Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Consumables #36

Seen lately:

Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work
Definitely shows how hard this lady works, how driven she is, and the impact she had opening doors for female stand up comedians. All of that is totally impressive. The downside is that I don't find her funny. There are just comedians like that sometimes. I get the reason that they are important, and what they do for the art as a whole, but to me, they just don't give me the giggles. There was one joke she told in the whole movie that made me laugh a little. It went like this: "Why should I learn to cook? Just so my husband can go brag to some hooker that his wife bakes a great cake?" That one got me a little. But just a little. And then that was it. Sorry Joan.

The Calling
Documentary following different people as they pursue becoming members of the clergy. Muslim, Christian, and Jewish students were profiled. I wish it would have gone deeper than it did.

No Impact Man
Documentary about a New York City writer and his family who embark on a one-year experiment in trying to have as little impact on the environment as possible. I loved his wife in this movie. It seemed that for him, it was fun and exciting to try this whole thing, and for her, she was game and a great sport, but also expressed things like "dude, that worm bin in the apartment skeeves my shit out." I think she was the one that made the whole thing relatable.

The Town
A bit predictable (I knew who was going to die the first 10 minutes in, and what was going to happen to Ben Affleck's character by the end), but it was enjoyable. I agree with the critiques that the women characters in the movie are totally Madonna/Whore (perfect middle class bank manager lady versus fucked up working class slutty lady), which was a little annoying.

The King's Speech
Loved it. And on a design note, the 1930s English wallpaper that was in every scene was rocking my socks. And Geoffrey Rush's office, with the big wall that had peeled off wallpaper that ended up looking like some impressionist thing? Gorg-wah.

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
I don't think Michael Cera was at all who I pictured playing Scott when I first read the comics. That's the problem with making movies out of books. I imagined Scott Pilgrim totally differently than that.

I am Love
Pretty, pretty movie. And look at Tilda Swinton, acting it up in Italian, and then busting out with Russian right in the middle of everything. What a show off.

I'm Still Here
So everyone thought this was real, and then we found out it was a hoax and that Joaquin Pheonix faked the whole thing. But you know what? I don't really believe that he faked the whole thing. I think there were parts of that that were really him being him. So what I am saying is that it's a movie where it's him being real, but faking being fake, all to make us think that it was real at the time, but then later really fooling us into thinking it was fake, when really some of it was real.

I know I'm talented. It's like I could have written Inception.

In Spite of Myself, by Christopher Plummer
The dad from The Sound of Music was a total partier, you guys. This is a 700 page autobiography, and all this person ever did, EVER, was act on the stage, act in movies, go to parties, booze it up, and get laid. Nothing else! Really, nothing else. My favorite parts were when he would name drop people in totally unexpected places. Like when he did Shakespeare on Broadway in the fifties and Jerry Stiller was in it with him. Or the other highbrow Broadway show that he did where his understudy was William Shatner. I love stuff like that.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas'll make ya, jump! Jump!

I had three whole days off (in a row!) this week, and it felt like forevah. Here's what we didded.

1. We made a big Indian dinner. Alloo benghan (potatoes/eggplant), Kuthu (pumpkin), Spinach bhaji, and egg curry. I know, it's supposed to be the eve when Santa gave birth to Jesus under the mistletoe with Bing Crosby singing in the manger and the Easter bunny and the pilgrims bringing myrrh on a sleigh, and for this we are supposed to eat what Saint Martha Stewart tells us, but oh well.

2. Nordic Boy woke up on Friday and wished me a "Happy Christmas Morning, Previous." This is now what we are calling Christmas Eve Day from now on. Christmas Morning Previous.

3. We broke holiday rule #2. The one about no entry into retail districts until the holiday season is over. And man, we broke it BIG. We went to the middle of downtown Seattle, where the gigantic Christmas tree is, and the Christmas carousel, and every last retail chain is located, and pushed our way into Williams Sonoma. On Christmas Day Previous! Holiday Rule #2 was demolished. But my parents had sent us some holiday cashola, and we decided to buy a fancy toaster oven that we've been dreaming about. Screw sugarplums dancing in our heads, we have officially become the old decrepit couple that thinks a fancy toaster oven is tres exciting. When did this happen to us?

4. Maybe we are not as decrepit/mature as I thought. We spent considerable amounts of time playing Just Dance on the Wii.

