Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Four Way

What did you think this post was about, you dirty, dirty reader?

I'm talking four way stops and there aren't enough people in this city who know how to actually use them. I woke up this morning in a bad mood, and I ended the day in a bad mood. Somewhere in the middle I began to wonder exactly how people in Salt Lake actually got their driver's licenses because surely they never passed their tests.

Here's a reminder about laws in Salt Lake (and I'm sure many places all around North America-- even quite possibly Canada) involving four-way stops:
When two cars come to a four way stop at the same time, the rule is to yield to the car on the right. The car on the right should go first, then the car on the left and the order proceeds clockwise. Don't pull up at the same time as me and if you're to my right impatiently stare then wave me through like you're doing me a favor. 

You're not doing me a favor. You're pissing me off, and if I wanted to get really technical, you're breaking the law.

Two separate people at two separate intersections did this to me this morning on the way to work. We pulled up at the same time, in fact, I was even a bit behind, and each time the person on my right sat there (one of whom on their cell phone) and waited for me to go. Being such a stickler about four way stop laws, I glared at them, waiting for them to pull their heads out of their asses and go. These people, I'm sure trying to be nice citizens, waved me through once again. Not a favor. In fact, if I went and they wanted to, they could ram me and any witness would say that it was I that drove out of turn.

Maybe I shouldn't care so much, maybe I should give up this nagging sense of responsibility and drive with wild abandonment. Of course, I would then be the one to cause the accident and that would piss me off as well. I'm going to the gym, and I'm not coming back until I get out of my funk; and it's a hell of a funk today. Look for me at Gold's if you don't see me by Thanksgiving.

p.s. While changing for the gym, I just noticed something. Even though I was wearing boyshort-like Victoria's Secret underwear, I have been rocking VPL all day. I haven't had this since middle school when my mom bought me bulk packs of Garfield panties from Mervyn's.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Torture, just like in "Saw"

Since I had to leave work a bit early and run a work-related errand, I thought I should also stop and get my nails fixed. I mean, my nails were keeping me from realizing my full work potential, and I really felt that my typing time could be increased by fixing this problem still during the work day. (and we wonder why I do PR... spin me right 'round.) I've had sparkly-tipped nails for the better part of the year and I was tired of it all. I wanted my nails short, I wanted my nails black, I wanted it done today. (You know, just in case I felt like taking up rock climbing tomorrow.) After making one illegal U-turn and nearly accidentally running over a guy I dated awhile ago, I found a nail shop that looked only marginally freaky. It was called "Happy Nails," and I figured, "What could be so wrong with that?"

I was able to get right in without an appointment to have the fake nails removed and a manicure on the real nails, and was instructed to sit with my hands in bowls of straight acetone. I sat, and I sat, and I sat...

Then the skin started peeling off my fingers, leaving the fake fingernails totally intact. I thought, "Is this my test? Now am I supposed to dig a key out of a guy's colon to get out of here?" To no avail, I had to sit there and endure the stinging sensation while I watched a small Asian woman with a razor blade scrape foot-heel skin off an 80-year-old lady. It was sensory overload.

After nearly an hour, the nail lady grabbed my hands and started chipping off gooey blobs of acrylic with what is officially known as a "nail nipper." (YES it's actually called that. That wasn't a very clever pun referring to the nationality of the owners. Though that would be extremely clever, but very very wrong. So wrong I'm giggling just a little bit.) This was another pain like I've never felt before-- especially when she hit nail bed and drew blood.

The phone rang.

The Asian woman answered, "Hello, Happy Nai..." 
"AAAAHOOOOWWWWWWWWWCCCCHHH!" I screamed. Happy Nails, my ass. SAD NAILS! I was sitting in SAD NAILS. Not Happy Nails. 

Remember in the movie Saw when that guy is crawling through the cage of glass shards? Child's play. Back into the acetone for my hands, this time bleeding into the bowls as I sat there trying not to beat the crap out of the old pedicure lady secretly laughing at my pain. "We almost done here?" I attempted. More chipping, more drilling, and finally success with shiny black fingernails.

Beauty is pain; but after 90-minutes of sheer hell, I emerged from Happy Nails, well, happy about my nails. Not that I'd like to do it again anytime soon, maybe just an experience a little better than being locked in a timed head-trap poised to spring my face in two. 

But just a little. Happy Halloween.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Hopelessly obsessed

I'm having an attack of various obsessions right now...

Right now, I'm loving the new Apple Leopard. It took awhile to install, but then it's been fantastic. It should be, the world waited long enough for it.

I'm almost ashamed to admit I am as hooked on Gossip Girl as I am Grey's Anatomy, and I'm slowly steering away from reality TV-- until Project Runway starts again next month.

