(this is annie)

i am a slug

One of the many reasons that some sunshine would be nice: my already-pale skin is getting pasty like Elmer's glue. Every little blemish screams for attention. I just feel really unhealthy and in dire need of warmth. Which means that I may be flying to San Francisco in a month! This summer I'd like to travel more than I normally do. Usually I just flit to New York, which is great—but at some point it might be wise to look at other cities as well. Going to beach resorts has never seemed interesting, mostly because sand and water is boring if you've grown up in it.

I took the Real Age test, and guess what? I am sixteen going on seventeen. Weird.

Last night I dreamed that I hated looking in the mirror, that everything I saw was odd-looking. In reality, mirrors make me feel ambivalent. Curious, sometimes—what do I look like to other people? Do they, too, think I look like Jay Leno?

I think this insecurity is rooted in childhood (what a shocker). I was a disarmingly beautiful baby, an adorable toddler, a cute young child. Why my parents didn't throw me into child acting, I will never understand. We could have made millions, I tell you. Millions!

I was radiant until second grade, when the family fangs came into place. My baby teeth were forced out by large teeth twisted in all directions. They required orthodontia. The sight of an eight-year-old in braces makes adults cluck in sympathy. It makes fat bullies named Nick call the poor kid names like Bucky Beaver. Which scars, you know.

Around fifth grade, I started to notice a funny little mark on my cheek. A beauty dot, my mother called it. An odd spot was more like it. By that time the braces had come off. But it was too late to fit in with the popular girls. One of them was forced to play with me, and the afternoon went surprisingly well. Only after she left did I realize that she had stolen my favorite Barbie clothes!

By sixth grade, my latest obsession was breasts. I knew I had to get them to become a young woman, but how? Puberty was an elusive and intangible vixen. Worse yet, I had a sinking premonition that a the only kind of chest I was going to have was a hope chest. My female classmates began to bud, as it were, and as they explored the risque world of 30 AA training bras, I was stuck wearing sissy little cotton camisoles with bows on the front. I used to contort my back and wear blousy shirts so that the telltale unbroken line of my vertebrae would not betray my lack of bra.

At that time I was also convinced that shaving my legs was of utmost importance. The problem was, my mother wouldn't allow it. "You'll do it once and then you'll have to do it all the time," she lectured. "It's not worth it." Of course I sneaked into her bathroom, borrowed her razor, and soap-and-watered my way into flicking the Bic. Nobody noticed my smooth legs.

Some other time I will discuss my second puberty and how it continues to this day.

rats, cats, and countrymen

Two fluffy cats were sitting patiently on my doorstep last night. Their owner allows them to roam at night, which I find both reckless and irresponsible (the cats are declawed). It's one thing if you have sharp-nailed alley cat types. It's another if you've got a pair of fluffy sissycats who can't defend themselves from a rat, much less a growling tomcat.

Speaking of rats, J and I were talking on the breakfast porch the other night. I saw a giant rat in the shadows and proceeded to excitedly point it out. He will probably refer to me as Ratso La Femme from now on.

Last night was GERMAN NIGHT! Yeow! K was playing a little Amon Duul II (some of which rocked my kraut, let me tell you), and then a gaggle of German architects walked in. I could tell they were fellow Germans by their clothing and twitchy mannerisms. One of them tried to make conversation, but every now and then he'd say something to me and punctuate it with a burst of German to his friends. Oh, Tobias, that's not polite.

me: did you know there's a mag called AFFLUENT GOLFER?

friend: ew. that's just wrong.

me: i couldn't stop laughing

friend: is there also one called Broke Golfer?

me: no, but there is Working Class Rugby Player

friend: Destitute Jockey

me: Upper Middle Class Jai A'laier

crabby mcgrouch

It really bothers me when boys in bands want to do the quasi-hangout. You know, "Oh, I'd like to do [suggested activity] tomorrow night, but I have practice. We have a show on [day of week]. You should totally come! Hope to see you there!" They are not looking to spend time together, but to amass cute ladies in their audience.

I'm in a foul mood today for no apparent reason. I woke up and was upset with the kitten for not waking me up on time; it's not as though he is a feline alarm clock, but in my groggy state I felt it was his responsibility to get me going.

Work had a few irritations. Nothing huge, just obnoxious enough to make me eat half a box of Thin Mints, angrily crunching them as I watched Rosie. My mood darkened as I realized I was becoming the target demographic for subscribers to Redbook.

