Friday, October 28, 2005

Feeling plush

So there's this stuffed cow. I won him for myself several years ago playing Squirt the Water in the Clown's Mouth at the Orange County Fair. He had a dumb rainbow ribbon around his neck but was otherwise pretty dapper, and I picked him out right away.

I didn’t plan on keeping him long. We have enough stuffed animals in the house as is (DAN'S, NOT MINE! DAN'S!!), and I never trust carny stuffed animals anyway; I always figure they’re stuffed with either toxic Styrofoam or cocaine.

But for whatever reason, he stuck around. He reminded me of Moo-Moo, my sister’s stuffed cow from when she was little, so the nostalgia factor was high. Also, he was very squishy.

Now that we’re moving, however, I’ve been making efforts to get rid of him. I put him out at our recent yard sale, but no one bought him. I threw him away briefly, but then I decided that you should never throw out a smiling object, so I pulled him back out. I considered giving him to one of the little kids who just moved in next door, but there are like 15 of them, and they all shriek and cry and break things all day long; they don’t deserve a stuffed cow, in my opinion.

So the cow’s still hanging around. In the next day or two I will have to decide if I am attached enough to pack him. To aid in that decision, I slept with him last night. He was so very squishy! And I slept very well indeed.

My name is Meaghan, and I am 32 years old.
Thursday, October 27, 2005

Packing diary

9:03 p.m.: Put on cowboy pajamas.

9:05 p.m. Tape together two boxes.

9:07 p.m. – 10:24 p.m. Read old letters discovered while cleaning out desk drawers.

10:31 p.m.: Call coffee table a “motherfucker” after toppling back into it attempting to move a heavy box.

10:32 p.m. Quit for evening.

10:33 p.m. – 12:05 a.m. Drink beer and watch “Degrassi Junior High” reruns on Noggin.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005

I'm craving East Coast intellectualism right about now

I swear I'll stop analyzing my new intern's email deficiencies soon enough, but in the meantime, there's this:

Had to bust out for a doctor's appointment. Will be in early afternoon mana - lot's of reporting to be done in the morning for some freelance commissions.



I'm tortured trying to choose the most annoying aspect of this message. Is it his use of the verbal phrase "to bust out," mere hours after I chastised him for the informality of another one of his emails? Maybe it's his use AND butchering of the Spanish word "manana." (I know, I know, it's such a total pain to type "n-a" again when the word already contains that letter combo! I feel for you dude, I really do.) But then again, it definitely could be the way he plays to my misused-apostrophe peeve with that nails-on-chalkboard "lot's" error. Truly, it's Sophie's Grammatical Choice.

Also, there's something about his tone that leads me to believe he'll soon be addressing me as either "bud" or "bro." If that happens, I may very well "bust out" of my skin.

Who needs context?

Overheard exchange at a restaurant last night:

Older woman: "Do you want to go home and watch that documentary of the Viennese women's swim team?"

Younger woman: "Sure. I only wish we could get the guinea pigs on a different schedule."
Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The yoga strut

Yoga is about calm, and centeredness, and the mind-body-spirit connection. I am about angst, and de facto ADD, and train-dodging the more hippy-dippy sects of this world. So though I’ve become a decent little yoga-doer in the past few months, I’ve always assumed that the practice runs too counter to everything I’m about to truly take hold.

But yesterday I spent the afternoon alternately screaming at and being screamed at by my unzipped landlord; then I got to yoga class and found myself surrounded by huge, smug, advanced male yogi types.

The result? I smoked all their asses. Anger and feminist aggression pushed me into poses I’ve never attempted before. And while the hairless hipster to the left of me and the burly Brit to the right of me finally collapsed into pools of their own sweat, I kept downward-dogging it like my World's Strongest Woman title depended on it.

So though yoga may be about inner calm and self-understanding, I’ve found that outward fury and rabid competitiveness serve me quite well, thanks. As Ric Flair said, "to be the man, you've got to beat the man." I'll "woo!" to that.
Friday, October 21, 2005

Friday's tapas

-After all that, my dickwad intern fucked up his timesheet. He added up his hours all wrong, in part because he processed most of his calculations in the power of six.

-Dickwaddy has also suggested we carpool together. If that ever happens, I’ll be sure to carry my morning coffee in a milk jug.

-Last night I learned that I have magical powers when a) I made the hubby’s hiccups disappear and b) I also made a lot of takeout Indian food disappear.

-Two nights ago, my anxiety dream consisted of an old beau forcing me to dance a 10-minute tango at a 200-person black-tie event. I careened off of him for the entirety of the dance until he finally flounced off in disgust.

