December 28, 2006

The storm

The above is a slideshow of the wreckage of what I now refer to as "Apocalypse: Beta", also known as the December 14 storm that hit Seattle with a vengence. This is the storm that caused me to be without power (or a shower) for 4 days, and that taught me how to sanitize my own wastewater for consumption, just in case.

(That wastewater part was, of course, a lie.)

The weird Madonna tunes behind the slideshow need to go, but if you turn the volume down, it's really quite impressive. This storm turned 200-year old trees into toothpicks. That kind of power turns me on a little.

Not really.

Okay, maybe a little.

December 22, 2006

Splitting a satsuma.

No snow. No frost, even, usually.

The only sign that it's Christmas are the twinkle-lights in the trees, Starbucks' holiday specialties (the Peppermint Mocha and the Eggnog Latte), and the commercial frenzy, the nightly staged indoor snowfall at the downtown mall encouraging more spending, more, more. The clash of hope and dissapointment, faith and capitalism, frenzy and isolation, charity and greed -- and the bustle, more than anything, building to a deafening roar synonymous with Christmas.

Everyone clutching, grasping, hoping for the same thing, sometimes catching hold of it by a slippery tail -- just for a moment, spirits soaring -- only for it to, a moment later, slide just out of reach.

There's a lot of sadness and quietness and loneliness hidden just under the surface of this season; a poor girl dressed up for a moment in borrowed clothes, the tags still on.

And yet.

And yet, it's a little magic.

Not a lot magic, not magic like when you were little and pulled out your tooth two days before it would have come out on its own just so you could stuff it under the pillow and try to stay up all night to catch the tooth fairy under there.

Or tip-toeing down to the living room in the middle of Christmas Eve night; going slower and quieter than almost any 6 year old can stand to, tips of your fingers trailing the walls, avoiding the creak in the third-to-last stair, expectantly reaching to pat the stocking you know hangs from the banister, imagining what might be there but unable to see in the deep and silent black.

And not a lot magic like when the sun hit the clouds just right in the late summer afternoon, the rays streaming down through the trees in a way that reminded you of the illustrations of God in your kid's bible - those bright, near-solid beams of light from the sky, the sense that you were suddenly caught in the presence of God making the tiny hairs on your arms stand on end.

And not magic like that first sudden dip and swell of the possibility of love, or, later, the hammock of new love turned to something else - a retreat, sustenance.

Not quite that magic, but.

Magic, a little, still. In snippets in all the days around Christmas:

The glow of a family room, hot with a fire and the Christmas tree its only light.

You and I lying on the couch, toe to head, clutching full bellies, Charlie Brown's Christmas on the radio, barely touching fingers, not speaking.

My brother, back from college, all broad and tall, loading up the woodbox for my mom, each piece making a heavy thud. When he finishes and comes back inside, the scent of aged wood and sap on his hands, the glow of pride and a cold morning on his cheeks.

The humble celebration we'll have on Monday: a board game, pots of coffee consumed while we talk about politics, travel, family, what we don't know. While we talk about talking; when we talk, as we do, about how we talk.

I'll split a sastuma -- three ways.

Four Yahtzees in one game! Who would believe it?!

Let's let the dog in tonight, just tonight.

What is "Yule Tide", anyway?

It's harder than you think, splitting a satsuma three ways.

There's no snow. No frost, even.

There are no elaborate gifts, no huge gathering of extended family, some of them almost strangers. No midnight mass, no relative dressed up like Santa.

Everything will not go right. I'll burn the 3-minute peanut brittle, a recipe I know by heart and the easiest thing to make. She'll be overly busy, doing what she can to avoid a moment of silence, loneliness; pressured, a little, as I am, by her hope for a perfect day. My brother will answer the phone in the middle of dinner.

And yet.

And yet, in these things, not in spite of them, we three will notice: It's a little magic.

Not a lot, not too much. Nothing showy or obvious. A little magic.

Just enough.


Happy Holidays. May they be just enough, just right, a little magic.

December 21, 2006

If I could find who to attribute this to, I still wouldn't, but might seek them out for marriage, instead.

I have no idea who wrote this, as it was passed to me, unattributed, by a friend. But because I thoroughly enjoyed it/identified with it, I am reposting here. Enjoy, all -- have a good rest of the week, and if we don't talk until then, best wishes for a safe and happy holiday.


From a Recovering Frat Boy

During my five-year college reunion in May, I snuck into my old
fraternity house. As I wandered about taking pictures, a student approached and asked politely, "Excuse me, who are you?" Instinctively, I turned around and yelled menacingly, "Who the fuck are YOU?"

The girl scurried off, but the incident made me introspective. Here I am, twenty-seven-years old, with a relatively successful career, car insurance payments, and pillowcases that match my comforter. Yet at the same time, I can't drink one beer without drinking twenty, I can't converse with a girl without trying to take her home, and I can't even step foot in a fraternity house without regressing into an asshole. While college is years behind me, vestiges of the experience remain ingrained in my personality. Welcome to the world of a recovering frat boy.

Of course, I'm not the only one. There's an entire faction of twenty somethings out there who live seemingly mature lives - but only to the naked eye. Take my friend Mike, a successful software developer in New York whose downtown apartment has actually been passed down for years to successive generations of graduates from his fraternity like an off-campus party house. Or my buddy Justin, a writer here in LA who is looking to move to a new place - but has yet to find one big enough to fit his beer pong table. Unfortunately for him, "Hardwood floor that quickly soaks up cheap beer" is generally not an amenity found on craigslist.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Recovering frat boys aren't required to have ever been Greek.

In fact, they don't even have to be boys.

On average, every other Evite I received from girls over the past year has been for some sort of elaborate, costume/theme party that reminds me of sophomore year.

If you're a strong, independent woman in her mid-twenties who is still throwing parties entitled Pimps & Hos, Forties & Hos, or Golf Pros & Tennis Hos, you are most definitely a recovering frat boy.
Dressed like a whore.

To me, the phrase, "Let's grab a drink" is both the rallying cry and secret password of the recovering frat boy movement. For some reason, no one uses that phrase until they've graduated college, and then they use it so frequently it becomes virtually devoid of meaning. If you really think about it, you only actually grab a drink with about 10% of the people you say that to. Of that 10%, most think you literally want to have a solitary cocktail and exchange pleasantries or discuss current events (these people are often married or lawyers). The remainder - who you quickly recognize as
kindred spirits - take "grab a drink" to mean "play beer pong and find thatparty where chicks are dressed as hos."

Why is it, then, that so many of us, whether subconsciously or not, have adopted this quasi-Peter Pan lifestyle? These days, it's no longer, "I won't grow up." It's more like, "OK, I'll grow up, as long as I can still throw up once a weekend." I think the answer is simple: because we can. The world is changing. Getting married in your twenties is no longer the norm - in fact, those unfortunate souls who do are now outcasts, scorned and shunned, spit on and kicked to the side of the road by the rest of us single folk. And that means we now have more time to live our lives the way we want to and, most importantly, have evolved the ability to do so while still excelling in the adult world. People ask me all the time how long I can continue calling myself a recovering frat boy. Those people are usually sober and annoying. And my response is always the same: "Who the fuck are you?"


And, finally, I recently met this woman a few years older than me and we got to talking. She mentioned that before moving to where I live, West Hollywood, she had lived in Malibu for ten years. As she continued, I got distracted because, one, she had enormous fake breasts, and two, I realized that I have never done anything for ten years, let alone live in the same place. I think that's another important aspect of recovering frat boy culture: transience. We are always on the move because we're not ready to be held down. This can be both exciting and annoying (who wants to keep finding room for that beer pong table?). For me, though, it's heartening to know that whatever city I'm in, I can always find friends and fans who like to work hard and play harder, often to the point of blacking out, sometimes while dressed as a golf pro or tennis ho.

To you I say, "Let's grab a drink."

Fuck me.

December 18, 2006

Happy Monday!

Three reasons this is a kickass Monday:

1. My power has come back on.

I have been without power since Thursday night (the night also known as "The Apocolypse: Beta Version"). If you live in a cave in Montana you might not know that one of the worst storms in Seattle's history touched down pretty much squarely on top of my house that night, with winds reaching 90 miles per hour and approximately 1 inch of rain in 45 minutes (flash flooding, anyone?). Because it is a frigid fall here this year, lack of power translated into a 39 degree, dark home all weekend. Well, at least I presume that's what it meant. You see, the moment the rain began to fall and the lights to flicker, I was out of there faster than a white man in a French Quarter "PopEye's Chicken" restaraunt. I spent all weekend and the end of last week crashing in various people's houses -- smart people with generators or poor people who live in Tacoma (where the power did not go out) -- eating their food, sleeping in front of their fireplaces, showering, and generally wearing out my welcome.

And when I got home last night, lo and behold, power had been restored! And I, ever the consumer-whore, took a 45 minute hot shower and then got into my electric-blanketed bed, leaving the christmas lights on all night long, just to make up for all the energy I hadn't used over the weekend blackout.

[74.2 percent of the above is exaggeration. Except for the wind speed and temperature parts. Oh, and the racial slur, which I am excusing myself for, because I've actually seen a white man necessarily quickly exiting a PopEye's Chicken restaraunt in the French Quarter. That man was my dad, and he almost got his ass kicked for being a "Yankee". Either that or the confederate flag on his shirt. No, no, I am only kidding. Sorry. I'm just not that funny today.]

2. This video has solved my long-standing dillemma as to what to put on my Christmas list this season..

{UPDATE: I have now watched this probaby about 63 times, and have determined that, though Saturday Night Live has been slacking for some time now (did you see that one with McDreamy? Terrible.), this is possibly the best shit that's come out of that show for a while. Also, props to JT. He's actually quite funny.}

Warning: this is somewhat explicit. If you work in a cubicle or next to your boss, a nun, or a Mormon, I advise clubbing them with a heavy stapler until they slip into temporary unconsciousness before viewing. Or you could just wait until home. Either way.

3. Tis the season for everyone I advertise with or manage to kiss my ass.

This year, I've gotten particularly awesome Christmas gifts from vendors, ad account reps and business associates, including three kick-ass presents today alone, including this, these, and this (in white)!

