Saturday, December 30, 2006

Destino.

Do you believe in fate? That moment that timing and opportunity come together for a high five? Yeah, i like to think i believe in that. But then i go and ruin it.
So the book is done. I've been researching literary agents, preparing query letters and getting everything set to send out. Brought my work into work today to go over the letters one last time and as i'm unpacking all my envelopes and sample chapters, i'm browsing through the VIP list and see "Douglas Coupland: Wallpaper Magazine." hmm, weird. I wonder if that's Douglas Coupland, the author. It's very possible he writes for Wallpaper--he does everything else. So after some sleuthing, I realize it's him. So cut to me freaking out.
Me to Erik: Dude, don't you think that's a little weird? I have all my query letters just sitting here, samples of my work, and Douglas Coupland is HERE!
Erik: Who?
Me: Douglas Coupland! He's this insanely talented writer! Do you think he would look over my letters?
Erik: That guy orders coffee like it's going out of style.
Me: Awesome! When he orders, I'm going up. I'm just going to say, "Hello Mr. Coupland, I love your books. May I pour you a cup of coffee? And excuse me, but can you make a girl's life and read over this query letter?"
Erik: Yeah, OK.
Me: Or maybe I should just leave it by the coffee, and as he's enjoying the joe he'll notice it. "Hey, what's this? This isn't a napkin! This is a manuscript! Open Eyed Sneeze? Gosh, that's clever. Let me read this over." And then he'll call Room Service and want to talk with me and he'll call his agent straight away and say, "Simonoff, I think this girl's got something here. And damn, she makes a great cup of coffee."
Erik: Yeah, OK. You can bring up his coffee.

So I sit around doing nothing for 5 hours waiting for this guy to order and change my life. I shouldn't say "doing nothing." I was, of course, planning out how the entire conversation would go. Anticipating anything he could possibly say, and plotting out my subtle responses so that they wouldn't sound rehearsed.
But still, no orders.
Finally I'm thinking, that's it. I'm just going to go up to his room with a bottle of wine and say, "Excuse me Mr. Coupland, I have an amenity from the hotel for you." and once I'm in the room, opening the wine, THEN i'll bring up my book. Good. But what if he doesn't drink? He likes coffee, you could bring coffee. But what if he's sick of coffee by now? Ice Cream! Yes! Everyone loves a sundae! Good. No wait, but then he'll want me to get the hell out of his room so he can eat it before it melts. Hmm, the wine is good. Opening the wine gives us time to talk. Or maybe I could bring the fixings for a salad in and say, "Hello Mr. Coupland, I'm here to prepare a salad for you. It's an amenity we offer. This will only take 20 minutes or so. But while I'm chopping these organic ingredients, let's shoot the shit."
No, go with the wine.

By this point I've had 300 imaginary conversations with this man. Sadly, they all end with him giving me a puzzled look saying that he didn't order wine.

I didn't go up.
I'm hoping that a few years from now, I'll be at a party with Doug (that's what I'll call him) and we'll laugh about this. I'm hoping I won't be serving him his coffee at this party.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Tiara? Really?

I once heard someone say that the media doesn't tell you what to think, it tells you what to think about. OK, fine, but sometimes that's just as annoying. There are big things going on in this world. Big, important, serious things that deserve our attention and if people could pull themselves away from stalking each other on myspace for five seconds, they might actually be concerned about it.
Bush is talking about sending more troops into Iraq, saying that it is necessary for victory. Seriously, what's wrong with this man? No, for real. Here's my assessment of Iraq: We broke in, destroyed the place, hung around too long, and then blame the people there when they get pissed about it. It'd be like the team from Extreme Makeover: Home Edition taking that crew of 100, ripping down a house, and then just chilling for a few years. "Why are you so upset?! We're building you this beautiful house! and you're all waah wahh, where's my house? Building a beautiful house with Sears appliances takes time! Just wait in this mess and geez, be grateful! When we finish up here we're going to play it over with some very emotional music and you'll cry. Just you wait."
Have you ever noticed when a car breaks down or a bbq fire goes out, men gather around to stare at it? Iraq is beginning to feel a bit like that bbq fire and Bush is all, "Hey, c'mere and look at this. Let's get some more people to come look at this too."
OK, not sure what the bbq fire thing was supposed to mean. It's not the point of the post. The point is, the media is sharing Iraq coverage with the breaking news of Miss USA. Truly. The news is covering an actual Donald Trump press conference to talk about giving Miss USA a second chance after underage drinking and partying in nyc--disgracing the crown.
Um, what?
Here's the thing about pageants. They're ridiculous. I will argue that nothing can be taken seriously when a swimsuit is involved--even Olympic Swimming competitions. (yeah, you did Russia proud, but i can see your package). The idea that Miss USA is a role model and could actually disgrace a position that requires a tiara is the definition of silly. And of course, she said she will attend rehab, because really? what else is there to do to fill the days of being Miss USA?
But do you see? The media got me thinking about it, those tricky bastards.
And we're all a little dumber.
You may now return to Myspace

Been There.

I've always been fascinated by logic. The logic classes i took in college were dry and often confusing with everybody and his brother having a theory, but i sort of loved the puzzle search for truth. Puzzle games are fun but working out a long logic problem has a greater reward in that you can say, this is true, and this is why. The extent to which you can find truth in a crossword is a bit less dramatic--This is true because it fits in seven boxes.

Logic problems dealing with probability were of particular interest to me because they dealt with considering possible outcomes. Such is life, right? Weighing actual occurrences to the number of possible ones was an interesting way to look at things. Ideas of randomness and uncertainty-- which i think are two big players in life. Certainty creates the trinity but it's usually not until too late that we establish this one. Sure, Certainty will pop in time and again to remind us that we like Apple Jacks and soft-serve ice cream, but Randomness and Uncertainty tap us on the shoulder on the daily. So personally, my greatest certainty is to know that randomness and uncertainty will be probably be true. But particularly after college, particularly in my parent's house, randomness and uncertainty were always true. It wasn't a question of probability. (It's basically what my entire book is about.)

My little sister is just learning this and I find that hilarious.

Nessa finished school a semester early and packed her life into her mustang to drive it all back to NY. My father, never one to miss a road trip, flew down to florida to help share the drive back with her. I knew in the way that you know it will get dark at nighttime, that this would be a hilarious trip--for me to hear about, not for them to experience.
Setting: Front seats of my sister's over-packed car. Belongings falling on them every time the brakes were used.
Characters: My father (who never stops talking. Ever.)
Vanessa: Hung-over from partying one last time at school, miserable to be returning home.
Stella: Nessa's min pin who whines when her head is not sticking out the window and who now wears a silver bubble jacket with fur trimmed hood. Truly.
Plot Synopsis:The road trip was met with the usual suspects. surpassing the point of exhaustion, being cramped in a car, listening to my father, and hanging Stella out of the window, Vanessa had had it by Virginia.
My two favorite stories from what i could get out of her were my father discovering a leak from the gas tank and going on for 3 states about how they could very likely blow up. "We're going to blow up, and no one will know about it. Give me your phone so i can tell mom to write a letter to Ford." So he calls my mother and says, "Debbie, if we blow up I want you to write to Ford and say it was the gas tank."
And throughout the southern states there were numerous signs that read "Speed enforced by air RADAR." Working on little sleep and not sharing the wheel with Hangover McGee, my father started to crack himself up when a crow flew by the car. "Oh, watch out Ness, here we go! This one's probably got the RADAR gun!" I guess this continued with every bird he saw--for 1200 miles.

They arrived home without blowing up and Ness called me today, her voice coated with concern.
-um, do you have a minute?
-yea, what's up?
-Well, I went out to the family room because i heard dad calling out numbers, and i found him on a scale, holding my bags. He was weighing each bag, subtracting his weight and totaling the amount of stuff i put in the car.
-(pause)
-Before i could get a word out he said, "This bag of shoes weighed 13 pounds!"
-(pause)
-Jess? Hello, did you hear me?
-Yeah. Nessa, what do you want me to say?
-um...
And after a minute i could hear the flicker of recognition that comes when completing a logic proof.

Randomness, Uncertainty. At home with my parents.
This is true, this is why.

Friday, December 15, 2006

It's Beginning To Look Nothing Like Christmas.

Christmas in Cali is like a road trip without the radio. sure, you can do it, but why would you want to?
I start to miss the east coast around Thanksgiving and it works up to this killer anticipation to see all my family and eat insane amounts of food that hits the apex right before I board a flight to nyc. i'm not a good flight buddy for strangers in that i'd rather not speak to them at all. But on flights home for the holidays, i am my father's daughter. Talking to everyone about their plans, asking if they want a festive beverage, "what? airplane coffee is the worst, let's get you some bailey's for that old friend!"
I almost don't recognize myself during these times, but that's the magic of the holidays.
Not going home this year due to scheduling problems, and i thought i'd be cool with it. But San Francisco for Christmas is like a man in drag or something. Even if it's really convincing, it's not really convincing. So while the city puts up lights and decorations, stores blare the traditional classics, and people ringing bells stand EVERYWHERE (can i give you money to STOP ringing that bell?!) you walk around with your eggnog latte thinking, yeah, i can totally tell this city is a man.
The holidays belong to the East Coast. New York owns Christmas. New England has the rights to Thanksgiving. Upstate invented snow. Jack Frost summers in the Tri-State area. Any ideas of the holidays that spread to middle America and the West, are leased to them by the East Coast. Can't you tell when something is rented? A car, a room, a tuxedo. People act differently when they know it's not really theirs. People in California know that Christmas belongs back East so they use it gently because they forgot to sign up for the $11 insuarance.
In an effort to create my own Christmas spirit without signing a lease, i've taken the following steps:
-Watched Home Alone.
-Watched Christmas Vacation.
-Bought, baked, and consumed an entire roll of Pillsbury sugar cookies.
Right, so I thought that'd do the trick. Not so much. I just ended up saying "Buzz's girlfriend, woof" and "THE BLESSING" like thirty times and grabbing my sides all day wondering why i ached.
Here's what I'm missing:
-My mother's Nativity scene with the figures who have been chipped after years of use to the point that almost none of them have feet. Most of the figures, save for the cows and camels, are leaning against the manger, which undoubtedly will be filled with easter basket grass because we lost the straw years ago.
-A christmas tree. Is it lame that i used to like to just sit and watch the tree? probably, but i don't care, and i miss it.
-SNOW. i miss snow and all things derivative. snowballs, snowmen, snow angels, snow brushes, snow tires, snow boots, snow drifts. snow is christmas, rain is not. when was the last time a class of elementary students made paper cutouts or raindrops? Never. Exactly. ok, maybe april, but you see where i'm going.

gah, felt good to get that out. and really, what would Christmas be if we couldn't bitch about it a little?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Nope, still confused.

