Tuesday, February 21, 2006

In the days when you were hopelessly poor, I just liked you more

Over the weekend I was having a chat with a buddy who gave me a large number of reasons he hates blogssomething about being a waste of time and clogging up cyberspace with useless information, making it difficult for him to find what he's really looking for when researching a subject, etc. However, I think the reason I've become addicted to the whole blogging thing is because somehow it fulfils some kind of Angela-Chase narrative fantasy I've had running through my head since the days of Angela's love for Jordan Catalano on "My So-Called Life." Only, I try not to say "like" as much as pretty much every character on that show. And besides, if someone were researching the topic of say, Rachel, what better place would there be to look?

Anyway, my subject for the day: the male ego. Is there a reason all the dudes I know seem to think they are amazing? Most of them (gentle readers excluded, of course) are mediocre at best. Really. Here's the background on my mini-tirade:

Remember a couple weeks ago and the incident involving the play and Brick Stupid Dave? And remember how after asking SEVERAL of my friends to come along, I finally got my friend Shawn (PLATONIC Shawn) to go as a favor. Anyway, my bff MK came over on Sunday night after visiting Platonic Shawn's ex, and she said, "Hey, you didn't tell me you had a date with Shawn." So I think back, realize she's talking about the play, and I told her it really wasn't a date, but that he'd gone with me after the BSD incident. So MK tells me that she just heard from P. Shawn's ex, the Pretty yet Socially Awkward Girl (PYSAG) (Parenthetically, I just looked up PYSAG and she's on here, but I guess it's a risk I'm going to have to take if I'm going to purge myself of whatever feelings these areexasperation, I think) that not only did I go on a date with P. Shawn, but also that P. Shawn said "Rachel's really into me, and she has been for a long time." Excuse me, but no. You know, it's one thing when someone you like kind of catches you in the act and talks about it, but it's entirely another when it's just someone's monumental ego talking. I mean, if a guy I actually were interested in were going around telling everyone that I used to have a big crush on him, I'd be annoyed, yes. But at least it would be true. Anyway, I'm totally planning on calling P. Shawn on it the next time I see him. I think I'm just going to say, "Platonic Shawn, I heard the best gossip the other day! I heard that I am in LOVE with you. Isn't that hysterical? For the record, I am not currently nor have I ever been into you, but if that changes, I'll let you know." I know it sounds a little mean, but honestly, these dudes all deserve to be knocked down a peg or two.

Anyway, as annoying as that was, I certainly didn't let it ruin my long weekend. Yesterday was totally a "me" day, and I absolutely loved it. I slept in until about 8, went to the gym for about 2 hours, went to my favorite restaurant (Sweet Tomatoes-- best salad in the world) and then to "Pride and Prejudice" at the Dollar Movie. Have you seen that one? Definitely go if you get a chance. I seriously had my doubts, especially because I kind of have a love-hate relationship with Kiera Knightly, but she did a FANTASTIC job. Plus also, I really liked the guy who played Bingley. Simon Woods, I think is his name. I love red-heads. Kind of looks like a grown-up version of cute little Rupert Grint. Anyway, the show was very fun, and I enjoyed it very much. Then I went and got some pictures developed and took a swing by the mall. I found a GREAT dress at Dillards, which I'm pleased to say I'm wearing even as I type this, and then spent a good amount of time at Barnes and Noble. It was the perfect day.

So today I'm back to the old grind, but things are more than bearable, especially as this is only a four-day work week. Hooray! This time tomorrow I'll likely already be planning my weekend.

Also, I want to give a shout out to my good friend SP, who got courageous and kissed a boy in London named after one of the founding fathers. Just up and planted one on the fella. Way to be liberated, girlfriend. Also, way to not care what people think and to do whatever you want. I'm going to do that.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Is it wrong to want to live on your own?

So I'm coming off of a super weekend, and it only feels right to share a little bit of my joy with the rest of the world. In the proud tradition of great weekends past, I spent just as much of my time doing my own thing as hanging out with the peeps, and it was great. It may or may not be surprising that I'm less lonely when I hang out by myself. But anyway… on to those highlights.