5. We went to PNB's "Nutty Nutcracker." Like everywhere else, the ballet here does the Ballbuster (or the Nutcracker, potato, po-tah-to) during the holiday season. I have seen this version once, a long time ago, and I'm not a fan. Just don't even get me started on it, because trust me you will be bored out of your gourd. However, I heard that each year, they do one performance of the Nutcracker with weird stuff thrown in. They call it the Nutty Nutcracker. It contains things such as a snowball fight in the Land of Snow, and a lusty bee who shows up during the Waltz of the Flowers. It was pretty cute, and the best thing about it was hearing the kids in our section cracking up like all get out. Would I pay to see it again? Nope. But it was fun.

6. Biogirl's mom was visiting, so we went over to have dessert with them on Christmas Eve. After the Williams Sonoma and the big dinner making and the Nutty Ballsmacker dance performance, Nordic Boy and I were about as festive as a pile of Ambien, and Nordic Boy gave a riveting revival performance of his one man show called Dude Asleep in the Middle of a Conversation, so that was nice. Merry Christmas!

7. We went to see The King's Speech, and as we were standing in line, the movie theater guy came out and said that three movies had sold out. Harry Potter, Tron, and The King's Speech. The first two? Ok, I can see that, but our nerdy movie, sold out at a huge theater? Weird. We pre-bought a ticket and came back for the next show and that was packed too. Stuttering royal preparing for a speech, and Seattle eats it up. Who knew?

8. Went on a drive one night with Nordic Boy, Biogirl, and Biogirl's mom where we found some houses that had crazy amounts of holiday lights on them. I was looking up local news stories on some good ones to go see, and there was one family who confessed to putting up so many lights that their electric bill hits $6,000 for the holiday season. I have nothing funny or witty to say about that. Just holy moley, you guys.
9. Started my holiday cards. Did not finish, but started them. I sliced my card list this year, by a lot. Still, I have a lot to do still. That's why I always do New Year cards. I can get away with sending them late. If you're on my list, expect them by Valentine's Day.

10. That's about it, but I have to have a nice rounded 10 for my list. So let me just tell you this: I haven't seen True Grit yet, but every time I see ads for it I think that Jeff Bridges looks a lot like Nordic Boy's dad. Especially when Jeff Bridges looks as beat down as possible. Nordic Boy agrees with this assessment. I have never met Nordic Boy's dad, but I have seen photos, and if my sweetheart is not the fruit of The Dude's loins, I am a monkey's uncle.

I don't think I could have ended on a less holiday-ish note, but there you have it. I hope you all had a great weekend!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Do You Hear What I Hear?

I don't remember that I grew up with a lot of Christmas/holiday music around our house. I do remember that we had a copy of the classic "All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth." Remember that one? And that album cover? Why that song didn't last the test of time I shall never know.

But obviously it doesn't matter if you celebrate Christmas intentionally, we are a Christmas nation and we are all going to know the lyrics by heart of Hark the Herald Angels Sing, whether we like it or not. I have the added advantage (disadvantage?) of having been in school choir my whole childhood, so I know more Christmas songs than anyone really has any business knowing. We had Christmas songs up the ying yang from November through the end of the year, half of which I don't even really know what they mean. There was this one song that we sang in Middle English and shit, talking about the "apple takey ben." What the hell is that? (And please, don't write to me to actually tell me what all of these reference do mean. If I really had wanted to know by now, I would have looked it up). And there was this other song called "Torches" about running with torches to Bethlehem. In my kid-mind I always pictured that like an Olympics style torch runner, running for Jesus, or something. I didn't know, we didn't discuss these things, since it was public school. We sang it, who cares if we understood it? Or maybe this is something everyone else just gets? I don't know. We also sang this one song about keeping your lamps trimmed and burning because the time is drawing nigh. Um, ok. That sounds like an old timey Martha Stewart tip rather than a spiritual song. We also sang the Dreidel Song, and other Hannukah songs. The one I remember most was "Light the Candles." I liked that one. It was peppy. And we got to yell "HEY!" at the end, and how can you go wrong with that? There was another one about Emmanuel, who apparently was a ransom captive in Israel. Intrigue! And also, what are we even talking about? And don't even get me started on the shit we sang in straight up Latin.

Can you tell I am not a Biblical scholar? You are shocked, I can see it in your face.

Anyway, every holiday season, there is holiday wintery music that I do like, most of it coming from the likes of Doris Day and Dean Martin and such, with maybe some Duke Ellington thrown in. But that lasts, unfortunately, for about a week. Then even I, lover of oldies, become totally SATURATED. How many times can I hear Baby It's Cold Outside? A lot. A whole lot. And Judy Garland, I love you, really I do, but I have a cap on how many times a year I can hear your boozy weepy Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas before I want to do myself an injury.

I think this has less to do with Grinchy-ness and more to do with monotony. It's the same feeling I get when I have had the same leftovers for too long, or when I get stuck in a rut watching the same type of movie all the time. It wears me out before I even know it's wearing me out. I just need to mix it up, that's all. Throw something else in there. Please.

