31 December 2006

25 the old year

pride and prejudice (austin)
the kennedy imprisonment (wills)
sellevision (burroughs)
diana: in search of herself (smith)
the confessions of an ex-fan magazine writer (wilkie)
capote: as remembered by his friends (plimpton)
8.4 (hernon)
the romantic movement (de botton)
i am charlotte simmons (wolfe)
vanity fair (thackery)
freedom rising: a civil war history of washington, d.c. (furgurson)
madame de pompadour (mitford)
extremely loud and incredibly close (foer)
madame de stael (harold)
andromache (euripedes)
blond (oates)
after the fall (miller)
widow of the south (hicks)
conversations with marilyn (weatherby)
marie antoinette: an average woman (zweig)
the culture of fear (glassner)
john profumo and christine keeler (denning)
norma jean: the life of marilyn monroe (guiles)
the most beautiful woman in the world: liz taylor (amburn)
the enchanter (nabakov)
the portrait of a lady (james)
josephine (erickson)
athenias (hilton)
strapless: john singer sargent and the fall of madame x (davis)
who killed daniel pearl? (levy)
hope in a jar: the making of america's beauty culture (peiss)
beloved emma: the life of lady hamilton (f. fraser)
marie antoinette: the journey (a. fraser)
marie antoinette & count fersen (farr)
the claudine novels (colette)
the rachel papers (m. amis)
versailles (davis)
madame de pompadour: a life (lever)
gigi/julie de carnelihan (colette)
the knight of maison-rouge (dumas)
sex with kings (herman)
einstein's dreams (lightman)
mistress of the elgin marbles: mary nisbet (nagel)
the tipping point (gladwell)
marrying mozart (cowell)
marie antoinette: the last queen of france (lever)
freddy & fredericka (helprin)
la dame aux camillieas (dumas fils)
and the band played on: politics, people, & AIDS (shilts)
adrian mole & the weapons of mass destruction (townsend)
the lost painting: the quest for a caravaggio masterpiece (harr)
duchess: a novel of sarah churchill (scott)
peter pan (barrie)
sylvia plath: rough magic (walker)
la reine margot (dumas)
gentlemen prefer blondes (loos)
the american way of death (mitford)

30 December 2006

4 go lightly


it is official. in january, la petit maison de oh!-'lighn is taking up residence in much less petit, much more fabulous quarters in the pillbarracks. thus, begins the process of the current la petit maison de oh!-'lighn being on the market.

i had been warned that should i dare to not renew my lease, the apartment might be shown during hours that would be confirmed two days in advance and entirely convenient to me. so i struggled to make the place look tolerably tidy. after several weeks of this to no avail, i reached an impasse.

who cares what they think? i thought, conveniently forgetting that after a lifetime of my mother's admonishments to not let anyone know that we secretly live like pigs, i would, of course, care.

so it was that at 2 p.m. this afternoon, as i lay in bed cursing the stupid ear that God gave me, a knock happened upon my door. and i lept from bed knowing that i was about to open the door with some unpardonable hair and whilst wearing hello kitty jammies. my contacts weren't in but my mind's eye could clearly see the underthings strewn about the closet. the pile of dirty clothes in the bathroom. the stack of dishes in the sink. the unmade bed. the incontrovertible evidence of what my mum always said.

but my mum underestimated the power of mood lighting and interior decor. upon entering la petit maison, the prospie let out a gasp. her companion exclaimed, holy shit! they begged me to leave everything. they asked the all-important question: jen or angelina? they looked upon me not as a freak in hello kitty jammies at 2 p.m., but as the curator of grand fabulousnesses. which was rather reassuring. God may've given me a crap ear, but i sure can have my way with a room.

