Monday, September 26, 2011

I saw it...

This has to be a good sign.  You can't have a rainbow on a Monday morning and not have it be a good sign.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

He gets me.

Rachel - Oh olives. You are the only ones who get me.
Boyfriend - You better not let pickles hear you talk like that...

Also, and I don't mean to brag - but he cooked jerk chicken on Tuesday with a jerk seasoning he made, out of peppers he grew.

I've trained him well.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

How lovely to be...

I rarely do nice things for my appearance, because I have accepted myself as a glorified lady hobo but sometimes the opportunity comes along and you take it.

So I got a manicure. 

 This picture makes my fingers look weird.  
But, I am obsessed with this pretty blue color.

I think in my entire life I have gotten maybe 4 manicures.  I documented the nightmare experience of one of them here and here.  And then I got one for Bean's wedding with less traumatic results. 

And I just got one to celebrate the end of Cindy-Lou's single hood and now I am obsessed with sneaking peeks and my pretty, pretty nails.  Of course I've already ruined them a little bit (once a lady hobo, always a lady hobo) but they're still quite nice.

I understand why girls do such things on a regular basis.  I don't have the expendable income to allow for such frivolity, but I am inspired to at least try to maintain such a silly piece of femininity for awhile. 

Please also note that I got a manicure and then spent most of the day Sunday lying in old sweatpants watching football (as a little bit pictured) don't worry - I haven't gone too soft.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011 I get it.

I hesitate to write about work in this space, because I am quite well aware of how the internet tubes are in everyones' homes - and it is much to easy to link the human me to me on this piece of internet.

But - for a moment, I shall speak in vagaries and metaphors and express as much compassion as my poor, shriveled heart can - to a woman I haven't spoken with in well over seven years.

I used to be a dancer.  And I used to be young.  And I was somewhat unaware about how many more important things there were in the world besides me and my personal orbit.  Now that I am older, I have a little more perspective and have a touch of humility.

Not only that, but I work in a field not too unlike the one I spent the vast majority of my childhood in - and so my perspective is that much more... rotund (??). And so for a moment I would like to give the gift of empathy.

I now understand how hard it must have been to be in charge of something that children (and in some cases, their parents) value so much and put so much weight and focus on.   My experiences are different and yet, for the past few weeks I keep coming back to my own childhood - and the irony of this particular role reversal.

I understand how hard it must be to have even the slightest bit of perceived control over a piece of a child's life.  I understand the struggle between two rights. I know how important things can seem when you're young.

And so - to the woman who was the me before me - I recognize your struggle.  I don't know what it feels like to you but I would be interested to hear it (if I thought you would ever speak to me again).

Life is weird - and I guess I have learned that you would be surprised by the bridges you wish hadn't burned - either through malice or disinterest. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Book 15 - Unfamiliar Fishes

I spend a lot of time thinking about what I would do were I to meet an author I love in a social setting.  I like to imagine that I would be incredibly blase and ask them really erudite questions, perhaps about the oxymoronical irony of using the phrase "erudite questions" - however in my heart of hearts I know I would probably just get embarrassingly drunk and ask if we could be best friends.

The exception to this rule is if I ever meet Sarah Vowell.  In this case, I will force myself to stay sober and do whatever I can, even if I am creepily hovering, to listen to every word she says.  Then maybe, when its all said and done, find out if she would ever even consider being like, just a regular-see-you-ever-two-months friend.  Aiming low, so I won't set myself up for disappointment.

image (via)

It took me longer than I expected to get through  Unfamiliar Fishes. But then I realized that Sarah Vowell books always take a little longer than they should (based on thickness, lack of pictures and size of font) - but that is because she crams so much knowledge into each moment I find myself reading passages over and over to get every nugget of information out of it.  This book was no exception.

I was lucky enough to spend some serious quality time in Hawaii a year or so ago, and I went in as a tourist with an embarrassingly WASPy lack of interest about the history of this particular state.

