lists

Consumables #149 Watching: 2015 Films

Oscars! Why do I watch them? I started to make a list, and after I wrote “outfits” I couldn’t think of another reason. Do I think they are relevant? Not really, and that doesn’t even take into consideration the #OscarsSoWhite stuff. But now that you mention it, once you add that in, I pretty much think the Oscars should be flushed down the crapper.

Instead of talking about Oscar nominees, I give you my own top ten list of 2015 movies, for your perusal and/or flushing down crapper needs.

Spotlight: Lookee that! I started with an Oscar-y one. I loved that this movie was about systemic, institutional issues, without leaving the individuals involved out of it either. It’s a heart slicer of a movie.

Diary of a Teenage Girl: Teen girl learning to navigate sexy business, told with such specificity and care. It’s dire, and hopeful, and funny, and sad, and scary, and embarrassing, and beautiful.

Tangerine: A day in the life of a woman trying to track down her cheating boyfriend/pimp, her tenderhearted best friend, and the taxi driver who frequents their neighborhood. Filmed entirely on an iPhone, for Pete’s sake.

Dope: A group of geek friends in Inglewood, in love with 80s hip hop culture and founders of their own punk band, have to figure out what to do when some drugs get left with them by accident.

Wolfpack and Charlies’ Country: I just told you about both of these but I loved them so much I couldn’t leave them off the list.

Spy: This was the most fun movie I saw in 2015.

Iris: She is a badass. And the clothes!

Dior and I: Also, clothes! I like to look at clothes movies, y’all.

Ballet 422: Hi, have you met me? This one is so obvious it’s sort of embarrassing.

 

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Why I will make a great retired person

Most of my weekends are full of activity. Every once in a while, my calendar is totally open, which means I get to do whatever I wish. This weekend was such a weekend, and I find it telling that “whatever I wish” is decidedly geriatric.

Here was my Saturday.

1. Woke up at 7am, because, you know, that’s sleeping in.

2. Had a cup of tea and literally counted my leftover change and rolled it up.

3. Did laundry, dishes, vacuumed, dusted, and paid bills all before 10am.

4. Wandered over to Biogirl’s house.

5. Had a leisurely brunch with the bff.

6. Went into the garden store next to the brunch place.

7. Went on a stroll around Green Lake.

8. Found the Parfait ice cream truck, and had a scoop in the sun.

9. Complained to each other about the cafe chairs on the sidewalk we ended up sitting in (her: “this cuts off my circulation in the back of my legs!” me: “these chairs make my butt fall asleep!”)

10. Came home and watched David McCullough being interviewed on tv while ironing Nordic Boy’s work shirts.

11. Read a book, while listening to Vivaldi.

12. Looked at some old photos of friends I miss and felt terribly nostalgic.

13. Opened up all my windows, put my feet up on my couch, and “rested my eyes.”

14. Made a simple dinner of rice, beans and veggies with Nordic Boy.

15. Watched a movie under a blanket and ate cherries for dessert.

16. Did a crossword in bed.

I really hope my generation will be able to retire, because I am seriously going to rock that shit.

Sunlove

Me: Look at all the people riding their bikes and gardening and walking around outside!
Biogirl: The first sunny Saturday and people are going bananas trying to soak it up before it’s gone again.
Me: Totally.
Biogirl: What’s Nordic Boy doing today?
Me: Going to the dump.
Biogirl: Everyone has their own way of being excited by spring, I suppose.

*****

Ways in which my weekend rocketh mine hizzy outeth.

1. Sun! Sun! Sun! It was in the mid-sixties, people! And dry! And sun! You should have seen all the Seattle vampires squinting! Love.

2. Biogirl and I went up north and stood around on the grounds of a winery. As you do. There was grass, and ducks, and middle aged white dudes in Tommy Bahama outfits. It felt anthropological.

3. Had a lovely lunch at Cafe Flora.

4. Went with Biogirl to the ice cream joint where we got yelled at that one time. The workers there were super nice today. I felt suspicious of this, like it was a trap or something.

5. Went to Seward Park with Nordic Boy and walked the loop.

6. Walked over to my neighborhood book store and chatted with the booksellers. I love that I have friendly neighborhood booksellers.

7. Walked over to Greenlake, and on the way home, ran into lovely Linda and her cute doggie. I also love walking down the street and seeing friendly faces.

