Monday, August 10, 2009

pop in my CD and lemme run a rhyme and put your car on cruise and lay back...

pardon my new ageyness, but i think seasons are nature's intentional reminder to us that we're at its mercy. we're just tenants and nature's our landlord. it's so neat how designed the universe is. and i think it's actually liberating to think that in the grand scheme of things, we don't have much control at all.

you know that question, "what's your favorite season?" that you've gotten ever since you learned about the calendar in the first-ish grade? when i was a kid, i never really equated seasons with weather or nature (maybe because where i come from, we could wear t-shirts year-round). i thought about seasons in terms of the calendar that modern culture has orchestrated around them: summer means no school, winter means unwrapping presents, fall means turkey, spring means spring break. ;) so i'd pick my favorite season based on which of those sounded most appealing to me at the time.*

of course, nowadays i'm tempted to pick the season i have the best wardrobe for, or whichever one is the least busy time at work, or summer because of margaritas on an outdoor deck. but i think my true favorite "season" is actually the transition between them - when (going back to the whole lack of control thing) nature is showing us our vulnerability and how small we really are.

all of that being said, i'm not above social constructs - i really only started thinking about this when i realized, "fall's just around the corner... that means basketball season is starting up soon!" :)

*i didn't forget to include my birthday as a factor in season selection. i've actually just never been a fan of doing my birthday up big. i'd rather do yours big.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

on hot tubs, cherries and racks (but it's not what you think)

i used to think i was ambivalent about some things but then i realized that it's kind of a nuanced ambivalence. a lot of times, i like the concept of something but i don't like it in actuality or in practice. on the other hand, sometimes i have to admit to liking the thing even though the idea of it turns me off. examples:

bubble baths. i like the concept - they SOUND great, but think about it - unless you JUST cleaned your tub, there's a decent chance it may have some soap residue from last week or some dust or, if you're a shower-tooth-brusher, some spit and toothpaste residue on it. ok, so now you're getting ready to take a bath in this tub. you close the drain, which effectively traps any particles of nastiness, and you fill the tub with water, which loosens up and stirs around that nastiness, and you soak in it. IN THE NASTINESS! and to make matters dirtier, while you're reading your US weekly the water is pulling out the dirt and oil and dead skin cells from your skin. so now there's tub dirt and your own dirt swirling around in the water you're chillin in. i much prefer a shower, where the water whisks away any nastiness. or a hot tub with a filtration system and massaging jets and some wine in a chilled glass, but i'm not picky. :)

birds. i like things that are bird-esque. i like the symbols of peace and freedom and majesty that are commonly associated with birds. so i like depictions of birds in jewelry and art and clothes. but in the flesh - the feathery, beady-eyed flesh? no. i don't like their poop and its varying shades and textures, i don't like how they swoop down from out of nowhere and steal your PB&J, i don't like how they fly into glass doors, i don't like their dirty claws, i don't like how they eat roadkill, i'm scared of their beaks, i could go on and on. i do not like birds.

sale racks. when i hear people say, "i got this dress for like $15, marked down from like $4,567,856!!!" i get inspired to do the coupon hunting and sale rack scouring that she did. and then reality sets in. inevitably, the coupon i find is expiring in 24 hours. i hurry over there. the sale rack has been rummaged through and there's absolutely nothing left that i would buy even for my worst enemy, and the lines at the fitting rooms are long and it smells like something died in there anyway, and i drank too much diet coke at lunch so now i have to go to the bathroom in the midst of my rummaging and then once i do that, i just lose the motivation to keep going. so i start heading out to my car but then i notice the BCBG section and i grab something, and then i remember that there's an anthropologie in this mall so i make a pit-stop there, too. i end up coming home having bought plenty of good stuff, none of which was on sale.

on the other hand, there are some things that, philosophically, make me shudder. but i like 'em anyway. cases in point:

cherry flavored craisins. you know craisins, right? the dried cranberries? okay, so they have original craisins and cherry flavored ones. and i always saw them and thought it was so ridiculous to flavor one fruit with another fruit because, a) it makes an already artificial, packaged form of fruit even more artificial, and b) if you want the cherry flavor, just eat a cherry! BUT... then one fateful day i relented and tried the cherry flavored craisins, and i instantly converted. they are SO good. like candy.

