Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Mindless Birthday Yodeling

Every year, around my birthday, I get very introspective and take inventory on my life and the progress I've made during the year.  And when I think about my progress it always helps me to visualize the yodeler game on "The Price is Right" where the little German man slowly makes his way up the mountain. This fits because to me there is no better metaphor for life than a mountain nor for me than a tiny German man. But anway,  because my birthday falls around Labor Day, thus around the close of summer, to me it seems to mark a year better than New Year's Eve.    Nothing feels like it's starting in January, especially in Ohio where it's balls cold and depressing and bleak as soon as Christmas decorations come down.   To me, summer always marked a happy ending and then with the new school year, fall seemed like an optimistic beginning.  So, September 3rd seemed like as good a time as any to think about my life and make "resolutions" of sorts.

Very similar to me. 

I've had some bad birthdays.   Milestone birthdays epecially tend to be bleak for me.     I broke up with my first love a few days after my 18th birthday.  He bought me an ice cream scoop when I had hinted (and come on, I'm not a subtle hinter, he knew) for jewelry. Which to me, sends the message, "I don't think you deserve something pretty, but hey Fatass, I know you like icecream..." He also left my party to go buy a new car and then disapeared to go show it off to people, leaving me feeling like an afterthought.  

On my 21st birthday I got the stomach flu a few days prior and could barely eat.  The idea of a blow-out party with alcohol seemed impossible, but I tried to rally anyway, and my flu-ravaged body couldn't handle even a normal amount of alcohol so I ended up blacking out at 11pm.  And even though most people black out on their 21st, it wasn't a vegas-y, "The Hangover," fun-party, kind of blackout, it was more like what happens after squeemish people donate blood.

And then there's this year.   It isn't a milestone or anything, but it is the first year I've felt like an adult. And when I take inventory, I feel pretty optimistic about the coming-year. I seem to keep yodeling up that moutain...  And looking back, I really don't have regrets.  22 wasn't that bad, but 23 feels like it's going to be amazing.  Even though according to the Lily Allen song, "22," everything goes downhill from here.     

There have been a lot of changes for me this year.  While some of my peers have gotten married, bought houses, or had babies, I instead, ended my first adult relationship, leased an apartment, and adopted a kitten.  I also bought my first car with my first ever adult pay check from my first ever adult job.  Since I'm not great with change, the culmination of all these things within the last three months should have sent me into a drug-laden tailspin or a homicidal rage--but instead I think I've handled it pretty well.   There was definitely a period where I was bored and lonely.  I saw my whole life in front of me; stuck in a monotonous job, seeing the same people everyday, following the same tired routine, falling asleep at 10pm and then starting all over again.   But I don't think that's going to be the case anymore. 

I think I'm gong to figure out how to not suck at my job.  I think I'm going to stop trying to acquire Mad Men-esque Betty Draper cooking skills because honestly, who the fuck cares if the cake is homemade or Betty Crocker as long as it tastes good?  I think I'm going to try new things, like karoke singing or using Finish dishwasing packs instead of Cascade gel because even though it's a little more expensive, I deserve my dishes to be spakling clean.  I am also going to stop worrying if I have food on my face and just assume I do.   And mostly, I think I'm going to keep just being myself.   A tiny little German yodeler, pluggin' his way up the mountain. 

Monday, August 29, 2011

Weekend Update

Since I know all of you are absolutely riveted by the goings on in my life, I thought I'd provide you with a brief catch-up on my weekend.

Things that happened Friday:
1.  I was cranky because of lack of sleep/guilty conscience due to fire (see previous blog entry)
2.  My stress ball deflated (see saddest, most ridiculous thing in all the universe)
3.  I consumed two watery bloody marys and then bemoaned the lack of necessary amounts of vodka to help me deal with items 1 and 2.