8. Got all the weekly chores done. Groceries, menu planning, laundry, cleaning, bills, done. Look y’all, I am a grown up!

9. Sat on my stoop and talked to my folks on the phone, barefooted. Did I mention there was sun?

10. TURNED THE HEAT OFF.

It’s now Monday and back to rain, but that’s ok. I’m still feeling weekend afterglow. I’ll be back to my regularly scheduled rain rage tomorrow.

New Year Meme

I do it almost every year, so here it is again…

1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?

I got laid off. (I know I never told you guys about that, but don’t worry, I’m ok, I have a different but similar job to what I had before, with the same library system).

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
None last year, and sort of for this year. I had to make them about not changing stuff, instead of changing stuff, because I am ornery like that.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes! My favorite librarian friend, Ol’ Soggypants (aka The Soggy Librarian). Also, some other friends too. Yay bebes!

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No. This has been the first year in a few years that I’ve been able to say no to that question. I hope it’s the beginning of a good streak.

5. What countries did you visit?
Leavenworth. Hey, anywhere that boasts that much lederhosen is a foreign country as far as I am concerned.

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
Less work stress. There is a little voice in my mind saying “fat chance, lady!” but I am ignoring that voice.

7. What date from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
That getting laid off day was a doozie. Also, my birthday, both because it was my birthday which was full of fun stuff, and also because my dad went back to the hospital that day, and I found out about my new job that day, which is sort of the perfect metaphor for my life. Big happy stuff, and big sad stuff all mixed together for me to figure out.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I felt like I got through some sticky work days with my integrity still in tact. (I am sort of hating the fact that work is figuring so largely into this list. Not like me at all, goddamn 2010).

9. What was your biggest failure?
I want to be a dick about the word “failure,” but instead I will play nice and answer the question. I tried to be there for a friend, and that friend was totally not receptive, and so I let go of it, and I felt like a failure for that one for a while. But then I realized that sometimes not being there for someone is actually being there for someone, because if that’s what they need from you, then there you go. See how I rationalize things?

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nope. I was healthy this year, which I’m super thankful for.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Sad to say it was the poop pipe replacement, because poop transport is super important. On a more fun note, my tickets to see plays and dance shows and art shows were definitely my favorite.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Biogirl, for getting a new job and a new place to live. Way to get it done, lady. Also, Nordic Boy, just because of his unrelenting daily awesomeness. Consistent guy, he is.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Shit, I don’t even want to talk about it.

14. Where did most of your money go?
I can’t believe the poop pipe is being mentioned again! Those things are super expensive, man.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
The fact that Biogirl moved in down the street from me! In fact, just thinking about it I have to say eeeeee! all over again. Also, visiting my folks, Nordic Boy’s folks, Alli and Chris, and seeing Map. Also, still having a job was not so much exciting but a relief the size of planet earth.

16. What song will always remind you of 2010?
I’ll save that til the end of the list.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
– happier or sadder? both
– richer or poorer? richer, I think, but just by a little
– thinner or fatter? the same (and I can’t tell you how much I think that question is fucked up)

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
I had a ton of fun this year, but I wish I’d had even more. Greedy bastard.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Driving.

20. How did you spend the holidays?
Equal parts at home having cozy times with Nordic Boy and visiting with various friends. Good stuff.

21. Did you fall in love in 2010?
I’ve been in freefall for some time now.

22. How many one-night stands?
None. God, one-night stands were the worst. Who ever thought that was a good idea? I was a dumb young lady.

23. What was your favorite TV program?
The Daily Show/Colbert Report. And So You Think You Can Dance. Oh shut up, you watch dumb tv too.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
I can only think of one person that I truly can say I hate. And I have hated them for a few years. Unfortunately, I think that the hatred levels might have gone up a little this year.

25. What was the best book you read?
Looking over my list of things read this year, there were very few things that rocked my world. I must have just picked poorly. However, I loved Tales from Outer Suburbia, by Shaun Tan. Not published in 2010, but still, it was new to me.

26. What was your favorite film of this year?
Hard one! I liked The King’s Speech, and I Am Love, and Herb and Dorothy, and The American. Oh I don’t know what my favorite was.

27. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?
Just me being me. I like to dress up.

