Monday, November 27, 2006

whatevering whatevers

We all know that online friendship networks-- your Friendster, your MySpace, your Facebook-- are rife with land mines. Besides the obvious time-wasting factor when I'm on one, I inevitably see someone I used to despise in high school/hook up with/engage in emotionally destructive behavior with looking incredibly happy and fulfilled, usually accompanied by someone far more attractive than myself. The always-brilliant Hey Pretty wrote about the pitfalls of seeing an ex-whatever on MySpace, and I generally agree with her that such online encounters usually leave me feeling worse than when I began procrastinating.

(And for the record, I don't have a MySpace page. I figure that Rupert Murdoch owns enough of the world without staking a claim to a portion of my identity, however virtual.)

But during lunch today, I happened to be playing around on an online friendship network and came across photos of an ex-whatever looking... not so good. Specifically, he's gotten really, really tubby. Like, man-pregnant tubby. He still has a shit-eating grin, but the enormity of his belly, swathed in a massive untucked pastel polo shirt, suggests that he has been eating a whole lot else over the last several years.

Now, I perpetually struggle with a stubborn ten pounds that refuses to get off my body, and find fat jokes to be really unhelpful and offensive. However, I don't particularly mind telling the Internet that this guy is packing it on because this particular ex-whatever

1) was by FAR the best-looking person I ever whatevered with, an NCAA athlete who took enormous pride in both his incredibly chiseled body and his Abercrombie-model face,

2) in everything he did, fulfilled every negative stereotype about frat boys, including his proud ownership and frequent wearing of a t-shirt reading "Freshman Girls: Get 'em While They're Skinny,"

3) dumped me in an incredibly cold-hearted fashion that involved him sleeping with his ex-girlfriend while we were still together and then suggesting that we didn't work because I gave it up too soon.

Oh yeah. You can bet I am cackling my still-toned ass off right about now.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

home, where my thoughts are sleeping

So perhaps I should have tried NaBloPoMo another time. Another time when there would not be five days in the woods, stealing the neighbor's already-weak wireless signal and then being called away because the compost needs to be taken out and will someone please cut up the turkey carcass and come on, everyone, let's head into town because Santa is lighting the Christmas tree at 6:00!

Distractions + unfulfilled good intentions = the holiday season.

It's been 98% loveliness, with the remaining 2% actually being incredibly entertaining in retrospect, but there is a definite pall cast by my dad's upcoming surgery. My mother the planner is constantly repeating the itinerary for December over and over, asking my sister questions about her finals schedule that she has already answered several times. Everyone is being very hearty and Midwestern about the whole thing ("he's fine! he's going to be fine! who wants more ham?!"), but it's major surgery with a long recovery period and it is not the kind of thing where we can all just swallow and ignore it, like we do when certain individuals in the family make loud and completely unsolicited remarks about Asians not being very good drivers.

Oh, but one unexpected yet totally welcome consequence of the collective worry over my father's surgery? No one has given me any grief whatsoever about being single! Heaven bless us, everyone!

Monday, November 20, 2006

i now pronounce you shorty and wife

The dress was unquestionably lovely. And yes, she is scrunched down so that they're eye to eye, but I am also a tall girl who has dated not-so-tall men, and I understand The Scrunch that tall girls do for photos with their shorter men.

But why does Kat(i)e Holmes Cruise have my hair from after I go to the gym?

Sunday, November 19, 2006

i am NOT talking about the game today

At this point, it's pretty much just blogging for the sake of NaBloPoMo.

Friday, November 17, 2006

bo knew best

How is this possible?

Bo Schembechler is dead.


The day before the biggest college game ever. No, I would say, the biggest football game ever. The biggest game of the biggest rivalry ever in sports.

God help any Buckeye who rejoices in this. I will slaughter you, so help me Jesus.

If I were watching this game in a movie, watching all the events that led up to it, I would reject the coming together of all the elements even before this happened. Michigan and OSU are already the bitterest rivals of any two sports teams (yes, including the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry), but never before have they played each other when ranked as the top two teams nationally. OSU has the best QB in college ball, probably the best QB in their history, while Michigan's defense has given up on average only 30 yards per game, the best record of any team since 1959. Put it this way: this game is so big, the loser gets to go to the Rose Bowl.