Things that happened Saturday:
1.  I got a massage!   It was devine, except that the masseuse said he couldn't believe the amount of knots I had in my back and shoulders and asked if I had an "inordinate amount of stress."  I think that was a tactful way of asking if I was a neurosurgeon, stripper, or a similarily taxing profession.   No, sir, I'm just as neurotic as a character in a Woody Allen movie and this translates into muscle-clenching.
2. I got to see my mom and dad in Columbus for coffee.  They are the best people in the world, and I'm always instantly comforted by the way my mom smells and my dad's "weekend casual" untucked shirts and the way he cannot figure out the difference between my mom's "skinny vanilla tall latte" and my "grande latte with skim". 
3.  I went to a comedy club and was called up on stage and by called up, I mean I said, "I have something really cool I think people should see," and then I proceded to do my Jurassic Park spitting dinosaur impression under the spotlight.  I was told, "it would be really great to your swallowing dinosaur" to which I said, "I bet it would."   Apparently older drunk men love me--after the show I got a lot of, "hey Annie, you were hilarious" and even creepier, "Annie, you have hot legs."   Thanks, nasty drunk man, I'll put that in my pocket for a rainy day.

Things that happened yesterday:
1.  A longer than maybe is ok spooning session with my cat in bed.
2. Reading in a lounge chair by the pool and realizing that as summer closes, my usual shade of white is only half a shade darker but significantly more freckled (so, I'm counting it as a win).
3.  2 hours of work at which I was so mentally furious that I think my negative cosmic energy jinxed something because it ended up being unecessary and unproductive.
4.  An attack of fall allergies which left me wheezing and red-eyed and puffy.   After locating Zyrtec things improved significantly while I
5. watched netflix in bed and fell asleep at like 10pm.

That's my recap, how was your weekends, ya'll?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Fire

Last night I was unceremoniously woken from my usual work-induced stress dream by a high frequency buzzing.   My first thought was that my cat had clawed at my ear and punctured my eardrum--which believe me, wouldn't be beyond the realm of possibility.  It took me a few groggy seconds to realize the noise was coming from the hallway and was in fact, my buildings fire alarm.

My experience with fire alarms going off in the middle of the night is not unimpressive.  In college, our dorm room had a hair-trigger fire alarm that was often activated by illegal hot-pocket microwaving or more likely, bathroom pot-smoking.   It went off three or four times that year in the middle of the night, and I, with my Bear Grylls-esque survival instincts would all but stop-drop-and-roll out the door, grabbing nothing, sometimes even forgetting important things like shoes or keys.    I blame all those years of elementary school lecturing about "taking nothing" if there was a fire.   "Nothing?" I would ask.   "Nothing, " it was confirmed.   So thanks to the Ohio public school systems, I once hopped from one bare foot to the other in the parking lot of my college dorm, in 40 degree weather because shoes would have counted as "something."

This time, however,  I had a little more presence of mind.   I put on pants.  I grabbed my cellphone and wallet.   But then I saw my cat.    Should I take her?   I figured it was a false alarm, and since Gracie is an illegal squatter in my apartment, I didn't want management knowing there was, in fact, a cat residing with me.   Also, I didn't have a kitty carrier, and I figured she would die literally if she ran away, causing me to die emotionally, because like me, she's a bolter, but also like me, she is an "indoor" girl with no survival instincts of any kind.  I imagined her running away only to be raped by a tomcat and then eaten by a raccoon (I often also am afraid of this scenario when I'm outside).   I decided to let her stay in the apartment.

When I got into the stairwell, however, I knew this wasn't a drill.  It reeked of smoke, and as soon as I got downstairs I saw firemen running in, full gear on, axes in hand.   A lady franticly grabbed a fireman and said, "Would you go get my son?  He's still inside!"   I was extremely tempted to swat the woman aside and say, "Fuck your son, my cat's in there!" I resisted this urge.  The fireman explained to the woman that all floors but the fourth were fine--and that we would be allowed back in shortly.  I relaxed a little.  Ok, so no big deal.    But then time passed.   A good amount of time.  And we weren't being allowed back in. Smoke was pouring out of the building. I started to worry even more about Gracie.    Would she die of smoke inhalation?   Why was I the worst pet owner in the world?   Should I send someone after her?  Would they laugh at me for being concerned about a cat?   This was too much for me to take in the middle of the night.   I tried to lay down in my car and maybe snooze a little, but I couldn't because it sucks balls to try and sleep in a car and also because a lot was weighing on my mind.

