30 March 2006

0 hot is the new cold

spring arrived today and the electrical wiring in my building, evidently caught off-guard by this, went out around eight a.m., effectively halting the work day and sending me scurrying to the bookstore (not to buy- just to stand slack-jawed in the biography aisle for an unseemly long time). the weather here hasn't much differed in past weeks, so i mechanically donned two blah shirts, a sweater, coat, scarf, hat, and gloves. much to the amusement of the maintenance guy, julio, who was watering outside, i audibly gasped, "WHAT?!" upon the first step into the sunny heat. but because i hate turning around (really, nothing more obviously screams "i have no idea what i am doing/where i am going/who i am" than turning around), i soldiered on.

this, of course, creates a whole new set of problems. first of all, the trip had been spontaneous and therefore involved an unfortunate 4H shirt layered over a gray paint-splattered shirt. what pride i have revolves around not looking like a pollack canvas in public, so stripping was not an option. i also don't like carrying coats. but if you don't like turning around, eventually you will have to carry your coat. for generations, people have carried their coats. a hundred years ago this woman carried her coat...
and looks downright jolly to be doing so. i can't even fake that. it would make sense for carrying a coat to be a badge of honor for people who don't turn around- a testament to the fact that they, in fact, didn't turn around but braved the elements overdressed. but to me, it looks like incredibly poor planning. particularly when everyone in lincoln park was apparently in the know, wearing shorts, windpants (the official summer pant of chicago?), and flip flops. so i continued on in my coat and did an impersonation of a girl suffering from a rare genetic disease that leaves her 30 degrees cooler than everyone else (yes, i am this self-aware. let's be grown up and admit that we all are).

along with temperature shock, electrical outages and shortie shorts, the coming of spring seemed to bring the crazies pouring onto the streets. in the five blocks to the bookstore, i ran into another fauxolsen, a napoleon dynamite (naturally, windpanted), a really butch, red-faced man who sounded exactly like truman capote, a woman standing at the red light yelling "oy! oy!" for no apparent reason, and a couple fighting like ike and tina in the street. the climactic quote, yelled in his face as her inch long red nails dug into his forearm: "i can't love you like i used to!"

it was barely 10 a.m. i will now spend the rest of the day wondering, why couldn't tina just love him like she used to?

27 March 2006

2 10 ways to get kissed*

the fabled document (circa spring 1999)-- which lindear and alicia penned when it looked like partner might get kissed and was passed on to me when she did-- has resurfaced, appropriately nestled against a ticket for simply irresistible. as has been previously noted, #3 altered the course of my life, but #6 (which makes making out sound eerily like a sit-up) and #7 (because, of course, our seventeen year-old response would have been precisely that) are little gems as well. so for the benefit of anyone who's forgotten the basics:


*Please note, these are not strictly "The 10 Ways to Get Kissed By Linda and Alicia," but are universally applicable.

23 March 2006

0 he is come! who is come?

and now for some shameless side-project promotion:

jack black's body is HERE!
bookmark it. write for it. read it. LOVE it.

22 March 2006

0 a few words on the wawah

i've never been a civil war junkie. grew up all over the south, loving southern belle paperdolls and gone with the wind, and though my family toured antebellum homes and battlefields, i was never into the war (... of northern agression). however, a suggestion a few months ago that the family watch spiderman 2 has led to a wee bit of a "craze" (SIDENOTE: the war is apparently a totally happening way cool hipster thing. E grew up in a bedroom she decorated with each wall dedicated to a different year and E is cool beans). somehow instead we wound up on a rampage through civil war dramas and documentaries: gods and generals (with the nutty, messianic stonewall jackson) led to ken burns' civil war (with the haunting music that had me internally hurrahing states' rights for weeks) which led to gettysburg (with some of the greatest quotes, gayest undertones, and worst facial hair to ever hit the big screen) which ultimately led to the shelby foote books (and ah! they were butternut clad).

my family is funny. when we get interested in something, we go all out. my parents and i would rush home and frantically cook dinner so we could dine per bellum. the war marathon became an excuse to trot out the southern accents in their full glory-- a lot of "mutheh deahs" and "wawah" talk. apparently we're related by marriage to the infamously incapable george mcclellan. thus, every time his wife was mentioned, knowing smiles flashed about the room. unlike the starvation scenes in gone with the wind, during which i've always refrained from eating out of sympathy for scarlett having to choke down that nasty beet, this go-around with the war prompted no such abstention-- despite horrifying tales of cornpone and tar biscuits. there we were watching gruesome pictures of corpses on the battlefields while chowing down on salads and brownies. one night my mum brought out a candle while my father made popcorn. the juxtoposition was disturbing and yet hysterical and incredibly typical of my family. we're class. we take our carnage by candlelight.

