Thursday, July 26, 2012

"The next video was sent to us by Geurgud Gardner from Baden Baden. Here they have come across the body of a tramp, which in itself is not so disturbing. Until it is turned over to reveal...ANTS! ANTS! ANTS!"*

    I’ve been doing some super important stuff lately, and plan to do more of it this weekend, so I haven’t had time to form a thought or generate an idea or an interesting story for you. But I didn’t want you to be sad, so I grabbed up a few hundred of the post-it notes I have been sticking on various surfaces of my apartment, and decided to offer you some random (and yet deep) thoughts from the last week or so. I just have a few things I have to get off my chest/kitchen cabinet. None of this stuff has anything to do with anything ever. It's neither here nor there. Nor anywhere. Ever. Seriously.
I keep my great ideas organized.
1.     My apartment is overrun with ants. Or was. I’ve killed them off pretty well. It started last week and, unfortunately, it started while my mom was visiting with her friend Laura and I was trying really hard to impress them with how clean my apartment is. I (incredible sleuth that I am) determined the source of their interest in my kitchen yesterday: a really old jar of honey. I find that kind of ironic, considering the bee infestation of a couple of months ago. Of course, I know bees don’t so much like honey as make honey. I’m not a moron. But it was still kind of funny. As well as disgusting.
2.     While I was cowering in the living room far from the ants on Tuesday I decided to watch Delirious (Tom Mankiewizc—son of Joseph L.—1991). It’s that movie where John Candy (one of my many dead, obese celebrity crushes--along with Chris Farley, Orson Welles, Burl Ives, Charles Laughton and John Belushi) is a writer for a soap opera and then, after a head injury, he finds himself living in the soap opera. What was funny about that (aside from everything) was how his love interest (Mariel Hemingway) is obsessed with ants. Ew. So while I was hiding from the ants over in the living room (living area, actually, since it’s all one room), I had a nice, close-up view of some ants on the TV. Awesome.
3.     I saw Rock of Ages a couple of weeks ago and I really wanted Julianne Hough to suck in it, mostly because she’s pretty and has a great bod and I’m jealous of her success. But she was good. So now I’m a begrudging Julianne Hough fan. But she’s still a complete imbecile in real life.
4.     I was halfway home from work today when I realized I’d left my cell phone there. I live in Los Feliz and work in the Pacific Palisades. That’s about 20 minutes in a real place, but about an hour’s drive in L.A. So I wasted an extra hour of today in my car. It’s days like this when I want to get on the 5 and go north until I’m in Canada and never come back to Los Angeles, California, or The United States EVER AGAIN. Can every road in this country really be under construction?
5.  If I had to choose between Jemaine and Bret from Flight of the Conchords, my first inclination would be Bret, because in many ways he’s the more conventionally attractive of the two (and an Oscar winner). But ultimately, I think I’d pick Jemaine. Because of his slight disadvantage in the looks department, he would be more insecure and therefore easier to convince that I am considered a 10 in the US. 
6. I had browned-butter-and-candied-bacon flavored ice cream yesterday at Cool Haus. It was AMAZING. And then I was thirsty for 4 hours.
7.  I love Prince. Prince, Prince, Prince.
8.  I don’t understand why some crimes are called “hate crimes” if they're committed against gays or ethnic minorities. Aren’t all crimes “hate crimes?” If I bash in the head of a white supremacist, isn’t it safe to assume that I hate him, just a little bit? Or at least hate that he’s got the car I want and am therefore stealing? All crimes = hate crimes.
9.  I saw Smokey Robinson at the Hollywood Bowl with my mom and Laura. I have never been attracted to a 71-year-old man before. But I am now. Am I a reverse-cougar?
The guy in white is Smokey. My zoom isn't super awesome. Also, my camera sucks.
10.  I’ve never heard a Justine Bieber song, but I think she’s the most adorable little lesbian I’ve ever seen.
Hot lesbians. (Photo)
I’m off to Minneapolis tomorrow to visit Gabe, and Emily is coming from Chicago to meet us! I’m so excited! But I may be AWOL for a few days, because I could be having so much fun that I don’t have time to write. Try to get along without me. 
It's gonna be huge!**
*The quote is from one of Mike Myers genius "Sprockets" sketches from SNL where he plays Dieter.
**The title of the screenplay Gabe and I wrote in high school.