So what if I regularly crave Apple Cinnamon Chex Mix? I have enough willpower to not down the entire bag in one sitting.

I'm like that little kid who confided in Dead Bruce Willis; I see cute guys everywhere, it's like my Sixth Sense for horny women: the Albertson's meat counters at now two different stores, the guy who plays Dan on Gossip Girl, McDreamy, and various men from my past.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Back to school?

I had a wicked bad reaction to yesterday's flu shot and after going to the gym last night, thought I was going to die. Even my skin hurt. After sitting in the Jeep for I don't know how long, I finally made it inside and up to bed.

Sometime around 3 this morning, I had the craziest dream. Not being one to remember my dreams very often, I was taken a little aback by the fact it was so vivid. I dreamed that something had been messed up with my high school transcript and they needed to send me back to high school to complete a few courses they decided I needed to take. I went back, even with a new bookbag, as a 31-year-old back in high school, full of anxiety, not ready to face the day. After searching high and low for the office to pick up my transcript to look at it, I finally settled in for a coffee and a smoke in the school's "fireplace lounge." Mind you, Brighton High never looked so good, and certainly never had a fireplace lounge, but in my dream, it was pretty groovy. I ended up sitting next to a guy sporting sort of Flock of Seagulls meets The Cure meets Gleaming the Cube kind of blonde hairdo and after I remarked to him that I thought he was cute, I woke up.

I must have been sick.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Congraduations (yes, that's meant to be a pun, not a misspelling)

My "niece," pictured above, just graduated obedience school tonight. I'm so proud, and can't wait to go back to Boston to have her lick my face again, as she's one of the few tolerable dogs in the world.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Dodging a bullet

A little while ago, I had the unfortunate pleasure of engaging in a mild flirtation with a guy nearly a decade younger than me. He was cute, and when he wasn't around other people he was even charming. But since he was but a wee lad, he 1.) neglected to mention his girlfriend with whom he "hooked up" and 2.) texted me late at night whenever he had been drinking. Good thing I was a bigger man and called him on the fact that he should treat his girlfriends a bit better.

Here's the most recent string of messaging:
(Poor punctuation and grammar on his part retained to maintain the integrity of the piece.)

Boy: Yay for thirsty thursdays

Me: Do you seriously think your girlfriend would appreciate you texting some random, hot woman? (That would be me.)

(Long pause where I brushed my teeth, washed my face and learned Portuguese.)

Boy: You think youre pretty got huh? (I think he meant "hot." I hope he meant "hot" because I don't remember the last time I "got huh?" Huh?)

Me: I'm not bad. There are worse, though I've got a great ass.

Boy: I dont know if i am cut out for girlfriends.

Me: You think? p.s. GO RED SOX!

Boy: F**K the red sox

Me: You have such a way with words...

Thus proving the old adage, "Real women don't date Yankees fans." Or frat boys. Or those who think they're frat boys.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Major appliance repair made simple...

For the last two months, my dryer has been threatening complete and total death. Sometimes it smells like burning, sometimes it sounds like grinding, most times it works for two minutes then shuts off.

Since I can't justify spending money I simply don't have right now, I decided to try a little major appliance repair the other night, thus proving bad things happen when I decide to emulate something I'd see on the TLC network. First, I researched my particular type of dryer, and after locating an online "manual" (and by "manual" I mean poor, worthless illustration) decided that was all I needed to guide my way through Screwdriverland.

That, and after a few glasses of wine, it was time to try my handiwork.

I got out my toolbox (yes, my daddy once got me a toolbox. Contrary to popular belief, it's NOT one of those "I'm trying to be so hard to be cute" pink toolboxes.) and after digging through old Sam Adams caps and thumbtacks, found a Phillips. Or flathead. Or something. Funny that you can have something so perfectly orchestrated in your head and when you're sitting there in front of a surly dryer, nothing makes much sense. I unscrewed a few things, and I got scared and screwed them back in. Yay. I know how to unscrew and screw things back in. I just wish something would unscrew me from all of this.

Finally, I let the dryer have it. Two years of bitterness and frustration and pent-up sorrow came out through my feet into the bottom of the dryer. First a few timid kicks, and then full-out Billy Blanks tae-bo, followed by a string of expletives rivaled by shore-leave.

"F**K cancer that kills our loved ones!"
"F**K the Cleveland Indians!"
"F**K that girl in elementary school who used my Crayola markers and dulled all the tips and put the colors out of order!"
You know, all the really important stuff to get upset about and kick the shit out of a clothes dryer...

Lo and behold, the dryer worked. It started, and it stayed on for a full drying cycle. Sure, it's not a permanent fix, but for a temporary solution, who says violence doesn't solve anything?


Why do we always want what we can't have?

