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No More Sunday Blues
For the first time in over eight weeks I don't have the Sunday Blues -- you know, where you're doing laundry or, more likely, haven't done laundry and are wondering what on earth you'll wear tomorrow, and all of a sudden your two days of freedom are gone and it's back to your office or cubicle and even if you don't mind your job, or heck, even like it sometimes, wouldn't you rather be at home painting your toenails and planning your next getaway to Bora Bora?
But this is my last week of my internship and the Access database is (knock on wood) actually functioning according to spec, so suddenly things are looking up. Blues begone!
Moreover, I had one of the best weekends I have had in a long time. Saturday I got up early and started to work on making Martha Stewart's macaroni and cheese for Karman's birthday party that evening over at Laurie's house. I grated and whisked until I thought my arms would fall off, and I'll have pics for you this week when I get my camera back from Laurie. Apparently, the food coma the mac-n-cheese produced (as well the wonderful burgers Laurie made and my sister's fruit pizza) affected my memory. It couldn't have been the beers I had. Nope. Nuh-uh.
Penny joined me for the crafting madness, and we set up an assembly line for etching more skull-and-crossbones glasses for Karman, who, like Neeta, is a bad-ass with a heart of gold. Then we headed off to Laurie's, armed with the food and libations and present and only an hour late (sorry, Laurie!).
There, we all just sat around and talked, and you know those moments when you look around, and you realize that everyone around you is kind and interesting, and you're talking about Real Life and Culture and Ideas and you're not worried what anyone is thinking about you and you're just enjoying the exchange flowing around you? I know I sound like a dork, but I just love that. This is why when Laurie asked me the other night if I could live anywhere, at any point in time, I said Hemingway's Paris, the Paris of the Lost Generation, 1920s Paris.
Anyhoo, then Sunday Penny and I did some sundries shopping and then saw Wedding Crashers. Penny aptly dubbed it a chick flick in Animal House clothing. It dragged on a bit too long, and really David Dobkin shot his wad way too early with a montage scene in the first 15 minutes of the film. Overall I was entertained, tho. So distracted in fact that when exiting the theater, I managed to drop, NAY, THROW my half-full 86-bazillion-oz. Coke into someone else's row. Minor miracle no one was maimed or at least covered in sugary goodness. Penny really had to pee but I was so embarassed I wouldn't even let her for fear of having to make eye contact with anyone who might have seen the debacle.
However, the humiliation was worth it because there was a previes for a new John LeCarre adaptation coming out -- The Constant Gardener! And to boot, somehow this is one of only two of his books that I haven't read, and yet already own. I started reading it as soon as I got home.
So here I am, taking a break from intrigue in Nairobi to bore you with the details of my weekend, and I am Truly Happy, so happy that even the Sunday Blues can't harsh my mellow. At least for now. And that's all we can ask for, right?
Gerbils, Tigers and Bears, Oh My!
So tonight I went to the first of I'm sure many, many law firm mixers that I'll be attending as I head into the hell otherwise known as Fall On-Campus Interviewing.
Can I tell you that I am, by nature, an oversharer? Also, I am paranoid that at any moment everyone I know will discover I am really a fraud, a sham, a sham! of a human being. So my first instinct when I'm introduced to third-year associates, partners, or the sodium-laden hors d'oeuvres-shuttling wait staff is to say:
"Hi! I'm Jennifer X. I got a C+ in Property. Mmm, these crab puffs are delicious."
And when they ask me what I'm doing this summer, every fiber of my being struggles not to say:
"Why, something totally not law-related and shittily-paying, thanks!"
Don't worry. I am lame, but not a complete nincompoop, so I don't say actually say these things. But I have to fight tooth and nail not to.
