Saturday, December 31, 2005

the obligatory year in review post, 2005 edition

January: I begin the New Year with a vicious hangover left over from the most disastrous date of my life on December 30. I vow never to drink again, a vow that lasts for six days. Having quit my job over in November, I desperately search for my replacement. I find her. I buy a ticket to Rome. I make out with a stranger who reminds me so much of my high school boyfriend that I call him "Sean" the entire time.
Song: "Twentysomething," Jamie Cullum

February: I celebrate my twenty-third birthday with friends from high school, college and real life. I go home, where my mother tries to convince me that backpacking through Europe by myself is not wise. She fails. I fly to Rome. I eat lots of pasta, drink lots of red wine and absinthe, see countless cathedrals and priceless works of art. I get really homesick while doing laundry in an old monastery in Verona. I go to Austria, where I switch to Steigl, injure my knee hiking and meet some really cool Americans who also know all the words to The Sound of Music. I see both the Vienna Opera and The Killers in an abandoned industrial slaughterhouse in a 24-hour period. I go to Prague, get a massive black eye and decide I do not care for Eastern Europe.
Song: "Indie Rock and Roll" The Killers

March: I fall in love with Munich and consider staying forever. I make myself leave Munich, go to Denmark and decide to keep traveling after all. My money runs low and I eat nothing but rolls, doner kebabs and beer for eight days. I visit the Van Gogh Museum on a space cake trip and somehow wind up modeling necklaces for a crowd of Japanese tourists at the nearby diamond museum. I do impolite things in a park with Jan the Flying Dutchman. I celebrate St. Patrick's Day in Ireland, wander around Paris with my mother and watching the sunset over the Mediterranean in Barcelona. I get repeatedly pickpocketed and robbed, and eventually decide to not let myself get too freaked out because how often does one get to backpack Europe?
Song: "Transatlanticism," Death Cab for Cutie

April: I return home to Washington with a bag full of filthy hiking socks and the kind of hangover that destroys empires. I catch up with friends and discover that not a whole lot has changed since I left, but that I am a totally different person. I temp at my roommate's firm, look for a full-time job, discover the Nats and suddenly find myself in A Relationship. I start EJ Takes Life.
Song: "I'd Rather Dance" Kings of Convenience

May: The Urban Family goes to New Orleans. We dance to great music, consume shocking amounts of Hurricanes and have no idea how lucky we are to see her as she was. I watch Tom Cruise go batshit crazy on Oprah, blog about it and get a job blogging about TV. I visit my Boston relatives, bond with the children of my cousins and realize it's not so much that my aunt hates me but that she has no idea what to do with me. I get a job. I quit the blogging on TV gig.
Song: "Feeding the Angels" Lori McKenna

June: I become a working stiff. I see a ton of concerts with the guy who is my now my boyfriend. I have a giant fight with one of my roommates that was a long time coming and decide to move out.
Song: "Fire, Fire" M.I.A

July: I move to my fabulous new place and it's for the best for everyone. It gets motherfucking hot. My boyfriend and I go to Michigan to meet my family and he dumps me a week after we get home. I get very, very angry.
Song: "Passionate Kisses" Mary Chapin Carpenter

August: I start playing kickball. I adopt Sadie. I audition for a play and they actually cast me. I get promoted. Even though I'm buzzing with activity, I feel far more lonely than when I was alone on a continent where I didn't know a soul. Hurricane Katrina hits and I actually stop thinking about myself for five minutes.
Song: "Vienna" Billy Joel

September: I start classes for my masters in history and quickly decide I don't want a masters in history, at least not from this university. I start to date the first in a series of ludicrously lame guys. I barely see all my old friends because I spend every night studying, dating lame guys or singing show tunes with strangers.
Song: "Everyone's a VIP To Someone" The Go! Team

October: I stalk movie stars in my neighborhood and by the office. No one gets my Halloween costume, but they all appreciate the cat ears. My mother and I have one of our New York weekends. We see shows, walk scores of blocks and I'm reminded just how lucky I am to have been raised by her and my father. I freak out about having a sex scene and finally get over myself.
Song: "Sun and Moon" Mae

