27 February 2006

1 ladies and gentlemen, my mayor

0 to flick or not to flick

yesterday at movie night, someone mentioned that they love "netflixing"- which sounded all wrong to me. obviously it should be "netflicking." that's what i've been calling it for months. but then it hit me that perhaps "flix" was right since it's in the original name itself. who knows.

but it brought up the fact that somewhere along the way i developed a tempestuous relationship with the word "flick." when i was a kid (and i was a deaf-o, so maybe that accounts for all of this) everyone "flicked" people off. well, not really everyone- just the bad kids in the back of the school bus. (incidentally: this will undoubtedly make it sound as though have done nothing the past ten years but hang out with people who do nothing but give the finger.)

the only time i actually did it myself with any sincerity was in the eighth grade. have two versions of the memory. in both, tiffany b.- my neighbor and archnemesis- said something horrendous and i- all primed for a fight in white shortie shorts and keds- responded by flicking her off. it was so terrifically empowering that i never did it again.

in the first version, it was an impetuous act, committed while we were still on the school bus and risked being captured by the surveillance cameras that reportedly lurked behind what i now know to have been a massive rear-view mirror. in the memory, i kind of balanced in the aisle (we were an especially bumpy, rurual route) and flicked her off with a sweeping flourish. but that sounds too john wayne to possibly be true.

in the other, less ballsy version- i was standing on the sidewalk and flicked her off as the bus drove away. that memory is a little more vivid- with the dust whipping up in the air and me all pollyanna-like, running home as fast as i could. more likely, that's the way it actually happened.

it wasn't until college that i heard of "flipping" people off and always assumed that it was a regional difference- a warping of the word through generations of the mississippi twang. but after a quick poll of my franklin friends, have ascertained that it was just me. but in my defense, and to perpetuate my years long battle for the recognition of "flicking off" as the most appropriate phrase:

Main Entry: FLICK
Function: verb
transitive senses
1 : to remove with light blows
2 : to direct flicks at something

olines don't flip. we're all about light blows and well-directed flicks.

UPDATE: alas, further proof- It's Pretty Safe to Say Lindsay Lohan Likes to Flip the Bird

26 February 2006

0 "there aren't many places you can go and be damned by a lack of fluorescence"

last night a group of us went to this vegetarian-friendly, bicycle-themed, hipster hangout in wicker park. we're not yuppies, we like vegetables, and one of us even rides a bike so it was not an entirely unlikely place to go. however, we are not like this:



we are like this:



so we were frowned upon. by the surprisingly disaffected wait staff. by the pack of people decked out in full biking regalia. they sat, scattered throughout the place- their cheeks flushed (from an exhillarating ride, no doubt). there was a distinct sensation that the tour de france could break out at any given moment.

we envied their maccaroni and cheese (but for the extra $1, we would have gotten it too!). we also keenly felt the tragedy of their spandexed fluorescence. scout niblett rocks a fluorescent vest so i can give them that- but there is nothing remotely cool about spandex. especially when it's worn in earnest. most especially when it's worn to dinner. as my mum always says, with an exasperated drawl: "things like THAY-AT do not belowng at the taybal."

24 February 2006

0 the best thing to happen to men since women



so a copy of MAXIM showed up in my mailbox today. apparently the girl who lived here before was a subscriber- which is interesting because who knew that women- much less ones named tiffany- subscribed to MAXIM? don't get me wrong- i'd never actually opened an issue before and there's some valuable reporting. who else is going to compile a list of "Campus Cuties" and "THE 20 GREATEST MOVIE DRINKERS!" or "celebrate the dumbest feats performed by people across this great yet surprisingly stupid land" alongside an earnest report on "What Really Brought Down the Twin Towers"? i was most impressed by the mag's sheer hotness- the "HOT ZONE," "HOT SHOTS," the "HOT EXPERT," "HOMETOWN HOTTIES," "TOTAL HOTNESS." obviously no one had a roget's.

0 tenterhooks is back

L. and i came mighty close to making it to the media bistro event last night. even got as far as sitting twenty minutes at the bus stop before deciding that- since a bus had yet to come- we were destined not to go. so the evening was spent discussing our field, heath ledger's career path, how everyone we know is writing a novel, and the subtleties of anne of avonlea (part 4)- whose hair in the gilbert deathbed scene appalls us to no end...



we will also be bringing back the word "tenterhooks"- because that's the kind of dorky people we are and tenterhooks seems primed for a comeback.

