Saturday, July 30, 2005

This weekend in crappy filmmaking

Maybe I've just been in liberal, politically correct enclaves my entire life...

But why isn't anyone talking about how incredibly offensive-sounding this movie is? Every time I hear "You know it's hard out there for a pimp!" blaring from my TV, I think "And sucks for the girls whose vaginas he sells for 20 bucks a pop."

On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, I have another item for my list of Reasons to Avoid a Movie at All Costs: any "spontaneous" protofeminist singalong of an easy listening hit. It worked once, in My Best Friend's Wedding, but it never will again. Extra demerits if the song is so bad (ahem, Partridge Family-esque level of bad) that it actually threatens to eclipse an infinetely superior moment also involving music, John Cusack and women behaving in very silly ways. You know what I'm talking about... don't make me mention it in the same space as this drivel.

Thank god the weekend is full of plans with actual people and that the heat has finally broken. Another week like this one (speaking of both emotions and temperatures) and I might have sat through one of these just for the sake of distraction.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Say your prayers

Dear God,

I am pretty sure that I will regret this outfit in the not-too-distant future. That being said, rainy Friday mornings were made for gaucho pants and a shrug. I understand that you are very busy dealing with famine in Niger and hunting terrorists in London and other such pressing matters. However, if you could find a way to keep these two items of clothing in fashion a little while longer, I would be very grateful. They are ever so comfortable. I know I'm already going to hell and all, but you and your son are pretty famous for loving the sinners and I'd really appreciate it.

Your friend,


PS- Can I have a pony for Christmas? Oops, sorry-- wrong letter.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Yes I said Yes, I mean it really, Yes

Thanks to everybody who emailed/IMed/called, and I promise, I'm really doing fine. I was not doing so fine yesterday because I spent too much time on Tuesday with many good friends, chief among them Mr. Absolut. Apparently that fellow has missed me a great deal this summer (I've been hanging out with my fair-weather friend Sir Sam Adams Summer Ale quite a bit), because he welcomed me back with the kind of enthusiam usually reserved for soldiers returning from war.

Now that I am capable of holding my head upright without wanting to vomit, it's crazy busy around these parts. I've spent the last couple of weeks designing a new publication that will go out today. It's a big deal and involves many super-complicated web design elements I've never used before, so hopefully all will go well and I won't have to spend the next two weeks replying to angry sociology professors wondering what the hell I've sent them.

The new oven is finally being installed today, or at least is supposed to be. Let's hope all works out, because for some reason I volunteered to throw a dinner party tomorrow night. My Domestic Goddess side made me do it... without an oven or microwave, I've kept her firmly under wraps as I consume a never-ending succession of soup, hot dogs and Chicken Kee Mao from the truly excellent Thai place on 7th. If all goes according to plan, I will be more than making up for it on Friday. Check it out.

That said, I make a mean hot dog too.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Hot damn

I should get dumped more often. Apparently, if quadruples my blog traffic.

To say nothing of reminding me that I have the most phenomenal friends and acquaintances in the world.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Guess this means I have to buy a microwave after all

I started to write a really long, angry post about what a cowardly piece of crap you are, the things I will not miss the least little bit about you, and how I can't believe how much time I wasted someone who would treat me this way.

I couldn't get into it, though, and more importantly, you don't have that kind of power over me. You never did. And even if you had come close, I know now that you're so not worth it.

I'm pretty willing to bet that you don't even feel badly about the way you handled it. Suit yourself. Just know that people who are this immature and selfish are cut out of my life. Done. I can be really ruthlessly efficient like that. You say you want to stay in my life?

No. The End.


Why on God's green Earth would He choose to make TODAY the day my prom date IMs me in a "I'm getting married in four days" panic? Was I a serial killer in a previous life?

Monday, July 25, 2005

We got more bounce in California than all y'all combined

I am so in love with Laguna Beach, it is not even funny.

