is much appreciated.
Calm. Tranquil. Serene. Quiet. I'm not kidding. I have a whole pile of little slips of paper and they all say very nice things, and I am not complaining, but THEY ALL SAY THE SAME STUFFS.
I showed BioGirl this pile of compliments the other night.
Her: Wow. From now on I am writing shit like this in your birthday cards and such.
Me: I know, right? "You are like a vast desert..."
Her: "You are soundless, like Bambi in the thicket..."
Me: "I love that you are like a wordless poem..."
Her: "Your muffled spirit is so inspiring..."
Me: "I barely see you, and yet you are there..."
Her: "You are like snow falling on a winter's eve..."
Me: "You're like the wind...through my tree..."
Her: Wait. Are you quoting Patrick Swayze?
Me: Shhhh. I'm being tranquil.
Ok, Seattle, you listen to me.
When I decided to cross this great country of ours and leave everyone and everything I knew and loved behind so that I could come and be with you? It was based on the premise that Seattle has mild weather. MILD. Like, grey and misty and 50 degrees in the dead of winter. And yet, what is happening this week? Snow. And ice. And winds that smack you in the face and give you a busted lip like a big abusive mothersucker. And from what I hear, we are going to be having this for a while, not just a flukey one day span. This afternoon temperatures are supposed to be in the TEENS.
WE HAD A DEAL, SEATTLE. And you are cutting out of the deal that we made. I left my home! My family! My friends! I knew no one, but I knew I could count on the fact that I would never have to feel so cold that my bones would want to snap ever again. You were supposed to keep me warm, Seattle. Or at least soggy and lukewarm. And I was willing to live with that because I grew up freezing my holy ballsacks off for 6 months out of my year my whole entire life which is bad enough as it is, but when your family is from a tropical paradise and you are genetically predisposed to sunny sandy beaches and feel all sorts of physiological confusion that your parents left all of that behind to birth you right into the Frigidaire state of Michigan, it is extra double super imperative that I turn to you to warm the cockles of my ass. You promised me! If I moved out here, you would take care of my temperate desires. No more long undies! No more scraping windshields in the morning! No more breathing in and feeling your boogies freeze in your nose!
YOU FRIGGIN LIAR.
You know what? I'm not a first impression person. Heck, I am not even a second impression person. It takes a long time for people to warm up to me. I don't know why that is. BioGirl thinks that it starts with the fact that my "resting face" is very serious looking. You know, when you aren't talking or interacting with anyone, but just walking down the street or whatever? The look on your face when you're doing that is your resting face. Your neutral face. And mine, apparently, is way serious. I concede that. It's true. But really, who has a resting face that's smiley? Wouldn't that be freaky, in a scary clown sort of way?
Resting face or not, it still is true that people don't take to me right away. I don't know why. I guess I should ask them, once we've gotten over all that. All of my friends? Are friends that simmered a good long time before busting out into full-on friendship. Like, months. Sometimes years. Not because of me. I usually invite people to things, or open up conversations with people, and they usually respond politely. But on-the-spot friendship? Where people just click? That doesn't happen to me. Sometimes I feel like I totally click with people, but then I see that they are just not feeling the love back. Until later. I will win you over eventually, home slice. It's only a matter of time. You will love me. Oh yes, that's right. It's a threat. Out of all my close friends, I can only think of one in my life that has ever clicked right from the beginning, and it was Nordic Boy so that doesn't seem to even count.
I don't know where I am going with this. I just think it's weird. It's like people are scared of me at first or leery of me. Or something. I don't get it. Do I seem scary to you?
Don't answer that.
So since I have been a Very Bad Blogger lately, I have missed telling you all sorts of kooky things. Here are some.
1. A few weeks ago, I went to see "Quantum of Solace." I found it delightful. Adding to the delightfulness that is Daniel Craig beating the shit out of people in a stylistic manner, there was this lady sitting behind me in the theater who was almost more entertaining than the movie. Every time someone would get hit, or fall down, or crash their car, or do anything that involved getting hurt, this lady would go "Ooof!" or "Ow!" or "gasp!" or "oh!" or "yah!" She was feeling each impact, viscerally. And there are a lot of moments like this in that movie. In fact, that's pretty much all there is in the movie. She oofed and ouched herself every two seconds. It made me giggle throughout.
2. Thanksgiving was also nice. Good eats, good friends, good times.
3. My mom and dad always give Nordic Boy and me a little cashola for the holidays. Rather than buy us something that we don't want, need, and will most likely give away (you know how I am about accumulating stuff), they figure that we can just buy ourselves something. Plus, it gets them off the hook for having to shop and send something. Nice, right? My parents are very unconditional givers- they really just want us to get something we want or need. Still, there are things that they, especially my mom, would be more happy giving us than other things. Like, if I were to tell her that I was going to just put the money towards groceries, or the mortgage or something, that would be ok, but not exciting. Not giftie enough, you know? Last year, we got ourselves a fancy Kitchenaide mixer. She was so stoked for us that it made the gifting that much more fun. She felt like she bought us something that we maybe wouldn't have bought for ourselves, a real treat of a gift. So this year, we are trying to come up with something that is likewise exciting. In November, I would put out feelers when I talked to my mom.
Me: I was thinking about using that money to buy ourselves that new bathroom window we need to get.
Her: Ok, sweetie. That sounds fine.
Not too excited about THAT idea. On to the next...
Me: Or, I don't know. We have always had our hearts set on one of those robot vacuum cleaners. That would be pretty cool.
Her: Sure. Don't you already have a vacuum cleaner?
Me: Yeah, we do. It's just the robot part that seems cool.
Her: Ok, sweetie. That sounds fine too.
Not excited, once again. Back to the drawing board. What to buy, what to buy? It's got to be something holiday-ish. Something sparkly. Something cute and expressive of parental love.
The other day, Nordic Boy and I were at Ecohaus, a sort of environmental home store. We turn a corner, when Nordic Boy says...
Him: I know! I have the perfect idea for what we can spend our holiday money from your parents on!
Me: Really? What?
Him: (pointing) THAT.
Me: Dude, you are NOT pointing at a toilet right now.
Him: Not just a toilet! A dual-flush, environmentally friendly toilet! It's on our list of things we need for the house eventually. But if we go in for half, and your mom goes in for half, we can do it now!
Me: A toilet? You want me to call up my sweet little mom, and announce to her that we have spent her holiday money on a TOILET?
Him: What? It's awesome!
Me: (walking away, giving him the hand)
So far, the toilet has been our best option to date. What do you think? Shall I tell my mom that she will be helping us purchase a Christmas Crapper?
I don't know. I just don't think I can do it.
Perhaps you are thinking, where the fuck have you been, Librarian Slacker?
I know, right?
I don't know where I have been, other than to say I have been OUT OF IT. I am all doughnut-like, in a glaze. An amazing glaze. Amazing glaze, how sweet the sound. It's been one of those times where I don't seem to have time for anything other than getting under a blankie and watching Hallmark Original Movies.
That's right, I said blankie. This is where I am at, psychologically, these days.
So, as you might recall, I am Christmas/winter holidays-challenged. I am not anti-Christmas or anti-winter holidays. This is not something I take a stand about. I am not a warrior in what Papa Bear (that's Bill O'Reilly for you non-Colbert-Report-watchers) likes to call the War on Christmas. It's just not something that I, on a very basic level, GET. And yes, I feel guilty about this. And lonely. I feel the holiday pressure and I feel bad that I remain so unmoved. I am like the Marlin Perkins of Christmas. An interested observer. I like the holidays, but I could take them or leave them, honestly. I'm glad they are here but I wouldn't miss them if they were gone. I am a benevolent bystander of the holidays.
