Get Ready

3.March.2009

Somewhere in between “Hmm, I’d like to spiff up my blog” and “This is a cute look,” I ended up with a new web address.

Please don’t ask me how it happened because I’ve been up half the night cursing the internet, falling into one irreversible decision after another, and meandering my way into a sleep-inducing fuzz – yet have been mysteriously unable to close my laptop and finish later.

I’m not about to figure out how to redirect this bitch, so please – I beg of you – just update your bookmarks. Yes?

http://www.irisindependent.com

Please Don’t Say That

21.February.2009

One more DC story.

A nice man asked me, “So, where do you teach now?”

“Minnesota,” I replied.

“Oh, Minnesota! That’s nice.”

“Mmhmm,” I continue.

“So, are you originally from Minnesota? Were you born in Canada?

GOOD LORD.

Please tell me I don’t sound like a Canadian. I beg of you.

I Heart a Good Meal

20.February.2009

Hello.

Soooo, I was in DC over the long weekend, and I JUST HAVE to tell you about this great place we ate at in the Capitol Hill neighborhood.

But, first.

Remember this guy?

372518_f260

If you were/are a Top Chef fan, then you are well-acquainted with Spike.

Hi, Spike.

Spike is the creator/owner of Good Stuff Eatery, a burger joint with a bit of a gourmet twist.

dscn1251

Let’s be real here: Spike drove me nuts during the show. But, you see, the thing is that I LOVE famous people so I was on-board with the suggestion of Good Stuff Eatery for lunch.

I was expecting Spike’s nummy little creations, but didn’t think HE’D actually be there.

He was.

I made SURE that I was in his line of vision at least once.

He’s, like, a mini-celeb, but I still swooned in adoration. Famous People in Real Life are number 4 on my list of Top Five Favorite Things in the Universe.

1. Ice Cream

2. Boyfriend

3. Dog

4. Famous People in Real Life

5. Sleep

Anyway, SOMEBODY (Cough, #2, Cough) wouldn’t let me snap an inconspicuous picture because said someone didn’t want to be EMBARRASSED.

So selfish.

Famous Person aside, the food was just as tasty as one would imagine it to be whilst watching Top Chef. I lunched on a Farmhouse Bacon Cheeseburger, had a french fry party with the Village fries dipped in mango, chipotle, old bay, and Sriracha mayos one-at-a-time and…

devoured a TOASTED MARSHMALLOW milkshake.

It was so good that it makes me want to talk in that LOL Catspeak business that is rampant on all the blogs today.

OH MAH GOSH, IT SO GUD

There. Done.

Anyway, it was a gratifying meal and a charming little weekend.

dscn1253

The End.

PS: They also serve an Obama burger.

Yay.

Same Difference

19.February.2009

I miss you, internet friends.

I will be back soon, but for today?

leaping_lemur

A lemur – doing what lemurs do best – will serve as a replacement for my blogging.

Let’s call him Leroy.

Hola

14.February.2009

Special shout-out to my DC iFriends ’cause I’m coming to you live from your very own town this weekend!

That sounded creepy.

Annnnyway. Thanks for the support re: the last entry. He’s out of the hospital as of yesterday and is taking it day by day. Which – honestly – is possibly the way we should all be taking it. Yes?

Despite a random post-parent-conference break-down with my assistant principal, I’m also doing fine. I thought I was dealing with it wonderfully until – surprise! – I wasn’t.

So. We move on.

Anyway. I’m about to go do some museum-ing.

Have a great Saturday/Valentine’s Day.

Winter

10.February.2009

So.

I’ve been trying to make a mental list of who reads this blog that also knows me in real life.

I think I have you all pegged.

But I could be wrong. These things get around, you know.

This is why I sometimes wish I blogged anonymously.

Though my stats would be much lower then.

Hmm.

Anyway. The reason I bring this up is that there’s been “stuff” happening. Serious “stuff.” It isn’t about me, directly, so it’s just a matter of protecting privacy.

To the people I know in real life: I’d tell ya anyway.

To the people I don’t know in real life: I am anonymous, so it doesn’t really matter what I write.

To the people I know in real life who are anonymously reading: DL, okay? No offense, but you’re the people I’m worried about.

Anyway.

A sibling of mine attempted suicide last Friday.

I know. Difficult to wrap your head around it, isn’t it?

Since then, he’s been in the Adult Psychiatric unit and more realities about his life for the past …many… years have been coming out.

It’s really, really sad.

And I don’t know what to tell him, except that: We love you. Life will get better.

