Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Pseudo kudos

I have been frustrated this week, you guys. And I find that I deal with pretty much any negative emotion in my life in one specific way: I want to go sleepy bye bye. Sad, mad, frustrated? My answer to that is a date with Mr. Sandman.

So, this week, I have been frustrated and therefore super tired. I went to bed at 9pm last night and woke up at 8 this morning and I could have slept longer, I am not going to lie. When I am tired, my communication skills go out the window. Like last night at dinner.

Nordic Boy: I'm really glad I could finish that new flooring in one weekend. That makes the summer time line for other projects so much easier.
Me: Totally. You deserve cooties for that.
Nordic Boy: Hey, what?
Me: Kudos. I mean kudos.
Him: "Kudos?" You never say kudos. Why are you saying kudos?
Me: I think I should start. Kudos for you-dohs!
Him: Wow.
Me: I feel like poop right now. It's how I'm dealing.
Him: You feel like pooh-dohs?
Me: Now you're feeling me.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Band, Brunch, Blazer, Beach

This weekend felt like summer. FINALLY.

On Friday night, I went to see a band called Harry and the Potters. The teenagers dressed in their punky Harry Potter garb were too cute for words. Wizard rock is silly, and fun, and pretty awesome; I am not afraid to say it, people. My favorite part of the evening was a conversation I had with a teenager in line. We were talking about going to see bands play, and about whether one should get one's hand stamped on the back of the hand, or on the inside of the wrist.

Me: To me, the inside of the wrist is what you do. Because then you don't have to worry about it washing off when you wash your hands.
Her: I guess you're right. But I don't know.
Me: Why?
Her: If you put it on the inside of your know, that's where Voldemort puts the Dark Mark on people.
Me: Yeah. Well, I hadn't thought of that.

On Saturday, Biogirl and I headed out of town to have brunch at the Salish Lodge. I ordered a three-egg omelet that I am pretty sure was either an 8-egg omelet or a three-egg omelet using eggs from a pterodactyl. We then walked around the Snolqualmie Falls (drenched in freezing mist! so refreshing) and said howdy to the mountains before heading back to Seattle. We coined a phrase for the act of walking off a large meal: beef strollin' off. Because we are geniuses.

And, just because we do live in Seattle where we have city, and mountains, and forest, and beaches, all within a one hour driving radius, we decided to do them all and ended up in Discovery Park where we hiked our way down to the beach. The best thing about this was that since this was totally unplanned, I was wearing a fancy-brunch appropriate outfit. Not a hike-through-the-woods-and-the-beach outfit. I did have enough foresight to bring along a pair of Converse with me, so at least I wasn't the crazy lady hiking in heels, but I was wearing, well, something like this.

So yes. I went hiking in a blazer. I know I am anti-fleece and clothes in the REI family make me have hives, but that? That was just ridiculous.

Biogirl and I see each other often, but it isn't often that we just spend a day together. When was the last time you spent a whole day with a friend, just hanging out, shooting the shit, doing whatever you feel like?

The next day, Biogirl and I tagged along with Nordic Boy to the hardware store and shopped to get her some gardening tools. Nordic Boy was long-suffering with our tomfoolery (him: "you should get this tool because you can use the whole length of it and not just the tip." Us: giggle giggle "Not just the tip! I hate it when they don't use the length of it!" giggle giggle) and then Nordic Boy and I walked to get some ice cream and then he lamented that he had missed the beach with us the day before, so I packed him up in the car and took him back to the beach. The beach, two days in a row. SUMMER, EFFERS.

I am all in for summer! Bring it!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Consumables #42


This is one of those movies where explaining what it's about just would seem to take away from seeing it. I had sort of avoided seeing it for a while because I just kept hearing about it and hearing about it and sometimes when I hear about something so much, what people have said about it is more in my head than what I am actually seeing. So I waited, and I'm glad I did. It was beautiful and pretty awesome.

The September Issue
Every time I see Anna Wintour, I want to say "watch out, your face is going to stay like that" but it is way too late. That lady has cornered the market on having the most consistent stankface of all times. I am shocked that she has parlayed this ability into an entire career. Watching beautiful clothes being paraded in front of you all day long and making a poopoo face at all of them is apparently a jillion dollar job.

Thomas Jefferson
I watched the Ken Burns documentary on Tommy J, and for some reason my Netflix instant queue kept telling me that it was starring Gwyneth Paltrow which it most definitely does not. She does do some voiceover, reading from sources by Jefferson's graddaughter, but it's not even noticeable. Ossie Davis is totally the narrator for 98% of the thing, but Netflix doesn't care about that.

Easy A
I sort of loved this movie. Don't hate me.

