30 September 2006

8 while you can stand there, you could move on this moment

ie. reading u2

(for the bazillionth and very last time ever in this forum: i love u2. i love achtung baby the best. i love "ultraviolet" the most. so the equation of givens from here on out is U2+AB+UV=oline.)

chicago is loveliest in november. i don't know why. it just seems to have its fancies on. but late september and october aren't too shabby either. there are these beautiful, chill days- where the breezes blow through the leaves and people are still sitting outside at the cafes and the flower shops keep their doors open so the petals go skipping down the street. there's an electricity before the winter hits and the winds come and the snows fall. it feels like october 23, 1929.

it's an electricity that requires the perfect soundtrack played at appropriately deafening levels. for some reason my u2 love has very much been an indoor affair in the last few months. a whole slew of others have been taken out on the town while the lads were left at home. today, because my city was looking mighty fine, i took them out and was duly rewarded with a breakthrough.

achtung baby has always been my favorite album and i didn't ever really understand why. it's not an unconditional affection. i would argue it hasn't held up quite as well as the much-maligned pop, which- though it's a far less solid album- has such an avant garde sound that it could be released tomorrow and floor everyone. am also not a fan of the album version of "who's gonna ride your wild horses." the temple bar remix was better. but narratively speaking, achtung baby is without flaw. and we know how i love to speak narratively.

as a writer, i have to "read" everything- music, novels, poems, etc. and i know we're not supposed to read anything but biography as biography, but- and this could be why i'm a biographer- i think it all is. (a maddening conundrum since while i emphatically believe that, i also emphatically hate to think anyone reads what i write and takes it all as utmost truth. it is but it really isn't but it mostly is, y'know?) so while i can think of achtung baby as not necessarily being bono's journey, i can't see it as just a random collection of kick ass songs. as with a book, there's a cohesive plot. however unintentional or haphazard, there is a story.

as though it were sweet valley high, i can no longer read u2's oeuvre as anything but a continual narrative. because it so obviously is a continual narrative. the continental american tour of the joshua tree and rattle & hum leaves the protagonist dazed and exhillarated, stumbling about the berlin subway system in the opener of achtung baby. he's done with the past and he's frantic for something new. he fucks it up and it takes him thirty-four songs to recover. you could love "mysterious ways" without ever having that context. but, to me, u2 is an important band because of that context.

reading the complete u2- ie. playing their albums in a chronological cycle- my favorite chapter comes between pop and all that you can't leave behind. when the page is turned from the defeated, exhausted plea of "wake up dead man," where the protagonist is literally on his knees begging for the second coming, to the total euphoria of "beautiful day." obviously to get to the beautiful day, you have to plod through a whole hell of crap. lyrically, u2 spent all of the 90s doing this and i'd never before realized how that pulled together to make a central point.

in the grim little trip of achtung baby, there's infatuation, adultery, manipulation, desperation, treachery, forgiveness, euphoria, resignation, love, hope, a phone call from hell and a whole lot of sex. it's about taking a risk and getting burned and wounding everyone around you. it's no accident that the protagonist continues reassuring himself with the line "it's alright." the ticking bomb in "love is blindness" leaves him paralyzed, numbed- by images, the past, the future- in the hypnotic zooropa. for nine tracks, he is "faraway, so close!" yet he cannot let go. he wanders away and doesn't even have the heart to sing the last song himself. instead he hands it over to johnny cash and winds up in the discotheque of pop, the glitzy tangle of conversational tidbits born from a month-long bender in the south of france.

the narrative cohesiveness between these albums has fascinated me ever since all that you can't leave behind was released. all the critics said u2 were "getting back to their sound." what resonated with me was that their protagonist, after falling and crawling and pleading and running and wandering, had finally dragged himself to the ledge and made the jump. the jump that is laid out in "zoo station" when he says he's ready for what's next. when he repeats that he's ready for the push.

and we believe him and we think achtung baby is that jump but it isn't. listen to "mysterious ways" and you hear the line while you can stand there, you could move on this moment, follow this feeling. he wasn't ready for the push in track 1 and he stayed put through track 9. achtung baby and the two albums after are all the scary shit that happens when you don't jump, when you hold back, when you run away, when you try to throw your arms around the world. it's only with the final plea of "wake up dead man" that he at long last takes the leap (i swear he's gliding through the air in the last 40 seconds). and it's only in "beautiful day" that he realizes the leap wasn't so scary after all. that after the flood, all the colors came out.