But it doesn’t seem like he’s in a place right now to buy that.

What does one say?

Anyway, I might delete this in a fit of paranoia or guilt. It isn’t really mine to share, so I’m sorry if reporting this offends anyone. It is wrong to share this? I think it might be.

I just haven’t even had time to talk to anyone in my real life. It’s the hospital every night. The boyfriend helps, but feels incredibly guilty for not being here. Especially since those two have always had such a great connection.

Like Tori says, “When you gonna make up your mind? When you gonna love you as much as I do?”

If only Tori could speak to him the way she speaks to me.

Ha. Attempt at a joke.

Anyway.

Case Study: Chicken or the Egg?

8.February.2009

In this post, I will attempt to answer an age-old question:

Must one be a hottie to make it in this world?

Thank God someone is tackling this complex and relevant issue.

Right.

So, it’s African American Month and, at my school, pictures of successful individuals are plastered-and-glowing along the walls of the school.

Last Friday, as I scurried past a picture of Martin Luther King, Jr., I couldn’t help but take pause by the thought that he was actually quite a handsome man.

I also passed an enormous black-n-white of Malcom X:

HOT-TAY.

malcomx_e_mlking

I don’t know if that’s blasphemy or whatever, but these two seriously must have been the Brad Pitts of the late ’50s/early ’60s. I’d join that movement, ifyaknowwhatImean.

So, why don’t we ever hear of them referred to a such?

Oh yeah. That’s because they were also revolutionary leaders who changed the world. Silly me.

From Wikipedia:

“To his admirers, [Malcom X] was a courageous advocate for the rights of African Americans, a man who indicted white America in the harshest terms for its crimes against black Americans. He was also universally considered to be one fine-lookin’ male.”

Juuust kidding.

(Though if we all band together, we could TOTALLY get that in there. It’s historically accurate, right?)

But. I must wonder, did one characteristic encourage the other?

Let’s begin our case study. The following pictures are of men who, according to sources such as TIME’s “100 Most Influential People,” are considered “successful.” A serious question for you, readers, is this: Hot or Not?

459px-bill_clinton

Billy Clinton

Freshman Senator Aaron Schock

Aaron Schock: Youngest Member of the House

Bill Gates

Bill Gates

The Prez

The Prez

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs

Now, I wouldn’t call all of these men hotties, but they are also far from grotesque. Are they successful because they are attractive? Or attractive because they are successful? Or have I just been in a long-distance relationship too long?

Thoughts?

Maybe next time we’ll take a look at men who have suffered great demise and ask a question that is, perhaps, more difficult. Is there a connection between the mug and the downfall?

Michael Phelps Burst My Olympians-as-Symbols-of-Purity Bubble

5.February.2009

So, we’ve all read the news about our country’s precious waterbaby, Michael Phelps, being busted smoking the gange. If you couldn’t quite get a visual, allow me:

And chex out that WATCH. Gorge.

And chex out that WATCH. Gorge.

My first reaction? Good for him! I’m sure he needs a little relaxation in his life.

If I remember ANYTHING from my days of following Michelle Kwan and hoping to fulfill my (mother’s) dream of being an Olympic athlete, I remember this:

That shit is time-consuming.

(The being an athlete, not the obsessively tracking Michelle Kwan and her latest competition results. Though the hours I spent watching the ice princess on TV during my youth may or may not have also been a questionable use of my time.)

Shut up.

And – seriously – she did want me to become a figure skater. I recall watching Michelle Kwan at a medal ceremony during the Olympics, while listening to my mother bitterly comment, “That could have been you.”

Really, Mom? I know you had high expectations for me, but…really?

Anyway, the more I think about this Puff-the-Magic-Dragon situation we have on our hands, the more perturbed I feel. Not because I don’t think he deserves a good time just as much as the next guy, but because it reinforces the notion that there’s this secret, slimshady universe athletes exist in.

They pretend to be all clean-cut on the outside, but REALLY, they are freaks. Maybe even super freaks?

You know of what I am referring.

The incredible amount of sex that goes on during the Olympics.

Between the athletes.

I know.

And, apparently, the swimmers are the worst. I read that the swimming events are typically scheduled at the beginning of the Games because the aquatic folk are just…er…rarin’ to go.

Folks. When I found out about this during the Games last summer, I was SHOCKED. Flabbergasted.

Did you know that during the Sydney Games in 2000, the athletes collectively drained the area of all available contraception? So, the next time around, the planners decided that one cannot fight the moonlight and distributed 130,000 free condoms to the “active” Athens athletes. That’s roughly 13 condoms per athlete!