But now... now it is a completely different game. Bo Schembechler coached the Wolverines during the most intense ten years of the UM-OSU rivalry, opposite his foul-tempered mentor OSU coach Woody Hayes, proud owner of the number one most unsportsmanlike moment in history. Growing up in Ann Arbor in the 80s meant that you worshipped at the altar of Schembechler. People spoke about him in hushed, reverent tones. He lived for Michigan football and he loved Game Day with Ohio State more than Christmas.

I seethe when Michigan alumni accuse me of not being a "real fan" because I didn't go to Michigan. That is a load of crap. I spent 18 years going to football games, four of them going to school directly across the stadium. I was at the Rose Bowl when Michigan won the 1997 National Championship (along with 20,00 other people from Ann Arbor-- it was very strange; you'd be walking along the pier or down Main Street in Disney World, and hey! there's the Rosenwasser family! and there's Dr. Joyner from the church!). You might call me a townie, fine, but I have years of being a Wolverine fan on most Michigan alums. I chose my own college in part because it didn't have a football program, and I wouldn't have to divide loyalties.

Michigan football is one of the very few things, along with my family and A Prairie Home Companion, that is forever tied to my fondest memories of growing up and that I deeply, affectionately cherish with no irony whatsoever. Bo Schembechler was the greatest coach that Michigan ever had, and more importantly, he was a great man who cared for his players and his community. He was aware of his place in history and took it seriously.

I was already jittery and excited for tomorrow. But now, we're winning it for Bo.
Which is more annoying?

1) When a coworker non-ironically refers to "having a case of the Mondays?"
2) When a coworker refers to Wednesday as "Hump Day?"**

** Disclaimer: This is of course a completely hypothetical question that is in no way related to the author's own workplace. She is not so stupid as to blog about work, even in the most tangential of ways. Of course, if it were to have any coincidental relationship to the author's professional arrangements, well, then you couldn't prove it, nyah-nyah.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

you take the bad with the good

I don't have hypertrophic cardiomyopathy!

However, after three weeks of comfort eating and not being allowed to work out, I do have an unsightly extra few pounds.

If you need me, I'll be at the gym.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

no business like it

WARNING: The following is a story I wish to tell. However, its inherent randomness does not lend itself to traditional narrative structure. Please bear with me.

Friends, I am a deeply ridiculous human being.

Basically, I am the kind of person who has three glasses of cheap Merlot at happy hour, hears about an open audition for a professional theater company and says "Brilliant! Let's go!"

Really. Really. Ridiculous.

Perhaps some background might help here.

I went to this audition because several of us from Company were gathered for the birthday of one of our own and several of his friends (hi C!). After a few drinks and a lot of mutual adoration (have I mentioned how much these people rock? because they do), another friend shows up and tells us that she's on a break from an audition over at Studio Theater, waiting to be called to sing. Then her eyes got really big, and she said "EJ! You should totally come with!"

Now, I'm not the kind of girl who just steals someone's thunder and tags along with their cool lives. This goes double when it involves sheet music. But I had spent the last hour bitching about how much I missed being in a show. And even though it was an Equity production, it was an open call audition.

And also, I was nicely drunk by this point.


So, to make a very long story very short, three hours later I found myself in a green room backstage at the Studio Theater. Everyone else was very small, looked about fifteen and was groomed within an inch of their lives. One girl had so much blush on it appeared she'd been slashed in the cheeks on her way to the theater. The amount of overdone makeup and nude pantyhose in the room made it feel like a Young Republicans meeting.

And so, you ask, how did the audition go? Well... let's just say I don't think this will be my big break. See, for auditions you're always asked to prepare 16 bars, or 32 bars, or something. Most often, the musical director will cut you off when he or she has heard enough. They let me sing about 44 bars, all the way to the end of the song, and I honestly couldn't tell if it was because they liked my voice or if it was like when everyone cheers extra-loud in gym class when the "special" kid scores a goal.

Lessons Learned From Spontaneously Attending an Equity Musical Theater Audition after Cocktails on a Monday Night:

1) Don't.

2) Okay, fine, do. But know that you're going to sober up halfway through and find yourself in a little hallway filled with short girls wearing nude pantyhose and insanely high heels humming songs from Hairspray! under their breath and you're going to wonder exactly how this happened. And you might freak out a little bit.

