Thursday, August 20, 2009

Assume we're ALWAYS grading on a curve

I've been quiet here lately, by virtue of the fact that I have things to say, but wringing them out of my brain is tricky (delicate understatement), so when they do start to flow (deeply regretting this metaphor), I need to make sure they end up in Important Places (because oh my God, there are pieces of this damn book I've been working on for five (5!) years already, and can it be done now so that I can give my friends copies and afford rent?).

But today I needed to document something pivotal. Today I finally settled on my song of the summer. Now that I've said that, I will, of course, change my mind tomorrow.

Last summer, this was my song. (Key lyric: Decisions to decisions are made and not bought/but I thought/this wouldn't hurt a lot/I guess not...)

This summer, it's this.*

I still hear that first lyric and think it's true. I know it's true. But I hear Ms. Spektor singing "Good is better than perfect" and at LEAST 15% of me is willing to entertain the possibility that she could maybe perhaps be right. Just a little.

We are calling this "progress."

Also, not for nothing, but I think if I met the man this song describes I'd fall in love instantly, if not sooner. This is the point at which one of you is going to tell me that I'm missing something really creepy about it all, like the time I thought "I Will Poeses Your Heart" was really romantic, and it turned out it was about stalkers. Incidentally, I also thought "I'm Every Woman" was "Climb Every Woman" until well into my teens, but that is perhaps less relevant to what we are discussing now.

*Give it a minute to buffer. (That's what she said?)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The name itself sort of funny. Just. FYI.

So, I just did a Facebook search for the (unusual) name written in the front of a used book, then found the person and started trying to figure out, based on their profile, why they would want to sell said book, and then stopped abruptly, because oh my God, I'm the woman alone in her apartment wearing popsicle-stained pajamas and stalking strangers in a triumphant melding of book resales and the Internet, and THAT IS CREEPY.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sometimes you just Know.

I'm watching Nicholas Cage in the Criterion Collection Release (just kidding) of Knowing right now, and I'm less than ten minutes in.

So far the film has included a precocious child in the 1950s, the preparation of a time capsule, a marching band, a well-intentioned but clueless teacher, the precocious child (possibly an orphan?) found in the school basement after something terrible was done to/by her resulting in blood, endless scrolling numbers, images that appear to be satellite photos of the entire world or something, a precocious child in the present day, a pet rabbit with an excellent-looking hutch, an over-sized telescope, the rings of Saturn, a child's conversion to vegetarianism and a parent's over-the-top protestations to same, antlers, two tigers gettin' all playful with each other on the Discovery channel, a house that is supposed to be "quirky" but is really just somewhere Nicholas Cage's character could clearly not afford given what appears to be his current station in life, Nicholas Cage's character drinking a glass of red wine with a bit too much gusto, Nicholas Cage's character grilling hot dogs, and last but CERTAINLY not least, Nicholas Cage's both bewildering and beguiling forehead.

This will be the greatest cinematic experience of my life, obvz.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Selective Memory

Me: Man, I really don't remember anything about our graduate school graduation.

Friend: That's because you stayed home to watch the season finale of The Office.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Reality Television Scares Me To DEATH.

New York update to come. Pinkie swear.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Too soon?

Sarah: farrah fawcett was a BABE
me: I KNOW
I feel bad for her
because this [Michael Jackson's death] will steal her thunder
which is what I'm sure she cared about on her deathbed
Sarah: total babe
yeah, like when mother theresa died right after princess diana no one really cared.
me: you know, though, if any good comes out of this tragedy, it's that I'll no longer confuse farrah fawcett and goldie hawn
Sarah: is it innapropriate to write that on my facebook right now?
me: hahaha
I don't care if you do
Sarah: this morning when i heard the news i was like 'i loved her in On Golden Pond!'
me: hahahahhahaah
Sarah: and then i was informed that that was jane fonda
me: yeah, I worried all day about HOW KURT RUSSELL WAS TAKING IT. I'm probz gonna blog this whole dialog
yeah, please do