Generally speaking, I would rather slice my eyeballs with thousands of tiny papercuts than actually watch a reality TV program containing characters filmed after 2002 (I include this exception to allow for Real World/Road Rules Challenge, truly the best show involving goat testes, threesomes and bungee jumping).

American Idol? Annoying and played out. Any show involving a psychotic boss and/or colleagues? Lived it; don't need to watch it. Season 157,938 of The Real World? So. Fucking. Formulaic. "Ooh, what a great house!" "Ooh, gay/black/Hispanic/Midwestern people are weird!" "Ooh, I love my boyfriend but I need my space while I'm here!" "Ooh, my roommates are insane!" "Ooh, I'm growing so much as a person!" "Ooh, I can't believe it's time to go home when I just realized how much work I have to do to continue to grow as a person!" I'd like to see Bunim-Murray tell the kiddies they're going to live in Jamaica, only to pull an eleventh-hour switcheroo and dump them in Detroit. That, my friends, would be some quality TV.

Laguna Beach, however, is in a whole different category. For all of us who clung to the lower rungs of popularity in high school (and since this is a DC-based blog, I assume that's all of my readers), it's the entree into the minds of the most popular kids in school. Only the best part is, the ugliest cast member on Laguna Beach (*cough Morgan! cough*) would have eaten the popular girls at my high school for breakfast, if they weren't so damn high in carbs. Seriously, the uniform for the popular girls at Pioneer High circa 1998 was a charmingly weathered University of Michigan sweatshirt, a hair ribbon with your particular sport (lacrosse, field hockey or swimming) on it in puffy paint and Mavi jeans so flared they obscured your sneaker-clad feet. Can you picture Lo wearing anything involving puffy paint? Girlfriend probably had an Louis Vuitton diaper cover.

These kids are fantastic. They're all insanely good-looking and rich, with no flaws except a propensity for indiscriminately fucking one another. Though critics of the show accuse them of being dumb and shallow, they're actually pretty efficient and smart. They've all seen enough of the non-Laguna world to know it sucks and is filled with tedium and drudgery, and so have wisely chosen to ignore it. Hell, they'll never have to live in it, so who gives a damn?

This is why I'm actually a little apprehensive for this season. LC is apparently failing to take San Francisco by storm, and appears - gasp! - a little beaten down by life. This is not how it works in "The Real O.C." LC and Kristin perpetually spar over Stephen (who, ladies, is really not that great a catch) (but then neither is that sleazebucket Talan), make bitchy comments behind each other's backs and flip their hair. That is the show. None of this "I'm not sure I'm in the right career field" or "I feel lonely and insecure" crap. Still, Kristin is narrating this time around, and I can't wait. She's the best. I love that she got the guy even though LC is hotter. Besides, she has actual smiles and facial expressions-- who cares if she's kinda whiny as long as she doesn't have that Cheerleader of the Damned thing LC and Lo so fetchingly sport?

Please guys, we need our escape. Just live your flawless lives, shot on beautiful filmstock, and for the love of Bunim-Murray, don't ever add a confessional.

Friday, July 22, 2005

I'll stop wearing flip flops when Karl Rove is fired

There are a couple of things that men just should not express opinions on because they will never experience them. As far as I'm concerned, a woman's right to choose is number one.

I speak, of course, of a woman's right to choose her footwear.

Summertime means professional women District-wide can breathe a hearty sigh of relief and merrily flip-flop about town in their Reefs, the best thing to happen to feet since rickshaws. The other eight months of the year, our poor feet are confined to toe-scrunching heels, perenially caught in the cement throughways of our fair city. Do you know what I spend annually on fixing my shoes because of sidewalk potholes? This is why men buy the drinks-- women have outrageous heel-repair bills.

Men of DC, you get to wear socks. Big thick black socks that cushion every step you take with the delicious assurance that no matter how far you walk, your feet will not open up and bleed all over creation. We women get no such comforts. You see those shoes up there? Are they hot? Hells yeah. I own the black ones, and I look damn good in them. However, I can't appreciate the effect because I'm too busy praying for the sweet embrace of death to whisk me away from the all-consuming pain south of my ankles. Those motherfuckers hurt. Let's see how you do walking around all day, every day in three inch heels with your toes smushed into a space roughly the size of an electron.

