Monday, December 31, 2007

let's recap, shall we?

now i know i said i would be back after the new year, but this little year-end meme from ejshea has brought me out a little early. let's just say i've been in a reflective mood lately.

1. What did you do in 2007 that you'd never done before? taken an entire week off of work for a vacation. and it very well might have been the best vacation of all time.

2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year? i didn’t really make a resolution for 2007, as i claim to not be in the habit of doing such things. but my moods, they are mercurial. so, my resolutions for 2008 are as follows:

- start approaching life as something to be experienced, not just survived
- cook more
- run a five-mile race
- get over myself, in general

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? um…no? my cousin had a baby, and my other cousin’s wife had her third baby - but that might have been in 2006. i’ve been out of new england a long time…

4. Did anyone close to you die? no.

5. What places did you visit? i went to the eastern shore – see aforementioned “best vacation ever” mention. i went home, twice – once to escape the heat of august and celebrate our birthdays, and then for christmas. i went to shenandoah national park for the first time, and it was even more enjoyable than i thought it would be.

6. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007? some more perspective. or, to put a finer point on it, some mo’ better perspective.

7. What dates from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? there are no dates, in particular, actually. and i consider that a good thing. usually, if you can remember the date, it’s because something traumatic happened.

8. What was your biggest achievement(s) of the year? landing my job. probably one of the most exciting moments of my life thus far was answering the phone that day and hearing them make the offer.

9. What was your biggest failure? i don’t think i set any goals that i then failed to achieve. i mean, major things – if i had to count the number of times i should’ve done laundry/cleaned the living room/gone to the gym/written the great american novel and didn’t, well…

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? again, nothing major. i did puke that one time, two days before my 5K – that really sucked. i never puke.

11. What was the best thing you bought? a grey sweater with a huge cowlneck from H&M. i am sort of in love with it. “1234” by Feist from iTunes. i am really in love with it.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? MomCat. she is not celebrated nearly enough.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? someone get me a staff directory for the department of justice – that should cover it.

14. Where did most of your money go? rent. goddamn east coast. and then savings, student loans, and food. we buy lots and lots of food.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? again, my job. the whole process was long and draining – six weeks! four interviews! – and when it finally fell into place, the combination of relief and sheer elation is hard to describe. and then when BoyCat got a new job in October, i got to vicariously experience it all over again! so it was a good year on the career front, for sure.

16. What song will always remind you of 2007? “1234.” namely because i’m fucking obsessed with it.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder? happier.
b) thinner or fatter? i’ll choose door number three, “treading water.”
c) richer or poorer? richer. two raises between the two of us helped in that regard.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of? the first thing that comes into my head is writing. i always seem to wish i’d done more writing. i think i could crank out the seven harry potter novels in 12 months and still have the same answer to this question. of course, this points to my own unrealistic goals/mental problems more than anything else.

[ed. note - i just realized there's no question number 19. how odd.]

20. How did you spend Christmas last year? in MA, with the fam. wouldn't be anywhere else.

21. Did you fall in love in 2007? fall in love? no. wake up every day still in love? yes.

22. How many one-night stands? zero. naturally.

23. What was your favorite TV program? Ugly Betty! got hooked during a marathon on january 1, 2007, actually.

24. What did you do for your birthday in 2007? fled DC. drank copious amounts of “mr. pibb” (don’t ask). floated in the pool.

25. What was the best book you read? The Secret Life of Bees.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery? please refer to every musical mention in this meme so far.

27. What did you want and get? a job. a raise. a haircut. new glasses.

28. What did you want and not get? a friend making the time. a burrito from bueno. a flat-screen tv, because who am I kidding, we don’t fucking need one.

29. What was your favorite film of this year? i have to say, The Bourne Ultimatum was a lot of fun to watch in the theater. that Matt Damon – well.

30. Did you make some new friends this year? yes, definitely. which is a great thing, and is one of the reasons i’d say that i was happier this year than the one before.

31.What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? “immeasurably”? winning the lottery. not much else could fall into that category!