-I know that written competence doesn’t always translate to verbal dexterity and vice versa, but after listening to a student sales clerk babble on about a C-minus she received on her paper, “which, like, I couldn’t believe, because, like, if there’s one thing I know about myself it’s that, like, I’m a good writer, you know? Like, I can write,” well, I felt great envy for the professor and the thrill he must have felt slashing that big bad grade across the top of her paper.

- Then again, she sold me some super-cute pants!
Thursday, October 20, 2005

At least she writes a mean thank-you note

So far [Harriet Miers] has yet to demonstrate that she can even satisfactorily fill out a questionnaire about her attitude toward important constitutional questions…. Her answer to a question about "judicial activism" was a model of windy obfuscation.

New York Times editorial, 10/20/05


28. Please discuss your views on the following opinion concerning “judicial activism”:

The role of the Federal judiciary within the Federal government, and, within society generally, has become the subject of increasing controversy in recent years. It has become the target of both popular and academic criticism that alleges that the judicial branch has usurped many of the prerogatives of other branches and levels of government.

Webster’s Dictionary defines “activism” as “the use of direct, often confrontational action, such as a demonstration or strike, in opposition to or support of a cause.” There have been many examples of activism throughout world history, much if it involving judicial-ness.

Judicial activism can occur in many areas, such as within the Federal government and society generally. Judicial activism has become the subject of increasing controversy in recent years. For example, it has become the target of both popular and academic criticism that alleges that the judicial branch has usurped many of the prerogatives of other branches and levels or government. There are also many other examples of judicial activism becoming the subject of increasing controversy in recent years.

In summary, I think it is SO GREAT to have received this Supreme Court nomination and will work very hard to either promote or discourage judicial activism, depending on the circumstances. As Shakespeare once wrote, “To be or not to be, that is the question,” and this can be applied to judicial activism as well.

(Mr. Specter: Due to prior social and exercise obligations, I did not have as much time to work on this take home as I would have liked. I am happy to do any extra-credit assignments that you would have for me. Thank you!!! – Harriet)
Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Re: my blog post of 10/18

My father's ex-wife just pointed out that my father's polka-dotted Florda bicycle is also a girl's bike. Good catch, mom!

Email from my new intern, 10:33 a.m.:


The Bi-weekly paysheet is formatted all wrong. instead of letters and boxes all you have are numbers. It is like a wall in the matrix.




Okay, dude? Check it out. I’ve put up with some annoying interns in my day. The graphic design intern who scanned a photo of me and then digitally enhanced my breasts for the other interns to ogle at, for example. Or the kid who brought some silly putty in to work one day and then decided to spend much of the afternoon pelting me with it. And then, of course, there was Nutty.

But at least these guys gave me a laugh at the end of the day. You I just want to punch.

First off, I feel compelled to remind you that yours is an editorial internship. Your instant disinterest in proper capitalization techniques has not exactly warmed the cockles of my copyediting heart.

Second, your matrix joke is really fucking stupid.

Then there’s your sign-off: “Thanks, D.” Just so I'm clear: Is this a preemptive thanks for my rushing around to resend you the timesheet that apparently I personally “formatted all wrong” by sending it to you via email? Because if so, gee, you're welcome, sir!! Is there anything else you need??

Also, as an aside, if you continue to carry around that precious milk jug full of water like your hydration levels are in constant, life-threatening flux, I’m going to steal it from you and bury it in wet cement.
Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Five years of unmitigated anxiety 4 sale

Remember my crapmobile? My father offered to buy it off of me. He spends his winters in Key West now and would like a functioning vehicle that he could leave down there year-round.

On the one hand, this feels akin to him buying my whole pitcher of lemonade after I’ve spent several hours on a cool, cloudy day unsuccessfully hawking my wares outside our house. If he buys the shit can, am I missing out on a life lesson somehow?

On the other, this is a man whose current mode of Floridian transport is a black-and-white polka-dotted one-speed bicycle with hay streamers. Why, I could make a tidy little sum AND lessen the family shame in the process!

UPDATE: He rejected my counter offer. This car’s going to be even harder to unload than I realized.
Thursday, October 13, 2005

Madness is

-spending four hours deleting 300 emails out of your 1,000-plus-email-clogged inbox.

-trying to verbally explain to your mother how to cut and paste a web link.

-supervising a new intern, who on his first day says to you, "Wow, you're really late."

-reading an internal staff newsletter and its tormenting attempts to be funny: "BEING GREEN! (and we don't mean like Kermit)."

-attempting to shift around work duties without revealing the fact that you're doing so because you plan to call in sick on Monday.

-having no say over the fact that your hubby posted a loathsome photo of yourself on his blog, knowing that anyone who chooses to cyberstalk you will eventually run across it and be forced to think, "Wow, that old friend/girlfriend/coworker/nursery school nemesis didn't age so well."

-finding a way to explain that you hate Halloween without coming across as an uncreative misanthrope.