Remember in Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion when Romy blows off the guy in the club with the line "I have to go, I cut my foot earlier and my shoe is filling up with blood"? That actually happened to a friend in college. We're out being sloppy and silly somewhere in Adams Morgan and she drunkenly commented that she didn't realize the snow was so deep. When we got home, turns out it wasn't slush she'd stepped in, but the discharge from her own blistered, bleeding feet. That, my friends, does not happen with men's dress shoes.

So give us our Summer Shoe Vacation and shut up about it. We wear the hot-yet-painful shoes the rest of the year, in no small part for your viewing pleasure. Until you walk a mile in my shoes, your opinion doesn't count.**

Of course, it wouldn't be a completely pointless conversation without having a George W. Bush link to it. The Northwestern women's field hockey team was invited to the White House to celebrate their NCAA championship, and several of the women dared to don offensive footwear.

Let me get this straight. Our nation is at war, Iraq civilians are dying by the hundreds every week, terrorists are bombing our closest ally with great abandon, Karl Rove intentionally outed a covert intelligence agent and apparently gets to stay in the White House unrebuked. Yet when a national championship team of athletes tries to take a moment to celebrate their phenomenal accomplishment, they get lampooned in the press for being disrespectful.

I admire their restraint. If I were given such access to the White House, not only would I skip in the door wearing Reefs and a wifebeater, but I- GASP- wouldn't get a pedicure.

The horror.

**However, I might be willing to work out a trade-- we'll cut back on the flip flops, but men are never allowed to wear that godawful dress shirt and tie/baggy Abercrombie shorts combo. Do you know how dumb you look when you dress like that? You're not in college anymore, and the world is not your Phi Iota Dickwad Annual Shareholders Meeting/Clambake.

Planning ahead

One of my colleagues just announced she's pregnant. Here and now I call Desdedididawn for my own first-born daughter, and may Angel Moroni smite K if she steals it.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Things that tick me off: Wednesday Edition

Going to the trouble of wearing cute toe-pinching shoes, walking to a trashy happy hour in a hotel bar and paying ten dollars for a pitifully weak vodka gimlet only to be cropped out of the picture on And I'm not even the one with the insane halter tanline!

The fact that as of September 1 I will be doing three people's jobs without so much as a whisper of a pay raise before my six-month evaluation. Apparently I am doing well enough to take on loads of monkey work in addition to my regular, brain-using duties, but not well enough to be paid a wage that will feed both myself and my soon-to-be-acquired cat.

That I am not on the beach right now.

That I will not be on the beach for the rest of the summer.

The District of Columbia, for its psychotic parking registration laws that mean I either pay an additional thousand dollars a year to get DC insurance and plates or give up my precious one vacation day to drive the Focus back to Michigan where it will sit, unloved and undriven, for the remainder of its lonely days. Except, of course, for when my sister comes home on Christmas break from her fancy-schmancy school to drive it into the side of the garage and get in accidents in the parking lot of Starbucks.

Myself, for not having the balls to stand up to my landlord and refuse to pay part of the rent because my oven, garbage disposal and living room light have all been broken since I moved in (to say nothing of the closet shelving that was in pieces in my bathroom).

Also myself for not having bought Raid the last time I was at The Teet. This oversight led to me trapping two enormous, disgusting, extremely buzzy flies in my bathroom last night and subjecting them to a slow, painful death via a spray bottle of Clorox and a rolled-up copy of last month's Elle with Lindsay Lohan on the cover.

Lindsay Lohan, for still being a redhead on the cover of last month's Elle, because if there is one thing that blonde, freakishly-skinny, coked-out Lindsay Lohan is good for, it is being rolled up and used to swat asphyxiated flies. Using red-headed, boobalicious Lindsay just makes me feel bad.