In fact, if I am going to be totally real, my knowledge of the history of Hawaii is based mostly on the Saved By the Bell Hawaii Vacation mini series.  In that fine piece of cinematic history, Mr. Belding dresses up as a professor and spews made up crap to save Kelly Kapowski's grandfather's hotel - anyway, he talks about King Kamehameha and how he mandated this hotel be saved back in the day.  Every time I saw this movie I was far too interested in how 17 year old Zach Morris thought that he was ready to be a parent and how we had no idea how old Rena Sofer was (also, this maybe one of the best things she's ever done - which says a lot about all the crap she's done over the years).

ANYWAY - when we were driving around Hawaii and I saw the word Kamehameha on all the road signs and finally I verbalized it the same way Principal Belding did and Maimees was impressed that I had gotten the pronunciation right on the first try.  I was impressed that something from Saved By the Bell had a modicum of historical accuracy.

It was time to learn something - and any time I can pair learning good conversation-at-parties knowledge with the kind of dark, subtle humor that makes me giggle on my morning commute, I feel like I've won the from-now-until-the-acknowledgements lottery.

It was a difficult and satisfying read, that left me all at once smarter and more at a loss than I was before I started.  I now know so much about Hawaii but am helpless about what to do about the incredible douchebaggery of the generations before mine.   The story of Hawaii only reiterates what we all already knew about the selfish manifest destiny mindset that America can't seem to kick. But the maple syrup sarcasm that Sarah Vowell pours all over everything makes it that much easier to swallow. 

I wish I could be even a fraction as smart and dedicated as Sarah Vowell is - her books are so intricate and wonderful.  I want to wear a scarf, brown boots and carry them around - hopefully drawing in funny one-liners and a deeper awareness of how this country really is by osmosis.

Or maybe I'll just get drunk and ask her how she does it.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Couch yogi

Work-out videos are real, real, real silly but effective.

I still find working out to be easily the worst way to spend my time, so I am trying to shorten the amount of time I spend thinking about it.  So I cut out the tedious prep work - carrying gym stuff to work, and then to the gym and then spending any time at all in the gym locker room (blech) and then being smelly in public.

So I am reverting to at-home work out videos.  So I can be sweaty in my own house and it doesn't require luggage.

The best thing, other than the feeling of hilarious and absurd self-consciousness (why you are embarrassed? No one can see you...) is the wonderful and all encompassing 90's-ness of these videos.

Perhaps there are some work-out videos that were made after 1995, but they don't let you watch them for free on Netflix.  So I have to assume that they stopped making work-out videos shortly after they discovered the internet.

I stick mostly with pilates and yoga videos and its interesting to see the number of dudes they put in these.  At most there is one dude wearing like old soccer shorts and a neon tank top - and he looks really uncomfortable.  As if he is deathly afraid of one of his brahs is going to accidently catch sight of him in one of these videos and never let him hear the end of it.

The one guy is stuck in the back along with the "overweight" girl who is so overeager and excited to be doing shape your buns pilates that she makes me feel bad about myself.  And I mean, its television and she is probably not at all fat, its just that she's standing next to a bunch of twigs in yoga pants and crop tops.

Ultimately, doing 30 minutes of pilates in my living room isn't going to make too much of a difference, especially since I answer my phone, spend time shoo-ing away my cat, and get distracted by noises outside the window.

Easily the best part of these videos is the 60-or-so seconds after the exercising is over and the leader and all of her little yoga minions stand around and pretend to be happy and talk to each other about things like the new sushi joint around the block and mens' inability to commit.  When clearly the leader-girl is desperate for everyone to be her friend and not talk about her behind her back, and the other people are wondering if their getting paid for this and where they can get a gd doughnut (just like me).

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

World, we have a problem

The travel bugs bite hard, guys.

I want to go everywhere.