Saturday was funny on many counts. I didn't have any grand, sweeping plans so I went up to the State Fair Grounds for what was advertised as a liquidation sale of monumental proportions. In other words, there was a bunch of junk that no one else wanted… including me. Well, I guess if I were in the market for a bunch of Bob Marley obrazed drug paraphernalia or stereo equipment to trick out the minivan… wait, there's a thought. Can you imagine? So anyway, other than some designer-knock-off sunglasses, there wasn't much to keep me there. (I don't believe in designer-knock-off perfume, by the way.)

Therefore, I made my way back to the apartment to catch up on the latest book from the Tammy-Rachel exchange. My coworker and I share a guilty pleasure in teen novels, and trade off the latest and greatest stories of some high-schooler finding out she's a princess or hooking up with a movie star, or dating the president's son, etc. It was a great way to spend a good part of the afternoon.

After that, my creativity took over and I started to refurbish that chair I found out by the dumpster a couple weeks ago. I'm here to tell ya it looks awesome. Of course, awesomeness such a subjective judgment. One of the Shawns was over last night and said, "Hey Rachel, let me see the chair!" So he comes into my room and says, "So, when are you going to paint it?" Ouch! Just kidding. I recognize that not everyone will love the bitter-chocolate paint and gold-leafing combo, but that's why the thing is staying in my apartment and not being sold at say, K-Mart. Oh, an artist's work is rarely appreciated in her lifetime! But when the thing sells at Sotheby's or Christie's 50 years from now, don't say I didn't tell you so.

The other fun part of my Saturday was receiving the Valentine's Day package from my family. You know, families are great. You can always count on them to take care of you on a holiday—especially a holiday that could otherwise be a day to reflect (for better or worse) on one's single status. Mother sent some killer jewelry and accessory-ish stuff, as well as fun things to decorate with. I had a blast sprucing up the digs, and an even better time coming up with interesting ways to wear the new stuff. In fact on Sunday I came up with a blinged-out ensemble just for the heck of it, but thought it would be acceptable, especially considering my hair is somewhere between Hermione Granger's and Priscilla Presley's and the whole look is a lot more thrown together than anything. It felt like I was saying, "Here you go, folks from church. I dare any of you to go more Boho than me. I'm the real deal." But then this girl, we'll call her the Bum-kisser, made some comment about me looking like I just came from Prom. Stupid girl. I guess I wouldn't mind, but I get a little tired of the same people telling me week after week that they like this or that I'm wearing, or that I look "so pretty." It all seems a little fake. I think one day I'm going to show up to an activity wearing a Hefty Trash Bag to see how many "fashion forward" comments I can get from Bum-Kisser and her followers.

Anyway, that sounded bitter, didn't it? Maybe it's because a lot of my old friends seem to be spending a lot more time with Bum-Kisser than they do with me these days. Then again, how would I know? Remember how I don't get invited to stuff? On Friday I happened to catch a matinee of "Nanny McPhee" (recommend it, by the by). While I was waiting in line I saw some of my pals, who were all going to another movie. They kind of invited me along as an afterthought, which was a little sad, so I just went ahead with the McPhee plan. And after I had some of the folks over for dinner last night, a large group got together for one of their TV-viewing parties that I also have not made the guest list of. I tell myself that it's because I'm the one trying to maintain my distance, but maybe this is just a way for me to still feel good about myself while I get the shut-out. I'm not sure yet.

But mostly, things were fun. It was nice to have a couple days away from the drudgery of the office to work on stuff I'm interested in. I also practiced my harmonica for a few hours and found a new recipe for split-pea soup (cooking in the crock pot at home even as I write this) so I give the weekend an 8+.

Happy Valentine's Day, y'all, even though it's a day early. And if you don't have someone to love, do what I do—go play some Dylan and work on your masterpiece. It's not a perfect life, but it's a good one.

Tuesday, February 7, 2006

The music they constantly play says nothing to me about my life

It’s official. I think I’m an addict. I knew this blogging was a bad idea.

I’m a little afraid I might be kind of a weird girl. It doesn’t bother me, generally speaking, but sometimes it’s the little things that trip you up. For example, it occurred to me last night that while I consider myself a chocoholic, I think I actually prefer maple flavoring. Definitely not vanilla, but maple? Isn’t that the mark of a crazy? And really, almond is better than all of them.