29 September 2006

10 man power

i just now, just this second- give or take an hour or two- did the most manly thing i've ever done. i killed a bug with my bare hand. not only did i kill a bug with my bare hand, i killed a bug with my bare hand and let out an exultant YES! as the bug guts squished against my palm.

this is not typical oline behavior. i dislike palms, guts, bugs and the word squish. and admitedly the manliness of the deed was somewhat diminished by the fact that the victim was a standard, run-of-the-mill fly.

you may remember Colette The Fly (and this may not have actually been Colette The Fly, but we're going to pretend it was to avoid the thought that le petit maison de Oh!-'Lighn is, in reality, a fly hostel). Colette The Fly moved in with the vieve and i some months ago. she most often acted as a pesky bit of black dust.

being too posh to play bug patrol, the vieve would smell her and blithely walk away. Colette The Fly and i were cool. she stayed away from me and i stayed away from her. until two days ago, when Colette The Fly went vinegar.

she began buzzing about frantically. not just buzzing, but BUZZZZZZZING. like the scene in honey, i shrunk the kids where they're tormented by ginormo bugs. i began to think Colette The Fly was much larger than she appeared. that my contact prescription was wrong. that i was high on pumpkin candle fumes.

unfortunately for Colette The Fly, her sudden propensity for boistrous buzzing excited my wrath while her history of lassitude worked to my advantage. after a day and a half of misses, i got her. and it felt good and i liked it. and i stood there reveling in my newfound manliness for a moment.

a moment in which a strand of raven hair fell from my silly head and tickled it's way down my arm, in much the manner of an eight-legged monster. immediately i forgot my manliness and shrieked like a little girl.

27 September 2006

16 locks & love

the mother cupcake has an inordinate enthusiasm for ponytails. i think largely because a decade of short hair has allowed her only the stubbiest of stubby tails and endowed the unattainable, full-blown pony with a magical aura of which it would otherwise be deprived. because, along with headbands and clip-on-earrings, ponytails are not among the most pleasant of feminine wiles. it's kind of like being bridled and that kind of hurts.

the father cupcake loathes ponytails and long-hair in general. he has a one syllable cluck that instantly communicates his belief that we have strayed into perilous stylistic waters and begun too closely to resemble the british royal family. he gives a cluck and pulls a princess anne face. that's how we know.

my own hair journey has been an extended groundhog day. after the decade of bad hair, i grow it out to a certain length, am suddenly completely grossed out by its length, get it all hacked off and instantly wish it were long again. it's a cycle that i can now complete in just under two years. which it would seem is progress of a sort.

the other night on the phone, most appropriately the very same day she got her hair cut, my mum exclaimed, let's do locks of love! because she then followed that with a nostalgic sigh of i could have a ponytail..., i didn't have the heart to point out that it has taken her ten months to grow four inches of hair. so it would probably be 2009 before she hits the full ten. nor did i mention that were i any less vain, i could probably shave my head, fork over the locks and be done tomorrow.

so now we're supposedly doing locks of love. there's been no swearing or vowing but since a ponytail is involved, i can't imagine it could be anything less than a certainty. and i guess the fun part of that, the part in which all of the excitement lies, is that some day in 2009, when my hair is dragging the floor and my mum finally has the ten inch ponytail of her dreams, we'll go get our hair cut together and we'll take it home in a trash bag, knowing that it'll be us up on the shelf behind the 100% HUMAN HAIR!!!! tag. which completely grosses me out. pass the scissors, please.

26 September 2006

24 pillbox tested, pirate approved

for quite some time, i've had four primary addictions: diet coke, gluesticks, bonnie bell chapsticks, and h+m. now, there's the official pillbox gum.

by some complete trick of fate, i-- who really don't even like gum, the tropics or the twist-- happened upon trident tropical twist gum. it is unspeakably awesome. even the bombshell agrees.

it has become "Our Gum." as we pace the aisles of what used to be the osco that carried at least half the things we needed, but is now laboriously being converted to a CVS that sells toilet paper only by the individual roll, there are always checkout exclamations of ooooh. at least they have Our Gum! they may not have diet drinks, cereal, makeup, shampoo, cat litter or sticks of chap or glue, but somehow Our Gum is always there.

the most powerful testament that i can offer to the wonderousness of the tropical twist is this: i slipped the dread pirate a piece at the man man show. we were mid-convo about curious facial hair and hoodies. i was saying something benignly witty and making grandiose gestures when the dread pirate said: WOW. with a sidelong glance, i got a pretty good idea of what it must have been like to see the apostle paul on the road to damascus. there was the dread pirate, bathed in the red glow of stage lights, beaming and reaching out to steady himself. promptly began racking my brain for what witticism could have been so stupifyingly glorious. then i remembered. Our Gum. it's that damn good.