Picasso and Braque Go to the Movies
The relationship between film and cubism. You will either find this riveting or the world's biggest snoozefest.


Kneebone Boy, by Ellen Potter
Potter once again does a great job of creating a world that does not contain magic or fantasy elements at all, but yet has all the weirdness and imagination that one could hope for. Two brothers and a sister, the Hardscrabble siblings, go to visit their nutty aunt who lives in a life-size play castle next to a real castle in which, legend has it, a sort of feral boy once lived, and maybe still does.

Revolver, by Marcus Sedgwick
A sort of Cormac McCarthy book for teens, the story begins somewhere near the Arctic Circle in the early 1900s. Teenage Sig finds his father frozen on the ice outside their cabin. He brings the body inside and sends his stepmother and sister to get help. As he waits, a gruff stranger knocks on the door and demands to know where Sig's father has hidden some gold that he is owed. Sig doesn't know where the gold is, but he does know where his father kept his revolver. Suspenseful and spare.

Hound Dog True, by Linda Urban
Mattie idolizes her favorite uncle, who everyone calls Uncle Potluck. Uncle Potluck is the custodian at Mattie's new school, and she decides to be his apprentice. I loved the characters in this book, especially the adults, who are less-than-perfect but very loving and who do the best they can with what they have. Not many books out there about working class families who are functional, and I appreciated it for that alone, although that's not the only good thing about it.

Everybody Sees the Ants, by A.S. King
In order to escape from a dad who is distant, a mom who is ineffectual, the memory of a beloved grandma who has died, and a kid at school who has terrorized him since he was in elementary school, Lucky escapes each night in dreams. When he sleeps, he travels to Vietnam where his MIA/POW grandfather has been since 1972 and Lucky tries to rescue him, night after night. Another novel where realism is never compromised but the imagined world feels just as real, this one was pretty brutal in its depiction of bullying. No after-school-special-ish-ness here.

Have a great weekend, peoples!

Because their names just have always sounded dirty to me

Email exchange of the week.

(Concerning the announcement from JK Rowling this week. The one that I really wanted to mean a prequel series, but turned out to be something I am way less excited about).

Friend: Are you bummed? Or is it enough that there will be "additional material?"

Me: BOO!

Friend: You're going to end up a star of the HP fanfic community.

Me: Only if it's slash fanfic. Dobby and Barty Crouch, together at last!

Friend: HA I would so read that.

Me: "Just give me a piece of clothing, Barty! Just one!"

Friend: Oh lords. That is hilarious.

Because I am here to entertain in totally inappropriate ways.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Love Makes Things Better. Also, Badly Sung 80s Songs.

Listen, just because my heart's a little bit broke doesn't mean that I can't go out and belt some tunes in front of lots of people and scare them a little bit, right? It's like chocolate after a Dementor attack. It really helps.

Here are some things I did this weekend to help me not think about my hurty heart.

On Friday night, I went to a party at this place, where every last cheesy song in the world was sung with abandon, despite the fact that I have a bit of a cough. You want to know what? My version of Take on Me by A-ha is hideous, people. HIDEOUS. Unless perhaps you make yourself believe that I meant to do it in the style of Yoko Ono. Which I could have been doing, totally on purpose. You'll never know for sure.

Two of the things that Nordic Boy has never done in the many years that I have known him: (1) get sloppy drunk. (2) sing karaoke. I have a dream that one day I shall see these two things happen simultaneously in one spectacular night of awesomeness. Alas, Friday night was not that night. I have seen him bust out such lovely renditions of songs such as "Tiny Dancer" or "Fuck the Pain Away" by Peaches in the privacy of our own home, but he has yet to unleash his talent onto the world at large. Some day, my friends. Some day.

On Saturday I met up with Delium for lunch and afterward we were at my house where he noticed an old photo of me, Alli, and Map where I was wearing a favorite Esprit shirt under a Benetton sweater with my teenage acid washed jeans. "I totally remember that outfit!" he said. I love that I have friends from ye olden days that can say stuff like that to me.

That afternoon, I went to a "summer barbecue" at the Soggy Librarian's house. I put that in quotes because it was raining and in the upper 40s that day, at least when we first arrived. That didn't stop us from pretending it was summer, especially when it stopped raining and got up to a balmy 50 degrees or so. We barbecued and played cornhole in the wet grass. You will not defeat us, Seattle.

That night, Biogirl, Nordic Boy and I went out to dinner where I ate way too much. Like, Thanksgiving too much. It was worth the belly ache though.

Sunday, I spent the first half of my day over at Biogirl's house, where we came up with some cockamamie theory that perhaps what a good relationship needs is less talking. We came to this conclusion after about three hours of talking, so I am not sure if that proves the theory or doesn't.