23 February 2006

0 woman on the move!

this dear lady who i'm somewhat enamoured of (her organization- similar to race for the cure but targeting black women- distributes breast cancer/mammography literature by going door-to-door in the rough parts of memphis) just invited me as her guest to the "Women On The Move!" luncheon. am out of town and can't go, but was a very disorienting experience. sounded so katie couric. so very much more grown-up than me (a sensation no doubt heightened by the fact that i was in a homemade t-shirt and pigtails at the time). do "Women On The Move!" wear mismatched socks?

22 February 2006

0 the many of evils of the first date dinner

last night L, Les and i went to the austrian bakery on clark for gigantic hot chocolates and got to talking about the evils of the first date dinner. some profound truths arose so we compiled a list of why no first date should include a restaurant meal:

pre-dinner small talk- very little good can come of this. as a tremendously awkward person who has to repeat everything internally five times before it actually gets out, this is sheer torture. you end up saying inane things like "i love cheese" and "what was your favorite breakfast cereal when you were young?" more personal questions present a veritable minefield of conversational disasters- divorced parents, failed careers and messy break-ups.

facial control- the chief inhibitor of pre-dinner small talk, as it's extremely difficult to be articulate while trying to maintain a poised, becomming, detached but willing expression.

the epiphany- it can become pretty obvious, even after only preliminary pre-dinner small talk, how the date is going. if it is horrendous, then you have the agony of enduring a whole dinner (which is why Les recommends going to a museum for a first date, because you can point toward an exhibit and run for the door).

ordering- visions of the calamities that could arise during the eating of each dish severely impair the decision-making process. a salad is always a safe bet but then you're left battling colassal stalks of lettuce or uncuttable cucumbers all night.

the bread plate- crumbs! everywhere!

chewing- inevitably during the course of dinner, a question will be posed immediately following a rather too large bite. so not only are you left chewing while the date sits anticipating a reply, but you chew for an over-long time as everything just hangs there for a moment- being brutally awkward.

the payment conundrum- the moment where you know you're probably not going to have to pay but kind of want to pay and think you should offer to pay but would be offended if you actually had to pay.


am writing from experience here. i survived a waffle house first date. on the only date that overalls might have been appropriate, i wore a red dress and red heels (roxanne!) and was taken to the waffle house for dinner. the salad had colassal stalks.

20 February 2006

0 "your job is in portables? like toilets?"

it's apparently extremely abnormal to move somewhere just because you want to live there- not for a guy or a job or any other reason but that you love the place.

the inevitable response to my move has been: "oh did you get a great new job?" it's an awkward question to answer without delving into a whole complicated backstory about finishing grad school with $16 and moving back to memphis and having all this stuff happen and eventually going back.

i am, in fact, keeping the job at my dear little magazine in memphis and editing from chicago- something that doesn't quite make sense to most people. "how can you write about memphis from chicago?" they ask, as though we're living in the days of the pony express.

have expirimented with different responses to the why are you moving question. the freelancer option is tempting but a very very bad decision since it immediately brings on interminable lectures about employee security, health benefits and tax laws.

on several occasions have flippantly replied that my job can be done anywhere- which makes me sound like a hooker and elicits the hushed response, "what is it exactly that you do, dear?"

but by far the best was when i told this dear old man at church that my job was portable. he looked befuddled for a moment then this look of joyous understanding broke out on his face as he leaned in and said: "your job is in portables? like toilets?"

19 February 2006

0 being bob villa

after a rousing walk to the store in the 4 degree cool for milk and ketchup (surprise, surprise), had a serious bob villa moment with nails and a hammer and a level and stuff. and because it's much simpler to post pictures and direct all three of my friends to them than to email, here are the results (incidentally, it is actually larger than it appears and yes, i'm caffinated):


the living half with gen. masquerading as a throw pillow (note the super classiness of being able to see the toilet from the front door)


the bedroom half


my mum's delightful warhol-esque canned food arrangement

0 arthur

about a month or so ago my dear friend lib said that not a day goes by that she doesn't think about her grandmother and the cat of her childhood. yesterday, before we spent the night trying to go bowling, L. and i mused about how we ever lived without our new cats and thought how funny it is that silly animals can get so under your skin and become family. my grandmother always says to my grandfather, "there you go living in the past again" so it's my heritage and must indulge:

when i was a kid, we had this enormous collie named arthur. initially disowned him because my puppy was supposed to be named lucy, and arthur was very much not a lucy. but quickly my entire family fell in love with this big old hairy dog. my mum had a thing for artherian legend but the name was immensely appropriate because he was so regal- would hold the door open with his nose and let me lay on him like a couch.

