Monday, June 30, 2008

Sunday [Monday] Top Ten: A Queer, Sultry Summer

So, air conditioner emissions worsen global warming, but the warmer the globe gets, the more we air condition. Right? That's not gonna work out long-term. Good thing I plan to die at 33, like Jesus. JK. I'll resurrect myself, obvs. Maybe on wordpress. Anyhow, when summer hits I get very cranky: "I hate summer," etc. But let's look on the bright side of life, at least it's summer 2008 and not summer 1808. I had this thought last summer while pondering "what did Emily Dickinson do without air conditioning"? I have the same thoughts over and over, like how we have the same seasons over and over. Like how there was summer last year, and there's also summer this year. That's called "bringing it back around"/"phoning it in." I'll keep going like this for the remainder of the post.

I don't want to take up too much of your time, 'cause as you know, we're only two days away from July 2nd, when you'll be at page 160 of The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. Furthermore, you're probs going to VOTE tonight to see Haviland sing and be cute.


10. Air Conditioning:

[I made this graphic last year to announce the installation of my air conditioner.
So many things have changed since then, I can't believe that's the same room I'm in right now.]

I rush into my room, I stand next to the boxy white A.C., I put my forehead as close to it as I can without catching dysentery. You can snatch a blast from a store if it's got its doors open, or maybe a surprise gust from a heavy office door shutting. When the subway pulls in during rush hour and one car is strangely sparsely occupied, don't fall for it; that's the hot car. You've been waiting all this time in the sweltering black musty gasoline air of the station, anticipating the magic cool of the train, you just can't settle for this sauna. I don't.
9. Edy's Frozen Fruit Bars:
I like to stick things in Alex's mouth that she wouldn't put there willingly, like drugs and Tinkerbell. Howevs, I force-fed her an Edy's Frozen Fruit Bar 'cause it's delicious, not 'cause I wanted to corrupt or annoy her. Unfortunately I forgot that Alex can't eat cold food 'cause of her special teeth. You'd think after visiting the dentist 400 times in a month, she would've had that fixed. In the old days, there were no popsicles, you had to go to the cellar.
8. The Microwave:
Back in my formative summers, my Mom often denied me requested meals on the grounds that it was "too hot to turn the oven on" (we didn't have air conditioning). Basically what I'm telling you is I grew up in the suburban equivalent of the Nigerian desert. We made our own popsicles out of apple juice and slept in the basement, it was like having a slumber party with your family, which is every pre-adolescent's number one dream.
7. R-Family Vacations
In the olden days, people only traveled by sea when they wanted to move from England to America on the Mayflower or if they were pirates. (Or "o-pirates" as supr might say.) Now, we hit the ocean in order to spend as much time as possible around other homosexuals and their adopted children and to visit the exotic beaches of Massachusetts. I've gone on "the cruise" the last two summers and this year will be all-a-boarding it once more with Haviland, Caitlin, Alexandra, Tinkerbell, et al -- and hopefully I'll have lots of fun stories to share and a nice tan. I wrote about it in Curve (Page One, Page Two) maybe this year OurChart will hire me to live-blog from the ship. I hope they can sense my wanting telepathically.
6.Tank Tops

Before feminism, women were supposed to stay covered up all the time, unless they were dirty whores. In fact, even if you were a dirty whore and/or hooker, you would've worn a lot of clothing in the old days -- and "hooker" and "gay" meant the same thing. Look:
I just want to state for the record that I use the word "hookers" as a non-judgmental word, like when I say "slut." I know & love many sex workers, just like I know & love many lesbians but still call them "lesbos" or "homos" 'cause I like the way those words sound. I also love the word "hooker." It's right up there with "cock" and "fuck."

Anyhow, but it's not just hookers who've stripped down -- all women have. Myself included. We wear tank-tops and cut offs ...