I then went on a walk around Green Lake with my friend M, who is awesome for many reasons, not the least of which is that she has chickens who lay delicious eggs and she gives them away to her friends. Score! She is also just super kind. What is better than super kind? I can't think of many things.

I came home to find that all of the furniture in our guest room had been moved out into our dining area, and Nordic Boy had installed beautiful cork flooring in the guest room. And then we danced on the new floor to "Electricity" by OMD, and Nordic Boy made up a hilarious new dance that we dubbed "The Level" and we did that until I almost puked laughing. This is why I love coming home.

I called my my dad, and he told me about something funny that my mom said that day, and he could barely tell it, he was laughing so much, and I could hear my mom laughing in the background too, and I hope that when we are in our 80s Nordic Boy and I can make each other laugh like that still.

We then made a cozy dinner and watched a movie and were in bed by 11.

Thanks, weekend.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Dropped Like It's Hot

A long time ago, I wrote a post about cutting a friend out of your life. In Fiji, there is a name for doing this. It's called Friendcutting. As in, I friendcutted his sorry ass.

I wrote it in a way that was for the cutter, not the cuttee. To encourage folks that yes, it's ok to cut a friend out if they are being a shitty friend. But what about when you're the shitty friend? And you get cut out? What's that like?

The short answer? It sucks, dudes. It sucks bad.

I'm not talking about drifting apart in a mutual fashion, or when someone moves away and you don't talk to them quite as much as you used to. I am talking about a conscious, intentional decision. They don't want you as a friend. They have decided. They don't tell you they have decided. They just stop calling you. This has happened to me three major times in my life.

First of all, I guess I should say that I am most definitely a friend-person. The place that friendships occupy in my life is near the very center. I define myself in terms of the company I keep and how much love I have, related to me or not. My parents are my parents, but they are also dear friends. Nordic Boy is so for sure my friend. Also, Biogirl is my family, and so are my other dear friends. Close friend or family, it's really one unit in my mind. I acknowledge that not everyone sees friendship in this way. Perhaps that's part of my problem, but we won't go there.

I have friends that I have known since we were both sporting the Huggies. I have high school friends, and dance school friends, and college friends. I have friends from every job I have ever had. I have neighbor friends. I have coworker friends. I have ex-boyfriend friends. I have blog friends (hi you guys!). This is not to brag about how many friends I have. I'm just trying to say that I am not one to leave people behind. If you're my friend, I cherish you. I'm in it for the long haul. I'm not fair weather.

I remember the first time I consciously went AWOL on a friend of mine. I am not proud of it, but I did it. It was a college friend: Megan. In our late teens and early 20s Megan and I had whooped it up. Then, something changed for Megan. She had a lot of things going on, and I tried to be there for her. I tried to make her laugh when she was down, and she told me that was insensitive. I tried to call her when she needed me, but she would tell me that she wanted to be alone. When I left her alone, she said that I was never there for her. When something good happened to me, she told me it made her feel worse about her life. When I was sad, she told me I was being a drag. I could not win. Finally, I realized (oh, youth, when it took me years to realize crap like this) that perhaps the shitty friend was not the Man in the Mirror. I remember it hit me, right in the face, and it was a SHOCKER, and I am not even being sarcastic. Maybe Megan was the shitty friend? Say WUT?

Picture me, slapping myself on the forehead in realization, in a "gee I coulda had a V-8!" sort of way.

Here's the part I am not proud of. I had called Megan this one time, and she made all sorts of pronouncements about all the things I could never do right, and I remember so clearly thinking "I am never ever calling you again." And after I hung up, that's exactly what happened. I never called Megan again. I just dropped off the face of the earth and didn't return any of her phone calls, or emails (we by this time lived on opposite coasts so I never ran into her at parties). No "peace out!" Nothing. I may have sent her a holiday card or a birthday card for a couple of years after that, but other than that, I ratcheted that mess down from full-on friendship to lukewarm acquaintance. I still had the audacity to sign her birthday cards "xxoo" like we were still in friend-love, but clearly, I was out of there. See ya, sucker.

I try to think of this situation when friends of mine disappear on me. You might think this would make me feel worse because that would mean that I am the Megan, a terrible friend who someone just can't frigging stand anymore. But no. In my way (I am nothing if not a glass-half-full kind of lady), it makes me think that the dropper is too scared to tell me, the droppee, that they just don't want to hang anymore. I could have tried to fix things with Megan, but I didn't. I put in no effort to communicate with her about what I thought was ailing the friendship. That was my responsibility and I didn't do it. I was the coward there, not her.

