Thursday, July 29, 2010

Dear Diary

Dear Diary,

OMG, today was soooooo fun! I spent the day with Geo, the cutest boy at school. He’s really good at sports, and so we went kayaking (no parents!) and even shared a kayak. We went to three different lakes, and saw homeless people living near the bridges! Sad :(. But we also saw a boy who tipped his kayak and ended up in the grody lake. LOL! It was super funny, Diary. And Geo was sooooo nice! He held my keys in the kayak and didn’t even make fun of me when I got out of the boat and my butt was all wet. I was SO embarrassed, but he said you couldn't even tell, so that’s good.

Then we went shopping in Uptown. OMG, we BOTH got sunglasses! I couldn’t decide which ones I liked at first, and Geo helpfully reminded me how hard it must be for me to find sunglasses ‘cause I have such a tiny head. But I got a super cool pair anyway.

When we got home, Geo made me a romantic lunch of burgers and homemade fries and we ate while we watched ESPN. The food was sooooooooooo good. The ESPN was so NOT good.

Anyway, I took a nap and now I’m all ready to go see my brother and his friend play at a real live BAR! They are REALLY good at singing and playing guitar. They could totally be famous. Boys in bands are soooooo cool, aren’t they? Maybe Justin Bieber will show up. I would DIE! OMG, seriously!

Okay, Diary, I gotta go put on some frosted lip gloss and leggings, and then find something for Justin Bieber to autograph if I see him.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

P.T.Oh Yeah!

Here’s the difference between me and Sanna. I came home from Book Club tonight, and she says, “Did you know it’s only 6 hours from here to Iceland?” No, Sanna. No, I did NOT know that. “I’m thinking about going there to do some farming sometime.”

There is a strong possibility that she’ll do this, too. I, on the other hand, would NOT do this. I’m not exactly the “drop-everything-and-go-to-a-foreign-country” kind of girl. I am having a hard enough time deciding on what to do around here for the next two days. That’s right, folks. I’m officially taking my first two days off of the year! The world is my oyster. The possibilities are endless.

Example: Apparently there are all kinds of strange, melodramas on TV during the day. Soap operas, I believe they’re called. I’m thinking of maybe checking those out. I’ve also been curious to see what goes on inside Target during the weekdays. Instead of eating lunch at my desk in front of a computer, I might consider venturing out on the porch for a little picnic. And bring my computer. You know, get some stuff done.

Geo threw around a lot of ideas like “kayaking” and something called “going for a walk around the lakes”, so I may have to indulge him and participate in those things. But I’m mostly just looking forward to the sleep. That, however, brings more stress. Do I sleep in and enjoy it? Or do I wake up early and seize the day? Blurg, this is already harder than I thought.

Come to think of it, I have no business taking days off if I don’t even know what to do with them. I think I might actually be nervous. It is entirely possible that I could completely waste these days. What if I sleep until noon, watch TV until 5, and then have nothing to show for a whole two days spent away from work? I mean, yes, that does sound like a pretty ideal day for me. But having to tell everyone that THAT’S what my days off consisted of will only invite disparaging remarks like “Oh, but it was so nice out!” or “Can’t you just sleep during the weekend?” But these people would be, what I like to call, jerks.

But, because I’m such a people-pleaser, I suppose I’ll have to get out and enjoy the so-called beautiful weather. I’ll force myself to spend the hours upon hours of free time I have meandering around Uptown and popping in and out of shops, without worrying that they might be closing in the next 20 minutes. If I must, I must.

Or, hey, I might just jet off to Iceland. Word is, it’s only a 6-hour flight.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


At the risk of sounding crazy, I have to tell you guys something: I think I’m crazy. Today at work, for zero reason at all, I just got overwhelmed with questions and sounds, freaked out and just mentally shut down for a few hours.

Everything and everyone was agitating me. And it’s not even like normal annoying stuff either. For instance, I was really really upset that the air conditioning at work was giving my legs goose bumps because I just shaved this morning. All those seconds of hard work and razor burn for nothing! GOD!

Also, I was wearing pants that were too big, and a shirt that’s a bit too small, which caused major annoyances at my waistline. And whoever made these pants also sewed the stupid buttons and zipper on the wrong side and slightly off-center. Don’t they know anything?

Suddenly my skin felt too small for my body, my fingers wanted to throw up, and it was not out of the question that I would start hurling profanities at the biography of Mister Rogers that sits on my desk.

Why do I get like this? Is it the weather? The long work week I’ve already had? Biology (you know what I mean, ladies…)? Or is this like the first sign of insanity? I AM at the age where all kinds of mental disabilities come to the surface, after all. Is this how schizophrenia starts? There was definitely a moment today when I think I may have heard a voice in my head saying “God, you’re weird.” What if, when I thought I was out to dinner with Geo, I was really by myself? I mean, things definitely calmed down as soon as I got home and started talking to Geo and Sanna. Ohmygod, what if Geo and Sanna are just alternate personalities manifested as roommates?! Surely someone would tell me, though. Right? RIGHT?

I can just see it now. Years from now, people will tell stories like “Well, I knew she was crazy back when she started talking about her ‘roommates‘ all the time, when she really lived alone,” or “Remember the summer of 2010 when she was still pretty normal, but she got super angry at buttons and zippers??” I would hate to end up on E! True Hollywood Story (why I’d be on, I don’t know….) and hear my mom tearfully say something like “She was such a happy girl. And then all of a sudden, she would only wear spandex and she never shaved her legs again.” My dad would hold her hand, and say something like, “Martha, we did the best we could. The girl was just never quite right.”

Then again, maybe it’s stress.

