Thursday, August 27, 2009


Even though I am on Twitter, there is a part of me that has never really embraced it. I sort of don't get it.

I have about 10 people that I follow on Twitter, and they are all people I know. I can't get behind celebrity twittering (even you my beloved John Hodgman) and I haven't found any people who I don't know already that seem Twitter-worthy in my life.

Until today.

Shit My Dad Says

Granted, I just discovered this today, and it may get old by the end of the week, but for now? I am finding it pretty dang entertaining.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Scaredy Cat

Although I live far away from my parents, and I miss them dearly as they are two of my favorite people ever, I honestly don't feel that far away from them. We talk a lot on the phone, and we even write snail mail letters to each other, and they just feel close. Would I like it if they lived closer? Definitely. But I think that, in my family, with our generations-old migratory history, being far away from loved ones is something that has become programmed in. My parents had to move far away from their loved ones. And my great grandparents had to move far away from their loved ones. Thusly, (yes I said THUSLY), we know how to deal. We have strategies to keep ourselves close to each other.

One of the strategies we have is that we have long conversations on the phone a couple of times a week, but then we have these short, abbreviated calls almost daily. Oh, I just had to tell you that Aunt so-and-so called and she wants you to call her. Hey, just calling because I am making a batch of pumpkin curry and I can't remember how many tablespoons of mustard seeds to put in. Stuff like that.

Because my parents parents, they often have bits of information to give me. Books to read, movies to check out, articles to peruse. They also don't have a computer so sometimes they ask me to do things like order them the latest Ikea catalog or something. I often have to grab a pen to write down whatever citation they are giving me so that I remember. This morning, I found a piece of paper that said the following, thanks to my parents. And I quote:

AprilAir Automatic humidifier- order hose for model #700 online
Martha Stewart gardening article March 09 issue
Fareed Zakaria "The American Encounter"
Nordic Boy's mom's address
The Mayor of Casterbridge
Crate and Barrel gift card
Couch photo
A-Rod's Juice

A-Rod's JUICE?? What the hell did my parents tell me that caused me to write down the words "A-Rod's Juice"????

This disturbs me to no end.

In other news, Nordic Boy has started, whenever he can't hear me say something, to cup his hand behind his ear and say "Dolly Pardon?" I think this is hilarious, even after the nine jillionth time. It's things like that that make me realize that it's a good thing we found each other because no one else would put up with crap like this.

Lastly, my body has decided, without my consent, that I am to be awake from 3am to 5am every morning. It all started last week when Nordic Boy was on a business trip (does that sound like I am blaming him? That's maybe because I TOTALLY AM). When he is gone, I can sometimes convince myself that someone is going to creep into my house in the middle of the night to hack me to death with a ginsu. This has less to do with the fact that if someone were to do such a thing I think that Nordic Boy would save me (I mean, he would try, I'm sure, but we are equal parts badass on this type of thing) and more to do with the fact that him being gone causes me to have really weird dreams (again, totally blaming him!) which then turn into knifal fears. I don't ever really think about this kind of stuff when I am wide awake and thinking clearly. Mostly I think about it when I wake up in the middle of the night, and he's not there, and I am all groggy and out of it. It doesn't help that our yard is full of oversized trees that already think that it's autumn out there while the rest of Seattle sits squarely in summer. My trees think it is November, and have started to shed leaves like crazy. These leaves, when walked on, sound loud and crunchy. Our neighborhood also has its fair share of cats. When a cat tromps through our back yard early in the morning, it can sound like a knife-wielding maniac in a hockey mask creeping up to the window. And yes, I can hear the hockey mask. So last week, when Nordic Boy was gone, I woke up after a bad dream and convinced myself that dismemberment was imminent. I got up out of bed and walked around in one of those half-asleep stupors, listening to some cat who was purposefully scaring the doodoo out of me just for the hell of it. It was probably even wearing a hockey mask. I remember I went into my kitchen and looked out my window. I swear to you, the sky looked this weird shade of orangey-brown. I am 5% certain that I didn't dream that color. I remember looking at it in the sort of confusion that Raymond Cappomaggi had in Moonstruck. Then I went back to bed. Ever since then, I wake up at 3am. Not 2:59, not 3:01. Exactly 3am. And I listen for a cat in a hockey mask to walk through my leaves with some sort of serrated blade with my name all over it.

Wow, that was a freaky image. Almost as scary as A-Rod Juice.

Dolly Pardon?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Everything's Coming Up Dahlias

Photo at Seattle's Dahlia Gardens, where I went this weekend with BioGirl. This place has been known, in the past, to bring me good luck.