Finally, they told us we could go back inside--everyone but those living on the fourth floor.   Because I live on the fifth floor, however, when I went up the stairwell I could smell the smoke and the chemicals of the fire extinguisher...or the chemicals of the meth lab that started the fire in the first place.   Nothing would surprise me.  When I got into my apartment, the smell was still in the air, but I couldn't tell if it was just burned into my nose memory or it actually got into my apartment.   And then there was Gracie.  Now, you can say I'm crazy, but I swear to God she looked at me like Michael Corleone looked at Fredo.   "I know what you did,"  she seemed to say.   "That's right, bitch, I know.  And it breaks my heart.   And also, I'm going to pee in your mouth while your asleep to punish you."  I picked her up and cuddled with her and told her I was so sorry and I would have sent someone if I really thought I needed to.   But her eyes pretty much said, "Bitch, don't even start."  

So to summarize: no sleep, possibly homicidal cat, and the crippling fear that my neighbors downstairs are meth addicts who will one day finish us all in a lab explosion.  Sadly, it's not even the worst night I've ever had.  Not even my worst night this month.   Yeah, think about that.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Back to School

One of the cool things about my job is that I get to go into elementary schools and try and get little kids jazzed and that I also get to go to universities and try to get college kids to volunteer.  Today both of these things were on my agenda, and it was my first time doing either, so I woke up this morning pretty excited about my day.  I love thinking that only a year ago I was a student going back to school, and here I am now, with a new car, new apartment, and professional job.  I put on my prettiest professional black dress--one with huge red flowers on a black background and imagined that I was very imposing and authoritative.   Indeed, I already felt pretty badass and adult driving in my Acura, Starbucks coffee in hand.  I was in such a good mood driving to work that I rolled the windows down and  sang along with the radio to Tom Petty's, "Don't do me like that."   My mood wasn't even dampened when a homeless man decided to join in the chorus from the sidewalk.     One thing, however, that did dampen my mood happened when I pulled up to the parking guard's station at U. D.

"Are you a student," he asked.   "No, sir," I said.   Meaning, "obviously not, I am a professional woman of the world."  "High school?"  He guessed.   Well, fuck.   Here I was, feeling professional and important and the stupid security guard thinks I'm fifteen.  "Uh, no, I actually just graduated from U.D. in May,"  I replied icily hoping to at least make him feel bad, and then realizing that I'm a bad person for actively trying to make someone else upset.   But, he was oblivious.   "Haha, shoot," he chuckled.  "You look like a baby."   Ok, asshole, you look like a fifty year-old man who works as a rent-a-cop.

Anyway,   I was only slightly shaken by that professional hiccup and I strutted across the campus, smiling at passersby, realizing that since I was a) not wearing sweatpants and b) not hungover at 10am, I obviously differentiated myself from the students.  My presentation went well and I was drunk with power being able to leave after I got my speech, instead of staring desperately and waiting for the period to end like I was doing as recently as April.

The elementary school, however, was a completely different experience.   I haven't been in elementary school forever, and I'm going to be honest, I was a little creeped out by how tiny the kids were.   I started giving my presentation in the 4th grade classroom and I almost asked if they put with the kindergartners because they all looked like infants.   Aren't kids supposed to be in puberty by 4th grade because of all the hormones we put in milk or something?  I definitely wore a bra in fourth grade.   These kids were so alarmingly tiny I think a diaper would have been less shocking than a bra.   But speaking of milk, the whole school reeked of chocolate milk and hot dogs since it was just after lunchtime, and I was finding it difficult not to gag on the oxygen.  Anyway, I was getting ready to address them as ladies and gentleman, but then I realized that was stupid since their teacher two seconds earlier referred to them as, "boys and girls."  When I followed her lead, however, the worlds sounded hollow in my mouth and I was reminded of my terrible crusty-bitch art teacher from first grade.   However, I said, "Hey boys and girls, how are you today,"  and they screamed back at me, "GOOOOD!"   And then I realized, they were enthusiastic because I was enthusiastic.  So I switched up my approach.   Instead of telling them anything that contained any sort of information, I just spoke in my"perky" voice reserved for cheerleading camp and talking to mean receptionists, and said buzzwords like, "cool," and "Girls Rule!" There was much fist pumping and and cackling with glee so I think I was a success.  Also, a little girl told me she liked my dress and that it was, "totally pretty."   Win.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Big Trouble

