Thursday, August 28, 2008

I Got Your Meme Right Here

This is my new favorite blog, and I got the following list of memes from her.

1. My uncle once: rescued my dog from drowning.

2. Never in my life: have I voted Republican.

3. When I was five: I wore my Wonder Woman bathing suit every where.

4. High school was: pretty fun. My best friends made it doable.

5. I will never forget: a mnemonic device (using the fingers of your right hand) for the succession of rulers leading up to the Hanovers taught by my sophomore British history teacher--James, Charles, Cromwell, Charles, James, Whoops! the Glorious Revolution, William & Mary, and the Hanovers.

6. Once I met: the debate coach who got fired for mooning another debate coach.

7. There’s this boy I know: who makes me want to do very inappropriate things to him.

8. Once, at a bar: I got felt up by a drag queen.

9. By noon, I’m usually: ready for a sandwich.

10. Last night: I spent some time drinking martinis with a friend who needs to dump her asshat boyfriend.

11. If only I had: more faith.

12. Next time I go to church: I will think about how much I miss All Saints'.

13. What worries me most: is the inevitability of endings.

14. When I turn my head left I see: sunglasses with skulls on them, a once-lost-now-found Mother's Day card, empty water bottles, Steve.

15. When I turn my head right I see: a Young Guns Two poster.

16. You know I’m lying when: I use too many details to explain a simple situation. I am very bad at this.

17. What I miss most about the Eighties is: Adam Ant.

18. If I were a character in Shakespeare I’d be: a big fan of cross-dressing.

19. By this time next year: I will just be returning from a beach. Any beach.

20. A better name for me would be: Binky Griptite.

21. I have a hard time understanding: teachers who act like students are the enemy.

22. If I ever go back to school, I’ll: get a degree in English.

23. You know I like you if: I touch your arm while we're talking.

24. If I ever won an award, the first person I would thank would be: Mom and Daddy because they Rock.

25. Take my advice, never: miss an opportunity to tell the people you love that you, in fact, love them.

26. My ideal breakfast is: smoked salmon, good crusty bread, cheese, fresh tomatoes, red onions, mimosas, hot tea with milk.

27. A song I love but do not have is: "Paper Planes" by MIA.

28. If you visit my hometown, I suggest you: visit the Space and Rocket Center. It. Is. Awesome.

29. Why won’t people: stop watching Survivor?

30. If you spend a night at my house: you will be expected to pet the kitty.

31. I’d stop my wedding for: philosophical reasons.

32. The world could do without: Donald Trump.

33. I’d rather lick the belly of a cockroach than: give up Facebook.

34. My favourite blonde(s) is/are: Marilyn Monroe and Daniel Craig.

35. Paper clips are more useful than: bludgeons.

36. If I do anything well it’s: conversation.

37. I can’t help but: wonder if people think I'm smart enough.

38. I usually cry: when I think too much about him.

39. My advice to my child/nephew/niece: Don't become a lawyer.

40. And by the way: you should come and visit me.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Sunday, August 24, 2008

It's all the Rage

Or it's all the Ego.

Or it's both. Wait.

You decide.

Exhibit A: Policy debate coach moons other policy debate coach in heated argument over race or rules or winning or building bridges or something. Coach is fired, and debate program is suspended until further notice.

Exhibit B: Olympian kicks judge in the head after being disqualified. Olympian and coach are banned from WTF (World Taekwondo Federation) for life. Interesting sidenote: Olympian's name is Angel.

Exhibit C: Female professors are the new Mom. Interesting sidenote: This exhibit doesn't so much depict rage as it induces rage. Thanks to my boy, Y, for keeping me righteous and angry.

Exhibit D: Some company sells stuff for rafting.

Exhibit E: Dr. Demento song about people who talk at the theater.

Exhibit F: Rage-y poets wearing Awesome T-shirts.

Exhibit G: People watch Spike TV.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I was talking with an old friend the other night

She worries. I have many friends who do this--it's sort of a built-in reaction to stress. Now, I'm not gonna lie and tell you that I don't worry... Ha! Silly reader. What I am gonna tell you is that worry is not my first built-in reaction; anger is. Worry comes after I have some time to think about the rage.

Here's a reenactment:
(Scene opens, movie theatre, popcorn crunching, movie sucking. We see our hero, james, watching Crash.)

Next scene (our hero, contemplating life and art over a bowl of yogurt and fruit)
Voiceover: "Well, Crash sucked. Like super-suck. But I know, in my heart of hearts, that despite its nomination for Best Picture, it will not win because (a) Broke Back Mountain is so clearly superior in every way; and (b) Hollywood cannot reward itself for being stupid and white and racist ALL THE TIME."