3) Actors at a professional audition? Not nice. Really quite bitchy. Am used to community theater auditions, where you sit with friends and people smile at one another and whisper "you did such a good job!!" as people sit back down after singing, even if they forgot the words and started crying onstage.

4) Three glasses of wine + sudden drop in temperature + complete lack of preparation + inability to warm up voice = cracking while trying to belt a high E on a song I last successfully sang in the shower. So, um, warm up. 'Kay?

5) Write a really disjointed post about it on your blog, abandon any sense of structure or order in relating the story and know when to stop.

Monday, November 13, 2006

party in the back

Washington mornings on the Metro. Every day, the same. Company Men and Women in anonymous suits and sensible shoes. Maybe a particularly daring twentysomething guy will have floppy yet noncontroversial hair, a la Jim Halpert. The tired souls coming off a night shift might sprawl across two seats as they rest greasy heads against smudged windows, trying to catch a nap as they barrel out to the suburbs while dropping off commuters downtown.

Everyone stares vacantly and intently at nothing. IPod buds jam into the younger ears, while several middle-aged black women bend over worn copies of the New Testament, diligently taking notes in the margins. A girl in too-tight pegged jeans with purple beads clacking at the ends of her braids picks up a discarded copy of the paper from under her sneakered foot, scans the headlines and tosses it back to the floor.

Every day, the same.

Portly white gentleman outside Union Station who looks exactly like family friend Harry? Check.

WaPo Express barker, full of smiles even though it's a rainy Monday morning and his job is to hand papers to an endless stream of grumpy, scowling people? Check.

FeMullet Lady? Um, hello. That's new!

She has the most spectacular example of a femullet I've ever seen outside of the Midwest, and without the typical accompanying overalls, gaping maw full of Skoal and four rugrats clinging to her. Her blondish hair flows halfway down her back, but as the viewer's eyes travel up her mane they are abruptly assaulted by the sudden crop into a spiky two-inch buzz cut that begins at her crown. From this back view, it looks like Senator-elect Tester started playing with Jessica Simpson's line of hair extensions but got bored after the first round of gluing and went outside to butcher a cow.

She looks like any other middle-aged, white, petite, somewhat meek downtown Washington worker. Maybe a bank teller or a paralegal. Except for that glorious hair.

I'm overjoyed when she sits down beside me at Metro Center and I can get a closer look. She appears to be wearing slightly smudged brown eye shadow and has painted her fingernails a tasteful (if slightly dated) shade of dusty pink. She's wearing white sneakers with her black pantsuit, but in Washington that is less a crime against fashion than a sadly expected norm. She's also sporting a gold circle on her left ring finger.

In other words, FeMullet appears to pay attention to her appearance and take pains to make herself look good. She apparently has a partner (I'm guessing a husband, though the hair could be throwing off my Gaydar) that she wants to impress. She works in downtown DC, not downtown Duluth.

So.. how?? How did this hair happen? What inspired this woman to wake up one day and say "Mullets. That's where the future lies." Did she lose a bet? Is it a medical condition? Why does the rest of her look so normal while from the neck up she looks like she wandered out of an Evangelical Hoedown for Christ Weekend Retreat?

Before I can think of more questions, we lurch to a halt at our mutual station and she stands up to gather her purse and umbrella. As she turns to the door, her underlayers flap ever so gently in the ensuing breeze.

And I have to bite my lip from telling her "thank you for not being like everyone else in this town."

on doofy grins, and the causes thereof

Very first trip to Forever 21 (my God, the bliss), Blogger Happy Hour, playing in leaves on an 80 degree Saturday in November, cheap wine in used bookstores, the Prettiest Person on the Internet turned 30, another semi-offensively themed suprise birthday party, Skyping with Libs, shrimp pasta, Baileys and John Cusack double feature during a chilly wet Sunday.

Now to get through Monday morning...

Sunday, November 12, 2006

one of those entries that would make my parents SHRIVEL with pride

"So when we do blow off a hooker, do you think it would cost more to do it off the ass or the belly button?"

"Wait, out the ass or off the ass? Because that's an important distinction."

"No, no, off, definitely cheek region, nothing internalized."

