Saturday, February 21, 2009

What Morrissey Doesn't Know... and other "Important Things"

I had Live at Java Joe’s playing in my car when my mom and I were driving to lunch yesterday (Smitty digs the groovy tunes). She asked what we were listening to and I said, “Jason Mraz. He makes my heart smile.” To which she replied: “Does Morrissey know about this?”

Oh my god I could have peed my pants.

Of all the completely applicable things one could have said to me after my geeky gushiness she managed to come up with, off the fly, the single most perfect response. Does Morrissey know about this?

I heart my mom.

Well, sorry Morrissey, you reap what you sow. Perhaps if you hadn’t allowed your New York concerts to sell out while I was at work my heart would smile for you alone. But there’s a new kid in town and he’s younger so I bet he’s got more stamina. (oh, snap!)

I still haven’t gotten Years of Refusal yet *slaps wrist* Bad, Smiths fan! But I have been actively not spending money as I have huuuuuge… tracts of debt and I work retail. My mom and I went into the mall –a place I have always loathed- after lunch and just walking around made me feel bad about myself in ways the mall hasn’t made me feel since I was a chunky teenager glancing wistfully into the windows of Contempo Casuals (are they still around? I remember fearing and sort of revering that store when I was young. It was everything that I was not.). So, Moz, if you’re reading this, (which, let’s admit it, you are, I know you stalk my blog) let’s make a deal. You free up some tickets for me and I’ll buy your album. K?

Demetri Martin has shiny hair.

He also has a new show. I missed the first episode but actually remembered to DVR it this week. He amuses me. I’ve always enjoyed his stand-up (sigh. R.I.P. Invite Them Up) but I have to admit I get a bit distracted by his shiny, shiny hair. It’s so big and fluffy and just so damn shiny that I kinda wanna pet it. And by kinda wanna I mean Demetri better run if he sees me on the street.

Speaking of hair. When I was in the mall, feeling disgusted with myself, I went into Bath and Body Works, not because I like the store –which I generally don’t- but because we had this gift certificate that had 15 bucks on it and figured we should spend it. And as much as I have disliked B&BWs in the past I have to admit I’m a bit excited now. THEY CARY VEGAN HAIR STUFF! I know, right?! I’m not saying I’m all of a sudden a B&BWs fan, but it gives me hope for a brighter tomorrow. ☺

P.S. You should never, ever, EVER develop any kind of romanticy feelings for me. Whenever I like someone, or find out that they like me, I turn into a twelve year old. It’s awkward and uncomfortable and rather horrifying. And so I blog, and sleep alone.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Nostalgic Racism

O.C. (who is no longer my mortal enemy, but I’ll blog about that later) came over to tell me that the customer that she was helping called her Buckwheat. Twice. I laughed; I shouldn’t have but I couldn’t help it. I mean, even if you are a bigoted ass who the hell says Buckwheat anymore? Are there people going around pining for the good ole days of racial slurs? We couldn’t figure out if she really meant it or if she had just been watching the Little Rascals movie and was perhaps a wee bit slow.

I’ve also been thinking about the Three-Fifths Compromise recently. I think it was a question on Jeopardy last week or something. The Three-Fifths Compromise came about when the Constitutional Convention was trying to figure out how many Congressmen each state would be able to send to the House of Representatives. The southern states said, “We want our slaves to be counted as part of the population.” And the northern states said, “You’re fucking kidding me, right?”

The Three-Fifths Compromise bothers me to no end. It is bad enough to look at a person and not see a person but see something so inferior to you that you consider it to be a possession more equal to your cow than to yourself. If you are looking at a person and not seeing their worth then there is hope that your perception can be altered, but if you’re looking at a person and seeing a person and are still treating them like livestock or a chair, well, where do you go with that? In this debate the southern states were pretty much acknowledging the humanity of those they were enslaving; no one has ever asked for representation for their cattle.

We don’t come from a happy sunshiny place of nobility and virtue. We come from a murky pond of suffering and good intentions, cruelty and bravery, accomplishments and mistakes, justice and spite. But, like our primordial ancestors, the important thing is that we continue to pull ourselves from the swamp.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Vitamin D and the Sundance Kid

If you ever want to feel that your life is worthy of entrance to the Sundance Festival put some indie tunes in your ipod, stuff the buds in your ears, press play, and take a walk through your stunningly unspectacular suburban neighborhood.

Also, you should take a walk because if you read a lot of blogs you’re probably low on Vitamin D. Vitamin D is one of those quirks of nature that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy about the universe. Our bodies naturally make all the Vitamin D we need through photosynthesis, which is kind of amazing. We’re like plants without chlorophyll! Though, would be kinda fun to be green. Sigh.

