Actually, There is Such Thing as Bad Pizza.

And there you were, baking in the oven like the refrigerated piece of pizza that you are. I overestimated how long you take to cook, as usual, and you curled up a little on the edges. I eye you with suspicion, and decide to put you on a plate. Not the good stuff, just the plasticware from Target. I know better than to pull out the good stuff for you.

The first couple of bites are sort of OK, but you're rapidly losing your appeal with each touch to the tongue. I keep eating; it's habit. Everyone says leftover pizza is better than the first time around, and I have to admit, the first time around kind of sucked, especially considering the price I paid for it. But now I'm trying to figure out why I went to the trouble of this whole process when you taste so goddamned stale.

And now I'm shutting my eyes, just for a second. I realize what I've done. The roof of my mouth has been slightly scalded by this second-chance pizza. I tongue the damage, feel stringy flesh against the muscle and curse again. I pop a couple of Tylenol, remind myself I wanted to make that money count for at least a couple of meals, make it count for something. I console myself: can't be blamed for thinking it might be different the second time around.

And when lunchtime rolls around the next day, I'm reaching for the yogurt, the fruit, the diet cola, anything else, in one hand, while in the other I'm wrapping you up in plastic wrap, squeezing you between my fingers until there's nothing of substance left. I don't even notice how casually I lob you into the trash can, and after a few sprays of Oust, it's like you never even existed.

02-28-2005 9:46 PM - comments (1)

Insert Beastie Boys Lyrics Here.

I'm so into my wok. It makes frying pans look like thin-skinned (or metaled?) little pansies.

02-28-2005 9:08 PM - comments (1)

Best Mafia Post Ever.

If you don't want people to think you went to Kansas rather than MU, don't use subordinate clauses as if they were independent clauses.

-MU prof and copy editor Fred Vultee, to one apparently grammarphobic John Morales

02-26-2005 7:27 PM - comments (0)

Happy Fourth Anniversary, O.P.

So I look in your direction
But you pay me no attention, do you?
I know you don't listen to me
'cause you say you see straight through me, don't you?

And on and on
From the moment I wake to the moment I sleep
I'll be there by your side; just you try and stop me
I'll be waiting in line, just to see if you care

Did you want me to change?
Well, I changed for good
And I want you to know that you'll always get your way
I wanted to say…
Don't you shiver

Sing it loud and clear
I'll always be waiting for you.

02-24-2005 3:32 PM - comments (0)

But Knowing, That's Not Much.

I'm going to start writing something. What, I'm not sure. It's time, though.

I'm feeling trapped, kinda beaten down. When I'm happy, I know the reasons. The only thing I have right now is my uncertainty, and even that's unreliable.

02-22-2005 6:13 PM - comments (1)

He's Making Me Look Bad.

My friend Ryan made me two mix CDs this weekend of what he thought were the best tracks of 2004. On the first CD:

1. "Kissing the Lipless" - The Shins
2. "Reptilia" - The Strokes
3. "Are You Gonna Be My Girl?" - Jet
4. "C'mon, C'mon" - Von Bondies
5. "Portland, Oregon" - Loretta Lynn and Jack White
6. "Irish Blood, English Heart" - Morrissey
7. "I Thought I Was Your Boyfriend" - The Magnetic Fields
8. "Such Great Heights" - The Postal Service (Ed. note: I played this at my graduation party in May 2003, which means it must have been several months old two years ago. So not cool to be on this list.)
9. "Take Me Out" - Franz Ferdinand
10. "Float On" - Modest Mouse
11. "Somebody Told Me" - The Killers
12. "Nowhere Again" - The Secret Machines
13. "Staring at the Sun" - TV on the Radio
14. "99 Problems" - Jay-Z
15. "Slow Jamz" - Kanye West/Twista
16. "Yeah!" - Usher/Lil Jon
17. "Fit But You Know It" - The Streets
18. "Toxic" - Britney Spears
19. "It's My Life" - No Doubt
20. "This Love" - Maroon 5
21. "When it All Falls Down" - Kanye West

All in all, a great CD. I knew about half of these songs, which is insane; I need more people in my life who keep me up-to-date on this stuff (thanks, Ryan, even though you don't know I have a website. I had a moment of silence for you). The TV on the Radio song is probably my new favorite -- I've been playing it nonstop today. It's amazing. It reminds me of a Pixies song, which makes no sense, as the singer's voice sounds nothing like Frank Black's. I make weird connections all of the time, though.

