Tuesday, August 31, 2004

air travel for dummies: chapter 2

"ooh my gahd, rita, we're ahn the wrawng bahs!"

arriving home after a choreography weekend in the saint louis area, i exited your fave and mine, midway airport, to locate the blue economy lot shuttle bus. pulled up alongside the curb was a red lot bus as well as a yellow lot bus. i see three women wandering from bus to bus, sticking their heads inside each like bumblebees inside flowers. finally, they jump on the blue bus with me, and the driver heads off.

there is one in overalls. she's got that fresh-scrubbed irish cuteness with curly black locks and freckles. she drawls in her nasal suburban accent, "heaw do you know whech latt es whech?"

the bus driver politely asks, "ma'am?"

i instinctually cover my mouth, sure that it's contorted in an annoyed sneer, and raise my brows to hide my frustrated, furrowing brow. as my friends and coworkers know, i'm a big non-verbal communication nerd.

"ahm, es the blue latt covered en greeavel?" overalls asks, "because the lat wee wuhr en was, loik, awl greeaval eand construction."

"you in the yellow lot. if it got gravel, you in the yellow lot. unless that's the construction you talking about," the bus driver offers, gesturing to the blue lot's chained-link fenced-in construction as we pass through the entrance.

"noo. theats naht et," overall's middle-aged, redheaded companion sighs, "cean we gaht to the yollow laht from heere?" redhead reluctantly admits, "we ceant... romomber... weear we purked." the driver explains that he can't take them to the yellow lot with this bus.

"thon what do we do?" overalls worries aloud. the driver calmly assuages their fears by explaining that he can take them back to the terminal so they can board the proper bus. the two weary travelers breathe a sigh of relief.

completing the triptych of tumult, the short, stout black lady, primly dressed and toting lots of luggage, realizes that she, too, is on the wrong bus -- she's parked in the red lot. the bus driver generously offers to drop her off right between the blue and red lots, but she exclaims, "i'm not carryin' all this luggage ovah thurr!"

i almost crush my lower mandible in my grip.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

i stand corrected

"Δεν καταλαβαίνω 'wahl
beard and mustache trimmer.'
τι είναι αυτό;"

did you check out dimosthenis tampakos' pits? good god, man. it doesn't hurt to trim. i tried finding a picture to capture him in all his hirsute glory, but none exist per my google search.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

chippy = drippy

not chippy, but she looks like this
my cat's cookie is broken... again.

my little 10 year old tortie-point persian, chippy, is on her third bout with cystitis. after two visits to the vet and one to the animal emergency clinic, all within a span of one month, i come downstairs to find small red drops of urine on the leather couch [i know the leather couch isn't very veggie, but it's served me well in these instances.]

i'm so frustrated. the last time, i had to lock her in my miniscule, dank bathroom for two days to keep her from trying to relieve herself all over every piece of furniture in sight. i've been diligently squirting various droppers-full of medicines into her wide, misshapen mouth. she literally screams when i do it. she doesn't really fight me, but she cries just like a little kid when she has to swallow it. i feel like a monster.

it's not hard to feel bad for her in the first place. she's really small, her jaw doesn't really work well enough for her teeth to be formidable weapons [damn persian teeth], and she was declawed [so bad -- i know]. she knows she really doesn't have a chance in the world to defend herself, so when you pick her up, she just flops in your arms and blinks her gigantic pale blue eyes at you like, "oh no. what's going to happen now?"

Monday, August 23, 2004

tweeze to succeed

while fending off a mild exertion-induced headache [working out again! yeah for pp!], i made a stunning observation: successful athletes are very well depilated.

exhibit a - rex grossman, chicago bears

i don't pay attention to football more than to laugh at the dreads vs. helmets phenomenon [witness one r.w. mcquarters] before sunday cataplexy sets in, but i did notice rex's unusual brows.

my god, they're perfect. does he wax? tweeze? how is this possible in nature!?

exhibit b - carly patterson, usa women's gymnastic team

again, not one pesky stubble protruding from the widened expanse between her brows. now that she's hit the bigtime, she needs to see rex's girl. in the meantime, she can milk the "just say no to slumber party makeovers" poster-child gig.

hot diggity!
exhibit c - michael phelps, usa men's swimming team

this man won so many medals that he stepped aside to let others get their piece of the action. what's his secret? hello! no chest hair, no armpit hair, and -- sorry to point this out to our more sensitive readers -- no treasure trail. he's keeping with the hip-hugger trend, all you corporate sponsors. he has sold his soul to nad [that poor girl -- didn't they tell her mom when they were marketing that product in america to consider maybe "nattie's" or something?]

pluck away!