Long time no blog. (note: that saying has almost no poetic undertones and i fear it won't catch on.) But while I don't post, life continues to amaze at alarming rates.

*First let's get it out of the way. too many insane celebrities, not enough quips in the cosmos, put on some underwear. good. that sufficiently wraps up a few months. and if someone can explain how paris, brittany and lindsay can be together and the world doesn't implode, i'd like to know how that's possible.
*Democrats got some power back. only that's like being handed the keys to a maserati after someone pooped in it. celebrate if you want, but it's going take a while to get that new car smell back. and every time you pass those people who pooped in it, they're going to know that they can poop in your car, and you'll still drive it. i watch a lot of c-span and this poop/car thing is a huge issue on the hill.
but to get into that poopy car, midterm election ads spent over $500million. we're spending about $6300 per second in iraq according to nick kristof, PER SECOND. remember the americans without healthcare? remember the katrina folks still living in trailers? remember the working poor being squeezed out of cities? Is Brewster's Millions like the ONLY movie playing in washington?!
*Recent studies prove that elephants are among the few mammals (chimps/maybe dolphins) that can recognize themselves in the mirror. great. all an elephant needs is some mirror self-image boosting. after the study one particularly sensitive elephant named Grapefruit, refused to eat peanuts and was found on an elliptical machine.
*Antonio Banderas is the voice of a cartoon bee in a Nasonex commercial.
*An artist named Jibbs has released a song called "Chain Hang Low." during the hook a chorus of children ask,
Do yo chain hang low Do it wobble to the flo Do it shine in the light Is it platinum, Is it gold Could you throw it ov'r ya shoulda If you hot it make you cold Do your chain hang low?
* The New York Times, "all the news that's fit to print" had an article about the dangers of large pocketbooks. anyone? anyone help me out with that one?

There's a bit of anxiety when you start to see the times you're living in solely as future Trivial Pursuit answers.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Gonna go try to be a writer.

I wrote a post about growing up in a small town on the plane--with the old woman sitting next to me reading it, which I decided to ignore until she said, "this is nice, what's it for?" It was the first time a person sitting next to me had admitted they were reading what I was working on, or looking at my magazine, or whatever. Her honesty was refreshing, but obviously I couldn't keep writing that way so I said "just bored" and closed my computer. Thanks.
So i'll spare you that read over post about the wonders and mysteries of places like Brockport and just say that my trip home was fantastic. I was back east for 2 weddings, my cousin on my dad's side and my lifelong friend Beth's, so the combo of the 2 offered a chance to see family and friends I haven't seen in years. Normally, I really wouldn't be all about this because when I run into people I haven't seen in awhile they tend to tell me the stories I'd rather not hear, "Hey, remember when you threw up your slush-puppy all over lunch? God, that was horrible, OK bye."
But my friends from high school are still so effing funny. Something happened to that tegdirb post I put up but i have to state again for the record that Bridget Quinn is the funniest person I know. Hands down.
At the rehearsal dinner Leanne got a call and announced that her friend from college had just won $750,000 on Deal or No Deal to which I burst out laughing, i don't know why, it just struck me as so funny. So i got to talking to Jenna Sime and she said she had gone to the Price is Right and her friend got on. This was totally awesome to me and I picked her brain. Hot tips, for you, the reader:
They pre-interview and you're more likely to get on if you're with a large group, have a witty t-shirt, or have a crazy outgoing personality. Makes sense. But they ask you your favorite game and you CAN'T say Plinko. (sorry, but that's hilarious). So her friend said the yodel game, and she got on. Gold, Jerry. Also, if you happen to make it to the Showcase Showdown, and one of the prizes is a boat, a boat is $1000/foot. So if it's a 12ft boat, it's $12,000. That's a great tip!
Hung out with Zach who apparently met the love of his life at BurningMan and is moving to SF to be with him. All he kept saying all night was, "Jessica, you're my new best friend and you don't even know it." Which was both funny, and scary.
And it was great to see the fam. Totally lame and simultaneously hilarious, my mom suggested a book reading because they hadn't yet had a chance to read what I've been working on. So everyone gathered in the living room, and my mother asked me to wait in the hall while she introduced me, which of course, I did.
Mom: On Behalf of Lift Bridge Bookstore, I'd like to thank you all for coming out on a Sunday morning, a few of you still in your pj's, including I believe, the author herself, to celebrate the release of Jessica's book. You may recognize her from the Baking window at Bruegger's Bagels, or from that sofa over there, napping. blah blah, and she introduced me. It was actually, sort of great.
So I read a from the book and they seemed to like it so cross your fingers for a girl. I really have to get on the ball with that so I think I'll be taking a break from this little blog thing for a minute. sorry to the one person who reads it.

More Pics.










Hannah's Wedding.









Pictures from my cousin's wedding--one of 2 this past week. Sadly, wherever Sabrina Rae is not, pictures are not, so I'll have to wait on some from Beth's.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Apple Umpkin.

Just got back to Cali from my trip to the farm. Let me say, if one is to return to their country roots, the beginning of fall is the time to do it. I love fall. (Repeat. Draw hearts. Hang Teen-Beat Fall poster over bed.) On the particularly amazing day after Beth's wedding, I forced my mom to take me to the Apple-Umpkin Festival in a town about an hour away. That's right, no P, because "umpkin" is country.
Parking for the festival was a muddy field and the Wyoming, NY police were there to collect the $4 a car. In the event of an emergency the town was totally screwed because the entire police department was directing traffic--all LANE of it. $4 seemed steep for parking in mud but as the sheriff said, "that includes a continuous shuttle to and from the festivities." Now, because I'm a genius I truly pictured a monorail of sorts suspended over these fields and before I could vocalize my respect for modern mass transit in rural America, I looked up to see a line of school buses. Right.
On the drive to Apple-Umpkin my mom and I had placed bets as to what type of booths would be there--fried dough, homemade dish clothes, etc, and when walking through we each got a point for every booth we had correctly guessed.
-Large, completely unnecessary wooden lawn ornaments- 1 point me.
-Wreaths made out of twigs- 1 point mom
-Large, completely unnecessary signs that read, "Home, Happiness, Harmony" or something of the like-1 pt me.
-Blooming onion cart- 1 point mom
-Large, completely unnecessary Sand art tables. (i have a bit of hostility towards crafts.)- 1 point me.
-Native American Jewelry- 1 point mom. She's good. I don't know any Native Americans personally, but somehow word always gets out when booths are being set up and somebody ventures off the Res to sell the feather earrings or dream catcher scrunchies.
Enjoying the best kettle korn i've ever had we came across a pony next to a small sign that read, "$1 Raffle. Win Pony."
Um, yeah, I'm in.
Truthfully people, I'm not a lucky person, but i am one hundred percent certain I will win this pony. It's name is Sox but I'm changing it to Princess Buttercup. The Drawing is on New Years Eve and I can't wait to be out enjoying a bubbly beverage and all of a sudden get the call that I have a pony.
We settled in the music tent after browsing around and listened to the Lost Boys Bluegrass Band who were scheduled to play from 10:30-noon, Noon-2:30, 2:30-5:00. Or, all day. Someone on the Apple Umpkin committee didn't get the memo about saving on printing costs. We Dropped the "P" Bob! We're trying to cut back!
I love bluegrass. I mean, i always think I do but I soon remember how quickly you get sick of it. Remember those big tubes of just sugar? I would always flip out when i saw those and be like, "i love those!" only to realize 3/4's of a tube later that I actually don't love those.
The Lost Boys Bluegrass band was a musical tube of sugar. And I'm pretty sure the lead singer was drunk. She opened one song by asking, "Hey, how many of you have ever had your heart broken?" It should be noted that mostly little kids were on the dance floor, so she received little response. But she pressed on. "And keep yer hands raised if you had your heart broken and then you got real pissed about it" She proceeded to sing an original song called, "Why you crying." 4 minutes into the song I yelled at my mom for a pen so I could write down the lyrics. This is for real.
Why you crying (24x)
I'm not gonna wait
I'm not gonna wait
I'm not gonna wait no more. (3x)
I'm leaving you, I'm walking out the door.
(To be played for 18 minutes, for children)
I think we walked away during the 7th minute, waved goodbye to princess buttercup, and caught a shuttle to the mud to find the car and head home.

Friday, September 15, 2006

potpourri II

I haven't posted in awhile which could have meant one of three things.

A) I wasn't home.
B) I was home but didn't want to post for you.
C) Home, desperately wanted to post for you, but trapped under something heavy.

Anyway, one of my top ten favorite things in life-- yes, in LIFE--is when you put your music on and a perfect song for the moment plays. it's like, oh hello there music supervisor of the cosmos, good pick. I have a great memory when I was riding in the car with michelle (who is hands down the most dangerous driver in the world) in syracuse around christmas and WHAM's "last christmas" came on the radio just as I was getting out at my apartment and michelle goes, "I LOVE this song! get back in and listen!" So she whipped around the icy blocks, driving as an excuse to keep listening and it was sort of great.
So getting ready to jet back east, and the song British Columbia by the Elected was the first song that came on.

