Here is what is cracking me up today.
When I walked in to work this morning, I ran into my friend Jen.
Her: Hey, how are you? How is your friend?
Me: Which friend?
Her: The one who was BUSTED.
Her: Your friend. Remember, when we had pub night last week, you said you didn't come because your friend was BUSTED.
Me: I did? I...(wracking brain, trying to think of a friend who got busted. And what exactly are we talking about? Busted as in, busted up? Hurt? Or busted as in nabbed by the po-po? Do I have a friend in either category at the moment? Ummmm)
Her: Yes, you did.
Me: I can't remember that friend! I am a horrible person!
For the next 5 hours at work, this was going through my head:
I am a horrible person I have a poor busted up friend who is either in-the-hospital-busted or in-jail-busted and I don't even remember them horrible person I am a horrible horrible horrible person.
Then, I realized. That was the night our FURNACE busted. The time I saw Jen after I didn't show up for pub night was at a loud party. Before leaving the party, I said to her that I missed the pub night because our furnace busted. What she heard was me, spitting the badass line: "We didn't make it because my friend got BUSTED. It was a long night and really expensive" and then turning around and traipsing off, like I am Snoop Dogg or something. COLDBLOODED.
There is a small part of me that wishes we had never figured this out.
Here is what is cracking me up today.
One time a while ago, we were slated to go on a vacation. I needed that vacation, bad. As I was getting ready to pack, I ran through my house and screamed a happy scream that went like this: "Where is mah sooot-case?" I had my phone in my hand, and somehow I had pressed the voice memo button, which recorded this sentence. I saved that voice memo, and ever since then, whenever I have had just about enough, I press that voice memo button to signal that fact. It's sort of my version of "Calgon take me away."
Last year, my job necessitated that I drive from location to location. Oftentimes I didn't know where I was going to end up that day. This meant that I had to carry lots of stuff with me. Files, lunch, water bottle, maybe a binder or two. So for this reason I had to buy a Gigantic Bag of Doom. I know that big bags are all the rage these days, but I am going to level with you. Most of them, design-wise, look bad to me. All the slouchiness looks like everyone is carrying around crumpled up hefty bags. And the overabundance of hardware on these puppies! Buckles, snaps, chains! Looks like Mr. T got a hold of your hefty bag and went to town on it with a bedazzler or something. But that's just me. I looked and looked for a nice bag that could accomodate as much as a small suitcase, and it took me a long time. As you might remember, I will not buy something that I cannot abide looking at. It took me three years to buy a winter coat that I found acceptable, people. I wanted to buy a pencil cup for my office desk and never have found one that I like enough, in all my years on this earth. I am straight up weird about stuff like this. Anyway, I ended up finding a bag. It looks like this:
Internet friends, I ask you: Where is mah (moderately sized) sooot-case? Etsy shop? Favorite store? Internet site? Give it to me. I promise this won't be like the pencil cup thing.
It's gotta be short and sweet this time!
Into the Storm
First Wormtail plays Winston Churchill in The King's Speech, and here we have Mad Eye Moody giving us his Winston C. I think we should just rotate all Harry Potter actors into World War II movies. How about Barty Crouch as Hitler? Or Nearly Headless Nick would make a great Neville Chamberlain. Give Dumbledore a shave and he could be FDR. Give Hagrid a partial shave and he could be Stalin. And Voldemort could totally be Mussolini, obv. Wow, this whole list is freaking me out a little.
Not only did vampire lady leave, but it was especially disappointing because it was the episode where she got serious. And you know what she does when she gets serious? She pops her vampire teeth out of her mouth and puts them on the coffee table before the serious talking can begin! Dangit I wish she would have stayed.
Ciy of Ember, by Jeanne Duprau
I know it's been said so many times these days but dang, children and teen books that are being published these days are so freaking good. I remember when I was a kid and trying to make it through the day by reading We Interrupt This Semester For An Important Bulletin and shit like that.