It occurred to me lately that some of the things I used to relish, aren't as much fun now that I'm allowed to do them.  For instance, last night I had a late meeting at work.  I finished up at about 8:30 and was getting ready to drive home when I decided, "I want a beer instead."  So I went to my favorite local bar and ordered a drink.   And no one stopped me.   No one pulled me aside and said, "Annie, this is a school night, you shouldn't be drinking!"  and no one said, "For God sakes girl, your tummy, ass and thighs don't need a wheat beer--get an MGD 64 instead."   No one.   And as I snuck back to my apartment at around 10:30 at night, no one asked me where I'd been or why I smelled like construction workers, grease, and beer (which is basically how the bar in question smells).  And then I looked at my little one-bedroom apartment, and I felt little lonely, so I texted my neighbor and asked if he wanted to hang out and drink yet another beer with me.   Again, no one asked what I thought I was doing, staying up so late on a work late, or didn't I think I'd had enough alcohol for one evening...and it somehow made drinking on the balcony with my neighbor a little less awesome.

I remember in high school as much of a loser as I was, it still gave me a little thrill to be able to bend the rules or do somehting forbidden.   I took a puff of the high school drama star's cigar (who I had a crush on at the time and has since, SUPRISE SUPRISE turned out to be a homosexual) at the cast party my freshman year of high school and I remember defiantly gagging on it, while others looked on shocked.  The next couple of days I was afraid someone might "tell" and I would lose my scholar athlete designation (which obviously would have ruined the rest of my life) but it was a thrilling fear, though, like being on a rollar coaster or eating fish tacos from a street vendor. And I have to say, while I'm pretty glad I have a nice apartment all to myself, there is nothing like kissing goodnight a little too passionately in the car, the gear shift jabbing your spleen, and worrying your dad heard the car pull-up and is wondering why it's taking you so long to get inside.  Now the only authority figure in my life is my cat--and while she definitely gives me accusatory glances when I come home late, mostly it's because she wants her cat food and not because she's capable of invoking Catholic-guilt.  

No one tells you this about adulthood.  The things you scheme and imagine doing when you're sixteen years old aren't actually the things adults do.  And it never occurs to you at 16 that part of being an adult is buying a plunger at Walgreen's or registering your car at the DMV.  AND even more upsetting, when you do do (haha do do) what you dreamed of doing it's not as much fun because there's no one there to tell you "no".   I could literally stay up all night and eat dorrittos and little debby snack cakes except I can't stay up all night because I get sleepy at about 11 on weekends and I'd have a sugar hangover at work the next day.

But, just to prove I still got it--I wrote this blog at work.  Take that establishment!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Shitty Week Blues

This has been a shit week.  My boyfriend of six months and I broke up.  It was a long time coming, but that doesn't mean it's easier.  I suppose if I was a better person this is where I would list a dozen cliches and euphemisms like; "it's a new beginning" or "I believe everything happens for a reason."    And I do believe both of those statements.  But that doesn't in any way take away from the profound, overarching truth.  This was a shit week.  And I don't particularly feel like being brave and reasonable right now.  I alternately feel like party-rebelling like a Ke$ha song or a Brat Pack film--or throwing a coffee cup through the window or pounding my fists against the floor and sobbing.