The disclaimer, of course, is that OBVIOUSLY her death is properly tragic, &c. And other than the abstract "he died and that's sad" (with a side order of sorrow about how he probably felt very, very alone), I don't have strong feelings about Michael Jackson's death. This is odd, given that I have strong feelings about basically everything else in the known universe. Huh.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Tonight I sat around with my parents, brother, and future sister-in-law, listening to a tape we recorded for my grandmother when I was a little girl. We were a ridiculous, lovely family back then (and we still are), and so the tape included such highlights as my use of the word "unpredictable" at the age of 3, my fretting over forgetting to make a card for my uncle's birthday, an all-family rendition of "Children of the Heavenly Father," a refusal to recite a poem blamed on my imaginary friend, and a recounting of the plot of The Great Mouse Detective.

We moved on to dinner afterward. My family's long since given up trying to find a restaurant that serves "Lauren food." I'm a notoriously picky eater -- I'm better than I once was, when I went off to college with a roster of maybe five foods I enjoyed eating. I settled on pesto pasta, which I usually like, but what arrived at the table wasn't something I enjoyed. I finally passed a forkful over to my mom.

"Taste this and tell me why I don't like it."

She chewed slowly. "Too much basil." Exactly right.

Just an ordinary night, spent celebrating a 31st wedding anniversary with my family. Nothing too special. But when I think about how lucky I am to have them, it knocks the wind out of me.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

How I Roll.

So, on the one hand, I'm crazy (by DSM-IV standards [this is another example of how humor makes it okay, so let's just run with it]). On the other hand, I'm just really weird. I'm a nerd and a total spaz and I live alone, which means my apartment just gets RIDICULOUS most of the time. I talk out loud to myself constantly, which isn't so very out of the ordinary, but right now, I've decided I'm really into the word "discourage," so I'm saying that in different sorts of voices, and then cracking myself up. I'll also be making a plan in my head, and then the voice that's NOT in my head gets involved. I was thinking about my errands the other day, and thought to myself, "I should go to the library and THEN the pharmacy so I won't have to carry all my books there." And then I said, out loud, all supportive and proud of myself, "Ohhhh, that's a good point!"

Then there's the sleep-eating, which meant that this morning I woke up in a puddle of Caffeine-Free Pepsi. Then there's the part where I usually make dinner at oh, say, 11:30, then often fall asleep with dishes in my bed. Then there's the fact that I like to give myself Tank Girl-esque hair before bed so that when I wake up in the morning, I can giggle at how ridiculous I look and try to snap myself out of the maudlin before it hits, like so:

You can print that and frame it if you want. It's SUPER pretty.

Then there is the part where I like to make a fort out of pillows and blankets, and then get inside of it, and then listen to Stockard Channing reading Ramona Forever. I may or may not be doing that right now. You decide.

Monday, June 15, 2009

I put the "ho" in hope. (No, I don't.)

I can be a little cynical.

(I will pause for a moment while those people who know and love me take a second to react to that SHOCKING REVELATION.)

For the record, I am trying to be more hopeful -- to the extent that I'm getting the word "hope" tattooed on my left arm in tiny cursive on my birthday. But I am, if we're talking about it in the parlance of Grey's Anatomy, which is the manner in which all things are best discussed (see, here I'm being SARCASTIC, which is DIFFERENT from being cynical, a distinction swathed in shades of grey NO PUN INTENDED [I realize I'm being insufferable right now]), I am far more "dark and twisty" than "bright and shiny." I'm the sort of person who RECOGNIZES the fact that life is full of moments of beauty and connection, but I need to see those moments for me to truly BELIEVE that.

Yesterday was not that sort of day. Indeed, yesterday was the sort of day where one watches a drunk man berate a pregnant woman (a stranger to him) on a bus for stop after stop after stop, ignoring the other passengers asking him to knock it the fuck off, until he finally gets off and she bursts into tears, and one bursts into tears with her, because she was treated so unkindly.

