Saturday, April 30, 2005

where the wild things are

hurtling down the streets of downtown at 3:30 a.m.

disclaimer: yes, it was late. yes, i was tired. and YES the following story is true.

i was flying down the empty streets of downtown last night, FINALLY on my way home, and i got stopped at a light.

I KID YOU NOT, some kind of lean, four-legged, pointy-eared, stripedy-tailed racing beast was tearing(at at LEAST 20 m.p.h.) down the middle of the street in front of me. my head just went from right to left and followed it to the next intersection, where it almost ran into a car, got confused, did a circle, made a right and took off into the darkness.

in my uneducated opinion, a jackal just ran down the street.

i thought it was just me, having some kind of terrible harold-and-kumar flashback, but i hadn't been hitting any substances and i was fully awake. but just to be sure, i rolled down the window and called out to some people walking down the street, who were just as bewildered as i was.





guy2: 'OR A WOLF'




it wasn't even a full moon.

see? some drunk girl on the street doesn't think i'm crazy.

most likely it was a coyote (which has been known to happen) or some escaped illegal luxury animal.

i know. see what the dungeon will do to you?

Friday, April 29, 2005

dungeon duty

i sigh as i find myself in the dungeon again tonight. and it's not one of fear.

yes, my friends, i'm over the dungeon.

it no longer incites terror and goosebumps.
it no longer turns my knuckles white as i grip my pepper spray, ready for an attack.
it no longer causes my toes to hurt because i am tiptoeing down the halls for fear that psychoblueeye will hear my clacking heels.
it no longer inspires me to look around everywhere in psycho fashion during my entire stay.
it no longer makes me look upon all strangers with mistrust. caution, definitely, but not mistrust.
it no longer keeps me from eating dinner for fear of being a sitting duck.

however, should i become decapitated during my tenure here because of my lax preparedness, you'll all know that at least i did not live in fear.

bring irises to the funeral.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

you know what's a good word?


it sounds like what it means, which i think is sickeningly sweet and sentimental.

and it even looks like molasses dripping off the edge of the table.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

la mariachi

i spent a summer in minneapolis and created a monster.
a salsa-dancing monster.

there was a mixup with the place i was supposed to stay. so i rang up a complete stranger. well, she wasn't a complete stranger. a girl from the program (whom i'd only just met) went to college with her in florida. and me, one of the most paranoid people in the midwest, I trusted her after one 30-second phone call. it was a lucky good decision.

we were an odd pair -- her: 6-foot-something with flowing blonde hair that others only hope to get from a bottle, and me: 5-foot and little more, dark with long dark hair and an attitude for strangers. my new pal, a violinist, was curious about everything and had enough enthusiasm for both of us. i had picked up a taste for salsa dancing and decided to share. it made for one interesting summer.

now, i'm not going to be pinning a number to my back and spinning around the parquet floor anytime soon, but i knew the basics. this girl picked them up in an evening and by the end of a month danced circles around me and nearly everyone else in the city. it got to the point where we were out dancing 2 to 3 times a week. and it was fun. in a town where a lot of people are far from home, there are a good number who turn up just to dance. (where i live now, you'd better come with a decent partner or the only dancing you'll be doing is manuvering away from some slimy grabbyhands slurrily asking you the same question over and over.)

soon i began to tire of the 24-hour salsa party, but my pal couldn't get enough. she picked up some spanish and wanted to know all the words to her favorite songs. she even found herself a casanova with a limited vocabulary but plenty of moves. that's when i knew she was hooked.

the summer came to an end. i hung up my heels and returned to school. she kept dancing. we kept in touch, but i really had no clue what kind of influence that summer had until she called me up one day to tell me she'd decided on what she wants to do when she grows up: be a mariachi. all that dancing got her into all kinds of latino culture, and here was a chance for her to showcase her classical string skills, too. it was the perfect match.

today she lives in texas and plays in an all-girl mariachi band. people specifically request 'la rubia.' she speaks a good amount of spanish and of course, is still tearing up the dance floor. to this day when i call, she tells people that i was the one who taught her to salsa. i blush at that because all i did was show her the basics and natural talent did the rest. but i am proud to have seen how far she's taken it beyond us sashaying in front of the mirror in her apartment all those years ago.

i think i was meant to meet her that summer. i could have been assigned to indianapolis or austin or des moines. but i was meant to hold out that first marc anthony cd and open up a new world for her.

damn, where would we be if i had a taste for breaking back then and busted out a doug e. fresh and the get fresh crew album instead?

