Friday, December 31, 2004

Breakin' the law, breakin' the law

I got my first speeding ticket about ten minutes ago. Sweet, right? I should probably be pissed, or, more accurately, given my aim-to-please-yes-officer persona, shaken out of my wits. But I'm neither. Here's why:

1.) The good officer undershot my weight by about 30 pounds on the citation (despite the track-pants-and-t-shirt-getup, a product of just coming from the too-crowded-to-even-park gym), and

2.) I've decided to take the whole thing as a sign.

2004 was a year for dean's lists and diplomas and kick-ass interviews and dream jobs. It's the eve of 2005, and a speeding ticket (fine level TWO because I was going 13 over) is, I think, just what I need to kick off a year of being a badass. That's right: no more law-abiding, rule-following, grammatically correct pushover, no sir. Actually, screw that "sir;" pretend I said "no fuckin' way!... Bitch!"

Being nice has gotten me nowhere this year. Well, that's a lie. It's gotten me to work on Saturdays. It's gotten me to say yes when I mean no, to say nothing when I should be saying everything. It's gotten me a semblance of (air quotes) stability at a time when stability should be the last thing on my mind.

So... yeah. Don't be surprised if, come tomorrow, I tell you, "Fuck off. I'm off to knock over the Parkit Market and misplace some punctuation, so I don't have time for you and your bullshit." Don't be offended either. I don't want to burn too many bridges, since 2006 might turn out to be the year of reestablishing innocence lost to 2005.

Now: I am off to plead no contest to the internet police and pay my fine in a timely manner. Hey, being a badass is going to take some getting used to... and I still have 14 hours of good-girl left to endure.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

If "Sic as a Gotcha" was a band, it would write lyrics like...

"Opened up your heart 'cause you said I made you feel so comfortable/
Used to play back then, now you all grown-up like Rudy Huxtable"

That's sheer poetic genius from Ludacris (why doesn't it ever occur to ME to rhyme things like "comfortable" and "Huxtable"?)

Now, I know year-in-review specials are all the rage* this time of year. I don't want to do one because I feel that all the moving around(Colleyville to Evanston to Chicago to Colleyville to Dallas) has jarred my usually-acute sense of pop culture and general year-long awesomeness-awareness. There are, of course, some things that can't go unmentioned as highlights of the year; above are the best song lyrics of 2004. I'll have to think of some other best-ofs before I get a real compendium going. Those lyrics should keep you going 'til then, though. I mean... HUXTABLE?**

* What isn't "all the rage," though, really? Also, hey, if something is ALL the rage, doesn't that mean that there's no rage left to be had by anything else that's supposedly "all the rage?" I'm confused about rage distribution, I guess. Can anything be described as "some of the rage" right now?

** You know, Rudy Huxtable really is all grown up. She's the skanky girl in the Chingy video for "One Call Away," a song about falling in love at Bank of America. Ooh! Here's a good idea: instead of a year-end review of random "best" things, how about a list of 2004's best use of product placement? I'll work on that, too.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

So hot (glue) right now

It’s snowing! It’s Christmas! Why are those two occurrences married in my mind? Probably all those Ohio Christmases, followed by all those Chicago winters. I must’ve partially blocked the Texas “winters” – the one-day sleetfests during which I attempted to navigate my poor little hydroplaning convertible through panicked, Costco-bound traffic – because I can’t dredge up any sentimental attachment to them like I can the others.

The best thing about snow is that smell that precedes a good snowfall. If anticipation had a scent, it would be that gritty, frozen dirt-y smell that comes before snow (never during snow – only before.) The smell of pre-snow defies the laws of the senses – you can smell something you should only be able to feel, and that’s trippy… in the best way.

So now that the weather has cemented in my mind the fact that* it is actually, really, honest-to-goodness Christmas, I suppose I should make my list. I usually like making lists (not necessarily Christmas-related; just list lists), but this is a tough one. I don’t need anything, really, and most of the stuff I want isn’t tangible, and thus could never include fun wrapping and pretty bows. Bah humbug. What good’s a Christmas list if it doesn’t involve the potential for a trip to GIFT WRAP WONDERLAND? We’ll see, I guess, because here it is. This year for Christmas, I want:

1. To find a happy medium between freezing and blistering in my shower

2. To develop a taste for good wine**

3. To spend a month at the Cabin with a typewriter *** and some blank canvas and my acrylics and a bottle of Mod Podge and no TV or VCR or DVD or cell phone or internet(s) or relatives

4. For all the Dallas drivers to suddenly realize that those little flicky bars on the sides of their steering wheels are magically connected to their turn signals

5. To do something perfectly the first time around

6. To have a real Chicago-after-first-snow-style snowball fight

7. For VH1 to call and offer me that commentator spot on the “I Love the ‘90s” sequel (they live for that witty, no-name journalist shtick, right?)

