31 January 2007

5 "we don't step lightly"

speaking of brantley...

he shook our hands.
he promised us future shout-outs.
he caressed croftie's rosy cheek.

we silly girls squealed all the way home.

30 January 2007

14 january: a revue

(in no particular order & uttered by various citizens of the Oline in the City world)

"for the millionth time, you have arrived."

"you need an outfit that says: hey gay man, i'm sexy and like books and will make your wildest literary dreams come true. or something along those lines."

"if the Real World Denver has taught us anything..."

"is a flying rat's ass a detached ass of a rat flying through the air? i mean, really, can a butt fly?"
"well... it's not a butterfly."

question: "are you the girl who threw up at the benefit?"
answer: "what of it, bitch?"

"i love how this discussion of a romantic shambles has brought us to a prolonged discourse on the arrangement of a mall food court."

"you just don't know how hard it is to have my boobs."

"i always thought she seemed so goody-goody. and here she is... fornicating!"
"yes, sometimes even the goody-goodies fornicate."

"she really hit the nail on the head. or hit the nail with the hammer. or whatever that tool expression is."

"never underestimate the power of sexy shoes."

"the general public will fall in love with you. the general wikipedia-reading public, that is."

"i didn't say i hated it. it was just a green room and i love green. i'm just saying it would have made me nervous to sleep alone in there. you know how i am. especially in green rooms."

"people with as many books as us should never move. rearranging them in bookshelves is perversely pleasurable but the pleasure isn't really worth the pain."

"he was crap, they paid dirt for him, and then he was unexpectedly awesome. why can't life be like that?"

"yay for sexy shoes! is it weird for me to ask for a picture of your feet in them? yeah. i guess that's weird but i've gone and done it now."

"we're on a hayride of emotion here."

"people are having pregnancies that are planned. have you ever heard anything so scary?"

"i just sat back and asked myself, 'what would gilbert grape do?'"

"it's times like these- when i'm saddled with large, shitty furniture- that i truly lament the lack of local men in my life."

"we walked into that room and we owned it! well, maybe we didn't own it, but we at least looked really hot renting the corner."

"i must've had 25 icees that week. and that really makes a $12 cup worthwhile."

"clearly he's not thinking like a girl."

"so, my desperation for dr. quinn has become quite alarming..."
"i LOVE dr. quinn. dr. quinn taught me everything i needed to know about sex. or at least the really important things like how to position my hair."

"i'm extremely irritated with these people because i know they are not my future."

"i'm quite sure there's a big picture here, but it's one of those where you have to focus super hard to see the stupid dolphin."

"no boss should ever begin a sentence with 'girl, if i ever saw you in a g-string...'"

"gravitois!"

"apparently there are some very low points on the high road."

"so, even in the absence of any new real developments, there will at least be the illusion of progress- and that's really all i ask. illusions are my friends."

"hurrah for the rededication of lives!"

"if you're in the city and you're out there dating, invariably something sex & the city will happen."

"this is what we have come to. in his struggle not to say something cruel about my love life, he thinks a domestic abuse joke is the way to go."

"remember, i'm here to keep you facing forward."
"which is good because i get myself all kinds of turned around."

"it's amazing how many rumbly trucks go down your street when you're sitting and waiting for a rumbly truck."

"i can't wait to saddle up my pony."

"it is beginning to be very clear that they are an organization driven by people who are not getting paid."

"nature don't belong in my crack."

"yeah, he was pretty much a shit in drunk sheep's clothing."

"when baby's not happy, nobody gets hot chocolate."

"what horrid luck- to be carrying a mirror and hit by a car. that would pretty much signal my doom."

"he keeps calling me madame. like he thinks i'm secretly wearing red satin gloves and working in a saloon."

"it snowed just enough to make it seem like a magical turning of the page or some shit like that."

