Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Just because

I don’t know where she finds these things but they are so freaking cute.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Monday, August 29, 2005

Bow to your partner

The LA Times looks at how we choose the people we date.

Apparently most people make a decision about a potential partner within 30 seconds of meeting them. If you've read Blink, this actually makes sense.

Thoughts on grief while high on allergy drugs

For some reason, this year’s allergy season is kicking my ass. Yesterday Lunchboy and I hibernated in his house, sprawled on the couch with an ever-growing mountain of used tissues accumulating around us. All my faith in Claritin is GONE. While I was staring at the television, hoping for a reprieve from the sneezing and the itchy throat, I caught Top Gun on one of the movie channels. How does a movie classic like that get so much worse over time? Kelly McGillis wears way too much lipstick and Tom Cruise is just....ew. He used to be semi-attractive but after his recent Katie Holmes-based Scientology ranting, I can’t even watch his chipmunk-cheeked former self without wincing. Not even the volleyball scene. And that’s saying a lot.

Anyway, after watching Top Gun 60-70 times in middle school, I can now get through Goose’s death without tearing up. Oh, the melodrama. But in my allergy haze, it struck me that at no point is Maverick ever allowed to mourn Goose and that this is a serious oversight. Charlotte, Viper, Carole--they all kept telling Maverick not to stop flying just because Goose is dead, that he has to let go and move on. Hello?!?!?!? His best friend just died in a really traumatic way and no one will let Maverick cry, process, or deal with the loss at all. Which got me to thinking about how grief is such a taboo topic in general (and this is how hopped up I was, that Top Gun got me thinking about anything serious whatsoever).

I want to know why it’s not okay to be weak when it comes to grief. Because if there’s one experience that should make weakness okay, it’s dealing with loss. No one can be strong all the time and no one should have to be. Grief is an ugly, messy, undefinable experience. As anyone who’s ever lost someone (or something) knows, grief can take you down at the knees and dog you for years, twisting your insides around when you least expect it. Loss affects everyone differently and the only universal truth about grief is that you’re not supposed to show it in public. Grief is for when you close the door, when you pull your covers over your head, when you hide your face in your hands so no one can see the tears.

Maybe if Maverick had actually cried when he gave Goose’s personal effects to Meg Ryan, a generation or two of men wouldn’t feel like they had to be pillars of stone during emotional times.

And maybe I should get myself some Allegra so I don’t let bad 1980s movies launch me into tangents.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Why I will never be mistaken for someone from my parent's generation

Every time I hear the first few bars of "Son of a Preacher Man" on the radio, I immediately assume the song is Cypress Hill, "Hits from the Bong."

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Crouch no more

Is it me or is this just brilliant? Not that I need to write my name in the snow or anything, but still.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Four seasons in one day

Fall is on its way. On my way home yesterday, I passed a maple tree whose upper leaves were starting to turn a faint shade of orange. After months of heat and humidity, the air is dry and the temp is hovering in the 70s. It's lovely--I wish it could be this way all the time. There's something about fall weather that touches the soul. All those sparklingly clear days, when the sun is so bright and golden that it really does look like the world is glowing.

That said, I'm in complete seasonal denial, mostly about the fact that fall leads to winter. For a long time I honestly thought I'd be back on the west coast before winter arrived, but Boston is looking more and more permanent. As much as I love the change of seasons--something I missed terribly in CA--the thought of biting cold and endless darkness makes me recoil. When we're little, we're encouraged to explore our future vocations. But I'm 30 and when I grow up I want to be a snow bird.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Found out

Apparently my word is CRAP. I come across as sweet and innocent, yet underneath it all I have a quite nasty streak. Gossiping and being critical of others comes a bit too naturally to me. And people will begin to see through the sickly sweet exterior soon.

Interesting. I kinda thought the nasty streak was public knowledge (not unlike my addiction to celebrity gossip), but okay. Thanks to The Insider for the link.

