Monday, March 31, 2008

So what DO your books say about you?

This Jezebel post pointed out this NYTimes article and then there was Rana's post on books, so what is a girl to do when the universe is begging her to answer what appears to be THE question of the day: what does your taste in books say about you?

I decided to let Google take a shot at it first. I found links to what your music says about you (I've got a little Cusack to help me out with that one), what your car says about you, what your checkbook says about you (checkbooks, really? that you're old and antiquated?), what your office says about you, what your spelling, mutual fund, blog, drink, and even your ringtone says about you but book/s? Nada. As Google failed me, not for the first time, I decided to tackle the issue myself.

Let's tackle a few top 10 books, shall we? (I'm picking and choosing my top 10 books because I haven't read very many of them. I have to talk about what I know, right?)

According to the NYTimes Modern Library:

#1: Ulysses - Um, I've never read this book but I'm guessing the person who has this on their bookshelf was an English major, which probably means the bookshelf in question came from IKEA. So I'm guessing Ulysses = poor.

#2: The Great Gatsby - This one could be left over from high school so it doesn't necessarily have the same meaning as #1, although it could. I'm guessing a person who identifies with the Great Gatsby might also identify with a $30k Millionaire, no? (Not the poor part but the used-and-abused-by-society-so-I've-got-to-get-mine part.) Perhaps Fortunate Son by CCR is their favorite song?

#3: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man - paging Rory Gilmore! In my own version of pop culture know-how I've only heard this book referenced once in a Gilmore Girls episode (fyi - it was the one where Rory had an affair with her married ex-bf and then left town to "summer" with her grandmother in Europe). Again, I haven't read this book but I'm guessing anyone who has this book on their bookshelf can probably do a NYTimes crossword puzzle. In ink. I try to avoid people that are obviously that much smarter than me. I can handle a good TVGuide crossword puzzle though. How 'bout them apples?

#4: Lolita - oh my. This person is either a Russian lit enthusiast, which I can totally get behind because they must be the coolest, hippest people around (ahem), or they're a pervert. Either way is probably okay.

skipping a few...

#10: The Grapes of Wrath - run away! You've quite possibly met the most boring individual on the face of the planet. Hurry and get away while you still can! Oh and to all you Steinbeck fans out there? Suck it. You're boring too.

#13: 1984 - probably just a smart, sci-fi/technology geek. Can't go wrong with a person who will watch a midnight showing of Bladerunner or The Princess Bride with you, right?

#15: To the Lighthouse - seriously? Do people actually read Virginia Woolf anymore? Surely with all the anti-depressants and therapists out there we don't actually need to wallow in another woman's depressions do we? I mean, unless she's Sylvia Plath.

I'm skipping waay down to

#45: The Sun Also Rises - because I have a serious beef with Hemingway readers. Why do you hate women so? Is it the lack of a functioning penis? Too much sun? Either way, people who lay a claim to Hemingway are self-righteous misogynists, guaranteed - even the women. There's no crime greater than girl-on-girl crime, so sayeth Mean Girls. Be prepared to fight your way, passive-agressively of course, out of that den of inequities.

#58 & #69: The Age of Innocence and The House of Mirth, respectively - love these people. A reverence for all things Edith Wharton is a mark of a highly intelligent, witty, and humerous person. Not to mention fabulously beautiful, I'm sure. An Austenian attention to the detail of class warfare meets the gross tragedy of a Russian novel. There can never be anything greater. Therefore the person who carries an extensive Wharton library should be your best friend. Just saying.

#76: The Prime of Miss Jean Brode - most likely this person was a drama nerd in high school. They might still be one. A "leave the drama for your mama" t-shirt or sign anywhere in the vicinity of their living quarters will confirm your worst suspicions - once a drama queen, always a drama queen.

I could go on (and I seriously question this so-called "best of" list) but I won't. Any thoughts? Suggestions? Books to add to the list?

