Friday, March 30, 2007

Is sick, nice, worthy

I just tried one of those online anagram generators, and I got "Is sick, nice worthy." I think it should be "Is sick, nice, worthy." That would be better.

Other gems from this site include:
Hysteric Sick Wino
Sinister Chick Yow
Chicory Sinew Skit
Ricochet Kiss Winy

Hearts,
Sinister Chick Yow

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Addictive ingredients

I have a new $5 a day habit that’s going to bankrupt me quickly. And possibly cause my heart to explode, but who knows?

Did I ever mention all the arthritis treatment I was going through that wasn’t working? The irritating but fortunately moderate chronic pain that interfered with my life? It isn’t that the pain is so severe, really, it’s more that it is constant that made me seek exhaustive treatment. Final analysis? Fibromyalgia.

The catch (22?) here is that the medicine that is working well for my fibromyalgia is causing me to be drowsy at work. If I weren’t supervised, I’d probably sleep about half of my workday away, pleasantly drooling on my keyboard and dreaming of Ralph Macchio. Poor guy.

The only thing that keeps me going is Starbucks. Listen to this:

“Quad venti nonfat ice latte no ice, please.” Even though I order it daily, it’s still hard for me to say, considering I haven’t started drinking it yet and really I’m still asleep.

I’m going to parse this for you: “Quad” = 4 shots of espresso, when the drink normally comes with three. “Venti” = Starbucks speak for “large.” “Nonfat” = skim milk. “Ice” = cold (pretty straightforward). “Latte” = espresso and milk drink with no foam. “No ice” = cold milk but no ice (because I don’t want it watered down as I sip on it for four hours). “Please” = thoughtfulness because I’m nice to strangers.

This results in confused looks of desperation from the poorly paid humble barista. “Quad. Venti. Nonfat. Latte.”

“No, Quad venti nonfat ice latte no ice.”

“No ice?”

“No ice.”

The order makes its way to the actual drink slinger, and he looks at me, consternation in his brow, “Quad venti nonfat ice latte no ice?”

“Yes, no ice. Can you top it off with more nonfat?”

Then they call it out at the bar like they’re supposed to:

“Quad venti nonfat ice latte no ice.”

Then people look at me. People waiting for drinks straight off the menu. I don’t care. I’ve become coffee high maintenance, so what? At least I’m awake.

Fighting nonplus

Last night, I picked up Matthew from Midway airport, where he was returning from another business trip. He wasn’t gone long, but I missed him. He takes up space in my life in a good way, and I know I can always count on him to balance me. But he had been gone, and I felt off kilter.

I couldn’t wait to pick him up from Midway, but we started up right where we had left off, arguing over something silly and meaningless. Actually, we argued over meaning.

“So I got to the office in Connecticut,” he said, “and the manager was surprised that I was nonplussed by New York traffic.”

“Wait. Say that again,” I told him.

“I was nonplussed by the New York traffic, and the manager was surprised that it didn’t bother me.”

Nonplussed?” I asked, with a judgmental tone. "That doesn't make sense. You just said two different things."

“Yeah it makes sense.”

“I don’t think you know what nonplussed means,” I said in a testy voice.

“Yeah, it means unfazed.”

“No it doesn’t!” I escalated the disagreement by raising my voice and getting angrier. “It means the opposite of unfazed; it means fazed. It means you were stymied by New York traffic.”

“It means unfazed,” Matthew said in the voice he uses when I am being difficult.

“It does not.”

“Yes it does.”

“I’d like to remind you that I have TWO degrees in English,” I informed.

“Well I have a Ph.D.”

“So! You’re still wrong!”

We simmered in silence, until I said, “We can settle this with the dictionary at home.”

“OK,” he agreed, without saying, “but you’re still wrong,” but I bet he was thinking it.

I drove, silently affronted, and then we got over the whole definition disagreement. We picked up with our “I missed you” and “how was your trip, what happened, and what did you see?”

Then I totally forgot the definition of “nonplussed” incident and was just glad to have him home, back, safe in our tiny apartment. I was happy just to have him with me again, and I went about my normal routine of cooking dinner and watching the Pussycat Dolls reality TV competition.

Out of the blue, Matthew said, “Huh, you were right.”

“What sweetie?” I asked.

“You were right about ‘nonplussed.’”

So big of him to admit. I kissed his forehead and said, “I told you so,” in the sweetest, loving way I could.

