28 March 2008

je m'appelle ima peon

i am finally and officially demoted at work! no longer will i hear people calling my name to deal with the freight dock or take phone calls from internal sources. now begins the time when i can tell people that i'm not in charge of anything and they'll have to ask my supervisor. free to inhabit slackerville at last, i'm a glorious part-time employee.

you didn't honestly think i'd depart from responsibility just to sit on my butt and eat bonbons, did you? nope. i've taken on some contract work over the next few months to keep me busy and make extra money. in the meantime, i fully intend to get around to a few of those projects always saved for "when i have time" and basically get a life.

megan and i went to a museum yesterday sometime between sushi and gelato. they had the cutest little exhibit of british and american screenprinting. we also stopped by the gourmet shop to see ladonna and do some wedding planning for megan. (she is completely UNbridal and thus super fun to help with wedding plans.) i was inspired to buy gifts for people - a feat that really doesn't take much motivation for me - and go home to play with my tape and glue to make things more festive. tonight we're off to the ballet with some out-of-town friends. am i cultural or what?

of course, my "side projects" will be taking a ton of time as well. between the teaching and directing and cleaning up the house i think i'll be able to stay busy enough so that i won't be tempted to regret my decision to step down from my other job. the timing seems to be right for a change. last week i thought about what kind of a person i really want to be. it's been a while since i really contemplated that. oh sure, there have been passing thoughts, but on the whole i was too busy simply functioning to move forward. now i'm going somewhere. i have no idea where.

for fuck's sake, that's a scary thought.

beh. i'm luckier than most. i'll just go with it for now. it can't be any suckier than not sleeping enough and then being stressed out all the time over nothing really while you wonder to yourself, "is this really my life?" totally sucky, and boring to boot. i mean, REALLY.

exciting cultural plans before the ballet:
getting a potholder
depositing checks
taking holly to stare at chinchillas

22 March 2008

rice is nice

did you know that you can have dessert for breakfast? i did, especially when you call it something foofy like "baked french toast" and make it with challah bread, banana and kahlua. sounds really fancy even though it's just an assembly process. throw in some eggs, milk, liquor left over from when tim and mary came over, cinnamon and nutmeg (of course), sprinkle with chopped banana and a bit of sugar. butter up a baking dish and throw it in the oven until it's done. when it's this simple and idiot-proof, even i can operate in the kitchen. see? i CAN make f-u-d and make it edible!

the thing i've figured out is this: i can't make just normal stuff like chicken or casserole or what have you. you want a lamb brisket with pears and cream? i'm your girl. how about a thai curry pizza? no problemo. caesar asparagus soup? fuhgeddaboutit. maybe i'm just a fancy person that goes into a fancy trance when i really want french toast. if you ask me to make a simple chicken breast? you might want to check it first so that you don't die during dinner. the one very basic thing i can cook with ease is rice. in just about any form of preparation, i seem to slide by this land mine effortlessly.

from what i've learned after talking to people who can actually cook, cooking rice is a sort of art form. over and over again, i've heard tales from people that they just can't make it turn out quite the way they like it no matter what they try. kris and i once decided that it's a magical equation when rice is involved. the better you are around the kitchen, the more difficult it is for you to make perfect rice on the fly. as you learn to cook, your rice skills go down in reactionary fashion. conversely, people like me can do a beautifully crispy light brown top on a persian rice almost by accident. the laws of physics do not apply in my kitchen. it was only a few nights ago that i threw some rice into a soup as a thickener. a few stirs later it was already at the perfect consistency. ta-dah!

maybe what i'm really good at is accessorizing. i DO have fabulous scarves. my office supplies are to die for, and let's not even go there about my cool socks. dressing up respectably for a job interview is a complete nightmare. throwing on plaids and stripes doesn't give me a second thought. food must be the same way for me. baked french toast is just a breakfast dish with a nice hair clippy. plain french toast is more like a mullet in my fumbly hands. but the rice magic? a great basic with a good fit for a lot of occasions. hmmmm...that's kind of a mystery. it might be more like jeans.