I See You Everywhere, by Julia Glass
I am not a person who needs characters to be likeable in order to enjoy the story, but in this case I'll make an exception. I did not like the characters and so I did not like the story because of them. So there you go.
Parks and Rec and Community
Just, yay for both of these. Amy Poehler, you so want to be friends with me, I just know it. I love you in a way that is not at all creepy.
That's all, ya'll. Top o' the weekend to ya.
Where the hell is January, you guys? I have been in some sort of Rip Van Winkle situation where the whole month has passed me by, except I haven't been asleep. So I guess that's not like Rip Van Winkle at all, since that was his whole deal, right? He slept? That's one thing I don't do very well, so I suppose Rip and I do not overlap. So just, never mind.
Yeah, that paragraph says one thing and it's something like: get that girl a nap, stat.
Ever since Ye Grande 2011 has begun, I have been behind in all aspects of non-work life. I still have New Year cards to friends waiting to mailed in my purse. I need to go to the eye doctor, and the dentist, and get my hairs cutted. Plus, I am feeling all out of touch because I am so behind on reading your blogs, so I hope everyone is ok out there, and that I haven't missed anything earthshattering. Unless it was really great, of course. Far be it from me to stop you from winning the lottery or something just because I wasn't there to blog comment.
2011 is treating me pretty dang good so far though. I rang in the New Year by going to a party where Nordic Boy did a very memorable imitation of Jane Fonda doing 80s aerobics during the charades round of a game of Celebrity. A friend of ours described it as "a cross between Jane Fonda and Grover." Just picture that, if you can. I have been working like a crazy person, but it's been ok, because the people I work with are awesome, plus it's better to be busy at work than not, right? (Famous last words, anyone?) It was Nordic Boy's birthday recently and there was so much money spent on foodstuffs that we shoved into our gaping maws that I'm sort of embarrassed at the excess. First of all, I took him to Poppy's. I haven't had a meal I enjoyed so much in a long, long time. It was freaking ridiculous. You should go to there, immediately. The next night, Biogirl took us to dinner at Tilth. And wow, again. It was so delectable. The night after that, Delium took us to dinner at Carmelita. Triple whammy on the food tip! The downside is that Nordic Boy did not get his slide ruler, but those meals were more than enough gift. When that triple food threat was over, the following night, we stayed home and ate a take-out burrito from Nordic Boy's favorite little hole in the wall. Don't be fooled by the rocks that we got.
We also went to see the 14/48 theater festival, which is this crazy thing where on Thursday night, a bunch of theater types get together (writers, designers, actors, directors) and pick a theme out of a hat. That night, the writers spend all night writing 7 one-acts. They hand those in on Friday at 8am, and then the rest of them have until 8pm that night to design, construct, rehearse. That night, the show goes on. This made me simultaneously really nostalgic for working in theater (look at all that collaboration and camaraderie!) and totally so happy to not be working in theater any longer (that shit looks so tiring, and also, there are a lot of really hyper people in that line of work, which was really apparent during the show, and although I once was a young lady who bounced off the walls with creativity, I am now a less-young lady who is creative in a way that involves rest breaks and going to bed by 11pm).
After the show, Nordic Boy and I were verbally assaulted by a shit-faced audience member who was the spitting image of Kenny Rogers. The show was really entertaining, and I mean no disrespect to those who put it on, but drunk Kenny Rogers was even more entertaining.
We also went to a birthday party of a friend of ours. He played two awesome sets with his band for the entire party so we didn't get to actually see him or talk to him much, but dang it was fun. It was held in an Elks Lodge, you guys. I don't know about you, but when I was growing up, big birthday bashes, wedding receptions, and the like were often held in Elks Lodges. Or VFW halls. So this was just rocking my socks old school. I mean, check this out.
I haven't really consumed a whole lot this week, other than a pan of lasagna (made on Sunday, ate all the way through Thursday), two episodes of The Bachelor (damn you, Tivo, and your suggestions that I can't say no to), and the first season of Sherlock (every time I see the name Benedict Cumberbatch, I think of that Eddie Izzard bit about Englebert Humperdink).
