12.28.2009

Badly Timed Holiday Theme Post

Let's hark back to 3 days ago, when the blue bird was being replaced with the new bird and your diet was comprised solely of butter and sugar. Gentle readers, please tolerate a holiday themed post now; I was too thoroughly sodden with hot toddies and bombarded by family togetherness (mine, other peoples') to make one when it was still pertinent. By now you've reacquainted your body with vegetables, washed the new socks, lost your ipod nano and come up with some creative reuses for gift bags such as giving them back to your mom or throwing them in the garbage. But have you stuffed an orange with cloves yet or combed the youtube vaults for Christmas commercials from your childhood? Do it now before your Christmas tree becomes a fire hazard and you have to toss it into the gutter like an old wino! Here I'll help:

This Fruity Pebbles Christmas commercial is completely burned into my brain, taking up a lot of valuable hard drive space I could use to remember my grandparents, learn another language or understand simple spacial relationships.


In this Folger's commercial, the handsome eldest son sneaks into his parents house after a prolonged absence, delighting everyone by brewing coffee crystals. His alleged break-in is never addressed.
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I don't really remember this commercial from childhood. I found it while looking for the Fruity Pebbles one and was captivated/grossed out.


Merry Christmas belated!

12.13.2009

Addendum to Season of Giving: Christmas Ants


There was an office cocktail party tonight for which my mother urged me to "dress sexy," meaning in an outfit she provided.
The boys trooped off to San Francisco for a night of punk rock or something and won't be back until tomorrow.
The house is infested with ants.

That's why now I'm laying supine in a velvet skirt suit with shoulderpads, wondering whether or not I should booby trap the entrances with some kind of tried and true saucepan and fishing line combo or just continue to watch youtubes of Sade. I snacked merrily away all night on bacon wrapped almond stuffed dates and kahlua mudslides because I thought overeating in public was "festive." Now I am a little sick. Additionally, ants are crawling all over me. There are no ant free zones, but I wanted to share this brief holiday story about how my boss' girlfriend slipped me an envelope with penguins on it as we were leaving the party, which I chose to open in the car. Encased in that envelope I expected to find nothing more than a card with penguins on it but found also $200. So touched was I by this unexpected generosity that I burst immediately into tears. I then decided that sharing Hallmark-ish yuletide sentiments through broken sobs to an audience of just my mom as the rain beat on the Accura was appropriate. My bad-- sorry for the outburst, Mom! Now I can stop thinking about how I'm going to afford to buy gifts and start thinking about switching to a birth control pill with a lower hormone dosage.

12.03.2009

Season of Giving

I assumed that once I got a job I would be able to afford grandiose gestures of generosity. This hasn't been the case, but I still managed to pick up a few "choice" items.

1. a 2010 calendar book that says "Teamwork" and the name of a local periodontist in gold against a background of grey and black hikers.
BONUS: -could be mistaken for a fancy organic chocolate bar
-smells like mothballs

2. secondhand socks, brown
BONUS: -barely smell at all

While the aforementioned presents will be reserved for my dearest loved ones, or, failing that, a white elephant gift exchange, ANYONE who gives me their address will receive a Christmas card picturing a cat sleeping in front of a garishly decorated fireplace. Go ahead, leave it in a comment or email it to yourfriend.rach@gmail.com

11.29.2009

$$$$

As coffee steamed in our Garfield mugs, the bf and I mused, "Wouldn't it be nice if we could go to Santa Cruz, get to the ocean for awhile?" Already I could see us zipping through the forest with something inoffensively jangly on the radio, wind whipping tendrils of hair around our smiling faces, and the faintest whiff of saltwater beginning to scent the air. The trunk is filled with Mexican blankets, film cameras, and good intentions. Whose car is that, I wonder, transporting us through this dream? Neither of us have one, nor could we afford to get one even if we pooled our resources, not with the prices of insurance and gas... Amtrak prices, too, are exorbitant. Flying is out of the question. Do all the people who ask me to come visit them have rich parents or real jobs? Does travel to them require no more thought than remembering to put the tickets in their pockets? So many dream canvases are ruined this way, punctured and ripped through by a sharp and intimidating dollar sign. I wish I had some money-- not a ton-- just enough to leave town if I felt like it, and buy some nice Christmas presents for the people whose generosity I've probably exploited while "living on my own."

Someday when I'm rich and famous for blogging, gluing googly eyes onto inanimate objects, and fretting inside my duplex, there will be some kind of grand repayment to all those people that make my life easier, probably in the form of an awards banquet/ comedic roast hosted by Alf where there are ostentatious giveaways under the seats ala Oprah. Until then, I'm hoping for an It's A Wonderful Life inspired rediscovery of all the things and people in my life that are precious after a frightening journey led by an unearthly visitor conjured by my own childish complaints.

11.19.2009

A Slow Meltdown

Here is a list of the most recent songs played on Sacramento's Mix 96 radio station. Coincidentally, it is also a list of the Songs I Never Need To Hear Again. Several (all) songs by Journey, Eagles, and Billy Joel who have not yet appeared on the former list deserve special recognition for topping the latter.

11.14.2009

Saturday Night Cloister/Total Brain Rot




I made these on the 1994 macintosh emulator. I wonder how many other people are thirsty for human contact but are at home on a saturday night tinkering with outmoded software because they envision many terrors lurking in the autumnal shadows, the most horrific of which include:
1. an unholy combination of rotweillers, knives, junior-high age males and quicksand
2. conversational lulls
3. buying things

If you are one of these people you should call me right away so that we can talk about how awful this is, making no motion to get together. In fact, I probably won't even pick up.

11.11.2009

Hanging Out With My Mom: Our Mutual Profession and How Weird It Is



There are very few perks, I'm learning, in the dental profession aside from TOOTHBRUSHES! TOOTHBRUSHES FOR FREE!* But occasionally, there are dental events that the dentist will pay for you to attend with pinot noir, lasagne, and a motivational speaker with a comedic style in a banquet room at the Hilton. These events are good opportunities for dentists and sellers of dental equipment and materials to shmooze and make business arrangements. These events are like mini-versions of Dental Conventions, which rage on for many days in exotic locales like Hawaii and Las Vegas and were, from what I hear, a sort of publicly sanctioned gigantic key party back in the 70s. Of dental conventions, my mother astutely summarizes, "You could get into some trouble at one of those. I think even I could still get into some trouble at one." Dental professionals can log a certain number of hours or "points" after attending such an event that count in some esoteric realm of which I'm only remotely aware and have no desire to explore. Tonight I attended such an event with my mother, Debbie "Knows No Strangers" Scott, an RDA with over 30 years in the 'biz. As we parted the sea of business casual with glasses of pinot gripped sloppily in our fists, she immediately began identifying people she'd worked with before and introduced me to several Dental Professionals of Her Past. I stifled the urge to say "Ain't that the tooth," in response to all statements directed my way, figuring they would nullify all my Possible Career Advancements. "There's that doctor I had a fling with years ago," she murmured. Strangely, I received neither an introduction nor an identifying point in the man's direction. The dinner was decent but it was hurled at us and was snatched away just as quickly. I hadn't time to wonder if what I had eaten was in fact lasagna before the motivational speaker emerged in all his chubby white loud guy telling jokes glory. I was pleasantly laughing along and soaking up the motivational "dental family message," not thinking much of it until he said, "Dental front offices are populated by freaks. Where do they get these people? They had to have a relative that got them the job-- McDonald's rejected them." Was he a psychic? How did he know so much about me? My office contingent was pointing and laughing at me while I indulged in cartoonish, hammy shoulder shrugging. Again, a prime opportunity for that dental pun came and went.