Third scene (james and friend are sitting at the Alamo Drafthouse, watching the Academy Awards and enjoying various delectable bits. james, and the majority of the audience, have bet that Broke Back Mountain will win over stupid, obvious, self-rewarding, hateful, poorly written, Paul-Haggis-can-blow-me Crash. We see Crash named as the Best Movie of the Year. james slams her hand down on the table in front of her and says (loudly): Balls.

Final scene--james rants and raves about the idiocy of the award to all who know her and some who don't. Up until, um, right now.

The End

See? No worry. Just rage. Which, in this particular situation, is totally called for. My friends over at The Geek Prospectus agree.

Sometimes, though, I find myself wondering about the force (and justifiability) of my angry reactions. Like, I was just reading another dear friend's blog about marriage the other day. And, the post itself bothers me a little bit (dear Joshie is such a romantic), but some of the comments themselves really irked me more. Is it because some of the comments seem to come from the mouths of smug marrieds? Is it because, deep down, I agree with Joshie and am just turning into an asshole? A disillusioned romantic? A rage-aholic? Is it the number of married men (lots and lots!!!!) and women I've met who are false? Is it the water in Bayside? Do I, really and truly, Not Believe in Marriage Anymore (menacing music and drums), or am I just a cynic?

Maybe it's the water. It's rage water, like in 28 Days Later, but with less monkeys and biting.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Fans of the Doctor, please stand up

Some days are kinda good. And some are kinda bad. But recently, I was talking to a friend (who is a rabid Dr. Who fan and has made me one and I am eternally grateful for that) about bad days. And he quoted another rabid Doctor fan about the notion of bad days v. good days: "It could be worse. Your genocidal clone could be fucking the woman you love in an alternate dimension." Indeed.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

And now for the poetry of the jet-lagged

And for you? Some more thoughts on Japan. In haiku form.

Standing on a train
Filled with many short people,
I am a blond bitch.

What's that you say? I can't hear.
My ears are melting.

There are koi in there--
Koi the size of Volkswagens.
Watch your little toes.

No hunger exists
Like the foreigner's hunger,
Huge and uninformed.

At the temple we
Offer coins, dip our hands and
Heads in sweaty prayer.

Hot green tea, soy sauce,
Sticky rice and fresh tuna...
Thursday in Japan.

Bladerunner was Dark.
This place is thriving gardens,
Hidden shrines to Light.

Who doesn't love Rick Astley?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

On being home

This place smells right. I have only been in this apartment for a year now, but I love it. It is good to walk into a space and know where everything is. I am jet lagged and my bag missed the flight so they're delivering it later this evening and there is no food in my refrigerator and a pile of bills-to-pay waits on the coffee table.

But I am home. The cat is here with me. The books. The candle that smells like ginger. The summer breeze outside. The late afternoon sun through my bedroom windows. The soft, familiar bed. The crazy screaming neighbors downstairs. The tragicomic citizens of Bell Boulevard. The first day of school in two weeks.

It is good to be home. I think I'll stay here for a while this time.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Hey, there, Mr. Bits

You should read Overheard in New York because it's alsome.

Below is a little tidbit just to give you a hint of the alsomeness provided (and gathered) by regular folks.

"At the End Of the Day, It's All About Big Bits"

(about the Sex and the City movie)
Woman #1 : Yeah, I never saw the series but I think I'll still understand the movie.
Woman #2: Oh, yeah. I watched the whole series 'til the end.
Woman #1: Which one's Carrie?
Woman #2: Sarah Parker is Carrie. Yeah, and she was with this guy for a loooooong time. A loooong long time.
Woman #1: Yeah?
Woman #2: Yeah, they call him "Mista bits."
Woman #1: What do they call him?
Woman #2: Mista bits.

--Downtown E Train

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Hey, I could eat my weight in anago

I have always thought of myself as a fairly good traveler. I am good in new situations, pretty adaptable when it comes to schedules, and not-super-afraid of trying new things (food, music, words, whatever). But I must admit that I am somewhat defeated by Japan.

1) Body clock: Physically, it has taken a toll on me that I never would have predicted. Usually, at conferences, I have this super-powered energy allowing me to attend early panels, chat with people all day long, karaoke in the evening, close the crazy country and western bar, and then do it all again the next day. In heels. Here, though, mostly I sleep, or think about sleeping, or wish that I were somewhere that people sleep so I could too. My body feels heavier here--eyelids, feet, hands. I am moving more slowly. Today, for example, I got up early to finish my presentation (which went really well, btw, thanks for asking). Came back to the hotel to have a quick lie-down and slept for FOUR hours. Right now, at 11 PM, I am ready to sleep again. Jebus.

