30 April 2009

0 april: a revue



"that would pretty much derail the cool train, baby."

"yes, we have pencil plans."

"it's a summer-time-wedding-guest-dress."

"i covet your weird bees."

"apparently people on diets love it."

"is there any better pick-me-up than beans?"

"why would anyone ever need anything to be more filling than pasta?"

"i gots to know!"

"he's the cousin oliver of my fucked up relationships."

"nothing says sex like kittens and strawberries."

"it was such a relief to have someone in church praying out loud about it on sunday."

"i think there should be cake."

"oooh. let's get our hands done."

"he looked either gay or like a christian music singer."

"yeah, you definitely need to be engaged to go there. people don't just move to milwaukee."

"mmm. cake."

28 April 2009

5 this will mean nothing to most people

(J, SPOILERS!!!)

but gawker does these amazingly trippy gossip girl recaps, and in the midst of this week's installment two underappreciated truths emerged. in lieu of anything else happening in the world (beyond, y'know, pig flu and book club), they seemed important to share:



ps. this is not a vision test. everyone knows they can click on screencaps and they'll be all big and readable, right?

25 April 2009

8 i am not a crazy cat lady

until i leave town for two days.

at which point The Vieve is Going to Starve/Dehydrate/Die scenarios proliferate and i am compelled to scatter bowls at strategic locales throughout the apartment to such an extent that even the vieve is like, oline, what the fuck?

23 April 2009

0 15 books


(because pirate and sensei asked
plus a forum change because i don't always follow directions)

in no order

the knight of maison rouge (dumas)
sweet valley high #40: on the edge (pascal)
gone with the wind (mitchell)
pride + prejudice (austen)
les liaisons dangereuses (laclos)
the age of innocence (wharton)
jackie under my skin (koestenbaum)
the beautiful & the damned (fitzgerald)
last train to memphis (guralnick)
sense + sensibility (austen)
"jackie!" (schulman)
as i lay dying (faulkner)
vanity fair (thackery)
plays well with others (gurganus)
the philosophy of andy warhol (warhol)

22 April 2009

14 greetings

the month in which 79% of the people i know were born is upon us. in preparation, i've begun habituating the hallmark aisle of walgreens, trying to stock up. and in the course of my habitutating (word of the day), i have realized this: greeting cards are woefully inadequate.

the month (actually, it's more like a 42-day stretch) in which 79% of the people i know were born officially kicks off this thursday with the birthday of my high school gay ex-boyfriend. there is no greeting card for that.

every card is wrong. the ones with the half naked guys. the ones poking fun of wrinkles. they all seem so mean. we feel old already. a reminder would be unwelcome.

and, really, how many times can you buy a HAPPY 100th card and scribble "now don't you feel young?" on the inside?

it's at this point that i tend to lose focus and, because the birthday rack is (ironically? unfortunately?) close to the "special situations" rack, i inevitably gravitate there.

because these cards are fascinating. these cards that say, i may have done something shitty to you and i feel bad about that but i do not know how to express that emotion on my own or outside an appropriately rugged context so i have bought a card to show i thought enough of you to pay $2.99 to have someone else say i care.

there is a card for everything. for breaking-up to getting back together to sex on the first date. which begs the question, if a guy gives you a greeting card after sex on the first date, will there even be a 2nd?

15 April 2009

3 i heart peapod.

because (a) they bring things to your door and because (b) there's this illusion (real or imagined, i know not) of being more informed and deliberate about grocerying.

which leads us to the unfathomable oddity of the day- the fact that it is possible to get 9,999% of one's daily potassium requirement through a mere 2 tablespoons of peanut butter.

which dovetails nicely into the second unfathomable oddity of the day- the fact that it's possible to get 9,999% of anything.

13 April 2009

4 happy returns

i can't decide if it's more jarring to make the transition from chicago to memphis to mississippi or the other way around. all i know is, when i climb those four flights of stairs to the echoing yowls of the pining vieve after a few days away, my 4-room box in its 4x2 mile world feels terribly small and not quite mine. as though i've stumbled into a boutique hotel decorated by my long lost twin.

upon re-entry, chicago is almost unbearably glamorous, what with the trains and the high heels and the lights and the cabs. even the vieve seems more fabulous than i remember, her hair smoothed soft as chenille.

for about a day after i get back, i will feel excessively grown-up. the queen of my perfectly pulled-together kingdom.

inevitably, this will not last. the next day will dawn and i will awake to a cat hairballing perilously close to my face and pack a lunch comprised of three apples and 1/4 of a cold chicken breast baked at least a week and a half before and anticipate a dinner of mini wheats and wine. with this, any illusion of glamor will be gone.

but there's something lovely and naive in those first moments back, that shock of wow. i live HERE. rather refreshing after the four days of thank God i don't still live here.

