Thursday, June 29, 2006

Two Interesting Facts

1. Did you ever wonder how bacteria such as E. coli get into human digestive systems in the first place? Apparently, they enter the digestive tract after birth, through the mouth and the anus. You can read about it here.

2. In 1969, a teenage boy in St. Louis died of a mysterious illness. His doctors, though baffled, had the foresight to save blood and tissue samples. Nearly two decades later, these samples tested positive for the presence of HIV. You can read about it here. This is widely regarded as the first known American death due to AIDS. The strain of HIV turned out to be different from the strain involved in the current epidemic. You can read about that here, in the last few paragraphs.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Monday at DSW

Because I like to torture myself, I regularly go off in search of comfortable-yet-sexy sandals. My last such expedition guided me to a pair of Rockports, which felt wonderful in the store, set me back about $70, and then promptly tore up my pinky toes on the streets of Savannah. They are visible here (second picture from the top, upper right, in the black pants).

Yesterday, after being jostled by no less than half a dozen sweaty, pushy women, I found a pair of Aerosoles that I nearly bought. They were strappy, pleasantly designed, and comfortable in the store (although we all know what that's worth). Unfortunately, they were brown leather with very visible white stitching, and they reminded me just a little too much of those brown plastic sandals with fake stitching sold at drugstores that old men wear around Motel 6 pools with blue socks. If they came in black, though, I would have bought them.

Instead, I decided to purchase a bone-colored "pleather" bag, having convinced myself that I constantly depress those around me with my dark wardrobe, and that I need to lighten up for the summer, and that most people wouldn't know real from fake if it bit them in the eye. (That last part didn't take all that much convincing.)

The line to pay was several women deep, but it was moving fast. The cashiers were calling, "Nex!" at a furious pace.

The woman in front of me on line must have caught sight of untold purse-and-sock-and-Burt's Bees riches (seriously, isn't that a pretty random product line to sell at a shoe store?), because she barely muttered "I'll be right back, miss," without looking at me as she walked off.

While a normal person wouldn't give it a second thought, I was suddenly agitated. Clearly, she expected me to hold her place in line, despite not having actually asked me to. What if I was called to the cashier before she returned? What if the new people joining the line objected to my allowing her to "cut" in front of me? What if she wanted to beat me up for jumping the queue? I looked around for a weapon; if I used the heel of a $399.90 pair of Jimmy Choos to defend myself, the powers that be would no doubt ask me to pay for them.

"Nex!" called the cashier. "Miss, NEX!" It was my turn. The other woman was nowhere in sight.

Eager to procure my bag--the last of the red-hot pleathers--I scampered up and paid as quickly as possible before making my escape.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Curriculum Highlights for Children

I have a theory about my generation. I think that, to the extent that it exists, a lot of our general fucked-upedness can be traced back to sadistic "children's" books that we were forced to read in school.

I had to read Bridge to Terabithia at least two, and possibly as many as four, years in a row. For the uninitiated, Bridge to Terabithia is about two children who become friends, and then one of them dies. To my mind, for no apparent reason.

Also part of the curriculum was Where the Red Fern Grows. This is a charming tale of a poor young boy who saves up his money to buy two dogs, who become his best friends, until one of them dies in a savage lion attack and the other subsequently dies of a broken heart. I remember sobbing late into the night because of that one. I think I was 11.

Then there was Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, which contained descriptions of lynch mobs and burning people to death.

And who could forget Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, the TRUE story of a little Japanese girl who died of leukemia resulting from exposure to the atomic bombs of World War II.

Now, I understand, and agree, that children need to learn about the sadder, uglier aspects of life, but I am hard pressed to remember even one book from my elementary or junior high school curriculum that didn't deal with death or destruction. Just one. I'm sure there were some, but my memory of them has been completely clouded over by my memories of the many, many, many death books. In my opinion, this quantity of bawl-your-eyes-out sadness in a child's curriculum is totally unnecessary. Not only that, but I remember thinking on some occasions that it seemed like the authors of critically-acclaimed children's works couldn't think of any better way to end the story, so they went for the sensational death of a major character, not unlike the writers of soap operas or television movies. But what did I know--these were famous writers, and I was just a little girl!