I want to eat a pizza without feeling guilty.

I want to see the Red Sox in the World Series from Fenway this year.

I want to stop feeling like I should be doing something bigger.

I want to have skinny thighs that haven't been bulked up through nearly three decades of dance.

I want to open bills I get in the mail without anxiety.

And yep, I want to have someone say words as eloquently to me as McDreamy did to Meredith tonight.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Utah's Catholic Connection

The headline for this incident really caught my eye. It read "Former Salt Lake City Bishop Niederauer apologizes for serving communion to activists in drag." I don't know if I'm tired or if the headline could've been better written, but my brain thought the former Utah bishop had dressed in drag himself and got in trouble for serving communion while dressed as such.

After reading the article twice, I realized it was the activists who were dressed in drag as nuns. I can't speak to religion, however, I believe an activist's message is discredited whenever they have to cause a scene. I'm all for free speech, I'm just not for tacky-- actions or lipstick.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

It sucks at S'bux

Quickly, while I let my brain take a minute to process all the writing I've done today, I have to mention I'm increasingly irritated with Starbucks.

Not only do they have more money than God, baby Jesus, and Michael Eisner, but now they've really overstepped their bounds. I'm talking about anonymity-- mine to be exact. I don't like giving my name with each order so they can call it out when it's ready. I don't like it when strangers use my name. It goes back to all those old, elementary school "Stranger Danger" videos they'd show in health.

What's more, why is it necessary for Starbucks to ask for my name when I'm in the drive-up? They can only get to one order at a time, there's only room for one vehicle at the window, it's not like they're going to call it out. This is about as well thought-out as having braille on the driver's side ATM.

I want to give Starbucks a fake name. I want them to shout out "Amanda Huggenkiss! I've got coffee for Amanda Huggenkiss!" It will never happen. My fake name wouldn't match the name I've got on my debit card, and then I'd go to jail for credit fraud or something. All because Starbucks wants to mess with the system. One more reason to patronize locally-owned coffee shops-- the people who call out your name are friends.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Thoughts on technology

Technology is supposed to make our lives easier; microwaves make dinner faster, cell phones put us in touch with the world anytime, and I dare say a college Mass Comm Law paper would’ve been much better without tackling an old-school card catalog.

Though life is probably much simpler than it was even when my parents were my age, technology is making it tougher to date in 2007. While we used to go out and meet people face-to-face, it is now entirely possible in this age to sit behind the screen and date the Macbook. It also makes it easy to check up on old flames, to Google potential dates, to profile a real-life person with their online profiles. Today, technology is making me wonder, “Can we know too much?” Is ignorance bliss? Is it better to risk meeting an axe-murder in a bar?

A little less than a decade ago, I met someone who is a very cute, fairly prominent photographer in the area. He took pictures for a short-lived fashion magazine, and one night he just showed up at a party I was throwing. I had invited the neighbors, they had invited their friends and before I knew it, I was manning the blender for 50 of my favorite friends and the strangers they had brought with them.

Eventually, it became too much dating the cute photographer because of my own insecurities. To me, I wasn’t skinny enough, I wasn’t pretty enough, and I absolutely believed I could never compare to the models he saw each day through his lens. And in my very mature way (hey, I was in my early-twenties, after all) I eventually quit speaking to him. Since then, I’ve come to terms with myself-- my body, my looks, my entire being, and even though he moved to another city, I have actually gone out with the cute photographer on a few occasions whenever he happens to be in town.

Very recently, he called me to come and “hang out” “sometime soon” during a photo shoot in another city, which sounds like it could be a nice change of pace. And since I find myself continually in need of a change of pace, and continually turned on by very cute photographers, I have recently given more thought to the idea. I have given so much thought to this person from my past that I even gave into a little “crush-Googling,” where I quickly became aware of something:

Technology is a dirty bitch. I discovered a program for a 2006 charity event where there was a listing for a “Mrs. and Mrs. [very cute photographer].” Now here’s the dilemma:
Was this two women who happen to share his same name?
Was this a type-O and he’s married?
Was this a totally different couple, even though his name has a fairly uncommon spelling?
Was I a stalker for even Googling this in the first place?

So many questions that now I can’t possibly call him without sounding like a freak. Do I just blurt out, “Um, so, are you married, or what?”

I think that technology brings out the best in humanity as a whole, but the worst in each of us as individuals because it’s taken away a lot of honest interaction. Rather than pick up the phone and talk, we would rather email the co-worker sitting two cubicles away. Eventually, this makes us very content to keep our personal relationships behind the keyboard...

Or become emotionally confused while forever wondering, “What if?”

Don't dream it... be it.

So, here's my costume for Rocky Horror in a couple of weeks. I've tried to make this picture look like me to really entice people to come and see the show.