24 September 2006

4 chicago rocks!

(ie. why oline cannot move to maine)

reason #18,762: a beach with a view.

reason #18,763: the random herd of people dressed as orange cows.

23 September 2006

8 white trashed

the altar of red bull

trusty editors

osutein & the dread pirate chat about graphic novels

smirksoline & sexlie

the judgO

la bombshell

the dread pirate & osutein chat about jet li


sexlie redux

osutein & the dread pirate chat about traffic

piper & beloved emilia

the bomb & bets

osutein & the dread pirate chat about genocide


evil croftie & tries-not-to-laughsoline crushing cans

osutein & the dread pirate chat about faulkner


augustus on holiday at le petit maison de Oh!-'Lighn

22 September 2006

6 it's a man man!

in their tennis whites and war paint, man man pretty much rock rocked our world. we love loved them. look how cute cute they are. big big yay.

but to dwell on the bad bad for a moment: while man man rock rocked, make believe decidedly did not rock rock.

(clark binga binga, think: flux, jimmy, sweatpants, "magdelena." horror!)

the only make believe lyric i could discern was i want to make the bed with you in it. i laughed so hard and tried so hard not to laugh harder that for a split second i thought might throw up.

there's nothing quite so wretched as watching uncomfortable people sing. they need to be confident and they need to rock. this dude either had the plague or was on a really bad trip. when his opening move was to wipe snot on his sleeve and pull up his pants, it was pretty obvious we were doomed.

but maybe he could have redeemed himself were it not for the dancing. o the dancing. like watching someone trying to seduce and initiate painfully awkward sex with their imaginary friend. in other words, very very bad bad.

21 September 2006

25 my harsh mistress and mariah carey

i love writing. it's where i'm most alive and most comfortable and most me. but sometimes writing is a shitty tough thing. it can be a bitch. a really, really mean bitchy, bitchy bitch.

i'm supposed to be writing about faux2. it's supposed to be me, right now, writing about faux2. i know this and all i can think about is mariah carey. mariah carey as marilyn monroe. mariah carey and the american dream. mariah carey and tommy matolla. mariah carey and gangsta rap. all i want to write about is mariah carey. or maybe elvis impersonators or tabloids or the fall or the cute dog in the park or how much snow we might get this winter. so really, right now, i want to write about everything in the world but faux2. but mostly, i just want to write about mariah carey.

because when i couldn't sleep the other night, all i could think about was marilyn monroe and mariah carey. to me, there is no one in modern american life quite so monroe as mariah carey. the public image of monroe, a comic genius, reduced her to little more than an erotic freak. it would seem that's the public image path mariah carey has either been pushed into or is plodding down. she has a truely astonishing vocal talent yet has, lately at least, been most often celebrated in the mainstream for her bosom and repeated weightloss/weightgain. admittedly, this is partly her own doing- the woman has a weakness for some slutastic clothes and slutastic clothes can be unkind. but it's unfortunate that someone talented to that degree should be limited to an image largely defined by physical change and slutastic fashion. because though we forget it, images are so often almost always very wrong.

i wanted to write about mariah carey not just because of monroe, but because when i couldn't write tonight, all i could listen to was mariah carey. i don't know how this was supposed to be helpful but at least it didn't hurt. it would have been far, far worse to have suffered a michael bolton relapse and gone flying into the arms of his greatest hits. mariah carey seemed the safest, most respectable indulgence. for the eleven-year-old me, her someday video was definitive. i recorded it off vh1 and would sit there, inexplicably wearing a t-shirt twelve sizes too big, watching mariah carey with her curly hair, strutting about what i guess was supposed to be a deserted high school, brazenly wearing an off-the-shoulder black shirt. this was epochs before i found vogue and jackie and bootcut jeans. it was an innocent age in which she seemed so avant garde.

but i thought i had gone beyond mariah carey. i didn't believe she could possibly have anything for twenty-five-year-old me. the great Love Not Fear Wardrobe Revolution has left my closet a realm of unparalleled awesomeness. the yellow skirt- the thing i own most likely to be allowed admission to heaven- dwells there, so no slutasticness allowed. then i listened to mariah carey again. and again and again and an embarrassing number of agains. and i realized maybe i was wrong. because when writing was a really, really mean bitchy, bitchy bitch, mariah carey was there, as she (and the jackson five) said she would be. mariah's got my back, bitch.