Further evidence—the other night I had the strangest dream I was Shelly Duvall and having an affair with Herve Villechaize who was playing Rumpelstiltskin, because I’d already figured out his name and I wasn’t willing to give him my first-born child for him to spin straw into gold. Now, I’ve nothing against little people (I dated a guy who was in the whole dwarfish range—nice fella), but really. Why couldn’t I have a dream about someone normal like Matt Lauer or Johnny Depp? And speaking of my dating habits, who else do you know who has gone out with a priest—an honest-to-goodness Catholic priest? This might speak to my fear of commitment.

I also often find other paradoxes in my life and practices. On the one hand, I read the article on MSN today about all the folks posing in this month’s Vanity Fair. Scarlett Johansson and Kiera Knightley are naked on the cover. I honestly don’t believe they’re doing it for artistic reasons but to get further publicity for their movies. I think it’s terrible that they are willing to prostitute themselves like that. On the other hand, there was also the MSN article about the top ten topless beaches in the world, and I can’t honestly say I wouldn’t consider going to one. But then again, I’ve never changed clothes in front of someone, so I can’t imagine putting myself out there. And we’re not even beginning to touch on how my religious beliefs totally prohibit that kind of behavior. But for someone who thinks she’s so morally against something, it surprised me to find I did want to know which were the top beaches.

Anyway, I guess it’s always a little jarring when you figure out that you don’t know as much about yourself as you’d like to think or pretend. Last night I was talking to this kid and he told me that I was weird but that at least I wasn’t boring, so today I wore layered polo shirts to prove I could fit in to whatever hack fashion is in style at the moment if I wanted to. Is it weird to rebel by actually conforming?

And I’m still doing my darndest to break out of the little clique I’ve found myself in, all while maintaining the friendships I have with the individual members. These folks aren’t bad in an excluding way (generally speaking and with very few exceptions), but they kind of want to run my life. I’m on the bad list if I don’t go on the weekend road trip, or if I choose to not go out to eat because they frequent the lard-on-a-plate eateries more than I can handle (which honestly isn’t much these days).
But this whole distancing gig is a lot tougher than I remembered. When the same thing used to happen in junior high and high school, it was just a lot easier to cut those folks out completely. I don’t want to do that now, but even my closest friends seem much more distant now. Again, I don’t mind too much, but as our good friend Bob Dylan said, “The times they are a-changin’.” It probably sounds prideful and foolish, but if it makes me have to start over again, I guess that’ll be the price, and I’m willing to pay. Loneliness isn’t ideal but I can’t imagine anything worth giving up the plan to name one of my future children after Lady Elaine Fairchild from Mister Roger’s Neighborhood because the circle doesn’t approve of pop-culture names. Elaine Fairchild is the one Rumpelstiltskin wanted to take away, by the way.

Friday, February 3, 2006


Today it feels like there is not much to tell, which any normal person would take as a sign to spare everyone and not continue with this blog. However, I am far from normal--or at least just vain enough to think that having a good record of my thoughts will prove useful somewhere down the line when I'm writing the great American novel or whatever. Mostly I'm having my typical mixed feelings about work.

On the one hand, I love it. Especially because we're distributing one of the best movies ever, New York Doll. I am positively in love with this project, and think about it pretty much nonstop. If you havent seen this movie, please, please, please do (a little extra Smiths ref for the film fanatics out there). And I feel I can legitimately say it because I've hearted the movie for ages--long before we got the DVD rights.

Anyway, New York Doll and Excel are a great combo. But not all is right in my career world. Why not? Because my desk has basically turned into an outhouse. My company is infested with mice, and it's terrible. This is a problem we've been dealing with for months, and it still shakes me up. I hate rodents.

My first experience with the mice came in August. I was working late one evening, trying to get a bunch of press kits ready to mail before I took off for a vacation. I was fully prepared to stay as late as it took to get the formidable task behind me, and was making great progress. Suddenly, I heard something. It was a little freaky because I was alone, but I figured something fell against one of the cubicles. No big deal, I told myself. It wasn't five minutes later before the little beast RAN ACROSS MY FOOT--quite traumatic for someone wearing flimsy flip-flops, let me tell ya. I ran back to my desk, put my feet up on my chair, and emailed my boss, asking him if we could get someone to take care of the problem. As you might guess, nothing happened on the extermination front.

A couple weeks later, I came in early to work and turned on the lights in the hallway in time to see a nasty little mouse run into my coworker's office. He happened to be there, so I called down the hall to warn him. Amazingly, Jacob didn't seem at all concerned, and was not willing to kill it. Later, though, mean Jacob decided he'd trap it for his own devious schemes. With very little help from otherwise-masculine Brandon, mean Jacob corralled the mouse in a sticky trap, and before I knew it, the boys had put it on my desk (still alive!!) and I was screaming about catching the Janta virus (folks from New Mexico will understand the terror).