In that spirit, I made myself a December playlist. It's super long, so I won't bore you with the whole thing, but I thought maybe you are feeling weary of holiday standards at this point as well. And even if you're not, these are still good songs. Here they are. Some are Christmas songs, some are wintery songs, some are just songs that sound wintery to my ears. Since it's the 23rd of December, I'll do 23 songs.

The Sonics, Santa Claus
(come on, I had to start out with a Grinchy one)

Fleet Foxes, White Winter Hymnal
(another song that I don't know what they are even talking about, and I don't really want to know)

Peter Bjorn and John, The Chills

Fountains of Wayne, Man in the Santa Suit
(I used to work in a mall. This song reminds me of that).

The Waitresses, Christmas Wrapping
(a classic, right?)

James Brown, Santa Claus Go Straight to the Ghetto
(I think that every holiday should give you a reason to say "HAH!" with James Brown)

Florence + the Machine, Last Christmas
(Doing a Wham! cover is always ok in my book)

Loretta Lynn, To Heck With Ole Santa Claus
("when he goes dashin' through the snow I hope he falls." Harsh!)
Common Market, Winter Takes All
(had to put a Seattle band in)
Harvey Danger, Sometimes You Have To Work on Christmas
(another Seattle one, I love the video of the Seattle scenes)

Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Ain't No Chimneys in the Projects

Jenny O., Get Down for the Holidays
(Dang Target, you made a good holiday playlist)

Ryan Adams, Hey Parker, It's Christmas
(Good song, Mrs. Mandy Moore)

Fanfarlo, Just Like Christmas

My Morning Jacket, Christmas Time is Here Again
(The original Beatles version is of course better, but this one is good too)

The The, December Sunlight
(I got my heart broken bad in December one time, and this song makes me feel happy, in an I Got Through That sort of way)

New Kids on the Block, Funky Funky Christmas
(Holy smokes, this is SO BADAWESOME)

Trentemoller, While the Cold Winter is Waiting
(Good for cold winter walks)

Fastbacks, In the Winter

Magnetic Fields, Everything is One Big Christmas Tree
(ain't it the truth)

Regina Spektor, My Dear Acquaintance (A Happy New Year)
(If you still want it to sound classic, even when it ain't)

Frightened Rabbit, It's Christmas So We'll Stop

Blockhead, The First Snowfall

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Who dat?

Sometimes I wonder what sort of people we will be when we are old. I mean, I know we will basically be the same people, but what sort of current habits will be amplified? I mean, for example, Nordic Boy is already a sleepy sort of person. He works really hard, and when he sits down, he often just falls dead asleep. I fear that our retirement will consist of him taking 20 hour naps each day. I, on the other hand, am a troubled sleeper, who often is running on 5 or 6 hours of sleep a night. I fear that I will be one of those old people that wakes up at 4am each morning no matter what. He'll be asleep and I'll be awake and we'll see each other for 30 minutes a day.

One thing I am fairly certain of, is that Nordic Boy will be that old man who mixes everyone's names up. He already does it, but I think it's only going to get worse from here.

In the last 2 days, this has been said...

Me: Let's watch I Am Love this week.
Him: Which one is that? The one with Chelsea Clinton in it?
Me: Tilda Swinton. Not Chelsea Clinton.
Him: Sounds the same.

(Us, watching Jimmy Fallon).
Him: Is that the guy from The Roots?
Me: It's all the guys from The Roots.
Him: Which one?
Me: All of them.
Him: Oh.
Him: Hey! That's the entire group of The Roots!
Me: Dude, I just said that. They're the house band.
Him: (looking right at Jimmy Fallon) They are? For that guy? Jimmy Kimmel?
Me: That's Jimmy Fallon!
Him: Where?

Monday, December 20, 2010

Poker Party

I am not the type of person who has a lot of policies, but I do have two, and they both revolve around the holiday season.

Policy #1: I do not travel during the holidays. Nordic Boy and I spent a few years dragging our sorry asses across the country at the end of every year, breaking our necks in misery in order to spend a few days with family, which granted, were good days, but we have many other days that we can spend with family, at times when traveling does not make us want to crawl into a hole and never come out. One year, we sat in an airport, stranded due to snowstorms, among the great unwashed, hungry and tired and sick of standing in lines, and we looked at each other and said, you know, we don't have to DO THIS. It was like we had discovered warp drive, or electricity, or jello. Life changing. And thus, our first official family policy was born. I always feel a little embarrassed about this policy, because it makes us (I fear) sound cold and unfeeling, like we wouldn't sacrifice a little inconveniece to see our families or something. But that's our policy, and it works for us.