I'm so buying stock in 3M

Today I gave up on Victoria’s Secret entirely and just went with a sweater over a lined camisole. This is a pretty bold move, since my office is kept at roughly 40 degrees Fahrenheit. In my opinion, ditching the bra for a camisole is one of the benefits of being small-breasted (although I like to think of my girls as perky and athletic rather than small per se). However, there are few benefits (fashion-wise, that is) to having slutty nipples. I have to admit that I really envy women whose nipples don’t stand at attention because of a slight breeze, a 2-degree change in temperature or because, you know, there’s air in the air. When it comes to getting dressed on the weekends, I give myself permission to damn the torpedoes and take a break from trying to hide the headlights, but work is different. Work requires creativity when wearing a camisole.

Work requires Scotch tape.

I bow to the Scotch tape. It's better than sticky pseudo-bra cups, or what my ex-best friend and I called Foozbas. It’s simple, painless and cost-effective. And it frequently saves the day. Like at Lunchboy’s friend’s wedding last week, when the temperature dropped below 75 and my summer dress just didn’t insulate the way it was supposed to. He looked mystified when I asked him to get some Scotch tape from the front desk of the hotel.

“What’s it for?” he asked. “What should I tell them if they ask?” But he went down to the desk and got it. Then he stood there with a startled but fascinated look on his face as I pulled down my dress and applied a few pieces.

Of course, because I was doing it in front of him, I bungled the whole thing and ended up looking like my chest was covered in little bits of cardboard. Failure. As. A. Woman. Not only can I not prevent myself from spilling all over every piece of clothing I own, I can’t even tape my own nipples effectively.

So he redid it for me. I’m not sure he’ll ever look at Scotch tape the same way. And now my secret's out.

The things we do for love

A look at closet withdrawal and other fashion-related strategies dreamed up by women who spend many nights away from home:

L: “I can't imagine simply picking out what I want to wear in the moment - it's an exciting dream for me!”

Moxie: “Like in the morning, standing in front of the closet with a towel wrapped around your head, deciding what to wear to work?? What a concept. ”

L: “Right.”

Moxie: “And not trying to put together an outfit but realizing that half of it is in the apartment where you are not.”

L: “Exactly! And not having to only choose “safe” outfits that you already know will work because you can’t experiment when you don’t have readily available backup. One thing I hate about bag-packing is that I can’t take risks.”

Moxie: “I’ve taken to wearing my PJs to Lunchboy’s house so I don’t have to pack another outfit. And then he looks in the laundry basket and wants to know how I go through so many clothes.”

L: “The boys don’t get that packing work clothes is awful because they get all wrinkled and smashed.”

Moxie: “And carrying around a bunch of hangers is a pain.”

L: “I think it's funny that most likely women are the most concerned about this stuff, yet we're the ones doing most of the shuttling back and forth.”

L aptly calls it Bag Lady Syndrome--the weird, limbo-like state that we, as women who stay at our boyfriends’ houses a LOT, navigate on a daily basis. It isn’t an issue of inequity, and we’re not really complaining about it because that would be snotty. When the boys have apartments all to themselves, it just makes more sense to be there rather than share real estate with a roommate. Not only does it mean that we live out of bags and spend a lot of time staring at our wardrobes trying to plan outfits days in advance, though, it also means that “home” becomes a relative term. Is home where you spend most of your time, or is it where you store your things and collect your mail? There’s no real answer, especially when you’re nowhere near ready to shift residences and move in together. Instead, there’s this vague feeling of displacement that persists no matter where I end up sleeping. My apartment is still cozy and comfortable, despite my roommate’s best efforts to make it otherwise, but it no longer feels like I belong there. L says she feels the same way. We’ve decided the boys have it easy. They may come stay at our places every so often, but they sometimes have to be reminded of what we do in order to spend time with them.

Sometimes I really get what Ms. Klein is saying.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Go jump in the lake

The Morning News has a database of swimming holes in the U.S. So handy for those random weekend swimming urges.

There must be some Toros in the atmosphere

Victoria's Secret has yet to manufacture a bra that can stand up to the rigors of office air conditioning. I don't care about high tech, I care about not flashing my headlights at everyone in the building. Summer is wonderful, but at least winter means you can dress for cold inside and outside. Right now going from home to office is like stepping from the African tundra into the Arctic ice circle, and whose body knows how to handle that in a professional capacity?

