Tuesday, July 30, 2013

"The best blood will at some time get into a fool or a mosquito."*

   The mosquitoes tell me I have sweet blood.

   No, seriously though, I’m not kidding. The amount of bug bites I’ve accrued this summer far outweighs anyone else’s. According to my Latino and Middle Eastern and African American friends, mosquitoes like dark meat. As one of the whitest people on the planet, I beg to differ. My legs are shot up and down with heinous, red, raised, circular marks and I have woken up on numerous evenings just to scratch at my ankles and thighs and dump buckets of calamine on my shins. Then I spent a good few days trying to convince my dad (a physician) that I have psoriasis, but he says that people with psoriasis have a legitimate, autoimmune disease and all I have is a slew of fucking gnarly-ass mosquito bites and a habit for peeing in the grass. The mosquitoes may like the dark meat, but THEY LOVE this bitch’s white ass (legs, arms, neck, shoulders…).


   But I think I know why the mosquitoes like me so hard: it’s because whenever I’m outside or near grass, I’m drinking wine. And MOSQUITOES LOVE WINE.

   New theory: mosquitoes are drawn to people who are drawn to alcohol. Game, set, match. Mosquitoes (my friend Michelle likes to pronounce it phonetically: mos-kwi-toes) are alcoholic, asshole insects that only come around in the summer because that’s when we are at our VERY DRUNKEST! Theory. Just a theory. But, come on, right? In the summer we drink outside because it’s lovely, because it’s The Fourth of July, because maybe there’s a sweet concert or a barbeque, maybe there are fireworks, or maybe just because it’s warm. They don’t bite us in the winter because we DRINK INSIDE in the winter. They’d starve to death if they had to wait for someone to drink outside in the winter. Those little shit-head drunks.
A couple of 'skeeters hanging out on my leg.

   I’ve taken to bug-spraying myself everywhere on my body and everywhere I go. I call it “Summer Camp Cologne.” It either gives people wonderful memories or makes them sick: just like any other perfume/cologne. Sorry, friends.

   I HATE insects, as I’ve indicated in previous posts. I’ve spent the summer trying to get over my fear of them (I will talk about this in another post soon). Insects are something "we have to live with." But I just killed a fly with my bare thumb, so something tells me I'm turning a corner on the fear front. Mosquitoes don't deserve to live, nor should they drink anymore of my cheap wine blood.
My legs, covered in calamine and bug bites.
*Not sure how I feel about quoting Il Duce, but this quote is, indeed, from Mussolini. Er...at least he was good-looking?

Thursday, July 25, 2013

"The best thing is to look natural. But it takes make-up to look natural."*

   I know I’m not old, per se, but it seems (sadly) as though I keep trying harder and harder to be YOUNGER. Where did these crow's feet come from and why are my chins multiplying? I feel young, but I look atrocious.
   It's not that I don't make an effort. I work out. I try.

   For instance, this evening I spent a good half-hour putting on make-up on the off chance I might meet some friends for a movie. And when the movie didn’t pan out, and I came home early, it took me twice as long to take the make-up off as it had to put it on.

   At the present moment, my face is covered in moisturizing SPF and Retin-A, in an attempt to make my pores shrink and my crow’s feet to go the fuck away.

   Sister Ouisa, who is engaged, asked me at Target the other day how she could perfect a “youthful glow” on her wedding day. We were perusing the make-up aisles and sampling “illuminating serums.”(God I hate the word "serum." It sounds so pretentious, especially when used to describe a make-up product. I apologize for having used it.)

   I started thinking about my make-up regimen: tons of concealer and tinted moisturizer (for wrinkles and huge pores), eyebrow pencil (to make it look like you have two full eyebrows, and not one-and-a-half eyebrows due to one of them balding in a strange way), boatloads of eye shadow to make my squinty, pathetic eyes look like normal-sized ones, an eyelash curler and three pounds of mascara to make it look like I’m awake and not half-asleep and slightly drunk. And when I'm good and doing all the things I'm supposed to, I spend way too much of my day brushing and washing and moisturizing and plucking. It's so sad and boring, but if I don't do it I look like I stayed awake all night crying and drinking. And I hardly ever do that anymore.

   When did I become so decrepit? Ouisa seemed to think it would be preferable to go to a professional esthetician, instead of randomly buying and trying all the different drugstore make-up. I had to agree, provided she doesn't go to one who will make her look like a whore clown with tons of eyeliner and rosacea blush. She still has pretty skin and one chin and big eyes and normal-colored hair.

