May 3, Houston: The big one -- the Inprint reading -- occurs at the Alley Theatre on Monday, May 3. Do not miss it or you'll be sorry. I'm not kidding -- I'm going to say the craziest, most intellectual yet hilarious stuff I can think of, and I'll be sharing the stage with the ultra sexy Oscar Casares, too.
June 24, Houston: I'm one of the peeps scheduled to read at Poison Pen, at Houston's famous Poison Girl bar. Besides me, everyone there will be ultra, *super* sexy. Come see me and drink!
June 26, Washington, DC: I'll be reading at the American Library Association conference. Come on down.
My other blog: Go read my the Houston Chronicle parenting blog (or my ChronMomBlog, as I like to call it) and make sure my kids won't resent me more than other kids resent their own parents.
Buy my new novel, Lone Star Legend. Already did? Well, buy a few more for your friends, then. :)
Wednesday, March 18, 2009Guess what? 25 Random Facts About Me!
because I have been inspired.
Now, all I have to do is think of 25 new things to tell y'all, apart from the stuff divulged in the 100 things meme I did back in 2005, and apart from all the other stuff I've told y'all over the past 12 years.
1. I'm going to do a reading/event tonight in which I'm supposed to talk about my creative process(es). For that, I've decided to give a 5-minute history of my writing career. It's my first time doing anything like that, so I'm kind of nervous. But I'm always kind of nervous about all the events I do, no matter how new or old the material. Unless they're readings for little kids, that is.
2. I feel that the best Easter candy is Russel Stover's creme eggs, in coconut-in-dark-chocolate flavor.
3. I like to go to the grocery store with my fiance. That's, like, a serious date night activity for us. Sometimes I think it's because we both experienced hard times in our youth. But usually I don't try to analyze it.
4. I'm getting married on May 23rd. (THIS NEXT PART IS SECRET - SHH:) At first I was a little bit sad because my future in-laws didn't think I was the right person to marry their son. Not sad enough to let it stop us, or to dwell on it on a daily basis, but kind of disappointed. But, recently, my fiance talked to them about it, and they voiced their concerns... and now they're coming to the wedding. And I'm happier/more relieved about that than I would have expected.
5. I'm actually a really good daughter-in-law. No one here knows that, because last time I served in that capacity, it was in a tiny town that no one cared to visit. And then I left my husband, effectively removing the possibility of further communication with my parents-in-law. But I know that they loved me, because they told me so, more than once. And I loved them. And I spent jillions of hours with them, and I did what I could to make their lives easier. And I enjoyed doing so, because that's just the kind of crazy I am. And, I have to say here that my ex-mother-in-law was way, way, WAY more opposed to that marriage (and more vocal about it) than my current future in-laws have been. So, in general, I'm optimistic about the new in-law relationships I'm starting. I can rebuild them. I have the technology. I am... the $6 Million Daughter-in-Law. I've just been waiting for the paperwork to go through so I can begin.
6. I didn't realize, until recently, how much I missed being a daughter-in-law.
7. If it were up to me, and no one's judgment had any effect on my life, I'd cut my hair short and never wear makeup. It is up to me, I know, but I live in this world. In this world, prettiness can be a kind of armor. So I put on eyeliner every morning, just like a knight of old.
8. I turned 37 in December. A while back, something made me think that I was "almost in my forties." So, since then, I keep thinking that. "I'm almost in my forties -- I don't have to deal with that." "I'm practically 40 -- I should know better." "I'm in my forties now -- shouldn't I be doing [x] by now?" So now, in my mind, I'm in my mid-40s. I completely, mentally bypassed the last three years of my 30s. Weirdest part: I don't mind. I like being in my 40s. It's giving me an excuse to break old habits and try new things.
9. My favorite thing I've ever written is what I believe the fewest people have read: the very last story in my very first book. Every time I think about that, I imagine musicians I admire whose own favorite songs probably don't match up with my favorites. And I have no sympathy for them, because I wouldn't change my favorite Pavement songs, even if Stephen Malkmus hated those ones the most. And then, in turn, I have no sympathy for myself. So what if I like the ant story best? That doesn't mean it's the best one or the one that resonates with anyone else.
10. Sometimes I worry about Norm MacDonald. I was watching SNL, live, the night he accidentally said fuck and then immediately realized he'd get fired for it. He was fired. Then, after that, his career did a long, slow slide. I saw him on the Comedy Central Bob Saget roast, and he still looked sad, but you could also tell that his colleagues loved him. They joked about his gambling addiction. That made me worry about him more than before. I don't know why I worry about him, in particular. But that happens to a lot of people, right? You feel some weird connection/intuition for a certain celebrity or stranger, and you carry them around in your mind, right? Like a lot of people worry about Jennifer Anniston, or like Ben Folds worried about Muhammad Ali. I worry about Norm MacDonald. I hope that he's okay.
11. I fantasize about speaking every language.
12. I fantasize about having the psychic power to answer any question truthfully, and charging people (anyone) $500 a pop to answer their questions. Scientists' questions would be answered during weekly press conferences, though.
13. I fantasize... not about having the power to heal people, but about having the power to prescribe the perfect diets for them. I mean the diets that would make them healthy and happy.
14. I fantasize about having the power to perform telekinetic, painless, instant platic surgery on people. Because, you know how you'll see someone, and they're obviously self-conscious about some aspect of their appearance? Like a mole or their teeth or something? Well, I fantasize about having the power to fix that for people, without them even knowing it's being done.
15. All those fantasies mean that I'm a narcissist. Every time I take the personality disorder profile quiz thing, it says I'm mostly a narcissist. Which kind of annoys me, because I don't believe that I am. But then, people I admire score high on narcissism, too, so at least I'm in good company. Second-highest scoring for me is OCD. So what? I don't think there's anything wrong with that. Unless you're a clean-freak OCD'er, like our friend Cathy, because then it's just too much stress. (I like to converse with Cathy about various compulsions, but then I feel bad for her when she stresses about the cleanliness and germs.)
16. The score I don't get, and the personality disorder for which I have the lowest tolerance? Is histrionic-ness.
That means "attention whores." I especially hate being around attention whores who are boring -- that's the absolute worst. Second worst is catty attention whores who, for some reason, believe that I have something they want. Then they start trying to compete, and I never want to engage in that. I just want to get away. Actually... I've had histrionic friends, but they have to be interesting, and they have to have different taste in men, so that there's no competitiveness. In that case, I'm okay with them.
17. Really, this isn't 25 Random Things About Me. It's 25 Things That Have Been on My Mind a LOT Lately, Because I'm Slightly OCD and Think About the Same Topics Over and Over Until I'm Sick of Them. Thank you for reading, if you're still reading along.
18. I used to think that I'd hold my old grudges forever -- you know, like "She'll be sorry when I'm published and then I see her in public and she has to feel stupid about that time she said my writing was trite!" -- but it turns out that I don't. I work as hard as I can, and I forget about the old petty stuff because I feel like I've grown so far away from it. You know?
19. I worry about my kids way more than I let on. Sometimes I lie in bed at night having long, long strings of worries about them. But I choke it down because I don't want to be like Nemo's dad on that movie Finding Nemo. When I saw that movie, I cried super hard whenever his dad was on the screen. Because I totally empathized with that (fish) man, and I've never even had kids who were eaten by sharks. But, yeah, I don't want to bum out my kids like that. So I keep that stuff to myself, as much as possible.
20. I'm proud of the way my kids have turned out, but don't like to say that to people too often because it seems like a compliment to myself. But it's (mostly) not -- my kids are good kids. They were born good and worked to get better, independently of me or my parenting skillz.
21. Sometimes I want to post more pictures of my family online, but then I worry. Worry, worry, irrational worry....
22. I'm simultaneously excited and anxious about writing my next book.
23. I'm waiting to see if the last kids' book I submitted will get published. Trying not to be anxious about that. The kids' books get rejected way more often than you might imagine. Which doesn't feel too fabulous, but it toughens me up. It's all a business, you know. This writing stuff, I mean.
24. I feel bad/guilty/annoyed when I write an entry here and people feel compelled to reassure me about whatever I complained about. I always feel like I'm just venting/ranting/babbling, but then, if it comes off like whining or needing comfort, that bugs the crap out of me and I feel like I somehow betrayed myself. (But if it doesn't sound like whining, but people just want to offer comfort/reassurance, anyway, then that's okay.)
25. I don't like to need anyone. I like to be independent.
Whew. I did it!
The end. 5:58 PM # (9) comments
Tuesday, February 17, 2009for Trasherati
Do you do this:
1. Get an unexpected day off,
2. say youíre going to spend it crafting or doing art,
3. but first, you need to go buy one or two supplies, so
4. you go shopping and end up spending the whole day doing so. Shopping. Nothing else.
5. Then you come home dead tired Ė too tired to craft or do art.
Am I the only one who does that to myself? I suspect Iím not.
Did that yesterday, because I had Presidentsí Day off, and my kids were supposed to, also, but then the school district decided to pull them back in and call it Hurricane Ike Make-Up Day, obviously because they wanted me to stimulate the economy by spending the whole day shopping. So I did, and didnít even feel guilty about it because it turned out to be a Lucky Shopping Day for me, with the theme of Shoes.
I went to Payless, (donít ask me how I ended up there if I was only supposed to be buying two beading supplies) and got two pairs of shoes, on BOGO sale, of course.
Later, I went to Ross Dress for Less, which is like a giant garage sale or thrift store, but with only new merchandise. If ďnewĒ can describe stuff thatís been thrown on the floor a couple of times and maybe stepped on or slobbered on by toddlers.
I only go to Ross a couple of times per year. I hadnít been in six months or more, and last time, I got some skanky red patent platform heels, just for the hell of it, because they were only $11, once I asked for 15% off because of a scuff mark.
So I go back there, thinking I wonít look for anymore platform spike heels, because I only wore the red ones once, and only for about 45 minutes, and my feet went numb and I was sad. And that was when I weighed 15 lbs than I do now.