At the time I knew Megan, I had never had a friend drop me like that before, so I didn't really know what that would feel like. Soon after, I got my first taste. This time, it was my friend Kayla. I didn't know there was anything wrong between Kayla and me. And I would like to flag that sentence. I didn't know there was anything wrong between Kayla and me. The reason I am flagging? Because this is a MAJOR CHARACTER FLAW OF MINE. If you don't tell me or show me you are troubled? I always assume you are fine. If you seem happy, I believe you. This is because I grew up in the land of Midwest Bigmouths, where people tell you their troubles whether you want to know or not. No one is politely hiding that shit behind a genteel veneer of courteousness. If someone has a problem with you, you will KNOW. I have tried to get better about reading people who aren't so good at that, especially because Seattle is renowned for its genteel veneer of courteousness, but so far, I still suck at it. Anyway, so Kayla had been acting the way that she always had, and so I was going along, tra la la, we are friends, and then bam. She was gone. This time, I got a hold of her and asked her about it, and with some coaxing, she told me what was wrong. And turns out, I was being a shitty friend. In my own defense, I did not realize this and had she told me what she needed from me a long time ago, I would have been able to be a better friend. But now, it was too late. She was over it, I was so ten minutes ago, and flush. Down the toilet I went, our friendship with it.

Since then, I have been cut out two more times by people I thought would be in my life for my whole life. Each time broke my heart worse than the last. The number of them that don't hurt when I think about them? Goose egg, baby.

So now that I have been on this super awesome train wreck three times in my adult life, I feel like I have a lot of things about it figured out.

1. The genteel veneer of courteousness is like a foreign language that I am starting to learn, but so far my level of understanding is on par with only being able to say the phrase "donde esta la biblioteca" while traveling in the middle of Barcelona without a map and what I really need is to go number 2 really badly but I don't know how to say that and all I can ask for is the damn biblioteca. I continue to try to study this language but it is slow going. I at least can tell my friends that I suck at this though, so they are appropriately warned, so that is something.

2. I try really way hard to be a good friend. I think I try harder than most. Sometimes though, I just don't cut it. So I get cut. Sometimes trying just isn't even the point. Getting cut is just the way it bes sometimes.

Ok, maybe that's it. I haven't learned a lot of things. I have apparently only learned two things. Which is better than no things, but still. It's kind of a shit sandwich and I wish I could say I have learned a bit more that just two things. I know more about Kim Kardashian's upcoming nuptials than I do about dealing with losing a friend. (a) She is marrying someone really tall. (b) Her sister wants her to get a prenup. (c) His name is Chris something. There. Three things. Whereas traumatic life experience? Only two things. That's really very distressing.

Wait. Maybe I have a third thing. I am hesitant about the third thing, because I am not sure it's right. But Ima say it anyway. When I get cut, I just let the person go. Like almost immediately. Because if you don't want me around, who am I to argue? It's your choice. It's like in a romantic relationship, if someone wants to leave, isn't trying to talk them into staying, well...pathetic? I feel like there is a possibility that I am supposed to Make a Stand in these types of situations. Is that how people do? They Make a Stand? Or Fight for the Friendship? People aren't acting all dramatic like that, are they? That's what I am asking you, blog friends. Am I being a bad cuttee? Am I supposed to be hanging on to someone's leg while they try to walk out the door? Because I have never done that, and I am just realizing, after train wreck number three, that maybe I should have been doing that. But if that's true, I just don't know if I have it in me. I just don't know if I am cut from leg-hanging cloth. I am much more a "hey, still love you, I'll be over here. If you want to call me up, I will always take the call, but I'm not going to call you and have you hang up on my ass over and over again" kind of lady. But is that what we're supposed to do for love these days? Because if so, I have been doing it all wrong.

I just don't want to go through train wreck number four, you guys. I am getting too old for this shit. I am Dear Abbying you. If someone friend-cuts you, let go or no?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

How Now, Whiney Cow

Most awesome conversation I have heard lately, between a mom and her daughter, about 5 years old.

Kid: Mmmmmmmm.
Mom: Was that a moo? Like a cow? Good job!
Kid: No. I was whining. Mmmmmmm.
Mom: Oh. Well, stop it then.
Kid: Mmmmmmmmm.
Mom: Stop whining!
Kid: It was a moo that time.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Why I will make a great retired person

Most of my weekends are full of activity. Every once in a while, my calendar is totally open, which means I get to do whatever I wish. This weekend was such a weekend, and I find it telling that "whatever I wish" is decidedly geriatric.

Here was my Saturday.

