Friday, January 28, 2011

"That was the year, my twenty-eighth, when I was discovering that not all of the promises would be kept, that some things are in fact irrevocable and that it had counted after all, every evasion and every procrastination, every mistake, every word, all of it."
— Joan Didion, Goodbye to All That

Monday, January 24, 2011

January Hymn

This is funny, at least until it devolves into paper eating nonsense.

The past two weekends have been shiny spots of warmth in an otherwise snow-crusted January. We saw Country Strong three times in a row, pausing in between viewings to split granola bars and nap on the floor of the theater lobby. We dug tunnels in the snow and filled them with old throw pillows and Little Golden Books. We fed Pringles to slow-moving sparrows.*

Actually, last weekend brought us to St. Louis, where Matt and I met up with Nerinx friends on Saturday afternoon, family that evening, and I've-known-you-my-entire-life friends late Saturday night. Mimosas, trivia, yearbooks, delicious pasta, wine and a lot of babbling, which came back in glimmers and fragments the next day. There was talk of Andy Garcia, I think. The rest of the weekend was more subdued. I spent Sunday afternoon helping my mom take down the brittle but beautiful Christmas tree, while MC, Paul and I debated what we'd do to the house we grew up in, if money was no object and only the sky (or the asbestos in our basement floor) was the limit. My vote was for a panic room; something simple, sturdy and windowless in the middle of the house.

Joe didn't get to join us in St. Louis, so he made a last-minute visit to Omaha this weekend instead. We spent the evening at the Dell on Friday night, and again on Saturday night, and in between I made him accompany me on my regular weekend trip to Target, where I wander aimlessly, spilling coffee on sale items and reading the backs of shampoo bottles. We also exchanged Christmas presents. Joe gave Matt "Road House" on Blu-ray and a fifth of whiskey. We gave Joe this poster:

...with the requirement that it be displayed in his classroom. He agreed.

On Sunday, we said our goodbyes, and I settled back into my normal Sunday routine of pretending to put things away. It's only almost February, but I'm already dreaming of dinners on the patio, open windows and sunshine on my kneecaps and the curly top part of my pasty ears.

One last thing, completely unrelated, but last week I bought the new Decemberists CD, The King is Dead. I'd kind of gotten tired of the mariners, the man-eating whales and 10-minute-long songs, but this is totally different. I wholeheartedly recommend it.

You can listen to the whole album here.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Smells like band-aids

If you're like me, you're drinking ice-cubed chardonnay, wearing a sorry combination of work and sleeping clothes, and watching the Thursday night lineup on NBC. Or, more likely, you are doing social things, with social people... and not wearing anything with a drawstring. But you're missing out! Because this new "Perfect Couples" show is actually pretty funny. Or maybe that's the Barefoot talking.

Speaking of the Thursday night NBC lineup, they used the line "smells like band-aids" on Community, and I'd like to say, for the unread record, that I thought of it first. My closet in Chicago, crammed to the ceiling with shoes, one-hit wonders from Forever 21 and probably my roommate's cat, smelled distinctively of band-aids. And I used to tell people that. So, Community writers, you owe me (an autographed picture of Chevy Chase or money).

And finally, speaking of TV, and in the spirit of Cougar Town, of which I have officially and publicly admitted my appreciation, here is a list of five things you're wary of but will probably like if you try:

Cottage cheese
Store-brand lip balm
Homemade funnels
Howie Mandel

Parks and Rec! Gotta go.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Because I promised I would.

The pressure of two posts a week is already getting to me.

There is a hamburger documentary on the Travel Channel. Also, we're heading to St. Louis tomorrow night for Christmas in mid-January, and I need to pack. My mom left the tree up for us, so my hope is that we get there before the very last needle comes crashing to the hardwood floor.

While I stuff Christmas gifts, dirty laundry and dryer sheets into some sort of airport-approved trash bag/trash can, here is an amalgam of links I've collected over the past week. Things I've found funny, or at the very least worthy of wasting a little bit of time.

