Wednesday, December 21, 2005

mpravo, yia yia-mou!

i just came across this article on treehugger about the concept called elimination communication. it's kinda funny because i guess my dad's mom used this approach with all six of her kids in the old country. she'd feed them and then strategically place them over the toilet at the appropriate time.

everyone used to laugh at her because she tended to pat herself a little too hard on the back for that one, or so everyone thought. she insisted that her babies were all potty-trained at six months. not so much. more like she had trained herself to time the dropping of the d at the correct time.

well, i give my yia yia props for being ahead of her time. i don't know nothin' 'bout crappin' no babies, but i think you better have some fierce micromanagement skills to tackle this approach.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

happy birthday to me!

heyyyyy! it's my birthday! whoooooo!

a birthday can only be a great one when everyone is laughing. i'm talking about the kind of laugh that, in my family, we have affectionately termed gettin' ugly. you know the one: you can feel your face trying to escape your skull by pulling itself toward the back of your head, you're starting to choke, and the most heinous noises are escaping your body you never knew you could produce.

with that, i give you steve, don't eat it.

no, it's not new, but it's still entertaining... kinda like me. enjoy!

Monday, December 19, 2005

patiently impatient

i've been on the precipice
hovering the fine sharp point of no return

i am hanging on the edge
whether i'm an impostor or the real deal

i am still fixated here
yet doubting
my worthiness, the notion that it will be

Thursday, December 15, 2005

a conversation in the red sled

you know you lahkit the sled, queso...

"...i'm not sure really where the big boob gene in my family comes from."

"oh, no?"

"i surely didn't get it."

"no. no, you didn't"

"...but i have my dad's nipples."

"don't ever say that again."

"what?! what's the big deal?"

"saying that again could be grounds for divorce."

"aw, come on..."

"that's okay: i have my mom's penis."

Friday, December 09, 2005

new finding: absence of sports leads to shopping

say it with me, "rw mcquarters is one of my droogs... rw mcquarters is one of my droogs.."

when i take my lunch each day at about 3pm, i read that week's time magazine. this week, i read possibly one of the all time stupidest quotes. surely, the author of the article must have typed the quote in to the piece with a smirk and a chuckle, right? right?! despite my mouthful of grilled cheese-and-apple sandwich, i gave the page a good hearty bronx cheer. at least i won't have to read it again -- the pages are now stuck together.

here it is:

"there is a large number of people, mainly women, who do not play sports or see much point in watching professional sports," says john quelch, a professor of marketing at harvard business school. "they have a competitive spirit that manifests itself on black friday [the day after thanksgiving when everyone shops like they are on fire]."

if this man was my husband, you're damn right i'd be shopping... for a bag to put over my head. talk about a random correlation. because they tend to occur at the same time, surely there must be a link? and you teach at... harvard?!

i can see it now:

men, tired of their wives racking up debt on artificial upside-down christmas trees and teeny dvd players, assemble their beloved wives clockwork orange-style in front of a theater screen. with their eyes pried open [mine are watering just thinking about it], they are forced to endure hour after hour of monday night football, complete with horrifyingly uncountable [trust me: i've had to choreograph to that nightmare twice now] theme song playing over and over.

dun, dun-dun, DAHHH.... dun, dun, dun, dun-DAHHH!!!

with one hand clutching their wives' hands, the hubbies administer eyedrops with the other, cooing, "almost done. hang in there, honey. once we get past howie long's flat top, we're in the final stretch. oh, i'm so proud of you, sweetie!"

several hours later [the game went into overtime, you see] the weary couples file from the theater. some are going out for a celebratory ice cream sundae, but most check their watches nervously. they don't want to be late for their doctor-induced hysterical paroxysms.

Monday, December 05, 2005

i'm so tired, tired of waiting/tired of waiting for you...

have you ever just sat at your desk, having been proactive enough to achieve all the tasks you possibly could have, and waited for... something? a response? a progress report? more information? i feel like i'm frozen here, staring at my computer, ears pricked for ringing, anticipating some sign of life besides, "shaheed this high qaulity replica r o l e x is for you"

with so many nerves dangling out there in the breeze, it feels like playing long-distance chess, like a tennis game in outer space, like running a marathon under water. having a list of things to do and checking them off can be so invigorating to me. moving this slow makes me want to curl up on the couch and watch judge judy.


Friday, December 02, 2005

thanks for the meme-ories

i haven't been feeling particularly posty of late. mostly, i've just been panicking about a few upcoming projects. i thought i'd borrow a meme from my friend jamie. enjoy and feel free to use as well. here goes:

smoked a cigarette or tried it - yes.

crashed a friend's car - i only know one person that actually lends me her car when i come in to teach her dance team choreography each summer, and i am in a cold sweat driving from my hotel to the high school twenty minutes away. my secret's out: this is where all the mushrooms growing on the seat are coming from!

been dumped - yep, however, given what i've been told is an astronomical number of paramours, the ratio of dumped:dumper is about 1:15.

shoplifted - yes, there were some junior high antics involving wet'n'wild makeup and whatnot at the corner jewel-osco in northbrook. recently, i accidentally walked out of the target with a pair of slippers hanging from my purse that i wanted and didn't pay for. i was frozen in my tracks in the parking lot, unsure of what to do, but the devil on my left [seated in front of the steering wheel of his ford explorer sport] hissed, "forget it! don't worry about it! just keep going!"

been fired/laid off - no. [knocking furiously on wood]

been arrested - no. i am a very good girl.

gone on a blind date - yes, i met three people on the internet whom i met in person. one really wasn't a date. he was some kid in england that i had chatted on telnet with in my loneliest last semester at iowa. despite my lack of success, i tell all my single buddies out there to just try it anyway! a girl's gotta eat, right?

lied to a friend - well, obscured truth is probably more accurate. i am a terrible liar, as most sagittarii are. honesty is the best policy.

skipped school - uh, yup, but not until college.

seen someone die - my cat, oliver, suffocated in my arms on my 29th birthday. he was in the final stages of feline leukemia and he struggled too much while i was trying to feed him and just asphixiated himself. it was a horrible moment that still makes me cry just thinking about it.

been to canada - once, on a hess bros. ski extravaganza at mont tremblant. i loved it!

been to mexico - hellz, yeah.

eaten sushi - only veggie maki. i made it, too [pats self on back] but casey is the master at rolling the maki tightly.

met someone in person from the internet - yeah. see above.

taken pain-killer - hoo-yeah. i had my wisdom teeth pulled out over winter break my freshman year at iowa. i enjoyed a little vicodin, napped a bit, ate my spaghetti dinner, then drank many beers at an impromptu high school reunion in the monckton's basement. that was the closest to drug-addled depravity i've ever come.

had a tea party - um... wha-it?

cheated while playing a game - not to my recollection.

fallen asleep at work - yep, but surprisingly, not here at home where i work every day. i have fallen asleep in cozy cubicles while waiting for something to do as a temp. hey, no harm, no foul!

used a fake ID - yeah, i had gotten one from some bad seeds at bradley university who were friends with my boyfriend at the time. it was a real ID [one of those unlaminated missouri ones] that we just changed the numbers on with a pencil. stupid.

felt an earthquake - no.

touched a snake - yes. i used to live with several large reptiles, including a copperhead snake.

been robbed - yes, i was mugged at something-point the day before my 28th birthday in bucktown.

petted a reindeer/goat - yes. i love goats.

won a contest - none i can recall.

been suspended from school - no. i was alexis p. keaton.

been in a car accident - yes, but i wasn't driving. the driver fell asleep at the wheel driving from memphis to chicago and careened into a reflector stick on the side of the road.

had braces - nope, but i used to pretend by putting stretched out paperclips in my mouth.

eaten a whole pint of ice cream in one night - maybe once.

witnessed a crime - yes.

swam in the ocean - yes! i love to swim in the waves.

sung karaoke - nope.

paid for a meal with only coins - yes, in college. i also used to charge doritos and pop on my american express card. stupid.

laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose - yes, once i was eating dinner with my sister dina. i laughed and chili [we're talking beans, some cheese, and some meat] shot out of my nose. talk about burn!

been kissed under mistletoe - naw.

crashed a party - nope.

worn pearls - yes, i received a lovely pinkish cream strand for my high school graduation. i love them. casey also gave me some very pretty earrings he bought in london, too. i love to wear these gifts together.

jumped off a bridge - no. i can't even stomach jumping off a 20-foot dock more than once, so a bridge is out of the question.

ate dog/cat food - good god, no.

kissed a mirror - what? is this something that people do? i was too busy kissing lots and lots of boys.

glued your hand to something - all the time. i glue softpaws [like feline lee press-ons] on to my clawed cats nails with superglue and am always getting other detritus stuck to my own paws.

done a one-handed cartwheel - you betcha.

talked on the phone for more than 6 hours - i ban the telephone.

didn't take a shower for a week - no way. talk about crotch crickets.

picked and ate an apple right off the tree - negative, ghostrider.

been told by a complete stranger that you're hot - yeah. it comes with having been blonde, i suppose.

