Monday April 30, 2007

Last night, I biked to the theater for work.  Not unusual.  The front door was all wonky and evil, so I opened up the side door, which opens directly onto the stage.  I brought my bike in, but left it on stage while I went to go flip on lights, answer phone calls, and generally think "hm, should really move my bike into the office" without actually doing it.  Then, box office opens, we're running like mad, and the show starts.  And then, 90 minutes later, I'm getting ready to head home via bike- OH MY GOD MY BIKE IS ONSTAGE!  I NEVER MOVED IT!  SHIT SHIT SHIT FUCK ME SIDEWAYS.  Panic sets in, I freak out and run through the dressing room, and accost a dancer:  "holy christ is my bike onstage?  oh no no no no, I'm so sorry- I left my bike onstage! now! during show!"
Thankfully, our stage manager had removed it from the stage before the show started, and stashed it elsewhere for me.  It took a good 90 minutes to get my heart rate back to normal after thinking that people had been dancing around my bicycle in front of a paying audience.
{By the by, this paying audience?  They're a chore.  This particular company attracts an audience largely unfamiliar with the Southern and the city.  These patrons, while financially a godsend, are rather high-maintenance.  These are the overly-tanned, hair-plugged, pleated khaki-sporting i-bankers and their bleached-blonde, aerobicized, cheekbone-implanted, tennis bracelet-wearing wives (well, and their credit cards, which is the important part).  They fancy themselves as some sort of Minnetonka Elite, who can now brag to their friends at book club that "oh yes, we support the arts.  Why, just last week, we drove into the city to attend a performance at this little theater- nothing like the Ordway- it was very alternative!".  The majority of these patrons, while totally out of their comfort zone, are totally gracious.  However, the women who come in with their faces haloed by enough diamonds to pay off my student loans and who give us a look like "oh, aren't you cuuuute with your little theater?  It's such a nice hobby!" are the ones that piss me off.  I want to snatch the baubles from their necks, wrap them around my fist into makeshift brass knuckles, and hit these bitches in the mouth.  How cuuuuute am I now, motherfucker? 
Sadly, I'm totally aware of the looks these women give our staff, and tend to dress up for working these shows.  Rather than, say, a ratty Pat Benetar t-shirt and flipflops, I'm showing up in a dress and heels.  It's giving in, but it's also forcing them to take me more seriously, although it goes against the "performance for everyone!" aesthetic that's been cultivated at the Southern for so many years.  Defeat comes with matching shoes, it seems.}
Things that make me happy, even when being condescended to by trophy wives:
roasted beets, chopped up with Trader Joe's low-fat chevre.  Not that chevre is a superfatty cheese in the first place, really, but this caught my eye and has surprised me with its loveliness.  I need to stock up, or stop eating an entire tube of it at a time.
how unbelievably clean my apartment is now- I went on a swiffer rampage this past week, and I could have knit two or three new cats with all the cat hair from under my bed and the couch.  It's safe to walk around barefoot once again.
More Tara in my life!  She's back from her Peace Corps stint, and will be up this weekend in Minneapolis.  Her new job is in Bemidji, so not next door, but much closer than South America.  Her dog made it through quarantine, so we'll have the grand experiment this weekend to see how a fat, lazy cat gets along with a medium-hyper dog. 


Sunday April 29, 2007

Sitting on my couch with M'liss and our vodka cocktails:  "I should really sober up enough to go for a run...  later."

"I like that whenever someone looks in this window, they just see a disembodied head."

"Do you want to fight the homeless guy for the guitar?  We could take him!"

Sunday April 29, 2007

Sitting on my couch with M'liss and our vodka cocktails:  "I should really sober up enough to go for a run...  later."

"I like that whenever someone looks in this window, they just see a disembodied head."

"Do you want to fight the homeless guy for the guitar?  We could take him!"