At least that's what I thought until this weekend, when I was schooled by a Hallmark Original Movie. That I was watching from my Amazing Glaze. Under a blankie.
One of the things I tend to do around the holidays is try to plug into them via pop culture. Because, you know me, that's how I roll. If there is a collective American unconscious you better believe it is wrapped up in visions of Scooby Doo and Harry Potter and John Wayne dancing in all of our heads. To that end, I watch Christmas movies. Far and away the only Christmas pop culture piece that has ever really gotten way down deep into my heart and mind is the Charlie Brown Christmas Special. Maybe it's because I watched it every year since before I can remember. More likely it's because I identify with Charlie Brown in a way that is almost spiritual. Among other parts of his character that I can identify with, his quest for understanding Christmas was deep to me as a kid. It pretty much still is. I'm serious. Watch that special, people. Not for Pollyanna Linus or tripped out Snoopy. But for the existential questioning of Charlie Brown. I'm not kidding. That shit is deep.
Anyway, back to this weekend. In my Charlie Brown like quest to find out the meaning of Christmas, I watch holiday movies. And this weekend, I watched the esteemed "Moonlight and Mistletoe" which was made for tv starring the incomparably-waxed-eyebrowed Candace Cameron Bure (of Full House fame) as Holly and the jolly-with-a-slur Tom Arnold as her father. This movie made me start to freak out a little. It had Christmas shorthand, and the Christmas shorthand was pointing its Scrooge-detection device RIGHT. AT. ME.
Let me list.
1. Candace is a woman who has moved to the the big city, abandoning a hometown where there are not a lot of opportunities. She has now made something of herself in the big city. To use Palin-esque language, she left the Real America (which is Christmas-y) and moved to the Fake America.
Me. That's me, people.
2. In one of the first scenes, Candace enters her office to find her receptionist has covered her entire desk with cotton balls to represent a snow scene. Like, it looked like she had hot-glued the thing from edge to edge with crazy fluffy-ness. And then added figurines, and ornaments, and lights, and trees to the scene. There was no place for her to actually do any work on the desk. Candace tells the receptionist that she needs to tone it down. This is Christmas shorthand for Candace being an Evil Scrooge Beyotch.
But see, I thought Candace kind of had a point. You know? So far I am kind of Candace-like, which started to disturb me. It's like watching 101 Dalmations and thinking to yourself "dang, I wish I had a puppy coat!" You're not supposed to identify with the Christmas Beyotch. But I was.
3. Candace's dad calls and tries to guilt her into coming home for Christmas. It is clear that she doesn't want to. And that her dad is kind of a dick. Not a royal dick, but just kind of a dick. He tells her that Christmas is for family, like that makes up for the dickishness.
Guess what my feelings were on this one? I am a big fan of doing what you want in your heart, and not feeling bad about it, and also not being around dickish people even if they are related to you and especially if they are Tom Arnold. Stay in Fake America, Christmas Beyotch, just say no!
4. When Candace goes home, she runs into a friend from high school. The friend tells her that she is married, with two kids. She asks Candace if she is married or dating anyone or has kids or whatever. Candace replies that she doesn't because she is too busy working. The friend looks at her like she is clearly a broken person with no hope. Because if you are single and without children, let alone single and without children ON CHRISTMAS, clearly we need to hold a telethon for you.
What does that have to do with Christmas, people? It's like they just throw that shit in to make you want to cut someone.
5. Candace meets a cute man. He, we later find out, is evil and greedy. You know what the foreshadowing of the evilness is? Some dialogue that goes something like this. I am paraphrasing, but not by much.
Cute Evil Guy: I love to open presents Christmas Eve.
Candace: Christmas Eve? You don't open presents on Christmas Eve. You open them Christmas morning. So that Santa can come the night before.
Cute Evil Guy: Oh yeah, of course.
This is where your suspicions of this guy are supposed to start. Because he doesn't know when to open his goddamn Christmas presents. Alert the authorities.
6. Tom Arnold runs a business called "Santaville" which from what I could see, was a place where he dressed up like Santa every day, gave sleigh rides, and sold gaudy Christmas tchotchkes. Santaville is barren these days. Dad cannot pay his mortgage and he is 50,000 bucks in debt. Candace tells him he needs to find a way to pay his bills or else he needs to sell Santaville. His response? To wait for a CHRISTMAS MIRACLE.
Do you think the Federal Reserve folks know about this economic plan?
Candace is skeptical of her dad's optimism. Which also is shorthand for Christmas-Challenged. Again, I am agreeing with Candace here. I do not pay my beels with Christmas miracles. Good thing too, as it's apparent I do not have the Christmas balls to back it up.
There was more, but I think I have made my point. Rather than making me more in the Christmas spirit, this thing made me feel like I am the antagonist in a bad Hallmark movie, without the change of heart at the very end.
What is it going to take people? Am I going to be a Grinch forever? Is my heart two sizes too small? And are the two Christmas pop culture characters that I identify with the most Charlie Brown and CANDACE CAMERON BURE?
Now I see why Christmas depresses so many people.
I'm thankful for conversations like...
Him: I'm thankful that I found you.
Me: That's sweet and everything, but the fact is that I found YOU.
Him: That's what you think.
Me: Re-writing history, are we?
Him: Nope. See, most people think that when you meet someone you want, that you have to think like a fox. That you have to be clever like that to get who you want. But when I saw you looking at me like a fox, I thought to myself, "Self? How do you catch a fox? By acting like a CHICKEN, that's how."
Me: So, you acted like a chicken? To attract the fox?
Him: (tapping his temple) I had it all figured out, see?
Me: That is the folksiest, oddest thing I have ever heard you say. Have you been watching Dr. Phil?
Him: Laugh all you want. The chicken doesn't mind. The chicken...is content.
Me: The chicken...is weird.
Him: The fox...is just jealous.
It's the morning before Thanksgiving, and I am gearing up for work. I never know what the holidays are going to do when it comes to libraries. Sometimes, it can make people extra cheery and they will smile at you more and thank you more for what you are doing for them. Other times, it can make people become a collective ball of wrath. So, I am always a little cautious at work during the holidays. People of Seattle, are you going to be pearly white smiles like the Osmond family or are you going to be crazy-eyed freaks like Bride of Chucky? These are the pre-Thanksgiving wonderings that I deal with.
Something you should know about me and how I roll. When I come home from work, Nordic Boy is usually home already. And when I walk in the door, we have this weird habit of having a big ass party for about two minutes as soon as I walk in the door. It is like we are a couple of dogs or something. You know how dogs greet you like they haven't seen you in eleventy years even when you just saw them a few hours ago? That's us. (This is making me think of that part in When Harry Met Sally when Meg Ryan says, "Is one of us supposed to be a DOG in this scenario?" But what I'm saying isn't so insulting because we're both the dog in this scenario. Plus, dogs rock so I'm standing by my dog comparison).
Anyway. When I get home, there is dancing. There is singing of silly songs. There is parade marching. We celebrate the reunion. Every day. I don't know who started this, but it just comes out, naturally. We mix up the style a bit. It could be vaudeville, it could be opera, it could be a rap of some sort. Whatever moves us at the time.
