(this is annie)

random happy things

Though the thought of pregnancy and parenthood is terrifying, I really do like babies. They smell good if they're not poopy, and their tiny hands are always trying to clutch on to adult fingers. Yesterday I got to hold a baby named Meg, and when she smiled at me I felt a large sense of calmness and happiness. I wrote to my mother about it, and this is her reply:

Aren't babies the sweetest, best thing to hold in your arms? 11 weeks
old is such a neat age...they do start to recognize the human face, and
often the smile is not from gas. They really like people.

I also love my mom because even if we see an adorable baby somewhere, she'll quietly tell me, "You were cuter." Moms are great like that.

- - -

Traci sent me a lovely spring bouquet as thanks for feeding her cats. It has magenta tulips, white snapdragony flowers, pink bellish flowers, and flowers that look like starfish. The more I see flowers, the more I believe that my secret calling in life is to become a florist. Think about how much fun that would be! You'd learn all about different plants, and you could create beautiful arrangements with endless color schemes. I wonder what you have to do to become a florist, if there's some crazy floral academy somewhere.
- - -

My grandmother's name was Hazel Pearl. Isn't that a wonderful old lady name?

work: I stayed until almost eight o'clock, which used to be a normal occurrence, but is now blissfully rare. I don't know if we've learned to work smarter or harder, but either way, the occasional late night isn't bad.

bus: I rode the Division bus to Damen, watching other bus riders as usual. One gentleman looked rather glum, so on my way off the bus, I smiled and said, "Cheer up." He smiled and I felt happy.

jinx: It's good that this coffee shop has reopened, but it is not as nice as it used to be. The pinball machines are gone, and the stereo was playing Soundgarden. The cheese on the grilled cheese sandwich tasted mildly meaty.

rainbo: I wish I'd been able to go earlier, to beat the beginnings of the crowd. Why is this place so busy on a Wednesday night?

max fischer: There was a fake Max Fischer at Rainbo last night! He wore big glasses and pulled his dark hair down a bit, just like our friend Max. But only the genuine Max was able to discuss Richard Yates. And only the real Max would ask today, "So what happened after I left you in the arms of that womanizing vulture?"

human torch: Habitually a very stylish guy, Human Torchwas wearing a magnificent cowboy shirt. When he pointed out the label that said WILLIE NELSON, I had to restrain myself from ripping it off of him. I mean this in a greedy clotheshorse sense, not a "Watch out Torchy, 'cause I'm coming to getchoo!" way.

door guy: looks like he should be in the Small Faces. I told him that and he asked if I was saying he looked like Rod Stewart. Maybe he didn't take it as a compliment.

gary sinise: Assclown of the week. Again! He would look at me out of the corner of his eye, but avoid eye contact. It was obvious that he did not want to talk, so I decided to be a jerk and approach him. I gave him nothing but honey, just to kill him with kindness.

evan: Looked "schocked" to see me. Said he liked my bag in the way he always speaks when he's thinking I am maybe a little insane to be so enthusiastic about, say, the best bag ever. Seemed terrified that I would whip out photographic evidence of Matlock jumping like a bunny or wearing makeup.

evan's cousin: Probably does not understand why Evan ever dated me, especially after I told her, "Evan was a very good boyfriend for the most part."

kurt: The nicest guy! I made a bunny drawing for him. I'd really like to be his friend.

X: shaved that musn'tstache and looks babyfaced again. Did not seem to remember me from a few weeks ago, or was too busy trying to see if incredibly drunk friend was sleeping or passed out.

foxy mcfoxerson: telephone talk in the early evening, face-to-face talk in the later. We straightened things out and are friends. Friends with crushy tension rippling under the surface, maybe, but friends all the same. It makes me happy because I trust him in a way that I feel all over, and as he said, "You make a goddam good friend, Thursday."


overanalysis 101

Despite the snow, today is a happy day. I went to sleep early last night and woke up feeling ready to take the day head-on. I've remained perky and content throughout the whole day.