Fortunately, some sunshine and lemonade—the sweet and the sour—turned the day around. And then I heard from Maysan, K-Sto, and Todd. The afternoon conquers the morning, and evening brings free fun museum activities!


i think i smell all right

Owls McGee and I watched the marvelous On The Line last night. If you don't know what this film is, rent it right away. It stars Lance Bass and Joey Fatone of pop supergroup N'Sync. Basically, Lance is a shy 24-year-old ad man who meets a girl on the El, doesn't ask for her number, and does the whole Missed Connection thing. Fat One plays his farting friend who fronts a hair metal rock band. The movie is worth renting if only to witness the excellent intersection of literalism and figuratism: Fat One wailing "Pour Some Sugar On Me" while actually pouring sugar on himself.

- - -

Up until this very minute, I would listen to the White Stripes and think that they were singing "I think I smell all riiiight" instead of "I think I smell a rat." I like my version better.

Owlie and I nickname people. That in itself doesn't seem too strange, but it is a bit dumb that even when we know these people, we refer to them by their code names. Additionally ridiculous: with the exception of one female, we do not code-name girls and women. Here is a partial list of this year's nicknames.

diesel boy: more of a man, really, but this sounds better. has shaggy hair and really does look like he should be wearing overpriced denim. no relation to lame-o pop-punk band of same name.

tuxedo boy: wears tuxedos around town. is charming in an oddball way, like me, and disarmingly beautiful, unlike me.

pigpen: the tenant in our apartment who hasn't moved his schtuff out. he is the biggest slob on the planet, with a nest full of hippy shit and uncleaned cat litter boxes.

the (un)happy little elf: boy who looks like an extra in lord of the rings; is misanthropic and hard to read.

gary sinise: big-time flirt who really does look like the actor. humantorch and max fischer have said that gary sinise looks like a tool. their words, not mine.

max fischer: our friend looks eerily like the star of rushmore. he is such a nice boy.

teach: crazy guy who danced on chic-a-go-go with us. he was a loud and nutty hip-hop type, waving his hands in the air like he just didn't care. his accomplices in dancing were two or three pre-teenage boys who turned out to be his students. after the taping completed, teach removed his fubu and began talking with friends about that night's town and country show.

foxy mcfoxerson: also mentioned here more than a few times. we are friends now, and that makes me happy. he is one of the few people aware of his nickname, and for a while he thought i had renamed him captain assclown. no, silly foxy! that was just a temporary thing.

whitelegs the pirate: i could never remember this kid's name. all i could remember was that he attended a chic-a-go-go taping and had legs even whiter than mine. he rides a vespa, apparently.

edward norton tootie: owlie says he looks like her friend tootie; i say he looks like edward norton. this is really all i know of him.

tre cool: i have not actually met this gentleman, but owlie has. she says he really is tres cool.

rapscallion: i had a huge huge huge crush on him, but he kinda did what the next bloke did...

jfk/mr. president: takes me on a date in which we have a lovely time, says he's glad we went out, and never calls again.

gramps: treats me as though i am twelve. regards me as his little sister, which is kind of sweet but also patronizing.

the fake evan: this is the guy who is on the rainbo calendars almost every year. he always looks a little bit like evan, what with the glasses and all, but he's not! he's the fake evan!


sixty-eight and sunny

So I was walking down Second Avenue yesterday, looking pretty fly if I do say so myself (it's all because of my new forest green pants, with an embroidered birdy on the yoke). I was in a good mood because I was about to see Brian, who has been mentioned here before as the world's perfect boy. Around 18th Street, guess who I saw?

My shaggy-haired boyfriend!

You know, Julian Casablancas of The Strokes!

Despite feeling unstoppably asstastic in my pants, I did not stop to say hello to Julian. He was sipping coffee on a stoop... with another woman! Oh, Julian, say it isn't so.

- - -

Brian and I walked all around yesterday. After eating the best hot chocolate I've ever had ("Lots of cream and melted chocolate," said the barista), we walked forty blocks north and took in some modern art.

Met Todd at Max Fish, and later went to dinner (goat cheese quesadillas!) with dear Ophi-ra and Todd's crazy optometrist. They were headed off to the White Stripes show, and though we tried to sneak a plus-one for me, there was to be no rockin' that night.