She says she's going back home.
Hasn't seen her friends in a while.
Plus British Columbia's real nice this time of year.

Right so I don't live in British Columbia, but whatever. Little things peeps, little things.

And another of my favorite things in LIFE is airport people watching. The Airport is the best place in the world to people watch and this is an argument I feel I can support fully. I always secretly hoped that there would be a reality show called "Super Million Dollar Random Debate-Go!" hosted by Regis which would surprise people on the street, or say, departure gates, and ask them to debate a really smart prep-school debate team champion on various subjects, and one time when the topic was "airports: the best places in the world to people watch" I would be pro and win. OK, that's not actually a secret desire I've always had...but now it is.

I think I will get apple juice when the beverage cart rolls by. I could do without apple juice every other day of my life, but put me a few thousand feet in the air and it sounds so refreshing.

Please don't let the person sitting next to me be a talker, loud breather, loud chewer, or a baby. exception: a baby who is a talker. That would be awesome.

Grill and chill on the deck? Yes please.

you've been together what? three weeks?
a month. how did you know that?
you take someone to the airport it's clearly the beginning of a relationship. That's why I have never taken anyone to the airport at the beginning of a relationship. Because eventually things move on and you don't take someone to the airport, and I never wanted anyone to say to me, "How come you never take me to the airport anymore?"

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Could I speak to a human please?

Every month when I call to pay my cell phone bill I'm reminded how much I hate talking to automated people. First, their voices freak me out. My parents used to have an answering machine and the woman had the scariest, deepest voice, so if I was ever home alone I would run to answer the phone so that I wouldn't have to hear her.
Second, they don't listen for shit. T-mobile has taken away the press button options, 1 for english, 2 for pay a bill, and now requires you to tell the robot woman what you'd like to do. Which is basically a system that they've worked out to make you feel like a jerk, yelling two-word commands phonetically into the phone.
"PAY BILL."
"I'm sorry I couldn't hear you"
"MAKE PAY-MENT"
"Sorry, didn't get that either. What can I help you with today?"
"TRY LIS-EN-ING!"
"I think you said, check your minutes. Is that Correct?"
"I HATE YOU."
"Sure, making a payment, I can help you with that."
It's completely unfair that the costumer is reduced to caveman but computer generated voice lady can have full use of language and dialogue.
I swear to you this is true. One time I called to make a payment and she was like, "would you like to hear your balance first?" and I said yes, like 30 times, and she comes back laughing, I SWEAR, saying, "You don't have a balance right now, haha, but would you still like to make a payment? haha."
I took the phone away from my face and stared at it thinking, is this fake person making fun of me? I was honesty so pissed until I realized, there was no one to be pissed at.
So today was a real treat, trying for 15 minutes to say my credit card number fast enough to fit into the time limit, slow enough for her to understand, until the 6th time through I go, "Are you kidding me?!" and she goes, "Sure. I'll connect you with the operator."
It was like that moment that people lean against a wall and a secret door appears (that actually happens a lot more often than you might think). So from now on, the moment she asks me the language I'd like her to not hear me in, I'm just going to say that and speak with a human directly.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Sorry, Who Didn't See This Coming?

Steve Irwin AKA The Crocodile Hunter, was killed by a stingray while filming in Australia.
Listen, death is never funny, and he had a family so this is obviously upsetting for them, but have you ever seen this guy? One of the first times I saw Crocodile Hunter he was wrestling a 13ft croc, and I thought, well, in the realm of ideas this falls under not so great.
Did anyone ever see that picture when he brought his newborn child into a croc pit at one of his zoos? The press gave Michael Jackson a hard time for holding Blanket over a balcony but when Crocodile Hunter puts a baby near a deadly creature everyone laughs. Oh, he's fearless! Or maybe people, he's crazy.
He did a lot for wildlife and zoos, but I believe he was also the reason for shows like "Jackass" so that might negate any good he did for nature. Not to knock a brother when he's down but honestly, if a man were paid large sums of money to stick forks in electrical sockets and then one day died as a result, you might be inclined to shrug your shoulders and say, "well, yea."

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Slow up the slide, and Jazz Hands.

Sarah brought to my attention that Anna Goodale and others from her boat (well, everyone in the boat) won the World Rowing Championship. This is truly fantastic.
Have you ever won anything? Probably.
Have you ever been champion of the world? No. No you haven't.
They have.
I have.
When I was five I won the Connect Four Ultimate Championship. Granted, it was against my mother and I think she deemed me world champion just so she could stop playing. But still.
Then, once at a bowling alley I rolled the ball as close to a pin as you could without knocking it over and was given the title by my Uncle Buck. Actually, this wasn't me. It was Maizy, and that was in Uncle Buck. So to be fair, that doesn't count.
Right, so i've never been champion of the world. I made that up.
But actual WORLD competitions are the only true venues for WORLD Champions. I hate after the "world" series or the NBA finals the players talk in interviews about how it feels to be champion of the world. Yeah, you beat a team from Arizona, let's widen the scope, huh Stretch?
I read an article yesterday that China is introducing a new reality show to find 2 coxswains for their National Men's and Women's Rowing Teams. This is true.
The show, called "China Olympic Coxswain Competition" (good title) will weed through amateurs looking for short people who can yell and steer boats.
Reality TV has apparently become huge in China. Their version of American Idol, "Super Female Voice" (who is the genius behind these show names?! They should name cars. "Call it, Nissan Red Car") had 400 million viewers for it's finale. Idol had 36 million. So i guess China Olympic Coxswain Competition has a good chance at second place in the ratings right behind CSI: Yangtze River. I'm really into that one.
The Nationwide search begins next month and producers say, "star power is a must...karaoke and dance segments are being considered."
Well, naturally. Because anyone who has ever rowed knows that when your muscles are screaming, you can't breathe, your legs are burning those last 500 meters, and a championship is on the line, you need your coxswain to stand up and flap ball change, singing "The Tide is High" over her coxbox.

Oh, and today is Michelle's Birthday and I couldn't type this without thinking about rowing in a pair with her. Truly, some of the funniest stories of my life. It's not funny for you but one time her oar broke and i had to row, with only one oar back to the dock, basically in circles. I'm tearing up just thinking about it.

Monday, August 28, 2006

God Has Drinking Problem.

OK, so i have a theory about the universe and religion as a whole. It's as good as yours so don't hate.
Every Sunday after church (which for God, is just looking in the mirror while he eats a bowl of frosted mini-wheat's) God has some of his buddies over and they play beer pong. Said Buddies include Shakespeare, Thomas Edison (God always gives him a hard time, "Hey, I said let there be light, you just decided to make lamps.") Da Vinci, Freud, Martin Luther King Jr., Helen Keller (even though she never adds much to the festivities), and Louis Pasteur because he always cleans up after.
So they put on music which basically consists of God pointing and Foreigner magically popping up to play "Cold As Ice." God loves that song, mere mortals could never understand why.
So after eating jalapeno poppers and playing way too many rounds of the pong, God and his friends start to think about things that could happen on Earth that would make them laugh. Here are some recent examples.

1) Pluto is no longer a planet.
Galileo was in the corner with his 9th red cup and goes, "That'd be funny, right? Cuz, you know, they all think it's a planet."

2) Reports have gone out that Osama Bin Laden had a very intense crush on Whitney Houston and that he wanted to kill Bobby Brown so he could have her.
This was actually Freud's idea. He thought it would be funny to find old footage of Osama's mom that looked like Whitney from the Bodyguard video. Plus, he thought the combination of the two would be a great way to find the reclusive terrorist. Because no doubt, after a few months together he would be taking her to court on abuse charges. She's got a lot of anger, that one.

3) President Bush reportedly read "The Stranger" by Albert Camus on his ranch in Texas and then discussed the foundations of Existentialism with White House spokesperson Tony Snow.
Simone de Beauvoir suggested this. She thought the idea that people would even believe Bush can read was funny in and of itself. The story, of a man who kills an Arab for absolutely no reason, was her high-brow commentary. She's a smart lady.

4).........
That was Helen's suggestion. Somebody should really stop inviting her over.

9, out.

Sunday calls to my sisters and parents mean hearing different stories about all of them told by all of them. It's like a giant cross country game of telephone. Well actually, that's exactly what it is.
Like when my dad said a few weeks ago:
-So you knew this whole time that Vanessa adopted a dog from a miniature person?
Dad, that doesn't even make sense.

Anyway, Ness was the first to call Sunday morning and said that she had just gotten off the phone with Sabrina who was going into a yoga class with her friend, September.
-Sorry, what?
-Her friend's name is September. And Brina said she ends all of her text messages "9" and obviously Sabrina thought that was incredibly clever.
I sat in bed trying to fight an eye roll. I really don't like to be cynical until around the noon hour.
I finished talking to ness and called the parentals.
-Hey, did you know Sabrina takes yoga with a girl named September?
-What? No, she never said. Steve, Sabrina is starting yoga next month.
-No, mom, that's not what i said.
So i finished talking to them and waited for bri to call which never happens so i finally broke down and dialed her. As it was ringing I had a little kid grin thinking about what i would say. Hi, 2? this is 11, is 9 there?
She answered. miracles!
-Hey sister, how are you?
-Oh, awesome thanks. All nice and stretched out. Just got out of yoga with my friend Janvier.
-Shut up! Do you and nessa talk about everything i say?!
-Um, yes. I have to know, was that girl even born in September?
-No.
-Right, of course not.
-It was funny though because we went out to lunch after and my friend January was working there. So i said September, this is January, January, this is September.
-And the people behind you are thinking, dude. it's August.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Sorry, Jane No Longer Works Here.