Narm RIP

I am haunted by the end of last night's series finale of Six Feet Under. The image of Claire driving off down the 10, on her way to a new life in NYC, the future that she can't see or anticipate unfolding as she goes. I like the sense of the unforeseen, the idea of a full, rich life's worth of happiness and experience just waiting for us to get there, even if we can't see it coming. The idea of possibility, of renewal and fulfillment hidden behind a curtain of difficulty, was beautifully played out. Even when things are seriously fucked up, they will come aright again.

It's disarming how things come full circle in ways you don't expect. I watched the very first episode of SFU with Glenn in our first apartment in Arlington a million years ago. It became our Sunday night ritual, and his interpretive dance to the opening theme was our in joke. I stopped watching during the fourth season, when the show got too negative and macabre for me, and I struggled through this season, supplementing the actual show with reading recaps online. But I'm glad I watched last night. When a show that's been a part of your life wraps for good, that ending can be unexpectedly powerful (which is why I cried like a baby through the last episode of Sex and the City, and why I did NOT cry during the long horror that was the end of Voyager). Curled up on Lunchboy's couch, I alternated between being horrified and touched by the show's final montage. Did we really need to know how all the major characters died? Yes and no. But despite the sadness of seeing Keith get shot and Rico keeling over on a cruise ship, I felt glad to know that they all moved on after Nate died. He really was the evil seed.

I'm not sure if Lunchboy understood why I was on the verge of tears, and I didn't want to get into it. Suffice it to say that the world is a happier place now that Alan Ball has moved on to other projects.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Another reason why my apartment building rocks

At 12:45pm last night, my first floor neighbor was watching a back episode of Buffy in his PJs with the window wide open.

Scottie doesn't know

There's nothing like a violently stormy Sunday for indulging one's taste in lowbrow humor. Eurotrip AND Wedding Crashers--woohoo. While I was on the aethetician's table today, waiting for my pre-vacation waxing hell to begin, I read a great profile of Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson that quotes the NYT on the new comedy mafia cabal comprising Vaughn, Wilson, Ben Stiller, Jack Black and Will Ferrell. So all during Wedding Crashers, I was waiting for the other mafiosi to show up. At least Ferrell didn't disappoint.

It took three tries for me to figure out who Matt Damon was in Eurotrip. His cameo is right up there with Brad Pitt's role in True Romance as one of the all-time best under-the-radar performances, at least in my little biased book.

The thunderstorms today were so loud that we could hear the thunder over the movie and over the muzak playing in the supermarket. Why no one thought that I was hopped up on drugs in the supermarket is a miracle because I was jumping like a scared rabbit every time the booming shook the building. The strange weather colored the entire day, making Boston feel like a tropical outpost in an atmospheric war. And that doesn't happen too often. Every movement felt heavy and damp. Silent in their misery, the cats elongated themselves on the hardwood floor, perhaps under the misinformed but understandable notion that horizontality = coolness. It was a weird day.

Off to RI tomorrow.

Friday, August 12, 2005

En vacances

Next week Lunchboy and I are off to attend a wedding in Rhode Island and then spend a few days in Newport, before heading out to Tanglewood for the weekend. I’m really looking forward to some R&R by the ocean and in the mountains (the East Coast version of mountains). Roof decks and whirlpools won’t hurt, either.

One of the women in my Wednesday afternoon yoga class acted surprised when I told her I was taking a vacation with the boyfriend.

“I’m seeing someone but it’s only been like 4 months, so we’re not taking trips together or anything,” she told me.

OK, are we insane for taking a trip together after 4 months?

Carmen soothed my fears. “The trip is a test, but 4 months is a good time for a test like that. Plus, it’s summer. And it’s not like you’re leaving the country.”


Okay, deep breath. I’m ready for fun.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Not always a girl's best friend

Ok., this really bothers me:

Sexy actress Ali Landry is hoping for better marriage luck the second time around, after getting engaged to director Alejandro Monteverde. Landry dumped her first husband, former "Saved by the Bell" star Mario Lopez, last year, after just two weeks of marriage. Landry has decided to give love another try after recently accepting Monteverde's marriage proposal in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, after 10 months of dating. She says of her 1920s Edwardian-style round-cut diamond, "It's huge! I'm so happy!" The pair plan to walk down the aisle in the spring.

Ali Landry did not have a good time last summer. She married Mario and then found out he’d cheated on her with a stripper at his bachelor party.