28 Whom did you miss?
The usual suspects: my folks, my many faraway loved ones.

29. Who was the best new person you met?
To be literal about the term “new person,” The Soggy Librarian’s little munchkin is pretty awesome.

30. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010.
Sometimes you just have to let people be. Let them be sad, or assholey, or absent, or jagoffs, or flakey. It doesn’t matter how there for them you want to be, or how good your reasons are for wanting things to be different. Sometimes what you want just doesn’t matter. That’s what I learned this year. That sounds way more depressing than it really is. Learning it actually has made me feel better about stuff. Go figure.

Almost forgot #16. This is the song that reminds me of this year.

A Whole Old Me!

As you might know by now, I am not a big New Year’s Resolution sort of person. I think that I am growing and changing all the time, sometimes with intention and sometimes not, and I tend to shy away from anything that smacks of “becoming a whole new you!” because I think that can go haywire in my mind in a heartbeat. I know too many people that always seem to be on this treadmill of new starts and fresh beginnings and big changes, but yet nothing really seems to change ever. I also know a lot people who make New Year’s Resolutions and make some really positive changes in their lives, so I know it can go either way. For me though, I remain New Year’s Irresolute.

Now that I have been in a state of bonafide, cardcarrying, homeowning, responsibility-having adulthood for some years now, I do think that there are things that we leave behind as we get older, some of which are good (stirrup pants, I don’t miss you), but some of which are not. So this year, instead of making a list of new things I want to do and acquire and accomplish, I am going to make a list of old things that I want to keep and treasure and build on. Rather than making a whole new me, I want to keep the things about the old me that are pretty cool and not let them drift away just because I am becoming an old lady. New Year’s Resolutions can be (not always, I know) about changing the things we don’t like about ourselves and our lives. How about we take some time this new year to hang on to some stuff that is awesome about ourselves instead? Go ahead, ruminate on what is awesome about your life. And resolve to not let that stuff go.

In no particular order:

1. Being open to new friends.
I’ve met some really cool people this year. I have also grown closer to people that were acquaintances before, but are becoming pals now. I’ve also reconnected with people that I was once close to who drifted away and then came back again. There was a period right after undergrad in my 20s where I thought to myself: making friends is so much harder now that I am not in school. Will I never make another new friend ever again? I really thought that. That phase ended though, thankee Jebus, and in the years since I have met some ridiculously good friends. And I have learned how to make friends based on things more substantial than a shared experience or setting. I make friends now because I think someone is kind, and funny, and smart. Mostly kind. Doesn’t matter if they’re the same age as me or like the same things or even live near me (hi, blog friends!). I have so many people to love, and I’m going to keep that door open.

2. Saying yes to stuff.
This is something I do well, but I can see this getting harder as I get older, and I want to keep on being a person who says yes to stuff. It’s easy, as we know ourselves better, to think we have a complete handle on all of our likes and dislikes. I am The Person That Does Not Like Christmas, for example. But you know what? Who says? Maybe there is a situation where I would like Christmasy stuff, in some form or another. So if I get the opportunity, I should, at the very least, consider saying yes. And for some of those considerations, I should actually say yes. Saying yes to stuff has gotten me tubing down a river this year, and playing poker with a super fun group of people, and attending parties given by people that I didn’t know very well and were intimidated by, but turned out to be awesome. And yes, doing some fun Christmas things too. In all of these situations, my first inclination was to say no. But I considered. And then I reconsidered. Good job, me.

3. Um, also saying no to stuff.
This may seem counter to what I just said, but sue me, it’s my blog. I am also good at saying no to stuff. By this I mean I am good at saying no to stuff that is toxic. Like, people that make me feel bad. I see those people coming and I have no problem whatsoever saying no. I want to keep doing that. Also, saying no to social things when I need to sit my ass down and rest. And saying no to buying stuff that I don’t need or can’t afford. These are good times to say no, and Ima keep doing that.

4. Making sleep a priority.
I am a bad sleeper. Terrible. So I have learned that I have to get myself to bed at a decent hour as much as possible, and get up at a decent hour as much as possible. I have been doing better with this, and so I shall continue.

