Thursday, May 31, 2007

dina lohan, dave eggers and the coalition provisional authority

One of the (many) advantages of having your life revolve around a university campus is that come summer, you find yourself with lots of free time and a brain lubed up by nine months of reading Russian historians and overusing words like "paradigm" in daily conversation. What to do with all that pent-up mental energy just waiting to be splurged all over the place?

I completely understand the impulse to turn one's brain off and spend the lazy days of summer reading chick lit novels with scrawly, loopy drawings of shoes or martini glasses on the cover. Or, maybe, not even reading at all, but instead celebrating in the sudden uselessness of critical thinking by enjoying happy hours, big-budget sequels to sequels, and reality TV along the lines of So You Think You Can Decorate, Dancing Idol: Las Vegas or similar.

However, except for that last one (because um, it would be awesome. I'm envisioning Steve Sanders doing the foxtrot with Dina Lohan, who is wearing Austin Scarlett's cornhusk dress from Season 1 of Project Runway, and then they'd have to redecorate Lindsay's suite in rehab using only $50 worth of Ikea products. Paula Abdul and Billy Joel's monotone child bride from Top Chef would host. Then in the finale Tim Gunn and Simon Cowell would show up and tell everyone how utterly ridiculous they were. LIKE YOU WOULDN'T WATCH THIS), I can't completely turn off my brain just yet. I have to power down a little, move from sprinting into a jog before I come to a complete stop, dripping with sweat from the intellectual exertion of it all.

If I don't, I might metaphor myself into a tizzy.

And so, I've been reading quite a bit over the last two weeks and have some reviews and recommendations for any other readers out there. Not just books; there are also some articles and essays I've recently read that have stayed with me:

"White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Backpack" by Peggy McIntosh (via Feministing)
For all of the conversation about gentrification and race (if you want to achieve a unique combination of anger and utter despair, check out the comment thread on this DCist post), this article is the first commentary I've come across where the author simultaneously attempts to learn more about her own motivations and prejudices while successfully avoiding the blame game on all sides. This, in my mind, is the first step in getting things done-- keeping the focus on the reality of daily life, while being sensitive to the histories and motivations (blatant or not) that created it. Easy to say, a lot harder to do in practice.

Hey, speaking of anger and utter despair!:

Babylon By Bus by Ray LeMoine and Jeff Neumann and Donovan Webster
After slogging through The Secret History of the Iraq War and Fiasco, I picked this up expecting to get a Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure approach to the Iraq War. Surprisingly, this book has both the best on-the-ground reporting of life in Iraq leading up to Fallujah and the insurgency and the most cogent analysis of the disaster that was the CPA and American policy. This memoir of two twentysomething civilians who went to Baghdad as backpackers and wound up spending three months supervising the creation of Iraqi NGOs also points out some of the most basic ironies and unanswered questions of the war. For example, isn't it odd that every other American-led post conflict nation-building effort has been led by the State Department (or its contemporary, civilian equivalent) and Iraq's was led by the DOD-- meaning that the least democratic organization (the military) in the US was in charge of setting up democracy in an tribally-organized society that had no history of democratic tradition and was coming off thirty years of totalitarian rule? Well, hmmmm? In four years not once have I seen a reporter or political candidate make so clear a point. This book is compulsively readable and not to be missed by anyone who has ever wondered "exactly how did we get in this mess?"

And hey, speaking of messes we're in:

I keep promising to write about my deep, unwavering love for Al Gore. He was truly my first political love, and, unlike my first real love, my affection and respect for him has only been vindicated as the years pass. This book has been frequently described as "blistering," and Gore doesn't hold punches as he tries to identify the culprits as to why reason, logic and intellect have been cast as enemies to America. Such arguments have been made before, but Gore brings in several new twists that make his case for a decaying American political system even stronger. He is the first political scientist to bring in hard science on this issue, talking about how brain chemistry is changed after prolonged exposure to television over reading and human interaction. He synthesizes 9/11, the rise of the religious right, the media-entertainment complex, neoconservativism, brain physiology and Enlightenment social philosophy in an amazingly cogent, persuasive text. There's a lot to chew on in this book, and most readers will probably find things to disagree with (I know I don't find some of his lab rat anecdotes especially persuasive), but that's his point-- even if you don't agree, you're thinking, you're engaging, you're having debates with the text and yourself and maybe even other people! You're not just being talked at by a Nancy O'Dell or a Sean Hannity.