Naturally, on my own, I read non-totally-death-oriented classics that were educational and dealt with mature themes, such as Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret, or Then Again, Maybe I Won't. Of course, many schools don't want to include these books as part of their curriculum, as they are controversial because they depict preteen and teenage girls getting their periods and teenage boys becoming embarrassed when they get erections in class (not that any junior-high-school-aged boys and girls would be familiar with either phenomenon in real life or anything). But, of course, children dying, vicious, fatal lion attacks, and lynch mobs are considered totally appropriate content. Now, tell me, don't you think that's just a little bit fucked up?

Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Gift that Keeps on Giving

In addition to scars, pain, angst, and potassium-benzoate-containing ginger ale (really, is that necessary?) in the recovery room, I have gotten several additional "gifts" from my surgery. I liken most of these "gifts" to the kinds of "gifts" one might receive from a cocker spaniel.

There was the "gift" from my health insurance company, that arrived, on a Saturday (as did a bunch of unrelated bills, I might add), in the form of a letter in my mailbox that basically said, "We're reviewing your claim and deciding whether to cover the cost of your surgery. We'll let you know." I guess they were thinking that it's possible that I had gotten up early for the privilege of having people to cut into my stomach and insert probes and scalpels into my uterus and vagina and scrape at stuff for purely cosmetic reasons, all while under the influence of anesthesia that might possibly have the unfortunate side effect of killing me. (I should add that I had made three separate phone calls in advance, to various individuals, and was assured each time that the procedure would be covered.)

Thankfully, they ultimately decided to cover (most of) the surgery, rendering unnecessary the will-they-or-won't-they anxiety that I had endured between the aforementioned letter and the coverage letter. Then, they sent me a bunch of checks for the surgery, arriving at various different times, so that I had to go out of my way on multiple occasions to deliver them to my doctor.

Then, I got a bill from the hospital for a few hundred dollars. I have seven years of postsecondary education and a law degree, and I can't, for the life of me, figure out what I'm being charged for, or why I'm being billed instead of my insurance company. The piece de resistance is that the bill includes a line item for a "state surcharge." A state surcharge??? WTF??? It's not as if I checked into a HOTEL!!! Hotel Cooter Scrape. The rooms aren't that private, and the beds aren't that comfortable, but they do go up and down. Can you believe this? The state's making money off my cooter.

Yesterday, I got a call from the doctor's office before 8:30 am. Given that I'm childless, and that the office should know this given that the surgery was for INFERTILITY, I am rather selfish at this hour and rarely answer the phone unless it's a clear emergency. I let the call go to voicemail and, in an act of supreme selflessness, returned it this morning at 8:50.

At which point I was promptly told that the woman I needed to speak with didn't get in until after nine.

Now I'm left wondering what fresh hell is this.

They'd better be calling to tell me that, despite the big blue "-" on the Fact Plus in the trash, and the fact that I haven't been to the office at all during this cycle, I'm pregnant. Undoubtedly, though, there's some problematic financial matter that I need to deal with from the surgery.

And why can't I buy pregnancy tests by the gross, anyway?

UPDATE: They wanted to know when I would be bringing by the latest check. The one that I received this week, right AFTER dropping off the other five or so checks.

Where's the check. Give me a break. How about, WHERE'S THE BABY???

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

No Going Back

WARNING: This post contains graphic descriptions of violence.

I have a fairly strong sense of the macabre. When doctors draw my blood, I watch. I appreciated having the opportunity to see pictures that doctors took of my insides during my surgery. I am fascinated by autopsy photos, the Mutter Museum, and exhibits such as Body Worlds. I suppose this is to be expected, for I am the offspring of people who celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary by buying adjacent cemetery plots.

For the past several days, I had been debating whether to click on the link on PTG's site to one of the beheadings of American soldiers in Iraq. Last night, I finally ended the suspense and watched the video.

Actually, I only watched part of the video. It was far too much for me to take. I was instantly sickened and shocked, and stopped the clip only about ten seconds in.