Monday, July 26, 2010

On Why I Can't Respect Lindsay Lohan

Last week, I put a hilaaaarious status up on Facebook. “I just can’t stop thinking about Lindsay Lohan in jail. I hope she’s okay.” See, it's funny because it's not true. I can’t stand Lindsay Lohan. I think she’s irritating and bland. She’s made some mediocre movies, put out an album (allegedly…has anyone actually heard it!?), she was like a pseudo-lesbian for a minute, and she just does all these other almost-totally wackjob things, but she doesn’t do anything 100%. It’s like the kid’s got no heart.

For instance, Amy Winehouse really gave the whole drug addiction her all. She weighed like 23 pounds, all of which was in her hair, got some weird tattoos, and started talking to people who weren’t there. And yet, she’s an incredibly talented musician. That’s a girl I can get behind. I’ll buy her next album (if there ever IS a next album). I mean, I bought Britney Spears’ album after her hair grew back, someone removed all sharp objects from her house, and her dad tightened up on her funds previously allotted for mushrooms. The girl knows how to put on a show, and that’s a success story I’ll support.

But little Lindsay Lohan. My God, woman. Take some pride in your work. She can’t even stay in jail for 100% of the time she’s supposed to. At least she had the decency to take the time to write “F*&K OFF” on her fingernail for her sentencing hearing. Atta girl, Lindsay!

My feeling about celebrities is this: whatever you do, do it big. (Caveat: The only exceptions to this rule are people like Mel Gibson, Screetch and Spenser Pratt. These guys are certifiably insane, yes. They went directly to Crazy and never looked back. But I just plain don’t care about them. I mean, drug-addiction, political rants, unfortunate mugshots, and drunken nuptials are one thing. Racist and sexist rampages, ugly facial hair, and pathetic publicity stunts are quite another. These things are simply unforgivable.)

Am I asking too much? I think not. I’m just saying that hey, if you’ve got a major character flaw and you can’t seem to stop flashing the paparazzi when you get out of the car, embrace it. By all means, go ahead and start a fight with that plate of chili fries. But tomorrow, show up to work on time and bring enough of those chili fries for the whole cast. And yes, go right ahead and have illegitimate kids and/or "sexcapades". But at the very least, get your butt on Oprah, look nice, and talk about your other projects! That’s all. Robert Downey Jr. can do it. Madonna and George Michael have done it about 30 times. Even Brad Pitt. He’s dating a vampire who spawns babies just by spreading her wings in foreign countries, but the man puts out good movies. It all works because they work. And they work hard. Which, in turn, makes me care.

Is it really getting to the point where I have to root for the sober musicians, the un-tortured actors with healthy egos strictly in tact? Ugh, I really hope not. I don’t know where Tom Hanks is, and Kelly Clarkson hasn’t had an album out in years…

So, Lindsay, the rule of thumb is if you’re going to be a disrespectful, lazy, egotistical, adderall-popping junky, at least have the decency to be an actual actress.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


We have this phrase we use in our house when someone is acting just a little off. We call them Bizarro. Typically it happens after someone’s had a few too many wine coolers. Like, they're all normal, cleaning dishes, or making a midnight snack, but they're doing it without pants on. This weekend was Bizarro.

To start, instead of having a weekend, I worked all the way through Saturday night. We have an annual Sales Conference every year, and it’s a really big deal. So I spent Friday night, all day Saturday and Saturday night with 45 reps from around the country being Bizarro Pharon (B.P. wears chic black dresses and lipstick, and loves to talk Business). Instead of feeling all “worky”, Bizarro Pharon actually had a good time. Example: At one point, one of the older reps, she’s probably about 75, says to me, “I may be old, but I still loooove to dance!” and then shook her booty in my general direction. Bizarre. And a little bit awesome.

Nevertheless, it was 120% exhausting. I came home and plopped down on the couch, turned on the TV, propped my feet up, and had a few glasses of wine. Oddly, no one else was home, so I enjoyed a little TV mash-up of Hannah Montana and Locked Up: Raw. Yeah, that’s a normal combo.

So, Sunday morning I woke up early (bizarre), ready to take on the day and cram a whole weekend of relaxing into one day. I got up and decided to make some toast. All the knives were dirty, so I buttered my bread with a steak knife, which is more difficult than it sounds. Then I went to Barnes & Noble to buy the book for our book club this week (Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang by Chelsea Handler). But, my intentions were not entirely pure when I swiped my credit card at the register. I was planning on reading the book then returning it. Twenty-five bucks for a book!? No thanks.

I packed up some water, a beach towel, and my soon-to-not-be-mine book (careful to leave the dust jacket in the car so I didn’t ruin it) and I headed down the block to read near the lake. I know of a little “secret spot” that no one knows about and was thus unoccupado. I spread out my towel and got down to business. It was wonderful. For 15 minutes. Then a couple with 2 of the whiniest babies ever came and set up camp next to me. Rude! And Bizarro! So, I left and read the entire book in the comfort of my own hammock.

Yeah, I finished the book, so what? So, I got in my car to return the book. I had a bulletproof response. “Of COURSE it’s never been read. I just bought it today. Who could read a whole book in one afternoon?!” As I gingerly slipped on the dust jacket, I somehow managed to rip it. Rather than risking looking like a Bizarro jerk trying to return a clearly-used book, I sped past Barnes & Noble and went to Target instead.

I’m sorry, I meant that I went to Bizarro Target. My beloved Regular Target is great, except on Sundays when it turns Bizarro. People understand the rules of shopping on a Tuesday night. Not so on Sundays. Slow drivers, slow walkers, slow talkers, slow cashiers, no carts. UGH! I got out of there in 10 minutes flat.