... though I despise shorts and all leg-revealing things. Jeans with holes in them: "Instant air conditioning," said Matty as I debated what to wear to work that day. Then we descended my staircase and out onto 115th. He'd walk me to the bus and then go visit his friends at the Taco shop, or go get his big red jeep vehicle and drive to the beach. Or we'd get in the car together and he'd take me to the train station and for a second with the top down atop the monster wheels it was like we'd traveled through time to this strange sweaty street, it was wind like wind itself. The air beneath us conditioned our calves, our whole bodies. Then underground and to the office. Whoosh!
5. Hot Summer Jams
So obvs the olden days feature many of history's finest musicians, e.g., Bach, Beethoven, etc. Howevs, the villagers didn't always have an orchestra handy to really lay into Beethoven's 5th. Now, thanks to technological advances, you can listen to summer jams on your earphones, e.g., [admit it you want to get back into] Exile in Guyville [so bad it hurts, right? You should, you really should, I am, and it feels so good!], Rhianna "S.O.S." and "Umbrella," Beyonce "Irreplaceable," etc. Although I feel like last year's summer jam was ... THE CON!

Oh also I forgot that people could gather around one person on an instrument, like a piano or a banjo, but that still isn't as good as a Cure song on your ipod.
4. Girls in Shorts
Standing outside the Border's Bookstore at the Arborland Strip Mall, waiting for my boyfriend to swing around in the purple Kia ("blue!" he said), I told his friend I felt like my boyfriend was mad at me. His friend said, "Well, it is is break up season. Every summer, I want to break up with my girlfriend."

He looked like a sage at the expanse of the parking lot. High school girls in Abercrombie shorts -- half-teenage and half gazelle -- grazed their way across the pavement: "But I don't," he concluded.

"Why is the summer break-up season?" I asked.

"Girls in shorts," he responded. "It's all the girls in shorts," and his eyes traced the legs of all the girls in shorts who suddenly seemed to be everywhere. All the limbs. I was scared, I was not in shorts, would I be left for a girl in shorts? Would I be left for Lolita? Should I wear shorts? Do I need a tan? Heterosexuality was so exhausting. Maybe if the rules had been more innate and less societally prescribed, it would've been less stressful.

Also, there were so many high schoolers in Michigan. They're hidden here, in apartments or schools, or on the Upper East Side. It's better that way, less jealousy of youth's untarnished parts.
3. The Fourth of July
Prior to the year 1776, there was no "Fourth of July," cause the 4th is a holiday that celebrates the United States winning independence and blowing things up in the air on July 4th 1776. Although you still can't purchase fireworks in Michigan, you must drive to Ohio. After 1776, we started inventing more mini-explosions, intended to look like war-explosions but not the mean or deadly kind (hopefully). As you know I'm not a fan of Fourth of July 'cause of being outside during the hot-times, but this year I'll be in Atlantic City, kissing people's dice so that they'll win big money and we can Damn the Man, Save the Empire!
2. The Possibility of Sudden Turnaround
Most of global warming's effects are negative, but I do like the possibility that things could suddenly turn around at any moment. We've had an unbearable heat wave every summer since I've gotten here, and each wave is followed by surprisingly temperate conditions. I mean, it could snow tomorrow. It probably won't -- but it COULD. In Orlando, the narrator says that Elizabethian England, things were so different than now: "Of our crepuscular half-lights and lingering twilights they knew nothing. The rain fell violently, or not at all. The sun blazed or there was darkness." It's not like that anymore.
1. Pinkberry

I want pinkberry right now!


Anonymous said...

Absolutely on the tank top issue. Tank Top Tuesday is my current number one reason to live.

Vesper de Vil said...

i like how you use your words. you're extremely funny.

supr said...

i like how you use my words, and make them funny.

that no oven in the summer thing is still ingrained in me, despite the occurance of air conditioning.

Ingrid said...

Alexander the Great died at age 33, too, and he was also possibly gay!