So the other day Nessa called and asked me to look for a flight for her to go back home next month. I really hate doing such things because once i get started I'm convinced I can find a better airfare somewhere else and 2 hours later my eyes hurt and i end up paying a crazy fare anyway.
But somehow I ended up looking through the travel sites and i thought, wait, why am i doing this?
so i found her a flight, and quoted the fare.
-OK, and what's their policy on traveling with pets?
-Um, I don't know maybe you should call them
-Please just go to that website and check. I'll hold.

So this started a little skit of a girl named jane (me) who worked at golden gate travel searching for flights for vanessa noelle.

-Hi, ms. martin? it's jane, from golden gate travel. The Airtran policy is $65 each way for your dog, but i think i read that if it's a seeing eye dog, it's free, so maybe use that angle.
-I don't think they'll believe my mini pinscher is a seeing eye dog.
-If they give you a hard time, just say you're blind and that you thought it was a puppy.
-Those jerks at the seeing eye dog place told me he'd grow!
-OK, so there's your information, just let me know if you'd like to book it.
-yes, I would. and could you please just put that on your credit card?

This was followed by me laughing at her until I hung up. I'm always getting calls from my family asking me to book flights and i HATE IT.
So, cut to today, I'm out on the roof, enjoying some Peroni's and my mother calls.
-Hello Deb.
-Ah, hello, may I speak to Jane please?
-Excuse me?
-Jane. This is golden gate travel correct?

Here's the thing about my family. They seem to hold on to fiction a little too tightly.

-Yes, of course, one moment please.
Here's the thing about me. I do too.

-Hello Mrs. Martin, this is jane, I believe I spoke with your daughter Vanessa regarding a flight to Rochester for the "Yup, Still Nothing to Do Here" Festival.
-Haha, oh, jane. Listen, I was wondering if you could book that flight for me since I'm sure to make an error. I have all the dates and credit card information, it shouldn't take but a minute.
So i reluctantly climbed back into my apartment from the roof, not letting my mother in on the fact that I was a little drunk (Oh jessie, please don't drink during the day)
I sign online and look for the flight AGAIN, thinking, wait, why am I doing this? all the while listening to my mother inquire about any travel specials my agency has going on. which, of course, I offered. Perhaps because I had nice little buzz going, I really didn't mind, and the conversation was actually leading me to believe that I was a travel agent. Maybe it was more than a buzz.
I booked the flight and asked her if there is anything else I could do, she said something about Bora Bora, and I said goodbye. After hanging up i realized that during my drunken booking process I had typed my name as the passenger, not my sister. so i call my mother back to tell her she needed to call the airline and switch it.
-Jane! I don't think you can do that.
-Mom, stop it! figure it out.
-Jane, it's pretty unprofessional to yell at the customer. May I speak to your supervisor?
my mom's funny but i was getting annoyed. I hung up with her and called nessa to bitch her out for not taking care of her own travel plans.
-Hi Jane.
i hung up.
Something about the combination of a few Italian beers, a fictional existence and booking flights online when i really don't want to leaves me confused as to what I'm really mad about. I think it's something to do with no commission but maybe i'm just hungry.

I'm for Peace, But Food Fights Are Cool.

The cover of Sunday's New York Times Magazine read, "Food Fights" followed by a little explanation about school lunches and fat kids. It might have been more sensitive than that, I can't remember.
I jumped to the article and found that the food fight reference was just a clever play on words related to combating unhealthy foods in America's schools.
I wanted to read about food fights.
Growing up, I was simultaneously amazed and confused by school cafeterias. I remember sitting at the table in kindergarten wondering who the ladies were who just walked around. They never served food, they just sauntered through the rows of tables pointing at people. I would quickly learn that these too, were ladies of lunch, but of a different breed. These were the ladies who would grant you permission to walk to the trash, permit you the freedom to buy a slush-puppy, and regulate the volume of an entire room with only the flickering of lights. In a world of Styrofoam trays and small carton milks, they were Gods--who also happened to wear tapered jeans.
I learned to respect their power but also to use it for personal gain. By simply raising my hand I could have the attention of one of these ladies and implore them to help with my Capri Sun straw (why were those so hard to get in?). It was like having a waitress only once they helped open your fruit cocktail, they yelled at you to be quiet, so maybe it wasn't like that.
On our last day of eighth grade word spread early first period that there was to be a food fight during lunch--because nothing says "goodbye grade school" quite like throwing your Lunchables ham at someone's face.
I remember walking around all day completely nervous, that great giddy excited nervous where you're smiling for no reason. This was my first food fight. AH!
So there we all were, sitting in the cafeteria. Those ladies were still walking around though I'm not sure why because I don't remember needing to ask permission to throw away my trash as an 8th grader. But there was a tangible energy in the room as people held on to their pizza crusts and pudding cups. The noise grew louder as we all waited for a single battle cry (They'll never take our freedom!...fries!)
Suspecting something was up, (could it have been the "food fight" chants?) The walking ladies started to demand that everyone throw their food away. "But, um, I'm not done with this clump of corn and um, meat."
The noise grew to an intense level as the other walking ladies ran to the lights and flicked them on and off repeatedly only adding a strobe light effect to our VIP room of chaos. So this continued, all of us waiting for that first brave soul to fire the chicken nugget that would be heard 'round the world, when in walked our Vice Principal.
It's common knowledge that Vice Principals have no other job description other than to be scary. This man did his job very well. (my high school vice principal, not so much. I ran into her at a jethro tull concert one summer and she was wearing a fringe leather jacket. Scary, but in all the most hilarious ways). Anyway, he walks in and the cafeteria fell silent.
He stood where everyone could see him and screamed that our behavior was unacceptable, that lights on and off meant silence, that he knew about the food fight, and that if even a single chip was found on the floor, we would all be held after school.
And then, (and I need to tell you, this is 100% true and perhaps one of only five moments in my life where timing, collective brilliance, and movie-scene magic have come together at once to create a goose bump memory) the Vice Principal said, "You will NOT throw food, and you will NOT speak for the remainder of lunch. I don't want to hear a single BOO out of you."
And literally, a three beat pause elapsed and the entire cafeteria erupted in a unison "boo."
A good old fashioned booing, and it held strong for minutes only heightened by the flickering lights.
Why he chose to say "a single boo out of you" I'll never know. But I'll be eternally grateful.
And that a room full of a few hundred kids could be so quick witted as to break into boo without so much as a cue, is better than any food fight of which I can think.
I was hoping the NYT would have had an article similar to this story. Instead, I read about why chubby kids should eat sweet potatoes.
Boo.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Don't Let The Bed Bugs Bite.

The most insane situations of your life will most likely turn into the most hilarious. There's a comfort there.

Due to Florida's swamp-like climate, strike that, swamp climate, the state has some of the grossest bugs in the world. When me and Bri were down in Tampa helping Ness move, we were witness to one such bug. Our immediate reactions were of fear, disgust, screams, and paralyzed limbs. Note: all of these are understatements. Sabrina and Ness stood frozen in the bathroom, I ran out the front door but kept an eye on it. Seeing it was bad, but losing it would be worse. And while I wasn't about to kill it, knowing where it was so someone could kill it was the most I could do in that situation. Eventually, someone from the building walked by, looked past our collective crazy, and killed it. The next day we bought every can of RAID that her local Wal-Mart stocked.
So Nessa called tonight after experiencing a repeat episode of that panic. It was raining today by her and Florida rain creates an unbearable heat so she opened the door to air out her apartment. When she did, "the biggest grossest bug in the world" (entomology description) scurried in. She tried to get her little dog Stella to kill it, but apparently Stella was even scared of this thing and ran into her crate. Ness lost sight of the bug, tried to find it to kill it, no dice.
Here are the steps she took to rectify the situation, in her words.
"Every time I get up to walk around, I have a can of raid in each hand. I'm in bed now, wearing knee socks, he tightest sweats i own so that nothing can get in, a long sleeve shirt and a hoodie that covers half my face. I don't want this thing to crawl on me. Do you have any idea how hot I am right now?!"
She said that when she spoke to my mom earlier that day and shared what she was wearing (the outfit has been rocked for most of the day) my mother started screaming at her to change saying, "You'll be dehydrated by morning! Take those sweats off, I mean it!"
It was just too funny. The idea of Ness sleeping with cans of raid under her pillow and my mom worried about death by sweat suit.
I felt bad about the bug but there was nothing I could do to help her, which I explained and she agreed.
So we switched topics and she shared that she was watching "America's Got Talent" at the moment. I almost hung up on her for saying that but out of scary bug pity, didn't.
Ness: Some guy is playing the guitar with an egg beater. Uh, wait, now he's using a weed-wacker. Oh, Brandy is not having it, she's shaking her head saying, Oh hell no.
Me: Yea, I don't care.
Ness: Oh, look at this guy. His hair! You gotta see this! His hair is something else.
Me: Ness! I don't care!
Ness: Earlier there was a rapping granny (recites granny rap)
Me: Dude, are you just using me to talk to until you fall asleep so you don't have to think about the bug?!
Ness: pause.
Me: Thought so. Night bugs.
Ness: STOP!
and i hung up.

Fears are hard to overcome but sometimes you just have to layer up, sleep with some raid, and face them on your own. I think she'll understand that in the morning, that is, if the bug doesn't kill her and she's not dehydrated.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

b-baby, Baby Fish-Mouth! Baby Fish-Mouth!

Baby talk? What's that, that's not a saying.
Oh but baby fish mouth is sweeping the nation.

"I was sitting with my friend Arthur Cornrom in a restaurant. It was in a cafeteria and this beautiful girl walked in and I turned to Arthur and I said, Arthur, you see that girl? I'm going to marry her, and two weeks later we were married and it's over fifty years later and we are still married."