ANYWAY So many things about the sun just blow me away. It’s 91 million miles away and you can still go blind from looking at it. And it’s not even that big of a star! If our little solar system had formed around a super giant we would have been sehr screwed.

Well, that was a little unexpected nerdgasm. Now if you’ll excuse me I’m going to go tickle the ivory colored plastics before settling in for some Masterpiece Theatre.

P.S. I made vegan lasagne and a mess in the kitchen. Both were yummy.

P.P.S. If Paul Newman and Robert Redford hadn’t switched roles would it be called the Butch Festival?

Wanting a Ball is not Wanting a Prince

Valentine’s Day. It’s never been my favorite day of the year. I’ve been known to rail against the soulless commercialization masquerading as a holiday, and to moan about the loneliness of my unloved heart; truth is Valentine’s Day is a masochist’s playground. Hallmark and Hershey’s and TDF aren’t making us miserable; we’re making ourselves miserable.

There’s this Eleanor Roosevelt quote that everyone knows: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
So why the fuck have we consented to feeling like shit?

Because we want to. It’s like Valentine’s Day has become a day of self flagellation, purging ourselves of the horrible sin of being single. I think it’s because we live in such a results driven society. If you want to have a boyfriend and you don’t have a boyfriend then obviously you are doing something wrong or being something wrong and Valentine’s Day is like society telling us that we should sit here quietly and think about what we’ve done. Well, fuck that.

I’m in a surprisingly good mood, an almost alarmingly good mood considering it’s Valentine’s Day. Considering that I had to work. Considering that I’m not in love but would like to be. Considering that I am nowhere society says I should be.

Society is just going to have to chill because I’m doing alright. No tears. No ice cream. No Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan movies. No feeling bad about the things I want but do not have. No feeling bad at all.

I day dream a lot. A lot. Like, RIDICULOUSLY a lot. Always have. Even as a wee thing. And I missed many a math lesson thinking about JC Chasez (oh, NSync, my over hormonal 15 yr old self never stood a chance). I’ve been thinking though, if I harnessed half the creative energy I’ve been funneling to embarrassing drivel I would be unstoppable. UN FUCKING STOPABLE. (for some reason feeling empowered makes me want to drop the f bomb all over the place)

Valentine’s Day. I went to work. I came home and watched Battlestar Galactica (best. episode. ever.) and Dollhouse (just when I decided to start tapering my tv viewing joss whedon had to come back to the airwaves- wait, it’s all digital now, back to the fiber optics?) I IMed and texted and talked on the phone with friends near and far. I sat in bed blogging and listening to much too much Mraz. Singing sometimes, smiling often. And now I think I’ll dance through the carpet in my bare feet.

Maybe I’ll find the love I want on the way to finding me, but for now, I have all the love I need.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Jason Mraz's Colon and My Purpose in Life

I was reading Jason Mraz’s blog, as I am wont to do, -because 1 I enjoy a well crafted personal essay, 2 reading blogs is far more entertaining than reading GRE prep and, 3 Jason Mraz is kinda dreamy- and apparently Mr. Mraz recommends a colonic as a good way to spend this Saturday.

Ah, nothing says romance quite like colon cleansing.

Though, I have to say, if there was ever a holiday that warranted an enema, it’s Valentine’s Day. (What do candy hearts and mawkish greeting cards have to do with martyrdom anyway?) Alas, I’m working on the 14th and I don’t believe that my coworkers would be too pleased if I had a colonic before starting my shift. “What? You have a return? Uh… do you think you could carry the register into the bathroom? What? Shut up! Everyone poops!”

After work though, I’ll be engaging in something equally as ass assaulting as MR A-Z’s favorite past-time: grad school applications (Lord, take me now).

Most grad school applications include a “statement of purpose”. In 500 words or less you have to explain who you are, what you want and why they should want you. 500 words. Which is both too many and too few. Especially when you’re not quite sure who you are, what you want and what the fuck your purpose is, anyway. I feel like I’m sitting down to an exam, number 2 pencil poised over A, B, and C, only I don’t know what the question is.

Okay, to be fair, I’m sure they’re expecting a rather narrower focus than what I’m freaking out about i.e. “what is your purpose in applying to this program”. And most people would be assuaged by that fact, stop bitching and write the damn essay. But that would be far too easy for me.

There has never been such a thing as a human being with just one purpose in life. Any one person can be a daughter, a sister, a mother, a lover, a friend, a writer, a teacher, a pilot, a dancer, an explorer all at once. I’ve never been good at compartmentalizing my purposes. So when University X asks me my purpose for pursuing a Masters in Y I see all the little bits and pieces of who I am and I’m not quite sure which parts to grab onto and display for their judging pleasure.

