Hate it or love it, the underdog's on top
And I'm gonna shine, homie, until my heart stop

04-29-2005 7:57 AM - comments (0)

Roy G. Biv.

I can't write for long, but I did have to take the time to tell you just how kind, thoughtful, wonderful, amazing and perfect Michael is. He came over last night and casually mentioned he had seen something at the mall this weekend that reminded him of me and bought it.

"It's just a little something," he said. "Don't get too excited."

I ripped open the meticulous wrapping paper (he and my dad are the best gift-wrappers I know) to find this.

After staring at it for what seemed like minutes, I asked timidly if it was really mine and if I could open it. Then I realized we have a creepy psychic bond because I had just seen one exactly like it in the MU bookstore on Sunday with Chase and mentioned that I really wanted one. Michael had told me he was planning on getting me an iPod Shuffle, but I didn't really think he meant it. But this is so much better, and believe me when I tell you, it's so me. Metallic pink, 4GB/1,000 songs, great earbud headphones, works perfectly with iTunes (of course it does)...we had so much fun playing around with it last night.

I wanted to call someone and tell them right away about it. (Well, to brag about it, really, but what else can you do in that moment? It does not call for modesty, people!) I tried Christie, but she wasn't answering, so I called Ryan, the person I thought would appreciate it the most.

"I know you've been wanting for him to propose, but I think this one-ups that," he said.

Also, I remembered to alternately kiss and hit Michael for telling me it was just a "little" something.

"Well, it is," he said.

So I'm in love with a boy named Michael and a pink iPod Mini named Roy G. Biv. And today's the day I get my (free) haircut, color and makeup application from The Face & The Body Day Spa and Sunday the boy and I depart for sunny Mexico. My friends are doing well, and my family is happy and healthy. I can't begin to tell you how lucky and grateful I feel at this moment.

04-26-2005 7:16 AM - comments (0)

I Can Watch And Not Take Part.

My car lurches forward in much the same manner a person would in the process of getting sick. It almost tumbles forward, in this weird slow motion you wouldn't expect of a car. Like a clumsy waiter dropping a tray of dirty dishes, maybe. The kind you feel sorry for afterward. I've driven a manual for eight years, and I can't perfect the art of downshifting without the negative side effects.

I have this tendency to see people I know in the cars around me. I could do the sane thing and blame it on the gridlock I sit in daily and the absolutely mind-numbing amount of vehicles I see as a result, but I won't. I'll break the habit and try to be truthful. I imagine seeing you pass me by, a whir of car and air and loud music and cool air conditioning. My windows are open, and the anger and frustration and emptiness of my environment seep into the car. But so do you, even though I know it's impossible. I hold my cell phone in my lap, and I know you haven't called me in forever, and I swear, I'm not expecting you to call, but I wouldn't be surprised if you did. In my head, these things resolve themselves in the 4:14 length of a Jawbreaker song, or if it's a bad day, the 4:33 of a Radiohead song.

And you see me lurch by and you pick up your phone and call and I feel the slight vibration on my leg and I answer, with that cool, cool voice I used to use on you, and you're the nervous one, now you're the flake, and you say everything you should have said so long ago. Was it so long ago? I don't actually remember. Tell me again when this all was and what it all meant. I'm so curious.

And I'm all ears but no heart.

04-21-2005 8:26 PM - comments (0)

Sour Girl.

A local beauty salon/spa wants me to be their model for a before-and-after makeover ad for a local publication. My first thought was, "Way to tell me how ugly you think I am." My second thought was, "I'm a big fan of free haircuts, color and makeup." My third thought was, "I really don't want a fauxhawk. Even hot girls like Alex from 'The O.C.' looked bad with a fauxhawk. Please don't give me a fauxhawk."

The thing is, they always see me at my frumpiest -- jeans, sweatshirt, minimal makeup -- because I only see them when I'm directing photo shoots (and getting the occasional off-duty waxing). So maybe they think I desperately need some femininity, but I swear, I have drawers full of that already.