As you know, lately things have kind of sucked moose dingus around here. Besides the things already mentioned on the bloggie so far, there has been scary hospitalization in the fam (my brother, but he's on the mend now we think), a someone who I thought was nice turning out to be a maggot-pie, a person I know being held up at gunpoint (for serious!), among many other happenings that I can't let you in on because it would make me the Asshole Who Blabs About Her Friends Private Biznazz On The Blog.

I have to say that I haven't felt particularly depressed or anything, despite all that's been going on. Rather, my mood has been one that can only be described as "huh? whut?" It is as if I have been dipped in a vat of stupid and it has hardened into a shiny crust all around me. I have had neither the patience nor inclination to read a thing for the past couple of weeks (sorry Goodreads, you are sort of dead to me right now) which for a librarian is a sure sign that something has gone haywire. No books, no newspaper, no interwebs, nothing. I have kept up with some of ya'lls blogs, but only if the entries were short enough for the "huh? whut?" attention span. The only news I have consumed about the outside world has been from Mr. Stewart and Mr. Colbert, which, let's face it, is probably ok.

However! This is a new week, and I am only accepting tidings of the good sort from here on out. Bad tidings, be gone with you! If I get any stupider, I might start going to town hall meetings and shouting ooga booga nonsense at my elected officials. And we have enough of that sort of thing going on these days, do we not?

The weekend did some major repair to the hole in my brainmeats, and I do believe things just might be looking up around here. When I went into work this morning, the length and girth of my to-do list for the week was enough to make me feel just a little bit nauseated. It started to make me doubt. Were the stupid tidings really over? YES THEY WAS.

Did I tell you that my library system is going on furlough for a week in September? That means no pay for a week, in case you don't know what a furlough is. Some people seem to think it is a free vacation. Anyhoo, I had taken a week's vacation after the furlough and had planned to take this chunk of time to go visit my folks, but before I could tell them that that was my plan, they went ahead and made other plans without me. THE NERVE. It's like my parents have their own lives or something. Sheesh. Since Nordic Boy can't take that length of time off, I though I was going to be kicking it by myself at home, which isn't the worst thing in the world by any means. But after the hallowed and glorious Midwest Trip of '09 that I took in July, and now with the August Depressing Events That Made Me Stupid, I did feel like I wanted to spend time with someone really near and dear to me. Family, either of the blood relations kind or the friends-who-are-family kind. I thought it was not to be.


I gave a little Facebook whine about this to my friend Alli. And before you know it, she is spending an entire day of her life looking for a deal on a plane ticket to come see me. And when I say a day, I mean a whole day. She and I texted back and forth from morning until evening looking for a cheap ticket for her to come help me sit on my ass in Seattle. And after hours and hours and hours of looking, she found a ticket that was not really very cheap. But she bought it ANYWAY. I love that girl.

And also the news of her ticket-purchase may have made me squeal like a little piglet in a way that scared Nordic Boy. Maybe.

Then, I emailed our other friend, Map. Do you think you could make it too? I asked, half-heartedly because I had already seen via Allison that the tickets were not cheap and the notice was short. She said she would try, but we both kind of knew it was a long shot at best. She looked for tickets and was smacked in the kisser by the prices. And she was sad about it, and I was sad about it.


Her husband noted the sad face on our dear Map for a few days. And last night, when they were out to dinner, he up and handed her an already-bought, super-surprise, mighty delicious plane ticket to Seattle! This act, it might not surprise you to hear, made her fall ever more in love with her husband. What might be more surprising is that I think I might have a thing for him too, acting all awesome like that. YAY MR. MAP! YAY YAY YAY.

This news may have made me get up, close the door to my office, and do a happy dance all around my desk.

I get to see my girls! In two weeks!!!


Friday, August 21, 2009

Only funny to me, but it's my blog

Ok, so I am going to talk about the imaginary town thing again. Last time for a while, I promise.

I am warning you that if you know a little bit about dance, this post may be slightly funny to you. If you know a lot about dance, it might be more so. If you know nothing about dance, please feel free to stop reading now.

I have a close friend who is a ballroom dancer. Like, he does the competitions and everything. He has never had any training in anything that I have had training in, and vice versa. A lot of the time that we get together, we talk for hours about dance- his styles and my styles, the similarities and the differences, the theory and the practice. I am quite sure you would fall over dead with boredom if you were around us when we do this.

That is, unless we get really inspired by our conversation and push away all the furniture in the room and start actually comparing styles instead of just talking about them. This happens oh, about once a month these days, and I am sure it would be quite entertaining to see. Me, knowing nothing about no salsa or cha cha or shit like that, trying to hammerlock outside turn (hello, crashing and burning). And him, knowing nothing about ballet and modern, trying to cabriole or figure out a mixed meter phrase. Nordic Boy has been known to pull up a chair when this gets going and guffaw his heart's delight at us.

