Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Shout out

Megan, GOOD LUCK on the bar exam!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The check is in the mail

Yesterday I got a call from the jewelry store where I consigned my engagement ring, telling me that the ring had been sold! Woohoo! No more ring in the store. I will never see that wretched thing again. Plus, the fact that it sold makes the consignment check significantly fatter.

$$$ for Moxie.

Chapter closed, right? Well, it turns out the ring sold back in April, but for some reason they never sent me a check. They only realized the mistake when I went into the store this past Saturday to inquire about the ring’s status. No harm, no foul. It just made me laugh because nothing related to the ring was easy. It’s only fitting that the process of closing the very last door on the entire episode should be complicated.

It’s a little weird to think that some random woman out there is wearing that ring, but I’m glad it’s making someone else smile. I hope it brings her and her fiancĂ© a lot more happiness than it brought me.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Lay it on me

An interesting look at why people kiss.

If he can keep a sense of humor, anyone can

Seen on a sign held by a panhandler near the Alewife interchange during this morning's commute:

"Need $$ for LSD and guns"

Monday, July 25, 2005

Do not underestimate the cats

Last month, Lunchboy and I had dinner with my good friend L and during the meal we got to talking about introductions—how important or unimportant they are, how they can be uncomfortable, the role they play in life and relationships.

There’s the friend introductions, the parental introductions and maybe, if you’re lucky, the grandparental introductions.

But one thing everyone forgets to take into account are the pet introductions. If you’re a pet parent, having your baby meet your SO’s baby is a BIG DEAL. I mean, what do you do if they don’t hit it off? It’s not like you can sit them down and say, “Just give him/her a chance. They’re a good person, I promise.”

Well, if you’re me you can still say that, but there’s no guarantee that your pet will understand. If I recall correctly, Scully listened and then decided it was time to have a snack. You could fit her attention span inside a pistachio nut.

Since my lovely roommate is having her horde of drunken friends over to our place on Saturday night, Lunchboy was kind enough to offer a safe haven for both me and my put-upon kitty. But we thought it would be smart to introduce Scully to his two cats before having a full-on feline pajama party. We did a ton of research on how to introduce cats without inducing hissing, spitting, wall-climbing fits of wigging out, but somehow all our research fell by the wayside. Instead of keeping them separated, we just plopped Scully’s carrier in the middle of his living room, unzipped the front and hoped for the best.

For future reference, NOT a good plan of attack.

Scully has moved around so much and met so many strange cats in her travel adventures that almost nothing phases her anymore. Lunchboy’s cats are sisters and they’ve never met another cat before. At first they were nonchalant, but once they figured out that another feline had materialized in the midst of their territory, they proceeded to flip out in gold medal-winning fashion. Griffin crouched low to the ground and shadowed Scully as she explored the house, growling and hissing whenever Scully came too close. Cringer started meowing and hissing as soon as Scully went into the bedroom, and still hasn’t stopped. Eventually, Scully flopped on the living room floor and took it easy. She didn’t go after Griffin & Cringer’s food or water, and she stayed out of the bedroom after Cringer let her know that wasn’t cool. She was a champ.

I took Scully home after about a half hour, but Lunchboy’s cats are still upset. Griffin is back to her friendly, curious self but Cringer is still traumatized. Whenever Griffin comes hear her, she starts hissing and growling and then she hides under the bed. It’s like she doesn’t recognize her sister anymore. Lunchboy is beside himself. Needless to say, we scrapped the overnight kitty stay.

On a more pleasant note, I took LB to meet my parents last night. We were all tired after a long weekend, but it went well. The evening seemed fairly tension-free. We ate a lovely dinner of grilled swordfish and steak on my parent’s back porch, and watched the resident blue heron poke around the pond behind the house. After the kitty introduction, everything else feels easy. How fucked up is that?

Saturday, July 23, 2005

It ain't easy being a woman

They say time heals all wounds and when it comes to a bikini wax, they aren’t kidding.

No sane woman would subject herself to such a procedure more than once unless she’s given enough time to forget about the pain and humiliation of the previous month’s waxing. Somehow, three or four weeks is just long enough for the mental scarring to fade, never mind the physical side effects, so that you can venture back to the spa and undergo what is likely the most humbling of aesthetic augmentations.