   But I drew a picture of my pathetic efforts to slow down my aging face. This is how I look after I “put on my face.” So, so sad. And, coincidentally, I look like a whore clown nearly every day.
Can't hide the monster inside.
 *The quote is from Calvin Klein.

Monday, July 15, 2013

"There's a real danger in doing a sequel. There are some benefits, but that all hinges on how well you execute. Quite frankly, most sequels don't execute well."*

   I’ve been pretty bored this summer, because my friends all have jobs (and now I do, too! But more about that later), and a bunch of them also have children (so they want to hang out up to 7:30 p.m.) and a few of them have vacation money (so they’re gone) and so it leaves me with a lot of time to myself. I shouldn’t say that. I’m not really by myself, because my family is usually home. But after they go to bed around 8:15 p.m., I’m by myself. And there’s only so much Frasier you can watch on Netflix (263 episodes—seen all of them 5 or 6 times, so NO there is never so much Frasier, it would appear) or stats homework you can do in advance. (More on stats later, too. Actually, here’s all you need to know about stats: it’s terrible and I suck at it.)

   So, I’ve thought a lot of thoughts. And most of them aren’t too useful. But some of my more frequent thoughts have to do with ideas for sequels to movies. I’d like to share some with you now.

1.  Father of the Bride III: Who’s Baby is This? Okay, so remember how at the end of Father of the Bride II, Steve Martin and Diane Keaton have a baby (miraculously, it would seem, since they were both in their 50’s at the time) on the same night that their daughter has a baby? And then the daughter moves to another city? What if they accidentally switched babies? Okay, so I know that one was a boy, and one was a girl, but it would easily take a few hours to figure that out and lots of good movies happen in 3-hour time frames. It could combine the hijinks of Planes, Trains, and Automobiles with the hilarity of Look Who’s Talking. Granted, Look Who’s Talking blew (if I recall correctly, and I think I do), but this could be that extra element that makes it pop. And I don’t think I’d let the babies talk, because that’s creepy. I essentially want the feeling of Father of the Bride sandwiched into the plotline of Planes, Trains and Automobiles or basically any other road movie. Right?
Steve Martin in a new, hilarious comedy?

2.  Seventeen Candles. Okay, so now it’s a few minutes after Sam blows out the candles on her birthday cake and she and Jake Ryan have kissed. Then what? I’d really like to see them go to high school the next day and navigate the shit storm that is guaranteed to ensue when people find out Jake Ryan and Samantha Baker are dating. What? Okay and then, about 3 months later, he’ll go off to trade school and they’ll break up and she’ll be just another loser teen again. Unless she somehow manages to maintain some clout for having once dated a senior that no longer attends John Hughes High. (Hmmmm…this is mostly a curiosity of mine because I’m so super obsessed with 80’s movies and John Hughes’ movies in particular.)

3.  Harry Potter: The Sorcerer’s Stoned. What if, like 20 years later, Harry Potter and Ronald Weasley and Hermione Granger’s kids all turned up at Hogwarts and were total douche-bag stoners? I love that idea. You know how good behavior always skips a generation? So instead of trying to ward of the great evils of the world, they were just learning spells to keep them out of getting suspended for smoking weed and having sex? It’s a thought. Not a brilliant one, but a thought.
The child of Ronald Weasley and Hermione Granger. Hogwarts Class of 2030.

4.  Greasier. And wouldn’t it be interesting if, in Grease, Rizzo really was pregnant with Kenickie’s baby? And then, after Sandy and Danny FLEW AWAY in what one can only guess was Kenickie’s car (untied plot line, for sure; if I were Kenickie, I’d be pissed.), they had to move in together and raise a family just like Ricky and Lucy Ricardo? Rizzo learning how to cook. Kenickie learning how to do anything. At all. Both of them singing about it until they got to their late 20’s, grew ugly and fat and just didn’t give a shit anymore. Okay, now I feel sad…

   I have other ideas. I always thought West Side Story should end with Maria committing suicide. It was based on Romeo and Juliet, so let’s keep it Shakespeare. And I was always confused about the ending of Annie. Did Daddy Warbucks adopt all the orphans, or just invite them over for that big party? Their lives after the fact were sure to be a big let-down. As was Miss Hannigan’s, despite her elephant ride and flirtation with Punjab. So maybe there could be a continuing story of Miss Hannigan?