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007? ha. absent. but i’m working on it. it’s part of my whole “get some fucking perspective, woman” plan for 2008!

33. What kept you sane? BoyCat. CatCat. my family. box of wine. the gym.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? CatCat. wait, she’s not technically a public figure? ok, then i have to admit that i find the Seal/Heidi Klum family to be freaking adorable. don’t you just want to hug them all?

35. What political issue stirred you the most? i was so stirred by so many goddamn political issues, i may as well be a soup. and while i am chomping at the bit for a democratic nominee and i welcome the 2008 fight with the republicans, i just can’t wait for someone to cast a vote already. i'm sick of this primary bullshit.

36. Who did you miss? my family. i know, broken record, but seriously – i did. and i do, a lot.

37. Who was the best new person you met? the best?? whoa. i will say the person who makes the fried plantains at the banana cafĂ© brunch. ok, we haven’t actually met, but he or she is high on my list of Totally Awesome People.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007. get to the crux of it. or at least, start trying to.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

peace out, freak out.

i need to go to bed in like, four minutes. because our plane back to massachusetts leaves ridiculously early tomorrow. i've been running around like a crazy person getting ready to go for the last, oh, five hours, and now i'm drinking wine like it's my job in an effort to help my body crash out.

because, you know, my brain isn't so into the whole "let's crash out" idea in these situations. it'd rather stay up all night playing the "what if?" and "did i forget?" games.

so, BoyCat and i will be back home spending some q.t. with my family over the holiday - i hope you all have enjoyable plans that involve good people, good food, good booze, or a combination of all three. while we will be back in town before new year's eve, i've decided to take a little self-imposed miniature blog break til after the turn of the year. try to start fresh and stuff. you know, cliches!

anyway. thanks for reading this past year, internet friends. see you when we ring in a new one.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

your wednesday one-liner.

a somewhat enigmatic threat, courtesy of Overheard in New York. am i supposed to be, um, frightened at this proposition?

Lesbian: Bitch, you better shut the fuck up before I go Park Slope on your ass!

--1 train

i feel like this means you'll treat me to a latte, but somehow, i think i'm misreading your intent.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

santa? baby?

ok, so my family? they are kind of crazy. you know, like your family. and this craziness results in me sitting here at quarter of nine at night, not really having the energy to hop onto blogger and typey-type, but feeling as if certain members of my family will start harassing me if i do not.

let me explain.

MomCat and SisterCat both got a kick out of my Seasame Street related linkage last month. much discussion of alistair cookie and pipe chomping ensued. then, this past weekend, they were down in the New York area hanging out with some extended Cat family. On the wall of AuntCat's house was the following holiday decoration:

you might notice a particular piece of smoking apparatus in the clutches of an alleged children's character, which evokes shades of our dear alistair cookie himself. this similarity apparently prompted what can only be labeled a very strange (and most likely wine-induced) brainstorming session of all the ways in which santa claus himself is, in fact, not suitable for toddlers. my family was so amused by themselves that they felt the need to call me immediately, dictate the following list of offending qualities, and instruct me to post it to my blog. as i am but a humble servant, here - as requested - is a list of all the reasons santa is a poor role model:

  • the pipe-smoking (obviously)

  • morbid obesity (again, evident)

  • poor work ethic (one night a year? seriously?)

  • human rights abuser (he runs a sweatshop for midgets in the arctic)

  • animal abuser (PETA would stage a rescue for those reindeer, for sure)

  • misogynist (calling 'em "hos" won't get you anywhere with the ladies)

  • threat to national security (violates airspace regulations all the time)

  • fire hazard (fat men in chimneys = not very safety conscious)

  • criminally negligent (no helmet? no seat belt? no service)

  • peeping tom (he sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake)

  • and last but not least, a convict (that is, if they ever brought him up on breaking and entering charges)

so there you have it. why santa is a bad, bad man, or, how my family spent their saturday night! i've gotta say - they have a point. or eleven.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

i've cracked.

help me, internets!

i have chapped lips.

this is not, i recognize, the most shocking revelation, given that it's a week and a half before christmas and all. but i am at a loss as to how to fix it. i have been hydrating like it's my job (5-6 glasses of water per day! for real!), and i'm only using either straight vaseline or aquaphor - none of the chapstick or bonne bell or whatever that just dries them out more.

and yet, they just get worse and worse. they crack, they bleed, i chew at the dry skin and then they get all puffy and painful...

nice, i know. see why i need a solution?

give me your ideas and remedies and magic spells, post haste! or i might not have any lips left by the time spring rolls around...