With a beach day looming on the horizon and the knowledge that days of shaving just weren’t going to cut it (no pun intended), I gathered my strength and my sense of optimism and headed off the day spa down the street. Somehow I’d managed to banish the memory of a Brazilian bikini wax I got as a lark a couple of years ago, when my ex-best friend talked me into trying it after she’d read one too many copies of Glamour. All I remember is that I paid $75 to have a strange woman up-end me like a baby that needs a diaper change and inflict the worst pain of my life on my private parts. Thankfully, I’ve blocked the pain out. Unfortunately, even though I didn’t opt for the Brazilian option, this time wasn’t much better.

There’s nothing fun about a bikini wax. First, there’s the lack of privacy. You’re spreading your legs for a complete stranger, someone who probably sees upwards of 10 hoohas a day and yet lacks the practiced, clinical approach of an ob/gyn. And it’s not just the leg spreading, it’s the leg adjustment—the technician lifts you and twists your legs around so she can get a nice, clean line and that means you’re doing more contortions than the Kama Sutra but without the pleasant association. In order to get that clean line, the technician also uses her hands to lift, push and spread parts of the anatomy that only myself, my doctor and my boyfriend are allowed to touch. You are On Display and there’s no curling up to conceal yourself on account of the Hot Wax. Which is in places that Hot Wax should not be. Ever. And then it gets ripped off, leaving you gasping in pain and seeing stars in the air.

While I was lying on the table at the spa on Friday, I couldn’t help but wonder what the hell the technician was thinking. How did I compare to the other girls she waxed that day? Was she as grossed out and embarrassed by the whole thing as I was? Did she think cotton Hanes Her Ways were ridiculous for a 30-year old woman?

The things this woman must see.

She kept talking about how much easier it would be next time, and all I could do was think, “I’ll do whatever it takes to make the pain STOP. What makes you think there’s going to be a NEXT TIME???”

Clearly, I cave easily in torture situations.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

In case you wondered

Someone finally created a list of 40 things that only ever happen in the movies.

I would like to add the following:

--Broken hearts always mend within a few days, and best friends are always willing to sit up all night handing out tissues.

--People earn entire degrees without doing an ounce of visible work.

--Men and women hold down high-powered jobs without adhering to any kind of schedule.

Got any more?

A tangled web we weave

Workplace romances are now being bound by legal agreements to prevent sexual harassment lawsuits.

Both Lunchboy and I feel pretty strongly about maintaining a professional demeanor in the office. Other than sneaking a few kisses in the stairwell when we first started dating officially, we usually do our utmost to behave as if we don't know each other in a personal capacity when we're in the office together. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, but I'd like to think romance isn't something to be legislated, regardless of where it blooms.

Under the spell of the Goblin King

The Jim Henson Company is turning 25, and in an homage to the great Muppet master, the Brattle Theater is showing a double feature of two of Henson's classic fantasy movies: Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal.

Skeksis! Oubliettes! The Bog of Eternal Stench! Jennifer Connelly in her first leading role! I'm so there.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

No way to avoid the "beam him up"

In a sad development, James Doohan, who played Montgomery Scott on the original Star Trek, died today. I met him once at a book signing when I was little. He was very nice for a man who had spent many hours at a table dealing with Trekkies. But apparently he couldn't take anymore, Cap'n.

He will be missed.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Dog days

Maybe it’s not the best idea to do hot yoga when it’s ridiculously, brain-numbingly hot outside. Last night I went to my normal Monday evening class at Baptiste, determined to bull through the heat and ignore the fact that I was dripping sweat before the class even began. After 60 minutes, when I’d almost passed out after every major inversion and felt so enervated that I could barely lift my arms, I rolled up my mat and admitted defeat. I felt like a wuss. Then I noticed how many other people were rolling up their mats or taking extended breaks in the foyer outside the studio just to get some air. Sweat may be cleansing and all, but not right now.

