Sunday, July 31, 2005

G-g-g-g-g Unit

My new, hilarious underwear are proof that all rappers should have clothing lines.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

When being salary is bad

Friday night = work softball game.

Saturday = new facility exclusive grand opening.

Sunday = company picnic.

Weekend = nonexistant.

Yay.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

An issue of critical importance

I have been put in charge of distributing gifts at the wedding shower that my mom and Aunt Lynn are hosting for my cousin, Liz.

Here is what we will not do:
1. Pass out gifts to the winners of games, especially games that include crude and frequent references to the dick.
2. Anything that sucks.
3. Anything that takes up more than 5ish minutes of time.

There is always the option of numbering the presents and slapping numbers under each of the chairs. But I'm gunning for something a tad more unique, so as to wow each and every guest with my wit and Martha-esque party hostess charm.

I have just over a month to think of some cute way to give out these lame ass gifts.

Strike that.

WE have just over a month to think of some cute way to give out these lame ass gifts.

Are you catching my drift?

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Estranged

My mom’s oldest brother quit our family.

A handful of years ago, on Easter, Uncle Alan and my youngest cousin, Emma, were roughhousing on the floor in my grandma’s living room. Just fucking around. Fun, right?

Somewhere in the midst of their Wrestlemania, Emma tugged on Uncle Alan’s ears.

Now, I was in the room for their entire match, and I never once heard Uncle Alan yelp out in pain.

But, that ear-tugging?

Made him quit the family.

That’s what he said, anyway. That was his cowardly excuse. He blamed it on a 9-year-old with severe emotional and behavioral problems. And never came to another family gathering again.

For a while, we saw him occasionally. He’d drop by our house when Emma was sure not to be around, say hello, pretend like nothing was wrong. He would see Grandma and Grandpa, too.

His visits eventually ceased. No reason. No incident. Maybe I looked at him like I wanted to pull his ears. I honestly have no idea.

I haven’t seen him in over two years. That pisses me off. It angers me. It hurts, to know that he doesn’t give a shit about me, but seeing how his intentional absence eats at Grandma and Mom is what really kills me.

I don’t know if I have ever truly hated anyone. If I have, it’s Uncle Alan.

Mom saw him a few weeks ago. He showed up at Grandma’s friend’s funeral, oddly enough.

He was thin. Gaunt. Ghostly.

Mom hugged him. She told him that she loved him.

He did not return the hug. He said nothing back.

Mom told me about their exchange that afternoon. She said he was skinny. She said he looked sick.

AIDS, she said.

Not with certainty. But with an awful lot of schooling and experience behind her.

AIDS.

I suppose that people do unusual things when they find out that they have terminal illnesses. I suppose it makes sense. I suppose that Uncle Alan could just be trying to protect us.

But I suppose that it doesn’t make it okay.

...that it doesn’t make it hurt any less.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Everything you need for college: the deluxe supply list

I know most of you aren't college-bound, so consider this is my PSA for the year.

The following is a rather fabulous list of what any soon-to-be freshman in college needs. It is a work in process and a family heirloom of sorts. My cousin, Mara, created the first draft for a clueless soon-to-be-naïve-freshman. Me. Since then, I’ve modified the list every summer for every friend, cousin, little sister and complete stranger who is going to college.

If I’ve forgotten anything essential, you best be pointing out the error.


Bedding:
2 sets of sheets (check to see if your dorm has extra-long twin beds)
Pillows
Blanket
Comforter
Some sort of really posh mattress cover that helps you forget that 74 other people have slept on your bed (I prefer egg-crate style)
Fleece throw
2 sets of towels

Appliances:
Desk lamp
Reading lamp (for next to your bed)
A couple of light bulbs for your reading lamp
Alarm clock (it will save your life)
Stereo (talk to your roommate and decide who will bring one; you don’t need two!)
*A quick note about your music. If you’re bringing CDs, put them in a book; don’t clutter your room with jewel cases. If you can fit all of your music onto your iPod, that’s better yet)
Mini-fridge (again, just one)
Microwave
Cordless phone (believe me, there will be times when the hallway will be the only place where you can find some privacy)
Computer (don’t forget discs, printer paper, ink cartridges, CDs)
*If you’re bringing a laptop you must buy a laptop lock. The same thing that makes a laptop convenient makes it exceptionally easy to steal.)
Extension cord and power strip

