Thursday, January 31, 2008

this is my life. right here.

[the task i must undertake is towering over me like a great big monolith. it is too big to contemplate. so i think i will go and have a little look at the internet.]

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

more random acts of buskindness

in the continued saga of riding the CTA...
1) a girl was running and running and just missed the bus. and just when we were looking out the window and empathizing [note to self: try some more to get the kids to understand solidarity], the bus driver stopped after the intersection so she could get on. NICE.*

2) another girl was trying to get out the back door of a crowded bus when the driver yelled that she had to come to the front because the door was blocked on the outside. she loudly yelled, "oh, crap. i'm not going to be able to get up there unless someone can help me with these bags..." and you know how it's awkward when someone talks on the bus? and how it's awkward when someone's being passive-agressive? yeah, like that. but my bus friend [who was by the window, and i was on the aisle] goes, "hey, you want to -" and i got up and offered to help. i ended up getting in her way, of course, because that's just how i roll. and she ended up being fine, but she walked off the bus going, "can you believe, a whole bus full of people and a GIRL gets up to help me! a girl, out of the whole bus, is the one who offers to help..." and i was like, dude. your comments are not helping with gender relations.
so, add this to the buskindness files: it's easier to do the thing that everyone knows should be done [but no one does] when someone encourages you to do it. or, i think, even when you see someone else do it. it's like i used to tell the children about being witnesses...

my roommates told me i should write a book about riding the CTA. it'll be kind of like that time we were going to write the book about AIM, except now that would be a history book. ["kids, before texting was invented..."]

sigh. i miss AIM.


*one time, a bus driver waited for me, and i ran onto the bus and into a conversation the driver and the one other passenger were having about whether bus drivers should wait for running people. the one other passenger was not happy with me. awkward.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

that's what Jesus said...

so the other morning on the bus, there was this drunk lady. she slept for most of the time i was on the bus, with her head on her knees. she wasn't wearing a coat, and when she woke up it was pretty obvious from her clothes and her makeup that she'd been out all night.

now, here are a few possible responses i saw.

1. keep your ipod on, and shrug and smile when someone gives you the "what's up with her?" look. try to radiate friendliness to her somehow, without speaking. don't stare, but don't look away. [this is what i did. i know, it's sort of a complicated plan.]
2. take a picture of her with your cell phone, like a jerk.
3. offer her your shirt, like Jesus said to do.

seriously, this guy took off his coat, took off his flannel shirt [he was wearing a t-shirt under it], walked up to the front of the bus, and offered the shirt to her. now, she didn't take it. but wow. we all just sat there like, that's it. that's the thing that everyone knows is right, but no one actually does. and bonus points for doing something that Jesus actually addressed.

for good.

so, had the perfect day yesterday. here's how.

1. wake up happy.
2. go to brunch with one of your favorite people.
3. go to a wedding show where everyone's nice to you because your friend is getting married. cry a little when the knife lady is talking about how her knives will last a lifetime.
4. have lunch with your roommate and her mom.
5. on a whim, go see wicked. charm the ticket guy. freak out the entire show.
6. impress people on the train with your cell phone ring.
7. go home and put on pajamas.
8. eat pizza and drink a bottle of yellowtail shiraz.
9. watch law and order: svu.
10. have friends over so they can make fun of you.

i mean, so awesome.

also, the knot guide for the groom came in the mail for our favorite roommate's fiance. it's hilarious. also kind of sad. por ejemplo:
your fiancee wants the honeymoon to be in bora-bora, but your budget requires something closer to home. what do you say?
a. i hate foreigners.
b. well, maybe if you hadn't spent so much money on three kinds of useless flowers for the ceremony...
c. sounds great, but we'll have more time on the beach if we fly somewhere closer to home.
i mean, what? this just in: stereotypes against men also exist.

Monday, January 07, 2008

i have read the right books to interpret your looks...