Policy #2: I do not step foot into the various retail districts of my city from Thanksgiving until after New Year. I still shop, mind you. I will go to my corner bookstore, or order something on Etsy, or whatever, but go into the heart of shoppy land? Or a mall? Nope.

I am only now realizing, as I write this, that both of these policies have less to do with noble anti-consumerist feelings and more to do with a hatred of crowds.

This Friday, I had the day off and I used it to break Policy #2. I had to send off some items to the nieces and nephews so I ventured to the the UPS store which is not really in a retail district, but still, it's the UPS store. A week before Christmas.

As I stood in line, I watched as the UPS workers were browbeaten by the customers. It was ugly. At one point, when told that her package was going to cost $20 to mail, a woman screamed, with visible spittle: "ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?" at the worker at top decibel levels as if he had personally made up the price chart during his last coffee break. I also witnessed a rather huffy gentleman who didn't verbally abuse anyone, but showed his impatience at the dude feverishly working behind the counter via a continual barrage of loud huffy sighs.

So yeah, just be nice to your customer service workers, people. Or at the very least, don't scream profanities or subject their faces to saliva spray. I mean, that should go without saying, right?

On the brighter side of my weekend, that evening Nordic Boy and I had a dinner party with our poker friends. We are so used to cooking little meals for the two of us that the sheer amount of food and pots and pans it takes to cook dinner for 8 people is fricking nutso.

Morning After Scene

This is our second time playing poker with this group of pals, and we had the same result as we did last time. I finished up by a couple bucks, and Nordic Boy lost a couple. Put us together and we totally broke even. That dude is bringing me DOWN, people. We could have been a whole two dollars richer if it wasn't for him. Sheesh.

On Saturday night we went out to rent a movie, and picked up a Wii game rental while we were at it. When I paid for the item, the conversation went like this.

Renter Guy: That'll be $9.
Me: (opening up wallet).
RG: That's because the game rental is five dollars.
Me: Ok, that's fine.
RG: I was just saying that because it seemed like you were making a "what the fuck?" face.
Me: No, I wasn't. That's just how my face looks.
RG: Yeah. Ok. I guess it does.

That's when I showed him what my WTF face really looks like.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Consumables #35

Tinkers, by Paul Harding

A compact little novel that opens with George Washington Crosby, a retired clockmaker in rural Maine, who lies in his deathbed. The book takes you in and out of consciousness with George as he interacts with his family as they keep a vigil around him in the present, and as he remembers his boyhood and especially his father, a man who abandoned him to save himself when George was a teenager. At times this was more like a poem than a novel, and the painstaking writing was impressive. It's a very wintery book in terms of setting as well, which was a coincidence, since I didn't know that going in. I can't imagine reading this in the summer though. Just wouldn't feel right. It's about death, and loss, and it's harsh, so Merry Christmas it ain't.

A Christmas Carol
When I was studying thee-ah-tah, there were these dvds on acting that were put out by the Royal Shakespeare Company that I loved. Patrick Stewart, in his pre-Picard-ness (he still had hair!) was in them. I remember watching them and thinking: hey, I think that's the Star Trek guy when he was a youngster. This got me to start watching Star Trek: The Next Generation, and the rest, as they say, is geek history. Now I can cite specific episodes by name from the Star Trek franchise, but it all started because I was an uppity theater kid, as if that isn't enough of a geeky thing to be. Anyway, one of the things I always wanted to see was his one-man Christmas Carol on Broadway, where he plays all the parts. Come on, wouldn't that be good? Professor Xavier as Tiny Tim? Really. Anyway, the next best thing is to watch a tv version of a Christmas Carol in which he plays Scrooge, but sadly none of the other parts.

I love how, on the cover, it looks like he is about to give you the beat down.

Changing My Mind, by Zadie Smith
A collection of essays where she does literary criticism (piece on Middlemarch was a snooze, piece on Kafka was pretty good), political writing (a chronicle of her trip to Liberia was unsettling in a good way), personal reflections on her life and writing, and pop culture criticism (an essay on Katherine Hepburn and Greta Garbo? You had me at hello).

Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
I've been watching this lately and thinking about performers in terms of being of a particular generation, or speaking to a particular generation. Pretty heady topic for Jimmy Fallon, I know. I wouldn't argue that Jimmy Fallon is the funniest comedian or dude-with-a-show in the world, or on tv. But he is one of those people that, when I do watch, he totally and completely seems like one of my friends. I know people just like that guy. Go to a party of people that I know, and there is something Jimmy Fallon-esque about the dudes I hang out with. I wouldn't say that about Craig Ferguson, and Chelsea Handler, or even my beloved Stewart/Colbert. I don't know what my point is, really (as usual). Just that perhaps every famous person has this going for them, to someone. Perhaps some people see Miley Cyrus in their friends, and other people see Regis Philbin in their friends. Doesn't really have to do with their talent, necessarily. There's just something familiar and dude-I-might-know-ish to me about Jimmy Fallon, which makes me want to watch him.