One of the books I'm reading is Midnight Sun, by fellow University of Michigan alum Elwood Reid. He studied under my favorite professor, and so I feel some sort of kinship with the writer (after all, we look up to the same professor). I've read Reid's short stories before, and so I opened this new book with great anticipation. So far, it's an exciting literary thriller (there's no better way to say it) set in Alaska. It has a few elements of Heart of Darkness as well as a touch of the Hemingway adventurer. Good stuff; I can't wait to finish it.

Owls McGee and I have apartment fever, and we have it bad. We have gone so far as to create a separate web site about it. We leave each other notes like "I hope you are prepared for me to get all feng shui obsessed" and "Nobody wants to walk into her bedroom and feel like Timothy Leary, y'know?"

At work today I came up with a very clever idea, and I was strangely confident in describing it to my supervisor. "Best idea ever," I exclaimed. "Bigger than the New Deal!"
- - -

Update on Whoa: I have decided that he must be gay. This is the most likely scenario. Let us gather the evidence:

1. He is good-looking to the point that his job is being a model. I shit you not. Models work in the fashion "industry," which is filled with gay men and snarky fashion editors. As he is not a snarky fashion editor, the evidence points to him being a Friend of Dorothy.

2. He was wearing a very stylish outfit. Heterosexual men are able to piece together fashionable outfits, but proportionally less so than their gay brethren. The scale is just tilted in the favor of gayness. Granted, Whoa's outfit did not involve glitter or anything (it was a thrift score store) but he sweats stylishness all the same.

3. My memory is fuzzy on the whole "friend mentioning Whoa to me" bit. Did she say she wanted to fix us up? Or did she say she thinks we'd hit it off? Those could be two very different things.

3a. (But if Whoa is indeed gay, why wouldn't Friend say, "Uh, you know, Whoa is gay" when I mentioned my cheese-induced minicrush? Why would she offer to give him my number and do "recon work"?)

4. He was really friendly. He made and kept eye contact. He asked questions about my life. He loves the Cheese Castle. He said he hoped to see me again soon. This is all too charming to be true.

5. He did not ask for my phone number. For some reason he misunderstood me when I talked about an upcoming birthday party, and he said, "Well, I will definitely be there! When is it, next weekend?" You see, when I explained that it's not until May, that would have been a good time for him to ask for the digits, as it were. But he didn't, and lamely I blurted, "Well, huh-huh, you know how to get in touch, huh-huh." Smooth criminal, that's me.

These are all compelling reasons to believe that Whoa is not a fan of the ladies. At least they are in my head. I know there is a plausible and more convincing rebuttal to most of those points, but it just seems easier to believe that he is gay. If I do that, then everything is neat and tidy.

However, today I make this pact with myself: if he is gay, I will try to make friends with him. If indeed he is not gay, then I will confidently proceed with getting to know him in a potentially datey way. I can't not do it, especially when he seems to be a complete weirdo who doesn't use his looks to get ahead.

(Also, dear reader, I hope you know that I tend to amplify my neuroses in type. It's bound to be slightly more engaging to read that way, or at least that is the goal.)


the usual: tired, dreaming

I'm so tired. Last night was Oscar night at Jen and Drew's house, and I didn't get home until 12:30. Consequently, I woke up late today and was too hurried to put on deodorant. Now I am paranoid that I reek.

In three weeks, I will have a new nest. It seems strange to always be moving; during the last five years, I haven't lived in the same place for more than a year. This nomadic lifestyle tires me. I'd just like to find a place where I can stay and be content.

One of the great things about moving into a new place is that possibility seems boundless. Before you move in, you begin imagining the decor. In your mind, your future apartment is going to be the best one in the city. Everybody will want to come over to your stylish yet comfortable house. You will throw parties and it'll look just like a movie, with people laughing and having a grand old time.

Or maybe that's just me.

on the quest for color

For over a month, I'd been eagerly awaiting the ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Girls/Explosions in the Sky show. Sometimes, when people are excited about an event, the anticipation winds up being more exciting than the event itself. Not so this time.