5. Be a good friend.
This is one of my life goals that I think about all the time. I really want to be a good friend to my friends and family. I want to pay attention to them, listen, help, make them laugh, make time for them. Just be a good peep. I want to make people I love feel loved and welcome, and leave them be when they seem like they want that too. I do a fair job at this one, but there is always more I can do.

6 Express yo’self
Related to #5, but sort of different. I try my hardest to tell people I care about that I care about them. Or show them somehow. Write a note, send a present, smile when they walk in the door. I hate when I think that someone I think is awesome might not know. Sometimes doing this feels awkward at first. I am thinking about that person. Should I write them a note or pick up the phone just to tell them that I am thinking about them? As soon as I ask myself that question, I know the answer should be YES YOU SHOULD. Reaching out is good. Who cares if I look like a dork? I AM a dork.

7. Include people.
I HATE CLIQUES. I thought that cliques were supposed to die after middle school? I am sad to say that there is still a cool kid table in just about any situation. I want to invite any nice person to sit at that table. Or not have a table. Let’s just eat buffet style, standing up.

8. Work at work.
I’m normally good about leaving work stress at work. This year, I admit I let that one go a little bit. So I am re-committing to this one. Work, stay at work. Or else.

9. Sing silly songs.
I ROCK at singing silly songs. And dancing dumb dances. I hope I am still doing that when I am 80.

10. Read and experience art a lot.
I can’t imagine a time when I will let this one go, but just in case, I am including it.

11.  Being active.
Whether it’s walking around, exercising, dancing, running, whatever. I want to keep moving.

12. Being a good aunt.
I have nieces and nephews, both by blood as well as by love. I want to keep being a positive aunt to all the kiddies in my life.

13. Being a good partner.
Nurturing shit with that Nordic Boy of mine has gone pretty good so far. I think I’ll keep at it.

Those are the things about which I am resolute this year, and, I hope, every year.

Go forth and make resolutions, everyone, and change things up, and then think about some things that you do that are flippin’ sweet and hang on to those things too. Cool? Cool.

Do You Hear What I Hear?

I don’t remember that I grew up with a lot of Christmas/holiday music around our house. I do remember that we had a copy of the classic “All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth.” Remember that one? And that album cover? Why that song didn’t last the test of time I shall never know.

But obviously it doesn’t matter if you celebrate Christmas intentionally, we are a Christmas nation and we are all going to know the lyrics by heart of Hark the Herald Angels Sing, whether we like it or not. I have the added advantage (disadvantage?) of having been in school choir my whole childhood, so I know more Christmas songs than anyone really has any business knowing. We had Christmas songs up the ying yang from November through the end of the year, half of which I don’t even really know what they mean. There was this one song that we sang in Middle English and shit, talking about the “apple takey ben.” What the hell is that? (And please, don’t write to me to actually tell me what all of these reference do mean. If I really had wanted to know by now, I would have looked it up). And there was this other song called “Torches” about running with torches to Bethlehem. In my kid-mind I always pictured that like an Olympics style torch runner, running for Jesus, or something. I didn’t know, we didn’t discuss these things, since it was public school. We sang it, who cares if we understood it? Or maybe this is something everyone else just gets? I don’t know. We also sang this one song about keeping your lamps trimmed and burning because the time is drawing nigh. Um, ok. That sounds like an old timey Martha Stewart tip rather than a spiritual song. We also sang the Dreidel Song, and other Hannukah songs. The one I remember most was “Light the Candles.” I liked that one. It was peppy. And we got to yell “HEY!” at the end, and how can you go wrong with that? There was another one about Emmanuel, who apparently was a ransom captive in Israel. Intrigue! And also, what are we even talking about? And don’t even get me started on the shit we sang in straight up Latin.

Can you tell I am not a Biblical scholar? You are shocked, I can see it in your face.

Anyway, every holiday season, there is holiday wintery music that I do like, most of it coming from the likes of Doris Day and Dean Martin and such, with maybe some Duke Ellington thrown in. But that lasts, unfortunately, for about a week. Then even I, lover of oldies, become totally SATURATED. How many times can I hear Baby It’s Cold Outside? A lot. A whole lot. And Judy Garland, I love you, really I do, but I have a cap on how many times a year I can hear your boozy weepy Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas before I want to do myself an injury.