I expect this will continue through the end of the week, which makes me very very happy. The only thing better than getting gifts is giving them.

No, I lied. Getting gifts is pretty much the most awesome thing ever.

[I used to be a Giving-is-better-than-Getting type, but last year, after gifting everyone I know including two ex-boyfriends and one homeless person and being pretty much crippled by debt, I've decided just to allow myself the pleasure of a short shopping list and lots and lots of recieving this year.

I'm sending out extra Christmas cards to make up for it, of course -- cards that feature my head superimposed as the top ball on a snowman -- but my gift list is refreshingly short. Fuck it, I figure. Once in a while, we're all allowed just to sit back and recieve.

I've even been practicing my "thank you's" and "it's PERRRFEEECCCT!!!" squeals in my bathroom mirror every night before bed and after flossing, just to be sure I'm prepared. Now I'm just waiting for my Mercedes in the driveway with the big fucking red bow on the top. Oh, wait, those commercials are completely retarded and impossible. And I don't have a driveway.

Eh, whatever.]

Happy Monday, all!

December 12, 2006

Searchterms, visitors and playlist: December 2006

Searchterms leading to Legwarmers so far in December:

- convince my parents i have meningitis (Thanks to THIS post
- connie chung web hands (Can you think of anything more disturbing?)
- true enema experiences (Well, okay, there's ONE thing that's more disturbing.)
- pauly shore punched texas (Somehow, this doesn't surprise me. If anyone is stupid and bitter enough to try to punch the country's largest state, it's Pauly Shore. Poor scrawny, greasy bastard.)

My favorite, though, is the fact that so far this month my two largest search engine terms leading to Legwarmers that weren't obviously people trying to find Legwarmers (the blog) or legwarmers (the footless socks) were:

1) "condom instructions" and, thanks to my last post
2) "first lesbian encounter"

Quality content here, people. It scares me a little, though, that people who don't know how to use a condom might actually land here while searching to the answer to their... uh... most pressing of questions.

Shoutouts to three illustrious visitors this month:

1. Goodyear Tire Co. (Hey! Guys! It's about time for a rotation... show some love, already.)

2. Jones Soda Co. ("Run with the little guy." Such a great tagline. I have a warm place in my heart for these guys - after all, they're a local company. Plus, their marketing message is crystal clear: angsty tweens, misfits and liberals of the world, UNITE in brightly-colored, cool-labeled, soda-guzzling uniqueness!)

3. The US Patent and Trademark Office -- the only one of these three, by the way, who has a good reason to visit me during business hours: to hunt me down and punish me for the recklessly unattributed images posted throughout. Perhaps I should send cookies to make amends.

My former employer/colleagues are also regular visitors, which is funny because through the grapevine I hear they still refer to me only as "The Bitch" for leaving them for my current job. Which is, like, something out of Seinfeld.

Legwarmers' December Playlist:

"The Last Kiss" Soundtrack.

I got this months ago after seeing the film, which I actually liked, and it has since become part of my oft-played collection of CDs in the visor of my car. There are only about 10 CDs that make this cut. The requirement is that the CD has to be one you can listen all the way through without getting sick of - and it can't get super old after a dozen plays. This eliminates pretty much all mainstream music, as it tends to be pretty lyrically and musically formulaic which translates into audio boredom after about the fourth play (and its second month in the top 40).

Other albums that make the "Visor" cut include:

Fiona Apple: Extraordinary Machine
A Rage and Audioslave mix
People Under the Stairs
Nelly Furtado: Folklore
Ray Lamontagne
A jazz greats mix (think jazz standards ranging from "Blue" to "Birdland")
and Tribe Called Quest, among a few others.

Get it. It's good.

Have a great rest of the week. More coming soon...

December 07, 2006

The best I ever had

Oh, hello, ex-boyfriends of the world. Sorry to dissapoint -- this blog is not about your sexual prowress.

[Did you hear that? The browsers of... both... my ex-boyfriends closing in disgust? Me too.]

Thanks all for your well-wishes for my full recovery, though regardless of whether I do, in fact, heal completely and with full range of motion, none of you will be getting a handjob. Sorry to dissapoint... again.

Which brings me to my next story of medical discomfort: the gynecologist.

[I know what you're thinking, and yes -- this IS just another cliche post from a female blogger talking about the **eeewww** gyno. The reason this formula is cliche is because it works. Sorry, true. Cliches are cliches for a reason. Just like stereotypes are stereotypes for a reason. For example, I saw yesterday a cop walking into a Dunkin' Donuts. See? It's science. Don't fight it.]

I'd better get to the point of the story first, as after that paragraph I'm lucky if you're still with me:

I recently went to the gynecologist and got a Pap Smear (is that capitalized?) so good, my friends worried I was a lesbian for a week.

[See? It will be a moderately bad story, I promise.]

At first, it was a normal Pap.

Go in, try not to breathe in the waiting room for fear of contracting an airborne illness, be led back to the doctor's office, where you're weighed, rated, listened to and poked before you're told to strip down, put on a gown that doesn't close in the back, and wait.

And wait.

And wait.

And wait more, while envisioning the Pap -- awful, violating, and that cold metal "duck". On a cold, noisy paper-lined bench that makes you feel like an old person in a hospital.

It's like torture, honestly.

And then: the doctor enters, like royalty.

I ended up in Dr. Price's office on the strong recommendation of a family member who urged me to see her for reasons she did not go into detail about. But she seemed certain Dr. Price was good, and I trust her opinion, so there I was.

Dr. Price is about a 5 foot 6 female. Shortish sandyish hair, a plain but pleasant face, a lowish voice and a soothingish personality. Basically, if she wasn't a doctor in a lab coat, you would probably never notice her at all.

Dr. P went about her business exactly that way, too. Sneaky, almost, how comfortable she got you. After a bit, I suddenly found myself on my back, talking about all sorts of personal things, half-naked, with a manly woman who was touching my woman parts. As you can imagine, it was a very confusing encounter.

As she did the breast exam part (for men, a mental picture: imagine the first time you groped a girl. Now imagine that same action, only minus the squeezing -- same motion, just with stiff fingers. That's it...), we continued our chit-chatting.

I had been caught off-guard, unprepared for the doctor to ask me all sorts of personal questions (not medically personal, more sexually and intimately personal) and was, therefore, feeling a bit put on the spot. And when I wasn't responding to her, I was doing a lot silent commentary on how bizarre the situation felt, and how if I didn't know she was a female, I might mistake her (via personality, conversation, etc.) for a man. I felt like I was hypnotized -- hyper self-conscous and self-critical, a constant stream of inner dialogue, but also so comfortable I almost couldn't control my bizarre behavior or turn off the commentary in my head.

"So, not married yet?"

"Me?" (Inner self: No, moron... the other half-naked unmarried woman in the room.)
"Oh, nah." (I was focusing on being nonchalant about that -- you know, trying not to get defensive, even though pretty much everyone I know is married and 26 and single is starting to lose its appeal).

"Why's that?"

"Gosh, you know, I guess it's just not a priority right now," I said, cool as a cucumber. "I'm, you know, married to my job." (Inner self: WHAT? Did I really just say I'm MARRIED to my JOB? Nice one. Fuck, you're retarded.)

"Oh, come on. Married to your job?" I started to sweat. She was on to me. "You're young, and in great shape," she continued. Inner self: Why, thank you sir--err--ma'am. "I'm glad you enjoy your work, but so do I and I still think it's important to nurture more... personal relationships." Inner self: Okay, weird. Personal like how? "...At least to relieve some of the stress in my life. It gives me perspective. And you want kids, right?" she concluded, from somewhere below my tormented head and between my legs.

I had no idea how she got there or what she was doing, and I didn't care. Suddenly I had been propelled into some sort of bizarre couch conversation -- and I couldn't figure out if the good doc was trying to be my psychlogist or my boyfriend. Either way, I was so preoccupied by my running inner dialogue about the weirdness of the situation that I continued to be... weird.

"Oh, kids? Sure. Absolutely. Eventually."

"Good. Well, you're fertile now, but you will be for some time, so that's nothing to rush in to."


It was like she was a manipulative man, and she wanted to be my baby's daddy.

I can't explain it now, and I couldn't explain it to my girlfriends, either, later on that night during drinks.

"You guys? I think my gyno is a lesbian, and I think she was maybe hitting on me during my Pap."

This elicited a wide range of responses. By wide range I mean a shrill cackling to a full-on silent-gasping-for-air laugh.

"Liz, c'mon," they said, more or less. "First of all, every gyno isn't a lesbian. Second of all, every lesbian isn't going to hit on you, you crazy narcissist. Third of all, did you like it?"

I was stuck between a lesbian encounter and liking a lesbian encounter.

Oh, and being a narcissistic lesbian-encounter lover.

To be clear, I'm cool with lesbianism, [You guessed it: the PC disclaimer one must include in any blog rubbing up against, proverbially, controversial topics including homosexuality, black nail polish-wearers, Hello Kitty, racism and hot dog ingredients.]

Hey, I can appreciate that women are a lot prettier to look at than stinky, hairy, fat, scary men. But as much as I can sort of see where lesbianism is an attractive concept, I could just never ever go through with it. I would have to be a celibate lesbian in order for that whole prospect to work.

But the point is that in this context of my conversation with the girls, after two martinis each, and facing the "did you like it?" question, I had nowhere to go. Backpedaling was futile.

So I was honest.

"It was the best Pap I've ever had."

A week later, after the "Do you think she's secretly considering lesbianism?" whispers reached a deafening roar, by which I mean I was constantly and publicly the butt of jokes about my apparent sexual confusion post-Pap, I finally had to make the phone calls -- to ALL of them -- confirming once and for all that I was, in fact, NOT a lesbian, and that although the Pap was a good one, the goodness of said pap is relative to the typical badness of them. Meaning a good pap is just not a bad pap. And also that my confusion was mostly focused around the fact that while I was busy analyzing the conversation in the exam room, she was sneakily busy analyzing my.. ahem... and I was so preoccupied I didn't even feel it.