Monday, July 23, 2012

"There are few people in England, I suppose, who have more true enjoyment of music than myself, or a better natural taste. If I had ever learnt, I should have been a great proficient."*

    After spending the last month re-watching some of my favorite A&E and BBC movie versions of Jane Austen’s books, I spent some serious time thinking about my life. And all that thinking gave me a headache has convinced me that in 19th Century England, I would've been super hot.
Greer Garson as Elizabeth Bennett (Robert Z. Leonard, 1940)
    My friend Laura and I like to talk about how we'd be 10's in England, though we're probably only 8's in the U.S. (she's closer to a 9) and maybe only 4's in Los Angeles (she's more like a 6.5...what can I tell you? People are made of plastic here.) But standards in England are notoriously low. I think it has a lot to do with their teeth.
    Okay, so back then you were considered a really hot catch for a wealthy country gentleman with a large fortune if you could do the following:
1. Read and write. (Check)
2. Ride a horse. (I’ve totally done that before. Check.)
3. Play the pianoforte (I can play “Moon River” and both parts of “Heart and Soul” on a real piano, so I’m sure that the pianoforte would’ve been no big deal for me. Another check.)**
4. Walk a 30-minute mile without getting tired, even while wearing binding clothing. (Check and check. While my clothes aren’t usually binding, they’re often short, which presents a whole different set of problems. Also, I’ve worn corsettes in plays and I think we should bring those back. They preclude breathing, but are super slimming.)
5. Play Whist. (I can play Go Fish, War, Bullshit and Spoons, so Whist should be a snap. Check.)
Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth Bennett in Pride and Prejudice (Simon Langton, 1995).
6. Not have a job. (I’m actually really good at this one. Check.)
7. Be “handsome.” It’s not quite clear what, exactly, makes for a “handsome” woman; but based on the movies I’ve watched, it doesn’t seem to take a lot. You just have to be female, have hair and teeth, and not have a hunchback or a debilitating illness. (Of course, if you’re wealthy, you can totally have a debilitating illness and it’s no big deal. But I’m not wealthy.) And since I have a strait, full set of teeth and can walk upright (when I try) I’m going to give this another Check.
8. Recite poetry or Shakespeare. Now here’s where my theatre degree would finally pay off, if you discount the fact that in that time period actresses were generally considered to be whores. But they’re considered whores in this period, too.  So Check.
Keira Knightley as Elizabeth. I'm sorry, is Elizabeth a model? A major film star? (Joe Wright, 2005).

9. Engage in witty repartee. I do that all the time! I was just engaging in witty repartee a few moments before I began writing this list! Check.
10. Sit around all day with little to nothing to do. Check. (Actually, if napping wasn't permitted, I probably couldn't have pulled this one off.)
This is what I'm talking about: Jane is considered the "pretty one." See, this time period was a whole different ballgame. Not saying she's ugly, it's just....different, you know?
    Here’s what I’d have some trouble with: in order to be considered a “lady” you'd have to be able to do the following:
1. Keep your opinions focused on the weather and everyone’s health. I have a natural inclination towards what the 19th Century folk might call "quite talkative," though I seldom make a strong point about anything. Okay, actually this should probably be up there with the pluses.
2. Needlepoint: yikes. I’ve actually tried this, and it REALLY didn’t pan out as I’d hoped. Also, it sucked and was boring.
3. Dance: oh my god, I’m really, really bad at dancing. Like, I’m scary bad. The gentlemen would run from me at your run-of-the-mill, friendly, neighborhood ball.
4. Be under the age of 25. Sadly, I cannot do that without a time machine.
Emma as Elinor Dashwood. Everything about it was brilliant, despite the fact that Emma was a solid 36 years old playing the 20-year-old Elinor. Eh. She's entitled, since she wrote the screenplay.

5. Sit around all day listening to other people talk about really boring things.
6. Not ask any guys out because they have to ask you first: if that were the case today, I’d have never had a date or a boyfriend in my entire life. (It's probably not ladylike to mention that.)
7. Keep your trap shut when someone is being boring/stupid/rude. That’s hard for me. I really like calling people out on their bullshit. I like it even more than Whist. But if someone calls me on my bullshit, I can't handle it at all. NOT AT ALL.
8. Sit around in times of extreme heat, cold, and boredom with no electricity.
9. Not drink alcohol, except for the occasional sherry during an acute (and most likely life-ending) bout of tuberculosis. Ew.
    On the advice of Emily, I recently started reading Mansfield Park, which is perhaps one of Jane Austen’s most opinionated/judge-y books. It has me convinced, based on the way some of these purported “hot bitches” behave, that I would have probably been considered a bit of a “forward” young lady (old lady? I'm not under 25, after all). But I honestly think that I would’ve had dudes coming out of the woodwork and begging me to marry them and live on their 400 billion acre estates. Seriously, based on the size of my forehead alone, I would be hitched to a thousandaire by the age of 18, tops.
Here's Fanny. From Mansfield Park. Fanny sucks. I could totally get married before her.
    It would be advantageous if I could go back to this time period with information about the future (our present), though. Not to scare anybody, but just so I seemed really smart and informed. I’d say things like, “If Napoleon keeps up with these petty battles, he’s going to end up exiled to an island of some sort.” Or “The days of the French Monarchy seem to be drawing to a swift close.” Or “Why don’t we all start doing something about the drinking water around here? It seems most of us are developing rather unsightly teeth.” Or “Have you guys heard the latest song I’ve written (insert “Moon River” on the pianoforte)?”***