Later, I'll identify this event as catalyzing a deep look at the direction my life is taking. Much cartoonish, hammy shoulder shrugging will follow.








*limited to amounts of unnoticeable-by-boss quantity

10.19.2009

On Standby

Hello avid readers! ::audible cricket chirps, microphone hiss:: I'm coming to you live from the internet at work when no one is looking! Sorry for the dearth of stimulating posts lately (or any posts, for that matter). I've moved, and seeing as that the jobs of internet and electric account set-up have been left up to me, I spend a lot of time reading B.Kliban comics and half-heartedly crocheting in the dark instead of getting it together. Topics to be covered when I return:
- Being Blacklisted Socially in Already Socially Atrophied Sacramento!
- Human Petrie Dish: Some of My Rashes This Month!
- Adventures in Domesticity: Looking For Deals, Finding Ample Time to Obsess Over Irrational Fears!
-How local Adult Contemporary Radio Station Mix96 is Building an Evil Empire Against My Sanity with Overplayed Billy Joel and Elton John Songs as Their Arsenal! (working title for that entry might be "You May Be Right: I May Be Crazy..."
-Seasonal Easy Listening songs and their poorly rendered youtube videos!

Stay tuned!

9.22.2009

Once Upon A Time The World Was Sweeter Than We Knew

Mercury is in retrograde and the customary communication breakdowns abound. Despite the fact that my life demands major decision-making at the moment, I refuse to make any until Mercury alters its course. Nothing like a good psuedoscientific excuse for the procrastination problem I developed in youth and sustain in adulthood. It's times like these when I really identify with Easy Listening songs sung from the standpoint of a 50 something year old man, wistfully remarking on the rapidity with which his life passed him by with a tone of hard-won wisdom and bittersweet remembrance. I felt especially attuned to these songs when I was about 14, when they should have had no relevance because I'd experienced... nothing. I clasped my hands under my chin, braces cutting into the tender lip-flesh, and thought about "yesterday, when I was young," which I suppose meant pre-6th grade, those True Kid days before my nose grew in and my boobs didn't and the social fallout and self-consciousness that followed. Those songs are approaching real relevance, as I spend enormous chunks of time either at a job where I answer a telephone in a singsong voice, or vocalize various stresses without making many moves to eliminate them. The future-- even less real than the present. I'll tackle it when Mercury moves forward...



Oh, also, that picture in the upper left came up a few pages into a google image search for Mercury in Retrograde.

9.18.2009

My Cup Runneth Over (With Wet Garbage, Confused Hopelessness)

We came back from Oregon feeling financially and spiritually poor and physically ill. Summer feel-goods (the swimming, the board games, the dinners and plans) ushered in circa mid-June dissipated and although the weather remains hot, this Indian Summer has taken on a certain chill as sobering realities have settled like a fog around us. Why is everything so expensive? Why am so ill-equipped to handle life's least challenging adult responsibilities? Why is there so muchcat pee and wet garbage in the house? A recent horoscope implored me (and everyone else born June 21st through July 20th) to ask for help when I need it and quit trying to do everything by myself. Funny, I can't remember a time when I'd either achieved true independence financially or otherwise done anything successfully by myself, ever. I'm not sure what to do, and so I'm going to meditate on it for awhile, and by that I mean hole up someplace listening to a compilation I've made called The Saddest and Most Pathetic Hits of The Carpenters and wait for solutions to come. I AM WAITING.


edit:
Solutions Generated So Far
1. Save Money! Stop buying voluminous pants/bulbous jumpsuits, used books with titles like Heal Your Hormonal Imbalance With Wheatgrass and Occult Practices, organic foods, and hand-fired clay nose douches... and start stealing them?
2. Eliminate Fruit Flies: read up on "home remedies" on the internet, keywords "trick fruit flies" and "voodoo fruit fly end times" and employ them.
3. Reality Check! You'll never afford to not live with 12 people with your job! Use next paycheck to buy tent, join popular nationally- renowned Tent City.
4. Repeat mantras! Try
I AM ON THE FAST TRACK TO POSITIVITY DRIVEN SUCCESS.

8.29.2009

Cluttered Computer Desktop Mirrors Troubled Hallways of The Mind



I like to "organize" my computer desktop because it makes me feel productive and it involves no body movement. I can't fully express the feelings of confusion/desperation left by the sordid nuggets uncovered during tonight's long-overdue desktop cleaning, so I'll just post them here for you to squint at or ignore. First off, there are these pictures to your left, which defy description or explanation. Is this somebody's dad? IS THIS YOUR DAD? We must now assume that there is a video of your dad on the internet where he is the proud owner of a high-stepping Palamino or Polar Bear (it is blurry, isn't it?) and then has to make a quick getaway in an alternate pair of pants. How well does anyone really know his or her parents? Then there was this list, titled "Business Ventures," which serves as a lesson for me, namely, that I should always collaborate with others or at the very least ask for a lot of advice whenever I get bit by the entrepreneurial bug.

1. Make Flesh Toned Scarves
cons: from afar, makes neck look like it has a growth
pros: ?

2. Van That I Wash Dogs In
cons: I can't drive and I don't like dogs that much so every day I'll crash into a fire hydrant or garbage can while wet dogs bark at me
pros: ?