I honestly didn't expect to have quite as strong a reaction as I did. I expected that I would be very disturbed, but I had seen clips of human deaths before--the Challenger explosion, Budd Dwyer's suicide (link does not contain graphic visuals), and, of course, September 11th coverage.

There are many reasons why this clip was worse for me to watch than the others (with the possible exception of September 11th coverage). Obviously, the beheading was sheer, horrific brutality. Given that I stopped the clip before the onset of the full violence, though, the Budd Dwyer clip was actually far more graphic. But Dwyer's death was quick, even if he endured the anticipation of what was to come, and was self-inflicted. The Challenger explosion and the September 11th coverage showed horrors en masse. It was only later that we had faces and personalities to go with the victims. In some strange way, too, we were spared the gore due to distance and remoteness.

Nick Berg, a lone individual, was bound, gagged, and brutally murdered. The way his captors stood over him reminded me of a gang rape. Even having stopped the clip prematurely, I can't get the images out of my mind.

I was home sick from school the day of the Challenger incident, and I watched the coverage live with my babysitter. I was curious as to what had happened, and asked a million questions. I kept asking my mom questions about it when she got home, and she kept talking to me about it and explaining what happened in the hopes of making it less shocking and scary to me. With time and distance, it worked.

I wonder if I'd ever be able to "desensitize" myself in this way to footage of these beheadings, and whether I'd want to. I don't think so. There are some lines I just don't want to cross, and desensitization to such a brutal, personal murder is one of them.

I can't guarantee that I won't click on the video again some time in the future, and possibly even watch it through to completion. But I do know that, if I do, it will haunt me, and that is the way it should be.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Lipstick and Nail Polish and Spray...Oh My!

It's hot, I feel stinky, I am molting like a parrot, applying mascara to my eyelashes this morning was like applying butter to hot toast, and children are out of school and on their razor scooters right in my path everywhere I go while their parents ignore them and sip iced coffee with their similarly-fertile friends.

I'm not-so-fresh out of ideas. It's a perfect time, once again, to talk about that crowd-pleaser of crowd pleasers...old makeup and stuff!

Maybelline Shine Free lipstick and nail polish: These were very, very small, marketed to teenagers, and came in cutesy little pink tubes and cutesy little pink-topped bottles, respectively. They just screamed "Collect me!" Collect them I did, and I wound up with far too many shades that were hideous on me, though the tubes and bottles were too adorable not to use.

Caboodles Beauty Organizers: Big, plastic beauty cases that came in bright and pastel colors and had rounded edges and little pop-out mirrors. I actually had two of them; I felt so lucky. One was lavender and one was turquoise. They were decently expensive--maybe around $20? When filled with makeup, they were surprisingly heavy. Once I discovered, though, that they were essentially bubble-gummed-up fishing tackle boxes with mirrors, the magic evaporated. I actually bought a mustard-yellow fishing tackle box for about $7, and stacked it up with the Caboodles.

Cover Girl Lip Advance: One of a jillion lipsticks during my teenage years that promised to be "long lasting," but didn't really deliver, this was a small square compact containing a strip of powdered color ("cremepowder") and a strip of clear gloss. There was a little applicator that had an eye-shadow-type swab on one end and a brush on the other. The gimmick was that you applied the "cremepowder" with the swab, and then put on the topcoat with the brush. One always, always, always ran out of gloss before powder.

Cover Girl Professional nail polish: I thought this was actually pretty great. It was a thick nail polish in a weird bottle that you could tilt towards you, like the "professionals," I suppose (although I don't think I'm alone in never having seen a professional manicurist use a tilted bottle). You only needed one coat to get rich color. If this were still around, I'd buy it.

And, last, but certainly not least....