1. Woke up at 7am, because, you know, that's sleeping in.

2. Had a cup of tea and literally counted my leftover change and rolled it up.

3. Did laundry, dishes, vacuumed, dusted, and paid bills all before 10am.

4. Wandered over to Biogirl's house.

5. Had a leisurely brunch with the bff.

6. Went into the garden store next to the brunch place.

7. Went on a stroll around Green Lake.

8. Found the Parfait ice cream truck, and had a scoop in the sun.

9. Complained to each other about the cafe chairs on the sidewalk we ended up sitting in (her: "this cuts off my circulation in the back of my legs!" me: "these chairs make my butt fall asleep!")

10. Came home and watched David McCullough being interviewed on tv while ironing Nordic Boy's work shirts.

11. Read a book, while listening to Vivaldi.

12. Looked at some old photos of friends I miss and felt terribly nostalgic.

13. Opened up all my windows, put my feet up on my couch, and "rested my eyes."

14. Made a simple dinner of rice, beans and veggies with Nordic Boy.

15. Watched a movie under a blanket and ate cherries for dessert.

16. Did a crossword in bed.

I really hope my generation will be able to retire, because I am seriously going to rock that shit.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Consumables #41

Two Consumables in one week! I should be paid extra for that!

1. Witches of the East End, by Melissa de la Cruz

At Book Expo there were all sorts of publishers there with galley copies of upcoming books, handing them out to people who might be able to add to the buzz.* Oh yes, I am so important, I can create buzz. Not really, but you think I am going to tell those suckers that? How would I get a gigantic boxful of galleys to bring home with me then? Anyway, I picked this one up from my pile at random, and also a little bit because I am familiar with de la Cruz's teen stuff (this is her first novel for adults). This one is set in the Hamptons, and stars a family of three witches. With all the zombies and vampires running around literary land (and now fairies too), seeing a good old fashioned witch was sort of refreshing. It was still super frothy and would appeal to teens even more than her teen books, I think, because the story was like her teen stuff, only with plenty of the sexy bidness. Which makes it a novel for adults, but let's face it, teens want books with the sexy bidness in it too.

2. Home improvement shows

Nordic Boy watches home improvement shows sometimes, and they make him, out of anger, pop an o-ring. (This is a favorite phrase of Nordic Boy's. To pop one's o-ring. That means to get rageful. It has to do with plumbing. Trust me, he tells me it's hill-air). It drives him to a poopy pants state when someone Norm Abrams like, who has the fanciest tools around that will laser draw all your cuts for you and then execute those cuts with a press of a button, does this and then says something like "and there you go! Once you learn that trick, you can make mitered joints in seconds!" I found Nordic Boy yelling at the screen last night: "THAT IS NOT A TRICK! THAT IS NOT A TRICK! AUTOMATION DID IT FOR YOU! YOUR VIEWERS CAN'T AFFORD THAT SAW! THAT IS NOT CRAFTSMANSHIP! GAHHHHH!" I don't know why he puts himself through that. Maybe it's the same part of the brain that causes me to watch the Bachelorette, which makes me pop an o-ring.

3. The Bachelorette

OMG, you guys. I really was so ready to not watch the shitstorm anymore. And then I got sick, and watched all the teevees, and saw an episode. And now I am back in. GODDAMN ME. But come on, the guy who wore a Zorro mask for the first few episodes, so that she would fall in love with the Real Him? And how she had spent probably a collective 4 or 5 hours in some guy named Bentley's presence (cue Jon Cryer as Duckie: "his name is Bentley? That's a car, not a name!") and when he left the show, she TOOK TO HER BED because she was devastated by the loss! I don't do the Real Housewives, or the Jersey Shore, or anything like that, but this one: I just can't not look at it. I can't. O-ring be damned.
4. I don't really find celebrities hot. I don't know why, I just don't. I never watch a movie and think "ooh, Ryan Reynolds, homina homina." Instead, I think, really? Ryan Reynolds? Why? I just don't think that I can have a crush on anyone based solely on their looks. So, no fantasizing about McDreamy or McSteamy or McFeely (wait, that's the Mister Rogers guy) or whatever. I do, however, have friend crushes. Like, I have looked at people and thought "we would so totally be friends." For instance, I am convinced in a completely (well 98%) non-stalker-ish way that Amy Poehler and I would be total besties. I also feel that Kate Winslet and/or Emma Thompson (I don't know, the two of them have to come in a set, right?) and I could have a pint together, no probs. I have always found Ewan McGregor completely charming in interviews and like him in a non-hubba-hubba way.*** I couldn't make you a long list like that, but I could make you a list. The latest friend-crush I have? Luke Burbank and Jen Andrews on TBTL. I listen to their podcast on my way to work in the morning and am pretty sure I am conducting an imaginary friendship with both of them.

5. I know this has made its way around the intertubes a bunch, but my fake friends Luke and Jen play the audio from this often, and it makes me laugh every. fucking. time.

