Friday, April 28, 2006

U RMV the 1 4 me

So, RMV, we met again this morning. And unlike the our first two get-togethers, both of which almost ended in me shedding my first non-2003-baseball-playoffs-related public tears in quite some time, this encounter went swimmingly. I am now the proud owner of a new Massachusetts license plate, the number of which I'll doubtless never manage to memorize, if history is anything to go by.

Anyway, I think I've figured out why you were so nice to me this morning. For months now, I've been calling you "the DMV," until finally an exasperated spouse pointed out to me this week that you are, in fact, "the RMV." No one likes to be confused for another, of course, but when a new acquaintance repeatedly utters your rival's name while in the throes of bureaucracy? The greatest injustice of all.

So many apologies. I hope that when I return in a few weeks' time to finish transferring my license, you can put this past ugliness behind us and find it in your heart to accept one of the 15 different proofs of identification I'll be bringing with. And if you can then dig a little deeper and be so kind as to photoshop out a couple of my 15 extra chins in my new pending license photo, so much the better.

Salad days of spring

Some days, you finish up at a salad bar, look down, and instantly dread having to eat the tub of roughage you've just assembled. On those days, it's important to add salami.
Thursday, April 27, 2006

Toilet humor is a very serious thing

Yesterday I found out that the fear of accidentally getting flushed down the toilet is a legitimate phobia, seen mostly in young children. With that new information in hand, I want to formally extend an apology to my sister for the time she fell in the toilet at Charlie’s Restaurant and I crawled under the stall to laugh at her and then threatened to flush her down until she started screaming and crying, then left her without unlocking the stall door from the inside so that she was legitimately stuck and the restaurant manager had to break down the door to get her out while I feigned ignorance about the whole situation.

Sorry also for all those other times I threatened to flush you.
Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Perversely prideful confession of the day

I've never even seen a Blackberry up close, never mind used one before.
Thursday, April 20, 2006

Jared Paul Stern ain't got nothin' on Blog in Throat

Hey, check it out, a new New York Post scandal -- they totally plagiarized me!

Funny, but not ha-ha funny.
Wednesday, April 19, 2006

“Two households, completely disalike in dignity…”

Prediction: In 20 years’ time, Suri and Grier will carry on a "Juliet & Juliet"-style romance against the backdrop of the ever-escalating Cruise-Shields family feud. The forbidden affair will end in tragedy when Sari fakes her own death of consciousness and Grier, in mistaken despair, overdoses on fistfuls of Paxil pilfered from her mom's medicine cabinet.
Monday, April 17, 2006

One definition of marriage

When you tune into a conversation your husband is having just in time to hear him say, "Well, they've always had it in for the chickens," and you know exactly what he's talking about.
Friday, April 14, 2006

A precision divider formula lovely as a tree

Once in a great while, an editor gets the chance to read a sentence so perfectly conceived and crafted that she begins to doubt the value of her professional services. Today's beau ideal:

"When describing the need for a precision N-divider, the value N is listed as 780.9838... the precision value is actually 780.9706666."

Remind me not to take on any more technical editing assignments.

Another Friday ...

another day spent Googling "Katie Holmes fake pregnancy."
Thursday, April 13, 2006

Joyously, I will be unable to attend the reunion this year

People sometimes ask my why I’m so hard on myself professionally, and I agree, there’s no real reason to be that way. Why, just yesterday, I received my high school alumni bulletin in the mail, which contained a profile of one of my old classmates and former academic rival. Since graduating from Harvard and consulting in Moscow during her summers, apparently she attended Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, traveling the world in her downtime, then went on to Yale Law School, and now works for the U.S. District Attorney’s office in New York while teaching writing to college students on the side.

I mean, cripes, no kind of blog whatsoever?? How the mighty fall. I feel a little embarrassed for her.
Tuesday, April 11, 2006

I hate Big Brother! He always embarrasses me!

Today's personalized Amazon spam (Amazpam?):

Dear Customer,

We've noticed that customers who have purchased Ren & Stimpy - The Complete First and Second Seasons also purchased Joe Cartoon: Greatest Hits 1 on DVD. For this reason, you might like to know that Joe Cartoon: Greatest Hits 1 will be released on April 25, 2006 on DVD. You can pre-order yours at a savings of 25% by following the link below.

Can't we get an anonymous pass on stuff like this?
Monday, April 10, 2006

I'm still a girl, after all

Titanic has become my Teletubbies movie -- I can't stop watching it. HBO plugged the film back into its regular rotation in November, giving it the sort of regular airtime it normally reserves for such fare as Eddie and the Cruisers, and since then I've settled in to watch portions of it at least a half-dozen times.