What I do do (doodoo, ha! I am five years old!) is give a firm handshake. I can't help it. It's how I was brought up. I often outshake the hand of even the men I shake hands with. While I do not put people in any kind of a vice grip (probably because even if I wanted to I couldn't -- I have the upper-body strength of a gerbil. Except for that one time in my glory days when I beat Urs at a tricep push-up contest.), I like my handshake to say, "Hi! I may be only 5'2" and sound like I'm twelve, but I'm totally Rocky. Eye of the Tiger! Sing it with me, baby!
Anyhoo, this first event has me wondering. I may be smarter than your average bear, but I'm not the smartest person in the world, or even at my own law school (not even close). How on G-d's green earth am I going to find a job? Where is there a place in the legal world for a girl who likes to eat some duck (like Gloria), knit, Talk about Poop sometimes (Jennifer Helen, that is NOT a topic for the dinner table!), pet my cats, watch some HGTV, travel, and contemplate my navel?
This is not looking good, people, NOT LOOKING GOOD! Still, I have to think that somewhere out there, there is a place for me. Somewhere, spaghetti arms oddly juxtaposed against a Blinding Handshake of Fury, a 3.X GPA, friend to the animals, and inappropriate remarks have to spell H-O-M-E.
They're making a Voltron movie! I have no idea who these producers are, but I'm hoping it will be good. I sooo wanted to be Princess Allura growing up. And my heart was totally torn between Lance, Keith, and sometimes even evil Lotor (I know; I had a thing for bad boys even then).
What Do I Want To Be When I Grow Up? A Cat. Or a Retiree. Whichever.
So I told you. Sometimes I am Cherrapunji. Sometimes I am The Atacama of social events. I went out Friday night for Neeta's birthday party, for which I made her some uber-fugly tumblers and iced-tea glasses etched with skull-and-crossbones. Only ugly because Michaels put stupid Etch Bath on sale which means every crafter this side of the Miss'ippi was buying it by the truckload leaving me none, none! for my birthday projects. So I had to make due with my old crap, which meant the skull-and-crossbones looked more like an oatmeal cookie with raisins, but whatever.
Other than that, I have done not much with the weekend aside from retool the summer mix to send out tomorrow and watch some HGTV. Hence my decision to become either a cat or a retiree. Why? I know you are dying to know. Why? WHY? have I decided to become either a cat or retiree? Not a Supreme Court justice? Or his scarily Stepford wife? Not the next Pope?
Because. I have watched The Fred and The Ethel. Let me tell you what these two do all day long:
1. Play with a pipe cleaner that I had planned to use to clean between the front of my oven and the grill, but sacrificed to the greater good when I saw how much Fred loved the sproing! effect.
3. Get petted on.
5. Watch TV. Seriously. BIG fans of The Closer re-runs.
6. Get the Love Glove.
In fact, that picure above is of me already midway through the process of transformation into a cat. Or, alternately titled, That Time I Love-Gloved The Cats And Then Had to Love Glove My Own Pajama Pants To Remove Hairy Side Effects. Penny was there as a witness. She can testify to the necessity of intervention.
As to the retiree desire, I watched this House Hunters episode (my favorite show, despite the fact that I won't be able to afford a house for, oh, say, four years from now), and what the depicted retirees wanted was:
1. A pool.
2. A view of the golf course.
3. A gourmet kitchen.
4. Room for their grandkids to come and stay.
How happy would I be to spend my days golfing with the occasional grandchild to swing by and cook up mad meals and then take in a video? THAT HAPPY, that's how happy. Why can't I retire already?
Ahead of Her Time
Note the ironic trucker hat and 1970s college sports team tee Brie is wearing. She had Aston Kutcher beat by, like, ELEVEN YEARS.
That girl was so fashion-forward she had the balls to wear a beret in her senior photo, a move still contested to this day by her mother for its wisdom. Brie was also the only female in our graduating class to wear the boys' purple graduation gown instead of the virginal white one the rest of us foolio females were stuck with. I don't remember if this was a move of defiance or of fashion, but either way, it rocked.