I think this has less to do with Grinchy-ness and more to do with monotony. It’s the same feeling I get when I have had the same leftovers for too long, or when I get stuck in a rut watching the same type of movie all the time. It wears me out before I even know it’s wearing me out. I just need to mix it up, that’s all. Throw something else in there. Please.

In that spirit, I made myself a December playlist. It’s super long, so I won’t bore you with the whole thing, but I thought maybe you are feeling weary of holiday standards at this point as well. And even if you’re not, these are still good songs. Here they are. Some are Christmas songs, some are wintery songs, some are just songs that sound wintery to my ears. Since it’s the 23rd of December, I’ll do 23 songs.

The Sonics, Santa Claus
(come on, I had to start out with a Grinchy one)

Fleet Foxes, White Winter Hymnal
(another song that I don’t know what they are even talking about, and I don’t really want to know)

Peter Bjorn and John, The Chills

Fountains of Wayne, Man in the Santa Suit
(I used to work in a mall. This song reminds me of that).

The Waitresses, Christmas Wrapping
(a classic, right?)

James Brown, Santa Claus Go Straight to the Ghetto
(I think that every holiday should give you a reason to say “HAH!” with James Brown)

Florence + the Machine, Last Christmas
(Doing a Wham! cover is always ok in my book)

Loretta Lynn, To Heck With Ole Santa Claus
(“when he goes dashin’ through the snow I hope he falls.” Harsh!)
Common Market, Winter Takes All
(had to put a Seattle band in)
Harvey Danger, Sometimes You Have To Work on Christmas
(another Seattle one, I love the video of the Seattle scenes)

Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Ain’t No Chimneys in the Projects

Jenny O., Get Down for the Holidays
(Dang Target, you made a good holiday playlist)

Ryan Adams, Hey Parker, It’s Christmas
(Good song, Mrs. Mandy Moore)

Fanfarlo, Just Like Christmas

My Morning Jacket, Christmas Time is Here Again
(The original Beatles version is of course better, but this one is good too)

The The, December Sunlight
(I got my heart broken bad in December one time, and this song makes me feel happy, in an I Got Through That sort of way)

New Kids on the Block, Funky Funky Christmas
(Holy smokes, this is SO BADAWESOME)

Trentemoller, While the Cold Winter is Waiting
(Good for cold winter walks)

Fastbacks, In the Winter

Magnetic Fields, Everything is One Big Christmas Tree
(ain’t it the truth)

Regina Spektor, My Dear Acquaintance (A Happy New Year)
(If you still want it to sound classic, even when it ain’t)

Frightened Rabbit, It’s Christmas So We’ll Stop
(Indeed)

Blockhead, The First Snowfall

30 more days

It’s December 1st, dudes. Crikey.

I don’t hate December. However, it is, without a doubt, my least favorite month of the year. The reasons for that are long and boring and the only reason you would ever want to hear about them is if you were my therapist and getting paid by the hour, so I shall spare you. Suffice it to say, December: I could skip the whole dang thing.

I never quite know what to do about this feeling, so I vacillate between wanting to close the blinds, get under the covers, and read a book until the new year, OR cram as much social activity into the month as I possibly can, in order to make the time go faster with really! fun! things! So I do a little bit of both- either hermit it up or party it up, with not a lot of middle ground.

So, here it is, December 1st, and I am feeling the blahs about the whole thing already. On the first day! Usually I can get it up for the first week or two.

In an attempt to get rid of the December Phooeys, here’s a list of things I like about December. Let’s see how many I can do.

1. Hallmark Channel Countdown to Christmas. Oh yes. Horrible made-for-tv Christmas movies! I looked on the website and counted up the offerings and the month of December will offer up fifty one different movies in this stoopid genre. Fifty one! And YES I COUNTED. That’s like eating nothing but Cheetos for 25 days straight. And you know what I say? BRING IT. Saturate me in melted holiday cheese.

2. Days off. I have never taken extra days off of work in December, ever. I guess that’s weird, but only a limited number of people can have time off at one time in Libraryland, and so why would I take up that time if I don’t really care that it’s Christmas, when other people really do care and could use the time? So, no extra days off for me, but! my regular work calendar has come out in such a way as to have three day weekends three whole times this month. So that’s rad.

3. Gaudy holiday lights on people’s houses. A twinkling light here and there, eh, ok. But the rare household that goes all out, Griswold style, with eye-popping displays with moving parts and stuff? LOVE IT.

