Monday, February 28, 2005

I lack focus

Today is February 28.

My page-a-day calendar reads February 1.

This unfortunate case of calendar neglect pretty much represents how I kept up with February in the rest of my life, too.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Ping-Pong

This is getting ridiculous.

The moment that I make a decision about prioritizing getting a job and the possibility of relocating, the hand of God throws an Escalade-sized wrench into my seemingly flawless, ideal plans.

Witness:
I decide that I do not want to live to work; I will work to live and I will do it in my home state.

Shit with Jess goes down.

I decide that I need to grow up and get out of the deceitful hole that I had fallen into. I will find a job and I will relocate and I will stop being afraid of the unknown, the world at large, squirrels and the possibility that my dad will not be within driving distance of fixing my fuck-ups.

There’s This Boy and I like him and I can almost muster the self-confidence to believe that something could happen. Finally. I renew my gym membership for six months. Despite major job search anxiety, I look forward to life in this cold, quirky mitten.

My uncle calls. I have a lead on a job that is so related to your internship and to your education that its perfection will make you sob. Send me more résumés and writing clips. But only do it if you’re willing to move. I’m putting my ass out there for you.

I put together my résumé and my portfolio.

And I cry.

Because I don’t want to move. Because I know I can’t waste such a valuable connection. Because I don’t want to live only for work. Because I want a career. Because I don’t want this to be so hard. Because this feels like my only chance.

Because my head knows that it would be for the best and my heart refuses to agree.

Botox, here I come

Attendance at skating lessons last week was sparse; the districts served by our program were all on mid-winter break. Kids were too busy visiting Grandma and Mickey Mouse to bother with skating. Fair enough.

I was chatting with the dedicated few who showed up for one of the classes that I teach, asking the kids what they were doing on their break from school while I put on their nametags.

“I’m going to Fworda tomorrow!” one of the diehards sang to me. “I am going to Orwando. It’s going to be rwaining tomorrow when we get there.”

“You’re going to Florida? Oh, I am SO jealous!” When I’m with the really little kids, I feel the need to over gesture and speak entirely too loud and bounce around like Bozo the Clown on Red Bull and vodka. “Can I join your family and go with you?”

He giggled. “No!”

“Please?”

All of the kids were laughing. I may get into children’s comedy if this career-derived-from-education shit doesn’t work out.

“No! I already have a mom!”

Ouch.

“Uh. I was thinking I could be your fun older sister or a cool big cousin, buddy, but, um...so, kids, how about we do some swizzles?”

I spent the rest of the night convinced that I had arthritis.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

The MasterCard master plan

Yesterday, Meg came home for Spring Break.

Yesterday, Mom and Dad left for vacation.

Meg, our little princess, is pissed.

Meggie doesn’t like that she wasn’t invited. Meg doesn’t like that Mom and Dad chose basking in the sunshine to staying home and fawning over her visit to the homestead.

Meg has made a very comprehensive plan to get back at Mom and Dad. Her plan involves Mom and Dad’s credit card, the mall, various restaurants, yarn and fabric, the movie theater, upgrading hockey equipment, her favorite dessert and me.

Saying no to preserve my self-worth and my standing in our family unit is not an option.

Meg needs an accomplice. She’s bigger than me. There is no possible way that I can refuse her request.

Plus, I think it is important to family dynamic that all children are spoiled equally.

Friday, February 25, 2005

It

A little bit o' music content for your Friday evening, courtesy of Plantation's decision to pass the buck along to me.

1. Total amount of music files on your computer:
1,136

2. The last CD you bought was:
I went on an awarestore.com binge just before my awesome business trip. In preparation for the fun, I bought Dave Barnes’s Brother, Bring the Sun, Marc Broussard’s Carenco, and Blu Sanders’s 5 to Care About and My Gemini Self.

3. What is the song you last listened to before reading this message?
Blu Sanders, "All Into You."

4. Write down 5-10 songs you often listen to or that mean a lot to you:

Okay. I’ve toiled over this question for five days now. I can’t answer it. Absolutely cannot. There are too many memories rooted in too many songs, and prioritizing them feels cheap. So, instead, here are 12 songs that I’ve been addicted to at one point since the fall:

Jamie Cullum, "twentysomething"
Blu Sanders, "One True Thing"
Teitur, "Poetry and Airplanes"
Dave Barnes, "Grace’s Amazing Hands"
Mark Broussard, "Lonley Night in Georgia"
Rachael Yamagata, "Worn Me Down"
Cary Brothers, "Blue Eyes"
Ari Hest, "Anne Marie"
Charlotte Martin, "Sweet Chariot"
Matt Nathanson, "Sad Songs"
David Gray, "As I'm Leaving"
Rhett Miller, "I Want to Live"

5. Who are you going to pass this stick to? (3 persons) and why?
Robert_M, Sarah and Maureen. Because I want to.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Dear Plantation

I would've written something today, but I got awfully caught up with:

1. baking a birthday cheesecake for Kevin.
2. subbing for His soccer team.
3. scoring the sweetest fucking goal off of a header for His soccer team.
4. going to the bar with His soccer team. And Him, too.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Ingredients for a nightmare

I am deathly afraid of squirrels.