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

all signs point to the mall

last week i found myself running late to work with no clean pants to wear. i hadn't gotten around to washing the work clothes during the weekend, but my jeans were crunchy from the dryer and ready to go. (thank God for the lax dresscode). unfortunately, as i hopped around trying to get them on, i noticed not one, but TWO dime-sized yellow spots at mid-calf. ugh. damn bleach. never fear, all those years of fun with colored pencils paid off and i burnished them into jeany-looking spots. you can barely tell.

the next day, i didn't learn my lesson and spent my time watching buffy the vampire slayer on dvd. (hey, it's new to me, and i still can't believe i'm this hooked) it's dangerous having access to that many episodes at once. so i had to pull out the emergency pants.

these pants seem innocent enough, but they have a secret. a foray long ago into the world of cheap detergent left permanent traces of cleaner all over them. but they're only visible in daylight. kind of like at those blacklight parties where you can see whether people use the pour-on-top-of-clothes method versus the premix-detergent-in-with-water technique. under the joy of tungsten or fluorescent lights, i'm basking in unicolor, but in the daylight, i'm rocking a khaki/white-purple cow print. the dry cleaners didn't even know what to do about it and all i got back was a nice tag that said something to the fact that they'd given up. i just don't have the heart to throw out pants that are still good when the sun goes down.

it was cloudy and my shift only contains a few hours of daylight, so i went with the emergency pants. i only had to make it from the car into the building. but ugh. were those 14 blocks painful. of course i passed every single fashionista in the city and i even saw a guy couple look me up and down. the mortification.

couple all that with the fact that everything sort of hangs wrong since i lost a little chub, and it can only mean one thing: i need to go shopping.

i accept that. i'm just dreading it. don't get me wrong, i love shopping. but shopping with something in mind (i.e. work pants) is always the most daunting and fruitless mission. that and looking for a particular-purpose shoe. when you don't need them, they're screaming to you from the nonsale rack, and when you're on the hunt, they've all hibernated for the season.

don't worry; i'm going. sometime. i don't need three strikes to know i need to hit the dugout.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

slowin down

okay. i admit it. i have a need for speed. you know, like the 100-on-the-highway kind. the duck-and-weave-kind. the feel-your-stomach-smash-into-your-lungs kind. i don't know what happens. something comes over me. and then it's just a game of chicken with myself. (of course i take these chances when i am the only one in danger of getting hurt... well except that one time, but i've learned my lesson, copychief.)

last summer when i was in the ocean i found another: the bounce-a-bucking-jetski kind.

it was fabulous. i hopped on, adjusted my goggles, stood up a little, closed my fist around the gas lever and hurtled out into open water. i went a little too far and got lost; the only thing that helped me get my bearings was the sound of other machines in the distance, because i had marked my location with a parasailing boat (realizing too late that a moving landmark sort of defeats the purpose.)

since that day i've been dreaming to get back onto one of those badboys.

sigh. but i think i'll have to pass. one of my girls from dance class had an incident. a leg-vs-jetski incident in mexico, to be specific. after surgery, a metal rod and screws, she's trying to get around this metropolis in a wheelchair. but i know she'll be out bustin a move in no time.

for me, it's like when i saw 'amores perros' and i drove at the speed limit for about 6 months, even when i didn't have to. (i couldn't bear to listen to that poor woman calling for her dog.) now i'm going to have to take the thrill of the 'ski off my list for a while.