8.25.2009

H1N1: The True Smmr Bmmr, everything else ok



Greetings Earthlings,
I have returned, not entirely unscathed, from a weird vacation in the Pacific Northwest, a vacation with, as far as I knew, one objective: attend the SMMR BMMR music festival in Portland, providing hometown support to friends appearing in various bands (MOM, Ganglians, Mayyors) by drinking cheap swill and sort of bopping around near them as they played. I write you this blog post from my sickbed. Let me explain:

After slipping into the late-night travel delirium vortex found between an SUV, liscensce plate "BOOMPY" and a motel room floor in Grant's Pass, Oregon, where Sharis restaurants are pronounced alternately SHARE-iss or Chairs, and a fictional musician named Carlos Fiancee plays rumba versions of your favorite songs at dinnertime, we shook free from our sleeping bags and drove to Olympia, WA, where our friends were slated to perform. Olympia is just like the Santa Cruz-Sacramento hybrid familiarized in dreams, only more haunted and less familiar. The show begins not long after arriving and immediately the origin of the puzzling garbagey stench plaguing the car for the last 800 miles is revealed when MOM, mid-performance, unleashes the unsavory contents of her suitcase: dead frogs and spoiled milk. Mystery solved and let's get her in a different car on the way back! We track rotten milk and dead frogs in and out of the house all night. Meanwhile, as I'm pleasantly sipping on a stout, trying to avoid both getting pummelled by some 7 foot tall avid Mayyors fans and slipping on a frog, our teenage acolyte Dylan is downing vodka in some totally unsupervised zone, and our fearless driver Liz is struck down by the flu. Dylan pukes, drinks more-- I'm making that Marge Simpson noise and frowning but am otherwise inert and waiting for the houseparty's lonely and attention-starved stragglers to quit talking about what great sandwiches they make so that my bf and I can roll our sleeping bag rig onto the spoiled milk and mud stomped carpet and just LUXURIATE in this unique aromatherapy opportunity. I put most of my clothes from that night in a scented garbage bag that I stole. ROCK! We all wake up in the morning and go to an adorable breakfast restaurant staffed by cute girls with dirtier permutations of my own foolish haircut, all except Dylan who doesn't wake up at all and has to be dragged into the SUV. Idle talk of buying him a big gallon of water at one of over 74 gas stations stopped at amounts to nothing, and he stays in the car as we ascend the stairs into SMMR BMMR land to begin smoking and drinking copiously out on the charming back patio of the venue. We were sloshing around and conversing and dancing and were not sober. About 15 hours of this rolls pleasantly by when Holy Smokes we forgot about Dylan. We find him with his feet hanging out of the car moaning. The BF and I, in our feeble fashion, decide to rescue him first by trolleying out little glasses of water from inside for him, then with tater-tot casserole in a paper cup and finally by finding a real adult to go take care of him. The OhSees played on the back patio, which was rickety and elevated several feet and covered in hundreds of bloodthirsty white people with haircuts. "We're going to die!" Julian turned and said to me, and "Yeaaahhh!" was my reply. Enough has been written about the transformative powers of sweet-ass rock n' roll and I will leave it to the professionals, but those transformative powers were present. Then it was over, all of us disappointingly intact. Through strategic artistry and a convincing decisiveness Liz rustled all of us into cars dumping us off at Eat Skull's house, a largely undecorated home of unspecified Oregonian time period where everyone smokes indoors and no one goes to bed/stops yelling till 5AM. I dreamt that night that everyone laying on the living room floor there was connected to a giant masterlung through tracheal tubes. As we slept, the lung was failing. I woke up with the flu-- aches so severe that I burst into tears at a dim breakfast restaurant called My Father's Place. The Ganglians and The People who Live In the Eat Skull house all went to go swimming in the river even though it wasn't even 90 out, probably having a sun-drenched and by all cases romantic time, basking in the glow of the magnetism that is Rob of Eat Skull, and we non-band members stayed behind, wandering onto Hawthorne Street which was reminiscent of Haight Street but less bummy-- a vanilla time was had by most. The Romance Partner and I continued to wander the through the luxuriant verdure of the neighborhood, mainly to avoid the house because a) it was gross, b) we felt as if we were imposing c) walking is free. As we passed through the frontyard foliage we heaved a collective sigh and shared a shoulder shrug over the supposed magnetism of this city. As a 24 year old white girl in a rayon 90s hawaiian shirt obsessed with my own childhood memories and the creative possibilities inherent in their reification, no other city has ever needed me less. It also rates high on the too good to be true spectrum, with the lush overgrowth tending toward permaculture Garden of Eden smorgasbord status (herbs! fruits! free and in the street!) and outrageous affordability for seemingly all things leaving me asking, "What's the catch, Portland?" When we left it was really time, most of us having caught some incarnation of the flu, all of us having woken up at some point with the smell of Pall Mall's hanging thick in the air, the sound of unmitigated puking ringing out like perverse churchbells to herald another day of much the same.

So that's how I got the swine flu. It's not going away.

8.04.2009

Puberty Revisited, Pt. 1



I really love the songs "I've Got My Mind Set On You" by George Harrison and John Lennon's "Jealous Guy." I first heard these songs in the movie Look Who's Talking Too, which reminds me, today is the 12th anniversary of puberty's onset! Let's revisit my singular, all-consuming obsessions of tweenhood in several easy to digest installments. Let me explain about the talking baby movie.

An obsession with John Travolta meshed with a watching-movies-repeatedly-in-order-to-memorize-them obsession and coincided perfectly and inexplicably with my first hormonal rush. Why I chose John Travolta as my initiate into carnal preteen lust I still don't fully understand, but the issue was compounded by my discovery of a copy of Look Who's Talking Too in a friend's family room, unreturned to Blockbuster many years prior, which I pilfered. This VHS quickly became the cornerstone of a ritual which I performed nightly, at around midnight and with my parents' bedroom door closed. The opening scene involved some muppety-looking sperm fertilizing a similarly muppety egg to the tune of "Sea of Love"-- pretty innocuous stuff, but not when I was 12. I was convinced that I was watching an Adult Film. I would then proceed to watch certain Travolta-laden scenes in the movie over and over again, rewinding seemingly hundreds of times until the dialogue became unreal and musical, and I felt dirtier and dirtier. So, in effect, Look Who's Talking Too, a comedy about 1)talking babies voiced by Bruce Willis and Roseanne 2) a crumbling marriage and 3) oldies functioned as a sort of pre-pornography for me and I still feel weird about it. Have I shared too much? Furthermore, have my habits even really changed? Your answers in the comments field will be much appreciated and immediately deleted.

7.19.2009

Concise, Mildly Derisive Analysis of Great Work of Literature, Pt. 1

Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence:
What a mama's boy.

