28 June 2012

0 unnecessary, yes. but awesome.

0 lugging

yesterday, i helped two men find the getaway hostel, walking them from the train station down to my street. 

they were swiss. they were cute. they were amazed by the wind and the heat. and they were hauling a shit-ton of luggage. 

fullerton isn't exactly going to win awards for its paving and man 2's rollarboard caught every single crack in the cement over the course of those five blocks, each time spilling the additional bags steadied on top of it out into the street. 

and each time it did, man 2 looked at me and he winked and he said, "to travel it is difficult." and i said, "it is indeed."

6 there are 3 kinds of wetness? who knew?

27 June 2012

1 commitment

i'm trying to go to bikram more. by which i mean- let's face it- going to bikram at all. because it's so much easier not to go. right up until the moment i'm there, in the studio, it's so much easier to turn back.

for reals, how many times have i been dressed only to get back into bed because i'm 3 minutes late getting out of the house and assume my preferred spot will be taken and i will surely die if i'm not in the little back corner by the window? SO MANY TIMES, people. so many times.

but now i've got this streak going. i've gone two days in a row! huzzah! it's a streak that's about to end tomorrow because k.clen and i have breakfast, but i opt to count it as a streak nonetheless. two consecutive days is a triumph. pancakes will be a worthy reward.

i'm haunted by something britney spears once said. about how, for her, it was a constant battle every day to get out of bed and to go work out. truth. for nearly everyone, no?

bikram is the only time of the day when my brain shuts up. not even the class necessarily, but in the 15 minutes prior where you just lay there sweating and breathing. that 15 minutes alone is worth the 2 hours of lost sleep. right? really?

i try to tell myself it is and i maybe half-believe it. but then i come home and there she is. the vieve. all stretched out across the bed, belly up and lightly snoring. and i'm stricken with envy because my cat got more sleep than me.

2 so maybe i shouldn't have gone to paris

because now, all i can think about, every single day, is how badly, how desperately, how very much i need to go back. for good.

26 June 2012

0 meow

0 how incredibly excited are you for maleficent?

how incredibly weird that it is being filmed in the parking lot for a renaissance festival (yeah, every time i see trucks and vans parked on grass, i assume we're at a renaissance festival) and features the jolie as fishbait.

0 stop the presses!

(and, yes, i'm obsessed with the mail.)

john edwards and rielle hunter have broken up.

what do we make of this? hmm... 

i will say i have no love for rielle hunter. woman is a crackpot. have you read the GQ interview? if not, stop whatever it is you're doing (ie. killing time reading OitC) and go read it. now. 

because you can't appreciate the myriad levels of crazy this woman brings to the table unless you've read the GQ interview

so you've read it? let's chat.

omg, crazypants! right?! 

i'm not even going to go into detail because you have, after all, read it now. 

but, ignoring the fact that what she did was wrong- because, from the sound of it, morality doesn't come into play in this scenario- her logic is totally wackadoo. and not wackadoo in a good way like me, but wackadoo in a bad way. 

this intrigues me, from the daily mail's report: "During her Tuesday interview with George Stephanopoulos, Hunter said that she would have done things differently if she had the foresight that she has now about the repercussions of her affair with the then-married father." 

lady, HOW DID YOU NOT KNOW?! isn't it safe to assume that when you have an affair with anyone- never mind a presidential candidate- that there will be repercussions? scratch that. isn't it safe to assume that with pretty much everything you do as an adult, there will- at some point- be repercussions, regardless of whether they're good or bad? 

i'm being mean. she's "devastated." 

but it's hard not to be cynical about someone who drops news like this in tandem with their book tour.

0 movement

our office moved while i was away. 4 blocks west.

we were in the heart of the loop and now we're on the western edge. i find myself nostalgically returning to the walgreen's in our old neighborhood (the one where croftie and i always used to go and marvel at the saran-wrapped fruit). because i miss it. because it's nicer. because the people there know my name.

everything is different here in the west loop. there are more men. they all wear blue shirts and black pants. the streets are cracked and the ceilings are lower. it is a sushi desert and h+m-- once so close, so convenient-- is now a solid hike away. (my wallet appreciates this, my closet does not.)

it's surprising how big a difference such a small shift makes. a new building, a new key, a new train stop, a new world.

25 June 2012

0 i want pancakes.

(poor k.clen's heard about this all morning so i figured i'd share the love)

0 cheeky

the other night, i went to a sake sipping.

glamorous, no?

what did we learn here?

i am not glamorous.

i do not like sake.

6 all of a sudden, everyone's sending poems

0 “go back to beverly hills and live your same old princess life with your same old people. but you can do it without me, because I AM GOING TO IMMERSE.”

And so it begins…The Summer of Brandon Dates a Bigot! today, class, we’re going to be looking at portrayals of paris, long distance love, betrayal and how everything looks better when you can’t have it in the 90210 season 3 episode “too little too late/paris, 75001″.

22 June 2012

4 deep deep thoughts from the naked lady bar: byzantine end matter, buddhist disney, bringing the ring back from mordor, and the BSC

"i would rather pull out all my hairs one by one... ALL OVER MY BODY than let you all read my textbook."

"my leg hair is beautiful!"
"if you write that down, specify that it came from austin and not from me."

"weather was good. no fights. no racism."

"and there's buddhas everywhere... and water slides."

