Saturday, November 28, 2009

Why hipsters are trouble

Thanksgiving in Seattle - A Reverse Chronology

Friday Nov. 27 10:32 p.m. EST: HOME. Thank god. That's it, I'm never drinking again. Or flying again. Maybe.
8:49 p.m.: Seriously, is there no barf bag in here?
8:47 p.m.: Turbulence. Tuuuuurbuleeeeeence.
5:14 p.m.: Advil not working.
12:32 p.m. CST: Why the FUCK am I in Houston? Seattle to New York via Texas, really? I shake my fist at you, Continental!
7:42 a.m. PST: "Bye, Jamie! Smooches! Thanks for everything! By the way, do you have any Advil?"
7:10 a.m.: Underwear, underwear...where is my underwear? "Hey, psssst. Wake up. Are you hiding my underwear? Well, I don't know why you would, but...oh wait, here it is. Well, anyway, that was fun. If you're ever in Mythaca...well, anyway. Bye."
3:57 a.m.: "So, are you a slut?"
"What?! I mean...what do you think?"
"No...I don't think you are. I didn't expect to get your clothes off so easy, though."
"You're kind of an asshole, aren't you?"
3:33 a.m.: "Yes, you have to wear it, and no, I don't care if you can't 'feel anything.'"
3:02 a.m.: Oh, hey...guys. Oh, you're...going to stop to chat, are you? Going to...sit down right next to us on the futon, eh? Oh my god. Please, please just go. Oh ho ho, you think this is just hilarious, don't you? I may be drunk but this is still completely mortifying. Yes, good, you go away now. God.
3:01 a.m.: Annnnnnnnd here they are.
2:47 a.m.: "I don't know, Jamie's roommates haven't come home yet. Oh, yes, a sheet, brilliant. Like a cloak of invisibility! Or...not."
2:32 a.m.: "You know, when I first met you I thought you were a lesbian."
What?! Oh my god, is it possible he's already found my blog? "What?! I mean, umm, why?"
"Well, I didn't know you don't live here, and you were always sleeping in the room with your friend."
"That's bullshit, I told you I didn't live here the first time I met you."
"Umm, yeah, I was really high when I first met you."
"It was nine in the morning."
2:21 a.m.: "You know how I knew? You let me tap your foot under the table all night."
"Wait, you knew that was my foot? And you just kept tapping it? I thought you thought it was the table."
"Yeah, and you let me. I was like, well, if this girl is going to let me tap her foot all night..."
"Well, I...but...that was my side of the table! I had nowhere else to go!"
"You liked it."
"What?! I...fine. I liked it."
2:15 a.m.: "You know, I've wanted to kiss you since I met you."
"No way, really? But you acted so...aloof."
"Oh, come on. If I had pursued you, you never would have been interested."
"That's not true."
"Well, anyway, I just know that I saw that face, and I was like, I want to kiss it. And those bangs..." (Seriously, the bangs again??? Note to self--hipsters love the bangs.)
1:53 a.m.: "So should we get out of here?"
"Yeah, let's go."
1:24 a.m.: Seriously, another pitcher of PBR?
1:12 a.m.: "I've just seen a face I can't forget the time or place when we first met she's just the girl for me and I want all the world to see we've met. Woooo woooo wooooo woo woo woooooooo!"
12:03 a.m.: Karaoke? God, I fucking hate karaoke!
Thursday Nov. 26 11:59 p.m.: "You know, I think I've drank more PBR tonight than I've ever drank in my whole life. Like, cumulatively. I think I may have had it, like, once or twice before, but usually I don't even touch it. But you know, it's actually not that bad right now."
"You're adorable!"
Wednesday Nov. 25 10:14 a.m.: text from Jamie: awww. be aloof. that gets em every time. :)
10:03 a.m.: text to Jamie: He is cute. and I am super awkward. Oh well
9:58 a.m.: "Hey."
"Um, you don't live here, do you?"
"Oh. I don't either."
"Well, uh, bye."
8:31 a.m.: text from Jamie: Attractive shirtless man on my couch!

Annnnnnnnnd scene. I'm going to chalk this one up to a life lesson. Though from now on I'll probably think twice about hooking up with some black-glasses-and-tight-pants-wearing, curly-haired, PBR-swilling, pot-smoking, knows-exactly-how-cute-he-is hipster. Fucking hipsters, man. Trouble.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Why I am jet-lagged and happy

I went out on dates Thursday night, Friday night, and Saturday night, and they went, in order, something like good, meh, and pretty good. And in answer to your question, Internet, because I know you're dying to know, she was very sweet and totally not intimidating in real life. She's going to introduce me to some of her Romance Studies friends, because you can take the girl out of the French literature grad program, but you can't take the French literature grad program out of the girl. Plus, if I ever get too nostalgic for my grad student days, there's nothing like hanging out with a bunch of over-worked PhD students to remind you why you got out in the first place.