A few months ago, I was going over some ballet basics with my friend. One of the steps is called a developpe. If you have never done one before, it can be sort of painful. As my friend tried this, this is what he said.

Him: Wow. This hurts.
Me: Remember to keep your hips square.
Him: Ouch.
Me: Don't wobble your standing leg.
Him: OW.
Me: Yeah.
Him: (breathing hard) You know what? I hate Dave LaPay. Dave LaPay is a total bastard!

DAVE LAPAY. This almost busted my gut with the funny. Because that is indeed how you pronounce developpe. (Some Americans say "Dave L. O'Pay" so that would work too). I have known Dave LaPay since I was 4 years old! How did I never realize he was a character for our town?

Weeks later, my friend said that he wanted me to take him to a super traditional classical ballet performance. I took him to see Swan Lake. Later, we discussed the show, and he had a question for me.

Him: That jester character in the royal court. There was a move that he was doing that was pretty cool. What is that called?
Me: What move? Can you recreate it, even a little?
Him: Kind of like this...(mangled up ballet step)
Me: Oh, that's a temps de cuisse.
Him: That move was interesting to me. I really like Tom.
Me: Tom?
Him: Tom DeQuees. He's much nicer than Dave LaPay.


You have no idea how much this has made my month.

Based on the discovery of Dave and Tom, we also discovered a sassy young lady named Rhonda Zsamb, based on, of course, the ront de jambe.

Dave is the effer of the group, Tom is happy-go-lucky, and Rhonda is a sultry tamale. Again, this may only be funny to you if you know what these moves are. And really, maybe not even then. But to me, they are comedy gold.

These are the types of things that keep me going in life.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

We The Peeble

Remember the town that BioGirl and I populated? Wow, that sounds like she and I are spawning or something. Let me re-phrase. Remember those two posts I wrote a long while ago about the imaginary town that we have created where we have characters whose names are sayings or phrases? Like Dot Matrix, the owner of the local print shop? Or Jen Teal, the charm school teacher?

Our town has been on a bit of a hiatus lately, ever since we created a sister-town based on an entirely different rubric. It all started with the fact that she and I have a nickname for each other. "Peeble." I won't get into how this nickname began, but just know that I call her Peeble and she calls me Peeble. We also call other folks our peeble, if they are a good sort of person. I guess you could say that the literal translation of peeble has come to be something along the lines of a mensch. If you're a good sort, then you're part of the peeble population. At any rate, that's what we call each other. And I don't know what it says about us that we have the same nickname. Perhaps it shows a distinct inability to differentiate ourselves one from the other. Come to think of it, another friend-who-is-like-family of mine, Neighbor J, and I also have the same nickname for each other. We call each other Neighbor. The more I think about it the more I realize that this is a weird pattern in my life.

But I digress. BioGirl and I started making up characters based on our nickname for each other. I think it started with emails that we would write to each other. Instead of signing our names, we would just sign them "peeble." Then we started to get creative with this. Writing an email about baking cookies later? Sign it the Peebler Elf. Talking about taking a leadership role at work? Sign it Captain Jean-Luc Peeblard. Talking about doing a painting this weekend? Sign it Peeblo Picasso. How about if you're feeling cheesily melancholy? Peeblo Bryson, of course. We have a million of them.

Simultaneous to this, BioGirl and I had discovered an eyeglass frame store in Seattle called Mr. Peepers. We thought this was a slightly dirty name for an eyeglass store, and we used to joke that it was a front for a mob-run strip club or something. And although Mr. Peepers is not exactly a peeble-name, we sort of conflated him into our peeble-mania.

It wasn't long before we decided that all the Peebles needed to have a town of their own. And because he was a little different than the rest of the Peebles, we deemed Mr. Peepers the founder of the town. Well, him and his brother, Dr. Pepper. Pepper and Peepers forged a sort of colony for the Peebles (in order to follow their new age spiritual leader, Peeblak Chopra).

Alas, just as we started to populate this new colony, BioGirl and I ran into an impasse. She decided that she didn't want Mr. Peepers to be too dirty, because it would corrupt the innocence of the rest of the Peebles. If a peeble is a mensch, then how could Mr. Peepers be an old dirty bastard? I on the other hand, maintained that with a name like Mr. Peepers he had to be a nasty old coot and there was no getting around that. We never came to a conclusion on this, and our second attempt at town-creation had to be left undone. It's like the boom and bust in the construction market, with our second town abandoned in the middle of the process.


And yes, weird. That goes without saying.