*Lady Catherine de Bourgh explains how she'd be a really great musician if she'd ever learned an instrument. My feelings exactly. From Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.
**Just did some research and discovered that “pianoforte” is just the Italian (and, I believe, the original) word for “piano.” So, um, yeah. I could totally play that. A little bit.
**But they won’t know what “Huckleberry friend” refers to, which will make it less impactful.

Monday, July 16, 2012

"Hey lady, nice legs!" "Are you being serious or are you making fun of me?" "Naw, I'm being serious!" "Oh, well, thank you!"*

    Ever since I moved into my new apartment, other people have been moving out. I don’t think it’s necessarily because of me (narcissist), but it is curious.
    But what else is interesting/highly irritating, is the fact that the building management has been systematically gutting each apartment and putting down hardwood (a.k.a. laminate) floors, so there’s been a great deal of extremely loud construction work.
    And here’s the thing about construction work in Los Angeles (or pretty much any other job in Los Angeles from farming to medicine): it’s usually performed by Latinos (hey, they’re not a minority here!). And this is why that is awesome: Latino men almost ALWAYS take the time to pause what they’re doing and admire the females as they walk by. Almost any females. Even me!
    So I take a little time out of each day to walk past the various apartments in a skirt or shorts so that they can stop their work and stare at me. You’re welcome, Latino men of L.A. But more than that: thank you. Muchos, muchos gracias.
    It’s funny, because I don’t have great legs or big boobs, but men from Latin America are so damned appreciative of the ladies. All the ladies. I feel like maybe I should spray on a tan and move to Guatemala or El Salvador. Do you think I’d get to feeling too good about myself?
    I know, women (even Latinas) say the “machismo” thing is off-putting; that sometimes the way they treat women is no better than the way you’d treat a prize-winning pig. But seriously: I don’t really care. Besides, the Latino men I know personally are just flirtatious and sweet, not condescending or patriarchal.
    I used to go to salsa dance clubs in the Valley with my friend Lucia. She and her husband, Jose (one of those amazing, wonderful Latino men I mentioned) would drag me along to these clubs where I stood out like an extremely white, extremely quiet, sore thumb. I don’t speak much Spanish (very close to nada, actually) and I’m white for even a white person. (Just a notch above albino, actually. When I buy foundation, I have to buy the palest shade they sell, and even that makes me look “painted”.) But despite how I looked or spoke, these perfectly friendly, delightful men would come up to ask me for dances. They didn’t grope me or treat me like a piece of meat. They simply salsa-ed their heinies off while I did the “Marcia Brady Dance” (which I think my Aunt Mel invented—it’s that thing of swinging your thumbs back-and-forth in unison with your feet). They never judged me or made me feel like I couldn’t dance (and I can’t). Some of them even asked me for my phone number (which I gave out indiscriminately, and then never answered...not their fault.  It just seemed awkward. I’d had numerous cervezas on each occasion and couldn’t remember what any of them looked like). 
Salsa 2000 in North Hollywood. More exciting inside.
     But white men here are too self-absorbed to stare or whistle or even glance up from their Pabst Blue Ribbons at a bar. The men in LA (the white ones, anyway) are far too busy looking at themselves in the mirror (or the storefront, or the silverware, or the sunglasses of whomever is sitting across from them) to pay any attention to a woman who isn’t famous. They're mostly concerned with their huge muscles (though then they're usually gay) or their tiny skinny jeans (in which case, they're still gay or they're straight but I feel like an elephant standing near them). Neither of these scenarios helps the dating scene. It’s infuriating. And sad.
    So, I guess I’m going to Pollyanna the situation. That is: I’m going to be happy for the construction in my apartment complex, as it gives me a chance to interact with some truly friendly, appreciative men…
    And maybe improve my Spanish. (Estoy aprendiendo espaƱol.)
*Quote is from an interaction that actually happened to Gabe at a gas station. Love it.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

"Housework is a treadmill from futility to oblivion with stop-offs at tedium and counter productivity."*