Monday, November 28, 2005

let's pretend we don't exist/let's pretend we're in hesperia

we'll have bizarre celebrations, alright. we'll play scrabble and grouse about the junior varsity dictionary we're using to arbitrate our challenges.

a shower means baby powder on a brush.

a tablecloth means an umber-striped sheet from 1978.

slippers are absolutely mandatory.

all-day pajamas are the required uniform.

daily backrubs and unscheduled naps are on the menu.

to become initiated into the cabin club, you must be able to endure the raging heat that emanates from the wood burning stove. it's good for the pores, people. if it gets too much, just step out the sliding glass door onto the deck and take a cool ride on the rope swing.

your pastimes [books, magazines, hobbies] are worth nothing here. i know you don't believe me, but you just don't need 'em.

once inducted into this sweatlodge society, you will find great joy in shopping for insanely cheap and needless items at the local v&s. everyone needs a neon green digital watch... especially when it's a dollar!

you will be warmly queried [almost eerily so] by every person who serves you scrumptious buttered raisin toast an inch thick for breakfast and packs your groceries lovingly in a plastic bag.

you'll meander down the road, trying to burn off your thanksgiving feast and will jerk to attention suddenly, throwing your swaddled head to and fro in search of an oncoming car you hear. it's just the wind in the pines.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

evidence to suggest people are getting stupider

10) "my humps" by black eyed peas

9) paris hilton

8) fox's arrested development series is cancelled

7) d4l's "shake that laffy taffy"

6) mcdonald's outsourcing drive-through employees in india. i'm lovin' it!

5) fox's family guy was cancelled and then brought back, only dumbed down a whole bunch

4) it's okay to elect a president that had cocaine issues, but let's crucify a supermodel [the very poster child for 90's heroin chic at that] for snorting some rails, everybody! people, she's a model.

3) michael jackson somehow hasn't just fallen completely off the radar

2) that cesarean sections are at an all-time high is somehow newsworthy. come on: scheduling a procedure to have your precious bundle removed under anaesthetic versus unexpectedly shitting a watermelon. you pick.

1) we wonder why we americans are so damned fat. the world's #1 sport is soccer -- ours entails sitting in a car for four hours.

Friday, November 11, 2005

what a mighty good man

imagine a stately, fluted waterford crystal vase, filled with long stem red roses, open and fragrant, a few sprigs of vibrant yellow yarrow and, in the center, a fruitful branch of red hypericum.

i don't have a camera here to take a picture so i did the best i could. it's too gorgeous not to document and share somehow.

this is what is next to the bed in my cool khaki room, sent to me my by thoughtful husband who is braving the wilds in third-world china right now. visas, carnets, and 85 lbs. of equipment strapped to his back, he took the time to send me these beautiful flowers. i am a very lucky lady.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

proof you can't possibly be the worst parent in the world

this last weekend, i was in michigan for a monster of a dance team competition in lake orion. the day prior, my coworkers and i were in the local wal-mart, ransacking it of all candy and office supplies. yes, if you ever should find yourself at such a spectacle, you will now know that we are not fueled by our love for children, our passion for dance, or even our commissions [don't get me started]. we are fueled by candy.

since i had just before had a big, fibrous lunch at bd's mongolian barbeque, i needed to go to the restroom. i'm like a puppy that way -- gotta go right after i eat. i know that may seem like too much information, but people notice this about me and are like, "dude... did you just cackalacka in there? are you bulimic?" just wanted to clear things up: i will do everything in my power to avoid puking.

so i go to the wal-mart bathroom. yes, my male xenotoiletphobic readers, i was actually planning to cheer the browns on to the superbowl at a wal-mart bathroom, and it was a nasty, stanky, ghetto one at that. shake off the schvilkes and keep reading.

so i'm in my stall, trying to hurry my business along, and i hear from outside,

"girl, you don't have to wash your hands. you didn't poop."

[indistinct murmuring from a child, water splashing.]

"what did i just say?! i just said, you din't have to wash your hands! you gonna get it now!"

[hurried footsteps out the door.]

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

and god said, "let there be tagging," and it was good...

we aren't the first garage off the entrance to the alley, but we are the first lighted garage. there is a super-bright street light illuminating our ramshackle pink-and-white carport just across from an elementary school, bestowing us with the dubious honor of having the most cherry [or is that cherriest?] garage for gangbangers to mark their territory. as i backed out from the garage in the red sled and shut the door, the latest oeuvre d'art of some local clique called the m.a.n.i.a.c.s scrolled before my eyes. it was full of other gang jargon, including a heart with a swastika and your typical forklike symbols used by subsets of "people", one of the two factions of chicago gangs.

i can hear the tsk-tsking from my suburbanite readers now. no worries: the best part is that all i need to do is tap 311 on my celly and in a day or so, i will have a freshly painted garage door. yes, it's my kinda town.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

three oaks weekend

prancer was filmed in three oaks... and it's rated g!

this weekend was a study in luxuriation. casey and i stayed at my mom and stepdad's house in three oaks, michicken [just mess'n with ya, mom] with my sister dina [frequent blog-commenter and occasional fellow spelling-slaughterer] and her husband rick. jack took us to the desolate indiana dunes where we breathed in gulps of fresh air and saw three deer drinking from the lake. in addition to celebrating dina's birthday, we also toasted many glasses to the glorious announcement that dina is pregnant with twins. you can enjoy a photo of my mom's expression upon receiving that news here. it's the best. yea for dina and richie!

three oaks ain't no one-horse town -- there are some hip shops and galleries, and we dined on some delicious fare. at a quaint house-turned-coffee shop, i had some delectable crepes with mascarpone cheese and blueberries for breakfast that catapulted me into acid reflux. i later kept that whole agony-ecstasy theme rolling with a crostini appetizer topped with chevre, artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes, and olive oil in a bistro decorated in the same style as our second floor. no, i waddn't skeered -- i ate like a champion.

after dinner saturday night, we went to see a late showing of saw 2. my review? here it is in three words: not for hemophobes.

anyway, there was a couple there with a two-year-old. i'm not joking. the wide-eyed toddler, clad in a pink pom-pommed ski cap, was perched post-bedtime on their lap throughout the entire film. for the duration of the feature, i could be found palming my lower face in my spindly iron grip with my left hand, the right protectively wrapped around the veins of my left wrist. in those unwatchable moments to me, i glanced around at the audience: other heads flinched away and nervous squeals rippled through the crowd, yet the little pink fuzzy head was always there with its face upturned to the glow of the screen like a daisy looking for light in a dark closet. snuggled up to casey's back in bed that night, i had to concentrate on erasing visions that disturbed me: wrists trapped in a razor-valved box, the xray of the key lodged in the head, and the little pink daisy at the horror flick.

after a magnificent homecooked breakfast, much coffee and many hugs and kisses, we returned home to mindfully observe the effects of daylight savings time. autumn is here!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

i'm a barely-barefoot

i'm not a never-nude; rather, i suffer from a slight variation of this debilitating disorder. from october until april, i'm a barely-barefoot. underneath any pair of socks, i wear another pair... of novelty socks. you know: those adorable hosiery that beckon to your 12-year-old soul from the end-caps near the shoe department at target.

i've purchased several dollar pairs on late night summer camp impulse sprees over the years and have also received several pairs from the judester. she's made them place-settings at my father's pierre cardin smoked-mirror dining table [oooh, i want that table!] and even put them in holiday cards and sent them by mail.

i've got quite a collection:

  • a few pair with crazy stripes
  • some are brightly flowered
  • ones that describe sagittarians
  • ones with a sassy blonde in a pink dress that say "attitude"
  • orange ones with a fierce black cat that say "meow!" in huge letters
  • footie-style [not fouetté] purple ones with frog-headed polka dots
  • i've got ones adorned with a red and green bear that say "beary kissmass" [my first pair], given to me by my freshman-year dance team secret santa, jewish tamar.

did i mention they appeal to my inner twelve-year-old?

i put a fresh pair on my freshly-washed feet each day and scrunch on a new pair over them. then, at night, i take the over-pair off and hop into bed. so far, so good -- we'll see how we fare as we get into the truly frigid months.