Cross the street from your storefront cemetery
Hear me hailing from inside and realize

I am the conscience clear
In pain or ecstasy
And we were all weaned, my dear
Upon the same fatigue

(You're staring at the sun)
Oh my own voice
Cannot save me now
It's just
(standing in the sea)
One more breath
And then
I go down

Your mouth is open wide
The lover is inside
And all the tumults done
Collided with the sign
You're staring at the sun
You're standing in the sea
Your body's over me

Note the trees because
The dirt is temporary
More to mine than fact face
Name and monetary

Beat the skins and let the
Loose lips kiss you clean
Quietly pour out like light
Like light, like answering the sun

You're staring at the sun
You're standing in the sea
Your mouth is open wide
You're trying hard to breathe
The water's at your neck
Your body's over me

Be what you will
And then throw down your life
Oh, it's a damned fine game
And we can play all night

You're staring at the sun
You're standing in the sea
Your mouth is open wide
You're trying hard to breathe
The water's at your neck
Your body's over me

You're staring at the sun
You're standing in the sea
You're staring at the sun
You're standing in the sea

02-21-2005 9:29 PM - comments (4)

I Don't Know What to Say.

Hunter S. Thompson killed himself yesterday.

02-21-2005 7:13 AM - comments (0)

Pure Lunacy.

Choose a band/artist and answer only in song titles by that band.

The Smashing Pumpkins

Are you female or male: "Thru the Eyes of Ruby"

Describe yourself: "Wound"

How do some people feel about you: "Transformer"

How do you feel about yourself: "Zero"

Describe your current girlfriend/boyfriend: "Perfect"

Describe where you want to be: "By Starlight"

Describe what you want to be: "Beautiful"

Describe how you live: "Tonight, Tonight"

Describe how you love: "Stand Inside Your Love"

Share a few words of wisdom: "Speed Kills"

02-20-2005 9:47 PM - comments (3)

That's Got Everything to Do With You.

If I were the sort of girl who did karaoke, I'd probably sing "Can We Still Be Friends?" by Todd Rundgren.

In other news, "So Alive" by Love and Rockets is one of the sexiest songs ever (blame my word choice on Chuck Klosterman's column in Spin this month).

02-20-2005 8:57 PM - comments (0)

Le Faltaré, Vacaciones del Caribe.

So I think we have our vacation plans straightened out. Michael and I have been planning a trip somewhere deliciously tropical, and we had settled on sometime in October. But then I checked the "Last Minute" deals on on Sunday, and there was an amazing rate on a brand-new hotel in Punta Cana for seven nights starting March 5.

Being the obsessive vacation planner that I am (see: My ill-fated planning for a Disney World trip three years ago; my planning for Christie's and my spring break trip to Chicago in March '03; my planning of my mini-trip to see Michael in Acapulco for his conference in August '03; my planning of trips that had already been planned by someone else for business trips in Jamaica in April '04 and Mexico in November '04), my wheels started turning. How could I:

a) scrounge up the approximately $1,000 p/p it would cost to make this trip happen,

b) convince Michael, of all people, that it was better to do this on the fly than to have months to prepare (Michael wants to prepare by learning Spanish. I want to prepare by not looking like a beast in my new Victoria's Secret swimsuits), and

c) overlook the fact that malaria is, like, the hip new thing in the Dominican Republic?

In the end, I couldn't do any of those things, at least not very well. Even if the Bahia Principe had hot tubs in each room and seven gourmet restaurants and one of the best beaches in the Caribbean, it was, as they say, not meant to be. It was also, as they say, totalmente sucky.

But like an addict, I still needed a fix. So I hit my mom up for some advice (she's the one who passed down this debilitating vacation-planning disease to me, after all), and she suggested that we take a weekend trip to Chicago for the time being. And so we will, from March 10-13. In two hours flat yesterday, I planned out the drive, the hotel we'll stay in, the restaurants we'll eat in for our three nights there, our activities and the vacation cost. And while it's not Punta Cana or the Riviera Maya (where we will still be going in October), it's still a nice little vacation.

But let me tell you, the Days Inn Lincoln Park better have cabana boys on hand to spritz me with Evian and make me mojitos or there's gonna service charges to pay.

02-17-2005 11:39 AM - comments (0)

A Valentine, By Proxy.

The last time I really celebrated Valentine's Day was four years ago. A guy I went to college with had had a crush on me for a while, and when he asked me to go to the KCOU dance thing at Shattered, I accepted. Mainly because he was a cool guy and partly because I wanted to wear my prom dress again. (OK, more like I wanted to feel good that I could still fit into my prom dress again.) I had already "met" Michael -- we were spending several hours a night talking on IM -- so I really had no intention of taking my relationship with the first guy any further.