And at the risk of sounding self-ingulgent, I also think that's beautiful.   Human beings aren't rational (which is why I always thought econ was a crock of shit, "assuming humans are rational... " which is like basing a field of study on the assumption that crickets can breakdance).  I'm rational some of the time--like when I decide really the dry-shampoo isn't cutting it and I should probably hop in the shower--but other times I'm operating on a cocktail of estrogen and Russ-women chutzpa.   It wouldn't be a "confession" to tell you I've thought this through and everything is for the best--it would be propaganda.    I have thought it through AND I do think it's for the best, but that doesn't change the fact that I'm not fully on board.   I'm human.  I can know it's for the best and still think it wouldn't have had to be for the best if it could have been better at the time.   I'm not beyond shoula, coulda, woulda's, and I'm not beyond belting Adele in my car as a coping mechanism.  And that's good.   Because now we all know I'm not a fembot (which, based on my breasts, I could have told you anyway...)

So, ok.   I said it.    I haven't written all week because I felt I was lacking in inspiration, but instead because I needed to give myself time to be sad, time to hibernate, time to angry---and now I'm ready to be myself again.   I'm actually proud of myself for not issuing a kind of press release; "I'm fine, nah nah nah!" because it would have been disingenuous and also pandering and stupid.   And I am none of these things. When you have your heart broken, why is the first instinct to say--"You didn't hurt me!   I'm fine!  Hell, I'm even better off,"?  Why is it so fucking difficult to say the truth, "you hurt me!  I'm sad!   I don't know how to prevent myself from occasionally crying at the sight of seemingly benign objects like popcorn machines or ice cream cones with sprinkles,"?   But I believe the truth will set you free (Count of Monte Christo style) and so I'm having the courage to tell the truth.   And this week, the truth hasn't been exactly rose-colored. It's been shit colored--green/brown.

This was a shit week.   Next week is a new chapter.   And I'm excited to start writing it again on my own terms.   Always irreverent, always honest, and occasionally funny.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


Today I did something kind of shocking.   I stepped into a church.   Willingly.  And it wasn't for a friend's wedding or to keep my mom from being angry on Easter.   I wanted to be there and I stayed for the entire duration of the mass.   And I enjoyed it (well, I got something out of it, no one enjoys Catholic mass.   I went to church with a methodist once and I was floored.  No wonder they are so happy to be there, its basically a sing-a-long with tambourines and guitars).

Now you might be shocked to know that I am actually a person of religious belief.  I do swear--a lot.  And I think abortion jokes are funny.  And I love Bill Maher.     And even saying "I'm a Christian" sounds schmaltzy and creepy to me, because I associate such proclamations with TV evangelists and bigots who live in red states.   I wish to associate myself with neither.   But in that I believe in one God and that Jesus died for our sins, I suppose, I am, by definition, a Christian.  But it doesn't really matter what I believe.  Or what anyone believes for that matter.  My point is that I realized something today while I sat on a hard pew by myself surrounded by the elderly--I realized, in all my cynicism, and all my sarcasm, and all my swagger, deep down I'm just like everyone else, I just want someone to tell me that it's all going to be ok.   I was amazed actually, because I go to church so rarely it wouldn't really surprise me if I caught on fire upon crossing the threshold, but instead I was instantly comforted by the familiar smells and the ritual of it all.  It was sort of like sinking into a warm bath--and also feeling sheepish and guilty because you hadn't bathed in a while (I'm Catholic, guilt is sort of part of the deal).

I used to rely on my parents to be the ones who told me it was all going to be ok, and then at some terrifying point I realized they don't know that it's going to be ok anymore than I do.   For all they (and I) know by tomorrow the world could fall off its axis, or even more unlikely, Nader could win the presidency.  Both instances  would result in humanity's certain doom.   This was a heavy realization for me to make about my parents, but I was primed for disappointing news about them when I realized back a few years earlier that they had been bull-shiting me about Santa.   So here we all are, past the point of trusting any human-being to handle our fate and searching for the comfort of some higher-being to step in and pick up the slack.  

Today, when I realized I was in a room of people who were looking in the same direction for that source of comfort as I was looking, it made me feel so much better just knowing that we were all looking.  Knowing I wasn't alone in my search made the actual answer seem less important to find.  Does that make sense?   It's like all the kids in 3rd grade hating the lunch-lady, she's still sloppy about handing out peaches and stingy with the pizza slices, but you can all hate her together.  