What is the What, by Dave Eggers

I want to give a copy of this book to every person who has ever whined about anything, ever. It had the power to shut me up for whole days after I finished reading it.

I have a whole huge stack waiting for me, but would love some more suggestions. What all are you reading this summer? Well, besides Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, obviously. I figure by July 21st I'll be sick of Paul Bremer and African genocide and ready for some wizarding mischief.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Flower: [about two birds fluttering around] Well! What's the matter with them?
Thumper: Why are they acting that way?
Friend Owl: Why, don't you know? They're twitterpated.
Flower, Bambi, Thumper: Twitterpated?
Friend Owl: Yes. Nearly everybody gets twitterpated in the springtime. For example: You're walking along, minding your own business. You're looking neither to the left, nor to the right, when all of a sudden you run smack into a pretty face. Woo-woo! You begin to get weak in the knees. Your head's in a whirl. And then you feel light as a feather, and before you know it, you're walking on air. And then you know what? You're knocked for a loop, and you completely lose your head!
Thumper: Gosh, that's awful.
Flower: Gee whiz.

Well-said, forest friends. Well-said, indeed.

Except the part about it being awful. Because it's pretty much the exact opposite of that.

Friday, May 25, 2007

it's not whining when it's couched as playwriting

EJ: Hi, I'm looking for a charger for this phone. She holds out a perfectly functional silver flip phone.

Cingular Employee #1: He winces in a combination of confusion and terror, like he's just seen Tori Spelling's chest cavity for the first time. I'm sorry, there's no way we have a charger for that phone. That's, like, a really old phone.

EJ: It's like three years old.

CE #1: Exactly. He smiles benevolently, as one might when a mentally challenged toddler points at a dog and yells "TRUCK!" Like I said, that's a very old model. You're really better off just upgrading to a new phone entirely and starting your contract over with better equipment.

EJ: I don't want to get a new phone. My current phone is just fine. And I really have no desire to change my entire contract just because housekeeping at the Hilton on 55th Street lost my charger. She is starting to get a little testy, as she often does when dealing with people who are condescending about technology. She is a smart girl, she knows that cell phones are capable of taking photos and syncing up with iPods and performing laparoscopic surgery, she's just not interested in all those bells and whistles.

CE #1: I mean, you could try to go online to one of those appliance warehouse sites and try to find a charger there. But you really should just get a whole new calling system.

EJ: A "calling system?"

CE #1: He calls out to a man across the store. Hey Tyrone, come over and see this.

Tyrone comes over to check out the phone, oblivious to the confusion on EJ's face. His jaw literally drops open as he turns over the phone in his hands, then quietly chuckles to himself.

CE #1: She says she needs a charger for this.

Tyrone: Good luck with that. Exeunt Tyrone.

EJ: So you don't have a charger for it.

CE #1: Not a chance. A phone that old...

EJ: Getting perhaps a little more angry than is appropriate for the situation. Look, if you don't carry the charger, fine. But I'm not spending a hundred dollars and re-upping my contract to replace something that works perfectly well.

CE #1: He is now a bit nervous. He senses that he and Tyrone have been too overt in their mocking this girl with the ancient, Luddite technology. But we have lots of inexpensive phones here with cameras, with wireless capability, that will sync up with your Outlook...

EJ: But all I want to do is make and receive phone calls. And texts. And this phone does that!

CE #1: Well, fine.


Exeunt EJ, in a righteous huff. She turns on her heel pivoting out the door and proceeds to walk smack into a puffy, be-suited man yelling into his Blackberry. He ignores her completely as he shoves past her into the Starbucks next door.

EJ: Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

you are now entering a whine-free zone

Okay. I declare EJ Takes Life to be a no-whining zone for the rest of the week. Entirely too much whining has taken place here, particularly when there are so many things to be thankful for.