But now, I think we need to get back to doing what we do. Forget the health care debate, forget Seattle's mayoral race, forget the presidential race in Iraq. I want to know: do you vote that Mr. Peepers be a nasty effer? Or do you vote for a kinder, gentler Peeper? Or do you see a way for us to compromise on this point?

We need your help, peebles.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Parental Perfection

Ok, I will stop bellyaching about all the shit that has gone on around here and focus a little bit on the shinola.

My friends H and J just had a baby!

I don't have any photographic evidence of this occurrence at this point, but when I do see photos of mama, dad, and baby, I am sure they will be beautiful. And when I say beautiful? I don't mean it in that "my friend had a baby and afterwards she looked like a train ran her over and the baby looks like a mini-Gorbachev but they look happy so that makes it beautiful" sort of beautiful. Don't get me wrong, that sort of beauty is, well, a beautiful thing. But in this case I am talking about more of a "are you kidding me that this is a real birthing type situation because you look like you are in an ad or something" sort of beautiful.

The last time H had a baby, there was a photo taken that has since become legend in our circle. It is a photo of H, lying on the birthing table (the photo is from the shoulders up), with a shower cap on her head. Like, we are not talking a few hours after the baby is born. We are talking a few minutes. She is completely flat on the table, with all the accoutrements around her. Her hubby J is there, holding the baby for her to see (she's not even at a place where she can hold the baby herself at this point, or really hold her own head up very well), and whoever was taking the photo must have said "hey, guys, I am taking a photo!" because H and J are looking back at the camera, and THEY LOOK LIKE MODELS.

H has a calm, relaxed, super happy smile on her face. And J looks the same. Both of them fresh as friggin' daisies. I believe H still has mascara and lip gloss on. Or if she doesn't, she looks like she does.

At any rate, it is a gorgeous photo that anyone in their right mind would think was staged, unless you know H and J, and then you know it's not because they are gorgeous no matter what they do. Every single person I know that has ever seen that photo has been like, seriously? No, come on. SERIOUSLY?

And I am like, yeah. Seriously. And the even more amazing thing about this family is that no matter how ridonk the facial frontispieces are on these folks, the inner awesomeness is even more radiant.

Congrats H and J. Can't wait to meet the newest member of the crew!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ticket for One

Before I get into my usual inane banter, may I just say the following?

Loved ones of mine need to stop getting hurt. Physically, mentally, all of it. IMMEDIATELY. All of these lovely, beautiful people I love keep getting crushed. Just CRUSHED. It's horrible. I feel like there are bombs going off all around me. If any of you out there can make this stop happening to my peeps, that would be most helpful.

Now back to our regularly scheduled stupidness.

I had a day off on Friday, and I didn't make any plans for the day. Because of all the aforementioned stuff, I really, really wanted to just stay home all day in pajamas and watch movies. I also knew that if I did that, I would just feel crap by the end of the day. So I stayed in my pajamas for most of the morning (Adventures in Babysitting was on, so obviously I had to), and then I got myself together and took myself on a date to the SciFi Museum.

Who takes a perfectly free Friday and goes on a one-person date to the SciFi Museum? Geek alert!

These are among the things I saw on my date with yours truly.

1. Ernie and Bert. And they looked sort of huge in person. I think that if I had met them when I was a kid, they would have scared me. And yes, I realize that I just said "met" like I actually had a conversation with them. I just want to believe that they are real because the sight of them in a glass box was sort of sad. Oh shut up, I know it's weird.
2. Kermit the Frog. He looked old and tired.
3. At the part of the exhibit that had stuff from The Dark Crystal, there were two hipsters around my age that were rolling their eyes and saying "What the fuck is this? I have never even HEARD of this movie!" which sort of galled me.
4. The Mah-na Mah-na muppets. I was way too excited about seeing them.
5. Really cool experimental short films by Jim Henson. That dude was wacky, way beyond puppetry, and I love it.
6. Awesome sketches and drawings.
7. Everyone in the entire place taking photos of everything while standing among nine billion signs that said "No Photography Please." No one got busted. I wanted to take photos too, but I obeyed the signs despite everyone around me. This just proves that if I am ever in a looting mob, I am not getting a tv or anything.
8. Michael Jackson's sequined glove.

Wait a minute, I bet you're wondering why that last one is in there. Although the thought of Michael Jackson paraphenalia being on display in the SciFi Museum is awesome, and to think of him as actually being a muppet is even more so, it wasn't in that museum. The Seattle SciFi Museum is connected to the EMP (the Experience Music Project), which is a music museum. If you pay admission to one, you get to go in the other if you want. Listen, I know it doesn't makes sense that these two things are connected. I just report the facts, I don't make them.

After the museum, I went to the Seattle Center fountain and watched the kids go apeshit. I highly recommend that.

