Monday, October 31, 2011

My Favorite Halloween Story

OK, so if you know me personally (as most of you do) and were around me last Halloween, you may have already heard this tale. If so, too bad; it is a festive story and I’m telling it again. If not, good for you; it still cracks me up.

So last Halloween, I decided that the best way to overcome my awkwardness over large groups/social situations would be to attend an older crowd party in Woodstock hosted by an acquaintance. Typing this now, all my mental naysayery about how it “would only be weird” sounds more like reasonable decision-making at work, but alas, I often ignore my own good advice.

ANYWAY, so it was the costume party of a 40-something man I know through community theater. A lady friend (Heather) and I were going together, so we decided to attend as “double rainbow”, a viral video from earlier that year. We each wore a shirt blazoned with a felt rainbow that read “All the Way” across the front and “What does this Mean?” across the back. Looking back, this was a poor choice.

The guy/all his friends were older, thus unfamiliar with the “viral video” we spoke of. Nobody “got” what we were supposed to be, so in their eyes, we were just a couple of wacky ladies wearing matching rainbow shirts. I should now note (and here’s where I really should have thought this through), that the host’s sister is a lesbian and approximately 80% of the female guests were as well. And there Heather and I were, rocking our rainbow shirts, a concept costume, which we (at first) didn’t know that nobody got.

About an hour in, we realized people assumed we were a couple. This was fine with me; Heather’s a cute lady. But as we really got talking to people, though, we started hearing some unusual things.  One woman was like “All the way! Exactly! I’m so proud you can be who you are.” And: “You’re right. What DOES this mean?” At first we were confused, but then we realized what she must have thought and just laughed. But then this other woman (who I believe had had a few too many cocktails) stormed over to us and started hassling us pretty aggressively.

“What are you trying to say with those shirts?” she said. “I mean, are you lesbians?”

“Oh, no! We’re not, but our shirts aren’t about Pride. They’re from that viral video—double rainbow?” I explained.

“Are you trying to tell me the two of your came here in matching rainbow shirts and that has ‘nothing to do with Pride?’ I think you thought you were being real funny. Well, guess what? I don’t think that’s funny at all.”

“No! We didn’t think it would be funny like that, we just thought it would be funny because—well, because it—”

“Because, because, because! I keep here you saying ‘because,’ but you haven’t explained to me what you’re trying to say!”
It was definitely a yikes situation. She was pretty drunk/country and would have been up for a brawl if another lady hadn’t stepped in at that point.

Anyway, when I went home that night, I immediately sent that guy and his sister the link to the video. I didn’t want their friends running around saying what a hater I was! I’m not a hater—of ladies who love ladies OR Halloween! 

Do you have any wacky Halloween tales?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Blogging and Surprises

I follow a number of blogs. I read blogs about books/movies, fitness, cooking, and several on weddings (until just a few weeks ago when I got married myself and realized I never wanted to look at wedding porn ever again). And, occasionally, one will post something enigmatic like "sorry I haven't been writing that much lately, but I've got a few exciting things in store for the blog that I can't talk about just yet"—well, today that enigmatic speaker is me! Exciting things are going on around here, and I look forward to telling you guys about it soon! Sorry I can't be more specific just yet.

But this brings up another thing: it's weird how when you read people's blog all the time, you start to feel like you really know them, even if you've never met in real life. One blogger I particularly like, Allie over at Hyperbole and a Half, writes hilarious stories about her goings on and illustrates them using what appears to be Microsoft paint. (You can find my favorite post of hers here.) That's why it seemed really weird when she fell off the face of the Earth—until yesterday. I had missed laughing at her posts, but yesterday she popped back up with a seriously funny post about what she's been up to: "Adventures in Depression." Apparently she's been dealing with a bout of depression, but the way she wrote about it managed to be moving and neat at the same time. It is great, and says a lot about what the experience of depression is actually like. Even though I don't actually know her, she seems like such a funny and neat person; I hope this is something she's able to overcome STAT.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Things I Do Not Recommend

This may become a regular installment because I often find myself in situations that I do not recommend. So, to start:

1.       Drinking wine and online shopping. This is not something I do often, but after a few glasses of wine the other night, I decided that what I needed to do was start knocking things off of my to-do list. One of these items, “go through my starred email,” really could have been postponed indefinitely, but at the time it seemed like something that I Had to Take Care of Right Then. Anyway, one of the starred emails was a message from Amazon reminding me to check out their current batch of $5 albums (so important, I’m sure, self). In the past, I’ve found some great albums and usually will buy only one or two, but not this time. In the sobering light of day with my five new albums  I knew that I spent money for NO REASON on music I didn’t give a crap about, but my biggest mistake was clearly the purchase of Now That’s What I Call Music 39. I seriously bought this; JP was just amazed that this franchise is still a thing. I think I was justifying it to myself because it was only $5, and I was bound to like at least 5 of the 12 songs on there (I don’t). It is home to such hits as “Good Life” by the OneRepublic and “Who Says” by Selena Gomez. OMG! I am the (not-so) proud owner of a Selena Gomez song!! But now I keep listening to it at work even though I hate it both a) in the hopes that it will grow on me, and b) as a kind of self-torture to reinforce the message that I should never purchase something so ridiculous EVER AGAIN.  Sigh. I am lame. Please tell me I’m not the only one who has made inadvisable purchases under the influence of libations!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Seasonally Creepy: October Media Picks

It’s the middle of the week—what have you got going on?