In other news, it's Nordic Boy's birthday soon, and friends and family have asked what he might like for his birthday. I got him to make a wishlist, and predictably, it is short, but it's better than nothing. I'm going to share it with you, and simply ask you, can you conceive of a nerdier list than this?
Lately my life is as follows. Work, eat, sleep, work, eat, sleep, work, eat, sleep. With watching The Bachelor thrown in when I can. Because I want Brad to choose the vampire lady with fangs. I mean, don't you?
In other news, it's my mama's birthday week. She's extraordinary. Because why? I'll tell you why.
1. My mom laughs with abandon. It is only after instances of witnessing my mom's laugh that I notice how little I really witness people laughing with abandon. She opens her mouth, throws her head back, and loud, infectious laughing rolls out. It's raucous and musical. I have yet to meet the hard-hearted soul who will not at least crack a smile when she gets going.
2. On a related note, my mom is high-larious. When you meet her she comes off as dignified and sort of elegant. She is well-mannered with a kind face. Underneath that though beats the heart of a 10 year old tomboy. There were times when I was in middle school (the only time in my life when I was slightly surly) and when I would take myself too seriously, she would throw her dinner roll at me across the room with a perfect pitcher's aim and bop me on the head. And then crack up at my surprise. Which would make me crack up and not take myself so damn serious. That's just good parenting, when I really think about it.
3. She is also one progressive mutha. She communicated with me about art and politics and history and race and gender and sexuality and class and nationality and all that good stuff since I was a child, and she was a proud voter, and she got me through girlhood with good body image, and she made sure I knew about safe sex, and she encouraged assertiveness, and creativity, and intelligence. I love her for many reasons, but that one ranks right up there at the top.
4. My mom was the key person in my development as a lover of pop culture. She was never judgmental about consuming pop culture, but she was always critically engaged with it. She is the reason I understood that Chrissy and Janet were unnecessarily portrayed as binary opposite models of womanhood- the dumb pretty one and the smart spunky one. And the reason I understood that daytime soap operas during that time were paragons of compulsory heterosexuality. And why I understood that the conflict between Pa Ingalls and Harriet Oleson was a not-so-subtle messed up commentary on patriarchy versus matriarchy. Why did I understand these things? Because she talked about them, sometimes in discussions with me, and other times via my overhearing her yelling at the tv screen. It's a two-way communication to her. And now, to me too.
5. My mom has style. She has this mod sensibility that I still love to this day. And she loves to dress up. It was sometime when she hit her mid-60s the first time I saw my mom wearing jeans. My mom does not wear jeans, yo. I asked her what was up, and she said that she thought that she might as well give it a try now- she had held out long enough. I have still never seen her in sweatpants, and I don't think that day is ever coming.
6. When I was growing up, any kids that needed a place to be were welcome at our house, and that's because of my mom. There were times that she fed some of my friends the only decent meal they were going to get that week. And the only positive adult attention. I had friends that would come to my house even when I wasn't there, just to hang out with my folks. She still remembers all of them, and remembers what their favorite dishes were.
7. I have always loved my mom's hands. They look sturdy and able and no nonsense. I have always hoped that my hands look like hers, but I can't see it yet. My hands still have nonsense.
8. She has always treated me like I am strong and capable, no question. She has nothing to say to me other than YOU CAN DO IT! And if mom thinks I can, I can. At least that's what I feel when I talk to her.
I wish you all knew my mom, you guys. I hope I grow up to be like her someday.
It's the kind of week where I don't even know what day it is- in fact, the whole week has seemed like one long unbroken day. It's Friday, right? Please tell me it's Friday.
Anyway, here's what I have been up to with the medias.
I can usually go with a dumb movie, but this one I couldn't. There were just too many obvious holes in the story. Plus, it stole too much from movies like The Fugitive. We are not that stupid, movie-makers. I know it's a big deal because the role was originally written for a dude (Tom Cruise, was it?) and so yay for Angelina that she can get a paycheck to be in a super dumb action movie just as good as any man. Woo.