04-18-2005 6:25 PM - comments (1)

Work and Play.

If you only once would let me,
only just one time
then be happy with the consequence
with whatever's gonna happen tonight.
Don't think we're not serious
When's it ever not?
The love we make is give and it's take
I'm game to play along.

All I can say,
I shouldn't say
Can we take a ride,
get out of this place
while we still have time?

All the best DJs are saving
the slowest song for last
When the dance is through
it's me and you
come on, would it really be so bad?
The things we think might be the same
But I won't fight for more
It's just not me to wear it on my sleeve
count on that for sure.

All I can say,
I shouldn't say
Can we take a ride,
get out of this place
while we still have time?

Can't say I was never wrong
but some blame rests on you.
Work and play, they're never OK
to mix the way we do.

04-18-2005 6:04 PM - comments (2)

Up Next: My Thoughts on Higher-Order Theories of Consciousness.

Everyone who knows me knows I have a fairly severe addiction to buying things. I don't want to say "shopping," because it extends past the mall and to the Internet, the grocery store and Target. I realize I'm at the age now where I should have three months of living expenses in a savings account and money market funds and no credit card debt (or any other kind of debt, for that matter), but I don't yet. I know I'll be there soon, because it's very important to me to live with my head above water. I have about $5,000 in my 401(k), which I started a year and a half ago, and I use my debit card for almost every purchase. I use Quicken to keep my checkbook balanced, to pay bills on time and to track my spending and stick to my budget. Fiscal responsibility does not come naturally to me -- I'm guessing it doesn't really come naturally to anyone, but obviously some people are better at it than others -- but I am excited to start improving myself and begin setting major goals.

That said, I had the best shopping experience ever last night. I had gone to the Galleria on Wednesday night to look for an outfit for the next day (hey, I didn't want to drive home to pick up clothes and then turn around and drive to Michael's apartment. Gas prices are insane right now!). So I have both money and the need for this outfit, yet I find just about nothing in an hour and a half. (I think I only have luck when I'm broke.) I end up picking up a denim skirt from Banana Republic and a black short-sleeved sweater from Gap, spending way too much money on items I wasn't crazy about and which I will return this weekend. I knew I needed to redeem myself and my miserable experience.*

But on, on to my amazing West County Mall experience. I had sold a bunch of clothes that didn't fit me anymore earlier in the day yesterday and planned to use the money on some fun but work-friendly spring clothes. I first hit Nordstrom, where I debated whether $130 was a fair price to pay for a pair of really good-looking jeans. (Even I'm not that dumb; with my luck, I would wear them once and somehow spill paint all over them or lose them or something.) It was next at Express where I had the best luck. Their spring blazers were on sale for $29.99. Maybe that doesn't sound impressive, but of the two I bought, one was originally $148 and one was $298 (a bright yellow, metallic green and white one with 3/4-length sleeves). And then there were the skirts -- one black A-line I had been eyeing for two months that had been marked down to $9.99; a muted brownish purple A-line for $19.99 and a denim skirt (to replace the one I will be returning to Banana Republic) for $19.99. Add on a cute silver necklace and I did very well without spending that much money.

But I still needed/wanted a pair of jeans and some summery skirts. Though I hate being in Forever 21 -- the clothes are just strewn everywhere, the clientele is essentially slutty, anorexic teenagers and the return policy is ridiculous -- I have to admit, you can't find trendy clothes like that any cheaper. I found a great pair of jeans; a bohemian, ruffly beige skirt and a pink and beige halter top to match; a cute paisley mid-knee-length skirt and a rust-colored slinky top to match; a shirt like the one Lluvy wore a few weeks ago on America's Next Top Model -- sleeveless with pearl beading and a ruffly collar is the best way to describe it; and some silver square-shaped bangle bracelets and a necklace to go with the brown summery outfits.

So I am officially on restriction from shopping until three months from now.