Except I won't wear my glasses.

And the alto sax in this picture isn't to scale, it's smaller.

And the boobs in this picture aren't to scale, they're smaller too.

I see you shiver...

It's time to get your tickets and now you can do that online by clicking here or pasting this url into your browser: http://www.rockyhorrorinconcert.com/index.html

Where else will you see this much skin in one place? I mean, besides the ward picnic!

The anniversary

Yesterday marked the one-year anniversary of my greatest personal loss, and it was extremely anti-climactic. In fact, the build-up throughout the week was probably more traumatic than yesterday. Yesterday was... just another day. I don't know what I expected, really, if I would get haunted or if my dad would walk in and say he was just kidding, but nothing.

I watched the latest episode of Moonlight.

I went to the gym.

I washed my hair.

Part of me feels extremely guilty that I've gotten on with my life, a feat I didn't think I'd be able to do last year at this time. And for that, part of me feels a giant sense of accomplishment.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Praise the idiot box

The only thing I’m liking about this time of year is all the new television shows I’m finding. As a self-proclaimed reality show junkie, I’m pleasantly surprised at the new dramas I’m finding this season. First, the premiere of Grey’s Anatomy last week rocked. After a crappy season finale, I feared for the future of Grey’s, however this year’s first show left me hopeful; and made up for the fact that Kate Walsh’s spin-off show “Private Practice” sucked.

I’m giving “Grey’s” another chance this season. After Meredith was thrown into the water in a slightly pithy three-parter last year (sorry for the spoiler, but if you haven’t seen it by now, give it up. Just start fresh with season 4), I still tuned in even though I was just about over it. This year’s new characters are familiar, the old characters have new problems, and Meredith and McDreamy are still just plain hot together.

Hats off to the CW who is finally channeling their inner WB. I knew it was in there! Just because you became the CW doesn’t mean you didn’t have a good drama in you. I had a hate affair with the WB after “Dawson’s Creek” ended, and have to admit the CW’s “Gossip Girl” is my new guilty pleasure. This is a show from the creators of “The O.C.” and has all the elements of when “The O.C.” was great, before Marissa died, before it sucked. “Gossip Girl” is the classic “Pretty in Pink” dichotomy of rich vs. poor where all the rich kids drink, do drugs and have threesomes and the poor kids are the moralistic salt of the earth. But it’s updated; the guys are beautiful, the clothes are amazing and it’s just something you hate to love. The show is tied all up by a narrator calling herself Gossip Girl who airs the secrets of the characters in her personal blog (kind of like a voyeuristic “Wonder Years”).

What I’m most surprised about this season is the CBS network. When did CBS become almost hip? I’m used to the CBS of oldendays which programmed for “Touched by an Angel”-loving grannies, but CBS has made watching TV on Fridays nearly acceptable by running what I’d like to coin “Freaky Fridays” by showing paranormal delight “Ghost Whisperer” and my new favorite vampire drama, “Moonlight.”

“Moonlight” is about a freaking hot vampire private investigator who uses his powers for good while trying to keep the identities of the “vampires who walk among us” a secret. Sure it’s hokey ("As darkness falls, a hero is born?" who writes that stuff?), but I am who I am, and I am a sucker for a good vampire show. Remember “Kindred: the Embraced” that short-lived Fox show in the mid-90s? It was good, but didn’t catch on, and I’m afraid “Moonlight” will have that same fate. Until it goes away, I will enjoy my Freaky Fridays on CBS, even if I have to tape it. (Yes, “tape.” I’m taking donations for a TiVo, though.)

Two things I didn’t particularly like about my new favorite show “Moonlight.”

1.) The use of an Evanescence song during a particularly “sentimental” scene. I feel the usage of popular (term used loosely because I detest Evanescence) music in an already trendy television show is a very delicate balance. From day one, Grey’s Anatomy found this balance, as did The O.C., however not every show can do it well. Music has to be part of the script, and not just make a cameo appearance just because the director thinks it will “make the show cool.” The best usage of music as part of a TV show script is throughout the series “La Femme Nikita,” God rest its soul. I’m reminded of season 4, before Michael became a total pussy, when Madeline and that chick from Red Cell were trading posses in an empty football field. The whole scene was set in slow-motion to an Enigma song-- and it was beautiful.

2.) Number two isn’t so much something I didn’t like about the show, but more a tip of what not to do during a new television show you’re enjoying. Do not, I repeat, NOT, consume an entire can of fat-free Pringles because you’re so drawn to what you’re watching. The Olean they use to make the things so damn tasty is like colon silicone come 2:34 in the morning.

See what happens when I feel sick and stay home to get better and watch television? I am glad I'm getting over the sickness and my reality tv obsession at the same time.