Thursday, August 30, 2007

A Little Commentary From My Mother

My mom is amazing. Anything electronically more complicated than a light switch is automatically delegated to my father, the engineer. However, somehow she has discovered email. She checks it religiously, and much to everyone's chagrin, she has become that master of "the forward".

Many a time she has forwarded me -and all her friends- an email about not parking next to vans because someone could jump out and kidnap you. She has also forwarded an email about the Arachnis gluteus or "butt spider" that lives in airplane bathrooms. I have in turn continually tried to introduce her to, but that's another step and it's so much easier to just forward away. Hooray!
Below is my mom's latest forward, which I'm sure was not intended as any sort of commentary on my life. Behold:

Women are like apples on trees. The best ones are at the top of the tree. Most men don't want to reach for the good ones because they are afraid of falling and getting hurt. Instead, they sometimes take the apples from the ground that aren't as good, but easy. The apples at the top think something is wrong with them, when in reality, they're amazing. They just have to wait for the right person to come along, the one who is brave enough to climb all the way to the top of the tree.

Now Men.... Men are like a fine wine. They begin as grapes, and it's up to women to stomp the shit out of them until they turn into something acceptable to have dinner with.

Share this with all the good apples you know

It's like we're not even related. This is the sort of folksy blah blah bull shit that makes bile rise up in the back of my throat and makes me itch all over. This sort of writing does a disservice to men, women, and anyone with eyes who can read - and yet somehow my mom seems to think I would enjoy this. It's as though she's asking "Would you like a cat sweatshirt with your lady poem?"

I want to write my mother back:

Dear Mom,

Thanks for the *hilarious* forward. However, after careful consideration, I don't think I'm even on this metaphorical tree. I think I'm a heavy apple, one that's fallen off the tree and is rotting on the ground somewhere and then is stomped on by men going for the low hanging apples. Even if I were on the tree, what's wrong with being low hanging fruit? That seems discriminatory. Why are women always hating on other women? And hey, maybe I'm just an apple in the middle of the tree waiting for the man who'll only climb halfway up the tree before he gets tired and decides he'd rather just grab an apple and get a beer instead of heading all the way to the top of the tree. After all, maybe the guy who climbs to the top of the tree could see another tree from that vantage point and being an ambitious go-getter decides to go get some apples from that tree instead of my tree. What do you think?

Your Daughter

But that seems just a tad negative.

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Sad Face/ Happy Face

So I thought I'd present you a little food for thought in terms of things I've stolen from other people's blogs.

First, Sad Face:

Read this great article on contractor corruption in Iraq. I guarantee you'll be pissed off once you finish reading it. I especially love the last paragraph which I've excerpted below:

According to the most reliable ­estimates, we have doled out more than $500 billion for the war, as well as $44 billion for the Iraqi reconstruction effort. And what did America's contractors give us for that money? They built big steaming shit piles, set brand-new trucks on fire, drove back and forth across the desert for no reason at all and dumped bags of nails in ditches. For the most part, nobody at home cared, because war on some level is always a waste. But what happened in Iraq went beyond inefficiency, beyond fraud even. This was about the business of government being corrupted by the profit motive to such an extraordinary degree that now we all have to wonder how we will ever be able to depend on the state to do its job in the future. If catastrophic failure is worth billions, where's the incentive to deliver success? There's no profit in patriotism, no cost-plus angle on common decency. Sixty years after America liberated Europe, those are just words, and words don't pay the bills.

Thanks to Chris of Some Guy's Blog for this one.

Now, Happy Face.

I generally don't like the whole ironic t-shirt thing, but this is perhaps THE GREATEST T-SHIRT. EVER. It's modeled by the adorable Justin of Seven Is The New Green. It can be purchased here.

Also, as a staunch supporter of booze, I must commend The Idea of Progress on his recent wine articles. The first installment is How To Order Wine In A Restaurant followed up with Pairing Wine With Food. Recommended reading for everyone who wants to order wine like a badass instead of a yuppie douchebag.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I Am (Apparently) For You To Poop On

Yesterday I had a job interview. And I looked hot if I do say so myself. I was wearing a red, ruched shirt, a black knee length flared skirt and a black blazer. The outfit was accented with pointy black pumps and a skinny, black patent belt. Invert the color scheme of this photo, add some pounds, and you'll have the general idea.