God I missed that guy. God I love being right. It was lonely without the fighting.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

My name is Christine Wy, and I'm on a diet

I joined Weight Watchers. It was time. My husband said to me the other night, “I’m so glad you’re doing this. Your body was making you so unhappy, but I didn’t know how to help you. I’m glad you’re able to take control of this.”

I cried. A little. I made myself not cry a lot. And he’s been so super supportive of this, eating strange new things that I cook instead of worrying about making two meals.

If you looked at me, you might say I was chubby. But I’m actually not. Technically, I’m just on the scale side of being obese. You’d be surprised, looking at me. “If that’s obese,” you’d think, “then what is the rest of America?” Just more obese, I guess.

This is my biggest (pun intended) coming out on my blog to date. I’ve always admitted to my germ neuroses, which I personally think is just over the scale of normal behavior, but there are so many secrets I keep from my blog readers. I fear the interweb monster. I know it chews people up and leaves them damaged or cynical. I don’t want that.

Christine Wy is fun, and maybe a little mean, but mostly Christine Wy laughs at herself. The real Christine, the not pseudonym Christine, laughs at herself too, but the real Christine is meaner to herself and more judgmental of her choices. Christine Wy is my escape into an ideal place where I can be silly and stupid and serious but not get trapped by reality.

Real Christine is on Weight Watchers now. I hope it’s a good trip, and one we can make together--without making this a diet blog.

PS today is my second weigh-in. I'm praying for two pounds lighter. I feel mentally two pounds lighter (hopefully my brain isn't losing weight!), but the scale will tell the truth. I'm scared and excited. I feel like I'm making good progress, but it's still so daunting.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Cerveja obscuro

My new hobby is reading this pub review: Munster Pubs. (Sorry, the page takes forever to load, though I can't see why.) Any publication that includes a toilet rating is just a personal fave. And that title is Portuguese. I don't know why. I just felt like it.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Why do they always wear clogs, or, Why do they have to sit next to me?

I took my second fiction writing class on Saturday. I think I learned enough from the first three hours or so that it was worth half the money I paid for it, but part two of the class was a wash. We read our stories and works in progress, and the instructor insisted we only say nice things about each piece to each other. Nothing negative. When the woman to my left read a disjointed story with no transitions, the instructor asked what competitions she had submitted it to because it was just so darling. Really, it was an obviously ethnic piece, and according to the instructor those are just so hot right now that if you can write it you should. I’m not saying her story was without merit, but the instructor was a little too friendly, when what we really needed was helpful guidance.

As only my second experience with a writing instructor, I feel I shouldn’t extrapolate from my small sample size to make judgments about all writing instructors, but they both shared an irritating quirk: they wore clogs.

I really have nothing against clogs in general, but these instructors slipped their feet out of their shoes and played with their clogs. When my latest instructor wasn’t standing up, she scooched her feet back then used her toes to push the empty clogs around. I just couldn’t concentrate on the few nuggets of good advice she had to offer while she dangled her clog from her toe, dispensing saccharine “good jobs everybody!”

If I become a writing instructor one day, do I have to trade my old-lady shoes for snappy clogs? What’s the deal, is it a club? I pray it’s just coincidence.

By far the most distracting element of the course was the woman seated to the right of me. She sat down and told me, “I like children’s writing because I’m still a child at heart; I’ve never grown up.” Really? Because I figured out in college that making statements that summarize your affected personality usually means you’re immature and won’t be taken seriously. By me at least.

I tried to make the best of her “free spirit,” and I joked, “Really? I’ve been told I’m childish.”

She responded, very affronted, “That’s not the same thing.”

Hmm, child-like, ne’er-grown-up, fairy-land chick has no sense of humor. I’m going to call that “childish.”

And she really was childish. She wanted to be coddled and Oohed and Ahhed over because she’s so darn precious.

She told me three times, “And look, I even have my pink backpack like a little kid, ha ha ha!”

The first time she said, I responded, seriously, “I carry a pink back pack to work, too, but I’m using my smaller satchel today.”

Then three times she told me, “And look at my little kids lunch. I made peanut butter and jelly and chips, ha ha ha!”

I looked at my lunch. Tuna salad on bread with carrot sticks. That didn’t look like a children’s lunch? It certainly looked exactly like what my mom packed for me in grade school. But I guess I wasn’t “child-like,” only Robbin, who dotted her “i” with a heart, was affectedly na├»ve enough to advertise her “little kids lunch” and a “little kids backpack.