November: The show opens. The show rocks. I have my personal second-best performance of my life the night all my college friends come. The show eats the entire month, save Thanksgiving in central Michigan with some of the more migrane-inducing individuals in our family and a Lutheran bridal shower. Out of nowhere, work suddenly gets really, really bad. I meet a whole bunch of DC bloggers, and they all rawk.
Song: "Company" Stephen Sondheim

December: I start looking for another job. I write a really mediocre paper and finally understand I'm not ready to be in school just yet. Jen visits DC and we agree that, obnoxiously enough, our mother was right when she said that a sister will get you like nobody else can. I go to our cabin for Christmas and do absolutely nothing for seven days. Our family celebrates the wedding of a dear friend (who happens to be two years younger than me) and I watch her pledge her life to someone with such silly tenderness it brings tears to my cynical eyes that have seen too much this year. I promise to myself that in the New Year I will have realistic expectations about my career, friends and men, but that I will keep my eyes open for all things extraordinary.
Song: "Come On! Let's Boogey to the Elf Dance!" Sufjan Stevens

Happy New Year, friends.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

smelt party

"Well," Marie says, pushing the sleeves of her red and white snowflake sweater to her elbows, "Tom and I met right after I left the convent."

The entire room cracks up. We're Up North, hosting a Boxing Day dinner party for our neighbors and their families. Ten of us are gathered around the fireplace with plates full of chicken gruyere gratin and chocolate fondue. Jen and I are by far the youngest but are practically falling off our chairs laughing as the room full of Boomers exchanges "How-We-Met stories." It doesn't hurt that the assembled group has gone through about five bottles of Toasted Head by this point.

"I hadn't gotten my dispensation from Rome yet," Marie continues, "and so I was still technically a nun! I got a grant to go to Wayne State University, and I joined the Newman Center there-- you know, the Catholic student group on campus? Well, one day one of the fellows there says to me, he says, 'Marie, we went fishing the other day and we caught all this smelt! You should come over and we'll have a smelt party!"

This is greeted with actual cackling. "A 'smelt party?'" Jenny hoots. "Don't think I've heard that line before."

"So I go to the guy's house for the smelt party," Marie continues-- apparently, smelt parties are actual events that people have attended and whose existence they have not questioned-- "and so I'm in the kitchen, and I just smell awful, like fish guts and boiling water." She waves her fondue fork in the air for added emphasis. "I mean, I just smelled hideous. And then I see this guy walk in, with this gorgeous, DISARMING redhead on his arm."

Tom rolls his eyes and smiles the kind of grimace that can only be directed at one’s partner of thirty-plus years. “I mean gorgeous!” Marie emphasizes. “And so we chatted, but I didn’t think a whole lot of it. But then I went to another party a month later and in he walks. With the same disarming redhead!”

My mother laughs so heartily she rocks back and forth on the ottoman. “Woot!” she laughs. “Love at first sight!”

“But at that party everyone was dancing!” Marie’s eyes are wide as she gets to the juicy part. “And so I found myself dancing with him. And Tom says, he says ‘how is a girl like you not married yet?”

“Well,” our neighbor Debbie interjects, “you had a hell of an excuse.”

Marie grins. She’s really getting to the fun stuff now. “Well I tell him I just haven’t met the right man yet. So he says ‘mark my words, you’ll be married in a year.’ And I swear, I didn’t say it but I thought to myself ‘And I’ll be married to YOU!’”

“So we go out for our first date, and Tom takes me to a movie and the whole time he’s trying to touch me or hug me and I’m just—“ Marie pushes an imaginary twentysomething Tom away with her hands. “He had this little red Carmen Ghia, and I would just shrink into the corner of the seat, because, well, I was still a nun! As long as I hadn’t gotten my dispensation I was still held to my vows.”