As I was walking to the metro stop, I felt something fall on my head, so I ran a hand through my hair in an Herbal Essences commercial sort of way, all hair flopping and wind blowing. Detecting nothing, I sauntered on to the metro.
I noticed quite a few people giving me a second look. Well of course- didn't I just say I looked hot? In my head I was thinking to myself "I look good and I am going to rock this interview".

I got to the metro, rode five stops, changed lines, rode another two stops and proceeded to the interview. At the interview building, I had to go through security, because EVERY building in D.C. seems to thinks it's important enough to be a terrorist target. The sign-in book the even asks if I'm an American citizen. I can assure you that if I'm a terrorist, I'm going to be really comfortable with lying on a sign-in book. And let's say this building is actually hit by terrorist (god forbid)- the sign-in book isn't exactly an airplane black box. So the citizenship question really just seems senseless and I didn't bother to answer it.

I look slightly less hot at this point because it's a warm day and I am wearing a suit. I check in with the receptionist and ask her where the ladies' room is. The receptionist informs me that not only a key was required, but I also had to be buzzed through a glass door.
Going to the bathroom in these places is also apparently a terrorist threat. After all, we don't want the terrorists to...use the bathroom?

After making it through homeland security to the toilet, I discover that I have - in the part of the bangs that swoop sexily over my left eye - a large quantity of bird poop in my hair. Again, that's BIRD POOP in my HAIR. I had ridden for seven metro stops with bird poop in my hair.

And for the first time, I realize I reek. Of poop. I dig in my bag in a fit of panic and pull out an ace bandage (and no, I have no idea why it's in my bag) and I start to clean the poop pellets out of my hair. After wiping off the chunks, I try to brush the rest out, but I still I find that my hair smells like a litter box. I know some culture believe that having a bird poop on you is lucky. Those cultures are stupid. Birds don't have sphincters - getting pooped on just means that the universe has aligned to screw up your day.

My confidence for this interview completely shot, I scrounge around in my bag some more and come up with hairspray. Ah, an alcohol based hair product, that will cover the poop smell! My hair, now laden with spray, hangs in my face like I'm Cousin It from the Adams Family and still smells poopy, so I decide to slick my bangs back behind my ear. I no longer look even close to hot; more deflated, mousy, and sweaty at this point. But I throw my shoulders back and march on to meet my interviewer.

He is a nice man, I even though I look and smell like crap, I feel relaxed. We chat and I notice that he keeps looking past me. Despite this oddity, I continue to try to make eye contact as we chat. And it's precisely 30 minutes into our interview that I realize that he has a lazy eye, and I have spent the entire time that we've been chatting, staring into the lazy eye. My mouth immediately goes dry, my palms go sweaty, and I think "I am a giant ass". I have treated this very nice man like sideshow freak. Damn damn damn. We conclude the interview, and I am now completely unable to look anyone in the face.

To round out the day, that evening I walked to the neighborhood grocery store to grab a movie, and I saw the hottest straight man I have ever seen in our neighborhood. And as I see myself reflected in the glass doors of the store, I notice that my fly is down.

If I weren't unemployed, I'd take myself out for a drink.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

How My Sister Met Ralph Fiennes

Growing up there was no woman or teen girl more devoted to The English Patient than my sister. Many a time I remember walking through our den to see her weeping while watching the movie for the god knows how manyeth time. I would often stop pause to express my disgust and she would shout after me "But it's so sad!"

The only thing that I found sad about it is that Kristen Scott Thomas left Colin Firth. I'd cut her for Colin Firth. But I especially hated that bathtub scene where Ralph says something like "this is my favorite part of you and I want to own it" and points to her elbow or clavicle or something like that. And she's all "I thought we didn't believe in ownership." I suppose that this scene is supposed to be very moving but...hey, don't I have toe clippers somewhere? Sorry sorry, I got so bored remembering the scene I forgot what I was doing.

my sister, never one to do things by half, rounded out her repeated viewings of the movie by reading the novel of the movie, then Herodotus, and then proceeding to fill a sketchbook full of drawing after the cave paintings in the film. She could be a professional obsessive. So you can only imagine her insane level of delight when one night she saw him on the streets of London.