20 March 2006

2 AWKWARD: jr and barack

because there are no other venues for making fun of PROUD reject photos, i give you select scenes from the harold ford, jr. fundraiser:

the one with the moses hands


the one where obama flings the frisbee

the one where they hug like they mean it (with eyes closed)

the one where jr threatens to throw a pen

the one where jr looks very "i don't want to be here"
and obama makes the face of a football player who just scored


17 March 2006

0 green day (8)

after a weeklong binging buildup- The Day Itself.

and judging from the sea of green nebraska t-shirts, there's been a state field trip.

(yeah- this was just an excuse to show off a scary irish pom craft)

0 the latest, greatest place to kill time

16 March 2006

3 flight anxiety



is rather indiscreet to write about one's job, but PROUDing is such a comedy it's too good to pass up. my boss has been on a much-needed cruise around the mexican coast this week. a few days ago an email arrived that concluded with the following: "i feel the power of flight coming. do U feel the progress." since it was posited as a statement rather than a question and he was sounding a little new agey and high, i politely responded but ignored the remark. so today i get: "Oh, you never told me how you feel about us being ready to fly." unsettled by the continuing aviation theme, i tossed out an insouciant: "of course we're ready to fly." moments later, from the boat came the rallying cry: "WE'RE READY TO FLY!" and with that, folks, ready or not- PROUD is airborn.

0 a long way to fall





"Simpson is currently featured wearing cowboy boots and hot pants in a TV pizza ad."
(reuters, "Jessica Simpson Snubs Bush")

15 March 2006

1 glad i'm not charlotte simmons



anyone who has had any communication with me whatsoever this week knows i've been reading tom wolfe's I Am Charlotte Simmons and that it is grotesquely loiny. to clarify that this isn't just my legendary verbal squeemishness but some seriously flawed sex writing (in fact, IACS won the Guardian's annual Bad Sex Writing competition), here are some excerpts:



"The memory of it aroused him a bit... but annoyance quickly overcame the stirring in his loins."

"His loins stirred so, he could feel the tumescence against the fly of his jeans."

"his loins certainly remained alive ... welling up beneath his tighty-whiteys."

"Adam departed Edgerton, the Little Yard, and the Mercer Memorial Gate with visions of loamy loins dancing in his head."

"...the girl wore black tights, which gripped every curve and crevice of her loins like a second skin, and a flesh-colored athletic bra."

"The sight aroused Adam. His own loins were on the qui vive, as if something were about to ... happen in this so-called fitness center."

"It clove the declivity and reached down under into the very mystery of her loamy loins."

"Oh, loamy, loamy loins!"

13 March 2006

0 season-porn


in chicago, the weather- preparing for it, being in it, coping with it, recovering from it- consumes roughly 13% of your daily life. and there's something about the city that infuses the ordinarily embarrassing convo stopper- "how's the weather?"- with a sense of social acceptability. in memphis, you complain about the weather- because it's usually hotter than you think you should ever have be- but it's not earnestly discussed. it is in no way used to make conversation.

it has become standard procedure that one of my co-workers- a man so cool he has his hair done weekly- will end our convos with the stale line "how's the weather?" i'll say something stupid like "brrrrr," and he'll mention that it was 75 there today and i'll practically purr with the delight of it being 75 anywhere in the world. these are our assigned roles in the conversation- as a person in cold, windy chicago speaking to a person in balmy, humid memphis. and when you think about it, this is kind of kinky. when people in cold environments come into contact with people or objects representing considerably more pleasant climes- it can be downright porny.

case in point: during the bitter winter of graduate school, the j. crew "cruise collection" catalogue was some serious season-porn. it was the coldest night of the year and i had walked the 10 blocks from school after an endless night class and arrived (frozen) to find a magical, springy j. crew inhabiting my mailbox. i held it in my hands (sheathed in two pairs of gloves, one pair of mittens), pushed my hair out of my eyes (up into my hat and ear muffs and under my scarf), kicked off my boots (keeping on the three pairs of socks), leaned against the radiator, and lost myself in a world where carefree, sun-kissed people wore brightly colored shorts and held chilled drinks in their bare hands.

12 March 2006

0 fauxolsens

went to lunch with a lovely group this afternoon. we were sitting and talking when this girl- who looked 12 but was probably 16- walked by pulling an obviously concerted m-k olsen. complete with the HUGE sunglasses, the lollypop body, weather inappropriate teeny jeans and flip flops, and this kind of crazy big 80s newscaster hair. she was shadowed by a miz spears knock-off- a blonde in velour pants with "THINK PINK" on the bum.

they kept reappearing and i found myself riveted each time they passed- wondering what internal, teenage mini-drama must be unfolding. obviously they considered themselves incredibly, unbelieveably cool when, to me, they just looked hysterically, absurdly wrong. of all the style icons- why?!