Food stuff:
Microwaveable plates
Plastic bowls
Coffee mug (even if you don’t drink coffee now, come October, you will)
Travel mug (see above)
Cups
Silverware
Can opener
Tupperware (really good for microwaving Lipton Rice and Sauce, a personal favorite)
Measuring cup
Dish rag
Washer thingydoo (sponge scrubber with the handle you can fill with dishwashing liquid)

Bathroom stuff:
2 pairs of flip-flops/sandals (one pair to wear in the shower, one to wear to the dining hall)
Robe
Plastic shower caddy (resist temptation to buy a huge one that can hold 11 bottles of shampoo and a year’s supply of razors. You don’t need to (and won’t want to) bring an entire salon to the bathroom with you.
Hair dryer
Over the counter medicines (Advil, Sudafed, vitamins, whatever it is that you fancy when you feel shitty)
First aid necessities (Neosporin, Band-Aids, etc.)
Toiletries
Makeup

School stuff:
School bag/backpack
Small stapler and staples
Scotch tape
Double-sided tape (the thick, foamy kind to hang posters, mirrors, dry-erase board)
Sticky tack
Rubber band ball
Paper clips
Bulletin board
Pushpins
Dry-erase board and markers for your door

Organization stuff:
Self-adhesive hooks (for purses, towels, etc.)
Plastic chest of drawers (3-4 drawers, with wheels, great for storing junk and it doubles as a nightstand)
Cinder blocks (put one under each foot on your bed and you instantly gain a ton of storage space, as well as a fun game called “run and vault myself into bed”)
Under-bed boxes for storage
Laundry bag (hampers are a colossal waste of valuable space)
Over-the-door multi-hooks for coats, towels, robes, etc.
Plastic storage unit for desk stuff
Hangers, hangers, hangers (get the skinniest plastic ones that you can find – they save a ton of space; consider pants hangers for your jeans, too)
*A quick note about clothes: don’t bring them all with you in August. If you live close enough to home that you’ll be going home a couple of times per semester, you’re lucky. Bring your summer and early-fall clothes with you when you first go to school. Leave the Uggs and the J Crew sweaters at home. You won’t need anything made of wool in September. Trust me.

Miscellaneous:
Full-length mirror (because how your ass looks like is important, too)
Dust rag
Small umbrella
Flashlight (because you will lose an earring under your bed)
A modest amount of cleaning supplies (all-purpose cleaner, disinfectant wipes, etc.)
An area rug or huge square of remnant carpet (if your floor is bare or if the carpet is too disgusting to live with. Buy it at home if you have the dimensions of your room and the means to transport it, because going to Target in a college town during move-in sucks like Gigli.)


Keep in mind that this is a list of everything that came to my mind. Use your judgment and buy whatever you think you’ll need to feel comfortable. The transition to college life won’t be any fun if you feel out of place in your own dorm room. I'm not lying, yo.

Prune Girl sucked of life

I had a soccer game yesterday. The hottest day of the summer.

Never have I sweat so much. Never have I been so close to passing out from heat, exhaustion and massive dehydration. Never has my underwear been so soaked with sweat that I could've squeezed 12 ounces of perspiration from them, should I have so desired.

Today, my body is punishing me. I stare vacantly and speak in monotone. I feel like a refrigerator was dropped on me.

Or like an elephant sat on me, perhaps.

It's hard to tell.

It's hard to do anything today.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Office (blush on my) Face

The most remarkable part of my work week occurred when our IT nerd (and, please, I say that with spades of affection) logged onto my computer to make a little fix and -- oh! There's an email from Colin! And! Oh! He even calls me a filthy bitch!

So there is probably someone in this world who associates thoughts of bondage with the mention of my name.

Brilliant!

The second most remarkable part of my week occurred when I my brain blocked my understanding of the phone system. With the president of the company on the line.

Yep. He definitely had to call back to get his voicemail.

Thank Jesus he's easy going.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Family shorts

During her weekly visit, my eight-year-old cousin, Paige, stole my mom's wedding ring. She put it in her pocket and took it home. No joke. Paige has previously stolen a polished rock from my bedroom (why I had a polished rock in my bedroom is beyond me) and a change purse from Marshall Field's (which she put into an aunt's shopping bag). Clearly, this is a problem. And it broke my mom's heart.