As for now, it is mild and balmy and time to explore even more. I love this city.

second and twenty-second

The sun is shining and all I can see is sky and brick. Somebody outside was playing "Girlfriend" and putting an upbeat spin on an already good Sunday. Ophi is on the phone, Wendell the miniature dachshund is attacking his stuffed doll in the sweetest way, and the city stretches ahead.

the last morning

I woke up with Truman sprawled across my belly. He was purring softly, licking my hand and when my eyes blinked open. My heart cracked. We lay in bed and looked at the brightness outside, the day ahead. I am sad, and he is indifferent, as cats tend to be.

embarrassing cat songs

Tonight is my last night with my kitty Truman. He has always had a special place in my heart. He's the most beautiful cat I've ever seen, with bright green eyes, a pink nose, and cashmere-soft black and white fur. I adopted him when he was five weeks old, all fluff and fleas. I loved that kitten more than almost anything, the way he'd pounce on and attack anything that moved. He grew to be a giant cat with a foot-long tail and a penchant for scratching and biting.

During the weekends, when I am mostly home, he purrs and snuggles sweetly. Alas, during the rest of the week, he resents me for being gone, and he attacks both me and his kitty friend. So he is going to live with a very nice man named Noel, who already has kitties and is eager to give Truman more attention than I can.

Tonight we spend our last night together. He won't know that anything is going on until tomorrow morning, when he's put into his cat carrier to go to his new home. Until then, though, we will snuggle each other and meow at each other. And perhaps like times before, I'll cry and he'll lick the tears from my cheek. He was always a sweet cat when he needed to be one. I love him dearly.
- - -

In memory of dear Truman, here are some cat songs that he hears on a daily basis:

1. Kitty time is a spesh-shal time, yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah (repeat)

2. Who is my kitty boy? Who is my kitty joy? Tru-man, Tru-man! You are my kitty boy, you are my kitty joy! Tru-man, Tru-man!

3. Who's the black and white cat that's a cat machine to all the chicks? TRUMAN! You're damn right. Who is the cat that likes rubs on his neck from his owner man? TRUMAN! Can you dig it? They say this cat Tru is a bad mother--shut yo' mouth! Talkin' about Truman.

4. Ohayo gozaimasu, Miki-Miki-Miki-Chan, Miki-Chan, ohayo, ohayo gozaimasu! (this is actually a song for his little brother, but Tru hears it all the same)

magnificent obsession

April is the cruelest month, and I am sick. Cough, sneeze, sniffle, croak.

Owls McGee and I are well on our way to becoming part of the style elite. Last week it was our big photo shoot, which played out like a daydream. You see, we were at the Clinic show, and we were looking like our normal cute selves. Owlie was wearing a little dress that combined her love of pale yellow and spring green. I wore a black a-line skirt and a very 1967 polyester shirt with tan, pink, and black swirls. Then, a woman our age came up to us and asked if we'd pose for UR Chicago magazine. Well, shit. You don't need to ask twice. Steal our souls, o photographer! Look for our modeling debut this month.

This week, Owlie and I answered an advertisement in the Reader. It had been placed by a stylist (that is what they are called) at my haircuttery (that is not what they are called, but 'salon' brings to mind the dyspeptic pinks and mauves of childhood visits to the JC Penney Hair Salon). He is offering $15 haircolor treatments, which means that by the end of the month, we will have inexpensive but lovely hairstyles. Bulldogs and police officers will sing, "Who's that lady? Who's that laydeee?" just like in the commercials.

Conversely, the pictures published in UR Chicago will make us look like Bea Arthur and Melissa Rivers. And our haircolor treatments will leave us looking like the Before pictures in infomercials.

Not that we think dichotomously about frivolous things or anything. Or that we hang out at Sears on a Tuesday night obsessing over the precise yellow-orange for the kitchen. Nope, not us. Never.

coeur de roi

Last night I rode the scooter for miles through a Chicago spring evening (a dinnertime trek with horrid weather). My glasses were opaque with fog, my pants stuck to my thighs, and even through gloves my stiff little fingers could barely move. The sky spat icy droplets like needles ramming into my body at thirty miles an hour. My face hurt so much that I wanted to cry, but instead I took great pride in being tough enough to zoom through the streets. The bus is for rain-fearing sissies.