Then it was her turn to read her story.

“I really don’t know what I’ve written, I’ve just been writing it and I’m not sure what it’s about or where it’s going.” Then commenced the convoluted story line of someone discovering who the biological mother is of someone else, made more convoluted by her affectation of innocence.

The instructor asked, “What’s your one sentence summary?” something everyone should be able to say about their work.

“Gosh I don’t know,” she said as she waggled her head around, loosely on it’s child-like stalk. I know, I’m judgmental, but I rolled my eyes at her and groaned, quietly.

She started reading from her 78 page rambling children’s opus, and it was all exposition. No dialog, no action. She said the first 12 pages were like that so you’d like the character. Oh god, spare me over from forced sitting through lengthy bad writing.

At the end of class, the instructor came over to her and said, “I think what you’re doing is great and you should keep working at it. You really can be quite humorous, and you’ve really got something there.”

I nearly died. Irritating, affected, “I’m so child-like,” Robbin with a heart, with her sub-amateur first attempt got the highest praise. I wish I had known in advance that this was the wrong class for me. It would have saved me a lot of time and rescued me from Robb(heart)n.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

I'm just "borrowing" it

OK, so I stole this link from someone else's website, but the Stan Laurel collection project is cool! Thanks for making archivists look like fun people.

Holy update

Remember when I told you about all the holes I had poked in me? I have a new medical hole. A foot hole.

I went to my dermatologist because I thought I had a wart on the sole of my foot. She said it wasn't a wart, but that I stepped on something, and it was stuck. We opted to treat it like a wart and use the freezy stuff anyway since that would make whatever it was fall out.

The only problem with the plan was that nothing was falling out. The frozen skin developed a tough callous that just wasn't budging. And then a blood blister started building up behind it, which made it painful, but the callous still wouldn't fall off.

Yesterday, I went in for emergency follow-up. A nice guy with two med students came in to attend my foot. He ended up cutting out the callous in a perfectly inverted cone and letting the stuff behind the callous drain out. One med student gripped my arm and said, "You'd be great in surgery." I think he was referring to my stiff-upper-lip approach to foot-hole carving.

The net result is that now my foot hurts even worse than when I went in to complain about it hurting! I can barely walk. I'm hobbling around like a wuss trying not to put pressure on my new foot hole. Which sucks because I'm a reference librarian and eventually *someone* is going to expect me to get out of my chair. I have sympathetic friends to fetch me coffee, but I do have to pull my weight on the job at some point. I'll just be pulling it slowly and haltingly, staggering like a movie hunchback.

Monday, March 19, 2007

A slip of the wrist

I had an odd habit for many years that irked me when I caught myself doing it: I played with my face while I read. I’d purse my lips and squeeze them, I’d put a finger near my mouth, I’d rest my hand on my cheek, I’d squeeze my eyebrows together with my hands—any number of configurations.

When my germ-phobia increased, I forced myself to stop, realizing that I was only introducing more pathways for germs to infect my immune system.

Lately, however, I’ve been distracted by things in my head, and I’ve started the face touching again. It’s driving me batty! Or, battier! Twice in the past two weeks I’ve caught myself holding the rail on the bus, THEN RUBBING MY FACE WITH THE BACK OF MY HAND!!!! How could I commit this travesty against myself? What crime did my face commit to deserve this cruel treatment?

And then it happened again. Sitting in my doctor’s office, amidst all those germy people, I got out my book and started touching my face. Why did I slip back into that old habit? I haven’t done it in at least two years? And I tried to stop; I’d catch myself doing it, mentally yell at my hand, then seconds later, my hand was squishing my face up again.

O, woe unto me, that now I feel a head cold coming on. All the face touches, I just knew this would happen, but I prayed to the alcohol hand sanitizer to spare me over this one time, please, as a personal favor, just let me go this one time.

It ain’t happenin.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Personal (sound)space

I just overheard Jason mock-shout, “You’re typing too loud!”

The typist’s answer was a mock-acerbic, “Well that’s just how the typewriter types!”

The type-complainer, Jason, started joking about how someone actually used to tell him that he typed too loudly and too quickly, and that it was distracting this person from work. Jason’s answer: mock apologetic, “I’m sorry,” and typing louder and harder.

