Tuesday, September 30, 2008

vienna

sometimes i feel perfectly okay with my lack-of-job-ness. i make lunch, i make dinner, i make the bed, i accept things will work themselves out and enjoy my quiet time.

but then days like today hit and i feel like puking every ten minutes. my head buzzes with 12,000 questions and deadlines and worries and judgments and i feel insane for quitting my job with no plan. the smallest things set me off, sending me into such a spiral of self-doubt and panic i can barely swallow.

er, this is getting intense.

point is, this song (with the real record crackling in the background, yea!) is like popping a tranquilizer whenever i start to spin out. i love it, i love billy j, and i know things'll be alright.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Friday, September 26, 2008

political science

the apron


have you heard of it? it's a really great invention - right up there with sliced bread!

i've had two of them hanging off my refrigerator for a year now, but i never thought to tie one on. it just seemed like one extra step in an already complicated dance called cooking-in-a-very-small-kitchen. but i'm trying to make more foods these days to save some moola and just, you know, be a grownup.

for many a day i felt frustrated by how filthy my jeans got after one wearing. the oily peanut butter smears, the dried egg yolks, the flour powder. do other people just get naked to cook? is that how they keep their clothes clean? and then i looked over one day, and the cutest apron ever, homemade by my friend caroline for a christmas present, covered specially in a tea cup print to honor my addiction, winked at me. and i fell deeply, irreversibly in love.

it's like a big napkin you can wear! that's got pockets! and kind of feels like a pulled-together outfit! and it makes me feel all feminine and feminist simultaneously, somehow. also: as happy as i am with my current choice, i think i may have just stumbled across that all-important thing-i-can-collect. you know, for when people ask me what i want as a gift or i'm, uh, spending hours at a time on etsy, the site that is the answer to every crafty dream, and i want to drop a few bucks that i don't have.

or maybe i could just make my own?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

joan cleaver and kim kardashian

last night, whilst heating up some leftovers and blah blahing to clay re: a couple i know who has a rather heartbreaking imbalance of duties, i say, in complete earnest:

"and he doesn't even keep house!"

uh, excuse me?

perhaps it would have been okay to say: "he needs to clean more" or "he could at least make the bed" but "keep house" ? when bja starts cattily judging other people's housewifeing skills ala 1952...sister's gotta get a job.

in other news, how awful is kim kardashian on dancing with the stars? she's completely out of touch with her body (seems weird, but i find the girls who flaunt it often don't understand it) and her blank stare gives me the spooks. also: susan lucci needs to eat a bag of potato chips.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

ocd

i've got it and there are certain things that really make it sing.

if i find something i really want to do, and there's a process for making that happen, i become fixated on the details of getting there, making sure every t is crossed and i dotted, box checked and signatured signed. my brain starts to buzz with all the things that could go wrong and i need to double, triple, quadruple check that they don't.

in sixth grade, i went away to an all girls sleepover camp located on an island on (in? on top of?) lake winnipesaukee. my first week there i was so homesick i couldn't see straight. so i made a box of how many days i had left (sound familiar?) and went over and over, during breakfast, during waterskiing, during campfire, the different ways that i might miss my ride home and be stuck on this island (fun and marshmallows! the horror!) forever. i wrote my parents a letter, with a box of copy they had to read, then copy in their own handwriting and return to me promptly. you know, to assure me they understood my terms.

"we will be at the dock on august 18th at exactly 2:00 p.m. we will research how to get to said dock before it is time to leave so that we don't get lost. we will leave the house on time to reach the dock on time and will be ready to pick up our beloved daughter and get her the heck out of hell."

why are you making that face? didn't you write that letter from camp, too?

god bless them for actually honoring my insanity and copying my poem, because once i got that letter back and knew one day i'd be free of these chains, i relaxed and actually enjoyed myself for the last week. but gawd, what a load of wasted energy.

i bring this up because i'm currently trying to re-work my old ways. i'm in the process of applying to something cool, something i'm not ready to chat about just yet, but ow my brain is buzzing hard. so instead of letting it do whatever it wants, i reserve blocks of time for the obsessing and the i dotting. and when the block is over, i drink a cup of tea, read a book, and try to chill the eff out.

Monday, September 22, 2008

chemistry.com commercial

very cute girl to her found-online chubbo: "i vow never to wear flannel nightgowns."

chubbo punching way over his weight: "uh. can you change that to...i vow never to wear a nightgown?"

me on my couch: "shut the hell up, fatty."

Saturday, September 20, 2008

we'll be there in 1 sesame street and a mister rogers

as i've mentioned it before, i've got a hole in my brain when it comes to anything spatial.