8. A Volvo SUV. (I guess that could potentially involve some kind of awesome bow, but that’s not why I want one.) There’s something about Volvos I associate with stability (emotional and financial). Plus, I would finally feel safe driving through the throngs of Park Cities moms who think they’ve earned (or at least married into) the right-of-way. And I could trick and SUV all out with those big yellow-ribbon support our troops magnets… Or not. You know… whatever.

9. To get my crafty streak back. I used to be a kind of white trash Martha Stewart, but I don’t get the same thrill from a hot glue gun that I used to. Don’t get me wrong: hot glue is still the sexiest of all adhesives (and I’ve tried them all.) I think we’re just getting to a more comfortable place in our relationship.

10. To wake up some morning with something far more profound and eloquent to write about than craft supplies and my need for a sense of emotional permanence buttressed by a large automobile.****

* Sorry, Strunk & White; sometimes I just have to use “the fact that.” I have to!
** No, Robyn, Boone’s Farm does not count. Although I will say, the satisfying “chhhhssssh” of the twist-off cap will always be a classic in my mind.
*** I’m pretty sure I’d get sick of a typewriter after about, oh, say, one mistake. But it’s romantic and writerly nonetheless, and it’s my wish list, so I’m leaving it.
**** Of course, a Christmas list isn't legit without a bottom line, so here's mine: All I want for Christmas is you. Bi-otch.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

I'm just a girl...

... standing in front of her blog... asking it to update its damn self!

You know what would be funny? If I updated my blog. On a Wednesday, of all days. Yep, I know you're dying laughing right now because of how hi-freakin'-larious this whole scenario is.*

I'm completely devoid of interesting experiences to write about, but since there's apparently such a great demand for my writing (regardless of how trite), I'll have to start making stuff up. It shouldn't be hard -- I tend to drift in and out of fiction-capable mode, and snowy (!!!) weather and glowing fireplaces and rememberances of holiday hijinx past act as accelerants in most cases.

Also, I just (re)read one of the most beautiful Nabokov sentences, and it evoked memories of the so-called days of yore when I was a writer and not just a MacMonkey (that's Scottish for creatively-stifled laborer.) I can't replicate the sentence here because a.) I don't remember it exactly, and I wouldn't do it justice by paraphrasing and b.) perhaps the suspense will get to you and you'll read Nabokov voraciously, and then, when you least expect it, you'll come across the most perfect (non-plot-relevant) sentence possibly ever written. What a romantic notion. I'll give you a hint: it's about windowpanes.

Of course, I can't fictionate when I'm in the company of ... people in general, so I'll save it for a really good Saturday post (again, when you least expect it.) For now, I'll occasionally lean back to see if I can see snow out the narrow blinded window that's kind of close to my desk, and I'll try to puzzle out those Christmas Eves when we'd all watch Lonesome Dove and wrap each others' presents (when the receivers were in the room! The scandal!) and when I didn't know why it was funny to call it (every year) "the last good Christmas." I may also try to pinpoint just when that term became applicable, although I'm pretty sure I don't really want to know.

*Actually, please try NOT to die laughing. Craig says dying people are really good at holding on through one... more... holiday ..., so I'm sure you can contain yourself.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Can’t Say I’ve Been “Missing” It, Bob

I’ve been having “Office Space” moments more and more lately.* Not to worry – it’s nothing a little empowering, impromptu karaoke-to-self action can’t fix; I think I just need a complete-weekend detox. Too bad that complete weekend is going to have to involve Christmas (and, necessarily, the shopping and wrapping and arguing and early rising and incessant cheery music and effed-up sugar cookies** that come with it.)

I haven’t been able to get into the spirit this year. I’m sure it has something to do with the combination of the absence of pre-holiday snow (at least I got to see it when I was in Evanston) and the ubiquitous presence of the excess and overindulgence so characteristic of Dallas. I’m over it, so I’ve decided to kind of sidestep feeling Christmas spirit and march right on ahead to New Years.

I’m always the first to say that New Years is a bullshit holiday. Everyone makes a big deal out of it and has these grand expectations of getting sloshed and making out. But, really, can’t you do that any other night of the year when drinks are cheaper and there are no silly metallic-cardboard tiaras you feel obligated to wear “because it’s a holiday”? I’m probably just jaded because I’ve never had a really good New Years make-out. Maybe this is the year…***

As much as that last statement is false (ha!), this is definitely true: this is the year to have a real stick-to-it resolution. I’ve been thinking about it, and now that I’ve cut some toxic behavior out of my agenda (see the first footnote again if you’ve forgotten) I can think about it even more. I’d like to say my resolutions will include trading Cosmo for something at least semi-reputable (that will never happen – if anything, I’ll continue reading Cosmo and then add something more reputable to my usual 8+ magazines a month), and squelching the urge to quote “Mean Girls” (but it’s just so applicable!) It will probably be more along the lines of “quit being a creative pushover.” Boring for you, kind of an exciting prospect for me. We shall see.