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

one of these things is not like the other

say it with me, girls: are you kidding yourself?

sorry, everyone. i have to say it: floor ex is just fliggin' weird.

as a dancer, the olympic floor ex competition is just jaw-droppingly freakish. Here are people who are the epitome of control and balance, who can execute so many unbelievable feats, and... well, they just do so much that's so dad-gum ugly.

the jutting thorax and hands that seem to hold invisible tea sandwiches permeate most of the women's [uh, girl's] gymnastic competition. in floor ex, we're treated to a wider variety of delightful technical displays, such as:

  • turns with no spot! wtf!? of course they're gonna fall down, bob.

  • bizarre music with no bearing on the actual choreography: heck, has the choreographer even heard the music? the movement doesn't even seem to have any noticeable relation to the weird-ass music at all. and to think these women pay top dollar for that drek -- i gotta raise my freelance choreo prices.

  • just effed-up dancing: why, lord, why?! yesterday, i saw someone assume the crab position, vigorously crab-walk backwards on 3 & 4, looking to each side with each step. lemme tell ya, it made an impact on me. oh, i see. you spot the crabwalk in gymnastics, not the turns. i get it now. silly me.

Monday, August 16, 2004

i'm just a little chubbier than usual now, that's all...

a little rumor has found its way to new york city, seemingly by way of eden prairie, minnesota. the actual source of said rumor is unidentified.

just to clarify:
  • not pregnant
  • not "trying"
  • still enjoying better living through chemistry.

have a wonderful monday, knowing we are not bringing any areligious, vegetarian, right-brained, loud-mouth progeny into the world... yet. [mwah-ha-ha!]

Friday, August 13, 2004

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

the dumb days of summer

...but your name showed up on the screen! aargh! brains!

ah, august... august is the time of year all the stupid people come out of the woodwork to annoy me. i would say it has something to do with the dog days of summer, but it's been unseasonably cold this month and i don't see the stream of stupidity letting up anytime soon.

what do i mean? here's what i've gotten this week alone:

a large number of calls from people wanting uniforms who used a rep search feature on our website. next to each listing, it clearly lists each person's services -- "uniforms" isn't listed next to mine, but it is listed next to the area's apparel rep name. call me an insensitive bitch but i feel like, if you can read, you can clearly see i'm not the one to help you. what's weird is that my listing isn't even the first to pop up so it's not like they just didn't scroll down or let the page load. maybe it's just my magnetic personality that draws them to me, saying, "eenie, meenie, miney, mo... let's see: she sounds cute and bubbly. i'll call her." i guess my discomfort with the situation stems from my inability to tactfully inform the caller that they should really navigate their browser here instead.

in my inbox, there is also a steaming e-mail from a coach whose brand-new team had a bad time at camp... in june. didn't contact me before because she didn't have access to e-mail until now. curiously, this is not a new coach. never mind the fact that i have a toll-free number or that the head instructors at the camp would have gleefully tried to investigate and eradicate the sources of her complaints at the time of the camp. no, let it stew and fester. then, call me about it. good thinking.

or how about the rabid junior all-star parent sending me flaming e-mails asking for free poms and apparel because her kid's private camp ended early? never mind that the head coach made the executive decision to end the camp early and the staff simply did as they were told. to this woman, i've repeately raised my benevolent silver cross: "we respect the decision made by the head coach, and i will be pleased to investigate the matter further following a call or e-mail from her." nah -- useless. another e-mail of green pea-soup vomit appears in my inbox only moments later.

what else... call from a clueless marketing manager of a chicago professional athletic team, wanting to know if we want to help them with a half-cooked dance team competition [read "ploy to sell tickets to game no one wants to see"] they plan on hosting the same weekend as two of our own local events [for which we'll already be scraping staff together to run]. okay, no on that then? then can we advertise their event [again, conflicting with two of our local events] on our website? oh, that's a conflict with events from which your company actually generates revenue? oh, okay. how about just a list of all our customers and their contact info? wtf!

don't get me wrong: in some ways, i'm very fortunate to have the job i have, and i have come to know some amazing people in the twelve years i've been doing this. it just seems like august is like something out of return of the living dead: all the good, smart, normal people go into hiding underground, and all the mutants, starving for brains, are the only ones around.

one coach who falls under the category of amazing always tells me, "you have the best job in the world." maybe it's because, when i'm feeling really down and worthless, all i need to do is pick up the ringing phone or open my e-mails. then, i realize, "gee, i'm not a complete dumbass after all!"