Around nine I went to Bite and drew woodland creatures. I tried to draw a frog, but then I realized that I couldn't imagine what frogs look like. So instead I drew a snake, and gave the drawings to my partner in crime for the evening.

Partner in Crime and I went next door to the Empty Bottle. Boy, was it crowded. I saw Grouchy Vespa Boy, who strangely looked happy to see me. He waved me over and was oddly flirtatious. Usually he is a depressive git who finds the worst in everything, but he revealed that he and his ladyfriend broke up. Aha. We excitedly carried on for a minute about how nice it is to be single ("Because everybody thinks you're cute!" / "Yes, and you can flirt with impunity!"). He's the mod-est guy I know. He has that floppy longish hair, a scooter, and last night he was wearing a suit with an ascot. An ascot! A wee bit over the top, yes, but weirdly endearing.

Partner In Crime used the word "fisticuffs" at one point last night. What's not to love about a quirky, wide vocabulary?

Labels: ,

Ignore the dateline; I'm writing again. For a few months I scribbled excitedly in composition books, keeping a steady hand of all-caps letters. In some cases I wrote rather well; in others, I wrote like Elizabeth Wurtzel on a good day (which is to say, I wrote very poorly). There's something wonderful about writing on paper as opposed to typing on a keyboard. The former seems more fulfilling and tangible, while these words now come forth too quickly, without judicious editing.

It has been a strangely social year thus far. They say the even years are the better ones, and so far 2002 has turned out to be a real humdinger. I am working on some projects, one or two of which should be in this space shortly. I want to learn CSS—not in the rinkydink fashion that was sufficient in 1999, but in a way that allows this page to look pretty and function efficiently. The next two weeks promise travel and friends and a new abode, but by the time I turn twenty-four (!) there should be something worthy here. Taking a break is sometimes the best way to find excitement in the old.

as ever,
annie at newdream.net.

read: midnight sun, elwood reid
hear: explosions in the sky, knickerbockers
be: happy.

My parents came to town for a few hours yesterday. We had brunch at Ann Sather with Jen, Drew, and Traci. My mother fumed at my father because he had cat hair on the sweater. My father removed himself from all conversation not related to basketball. Mumsy kept calling Traci "Terri" for some reason, and she succeeded in embarrassing me greatly toward the end of our meal.

- - -


MOM: Have you heard about Annie's crushes?!

JEN: Well, some—

MOM, interrupting: Well! On Monday she's going to a concert with [established crush]. Now, you know Annie and how she gets nervous and overanalyzes things...

EVERYONE ELSE AT TABLE: Ha ha ha! No, you don't say! Chortle chortle!

MOM: ...but I think she should be confident with this one, because they have a lot in common. Now, she had told me about him last time I visited, and we saw him and I asked him about Fugazi—you know how she likes to tease me about me liking them—but she seemed convinced that he didn't know she was alive.

ANNIE (mumbles): Moth-errr.

MOM: Well, I say he was just a little shy! So I put a Mom Hex on him! I just knew it would work! She has nothing to worry about. Now, have you heard about Whoa? Let me tell you about Whoa...

ANNIE: (crawls underneath table, dies)


I am a fairly tolerant person, or at least I am becoming more accepting of differences. For instance, my former rule of never dating a smoker again has been broken, and though I don't like smoking at all, it doesn't mean that I don't like the person.

However, I am an intolerant person when it comes to ugly things like homophobic comments. Is this the fortnight of slurs or something? Why was I not told about this? Two of my guy friends have recently thrown "fag" around like it was a wiffle ball. One of them tossed in "lesbo" to be an equal opportunity asshole. When I said, "I don't like those words," the reply was, "You should know I'm just pushing people's buttons." When I countered that those words are not funny and are inappropriate, I was told to relax.

Oh, relax!

I plan to do no such thing when these people whip out "fag" or "dyke" and then excuse it by saying, "Oh come on, I have gay friends." Yeah, well, so do I, and guess what? They don't like being called fags and dykes. Besides, having gay friends isn't a license for heterosexual guys to use slurs. Inevitably when I gently bring this up, I am told that I am "too PC." That's a shallow argument that reduces the issue to one of "is not/are too."

Homophobia is one of the ugliest things I hate, mostly because it's a fear and hatred of love. So you can bet I'll keep yapping my PC mouth, from here till pink angles try...

say hello

    it's anniet at gmail.


© 2009 avt

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