The heat and accompanying humidity are putting everyone in a bad mood. Even with air conditioning, it’s difficult to sleep. Poor Scully just lies on the floor and cries. After yoga last night, I went to Lunchboy’s house and realized that I just wanted to sit on the couch and drink cool beverages. No talking. No interaction. Just sitting and hydrating. Cranky Moxie.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Burning down the house

This morning I received the following email from my beloved roommate. No warning, no precursor, no nothing. I should have known better than to read it first thing on a Monday:

A Has Sent You an Evite!
A’s Birthday Explosion

“i'm turning 25 and deserve a big bash. you all are invited to help me cause one. come over and draw on my walls, dance to bad italian techno, play cheesy party games, eat too much sugar, drink icy drinks, and celebrate the fact that we're all supposed to be mature by the time we're 25, and yet...”

If she wants to cause a big bash, this is a great way for her to get bashed over the head. Though she and I have been home at the same time roughly twice in the past week, at no point did she share with me the idea of throwing a party for about 30 people in our apartment. Hyperventilating, I scrolled through the rest of my email and found a message from her titled, “oops!”

“so i just sent out my birthday party invite... without asking you about the date etc. first. sorry! you're on the list, but obviously the fact that there might be a dozen plus people laughing it up and carousing in our place should have your approval. is sat. the 30th ok for this for you? btw, the drawing on the walls part refers to tacking up pieces of giant butcher paper on the walls and putting out buckets of crayons, inviting people to leave their mark. i'll choose one of my bedroom walls in case of overzealous cartooners. (:”

Where to start? Is the 30th okay for this for me?? How about NEVER? The wisdom—or lack thereof—of drawing on the walls, butcher paper aside? The complete lack of consideration? The inability to use capital letters? No matter what I say to her, she’s not going to NOT throw this party. Which means that Scully and I need to make ourselves scarce, because while it’s easy enough for me to escape to Lunchboy’s place for the night, I refuse to leave my kitty to be terrorized by immature, drunken fools.

What really gets me is how she never even considered how this could be inconvenient. How is she going to keep her guests in the common area and out of my room? Why should I have to feel like I need to protect my living space??? I love my apartment but I no longer love living there, and it’s all my fault for inviting A her to live with me in the first place. She's like a vampire. I invited her into my house and now she's sucking all the life out of the place. Plus, she reeks.

It's not the way it sounds

I know that when Ben Lee sings "Catch My Disease, " he means he wants his lady friend to fall in love with him, too, because love is a disease. He means it in a playfully romantic kind of way. But really it sounds like he's trying to spread the clap.

A little perspective

Thanks to Carmen for cherry-picking this off NPR:

On the problem of feeling overwhelmed by your life and guilty about not doing more with it RIGHT NOW : "High performance doesn't come from crisis. It comes from the kind of focus that crisis forces you to have.....It's often when when we're not in an obvious crisis [anymore] that we're in the deepest crisis."

This is nice to hear. Whenever things are crazy, I can't wait for them to calm down. But when they're calm, I obsess about whether I should be planting trees in the rainforest or helping baby seals in Canada rather than plugging in to corporate America.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Finger lickin' good

Suffering my first Kentucky Fried Chicken hangover. By that I mean it's the first time I've ever eaten there, not the first time it's ever made my stomach do loop de loops. Usually I stay away from the fast food, but last night a bunch of us geeked out for the season premiere of Battlestar and my vote for vaguely healthy food was overridden in favor of the Colonel. Urp. Two biscuits, two pieces of chicken, a crapload of cole slaw and mashed potatoes later, my innards are staging something like a military coup.

Battlestar was eh. Not enough Starbuck and too many separate plotlines going on in the name of starting off the second season with a bang. Cylon babies everywhere!!

Friday, July 15, 2005

Moving on up (but not in)

A line from the iconic 80s movie About Last Night that sums up the latest doings with Lunchboy:

"A drawer????? A whole DRAWER??? You mean, I get a drawer all to myself???"

I think I'm ready to commit to clothes. We've already done the toiletries and groceries. And it does get annoying when you realize you packed a white T-shirt but no bra, and your bra is miles away in your own apartment.