And acute loneliness.

And the mere thought that I am going to end up with a job that hasn’t the slightest relevance to my majors, to my education or to the four years of lecture-paper-worksheet-discussion-review session-exam-essay hell that I put myself through for a very fancy piece of paper from a very fancy institution of higher learning.

This dog can smell her own stench

Leaving your hockey skates sitting at the floorboard when you’re planning on using the remote start to heat your car, via the floor panel, into a toasty oblivion the next morning?

Not a good idea.

Unless you truly enjoy the smell of feet.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

PS

Why do I get so irrationally angry when my mom tells me what I must do with my hair, anyway?

I suspect this will only work if you gave birth to me

Here’s a good way to piss me off:

1. Act overly dramatic when I tell you that I bought a hair straightener. Make your face fall with disappointment that should be reserved for announcements including (but not limited to): teenage pregnancy, joining a cult and dropping out of school.

2. Moan about how many people in the world pay massive amounts of money to their hairstylists to have curls like mine.

3. Hint that I need to get my hair highlighted.

4. Offer to pay for highlights when I do not respond to hints.

5. Fail to understand that it is very possible for a person to wear her hair curly one day and straight the next.

6. Forget that, even though you might have given birth to me and raised me and fed me and sheltered me and didn’t kill me when I threw that huge temper tantrum at the Epcot Center because you and Dad are CRUEL CHILDHATERS and wouldn’t buy me that Figment hat, the hair on my head is still mine.

And, for maximum irritation, do all of this within 48 hours.

And so, dearest Mommy,

Look at this picture.



Notice two things:
1. Lack of halo.
2. Nonexistent Property of Momma signage.

Now get off of my back, please.

And don't forget to write me that check for the highlights.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Because of Dave Matthews

My best friend, Lucy, and I went to see Because of Winn Dixie yesterday.

Perhaps, gentle readers, you are curious as to why two 22-year-olds would choose to see a family movie.

The reason is rather simple.

Dave Matthews is in it.

And Dave Matthews is the reason that we are friends.

Lucy and I met as high school sophomores. We were destined to be acquaintances. We commiserated about barely passing our dreadful advanced chemistry class, we ate the occasional lunch together, we snickered at the annoying kids in our class and we did bad imitations of our teacher. But I was in the midst of my soccer phase and Lucy couldn’t have cared less about sports. Lucy worked at a stable and I was two years away from my first job.

We were school friends. Casual friends. The summer between our sophomore and junior years, we didn’t talk once. But, come August, we were delighted to see that we were in the same Advanced Placement U.S. History class. We picked up where we left off, bitching about American history with the passion with which we had previously discussed our chemistry woes. We still ate the occasional lunch together. We still restricted our friendship to school hours.

Our mutual friend, Aviva, suggested that we go to the Dave Matthews Band concert that December. Lucy was invited because she absolutely adored the Dave Matthews Band; I garnered an invite because my dad could get sweet seats at the venue.

And so we went.

And so I fell in love with Dave Matthews Band.

And so Lucy became my best friend.

It is amazing, ladies and gentlemen, what a common interest can do to a previously casual friendship. There was always a TV appearance or magazine article or the bootleg copy of a live show or Mr. David J. Matthews’s hot ass to talk about. To one another, we could squeal about a balding 30something and not garner any criticism.

We’ve seen 18 Dave Matthews Band concerts together. I can tell you all about every one of them. Eventually, I’m sure that I will.

In the midst of all of the concerts and the obsession, Lucy and I learned that we had a lot more in common than the Dave Matthews Band. We were a lot alike and markedly different, complimenting the other’s attributes and hiding her flaws. We were – and are – an unstoppable team.

An unstoppable team with an impeccable taste in music, I might add.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Child rearing and other mindless tasks

In case you all haven’t realized this yet, I’m quite hard on myself. I expect a lot – too much – and I’m angry when I don’t live up to my expectations. And I get irritated when I’m angry because I don’t live up to my expectations. And I get sad when I get irritated when I’m angry because I don’t live up to my expectations. And I feel hopeless when I get sad when I get irritated when I’m angry because I don’t live up to my expectations.