Monday, October 24, 2005

??? = so you

now if i could just have her money...

i received this photo in the mail from sister-in-law and avid blog-commenter, laurel. according to the card with which it was enclosed, my little three-year-old nephew was sitting on her lap when they saw this photo of actor sandra bullock in a magazine.

"look, mommy! aunt paula is in a magazine! the tickle monster is famous!"

well, in case i need a last-minute halloween costume, i'm set!

i think it's the do-rag/sunglasses/athletic attire combo that equals me about my appearance. i've had a lot of signature me-things: big dumb bow hairclips and a rainbow of mesh shorts in college, my "funny little black glasses" [according to one eden prairie pom mom], my black cleopatra hairstyle circa 1997 [the era of impending doom].

"i saw a person with ___fill in the blank ____ and i thought it was you."

how would you fill in the blank?

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

baby needs a new pair of shoes

i went online to do some shoe shopping awhile back.

i ordered the jupiter, which is made by this spanish company called novacas. while they do make some pretty damn sassy footwear, they're notoriously narrow. these are no exception -- i'm exchanging them. it's a bummer 'cos these are kinda casual without being schlubby.


i also like the ally by vegetarian shoes -- it's a little nicer [but still a maryjane] and could be a less dressy alternative to my high heeled knee-high boots.


more casual is the solar by earth. again with the maryjanes, but slightly less square and chunky than the clarks i already have.


i am also craving some clogs -- i like earth's kharma 2. something about clogs just makes me wanna put on the warmest, wooliest socks and go pumpkin shopping... or something. casey disagrees with mules in cold weather [bear in mind this is the man that wears thick woolen tube socks with boots in the summertime] but i say it's possible.


so there you have it: what do you think? what's your gut reaction? give me your opinion! in case you were wondering, they're all the same price.

Monday, October 17, 2005

female collegiate athletes

"...and so then? i totally spiked the ball and hit her! i think i knocked the flour paste outta her. haw haw haw!"

i did some choreography for a college dance team this weekend and it was a terrific [yet physically painful] experience. in spite of one torn knee cartilage and one ripped hamstring, my hosts were smiling, gracious, and fun. they endeavored to be polite and respectful without being unresponsive. that's nice.

choreography is like putting together a puzzle: counts have to be mapped, formations have to be crafted and musicality need to be taken into account. a step into the practice facility is more of a leap of faith in your own craftsmanship. you have to believe in it yourself before you can ask twelve others to leap with you. with that said, it's the coolest thing ever to envision something in your little head [or big head, in my case] and see it willed to life by young, talented people who have faith in you, too. like having a child, it's a process that may seem mundane, but is miraculous every time. it's also like what i envision some kind of surrogate pregnancy and childbirth to be in that you have this project you bring yourself to nausea [or raging acid reflux, in my case] to complete. as you come close to the due date and there are just finishing touches left, you just want to get it out already. you bring the finished product into the world by pushing, forcing, trying other methods, breathing, keeping positive, aching, wishing. you finish with an ass-slap of an ending pose, and everyone in the room applauds exhaling laboriously. then, you spend sometime cleaning off the goo and checking its parts to make sure everything is where it needs to be. you leave it in the encircled arms of its new caretaker and hope for the best. then, when you have a deliciously crisp check in your hand, you forget how effing painful the entire process really was and say, "wow, that wasn't so bad at all. that was easy. let's do another."

on the other end of the spectrum, i flew home with a collegiate volleyball team. i made some observations:
  • they are big. i caught my reflection as i walked behind them to baggage claim and was struck by my smallness. after a weekend of poking at my doughiness in the bleary glow of the hotel's fluorescent lighting, i came to the realization that i am, in fact, a miniature person.
  • they are loud. in truth, i found their boisterous guffaws pretty damned annoying. their coach never urged them to use their indoor voices, which i found odd. why are volleyball players not reminded that they are ambassadors for their schools and to monitor their decorum as such? perhaps i am oversensitive because the threat of failing as responsible role models is an ominous cloud that hangs over the sunniest of spirit squad programs. whenever i hear this university's name, i'll always remember glowering at these women who could squash me.
  • they are fine with that. i did admire their comfort level. no self-conscious lipgloss application, no tough-girl posturing. just an androgynous zeal for life. i don't encounter that many women like that so i thought it was cool to witness.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

wanted: best best friend

having friends is like dating. in many respects, best-friendship is governed by a lot of the same dynamics. there's cheating, abuse, neediness, the whole ugly lot. sometimes, there is the desire to break up with a friend -- maybe the relationship has become toxic and routine. yeah, i know we've had good times and all, but it's time for us to move on. things have gotten stale and i don't feel good about myself when i'm around you. it's best we part ways. be "single" again. i pine for best-friend singledom: walking into a room of diverse and like-minded individuals that present so many possibilities of friendship.

just as some looking for love create lists of desirable attributes, so have i for designing the best best friend:

  1. reading does not include smutty celebrity gossip rags
  2. for every one fashion magazine, must subscribe to two other non-fashion magazines
  3. knowledge of/experience with npr, blogs, craigslist, google, and snopes a plus
  4. must have at least a 20gb ipod with more than just a smattering of top 40 singles on it -- pink mini ipod owners take caution
  5. like political views not important, but must respect differing opinions. willingness to avoid the topic altogether preferred.
  6. must bravely yet lovingly call me on my shit and expect the same in return
  7. must have some sense of personal style without being a fashion plate
  8. self-love and acceptance required: this includes moments of no makeup, cellulite, pimples, and general chubbiness. verbally castigating oneself for any of the above is prohibited.
  9. being a loyal and supportive workout/dance class buddy a strong plus
  10. martyrs, luddites, airheads, chick-lit addicts, narcissists, passive-aggressives and backlashers need not apply
if you could design the ideal best friend for yourself, what would you choose?

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

looks like the gap for me from now on


good god! is big hair far behind?

country music is everywhere lately... and it's scaring me. is it just me or has it taken over the galaxy? skeletal starlets are all sidling up to stetsoned swooners. good morning america seems to have an endless stream of cma winners performing. even reba mcintyre has a clothing line now. come on: reba is a character you might see dana carvey playing on saturday night live. seriously. she was showing her line of apparel on some show, and i couldn't even listen to her over-the-top twang as she described the elegant cut of a pair of slacks. it was just ridiculous to me. oprah had the prim faith hill on and the chicago audience went koo-koo crazy, too. i don't get it.

i suppose the pendulum had to swing back this way after hip hop was on top for so long. i'm glad that scene is over, too, but country? gah!