Friday, December 14, 2007

friday cat blogging, stop hating on lolcats edition.

well whatever, you can hate on them if you want. your prerogative.

but honestly?

they still crack me up sometimes.

ah hahahaha.

ok i'm going to bed now.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

meme-ity meme.

via brandy's, this meme strikes me as something you might fill out during a psychological evaluation, but i'm gonna go with it. why not?

I Never...
wear velvet - get tan - fall asleep right away - write it all down - use hairspray - want to feel the way i did when i was 15 ever again - eat sour cream - drive without my seat belt on - think about visiting missouri - look for hidden christmas presents - have enough money on my metro card - leave the house after 9:00 pm anymore - tip less than 15% - settled - forgot what it was like.

I Rarely...
buy nice enough bras or shoes - drink whiskey - witness things that restore my faith in humanity - wear bracelets - yell - get the grande instead of the tall - choose red wine - find exactly the right thing to say - think conservatives have a good point - wake up refreshed - go a day without cooing sweet nothings at my cat - regret decisions - forget to say "thank you" to cashiers and bartenders - just go with the flow.

I Cry...
when i am not on anti-depressants - in private - over the injustices that suffocate women every day - at the end of Field of Dreams - when i hear "Raining in Baltimore" at the wrong time - for so many things that i can't even quite say - when the patriots win the superbowl in 2002 - when the red sox lose game seven in 2003 - at how it turned out, sometimes.

I Am Not Always...
able to explain it - immune to just tipping over - on top of things - in possession of my emergency corkscrew (which sort of defeats the "emergency" purpose) - comfortable in heels - confident enough to say what i really think - able to resist an episode of Bridezillas - in the mood for shenanigans - in the mood for serious conversation - in the mood, period - the person who shows up five minutes early (but usually i am) - aware of how what i say affects others - right.

I Lose...
friends - addresses - contact lenses - my composure when someone implies that my politics are easily dismissed - all sense of time if i'm reading a really good book - the thread of my life sometimes, and it freaks me out - money at the blackjack table - hair in the shower like it's nobody's business - cough drops - knee-highs - a little more each day.

I'm Confused...
by life - by crocs - by my cat's desire to play with catnip mice at 4:00 am - by Baudrillard - by the way some particular people have treated me in my life - by french feminist theory - by my ability to be both compassionate and judgmental at the same time - by the idea of marriage - by edible underwear (not via experience, mind you) - by why, no matter how much water i drink or aquaphor i use, my lips stay chapped.

I Miss...
my family - the coast - being 22 - bueno y sano in downtown amherst - my mudd jeans from college with the giant hole in the knee - PJ - brubakers and curly fries at our house - drinking coffee on the stoop on commonwealth avenue in the spring - ecce cafe in boystown - john - getting coffee drinks at bart's with mike - roller skating in the driveway in great barrington - how easy it was sometimes - jayne's giant whiteboard - my blue turtleneck sweater that shrunk in the wash - all the million other things i just couldn't quite hold on to.

I Need...
a new pair of brown boots - a raise - another glass of wine - a trip home for christmas - a better handle on my own irrational fears - a new hairdryer - some really good coping mechanisms - a DC driver's license - five minutes in the morning to lay there and do nothing - to send a few more holiday cards - plane tickets to chicago in february - a nice winter hat - a center - a change - a minute to think.

I Should...
pitch more articles - go to the gym on saturday - quit worrying about money so much - kiss my boyfriend more - vacuum the living room rug - bring a few of the 327 tupperware containers in my office home - floss - send more handwritten letters - breathe deeper - try to figure out how to stop biting my nails - eat more fruit - buy some argyle tights - just fucking relax.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

your wednesday one-liner.

kidz, man. via overheard in new york. they are good for amusement sometimes, i'll give 'em that.