My date with myself was pretty successful, I think. Except for the fact that no one on the date got felt up or anything.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Never Gonna Give! Never Gonna Give!

It's no secret by now that I have a love of cheez. Give me something that has a little bit of corny in it and it makes me happy. Granted, most of the cheezy stuff I love has a dose of irony mixed in there somewhere, but the level of irony can be hard to parse out sometimes, you know?

Take, for example, my love of Doris Day. CORNBALL. She is just cheez, cheez, cheez, with more grated cheez on top. But I love her. I could watch a Doris Day movie until the cows come home, and really I would not want the cows to come home. Yes, I laugh at her and realize the full extent of the corny. But still. I just love it. I remember telling a co-worker about my love of Doris Day and he said to me, "Really?? Why? She is so...plastic." And I said, "yes, but that's the beauty of it. That's the whole point of Doris. To be plastic." To which he responded "Ah, I get it. You love her in an ironic way." And to tell you the truth, I felt like that wasn't it. There really isn't a whole lot of cynicism in my love for cheezy things a lot of the time. It's not a sort of hipsterish trucker-hat-wearing thing, you know what I mean? Like the privileged hipster white kids who wear trucker hats? I could be wrong, but they don't exactly exude respect for truckers. Or the ironic mustache dudes. At that point, the ironicness has taken over and the love of the cheez is not really there any more. Am I making sense? I don't know, but it makes sense in my head. The way I love Doris Day is a way that acknowledges all the things about what she represents that I know aren't the best things in the world, but that acknowledgment doesn't corrupt the love.

That said, sometimes I will, for the sake of the conversation, let comments like that of my co-worker pass. I don't need to get into all that, you know? And besides, sometimes my love for cheez is a little embarrassing. Liking Doris Day at least has some currency in that I can frame it within my love for classic cinema. And that sort of gets me out of looking like too much of a doof, which is fine with me. Believe me, I need as many ways as possible to shave off doof points.

Other things, however, are harder to couch in an aura of sophistication. For instance, my unabashed love for Rick Astley.

I have nothing to add to that love. No qualifiers, no way of making it seem cooler. Nothing. All I can say is that there was a period of my life when I was a kid in the 80s and I went to England, and Rick Astley was the Royal Shit when I was there and I loved him then and I love him now. And it's not like I don't know that he's the Earl of Fromage. I know it, I accept it, and I adore it. I have threatened, on many occasions, that if Nordic Boy and I were to ever have a wedding, that "Never Gonna Give You Up" would be what I would walk down the aisle to. And I'm not kidding. Part of it is because I know it's hilarious and I think that would be entertaining. But part of it is because I truly feel like that song expresses my deep and abiding love for my man and his love for me. And when I sing along to the song, I feel it deep down and I know in my heart of hearts that I will never GIVE HIM UP! LET HIM DOWN! RUN AROUND AND! DESERT HIM!

I told you I wasn't kidding.

Still, it's not like I advertise my love for Rick. Nordic Boy knows about it, and maybe Biogirl has an inkling, but other than that it's not like I play it when people come over for dinner parties. It's on my iPod and I listen to it in the privacy of my own earbuds.

The other day, I had a friend in my car with me, and I put my iPod on and just did a shuffle. Putting your entire iPod on shuffle in front of other people is, to me, kind of like showing someone your underwear drawer. Pretty private. Of course, during the course of this drive, Rick Astley happened to pop up. And my friend didn't say anything, as we were talking, but unbeknownst to me, as we were driving along, I was head bobbing along to the song. With shoulders. And maybe with full upper-body. I COULD NOT HELP IT.

Friend: You are totally rocking out over there.
Me: Oh. Yes, I suppose I am. I sort of love this song.
(I stopped head-bobbing and we continued the conversation)
(a minute goes by)
Friend: You are rocking out again!
Me: (catching myself in mid-shimmy) Oh my god, I totally am.
Friend: It's like you can't stop yourself!
Me: I can't!
Friend: Wow, who knew Rick Astley could move a person like that?

I knew, that's who. Good thing we got out of the car before 90s Mandy Moore started playing.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

For Steve

There has been lots of bad news in my world this past couple of weeks. One of the things that has happened recently is that my childhood friend Steve passed away this week. It's weird when stuff like this happens- I always think, do I blog about it? Do I not blog about it? The purpose of my blog is to put something out into the world that makes me laugh and maybe will make you laugh too. There's enough crap we all go through on a daily basis, is what I'm thinking, and so why not carve out a nice little internet space where I talk about only the goofy? Really, that's what my blog should be called, instead of The Pop Culture Librarian. It should be called Only the Goofy. And usually, no matter what my day looks like, I can think of some little conversation, some moment, some thought I had that day, that was pure silliness. And then I write about it. Granted, my life is pretty dang lovely and finding those moments is easy peasy, mostly. But every once in a while, I am thrown. And this week, with all that's going on, I'm a little thrown.