my favorite things this week:
  • ren and stimpy postcards (a gift from bonnie)
  • the "cute fly" on zhen's etsy shop.
  • my new hair. all black and red and brown and choppy with permanent sticky-uppy parts. "i coulda been a contusion."
  • calling my oldest brother "pissy chrissy" to shut him down during an argument. no, it's fine - it was a fun argument. we argue for sport in my family!
  • stuart sitting with me and muttering to himself in meows.
  • venuszine

18 March 2008

sticky lips mcgluey

today is a weird day. it might be more like a weird week.

i did get out my faboo reels of gooey tape and wrap packages. sure it was only things i had sold online, but i heart tape. adhesive in general totally rules. as i get more into the habit of sticking things to other things, i'll have to fire up he hot glue gun and undoubtedly injure myself. truth be told, a good old glue stick is my true fave. glue sticks are non-toxic, see? safety is important in my house. i'm a train wreck who has been known to get her lip stuck to the crazy glue tube. it was a really long time ago and i've learned my lesson since then. okay, so it was within the past couple months. like maybe last month. and i haven't used any crazy glue since then for fear of something worse happening. my only defense? the way it snuck up on me made sense at the time, and once i explain it to you, it'll all seem logical and you'll stop making fun of me.

my shower curtain did not have magnets built into the liner. it's more like just a giant plastic sheet (courtesy of those thrifty folks at ikea) with little animals and chicken monster thingies all over it. we've embellished the shower curtain with some sharpie work to add more color so it looks pretty cool. the only problem is that there seems to be some sort of backdraft wind gust going on in my bathroom. the chicken monsters would go on full attack when the water is turned on, so if you wanted to rinse off without having the curtain going all boa constrictor, you would have to hold an arm all the way out and shield yourself while batting repeatedly like a kitten with a ball of yarn in order to protect yourself from the onslaught de plastique. i'm not the type to throw out a perfectly good shower curtain just because it thought it was a body bag in motion. however, showering was becoming a chore and i didn't want to stink.

we made a trip to the craft store and got a fat roll of self-sticking magnetic strip. what a seemingly perfect solution... that was ultimately no match at all for the hurricane that whipped up the next time i went to take a shower. not only did the magnetic strip not hold to the side of the tub, it fell off entirely, causing soapy me to just about bite the dust and have one of those embarrassing "here's how she died in a stooopid home accident" stories be told about me after death. not wanting to end up as a tee-hee-hee sort of news footnote, further measures were required. however, i was going through an unmotivated period in my life.

i tried to reason with my bathroom. i turned the fan off and on. i left the door open at varying amounts. i even took a shower in the dark, just in case that would scare the breeze away. after a few months of being annoyed by this - i was going through an unmotivated period - it was finally time to make a trip to the craft store for some extra strong button magnets to fix the situation.

here's a warning for you: they can make magnets that really are extra strong. handle these magnets with some care if you're prone to accidents. don't tear into them with a sharp knife that'll get stuck to them. that plastic is thin. once you realize that you're about to slice off your elbow and let go of the whole package, they'll fly willy nilly all over the tub. don't yank them off the tub just because you lost your grip on them. you'll only succeed in flying backwards with a handful of magnets and bonking your head on the tile behind you while getting pelted in the eyeball with a magnet or two before they all get stuck to the bottom of the tub when you really wanted them on the shower curtain anyway. and just to let you know something else, you should plot out where you're going to put the magnets along the bottom of the curtain without having the cats help you. they are not there to help. they only want attention. lastly, once you put the glue on the magnet, make sure you have the glue side pointed towards the curtain. if you don't, you will have successfully just let glue dry for no reason on the wrong side and have to repeat the process again. on several magnets. after you thought you were done and flung the curtain aside to get out of an invisible puddle that was in the tub making your butt wet.