my father is an amateur photographer and arthur is in practically every other picture in our albums dating from 1985 to 1997. arthur went swimming and camping, played badminton, rode in the landcruiser, and holidayed at gran and pawpaw's. when we travelled, he would eat a mcdonald's hamburger for each meal (the top bun, the bottom bun, then the meat) and french fries for dessert washed down with a glass of water from the cup.

when we were living in atlanta, we got this crazy little brown and silver collie named abby. she must have been abused before because she was a complete spazz and freaked out over the slightest movement. she and arthur had a litter of nine puppies one christmas- giving my father nightmares that we wouldn't be able to sell them and he'd have a herd of eleven collies to tend to. but we sold the puppies and at some point abby was given away too.

there was this massive hill near our house and arthur and i would race down it together. i always pretended like we were in the olympics- in some oddball hybrid of skiing, track, and dog racing- but we would get going so fast we'd end up running a half block afterwards just to slow down. it felt like flying and we'd turn around, climb the hill, and do it again and again and again.

arthur ran away twice when we were living in nashville. i'd walk home from school to find him patiently sitting on the front porch waiting for me. when i was in the seventh grade, we got this beautiful white collie and named her lucy. she was gorgeous but a little dim. think she had a major crush on arthur. when he died, she sat in her doghouse for a week with her head laying on her two front feet looking like the saddest thing that ever was. she finally became a house-dog and perked up a bit but was never quite the same.

arthur died nearly ten years ago and i swear my family is still in mourning. our eyes mist over whenever his name comes up in conversation- and it inevitably does because he set the standard for all our dogs since, who can never quite measure up. my grandfather confessed last week that he remembers arthur nearly every day, which was startling since he's not even a pet person. it's funny though because pets aren't people obviously, but they make you feel more alive somehow. or they at least make your life richer and, judging from the weekend genevieve's had, whimsical.

17 February 2006

0 putting the oline back in the city

we left at 5.30 yesterday morning- looking frightfully sleepy and very much like people who should not drive large motor vehicles. my family loves to travel but we aren't very good at it. means we have a vast array of travel calamity stories and this move back to chicago will undoubtedly take it's place in the family lore. almost immediately i picked up a bottled water and the lid blew off shooting water all over the front seat. didn't see that as a bad thing until we stopped at a rest stop and our pants were freezing when we got back in. less than an hour later, this very odd smell began to overtake the car. took my mum and i a second to figure out the cat had pooed. this unfortunately happened in a stretch of missouri where there are no gas stations so we drove quite awhile alternating between gagging and laughing hysterically and making cracks about pooh corner.

there were a couple hours of uneventfulness and a cracker barrell stop before the tornado weather we'd been hearing about caught up with us. my mum tends to give vent to her fears by repeating them aloud and then feeling enormous comfort afterward, at which point her companion will be overwrought with the worry that had inflicted her. so it was when she said at least thirty times, with a baleful glance skyward: "i don't like the look of that. i really don't like the look of that." we kept entering the counties almost exactly as they announced warnings for them on the radio. then we lost the station which always seems to indicate the apocalypse. fortunately, we either beat the storm or it died down but made it into a suburb of chicago in the late afternoon.

went to the local bee (which made me eternally grateful for working in my field) and the nightwas pretty uneventful. woke up this morning to find the cat (who we'd snuck into the hotel, feeling tremendously guilty all the while) was missing. kept looking under the beds and finally noticed that something in the box spring was moving. was convinced i was imagining things and almost didn't mention it but suddently hit me that genevieve had somehow gotten up into the boxsprings and the parents had slept on my cat all night long. ended up standing the matress and tearing it open and pulling her out. she did not seem contrite.


after the cat drama, we drove into chicago- only briefly pondering the prospect of going local rather than express, managing not to get lost and picking up D. along the way. spent hours stuffing everything i own into my little box of a home. powered through the day fueled by diet coke and a divine frances' grilled cheese. the end result is a serious case of the move-stupids and a bazillion boxes and tubs.


after hauling an english-head library through three moves in a year and a half, the oline will definately be staying in the city for a long, long time.