4. People getting dressed up. I am a person who gets dressed up at every opportunity- I think I was born in the wrong era when it comes to clothes. December is a dressy time overall, it seems to me. Christmas plays, the Nutcracker, holiday parties and New Year bashes, people get gussied up. That makes me happy.

5. Not traveling. This one should actually be #1 on the list, it makes me so happy. When I was a student, I always got my ass on a plane every December because that was when Christmas break was, and so it was the most convenient time to see the fam. Visiting the fam was fun, but the travelling part? HELL ON EARTH. When I was no longer a student and not tied to an academic schedule of any kind, a sort of moment of serenity came over me where angels came from the heavens and said “You don’t have to travel during the holidays any longer! You can orchestrate your life to travel whenever you choose!” From then on, I made a policy- a POLICY- out of not traveling during Thanksgiving weekend or the last two weeks of December. And now when I hear all my stressed out friends talking about travel horror stories, and see people pulling out their hair as they torture themselves with holiday travel season, I sing an inner carol of thankfulness called “I ain’t doing that! I ain’t doing that!” It’s only in my head, but it’s a joyful noise.

That’s all I got. Five things may not seem like a lot, but for me, in December, it’s getting me through.

What’s your all-time favorite thing about December?

A Beautiful Day for a Neighbor

The snow is all gone now and so my city has gone back to its regularly scheduled soggy drip. Somehow, rain seems colder than snow. It’s just so…damp and clammy.

The rest of the holiday weekend was pretty much taken up by full on joyful hysteria over the fact that Biogirl is moving to a house within shouting distance of my house, right on my street, right there, OMG, right there! This got me thinking about relationships in my life that were made even more awesome by geographic proximity. Dudes, I feel a hearken coming on! I am about to hearken back! And listing is also imminent! Listing and hearkening: commencing!

1. My sister and I shared a bedroom when I was a kid, up until she left for college when I was 10. My sister was, by far, the most important person in my life for my entire childhood and our sharing a room made my worship of her that much stronger. Lying in our beds, listening to The Clash on her super cool record player, away from my stinky brothers: heaven. She probably hated having me there during her teen years, but I’m so glad that we had to share a room. All the better to try to make myself into a mini-me of her coolness. I think I am still probably doing that to this day.

2. After my sister left, I got a new roomie, at least part time: my cousin. My uncle often would work the night shift at the car factory, so my aunt and cousin would come spend the night at our house a lot. I graduated to my sister’s bed, and my cousin would sleep in my old bed. It was like a total switcheroo- the age difference between us was the same as it was between me and my sister. Now I got to be the (sort of) cool older one. I remember, when she was about 5 years old, she would have nightmares and come wake me up to come sleep in my bed with me. Having her scared little self huddled up with me made me feel a protectiveness that I had never felt before. I still feel that way about her.

3. Allison lived in my neighborhood from the time we were like three or four. I have walked my ass to her mom’s house so many times in the past 3 decades that I’m surprised the pavement isn’t worn out between her mom’s and mine. The thing I remember about her living there was that she was so damn accessible. Sleepovers were easy, getting to school together and back was cake. I remember having a crush on this unattainable dude (who was in a band! who rode a motorcycle! who was 24!) our senior year in high school, and the afternoon when I actually somehow managed to make out with him? I ran to her house immediately to tell her. I could have called her, or another friend, but she was right there to OHMYGODDDDD in person. There are still times even now where something big will happen to me and my first impulse is to want to run out the door and somehow get to Alli’s house.

4. I had many roommates growing up when I went to the various dance schools I went to, but my favorite friends were Kim and Marcy. The three of us lived on the same floor of our dorm, and we were inseparable. I was 13 years old at the time, and living by myself in New York City (“NEW YORK CITY!? GET A ROPE!” Sorry, I just have to say that) but was in classes with older girls who were 16 and 17. Kim and Marcy took me under their wing and, well, ok, they exposed me to shit that I probably shouldn’t have been exposed to, but dang, I loved those girls. They talked about s-e-x at a time when I was still calling it s-e-x. They were always very conscious of the fact that I was a kid- they all smoked and swore and had clandestine meetups with boys, but would never had allowed me to try any of it. They rocked.