Sun-In!: Though it probably needs no explanation, this was a peroxide-based spray that one spritzed in one's hair and combed through before going out in the sun. I bet it's still around, although perhaps less popular as young women are becoming increasingly aware of the dangers of the sun. Having very dark hair, I was left out of the whole Sun-In phenomenon. I had heard the stories from my fellow brunettes of how they tried it and wound up orange, and I heard chatter from the popular blondes about how their hair was "natural" because they only used a little Sun-In. I contented myself by applying a trace amount of lemon juice to my hair, going outside for fifteen minutes, seeing no difference, coming inside and shampooing, and then calling it a day. Thank goodness for Halsa!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Silver Linings

You know how when you have something that's lined--a bag, a pair of pants, a blazer, etc.--the lining is sort of free-floating and not fully anchored to that which it's lining?

It turns out that linings are constructed that way for a reason.

This weekend I got to exercise my sewing skills a little bit. I learned to line bags, and I am now that much closer to world domination my own line of luxury handmade products. I am permitted, and encouraged, to sew at my parents' house, but I cannot do anything that might make them have heart palpitations (i.e., no fire, no lye). I can mix and whip to my heart's content, and Ty came up with the brilliant idea of using the garage for my home lotion-making experiments. The garage! How brilliant! It turns out that it's not just a restaurant in the Village, but also a place where people who live in Normal America can do stuff that's too messy to do in the house.

On Sunday, we enjoyed a delicious Father's Day meal of bagels with cream cheese and smoked salmon, followed by a lunch of Ty's special grilled lamb chops, with chocolate pound cake and melty vanilla ice cream for dessert. I got to hang with my brother Mr. Lashes for the first time in a long time, and, let me tell you, that kid is funnier and cuter than ever (sorry ladies, he's taken).

The drive home from my parents' place provided an opportunity for everyone to play Let's Stay in Our Lane!, and my basil plant survived the weekend and, in general, has not died yet. Things are looking up. I even got to talk to C.S., who's been camping in Arizona and Utah (no, she hasn't seen Dooce; I asked, too). She did, however, assure me that road runners are real, actual animals.

How was your weekend?

Friday, June 16, 2006

Summer Itch

Now that summer's here, Ty and I will be spending a lot of time with my parents, who have a house that's in not the city, meaning that the temperature there occasionally feels cooler than the inside of a pizza oven.

Here's the thing, though: I'm just itching to make stuff these days. I want to sew and dip candles and saponify fats and make jam and pretend that I'm a pioneer woman, but with yuppie trappings like silk ribbons and essential oils. And air conditioning. While sipping a mojito with a pretty straw.

And my parents are the two cleanest people in the universe. My dad has been known to say, only half-jokingly, "I don't think she was being so unreasonable," while watching Mommie Dearest (referring, of course, to the obsessive cleaning, and NOT the beatings). If you leave a glass with a trace amount of liquid in it on a table, my mother will make it disappear in 15 seconds flat. These are not people who would appreciate loose threads flying all over their living room, and hot molten soap getting baked into their shiny new stovetop (and elsewhere, as the level of mojito within the glass falls). The whole benefit of having a daughter old enough to sprout her own gray hairs is that they are free to live in a spotless sanctuary.

So far, they've been very tolerant--even encouraging--of my sewing. They are very nice people. So, I'm wondering, mom and dad...if I promise to clean up...AND bring the rum...AND bring my own equipment so that I don't have to soil your flatware or bowls or anything, may I please whip shea butter in your kitchen?

Thursday, June 15, 2006

We Don't Believe You!

If I have to read about another unmarried celebrity couple with children responding to the question, "Are you going to get married?" with the answer, "Well, we're just too busy right now," I'm going to scream.

Scream because they are lying. To us. The people who pay their $20-million-plus-per-year salaries.

They are lying for PR reasons, because they know that the following honest answers wouldn't fly:

"We're waiting until her big film is released, so that we can exploit the wedding for PR purposes."

"We have sociological issues with the institution of marriage. Frankly, we think it's for suckers, but we don't dare say that, because 90% of our fans are suckers--oops--we mean, married."

"We're so rich that we don't need to worry about pedestrian issues like pensions and health insurance, so, really, what's the point?"

"We're just going to get divorced anyway, so, really, what's the point?"

"He wouldn't sign the prenup."

"I'm already pretty sick of her. I'm only with her until something better comes along."

"We have to wait until I can lose all of the baby weight, so I'll look better in my dress."