SoÖ Iím there, and Iím glancing at the shoes, and Ö omgÖ there are, like, a thousand nice shoes. By well known designers. In my size. All I had to do was navigate my cart through every shoe aisle (because the sizes posted above the aisles are only theoretical, at Ross), each of which was filled with aggressive women, only 28% of whom spoke English, and one of whom wore the same size as me. But I enjoy a challenge. I zig-zagged all over, loading my cart with 8 and a half pair of shoes. (Never did find the other size 10 black Michael Kors pump, even after squatting on the floor and checking under each rack.)
As the shoe area afforded no privacy and I didnít trust the other big-footed chick not to ambush me, I pushed my cart of shoes to the patio furniture section, where I could sit on an ottoman and try on all my loot in relative privacy.
- Ralph Lauren black snake peep-toe pump - $30: No. It was too tight on my toe fat. :(
- Carlos Santana gold 5-inch spike heel - $24: No. I was just kidding with that.
- Franco Sarto oxblood wedges - $19: No. Sniff! Too tight on toe box.
- Nine West gold strappy sandal with skinny 2.5-inch heel - $19: Almost, but I was too scared Iíd bust ass in them.
- No-name black patent t-strap pumps with cut-out detailing - $12: Yes!
- No-name black patent/cork platform slide - $13: Yes!
- Nine West cork-soled platform wedge with navy cloth top, in which I will be 6 feet tall - $17: Yes!
- Old skool-ass LA Gear brown and pink sneaker/ballet flat - $13: yes.
As you can see, I am cheap. I have cheap feet. But at least Iím doing my part to get the economy back on track, right?
See yíall bishes at Ross! xoxox 5:45 PM # (4) comments
Thursday, July 24, 2008girl clothes
It's good for women who care about their image to be friends with women who also care about their image and who have a similar taste level.
Because you know how shallow people ask if women dress for men or for other women? I dress for myself, but having a female peer inspires me to greater heights in that regard.
Hence, I bought the silver sandals.
actually learning at a training thing
At my job today, my dept was forced to take a time management seminar. Basically, it was punishment for the actions of one or two disorganized people. I was super, duper annoyed with the situation, because I had a lot of work to get done today and I'm normally very efficient at work, but it's hard to be efficient when you're taking a four hour course about time management.
So I went in as a hostile witness, basically. I was determined to learn nothing. I admit it.
But then, of course, I did learn a little. I learned tips for managing my personal time, and also several things about myself. Here they are:
1. I manage my time super efficiently at work.
2. I don't manage my time as well at home.
3. I have a Type A personality, relatively, for a girl.
4. My job takes up too much of my time now.
5. Instead of trying to help people by trying to figure out the answers to questions I don't already know, I should totally send them to the person who knows and save us both the time.
6. I would probably make a benevolent dictator of a manager.
7. I hate the word veggies a lot and need to add it to my list of words and phrases that annoy the living shit out of me, such as comfy, hubby, baby bump, sweet spot, and tongue bath.*
You want to know the tip they taught me that's going to help my personal life? You make a Master List. You put on it all the stuff that you have to do in the conceivable future. (I already do that, but here's the key:)
Then you use that to make Daily Lists each day. You only fill the Daily Lists with stuff you really need to do that day, or stuff you could reasonably accomplish in one day.
See, the Master List is to clear your mind. The Daily List is the real to-do list.
See? Up til now, I've been making periodic, mile-long Master Lists and then getting disheartened when they take more than a week to finish. But this way, you don't put unrealistic pressure on yourself to complete everything in an unrealistic time frame. You see??
Maybe you already knew that. Maybe you took the same seminar. I'm pretty sure one of my friends has taken it, because she talks about "eating [her] veggies" at work (meaning, getting least pleasant tasks out of the way) and
Sorry. I really hate that word.
The older I get,
the more I like to hang around with secure and successful people. I especially like to talk to super successful people and ask them nosy questions about their lives. The most successful ones are always willing to tell you everything, I find. I think they get lonely, successful people. I think they don't often meet people who want to know what they really do and who'll understand the answers. Because, unfortunately, a lot of people are insecure haters. Insecure haters don't seek to understand -- they just make assumptions and then hate.
You know what I mean?
Like, you'll meet a rich real estate guy, and people will say, "Oh, he's just rich because he's a sell-out" or "because he's good looking" or "because he plays the race card" or "because he kisses ass."
But then, if you walk up to that guy and say, "So how'd you make your money?" he will straight-up tell you, "I heard that the Indians wanted in on our hotel market, but they didn't know our business culture well enough to approach it yet. So I researched their culture and then offered my services as a liaison for a decent-sized cut."
And you're like, "Sweet."
Because how can you hate on somebody for being smart/successful/awesome, unless you're just someone who hates anyone who's doing better than you?
You can't. Come on. Seriously.
something else I learned today
If you are my fan, then you like what I create. You might think that means that you like me, but you could be wrong. Because you don't really know me. You might assume that you'd like me, then see or read something that makes you realize that you really, really don't. And it's okay if you only like what I make and not who I am. That happens to me all the time... I like music made by people who are assholes.
If you are my friend, then you like who I am. Because you know me in real life, so to speak.
I guess it's okay if you're my friend and you don't like what I create. I guess.
I talk/think about that with my arty friends sometimes, actually -- what it means if we like each other, but not each others' work.
I think I need to have both kinds of people in my life. Not "fans," per se, with all those connotations... but people who like me, and also people who like my work, whether or not those groups overlap very much.
It's bed time now.
I'm sad/pissed/resigned because I wanted to play World of Warcraft for a little bit, but, instead, I spent an hour and fifteen minutes on the phone with AT&T and then with Yahoo, trying to get my remote DVR function straight.
And now I'm gonna go to bed, then wake up and go back to work and work my butt off. And... I like my new job a lot, actually, but I don't like that it feels like I'm always there now. (Or else always in my van or on the bus, on the way there or on the way back.) I feel like my free time can't live up to my hopes anymore, and like my life is rushing by, week by week.
Then again, tomorrow is Jeans Day. Yay! Jeans Day!
That's all, for real.
I'm not going to play WoW. I'm going to bed. Seriously.
Talk to y'all later. I have more to tell you, but it's time for bed.
* Typing those made me grind my teeth. 10:48 PM # (12) comments
Tuesday, July 08, 2008recent dream themes, for Ashley's eyes only
(And for whoever else can stand to read them or who likes to interpret dreams.)
1. Again and always with the dreams that I'm tricked into living with and/or marrying my ex-husband. KHAN! Last time I had a really involved one, in which I'd won a "dream" wedding from Sears/Macy's. When I showed up to participate in it -- a little late, a little tipsy, feeling celebratory -- I found that the department store had misplaced my wedding gown and wanted to offer me a shitty Miss Texas sheath, instead. By the time I got that ironed out with a late-night shoplifting trip at a nearby costume shop and a run-in with the local Mafia, I was getting worried that it was too late to marry my fiance on Sears/Macy's' dime.
And then I arrive and see that the groom is my ex-husband. And the preacher is preaching, and I feel like it's rude, at that point, to interrupt the ceremony and call off the wedding. And yet I'm determined to do it. And then I wake up.
Annoying-o-freaking-rama, as you can imagine. This dream is obviously about my annoyance with my never-ending forced involvement with that person, which always occurs against my wishes.
2. I always, always dream about monster fruit plants. Usually I dream that there are monster fruit stalks growing in my dad's backyard, or next door to his house, and I'm trying to cultivate or harvest them, but people keep interrupting me and no one seems to value the fruit like I do.
But lately I've dreamed that I'm trying to purchase monster fruit plants on sale from various places. The weirdest thing about it, as I already told you on the phone, Ashley, is that, in the dream, I never realize how unusually freaky the fruit plants are. In the dream, they're just valuable/awesome/beautiful/desired. When I wake up, though, I realize that they were kind of monstrous. They're like corn stalks covered with bunches and bunches of giant plums that are stuck together like testicles. Or, like, giant brocolli stalks covered with giant, blood red, tumorous peaches. They are fruit plants to be feared, but not when I'm dreaming them. In my dream, they're something to covet and acquire.
I don't know if they mean money or artistic acheivement. Maybe both.
3. I used to always dream that I was trying to ride the Metro bus somewhere, and I got on the wrong bus or couldn't find the right bus stop, and it was getting later and I was getting into more dangerous parts of town...
But lately those dreams have shifted into something else. I ride the Metro bus and get off downtown, before it can carry me somewhere wrong. Because I know that, downtown, I can transfer to the exact right route. So I'm downtown, trying to figure out where to get the right bus, and I try to take a shortcut by going through one of the big buildings that I used to work in or used to walk through when I was a teenager.
And then it turns into some thing where I'm screwing around on the elevators. I don't know why. Sometimes I need to get on the elevator because it's one of those buildings where the ground is uneven and can be on G or 1 or P, depending on what side of the block you're facing. But usually it seems that I want to be wicked and nosy and ride up the elevator to see what I can see. Maybe even to steal something. And then, eventually, the elevators take us someplace weird or scary, like a boiler room. But I don't care. It kind of thrills me and I keep riding. And the other riders, even though they're dressed in business casual and I'm not, don't question my right to be there. Sometimes they even follow me, as if I know what I'm doing.
I don't know what this dream means. Maybe that I feel like I don't belong in Corporate America, but I'm doing well there, anyway?
4. Sometimes I dream about stealing the purses of rich old ladies. Their purses are always ugly, but I steal them. And then I feel guilty. But also excited. The goal in those dreams is always to stop someplace safe so I can open the purses and see what I reeled in. But I never do get to stop, and usually I lose the purses while on the run.
I know this dream says something bad about me, like maybe I resent rich people and have a chip on my shoulder and covet other people's stuff.