But today came on strong and won me over. My former co-workers took two hours out of their workday today to feed me lunch and laugh about everything and nothing, and at the end of the meal, after I'd scarfed down a portion and a half of lunch, asked kindly and with no condescencion if I was okay to afford food, completely willing to help out if I wasn't. My bus driver saw me sprinting uphill to the nearest stop in a dress and flips and pulled over at a stopless corner. Twitter rescheduled its maintanence after they were innundated with tweets asking them to please put it off so the voices of Iranians only able to communicate through that medium wouldn't be silenced -- it amazes me that a corporation was asked by its customers to do the right thing, and the corporation said yes.

There were other nice things -- a baby to snuggle, Ramona Forever read by Stockard Channing waiting for me at the library -- but it wasn't till I came home and read this that I was ready to call this a good day, ready to climb in bed with a bowl of ice cream, ready to let myself hope that tomorrow would be good too.

Monday, June 8, 2009


This weekend brought with it many things. One of those things was watching the TONY awards with my mother, who is always (and, by and large, intentionally) hilarious, and that's probably a post all its own. It also brought with it the news that a good friend from college got engaged.

She is lovely, he seems great, and I'm sure they'll be very, very happy together. The feelings I have about them getting engaged are simple: happiness. The feelings I have that their engagement stirs up are a little more complicated. Their engagement means that, of the ten or twelve people I'm closest to, all but three are engaged, married, or married with children. That's.....over 70%. I don't know. It just brings out a funny little color on me. Lauren Hoffman: happy for you in a complicated way since 1983!

To wit (taken from a gChat conversation with Sarah):

Sarah: totally, i completely get that.
2:38 PM me: I mean, out of the people I'm closest to, now almost everyone is married or engaged
2:39 PM I'm celebrating by buying myself a special tool to cut biscuit dough
2:43 PM Sarah: haha so much better!
me: totally!
2:44 PM from the martha stewart collection!
I have such a complicated relationship with that collection. I tell you what.
2:45 PM Sarah: HAHA
me: "congratulations on your engagement, sara and joe! we love you. best, lauren and the martha stewart collection"

I just hope the collection will be available to escort me to the wedding, too. I'd ask my imaginary boyfriend Wyatt to take me, but he's pretty busy at work and/or bicycling around the country for children with disabilities.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I Lack the Good Sense God Gave a Doorknob

I am on my way to a friend's birthday gathering at a bar a few blocks away. I just -- five minutes ago -- decided, "Oh, hey, I'll take all my night medication now so I don't have to worry about it when I get home!" Except my night medication PUTS ME TO SLEEP, and so now I will have to hurry.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

She dreamed a dream.

Susan Boyle lost Britain's Got Talent this weekend. That part I'm not so sad about. Contests have winners and losers; contestants with more exposure often feel a backlash. I was never so attached to her talent (I think she's a very good singer, maybe a great one) as I was to her story: she dreamed of singing in front of thousands, she never gave up on that dream, and she got her chance.

What makes me sad is the news reporting today that she's checked into a psychiatric clinic for acute emotional distress; apparently, she's been slowly breaking down for awhile now and struggling to keep it all together (she had lots of psychiatric/psychological support when she was competing which makes sense, because to go from living with your cat alone to getting filmed by actual paparazzi all the time would make anyone's head explode) and it all came to a head after she lost the show.

There's probably some little proverb or fable to be woven here about the evil of the modern media machine or the folly of seeking one's fifteen minutes of fame. I don't know. I can't see it like that right now.

I know how it feels to want something, to feel pressured to get it, to fail, and to have it destroy you. To have it happen on a public stage is unimaginable for me. Maybe it shouldn't matter to me, but it does, and my heart is breaking for her.

Friday, May 29, 2009

I Like Things That Are Nice

Panic is my default state. I'm trying to hit the reset button on that, but until I do, I'm learning to embrace and just GO WITH the things I find soothing, operating on my psychiatrist's admonishion to do anything that makes me feel better, so long as it's not destructive. And so I take showers in the dark and build tents in my apartment and sleep with a security blanket every single night and make complicated sandwiches and always remember to keep the fridge stocked with Caffeine-Free Coke and pineapple.