*I am sure I must have mentioned the dude that my friends and I eavesdropped on at Coastal Kitchen this one time, where he was obviously on a date, and trying to impress his lady friend with high falutin' intellectual talk** and our favorite quote from this 21st century Keats was on the subject of his artwork and the effect that he wanted it to have on the world. "I just want to make a dent in the buzz, man," he said. A dent. In the buzz. Oh, lady, if you ended up bedding that dude later, I just don't even know what to say to you.

**otherwise known as jibber jabber

***homina homina and hubba hubba in one post! Just wanted to point that out in case you missed it.

Later gators. Tell me, who is your imaginary celebrity friend?

Monday, June 06, 2011

Consumables #40, or "Have You Ever Read that Ray Bradbury story?"

There are a lot of people in my city obsessed with the weather. I can't hold myself apart from this- I am as guilty as anyone. I check the weather reports obsessively, and do a disproportionately jubilant dance whenever the sun decides to show itself. I have made valiant efforts to not talk about it so dang much, and although I want full credit for mostly succeeding at this, I also have to dock points for the fact that I would actually, in complete seriousness, describe my efforts as "valiant."

This obsession with talking about weather amongst my Seattle peoples is highest in spring time. I think we can partly blame this on the Facebooks and the Tweeters, as we can blame almost anything. Springtime is when many other places in the US are telling us via their Facebook and Twitter statuses about sunshine, and flowers, and putting on shorts. Seattle has to wait longer than most other places for these sentiments, and so looking at those statuses all day long makes us hemmorage agitation.

This is the paragraph where I disclaim the pants off of all that I am saying and acknowlege all the messy scary weatherness in the news. Places that are not Seattle are being tornadoed to Kingdom Come and I know I am a horrible person for talking about a measly lack of sunshine. But trust me, Seattle during the month of May is full of horrible people just like me. Just know that I am aware of our collective disgustingness. Thanks.

My friend and coworker the Soggy Librarian and I have a special weather-complainant bond. As I said I have valiantly cut down on the weather drama, but that does not extend to my conversations with TSL. She is in the ok-to-whine zone. And part of what makes her be in that zone is her dedication to her weather rage. She actually makes weather rage sort of fun. It doesn't even feel whiney. It feels like a sport. How many ways can she and I complain about the lack of sunshine? Turns out, millions of ways. Millions.

This year, TSL has extended the weather rage into full on storytelling. It starts like this. "Have you ever read that Ray Bradbury story?" Then she'll tell you the summary of "All Summer in a Day," a story that takes place on another planet, where the residents only see the sun for one day out of seven years, or some crazy shit like that. The rest of the time it rains. So basically, the "other planet" is Seattle. Whenever she brings this up, everyone around her says "Wow. That is so us." And we bond in our feelings of Vitamin D deficiency. There is one character in the story who is from Earth. All her little kid friends have never seen the sun, but she has, and she misses it badly. And when the day finally comes where the sun will come out? Her bastard friends lock her in a closet and she MISSES THE WHOLE THING. Because kids are little angels, that's why. Oh Ray Bradbury. Such a joyful sort.

This weekend was the first weekend of sun that Seattle saw in for-freaking-ever. People were planning for this weekend like it was their prom or something. And you know what happened? I got sick with the worst cold. Right on the sunny days! Like, right on them. Square on the nuts.

And thanks to TSL, I could wallow in the misery of not being out in the sun by thinking of that Ray Bradbury story. I AM THE LOCKED IN THE CLOSET GIRL! Not to be confused with the Locked in the Closet boy, R. Kelly. I don't think even Ray Bradbury could have dreamed that guy up.

So I spent most of the sunny days in my house, under a blanket, sipping soup and watching movies. Boo hoo!

Here's what I watched. It's a lot of movies. I was sick for a while.

My Date with Drew
A documentary in which this dude wins $1100 on a game show. He decides to give himself 30 days with this budget witht the goal of ending up on a date with his childhood crush, Drew Barrymore. He manages to go the whole movie trying to get in touch with Drew in all kinds of ways. And bee-tee-dubs, he somehow never comes off as a stalker, which is pretty impressive.

A pair of embedded journalists document a group of soldiers deployed in the mountains of Afghanistan, in an area that is known for being one of the most dangerous for American soldiers.

Following Sean
In 1969, filmmaker Ralph Arlyck makes a short film where he interviews Sean, a 4 year old. Sean lives in the Haight with his hippy parents, and talks frankly about things like the fact that he already smokes pot. The movie got a lot of attention back then and caused lots of people to speculate about what would happen to Sean when he grew up. This movie finds Sean as an adult to answer that question.