It was good. Nordic Boy kept pseudo-quoting the Wendy's commercial lady by whispering "Where's LaBeef?" at opportune moments, which just made it all the more enjoyable. I highly recommend that sort of behavior if you plan to see it.
I thought I could rave about Helen Mirren reading the phone book, but this one was sort of boring. I don't understand how that happened. There are hookers! And crazy 70s outfits! And boxing! But still, snoozer. I'm sorry Helen. I still love you. Maybe there was just too much of Joe Pesci being Joe Pesci. Or something. I don't know.
The Wire, Season 1
Watched this entire season over New Year's weekend all over again. I think there should be a drinking game where you drink every time someone says Avon Barksdale, because they say that name like 20 times an episode.
I was expecting this to so be my movie. A documentary about design? BRING IT. But maybe my expectations were too high or something. It seemed like something you would watch on your very first day of class if you were taking Design 101. Just kind of dry, not very inspiring.
Ironic that all I could say while watching this was "Oh my LORD," and "JEEZUS." In an appalled sort of way. The part where they made all the little kids pray to the life size cardboard cut-out of George W. Bush? Just, what can you say to that?
I read a bunch of picture books this week for work. Here are some that have pretty artwork in them. Never mind the story, just page through and look at the illustrations. Click through to the Amazon links and click on the Look Inside feature for a taste.
Three Questions, by Jon Muth
Anatole and the Cat, by Eve Titus, illustrated by Paul Galdone
Jazzy Miz Mozetta, by Brenda C. Roberts, illustrated by Frank Morrison
Also, I read this one, which was kind of awesome. My nieces and nephews get sort of obsessed with Nordic Boy, his tools, and his tool belt, so this cracked me up.
Monkey with a Tool Belt, by Chris Monroe
Onward, to the weekend!
Nordic Boy, singing in the shower, to the tune of The Smiths "How Soon Is Now?" :
"I am human and I need to be scrubbed, just like everybody else does..."
Come on. That man is a genius.
I do it almost every year, so here it is again...
1. What did you do in 2010 that you'd never done before?
I got laid off. (I know I never told you guys about that, but don't worry, I'm ok, I have a different but similar job to what I had before, with the same library system).
2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
None last year, and sort of for this year. I had to make them about not changing stuff, instead of changing stuff, because I am ornery like that.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes! My favorite librarian friend, Ol' Soggypants (aka The Soggy Librarian). Also, some other friends too. Yay bebes!
4. Did anyone close to you die?
No. This has been the first year in a few years that I've been able to say no to that question. I hope it's the beginning of a good streak.
5. What countries did you visit?
Leavenworth. Hey, anywhere that boasts that much lederhosen is a foreign country as far as I am concerned.
6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
Less work stress. There is a little voice in my mind saying "fat chance, lady!" but I am ignoring that voice.
7. What date from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
That getting laid off day was a doozie. Also, my birthday, both because it was my birthday which was full of fun stuff, and also because my dad went back to the hospital that day, and I found out about my new job that day, which is sort of the perfect metaphor for my life. Big happy stuff, and big sad stuff all mixed together for me to figure out.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I felt like I got through some sticky work days with my integrity still in tact. (I am sort of hating the fact that work is figuring so largely into this list. Not like me at all, goddamn 2010).
9. What was your biggest failure?
I want to be a dick about the word "failure," but instead I will play nice and answer the question. I tried to be there for a friend, and that friend was totally not receptive, and so I let go of it, and I felt like a failure for that one for a while. But then I realized that sometimes not being there for someone is actually being there for someone, because if that's what they need from you, then there you go. See how I rationalize things?
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nope. I was healthy this year, which I'm super thankful for.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Sad to say it was the poop pipe replacement, because poop transport is super important. On a more fun note, my tickets to see plays and dance shows and art shows were definitely my favorite.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Biogirl, for getting a new job and a new place to live. Way to get it done, lady. Also, Nordic Boy, just because of his unrelenting daily awesomeness. Consistent guy, he is.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Shit, I don't even want to talk about it.