Anyway, we've had several close-encounters of the rodent kind since then, and most recently my otherwise immaculate desk has been littered with mouse-droppings and little yellow spots. Sick! Nothing like cleaning mouse poo off your desk every day. Our landlord was finally kind enough to leave poison under my desk, so I hope that rectifies the problem presently Hahahaha. Something about the word "rectify" in a poo discussion strikes me as funny. See, I told you I was childish! Uh childlike... Child-LIKE.

And if anyone is keeping track, you'll be happy to hear I'm going to the play with platonic Shawn (not that all the Shawns, Seans, and Shauns in my life aren't platonic, but as long as I'm using adjective-nicknames, I might as well go all the way-- for future reference I'll likely refer to engaged/wrestling-Sean, nice Sean--who is actually BSD's roommate, police-Shawn, and Shaun who made me the mix tape for my 18th birthday).

By the way, I hate that apostrophes, em-dashes, elipses, etc. don't translate without me doing weird editing. I promise, I do understand how to use correct punctuation (most of the time).

Thursday, February 2, 2006

16, Clumsy and Shy

OK, so this is why Ive resisted the blogging charms of times pastI mostly still feel weird about this. I mean, who wants to read my random garbage? Still, if you really are interested in a stream-of-consciousness, here you go. Just dont hold it against me or tip off the tabloids someday, ok? Especially because this is almost like a rite-of-passage, so dont judge too harshly.

Today Im dealing with some anger. I always worry about owning up to being angry about anything. Im actually a pretty happy person most of the time, and once a friend asked me, So, do you still hate your dad? It was the most shocking thing ever, because no! Ive never hated my dad. There were years when we butted heads a lot (I think its natural when you are just like someone) but my pops is my number-one fan and Im his. The whole thing made me realize that I wasnt really communicating clearly. Or worse, this friend was tapping into a different part of me and helping me realize I was more upset than Id own up to.

Regardless, I should preface this by saying that Im not throwing myself off a bridge or anything. Im just rather annoyed. And who gets to take the brunt of my criticism today? Inconsiderate people.

This is the story: Last week I was working in Utah County, taking care of sundry DVD responsibilities. However, while I was there I made a fun little purchase2 tickets to see Children of Eden at the Scera. Except that seems to have been a big mistake, because I really should have only bought one. I mean, I go to the movies by myself all the time. When I eat out, its generally alone. Heck, I even vacation alone (D.C., Chicago, etc.). Talking to a friend last night we established that I might be a little too independent for my own good.

Anyway, being that I havent lost my childlike optimism (how can I when I take Flintstones vitamins and love Disneyland more than most 8-year-olds?) I invited a friend to come along to the show with me. For the sake of the story, well call him Brick-Stupid Dave, (Seans nickname for this guy) or BSD. To make a long story short, I initially called him Saturday, and didnt get his lame message telling me he had a prior-obligation until WEDNESDAY night. Um, hello?! If he had a prior obligation, logic tells us he could have told me that before days of phone tag. I think he just didnt want to go, which would have been ok. If he didnt want to go, it wouldnt have broken my heart (it hasnt now) but I find it highly annoying that BSD would be so inconsiderate to wait so long to tell me. Honestly. Now Im in a lurch. Who could I even take now? In fact, now, for the sake of pride and principle, Ill likely go alone. So there.

But getting to the anger portion, Im happy to say its evolving, and Im getting over it rather quickly (as I usually do). My first thought upon receiving BSDs message was, Well, Im glad I just spent an hour and a half at the gym and that I could probably kick BSDs ass. Actually, the next time I see him Ill probably punch him in the face. But Ive moved on. I think hes lame, and I doubt Ill invite him to anything again (shame on me for trusting him as this is far from the first time BSD has acted like this), but what do you do? If youre me, you get back to the gym (in case the opportunity does come up to throw the smack down at some point), get back to practicing your harmonica for next weeks class, get back to reupholstering the chair you found dumpster-diving, and go to a play on Saturday night with or without companionship.

Dont call me bittercelebrate with me. Im the best company of all at this point, and Im ok with it. No, better than that. I'm happy with it.