Thursday, March 27, 2008

I'm not terribly exciting today

but I am terribly excited! I'm going to a Justin Timberlake sing-a-long tonight. I don't think I even know enough JT songs to justify the price of the ticket but singing? along? to words on a screen? *manic dance of the feet* (I'd do the whole body but I'm at my desk.)

To show how happy I am, I demonstrate my make-up bag. I brought it with me. To work. To actually apply make-up. That's a huge thing for me because I make it a point never to lose valuable sleeping time for application of eyeliner. But today? Well, I didn't lose sleep time but I brought the eyeliner with me. And I intend to use it, because god knows JT deserves a little eyeliner.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Parents just don't understand...

In the immortal words of the Fresh Prince of Bellaire and DJ Jazzy Jeff, "so to you, all the kids all across the land, there's no need to argue, parents just don't understand." Doo do doo do, zingy fun noise, doo do doo do.

So I was talking to my mom on the phone the other day. She randomly interrupts that she meant to tell me I have x dollars in some account somewhere. Me: wha? Her: A letter came for you and it said you had x dollars in a retirement account. Key points: retirement account (gives me a clue as to what she's talking about) and in letter format (i.e. she opened my mail).

Apparently my mother does not understand that she is not supposed to open my mail, even though we've had many civilized and not so civilized conversations about that very action ever since I was old enough to start receiving mail. (One not so civilized occasion occurred when she opened an acceptance/rejection letter in high school. I won't go into details but rest assured the neighbors stayed far away from our part of the street that night although she still refuses to admit she was wrong. That's the kind of mom I have.)

I pointed out to her, rather politely, that she shouldn't open my mail and her response was that she knew it was a federal offense but she didn't care. Apparently the fact that my head emerged from her vagina gives her the right to do what she wants regarding my mail. Or so she says. Whatever. Fine. So mom, when did this letter come? Oh weeks ago. Really? Why haven't you given it to me? Wrong question to ask. Next comes the lecture on me visiting her more often. Did I mention I'd seen her less than 24 hours earlier at my grandmother's for Easter dinner? But apparently that doesn't count because she puts my mail (that she's already opened) in my bedroom at her house and she can't be expected to go in there and pick it up to bring to me, can she? And of course if I visited her, I'd see for myself that there's something sitting on the bed I'm going to be sleeping in. See? It's all my fault.

Ignoring the above genius logic I ask her with whom might the retirement account be? And how should I retrieve the funds? (I figure these are safe questions since she's already read the fine print. But that's what I get for thinking.) Guess what? She doesn't know and she's slightly offended that I would ask her something she doesn't know the answer to. Please don't ask why she can't get up from her recliner and go pick up the offending piece of mail and let me know what it says, because god knows if she can't mail it to me or give it to me in person, she's certainly not going to get up from her chair and do actual moving around. Insanity!

I accept all of the above with no small amount of grace, if I do say so myself. I only point out the absurdity of the entire conversation two, maybe three times. But where I draw the line is today. I get an email from my mother with the subject line: "our conversation from the other evening." Here is her email, with only small edits to protect the innocent:


When we were talking about the mail you had received from x, with some balance in an account, I couldn't remember what the name was on the account. Could it have been from xyz company?

Love you!

Tina's mom

*bangs head on desk* I don't know Mom. Could it have been from xyz company? How the hell would I know? YOU HAVE THE LETTER!!! Again, I politely mentioned that it might behoove us both for her to retrieve the piece of offending mail instead of trying to guess back and forth, considering a) she'd read the mail and b) she freaking HAS THE LETTER!!! breathing, breathing...

So I repeat again, "so to you, all the kids all across the land, there's no need to argue, parents just don't understand." Doo do doo do, zingy fun noise, doo do doo do.

Forgive me if this post is all over the place. Parental love, eh?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Last night at CardioTennis a random girl asked where the other girl was who is usually there complaining about everything? I was like, um me? But then she added that she meant the funny one. Ouch. I just want to point out that it was me who came up with the safe word bit, which is now a part of our regularly scheduled programming. C came up with schooner (SATC shout out!) as the safe word itself but the bit? Mine. See? I'm funny. I'll admit it's mainly funny because our tennis pro doesn't know what the whole S&M safe word thing is. He's sweet like that.