It’s like all the elements of a great weekend were there, the perfect weather, the relaxing time on the hammock, the errands, and the wine. But none of it was normal. None of it happened the way I wanted, or the way it typically would have happened. It’s like I ordered a plate of spaghetti and got angel hair pasta with sun-dried tomatoes and extra meatballs. Sure, it may taste good, but it’s not exactly what I wanted and certainly not what I ordered.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I Put the "Ph" in Phobias

For no particular reason, here’s a list of some irrational fears I have.

* Wearing dirty clothes and not knowing it. I put on a pair of pants a few days ago before work, and if I had not had the, eh hem, hindsight to check out my own butt in the mirror, I might not have seen the giant spot from God knows what plastered into the left cheek of the pants. I wonder what shirt goes best with humiliation. I also get scared of staining clothes in an unfortunate place. I once spilled my red Crystal Light on my lap. Had I not been wearing black pants, I would have just about died from embarrassment.

* Not having enough money at a check-out. There is nothing more frustrating than being behind someone at the grocery store who either doesn’t have enough cash on hand, or their credit card isn’t working properly. I fear that I am going to be that person holding everyone up behind me, hearing their murmurs of disgust, “She shouldn’t be buying all those bagels and bottles of wine if she doesn’t have money.” The worst part of this fear manifests itself in parking lots where you pay as you exit. I check out my cash situation before I even park, and then I spend a few minutes making sure I’ve got more than enough again before I leave, and that I have it ready in my hands before pulling up to the booth. The fear that I may have to back up, potentially causing a line of other drivers to do the same thing, re-park, and get out and find an ATM is palpable.

* Eating a Band-Aid. The only thing worse than finding a Band-Aid in your food at a restaurant is not finding the potential Band-Aid. Since I’ve never actually found one in my food, I have put myself in danger of having eaten like a dozen in my lifetime.

* Feet. This is no secret to anyone who knows me. I hate feet. I can’t look at them, I can’t stand it when people look at mine, and, under no circumstances, are feet to come in direct contact with any parts of my skin. Feet are horrible. They smell. They’re either bony and bumpy, or thick and swollen. They have all kinds of rough areas. So I’m pretty much on constant alert for any offending feet in my immediate area. When my mom is feeling particularly wicked, she’ll poke me on the leg with her toe and I’ll freak out. The one exception to this fear? My niece’s feet. Her toes feel like little pieces of rice, and smell like her cotton socks. They’re soft and I simply don’t mind them at all.

* Inadvertently Stealing. I can walk around Target for hours. I like wandering from department to department. And by the time I get to Electronics, I’ve forgotten that the lip balm I picked up in Cosmetics is in my hand, not my basket. So I’ll start piling my stuff on the conveyer belt to check out (only after making sure to have enough money, btw) and I’ll come thisclose to dropping the lip balm in my purse to free up my hands. I’m terrified that I’ll be walking out of the store, alarms will sound, and I will be caught stealing $3 lip balm.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

As Natural As Seafood in Minnesota

Is there anything better than ordering seafood at a restaurant in a completely landlocked state? The answer, of course, is Yes. There are lots of places where the mussels and oysters and calamari are better. However, I challenge you to have a better happy hour than the one I had tonight.

Prinna and her husband Chris were sans children tonight. A rare occurrence indeed. So I met up with them and Perek and his wife Leah at the rooftop of a seafood bar in Uptown. You guys? I ate an oyster. Like, a really slimy oyster. It was an experience that I shall not soon forget, and I had to follow it immediately with eating 100 French fries. But that’s neither here nor there. The point is, I hung out with my brother and sister, with their significant others, and had a blast.

In case you don’t know, I grew up in a big family. It was my parents, my two sisters, my two brothers and me. It was a constant struggle to stick out, to show off, to be noticed. But ever since I was in college, it’s come to my attention that this may not have been a bad thing.

As children, we were all annoying little attention-seekers. As adults, well, we are all just taller attention-seekers. But we’ve focused that energy, and now we share it with each other instead of shoving it each other’s faces. Enjoying some gnarly oysters and delicious beers together turns us into an unstoppable Idea Machine. Instead of fighting for the spotlight, we help each other get into it. We tell each other what’s a good idea and what’s, well, basically garbage.

I don’t know how my parents did it, but we’ve got like a 100% success rate of being pretty cool people in my family. All my brothers and sisters are fun. They’re all smart. They’re all well-balanced. I just feel lucky that they let riff-raff like me tag along.

But the point is, tonight I decided that I want to have a million kids. I want them all to be miserable together and hate each other as children, but then they’ll harness all that and grow into mature adults who somehow prefer to hang out with each other. They’ll be all angry and resentful as confused teenagers, but then BOOM. They’ll fit together like the puzzle pieces that fall on the floor and then you find them a week later and think “Ah! There it is!”

So, yeah. Big family, good friends, fun happy hour times, oysters are disgusting.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

An Open Letter to People Who Live Near Me and Are Annoying

To Whom it Definitely Concerns:

This morning, my public transport vehicle (bus) arrived and I boarded quickly, found a spot and sat down. When you boarded the bus, Offender #1, you slowly and heavily plopped down right next to me, despite the thousands of open seats. You then proceeded to read World’s Widest Newspaper, pausing only to chat loudly on your cell phone about a bill your wife could not locate. You must not have realized it, but you were all up in my personal space, and emitted the distinct odor of foot. I urge you to reconsider your careless decision to share your mornings with people.

In regards to your decision to casually bike around the lake next to my house, I applaud your determination to achieve physical health and well-being. However, Offender #2, you seem to have unknowingly cruised into the roadway and are obstructing the path of my much larger, much heavier car. Yes, you have a very nice bicycle, and it looks like it could go very fast. However, I can’t be sure, as you have clearly chosen not to utilize the full capability of all ten speeds. May I direct you to the bike path on your left? It’s that paved mini-road not more than 2 feet away that was specifically designed to carry non-motorized passengers such as yourself.