*I did find The Best Purse in the History of the World, though, during that miserable experience -- a large black leather floppy hobo bag from Gap to replace the one from Target that I was never that into. This will be an everyday bag, and I'm so picky about that sort of thing that it was well worth the considerable cost.

04-15-2005 9:25 AM - comments (6)

Let's Pretend Happy End.

I've only listened to the record once, but I'm really liking "Bad Boyfriend," "Metal Heart," "Why Do You Love Me" (that video is so, so cool)and "Happy Home." But I'm the kind of person who needs several times to process this sort of thing, so give me a week or two.

The heavy breathing, the sultry, tough-girl voice and the disconnected electronic nature of Garbage's music has always been a cover for incredibly real sadness and vulnerability. So I leave you with my favorite song of theirs, which has always been and will always be relevant in my life:

You look so fine
I want to break your heart
and give you mine
You're taking me over

It's so insane
You've got me tethered and chained
I hear your name
and I'm falling over

I'm not like all the other girls
I can't take it like the other girls
I won't share it like the other girls
that you used to know

Knocked down
Cried out
Been down just to find out
I'm through bleeding for you.

I'm open wide
I want to take you home
We'll waste some time
You're the only one for me

You look so fine
I'm like the desert tonight
Leave her behind
If you want to show me

I'm not like all the other girls
I won't take it like the other girls
I won't fake it like the other girls
that you used to know

You're taking me over
Over and over
I'm falling over
Over and over

Drown in me one more time
Hide inside me tonight
Do what you want to do
Just pretend happy end
Let me know, let it show
Ending with letting go

Let's pretend happy end.

04-12-2005 9:08 PM - comments (0)

Go With Your Gut.

I am kicking myself for not having chosen Constantine in the "American Idol" office pool. I swear, I filled out one of the contest forms with his name and then asked for a new one, where I chose Anwar. I was embarrassed for liking the guy with the weird eyes and the double chin. But I was wrong, because he will win American Idol, and I will not win the $120 now. Damn.

04-12-2005 7:57 PM - comments (3)

New Music Tuesday!

"Bleed Like Me," Garbage's new album, comes out tomorrow. I am so incredibly excited, which is weird, because I haven't actually bought an album on the day it was released since Smashing Pumpkins' "Machina" came out more than five years ago. As a teenager, I was much different -- I still remember waiting for school to be over so I could go to the record store and purchase "No Code." (Subsequently, I remember my incredible disappointment after listening to it the first time. Then again, "Hail Hail" is still one of my favorite songs.)

In case anyone cares, I'll post a review soon.

04-11-2005 8:29 PM - comments (2)

The Quotable Ghostbusters.

Ray: You mean you never had a Slinky?
Egon: We had part of a Slinky, and then I straightened it.

04-10-2005 10:18 AM - comments (0)

I'm Just Full of Surprises.

So today I ran my first real race, a 5K (3.1 miles). I have a friend who's been trying to get me to run because people with weird hobbies are always trying to convert the rest of us. Kidding, sort of. To train, I had done a test run (shazam!) and some treadmill stuff, but it's a lot different when there are hundreds of other people in a herd alongside you.

The weather was gorgeous; it was probably 50 degrees when we started and as I was walking home (I live pretty close to Forest Park), it got to around 60 and was sunny and perfect. There was something really marvelous about being awake that early and getting a chance to actually look at the houses and people I live near. But I'm not going to make it a habit or anything.

Back to the race. I think my pacing was off; I ran the first mile fairly quickly, slowed down considerably during the second and felt like I was going to die during the third (I'm not in the best of shape, let me just say). Still, I did it in under 36 minutes, which was my goal. My friend says when she first started running, she did the 5K in around 36 minutes and can now do it in 25 or 26; one of her friends can do it in 18, which is insane. She seems a little sad that I'm not completely on board with it, but I told her I'd have to learn to either enjoy running for the sake of running or find a good distraction (I'd have the best running playlist ever if I had an iPod).