And do you know how many times I've been tempted to make balls/pain/safe word jokes? In the tennis arena the opportunities are endless. But I would like to thank our class leader for assuring us the mats will be cleaned thoroughly after every class. I do not want mat herpes. C & I discussed which would be worse - staph or mat herpes. I say mat herpes because that shit is on your face, yo. Excluding the nose job Project Runway designer, you hardly ever see people with staph on their faces. Sure you might die but honestly it doesn't happen that often. And I'd rather be pretty while having a life-threatening infection than ugly while having to continue going to work every day. Faulty logic? I think not.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

A few of my favorite tv things...

Monday night two of my favorite episodes of two of my favorite shows came one. I'm going to scour youtube to see if I can find clips for you. And for those of you that have never seen Golden Girls (you know who you are), shame on you. I propose to remedy that right here.

The first ep (which I can't find on youtube, damn copyrights!) was the episode of King of the Hill where the whole family goes to Japan and meets Hank's half Japanese brother, who happens to look just like him except for the black hair. Bobby also discovers Dance, Dance Revolution. Oh to be a Hill.

The second ep is a Golden Girls where Dorothy and Rose enter a Miami songwriting competition. I have more than one friend who would sing this with me anytime we choose.

And just an extra for your pleasure: This is the Golden Girls episode where the girls decide to buy condoms before their big cruise (eek!) with their current boys.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

My "Dying Instructions" List

I figure if I can obsess about retirement, I can lay out the specifics of dying, death, my own in particular.

First thing to do if I die or am close to dying: read this blog entry.

Regarding being hooked up to machines: Don't unplug me! I hate to be a drain on the environment and someone's electricity bill (charge it to my Visa, they won't care), but damn! give a girl a moment, ya know? I'm slow in most things I do, especially if it involves physical activity like, say, coming back to life. So give me a few months to sort things out. If I'm not awake in oh, 3 months, you can put a dimmer on my switches. Turn me down low at night and see how I cook. If in another 3 months I've shown no improvement and instead show obvious signs of distress when I'm on the "low" setting, I concede that it's probably time to start planning the funeral.

Regarding the funeral:

1. Open casket.

2. Pin my butt and thighs back, maybe even some stomach, and push my boobs up. I want everyone to admire my post-mortem body.

3. Put me in something cute. I don't want to wear any black or yellow or red. I'd be happiest with a dress in peacock blue (favorite color and all), because it makes my eyes look good. I have a great one from Anthro that you can use if no one wants to have it after I'm dead.

4. Can you open eyes on a dead person? If so and if they look halfway decent, prop those babies open. It's my best asset. Everyone might as well enjoy it.

5. Get a real makeup artist to do my face. I don't want one of those clown, funeral home people. I'm cool with eyeliner as well. Just be sure to apply it like I would. No red lipstick.

6. I want tears. I don't want any of this laughing through tears, telling funny stories junk. I want honest-to-goodness sobbing.

7. If you put a cross on or near me, I will rise up and haunt you. Not kidding. I'll accept a flask though.

8. I want everyone to stand up and tell a story about me. I prefer it to be inspirational in a way that will encourage people to cry more. If you can't think of a story where I acted in an upstanding, moral way, make one up. No one will know and it will greatly decrease your chances of the aforementioned haunting.

9. Song choice - sad songs. Yesterday (Beatles), O Danny Boy (any old Irish guy), It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday (Boys II Men), My Wild Irish Rose (Hank Lucklin), Hallelujah (Jeff Buckley), Tiny Dancer (Elton John, although the Foo Fighters version is also acceptable), Sitting on the Dock of the Bay (Otis Redding - don't fuck with this one), Rio (Duran, Duran), and Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain (Willie Nelson). I reserve the right to add to and/or change this list at any time.