Monday, October 03, 2005


madge: "that's right! your esophagus is soaking in it!"

i know i'm so behind on updating. here's a recap of the weekend!

dinner at aunt x's: dinner ended up being rather entertaining. aunt x's daughter also joined us and we four enjoyed very lively if lengthy repast. there was a great deal of full-volume crosstalk and a lot of pohhh-poh-poh-pohing about my father's insane wife's antics. we looked at some pictures and took some, too. saw our front door from her back porch window and cursed at the flock of lovebirds held captive there trying to chime in with our discussion. as we left, they lavished many compliments on casey and, as is wont for greek immigrants to do, even ptou-soued him. yes, greek people do pretend to spit on babies, brides, and the very fortunate. no, they don't actually spit on people like my big fat greek wedding.

that night, i could not sleep from the raging t.g.s i was suffering. not toxic shock syndrome; toxic garlic syndrome! i'm not using cloves of garlic as some ecologically-sound, sustainable tampon. i'm saying the delightful vegetarian fare my sweet thea prepared was virtually translucent for all the pureed garlic in it. laying in bed, i had visions of detatching my entire tongue and placing it in a bowl of palmolive.

saturday night's alright: friday, we treated our sour stomachs to bubble tea and mac-'n'-cheese and, on saturday, worked on the garden. i planted one hundred daffodil bulbs and casey strung up snake lights around the arbor for our pizza party with dina, riccardo, and nicole. too much canned special export was drunk [cack!] and many, many s'mores were eaten. we got in a few rounds of fusion frenzy on the xbox and before we knew it, it was 1:30a! my right arm started to ache and burn-- i seem to have strained something in my wrist from digging.

christening: the ceremony seemed almost as if conducted at an el-stop. one small shift of people arrived on time. people stood and walked in and out, carrying squalling toddlers by the arm, oblivious to the encantations. others milled about to get a better view as the priest swiftly performed his rites. the most southerly cousins sauntered in, mumbling sotto voce about the drive all the way up to the north shore while sliding into pews. some more members of the immediate family [including fire-aunt and uncle, the grandparents!] arrived mid- to post-ceremony, joining the small cluster of people who believe it really does take eight adults to change a toddler into a christening suit. despite the lack of focus, it was cool: the priest's sermon incorporated some etymology lessons on the words charisma and enthusiastic. he explained the symbolism of the water, the vessel, the olive oil, etc. i was pretty damn riveted. nonetheless, do i see a baby vinaigrette in my future? not so much.

ladies who lunch: afterward, the luncheon was okay. i think the waitstaff was rock-paper-scissoring to see who would have to go tend to the circus of eleventy rugrats scampering about underfoot of a half dozen very boisterous, assertive women. the fire-aunt again acted as though she sees me so infrequently that she doesn't recognize me [i have seen her more in the last three months than i usually do in five years] and remind me yet again that she doesn't like my hair black so don't dye my hair black again ever never she doesn't like it yuck. the last time my hair was "dark brown" [according to the bottle], it was 1997, guys. when i scrambled for my keys in a fervent attempt to flee the scene, she bellowed exhortations to keep in touch, bouncing the grandchild she refuses to call by her given, very modern american name. i took a step towards the door and cheerily chirped, "okay!" and she screeched, "oh, yeah? it's always 'okay' -- when?! huh?!" i replied, "how about you? how 'bout when are you gonna keep in touch?" realizing i got her there, she reached up and wrapped her tanned bejeweled arms around my neck for a boa-constricting hug with a hissing, snake-like laugh.

learning what 'hanging out' means: spent the evening babysitting snuggly, green-pooping lickey and marveling at c.j.'s knowledge of which racecar numbers correlate to which nascar drivers. we explained that mom and dad were coming home later, but we came over to hang out with him, and he asked, "what's hanging, queso?"

Thursday, September 29, 2005

how old is your soul?

...and nice control, great penché, make sure
to straighten that base leg and point your foot. good job..."

i've been hobbling around my house, choreographing, pretending to attempt shoulder stands and waving my arms around as though i'm executing death-defying turn sequences. i rely on my dancing homunculus to determine whether certain movements are feasable. sadly, i don't even try anymore and it makes me a little sad. i miss dancing. i have dreams of doing five, six, and seven effortless pirouettes. i'm not joking. the spirit is willing, but the flesh is... scared.

recently, i discovered a quote from baseball hall of famer, satchel paige:

"how old would you be if you didn't know how old you were?"

are you an adult impostor or have you always been beyond your years?

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

thea x-mou

greek food! my favorite... or something

so my aunt who lives across the street has decided that she can exert gentle but firm pressure on us to have plans with her. she's someone that, for my entire life, i saw maybe twice a year at weddings and whatnot, but just sunday, the doorbell rings. i am in the laundry room, thinking it's the pizza we ordered when i hear casey upstairs talking in a very animated voice, as though to a female as he's wont to do. i walk up the stairs while he's running down, yelling my name. we meet on the landing and, through a gritted smile, says "it's aunt x!" she's on the porch with her ancient bichon frise.

i go out and she grabs my cheek saying, "you disappear, poh-lah. where you bin?" she then tells me how many times that she called me and i don't pick up. now, i know she called once while we were in hawaii, and truth be told, i didn't call her back. her message was, "i bin busy with weddeens and chreesenings... and funerals and other bad thin's. an' now i call you for you to come to my house an' you not dere." needless to report, i was not exactly chomping at the bit to return that one.

to make matters worse, i asked her if she was going to my cousin's christening. i was going to offer to drive her since she doesn't drive on the highways. well, i guess she wasn't invited, i guess, so my attempt to be nice blew up in my face. she was severely bummed when i mentioned it -- apparently, she didn't know about it. given how large my family is, i can see that she might not have been invited, you know? you can only invite so many people to these shindigs.

so, she's basically cornered us to come to her house and have dinner. she quizzed us about what we ate ["you don' get weak from no eateen meat?"] and when we said pasta and salad would be totally great, got mildly insulted at our suggestion of such a simple meal. we offered several times to bring something and she declined. so we're on for thursday.

she's definitely big on guilting me into doing things [nothing like greek guilt], and up to now, i've been okay, but this can only last so long. something's got to give and it aint me!

after she left, casey shut the door and asked, "so we're moving, right?" what do we do?

Monday, September 26, 2005

monday is numbday

mmmm... mondays...

y'ever just feel like you're in suspended animation? like a savory morsel congealed in a mold of translucent, glistening aspic? okay, maybe you never thought of it that way, but... try for a second.

back to rita and the dance floor porn... well, hurricane rita scared us out of going to the wedding on santa rosa beach. we were supposed to fly through dallas and weren't about to chance it. the wedding ended up having to be moved to the steps of a building and off the beach, unfortunately. the reception was in a tent with an uncovered, cobblestone floor and my friend jeannine sprained her ankle dancing on it in heels. the bride, i heard, looked spectacular: tanned and high-lighted to spunsugar perfection. the food was scrumptious, and the favors were just so nifty and cute.

there's more to life than this... instead of flying down, we snagged a bubble tea and put together a björk mix for the dance team i'm teaching in three [count 'em: three] weeks. made up a pretty slick turn sequence already. ah, progress.

happy camper... we really wanna go camping. the problem is we always have this strong desire too late -- we have no weekends left and all the good sites have been reserved. doesn't matter: hiking in hawaii has given us the bug. we'll see if we can swing it -- this is the last weekend.

christening? seems an odd gerund, that: christening. anyway, i have one this weekend. what do i wear? what to i bring? i've been avoiding these for so long, i have no idea. help a heathen out!

Friday, September 23, 2005

svenska flicka!

now, if i could just get some veggie swedish meatballs...

i fired up treehugger today to discover more evidence that sweden is utopia. despite some facts about their health care and economy that can make your die-hard capitalist american turn a nose up in disdain, there's an idealism there that just makes me proud to be one-eighth swedish.

other reasons i love sweden:

  • something like 100% literacy
  • volvo's 'your concept car' designed by and for women
  • beautiful furniture
  • patronymic names are groovy
  • the 'right of public access' law
  • nudity is viewed as natural -- not always sexualized
  • lots of really hot-looking people... naked!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


i think i actually get dumber every time i hear someone say the following words:


this incantation sends me into epileptic fits. as a matter of fact, i have my wallet poised in my mouth at this very moment in case i adskfjasdkfjffggggggggggggggggggg

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

baby, can't you see... i'm callin'...

