the wrong side of the bed

Monday, July 30, 2007

slime in the ice machine

i don't know why this is making me so sad, but marvin zindler died yesterday. he was an "investigative reporter" on the houston abc affiliate. he reported daily for Eye Witness News, the station my family watched. he was well known for exposing consumer fraud and for uncovering restaurants with health code violations. perhaps his greatest contributions to the world were providing the impetus for sneeze guards on salad bars and buffets and uncovering the brothel that was the inspiration for The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.

i always thought he looked like a negative image roy orbison. you be the judge.

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8:39 AM | link | (2) comments

Monday, July 23, 2007

a tiny thing that might lead someone to think i am unhinged

my roommate and i got the keys to our apartment early. my roommate is excited because she has an unpleasant living situation in a house with too many people and too many vermin. she has moved in most of her belongings. i am okay with that, really, except that i am not. i won't be bringing my large furniture over until somewhere around august 3rd. she is going to have tons of time to become used to tables and chairs in specific locations. it shouldn't matter to me, it is just stuff, but i am increasingly tense and nervous about this. my big concern is my bookshelves. i'd really like to not have bookshelves in my bedroom. i'd sort of like to have as empty a bedroom as possible. it would be nice to have the place where i sleep as tidy as possible, at least this one time in my life. i want my books downstairs.

my roommate thinks i am nuts because this is all i talk about. where will my books go? we have some built in shelves, but they are very shallow and my books may not fit. my comic books are certainly too big. my larger playmobil landscapes won't even fit. i don't know what we will put on the shelves. we will have to scrounge through our stuff like pigs after truffles to find the right knickknacks.

the only other problem with this is the embarrassment and shame i feel when people, strangers and friends both, look at my book collection. i have always had a difficult relationship with books. it is very easy to read a title or catch an author's name and then make a quick judgement about a person. what would you think of me if, walking into my apartment, the first thing you saw was a shelf of romance novels? a shelf of books like the secret? management books? i somehow recently acquired about 10 books by ursula le guin that were in a free pile or on the street or something. i took them because i read most of them when i was in middle school and junior high. i'm not in love with the books or anything, but i am going to keep them anyway. if you saw those books on a shelf, what would it make you think? what if you saw all of my (now useless) sociology books?*

i have had this problem at least back to kindergarten. the first time we went to the school library, we were told that we should stay in one particular area with the very early reader books. it was explained that some books would be too hard for us and we might become frustrated. as we advanced in our reading skills, our teacher or librarian would tell us we could move on. no one ever told me that i could move on. i don't think i was a bad reader, but i know i was very quiet and was probably just overlooked. as a result, i felt that i could never leave the picture book section of the library. i eventually felt like it was easier to blend in with my peers if i made furtive trips into the older kid areas, but i would take whatever i grabbed back with me to the tiny tables by the easy readers. it is a wonder i ever got past hop on pop. even in high school, when visiting the public library, i would have to spend a good 15 minutes in the children's room before i could dash out and grab books for young adults or even, gasp, regular old grown-up books (mostly stephen king). i stopped being comfortable in libraries when my dad told me they could keep records of things i checked out, after all, they have to know who needs fines levied against them.

even now i get very nervous in bookstores. i get sort of twitchy and on edge. i look around to see if anyone is watching before i take something off of the shelf. i hate running into people i know. if that happens, i usually can't buy anything and leave the store immediately.

yesterday i moved some things into my new place while my roommate was out and about. i was talking with a friend on my cell phone (miraculously, i did not drop anything). he asked me what books my roommate had. see! first thing people want to know. what kind of person is she?** well, let's check what books she has on her shelves.

it is absolutely reasonable that i freak out about books. i am being watched.

* seriously, i feel like i should have an essay contest for incoming grads to the department. whoever can convince me they deserve the books gets a stack so big it will save them at least $1,000!