20 September 2006

16 mwaahhhhhhh

for weeks since its discovery, i have staunchly resisted the temptation of posting this. if you're a myspace friend of the bombshell, you've probably already seen it. or you've thought about seeing it but didn't and thus missed the sad, sad, vintage-dated, french excellence. but alas, orson welles has temporarily unseated yul brynner to become my latest dead-person crush and while the laugh in 102, take 2 is quality, the completely disinterested, drunken, tortured laugh unleashed in 102, take 3 has become part of the pillbox lore and, most frightfully, has found a place in my own laughery. so mwaaahhhhhhhhhh, the french.

19 September 2006

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

in which oline- who is in no way depressed or going through life changes or having "women's trouble" so please do not be alarmed- takes to her soapbox, amidst a pile of dirty clothes and general all-around filthfulness, to wrestle with some weirdish, rambling thoughts regarding the aforementioned policy of Love Not Fear

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.

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, the person we all love very dearly and i made a pledge to live in Love, Not Fear. because everyone always seems to be afraid of everything and that's not good enough for us. so Love! Not Fear! we 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.

we've been saying that we have done that. that we are 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 we 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 our Love Not Fear pledge is that we 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 for us.

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 us 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 things are getting better.

18 September 2006

16 the 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?

16 September 2006

2 the week in typos

"Some men can be woozy when it comes to taking care of their health. But men, don't be a wooze!"

"Braddock was killed by her husband then committed suicide."

"Overall the staff are incapable of remaining calm in crisis situations. They have repeatedly demonstrated their inability to be anything but historical and lazy when under pressure."

15 September 2006

34 sass

there is apparently a fine line between sarcasm and sass. i apparently live on this fine line (FineLineOline).

my vinegar, who has a tenuous grasp on the concept of sarcasm, automatically responds to 2/3rds of what i say with what a sass! wait 'till you get a husband! he has said this for three years and it's maddening for many reasons, chief among them that i have never known what it means. is a husband the most proper target for sass? is a husband going to restrict or return the sass? will i never find a husband because of the sass? or will i find one and drive him away with the sass? if i don't ever find a husband, will i die from unexpressed or inappropriately channeled sass? it's mystifying.

croftie and i are in a field of complicated communicators. and those complicated communicators, ironically all in the field of communication, are preoccupied with sass. the other day, croftie was instructed, in a professional setting, to find her "sassie voice." so clearly sass is of some import. clearly, we are not to altogether abandon the sass. but oh the mixed messages!

tonight, croftie and i bravely endured the media event, which we swore on anne shirley that we would finally attend. tonight, we spent a courageous hour small-talking with girls who turned out to be from croftie's own company. tonight, we encountered skeezy writerly guys who stared drunkenly at the nametags upon our bosoms and uttered the phrase jack black's body as though it were erotic verse. tonight, after all that, croftie and i unloosed the sass. in the street. loudly. with dramatic pauses. featuring jazz hands. for ten blocks. and it felt damn good.

and the thing is, i'm not sassy. not really. not much. for serious.

13 September 2006

14 tug 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.

11 baby did a bad, bad thing

in all the goings on of this past stupid week, i made a major blunder. i, silly editor oline, failed one of my favorite people, a woman whose business card is so awesomely flamboyant that it was in my fair, vampiric hand no less than 3 minutes before being scanned and emailed to everyone i know.

i, silly editor oline, failed this woman and forgot to send a photographer to the second annual occurrance of my own all-time favorite event: The Remembering 9/11, Victims of the Tsunami, Survivors of Katrina, Children of St. Jude, Families of Oklahoma City, Casualties of the Iraq War, Firefighter Memorial Tribute Fashion Show For Peace at isaac hayes' restaurant.

yes. the TR911VTSKCSJFOCCIWFMT fashion show. no tragedy left behind.