08 April 2009

5 time after time


i've been watching saved by the bell in the mornings lately. primarily because every episode has been seared into my brain, thus obviating the need to wear contacts or glasses. but i was struck by something today.

how devastating is zack and kelly's breakup?

you know, the one where they sit on the picnic table outside the costume ball while slater and jessie (I'M SO EXCITED!!!) spano lip-sync that sad, sad michael bolton song about how can you possibly go on living when the person you love no longer wants you.

let's think about that for a minute, because that is awful.

a truth the gravity of which i think we were spared in our youths because saved by the bell unfolded largely outside of time.

most of us grew up with it in syndication (tbs from 3:05-4:05 and wgn from 4:00-5:00) so we're accustomed to the patchwork sequencing. slater and zack would be best friends at 3:05 and then the knives would be out come 3:35. zack and kelly were dating one hour then just friends the next. tori was everywhere and then she wasn't. and at 4:30 zack would kiss lisa, something no one would ever mention again.

since it was a show set outside any logical order, it's appropriate that the dvds reflect a similar chronological disarray. there, the episode of zack coping with the kelly breakup actually precedes the breakup itself. which is nice in a way, because watching them break-up, you already know that, after acting out with screech's strangely attractive cousin and getting a lecture from the gang, zack will recover and he and kelly will reunite as friends at lisa's birthday party and zack will admit that the college guy kelly dumped him for is actually kind of cool.

it is when you make the sadistic effort to watch these episodes in logical order that you realize how completely ridiculous an interpretation of a post-breakup this really is.

because this is an awful breakup.

they are sitting on a picnic table in full elizabethan dress. because kelly's parents apparently practiced the rhythm method and consequently have 800 kids, kelly couldn't afford to buy a dress of her own, thus, she is wearing a dress that zack has bought her and which, in a surprising touch of realism, exposes way more bosom than is probably right for a saturday morning kids show. her breasts seem to be taunting him as he, in a move that seems the final emasculating blow, wears tights- tights!- for her and yet still she has just called him by the name of another man as they win the bayside equivalent of Couple of the Year.

as if that weren't devastating enough, as they sit together on the picnic table, serenaded with the lyrics "how am i supposed to carry on/when all that i've been living for is gone," zack asks kelly for a last dance

ouch, my heart.

of course, zack morris would do this. because zack morris could be nothing less than a gentleman. he would have to do the honorable thing.

but i like to think there's an alternate universe. one where kelly goes out dancing and catches jeff the douche with a college girl and realizes she made a horrible mistake.

but then, that can't happen now. that happened eight episodes earlier.

03 April 2009

0 feeb


i love beef. so does croftie. it's amazing the tricks the mind will play when you love something so much. today, amidst the flower show at macy's, we simultaneously caught a wave of what could only be described as truly decadent beef smell.

i'm not ashamed to admit we followed this scent through all the departments we usually avoid- scurrying through the corridor of judgmental beauticians, holding our breath as we powered through the humid stench of women's fragrance, averting our innocent eyes in men's underwear.

meeting no luck, we took our quest to the basement, where we assumed a cooking demo must be in progress. alas! no! undermined at every turn, we threw our hands helplessly in the air and asked the obvious question: where's the beef?

it wasn't until macy's hemorrhaged (and no, there is no better word for the disorientation upon exit) us back onto the street that we wandered onto randolph and encountered an area consumed by smoke.

we had mistaken fire for beef.

02 April 2009

6 girls on film


i grew up in a house of fourteen hundred leicas. we had no home movies.

thus, my wonder years can be recapped in the neon glare of full-color, the forgiving softness of black and white and the nostalgic glow of the kodak carousel.

photographically, it comes off as a time impossibly silent and still.

because we never had a video camera when i was a kid, to me, home movies are a bold and marvelous thing. i attribute to them way more glamor and power than they deserve.

there is only one eaton family film. arthur's puppies. it is, unsurprisingly, about arthur's puppies, which were born when i was in the 4th grade. subsequently, a neighbor came and shot footage of them at 4 and 8 weeks. my parents found this tape the other day and gushed on about how wonderful it was to see and how young everyone looked, especially the dog- who has been frozen in our minds as an arthritic, enfeebled ghost of what he once was.

i vividly remember this tape. and i know full well it would be acutely embarrassing to watch this tape now.

because there is no glamor here, as little girloline sits on the kitchen floor in a beaded fuscia sweatsuit, trying not to make eye-contact with the camera while obviously, painfully, attempting to steal the show, her voice shrill with need.

that is not me! i am impossibly silent and still!

video is not my medium and yet, it strikes me as something magical. or, at the very least, something capable of capturing a magic that defies photography. i have pictures, boxes and boxes of pictures, but pictures have no depth.

the other night, eF mentioned one of their family movies in which his grandmother plays with his baby cousin for a full 20 minutes. i can unashamedly say, i want that. maybe because i never had videos. (if i'd only been photographed in polaroid, would i be begging for a 35mm past?) maybe because i'm an only child. maybe because i'm a girl. maybe because i'm just an overly sensitive human being, but i want that.

by which i don't mean i want to steal that particular tape or relive childhood or recreate it or videotape everything i do. i just want concrete proof- a record, if you will- of those hushed moments of childhood when we were all unconditionally loved.

as everyone gets older, i find i want that more and more.

those moments when grandma ruth's laugh filled up an otherwise silent room. when my father realized he could never sneak up on me because his popping toes gave him away. when i caught my first fish, my grandfather's face. when my mum swept my sweaty hair from my napping sweaty forehead while she gossiped with my gran on the patio, her jelly-shoed foot lazily grazing over the collie asleep beside her chair.

i want to hear the sound of the cicadas, the crunch of the plastic in her shoe, the soft brush of her foot on fur, the crackle of the ice cubes giving way under the mid-june memphis heat, the sizzle of the citronella candle, and the gentle tsk-tsk of the folded up commercial appeal my grandmother had fashioned into a make-shift fan.

these moments are small and insignificant and they're things no one probably ever would've thought to film, but i want them nonetheless. because, as they begin to disappear, i want concrete proof- the sound of a laugh, the pop of a joint- that these people once existed as i remember them. that they were once as young and vibrant as we are now.