i'm sending my get-well good vibes to the player on the third floor. but for all of you out there, if you see a black altima with a short driver approaching at a high rate of speed in your rearview mirror, i still highly suggest you get out of the way.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

this ain't iocane powder, buttercup

i think i've developed an immunity.
to my deodorant.

it's pretty well established that i'm a freak. but i wanted to know just how much of a freak i am.

every 6 months or so, i have to change brands of deodorant. i become convinced it's not working anymore, and i drive myself batty with paranoia that it has up and quit on me. but then i switch brands and all is well in the underarm universe. being sure is a highly underrated comfort.

i think it's time to switch again, but that dove scent was really starting to grow on me. what a shame.

this only happens to me, right?

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

this is why i'm always tired

i just discovered that the grapefruit spoon is the perfect utensil with which one can maximize the amount of yogurt you get from a single-serve yoplait strawberry cup.

it is 4:56 a.m.

i know.

now it's just too damn late

i grew up without cable.

and as anyone who has conversed with me for more than 2.5 minutes can attest, i'm a little bitter about it.

when i was a kid, we lived in a cute little house with a ginormous backyard. my parents didn't know what was cool, (for god's sake, my father's favorite song was 'lady' by kenny rogers) So they never ventured beyond the basics. bunny-ear tv had plenty of he-man, mcneil lehrer, family ties and i love lucy to keep everyone happy.

one summer the neighbors behind us -- separated by what i can only describe as glorified chickenwire to keep their bushes from attacking our property -- decided they were going to get a cable box. when everyone was away at school or work or the grocery store, the cable company nestled their line in a trench, approximately 12 inches deep and 8 inches wide, that ran down the middle, and the entire length, of our yard.

that was 1984.

and boy, does my father know how to hold a grudge. so i was made to suffer through my entire adolescence without mtv. it didn't matter that the snotty girls at daycare spent the hours every day after school reenacting madonna's 'true blue' video. (i probably didn't hear the actual song until 1991, but i had no problem singing along.) i wasn't familiar with the choreography, so i found myself in the corner reading the only book that wasn't for ages 3 and under: the dictionary.

i smiled and nodded through lunchtable conversation about 'the real world' and even managed to throw in a line here and there about how crazy puck is without seeing a single episode. nobody cared about the looks of disbelief and disdain i had to bear when i had to hear the inevitable, 'oh my GOD, you DON'T HAVE CABLE!??!!?!??!'

it was bad. i was glued to tv at friends' houses. and it didn't matter what was on -- one time i even watched golf, just to partake in the fobidden fruit. but i never realized just how much of a the deficiency i had until i graduated high school. some kids with overprotective parents get to college and start boozing and whoring around. i sat in the dorm room and watched the mtv music awards about five times in succession. by round four i could quote the presenters. i even skipped class a few times when i was caught up in 'singled out' and i've spent more than one weekend watching the entirety of a realworld season in one sitting.

i think i overdosed. because today, i still don't have cable. it's even gotten to the point where i don't want it anymore. all those stupid shows seem lame, and the movies and really good shows are never on when it's convenient for me to catch them. besides, what the heck would i have to bitch about then? i have pbs, telemundo and netflix. what more does a girl need?


Tuesday, April 19, 2005

ah, sweet dungeon

okay, something has gone terribly awry in the universe.

i'd like to just say that if i die tomorrow, please please please remember me for the cranky biotch that i usually am, not the positive freak of nature that i've been acting like today.

but because that is the case, tonight you'll have the pleasure of seeing the softer side of cadiz. hopefully it's making a one-night-only appearance.

* i'm in the dungeon tonight. and it feels refreshing.

* i was driving into work, stuck in traffic, and all i did was turn up the radio and sing more energetically. i ignored mr. red dodge pickup, who leaned out his window to laugh at me and i was proud; my open windows gave people the rare chance to see how well i mimic nelly furtado's wacky stylings. granted, i can never seem to remember if 'soul' or 'home' comes first in 'i'm like a bird,' but today i wasn't even embarrassed that i was yelling out 'i don't know where my hole is' like i usually am.