So I am going to write about Steve. Because I'm thinking about him. And besides, our friendship was full of only the goofy.

When I was a kid, I didn't really have a clique. That is not to say that I was an outsider, either. Rather, I was a kid who was part of pretty much every group, but also not fully part of any group. I don't know why. When I was in middle school and high school, one of the groups I was friends with was this group of 5 boys. They all lived in my neighborhood, and they all were friends with each other their whole lives, and for some reason, they let me hang out with them too. I had many afternoons after school hanging out with this group, the only girl in a gaggle of dudes. One of them was Steve. I had known Steve pretty much my whole life, or at the very least since kindergarten. I have a memory of him in a boy scout uniform, sitting in the seat in front of me on the school bus in elementary school. There's a part of me that always sort of thinks of him as a teeny kid in a boy scout uniform.

When we were in fifth grade, Steve and I were sitting in the cafeteria together and for some reason, he was telling me about his ancestry. Because 5th graders are all about the genealogy, or some shit like that? I don't know, but that's what we were talking about. He told me that he was English and French, and for some reason it sort of blew my 5th grade mind to think that my friend Steve was French. It seemed very cosmopolitan to me. So I said, "wow, you're French?" and he said, in total seriousness, "Si!" We sat there for a second and blinked at each other, and then I said, "Shouldn't that be 'oui'"? And that made him laugh so hard that he sprayed pieces of chewed up bologna sandwich across the table. From that day forward, it was one of those jokes that never got old. As we grew up, went to middle school, then high school, all I would have to do is ask Steve any question that had an affirmative answer, and he would grin at me and say "Si!" and we would laugh until we cried. I know it's not really that funny unless you're in 5th grade, but that was the thing. There was a part of Steve and I and how we were around each other that never got past the 5th grade.

Well, that's not entirely true. This group of dudes that I used to hang out with? When we were in middle school, they were a group of dirty, nasty, trashtalking boys. Which at that age is totally the thing to be, I suppose. And because I was the girl that hung out with them and that they sort of considered a girl, but didn't really, they used to talk all kinds of shit in front of me. Some of it helpful to my very curious 14-year-old self, some of it not. One of the things that used to get talked about was the subject of boners. Especially calling each other out when one of them got one at an inappropriate time. This was a favorite topic in the summers, when lots of swimsuits were worn. "Dude, you totally had a BONER when Jennifer went up on the diving board!" one of them would say. "I DID NOT!" the other person would retort, with a face so red that it was pretty much a guarantee that he DID TOO. After being around this for a while, my shyness around the subject of hard ons totally dissipated. I started just asking them questions about how the mechanics really worked, and they totally told me. "So like, it can just happen any time?"..."Does it hurt?"..."What if you have to pee and you have one?" and so on. It's all thanks to Steve and his friends that I was completely educated on boy-puberty without ever having to, you know, actually touch a penis or anything. I'm sure that if my parents knew the amount of talking about boners that I was doing with this group of boys, that they would have gone spontaneously gray. But it was innocent, and funny, and they treated me with a whole lot of respect, especially for 14-year-old boys. Not to knock 14-year-old boys, but you know what I'm saying.

Steve was also the first boy that I ever remember who told me I was beautiful. And it wasn't even a ploy to get in my knickers or anything. It was in 9th grade, and we were sitting in the backstage area of the middle school auditorium. I had a crush on one of Steve's friends, who wasn't giving me the time of day. And Steve said to me: "I don't think it's that he doesn't like you back. I just don't think that he knows how to react to a beautiful girl who has a crush on him, that's all." Just like that. Matter of fact. Sweet as can be, that Steve.

And before this gets too mushy and you think Steve was not really a true teen boy, I also remember the time that we were on a choir retreat and someone had the brilliant idea that Steve should chug a Vernor's ginger ale as fast as he could. Or maybe it was even multiple cans of Vernors. And maybe it was Steve's idea in the first place, I don't know. All I know is that Stevie boy did the deed. And he followed it up by opening his mouth and geyser-vomiting Vernor's in the most convincing Linda Blair style I have ever seen. And he seemed really proud of that later, like he had totally accomplished something, with both the chugging and the spectacular aftermath.