Jason and Kendra laughed over someone actually complaining about typing volume, and I flashed back to college.

Cinder-block dorm room painted puky blue, matched, straight rows down either side of the room: closet, dresser, bed, desk. My roommate and I were best friends, shared a major, and spent all of our time together, in and out of class. Due to necessity of proximity, we drove each other nuts, but in a loving way, I thought.

I was fortunate that, even way back in the early days of technology, my dad bought me a laptop and printer to take to school. It cost $1000, ran Windows 95, and we had to purchase the optional external floppy disk drive separately. My roommate and I couldn’t share the computer (not that I wanted to, anyway), because all of our papers were due at the same time since we took all of our classes together. Of course college students would never work out a schedule where someone actually writes their paper early, so she needed a different option.

Her parents bought her an electric word processor. The trumped-up typewriter looked odd and clunky across the way from my shiny plastic toy that still smelled like clean electrical parts, and she was always defensive about it. “It’s just like a computer, but it has a smaller screen.” I couldn’t imagine looking at that tiny 2” x 6” window to see what I had written. And revising? How could you manage that when you had to use the up and down arrow keys to scroll through every line? While I recognized that I was lucky that my dad was so wild for technology that he’d splurge on a quickly obsolete paperweight for me, I also recognized outgoing technology when I saw it. And secretly laughed at it behind its back.

I never said a word to anyone but my dad about how I really felt about the silly typewriter, but when the “word processor” actually printed the pages, it ground and shrieked and ruined the dorm room’s quiet peace so I’d have to leave. “Oh, I need to go see what Abby is doing down the hall…” I usually just went outside and smoked cigarettes. Sometimes Abby came with me, but usually she wasn’t even in her room.

My roommate and I were both odd and quirky and damaged in our own special ways, and we brought a lot of baggage for a tiny 9’ x 18’ cage. Mentally, we bumped into each other a lot, and suffered the bruises, nursing grudges. We could go from intimate friends to cold strangers and then back again, all within the span of an hour. Even though I was grudge-holder supreme, I could still love her and want to spend all of my time with her. Maybe it was wrong to fight and make up all the time, but that felt normal to me.

When writing research papers for our classes, my roommate liked to swing her legs under her desk while she typed. Although she didn’t type too loudly, the leg-swinging made me a little edgy. “Swish, swish, swish”, her jeans would saw, softly. I preferred total silence when I worked and couldn’t handle the distraction.

“Natalie, can you stop swinging your legs? I can’t concentrate.”

“No,” she’d grumble at me.

Later, when I complained again, she’d quiet-shout, defensively, “It calms me down when I work,” but we were not calm.

All right, I was willing to ignore the leg-swinging. I was making a petty grievance about a small thing anyway. But it still made me restless. I’d end up chain smoking until she went to bed, and then I’d type for the rest of the night, quietly, on my soft laptop.

We moved dorm rooms once, and that’s the point where I can say things really fell apart between us, though I didn’t know it at the time. There were so many ways and so many reasons that we flapped into each other so hard, but one illustrates well: the box.

Somehow, the box for the word processor came to live under Natalie’s desk. It was empty since the typewriter was on top of her desk, but that was where she chose to put it. This was fine until we started writing. I remember I was writing about Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Birth-Mark” and “Rappaccini’s Daughter,” and she was kicking her legs. But, now, instead of just “swish-swish” swinging, Natalie was a drum. “Kick-kick-kick,” she’d swing her legs straight into the empty box, “boom-boom-boom.”

“Natalie, do you have to kick your legs?” I’d whine.

“Yesss!” She’d hiss through her teeth at me.

“Can you move the box? It’s so loud!” I’d whine some more.

“No, there’s no place for it,” she’d hiss again.

By this point, I guess our relationship had deteriorated beyond repair. Everything we did drove each other over the edge, and not just in the “been your roommate too long way.” We were out over a cliff, and neither one of us was heading back. And then “grind, squeal, grind, squeak,” she printed her first draft to proofread.

“I’m gonna go smoke outside,” I lied.

We bumped into each other too many times. We couldn’t escape each other’s personal space: space of sound, of belongings, of desires, and of differences. We were always there, present, occupying room in each other’s lives.

While I was content to forever grate away at each other, she moved out. It came as a total blow, a complete surprise, and she wouldn’t talk to me about it. She just disappeared one day and was gone. Poof. She had new friends and everything.