And then he showed up at my apartment with a dozen white roses and got me liquored up and three hours later carried me from his car to my apartment door. It was at that point that I let him down, in the most sensitive way an intoxicated and in-love-with-someone-else girl can reject a guy who spent a ton of time, effort and money on her could.

Two days later I drove into St. Louis with Melissa to see the Promise Ring at the Gargoyle and meet Michael in person. I was practically hyperventilating the entire way there. We stopped at a weird-looking Chinese restaurant -- the one that now makes sense to me, the one near the big Amoco sign on Skinker, the one I now drive by all the time -- to use the restroom and freshen up. And then we drove to Tomatillo to meet Chris and Ryan and Kaity and, yes, Michael, for dinner, and he wasn't there yet and I kept running to the bathroom to fix my lipstick and brush my hair and when I got out I saw this tall, skinny, gorgeous boy looking kind of lost and I was feeling lost and we saw each other and bam! I mean, completely and utterly, bam.

And we tried to eat dinner but I couldn't even begin to think about eating. The car ride to Wash U, the show itself (the poking, the looking at driver's licenses, the distributing of Irish coins, the constant fear that he'd fall for Kaity as so many other guys had done before him), the decision to go to Courtesy Diner, the brown furry coat I hid myself in while we were eating, the fateful decision for all of us (all!) to spend the night at Ryan's house, where he rejected my overture of Valentine's Day Nerds and I thought all was lost until we somehow ended up the only two in the pull-out couch, the one with the crumbs and I wore my Sheep Destructor shirt and got up every hour to brush my teeth and we didn't sleep at all as the others must have been trying to do, but we laughed and talked and were lying so close to one another that I just willed the others to be asleep and I looked up and he looked down and then! a kiss unlike any other, one that somehow made me forget the last miserable year with that other guy, the one who no longer mattered and who seemed to shrink in every way now that Michael was here.

And the next day, we (unshowered, exhausted but alive) sat at the McDonald's while Melissa just sort of smiled and we joked about kidnaping that cute baby at the table next to us and we made the trip to our respective cars and had that awkward are-we-gonna-kiss moment and it was resolved in the best possible way and on the way home we almost got killed when an 18-wheeler attempted to do his best on us but we lived.

Michael and I don't celebrate Valentine's Day, not really. What we do as each anniversary comes and goes is reminisce about when we first met, how things were while we were living two hours apart, different surprises we've had for each other, all of the inside jokes we've had and how we've helped get each other through the roughest of times. When we first met each other, I was heartbroken and disillusioned and incredibly lost. But after that first night, I started to find value in optimism -- I was really only a cynic because of circumstance -- and four years later, I think I'm approaching "finished." (Bitter single people's condescending advice on the matter be damned.)

So if that makes me the poor man's eternal romantic, so be it. The way I look at it, my sentiment is cheaper than a dozen roses and lasts a whole hell of a lot longer.

02-14-2005 10:16 AM - comments (5)

Treasure Hunt.

I totally ripped Amy off and did Google Images searches for the following:

A picture of your first car

The place you grew up

The place you live now

Where I'd like to be living

What shows up when I type my name

My favorite food

My favorite drink

My favorite song

My favorite smell

My favorite kind of flower*

See the photos and read the descriptions here. It was sort of fun. Just pick your favorite photo out of what comes up.

*I don't have a favorite kind of shoe, so I changed this one.

02-10-2005 9:00 PM - comments (0)

Oughta Be in a Fortune Cookie.

In the last 24 hours, Facebook has provided me with all sorts of interesting moments, not the least of which is what happened when I looked up myself and demanded to "poke her!":

You cannot poke yourself.

02-10-2005 11:13 AM - comments (2)

Maybe Friday I Can Get Tickets to the Dance.

I just realized that on this day a decade ago, my very first boyfriend asked me to go out with him. In his beautiful script -- and I never understood how someone so very grunge could pull that off -- he would write notes to me all through eighth grade. I was the long-suffering teenage girl who had to wait through his many crushes and relationships with girls far prettier than me, but true to form (or a John Hughes movie), he finally noticed the intellectual, awkward one who had been pining away for him all year.

Our song was "Drain You" by Nirvana (which maybe should have been an indication that the relationship wouldn't last, but hey, it's still one of my favorite songs), and he got me a pale brown teddy bear named Bliss and a rose for Valentine's Day. As far as first boyfriends go, I was really lucky. (Our first kiss, which took place exactly 10 days after we began dating, left something to be desired, but that wasn't really our fault. It's actually a funny story; remind me to tell you sometime.)