The harder I try to explain, the worse it gets. So I will leave you with this in an effort to get out before it's far, far too late:

For a Pap so good it will temporarily convince your friends you are gay, call Dr Price: (425) 555-7662.

December 01, 2006

About surgery, under the influence of narcotics and daytime television

The doctor entered the room to find me sitting in a reclining patient chair in a pale blue back-tying gown, legs curled under me, wiping away nervous tears.

“Are you alright?” he asked.

After reading 10 pages of disclaimers, risks and complications that may or may not kill me during the shoulder surgery I would be undergoing in 20 minutes, as delineated by a series of very precise ratios (heart failure: 1 in 10,000, infection: 1 in 4,800) I wanted to run screaming out of the office. But instead, I collected byself and muttered “Yes, oh, yes. Just… nervous.”

“Well, that’s perfectly normal,” he said softly – almost fatherly (or at least I imagine that’s what fatherly is like. I wouldn’t really know, as my father is a fucker).

“Oh, good. So odds of pre-op tears are what, then? 9 in 10?” I was trying to be funny. He was trying not to look at me like I was crazy.

After a series of questions (he must have asked me 5 times when the last time I ate was) and an overview of what he was about to do to me, he stood to leave, assuring me the anesthesiologist would be here shortly to poke needles into me. On his way out, he patted my knee.

“We’re going to take good care of you,” he said, causing my eyes to well up again under his sypmathetic (feigned sympathetic?) gaze. I felt like a total wuss. “I’ve done a few of these before, you know.”

He had. He is the former Mariners’ shoulder surgeon. I knew he was good, but goddamn was I still nervous. Doc left me to gather myself while he readied the operating room.

As promised, prick-man entered shortly later (prick as in stab as in stab me with sharp pointy objects) and gave me first some sort of pokey thing in my left arm (I didn’t look, but in the end I was attached to a clear tube and a baggie of liquid which made me feel a little like an 80 year old, particularly when I factored in my bareness under the thin robe and the shuffling steps I would have to take while pushing the baggie-cart attached to my arm down the hall to the operating room).

He then ran through my options for anesthesia during surgery. Either way I’d be out, but he said I could opt in to having what he called a “block” – a needle in my neck that would cause my neck, chest, shoulder, arm and back to go totally numb for up to 24 hours – through the most painful parts of my recovery.

“Yes, please,” I whimpered. “That sounds nice. Numbness. How does it work?”

“Well, we put a needle in your neck, and then give you a series of shocks through the needle to make your arm and neck twitch so we know it’s in the right spot,” he said. I shuddered. He continued. “The shocks last a minute or two, and then when it’s in the right place, we put in the medicine and your affected body parts go to sleep.”

He launched into some risks, while I fantasized about how horrible the shocking part and needle in my neck part would be. He then assured me I’d be asleep when it happened, which sealed the deal.

“I’m in,” I said. “When do we start?”

Shortly later I was strapped down on a bed in a mostly stainless steel room. The sterility of the room was more than just clean, it was almost morbid. There wasn’t as much as a nice framed photo on the wall. It, and the observation window on one side of the operating bed, reminded me eerily of the vet’s office in which I recently had to put my cat to sleep. More shuddering and some positive self-talk barely drowned out visions of a surgery gone wrong, a Kervorkian doctor, etc.

Once I was settled, Prick-man said “Here comes the don’t care drugs. They’ll take about thirty seconds to work.”

Of course, I took that as a challenge. I started to count to thirty in my head but was interrupted at eleven by a blissfull giddy feeling.

I felt myself start to grin and giggle, which was the last thing I wanted to do – grin and giggle while going under like some imbicile. But I couldn’t control it. The drugs were good, and my filter was overcome.

Embarrassed and smiling like a dope, I went out.


“How are you feeling?”

I blinked, seeing only two blurry figures. Blinked again. Two became one.

Third blink, and finally: focus. There was the nurse, peering down at me, smiling.

I grinned back, and immediately realized I was through surgery and high as a kite. And it started again. I couldn’t help myself. Filterless, I opened my mouth to respond.

“Waaassted!!!” I slurred, googling and giggling.

I got dressed with some effort (and help), and home with more help, where I crashed on the couch immediately after calling every one of my friends on speed dial, leaving most of them euphoric, slurring messages about how awesome I felt and how much I loved them. (So pretty much just like I do every Friday and Saturday night, really, but this time I was on a delightful narcotic high, and couldn’t feel one whole side of my body.)

That block was the best thing I ever did, because the first night and half-day went by with no pain, just a weird tingling in my hands and a few moments in the night when I woke up realizing I was holding my own hand, even though it felt like someone else’s.

The second day, though, is here and now that the numbness has worn off, I’m in a good amount of pain. Plus, I can’t change my shirt or button my jeans on my own, which means I’ve had a series of friends and family members swinging by to make sure I’m fed and clothed.

That said, though, I’d have to say thus far my verdict on surgery is that it’s pretty awesome. I get 30 vicodin, 30 oxycodin, and about four straight days of babying, sleeping, movies, and one-handed writing, by blackberry or computer.

Oh, and daytime TV, which before this surgery I didn’t even really know existed. Great, trashy stuff. After about my fifth hour of Matlock reruns, Judge Kathy, Judge Mills and Judge Franklin, I switched to Oprah, where I learned a little tidbit that I immediately called pretty much everyone I know to share, through hysterical hiccups and a few exchanged anecdotes about ex-boyfriends:

For every 35 lbs a man loses, he gains one inch in penis length. How about that?

I mean, one INCH! I suppose that must taper off a bit at a certain point, like once you can actually look down and see it, instead of doughy, hairy flab, don’t you think? Good stuff.
Just thought I’d share.

Okay then, back to the drugs. It’s about time for Judge Judy and some applesauce. Also, it took me probably an hour to type this with only one good hand. Backspacing is a virtual impossibility. So if you find typos or decide this is poorly written, please excuse me and keep it to yourself. I’m pretty proud I made it this far.

Have a great day working, suckers. I’m going back to the couch. (Oh, and I happily accept get well gifts, so feel free).

November 22, 2006

The Thanksgiving tree

"I don't want that thing in my car," he said.

"What? Why? It's just a fake Christmas tree!"

"I just don't. It's weird."

The weirdness of my grandmother's oversized fake Christmas tree was causing some packing delays last night. As I was busy with my overnight bag, I was also pulling out decorations I had borrowed from my grandmother last year (when my family was convinced she might not see another Christmas -- morbid, I know) so I could return them to (alive and well) her, allowing her a proper celebration this year.

Z, who would be driving us both across the pass this afternoon so we could celebrate the holiday with my relatives, wasn't really having any of the fake Christmas tree.

And although I'd never admit it, I got it.

It was huge and scratchy and dusty, and most of all, fake. His reaction to that tree was something like my reaction to every silk plant on the planet or that lunchmeat with the pimentos in it.

It is just plain unnatural.

And being a Christmas purist, I honestly believe in the value of marching aimlessly around a Christmas tree farm, sharpened hand-saw dragging behind you, pointing and arguing over which is the most perfectly symmetrical tree. Of course this is followed by the cutting down of the tree (which is usually almost impossible and always results in pine needles in parts of your body you really prefer not to have pine needles) and typically ends with at least one person lying pinned under a large near-symmetrical tree yelling

"There's SAP in my EYE!! OH GOD!! SAAAPPP!!!"

Unfortunately, sometimes the real world gets in the way of my principles, and in addition to my Grandmother's full-size fake tree, I also have a fake tree, though mine is miniature in size and pre-strung with lights (my second most favorite part of Christmas -- by which I mean most likely to result in someone's death -- is untangling Christmas tree lights). I had to stand my ground, if only to avoid hypocrisy.

"Look, it's not weird. It's a tree. Explain to me why my Grandmother's Christmas tree can't ride in the trunk of your car."


"Really. I won't even argue. Just explain it to me."

Z, smiling in resignation: "I can't. It can come. It's fine."


"Are you just saying that, or are you admitting you were being completely uptight?" (I needed to clarify in what manner exactly I had won this argument.)



"Honestly," he said, "Don't push it."

The Christmas tree, Z and I will all, apparently, be making it across the pass this afternoon. My grandmother will be delighted. (Well, would be, if she could remember why.)

And last night, I put up my second fake tree in my house. It took 20 seconds and once it was erect, I just plugged it in and watched it stand there, glowing.

Yeah, I missed out on the whole chopping, sapping, pine needling, arguing, hauling, trimming experience, but it brightened up the place just the same.

Happy holidays, all. If yours are anything like mine, they will consist of one long bender, punctuated by meals that could be mistaken for death-matches with your own stomach capacity. Quite frankly, that's just the way I like it.

November 13, 2006

I'm bringing umbrellas back.

Being a Seattleite, I’ve always turned up my nose at umbrellas. There’s something about them that seems... so high-maintenance, I guess. I’ve long said there are two surefire ways to distinguish real Seattleites from transplants. One is the umbrella. True locals hardly ever carry them, opting instead to run from building to building or – heaven forbid – just let their hair get wet. The second way is look outside on a sunny, but 57 degree, day. All those people with shorts—usually khaki—and sandals—often Birkenstocks or flippies—on? Born n’ raised.

But over the past week, we’ve seen storming like I haven’t seen in years. The rain is at times horizontal, and always coming down in torrential sheets, flooding roads, driveways, highway ditches. It pools over arterials, bringing cars to silent standstills in feet of water, their befuddled drivers sitting in the fast-cooling passenger seat, weighing the options: sit still and wait for the water to seep in, or open the door and get it over with.

There are farms north of my childhood home that flood every year, stranding cows on raised bits of field – like lonely, obese people on very soggy, very small deserted islands – where they moo and low and shuffle and sleep standing awkwardly in circles like they’re waiting for the ark.

Everywhere the world is covered in brown and green reflective surfaces – stretches of still water lying like cold, mirrored blankets over acres of pasture, miles of freeway, hundreds of feet of baseball fields, tracks and mid-suburb playgrounds.

Kids delight in world-class puddle-splashing, as would I if I had a single pair of practical shoes. Instead, I have opened my closet every day for a week considering what I own that won’t leak, bleed, become see-through or smell like a dead sheep if it gets wet, as I have the aforementioned lifetime disdain for umbrellas, the practical but sissy savers of clothing, hair and laptops.