Like family and vacations:

Like home and new rugs and finally getting rid of my busted Ikea furniture:

Like insanely hot new boots bought for a tenth of the original price (I swear, they look better on me. Like, movie star-better):

Of course, these all don't mean that someone is necessarily a good person. After all, a good person sees a desperately thirsty cat and thinks "I should get her water," not "this is a cheezburger moment:"

Monday, May 21, 2007

crime report 5/22/07, with commentary

I was going to write about New York this weekend. I was going to write about my dad's birthday dinner at Klee and running into Perez Hilton at Company on Saturday night. I was going to write about my insane new couture boots that I saw in Vogue a last month and then bought on mega double-secret sale on a rainy Saturday afternoon. About how a salesgirl in SoHo finally convinced me to embrace leggings and admit to myself that while I feel silly wearing them, they do make my legs look a million miles long. About the unbelievable intensity that is stage seats for Spring Awakening and the unbelievably fun dorkiness that is going to hear one of the actor's bands later that night at a ratty club in that sketchy part of the West 30s.

But I'm not going to, because when I went out to my car this morning I found the window smashed in and my CDs and an ancient laptop wrapped in a sheet both missing.

And so I'm really, really pissed off.

I'm really, really pissed off that a mere six weeks after moving and two weeks after getting groped and having strangers call me a bigot when I wrote about it, my car was broken into.

I'm really, really pissed at myself. It's not like I'm some hick who just moved to the Big City. How stupid was I to leave anything remotely of value in my car parked in Columbia Heights? Very, that's how stupid. Very, very, very stupid. No excuse. I should have known better. Of course, that laptop was utterly virus-ridden and virtually inoperable. I had grand dreams of refurbishing it and giving it to charity. Now I just really hope that the thief tries to use it before he hocks it. Maybe he'll use it to try to charge a (stolen) iPod, or maybe his pacemaker. That'd be swell.

I'm really, really pissed off that I'm just supposed to accept things like this as reality, because there's a voice in my head telling me that this is what living in a city means and if I can't deal then there's always the burbs. I hate this voice. It's the same voice I used with my mother when we were having brunch yesterday in Hell's Kitchen and she asked if I'd ever consider not living in a city. It's contemptful and disbelieving and while I'm not happy that I used it with my mother, having it saw in my head as I fume this morning does not seem fair payback.

I'm really, really pissed that today it feels like either/or, baby. Today feels like a day where nuance is a no-show and it feels like a choice between living in a safe space where a girl can take for granted that her car will remain where she parked it but where everyone looks the same and thinks the same and eats the same and takes the same mundane pleasures in the same pathetic things, or living in a dynamic community with the smell of jerk chicken and the sounds of bossa nova wafting over the streets, coming from homes full of people with whom I have nothing in common but who are mostly very, very good people, except the ones who yell and grab and rob without a care in the world.

I'm trying to stay focused on the office worker from the Baptist church who came out to meet me as I stared blankly at the gaping hole where my window used to be. I'd rather think about his kindness when he told me how he tried to report the break-in to the police when he first saw it on Saturday morning (yes-- Saturday morning) than that utterly stupid DCPD law that only an owner can report a break-in. Sadly, I already knew this. Way to encourage neighborhood friendliness and civil society, right?

And I'm really trying not to let this crap ruin memories of a wonderful weekend. Truth be told, insurance (which I pay an obscene amount for) will cover the damage and I don't care about the laptop. The CDs-- well, that hurt. I had every mix CD I've made or received since college taken. No two ways about it, that blows. Somehow I doubt that the thief listens to the Decemberists or the Polyphonic Spree, like, ever. But yes, I know that it's a miracle that my car was even still there, much less relatively intact. Lordy, I spent the train ride back yesterday reading What is the What. You have no idea how much I hate myself for even whining about CDs and a broken window right now.

Which, of course, makes me hate this thief even more. For committing an act against me that led to me feeling guilty for feeling angry.

Got that? No? Yeah, me neither.

Mostly, I'm just tired. I am thoroughly tired of constantly defending my lifestyle and my neighborhood, and to be honest, I'm tired of defending it to myself. I'm utterly sick of the round-robin cycle of gentifiers' woes and yuppie guilt and of so hopelessly embodying the cliche of the entitled white gentrifier. Of the voice in my head reminding me that this is really not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, and of the second voice counterarguing that hey, maybe it could have been worse but it is still most certainly not okay what happened. Someone robbed me, I'm arguing with myself and I'm so very over all of it.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

a letter to myself, or; why seven diet cokes makes one's brain bleed

Dear EJ Six Months From Now,

Hi! It's me, Present Day EJ. I'm currently sitting in a study carrel in our campus library, surrounded by several volumes of Foreign Relations of the United States, empty Smarties wrappers and a pile of bloody Kleenex. I just got my second bloody nose of the day for absolutely no identifiable reason. Except that maybe I've read so many recently declassified CIA cables that our brain has started leaking out our head. If that's the case, I'm really sorry. You're probably missing that extra brain right about now.