Brie still rocks fashion-wise (and every other wise); every time I see that girl (clad in Catherine Malandrino, True Religion, etc.) I am struck with the urge to class up and to SHOP.
She still hasn't forgiven me and Kates from moving back to California from NY only a month or two before she moved there from London, but I like to counter that she just took too long to get there. And anyway, it worked out for the best -- i.e., if she'd been hanging out with us girls, she might never have been alone, grabbing a pint after a day of hitting the pavement for work and an apartment, and thus met her boyfriend of, oh, six years now, Mark. Funny how things work out like that. It's all in the timing.
Going on Hiatus
Not from blogging. From dating, thinking about boys, etc. After The Austrian left, I decided I needed to take a little break. Until January 1 at the earliest. Not dating is going pretty well so far. Not dating is:
- Less stressful. No: will he call? will he be there? will he leave? where is this going? why is it not going at all?
- Less expensive. Fewer going-out clothes to be purchased, drinks to be bought, fancy dinners to be eaten.
- Less fattening. Yummy dinners = expanding waistline. Not quite the look I was going for this summer.
- Just as fulfilling. So far on my hiatus I have taken a walk every day, accidentally discovered the Trader Joe's in my neighborhood, walked past Meredith Baxter-Birney eating dinner at Pasta Pomodoro (weird), gone to a baseball game, saw Lindsay Lohan at Marmalade, made some birthday presents, progressed on Urs' scarf, and talked to my family and friends more.
Sure, there's plenty I'll miss. The excitement. The sex. The romance. But that's what romantic comedies are for. Thank goodness for the upcoming Must Love Dogs and its kin. And for AMC Moviewatcher points and student discount. What is better than an evening at the movies with Laurie and/or Penny and $.50 off a combo or $1 MilkDuds? Not much, I tell you. Not much.
So I guess I'm not really taking a hiatus so much as realigning my priorities. Tastes better, more filling.
Summa, Summa, Summa-Time, Time to Kick Back and Unwind
I suddenly realized I'm halfway through the summer and as yet, I have no soundtrack! The horror. I can recount the major albums and mixes in my life for pretty much every season starting in high school. Summer highlights:
- Summer 1994 - Naomi's mom & step-dad's wedding mix tape (REM, Talking Heads, Crowded House, Edie Brickell, etc.)
- Summer 1996 - Best of The English Beat
- Summer 1998 - Paul Simon's Negotiations and Love Songs
- Summer 2000 - Foo Fighters, The Color and the Shape
- Summer 2002 - Pete Yorn's musicforthemorningafter and QOTSA (how freakin' HOTT is Josh Homme)'s R
- Summer 2004 - The Garden State soundtrack and a mix of my own (some Go-Betweens, Joao Gilberto, Notorious B.I.G., Jesus & Mary Chain, etc.)
But somehow, I've been too distracted to get my groove on (or groove back, perhaps) this summer.
And the signs have been pointing to the need for a groove infusion. First, Urs sent me a rockin' mash ups CD (thanks, Urs!). And then this morning on NPR there was a piece on the perfect summer anthem.
So, I've decided to make a mix of my favorite summer tunes.
And if you want a copy, e-mail me your address at email@example.com, and I'll send you a CD! I promise I won't stalk you. I'm too busy stalking my neighbors (see below).
Can I tell you what wack-jobs LA men are? Just look, look! what kind of car is parked in my garage right now.
Because you know, a man in LA might live in an uber-crappy Hollywood apartment complex sans pool or gym, but look, he totally has a Ferrari! And by HAVE I mean, LEASES himself into $20K of debt a year. People are weird here.
As evidence of the uber-crappiness of my apartment complex, I took a break from writing this entry to go water the plants (hello, LA heat wave!). My fab shirtless neighbor was hanging out on the balcony and these are his two cell phone conversations:
Conversation #1: Dude, I need some sleeping pills. (pause). NO! NOT the vicodin. Sle-e-e-eeping pills. I need to sleep. K, I'll be over in 5.