But it’s been seven days and I have had enough. I’ve battled nobly, but I’m just getting too old for this “too good for umbrellas business”.

After I spent last Sunday spent sloshing around downtown “shopping” (seemed more like swimming, honestly) in pointy flat Chanel shoes, I turned a corner. After finally taking refuge with a herd of friends in a bar, I first drank pint after pint while squirming my feet around in their wet shoes and pondering the likelihood they would actually rot, Vietnam soldier-style. Once they dried and thawed, I weighed my options for exiting the building and navigating the wet on a go-forward basis, as I was totally over this whole “soggy’s just a state of mind” thing.

Option one: retain my pride and remain umbrellaless, spending the next three months being slowly drowned alive – a poor option if you consider the associated pain (90 straight days of frizzy hair and runny mascara). Also, with this option, wool sweaters are out, as they are completely horrible-smelling when wet, as is anything white or cream-colored because of their tendency to reveal more than I wish to reveal on the way to work.

Option two: Stay inside until June. In theory, a great concept. That is, until it comes time to pay rent.

Option three: forsake pride, buckle, and buy a goddamn umbrella already.

After about a football game worth of beer and commiserating, my friends and I were prepared to step back out into the gale force winds and two-foot deep puddles.

“Uh, guys?” I said.

They turned.

“I think I’m going to buy an umbrella.”

Openmouth staring. Like I’d just said “I think I was anal probed by an alien life form – and I liked it -- last night”.

But I’d suffered long enough. My flatiron missed me. As did my little cream tweed wool jacket. And although my shoes would remain impractical, I knew the umbrella would save me from the most uncomfortable part of rain of all: that nearly ice-cold raindrop that insists on falling right in that hollow part of your neck where your shirt gaps enough for it to drip, cold and unexpected, onto your collarbone and then trickle down your chest or under your arm, where it leaves a trail of goosebumps and an uncomfortable violated feeling.

I love Seattle, and the rain, and I’m a native if ever there was one. I’m not afraid of plaid or flannel or bums or beards. I have three square cups of coffee a day and would check “athletic” in a box that describes me. I understand the ferry system and I’m proud of the bio-fuel buses. Traffic doesn’t faze me, but I don’t know how to drive a stick shift, and I like to hike, fish, and pet strangers’ dogs. And if I found a wallet, I’d return it to its rightful owner.

But damn it, I’ve walked my last block in the rain. It’s not like it is in the movies, where people are all warm and sexy and beautiful when wet. They’re not. They smell weird, and are clammy, and most of us women, try as we might to make wet look irresistible and carefree, just look like someone gave us a swirly.

So now, I am the proud owner of a gorgeous little polka-dotted umbrella that goes perfectly with my pointy, wet, impractical flats. (And that newly smooth, dry, shiny hair). And you know what? I like it. I feel a little mysterious under an umbrella, like at any moment a stranger might approach me and duck under for a quick makeout session, or tuck a note into the pocket of my trench. It’s that feeling of hotness that comes from being completely and stylishly buttoned up – like that headmistress all the Catholic boys obsessed about in junior high, or the slightly dangerous but undeniably sultry femme fatale in those noir films.

And I like it.

November 02, 2006

Halloween and my new shower curtain

"I don't know," I whined. "I don't like Halloween."

"Yeah," he said, the picture of a convincing friend itching for a party, "but there will be candy. And beer."

I wasn't initially planning on making much of a fuss about Halloween because I'm lazy. Then, I was enthusiastically planning on going as Bob Ross for a couple days, for a few key reasons including comfort and humor, as well as the fact that I am the only white girl I know who looks smoking hot in a 'fro wig, but also to protest the number one reason I hate Halloween and all my guy friends love it: Costumes like this.

I dunno, I guess I just feel like a girl's options are limited on Halloween. Limited, I mean, in the sense that there seems to be some unwritten rule that anything you dress up as must include the word "dirty" or "slutty" in front of it, and must therefore appear "dirty" or "slutty".

Dirty Nurse. Slutty Schoolteacher. Kinky Parole Officer. It's all exhaustingly predictable (and restrictive!).

"Oh, all right," I relented. "But I'm not being slutty anything. In fact, I'm not dressing up at all. Take it or leave it."

"Sold!" he said. "In fact, I won't dress up, either. We'll come as "tuesday night"."

While that concept was mediocre at best, I was glad I wouldn't be alone in un-costumed glory. We were off.

House party, in Fremont. Many friends and strangers there, huddled around two freezing cold kegs. Many, many slutty fill-in-the-blanks, and me -- tall, long, straight hair (recently dyed back to its natural very dark brown), glasses, jeans, heels, and a military-style button-up jacket.

"What are you supposed to be?" I was routinely asked.

Glare, hair toss, then response: "Daria."

It was all very "My So Called Life".

At the party, I counted 6 doctors (six! Well, one surgeon in all-white, but the rest were doctors.) and two cowboys riding strap-on horses and both carrying capguns, which are incredibly irritating. There was also one ninga with very creepy stick-on long moustache things, carrying "safety numchucks", which I immediately removed from his costume and began swinging around like a retard.

There were some so-so movie characters, but one Shaft that was priceless. And there was a girl dressed in all-pink with cotton batting wrapped around her head who shuffled and itched and sweated all night who said she was a Q-tip. Funny, but also a little weird and very uncomforatable-looking. Overall, a general costume so-so-ness, which I am partially to blame for.

Oh, but the house had a sweet-ass showercurtain printed with cute little inspirational "positive self-talk" phrases like "I love naked!" and "I am so clean!" and "Look at me!" all over it. The funny part is the house was rented by four very masculine men. By the end of the night, everyone was talking about the shower curtain (It was a CRAZY party, you guys. Off the hook, or whatever. Clearly.), and we'd tracked down the owner, Paul, a tall, muscular guy in a Fireman outfit who confessed he got it at Target.

He blushed, drained his keg cup, and tossed it through a plastic basketball hoop velcroed to the wall above the living room door. (Very grown up.)

"Girls love it," he said.

He was right. The thing is totally frivolous and adorable. I bought one yesterday.

October 30, 2006

A crabwise and a crustacean foolish.

Today's word of the day:

crabwise \KRAB-wyz\, adjective:

1. Sideways.
2. In a cautiously indirect manner.

"Without taking his eyes from the road his left hand moved seamlessly from the old-fashioned gear stick to Sally's lap where, after a brief professional rummage, it moved crabwise on to me in the back seat."

-- Sue Arnold, "The difference between a grope and a caress", The Independent, October 4, 2003

First, awesome word. Second, awesome quote. Third, awesome article title.

I assume The Independant runs somewhere other than the US, though, as our friend the groper's left hand is on the gearshift (and in laps), indicating that if he's in the U.S. he's got bigger problems than just a sexual harassment suit.

Namely, a head-on collision and/or major traffic violation.

October 26, 2006

Lois and the Catholics: Danke Schon.

On the plains of the Palouse -- a great, flat stretch of grassland that covers Eastern Washington and Western North Idaho, over which the wind whips like it's Siberia in the winter and where the lentil grows plentifully, but tastes like hippie dog food -- I had many of the formative experiences of the 17th-23rd years of my life.

Yes, in Idaho I learned to drink, to (sorta) write, to "ice block", and to roll a joint. I also learned about the sound a VCR makes when you drop it from the window of an 11th floor dorm room, and about home-perms and friend-administered hilights (neither a good idea). I learned what happens to boys who shave their legs and pierce their tongues (homosexuality and a beagle) and what happens when they build 9-foot beer bongs (my friend pees her pants at a party and I punch a boy in the face).

And last weekend, I learned that delicious food and funny stories come from diners inside which hicks wrangle pancakes and scrambled eggs while staring down girls in heels with lattes in hand and boys with well-pressed shirts.

It was on our way home -- we decided to take the long way, detouring through Coeur d'Alene so we could see some family on the way back to Seattle. As we got a God-awful early start, we were on the road and nearly to our first family-members' home before roosters even started crowing. So we did (surprise!) what I wanted to do: stopped for coffee and food.

The coffee appeared in a semi-populated stretch of highway in the form of a roadside stand. Caffeine? Check. We pulled back out onto the road, happy with our nonfat sugar-free vanilla lattes warming our hands, and started looking for someplace to get breakfast.

We squinted, and drove, and drove and squinted some more before we realized we were in the middle of the country. Not the "country", like the "Cunt-ry". There weren't so much a bunch of sprawling farms as there were the occasional 1972 Chevy rusting alongside the road with a man swathed in plaid leaning against a holey silo.

"Hey -- what's that?"


"That building..."


I squinted harder. I must get Lasix.

"Oh! Yeah! That looks like a diner!"

"I thought so."

"Can we go? Please? Pleeeaaasssee??"

"Yeah, sure."

I am persuasive, clearly.

My companion cranked the wheel, bouncing us into the gravely parking lot of "Lois". I think it was supposed to be "Lois' " (like, posessive), but it seemed the intricacies of the posessive form of the name were either unimportant to Lois or worn away by time. Either way, the building's name now appeared to be "Lois".

I clutched my latte, flug open the car door, and stepped under my friend's arm, and through the door into...


Once our eyes adjusted, we saw a row of farmers at the bar, drinking coffee and spitting tobacco into bronzed spittoons. There were a few women who didn't work there sitting in a booth next to the dingy yellow-curtained windows, discussing a 4-H steer show, and the politics around the events in the local chapter.

"gorrr innn..." I urged to my awestruck friend without moving my lips, nudging him in the side and smiling at our dining companions.

The other patrons lost interest in us a few minutes later, as we slid into our back corner booth. I pulled out the crossword and we started working on it, after deciding we'd both have one of the four things on the menu -- a scrambled egg and homemade toast.

"Okay. One across is five letters for 'a chapter in nove-"

"What can I get for you two? No coffee, I imagine?"

The waitress.

"Oh, no thanks," I said, "But we'll both have the 'little farmer' breakfast."