Anyway, I figured the best thing to do was to cram in as many dates as possible before I went out of town for a week, because- oh! I didn't mention I was going to Seattle?

Internet- I am writing to you from Seattle right now! And I am thrilled to be here. It's my very first time visiting the Pacific Northwest, and I am being hosted by my dear friend Jamie. Last night she took me to see the most spectacularly beautiful view of a city by night that I have ever seen:

Er, well, it wasn't actually like that, it was more...

Um, yeah. I guess you had to be there.

Alright, well, my crappy camera and I are going to go get some coffee. (I hear that's what you do here.) Cheers, everyone, and if you don't hear from me before then, have a very, very happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Why I'm through with men

Internet, my "social life" (and I use this term loosely) has been very much, how should I say...sucking lately. After a brief period of uncustomary optimism regarding my ability to meet people and make new friends in this town, some of the friendships I thought I had formed have quite suddenly faded into the woodwork. And it always stings to lose a friendship, no matter how new it is, particularly when this person goes away with no explanation whatsoever, leaving you to speculate on what, exactly, it is that you could have done wrong. But with no other logical reason at hand, I am forced to chalk it up to a When Harry Met Sally thing, and accept the fact that maybe, just maybe, guys and girls can't be friends after all. Which, unfortunately puts a dent in my aforementioned "social life," since every single person I know in this town- friends, acquaintances, colleagues, and everyone in between- are men. I am not sure why this is, and at first, I'll admit, I thought it was pretty great. For some reason I've always felt more comfortable around men than women. In college I had a couple girl friends, but most of the time I was hanging out drinking beer and watching Comedy Central with the guys. There's just something more accepting, more relaxed, more non-judgemental about hanging out with guys vs. girls. Whereas with girls you have to work your way up to a certain level of trust and intimacy, with guys it's just there, automatically. And it's not just here. In France last year, I lived with Patrice and Fred, and from the moment we met we got along like clams. There was no introductory period, no warming up to each other. I moved in and they treated me like one of the guys- teasing me, teaching me about soccer and chess, asking me about my love life. Then I (begrudgingly) moved out and into an apartment (that I hated) with a girl, and spent the next two months making awkward conversation and avoiding eye contact over the breakfast table.

I am not sure why this is, why I feel so ill at ease with girls I don't know well. Perhaps it's that I automatically assume that they will hate me and thus react accordingly- like a nervously clucking chicken. But, I swear, sometimes girls do automatically hate me. I wish I were making this up, but it's happened more than once that upon meeting someone new, in a work situation or whatever, said girl will eye me up and down, say, "Wow, you're so skinny," whereupon I nod, or shrug, or make some vaguely apologetic gesture, and then she will add, dryly, "I hate you." Wow, I just met you, I'll think and scuttle away, nervously bobbing my chicken head. And then I'll tell myself I don't want to be friends with someone like that anyway. And plus, it definitely wasn't a boy who looked me straight in the eye while I was cutting a rug at my very first fourth grade sleepover and told me, with an air of utter disdain, "You. Look. So. Stupid," and thus ruined dancing for me forever. And so, yes, I am nervous around girls, desperately craving their acceptance while simultaneously ducking and covering in anticipation of their ultimate rejection.

[And, wow, re-reading this, it is fairly clear that I am one hot mess. How I've made it 29 years without ever going on meds I'll never know. (I do know- it's called being poor and in denial. Moving on!)]

At some point it started to seem safer to cultivate friendships with guys, but when one of those friends confessed that though he was married, he was in fact quite attracted to me, and another of those friends tried to make out with me, and yet another of those friends has gone MIA for no apparent reason, though ultimately it is probably related to the fact that he is a guy and I am a girl, and the potentially mixed signals and/or hurt feelings that this sort of situation might generate... well, it was at this point that I started thinking to myself, Damn, I need some girlfriends.