    I’m feeling pretty smug today because I pumped some serious iron last night while watching Around the World in 80 Days (we’re talking at least 12 reps of various curls and extensions with 8-lb-dumbbells. Also...Around the World is a 3 hour movie, and I made it through the first 6th). And I got to bed at a grown-up person’s hour (11:30), so I was raring to go at 8 a.m. But, as so often happens at 8 a.m., I find that I don’t have anywhere to go, and I wonder if I should go back to bed. Especially since my arms and legs were sort of weak and hurt-y from all the iron pumping.
    But I didn’t go back to bed. I worked out (again!) and ran some errands and talked to my parents on the phone.
    Here’s the thing: my mom’s coming in town in under a week and I have to get my apartment to look like it’s a) very clean, b) not trashy and c) like a responsible adult lives in it.
    To that end, I have cleaned the dickens out of my bathroom (“dickens?” what am I, 90-years-old?), attempted to get all moldy and expired foods removed from my fridge, dusted my furniture and hidden all my dirty books. Just kidding. I didn’t dust.
    But I will!
    No, seriously, it’s not really about my mom, though I do want her and her buddy Laura to be comfortable while they stay at my apartment. It’s more that I’m becoming increasingly ashamed of my digs. And THAT has less to do with my digs not being good enough or classy enough (many wonderful human beings throughout history have lived in shittier places), but more to do with my inability to keep up with the day-to-day minutiae that is housekeeping.
    See, housekeeping is really boring.
    I love reading recipes and eating good food and I love looking at before and after pictures of remodeled homes and apartments. What I hate is actually getting up off my ass to clean the floor or the dishes or the fridge. I hate making myself dinner. It’s really awful and tedious and I think my mind functions on a plane much too high for such drudgery. Also, if I make dinner and it’s really delicious but no one’s there to tell me so, was it truly delicious? I’m just way too deep for housekeeping.
    Although, I'm not too deep (or busy, it would seem) for some kitchen-related photography. Check out some evidence of how I spend my spare time...
The Usual Suspects (Bryan Singer, 1995)

The Usual Suspects in my kitchen. (Lacey, 2012)
   But Mom is coming in town, so I had to stop wasting time and do some basic chores that I’ve been putting off for a while. That’s partly why I did all that laundry the other day. And then I cleaned the toilet. And I found a Tupperware in my fridge so full of mold, I chose to throw it away rather than barf while trying to clean it (sorry, god of recycling!).  And I fully intend to sweep the floors and water the plants. I may even vacuum the couches.
    See, if Mom sees me living like a derelict, she’s going to feel sorry for me and start “tending” to things around my apartment. This will be a two-fold disaster: I will resent her because she thinks I’m living like a hobo, even though I am, and insists on bettering my lifestyle. And I will feel sad that she’s spending her hard-earned money on rectifying my poor life choices. It’s a lose-lose situation, especially for me. Because I’m kind of a loser.
    My mother is very generous and very fun, so this trip will be delightful provided I make this place look like part of the Kennedy summer compound. Which will be hard because I don’t have a patio. Or stables. Or tennis courts. Or ascots. Or polo ponies. Or an ocean or toothy rich people nearby. But I do have a pool, which I will try to distract her with while closing the blinds to my neighbor’s makeshift, backyard “gym.” (Maybe I should see if he wants to spot me the next time I lift weights?)
    Wish me luck!
*Quote is from Erma Bombeck. And this was a woman who actually was a home-maker AND a humor columnist. But not like Martha Stewart. That bitch thinks we all have maids, butlers, yachts and basil plants growing out our butts.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

"Who in this park, or even in the whole world, doesn't have problems? Who doesn't have a drink too many times once in a while and maybe even ends up passed out in their own driveway, pissing themselves? Who doesn't drink too much sometimes or have a puff from time to time? And who doesn't have problems with the people they love? This is our home. This is our community. I am Jim Lahey, and I am your Trailer Park Supervisor!"*