5. Three or four times now, I've dreamed that we visited New York. Usually it's by accident, maybe because Houston's Metro bus took us there without us noticing. Once we get there, we want to make the best of it and have fun, but we don't know where to go, and the natives aren't helpful. Or else we're afraid to ask them because we assume they won't be helpful, because I read Gawker and Overheard in New York all the time, and they give me the impresssion that native New Yorkers are assholes who take pleasure in being rude to tourists.
So we end up driving/riding/walking around the city, finding our own fun. In one dream we shopped in Chinatown at night. In one we found a carnival in the middle of Manhattan. In the last one, I walked through a Lithuanian apartment complex and looked into everyone's dining room.
This dream says that I crave adventure but don't have the means to get it on a grand scale, maybe.
the cats, good and bad
I like it when the cats lie near me like curved slugs, with their arms and legs tucked under them.
I don't like it when Starbuck scratches the glass patio door because she wants to go outside. Like all cats, she only wants to be outside if we leave the door hanging open so she can come back in at will. But then flies get in. So she can only go out if we close the door behind her. So she only stays out for a few minutes, then scratches at the door so we can open it. Then, of course, as all cat owners can guess, she's back at the door thirty seconds later, scratching to get out.
And the sound of her claws on the glass is very, very, VERY annoying. So I yell at her to stop. But she seems to think that me wanting her to stop is only a very temporary condition. So she goes back to the scratching again and again, until I take more drastic action.
And that is not one of the highlights of having cats as pets.
Equal opportunity: I don't like it when Toby acts possessive over me. Sometimes it's funny, but then sometimes he gets all testosterone-y about it and I have to remind him that I'm a human being and not his conquest, and I have to throw him off my bed or whatever. And then he gets pissy and takes it out on Starbuck. Which is probably why she always wants to go outside all the time?
I just realized that my cats might be living in a Sartre-esque hell of my making. But oh, well. It's better than living at the county shelter, I'm sure.
the photo thing
I feel like I've said this before, but need to say it again and will do so as simply and directly as I can.
1. I only put pictures of myself online if I think I look good in them. So, if there's a picture of me on this site or on my Flickr, even if it's not a stereotypically "good" picture, one can rest assured that I like the way I look in that picture. "I'm Gwendolyn Zepeda, and I approve this photo." Like that. Usually, I only want to share a photo because I like the way it looks.
2. But it's hard to say that. It's hard to say, "Hey, y'all, I think I look awesome in this photo. Check it out. Check out this awesome picture, the subject of which happens to be me-e-e-e!" So, I don't. I skip that part and talk about the more modest other part, like "This is how much I weigh" or "This is an old t-shirt I wear" or "This is a new hair color for me."
3. And then I always manage to come off like I dislike the way I look, or like I need reassurance. And then people (very nice people) are quick to reassure me and tell me that I look nice/pretty/good/decent.
4. And then I feel guilty and gauche, like I was fishing for compliments. When I wasn't. Wanting to share a nice picture isn't the same as fishing for compliments, is it? I don't think it is. Not for me, at any rate.
5. And then I bury the picture under a lot of other pictures or posts, because I am embarrassed.
Does all that make me crazy? No, I know: It means I over-analyze the shit out of my motivations and the impression I'm making on others.
But that's okay.
In related news: There's this person in my life who makes me a little nervous because she's always commenting on things that I say or do. Like telling me to relax or telling me that it seems like I worry too much. And, when this person does that, it makes me way less relaxed than I'd normally be. And I don't think this person does it to be annoying -- I think this person does it because that's normally what people want to hear from this person. And, finally, the other day, I had to tell this person that I liked myself the way I was, and that the way I was totally worked for me and made me a success. And this person accepted that, and I was relieved.
There are two people in my life, actually, who are always telling me to chill out and to act more confident and not to let on that I feel worried or insecure...
And I'm starting to think that these two people, who seem super confident and secure, actually aren't. And that they're telling me all this in order to remind themselves.
But I'm okay, really. I swear to God, if I didn't like myself and have self-confidence and feel secure, I wouldn't be able to talk about myself so much on the Internet, would I? Not for eleven years, I couldn't. Really, it takes all the false modesty I can muster to keep you guys from realizing how conceited I really am.
Think about it.
Don't worry about me, people who worry. I'm happy.
the other day
I played Rock Band with my son and his friends who'd come over for a slumber party. I played because no one else wanted to sing, and they needed a singer for extra points. "Want me to sing?" I said.
"Your mom sings on Rock Band?" one of the friends asked my son Josh.
"Uh, yeah. My mom's, like, a trained singer," said my son Dallas. But not in an "I'm so proud of my mom" way. It was more like "Duh -- why wouldn't a grown-up who knows how to sing, sing on Rock Band?"
So we played, and it was fun because we stopped being mom and sons and friends of sons, and became a force. A team. A rock band. We had three rotating drummers who I assigned to songs according to their skill level. Aside from that, there was almost no talking. As the evident band leader, I reminded myself to praise each member after particularly difficult songs. But that was it. And we racked up some serious points. And I felt the same feeling I have when my coworkers and I get through a really tough project. (We unlocked "Enter Sandman" by Metallica, and that's my very best song. I'm going to sing that next time I go to a karaoke bar.)
I went to bed at 2 AM. The next morning, we woke up and went outside and saw one of my neighbors walking over from across the street. "I'm so tired," she said. "We stayed up all night playing Rock Band."
I'm telling you, man. The families that Rock together stay together.
I had a lot more to tell y'all but it's night now and I can't stay focused well at night. I'm really only worth anything (besides Rock Band) in the mornings. So hopefully I'll wake up early tomorrow and get some novel-writing done...
Y'all have a good night, okay? Y'all have good dreams. 9:59 PM # (4) comments
Saturday, May 31, 2008self censored
The other day I did like 2002 and posted an IM chat here for y'all to read. It was between me and my friend "Olivia," and we were being very silly and clever in it. I deleted all the most personal parts.
But then I looked at it online, all visible to the world, and imagined the world seeing it. Specifically, people who might come to this site because of my children's book. This is what they would have seen: badword badword hating sex badword children badword cats hate drama sex vanity badword.
So I deleted it. Not so much of the badwords, but because I realized that posting that chat session was a little like saying, "Check it out: Me and my friends are so witty that strangers should feel privileged to read our chat-distorted ramblings!"
Maybe I'll re-post it later, though, next time I haven't updated in a while. :)
I realize, now, how people become hardcore workaholics who never leave the office. I realize, because I've been fantasizing about going into work on the weekends, or going in at 5:00 AM, just so I can get some stuff done without having to answer the phone or stop what I'm doing to go to a meeting.
You hear that? I'm fantasizing about doing work. It's a sickness. I'm sick.
There is an imaginary end in sight. Right now, our particular workplace is particularly busy because of a certain law that recently got passed. (403(b) compliance. Do you feel a tingle of excitement running down your spine?) Soon (in two months? six months?) things will slow down.
I'm looking forward to that time, not because I'm lazy, but because just about everyone I work with is pretty freaking cool, and we keep promising ourselves that we'll do more team-building (AKA eating and drinking) as soon as things slow down.)
So, there it is. Busy but not bad. Things could be less busy and not at all as good. You know?
People keep asking about the cats. Starbuck and Toby are doing well. Are they still having romantic relations? Yes, but only at night. Starbuck is a good Catholic wife and she only does it when the lights are off. If Toby tries to get romantic during the day (and he does try, often), then Starbuck yells at him and hits him in the head with her paws.
"I'm not that kind of girl!" she says.
"But last night..." he says.
"Unhand me, you cad!" she says.
"Um... How about now?" he says.
"NO MEANS NO!" Starbuck yells.
And then she kicks Toby in the face, and he walks away, dejected. And then she runs back up to him, inserts herself under his body, and strikes a provocative pose.
"Now?!?" says Toby, immediately Don Juan again.
"No, stupid!" Starbuck yells, and bites him on the leg.
It's beautiful. It's so poignant.
Besides that, they like to practice martial cat arts, and they really like their new cat food, which is the Purina in the white bag with the extra special flavoring added. It's, like, chicken and orso with balsamic reduction. Or something. Can't remember the name of it.
We just gave them each a bath, so they temporarily hate us. However, even they saw the amount of loose hair that went down the drain, and they were at least a little relieved.
More later, when I get the chance. PS, my hair now looks like Katie Holmes' hair, but in auburn. With less severe bangs. And only because my stylist straightened it -- tomorrow, after I wash it, it'll be a wavy, wavy mess again. :) 7:27 PM # (12) comments
Monday, May 12, 2008Explain to me
How does this person named Six_of_Cups have one of my books for sale, when my book isn't out until May 31?
This reminds me of the last time I had a book out on Amazon, and someone was selling a signed copy that I don't remember signing.
Oh, well. This is capitalism, I guess.
flying; my pants' seat
I have several projects due pretty soon at work, and there are still parts of our project-turning-out process that I don't know how to do. Learning: Too bad it doesn't seem to burn calories.
Also, I'm going to fly to Dallas in a few days, and I don't have my plane tickets yet. And I don't know what I'm going to do when I get there. And I don't know what to wear. And I don't know what I'm allowed to take in my luggage.
And I'm too tired to look it all up. I'll look it all up tomorrow.
high school reunions
I've recently come into contact with two people I haven't seen since we went to Reagan High School together.
One seemed happy. The other didn't.
happy Mothers' Day
We celebrated the birthday of one of my kids, belatedly, instead. I kind of felt bad, for a fleeting instant, that I didn't have anyone to buy a nice gift for.
I mean, I could have bought something for my mom, but she doesn't like anything nice. She only would've been happy with:
a) a carton of cigarettes and some lottery tickets, or
b) a bunch of magazine pictures scribbled with a leaky pen and rolled up in aluminum foil, or
c) like, a black nylon coat from the Goodwill that smells like smoke or something.
Which is fine, except that I didn't feel like shopping for any of that stuff.