Even though I was just a kid, I still regret the way I treated him toward the end. I'm sure he doesn't care anymore, but part of me wishes he knew how much that taught me to treat people with care and respect.

Wherever he is, I hope he's happy. He deserves it.

02-09-2005 7:00 PM - comments (0)

And Nary a Whimper from the Watchdog.

Today I sent an e-mail to a reporter at the Post-Dispatch about a story he had written about Bush's proposed budget, and I blasted him for being careless in his word choice (he essentially implied that Social Security reforms were a foregone conclusion).

I've just been reading so many terribly reported, inaccurate and just plain dishonest articles in the past few months that I suppose I took out all of my anger and frustration on the poor guy (even though he should have been more "conscientious" in his reporting, as I wrote in my e-mail).

My anger may have been misdirected, but that doesn't mean it's unfounded. Journalists have become nothing more than sloppy, lazy puppets who hide behind their supposed ethics. Objectivity is worshipped, but like anything else deserving of worship, it's been mangled so completely that it's no longer recognizable (the reasons abound, but I have neither the time nor the energy to delve into that particular topic right now).

Most reporters seem satisfied just covering the "he said, she said" nature of politics instead of doing what they should be doing, which is investigating and reporting the facts. (That I felt the need to define their responsibilities says volumes about the state of journalism.) Bush saying Social Security will be insolvent by 2018 is not a fact. It is a mistruth, plain and simple. Yet reporters think they've done their jobs when they report his opinions and then counter with an opinion from some Democrat (and it seems any Democrat will do, doesn't it?).

That's not journalism. That's not telling us the whole story, and it's not putting anything into context for us or showing us the big picture. Politicians' opinions should not be news; policy change and what it means for us is. By giving Bush's claims about Social Security premium space in these stories (and, in fact, by simply considering his opinions to be worthy of entire articles at all), journalists are giving credence to his ideas and transforming them into irrefutable fact. We all saw how well that worked when he was campaigning for the invasion of Iraq. There is no doubt that things would have turned out much differently if some intrepid reporters had actually done their jobs. But instead, we were given no alternatives to Bush's "facts," and we ate that half-baked argument right up, even the hard-boiled liberals among us.

That's because we believe what we read, and while that might cast a slight shadow on our collective intelligence, it shouldn't. Our faith in journalists should be stronger and more justifiable than our faith in politicians. And while I disagree with the reasons that the American public no longer trusts The Media, I think the lack of trust in itself is not only appropriate, but necessary. I used to trust that journalists cared more about the letter of the law than the spirit, so to speak; that is, that what was happening was far more important than how people were reacting to it. I used to trust that every word a reporter used had weight -- had meaning! -- and that it was chosen specifically for this sentence, for this paragraph and for this story to communicate in the most precise and explicit way possible these ideas that would ultimately inform, educate and protect us.*

And here we are now, uninformed, uneducated and unprotected from a unscrupulous government that has been given carte blanche from our sole defenders. It doesn't just make you wonder where our generation's Woodward and Bernstein are hiding; it makes you wonder if there are any good reporters left at all.

*And then I realized that copy editors are, with great skill and greater zeal, doing what reporters have been unwilling to do, but again, that's another discussion for another day.

02-08-2005 6:19 PM - comments (2)

Today Was a Good Day.

I know it's going to be a good day when I get more than eight hours of sleep, wake up from a very nice dream and get to have whole-wheat waffles for breakfast.*

*In the interest of full disclosure, this refreshed, happy feeling has a little bit to do with the new "O.C." tonight. And by "a little bit," I mean "upwards of 85 percent. How happy did you really think whole-wheat waffles could make me? Jesus, they're not Harvest Grain 'N Nut pancakes from IHOP. I wish you wouldn't be so stupid. Remind me why we're friends again? Yeah, thought so. Sucka."

02-03-2005 7:42 AM - comments (1)

The Battle of Who Could Care Less.

I don't get people. What's the point of running so hot and cold? Why all of the ambiguity? Why the mind games, the constant strategizing, the avoidance, the looks, the dishonesty, the small moments of genuine warmth we must both feel and the coldness that inevitably follows? What's so frightening that we can't just be and feel and say what we want? Is it the possibility of true, raw intimacy with each other that forces us to withdraw, regroup and rebuild in such calculating ways?

I wish you'd tell me, because I'm not sure I can take much more of this.

02-02-2005 3:54 PM - comments (2)