0 green day

the week-long, city-wide st. patrick's DAY party has begun. which means at 10 a.m. on saturday morning, as J and i walked around stuffed with frances' french toast, the streets were filled with drunken fratastic green people who already looked like this:



being a sober hipster in mismatched browns and blues never felt better.

10 March 2006

2 meggie does the "oh my god, what have i done" thing




i give you (courtesy of my dear valentine, meggie), the greatest, most chick litty voicemail EVER:


caroline. one of your oldest, oldest childhood friends- me- is a f***ing idiot. oh my god what have i done. i was leaving the hospital and this dr who i’ve talked to all of three times and i don’t know his name, called my name. he knows me... i called him out of a pen one day and you know me- i don’t have any voice in my head that tells me what i shouldn’t be doing. so ... and so we’re talking, we’re crossing the street, going to the parking garage. i’m waiting for the elevator and, you know, because he’s a doctor he gets a prime parking spot so he doesn’t have to park on seven... and he asked me if i wanted to go out sometime for coffee. don’t drink coffee. but me being the fricking idiot I go "yeah, sure sure." ok. don’t even know the guy’s name. not even really all that attracted to him... that and I think he’s old. because i think he’s an intern. maybe a resident. not sure which one. definitely not a med student. possibly an intern, possibly a resident. pretty sure he’s not an attending... and i’m sitting here afterwards and i’m like What. The. Hell… was i thinking... but then it ‘s just a date. just coffee. and it’s not like he proposed. and i’m not quite sure what country he’s from. he left me a voice mail at this number. his name is pavi... he might be indian. i don’t think so. he sounds american. he might be peruvian. he kind of looks like a version of benjamin bratt. he’s not bad looking... i’m just sitting here thinking what the hell was i thinking but then i’m like doctor, hello! doctor! doctor’s always nice. but i’m sitting here in emotional turmoil and i need advice and you’re like one of my closest friends and you’re good for advice. call me back or email me one of the two. have a good day. have fun with your portable job. bye!

1 some assembly required


my closet was a big junk pile of magazines so i ordered a bookshelf that arrived yesterday. it came in pieces and was somewhat daunting. a friend of mine had once lusted after a "computer tower." he finally bought it, brought it home, and spent an entire weekend assembling it with a battery-less dremel tool and a pink speckled hammer. by the end of it, he hated the thing. it became the point at which everything in his life went downhill. was haunted by that as i spent the evening taping together faux wood strips and trying to determine which was the "unfoiled" side. in the end, it came together lovely.

and of course, within twenty minutes of assembly- it was stuffed completely full.

07 March 2006

0 am i the trashiest person ever?



a roommate once said i was the trashiest person ever. he always said this with an exasperated, pained expression as he was hoisting the garbage to take it outside. i always replied that when two people live together, they obviously make twice the trash- but now am having doubts.

am i really the trashiest person ever?

upon closer examination, there are several elements that make it almost impossible for me not to appear to be rather trashy. first, the preponderance of very small trash cans. why do they even bother to make mini-cans? throw in a kleenex and they're brimming over. senseless. and somehow i have ended up with three of these which, when scattered throughout a teeny apartment, create the sense of living in a landfill.

second, an accidental purchase of one gallon trashbags has perpetuated the mini-can problem. clearly they're intended as a companion to the mini-can, but for a writer who tears up paper and goes through 5 gallons of milk and countless diet cokes a week, nothing could be stupider than a one gallon trashbag. at least with a larger bag you can pull it up and contain the garbage. the one gallon bag offers no leeway. it is unforgivingly cruel.

the third aspect- which probably most convincingly proves my trashiness- is that my very consumption guarantees a considerable amount of garbage. a gallon of milk every 2 days, 2-3 diet cokes a day, misc. cat business, work stuff, and lots of junk mail make for a goodly amount of waste. not only that, but since my parents always stop off at costco before coming, a percentage of the garbage is of a crazy huge size. cereal boxes twice as large as the mini-cans themselves.

so there you have it. living and working with a cat in a home of teeny trash bags makes it nearly impossible to stave off trashiness. acceptance. i AM the trashiest person ever.

05 March 2006

03 March 2006

1 "someone" took him too high


a prescient analysis of recent conspiracy theories proposed by everyone's favorite oily, messianic, "christian" former front-man turned sex-tape star:

"Someone" Out to Get Stapp
By Joal Ryan

Scott Stapp doesn't think too highly of "someone."

The Associated Press released quotes Wednesday from an AP Radio interview in which the former Creed singer accuses "someone" of being behind the recent release of a sex tape.

"Obviously, someone wants to hurt me, and doesn't want me to be successful in my solo career," Stapp told AP Radio.

"Someone" could not be located for comment.

Kid Rock, who is seen along with Stapp in the sex tape entertaining female fans in a tour bus, was located for comment. He told AP that Stapp was "an idiot."