(To those of you who are new to this site: My mom has been schizophrenic since I was very young and I'm so calloused and jaded about it that I can make flippant comments about the uncouthness of her illness once a year or so. Apparently.)
If my Aunt Sylvia were still alive, I could have bought her anything sentimental and she would've been happy. I could have bought her, say, a white ceramic bear with a lacy plastic heart glued to his chest with the words "Luv U Mom!" and a fake carnation emerging from the back of his head. And she would've been pleased.
But I would've bought her something nicer than that.
Instead, I helped pick out flowers for my boyfriend's mom. I really enjoy shopping for flowers. I said, "How about candy to go with the flowers? She doesn't like candy? How about shower gel? No?" Afterwards, my boyfriend offered to buy me flowers, too. But I declined. Because I wanted to pick my own flowers, and no one had anything I wanted. Seriously -- the flower selection was rank this year. Prematurely wilted.
I told him I'd buy myself flowers next week, when everything's replenished. Instead, I bought myself a pedicure, on Friday. "This," I told myself, "is my Mothers' Day gift."
I mean, I would've gotten a pedicure either way. But still.
I might be secretly upset about some of this, on some level, and that's why I'm typing so much about it. If so, that's okay.
And it's okay if you don't like Matt Damon, because I like him enough for the both of us.
My kids and I had a Jason Bourne Film Festival yesterday and today. I love the hell out of those movies. Even though I hated the book, The Bourne Identity, when I read it was back in the day.
Everything is better with a little Matt Damon, though. I've always liked him. Also, did you all know that Clive Owen was in the first movie? And Eomer, from Lord of the Rings, was in the second? (That's who my son said it was. I could check IMDb right now to be sure, but I don't feel like it.)
video game news
They're coming out with another World of Warcraft expansion that takes you to Level 80, and my lazy night elf character, Xora, is still only Level 35. Khan.
We opened up a lot of new songs on Rock Band, but my voice is still sore, so I bought some new clothes for my character, Xora Jane. I cut her hair short and dyed it green. My kids said, "What happened to your hair?" Kind of like they said about my real hair, now that it's short and dyed red.
But, you know. These things happen.
We got this game called Assasin's Creed that everybody keeps telling us to get. I had a long conversation with the game store clerks, during which they each explained to me, separately, that it was about the Crusades. ("What do they call that? That religious thing?") So now I'm excited, even though I can't play console games worth a crap because my fingers haven't ever adapted to the boomerang-shaped controllers. The Game Stop guy said I should totally sit on the couch and watch my kids play, though, just to see the story unfold.
I think my kids paid him to tell me that, actually. That's their fantasy -- that I get rich and quit my job and buy them more video games and then sit there, watching them play.
Stream of consciousness writing time over! It's time for bed!
Goodnight. 10:22 PM # (7) comments
Monday, April 07, 2008Talking with Artists about Art
Something's in the air around me lately such that I keep finding myself talking with artists about problems and issues related to the actual act of doing art. Over the past month, I've thought about the particular concerns that come up when you collaborate with another artist on a long-term basis. I've commiserated with others over the different kinds of artist friends you can have. (Those you can count on to do work and to support your work, and those you can only count on for drinks, basically.) I've talked with a lot of people about the need to promote one's art and how that differs/detracts from creating it. The two main art-related subjects I focus on, habitually, are art for profit vs art for art's sake, and finding inspiration vs forcing yourself to work.
While talking about this stuff with other people, I began thinking about famous dead artists and what we know about their work habits. Do we know anything? I haven't read any biographies on famous dead artists lately, but nothing in popular culture comes to mind. I know that Van Gogh cut off his ear, but I don't know if/how he used caffeine while working. I know that Dali was obsessed with breasts and fruit-picking devices, but I don't know if he ever said, "Don't invite that jerk Man Ray to exhibit with us. He's always late and he never chips in for wine and cheese."
I read most of Stephen King's memoir and wished he'd talked more about his cocaine use. How could he write, while addicted to coke? How did he physically, mentally do it? How'd he do it before he used drugs? What did he think of his contemporaries? When he played in that rock band with Dave Barry and his other writer friends, did switching mediums inspire them to write more, or was it just a necessary break? I don't know. Doesn't say. Maybe I need to go to the library.
There are live, not even so famous artists I admire a lot, and I always want to ask them intrusive questions about their creative processes, but I refrain. I know that kind of stuff is hard to talk about, and there might not be that big a market for it, anyway. It's just shop talk, maybe, only interesting those in the industry. Guess I should say, then, that I'm greatful to the artists I know, for their willingness to talk shop with me. Because otherwise I'd be lonely. (Lonelier.) :)
My Least Accomplished Accessory
I've never been one for wearing belts. That began, most likely, because I grew up poor, and belts aren't really accessories that poor women buy. They don't buy belts, scarves, or trouser socks, I don't think. Instead, they buy costume jewelry, cheap bags, and knee highs, because those things give you more look for the money.
So then, I became un-poor, but also fat. And fat women don't wear a lot of belts because the only ones that fit are the ones at Lane Bryant, and those aren't very exciting.
So... This story sounds like I'm trying to get sympathy, but I'm not. I'm just telling y'all that, for one reason and another, I've never really worn belts, and therefore I don't feel comfortable accessorizing with them.
And now I'm not poor, and I'm less fat, and I subscribe to Lucky magazine. And, as all of you who read Lucky know, women are supposed to wear belts with every single outfit they own. You have to wear a pair of pants with a dress on top of it, then a cardigan wrapped over the dress, then a belt tied around the whole thing. Or, you can just wear a dress by itself... as long as you wear it with a belt. Or you can put the cardigan with your jeans, as long as you have a leather or canvas belt in plain sight on top of that. Or you can wear panties and a bra and a big, thick neutral belt. Or you can be naked, with a thin, metallic double belt.
You see what I'm saying? You're supposed to wear belts.
Not that I follow Lucky's advice. I don't -- especially not as far as layering and color matching are concerned. I don't know how it is in New York City, but here in Houston, we can't get away with wearing dresses on top of other dresses, one in yellow and one in maroon. That's, like, against our laws. It's too hot for that many haphazard layers. Also, we're still working the Three Color Rule here, as far as I can see. "Don't be wearing more than three colors at once," that is. Some people count neutrals with that, some liberal people don't.
See what I'm saying? I'm not about to go overboard and buy anything that Lucky calls luxe, lush, or louche. But I do feel the need to buy belts lately, and I do wish I knew which belts went with what. Because the black suede number with the star-shaped rhinestone buckle? That I got from Torrid four years ago? I don't think that works with anything in my closet anymore, and it's too big now, anyway.
That's all for now, y'all. Talk to y'all later. I'm gonna go Google "belts" now. Either that, or I'll actually go back to my office and do some work. 12:02 PM # (18) comments
Sunday, March 23, 2008How I Spent My Spring Break Vacation
I ate too much, exercised too much, slept too much, spent too much, and didn't work enough. So, you know, it was awesome.
My kids got back from their dad's today. Before they did, we hid three dozen candy-filled eggs and set up a new badminton set in the back yard. Hot dogs for dinner. Fun, fun, fun.
How Starbuck Spent Her Spring Break Vacation
She went into the backyard several times, under adult supervision. Once there, she explored and practiced climbing the pear tree.
Once, Tad caught a lizard and set it down in front of her. She immediately picked it up with her mouth and carried it into the house. "Oh, no!" the lizard said.
"A new toy, with batteries!" Starbuck said. She dropped the lizard in the living room and batted him between her paws a bit. He ran away and she turned round and round looking for him, stepping on his head with her back paw in the process.
I yelled for Tad to please remove the lizard from my house, before his tail fell off and became another lizard or whatever.
Slightly bruised but still quite alive, the lizard went back to our patio furniture, where he hits on female lizards to this day.
How Toby Spent His Spring Break Vacation
When he wasn't eating, Toby hid under the bed. No, that's not true. Sometimes, he came out to be petted on my bed, and then he sat on my head a couple of times. He tried to get petted on the couch, but being out in public in the daytime was just too frightening.
That's about all I can tell y'all now. Except for the following:
I want to write more, but I can't get my mind straight. I do have at least 3 things to tell y'all, the first of which is my thoughts on Gong Li. But I have to prepare myself mentally before that can happen. I have to get back into the routine. Maybe tomorrow.
I'm thinking about taking the bus to work every day, at least until gas gets cheaper again. My calculations say that it'll save me about $80 a month. It would save more if it didn't cost three damned dollars to ride our park-n-ride. How sad, that $6 per day would still save me money.
My boyfriend (fiance) took half the week off so he could vacation with me, a little, and he's so sad about having to return to work tomorrow. I don't want to go back, either, but he really is kind of depressed about it. Poor guy.
The other day, he and I went on what was supposed to be a 3 mile walk at a local park. (Teresa B, you know which one.) And, instead, we got totally lost on the trails and ended up walking 8 miles. It was brutal. My butt still hurts. And yet I don't think that excursion negated all the calories we ate this week, unfortunately. Oh, well.
I got all my hair cut off a couple of weekends ago. I think I told y'all that, right? I didn't go to my regular stylist for that one because, gosh forgive me, but I didn't think she'd understand what kind of look I was going for. So I went to [chain salon that's supposed to be all awesome], and my hair came out cute but sort of uneven. You know?
So then, a few days ago, I went back to my regular stylist to get some new highlights. And she saw my hair, and I told her what happened, and she was like, "Let me just fix the ends for you."
But she said it like, "Let me just prove to you that you should've come to me, instead." And then she totally re-cut my hair, y'all! And then she razored it until I was like, "Um, it's okay if I don't look like Victoria Beckham." And then she straightened it, like she loves to do, and it did come out super cute... but then I tried to get a photo of it at home, to show y'all, and the photo made me look like a lazy-eyed Liza Minelli. (Sometimes I look like that, at certain angles. Can't help it.)