Right, so for me, an opening to a movie doesn't get much better. Whenever I hear that old man's voice it's an instant comfort, like the smell of gravy or something. When Harry Met Sally has long been my go-to movie. I can't find a single thing wrong with it and it always reminds me of home-- watching it on sick days, or snow days, or Friday nights with popcorn or Saturday mornings in sweats. I watched it my first night at college freshman year when my roommate had yet to move in and I was a little scared. I've watched it every first night in a new apartment since then as a way of making that new space feel like home. It's just this fantastic story with great lines that everyone in my family can quote with ease and so it's always been my favorite.

I was saddened today to read about the death of Bruno Kirby. He died after a struggle with Leukemia. I truly think he helped make that movie so great, and some of his lines are classics in my family. Like when my parents call me at 6 in the morning. "No one I know would call at this hour."

Anyway, not to be debbie downer. Just to say that I love that movie, and all of Kirby's quotes in it.

-.Restaurants are to people in the eighties what theatre was to people in the sixties. I read that in magazine
-I wrote that.
-Get outta here.
-No, I did, I wrote that.
- I've never quoted anything from a magazine in my life, that's amazing, don't you think that's amazing? And you wrote it!?
- I also wrote "Pesto is the quiche of the eighties."
-Get over yourself!
-I did!


-You made a woman meow?

-I like saying it's in the den, it's got a nice ring to it.

-Well, he's the reason I became a writer, but that's not important.

-What could be worse than Mr. Zero knowing?

-I thought you said you liked it! (I WAS BEING NICE!)

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Little Boxes Made of Ticky-Tacky.

This just in. I like TV...a lot.
People tend to have a facial expression similar to eating sour fruit when I say this, and I can understand why. For the most part, television sucks. We have an insane amount of channels and most of the day, there's nothing on worth watching. This was completely highlighted when I came home the other night to find Raffi watching NEXT on mtv. I can't think of a better example of the lows to which people will succumb in order to continue with the great American pastime of television viewing.
Because of the lack of quality programs, watching TV has such insane social stigmas attached to it and you have to start apologizing for yourself and somehow fit in that you like public broadcasting. OK, whatever. You know what I like? I like the Food Network. I like Rachel Ray and Emeril Live (people clap for ingredients! I love that!). I like Gilmore Girls. That after all these seasons the writers can still be so sharp is inspirational, AND entertaining. I like old reruns of classic sitcoms and even attempts at making new ones (You're not going to beat Gervais, but the American Office is spot on). I think Curb should be required viewing for anyone who has ever laughed, likes to laugh, or would like to laugh. But if you get me started, I probably will never get off the soapbox when it comes to my favorites, Sopranos and Weeds.
Because good stories were always my first love and these 2 shows take all the best things out of all the best books I've ever read, and breathe new life into them, making for something outlandishly entertaining, I have to stand strong in my position that you shouldn't feel bad about watching TV.
Sopranos only has like 8 episodes left and will probably air them sometime 2007 if we're lucky, so I was super excited that Weeds is back on Showtime. I'll spare you the rundown but I just need to say that the writing is brilliant and worth every bit of your time. The opening to the second season didn't disappoint, and actually, it might have been better than anything written in the first. Plus, I really think Mary-Louise Parker can do no wrong and this show only helps to back that up. The first season is out on dvd now--do yourself a favor.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Brave New World.

I've been poked, puffed, prodded, screened, careened, padded-down, felt-up, man-handled, scan-handled, taken shoes off, removed shirts, had strangers trifle through my things and lost about $300 in loose change. And that's just on MUNI.
Trying to get on a flight is far more intense.
With the news coming out of London, it seems that air travel and the security around it are on the precipice of change...again.
I remember one year as children my grandma came up to visit around Halloween. During her trip we carved numerous pumpkins and somehow the pumpkin cutter ended up in her purse. This was during the days when anyone who wanted to could go to the gate. Nowadays you need to submit a urine sample just to enter short-term parking. So there we all stood as the screener pulled the little knife with a jack-o-lantern handle out of her bag. All of us, including security, shook our heads and laughed. Grandma!
If that happened today she would be whisked away by the FBI, and declared an enemy to freedom by the White House. Surely the days when anyone who emptied their pockets could stand by gates seems like a different world entirely. The fact that water bottles and shampoo are no longer allowed makes my grandma and that pumpkin cutter story seem like public enemy #1. It's crazy to think about how quickly things change.
Don't get me wrong. It's obvious heightened security measures are needed, and I really don't mind. I arrive hours before my flights anyway because airport people watching is unparalleled. But usually one way of a return trip, I'm asked to step aside while security pats me down and messes up the carry-on I've tried so hard to neatly pack. But it's for the safety of the world, so I suck it up. On the first flight I took after 9/11 I was patted down by a guard and began to feel a bit awkward with how thorough she was. I was used to the keys in the tray security check. Finally I said, "sorry, I like to take things slow." She didn't find this funny. I was rather amused.
So for whatever reason it is that I'm always screened further, (maybe I should stop flying with my 'Who Told You To Put The Balm On?' t-shirt) I take it as a chance to make security smile.
-Well, now you owe me dinner.
-Do you even remember my name?
-You work here, right?
-That's the spot. (note: I've never actually said this)
I've never been successful. Obviously combating terrorism is important and I'm extremely grateful they take their jobs so seriously, and have never had me detained for being an ass.
So without going into a huge rant, we live in a world completely different from what our parents might have hoped for us. It's true, and it sucks. That liquids, lotions, gels, toothpastes, etc., have been banned is only the beginning. I imagine at some point, all forms of matter will be prohibited. Those oxygen masks will suddenly make sense because you can't bring your own air on board. And then you might be inclined to put down your Sky-Mall catalog and give that flight attendant a bit more attention as he demonstrates how to put it over your face.
I read an opinion article in which someone suggested no bags whatsoever be allowed on passenger flights and that a second plane, carrying only bags, flies behind that flight. If the author of that suggestion isn't 7, let me tell you what's wrong with it.
A) Who would want to fly that plane?!
B) Two flights for every plane now in the air would do wonders for that whole global warming thing. Your idea for double the emissions is all well and good but don't you dare complain about the heat when you land in Reykjavik.
Here's the thing.
The threat of ANYTHING has always existed. Wrath of God (Biblical Times), Persian Invasion (Ancient Greece), Grendel (whenever is was that Beowulf took place), trans fats (Biblical Times, Book of Oreo), whatever it is, it seems a fear must exist.
So while thousands of passengers threw away half of their belongings before heading to the gate to be rubbed down by a few more people, they accepted it as the necessary evil of our time.
I won't pretend to have a point here. It's just sad more than anything. I've no idea how to stop people from wanting to blow things up, and maybe taking people's drinks away is a good way to prevent it, I don't know. But in our daily lives, away from beeping gates, maybe treating people with respect, and helping spread tolerance through simple kindness is a better way to start.
Drink plenty of fluids people. Peace.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Come On Jones.

Walking around the city you begin to experience a bit of unexpected frustration with the way other people walk--or don't walk. It's something like road rage, only you're not in a car, so instead of beeping you have an overwhelming eagerness to push people out of the way, or if they have a hoodie on, pull the hood over their head--and then push them out of the way. It's completely unhealthy and I understand that. That's why it's absolutely necessary all my pants have pockets.
But there are rules for the road and I think we should all come together and discuss possible rules for walking areas. Or if we can't do that, at least let me vent about it. Thanks.
First, what's up with the people who insist on stopping at the top of escalators?
These are usually the same people who stand on the left side, looking at the ceiling, thinking, "I'm not moving, but i AM moving. Whoa." as you try the polite cough behind them signaling they should get out of the way, which, of course, they never do. So you wait behind them, taking deep breaths realizing patience is important to your being, only to bump into them when they come to a complete halt at the top. Gah! Why aren't you wearing a hood?!
I don't understand these people, and truly, it's like 8 out of 10. Next time you're on an escalator watch the people getting off. Most do the timid step-off/stand there combo like the speed of the moving stairs was far too intense and their bodies need a chance to readjust. People, the ride is over! Movement is up to you now.
OK, the second problem lies with the stroll. Please reserve your strolls for parks and venues where disposable cameras are sold. A city street is not an appropriate locale for a stroll. I'm sorry but you have to decide which world you want to live in. You can have the world of nanosecond technology and Instant On-Demand everything with no strolls allowed, or you can be Amish. You can't have both.
And this one here's for the ladies, or the fantastically forward guys. If you can't walk in heels, DON'T WEAR THEM. I was walking behind a girl tonight who was literally hanging from her boyfriend while her feet moved in the most uncomfortable of steps in these ridiculous heels. Heels are sexy, they just are. But you know what's sexier? Being able to support your own body weight as you walk down the street. HAWT!!! High heels/high tops, whatever. Just make sure you can move. Sorry to rant, just had to get it out. Oh, and don't even get me started on parents who walk their children on leashes. Have you seen this?! They're everywhere!! I was in the airport and heard a parent say, "Liam, please come here so I can untangle your leash."

"Don't get me started, don't even get me started."

Monday, August 07, 2006

The Mutes May Be Onto Something.