I should confess here, in a seeming non-sequitur (but don't worry, I'll bring it back around), that after a wonderfully refreshing and nearly half-year-long hiatus, I recently bit the bullet and put my profile back up on Okcupid. I've written before about my love/hate relationship with Okcupid (mostly hate, in recent history), but after yet another Friday night at home alone, I was lonely, desperate, and I didn't know what else to do. The problem being, that if I had trouble finding appropriate guys to date in Boston, I quickly realized that in a town the size of Mythaca, it would be nearly impossible. After performing a thorough search, I found maybe one guy I would even consider going out with. Two, tops. And so I found myself clicking over to the girls' side of things. Just to see... I told myself. And voilĂ ! The very first match listed was a 28-year-old Cronell PhD student in romance studies, who speaks French fluently. Also, she's gay. But that shouldn't matter, I told myself. Go on, what do you have to lose? And so I sent her an e-mail, saying, "I hope this doesn't sound weird, because I'm not gay, but I am fairly new to town, and it sounds like we may have some things in common." And she wrote back! She was very warm and sweet and thanked me for my e-mail, and said she would love to meet up for a drink with me, and it sounded like we would have a lot to talk about. So! I have a date! A date with a lesbian! But, Internet, there is a problem. And the problem is: this girl is ridiculously hot. Like, smokin' hot. Like, holy-mother-of-A.J. Langer-from-My So-Called Life-meets-Mary Louise Parker-from-Weeds-with-a-head-of-model-hair hot. And this is not based on just one picture, either. This is based on, like, ten pictures, each one hotter than the last.

What if she hates me? What if she thinks I'm boring? What if I am passive aggressive and awkward and overly self-deprecatory? What if I sweat my way right through my shirt? Internet, I think it is safe to say that I am freaking out here. I only have two days to figure out what to wear!

Oh, and I also have a date tonight with a tall guy who confuses your/you're and has already texted me about a bajillion times, and suffice it to say that I am not really concerned at all about it. I'm feeling pretty cool, calm and collected about this one. I know what to say to guys, how to act, what to do.

But a girl! Heavens to Murgatroyd. I just hope I don't screw this up.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Why iLove my new iPod

So, then this happened. This being a flat tire that left me stranded in a parking lot in the farthest reaches of the Mythaca College campus due to their policy of banning faculty from any remotely convenient or proximate lot any time prospective students and their potentially tuition paying parents come to visit. ("Oohh, honey, what a lovely school! And look at all the free parking!" Lies! All lies!) And instead of going home after class on Wednesday afternoon, which is the only place I really wanted to be, I found myself having this conversation twice over with first my mom, and then my dad: "Are you sure I can't just drive it to a garage...? How flat? Flat flat... Yes I know there's a spare in the trunk but... Yes I know there are instructions with it but I just don't... No, there are no boys around. God." Well, the mountain will just have to come to Muhammed, I decided, and so I called several garages only to be told they don't do roadside service, and did I have AAA, by any chance? Then I had a stroke of inspiration: I would call campus safety! A nice campus safety officer would come and help me change my tire and then I would be on my merry way. Except, apparently they do not "do" that sort of thing either, but they would transfer my call to the garage. The garage: closed ten minutes ago. I blinked back tears and as a last resort called the parking office. Because, it's sort of related, right? I was parked. And I wanted to...not be parked. The sympathetic lady on the phone oh dear-ed a few times and then said that they don't "do" that sort of thing either, but had I called campus safety? Or the garage? Were there any boys around? Oh! By any chance, did I have AAA? At which point I said fine. You win. "Hello, AAA? I would like to become a member of your illustrious and reputable service. I would now like to present you with my address and credit card information. Got it? Good. Because I'm going to need you to send someone out right away..." So then I waited an hour for someone to come and put the spare on in two minutes flat and then basically felt like a miserable failure of a human being. I hate perpetuating gender stereotypes.

The tire, it turns out, is unrepairable! Of course! One new tire, please! And do you why it was unrepairable? Do you know why this happened? (Other than the nail that I can only imagine was placed in the road specifically for my benefit, pointy-side up and cartoon-like by a cackling and mustache-twirling villain.) No, it happened because I am an idiot and the universe hates me. Ooh, look at me, universe! I am making a frivolous and fiscally irresponsible purchase! Screaming it out to the world like the idiot that I am. And what do you know- the very next day the universe is all, Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200. Actually, you know what? Why don't you pay $200, just for kicks. Since it seems you have all this money floating around, mwa ha ha...

Universe? I hate you.

But, you know what I don't hate? That's right, it's my new...

iPod Touch! It's like an iPhone, only without, you know, the phone bits. And with 32 gigs of storage!

I love it so. I don't know if you can see this, but this is me reading my blog on my iPod Touch while typing a blog post on my computer and whoa. The possibilities boggle the mind.

This is my iPod Touch's retarded older brother red-headed stepchild wow, there really is no PC way to say this, is there? (But then, you wouldn't expect me to be PC when I'm talking about Apple products, right? Get it? PC? Haaaa.) Anyway, this is my old mp3 player. As you can see, it's roughly the size of my face and it weighs about as much as a can of soup. See how sad it was making me?