Sidebar(car): As I typed that, I realized I'm out of pineapple. Then I realized two in the morning is probably too late to go out for more. Then I realized I was awake at two in the morning, and why hadn't my sleeping pills kicked in? And then I realized I hadn't taken them yet. Cause and effect!

I sold my turntable so I could see musicals when I was in New York (it was all very "Gift of the Magi"), and one of the records I miss listening to most is the original Broadway cast recording of Peter Pan. We didn't own many movies growing up, and the majority we did own were taped from television. One of them was NBC's version of the Broadway show -- it didn't so much resemble a movie as it did a videotape of a really, really good high school play. I watched it over and over as a child, adored that the kids I nannied for three years were obsessed with Hook and pirates, and read my copy of the Baby-Sitters Club book about putting on the show until it fell apart.


Towards the end of the musical, Peter remembers a lullaby his mother used to sing to him and sings it for the lost boys and Wendy. I've been watching the video of it on youtube over and over again (you can actually watch the entire musical on there, if you don't want me to come over with my VHS copy so we can watch it and make popcorn which I think would be really fun but, you know, WHATEVER). I literally realized JUST NOW that I could, say, buy the song on iTunes or buy the cd, and I'm probably going to do just that when I wake up, but for now, here's the song, a minute and thirty-seven seconds of comfort, of something good.

Friday, May 22, 2009


"As for me, I believe that if there's a God -- and I am as neutral on the subject as is possible -- then the most basic proof of his existence is black humor. What else explains it, that odd, reliable comfort that billows up at the worst moments, like a beautiful sunset woven out of the smoke over a bombed city." --Elizabeth McCracken

At least six times in the past two weeks, people have (kindly, and with good intentions) likened what I'm going through to diabetes, insofar as it's a medical condition that will be all but ignorable once medicated properly. But, honestly, it is nothing like diabetes. This is how frustrated with my situation I am: I am frustrated with the METAPHORS FOR IT. Soon I will probably go apeshit on the letters b i p o l a and r, which will make playing Wheel of Fortune pretty interesting.

It feels much more like hemophilia. One cut, you can't stop bleeding. One blip in my day, my brain goes haywire. An instant that would at best mildly annoy someone else leaves me -- literally -- crying on my knees on the sidewalk. It is not, strictly speaking, that awesome.

Fortunately, it's kind of hilarious. I've been cautioned many times in the past decade-and-change of therapy to avoid using humor as a defense mechanism, to allow myself to really feel and experience my feelings. And you know what? I've done that. I know what these feelings are. I have NOTHING left to learn from them. I can only be crushed by them and I'm not particularly willing to do that anymore.

I'm still fighting these days. It's hard. There's no way to make it easy. Fortunately, there are lots of ways to make it funny. I fight like hell to keep from going down every day, and I'm not planning on it, but if I do, I'm sure as hell going down laughing. Laughter is my clotting factor.

Monday, May 18, 2009

My feelings. Again.

Friday and Saturday were this lovely little era where things weren't perfect, but they were survivable -- I could push through, work around the depression, and (merciful heavens!) have fun. Friends, sunshine, adorable children, pancakes first thing in the morning. And I got to feeling like, yeah, okay. I can do this. This isn't so bad.

And 36 hours later, it's like I've run smack dab into a wet bed sheet.

I would like to be able to get my bearings a little bit, to be in a state that's not an extreme. I would like to get a night of sleep that doesn't involve me stumbling around trying to find cake or staring at my ceiling until four in the morning. I'm tired. Even when I'm in this state, I can drag myself out and around. I went miniature golfing with my father today (shut up) and was practically asleep in the car on the way back. I'm the whirring light-up children's toy that drains down batteries too quickly. Five minutes of fun, then total shut down.