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His graduation party was weeks and weeks ago, but we just got a thank you card from my cousin Paul. It read as follows: "Thank you for the Eminem tickets. Thank you for making desserts. And thank you for telling me my fly was down. Love, Paul."
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I stopped by Grandma and Grandpa's house on Monday after work. It made Grandma awfully happy. She's been having a rough time lately, I think, so I dropped in to indulge in family gossip, book talk and the contents of her cookie jar. Grandma just kept telling me what a good girl I was. We made dinner together. We discussed the absolute necessity for a little sweet to balance out a good meal. We looked at catalogs and chatted about upcoming birthdays. Technically, I suppose, we didn't do much of anything. It was good. I live less than five miles from Grandma and Grandpa; for the distance, I don't see them enough. I'm going to be better about it. I like being called a good girl.

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My cousin, Danielle, was on Leno on Monday night. Surreal. Puts the dinky little article I was just interviewed for to shame, I'll tell you that.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Can this be blamed on hormones?

I just got an email from a girl on my soccer team, saying that she wouldn’t be playing any more games with us this season because she’s pregnant.

I had the strongest, strangest reaction of pure jealousy.

I need to have my head amputated.

Monday, July 18, 2005

It

Ropedncr was tagged by Joe (who also tagged Chloe), who in turn tagged me (and Sarah! And GFF!).

Here goes:

10 Years Ago Today I was in the midst of the summer before eighth grade. I went to Girl Scout camp and hated the entire experience so much that I decided I didn’t want to be a Girl Scout anymore. I went to soccer camp and loved it so much that I decided to play soccer in the Olympics. My Wings lost to the Devils in the Stanley Cup finals and it depressed me.

Five Years Ago Today I had just graduated high school. Lucy and I roadtripped to six Dave Matthews Band shows. I worked at a lame-ass department store with the most incompetent managerial staff in the history of the world. I did a lot of preparing for college.

1 Year Ago Today I had just arrived in Denver, where I studied for the summer. I spent a lot of time reading, knitting (I’d just learned), and not feeling half as homesick as I had expected to.

Yesterday I woke up on the air mattress on Aviva’s floor. Showered. Ate French toast for breakfast. Took a flight home. Unpacked. Played in a soccer game that my team won, 2-0.

Tomorrow I have a lot of work to do. I’ll go to the gym, too.

5 Snacks I enjoy: dark chocolate Hershey’s Kisses, strawberries, celery with peanut butter, string cheese, whipped yogurt

5 Bands That I Know the Lyrics to Most of Their Songs: Dave Matthews Band, John Mayer, Howie Day, David Gray, Guster

5 Things I Would Do with a $100,000,000: pay off the rest of my student loans, build myself a rink, pay off Mom and Dad’s mortgage, finance Meg’s education, pay off Stella

5 Locations I Would Like to Run Away to: South Africa, Norway, Chicago, Toronto, Sweden

5 Bad Habits I Have: neglecting things because I live at home and I know that Mom or Dad will take care of it for me, email obsession, talking too fast, not stretching before/after soccer and skating, being a packrat

5 Things I Like Doing: skating, soccer, writing, traveling, eating

5 Things I would Never Wear: an American flag print string bikini, sunglasses bigger than my face, anything that requires serious amounts of cleavage to look decent, pro-Republican propaganda, itchy underwear

5 TV Shows I Like(d): MTV’s True Life, MTV’s Made, Oprah, ESPN College Gameday, Good Morning America

5 Movies I Like: Garden State, A League of their Own, Because of Winn Dixie, In America, 8 Mile

5 Famous People I would Like to Meet: Jimmy Carter, Nelson Mandela, Dave Matthews, John Irving, Bob Woodward

5 Biggest Joys at the Moment: the James Blunt CD that I’ve fallen in love with, Stella, my grandparents, summertime, my sense of calm

5 favorite toys: Stella, laptop, kitting supplies, cell phone, mp3 player

5 People to Tag: Plantation, Blonde Beautiful Brilliant Bombshell, Stace, Carrie, Maureen

Friday, July 15, 2005

Did they tape Canded Camera at DTW yesterday?

I walked out of the bathroom at the airport just as this little, chubby girl, who is probably about seven, asks a janitor "where is my grandma?" and then turns and run in the opposite direction.

Weird.

We're going in the same direction, so I keep an eye on her. She's walking close behind an older woman; I assume that's her grandma. But when she stops and yells out "Graaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaandma!" I decide to invervene.

I take her to a gate desk. Explain the siutation.

The NWA employee asks for Grandma's name. "Grandma Kay."

The NWA employee ask for her name. "Savannah."