And though I'm not a super-competitive person, I really don't like devoting myself to new things unless I know I can excel at them. But who knows? Maybe I'll be running actual marathons in a couple of years. Or maybe I'll gain 1,000 pounds and need to be lifted out of my apartment in a crane. I think the odds are just about even.

Oh, and I saw "The Upside of Anger" tonight, and I surprised myself by deciding Kevin Costner is incredibly charming.

04-09-2005 9:14 PM - comments (0)

Because For a Moment, We Are Free.

A year ago on April 2, I was in a dance club in Negril, Jamaica, listening to a song that everyone seemed to know the words and dance to besides me.

I sipped on what must have been my fourth or fifth rum and Coke -- I was a walking cliche during my time there -- and in slow motion watched the lithe Jamaican girls push their bodies in and out and in and out with a grace I couldn't possibly have predicted. Like clockwork, their male counterparts' hands effortlessly found their targets, sexuality sparking from their fingers like lightning bolts in a way that refused to be base or shameful. I saw a sea of brown arms lift shirts up and over heads; stretched muscles ached against each other, and I was content just to watch in my own little corner, my body responsive and alive despite its stillness.

A few days ago, exactly one year after I heard that song in that mirage of a club thousands of miles away, I heard it once again, this time in a much different club back in America. The people here moved against each other forcefully and awkwardly, a result of the Pucker shots on special and nothing more, nothing less. I agreed to dance with a stranger and moved and sweated but knew it was different.

I don't really think I'd want to be back there, in that club so far away. I know the rum was playing tricks on me, so my memory is an unreliable narrator, albeit a generous one. But it's hard to wish just to be an innocent bystander, standing in a corner and taking it all in.

04-06-2005 9:56 PM - comments (1)

You Better Be Street If You're Looking at Me.

Um, just kidding. I like shy boys. But that song has decided to live in my brain today, and it's driving me nuts.

So the weirdest thing ever happened today: I had a friend request on Facebook by someone with my exact same name. I confirmed the request, because with a name like that, she can't be that bad, right?

My doctor is the coolest. Not only is she on CCIN (cable access TV in St. Louis) and a columnist for the Journals, but she also gives me samples of my monthly prescription for free. I haven't gone to the pharmacy since September, and I estimate I've saved almost $250 because of it.

Also, there are a few sounds I never get tired of hearing (Elliott's chirpy meows, Michael's voice...when he's telling me he's taking me to the Melting Pot, the sound Quicken makes when I enter a deposit, the opening notes to the theme of "Sex and the City," a martini being shaken, etc.), but one of the best has to be the cacophonous sound of more than 50,000 people clapping and cheering during a baseball game. I watched the first game of the 2005 season last night, and as I ate my homemade curried chicken salad, sipped on my cold, crisp Diet Pepsi and watched the Yankees pound on the Sox, I was about as close to heaven as I'm ever going to get. (Well, until tomorrow night, when the Cards open their season against the Beltran-less Astros.)

04-04-2005 1:34 PM - comments (1)

I Do Know One Thing, Though.

I think I forgot to mention I finally figured out which song is used as the theme of "Cold Case" and just about every movie trailer of a drama made in 2002-03 (off the top of my head, I can think of "Unfaithful" and "Antoine Fisher," but I'm sure there are more): "Nara" by E.S. Posthumus, which is probably the lamest name of a band ever. But the song is incredibly haunting, so I definitely recommend it. However, I would advise against using it in your next movie trailer; it's getting old.

Also, gotta say I like the new Weezer song, "Beverly Hills." I would post it to the secret song-posting website I now belong to, but it's too obvious, and they're very selective there. (Even if they're selective in kind of a lame way. But me being elitist about the elitists there helps me sleep at night.) I scored points with my posting of a Minus the Bear song but lost some on my Garbage offering, even if it's ("Hammering in My Head") one of the best songs of the '90s.

Did you know I knew all the words to "Superman" by Eminem? Don't tempt me into a karaoke bar is all I'm saying.

04-03-2005 10:23 PM - comments (1)