What celebrity reminds you of your group of friends?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Five Year Update

It's coming up on 5 years of me spouting off half-cocked on the blog. Yee-haw! For the 5 year blogiversary, I've updated the About Me page.  Over there, on the right.

I'm keeping a form of the old version over there too.

Don't you love it when I write stuff with a tone that indicates that I think you care? I know, I love it too.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


There is this part of the tv show Deadwood where Calamity Jane wants to enter a building to talk to someone who is ill. The doctor screams: "BE BRIEF!" and Calamity Jane doesn't even hesitate to yell back at him "BE FUCKED!"

This is one of my all-time favorite pieces of dialogue, ever.

Today is busy. So I shall be breif. If I don't, I'm fucked.

Record-breaking rainstorm. With winds clocked up to 70 miles an hour. And for drippy stormy Seattle, that is saying something. The coziness felt in our bed when we are awakened by howling loud ass winds at 2am is sort of off the charts.

A family member (who would kill me if I identified them in any way, shape or form) got out of a scary week long stay at the hospital. I feel like I can exhale a little now.

I had major practice at Being the Bigger Person over the weekend. Like, more than I think I have ever had to do in my life. It's hard, dudes. Super hard. But I did it. I am not entirely sure it was worth it, but I am hoping. And am fairly sure that if I was a drinker, I would be sauced right now to get over the whole mess.

Got a call from The Soggy Librarian whose house was leaking from top and bottom. Nordic Boy went to take a look. Their house was totally being a dick to them, was his professional opinion.

Had sushi with Jenny, the co-star of the water weenie story. No weenies were handled during dinner, but we had non-weenie fun.

Woke up Nordic Boy from a dream where he was in a fight. It went like this:

Me: Hey! Hey! Wake up! It's ok. You're ok.
Him (still sort of asleep): Stupid fucking chickens!
Me: What were the chickens doing?
Him: STARTING shit.

That's all I got time for, cousins.

Oh yeah. Take a lookee loo at this cute poster. Just because.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Consumables #34

I didn't do one of these last week did I? Eh, who's counting.

Harry Potter 7
I remember reading the 7th book and parts of it making me cry. I was all, what the hell, I am crying? Then, I see the movie, and I cried in the frigging movie too. So apparently, I am one of those people.

Modern Times
When I was a kid and I would visit Fiji, my cousins and I watched a lot of bootleg VHS tapes from the same corner store where we would go get dried salted plums, two for a penny. (Dried salted plums were candy to us then. Go figure.) Some favorites of ours were Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, MGM musicals, and B-movies with Eric Roberts in them. I still love all of those things to this day, except the Eric Roberts movies. Sorry, Eric. Last week, I had a re-watch of Modern Times. Dudes, that shit is still relevant.

Herb and Dorothy
Herb and Dorothy Vogel, if you don't already know, are famous art collectors. What they are famous for is the fact that they are very ordinary people (she a librarian, and he a postal worker) who dedicated themselves to art and artists and have pretty miraculously amassed a collection of art worth millions of dollars, which they then gave away for nothing. I don't really have aspirational couples in my mind, but Herb and Dorothy are pretty damn close. Not because I want to obsessively collect art with Nordic Boy. But the other stuff about them. They're just inspiring to me.

Lost Sparrow
This was really compelling and well done. Sad, sad, sad.

Blue Scholars- Big Bank Hank
I love Blue Scholars. I have been dragging to work each morning this week, and listening to this on the way in has woken me up and gotten my brain to snap back into life. Whatcha gon' do today, ya'll?

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Aqua Dog

I am having the kind of week where I eat, sleep, and dream work. I have no social plans any nights this week, both Nordic Boy and Biogirl are out of town, so it's crickets around here.

So, I shall have to rifle through the brain archives to think of something to say. And what I have come up with is a true story from my life that I like to call Tucking in the Water Weenie.

Essential to this story is an understanding of the term water weenie. A water weenie is a plastic sheath the size and shape of a hotdog, and this sheath is filled with water. The result is that the water weenie is hard to hold onto, which is supposed to be fun and feel gross, I think. I am not sure in what context a water weenie is really necessary or desired, and I am not going to try to speculate about that here. I have actually never been in the presence of a water weenie ever, present story excepted.