I went through this period of time, when I was in college, where I kind of withdrew from everything related to my childhood. When I would go back to my hometown for breaks, I pretty much only saw a few high school friends and avoided everyone else. I felt really different than my friends then (I wasn't), and I felt like our paths and interests didn't cross at all any more (they totally did). I went to a party at a high school friend's house reluctantly one New Year, and felt estranged from everyone there the entire time. I remember people kept telling me that I seemed different, and I secretly loved hearing that because that's totally what I was going for. During this party, I was sitting on a couch, and Steve came over to sit next to me. We chatted for a bit, and I was being really quiet, only giving short responses, and kind of being a dick, to be honest. Finally, for some reason, I had to blurt out something about how different I felt, how this party was so lame, dude, and that I just didn't get these people any more. Steve just shrugged his shoulders (did I mention that Steve was a big shrugger? He shrugged in response to a lot of things) and said something like "Eh, you seem the same to me." And for some reason, I didn't mind hearing that from him.

Anyhow, that was my friend Steve. He's one of those types of people in life that you always think you're going to go have a beer with some day, even if you've been out of touch for a while. So it sucks that I know that won't happen now.

If you're wondering what I'm thinking about these days, is it likely that I'm thinking about Steve?


Friday, August 07, 2009

It sounds even better if you say "alky-hall."

Friday listy loo, Friday listy la....

1. Nordic Boy and I witnessed a drunken conversation this week where a man kept saying, in response to his friend's drunken behavior: "I don't know why she was acting that way! I think it's just because she was doin' the alcohol! She was just doin' the alcohol!" This has quickly become the phrase of the week. You can use it in many situations. If you see someone trip, you can say "what'sa matter with you? Have you been doin' the alcohol?" Or if you want to meet your friends for a beer, you can say "would you ladies like to join me in doin' the alcohol?" I advise you all to adopt this phrase, for me, please.

2. This phrase also makes me think of the song "Doin' the Pigeon," which was sung by Bert from Sesame Street on a disco album from my youth. Oh my god, did I just make that up? Because that don't sound right, but I am positive that I have heard this song. Hold on...

Oh, youtube, how I love thee.

I had that song in disco version on a little album I owned as a child called "Sesame Street Fever." Jellus?

3. Seattle has gone back to gloomy gray skies, and people are all skippety doo dah about it. I live in a weird place, you guys.

4. I have some time off coming up in September, and I was going to use it to go visit my folks again in Michigan. But I forgot to tell them that was my plan and so they went and made some other plans without me, so now I am not going anywhere. DANG. I really, really, really want to take a trip somewhere, or have someone come visit me. I don't think anyone is coming to visit me (hint, hint, friends who are reading this), and now I don't know if I have time to plan a trip to see them. PHOOEY.

5. Are the Jonas Brothers like, 12 years old? They seem 12. For a long time now.

6. John Hughes died, and I am stating right now that I cannot go through another retrospective this year, ok? I am done with dying famous people and clip shows and commentaries about them. Until 2010. I need a break.

7. Have a great weekend. Beware your behavior if you are doin' the alcohol.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

There were so many to choose from...

Are you friends with any of your ex-boy-or-girlfriends? I am, with two. I've been friends with them for years and they are still funny, still great people, but I don't have any idea why I ever dated them. Two more wrong-for-me people I cannot imagine. And I am sure they feel the same way about me. Ah youth. Isn't it all about dating the wrong people? I am so glad that we are still friends though. Because now I can have conversations like the following that crack me up.

(when talking about a work situation)
Ex: You really weren't mad about that?
Me: Why would I be mad about it? That's not something to get mad about.
Ex: What would a situation be that would really make you lose your temper?
Me: I lose my temper sometimes.
Ex: But, like SCREAM at someone. Have you ever screamed at someone?
Me: Um, yeah. I screamed at you once.
Ex: You did? I don't remember that. Why did you scream at me?
Me: Because you were being a dick to me.
Ex: Yeah, but which time?

Then he realized what he had just said and we busted a nut laughing.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Crap Umbrella, Ella, Ella

There are times in life when emotional bombs start going off. You know what I mean, right? Like, one awful thing happens, and then it's followed by another, and another, and it's like the crap gods are taking aim right at you and are trying to kill you with awfulness. (Crap gods? I'm not religious, but that's weird even for me). My Year of Crap Gods was 1994. Screw you, 1994. You were such a bastard to me. I was way too young to deal with 1994, but that's the thing about the crap gods, they don't really care how old you are or if you are ready to withstand the crap hurling. They just pick you and it's your turn to be the target.

There are other times in life when the emotional bombs are not being thrown at you, but rather near you. It's like your loved ones, collectively, are having their turn and you just see it happening everywhere you look and it sucks because you want to be the crap umbrella but you can't.

Ok, that's enough of the crap/gods/bombs/umbrella metaphor. This is going downhill fast.