"take me off your mailing list... or i'll eat your liver with some fava beans and a nice venti mocha frappucino. ftt-ftt-ftt-ftt!"

it's a toxic time of year, people, and in the words of mama britney: i'm slippin' under.

calling non-returning customers: i am following up with people who did not use my company these days. it entails a lot of leaving voicemails and emails, and about a quarter of the time, i reach a live person. the process in and of itself isn't bad -- talking to customers and hearing about how they missed us always regenerates my mood. even having a discussion or email correspondence with those who are skeptical about us is really interesting, too. i love networking for networking sake, and i value my bonds with those that are in my field but not my clients. there is usually a fraction of people that elect not to return my calls or emails or divulge their opinions on things, and those people just confound me -- why not? why play hard to get? people that are just plain ol' ugly are the ones that wreck my buzz. i actually had a woman actually call me back to yell at me for leaving her a message at home. she didn't have any thing redeeming to offer except a nasty attitude which unfortunately remain in my mind when i think of that account. when politely asked why they didn't come back, she growled, "because we didn't feel like it, okay?!" wtf! you know the adage -- it takes something like eleven positive comments to combat one negative. well, the happy fairies usually rack up a big i.o.u. in the fall.

hurricane rita: i am also supposed to go to a wedding this weekend on santa rosa beach in florida. that was going to be a nice little detox, but the weather is looking like it may not be playing nice. we're supposed to fly through dfw and if things don't improve, we may have to cancel. i know i just got back from a glorious vacation, but i was still excited for another little trip. these excursions are like stepping stones to keep me happy and looking forward to the future, you know?

choreo': i have taken on another choreography job and things are moving very slowly... as in i don't even have music yet and i'm supposed to fly to them to teach in less than a month. the muses hover reluctantly, arms crossed, tapping their toes, looking for the exit.

early autumn just leaves me feeling so hopeless sometimes. it's such a steep denouement from the unavoidably cheerful summertime. i have camp crash and i didn't teach this summer. i have the back-to-school blues at 32.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

kauai 2005

brennecke's beach

[tap, tap, tap] is this thing on? testing one, two...

casey and i went back to splendiferous kauai. this time, my sister dina and her husband rick came with us. what strengthened our love for this island is that, despite the fact that we felt we had done about everything there is to do there last year, we did even more this year! the trip was actually supposed to be only nine days, but about halfway in, we started to panic and decided to extend the day another two. now, i am inundated with much catching up -- just getting up to speed on all my blog-reading [let alone writing] gives me anxiety.

instead of chucking it all and not writing anything, or spending hours and hours with an extensive play-by-play of our travels, i'm striking a balance. this is an unprecedented decidedly un-sagittarian way to do things, folks. make note! here is a list of interesting things that transpired. here goes:

on tanness: i managed to cultivate a nice tan without scalding myself too badly. the only part of me that looks leperous is my upper back. i had applied spf 50 on everything but that area which i could not reach and forgot to physically grab someone and force them to stop all movement and baste me. we all got better at that as we went along. i graduated to spf 30 about midway into the trip, and by the very end, i was wearing spf 15. 15, people! see, we'd all caught a big case of the fuckits. i can no longer afford kinerase -- thanks to the folks from "friends" who are now endorsing my heretofore secret magical wrinkle cream, the price has skyrocketed. i don't buy leather -- might as well look like it instead, right?

on active endeavors: we did some fun and crazy hiking. we are not of rugged, outdoorsy ilk, but we got covered in red dirt with the best of 'em taking an hour-long trek down a steep trail to swim in wailua falls.

yes, it's the falls from the 80's television show, fantasy island. it was magnificent.

we also hiked along the kalalau trail which stretches across the na pali coast.
this entire trail was scented with fresh guava crushed in the red dirt underfoot and ended with a fresh water stream running into the ocean. upon arrival, pb&js never tasted so good.

on eating: speaking of things tasting good, i ate like it was my job. not only did i hone the eating skills to black-belt level mastery from a volume standpoint, i ate loads of just junk.

check this impressive list out, y'all:

  • puka dogs almost daily!
  • shave ice with macadamia nut ice cream on the bottom from brennecke's.
  • pizza and koa golden ale from pizzetta in koloa town at least three times.
  • ice cream and sorbet from lappert's afterwards.
  • in addition to at least one beer a day, i also had copious amounts of pog [that's passion fruit-orange-guava juice to you] and rum as well as many full-sugar sodas. i attempted balancing these out with many water refills in my trusty red nalgene bottle.
  • ever had a chick-o-stick? no, it's not made of chicken. it's a denuded butterfinger bar of sorts and helps combat salty seawater mouth syndrome quite efficiently.

    on bodysurfing: we spent many, many hours at brennecke's beach. when we weren't laying there eating and smearing on sunscreen, we were in the wild surf. we swam with sea turtles every day for hours at a time.

    i must admit it was a bit of a war zone. rick had a pieces of sand embedded in his cornea and the inside of his eyelid. before he went to the doctor to have it scraped out with the wooden end of a swab, he was one cantankerous son-of-a-bitch, but once it was out, he was back to being crazy pizzy mcrizzowitz again. dina got whacked on the shinbone. casey was hurled across his back on a rock. i did manage to get into an accident while boogie boarding -- got a really nasty ouchie on my elbow, abraded the skin on my hip, nicked a chunk of skin out of my ankle, and got a left hook to the jaw from a wave that has rendered me with an inner- and outer- ear infection. it feels like my ear needs to blow its nose, as p'tarded as that sounds. it was worth it. i love that stretch of lava-strewn sand and can't wait to jump in again.

    on reading: i read jhumpa lahiri's pulitzer prize winning interpreter of maladies. a compilation of short stories about indian people, it was the perfect vacation read. i also picked up mark haddon's the curious incident of the dog in the night-time on the way home and am almost done with it. it's written from the perspective of a teenage autistic-savant kid in england and i definitely recommend it.

    on helicopter rides: casey managed to score a "return-customer" discount on an island tour which had us descending into waimea canyon and cresting mount waialeale [the wettest spot on earth]. people, it's expensive, but it's so effing worth it.

    on classic rock: in the rental car, we jammed out daily to shaka [kshk fm 103.3]. i am not really a classic rock fan, but it's super-fun to listen to there. we wrote down all the songs we heard a lot and will make a compilation cd. i'll be sure to list the tracks once it's done.

    on the fern grotto: no, we didn't go to the f*cking fern f*cking grotto. don't even ask. we went to a thrift shop instead where i got some kick-ass kids t-shirts commemorating the kaua'i martial arts championship and native hawaiian community groups. they were 50 cents each. dope.

    on pictures: ever the intrepid historian, casey took a jillion photos of us and will be posting them in his excellent online photo album soon. keep checking to see them soon. i promise you that you'll wanna go yourself once you see these shots... especially the ones of bikini-clad me in a half-slump, pendulous abdomen full of mango relish and lilikoi mustard swinging low like sweet chariot. talk about hanging loose, hawaiian-style! aloha!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

booze-breathing bachelor

i flew down to saint louis for my sixth annual choreography session this weekend. ensconced comfortably in my aisle seat, i broke out a magazine and dialed up the ipod to the "chillax" playlist for a short but pleasant ride.

have you ever found yourself just honing in on an annoying sound? since my hermetically-sealing sony earbuds have all but decomposed from the corrosive effluvia that is my earwax, i was rocking the stupid white ipod phones through which you can hear everything. i could not help but focus on this particularly loud, raspy baritone voice from in front of me. i tried to let it go, remembering that i also have trouble selecting the correct volume of voice since i can't always hear well, but this squawking was accompanied by bursts of foulness. the voice had apparently tied one on the night before and was exhaling the reek of metabolized booze. this man's liver was kicking out smoke signals like crazy.

i finally looked up to see... charlie o'connell, also known as the bachelor. he was seated next to some schlubby midwestern businessman who had no idea who he was, and they were helping each other with crossword puzzles. awww...

it didn't seem like he ever really let on that he was an actor [and who could blame him? he's in a crappy coach seat.] but his volume seemed a little desperate. i wondered if he was annoyed no one seemed to recognize him. i just wanted to stop huffing his pickled insides.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

sweet, don't fail me now!

i've said it before and i'll say it again: there is something magical about the creative power of candy. i've been plodding along on this choreography for about a month now, tinkering with eight-counts here, tweaking turn combinations there.

since i'm off to memphis for meetings, i decided to try and crank out the last sections last night. armed with a bag of buderim ginger bears, i plowed through six eight-counts of complicated duo and trio work, sassy little solo parts, and the dreaded... hip hop section! i emerged triumphant at 2am from my bedroom [where i flop around in front of my full length mirror] like a doctor after removing a huge malignant tumor.

how mighty is this sweet manna of the muses? one of my very close friends who earns a substantial part of her income choreographing for dance teams visited the dentist to discover she had four cavities.

the dentist asked her, "do you eat a lot of candy?"
"everyday," she replied.
"it's got to stop," he commanded.

she has since made efforts to curtail her dependency but was last seen in a quiktrip in belleville, illinois having succumb to the demon of sweets.