5. The first colleg roommate I had was Liz, who at first glance had nothing in common with me. She was shy and dignified, I was loud and um, if anyone ever called me dignified when I was 18 I’ll be a junkie’s uncle. She came to school with a pink flowered bedspread with matching ruffled pillows and my sheets had Snoopy as the Red Baron on them (hello 18-year-old-me, you are trying too hard to be ironic). Liz turned out to have a silly sense of humor and we spent many a night laughing until we were literally on the floor. Her friends were not people I hung out with, and mine weren’t her favorite either, and I often think about how, had we not been roommates, we would never have gotten so close.

6. My other notable college roommate was Nan. Nan was around during some of the bumpiest days of my life and was pretty much the reason I made it through.

7. My big bro. Read about when he took me in. Pretty good guy, that one.

8. I lived with a couple of dudes before shacking up with Nordic Boy. Meh, not so awesome. Let’s just call those learning experiences. Or just dumb. Either one.

9. I moved in with Nordic Boy, who is the first roomie I have encountered that understands the importance of singalongs and making up silly dances in a roommate relationship.

10. Before I went to grad school, I knew Neighbor J sort of, just through a mutual friend. We went to a party at her place- a duplex of super cute proportions. “If the unit next door ever becomes available, let us know,” I said. And like a month later, it did. This led to the defining neighborly relationship of my life. Neighbor J and I fell in friendship love like nobody’s business. We would carry on conversations through the wall, and we would eat dinner together every summer night in our backyard, and we would have afternoon tea times, and just do every last thing together. It really was one of the best times in my life.

11. Delium is not really my neighbor- he lives one neighborhood away from me, but the fact that he and I went to college together in a teeny tiny Michigan town and all these years later we both live across the country within one mile of each other, and we didn’t even do that on purpose, is pretty weird. But great.

12. The Soggy Librarian and I were work friends for a little while. Well, more like work acquaintances that were friendly. I always sort of had a friendcrush on her, but we never really did anything outside of work. One day, we were at a meeting, and she told me that she had bought a house on my street. I remember, in that moment, having a sort of Wayne Campbell thing happen where I thought “You will be my friend now. Oh yes. You will be my friend.” Creepy? Ok fine. But I was right.

And now, Biogirl. We have been through thick and thin together, the two of us, but one thing we have never done is to be neighbors. Until now. Yippee!

Full of hot air

Man, that last post was entirely too cohesive. Who the hell do I think I am? Now, back to my regularly scheduled randomosity. In list form. All disjointed-like.

1. The weather for the last few days has been gorg-wah. Is there an emoticon for pursing all your fingers together and then kissing them into the air? Because, mwah! It has been clear skies, warm (this week saw 70 degrees), with a lovely breeze that blows all the autumn leaves around. The other day, Nordic Boy and I took a long walk and went through a park off the beaten path. For some reason, there was no one there, which is a rarity on a lovely day in the city. We kicked leaves around. The awesome weather is over now, but man, it was nice while it lasted.

2. My sister sent me photos of her kids on Halloween. My niece, who is almost-thirteen, has gone into a phase where she just wants to dress weird for Halloween. No character, no theme. Just get a bunch of crazy clothes and a crazy wig. I had sort of forgotten this, but I had a phase like that too. All of a sudden I didn’t care to be a witch or even something esoteric and clever. I just wanted to get my weird on. It wasn’t because I was a conservative/timid dresser and Halloween was an excuse to experiment with weird. I actually dressed pretty, um, expressively anyway. Same with my niece. I went through that phase right at the same age as she is now. This makes me wonder if there is some sort of cognitive developmental thing going on, where kids that age are thinking more abstractly or something. Or maybe it’s just my niece and I, and true weirdness in our family DNA kicks in at age 12. On Halloween.

3. I went out for a happy hour dinner with K8 the other night and we had hush puppies. I know hush puppies are big in the south, and in the midwest they make an appearance here and there, but in the Pacific Northwest? NEVER. Really, I never see them. So she and I were kind of overly excited about the hush puppies. Ok, well, maybe just me.

4. Speaking of puppies, when I am referring to a bunch of things, I always say “those puppies.” As in “zombie movies? Those puppies are scary.” Nordic Boy, on the other hand, always says “those bad boys.” As in “our new gutters? Those bad boys keep out the leaves!” I never say those bad boys. He never says those puppies. I am convinced that there will come a day when one of us has to cross over to the other side, and whoever holds out longest wins.