“Well, about a month later I finally got my dispensation from Rome. They released me from my vows. Of course it was all in Latin and I couldn’t read it, but I knew what it said. At the time I was living on the Wayne State campus with another girl; she was studying to be a nurse. And the day I got that letter I told her: ‘Get out.’ I told her, ‘just get on out of here tonight!” So Tom came over for dinner that night and I put the certificate on his plate—and Tom can read Latin, so he picked up the paper, looked it over, and then he came over and picked me up—“ Marie mimes scooping her arms in the air “—and kissed me!”

She looks over at Tom, who is folded into the armchair across the room. He lifts his glass ever so slightly and quietly nods. “And,” she finishes, “we were married six months later.”

We all sit for a moment, enjoying the lingering scent of the story. Then my father speaks up: “So what happened to the redhead?” My dad has a thing for redheads. A condition of my parents’ marriage is that he gets to openly lust after Ann-Margaret.

Marie mock-questioningly looks over at Tom. “Oh honey, didn’t she get drunk and throw up in your car?” For a former nun, Marie is damn sly even thirty-nine years after that particular triumph.

“Yup, honey.” Tom clearly does not relish that memory so much as Marie.

Everyone laughs the fireside laugh of congenial, wine-toasted Midwestern friends. And as I look at Tom and Marie, sitting across the room but still dancing together, I have something wonderful to aspire to.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Comfort and joy

Mom: Do you know why Santa is always so jolly?

EJ/Jen/Dad: No, why?

Mom: Because he knows where all the NAUGHTY girls live.

Merry Christmas, kids.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

the past is blasting all over my inbox

If you put the hours together, I have spent more time with online friendship networks than with my biological family in the last year. Friendster is increasingly passe, and I refuse to go on MySpace (ostentiably because it's owned by Rupert Murdoch but really because I have no more space for passwords left in my head), but Facebook sucks up insane amounts of my days. My use has tapered considerably since the signup frenzy of last year, when my alma mater finally got on the network and ninety percent of the university and alumni spent months building their collections of names, but it's still something I regularly visit.

This morning my Gmail contained a surprising email from Facebook: "Brenda Carp has listed you as a friend" (pseudonym, obviously) (but not THAT far off). If it had been my middle school in Mean Girls, Brenda was Regina George. She was my best friend until seventh grade, when she suddenly decided to spread nasty rumors about me, turn all our friends against me and generally make life as a 13-year-old girl a nasty hell (cuz y'know, it's not like that already). Nothing terribly shocking-- writing things in magic marker on my face when I fell asleep at slumber parties, smashing an egg in my face at her birthday lunch, but hurtful and cruel nonetheless.

But the really fun part is that she never got over it. Even after we went to separate high schools, I stopped being quite SUCH an enormous dork and we were supposed to have grown up, she still enjoyed the occasional nasty action or comment designed to poke me in my most vulnerable spot. When I ran into her at her high school's play, she saw made sure I saw her pointing at me and giggling in a corner with her best friend before sitting in front of us during the show, constantly turning around to look at me and then whip around, still laughing. I later found out that she had just hooked up with a boy I went out with freshman year who dumped me because I wouldn't give him a blow job. This girl could have taught Donald Rumsfeld a LOT about psychological warfare.

Over the years, I haven't really thought about her-- that is, until this morning, when I got that Facebook message. I clicked to her profile. She sounds happy. She has a lot of friends. She's still pretty. I want to think "good for her."

Nope, can't make myself think that just yet. Apparently old habits die hard.

I'm deleting the email and her request. I may not actively wish her ill, but what's the point of opening up that door again? Almost all women I know have someone like that in their lives, who no matter how far you travel and how much you grow up, can still get under your skin. A lot of the men do too, though they're far less likely to talk about it. Sometimes it's an ex, sometimes a parent, sometimes a colleague. For me, all these years later, it's Brenda.