*for once i wasn't really freaking out about being late, and it turns out there was no line into the parking lot and i walked in right at 6:01. that NEVER happens.

* i didn't cringe when i saw the guy who usually stops to tell me that i've done something wrong. (no news is definitely good news.) i said what's up cheerily and then was very excited that his hellohowareyou back wasn't followed by, 'i've been meaning to talk to you about those reports...'

* there's a flowering tree outside the dungeon door. it smells glorious, and it was just breezy enough tonight that when i caught the mixture of it with the choco-factory aroma, i nearly fainted. i literally stopped to smell the flowers.

* i didn't get a chance to eat my salad during the early part of the shift, but i'm just happy i remembered to leave the dressing off so i won't need a spoon when i finally get around to it.

* my brother called to read me a recommendation someone gave him. 'glowing' would be a sad understatement, and i got a little misty.

* i got to wear this jacket i bought last fall for the first time. and i'm so happy i went with the olive corduroy instead of the dark jean, because i've seen a lot of those out there these days. (i like to pretend i'm original.) i love when i buy stuff and then slowly phase it in. it's like having new clothes all the time. i relished in this for about 2.5 minutes.

but you know, as i'm writing this, the fear is starting to sneak up my spine. like when you open your eyes before the alarm, you feel well rested and hop out of bed with a smile on your face? how you get a sense of dread because it is just too weird that you haven't hit the snooze button even ONCE; that it's going to be the day from hell because there is no way that something normal can come from this kind of psychotic beginning? i'm starting to feel like that.


something horrible is going to happen. tomorrow i'm going to come into work and the keycard will have been magically deactivated -- a signal of my termination. i'm going to eat that salad and get food poisoning and be puking for the next 36 hours. i'll get gum stuck in my hair and then have to cut it all off in chunks. my car will have a flat and i'll be hit by an errant semi. dammit, i didn't even follow up and join AAA. shit.

plus, my left eyelid is twitching. that's NEVER a good sign.

aaaaaaaaah, that's much better. i was starting to get a little creeped out.

Monday, April 18, 2005


i feel guilty.

i had a boy walk nearly 2 miles on a post-surgery foot because i said, 'of course you'll walk me to my car, right?' and he said, 'of course.' what i meant was 'of course you'll come with me in a cab to my car and make sure i get in it safely because it's really late and i parked under a bridge, right?' but that's not technically what i said.

i thought he was walking us to a place where a lot of cabs stop because at that hour there really weren't many passing by. i don't live in the city; i don't know. but then i got caught up in the warm, misty weather and the conversation. i didn't realize that we'd been walking for a long time until i saw him start limping. then my guilt bordered on shame when he noticed his foot was bleeding a little. he was like, 'well you SAID walk me to my car, not cab me to my car.'

lawyers. they're as bad as copyeditors.

i'd like to blame this slip in semantics on the alcohol, but i hadn't had that much. i think i'm going to blame it on my staying up all night with the copychief making badass jewelry and then cleaning the house and then going out after only an hour's nap and staying out all night again. yeah, that's it. lack of sleep is akin to an alcohol-buzz. right.

man, karma's gonna kick my ass.

when i realized my beauty shop went mainstream

as you all know, i have to make it at least once a month to the salon for eyebrow maintenance.

now before you go envisioning burt from sesame street, let me say that i have never had out of control upper-eye foliage or anything. in fact my aunt told me that i should never let anyone mess with my eyebrows because they are naturally very nice. i think it was the only compliment she's ever given me. man, that's kind of pathetic. with that and the feet thing (if you don't know, check out the 'my best feature' post), i'm starting to rethink my image. regardless, i got curious about the whole eyebrow threading thing, and once you start, you just can't stop. i'm hooked.