Despite how grim that all sounds, I'm writing to you to remind you how good you had it in May. You only had one class, and you got to pick a paper topic that your geeky self at least somewhat enjoyed (because when normal sixteen-year-old girls in 1998 were obsessed with the Backstreet Boys and figuring out how long one should date a boy before going to third base stopped being slutty and started being good behavior, we were obsessed with rereading The Poisonwood Bible and lamenting the unlikelihood that we would ever personally witness a sub-Saharan African revolution). Yes, my thesis changed quite a bit over the last month, the last week, and, um, okay, the last weekend, but it's 12:01 AM of the day the beast is due, and, save a final edit, I'm pretty much done. That hasn't happened since our sophomore year of college, a year which saw us write the first of three papers in our academic career in which we referenced Paris Hilton. By the by, that we got into graduate school proves that there is a God, and that She has a great sense of humor.

Oh, also emember that you got to finish this paper in a study carrel, an experience that combines the focus and energy of a library with the privacy that allows one to eat Wendy's for dinner while blasting The Hold Steady and later talk on her cell phone as she makes a major timeline breakthrough in the Brazzaville cables section of her study. It's enough to make a girl want to pursue a PhD, after all.

So basically, you have it just fine now. That cab ride home will be a tad pricey, but I think of it as an investment that would otherwise be spent on Tums tomorrow as I tried to frantically finish the damn thing while not letting our boss know that I'm doing schoolwork all day. You know that feeling, the gut-twisting panic as your fingers flutter over the keyboard, the air between them and the computer seeming a terrible barrier to putting words, any words, on the page that is due in your prof's box in ten minutes? Remember that feeling. Now, remember how you felt right now. I'll give you a hint: SO MUCH FUCKING BETTER.

So come finals for fall semester, when you're tempted by holiday parties and happy hours and weekends in New York and seeing the Nutcracker, remember how very not at all bad this was. If I can spend three days doing wedding stuff for some of our closest friends and still punch out this sucker in time to not have a heart attack, then there is no reason for you to stall until the last minute like we usually do. Cuz remember, kiddo: you're going to have TWO classes this fall. As in "TWICE AS MUCH CLASS WITH JUST AS MUCH WORK, AND, PLEASE GOD, JUST AS MUCH IF NOT MORE FUN." So do what you have to do. Stop spending Saturday mornings watching TiVoed episodes of The Wonder Years and Buffy. Stop letting Jim from Capitol Hill books give you free Wallace Stegner novels. Spend lunch hour reading Clausewitz, not Gawker.

And I really hope you enjoyed our choice not to take classes this summer. I hope you read all that Stegner and that whole other stack of fiction sitting in our den, that you finally finished unpacking the new place and took a lot of road trips. I hope you spent time with our friends and family and maybe even some boys. I hope you learned to cram in fun time when you could get it, because we're going to get a lot less of it over the next two years. And kiddo, I really hope you learned how to not write blog entries after midnight, because MAN, we ramble.

Now, turn off the TV and go do your homework.


Present Day EJ

PS- Empty Sadie's box. Just because we have papers doesn't mean others should suffer. Plus she's already figured out how to fling litter all over the bathmat and by fall finals she'll probably know how to smuggle it into the sheets.

Monday, May 14, 2007

i'm the girl who loves you

I have the misfortune of being both a compulsive planner and terribly disorganized. This leads to scenarios like the one that transpired on Friday evening, the night of K and A's rehearsal dinner. Of course I'd known about it for months, had it marked on both my Outlook and the wall calendar in my kitchen, but did that keep me from buying a ticket to the Ben Gibbard show for the same night? Or from putting the concert on both my Outlook AND calendar, right below the rehearsal dinner? And from not noticing "hey there! I have a lot going on that night!" until, um, Wednesday?

Of course the rehearsal dinner trumped Ben Gibbard, but had I known that John Krasinski would not only be onstage with Ben Gibbard, but that John Krasinski would be singing "I Am Trying To Break Your Heart," I can't promise that I would have made the same choice. Furthermore, I can't promise that I wouldn't have sold the groom's grandma for spare cash to bribe my way backstage.