This email triggered an idea, though. Something I've been kicking around for a while, and I think I'm going to try to organize it. Stay tuned, because I'll need your help and participation. For now, let's just say that I have an idea for a way we can look back and smile at the things we once wrung our hands over.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

and it's all because of the interweb

I so adore how out of everything I've done in the last six months, my boss singled out my ability to quickly find the phone number for the Talbots in Georgetown for special praise.

Really, I'm touched.

Oh and also, I handed in my final paper. Let's just say this this marks the third time I have now included Paris Hilton in a paper during my nascent academic career. But really, when one is writing on the irrelevance of quality categorization in contemporary popular culture, there really couldn't be a better example to cite.

Oh Lordy, I am so ready for Christmas.

Monday, December 19, 2005

silent night?

This is the problem with not blogging for a long time: there is too damn much going on to be organized into a coherent post. Writing feels like when I go to bed at 2 AM on a Tuesday without first taking a Tylenol PM; a million unconnected thoughts running through my head. Errands I need to run, people I need to see, tasks to check off my list at work, did I double-book happy hour with Old Urban Family and New Urban Family, how long has it been since I've called my mother, wait, how long has it been since she's called me?

And so I present to you the last week, sans-panda, insomnia-style:

"Buy Gruyere, cheap reds, rotissere chickens and panko for holiday party. Find out what the hell panko is. VACUUM. BLEACH BATHROOM. Starting to smell like cat has died in toilet. Come to think of it, where is cat? Find catsitter for Christmas. Buy Christmas presents for parents, Grandfather and His Wife. Write paper. First actually read articles required for paper. How many pages does 3,000 words equal? Reschedule date with Tattoo Trent-- no time for dating until paper is done. What the hell was I thinking going out with someone who has THAT tattoo THERE? Do I tell my mother I'm at least dating just to get her off my back over holiday dinner? Do I then lie about details of how MET Tattoo Trent? Must remind Jenny not to spill beans. JENNY VISITING. Pick her up at Metro at 7:30 AM. Damn Northwest blackout times. JOB INTERVIEW. Print out resumes, clip packet, job description, firm info, question list. Thank-you note to interviewer. Oh god, interviewer graduated same year as me. This is discouraging and depressing. Speaking of, gynecologist visit immediately following. What do I think of switching birth control? How do explain to boss that have yet another doctor appointment when have claimed had two already this week, when actually was viewing panda and interviewing? Oh god, eighty-three new emails in four hours. I hate the Patriot Act and everyone who has ever touched it, written about it or voiced an opinion about it regardless of what they said. Why is this week above others insane at work? WHY is god's name does this publication HAVE to go out RIGHT NOW as opposed to three hours from now? K BIRTHDAY. At least get her a card, you awful, awful friend. CHRISMUKKAH. Cannot afford actual gift of alcohol-- would be OK to bring leftover office party Robert Mondavi cab sav to a kegger? Lovely, you want to bring the new girlfriend to Chrismukkah? Whatever, I guess thanks for checking in with me first. Holiday open house. Brokeback Mountain already sold out for two days? Duh, it's only in Dupont. Fandango for Saturday. BLEACH BATHROOM. Paper-- would my prof buy the argument that MacDonald is the academic equivalent of the guy who really liked Bloc Party until everyone else started listening to them and now he's full of poser disdain? Wonder if there is an academic equivalent of MisShapes or Last Night's Party? Am pretty sure Alan Dershowitz would DJ at it. CRAP, must again cancel on HH with Rem and S. Third time someone has-- look for new date in 2006. Gahh, 2006-- what's going on New Years? Are we still doing dinner and champagne somewhere? CRAP, rescheduled date with Tattoo Trent on night of Kisha's show. Must either blow him off AGAIN or blow off Kisha like accidentally did in New York. Wait, did Jenny get back home OK?"

Christmas break may be coming up, but exactly how can I get a vacation from my thoughts?

Friday, December 16, 2005


We finally got to the National Zoo, and it was cold. Oh Lordy, it was cold. Thigh-chilling, nose-freezing, toe-numbing cold. This panda had better be DAMN cute.