7.18.2009

Directionless Youth? Not A Problem! Bizeewerks 4 Kidz


Parents, if you're like me, you're constantly wondering (in my case many many years in advance) what to do with the kids when school is out. You have a few choices, all of which come up short. There's the classic summer camp in the woods- kayaking, vaguely native american crafts, hiking-- that sort of thing. It also comes with collect calls to complain of homesickness, bug bites that could wind up in medical journals (who wants that kind of infamy?) and learning repetitive call-and-response songs with parts involving funny accents and maybe even spitting that will no doubt be sung, often and at deafening volumes upon returning home. Your other choice is signing your progeny up for a summer program at say the YMCA, wherein they'll be treated to regimented weekdays of nonstop summerfun activities--usually to indoor soccer fields and water parks on special discount days only accessible through the presentation of numerous Pepsi cans, etc. You'll be required to keep track of a dizzying array of release forms, permission slips, neon wristbands, bus passes, id cards, water shoes, epi-pens, matching "Summerfun at the Y" teal oversize t-shirts with your child's name sharpied onto the namespace provided, and Austin brand orange crackers with "peanut butter" in the middle. Who wants the headache? You also have the option of providing no structure for the children, allowing them to idle in front of the video game consul of their choice, a box of Tofutti Cuties melting beside them into the carpet with occasional sugar-fueled breaks to jump all over the new Lovett's sectional while your back is turned. You have not yet made the 3rd easy payment of $79.95 on that couch-- you must find a better solution! Lucky for you, I've got it.

I've invented a Summer Activity Center for Kids designed to provide daily structure and also prepare them for the kind of jobs they'll most likely get if they decide to pursue Literature degrees in college. It's called Bizeewerks 4 Kidz. The logo will be in bubble letters in alternating primary colors and some of the letters will have tufts of hair and eyes looking in different directions. Fun! Here's an example daily schedule:

7:00 AM Punch in, log into obsolete PC, Starbucks shooters, make label of own name
8:00 AM print out various forms, make 12 copies, write in office journal that 12 copies were made, get supervisor to initial
9:00 AM to 12:00 fill as much of the forms as possible
12:00 Lunch- Chipotle!
1:00 PM - 3:00PM resume filling out packets
3:00PM in a spreadsheet, log packet progress,
4:00 make 3 copies of Packet Progress Spreadsheet, place one in a folder with the unfinished packet, place another on the desk of your supervisor, shred the 3rd copy hastily.
5:00 Write a series of post-it notes with cryptic one-line reminders, stick them onto PC monitor, shred Packet, Progress Spreadsheet, folder, name label and post-it notes, log out.

The whole process will repeat itself daily, with subtle variations on Thursdays when an additional label is made. Your children will be very tired. Very tired. Now accepting registration for Summer 2010!

7.11.2009

Impersonal Apology to Everyone I Scolded Previously About Their Caffeine Habits After Having Developed One

I was talking to my friend Cassie today after a prolonged absence (distance to blame). When we shared a coast (oh those halcyon beachside days!) I'd chastise her for living a life built upon the habit of drinking what seemed to be several pots of coffee a day. I had to mention in that confessional of a Facebook chat window that I'd started drinking coffee recently. "I understand the appeal finally," I said, "it's like i'll be moseying along, and then suddenly it all CLICKS into place and I am A BRAIN and I become IDEAS... and then i have to poop." I feel brilliance, and also my bowels are hotwired to a paper cup in a cardboard sleeve. Sorry you-- all of you-- for all the guff--I didn't understand before.

7.03.2009

"the dreaming energy of the california mind"



"Like all exceptional realities, the image of California has been distorted in the mirror of the commonplace...The failure of understanding that has resulted is based on the difficulty of avoiding the hyperbolic in describing a reality that at first seems weirdly out of scale, off balance and full of fanciful distortion. For there is a golden haze over the land-- the dust of gold is in the air-- and the atmosphere is magical and mirrors many tricks, deceptions, and wondrous visions."
from California: The Great Exception by Carey McWilliams

the pictures are from Carla's flickr

6.14.2009

Frank Sinatra: Indulge Me Not


Sometimes I wish I could just swagger onto a stage to the sounds of an orchestra swelling, the twinkle of my pinky ring competing only with the twinkle in my mischievous blue eyes, a swirling tumbler of bourbon held aloft in one hand and a cigarette pinched deftly by the thumb and forefinger of the other. I start feeling this way in mid June. Like werewolves and their full moons, the scent of gardenias and jasmine suddenly induce a terrifying transformation; I must have a scotch and soda, I must have a tiny orange kerchief poking out of the pocket of a white silk shirt, I must take up residence in a bungalow with a kidney-shaped pool in Palm Springs, I must forge contrived mob connections, I must alternately speak/croon, I MUST BE FRANK SINATRA.

Last week yet another best friend of mine fled my clinging desperation loving arms and moved across the country, causing me to wonder, self-centeredly, what I do that is so damned repellent before remembering both that not everyone's (no one's) major life decisions have anything to do with me and that lists of my more repellent qualities can be found with ease in the archives of this blog . I wanted to provide some kind of ceremonious goodbye, some means of expressing the gravity of this move and the meaningfulness of our long friendship, but as we hurtled towards the Sacramento airport that night, I could think only of "New York, New York." Under the delusion of a misguided sense of situational appropriateness, I allowed the beast to emerge. The imaginary suit closed around me. I felt the silk lining. I belted out, "Start spreading the news, I'm leavin today..." with an unpopular encore of "Come Fly With Me." Farewell: ruined!

Hide your grandpa's record collection, your Seven and Sevens and your soft summer nights, I'M ON THE LOOSE!


5.30.2009

Is Anybody Out There and Are You Paying Attention To Me?


I've been reading a book of collected letters from D.H. Lawrence to publisher and friend Thomas Seltzer. When I purchased the book, I was under the impression (probably from not reading carefully) that it contained the responses to said letters. No. Subjects include the weather, books he is working on in general with no specific insights into the mysterious content, and most prominently, Dammit Seltzer You Never Send My Manuscripts Out When I Ask You To or Respond To My Letters. I must, then, assume the that responses received were the postmarked equivalent to the conversational "Oh, really? That's nice," assuming, again, that there were responses at all. I feel like my blog is like this. An audience is intended, from whom I get no response; yet the content is not really compelling enough to elicit a response and so expecting one is an act of supreme egotism on my part. Basically, I can retitle this project Does This Ever Happen To You, because I'm looking for some kind of validation, either that I am not a total weirdo and that you, the reader, can relate to my mildly amusing misadventures and interests, or that yes I am a total weirdo and my misadventures and interests imbue me with a uniqueness that charms you, the reader, endlessly. Unlike D.H., I have no fame or provocative appeal to bolster readership-- you have to be fascinated by the tawdry triumphs and failures that decorate small lives-- my small life--and even I'm losing interest.