    Today was going pretty well until I had a very sad realization.
    I was tying a piece of string around the anchor that holds up my bedroom blinds so I could jerry-rig a clothesline in front of my fan (which is in front of my second-hand “new” mattress) when it dawned on me that I’ve become trashy.
The window where the clothesline begins.
    This isn’t entirely my fault.
    I want to state, for the record, that I have been known to be trashy in the past, but that I did not come from "trashy" people. My family are mostly upright citizens with jobs and teeth and all that good stuff. The trashiness aspect sort of weaves in and out of our history, and isn't so much genetic as accidental. What I'm saying is: this isn't my parents' fault, either.
    Here's what happened:
    First of all, I had saved up about three weeks worth of laundry and smuggled a few pounds worth of quarters to LA from my parents’ house (necessitating a very long, and incredibly irritating search at the airport during which TSA completely unpacked my suitcase and threw my underpants and what-have-yous around for all the other TSA agents to see. “You got money in this suitcase? I have to make sure it’s not a gun!” This, in and of itself, would have been enough to put me over the edge, but Ouisa had rolled all my clothes so nicely just a half-hour before so that I could fit a month’s worth of clothes into my carry-on. It seemed wrong and unfair for the TSA lady to take so much pleasure in undoing it all. And I put it through the machine, didn’t they already know what it was? So I decided to pretend to cry, going so far as to put my face in my hands and shake ever-so-slightly. But you know what? TSA didn't even notice or care. Once again, my degree in theatre was useless). Anyway (Charles Dickens’ run-ons got nothing on me!), today seemed like the perfect day to wash everything. 
My clothesline.
    So I did. And then I put it all in the dryers, including one that had a little sign on it stating that it had recently been serviced and was in full working order. But that sign was a liar.
    My sheets and towels came out perfectly dry. Everything else was somewhere between dry and sodden. We’ll say it was a notch beyond “damp.” And totally wrinkled. But I’ll be damned if I’m going to give that laundry room any more of my hard-earned (stolen/smuggled) quarters. So I made a clothesline in my bedroom using the wall-anchor for the blinds and the inside doorknob of my closet.
    When I looked at the results I felt proud. And then I immediately shame-spiraled into sad.
    The mattress, which has been leaning against the wall for the last couple of months, was a hand-me-down from my friends Tom and Jess. They were upgrading to a king-sized bed and knew that I was hoping to one day have a big-girl bed (I currently rock a double), so they gave me their queen. Problem is, I don’t have a box-spring or bed frame for a queen, so the mattress just leans against my wall waiting for better times. (It seems increasingly clear that these times may never come.)
My big-girl bed.
    It wasn’t until I saw the mattress next to the clothesline that I realized how far I’ve sunk. I’m one bad day away from collecting used cars in my lawn and making beer can sculptures. 
The whole, sad picture.
    I’ve always suspected that I was an interior designer trapped inside a lazy person’s body; that if I could just get my act together, I’d decorate an apartment that was so adorable people would ask me for advice on wall hangings and interior paint.
    Instead, I should just get a muumuu, a pack of unfiltered Pall Malls and a few dozen cats, set up my lawn chair in the courtyard of the building and offer unsolicited advice to all my neighbors as they come home from work.
    Do you want to know something even sadder? I already own a muumuu. 
    Furthermore, my brand-new Costco membership (thank you again, Chad!) has only upped the ante, making me look even more like a person who revels in not having nice things. Look what I bought:
World's largest jar of pickles posed next to an O'Doul's can ("It's what beer drinkers drink when they're not drinking beer!").
    To make it slightly classier, I took a picture of my economy-sized hummus, which seems like it might be a middle-to-upper-class condiment/dip.
The O'Doul's can makes sure my fridge doesn't look too "uppity."
    Anywho, the photos are so you could get the full effect. Luckily (unfortunately?), I don’t embarrass easily. And I think my pictures are getting better/less shaky, if I do say so myself.(And the O'Doul's aren't mine, I swear!)
*Quote is from the truly awesome and perhaps under-appreciated Trailer Park Boys (Mike Clattenburg, 2001-2008), an awesome Canadian sitcom which you can find on Netflix. My friend Colin told me about it a few months back and it's starting to seem more and more like my life. Or maybe he recommended it because he saw the similarities...

Sunday, July 8, 2012

"How lovely to be a woman and change from boys to men. To go to a fancy night club and stay out after ten. How lovely to be so grown up and free! Life's lovely when you're a woman like me."*

    In precisely one month from today I will be 30 years old. Huzzah! Here’s what I want you to do for me for my birthday: subscribe to my blog. Blog and I just celebrated our 8 month anniversary yesterday, and the best present for both of us is for you to be an official follower so that by this time in a year I can inundate you with ads for erectile dysfunction and diarrhea medication and tampons that are somehow better than whatever tampons came before.**
   Here are other things I want for my birthday, since I know it’s hard to decide what to get someone:
1.     A plane ticket to anywhere. (This only excludes countries that end in –stan. Those countries tend to be iffy and a little bit sandy for my taste. And I think they’re largely war-torn, but US Weekly is my primary news source, so I could be off on that. If there’s a good vacation spot in a country ending in –stan, please let me know.)
Um...actually Tajikistan looks kind of amazing.
And Kazakhstan does, too. I take back my stance on the -stans.

2.     A lifetime supply of tampons. I don’t want to pay money for these anymore. I think this is why women are considered the “weaker” sex: we haven’t figured out a way to get rid of periods and we spend hundreds of dollars every year contending with them. It makes little sense, as we are the sex that tends to care more about our clothing, so why does it happen that we are the ones working full time to keep blood off ourselves? Guys wouldn’t care: they’d act like it was cool that they were bleeding and it didn’t hurt at all.
3.     A camera that can compensate for my intention tremor. I don’t need a $1500 camera, but a $300 camera would be really great. And maybe you could also teach me how to use it.
4.     A Costco membership. (I have a feeling this will help subsidize the cost of those tampons.)
5.     A job writing for a sitcom. Preferably one of those successful sitcoms that will be airing for 8 more years.
6.     Pay for my health insurance or car insurance for a month. I really hate paying for those.
7.     Take the GRE for me. I took it already, but my writing scores were really weak (I know you’re probably shocked because I’m so incredibly talented at writing).
Okay, I thought this list would be much longer. Maybe I’ve become less materialistic because I’ve approached the age of undeniable wisdom and maturity.