(side note: as i type "hole in my brain" i'm reminded of someone i knew, from somewhere i've been, who actually did/does have a hole in his brain. i can't remember who this person is, but i do remember it explaining a lot when i found out.)

this problem can also, often, cross over into other areas of measurement: time, money, mass. i always say if people knew just how weird things were inside my head, they'd be impressed with how well i get along. one of my coping strategies is relating everyday things to larger concepts.

por ejemplo:

when i was little, hanging with my mom on errands or on long road trips up to maine, i'd often ask the often-asked question: "how long till we get there?" to which she would answer in television show units.

sesame street = one hour
mister rogers = half hour


and time confusion was wiped out. i still use this all the time. if i have a really gruesome dentist appointment approaching, i think "okay - it's just an episode of big love and an episode of frasier. it'll fly!" strangely it never really does...

other useful tools:

once i figured out that a box of cheez-its weighs a pound i was golden. if someone asks "can you lift 40 pounds?" i think about 40 boxes of cheez-its and do the muscle math. try it - i think you'll like it.

oh, and

in our vending machine at high school, a twix bar cost 25c. (i also walked uphill both ways, barefoot through the snow.) and so, we measured all moneys against that. ooo! i just found five dollars on the ground! 20 twixes! i still equate quarters with peanut buttery goodness.

there're more of these cheats bouncing around in my head, but you get the idea.

now if there was only one of them could help me understand how to stop the blow darts, i'd be all good.

Friday, September 19, 2008

i really want something from j. peterman


i just have to decide what. a few months ago, i requested the catalog online, just because i had to see it in real life, just because i had to know if elaine spoke the truth. and seriously people - it does not disappoint. the clothes all have pleats, the descriptions all reference sundance or lady godiva, and the illustrations are straight out of highlights magazine. i love to climb in bed, pull on my hoodie, and read aloud - in a british accent, duh - some of my favorite selections.

currently, it's:

"she's married to a doting london banker with a genealogy that predates the magna carta. they're quite an item in the smart set."

right?

i laugh, you laugh, but deep down we all want a maroon velvet coat with shoulder pads and peterman knows it. he's got x-ray vision into my soul and doesn't care how much i make fun, because ultimately, i'll lock my doors, make sure no one's watching, then lay down my credit card. the picasso shirt? the secret thoughts coat? the harlow pants? i'm dizzy with options!

the idea of a new job (oh, where are thee) one day, where nobody knows me yet and i can recreate myself beforehand becomes an all-too-distracting daydream during my constant death march through craigslist. a daydream that includes homemade lunches, lipstick, shiny hair and a thomas jefferson shirt. oh, how they'll envy me.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

i rode the vespa


all by myself, unaccompanied by a trailing vw with a worried cc inside, for the first time last night.

my (very pregnant, very cute) friend manjari lives about a mile away, which feels silly to cab, too long to walk at night, and the parking in that 'hood is kimpossible. the journey over there truly was ordained by god for scooters. some people might say "what about a bicycle?" to which i say: have you seen the hills in this city?

believe it or not, the scariest part of the whole adventure came at the beginning and end: the unkickstanding, the maneuvering out of the garage (me = officially learning disabled in anything spatial), the parking, etc. the riding is the easy, lovely part. i felt so bad ass, cruising along at 18 mph, my head snug inside the polyeurthane and foam biosphere. and how convenient-o! pulling right up to her door and running inside without a care to tim gunn and friends, no 45 minute hunt for a probably-illegal parking spot on a definitely-sketchy street.

of course, i got a little overconfident on the ride home, and cruised into our garage a little too fast. something went wonky and the whole thing tipped over. my herculean strength saved it from slamming down, but i wasn't strong enough to pull it back up without resting it on the sidewalk first. sorry, little scratches. sorry, lower back muscles.

but all in all, bja fully approves this message for red vespa'ing around this little city by the bay.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

if you sit on the corner of our bed, backwards

we've got a bay view. right now i'm watching a barge chug along, finding its way through the fogginess. and...it's gone. good luck, little engine. come again soon.

i'm living on the edge, giving this room a whirl at noon, because i never really see it except at night, and it's looking so lovely these days! what with the new gray walls and the vintagey bedside tables and the hangy lamps with dimmers. you'd like it, i think.

having a one bedroom apartment is an interesting thing. it's not like we go and hang out in our bedroom with a snack (do you? are we weird for not?) so essentially, we end up in the same room together all the time. i'll admit we don't really mind the arrangement, because we happen to be talented at sharing space while doing our own thing. (read: face plants into video games or magazines or the internets or mystery novels or brownies.) in fact, clay once moved his "office" across the apartment to a weird little closet (damn that hgtv and their world-shifting ideas) and we actually missed each other. okay, yup, just puke right here into my cupped hand. finished? okay, moving on.