I, much like you Offender #3, appreciate the companionship a pet can offer. They give unconditional love to those who take care of them. I am having some difficulty in understanding the level of care you are providing, though, when your small canine must stay outside all night and morning. Perhaps he would enjoy coming inside the house to spend some time with you? I can’t be sure, but based on the duration of his desperate and constant yaps, it seems he is attempting to communicate with you. When I had a dog growing up, his bark notified us that we needed to change a stressful situation. You might want to bring him inside and give him a hug. And a shock collar.

May I speak frankly to you, Offenders #4-10? I understand that you are but children, but as members of the human race, I believe it is imperative that you learn not to scream bloody murder every time one of your friends does something to displease you. And though you may still be learning your manners and basic human skills, it is unkind to ride your scooter mere inches away from my feet as I walk down the sidewalk. I make a conscious effort, when entertaining friends, to realize that I am not the only person in the world and respect the noise coming from my house. It may behoove you to come to this same realization and reflect for a moment on the level of noise emitted from your inexplicably dirt-covered mouth.

I trust that you will consider these suggestions, and take the necessary measures to correct the above-mentioned actions. It is with nothing but respect that I urge to you change your personalities and lifestyles so as not to offend me further.

World’s Most Perfect Neighbor

Monday, July 19, 2010

You Are Not Reading This

I went to see the movie Inception with Geo tonight. If you feel like having your mind blown, or you’re just sick of having some speck of grasp on reality, definitely see it. The premise of the movie is that a bunch of dudes (and the wonderful Ellen Page) construct dreams, and then enter them and go messing around in them. Mind trip.

So I came home thinking about paradoxes. You know, “a true statement or group of statements that leads to a contradiction or a situation which defies intuition” (thanks, Wikipedia!) For instance, if you go back in time and kill your grandfather, you’d never be born which would then mean that you could never go back in time because you’ve killed your grandfather and you don’t exist. But if you didn’t exist, you wouldn’t go back in time to kill your grandfather, and you would still be born.

Yeah, I’m deep like that.

Okay, so I’m thinking about all this after the movie. I’ve got all these circular logic thoughts running a marathon in my brain, and just when I start to get to the point where I’ve almost lost my mind and have started considering that I am, in fact, living in a dream within a dream, and I’ve briefly grasped the concept of infinite space and time, Geo starts talking to me about skiing movies. And he asks who I want to invite skiing with us next year.

I almost screamed “Next year?! How do you know that next year isn’t actually tomorrow!? If we make plans to go skiing, what happens if we DON’T go skiing? What will happen to the world then?!” and other toooootally normal questions.

Let’s get something straight here. I’m no mathematician. I never exactly thrived in Science, either. I like literature and ideas rather than finite truths. I’m not that big on “The Right Answer” (as my high school math tests will prove). And every once in awhile, I possess the ability to blow my own mind because of this. I don’t mean that I get all existential and go pondering the meaning of life, but I do appreciate a really awesome moment of “Um, wait. Let me get this straight…” and then spend a handful of minutes considering things like the Butterfly Effect. The problem is actually saying these things out loud to people. Especially people smarter than me. I’d hate to explain my idea of, say, how big the universe is to some brainiac who‘s studied Astronomy since he was wearing Jetsons underoos. I prefer meddling around in my own head and trying to figure out my own meaning of what I know and believe.

What do I know and believe? I know that I know nothing, and I believe I’m correct.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


This weekend, I went to Prinna’s to help her and my mom redecorate her laundry room. And by “help” them, I mean that I painted one corner of the floor and then played with my nieces while Prinna and my mom did all the actual work. After all the final pieces were arranged, we collapsed down on the couches to enjoy some quiet and a quick Movie on Demand. Now don’t ask why, because I don’t know, but Prinna chose the movie Gidget, made in 1959, starring the perfectly perky Sandra Dee. If you don’t already indulge in old movies like this, I highly suggest you start. Immediately. Gidget did not disappoint. It had all the elements of a great, old movie:

* The now-clichéd premise: A gang of surfer dudes adopt a young, totally square, unwomanly, naïve girl into their group, take her under their wings and teach her to surf. The girl, who they nickname Gidget, falls hard for the bad boy - the awesomely named Moon Doggie - and after a string of hilarious missteps and gaffes, the girl gets the guy. There’s a sunset, a kiss, and a radical happy ending.

* The simple characters. First there’s Moon Doggie and Gidget, there’s the weathered beach bum Kahuna, the mom who makes a hot dinner every night promptly at 5 p.m., the disciplinary dad who brings home the bacon, and a gaggle of other nameless lackies who pepper the beach with high-fives and pseudo-sexist comments.

* There’s the always-necessary beach party (or, as Kahuna refers to it, an orgy).

* The horrible green screen work and special effects. Kahuna “surfs” while wearing a sombrero-type hat thing and smoking a cigarette. The “ocean” looks more like a lake with all the seaweed and brown stuff in the water that they couldn’t photoshop out. And, best of all, Prinna saw the budgetary restrictions in full effect at the beach party scene. There’s a totally outrageous band of brass players playing their happy-go-lucky rebel rock, and all the ne’er-do-well kids are alternating between smooching and jitterbugging on the beach. Crazy orgy, indeed! During one of the dancing scenes, one of the guys in the background hurls his “girl” up in the air, and she comes crashing down onto the beach. Upon closer inspection, we discovered that the “girl” is a stuffed dummy, as are many of the other party goers. Who needs paid extras?!