What I Did on My Four-Day Vacation

Northern Lites, where we drank $6 pitchers of Miller Lite and watched drunken teenagers perform Backstreet Boys karaoke. You can't see it, but there's a sign reading "Budweiser Welcomes Fishermen and Truckers"


Northen Lites is also home to a vending machine that sells both potato chips and cigarettes. Michigan: Meeting all your grease and tobacco needs since 1827!

Starr didn't believe there were beaches in Michigan until he was actually in the water.

However, he needed no such convincing regarding the awesomeness of swingsets.

Starr and I went to Okemos. There isn't much there.

Then we drove to Northern Michigan. There's lots there!

For a Purple State, Michigan can be pretty damn Red in some parts. I had forgotten that north of Lansing, there is a complete and total lack of irony. While driving past the endless cornfirelds and forests, Starr and I kept on coming across handwritten cardboard posters taped to stop signs advertising "Mal's Party!" or "Leelenau Firehouse Sourdough Pancake Supper Fundraiser!!!" If we'd had more time, I would have loved to spend it at Mal's or the firehouse listening to people's stories and connecting to total strangers with absolutely no agenda or cynicism.

One of my favorite moments during the vacation was stopping in Rite-Aid for bandages and tape for Starr's infected knee (this following my least favorite vacation moment, watching him get very gray in the face after having all manner of nasty liquids drained from said knee). While buying all manner of supplies, I made fast friends with Jai the Rite-Aid checkout clerk. In our four minute conversation, I heard about her Olympic runner turned alcoholic-lupus-patient sister, Jai's battle and 23-year victory over cancer, her history as a softball and football player for Traverse City High and the gossip from the horse show up Route 31. I love Michigan. We're all too busy to appreciate shit like this in DC, when such encounters are the great stuff of life.

Between hospital visits and bonding with the locals, we did all of the great Up North traditions-- beaching at North Bar Lake, wine tastings on Leelenau Penninsula, a quick walk around Interlochen. Stopping at the EZ Mart for truly excellent gas station cappucino, eating cherries from a farmer's stand at the side of the road, heading to the movie theater gasping from heat because it's the only air-conditioned place in the whole zip code. Starr and my family got along really well, which delights me to no end. Watching him and my dad play football on the beach was among the best things I've seen all summer.

All good things must come to an end, and I'm back with nose firmly pressed against the grindstone (two cliches in one sentence-- top that, bitches). Because our flight was delayed no less than three times coming back to DC and Northwest finally flew us into Baltimore as a pitiful subsitute, I slept in yesterday only to incurr the wrath of the HR gods who monitor my vacation time. Wish... had... comp... time... policy...

Oh, and I forgot to post it, but I also have a truly excellent photo of Starr being attacked by a racoon puppet. Pretty well summarizes my home, no?

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Still I often think of going back


I need Stocking Drive, and Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes, and strange yet oddly endearing musical child prodigies dressed in navy blue courduroy.
I need a big juicy burger from Art's Tavern. I need to buy the new Harry Potter from the adorable independent bookstore on Front Street. I need beaches and local two-week-old gossip in the Interlochen Public Library that has nothing whatsoever to do with Karl Rove and what he did or didn't say.

Thursday night... I can make it to Thursday night.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Misdirected anger

This is a note to those who decry Beltway denizens for being out of touch. To the red-staters who stand a safe distance behind the citizens of New York and Washington, hollering about patriotism and rootin' out the terrorists. To the readers of small midwestern newspapers who wrote Letters to the Editor after September 11 to express their fear for every time they heard a plane buzz overhead.

The kind of America whose morning commute does not involve submachine guns.

You want to say that as a liberal living in a city I am not in tune with "real Americans." That because I have not served in the armed forces and know very few people who have done so, I am somehow not as qualified to have and express my opinions on military policy. That because I care more about the plights of undereducated children, AIDS victims in South Africa and the one-legged homeless man on my old block than your hanging the Ten Commandments in a courthouse, I am somehow without "core values."