Monday, August 09, 2004

what's on my mp3 player

when i had a buddy4u profile, i used to update this as i changed my tracks, but there's isn't really a place to do that [at least to my meager knowledge] so here's what i'm servin' up at the moment. must... get... to... YMCA.

just a little more love [david guetta]
bongoloid [basement jaxx]
mymymy [armand van helden]
don't go [yaz]
noche de toxinas [kinky]
rocket ride [felix da housecat]
finest dream [kelis]
satisfaction [benny benassi & the biz]
carbon kid [alpinestars]
freak like me [richard x]
watching cars go by [felix da housecat]
let me lead you [armand van helden]
thong song [sisqo]

Sunday, August 08, 2004

family x

there is a family on my father's side that is synonymous with drama: let's call them x. for years, many have jested that, as an x, life just aint worth living unless there's a family feud brewing. in recent years, my immediate family has been the prime target. i gather that much of the strife stems from a northside-southside battle. albeit one-sided, here's a little history on the situation:

my father and mother picked up and moved my sisters and me to glenview when we were very small, leaving my dad's siblings and family who all lived in homewood, south holland, and posen. naturally, we kids didn't have any concept of the socioeconomic connotations of living in the north suburbs. if anything, we were the ones who felt disadvantaged: all my cousins lived blocks away and went to the same church and schools. when we did make the hourlong drive to see them, we noticed there were things different about us -- we looked different, talked different, and had different likes -- but we still couldn't wait for the next time we could pee our pants laughing with them. my family is really hilarious.

family events weren't constant happiness; some of our differences were made more obvious by adults. we were greeted by random third cousin thea somethingendingwithoula in a stream of greek. when we sheeplishly let on that we didn't understand what she was saying, we'd be scolded and shamed for not knowing the language. since we didn't eat greek food at home, we were less willing to load our chinet plates up with steaming dolmades and murky mageritsza, and for that, we'd get yelled at. we figured that, as long as we steered clear of the adults, we'd have good times.

eventually, we three became adolescents and young adults and systematically declined invitations to many southside family events in favor of horse shows, chances to perform at bowl game halftimes, and time spent with closer friends. as the time between gatherings we went to grew, the colder the x's became. a few years back, we were the only three cousins invited to nikki x's [we have four nikkis in the clan] wedding all on one invitation without guests. my sister's boyfriend of three years [now her husband] could not join her because, as nikki haughtily broke it down for my dad, we three are "aloof and antisocial." this was our punishment for not ever going to any family functions, she told my dad.

i learned that tori x, the eldest cousin, poisoned her kids against us. her daughter, little miss janesandra x was a junior bridesmaid at another cousin's wedding [allegedly after much pressure from aunt x]. when i entered the church, janesandra was smilingly handing out programs, so i went up and said hi. what did i get? a cold, blank expression before she handed me a program and looked the other way. most recently, tori told my dad's wife, "those guys think they're so much better than us because they grew up on the north shore, but now, we have more money than the three of them combined." aahhh... bask in the glow of love.

what's puzzling is that their disapproval of my sisters and me doesn't stop the x's from sending us a constant stream of invitations to pool parties, showers, and birthday galas, to each we politely extend our regrets. most recently, we were each sent an invitation to sour janesandra's eighth-grade luau/graduation party. my sisters and i always try and calculate the most auspicious time for getting voicemail to decline invitations because making smalltalk with these folks is excruciating. i think they'd really be surprised if we actually came to any of these parties. we'd just as soon prefer they'd stop inviting us.

okay, so if you're reading this far, maybe you can help me out. the invitation to the pig roast [janesandra and her parents are large people -- what an unfortunate choice of theme] asks for a reply by august 10.

what do i do?
make your momma proud: rsvp!
your mom knows the evil of their ways: eff 'em.
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Friday, August 06, 2004

go back to "mapother"

tom, what the hell happened?!

is it just me, or is tom cruise just so awkward and dorky now? he just gets on my nerves. was he always such a tool? i can't even watch him being interviewed without squirming and bellowing ad hominems at the television after his every comment.

i notice he doesn't seem to have any appreciation for the tone or pace of a discussion. he's on the view with the ladies [also collectively annoying as hell] and they're yapping about light topics like paparazzi in their rapid-fire, chatty, vapid way, and he leans forward with the total chezzy, maverickesque face, completely jacks the flow and asks, "do you really want to know what i think?" the audience, just lapping this up, squeals. then, he busts out this, like, dad/cop type voice, "hey, hey, not with my kids. when i'm with my kids, come on, eh. because, you know... that's my family... and my family..." he mumbles on, losing steam, in this hushed, slow, serious tone, totally wrecking the momentum of the interview. he does this, at least two more times, beginning with, "do you really want to know?" after that, joy can't call anyone a "skinny bitch", dammit.

i really started noticing what a wanker [wanker really fits] he was when i saw him on oprah. i can see that, in the presence of such a magnanimous woman, you naturally feel like you can and will do more in your life, but i swear, he short-circuited. he leans in and starts talking very vaguely but intensely about how he's going to make a difference in the world. yes, that's an admirable endeavor to pursue, and i'm not knocking it, but they way he was going on and on really came off like so much megalomaniacal blather. i guess you'll just have to see it, but i think even oprah was a little weirded out.

on some tabloid show, i even saw jamie foxx imitating his weird, robotic laughter and i was like, "ah, relief. i'm not the only one that thinks he's a cheeseball."

dude -- people are making fun of you. lighten up. maybe lose the "cruise" moniker and you'll feel less pressure to be so... cool, is it?