And... I don't know. I'll upload a picture if I get a cute one. Or maybe I'll just break down and upload the weird picture. Or maybe I'll finally realize that it's not that big a deal, either way, and that people's lives can continue without constantly updated pictures of my hair.
We went to Katy Mills Mall, and someone there had a sign that said, "Happy Easter and Holy Week Sale." And I thought that was weird, that they mentioned Holy Week like that. I mean, I get that suburban retailers in Texas sometimes get good results from pandering to Christians. But... Holy Week? What is that, like, "OMG, y'all, I got the cutest jeans on sale on the anniversary of the day that Jesus was crucified!"? I don't know, man.
We saw a chick get handcuffed for shoplifting at that mall, too. She got arrested on Good Friday, y'all. Saddest part? The store she stole from had a sign that said, "Nothing over $8.98." I'm guessing she stole from Sarah Jessica Parker's Bitten line, because she simply didn't consider it cheap enough.
Okay, that's all. More later. Hope y'all had good Easters, or at least good Easter candies, or at least found nice things to buy or steal sometime around the time that some people commemorate some kind of thing. 7:46 PM # (6) comments
Sunday, March 09, 2008status update
1. I cut off my hair. It's shorter than heck. Chin length with long bangs. I'm glad. I'm getting too old for long hair, I think. My boyfriend doesn't think so, but he doesn't have to be a 36-year-old woman with three kids, a conservative job, and razored-to-hell long hair. So I cut it. I took in a picture of Number 6 from Battlestar Galactica, and they cut my hair, and now I look like a mom. But I am a mom, so I'm good. (I might go solid blonde next, though. Screw it -- it's only hair, right?)
2. Toby and Starbuck are inseparable now, just like I knew they eventually would be. I would tell y'all cute stories about them now, but Toby just got on my lap and he smells like vomit, so I'm not in the mood, all of a sudden. I swear: Toby is a dog, not a cat. He always needs a bath.
3. Finally got my signed copy of Rob's book, so I'm reading it in quick bursts while I ride in the car and etc. It's very good. It inspires at least one laugh or one lip tremble per page. He had a nice turn-out at his Houston reading, and he cracked us up, despite the not-quite-hilarious subject. Congratulations, Rob!
4. Uh... seems like I had at least five list items to tell y'all...
Oh, I'm getting ready to take a vacation. From my day job and my kids, for a week, coinciding with Spring Break. Guess what I'm gonna do on my vacation? Work my freaking ass off. I have a novel to finish.
5. Uh... Send me your email address if you want my publisher to send you a coupon for 20% my Growing Up with Tamales kids' book. If you're already on the mailing list, I've taken the liberty of putting you on that list. :) But they promised not to spam y'all with other stuff, so don't be sad.
That's it. More later. Busy, busy day tomorrow. Busy, busy life. 9:03 PM # (4) comments
Thursday, February 21, 2008quick
I typed this in an email to my boyfriend (fiance) and decided to paste it here, too, so y'all know:
I feel, lately, like most of the problems around me are caused by unhappy people looking to make others unhappy. I want to be left alone so I can do my work and have a good life.
I put a couple of new pics on the Flickr page, including my new author photo and a pic of Toby and me. New author photo is also on the About page, for those who are interested in seeing it but don't want to click all the way over to Flickr.
I'm a little bit annoyed by the fact that I've been losing and gaining the same five pounds since February 1. I want to tell people "I've lost 40 pounds!" but then that number changes back to 35. Back and forth, back and forth. I read a comment on a blog the other day (maybe Big Fat Deal?) where someone said, "The only way she was able to maintain that weight was by eating only 1200 calories a day and exercising for 90 minutes every night!!" And I thought, "Damn." Because that's what I'm doing every day, and it's not working. I'm stuck here at this pants size that I don't want to be.
My number one motivation here is becoming a pants size that is readily available in all non-plus-size, non-vanity-sized retail clothing stores. I'll just say it: Size 12. And it's not happening. And it's starting to piss me off. Personally, I don't think 90 minutes of exercise per day is a lot, especially if you spend most of your day sitting at a desk or in your car. It's not like we live in genteel Victorian England, where everyone has a huge freaking garden to take an hour-long walk after every meal. So I don't feel like it's unreasonable that I might have to exercise even more. But I do feel like I either have time to lose weight, or time to, say, write a novel. But not both. Not with an eight-hour day job and 2 hour roundtrip commute. Very, very annoying.
(Note: The above paragraphs are about me, not about you. I want to be size 12, and that's my business. My desire to be size 12 has nothing to do with your body, my opinion of your body, or American society's potential, personal hatred of you. FYI. So don't start, if you're thinking of starting down that road.)
Hardcore judgmental thoughts, here. Avert your eyes if you can't take it.
See... I hate lookism, and so I avoid people who judge others only by their looks. But, at the same time, I can't stand it when people go around presupposing that everyone is discriminating against them or, basically, that any woman thinner/prettier than them must be an evil bitch. It goes both ways, you know?
A while back, I found some chick's weight-loss blog. (I will never recall the URL and I'm about to hate on this chick, so I wouldn't post it in any case.) This woman said she'd just lost some enormous amount of weight, okay? And she had several entries about how it now disgusts her to see fat people on the subway. She said she especially hates to watch them eat. And that's her right, I suppose. You could maybe say her reaction was actually self-hatred and fear of becoming fat again. But still, I thought, "Well, you're a miserable, insecure, lookist bitch, and that's why you'll never be happy, no matter what you do."
A while back, that old Trainwrecks site used to link to a Livejournal group for "hot" fat chicks. Fat chicks who thought themselves pretty would submit a picture to the group, and then the group -- in plain sight, online -- would critique the hell out of the photo and vote on whether the submitter was "hot" enough to join their little clique. I saw that and thought, "I bet a million dollars half these chicks go to fat-activist sites and complain about lookism on a regular basis."
This feeling has been boiling inside me for a while, and I've resisted posting it because it's kind of sexist, but now I can't stand it anymore and I have to say: Insecure women are a major force of evil in our country. Or, at least, a major source of annoyance to me, personally.
I mean, insecure men are plentiful and annoying, too. But there are whole industries built on the masses of insecure women who believe that their only value is in being pretty, and that, if they can't be prettiest, they can at least judge less pretty women and hate prettier women. And then, of course, they give stupid men the excuse to walk around labelling all women catty bitches.
Disclaimer: I'm sure I used to be one of these insecure women, probably. And it's only because I'm getting older that I have so little patience for that sort of thing today. (Maybe my reaction is secretly self-hatred and a fear of becoming insecure again? Heh.) But I'm not the only one who's tired of insecure women. It seems like, in each of my social groups, most of the women are working, buying cars and houses, starting families... and then there's that one woman who's constantly comparing her looks to everyone else's and worrying whether men think she's hot. And the rest of us are like, "Jesus, bitch, can you please shut up about that stupid, boring crap?" You know? Like:
Jane: OMG, you guys, my mom has been really ill lately. She's getting worse.
Sharon: Oh, no. That sucks. What are you going to do?
Jane: I don't know. My brother and I are meeting tonight to discuss our options. She might have to move in with John and me.
Cindy: Wow, that sucks. Guess what, you guys! I lost six more pounds! So now I weigh even less than you, Jane! And guess what else. That guy at Starbucks? Totally checked me out again. I think it was my new bra. I can't wait for Todd to find out -- he's gonna be so jealous!
Jane and Sharon: [stony silence]
Cindy: So, you guys, why don't we go to that Starbucks, and then go shopping for smaller jeans? We never hang out anymore. You guys never call me anymore. Why is that? Is it because I'm thinner than you now?
Coming down now.
Okay. Sorry I had to talk all loud like that. I just feel like, lately, I'm trying to vent these feelings in a subtle way, but I'm not being very clear, and then people are like, "What? She said on her blog that pretty women don't deserve to live on our planet? She's a jerk, then! A fat, ugly jerk whose boyfriend didn't buy her anything for Valentine's Day!" So I wanted to clarify. Hope I did.
Later, taters. 5:50 AM # (15) comments
Tuesday, January 29, 2008Toby update
Toby spent the night in my oldest son's room. Starbuck spent the night in the living room, instead of on my bed like she normally does. Was she guarding the whole house from Toby? I don't know. After I woke up, she went into my room, I guess. Moments later, Toby bounded in to say good morning. I petted him. Then I heard this ominous, "Er-r-r-r-r... ERR-R-R-R!" from under the bed. "Starbuck! Be nice!" I yelled.
Poor Toby, after apparently holding it all night, finally went to the bathroom... in one of our houseplants. "No-o-o!" I cried, scaring him across the house. But then he let me carry him back into the hall and show him the real litter box. I'd shown it to him yesterday, but neglected to scratch his paws in it, like you're supposed to. So I did his paws, and he made this face like, "Oh. That's why you showed me this box yesterday. Okay."
I hope that, once the house is emptied of humans, Starbuck will get bored enough to be a good hostess. Maybe she'll give Toby a tour and let him share a seat next to her at the Bastard-Squirrel-Watching Window.
Avon: What's up with it?
At my work, in the room called Ladies, there's a new Avon catalog with something weird on the back. It says, "Rich, creamy goodness! Moisturizing body yogurt!" And it shows pastel, fruit-scented lotions in yogurt-carton-like containers, with a spoon dipping into one of them.
Isn't that kind of disgusting? Body yogurt? Not only does it sound like smearing food on your body, which is a practice best left to seventies porn, in my opinion, but it also carries the vague connotation of... I don't know. A cure for yeast infections or something? Okay, I'm sorry I said that. But I had to. It was there, in the back of my mind. I'm just not turned on to the body yogurt idea.
Plus, the ad copy: "Rich, creamy goodness." Doesn't that sound like early 2000s blogspeak? Like a phrase a blogger would use facetiously, on a blog called something like, "A Blog of One's Own" or "Randomized Thoughts," to describe Josh Hartnett in a shirtless scene?