I'm always tempted to write about my dental office job in the style of Charles Bukowski's Post Office, with no luck. The job is too cushy to cast myself as the world-weary man with menial employment, confronting an endless barrage of characters who were ridden hard and put away wet, just looking for my next piece of ass and a place to get out of the rain. Pieces of ass? I'm struggling to find a way to make a boring, regular job and a boring regular life seem grandiose and fascinating, because I'm a product of our times and can't conceive of a life lived without famousness. I try to villainize my coworkers so as to have something to talk about. Their names make them sound like they should be members of Prince and the New Power Generation, though I'm sure it would never occur to them to daydream about such a membership. I got a weird haircut recently which threatens to become more interesting than I am. There is nothing of aesthetic substance (is that an oxymoron?) at my office and so I turn to my own head. I wanted to look like a Patrick Nagel painting. I guess if I want to be surrounded by Nagels in the workplace I need look no further than a job at a hair salon. What else? The house is so hot that upon waking one recent morning I was so thoroughly wet from sweat I convinced myself that I had peed. HAS THIS EVER HAPPENED TO YOU? Here is a video I've been watching recently on youtube:
DO YOU LIKE IT?

The response is: That's nice, Rach. You don't say.

5.11.2009

Mom to the Rescue

The other day I was perched precariously on an exercise ball, wondering "What would happen if I just let myself fall?" It was an impulse best left unfollowed, as I careened headfirst into my bike, causing great rivers of blood to soak the nethermost quadrant of my perm. Carla had Jon take care of the situation, which involved spraying Bactine not so much on me but at me. Fearing a concussion/lacking evening plans, I called Mom to suggest we wile away the horas at The Emergency Room. Who do we run into immediately but The Woman Who Insulted Me at Trader Joes Last Month. I had been plotting all the cutting remarks I would make during our next interface, but was unfortunately all agog with pain. My mom artfully dodged having a conversation with The Enemy, anticipating what would have surely included my guileless admission to falling off a giant ball on which I had been absent-mindedly bouncing, by repeating the phrase "head trauma." "Head trauma" had the effect of a long-forgotten and powerful incantation handed down to my mother by ancient practitioners of magic. The woman seemed to be propelled backward by a fetid mist coming off of a freshly opened crypt, and someone else would have to hear about her chinless husband's monthly blood pressure ordeal. Meanwhile, my stupid reason for visiting the E.R. remained shrouded in mystery, thank God. Bullet dodged and head throbbing, I sat down an a grimy chair and thought about that swine flu craze that's sweeping the nation for the first time in earnest. Maybe half an hour went by as my mom and I shifted uneasily in our seats, exchanging glances in acknowledgment of a noxious odor reminiscent of foot fungus. An especially pungent whiff caused us to bolt from our seats, quickly gathering our now contaminated belongings and fleeing to the car.

"I'm probably fine," I said.
"It's like those people never washed their butts. Everybody in there stank," was her reply.

5.09.2009

The Best Compliment?

"I want to rip you off."

4.30.2009

Favorite Painting Companionship Ideal Involving, Of Course, Big Hair



I had a hangover yesterday and so went to the library as an alternative to laying on my air mattress moaning. I returned Fingerprints of the Gods and got dizzy looking at books from the oversize stock department. Notables included illustrations of birds, initiation rituals of various cultures photographed and spoken of condescendingly, and a David Hockney retrospective. I don't know anything about art. The things we had on my walls growing up were usually in a Comfort Inn continental breakfast room color palette, behind brass frames, and from Thrifty's. I know I like David Hockney because he does paintings of pools so evocative of summer that I can almost smell the chlorine and hear the electricity buzzing, and because of Mr. and Mrs. Clark and Percy. I first encountered the picture in thumbnail form in Harper's Bazaar, a magazine I've kept a subscription to since age 14, when we had to sell magazines for a fundraiser and I sold Harper's Bazaar to myself.

Could I possibly want anything more than the life depicted in Mr. and Mrs. Clark and Percy? To dip my bare toes into the extra deep pile shag, a cat balancing on my crotch, awash in light, thinking nothing other than, "She designs the textiles and I design the tea dresses"--enviable hair textures in an enviable apartment in an exciting decade-- this is living! I love their creative collaborations and their love for each other! I love this painting! I'm freaking out! Will someone be the Celia Birtwell to my Ossie Clark someday, or vice versa? Will we wear luxuriant green clothes and spend any time that isn't spent standing bathed in perfect light and love coming up with brilliant premise after brilliant premise, turning them into magnificent reality after magnificent reality? Until then, I am Percy, a weird, stiff-looking white cat with my back facing the audience, inserting myself into the lives of the fun creative couples I know, allowing my happiness at being included to mingle sometimes with jealousy.



I already regret that cat metaphor, don't you?
Can I just have a bunch of Celia Birtwell/Ossie Clark dresses in which to languish and be my loner self? See figure A, below:

4.26.2009

Times I Was Sweaty Last Week

Tuesday, April 21
At the end of yoga, we were called to make a circle around Jessica, one of the instructors, and touch her so as to send positive vibes or some such loving energy her way; it was her birthday. If you couldn't touch Jessica, you'd touch somebody else. Eager, as always, to participate in something that would make me lose credibility with my peers and further entrench me in a community comprised of primarily white women with too much free time, I enthusiastically placed my sweaty little paw smack dab on an even sweatier woman's shoulder and thought "I wish you a year filled with personal growth!" as hard as I could so that I would fairly radiate it. The person who touched me barely pinched part of my soaking wet tank top. I don't know how she expected to transmit birthday messages to Jessica that way. She did succeed in transmitting the following message to me: You are gross and I hate having to touch you.

Thursday, April 23
I remembered James Rabbit, a favorite band of mine from Santa Cruz comprised totally of prolifically talented friends, was playing at a bowling alley in the seamier side of already seamy West Sac. I burst in during one of my favorite numbers, Coast To Coast Heart to Heart, grabbed Tyler (Mr. James Rabbit himself) by the back of the neck and pulled him in close as we both sang into the mic, "Oh you know that I will go anywhere you are!" By the end of the show, I was covered in sweat from so many hugs-- Tyler, Mike, Dylan, Max-- and invigorated with reunion energy. It was the perfect counterbalance to that yoga incident.

I'm living the single life, but I'm not lacking in love, or sweat.

4.19.2009

Reasons To Be Cheerful April 2k9 and Brazillian Singers With Big Curly Hair Roundup

1. The 5 S's: suntans, sweat, swimming, saltwaters, and sangria all on their way soon with temperatures like this:

2. Yesterday I came home and found these on my bed. If there was any question before over whether or not I love my housemates, consider that question answered in the affirmative.

3. Don't let sporadic posting fool ya, Vanessa Olsen lives and she spent the day with me yesterday catching up in glorious California fashion.

4. Zac Efron movie in theaters now! Many shots of his wonderful armpit hair, which deserves a post unto itself.

5. I spend a lot of time wishing I was a Brazilian singer with big curly hair. With help from my hairdresser/spiritual guru, I'm always halfway there.