*Finally, it had the kind of message that a gal like me just loves. The message is literally crocheted on a napkin-thing, framed, and hung on Gidget’s bedroom wall. “A girl becomes a woman when she brings out the best in a man.” Ahhh…sweet, sweet misogyny.

The old movies that I love have most of these elements in common. I can’t explain why I love movies that promote, nay enforce, such a different view on life than I have. It’s all about getting the man to love you, to cook him a great dinner, and to look great and be sweet while doing it. If these were the standards today, I’d fail miserably. Sure, I’ve got the guy. But I can’t cook, I can barely apply make up, and I’d never bite my tongue if some dude on the beach told me I belonged in the nursery (yes, this an actual BURRRNNN in Gidget).

Nevertheless, I’m pretty sure I’ll watch Gidget again. I’m pretty sure I’ll actually seek out movies like this and watch them on a rainy day in my pajamas while sipping a glass of wine and not doing dishes or laundry. It doesn’t get any more escapist than that!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Behind every group of guys...

So to make this easier for everyone, I drew that handy little flow chart up there. It’s how Perek, Geo, Mitch, Chad, and I are all connected (I obviously have the cutest outfit…). I intend to prove here that I am a big factor in the reason the 4 boys have stayed friends after college and are now embarking on a hilarious podcast together that will, no doubt, achieve critical acclaim everywhere. Therefore, I should get a cut.

For example, every group of friends has a Fall Guy. You know, the one that the others rag on, make fun of, those kinds of things. I was the Fall Guy. When all the boys were playing Guitar Hero and passing expert songs without even batting an eye, I was the one playing on Medium, struggling with through the two-note chords. They’d offer me suggestions, ways to improve, and then “show me” how to do it. Instant ego-boost for them.

I brought girls to parties. They all have a mess of guy friends, but I’d bring the token girl friends that made them actually put on a clean shirt.

Women have a good aesthetic eye, too. Nevermind the fact that I add knick knacks to a room like nobody’s business, but I have a framed, original print of the iconic Farrah Fawcett, in her orange swimsuit that I very proudly insisted on displaying in our main room. You’re welcome, boys!

I noticed things, too. New haircut? I like it. Did you get a new cologne? Smells good. Have you been doing P90 X? Wow! You can tell! Who doesn’t like having a person notice, and then compliment on, things like that?

I’ve also made them brownies, cookies and cupcakes sometimes, which they all happily ate.

Also, I mean, come on. I’m the girl! When one of them would come home from a date, I would listen to how it went. I would ask the questions the other boys wouldn’t. Here’s a secret: deep down, every boy wants to talk about their date. And not just stuff like “we totally made out” either. They want to talk about what the girl ate, whether he was nervous, and what they talked about. It’s a fact, ladies. Guys talk about dates in much the same way girls talk about dates.

Now, to be fair, these guys are all above-par dudes. They care about what people think, they are kind, they are funnier together than any group of people I’ve ever known in my life. They’re smart, and they’re always looking to learn more. But, without me, they might not know this about themselves and drift apart in search of other guys who are a little lost and just need someone to fart with.

So yeah, when they get their podcast up and running, and you start subscribing to Good Guys To Know, think of me. Think of the hours I put in gently massaging their egos, and encouraging their comedy and hijinks. Therefore, I hereby demand a 15% cut of any podcast profits.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Hot Mess

It’s extremely hot today. (How hot IS it?) It’s so hot that my car melted down to its basic elements and then the aluminum seeped into the ground and poisoned all the mice who thought it was water. It was crazy.

We don’t have air conditioning in our house. One of the pitfalls of living in an old house is the common lack of central air. I lived in an air conditionerless house from ages 1-18. On really hot nights, my brothers, sisters and I would go sleep down in the basement for a little relief. We had huge commercial-size fans that we’d point directly at our heads and drift off to sleep in a hot flash haze. It was like sleeping in pea soup sometimes.

I cannot function well when I’m hot. I get really cranky and frustrated. I get anxious and panicky and I can‘t stop moving around. When I get in a hot car, my lungs pretty much shut down, and I gasp “I can’t breathe…I can’t breathe!” until some air movement revives me. It’s like Heat Anxiety. I dread getting my hair cut, because no matter where I go, the stylist will always shoot the hot air of a hair dryer directly in my face, and I’ll hold my breath until it’s done. Sometimes they do it for a long time, and I truly fear that I will pass out.

So today, I had to leave the sweet comfort of my office building and brave the disgusting weather to get some lunch. I walked outside and it was like someone punched me in the face and then covered me in mayonnaise. It was horribly hot, humid, and there was no wind to relieve me. I alternated between struggling to breathe and just holding my breath. I was angry at everyone I walked by who didn’t look as hot as me. And the people who were running down Nicollet Mall? I wanted to trip them. Who works out in this madness?! Not me, that’s for sure.

I’ve never met anyone with this same affliction. This allergy to heat. When the air around me is hot and thick, something in my brain overheats and major body functions (like, oh, breathing) cease to cooperate.

I wonder if this is an actual disorder. I wonder if there’s a picture in the Mayo Clinic Health Bible of a girl standing outside wearing pants and a t-shirt, and it would show an x-ray of her chest and all the muscles and bones have collapsed inside of her. Next to her, there’d be a little clipart image of a sweating thermometer eating a popsicle, and bursting at the 100+ degree weather. And that girl would be me. And the disorder would be called Heatus Explosivitis.

I would host a fundraiser to provide all of the people suffering from H.E. with a personal igloo. I’d ask you to donate money. By donating just 30 cents a day, you could save a woman like me from living a life of struggle and despair.

I think I’ve entered into a heat-induced delirium. This is all starting to sound pretty good. Alright, stay cool guys!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Geek Chic

You’ve probably had this marked on your calendar for months now, but just to remind you: today is “Embrace Your Geekness” Day! And in honor of this historic day, I invite you to research the topic. Do you know the difference between Nerds and Geeks??