29 December 2006

2 today, in small, long-overdue, slightly ironic personal victories

faux2. if you've had anything to do with me during the past seven months, most likely you were aware of this article at some point. this is the article that was proposed in may. the article for which the bombshell and i went to see faux2 in june. the article for which i interviewed faux bono in july and gredge in august.

this is the article that was to be submited in mid-september. the article that, for four months, was evoked every single time anything vaguely relating to writing came up. oh no. i couldn't write that. i'm writing this faux2 article.

this is the standard profile that i supposedly slaved over thoughout the fall. when, in reality, i didn't even read faux edge's interview responses until october. this is the article that was submitted in a stupidly rough draft because i was so pissed at the thing that i had to send it away. i had to solicit help. i could not go on.

this is the article that returned on november 1st with a bevy of beautiful comment balloons. for weeks, i glared at the icon that sat on my desktop. i couldn't bring myself to actually open it until december 16th.

there was a genuine fear that the article would never finish. that i would go to my grave clutching my faux bono interview notes. and for a scary second, death almost seemed a luxurious alternative to further faux2 exertions. the angels would just accept my blanket statement that a cover bands' sound is unique. they wouldn't demand an explanation of such an unexplainable irony.

faux2 and i had a major falling out. i wanted to beat them up for not being more quotable. i cursed gredge's evasiveness and faux bono's witticisms. i cursed the fact that they didn't have a steady faux adam, which forced me to write about the world's most famous foursome as though they were being impersonated by a mere three.

i wanted to kill them dead.

until friday, december 29th, when i began to fear that this article would go on endlessly into the new year and therefore relaunched my research efforts. newly committed, i headed over to the faux2 website. there, i discovered that they switched faux bonos three months ago. the faux2 article was completely obsolete. my only thought: hallelujah!

ladies and gentlemen, we can now put the fun back in faux2.

28 December 2006

17 home again


in the airport i heard these two couples talking. they were from memphis and had been vacationing in chicago. they didn't understand why anyone would want to live in chicago. in memphis, everything was so close, they said. you could get in your car, go around the corner and anything you could possibly want was right there.

i wanted to march these people back to the blue line, parade them around and show them my city. because though i love memphis, the fact that you have to get in a car to go around the corner says it all.

26 December 2006

44 "oh no! these are all for us. we're delicate and we chap."

my chapstick addiction has been well documented, as has the promulgation of said chapstick addiction by my mum. but i only just the other day realized what a family of stick addicts we are.

as we sat in huey's gorging on burgers, my mum related to my grandmother the stirring story of how she became a stick addict. how, as a little girl when she lay in the hospital ill with an as-yet-undiagnosed respiratory infection, her grandfather exclaimed, that baby's chapped!, promptly raced to the pharmacy and returned to slather blistex upon her lips. pulling a tube of tropical twist punch (bonnie bell, summer '06) from her bag, my mum nodded sagely and said, that's when IT all began.

she went on to recount the current locations of her active sticks. her's are in the pink coat pocket, the front purse pocket, the pencil drawer at work, and the nightstand at home. it was a litany i well know. mine are in the right pockets of the blue, green, and yellow coats; the red coinpurse; the inside pockets of the yellow, leopard-print and red bags; the pencil drawer; my right jeans pocket; on the nightstand; and the silverware drawer. that's the one that made her pause. the silverware drawer? ingenious!

for years, my mum had been faithful to the medicinal sticks. the kind that reek of aloe and mint and various vapors. the kind that smell like they were manufactured in some old lady's attic. i knew the tides had changed at thanksgiving when she handed me a tube of cotton candy (bonnie bell, winter '05). but in huey's the other day, we entered an entire new era when she complained to my grandmother that target was no longer carrying bonnie bell.

coyly, all-knowing, i leaned across the table and whispered the magic word: walgreen's. her eyes lit up.

conveniently, we were going to walgreen's that afternoon- not for chapsticks, but for medicine for my stupid ear. while the family waited in the car, my mum and i linked arms and marched in. for three minutes we debated in the ear medicine aisle before grabbing the thing with the most ingredients. then the search for our beloved bonnie bell began.