Half of the purpose of any kind of education is the education itself, learning more about Y so you can go on in the field of Y or F or Z, but the other half of the purpose of education is what you learn about yourself while learning about other people and other things. I’ve always been more concerned –often to my detriment- with the latter. Which I guess sums up what I really feel that my purpose is, to look, to learn, to fail, and fall and grow. Which may be poetic and but sure as hell doesn’t pay the bills.

I was born in the wrong century. The wrong millennium. The wrong epoch, even. I should have been a troubadour or a bard or a sorceress. But I wasn’t born then, I was born here. Which means as much as I could have been a million different things I was only ever meant to be me. So, in conclusion, my purpose is to be me. And, hopefully, sometime before I die, I’ll figure out who that is.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Placebo Psychics and Olfactory Hallucinations

A couple of days ago, I was ringing up a customer when she said, “Things are going to start getting better for you in February,” and slid her card across the counter. She was a psychic. So, apparently February is going to be my month. And I started wondering about the placebo effect and self-fulfilling prophesies.

Like, could someone be so eager to prove a self proclaimed psychic wrong that they would subconsciously turn February into the worst month of their life? On a lesser degree things like that happen all the time. You go into a math test or an audition telling yourself that you’re going to fail and no matter how talented you are or how hard you studied you’re probably going to psych yourself out and bomb. And that all got the pendulum of my mind swinging in the other direction. If a psychic tells me that things are going to start looking up in February and I choose to believe her can I, via the placebo effect, turn February into 28 days of absolute awesomeness?

Also,
it’s quite possible that I had a stroke today. I was unpacking a box of pants and I swear to God they smelled like ice cream sandwiches.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Presidents; Past, Present, and Future

PAST

When I was in the fourth grade I was in love with John Adams. I thought he was the cat’s pajamas. Truthfully, this probably had more to do with William Daniels than our second president, as the musical 1776 was the catalyst for my infatuation.
I still love that musical; I have the director’s cut DVD. It’s perfect for me; it has all the geekiness of being a musical with all the nerdiness of historical drama. Nothing quite warms my heart like the idea that our founding fathers were noble and pure of heart, and occasionally broke into song and dance.
My affections for Mr. Adams have waxed and waned over the years. I couldn’t help but feel betrayed when in later history classes I learned of the Alien and Sedition Acts, a series of bills written in the late 1700s, which, if you look them up on wikipedia, I am sure you will discern a frightening familiarity about them. Still it’s hard to hate a man who scampered amongst the Second Continental Congress (yes, there were two of them) singing at them to “Vote Yes! (Sit down, John) Vote for independency! (Someone oughta open up a window!)”
My uncoolness knows no bounds.


PRESENT

Sometimes, on the news, they say “The President” instead of “President Obama” and it takes me a moment to remember that they’re not talking about Bush. And then I go a little gooey and it’s like I’m getting the election results all over again. In a week, or a month, or a year, the gooeyness is going to fade and I’m going to go back to caring exclusively about the issues but right now, for the first time, we have an African American President of the United States. And, I’m nerdy enough to admit that I teared up a bit typing that. Right now I don’t care about what kind of a president he’s going to turn out to be because I am just so damn proud of US as a nation, so proud that WE elected a black man to be our president. Now, I voted for him because I like him, because I believe in him, because he most closely holds the political opinions and ideals that I hold. But even if he had held political opinions that I disagree with and I had chosen to vote against him I would have been proud of OUR country, because so recently the only thing that would have mattered would have been the color of his skin and he never would have even been nominated. So, now we have an African American President of the United States and in the next four to eight years he is going to prove to be just as capable, intelligent, fallible and human as every old white man who has preceded him.

FUTURE

And now that we have a black man in the White House ANYONE can be president. They’ve always said that, that’s always been part of what people say when they’re talking about how great the U.S. is, how ANYONE can be president. You may be poor and hopeless now but if you work hard enough you too can have the American Dream! But it’s never really been true before. There’s always been the fine print: Catholics need not apply. Jews need not apply. Women need not apply. Blacks need not apply. Latinos need not apply… But not now. Now the door has been opened. And now, who knows? YOU could be president. I could be president! Well, no, not me. I mean, the day I get elected president is the day I emigrate. I would not want to live in a country that has declined to the point where I am considered the most qualified person to lead them. That’s pretty much the definition of dystopia. Yeah, so, not me, but you could still so totally be president now!