Six months later, a mutual friend of ours explained what happened, and I was crushed.

“Really? You don’t know why Natalie moved out?” Heather asked me, shocked that I didn’t know. “She’s told everyone else.”

That stung. Everyone was in but me. “No, she never said a word to me. She just moved out.”

“She told everyone you competed with her too much. She said you tried to do better than her on your homework, and that you tried to get more compliments than her by dressing up nicer than her,” Heather explained.

Like a spy novel reveals all the clues at the end of the book, my mind raced to all the little incidents that added up to our break-up. The times she would wait until the last possible second before class to get dressed and then put on a skirt. I’d say, “Oh, I wish I knew you were going to wear a skirt, now I don’t have time to change!” and she’d hurry me out the door.

The time I got a compliment, “You have a beautiful smile.”

“Thank you,” I said politely, flattered.

Natalie shouted, “She wears a retainer!”

The time in class I asked her what grade she got on her paper, and she shouted, “A ‘C,’ OK?”

Stymied didn’t describe what I felt when Heather revealed Natalie’s real motivation to leave. Betrayed might have been closer. I never had any idea Natalie felt that way. I wanted to be her sister, to do everything just like her. I looked up to her and respected her guidance. Everything I wanted to do, I wanted us to do it together, even if it was just wearing skirts on the same day. I was completely oblivious that all I ever heard was the death knell, the “kick-kick-kick,” “boom-boom-boom,” on the empty box, striking down the hours left in our friendship.

In the end, my personal sound space was empty. I finally had the quiet I wanted, but I learned it was awfully lonely in silence. I sat on the floor, staring at Natalie’s empty bed, smoking cigarettes one after the other. My heart went “Boom. Boom. Boom,” in the empty room.

My new favorite quote

My favorite movie quote used to be, "Names is for tombstones, baby!" uttered by Mr. Big (aka Yaphet Kotto) in Live and Let Die.

It's been replaced.

Last night we watched The Killers 1946 version, based on Ernest Hemingway's Nick Adams stories. In the final scene, Lt. Sam Lubinsky says to Kitty Collins, "Don't ask a dying man to lie his soul into hell."

Beautiful.

Mairzy doats

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, my favorite faux Irish ditty:

Mairzy doats and dozy doats and liddle lamzy divey
A kiddley divey too, wouldn't you?
Yes! Mairzy doats and dozy doats and liddle lamzy divey
A kiddley divey too, wouldn't you?

If the words sound queer and funny to your ear, a little bit jumbled and jivey
Sing "Mares eat oats and does eat oats and little lambs eat ivy"

Oh! Mairzy doats and dozy doats and liddle lamzy divey
A kiddley divey too, wouldn't you-oo?
A kiddley divey too, wouldn't you?


Now isn't that fun? My little sister taught it to me many years ago. I would sing it all the time if wouldn't drive everyone else bonkers.

Hope all your Irish hangovers are mild and well-nursed, and may the ground always rise up to meet your feet.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

A date to remember

Not only does today mark the Ides of March, famous for the assassination of Julius Caesar (Et tu, Brute?), but today also marks the one year anniversary of my blog. When I started writing, I wondered what would happen. Thanks, dear readers, for making this a fabulous journey.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

“I Hate New York”

I loved the Janus-faced bitch-goddess “New York” on “Flavor of Love.” She didn’t stoop to anyone’s level or rise to anyone’s level, she was her own level; love it, shove it, she was just her. I never saw her defend her actions or apologize for being herself, no matter how nasty or classy she could be. No one was scarier, no one was more unrelatable, but no one was more captivating to watch.

But “I Love New York” drove a dagger in my heart, and now every time I see it in my cable channel guide, I feel bile and disgust and quickly scroll away. “New York,” aka Tiffany, didn’t hurt me herself, but her suitors made me turn away from the beautiful “I Love New York” train wreck.

On an episode, the crew were hanging out in the pool and hot tub, trying to out-drink and out-flirt one another, and an intense massage session broke out. I laughed at Tiffany, I laughed at her ridiculous suitors: they were all TV edited stereotypes and two-dimensional fragments, what’s not to laugh at? Until the massage episode.

I suddenly flashed back to the blurry days of college and remembered all the back rubs and face massages and occasional full-bodies I gave and received, and I remembered how much I loved the constant touching between my intimate group of friends. Tiffany had group massage partners, where had all of mine gone? Who touches me like that, all the time, with only the expectation that I return the favor?