4.14.2009

"Come Love With Me and Be My Life," and Other Popularity Increasers


There is a book at my favorite thrift store called Come Love With Me and Be My Life. It is a book of saccharine poetry written in the 70s probably under heavy influence of an I'm OK, You're OK feel-good style guide to dealing with heartbreak. I am indifferent to the contents of this book, but love the title; Come Love With Me and Be My Life sounds like something I would say to someone at a party as an icebreaker. I said "Why don't you love me?" to someone at a recent party instead of "How are you," with some success. Bad conversation starters have been a specialty of mine since high school, when my patented "How do you feel about lobster?" and "Do you have any addictions to over the counter medicines?" not only got a few lunchtime chuckles, but started many friendships (on the wrong foot) as well. I'm impatient for a meaty conversation, and saying something inappropriately personal or just plain weird is the quickest way to bypass the smalltalk and allow you to gauge the levels of receptivity this person has for you. If they'll tolerate, "Why don't you love me," then you can really get away with a lot. Here, a quick and dirty guide to making friends Rach Scott style:

1. Tell an anecdote about a situation in which you were guileless, out of touch, or unattractive. For instance, "I don't have the right kind of yoga pants-- you know, the expensive kind that wick away moisture-- and so sweat pools in my groin and at the creases underneath each butt cheek and is visible to passing cars as I'm walking home down a major thoroughfare. It looks like I've peed, or worse." Ideally, your audience is now thinking, "How gauche," and is captivated.

2. Allowing no natural transitions to occur, abruptly shift from talking about yourself to an intense interrogation of your captive. If you don't know intimate details of their previous relationship, or you don't think you can fill out a health history/medical release form for this person, then you have failed.

3. Congratulations-- he/she hasn't run away yet! You can now assume that you share a cosmic affinity with him/her, and begin making startling confessions. Now is a good time to mention unrelatable obsessions, childhood humiliations that still haunt you, and any shrines you may have made to the Potential Friend.

4. Emphasize your availability and willingness to drink coffee at all hours of the day. Look forward to cementing your new friendship while feigning a taste for americanos.

4.06.2009

Special Segment for Latchkey Kids

"Hey Rach," you might say, "I'm a kid, I found your blog when I was looking through my dad's sites. My parents don't supervise me." Don't worry, kid. My across the street neighbor was a school principal, and whenever her school decided to get rid of a bunch of outdated and racially insensitive reading materials, they always got "donated" to yours truly. Here are two books written in the mid 20th century with cats as the main characters, picked up from the donation pile. You love that anthropomorphic stuff, don'tcha kids? If you have the sort of parents that take you to the library a ton, or who spend a lot of time sifting through garbage, have them pick these up for you.

Space Cat by Ruthven Todd

Cat in space, pretty straight forward. Not sure how they stretched this out to novel length. I did a book report on this in 3rd grade. The posterboard that accompanied the report, with drawings of the space cat doing cat things in space, is behind the couch in my parents' house. I somehow incorporated glitter. Very gratuitous. No sense of propriety at age 8.

Hotel Cat by Esther Averill
Tom the Cat, mouser extraordinaire and old soul, endears himself to a kindly yet refined older gentlewoman living in a hotel. Since, conveniently enough, she can speak cat language, they spend many hours wistfully musing over various sentimental ideas. This book introduced me to the concept of people living in hotels, the disease rheumatoid arthritis, and the dance "the sailor's hornpipe." The entire book is romantic in the way that Nat King Cole is romantic, but with cats. One of the cats wears a scarf! Get hip to it, children!

4.01.2009

Automated Phone Service


At my work, I spend a lot of time speaking to automated telephone services (robots), trying to see if a patient is eligible for their dental coverage. These robots offer a menu of possible options that I do not diverge from under any circumstances, but they often misunderstand me anyway. I'm used to being misunderstood, but unlike the myriad human responses to misunderstanding, a robot will always respond with, "I didn't catch that. I think you said 'associate,' is that correct?" I'd like to extend this simplicity to my life by means of a similar phone service that offers practical advice within the comfortable, meaningless parameters of career jargon.

"Thank You for using the Lifepaths(TM) Automated Service. Para espanol, oprima nueve. Please listen carefully, as our options have changed. For romance status or the Shyness Systems Management Department, say 'Communication Troubleshoot,' or press one. For what kind of food to eat and when, say 'Nutritive Integration Programs,' or press two. For information on what kind of job is best for you, say 'Career Placement,' or press 3. For the keys to total wellbeing and peace of mind, say 'Oprah,' or press 4..."

I'll immediately press some frantic combination of all the numbers and say, breathlessly,"I pepper conversations with unwelcome, uninformed references to astrology. I don't know what to cook for dinner, I eat like a bachelor-- cigars, frozen. I don't know how to find time to both exercise and fulfill spiritual needs and so I signed up for yoga but it's wildly unaffordable. I'm probably going to get fired from my job, I live in a state of constant limerence, losing several hours every day thinking about ways to describe my crush's hair-- I never get past 'beautiful'..."

"I didn't catch that. I think you said 'associate.' I'll connect you with an agent."

Then the agent would be some kind of guru that has an ethereal body that can't fully materialize in our galaxy and the head of an Egyptian god.

Song of the Post- "Omnispend Sway" by Sudden Sway

3.27.2009

PBS Obscuro Pt. 2: Katie and Orbie

The summer after 4th Grade, I got pneumonia, so instead of spending all my time at the public swimming pool, I spent all my time on the living room sofa in front of the tv in a hand-me-down Oakland Raiders t-shirt and underwear washing down saltines with 7up (7up=panacea, from the Rachel's Mom School of Medicine), coughing, and probably developing a mild coedine addiction. In other words, becoming who you now know me to be. We didn't have a remote control for the tv, so I would typically watch one channel all day long. If that channel was PBS, I could "look forward to" Katie and Orbie around 1pm. This was a show with an incredibly long, irritating, and infectious theme song sung by a real child, describing the means by which a lonely, sensitive pink space alien named Orbie lands in a toddler's backyard only to be immediately embraced and adopted by the toddler's family, thus beginning a series of adventures in grand Harry and the Henderson's style. The series was narrated by Leslie Neilson and the characters never spoke. Orbie's skin always made me kind of sick to look at, like if you touched it, it would be papery but kind of too warm and maybe oily. This was usually a good time to just give in to the sickness and sleep while the soothing, grandfatherly voice of Leslie Neilson reverberated around the living room.

Where did I even get hand me downs? I don't have any siblings!