Little boy shaking his hips: Tryin' make me go to rehab, I said no, no, no! [Later, to woman behind register] Do you have Rugrats Gone Wild?

--Blockbuster, 10th & Wanamaker Pl

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

news alert: i obsess over things.

i know, i know, this comes as a shock. but let me tell you about it.

i have this new pair of boots. i got them on clearance (woot) at DSW. they are black, with about a...hmmm....i'd say two-inch heel. maybe two and a half. they are kenneth cole reaction (not bad, not bad) and they're all synthetic, which is a negative for most people but a positive for a vegetarian like myself who is attempting to avoid hypocrisy at most turns. finally, they are knee-high.

the last part is where the obsessing comes in. because "knee-high" boots are a bit of a misnomer, right? they come to somewhere just below your knee, usually. and of course, there's a bit of variance even in that generality - some pairs come a little closer to your kneecap than others. and a few weeks and couple wears after purchasing my boots, i became convinced that they were - gasp - too short.

now mind you, this was not an evident problem when i purchased them (read: it is a virtual guarantee that this is not an actual problem at all). however, slowly but surely, the doubt crept in. are these things like, just maybe half an inch too short? i would study my calves while sitting at my desk, swinging my legs out to one side of the chair, then the other. did they look to short this way? how about that way? what if i stand up? what if i cross my legs like this?

i wish i were kidding about this internal monologue. i am not.

despite repeated assurances by (a very patient) BoyCat that no, they are certainly not too short, and yes, they look like everyone else's boots, i still harbor misgivings. i found myself at the dupont circle station the other day, waiting to meet up with someone, and mentally cataloging the kneecap to boot-top ratio of nearly every woman who walked by in knee-highs. i felt like some kind of addict.

i guess there is no real moral to this story. (unless, of course, the moral is that i am crazy, but that is a implicit - not to mention redundant - moral around here.) i will keep wearing the boots. i will probably continue to allow some sick little corner of my brain to gnaw away on the issue of their reverse inseam. hopefully i can just avoid acknowledging said gnawing by focusing on something else. like how i desperately need some brown knee-high boots.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

i think we should be quarantining the serial rapists, but that's just me.


mike huckabee, ladies and gentleman. currently running second the frontrunner in the iowa polls, according to the newest McClatchy-MSNBC numbers.

canada honestly looks more and more attractive by the day.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

city karma?

perhaps i made someone's life difficult in some big city in a past life. because right now, it's 4:30 in the morning, and i am wide awake because my downstairs neighbor's television is blaring. you can almost hear the dialogue clearly through the floor. somehow we managed to fall asleep (with the help of our little white noise machine) earlier tonight, but i woke up about an hour ago and have been up ever since.

the guy is either a) not there or b) completely, freakishly passed out in there, because i went down about half an hour ago and knocked - or pounded, if you will - on the door four or five times. nothing. and the volume is ridiculous - it was like the tv was in the hallway and going full blast, it was so loud. i left a nice little note (really - i restrained my overtired bitchiness for two minutes while i wrote it) imploring him to, um, kindly turn that thing down in the middle of the night in the future.

ok, now it's quarter of five in the morning. awesome. i wonder how long my body will stay awake on annoyance alone. i'd guess at least another hour. maybe two.

score one for rural living, i guess.