Some years ago, when Biogirl was an undergrad, she went off on some marine biologist researchy training camp thing where they bonded over their love of anemones and sang campfire songs about seahorses (oh I don't know what it was, leave me alone) out in the boonies somewhere. They lived in dorms. Or barracks. Or something. I promise the details get better soon. Someone in the group had possession of a water weenie. And, as people who live in the woods with no media outlets and nothing to occupy themselves do (unlike us city folk who can fill up our time doing important things like watching the Kardashians), they made up silly past times, one of which was to secret away the water weenie, go into a pal's bedroom when they aren't there, put the water weenie in the bed, and then wait for the hapless victim to climb in, only to find the squishy disgusting feeling of weenie against thigh, which, if you were very lucky, could make them scream in fright/repulsion.

Let's set aside the fact that these are young nubile pre-scientists who clearly should have been using this time in the woods to get it on with each other rather than play water weenie games with badly disguised or rather glaring sexual overtones. Because we can all see that.

Months later, Biogirl was back in the city, living a normal life in an apartment, with no more weenies in her bed. At least, none that she didn't invite there on purpose.

One day, I got an email from one of Biogirl's friends from Bio-camp. He was in town (or maybe he was always in town, and was moving away soon, details are hazy about that dude) and thought it would be hilarious to break out the water weenie trick, in this setting, where she would never suspect! And could I help pull it off?

I told you we were putting aside sexual overtones, everyone. Just do me a favor and try to.

I think I had met that guy maybe all of two times, always in group settings. I didn't know that guy. So it was kind of weird that he was enlisting my help on the water weenie thing, but I can see why he did it, I guess. You want to get to Biogirl, you come to me. There's logic in that, I suppose.

This is the part where you can tell that I was young and stupid. If someone came to me with that foolishness now? I would get out of it. Tell him to take care of his own weenie caper. Say no. I am good at saying no now. But then? I didn't want to be mean. So I gave a half-hearted yes.

I was to be the instrument of water weenie delivery. First, he wanted me to come meet him somewhere for the weenie hand-off (oh jeez), but I really didn't want to go out of my way for this weenie madness, so I said no. Ok fine, he said, I will drop by her apartment in the middle of the day and leave it somewhere for you. But where? I don't know, I said. She has some plants on her front step.

Brilliant, he said. And he went to her place and stuck his weenie in her bush.

Ok, I admit I tried to make it sound dirty that time.
I was supposed to go over to Biogirl's that night. I enlisted the help of our pal Jenny, because I couldn't stand to be alone in this stupidity and Nordic Boy was having none of it. The plan was that we would swipe the weenie out of the bushes and put it in one of our purses before ringing the doorbell. But how would we get it into her room? I wasn't going to just go into her bedroom by myself for no reason. We should have come up with a plan ahead of time, but we decided to improvise.

Right before we were supposed to leave for the night, I thought that if I could get Biogirl to go into her 2nd bedroom, then Jenny could do the deed. I remembered that Biogirl had her camping equipment stored in the closet of the second bedroom. So I said this: "Biogirl, I am thinking about buying some camping equipment. Specifically, a good sleeping bag. What kind do you have? Can I see it?"

To this day, I can't understand why Biogirl didn't see right through that mess. ME, asking about camping equipment? The likelihood of me buying camping equipment is about the same as me buying a spacesuit for my next trip to Mars. But she totally fell for it. "Come on, I'll show you."

The two of us went into the 2nd bedroom, and Jenny went into the other one, and deposited the weenie into the bed.


Except Jenny is not one to believe a statement like that from our president or anyone else. She was under the impression that we had to see the mission through to the very end. Like, that we had to actually witness the shock and disgust when Biogirl found the weenie.

Why did she think that? I don't know. I thought our duty was done.

As we started to wind up the evening and get our coats on and such, I could see Jenny starting to panic. We were leaving! How would we know if the water weenie joke worked? I tried to make eye contact with her. We're out, I wanted to say, leave it alone! We are done with this weenie caper!

And then, Jenny opened her mouth, and with a complete straight face, she said this:

"You know, I think that before we leave, we should TUCK YOU INTO BED."

There was just a second of silence (because what else can you do but let that one sink in for a moment), and then Biogirl laughed. And then so did I.

Ha ha! Good one, Jenny! That's funny! Ok, let's go home now!


And then we all looked at each other. And then Biogirl got a look on her face that was equal parts suspicion, fear, and wanting to be a good sport to a joke that she didn't get.

