1.29.2013

A Little Dash of Gay

OMFG, that last blog post has been a huge point of contention between me and my GAY ASS roommate.

Sunday night I rushed home to tell her all about how I felt up my cousin at my sister-in-law's baby shower. I was so excited to finally touch some fake boobies. Now, it's not like it was a damn goal or anything, but when given the chance to compare my real set to her fake set, I jumped at the opportunity. WHO WOULDN'T?!

My roommate, and lifelong lesbian, sees it differently. Gay, totally gay, she claims. The fact that I touched my cousin (FAMILY) makes it even more gay, apparently. Like, Kentucky gay.

I, however, am much more enlightened that she. I prefer to view it as a clinical exploration of the body. I was simply interested in comparing the look and feel of my very real breasts to her very fake ones. I'm an inquisitive person. I'm also a tactile person. So the fact that I squeezed, bounced, and otherwise fondled my cousin's fake boobs all in the name of science is really not so gay to me. Is just good research, really.

What say you?

1.28.2013

I Went to This Baby Shower and All I Got Was to Second Base With My Cousin.

This is not a New Year's resolution failure, people, I was just seriously lacking in blog fodder. As per usual, my winter times have been filled with copious amounts of beer, food, and sitting on my ass watching the Wire. (I may have also written an entire semester's worth of Kindergarten AND school-age curriculum, in addition to a grant, but that's besides the point.) What I mean to say is this -- winter is boring, y'all, and bitching about the 3-week inversion, total lack of sunshine, and sub-zero temps does not make for easy reading. So daily blogging fell by the wayside in pursuit of warmer endeavors, like sleeping.

But today I hit pay dirt. Beware, this story involves two loud-mouthed cousins, a little bit of lesbian action, and a baby shower.

My brother and his wife are pregnant with their second child. For most people, this is a joyous occasion. The promise of new life always makes people so damn happy, and to celebrate the impending birth people throw baby showers. These "showers" are really giant estrogen fests, chock full of sticky sweet treats, inane baby games, non-alcoholic punch, and a cake made of diapers. Did I mention the total lack of alcohol? Needless to say, baby showers are not really my bag, mostly because of the lack of alcohol, but also because I don't really like babies.

*Parenthetically: Oh, who am I kidding?! I don't like baby showers because I am jealous -- jealous because there is no "you made it to 30 without an expensive, unplanned pregnancy" shower. I mean damn, I could use a raft of free shit, too. But no. Good behavior is rarely rewarded. So I waltzed into that baby shower colored a lovely shade of bitter. I'm not proud of it. I know it's not a good look for me. But there it is.

After doing a lap to survey the snack/gift/prize tables, I settled into a seat near the left side of the room. I was soon joined by my mother, stepmother, cousin Rosanna, and her 8 year old daughter, Sydney. Slowly, the rest of the ladies (because it's ALWAYS ladies) grabbed seats and readied themselves for some FUN.

We played the usual baby shower games -- guess mommy's circumference (I won), baby animal match (I won AGAIN), name that nursery rhyme (second), and how many? (I won one, lost one). Normally I'm not a terribly competitive person, but timed trivia is totes my bag, so victory was really the only option. Bitterness coupled with sweet victory was not making me any friends, so I did the next best thing -- I pulled out my cell and started taking pictures -- pictures of my sister-in-law and her mountain of gifts, pictures of my half eaten plate of little smokies, pictures of the fam.


See, don't we look nice? Everyone looks happy, there's a bit of cleavage, no one's got food in their teeth. That cleavage thang was a sticking point for my mom. Upon reviewing the picture she happily declared, "Look, I've got some cleavage!" My cousin Rosanna demanded to see the pic again, wondering if she, too, had the cleave. At which point moms turned to her and said, "You should. You paid enough for it."

WAIT. WHAT? WHAT?!

My mouth agape, I was speechless for the first time that afternoon. "Didn't I tell you?!" moms questioned.

WHAT? UH, NOOOO.

"Yeah! I got a boob job, uh, last September!" my cousin proudly declared.

The shower effectively stopped being a shower at that point, at least for me. It was now a Top Secret Exploratory Mission, wherein I was tasked with rounding second base with my cousin in the neighborhood clubhouse men's bathroom. It was, I soon found out, NOT a mission impossible.