"even the hilton was kind of magical in a weird buddhist disney way."

"what the fuck is going on? it's like a pirate bar."

"immediate fucking! because, c'mon, you can't have us read that story 87,000 times and not do him."

"BOOM! that's maph in a sentence."

"you can put an ad in the newspaper, fine, but you might as well put an ad on your ass and wear pants the whole time, that's how much good it's going to do you."

"and then you find a space penis with a vagina face."

"no, we NLBed... to verb that."

"who know that poetry was the way to go in maph?"

"oline was like 'i'm going to go into biography' and i was like 'i'm going to do whatever the fuck...'"
"and i was like BRRRRR."

"it's just like all the weirdest black people in chicago outside that window right now."

"when we go to hyde park, it should totally be a musical."

"did anyone in the babysitters club have short hair?"
"not claudia or stacey."
"or mallory or maryanne."
"DEFINITELY not dawn."

"good to know. short-haired girls, underrepresented in literature."

"gosh, every time i go into the kitchen i feel like i'm committing a sex crime."

"oddly, you went to mordor and brought back a ring."
"what does that mean for middle earth?"

"why are your footnotes in roman numerals and increasingly byzantine signifiers?"

"purposefully disgusting!"

'there's another weird black guy."

"that's the beauty of patriarchy. we let you do all the work."

1 an open letter to lindsay lohan re: the unstoppable trainwreck that is “liz and dick” (and the [inevitable] EPIC fur hat)

dear lindsay lohan,
i knew this day would come.
not to sound smug but it was quite obvious from that get-go that somewhere in the never-ending saga of you filming the unstoppable trainwreck that is the lifetime movie “liz and dick”, you would be called upon to attempt to approximate one of the most glorious moments in fashion history. namely, this:
to be all joey russo for a moment: WHOA.  Continue reading 

0 so this is the best headline ever.

the story isn't too shabby as well.

21 June 2012

0 !!!!!!!!

2 perspectives

i'm working  on relaxing outdoors more. i realize that my insistance on viewing it as "work" somewhat negates the whole relaxification aspect, but still. baby steps.

and so i'm plopping down in parks and on random benches, as i always do in cities where i don't live and never do in cities where i do.

last saturday afternoon, before taking in a matinee, i put the pink plane blanket to a new use and stretched out in a corner of sheffield park with a trashy book. it was only after i'd gotten cozy and had a near-miss with a baseball that i realized i was relaxing in a little league game's left field.

it was a full ten minutes after that first realization that i looked up again and suddenly everything fit together differently. i realized, no. i was not sitting in left field but, rather, behind and to the right of the batter's box.

what i'd mistaken for a hit had, in fact, been a wild pitch. one that overshot home plate by a full thirty feet.

4 in hindsight, i'm disturbed by her use of the phrase "natural life."

14 APRIL 2007

straighten up

i have an "acquaintance." his primary interests are my love life and dispensing not particularly helpful insight as it seems to relate to my love life. case in point:
oline, don't wait until your thirties. get married now, while you're still kind of young. just find a guy and settle down and it'll be so much better than if you hold out looking for The One. i don't think he exists and i see so many thirty-year-olds getting married and there is just no passion there. you want to get it while you're young, before the passion dies, otherwise you're just old and desperate and there's nothing less sexy.
um... thanks.

i told my mum this and she nearly died laughing. and then, as though it were a completely connected thought, she said:
i was talking to the dentist the other day about your retainer and he is so proud you're still wearing it. and he did say that, yes, you'll need to wear it for the rest of your natural life.
and two things occurred to me.

1) my adventures in orthodontia will end in either dentures or death.
2) surely the retainer will keep the passion alive.

20 June 2012

0 dear mr. 20th century fox, thank you for subsequently releasing all these dvds. hearts and kisses. xoxo, o.

19 MARCH 2007

17love is all around

dear mr. 20th century fox,

you are an evil, conniving, wicked, dirty, rotten, level 10 shit. but let me begin at the beginning because the means by which your evil, conniving, wicked, dirty, rotten, level 10 shittiness has come to light is of some import.

i love the mary tyler moore show. because the mary tyler moore show is the greatest sitcom ever made (don't question that, mr. 20th century fox- i'll fight you to the death). to me, MTM nostalgically symbolizes female independence, the craziness of the communication field, and that pivotal moment when my bedtime was pushed back to 9.30 p.m.

i got hooked on MTM's nick@nite reruns in the winter of 1993. i began obsessively taping them in the spring when MTM was dropped into a most inconvenient 2.30 a.m. time slot. from there she moved to 4 a.m. then on to 5.30 a.m. i taped her all the way, running down first thing every morning to make sure i hadn't mistakenly recorded welcome back, kotter instead. many a time, mr. 20th century fox, i mistakenly recorded welcome back, kotter. the disappointment still smarts. you just don't know.

because i could only nab so many tapes from father cupcake's VHS stockpile and because i am sometimes a fool, during my summer of '96 fanatical GO ATLANTA BRAVES kick, i began taping over MTM. baseball games are, after all, so rewatchable and MTM would, after all, always be on television. right, mr. 20th century fox? wrong. in the fall of '96, she inexplicably disappeared from the nick@nite landscape. baseball is forever. MTM apparently is not.