SUVs. in some ways, SUVs are the image of everything that's wrong with our society. they're the epitome of excess. most of us don't need to drive anything that big. they don't fit well in parking spaces. they're hard to see over if you're in a small car behind one of them at a red light. they're not fuel efficient so they're ruining the environment. they usually have the worst blind spots. and they've become a "look at me" symbol of wealth and yuppiedom, which i hate. but i can't help it. i. love. SUVs. i like being high off the ground when i drive, i like having plenty of space to store stuff, i like knowing i can accommodate road trips, i like knowing that i'm in a sturdy car in case of an accident (which would undoubtedly not be my fault, of course), etc. so i've justified my love of SUVs by limiting it only to the small SUVs, and continuing to chastise the owners of hummers and suburbans for all of the above reasons. :) and i've promised myself that my next car will be eco-friendly. and lately i've been taking mainly public transpo so my carbon footprint's stride rite sized, anyway.

marriage. it seems to be more and more popular these days to disavow (ha!) marriage. and when the cameron diazes and the oprahs talk about why it's not for them, they make sense. yes, it's just a piece of paper. true, the wedding industry is a racket. of course you can have just as much of a commitment without the label of "married." there is truth in the argument that some people falsely convince themselves that their relationship will be more secure once they're married. and the brad pitt doctrine is a compelling one (don't get married until same-sex couples can get married and enjoy the benefits, too). so yeah, i know the flaws of the institution of marriage but at the same time, i totally buy into it. the extra oomph of loyalty (even if only on paper), the vows, the partnership of it, the kids and the dog and the white picket fence - it's hard to completely reject an ideal that we were raised to embrace, even though it's technically easy to form an argument against it.

i'm curious what some of your concept-faves and actual-faves are?

peace, x, and o.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

i could drink bailey's like i used to drink shots of vodka. (i.e. like juice.)

sometimes you just have to believe that your life is like one of those trampoline acts at barnum and bailey's - that every time you fall you're going to bounce right back up. and that your highest jumps usually come from the hardest falls. i can't think of any bad situation i've been in that hasn't left me with something good. and i don't think that's because i'm one of those artificially happy people who sugarcoats everything and never feels bad. in fact, i'm a huge sap and i feel every little earthquake of life like it's the big one*. it's just that i have real faith that there is always something good to take from every experience and every person you meet, even if you have to dig for it or wait for it to reveal itself**.

reminding myself of this is helpful because i tend to be so ambivalent about (among many other things) change. i get bored and antsy and feel stuck easily, yet i'm sentimental over the stupidest little things and i hate the thought of never being able to have this exact moment/era back again. basically i haaate when things are over. endings feel so... ugh... permanent (illogical, right? if i'm not happy with change i should be happy with permanence. i make no sense, even to myself.) i think that's why i despise moving - the thought of never again returning to a place that has housed my life and colored my memories for ____ years makes me sad. well, that, and i hate packing with a fiery passion.

so, i know this sounds nuts, but i actually have to remind myself that it's pointless to fear starting new things just because i hate when they end. of course it's one thing to know something intellectually but it's another thing to really live by it (which i don't).

this has turned out to be more new agey and confusing than i'd planned. next time i promise to go back to more fun topics like jay-z and funny lookin' babies. :)

p.s. i'm so grateful for phones and internet and cars and planes, and y'all on the other end who make me laugh and think and be better. you know i'm always in your corner, too. ♥

p.p.s. loin, i'm so so glad to be caught up on each other's stuff. miss you!

*the actual big one IS coming, btw. hopefully it'll wait til the state's not broke.,8599,1858700,00.html
**this idea reminds of randy pausch's last lecture, where he talks about waiting for the good in people to come out, and not giving up on anyone. sometimes i like to go back and watch some of his lecture.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


the only thing more gratifying than looking back and seeing your own progress is realizing it while it's happening.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

doin 55 in a 54

i did some research on the $181.50 speeding ticket we got on the 10 freeway in middleofnowhere, arizona last month. the one that was the result of a hidden camera on a freeway overpass. the one that we got for going 76 mph in the middle of the night in, again, the absolute middle of nowhere. the one that came up all of a sudden, with no visible signage or notice except an odd flash of light catching some other driver ahead of us.