Friday, December 07, 2007

friday cat blogging, mindset edition.

funny pictures


so i know i've been a bad blogger lately.

there are numerous reasons for this, the boring navel-gazing details of which i won't go into here - especially since i am currently running only on gin and exhaustion. however, some of it has to do with me actually starting to get something resembling a life (hey, i take what i can get!) and some of it has to do with me not being able to find the motivation to blog with two hands and a flashlight. i'm not writing much at all really (except for those eight hours a day that i write for my job, which might have something to do with that, huh??), and i'm trying not to go into my normal reactionary mode about a situation like this. that mode is usually a) feel guilty about it for some nebulous and almost certainly irrational reason, and then b) force myself to do it anyway, thus sucking any bit of joy or intrinsic pleasure out of the entire enterprise.

and that, as you smart people instantly surmised, is incredibly stupid.

but i'm still here. i'll still be blogging. and i'm betting (and hoping) that by attempting to go with the flow of my inclinations rather than ceaselessly beat them in to (arbitrary) line, i'll come back to writing regularly on my own in relatively short time.

in the meantime, keep coming by for random observations, petulant whining, and an occasional flash of vain preoccupation brilliance.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

weeknight update.

- my lips are very, very dry.

- my jeans have a small hole in the seam - right at the hip - that i need to sew, like, yesterday.

- work got unexpectedly insane this week.

- i actually have post-work plans for the next three nights.

- my eyes are very, very dry.

- my credit score went up today.

- my credit card balance still scares me.

- there is laundry hanging all over our bedroom - doorknobs, hamper, cd tower, wardrobe doors - and its kinda like a cotton-poly jungle.

- my cat enjoys attacking toy hedgehogs at four in the morning.

- my brain does not enjoy falling asleep at a reasonable hour.

- i'm sort of over keith olbermann.

- my iPod is almost full.

- the bathroom door doesn't stick from the humidity anymore.

- the DC library hates me.

- the holidays cannot come soon enough.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

last call.

in your sunday (or monday morning, as it may be) perusing of the interweb, be sure to check out this great article from today's Globe:

Last Call: Why the gay bars of Boston are disappearing, and what it says about the future of city life

when i lived in the area, i always bemoaned boston's lack of a centralized gay area of town - everything seemed so scattershot and marooned on its own little city-block island. (and the south end, without decent public transit access and skyrocketing prices, just does not count.) so, imagine my dismay to hear that things were going from bad to worse in my big gay liberal home state. this article does a great job of laying out the problem and connecting it to bigger economic trends that threaten not only gay city life, but city life in general. a snippet:

The disappearance of places like Buddies and Chaps may sound like a problem limited to gay men, but it is part of a much larger trend reshaping American cities. As gay bars vanish, so go bookstores, diners, and all kinds of spaces that once allowed "blissful public congregation," as sociologist Ray Oldenburg described their function in his 1989 book "The Great Good Place."

In New York, the Jewish deli - a staple of the city's identity - has all but vanished. In the Boston area, many of Harvard Square's bookstores, Kenmore Square's student eateries, and myriad other places that guaranteed a diverse urban experience have closed their doors, replaced by a far more uniform lineup of bank branches, chain stores, and upscale restaurants.

This change is a serious challenge to the city, which has historically been defined by the breadth and variety of its street-level experience - and the wide diversity of people it threw together. "City air makes free," a saying that dates to medieval times, was a favorite of urban-studies pioneer Jane Jacobs. But as a wide range of gay bars dwindles to a handful of survivors - and the city's diners, indie bookstores, and dive bars yield to high rents and shifting patterns of commerce - that air is becoming the province of an increasingly narrow set of people.

i think anyone who lives in a big city can attest to this. while sections of largely non-homogenized city can certainly be found, the encroachment is everywhere and prices rise commensurately. here in DC, the insane pace of development in "hip" neighborhoods (because what self-respecting investment banker by day/hipster by night wants to move into a million dollar condo in an "unhip" neighborhood? the horror!) had led to almost untenably rapid rates of gentrification. that's how you end up with black kids in columbia heights throwing stones at white yuppies in columbia heights, and a "revival" of the historically black u street that involves 1-beds renting for over $2,000 in a massive new building called "the ellington."

sometimes i honestly stop and just think, "what the fuck is going on?"

of course, i really don't know. and i have no idea what will happen in the future, whether some other proverbial forces of nature will put a check on this kind of development, or whether this is really the city of the foreseeable future. i'll just keep fighting with the tide, trying to buy local on eighth street and at eastern market instead of from, and hoping they don't raise my rent next year.