Monthly Archives: May 2010

and then i moved in with priyanka chopra

Batia already said it, but I’m just going to reiterate: moving is nothing like how it is portrayed in the catchy song “Jaane Kyun” from the Dostana soundtrack. I am, however, probably going to listen to this song on repeat throughout the moving-in process, because the chorus is “I’ll be alright, I’ll be alright.” Pray for us, you guys.

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Stuff Heather Thinks is Super Great

Oh look, this entry is on a Sunday –– I am turning into Rachel! JKLOL Rachel.

This vacation, obvs. Things I will miss when I fly home include Tower Bridge, the tube and the facility with which I can buy a brie-and-cranberry sandwich.

Glee this week, also obvs. Putting aside that they only did two Lady Gaga numbers in an episode that was touted as The All-Gaga-All-the-Time Episode –– though they did play “Speechless” in the background once, a nice touch –– the episode was pretty close to excellent.  Kurt’s dad’s speech had me going “HELLS YEAH” for the entirety.  And Finn in the PVC dress!  The lobster on Brittany’s head!  And oh, oh, when they did (a modified version of) the dance for “Bad Romance”!!*

*Though I don’t quite understand why they changed “I’m a free bitch” to “I’m a freak, baby,” as Tina uses the word “bitch” in dialogue in the opening scene of the episode.  And in their cover of “Poker Face,” they sang “She has got to love nobody” rather than “She’s got me like nobody,” which is how I’ve always heard it.  Is that just me?  Have I been mishearing “Poker Face” all this time?

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onward and upward

currently i am mostly broke and also unshowered and i have a lot of back pain, like the kind old people do in commercials for aleve, and i have a garage full of my fucking stuff that i somehow have to move like 35 miles using only 3 cars and 5 twentysomethings. it’s like a magic trick. or fear factor. i don’t know. my life is Not Optimal. but if anything has taught me anything in life it is that the only way to solve any problem is to make a list. also ten is a good round number. i hereby present for my reference and for the sake of accountability my ten action steps for making my life beautiful.

1. i am going to become the kind of person who brushes their teeth constantly. the only two people I know who do this are my former roommate Hannah and my thesis advisor, and both of them are very high achieving individuals. (they also have very white teeth.) (remember that zadie smith book, did anyone else read that) i should start carrying a toothbrush and floss in my purse and using them whenever i have 5 minutes free.

2. get a public library card for the library nearest my new apartment. the only other coping mechanism i have for life problems besides making lists is checking out books on the topic, and i will feel much more relaxed if i have this as a possibility. first step is to figure out which library this is, but whatever.

3. herbal tea. obvs i already drink a lot of tea, but i will start drinking expensive tea from the organic store near the dry cleaners that says it will do things for your liver. this will solve all of my nebulous health problems and furthermore transform me into some kind of nutritionally perfect nature goddess whose kidneys are perfectly in tune with the cosmos. part 2 of this step is taking my vitamins on a regular basis again.maybe also kombucha, we’ll see.

4. get my shit together, start acting like a real writer this means both setting aside time every day to write like a big girl, and doing my research and sending stuff out and keeping track of everything and “self-advocating.”

5. find my apron for work

6. start going to bed earlier my manager at work talks about going to bed all through closing every night; she is always saying “oh, i had all these plans with cool people, we were going to “have drinks,” but now i am so tired, and i have to open in the morning, i think i will just take a shower and go to bed.” i always agree with her and think about how nice a shower and bed sounds, and then i go home and stay up til 3 watching reruns of iron chef america. i’ve decided this is probably why she is a manager and i am not.

7. “exercise” today i saw a sign outside the planet fitness in the shopping center that said membership was $10 per month. a therapist is a $10 copay per visit. i’m just saying. also a therapist will not give me madonna arms.