After a rousing daytrip to Wisconsin to shop at the Mars Cheese Castle, the woodland triumvirate of Owlie, Woodsy, and I had dinner at Bite. Lately I have been on a salad kick, craving spinach and vinaigrette. And really, I only wanted to order a salad, but as a thin girl, I get anxious about doing that. I am convinced that people will think that I am on a diet or something crazy like that. Yes, it's ridiculous, but it's one of my quirks, okay? So I also ordered a pasta dish which turned out to be lousy. If you're ever at Bite, do not order the pasta.

The show was sold out, but we had wisely purchased our tickets in advance. Explosions in the Sky were beautiful and noisy. The best part of the set involved the middle-aged guy standing next to me. He displayed the enthusiasm that one of the band members' parents might, with lots of thumbs-up and "WOO!"ing. The band members tried to ignore him, but he would not have any of it. "Rockford loooooves you guys," he'd yell, pumping his fist in the air. I found a new place to stand when he started smiling at me. Yikes.

Trail of Dead were as much fun and as energetic as I'd hoped they would be. There really is something fantastic about seeing a band completely trash their instruments after playing. And as Woodsy pointed out, "And this way, you don't have to worry about an encore!" I agree. Even if I love the band (and last night's show was marvy) it's nice when they just play all the songs without waiting for the ego-boosting encore.

After the show: I saw R. (a friend's boyfriend), who introduced me to Whoa. [Owlie and I had seen Whoa earlier that night and all we could say was, "Whoa." Or maybe it was wow, I can't be sure. Either way, he was magazine-beautiful, as Jaime would say.] Anyway, Whoa was very pleasant and witty, all those nice things. I responded in my own brilliant way by blurting, "WE WENT TO THE MARS CHEESE CASTLE!" Much to my amazement, the tuxedo-clad Whoa reacted with great glee: "I love that place!" A man who wears dress clothes and recognizes the greatness of cheesy tourist traps? Whoa indeed.

This is where the funny part comes in. My friend has, on more than one occasion, suggested fixing me up with Whoa. "You are both funny! You both love books," she'd say. I just didn't like the idea of being set up with somebody. And then we met each other just out of the blue. R. and Whoa invited me to hang out with them after the show, but it was late. No phone numbers were exchanged, but I'm sure I'll hear all the gossip tomorrow.

- - -

Other nicknames given or used last night: Cat Man, Edward Norton Tootie, Jason Lee Creepy, When Art Mullets Go Bad.


tune in, viewers

Owlie, Woodsy, Max Fischer, Humantorch, and I went out to celebrate our new apartment last night. Owlie and I were giggling because Beta Band was there. We talked about going up to him with her blue-salted margarita, saying, "What's this?" and then nodding and saying, "It's good."

We also came up with more plans for our public access show. It's going to be called Boys, Boots, and Buffy. See, the thing is, Owlie and I seem to have more gentleman friends than girl friends. Ergo, most of our stereotypically girly energy is repressed, and it comes out in a big way when we're together. All of our feminist scholarship and tomboyish qualities fall to the dust momentarily. In no way does this mean that we are frivolous or shallow. No, we take these topics very seriously.

That is why we will have an entire television show about the ubergirly topics. We haven't quite ironed out the details, but we do know that we'll have these weekly features:

- Thrift Store Score! In which Owlie and I showcase the week's best find from Unique Thrift.

- Ask My Perfect Boyfriend In which Woodsy fields questions from viewers, answering them in his inimitable, charming way.

- You Dick! In which I profile who has been shitty this week. Segment title to be pronounced in Spicolian fashion, of course.