"We're still searching for corporate sponsors."

"I don't want that bitch to walk away with half my net worth when she ultimately catches me schtupping starlets."

Have any to add?

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Reflections on Marriage

Some of my fellow female bloggers have written wonderfully romantic tributes to their husbands lately. I have really enjoyed reading them.

This month, Ty and I are celebrating our third wedding anniversary.

In the early days of a marriage, you try hard to strike the right balance between deference and submission. One moment, you happily bake chocolate chip cookies, and the next, you spy some dirty dishes and ask yourself, "What does it mean for my integrity as a woman if I wash out his coffee mug?" You kiss, you argue, you make love, and you passive-aggressively alter the brightness of the overhead lighting or change the channel on the television when he leaves the room. Often all in the same day. You hide many of your "weird" characteristics from him. You pretend that you only watch The Golden Girls once a day, and that you never eat frosting right out of the can. You maintain the illusion that your legs are naturally fuzz-free, your feet naturally soft, your lips naturally rosy.

In time, your defenses wear down. You cry over something silly and he just gives you a hug. You move the box of tampons to a more convenient--and more visible--location. You establish a household rhythm--he cooks, you wash the recyclables. You learn each others' gaits so well that you stop crashing into each other as you move throughout the kitchen. You turn tedious chores into an opportunity for shared jokes. He learns exactly how you like your tea. He becomes more familiar than ever, yet he never stops surprising you.

Work gets difficult. Emergencies pop up. He hollers for medical assistance when you nearly pass out after a procedure. He holds your hand when you cry in pain. You want, more than anything, to share a baby with him. He is patient and understanding. He strokes your hair.

And, gradually, you learn that a marriage is a family, a love affair, and a small business all rolled into one.

Happy Anniversary, Sweetheart. It's only been three years and we've already done so much! I can't wait to see where life takes us.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

No Time Like the Present

In my e-mail inbox are no less than three e-mails demanding my immediate attention.

On my desk are no less than four bills demanding that I write four checks.

I have at least two phone calls to return.

I have not showered.

I have not eaten breakfast.

I have not taken the 17,043 prenatal vitamins destined ultimately to nurture my empty womb.

I have not decided what to wear today.

So, naturally, it is the ideal time for me to research online how to make my own scented soaps and body lotions.

Hey, you pick your "happy place," and I'll pick mine.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Name that Tune

This weekend, I was mentally making myself a Jeter-and-A-Rod sandwich watching the Yankees while also taking in a dress I just bought (fit fine in the hips, too big in the bosom!).

I was focusing on my sewing and looking away from the screen when some unmistakable music started playing--the song that signals closer Mariano Rivera's entrance into the game ("Enter Sandman" by Metallica).

It's always a great moment. The tune is triumphant and knowing, yet also subtle and slow. It heralds the entrance of the best closer in the business. In my opinion, Mariano has a kind, steady face that, despite the Yankee pinstripes, might otherwise mask his fierce skills. The music brings together both his calm demeanor and his you'd-better-watch-out pitching.

I want a theme song.

At our B-List Blogfest, the consensus seemed to be that I was smaller than people had anticipated, given my writing. I took this as a huge compliment (thanks, ladies!). Can you help me think of a song that simultaneously represents a tiny little woman who doesn't raise her voice, and a sarcastic yuppie who mocks chain restaurants and writes about her cooter?

Friday, June 09, 2006

I'm With Stupid

Stupid people are really getting to me this week. I know, I know--we're all stupid sometimes--but some people take stupid to a whole new level.

I'm starting a meme--The Stupid Meme.

3 Stupid Things I've Done:

1. Stick my finger in a socket after my mother repeatedly warned me not to (hey, I was a toddler);

2. Consume rum-and-Cokes and boxed wine in close proximity to one another at the same college party;

3. Wear a white dress to a family get-together right around the time my period was due.

3 Stupid Things Other People Have Done That Have Directly Affected Me (i.e., "marry Kevin Federline" is not an option):

1. Get a lot of eggshells in the cupcake batter, don't fish them out, don't tell me about it, and then bake and ice the cupcakes and offer me one under circumstances that require me to act polite while eating said cupcake. It is NOT fun to spit eggshells into a napkin surreptitiously, or to go crunch, crunch, crunch while you eat a baked good.