Biogirl: Um, why would we do that?
Jenny: Because it would be funny!
Me: (making eyes at Jen that said ABORT! ABORT!)
Biogirl: What's going on?
Jenny: Nothing! I just think it would be funny!
Me: I uh...
Biogirl: Why? Why is that funny?
Jenny: Oh come on. Just do it!

I don't know what possessed her, but she said...ok.

So the three of us walked into her bedroom, and she- looking at us with complete mistrust and never turning her back on us the entire time- backed up to her bed, fully clothed in her daytime attire, pulled her blankets back, and got into her bed.

Let's just freeze-frame for a second. All became clear when she discovered the water weenie, as to why things had transpired thusly. But up until that moment, what did she think was going on? It was clear that she thought we were playing some kind of prank on her, but what? She couldn't have suspected the water weenie because we weren't at biology nerd research camp with her. And why did she comply with the tucking in business? And what possessed Jenny to think that tucking her friend in was a convincing ruse? And why didn't I just break down and tell Biogirl what was going on and fuck the water weenie joke, which wasn't even my joke to begin with but that I was taking way too much responsibility for?

It is kind of fascinating to think about what each of us was thinking in these moments. I don't think I can really explain any of it, even my own actions.

My only conclusions to draw from this story are the following:

1. Jenny should not be a secret agent.

2. If I ask you about camping equipment advice, I am up to something.

3. When in doubt about how to complete a caper, offer to tuck someone into bed.

4. If a dude wants to give his weenie to a girl, there really shouldn't be a middleman.

Monday, December 06, 2010

A Christmas Spasm

I took a vacation day and revelled in a three day weekend this week. And it was d'lightful. Mainly because of my night Friday, when I went to the Garden D'Lights. What cracks me up the most about the Garden D'Lights is that it sort of pretends to be classy. No gaudy mall-style elves or candy canes. Just plants. What could be more classy than plants?

But really, when you get down to it, this stuff is just like Vegas. My friends and I kept hoping Elton John or Cher would show up in the middle of it all. Maybe they did but their Bob Mackey outfits blended in too much with the surroundings. Sort of a Vegas camoflage, if you will.

After the flashy garden, we drove into downtown Bellevue (Seattle suburbia city, for those that don't know) for dinner. The streets of Bellevue were oddly crammed with traffic. Weird, I thought, Bellevue is totally happening on a Friday night! I thought it was really weird that mall-land was so full of life, but chalked that up to being stereotypical about the burbs. People are out enjoying nightlife in the burbs- is that so hard to believe? Stop being an asshole, Seattle girl.

We ended up having to park a few blocks away from the restaurant and had to walk through a large mall parking lot to get to where we were going to meet our group of 10 people. In our car was me, Nordic Boy, and our friend Rob. We walked through the parking lot, talking. All of a sudden, Rob says: "what is that? Is it snowing?" We all looked up, and it did indeed look like it was, except for the fact that it was in the upper 40s. We took a closer look and it was little tiny bubbles (hello, Don Ho, sing your song for us, why don't you?) floating around in the air. We kept walking. Then we heard music in the distance. The music was getting louder. "What IS that?" Rob said. We didn't know. The music and the bubbles increased in volume. And more. And more. And more.

Dudes, then we turned the corner and were swallowed by what can only be described as a CHRISTMAS SPASM.

There were mobs of people crowding the main street. MOBS. Like, all of a sudden we couldn't move through. We had to kind of push. And the music! Blasting! And there were people dressed up in plushy polar bear outfits, and they were jumping up and down, and dancing, and fist pumping! And there were dudes dressed up like toy soldiers, and they were up on top of pedastals, playing drums and dancing like Christmas gogo dancers! And wavy rainbow lights on all the buildings! And did I mention it was LOUD? Everyone was dancing, and clapping, and having FITS of good cheer. Like, seriously. FITS.

We pushed our way through this surreal scene. "Why? Why is this happening to us?" said Rob.

I've tried to find a good youtube video of this mess. It was such an awesome, awesome mess. I really want you to see it. But all the footage I can find focuses only on the toy soldier gogo drummers and goes over the heads of the crazy crowds and plushy polar bears. So just try to imagine it. It was BAH-NAY-NAYS.

On Saturday, we went to see A Christmas Story- The Musical. It was ok as far as musicals go, although I found it to be disjointed and there wasn't a really catchy song anywhere in there, which I always look for in a musical, but that's just me. But the thing that got me the most about this musical? First of all, the mom character sings this horrid song about motherhood that was (make way, Women's Studies student here) pretty essentialist. Can we stop making random lists of things that "good mothers" do, please? No, apparently we cannot. Secondly, they went and threw in some straight up racist boolshizz in that musical, out of nowhere. I don't remember if this was in the movie or not, but even if it was, it's not necessary to the plot and so leave that shit out, musical writers. Geez. An Asian waiter that gets laughs because he sings "Deck the halls with boughs of holly, fa ra ra ra, ra ra ra ra?" SRSLY? And white characters who can't believe- CAN'T BELIEVE- that they have to eat chow mein on CHRISTMAS? Because, wow, that is so crazy, ya'll! Eating weird food from the foreigners on the Lord's birthday! Let's make a big deal about it, ok?

