[guess y'all gotta join OurChart now!!!]
Seemingly Unrelated Tangent: There's this period of time in May between when the heat sets in and when your air-conditioner gets set in.
That's happening right now. What did people do before air conditioning? [Continuation of the last blog's opening query: what did Emily Dickinson do without air conditioning?] I was an American-history obsessed child, pining to travel The Oregon Trail, churn butter, befriend the Cherokee, be the Cherokee, etc. Or I'd wish I was Pocahontas [she's my great-great-great-etc-grandmother. See photo, LEFT, in which I wear hand-made Native American "headband" In Earnest, circa '94] or Jo March: climbing trees, playing boy's games, cutting off my hair, and ultimately opening a school for poor boys, a.k.a. "ragamuffins," so that all people can be equal and learn-ed. But now I realize that wouldn't've been much fun without air conditioning. '
So today I introduce a new segment: THE CAROUSEL OF PROGRESS. In which I look back on the century and tell you what's good and what makes me wanna live in a Wigwam.
[One day, I'll progress into a blogger who writes smooth, well-founded transitions and concise, well-founded introductions.]
[P.S.: My track record for "sticking to the 'segment idea'" for all previously conceptualized segments: 0%. This one's good though, I think.]
Four categories: VIRTUAL, LARGE BOX-SHAPED OBJECTS, PORTABLE ITEMS, FOOD-STUFFS. Might repeat these categories for future segments. Might not. You never know what I'm gonna do. After all, lately TB & I's internet presence has felt much like a complicated act of cyber-performance-art.
W/O: myspace, obvs!
Just call me! So I can ignore you! Want a hot photo of me? There aren't any. What if I turned "Sorry" into an abbreviation, like "Totes" and "Obvs"? It'd sound like "SARS," which, as a disease, is something to be sorry about, I mean, SORS about. I crack myself up. Seriously, I'm laughing right now. SORS, dudes! I've considered crafting a new profile; but I actually don't wanna be on myspace, I just want my old comments back, and creating a new profile won't fix that. Honestly, this does feel right-er to me. Like I'm being true to MY space, you know? I only joined it in the first place in May '05 so Tara1 could show me photos of this girl she was about to go out with. I was like What's myspace? Looks retarded. This color scheme blows. Why's my computer freaking out? What's with this annoying music and the glittery icons? Do people still listen to Newfound Glory?
[JK, Myspace rocks.]
This's like, all the parts of the library that you can't bear hiking into anyhow because it smells like dead poets and the books are so heavy you start pining for that initialed Jansport you sacrificed in 1997. It's the best reference site of all time. I can't make any jokes about it, because I'm dead serious, y'all. It'll change your life. It changed mine. E.g. I'm much smarter now then before. And I can hyperlink my heart out.
me: hm, wheres that at.
me: "right after that preposition you used to end that sentence, marie."
holy shit. this place is fucking awesome.
TB: it has everything.
me: wheeee!!! the word of the day is "fustian." that's a good word.
TB: interesting. you'd think it was a typo for faustian. or at least i would.
me: i thought it was?
W/O: Forced TeeVee
Last night, I tried to work the TeeVee for the first time since moving in, 'cause I wanted to see which of these young women would become America's Next Top Model. [Unfortunately, it wasn't Hoolihay. Boo.] No dice: I had to actually press buttons on the TV-box itself, as the remote was boggling. Then I promptly sat in front of my ibook, only glancing up briefly to note how little I care about this Cycle, or really any of 'em since the departure of Kim.
Also: I've seen roommate-Zoey do fancy things with the remote, like making live TV rewind and fast-forward? I don't know how this DVD-R thing works and probs never will.
But ANYHOW SERIOUSLY: I despise teevees in random public spaces. I think we should be forced to choose a program and commit if we want TV. Not like: Hey what's up, I'm waiting for the doctor, reading my Highlights for Children, oh HEY TV what's up genocide? Like, gimme my laundry before I have to watch one more moment of Keith Ablow, please. Thanks. When someone says "Lets just see what's on TV," and just clicks it on, I want to gouge my eyes out with mechanical pencils and run away to Walden Pond. That's why I don't know how to click it on.
[Side note: Yes, I have an L Word blog. Totes Paradox.]
W/: Air conditioner, obviously.