this saturday i was sitting in the eyebrow place, thumbing through an O magazine from November. there were just about 52 people ahead of me in line and they were going to close in 1/2 an hour. it's funny; these people do mad business and yet the system still consists of a yellow spiral notepad of haphazardly scrawled names. sometimes the list goes to a second column, sometimes it goes on the back of the page. the beauticians rotate calling names out, which they routinely mispronounce or say too quietly, then everyone wastes time trying to figure out just whom they're calling. at the same time, there are about eight cellphone conversations going on at once. it's mayhem. personally, i think they should consider the whole take-a-number thing. it works well at the deli.

it didn't always used to be like this. back in the day my mom and i would go to the basement of this lady's hugeass house and she'd do facials or haircuts or eyebrows with equipment way beyond the Sally Beauty Supply catalog. eventually she started her own place, opened a second location and then sold the franchise to move to the motherland and drink lassi all day.

when it started, it was our version of latifah's beauty shop. women gabbing in the mother tongue about arranged marriages, who's having kids, problems, drama. home remedies for a nagging cough or pimples flew about and there was a lot of laughing. people knew your name. or at least your face. they smiled and nodded you over to the chair and you never had to wait more than 15 minutes.

these days the ladies are still there, but they have to hustle to keep up with demand. we're talking about nearly 10 customers an hour. you still hear them comment to each other in their language, but mostly stuff like, 'hey, i need to go on break,' or 'you got an extra pair of scissors over there?' these broads mean business, and if you think you're going to be out of there in under an hour, you're dreaming.

i've tried alternatives, but no one gives me the illusion of svelte-ness the way that my girls do. so i suck it up and eat up the wait time speaking loudly on my cell or flipping through outdated magazines.

the clientele has also completely changed. before it was all middleaged ethnic women and their daughters. now it's mostly booty sweatpant-clad students, working women of all ages and races and the occasional man. but i have never grasped just how much the place has changed until this last time.

i was trying to concentrate on an oprah interview with barack obama. and it was a losing battle.

to my right, an older woman and her middle-age daughter were gathering their courage and coming up with all kinds of erroneous theories about what the procedure would be like. across from me were three girls speaking excitedly. i was trying to figure out whether it was in russian or polish. because i don't speak either of those, i couldn't tell, but their drama was definitely about a man. the chair i was sitting on was jiggling nonstop because the guy on the other side of me really had to urinate, was tired of waiting on a woman, was high on speed, or a combination of them all.

he turns to the woman sitting on the other side of him.

HIM: man, it's a zoo in here.

HER: yeah, it sure is.

HIM: well, i guess it's saturday. everyone has gotta look good for tonight.

HER: mmm-hmm.

HIM: you get your eyebrows threaded or waxed?

HER: threaded.

HIM: it's the only way to go... know, i've been waxed from head to toe, so i'm up for whatever. (pulls at the front of his shirt, obviously to show off his hairyness/hairlessness, but there's only so much you can see from peripheral vision)

HER: wow.

HIM: yeap. my ex girlfriend was an esthetician, so she did all that stuff for me. she waxed my chest, my back, my eyebrows. but we broke up, so i'm getting back into the swing of coming here.

HER: oh.

HIM: yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeap.

(he gets back to jiggling the chair. he puts his ankle on his knee, putting his other, very hairy knee into my personal space. i can't help but think how bald and ugly his skinny legs would look waxed. his cellphone rings. i think the song is fifty cent's 'this is how we do')