i was left with three 6-hour tapes in which the first two hours of each were dedicated to braves baseball. the legendary game against the marlins where, in the bottom of the fifth, fred mcgriff's fly ball hit a support beam and made an enormousPONG! noise. the immortal time when a fan deflected marquis grissom's homerun into foul territory in the first inning only to catch marquis grissom's second homerun ball in the bottom of the fourth. the game against the cardinals where chipper forgot to tag homeplate, made it halfway to the dugout before realizing this, and then scrambled back like a little girl.

remember those moments, mr. 20th century fox? probably not. because those are moments so inconsequential that shortly after the fact it seemed entirely unjust that they should be obscuring a collective six hours of classic television. for years, as i watched and rewatched and watched again the same 36 episodes of MTM, i cursed my baseball fandom, which had deprived me of an additional 12.

then MTM resurfaced on TVland in early 2000. there was still hope, mr. 20th century fox! all was not lost! this time, i was prepared. armed with a slew of 8-hour VHS, i would finally have my mary tyler moore show. i followed her all over the schedule: from 8 p.m. to 2 p.m. to 8 a.m. to 3.30 a.m. we didn't have TVland at school so for two solid years i held the parents' VCR hostage and meticulously set it up to record in my absence. the parents, of course, loved this.

you can imagine my excitement then, mr. 20th century fox, when you came to my aid in the fall of 2002. when you, mr. 20th century fox, began releasing the mary tyler moore show on dvd. there was season one. it was glorious- restored and remastered and hilarious as ever, with an insert promising the release of season 2 in march 2003. and i was so grateful to you. i sang your praises. i had faith. and because i am a fool, i began taping felicity reruns over my MTM tapes.

and what did you do, mr. 20th century fox? a big fat nothing. for 34 months. while you sat on an unreleased trove of MTM treasures, you released inanities like big valley and reba. i cursed you to everyone i'd known for more than eight minutes. 34 months, mr. 20th century fox. 34 months. a girl may be a fool, but she doesn't forget.

finally, presumably roused by MTM's unprecedented success at the 2004 TVland awards, in the 35th month, you stirred to action. season 2 came out in september of 2005, with season 3 following promptly in january 2006 and season 4 in june. we were on a roll, mr. 20th century fox. i almost began to think that we could be friends. i no longer clenched my fists and shouted curses at the sky upon mention of your name. i had almost forgiven you, mr. 20th century fox.

then you went and played the douche card.

mr. 20th century fox, your commitment issues are alarming. you had 34 months to get your act together, not to mention the last nine, and yet you have failed me again. it isn't me, it's totally you. first, you killed marilyn, and now this. clearly, we cannot go on. what is with your ridiculous hatred of all things MTM, mr. 20th century fox? why pull the plug at season 5? and, if the word-about-town is true, why take newhart with it? what did mary richards ever do to you?

in conclusion, you are an evil, conniving, wicked, dirty, rotten, level 10 shit, mr. 20th century fox. i will cut you.

3 damn, i wish i still had that shirt and those jeans.

09 FEBRUARY 2007

sofas & the city

there are things the proverbial they don't tell you about the city. such as the fact that getting rid of a sofa in the city is a hell of a hard trick.

i recently moved, and in this move i inherited this sofa. a sofa that i didn't need and that the salvation army refused to salvage. i've spent the past three weeks plotting legitimate ways to save the life of this sofa. but then, when the man from the white elephant haughtily said we don't do 4th floors, i realized something.

this sofa had to die.

certain times call for certain measures- sometimes desperate, mildly psychotic measures. killing a sofa may sound a little extreme, but i swear- this sofa wanted to die.

i had some tools. they were girlie tools, but tools nonetheless. so i dug about in the big red box for something to kill the sofa dead. this digging led to the realization that my tool priorities were all wrong. who needs two levels and three glue guns?

there were screwdrivers aplenty, and clamps and pliers galore, but the only saw was comparable to a butter knife. my enthusiasm for euthanizing the sofa was somewhat dimmed by this. but i was a girl with a mission. a girl with a sofa to kill.

for an hour, i sawed as though my life depended upon it- whittling, with all the fury i could muster, one centimeter into a one inch piece of wood. it was like trying to slice bologna with a bobby pin. thus, the plan of attack was revamped.

i paraded through the sludge to purchase a new saw, and learned the invaluable lesson that if you stand in the hand tools aisle of home depot wearing a pink scarf- the 19-year-old male workers will come out of the woodwork in droves to assist you.

but i wasn't there for a date. i was there for a saw. a saw that would let me kill this couch like a man. a saw that would allow for death with dignity, not hapless, shoddy slaughter.

ultimately, the actual killing of the couch was anticlimactic (and i do speak in haste- at present it's only mostly dead). the removal of the upholstery turned out to be the biggest bother. there were inner pockets of popcorn, pens, movie tickets, and receipts that led me to realize you can probably learn a person's entire life story simply by dismantling all their furniture.

admittedly, this experience has left me with a rather overfondness for the sound of cracking wood, which would deeply sadden my woodworking grandfather. but it's such a moment of small victory. the coming apart of something when you're so ready to see it go away. when you've spent three weeks being thwarted in its going away and finally determine to take matters into your own hands.

because when no one will salvage you from shit, you have to salvage yourself. and sometimes, sofas must die.

19 June 2012

0 i wonder: how could i have ever asked "how can eating ever be enough?" when it so obviously is.