Tuesday April 24, 2007

Deep in the (scary, dungeon-like) bowels of my basement, there is a turf war.  I'm engaged in battle with my constantly-sawing-things neighbor, the constant cougher upstairs, the smelly hipster down the hall, and the racial stereotype couple (hot asian girl and her nebbishy boyfriend) from the first floor.  We battle for control of the single working dryer in the laundry room.

Out of all the half-rusted out washers in the basement, two work.  Ok, two is a fine number of washers.  But, out of the four dryers, only two have power.  Two was a good arrangement, until one of this duo stopped functioning as a dryer, and more as a box that spins your clothes around without any heat to dry them.  Sure, your clothes may come out dry- after six cycles.  I'm not willing to wait three hours for a dryer, personally.  This past weekend, the little line of laundry baskets set up in front of the lonely, functioning dryer stretched TEN BASKETS LONG by Sunday morning.  My baskets were numbers seven through ten.  Though I can think of many desirable attributes for my next apartment, having a washer and dryer in-unit are probably way, way out of my price range.  I'm thinking more of a wishlist with things like:  must have heat through the entire winter, must have both hot water AND water pressure, must not be infested by bats.


Monday April 23, 2007

Bad Ideas:
1) swerving into your blind spot at 65 mph when I AM IN YOUR BLIND SPOT.  In a rental car I'd picked up less than 5 hours prior.  Gee, it's been a while since I've had the opportunity to go from 70 mph to 0 in a matter of seconds and spin out into the next lane.  I didn't miss that at all.  Once I realized that no, I did not wreck my rental, my annoyance at the other (negligent) driver dissipated into annoyance that I didn't know where the horn was on the rental (hey, sometimes it's not just on the steering wheel- my first car had a horn button on the console), so I could not properly express my appreciation of his merging skills.  Bastard.
2) googling "undetectable poisons" and "ways to kill someone" from your home computer, when planning the murder of your husband.  At least empty your search history, dumbass.  Also, wouldn't it be easier to just go to a friendly, Freedom of Information Act-defying library and check out "The Elements of Murder:  A World History of Poison", or just pay cash to rent, say, "Les Diaboliques" at Blockbuster?  I am disappointed in your lack of foresight, potential murderess.
There are but a few photos of Jenni & Bryan's wedding from this past weekend, unfortunately- I had to duck out of the reception way early to get to work.  Here's one of me and Roubal (and my supremely awkward way of sitting:  head facing one direction, torso another, legs pointing elsewhere). 
However, the look on Bryan's face as Jenni came down the aisle was wonderful, and her choice of footwear made my day.  Pink and green mismatched knee socks with tall white Doc Martens- perfectly Jenni.
When I went to pick up my rent-a-car this weekend, the "economy" option I'd reserved wasn't available.  Oh, instead, here's a bright red PT Cruiser!  This car lent a disturbingly suburban tilt to my errands, especially when errands took me to the Southdale Mall.  However, Southdale has a Len Druskin clearance store (50-75% off, huzzah!), and that was worth the trip, as it netted me a pair of ultra-swanky new jeans* at half price.  At the regular store, these exact same jeans are selling for full price.  Across the street at their clearance store, the same damn thing is half-off.  Success, friends.  (Also, the Marshall's incongruously located in Southdale has a kick-ass shoe selection.  I may have to spring for some pumps soon, and justify them as a "work expense".)
*after seven years of standing-room-only jeans, I am so, so ready for a mid-rise.  I want to be able to sit down and not worry about the state of my ass, and to not have belly flopping over the waistband of jeans because they're cut so low in front that the stretch of abdomen from cooch on up is exposed.  Bring on the 9" rise!  Death to Skank Jeans!