It is a testament to my love for K and A that I did not ditch the wedding entirely to spend the weekend trying to hunt down Jim Halpert. But in the end common decency, happiness for my friends and the anti-stalking statutes of the District of Columbia got me to the synagouge on Saturday.

I knew it would be beautiful, because K has been planning her wedding day pretty much since birth and is blessed with both great taste and a will of reinforced steel. What I was not prepared for was how unbelievably, gorgeously stunning she herself was. Think every cliche you've ever heard about a bride glowing on her wedding day and multiply it tenfold. She was spectacular. K has me thinking I really need to have a wedding soon, because it apparently does absolutely magical things for one's skin and hair. And A didn't look bad, either.

Everyone cried during the weding and danced their best white people dance moves at the reception. Bless them for springing for a band that were once finalists on Star Search. Bless their lead singer for bringing K's mom to the microphone to sing a Patsy Cline number. Bless the expressions of K's Oklahoma-bred parents as they were lifted up on chairs during the horah.

Yes, it might have been even more perfect if John Krasinski had been my date. But watching how insanely happy my friends were and celebrating an amazing start to their marriage, thoughts of "if only" were miles away.

Congratulations, A and K. I love you both even more than John Krasinski singing Wilco.

Friday, May 11, 2007

mr. and mrs. K and A

I've struggled for a few days now to write something that honors my friends K and A, who are getting married tomorrow. We've known each other for almost seven years now, since we lived on the same floor of our freshman dorm, and they're the first from our college group of friends to tie the knot.

I don't often write about my close friends in this space because the voice I use here isn't always the best for doling out compliments or writing kind descriptions. It's difficult to paint a picture of a person without including the quirks, and I worry that in my snarky voice any descriptions of the things I love about my friends-- the way A yells along his agreement with Fox News or the the time K told us that she hated Rocky Road ice cream because it makes her think of fisting-- would sound trite or worse, condescending. Which, let's face it, pretty much describes a lot of my writing.

Plus, it would be really boring of me to say "I love you guys and I'm so excited for you and know you'll make it work." Yes, I do and I am and I do, but how does one make that into something that is fun for an audience of strangers to read?

Perhaps a story will best illustrate what I am (very inarticulately) trying to say. The morning after her bachelorette party, K took us girls out to breakfast at the Silver Diner. While we were inhaling coffee and biscuits and home fries, she told us about an awful girl she knows who recently tried to freak her out about getting married. "Aren't you totally scared of marriage?" Awful Girl asked. "Like, after you guys get married you'll be all... old, and stuff."

"Not really," K told her. "We're pretty much old already."

Which is true. Even though they're both very fun 25 year olds, we give them a lot of grief for being prematurely old. I'm pretty sure that the rehearsal dinner tonight and the wedding tomorrow will be the first time they've both been out on a Friday AND Saturday since junior year. They like wine and artisinal cheese and board games that allow A to air his competitive streak in a safe environment. They like a close circle of friends who are all up in each other's business and both enjoy hating Rachael Ray and loving Giada De Laurentiis. They both are really, really happy with each other and with planning their life together. And wow, that is cool. I don't know a lot of people our age who are truly, genuinely content with their day to day lives and with their anticipated futures.

When the first person from a group of friends gets married, there's often a collective tendency for people to freak a little bit. Duh, it's a huge big scary irrevocably grownup step. Honestly, I expected that as K and A's wedding approached I would completely freak out and have typical Girl thoughts like "Oh my god, I can't believe she's getting married/I'm gonna die alone."

But I'm surprising myself by not having those thoughts spring up at all. I'm just happy for my friends and looking forward to the fun party. My normal urge to obsessively compare and navel-gaze is completely gone from these proceedings because I'm just really excited for K and A. Because they are prematurely old, and because I love them both, and because more than any other couple I know, I believe they can handle this huge big scary irrevocably grownup step.

Monday, May 07, 2007


Okay, I have GOT to get that picture off the top of my blog.


Gone yet?

Still there...?

Okay, fine. How about a list to take up space?

Reasons Why Being Sick All Weekend Sucked

- Apparently my body is old and can no longer handle eleven consecutive nights of going out. I shall now retire to the old folks' home with my Dentu-Grip and Centrum Silver.