This is a bit more rambling and existential than my other blogs--but I am in that kind of mood because not only did I go to church today, but I also watched a Woody Allen film--but what I want you to take away from this is not to worry.   Because we all do.   We're all scared.   We're all lonely.   And even though sometimes I'm an especially difficult nut to crack (pun alert!), I desperately want to be told its all going to be alright.    And you know what, it might not all be alright.   But if we go, we're going to together.   And there's some comfort in knowing that.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Sometimes, the thing that I find most disconcerting about my day at work is that it's no longer disconcerting.  For instance, on a typical day, I'll walk into the office in the morning, coffee cup in hand and within five minutes have a spider-bitten tit shoved into my face so I can see how big the welt has gotten.  Typical day.  Or perhaps I will receive a series of frantic angry messages from someone whose name I cannot pronounce, only to find that when I call them back only 15 minutes later, that their number has been disconnected and the address they listed is an empty lot.   Normal.   Or even more likely, some coworker tells me some story about their grandchild/boyfriend/gay-lover and his/her poopy diaper/other family/prison record and why its adorable/shocking/a turn on.   This is such a normal part of my day that it has become as unobtrusive as white noise.   

And it isn't just the social atmosphere to which I'm acclimating--it's the actual work as well.   Today was the launch of our big fall campaign and Matt called me during the day to invite me to dinner.   "I can't, it's fall kick-off,"  I said in a weird fembot voice.   In a tone probably similar to how Mormon's explain Jesus coming to America.   Matt's obvious ignorance demanded another sentence.   "I have to work until 10 or so."   And in the need for further explanation I realized there were millions of lucky people in the world who didn't know or care that fall kick-off even exists.  And with great amounts of jealousy, I realized I was no longer one of them.  Furthermore,  I also used to not know what "delivering the mission" meant (except in terms of bad Vietnam war movies) or be able to identity the "three program-processes".  I miss my days of ignorance.    This weekend at a family BBQ when asked about my job I instantly spit out answers like I had swallowed a manual.   My boss would have been proud, but my 14 year-old-self would punch me in the kidney.   I feel like that guy who hangs himself in Shawshank, I'm becoming institutionalized.

Tonight at kick-off I was in my kool-aid drinkin' best.  I had to wear my stupid staff uniform which makes me look like a cross between a librarian and Hermione Granger (If you're picturing something fetish-y and hot just go ahead and pump the breaks, it's more Janet Reno than Sarah Palin) and listen to people get really outraged and scandalized over small logistical changes that in no way effect them, while somehow also pretending to understand their concerns.   At one point some lady stood up and said, "but how does this change effect me?"  I wanted to leap up on a table and say, "Wait wait wait, stop!  Did no one consider how this cooperate-mandated change would personally effect Kettering homemaker, Janet?!   Surely not!"   Who are these people?!  Sometimes I swear they only exist to test my paitence or humility or something.  Tests which I'm sure I fail.   The questions/requests I get sometimes--it's like, alright, where's the Truman Show?   Or, more accurately, I turn into a Mexican gangster and say things like, "You fuckin' with me, esse?" to the Universe.   But, thankfully, I kept my composure and my class tonight even though inside my veins were pumping with venomous rage.

Although, old habits die hard--so while I did wear my little "staff uniform" and stay until 9:30pm at work, I also asked co-workers to take bets as to whether so and so's hair was a "bump-it" or a hair piece. So you know, I get my fun where I can.     

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Oregon District

My favorite thing about the neighborhood where I live is that it's both eclectic and populated by some of the best people-watching subjects I have ever seen anywhere.    Dayton's Oregon District is a playground for the wealthy and ostentatious, the homeless and crazy, and the young and hip.  I choose to both live and play in this area and thus am surrounded by an outrageous cast of characters on a pretty regularly basis.   For this blog, I'm going to pull out some of this week's hi-lights, but by no means was this even a particularly weirdo-laden week.   Just keep that in mind.