10. Burial or cremation? Couldn't care less. But only cremate me after the open casket if that's the choice. Make me into diamonds or amber, keep me above the fireplace, vacuum me up, or throw me off a cliff. I don't care. Just make sure there's a marker out there somewhere that's bigger and better than all the other grave markers. Make it interesting enough so that classes of kids will want to come over and do grave rubbings on my headstone/marker thing. Put swirlies and ridges and stuff.

Oh and the most important bit: if and when I am getting to that point, run to wikipedia (or whatever the future equivalent is) and create some entry calling me the inventor of cold fusion or some such thing. Make sure all the newspapers know the inventor (creator?) of cold fusion just died and the whole scientific community (or whatever community it is that I'm a part of) is in mourning. Call it a loss for the Nobel Prize Committee. (I'm open to true songwriter of all Beatles songs, muse for Jackson Pollack, or whatever other really significant thing you can think of that would be hard to prove.)

Oh and G? When you go to my house to remove anything incriminating? Don't forget the, er, things that are in the strawberry shortcake tin.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Doomsday. The Movie.

If you've never heard of Doomsday, you're not alone. I saw it Sunday night with the boy and had never heard of it. At first I thought it was going to be yet another bad movie with only slightly superficial entertainment value. I'm here to say it: I. Was. Wrong. Doomsday is by far the most awesome horrible film I've ever seen. Quick synopsis: 1980s punk scene meets A Knight's Tale meets 28 Days Later.

This movie is so bad I'm not even sure it falls in the B movie category. But! It was so freaking awesome that everyone should see it - preferably with a drink or two in hand. The first point at which I suspected this might be more than just a bad movie came about 1/5 in when the main character came across a group of people who, for better or worse, were supposed to be so isolated that a) no one even knew if they were still alive and b) were cannibals. Well. They may have resorted to eating each other, but after 20 some odd years of being alone, they still managed to conserve the Manic Panic hairdye and eyeliner. That takes talent, my friend.

The second turning point for me (when I decided it was one of the most awesome movies I'd ever seen) was when the post-apopolypic punk fiends had a dance sequence. The dance sequence was one half punk, s&m type stuff and one half lord of the dance and kilts. Did I mention awesome?

Oh and I can't even talk about when the main characters met the other post-apopolypic group - the knights. That glory can't even be shared in the written word. If only Heath Ledger had dome this movie before he died, I would have been in heaven. (no pun intended)

Moral of this post: run, don't walk to see this movie. Take all your friends and your own "adult" refreshments and be prepared to be blown away by the awesome glory of the worst movie I've ever seen.

Oh and by the way, do movie critics not get when a movie is trying to be bad? Here's the best review I read. It pretty much sums up the entire experience, although it leaves out A Knight's Tale as a potential influence, which I think must be an oversight by the author.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Joys of Living Alone.

A post on Jezebel got me thinking about the joys of living alone.

Joy #1: getting to watch Golden Girls all I want. It's kind of annoying when the boy comes over and I don't get to have my regular midnight viewing of Dorothy and the gang.

Joy #2: morning rituals that don't involve being courteous to someone else. I hate to wake up the boy in the morning so I don't turn the tv on when I'm getting ready (again to watch Golden Girls) and I close the bathroom door so the light doesn't bother him. I don't mind being nice every once in awhile but if I had to be that curteous every single day? Madness.

Joy #3: dishes get done on my schedule. I'm actually pretty good about keeping my dishes in the dishwasher, put up, etc. (mainly because I have like 3 plates/bowls/spoons that I adore), but if I want to be lazy and keep some plates in the sink for a week, I totally can.

Joy #4: I get to put my shoes wherever the hell I want!!! That last one is directed at my old roommate who used to (rightly) complain when I left my shoes by the front door. But when I'm the only one tripping over them? I can keep them wherever I want.