*Quote is song lyrics from "How Lovely to Be a Woman" (Music: Charles Strouse; Lyrics: Lee Adams) from the epic musical Bye Bye Birdie (George Sidney, 1963). I think Lee was being ironic.
**I have points to make on the advertisements I talked about. Also, is it just me or did this whole idea of promoting medication on television start happening only in the last 10 years or so?
 1. I don’t understand why they have to promote erectile dysfunction medication so much. If someone has erectile dysfunction, I wouldn’t think it would be one of those “scary medical issues” that someone felt compelled to hide from their doctor. It’s not like hiding your smoking habit or being embarrassed to talk about how rarely you exercise. It’s the kind of problem that sort of fixes itself because what kind of man is going to sit around waiting until his erection comes back? Plus, why do they sell “performance enhancing” pills in gas stations?  Who would end up crediting Chevron for improving the dimensions of his penis? I always think of those old SNL Celebrity Jeopardy sketches with Will Farrell and Darryl Hammond, when Darryl Hammond played Sean Connery. 
"The day is mine!" SNL Celebrity Jeopardy. (Photo)

Sean Connery: “I’ve got to ask you about the penis mightier.”
Alex Trebek: “No, no, no, no. That’s the pen is mightier.”
S.C.: “Gussy it up however you want to Trebek, what matters is does it work? Will it really mighty my penis, man?
A.T.: “It’s not a product, Mr. Connery.”
S.C.: “Because I’ve ordered products like that before. Wasted a pretty penny, I don’t mind telling you. And if the penis mightier really works, I’ll order a dozen.”
2. Diarrhea medication: chances are if you have diarrhea, you’re not sitting at home in front of the TV on a Wednesday afternoon trying to decide what to do about it. You’ve probably already surfed Web M.D. and, if you’re anything like me, you’ve told everyone you know about it and asked for their advice. And if you have the runs, odds are you're not watching TV at all, unless you have one in your bathroom (lucky).
[Which brings me to another issue about advertising: I know they think they’ve got their target demographic nailed down, but they don’t. Just because I’m home in the afternoon doesn’t mean I need to go to DeVry Institute of Technology to get my criminology degree. Nor does it mean I need to be slammed with diaper ads every 5 minutes. I’m neither unemployed nor a stay-at-home mom. I do not need a lawyer because I’m sitting on the couch in the afternoon thinking about who the fuck I can sue so I don’t have to get a real job. I just happen to have the afternoon off, you assholes.
DeVry Campus and entire staff.
3. And tampons: Emily and I had a really good idea about how to revolutionize the tampon industry. I can’t really tell you what the idea is, because too many of my ideas have been stolen because I can’t shut up about my brilliance. What I will say is that it’s criminal what women have ended up having to pay for the privilege of having a period. And when I hit menopause and look back on my life, I’ll be totally fine with the amount of money I spent on toilet paper over the years, but what I spent on my period will be (literally) money down the drain and a true misuse of precious natural resources (paper/cotton/plastic). What a sad, sick waste. (And please don't try to sell me on the moon cup. It may be the best thing out there so far, but it has a long list of problems as well. And this website makes me mad because it looks like these two women are so happy to be together talking about their g.d. periods. Who does that?!? Seriously, are women sanctioning these ad campaigns?)
Look! A woman can run even while using a tampon! What will we women conquer next? (Photo)

UPDATE: As of 11 a.m. this morning, I was granted one of my birthday wishes: my buddy Chad sent me a text offering to let me join his Costco membership. You can give free membership to one person, but that person has to have your address. Since Chad lives in my old apartment, my driver's license has his address. Hooray! See, you just have to ask for stuff and sometimes the universe throws you a fricking bone.

Friday, July 6, 2012

"Like sands through the hourglass, so go the days of our lives."*

    Do you think Katie Holmes read my post about Scientology and that’s why she’s leaving Tom Cruise? Because I do.
    I am pretty convinced that I scared the shit out of her and now she’s running for the hills (one year short of the 7-year mark which, reportedly, would have netted her a HUGE chunk of change from their alleged “marriage contract”).