I mentioned before, how much I love touch. I love touch so much, I don’t think one person could touch me enough, hence my disgust at Tiffany’s situation, with all her suitors taking turns to rub and stroke her oiled body.

Why does such a cartoon character get all the pampering I crave? Why does someone who seems so ungrateful, looking back to her unrelentingly unapologetic behavior, get what I too deserve? I have to pay to get that level of touch, not get paid for it.

I miss those college rubdowns and the friendly, endorphin-filled, inexpert deep-tissue touches. After I clicked off the TV in disgust, I yelled at my husband, “Why don’t you massage me more?” And I realized, one person could never be enough touch for me.

I picked up the phone and scheduled several student massages at the local school. I may have to pay for it, but I’ll feel “New York’s” love.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The 80's girl band power struggle lives on

Karaoke started innocently enough, but the next thing I knew, I was listening to the radio and my iPod for next perfect song to perform. And then I was hooked. Moderately obsessed, but I swear not full-on obsessed. I haven’t started buying karaoke discs to take with me or anything (true litmus test). I did get my own microphone, but that’s because I’m a psycho germaphobe. No expectorate sharing. Practical, right, for the paranoid germ psychotic?

The reason I love karaoke so much is that my friend hosts a modified Japanese style karaoke with an American twist. He even has a snappy name for it, Jerryoke, a pun on the beginning of his last name. We meet in his home on monthly Friday nights, and we wail away in privacy, amongst our closest friends. No one to judge your song choice, no one to disdain your mediocre (or worse) singing, no one to rate how cool you are based on your performance. Unencumbered fun, no trepidation over appearance.

And I’ve found Jerryoke to be a release. “Let go,” Jerryoke says to me. “It’s OK to be your rock-n-roll car sing-along self, here, in Jerryoke’s home.”

What makes Jerryoke the Japanese cum American experience is that aside from the privacy and friendliness of the experience (Japanese), anyone can choose to sing along, not just the song requester (American). Whoever likes a song jumps up, grabs a microphone, or just shouts along without a mic, and we all sing together. The camaraderie is profound in the unified communal catharsis of singing. It’s fun.

One night, my friend--whose voice is more suited to New Order than The Go-Go’s--and I sang “Vacation” in unison at Jerryoke. He said, “Good, your voice can hide my crappy singing.” We went to sit down after we finished, flushed with conquering The Go-Go’s, and I felt so close to him.

“What song do you want to do next?” I asked Davis.

“Mm, maybe ‘Head Over Heels,’ but you do back-up.”

Woah. Davis just told me my voice was good over his, but now he wanted to relegate me to back-up? And in case you didn’t know, back-up on pretty much any Go-Go’s song is “Ahhh-Ahhhh-Ahh” and repeat.

“Really? We can’t both be Belinda Carlisle?”

“No, you can be Jane Wiedlin on this one. I’ve been practicing and I think I’m ready.” This from a 300-pound dude with a basso-baritone voice—or something rumbly and deep sounding.

It turned out we didn’t sing again that night, so I avoided the Belinda Carlisle/Jane Wiedlin power struggle. I figured he was at least slightly joking, so I teased him about it.

Feb 19 email:

ok, so our next song can be head over heels if you want. but after that, we're doing "candy" by iggy pop and kate pierson. it was made for us.

-Christine

Later, I asked him to join us at Jerryoke:

Feb 23 e-mail:

nope, can't do it tonight, but practice the harmonies on "Head over
Heels," I've been working on that one in the car.

it should be pretty easy, you just need to do the "right from the starting line" harmony and the aaaaaaaah-AH! AAAAAAAH-ah! part.

I want to learn that piano part, too. Like I can't play anything on piano but I could nail that one solo just to blow people's minds. If Charlotte Caffey can rock it while dressed up like an 80s housewife in the video with a sweater and a poet's tie and everything just so no one could tell she was a totally horsed-out stone junkie, then so can I.

Oh, Charlotte, who ever guessed that you and Gina would age the most gracefully?

Davis.

E-mail response:

i made sure to put it on my ipod LAST NIGHT! so i'll start listening RIGHT NOW!!!

we rock.

-Christine

Double woah. He’s really serious about this back-up stuff. The awareness of the correct back-up vocals locations, the deep analysis of the pianist, it all points to Dread Pirate “Head Over Heels.”

