Friday, June 29, 2007

No way to hold my head that didn't hurt

I still have a sore throat, but I've been singing at the top of my lungs. Sometimes ya just gotta sing out. Mostly show tunes. Sometimes Morrissey. Or Irish folks songs.
Talk about things staying the same! I have a little page on a similar friend site. A little embarrassing and I hardly use it, but it does keep me in touch with some people I've known from here and there. Except that some people use it as a dating vehicle, and there's this little man who has sent me the same "Quicknote" saying "You're Gorgeous" about once a year for the last four years. I never write back to him, and I'm not sure he remembers writing it to me or the fact that there's never a response. But it's a nice reminder every year.
And yesterday I got a call from a good friend from the past, suggesting I marry our mutual friend. It was odd. It would work out if it were just a business deal like that. I can keep my end of a bargain. But for as wonderful as he is (besides the fact he's not in love with me), he's still not a dark-haired mod-squad-ish hipster photographer with a studio downtown and a passion for making the world wonderful, despite prejudice and pre-conceived notions from the same help-worthy world assuming he's a slacker. Or living in New Mexico. So I remain single a bit longer. Very good, very good. But I've really got to make time for one of those relationship things one of these days. I hear they're fun.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Ask me again and I'll tell ya the same

Apparently, I've made no progess in the last eight years. Sure, I went to college, lived abroad, and held a couple good jobs, but I'm basically the same as I've always been.
The other day I finally got around to cleaning some more stuff out of my old closet at my parents' house. Fortunately, most of my pursuits over the years have been captured for posterity in the form of the written word (my good old newspaper portfolio alone gives a good history of what I've been all about these many years) as well as in photographs. I found stuff dating back to my freshman year of high school. I think I'm better-looking now. Or at least better-accessorized (that is, I'm no longer wearing socks that match my shirt AND my scrunchie-- in fact, I've given up on scrunchies all together) and I've been a few more places, but I'm still basically the same girl I've always been. I found photos of me chumming it with the exchange students (why are foreigners so darned appealing?), pouring myself into one art form or another (acting, music, dance, writing, photography, etc.), and hanging out with the same people over and over again. They have different names but my friend Kat is the same as my friend Melissa who is the same as my friend Elizabeth. Laura and Jen are two peas in a pod. Katie and Marie are personality cousins at least. Even the boys I go out with could be categorized into just a few types, with none of them ever working out because I'm waiting for Adam Brody's long-lost Mormon twin (who was my friend Russ, but he doesn't count because he's married and his wife is with child, and it was always purely platonic anyway) to come meandering into my life. The patterns are remarkable. Even when I change locations, I end up in the same situations. Long before my good times with Chevron, there was Rajek, a toothless Polish boy working at a Petrol station in Warsaw. And before Raj, there was Pawel, the toothless man from Poznan who gave me a little bear holding a heart that says "I love you" in the train station. I'm consistently popular with the drunk men-- starting with the dude who licked my neck in London when I was 17, all the way up to this old grandpa cat-calling me from the next drive-up station at the bank the other day (his grandson was, too.... creepy). I'm cyclically drawn to the same colors-- my favorites rotate in time. I'm still afraid of slumber parties and over-nights away from my house. I'm still working on some of the same goals I've had since high school. I'd like to think I've made some progress, but maybe the problems were bigger than I gave them credit for.
Some things I hope won't change in the next ten years. Like my enthusiasm or even my naivete, insofar as it keeps me dreaming and working and scheming. I hope Sokphal (aka Rainbow Bright) is still my best friend and that I'm still donating hair to Locks of Love (by the way-- it's so blasted hot here all the time that I'm sorely tempted to chop off all my hair at my next appointment, but I think vanity is keeping me from taking scissors to it quite yet). I hope I can play a few more songs on my piano, harmonica and dulcimer by then, and that I'll finally be the tambourine whiz I've always dreamt of. And I hope my great American novel will be finished so I can get to writing the non-fiction, which is where you make your money anyway. Oh, but I hope they find a cure for nosebleeds and mono by then.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

My long-lost family

When I lived in Utah, I went to Dillards Department Store to have my makeup done. The Estee Lauder people flew in their big-time makeup artist as a promotional thing, and I thought it would be fun. This dude did my eye makeup, and I told him to go dramatic. He used all kinds of interesting colors-- mango and copper and deep purple. Apparently I hadn't paid enough attention to figure out how to recreate the look on my own, because when I came home for a visit, my mother informed me that my makeup made me look like Uncle Fester from the Addams Family.
Since moving back to New Mexico, my hair has grown quite a bit. Apparently it was in my face a little bit because my sister told me I looked like Cousin It. And then she was good enough to point out my striped Gap T-Shirt was very reminiscent of Pugsley. I'm having dinner with some friends tonight. I'm thinking instead of letting all this hit the old self-esteem, I'd rather see if I can find a Morticia-inpsired outfit.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Cuffed in the Buff

