31 March 2010

6 march: a revue

"isn't it time for her to film another movie about very attractive british people who have serious romantical troubles during a variety of wars?"

"in my mind, the entirety of chicago is just waiting to be with you."

"thin mints are delicious, but they suck all the moisture out of my face."

"you are the great chicago princess."

"he's such a lonely lonely man who, in an attempt to be 'cool' and have something to speak to me about, has started watching american idol."

"if there's a prom department in hell, people will be sent to the separates room."

"so i would say that redeemed the experience- $45 for three hours in a hotel and a waffle."

"if my mother becomes a crazy old lady... i mean the cats don't live in the house but..."

"honey, boys do not kiss girls in caftans."

"who the hell is biscuit?"

"we might need to wait until after you're married or we will gain 500 pounds and you will have trouble finding a cutie."

"i want to do fun exciting new yorkish things, i just haven't decided what exactly those should be."

"we're in the airport. there could be people in here who flew straight in from africa and didn't wash their hands after playing with dead monkeys."

"you just march in there and ask them what cheese you ate last night."

"the moving walkway is not a toy."

"i don't want other people's sweaty feathers."

"i have decided facebook is a wilderness that consists mainly of 'are now friends' and 'are fans of.'"

"i told him he needed to read a book, or pay closer attention to the many romantic comedies i make him watch."

"i have such a bad attitude about menstruation."

"it makes you wonder what was the management decision of pants versus no pants."

"an old person on every iceberg!"

"mice usually wear pants."

"that's why democracy works: nobody wins."

"i don't celebrate Jesus holidays."

"i always wanted to go on family feud but then i'd look at my family and... ugh."

"i don't give to homeless people. i over-tip waiters instead."

"unfortunately, that elvis impersonator with the charismatic loins has now become my barometer for sexual attraction. this is not good."

28 March 2010

6 o bright star

it's very rarely in my netflix career i've felt the need to repeat, and perhaps we can blame this on the lenten buying embargo, but five times in the past two months, bright star has come to my home- this last time for a two-week residency- and all i have to say is lovely, lovely, lovely, lovely, lovely. so, so devastatingly lovely.

26 March 2010

7 dear james franco, for reals.

as if your whole general hospital stint wasn't very nearly more awesome than anyone could handle, now that you've graduated columbia and are headed to yale to become dear doctor master james franco what do you do? you ken cosgrove it up and get yourself published. oh, james franco, overlooking whatever it is that has crawled on to your upper lip and died, are there no limits to your power?

25 March 2010

1 ok + tn/nyc = awesome

we drank big house wine from the bottle while sitting atop a ceramic elephant in a playground on the lower east side.

we donned fancy dress and swigged from a liter of german beer at the only covered patio table in the midst of a downpour.

we accidentally stole a pint of banana pudding from magnolia bakery.

we met the man who 25 years ago led a 400 man walk-out from the floor of the metropolitan opera because the tenor had a lisp.

he may or may not be in the mob.

we fell a little in love with laura lobdell.

we ate a cupcake, grey's papaya and a slice of pizza within a 1 1/2 hour period on tuesday morning because it was our last day in new york and we had to accomplish our goals.

we smoked cigars.


we returned to chicago only to discover that the nose ring k.lo had put in at a tattoo parlor located between two sex shops was actually an earring.

it had to be removed.

23 March 2010

0 check it

k.lo and i are busy fabulousizing it up in new york
(which is much smaller and dirtier than we remembered).
in the meantime, here's a dose of big apple artsy fartsy...

20 March 2010

3 you say you want a revolution

so birnsy has come to town and, fueled by red bull and various gins and tonics, we have pretty much rocked chicago for three days and nights running. but the only detail that you really, really need to know is that when the customs people asked her how she knew me, she told them we met through a "revolutionary online writing collective." and that is freaking awesome.

19 March 2010

3 heaven in a bowl

being from the south, i subscribe to that uniquely southern belief that no event- real or contrived- can be truly observed without the consumption of tremendous quantities of outrageously delicious, horridly unhealthy foods.

and of all of my dear friendships (with the possible exception of partner) the one i have with KBG is probably the most dominated by food. we are the girls who went straight from the three sides meatloaf platter lunch at cracker barrell to inhale corn dogs, french fries, cotton candy and funnel cake at the NC state fair.

food has been a cornerstone of our relationship since KBG brought me that first croissant in holocaust class, but i don't think it really took off until heaven in a bowl.

heaven in a bowl is an orgy of taste goodness that i had only just discovered upon KBG's first trip to chicago back in 2006 (and while we're here, let's all dwell on that date a moment and sigh once together, gosh, we're old.). an orgy of taste goodness that promptly became an integral part of the Semi-Annual KBG/oline Birthday Extravaganzases.

imagine this, if you will:

a hot out of the oven chocolate peanut butter cookie.
topped with ice cream.
topped with hot chocolate sauce.
topped with cool whip.
topped with sprinkles.
in the ginormo libby bridesmaids gift goblets.



