31 October 2008

0 october: a revue



"well, at least then you can say you're a published author..."
"yeah, that'll really open up a whole new realm of administrative jobs."

"i listened to the titanic soundrack on the way to work, which was kind of the musical equivalent of 'shoot me in the head,' but i'm feeling like life isn't all so bad because at least i'm not dying on a piece of driftwood in the atlantic."

"no hurt feelings is kind of the goal of an adult relationship."

"it's like i'm over here giving head to a lollypop."

"lifting weights is definitely working, because i can hold my gun up much longer."

"oh great. harvest festival. what better way to celebrate the harvest than standing in the lobby of an office building."

"he's not in love. he's just friendly."

"i feel like the last 8 years weren't a total waste since we got an oliver stone movie out of them."

29 October 2008

8 further adventures on the cta


there was a guy on the train in a gas mask this morning. and while i know this was probably just some crazy agoraphobe, there's something rather disconcerting about riding the subway with a person wearing a gas mask. you can't help but wonder if they know something you don't.

27 October 2008

3 oh, mother

maybe i'll move to boston...

i say this to my mum as i stand by a sign i believe to represent a bus stop (it doesn't).

this is probably not the wisest thing to say. but that doesn't occur to me until the horrified gasp echoes down the line and my brain yelps, oh, shit. like it haphazardly brushed against an electric fence.

you never know what'll detonate the "when are you moving back to memphis?" bomb. i've spent years avoiding it, deflecting, trying to shift the conversation to nashville, north carolina, north dakota. any place but memphis. i cannot go back there.

we got here, to this conversational point, through my debate of the kennedy library's various membership levels.

library membership. it seems so benign. so not the obvious route back to but, carrie bear, WHHHHHHHHHHHHHY do you want to live SOOOOOOOO far away? which is a question that misses the point. the difference between needs and wants.

i want to be a member of the kennedy library. because, A) being a member of any library would solidify my liberal bookish bonafides. B) being a member of the kennedy library just makes sense seeing as, y'know, i kinda heart the family. and because, C) being a member of the kennedy library entitles you to incredibly cool and awesome things. like free admission to all presidential libraries. is there anything sexier?

why, yes, there is. members at the "presidential supporter" level are treated to the COMMEMORATIVE GIFT (!!!). which is apparently so awesome its awesomeness cannot be denoted through anything less than the gratuitous use of bold italicization.

that's how we wind up here, at my inflamatory declaration. all because of the COMMEMORATIVE GIFT (!!!). because at the "presidential supporter" level, in addition to the COMMEMORATIVE GIFT (!!!), you get invites to all library events, and though all my excitement revolves around the COMMEMORATIVE GIFT (!!!), i have the emotional wherewithal to allow that invitations to library events would be kinda cool... if i lived in boston.

which i don't. a fact that does not prevent me from concluding my discussion on the merits of kennedy library membership with the incendiary statement, maybe i'll move to boston...

ha ha ha... but, no.

this instantly becomes my mum's new Greatest Fear. a fear i do little to extinguish when (having just realized i've spent half an hour standing at a corner that is not a bus stop), i pissily respond to her increasing concern with the line, well, everyone i know lives over there.

read: dear mother, i am abandoning my tiny family to memphis and fleeing to live with my yankee liberal elitist pals in the kennedy capitol, a place you would never ever want to move as a senior citizen and where it is even more expensive than chicago so i will be even closer to The Edge and from which i will never venture for thanksgivings and christmases so that you will now spend those sacred holidays of family joy alone, without your only beloved daughter, your sad bitter tears staining the treasured family linens we only use on special days, which i will never see again because i live far, far away and hold no regard for important things like freedom or family or fine linen.

kaboom.

the women in my family have always been demanding. we've been blessed and we expect a lot.

my mum has this utopian vision where we all wind up where we began- together again in the summer of 1986, sunning in the aqua patio chairs, wiggling our toes in the freshly cut zoysia, downing flutes of baptist champagne as a fair-haired five-year-old naps on a collie in the flowerbed. she wants that whole thing.

it's a pretty picture. one i'm probably going to spend the whole rest of my life trying to recreate. but i'm a realist. and i recognize that there are limits.

four collies and real champagne. that'll more than do.

24 October 2008

14 i rode the bus today

and as i sat from fullerton to jackson listening to the man behind me reminisce about the six days he spent in cook county jail on charges of battery and why it is better to be convicted of carrying a concealed weapon than domestic abuse, i remembered why i hate the bus.

21 October 2008

20 October 2008

6 things that make no sense


it takes an hour and 51 minutes to fly the 675 miles from raleigh, north carolina to chicago, illinois.

it takes an hour and 59 minutes to traverse the 14 miles from o'hare to north lincoln.