I read way too much US Weekly and People. There it is.

So let me clarify that I am glad to hear she’s found new happiness and love. But it bothers me that her ring is the focal point of that happiness. If huge diamond rings are all it takes to make her happy, then she should have bought one for herself instead of waiting for a guy. I guess I’m just tired of how ring-focused our culture has become. Whenever people get engaged, especially celebrities, it’s all about the ring. Symbols are an important part of major life transitions like marriage, but it’s sad to see all the emphasis placed on the external stuff. Maybe if people paid more attention to the relationship instead of the ring and the wedding, there would be fewer divorces.

First and ten

The Patriots’ pre-season starts tomorrow night and, as I suspected, the way to Lunchboy's heart lies not through his zipper or his stomach but through his TiVo.

Do I care about football? Historically, no. But the beginning of football season matters because, for the first time in my life, I’m dating a football fan.

Part of being a good girlfriend or boyfriend is learning to like (or at least appreciate) the things that your significant other finds interesting. Sometimes this process is easier than others. Over the years, I’ve dated a Pink Floyd-loving music major, an acapella singer with a running fetish, a photographer obsessed with cycling, and a manic Red Sox fan. Not all of my exes’ interests grabbed me--I never thought The Wall was a seminal work of cinematography—but the point was that being open to their interests broadened my horizons and hopefully it went both ways. Football, however, might be a different story.

Now, let it be known that I’m a good Boston native—I love me some home team action. Loyalty to the Red Sox, the Celtics, the Bruins and the Patriots runs in my blood. I've watched the past few Super Bowls to see our boys kick some butt.

Part of it is that football games take FOREVER to be played. Lots of really big men in tight pants crowd onto the field and throw the ball. They stop every two minutes to reconsider their strategy. Then they play for another 30 seconds and then they stop again. Every so often there’s some excitement when someone scores a touchdown or runs the whole length of the field.

Maybe my trepidation stems from the fact that I just don’t understand the finer points of the game. Will I learn them? Yes. Will I like it? I’ll certainly give it my best. After all, Lunchboy does yoga and runs stairs with me. He's into Entourage and, if I asked him to, he'd TiVo Anne of Green Gables for me while keeping the snarky comments to a minimum.

Not only do pro football games go on for hours, they are on TV ALL THE TIME--Sunday afternoons, Monday nights, and the occasional Thursday evening. Pre-season is Friday night lights, baby. If you're a fan, it's a given that you sew your ass into the couch at game time, but if it's a beautiful day outside I have a hard time stomaching the idea of watching TV rather than going for a hike or something.

OK, maybe I’m being a girl about this.

But give me a break. If you’re not a team sports kind of person, games like football are an acquired taste, sort of like learning to enjoy strong cheeses, hot yoga or graphic novels. Or the color orange. Growing up, I was athletic but always into sports that had a more independent edge—gymnastics, diving, running, crew, yoga. Soccer and softball and field hockey, which were the sports of choice in my happy little suburb, were just not my thing.

Some people have really strong feelings about fantasy football. I just think it’s sort of amusing. What I really hate is the trend toward pink sports paraphernalia. Because women can only get into sports if the hats and T-shirts are pink, right? *retch* You’ll catch me wearing a pink Patriots hat when my body is cold and dead. Then again, football is played during the winter, so I might be both anyway.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Walking down to Camelot

My idea of the perfect rainy afternoon alone.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Dr. Feelgood

It's official--cuddling and hugging are good for your health.

I still think you're using it incorrectly

To my dismay, iteratively is actually a word.

This is why I have a job.

Fever dreams

Shuttling back and forth between Lunchboy’s house and my own apartment, I sometimes lose a few things along the way. On Mondays, that thing is usually my brain. When he’s traveling, he’s out of the house at 5:15am and even though I fall back asleep, being awake briefly always plays with my head. Mondays are when I discover that I forgot to transfer my wallet from my overnight bag to my work bag, when I go looking for a piece of clothing and realize that it’s in a drawer a few miles away, when I spill coffee on my keyboard because I’m tired and in a rush.