The NWA employee asks Savannah where she's going. "To Aunt Deb's house." Where does Aunt Deb live? "I dunno."

They page Kay, grandma of Savannah. I sit down with her.

So, Savannah, where do you live?

"On a dirt road."

Uh. Okay. What state do you live in?

"I dunno. The United States?"

And that's when I thought that I was the butt of a really bad joke.

But I wasn't. Savannah was clueless. I had a flight to catch.

And so I have no idea if Grandma Kay and Savannah were ever reunited.

I am so sure that, once I've reproduced and I want to scare my children into obedience, I will end this story with "and I don't know if she ever found her family again!"

It won't be a lie, at least. So that's good.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Warning track

I am about to embark on the very first vacation of my working career.

And I already want to check my voicemail/e-mail/U.S. Postal Service mail every 19 minutes.

Oh, American Work Ethic, how did you seep into my blood stream so quickly?

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

I hope he didn't tell her my name

Dad went to the MLB All Star Game last night.

He sat next to a woman who happens to be The Big Thing as far as women playing in men's professional hockey leagues go.

As little Meggie is female and a hockey player, Dad got her an autograph.

Lovely.

Minus the fact that The Big Thing has been very recently hired by my company. And the fact that The Big Thing and my dad discussed this.

Hope of the day: that The Big Thing doesn't forever think of me as The Girl Whose Dad Asked Me for My Autograph.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The day everything went right

I went to the MLB All Star Home Run Derby with Kevin last night. We, being dorky sports fans made more dorky by the fact that we're employed in the sporting industry, were insanely excited and giddy and generally acted like complete douche bags.

My dad, who is known in certain circles as the Ticket Pimp of All the World, snagged 8th row tickets for all of the All Star festivities. With 8th row seats just behind the Tigers’ dugout, Kev and I thought we were hot shit.

We drove to CoPa during rush hour. On the shittiest, busiest, most construction-laden expressway in the area. And there was no traffic. Uh. What? We didn’t question our good fortune. We just got off at Rosa Parks Blvd. and paused to take in Tiger Stadium before heading to the Big Show.

We also got off at Rosa Parks Blvd. because I expected the traffic through downtown to be slow and congested and I wanted to impress Kevin with my innate ability to find a smokin’ fast shortcut to the ballpark.

Which I did.

It was a feat I followed up with sliding Stella into a prime parking space in a new, clean, safe and close parking garage.

If having good luck is anything like the ability to turn objects into gold, we were like Prince and Princess Midas.

At Comerica, we breezed into the shortest security line.

We found our section with the ease of professionals.

We waltzed down and down and down and down stairs. Until we finally realized that, behind the dugout, the 8th row isn’t really eight rows up. It’s two.

We were in the fucking second row at the All Star Home Run Derby.

And then we both scooped the poo out of our pants and sat down for a rather fantastic evening.

We saw a shitload of home runs.
And Jennie Finch.
And Shane Battier.
And that dude from Desperate Housewives. James Denton, I think.
We spent a combined $10.50 on bottled water.
All of the National League all stars were sitting on the grass mere feet from us.
Kevin burned through his film and accosted my digital camera for 50 more pictures.
I ate nachos.
We felt extremely fortunate.

And Bobby Abreu kicked a whole lot of ass.

We left the stadium without seeing the fireworks (I know, I know, but it was 11:30. Thank you, ESPN, for squeezing in every commercial possible). Found the parking garage. Found the Stella. And waited in line for the cashier for approximately 17 seconds.

We paid $5 for parking.

And laughed, for a long period of time, at the suckers who paid $40.

Then we drove home. Without incident. Without traffic jams.

We are shooters.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Stella is my soulmate

So, I'm finally reading my owner's manual.

Unabashedly stolen directly from the Lincoln LS 2005 Owner's Guide (Ford Motor Co., I apologize):

"Heated wiper rest: Heats the windshield wiper blades in order to reduce the chance of ice buildup and to aid in defrosting. This feature operates automatically when the outside temperature is near or below freezing."

Thank God!

I love gadgets that significantly reduce the likelihood that I'll repeat a certain wintertime incident.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Family meeting

Meg wasn’t at dinner tonight; her absence gave the rest of the family ample opportunity to bitch about Jay, out favorite 34-year-old creepy weirdo.

