Sunday, June 29, 2008

apple bottom jeannnnns

just returned from a lovely wedding weekend with lovely friends, lots of taco bell, the kind of rap we listened to in college, and really cheap drinks - and, incidentally, some of the worst service i've ever had. i always claim that steak and shake has really bad service and no one believes me except people who have lived in a particular small city in northern indiana.

waitress: can you just pass these waters down, so i don't have to walk around all retarded?
us: [blink blink]

we had some dirty silverware [you know, the usjjj]...
b: can we have some more silverware?
waitress: [looks around] well, it looks like everyone has some.
b: [for once, doesn't know what to say]

of course, the steakburgers [and chicken melt, ahem ahem] were totally worth it. once they came. it's really odd when the service is so slow at a place like that, because you can see the waitress... and the people making the food... so, i mean, what's taking so long?

oh, "usjjj" is how we're spelling the short form of "usual." just wanted to keep you all on the up-and-up.

overheard on the train today - "the man my mom was living with is a convicted felon. like, he's doing three to five. and it's a PROBLEM that i'm GAY?" i mean, good point.

you know who it's not a problem with? these kids

Thursday, June 26, 2008


overheard some of my neighbors talking about charlie bit me and felt very cool and connected to what all the kids are watching on youtube.

then i re-watched it, and it's even better than i remember. british babies. yessss.

"we can kick lane tech's ass for SURE."

okay, this is even better than i remember. the song is okay, but please listen to the north shore trash talk.

and, not wanting to load the page with embedded videos, fuck and run was ROCKIN.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

"anyone been to wicker park?"

saw LIZ PHAIR tonight. performing all of exile in guyville. guys. if you've never seen one of your favorite albums ever performed straight through live, um, totally do it. SO AWESOME. i will be continuing to gush about this show, so brace yourselves.

this was also one of the few concerts in which i've loved everything the artist said. not just because she was talking about living in chicago and how weird it feels to live both in wicker park and on the north shore. actually, she went to new trier and also took some time talking about high school rivalries in the awkwardly specific way you can do with a hometown crowd. the only thing she said that i actually wrote down was "too bad the guy i wrote this song about isn't here!" then she laughed a lot. for some reason, i really loved this. but i think my favorite part was when she played a clearly wrong chord [especially clear because we were all there because we love the album] and went, "really?" JUST LIKE I DO. liz phair and i could totally be friends. 

according to the know-it-all guy behind me, she was 23 when she released this album 15 years ago. [he was talking about how she "used to be hot," which made me want to punch him in the face. she's hotter than YOU, mr. receding hairline, and do you prefer your women 15 years younger than you all the time?] it was interesting, though, because i think of liz phair as such a rockstar and a lot of her fans are, of course, closer to her age than mine. case in point, overheard from a late-thirties woman on the way out - "natalie's going to kill me when i tell her she did 'polyester bride.' she plays that all the time in her car, and her daughter says, 'why would a bride want to flap her wings, mommy? what's polyester?'"

according to kevin, "guyville" is wicker park. my philosophy professor from college says that it's the male-dominated music world. anyone else think they should have an academic throwdown? kevin also says that the original line in "flower" was "i'll fuck you and your girlfriend too" and her record label [even though it was an INDIE, says kevin] made her change it. it's now "i'll fuck you and your minions too." that's not the thing i would consider inappropriate about that song, but call me a square...

i didn't actually see this transition coming, but hey, on a related note - here's a first amendment case [sorry about the ads - click "enter salon" and you'll get there] that involves one of my favorite things - google, that is. not group sex. [but see what i did there?] it's an interesting test of "community standards" and, you know, how you can ever determine them. i remember thinking this was really interesting the first time i learned how they figure out the laws on this. also, let's start using the word "googly" in conversation.

anyone remember that time one of our high school teachers explained the need for these sort of obscenity standards by saying that "we don't want the supremes to be watching pornographic movie after pornographic movie"? because my QUOTE BOOK does. and this is actually the first time i've thought about how much this blog has in common my quote book from high school.

Friday, June 20, 2008

okay, fine, here's the post i've been working on.

all late about it, i know.

first of all, had a very interesting train ride the other night. [oh, the midnight red line.] 
1. about five teenage boys were harmonizing by the door, sitting across from each other. they were good - like boys II men, only a little more explicit, i think. ["am i the only one... or one of many men in your life..." i mean, good to know.] 
2. that blind guy was asking for money and food - which was interesting first because i recognized him from the last time he was asking for money on the train. but i'm really intrigued by the way he speaks. he says, "i'm asking for anyone's help, on the train. will anyone here notice me, on the train?" i feel like it's really direct - like, i see you. we're all here on the train. i've been doing a little bit of a study about how people ask for money ever since we talked about it in class. [call me a jerk for having an academic interest in this, though.]
3. a bunch of girls got on the train with matching big hair, fancy clothes, drunkenness, and apparent disregard for open container laws. it always freaks me out when large groups of people are dressed so much alike, but i guess they shop together and take their cues from each other, too.
4. i love it when the lights go out while the train is running. gives you such a careening out of control kind of feeling.