I grabbed her arm and slyly whispered, "Can I see them?!"

"OH YEAH!" She loudly and emphatically agreed. Why buy the cow, eh?

So we snuck off to the women's bathroom, only to find it fully occupied. UGH, of course. Being related and having relatively (HA!) little shame, we both shrugged our shoulders, nodded our heads, and ducked into the deserted men's bathroom. After securing the lock and double-checking the stalls, she pulled down her tank top, lifted up her sports bra, and presented her fantastically augmented fun bags. I stared in awe -- not because I've never seen boobs (I've got a fine set myself), not because I've never seen fake boobs (porn, anyone?), and not even because they were hideously weird or deformed (although that would have been fun). I stared in awe because we were in a men's bathroom, sharing body parts like children. There was no shame or weirdness or gross-me-out factors involved AT ALL. In fact, it seemed so natural that my only response to her fake tits was, "Can I touch them?" And there, in the men's bathroom at my sister-in-law's baby shower, I felt up my cousin. I was pleasantly surprised to find them soft yet firm, with just the right amount of bounce. And my cousin being a fairly small woman, I found the upgrade suited her quite nicely. She showed me the scars, one on the underside of each breast, and claimed nipple sensation was even better than before. Gone were the bulky, padded bras of her teens and twenties, replaced with dainty, lacy sports bras or nothing at all. I nodded and mhmm'd while she discussed the finer points of her fake-boob-attaining-decision-making-process at the snacks table. Rosanna was born with a cleft lip and palate and has been visiting plastic surgeons all her life. OF COURSE she'd been looking at breast augmentation pics for ages. It was a natural choice, she explained.

After we'd both loaded up on snacks and shit, we returned to our table. Both my mom and step mom were silent on the subject of boob jobs and neither one dared ask if I'd actually completed Mission: Impossible. But for me, it was a TOTAL WIN.


1.15.2013

Thank You for Being a Friend...

Laziest. Blog. Post. EVAR.

Ladies' craft night and shit's gettin' real... OLD. Knitting, crocheting, scones, and box wine. Golden Girls 4EVER, bitches!


Wine in mugs for old, gnarly fingers

Also, scarf number three is coming along swimmingly, thankyouverymuch.

1.13.2013

My Dance Card is Too Full

Arrrghh. It's hard to blog everyday, y'all. Especially when you spend snow days sleeping, Friday nights karaokeing, and Saturdays day drinking (it's a thing, trust me).

Monday, I'm lookin' at you...

1.09.2013

This is How I Know I'm Old - Part 2

This is the tale of the snake scarf and one (young) woman's journey through the nursing home...

Last night resumed Ladies' Craft Night, a regular Tuesday night gathering usually involving snacks, always involving wine, and occasionally involving crafting. Last night was an occasionally night for me as I have no current craft in which to engage. I'm done making Christmas, nay HOLIDAY cards, I gave up making earrings, and I couldn't very well bring the remainder of my grad school essays, so I asked Lindsay to bring her crochet supplies. DAMMIT, if I can get into grad school, I can fucking learn to crochet!

(*Sidenote -- turns out I could have brought my damn essays. I arrived to find Lindsay making long division worksheets for her "fucking lazy" high schoolers.)

My crochet teacher for the night, Lindsay, is a high school physics teacher. And not just any old physics, but ADVANCED PLACEMENT physics. She does more with her brain in one day than I probably do all year. Figuring she must be proficient at her job, I set about playing the role of student. I was not disappointed. In just a few steps Lindsay had me hooking like a pro (sorry mom). Within a mere ten minutes, I had what appeared to be the beginnings of a very chunky, cozy scarf.

Please do ignore the grungy kitchen rug.
 Also, I can assure you that's not a giant stain, but the shadow of my head. 
I think.


One problem. Do you see what I see? Yeah, my scarf was looking a little wonky. No worries, I figured, I'd just have to keep better count whilst I crocheted. Unfortunately red wine and teacher gossip intervened. Within a few more minutes this is what my scarf had turned into:

Nice socks, eh?