5. Last night Nordic Boy and I went out to dinner, and our friends Tanya and Alan were going to join us for dessert. When we got there, the restaurant gave us a table for 4, even though we would be 2 for the first couple of hours. So…we were That Couple who sat next to each other for dinner, rather than across the table from each other. I decided that I was going to order a puff-pastry mushroom thingy, and he decided to get mashed-potato-stuffed tacos. And then, at the last second, he ordered the mushroom thing too! I felt betrayed to be copied in such a fashion. The result was that not only were we the Sitting Next to Each Other Couple, we were also the Order The Same Thing Couple, all in one.

6. As we ate, we eavesdropped a little on the table in our sightline (come on, everyone does that, right?). It was an older lady who looked like Margaret Thatcher, pearls and big hair and all. We giggled a bit as she opened her mouth and an English accent came out (was it Margaret Thatcher?). She said to the waiter “My dear, DO tell the chef that the chocolate tartlet was DIVINE.” Our chuckles at this ceased immediately as we then witnessed her lean to the side and let out a long, squeaky tootie from her booty. Seriously, our forks stopped in mid-air as we tried to process what we had just seen in the fancy restaurant. I understand that sometimes people might let a toot fly unintentionally, but the LEAN TO THE SIDE to let it free? My dear, DO tell the lady that the one-cheek-sneak was not DIVINE.

7. I can’t bear to leave you with that image. How about this? I visited with The Soggy Librarian yesterday and her offspring (who I am unabashedly in love with and can’t seem to stop buying clothes for) barfed all over me. And I loved every minute of it.

The shirt? From Auntie Me.

Consumables #18

Thank you so much for all the sweetness and light that you commented and emailed me yesterday and today. Each and every one of those things made me smile, laugh, or chortle. I love a good chortle.

And now, just so that I have to do some of the work too, I shall list out some more awesomeness in my life at the present time. And also combine it with my weekly consumables.

1. I went to visit my friends in the hospital the other day. They just had a baby and the baby is premature so they have been staying in the hospital for the past almost-three weeks, trying to get the little guy strong enough to come home. They are doing well, and they may get to all three go home in the next few days. They are handling the whole thing remarkably well and I am in awe of them. That kid has got some great parents right out of the gate.

2. I watched Elegy the other night. Now why would I watch a depressing movie about fucked up lonely people when I was feeling glum? I don’t know what it is about me, but I love stories about fucked up lonely people. I am neither lonely nor fucked up (well, relatively un-fucked up. Maybe. I don’t know), but yet I feel kinship with those people.

3. I also watched This Movie Is Not Yet Rated. Jack Valenti reminds me of Lorne Greene. And Lorne Greene, rather than reminding me of the original Battlestar Galactica, or Bonanza, makes me think of Alpo. Which is sort of a sad thing, really. That’s the insightful thing I have to say about that movie.

4. I always forget to mention books in my Consumables posts. What kind of librarian am I, anyway? First I don’t wear sweater sets and now this. Sheesh. This week I read a book called The Rebellion of Jane Clarke. It’s historical fiction, set in the era leading up to the Revolutionary War, and it was quite good I thought. The mention of Sam Adams just makes me think of beer though. First Lorne Greene and now Sam Adams. Damn you, Don Drapers of the world.

5. Last night, there was a very pretty moon out. It was low in the sky, and silvery, and there were wisps of clouds that kept passing in front of it like gray ribbons. Nordic Boy and I opened up our living room window and sat on the couch and looked at it for a while. Our conversation went like this.

Me: There’s this book called Life as We Knew It, and it’s about this girl who is living a normal life with her family when a meteor hits the moon and knocks it off its axis, which causes the Earth to go kind of haywire because gravity gets thrown off, and most of the population dies off.
Him: You sure know how to make a moment really romantic, you know.
Me: There are earthquakes, tsunamis, the whole thing. And she has to learn how to survive in this new reality that’s created by this event. It was a really good book.
Him: Sounds interesting.
Me: It’s not real though. It’s fiction.
Him: Um. Yeah. Thanks.

“It’s not real though. It’s fiction.” Really, me?

And to think I am paid to talk to people about books.