Thursday, August 05, 2004

choreography candy

n. junk food eaten to fuel creative processes. puja, offering for the muses. traditionally, gummy-bears/worms or starbursts, but chocolate [i.e. riesen chews] are acceptable. may also include non-candy items such as baked lays potato crisps, salt-and-vinegar pringles, and vanilla diet cokes.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

i don' wannoo

"from bikes to trikes to video games..."

august is always such an unfocused month for me. i'm easily distracted and have a hard time staying motivated. though i still have much to do with work, the volume of calls, e-mails and events slows down, so it's up to me to stay on task. i just keep mourning another summer gone:

i have not paid one visit to the neighborhood pool.

rollerblades are rusting in the crawlspace unused.

i'm needing to work on a pom routine for the team for whom my friend and i choreograph. i should go back to hip hop and ballet class to get some kinesthetic awareness back. i promise myself every hectic winter that i will live at the studio like i used to. i want my friend lisa to come back to chicago and have a leona's picnic/dance team video binge for sweathogs with me. [sigh] we're geeks, but we admit it freely.

need to agree to doing some work for a junior high team -- it's money. i don't want to teach junior high girls how to dance. i want to put them in cages.

i forgot about working out. whoops-an-effing-daisy. at least my knees don't seem to mind: after years of intense running and deep pliés, they've become percussion instruments. you know those small, old toys made of long beads that resemble something like a horse or a monkey on a palm-sized platform and when you press the large button underneath with your thumb, the joints give way and the limbs go all akimbo? that's me locking my legs.

my 31st summer is coming to a close, culminating in a trip to kauaii. you know what that means. time to be thinking about babies [pouting].

Monday, August 02, 2004

hnatusko family reunion

so i have to say that the long weekend was pretty dope. it went by way too fast.

my sisters, my sister's husband [read "rick rizzi" in jerky boy-esque voice], casey and i flew to hotlanta, and took our chevy equinox out to my cousin's absolutely astonishingly large and beautiful summer home on lake lanier. we're talking "ralph lauren ad" gorgeous. we're talking "boats passing by on the lake slow to no-wake-zone-speed to gawk" large. we're talking "our husbands will be spending the weekend wallowing in their inadequacy" fabulous.

when we arrived, we were slightly stunned, not only because of the sheer grandiosity of the house, but for the fact that... it wasn't done! each of the five large bedrooms has its own full bathroom, but only two of the full baths and one of the innumerable powder rooms had a working toilet. it felt a little like being on the swan, too: no mirrors either. no beds, no blinds, no food, no kitchen stuff, no towels. once we arrived, everyone just got to work putting things together: blowing up air-mattresses and making beds, assembling target coffee pots, and appointing the kitchen with lotsa nice gadgets and gewgaws. it quickly became cozy.

we basked in the sun on the double-decker dock [say that five times fast] and each member plummeted at least once from the upper level into the deep, bath-warm lake. younger cousins employed a more artful form of jumping: 13-year old christopher contorted while catapulting himself at least three times a minute [to be 13 again!]. natalie, a national champion-winning cheerleader, shrieked while performing perfect front tucks into the drink, [yes, she had blades]. ever in my standard chicken-shit/partypooper style, i waffled on the precipice, but when my aunt wallene [who'd believe she's 60] jumped wearing her trademark lipsticked grin, i had little choice. the peer pressure was intense from the throng below; my mom plucked her bionic hearing aid and leapt to join the floating family below. even my impeccably-groomed, impossibly southern-belle beautiful aunt cindy risked life and mascara and plunged.

it was actually quite wonderful. the mommas reminisced about family vacations of yore in destin when everyone kind of just did their own thing: some at the water, some napping, some eating, some boating, some jetskiing, some out doing whatever's clever. everyone slept until they were sufficiently rested, then lolled about in their pajamas -- hair and boobs askew -- in the kitchen pretending instant coffee was real coffee. guys and gals pitched in without urging or suggestion to clean the kitchen and prepare meals. at night, the families convened to listen to impossibly loud wildlife in the forest on the wraparound balcony, drinking a sundry wines and beers.

we had a great time playing games and making asses of ourselves [especially on polish heritage night! nastrovia!] but mostly, we all enjoyed imagining we live together in one big home without the formalities that being a guest or host bring.