in all of this "hypothetical" magnet chaos, i DID manage to get the glue onto the right spots and finish the job. i even avoided a tragedy by pulling the tube out of my hair in a microsecond after dropping the lid and lurching sideways to get it before the drain could have a snack. it bobbed left, i weaved right, the tube of glue went up as my head went down. my catlike reflexes saved the day, as well as my hair, and i waited the appropriate however many felt right and like ti should probably be dry by now seconds before emerging triumphant.

i was trying to blow the glue back down the end of the tube so it wouldn't get clogged. it just irks me to waste money on a gobbedy tube of glue. i had already cut the tip a few times beforehand to solve the previous clogging issues. and those "single use" packs? there's always too much or not enough for whatever thing i'm working on at the moment. so of course if you just give a half squeeze to the glue tube to create some suction, it should all go right back in when you release the tube. just to be certain, you could help it along with a puff of air to get things rolling and all should be righted - voila! put the cap back on and you've got a fully useable leftover squeeze for when you really need some stick. voila, right? voila until the tube is hanging off your face like a truck stop dishwasher's cigarette.

if you have said unfortunate facial situation, do not scream. it will only induce humiliation when whomever is in the house comes to see what is wrong with you. even the cats will judge you for such folly. do not rip the tube off of your face while you're getting the bright idea to go and hunt down the nail polish remover that doesn't even have any acetone in it and wouldn't help anyway. just remain calm and think about which scarf goes best with the colors on the tube. you'll be wearing that scarf every day from now on.

okay, so maybe go ahead and rip it off. you might get lucky. you might be creatively inspired in that second of sheer pain to come up with an awesome story about your latest gnarly pimple and people will pretend they don't even notice it because they're trying to be polite. they're really too worried about their own pimples anyway. you might get away with no commentary at all. you might just live in secret shame and prolonged fear of crazy glue. NOW you can scream. again.

it'll all be worth it in the end, though. your shower curtain will be fixed and you still won't need to spend any extra money on a new tube of glue. aren't you glad you know how to budget?

my latest musical buys:
china forbes - '78
golfrapp - seventh tree
(p.s. has anyone heard much of juliette and the licks yet?)

16 March 2008

self-imposed exile

nearly every day at one point or another, i write a little blog entry in my head. it's usually when i'm at work and ignoring people. or maybe when i'm driving home and talking to myself about the stories on npr. regardless, each time i tell myself that "i'm going to get back on that horse" once i get home. after several failures to follow through (and don't think i'm under the impression that anyone is angry with me here. i'm just musing upon my own falterings) i began to wonder what the hell is going on with me.

over these past months i've felt really isolated. it has been extremely difficult for me to connect to people. even in person, i'm somewhat detached and aloof. the simple question of "how are you today?" has been met with a long blank stare from me. "i don't know, how am i supposed to know?" i say to people. am i depressed? i don't think so. anxious? maybe a bit. for the most part i am just an observer of my everyday life, unlikely and unwilling to get excited about participation.

it would seem to me that i've hit a phase of autopilot. i buy art supplies with no intention of using them. when i go to the grocery store alone, i just roll past most of the food without putting anything in the cart except creamer for my coffee. music comes home with me and i never listen to it. i eschew the theatre and any other live performances. i feel less than sincere in dealing with people in general. not insincere, mind you. just vapid. if an overcast day were to take human form, it would be me.

on the up side of things, this also makes me a blank slate. what do you do with a blank slate when it's only been giving you writers' block up until now? wiped clean of any ambition or planning, i stagnated in place. i waited. i stared. i waited and drank coffee. and then...

i got sick of it. i laughed, i cried, i screamed. literally. mary said it best: "if this were your boyfriend, we'd have all told you to break up with him by now." though the statement was only in reference to one facet of things, it hit me like a brick. she was so right! my isolation is a bizarre side effect of an abusive relationship with my own life.

we're breaking up. thank you mary.

my next projects:
getting demoted at work, by my own choosing
directing teenagers
playing with my glue collection