(However, because I have become somebody who has to footnote everything, I will add that "gay" is probs an anachronistic term until at least the eighteenth century. I will hold a seminar on that topic for you sometime soon.)

riese said...

burningsteady: i don't know what tank top tuesday is, but it sounds really hot.

vesper de vil: i like how you use your words to compliment my words, like a word sandwich or a word hug.

supr: oh you say it once, we keep it forever, and re-use it over and over again in strange and inventive ways. i also avoid the oven in summer too. probs helps global warming.

ingrid: wasn't there a movie about him that you guys went to see that i wouldn't see? or am i thinking of troy. hm. I look forward to that seminar. Also, re: Corkie, you and me are throwing a bangin' bachelorette party. obvs.

eric mathew said...

the Edy's bar are for realz good. and like i'm the type of person that really isn't into fruit in dessert because like i sometimes feel it's a cop out. but these bars make me change my mind. trader joes has good ones as well.

you ladies have oodles of fun on the r fam. take lots of pictures and get really tan. don't let tink get too wild, i know how she can get.

what would you get on your pinkberry now? i think i would do banana, strawberry and yogurt chips. ronnie always gets this weird thing that isn't on the menu... i'm not sure...

anyway, i'm gonna go learn one of the legally blonde dances, because after watching tonights episode, i figured I should probs learn.

The Spaz said...

I used to love summer: being out of school, swimming, staying outside later because it was still light out, beating up the Wormers--oh wait, that was Now and Then...

Seriously, it was a thrill just being out of the house, course my house was always a tiny ghetto apartment filled with Way Too Many People. Yet, somewhere along the line the summer sun and I became enemies, I haven't had a tan in years. Also nowadays it takes heroic effort for me to make myself go out and do something in the heat besides drink daiquiris.

So last month I bought a (wee baby) sailboat to help with the situation. I will force myself to use it now if only to get my money's worth! I know, this tactic didn't work with the gym membership but I have faith that this will turn out totally different... I'll see how it goes, something has to give, I want to love the summer again.

eric mathew said...

this just in...i learnt the dance. i taped it. re-watched it. looked very gay. not like how the kids in high school used the word, like i just looked very flamboyant.

anyway... Hav's version of "Paper Planes" is so very pretty and heartfelt.

asher said...

two things. okay maybe three.

1)what's pinkberry? sounds gay.

2)i love this.
" Heterosexuality was so exhausting. Maybe if the rules had been more innate and less societally prescribed, it would've been less stressful."

3)i just befriended semicolon on design related, as i have just wrapped up my portfolio. so i'm the random person that might possibly look/sound familiar on there. (and if you look at my fake magazine, you're one of the cover stories, even tho the picture isn't really of you). that made no sense. oh well.

Bridget said...

Nice Plath reference!

It's Winter here but you wouldn't know it.

-(Australian) Bridget...but what ever happened to the other one?

caitlin said...

i totally feel you about the oven stuff, you know how i feel about hot foods in general, in the summer that gets magnified for reals. thank god i didn't move to africa, what was i thinking? also did anyone else see the irony that eric mathew said he doesn't like fruit in dessert, yet put 2 fruits on his pinkberry? also ronnie probs gets those weirdo like rice cake things, which are japanese and also plasticy. lastly, resurrecting yourself on wordpress=genius

Anonymous said...

Okay, this guy walks into a bar
No, I'm just, I'm just fucking with you, I'm kidding
No, there's this, this young bull and this old bull
And they're standing on top of a hill
And I tried to tell you before
That that's why I left California

So they're standing on top of this hill, right?
And they're looking out over a pasture full of cows
Whole fucking pasture
And the young bull turns to the old bull, and he goes, "I got this really good idea."
And they old bull's like, "Yeah?"

And I tried to tell you before
That that's why I left California

"Yeah," he's like, "yeah, yeah, I got this really good idea.
Let's run down that hill and fuck one of those cows."
And the old bull just looks at him, you know he's just looking at him
He's like, "Look, I got a better idea."
And the young bull's like, "Oh yeah, what's your fucking brilliant idea?"
And the old bull goes...

And I tried to tell you before
That that's why I left California

And the old bull goes, "Let's walk down that hill and fuck all of those cows, dig?"
You know, like he ain't been in town long or something, I dunno

And I tried to tell you before
That that's why I left California

a;ex said...

Asher, your stuff is GREAT. I had totally already looked through your stuff and decided I loved it without knowing it was even you who friended me.

I can't believe you managed to make milk packaging that looks like udders. Amazing.

riese said...

eric mathew: I know what you mean, I'm always prepared for something involving chocolate or peanut butter or caramel when I want desert. That's probs why I will eat Edy's fruit bars at noon, but don't eat any other deserts until after sunset, 'cause I'm insane. I think Tink is gonna be really excited about all the gays!
I get banana, raspberry and granola!