You'll be glad to know that I finally found a pair of brown boots.
And I got them on outrageous discount, 65% off. I want to wear them every day. I'm wearing them today, in fact, with a dress they probably don't go with. They look sort of like galoshes with this dress. But I don't care.
Here they are. They look just like that, but darker. That picture is way bright/reddish on my monitor, for some reason.
And, normally I wouldn't link to something I bought in that way, but I really wanted you to see the boots, because I've been talking about looking for brown boots on this blog for, what? Nine thousand years now? And I know y'all have probably been worried about it. It's probably kept y'all up at night, your concern regarding my boot search... So I just wanted you to know you can lay the matter to rest now.
rich people annoyingness
There are certain web sites in this world on which the commenters annoy me with their snobbery. It's usually on sites about fashion or New York that a certain breed of blogsnob will show up and hate on people who buy cheap clothing. They'll be like, "Oh my god, I wouldn't be caught dead in Old Navy. People who shop at Kohl's should kill themselves. I use Banana Republic silk blouses to wipe my nose. I can't touch, share oxygen with, or live in the bourrough of anyone who browses the Barney's clearance racks."
And I always think, "Yeah, right." Who are these people, who brag about their wealth and discriminating taste anonymously, in someone else's blog comments? Who are they supposed to be fooling? Who would care, besides the other faux rich people commenting anonymously?
Then again, maybe they aren't fake. Unfortunately, I've met some rich people in real life who really do believe that either:
a) they're smart for being rich and everyone else is stupid for not being rich, or
b) they're better than everyone else, as evidenced by the fact that they were born rich.
Maybe people who were born rich are better than everyone else (or at least they were, in a past life). But I don't think so. And I'm not just saying that because I was born poor.
Some people think that we're all the same -- that no one is better than anyone else. I don't believe that, either.
I think that being a good person (good person, better person, best person) is based on your behavior. We can't all be born rich, smart, or attractive, but most of us can make the choice to be good -- to treat others as we'd like to be treated -- or to be assholes. And that's the basis on which I set a person's value, in my mind.
All that sounds super elementary and not worth discussing, I know. But I swear to gosh, I really do talk to people on a daily basis who believe that being born with money makes someone a more valuable person. Or that pretty people are more valuable. Or that smart people are. To each their own, I guess. But I hate it when people apply that value system to me. I hate it when someone quite obviously decides that I'm good enough to talk to because they find me attractive enough, or because I've published a book, or because I've pulled myself up by the bootstraps. Don't talk to me if that's why you're talking to me. Don't talk to me if you're an asshole.
(I know some of y'all reading this blog are rich, and some of you are Republicans, and that it sometimes seems like I hate rich people and Republicans. I know this because y'all write to me and say, "I know you hate rich Republicans, but I am one and I still like your blog." I don't hate rich people or Republicans! I know a lot of decent people of both persuasions, and I wouldn't judge y'all on that, alone. :) )
And that ends my rant for today. Come back next time for another petty, judgmental, evil rant.
A while back, I was on this here blog pretending that I might take up jogging, and my e-buddy Mike gave me some advice. He said, "Don't overtrain." And he cited an example of his own overzealous exercise and self-injury.
I thought of Mike the other day when I was trying to break through my weight-loss plateau. I'd already walked a couple of miles that day and done a half-hour routine with Gilad. And I was so annoyed at not having lost any more weight, I decided to do some cardio an hour before bed.
And I pulled a muscle in my lower back, and Mike's words floated above my head like the Ghost of Overzealous Workouts Past.
And now my back hurts, and I can hardly exercise at all. And I've only lost 2 lbs this month, when I should have lost 5. And now I just have to eat less, I guess, if I want to meet my goal, which is to lose 20 pounds total by May 1.
If I can't meet that goal, I won't hate myself or anything. But it will be a little disappointing, and it'll set back my plans and my time table for deciding on a Halloween costume. And etc.
But, if all that turns out to be the least of my problems, then I'll be doing pretty well and I'll be relieved. :) 5:30 AM # (7) comments
Thursday, January 17, 2008Oh, here's a good cliched post topic -- New Year's resolutions!
1. Write a bunch of stuff.
I have so much stuff to write, I feel guilty sitting here writing this blog entry. I have so much stuff I'm contractually obliged to write this year, I'm probably going to use up all my vacation time and floating holiday writing it. And having so much stuff to write? Is a good thing. Don't think I'm forgetting that.
2. Make a bunch of money. Or, if that's not possible, save a bunch of money.
I'm not going to say anything bitter about the fact that all the money I would have made this year is already allotted to making up for lost child support. I mean, I already made a lot of money for the year, but it wasn't enough. Bad Luck seems to follow me around, watching my mailbox for checks.
Then again -- better to have bad luck when you have the checks than when you don't, right? Right. In the mean time, I am in the midst of a budgetary resolution to never eat out again. As you might imagine, it's making me sad.
3. Lose 20 more pounds. (WARNING: Boring weight talk to follow.)
Science has left me upon a plateau. Now that I've lost 35 pounds through the magic of physics, I can no longer lose weight at the same rate (2 lbs per week) unless I subsist on 1100 calories per day. Which is 100 fewer than the recommended allowance for anyone, fat or thin. And about 300 fewer than a hypoglycemic chick who really loves to eat would recommend for herself.
Subsisting on 1100 calories a day would be doable if I ate 1400 per day, then burned off 300 of that with exercise. Burning off 300 would take about an hour and a half. Maybe less if I did it via DDR. ("Difficult" level = hardcore cardio.) And all that would be incredibly plausible if I didn't spend most of my day sitting, either at a desk or in my car. I spend about 11 hours a day sitting down, if you include my long-ass commute. Sad, huh?
I'm trying to eat as few calories as I can stand, and burn as many calories as I can squeeze into my sedentary day. But I might have to resign myself to losing the weight more slowly than 2 lbs per week. My goal is to lose five pounds a month, totalling 20 pounds by May 1. Guess how much weight I've lost so far!
Half a pound. Bleh.
If I do meet this goal, I might give myself two or three months to rest, then lose 20 more. Why not? That would make me only 10 pounds overweight, by Dept of Health standards, and yet thinner than I've been since I was 18 years old. (Current goal would make me thinner than I've been since 19 years old. Freshman Fifty much? :) ) (<-- That emoticon has a double chin.)
4. Try not to equate money or career success with happiness.
Despite resolutions numbers 1 and 2. No, seriously. I mean, I want to write more and make more money, but without letting my happiness depend on those goals. Should be easy! Right? Right??
5. Work on that whole self-promotion... bleh
Promote myself as an author without feeling like a show-off or a sell-out. Yeah. I remember. I'm gonna do that. Okay.
6. Do more art.
That goes with being happy.
And that's it. Okay. Aren't you glad you asked? What? You didn't ask? Oh. Well... Don't read this entry, then.
Doh. Too late! Too bad for you.
:) 12:11 PM # (5) comments
Monday, December 03, 2007A Plainclotheshorse
Sometimes I want to tell y'all what I find at the thrift stores, and maybe post pictures of my finds, but then I don't, because I've realized that I like pretty boring clothes.
Today, for instance, I am wearing black pants, a white shirt, and a fuchsia silk cardigan ($1.91 with orange tag markdown). And black loafers. And no jewelry, because I forgot it. And that's pretty much about as exciting as my wardrobe gets, unless I bust out a dress or the knee-high boots or something.
The other day I found a brand new pair of brown, unembellished, Unlisted loafers at my second-favorite thrift store, for $6.97. I found one of them on the floor, and I searched the store until I found its mate. And I was so ecstatically happy. "I should take a picture of these and put them on my Flickr page!" I said to myself. Then I realized how underwhelming a picture of brown loafers would be.
Oh, well. I'm still happy about them.
But, if you'd like to see something semi-exciting, go on over to my Flickr page and see that paintings I did to go above my fireplace.
The YouTubes and the CSSes and the BloggerWriters and the InterWebs
I feel kind of sad about the fact that I haven't posted anything on YouTube yet. I feel un-Web-pioneer-y. I even have stuff to post -- two or three readings and lectures I did that people were kind enough to videotape for me and then make DVDs for my use, to post on YouTube as I'd promised I would. And I haven't yet done it. I even have the video editing software on my computer. I just haven't had time to get it done.
Other information highway merge lanes I haven't had time to drive on:
- podcasting with the MP3s I have of myself reading and yakking at radio show hosts
- putting something about my books on the domain GwendolynZepeda.com
- getting on any writer-y sites and telling people I'm a writer
- updating the design of this here blog
How do y'all web mavens have time to do all this stuff? Is it because you do it as a career? Is it because you don't have 28 kids, like I do? Are you doing it at your day jobs? Are you tricking high school students into being your web content interns? Help me, ObiWanKenobis. Tell me your secrets.
It just takes time, I guess. Maybe I can do something on the web, next time I feel like painting a bunch of birds and hanging them up above my fireplace.
Weekend Adventure: Farmers' Market
One of my kid's friends spent the weekend with us, which was all the excuse we needed to conduct weekend adventures. We dragged that little boy to the Asian grocery store to see the live frogs and purchase cha siu for the fried-rice feast my boyfriend later cooked. We dragged him to a park that we'd never seen before, and that park ended up having bison and pigs and emus, oh my! We sought out a new (to us) carniceria, next door to our second favorite panaderia and ate a fabulously traditional Mexican Sunday breakfast of tacos, pastry, and insanely spicy hot sauce.
After we dropped the boy off at his home, my boyfriend dropped me off at my favorite thrift store for a few hours, which is always a very exciting adventure, for me at least. (Three skirts in gray and taupe! A light blue button-down!) Then we reconvened at Empire, which is the best coffee house in Houston.
(Please don't write and tell me that Brazil or Dietrich's are the best. They aren't. Empire is. Sorry.) (Just kidding. Feel free to tell me which is your fave, and why. I always want to know y'all's fave restaurants in Houston, okay?)