Friday, August 19, 2005

f*cking cats 2: thwarting al qatta

the nefarious chippy bin laden

since my work phone doesn't really ring at this time of year, i decided to bring my laptop into my living room and do some work there. wrapped in my lightweight charcoal grey modal robe sipping expensive handrolled tea, i felt very serene. the late morning light shone through the large trees in front of the picture window, bathing the room in a pleasant pale olive hue. the yellow-green margins of my snake plants in their big copper trough glowed. the green carpeting is vacuumed, the taupe pillows are propped comfortably on my black leather couch, and jackson is snoozing happily in a nest made of a taupe chenille throw. the house smells fresh -- of candles and homemade tea tree surface cleanser -- and all seems right with the world until...

i discover more cat shit!

i have been religiously tending to the litter boxes which are now filled with what we believed to be a more acceptable clumping litter made of corn. at least once a day, i comb the corn sand, removing all clumps for flushing down the toilet. you'd think i was a greenskeeper at a golf course or at least the caretaker of zen garden. things have been going well, and regular peeks under the air conditioner have yielded no new poops. today, however, i saw the burgeoning creation of yet another crappalooza. armed with a roll of aluminum foil and scotch tape, i crafted a large crinkly blanket to place at ground zero. i read this is an efficient deterrent. we'll see about that.

while cleaning up the new mess, i imagined the three cats as a small islamic extremist cell. after all, chippy is persian. not al qaeda -- al qatta. through any means necessary, these felonious felines have been instructed to bring havoc and misery to their bourgeois american hosts. i gotta hand it to them: they are efficient machines of chaos.

my next attempt to deter operation shitstorm is a nightlight near the boxes.

attention: bloglines users!

if you post directly from bloglines, your post will not be read.

apparently, bloglines detects my defunct blogger comments as the default commenting service, however, those actually viewing the page have no access to your comments as i use haloscan. the only way i know that you're posting at all is that i receive your post on blogger comments via email. ergo, your witty comments are for naught.

if you have no idea what all the mumbledy-gobbledy-gook is above, don't worry. just have a great friday.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

the no delivery zone

"you're entering a dimension of bad chana masala, you're entering..."

since casey was leaving for london and frankfurt for eight days, we decided we'd forgo cooking and order in something decadent... indian!

i love indian food and when it comes to delivery, i was so excited to yank open the menu drawer and order from what i thought was the only delivery joint around the near north side -- raj darbar. i call 'em up. an old indian man answers and asks for my phone number, which i give. he then recites our name and address, clearly indicating that he has on record that we've ordered there before. he then asks,

"vere ees dut? vaht meen streets?" i give him the main intersection closest to us. "vee don't go dere. dut ees too far."

i argued, "but you've delivered to us in the past. i mean, that's why i'm calling. the only reason i'm calling is that i know you've delivered here before."

"you ordered here in december?" he queries.

"uh, i'm not sure exactly when, but..."

"yes. eet vahs december." then, nonsensically, he says, "dut ees too far. vee are in downtown chicago."

"wait: am i not calling 2600 north halsted?!" for those readers not familiar with chicago, the numbers get smaller the closer you are to downtown where the numbers are, at the most, three digits. he said he'd ask the driver if it was too far. about three minutes go by and i hear nothing. it didn't sound like they were mobbed.

"no. dut is too far." i couldn't be polite. i tried, but this is the second restaurant [the other being la gondola] that has suddenly cut us from their delivery area, despite our fervent pleas. i slammed the phone down.

instead, we fired up grub hub, what i'm realizing is a purveyor of crappy delivery places from which everyone else has learned not to order, and found another indian place. not only was the minimum delivery charge kinda steep [$35], the food took forever and gave us each the worst indigestion. i feel like an onion exploded in my stomach, and i'm pretty sure some invisible phantom dog shit in casey's mouth. made for a really romantic evening.

Monday, August 15, 2005


recently, we paid a team of four men to severly whack the crap out of our yard. here is a list to suggest what i mean:

  • completely yanked all rose bushes. rose bushes are a tool of the devil and must be stopped.
  • removed all scorched ferns. we had way too many and since we removed this one really big tree, they were all a tangled mass of burned plant matter. boo.
  • eased up on the tigerlily action. we had what was quickly becoming a large unruly mass of tigerlilies [which casey hates anyway] spewing from under our magnificent burning bush, preventing the sun from getting to areas of our nice new sod.
  • de-weed-ified. in some areas, the sheer mass of weed growth was simply no match for your phaneromaniacal friend. our amigos went to town.
  • bye-bye peach tree. yes, it was, at one time, a gorgeous tree with bright fuscia flowers, but it fell into the house [klassily propped up with a length of plywood], had limbs removed while other branches just plain died.

now, the yard is eerily empty. i would hate to see the faces on the couple who lived here before us if they saw what we've done. our yard was quite the native jungle, a magnificent and unruly mess of native wildflowers [many weeds] when we moved in. not so much anymore.

faced with a clean slate, i ran out and got you grow girl: the groundbreaking guide to gardening by gayla trail. if you think all gardening books are for suburban old ladies with loads of cash, land, and time, you should check this out. if you like all diy projects labeled with a difficulty rating, you should check this out. if all you have is a fire escape, you should check this out.

can't wait to fire up the vermicomposter!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

what's your weirdness?

hey, there's... what's his name again? click to marvel at his enormity.

you know. something that you do that everyone else usually sees and says, "oh, there you go again... who does that?"

here's some of my weirdness:

repeater. i have always had a habit of repeating the exact same stories to people over and over. like a personal electronic docent you can rent in a museum, i think these mental tapes get triggered by certain stimuli, such driving by a restaurant or seeing a commercial on tv. casey has learned to pre-empt my repeatronics with something like, "lemme guess: the ad exec responsible for this ad campaign has a daughter on st. exandeau high school's dance team, right?" or "uh-huh. i know -- when you were a kid and you hung out here on the weekends, you used to call that [points to the dunkin donuts on clark & belmont] 'punk'in donuts."

anti-smell. i don't like smelling things, specifically people. i have held my breath when people walk by, not because they reek, but because i don't want to accidently inhale a lungful of their stank if they do. i won't smell food on a plate or someone's mouth to check for bad breath. can't do it, guys. i can usually detect teeth in dire need of flossing already. not gonna lean in there.

computer apnea. i tend to hold my breath while at the computer. i have had people remind me to breathe because, when i don't, it sounds like i'm smoking a spliff and trying to hold it in.

chronic cat namer. i can't stop renaming my poor cat. fortunately, he seems to be following along just fine somehow. i mean, his official name is jackson, but here are the other incarnations in the years we've had him:

  • fatty b
  • the fat man
  • gumblequeue
  • g.b.q.
  • gumblese
  • gumble
  • gumby
  • rumblecrumps
  • gumbaloney
  • bubbles

in truth, i do have a partner in crime on that, but only because i believe i have afflicted him with my sickness. alas, casey has more creative naming choices:

  • mahvry
  • junior juice
  • negronimicron
  • li'l gus
  • gumbledog
  • gumblesaurus
  • key hidden in purse at all times. i'm really good at locking my car with the key in the ignition... running.

    that thing that hangs down in your throat? yeah. i've got two. technically, it's called a bifid uvula and it's really more like split in half. sexy, huh?

    what is your weirdness?

