Friday, April 17, 2009

under the sea

It was a dream wedding, except for the fact that I was literally wearing a mermaid dress. I must have gotten drunk and gone dress shopping at that costume store on 4th ave. It even came with a sea foam tulle train. AND a butterfly tiara that was too heavy to stay on my head (if it did, it would have given me an extra eight inches). The whole wedding was mortifying. And then afterward I had to run into the vestibule to get undressed because my parents' next door neighbor wanted to wear the same dress in her wedding, too. Tacky is contagious.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


A bunch of famous American actresses ignited a huge controversy state-side when they all posed topless for a Dutch breast cancer awareness campaign. The actresses included the entire cast of The Women, which I hear was just awful. The American media went to town, reprinting the Dutch poster with all of the nipples blacked out, with the glaring exception of Michelle Pfeiffer's left breast. Scandal!

Monday, April 13, 2009

the internet is not your friend

I was getting some tests done. It was a very thorough assessment, with a physical as well as a bunch of multiple-choice exams. Along the way, one of the computers in the testing facility got a crush on me. But it wasn't one of those cute wall-e "awww" crushes. This computer was a creepy little perv. He would re-arrange monitors to look up my skirt and insert inappropriate personal questions in the tests. Eventually, I took to hiding behind the test administrators so the computer couldn't see that I was in the room.

That whole ordeal went on much longer than I'd planned, so that I was late getting back to Troy to play tennis with an old college professor. He was very upset. He kept saying, "Tell me what time it is. Tell me what time it is," and "I've had enough of this!" He didn't really make any sense, but still, I felt bad. I claimed I didn't get any cellular service on the highway back from the testing facility, but really I'd just forgotten to call.

So we never did get around to playing tennis. I walked home to my parents' house, running into Rory Gilmore along the way. Or maybe it was the actress who plays her. Anyway, she was getting out of a cab, and I made fun of her for always taking cabs home, and she said, "Fuck you, I'm Rory Gilmore."

I was not making anyone happy. I ended up at some hippie retreat on a bunch of volcanic rock formations with my run club. The rocks were uneven and difficult to navigate, but these stupid local kids were just sprinting along, falling head-first every twenty feet and picking themselves back up, apparently with no major injuries. My friend Steve was trying to figure out where we were with his fancy GPS watch, but it wasn't getting any service. Then his friend managed to rig it up so that all the wireless internet in the general vicinity was rerouted to this watch. Electromagnetic waves made the air around Steve's wrist pulse like it was pavement on a summer day. I know none of this makes any sense technologically. But all of that internet in one place made me worried that my computer stalker was going to track me down, so I took off into the volcanic hills.

Monday, April 6, 2009

tell me if you've seen this one

In a hybrid knock-off of both Dawn of the Dead and The Road, I once again found myself in a post-apocalyptic future. After all the zombies gave up and died again, we ventured out of the mall and started heading south. The street was full of people either running for their lives or running a marathon, and we joined the race. Zombie corpses littered the median and the sidewalks. Eventually we hit Florida, which was just as swampy and mosquito-infested as ever. A new hippie society had developed. It mostly involved people being naked and itchy, sitting around under the trees and letting their armpit hair grow long. My brother and I were being eaten alive (by mosquitoes, not those creepy cannibals from The Road), but then we met this random old couple with a Winnebago and a life supply of Off. Off is so wonderfully amazing. I love it. It made the shitty future at least semi-bearable.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

sliding doors

Two things were happening at the same time.

I was in a fancy liquor store with Joe, doing a fancy whiskey tasting. It was $25 for five strange whiskeys. One was extracted from acai. One was grown out of rock crystals. One was a pile of dark black pebbles that turned out to be the magic tea we needed to contain the evil water god we had set loose earlier in the evening, reducing her to nothing more than a small babbling brook.

But I was also on a high school orchestra trip, doing the whiskey tasting in a store that was part liquor store, part gambling den, part Ikea, with the little sister of a bass player in my year. It wasn't actually that guy's little sister, though. That girl's body had recently been re-inhabited by the former best friend of that girl's best friend after the latter died in an unfortunate accident that no one knew about but me, and I only knew because the girl living inside that girl's body had just told me. Needless to say, I was confused, and kept trying to get her to explain as we sipped our whiskey, but she couldn't because the best friend in question was standing right next to us.

In the first version of things, Joe and I ended up in the liquor store after tricking the water god into entering a cave intended for the new chimpanzee at the zoo next door. We then blocked the cave with a large pile of rocks, but we knew she would get out eventually. I'm not sure how the god got loose in the first place. I may or may not have accidentally invoked her earlier in the evening while riding the commuter train. But I knew that if we smuggled out enough of this black pebble tea, and either steeped and drank it or smoked it, possibly while reciting some sort of incantation, the god would be sealed into the chimpazee cave for some time period short of eternity but long enough that we wouldn't have to worry about it in our great-great grandchildrens' lifetimes.