Joy #5: my DVR is my own. If I want to fill my DVR with 30 Rock episodes and an occasionally trashy reality show, I can. No one can chastise me for taking up too much room with stupid shows. Because I'm the only one who cares. So I can record Heathers when it comes on at 3 in the morning and watch it over 3 days time.

Joy #6: I can use the dining room table for mail if it's the most convenient place to put it, which it is.

Joy #7: I can feel zero guilt if I come home after the gym and do absolutely nothing until it's time to go to bed. (I add the gym part because that's necessary to the zero guilt part - it's a cause and effect type thing.)

Joy #8: I can wear nothing but a t-shirt when all my other pjs are dirty and I don't have to worry about any weird looks or offending hands.

Joy #9: my beautiful, striped, thrift store find chair is displayed in all her glory and I don't care if anyone else likes it.

Joy #10: I can talk on my cell as long and as loud as I want without worrying about disrupting anyone else. And I can talk about whomever I want. Hee. (It's hard to talk about a boy when he's sitting next to you.)

Joy #11: I can eat ice cream at 2 in the morning if I want and completely forget that it happened. I'm not an ice cream-in-the-wee-hours type of person but I could do it if I wanted to.

Joy #12: I can wear my ugly glasses all the time because they're the comfiest.

Joy #13: my home outfits are only seen by me. I have a tendency, when cold, to wear capri pants with really tall socks and about 3 shirts. I'm cold often. It's not a look one would like others to see.

Joy #14: as Jezebel put it, my floordrobe. Mine's really a chairdrobe but same diff. No one can tell me to hang up my clothes, thank god!

Joy #15: I can decorate as I please. Case in point: I'm a bit of a mirror fiend. I have a tiny place and I happen to believe that strategic mirror placement helps with the illusion of space. But seriously, if I didn't point it out to a visitor, I'm pretty sure no one would notice. At least I think that way.

Joy #16: I can call in sick and no one will know that I'm not really sick.

Joy #17: no one has to know that one of my sincerest hobbies on the weekends is to lay in bed for multiple hours.

Joy #18: if I drop something on the floor in the middle of cleaning or cooking or bringing mail in or whatever, I don't have to pick it up. At least not before I trip on it or squish it.

Joy #19: my bathroom is my own. I never have to move away from the mirror so someone else can brush their teeth and I do not have to put my eyeliner on in a room that doesn't have as flattering light as the bathroom.

Joy #20: (last but not least) everything is mine, all mine!! If I hate the way a book is stacked, I can move it. If I love a candle, I can display it. If I want a lamp on 24/7, it's on. If I want to randomly change my bedroom linens and curtains, I do it. If I want my bouncy, workout ball thing to be a prominent part of my everyday life, it is. If I want to move a painting 2.5 inches to the left, it's moved baby. Everything I own is precious and beautiful to me. I agonize over placement of the smallest votive holder. And my Kim Possible doll? she's perfectly placed in the kitchen to tell me I can do it! No one gets to have an opinion on my magnet collection of refrigerator hodge-podge because I pay the rent.

I stopped at 20 but I could list 5,000 reasons to live alone. But really, #1 is the most important. I have my priorities.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

There is no more aptly named blog than Cute Overload.

Are you freaking kidding me?

And then this too? This is too insane to possibly comprehend on any kind of level. I think my brain is going to explode with the cuteness of it all.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

To guilt or not to guilt?

Where is the line between being a total sociopath and not giving a rat's ass about people and actually not caring because caring about stupid shit is stupid? Furthermore, where is the line between not giving a damn and the guilt that comes when you realize you don't give a damn about things like old people and diabetes and what not?

For instance, I just recently read that this old American Idoler has Type I diabetes and has had it for I don't know how many years. My reaction? Click. My thoughts? I wish TMZ was more interesting lately.

