13: “Mah Bush” rides again; Old Girl

I saw the Birmingham Royal Ballet Thursday night. The BRB’s take on the Nutcracker Suite was, to say the least, interesting, in that they decided to present a parade of cultural archetypes. Imagine Asian culture represented by a dancer wearing a cheongsam, chopsticks in her hair, and the fingernail-like decorations worn by Indonesian dancers! Or a dancer dancing in a Middle Eastern set which consisted of a large yellow camel! You get the idea.

On a positive note, I had a brilliant idea for a new toy: Filipino See & Say. Do you remember the Sea and Say, a round toy with a wheel, where you’d pull a string and a cow would moo (see attached)? Well, same idea, except it would have little pictures of Filipino children, flora & fauna, and food. When you pull the string, it would say things like “Aray!” (“Ouch!”), “Putanginamo!” (“Son of a bitch!”), or “The carabao goes ‘Moooooooo!'” Naturally, it would have a real Filipino accent, with all f sounds pronounced as hard p’s.

Old Girl moved out Friday night with little fanfare. I helped her carry out some boxes, but a lot of my Friday night was spent sitting on the couch watching “Office Space” and eating miniature Jamaican beef patties. I also moved my bed into Old Girl’s room, moved Nadine’s boxes into my old room, and threw out a rather decrepit bookshelf. Watched telly and fell into a blissful sleep.

Maria woke me up Saturday morning, as per usual, twittering about pumpkins and corn. So I agree to accompany her and Jolanta to The Pumpkin Junction in Rockford, IL. After wandering through a corn maze (scarecrows were scattered throughout, each bearing a cryptic sign that read “Wrench” or “Kitchen”), going on a hay ride (including views of the highway, the horses were adorable), and scaring ourselves in the gift shop (if you don’t watch out, those mechanical key chains will just jump up and attack), we further celebrated the beauty of autumn by going to an outlet mall. This was a fairly upscale mall with no teenage loiterers in the food court. There was a Bose factory store, and dammit if I wasn’t completely entranced by the Lifestyle 50 Home Theater System. It sounded so good, and the console was tiny. It cost something like $3,000. Ouch. I bought nothing but I’ve been coveting Bose speakers ever since.

Because I’m a big dork, I spent Saturday night in and watched “Notting Hill” on video. This was something of a big deal, because I hadn’t had a VCR for 3 months. I bought a VCR after work Friday but it didn’t work, so I had to return it because I just needed to have a VCR immediately. I returned it Saturday night, feeling like a big dork because I was spending my Saturday night pricing VCR’s at Best Buy instead of having cocktails at Mad Bar or dancing at Liquid. But then, I’m not a small, blonde IU grad who lives in an overpriced Lincoln Park studio with a collection of Kate Spade handbags.

“Bitter much?” you ask. Yeah, sometimes.

So now I have a VCR. I think it’s smarter than me. It certainly speaks more languages — you can program it so that the menu shows up in English, French, or Spanish. It has this in common with my television. It can set it’s own damn clock, and somehow it can be set to record television programs but ignore the commercial. The buttons on the remote control light up — it is, quite possibly, the most phallic object in my house. Naturally, I don’t know if I should be excited or upset about this discovery, so I’ve decided to just be confused.

I had to stock up on paper products, so I walked to Target Sunday afternoon after watching a particularly moving episode of “Saved By The Bell”. I ran into one Chris G. on the way. Those of you who knew me well four years ago remember that my friendship with him was brief and not entirely healthy. To put it plainly, it was fucked up and it made me reconsider my girlhood ambition to be the greatest faghag that ever lived (more on that later). So it’s not like we had a huge falling out, but he faded away and I’d see him around campus but not actually speak to him.

The strange thing is that I had absolutely nothing to say to him, if only because I was conscious of the following things:

  1. I hadn’t showered, so who knows what my hair looked like
  2. I hadn’t had a cigarette all day so I was a little jumpy
  3. I really wanted to get to Target right away.

I have his phone number, so I guess I will be calling him this week to go for coffee. Or a very stiff drink. Either one is acceptable.

Target was interesting, in that I couldn’t find half the things I wanted. No Toilet Duck, and they didn’t have the air freshener that I like. My fellow shoppers were very business-like and had these game faces on which were impressive. Their faces all said “Please don’t fucking talk to me.” Target expanded so it’s now about 30% larger than it was before, and the lights in some sections weren’t working. I resisted buying table lamps with fuzzy shades, but they might come home with me tonight when I go back to buy a coffee table.

After such an emotionally exhausting experience, I found a sleazy chop suey hut and had some really yummy pork fried rice. The restaurant walls were covered in woodgrain paneling, and “No Smoking” signs were taped up everywhere. A lot of the walls and partitions had large cut-outs occupied by dying potted palm trees. Lee’s Chop Suey looks like the kind of place where you might find the crew of a porno movie taking a dinner break. So of course I liked this place very much. Also, the drinks were cheap.

My Sunday wound up at Kevin’s watching “Sex and The City”, talking to Celi on the telephone about the hot French boy in her advertising class, and reveling in the joy of living vicariously through my friends. Some of you may not agree, but who needs a love life when you’ve got good friends and cable?

I’ve always lived vicariously through others — like my sister, who spent her adolescence dating older boys, taking hallucinogenic drugs, and flirting with semi-stardom on the New York Club circuit. If nothing else, it’s good for my writing.

Be well, and write back. Feedback is always useful, and I’d like to know that you lot are doing well. Now that Old Girl is gone, you out-of-towners are welcome to visit and try out the guest room. Seriously, though, it’ll be fun. Lots and lots of fun.


NP: “More Than A Feeling”, Boston

PS: Michael — http://www.inch.com/~pbalch/volt15.html (in case my description left something to be desired)

PPS: I can’t vote, but if I could, I’d probably vote for Jon Stewart.


I’ve never been this drunk before. The problem is, with Fred no longer drinking, I can’t pace myself.


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