"Okay, in that case I'd have to say belly button."

"Really! You think? I'd have said ass for sure."

"Yeah, like, how can a belly button be more intimate than the ass?"

"It's not a matter of intimacy, it's simple physiology. The belly button has more crevasses, more coke would get caught in the skin flaps. You'd inevitably wind up spending a lot more just because you wouldn't be able to hoover everything you put in there, whereas on an asscheek, it would be much more efficient."

"Oh, wait, we're talking two separate paradigms here."

"Yeah, you're talking overall cost of the endeavor, while I'm talking cost of the hooker. As in, how much would she charge you for letting her do blow out of her belly button versus off of her ass."

"Ohhh, that makes sense. No, I see what you're saying."

"Yeah, she would likely charge less for the belly button, but it wouldn't make up for the deficit of extra coke lost in the flesh folds."

"You do realize this is the worst conversation anyone has ever had, ever in the history of all time?"

"Yes, completely."

"Good, just making sure."

Friday, November 10, 2006

sadie is a demo-cat

Inspired by this brilliant site.

one more leeeettle favor this week

This week has been full of incredibly good things. Nationally we've celebrated Democrats winning back Congress and the unceremonious dumping of both Donald Rumsfeld and Kevin Federline, and on a personal note, the birthdays of my most favoritest people and weather so freakishly warm that I wore flipflops to work today (yes, in NOVEMBER, sorry Al but I'm kind of loving global warming at this moment). Best of all, my sister's heart test results came back fine. Exhales.

Now, I don't want to be greedy. It's been an amazingly good week. But I would have no objection at all if the Baby Jesus decided to extend this luck at the very least through tomorrow morning, when I have my own echocardiogram. Y'know, just saying.

And while we're at it, how about some inspiration? Because honestly, I'm running out of topics to make daily blogging interesting, and we are but nine days into NaBloPoMo. Suggestions from the peanut gallery are welcome.

See you guys at Blogsiving tomorrow-- I will hopefully be able to let you buy me a "Congratulations, You Don't Display the Symptoms of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy!" cocktail.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Yeah, NOW he wants bipartisanship.

I am so happy. So very, very happy. Still biting fingernails to the quick because of Virginia, but still incredibly, extremely happy.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

britney spears: political prognosicator

Does anyone else feel that Britney Spears filing for divorce is a really, really good omen for the election results tonight? There's a sense in the air of rolling up sleeves and cleaning up after big mistakes, mistakes that EVERYONE KNEW FROM THE BEGINNING were terrible ideas and bad and costly and would make you have two babies in fourteen months with a D-list David Silver and invade a nation that did not at all pose a direct threat to our safety thus getting America involved in a hugely unpopular and costly war that makes the rest of the world hate us and, like, appear on Dateline looking like something Pa dragged out from under the '78 Buick LeSabre propped on cinderblocks in front of the trailer park.

It's all very "waking up from our long national nightmare."

this porcupine has to win

This NaBloPoMo business is proving tougher than I thought. Day Six and I'm hurting for content.

Blog about the election? Hrmmm? What is this "election" business you speak of?

Sorry, don't got much for you there. There are a million other people who do that way better than me, and judging from the lack of comments when I do blog about something political, you all would much rather read thoughts on why we're going to hell in a handbasket elsewhere.

It's not that I'm not excited about the election. I am thrilled with the very thought of removing Republicans from Congress, and am very pleased that finally, finally Americans seem to be letting substantive issues guide their votes, as opposed to wedge issues like gay marriage or ill-defined "morality" concerns. Unpopular war from unpopular president = removal of president's party from Congressional power. I may have only pulled a C in trigonometry, but that's an equation I can get behind.

What makes me unenthused is that Democrats don't seem to have any more of a plan for getting us out of Iraq while leaving it even close to the shape we found her in. Nor is there a comprehensive party platform on domestic concerns such as raising the minimum wage, implementing a national health care system, making college tuition tax deductible or any of the major issues you can hear on the campaign trail. It's a lot of promises but there isn't even agreement within the party of 1) if they should be acted on or 2) how to act on them. "Not Republican" is good, but "in possession of a comprehensive strategy to get us out of the mess the Republicans got us into" is much better.