A second shining example of my extreme apathy for the cares of humankind came yesterday when I was talking to my grandmother. My great-aunt (her sister) bought some bedside tables for someone who didn't want them. They thought the tables would look good in my bedroom so suggested I come and take them. Not only did I not take them last weekend when I was there (although they would look good), I was annoyed at having the tables pawned off on me, which is an especially wrong attitude to have since I'm poor and cheap. So I thought about the tables when I got home, evaluated my bedroom furniture, and called my grandmother to tell her I'd take the tables next time I came to visit. The whole point of this long diatribe is that after our table discussion she just kept. on. talking. I was done, but she wasn't. She talked about the local news (for which I care not), her friends, the weather, etc., etc., etc. I kept saying, "okay, well, I'll see you in couple weekends..." only to have her talk more.

It was excrutiating and now I'm feeling the pangs of guilt over being such a bad granddaughter. I mean it seriously would not hurt me to talk on the phone for 10 minutes, would it? No. And do I think my disinterest is not immediately interpreted by my grandmother? No. I'm a lame, lame, lame (3 lames, George Clooney would object) person. And I will probably pay via bad karma (I had to change my word usage there because I couldn't figure out how to put karma into adverb form). Sigh.

And yet. I'm really adept at pushing guilt aside for the more literate argument of "oh well." Who does that? Now I'm feeling guilty over my ability to avoid guilt. Geez. It's a never-ending cycle. Ah well. I'll just drink an extra glass or two of water from the faucet tonight so I can get some extra pharmaceuticals in my system.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Damn Time Change!!!

Warning: rant ahead

Why, oh why, is it necessary to change the motherf**cking clock twice a year? In Texas it gets dark at what, 7:30 p.m.? Now with a time change it will get dark at 8:30. Give us a month or so and we'll be seeing the sun set at 10:15. I don't know about anyone else but I do not need that much sunlight. And, quite frankly, I couldn't give a shit about those that do. Why do the freaks of nature who like running at 9 o'clock at night get to dictate the amount of sunshine I'm supposed to be exposed to?

I LIKE coming home from the gym at 7:00 and feeling good about locking myself indoors for the rest of the evening. I DO NOT LIKE joining the neighbors for a beer on the patio with mosquitos eating me up, all because it's a freaking "beautiful night." Screw beautiful nights. You know what's beautiful? Watching Jon Stewart's pasty face and enjoying beach weather via reruns of The Golden Girls.

If holing up in my house with a blanket and darkness surrounding me is wrong, I don't want to be right. And red wine never tastes as good in the daylight. Just saying.

See what daylight savings time does to me? Loss of hour = less sleep = tiredness = grumpiness = blog rant.

One more irritating point: the whole "fall back" thing? doesn't happen until November. So we have one extra hour of daylight for 8 months and one extra hour of darkness for only 4 months. What's fair about that? Daylight savings time unfairly benefits happy people. Surely this is a violation of the due process or commerce clause, right? Ugh.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Unauthorized campaign literature...

I totally stole this from Jezebel. If you can't read it for some reason, check it out here.

It's freaking hilarious!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Voting Day in Texas! Weeeee!!!!!

I'm proudly sporting my "I Voted" sticker right now. I went this morning and there was quite a turn out for 9:30 a.m. Usually there's less than 5 people in my polling location (and that's optimistic). Today there were 20-30. It was pretty shocking. I saw Obama tables/supporters on 3 out of 4 corners around the polling place. But no HRC supporters. It was weird. On one corner a woman was standing with an Obama sign. She had her kid (or kids?) with her as well. It was pretty cold this morning, so she must be very dedicated. Of course the kid(s) had their own pretty ride to hide out in if things got too hairy. The mom was the real soldier with a sign out and braving the weather all by her lonesome (sort of - do kids count as company?).

It was definitely exciting and I'm going back to caucus at 7:15. I wonder if there will be a long line then too? Sadly I missed all the blue hairs who usually run the election. Today it was mainly young 'uns with one old man who had earrings (as in more than one), so I'm not sure he counted toward my blue-hair demographic.

I can't wait to tune in tonight and see what happens! Go Obama! Or HRC if that's the way the tide turns!!