‘Til New Years, I have a little Penta**** aggression to take out on some Christmas ribbon. What is it about curling ribbon with razor-sharp scissors that’s so satisfying? I’m going to go with that refreshing little “zzzzzip!”

* Drinking at lunch and complaining about money have been duly removed from my metaphorical agenda (thus rendering said agenda almost completely empty.)

** When did my mom and I stop getting these right? I swear they were good for years. But the past couple of Christmases, there have been too many baking-soda-instead-of-baking-powder and butter-frosting-instead-of-powdered-sugar frosting incidents to count. Maybe we should save the eggnog for after the baking…

*** One reason that statement is so hilariously off-base: I think today I actually said something along the lines of “I can’t wait ‘til it’s 2005 so I can finally start using my cat calendar.”

**** Shut up – here’s the rule: A joke ceases to be funny once you package it as new and repeat in the presence of the first person you told it to. It resumes being funny once that first recipient resurrects in a new forum and tells it like she made it up. (But… will anyone else in this forum get it? Meh. Probably not. Oh well… now that I’ve used it, it’s fair game for anyone.)

Saturday, December 11, 2004

I'll never really be like Jane

Notice how I always post on Saturdays. Also notice how I don't have internet at my apartment. Continue noticing long enough to notice that the only time I get to use the internet is at work. Draw conclusions accordingly.

I just (almost) finished an illustration, which is pretty weird because I don't know how to draw. Or use Illustrator very well. I'm happy with the way it turned out, but I'm not going to volunteer to do another for a long time. I have discovered over the course of the last five hours that drawing dogs in Illustrator is my Kryptonite. I can pull off humans, but dogs are a different story altogether. I suppose you learn something new about yourself every day.

I made another shocking discovery today. There's a magazine called EQ Magazine. I don't know why that pisses me off so much. Probably because I want my own magazine, and now the most obvious title is taken by a stupid publication about using computerized drum sets or something (is there really THAT much to say about it?!?!) Also, I feel I kind of have claim to EQ. If I knew beforehand that it was going to be a magazine title, I would have tried to get a trademark or something, so at least I could collect royalties.

Check the magazine out at ... but don't buy any of the merchandise, because, technically, I should be getting a cut of that money and I'm not.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

So you wanna be a wrap superstar?

I wasn't in the best mood yesterday. My first thought was "Buy a bottle of vodka and drink alone and mope!" My second thought was somewhat healthier. It was "Go watch Colin Farrell rock a skirt for three hours!" Sure, "Alexander" got horrible reviews, and sure, it would mean going to another movie by myself,* but it's rare for a girl to be promised guy-on-guy action in a movie, and even more rare for that promise to include Colin Farrell-on-Jordan Catalano action. Couldn't be THAT bad, right? Riiiiiight? Yeah... not right.

First of all, *hugging* does not count as guy-on-guy action. But try as he might, little doe-eyed Jordan Catalano couldn't even get to first base with Alexander**. Sad for him. Even sadder for me. (On a side note, just how *pretty* can a guy actually be? Catalano crosses that line, I think.)

Second of all, if there's one thing I thought I'd never get sick of, it was Colin Farrell's legs (etc...) Wrong. 173 minutes of Colin's legs was overkill, even for me. And he was playing Alexander, my historical crush, so I should have been fascinated by things beyond the aesthetics. But I wasn't. The one up-side is that I had 173 whole minutes to perfect my Alexander and Hephastion trying (so hard!) to express emotion with their eyes impression. I think I have it down, and if you want to save eight bucks and about a million hours, you should ask me to reinact.

Instead of seeing the movie, I should have just done what I did today. I went to the most magical place in the world (wait for it... wait for it...) GIFT WRAP WONDERLAND!!!! Boy, I tell ya what. That Container Store sure knows what it's doing, with all the wrapping paper and tape and shit. I could say with almost one hundred percent certainty that I spend more on gift wrap than on actual presents, and it's all because of GIFT WRAP WONDERLAND!!!! So many options! So seductive! So freakin' expensive! But it's worth it.

Wrapping presents is my favorite part of the holidays, probably because it's a quiet, alone-time activity that doesn't involve relatives or dressing up or the need for "cheer" and "good will." I basically get to play with sharp objects and disguise something really crappy as something really awesome. And I dig that.

* Actually, I make a really good movie date. I never have that who-buys-the-popcorn debate, I always agree with the witty comments I make to myself during the movie, and I usually put out at the end of the night.

** "Alexander the Great... or should I say 'Alexander the SO-SO?'"