We're right around the time now when things started to go south last summer. Logically, I can speak to the progress that's been made since then (proper diagnosis, good doctors, steps toward the right combination of medication). But it feels exactly the same. I'm still trapped in it, still stuck in my bed with my stale sheets and comfort food.

I call all this -- everything falling under the umbrella of what I'm struggling with now -- "my feelings." Again, logically I can state categorically that this is a disease, just one that happens to impact the way my brain functions rather than, say, the way my body produces insulin. And again, the logic of the situation is VASTLY different from the way the situation feels. I feel like I'm failing on some level, not yanking myself up by my bootstraps hard enough.

I would like to be able to write about it the way I want to. Living a story I can't put down on paper is an alien experience. The best I can manage are little fragments scribbled on Post-It notes or typed into emails or texts I send to myself. And at the same time, I want desperately to have a different story to tell.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


"I'm hungry. Like, very, very hungry."

"When was the last time you ate something that wasn't pudding?"


At this point, we're really just fighting pudding with pudding over here.

Good morning and welcome to my childhood.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Let's Just Lay It All Out There

The following is an almost-but-not-quite-close-to-comprehensive list of the current contents of my ipod shuffle, Reggie Red. It should be noted that there are some items that are non-negotiable ipod standards (Pink Moon, Abbey Road, &c.) and some items that are capriciously rotated in and out.

Podcasts: Three episodes of This American Life, one episode of Daily Power Nap

Full-length compliations made for me by others: The 25 Mix, Maudlin for Maudlin, The Sarah Butler Songs

Full Albums:
*Abbey Road (The Beatles)
*Armchair Apochrypha (Andrew Bird)
*Begin to Hope (Regina Spektor)
*The Best of Leonard Cohen (Leonard Cohen)
*Breakout (Miley Cyrus)
*Challengers (The New Pornographers)
*The Chaos in Order (Let's Go Sailing)
*Dark Was the Night -- compilation cd with Ben Gibbard, The Decemberists, Iron and Wine, etc.
*The Execution of All Things (Rilo Kiley)
*Figure 8 (Elliott Smith)
*Funeral (Arcade Fire)
*The Hazards of Love (The Decemberists)
*I Am Not Afraid Of You and I Will Beat Your Ass (Yo La Tengo)
*In Our Bedroom After the War (Stars)
*Middle Cyclone (Neko Case)
*MTV Unplugged in New York (Nirvana)
*Music for Tourists (Chris Garneau)
*Neon Bible (Arcade Fire)
*Next to Normal (Arena Stage bootleg recording)
*Noble Beast (Andrew Bird)
*Oohs and Aahs (Say Hi)
*Pink Moon (Nick Drake)
*Pixel Revolt (John Vanderslice)
*Plans (Death Cab)
*Set Yourself On Fire (Stars)
*When the Pawn (Fiona Apple)
*Odessey and Oracle (The Zombies)
*21st Century Breakdown (Green Day) I just downloaded this today and I LOVE IT. To wit: "You are your own worst enemy/Know your enemy."

Other significant artists (those with several songs or very important songs on Reggie, but without full albums): Aimee Mann, Brandi Carlile, selections from the Spring Awakening soundtrack, Elton John, Iron and Wine, Joni Mitchell, Ashlee Simpson, The Kinks, The Lucksmiths, The Magnetic Fields (20+ songs from 69 Love Songs), MGMT, My Chemical Romance, Radiohead, Robyn Hitchcock, The Shins, Simon and Garfunkel, The Smiths, Sufjan Stevens but only kind of because the covert Jesus stuff really bothers me sometimes, Talking Heads, Tom Petty, Tori Amos sort of, and Imogean Heap.

Also "Silent Sigh" and "West Coast," both of which get heavy play.

Yes, this took me way too much time. But know what? I HAVE way too much time.

Feel free to judge. And then tell me what you're listening to, please.