but since these days we're both here more than normal, in a perpetual snow day (pajamas and hot beverages and midday television) because he's working from home and i'm...not working, i thought i'd branch out and expand my horizons. heyoh! three boats now? my undivided attention has been requested by the coast guard. must focus.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

oh, baby

anyone who's spent more than, say, an hour with me knows i'm baby-obsessed. as in, i must force myself into thinking about the things i want to accomplish before motherhood (career progression, solo time wit my man, travel to far-off lands, learn how to roast a chicken and keep my tub clean) or i'd "forget" to take my pill and "accidentally" get knocked upp-ed. it would make sense if this had just kicked in, being recently nuptialized and all, but nope, it's been this way for quite some time. (eighth grade methinks? i devoured episodes of a baby story on the couch while shoveling plates of spaghetti into my mouth. then wondered why my cheeks were chubby. but that's another story.)

today i caught up over the phone with a boston friend i haven't talked with in a year (two years?). after the obligatory small talk, we dished about former coworkers, weddings, and home ownership before my mouth, without a permission slip, blurted out:

so when are you having a baby?

what in the hell is wrong with me? it's a sickness, people, and i can't slow its spreading. even when i start out a conversation or a date or a day with the intention to stop talking about babies for the love of all that is good, i can't. i need a muzzle and medication.

when she launched into her reasons for abstaining from motherhood, probably forever, i felt even crazier. she was spouting the words of any red-blooded, ambition-driven, poster-girl-for-the feminists american woman (cue music) and my comeback was: "i think about gnawing on baby cheeks for 74% of my day." (6% being allotted to peanut butter, 15% the job search, and 5% how to beat rockband.)

and we wonder why most times i just stick to email...

do you know who i met online?

my husband.

i'd describe that confession as not-that-shocking, tho kind-of-interesting, wouldn't you? but you'd be surprised how many people "don't believe it!" it's because we're so gosh darn cute, right? right?

let's rewind to summer 2004.


i was bored in small town massachusetts, just graduated from bu, listening to peter gabriel in cutoffs with my little brother and looking for a reason to spend the day in boston.

clay was in la, about to move to boston for biz school, wearing bright yellow jackets and designer denim and looking to line up a few dates before he cruised into town.

it was love!

now, he'll lie to you when asked, but it was i who found him. (really.) see, on match.com you have to write a headline next to your picture. something, inevitably embarrassing, that will really reel 'em in. most chicks just put on bikinis. (i wore a turtleneck sweater and an army jacket.) but clay's line really did work on me. it said:

did you just call me coltrane?

which is a line from one of my favorite scenes, from one of my favorite movies. (of course, his bikini picture helped too.)

so yep yep, i emailed something witty and charming and very just-done-with-college ("i just went shopping for a suit"), he emailed back something witty and charming and very just-about-to-start-grad-school ("i just gave away all my suits"), we went to the museum of fine arts a few weeks later and the rest is history.

but i still think it's funny how judgey people are about all this internet business. in the early days, sure, because everyone thought someone looking for love online was an axe murderer. but now?

awhile back, at my ad job, i was setting up materials for a meeting with a bunch of my girlfriends. the topic of online dating came up and before i could jump in and tell my story, they all started yelling on top of each other, slamming it, shuddering, gagging at the thought. and mind you, all these ladies were (are) quite single and quite unpleased about it. i could have fought that fight, but instead i just put on my mona lisa smile, and headed out the door to call my wedding planner.

Monday, September 15, 2008

i'm constantly analyzing

my female friendships. i envy men for the utter simplicity with which they conduct their male bonding. i won't go into the oft-discussed topic of why, specifically, female friendships are so f'ing hard. for me, i'm more interested in:

after all is said and done, which ones are worth keeping?

i always feel best when i don't have a "best friend" - which maybe is strange? but there's something stifling and too intense about all that. inevitably, there are hurt feelings and angsty chapters. i'm convinced it strips days off my life. really, i'm happiest when i've got a bunch of different friends that make up - to quote my dear mother - a "bouquet": a handful of pretties that each do a different job:

one to talk about books, another my childhood or my feelings or clothes or meditation or mike rowe or lipstick.

but my question is, who makes the cut into said bouquet? i've been accused of having overly high expectations and i'll own that. but i've also put up with some seriously bad situations for too long. i guess there needs to a variety, both in quality and content: not everyone can be the pink gerbera daisy and an arrangement isn't as sharp without baby's breath. so... i can be okay with different standards for different people.