8. whole grains obviously

9. stop buying things this will accomplish many things: it will simplify my life, it will mean i have more money, it will mean that the next time i have to move i won’t have so much fucking stuff, and it means that i will be forced to get my unhealthy stress-correlated spending habits under control and therefore become a functional human being

10. keep my room clean didn’t ben franklin say something about this once? like “a clean room is a happy heart” or “organized shoes mean a happier you.” yes. i think he said that.

YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST, FOLKS. this will happen. christmas in july. new year’s resolution in may. go go go.

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Things Rachel Fucking Hates

Batia totally could have liveblogged Eurovision, she was like this close to doing it, but she didn’t. Aren’t you kind of hurt? I’m kind of hurt. I now have no idea what’s happening with Eurovision, other than the cryptic missive “Lithuania was robbed.” That could be all I ever know. Thanks a lot, Batia.

Catfail We were going to get a cat. His name is Bruce, and I had it on good authority that he was “a quality cat.” Unfortunately he has instead gone to some fucking pinko commie who’s living in the liberal oasis in the west of the state. That’s fine, cat. Eat your vegan soba noodle salad or some shit, I don’t even care.

I can’t fucking find my fucking apron for my fucking job I am irrationally afraid of being fired, at the same time as I am more realistically afraid of having to quit because I get a full-time job. Also, here is a conversation I had at said job yesterday:

Other barista: What school did you go to again?

Me: [Redacted].

Other barista: Oh, I know someone who used to go there! David [redacted]? He graduated two or three years ago.

Me: Sorry, I’ve never heard of him.

Other barista: Really? He was a great guy, and he was really friendly, he like, knew everyone. I’m surprised you don’t know him.

Me: Yeah, I don’t know, I’m pretty antisocial.

Other barista: ….oh.

I am at all times about 45 seconds away from a panic attack about moving I have no idea how I am going to fit all my shit into like sixteen boxes that we stole from a liquor store, and I keep trying to motivate myself to do it by telling myself that if I go through all my stuff I will come across my apron for work in there somewhere, but I fear that that is not even true.

It is so hard for me to figure out how to do things on this new computer, I am so fucking dumb Now the only electronic device I have that I feel confident I am smarter than is my blender.

Also I think I killed my cilantro plant It’s probably symbolic

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european misadventures 2010

I have decided to keep an account of all the occasions my parents and I come off like ugly Americans!  Blogging will give me something to do when we retire to the hotel room at 9pm due to my mom’s fear of muggings, and also, we’ve been hideously ugly so far.  I’ll be updating throughout the seven more days we have left here, so enjoy!

Day 1
I blow up the electric voltage converter.  My computer’s apparently too strong for the thing.  Then we realize that half the lights in the hotel room, plus the TV, have shut off and won’t turn on again; Dad and I go downstairs and explain to the attractive guy at the reception desk that I tripped a circuit breaker.  After Dad goes upstairs I stay to ask more perfectly legitimate questions about electricity/smile inanely/try to pass off almost starting a fire and blowing up my computer as an endearing and hilarious mishap, rather than ignorant and embarrassing.  Almost offer the guy my name, then decide against it.

We go out to a local pub for dinner and Mom, like me, orders the fish and chips, only she squicks out when she realizes that A) it’s a whole fish and B) has skin on it.  She then proceeds to launch a surgical skin-removal operation with her knife and fork.  When I find a tiny, tiny bone in mine, I wait until she’s not looking to draw it out of my mouth and hide it on the plate.

Dad finds the one American channel on TV, starts watching immediately.  It’s playing a war movie.

Day 2
We break the lift.  More accurately, the people who get on the lift after us look at the NO MORE THAN 4 PEOPLE sign, say, “Eh, get on, let’s risk it” and they break it.  Still, when the hotel staff have to haul down the lift and manually pry open the doors, I can tell they blame us, as we are the (stereotypically overweight) Americans who blew up their room yesterday and the other people are a statesque European couple who look like they go hiking on weekends.  Realize the attractive guy from reception is there, feel mortified immediately that I’m still wearing what I slept in (namely, a Save Ginny T-shirt and gym shorts).  Am incredibly thankful I didn’t give him my name.