    Tuesday, August 09, 2005

    it's time for.... the strenuous rebuttal!

    dear readers,

    the name for this site was carefully chosen. i didn't elect to name it as i have only because i have always been a picker of things and just happened to have the etymological wherewithal to know the name of my obsession. this journal is about picking at the blights of everyday life.

    face it, folks: on the whole, our days are filled with hurdling the annoying obstacles of humanity. isn't that the fodder for every comedian worth his or her salt? who's leaving the oscars saying,

    "that chris rock sure is one major negatron bomber. dude's gotta lighten up! look at how, like, rich and successful he is. his material would be much more funner if he talked about how kickass he has it! cheese-and-rice, what a f*cking downer, man! i hate chris rock!"

    i love laughing. i love human nature. i love the idea that our perception of everything is absolutely relative to our own personal experiences [mad props to my sixth-grade english teacher, mr. panitch, for teaching me that life-wisdom]. i love that the world is filled with eleventy-jillion varieties of freakshow. you know what else? i love looking at all of it with a magnifying glass, just like i loved looking at pondwater in my microscope when i was little [yeah, i was that kid]. humanity, warts and all, is fascinating, hilarious, and exasperating at the same time. i'd love to master it, to know how to grip its reins and ride it without getting bucked off, but even the best rider gets saddle sores.

    on the topic of mastery, there seems to be a no one's perfect motif in the commentary as of late that i wanted to address, too. for the record, allow me to acknowledge that perfect does not exist.
    there is no perfect.
    no one is perfect.
    nothing is perfect or, for that matter, normal.

    we're just all students of the earth, trying to learn as much as we can. i don't sit around, finding ways to decimate everyone's character all day long. i'm sad to know some of you think i do. i'm sorry and i don't.

    lastly, consider the journal. whether it be the lowly hello kitty diary with shoddy locking mechanism hidden between the mattresses, the elegant livre which oprah anoints regularly with expensive ink, or a nationally acclaimed techno-snazzy blog, the writer is driven by the desire to expel mindchatter. the journalist feels relief giving thoughts words, just as the churchgoer feels peace reciting prayer aloud and the recovering addict stands before a room of strangers and recounts her last harrowing episode.

    if you want to write about how wonderful everything in the world is, how every person you encounter each day touches your life in a magical way, how you were overcome with joy gazing at the reflection that is the glory of your pink puckered rectum in the toiletwater this morning, i encourage you to explore that desire. otherwise, when you find a blog that satisfies your need to read someone else's endlessly warm and fuzzy musings, be sure to send me the link, wouldja?


    Friday, August 05, 2005

    i hate friends

    it sounds like an oxymoron, but i do.

    here's a newsflash for you kids out there: even when you're far from high school and fully into adulthood, people will still be childishly possessive with their buddies. you don't grow out of it, despite what anyone has told you.

    there's nothing like feeling as though your closest friend is cheating on another friend with you. meanwhile, your other formerly very close friend interrupts you midsentence to share her new laura mercier makeup purchase with whoever she has declared the new flavor-of-the-month. f*cking ridiculous.

    my original lament was that this is strictly a girl-friend thang, and that, if i was to ever have very close girl-friends, i would have to put up with this f*cking bullsh*t. see, my closest friends all through school were guys and i never had these issues. i had great acquaintences that were girls, but i hung out on weekends with guys. casey, however, insists that petty personal politics are shared by all the human race, and that guys are, in fact, just as exclusionary.

    what do you think? do women culturally cherish friendships more because they're so g*ddamn hard to get along with or are men just as bad?

    Wednesday, August 03, 2005

    f*cking cats

    you put the lime in the coconut and scold until it hides under the bed

    anyone who knows me knows i love cats. furthermore, i'm kind to animals [even big stinky dogs] and believe the world should evolve into a more cruelty-free place. i've even gone through orientation to volunteer [albeit briefly] at a no-kill cat shelter around the corner.

    without beating a dead horse [i even hate that expression], i love cats; however, a very recent discovery of some havoc they've been wreaking has infuriated and frustrated me to the point of tears. it's a wonder how betrayed you can feel when the little beasts you care for and love on, sleep with and dote on are secretly crafting an absolute shocking nightmare right under your nose. it feels like getting cheated on by my college boyfriend [a slightly fey yet womanizing cheerleader named todd] only i got to throw him through a window and pop his waterbed with a ballpoint pen for that.

    little sneaky, hairy, motherf*cking sh*tbags. grrrr...

    Tuesday, August 02, 2005

    god is in the details. i'm its unwilling servant.

    it's part of my phaneromaniacal demeanor to correct errors. this trait has some good and bad points:

    good points
  • enables me to be better at catching spelling and punctuation errors
  • when i'm cleaning things, i can be quite thorough
  • with dancers, i can catch those niggling variances in body position
  • i can pick weeds like a champ
    • bad points

    • i compulsively correct incorrect grammar
    • i reflexively ejaculate criticism of incorrect pronunciation or word usage
    • i mercilessly fixate on peoples' blackheads, stray eyebrows, funky teeth, etc.
    • i can be a relentless kibbitzer

      to top it all off, i'm a sagittarius: notorious for tactlessness and lack of self-editing. needless to say, while i do believe my obsession with detail has helped me tremendously in a professional sense, i do a good job of pissing off people left and right, no matter how kindly i turn my phrase. i find myself having to physically cover my mouth with my hand to remind myself to shut up at times because i just can't stop myself.

      when asked whether i would like it if someone did the same to me, i'd have to say frankly, yes. yes, for the large part, i welcome correction. i hate reflecting later on a moment and thinking, "oahu isn't the big island, you asshole; hawaii is. why did that person just look me dead in the face when i made that mistake?" or "derisive is mean talk. divisive is dissenting. how embarrassing." somebody stop me!

      for everyone i give an unwelcome knee-jerk correction, i'm sorry. there should be a medication for this disease.
    • Wednesday, July 27, 2005

      i'm down with the bio-urn

      well, i'm not down yet, anyway...

      hate to get morose on a sunny wednesday afternoon, but i saw this and had to share. personally, i think burying your dead seems somehow to be [and i mean this in the absolute kindest way] an arrogant use of space. the idea to cordon off areas of earth for each of our dearly departed seems to lack foresight, no? we sure have a lot of people on this earth... where they all gonna go?

      on the other hand, i can completely see the importance of being able to go back to a loved one's remains. i still have the ashes of my sweet siamese cat, oliver, in a little oriental urn high on a shelf.

      i love this idea. what a terrific happy medium. imagine: a graveyard that has become a forest. and such chic packaging to boot!

      Tuesday, July 26, 2005

      i'm crabby

      i feel like crap. sore throat like i swallowed a bowling ball. was i in a fistfight? my eyes are hot and my head aches. my acid reflux is flaring up.

      i'm bored with work. i'm tired of answering stupid questions for people. it smells like cat poo in here. i need to work out but i just don't feel well. it's raining like crazy. the floor needs mopping. the litter boxes need changing. the laundry needs folding. the dishes need cleaning. the living room needs vacuuming.


      Friday, July 22, 2005

      dove ads ≠ dove bars

      can i be in the campaign for centaurs?

      there's been a lot of buzz about the new dove ads with their campaign for real beauty, mainly because joe lunchbucket types have decided that the billboards featuring regular ladies and not actual models are an eyesore.

      come on, fellas. it's not like dove scoured the countryside in search of gilbert grape's momma. these chicks aren't even that fat. hell, one of them [sigrid] has a pretty taut, dope body if you ask me. i read an interesting quote, "if the dove 6 put on clothes and were in a chicago bar, they'd be considered attractive."

      when you have a chance, really look at the women. go on. they're just not that fat, people.

      as you continue down the kennedy, compare that ad to the h&m ad for a paisley bikini top.

      rail-thin arms, ribsy torso, and big, full breasts... oh, and no head. who needs the head? we're trying to sell a bathing suit to anorexic strippers, okay? we don't need no stinking head, mang.

      i do have to give some props to h&m for at least letting you see what their teensy tiny bathing suits would look like on your own body. above is their version of me in the suit above. hmm. not too convincing, but at least it's a start. check it out.

      Tuesday, July 19, 2005


      "great job! remember it's chaîné 5-6, renversé on count 7, slide to splits on 8..."

      for the past few nights, bad dreams and intrusive thoughts have been hijacking my brain, making sleep a challenge.

      in my dreams, though the situation is always different, the premise is always the same -- no one will help me. here are my most recent dreams:

      in one, i'm in a greek restaurant, trying to order dinner, but unable to find out if the orzo [i love it with greek yogurt!] has been cooked in animal or veggie stock. the waiter looks puzzled and walks off. no help, so i sit there with no meal while everyone waits, salivating, for me to get served.

      in others, i'm being attacked by some kind of normally benign animal. i'm yelling for help, trying to untangle myself to no avail. this emmeffer is biting the shit out of me and people are just walking past, unaffected.

      my brainjacking also tends to be of the overachieving kind. the night before last, i was robbed of precious sleep obsessing over an imminent work confrontation. i got all pissy about it, in my mind, plotting my side of the argument. ironically, the matter never came to pass and things ended up going my way.

      last night, my brain decides it needs to begin choreographing, so it plays the intro to this piece i'm teaching in august at full volume as it pieces the steps together. then, it says, "let's review -- we want to make sure you don't forget," and then reviews the six eight-counts over and over and over, debugging and making small edits along the way, forcing another review.

      these annoyances relegate me to the childhood entity i have been described as by my mother after an attempt at co-sleeping: i become like sleeping with a goat... a choreographing goat, at that. i flop and jab with elbows and knees, braying in frustration.