Maybe I'm too cynical and tomorrow will usher in a new era of progressive social policies designed to help the most disenfranchised members of our society in the ways they tell us they need help, all while mending fences with the increasingly anti-American world at large. Or, maybe nothing substantive will change tomorrow.


Did I depress you thoroughly there? So sorry. Here, watch something funny and appropos of nothing. Oh, and vote.

Monday, November 06, 2006


As some of you may know, the brilliant Sarah of Que Sera Sera runs a show called Cringe! where bloggers and writers hang out in bars and do dramatic readings of their childhood journals. I've been a huge fan of this for a long time, because, well, imagine how overwrought I get in this space and then add in adolescent hormones and being stranded in a large Midwestern high school. The ANGST, people. Oh my god, the ANGST. The way I wrote in 1996 you'd think I was living in Bosnia instead of suburban Detroit.

Back in January I'd asked Sarah if I could borrow the Cringe! name to organize a similar show at the DC Fringe Festival called Cringe! At The Fringe! She wrote me a very polite email back explaining that they were in the process of securing TV rights for Cringe! and therefore I would be unable to use that name. Frankly, I thought she was taking the piss out of me, because while I loved the idea and everyone I mentioned it to loved it, it seemed to require a certain distance and appreciation of irony. Repatraited East Coasters would completely dig it, but would the people who stayed in their hometowns and started popping out babies upon receiving a high school diploma appreciate the hilarity of publicly reading their diaries?

It turns out yes, because Sarah recently included me on an Evite to attend the first taping of Cringe! (Sarah, if you're reading this, thank you and good luck!) I really wish that I could go, but there's that whole pesky not-living-in-New-York thing.

Getting the Evite inspired me to pull out my old middle school and high school diaries, which I brought back home with me the last time I was in Michigan. Last night I poured myself a very large glass of Cab Sav, put on The Cure t-shirt with Robert Smith's face on it that my high school boyfriend gave me when I asked for something of his to sleep in (oh, how my father just LOVED that), and cracked open the diaries.

And, sweet Merlin's beard, it was horrifying. More hysterically scary than I ever could have imagined. I mean, I remember watching a lot of My So-Called Life and thinking that I WAS Angela Chase because I moped a lot and had dyed red hair, but I honestly had no idea that that level of tormented angst had seeped into my journaling. Has it really been only nine years since I was that tortured and self-obsessed? Did I really throw around the word "love" with so much abandon while being such a gigantic prude? Was I seriously that dramatic? If so, I'd like to take this opportunity to apologize to everyone I ever knew between the years of 1994 and 1999.

There were some entries about my high school boyfriend that were actually really quite sweet, and I'm so glad I wrote down the things he said because they are to this day the best things that a guy has ever told me. Sorry, kids, I'm keeping first love to myself. But I will leave you with two passages I once wrote in complete dead seriousness that last night made me laugh so hard I snorted wine out of my nose onto the cat:

"Dear Diary, Mike is so incredibly cute... without his glasses, he looks exactly like Harvey in Sabrina, The Teenage Witch!"

"Dear Diary, In one instant, my dreams were hopelessly shattered in front of me and my family is picking up the pieces and cutting me with them. It is so unfair that I'm taller than Donny Osmond!"

Sunday, November 05, 2006

adult education

"So, does anyone feel like taking a blowjob class with me?"

Long pause.

"I thought we were taking Argentinian tango classes."

Friday, November 03, 2006

schadenfreude is the new prayer

It is very un-Christian of me to be so damn gleeful about Ted Haggard, the (former!) head pastor of the National Association of Evangelicals, admitting that he purchased meth (but didn't use it!) and solicitied a gay male prostitute. But whoops, don't get too gleeful, because now Haggard is saying that he solicited a gay male prostitute for a MASSAGE. After all, it's written in the Bible:

"And Jesus did sayeth unto his disciples, 'thou shalt have none of thy fairy bretheren anoint thine junk, nor shalt thou anointeth theirs, but thine shoulders be sore from tilling thy fields for mine glory, a rubdown is totally okay.'" Luke 6:9

This guy happens to be a "character" in the movie Jesus Camp, which I saw last weekend at E Street Cinema and has been sticking with me since. The kids in this movie are really great-- obviously very passionate and incredibly well-spoken for such young people. They are clearly smart enough to handle a complex and ambiguous world, which made it all the more painful to watch them being molded to see only black and white, good and evil, heaven and hell.