A marriage I thought would never end.
    Okay, so here’s the thing: she’s claiming (or news sources are claiming for her) that she’s wicked scared of Scientology and doesn’t want her daughter raised in the church. BUT, as my dad pointed out, “You can’t marry Tom Cruise and not know there’s some weirdness going on with him and the Church of Scientology.” True, Dad. Very true.
    And I’m going to stop talking about it, but first a quote from US Weekly (my favorite news source): “Suri was fed a mix of barley water, milk and corn syrup, which Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard believed was healthier than formula.”
    Yum! Seriously, sign me up for Scientology!
    [Brief aside: is this what Jane and Michael were talking about in Mary Poppins? Remember their "The Perfect Nanny" song? They sing, "And never smell of barley water?" Kids must know it's bad from a very young age. I'm not sure, because my parents never made me drink it. I thought it was just some lame turn-of-the-nineteenth-century British crap. But apparently it's a real menace to the children of Scientology.]
    Okay, so I’m babbling about a few different things here today.
    The other thing I’d like to discuss is how I recently realized the futility of recycling glass. Omaha recycling crews have stopped accepting glass and I was kind of confused about it. But, as has been pointed out to me before by both Gabe and my dad, glass comes from sand, so it’s not a precious and/or limited commodity. In addition, it takes more energy to recycle glass than to make new glass. Okay.
    Then I thought, “Well, aren’t the homeless still getting money for recycling glass bottles?” So…it turns out that’s still a thing in California, BUT it only counts for very specific types of glass. For instance, wine, milk, and distilled spirits: they don’t give you money for those bottles (though who the hell is still getting milk in glass bottles?). I guess they only want those groovy, vintage Coke bottles or your beer bottles. I don’t drink either of those beverages. So, I guess I'll stop putting what bottles I do have (the wine kind) in the recycle.
    But what if, in a couple thousand years, the people of the future discover that sand is a precious natural resource and they start using it for fuel or food or exfoliating? What if, in the year 6743 C.E., they realize that they’re RUNNING OUT OF SAND?
    Personally, I hate sand. It always manages to get into places where it’s least desired (e.g. my shoes and underpants), it clogs up the drain when you try to rinse it off, and it makes me feel like my entire body is one big fingernail being scratched against a chalkboard. It’s kind of gross, actually. So I don’t care if my descendAnts** (and let’s face it: I probably won’t have any descendants, so this is all pretty moot) don’t have any sand to turn into glass. They can go check out the Pyramids of Egypt on a nicely laid asphalt or Astroturf floor, or visit the ocean by flying their hovercrafts right on up to the water. No sand in their gears, no sand in their shoes, no sand mysteriously coming out of their hair four days later. Win-win.
Remember how fun the desert was in Lawrence of Arabia (David Lean, 1962)? Sand sand everywhere but not a drop to drink. Or any shade of any kind. Also the outfits weren't flattering at all.
    What’s so great about glass? I thought really hard about it, and could only come up with a few things: wine, liquor and beer bottles; it's microwave safe; fake diamonds (which are decidedly cheaper than the real ones); glass-blown or –fused art; windows; and glass slippers like Cinderella had (those where pretty rad, though I’m guessing they were also SUPER uncomfortable). Other than that, I don’t see why we need it so badly.

Meaningful because an hourglass has both sand AND glass: it's symbolic of the cyclical nature of life. Get it? It's kind of deep.
    So, I’m not going to beat myself up about recycling glass anymore. Future generations may figure out a way to use it as a pretentious culinary ingredient or a replacement for blood, but my generation thinks of it as an epic movie backdrop or a way to lie on the ground in public without anyone judging you. And I won’t be around to feel sorry for the future generations, so no big whoop.

   And maybe Katie and Tom can take solace in the metaphor of sand and glass and whatnot. Katie: you're welcome.

*Quote is the epic title phrase from Days of Our Lives (1965-Eternity? No, actually, it's ending this year. 1965-2012. Bummer.). I think Socrates might have also said this in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure (Stephen Herek, 1989), though perhaps not in real life.
**When I originally posted this, I spelled "descendants" wrong. But no one called me on it. I am of two minds about this: 1. God love you all for overlooking my heinous spelling. 2. Please, bitches, tell me when I spell something wrong! Seriously! You know I can't spell!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