A certifiable hot fucking mess. It looked as though a very soft, flat snake had just swallowed a trio of mice and was in the midst of digesting said vermin. This was not going as planned, however I was undeterred. Erica, on the other hand, was beside herself. "You know, you could just unravel your work and start over. You could start from the beginning and keep count and have a nice, even scarf," she said very pointedly. Uniformity and strict adherence to the rules are Erica's two closest friends. The fact that my scarf more closely resembled a bloated reptile was patently unacceptable for her. Me? Meh, not so much. I was more interested in emptying my glass of red and talking shit about my students than creating a scarf opus, as it were.

As the end of Craft Night drew near, Erica's husband arrived to retrieve her. Before she left, she gave my snake scarf one last evil eye. But I had hatched a plan. As soon as she was safely out the door, I proudly informed the ladies that I would be gifting this, my inaugural scarf, to Erica. Surely she would be delighted, amiright?!

So tonight I hurried home from the le gym and worked diligently through two episodes of *Parenthood and one catch-up episode of The Daily Show (fuck yeah Jon Stewart) to finish my masterpiece.


The home stretch


Unfortunately I ran into a bit of a conundrum. The ball of green yarn Lindsay had so graciously given me was disappearing quickly. And yet I was just hitting my stride. Lost to the mindless drone of TV, I had somehow managed to even out my scarf -- so neat, so orderly. It had become a thing of beauty, really. But it was still too short to really serve as a warm, snuggly, fully actualized SCARF. So I did the thing any good bullshitter does and I improvised! No more green yarn? FUCK IT! Weave in some white and, voila, instant Urban Outfitters street cred. It's as it was meant to be all along.


Just a touch of white

Sadly, the transition from green to white did not go as smoothly as I had (planned? hoped?), and the end of my scarf, once again, resembled a 2nd grade charity project. Ah well, it's the thought that counts, right?!


 

Obligatory Myspace bathroom pics, coming right up!



*Spoiler Alert: Drew Holt (Braverman), Lauren Graham's boring ass son from Parenthood, got his girlfriend pregnant. AND THEY HAD AN ABORTION. The damn writers on the show couldn't even let the characters say the fucking word. IN 2013. ON TV. IN AMERICA. Seriously. They merely alluded to it as "an option". These aren't even real people. Jesus, sometimes America gets it so wrong...

1.08.2013

This is How I Know I'm Old

You guys, I'm old. Like, legit old. Today I saw on the news the most awesome show in the world, Antiques Roadshow, will be rolling through Boise this June. HELL YEAH. Also, I learned to crochet. And I'm now drinking wine from a box on a somewhat regular basis. And I've eaten Cream Of Wheat for dinner twice this week already. And I've been perusing The Economist more often than is healthy at my age.

SHIT. I blame Erica.

1.06.2013

Do You Creak?

Today, thanks to my good friend Jeff, I stumbled across this podcast on Slate. I don't usually listen to podcasts, as I can't absorb the info all that well and usually find my mind wandering when I'm *supposed* to be listening (you can imagine what kind of student I was...). However, I was, like, totally into the subject matter and before I knew it had listened to the entire podcast -- TWICE.

According to wikipedia, vocal fry or creaky voice "is the lowest vocal register and is produced through a loose glottal closure which will permit air to bubble through slowly with a popping or rattling sound of a very low frequency." What? Here, take a quick listen. 



Sound familiar? Yeah, I thought so too. Kind of sounds like every disaffected, apathetic, asshole (female) teenager I've ever worked with. According to Lexicon Valley, however, it is the speak of "contemporary, urban, upwardly mobile women" and is the result, maybe, of some perceived benefit women attain from lowering the pitch of their voices to more match that of their male counterparts, thereby producing a more authoritative, male-like sound.

I'm not sure if I believe that, but if it's true, I blame Elle Woods.


1.03.2013

Bad Dreams

Sobotka: "You know what the trouble is, Brucey? We used to make shit in this country, build shit. Now we just put our hand in the next guy's pocket."

I spent the evening firmly planted on my ass, burrito wrapped on Pat's couch, watching the greatest show ever. 

Thursday night Wire time suck.