It isn’t a lifestyle choice that I would endorse.

Despite how incredibly pissed, annoyed, frustrated, angry, furious, irate, mad, disappointed, discouraged and outraged I can get with myself, I have random moments when I can myself through the eyes of others.

And during those moments of illumination I realize that I’m not a completely worthless lump of shit.

I had one of those flashes of insanity just yesterday.

I take my seven-year-old cousin, Paige, to soccer every Saturday. Big Cousin-Little Cousin soccer bonding originated around Christmastime, when I decided that it was entirely unacceptable that Paige had never participated in a sport and volunteered to chauffer. As Paige’s father could never turn down an opportunity to have a relative watch one of his kids for a few hours, especially on a regular basis, especially for free, Saturday soon became Soccer Day.

Yesterday, because my uncle is away on business, my aunt could stand a little bit of time alone and I am jockeying for Niece of the Year honors, I brought Paige’s little brother along for Soccer Day. Max is four and, yes, he has the same name as my dog.

Oh, Baby Jesus, was Max excited to see me. So excited, in fact, that he jumped up from his video game (who knew a four-year-old could operate a video game? Not I, said the fox.) and squealed “DANIELLLLLLLLLLLLLE!”

Which isn’t my name.

It was an honest mistake. Danielle is another one of our cousins. And, sure, we’re easy to confuse. Seeing as how I live 14 miles away and see him once a week and Danielle lives 600 miles away and sees the kid twice a year.

I don’t blame it on Max. I blame it on the poster-sized portrait of Danielle that hangs at Max’s house. The portrait, by the way, was a gift from Danielle to Max’s parents. She gives gifts of herself. Because she is an actress.

And I won’t blame the kid for the 37 times over the course of the afternoon that he called me Meg, either. We look alike. And Max wasn’t born of the highest pedigree. And I don't say that to be mean. I say that because we're wading through the same shallow gene pool.

Anyway. Moving on.

Through an act of God, we arrive at soccer with all extremities. Paige gets onto the soccer field without incident, Max climbs into the bleachers without cracking open his scull.

Sweet. This parenthood shit isn’t any harder than owning a dog.

There were many distracting and exciting things at the soccer facility. A mat to bounce own. Vending machines to lust over. Older kids wearing orange jerseys running really, really fast. Max and I walked up and down the bleachers 59 times.

I feigned a broken femur so that we could sit and return Paige’s stares, waves and demands for attention. Max sat still for 41 seconds. I felt like I’d just won a Grammy for Best New Yodeling Artist.

Feeling well-rested after 41 seconds of stillness, Max was drawn to the baby boy that a man was holding a few feet down from us.

Oh, was this small human being interesting! Small, but with all of the features of a full-sized person. Amazing! Max investigated the baby so thoroughly that forehead was nearly touching the little brat.

The baby was playful; Max was amazed. He laughed when the baby grabbed at his nose; he laughed harder when I told him it was because the baby mistook his nose for a piece of candy. He giggled when the baby grabbed his cheeks; he howled with laugher when I told him that it was because the baby mistook his cheeks for a slice of bread, perfect for being smeared with peanut butter.

Max asked the father a thousand questions about the baby. The dad was good-natured and not the slightest bit fussy, assuring me that Max wasn’t being bothersome.

Max and the baby interacted for a good 10 minutes. Max held the baby’s hand. He picked up the baby’s pacifier when it fell. He touched the baby’s face.

The end of playtime came when Max, who had just smeared his germ-infested hands all over the little guy, announced to the father, “I have a real bad cough.”

I don’t think that the dad heard, but I can’t be sure. Max and I were running down the bleachers a little too quickly to be bothered with small talk and/or cursing and/or death threats.

And it was while I was herding a four-year-old away from a potentially awkward situation, dear friends, that I saw myself through the eyes of others.

And now I know: I am not a completely worthless lump of shit.

I am a fucking saint.

Wanted: one victim of my kleptomania

If I ever reach a point in my life where I actually have a significant other, I am definitely going to be one of those sweatshirt-stealing bitches.

Oh my GOD do I love me an enormously oversized sweatshirt.