Later, he told me I could have lead vocals on “Vacation” if he could have “Head Over Heels.” What sucks is that “Vacation” was my go-to song for so long that I’m over it. I want “Head Over Heels!” And it’s Jerryoke I’m (moderately) addicted to, not karaoke—we should all sing lead vocals on “Head Over Heels” together if that’s what we want.

But, you know, if it means that much to him, I’ll learn the “Ahhh-Ahhhh-Ahhs.” I was enamored with Belinda Carlisle in the ‘80’s, but I like ‘00’s Jane Wiedlin better than ‘00’s Belinda Carlise anyway.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Just in case

I'm a nerd. A library nerd. I keep track of my reader stats (but don't worry, I don't monitor your IP addresses or anything; I don't actually want to stalk you.). I know that of my ten readers (I love you guys and gals), all of you hit my blog on Mondays. And I love you also for being so reliable, in my nerdy, uptight, librarian way.

But, here's the catch: I'm not feeling so well.

I didn't want to disappoint my Monday readers with no news or updates, but I'm feeling a little malaise. Not full-on death flu or anything, just not up to good writing.

I have three topics on my upcoming blog agenda, and they're right here next to my desk, so when I can do it, I'm on it. And they're funny, not existential. So you get a reprieve from my self-tormented angst.

For temporary entertainment purposes, here's the two new swears I'm working on popularizing: whore bag and cunt sandwich. Feel free to use them liberally--the more the merrier. Use mostly in the car, if you're modest like me, where no one can here you. Or use on public transit, where people will assume you're just a crazy. Former favorite: fuck sucker. That fell out of use when the two people I used it with most got tired of it. That was a shame.

Love you babies,
Christine Wy

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

It's cookie time

I just bought a box of Darjeeling black tea that happened to come in a purple box. That purple box is the exact shade of a box of Girl Scout Cookie Samoas. Every time I catch a glimpse of Darjeeling out of my right eye's peripheral vision, I get hungry for a Samoa. Fortunately, I have no Samoas, or else they would be gone by now, considering how many times I've looked at the Darjeeling box.

Part of me is sad and part of me is glad that the Darjeeling box hasn't morphed into the Samoa box. I think I'll put it away now.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Temporary spaces

I love small talk with strangers. Strangers who get that the conversation has a limited time for a few quips and details, that it has to be light and breezy, and that, most importantly, the conversation has entertainment value.

I just flew back and forth to Kentucky, and, oddly, I remember only one airport conversation, which is weird, because I find it is the second most fertile ground for small talk with strangers (in air being first). I’ve had some fabulous conversations about injection molded plastics, pharmaceutical sales, and various locales visited.

My trip to Kentucky started with me arriving too early at the airport, due to my fear of being late for flights. The first gent to sit next to me radiated a sour disposition, and—I swear—he wiggled. Like OCD wiggled. He had a newspaper and he worked the crossword puzzle. Had he been a man who radiated “airport talker,” I would have told him I’d help with the hard parts when he got stuck, which would have led to a fun crossword puzzle conversation. Nope. Not this freak-a-zoid. Instead, he stood up and walked to the window, looking out at the empty tarmac. There, he jiggled his pants. A lot. Remember the wiggling I just mentioned? He wiggled his pants. Personally, I think he was scratching his crotch. A lot. And I think he should see a doctor. Either a psychiatrist or a urologist, I don’t care which.

Fortunately, due to his standing, a woman sat next to me. She was infinitely more pleasant—she had the “good talker” vibe.

“What do you think of the new McDonald’s coffee?” I asked her.

“I don’t know yet; it’s too hot to drink and this is my first.”

I told her I thought it was OK, but still not my ideal cuppa joe.

Somehow we segued into antiques collecting.

“My friend goes to estate sales a lot, and he gets some great things, but I just don’t have the energy to keep track of when they’re happening,” I told her.

“Well, estate sales are nice, but I prefer the antique markets.”

I asked, “Do you have one you prefer?”

She said, “Oh, the one in [Samich]* is great. It’s not a flea market, it’s a real antique show, and you can get great things there.”

“Great! Thanks for the tip.” And then it was time to board. Perfect airport conversation.

This morning, I had a small talk with a stranger on the third best place for small talk, the bus.

“I wondered if anyone was going to take this seat next to me,” he said, gesturing at the crowded bus.