When do kids learn about sarcasm?
Middle children no doubt pick up on the subtleties of twisting words for ironic effect faster than others in order to justify the way their families treat them. "We love you all the same, buuut, if we had to choose, we love Jessica the least."
My parents are hilarious. And also, mildly abusive.
I don't remember the exact moment of learning about sarcasm, like I do the exact moment of learning to read. Hours on end, going over the pages of Are You My Mother with my mom until the words resonated. And after reading the entire story aloud, I looked to my Italian/Filipino mother and thought, no seriously--are you?
But I think I became aware of sarcasm around the time my parents dropped the "if you don't have anything nice to say..." bomb. My mother used to wait with us at the end of our driveway for the school bus and when we would get on she would yell out, "Be kind!" That always annoyed me because it was obvious no one else on the bus had gotten that memo. So the coupling of the "don't say anything at all" advice with the direction to be kind, left me and my sisters silently smiling as kids told us we ate poop.
And I guess around this time it occurred to me to ask, could you say something maybe not so nice, if you did it in a joking matter? New York and my family said yes. And so it was.
Later in life I read that people are only half kidding when they are kidding and that 50% of it is true. This made me nervous because I had previously worked out that 87% of the time, I'm not serious, and therefore when I thought I was kidding, people probably thought I was telling the truth. So on top of the 13% of the time I was being genuinely serious, people thought that half of that 87% was real, which I guarantee it was not. So 43.5% of the kidding time I was not being kind, or funny, and people thought I was a complete ass. Or was it actually a higher percentage? Carry the two...and then my head burst into flames so I put the pencil down.
But it's all so much to think about. Truth, irony, sincerity, wit, all coming together to form this confusing mess in which we hope to relate to each other. I'm all for sarcasm but I also have the socially crippling tendency to over-analyze dialogue. So while I totally appreciate tongue-in-cheek conversation, I often walk away thinking, wait, was that for real?
Gah, does she have a point?!
Oh, right.
So I was reading an article about the Iranian social principle of taarof, which is a practice of insincerity. It's a concept of telling people what they want to hear even if you don't mean it, inviting people to dinner when you really don't want them there, and dishing out false praise, but it's all considered polite. The article says, "The way Iranians themselves describe it, is to say that being direct and telling the truth are not prized principles in Iran."
OK, so this sort of blew my mind. Bringing this up is not to play ugly American dissing Middle East, it's a social reality there, and Iranians accept it freely, according to the article. Much the way I think Americans accept sarcasm as a social reality here. But the thing is, we know when we're kidding and work to let the people we're talking with know we're kidding too (if only to avoid the math). In Iran, taarof is used to keep people constantly guessing if you're sincere. The article says, "In the West "yes" generally means yes. In Iran, "yes" can mean yes, but it often means maybe or no...In Iran you praise people and you don't mean it. You promise things and you don't mean it. People who live here understand that."
Understand what?!!
If Iranians understand that what people are telling them is insincere why would they even bother conversing? I guess, because there's that chance that it might be true? I don't know, it's so confusing to me. I wouldn't last 3 seconds in Iran. Despite the exaggerated eye rolls after everything I said peering out from beneath my burkha, I would be socially paralyzed talking to people--"OK, holmes, for reals-- what do you mean?!"
Remind me never to go shopping for jeans in Iran. Yea, really? They look good? Aw, thanks! And can i ask you? out of me, brina and ness? who do you love the most?

Boy, I'm tired.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

The Danger of Stuffed Art.

The Associated Press reported that a guard dog in London ripped apart a collection of rare teddy bears on display at a children's museum. The collection, valued at nearly $1 million, was torn apart and eaten after the dog "went berserk."
It's instances like this that lead me to believe absurdity is the binding force of the cosmos.
Why would you have a dog "guard" chew toys??
Life is just too funny to be ignored.
In related news, the curators of the Hope Diamond/Snausages exhibit have decided to re-evaluate their use of guard dogs.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Rock!

Can I get a Hell Yea?!
So I've been trying like crazy to get tickets to the sold-out Editors concert at the Fillmore next week but they've been super hard to come by. I gave juliet their cd for her birthday hoping she'd fall in love with them and think that going to the concert with me would be really neat for her and thus, the best bday present ever. Who needs Kiehl's when you can hear Britain's fresh indie sound, live? skin care is overrated. just playing, that was a nice gift.
So because I have a decent level of intrinsic rad, I finally found a pair!!
Juliet, I'll be calling you, don't even think about bailing.

Oh, right. Because scoring these tix helps solidify my SF hipster street cred, I can comfortably say that Justin Timberlake's new song Sexyback is AMAZING. It just is. And Fergie has a solo track called London Bridge that is driving me wild. Good stuff people, I'm not embarrassed to say it.

It Takes Two and $15.4 million to Tango.

Warren Buffet and Bill Gates have demonstrated that generosity of wealth has the power to change the world for good.
Mimi Monica Wong has demonstrated that wealth can improve one's cha-cha.
In Thursday's Wall Street Journal, Kate Linebaugh reported that Wong, the top private banker for HSBC in Asia, was dealing with legal issues regarding a payment contract of $15.4 million for 8-years of unlimited Latin-dance instruction.
I swear to you, this is true.
Wong, 61, said the price was worth it because it had been a lifelong dream of hers to dance in the Ballroom pro-am circuit.
Yes. Every young girl's dream.
Wong's first choice was to ride a unicorn to and from work, but later decided that Ballroom dancing offered more social opportunities. You know, because it isn't Friday night in Hong Kong without some Hennessy and competitive ballroom. Listen to some Asian Hip-Hop, they make that explicitly clear.
Wong's up-front payment of $8 million-- cash-- went to her instructors, Mirko Saccani and his wife, 15-time World Latin Dance Champion, Gaynor Fairweather.
Note: I think Ms. Fairweather was awarded champion for 15 consecutive years because no one else showed up. During that span of time the Macarena was HUGE and most dancers couldn't be bothered with anything else.
Anyway, Wong is now suing both instructors for that initial payment and they are counter-suing for the yet unpaid $7.4 million. The entire legal battle will be accompanied by the accordion.
The reason the deal went sour was because of an incident that took place at the Li Hua restaurant in Hong Kong, "a favorite afternoon dance venue"--because, you know, those exist. Ms. Wong and a group of other women were taking part in a mock competition-- because the other ones should be taken seriously?--and her form was off. The article says,
"That day, the banker was heavier in her steps than usual, according to statements in court. In front of fellow dancers, Mr. Saccani shouted at her to 'move your arse' and called Ms. Wong a 'lazy cow,'"
Other witnesses testified that Mr. Saccani said, "If you do it again Monica, I'll smash your head against the wall."
Saccani denies using anything but motivational language.
I'm inclined to believe him here. While I've never Ballroom danced competitively, I was involved in Tots Tumbling (until I grew to be 5'8" as a 3-year old and they kicked me out). One day while goofing off on my somersaults my coach yelled, "Do it again Monica, and I'll throw you out a window." People are always forgetting my name. But he was motivating me. And when I failed to grasp the concept that time, and was tossed out a window, I went back to the mat and owned that floor exercise.
But that's another story.

If you think $15.4 million seems too extreme for dance lessons, remember that they were unlimited. So even though it breaks down to about $5000 a day, she could go in for 2 or three lessons if she wanted. That's convenient. Also, as her skills increased and she entered bigger competitions, there were added expenses such as travel, entry-fees, costumes, and trophies. In Ballroom it's BYOT.
The article claimed that the lessons paid off. At the 2003 Emerald Ball DanceSport Championships in LA, Ms. Wong won the title, "Top Gold Lady."
I have nothing to say about that.
Fairweather and Saccani claim they'd still like to work with Ms. Wong and complete their contract saying, "becuase she was paying us $15.4 million for dance lessons."
Above the 'this is my space, this is your space' direction, above the 'head up, arms out' instruction, the best dance and business lesson to take away from this story is, don't call people cows.
I find that's the moral to almost any epic tale.

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For legal purposes only: Intellectual property right laws defy you from stealing the ideas expressed herein for the purposes of making a ballroom mockumentary. Ms. Martin calls dibs.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Shaken And Stirred.

A while back at work, the Rooms Division Manager came up to our department and gave us an overview of our earthquake policy and plan. She started out by discussing the importance of the orange vest.
-Where are your orange vests?
-Um...what?
-Your vests! You need an orange vest!
Turns out they were in a box shoved behind old tea pots and a bag of rice cakes. I felt safe already.

Once she discovered where the vests were, she put one on, demonstrating how important they truly were. Obviously, it was an emergency if you felt the need to put this thing on. Also in the vest box were glow-sticks that would last for 12 hours so she broke one of those out and waved it around while continuing with her talk.
People, I usually don't need help finding ridiculous situations, they come to me. But it was as though air traffic control was literally pointing at the funny. When vest lady is waving around her magic light wand and screaming about the procedures to follow earth's wrath, I get the giggles.
So I'm trying to listen to her because I know at some point, it's possible I might need to use this information.
Vera: OK, so when the earthquake hits, you need to take cover. (looks around kitchen) All of this is dangerous, stay away from the kitchen, because most likely, that will set on fire. (keeps looking around) This fridges will most likely fall and so will all this shelving. OK, all of this glass will shatter, stay away from the glass.
Note: Remember that scene in The Jerk, "stay away from the cans!"? Well, there are glasses everywhere, we're screwed. I suggested we start serving champagne out of paper cone cups, but people didn't seem to hear that.
So finally she says, "I guess the only place to take cover here is under this desk." (my desk)
There's room for one, maybe. I called shotgun but no one seemed to hear that either.
"You'll have to share, just squeeze in there."
So all of this was ├╝ber comforting. Luckily, I would go out in style with my orange vest.
And hey, what was the point of that stupid thing if we were all going to perish squished together under a desk anyway??
Vera: Once the earthquake is over, you will need to make your way up to the guest floors and help housekeeping check the rooms for people.
Thought Bubble: Excuse me?
Me: Excuse me?
Vera: We will need to account for all the guests, they'll know who you are since you're in the vest.
Ah yes, of course. Nothing says Help is on the Way quite like fluorescent nylon.
Me: Isn't it a little dangerous to make our way upstairs where there are glass skybridges?? If we can go up, why can't we go down? like, to the street, and far away?
Vera: It's our policy that every room be checked. And we can't just run out of the building, that's dangerous.
Honestly, at this point my eyes were like saucers. She couldn't be serious. Tony kept giving me this look as if to say, shut up jessica, but I couldn't help myself. No one had ever told me I was Room Service Order Taker/Search and Rescue. I'm all for helping people, but don't they have, I don't know, search and rescue people who don't ask about salad dressings for that?
Me: So do we get a bonus if we save people?
Vera: Excuse me?! (like i had just said something incredibly offensive about her mother--which i think I had.)
Me: Well, we'd be putting our lives in even greater danger going up to the sky bridge floors...
and then I stopped myself.
I work on the 37th floor. Even if i didn't feel like going up to drag people out of there $2700 a night rooms, I'd still have to go down 36 destroyed floors. Either way it wasn't looking good. I stopped fighting.
Vera: OK, good. And also, Jessica this is important. If guests should call to order alcohol, DO NOT, under any circumstances serve them.
Thought bubble:What, are you kidding me?
Me: What, are you kidding me?
Vera: This will be a very serious time and people are harder to direct if they've been drinking.
Me: Vera, I think you mean anything, right? If guests order anything, don't serve them.
Vera: (Confused stare. Slowly waving glow-stick.)
Me: Alcohol or cheese plate, they're not getting anything, that's just a no-brainer.
Vera: (Glow-stick.)
I gave up.
She left and we never really talked about it again. So since that day it's kind of been a knock on wood, I don't want to be a hero mind-set every time I go in there.