3.25.2009

PBS Obscuro, Pt. 1: Imagination Station



When facing a social situation in which you have nothing in common with the other participants but age, TV Shows You Watched Growing Up is usually a safe conversation starter. People are likely to respond favorably to statements such as, "Rocko's Modern Life was the best show ever!", and "Who remembers the lyrics to the Tiny Toons theme song?" will get everyone talking. Don't say,"Who else has a childhood notebook filled with drawings of aliens giving thumbs-ups as they burst out of the circular windows of a cylindrical space station? Who else learned to draw 3-D with Mark Kistler? He had a mustache and wore the same kind of safety-orange jumpsuit my dad used to wear to work when he was a striper (prior to his subsequent meteoric climb up the corporate ladder), so he had a certain familiarity for me."
You will be met with blank stares. Everyone's focus will return to the girl who is shouting, "I drank SO much tequilerrr!" Meanwhile, the one person who remembers the show will focus his attention on you. He'll probably be wearing contacts to make his eyes look more like a reptile's and his facial hair will make you feel strangely ill at ease.
(the images are from Mark's site)

3.21.2009

Last Weekend in Bolinas: Wiping the Crust Off My Third Eye


Tacked to my wall is my best cookie fortune-- "You will experience endless love and total harmony at an affordable price." Correct-- it only cost $20 to put gas in the van and then off to the bird sanctuary with William and Kim, the shaman (shamen?) couple who, after becoming quite alarmed at the outcome of the tarot reading, insisted that I was in such dire need of a Native American-style spiritual healing ceremony that they'd do it for free. Walls are up, chakras are blocked...if someone doesn't help me then I'll have an extra hard time doing my life's work, which, evidently, is Spiritual Healer Teacher Nonprofiteer Animal Baby Women Helper. Ah! Perfect! I had been in the mood for a ritualistic cleansing. "Ask and you shall recieve," said Kim, who seemed to always be nodding sagely, threatening to dislodge one or more of the three floppy velveteen hats she was wearing. They implored me to call on my spirit guides. I breathed in the sea air and asked to anyone who might be listening, "please let me get something out of this." Soon afterward I'm lying down on their air mattress (I think they live in the van) as William puts me in a trance, all the while touching my head, hands, feet, or stomach in order to transfer his energy to me. In my head, I'm in the forest, gathering together my spirit animals, who all reveal themselves to me without much coaxing, and in this order: mountain lion, crow, eagle, deer, dove, otter. "They each have a message for you,"says William, who appears as a wolf, and they do. Me and this menagerie begin walking through the forest, confronting difficult people and hard times, which I am instructed to push in the roaring fire that appears behind each person. This proves to be exceedingly difficult, even with the pantheon of forest spirits, someone holding my hand, and a woman sitting in the passenger seat throwing positive intentions my way. When I confronted each person, I was crying and shaking. It took a long time to push them into the fire. When I did, I felt physically lighter. The tension in my shoulders that I've carried with me for as long as I can remember was gone. I felt wonderful. This happened again and again until the hour was up. William counted down from ten, and I awoke, feeling exhausted as though from laughter, and a little light-headed. They then suggested that they think it would be a good idea for me to come with them to Shasta to learn how to use my psychic abilities and become a healer like them. "Kim, explain to her what Shasta is." Kim turns around in the passenger seat, one of the hats obscuring her left eye, and says, with no vocal inflections whatsoever, "Shasta is a vortex between heaven and hell. I have a medicinal sage farm there. And 7 stores." I said I couldn't go right away, there was a fairly awkward parting, and then I skipped to the Coast Cafe to meet my worried friends for a night of hilarity.

The weirdest part of this experience was the gift basket Kim gave me. She must have been preparing it for me as I was shouting, "You aren't connected to my energy any more!" and convulsing. I didn't really look at it until the next morning. It was a wooden salad bowl filled with two bananas, an eggplant, a loaf of wheat bread, some potpourri, a wilted daisy and a gold bracelet of hippos.

I feel great and I can't believe that none of this is made up.
I am wearing the hippo bracelet.

3.03.2009

Appendix to Insomnia and Ennui



-eharmony.com has supplied me with about 20 matches, 80% of which list Tuesdays With Morrie as the best book they've read recently. Also, under the heading Can't Live Without, "my car" and "televised sports" routinely appear. I'm going to put on a blindfold, turn around three times and point my finger. Whichever 28 year old medical student of Indian descent I land on gets contacted, and the sound of the email hitting his inbox will distract him from what he is doing, which is placing his copy of The 5 People You Meet in Heaven on his Ikea bookshelf with exacting delicacy . The email will read, "Wanna come over and talk about some of the most influential people in our lives, aka Our Grandmas, and our individual approaches to the things we have in common (making our friends laugh, "through humor")? I on-demanded Sports Center."

-My new boss actually used a Myers-Briggs Typology test, photocopied straight from Please Understand Me II, to assess my on-the-job personality. I'm hired, even though I'm an ENFP! I'm working for minimum wage at a dental office with my mom. I'm going to bring my mug to work and drink instant coffee out of it. I'm going to be happy to have someplace to go three days out of the week where I can ease into working after a protracted absence and so I'm not going to complain about the more obviously lame facets of this arrangement. Maybe I'll start thinking Dilbert and The Office are funny. Who knows.

Love is alive and well.

3.01.2009

Insomnia & Ennui: From the "Blog Topic Classics" Series

When there is a disaster (murder, fire) in television and movies,there is oftentimes a scene wherein the mother/wife of one of the more high profile victims stands in front of a bunch of cop cars or ambulances while her face becomes a mask of horrific understanding--eyes dilated and vacant, dry lips parted slightly. Maybe half a second goes by before the vice squad detective or health care professional emerges with a blanket, which he places over the woman's shoulders with grim kindness and leads her out of the scene. We can't see what happens to the woman next, but I like to think that she is taken to a place of comforting anonymity, connected in no way to her broken life, where she can just go to sleep for a little while.

I'd like an authority figure to catch me shuffling feebly towards 2010 and identify me as someone who needs a blanket, then usher me into a place of sterile silence like some government-issue Sandman. I would go to sleep and afterward I would know what to do with myself. There haven't been any disasters; tonight I just did not know what to do with myself. I worked on a creepy internet project I've made as an elaborate joke for my housemates. Got a few cheap laughs out of it but ultimately productive feelings were eclipsed totally by creepy feelings. I wanted to kill time with an internet quiz in the style of a Which TV Character Are You? or Myers-Briggs Typology Test, so I went to eharmony.com. I'm happy to report that their personality test took almost an hour to complete. Apparently, believing in the creative potentiality experienced while eating eggs benedict with friends is NOT one of their 29 Dimensions of Compatibility. There were no matches.

Here's the official song of this post.

2.25.2009

Stile Eyeconz: 4th Grade ad infinitum

There are some pictures of me at around age 10 wearing a candy necklace and otherwise looking deranged. That's because I was just one step into the process of transforming myself into Nona F. Mecklenberg, younger Pete's friend on The Adventures of Pete and Pete. The F stood for Frances but it may as well have stood for Fashion, with her bowling shoes, tube socks, and elastic floral print skirts. She made me long for a pair of rainbow striped pants and a blue knit hat with pearl beads. It probably would have been cute to wear these things when I was in 4th grade, but I don't think it was quite in line with my mother's vision for me and anyway we shopped at Mervyn's. I still have latent Nona tendencies. The best thrift store in the world is a mere block away from my house and I'm making up for lost time. The translation of Nona onto an adult body, however, is kind of bag lady meets Blossom.