      Thursday, July 14, 2005


      run for the hills!

      i just read jamie's blog about her hatred of all things disney, and i have to admit that...

      i have a fear of people dressed as characters.

      now, i guess it's not a fear, per se. rather, a strong dislike. i become very agitated and need to get away from the diminutive folk smothering themselves in pounds of foam and fur. i just can't stand it.

      what always makes things interesting is that i go to disneyworld twice a year for work. invariably, i have phobia-inducing incidents annually.

      the character breakfast catastrophy: each year, one of my sadistic friends decides to make reservations for breakfast with the characters and i begrudgingly oblige. loading my plate with the sugary carb-fest that is mickey shaped waffles, french toast sticks, and really well-done has browns [love it], i cower over the sneezeguard, willing myself invisible. as quickly as i can, i return to my seat located on the inside of the booth so as not to have any direct contact with our furry friends.

      occasionally, all my scheming backfires. one year, my friends decided to all get up and refill their plates, leaving me sitting there. before you know it, pluto is sitting in the vacant seat with his snout propped lovingly on my shoulder. i was mortified. i think he was waiting for me to react, pet him, talk to him. i sat wooden, mechanically shoving my breakfast in my mouth, sweating, praying he'd leave and go canoodle with some plump little terror circling his napkin overhead to the repeating happy breakfast tune.

      the character breakfast catastrophy, part 2: this year, my friend jeannine was chatting up mickey mouse as we exited the restaurant. jeannine is small -- 4'11" -- and the woman in the mickey suit was likely to be even smaller. before we departed, jeannine and mickey hugged. mid-hug, there seemed to be a change in weight distribution -- one thought the other was supporting her as if in a dip -- and both came crashing to the floor. small children everywhere were stunned as poor mickey struggled to right him/herself, wrestling with the large heavy head. i was shellshocked and broke out in nervous laughter. the horror! receipt in hand, we escaped as quickly as possible.

      the character breakfast catastrophy, the aftermath: later that evening, we arrived at the annual sales meeting kickoff dinner. to make things festive and fun, the company had hired a photographer who was taking pictures of my coworkers, cocktails in hand with... mickey. oh, shit.

      i made repeated trips to the bar, trying to entangle myself in a brow-furrowing conversation about event-planning and marly floors. alas, my efforts were for naught.

      "git up thair'n getcher picture tay-kin," commanded a vp we'll call the sheepherder.

      "she's afraid of the characters," retorted jeannine, sipping her martini.

      "yer afrayed of the characters?" asks shake-pop-down, another vp, with her newport-cured voice.

      "well, it's not really a fear, per se..."

      Wednesday, July 13, 2005

      sweet dreams are made of particleboard

      i had a really insane dream this morning. in a nutshell, i was laying down on a boat that was floating down a river. there were houses right to the shoreline, many with very high attached piers that came out over the river. i was marveling at the modern architecture, impressed to see so many very cool houses along one riverside. each house had very clean lines and gorgeous expanses of glass. i passed under a pier that was under construction -- i could hear circular saws [i hate them] and see woodchips cascading in a plume from above. somehow, i managed to get the chips in my mouth. i got really annoyed because i tried to spit them out, but they were large and were hard to extract.

      i go to my yahoo page to see today's horoscope

      "Dreams are often the stuff that goals are made of. So if your nightly retreats are starting to repeat themselves, it might be time to take the hint. Formulate a battle plan and just see how much you can accomplish."

      what's the hint? that i need more fiber in my diet? that ikea's not all it's cracked up to be?

      Friday, July 08, 2005

      this mouth is made for eating

      i just saw jessica simpson's video for her latest karaoke adventure, "these boots are made for walking", which has reportedly caused quite a stir.

      the video opens with her looking haggard and sunken-eyed. someone give her something to eat already! early in the clip, someone in the bar scene gives her an audible slap on the ass. talk about some severe dolby action -- if anyone whacked her emaciated backside hard enough to make that sound, they'd knock her clean in half.

      i know, i know: she has been doing the u.s.o. thang and so everyone should just think she's america's sweetheart, but i don't buy it.

      in grosse pointe this weekend, i was getting a manicure and kim, the nail technician and i got to talking about the simpson sisters. kim mentioned that ashlee had gotten a bad rap, and i agreed to some extent, saying that her voice was far better than the fairer of the two. kim disagreed.

      "ashlee's voice is dubbed," she informed me gravely, "jessica has a way better voice. she overdoes it sometimes [sometimes?!], but she's a far better singer."

      i commented on how freakishly skinny jessica has become, which i found odd since she's always been a proponent for wholesome, healthy body images. "oh, she worked her ass off for that body," kim disagreed, "she deserves it. good for her!"

      maybe i dislike her so intensely because she bears a striking resemblance to a younger, skinnier version of a certain individual who has been wreaking havoc on my family lately. there: i said it.

      Wednesday, June 29, 2005

      closet car singers, rejoice!

      i'm down with the new rule that requires you to wear a hands-free device when you're talking on your cell phone and driving. with the jabra-jobbie [what a company name: jabra] hanging on my left ear as i sled from wisconsin dells back to chicago, passers-by think i'm talking on my phone and not rapping to tribe called quest's the low end theory.

      besides, to hear people on the cell when i'm driving, even if i hold the phone to my head, i still have to have it on speakerphone. the earpiece [albeit a more comfortable one] rocks.

      Monday, June 27, 2005

      how-to guide for visiting chicago public pools

      roosevelt pool being painted after completion

      had my first chicago park district public pool experience friday. now, this was not my first time at a park district public pool. back in the funview days, we lived at roosevelt pool with redheaded rita, neighbor and daughter of a big irish name in chicagoland wrecking. with our aluminum pool passes sewn in matching thread to our one-pieces, we spent every day from 1-5 at the beach-like circular pool, occasionally heading to the snack shop for sherbet cones and cheese pretzels. we'd begrudgingly get out of the pool during adult swim to join the rest of the kids in glowering at the few moms and dads making laps around the large high dive platform in the center. then, we'd luxuriate in the locker room showers in a scented cloud of agree shampoo and head home. oh, i miss the roosevelt pool days.

      making use of your hard-earned tax dollars at a chicago public pool takes some adjusting to. the chicago pool embodies the utilitarian sense of going to the pool: you're either in the water or you're out and drying off, getting ready to leave. there's no all-day open swim every day of the week. instead, there are several learn-to-swim classes for those urban parents seeking to break the chain of landlubbing city folk. there is, however, a daily open swim hour from 2:15 to 3:15. i slapped on my suit, unmarred by any municipal markings, and checked it out.

      why is the experience so different? you can't bring anything other than a towel and sandals to the pool deck. no lockers either. you have to check your bag in the small, fetid changing room. i smuggled a book and phone [my rhinestone phone that i dropped on the concrete and broke in half] in my towel.

      ain't no snack bar. there's scant few chairs. there are, however, a lot of people. sitting on the concrete deck, the word that comes to mind when observing the pool is teeming. it's literally teeming with life: shallow end is chockablock with parents and tiny kids and smaller kids splashing and dunking. ruled by rambunctious teenage boys who line up lemming-style to hurl themselves repeatedly into the drink, the deep end is no place to swim. you might have a blinged-out teenage girl thrown at you by accident, too. your best bet is in between -- too deep to wade and play but too shallow to jump, this area is frequented by few.

      what else is different? there's a lot more tattoos. there's moms commanding daughters not to wreck their hair by going underwater. there are lots of grimy kids and parents in ill-fitting, mismatched bathing suits [or reasonable facsimilies thereof]. there's unabashed swearing. there's sullen pregnant teenagers, bulging over last year's junior-sized bikini. what's different and cool is how friendly the kids are -- no shyness of "stranger danger" dressed in triangles of lycra.

      at 3:15 on the nose, the whistles blow and screaming like college bar bouncers, the lifeguard chant begins: get! out! get! out! everyone obeyingly exits the pool, greeted by a gaggle of paletelleros -- little hispanic guys pushing carts peddling paletas [popsicles].

      different isn't bad. i'll be back.