08 OCTOBER 2006

we're at Now, Now

out of absolutely nowhere, since i saw them last my parents have become completely zen. the father cupcake most especially. i think this is the result of overlistening to the shins. he's so mello that he literally came to town to eat and relax. nothing more. it's a limited plan that befuddled my mum and i to no end. there are ferris wheels and stained glass museums and shops and kitties here. we wondered, how can eating ever be enough?

my attempts to make plans, to craft routes, to plot a strategy for showing the wonders of my city were unilaterally met with fatherly reproaches. his let's enjoy the Now came into stark conflict with my let's enjoy the Now in a way that will get us within walking distance of the There.

at the zoo, as i tried to figure how we could best wind up in the right neighborhood for lunch, father cupcake lectured on the importance of Now as opposed to There. that we were to be blithely enjoying the rhinos Now and not wondering when or where we would be There. i countered with the fact that we can better enjoy Now when we are actively on the way There. he said, that is There. this is Now. i responded, this is Now, but we're heading There.

this climaxed in a coffee bar when we sat discussing the conflict of individual Nows. a man had abandoned his table when we came in. he forfeited his Now for us. that became our Now. as we sat in our Now, slowing savoring a pudding-filled cupcake the size of a grapefruit, my mum- seeing the people congregating at the door and awaiting a table- became concerned that our Now was thwarting the Nows around us.

father cupcake leaned back and in suspiciously segal tones said, this is our Now. it's only their Then. we'll get There and Then their Now will come. so, you may ask, what happened to Then? we passed Then. when? just Now. we're at Now, Now. Now? Now!

0 i still love the name penelope.

31 OCTOBER 2006

26long-forgotten fairytale

once there was a lovely girl. your standard, average, lovely girl. we're going to call her penelope. because that's such an every(wo)man kind of name.

as a child, penelope was a commedienne. she was the queen of faces. a student of the lucille ball school of comedic facial distortion. her parents always admonished, someday your face will freeze like that. penelope did not believe them.

as a child, penelope was rather high-strung. she bit her nails nonstop. the warnings of her grandmother rang in her ears: there are worms under there. do you want to put worms in your mouth? penelope did not want to put worms in her mouth, but she didn't want to give up the biting either.

the habit would persist into adulthood, when penelope would begin painting her nails garish colours in an effort to cease the barbarism. penelope's mother frowned at the black lacquer. she said, you don't want to get black stuff all in your teeth.penelope didn't relish that idea, but she didn't give up her nails.

penelope continued making faces and painting her nails and biting them. until one day.

on this day, penelope bit a black lacquered nail. sensing immediately that something had gone horridly wrong, penelope raced to the bathroom mirror. there it was. a rogue flake of nail polish on the number 9 central incisor. a simple thing to remedy, yes. but no.

this rogue flake of black nail polish had not been content to simply rest upon penelope's number 9 central incisor. rather, it sought refuge within the gum tissue above. so that it was visible through the tissue yet entirely unreachable.

penelope promptly brushed her teeth. the rogue flake of black nail polish nestled within the gum tissue above her number 9 central incisor did not budge. she flossed as though her life depended upon it. if anything the rogue flake of black nail polish situated within the gum tissue above her number 9 incisor situtated itself more comfortably. penelope brushed her teeth six subsequent times to no effect.

she threw herself on the bed in exhaustion and frustration. and then it hit her.

penelope would go through the rest of her life with a rogue flake of black nail polish situated within the gum tissue above her number 9 incisor. as long as she lived, people would think she had something stuck in her teeth.

at all future christmases, penelope's family would harken back to the days before that rogue flake of black nail polish became situated within the gum tissue above her number 9 incisor. the family photo albums would now be divided into the era before the rogue flake of black nail polish became situated within the gum tissue above penelope's number 9 incisor and the era after. if penelope were so lucky to find a man who could love a woman with a rogue flake of black nail polish situated within the gum tissue above her number 9 incisor, the rogue flake of black nail polish situated within the gum tissue above her number 9 incisor would inevitably dominate her wedding pictures. every dental visit for the remainder of penelope's life would prompt a gasp of what is that rogue flake of black nail polish situated within the gum tissue above your number 9 incisor? when her husband stared deeply into her teeth rather than her eyes, penelope would know- the rogue flake of black nail polish situated within the gum tissue above her number 9 incisor was driving a wedge between them. the adolescence of her children would be marred by the rumors that their mother never brushed her teeth. and penelope had no doubt that her future husband would leave her for a woman who did not have a rogue flake of black nail polish situated within the gum tissue above her number 9 incisor.

all this because penelope was a lovely girl who did not care whether her face froze or whether she put worms in her mouth.

lying on the bed in exhaustion and frustration, with the rogue flake of black nail polish still situated within the gum tissue above her number 9 incisor, penelope ruminated upon this tragic turn her life had taken. she instinctively went to her nails for solace, then detoured and grabbed the bag of fritos instead. she wiped her tears and bravely returned to the bathroom mirror to make peace with the rogue flake of black nail polish situated within the gum tissue above her number 9 incisor. but the rogue flake of black nail polish situated within the gum tissue above her number 9 incisor was no longer there.

penelope pulled a face and put the worms in her mouth.

18 June 2012

2 this is unacceptable.

0 and ha.

06 DECEMBER 2006

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.

