Wednesday, January 25, 2006

What Made Me Happy Today

The elementary school crossing guard waved to me as I drove by. I've been wondering if she recognizes my car since I pass her at about the same time each morning, but have never had any contact with her personally and don't have a kid to offer up for street crossing. During the holidays, I saw her more than once being handed gifts by parents and kids. I understand why. I felt like pulling over and saying, Thanks for noticing me.

The other thing that is making me buzz with happiness is that I fulfilled one of my most pressing new year's resolutions: FANJ. Nothing has been signed or sealed or delivered but I was given the thumbs up, nudge-nudge wink-wink yesterday. I hear angels singing. What will life be like after this? I'm thinking about making a powerpoint presentation to illustrate my main reasons for even looking. They love the powerpoint. They worship it. If I could figure out how to put my reasons in a chart or percentages, that would put me even more on their wave length.

I have ruined another Sim family by forcing them to have too many babies. Babies are not part of this particular couple's lifetime goals (they both want to be professional partiers), but I really wanted them to have a girl. Now they have babies all over the place and are sick of them. Shawn suggested killing a kid off, but they don't let babies die in the game. If you neglect the kid, social services will take it away. I promise you that I'm also doing some writing before I'l allowed to play the game. I sent my short story collection out to 3 different contests yesterday so I promise I'm not being a total game head.

I think I may look like a maitre de today. I'm wearing a black blouse with ruffles on it. I'm afraid one of my co workers may approach me and say, "Table for two, please."

Friday, January 20, 2006

The Cutest Little Reality Show in the World

That would have to be Beauty and the Geek. Shawn and I accidentally caught last week's first episode premiere on Wed. and were thrilled to learn that the second show was on last night. If you don't already know, the premise is that you have a really pretty girl (often blond) and a really dorky guy with no flirtation skills (for instance, one guy is a Dungeon Master) and they team up to compete against each other for $250,000. The geeky guys are challenged by having to participate in social activites and the girls are challenged by having to learn who our last president was. The show does nothing to counter the dumb blond or the nerdy smart guy stereotypes, but there's a certain innocence about it that's absent from something like The Bachelor or My Big Fat Greek fiance. Maybe I just have a thing for dorky guys. None of them are super ugly--they all have potential. The girls are sweet too, though dumb. One girl identified a photo of John Kerry as Al Gore, for instance. My favorite guy got kicked off last night, the only one who doesn't wear glasses and looks kind of like a young Tom Cruise if you squint both eyes to blur your vision. He lost because his partner said that the capital of Iraq ("could you spell that please?) was Afghanistan and because he could only name one of the three members of Destiny's Child (see, the girls get the "hard" political questions and the guys get the pop culture challenges). We hate the Groucho Marx looking guy with the wiry hair and bushy eyebrows--he's power hungre. We love the blond chick with the huge boobs who looks like Cameron Diaz. Throughout the entire show, we both just kept going, "Awwwww!!" The best was at the very end where they showed a slow motion montage of the time that the couple who got kicked off spent together. Since they only met each other the day before, the clips were like the first time Brandon introduced himself, the karaoke competition, and then like the last hug they gave each other. Both said things like, "I've really grown through this experience. What's her/his name is a great person with a wonderful spirit." My new favorite will be Wes, because when he takes his glasses off, he's almost not quite sort of hot.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Why I Love Brooklyn and also Why I Would Never Live There

  • Because the dogs dress better than I do.
  • Because everyone is so interesting (Luke has an Irish boss who is very gregarious and wears cowboy boots and leather pants, though he’s stopped wearing the leather pants as much).
  • Because you can buy anything you want at every single local grocery store or convenience mart including half of a cherry pie that costs $8.99 and had bits of huckleberry and twigs in it. They also have green tea white chocolate ice cream that tastes either really, really good or disgusting. I couldn’t make up my mind.
  • Because you will be invited to parties where people dress up in old prom gowns and have traveled to Cairo and Morocco and own four cats, one of whom is an orphaned hairless cat that resembles a large white rat and shivers constantly. At the party, you’ll be served cold mushrooms with cheddar cheese on top and smoke someone else’s Camel Lights that happen to be next to the kitchen window. You will drink the $5.99 wine you brought (also sold at grocery stores unlike in PA) and get drunk enough to tell an unattractive girl that she’s pretty. She’ll believe. Later, she’ll pound on the bathroom door because she’s holding back the puke with one delicate finger.
  • Because you can browse in cool thrift stores packed with people and clothes racks spaced too close together. Your friend will try on a red sweater and get it stuck to her head and you will cause a slight scene trying to wrench it free from her neck and she will spend the rest of the day with her hair flying outward due to high doses of static electricity.