but doesn't there need to be a basic test everyone has to pass? even the baby's breath?

i read in a magazine once, that for every person in your life, you should ask yourself a very simple question:

after i spend time with this person, do i feel better or worse?

i love that question. that is, when i remember to ask it.

because after all, friendships are choices. just like food. i get to choose what i eat, so why wouldn't i put only good, good-for-me things

(green beans in evoo, creamy oatmeal from my stove, spendy orange juice, organic dark chocolate, long-steeped black tea with whole milk, whole wheat waffles with blueberries...and on and on and on...)

into my bod?

and i believe the same should go for friends, whether you see them once a day or once a year.

am i right or overthinking or both?

a slight revision

it seems that i may have been a wee bit presumptuous, declaring my un-unemployment the other day. sigh, sigh.

you see, day numero uno i: woke up early, made my peanut butter and jelly sammy, put on my red shoes, and headed out the door. i felt butterflies and a slight sense of impending doom, but ignored them because i was about to make a difference! (and make some money!)

i won't go into the gory details, but let's just say the day involved:

1) a supervisor who, 5 minutes in, told me:

"
i'll understand if you don't come back tomorrow"

2) a student who, 5 minutes in:

threw sand at my face, spit a rock at my head, punched my stomach, ran at my uterus with scissors, called me a mother f*9&er. etc. etc. etc.

at one point, i was standing in the middle of a baseball field, my red shoes soaking wet, my chicken skinny shins getting pummeled, my supervisor with tears in her eyes and my soul yelled NO.

and so. here i am, back on the brown couch: learning lennon/mccartney on the guitar, applying to jobs that promote physical safety, and getting ready for some football.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

a doctor's note

the other day, whilst waiting to get poked with a needle, i read this:

dear friends,

if you find dead

batteries in any of the toys
please let us know.


spacing 101 anyone?

Sunday, September 07, 2008

don't panic


a pod person didn't steal me away, i just happened to have, uh, er, drafted my first fantasy football league today?! you see, unless you partake in such a thing, or are blind/deaf/mute, the months of september through january whilst married to a hardcore nfl fan are...long. and so, after four years of sitting on the sidelines (har har), i took the plunge. actually, cc did, on my behalf...

after i got home from bookclub last week, complaining to him about my friends' cooler-than-me status for having a team, he rallied the troops and put together a last minute 8 person league. the league name, if you're curious, is "san francisco values" (godless, vegetarian, flowers in our hair, etc). my team name? "murder she wrought" - angela would be proud. if she had any clue what any of this meant.

the actual live draft was stressful and awesome. there was instant message trash talking ("wtf??!?!?! i hate you!!!!!!" - me, to my brother-in-law when he drafted eli manning before i could) as well as in-house spouse-to-spouse sparring. because we joined so late, points and scoring don't count till next week, but i'm still pretty pleased with how my team performed today. my best asset? terrell owens (up top with the popcorn!), professional drama queen and ma' man.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

just as lifetime has their army wives program,

i do believe my girlfriends and i should put together a similarly themed production entitled mckinsey wives. we could talk about our over-familiarity with airport routes, our advanced understanding of timezones, our love of expensed room service.

we would discuss how important it is to a have a girlfriend in the same situation, who just gets the differentness of this lifestyle without a million questions/comments/judgments ("wait - he leaves on monday morning and doesn't come back till thursday?!"), and happy dances with you when your guy gets a home-based project. (like mine! starting today!) the cameras would show us gathered 'round, instead of a quilt, an episode of project runway. damning heidi klum for her otherworldly cheekbones and texting our husbands that we miss them.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

my friend just sent me this e-card

amazing, no?

if i lived somewhere without 10,000 hills

i would ride this thing everywhere. can't you picture it? a ponytail, a shirt dress, my red toms, the basket overflowing with library books, avocados and sephora products? dr-eamy.

Monday, September 01, 2008

perhaps this is tmi

but i've given up anti-sweat sticks. something just started to creep me out about artificially stopping the drip. with all the bad stuff we breathe in everyday - fumes from the effing tarring truck always on my street, for example -that our bodies have to get rid of, i don't really feel like blocking one of the main exits. and with all those rumblings, unproven but plenty, about aluminum contributing to alzheimers and breast cancer - well, i'm done.

so i bought this stuff in unscented. and i love it. it goes on a little sticky, with a slight lemony whiff, but after two days (applied both mornings) without showering (uh, just trying to save water?), i still smell fresh. and honestly, i don't even feel all that sweaty. if i were heading out to run a marathon (never), maybe i'd go back to the old stuff, but i'm fully sold. okay! hippie shill over.