If I had to listen to one more person say, "What is that thing? Is that a Walkman?" I don't know what I would do. Although, honestly, this was a pretty great little mp3 player and I used it consistently for five years without a problem. I don't know anyone whose iPod has lasted anywhere near that long. In fact, that's why I waited so long to replace it, because the damn thing just would not break. In the end, I decided to switch when it became so outdated that the software it came with wasn't compatible with Windows Vista. So, though I had a pretty good library built up, I could no longer put anything new on or take anything off, and so essentially what I had was an mp3 player-shaped paperweight. That looked like a Walkman. And so I stopped using it. I would only take it on particularly long car rides, or on airplanes. And even then I would keep it tucked away in my purse in shame.

And now I have my lovely new iPod Touch, although I have to be honest and say that I haven't actually used it so much, yet. Or really at all, other than the initial puttering, hitting of the on/off button and saying Oh good, it works. And now I'll turn it off. Because to get use from it, I would probably need to leave the house. Which...I guess I haven't been doing so much of lately. But...outside is scary, guys. Outside is where the sharp, pointy nails are! In any case, I'm sure I'll get motivated to leave the house soon. And if not, I bet there's an app for that.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Why it's never too late to become an elitist snob

I've never been one to be swayed by slick packaging and hip advertising trends. I mean, I like John Hodgman. Am I the only one? Plus, the whole "let's beat up on PCs" campaign just makes me want to root for the underdog. In fact, I've pretty much gone my whole life trying to avoid buying Apple products. So, you're telling me that it's more expensive and I can't right-click? Thanks, but you'll have to pry my PC from my cold, dead, double-and-right-clicking hands. Similarly, for Christmas five years ago when my then-boyfriend hinted about getting me an mp3 player I said, "An mp3 player but not an iPod." Probably for the same reason I resisted joining Facebook for so long and steadfastly refuse to "tweet" anything. Just to be contrary.

All of which is to say, of course...
Welcome to the dark side

...that I should be receiving my order in 1-6 business days.

Oh how the mighty have fallen.

Because sometimes when your life sort of sucks, and you live in a small town in the middle of nowhere, and you have no savings account, no health insurance, and haven't worked full-time in going on four years now, the only thing to do is make a fiscally irresponsible purchase. Because, it's a quality of life issue, you will tell yourself.

Oh, I didn't enter into this lightly, believe me. At first I asked myself, Is this something I can reasonably ask my parents to get me for Christmas? What if I tell them that this is the only thing I want for Christmas and my birthday? For the next five years? Then I thought back to Christmases past and realized that, no
, it was not at all something I could reasonably ask for and with any degree of certainty expect to receive. And so I took matters into my own hands checkbook APR gauging credit card like the nearly 30-year-old adult that I am.

But what form has my new found elitist snobbery taken? Care to take a guess? Is it...

(in order of least to most fiscally irresponsible)

an iPod Shuffle?
an iPod Nano?
an iPod Touch?
an iPhone?
a MacBook?

What about you, Internet? Are you an Apple person or a PC person? Have you gone or would you ever consider going to the dark side? Inquiring minds want to know.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Why sometimes a compliment is just an insult in disguise

For Halloween last week I dressed in a '60s dress and white go go boots. I've actually worn this costume several times before. The beauty of moving around constantly, you see, is you can recycle old Halloween costumes and no one is the wiser. I balked at the $40 price tag of those boots four years ago, but they've actually turned out to be a pretty solid investment. I think I'll move again next year just so I can wear them again. Anyway, I used to do the frosted pale pink lipstick and light blue eye shadow combo for authenticity's sake, but a quick look at previous years' photos showed me that that shit does not look good. I don't know who can pull that look off, but it's not me. I figured I was already at a disadvantage because I wasn't going as a "slutty" '60s go go dancer, but I had long since come to the realization that without cleavage, I would never be able to dress as a "slutty" anything. Plus, the dress used to be my grandmother's in the '60s, so while it was super cute and flower powery, it was still fairly modest. Given my relative disadvantage, I figured the least I could do was make sure my makeup looked good. So I threw out the frosted shit and got friendly with some liquid eyeliner and dark smudgy shadow, put on a coat of my regular lipstick and gloss and clomp-squeaked out the door in my $40 plastic boots. Pros: polyester and plastic are warm. No need for a coat tonight. Cons: dear god air, I need some air. Can't somebody please open a window?