The other day, I walked in the door after 8 long hours of dealing with Bride of Chucky wrath with nary a pearly Osmond smile to be found. When I walked in, Nordic Boy stood up and started to jig.
Him: (singing) You're home! You're home! I'm dancing like a gnome!
Him: What? I'm dancing! You're home! It's exciting!
Me: I just...you have to...I can't....
Him: What's going on?
Me: I saw so much crazy today. SO MUCH CRAZY. We can't be crazy at home today. It's too much.
Him: Wow, that's a lot of crazy.
Him: I mean, to out-crazy the gnome dance is pretty dang crazy.
Me: You have no idea.
Him: I'm kind of jealous that you're getting your crazy from someone else.
Me: I wish I could be monogamous with the crazy. But everyone else wants to give me the crazy too.
Him: No one else has given you the gnome dance yet, have they?
Me: Not yet.
Him: Well, that's something.
Letter to my high school self.
(Copied from Marty). (Who stole it from RA).
Dear You. I mean Me. Dear Younger Me,
Man were you excited to be a grown up! Remember that? I guess for you, reading this way back in time, it's not something to remember, but something that is happening, you know, in the present. Your present, not my present. These time travel things really confuse me. And I remember they always confused you too, so I guess I will start off by saying that although I am much more mature and knowledgable in some ways, being really super dumb about time travel is something that still remains the same. I know that of all the things that you're wondering about Adult You, time travel acumen is probably not at the top of your list so I shall stop talking about that, as I don't really know why I opened with it anyway. As an addendum to this captivating account so far, this first paragraph illustrates that your capacity for blabbing is something that shall stay with you for years to come.
So, to recap. Time travel- still confuses me. Blabbing- still happening.
So being an adult? It turned out fan-frickin-tastic. I am so glad that I can say that to you, because I know you had really high hopes of taking over the world with your wit and your charm and suchlike. However, there are a few things that turned out differently than you had planned or dreamed of...ok maybe a lot of things. Most things. All things?
First of all, I know you always thought that you would be living in a big city, and because most of your experiences with big cities were related to Chicago or New York, you always pictured yourself there. The bad news is that you didn't end up in either of those two places, at least long term. The good news is that you did end up in a fabulous city. Seattle! Ta da!
Don't look at me like that, Younger Self. I know that in your mind, Seattle is a kind of outback no-brown-folks grunge forest where people wear bad lumberjack fashion, but really, it's a city. A pretty big, pretty diverse one. Well, maybe it's not that big back when you/I were in high school, but now, it totally is. Really. We have skyscrapers and you aren't the only brown person on your block and everything. I see you are skeptical so let's move on.
Also, you are not single and living with your best friends in some sort of funky communal artist tenement, being all arty by day and dating it up at night. See, um, the thing is, although you do have a super terrific group of funky friends, many of whom are actually artist-types, you don't live with them. You live with a dude. Like, a partner-type dude. All hetero-domestic-bourgie style. With a mortgage and everything. And the dude is someone that makes you feel goopy and giddy and you don't want to date anyone but him.
Wait! Don't stop reading this! I promise you- it is awesome. Like, you didn't think boys like this existed sort of awesome. I know you totally don't believe me on this, because all the guys in your high school (barring the gay ones) are total dickwads who you don't mind making out with and stuff, but living with one of those clowns? Unacceptable. And yes, I have to agree with you on that. But those boys are not all that's out there. You're going to date some really nice ones along the way when you're an adult (and a couple of those dickwads too, I hate to tell you), and then you'll find that your best friend is the Ridonkulously Awesome one that you really want to be with and it will rock. And you know what else? He's not the only awesome dude you know. You know lots of awesome dudes now who will not at all compromise your feminism. Dickish dudes are not as all-encompassing as you thought. Rare, yes. But a nice dude is not as unicorny as you think.
Am I totally blowing your mind?
Also, as long as we are on the subject of boiz, may I offer a word of advice? I know you have a checklist of Things That a Boy Must Have in Order to Be Worthy of YOU. You have it all figured out, I know. They have to have the right politics, and the right opinions about things, and a cool career that doesn't sell, buy, or process anything a la Lloyd Dobler, and all like that. Listen, I am not dumping on the idea of standards. You deserve what you want in the romance department and I am not telling you to throw the list out. But the main thing on your list? Should be that the boy should be nice. Someone who is kind and makes you laugh and is unconditional and just helps you to be more and more who you are. Not someone that you feel like you have to measure up to. The bad news is that you're going to go through a phase where you don't get this. The really, really good news is that the phase is very, extremely short. Because really? A dude isn't a badge that you wear. And you're not a badge for him to wear either.
Boy, did I get tiresome in my old age or WHAT?
Well hold on sister, because I ain't done yet. So, your job. You are, right now, one of the most overly trained young ladies that you know, and guess what? You won't be making any money doing what you were trained for! Instead? You...are a librarian. Like, that's your job! I don't even know HOW to explain that one to you, so I will just let you sit with it. Just trust me on this, you'll really like your job. And actually, being a librarian turns out to be regarded as a pretty cool thing to be, and people will actually be jealous of you for getting to do this.
So far, you think I am full of shit, don't you?
Let me change gears for a second and compliment you on your hair. You never gave in to the big hair craze of the 80s and early 90s and honey, GOD BLESS YOU. The decision to not have bangs that you Aussie Scrunch Spray to high heaven was grand foresight on your part. As an adult you will be able to look back at photos and laugh at all your friends' hair and feel smugly satisfied with yourself. You were certainly gripped by other fashion afflictions so I am not quite sure why you held out on the hair thing, but good job, my dear. Good job.
Now, for something blunt. If I recall you were an unusually blunt young lady so I know you will appreciate this. I need to compliment you on your balls. Dang you have huge ones! In hindsight (ballsight?) I really do look back and marvel. You have set a high standard for my lifetime ballsiness levels and I gotta tell you that I am nowhere near where you were, although I still try. I don't know why but I really mellowed out somewhere along the road (actually I know right when it happened- I was twenty-three) and although I enjoy the mellow quite nicely, I do miss how open and expressive and unafraid you always were. So yeah. Kudos on the ballage.
Those are a few things that have changed over the years. Next time I might tell you about somet things that have remained the same. I feel I must stop now because you just might be catatonic with shock at what has been revealed here.
Sorry about that.
Ok, one more. New Kids on the Block are still popular.
Hello? You ok? Hello?
I might have gone too far with that last one.
Have I ever told you about the weird house next door to me? NO? Oh, you have to hear this one.
As you may recall, when I first moved into my current abode, the place next door was a rental that housed a group of adorable goth college students that sometimes forgot to wear clothes and had a wireless account that would pop up on my computer with the moniker "Necropolis of Angels." I felt very maternal towards these nymphs with black eyeliner. I really thought they were so cute.
After a few months, the house got put up for sale. The goth kids moved out and a woman, let's call her Edna, bought the house. Edna didn't move in. Rather, she was going to fix it up and sell it. We had seen the inside of the house before and it was quite nice already, as was the outside, but a little minor spruce up seemed in order. Like maybe a new front door, or a nice power wash, or some tree pruning, or the cracks in the driveway fixed up. Spit shine it up a little (pardon the disgusting phrase) and that house would have been pretty dang nice.