Reverend Ted came on at the very end of the movie, just in time to yell at the camera operator as they filmed him preaching in his (former!) church in Colorado Springs. That smarmy grin of his was practically demonic as he preached just the most vile, incindiary hate speech at this really great boy who gazed at him with wonder and awe. Knowing that scum like that-- someone who gleefully brags about shaping a "Christian army to take back America" and who takes obvious pride in brainwashing children to hate-- has the ear of the President while good people work for worthy causes and face the derision of the White House every day made my blood boil.

Or rather, I should say "had the ear of the President." Something tells me that from now on Dubya will be too busy on Mondays to meet with his favorite Evangelical Hypocrite.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

into the fray she descends

What is fair game on a blog?

Several people have written on this lately, and it's an interesting question. How much should you censor your writing when you aren't the subject? Does a blogger have the right to tell another person's story?

How much of a blog about another person should be abstract and disguised with euphamisms and nicknames? I'm not even talking about about quality of your content here (I once referred to an ex as The Boyfriend, thereby committing Awful Blogging Cliche #417); just the responsibility factor. Because there is some majorly effed up stuff going on with some other bloggers, and the hints and winks and nudges don't disguise it and don't make it less ugly than the people who put a name to a face, or blog, or whatever.

I happen to think that criticism of writing is fair game. You write, people read what you write, they have opinions on it. And yes, I know I enjoy run-on sentences and split infinitives and ending sentences with prepositions way too much. And I type in all caps way too much. And many other things. And I start sentences with "And." If someone wants to call me out for that or other things about my writing, that's definitely playing by the rules.

This doesn't mean that all criticism is good. A lot of critics are tools, or stupid, or ill-informed. But hey, even the dumbasses get space on the Internet just like we do. That whole First Amendment thing is such a pest.

Where this gets murky is when the criticism starts to get personal. A lot of us write about our personal lives on our blogs, which begs the argument that as content, our personal lives are fair game for other people to comment on. Even if we bloggers don't like that, we have to accept the reality of it.

Just as readers have the right to call out a blogger, so does a blogger have the right to defend him or herself. We get these little corners of the Internet so that we can make our voices heard, and it's completely understandable to get defensive when someone makes fun of or disparages what we do here.

I don't believe for a single second that there is one person on the planet who is immune to criticism and mockery. Whenever people say "I don't care what you think of me," I instead hear "Oh God, pleeeeease like me." Bloggers especially-- be honest, we all have open comment boxes and Sitemeters for a reason. I mean, if you really don't care what other people think, why are you giving them your writing in the first place? Why not just keep a journal?

So, how much responsibility should a blogger take for the stories he or she does tell? If your readers choose to get very fired-up about a topic and take it beyond your original intent, do you have to own that? Recently some well-known bloggers (who I read and enjoy) had their children's posted photos taken and Photoshopped in rather crude ways by some blogger looking for attention. He got it, all right-- we're talking hundreds of comments calling him sick, vile, a pervert, threatening legal action and violence against his right to publish and his body. Honestly, those strings of comments, which were meant to be supportive, creeped me out more than some random loser who Photoshopped a turd into a photo of a toddler.

Sometime the cure is worse than the disease, people. Righteous anger from the parents is understandable, but a there is a difference between a child molester and a garden-variety jerk, a distinction that seemed to be lost on the general audience.

Something similar is happening now, and the bile that people seem to have for someone who "attacks" a popular blogger is really disturbing. I assume there's other, non-posted stuff going on that I don't know about, because people are saying some really nasty stuff that in my opinion is not fair game. Not to get too Pollyanna here, but if we channeled all of that nastiness into getting angry about something that actually had significance to the general world, like, oh, say, that war we're in or the pathetic state of the public schools in this city or the fact that my Safeway seems to have stopped stocking Softbatch cookies and that is REALLY NOT OKAY, then maybe we could get some good done out of all this anger? Productivity, not mud-slinging? Is that too idealistic a pipe-dream for this town?