At breakfast, post-lift debacle, I discover that during my jet-nap yesterday Dad called someone up from reception because he couldn’t get the window to shut in his room.  Find out that this was the same guy from reception!  It becomes increasingly clear that even if I possessed powers of seduction, there is no way they would work on this dude.

Mom hates the tube and wants to take buses everywhere, but I only know how to get places by Underground.  We get lost in the bus system once, confused and tired by the bus system approximately thrice.

We buy a new electric adaptor –– though the old one didn’t start smoking, just the converter, we’re still afraid to use it –– and Mom tries plugging my power strip into it, then her curling iron into the power strip, but the power strip is only a 125V deal and we argue over whether that’s a good idea (it’s not).  Dad takes the power strip and goes to ask reception, returns to confirm that it won’t work and will wreak havoc, not like we haven’t with the electronics enough already.  (But my computer charger has a built-in conversion capacity, lucky me!)  “The guy who never sleeps told me,” he says.  “Who’s that?” I ask and Dad, as I expected, describes the attractive guy.

Day 3
I take the stairs in fear that the lift will break.

We go to the West End and don’t get lost among the buses, not even once!  In an effort to become more cultured I’ve decided we should get tickets for Les Miserables, as it is frankly shocking that none of us have ever seen it, and we trek over to TKTS in Leicester Square.  They are setting up for something big, and surprise!  Tonight is the Sex and the City 2 premiere.  Mom is terribly excited.  “This is where it’s all happening!” she says, like she’s Penny Lane.  “This is so cool!”  We nab kickass tickets for Les Mis and eat at a chain restaurant, where I have mediocre tikka masala because my dad won’t let us go for Indian food.  We explore Covent Garden and Mom falls in love with every busker there, one of whom calls me out on being American because “a real Brit wouldn’t wear that shirt!  You’re American, aren’t you?” and makes me a pistol out of a skinny black balloon.  (Seriously.)

Anyway, we shop a whole bunch and check out the SATC2 premiere because we’re starstruck consumerists, and I get to see that Cynthia Nixon and Simon Pegg are in the same place as I am, which gets me all hopped up on endorphins.  Then we mosey over to Les Mis, despite my parents’ protestations –– Dad because it’s not Wicked, Mom because it’s a tearjerker –– and have a freighter’s worth of feelings.  Mom cries during both the actual performance of “I Dreamed a Dream” and, later, at the thought of Susan Boyle peforming “I Dreamed a Dream” for The X Factor.  Dad has a great time and says he likes Jean Valjean the best, though when he says this he calls him “the one who was a criminal but broke out of jail to become a good guy,” and I have to tell Dad what that guy’s name is.  I get goosebumps but do not actually cry, probably because I have no heart.

Day 4
When I first got to London two Septembers ago it felt immediately like home, as if I [had always] belonged there.  This time it feels like exactly what it is, a place I am visiting, and I feel like a tourist.  Sometimes this causes me to get frustrated and act like a jerk.

In other news, we took an open-top bus tour and went to my old school (!).  As important, I find out that our hotel is down the street from where Oscar Wilde married Constance.  OMFG.

Day 5
We eat in the crypt at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, which is not as spooky as it sounds.  Mom and I have afternoon tea.  Dad has coffee and a sandwich he doesn’t like.  Then we go to the National Portrait Gallery and check out paintings of Paul McC (for Mom) and Byron (for me); ol’ By looks like an arrogant douche in his portrait, but that seems accurate enough.  The McCartney portrait was done by a friend of his brother’s, so it’s called Mike’s Brother.  I like you, Mike’s friend!  That’s funny!