- I missed a whole bunch of great parties, including Brunch Bird's Derby party, DJ's birthday at Sonoma and a Cinco de Mayo margaritas fiesta with Hey Pretty and 123 Valerie. Where was the flu when in February, when I had no parties but my birthday??? I mean, it just doesn't seem fair.

- The actual being sick part, which started off as "not fun" when my throat closed up on Friday morning and quickly became "like having my head gripped between the thighs of a very angry giant" as the throat closing migrated northward and became a sinus headache so intense that by Sunday morning I fully expected to sneeze out a diamond.

- Being that sick made any thought of working on my scary final paper, due in a week, utterly impossible. This is not so good, as I currently have two pages written and a weekend of wedding stuff up ahead. Oh, and the professor informed me last week that another student in the class has already written a fantastic, much longer paper on the same topic and that he expects me to propse a new angle on the subject. That might have been very helpful to know, oh, when we had our topics approved in FEBRUARY.

- Living alone is really great, except for when you're sick and you manage to get up enough energy to go stumble to the bodega down the block to buy more Advil Cold & Sinus and when you get there you realize you've forgotten your wallet and home suddenly seems A MILLION MILES AWAY, LIKE, GOD, and if you still lived with a roommate then she or he could go to the bodega and get you Advil Cold & Sinus, actually, based on the roommates you've had before, they could just open up the three-drawer plastic dresser of medication in their room and you could go crazy on it while they made you some soup.

Reasons Why Being Sick All Weekend Was Actually Kind of Okay

- The WE! Women's Entertainment made-for-TV movie Prince William.

- The entire third and fourth seasons of Boy Meets World.

- Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup with Extra Sodium, followed by Haagen Daas Bailey's Ice Cream. For three days.

- Sadie was pretty much ready to run away from home because she'd barely seen me in two weeks and was spending all her time crying under the bed and coughing up hairballs on my new sofa. After three days of hardcore cuddling time, she's finally the sweet, happy kitty I adopted. Still fatter and liable to shed all over everything, but happy again. She also makes an excellent pillow when all the other pillows fall off the couch and I'm too weak to pick them up.

Thursday, May 03, 2007


This was waiting for me in my work email this morning. Several thoughts entered my head when I saw this photo, and naturally, I am compelled to share them with you now:

- Judging by the dopey grin on the whale's face, this is quite possibly the first time he's ever been laid.

- Is the blue of the sheet meant to represent the ocean? The mystical memory of humankind rising forth from the primordial sea, leaving our fishy ancestors behind as we ventured into the exciting world of processing oxygen, knowing we would someday metaphorically return to our homeland via a union with a whale? Or is it just what the prop guy happened to have on hand?

- What, praytell, is a "pensis?" It is what the kids these days are calling penpals? If so, might one also have a penbro? Or does that make you penbi? Might parents write to their penkids? Curiouser and curiouser, indeed...

- Why is the whale using "LOL?" He lacks the opposable thumbs to instant-message, and presumably the vocal cords that would enable him to "LOL" in the first place. I agree with him that the size of her husband's pensis is indeed amusing, but find his word choice in expressing the matter to be somewhat surprising.

- There is a "humpback whale" joke somewhere in here but I can't quite flesh it out. Suggestions?

- This is the best spam email I've ever gotten. Including the one that asked if Thumb Drives were the modern-day Dongle.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

MC with the hispanic guy on the bike who grabbed my ass last night

I saw you furiously pedaling down 16th Street north of Adams Morgan last night, moments after you languidly biked up behind me and grabbed my ass.

I ask you, why run away so quickly? The deliberateness of your act signaled to me that you felt we shared something really special. For a simple ass-grabbing you really took your time, generously cupping your fingers around my right butt cheek and taking the extra second to poke dangerously close to my Secret Lady Places. That's the kind of effort that tells a girl "I care."

Likewise, when you uttered "heh" under your breath at the exact moment your hand made contact with my ass, I know what you really meant to say was "I respect and value your personhood. You have important contributions to make to the world that go far beyond your rockin' ass. You are an individual who matters and I would never objectify, humiliate or assault you."

It was a shame that our contact was so brief. Perhaps as you rode up and prepared to grope me you overheard me talking to my father on my cell phone. If so, I completely understand-- it's way too soon to meet the parents. I don't want to pressure you.