- Buffy in the Diegesis (working title) In which Owlie and I dissect Buffy's sociocultural place within the Sunnydale universe—and in turn, its relevance to and symbolism of the young female experience.


mcfoxerson vs. sinise

For years now, I have been convinced that my thought process is perhaps a bit more neurotic than that of the average bear. It has to be. If everybody went around overanalyzing and daydreaming like me, nothing would ever get done. The planet would be populated with anxious, giddy, goofy people who take frivolity very seriously. for instance, here is an excerpt of this morning's e-mail to Owlie.

gary sinise: why do men act like they are interested, and then they ask
for your phone number, but they do not call? jerkass. maybe he lost it.
yeah, right. more likely he talked with foxy mcfoxerson after we left, and foxy mcfoxerson was all "she sucks, dude. i'm going to go drum now." then gary sinise
ripped up my cute phone number drawing and spat on it. conversely: after
we left, foxy mcfoxerson let out a big sigh. "i'm in love with that girl," he
moaned. "and i fear i've ruined everything!" gary sinise looked over at
foxy mcfoxerson and felt a pang in his heart. "how can i possibly call that fine
lady when my friend foxy mcfoxerson is full of woe?" thought gary sinise as he
tossed my phone number into the garbage along with his hopes and dreams.
either way, the phone does not ring.

Speaking of Foxy McFoxerson: On the way out of Earwax, I ran into him! Oh god! Why is it that now, everywhere I go, there he is? He has become the Leroy of March. I don't know why I still blush and smile upon seeing that boy, and why he does a little of the same. It just seems unfair that things (didn't) work out like this. Or could it be (maybe, just maybe) that I am attracted to people who are unattainable, therefore protecting myself from any sort of emotional closeness and scarring? Gee, I wonder.

when it rains, it pours

Well! It looks as though Miss Owlie and I have found a new nest. We have to apply for it and all that jazz, of course, but the landlord would be insane to not take us! The apartment is a fourth-floor walkup in Ukranian Village. I immediately liked the smell of the staircase, although its twists made me feel like Scottie Ferguson. The apartment itself is, for lack of better terms, cool and unique. And as Bob Barker would say, the price is right! Its common areas are spacious and lofty, with skylights and big windows. The bedrooms are small, but who needs big bedrooms when you can look out your window and see the lights of our fair skyline?

- - -

Our second Chic-a-Go-Go appearance was another success. The Humantorch joined in the fun this time, sportin' cool shades and a red-hot t-shirt. Everybody in the dance party looks really smooth except for me and Owlie. We just can't stop grinning and doing a fast Twist. While most of the other people are looking tough and holding up their hands during the "holla back" song, she and I are flashing goofy smiles.

- - -

Last night was adventure night supreme. It was originally going to be girls' night out, but the addition of our boy friends made it even more fun. The more, the merrier. I feel happy to have more friends here in Chicago. I feel fortunate to have met Owlie, who is funny and smart and kind and trustworthy. It was hard to live here without having a good girl friend, and now not only do I have one, I have the best one! We noticed that the eighties look seems to be big, but we are both stuck on the sixties/mod/old-lady look.

When we arrived at the establishment, I saw "Gary Sinise," who was trying to look tough with his arms folded. At first I thought, "Oh boy, what happened to the niceness exhibited last week? Rats." But then as I went to join my friends, he sent me a sly little wink. And later, we talked about writing and Mies van der Rohe. I started babbling (this is what happens when I talk with men I find even mildly attractive) about architecture and the lines of the IBM building. Gary Sinise seemed amused by this architectural tangent, and he said, "Maybe you should give me your phone number." Maybe. He looks like he smells good.

Owls McGee and V. have a friend who looks like Riley from Buffy! He was a little bit tipsy, and he wouldn't stop talking about how much he hates Paul McCartney. His argument was based on the theory that Sir Paul is dating an amputee simply to advance his own career. Hollow, Riley, a hollow argument.

Oh, I'm feeling too lazy and private to go into all the stories of last night, but it was a fun evening. I love going somewhere and seeing friendly people, meeting new ones, and even seeing old ones. Last night I did finally get to (unexpectedly) face Foxy McFoxerson. He looked the same as always, except his hair is now on the longish side. "Hey, Metal-hair," I said to him. He gave me a nervous smile as I walked toward him. We talked a little bit, and our eyes still smiled at each other (I shifted them downward so he wouldn't see). I'll leave it at that.


adios lumbergh

Late Saturday night, LCB and I ate at my new favorite snacky place, Lula Cafe. It's one of the few Chicago establishments that seems very Brooklyn. And ooh, the food is tasty and inexpensive. I had a spinach salad and goat cheese quesadillas; LCB had some scary chicken entree. I couldn't stop staring at the crispy dead carcass across the table from me.