Wha?!?!

So…you mean THAT’S what Michelle Kwan was doing in between triple axels and Russian splits at the Winter Games?

(Or maybe she did the Russian splits in between the Russian splits, ifyaknowwhatImean.)

Now how do you feel about my failure to pursue a career as a professional figure skater, Ma?

I digress.

Am I the only one living under the safe shelter of ignorance when it comes to this?

To think of it – still – is just a bit too much.

Chunks in My Milk

1.February.2009

I have a thing about expiration dates.

I bought yogurt last Saturday.

Today, I threw it out.

Why? Well, while giving breakfast the old college try this morning, the yogurt sort of… tasted funny. I can’t put my finger on what it was exactly.

Au revoir, mes Yoplait amis.

I blame this entire neurosis on my sweet Grandma Julie. She never really had much and so what she did have – food – she kept around. Past expiration. Always the mother hen, she’d offer me food from the second I walked in the door to the second I left. It didn’t matter how much I tried to turn the poor woman down (“It’s okay, grandma. We ALREADY ate dinner.”) she’d keep asking.

Of course, I’d give in eventually. Who can say no to grandma? Most of the time, I’d be treated to a fudgsicle – totally safe.

Once, I ventured in the Iffy Zone -the refrigerator- and we can refer to that as mistake #1.

While adding the milk (mistake #2) to a bowl of just-poured cereal, the milk did not flow.

It plopped.

Horrifying.

milkdrop

And now you understand my problem with perishables.

Well, friends, that’s all the time we have today for “Shrink Your Brain” with Sarah. Join us next time when we analyze her Catholic guilt!

Letter to my Younger Self

30.January.2009

Dear Younger Me,

What you thought you’d be as you waded into your late twenties? Forget about it.

You are not that perfectly-planned established self. You’re living in an apartment, but not feeling the need to make moves any more permanent than that. You aren’t married or on the verge of starting a family. You look around and see others who have taken that path and feel respect, but not jealousy. You’ve learned not to compare, though you still may be guilty of it every now and then.

You’ve loosened your grip on the black-and-white world you once craved. You don’t automatically choose judgment – not because you’ve suddenly become enlightened, but because you’ve been there. And it sucked.

You’ve started to shed the layers of illusion that surrounded adulthood. They had stopped being protective and started becoming restrictive.

Relationships are no longer put into boxes and you don’t get angry when yours has strayed too far from the status quo. You’ve started to grapple with people you love finding that love isn’t enough. You accept the fact that your mother was right when she told you that your mouth would get you into trouble someday.

You were right about your friendships, for the most part. You knew that when your cousins told you that “ten years from now, you won’t be as close with your high school friends” that they’d be wrong. Friends are friends and close is a relative term.

You did grow apart from your oldest, closest friend and, along with it, you felt the heaviness of your first big regret. Now that it’s impossible for you to pick up where you left off the way you’d always assumed, you miss her more. You rest on a hope that your memories are tucked safely inside her head and that she didn’t lose the feeling that was “us.”

But regrets aren’t your thing, so you consider yourself lucky that after 27 years, you have just one.

You’ve experienced the elation of a country coming together. You feel all World-War-II as you watch your fellow countrymen promise to do and be better because they feel that – finally – their values are being represented instead of minimized.  You sense that you’ve stood witness to something bigger than yourself and you close your eyes and vow to remember what this is like.

You’re realizing that you aren’t yet satisfied enough with where you’ve been and what you’ve done in your life to come within a 50-foot radius of the word “settle.” If you are to live your life like Anthony Hopkins in Meet Joe Black the way you promised, you’ve got a lot of work to do.  Uncomfortable though it may be, you get that it is something valuable to wake up one morning and say “I don’t want anything more.”

So, appreciate the shades of gray. Find out new things about yourself and have some confidence. Outwardly love others in an unconditional way. Save and spend wisely. Don’t let fear hold you back. Let your disappointments in all their varying degrees make you strong and thicken your skin. Don’t expect it to get easier, but enjoy it when it does. There may come a point where you have it all figured out, but it will likely be fleeting.

In the words of the Emily Saliers, “there’s more than one answer to these questions pointing me in a crooked line/the less I seek my source for some definitive, the closer I am to fine.”

As you write this, you won’t know any more about what lies ahead than you did before, but you’ll savor the uncertainty.

Love always,

Your 27-year old self