I think I’m pretty geeky. I was in band for pretty much all of my developmental years. Wait, did I mention I was also in marching band? Yes. It’s true. Your beloved, chic, stylish blogger is a bandie. It’s okay. I balanced that out by also being voted “Most Likely to Skip Band” in high school. We good now?

Geekiness has really come into its own these days. People have love affairs with computer products and brands, the richest people in the world are men who you would have given a swirly to in middle school, and the advancement in technology demands an insatiable appetite for knowledge. But outside of technology and computers, I have discovered a love for a whole new level of geekdom.

There’s a board game called Settlers of Catan. If you haven’t heard of it, you’re probably in the majority. Basically, it’s a game that includes elements from Oregon Trail, Dungeons and Dragons, and all those pesky statistics and probability lessons we learned in high school (or in my case, never). But I love this game. I love the element of chance, the relationships you must try to build and maintain throughout the game, and the hundreds of different strategies. It’s a thinking game. You make jokes about resources, Victory Points, and trading. And the geek in me thrives on it.

Also very geeky? I listen to a podcast called The Skeptics Guide to the Universe. It’s hosted by a group of scientists and neurologists. Every week, they talk about developments in science, space, medicine, and general nerdiness. They debunk the rumors of “miracle drugs” by providing scientific evidence, and they discuss the importance of whether or not a moon of Jupiter may have rings. To be honest, a lot of it goes WAY over my head, but the witty banter, the clever, disparaging remarks, and their general attitude towards unproven science/medicine makes me thirst for more. P.S. Did you know there’s something called the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland that at this very moment is attempting to recreate the Big Bang? Yeah, it’s awesome.

So today, I honor my geekhood. I’ll remember the nights I spent watching Star Trek: The Next Generation (or TNG to all my fellow geeks) when I was younger. And tonight I celebrated this momentous occasion by going over to Prinna’s and learning about all kinds of nerdy computer stuff. Now, I have a brand spankin’ new RSS feed on my blog (yay! Subscribe!), and I can do awesome things like this (please do note the pretty pink theme that Prinna made):

Monday, July 12, 2010

Fantastic Mr. Fox...and other bedtime stories

I do not know what my problem is. I have, once again, stayed up too late on a school night. I know I will pay dearly for the tonight’s debauchery. And this all suddenly seems very odd to me, considering the fact that I used to thrive on late nights, then cram a quick sleep session in before getting up and going to class, as if the shut-eye was merely an afterthought. Sheesh, what has happened to me? Oh, and the picture of that animal up there? I'll explain in a second...

Tonight, after a long day at work, my boyfriend Geo took me out for an awesome dinner (if you ever find yourself in the Twin Cities, go check out Tavern on France…nom nom nom) and then we managed to work 18 holes of mini golf in before heading out to meet a couple friends for a quick drink. Somewhere between the jeans-stretching dinner and the fox we saw in the parking lot of the mini golf course (See? It's relevant), I managed to convince myself that “hey, it’s Monday. I’ll have the whole rest of the week to catch up on sleep.” But I know I won’t. I know I shall suffer the consequences of inadequate sleep until Saturday morning. But turn down a date night and sitting outside enjoying a Stella Artois with some long-lost friends? No, I cannot do those kinds of things. Not yet, anyway.

But I noticed that when I stopped my car to take pictures of said fox, I wanted to just lay my head down on my steering wheel and call it a night. And I briefly had that thought that lots of people sleep in their cars, right? Probably because, like me, they have just enjoyed a huge dinner and a relaxing stroll through the lush links of a mini golf course on a perfect summer night. I feel their pain.

I can tell you right now, that the outfit I’ll wear tomorrow may not match. My make up routine will suffer. Greatly. My hair, if washed, will be thrown up in a ponytail, and not even one of those ponytails that’s all sleek and shiny. It’ll be wavy and frizzy. My head will be racing all day from the inevitability of too much coffee, and it’s just not gonna be pretty. But, I guarantee you, I have not learned my lesson. I have already reasoned with myself that 11:30 p.m. is just not that late, and I only think it’s late because I go to bed too early on all the other nights. Will I have a different story to tell myself tomorrow at 10 a.m. when I’m begging my eyes to stay open? Yes. Will I re-rationalize everything all over again the next time 10 p.m. comes and goes and I’m nowhere near my bed? Life wouldn’t be the same if I didn’t.

Alright, I’m going to bed, but not before I really explain the picture of this really tiny, scrawny fox. We saw him scarfing down a double cheeseburger someone tossed in the parking lot of an office building. Geo said he probably had rabies. I think he was just enjoying a bedtime snack before hunkering down in his fox hole for a little snooze. But it was totally the weirdest thing I’ve seen in suburbia in a long, long time. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Can I Get That Recipe?

Something was rotten in the state of Minnesota. A couple days ago, my roommate Sanna and I noticed a gnarly smell coming from the kitchen. As we were poking around the bags of bread and chips trying to locate the cause the cause of the funk, I said “Ew. The last time I smelled something this bad, Perek had a bag of potatoes that had rotted and liquefied in back of the cupboard.” Lo and behold, we discovered a bag of rotten potatoes. Liquefied.

How can this happen not once but twice, you ask? It’s not like our kitchen is dirty. We wash the counters, throw away garbage, wash the dishes. But we have very limited counter space, and only three shelves available for food storage. So food gets lost sometimes.