Writing and writing styles are personal, but bloggers are all about making the personal public. So where does that leave us? Bound by very few rules and safe to hide in comment boxes and write things we would never say in public to a person's face because most of us really are very decent, very nice people who don't harbor violent fantasies or walk around telling perfect strangers that they're twatwaffles. Or we hide behind "personas" to bash people and lifestyles and choices and defend being a jerk because we're writing in character, like, it's just a role people, and you know I don't really mean the things I write here but I'm still keepin' it real.

Hell, I don't know where the line is. I doubt there is one. But I've read a lot of stuff lately that made me think "wow, that was not cool."

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

but at least i never gave whiskey to any children

So I decided to skip M Street and hand out candy this Halloween. Going out on Halloween is fun, but since I've already dressed up as a filthy pirate whore once this year, I didn't feel the urge to replicate the experience with thousands of drunken college students dressed as Borat, Mark Foley or more filthy pirate whores in Georgetown. I mean, you've seen one grown man in a twelve-foot penis costume, you've seen them all. Am I right?

So instead I poured my mini candy bars in a bowl, lit a bunch of candles and set up the speakers by the windows to blast the Decemberists over my tiny yard. It ain't "Thriller," but the lyrics of "Shankill Butcher" are quite Halloweeny, thank you. Plus I'd just seen The Decemberists the night before and was still in the post-concert mode of listening to everything by the band you just saw (still am; am listening to the NPR recording of the concert as I type this and humming along to "Sons and Daughters").

My walk home should have warned me what was about to happen. If the lighting technicians working on the haunted house on 7th and East Capitol hadn't clued me in, you'd think I would have perhaps gleaned from the house blasting "Thriller" so loudly I could hear it a block away as purple strobe lights flashed all over the front yard that Halloween on the Hill was going to be a BFD this year.

I had thought that two bags of mini Hershey bars would be sufficient for trick-or-treaters. After all, though my neighborhood is decidedly safe and charming, it's still transitioning and is not the kind of place where kids ride their bikes on the street before Mom calls them into dinner.

The trick-or-treaters came. They came in hordes, packs of five and ten little Spidermen, witches, butterflies and basketball players, little feet clopping down my dungeon-like steps to grab at the mini Hershey bars. I was completely out of candy in twenty minutes.

I pulled the drapes shut and blew out the tea candles in the window to discourage more trick-or-treaters until I figured out what to do. It was barely 7:00 at this point, and more kids would be demanding more candy. I didn't want to be that mean lady who gives out apples or toothbrushes, because I always made fun of that lady when I was a kid and more importantly, because her house always got egged, but I had no candy anywhere in my house. Finally I took the brownie cupcakes I'd planned on using for my boss' birthday party tomorrow and started stuffing them in plastic bags to distribute. I didn't really want to give them away, but it was either that or my collection of mini liquor bottles, and hey, the cobbler needs to be paid.

I gave a brownie to the next girl who came by with her parents, and I think she must have a My First Blackberry or something, because suddenly every kid on the Hill seemed to know that the white girl who lives in the basement with the gray cat was handing out brownies. I got mobbed, people. Brownies were gone almost as soon as I finished bagging them up, and not just to kids dressed in costumes-- parents were helping themselves. One dad looked so excited you'd think I'd given him a space cake.

So I'm out of candy, out of brownies and there are some hungry kids at the door. A sane person would have just run to the 7-11 down the street, or perhaps would have just shut the blinds and turned on the TV to ignore Halloween. But we all know I'm not a sane person, and besides, think of the children! Yes, even the boys who have clearly not attempted a costume and are wandering around the Hill in basketball jerseys and mumble "turkurturt" then shove an open backpack at me! I can't turn them away, little rascals!

Seriously the only sugary thing I had left in my kitchen was a half-eaten pint of Haagen Daas Bailey's Ice Cream, and I was fairly sure that most Halloween chaperones would object to both its ingredients and consistency. But- ahha! That giant container of pretzels from Costco that was leftover from Drunk-In-The-Woods! Pretzels keep well, right? Pretzels keep for like, nine months of living on top of a refrigerator, right? Right? And a handful of nine-month old pretzels in a hastily assembled Saran-Wrap bundle is way better than, say, a Hershey bar! Right?

The lesson is, as most lessons are: Buy More Candy Next Time.