they glimmered before us, a mirage of sweetly flavored chapsticky glittering goodness stuck casually at the end of an aisle alongside bargain bin wrapping paper and reduced christmas candy. my mum reached out and carressed the winter wonderland delights collection (bonnie bell, winter '06) as though it were the shroud of turin, while i dove reverantly for the vanilla creamies, our favourite from the fall '06 line.

we approached the check-out counter with a bonnie bell stash. a collective 18 sticks. so many sticks, in fact, that we crossed some personal satisfaction stick threshold that led the check-out lady to assume they were gifts. in an extraordinarily effective upsell, she led us to the glorious display of the bonnie bell christmas collection that we had somehow overlooked and from which we were practically obligated to buy an additional 10 sticks.

i am not ashamed to admit that my mum and i left walgreen's with $30 worth of chapstick. but as we were leaving, she nudged me and whispered, let's not tell the family. they don't know. they won't understand. it's bonnie bell.

25 December 2006

11 meanwhile, in memphis

we wear silly hats
(and are much happier than we may appear)

we make silly faces

we even make our GPs wear silly hats

and we love kitties

19 December 2006

29 turn on the bright lights


there are certain perils that one encounters as a wearer of eyeliner. aside from the aforementioned prejudice, the principle conundrum is the sheer inability of making one's eyeliner stay put. it wants to migrate and play the field. to fool around with the chin or party with the nose or have a forehead one night stand. eyeliner is très JFK.

the catch-22 is that the simple wearing of eyeliner can make one look 37% less haggard- a figure overwhelmingly in its favor. but a figure rendered less glorious by the fact that eyeliner gone awry can make one look 42% more crazed. it's a risky fine line.

today, i did a series of bold, not so smart things. i put on eyeliner in the dark. i did not turn on the lights to check the stay-puttingness of said eyeliner that had been applied in the dark. and then i went out in public.

it was a freaking awesome hair day and the sun was shining in such a shiney way that i almost believed i had somehow awoken into a shampoo commercial.

happily, i skipped to the marché to post a certain christmas present to a certain someone. happily, i conducted an entire business transaction, tossing my glossy raven locks so that everyone else in the line could appreciate their uncommon luster.

it was with less happiness that, at the completion of our business transaction, i received a gentle pat on the hand from miss marché postal worker, who said in a tone hushed with concern, honey, what's all that dirt there under your eyes?

18 December 2006

24 20s-something

within The Family, father cupcake is best known for his adept photoshopped superimposement of heads and his clever card-making skills. this year, the father cupcake stepped it up a notch, creating a calendar- entitled caroline, still in her twenties- devoted to the chronicling of my twenty-something life through 1920s vintage photographs. it's beyond words. but the spirit is captured with this one.

17 December 2006

25 ten

the albums most listened to by an oline in '06
(as requested by the dread pirate)

1. gogol bordello- gypsy punks: underdog world strike
2. the magnetic fields- 69 love songs
3. the magnetic fields- i
4. wolf parade- apologies to the queen mary
5. devotchka- how it ends
6. the shins- oh, inverted world
7. nada surf- the weight is a gift
8. man man- six demon bag
9. art brut- bang bang rock 'n roll
10. idlewild- warnings/promises

15 December 2006

18 aha!









the remaining ingredients in this skin cream?
24% hurrah
31% huzzah
37% shazzam

14 December 2006

14 morning voice

today- because when you're on a deadline, The No Phone Calls To Residences Before 10 a.m. rule does not apply- i woke up an america's next top model. and i learned that even the beautiful people sound like shit at 6.44 a.m.

13 December 2006

24 plans


in the 9th grade, we had to buy a planner from the school store. ostensibly because we were so young and naive as freshmen that we would be incapable of keeping track of assignments when our classes were located in different halls. the planner we had to buy went from august to august. this was logical at the time.

because i attended school through the 17th grade, i've been on the august to august system for the past ten years. unfortunately, my life shifted to a january to january keel a good four years ago. this has been terrifically confusicating. it's like moving through time zones, except it's an entire four months. which is why i resisted the switch for so long. because how the hell does one get off the august to august system?

there are really only two ways:
1) The I Have Money Pouring Out Of My Ears & Can Waste Half A Planner & Buy A New One In January way

or...