So the first time I found funky potatoes, we had all been smelling something gross for a few days. Upon a deeper search, I found them way in the back of Perek’s shelf, behind boxes of pasta, cans of beans, and a jar of peanut butter. The bag of what had previously been potatoes was now a thick, gooey, sludge that ran down the back of the cupboard. I tied a tshirt around my face, covered my hands in Ziploc bags, and spent 20 minutes scrubbing the “potatoes” off the shelf. Gagging the whole time. This was back when I lived with the three boys, and they all sat in the living room playing Halo while I cleaned. Turns out, they decided they could stand the smell. Since I couldn't, I was the one who had to tie on the t-shirt.

But now it’s officially happened twice. The fact that the same problems happen whether I live with 3 boys or 1, leads me to believe the problem is not just Testosterone’s clever habit of neglecting cleaning. Clearly, the problem is that food just expires too quickly and in entirely too disgusting of a way. We need to do something about this, people!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Tha $lang Thang

Quick poll time. Is there an age limit for using slang? Particularly the following words:

*tbs (okay, I made this one up. It means “very funny”)

Before you decide, please note that I do use these words correctly and effortlessly. And, despite my age, I act and live like a 23 year-old. I would just like to know if I sound like one of those people who uses slang and it sounds like a panda ordering a fajita burrito at Chipotle . You know, unnatural.

Take the weekend. Think about, and let me know. :) Happy weekend everyone!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Forgive me...

There are a few things you must know about me. I consider myself a pretty decent judge of music. I was in band and played piano until I was 18, and I go through phases of obsessively listening to every type of music from NWA to Prince to Reba McIntyre to Bob Dylan to Ke$ha. I’d also consider myself a pretty decent judge of literature. I majored in English in college, worked at a magazine for a few years and now work at a publishing company. Lastly, I’m obsessed with all that Kate Spade has ever made and everything she will ever put her name on. So, with all that explained, I have some confessions I’d like to make.

I love Miley Cyrus, Cosmo Magazine, and $10 bags from Heartbreaker stores.

Let me first explain Miley. I nannied for my niece Annabelle when she was 3 years old. I got positively sick of hearing Sesame Street or Dora the Explorer all the time. The happy medium we discovered was Mylie’s show Hannah Montana. She loved the music and colorful clothes, I loved that it wasn’t on PBS. But sweet nibblets! I got majorly sucked in. She’s like the new version of Clarissa Explains it All. So, when her songs started playing on the Top 40 radio station, I couldn’t make myself turn them off. She’s 17, not a “strong” performer yet, probably too provocative, maybe a little irresponsible, but what do I care? She’s not my daughter. So, I download her songs and crank them up. I have no apologies. Plus, I really doubt there’s anyone in the country who doesn’t know the words to Party in the U.S.A.

Second, Cosmo. I’ve read this magazine since I was 15 and stealing them from my older sisters. Cosmo is easy-reading full of girlie need-to-know stuff. Don’t know how to do a smokey eye? Here’s how: in 3 steps. Wondering what goes on in a guys brain on the first date? They’ve already polled 1,000 men. But my favorite part is always the quizzes. They could not be easier to ace. There’s always one crazy choice, one boring choice, and the perfect medium. This month, there’s a “What Kind of Hot Are You?” quiz. The results are: Statement-Making Hot, Down-to-Earth Hot, Bombshell Hot, and Girlie Hot. No matter what I choose, the result is: I’m Hot. It’s like a mug of hot chocolate for my self-esteem.

Finally, cheap bags. The only bag I carry right now is a Kate Spade bag with black and white logos on the outside, and purple silk on the inside. My boyfriend gave it to me for my birthday, and I adore this bag. But unfortunately, I do not enjoy the lifestyle that allows me to purchase Kate Spade items every day. I have Kate Spade shoes, jewelry, bags, wallets, stationary, glassware…most all of which have been gifts. So, when I’m really itching for a new bag, I feel like I’m cheating on Kate by buying a different, cheaper designer’s. Instead, I walk on down to Heartbreaker and by some no-name cheap pleather bag in a crazy color that I‘ll use like 5 times. It costs me all of $10, and I don’t suffer the guilt of investing in something non-Kate. When I’m finally at a point in life where I can choose quality over quantity, I would suggest you invest in Kate Spade stock.

Whew! That felt good to get that off my chest. Now I can get back to BBC and studying Pavarotti.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Chicks and Balance

I got a much-needed shot of estrogen tonight. My friends Lana and Valerie and I hung out and enjoyed some champagne and lemonade cocktails with some delicious fruit and chocolate treats from Lunds. Yum! The three of us sat and chatted about friends, boyfriends, husbands, interior design, fun kitchen gadgets, and all that good stuff. It’s good for my soul, I think. I just don’t get the opportunity to indulge all that much.

I’ve always been more of the Girl Who Hangs Out With the Guys. I like (most) sports, I know a thing or two about building desks, I don’t typically talk at length about the details of my day, and I’m usually pretty content with doing nothing at all. I don’t even mind video games that much. In fact, I welcome the distraction sometimes. I can appreciate and tell pretty dirty jokes, and most importantly, I can get made fun of for wearing ugly shoes and not spend an hour crying in the bathroom. I think that’s why I’ve always preferred to live with guys. They aren’t complicated. They make sense to me.

But there is something to be said about Girls Night. A little “I'm freaked out about...” or “I don’t know what to do about…” never hurt anyone, and having a girl friend or two to bounce that back is refreshing. At first when I showed up tonight, Lana asked “So what’s new?” I said “Oh, not much” out of habit. But 3 ½ hours later, I’ve spilled my guts, and they’ve listened to every word. They don’t judge, they don’t dismiss or make fun of me, and they don’t criticize. Meanwhile, I’m totally enthralled in Valerie’s attempt at helping her boyfriend choose furniture, and checking out all the fun wedding stuff Lana got. It’s like the chocolate raspberry mascarpone we devoured tonight. I love it. I don’t eat it every day, but when I do, I enjoy every bite.