2. Tell me about your wonderful meal at the Olive Garden, complete with pronunciation of the word "Siciliano" (used dubiously as a modifier to begin with) as "Sisiliano," again, under circumstances that require me to act polite, and try to convince me that I should go, as well, because *I don't know* what I'm missing. I know, I know--I'm a terrible food snob. I DON'T CARE. Some things are worth being snobby about.

1. I was once purchasing a pack of three foil roasting pans, all bound and packaged together, at a grocery store. The cashier rang up the pans three separate times, because, you know, there were three of them. I actually had to argue with her that this was not the proper procedure, and that I was not just attempting to purchase three cheap foil pans for the price of one. And this kind of thing always happens at the end of a bad day, doesn't it?

I'm tagging TB and Mama Tulip. Have a wonderful weekend, everybody!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

B-List Week Continues

Shells in the pavement. The New York analog would be "glassphalt."

Being accustomed to stores and restaurants being open at inhuman hours, I inevitably forget or run out of some health or beauty item on nearly every vacation I take. This results in a hunger for a drugstore unprecedented since my last vacation. In New York, there are three or four drugstores on every corner. They carry everything from suppositories to makeup to sunglasses to beach chairs. Because, you know, people in Manhattan really need beach chairs. In basically every other city I've ever visited, there is one drugstore every ten miles or so, and many of them have little beyond aspirin.

This time around, I needed tampons. I left my hotel room around 7:15 am and went off in search of The Great Rolls of Cotton. I was wearing what I had slept in--black sweatpants, a black tank top, no makeup, and unkempt dark, curly hair. Did I mention that we were in Savannah? Oh, and it was Graduation Weekend. Everyone around me was wearing dresses, blazers, and collared shirts. I stuck out like a blond Southern belle in the Bronx, and Savannah isn't even one of those cities where Italians are safely confined to theme restaurants, lest we roam free and inflict our spices and vowels on an unsuspecting populace.

Abandoned sauna. Kind of like Chelsea!

Women ignored me but for some glances of pity that my hair wasn't naturally sun-streaked, nor my breasts buoyant. I knew, immediately, that men's reactions would be different. Sure enough, I got both the reactions I had anticipated:

1. Panhandling;
2. Flirting.

The panhandling, by New York standards, was incredibly tame. I saw the guy coming from a block away--skinny and unkempt. When he passed me, it was with a halfhearted "Spare some change," as if he knew it was futile to ask a woman wearing black pajamas in public in the South and carrying a dominatrix-esque handbag. It was. ("Is that the best you can do?" I thought. "Back home, we eat your kind for breakfast." Mmmmmm, breakfast.)

The flirting caught me by surprise. It began with, "You're not from around here--I can tell by the dark hair and the dark eyes."

I humored him politely--he was the least-threatening individual on the planet--and went off in search of my menstrual products, which I clutched conspicuously with my ringed hand as I stood behind him at the register and he took the opportunity to speak to me again.

"Are you a student?" He said student like it meant stripper--tinged with sexuality and possibilities.

"Nope. I'm just here on vacation with my friends." [And my wedding ring. And my period.]

"With your friends?" ["You mean there are more of you?"]

"Yep. Gotta go." [I'm late for the hotel-room underwear tickle-fight.]

Usually when stuff like that happens when I'm on vacation without my husband or my family, it makes me feel fundamentally alone and vulnerable, even though I'm perfectly capable of brushing off the nonthreatening guy who's just looking to score. In this case, on this trip with these other four women, it didn't feel that way at all. As I left the drugstore, all I could think about was how the morning's events would make a good story for them, how they would understand, and how it would be something we would come away from the trip having all shared.

Broughton Street by night

Monday, June 05, 2006

Five Strong

I have just returned from Savannah, Georgia, where we B-List Bloggers had our Woodstock!!! (Well, it was like Woodstock, but with five people, no concerts, no mud, and a relatively luxurious hotel.)