“Oh I wasn’t going to miss it!” I laughed. “You have to wait to see if anyone else wants it, then there’s that period of time where it’s OK to take it if no one else wants to sit.”

“Yeah, the unspoken bus etiquette,” he said.

“You know,” I said to him, “when my alarm went of this morning, I asked myself if it was Saturday, and I was so happy.”

He laughed, “Not quite. Although I can’t wait until this Saturday.”

I raised my eyebrow at him and tried to look engaging.

“I had to work through all last weekend,” he explained.

“Yeah, I took a second job to build my resume, and it’s wearing me out.”

Then we commenced the “what do you do?” part of the conversation.

We ended up talking about the nature of information and information consumption since I’m a librarian and he worked with data. Then, my stop, “Have a good day!”

“Enjoy your Saturday, ha hah!”

Perfect end to just a little small talk.

* I have no idea what word, city, or town she actually said to me.

Something I never do

I made a list of recommendations for my pal in Louisville while I was there. I never really list links here because I don't want anyone else to see that there are better writers than me. Seriously, I'm that paranoid. But as a refresher for my friend (and as a tutorial for my readers), here's what I had to say about blogs and movies:

Blogs of note:
Tokyo Girl Down Under, http://tokyo-girl.blogspot.com/
Dooce, http://www.dooce.com/
(For the diametrical opposite of my friend's anti-consumerism ideals) Stephanie Klein, http://stephanieklein.blogs.com/
Mimi Smartypants, http://smartypants.diaryland.com/
Leah Peah, http://leahpeah.com/blog/
(Not updated enough, but,) Things My Boyfriend Says, http://www.thingsmyboyfriendsays.com/
(Defunct but briefly hilarious) The Daily Lush, http://www.dailylush.com/
(Not a blog but...) McSweeney's Internet Tendency, http://mcsweeneys.net/


Movies I wish you'd see (if you haven't already):
Lives of Others
Children of Men
Departed
Lucky Number Slevin
Brick

And ... I can't remember the rest of the list.

** Addendum 3-7-07: This post contained something else I never do (or strive not to): it was titled with a typo until my husband pointed it out. All those times I've corrected his grammar just paid off.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Most Amazing Thing Ever

As a long-term reader of the blog you probably know I have long-term pain. I've been in increasing chronic pain up until it's leveled off pretty recently. The most amazing treatment you can imagine? Feldenkrais. For realsies. It teaches your body new muscle memory (and feels better than a massage).

As a pain update, the diagnosis of undifferentiated arthritis is kapoot. I'm now diagnosed as fibromyalgia. So now I have something new to research.

I never believed in fibromyalgia, it sounded like a medical excuse to say they don't know why stuff hurts, but now that I know more I think I get it. I'm starting new medicine (not exactly pain-killers, FYI), but it's making me super tired. Snorrre. I hope this is what I need to feel better.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Teens on poetry

2:57 A.M.; April, 25, 1992

Kiss of the fairy on your brow,
Kiss of the temptress on your chin.
Sigh of the devil, mark of the beast;
Precious love, the fairy can read your lies.
You appeal to her innocence – pray she won’t see;
But that was your mistake – and she won’t pay the price.
Poor fairy, see what you’ve done?
Or maybe you can’t – hardened by your foolish pride.
Her youth and innocence you wanted to taint;
But laugh at her now, she’s lost all she had.
You’ve hurt the fairy, you’ve broken her heart;
But what more could be expected, sweet fairy let you in her soul.
When did you quit loving, when would you set her free?
Had you planned on keeping her on a string – a last resort when the other could not be found?
Or had you planned, said you’d play it by ear,
But now my precious, come to grips with fairy’s fear.
Goodbye sweet fairy, don’t kiss her away,
But turn to the other, and hope that she’ll stay.


Strangely, this incomprehensible gibberish outlines pretty much all of my relationships up until I got married. I invested in the wrong guy, got played, and wrote bad poetry about it. I even remember the guy this poem was about and who he pretended like he wasn't sleeping with while we were dating. He lived on Lowell Street, in Louisville. Part of me wonders what happened to him, but most of me never thinks of him at all.

I love you

From the other room I hear, "Shgee-tee-aim?"

"Almost"

"Shgee-tee-aim?"

"No, Shje-tem"

"Oh," I think, "They're reading 'Je'taime' off the stuffed animal dog." At least someone got it right ;)