It’s all about balance, people. A healthy diet needs both the comfort foods and the good-for-you foods. So, my comfort meal of “wearing pajamas until 3 p.m. while watching football and drinking beer” can only be maintained if I can fit in the “put on matching clothes and do my hair in order to be presentable in public to meet articulate, smart ladies and have an actual discussion” part. As if to illustrate my point, a ginormous bug literally just crawled across the table, and I screamed like, well, a girl before smooshing it with a ping pong paddle and inspecting the carnage…balance.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Smile Because it Happened

This weekend was my favorite 4th of July celebration to date. My whole family was able to stay at Faith’s Lodge in Wisconsin ( Faith's Lodge Website ). Faith’s Lodge is a ginormous cabin on 20 acres of land, and it is a place for families who are faced with the challenge of having sick children, or for families who have suffered the loss of a child. My sister Prinna and her husband Chris lost my niece Sophia to SIDS in 2007. Since then, they have been very active in raising funds for Faith’s Lodge, because it was such a special place for them to visit after losing Sophia.

So this weekend, we all got together and celebrated Sophia’s life with the dedication of a bridge in her name. Fun? Absolutely. But having my whole family together can be a bit overwhelming sometimes. There were almost 20 of us, plus 8 kids, with Chris’ family and my own. There were just some insane moments. There were costume contests, poker games, dance contests, slip n’ slides, fishing, kids were melting down left and right, crying. My little brother got a fishing hook stuck in his finger and minor surgery had to be performed in the Sun Room. My brothers and my boyfriend put on a truly spectacular fireworks show, complete with music. And there was lots of food, lots of beer, and lots of…well, everything. It was a crazy good time.

But there were 2 moments in particular that I’ll treasure for the rest of my life from this weekend. The first was when Prinna and I randomly took a paddle boat ride around the pond. Just the two of us, there wasn’t really much talking. Just kind of quiet. Peaceful. We picked flowers from the lily pads (which, oops, is like totally illegal I guess), and just sort of chilled. It was immensely important to me to share that tiny moment with Prinna at Faith’s Lodge. I felt honored to be there with her, and it really made me happy.

The second moment was when I was tasked with decorating the bridge before the ribbon cutting ceremony. I went to town with the yellow crepe paper, purple ribbons, and balloons. I was down at the bridge alone, and there could not have been more mosquitoes, the threat of ticks was everywhere, and it was a zillion degrees. But there I was, standing on the bridge by myself. Thinking of Sophia. Missing her. And I looked around me, and there were dozens and dozens of rocks that parents paint for their beloved children and put them around the bridge. Names of babies, dates of their passing, special words from their parents. I didn’t know any of them, but nestled by a tree was Sophia’s. Among all those rocks, all those names, I did know one of them. I just missed her so much.

But then the ribbon cutting ceremony started, and the whole group of us stood together and remembered Sophia, and honored her life. It was incredibly moving. I thought, as I looked around, how lucky I am. Twelve hours ago, all these people were dancing around a room together, laughing, singing, and being together. And it was all because of Sophia. We all came together for her, and we had fun. We cried, yes, but we celebrated too.

I encourage you, dear reader, to find moments like this. To look around and remember how special the people in your life are. And when you find yourself on a bridge, sad and alone, remember that you can cross over it. And my hope for you is that you’ll find a whole mess of people who make you smile.

Oh, yeah, one more thing. Happy B-day, America. You rock. Thanks for the freedom. :)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun...And 100 Ways To Stay In Touch

So, right up there you’ll see a picture of some pretty awesome (and obvs very fun) women. The three girls with me in this photo have been some of my very best friends since college. It’s Madeline, me, Freda and Kelly. I love them dearly. Problem is, we all live in different states right now. And 10 years ago, before social media, before unlimited texts and nationwide calling, we may not have been able to maintain our friendships.

In college, the four of us hung out after class, ate lunch together, went to movies together, visited each other at work, and we were each other’s home-away-from-home. But now, what happens to that dynamic when you aren't together?

Making new friends after college is rough. Outside of work, it’s hard to connect with people. I mean, sure, there are people you reconnect with, or people you meet at a yoga class or book club, but I just don’t think it’s ever quite the same. Man, the Saved by the Bell kids made it look so easy!

I guess the point is, I've been missing my friends. Madeline’s going through a major life change, Kelly’s a newlywed who’s coming down with a case of baby fever, and Freda’s traveling through Korea. Geographically, we are far apart, but even in our lives we seem far away from each other. Without being with them, how close can we actually be?

Then, the clouds parted and voila! Blackberry Messenger and Skype Conference Calling came into our lives. I Blackberry Message Madeline daily. I know she finally sold her couch, and her air conditioner is too small for the windows in her new apartment. Tonight, Freda and Kelly and I talked for over an hour on Skype. I know what the showers are like in Korea, and I know that Kelly‘s dog got a haircut today and it was a, uh, sub par look. Then we sat and watched You Tube videos and laughed. It felt like no time had passed. That we are each away for the summer.

And sure there’s nothing I’d rather have than for my best friends to live close enough to go shopping with me, or grab a drink after a long day, but with Facebook, Twitter, blogs, Skype, BBM, texting, and free long distance, it feels like there’s no excuse NOT to stay close.

It makes me think, though, that maybe the reason it’s so hard to build new friendships is because there are so many ways to maintain the old friendships. I mean, how many great friends can we handle? I do think that people have the capacity to love hundreds of thousands of people. But a great friendship isn’t just about love. It’s about companionship, it’s about sharing heartache and joy. And sure, the world may read your Facebook status and know what you ate for breakfast, but the great friends are the ones who actually care.