So let's cut the crap (har har) and just say that I've got a lot of people in my life right now who are having a bad time. Like, a weirdly high number of people. And it royally sucks for them, and I feel bad about all of it.

So today I am going to be all corny and make a list of things that make me happy. Just because.

1. Seattle's weirdly summery summer. Usually Seattle's summer starts in July, weatherwise. But this year it started in what, May? Early June? Something crazy like that. Remember when I said that I was hoping that skirt-weather days would hit 10 in a row? I don't think I have worn pants for three months. (Please don't take that last sentence out of context, ok?)

2. The fact that my mom and dad just call Nordic Boy sometimes, to chat with him. It makes me happy how close they are and that they love each other because they just do and they would anyway, and not just because they have me in common.

3. Tim's Cascade Style Wasabi-flavored potato chips. I have no idea what "cascade style" means, and I don't care. These chips are dreamy.

4. Dried cherries in my salad. I want to sing that one John Denver style, a la Sunshine on My Shoulders. "Cherries, in my salad, make me happeeeeee."

5. Thank you notes from library patrons.

6. Reading a book on the part of my couch that I reserve just for reading books. It's the coziest corner. My own personal "Cozy Center," as my friend Jen would say. Do you have a Cozy Center in your house? I highly recommend having one.

7. Walking in my door after work. Nothing better than that.

8. Crispy new sheets on the bed.

9. Cursing. I really love the cursing and you will not clean up my dirty mouth no how.

10. Yael Naim's version of "Toxic" by Britney Spears. I am standing by this statement and I don't care what you think about it.

11. Alvin Ailey's "Winter in Lisbon."

12. Getting up at 4am, opening all my windows, and then crawling back into bed.

13. Hearing people's life story in conversation. I love hearing people's life stories, and wish I could sit down with each and every person I know and hear their complete autobiography. I sometimes wish that my job was to film people's oral histories. Although I don't like the term oral history, as it makes me think of the dentist.

14. Yesterday as I was driving home, there was a jeep in front of me with the top down. There was a guy and girl in the front, and a guy and a girl in the back. The girl in the backseat had a summery purple tank top on with crisscross straps in the back. She also had a ponytail. And I don't know what groove they had going on in their car, or if the music was playing just in her head, but she was doing some serious car dancing in her seat. Shoulder-shimmying, ponytail waving, head bobbing. And when she would turn her head as she car danced, I could see the side of her big, toothy smile. That whole thing right there? Made me happy.

Monday, August 03, 2009

It's actually very appropo to compare me to Chilly Willy, on several levels

Do you have friends that you have known since childhood? Do these friends sometimes make up facts about you? Most of my friends that I have known since childhood have very good, very specific memories that we have shared. However, I have a particular friend from my youth that has so many memories about me that he's made up out of the clear blue sky, that I almost wonder if the line between knowing someone so well and not knowing them BUT AT ALL is blurrier than we all think. Like, you know so many facts about them that your brain just has to throw some random bullshizz in there just to mix it up. I was at Delium's house this weekend, and he all of a sudden proclaimed that I had never in my life enjoyed pancakes. Which, clearly, is an insane thing to say to me. My mom made me pancakes pretty much every Sunday morning when I was a kid. I liked pancakes with maple syrup so much that my mother feared for my life. She would tell me a (made up, I am sure) story about how there was once a little kid who drank so much maple syrup that the sugar made his heart race so fast that his ticker gave out and he up and DIED. My dear momma, who has never begrudged me eating a thing in my life, and who lives to stuff me full of food at every opportunity! Even SHE was afeared of my love of pancakes, enough to try and scare me out of eating them. (It never worked). I loved them so much that my brothers used to tease me that I was like Chilly Willy, in that one cartoon where he the bear asks him "more butter? more syrup?" and he chirps "mm-hmm!" every time. Still, Delium claims that when we were teenagers he would make pancakes and that I never wanted any and was all "ew, gross, pancakes," about them. He argued with me on this. I still don't think he believes me that I have always loved pancakes.

What is the point of that story? Fook if I know.

But this does get me thinking about things that my parents taught me to be scared of. Or tried to teach me to be scared of, anyway. Not things that most parents try to teach their kids to be scared of, like picking up hitchhikers or something like that. Weird things. Like maple syrup. Or escalators. "Tie your shoes when you go on an escalator or those things will swallow you ALIVE." Now that my dear Nordic Boy is a building maven (what's a male maven? Mavener? Mavenot?) and deals with things like escalators and elevators and steel rebar and plaster and the like all the livelong day, he has informed me that my mother was right to be scaring me about the escalators. But I never paid her no mind. I think her credibility went down because of the syrup thing.

What weird things did your parents want you to be afraid of?