And of course there is Ramona Quimby, the reason I've had a bob haircut for most of my life.

Who are (were?) your style icons?

2.18.2009

Indoor Games



It has really been storming here in that dark-at-3pm kind of way. Wind howls around the house at night and the tree slaps against the window in the classic horror movie style. I cower under my 5 blankets (arranged in an ascending hierarchy of itchiness) and have appropriate miserable sweaty nightmares. The latest-- I host a dinner party, suck out the souls of my guests with a single glance, have my evil henchman drag their catatonic bodies away, then I rail against the heavens and my own evil ways for awhile before instructing my assistant to bring me a few fresh ones! I invite your amateur analysis. Also, as I was traipsing through the rain today, I stepped in a puddle so large that I was submerged up to my knees, soaking my ridiculous winter costume which now includes an electric blue wool cape with a pattern of Russian nesting dolls on the lining. It's ok, though. As a Californian, I believe it is my duty to spend at least an hour a day in total outrage over THE BUDGET CRISIS and THE IMPENDING DROUGHT... so I welcome the rain and many future soggy wardrobe failures if it means I can, without guilt, spend a few more minutes musing over Dear Abby's latest tawdriness. And, let's face it-- I'm always looking for an excuse to listen to that Cowsills song.

2.10.2009

Sharing: Feelings, Files

Gentle reader, have you ever fallen in love? If you're like me, this happens sometimes. If you're really like me, it isn't reciprocated. If you're really really like me, then the morning found you in yogurt-stained pajamas amassing a collection of songs that remind you of, on the one hand, that beautiful nervous feeling and, on the other hand, a lack of reciprocity. You suffered a sleepless night spent mining previous conversations for romantic subtext, remembering the sensation of your hand in his and how, if it were transmuted somehow to music, the song would be "Good Vibrations," then crafting impassioned, bleary-eyed declarations of loving intent which would bring you to new heights in vulnerability were you to actually utter them aloud, a few whiskeys in, after a party on some winter night in your hometown, your hands and feet freezing but with nervous-adrenaline sweat running down your sides.

Here's that collection of songs.

2.01.2009

Superbowl Sunday Romance Insurance

I think Superbowl Sunday is the perfect time to prepare an umbrella for next week's impending showers, aka, Valentine's Day. Grab yourself a domestic beer and gear up for romance. This Superbowl Sunday, I'm going to be testing a fragrance product I just made up called D00d Repellent(TM). I'm not really sure of the ingredients yet, but I'm guessing it's comprised of 14 parts Swarthy Italian Good Looks, 78 parts Glint in the Eye Suggestive of Clinginess, 1/5 wet cigarettes and spit collected from a bucket outside of a bar without windows, the rasp of an old bum as he sings "shoofly don't bother me!" and just a sprinkle of Essence of Unwashed (one of my other fragrance success stories, bottled right at the source-- my armpit). Good news: it's already working! Available at Walgreens and wherever fine fragrances are sold. Enjoy those sports, ladies.

1.29.2009

Grandma Facsimiles Elicit Emotional Response


Carla and I were in Target the other day, looking for a spray bottle with which to punish our bad cat, when in the toy aisle I chanced upon Abuelita Rosa. "This is the saddest toy ever. It's just a doll of a Mexican grandmother," said Carla, unaware that describing a toy as "sad" activates my Sympathy for Inanimate Objects Gland. This overactive gland is the reason why I have over 100 stuffed animals in a refrigerator box in my closet, many pairs of ugly, ugly shoes, and a collection of Garfield anthologies. "No one will love them if I don't," I tell myself. It is the primitive and incorrect form of rationalization most commonly used by pet hoarders. Abuelita Rosa remained in my arms until checkout, when I decided that I didn't have an extra $20 (frivolities fund hit hard by recession and recent move) and bought some $3 practical (ugly) underwear instead.

Fake Latina singing grandma reminded me of my grandma who spoke no Spanish and I found myself blinking back tears. This sort of thing happens more often than I'd like to admit.


Many of my flummoxed friends probably recall my response to the movie Electric Grandmother, which was roughly 8 minutes of uncontrolled sobbing. This movie falls into a genre I just made up called Children's SciFi/Hallmark Shmaltz. Plot Summary: A family of 2 boys and a girl receives an amazingly lifelike robot grandmother to help take care of them. She sings them songs, teaches them lessons, and shoots Tropicana out of her index finger--- you know, all the standard grandmotherly stuff. Here comes the part that brings on the waterworks: when the children grow up, android grandma is put in some kind of Electric Grandma brand storage facility and is otherwise forgotten about UNTIL the grown children grow old themselves. They hobble over to the warehouse, haul out Nanna, and she takes care of them in her gentle, grandmotherly fashion as their frailty and senility reduce them to childlike states.

Up until just recently, I couldn't even hear the title Electric Grandmother (it came up more often than you'd think!) without bursting into tears. Granted, the steady stream of fake estrogen coursing through my veins makes me particularly responsive to the sentimental, but this movie hit an especially tender place. I was partially raised by my grandparents, and it seemed like they remained 65 years old for 20 years. Some part of me wanted to believe that my grandma would really stay 65 forever, and that when I grew up and had children of my own, she would take care of them the way she took care of me-- with a serene, positive, and warmhearted energy, singing them to sleep in the orange tweed rocking chair, making them oatmeal but calling it "mush." To be able to have a grandma all the way through adulthood... it seemed so sweet, but Electric Grandmother reminded me that it's only possible in science fiction. Truthfully, I'm tearing up even right now.

Miss you, Grandma!

1.25.2009

The Heirarchy of Need Shifts Ever Upward

Time for an update from your recessionista: I have moved out of my parents' house and into the apartment belonging to friends Jon and Carla. They are a near-married couple, so the pseudo-parental dynamic has made for a smooth transition out of my family home. It is strange and wonderful to be living instead of dying in my hometown. Now that the need for friends and pleasant environs has been sufficiently met, I find myself able to focus on goals larger than "find modicum of privacy" or "make eye contact with acquaintances." In other words,

I NEED A JOB

and also,

I NEED TO GO BACK TO SCHOOL

and one more thing,

romance? Eh? Ok, nevermind.

I'm combing those want ads and pestering those contacts with renewed zeal. I'm reading books, in addition to Linda Goodman's Sun Signs (though I kind of love Linda Goodman's Sun Signs) with a slightly more academic bend. I will inject my life with much-needed meaning. 2k9 is already becoming great.