KBG is coming in may. we have been excited pretty much since october 1 and it would be disingenuous not to admit that part of that excitement revolves around the promise of heaven in a bowl. because we have not had heaven in a bowl in an obscenely long long time.

to the extent, that i sometimes find myself fantasizing about it. and it was during one such fantasy the other afternoon that, like a vision from the hand of God Himself, i saw the one thing that was missing.

captain crunch cereal.

it's probably time to invest in bigger bowls...


16 March 2010

12 behold! the standard for the judging of all future nastiness

when partner and i were in europe, we encountered this phone booth in austria. we said at the time that if it were possible to catch an STD from a phone booth, this would be the one.

as luck would have it, i wound up enduring an arduous hour-long relationship drama on a trans-atlantic phone call from this very phone booth, so we have pretty definitive proof that if you're a good girl it is, indeed, impossible to contract an STD from standing in the skankiest place on earth. nonetheless, this phone booth became the standard by which all future nastiness was judged.

that said, i've long feared that my bathroom has achieved the hygienic standards of that phone booth. because i LOATHE cleaning the bathroom. with a violent passion. and so i have avoided it. to the extent that i am not sure i have ever truly cleaned a bathroom in my entire adult life.

and now birnsy is coming to town. we're going to save for another day the in-depth analysis of the fact that the impending arrivals of various lovers and dear people have never stirred me to such action and instead focus on how it wasn't until i was threatened with the arrival of a friend i hardly know, that i finally womaned up and hunkered down and cleaned the bathroom.

a bathroom, i should mention, that is over 100 years old and which, judging from the hair/dirt/filth content that i extracted from the crevice beneath the radiator and the floor, has never once been cleaned in its 100 years. and having now touched the hair/dirt/filth of generations of dwellers who lived here before me and whose hair/dirt/filth may have survived them by 60+ years, i think we have a new standard by which to judge all future nastiness. because that phone booth's looking pretty good right about now.

14 March 2010

0 dresses & diplomacy

so yesterday jmills and i volunteered it up at the glass slipper project, where we had a lovely time and learned two key things: 1) dresses are heavy. 2) separates are hell. reveling in our general goodness and somewhat high on our own great charity, we wandered up to chinatown, where we were promptly humbled and possibly jeopardized chinese/american relations by our ignorance of rules governing the dim sum buffet.

13 March 2010

4 the gold lamé pantsuit

so, my dear friends, what we have here is a glorious image of my dear croftie standing on the fancy floor of macy's holding aloft a designer gold lamé pantsuit.

let's break that down.

(1) gold.
(2) lamé.
(3) pantsuit.

three words that still don't convey the glory. i think you need context.

imagine you are walking the fancy floor of macy's, hushed among the marc jacobs and nanette lepores, when suddenly from on high a flash of gold beckons you.

reverently, you approach. gently, you hold it aloft from the rack and BAM!


obviously in the women's department. unfortunately priced at $495.99. inexplicably sized for jason segel.

12 March 2010

6 decline & fall

so last night katie i and i finally went ice skating. i'm going to blame the ensuing crimes against athletics on the fact that it is difficult to skate on ice when it is 60°. i'm sure it had nothing to do with our sedentary lifestyles. nor the cupcakes we devoured just before.

11 March 2010

0 penny lane

today i found a 1952 penny and my absolute very first thought was: holy moses, jackie may have touched this. thusly, the monumentality of my nerdishness was confirmed.

10 March 2010

5 awesome (redux)

i appreciate the whole betty white renaissance.
and her mary tyler moore show alum status
and abundant humor and grace in her twilight years
have very nearly led me to forgive her for
the insidiousness that was the golden girls.
very nearly.
that said, screw SNL.
there can be nothing more awesome than this.