Shopping at Kroger:
On monday when I went to the Wayne Ave. Kroger store in cut-off jean shorts with my ninja tattoo still very prominently on display, I attracted no awkward glances.   A gentleman in a wife-beater and a fitted cap standing out front even looked at my adorned inner thigh and nodded at me, as if to say, "I find that tattoo to be a good choice" and I feel like he didn't mean it ironically.   I love that I live in a place where I can be in Daisy Dukes displaying my ninja and still not be even close to the top-5 trashiest dressed.   I saw a woman in some bizarre angry bunny pajama pants.  Mind you, we're still in a heat wave so it was probably 90 degrees.   Whatever.  Also, some lady as I was driving back from Kroger gave me the "I'm watching you" eye and flipped me off, but I didn't commit any driving gaffe so I can only assume she saw my tattoo and wanted to challenge my ninja prowess.   Bring it, bitch, says I, standing in ninja posture and motioning to "come on" with my hand.

Friday at Trolley Stop:

Trolley Stop is one of my favorite bars of all time, and conveniently it's within walking (or stumbling) distance of my lovely apt.  It's sort of a Dayton landmark and it was a speak-easy during Prohibition and even survived the period when the Oregon District was called "Wine and Filth" (because it's at Wayne and Fifth) before it's grand rejuvenation in the 1970s.  It looks as you might expect from what I just told you--dark, dingy, and a little dangerous.  But the food and drinks are to die for and one never knows who they might run into.  Prime example, last night after work as I entered Trolley Stop, I was greeted by a tiny eldery black man, dressed in an antique-looking suit and vest, with no teeth.   As I sat down at the bar and started gabbing with Sam, he looked over at me, and said (hand to God) "What ever happened to Sigourney Weaver? I know she was in alien..."  Remember he was toothless.  So it was a struggled to make out "Sigourney Weaver" in that sentence.   He seemed to be lost in his own thoughts, until a few minutes later, after watching Shark Week on the small bar TV, asked Sam and I if we had heard about the threesome who got killed by the shark.  They were all in love with eachother and one guy died of a shark bite.   And the other two were, "all torn up".   I didn't get a chance to ask if he meant literally or figuratively because with raised eyebrows, both Sam and I decided to move locations and sit outside.

Outside on the patio, which is airy and open with iron-rod tables and chairs in stark contrast to the dingy, wooden inside, we picked a table and encountered even more ridiculous people watching.   A large group of 5 adults sat across from us, and I don't think I could even begin to pin-point how they all knew each other.  A short-haired earth-mother brunette in her forties, a biker in his 60s, a teased blonde barbie (fallen on hard times) in her sixties, and of course, a dead-ringer for Colonel Sanders in white pants with an elastic waist band.  At one point, the earth-mother knocked over her red wine and a splash or two hit the Colonel's immaculate white pants.   "Oh no, I'll pay for the dry-cleaning bill,"  she said, apologizing profusely.   Sam and I, exchanged looks.   Dry-cleaning bill?  For elastic waisted pants?  Then, this group was joined by a man with a deformed hand, which was small and shorted, like a T-rex hand.  Fair enough.  But what bothered me, is that he kept on grabbing things with his small, broken hand.  Ok, creepy-pete, way to illuminate your differently-abledness.

On the Street:
Just walking through the Oregon District is an adventure in itself.  Especially on a Friday night.    While distracted by a homeless man and the hot-dog stand which sets up on the weekends, I caught my heel in uneven pavement and fell ass over tea kettle.   I scrapped up my knees and elbows and I felt sheepish and pathetic, like a little kid falling off a bike because she's still not ready to be without training wheels.   It occurred to me though, people probably thought I was a drunken idiot and not a child, but embarrassing all the same.    Sam suggested we duck into a sex-shop for a moment of solace, but I nixed the idea, opting instead to truck along.  We moved on to Thai 9 to round out the evening.  But bonus on the street moment: on the way back from Thai 9 some fratty guys leered at us and slurred, "You two are hot" and Sam starting laughing so hard she almost pee'd a little.