1.02.2013

Agathokakologicallalalalalalaaaa

Nobody says "I want to be a word nerd" when I grow up. I know I certainly didn't. But I have always been fascinated with words. In first grade I received an award for spelling every single word on every sing test correctly, all year long. Who cares if the majority of first grade spelling lists mostly include the classic CVC words such as bat, cat, pat, rat?! Even then I knew to take victories wherever I could get 'em.

My word nerdiness took a turn for the awesome when I started doing crossword puzzles during break time in between teaching classes. Initially, the crosswords were a way for me to avoid my evil boss, Ruth, who sat perched, sans shoes, in her (very squishy) rolly chair, trilling orders at all the English teachers in the room. This woman was the embodiment of harpy and I had little patience for her bitching. Besides, I had plenty of my own complaining to do. Very quickly, however, I realized how much I loved working every crossword and giving myself a big penciled star upon completion. At some point, I even started noting any unfamiliar words and saving them in a mini notepad I christened my Word Nerd book. When I couldn't finish a crossword, I'd stuff it in my purse and save it for later perusal, usually on the bus or subway. On Fridays I'd print off multiple crosswords, knowing my weekend would be full of commuting. It became an excellent source of education and entertainment -- edutainment (a portmanteau, if you didn't know).

Which brings me to now. A few months ago I told Pat of my word nerd book. Of course he took every opportunity to badger me, proclaiming me just as nerdy as himself. (This, however, would be nearly impossible, as Patrick is the ultimate NYERD.) Inside, however, I suspect he was giddy, because on Christmas Eve he presented me with three rectangular packages. BOOKS. So obvious. But I'm a book lover, so it was a natural choice. However, one book in particular has tickled my fancy a great deal -- Word Nerd - More Than 17,000 Fascinating Facts About Words by Barbara Ann Kipfer. This book is SO FUCKING AWESOME! It's like the coolest dictionary ever, arranged alphabetically and full of facts, roots, common words, weird words, outdated words -- the works. Like any good student, I've taken to reading it in order, front to back, always with highlighter in hand. Wanna read some of my favorites?

Abligurition is the damn story of my life -- squandering my money on treats and comfort food

I like to think my students find me abubble -- full of excitement and enthusiasm

You all know I love an acomous head -- a cute word for bald

Did you know both eggs and brains are capable of being addled? An addled brain is mixed up; an addled egg is rotten. Addled also refers to mental confusion, while muddled is anything confused or messy.

Good writing on a trivial subject? Adoxography it is!

I have often used the word inadvertent (made through lack of planning). I have never found occasion for advertent (giving attention; heedful).

Did you know that aficionado means amateur in Spanish? Yeah, me neither.

Try this mouthful: agathokakological. Means made of good and evil.

There is an entire branch of philosophy dedicated to the study of human ignorance called Agnoiology.

All-overish sounds like a term my kindergarteners would use to describe coloring. For adults it relays a slight feeling of indisposition.

Did you know Amazon.com was so named because the founder wanted the store's inventory to be as deep and wide as the Amazon river?

An unpronounced letter or letter combination is an aphthong.

And my favorite find of the day? Anus. It's latin for ring (because of course it is.)


1.01.2013

2013 -- the Great Leap Forward


I am really quite terrible at New Year's resolutions. Follow through in general is just, you know, really fucking hard. That being said, I'ma go ahead and make some anyway (because apparently in 2013 I am a masochist). And because I really am so very selfish and care mostly about my own damn sanity, I'm going to challenge myself to blog everyday for the month of January. The grad school process is winding down, but winter is just getting started, y'all, so I need something to occupy my time (and mind). 

I have a few other resolutions on the back burner, but I'm gonna save those for future blog fodder. You can thank me later.

So for today, a retrospect.

1. What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?
Welp. I studied diligently for the GRE, and in a jangled up ball of nerves and stress, took the test in June. In an attempt to spend more time with my dad, I took up golfing. I'm really quite terrible at golfing, but I am very good at talking shit and drinking beer, so I put this one in the win category. I took a jewelry making class (which, again, was mostly me talking shit and drinking, while oohing and ahhing over Lindsay's newfound talent). 