Thursday April 19, 2007

What is, hands-down, the least interesting thing I can enthuse about?  How about:  gel insoles.  Yes, I've hijacked the body of a frumpy podiatrist.  But- I bought a large quantity of assorted gel foot cushions and heel cushions and other squishy things on sale at DSW last weekend, and I can confidently say that my quality of life goes up every time I take a step.  Yes, I'm lame.  But these little ball-of-foot squooshy pads!  They are so squooshy!  It's like having a little tiny chipmunk masseuse living in my heels.  If you could step on the chipmunk without killing it, obviously.  How have I lived my life without the luxury of $4 gel insoles thus far?  My god, THE TECHNOLOGY.
I should really tape a notecard to my cupboard saying:  "When making spicy pasta sauce, either use the hot chili oil OR a bunch of ground black pepper.  NOT BOTH."
Though I do love to mess with the plain, jarred Trader Joe's marinara sauce, it's throat-searingly spicy when I decide to dump both the chili oil and a bunch of black pepper in.  Does the runny nose and teary eyes accompanying my dinner remind me to eschew one of these next time?  Of course not. 
Last night, I laid awake for some time thinking about the two pears in my refrigerator.  They're just this side of overripe, and I bought more pears than I needed when making scones on Sunday.  Could I core them, fill them with mascarpone and walnuts, and then bake?  Or saute them in whiskey and use to fill crepes?  Or mush them up with some ginger and make a custard?  Or chop with some cucumber and mangoes and bell peppers for a salsa?  Or I could just eat them before they get too mushy.  That thought honestly didn't occur to me until this morning. 
This week, my internship with the Southern's managing director ended.  I was briefly elated, thinking "free time for running, doing laundry, and making sure my cat is still alive!".  Ha. This week, my online business calculus class begins.  I have 8 weeks of assignments plus a midterm and a final to prove that some tiny part of my brain can be adept at math.  The MBA dept at UC requires a calculus class before starting the MBA Arts Admin program, which means that for the next two months, I get to hunker down and do homework.  There are two bright spots, however:  1) I'll have this class finished before I move from Mpls, so those two months in Milwaukee with Noah will be blissfully free of responsibility, and 2) I get the impression that it's graded more on "effort" than "right answers".
(Much like my high-school Spanish I class, in which I wrote my answers in broken French, painted my nails in class, and got an A.  Oh, the convenience of a lecherous teacher plus a very, very short skirt.)


Monday April 16, 2007

ooh, a new way that I can embarass myself!  Saturday night, post-dinner w Emmo, we went to her friend Jill's house for wine, theater-queen gossip, and board games.  The board game, unfortunately, involved a die that when rolled to the "microphone" side, means you've got to sing a snippet of a chosen song.  In a room chock-fucking-full of musical theater professionals, guess who rolled the nefarious microphone on every turn?  Sadly, yes.  The looks of abject horror on the other guests' face reinforced the awkwardness as I attempted "Su-Su-Sudio" (why oh why couldn't I have been given the "Smells Like Teen Spirit" card?  Angsty mumbling I can do, happy poppy nonsense I just can't pull off) and other 80's atrocities.  Also, this is after a bottle of wine, which means that my normally rather low (we'll call it sultry, thank you) voice morphed from Marlene Dietrich Murmur to Bea Arthur With a Head Cold Gargling Gravel.

After the deposit of a much-needed check last week, I went shopping and did a fair amount of breast-squeezing.  Yes, time for new bras:  while roaming the mall, I stopped by a very soothingly-lit, low-key women's sports store and started thinking about the very sad condition of my running bras.  The ones I bought on clearance at Sports Village in 1999.  Two cup sizes ago.  I bought a few high-tech wicking bras in the correct size, and wow, it's nice to have something that both stops my tits from falling out when in downward dog, and also doesn't leave an angry red band around my ribs.  Maybe I should buy things in accurate sizes more often.

There is no possible segue between that and the UV massacre today, sorry.  I felt like there was some sort of body-count ticker on MSN and the Times today at work:  every time I refreshed the page, the number of fatalities had risen.  Among all the other things that make me very uncomfortable about this occurence (such as, a mass shooting rampage) is the listing of other Notable Shootings in History.  I know that the news wires are just trying to add some context to the events, but reading things like:
Until Monday, the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history was in Killeen, Texas, in 1991, when George Hennard plowed his pickup truck into a Luby’s Cafeteria and shot 23 people to death, then himself.
The deadliest previous campus shooting in U.S. history took place in 1966 at the University of Texas, where Charles Whitman climbed to the 28th-floor observation deck of a clock tower and opened fire. He killed 16 people before he was gunned down by police."

makes me think of this as sort of a sick competitive sport.  Here's the newest high score, heavily armed and misanthropic kids:  beat this and gain eternal notoriety!  Until some other motherfucker with a death wish and a bunch of guns decides to top you, that is.