Cut to tonight. Enjoying some QUALITY chill.
sweat pants, check.
comfy couch, check.
Tivo list, check.
Watching the last few moments of The Hills, (don't judge) my entire apartment starts to shake. After like 5 seconds realizing it's not the train, I'm like, aw snap, the big one! I jump up, STAND THERE, and immediately get this visual of Vera in her effing vest, forgetting everything I should be doing. I'm not sure how long it lasted but it felt like 5 minutes. Just standing there, thinking, this is how I'm gonna go. My last thoughts of a middle-aged woman in bright orange waving around a little stick.
It ended, I remained standing, and thought, well, I'm an idiot.
Thinking of becoming a volunteer firefighter. I have a real knack for emergency situations.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Snakes On A Plane.

Truthfully, all I really wanted to write was 'Snakes On A Plane' as the title of this post, and "Naturally." as the text.
Fin.

But the buzz surrounding this film is too great and too annoying not to comment on further.
I don't have a problem with bad movies, per se. Actually, I sort of love them. A really bad movie can make for a truly amazing viewing experience, see: Mystery Science Theater, they elevated bad movies and bad movie commentary to a high art form.
But I think studios have missed the boat with bad movies. If they're going to be bad, fine, play that up. But don't charge me $10 for something you think is really good, but actually sucks. Like anything else, it should be what it is. Most bad movies are like 24-hour diners trying to play it up for a Michelin Guide rating . Dude, you're not going to get any stars so just break out the greasy menus and paper napkins. People love diners. Be a freaking diner.
After the initial preview hype of Snakes On A Plane, the studio sought to revamp it and make it an action/thriller with an R-rating. I'm sorry, 'Snakes on a Plane' is not the title for an action/thriller. Action/thriller/comedy, maybe. But then it couldn't have an R-rating because 13 year olds are the biggest demographic for those types of movies. But the studio has held on to this idea that a movie about snakes, on a plane (as the title suggests) has the power to become a serious, edge of your seat, summer thriller. Essentially, that's like saying 'Basic Instinct' could have been released as, 'Author with an Ice Cube Tray' and still had the same effect if Stone's character killed people with ice cube trays instead of the pick. Actually, don't steal that idea, I think I may be on to something.
To get the R-rating, this kid I work with said they had Samuel L. Jackson go back in and do voice overs, dropping some serious language that people would be inclined to use, if say, they saw snakes on a plane. One quote he said he read about is destined to be the most memorable in cinematic history. "Get these motherfucking snakes off this motherfucking plane."
I'm sorry, but if that line turns out to be true, no movies will be made after this. How can you possibly write anything better? We'll need to return to silent films.
Snakes On A Plane is destined to become a cult classic, and typing that makes a little piece of my soul fade away.
Raffi was saying that a group of his friends were talking about their favorite movie that they're embarrassed to say they like. He said 'Weird Science' but I don't think that counts because i know tons of people who love that movie. I said 3-Ninjas (I can quote the entire movie, and if given enough adult beverages, will) but Erik said that didn't count because it's a kid's movie. I'm taking a poll, please participate because I'm interested.
I'm not upset about Snakes On A Plane as a movie, but the way the industry is promoting it is ridiculous. It'd be like if the score from Gladiator was used for the Kangaroo Jack soundtrack. I don't mind bad movies. But I don't want to eat in a sticky booth while a woman named Peggy suggests wine pairings for my chicken-fried steak platter, you know?

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Brina's Visit.











My sister was out here recently and we had a crazy good time. A few highlights:

-Her not knowing any of my movie quote references.

-I met the girl of my dreams.
"Jessica, you were totally flirting in there!"
"Do you think she saw me walk into that door?"
"Oh, definitely. Everyone saw."

-We were in the park and a mother essentially gave us her child.

-Sabrina got wasted in Napa after like 3 tastings and became hillllarious.
Bri: ROBERT MONDAVI!!!! LET"S GO THERE!
Me: We just came from there, drunk.
Bri: I'm STARVING!
Me: Let's get some fuckin frrrrench toast.
Bri:What? No, I want a snacker from KFC, that sounds good.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Nothing For Me, Thanks.

In his article in Sunday's New York Times, Damien Cave discussed the evolution of the hunger strike. I'm guessing the article was prompted by Saddam Hussein's personal 19-day hunger strike, which ended last week with a meal of beef, rice, bread, fruit, and a coke-- Ahhh. Carl's Jr. will be teaming up with a Kebab Hut (not affiliated with Pizza Hut) In Iraq to offer this strike-ending meal as the $6 Evil Dictator Burger.
All that food seems like a pretty elaborate meal. You know every one of those 19 days he was thinking about what he would eat when he finished the strike.
"Man, I'm looking pretty good. Maybe I should wane off this whole fasting thing with a salad or something with flaxseed. Hey guard, can I get a Chili's Quesadilla Explosion Salad up in this piece?"
"No."
"Damn. OK, hook a brother up with that Beef Combo."
Gandhi's first meal after each of his 17 hunger strikes was Orange Juice. God dammit Gandhi, live a little!
But the point of the article was to highlight that the hunger strike today is not the powerful political protest tool it once was. I'll eat to that.
Hussein would never be allowed to die on his own terms, particularly by a hunger strike. How embarrassing for the world justice system if the press release of his death was accompanied by a picture of him standing next to his fat pants. Anna Nicole Smith, Jared the Subway guy, and Saddam. It's not gonna happen. So during his hunger strike he was hospitalized, hooked up to an IV, and fed through tubes in his nose. In keeping with the Geneva Convention, however, chips and salsa were not on the menu. I found a rarely discussed clause that reads:
"You will eat so that you will live. You will live so that we can kill you. But we will kill you humanely with no crunchy snack foods forced through your nose. We, the nations of the world, have standards--and also, a great selection of soups."
I learned about this hidden gem ironically enough through Donovan McNabb's mother.
But it was an interesting article. It talked a bit about the beginnings of hunger strikes and how they actually did draw attention and in some cases, force-feeding to "prevent the spectacle of death." And that, "the force-feeding was as shocking as the starving." Well, I should think so. It's awkward to watch adults feed each other. Public displays of affection through giving each other food is bad enough. But watching one adult try to shove oatmeal down another adult's throat while they are pressing their lips tightly shut and shaking their head side to side is just embarrassing to witness.
Cave didn't hit upon it in his article, but it was during those early public force-feeding demonstrations that the "Airplane" and "Choo-Choo" techniques were first employed. So anytime you see a parent using one of those to get their kid to eat mashed peas, know that it is tied to brutal protest silencing tactics. Here comes the airplane, indeed.
But I think the true reason the hunger strike as lost it's shock power is that it has become mainstream. Blame Hollywood for "striking" daily to bring attention to a woman's right to wear size 18 months jeans. A hunger strike isn't a political statement in LA. It's Tuesday.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Language Barrier? Not with these phat beats.

So I put my music on shuffle and a fun little Brazilian song by Tribalistas came on. Ja Sei Namorar. I haven't listened to them in forever and I forgot how much i love them and how much Portuguese I speak. Listening to world music is the best way to learn a language because your mind remembers things better when set to song. Did you know that? Well, it's true. And I like knowing that a few cd's from abroad can serve as an ice breaker if I happen to meet someone who speaks little or no English.
Once in a cab in NYC I spent the entire ride talking to the driver in snippets of my favorite Punjabi songs. I thought this was better than not talking. I was trying very hard not to sing, but just let the words flow, like I spoke the language, and he would tell me what I was saying. Turns out it was something about jingling ankle bells and asking him to touch a scarf while i gave him my heart. Actually, this probably wasn't a great idea. If DJ Tanner got married walking around a kitchen table, this cabby is probably wondering where the hell his tone-deaf wife went.
But people appreciate it when you attempt to say things in their native language. I worked with this Serbian girl in Alaska who would quote one single song lyric almost exclusively when asked questions in English and I sort of loved it.
Hey, Valentina, how are you?
I'm so excited, I just can't hide it.
Valentina, a bunch of us are going on a hike after work, want to come?
I'm so excited I just can't hide it.
Valentina, are you so excited that you'd like to hide it, but unfortunately, you cannot?
I'm sorry, I don't know.
Damn you Pointer SIsters for not addressing irony in that terrible terrible song!
I'm trying to learn Italian now--or just watching a lot of Italian movies-- and i give people so much credit for speaking different languages. It's hard not to understand but equally as difficult not to be understood.
This Vietnamese guy, Ha, (that's his name.) used to scream at me when he thought he was being misunderstood.
-Jessica, watch out for Andy, he kills ladies.
-Sorry?
-HE KILLS LADIES!
-pause. you mean he's a lady killer?
(screaming) THAT'S WHAT I SAID!
I think he could have benefited from listening to the Hall & Oates classic a few times. You see, Ha, she's not actually going to chew you up, so you don't necessarily have to watch out, boy. It's metaphor.
Give you the fare/give you my heart. Murderer/player. Pomodoro/pomodoro.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

A Bit With A Dog.