Conversation #2: Hello? Girl, you are at the movie theater? Do you KNOW what time it is? Who are you there with?? (pause). Get home NOW. Be safe. Peace out.
I'm not sure if that was his daughter or his girlfriend (I suspect the former), but either way, I pity da fool that lives with the shirtless wonder.
p.p.p.s. Jen, did you notice how I hyphenated e-mail? Am I not the best future sister-in-law ever?
I AM SURROUNDED BY FREAKS
Ever-lovin', dearly beloved, Harry Potter freakz. Every time I talked to my sister Penny this weekend she was giving me an update on her progress through the 900-bazillion-page latest installment in the Harry Potter series. My brother Jeff has already finished the damn thing and posted on his blog about it. He and his affianced Jen each ordered their own copy so they could read in tandem. And apparently Penny spent half the day hyperventilating and calling my dad to see what page he was on. My dad only got to read it first because he's heading to Monterey this week and GOODNESS KNOWS he couldn't leave without having read it, so my mom has only started it this evening. I would guess she's done already except she goes to bed crazy early and, like me, needs to take breaks from emotionally-draining entertainment.
To be sure, I haven't read any of the series, nor have I seen the movies. But I really don't think I will because when people tell you something is SO AMAZING it might CHANGE YOUR LIFE, your first reaction is, "Really? Because while life kind of sucks right now, I'm pretty sure I prefer a Known Quantity."
So I guess I'll sit idly by and watch the Harry Potter phenomenon engulf my family.
Still, judge not lest ye be judged. While I didn't spend the entire weekend on the couch reading and occasionally shifting position lest a butt check go numb, I did let my own freak flag fly (thank you, Laurie -- one of the most useful expressions I've picked up from you over the years). Because on Sunday I spent NINE HOURS cleaning one room of my apartment this weekend. NINE HOURS cleaning one 15x20" room.
Apparently, what happens when a relationship ends* is that you suddenly get this urge to CLEAN. Clean LIKE NO MAN HAS EVER CLEANED BEFORE (although, ahem, perhaps this is not saying much. Except my brother, who is a one-man cleaning machine. Go, Jeffy!).
And when you're totally po' because you just spent $3700 on your cat and are making crap money at your non-law-related, Access-database-building internship, this urge might also be coupled with the urge to find ugly shit you can pawn off on unsuspecting fools at an upcoming yard sale. One woman's trash is another woman's treasure and all that.
Thus, I cleaned out EVERYTHING. And I discovered the most amazing thing! You learn stuff, important stuff, when you read US Weekly. Like that rolling your clothes up in balls makes for compact storage! I know I should have paid attention when Gloria had all her stuff rolled up for packing, but apparently it took Scarlett Johansson's tip in Us (or was it Star?) for me to sit up and pay attention. And just look, look! at my pajama drawer.
Is that heaven or what?
Of course, Fred & Ethel helped a lot during the cleansing process.
So I'm not sure which is worse, obsessive reading of books marked Ages 9-12 or thinking that three pairs of wrinkled khakis from 1999 are going to go like hotcakes at the yard sale. But either way, I'm just glad the whole family got to revel in freakdom this weekend.
*By which I mean, The Austrian is back in Vienna now. We spent our last evening together at Miceli's, the cheesiest Italian restaurant in the world. I chose it because it was light-hearted and yet darkly-lit. Which is good for The Crying. Luckily, I wasn't the only one who got misty-eyed, so I didn't feel as bad. But see how cute we were? Sigh. Yay for the distraction of cleaning!
Me: Questions. You: Answers?
Perhaps you can answer the immortal questions:
- Is a walk-in psychic a profitable enterprise?
- Why do people react to mayonnaise with such vitriol?
- What makes a man decide to grow a moustache?
- Will I ever see The Austrian again?
- What was the impetus behind California Civil Procedure Section 726? Nevermind.