So I'm standing around at this hot-as-balls party, and there's about a million people, most of whom I am towering over in my platform clomp-squeaker boots. So I am feeling a tad circus freakish (Yes, nothing to see here folks, just a six foot tall woman
, let's move it along), but not altogether bad about myself. At least my makeup looks good, I think, and so I am feeling relatively fresh and sassy and ready for whatever. So when some guy says to me, "Has anyone ever told you..." I get all revved up. Ooooh, a compliment! I think.

"Yeeeeeeeeessssss," I smile. "Go ooooonnnnnnnnnn..."

"...that you look like..."

"Yeeeessss?" I purr.

"Kathy Griffin?"

Across the room a record scratched and a roomful of dancers coll
ectively stopped and let their mouths fall open, and then slowly buried their heads in their hands. Or maybe that was just me. "No, no no no," I murmured into my palms, shaking my head slowly back and forth. "No no no no no!" I brushed away tears and finally removed my hands to face my assailant. He looked fairly stunned.

"What?" he said. "I...I like Kathy Griffin."

"Never..." I said.

"She...she's really funny," he stuttered.

"First of all," I said, "she's not funny. Second of all, you never, ever, EVER tell a girl that she looks like Kathy Griffin."

"I...I'm sorry," he said. "I'm not from this country." And he shrugged his shoulders with a helpless, "look at me, I'm a foreigner in a strange land" sm

Puh-leese, Pradeep. I have played that game before, the "oh woe, what is an American girl ignorant of your customs to do?" charade. But unless Indian tastes in humor and asthetics tend toward the bizarre and macabre, then I have the distinct feeling that I'm being punked right now.

In retrospect, it was probably my fault for trying to
do cat eyes eyeliner.

But really, Internet, I have to interject to insist here that I look nothing, and I mean
nothing at all like Kathy Griffin.


Yeah? Who's funny now, Kathy Griffin? Look at these jazz hands! Who's funny now???

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Why sometimes you date, and sometimes you say, eff it, I haven't had sex in four months

Ok, ok, I'll put you out of your misery. The results of the two truths and one lie contest are in, and the only person to get it right was SV. Although technically she did guess twice, once as "this is what I wish happened," and once in classic Clue-the-movie type fashion, "but this is what I think really happened." Well guess what, SV- today is the day your wildest dreams (about me) come true! What can I say, your wish is my command. All of which is to say, of course, that...

...number one? Yeah, totally happened. And was just as quickly retracted and blamed on excessive alcohol consumption. (Four! whole! beers!
Consumed steadily over the course of four! whole! hours! Methinks someone doth exaggerate his drunkenness when it is convenient for him, is what I'm saying.) The whole thing has long blown over by now, and we are both pretending it didn't happen, while continuing a friendly flirtation from a safely removed distance.

And on to number two, which is also, of course, true. Without going into too much detail, I will say that it was a) fun while it lasted and b) ultimately doomed. Because as it turns out, contrary to my previous hypothesis, there is one cute, single guy my age left in the world, and he happens to live in North Carolina. Oh, right. That. And I knew that, but I still managed to somehow conveniently ignore the fact that he would be leaving after the weekend. So that when he left, rolled out of my bed in the morning with barely a goodbye, it still felt like a rejection of sorts, even though, my god, Rachel, get a grip, he doesn't live here, let it go. And though "We'll be in touch" probably means different things to different people, in his case I'm guessing it means either "I'll send you a text the next time I'm in town" or "You'll never see me or hear from me again." Only time will tell.

Though there is something to be said for developing a massive, heart-pounding crush on someone who's hot, smart, and bitingly funny, and then finding out that, really? The hottest, smartest, most bitingly funny guy I've met in a long time wants to sleep with me? And, this may reek of low self-esteem issues, but yes, given those circumstances I will take my clothes off every time. Which, thankfully, is not that often, as hot, smart, funny guys are increasingly rare these days.

As far as number three- what, go on an actual date with someone when I can just fall into bed with him the first chance I get? Ha! You guys give me waaaaaaay too much credit. But, for everyone who voted true on this one- thanks for giving me the benefit of the doubt and assuming I'm not a slut. Or maybe you just figured the chances of me humiliating myself on a date were much higher than the likelihood of me getting any play. In which case, meh, you're probably right. This was clearly a fluke, and I'm sure I will soon be back to my usual bumbling, celibate self.

In other news, happy birthday today to my best friend, Talia! If you get a chance, pop over to her blog and wish her the very best.

Me and Tal, summer 2008
...and now I'm dead. By the time you read this, Tal has in all likelihood killed me for posting this picture. Avenge my death, Internet. Tell my story! Don't let me have died in vain!