2) Weather: This is the hottest place I have been in awhile, and I lived in Austin for five years, people. The combination of time change and heat and humidity is a perfect storm.

3) Trip stats: Culturally, (and this is going to sound ridiculously obvious) this place is way different. On the subway, almost every time I ride it, I am the only Westerner. And the subways are crowded. Don't get me wrong. People are wonderfully friendly and helpful. The streets and trains and parks are beautifully maintained (but how weird is it that I'm kind of looking forward to the nasty dirty smelly NYC subway system--ahh, familiar stinkiness). There is such care that goes into the practice and process of living near other people. That being said, though, I am not a natural part of this picture. And that is sort of tiring. I know people who are huge japanophiles (there's probably a better word for that). I don't really know alot about the culture--don't watch alot of anime or read many Japanese novels (Murakami notwithstanding) or know very many of this words. The next time I come to Japan, I will do more prep work.

4) Food: Oh my god, I love eel. I have always preferred tuna in American sushi places, but the eel here (both unagi and anago) is unbelievably good. Like, hurt yourself eating plates and plates of it good.

5) Human contact: Tokyo is better experienced with someone else who speaks your language. Traveling in Japan by myself, as opposed to traveling in Europe alone, is a much lonelier experience, so the next time I come to Japan, I will travel with another person. Wanna join me?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Hey, let's all wake up in the dead of the night and listen to the Pogues.

You know what would be awesome? Dancing to "Tuesday Morning." You know what would be awesomer? Being asleep.

I hate jet lag. But I love "Rob. And the Pogues. Therefore, right now, even though it is midnight here (and I was sleeping soundly), I am wide awake and dancing to this marvelous song.

Things could be worse, bitches.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Hey, is that a passport in your pocket

Or are you just glad to see me?

So. I'm in Japan. How're things with you? Thoughts on Tokyo: It is Balls Hot. And it looks just like the monster movies. Which. Is. Awesome. The women dress super cool. I stick out like a pudgy, blond, American thumb. There are lots of gardens filled with frondy plants. The people with whom I've spoken are very kind and helpful.

First things first. Holy Debilitating Jet Lag, batman. Right now, it is midnight thirty where I live. Here, it's noon thirty. You do the math. The way that the jet lag is being communicated to my brain is weird--I do feel tired, but mostly I feel really heavy. Like gravity is stronger on this side of the world.

Second things second. I do not get to climb Mount Fuji. Which I am really disappointed about. The reasons that I do not get to climb Mount Fuji are many fold. Mostly, they start with my being an idiot making plane reservations. Who flies out of O'Hare on purpose? Um. Nobody.

My La Guardia flight was delayed for two hours. We chilled on the runway in our comfy economy seats. Then, when we finally got to O'Hare, we chilled on the runway for another thirty minutes--just enough time for my Japan Airlines flight #9 to take off sans me. After the initial breakdown, during which I sobbed my problems to a very nice United Airlines employee named Mr. Moy (and after learning that JAL does not transfer flights to United), I did some recon. Called my E and Z--who recently, conveniently enough, moved to suburban Chicago. They totally saved me. Came and picked me up. Gave me a bed and some yummy curry and bottles(!) of wine and played electronic password with me. And, it just so happened that dear M was in town that night--so Hooray! impromptu reunion! It was a delicious stolen season that I never would have gotten if I had been laid over in LAX. Jebus, I'm glad I was not stuck in fucking LAX.

Also, spent some quality phone time with trying to rearrange reservations here. They were wonderful and super helpful, but, alas, there were no more Mt. Fuji expeditions available. Boo.

Third things third. Just got back from Shinjuku, where I tried to meet up with my dear friends S and K. Sadly, that did not happen because S told me to meet them at the North entrance of the subway station. And there is no north entrance. So I felt just a little bit like Pee Wee Herman at the Alamo. Instead of meeting them, I wandered a bit. Bought a big ass bottle of water (which I made certain was water so as not to repeat my Amsterdam mistake of buying gigantic bottles of VINEGAR. Not-so-tasty.)

Fourth things fourth. It's nap time, bitches. I promise, I will only lie down for about an hour, and then I will get up, like the dutiful world traveler that I am. But my legs feel heavy, and I need to rest them.

Tonight--I'm going to the schwanky bar at the top of my hotel to drink martinis and contemplate night-time city views.
Next Post--descriptions of said martinis and night-time city views.