14 October 2008

9 HP


we don't hang out in hyde park much. i should say at all. if the 12 miles to evanston feel like a day trip to canada, the 9 miles to hyde park might as well be a pilgrimage to the moon.

yeah, the doc shows great movies. the oriental has fabulous lectures. the museum of science and industry is effing awesome. and yet we never go. because hyde park is too far away. you can see gary from there and that can't be good.

when we lived in hyde park, with handclaps of glee we would talk about "going to town," because The City was exciting. it was also something of a demanding ordeal, requiring buses and trains and quarters and long walks to reach and then taxis to return home. because we were in hyde park and hyde park is at the other end of the world. public transit doesn't go there after 10 p.m.

this sounds ridiculous, i know. it's 9 miles. but my life is lived in a tiny box that extends 2.7 miles west (to church), 4.1 miles south (to h+m), 1.5 miles north (to the metro) and 2 blocks east (to the lake). and in such a miniature world, 9 miles seems like a hell of a lot.

today i discovered that it actually isn't. and that if you have a solid mastery of public transit, hyde park is kind of right there.

how naive i was 5 years ago. i vividly remember walking to/from classes in that fall of 2003, with $87 in the bank, the leaves on the ground, the blue sky stretched above, and the wind whipping the long hair i had already decided to cut off. everything seemed so huge. and limitless.

now that The City is home, hyde park seems smaller. quieter. boxier. which, it turns out, is bizarrely alluring. just two hours there made me want to get married and have four dogs and ten kids and be one of those people who toss a dismissive fey hand northward and say in suspiciously british tones, we don't GO into the CITY, as though city were a dirty word.

because, let's face it, hyde park is kind of awesome. seriously. as i sat in classics sipping my cafe au lait, i couldn't help but marvel. how can such a small place hold all those huge brains... and so many emo kids.

11 October 2008

5 at last

i think lindear put it best when she said, "for some reason, the crofts’ marriage is bigger to me than any celebrity wedding that is covered in people magazine."

06 October 2008

4 ah, yes

word reached me of this at lunch and i find it a vivid reminder of the fundamental reason the croftOs and i are friends- they bring the musical awesomeness.

03 October 2008

2 cat fight

i don't write about politics. because i don't know shit about politics. i know what i believe but beyond that my political savvy is limited to an in-depth knowledge of january 21, 1961 to november 25, 1963. ask me about the american university speech and i can bring the pain. pakistan? yeah, not so much. so i write this as a know-nothing. make of it what you will.

i am pissed at sarah palin.

i gather i'm not the only one.

there are a variety of shallow reasons to be pissed at sarah palin. the beehive. the lipstick. the habitual mispronunciation of nuclear. all of these probably have no material effect on her ability to govern, but still. when i brainstorm traits for the leader of the free world, folksy doesn’t come to mind.

admittedly, i'm an elitist. sarah palin wasn't picked to please me. she was picked for all those other people. people who aren't instantaneously turned off by the phrase "joe six pack." to me, america is better than that. surely, surely, there's more to this land of ours than megalomaniacal sports moms and beer guzzling dads. if not, i want out.

this isn't just me being judgmental, because i'm in no position to judge. i don't have a favorite supreme court case. i didn't know the bush doctrine had a formal name. and it took me months to realize all those signs were for a state rather than a street and that wisconsin really was in illinois' back yard.

yes, i'm a moron. but then, i'm not running for office. i don't even have an office.

so i say this from a place of love in my humble cubical. it's one thing to not know things. it's another thing to know you don't know things and want to pretend like you do. it's a whole other thing to go out in the vote-getting world not knowing things and acting like that's ok.

the other day i pulled a palin. i held an important, potentially income-altering conversation and peppered it with vague allusions to my "interesting" experiences and "extensive record of making people smile." for reals. yes, yes, pick me... i can perform this vast array of complicated communicative tasks because... i'm sarcastic and i collect beads! they were looking for a home run. i showed up in stilettos to play wiffle ball and then pulled a crap bunt.

it was bad. so bad, in fact, that i was tempted to call them back and say, yeah, let's just call the whole thing off. which is why i am pissed at sarah palin.

sarah palin should know better. john mccain should've known better too, but that's not the point. as a judgmental, elitist woman, this whole dramedy- from the couric interviews to the stepford wife of last night- is insulting. it's not some great advance for womankind. it's feminism sacrificed at the altar of personal ambition. surely we aren’t so distracted by the sight of a woman in a suit on a podium that we forget it is in no way maverick to be unprepared.

i never thought i'd say this. hell, i spent a year wishing she'd go away. but seriously.

hillary. come back. please.

i know you're mad. i know you're out there licking your wounds, probably penning a sequel. making history then watching another woman come along and fuck it up. and i'm sorry. but your country needs you. please. come back and kick this girl's ass.

02 October 2008

5 a picture is worth a thousand words



well, maybe not that many. but there are some fundamental- inconvenient, some might say- truths here.

1) bono is in tour shape. which clearly indicates a u2 winter tour.
2) al gore is blond. which clearly indicates the apocalyse has come.