Dear Zachary
Movies don't tend to make me have nightmares. Not ghosts, or zombies, or even serial killers. This one made me have nightmares. A few years ago, the filmmaker's lifelong friend, Andrew, was murdered by his ex-girlfriend. After his murder, the ex-girlfriend gave birth to a child that was fathered by Andrew. The filmmaker travels across North America interviewing as many people as possible that ever knew Andrew so that he could give the finished movie, full of remembrances, to Andrew's son Zachary. Things go downhill from there. Like, as heartbreaking as that sounds, it gets so much more heartbreaking.

Between the Folds
Documentary about crazy cool origami art. What more is there to say?

Last Dance
Documentary about the collaboration between Maurice Sendak and Pilobilus. If you know anything about Sendak, and about Pilobolus, you know that they are both cranky but awesome entities. Half the fun is seeing who can out-cranky the other. The collaboration's result is an abstract(ish) dance piece about the Holocaust. The thing I liked seeing was the rehearsal and creative process. If you're wanting to see the actual finished piece, they don't really show much of that. I can see how that might bug some viewers, but I was ok with it.

Purple Rain
Ok, I hadn't seen this in years, and I saw it now and I was totally appalled. Prince beats up Appelonia! Like, full on smacks her up. And pushes her down, and threatens to beat her up some more. And Jerome throws a mouthy woman in a DUMPSTER. And Prince identifies with his domestic abuser father and never really rejects that whole mess, even at the end. And lots of other jacked up shit. I mean, I know I shouldn't expect Prince to be the model of gender equality or anything, but COME ON. This was way, way, waaaaay over the line. I sort of can't get over it.

Kings of Pastry
Fancy pastry chefs competing to become MOFs (highest culinary honor in France- you thought I said MOFOs didn't you?). The pastries in this were r'dick. I have to say though, they didn't look tasty to me. They were amazing, but they didn't make my mouth water or anything. It was more like an amazing sculptural feat than anything else. Then again, I think the best dessert ever made is probably, oh, like an ice cream sandwich or something. That's how I do. MOF that shit.

127 Hours
I know we're not supposed to like James Franco anymore, but I still do.

The Next Three Days
I was mad that the Elizabeth Banks character was so...not assertive. But not too mad, because how much am I really going to get riled about a Russell Crowe thriller? Not that much.

Red Dawn
Patrick Swayze never looked like a teen, even when he was a teen. He must have spawned onto this earth as a thirty year old man, I swear.

Ok, I'm cheating- I saw this in the theater a week ago. I thought is was adorbs.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011


I'm back to the land of grey skies and polite people. Hi Seattle!

Here is what I have to say about my trip to New York.

There are two things I love in life. Well, more than two, obviously, but in the long list of things I love, these two would be near the tippiest top of the list. One! Walking. Two! Art of all kinds. You know what New York is all about? Walking and art of all kinds. Nordic Boy has this same list of loves, but also has a third thing, and that is buildings, parks, bridges. Man made structures, if you will. We were in hog heaven. I get annoyed with the New Yorkers who are all "nothing but nothing is better than New York and anyplace else might as well be a festering boil on a donkey's ass" but goddamn it. It's got things I love so much it hurts. So FINE.

Relatedly, I always find it a little annoying when New Yorkers brag about the quality of their bagels. Yes, YES, you have better bagels than everywhere else, we HEAR YOU. Yet what was the first thing we did when we woke up that first morning? Get our asses to Absolute Bagels. And stood in a long line. Because oh my god. Bagel bliss.

You know how, in tv shows that are set in New York, people are always somehow running into people they know everywhere? Like in Seinfeld, or Sex in the City, or Friends (and yes I can make a reference that is less than 5 years old but just not right now)? I always feel sort of skeptical about that. In all of those masses of people, like you are really going to keep running into crazy Joe Davola everywhere? What EVS. Biogirl and I used to work together when we were in college, and we had this cuckoo boss. Let's call her Rowena. After we both quit that job, we always wondered what would happen on the day that we run into Rowena somewhere. It's sort of bound to happen, right? We dreaded the awkwardness that would ensue. We had the same social circle as Rowena at one time, and we frequent the same sorts of places, and Seattle ain't that big. This was over 10 years ago, and we have never run into Rowena. Ever. So in New York? People are running into each other everywhere? Well, as it turns out, I found that they do. First of all, Nordic Boy and I kept running into my friend Linda everywhere we went. Linda was in town from Seattle to attend Book Expo (as was I), but we saw her everywhere. We were walking in Central Park- hey Linda! And walking near Madison Square Garden- there's Linda! It was buh-nay-nuts. Also, the first day I went to Book Expo (which was attended by about 20,000 people, no lie), I looked up and who was walking by me but E. Lockhart. Ms. Lockhart is the fine author of one of my all-time favorite teen books, and I got the chance to eat dinner with her a couple of months ago when she came to my liberry. So although I don't know her, I sort of know her. Anyway, I chatted with her and she was awesome because she remembered me (or she was awesome because she pretended really well to remember me; I will accept either one as a testament to awesomeness). Then! As I was walking around the joint, I stopped at the Minnesota University Press booth to snag a free copy of the new Ellen Willis book. The rep at the booth and I had a 10 minute conversation about the book, and Ellen, and suchlike. The whole time, I was thinking: do I know you, booth guy? I think I know you. I had a name tag the size of a saucer on a lanyard around my neck (so stylish) stating my full name and where I was from, so I figured if I knew this dude, he could clearly see my name and hence recognize me. He had no such name billboard on his person. I walked away from that conversation and later it clicked. Biogirl's friend from when she lived in California, who I am now friends with too, in a Facebook sort of way: that was that lady's husband. Who I met many times when visiting Biogirl in California, and hung out with, and got into hijinks with. I wanted to be mad that he didn't remember me, but I didn't remember him really either so I guess that wouldn't be fair.