28 January 2007

7 the pillbarracks (b-side)

2 years, 4 apartments

the pillbarracks

the best apartment-warming gift ever:
the father cupcake frog guards

a room with a view

the other room

blues

war paint

my blue room

the lap of luxury

26 January 2007

19 aflutter!

in recent gym news, croftie and i have developed a major joint crush on our gay aerobics instructor. because our affections have not been dampened by his wearing what appears to be a unitard, we believe this is true love.

brantley. we can't even say the name without letting a little sigh escape. it's so sexy. it's so harlequin romance.

we first ducked into brantley's step class to escape the overeager gym worker who always asks, how was your workout, CROFT? oline, how was YOUR workout? in such a way that we're painfully aware of our ill-fitting gym pants. but brantley. brantley makes us feel like queens.

last sunday, we attended the class after brantley's. brantley was standing in the opposite corner wiping the sweat from his beautiful brow as croftie and i discussed the virtues of a joint crush.

this'll give us a whole new thing to do together! i exclaimed. croftie did major eyebrows of elation.

then brantley saw us. he walked toward us.

brantley's coming over!!! croftie whispered.

act natural!!! i gasped.

and we tried in vain to look as disinterested as possible. (if you've ever been a twelve-year-old girl, you know this routine.)

brantley approached! he remembered us! he knew our names! he shook croftie's hand!

there is some dispute about the handshakage. in retrospect, croftie feels that perhaps brantley was making an effete gesture that she misinterpreted as the instigation of a handshake and upon which she misguidedly seized his hand and shook it. nevertheless, we both swooned.

at the very least, we expect brantley to become our dear bosom friend. because we've realized that our lives have a shocking lack of legitimate gay right now and we feel less like city women for it.

but deep down, croftie and i are quite sure that brantley's madly in love with us both and that one day he's going to shout, croftie! oline! saddle your ponies! and whisk us off to a deserted isle where we'll sassily shimmey and sprint to select britney spears hits for the rest of our days.

oh, brantley! sigh!

25 January 2007

4 boxen, part deux

sometimes i do these stupid things that seem so smart. or at least logical. or at least not thoroughly idiotic. invariably, they are.

for weeks and weeks i begged for boxes. i loved the boxes and used the boxes and now i want nothing more than to be rid of the boxes. because they seem to have multiplied. surely i never had that many boxes. rather, i choose to believe that the vieve is whiling away the nighttime hours weaving cardboard from dust bunnies. because that's logical.

so i have all these boxes and what could possibly make more sense than to pile all these boxes in one big, long stack and carry them down four flights of stairs by myself?

the epic struggle to move the boxes five inches in order to get them out my own back door should have been an indicator, but i'm irish. give up? never.

by the simple grace of God, the boxes and i all made it down the stairs. a random plank of wood fell out of the pile (vieve, you carpenter you) but that was the only blip until the boxes and i reached the back alley.

the longest back alley in the world. at least it is when you've clung to twelve thousand boxes down four flights of stairs sustained by the belief that the four flights of stairs were the hard part.

i stood and stared down that long alley and cursed the boxes and the patches of ice and the move and myself. suddenly, there was silence from the stereo that had been inexplicably blasting a mariah carey christmas carol. then...

the chariots of fire theme song. for real.

there was but one appropriate reaction. i squared my shoulders, clung to those damn boxes with renewed strength, ran down the longest back alley in the world and trashed the whole lot.

boxes? we have none.

well, that's a lie really. boxes, we have some. but only of the petite, well-behaved variety. the riff-raff, they are a'gone.

23 January 2007

15 L (NF)


the bombshell and i are pillbox married. we have rings and have taken vows. we tested ourselves with the ladies home journal "is your marriage strong?" quiz and passed with flying colors. the other day, we celebrated our one year anniversary (observed).

and we have this philosophy. it first surfaced on her blog at some point late in the summer of our discontent, when she noted that "the world is not set up to support love," but rather that it fosters fear.

back then, we made a conscious decision. we gaily walked up orchard street with our fists raised, naively proclaiming our commitment. we were going to live in Love Not Fear. we didn't know it would be such a hell of a hard thing to pull off.

we've struggled with it in our jobs, our relationships, with our families, our friends and ourselves. we had to literally fight it out at a corner table in chipotle one rainy december night. and what we've realized is that ultimately, everything comes back to Love Not Fear.

because it's so much more comfortable to be afraid. to hold back and let the dear things drop. to live in Love, you must drop yourself. you can't see where you're going and all you can see are the horrid ways in which you might wind up bruised and beaten, so it's a hell of a hard thing to let go. and it's a hell of a hard thing not to turn back.

but if reading a bazillion biographies has taught me anything, it's that life is unpredictable but no matter what happens, in the end every little thing somehow- even if it is a completely implausible, seemingly random, rather crap somehow- falls together so we wind up where we're supposed to be. we so often fail to reflect on the life behind us enough in order to see that, but if you look it is there. the things that made you you. the schematic that brought you here.

i think this is the trick. in living in Love Not Fear, you have to have faith that it's going to turn out well. you have to have faith through the obstacles and the disasters and the inconveniences and you have to close your eyes and open the door and keep pitching yourself forward again and again regardless. let love and faithfulness never leave you, bind them around your neck, and embrace the mystery. no fear. Love.