We present our tickets, wait in the first of three lines and start to get excited. For six twentysomething professional women, we are regressing back to childhood really quickly. Something about playing hooky from work to go to the zoo will do that to you. We start comparing our favorite Disney movies. We start singing songs from them. I freak Libby out with my impersonation of Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty.

We finally get inside. We are literally skipping by this point. "We're gonna see the panda!" we sing. "Butterstick, Butterstick, Butterstick!"

So imagine our disappointment when the zookeeper tells us Butterstick just went down for a nap. Literally entered his enclosure as soon as we skipped in. We look over to the monitor and sure enough, there's his snoozing, fuzzy butt curled up in the corner. And so we pout.

Sarah and EJ are very sad that Butterstick won't come out to play.

Kim is also sad. Sarah is still sad. I'm not sure what's going on with Libby here, but I'm pretty sure she's also sad deep down.

We try to console ourselves with learning all about Butterstick and his family. Somebody brings up the even more sad fact that in two years, we will have to send this little guy back to China. "How exactly do you ship a panda?" Laila wonders out loud. "Yeah," Libby chimes in. "Is it boat? Plane? Can you FedEx a panda?"

"As long as it's not USPS," Kim adds.

As it turns out, it IS FedEx.

We met Zookeeper Mo, who told us the Zoo Secret-- that despite the hype, it's really quite easy to get tickets to see the pandas, especially when it's cold. Just show up at 11:00 and claim the no-show tickets. We thank him profusely, and I'd like to think our politeness inspired what happened next. A zookeeper decided that since we were such a nice, polite crowd, she would pick up the snoozing Butterstick and parade him across the enclosure for us!

EJ takes bad pictures, but in her defense, she was a little excited. Oh yeah, and she blames her camera, too.

I'm pretty willing to bet that if we had been pushy yuppy bitches they never would have taken him out, but apparently taking pictures with frowny faces did the trick. So the moral of the story is, pout and you'll get your way.

After The Stick's curtain call and subsequent curling up in a rock pit for yet another nap-- being that cute is CRIPPLINGLY exhausting-- Mama Mei Xiang was nice enough to stroll into the enclosure to check on her barking cub and knaw on some bamboo. Of course, she completely ignored us.

Mei Xiang cannot be bothered to entertain you. There is bamboo to be eaten. Take her photo if you must.

And so, pandas seen and lunch hour successfully frittered away, we skipped out of PandaWorld and went merrily on our way, panda-monium achieved!

The mood is markedly different. Butterstick is nature's upper for Kim, Sarah, Laila and EJ!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

forest for the trees

Quoth the New York Times editorial board:

The price tag for protection against a Category 5 hurricane, which would involve not just stronger and higher levees but also new drainage canals and environmental restoration, would very likely run to well over $32 billion. That is a lot of money. But that starting point represents just 1.2 percent of this year's estimated $2.6 trillion in federal spending, which actually overstates the case, since the cost would be spread over many years. And it is barely one-third the cost of the $95 billion in tax cuts passed just last week by the House of Representatives.

Total allocations for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the war on terror have topped $300 billion. All that money has been appropriated as the cost of protecting the nation from terrorist attacks. But what was the worst possible case we fought to prevent?

Losing a major American city.

If Democrats do not use this properly in the coming elections cycles, I'm FedExing my stuffed donkey back to DNC headquarters. Say what you will about the duties of nation-building, the morality of abortion and the stickiness of charter schools. It really pales in comparison to letting a major American city rot while slashing taxes in large part to benefit the wealthiest one percent of Americans.*

*And before you get all persnickety, I know that most of the first three tax cuts passed were a) approved by Republicans AND Democrats and b) not the flagrantly elitist kind that usually gets my knickers in a twist (for example, the largest was to slow the expansion of the alternative income tax, a move that is merely SOMEWHAT flagrantly elitist). However, the cuts debated today are for $56 billion worth of cuts on dividends and capital gains which ARE flagrantly elitist and almost exclusively benefit the kind of people who did not need to rescued from their waterlogged homes by helicopter.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

run! i see a FLAKE!