Thursday, July 14, 2005


I was a bit of a pseudo-science freak in college. By pseudo, I mean I got through a year and a half of a geology major before figuring out that my brain wasn’t built to handle mineralogy, so I switched to English. But I still liked science, so I took a bunch of atmospheric science classes and got a job as an editorial assistant for the head of the Science, Technology & Society department. Atmospheric science is really cool. I fell in love with cloud formations and they are still something I have fun scoping out. So when I saw these pictures of mammatus clouds online, I had to share. These clouds are both beautiful and slightly eerie—for a while, I had dreams in which mammatus clouds were descending from the sky and threatening to suffocate me.

I cannot be alone in my geekitude.

Here are some examples of other neato cloud formations.

UPDATE: Mr. Daisey has even COOLER pictures of mammatus clouds!!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

The bottom 10

Okay, Zeke. I had no idea you held such vast power in your hands, what with the naming of the names in Strongbad emails. I'm so flattered :) It almost makes up for the time I had to clean up your puke--I just thank my lucky stars it wasn't off your keyboard.

Hogwarts hell

Harry haters of the world, unite!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Geese aplenty

My office complex is overrun with Canada geese. We humans may think we’ve got the superior intellect or the advantage of technology, but really we are at the mercy of the geese. They have the run of the place and they rule with little, webby iron fists.

Feet, fists, whathaveyou.

These geese are cute and they are not afraid to use their cuteness to assert their needs. Our geese dictate traffic patterns, lawn privileges, picnic bench usage and sidewalk space. They roam in large flocks and think nothing of creating their own crosswalks so they can get from pond to reservoir to lawn.

Two months ago, the geese had babies and everyone in all three of the office complexes on this street gave way to collective gosling worship. Except for the speed freaks, who thought nothing of plowing through the geese while the flock was crossing the street, leaving extremely disturbing brownish-yellow gosling-shaped messes on the road. Who hits goslings?!?!?!

That said, the geese have all access to the office complexes under tight control. Every day, there’s an impromptu traffic jam caused by a goose family making their way to their next meal. The mother geese herd the goslings around like counselors leading groups of young campers across the street, hand in hand. The mommy geese look both ways and shoo the goslings along whenever there’s a break in traffic—they totally know what’s up: Cars bad—geese good. Even when I’ve just dealt with a slow commute on 95 and am trying to get to work by 9am, I find it hard to get annoyed with the geese as they waddle across the road. Still, people race by the flocks as they emerge from the reservoir so they don’t get stuck while Junior crosses the pavement. And when the traffic gets really backed up, I’ve seen very respectable people dressed in professional clothing get out of their car and wave their arms around to scare the geese off the road.

Still, today there was a dead adult goose by the side of the road. Apparently the cubicle warriors are losing patience. It’s a sad thing.

Keep it to yourself

Last night my roommate informed me that she had quit her summer job because “it wasn’t doing it” for her. Also, she wants to take a multi-week trip to the west coast with her skanky boyfriend, and it’s hard to take off for 14 days when you have a thing like job holding you down.

“Can you afford to do that?” I asked, visions of unpaid rent dancing in my head.

“Oh, yeah. My teaching job pays through the summer. This was just for fun and extra cash.”


So now, no roommate for the last half of August!!!! This is especially pleasing after this morning, when she AND her skanky boyfriend decided to shower together right when I needed the bathroom to get ready for….work. You know, that job thing she finds so inconvenient. The BF is at our house almost every night now. HE should be paying rent, and he should certainly not be taking up the bathroom when it’s needed by people who ARE paying rent, namely me.

I really, really don’t need them showering together when I’m home. I mean, we’re all adults here but come on—a little decorum, please. Just say no to naked skankiness. It’s enough that A has plastered the kitchen calendar with the reminder stickers from her birth control pills, so now everyone who visits our house knows what her uterus is up to.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Home sweet home

Arts & Crafts bungalows are truly magical spaces, and this is a beautiful tribute to the sense of family they inspire.

Sort of separately, the LA Times is starting an occasional series on residential architecture in Southern California.

Hey, it's that guy

It’s been a long time coming, but today the NYT does a profile of Jeremy Piven and gives the man his due.