so first i looked a little bit into the lawfulness (is that a word?) of the law. bummer, of course it checked out clean. i was about to pay it and get back to work but i thought i'd prolong my break a bit and google for some arizona speeding trap camaraderie. i found plenty of that. i also found out more about the inception of the law. it turns out that janet napolitano pushed this through in arizona while she was still governor, and admitted that she purposely created the law in such a way that would "discourage" people from contesting the tickets. she made it so that when you get the ticket, your insurance company isn't notified and you don't get points on your record. voila, easy revenue for the state. probably to go toward more border patrol. ugh.

i HATE it when laws are written so subjectively to screw over citizens, and i couldn't believe napolitano was so bold as to admit it. oh, and then i realized that there's another reason the law is written in the law's favor - most people who get caught speeding on arizona highways are probably out-of-staters who can't easily contest the stupid law. and that made me so annoyed. so i called whichever agency it was in arizona and asked how i could contest the ticket from the other side of the country, even though i already knew the answer. i like to get background info, so i also asked, "you probably see this a lot, huh? out-of-staters getting these tickets and not being able to show up in court?" yep. UGH.

i totally could've given that $181.50 to michael kors.

p.s. the title of this entry is from 99 problems. jay-z, 'acourse. :)

Monday, February 9, 2009

tom hanks was on family ties

Here's the deal. It's easy, really. You're assigned a letter, and then you write 10 things you like that start with that letter! (If you want to participate, leave a comment with your email and I'll give you a letter of your very own!)

So, per Adriana, my letter's P.

here we go, in no particular order:

1. pepper.
pepper instantly makes anything taste better. of course not all pepper is created equal. freshly ground is the best. i've actually eaten pepper by itself before. just a few specks is all you need!

2. politics.
as y'all know. :)

3. problem-solving.
i don't like the problem part, but i like the solving part. it's so satisfying to tackle something and figure it out and conquer it. and then every problem you encounter in the future that's of equal difficulty seems a little more manageable.

4. peep-toe heels.
just like pepper, not all peep toes are equal on my list. the best designs, i think, have a rounded-ish and modestly-sized peep with high, but not too chunky heels.

5. paul simon.
one of my long time, all time faves. he's so talented. i liked him with garfunkel but i do think he did some of his best work solo. i recommend the graceland album. it was made in the mid-80s but it's timeless.

6. politeness.
i love it. please, thank you, hello, you're welcome, take care, good night, bless you, i'm sorry. handshakes, smiles, handwritten cards. good cell phone etiquette. good movie theatre etiquette. good restaurant etiquette. so many people are so abrasive and rude and demanding that i always notice when people are pleasant, particularly to strangers. it's one thing to be nice to people you know - people who would hold you accountable if you WEREN'T - but it's another thing to be nice when you could get away with being a jerk.

7. poop.
yep. i like stupid bathroom jokes as well as discussions of gastrointestinal troubles, colon cleanses, detoxes, colonoscopies, parasites, stool sample procedures, newborn poop, etc. i even used to enjoy shoveling horse poop. the whole subject is fascinating, you know it. :)

8. privacy.
i'm big on it. i gotta have some time alone to regroup my brain. so i totally get it (and sometimes go overboard to accommodate) when people need space. i also hate it when parents are TOO involved in their kids' lives. i think kids benefit from having their own thoughts.

9. poison (the bel biv devoe song).
"girl, i must waaarrrn youuuu!" i've always loved this song and love it when they still play it in clubs. it's surprisingly hard to karaoke, so be careful if you attempt it.

10. peace.
i lost my peace sign necklace, which i was pretty much wearing daily. no idea where it's at. :( but i'm hopeful for more and more peace in the world now that barack's in office. i like the fact that the concept of peace has become modern (and relevant) again, not just a hippie symbol of the 70s. call me a californian if you must. :)

11. alex p. keaton
i loved that show "family ties" in the 80s, particularly the character of alex p. keaton (michael j. fox). it was so ridiculous that this teenager insisted on using his middle initial everywhere.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

i am fake american, hear me roar

hello, old blog, sorry i'm late. promise i'll do better. also promise i'll keep breaking that promise. i'll probably also keep resolving to drink eight glasses of water a day and coming up four glasses short. people just don't change so easily.