Best of all, though: We went to the farmers' market on Airline, which neither Tad nor I had been to since we were children. The Airline farmers' market is, as my youngest son put it, a "fleamarket of food." Their restrooms are nastier than those of the nightclub #s. But still -- they have beautiful fruits, vegetables, spices, and herbs for dirt cheap. We're going back again very soon. Every single week for the rest of our lives, maybe.
I've been meaning to tell y'all this for weeks now...
I no longer like Billy Joel's music.
You know why? Because, the other day, I heard a song of his I hadn't heard since I was a kid with snot running down my nose and no sense of what was happening in the world. That song was "Big Shot."
Here is the chorus and two verses of the song:
Because you had to be a big shot, didn't you
You had to open up your mouth
You had to be a big shot, didn't you
All your friends were so knocked out
You had to have the last word, last night
You know what everything's about
You and to have a white hot spotlight
You had to be a big shot last night
They were all impressed with your Halston dress
And the people you knew at Elaine's
And the story of your latest success
Kept 'em so entertained
But now you just can't remember
All the things you said
And you're not sure you want to know
I'll give you one hint, honey
You sure did put on a show
Well, it's no big sin to stick your two cents in
If you know when to leave it alone
But you went over the line
You couldn't see it was time to go home
What the hell is this guy's deal? The narrator of this song is mad at some chick because... why? Because she talked a lot? Because her friends were "knocked out" and "entertained" by her stories? Because she wore an expensive dress?
Maybe I'm just reading way too much into it (as I will sometimes do with lyrics when I'm in my van, listening to the radio during my 1.25 hour commute), but it sounds like the narrator just can't hang with women getting attention. Maybe attention that he feels is rightfully his?
Read those lyrics, then consider the lyrics to "Uptown Girl," which Mr. Joel presumably wrote later:
She's been living in her uptown world
I bet she's never had a backstreet guy
I bet her momma never told her why
You know I can't afford to buy her pearls
But maybe someday when my ship comes in
She'll understand what kind of guy I've been
And then I'll win
Watch out, uptown girl! Don't do it! Don't marry this backstreet guy, because every time you want to have a little fun with your friends or dress up a little or tell anyone about your accomplishments, he'll ridicule you and your white-bread world. Then, years later, after he's erroded your self esteem, the two of you will divorce and then he'll replace you with a younger woman too meek to hold her own on a cooking contest show!
Just kidding. Heh. I'm sure Billy Joel is a very nice person, and his song narrators are no reflection of his own views on women. I just like to listen to music and make up funny little stories for myself when I'm alone in my van.
When I was a child, I memorized lyrics without thinking about them. I also liked Billy Joel and hated Bob Seeger.
But now that I'm older, I can't help but think about lyrics. Do I want to listen to songs that say "Ha, ha, you rich bitch, I did donuts on your lawn with my motorcycle," or lyrics that say "I had sex with a rich woman in Hollywood and it was awesome, and now I'm an old, worn-out cliche of a rock star and I only have myself to blame"?
Or do I want to go back to my old favorite, with lyrics that say "It seems like we really hate women, but then again, we did steal most of this music from black musicians nowhere near as famous as us"? Now that Led Zeppelin's having a little comeback, I mean.
Silverfish, silverfish! It's Christmas time in the city!
I decorated our Christmas tree (Douglas fir, $17 at Lowe's with $10-off coupon) last night.
I'm not even going to tell y'all about the all-new holiday trauma tradition we started, which involved the whole family and the meticulous slaughtering of the silverfish that have been breeding in our garage, in the boxes that came over from our apartment more than a year ago, which contained all our Christmas ornaments and decorations.
I'm not even going to tell you about it.
Suffice it to say that tree is up, the garage is clear, and my children will grow up with beautiful holiday memories -- the strains of "Deck the Halls" intertwined with the dulcet tones of their mommy's voice, screaming, "There's one! KILL IT!" and "Bang it on the floor until they all fall out!" and "Because I gave birth to you, that's why!"
Beautiful. Priceless. You're welcome, kids. I love you, too. 6:04 AM # (14) comments
Saturday, November 24, 2007reminder of what I have
2007 has been a disappointing year for me, for various reasons beyond my control. A year of rejections, failures, unexpected expenses and medical dramas. I'm calling it, in my mind, a year of learning experiences and character strengthening.
The one thing I have been able to control is my own body--namely, how much I eat and how much I exercise. (And I know that's the seed of anorexia: focusing on controlling your own body when you feel powerless to control anything else. But don't worry; I'm very, very far from that.) So I've failed at increasing my income this year, but I succeeded at decreasing my weight.
So I need new clothes. And I'm broke. And I have a whole wardrobe of clothing that doesn't fit me anymore. So I thought I'd have a garage sale. But I couldn't, because my neighborhood association won't let us. And no one else I knew could get it together to have one... and selling clothes on eBay or Craigslist is too much work for too little money... But I was hoarding these bags of too-big clothes, thinking I'd sell them one way or another and then use the money to buy new clothes.
And then, the other day, my friend Letty, who works for the local women's shelter, called me up. I was walking around the clearance dress racks at Macy's when she called, in fact. She said, "Do you still have those clothes that are too big for you?"
I said yes. She said, "Would you consider donating them to the shelter? They just called me and said they desperately need clothes in that size."
I said uh, yeah, I guess, maybe. She said, "You don't have to give them all of it. They just really need work clothes and underwear."
I said, "Underwear? Y'all take underwear? I was just gonna throw mine away. I never donate underwear because that's kind of weird, you know? I mean, who wants old underwear?"
She said, "Well, sometimes women who come to the shelter have just been raped. So their underwear gets cut off of them when they're being examined. And, you know, we have clothes to give them, but we don't always have underwear--especially in the bigger sizes. So, you know, they just come to us..."
And I said okay, and I went home and got all the clothes together. And I went through my underwear drawer and pulled out the stuff that was fit to give away, and I tried not to think about how horrible it would be to have your underwear cut off, and then to move to a new place, full of strangers, with borrowed clothes and no underwear on your body. Or to try to start a new life with nothing but borrowed clothes, or literally no clothes at all. Not a wardrobe full of things that are a little too big, not a closet full of things you're a little bit tired of, but literally nothing.
Houston Area Women's Shelter needs larger sized work clothing and underwear, y'all. Especially sizes 20 and up. And winter coats. And toilettries. And diapers. And everything, all this stuff we take for granted.
I gave Letty the clothes and then we had lunch, and we talked about a lot of stuff. I've known Letty since Kindergarten, and we don't have lunch as often as we should, but when we do, we always end up discussing massive things. Because we are massive-issue-discussing friends. Which is good. It unblocks our minds.
One of the things we talked about was fear of poverty versus the ennui of middle class existence. Most people educated in America know of middle class ennui, because we read about it. It's like, the prevailing experience of our literary canon, right? So I knew about it, but I didn't really understand it until I became middle class.
I just bought a house, and Letty's agonizing over whether or not to buy a house, and we both see now what it is--a huge financial commitment to a lifestyle you're not sure you want to live for the life of your mortgage. And, if you fail (foreclose), then you aren't just a failure--you're a failure with worthless credit. Marked for life.
And Letty's been wanting to go to grad school, but says she's afraid to be broke. AKA poor. (I hope she doesn't mind me telling you this. Letty, tell me if you mind and I'll delete.)
Assuming everyone reading this has a little money, and therefore access to a computer and time to read this entry: Did you grow up poor? If so, then you know what it means to be afraid of returning to poverty. Did you grow up rich or middle class? If so, know that all your friends who grew up poor and scratched their way up are secretly, desperately afraid to turn poor again.
So I understood what Letty was saying, on the house count and on the grad school count. And I told her that, even though having a house makes me completely broke (AKA land-poor), I don't mind because this time, I'm controlling my poverty. This time, I look at my budget and make conscious decisions. There's no shame in being broke--in eating ramen noodles, buying thrift store clothes--if I've made the decision to do so in order to hold on to my house. And, if I decide to sell my house and go back to renting, it'll be a slight failure, but again, something I controlled.
It's winter now in Houston, finally. And it's the holidays. That means that, all over town, people who grew up poor are experiencing PTSD, and coping with it in various ways. Turning the heat up high. Not turning the heat up at all. Spending lots of money at the mall. Not spending money at all. Clinging to family. Avoiding family. Reliving old habits and trying to make sense of them. Creating new habits and trying to move on.
I turned up our heat a little today, because I think it's worth paying to be warm. I've been taking things out of storage--things people gave me that were kind of a pain to store all summer when we lived in an apartment. Tea pot. Coffee press. Warm slippers. Sweaters and coats.
And you know what? I'm glad I have these things, and people who love me enough to give them. And I'm especially glad that I have this little snail-shell house. Meaning it's heavy on my back, but it holds all the things that we need. In all senses of those words.
Last night we went to local club Rich's to see Felix da Housecat. Because he always puts on a good show, and Rich's is our favorite venue. And, guess what? Felix wasn't there. There was a hand-written sign on the register saying he was in the hospital, and that cover would be free, and that our pre-purchased tickets would be good for when Felix rescheduled.
I hope he isn't really hospital-worthy sick. I hope he just felt like flaking. But if he's really sick, I hope he gets well soon.
The opening act DJs did their best to make it up to us. They did a pretty good job.
After Rich's, we went to South Beach. South Beach is one of Houston's premier gay clubs. The reason we go there is JD Arnold. JD Arnold is, pretty much, Houston's best DJ. He used to work at Rich's for years and years and years. Then he went to South Beach (which is, incidentally, the phoenix risen from the literal ashes of hate-crime-ruined Heaven, as some of you will remember).
And then, JD Arnold left South Beach, apparently. Recently, I think. Because he was there last time we went, several months ago, and now he's not.
"What happened to JD Arnold?" I asked the door guys.
"Who?" they said. "Who is that?"