22 January 2007

11 take this tangle of conversation and turn it into your own prayer


it's been a week of boxes and moves and at least 3,200 diet cokes. in the midst of this, there was u2. because there's always u2. they're my home base. we may go some days or months without each other, but i always come back.

recently, it has been nothing but pop, an album that i've always appreciated for its jarring incompleteness. the band got rushed and didn't have time to relentlessly perfect and dope it down. as a result, pop is a raw spiritual undoing splashed in enough glitter that it can almost masquerade as a party.

it's an odd juxtaposition, and it can be hard to take it all in. u2 albums are legendary for their cohesiveness. listening to pop is like reading a book of short stories when you were expecting a novel.

it's a tangle of chatter and tight spots and fast escapes and sudden shifts. the pop in the title isn't just pop music. it's the pop that comes after the exhilaration and freedom of achtung baby and zooropa. it's the bubble's burst.

to me, it's as though the protagonist has found himself at a strip club in the middle of the day, and it suddenly hits home how far he's wandered. in "mofo" he pleads with his dead mother to show him how to get out of the mess he's in. and that's pretty much the high point. you wind up with him on his knees, speaking directly to Jesus, pleading, wake up, dead man- with someone talking in the background all the while, as if to emphasize his insignificance.

this sounds terribly depressing, but i swear it's not. because of all u2's albums, i think this is the most honest. it captures them in a weird moment- on a bender in southern france struggling with the pressures of their art, their addictions, their women and their past. it's not all pretty ("miami" is a damn ugly song), but it's there. it's their bullshit. it's real.

this past week as i dismantled la petit maison de oh!-'lighn, packed the pieces of my life into boxes, tossed the vieve in her carrier, and carted us all half a block down the street to la new less petit maison de oh!-'lighn, i listened to pop day and night, over and over. and for the first time, it wasn't jarring or incomplete. it was just a glitzy little exhausted naughty mess. unapologetically so. and that's rather beautiful. what a pity the boys have been apologizing for it ever since.

19 January 2007

4 meet me @ the subway


bombsy: (1.57) meet me at the subway at halsted and armitage at 3.30?

oline: (2.44) that's the armitage stop on the brown line, right?

bombsy: (2.51) no sugar, its east of armitage brown line.

oline: (2.52) is it the north & clyborne stop?

bombsy: (2.53) brown line! armitage!

oline: (2.55) red line, right? what stop?

bombsy: (2.56) actually pretty easy to walk to. just go left on halsted.

oline: (2.57) sheesh! ok.

oline: (2.57) OH!!! subway the sandwich place!!!

bombsy: (2.57) ok, that was funny.

oline: (3.00) wow.

18 January 2007

16 "we paid straight money to be here!"

sometimes, these perfect little moments come out of nowhere. say when you're feeling twelve types of restless and go with some dear friends out in the dead of the freezing chicago night to a karaoke benefit for a lesbianish theater. and you dance and forget that there are ten bazillion boxes that have yet to be packed and that you'd rather spend six years in a popcorn factory than pack them just now. instead you act eight kinds of silly and drag your sleepily stumbling self home through the snow drifts in the even deader dead of night, hearing the sounds of bee's janis joplin lilting gently on the wind. whenever i forget how i love this city, there it is again. all quirky beautiful.