Let me just say that while Mr. Piven deserves every ounce of praise for his brilliant—and dead-on--performance as bootlicking agent Ari Gold on Entourage, I have been a fan of his since One Crazy Summer, back in the day. He is the ultimate supporting best male buddy, the guy who plays crazy fun frat boy like no one else. Who else can utter biting witticisms under his breath with perfect comic timing like he does? When Mr. Piven’s face pops up on a show or in a movie, you know he’s going to make the project better. He and John Cusack are the ultimate comic foils for each other, as demonstrated in One Crazy Summer, Grosse Point Blank, Serendipity, Say Anything and The Grifters (ok that's not comedy). He's also the voice of Elongated Man on Justice League.

Am I slightly obsessed? Yes, and here’s why. Not only is Mr. Piven cute and ubiquitous, he’s actually talented. I tried to recognize this fact 6 or 7 years ago by submitting a “Hey! It’s that guy!” piece on him to what was then Hissyfit but is now Fametracker. Wing Chun turned it down in favor of a piece on fucking Christine Baranski, and then she ran something on Jeremy Piven a few months later that was written by someone else. TWOP and Fametracker might be endless goldmines of cultural snark, but I am forever bitter toward Wing Chun because of her oversight.

BTW--the NYT article says that "some viewers complained that "Entourage," which focuses on a movie star and the hometown friends who mooch off him, was fake-insidery, inaccurate about Hollywood or so full of private jokes that only its producers (including the creator Doug Ellin and the actor Mark Wahlberg) could think it was funny. "

Anyone who's ever lived in LA (or lived in California and had friends in LA) can tell you that the reason Entourage is so good is because it SKEWERS the entertainment scene in the most stingingly accurate way possible.

UPDATE: Apparently Defamer thinks that Virginia Heffernan went a little overboard with her Piven worship. I say suck it up, bitches.

Starry eyed

On tonight's episode of "Dancing with the Stars," they showed a lovely friendship-building montage with John O'Hurley racing up.......the Santa Monica Stairs!!!!!!!!!!

Really, it's doesn't take much to make me happy.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Just because

National Geographic Traveler published its list of the top 30 things to do when visiting Los Angeles.

Get a clue

As I was rushing to get ready for work this morning, I opened the refrigerator door to grab some yogurt and noticed that:

A. the fridge light was out and;
B. everything in the fridge was lukewarm

Clearly, there had been no power to the fridge for a few hours at least. A and her skanky boyfriend (who is now growing facial hair, all the better to make him more skanky) were banging around in the kitchen until almost midnight last night, so I asked the boyfriend if he knew what had happened. No, he did not. When Alli emerged from the bathroom, where she had gone right when I needed to dry my hair so I could leave for work on time, I said, “Hey, did you notice that the fridge isn’t working?”

“Oh, yeah. I did notice that,” she said. And then she LAUGHED. Clearly she had noticed that the fridge was no longer chilling our newly purchased groceries and it just never occurred to her that this situation might not remedy itself without any effort on her behalf.

“Well, it needs to be fixed or all the food will go bad. I’ll call the landlord, unless you called him already.”

“Oh, no—I didn’t call him. I wasn’t sure what the problem was.”


If I hadn’t had to leave for work, I would have gotten into it with her, but I think her skanky boyfriend could tell that my head was about to rotate 360 degrees on my shoulders.

There are days when things are fine, and then there are days when I wonder if I can make it through a year of living with this girl.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Things that make you go hmmmmm

Many thanks to Mr. Daisey for this, the history of the vibrator.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

The list

Everyone's got one--a celebrity sex list, that is. The people you can sleep with in a completely theoretical sense without getting busted. Today Lunchboy, his friend D and I threw around a football and discussed who was on ours. Barring a few surprises (Beyonce? Can you tell I don't watch enough MTV...) it was just good fun.

Moxie's List:

Matt Damon
Clive Owen
Brad Pitt (cliched but true-especially after seeing Mr. & Mrs. Smith)
Jason Statham
Ralph & Joseph Fiennes
Jeremy Piven (can't explain it but there it is)
Val Kilmer (only in Top Gun, Real Genius and Willow)

Okay, okay--there were girls on the list. I took them down but now I'm putting them back up...