It hasn't aged well. The dialogue is more painfully anachronistic than I remember; the effects are now showing their computer-generated edges; back-to-back-to-back viewing experiences finally led me to conclude that Kate Winslet's performance sucks; and the last time I watched the old Rose "drop" that priceless diamond necklace into the Atlantic to preserve the integrity of her Titanic memories, I thought, You know, what about Darfur?

But goddamn it, the movie is irresistible. It's as unabashedly romantic and melodramatic as sinking-ship epics get (Black Stallion and Blue Lagoon nonwithstanding); the "rich girl finds her working-class sea legs" theme always gets me; and Billy Zane's hairpiece never fails to mesmerize. Or as my Decembrist viewing companion, my mother, put it about 15 minutes before the first of 1,500 victims began drowning, "Titanic is just a fun movie, isn't it?"

The Bell Jar makeover wasn't quite as successful

The organization I'm doing contract editing work for at the moment uses many of its promotional materials to trumpet the success of its recent company-wide reorganization. The title of the reorganization? The Glass Menagerie project. Sure, because what evokes "high functionality" more than the dramatic works of Tennessee Williams?
Thursday, April 06, 2006

The eternal optimist strikes again

To celebrate my return to Boston, I recently ordered two books from Amazon: one dissects the Cocoanut Grove fire of 1942, while the other recounts the Great Molasses Flood of 1919. I figure I’ll get to them right after I finish Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking, which I’m charging through after spending a couple of days immersed a woman’s poverty memoir, which I picked up after speedily consuming In Cold Blood, which I first tried to read when I was 8 years old but put down after I realized it wasn’t some kind of Friday the 13th novelization.

Sometimes I think the hubby and I should abandon our non-fiction/fiction book-filing system and reorganize the library by non-fatalism/fatalism. That way, he’d still have lots of room for his comedy tomes and McSweeny’s collections and I’d finally be able to put my obsessions with war, terrorism, environmental deterioration, industrial disasters, earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, fires, and shark attacks on full, loving display.

Read it and weep with laughter

Once in a while, a piece of writing comes along that, inadvertedly or no, so perfectly embodies everything you believe to be wrong about your culture’s aesthetic, economic, professional and feminine ideals that you want to bolt for the Canadian border and spend the rest of your days critiquing your birth country’s caste immobility. Behold, today’s gift from the NY Times Thursday Styles section:

A Bunch of Rich Blondes Pretend Interior Design Means Something

I’ll give one of the Bobo fembots credit for naming her dog Anchovy -- that’s cute. Otherwise, they can all go to hell in a Hermes handbasket.
Monday, April 03, 2006

Another reason to love Neko Case

Says she: "I have a pathological fear of having my picture taken, because it's never what you want people to know about you."

Can you just please be my friend already?

Open letter to the Massachusetts DMV


If you were a singular entity made of organic matter, I'd strangle you. I can't get my new MA license because I don't have an adequate FOURTH piece of identification?? Are you kidding me? And now you're forcing me to dig around our office for our wedding license, thus forcing me to root through my husband's filing "system," thus forcing me to admit that I really need to take control of our joint matters once and for all, which may actually be a little less fun than standing in line at the DMV.

Also, I know when I finally do find the wedding license and bring it in, you're going to give me a long look because there are dried coffee grind stains all over it. Don't ask, okay? Just don't. It's a really long story.

Open letter to the photogenetics


I just wanted to tell you guys that you're lucky. You're lucky you don't think twice about smiling for the camera. You're lucky you don't have an airline counter rep flirt with you shamelessly, causing visions of a first-grade upgrade to dance in your head, until you hand over your license and he starts laughing really hard and says, "Whoa, you were FAT!" You're lucky you don't travel 17,000 miles on the trip of a lifetime only to endure the snickers of border control reps every time you hand over your passport. You're lucky you don't have a grand total of two wedding photos displayed in your house because the rest make you genuinely depressed and, as is, the two on display make you shake your head a little in double-chinned resignation. You're lucky you don't feel the need to remove online evidence of your existence lest some acquaintance do a Google Images search of your name and run across various photographic atrocities. And you're very very lucky you don't have to waste a morning at the DMV unsuccessfully getting your photo taken three times for your new state license, until finally you quit and point to the one you think is the least deficient and the woman asks if you're really sure you want to do that.

I'm probably the only person in the world eagerly anticipating the day when retina scans become the standard proof of identity.