08 March 2010

12 1992

(fyi: this may be my gangs of new york...
something on which i have lavished entirely too much time
in the attempt to say something important
without really ever saying anything important
but minus the oppressive blaring music
[thus making it glaringly obvious that it really isn't.].)

let's take a wander about the past and embark upon a magical journey in the way back to the legendary year of 1992, shall we? the year- if any one can assume such an onus- responsible for the oline you all know.

lest i undermine my pre-'92 cool, let it be established that i was a pretty awesome kid. i wore scrunchies and leggings and matching skirt/shirt sets. on the playground, i hawked contraband copies of "papa don't preach" and was reprimanded for telling missy dean to "shut up." i was also seriously dabbling in tom tierney presidential paper dolls.

then came 1992. aside from a briefly traumatic episode in which lewis abercrombie made fun of the romper my mother had made me the first time i wore it, calling me "caroline clown pants" for the remainder of the school term though i never wore it again, 1992 rocked. it was the camelot of my '90s. it was DEFINITIVE. and its definitivity can be boiled down to three specific, equally impactful, events: the albertville winter olympic games, the georgia public television muscular dystrophy telethon airing of the making of a legend: gone with the wind, and the bill bixby-hosted television events- the elvis files and the elvis conspiracy.

so what we learn here is that when people say tv doesn't affect children, those people don't know shit.

let's begin with albertville. aside from the rather extraordinary profiling NBC did to establish evgeni plushenko as the once and future communist, these just past winter olympics offered us nowhere near the drama of 1992, when we not only had kristy yamaguchi's club feet but also nancy kerrigan's blind mother. i won't even attempt to describe the impact of the coca-cola commercial that so touched me that, using my father's dictaphone, i recorded it from the tv so i could play it on the boombox beside my bed each night before falling asleep.

i did not have clubbed feet and my mother was not blind, but by God, i would skate.

(sidenote: the figure skating costumes of 1992 did, to a degree, ease the clown pants problem in that they shifted my fashion sensibilities to the opposite end of the sartorial spectrum- establishing a concept of beauty that prized short skirts, a consumptive pallor and the abundant deployment of nude mesh.)

this bloated faith in my own abilities- never mind the lack of skates, ice, and talent- would make 1992 the year i sustained more physical injury than any other year of my life. it was also, consequently, the year i told my first big lie to my parents and, because in the haste of having to dress onesself and create a plausible situation in which one might have broken one's arm all while attempting to keep one's bones inside one's arm one seldom has the wherewithal to think through a lie, it would also be the year i was repeatedly forced to answer the question: "but caroline, how did you fall going UP the stairs???" thus, driving home the great truth that when you are a young girl who embarrasses easily, it is best to avoid mimed figure skating in socked feet.

you can imagine my parents' relief when my attentions turned to acting- a switch betrayed only through the cessation of leaps and bangs and broken bones behind the closed guest bedroom door. i flatter myself they did not know what i was doing, only that i was doing something slightly less embarrassing and blessedly more quiet than whatever it was i had been doing before.

my star turn as vivien leigh as scarlett o'hara during the many-months-long run of that dramatic masterpiece- the making of a legend: gone with the wind: the reenactment- certainly required far less medical attention, being as it was largely comprised of swooning on settees and downing tang- the only acceptable substitute i could find for what i did not yet know was brandy.

i should clarify that i was not merely reenacting scenes from the movie gone with the wind, but reenacting scenes from the documentary about the making of the movie gone with the wind. so screen tests, still photos, home movies and such all performed in an antebellum ensemble crafted from one of my mother's polyester nightgowns with a hula hoop sewn into the hem. this was no easy task. it was an intricate homage that required great dexterity and exceptional facial control lest my audience (usually comprised of a cat and the dead relative portraits that lined the bedroom walls) forget they were watching a staging of a staging of various elements that ultimately led to the real thing.

i would like to pause a moment here so that we might all marvel at how hard it is to be a little girl. because it is hard to be a little girl. especially one who felt one's childhood was squandered because it did not allow for stardom in gone with the wind on ice.

that is not an excuse, i swear. and i'm not going to go so far as to make the incendiary assertion that the denial of my inevitable antebellum icecapade glory directly contributed to what happened next. i'm just saying that it is hard to be a little girl. and that maybe that makes little girls especially susceptible to exceedingly stupid things. and that makes it therefore kind of sort of plausible that had i gone on to live the life i was meant to lead as oline on ice, i might never have had to ask, all judy blume style, "elvis, where are you?" and i might not have subsequently arrived at the fervent belief that he was alive and kicking in kalamazoo.