Angelina (scary but come on)
Rachel Weisz
Kate Winslet
Jennifer Connelly

Sometimes my drugs, they taste like home to me

Growing up, I was a love-o-holic and a love-o-phobe all at the same time. I couldn't stand to be physically affectionate with my family, but I plastered my walls with pages torn out of Teen Beat, Bop and 16. I couldn't wait to fall in love, even though I couldn't allow myself to be loved by the people who loved me most. My ex-best friend couldn't be bothered with boys--her walls were covered with pictures of fighter planes. She couldn't wait to be competent and settled in the world. But me, I just wanted to connect with someone, whether through daydreams or kissing photos on the wall. It's why I am unembarrassed about my New Kids On the Block obsession during middle school. I loved Joey McIntyre--there it is. Judge me if you must. But in my head, I was dreaming up future families, adventures to be taken, love to be had. The force of my imagination was audible--you could hear it in the shrillness of my screams at the NKOTB concerts I attended, all three of them.

That was the thing, though. It was always only in my head. My romantic notions had no basis in reality because the real thing seemed so overwhelming. But of course things were different when it came to actual boys. In classically female fashion, I assumed that the boys wanted the same things that I did--romance and drama--and so I steamrolled my crushes without meaning to. They slipped notes into my locker--I wanted to go out to a movie. They held my hand--I wanted to be making out. Maybe my problem was that I should have gone for older men from the start. But the result was that I scared all the boys away with the intensity of my yearning for romance. When I got into high school, the boys started being a little more enthusiastic about making out, but they still had so many oats to sow. I always held on way past the expiration date of even those short high school flings, and it meant that my heart got broken again and again. The desire to be part of a couple always overrode my common sense.

Then the serious relationships started--first with Mike during college, then J right after college, and immediately after, with Glenn--and I still let my nesting instincts take the forefront. I was in love with love. I couldn't wait to start planning my life with a partner. I wanted to introduce my boyfriends to my friends and parents immediately if not sooner. I always said the L word first and, in the end, it always bit me in the ass. My enthusiasm blinded me to reality. When problems surfaced in the relationships, I'd work and work to fix things, to change myself, to make myself easier to be with, when what I really should have done was turn on my heel and walk out the door. So the relationships always ended, leaving me in tears, wondering how I didn't see it coming sooner. I looked around me at my friends' relationships and wondered how they could be so healthy about things. How did they do it?

Somehow I've done an internal 180. Call it growing up, wising up, being whole in myself, whathaveyou. I honestly don't know. But whatever it is, it has helped make everything with Lunchboy happen in a timely, organic, healthy way (god, it sounds like I'm talking about produce at Whole Foods). I'm not even sure how or whether to articulate it. Carmen summed it up well by saying that every step with Lunchboy has been a pleasant surprise. It has.

Part of it is that neither of us went into this with a ton of expectations or needs. For the first time, I have had no desire to try and predict where things are going. Or to label anything according to the way other people do it. The friend introductions are happening slowly, and I'm still not ready for him to meet my family. It took me weeks to be okay with using the term, "boyfriend," rather than just calling him, "the guy I'm dating."

When I first realized I was falling in love with him, though, I told myself I was imagining things. I fought it and rationalized it and refused to be swept away. But then there it was, the love, warm in my solar plexus like an internal hug, waiting to be articulated. It hung in the air between us, unspoken, braced by fear. For a whole weekend, the words sat on the tip of my tongue, filling my mouth so that I had to bite my cheeks to keep from saying them. It just seemed so soon. When you say the L word, it changes everything. Were we ready for that? Was it for real?

Eventually we broke the silence and when we finally said it, the words felt so natural that it was almost anti-climactic. And it changed nothing. Rather than define our perception of the relationship--like, what's the next step?--it felt more like we were establishing a foundation on which we can build whatever we want. Rather than trumpet it to each other all the time, we don't say it that often and that is just fine with me. Now I know that love is a gift and not a guarantee. I don't want grand romance and drama. I want reality and whatever ends up coming down the road.

Friday, July 01, 2005

It's official

Pulling a Moxie = supergluing your fingers together.