"You're going to have to slow down, honey," the waitress said, rolling her eyes and sitting down in the booth next to me. "That was two... what?"

"Little Farmers," I offered. "One scrambled, one over easy."

She proceeded to take our orders, and then tell us about her morning, particularly about the overflowing toilet (apparently this was a weekly thing, and caused her great inconvenience) and the 'ol gal' who was supposed to relieve her of the afternoon shift who just called in sick.

After she sidled away, the two of us resumed work on the crossword. Shortly, we were stumped by a clue for which the answer was clearly Danke Schon, but we didn't know how to spell the "schon" part.

As we were discussing, our waitress reappeared with our food (by the way, the best damn scrambled egg I've ever eaten -- and toast made of homemade bread like you wouldn't believe).

"What's the clue?" she asked.

We told her, and explained that we didn't know how to spell Danke Schon.

"Is it an 'e', or an 'a', or an 'o'?" I asked. "Neither of us knows."

"Ooh," she said. "I can't help you with that one." She leaned in conspiratorially, and whispered "There aren't any Jews here today."

As we looked at each other across the table incredulously, she straightened up and continued:

"In fact, you're presently surrounded by Irish Catholics." She paused, then finished with "Y'all enjoy your breakfast now."

Satisfied, she nodded as if for punctuation, and retreated to the kitchen, leaving us with the best damn breakfast west of the Missisippi, "5 across" unsolved, and a pretty funny story.

Oh, Idaho.

October 24, 2006

Awesome weekend in I-D-A-H-O, football, fans, etc.

I went back to Idaho last weekend to watch the UI vs. BSU game -- and what a game it was!

UI actually lead or were tied with BSU for the first three quarters. Of course, in the fourth, the wheels came off and BSU won, but still. For a college football game with an anticipated 30 point spread (and U of I anticipated to finish last in their division while BSU is ranked 18 in the nation), it must have been pretty discouraging for Boise State in the Kibbie Dome with 18,000 screaming UI fans standing in seats and packing up all the exit rows.

Fire hazard? Yes. But I'm pretty sure most of the UI alum wouldn't have cared if they died at that game.

They were already in heaven. Yes, the fans were frenzied spectacles in their own right.

Every garbage can within a three-mile radius of the stadium wasn't just full, it was overflowing with beer cans and keg cups. So much so, in fact, that fans had started to just pile their cans and cups in the general area of garbage bins, in some cases nearly burying the overflowing receptacles. I have a picture of this, and will post it here shortly. Watching people do this was completely bizarre. It was like all the out of control garbage didn't even phase them. They just put their can on top of the heap and tottered on, obliterated.

The old guys were great, too. Fifty-year-old alums wobbled around the stadium waving glittery gold and silver pom poms and yelling "GO VAAANDIEEES!!" like slightly retarded 7-year-olds.

And while I was standing waiting to scalp a ticket to the sold-out game, a chain of wasted sorority girls, holding hands and walking single file towards the dome stepped, one at a time, directly on one of my feet. After it happened the first time, I was stunned enough that I didn't move much, and then the remaining four girls all followed directly behind their leader, each stepping on the same foot in turn and not one of them noticing.

It was one of the best weekends I've had in a long time, truth be told. A great game, a happy reunion with a bunch of my old college cronies, a solid night out on the town, complete with dancing (yes! dancing!), a fishbowl of beer (a real fishbowl, full of beer, all to myself!) and general debauchery.

More coming soon...

October 23, 2006


Today I found myself late to work because I discovered the simple joy of hot laundry.

When I got out of bed, it was freezing in my house. This is because I love to sleep in the cold, and because I love fresh air circulating through the rooms of my house.

[Note: One of the most disgusting things, in my humble opinion, is when people sleep with their windows and doors shut in their bedrooms. In the morning, their rooms always have that weird "sleeping people" smell - it's kinda warm, and stale, and filthy, like old socks and dirty hair and a mixture of sex and bad breath, all combined and made airborne. Totally wrong.]

This morning, though, the chill was more than refreshing -- it was possibly dangerous. As I lay there in bed (a pillowtop, with a heating mattress cover beneath my sheets and a feather comforter over me -- glorious) with my nose peeking out, I actually saw my breath -- my breath! -- puffing out over the top of my covers and lighting up the dark room like a warning. The warning was that if I set foot out there I might not make it.

But I had to get up a bit early, having left clothes damp in the dryer the night before. I knew if I didn't get up to turn them on, I'd have nothing to wear to work -- a fate worse than frostbitten extremities.

Propelled by this thought, I gathered my courage. After taking one more deep breath of the warm air beneath my comforter, I threw off the covers, sprinting for the door. Pausing to slide into my cheetah-print slippers, and sidestepping the cat, I flung the door open, raced down the stairs, turned the dryer dial and slapped the "high" and "on" buttons before spinning around and hurtling myself back up the stairs, through the door and back into bed (slippers still on). The whole trip likely took me less than 2 minutes, but my nose was still an icicle by the time I finally jerked the covers back over my head.

25 minutes later, my alarm went off. This was the second call -- the one where I legitimately had to get up in order to get the laundry, dress, make coffee and get to work on time. Again, I steeled myself. At least this time I already had my slippers on.

Off, again, went the covers and out the door I scurried, down the stairs and to the dryer. I whipped the dryer door open, plunging my hands into my clean, dry clothes, gathering them to my body and taking them back into my living room.

Only once I was back in my apartment did I realize my arms and chest were suddenly nice and warm. The almost burning-hot clothes were heating me up, and it was heavenly. No sooner did I discover this than I found myself lying on my floor in my pajamas and slippers, covered in my pile of scalding hot laundry.


There I lay, a ridiculous-looking, breathing pile of laundry on the carpet, moanind and reveling in the sensation of the metal buttons of my just-dried jeans burning my exposed knees and forearms, the glorious waves of heat from the dark, heavy towels pressing down... I was euphoric, delirious with pleasure and brilliantly saved from a certain death in the frigid duplex I call my home.

A half hour or so later, I woke up on my floor to a rapidly lightening sky and the nudging of my purring, drooling cat, who was deliberately and happily adjusting herself in her little hot nest on top of me and the pile of cooling clothes.

If I could have re-heated them I might have done that all day.

As it was, I heaved the cat and clothes heap off me and went about my morning routine after hanging up the clothes, my temporary escape, under the resentful gaze of the displaced (and newly chilly) feline.

If you haven't done this, you must. Pick a cold, rainy day, put in a huge load of towels, and heat 'em up. Best 30 minutes you ever spent on the floor.

October 19, 2006

Shoulder, surgery, sports, plea.

Well, it's finally happened. After years of competitive volleyball, I'm having a minor athletic crisis, and sometime around Thanksgiving will be holding a funeral for my favorite passtime in the world.

I played volleyball from about the 6th grade until, well, the present. Competitively for seven years, and then more recreationally for the last six, because:

1. There's a good chance of meeting cool girls to expand my ever-growing (read: fairly small BUT RAD) social circle who don't have eating disorders

2. There's a good chance of meeting charismatic, athletic men who don't smell like french fries made in an auto parts store restroom

3. I love the game, and am lucky enough to still have an impressive vertical and a pretty nasty outside hit, I do say so myself.

Until now. A few weeks ago, I started feeling pretty significant pain while playing, which turned into significant pain while playing, getting dressed, driving and sleeping. I finally went to a shoulder guy -- formerly with the Mariners -- who put me through an MRI. After two hours of whirring and thumping in that tube and three days of waiting for results, I got the call from Doc. Apparently I not only have a tear in my Labrum, I have completely torn my rotator cuff. I guess this is one of those things you kinda have to have to use your arm, so the only option is surgery. And three weeks in a sling. And 6 weeks of physical therapy. And some really awesome pain meds...

Anyway, there goes volleyball, the only sport I ever loved. At least for a few months.

A little history:

I was never much for other sports, finding softball boring and the uniforms totally unflattering. Basketball I would have loved, but I didn't have a dad who taught me to "shoot hoops", and so got a late start in the sport. Soccer I played, but after 5 years on a team ironically named "The Stars" that never won a single game I was finding it hard to stay optimistic.

I did track for a few years, jumping the triple jump and running a dash and a relay occasionally, but soon I got a license and therefore outgrew childish (and inefficient) "running".

No, traditional sports weren't for me. Instead, my athletic career included the following:

- Dance, in the early years. Ballet, tap, jazz.

- Dance evolved into gymnastics when my dance teachers recognized that clumsy and stupid were more likely to be successful while hurtling over the vault than in a tutu in the Nutcracker. (I turned down a role as a one-legged rat in that production, by the way...)

- I also spent some time in Synchronized Swimming (again, hard to hurt or embarrass yourself underwater). No joke.

- Gymnastics was my passion until I was about 14, when three things happened to me. First, I was on the beam attempting a backhandspring when my feet slipped out from under me and I "crotched" the beam. Crotching a beam basically consists of getting the equivalent of a sandpaper burn all up the insides of your legs and then landing with all of our weight on your crotch on the beam before sliding to the floor in agony. Fun. Second, I became anemic one summer and fainted, hurting a vertebrae in my neck. Gone were my days of complicated floor moves, as putting my chin to my chest was painful. Third, I grew. Like 5 inches. TOO tall.

- Enter Volleyball, my love for more than a decade. It has it all: action, intensity, jumping, hitting something as hard as you canl, diving onto the floor, smack-talking, teamwork, and really, really hot uniforms.

(Okay, maybe they were more like this, but nobody likes a stickler for details.)

Now I have to find a new sport that isn't dependent upon the critical right shoulder and that I don't hate/suck at.

I have picked up both golf and tennis recently (pre-injury) and loved them both, but they're out of the question, post-surgery. I'm actually having a hard time thinking of a sport not dependant upon the shoulder. Bowling, curling and table tennis are out. So is cricket, lacrosse and hockey. Downhill skiing, maybe - but only if I avoid moguls and pole-planting. Frisbee and tetherball? Out. Dodgeball? Definitely not. Where have all the good sports gone?



I'm going to have to start running again. Upside? Fabulous ass and increased skinniness. Downside? The running.