17 January 2007

12 boxen

if it should ever come to pass that the personal cameraman is an integral element in modern life, i will undoubtedly have the best blooper reel in all the world.

you may not have noticed, but i'm moving.

dougie and the croftO have patiently been my book box bearers, but today i found myself in need of some big boxes. truly big boxes. so i paraded my little self down to walgreen's, which has this very random We'll Meet All Your Moving Needs section on the end of the dental hygiene aisle.

walgreen's met my moving needs with six truly big boxes- because when something's enormous, why not buy in bulk?- and the checkout woman bundled them in a pair of truly big bags that seemed like a good idea at the time and sent me on my merry way.

unfortunately, the truly big bags created a parachute effect so that holding onto the truly big boxes was much like trying to ground a saranwrap-covered cardboard balloon. a whole series of stupidities ensued during the four block walk home.

the pièce de résistance? when, wholly at the mercy of the truly big bagged truly big boxes in which my scarf had become unfortunately tangled, i was whipped in a circle and thrown smack into the front window of urban outfitters.

it's impossible to adequately describe the many vivid expressions of horror that flashed across the face of the hipster kid who looked up and saw me, wide-eyed, plastered to the window by a pile of truly big boxes. but the horror quickly vanished as he heaved a disaffected sigh and returned to lazily folding scarves.

i scraped myself from the window, gathered my dignity, reigned in the truly big boxes, and rode a gust all the way home.

16 January 2007

4 to move

adjicio: 4, to add, to turn towards, to move towards, suggest

admoveo: to move to, bring up, apply.

agito: to put in motion, move, rouse

amoveo: to move away, remove, take out, shift.

commoveo: to move violently, disturb, shake; excite, upset.

concito: to move violently, stir up, arouse.

crispo: (-are) to curl; move rapidly; brandish, wave

emoveo: to move away, remove, take away.

eo: to go, advance, move along, progress. because of the fact, because, for this reason.

ire: to go to bed, to move along, progress. (+ dat.) to sink, be ruined, destroyed, be put to an end.

itum: to go, advance, proceed, travel, move along, progress.

moveo: to move, arouse, affect, influence.

moti: to move, arouse, affect, influence.

motum: to move, arouse, affect, influence.

permoveo: to excite, agitate, stir up, move.

promoveo: push forward, move ahead, advance.

promovi: push forward, move ahead, advance.

promotum: push forward, move ahead, advance.

propero: to move rapidly, come quickly. accelerate, speed up.

pungo: to move; to annoy, harass. to prick, puncture, stab.

punctum: a prick, little hole, puncture; a point, spot, place. to penetrate; sting, annoy, harass. to prick, puncture, stab; to move.

volo: to mean, signify, denote. to move rapidly. to wish, want, will, ordain, suppose, maintain that, be willing.

15 January 2007

6 fight club


The Rules of Engagement

setting: flight 615, row 26, seats D-F.

ACT I.
[after her lovely weekend and a slight delay, the OLINE takes her seat in E, the middle of row 26, and returns to the memoirs of the duc de saint-simon. there is an unexpected ruckus in the aisle. JEN scoots past the OLINE to the window seat (F) and throws her belongings onto the floor. half a minute passes. there is another unexpected ruckus in the aisle. BRAD throws himself into D and dumps his stuff on the floor. the plane takes off. half a minute of silence follows.]

BRAD: i just wish we could talk about this.

JEN: what?

BRAD: you just get pissed off and walk away and we don't talk about it.

JEN: what did you say to me?

BRAD: i said i wish we could talk about it.

JEN: i wish you weren't here right now.

BRAD: what?

JEN: you know what.

BRAD: it was only a gesture.

JEN: what?

BRAD: a gesture. it was only a gesture.

JEN: what?

BRAD: A GESTURE.

JEN: you're dead to me.

[twenty minutes of silence ensues.]

ACT II.
[JEN stares at her oprah's book club selection, ignoring BRAD. OLINE remains glued to saint-simon. BRAD leans over OLINE, whispering.]

BRAD: it's all because you're afraid.

JEN: what?

BRAD: of commitment. you're afraid of commitment.

JEN: what?

BRAD: COMMITMENT. you're afraid of COMMITMENT.

JEN: it's not like i'm stupid. i just didn't hear.

BRAD: see. you get all pissed off and shut down because you're afraid of commitment.

JEN: i'm so not. i'm like this horse in this book. it just wants to run free.

BRAD: what?

JEN: run free. i'm a horse.

BRAD: you're a what?

JEN: you never understand me.

BRAD: you're a horse?

JEN: don't you dare call me a horse!

BRAD: but you just said...

JEN: you never understand me.

BRAD: see how it all comes back to your intimacy issues.

JEN: my intimacy issues?