Small Talk FAIL

Yesterday I was at the pharmacy. Sidecar (I've started using this instead of sidebar; spread the word!): I am at the pharmacy at least one day a week. When I go to the QFC and just WALK PAST the pharmacy, the staff smiles and waves at me. Sometimes when my insurance is being ridiculous I get to go to the pharmacy EVERY DAY and have individual pills dispensed to me. They know me by order, like baristas. It's fun!


When I got up to the counter, I realized that the person being helped by the other pharmacist was someone I've met a few times and am friendly with. I was about to say hello when HIS pharmacist came up to him and said, "Okay, here's your [name of psychoactive medication]!" and then MY pharmacist asked, "Are you just getting the [name of my psychoactive medication] refilled today?" and then it became abundantly clear that he and I would not be exchanging pleasantries that day.

I Would Like To Talk About My Pudding Now

On the advice of my psychiatrist, I've all but stopped consuming caffeine. This is why I was so elated to find Caffeine-Free Pepsi by the bottle in rural Pennsylvania a couple of weeks ago:

But my psychiatrist has also dispensed this little pearl of wisdom: "If you are in a bad place, and there's something you can do that is safe and will make you feel better, you should go ahead and do it. " It's advice that's maybe a little unconventional but so damn wise. I don't know why the idea of being kind to myself seems so revolutionary to me, but it does. So. That. Anyway, I've been going from smooth water to rapids pretty easily now and that makes me sad and worn out. And there's something that fails to make it okay but always, always makes it better.

Pick up a tub. Or four, as I did this afternoon. You will not be sorry.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

And, not for nothing, but:

If you've ever wanted to know what it's like to struggle with mental illness or love someone who does, watch this scene from a musical I've seen several times (it's on Broadway now and played off Broadway a year or so ago) about a mother who's bipolar. It's just a crappy bootleg (like, to the extent that you can hear someone dig the camera out of their bag before it starts). I think it's important to watch because it cements my belief that musical theater is necessary and important, and that there are some stories that can only be told as musicals.

But what's more, I think it's ESSENTIAL that people living with mental illness have their stories told and honored and respected and LISTENED TO. And I think it's equally important that people who aren't impacted are given the chance TO listen. And that's not something that happens all that often. And that makes me very, very sad.

I'm extremely, extremely gratified that this is a show that's getting attention, and that Alice Ripley (who's the woman in the video) is being commended for her work in it. It's so evident in her performance that she respects the role she's playing and is committed to telling her story, and I don't think I can overstate how much that means to me.

Same day, different song.

I listen to this again and again and again these days. The reasons why are entirely predictable.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Managing Expectations, Or Not

I always say that hope is the first step towards disappointment.

And yet I can't help but be a tiiiiiiiny bit excited to spend tomorrow night with this guy.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I Only Need Three Walls These Days

I have a brain like flypaper that catches onto things indiscriminately and never lets them go. While I was in bed with my bowl of cereal this morning, I had the most random memory. I was in a musical called Once On This Island my senior year of high school, and we did something ridiculous like two weeks' worth of matinees for schoolchildren.

There was -- of COURSE -- a smoke machine effect at some point in the production that set off the smoke alarm during one of these matinees. So we're standing outside, the schoolchildren huddled together, the cast bunched together near the stage door. And we're goofing off, joking, pushing and shoving, probably making out at random intervals, and then one of the leads swooped over to us.

"Guys. GUYS. Stay in character, okay??"

And we all nodded. Chastened.

I don't know why that cracks me up so much, but it was just so ridiculously EARNEST, as if the theater we were doing which was anything other than (Gemma, back me up on this?), say, mediocre plus? That we somehow thought that letting the fourth wall crumble would have DIRE CONSEQUENCES?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

He Can Read Me Any Old Thing He Wants

Actual post with actual thought and ideas and maybe even feelings to come.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

When You Know the Notes To Sing

Apparently, this was a promotional event for the Belgian version of the BBC's reality series "In Search of Maria," a program that found the woman who's now playing the role of Maria in "The Sound of Music" playing in London's West End. This has been making its rounds around the internet for a few days now, but it makes me so freaking happy I had to share.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Things I Ate While Asleep, Vol. Million

I'm about to have houseguests for four nights. I'm actually kind of hoping some weird sleep antics will go down, so I'll at least have the testimony of witnesses.