If any of you have fun little gadgets that make running more fun, easier or generally less completely fucky shitty, please let me know. Otherwise, hold for stories of torture and months of complaint... just the way you like it.


October 11, 2006

Potatoes and Planes: Don't kill the messenger.

Apparently it's both Vegetarian Awareness Month and Breast Cancer Awareness month, two causes I can (and do, regularly) get behind. To celebrate, I plan to feel myself up in a bathtub full of mashed potatoes.

That was the most nonsensical thing I've ever written. A total lie, just for the sake of lying. But actually, that sounds nice. The bathtub full of mashed potatoes part, I mean. Not the feeling up.

Probably good for the skin, too, as MP's contain milk, if they're made right, and milk is very moisturizing, I hear.

But in truth, a potato is really a root, isn't it? Or a tuber? Definitely a starch. So a potato may not, in fact, be a vegetable at all, rendering this whole bit even more pointless than I ever imagined. Fuck it, then. I'll just do a regular self-feel, sans veggies. A tub full of peas just isn't that appealing.

Don't say I never touch on critical news and health issues. Because I do. Sometimes.



Breaking news: NY Pitcher Flies Plane Into Building.
While all of NY city is busy flipping the fuck out over how in the world, post 9/11, a plane of any size could possibly fly into a building almost entirely un-noticed until after the plumes of black smoke and screaming people began pouring out of buildings, let me just make one other note:

In the New York Times, the late Lidle was quoted saying "The whole plane has a parachute on it,'' Lidle said. ``Ninety-nine percent of pilots that go up never have engine failure, and the 1 percent that do usually land it. But if you're up in the air and something goes wrong, you pull that parachute, and the whole plane goes down slowly."

In the Philadelphia Inquirer this summer, he boasted "The flying? I'm not worried about it. I'm safe up there. I feel very comfortable with my abilities flying an airplane."

Yikes. If there's one thing that's always made me a little nervous, it's needles. If there are four things that have always made me nervous, they're needles, the giant squid, somebody cutting my achilles tendon from under my bed when I get up for water in the middle of the night, and flying.

Call me supersitious, but you'll never catch me saying I feel perfectly comfortable with sitting surrounded by thousands and thousands of pounds of metal while it whizzes through the sky on thin air like magic. No sirree. I'm sure there's a perfectly logical explanation for why flying's a piece of cake (likely involving physics, aerodynamics and something called "drag", but not in context with the word "queen", rendering it totally uninteresting to me). Yes, there's a scientific reason flying is safe, but I don't care. It's strange, and unnerving, and amazing. I have a healthy respect for flying, and I'm just crazy enough to believe it's that twinge of anxiety that will keep me alive.

Just as the twinge of guilt when I eat a pound of chocolate covered gummi bears will (hopefully) keep me from obesity, and a hideous hangover will keep me from, in the future, drinking entire bottles of wine back to back at sushi and sake bars while repeatedly yelling "THIS ISN'T SAKE, THIS IS SUCKY!!!".

Okay, that one's a stretch. But you get what I'm saying.

October 09, 2006

A pulse: something I have.

To those of you concerned that I've died, been abducted or otherwise been sucked up into the non-blogging vortex of lameness, I say this: I'm here! I'm alive! I'm working frantically!

But I have a little something for you, and will hopefully get it up today. If not, tomorrow. And if not, whenever the hell I feel like it.

This is an update, guys. I'm not signing in blood or anything. You can expect the same mediocre content to resume shortly -- a timeframe I refuse to define. Have a fabulous day, and we'll talk soon.

September 27, 2006

The Bare Ass Booze Pitch Post Plug

Kevin of the "Bad Pitch Blog" (link under "linkage" at right) put up a post today discussing a bad pitch I sent him a few weeks ago.

For you non-PR types out there, a "pitch" is typically an email (sometimes snail-mail or phone call) directed to a journalist (or group of journalists) from a PR person who intends for the journalist to read/hear the pitch (about the PR person's client or product) and then subsequently write about it, put it on TV or otherwise propel it into the world by virtue of the large captive audience they have at their attention.

This particular pitch was sent to me from a journalist friend who recieved it some time ago. He forwarded it to me for a laugh, and in an effort to emphasize why he almost categorically hates PR people.

While I couldn't defend the pitch, I did have a laugh -- and passed it on to Kevin, who publicly, hilariously, and scathingly disembowels ill-advised pitches like these every day.

Thank goodness I didn't touch it here - I couldn't compete with his post. Check it out, and laugh: The Bad Pitch Blog: The Bare Ass Booze Pitch.


September 25, 2006

Dating Epiphany: It's all about your Story

Dating epiphany: The importance of the "how we met" story is the aspect of dating that is undeniably most underestimated by men.

Yes, physical attraction is important. Chemistry, religion, and how much she likes sports: all critical. But honestly, probably one of the three most important things to any woman you're dating that she'll never admit to your face is the story of how you met.


The wedding toast. A proper wedding toast must be sugary and prophetic -- about how you first met, you knew instantly you'd be together forever. Love at first sight, butterflies, 12 straight hours of holding hands and talking about God and music, yadda yadda. Nobody wants to hear this:

"Yeah, Rob was wasted one night, as usual, and he saw this chick -- well, actually, he was about to call her a bitch because she cut in front of him in the drink line, but then he noticed she had a nice ass. You should have heard the pickup line... and then she threw up on his new Pumas, but he wasn't even mad, because he knew he was gonna score. Anyway, one thing led to another, and when they woke up the next morning, they realized they had more in common than a mutual love of tequila..."

And even before the nuptuals, there's the introduction to friends. Nobody in their right minds is going to admit they met their new man in a chatroom, or in a tanning salon, or the day he got out on parole. And no guy wants to bring a girl home for Thanksgiving and tell his folks he met his new lover at Rick's, when she suddenly stopped dancing on poles and instead, in one magical moment, picked up his $20 with her butt cheeks.

I once briefly dated a man I met in real life after a series of email exchanges inspired by the wonderful Web (no, not a dating site, which I actually think seems like a good idea, should I ever be in the market again for a real relationship with a qualified man who is seeking the same). Anyway, in my case, initial contact was made via a nerdy email encounter. In my defense, it was the first time I'd met someone this way, and I had no idea romance would blossom as a result of said email (and, later, in-person) encounter -- at best I thought it would result in a good party story.

But then one thing led to another (no, not like that) and he was eventually (poor, dear, terrified man) introduced to the parents.

"Mom, Dad, this is Rob."

Enter "How did you meet?" question, which I knew was coming, but was just hoping I could will away. No such luck.

After weighing the options, while frantically looking at each other in silent "You go." "No, you go." conversation, one of us settled on "Uh, we met... at... a... bar?" before quickly changing the subject.

Good one. The only thing my parents wanted to hear more than "I met him on the Internet" was "I met him at a bar". It wasn't a total lie -- we did, in fact, meet for the first real time at a bar, but if a truth, it was an amended one. The "On the Internet" explanation is a bit more... complicated, inevitably resulting in a bizarre rehash of email exchanges, all of which we would have remembered as far more clever than they, in acutality, were. It all would have seemed very weird, and desperate, and nerdy, no matter how we delivered it.

So we fibbed... sorta.

With his family, it was the same sort of scenario, only he prepped me before with a full-on "appropriate" Story. It went something like this: We met at a bar when he was in town. First time we ever communicated. Like at first sight. First date the next day. A fated, happy coincidence.

He made me swear to stick to this story, and I gladly obliged.

But in situations like this, some of your friends know, right? You gotta tell them. And ultimately, you tell your parents the real story once they start liking him, and all.

But you both consider ever so often the painful truth: you will have to negotiate this awkward exchange -- your Story -- FOREVER, should the relationship last. Oy.

Then comes the aforementioned wedding toast. Brutal. And later you have to tell your kids when they ask. And grandchildren. I mean, in the end, it doesn't matter if she watches football or he opens doors. And yeah, she's hot, but you get used to it, right? Stay married to Jessica Alba for long enough, and eventually, no matter what, she just becomes your wife. But you can never escape your Story. It's permanent. Like a tattoo.

So guys, just a thought: if you're at the stage where you're ready to meet "the one", don't even bother with strip clubs, which will dissapoint you (well, in the light of day, anyway) or bars/the Internet (which will dissapoint her).

Instead, try picking up girls at the park, or coffee shops, or comment on the book she's reading on the bus. Or "accidentally" run into her on the street and pick up all her stuff after it flies out of her arms.

Or light her cigarette, or commisserate about the traffic, or slip her a note at a book reading.

Or take a hint from Hollywood, who created this whole fascination with the "How we met" story in the first place. They practically relase step-by-step guides on a quarterly basis. On their list of suggestions: rescue her from Nazis, or terrorists, or wild animals, preferably all on a bus rigged with a bomb that will explode, should it go less than 60 miles per hour. Or send her gloves and an invitation to dinner.

But watch out for traps: Pretty Woman never works out in real life. In real life, the hooker robs you on the third night after that bubble bath and you just end up broke with an STD, a story you can never tell, a huge, ridiculous-looking cell phone and a humiliating nickname that, should you be lucky enough to eventually get married to some non-hooker, will inevitably be explained on your wedding night when your best man stands up to give a toast about you and your lovely bride which digresses from the "how you met" story into something entirely more damning.

Consider yourself warned.

Now get out there and woo, already! The single women of the world are waiting, with baited breat and unrealistic expectations, for you to sweep them off their feet (with nicely toned pecs and a decent job, mind you).

(Oh, and don't thank us women for the honor of this incredible challenge. Thank Walt Disney, Warner Bros., Barbie and Danielle Steele.)

September 22, 2006

Mini-van me and the popped tire adventure.

Last night, I watched Survivor and Grey's Anatomy and ate dinner over at my mother's house -- which has become a nice little ritual for us. After the shows wrapped up, and the obligatory gossip and plotline dissection died down, I hopped into my car and headed home, exhausted.

But in standard form, my night didn't end - smoothly and without a fuss - there. On my way home, because I'm clearly a novice trick-driver, I somehow grazed a curb at 40 miles per hour, blew my front right tire completely out, and skidded to a stop on the side of the road, half in the grass, and half on the street.