You have no problem checking my civil liberties at the door, expelling students and foreign workers in the name of my safety and invading nations when our leaders can't attack the nationless cells that caused this whole damn mess. You will gladly holler "Bring it on!" in proud tones, issuing those defiant words from the safety of Tempe or Indiannapolis or Mobile.

At the same time you issue such fronts of bravery, you will also act scared. You know that fear is the best motivator for rapid change, and you embrace your fear because you have kids, traditions, a way of life to maintain.

Here's what I have to say to you: BUGGER OFF. Send your money, send your sympathy, send your condolences, but don't you dare be scared and don't you dare encourage us to be confrontational. Don't you dare. After September 11, I deeply resented you groping to connect tragedy to your own lives, when there were more than enough Americans, myself included, to feel panic and fear quite tangibly.

Maybe it is hugely hypocritical of me to rail those who would adopt an external tragedy as their own. London, after all, is hardly in Washington's backyard. For the citizens of London, I have nothing but sorrow and my own righteous anger to offer. I ache for you and your city.

You will notice, however, that there is a pattern here. Just as terrorists are not attacking Tempe or Mobile, they did not attack Newcastle or Leeds this morning. Cities. They attack the cities, the dens full of the godless gay-loving mixed-race liberals you fear so much.

For those Americans who see this tragedy as yet another reason to blindly follow politics without a questioning eye, whose eyes dart suspiciously around their suburban Home Depot parking lot because a man with a turban is parking his van-- Stop. Just stop. Don't give us your confusing mix of hate for Americans like us and hate for those who attack Americans like us. You live with the fear that terrorists will attack your country, and let that fear guide so much of how you treat others and shape your principles. I live with the fear that terrorists will attack my street. We don't want to hear how scared you are, or how brave you are in the face of terrorism. It's insulting. Just stop.

Because when you were on your way to work this morning, I am quite willing to bet you were not thinking "It's only a matter of time before it'll be my morning commute."

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

I have no idea what you're talking about

Do you know how much it is KILLING me to not write a post on this humongous issue with which I happen to be personally connected (albeit in a small, unimportant yet tangible way)?? Do you know how many opinions I have about this groundbreaking, incredibly charged, highly controversial event that concerns many issues I am deeply passionate about and involved individuals I have known decently well within my very recent history??? And do you know that every single goddamn blogger in Washington is writing all about it right at this very moment??? And what a hugely, spectacularly bad idea it would be for me to write anything about it on my own blog??????????????

That all said, I am very happy that tonight, somewhere in Washington, a very good man will come home to his wife and adorable son.

misty watercolor meme-ries

After getting double-teamed by both Lindsay and Hughes, I feel the need to respond to this whole Childhood Meme business. Sadly, I am incapable of "pollinating" or however it is that you "tag" or "extend" the "meme-ing" because you guys already tagged pretty much all of the bloggers that I actually know (Carolbean is pretty much defunct and AnnaMo is preocupied with pesky things like moving to Connecticut and starting a Huge New Job). *

However, I am capable of serving up some reminiscing with a side of dramatic flair.

The ChildHood Meme: What 5 Things Do You Miss About Your Childhood?

1) Not Paying Bills. I miss having absolutely no concept of where money comes from, why it is needed or what happens if one does not have it. Remember how when you were a kid and such basic necessities as shelter, food and air-conditioning just appeared? Moving to a new apartment, accumulating furniture and filling out kitten adoption papers that ask what you are prepared to annually spend on worm medicine makes a girl yearn for Communist Poland, where we may have faced hardship and turmoil at every turn but Comcast would not charge you $97 a month for a package that does not even include HBO.