And p.s., couldn't Bush's statement NOT have included the phrase "the American people have a right to bear arms"?  Would it be too much to ask that just this once, could you please err on the side of keeping his cowboy boot out of his mouth?


Friday April 13, 2007

You know all those slightly dusty containers of pasta, rice, trail mix, instant soup, and such that float right to the back of the cupboard immediately after purchase and always get pushed out of they way and never, ever eaten?  Well, I declared war on such a collection of random foodstuffs in my cupboard, and I am ready to declare victory.  I have managed to not go grocery shopping until all these things are used up:  the two bowls of instant udon soup, the 1/8 cup of rotini and 1/8 cup of fettuccine and 1/8 cup of tortellini and 2 lasagna noodles, the handful of raw cashews, the instant espresso, the 4 frozen hamburger buns, the can of stewed tomatoes, the ziploc bag of barley, the 3 frostbitten custard buns in the freezer.  My cupboard, as of this week, was cleaned out, save for one item.  McCann's Irish Oats vex me.  At some point in the last three years, I bought two giant canisters of these oats.  I think I made one serving before giving up:  they take about 45 min to cook, which is too long to wait for breakfast, and once cooked, they're just this bland, tasteless mush.  Even a cup of brown sugar could not make them palatable.  So, now I'm stuck with 30 oz. of oats that I've opened, tried, and rejected.  I feel badly just throwing them away:  if they're good enough for the Irish, goddamn it, they should be good enough for me, right?
Screw it, I'm throwing them away.  As long as they sit on my counter, eyeing me with displeasure, I'm going to feel guilty.
I got a "this will save my ass" check this week, thank god- otherwise the idea of grocery shopping would just have to wait until May.  And May is currently 16 days away, which is too long to go without things like milk, bacon (BACON!  YEAH!  oooh, Bacon Brittle!) and something resembling a vegetable.  Or multiple vegetables, if I'm feeling fancy.  And I think that just maybe, there will be enough left over in my newly-revived checking account to grab that pair of fake-snakeskin flats that I've been coveting.  And maybe the new Brother Ali record, too.  (Yes, I totally thought he was an African-American albino for seven years, only to read this article and figure out that no, he's just albino.  Still, being a Muslim albino, he's really got a lock on that niche.)
Shows to see:
"From the Ashes", Pangaea World Theater (KT!)
"Wreck" informal showing, the Barker (4/13 and 4/14, 8 pm, free- Jamie!)
"Or the White Whale", The Southern
I have a date on Saturday!  with Emily!  which is very exciting! 
(The girl moves from 1 block over to a not-even-very-far suburb, and now we're reduced to making date plans two weeks in advance.  Still, when said plans include giant platters of Szechuan Beef, I'll deal with it.)


Sunday April 8, 2007

Look, I made breakfast!

Photo 15

(pancakes with plum syrup)