12 September 2006

6 eyeliner equals power

despite the whole bombshellism bit, i'm not a fan of makeup. it makes me want to immediately wash my face. lotions, perfumes, polishes and powder puffs are divine. lipstick, not so much. ditto for most everything else.

so my war paint is limited to red or black nail lacquer, bonnie bell chapstick, and a whole hell of a lot of eyeliner. because eyeliner equals power. (and this isn't just because there was some velvet goldmine the other day.)

if you're a girl and you wait tables, your income is directly proportional to the amount of eyeliner present. it's the "tip eyes phenomenon." plainoline earned pennies; eyelinedoline raked in the dough. astonished by this fact, i quickly took to being ever-eyelinedoline. not so people would toss money my way, but out of intrigue. it was too fascinating a plot twist not to pursue. it has become one of my very few vestiges of grownupness.

thanks in part to cleopatra, mata hari, and tammy faye baker, eyeliner is often considered risque. in modernity, i lay much of the blame for this on liz taylor, who steered her sexual tabaggon down a wayward slope, violet eyes flawlessly lined all the way. and really liz taylor provides a convenient metaphor. eyeliner: occasionally tacky but so damn sexy.

it's really all about timing. before noon, the eyelined beget blatant disapproval. riding the blue line at 7 a.m. on a sunday morning, the hamptons sweater, the converse, the pigtails and the penguin classic mattered not. seeing only the eyeliner, a woman who looked far naughtier than i literally picked herself up from the seat next to me and relocated. she thought i had been somewhere Scandalous and had participated in some Scandal. or was on the verge of Scandalosity at a Scandalously early hour. eyeliner in the morn? SCANDALOUS!

after the noon, it's somewhat more acceptable. the glances less frequent, the intolerance less overt. however, the double-takes and the lips of disapproval persist and there's a lingering sense of what has that girl been up to? couldn't have been anything good. as a good girl, this amuses me to no end.

ironically, after the hours of persecution, in the evening- when being a bad girl is socially condoned- eyeliner is suddenly enthusiastically applauded. and it actually seems to lure people in rather than send them running to the clear opposite end of the train.

always drawn to the narrative, i think it's because we're taught that our eyes tell our story. and it's a story made more arresting simply by being bound in kohl. a story with unimaginable, bewitching possibilities. a story not to be missed. and maybe, in reality, there's no story there- because empty hope in beautiful bottles is the beauty of makeup. but it makes you look and it makes you wonder. sometimes it makes you gawk. sometimes it makes you walk over and engage in really stupid dancing and buy drinks for a group of girls who aren't going to go home with you. and really that's not our fault. it's the eyeliner, baby. power, i say. power.

10 September 2006

25 the apt.

faced with a boring saturday night in, bombsy, bee and i spontaneously went out and did the most chicago thing (at least until croftie and i have tartinis off the pink line). in the process, we regained our ability to be captured on film.

bombsy & oline glow in the dark.

bombsy & bee.

bombsy & bee & some dudes.

oline (the vampiric hand model) & bombsy (the red hot pinup).

07 September 2006

5 too cool for school

it's a well-known well-known fact that croftie and i are too cool for school and that a huge chunk of that too cool for schoolness lies in our weekly girlie movie nights. but, the beauty of our too cool for schoolness is also our ability to augment said too cool for schoolness (and to write gloriously impossible to read aloud too cool for school sentences) and take it up a notch. so with the turning of the seasons and the lack of actual school in our lives, we're doing just that.

we're watching saved by the bell.

the AWESOMENESS is incommunicable.

05 September 2006

12 bitcholine*

*we're just going to declare it bitch week and see where that gets us.

there are 2.9 million people in chicago. approximately 1,000 of them live on cupcake&bombsybox street. a street that is 4 blocks from the L, 3 blocks from depaul, 2 blocks from children's memorial, 1 block from st. clement's, half a block from clark and in the flight path to o'hare. in other words, a noisy street. there are trains, trucks, trixies, cabs, helicopters, planes, birds, buses, bells, barking dogs, construction workers, and very loud public phone convos. thus, it absolutely blows my mind that the hey, babe, i'll just wait in the car and honk the horn until you come down mentality still exists. sometimes i can't identify my own phone ring from the other side of the apartment. in this context, how can anyone discern that a particular car honk has their name on it?