I hope that you didn't misinterpret my reaction to your loving caresses. When I screamed at your retreating form "Who the fuck do you think you are, asshole?!" I didn't mean it in a mean way. By yelling "come back here and try that again without your little tricycle, you pansy-ass motherfucker" I merely meant to suggest that if we were to do this again sometime, you might want to consider alternative forms of transportation. Cars on 16th Street are very aggressive, and those Maryland drivers do not always watch the road the way they should.

In conclusion, I know that we are probably not meant to be-- after all, I'm a hot girl who owns her own home and has a job, you're a degenerate middle-aged man who rides a bicycle, gets his rocks off on assaulting strange women and probably has private parts that can only be viewed with high-powered microscope equipment. *Sigh* That old song again.

If, by chance we are lucky enough to meet again, I hope you don't flee so quickly. I'd love to chat this time, maybe get to know each other a little better. Where I come from, I do that by pushing men into southbound traffic. It'll be so special.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

and your little penis cake, too

Had I my camera, you would be reading a big long photo essay about my friend Kat's bachelorette party last Saturday night. You aren't reading that post because I left my camera at our hostesses' apartment, along with my shirt, my dignity and half of a vegan non-dairy gluten-free vanilla cake with "Penis Cake" written on it in red icing (proving that when a bride says "don't you dare get me a penis cake" it is possible to obey the spirit and yet not the letter of the law).

There are plenty of other people's photos from the rest of the night, but a story really best sums it up. There were a lot of great moments early in the night-- for example, did you know that the Eastern Market CVS doesn't sell Swiffer pads but does sell vibrating cock rings? Now you do!-- but my favorite memory is from around 2 am at "The Club," the decidedly sketchy second floor of Hawk and Dove (aka, "The Dirty Pigeon"). We spent a lot of time at the Pidge in college, as it was the only place where we could reliably get served as freshmen. Sure enough, by our stroll-down-memory-lane stop there at the end of the night, we were by far the oldest people on the dance floor. We felt like chaperones at the prom as we watched the crowds of teenagers bump and grind to Chingy and Petey Pablo. That was about when a group of extremely animated and grabby guys started dancing up on our bride, who by this point could not have focused her eyes if you'd put a gun to her head or worse, threatened to steal her centerpieces.

Apparently we were not terribly subtle with our annoyance with these little boys, because the most flamboyant one of them suddenly whipped out his Sidekick and began to frantically type a message into it, which he then held aloft for us to read:

"We're gay and we're sorry if we're too much for you!"

Yup. We were sharing our dance floor space with a bunch of gay deaf freshman boys from Gallaudet.

Needless to say, we had a fucking awesome night.

I also had a great night last night, as Candy Sandwich and I went to St. Ex for drinks and then caught Peter Bjorn & John at 9:30. I went into the show feeling a little sorry for the band, having read that they played to a tiny audience at Coachella because they were in the same time slot as the Red Hot Chili Peppers. What's the point of playing a giant festival like Coachella if you're playing to a couple hundred people in a cavernous space? That's got to be tough for a band, even one with as much buzz behind them as this one.

They put on a good show last night, though a lot of the set was good in a "I know Pitchfork says they're good and well, yeah" kind of way. Whether this was because of the band or the crowd was hard to tell. Even though it was a sold-out house for an on-the-rise indie band, not a lot of people acted terribly excited to be there. During one acoustic number, there was so much chatter from the house that it felt uncomfortably like that scene in Annie Hall where Diane Keaton sings "It Had To Be You" to an unenthralled cabaret audience. CS and I also had the misfortune to be standing in front of some very obnoxious girls who spent the entire set alternately bitching about how tall I was (well, yes, that sucks for you, but you're not watching the show. And I'm standing right behind the tallest guy in the place, anyways) (hi Brokekid! happy birthday, sir) and drunkenly laughing so hard they were cackling. Like, Wicked Witch of the West, "and your little dog, too!" full-on cackling.

The cacklers left before the last song of the main set, and it was like someone flipped a switch. The band went from "hey, this is nice music" to balls-out rocking the house in no time flat. CS, BrokeKid and I all looked at each other in confused excitement as if to say "where has this been all night?!" All of a sudden these gently quirky Swedish boys had the crowd whipped into a frenzy. They brought it back down with the beginning of the encore, and then raised it back up again with the final two songs of the night. Those last four songs made me even more excited about going to Lollapalooza, which I didn't think was possible.

People don't cackle in Chicago, right? Right??