Last night was a particularly fitful night of sleep. I remember getting up and NEEDING pudding. I remember thinking, "Too bad I can't sleep" and picking up the book in bed next to me and reading for a long while. I don't remember getting up to get cereal, but I was fervently clutching the box when I woke up (sorry for the neglect, blanket) and had Honey Nut Cheerios in my hair, tell me.

I did have a very clear memory of finishing my book, so I threw it in my bag along with the others I needed to return to the library and dropped it off. While I walked home, I realized that while I had a clear memory of FINISHING the book, I had (and still have) no memory of WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED in the final chapters.

And that is why I will never know how Tori Spelling's autobiography ends.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Taken Verbatim From the GChat

Sarah: i just wanted to tell you since i know you hate dogs in bookstoreS!!
except doghouses!
and yards!
also pet stores.
and farms.
(I think I'm just going to post that on my blog as is)
Sarah: yes

Ab-Defining for the Under Ten Set

When I was younger, maybe six or seven, I BEGGED my parents for this:

And after I got the "Bangle Bops," I begged my parents for this:

I've started wearing leg warmers again. I haven't busted out the tutu yet, but I'm pretty sure it's in the dress-up box at my parents' house, so let's not rule it out. I WISH I still had the tapes. And you will be my best friend if you buy me this:

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Pete Wentz on Continuing to Procreate:

"I want to have six now. I mean not six specifically, but I want more...I can't imagine that we're stopping, you know what I'm saying? This is like a Journey song, it's like the chorus is just going to keep coming."

How To Kill Time While Unemployed, Vol. 1

1. Make a playlist for every occasion imaginable. Heading for the shower? Playlist. Going to the mailbox? Playlist. Making a playlist? Playlist.

2. Accidentally ingest toxic substances in your sleep. Spend 20+ minutes on hold with/speaking to Poison Control. [Face cream with salicylic acid. FYI. Not poisonous in small doses.]

3. Call insurance company. Get bogged down in semantic argument on the subject of "similar v. same."

4. Decide that it is imperative that you watch season 1 of ABC's "Making the Band" -- the season that chronicles the formation of O-Town. Scour the internet for it. Weep when it's not available. Find solace in the video for "All or Nothing." (

5. Spend 1+ hour(s) each day managing your library queue.

6. Read all posts on Craigslist, not just the ones that fit in your field. This enables you to find such gems as this:

And this:

Aaaaand this:

And the one that specifically used the phrase "rent a wife" in the description that has sadly been flagged for misuse and removed. And, I'm sorry, but if you want to rent a wife? You should probably offer a wage higher than $15/hour.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I am a wordsmith.

Tonight, while watching LOST, I was trying to remember the word for "Target" (the reason why escapes me). What I said was the following:

"It's...with the red circle? Like 7-up? But not 7-up. It's a store. By Northgate. A big one."


And here is every "that's what she said" from every episode of The Office ever. Thank you and good night.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

I Did Not Watch the Watchmen

I spent three hours of today hiding under a coat in an IMAX movie theater. Thank you, Watchmen! Seriously: did not know there were that many places a person could bleed from. Also: did not know there were that many uses for a miter saw.

Choice lines:

"Oh my God. I'm on Mars."

"Is this bean juice?"
"Human BEING juice."

"I don't mind being the smartest man in the world!"

In the past month or so, I've made peanut butter and jelly and popcorn (with hot oil), gchatted, trimmed my bangs, and generally made a mess of my apartment -- all while completely asleep. I should not have allowed myself to think that things couldn't get any stranger because the second I believed that, last night, they did, and it freaked me the motherfuck out. It's weird to try to talk about it. My knee jerk reaction is to spin anything vaguely sad or difficult or tragic or even just annoying into the funniest anecdote possible, which immediately makes it into a story, not something that's actually happening to me.