14. Where did most of your money go?
I can't believe the poop pipe is being mentioned again! Those things are super expensive, man.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
The fact that Biogirl moved in down the street from me! In fact, just thinking about it I have to say eeeeee! all over again. Also, visiting my folks, Nordic Boy's folks, Alli and Chris, and seeing Map. Also, still having a job was not so much exciting but a relief the size of planet earth.
16. What song will always remind you of 2010?
I'll save that til the end of the list.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
- happier or sadder? both
- richer or poorer? richer, I think, but just by a little
- thinner or fatter? the same (and I can't tell you how much I think that question is fucked up)
18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
I had a ton of fun this year, but I wish I'd had even more. Greedy bastard.
19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
20. How did you spend the holidays?
Equal parts at home having cozy times with Nordic Boy and visiting with various friends. Good stuff.
21. Did you fall in love in 2010?
I've been in freefall for some time now.
22. How many one-night stands?
None. God, one-night stands were the worst. Who ever thought that was a good idea? I was a dumb young lady.
23. What was your favorite TV program?
The Daily Show/Colbert Report. And So You Think You Can Dance. Oh shut up, you watch dumb tv too.
24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
I can only think of one person that I truly can say I hate. And I have hated them for a few years. Unfortunately, I think that the hatred levels might have gone up a little this year.
25. What was the best book you read?
Looking over my list of things read this year, there were very few things that rocked my world. I must have just picked poorly. However, I loved Tales from Outer Suburbia, by Shaun Tan. Not published in 2010, but still, it was new to me.
26. What was your favorite film of this year?
Hard one! I liked The King's Speech, and I Am Love, and Herb and Dorothy, and The American. Oh I don't know what my favorite was.
27. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?
Just me being me. I like to dress up.
28 Whom did you miss?
The usual suspects: my folks, my many faraway loved ones.
29. Who was the best new person you met?
To be literal about the term "new person," The Soggy Librarian's little munchkin is pretty awesome.
30. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010.
Sometimes you just have to let people be. Let them be sad, or assholey, or absent, or jagoffs, or flakey. It doesn't matter how there for them you want to be, or how good your reasons are for wanting things to be different. Sometimes what you want just doesn't matter. That's what I learned this year. That sounds way more depressing than it really is. Learning it actually has made me feel better about stuff. Go figure.
Almost forgot #16. This is the song that reminds me of this year.
As you might know by now, I am not a big New Year's Resolution sort of person. I think that I am growing and changing all the time, sometimes with intention and sometimes not, and I tend to shy away from anything that smacks of "becoming a whole new you!" because I think that can go haywire in my mind in a heartbeat. I know too many people that always seem to be on this treadmill of new starts and fresh beginnings and big changes, but yet nothing really seems to change ever. I also know a lot people who make New Year's Resolutions and make some really positive changes in their lives, so I know it can go either way. For me though, I remain New Year's Irresolute.
Now that I have been in a state of bonafide, cardcarrying, homeowning, responsibility-having adulthood for some years now, I do think that there are things that we leave behind as we get older, some of which are good (stirrup pants, I don't miss you), but some of which are not. So this year, instead of making a list of new things I want to do and acquire and accomplish, I am going to make a list of old things that I want to keep and treasure and build on. Rather than making a whole new me, I want to keep the things about the old me that are pretty cool and not let them drift away just because I am becoming an old lady. New Year's Resolutions can be (not always, I know) about changing the things we don't like about ourselves and our lives. How about we take some time this new year to hang on to some stuff that is awesome about ourselves instead? Go ahead, ruminate on what is awesome about your life. And resolve to not let that stuff go.