THE POINT IS. I ran into people I knew among the throngs of people in New York. So maybe it makes sense that Carrie keeps running into Big and Aidan everywhere.

Nordic Boy and I also felt super proud of ourselves for accidentally showing up at Moma during their free-admission night. Ha ha! Saving money! We then promptly went to their cafe and ordered a lemonade and an apple cider and didn't look at the prices and paid $20 for that. Rookie mistake.

Trump Tower is gaudy, y'all. I know, this is shocking news.

There were some celebrity sightings, which are totally boring, but let me just tell you one. Ok, two. I saw Mrs. Brady. And that lady is so short and tiny, you guys. And her head is really big. That is not a nice thing to say, but I just have to. Also, Mike Holmes. The only reason that one is interesting (if you even know who he is at all, which likely you may not) is that he was walking down a Manhattan street totally dressed in his get-up- the one he wears on his show. I always wonder with people who wear the same thing on their show all the time: do they dress like that every day? Like, did Captian Kangaroo wear that red jacket to go to the Olive Garden or Kmart or anything? Well, Mike Holmes is committed to his outfit. I just want you to know that.

Speaking of Kmart, Nordic Boy was totally fascinated with the entrance to Kmart in the subway. Like, in an out-of-proportional way. Leave it to a midwest kid to be that impressed with a Kmart.

We saw The Motherfucker with the Hat, which was good, except for the Motherfucker with the unsilent cell phone sitting right behind us. THREE TIMES. The cell phone rang three separate times.

When we saw How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, there was a row of teen girls behind us that were having the straight up vapors over Daniel Radcliffe. Like I thought there might be fainting. And whenever there was cause to clap at the end of a song, these girls screamed so loud that it blew our hair forward. I didn't know that humans could make sounds that loud. Turns out, the powerful mix of Harry Potter and teen girl hormones is a magical amplification system.

Best New York moment: a sunny day, in front of a beautiful little cafe. Tables are set up on the sidewalk, people are eating. Things are happy. An old woman wearing a bedazzled headwrap and Sophia Loren sunglasses walks by and loudly says, to no one in particular: "I don't know WHY we have to always have this kind of SHIT right on the sidewalk. GAWD."

Saw the Alexander McQueen exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I wanted to lick the clothes.

Also wandered in to the Cooper Hewitt design museum, which was showing an exhibit of Van Cleef and Arpels gigantic brooches and other ridiculous jewels. The crowd in the museum was even better to look at than the exhibit. It was like me and Nordic Boy were lost in a sea of Mrs. Howells.

Going to New York can kind of wig me out a little bit, seeing as how I spent the first 20 years of my life basically being told I was going to end up living there by all of my mentors. Then I did live there for dance school for a while, and when I left, it was only for a breif period- at least that's what I thought at the time. It was like my adulthood was geographically a given in my mind until I was about 20 years old. I never thought to picture myself anywhere else. The vision of my future adulthood that I always had in my head as a kid was me living my life in New York. No one questioned that around me, and the adults in my world actively steered me in this direction, so I didn't question it either. So when I go there now, it can feel strange. To be so far from what I was literally trained to be. I don't have regrets about where my life has ended up- I am happy with who I am now and how I've chosen to do something totally different. But being there, especially in certain specific spots (Lincoln Center is particularly ouchie, for example), it's not regret I feel, but it's something equally uncomfortable. A queasy feeling in my stomach, and sometimes a little mist in my eyeball area. Who was that kid that I used to be? Where did that all go? Whatever the answer, there is no going back. And that can be hard to process for me. I don't think I have ever reconciled that for myself. I don't think I'm supposed to.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled Seattle-ness.