0 “it seems pretty simple to me. you just get on a plane and have the time of your life.”

I’ma give gossip girl credit. they may structure every single episode around a party, but they also give their episodes provocative names, always alluding to a work of literature or film. 90210 does not do that. as a result, we wind up with episode titles like this one.
“the twins, the trustee and the very big trip.” how excited are you for that? not very, likely. but you should be. because, as i mentioned last week, this is The Summer of Brandon Dates a Bigot! translation: we are in for the time of our lives.
this is season 3, episode 2. because episode 1 was mostly just exposition so that we can all go to paris with brenda next week. there was also a lot of jim walsh yelling. fear not, you’ll still get to partake of that treat, just in severely reduced quantity. instead of 3 full episodes of jimbo raging, you only have to stomach two.
i think that’s all the admistrativia. oh wait. one more thing. what are we going to learn here? what problems is 90210 going to solve for us today? well, first off, there’s the matter of what to do with your unruly daughter. there’s also how to manipulate your parents into giving you a free trip for paris. plus, we get portrayals of “stud mania, out of control.” wait for it…
so some stuff happened in the last episode. brenda was banned from seeing dylan. at this point, i think it’s safe to say that you know how that turned out… brenda saw dylan.Continue reading 

0 god, we were young.


16the aftermaph

(and yes, this was just a shameless excuse to resurrect the shortie shorts photograph in homage to our beloved fallen comrades, the green and red shoes)

three years ago today (i think. because my mind is rusty and overmaphed i can't quite recall), an overwhelming majority of my readership (meaning 4 out of 7), first walked the hallowed halls of the university of chicago.

that's a lie actually. because we first walked the hallowed halls two weeks prior but that was more of a trial walking of the hallowed halls. we're commemorating the offical walking of the hallowed halls here. the point at which our reading of the hallowed texts and absorption of the hallowed meanings began to have hallowed consequences.

we've spent the past two weeks, in which new maphers were purchasing textbooks and dougo was regularly reporting back on how young and innocent they look, with our heads in our hands moaning i can't believe it's been three years. so a brief (written) revue seems warranted.

my first memory as a genuine mapher would be when jenny fair and i were walking across the quad to core class on a bright, beautiful, sunny, september morning and nearly ran smack into sir anthony hopkins. sir anthony in full make-up, wearing a track suit and drinking a frappacino from a bright pink straw. that really set the tone. distinguished but bizarre.

maph was kind of like going to war. or jail. we bonded. we bonded for life. because we sat in that stifling room, rustling papers, watching the jay and candice show. and some things will never be the same. eyebrows, for instance. not to mention social hours, ballerinas, freud, public intellectualism, the shedd aquarium, and jack black's body.

a lot of people complain about maph. it came with a hefty price-tag that we'll all be paying for some time to come. and the fact that the program's overlords publicly demean it's value doesn't help. but maph brought us many things, including nine months of reading, a year of affordable healthcare, and a lifetime subscription to the U of C alumni magazine, which is a source of endless dorktastic fun.

(and i'm not jesting on that last point. the months-long debate that raged over the removal of the alumni publications section from the print magazine to an online-only venue was the greatest literary smackdown of 2005.)

i think croftie, queen of the powerful summations, best summed up the maph experience, shortly after we, in formation and full grad-garb, ran the three blocks from the gym to the university gates. as the bagpipes stirred to life, croftie shifted her motarboard to a jaunty angle and, watching me stow a camera, wallet, program, and sunglasses in my sleeve, arched an eyebrow and said: so i guess this is kind of a big deal, huh?

17 June 2012

0 surprisingly little has changed here.


14tug of war

the vieve recently discovered some dark, cozy, under-the-bed place. for a week, she disappeared there. only to resurface occasionally, eat very loudly, make revolting cat mouth noises, and then scurry back. the path to this dark, cozy, under-the-bed place involved squeezing through the 1.5" crack between the wall and the sofa. while watching the vieve disappear into this abyss was always sad, seeing her emerge was far worse since she came head first, ears pinned back like an extreme makeover victim.

the extraction of the vieve from the box springs of a hotel bed still haunts me. i don't think we could be that lucky twice. i think next time she would just have to live there. so the other day i pushed the red stool in front of the entrance to the crevasse as a deterrent. the red stool has wheels but the vieve didn't figure that out. i felt victorious and cheered and crowned myself the queen of well-thought-out obstructions. for a brief glimmer of a moment, peace reigned. until last night.

last night, the vieve threw the dance party to end all dance parties. everyone came. old friends, new friends, long-lost friends. even a tube of moisturizer and a telephone bill. the vieve partied hard. she partied all over the place. the more i cursed her and threw things, the harder she partied. frightful quantities of cat nip were imbibed and the festivities rolled on until 5.02 a.m. when, exhausted and giddily intoxicated, the vieve came diving across the sheets to throw up on my leg. though none too happy, i held her whiskers back from her face until it was over, then put her to bed. this morning, recovered from the revelry, she discovered the stool has wheels.

16 June 2012

2 :)

0 in an alternate universe, this set-up happened, and i am caroline pancake now.