"Better to starve free than be a fat slave."*

    I just got back from a weekend in Omaha, Nebraska. If you’ve never been there, definitely go. The steaks are unbeatable and the traffic is totally reasonable. Also, I think fireworks recently became legal (I think that's so, though I haven't found any confirmation other than the numerous "We Definitely Sell Fireworks Here" stands I've seen in very conspicuous locations around town. So it’s an excellent place to spend the Fourth of July holiday (my second-favorite holiday after Thanksgiving, though both are food-based). Go freedom!
Friday was the night of the "Party in the Park" when my buddies, my sisters' buddies, my parents' buddies, my sisters, my parents and I watched some fireworks, listened to Huey Lewis and the News (for free!) and got intoxicated. I'm not saying all of those people got intoxicated, but my buddies and I certainly did. I had a red plastic cup in my hand the whole night: the official cup of people who are drinking something alcoholic and think they're keeping it a secret. And don't worry, we didn't drive. We walked. Hooray for America!
    On the down side, nearly every day I spent there it was over 100 degrees and the humidity was in the upper 60th percentile. I was smelling my armpits all weekend to make sure that I wasn’t making the world a worse place.
    But anyway, I was there and because of that I haven’t written anything in days. It’s sort of like time doesn’t exist in Omaha and I have this kind of extended out-of-body experience.
    When I go to sleep at night, the posters I hung in high school surround me. There’s a giant, epic Dark Side of the Moon poster over my bed and a great, big Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina poster to the side of it. There are clothes and furniture that my mom has taken to storing up there in more recent years (in fact, she’s turned my entire bedroom and Ouisa’s into closets for her “seasonal” clothes. Not sure where she kept them before…). I can reread my diary from 8th grade and rifle through notes that I got from Gabe and E in high school. I can sleep in a t-shirt from a play I was in during 9th grade. It’s very surreal.
    And then, there’s the food. All of my immediate family is very thin except for me. But their kitchen is filled with garbage. First there were the beers and bottles of wine and Scotch left over from the party, along with copious amounts of dip and chips and bread and pulled pork. But on any given day of the year, there are bags of chips, bags of chocolate chips, tons of cheese, ice cream, 18 different kinds of cereal, 23 jars of nuts, and lots and lots of full-strength Coca-Cola. And, this weekend, a BIRTHDAY CAKE, because our friend Karen's birthday is on the 3rd. A BIRTHDAY CAKE WAS IN THEIR FRIDGE ALL WEEKEND. See, I can’t live in that environment. My apartment has little to no food at any given point in time because if it’s in the kitchen, I will eat it. All of it. So clearly, the difference between the rest of my family and me seems to be that they have self-control and I have none. Cool. But who in the world is lucky enough to have a constant supply of BIRTHDAY CAKE in their fridge and the self-control not to eat it? I’m sure this also relates back to my issues with boredom.
    Boredom, as you know, weighs heavily on my mind.
    This came into play on Sunday when the water went out in my parents’ house.
    Has this ever happened to you? Because, while we don’t really think about it, it’s a very very bad thing. Especially in Nebraska. Especially in the middle of the summer.
Fireworks at Memorial Park, 2012. (Photo)
    You can’t wash a dish or wash you hands. You can’t get a glass of water (and of course, as soon as I hear I can’t drink something, I need to drink it IMMEDIATELY). I very intelligently pointed out to my dad that we had plenty of water because the fridge has a water dispenser. He very condescendingly pointed out to me that the fridge gets its water from the same place the sink does. Okay, fine.
    But there are worse problems.
    When the water goes out you can’t take a shower. And when it’s 147 degrees outside and you just came in from a walk or from gardening, not being able to shower kind of ruins your life.
    And…the toilet ceases to refill after a flushing. That may be the worst problem of all. So it's 8 million degrees, you just had an incredibly productive bathroom session and now the toilet won't flush? Yikes.
    AND YET. I lost POWER in my apartment for a couple of hours about a month ago. You think to yourself, “No big deal. I’ll just surf the web for a while.” Wait, you can’t do that, because even if you have a laptop, you can’t get online. You can’t watch a movie. If you’re going to open the fridge, you have to be judicious about it, because the more often you open that fridge, the faster your food will rot. If it’s nighttime, you can’t read a book unless you have a flashlight. You can’t get out of your parking spot if your garage has an electrical gate. If you live in a hot place, things are going to be uncomfortable. If you live alone, you really have no option other than sleep.
    Dad said that we could live longer without electricity than without water because without water, we’d die. And to that I said, “I’d rather die of dehydration than die of boredom.” And that’s true.

    Thankfully, the water came back about 4 hours later. We didn't have to discover how the Ingalls family spent their summers.
    Anywho, this one goes out to all of the 44,000 people in Washington, D.C. who have been without power for the last few days. And apparently, most of the rest of the Southeastern seaboard. My thoughts are with you, but I have zero suggestions. I can’t fight the boredom when the lights are on, so I have no idea what you people are doing. Maybe you're singing songs around a campfire? Maybe you're having sexual relations? Maybe you're engaged in conversations about how at least you can still flush the toilet? I really hope your toilets still flush.
Huey Lewis and the News: Still Very Sexy.
*Quote is from Aesop (620-564 B.C.). He was credited with all those fables, but there's no proof. But apparently, once upon a time people DESIRED to be fat. I was born in the wrong era.