2) The I Don't Have Money Pouring Out Of My Ears & Can't Justify Wasting Half A Planner So I Will Endure Four Plannerless Months Until January way

a thrifty masochist, i went with the latter. it has unilaterally sucked.

it should come as no surprise that i like plans. not that i'm a plan nazi, just that i'm not particularly fond of complete planarchy, and when left to my own devices will naturally fall into a rather regimented routine. plans are exciting. plans are comforting. plans are very hard to have without a planner.

my planner used to be like a journal or sorts. you could go back and read it and have a pretty good idea of what my days were like- right down to the weather. in reading about the nabakovs, that was always one of my favourite details. that they shared a planner for the fifty years of their marriage. they're lives so thoroughly overlapped that vladimir made himself right at home in vera's planner.

and all the minutiae of the nabakov's lives were there, in their planner. looking at the slip of paper that contains the scribblings i've made in a valiant attempt to wrench my august to august plans into line with my january to january life, i haven't the slightest idea what i've been doing for the past four months. which is rather amusing.

i like to think that when whoever writes the cupcake&bombsybox begins sifting through the archive of all my junk, he/she will come across the conspicuous four-month gap in my planners and he/she will make the most logical conclusion. the logical conclusion that all biographers make in the face of any sizeable gap in the documentation of a well-documented modern life.

he/she will lean back in his/her chair, hands behind his/her head, and knowingly say, but, of course, that's when the cupcake joined the CIA. he/she won't stop to think, maybe that's when the cupcake wasn't master of her plans because she wanted to save ten lousy bucks.

12 December 2006

21 and then there was fudge

exploring is awesome. even the names of explorers are awesome. buzz aldrin, christopher columbus, amerigo vespucci. if your name's amerigo, you really can't help but be awesome. and explore.

because exploring is awesome. there's something inherently glamorous about anything that involves an atlas and exploring not only involves an atlas but also boats and balloons and trains and horses and guns and nazis and natives and a big, bad mystery either in the desert or a rainy eastern european communist country.

that said, i really just want to stay home. my name is kind of plain and not very explorery. so i explore on a small scale- at the h+m clearance rack and in my sock drawer. but tonight i went all out and really scavanged. tonight, i took on the freezer.

i thawed some ancient chicken and some old frozen green beans and made a huge bowl of nasty. then i began digging deeper. moving the many-months-old pint of sherbert, pushing past the bag of rice, ducking out of the way of the random frozen lemonade, my attention riveted to the blue tin gleaming in the distance.

i'm not a fan of chocolate, but there are days. and there, in the distance, was grandcupcake's fudge.

the fudge that grandcupcake carefully packed and secreted in my bag as i was leaving last february. i wasn't to share it with the parents cupcake. this is all yours, she said, because a girl going to the big city needs her fudge.

looking in the tin last february, i thought, a girl going to the big city doesn't need THAT much fudge, so the bulk of it was frozen and forgotten until tonight, when i peered past the sherbert and the rice and the lemonade and saw that blue tin gleaming in the distance and thanked God that i have a grandmother who knows that a girl in the big city needs her fudge.

11 December 2006

28 sex/race

croftie and i went to the art show at the merch mart today. after hours of deep conversating, we arrived at a pair of profound conclusions.

re: the dread pirate doug-cosbO
he's not a solid black man.

re: the perils of immaculate conception
you wouldn't want to lose your virginity if you're already pregnant.