Today is an honorary Monday in that way. The power went out at his place last night, but in dribs and drabs rather than all at once. A lamp went out in the bedroom, and then a few hours later all the lights in the kitchen and living room went dead. Lunchboy’s departure this morning was accompanied by phones ringing, lights flashing and cats crying. Then, about 20 minutes after he walked out the door, the power to the outlet running the AC went dead. Were it not a million degrees outside, this would have been less disturbing but since it was both hot and ridiculously, hair-curlingly humid outside, it was a problem. Somehow I fell back asleep and had weird, fever-like dreams in which I felt like I was being weighed down by layers of heat. Somehow my wallet found its way into my work bag and I didn’t leave my computer in the wrong house before I headed to work, but my eyelids are heavy heavy heavy.

So undignified

This is one of those things I hate myself for laughing at, but can’t prevent myself from laughing. Scully would never tolerate any of that. One year I tried to put a cat-size Santa hat on her for Christmas—pretty white cat with a Santa hat—and she had that thing on the ground in two seconds flat. She has, however, been known to get caught in paper shopping bags.

A day in the woods

Togetherness is a lovely thing, but so is alone time. It’s funny how it took me 29 years to really appreciate the whole “room of one’s own” concept, but now that I’ve picked up on it, I hold it close like my own version of Sue-Lynn’s secret in The Anything Box. It’s still hard for me to ask for alone time, but I’m better at it than I used to be. Maybe that’s because it took me a while to know who I am and recognize the need for time alone in order to stay grounded in myself. Good lord, I sound like a self-help book.

Anyway, today I spent the afternoon at Walden Pond and it was glorious. Except when exactly did the Parks Service decide to turn the pond into a police state? The main parking lot was closed and instead of letting us swimmers park near the high school and walk across Rt. 2, the park rangers were staked out near all the trailheads to keep people away from the pond. Seething, I hugged my beach bag and managed to slip past a guy on a horse. When I got to the pond, I realized why the rangers are being all militant. The water level is so high that there are virtually no beach areas outside the main bathing beach. As I picked my way down the pond path, I came across enclaves of beachgoers up in the woods, camped out on towels and folding chairs as if the loam had magically turned to sand. Luckily, I managed to find a little rocky spot that wasn’t mobbed with screaming 8-year olds. I put my stuff down and hopped in the water.

Walden’s a special spot for a lot of people. There’s something meditative and calming about the place that goes above and beyond what you normally find in a pond. Maybe all that transcendentalism leached into the ground back when Thoreau built his little cabin. Maybe it’s just one of those places that holds you in thrall for no apparent reason. I’ve been going there since I was tiny. My parents would take my brother and me down to Little Cove for the day when we were little, so we could splash around and give them ten minutes of peace to read their books. The distance between one side of the cove and the other always seemed so far, and the water seemed so deep. I used to do loopdiloops in the water and imagine I was a nyad (because I was a dork even as a small child), basking in the way the sunlight refracted in the pondy greenness. Glenn and I used to go there on the way home from work to do distance swims from shore to shore. But no matter who I shared it with, Walden always felt like my own place in a way that I’m sure a lot of people feel.

So Walden was a perfect place to go and be by myself today. I swam back and forth between the edge of Little Cove and the far side of the bank a couple of times, looking at the sky and letting the water hold me up. It’s a kettle pond, so by August the water has soaked up enough warmth that it feels like a heated pool. The last time I went swimming for real was at the public pool on Sepulveda in LA, although we did a bunch of paddling between the dock and the float up in Ossipee last month. It felt great to just let go and not have to think about anything or anyone.

After I swam, I sat on a rock with my legs dangling into the water and read for a while. The clouds came in later in the afternoon, so I drove into Concord center and got a snack at one of the cafes. Then I wandered through the Concord Bookshop and picked up the new Harry Potter and Thisbe Nissen’s latest book. My arms and legs were weighted down with that wonderful post-swim sleepiness, and I felt whole and centered. I think I needed to know that I could still have days like today. Like a good yoga practice, it renewed my faith.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Procreation does not equal superiority

When it comes to friendships and relationships, kids constitute the dividing line. I’m not just talking about the line of responsibility or the line of abrupt, complete life change that seems to (and should) accompany the creation of a family. I’m talking about the line between people who have kids and people who don’t. Sometimes it feels like a lot of women who’ve already crossed that line no longer have any interest is relating to women who have yet to reach the parental point of no return. And it’s infuriating.