which brings us to the bill bixby PBS Television Events. the elvis files and the elvis conspiracy. the thing that it is really hard to wrap your head around, the thing you really have to appreciate about the bill bixby PBS Television Events, is how authentic all of this seemed at the time.

say you're eleven. you've never seen a movie by oliver stone and you've heard about elvis all your life. in truth, you've never heard of bill bixby but there's bill bixby right on your tv screen telling you about his friend elvis. and there's all these other people who knew elvis and they say elvis- their friend- is alive. and they would know, right? all these people who knew him (HIM!!!) who are now asking you (YOU!!!) to help them. because he's alive! and holymotherofgod, there he is calling bill bixby to say that he needs you (YOU!!!) to find him. because he's alive!

see. you're converted, right?

eleven-year-old little girl oline was. and so, while the other children frolicked on the playground, she huddled in the corner of the children's world after-school daycare center searching for answers amidst the pages of the gail brewer-giorgio classic, is elvis alive?

why yes. yes he was.

you may wonder, at this point, that i had any friends in 1992. fortunately all my daycare relationships had been solidified at the Audible Energy activity station on a snow day earlier in the year when- thanks to the skills acquired in the wake of mrs. christian's comment that it would be better for everyone in the competitive church children's choir if i simply mouthed the words- i gave a rousing lip synching performance of bruce springsteen's "born to run." but for the boss it is quite possible, given the potent combo of elvis conspiracies and clown pants, i might have already, even then at the age of eleven, been well on my way to dying alone. as it were, i not only had friends but a veritible mission field from which to win converts to the elvian cause.

HE was alive! how could we play marco polo when HE was alive?!

my father used to always say you can't be on fire all the time. he was speaking about fervancy for God, but the thought holds true here just the same. i'm not entirely sure when the elvis conspiracies stopped making sense, but as all fervencies do even this died down and life rolled along.

the olympics ended. i got breasts. and my family moved to a place where no one cared that i could recite the soliloquy from "are you lonesome tonight" and reenact select scenes from the making of a legend: gone with the wind.

everything changed. and yet, really i don't know that anything did. because these are still the things that matter. old movies and good music and silly dreams.

and in my heart, i am still caroline clown pants. i probably always will be.

06 March 2010

0 it's official

i am now as familiar with colin firth's ass as kate winslet's boobs.

04 March 2010

2 then & now

partner and i used to write letters. as in, we passed notes throughout the classes we shared, rode the bus home to grab the letter waiting in the mailbox and ran to the phone to discuss both it and the day we had just lived through together.

we did this every day. and this was 9th grade. back before the double doozies and the pigs and the turmoil and the waterfalls and snickers bars. back before we were even partners. when we were just amy and caroline.

i don't have many friends. mostly i have people for whom, because of the world of business and shit we have weathered, only the word family will do. maybe this is a trait particular to the only child. ultimately, we will be left alone so we amass surrogate siblings everywhere we go.

whatever the cause, if you lived through something with me, you're pretty much stuck with me. forever. a boy to whom i once wrote letters once asked why. why i hold on to people. why i forgive them. why i don't just let them disappear. i didn't tell him then. hell, i don't know that i knew then to tell him, but i am pretty sure that i am this way because of partner.

because that year, 9th grade, the one that partner and i wrote all those letters? that was not the best year of our lives. i'd hazard a guess it was one of our worst. and i didn't know it then but i appreciate it more and more now- that, in life, you need people who will hang on. no matter how you screw up, the mean things you say, the ups and downs, the losses, college, venice, LIFE. they are there. always.

i know many brave women. i know no one braver than partner.

partner's been very sick. today she starts getting better.

03 March 2010

3 ch-ch-ch-ch-changes


some several months ago i embarked upon what, for lack of a less vegan word, we are going to define as a "lifestyle change." namely, i made a conscious decision to accept every invitation i received. this has led to many earth-shattering events. cigars in an alley. halloween in a funeral parlor. new year's in a black church. and i'm sure i need not remind you, the ladies elvis TOUCHED MY FREAKING KNEE.

it has all been lovely and wonderful and amazing, etc., etc., etc. but after two consecutive saturday nights spent up past 3 a.m., i think i have to say that perhaps, in the words of roger murtaugh via ted mosby (ps. how much are we loving that there is a wikipedia entry for that?), i'm too old for this stuff.

01 March 2010

4 you know it's time to step away from the tudors...

when upon seeing this picture of elvis,
for even the briefest of moments,
your first thought is what HAVE they done to JRM?