One of the (few) benefits of a northern Michigan upbringing is weather cred. I can't be all badass like the kids who actually grew up east of 8 Mile, but I DO get to make fun of Washingtonians who go apeshit at the first sign of snow. Quoth the NBC4 website:

"Storm Center4 meteorologist Tom Kierein said the storm is approaching from the west and could hit D.C. as early as 9 p.m. Thursday.

Some areas south of Washington will see a mix of snow and rain, Kierein said. But the area around the District could get anywhere from 2-4 inches of snow, mixed with rain. And Kierein said areas north of the city will see all snow and should expect anywhere from 3-6 inches.

A winter storm warning means severe winter weather conditions are expected. Significant amounts of snow are forecast that will make travel dangerous.

Officials say motorists should keep an extra flashlight, food and water inside vehicles in case of an emergency.

Thursday night's low will be about 25 degrees."


Yeah, you could stock your car with food, a flare gun and a tire iron for beating away all the zombies emerging from the sewers as Hell freezes over. Or, y'know, you could just pilfer packets of hot cocoa from the office break room and put on a sweatshirt when you get home tonight.

After all, here in Washington we try our best to be levelheaded and not overreact to anything.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

daisy wouldn't take life, either

Dear TBS,

No one wants to see Daisy Does America. The promotions for it are so unfunny that they actually make people squirm. Please inform Daisy and the Cox Arquettes that no one has made a "who let the dogs out" joke since spring 2001 and they weren't funny then. Is Daisy herself actually that bad, that millennium-era VH1-quality humor is the best she can muster, or is Courteney Cox Arquette actually that poor a producer?

Also, please stop running ads for this show during my PG-13 reruns of Sex and the City. It is NOT the perfect show to follow Sex and the City, and I resent your insinuations that Daisy's painful shtick is in any way comparable to the considerable talents of Sarah Jessica Parker. Based on what I've seen of Daisy, even Kristin Davis could eat that girl for breakfast with a side of quiche.

Moreover, I already watch this television program on HBO, where it is called Da Ali G Show and it is actually funny.

Oh, and please find some new films for rainy Sunday afternoons. We've all seen Stepmom approximately eleventy grillion times now.

Your friend,


Friday, December 02, 2005

i laughed, i cried, it was better than "cats"

It's a well-established fact that I'm a huge theater nerd. Not the "As I child I saw Phantom of the Opera with my parents and did a play in high school" kind of nerd. Oh nonononono, friends, I mean NERD. Specific to Rent, my nerdiness includes the receiving of a poster signed by the original cast for my fourteenth Christmas, countless hours of singing along with the cast album in the shower, car and various dorm rooms and finally, being SO EXCITED to see the touring company in Detroit that I completely forgot to buy anything for my mother's birthday because it was on the same day as the matinee we were attending and therefore my attention was entirely elsewhere.

You want more? OK, when I made my "Philosophical Self-Portrait" for senior year philosophy class, no less than three pages of the twenty-page work contained references to Rent, including an entire page with just the lyrics of "La Vie Boheme". Of course, in this class I also accompanied myself on the electric keyboard while singing Tori Amos' "Silent All These Years." That incident is one of the many reasons I will never attend a high school reunion.

So we saw the movie version of Rent last night, and I'm still trying to work out exactly how I feel about it. It was not the enormous disaster it could have been, that's for damn sure. There were some pleasant surprises (Rosario Dawson can sing!) and even some things that translated better on the screen than on stage(Jesse L. Martin's big cuddly grin!).

You know what it reminded me of? Paging through my high school yearbook. I did this over Thanksgiving, and even though high school isn't in the distant past just yet, it feels like light years ago. Browsing through glitter-pen decorated pages, I laughed (what was I thinking with that red hair?), I cried (was my stomach really once that flat?) and I winced a LOT (a girl on yearbook staff who didn't like me captioned a picture of me in The Music Man with "EJ conveys a look of superiority." Ouch).