Edna, however, had bigger plans. She started tearing that house to smithereens, redoing everything that she could think of. She had a couple of guys that worked on it for her, and I think they maybe had drunk some Ty Pennington Kool-aid or something, because they started to make the house bigger.
Soon, it was the biggest honker on the block. Now I know that big houses are as American as apple pie and Robin Leach (well, you know what I mean), but Nordic Boy and I are not a fan of big houses. It would be accurate to say that we are small house enthusiasts. Compact living is what we love and therefore, we do not live large. We live small. There were many things we loved about our block when we bought this house (easy trip to both of our jobs, easy bus routes, diversity on our block, proximity to good grocery stores, etc.) and the fact that the aesthetic of the block consisted of cute, small houses was part of the charm. We didn't sign up to live next to a McMansion. The framing of that house next door started to get taller and taller, and we started to squirm a little.
We hadn't seen anything yet.
As the crew of people (who we are pretty sure are relatives of Edna's, by the way) started to work on the house, things got kind of unbearable. The crew? Had no idea what the fark they were doing. And if there's one thing about Nordic Boy, it's that he is a crafty craftsman of the perfectionist persuasion. When he sees people start to slap shit together on a house (this act is what he calls "the dark side of DIY"), it makes him a little uncomfortable, but he can swallow it. But Edna's house was winning a gold medal in janked up bad construction and design. I wish I could describe the horrific things that started happening to this house adequately, but let me just give you a couple of examples. Various types of mistmatched shingles were tacked on top of brick walls, so you could still see the brick walls through them. Finishing nails were used as structural support for stairways. Wall seams on the garage were duct taped together. Downspouts were installed so that water would be poured directly onto windows. A white picket fence was put all the way around the top of the garage, like on the roof of the garage, for a reason that has still not been made clear.
I am not making this up. It is the most rickety renovation ever. Like you could sneeze near it and pieces of the house would fall off. The largesse of the house is now the least of our complaints. The sheer MESSED-UP-NESS is mind boggling. People who walk down our street regularly stop in their tracks and stare up at this house with their mouths hanging open. If we are outside, they ask us about it. "What is the DEAL with this house?" they say. We shrug our shoulders and then we all stand there and shake our heads together. This happens at least once a week.
Months went by. They kept adding weird stuff to the house. A year went by, and they were still adding. Cedar shingles over here! Red brick over there! Colonial style eaves over there! A strange gold eagle ensignia nailed to the front of the house! How long could they keep doing this? Would it ever end? This woman paid a decent price for this house to begin with, had more than doubled the size, and then proceeded to fuck the entire thing up beyond recognition. In this economy, we kept wondering...was she thinking that she was going to turn a profit on this thing? Who the HELL was going to buy it? How much money had Edna poured into it over the past year of Extreme Crazy Home Makeover?
Finally, this summer, she seemed almost done. Suddenly, there was a FOR RENT sign in front of the house, with flyers. Of course, having watched this renovation for over a year, we were curious. We snagged a flyer.
Hey guys! You could have been my next door neighbor by renting this deliciously remodeled 3-bedroom home. For just FIVE THOUSAND AND FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS A MONTH!
I don't know where you guys live, but in my world, that shit is Bee Ay En Ay En Ay ESS. Over five thousand dollars a month? In rent?
Let me just say this. I live on a nice street, yes. But not a fancy street. My street has little houses with little cute yards. This is not the Hamptons. Or TriBeCa. Or Daddy Warbucks MoneyTown. We do not pay that kind of money for rent. Or for mortgages. Or for anything. ESPECIALLY NOT JANKY HOUSES THAT ARE DUCT TAPED TOGETHER.
That For Rent sign sat there, and sat there. No takers? Really?
Then, one day, there were people. And they were living in the house! They were strange, nocturnal people who never seemed to go in or out, but we saw cars in the driveway and lights on at night. WOW. Someone had forked out the cash to live in the weirdo house.
Only, they hadn't forked out the cash. One day, Edna came up to our door. She asked us if we had met the new neighbors. We said no, we hadn't. She said that she was there that day to serve them up with an eviction notice, because they had never paid any rent. Not one dollar. Edna had rented to them without references, without a deposit, and now, without any rent.
We had squatters next door, y'all! And they were living it up with the duct taped walls!
The next week, they were gone.
What would happen next? Surely Edna and her money pit were going to have to part ways soon. How long could she keep this up?
Then, a month or so ago, the sign went up. FOR SALE. We were relieved. Edna was going to be free of her self-made disaster.
We picked up a flyer for the house, and you know what that sucker is going for?
ONE MEELLION DOLLARS.
Ooh la la, my street is so fancy! I have a house for sale right next door, in this stankface economy, for a cool million! And you even get a picket fence on top of the garage! I think I saw that on Cribs once!
There is NO WAY IN HELL that any of the houses on my street are going for a million dollars. Who is this Edna person and how does her mind work? I mean, where does she think she is? And can she honestly look at that house and think yes, that is a fine quality piece of real estate I have created?
It's been sitting there for another month. Empty. The duct tape peeling off in the cold.
Something's gotta give, people. Right? I mean, seriously. Right??
Hey, guess what time of year it is? The time of year when I make "gee I am cold" into a topic to blog about! Aren't you excited!? For today, all I will say about this is that this week, it officially became colder than a snotsicle. And that leaving my house will become more and more difficult for me as the weeks go on.
One of the things that happens every year at about this time is that I notice that I have no wintery clothes. Well, not NONE, but decidedly few. I just don't tend to buy sweaters, or pants. I am a skirts and dresses and non-waterproof shoes kind of lady. Last week, I decided to hightail it over to some retail establishments to remedy this situation. As I was browsing in Anthropologie, one of the sales ladies came up to me and put her arm on my back and said "oh my god! HELLO!" as if we were great friends and she was beside herself with happiness at running into me. I am fairly certain that I have never seen this lady before in my life. So either she has boundary issues or I am in that store way too friggin' much and have become part of the Anthropologie family.
Speaking of family, Nordic Boy reminded me this weekend that his mom is a genius. When he was growing up, and they were riding in the car, and his mom wanted to cuss out some road rage at another driver? She would call them "87 bags of assholes." The number would fluctuate depending on how mad she was. Irritate her slightly, and she might say "52 bags of assholes." Really get her goat and it would be "94 bags of assholes." The more mad you made her on the road, the higher the number. Tell me that is not the soul of a poet, I dare you.
And speaking of Nordic Boy's mom, can I just tell you that her son, my illustrious loverman, has no compunction whatsoever about falling asleep in social situations? He honest-to-goodness does not give a RAT'S ASS about putting his head back, stretching his legs out, and snoozing it up like a big old grandpa right in the middle of a party. I don't know why this behavior amuses me so much, as it might be interpreted as an Emily Post no-no I am sure. He did it this weekend and BioGirl and I sort of had to stifle a full on giggle-fest because it was happening and we were reminded that this was not the first time, not by a long shot. Why is it funny? I don't know. That dude is just SO HIM at all times, with no apologies, that it ends up being sort of comical. Not just nodding off, mind you. Full on sleeping. Not fighting it at all, but rather, embracing the sleepy sauce. Sorry, were you talking? Are there people around? Was there social interactivity happening right now? NO MATTER. I have very important snoozing, right in your face, to attend to.
Speaking of not caring, why did I get irritated when I saw that interview with Jennifer Aniston? And why does it bother me when people ask if one is "Team Angelina" or "Team Jennifer"? Why does it get my feminist hackles up that no one points the finger at Brad Pitt in that whole situation? And also, WHY DO I CARE?