Mom: “It’s the Electra complex, Rob. Meg is transferring her feelings for you to Jay.”
Dad: “Wha?”
Mom: “She still wants to marry you.”
Dad: “I’ll gladly marry the little bitch if it gets that douche bag out of our lives!”

Needless to say, Jay won’t be moving into Grandma’s anytime soon.

God bless common sense and Jay’s inability to masquerade as a sane, productive member of society.

Cause for a small celebration

My good friend, Aviva, moved to NYC and landed her dream job 100 years ago.

Okay. It was last spring, but it feels like 100 years because I talk to at least once a week and, during our conversations, we always repeat this exchange:

Aviva: When are you coming to visit me?
Pretty, Pretty Princess: Soon! I swear! I will visit you in NYC! We will have a wonderful time! I will never want to leave! I miss you! I am buying a plane ticket tonight!

Assuming unemployment, I was planning on going at the end of my internship. And then I landed a job and started two days later. And then there was all of the 90-days-til-you-have-vacation-time bullshit, followed by the oh-my-god-I’m-too-busy-to-take-even-one-day-off horror and the my-boss-is-on-vacation-the-one-day-between-now-and-April-that-I-can-take-off-of-work bummer.

Buuuuuuuuuuuuut.

I got next Friday off of work.

And I booked a plane ticket.

Now I have no idea what Aviva and I will talk about on the phone.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Professional stalkers

I liked John Mayer before he was cool.

There aren’t many things I’ve done in my life that could be construed as trendsetting, but my early John Mayer obsession earns me a few cool points.

I fell in love with him, via Napster, at the beginning of my freshman year of college. I passed him along to Lucy, who also fell in love.

And then we were obsessed.

At the time, we were also obsessed with road trips.

Add the two together, and you get us to our first JM concert: June, 2001.

He was every bit as spectacular as we’d expected.

We saw him five more times that year; we've seen him 10 times in all.

After our second JM show, I was getting my picture taken with Mr. Mayer when another concertgoer snickered. He asked me, in a tone of voice that could only have been for idiots and telemarketers, if I actually thought that JM would be famous someday.

I rolled my eyes.

And thought of that nasty fucker when John Mayer won his first Grammy.

Lucy and I don’t go to John Mayer shows anymore. They’re not the same. When the audience-to-musician ratio hits more than 500 to 1, the quality of the show deteriorates. It doesn’t matter how good the performer is. It happens.

And it sucks.

But being a visionary is an amusement that eases the pain of a favorite musician lost to the mainstream. It’s pretty bloody entertaining to watch the eyes of the so-called “biggest fan” when I pull out the pictures, the ticket stubs...

...and especially the story recounting the day John showed us his boxers.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

My holiday weekend was

Quality time with cousins Emma and Anna. Tearful. A Saturday morning skating lesson. Goodbyes to Max. Fun. Feeling closer to Grandma. Meg’s 19th birthday. Hugs. Filled with family. Tankinis. Dirty looks in Jay’s direction. Be Cool. Hitch. Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Kinsey. Team America World Police. Washing Stella. Mexican food. Fireworks by Colin. Live 8. Neighbors. Cameras and scrapbooks. Hugs. A trip to Best Buy. SPF 45. Family secrets. Fast Food Nation and The Art of Mending. Tommy “the Hitman” Hearns. Sparklers. Giggles.

Bittersweet.

Too short.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Return of the baby face

The highlight of my holiday weekend was best friend time with Lucy on Friday night.

Greek salads.
Mint mocha chip frapuccinos.
Gossip.
Movies.

The highlight of best friend time (and, thus, the highlight of my entire holiday weekend) was at Blockbuster. Where I was carded. For renting a PG-13 movie.

Clerk with bad teeth: “Like, um, how old are you?”

Me, incredibly stunned: “Wha? How old? Am I? Um. I. Uh. I’m 22.”

Clerk with bad teeth: “Oh. You look, like, really young.”

And that, kids, is the story of how I was allowed to rent Kinsey.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Maximum bummer

We put Max down yesterday.

It was the right thing to do.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Sadness to the (and for) Max

Max is dying.

We all are, I suppose, but Max's death is on the horizon. The tumor we had removed last fall has grown back. He's lethargic. It won't be much longer.

I'm sad; it's hard.

Perhaps his death would be easier if there were a formula. Plug the numbers into the equation, know when his pain outweighs the grip of your love.

No. Pain can never outmuscle love.

Plug the numbers into the equation, know when his pain pushes your love to prove itself. Know when to say goodbye.
 
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