Rent was the same way. I didn't want to get my expectations up, which was good. No matter how much I loved it on stage, it was bound to get a little muddied in translation to film. Changing song lyrics into dialogue, no matter how much the actors ignored the cadences they once sang, just sucks. Talk about cringing.

That flaw aside, it was still worth it. They used most of the original cast, who miraculously can still pass for 20somethings. There was no attempt to update it to the present, which, seeing how the Lower East Side is now littered with Starbucks and Alphabet City is as much a tourist stop at Lincoln Center, is a relief. The transitions between songs were awkward, but once they started singing it felt great. I'll even admit to crying during Angel's funeral, though I was really embarrassed about it and glad I'd worn my glasses as to better conceal any evidence.

What really freaked me out was watching the film and realizing what a yuppie I've become. Rent-free loft in New York? Do you KNOW what people would do for that? Shut up and film your damn friends after you shoot your "sell-out footage," you whiny kid. It's called A Day Job. Even Jonathan Larson waited tables and THEN went home to bitch about art and life. And ROGER-- CAN WE PLEASE DISCUSS HOW EXACTLY IT TAKES A YEAR TO WRITE THAT SONG? I know you're heartbroken and going through withdrawal and everything, but John Mayer could have pulled that song out of his ass in five minutes. I expected better, you sexy, sexy man. Finding myself sympathizing with Benny, the guy who's just trying to collect the rent from his old friends who are refusing to pay up, was a totally unexpected and unwelcome phenomenon.

But then, when I loved this show as a teenager, I didn't pay rent myself. Nor did I pay my phone bill, taxes, budget for Meow Mix and worry about balancing my career with a social life and if I should ever go back to school and should I pay off my Amex bill in entirety even if it means I have no cash for the rest of December? I was a misfit kid who loved a show about a bunch of misfit kids who found each other and held on tight, even as they made crap choices and didn't want to own the consequences. They didn't do anything well except love one another, and that part translated loud and clear onto the screen.

So it wasn't perfect. It's so strongly identified with a place and time, both as an extant show and in the minds of people who see it. You can't go home again, and I can no longer view a show about dilettantes without rolling my eyes a little and thinking "Get a job."

But I laughed, and I cried. And it was hella better than Cats.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

on bloggers rocking

Blog Happy Hour last night was great! Thank you to the lovely hostesses for putting on such a great event, and especially to I-66 and KOB-- I-66 was the first DC blogger to ever comment here and KOB is the Godfather of this little sphere, so I have a special place in my cold stone heart for both of them. Good luck to Laura, who is running a fantastic charity that everyone should give money to, and who when I started ticking off her 2L classmates I know, shouted "Oh my God, you know every Jew at GW Law!" Yes Laura, that's probably true.

See, only other bloggers know what it's like to be a ho to your sitemeter, to willingly open up your personal life for public scrutiny and only a fellow blogger would understand why I had a twenty-minute conversation with the charming Heather B. about meeting Stephanie Klein. Other bloggers are the friendly extroverts who don't hesitate to introduce themselves with "Hi, I write Sharkbait!" them giggle a bit at the oddness yet clear practicality of introducing oneself by one's blog name. Furthermore, general consensus among Washington bloggers is that Jessica Cutler is a skank who serves absolutely no purpose and is generally the Ugg boot of women, thus illustrating the wit and wisdom of the DC blogger world.

D was good enough to come with me as a buffer guest at the beginning of the night, to help ease my nerves until the cocktails set in. Chatting with her and another girl whose sitename I sadly lost in a gimlet haze, she asked us why we blog. It was funny; for all the navel-gazing that goes on here I'd never really thought about it. "Well," I answered, "it's because I have to write. I just need to. Whether it's venting or documenting, I just need to write."

"So why don't you just keep a journal?" D asked.

The other girl and I looked at each other for a second and I looked back at D. "Narcissism. Honestly! People reading your writing feels great."

Well, it turns out that meeting those people was even greater. Thanks for a really fun night, all.