No injuries, not phone poles in the way, no biggie, thank goodness. (Well, no biggie except my car couldn't go, it was 11 p.m. and all I wanted was to be home in bed, and it was dark and scary out...)

Long story short, my mom had to come pick me up and take me back to her place, where the plan was for me to use my brother's car to get home and to work today (she would use her van to get to her work at 7 a.m.). We determined we could get my tire fixed while I was at work -- thank you, Les Schwab remote service. It was a foolproof recovery plan for my tire disaster. We were so smart and resourceful. We complimented ourselves and talked about how we'd look back on me sucking at driving and this whole incident and laugh.

Until, mid-chuckle, her "check engine" light came on.

Not good. (also, cue my mom emitting a blue-streak worth of curse words).

Two cars down. Our plan had been foiled.

When we finally arrived back at her house, we got me situated in my brother's car, with my mom planning to drive the van to her work, essentially being "pretty sure" the engine light was no big deal. She handed me the keys to my brother's car, I turned the right one in the ignition, and...


Nothing. Not even a starter "click".

Three cars down. Goddamn my luck. Goddamn it to hell.

So this morning, my mom got up at 6 a.m. and drove my old truck (the one I drove in high school, which was a beater even then -- a dented white '76 Chevy pickup) to work in her cute little sweatervest and pearls, while I climbed in her enormous "mini" van and tooled off to work, "Check engine" light blazing.

I was just the cat's meow pulling into the parking garage this morning, let me tell you. First, I was nervous the thing was going to break down the whole way to work, and second, this van is the size of a small, number 1 safety-rated, side-airbags-having, automatic slider door and foot runner-boasting metal planet. Getting it into the garage without scraping along the ceiling and both walls simultaneously was nervewracking, to say the least.

But my buddy "Les" is working on my car tire as we speak (I'm trying not to consider what it will inevitably cost me) and garage parking without my little permit tags isn't likely to cost me any more than $100 bucks today for the planet-van, so that's nice. (sarcasm, sarcasm, sarcasm). The only good news I can think of is that it's lunchtime and the mexican restaraunt across the street serves very cold beer, very fast... now I just have to calculate how many I can drink in 30 minutes so as to determine how long I need to sell my body on the street to pay for it (in addition to covering my tow bill, new tire, parking, and rent next month).

I'd better get to it.

September 21, 2006

New: Condom instructions for children!

I have now officially looked at the instructions for the use of a condom twice in my life.

[If you are anticipating a debauchery-filled, scanadlous post detailing tawdry sexcapades, sorry to dissapoint. This post is about the instructions for the use of a condom, not about my personal use of condom(s). At least, that's the plan so far...]

The first time I read condom instructions was when I was like 12 years old, in sex ed, along with every other 12 year old girl and boy I grew up eating paste and getting into recess food fights with. (So embarrassing. Thank you, public schools, for that.)

I was terrified at that time not just of the STD's we kept learning about and the "pushing a watermelon out of a hole the size of a grape" childbirth analogies, but also of condoms and most of all of the reported size of the object the condom was intended to cover. During this class, we were all required to open a condom package, and read the instructions step by step, while putting the condom on our psuedo man-parts: bananas. On top of fear at the sheer size of our bananas, we were also incredibly intimidated (and giggly) about the phraseology used. It was technical, and titillatingly icky:

"Base of the penis."
"Seminal fluid."
"After ejaculation."

Eeew, yes. But accurate.

The second time I read a condom wrapper was yesterday. A girlfriend and I, fascinated by the ads for those vibrating rings that have been advertised by Trojan of late, swung through the sundries aisle while on a run through the drugstore. On a whim and out of sheer curiosity, we bought one. (You can, by the way, learn more about them HERE). I don't know, somehow a hard, thumb-sized piece of jiggling hard plastic doesn't seem that spiffy to me, but different strokes, right? Anyway...

Once in the car, I immediately opened up our little curiosity, discovering not only that the ring itself has a tiny little battery and can be used to buzz your woman into ecstacy until it poops out, but that it came packaged with a condom and instructions for use.

We almost skipped the condom instructions in favor of the little buzzy thing instructions, until some bizarre cartoon illustrations and keywords caught our eyes.

Now, instead of the technical terms for body parts, fluids, and actions -- appropriate for first-intercourse-ready 17-27 year olds, the instructions appear to be written for a 13 year old with a bad mouth and "street cred":

"leave space at the tip to hold your cum."
"Unroll the condom all the way down to the hair."
"After sex, pull out right after you come."

Yeah. Uber Eeeew!! "Come"? "Pull out"? My God. Pretty sure those are not scientifically-appropriate words. Suddenly condom wrappers have gotten near-pornographic, and I, for one, feel like a Republican grandma about it.

Besides the gross-out instructions, there are now pictures of the sex act with these line drawings that are incredibly anatomically incorrect (For example, in real life, the tool should be larger than the jewels, I'm pretty sure) with the exception of hair, which is drawn with disgusting accuracy, and absolutely no regard for the common practice of trimming for aesthetic purposes.

I'm pretty sure I have good reason to be afraid about the future of our gene pool, based on who is apparently sexually active these days, according to Trojan.


Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go hold Listerine in my mouth until my gag reflex goes away (or my teeth dissolve, one of the two).

September 19, 2006

International Talk Like A Pirate Day Returns

And yet again I'm surprised by the gusto with which people celebrate around here. I was in the elevator with two video game programmers this morning, and one of them had a fake parrot on his shoulder. Granted, they're video game guys, but still.

And "Wife Swap" has also indulged in the madness. Check out this trailer for a particularly pirate-y switcharoo show.

Go HERE for more info on the most fun international holiday around.

Finally, if you are really at a loss for things to do at work today, go here and voice your opinion on this age-old question: who's better, pirates or ninjas? Thus far, responses have included:

Vote for Pirates: "Ninja's get a limb cut off, they retire. Pirates get a limb cut off, and now they look even more dangerous."


Vote for Ningas: "Pirates have scurvy."


September 18, 2006

Two laws, one friend and a fresh start.

Legwarmers Law #1,572: The amount of fun Legwarmers is directly correlates to the amount of sun Seattle gets.

Legwarmers Law #1573: Sometimes a good deep-clean can therapeutically jump-start a fresh perspective.

This weekend, I fought a major battle with lameness, initially winning and then, ultimately, losing big-time, but gaining something else entirely.


Friday night I had plans with my best friend -- and at about 8 p.m., when I was still sitting on the couch in my workout clothes, glaring at the rain outside, watching some horrible informercial for a heating blender (for four easy payments of $49.95!!) and deep into my third glass of Pino Gris, she called to see when I'd be ready.

Her: "Hey! How are you? When do you want to go out?"
Me: "I dunno, I mean, don't rush over or anything. I really don't care. I'm just sorta vegging out."
Her: "Uh, oh-kay... Um, are you alright?"
Me: "Yeah, I just... ::sigh:: whatever."
Her: "I'm coming over. Good lord, what is wrong with you? Get in the shower, like NOW."

And there she was, about 40 minutes later, pounding down my door and breezing in, sunshine in the form of a companion. She wasn't about to let me mope around, self-medicating in my sweatpants and a self-heating mask and waste a perfectly good, if rainy, Friday night thinking about everything that is, might be or could eventually become dysfunctional in my life.

Always a trooper in the truest sense, she sat on my couch and talked to me while I reluctantly dried my hair. She refilled my glass when it was empty, listened to me rant about any and everything that was driving me crazy, and begged me to take off the belted turtleneck tunic I had chosen in favor of a soft, snug, dark-grey "World Peace" t-shirt and plastic 80's accessories (An off-white headband and bangle) with black Audrey Hepburn flats.

(Too much information, I know, but the outfit was damn cute, and if it weren't for her, I would have arrived at the bar in a cashmere mu-mu, jeans and tall boots -- a good look for Sunday afternoon shopping, photo-touring in Europe, not beer-drinking and dance).

She validated my rants, made me laugh, and lured me out the front door with promises that she would drive -- AND pay for drinks!

Thank goodness for friends who can see through your own bullshit and can rescue you from yourself when you cannot. Her relentless commitment to enjoying the evening bubbled over, infecting me with a giddy sort of pleasure at being out of the house and on a crowded dance floor doing the electric slide to a live (gag) country band, clutching Coronas with lime and occasionally spinning each other around, just for emphasis.

By 2:45, exhausted, we had made the pilgrammage back to my house, and I -- buzzed, happy, and thankful for a good friend -- fell into bed, and sleep.


Saturday night, though, I was determined to stay in. This time, though, I wouldn't be rescued. I told my best friend I was staying in, put the phone on silent, lit some candles, opened a nice bottle of Syrah, and settled in for a nice long evening of my favorite thing:


I'm sorry, I can't help it. A couple days a month I get this insatiable urge to just clean the bejeezus out of my living space -- this goes beyond the regular weekly cleaning and laundry days. It takes them, in fact, to a whole 'nother level. On my cleaning benders, I actually clear my closet of un-worn items, bagging them and preparing them for donation to charity. I do huge loads of laundry, I sprinkle carpet freshener all over my house, waiting the requisite 30 minutes to vaccum it up (making sure the little vaccum lines are perfectly straight, mind you) and climb into the tub, where I Ajax until I might pass out from the fumes.

Disinfecting wipes? Check.
Hands-and-knees scrubbing of floors? Check.
Cat-hair removal? Check.
Leather couch oiling and buffing? Check.
Intense desk, closet, shelf and kitchen organizing? You got it.

I cleaned to my little heart's content, exhausting my arms and legs in various crouching, scrubbing positions, and actually breaking a sweat. Then, I rewarded myself with a long bath, a clean hotel robe, 5 chapters of a new and fabulous book, and two Tylenol P.M.'s. (Note: do not try this at home. You're not supposed to take those after you've had a drink. But if you decide to, be sure you can devote at least 8 hours to sleep, don't operate machinery, and be sure you're not sleeping with anyone who minds a little drooling. Sleep hits you like a metric ton of bricks on that stuff.)