In an advertising class I took in college, the professor talked about how any commercial will be successful if you add either a cute child or a dog and that most toilet paper commercials use both, because who wants to think about toilet paper? Then in a TV production class I took, the professor talked about an industry secret that you should never work with either a dog or a cute child because they can't respond to direction and you'll waste half the shoot cleaning up after them, hence the toilet paper i guess.
But I'm sorry, throw a cute dog on TV, and I'm there. if you don't stop channel surfing on a dog show, we probably aren't friends. Who doesn't LOVE a puppy?!
So Project Runway is hands down the best reality show ever. The Amazing Race is brilliant, but running around the world capturing flags and clues isn't reality, it's a game show. If you're not watching Project Runway, I'm inclined to ask you what your problem is. The show gathers together these insanely talented people, creative tempers, amazing design, fabulous accents, and this week, dogs! The challenge was to design an outfit for a dog and the "dogs owner" (the model), and it was awesome!
Side note, i really don't like when people dress their dogs up, actually, I'd go as far to say I hate it. Nessa recently got a miniature Pinscher and I told her if she started putting shirts on it and carrying it around in a bag I would never talk to her again. But I saw a bulldog outside Crepes on Cole the other day wearing a track suit and I broke. Dogs in pants is just funny. Dogs in track pants, well, I melt.
OK, so Project Runway is like my football season and I like to pick winners. Last year I called Chloe Dao from the first episode. This year is a toss but I'm liking Alison Kelly, or Uli Herzner, because with a name like Uli, you really can't lose.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Hide Your Love Away.

HEY true story. so remind me to tell you about the time I talked to Eddie Veddar about mac 'n cheese. Or, i guess, don't-- because that's the whole story. But wicked cool guy to be sure.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Dude, That's My Underwear.

Tia will be here tomorrow so i woke up early to do mad errands, including some much needed laundry. I love doing laundry on weekday mornings because no one is ever there, thus no fight for machines. In our neighborhood laundromat there's a dryer that gives you 10 minutes for a quarter instead of six. It's kind of a little secret but everyone knows about it so when there are other people there it's like an awkward stand-off/stare-down, sprint for that dryer. I like to avoid that, so this morning was nice.
After my wash was done washing, I happily took everything out and brought it to the 10 minute dryer, smiling. Yeaa, 4 free minutes! Stick it to the man! I went down to the coffee shop and got some tea, taking in some quality people watching, knowing i was about 30 minutes away from spring freshness. All good things.
So i make my way back to the laundromat and there's a guy standing by my dryer pulling stuff out. I thought to myself, oooh no dice, my friend, i got the 10 minute machine. But when I walked closer, I realized, um, that IS my machine.
-Um, excuse me? I think that's my dryer.
-Nope, it's mine.
This guy thought of everything!
-I don't know bro, we must have the same underwear then.
-Yup, we must.
Ok, footnote. I LOVE my underwear. I spent a small fortune at American Apparel so that I could have a George Costanza amount of their shorts. I love them. So i'm standing there thinking, maybe I could let him take everything but ask if i can keep my underwear.
But have you ever heard of this?!! I'm not sure if he was homeless or just weird but i was like, should i call the cops? Scream for help? so finally I say,
-look, I don't want to start a big thing, can you just put all my clothes back?
And when I said this i put down my things on a folding table, including this little cottage cheese container I keep my laundry quarters in and he heard the rattle and was like, "what's in there?" and i go, "cottage cheese." Then I roll my eyes, and i'm like, "quarters."
So he goes, "can i have them?" and at this point I'm pissed and i'm like, "well are my clothes dry?!!" and he's like, "not really." So i said, "well then I need 2 of them and you can have the rest." Which worked.
So he left and I waited for my stuff to dry, but I'm standing there thinking, was I just robbed? gah. but this guy totally had to go and throw off my morning chill. Luckily, there was some calming spring freshness to balance it out.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Not That There's Anything Wrong With That.

So in the August edition of her magazine, O, Oprah talks about her relationship with lifelong friend Gayle King(pronounced Gail, not Gay-le) and lets the public know that they are not lesbian lovers. Um, Ok. Thanks Oprah.
The media kind of put this out on the wire with breaking news importance. This just in, Oprah's not gay! Um, OK. Thanks news. When you wrap up that current events coverage could you highlight that little problem in the middle east? No? There's a few more powerful women who came out as straight? Ok, let's get to that then.
But why would Oprah even need to comment on this?! She's Oprah!! Anything she touches turns to gold, what was she afraid of? That if people thought she was a big gaymo there would be a rush on female upper arm tattoos in middle America and she'd have to start driving a Subaru? Oprah, it's cool, let them think what they will. If the lesbian community had Ellen, Martha (come on now, you know it's true), AND YOU, it might actually make the writers at the LWord create more meaningful storylines. (dana dies, let's all make out)
Oprah has become such an elevated icon she's more of a religious figure than anything else. Oprah isn't gay or straight. She's omnisexual. But if she felt she needed to set the record straight, so to speak, good for her. You're not gay Oprah, I'm glad you know. Just because you and Gayle call each other 10 times a day, you gave her a talk show, and the two of you have very hot sex, does NOT make you a lesbian. I GET IT PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

random, please help.

Does anyone remember that cereal commercial in the 80's or early 90's where the adult would eat it in their business suit and then shrink down to little kid size, stil in their grown up clothes?? I know it's random but i'm writing and need to use this. was it Life, maybe? or kix? gah, if you know, please tell me! cheers!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Weird.

I love watching Wimbledon because it let's me know it's summer. Growing up, 'Breakfast at Wimbledon' was something we took quite literally. We would wake up to watch a full morning of tennis with endless bowls of cereal knowing we didn't have to go to school, and it was great.
So I was watching a women's match the other day and the commentators were remarking on how much Maria Sharapova screams. Tennis is really the only sport I can think of where you can watch one player's emotions unfold throughout the match. Golf and bowling offer the possibility i guess, but people don't really scream during these games. Although, if bowlers screamed like tennis players when rolling the ball down the alley, I might be inclined to watch.
The announcers went on and on about how maybe she showed too much emotion and perhaps the officials might ask her to stop. It occurred to me that I never could have been a professional tennis player. Exercise has always brought out my potty mouth-- I can't help it. Remember the parachute in elementary school? I was like a sailor--'Make the effing mushroom you guys!" And I don't even realize it's happening until situations like a race freshman year when Lauren Volo yells over her coxbox, "Jess, you can't tell a coxswain to shut the fuck up." So this random rowing memory came to me and it was a little funny, i kept watching tennis, end of story.
Then, yesterday at work i was arguing with the guys over greatest all-time summer snack. They said soft-serve dipped in that cherry shell (good choice, but not the best), strawberries and whipped cream (yo, I'm a farm girl, you don't have to tell me), and Tri, the dishwasher said Korean BBQ. They must not have summer snacks in Vietnam. But the correct answer is Bomb Pops. And I went on to give an impassioned speech about popsicles and the rights of summer. Ok, end of story.
So last night, I get home and there's a big yellow envelope in the mail. I look at the return address and it's from Kristin Hammill. I immediately burst out laughing because I already know what it is. YEARS ago, Kristin stole my name popsicle stick from that board in the boathouse and whenever I saw her online she'd be like, 'yo i have to send that to you, yada yada.' And she did!
But isn't that a little weird? I had just been thinking about rowing, AND popsicles! It's like Jumanji! Or not. But now I just have to think of a more exciting combination of things and wait by the mailbox.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Explosions In The Sky.

hey, 4th of July! Let's shoot things in the air!
Apparently everyone got this memo. Even North Korean leader Kim Jong Il who decided to test some missiles yesterday. I can see how that conversation played out.
Kim: do we have any of those sparklers? those are always fun.
Staff: I'm sorry leader. We don't. Would you like us to set off some of those nuclear weapons we have out back.
Kim: mmm, ok. but do the one with that makes the whistle noise.

Also, NASA launched a discovery shuttle into space yesterday. Into space! that just blows my mind. I always like to get a window seat on flights, even if it means sacrificing the oh so needed aisle stretch room. I love to watch cars like ants and gridded land and the Lite-Brite earth when everything is lit up at night. Everything's put in perspective. But to be in space? to look back on the actual planet. I really think that would be like the ultimate cleansing of the palate. Bobbing around weightless you'd probably just say, oh, ok. i get it. I wonder if the astronauts have special playlists on their ipods for their missions. "Songs for Space." Think of how awesome it would be to listen to Doves 'There goes the fear' looking back on earth. Or the Pussycat Dolls 'Don't Cha.' I feel like that would really resonate out there.
And of course, traditional fireworks were set off everywhere. Raffi and I were talking about firework commentary and how even the most articulate people are reduced to "oohs and aahhs." But truly, why do people feel the need to comment on every single one? Perhaps it's something intrinsically human. like that involuntary action to reach for your eye if it hurts. But across the board, everyone has something to say after each explosion. Usually a rotation of these things:
-Whoa! Did you see that?! (no, i missed it. should i have been looking up there at the sky? is that what this whole thing is about?)
-Wow. That was awesome. (yes. it was. they're all awesome. and i'm sure you'll remind me of that later)
-Oh, that one was ok. I thought it would make a louder boom. (yea, you're an idiot)
-Whoa! did you see that?! (and so it goes).