(Side note: The Amalgamated Education Corporation that employs me did actually pay me this month! At least now I can eat real food in July! )

2) Being Unaware of What a Dork I Am. Back in the days where we wore full sweat suits with our flannels and crunchy perms. Back when we collected X-Files trading cards. Back when we sang showtunes with unabashed glee on the back of the school bus as it traveled down Packard. Back when there were no voices in our heads judging us for being silly and childlike, because, let's face it, we were children. Back before we had to argue with ourselves to embrace our Not-So-Inner-Nerd, that other people's opinion shouldn't matter because you love it/them/him/her, but then at every turn you're bombarded with approval and disapproval that turns on a whim from both the arbiters of popular culture and the people around you and suddenly you're really embarrassed that you can name every Amy Grant Christmas album even if it does win you a point at Quizzo and and now my head hurts and I'd better lie down.

See? Kids don't worry about that crap. Kids sing the techno remix of "O Little Town of Bethlehem" and don't give a damn about anything else.

3) A Metabolism That Allowed Me to Eat Nothing But Raw Cookie Dough for Four Days Straight Without it Having Any Effect Whatsoever on My Tummy, Ass or Thighs

4) Others have written that they miss their idealism, or their youthful liberalism. I'd like to think I still have both of those in spades. What I miss is the energy that is required to act on idealism. Like most adults, I'm just too damn worn out at the end of the day to fight the good fight like I wanted to as a kid. When you're bogged down with the details of everyday life, it's difficult to muster enthusiasm for anything beyond cynical observations and commentary. Particularly when your day job involves fighting the good fight, you're oftentimes just over it by the end of the day. Your job, and by extension, your life, becomes about doing enough good during the day so that you can go home to your fifteen dollar Eastern Market pasta after adult kickball practice and still congratulate yourself when you look in the mirror.

Kid EJ would have been pretty tough on Present Day EJ.

Then again, Kid EJ would not have many friends. Or much of a life. She was very similar to Katie, only her hair wasn't as good.

5) It took me a long time to come up with a fifth thing I miss about childhood. To be honest, I really prefer being a twenty-something to being a kid, or god forbid, repeating a single day of adolescence. I like beer, William Makepeace Thackeray, sex, swearing, politics, reruns of Law and Order: SVU, spooning, Thai food and getting lost in European alleys. Children may embrace these things occasionally, but they are really best appreciated at exactly my current stage in life. I don't like car trips with my parents, children between the ages of 6 and 12, visiting relatives who heap insane amounts of guilt and judgment on me, actually playing most outdoor sports, or anything approaching a team-bonding activity, particularly if it includes "trust falls" or "rap circles."

So when it comes down to it, I guess the one remaining thing I miss from childhood is catching fireflies in my yard on a warm summer night. Because if you don't feel a pang every time you trudge home from work or happy hour and see that familiar glow darting around the neighbor's yard, you're probably a little dead inside.

*And sorry about all those "quotation marks."

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

bad blogger

Urgh. Head hurts. Too much Fourth of July fun.

Random moments from the last week, where I've been a bad blogger but a good worker bee and a very busy packer/mover/organizer:

-- The unique horror that is realizing that eight hours earlier you signed a lease on an apartment that has neither a dishwasher or washer/dryer.

-- Watching Starr and Hughes pee on the Young Christian Women's Home on the way back from the fireworks and getting disgusted looks from some Young Christian Women.

-- Wrestling the Couch from Hell down the steps and into the doorway after picking it up from a woman named MonaLisa in Alexandria, only to get it stuck in the bars, scrape it up on the concrete and mud, and still be unable to fit it in my goddamn entryway, leading us to eventually dump it in a heap outside Remley's apartment in the barrio.

-- Playing something like three consecutive hours of flipcup.

-- Trying to convince myself that I don't need cable, that I'll be just fine with NetFlix and good books and Internet access, only to realize after a day what spectacular bullshit that is.

-- Finally hearing my mother acknowledge out loud that which I have known for years-- my aunt is not a very nice person.

--Bidding goodbye to AnnaMo as she heads up to the great white north to become a wildly successful campaign finance director and star of independent cinema.