We go to Oxford Street and get completely lost, on my accord, and it’s cold/rainy.  For dinner we end up at our third Italian restaurant in as many days, almost solely because it’s the closest Dad can get to “regular food” (read: American).  Apparently every other restaurant in London has “weird food” (read: Indian, vegetarian, Lebanese, Thai, etc).  So I suggest Eat or Pret-a-Manger but he won’t eat premade stuff either.  It’s a little frustrating.

For the bad-news segment of this evening, I may (or may not? perhaps? hopefully?) be falling ill, if you count chills, an earache, a sore-ish throat, a cough, sniffles, and some fatigue as symptomatic of illness.  I’ve taken to bed early tonight in hopes that it’ll clear up by morning.  We have so much left to see already.

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and so it begins

hello children. Heather is abroad right now, across the pond, in jolly old England, minding the gap and saying “cheerio” and whatever else it is they do over there. I for one am delighted for her but also eager to have her back. I assume you feel the same. I have been trying to blog for the past maybe 24 hours or so, but I haven’t because I’ve just been so fucking dumb all day, I’m like a goldfish, by the end of the three-minute commercial break I’ve forgotten what show I’m watching. I’ll do my best though, don’t you worry.

First of all did you see this thing Riese is doing? Did you look at it yet? She’s posting select livejournal entries from like seven years ago, secret confessions that you probably haven’t seen before unless you are best friends with her IRL. Let’s be honest, if you’re reading this there’s like a 90% chance you also read Autostraddle and are therefore obsessed with her feelings, go check it out and come back.

Mostly I have been doing nothing, not even having feelings. We just graduated; like we put on some robes made from plastic fucking recycled materials and I wore uncomfortable shoes and we walked across a stage and stuff. It was very momentous. Unfortunately I just cannot work myself up to really thinking or caring about this in a significant way, so you will just have to wait until Heather comes back to say something meaningful. Also you should read this comic Batia sent me because it’s kind of perfect. I mean, I love Dar Williams. Like actually.

Also my mom gave me a really nice graduation gift, it is the stone from her engagement ring set into a necklace, it is I think literally the nicest thing I have ever been given. I guess monetarily but really more emotionally? Also it was so sweet the way she did it, she told me that she wanted me to have it but knew that I might not get married so she put it on a necklace, and also that she didn’t want me to be cursed somehow by the stone that began my parents’ trainwreck of a marriage, which made me lol. I am already having anxiety attacks about losing it. Obviously.

I am also having the urge lately to work, like real work like writing things that are not for school, but am being kind of held back by the heat/oppressive anxiety about my imminent move/my uselessness as a human being. I have decided that the way to resolve this is by creating the Best Ever Playlist that will inspire me to do work and also feel awesome. Submit your suggestions starting now. If they are good ones I will share whatever the end result is of my productivity.

Also I think my cat is mad at me. I’ve been home for 48 hours and he hasn’t slept in my bed. I think maybe we should go to therapy together. I think that about everything.

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music played at graduation: an enumeration

  1. “Jai Ho,” A.R. Rahman, Slumdog Millionaire
  2. Some bagpipes
  3. “Circle of Life,” from the Lion King Broadway soundtrack*
  4. A techno/clubified version of “Hava Nagila”
  5. “The Star-Spangled Banner”
  6. A capella of the school’s alma mater, because apparently we have one, who knew
  7. “The Boxer,” Paul Simon (LIVE!!  You heard me correctly, cats and kittens!)
  8. More Paul Simon, this time off Graceland
  9. “I Gotta Feeling,” Black Eyed Peas
  10. A disco, chipmunky remix of “Seasons of Love” from Rent
  11. “Time of Your Life,” Green Day (incidentally, the song the Filmmaker and I had to sing in eighth-grade chorus for our middle school graduation, so she immediately teared up the second it started playing and had to leave the gym to get away from it)
  12. NOT “Graduation (Friends Forever)” by Vitamin C, although my mom did buy me a card that played this when I opened it

*Is it embarrassing that I can distinguish exactly what version of “Circle of Life” they played?  It’s probably embarrassing.

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