Thai 9:

 Thai 9 is so much more than just delicious Thai food.   It's also the go-to, "I'm trying to impress you and show you my exotic side," date spot and the choice of stupid-girl birthdays/showers.  Again, amazing people-watching.   Sam and I got there about 10 last night so we were tucked away in a loft area and only a few other stragglers were in the building.   My friend Chris is a server there and he comped us some crab-rangoon and made us crazy cocktails while we regaled him with tales of coworker's dating woes.   Then, in a perfect end to the evening, one of Chris's coworkers started singing Unchained Melody so Sam and I joined (beautifully, may I add) and two asian business men chilling at the sushi bar clapped.  And asians KNOW good karaoke.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The luck o the Irish

One of the greatest challenges in transitioning to this new "adult" phase in my life has been figuring out ways to stay "fun".    This is especially true of my blogs.  While at work I'm full of witty comments and hilarious stories by 6pm when I get home all I feel like doing is throwing myself facedown on the couch.   Seriously, staring at a computer screen all day is poor for one's mental health and given that mine is already tottering on the brink--the effect upon my own psyche borders on catatonic.

I actually visualize the weekend's as recharging my "entertainment quota".   I picture a little green bar dangerously close to red which can only be brought up to sunny bright green by copious amounts of drinking/debauchery (The Sim's anyone?).  Last weekend, I had ample opportunity to recharge my glee, because I went with my friend Sam, (who is quickly becoming my partner in crime) to the Celtic Festival in Dayton.

Basically, festivals, fairs, and amusement parks are universally acknowledged as a safe haven for society's weirdest degenerates.   No matter whether it's the Ohio State Fair or Disney Land, it's as if social amnesty is given out to morbidly obese women in tube tops and guys who dress like gnomes.   For me, this means unprecedented levels of unabashed people-watching.   And thankfully, the Celtic Festival did not disappoint.

There had been a lot of discussion about the Celtic Festival even before it hit Dayton, mainly because my boss was on some committee planing it and her daughters perform in it yearly, as Celtic dancers.   The best discussions, however, centered upon Claire's take on the Festival--that it's a pure bastardization of Irish culture.   We pointed out that we supposed it would be embarrassing if we had an "American Festival" featuring men in Stetson hats, hot dogs, American flags, and country music.   Claire pointed out that there is such an occasion, it's called the Fourth of July.  Really, American, you wonder why the rest of the world hates you?   The bastardized version of our culture is in fact, actually just our culture.   Nevertheless, I was dying to see a family friendly version of St. Patrick's Day with people in kilts, shamrock painted faces, and other such nonsense.   What I actually saw was about a thousand times better.

Firstly, while there were some noble attempts made at "Irish" (aka pub) food--at some point they gave up and vendors instead offered Chinese food, bbq, or funnel cake.  Nothing says the land of Eire like...Louisiana crawfish.  Fail.   Also the tchotchkes offered were glorious; mini "family crest" keychains with names like "Kennedy" and "McDonald" on them, mini Irish flags, shamrock dog collars, and even some men's cologne called "Patrick" which I sprayed on Sam.  It smelled like patchouli and B.O.   Without a doubt, however, the best offering was the entertainment.   A band called "Enter the Haggis" from Canada, of all places, was introduced by a local TV newscaster, which tells you just how "impressive" the whole event was.  Then, I shit you not, a gigantic woman, maybe 6 ft tall with a severe bun  and jolly khakis, signed the lyrics of all the bands songs.   I felt pretty certain at a few particularly dramatic parts that some random woman just hopped up on stage because some of these gesticulations did NOT look like sign language.  Actually gyrations is the more appropriate term.  

And la piece de la resistance, Sam and I got matching airbrush tattoos.  We scanned for the trashiest one we could find and settled on a six inch ninja sword with "NINJA" written in capital letters.  Being the more ladylike of the two of us, I opted for my inner thigh, because I didn't want the tattoo to show at work (except maybe to peek demurely out of my skirt).  The man assured me it would last 3-5 days, depending on the level of "friction" between my thighs.  I'm not sure if he was calling me fat or being suggestive, but either way he referred to himself as "Daddy" at one point so I'm not into it.

And that, ladies and gentleman, is what I do on the weekends to keep my fun cells from atrophy.