Archive | August, 2011

I like rules, man

26 Aug

I told you I was going to get around to reader requests, didn’t I? Did you doubt me?? Well that’s OK, I’m kind of a flake, I’m not offended. Anyway, here is my attempt at Lydia’s request for a semi-fictionalized semi-funny account of a real event. Except, it turns out it’s not really terribly fictional, and probably only funny to me.

When I was 18, I moved out* of the dorms at my college and into an apartment with a friend from high school and her boyfriend. We immediately set about rigging free cable, making friends with all our shady/party animal neighbors, and generally turning the place into a pigsty.

We became particularly good friends with the boys who lived a few doors down – A1 and C*. We hung out all the time in each others’ apartments, (doors wide open to be sure as many random bugs as possible took up residence in our kitchens) and generally behaved as if we all lived in one giant suite.

As it so happened (and is, freakishly, often still the case), I was the only one of the bunch with a remotely serviceable vehicle. As such, I was pretty damn popular among this and many other cliques in college. One day, C wandered into my living room. I looked up to greet him and he said, “Hey! Can we borrow your car to go to the grocery store?”

Let me tell you a bit more about C, who I’d known for oh, say, two months at this point. He was a dreadlocked stoner who smelled funny – all OK in my book, but not the sort I’d want operating the most expensive thing I owned and my only way to get back and forth to school and work. (It’s probably also of note that I was the only person in this crew with a job.)

Me: “Uhhh. No, not right now. I’m busy.”

C: “Why not? I’d pick up some stuff for you guys too.”

Me: “Well…” ::casting about desperately for a reason why he can’t borrow it, other than I don’t fully trust him:: “Well I have a rule, see. No one is allowed to drive my car but me.”

C: “Well that’s OK… if you like RULES, mannnn….” ::wanders off in a huff::

Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahaha. I still crack up whenever I replay this scene in my head. “If you like RULES, man….” I love it. I wonder what has become of dear C. Who later, when I was dating A1, got mad at A1 for letting me use C’s bath towel, as it violated his rules of sanitation (I must have posed a very imminent threat, what with my daily showers and safe food handling practices). If you like RULES, myannn… Ohhh the glory days, how I don’t miss them a bit.

*If by “move out” you mean “was kicked out due to general shenanigans” then this statement is accurate.
**Bonus points if you recognize the A1 pseudonym/acronym from other parts of this bloggie

Never have I ever…

24 Aug

One of my favorite parlor games is called “I Never.” If you don’t know it, let me explain. It’s a ghastly sophomoric thing sometimes involving playing cards and always involving drinking. The basic premise is you say something you’ve never done, like riding a roller coaster or visiting India, and everyone else at the table who HAS done that thing has to take a drink.

The key is choosing something you’ve never done that is embarrassing or titillating for the other people at the table to admit – bonus points if you know some of their secrets and can choose something provocative. Then the entire table will be sitting there, drinks in hand, while that lone one or two guzzle their beverages and alternate between smirking and looking sheepish. Then they turn around and do the same to you.

It sounds insipid, but it’s delightful, I tell you! And certainly not the sort of thing that Real Grownups do at Real Grownup Gatherings. But I love it to pieces, and will be a very sad panda when I’m eventually forced to give up these types of shenanigans in exchange for sophisticated wine and cheese parties where no one gets drunk, no one cries and no one sneaks up behind anyone else to practice their dirty dancing moves.

So in honor of my favorite parlor game, here are a few things I’ve never done (complete with footnotes!). Please raise your glass if you’ve done any of them (and also leave a comment!):

  • I’ve never been outside of the North and Western hemispheres
  • I’ve never had a surprise birthday party thrown for me
  • I’ve never had a going-away party thrown for me*
  • I’ve never broken a bone
  • I’ve never ridden on a train
  • I’ve never eaten a bloomin’ onion
  • I’ve never been to Disneyland**
  • I’ve never had a threesome
  • I’ve never fire-danced
  • I’ve never done a pull-up
  • I’ve never lived anywhere but the West Coast, USA
  • I’ve never been terribly interested in organized team sports
  • I’ve never been skydiving
  • I’ve never liked steak, marshmallows or coconut
  • I’ve never done body shots. Leastwise, I don’t recall ever doing them.
  • I’ve never gotten a tattoo (much to my mum’s delight)
  • I’ve never walked out on a job
  • I’ve never been in a fistfightǂ