I am halfway through The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan. Let’s just say I’m not wowed. It’s supposed to be more literary than the young adult fantasy that’s currently outselling everything, and I guess it is—it reads like a comprehension essay—but I don’t consider the story to be very interesting. The plot revolves around the narrator (the literal last werewolf) approaching his impending death, but his voice is all snark and no wit, and at this point I’m ready to kill him myself. Another reviewer described the book as “if Bret Easton Ellis had written a book on werewolves,” and I say that’s a reasonable comparison, if you’re into that kind of thing. Also, this review makes the book sound interesting and good—don’t be fooled!

Sunday night JP and I watched Scream 4—just in time for Halloween! It’s entertaining yet not gory enough to make me vom, i.e. my perfect horror movie. Set 10 years after the initial trilogy, this movie emphasizes the “meta” ness of contemporary culture and creates “new rules of horror” to accommodate the massive media overhaul that’s taken place since 2001. Although I kind of felt clobbered over the head by the message—so many scenes of just texting!—I give it credit for being a neat idea.  Also, Hayden Panettiere is my new lady crush. She’s so cute!

On the television front, you need to watch Revenge. Now. It is the best guilty pleasure show. It comes on Wednesdays at 10 on ABC. It is trashy and great. Watch it and we will discuss.

This week’s post is seasonally creepy. What are you read/watching this time of year?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Finance, News, and Trivial Knowledge

So it’s the middle of the week—what’s up with you?

Have you been following this Occupy _____ movement? I can’t decide how I feel about it. On the one hand, hurray for citizens trying to enact positive change; on the other, since there seem to be no specific goals and no one’s really doing anything but camping out, it seems kind of like a waste of time…? Like when hippies used to hand out flowers to people and say “make love, not war.” Also, was that ever even a thing or is that just something we got from movies?

Related: the other night JP and I watched Too Big to Fail, the HBO Movie based on the bestselling book about the 2008 Wall Street financial collapse. Sounds super interesting, I know, but it was actually really great—very dramatic and thought provoking. One thing I didn’t know: A British company was going to step and buy Lehman Brothers to save everything from falling apart, but the British Fed stepped in and stopped it saying (in the movie), “we don’t want to import your cancer.” Way harsh, Brits. But also, I don’t blame them…?

Semi-related: During my runs, I’ve started listening to the (free) podcasts put out by Stuff You Should Know and Stuff You Missed in History Class. They run only about 20 minutes, but they are so interesting! And I always learn new things, e.g. Did you know that William Moulton Marston, creator of the early technology that led to the contemporary polygraph machine, also created the comic book character Wonder Woman whose signature weapon is her “magical lasso of truth?” Fun fact! You should check out these podcasts. They are great.

Seriously, though, what are you reading/watching/feeling ambivalent about these days?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Now That’s What I Call Love: Wedding Guest Playlist

What I’d like to share today is the mix I put in the guest bags for the wedding. I know that some of you already have a copy, but you can call the wambulance. It is a great mix crafted in partnership with my a-mazing Honor Attendant, Zach. JP said he wanted to contribute, but 1. he’s really bad about saying he’ll do something then never getting around to it, and 2. his taste in music is the worst, e.g. he said he had “a few Red Hot Chili Peppers songs” to add. I hope you like it as is; if you want to add a little more JP flavor, feel free to sprinkle in a few Chili Peppers at random.

Now That’s What I Call Love: Volume Warrick
  1.   5 Years Time, Noah and the Whale
  2.  Love is Strange, Mickey & Sylvia
  3.  Count on Me, Bruno Mars
  4.  Folding Chair, Regina Spektor
  5. Question, Old 97s
  6. L.O.V., Fitz & the Tantrums
  7. Marry Me, Dolly Parton
  8. Home, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes
  9. Got My Mind Set on You, George Harrison
  10. (If You’re Wondering if I Want You To) I Want You To, Weezer
  11. Sweet Disposition, The Temper Trap
  12. Home, She & Him
  13. Love, Matt White
  14. Sunlight, Harlem Shakes
  15. Love’s Gonna Getcha, Tal & Acacia
  16. You’re the Nearest Thing to Heaven, Johnny Cash
  17. My Girl, Otis Redding
  18. Banana Pancakes, Jack Johnson
  19. Each Coming Night, Iron & Wine
  20. This Will Be Our Year, Ok Go

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Honeymoon Reading


I’m back and better than ever. I want to discuss the wedding/honeymoon/et al., but feel like it would be better if I waited for photos. As a brief overview though, everything went really well. The weather was perfect, both at the wedding and in St. Lucia, we’re still married, so we’ve got that going for us, and neither of us got eaten by a shark (a real, albeit improbable, fear of mine).

Things I discuss without visual aids are the books I read while on said trip: To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis and Thunderstruck by Erik Larson (which I am only halfway through). I didn’t get that much reading done because JP and I did SO MANY ACTIVITIES (more on this to come), but I really enjoyed reading these two.

To Say Nothing of the Dog is technically about time travel, but the majority of the book takes place in the 1880s, so you could almost classify it as historical fiction. The story is interesting and funny (in the vein of the Hitchhiker’s Guides) and I would recommend it to anyone even generally familiar with that time period and/or Oxford.

Thunderstruck is also good so far. I read one of Larson’s other books, The Devil in White City, which was great, and this book is headed in the same direction. Larson does these really in depth examinations of tangentially related topics in history, which I really enjoy because it really puts the ‘A’ topic, crime in both of these books, into the broader perspective of the ‘B’ topic. Neat!

Anyway, now I’m back and I’m busy doing busy and important things. Anyone know an easy way to knock out 200 thank you notes?