"Hey, what happened to JD Arnold?" I asked a bartender who was running around.
"Who?" he said, just like the caterpillar with the hookah in Alice in Wonderland.
A bunch of employees gathered together, then, and complained about some customer hitting on or failing to hit upon one of their number. I was kind of tipsy, so I said it again. "Hey, you guys, what happened to JD Arnold?"
They looked at each other, made faces, rolled eyes, and said in a haughty chorus, "Who?"
Then I got it. "Y'all are mad at him, aren't you? Y'all are, like, never saying his name in this club again?" They lifted eyebrows and scattered like feathers on the wind.
I still don't know what happened. South Beach hasn't updated their web site, either.
Last month we went to see DJ Sasha at Bar Rio. I know none of y'all listen to the music I listen to, and y'all probably just mentally blip over my long descriptions of the DJ shows. But, if you've read this far, know that in my fantasies of a post-lottery-winning wedding, I'm wearing a fuchsia silk cheongsam with embroidered peonies, and Sasha is DJing our reception. Got me?
A man called Spooky opened up that night, and he did very well. He's an older guy, looks like an extra on a Lord of the Rings set, in t-shirt and jeans. Not ranking on his looks at all--just saying he didn't look like you might expect a DJ to look. But he played like a mofo, so we loved him with all our hearts, right at that moment.
Then Sasha came out, and I was so, so excited, and I was right up there in the front where I could breathe his air...
... and he played this set that he later described as minimalist (in response to complaints, I think), but which I would describe as easy-listening techno. And I was sad, and disappointed. And I respect that he wants to try new stuff, and that he may be chilling out as he gets older, but, dude...
don't come to a dance club and play undanceable music.
Now I'm thinking JD Arnold will have to play at my wedding. If anyone can find him. If he hasn't been run out of Houston by the local velvet mafia, I mean.
I painted a bunch of paintings--commercial interior dec stuff like they teach you to do on Trading Spaces--and they came out nice, and I'm happy. And it felt good to make stuff off the top of my head, with no pressure.
Try some crafting today. Start a holiday tradition. Put your dinette set in storage and make your family a crafting room. Let the cat help by stepping all over your drying canvases. (Because, of course, mine did. Thanks, Starbuck!)
Okay, that's all. More later. Thanks for listening. 3:35 PM # (17) comments
Monday, November 19, 2007Gourds!
We went to an HEB in the middle of nowhere the other day. (HEB is a big ol' grocery chain in Texas.) Out in front of the store, they had crates of bagged gourds and mini pumpkins for $1.50 per bag, surrounded by desperate fruit flies. So I bought three bags of gourds. Even though it's almost too late for harvest decorations, I bought them, figuring I could paint them silver and gold and use them for Martha Stewart-y xmas decorations.
Last night I cut open the bags and sorted through all the mixed gourds, picking out the best ones to display on the mantel. And, oh my god, I love mini gourds so much. I wanted to hug and kiss each one. They're so cute and harvesty. And now I don't want to paint them, because they're so beautiful just the way they are. I want to keep them forever. I want them to be my pets.
blipping over Thanksgiving
So the kids are going to their dad's for Thanksgiving, and we're not even cooking turkey--we're going to a Chinese restaurant. So, in a way, I feel like Thanksgiving doesn't exist and therefore I'm already planning for Christmas.
And it kind of makes me sad, to skip a holiday like that. But then again, I'm so glad to have the kids for Christmas this year, I'll gladly skip Thanksgiving in exchange for that.
I got my hair cut, but didn't have it all cut off, like I threatened. They layered the hell out of it, but left the back long. While Tina hacked away, I noted the clear line of demarcation between my old color and my roots. So I went home later and dyed my hair Navajo Bronze, aka "light caramel brown," and it came out dark auburn instead, and it looks nice and I like it.
And we got a new scale, and I've lost 35 pounds total in the past 6 months. And my goal is to lose 20 more, and I'm giving myself 6 more months to do that. So... yeah. Wish me luck.
My boyfriend can cook like a mofo.
The other day we were ambling around the grocery store, trying to decide what to make for dinner. My boyfriend says, "How about chicken wings?" And I said, "You mean like buffalo wings? Eh."
And he made us baked chicken wings, with salt and pepper and garlic, and DAMN they were good. My boyfriend is the master of cooking stuff with just salt, pepper, garlic, and making whatever it is taste like a $29 entree.
My night elf, she is sad.
My World of Warcraft character, Xora, has been stuck on Level 32 for the past nine months. I'm on this quest where I have to go into a haunted house and kill a bunch of zombies. Whenever I log on, no one else is playing that quest so no one can help me out. So I'll go into the haunted house and kill a few zombies, until the biggest zombie kills me, and then I'll spend a while bringing my character back to life, and then I get tired and log off.
I told my kids that, unless they wanted to get grounded, at least one of them was going to have to get online with me and help my character level up.
"I can just play your character for you until you're like, Level 35," said my youngest, who is 10.
"I don't want someone else to play it for me!" I whined. "I want to level up by myself!"
"Fine," said my oldest. "I'll help you the weekend after next, if I have time."
It's that time of year, when the world needs new clothes.
My boyfriend Tad wanted to look at trenchcoats, even though he already owns at least two. But we finally had a cold front, and the temperature set off that trenchcoat impulse within him.
So we went to the Galleria, which is where a few rich people go to shop, and where zillions of poor people go to watch them. We went into Neiman's and pretended we could afford it. We went to Saks 5th and pretended we were classy enough to lift our noses at the mannequins. We went to the new Barney's and sniffed that it was nothing like the one in New York. We peered into the window of Fendi and disagreed over the spotlighted purse. (I was for, Tad was against.) We went to Club Monaco and enjoyed the music. We went to Nordstrom and left in a huff over the fact that there were no more BCBG sweater dresses in size XL. (Which was good, since I couldn't afford one, anyway.)
Most importantly, we noted that fingerless knit gloves (solid or striped) were all the rage again, just like back in the eighties. We thought my 10-year-old son might like a pair. But the cheapest pair we found was $14 at Urban Outfitters, and that was too much.
We left the Galleria. The next day, we went to Target, where we purchased a set of two pairs of knit gloves--one black and one black and white stripes--for $1.49. We took them home and cut off the fingers with pinking shears. When my youngest son got home from Austin that night, we told him our Galleria adventures, then presented him with the knock-off gloves. He takes after us... I couldn't tell if he was more enchanted with the trendiness of them, or with the fact that we'd recreated the trend for so cheap. 6:37 AM # (6) comments
Friday, November 16, 2007Days of Our NPR
I'm all wrapped up in the Pakistan drama as it's revealed to me each morning by NPR. This morning I made my boyfriend listen to it, and then we found out details that compelled me to look up these people's photographs online today. Because I'm a visual learner, and I need to see names spelled in order to remember them. Photos of their faces seal the deal.
President Gen. Pervez Musharraf is the current leader of Pakistan. George Bush & Co. have been sending him money to "help fight terror" or whatever. But Musharraf's term is about to end, and he's not eligible to run again. So guess what he did. He declared a state of emergency, put on his military uniform, and sent out soldiers to deal with the lawyers who immediately started protesting this BS.
Benizar Bhutto is Pakistan's former prime minister, and she's been calling for Musharraf to leave office. So he put her under house arrest. But she didn't stop talking. She just called a press conference from inside her house.
Imran Khan is the cricketeer-turned-politician who's trying to incite university protest, if he could only keep rival groups from kidnapping him before he even takes the mic.
Jemima Goldsmith is Imran Khan's British billionaire heiress ex-wife. That has nothing to do with what's happening in Pakistan, of course. But it's brilliant backstory, isn't it?
How long before this becomes a movie, or a miniseries at the very least?
I'm also following the French public-transit-worker strike, but haven't yet felt the need to do Google image search on that one.
Speaking of NPR and Sexiness
What is with people fantasizing about the voices on NPR? I read a piece on Nerve about Sarah Hepola getting off Ira Glass's voice, and now Salon or someone has voted him "sexiest man living" (as if that's not Clive Owen--please), and then of course Gawker got hold of that... and every time I read a post about this, everyone and their dog is chiming in with comments about which NPR peep they'd like to do.
And that is so bizarre to me. I mean, I'm not judging. I think it's totally cool to fantasize about the NPR people, if that's what works for you. Obviously, I enjoy reading people's comments about it. But I never, ever, ever thought of any of them in that way. Here are the three most personal thoughts I've ever had about NPR people:
1. "Renee Montagne sounds like she doesn't take crap from anybody. She seems kind of awesome."
2. "I guess it would be kind of cool to have Carl Kassell do my voicemail greeting."
3. "Why does the local weather guy on our NPR station have to say his name like that? So annoying."
And that's it. Their voices sound like newspeople voices to me. But other people are like, "Steve Inskeep sounds like he'd be considerate yet dirty in bed," or "Mee-chelle Norris is probably the best dominatrix ever. She sounds like a size 4, but with good stiletto feet and a light sprinking of freckles." And I'm like, "What? What the? Where are y'all getting this from?"
Please feel free to share your NPR sex fantasies in the comments, though. Please don't let me stop y'all from doing that.
I want to cut my hair.
I'm saying this now so that, when my boyfriend reads it four days from now, it can help break the news to him gently.
I kind of want to cut my hair. My hair's all long with layers now -- same cut I had when I was 15, and again when I was 22, and now I'm 35 and I think that's a little too old for this hair.
You know? I feel like I'm trying to be in a metal rock video, and those aren't even on MTV anymore. You know what I'm saying? I want a more coifed sort of thing, yet still leave it long or medium length. But I know my boyfriend will cry if I cut it. He won't cry where I can see him. No, he'll keep it secret, like a man. But still.
Last time I was this size, I had *really* short hair and it looked pretty decent, I thought. And I don't even want to go that short now. So I think it should be okay. I think it's safe for me to purchase a Hairstyle Guide magazine... 11:55 AM # (11) comments