I love Brooklyn because Liz and Luke and Dave live there and I can hop the Chinatown bus for $20 round trip. But the most fun I had was hanging out with them in Liz’s apartment and laughing all the dang time.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

I can't write, talk, eat, sleep, go to the bathroom right now because I'm playing Sims II

Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse--just when you thought that Sims can only be just a dark phase in a person's life, an addiction best left behind in State College, particularly when one now lives in a metropolis where live music, dancing, magicians, surround sound movie theatries, jugglers, and bars abound--that's when a person might possibly purchase a laptop and then maybe one might have an evil/great/wonderful/horrible/awesome friend named Julie who sends via express mail the new Sims II, and then what could possibly happen is a person mightd never, ever again hear a word her boyfriend says even though he's sitting on the couch ten feet from the laptop where the little Sims people are going about in their daily lives, striving to be fulfilled and happy while one's own stomach growls, hair becomes greasy, real life friendships dwindle to nothing, and boyfriend's announcement of where he'll be all weekend is lost in the engrossing task of making sure the Sim, Greta, doesn't get too fat from reading books all day and eating macaroni and cheese and pancakes (that's all she wants to do for some reason). Help. Help. Help. Or at least let me borrow someone's Nightlife expansion pack.

Thursday, January 5, 2006

Resolutions Kept So Far = 0

Though I am drinking a glass of water or rather I have one next to me which my cat has just jammed her head into, so at least one of us is become a sleek, hydrated and healthy being.

Went over to Carrie's last night for Indian food which she was able to throw together while talking and listening; not something I am able to do with much skill. She has a white cat whose belly drags on the ground and if you hold her in your lap, she turns even more fluffy like a rabbit you'd pull out of a magician's hat. One of my other (not listed) NY's resolutions is to do better with female friendships. To that end, Margaret and I have agreed to go to first Friday tomorrow night and then maybe out for a drink where I will meet Cute Coffee Shop Boy, her latest crush. I suppose it beats my usual Friday which consists of Hearts and TV.

Just finished re-reading Lynda Barry's Cruddy. Jodie read it too while she was here and said it made her feel bad. I think I must be missing some kind of gene linked to compassion because I mostly thought it funny and dark and up-lifting in some ways. Did she get away or did she get pushed in front of a train? I think she got away. I want to write the way Barry does; she remembers what it's like to be 12 and 13 years old so well. Did anyone like themselves at that age? I always thought Nancy Woodward with the long blond hair and Gloria Vanderbilt jeans from my middle school managed pretty well, but maybe she felt as dorky as I did. Perhaps I can ask her at our 20 year reunion.

Wednesday, January 4, 2006

New Years Resolution List*

Write, write, write, write every day either here or on the walls in the bathroom at work or in the morning when I’m still groggy or at night for just a little bit before Law & Order.

Gym 3 times a week. Speaking of the gym, my friend Jodie was in this weekend for NYE and we went to the gym on Sunday night. She didn’t have any sneakers and so wore clogs. No one seemed to notice. After the cardio, we went over to where you can lay on the mats and stared at those AB helpers you see on late night TV. We couldn’t figure out how to use them. Cute gym trainer boy was around and we called him over. He lay down on the mat in his camouflage pants and white tank top and demonstrated. I believe I impressed him later by doing 5 of them in a row.

Drink more boring stupid dumb boring water.

Learn to cook (this will never happen, but I put it on my list every single year. This past year, I made about one new dish. It had pasta in it. I think it was really just pasta with some vegetables thrown in).

F.A.N.J. That is my secret one that only my friends might get or maybe not, maybe it’s obvious.

More later. I just wanted to be sure to met one of my resolutions for today.


*I will keep approximately 25% of these for an average of six days, and then about ½ of ½ of one for the rest of the year. Probably the one about drinking water, but maybe not.