It seems appropriate that she was out pursuing another form of insanity - facing of with the class kleptomaniac - when she spotted him. Earlier that day, my sis, who just got a degree in shoe design from the London Institute of Fashion was attending her class's final shoe show. At some point The Class Klepto sat down next to her while they were taking pictures and stole her new, tres classy Wayfarer Ray Bans (that were just like the ones Audrey Hepburn wore in Breakfast at Tiffany's). Apparently this girl drags a rolley cart with her wherever she goes bag lady style to carry away all her stolen goods.

Since sis had spent a pretty penny on the sunglasses fashion splurge, she decided it was well worth it to hunt down the crazy klepto girl. The Klepto had accused my sis's friend of stealing from her(the klepto) the week before and had insisted on searching the poor girl(my sis's friend) - so my sis and this same friend decided to hunt the klepto down and search her. Ah Jesus, this is hard to write without names. I am tired, and I don't known any of these people personally and my sister insists I blogs this story but won't write it herself so there you go. It's confusing.

Anyway, it was while waiting outside some bar or club for the klepto to emerge that she saw Ralph Fiennes. And then she was faced with the greatest dilemma of all time: wait for the klepto or follow Ralph Fiennes?

Well, the title of this blog and the picture at the top kind of give away the suspense, so there's no point in pretending to belabor the point.

So after stalking him for a few blocks and trying to work up the nerve to approach him, some douchebag beat her to the punch and approached Ralph for a autograph. At that point she walked up and asked to take a picture with him. He grudingly obligued, which was nice. Then again, he had just been caught shagging a stewardess and people are thinking he's kinda of man-skank, Harry Potter or no Harry Potter, so he may have been more generous than usual.

After having her dreams fulfilled/crushed by meeting Mr. Fiennes, sis went back to chase down the klepto. She caught the girl, searched her on the street, but alas no glasses were found. But apparently she's the sort of crazy who'll steal things and then throw them away.

There's no real point to this story other than sometime if you wish hard enough DREAMS COME TRUE. They do. If you wish hard enough, maybe you too can meet the man skank of movie dreams. Makes you want to hug a Care Bear doesn't it?

The best part: the crazed look on my sister's face (which can be seen more easily if you click on the picture to enlarge it). In real life she is rather attractive and looks much less insane. Also, I totally gave her the necklace she's wearing in the picture. I pretty much rule. Vicariously at the very least. Afterall, I am now just two degrees of separation from Ralph Fiennes.

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Romance is Dead: Anatomy of a Crappy First Date

This morning I read an article in Time called "Who Killed the Love Story?" . The author, who I'll note is a woman, reaches the conclusion that it's reality that killed the love story in film. While I agree with the final analysis, I think the reasoning is flawed. I take particular issue with the following paragraph:

And it's not just happily-ever-after that has changed. The global nature of dating--the access to a limitless pool of mates just a click away--means that people feel they hardly need to overcome difficulties in relationships. If the whole getting-together thing proves too hard, they can just move on. Juliet's a Capulet? Bummer. Back to Facebook. Finding a soul mate is no longer a determined steeplechase over every obstacle. It's a numbers game--about as fraught with epic drama and desperation as recruiting a new middle manager for the nonperishables division. Perhaps it's not surprising that the romantic movie that most touched a nerve in viewers last year was The Break-Up.

Is there anybody out there over that age of 25 who at the end of the relationship blasély says "Back to Facebook"? If so, clearly I don't know you. But to illustrate my ire with the above paragraph, let me describe my blind date from last night.

We had a friend in common and it was decided we should meet for drinks. He issued the invitation, I accepted. We are both new to the area, he suggested I pick the place. I did some research and footwork (with the assistance of the roomies) and found a location that was close to both of us and had a good atmosphere. I emailed him with the location.

His response: "Wow, that place looks pricey." And that's when I should have known to walk away.

Let me begin by saying that my date is a doctor doing his residency. He informed me in the email that residents really get paid very little. Ok, right, money is tight. I can understand that - having lots of loans and not getting paid much -so I responded with what I thought was a witty email that I hoped would address his concerns.