   Most of the reason I wrote all of the above had to do with my general malaise and/or boredom over the last few weeks. Please don’t judge too harshly…I know it’s all crap. I have a job now, so maybe I can start writing about that soon. I can tell you about how I faced my ultimate nemesis (not a Shider, it would appear, SHOCKINGLY) and came out the other side. Or about what it means to live with your parents when you’re 30. There’s a whole lot of things I could share, but I have trouble finding writing spaces here in Omaha. A lame excuse, I know. BUT…

2. I have run for 34 minutes in a row.


3. I have killed several terrifying insects, including several silverfish and the newly famous (to me) Nebraska Red Spider, which is HORRIFYING. (I made my dad clean them up post-smashing. Baby steps.)
Not sure if this heinous picture does this spider justice. It's terrible. And terrifying.

   I will write about the job in the next few days, if I can manage to find a tidy corner.

   Sweet dreams.

*Donnie Wahlberg. Of New Kids on the Block fame. Clearly, the man knows of which he speaks.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

"It seems like once people grow up, they have no idea what's cool."

   I’ve been trying to figure out how to be (more?) hip and modern, and I know this isn’t going to shock anyone, but…I suck at it.
   For one thing, I know it’s super important to understand all of the new, of-the-moment social media outlets, and I understand that these sites and apps are important for branding, selling, marketing, networking, etc. I get that. But I can’t get over the idea that taking pictures of your day and posting them on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest are truly beyond narcissistic exercises. I’m sorry. I can’t get over it.
   Maybe it’s because most of the people I know (not all, but most) are taking pictures of their laundry and posting them on Instagram or mentioning on their Twitter feed how brilliant their toddler is. Maybe it’s that.
   Part of me is suspicious that I just feel super left out because I don’t understand any of the modern lingo. For instance, “meme.” I have no fucking clue in hell what a “meme” is.
   I looked it up on Wikepedia, and here’s the answer:
“A meme (/ˈmm/; meem)[1] is "an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture." A meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols, or practices that can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals, or other imitable phenomena. Supporters of the concept regard memes as cultural analogues to genes in that they self-replicate, mutate, and respond to selective pressures.”
   Okay, I can accept that. But…what? What does it have to do with the Interwebs? Am I too stupid to understand it? What does it have to do with Keanu Reeves in that picture where he’s looking sad on a park bench? Is it only a meme because everyone sent it to everyone else when it happened? I’m so confused!
   And then there’s that word “wheelhouse” that everyone’s whipping out all the time now. I have figured out, through context, mind you, that this is a term for “something I’m good at.” As in, “Ceramics are totally my wheelhouse.” But I don’t understand why or how it came to mean that.
   And so I looked this up and OED had only the classical definitions for it, i.e. it said, “A house or structure containing a steering wheel.” THANK YOU. That’s what I thought. But then I found this article. This article made me feel better…and then it made me feel worse. On the one hand, I’ve got a handful of smarty-pants professionals that are just as confused as I am. On the other hand, why am I one of the too-old-to-get-it types? For crying out loud, how old am I? I’m all convinced I’m hip and young! Am I delusional?
This is terrible, even for me. I'll update it later. Maybe. But probably not.

   Alright, so I could go on and on about words and phrases like this (meta, hashtag, et al), and feel really, super butt-hurt about how un-cool I’ve become. But I had a come-to-Jesus meeting with myself on Saturday.
   See, on Saturday night I went to a bar in my parents’ neighborhood that used to be a hardware store when I was a kid. And then it was some sort of restaurant, and then it was another restaurant and now it’s a bar called Beer and Loathing. Cute. Get it? Get it? Cute.
   It was all wall-to-wall industrial carpet with random seats set up in corners to affect a sort of “booth” situation or two, and a horseshoe bar in the middle and lots of darts and lots of space and lots of 22-year-old clients. And I felt like I was at a frat house in college: the music was rap, the boys were young and wearing shorts and polo shirts, the girls were young and wearing really short skirts and bitching about the expense of the upcoming Justin Timberlake concert.
   It occurred to me in that terrible, terrible bar, that I felt exactly the same way I felt when I was 22: out of the loop, annoyed, anxious, and bored. I felt no animosity or fear regarding these people; after all, I’m nearly a decade older than they at this point. But I did feel like I could not have given any fewer shits about their lingo, garbage, problems or bullshit.
   Maybe that’s why I don’t get the current vernacular. There’s nothing sadder to me than seeing a group of people at a table in a restaurant or bar, every single last one of them on their cell phones, ignoring the shit out of each other. And these are the people who know what “meme” means and who can run social media circles around me. I’m not saying they’re bad kids or that they aren’t going to do things that change the world…I’m just not super envious of them anymore.
   So for now, I’m just going to devote my time to meming in my wheelhouse with all my pet hashtags, because I’m super meta.
*Bill Watterson...artist, cartoonist (Calvin and Hobbes creator).