One of the many greeting cards that I have purchased for Ty in advance of some holiday and then promptly forgotten about long before said holiday actually rolls around says something about falling in love “heart first.” I recently found the greeting card while cleaning out a drawer, and the phrase stuck in my mind.

That’s exactly what happened with my four fellow bloggers. Sure, I knew certain things about them—Wordgirl loves to read! TB loves music! Mignon loves sports! Mrs. Harridan loves to cook!—but I really “fell in love” with the writers, and their souls that came through their work. We got to know each other before we did the “pegging” that humans invariably and unfortunately do when they meet someone, before we became The Jock, The Mom, The Hostess, etc. It was like The Breakfast Club in reverse. Taking this trip really opened my eyes. I think Wordgirl put it best when she called it an "odd mix" and described the feeling of knowing someone well while simultaneously making new discoveries about her. It was an experience that I will treasure. And I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that this experience will forever change the way I think of meeting someone new. I will be far more open to the possibilities beneath the surface.

Okay, now for some fun tidbits:

1. We are a group of hotties. Mignon has thick, lush hair and perfect teeth. Mrs. Harridan is slender and willowy, and her carriage is very regal. TB has gorgeous eyes—simultaneously childlike, doeish, and sexy, framed by soft lashes. Wordgirl is tall, blond, fit, and strong--essentially, she's Smart Literary Barbie. And you know what? My butt is actually kind of nice.

2. I am pretty good at hiding my drunkenness. Those margaritas at the haunted Mexican restaurant WERE (hiccup) lovely, weren’t they!!! TB, is that your twin sister standing next to you? And why is the waiter shouting at me? Mmmm, cider.

3. Comfortable sandals, MY ASS. My feet hurt so much now that the leg of my jeans grazing against my toes is painful.

4. This is the second third time I’m writing this post. The first draft—two hours in the making, with pictures, links, and all—was eaten by a blog-hosting website that shall remain nameless.

5. I have the worst taste in music of any young person, ever. The conversation in the car on the way to Tybee Island went something like this (Million Little Pieces-esque warning: the following conversation is highly embellished, and, in fact, much of it never even happened):

[Arabella, listening to the radio, thinks, “Hey, this is a good song. Could it be that this song is officially socially acceptable?”]

Mignon [fidgeting with the radio]: Hey, let’s put on the B-List CD so we don’t have to listen to this crap!

TB: Good idea! That song sucks! The first song on the CD was contributed by [insert name of blogger here] and is by Weaiaohagha Ieaw Erp!

Mrs. Harridan: Oh, I love Weaiaohagha Ieaw Erp! I just saw a local band do a cover of one of the songs on their first album. The lead singer even looked a bit like Nate McCoolster.

Wordgirl: Nate McCoolster is hot! What was the name of the local band?

Mrs. Harridan: Teaoy Bgai Eaiynn. They mostly sound like they’re inspired by Iaosz.

Wordgirl: I just saw Iaosz in concert. They were really good!

Mrs. Harridan: Arabella, what kind of music do you like?

[Arabella frantically searches through the memory banks, trying to recall songs that her husband and friends think are cool that she actually also likes and has on her iPod, so that, if necessary, she can prove genuine fanship of the artists. Soundtrack to The Muppet Movie? No. Original cast recording of Cabaret? No. The Bee Gees? You’ve got to be kidding me. Joni Mitchell? They’ll think she’s a big hippie. Crosby, Stills & Nash? Hmmm, risky. Is Ben Folds Five still cool, or do people think they've gone "too mainstream"? Hey, isn’t “Say Yes” somewhere on my iPod?]

Arabella: I, uh, I like, um….Elliott Smith….

Mrs. Harridan: Elliott Smith is good!

[Arabella sighs with relief and vows to broaden her musical horizons before next year.]

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Blogfest Approaches

Wit will have to wait for another day, as I am currently scouring my apartment to locate items as diverse as ear plugs, a Sudoku book, protein bars, and sunblock.

I'll be back to blogging on Monday and will fill you in--with apologies to Kathy Griffin--on My Weekend on the B-List!