I explained that although it was bar/restaurant, we were just sticking to drinks which saves money; I am no flighty girl who thinks she's going to squeeze a super expensive evening out of someone. I further explained that the place's signature/frou frou drinks were $14. and their beers were all $5-6. I reasoned that this meant their regular drinks would be in the $6-8, which for D.C. is average. I explained that though $6-8 is not rock bottom cheap, that these prices were reasonable for the location and atmosphere and that if we were going to go to the trouble to look nice for one another I thought we should chose a location that matched. I even volunteered to buy my own drink (please remember he invited me and also that I am UNEMPLOYED at present). I ended the email with "But should you be interested in a more jeans-and-t-shirt-beer-garten-sports-bar-shouty sort of place, well, I'm afraid you will have to chose it. "

Let me take a moment to address my gentlemen readers. Please for the love of god, on a first date, don't take a girl to the sports bar where you hang out with the dudes. I'm not saying that the place has to be expensive. It can be a cool dive that you know about, as long as there is a decent atmosphere and you'll be able to hear one another. We ladies are totally impressed if you are able to plan, and we will always notice.

At any rate, he agreed to go to the place, but said he "would only have one little drink". And then wrote something like "dress up...gee, haven't done that in a while." Another bad sign.

Ok, gents, again this is for you. If you're over twenty-five and definitely if you're over thirty, you should have one decent pair of pants, one shirt, and a pair of closed-toe shoes that you can wear on a date. Again, expense is not the object. Cleanliness of presentation is important. After all, I fucking spent an hour shaving , exfoliating, and then putting shiny lotion on my legs for you. And that's just the lower half of my body. You can show up looking like you spent at least 15 minutes to get ready.

But let's cut to the date itself shall we? So at 10 minutes to meeting time he calls and says he is running late. Note: He lives one metro stop away; I live about 7 stops away and I ended up getting a ride from my roommate so I would not be late. "How late do you think you'll be" I politely inquire - asking this so I know when I should be looking for him, if I should order a drink, etc. He seems slightly perturbed by the questions and says "Well, I could get there on time but I would be naked." I am not amused. He then suggests he'll be about ten minutes late.

So I go into the bar, get a table and sit down. He arrives, he's not bad looking which is a nice surprise, and he is nice enough. We order drinks -- I order my usual, a gin and tonic, but I go with well gin instead of my favorite Tangueray to be considerate. He orders one of the $14 dollar frou frou drinks. In some circumstances, this might be a turn on. Hey, he's comfortable enough to drink a pink drink that comes in a champagne glass. He's secure in himself, right?

Except that when the bill comes, he looks at me expectantly. My drink was $6. I say "Shall I pay for my drink?" He looks relieved and pockets my cash and pays for the rest on credit. He bought himself a $14 drink, more than twice the cost of my drink, and made no effort whatsoever at gallantry. I find myself wondering how I've gotten into this situation. Wasn't I invited on a date? Didn't I make a respectful selection? Am I not worth six dollars?

We now leave the bar at his suggestion - he has no wish to pay for himself anymore drinks. Nor does he have a plan of anything else to do or where to go, so I suggest we walk around a bit. It's a muggy night and I find myself feeling sticky and what not, but I dutifully walk along trying to remain cheerful and conversational. After all, I put in a lot of work to look good, so I would hate to go home after an hour.

However, he seems to have very little interest in anything I might have to say. I ask all the questions -- I only talk about myself if I have a story that relates to what he was saying. But He never asked me a single question the entire evening. Gentleman readers, pray tell, what does this mean? I have had this experience on a number of dates and don't understand its meaning. Does this signal disinterest? Arrogance? Nervousness?

And then 2 hours and 10 minutes later the date is over. He gives me a hug at the metro stop. Again, I'm not sure what this means. Gents?

At any rate, what this date does signal to me is that Romance is dead. My prospective date issued an invitation but made no effort to follow through. He made no effort to select a location and vetoed mine without finding an alternative. He seem to make little effort with his appearance. Though issuing an invite, he made no offer to pay for my drink. He made no plan for an alternative location after our drink. On the whole, I don't understand what he thinks a "date" consists of.