By 10:30, I was passed out in bed (clean sheets! Clean P.J.'s! Sweet-smelling hair! A little tipsy!) with my cat next to me, my book on my chest, and surrounded by the cleanest two-bedroom apartment this side of the Missisippi.

I woke up twelve and a half hours later with a smile on my face -- bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, and in moments I had a pot of coffee brewing and was in workout clothes. I was heading out the door when I grabbed my keys and noticed a blinking light on the blackberry, indicating a message. I put it on speaker phone while I spun around the house, gathering my things for a long, productive day.

Loud and crackly came the voice of a friend who noted my absence on the scene the night before and suspected what I was up to:

"Hi, it's me. I know you're probably elbow-deep in cat hair right now and loving it, but we're all going down to the Kirkland pub for a beer. Take off your rubber gloves, put on some mascara and COME! It's only a quick walk from your house. Or vaccum some more, either way. But we'd love to see you..."

I saved the message and hung up, smiling in appreciation of the understanding of good friends - even when I need to befriend myself, alone. I patted the cat, took a final, sweeping look at my sparkling apartment, and pulled open the door, stepping out into the crisp mid-morning.

September 15, 2006

How you know it's going to be a bad day by 11:00 a.m.

First, an actual news story from a few weeks ago:

Church Fires Teacher for Being Woman
From Associated Press
August 21, 2006 7:40 AM EDT

WATERTOWN, N.Y. - The minister of a church that dismissed a female Sunday School teacher after adopting what it called a literal interpretation of the Bible says a woman can perform any job - outside of the church.

The First Baptist Church dismissed Mary Lambert on Aug. 9 with a letter explaining that the church had adopted an interpretation that prohibits women from teaching men. She had taught there for 54 years.

The letter quoted the first epistle to Timothy: "I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent."

The Rev. Timothy LaBouf, who also serves on the Watertown City Council, issued a statement saying his stance against women teaching men in Sunday school would not affect his decisions as a city leader in Watertown, where all five members of the council are men but the city manager who runs the city's day-to-day operations is a woman.

"I believe that a woman can perform any job and fulfill any responsibility that she desires to" outside of the church, LaBouf wrote Saturday.


Wow. Rough day, huh? Which, by the way, doesn't even come close to mine today, which went something like this (list compiled at 11:30 a.m., keep in mind. I've got a whole day to go):

6 a.m. --
drop off of friend at the airport, which necessitated an alarm clock blaring at approximateloy 5:20 a.m. and me dragging my ass out of a warm, snuggly bed and into business clothes less than 5 hours after I went to bed. Ouch. Deliver friend at appropriate terminal, then steer car to the "cell phone waiting lot", where people can park for free while waiting for loved ones to arrive.
6-7 a.m. -- make sleep nest in fold-down backseat of car in airport cell phone waiting lot (in effort to avoid traffic and stay close, geographically, to the location of a 9 a.m. business meeting downtown). Drift off, thinking how lucky I am to have a practical car.
7 a.m. -- wake, shivering, as the heat has seeped out of my car and left it approximately 45 degrees. Crawl to front seat to turn on car, and heat.
7:03 a.m. -- turn key in ignition. Hear "click, click, click" sound, but no engine.
7:04 a.m. -- turn key in ignition. Hear "click, click, click" sound, but no engine.
7:05 a.m. -- turn key in ignition. Hear "click, click, click" sound, but no engine.
7:06 a.m. -- turn key in ignition. Hear "click, click, click" sound, but no engine.
7:07 a.m. -- turn key in ignition. Hear "click, click, click" sound, but no engine. Begin to sweat, then swear.
7:17-7:35 a.m. -- pop hood of car to heighten awareness of my distress, then tour parking lot, asking 5 men in pickup trucks if they have jumper cables. None of them do, prompting me to wonder why in the FUCK they have a pickup truck, if they're clearly commuting to a desk job and don't intend to ever haul anything, carry tools or have jumpercables for damsels in distress! Also ask a couple old ladies, one girl my age, and one middle-aged man in a suit with two cell phones attached to his head who spoke something like French. No luck.
7:40 -- call everyone in the area I know (three people) and discover they're all already on their way to work.
7:50 -- get a call from one friend, who gives me the name of a tow-truck company, who I google on my Blackberry and call. They'll be out in 10 minutes.
7:55 -- hear "tap tap" on window, and find two men in navy blue jumpsuits standing outside my window, peering at my battery and asking if I need a jump.
7:56 -- "Well, yeah." (Duh.)
7:57 -- tow truck arrives, prompting two jumpsuited men to say "you called a tow truck?"
7:58 --
"Well, yeah." (Assholes.)
8:00 a.m. -- cables hooked up, key turned, ignition catches. Car is running!
8:01 a.m. -- go over to say thank you to tow truck guy, who cuts me short when he hands me a bill for $62.50. $62.50 for approximately four minutes of light work! Resigned, hand over the money, sign life away in ink, and make mental note to get into the tow truck business as a second career. They make bank.

I won't go into details of my other escapades this morning (spilling of hot latte on inner thigh, 20 dollar parking tab when I go to the meeting for which I paid 62.50 to wait and kill my car, and using a Porta-Potty due to real restrooms being "down for maintenance"), but it's been a long morning.

Reeeeaally looking forward to the weekend. Hope yours is good. And if you happen to have any happy karma vibes to spare, you know where to send 'em.

September 12, 2006

BumberMusic, tweens, paraphenalia, vodka in the bushes, and what's in my I-Pod.

The weekend before last, I went to Bumbershoot, an annual music festival here in Seattle. Saw loads of great music, including Zero7, Steve Miller Band, Kanye, Atmosphere, Tribe Called Quest, Speaker Speaker, Sonja Kitchell, etc.

The first night, my friends and I decided we'd better use Kanye (who we don't care much about, honestly) as a dry-run for Tribe (who I would bleed one of my closest friends to death just to see). You know: get there early, see how hard it is to get a good position on the floor, yadda yadda.

We got into the stadium two hours early for the concert and people were already sprawled out on the astro-turf, claiming positions for the concert. We rolled our eyes at each other, stepped across a sea of bodies and posted up somewhere relatively near the stage. It was only then, after sitting down and making some room for ourselves, that we looked around.

We were SURROUNDED by pot-smoking pre-pubescent kids. Nearly all the girls were wearing jean skirts and tank tops (sooo impractical for astro-turf sitting!). The boys tended to all look the same: baggyish holeyish jeans and t-shirts with either flip flops or oversized cartoon shoes and slightly off-center hats.

It wasn't the fact that these kids were less than half my age that threw me off -- I mean, c'mon, we were at Kanye West -- I get it.

What shocked me was all the glass pipes they were smoking out of -- in broad daylight. Isn't that a little balsy?

I've never understood the desire to use paraphenalia when smoking pot. I mean, what ever happened to a good, old-fashioned, disposable joint? Pretty amazing. But fortunately, Seattle is a pretty pot-friendly city. No arrests or confiscations were made, and the tweens got nice and bleary-eyed and blissed out pretty much the whole night. And that meant they did pass around curly fries, which was awesome...

Anyway, after a half hour or so of chiling on the Astroturf and sizing up who we'd have to knock out to get to the front of the stadium when the music started, we decided we'd have no problem blasting through them all a few minutes before the show started (really, they were all about 100 pounds), so we hit the beer garden, giving up our spot. This proved a steller idea at first: An hour later, we were buzzy, fuzzy, and back at front, enjoying the show (with a clear view, too -- another benefit of going to concerts with children). The downside? 5 dollar plastic cups of Miller Lite keg beer. Spendy, cheesy, and not that tasty. Blew 50 bucks in about 30 minutes on those for 3 of us. Not cool.

The following day, we returned, though we refined our technique. This time, instead of driving to Bumbershoot, we filled up a travel coffee mug with vodka and bused down in the afternoon, eliminating drunk driving and the beer-garden spend. After stashing the carafe in some bushes outside Seattle Center and praying no industrius bum happened across it, we dashed in, caught some shows, and ate.

Later, we retrieved the alcohol, untouched, from the bushes and brought it in to the stadium, where we caught Atmosphere.

[In college, my friends and I were in love with an Atmosphere song where he sings: "I'm gonna be bigger than Jesus/ Bigger than wrestling/ Bigger than the Beatles/ Bigger than breast implants/ I'm gonna be the biggest thing to hit these little kids/ Bigger than guns/ Bigger than cigarettes.".

One of these friends was a guy named String. String had a real first name, but didn't go by it, because String just fit. Picture a pale piece of string, approximately 6 feet and 7 inches long, standing on end. Now give it a medium-high voice, too-short jeans, a Hurley t-shirt, and imagine it never stops talking. That's him.

Anyway, String is a classic college character, and the Atmosphere song reminds me of him because he used to always mix up the first few lines, saying "Bigger than JEEEZus, bigger than ELVIS!!" in this enthusiastic, nerdy twang. Good stuff.]

Back to the point: After Atmosphere came Tribe, and we were very close to the stage, which was really phenomenal. Highlights include:
1. Asking a few of the kids around me if they knew who Tribe was before the concert started and them saying they have no idea... they're just here for Atmosphere, then realizing they weren't even born when Tribe dropped their second album.

2. Knowing all the lyrics.

3. Swinging (and then accidentally releasing) a t-shirt above my head, losing it in a sea of hip-hop-loving bodies, never to be seen again.

4. Nearly getting in a fight with a bouncer in an attempt to get backstage.

5. Being saved by a female bouncer after nearly fighting the male one in an attempt to get backstage, then nearly crying when I told her they were the only group I'd get arrested trying to meet before she told me I should probably leave and stop saying that, lest I actually get arrested.


What's in my IPod, CD player and head these days:

Sergio Mendez "Timeless" -- a collaboration between Sergio Mendez and (of Black Eyed Peas), and a blending of my favorite genres of music: bossa nova, samba, jazz, hip hop, and soul. I seriously can't stop listening to it. Infectious rythms, talented vocalists including Erykah Badu, Jill Scott and India.Arie, and some of my favorite rappers including Q-Tip, Black Thought and Chali 2NA.

It's a fusion you don't hear too often, but I hope there's more of. And it's rocking my world, a.m. to p.m..

Download it here.