And then I remember I am the Pop Culture Librarian, which gets me off the hook in all sorts of embarrassing pop culture related thoughts and feelings.
Well well well. I have skipped some days in my NaBloPoMoFo attempt. I'm sure no one would have given a flying fork or even noticed it had I not said anything so I suppose mentioning it is probably a bad idea, but there you go. I have mentioned. And what is my response to this blatant disregard of posting duties? Whoopsy doodle.
I was off work yesterday since it's a holiday and us servants of the civil get holidays off and let me just tell you this...having a weekend, and then working one day, and then having another day off? I LOVE this. I mean, I like my job and everything, but being independently wealthy would not be a problem for me, I guarantee you.
I had a loverly weekend, thanks for asking. Here are some leftover weekend thoughts, for your perusal.
1. Why do I keep watching Grey's Anatomy? For the love of Petey Wheat. Those effers are annoying as hell. And yet, I watch them. I keep trying to tell myself that the whole thing is a postmodern deconstructionist allegory for our failed healthcare system, because really, if these are the best doctors in the country? We are FUCKED, people.
2. Breakfast establishments of our great land, I implore you. You need to put silver dollar pancakes on your menus. Every time I go out to brekkie, I want to get pancakes. But a gigantic one? Too much pancake. And I kind of maybe want something else too, but there's no way I am getting a whole pancake PLUS something else. I can't believe restaurants haven't put small pancakes on their menus yet. Do I have to think of everything?
3. I went to see my friends' band play on Saturday night, which, as I said before was awesome. What I didn't tell you was that the band that played right after them was straight out of Spinal Tap, which might have been a teensy bit more awesome. Unfortunately BioGirl and I left at the beginning of that set, because it was bone-shakingly loud. That's right, we left due to loudness. Ergo, we are ancient.
That's all I got. I feel like it's not enough. So here's something extra.
Just got back from seeing my friends' band play. You should check them out. They rock.
Looking at a sad row of pansies getting the crap kicked out of them by torrential rains...
Me: Aw, those flowers don't look like they're doing so well.
Nordic Boy: What a buncha pansies!
Me: Good one.
Let's sing a little Super Freak by Rick James, shall we?
She's a very sleepy girl!
The kind whose under all the covers!
She will never let your spirits down,
Once she gets a good night's sleep!
That girl is pretty sleepy,
She needs a super sleep!
The kind of girl you read about
In sleepy magazines!
That girl is pretty sleepy,
She needs a super sleep!
I really need some respite
Snooze it up real deep!
She needs a super sleep! Super sleep! She's super sleep-ay, yow!
Ok, enough of that. And if you're wondering what a "sleepy magazine" is, I can't help you. My brain is too tired to explain itself.
So. Last night. What did I do? Run screaming through the streets like much of the country, partying and drinking and singing patriotic songs? Nope. It was a very Granny election eve for me. And STILL I AM TIRED.
I did get invited to an election party last night with all my crazy friends, which I thought about going to. The problem was, I was too freaked out about the election. Whichever way the durn thing went, I knew I was going to be emotional (shut up don't make fun of me) and I just didn't know if I wanted to do that in front of every person I know. And although I was indeed going to be happy if the thing turned out the way I was hoping, I kind of knew it wasn't going to be a running-amok-in-the-streets sort of happy. I knew it was going to be a getting-choked-up-sitting-in-disbelief sort of happy. So, I opted to stay home.
Here's a list of memorable moments from election eve '08.
1. BioGirl came over for dinner. Nordic Boy had baked us up some fake-chicken parmesan using our bakeware plates. He brought them out wearing oven mitts, piping hot, and set the plates down. "Watch out, it's really hot!" he said. BioGirl immediately touched the plate. "Ouch!" Those scientist-types. Always needing hard evidence.
2. Me, acting like a geek, part 1. I printed out 3 maps of the country- one each for Nordic Boy, BioGirl and me. We all guessed on our maps which states were going to vote blue and which ones were going to vote red. Whoever got the most right at the end of the election would win! Win what, exactly, we never figured out. Just a sort of all-encompassing electoral college-knowledge pride, I suppose.
3. Me, acting like a geek, part 2. As the results started to roll in, we would mark each state that we got right. I was marking mine in by shading in the state. Whenever Wolf Blitzer would call a state, I would start a-shading, which takes a couple seconds. Every time I would look up, no one else would be shading. "How come you're shading things in so fast?" I asked. "Because we're just checking things off like normal people, not coloring states like we're turning these in for a grade, you nerd."
What can I say? I was controlling my election anxiety by channelling my inner Monica Gellar. Neat and tidy, people! The states will look neat and tidy!
4. When we all had made our guesses, we tallied up the electoral votes on each of our sheets. My blue states added up to 303. BioGirl's added up to something like 325. Nordic Boy's added up to 345. "THREE FORTY FIVE?" I scoffed. "YOU ARE CRAZY. THERE IS NO WAY HE'S GOING TO GET THAT MANY! GET A LOAD OF NORDIC BOY! HE'S SO RIDICULOUS."
5. So...yeah. Nordic Boy's optimism wins the day on THAT one.
6. But my map was prettier.
7. CNN beaming in guests like they were holograms? And the crazy hologram senate-seat chart? FREAKY.
8. Knowing my city and my street, I knew that should Obama win, there would be some celebrating from the neighbors. It wasn't going to surprise me if people ran into the street with joy (they did) or sang loud drunken patriotic songs (they did), or hugged and kissed each other like it was 1999 (they did). One thing that happened that I was NOT expecting? Was for the little elementary-school age kid who lives across the street to run out onto his front yard with his trumpet and play a jubilant rendition of "Mary Had a Little Lamb." Right at the moment when the election was called for Obama, we got a loud-ass celebratory nursery rhyme! Express yourself, kid! God Bless America.
9. While all of that celebrating went on, I just sort of sat there. No one said a word. BioGirl got a couple of phone calls. Nordic Boy and I just sat. And sat. And stared at the tv. It seemed like hours. My face leaked. He came over and put his arm around me. Tight. I felt like I was underwater. There was no jumping up and down, there was no dancing, there was no hugging. I just felt...silent. Moved in a way that was a little out-of-body. Like it was a dream. Was it a dream?
10. BioGirl went home, and Nordic Boy and I went to bed. I didn't sleep a wink.
11. Mary Had a Little Lamb will always make me think of this night.
One of the things you might not know about me is that I am way into the politics. I find them stinky and yet so compelling, much like a fine cheese. Local politics, national, and international. All of it. I have facts and opinions and theories and the whole kielbasa, which for the most part I try to keep to myself unless asked because I realize not everyone wants to hear it. I come from a very political family, where you either knew some shit about the world and what was going on in it or you would be at a loss at the dinner table. I have this memory of being in 2nd grade, and I went to school and started an argument with my 2nd grade teacher when she showed the class a clip from Bedtime for Bonzo to illustrate who our president was (and what kind of effed up civics lesson is THAT, by the way) and I told her that she needed to not dumb it down and that if she was going to talk Bonzo, she better not leave out the part about how the human in that movie was also into supporting the Contras in Nicaragua.
That lady never did like me after I did that.