Yes, I am 30 and I am unmarried. Quite frankly, I’m happy about that fact because if I were married it would be to the wrong person. But just because I have not settled down into a traditional family life complete with husband, house and children does not mean that my life choices are questionable or sophomoric.

If I seem angry, it’s because I’ve attended one too many parties recently where the guest list comprised married couples with children, and where the conversation was a little too Bridget Jones for my comfort. So here’s what I have to say to the Smug Married Parents:

You may think that I don’t notice the pity in your eyes when you ask what I do with my time, but I do. Children may be the light of your life, and I’m glad for you that they are. But you know what? I don’t envy you just because you’re bonding over bad daycare stories. I don’t feel badly for you that you have whiplash because your spirited son decided to headbutt you for the fun of it. Yes, it’s cute when Junior’s T-shirt gets caught in the cooler while he’s rooting around for ice to suck on and I’ll laugh with you, but deep inside I’m thanking my lucky stars that I can go home and giggle over the Chapelle Show while drinking a vodka cranberry and I don’t have to worry about listening to a baby monitor.

The fact is, I get a good night’s sleep every night. The only unexpected disturbances I have to deal with are cat- or roommate-related. My clothes are spitup-free. My vacations don’t have to be planned and budgeted around kids, and I can go on weekend trips whenever I so desire. Nights out with my friends? No problem—no babysitter necessary. Nights in with my boyfriend? Nothing but the cats to bother us. So pardon me if, behind your pity, I sense a reservoir of envy that you can’t bring yourself to acknowledge.

Don’t treat my relationship like it’s a silly high school romance just because I’m not wearing a ring and I haven’t lost my figure yet. I may not be a member of the married mommy club, but that doesn’t mean I’m immature or that I feel like my life lacks meaning. The fact that I’m unmarried and technically still on the dating market isn’t something I bemoan every morning when I roll out of bed. Now, when I reach the point where I’m ready to get married, I’ll know that I got every ounce of independence and growth that I could out of my single life before taking the plunge. There will be no question of maturity or impulsiveness. And when I’m ready to have children, I’ll remember not to ostracize my single friends just because we’re at different points in our lives.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

To sleep, perchance to dream

Ah, sleep. You are like crack to me. I cannot get enough of you, no matter what I do. You rule my days like a persnickety hobgoblin on hormone therapy—cranky, fickle, never letting me entirely out of your greedy grasp. I give you 8 or 9 hours a night and still you want more from me.

I am always tired. Every time there’s a seasonal change, I tell myself that my sleepiness is due to the weather. In the winter this is usually true. When it’s cold and awful outside, there is no better place to be than in my bed, snuggled up in world-class flannel sheets and my down comforter. But it’s August and even though it’s hot and humid, I see no reason to be this tired. Heat is enervating but seeing as it warms me to the core, it’s a cozy enervation and one that I don’t fight. Really, what is there to fight about reading on the porch and enjoying the fact that you don’t have to move AT ALL.

But it’s a different story during the week. Mornings are my personal nadir. This is why, despite my best intentions, I have never been able to be one of those morning runners or morning yoga people. There are a lot of days when I can barely keep my eyes open, no matter how much caffeine I drink or how much protein I eat. My deep, dark, guilty secret is that, on the days when the exhaustion sweeps over me and I cannot shake it off, I go down to the parking garage and take a nap in the back seat of my car during my lunch hour. I live in fear of someone I know walking by the car and finding me out.

Two months ago, Lunchboy and I went to give blood at the local blood drive across the way. They did the little finger prick test and ushered him over to a table, where they stuck a fat needle in his arm and drained a bag of blood from him in like 5 minutes. After they pricked my finger, though, they sat me down and told me they couldn’t take my blood because my blood iron levels were too low. The Red Cross, which always wants people’s blood, turned me down. Not that it was a surprise—I’ve suffered from chronic anemia for as long as I can remember, even though I stuff myself with multivitamins and try to eat lots of iron-rich foods.

Okay, jelly beans have no iron. But still.