- If I hear my Total Tool cubicle-mate make one more joke about how he hasn't given his new mattress the full trial run yet, will I throttle him?
- Speaking of which, what do your cats think when you're having sex?
- What classes should I take next semester?
- Will I ever be one of those women whose hair is always neat, clothes pressed, home clean?
- How are there already so many 6 Series on the road in LA? I passed, like, 8 on my way home!
- Does Brad Pitt really have viral meningitis, or just a bad case of the clap (thank you, Angelina)?
- Why can't I make this #%*&# Access form work?
- Why is it that cheese, no matter what form (queso fresco, brie, gouda, Mandy Moore movies, loud ties) ALWAYS puts me in a good mood?
So, if you've got answers, I'm listening! Please don't say 42.
What Would You Do If Someone Told You YOUR PATIO WAS ON FIRE?
a) Scramble to find the nearest water source for dousing the flames.
c) Stand there and stare at it.
If you were any sane person, of course you would say a) or b). Or maybe a) AND b). But then, you aren't my neighbor, are you?
I am leaving my apartment this morning, a little late as usual, and my hallway smells like smoke. So I wander around, smelling people's doors for a bit. I can't leave my apartment knowing little Fred & Ethel could be engulfed in a great fire ball at any moment.
So finally I make it out to the courtyard, where I see smoke BILLOWING (ok, maybe it wasn't billowing. but it was definitely heading aggressively skyward) up from someone's patio planter. So I go to the door of said lessee of patio and knock. No answer -- although I can hear him yapping inside. I wait. I wait some more. Finally I ring the doorbell. I hear him tell whoever he's yapping to on the phone, "Ugh. Hold on. Apparently someone else doesn't mind bothering me at 7:30 in the morning either." Um, no, no I don't. Not when your PATIO IS ON FIRE.
He peeks out, like "Yeeeesss?"
Me: I'm sorry to bother you, but your patio is on fire.
Me: Would you like to see it?
We walk (well, I walk; he saunters) out to the courtyard where he can see, indeed, that his patio is ON FIRE.
Him: Hm. Well, I don't know how that happened.
Me: (Stare at him in disbelief that he is not immediately running indoors to find something, anything! to put it out.)
Him: I mean, I smoke out here but I throw my butts away. Maybe someone upstairs threw something down here.
Me: (Continue to stare in shock).
Him: (Looks right back at me, deciding I guess if it was worth coming out of the coffin for this).
Me: Um, do you have a hose?
Me: (Waiting for him to suggest an alternative. I dunno, bong water, Diet Peach Snapple, anything.)
Him: I guess I have some water, though.
Me: Great, OK!
At this point I left because no matter how big of a fucking freak this guy was, there's no way he was going to just let this thing burn forever. I'm sure he's got a cape, some porn, a hostage, SOMETHING in that apartment he doesn't want to burn.
Man, what with the beatings and the fire, I am soooo wishing I didn't just renew my lease. Surely there has to be some apartment complex somewhere where people are, I dunno, HUMAN. Responsive to the possibility that THE ENTIRE APARTMENT COMPLEX COULD BURN DOWN. Or that some woman is facing the flat side of a man's hand. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE???
The fool who said you shouldn't scratch a peeling sunburn is plum don' WRONG. When I wake up at 3 o'clock in the AM with my back and legs feeling like they're covered in a colony of fire ants, WHAT I NEED is to be alone, naked, IN A BIRCH FOREST. Or with a brillo pad. Whatever.
I swear. When it comes to social engagements, when it rains, it pours. And when it doesn't, I'm in a social Death Valley where I start to wonder, "Did I somehow alienate everyone I know? Is it because I talked about poop that one time?" This week thankfully felt more like Cherrapunji than The Atacama.
Tuesday was going to be a happy hour, but then my neighbor upstairs decided to beat the shit out of his girlfriend and I had to stay home and wait for the cops to get there and make sure he didn't kill her in the interim. Which was, btw, what she kept telling him to do between sobs. "Just kill me, just kill me." Never. Heard. Anything. So. Appalling. Ever.