HIM: 'hello? who is this? oh, charlene? yeah, what's going on? you comin' tonight?...nah, it's gonna be a blast... yeah, i'm at the eyebrow place... yeah, i get my eyebrows threaded. gotta look good for tonight. it's a lot more accurate than waxing... you know, my ex-girlfriend was an esthetician, and she used to wax them for me. one time she messed up and i was uneven for two weeks. yeah, but we broke up... i've been waxed from head to toe, you know... no, it's not that bad... yeah, so anyway, i got some new stuff. it's got (some acronym with Ms in it), the same stuff they use to make ecstasy. yeah, it's, you don't need to bring any, you can try some of what i've got first. yeah, i'll be on this and you can get a taste of that...we'll all be there... yeah, it's gonna be a rockin time.... no, i'll give you two for thirty. yeah... it's POWERFUL stuff, man. you won't be disappointed. it's going to be so awesome...yeah, i'm pumped...okay, i'll meet you at seven... oh, you're over there? want me to pick you up? let me tell you what, i'm probably next, so i'll be here like 20 more minutes. i'll call you when i'm on geneva road. then i can swing by and get you on the way... cool. yeah, it's going to be such a good time tonight. oh, wait, they're calling me. i'll call you later. yeah, bye.'

(he gets up as the beautician calls his name again. the lady he had talked to and i look at each other. she shrugs. i smirk and shake my head. i get back to oprah and obama.)

you know your beauty shop has hit the bigtime when drug dealers come in to be serviced. and that they have no qualms about doing business while they wait.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

out of the loop

as the product of ethnic parents, i always figured i was in the minority -- as far as shoelace tying goes.

it started in preschool when we were learning about self-reliance. the rest of the kids knew all about the complex 'bunny goes around the tree' method. they even practiced along with a little story about some bunny who takes a trip or something. no matter how i tried, i just couldn't get their way to work. i blamed my mother for not knowing the story. eventually i settled for her preferred method, the 'two bunny ears,' which requires a bit more ambidexterity, but didn't have much of a story save for the 'these loops are like bunny ears.' i felt gypped.

but this weekend i learned that many people practice the 'ears' method. (at least six) and not one out of 18 adults surveyed could remember the bunny-goes-around-the-tree story. that made me feel a little better. and besides, i do not recall even one time when my shoelaces got stuck in the Sit'n Spin because they came untied.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005


my mom brought me a pizza.
netflix sent me 'pieces of april.'
it only took 8 rounds around the city to snag a parking spot.
my computer only threatened to blow up.
i didn't have to go to the dungeon.
it didn't rain until i nearly got home.
i may get to bed before the chickadees start chirping.

it was a good day.

Monday, April 11, 2005

out of the woods

i stayed up all night on friday and reached insurmountable heights of slap-happy on saturday. i crashed at midnight, but awoke refreshed and ready for mayhem on sunday. for some reason, i was just as loopy. maybe sleep isn't a factor after all.

i also fell out of a tree and would have dislocated my shoulder were it not for a kind dentist who broke my fall. so thanks, kind dentist! i'm not as agile as i once was.

i left with a rug burn, grass stains and successfully implanted the first two lines of 'Get Up, Stand Up' into the hearts and minds of my cohorts. bob marley is ashing his otherworldly joint in disgust.

watching: 'joe versus the volcano' (really, really not as good as when i was 11.)
reading: 'chocolat,' still. note to self: never watch a movie if you're planning on reading the book. no suspense makes getting to the last page a real drag.
making: that same damn pink scarf. but i got a burst of motivation when i saw this hot girl in a korean music video rocking a very similar one. makes me feel just a little like martha.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

i am pissed

blogger blows.

last night i wrote a touching tribute to the dungeon, from which i have earned a long-awaited furlough. believe me, it was poetic. (or as poetic as i can be about the place.) and blogger fucking dumped me while it was publishing. bastards.

and i would go full-out gangsta about how annoyed i am, both by that as well as the fact that i'm on a girls weekend with 20 people i haven't seen in a long time and it is being destroyed because i am now nocturnal. BECAUSE of the dungeon, may i add. further, it's 3 a.m. and it has taken me 20 min to write this because i'm failing at being noiseless (i don't want these people sleeping 2.5 feet away from me to smother me with a pillow tomorrow morning when i finally fall asleep.) it's the gd spacebar that makes the most ruckus. but i am bored as hell and not sleepy.