Do you dislike Gwyneth Paltrow? She seems to be pretty polarizing. And while I don't have a real opinion either way, her most recent blog post deserved some sort of response, and Videogum delivered.

Kanye West's video for his Monster single is controversial. This is not that video. This is better. [I couldn't embed the clean version, FYI]

I love this poster.

And finally, listen to this when you have a chance. If you've seen the movie, it'll make you like it even more, and if you haven't seen it, you'll want to... after listening to this... so... yes.
Coen Brothers on Fresh Air

Have a good weekend!

Friday, January 07, 2011

Love, Spoochi

Sometime Christmas evening, I ordered Joan Didion's The White Album from the Amazon Marketplace and promptly forgot about it until it arrived in the mail yesterday. Thumbing through its yellowed pages, I found a postcard that had been wedged in the spine, equally yellowed but in otherwise good condition. Being the overly sentimental person that I am, I immediately went about devising a way to return it to its original owner. But then I realized that it had never been mailed. And then I realized it was from a cat.
Dear Dad,
I thought it was time you knew what went on in the flat when you go to work. I realize Mom likes dressing up in her "outfits," but she now includes me on the costume changes. I feel ridiculous. I am supposed to sleep and eat during the day - not be a vaudevillian. We have reenacted this shot many times - it reminds me of a cheap party trick. If there is anything in your power you can do about Mom finding full-time work so I can go back to leading a normal kitty life, I would be most grateful.

Monday, January 03, 2011

The year I saw Italy and Oklahoma for the first time

Goodbye, 2010. You were a good year (on par with 2009, and so, so much better than 2008). But the champagne has been swallowed and the resolutions made, and now it’s time to usher in 2011 with all the ambition that can be mustered from the comfort of my couch. While Matt’s resolution is singular but lofty [he borrowed P90X from a friend when we were in Minnesota for New Year’s Eve, and last night I caught him carefully examining the 90-day calendar. “On day one, you take the ‘before’ picture of yourself – the one where you look sad, pale and hopelessly out of shape,” he said. “And on day 90, you take the ‘after’ picture – and you also achieve success.” I looked at the calendar, and the word “success” was actually written on day 90. Although I have to say, for all the people I know who’ve made it through day one, and maybe even through day 23, I don’t know anyone who’s gotten to day 90 – with all its tanned, muscular “after” pictures and success and promises of infomercial stardom.]

Anyway, on the flipside of that singular but lofty goal is a smattering of smaller, not-unachievable goals that I’ve set for myself, most of which could actually be accomplished during the month of January. They are as follows:

1. Take Matt’s day one picture, preferably in bad lighting to enhance the before-ness.

2. Try P90X for 90 seconds before stomping away (dramatically, in the direction of the nearest refrigerator).

3. Go to spinning class once or twice a week (on Mondays and Wednesdays, when the music is good, as opposed to Saturdays, when the instructor thinks he’s in a reimagining of Full Metal Jacket starring a room full of bikes).

4. Tell people I go to spinning class three times a week.

5. Buy yoga gloves, as my sweaty hands have become an impediment in achieving Zen.

6. Go to yoga.

7. Save more (money, specifically).

8. Cook more.

9. Read more.

10. See our families more.

11. Write more. A wise Biers told me this weekend that more people would read my blog if I wrote with any semblance of a routine. And I suppose he’s right. So my goal is to post at least twice a week, hopefully more. I’d go so far as to name specific days (like, I will always blog on Tuesdays and Thursdays), but I’m afraid I will end up rebelling against the self-inflicted structure and not blog at all. Which would defeat the purpose of this resolution.

What are your resolutions? Don’t leave me hanging! My twelfth resolution is to encourage more comments.

And finally,
2010: A Photo Retrospective, beginning with a New Year's Eve 2009 midnight kiss

Addendum: After spending nearly two hours looking through photos, I can confidently say that 2010 was a really, really good year. Don't let me down, 2011. As half-baked as they may be, I've got plans for you.


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