** this is not to say that the person i was talking to was using her books as a criteria to judge her. we were talking about my books and he asked what was on her shelf. it is just a natural question. if i had been talking about my dishes, he probably would have asked about hers, etc. just because i was uncomfortable about the book thing doesn not mean that my friend was trying to make me feel guilty or uncomfortable. in fact, i don't believe he knew about my book problem. i also don't think my roommate would care if i told anyone about her books.


8:34 AM | link | (3) comments

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

not since i last wore flannel

there is a pepsi commercial about political correctness that has been airing lately. i cannot imagine what happened in what boardroom that this commercial is on the air. i think making fun of political correctness is stupid but it is also really outdated, isn't it? i mean, weren't people making fun of political correctness in the 90's? the commercial says something like "now days, you have to be 'politically correct.'" now days? try at least 10-15 years ago, pepsi-cola! the movie PCU came out in 1994!*

on my drive home from lodi, wisconsin, i saw someone very greasy looking. it got me to thinking about the amount of fat in the human body, which in turn made me think of the "wick effect" theory of spontaneous human combustion. i don't think i have had a discussion about this with someone since high school or early college. i also don't think i have had a conversation about serial killers in quite a while. do all teenagers go through a phase in which spontaneous human combustion and charles manson are fascinating? i know i wasn't the only one.

* have you seen this commercial? am i missing the joke? it is just stupid, right?
6:00 PM | link | (3) comments

Friday, July 13, 2007

knock at little louder baby!

in elementary school, if we finished our work early, we were asked to quietly put our heads on our desks. my head was often on my desk. our desk tops were "wood", our chairs were plastic, and the legs were metal. with your ear on the desk, you could kicked or hit the different elements and hear different sounds.* it was something to do and was sort of calming. the desk was cool against my face, but it would become warm and i would have to find another spot. other kids would do this, too, but i continued the practice well into middle school. high school was out of the question as i was weird enough already. i missed it. i would have put my head on the cool desk and kicked the leg of my chair. sit quietly. don't put your head down. don't fall asleep. in some classes i would read with my book on my desk, in other classes i had to hide my book in my lap so other kids wouldn't know i was reading.

i have work to do today. i have people to call, meetings to arrange, paper to file, spreadsheets to update. all i want to do is put my head on my desk.

* is this why i enjoy getting mri's?

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8:07 AM | link | (0) comments

Thursday, July 12, 2007

unfortunately i have a short tongue

when my mother was especially irritated with me, she would say, "i can't win for losing with you!" this is how i feel about my eyes. yesterday my right eye would not stop running. today my left eye is itchy and dry. i wish i were a gecko.
4:06 PM | link | (0) comments

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

at first i wondered if this was a good use of my membership dollars

hey, what are you doing right now? yeah? well, i'm watching a pbs documentary about synchronized swimming. so there! so far, more interesting than i would have guessed. as weird as it looks from the top, it looks more bizarre from below. some pretty weird maneuvering is required to swim in place at an angle with your feet in the air and your head underwater.

i feel pretty bad for the girl who learns facial expressions to use in performance by watching passions. she seems to like the show, but that is a big sacrifice for sport, if you ask me.


7:26 PM | link | (1) comments

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

what will they think of next!

in 1965, the Girl Scouts in the greater madison area sold cookies called "four flavor shorties." i think that four flavors of "shorties" must have come in the box, but i'd kind of like to think it is some sort of willy wonka style "shorty" that tastes of four different flavors at once!
2:39 PM | link | (1) comments

Saturday, July 07, 2007

why i will never be a (real) missed connection

the co-op was not very busy this morning. i bought more food than normal, and two bored cashiers offered to help me pack my groceries. i said no, but i am not entirely sure why. they both acted somewhat offended, one even gave a snippy "fine!" is it that big a deal that i didn't need help? i won't be missed.

i did get a delicious, juicy cantaloupe which i suspect is better than a missed connection anyway.
11:18 AM | link | (0) comments

Sunday, July 01, 2007

i swear i like my family...

... however, from my mom's voice on the phone, i am 200% sure my dad is being a phenomenal dick. i can't wait to meet up with them later!
10:03 AM | link | (1) comments