Not a day goes by when I don't look at pictures from one of my journeys.  And lets be real, I get it, I am one of the luckiest sonsabitches out there.  I have had some really amazing opportunities and I totally value them.

However, traveling is like tattoos, is like carbohydrates - you have a little bit and you just want more.

I spend my days trying to figure out how to get away from real life.  Planning  adventures, and plotting escapes.  A few days ago a friend posted a link for a $600 trip to Ireland.

Here's how the inner monologue goes:

"Oooh, Ireland.  I'm going.  Done.  Let's pick a week."
"Um, inner monologue? We're still paying off our last awesome trip."
"But adventure! At a low cost!"
"You do realize that you have to work sometimes, right? you can't just be on salary and also on vacation all the time."
"Yes but..."
"And for that matter, you know how it takes you 4 weeks to make up 2 weeks of not being at work."
"Yes, but..."
"And aren't you planning a trip to Rio, Cuba, Angola and South Africa?"
"And possibly to Costa Rica?"
"Its time that you realized that you cannot go all the places."

And so I don't go to all the places, but if we're thinking about things that we want, (which according to some, we should spend more time doing, if only to give life a little more focus), I want to travel.  I want to see the whole world and I want to write about it.  And take pictures of all the sunsets, even though they sometimes look the same.  I want to meet people and stumble through languages.  I want to be awed and humbled.  I want the challenge of new money and different public transit.  I want to find the courage to ask questions and go without a map. 

And though practicality will, for the time being, win out 90% of the time - I like knowing this about myself.  Even if it took me 26 years to put it into words.  I know that I want to see the whole world for myself.  And then tell everyone else how it goes. 

Sorry, world.  You're stuck with me as long as I can afford it. 

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Book 14 - Emma

Guys!  I read another book!  That's what I've been doing instead of writing blogs.  I get exactly 6 minutes of quiet time a day and I spend it reading (and checking facebook).  Sorry, folks.

 image (via)

So, I read Emma.

And technically, this should count as a re-read as (apparently) I read it in college, however, I think it is one of those books I read the first three pages of and was like, "yeah, I can bullshit my way through any assignments that get tossed my direction.  Next!" (in my own defense, I was supposed to read something like 40 books that semester, and, actually attempt a social life...clearly the booze won, every time).

Anyway, so I read Emma.  And it took me longer than I was expecting, but I've been traveling and, again, I am a terrible person.  Also, the beginning of Emma is pretty long with way more exposition than was really necessary.  Reading the book was kind of like taking a mental bath.  Occasionally I paid attention to my surroundings, but mostly I just enjoyed the words and how they sounded and how easy it was to find the funny in this particular book.

I struggled with the funny in Pride and Prejudice.  Everyone is so concerned with being smart in that book that they left me behind.  But in this, I got to enjoy Miss Bates and Harriet along with everyone else.

Guys, Jane Austen writing Miss Bates is, to me, the epitome of my writing goals.  I am pretty close, but man, the way you can just hear her talking.  Its so awesome to me.  I got sick of reading it to myself because I found her so tedious.  Any book that brings out an emotion like that deserves two thumbs up (even though I know I have friends who don't agree with my assessment).

Also, can we talk about how big a douche Frank Churchill is?  Oh man, douchewaffle of the century.  I tots would have fallen for him.  What a mess.

And let me just say - Jane Austen knows how to build an effin' moment.  You spend most of the book just hanging out and then all of a sudden there is Mr. Knightley professing his love.  I literally squeeled.  Squeeeeeeeled and then bent my knees and tucked my feet up and brought the book closer to my face as if proximity to the pages made the story more likely to happen to me.  Even if Mr. Knightley is, for all intents and purposes, a fuddy-duddy it must be nice to swept off your feet, regency style.

Also, fun note -  I bought this from Bookworm, my favorite used book store and paid $4, only to turn it over and discover that back in the day (early 90's?) it retailed for $2.50.  I am such a sucker.

She's pint-sized and amazing.