Preferably with a hood.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Sparing us all

Subjects I could be blogging on:
1. A mildly sprained ankle.
2. Columbus, Ohio.
3. Kevin’s bad habit of drunk dialing me at 3:27 AM.
4. My weeklong cookie binge.
5. Nail polish.
6. My disgust for Howie Day.
7. My disgust with the NHL lockout.
8. My disgust with the disparity between the hours Kevin and I, who are paid the same and were hired for identical positions, work.
9. Ceramic hair straighters.
10. Why I love my alma mater despite feeling as though I wasted $100,000 on my education.
11. Dippin’ Dots.
12. Outrage at the podiatrist’s office.
13. A Gesture Life, Chang-rae Lee.
14. Oprah.
15. Opera.
16. Sweater-knit skating tights.
17. Uncle Jimbo.
18. Healthcare.
19. An identity crisis initiated at the hands of my four-year-old cousin.
20. Potholes.
21. The green and white scarf I’m knitting for my grandpa.
22. Insanely dry, Midwestern winter skin.
23. Eminem.
24. Kid Rock.
25. The White Stripes.
26. Impending job ohmygodi’mgoingtoliveathomeforever search.
27. Muffins v. healthful 8-grain yum-yum bread.
28. Newsprint.
29. Playing soccer mom.
30. Flexibility, in life and in hamstrings.
31. Nail biting.
32. Champion double-dry sports bras.
33. Ikea.
34. The good hearted.
35. Online banking.
36. Why I’d make a damn fine housewife/stay-at-home mom.
37. Skating. Duh.


37 possibilities and nothin’ to show for it.

I blame it on soul-obliterating exhaustion. On this much sleep, coherent thought is as possible as parking a freight train in a thimble.

Friday, February 18, 2005

In this corner

In my usual Friday morning class at the gym, we were throwing hooks. Our instructor was harping on us to exercise a little bit of good boxing form, even though it is more likely that one of the stay-at-home moms in the class would find a cure for AIDS while cooking macaroni and cheese than it is that any of us would end up in a legitimate fight.

So he’s bitching into his microphone, per usual, telling us to bring our hands back up to our cheekbones after we punch. Doing so protects a boxer (and rich hoes who work out at a swanky, boxing-inspired gym) from getting clocked in the face.

He tells us to keep our hands up every class. I’ve been listening to that lecture (over eardrum-rupturing techno, mind you) for 10 months. But for some unknown reason, I decide that I’m going to listen. And really, really concentrate on keeping my fists up at my cheeks.

I totally succeeded in pulling my hand back up to my face.

But I seem to have missed the portion of the instruction where we were told not to whip our glove back up so forcefully that we crack ourselves in the face.

Ignorant to this information, I brought my hands up, just like a good little boxer.

And jacked myself right in the grill.

Story of my life.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Oh, Vicky!

My father spent his lunch hour browsing through the Victoria’s Secret swimsuit catalog.

If browsing can be defined as careful observation and memorization.

Mom flipped through it while we were eating dinner. She pointed out the swimsuit with the sequins – perfect for Meg. I told her that there were a few cute Miracle Bra swimsuits. Perfect for flat little me.

“I don’t see any Miracle Bra swimsuits,” Mom muttered through her (South Beach Diet, phase two) brown rice.

“They’re with the swimsuit separates,” Dad interjected. My father. Who doesn’t know the difference between suede and velvet. Talking about swimsuit separates.

My mother had to roll up her tongue and tuck her baby blues back into their sockets.

We went on eating – stuffed tilapia, snap peas and rice – and Mom went on browsing. Dad watched the catalogue out of the corner of his eye.

“I really don’t think I like those boy shorts bottoms.”

We questioned his sexuality. And continued eating.

“You know, those girls have to shave!”

Dad blurted out his observation with a force that should only be used when chasing a fleeing suspect or addressing a complaint at a restaurant with the hope that you’ll settle the situation with a complimentary dessert.

“They do! Look at her! Look! There’s a foot between her bellybutton and the top of her bathing suit!”

I slammed my head on the table.

Mom slammed Dad’s head on the table.

Later in our wholesome family meal – after Mom and I explained to Dad what happened during a bikini wax, after we talked smack about Meg, after we laughed about the latest story my pathological liar of a grandma had weaved – we discussed an interview that one of the local radio morning shows had with Cybill Shepherd.

I missed the portion of the interview where she discussed sleeping with Elvis Presley; I asked for a recap.

Dad wouldn’t fill me in.

Because it is absolutely inappropriate to talk about oral sex with your 22-year-old daughter. Especially after a dinnertime conversation about the mechanics of a bikini wax.

Mmmmmm! Chicken!

I like it when girls wear ultra-shiny, my-lips-radiate-UV-light, suitable-only-for-Las Vegas, check-your-reflection-in-my-peckers lip gloss.

It makes me think of a really greasy fried chicken dinner. With mashed potatoes.

One day, when I get some balls, I’m going to ask a Shiny Lip if she was just eating at KFC.

It’ll be sweet.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Me gusta fútbol

During high school, soccer was more than my life. Soccer was me. I didn’t identify myself as anything more than a soccer player; I doubt any of my classmates saw me any other way, either.