-listening to kissing cousins Tim McCarver and Lou Piniella giggling in the FOX broadcast booth for three hours.

-receiving unprecedented, positive professional feedback for a piece about a guy who once interviewed a horse.
Wednesday, October 12, 2005

The case for Christian Science

Today I was walking behind two presumed med students -- they were wearing scrubs and we were near a teaching hospital -- and overheard this exchange:

"I can't believe how much reading we have to do!"

"I know! It's like I open my textbook and I'm just like 'Ugh! I don't want to read any of this!'"
Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Clues your sister is gay, 20/20 hindsight edition

Somehow her penchant for camouflage never tipped me off....

The sis and I were digging through some old boxes in my father's house recently when we found a stash of high school report cards. Reading through her ninth grade written evaluations, we quickly pinpointed a focal theme: Zoe's grades would be a lot higher if she would only muster more enthusiasm for her subjects.

Then we got to her woodworking evaluation:

"Zoe is very determined to succeed in Woodworking and Design, and has worked hard to master the studio's power tools."

Her field hockey evaluation was also quite complimentary.
Monday, October 10, 2005

Give me your tired, your poor 1980s stereotypes

L.A. kept revisiting my shit list last week. On Tuesday, the Angels rolled over for the Yankees. On Wednesday, I had to scramble to find a bar near my workplace that was actually showing the baseball playoffs; when I got there, the one perfect viewing table was taken by some fatty T.A.-type guy who was grading screenplays. Then on Friday, I went to buy coffee and had to listen to the moronic chatterings of an assistant assuring the unidentifiable blonde "star" standing behind me, "This is a good place for us to get coffee. No one will recognize you here. But I'll order your coffee drink for you just in case."

Driving away from the coffeehouse though, I got stuck behind a powder-blue Mercedes convertible driven by an older blonde woman wearing a terry-cloth white visor whose license plate read "Bon Bdwy."

Now THAT'S what I want from this city: The trophy wife of some big-time (french?) Broadway producer driving off to a tennis lesson with her hunky young instructor-slash-afternoon paramour. Gloriously anachronistic cliches, in other words.

This week, I think I'll hunt down a Beverly Hills Pop Art gallery run by a lispy Bronson Pinchot type.
Wednesday, October 05, 2005

"Shh, little L. Ron and his thetan are both sleeping."

I was still reeling from the Jessica and Nick breakup story when word came that Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise are expecting a kid. Dear lord. They must have cornered the turkey-baster market on that venture....

Hanging out in that building thingy where my TV and bed is

Sometimes, in my darkest hours, I worry that my most intelligent friends and acquaintances have stopped writing and calling in an effort to disassociate themselves from my withering mind.

But I just got off the phone with a friend of mine finishing up her biology PhD at Harvard, and she told me the tale of dragging the most gifted male in her program to the Museum of Science in a desperate attempt to get him to talk to girls -- which he was unable to do -- and I remembered again that a decent social skills set is well worth the loss of a few thousand brain cells.

I felt a LOT better returning to my TiVoed "Beverly Hills 90210" episode after that.
Tuesday, October 04, 2005 is kind

Rather than updating the Sox-Sox score whenever I hit "Refresh," the site keeps taking me back to a more innocent time when the Red Sox were only down by five runs with eight innings to play. Some website quirks should remain unchecked.

Fucking Sox.
Monday, October 03, 2005

Zen and the Art of Being Mr. Morris E. Day

Purple Rain is on cable tonight, I'm about 10 minutes in, and already Morris Day has offered the following chesnuts:

"I'll have a couple of little sexys on the side just in case."

"Your lips would make a lollipop too happy."

"It's rare that I put all my cards on the table when it comes to the young ladies, but I am going to MAKE you love me."

"I wish you could see my home. It's, it's SO exciting. In my bedroom, I have a ... brass ... waterbed."

All the while, he is doing what can only be described as a parody of effemininity. Prince looks like Michael Strahan by comparison.

Fading away? Mental decay?

With the possible exception of "calm down," "be clever" may well be the most counterproductive directive in existence.

For about two hours now I've been staring at a Quark document, trying to write a short headline to replace the placeholder written by my art director: "Insert clever kicker." It's like his very use of the word "clever" incited a riptide that came and sucked away all linguistic dexterity from the shores of my frontal lobe. I actually pulled out a rhyming dictionary a little while ago to come up with words that rhyme with "day."
Sunday, October 02, 2005

Also, the house is a hell of a lot cleaner

Usually when the hubby goes away, I miss him quite a bit. But today I finally taught myself how to watch two shows (well, games) simultaneously on TiVo, and suddenly I don't miss him nearly as much.

TiVo mastery = true female autonomy. Herland, here I come.