As a kid, we went without. Mom insisted it was a waste, so we'd sleep in the basement when the weather turned unbearable, which was fun, like a camping adventure but with Legos and a damp-basement smell. In '95, we moved to a place with central air but Mom insisted on keeping the house steamy-hot til we almost died of heat-stroke. I always envied the rich kids who kept their rooms ice-cold even while out of the house. It was just waiting for them, like "Sure, whatevs, whenever you're ready, I'm here for you, cold as ice, baby!" But this habit emitted toxins into the air, etc., thus global warming, etc.
W/O: Cell Phones
I might just be saying this 'cause I've dropped my month-old Sidekick on the floor so many times already that now the screen's slowly cracking, suggesting impending breakage. That being said, I love that I can get email on it. I also love it's size. I wish it was bigger. I hate talking on tiny phones, it makes me feel like Shaquille O'Neal eating a White Castle burger. Or Alice when she's 10 feet tall.
Not because it can store ten gazillion songs (hypothetically, if it wasn't jam-packed with six-hour audiobooks and ten podcasts), but because it's teeny-tiny. I never liked discmans. Skippity skippity cumbersome monster-things. I stuck with my Walkman/mix tapes 'til I got an ipod. I like my music portable and my phone cumbersome. I prefer Ira Glass and Patti Smith to Voicemail.
W/O: Restaurant Menus Featuring Cheese n' Onions n' Whatever Smothered Nonsense
It's just lazy, really. Why be a real chef when you can just de-frost a hunk of filet and coat it in melted cheese, onions, peppers, bacon bits, chives, sour cream, and whatever else Applebees can think of to send its patrons into immediate cardiac arrest? I mean, a frat boy or a drunk person could do that. In fact, they are doing it right now, and as my ex-the-frat-boy always said: "When in doubt, add melted cheese!" Except there was no doubting about it. He was CERTAIN he wanted melted cheese on EVERYTHING, especially the hot dogs he exploited with chili-beans and Kraft Singles in our microwave. They were like: "Help us, Marie!" but I was like "Sorry, I'm busy making my veggie dogs in a pot like a civilized person."
[JK, I microwave veggie dogs when there's no one around to be smug to. Heather2's sister Annie microwaves everything, even Twizzlers. She got inspired by Haviland, who also microwaves everything. I refrigerate everything, like cookies and nuts.]
I love melted cheese as much as the next person--in fact, MORE [along with peanut butter, it's 50% of my daily diet]--but that brainstorming new-menu-item session coulda been spent creating a fun spring salad for Haviland and I to enjoy. Also, all that Monterey Jack doesn't disguise the taste of injustice, Benniganbeehollihays! I know there's body parts in your meat, I read about it in Fast Food Nation. P.S. for NYC-Dwellers: there's a "meatpacking industry" as well as a "meatpacking district" [which's a cool place to party for people who like to leave their apartments], and this industry's mainly centered in the Southwest, relies on cheap "disposable" immigrant labor, and is evil.
Summer '99, fresh outta high school, I visited my best friend Ryan in NYC, where he'd snagged a $400/month apartment on 79th and Broadway and was interning at MTC. This sublet had a catch: it was smaller than our dorms at boarding school by about 70%. Ryan told me he lived on Kraft Dinner, but I didn't believe him: he had no stove! I observed his "preparation" of "Kraft Macaroni and Cheese" in the microwave, and though it did involve the contents of the KMC box, the resulting dish was not anything like actual KMC. As in: the noodles were still hard. Luckily, someone's wheels of invention were already turning and EasyMac debuted just in time for me to go to college.
Side note, re: Ryan's apartment, air conditioning:
'Cause he had no AC, Ryan had a sadistic pre-bedtime ritual which I was submitted to during my visit. He'd shuffle me into the shared bathroom, turn the water to ice-cold, thrust me under, and stand/leap like a jumping-bean on the other side of the shower chanting mind over matter mind over matter until I turned blue. Then, teeth a-chatterin', he'd usher me into bed and explain: You have to fall asleep within the next ten minutes. Otherwise you'll get hot again and need another cold shower. Hurry, hurry.
Which's probably what Emily Dickinson did, too. She mentioned, then forgot; then lightly as a reed, bent toward the water...
These girls should be familiar, but just in case:
1 Tara: Tara's a regular character on this blog and Auto-Straddle, and the core of the circle of craigslist. Lives in my hood with Lainy and goes to Columbia and helped me move. Not to be confused with TB, who's first name is also Tara, but it's pronounced Tah-rah.
2 Heather: Haviland's girlfriend, duh, and faithful Auto-Straddle humorist. Stage Manager of Altar Boyz and whatever else needs to be managed/taken care of. When she gets off the train she says This is Me! even when no one else is around.