THEN, a guy on the bus the other day CALLED me FAT. as a precursor to this story, i think i'm pretty aware of where i am on the weight spectrum, and whether or not i'm okay with that isn't really the point of the story - it's just too good not to share.
g: [scoots over in his seat and hits me] oh, sorry! i didn't realize you were so wiiiide.
b: [smiling, because that's what i do] what?!
g: no, it's good. you've got a lot for a man to hold! [smiling, as if he's friendly and talking about something totally normal] i see by your rings, you've got a lot for a man to hold... it's good...
b: [decisively turns away]
like, overall, he was being really nice and not at all creepy. he was giving off kind of a grandfatherly vibe, even. but still, please don't talk about my weight or sexual activity on the bus, stranger. and what is it with this married vibe i'm apparently giving off? i wear a ring on the middle finger of my right hand, people. learn the code.

[later edit: i'm embarrassed that, apparently, i had no idea what was going on. sorry, guys.]

on a related note, saw a bride smoking a cigarette outside the church before her wedding. cupcake dress, bridesmaids, and a cigarette. it was so awesome. i made up a whole story about her while we were waiting at the red light in our apartment locator's car, to the mortification of my roommates. [they prefer awkward silence to my saying "congratulations!" out the window to smoking brides.]

and, interesting on the internet...
Let me make clear again why I keep referring to the overdiagnosis and overmedication of children today as a “narrative” – the sort of phenomenon that deserves to find its place among what Mintz calls “public panics” – and not as an established fact. It’s because I believe that, over the past decade or so, scattered reports of increased diagnoses of mental health ills and of increasing use of psychotropic medications by the young have been woven into a scary storyline that distorts the reality of what’s happening to kids in our country.
judith warner is always so interesting, i think, and i really like this article [and, if you're interested in her opinion about what's actually happening or not happening with overmedication, this previous one] not even because of the content, but because of what she says about narrative.

"all stories are true" is, i think, from things fall apart. i'm thinking about two things, weirdly - urban legends in general and whether anyone's actually been killed after flashing their headlights at another car, and that urban legend about abraham lincoln's calling harriet beecher stowe "the little lady who started this war," or whatever. but clearly something doesn't have to be true to be effective, which i like. it puts that whole "what is truth" thing into perspective. or out of perspective. lots more to say on this, but i think i'm done for now.

playing around on with the "random" generator, this was the first true story i found. nice. and you guys say i never write about baseball anymore.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

apparently i'm a catch.

best comment i've gotten yet, from a stranger - "reading a book, eh? not many women like to read books. your husband must be PROUD of YOU."

of course, i was on the suspenseful last twenty pages of the sparrow [which i recommend], and of course i agreed that my husband was proud.

what. it's not like the drunk guy in the park wasn't already lying to me.

[later edit: i was lying about being married. i am not married. but if you're a stranger, sorry if you originally thought i was married to a guy who somehow isn't proud of me.]

Monday, June 02, 2008

"sorry for eavesdropping, but it's kind of our job."

so, hung out with some undercover cops the other night. and by that i mean, we were sitting awkwardly close to some undercover cops at thai bowl [they had gotten all un-undercover by then, but they were still wearing awkward fake-college clothes] and accidentally hit on them.

and by that i mean, a certain friend of mine giggled and said, "i've never been this close to a weapon before." if you read this blog or know me at all, you know that i thought that was hilarious. so did most of the cops.

short selection of comments:
- it's a pretty powerful weapon!
- he's got handcuffs, too.
- he's got LOTS of equipment. a flashlight?
- he can be the cop.
- awww man, i ALWAYS have to be the cop.

they invited us to go on a ride-along with them afterwards. we said sorry, we didn't bring our bulletproof vests. they said they have extras, because most of them don't wear them. [eeek.] still, though, we passed on that one - if only for the fear that, as the same friend said, they were more interested in taking clothes off than in giving us more clothes. right.

rode the train to midway this weekend, and it struck me [not for the first time] how weird it is that the train says, "this is midway, as far as this train goes." i always think, what, does each individual train get to decide? like, as far as THIS train goes, we're at midway. but i was in the middle of telling my brother about this, and he said, what, it doesn't go all the way? 

when i arrived in manchester [the one in new hampshire], i saw two signs that are not supposed to be hilarious.
1. "dunkin donuts gets you running." dunkin donuts gives you the runs? anyone?
2. "sizzling cold - welcome to manchester, the gateway to northern new england." it was a coke ad, but still. sizzling cold? that's what we're promoting?

little girl on the plane: [pointing] is HE stranger danger? is SHE stranger danger?
her mom: umm, honey, don't point.

so last week, i meant to blog about how you should never sing on public transportation. [this was inspired by a group of 60ish women singing some song - i forget what, but it was something like "you don't own me." they were doing that fake-bad voice, too.] but then, on the orange line, two girls from this group of maybe five teenagers stood up and started singing, gospel-style. 

they were just okay, but what i liked was this little interaction:
- they're going to kick you off the train.
- they don't know who i AM. you know that guy who says "doors closing"? that's my dad.