believe me, if i had full clacking capabilities, you'd get a better whiff of my angst.

fucking dungeon. torments me even on my days off.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

some good advice

last sunday i went with my mom to a religious thing. it was the same old familiar routine, the same people, the same meet-and-greet at the end (read: collective info-gathering for smack talking later).

i was really tired, having stayed up all night with the copychief drinking wine and seeing the atrocity, 'My Boss' Daughter' on some channel she didn't even know she had. the only reason we hung on was because she had made a prediction, which would have been much better than the actual ending.

anyway, i digress.
one of the teenage family friends gives me a hug hello.

me: 'hey j, good to see you.'

her: 'you too. i haven't seen you in a long time.'

me: 'yeah, i've been really busy lately. what's new?'

her: 'nothing much. spring break is over; i have to go back to school tomorrow.'

me: 'i know, that sucks.'

her: 'are you back in school, too?'

me: 'uh, no. i just pretty much work now.'

her: 'oh yeah, right. okay.'

me: 'um, well, talk to you later.'

her: 'yeah, see ya!'

okay, i've been out of school for like five years. and i've been saying hello to this kid for like 15.

that's fine. i hadn't been there in more than 2 months. and normally i would have let something like this slide, like when i was 19 and someone who really should have known better asked me if i was driving yet.

but the thing is, the last time i was there, the same cute little thing pulled me aside and asked me 20 questions about my job. she explained how she's graduating and applying to all these big-name schools and how she wants to pursue a career in my field. she asked me for some advice.

i was flattered. i reached down deep to give her good tips. stuff that i wished people had told me, like how important it was to have lots of internships and to get a handle on what you were getting yourself into early on (so you don't have to learn about the dungeon when a new coworker says, 'wait, nobody told you about that? heh heh. you'll find out.') and things like investigating if the school has a good program, etc. i spent a good 15 minutes talking to this kid. and i came away from it hoping she'd succeed.

this time i would have asked her how the school application thing was going, but i was so stunned. she had erased that entire conversation from her mind and put me back into a time period during which she was most likely learning how to tie her shoes. c'mon now, i don't look that young.

so i decided, i'm not going to be giving out my hard-earned advice to just anybody who's just going to let it fly out of her head the second i turn around. i'll bet this chick comes back to me for some kind of recommendation in about 4 years. maybe i'll tell her, 'sorry, i'm going to cancun for spring break.'

you know, back in the day, i had hopes for this girl. she really is very cute. she and my brother would have looked really good together, and she's always had a thing for him (they all do). but to be fair, his girlfriend is pretty and she's got a brain in her head, too.

family friends. you gotta love 'em.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

time stops for no college

all this college talk has gotten me thinking of the good old days.