The spaz: I think one of my best summer memories is having to sneak into Now & Then because it was sold out. True story: little Haviland Stillwell is in that movie somewhere. OOO I should do a summer movie post.
My Dad used to take us sailing. I'd get scared the boat would tip over, so he bribed me and said if it did, I could get a Samantha doll. So then I tried to make it tip over. This should lead into some kind of sage advice for you, but I'd say for sure you'll get a tan if you go sailing. Just don't do what I did and only put sunblock on your shoudlers, you'll pay the price.

eric mathew: I love that watching a dance on teevee makes you feel like you have to learn it. That's probs why I don't watch teevee, 'cause then I'd have to face my failures every day.

asher: 1) it's like frozen yogurt but apparently it has crack or something in it and is addictive. It's better than tasti-d 'cause it actually freezes.
3) OMG you have to send me a picture of that magazine cover, obviously I just looked at it and it's so awesome. Also FYI I adore that T&S poster.

bridget: I know, I love Australia in (our) summertime. Actually, I'd say that commenters come and go, 'cause that's true, but I'm 99.9% sure that the other Bridget was in a legit accident of some sort ... I don't know what happened but she posted a blog about all her injuries. Maybe she's reading this right now and if she is, I hope she's okay! It would've been funnier if I could've gone with my first joke; "In the vortex."

Caitlin: I know right, if we'd moved to Africa we'd be sweating buckets and there would be no pinkberry. I commend you on pointing out EM's hypocrisy, I hope he adresses these issues. Also, maybe those rice cakes were J-Hoops key to success?

anonymous: Nice shoulder.

a;ex: hiiiiii!!!!

asher said...

riese - yay!

semi - thanks. i like my stuff. but i just graduated, so i'm still not sure whether to be confident or not. so your kind words really help. now i just gotta shop it around so i can land my first job and move the fuck out of sugar land, texas.

Chloe said...

your number 6 feeling is my number 3 feeling, because i've worn only tank tops this summer. i think people are starting to think i only have one shirt that i wear the weird kid in 6th grade.

Bokolis said...

I planned to die at 33, but got busy and had to reschedule. As such- and because I'm not into sweets- this is the first I'm hearing of this pinkberry. I suppose pinkberry could top the list if it also involves Girls in Shorts...or skirts, as the case seems to be around here. Ever since I moved out the 'hood (long time ago), I don't get to see girls in poom-poom shorts nearly as often.

How about a PSA?

Dave Lozo said...

"like drugs and Tinkerbell."

THOSE are your examples? Really, Riese? REALLY?

And you should come to Wordpress. It's way cooler. It's like peeing your pants. ALL the cool kids are doing it. You should rent Billy Madison

BTW, my new fantasy is you, Semi, Vesper and me. There's a team I know I can coach.

Crystal said...

I like the new extension for bringing it back around.

It's freezing here, too cold to function. Work insists on having the air-con turned up full 24/7. We need to find ourselves a more eco-friendly employer.

riese said...

I've learned that anonymous's comment is liz phair lyrics. obviously i rarely know whereof I speak. Howevs, I believe it still is true that anonymous has a nice shoulder.

asher: yay! yay!
chloe - people always thought that about me 'cause I had 500 black tank tops. MODEL THROUGH IT.

bookolis: What does "poom-poom" mean? I think I love it, though I don't know it. I had pinkberry tonight too! It apparently has crack in it, but what I like about it is the fruit. It's so fresh and beautiful. What kind of PSA?

dave lozo: "Like Lozo's ten-inch cock." Better?
I can't switch to wordpress right now, I'm so busy!

crystal: Oh yeah, I'm a big fan of phoning it in to deliver my devlierables. I thought you could work efficiently even in a high-pressure environment of variant temperature, what is this!? also, isn't it winter there?

The Spaz said...

Haviland was in Now and Then? That's so cool.

So far I've not tipped the boat over, but to be honest I've only tested it out once and the wind died down just as I got out there. Thanks for the sunscreen reminder, I keep forgetting about stuff like that.

Finally, poom poom? Riese, I have a suspicion that you might love it ;)