In no particular order:
1. Being open to new friends.
I've met some really cool people this year. I have also grown closer to people that were acquaintances before, but are becoming pals now. I've also reconnected with people that I was once close to who drifted away and then came back again. There was a period right after undergrad in my 20s where I thought to myself: making friends is so much harder now that I am not in school. Will I never make another new friend ever again? I really thought that. That phase ended though, thankee Jebus, and in the years since I have met some ridiculously good friends. And I have learned how to make friends based on things more substantial than a shared experience or setting. I make friends now because I think someone is kind, and funny, and smart. Mostly kind. Doesn't matter if they're the same age as me or like the same things or even live near me (hi, blog friends!). I have so many people to love, and I'm going to keep that door open.
2. Saying yes to stuff.
This is something I do well, but I can see this getting harder as I get older, and I want to keep on being a person who says yes to stuff. It's easy, as we know ourselves better, to think we have a complete handle on all of our likes and dislikes. I am The Person That Does Not Like Christmas, for example. But you know what? Who says? Maybe there is a situation where I would like Christmasy stuff, in some form or another. So if I get the opportunity, I should, at the very least, consider saying yes. And for some of those considerations, I should actually say yes. Saying yes to stuff has gotten me tubing down a river this year, and playing poker with a super fun group of people, and attending parties given by people that I didn't know very well and were intimidated by, but turned out to be awesome. And yes, doing some fun Christmas things too. In all of these situations, my first inclination was to say no. But I considered. And then I reconsidered. Good job, me.
3. Um, also saying no to stuff.
This may seem counter to what I just said, but sue me, it's my blog. I am also good at saying no to stuff. By this I mean I am good at saying no to stuff that is toxic. Like, people that make me feel bad. I see those people coming and I have no problem whatsoever saying no. I want to keep doing that. Also, saying no to social things when I need to sit my ass down and rest. And saying no to buying stuff that I don't need or can't afford. These are good times to say no, and Ima keep doing that.
4. Making sleep a priority.
I am a bad sleeper. Terrible. So I have learned that I have to get myself to bed at a decent hour as much as possible, and get up at a decent hour as much as possible. I have been doing better with this, and so I shall continue.
5. Be a good friend.
This is one of my life goals that I think about all the time. I really want to be a good friend to my friends and family. I want to pay attention to them, listen, help, make them laugh, make time for them. Just be a good peep. I want to make people I love feel loved and welcome, and leave them be when they seem like they want that too. I do a fair job at this one, but there is always more I can do.
6 Express yo'self
Related to #5, but sort of different. I try my hardest to tell people I care about that I care about them. Or show them somehow. Write a note, send a present, smile when they walk in the door. I hate when I think that someone I think is awesome might not know. Sometimes doing this feels awkward at first. I am thinking about that person. Should I write them a note or pick up the phone just to tell them that I am thinking about them? As soon as I ask myself that question, I know the answer should be YES YOU SHOULD. Reaching out is good. Who cares if I look like a dork? I AM a dork.
7. Include people.
I HATE CLIQUES. I thought that cliques were supposed to die after middle school? I am sad to say that there is still a cool kid table in just about any situation. I want to invite any nice person to sit at that table. Or not have a table. Let's just eat buffet style, standing up.
8. Work at work.
I'm normally good about leaving work stress at work. This year, I admit I let that one go a little bit. So I am re-committing to this one. Work, stay at work. Or else.
9. Sing silly songs.
I ROCK at singing silly songs. And dancing dumb dances. I hope I am still doing that when I am 80.
10. Read and experience art a lot.
I can't imagine a time when I will let this one go, but just in case, I am including it.
11. Being active.
Whether it's walking around, exercising, dancing, running, whatever. I want to keep moving.
12. Being a good aunt.
I have nieces and nephews, both by blood as well as by love. I want to keep being a positive aunt to all the kiddies in my life.
13. Being a good partner.
Nurturing shit with that Nordic Boy of mine has gone pretty good so far. I think I'll keep at it.
Those are the things about which I am resolute this year, and, I hope, every year.
Go forth and make resolutions, everyone, and change things up, and then think about some things that you do that are flippin' sweet and hang on to those things too. Cool? Cool.
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