Soccer was my focus. Soccer was my drive. I put everything I had into soccer.

During high school, I didn’t skate.

I played soccer.

I played soccer with all that I had, despite my high school’s weak soccer program and overzealous, inexperienced coach. I was a big fish in our little pond. I reveled in my role.

I never questioned the frequency with which I cried during practice. And it didn’t seem odd that I sobbed in the shower after most games.

I was caught up in being The Freshman on Varsity, The Two-Year Captain.

By the end of my first season, I was too involved in soccer to realize that I didn’t like it anymore. I plowed through three more years, recognizing my misery but refusing to acknowledge the source.

It wasn’t until my freshman year of college that I let myself see the role soccer played in my life. I went to the first tryout for the club soccer team. I played horribly. It wasn’t likely that I would make the team. I didn’t go back. I didn’t miss it.

I didn’t miss it for four years.

I started playing again this fall. It felt different. And good. In high school, I played soccer because I was supposed to. Now I’m playing because I want to.

Actually wanting to do something instead of feeling obligated to do it – holy motherfucking obvious! – makes all the difference.

I’m sincerely glad that I’m back on the soccer field.

The fact that he manages the facility I play at is just a perk.

Albeit a cute one.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Stroke that ego

Why coaching adults is fun:

1. I don’t have to act like a mime
2. Baby voice is unnecessary
3. I can use long, complicated words like ice and foot
4. Games are frowned upon
5. Every class turns into a passionate session of Compliment Coach.

“Oh, you make it look soooooooooo easy!”

“You’re so graceful.”

“I’ll never skate as well as you, but...”

I am so incredibly vain.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Sparing the gory details

Nothing happened.

Nothing monumental. Nothing noteworthy.

It was what it was. And while I can look back on parts of our evening and inwardly squeal/giggle/pinch myself, nothing I could write would elicit a squeal, a giggle, a pinch, binge eating, a celebratory jig or victorious confetti throwing in others. I’m not even sure it would hold your attention. It’s all too simple. It’s all too sixth grade.

We had a good time. A few hours. Good conversation. He wanted me to go to his house. I had to go home and do time-sensitive work for my internship. He emailed me late that night, asking why I hadn’t called him when I was done doing my work. He left me a voicemail the next afternoon.

Thinking about him makes me smile. It diminishes Kevin. It makes me rethink my desire to start over someplace new.

But the sum of the equation is this: it was one night and a few drinks.

And that’s a very flimsy foundation to build hopes on.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Puttin’ the V in Valentine

I was feeling domestic today, so I took on a second consecutive afternoon of baking Valentine’s Day cookies. I thought that I could bring a plate of delicious baked goods to work and another to share with my skating instructor colleagues. It would be a nice gesture. I would be showered with love and adoration. The world would be a wonderful place.

Yesterday, Meggie and I tackled sugar cookies. Our pink and purple sprinkle-laden product inspired pure and unmitigated delight.

Our cookies were so bloody beautiful that I had to make more.



I decided that the cream cheese spritz cookies that we make at Christmastime would be p-p-p-p-perfect. They’re made with a cookie press and – hello! – our cookie press has a mold for hearts. So fucking adorable that they may bring bystanders to tears.

I make the dough. I dye my hands a festive red while mixing in the food coloring. I press the cookies. I embellish them with sprinkles. I decide that I will make the ideal wife and mother.

My mom was standing behind me when I took the first batch out of the oven.

“They look like vaginas,” she announced.

As she’s a healthcare professional, I let the comment pass without an assault on her character.

“Or maybe they look like ovaries and the fallopian tube.”

I won’t deny that Mom had a point. My cookie creations didn’t come out of the press looking like the innocuous Hallmark hearts that I’d envisioned.

“Oh! It’s a uterus! Definitely a uterus.”

She held a cookie up to her abdomen for effect.



Needless to say, I won’t be bringing them to work tomorrow.

But I was thinking about donating them to a high school anatomy class.

Quotable

My father, holding me in a headlock because I threatened to kick his ass if he shit in my bathroom:
“I’m going to rip your head off and shit in your windpipe.”

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Help me, Jesus

Know that guy that I wasn’t crying over on Thursday?

He just called.

We’re going to the bar.

I just did a happy dance.

And nearly threw up on my shoes.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Evidence of my loser gene

I had braces as a middle-schooler, which is neither unusual nor uncommon for a child of my generation. We were all brace faces, which made sporting tinsel teeth virtually painless when it came to impressing our peers.