04 September 2006

26 vanessa's sister is a bitch

bombsy and i had such fun with the cubby bears and dread pirates last month that we gave it another go-round- this time in coats and accompanied by Leen and UH. again, we took the free tickets. we donned some HUGE sunglasses. we boarded the crowded train. we found the upper deck. we clapped. we groaned.

we ruthlessly evesdropped on the four-hour non-stop gossip-fest going on two seats over. for those who care: vanessa's sister is a bitch. kristy lost 40 pounds because she's with a 22-year-old. and caroline's dancing is ridiculous.

the photographs were heinous. this is how it looked in our heads.

10 so maybe i'm a racist

chicago is a city of cupcakes. seriously. we are surrounded. by trixies, cabs, and cupcakes. my personal cupcake fetish was kicked off last winter, when i laid eyes upon a red velvet confection at eatzi's. it was the cupcake of my dreams. and because i have yet to fork over the $4, it is a decadent dream deferred.

a big fan of self-denial, healthy food and cheaptasticness, i very rarely partake of the hordes of cupcakes we encounter. thus, my appreciation is most often limited to lust. frequent whisphers, in salacious tones, of ooooh... look at that cupcake. it's kind of gross. it's kind of humbert humbert.

in the cupcake world, i'm a pretty big deal. i have, after all, earned the nickname "Cupcake." but only with the assembling of the cupcake mountain for the king's return did i realize a foul truth.

i hate white cupcakes. they will not mix properly. they will not pry from the pan. they have no structural integrity. their heads will not hold on to their bottoms. unlike their chocolate brethren, the white cupcakes made me doubt what no Cupcake should ever question: my own ability to cupcake. white cupcakes are an unruly bunch and they are now my forsworn enemies. yes, it's an ugly truth. i am a cupcake biggot. there. i said it.

02 September 2006

8 an EFF (for croftie in CT)

my father loves ebay. am rather fond myself- it makes finding forty-year-old tabloids much simpler. but my father LOVES ebay. he lives there. he looks for weird things. and he forwards his findings to me.

for ages we've done routine jackie checks and passed on the most frightful, offensive artifacts. he offers the jackie bobble head. i return with a franklin mint jackie doll whose face has rotted out. he sends a jfk statuette with a lopped off head. i reply with matching jfk/jackie halloween masks, a simple horror that trumps everything.

years ago, someone dumped a boatload of archival tabloid jackie press photos onto ebay. that kicked off a bombardment of weird jackies. after we had relived all her bad hair days, it was on to quirky vogue transparencies. a few weeks ago, a new age of fatherly forwards commenced. other peoples' vintage family photos. other peoples' vintage family photos with the most hardcore, rock ass, ricidulous captions ever.

it began, innocently enough, with "Attractive Woman with Curly Hair And Big Nose!" and "Sexy Military Men with Big Feet!" since then, on a regular enough basis to be very disturbing, they have trickled in: "Girl Fights Off Invisible Leprechaun!" "Man with a Pretty Android Wife," "Boy Loses Mind at Civil War Fort," "Architect in a Bow Tie Holding Butt."

for awhile, i was torn between horror and envy. i couldn't desecrate my ancestors like that but i would almost consider sacrificing a relative to write a headline that damn good. then today "Evil Man Smells Baby & Stabbed Snowman" arrived and sealed the deal. this is a gift worth a cousin or two at least.

01 September 2006

3 "we don't want that vinegar here."

someone we all love dearly was formerly affiliated with someone who made vinegar. for a living. this someone went off his rocker after an apparent inhalation overdose of raspberry flavoring. we bid him and his lanyard adieu and epigraphed that epoch with the catchy line: we don't want that vinegar here! said with a sassy shake of the forefinger and a defiant flick of the raven/red hair.

we've been saying this for some weeks now. as a reminder that we live in a world of love, not fear. a world where insanity will not be tolerated. a world where homemade vinegars will not be hawked.

i've been emphatically chanting it whenever the name of the someone who left the life of the someone we all love dearly is mentioned. but for some reason i only just today remembered the viniagrette that's all my own.

the viniagrette who has made talking on the phone the agonizing torture that it is. the viniagrette who has accused me of beating up on the voices inside his head. the viniagrette that i love dearly but who is slowly, with each missed deadline and every passive-aggressive silence, thrusting me ever closer to the open window.

and then it hit me. just like that. anyone hiring? because we don't want that vinegar here.