So yeah. Thumbs down. I can see a mediocre play and be just fine, but throw that Fu Manchu crap in there and I am dunzo.

On the upside, my city looked pretty that night.

On Sunday, I went to visit my friend H and her two little girls, who were as cute as can be. Biogirl and I got involved in an exciting game of Hi Ho the Cherry Oh with a three year old and caught up with H. It was sweet.

The rest of my weekend was eaten up by not-so-fun family medical issues and suchlike, which was not cool at all. Decembers tend to rain crap on me, and this one was not off to a good start in that respect. So blah, blech, and phooey about that.

Still, did I mention we saw a Christmas spasm??

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Photography lesson

On Thanksgiving, there were many picturesque things that I could have taken photos of. We had awesome food, including a cranberry-apple crisp made by Biogirl, and snowy gorgeousness outside our windows, and a beautiful table set and full of all sorts of lovely items. And there was us, hungry, then not so hungry, then cozy, but happy all the way through.
But nope. I took one photo that day.

That would be butter, in the shape of a turkey, and turkey candleholders, and a butter spreader with a pumpkin handle (Biogirl really can go to a very themey place and you gotta love a girl like that). And cranberry "sauce."

I have an eye for the really important things in life. Obviously.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

30 more days

It's December 1st, dudes. Crikey.

I don't hate December. However, it is, without a doubt, my least favorite month of the year. The reasons for that are long and boring and the only reason you would ever want to hear about them is if you were my therapist and getting paid by the hour, so I shall spare you. Suffice it to say, December: I could skip the whole dang thing.

I never quite know what to do about this feeling, so I vacillate between wanting to close the blinds, get under the covers, and read a book until the new year, OR cram as much social activity into the month as I possibly can, in order to make the time go faster with really! fun! things! So I do a little bit of both- either hermit it up or party it up, with not a lot of middle ground.

So, here it is, December 1st, and I am feeling the blahs about the whole thing already. On the first day! Usually I can get it up for the first week or two.

In an attempt to get rid of the December Phooeys, here's a list of things I like about December. Let's see how many I can do.

1. Hallmark Channel Countdown to Christmas. Oh yes. Horrible made-for-tv Christmas movies! I looked on the website and counted up the offerings and the month of December will offer up fifty one different movies in this stoopid genre. Fifty one! And YES I COUNTED. That's like eating nothing but Cheetos for 25 days straight. And you know what I say? BRING IT. Saturate me in melted holiday cheese.

2. Days off. I have never taken extra days off of work in December, ever. I guess that's weird, but only a limited number of people can have time off at one time in Libraryland, and so why would I take up that time if I don't really care that it's Christmas, when other people really do care and could use the time? So, no extra days off for me, but! my regular work calendar has come out in such a way as to have three day weekends three whole times this month. So that's rad.

3. Gaudy holiday lights on people's houses. A twinkling light here and there, eh, ok. But the rare household that goes all out, Griswold style, with eye-popping displays with moving parts and stuff? LOVE IT.

4. People getting dressed up. I am a person who gets dressed up at every opportunity- I think I was born in the wrong era when it comes to clothes. December is a dressy time overall, it seems to me. Christmas plays, the Nutcracker, holiday parties and New Year bashes, people get gussied up. That makes me happy.

5. Not traveling. This one should actually be #1 on the list, it makes me so happy. When I was a student, I always got my ass on a plane every December because that was when Christmas break was, and so it was the most convenient time to see the fam. Visiting the fam was fun, but the travelling part? HELL ON EARTH. When I was no longer a student and not tied to an academic schedule of any kind, a sort of moment of serenity came over me where angels came from the heavens and said "You don't have to travel during the holidays any longer! You can orchestrate your life to travel whenever you choose!" From then on, I made a policy- a POLICY- out of not traveling during Thanksgiving weekend or the last two weeks of December. And now when I hear all my stressed out friends talking about travel horror stories, and see people pulling out their hair as they torture themselves with holiday travel season, I sing an inner carol of thankfulness called "I ain't doing that! I ain't doing that!" It's only in my head, but it's a joyful noise.

That's all I got. Five things may not seem like a lot, but for me, in December, it's getting me through.

What's your all-time favorite thing about December?