And now that I've written this I find myself feeling somewhat uncharitable. Despite all of these annoyances my date was not a bad man, and I'm sure he probably found me annoying as well. I tend to not make eye contact in these sorts of situtations because I'm nervous. Perhaps I came across as high maintenance in my selection of a meeting place. I played with my hair too much (the humidity kept making my hair fall in my eyes). I would never describe myself as "a hottie". And please let me say, I know there are plenty of good guys out there.

But in the end, this date made me feel...well I just felt kinda crappy at the end of the night. Maybe he didn't go out of his way to be a jerk, but the aggregate effect of all these little things made me feel like I simply had not been worth the effort.

Oh Time author, I don't feel that there's a "limitless dating pool" out there. On the contrary. I feel that the pool of men that I would actually like spend time with is continually shrinking. That the more men I meet/date, the more I am convinced that very few are willing to extend a few common courtesies that indicate mutual respect. For god's sake, I'm 30 years old and I've never been invited on a real dinner date for a first date.

The love story genre is dead because most women can't find a man who can ask them out for a nice evening -so it's impossible for them to believe in a film hero who gives up everything for his love of a woman. Seeing these films have become merely a cruel reminder of what most women will never find.

If I found the guy who I loved and who made me feel loved and respected I would do what it takes to make the relationship work.
Oh you are so wrong, Time author. Finding a soul mate is a determined steeplechase over every obstacle. For a woman.

I'm just not sure how much run I've got left in me.

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

...And We're Back!

Apologies for the hiatus.

There are a number of reasons I have not posted.

Firstly, I had what we law students (or at least my friends) call The Postpartum. It's just like real postpartum depression, except it and occurs after every finals period and you've birthed nothing but your finals. Or in this case, The Bar.

You see, my non-law friends, you spend every day doing law shit - and then about two weeks before finals you spend every waking moment studying law shit- and then after giving birth to your finals you feel terrible. All of sudden you have all this time, and you feel like you should be studying, or doing something productive, and you don't know how you did on your finals, and you feel so guilty for not studying and you don't know what to do with yourself. It usually takes me a few days to shake myself out of this.

The Bar was even worse. It did not go well at all. I won't know the results until November, and then if I failed I'll have to take it again in February. So I was bummed. I even forgot to wish my best friend from high school a happy birthday (shout out to Blogda). Plus we cleaned the house.

Oh yeah, and I fucking turned 30. So I needed to spend several days spent inebriated to figure out how to answer questions like:

1) Why aren't you married yet?
2) Don't you know that your ovaries are shrinking?
3) Why do you have yourself so much education?
4) When are you gonna get yourself a man?
5) Don't you know you're never gonna get a man with all that smart talk?
6) When are you gonna have kids?
7) Have you picked your wedding colors?
8) When are you getting married?

(Incidentally, the answers are respectively: Never dated a good one worth marrying; Yes, and maybe I'll freeze them so that your spawn don't make up our genetic legacy; Because it makes us better people you cretin; It's easier to find Bin Laden than a single, employed, nice "man" who's interested; I wouldn't want a man who would take me with stupid talk; Not sure- maybe never, maybe I'll meet a good guy, maybe I'll just have a kid out of wedlock; People who discuss wedding colors but have no prospective groom are pathetic; Honestly, go fuck yourself.)

So in short, I think I was entitled to my little postpartum meltdown/ blog hiatus. But it's nice to get messages that you care. It was like getting a non-cheesy hallmark card. That card would be better though if it had some ecstasy in it. I'm just saying.

And then once I felt better, I didn't have a chance to blog as I had to go visit my parents in North Carolina for a week, and they only have dialup which I just can't handle in terms of blogging, so it was just better do without.

I do promise that I have good stories to share. Upcoming stories include:

*how my sister met Ralph Fiennes
* Sometimes the gays confuse me aka How I was practically gang raped on the dance floor
* my dad and golf
* turducken
* the craziest chick-fil-a ever: aka white people's chicken
* poop

And now dear readers, it's time to adjourn. We will have brunch soon. And I need to go look for a job. If anyone knows of any legal work in the D.C. area for a bar-pending attorney, I'm all ears.

On a separate note, would people like it if I good one of those blog subscription services that let's you know when I update? If so, can anyone recommend a particular user friendly, free service?

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