BRAD: sometimes i just wish you'd grow up.

JEN: what?

BRAD: we should never have come here.

JEN: what?

BRAD: this is never going to work.

JEN: well, why don't you just dump me. just dump me right here on this damn plane.

BRAD: see. you're running away.

[forty-five minutes of silence ensues.]


ACT III.
JEN: it's like a blizzard out there.

BRAD: no. no. that's, like, a light snow.

JEN: you never understand me.

BRAD: see how your intimacy issues always get in the way.

JEN: what?

BRAD: nothing.

JEN: what?

BRAD: just look at the snow.

JEN: it's like a blizzard.

BRAD: what?

JEN: it's like a blizzard.

OLINE: it could be so much worse.

[curtain down.]

11 January 2007

10 the more you know

i love sugary cereals and am always game to try anything on sale. which is how i got suckered into the new Fruity Cheerios. as it turns out, a sugary cereal with 25% less sugar equals little more than a bowl of bleh.

i was going to write a big long tirade about how unlikely it was that a simple fruit loops knockoff could go so incredibly wrong, but then i looked at the box.

now, i'm the dairy queen. part of the appeal of sugary cereals lies in their necessitation of dairy accompaniment. so i'm very well versed in milky matters.

and i'll go ahead and disclaim that i'm rather squeamish about food photography, because it's terribly difficult to shoot any kind of cuisine without making it look sweaty or grotesque.

but seriously. check out the milk in this spoon.

i know some menial exhausted and overworked twenty-something devoted long hard hours to the orchestration of that splash, but a photograph of frantic O's committing suicide to escape the amoeba that is so clearly about to ingest their fruity friends hardly seems the best marketing ploy.

09 January 2007

36 the killing time question of the day

if you were of the opposite gender, what would your name be?

not as in what would your parents have named you, but what name would you pick as most you.

i'm obviously linus. if i remember correctly, bombsy is lionel.

discuss amongst yourselves.

08 January 2007

13 birth day


today, elvis- wherever he may be hiding- turned 72.
everyone is expected to put on their HUGE sunglasses & have a jelly donut.
for the king.

07 January 2007

18 "we joined. i think that's quite enough for today."

after months of waffling and hemming and hawing, croftie and i finally joined the gym. and we're proud to announce that on june 1st- when we are apparently no longer young adults and therefore ineligible for the "young adult rate"- we will be switching over to the "couple's membership." yes, folks. a gym card marriage.

02 January 2007

15 trash book

my dorky english-head resolution? to read all the 500+ page books i've had forever and haven't read. so the unexpurgated beaton here i come. but first, a little jaunt in big, fat noveland.

i don't know where i first heard of kathleen winsor's forever amber (996 pgs). but i knew it was a huge deal in its day and somewhere along the line i acquired it. i flew through the first 300 pages, thoroughly enjoying myself but not really examining what i was reading. until the LG made the simple inquiry, how's the trash book? at which point i took a moment to pause and reflect. and i realized, this is where we are:

to begin with, our heroine, the intrepid amber st. clare, fell madly in love with an unattainable, deceptively wealthy townie who bought her a pair of deceptively expensive-looking cheapie earrings at the country fair, seduced her in the churchyard and succumbed to her pleadings, allowing her to return with him to london where- he made it perfectly clear- he would not marry her and where she would undoubtedly be ruined. she returned with him to london. he would not marry her. she was ruined.

in some way- though we know not yet how- our heroine's fate is intertwined with the story of charles II and his mistress, the future lady castlemaine- who is currently pregnant with a child that could belong to one of three men, none of whom are her husband. in their most recent appearance, charles II presided over the future lady castlemaine's dinner party and subsequently refused her bedside entreaties that he marry her. he has just cast our heroine a knowing smile as his entourage passed her in a parade.

our heroine has presently escaped from debtor's prison, where she was sent after the man she'd been tricked into marrying- after the man she'd been tricked into having sex with left her- stole her money and bequeathed her his debt. she has taken a much-needed bath, had her bastard baby and is now running with a highwayman named black jack, who has a shady affiliation with a reformed madam who runs the pawnshop above which he lives and who has just hired our heroine to do some sort of as yet to be revealed dirty work that involves her being outfitted in new, ritzy negligee.

so how's the trash book? i'm all blushes.