"The tape gets out--it's your tape--and you're [saying] someone's trying to sabotage your career?" Rock complained to the AP.

The solo career that the 32-year-old Stapp sees as being plundered by "someone" began in earnest with last November's release of The Great Divide. Whereas Creed moved tens of millions of CDs during its 1990s heyday, Stapp saw only 94,000 copies of The Great Divide ring up sales in its first week. It was not known if Stapp explained to AP Radio how, or if, "someone" put the kibosh on the album.

What rankled Rock was Stapp's theory on how the X-rated Internet home of the Paris Hilton vehicle, 1 Night in Paris, came into possession of a 1999 tape featuring him and Kid in the company of women, also known as "strippers," per the AP. According to Stapp: "Someone" stole it from him.

Red Light District, the self-described leader in the field of "hardcore gonzo video," has denied the footage was of the purloined variety. Rock, for one, has said he doesn't care how the company got the tape.

"[Stapp] is the idiot because it's out," Rock said, per AP. "I'm holding him responsible."

In court, however, Rock is battling Red Light District. On Feb. 21, he won a preliminary injunction barring the company from posting the tape on its sites, ScottStappSexTape.com and KidRockSexTape.com.

While Rock is mad--he says he never dabbles in homemade movies--Stapp is full of regret. If the "artist who's a Christian," as Stapp once identified himself, had to do it all over again, he told AP Radio, he would have "burned that tape."

But Stapp didn't destroy the footage--filmed when he was between marriages, he pointed out--because an evening spent entertaining female fans also known as strippers is something for the scrapbook.

"You think it's part of your rock 'n' roll memories," Stapp said, per the AP.

Of late, Stapp has been making new rock 'n' roll memories at a quick clip. Last December, the New York Daily News reported that an "apparently intoxicated" Stapp acted boorish during the taping of Spike TV's Casino Cinema. On Feb. 10, an "antagonistic" and newly married Stapp was stopped from boarding a Los Angeles flight to Hawaii, and arrested on suspicion of being drunk in a public place. There was no mention of "someone" being involved in either incident.

Stapp is due to be arraigned on the public intoxication charge next week.

Amid this drama, Stapp is on tour. And although he's not attempting to play arenas, he's having trouble selling tickets at smaller venues. At least that was how the Orlando Sentinel described the state of things at Stapp's Feb. 23 kick-off date at the Hard Rock Live in the singer's native Orlando, Florida.

The "hometown showcase...didn't draw enough fans to warrant opening the hall's upstairs balcony," Sentinel pop music critic Jim Abbott wrote.

Far from being downcast by the sex tape scandal, the struggling album, the upcoming court date, the machinations of "someone" or the bandaged right wrist that an insider told the newspaper was dinged up in a surfing excursion, Stapp was "chatty" with his audience, the Sentinel reported.

"I need this so bad," Stapp said, according to the newspaper.

Stapp is due back on the stage Thursday in Hartford, Connecticut.

That is, unless "someone" has other ideas.

0 confessions of a bonnie bell girl



i have two addictions. one is diet coke. 2-3 a day, except for very very special days. the other is bonnie bell chapstick.

in the twelfth grade, when lindear had lost her bloom and no one else had, she devised a "how to get kissed" list. the only thing i remember was that you were supposed to wear flavored lip gloss. there were like four stars by that one so from the moment that note landed in my lap, i've been a bonnie bell girl.

they're EVERYWHERE. at this very moment, there are at least six sticks in progress- one on the windowsill, in the nightstand, two in the desk, in the pocket of both the blue and brown coats, in the green purse, and in the silverware drawer. that doesn't even include the back-up sticks- the not quite as good flavors that have been stashed in random other bags and coat pockets in case of a chapping emergency.

i've been using bonnie bell so long that my original trademark flavor- strawberry banana- was discontinued, forcing a switch to watermelon, which has also since been discontinued. so i've now embraced the entire line- from cookie dough to sugar sprinkles to starburst.

a former user herself, my mum has defected the sugary bonnie bell world for salves with a decidedly medicinal tint. but yesterday, she sent the most beautiful gift. the entire bonnie bell winter line- purchased on clearance (who knew chapstick went out of season???). ah. the magic that can be had for $4.97.

02 March 2006

0 the three piece suit theory


if you're a girl and you work in an office, then you're crazy cold 93% of the time. this always seemed a freak phenomenon of the working world, but lindear has made the most astute observation, which casts office climate control in a whole new light.

she said: "we cater to the idea that everyone here is a man in a three piece business suit."

this astonishing revelation explains why i have shivered non-stop for twenty-four years. why i actually took a blanket to work. it's tough to be a chic and warm tiny little woman in a three piece suit world.

(incidentally, that is NOT me!)