The anemia is probably the root of all evil when it comes to my energy levels. There are days when it feels like I could sleep for 13 straight hours and still be tired when I woke up. I know this because right after I graduated from college, I came home to my parent’s house and for the three weeks before I moved into my first apartment, I slept for 13 hours a night and still needed a nap during the day. Same thing after grad school.

This past weekend, I stocked up on iron pills at Trader Joe’s and am on a mission to banish the exhaustion. Sleep is already a carefully horded commodity for me. As anyone who has lived with me, stayed with me and/or hosted me knows, I am the ultimate sleep dork. Every night at bedtime, I break out the construction-grade earplugs and my beloved black satin sleep mask, all the better to block out errant noise and light. Woe is he/her/it that wakes me up before the alarm goes off.

My hope is that the iron pills will make a difference. I am tired of being tired.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


#433234 on the list of things I never expected to happen: My mother calling me after an episode of Entourage to say,

“Oh my god, it was like my life was onscreen!”

My mother, whose only contact with the entertainment business was when she was friends with a guy who starred in a Hallmark Hall of Fame TV movie. My mother, who watches way, way, WAY too much cable TV. She counts on HBO and Showtime to keep her hip. It’s touching, really, because she watches this stuff in part to understand the world my brother and I inhabit. But sometimes it gets disturbing, like the time I told her about seeing Glenn last August and she asked, “Does that count as a deja-fuck?” That was when I took the remote control away from her and hid it in the basement.


The real reason she said that, of course, was ComicCon. My mom’s been attending similar conventions for years because, in her spare time, she writes science fiction. She’s pretty good at it—two of her books were published when I was about 13. For a while she let my brother and me tag along when she hit NorEasCon or Arisia and, once, WorldCon when it was in the booming metropolis of Springfield, Mass. You really have to see these conventions to understand what they’re like. Hotels full of people dressed up as their favorite book/movie/TV show characters. Lots of elf ears and Vulcan ears. Ballrooms full of vendors selling chain mail, authentic Star Trek uniforms, fantastical jewelry and things like stuffed dragons that are based on creatures in the Anne McCaffrey books. It’s pretty amazing and scary and impressive. And scary.

My father thinks the whole Con thing is nutty. He watched the Entourage episode, too. He got on the phone and asked one question: “Where are all the fat, unhappy people?”

I hung up before my mother could bring up the Pussy Patrol, or the strap-ons. Really, mom, I don't want to KNOW.

Tummy crust

The NY Daily News has created a name for that unlovely roll of flab that blooms over the top of people's jeans. The whole naming of the muffin top phenomenon is less shocking to me than the fact that, according to the article, men actually like it. Not that I'm judging anyone for what they weigh, but I'm a line freak and I just think the muffin top thing looks sloppy. Anyone can look great as long as they wear clothes that fit, and by "fit" I mean "not 2 sizes too small." This is not a Dr. Seuss story.

Monday, August 01, 2005


This weekend, in addition to sleeping like a champion, watching untold hours of TiVo and avoiding my roommate’s birthday bash, I clocked a record 30 sets of stairs at the stadium, a feat for which I am proud but also for which the lower half of my body is now paying dearly. There are 37 sets in the Harvard stadium and by god I will get through the whole thing before winter if it’s the last thing I do. Being short (5’3”), I can’t run the big steps so I climb them instead. Running the little steps bugs the hell out of me. There are days when I wish I could be one of those lanky, athletic types who can lope up the steps with both elegance and strength but clearly it’s not in the cards.

I’m considering running a ½ marathon in San Francisco this November. Not only does the course look spectacular but I realize that I miss having an athletic goal—besides fitting into my clothes--to work toward. Do I like to compete? No. But the having of the goals is nice and productive.

This past week, Lunchboy finally got me to the theater to see Revenge of the Sith. At no point did I ever intend NOT to see this movie, but considering how awful the previous two installments were, I had no intention of dropping $10 to endure 2.5 hours of George Lucas-inflicted pain. But, like most people said, it wasn’t as bad as Attack of the Clones. Somehow the end tied up nicely and lead to the original series quite well. But I live in the hope that George Lucas will never again attempt to depict emotion on-screen. Watching EVERYTHING involving Padme and Anakin was like giving myself paper cuts with badly written Hallmark cards.