*  Not unsurprisingly, I have thrown many surprise parties and going-away parties for others; and one surprise going-away party
** No interest in going at this point – though of course growing up in California, I thought this was pure criminality
ǂ Outside of the time my boxing teacher accidentally hit me in the face and knocked out my contact lens

A poem I like

22 Aug

by Dorianne Laux

Regret nothing. Not the cruel novels you read
to the end just to find out who killed the cook.
Not the insipid movies that made you cry in the dark,
in spite of your intelligence, your sophistication.
Not the lover you left quivering in a hotel parking lot,
the one you beat to the punchline, the door, or the one
who left you in your red dress and shoes, the ones
that crimped your toes, don’t regret those.
Not the nights you called god names and cursed
your mother, sunk like a dog in the livingroom couch,
chewing your nails and crushed by loneliness.
You were meant to inhale those smoky nights
over a bottle of flat beer, to sweep stuck onion rings
across the dirty restaurant floor, to wear the frayed
coat with its loose buttons, its pockets full of struck matches.
You’ve walked those streets a thousand times and still
you end up here. Regret none of it, not one
of the wasted days you wanted to know nothing,
when the lights from the carnival rides
were the only stars you believed in, loving them
for their uselessness, not wanting to be saved.
You’ve traveled this far on the back of every mistake,
ridden in dark-eyed and morose but calm as a house
after the TV set has been pitched out the upstairs
window. Harmless as a broken ax. Emptied
of expectation. Relax. Don’t bother remembering
any of it. Let’s stop here, under the lit sign
on the corner, and watch all the people walk by.

*Discovered via my DC friend, Deena.

Silly wrong but vivid right

8 Aug

Mel at silly wrong but vivid right has let me be a guest bloggeroo! It feels a little like being famous, but in a top-secret kinda way. I think now I shall need some big shiny sunglasses to wear as a disguise in public in case I’m recognized on the street and mobbed by awesome people seeking autographs and/or cupcakes.

Mel lives in the UK and writes amazingly well about her life. One day soon I will cajole her into writing a guest post here, as well! You can read my post here, and the rest of her bloggie here.

Seven awesome things about being a grown-up

1 Aug

1. If you love ice cream, and want to eat it every day, you can. What’s more, if you get an ice cream maker, you can make your own flavors and call yourself a foodie. Your friends and family members will not stage a gluttony intervention, and instead admire your mad ice-cream making skills.

Meet my new ice cream
maker. Her name is Bertha.
She is the maker of all things

2. Want to replace all of Tuesday’s meals with chocolate chip cookies? GO AHEAD.

3. Want to have Christmas in July? Wear your Halloween costume in April? Spend five hours in the tub? Put on a pink wig to go grocery shopping? DO IT!

4. Cold, hard cash. With which you can do whatever you want. Like, for example, buying enough ice cream and chocolate-chip cookie supplies to last throughout the apocalypse. Sure, you may have to skip paying the heating bill one month, but with all that ice cream you may have developed a cozy layer of body fat to insulate you from the cold come winter!

5. Want to stop at that cardboard box labelled “free” and pick through it until you find the PERFECT chipped coffee mug/too-small-but-oh-so-ironic-tee-shirt/audio cassette? Want to stop your car at the World’s Largest Pistachio roadside attraction? These things too, you can do!

6. Remember when you were a kid and had to ask permission before you could go anywhere? Didn’t that suck? Wasn’t it even more annoying when you had to take your brother with you everywhere? Well now you can go to a dance club all by your lonesome! And guess what else? You can stay out until 4 a.m. if you want. And then have PIE! Or a pancake.

7. “This is MY house. And in MY house, I don’t have to wear pants! Wheeeeeeeeeeeee!!!”

What are your favorite things about  being a grown-up? Although, come to think of it, most of the stuff on this list isn’t too grown up. Which is kind of the point of being a grown-up, isn’t it? You can do kids stuff with wreckless abandon. It is most definitely awesome.




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