People ask why I'm a vegetarian, and must there be a more complicated reason than, "Eating dead things is gross"? Think about it. You're eating and digesting flesh that has been dead for god knows how long. Dead dead dead! I used to have a long list of ethical, environmental, and health reasons for vegetarianism. Now the strongest argument is merely a stereotypically girly one: it's icky.

a not-very-nice letter

Dear English Professor,

I admit, it was nice that you said I looked like Virginia Woolf in the hat. Literary allusions are generally quite alluring, and it's nice to hear that I "look like a modernist." However, your claim to have seen me at the establishment two weeks ago smells suspiciously like the cat's litter box, which is now going on day three of stagnancy. For I was most certainly not at that establishment two weeks previous. Ain't no two ways about that.

It was almost suave how you saddled up to my booth and asked me about writing, and how you laughed at my rolled-trousers joke. Ooh, and when you started talking about how you're editing So-and-so's final book, betcha thought that was the hook! Well, to be honest, I was really hoping to have a quiet night writing to dear Trevor. That's the reason I go to quiet places in the evening: to write alone.

Still, it's rare that I find somebody who shares my distaste for the comma splice, and a little conversation wouldn't have hurt. But then you did it! You really shot yourself in the foot! First you start asking me about Audrey Hepburn's sex life (after pointing out our alleged similarity, a thinly veiled attempt at feeling out my prudishness or vixenhood), then you follow up by saying that Marilyn Monroe liked being seen only as a sexpot. When I told you she was a brilliant but underestimated woman who read Schopenhauer and Kierkegaard, I was not bullshitting you; why did you doubt me? Because you read Mailer's books about her? Mailer is a woman-beating schmuck and you know it.

Furthermore (and to be honest, this is where you really got on my nerves), you callously dismissed Buffy without having ever seen an episode. "Pop culture is not worth studying," you sniffed. "Virginia Woolf is worth studying." Maybe she is (and what's with the Woolf fixation?), and I have studied her work, but the two subjects are not mutually exclusive. Angel reads Sartre and Spike makes wry allusions to the St. Crispin's speech; tell me that's not intelligent programming. Oh, you did. Maybe they don't have television in the ivory tower. Or maybe you like to pretend that you don't watch it, but really you're a closeted JAG fan.

Now, as for when you asked me out: Instead of telling the truth (you are a snob; you are too old for me; you talk to me condescendingly but seem to want some sort of youthful trophy on your arm) I said no, but thank you for asking. But you were persistent, all the while pretending that you weren't being pushy. But you were! Giving me your web site's postcard ("It's a literary journal, not a web site") would have been a classy move if it hadn't come after the "It's just a date!" routine. If it were just a date to you, you'd have let it go. But instead, you finally gave up, and abruptly stomped off.

In the future I hope that you are less pushy with women, and that maybe you will stop trying to intellectually bully nice girls into spending their time with you. You are undoubtedly intelligent and well-read, but reading literature means nothing if you can't learn some lessons about people in the process.

Stepping off the bossy soapbox,

Miss T

(ps) I just Googled your name and found out that you are forty! Forty! I am far too young for you!



Today I read a message board thread about shoegaze being the Next Big Revival. Although that would result in the proliferance of a lot of bad fuzzy bands, there would be one big benefit: sleeping would suddenly become cool. I wouldn't have to feel slightly guilty over my twelve-hour sleep marathons or my tendency to fall asleep on the phone. People would go out to sleep, and instead of random hookups, little napdates would be all the rage. "I had some amazing REM the other night," the kids would tell each other. Bring it on, I say.

say hello

    it's anniet at gmail.


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