[2012 edit - This is consistently the most popular post on my blog. It's "Peach, Plum, Pear" by Joanna Newsom, and she's great. You should all be listening to this song. Also, if I may, "Good Intentions Paving Co."]

i'm kind of obsessed with this song, and also with the rant around 1:10 [not that i approve of the language, mind you] in this lovely cover.

"she's awesome! what's wrong with you?"

Sunday, January 06, 2008

but then again...

that obama guy's got some great ideas.

i mean, maybe i'm a sucker, but daaaaang. i'll buy it.

i know the west wing isn't real, but...

Often unable to surf the electricity he sparked over the last year, Obama has now put on his laurel wreath and dropped his languid pose, tapping directly into what he calls the “fire burning” across the country — the dream of a cool, smart, elegant, reasonable, literary, witty, decent “West Wing” sort of president who won’t bankrupt us or endanger us or co-opt our rights or put a black hood on the Constitution.
see, i was on to something in my last post. i could totally be maureen dowd, if i had better hair and were really, really mean.

i just watched the west wing state of the union episode from season 1 ["he shall, from time to time..."] in which toby convinces the president to cut the line "the era of big government is over." he says, "i have no doubt that the line tested well, but i don't think that means we should say it. i think it means we should... change it."

so, if you like that, i'd recommend the opinion article by michael kinsley about how all the candidates are talking about "change" without really meaning anything.

[incidentally, toby was talking about FDR - but i think what kinsey is saying is that we don't need a "new deal" in a time when most americans are doing well.]

there's no chin behind chuck norris's beard, only another fist.

As for me, the $500 favor [] did for me this Christmas will surely rebound in additional business down the line. Why would I ever shop anywhere else online? Then again, there may be another reason good customer service makes sense. “Jeff used to say that if you did something good for one customer, they would tell 100 customers,” Mr. Kotha said.
it's true! it's all true! amazon replaced the west wing DVD i got where the scene when zoey asked charlie out wouldn't play. and they were awesome about it. this article was about their phone customer service, but i also really like how quickly and awesomely they respond to email. i wonder what kind of job that would be. would it be fun to respond to people's emails all day?

i always picture them sitting around in one big room, laughing and eating chips or something. but i guess i don't usually send them angry emails, either.
No mother wants to tell her daughter that she can aspire to the presidency only if she snags the most gifted politician of her generation. But Hillary Clinton’s rise to power, unsettling as it is, follows a time-tested pattern for the breaking of gender barriers.

The great feminist promise of a Hillary Clinton presidency amounts to this: If we elect a political wife now, perhaps we won’t have to later.

ouch. but it's worth noting [despite the spin] that women who have political power are often from powerful families. i don't even know what to say about this. i like bill clinton, and i feel like i don't know a lot about hillary - but i think that's more about us than about her. the gender gap is just not going away...

Meanwhile Barack Obama gives his folks the ecstatic experience. “They said this day would never come. They said our sights were set too high. They said this country was too divided, disillusioned to ever come together around a common purpose,” he told them Thursday night, creating a patriotic lump in every throat in the room.

How could you be 21 and not be for Barack Obama?

aaaaand that's the quote of the day. i betcha barack's sweeping west wing fans, too. [i can call him barack because that's how he signs his emails to me.]

okay, so i'm being a little bit ironic. but so is mike huckabee, according to this article about him and obama. and, i mean, chuck norris.

i wish i were a republican, just for the chuck norris.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

you don't even KNOW me

dear stupid iTAP on my cell phone,
these are words you don't need to suggest when i type.

xiao (for "what")
congressional (for "congratulations")
G'luck (for "I'll")
Agriculture (for "Christmas")

i'm pretty confident that these are words i'll never need.

[for those of you who say, "no, b, don't be silly. your phone REMEMBERS what you type!" you LIE. my razr is not very kind to me in general.]

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

the bone collector?

"time is a thief. as you age, it may even silently steal your bones."

this is a commercial for a drug for osteoporosis. i mean, what? is this really necessary?