Wednesday was Wicked with friends from law school (totally rocked). And Thursday my sister Penny joined Laurie and I at the WeHo SnB. Laurie has pics.
Friday I took a break from activity to spend some quality time with the cats. I still wonder if all the going out I did last semester, besides contributing to my less-than-stellar grades, also spawned Ethel's anorexia.
Saturday I spent what I thought was going to be the last day and night ever with The Austrian. We had the full-on OC experience. First, Laguna Beach, where Laurie called me to remind me not to marry him just so he'd stay. An unnecessary warning, but I think when she was reading the coverage of the Bennifer2 nupitals she realized that desperate times occasionally send even the usually sane to the altar.
Then onto South Coast Plaza for some shopping, and then onto Sushi Shibucho, per Gloria and DDJ's recommendation. I had never tried omakase before, and I feared a Horrible Mistake Had Been Made when the first dish came out. Great, The Austrian's last night and we're eating roadkill. But after that the chef sent out an amazing selection of nigiri and we left happy.
Mmm, all hail Sushi Shibucho.
I am so happy there is no more dead bird.
And full. Oh so full. So full I barely made it through Assault on Precinct 13. I tried to make The Austrian watch The Sound of Music because I like to think of him as my own Captain Von Trapp and plus, how do you solve a problem like Maria? But he wasn't buying.
So there you go. I'm sure next week will be The Saharan, but this week was Kauai.
Happy Fourth of July!
I haven't actually managed one cohesive Fourth-of-July-type event this weekend. However, I think I've hit all the Independence Day essentials:
1. Dining Al Fresco
On Saturday The Austrian and I ate out on my patio. That counts, right?
2. Fire Gone Awry
During dinner, a candle exploded. And also, I set off my smoke alarm. Really.
Unfortunately, because I AM LAME, I did not take any pictures of the food, only remembering to document the festivities the next morning. I made grilled salmon marinated in soy sauce, brown mustard and fresh ginger, a curried dried cranberry couscous and haricot vers sauteed in sesame seeds and sesame oil. Yum.
The Morning After: The aftermath of the candle explosion.
Leftover couscous. It was actually really good, though it don't look so pretty in a big blob in my mixing bowl.
Here's where I tried to get all arty with the camera and failed.
3. A Day at the Beach = I Am a Mottled Lobster
On Sunday I headed to the beach and apparently applied sunscreen very haphazardly because look! look! at my leg and back.
Ugh. I don't even want to know how the bizarre tan lines on my legs will turn out. When I went to Rio a couple years ago, I did the same thing and had a handprint tan line on my stomach for months. Lovely.
4. All-American Eatin'
Tonight I'm headed over to Laurie's for some fried chicken (soaked in buttermilk, mmm, buttermilk) and I'm sure some Bud Light or at least some iced tea.
p.s. In other news, on Thursday I got to meet Gloria of Vers L'Absurde! We met at 4100, and before she got there, the barkeep asked me if I was waiting for someone and was it an Internet (look, Jen, I capped that just for you) date? I was like, close -- a fellow blogger! But it was really a little nervewracking, just like waiting for a blind date. Luckily Gloria turned out to be pretty much exactly like I expected from her blog. That is to say she was fun, funny, and full of strong opinions and entertaining stories. And also, I had no idea to expect as to what she looked like she doesn't post pics to her blog, but she is a gorgeous girl, and LA men are lucky to have her. I'm not so sure that she'll end up thinking the same about LA men (this city is particularly full of commitment-phobic turds, I find), but I know she'll have fun in the process. I can't wait til she gets here for good!
I'm Pretty Sure It Should Be the Next National Holiday
No, you don't think so?
Well, you at least have to agree with me that an AW says more about the heart of the person doing the appreciating than about the person they're appreciating. Urs rocks.