The truth of the matter is that I think about and contend with things on a daily basis that are not what I had planned for myself, and that's almost always harder than I care to admit and almost never as funny as I spin it. I told a friend that tonight and she said back, so gently, "I know. But we all just try. You're trying."

Anyway. Tonight I'm falling (peacefully. please.) asleep to "Dream Operator," with thanks to Byrne and Eno and Some Guy on Youtube. I want to curl up inside this song.

PS, Human BEING juice? REALLY?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Music for Tourists

When I love something -- really, really, to my core LOVE it -- I tend to want everyone I know to love it too. And then I tend to get really angry if/when they don't. It doesn't happen with the things I find diverting and like (currently, MTV's now defunct The Paper, Young Adult literature, the cult film The Room and baking pumpkin bread).

It's with the things that I love so much it feels as if they're encoded into my DNA. I want everyone I know to love The West Wing and devour Nancy Lemann's Lives of the Saints and to be fascinated by David Foster Wallace (I'm just naming three. There are scores more. My friend Gemma once told me I have a favorite everything, which is accurate.) and when they don't, I feel like it's a rejection of me. Personally.

But the issuez, they are another blog post for another time.

And so it is with reluctance that I share Chris Garneau, the latest in a series of (potentially short-lived) musical obsessions. I came across his album, Music for Tourists, on this blog that apparently exists for the sole purpose of distributing pirated albums released in 2007 ( [I do not know the trick for being fancy about links yet]). His are sad little songs: tragic lyrics, clever arrangements, lots of ennui, lots of strings.

I think the issue some may take with Garneau is that his songs all sound the same. I do not for the LIFE of me understand why this is a criticism people throw around about music. I can see it's impressive when an artist can come up with an entire album of songs, each with its own sound, that are all great and worth repeating and loveable (Abbey Road, to name the most perfect example -- every song is different, and I love every single one). BUT I feel like if you're criticizing an album because "all the songs sound the same" -- doesn't that just mean that you don't like the way the artist sounds to begin with?

Then again, I am a girl who can listen to the same song, to the exclusion of all other songs, for literally days. Or the same thirty seconds in the same song. My neighbors have come over to discuss this. But that's another story.

Chris Garneau singing "Baby's Romance" at a red-keyed piano while he wears a sparkly sweater is below. Please to listen and enjoy.

Monday, March 16, 2009

It has become abundantly clear that I need another venue in which to run my mouth about myself.

I've been unemployed for all of *A* day (let alone many days) and am, to put it delicately, bored out of my freaking mind.

To give you a sense of the scope of my "just keeping busy" activities, I am currently soaking my bathtub in a mixture of baking soda, bleach, and hot water, to remove those pesky stains ONCE AND FOR ALL. I also spent a lot of time today refreshing my library account online to see if any of the books I have on hold had arrived. I organized my dvds. I soaked, washed, and dried my dishes. I went to the grocery and dollar stores. I planned tomorrow's baking. I beat Bubble Shooter.

The paradox of this time in my life is that I have absolutely nothing to say, and vast acres of time in which to say it.

Oh! Here's something. A few weeks ago I found a bone chip in my Foster Farms dinosaur shaped chicken nugget while I was eating lunch at my desk (1. I used to have a desk, goddamnit; 2. Yes, I eat like I'm five). I kept meaning to send them an email, and I used the waning moments I had at my desk (I MISS YOU DESK NEVER FORGET ME) to shoot one off. I got a return phone call from them ninety minutes later. Nicely done, Foster Farms! I finally returned their call today, and they will be sending me an unspecified amount of coupons for my troubles. I'm hoping it will amount to "free chicken for life." I am nothing if not reasonable and just.

Stay tuned for tomorrow, when I plan to blog about such things as "which page I did in my French in Ten Minutes a Day workbook." Get excited.