In the other version that was happening at the same time, this second violin player I hated plopped down between me and the re-inhabited girl. "Can I borrow twenty-five dollars?" the annoying violin player asked. The girl, who was much too nice now that she was this other girl, took out the money, no questions asked. Before she could hand it over, I insisted on asking what the money was for. "Gambling," the violin asshole said, with a smug smile. "I already lost a hundred! I have to keep going." I refused to let the girl give her the money, and the violin player pouted and told me I was a bitch before storming off to the linens department.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

spa fail, work fail

My friend Julie and I wanted to lose some weight, so we signed up for this sleep-away spa where they use industrial floor polishers to buff the fat right off you. I know, it sounds like a bad idea. I realized this when they were halfway through my calves and accidentally sanded through to bone. I threatened to sue, and they refunded the money for the rest of the treatments, but I was limping for the rest of the weekend.

At work on Monday, I was assigned to write the next edition of our division's newsletter. The previous edition was mostly about cute cats. I wasn't sure where to start. I thought I had a pretty good first page going, about the impact of the financial crisis on our industry, but all the publicity assistants came over to my computer and made fun of it. I started researching other cute animals, preferably ones wearing clothing.

Friday, April 3, 2009

things we lost in the fire

I got invited to the birthday party of this girl who worked at the place where I used to volunteer, and decided to hell with it, I was going. Also, it was being held in my parents' fancy New York penthouse apartment, so it was pretty convenient for me.

The party was actually fun. I confessed to one of the other volunteers that I was sure everyone there hated me for not volunteering anymore. "Yeah, most of them do," he said, "but I knew you didn't really fit in there anyway." Just then, there was this loud noise in the kitchen. Something on the stove was on fire. Most of the party paid no attention as the flames grew and spread.

"We have to get out of here!" I screamed. I tried to corral the party-goers toward the door, but they were having none of it. Finally, my brother and I made a run for the exit. We got to the sidewalk just as the top of the building blew off in an explosion of flames. The entire floor of my parents' apartment was made of glass, which rose up into the air in one giant sheet and then shattered against the night sky.

Our parents hadn't been at the party, and we didn't know where to find them. We were also very upset. So my brother and I decided to go get some hot chocolate. My brother had a gift card for Starbucks. While we drank the hot chocolate, we brainstormed ways to help our parents find us, seeing as our cell phones were lost in the fire. We settled on putting "Mom, Dad, call me!" in our gchat profiles. I know that's really dumb, but listen, we had just been through an ordeal.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

this has all happened before

It was high school and college graduation all over again at the same time. The night before I dropped my parents and my brother off at their hotel and took the car (magically transformed into the old Dodge Caravan) around the old neighborhood. As I drove by the house on Witherbee, I got a call from a friend who wanted a recommendation of where to take his boyfriend on a date in Birmingham. I told him I'd have to think about that, and in the meantime decided to head over to Birmingham myself and take in a movie. It was almost 2 am when I remembered to call that guy, and by then he and his boyfriend had broken up and he was a big slobbery sobbing mess, so I took him along to the next movie with me to cheer him up.

Luckily, the first event the next day was the band and orchestra awards ceremony, part 2, which I was already planning to use as nap time. (They gave out so many awards to the band and orch kids that they had to break it up into an evening gala, which I'd skipped, and a standard ceremony in an auditorium.) I was super bored and didn't see anyone I knew. I took out a twenty dollar bill and was going to ask the middle-aged man next to me to do something with it. Maybe it was going to be a bet or something, to make me less bored. But at that moment the marching band started a number and I was transfixed by the chubby flag girls. When I looked over, the man was pocketing my twenty!

"Hey, is that your twenty?" I asked him.

He said, "Oh, I thought you wanted me to have it." He gave it back, but then he thought we were flirting, which was awkward. Joe started calling my name from the other side of the auditorium, and I slid over to talk to him over everyone's head. I'm not sure why he was there. He was in band, but at a different high school. Still, it was good to see a friendly face.

Before I could figure it out, we all filed out to head over to the actual graduation ceremony, which was taking place at a highway toll booth in the Appalachian mountains. The teachers lined us up in rows like cars waiting to pay the toll, then we marched through to the other side to listen to the speakers. The first speaker was this guy who lived down the street and was really into biking. He may also have been a priest, judging by his collar. But he didn't bother to prepare a speech, so after a minute he started going, "umm, ummm," and got really mad at us when we stopped paying attention. The next speaker was supposed to talk inside the highway patrolman's office as we chowed down on refreshments. No one listened to her, either, and I felt bad because she was actually very good, and she had made grilled corn and chocolate truffles for us.

Then my cousin Tricia showed up, and told me I was about to lose my job at The Globe and Mail if I didn't organize a techno dance party immediately. I didn't realize I had a job there, but I also didn't want to lose it, so I rounded up six of my graduating friends and told them the rules. We had to stay within a 6'x6' dancing box, and no one could stop dancing, not even for a second. Someone cued up an Erasure remix and we were on our way.