Getting my braces off just before starting high school (oh my God, now that I have straight teeth all of the high school boys are going to fall in love with me!), I was intelligent enough to get into the good habit of wearing my retainers every night to bed.

The conscious and very responsible decision to care for my newly straightened pearly whites can be attributed to my mother, who is a professional nag, and my elder cousin, whose teeth slid back to their pre-braces chaos after a few years of retainer neglect.

Wearing my retainers at bedtime was a good habit that I sustained through travel and college and one summer being a counselor (read: being held in hellish conditions like a slave because the majority of my salary came on successful completion of an entire summer of catering to spoiled children) at a sleep-away camp in Pennsylvania and another summer studying in Denver.

It’s automatic. Sleeping without my retainers in feels foreign.

I’ve been whitening my teeth the last two nights, so I haven’t been able to wear my retainers.

It is no coincidence that I can’t sleep.

Baby girl can’t sleepy without her pacifier.

Accumulating

I’ve never cried over a boy.

...logical, since I’ve never had a boy to cry over.

Seeing as I didn’t have a boy to cry over last night, I cried over them all. Every boy I’ve ever known.

It was a meaningless invitation tag along with him and his friends to a bar near my house. The invitation came on the heels of weeks of flirtation surrounding when we were ever going to go out drinking together, darling.

He always initiated it. The first thing out of his mouth when he saw me. It was he who called me darling.

And he who didn’t call me last night.

I didn’t expect him to. The tail of our conversation was a convoluted mess.

“When are you going out?” “Around 6:00. Call me tomorrow and I’ll know for sure.” “Okay, well, I have to work. But I’ll stop by. I don’t have your number. Call me.” “Your cell phone? I don’t have the num...oh. We have it on file. It’s a 402 number?” “What?” “Your cell number. It’s a 402 number, isn’t it? I know your home number – from when I used to have to call Meg all the time – 363-2218.” “I can’t believe you know that.” “I have a good memory for numbers.” “Whatever. And, yes, it is a 402 number. See you tomorrow, I guess.”

I didn’t expect him to call.

He didn’t. I cried.

Because there are only so many times a kid can brush off being picked last for the kickball team.

That day when she finally lets herself feel the rejection, she's not crying over one last place pick by one team. She's crying over them all.

And so I did.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

If/Then

If...Tim Horton’s had plush, ass-friendly seating rather than ache-inducing plastic booths
Then...I would spend entire days at Timbo’s, binging on a book and gluttonous servings of lemon-cranberry muffins, coffee and cinnamon raisin bagels.

If...you are Kevin
Then...you can sweet-talk me into doing your half of The Most Annoying Intern Task Ever while you take a few days off to visit your alma mater to drink and screw sorority girls, about which you will tell me on Monday.

If...I ever get a real job
Then...there is a God.

If...you are the woman who I drove around an entire weekend, enabling your stalker-like behavior, and you feel it necessary to consistently call and email to remind me to mail out the skating tapes that I recorded for you because I am cool enough to get CBC and you aren’t
Then...I won’t go to the post office. Intentionally.

If...this boy – who is not Kevin – calls me tonight as he told me he would
Then...you will all be blessed with a gushing, sappy, disgustingly annoying post about it.

If...you are Kate Spade
Then...please send me a new purse.

If...I didn’t have such a paralyzing fear of making unsolicited phone calls to people I don’t know
Then...I would be interviewing, instead of writing this entry as a means of stalling.

If...you read my blog
Then...please accept my sincere thanks and appreciation.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

The Wicked Curse of the Childhood Wish

Most of the memories I have from growing up are pretty vague. I know the gist of the situation and I know the significance that triggered me to remember a particular incident, but I’ve long discarded the specifics – purging details to make room for information “essential” to a “fruitful” and “meaningful” adult life. Like y = mx+b. Which I’ve frequently used in my transition from childhood into a productive member of society. Just as you promised that I would, Ms. Ernst. You lying old whore.

Anyway.

There is one afternoon at my grandma’s house that I remember exceptionally well. We were all at Grandma’s to celebrate a birthday. The grownups were sitting around the table. I was about nine, being nosey, quietly standing behind my mom’s chair. My aunt was talking about my dad.

“Robbie’s hair didn’t get curly until he went through puberty.”

“Sweet!” I, of ruler-straight hair, thought to myself. “When I go through puberty, I hope that I get big knockers and curly hair!”

And then I went through puberty.

And got the curly hair.

And barely an A cup.

Clearly, there was some sort of static interference or test of the emergency broadcast system or thunder clap that prevented the Powers That Be from hearing my entire wish. Boobs and curly hair. Not curly hair. Not boobs or curly hair. C: all of the above.