10 December 2006

26 thou shalt find the winter's rage freeze thy blood less coldly


today i walked behind this woman. she was wearing a plaid scarf, a jaunty hat with a feather, and bursting with christmas cheer.

i thought: there's a caroler.

in an era where people drive their trick-or-treating kids to the nice neighborhoods, caroling seems kind of passe. rather like being in a madrigal guild or playing the lute.

as a result, only the hardcore devotees carol. and, let's face it, it's the hardcore devotees who are often the most frightful. they're so earnest it hurts to watch.

this woman wasn't frightful and she wasn't actually caroling. she was just going down the street. but the scarf, the hat, the skipping walk. it all screamed caroler.

i felt bad, though, for being judgemental. i thought, maybe she isn't a caroler. she looks very nice and happy. maybe she's someone who just has a very caroly sense of fashion. i am a horrible, rotten person because i've stereotyped this perfectly lovely looking woman as a caroler simply because she thought a yankee doodle dandy hat was a good idea.

just then a group of similarly scarved and hatted, freakishly enthusiastic people lept out of nowhere from around a corner, beamed at this woman, and immediately burst into a rousing chorus of "good king wenseslas."

i exclaimed, shit! and immediately fled from the frightful caroling freaks.

08 December 2006

15 i thought it couldn't get any colder than yesterday, but then today proved me wrong

18 stressball

sometimes i worry that i worry too much. actually it's not really worry so much as a heightened sense of doom. but then i look over at the vieve and see the abject terror in her eyes and i know that we're all alright.

06 December 2006

33 sex by the fire

a public service announcement

(ie. things your married friends have to tell you because croftie's romances-on-tape don't really tell it like it is):


the husband had our fireplace going when i got home last night. i was not at all turned on, but instead inspired. people have sex by the fire! it is something you are supposed to do! scores of women are "lain down by the fire" daily! chef from south park sings songs about it to the children, even. i thought, this must be something spectacular and we must get on this train! ...so not worth it. it was like lovemaking in a little tiny hell. never do it by a fire. you will pass out from heat exhaustion if you are not careful. consider yourself forewarned, oline.

05 December 2006

21 everything must go


it's now official. la petit maison de oh!-'lighn is relocating at some undetermined point in the future to some as yet to be determined, less petit maison. that's quite a high percentage of indeterminants, which is not entirely reassuring, but i'm coping.

i'm coping by making plans. because i like plans. so i have embarked upon The Official La Petit Maison de Oh!-'Lighn Eat Everything Out of the Cabinets Plan. this has turned out to be rather a jolly fun thing. tonight it was minestrone with cornbread and peaches. quite lovely.

and yet, even as i bask in the glow of the lesueurs, i can see the dark corner into which i'm heading. all because one day last february i chose to have lunch with AT rather than tag along with my parents to stock up at costco.

i forgot then, as i always do, that when left to their own devices, my parents always grocery shop for the twenty-year-old son they never had.

thus, there will come a night in the dead cold of the chicago january when i will be burrowed under a pile of blankies feasting on hungry man baked beans with NEW! hearty bacon chunks. damn.

03 December 2006

10 devotched

I.
"on that one hot day in may, this will be the moment i remember."

"why did i ever think canvas shoes in snow was a good idea?"

"i was looking at your shoes earlier and i thought: what tenacity!"

"i'm almost freezing to death, right here, right now, on this damn bus."

"i think it's not an exaggeration to say that it is currently colder than it has ever been anywhere else in the world ever."

"i just want a bear to come stand on my feet and hug me."

"winter hurts."


II.
"i hate to break your heart, but there appears to be line around the block business."

"don't worry. my heart froze long ago."

"we are indoors and i can see my breath. that's obscene."

"truly, i mourn the lack of tubas in mainstream american music."

"of all the things i was expecting here, a polish ho-down wasn't one of them."

"my God, we're going to die."

"as a rational person, i know we're not in an igloo right now, but that's a really difficult truth to grasp."


III.
"it's been quite some time since i last felt my feet. i hope everything's ok down there."

"i know we didn't know it would be like this, but now that we know, by God, i don't know what we'll do now."

"i will so be making love to the radiator tonight."

"i don't want to worry you, but i feel the end is nigh."

"have we died yet?"

02 December 2006

15 freezication


to answer the pressing questions:
i am alive.
the window is closed.
it only snowed 4 inches.
it's not as bad as they're making it sound.
but: it's cooooooooooold out there.