01 JUNE 2006

eaton beans & franks

because i'm an only child and a girl, my family's favorite pastime is playing with my name. 

ages ago, in the car on the way to meet up with Partner for the european whirl, my mother mentioned "katie pancake." up to that point "caroline window" and "caroline teudereau" had been the greatest names they'd manufactured, but "caroline pancake" easily surpassed those. 

it fit perfectly into our ancestry. we are, after all, descended from the eatons of new york and the beans and the franks of mississippi. we've been eaton, beans, and franks for years. carbohydrates would be a welcome addition. 

yesterday, my first full day of twenty-fivedom, my mum attempted her first blatant fix-up. this obviously made her uncomfortable. super cheerily, she said that a friend of a friend's nephew is living in chicago and what a small world- at which point i gave a great snort and my father gaffawed in the background because we know the phrase "what a small world" seldom augers fun times- he's living in your neighborhood and he's not married

the only time i've been officially fixed-up was in the 10th grade, when Partner had me take Joshie to the Come Together dance because she already had a date but she wanted to find out if she had feelings for Joshie instead. she did have feelings for Joshie but somehow i, who didn't, wound up dancing with him to boyz 2 men's "i'll make love to you." 

thus, my mum, who gets me eerily well, knew to invoke the magic words- the one phrase the sheer novelty of which was guaranteed to pique my interest. she said coyly, almost as an afterthought: "you know, The Friend is related to katie pancake." quickly she cautioned that she didn't know whether this nephew came from "the pancake side of the family" but still. dare we dream?!

15 June 2012

0 not gonna lie: this still scares the shit out of me.

22 AUGUST 2006

8frankly, my dear, damn.

some weeks ago, i had a revelatory dream featuring the confederate army, clown division. well, i got a little cocky last night. i mocked the clowns. and heaven help me, they have returned.

during our last encounter, distracted by the rigors of clowny warfare and temporarily blinded by the confetti soot from their clown cannons, the embattled clowns paid me little attention. things didn't go quite so well this time around.

i have now walked through the confederate clown camp. accompanied by a clown escort, i have met their commander: chuckles (who apparently moonlighted with the rebels before dressing as a peanut and being killed by a rogue elephant on the mtm show). i have seen heaps of clown casualties- enormous piles of clown corpses with huge clown shoes protruding, clowny finery billowing in the wind.

it would seem i am to be spokeswoman for the clown confederacy. they feel misunderstood. their story has not been told. and it must be. their clown rights have been infringed. that is why they fight. why they don tattered clown pants and tangled clown wigs and pile into decrepit clown cars and make a break for the battlefield.

hurrrah! hurrah! they cheer. for clown rights hurrah!

huddled in the fetal position in the corner of a clown tent, quietly i chant, mine eyes have seen the horror of the coming of the clowns.

pass me my smelling salts, i think i shall faint.

3 i tried to watch "the civil war" last summer. it was not the same.

22 MARCH 2006

a few words on the wawah

i've never been a civil war junkie. i mean, i grew up all over the south, loving southern belle paperdolls and gone with the wind, but though my family toured antebellum homes and battlefields, i was never into the war (... of northern agression). however, a suggestion a few months ago that the family watch spiderman 2 has led to a wee bit of a "craze" 

somehow instead we wound up on a rampage through civil war dramas and documentaries: gods and generals (with the nutty, messianic stonewall jackson) led to ken burns' civil war (with the haunting music that had me internally hurrahing states' rights for weeks) which led to gettysburg (with some of the greatest quotes, gayest undertones, and worst facial hair to ever hit the big screen) which ultimately led to the shelby foote books (and ah! they were butternut clad).

my family is funny. when we get interested in something, we go all out

this was during that month when i was living at home before moving here and my parents and i would rush home and frantically cook dinner so we could dine per bellum

the war marathon became an excuse to trot out the southern accents in their full glory-- a lot of "mutheh deahs" and "wawah" talk. apparently we're related by marriage to the infamously incapable george mcclellan. thus, every time his wife was mentioned, knowing smiles flashed about the room. 

unlike the starvation scenes in gone with the wind, during which i've always refrained from eating out of sympathy for scarlett having to choke down that nasty beet, this go-around with the war prompted no such abstention-- despite horrifying tales of cornpone and tar biscuits. 

there we were watching gruesome pictures of corpses on the battlefields while chowing down on salads and brownies. one night my mum brought out a candle while my father made popcorn. the juxtoposition was disturbing and yet hysterical and incredibly typical of my family.

we're class. we take our carnage by candlelight.

4 6 years later, i stand by all of the statements expressed herein.

05 APRIL 2006

the wind pant

(in which oline takes to her fashion soap box...)
i realized the other day that windpants* are the official pant of chicago. and, of course, once you notice something, it's EVERYWHERE. walking to lunch on sunday, L and i encountered three windpanted couples in two blocks and had to continuously thread our way through windpanted crowds. is this a chicago thing? an urban phenomenon? the windpant was flagrantly absent from sex and the city.

windpants are justifiable under three conditions- if you are a high school athlete at a game, if you are a professional athlete at a game, and if you are participating in the olympics. if you are not an athlete and are not in a game, you should have the wherewithal not to wear anything that derives its name from the noise it makes.

windpants are essentially the shy cousin of bicycle shorts and the louder sibling ofsweat pants (which ironically tumbled in the heirarchy of workout chic to become representative of sloth and an inability to fit into one's other clothes). in my mind, windpants are very closely linked to hypercolor t-shirts as one of those kooky trends of the early 90s. in middle school the hallways literally echoed as windpanters swished their way to class. of course, that was the age of the windsuit. apparently someone decided along the way that an entire suit was excessive and from that point forward, windpants went it alone.