So now I’m stuck with:
1. a flat chest
2. a feisty, uncontrollable mane of curly, strawberry blonde hair.

To address issue No. 1, I have employed the Wonderbra. Problem solved.

I have yet to find a solution for issue No. 2.

I don’t hate having curly hair. It mutes my plainness with a little character. It gives acquaintances a way to describe me without using phrases such as “voluptuous gadonkadonk,” “blue-eyed neurotic” or “short and devoid of personality.”

What I hate is having curly hair that is SO. INCREDIBLY. FUCKING. STUBBORN. that it refuses to do anything but:
a. not curl on days I want it to be curly
b. drain my bank account
c. look lame
d. multiply and friz in fear at the mere mention of a blow dryer

This is what I do every single damn morning in an attempt to make it acceptable to wear my head in public:

-shower
-scrunch
-apply handfuls of gel
-scrunch
-prance around a towel draped over my shoulders (Superwoman-style) and freeze white ass off while waiting for hair to drip dry
-curse at self for making such a stupid damn wish in the first place

This routine rarely works. My hair looks fabulous if I shower, scrunch, gel, scrunch and sit perfectly still and allow hair to dry for exactly four hours and 18 minutes. But, other than that, I’m screwed.

And still flat.

Which is why I am so bitter and hostile about life.

Confessions of a closeted teeny-bopper

Spotted: One (1) 6'2", 280 lb. NFL defensive end

At: My gym

Talking to: Hot Pat

Discussing: My alma mater

Critical name drop: Tom Brady, “my boy”

Urine: Streaming down leg of my black yoga pants

Shame: Severely lacking

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Trendsetter

In addition to The Internship, I work a job that I actually like.

I coach group skating lessons.

I love everything about teaching lessons. I love the sticky fingers and the giggles and the brats and the anxious parents and the hugs and the Valentines kids give me. I love teaching the kids how to fall. I love helping them up.

But there is nothing I despise more than when I catch one of my students’ parents in the stands, holding a camera or a camcorder.

I take it to mean that one day I will be a memory, paused upon only to laugh at.

“It was 2005, honey. That’s how people dressed.”

If we substitute 2005 with 1990 and add in an explanation of permed hair and why it was considered attractive in the early '90s, we would have an exact replica of a conversation I had with my mother.

Thank God I'm not allowed to teach in multi-colored sailboat sweatshirts and tapered, print MC Hammer pants.

Monday, February 07, 2005

From pissed to progress

I've been having problems with my Lutz. It's a silly problem. Small enough that I can still land the jump the majority of the time, but big enough that it's inhibiting my progress.

The stagnancy is annoying.

As a skater, I have found that it’s when the annoyance hits critical levels that you progress.

You reach a point where you’re sick of squeaking out jumps that are acceptable but unremarkable.

You get pissed. And you get motivated.

You realize that your ass is going to smack the ice and you realize that the bruises will fade from purple to blue to green before they completely disappear...two months later.

You understand that falling is progressing.

You take the falls with a grain of salt, a tube of IcyHot and a handful of ibuprofen.

That’s skating.

My annoyance hit critical proportions on Wednesday. I went from unimpressive Lutzes to angry as hell to big, flowing, cleanly landed, textbook Lutzes in 40 minutes. I improved because I was too mad to care how many times I fell and how pathetic I looked. I improved because I wasn’t afraid to get dirty.

I’ve been thinking about – okay, okay – I’ve been lusting over my insta-beautiful Lutz for five days now. And it has started to dawn on me that the only way to accomplish anything significant – not just Lutzes so beautiful that they would bring a tear to Dick Button’s eyes – is to get angry.

My annoyance with myself and with the career that I don’t have is inching close to those critical levels.

My internship ends in April. Until then, I will be stockpiling ice packs and Aleve. Because I’m sick of living so incredibly safe. I can fall a few times. I can brush the ice off of my ass; I can laugh at a bruise and decide that it is the shape of a taxi.

Or the shape of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Or the shape of a camel.

I can get dirty. I can file away the fear. I can choose what is right instead of what is least scary.

I've never been told that success was easily attainable.

That can't be coincidence.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

If we’re generalizing

If the sex came with the certainty that I would catch an STD that would turn me into a mole on Simon Cowell’s ass, I would still sleep with Tom Brady.

But, when looking at the population as a whole, I much prefer hockey players. Over football players over baseball players over lacrosse players over soccer players over ice dancers over bowlers.

If anybody was wondering where I stand on the issue.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Mixed-up files of Miss (Business) Tripping Intern

Coming to you live from The Only Hotel in Town

Small town sexy.
Are people who live in the middle of nowhere uglier than people who live in the middle of somewhere?