So anyway, election times are always exciting to me. There, I said it. EXCITING. I try to keep the feelings quashed in front of other people so as to seem appropriately apathetic like a good American, but inside, I love voting. Love it. Nordic Boy and I, we read up on the issues, we talk about it at dinner, and when we get our ballots in the mail we sit down and we vote. It's a big deal in our house.
Maybe it's because in my family, we didn't always have the right to vote. My grandparents didn't have full voting rights under British colonization. When he could, my dad and his brother stepped up to run for office to govern themselves. My dad ended up as mayor of a small city back in the homeland (although he couldn't, sadly, see Russia from his house) and my uncle was a member of parliament for many years. It's hard for me to express how poignant that is. It means that I can't take voting for granted and that there have been times, when in the act of voting, I have choked up a little. Does that sound Pollyanna-ish? Naive? I'm sure it kind of does and believe me I am simultaneously deeply cynical about the whole business too. I know politics is fucked up. I know that I feel like my vote doesn't matter a lot of the time. But I can't not vote, and vote seriously, as if it matters, even if in some ways you could argue that it doesn't. If I didn't vote, it would be like I was dismissing my entire family, stretching way back for generations. I think about them, and I think about all the people who want to vote all around the world, but can't. I think about the twisty, windy path it took my ancestors to get me to where I am right now, able to sit in my house, with a ballot mailed to me for my convenience, and how I am able to take a few hours out of my life to access some information about what's on the ballot, figure out how I feel about it, and then fill in the ballot, easy peasy. Fill them in like it's nothing. Read up, look up some stuff, fill in some dots, and done. All while in my pajamas if I want to. Something that is so impossible, so difficult for so many, and I just get to do it. No probs. It sort of blows my mind, every time I think of it. I just can't seem to take this one for granted, no matter how jaded I become.
I didn't set out to write a sappy post about voting. But there you have it. I am a politically cynical chickee who can still feel a sort of reverence for voting. Roll your eyes if you must. I won't be upset.
That's it for now. All this talk makes me want to go watch Bedtime for Bonzo again.
You know how, in war movies, when the battle is being lost, the commander or general or head war cheese will yell out "FALL BACK!" when he wants everyone to retreat? That's what I think about when I turn my clocks back an hour. FALL BACK! FALL! BACK!
Ok, yes, I say it out loud. If you must know.
Here's what my yard looks like right now.
Fall: a time when not cleaning up my yard actually looks kind of ok.
My friend Neighbor J has these crazy ass neighbors.
Wait, that sounds like I'm talking about myself. Because if I call her Neighbor J, then that would mean I was her neighbor, right? But nope, sadly in this case, I am not talking about myself. Because Neighbor J is called Neighbor J because we used to be neighbors, and then we both moved, and so now it's more like she is a Neighbor Emeritus. A neighbor in the existential sense, like Mr. Rogers and his tv neighbors. She now has new actual geographic neighbors, and they are a bit highstrung. One example of this is that they have screaming fights with each other (the neighbors have it amongst themselves, not with Neighbor J. God can I convolute a story or what?). And one of the things they call each other when they fight is "YA FRICKIN' NUTJOB!"
I love this phrase. Ya frickin' nutjob is something that I wish I could use more often. Her neighbors use it with complete abandon and although I do not envy the fact that they are having throw downs like that, I do enjoy saying that phrase.
So...anyway. You all talked me into something again. And this guarantees I will be saying this, about myself, at least once a day for the next 30 days:
"YA FRICKIN' NUTJOB."
I am having a DOOZY of a fortnight these days. How much of a doozy? Enough of a doozy for me to say "fortnight." And "doozy" too, for that matter.
Ok, now that I have incohered for a few sentences, let's just cut to the chace crawford and let me state some obvious things.
1.It's almost November. How the hell did that happen? Halloween is upon us! And I'm all "Halloween? More like Hallow-whaaat!?" And then I have a good guffaw at my ability to entertain myself.
2. There's an election going on next Tuesday, I'm not sure if you've heard about it.
3. Getting old SUCKS DONKEY BALLS. I don't care what kind of age-defying shit you're trying to sell me. I have loved ones who are bonafide old folks and the shit they go through? Not cool, people. Your body, it starts to break the fuck down. Look, I know there are young people whose bodies also break down for depressing reasons as well. That too sucks donkey balls but I am focusing right now so don't interrupt me. Getting old sucks. Sucks. Sucks. Sucks.
4. You know how people say to you..."if I ever do thus-and-so, please promise me you'll tell me that I am being an idiot." That is so totally such a bad idea and don't you fall for it if someone says such a thing to you. I'm not talking about things like having spinach stuck in your teeth. I'm talking about bigger things. Years ago I had a friend say that she wanted me to tell her something like that, and you know what? I did, and then she wasn't my friend any more. I am telling you I am done being burned on THAT deal. So just for the record, don't say that to me, ok? Because if you turn into an ass, that's your business.
Oh, and now that stating the obvious is done, I have two questions for you.
1. One of the things Nordic Boy got me for my birthday this year was a Flip Video camera. So now, I suppose I could vlog a little if I wanted to. But I haven't been inspired. Any suggestions? Keep it clean, folks.
2. Who's doing NaBloPoMoFo this year? I need to be peer-pressured if I am to endeavor upon it again.
That's all, my sugars.
Nordic Boy and I had never shopped at Eddie Bauer. No offense to Eddie Bauer, just...we never did. Never even went it there. It was never a store that spoke to us (hi marketing, you really do control our minds), even though in some ways that makes no sense at all. I mean, they have t-shirts and hoodies. Nordic Boy is a big fan of t-shirts and hoodies. And they have jeans. And we wear jeans. But all those down vests in the ads? Not for us. And the sweaters with snowflake patterns? No way, Beyonce.
No judgment. Just not our store.
So, my jeans connection, the place where I have bought my jeans for at least the past 5 years or so? DISCONTINUED MY JEANS. Damn Lucky Brand store. No more jeans for me. They no longer love me and so what? I no longer love them. I'm not scared. There are jeans everywhere! I am a consummate fashionista! I can find jeans! NO PROBLEMO.
I know I am not saying anything new here, but DANG. Women's jeans? HARD TO FIND.
What is going on with women's jeans? Every store has jeans and they all have them in multiple cuts and shapes. Curvy! Straight leg! Skinny! Classic! Relaxed!Boyfriend! Loose Fit! Low Rise! Mid Rise! Bell! Essential!
NONE OF THESE FIT ME, PEOPLE.
Am I a freak? No. Because ask any one of my friends, and they shall tell you their own tale of woe about finding jeans that fit them right. It seems we all have them. Are you listening fashion designers of the world? Jean cuts SUCK. Next time you walk down the street? Look around at the denim-clad ladies around you. People are wearing jeans that don't fit them. Like, almost everyone. I spent the weekend a couple of weekends ago jeans shopping, and I was taking note of every ass-in-jeans that passed by and it was pitiful. Pi-tee-full.
This is why, when people find the jean that fits them, they have such loyalty to it. This is also why they sort of lose they motherflippin minds when their jeans connection is taken away.
ANYWHO. This is all to preface the fact that Nordic Boy and I went into an Eddie Bauer for the first time a couple of weeks ago. I had gone to just about every other jeans store I could think of, and this was the last stop. And although I was there, and it was fine, I suppose, I think we may have a block. A mental block. Blocking out Eddie Bauer.
Skip ahead to last week, when Nordic Boy was in Portland on business and he called me up in the evening.