this all comes down to the cold hard truth that workout clothes simply should not be worn by people who are not exercising at that very moment. there's a window of windpant permissabiliy- before 10 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.- when the wearer could conceiveably be headed to the gym. but windpants at 1 p.m., paired with a pink cable knit sweater, dress shoes and a clutch bag? there is no excuse.

when did this become socially acceptable? being entirely sexist, i can see that windpants would hold a certain jock appeal for guys. but girls? come on. in graduate school i was scolded for wearing dress pants to a meet & greet. in academia, i was told, ladies wear skirts. in real life, they apparently wear workout clothes. the windpant phenomenon makes even less sense because the windpant girls generally look aesthetically attuned. they have ooh la la hair, flawless eye makeup, designer bags and victoria's secret perfumes. it's as though they slaved to create a look and then took a detour and thought: "wow. windpants will really pull this together."

D was horrified in the dead of last summer when everyone rolled up their jeans to fashion makeshift capris. the city was a parade of hairy legs. maybe wind pants are a similar seasonal phenomenon. a freakish lapse in judgement for the sake of comfort in eratic weather. my fingers are crossed. down with the windpants. we'll take the hairy legs.

*and in the phrase "wind pants," i'm including the sorority girl black pants since their meshy material is clearly in the wind pant family. just because a pant comes in pretty pastel colors doesn't mean it's not windy.

14 June 2012

0 in retrospect, i am surprised that i was dating someone when this was written. and that he continued to find me attractive after the fact.

21 APRIL 2008

blow job

i never blew my nose as a kid. (yeah, this isn't going where you thought it was.) which, given that my head was a living drain of ear fluid, probably means i was the grossest girl on the block.

i didn't blow my nose because i didn't know how. there are those things you just can't figure out. like shaving your knees or refolding a map or hooking a bra from the back. actions that seem so simple that no one ever thinks to explain how they're done. i didn't know how to blow my nose. and no one showed me.

well, that's a lie. doctors teague and franco tried but failed. they dangled kleenex in my nine-year-old face and extended the ultra welcoming invitation of "blow, honey." but i was a rebel. i didn't want to blow. something about the whole business upset my delicate sensibilities. i'd much rather live with a permanent crease across the bridge of my nose from rubbing the snot back into it.

blowing seemed so crass, so vulgar, so not what a girl who still wore dresses smocked by her mother would do. and i think i really thought my head would explode. if i were ever to throw caution to the wind and actually blow my nose. so i didn't wanna blow my nose. so i didn't.

apparently you can't make someone blow their own nose. it's like finding god or understanding algebra. they have to get there on their own.

i was slow. so i was snotty. for years.

however, somewhere along the way this stopped. maybe it was getting off the allergy medicine that made me dizzy every time i stood up for the entirety of college. or maybe it was the chicago winter, which render one's existence not only insufferably cold but unbearably snotty.

whatever it was, i saw the light. i found the way. without practice or intervention, i learned to blow my own nose. despite my aforementioned appreciation of silly things, somehow it escaped me that this was kind of a big deal. that i had mastered the nose blow. it escaped me until i was on the phone with my mum the other day and, especially snotty after a long walk home, i blew my nose.

there was a silence... then debo said:

did you just BLOW YOUR NOSE??? gary! GARY!!! come here! QUICK!!! OUR DAUGHTER just BLEW HER NOSE!!!

it's nice to know i still make my parents proud. 

7 let's make a deal

dear three beloved friends who read OitC,

hey, let's chat. because i am, at present, massively swamped with writing crap but also a perfectionist who cannot bear the thought of forever alienating all three of my readers by taking a temporary break from blogging and simultaneously cannot bear the thought of not blogging, i've a proposal...

OitC is six years old. there are 2,555 posts and lindear is the only person on earth who has read every single one. so, in the interest of removing some of the pressure i put on myself to produce new words, let's take a little week-long stroll down memory lane and go back to the before times- when chicago was still new, jackie was just a side-project, north carolina was an exotic vacation destination, and thirty (much less 31) felt very far away.

if you loathe nostalgia, fear not! it'll pass in 7 days. promise.


0 this bears repeating


"i'm not ready... but hell yes, the litter box is clean!"

things have been stupidly busy lately. like, stoopid.

and i don't really know why since i haven't managed to accomplish anything in recent memory. instead i've written notes of things to be accomplished, taped them to the wall and tried not to feel their condemnation every time i cast a mournful glance their way then promptly do something else. post-its can be a judgemental crowd.

today, i actually had the thought: have i cleaned the litterbox this month?

for a bit of context, this is not at all disgusting because the vieve has the hygeine habits of an angel. her littery needs are most often tended to once a week, sometimes every other. and between her supernatural tidiness and my general aura of vanilla, diet coke and yellow, our home is an aromatic delight. but still. the litterbox should be cleaned. and wondering if you've cleaned it once in the month on the 18th day of said month? that's a little too grey gardens for comfort.

i'm not sure that i've done laundry this month either, which is a good indicator of how frightfully many clothes and linens i have. at this point though they've pretty much all been worn and used. even the sock drawer is getting skimpy. perish the thought- the sock drawer! a place ordinarily brimming with a bounty of glorious mismatchedness.