2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Hmmm, that's a good question. I'm not so sure I made any definitive New Year's resolutions for 2012, but very early on in the year, around February, I made the very conscious decision to live HERE. As in, be present in my current location. A steady stream of updates, photos, and headlines from Korea were a constant mindfuck for me, making it very hard to feel settled and content. So I decided to turn off the noise and live in the now. It was a spectacularly positive choice. 


3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Ew. Maybe. I don't remember. Babies creep me out.


4. Did anyone close to you die?
Unfortunately, yes. Seems this happens more often the older I get...


5. What countries did you visit? 
I was firmly grounded in the USA. And after three years living abroad, I am fine with that. (For now!)


6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?
Buy In. I'm working on it...


7. What dates from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Christmas Eve, but I'm keeping that one to myself.


8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Follow through. Yes. Definitely.


9. What was your biggest failure?
Sugar detox. Lack of sugar makes me a raging bitch, so I'll take this failure as a win for everyone else. :)


10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I had an awesome case of summer strep -- TWICE. Other than contracting every single germ from my little monsters, I managed to remain relatively illness free.


11. What was the best thing you bought?
I really, REALLY want to say my blue Hanes sweatpants. They are warm and cozy, and made a helluva Halloween costume. And did I mention how fashionable they are? Best $8 I've ever spent. 

See? Aren't they just the BEST?!

*Parenthetically, the best purchase I made this year was probably a smartphone. Although my little candy bar Samsung was a speedy asset at trivia night, I took the great leap forward to 2008 and bought myself a shiny new (slow) LG. 

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
All my students!


13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
I'm sure there were many, but I seem to have conveniently forgotten them all.


14. Where did most of your money go?
Food and beer, as per usual


15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
The prospect of change


16. What song will always remind you of 2012?
Justin Bieber's Boyfriend. Haters to the left.


17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?
Happier. So much happier. So much so, that the rest doesn't really matter.


18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
If wishes were fishes, we'd all be whales.


19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Overthinking. Always.


20. How did you spend Christmas?
In the best way possible -- eating, drinking, and generally creating merriment!


21. Did you fall in love in 2012?
I think I have fallen in love with all that is possible in the coming year.


22. What was your favorite TV program?
I like to think I'm one of those people who gets to say, "Oh, I don't watch TV", because, really, I don't. But I do sit in front of my computer for more time than is probably healthy, so... Oh, and the Daily Show. 


23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Hate? No. Have made a conscious decision to avoid? Absolutely.


24. What was the best book you read?
So many books, so little time. I did, however, very much enjoy Nothing to Envy by Barabara Demick. 
--"Demick follows the lives of six people: a couple of teenaged lovers courting in secret, an idealistic woman doctor,  a homeless boy, a model factory worker who loves Kim Il Sung more than her own family and her rebellious daughter." It was an excellent look at the everyday lives of North Koreans.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Spotify. How very fantastic it has been to listen to all the music, all the time.

26. What did you want and get?
In 2012, I was very much searching for piece of mind, community, a sense of belonging, focus, and contentedness. I think, I THINK, I have managed to find all of those things.


27. What did you want and not get?
It's good to want things.


28. What was your favorite film of this year?
I watched a lot of movies. I also "watched" a lot of movies. I don't know -- Batman?
*Follow through, follow through, follow through!

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Got my shit together and threw myself a sweet 16 x 2 luau. This is what happens when you are a child-free adult.


30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
A couple hundred more square feet.

31. What kept you sane?
You mean who -- Melissa, Erica, and Patrick

32. Who was the best new person you met?
I'm cheating on this question, but let me explain why. Although I met a handful of new people in 2012, it generally takes me a very long time to feel as though I intimately know someone. With that being said, the best new people I met were those whom I already knew and took the time to get to know a little bit better. In Melissa I found an excellent listener, a keen observer, and an enthusiastic cheerleader. In Erica I found a passionate and opinionated conversational wizard. And she's fucking funny as hell. In Pat I found a partner in crime, a confident, and, let's be honest, a dancing monkey.

33. Valuable life lesson you learned in 2012?
"I realized that so much of this 'being present' business is simply telling the negative voices in your head to shut the fuck up." -- YUP


WHEW! Here's to 2013!