Friday April 6, 2007

Should I go and shell out $12 for a movie ticket this weekend?  Probably not.  Will I spend Easter Sunday cackling with sadistic glee at "Grindhouse"?  Oh, most definitely.  What do I like more than moody, colorsaturated foreign movies?  Graphic sex, violence, and mercilessly Mamet-aping dialogue, that's what.  And amputee strippers with machine-gun legs!  And killer zombie hordes!  And a sadistic stuntman on a vendetta!  (I also have to remember to call my mom on her birthday, so it's probably best if I call her prior to seeing this movie, lest I start on my typical loop of "that was so fucking cool!  goddamn!".  She might not appreciate that sentiment.)
With the impending departure from Mpls, my brain is racing on the track of "ooh, I can get rid of that!"- things that I shoved into closets in years past now seem to leap out and beg "try to sell me on Craigslist!".  The parallel track then says "and once I sell all this crap, I can buy new stuff!"- like this super-cool Ikea table.  Well, it looks cool in the photo online, anyway.  I need to go visit it in person, but I'm not even as enamored of the dining tables at DWR and other such highbrow sites as I am of this one.  Maybe I can score a floor sample for a discount?
As a kid, I used to love eating the morning glory at the end of our driveway.  Perhaps due to my amateur pruning, the plant soon died, never to be replaced.  Now I learn that people have been chewing on morning glory seeds for hallucinogenic effect since, oh, forever ago.  Thanks, Slate, for telling me this twenty years too late.  I could've spent my whole childhood tripped out and playing with my illusory happy sparkly unicorn friends, if only I'd had the magic of Google and the knowledge of how to spell "common garden hallucinogens" at my fingertips in pre-K.  Maybe this early low-dose LSD experimentation is why I sometimes do hallucinate bright sparkles on flat surfaces.
(Seriously.  I sometimes think that things are glittering in a very glinty, gaudy way when they aren't.  It's not constant, but at least once every month or so I have a 10-second hallucination of this sort.  Less scary than seeing giant crabs or swarms of angry hornets, but still kind of unsettling.  Sparkly, but unsettling.)
Cause and effect of the day:  use left hand to pinch some red pepper flakes onto plate of pasta in right hand.  Eat pasta, forget about red pepper residue.  Rub left eye with left hand, curse the burning sensation and self.


Wednesday April 4, 2007

About two months ago, I got to do a little q&a on the geeky-fabulous KPBS show "A Way With Words".  It aired this weekend (3/31), and you can listen to the episode (The Language of Love) online on the show's website, http://www.kpbs.org/words/

My bit starts at 26:07 or so, and you know the reaction you always have when hearing your taped voice- oh my god I didn't think I sounded like that!?- I think, after hearing the recording, that I may actually like my voice more than I'd previously thought.  Maybe I will get over the shame of having a slight (well, others say it's slight, I say it's FUCKING ENORMOUS) sibilance, after all.

Wednesday April 4, 2007

About two months ago, I got to do a little q&a on the geeky-fabulous KPBS show "A Way With Words".  It aired this weekend (3/31), and you can listen to the episode (The Language of Love) online on the show's website, http://www.kpbs.org/words/

My bit starts at 26:07 or so, and you know the reaction you always have when hearing your taped voice- oh my god I didn't think I sounded like that!?- I think, after hearing the recording, that I may actually like my voice more than I'd previously thought.  Maybe I will get over the shame of having a slight (well, others say it's slight, I say it's FUCKING ENORMOUS) sibilance, after all.


Monday April 2, 2007

oz. of sugar-free Red Bull consumed while driving:  36
miles walked around Milwaukee:  4
times I checked my email:  0
miles driven:  700, more or less
times I accidentally took the Port of Milwaukee exit rather than the Lakeshore exit:  2
large circles driven around in:  2
enchiladas eaten at Jalisco:  3
times I heard that lame-ass Timbaland single played on the radio:  at least 10
state troopers in my lane on Sunday:  3
time at which Arby's in Eau Claire ran out of roast beef, depriving me of a nice welcome-back-to-meat French Dip sandwich:  8:00
trips to Trader Joe's:  2
hours I watched the Discovery Channel's "Expedition: Borneo!" show:  2
minutes it took to drive from my apartment to the WI border on Friday during rush hour:  64
times I applied lip balm, only to have Noah immediately kiss it off:  thousands
times I threatened to do a stealth cleaning of Noah's apartment before moving in for the summer:  6
God, I'm going to love being around him every day.  You know, like normal people with normal boyfriends.  I haven't been able to wake up next to him each morning with any sort of continuity for nearly three years now, so as much as I'm going to bemoan leaving Mpls for far-flung points, I'm indescribably excited to finally be in the same state! same city! as the boy.  For a couple months, at least.