Him: Before I head to dinner, I might go look for some new work shirts.
Me: Where are you going to look?
Him: Maybe I'll stop in to that one place that we went to last week. Mr. Bean.
Me: MR. BEAN?
Him: Yeah, you know. That store.
Me: First of all, I think you mean LL BEAN.
Him: Oh, yeah- right.
Me: Second of all we've never been to an LL Bean. So what I think you mean to say is Eddie Bauer.
Him: Eddie Bauer, LL Bean, it's all the same, right?
Me: Sure. Eddie, LL, Mr. Bean. Whichever.
Then? This weekend? I was going to head over to the local shopping area in my hood.
Me: Yeah, I'm going to go check out those jeans again.
Him: Which ones?
Me: The J Crew ones.
Him: Since when do you shop at J Crew?
Me: Since we went there last week! And you went there in Portland!
Him: That wasn't J Crew! That was LL Bean!
Me: You mean Eddie Bauer!
Him: YOU mean Eddie Bauer!
Me: We BOTH mean Eddie Bauer!
Him: Say hi to Mr. Bean for me.
Me: I will.
To me, the sign of a true city person is the ability to navigate crowds. Being able to weave in and out of throngs of foot traffic is something that comes very easily to me and this makes my daily treks through life much, much easier. This skill doesn't just help me out in the cityscape either. Put me in the slow cattle herd that is an Ikea superstore and watch me slide through faster than jello slides off a wall when you try and nail it there. (What was it that McCain said during the second debate? Something about nailing jello to a wall? And being slippery? Or something? I'm just trying to keep up with the hip McCainster slang, people).
Put two people who are expert at navigating crowds together and you've got the perfect getaway team. Throw in the fact that those two people have been hanging out together for years on end, able to communicate to each other with a mere nod of the head or a subtle hand signal, their crowd nav skills doubled by two, and you know what you've got?
Fastest. Grocery shopping. Ever.
Nordic Boy and I, during a regular market pit-stop, will take our grocery shopping slow. Chatting, moseying up each aisle, leisurely deciding on what items we're going to choose. But if we're shopping on a Sunday? When everyone else IN THE WORLD is shopping? We kick it into high gear. ZOOM! We get our list on and tag team it. POW!
We are sometimes a two-store grocery shopping pair. First, we go to our neighborhood local food co-op and get all we can there. Because it's a small market, sometimes there are a few items that can't be found at the co-op. On those days, we head over to Whole Foods, which if you have ever been to a Seattle area Whole Foods on a Sunday afternoon, you know that it is not impossible for a person to be crushed by the hordes of humanity that cram themselves in there.
So there we were, game faces on. It's like Pac Man and Ms Pac Man are playing the same board. "You get grapes, oranges, and apple cider, I'll get mushrooms, spinach, and avocado!" I say and we're OFF! Heading away and then back together, away and back together. It's really quite impressive if I do say so myself.
I never thought Nordic Boy really took note of how ridickerous our grocery shopping really is. Until this weekend.
We were in the noodle aisle, and there was a couple in the middle of the aisle, probably younger than us, most certainly not a tag team shopping pair, and clearly uncomfortable in crowds.
Woman: "Oh!" (Trying to reverse her cart but blocking the flow). "I forgot the eggs!"
Man: "Oh, uh...you want me to go get them?"
Woman: "Um. Ok...well, no...we'll just get them after. Now why were we in this aisle?"
Man: "Wait, where's the list?"
Nordic Boy zips through the oh, 72 billion people crunched in this aisle, comes up to me to drop some tomato paste in my basket before taking off to get some olives. As he walks by, he looks at me, laughs and says one word under his breath.
Listen, we don't scale mountains or run marathons. Getting through a crowded Whole Foods in under 15 minutes is ALL WE'VE GOT.
I usually have a strict policy about not boring other people with my weird dreams, but this one is too good. The other night I dreamt that I was a contestant on America's Next Top Model, and that a fellow competitor was a giant Dorito-like chip, with arms and legs growing out of it. It even had white gloves on, like Mickey Mouse. We found out that our challenge was to pose in the surf at the beach, and I was really happy because I knew I would win because the chip was totally going to GET SOGGY in the water and who thinks a soggy chip is sexy? NO ONE. But before we could start the shoot, Tyra came running down the beach and crashed right into the chip and it shattered! Tyra killed the chip! And then I felt bad for feeling glee at the thought of winning at the expense of the soggy chip.
What does this say about me? Really. I am open to interpretations.
Secondly, I thought the trees were after me again. Have I ever told you that I have a love/fear relationship with trees? I love them, because, well, they are trees and I am a card-carrying tree-hugging pinko so of course I love trees. But I also fear them. You would too if one attacked you. Remember this kamikaze leafster that came after me while I was sleeping?
So the other night, at 4am, as Nordic Boy and I slept soundly in our beds, we were jolted awake by a loud BOOM. As if a large scary item (meteor? dinosaur? TREE?) had fallen right into our house. We got up and were relieved to discover that it was only a large piece of lumber that we had propped up on our porch (leftover from Roof Replacement '08) that had fallen due to the gale force winds that have been happening around here lately. No damage, just a large belly-flop of a sound. But still. I am having tree trauma. Maybe this accounts for the weirdo dreams about Tyra committing chipicide?
Thirdly, my cell phone number? Has a very sketchy past. Ever since I got my new number, I get a voicemail message every day from collection agencies, random gravelly-voiced dudes saying "hon?" instead of "hello" and other such lovliness. I always tell the collection folks that they have the wrong number, and they say sorry and they don't call back, but new ones always start up after that. It's been kind of a pain in the nuts, and always makes me a little sad for whoever "hon" is- all these people chasing after her for her debts and all those craggy sounding dudes calling all the time. Then today, I get a message from a city police department detective asking for her to call back with the information on the "open case we had discussed earlier." Wow. I called the detective to tell him that I was sorry but that person no longer had this phone number, and he sounded absolutely crestfallen. Like, "hon" had the key to crack the case and now she had turned up missing! And now the case will never be solved!
Or perhaps I have seen too many episodes of Murder She Wrote and my imagination is running away with me. It's possible. You should just be thankful that I didn't ask the detective if he had ever heard of chipicide.
PS- That reference to Murder She Wrote goes straight out to a special someone- you know who you are.
As a couple of you may have noticed, if'n you've been around here long enough, for the past few years (five to be exact), I have had the Birthday Curse. This means that on my birthday, or within a week of my birthday, something stupid happens. This year, BioGirl has moved back home and she has declared herself on a mission to break the Birthday Curse, once and for all. This is a good thing because I had seriously given up hope. I had quietly (ok maybe not so quietly at first) resigned myself to a life full of Eeyore-style birthdays. She, however, was Not Having It. And if there is a hallmark to BioGirl, it is that she can make things happen with sheer force of will and even aggression if she has to. I was going to have a good birthday or she might have to give the birthday gods a knuckle sandwich, dig? It was like everyone, for miles around, had to capitulate to my Birthday. OR ELSE. She was going to boss her way into a good birthday for me and she was not kidding. 90% of me was glad. 10% of me was kind of scared. What if she put in all this effort and then my birthday sucked anyway? Now not only would I have to feel bad about a shitty birthday, but I would have to feel bad for her, that she tried and failed. It was double pressure. My expectations, and now hers. It was as if I had Double Stuff hubris cream in my oreo cookie.