Cable television.
Thank God for it.

Wireless internet connection.
Thank God for it.

Cracklin’ Oat Bran.

Looks like dog food. Tastes like heaven.

Knitting.
My new second favorite activity (driving is No. 1) to busy my hands while absorbing new music.

Primetime Live.
Fuck you. Fuck you and your hotel room cleanliness exposé. At this very moment, I am sitting on the semen-feces-urine infested carpet and I would be a hell of a lot happier if I didn't know it.

Home.
Cannot possibly get there soon enough.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Inventory

Laptop
+
Digital camera
+
Sunglasses
+
Nearly every CD I own
+
Newest copy of Rolling Stone
+
Really nice lip gloss
=
I’ll kill myself if I lose this piece of luggage


Although – let’s be frank – this business trip may inspire self-inflicted death all on its own.

Expect unintelligible babble until I recover from this weekend.

I should be back to normal by May.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Beating card

I’m a packrat.

I have three under-bed storage boxes stuffed full of things that I don’t need, don’t particularly want, but cannot possibly bring myself to get rid of.

Periodically, I muster up the emotional stability and the common sense mandatory to successfully prune The Boxes.

It’s always good therapy.

Tickets for a dance that wasn’t even fun? Gone. Photos of a boy who never called? Kindling for the fireplace. Newspaper clippings. Notes passed in class. Ticket stubs. Waste. Of. Space.

Of course, inside The Boxes are a fair amount of tangible memories that no organizational firestorm could ever convince me to depart with. Cards written in my grandma’s handwriting, field day ribbons from grade school and a paper deemed flawless by my 12th grade English teacher.

My captain’s armband from high school soccer.

My college ID.

My first media credential.

And a card from Heather.

Kept now for a reason markedly different for the reason I tucked it away during freshman year of high school, it’s one of my favorite keepsakes. Heather’s card evokes fond memories of a pipe-dream-turned-accomplishment and the realization that Heather was pushing me into the mud long before she dismissed my grandma’s death with a pause and a story about her boyfriend.

Heather handed me the card while we were standing at my locker. It was the morning after the cuts for the soccer team had been made. I made the varsity team. As a freshman. I was floating through my morning on visions of Olympic grandeur and college scholarships.



Heather was assigned to the junior varsity squad.

She handed me the card and she laughed and laughed and laughed.

I read the card and I laughed and laughed and laughed.



It was meant to be funny! She wasn’t jealous! Heather wouldn’t be so blatantly passive-aggressive. She was happy for me and she made me this funny card to congratulate me!



I should have been hurt by the fact that my best friend couldn’t be happy for me without being hurtful towards me. But I was barely 14 years old. I was preoccupied with lusting over the varsity letter that I would earn. I didn’t know that friends would dull my shine with hateful words and cruel actions in order to brighten their own sheen. I didn’t know that the tallest poppies are cut down.

I’ve since learned.

Heather and I aren’t friends anymore.

Despite our long history, it’s for the best.

Keeping friends around because of the nostalgia they evoke is the wrong reason. Friends are for the present. Keepsakes are for memories of the past.

And to teach the occasional lesson.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Flipping perspective

As a child, I was afraid of ambulances. The noise and the commotion caused when an ambulance roared down a street frightened me.

My mom, probably mighty tired of the terrified wailing that started when I heard a siren, explained to me that ambulances were very good.

When we see ambulances, she said, we shouldn’t be scared.

When we seen an ambulance it means that a person is getting they help that she needs.

I promptly abandoned my fear of ambulances; I smile when I see them, now. I think of my mother and I think of people receiving the care they need.

And that, my friends, illustrates what an astonishingly excellent parent my mother is.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Bunny…bunny?

Sometime during my Soccer is All I Live For phase, I read that one of the players on the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team made a point of having "rabbit rabbit" be the first words that came out of her mouth on the first day of every month.

It’s good luck, apparently.

Good luck? I love good luck! I immediately decided to adopt the source of good fortune; “rabbit rabbit” would join my lengthy lineup of superstitions.

Today is February 1 and I forgot to recite “rabbit rabbit” before saying anything else.

This poorly timed memory lapse has struck me on the first day of every month that has passed since the benefits of saying “rabbit rabbit” first entered my consciousness.

I have never said it.

And I have never failed to curse myself for forgetting to say it.

I’m pretty sure that my inability to fight through the grogginess and holler “rabbit rabbit” when it really counts is the source of all of my problems. I can’t blame it on anyone but myself. I am not a clutch good luck getter. A mere amateur.

If only wearing a cute skirt on the first day of the month sparked good fortunte.

I would be SO in.

And SO married to Tom Brady.
 
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