Last night I hung out with some friends after (they played) a rolicking game of water baseball. Let me tell you, there was a lot of mud involved so I refrained. Plus also I thought I'd be making my weekly pilgrimage to Wal-Mart afterwards, but I kept getting distracted and I didn't make it. So I went to Sonic instead, with a vanful of kids. One of them was this half-naked dude who managed to find the plastic handcuffs I won from Tresann at the Christmas Party. Yes, I keep them in my car. No, I don't know why. Probably for the same reason I never take down any of my old air fresheners. There are some things you just do. It wasn't as scandalous as it sounds. When I realize this is the only remotely interesting thing that has happened to me in the last several days, I recognize I need more excitement in my life.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Eyebrow Raisers

Yesterday I went to Wal-Mart to pick up a few things-- hangers and All Bran Bars and some stuff for my dad for Father's Day. Remember how he has everything in the world? I asked him what he wanted and he requested new socks and suspenders. Anyway, I believe in giving people what they want, and as I meandered through the men's department, I came upon the most startling discovery-- I happened through the men's underwear isle and guess what! There is such a thing as STRING BIKINI BRIEFS for MEN!! UGH! Seriously. I mean, not that I spend a whole lot of time contemplating underwear or anything, but I guess I'd just assumed boys wore boxers, briefs, or boxer-briefs. And I guess somehow I knew there were bikini briefs for men, but no one talks about them except Michael Jordan. But STRING bikini briefs? Oh my gosh. Who would wear those? There has to be a market for them. They sell them at Wal-Mart. I can't even imagine who thought that was a good idea.
And on an unrelated note, but a funny note nevertheless, I drove past a sign in Bosque Farms last night that read, "Colonics by Appointment Only."

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Pageant Recap

OK, so I wasn't actually PARTICIPATING in last weekend's pageant, but I have to tell ya, I'm pooped. Since arriving in Alamogordo on Friday, through the competition, and now back at home, I've had one of those headaches where there's a sharp pain on the crown of your head that shoots behind your right eye. Yeah. I think it was Aquanet-induced.
As most of you probably know by now, my little sister is NOT the reigning Miss New Mexico, but we're all very proud of her anyway. She looked beautiful and performed well and represented our family, etc. But let's be honest... you're not reading this to hear about what a grand program Miss America is, are you? You want the dirt, and I aim to please (now I know why I was voted most likely to have my own talk show or work for a tabloid).
Here are a few things I found humorous--
* One of the judges was a plastic surgeon. Now, I'm all for reconstructive surgeries after accidents, and I really don't even mind when people give themselves a little cosmetic tweaking if it's going to make them happier. But if I were a contestant, I'd be afraid he'd be recruiting new clients. Maybe he was hoping the 23 "losers" would come sobbing to him asking what he would change about them so they could win? No, he actually looked like an upstanding guy, but there's something ironic about it all... don't ya think? (Sorry, couldn't help it.)
* A couple of the girls hired this stylist to come down to the pageant and do their hair and makeup. The best part? He did their hair exactly the same! Think 1980s news anchor, minus the huge shoulder pads.
* At one point, a girl did this jazz dance for her talent, including a couple back handsprings. I said to my mother, "That's not such a big deal. My friend Jeff can do the same thing." Of course, as handsome as I think Jeff is, I don't know how great he'd look in a unitard.
* I learned a new bit of pageant protocal. If you can't make the answer to your onstage question "World Peace," it's important to try to work in Jesus or a recently deceased relative. Also, to buy yourself some time, throw your head back laughing like your question is the most amusing thing in the whole world. It works better than repeating the question before answering, which only seemed to confuse the girls.
* Another great thing-- they've got this industrial-strength makeup for pageant girls. My little sister was telling us about how her roommate was one of those "naked girls"-- you know, the type who strip down without a care in the world. Naked girl and nearly all the other girls have tattoos, but you would never know because they use this stuff called "DermaPro" or something. Crazy! I need to get some of that stuff for the next time I get a hickey. ;)
* Fianlly, I don't think it's a huge deal that my little sister didn't win, because the crowns are kind of reminiscent of Jughead from the Archie comics. Just kidding!
In all seriousness, though, all the girls were beautiful. 95 percent of them were extraordinarily talented (with the remaining 5 percent impressively talented). They were all poised and graceful. I'm guessing they were all catty behind the scenes, but that's women for you.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Pomp and pageantry