yesterday i was forced to take the tricky toesock/kneesock route. my left foot has never been so overstimulated. my right has never been more bored. how the dougO does this on a regular basis, i know not. it almost stirred me enough to do laundry. which is perplexing since i love doing laundry and ordinarily need not be stirred. the restless, slave-to-the-wage-oline apparently needs vigorous stirring to be roused from housekeeping habits most often native to college freshmen boys.

some time ago, worn out by various dramas and restlessnesses, i made a pledge to live in Love, Not Fear. because everyone always seems to be so afraid of everything and that's not good enough for me. so Love! Not Fear! i enthused. turns out, this was a lovely thought but a damn difficult thing to do.

fear involves staying exactly where you are, safely worrying and wondering, and peering into or averting your eyes from the unknown. it's very easy to get cozy there and though it catches up with you, it doesn't seem so scary in the long-run. 

love involves pitching yourself into the unknown. and there's no way of getting around the scarifyingness of that.

i've been saying that we have done that. that i am now living in love and not fear. but i'll openly admit all i've been doing is striding bravely forward into a shopping addiction and brazenly embracing courageous clothing combos of polka dots and plaids. and i don't think that's quite what i had in mind. this was probably supposed to be a revolution of the heart, not the wardrobe.

the other day, as we were walking by the river on our way back from h+m, croftie said something about when we all leave chicago. my first impulse was to stop and stomp my foot and say NO. we must age here. and that would, of course, be a response made in fear. appalled by my inability to escape the dark side when i'm ostensibly an adherent of Love, i immediately forced croftie to swear on anne shirley that we would go adventuring in P.I.E. before we're thirty. because commitment to a canadian vacation within the next five years seemed like progress.

i think the problem with the Love Not Fear pledge is that i forgot to take into account that it's neverending. you can't pitch yourself forward and be content with where you land and stay there forever. you must keep pitching, keep going forward in both the smallest and biggest of steps.

if your job sucks, you have to find a new one. if you're afraid of moving, you've got to make yourself go. if you've written a book, you must get it published. if you want to dye your hair, you should. if you fear being anything but the pulled-together perfect girl, you've got to get over it. because if you don't make the pitch, you wind up too restless to do laundry and wondering when the litterbox was last cleaned. and that most certainly is not good enough.

there's a clem snide song called "i love the unknown." about a man who, afraid of feeling numb, ran away from love and loved only the unknown. i do not love the unknown. we're not even really on speaking terms. because i want to figure it out and know it, which is obviously in extreme conflict with its very unknownness. 

but i think there's a balance, a place where maybe you love the fear too. or at the very least make peace with it. and the Love Not Fear seems to be gradually getting me toward that. so while i may not be ready and i may not have makeup on, the laundry's done, the litter box is clean and i am ready for whatever.

13 June 2012

0 two things… maybe three

the paper in paris- which wound up being about jackie and an ice cream cone- went well. and, after carrying this poster on two international flights and through a host of arrondissements, there is precisely one thing i want to write about.
in general, this magazine.
in particular, jackie and food.

3 i do not like theory

in my undergraduate career, i somehow managed to avoid any overt encounter with critical theory. thus making it all the more dramatic when, in maph, we were required to take a class on difficult theoretical texts. ultimately, the whole point of the class on difficult theoretical texts was to gain experience in the reading of difficult theoretical texts.

primarily, it wound up being an exercise in throwing our hands up to the heavens in anguish because these theoretical texts were too difficult for our puny little minds to ever comprehend. for this reason, i loathe theory.

just say the phrase "theoretical approach" and i hear jay say "can somebody get the door?" and i want to run right out of social sciences 122 and head for the hills. maybe not a good thing given that i'm in the midst of cranking out something about jackie that's meant to be all about my theoretical approach.

i used to be able to do this.

scratch that. i used to think i was able to do this. going back and reading the defense of my maph thesis, i realize there was never ever a time where i was able to do this.

i was only ever capable of slapping together sentences brimming with big words so that it sounded to the uneducated ear as though they were advocating a theoretical approach. when in reality they weren't. in reality, they weren't even really saying anything. they were just a bunch of big words slapped together ad hoc so that in toto they equated to a cacophony that (i hoped) obscured my lack of theoretical backbone.

my problem with theory is this: it's made to be scary when it really needn't be.

when i heard that i needed to write this thing on theoretical approach, my immediate impulse was to throw in the towel. to say- as my mother once said to my grandmother when she offered her a taste of her ham at that funeral where i had the macaroni and cheese of my life- I DON'T WANT THAT.

but then i remembered that i do want this and, upon sitting down to write, i was struck by the fact that if i have any theoretical approach, it is automatic. there's no conscious choice to cast everything in terms of archetypal myth and gender. it just happens. which is why it feels foreign to have to explain it in grandiose academic terms.

my theoretical approach boils down to the fact that biography gets women all wrong. it's that simple. i approach biography from the stance that the genre is inherently misguided in its treatment of women's lives.

there. i said it in two sentences and probably could've even done it in one.

and you maybe actually understand what i mean when i say that, no? which, i feel (wrongly?) means it's a totally invalid theoretical approach. because theory is supposed to be incomprehensible. theory is supposed to be difficult. theory is supposed to make us throw our hands up to the heavens in anguish because it is too difficult for our puny little minds to ever comprehend.