I needn't have worried. She stomped that Birthday Curse right in the face! First, as I told you about before, she corralled my friends and made me up a fancy birthday advent calendar. I have thoroughly been enjoying waking up every morning and opening a gift each and every single day. POW, Birthday Curse! Eat THAT.
Besides the calendar, BioGirl and Nordic Boy also threw me a birthday party over the weekend. And the day of the party, I decided to treat myself. I went and got my hair did. My stylist offered to discount a fancy hairdo for me for my birthday (which, geez, how awesome is that?). So I went and she totally worked some hair magic on me. It was all curls and bounce and shine like I had just come out of the Tresemme Hair Salon and all I had left to do was to make a stop at the Loreal Paris Make Up Room and the Bluefly Accessory Wall, if you know what I'm saying and I think you do. My hair alone could have gotten me a seat on the Pretty Committee. It was hair magic.
And an aside-- I had a book with me during the styling appointment. I was reading this. Which is more geeky than sexy, despite the title, and so I didn't really feel weird reading it in front of my stylist. There aren't nasty illustrations or anything like that. Um, at least I thought there weren't. Until I turned the page and there was a drawing of a man putting his hand...in a pig. And by "in" I mean...IN. Like, in the pig's hoohah. Granted, the chapter was about the research on sow insemination (which did you know that that is often done by hand? I am here to educate, people) and what that reveals about the physiological fertility processes in mammals...but STILL. I closed the book fast and I am not sure if my stylist saw it.
Hi stylist! The librarian readeth the pervy books!
Anyway. My hair looked awesome. The problem? Saturday just happened to be a wind storm. 30-45 mile per hour winds, to be exact, with power outages all over the city. So as I left the salon? Pretty Committee. By the time I walked in the door of my house? Cranial birds' nest. Which I guess could have come out of the Tresemme Hair Salon, since some people who go there end up looking like this.
This may be tragic in terms of hair, but it wasn't bad enough to be Birthday Curse-worthy or anything.
I got my hair looking respectable and went to my party. And, despite my fears, people showed up. Actual people! Not party cyborgs for rent! HUMAN PEOPLE. Nice ones, even! What a relief. I really was convinced that no one would come. I was braced for disappointment. You see what the Curse has done to me?
At any rate, the party was lovely, a total success, and there were cupcakes and I got to show off my horrifying billiards skills and everything.
On Sunday, I had the perfect day with Nordic Boy. We stayed in bed until 10 (which is very, very late in our geriatric world), went out to brunch, stopped off at the bookstore to browse, and then took a two-hour nap until dinner time. Then I got to open presents from him, which were above and beyond the call of duty. Then he made me dinner, we watched old movies, and we ate leftover cupcakes from the night before. We had our phones turned off for the whole day. It was the best.
So it is official. BioGirl, Nordic Boy, and all of my other peeps have successfully browbeaten the Birthday Curse into remission. I didn't believe it could be done, but there you have it.
Birthday Curse, FUCK OFF.
You know what's weird? Nordic Boy has no idea how old anyone is. And I mean, ANYONE. Neighbor J's daughter? She just turned one this summer. When we were getting ready to go to her party, Nordic Boy is all..."how old is she turning again?" ONE. She is turning ONE. This is her first birthday; we have never celebrated her birthday ever before, ergo...she is ONE. How hard is that?
The other thing about this is he always inflates birthdays, sometimes by a year, and sometimes by several years. In his mind, people are always older than they actually are. Why this is I can't figure out.
The morning of my birthday, as I am sleeping:
Him: Wake up! It's your birthday! Happy birthday!
Me: Aww, thanks!
Him: So, birthday lady, how does it feel to be THIRTY SEVEN?
(Note to you all out there...I am not 37.)
Me: WHAT? How long was I asleep? What am I, Rip Van Winkle? How am I thirty seven?
Him: Wait...you're not?
Him: But...I thought you were turning the same age as I am.
Me: Dude. YOU'RE NOT THIRTY SEVEN EITHER.
No idea how old I am. Or how old he is. I know that this is common (I have brought it up with y'all before and you schooled me on the number of folks that don't know how old you are out there and I get it, it's a lot of you. But still. I think it's weird.)
In other birthday news. How frickin' cute is THIS? (Thanks Pop Quiz Kid, for finding this).
Little kids celebrate Gandhi's birthday in India.
My mind, she is blank.
BLANK, people. Tabula rasa, wite-out, blank. They say that still waters run deep and my mind is very still these days. What about shallow still water? That's what I think I have. A still puddle, if you will. You will, right?
Maybe it's all this news I have been ingesting. I usually suck up a fair amount of news, and these days I am drowning in it. I think Charlie Rose and Stephen Innskeep and Anderson Cooper and even my beloved Jon Stewart are beating my brain into a soupy pulp. (And can I just tell you that I love the name "Innskeep"? There are so many levels to my loving that name. First of all, the double-double letters. You've got two n's AND two e's. Deelightfful. Plus, I imagine that in high school, his friends probably called him "Skeep" or something. In fact, sometimes when I listen to NPR and he comes on, I say it aloud. "SKEEP!" That's like a bad surfer nickname. Hey Skeep, let's go cut out of a cruncher and then headdip a heavy! Also? Just the etymology. Keeper of an inn. Thus Innskeep. It's kind of cool, in an old-fashioned sort of way. Like, I want a name with "keep" in it. What do I keep, though? Nothing, really. In fact, I am known for my capacity to not keep things. Librarian Girl Nothingskeep? That just doesn't sound as cool.)
Did I mention that my mind is a still puddle lately? Just thought I would recap in case you missed it the first time.
Let's see, I could tell you that last week, when I watched the presidential debate, every time Baracko would make a good point, I would yell out "BadaBING!" and everytime McCain would make a good point I would say "Bah-ZOW!" and that was the extent of my political commentary for the evening. Or I could tell you that I have taken to calling Obama "Baracko" because I saw this interview with Michelle Obama where she said that little kids often think her husband's name is Baracko Bama, and now I just can't say it right because that way is more fun. Or I could tell you that I wish that Tina Fey would do a Sarah Palin skit for me every night before I go to bed because for serious I would not get tired of it. Or I could tell you that I wish that Nordic Boy was into Halloween because I kind of had this genius idea that we should dress up as Heidi Klum (him) and Seal (me) and he is so not doing that in a million years even if it would save us from eyeball eating zombies. Or I could tell you that I am not a fan of the side-hug. You know those people that want to hug you, sort of, so they come at you from the side with one arm? Always awkward. Side-huggers, I demand an explanation. Or I could tell you that I spent a good ten full minutes the other night at dinner boring Nordic Boy and BioGirl almost to the point of tears pontificating on my problems with side-hugging. Or I could tell you about the dream I had last night where Woody Allen asked Nordic Boy to be in a movie and when we went to meet with him I accidentally elbowed Woody in the nuts which obviously ruined the deal for everyone.
Or maybe I should tell you that our roof is done. It was actually done about a week ago, but we have been too busy dancing the lambada of happy time for me to mention it. DONE, people. Dee you enn, done. Crocodile Done Dee. New wood, new decking, new insulation, new air ducts, new wiring, new fascia board (yeah I didn't know what that was either), new waterproofing membrane, new EVERYTHING. Our house has a new 'do up top, y'all, and Nordic Boy did it from start to finish. YEE-FRICKIN-HAW!
Trust me, it's exciting to us.
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