So this weekend my little sister will be competing in a "contest." I don't want to say which one (though I think I already maybe did an entry or two back) for fear that my uber-popular blog (read: 10 hits today-- woo!) might get picked up far and wide and that there may be some negative consequences to sister because of what I've had to say. Let's just say it's the type of thing where people of the feminine persuasion compete by wearing fancy dresses and bathing suits, performing in a talent competition, and are asked questions where the correct answer is always "world peace." The winner gets a large, rhinestone-bedecked piece of jewelry to wear on her head. Hope that's not too specific.
Anyway, such contests do seem to bring out some interesting traits in those who compete, as well as in their families. At one "event" a few years ago, I saw a girl fall very hard while doing a tap dance number in a preliminary competition. It seemed like the accident was enough to secure the judge's pity, so she returned as part of the Top 5. During the next day's competition, she had her arm wrapped in an Ace bandage, decorated with red, sparkly gauze to match her outfit. When the final talent competition came round, this young lady had changed out the red gauze for silver, but when her arms started flailing during her showcase move, the gauze started unraveling. It was terrible. First of all, I wasn't even aware she'd hurt her arm, as she'd fallen on her bottom. But you MUST NOT laugh. You never know if her family is seated right next to you. You may only cheer enthusiastically and save any laughter for the private ride home.
On another occasion, it was my own dear sister who suffered some misfortunes. We went to a "contest" in Arizona in the middle of June. It was insufferably hot, and my sister was insufferable. When we arrived at our room at the airport Raddison, we found the pool under construction. Sister announced she would be sleeping on the rollaway bed, positioned right next to the air conditioner, and that I would have the bed furthest away (though closest to the bathroom, which is not such a terrible thing). Unfortunately, the next day she awoke with a stiff neck. We had a bit of time before the competition and went shopping at a large outlet center. My sister had to walk around twice in opposite directions because she couldn't turn her head to the left.
Later at that same competetion, the condition of my sister's stiff neck put her on incredible edge. As she hurried to get ready for her interview, I remember her rushing into the bedroom, grabbing me by the wrist and yelling, "Do I have a moustache?!" She didn't, but sometimes her makeup gets oily and it looks like she does. The poor girl was just up in arms. We'd spent a good deal of time quizzing her on important things she might possibly need to know for the interview (and how was it she didn't know who our Lt. Governor was? I didn't even live in New Mexico at the time... but we're not judging), but those things never came up. What did they ask Sister? "Who is the President of the United States?" How truly insulting to assume someone might not know that! But quite unfortunatly, my sister's nerves got the best of her and she answered with great confidence and gusto, "George Washington!" I'm afraid she didn't walk away with a title from that little event.
But it's just not the girls who get a little batty at these things. Moms are worse, including my own dear, sainted mother. It wasn't until my sister started participating in such competetions that my mother started saying things to me like, "Rachel, I'm getting you an appointment to have your eyebrows waxed."
Of course, it's a very stressful time. Even I have succombed to the mania a time or two. I spent a good part of my morning making buttons with my sister's picture on them for the whole Sego cheering section to wear. We'd thrown around the idea of all wearing matching turquoise terry cloth track suits (with "Team Sego" embroidered in white down the pant leg) but there just wasn't enough time. Instead, we'll just have to settle for the pins and ringing the cow bells.
It's tough being the sister of a prospective minor celebrity. Let's just hope that if it becomes my job this weekend to carry evening gowns or bring extra Sharpies for signing autographs or just giving pep talks, that we'll avoid any of the mishaps of yesteryear. I once fell down the stairs carrying a chair for my sister's talent (that is, her talent wasn't inflicting pain on her older sister, but she needed a chair for her flamenco dance). And here's wishing all the girls participating in this weekend's big event can do it with grace and good sportsmanship (and that no one will steal anyone else's falsies).

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

I'm not that girl

So last night I went to that dinner party. It was fun. It makes me feel special to be invited to stuff.
I'm feeling a little odd. Not bad. Odd.
Remember the fella I took out of my phone? (And no, I don't worry about him reading my blog... he doesn't, but if he did, I wouldn't be ashamed.) He kept saying, "Well, just call me..." and I couldn't say, "Sorry, I don't have your number anymore." So I pretended that I would, even though I can't. And if we don't get together, maybe it's my fault. No, surely it's my fault, but my ambivilence is directed at the consequence. Of course it's the thing I want more than anything, but until that's what he wants most, it does me no good. So I'm getting back to invoicing and payroll and worrying about other things.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Ring the Alarm

This morning smells like rain on pavement. Hooray for New Mexico summers. More excitement comes with monsoon season, but that will be here soon enough.
So I'm coming off of a really weird week, and looking forward to a bit of normalcy... I hope. I have plans tonight to spend time with some people I haven't seen in too long (which is unfortunate in most cases, and saved me some discomfort in one case). We'll see how it goes. I'm trying not to worry. And let's be honest, I don't really have time to worry anyway.
This week I'm just trying to enjoy the season. I used to think summer (or late spring, as we're not quite there yet) was my least favorite time of year, but I may be changing my position on that a bit. Even though I no longer have the luxury of several months "vacation," I'm still reaping the benefits. I have so much more energy-- probably because the sun shines so much longer. Everything seems more adventurous-- road trips, rafting down the Rio Grande, even dancing is better in the summer... there's a real sense of accomplishment that comes from dancing until you're just sweaty, even if that's only based 60 percent on movement and 40 percent on the heat of the room and all the people mashed in with you. And all my friends who are typically in school and are off or taking a lighter course load all seem much more laid-back, so it feels like everyone is enjoying themselves more. I even participated in a little water balloon fight last night. Autumn is my favorite season, hands down, but I don't get to channel that fun part of me in the same ways in the fall. It's rolicking good fun. It makes me want a popsicle.