ever notice how 24 hours at school can somehow seem to pack in 48 hours' worth of stuff?
in one day you easily could:
  • * stay up the night before a test, trying to read all the chapters from the last 6 weeks
  • * on the way to the test, run into a boy you had a major crush on in junior high who wants to catch up. you haven't bathed, have on glasses and a baseball cap, and are still wearing your pajama shirt with jeans
  • * fall asleep during the exam and discover the jerk sitting next to you who didn't bother to wake you an hour ago went to your damn high school
  • * have a mild panic attack while making patterns on the answer form because you won't be able to even read all the questions in the ten minutes you have left to finish and you're screwed because you've been skipping this class so a participation-point boost is out of the question
  • * have an epiphany on the bus: the driver knows when to stop when you pull on the yellow cord
  • * sneak into the dorm through the laundry room because your psycho exboyfriend has driven three hours and is sitting on the front steps, stopping everyone you know to find you
  • * scramble to still catch lunch at the dorm only to find out the only things left out are crusty chili and cereal and you've completely missed the chicken fingers
  • * show your friend the hallway you have made a point to routinely walk through in hopes of running into the guy you like who lives there. as you pass by, some other person walking behind you turns to go into your guy's room after hearing your entire conversation. it's his roommate.
  • * go with your roommate to the library to study while she meets a group and put your head down for a nap. hours later you wake up wondering what the hell kind of study group takes this long, only to find she's very nearly called campus police when she didn't see you and you never came home
  • * sneak three tupperwares' worth of homemade chocolate cookies out of the cafeteria after dinner
  • * go to a bar dressed in a tank top and black pants, no coat (febreeze hasn't been invented yet). it's 22 degrees outside.
  • * go to the basement of the afterparty in search of jungle juice and only casually notice that the ceiling is bulging downward in time to the bassbeat
  • * see some skanky broad making out with the guy whose roommate now knows you like him
  • * find someone new to like but spend the entire evening avoiding eye contact
  • * discover some slimy guy has absconded away with your tipsy friend and destroy your buzz in the effort to preserve her dignity, get her sober and home
  • * run into the new boy you like on the way out and blow him off. then obsess about it all the way home
  • * get your fix for latenight grease and the scoop on who hooked up/broke up/shacked up with whom
  • * recap what the new boy you like did and how you handled it. discuss what he was thinking, what you were thinking, what his buddies were thinking, what your friends will think. strategize on the best policy for damage control
  • * have to think fast when your roommate's parents are calling from the lobby and she's at a boy's room in the other tower and would have to pass them to get back -- damn that laundry room is handy
  • * sleep so late that you nearly miss the sun entirely

all of the aforementioned items actually happened to me my first semester (stuff from later involved a great deal more drama that has, over time, become significantly less interesting). granted, they didn't technically happen all in the same day. but they could have.

my list for today will most likely look like this:

  • wake
  • eat
  • dress
  • chat on the phone a few minutes
  • work
  • watch tv
  • sleep

but i'd never want to go back; it just wouldn't be the same.

Monday, April 04, 2005

the big game

i thought by putting distance or baggage between me and the 3 maddest marchmadnessmen i know, i wouldn't catch the fever this year.

yeah, right. and you can just drive past a near-perfect record without trying to catch a glimpse.

we gathered at the bar Saturday. it was packed around the big screens and everyone was jolly. (well, except for day-after-the-dental-prom attendees, who curled up on a couch and caught a nap.)

my st. louis correspondent half-heartedly reported on the mayhem, despite his disdain for the illini.
'it's f-ing nuts down here,' he said. 'if i didn't know better, i'd think i was in freaking champaign.'
he later admitted to joining in the debauchery somewhere on the weekend agenda between 'celebratory 2-year anniversary dinner' and 'girlfriend's birthday,' (the *real* reasons for the trip.) c'mon, man. who are you kidding? no one is immune. but i'll let your nasty comments slide as long as you don't forget to bring me that t-shirt.

another correspondent called in with reports of police presence on every champaign block and efforts to keep campus dry. good luck with that; i'm sure people have heard of a little ol' establishment called Piccadilly Liquor in savoy.

rioting aside, i'm personally rather smug about how they decided to forgo exposing the chief to the nation and spent cameratime on the band instead. wise choice. did you see the guy who shaved his hair into an I-shaped patch? now there's some spirit, yes-we-do.

Talk about slow and steady progress. first they removed the chief's face from locker-room toilet paper. now they're leaving the toe-touching clown at home. hopefully they'll retire its *honorary* culled-together garb and cardio kick routine mockery sometime before 2048.

okay, i'm done. soapbox re-overturned.

i'd like to say the crowd went wild after saturday's win. sure, the I-L-L texts were flying (left hanging for the most part) but it was a pretty mild, self-satisfied reaction overall. maybe we were spoiled by other nail-biter tourney games. or maybe we're old. i'd like to think we're just letting the excitement build until the big game. that and practicing for the fake illness we'll have to call work about the day after the championship.

no, we're old. at least i am. my shoulder is still sore from overexerting myself at air hockey. but i've still got my mad chuck e. cheese skills. bring on the skee-ball, baby.

go illinois.