let’s complain about snow (again)

We haven’t had any snow here yet, but I have a bad feeling about this winter. So I’m shopping for boots and I’ve never been so mad about anything in my life. I recently realized that in all 34 years of my life I’ve never been *angry*. I’ve been happy and sad and frustrated and annoyed. But never angry. Snow makes me as close to angry as I’ve ever been.

When I still lived in Pennsylvania, I owned snow boots. I have hated snow boots since I was in elementary school. My parents would make me wear them, but I would put my regular shoes back on before I actually got outside so that nobody would see them. My dad caught me, because of course he did, I was a child and didn’t know enough to wait until I at least got to the corner, out of sight of our apartment. As a kid I was often grounded for stupid things, like being late for dinner and changing out of my snow boots. They said it was so I would learn things like being late makes them worry and not wearing snow boots means I’ll get pneumonia and die. (emphasis on death is mine.) I did not learn that. I only bought snow boots as an adult in Pennsylvania because I walked to work and it snowed a lot and I also have a habit of falling while walking in snow. Like, a lot. Like at least five times each season.

So anyway, before I moved to Virginia I got rid of my snow boots. I was moving south! I wouldn’t need them! They only get big snow storms like once every ten years! In January I will have been here eleven years and we’ve had at least three huge snow storms that have resulted in the city shutting down and me being trapped in my house and then having to shovel snow that was half as high as me and I am close to being almost the same height as an average adult woman.

These four storms do not include other minor storms that also required shoveling. And for the past ten years, when I needed to shovel, I wore tennis shoes and then my socks got wet and my feet got cold and while I did not get pneumonia and die, I did get very sad about my wet, cold feet. And so now, as we enter my eleventh winter here, I am buying boots. Is this adulthood? Have I finally reached it?

To be clear, I am not actually buying snow boots. They are ugly and make me sad and very close to angry. But I am buying waterproof boots that are only mildly hideous. The other thing about boots is that they go over my ankles and shoes that go over my ankles make me feel very trapped and as with when snow shuts down the city I do not like being trapped. I could never have been a Victorian women, for the need to free my ankles is far too great.

It’s the last business day of 2017. I understand, intellectually, how and why the year changes, but it still makes no sense. I guess that’s why my favorite New Year’s Eve activity is going to bed at 11pm in the current year and waking up in the new year. But usually, like this year, I will go out, wish everyone a happy new year at 12am, leave at 12:02am and go to bed and wake up in a new year. It just doesn’t have the same effect. Let’s make new year’s eve parties slumber parties where we all go to bed at 11pm, then wake up and have waffles and mimosas. I have amazing ideas. When your party hosts ask you to bring a sleeping bag next year, please remember that you heard it here first.

It’s time to press “buy” on these boots and drown my sorrows in more coffee. Until 2018, my friends.

Another Year Over, A New One Just Begun (almost)

Now this is the story all about how I forgot I had a blog and then remembered and then butchered some song lyrics.

It’s true. I forgot. And my loyal readers have been neglected (all two of you…one of whom is me). But no longer! Here I am! Declaring that I have no idea what to say but don’t want you to forget me. I don’t like to be forgotten. I like people to check in at least once a day to let me know they are alive and in doing so reminding me that they remember and love me. I actually don’t care if they’re alive. This is about me.

I know three people who have been to Disney in the past month and yet I still do not own light-up Minnie Mouse ears. That’s just something I’ve been thinking about in relation to people proving their love.

Listen, it’s the holiday season and it’s winter and I just need a lot of validation right now, okay? VALIDATE ME.

Here are some things I’ve loved in 2017 in no particular order:

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel – it almost makes me want to try Gilmore Girls again, that’s how good it is. You can find it on Amazon Prime. And you should. It’s all about a funny woman coming into her own despite her deadbeat husband, so I relate a lot. Minus the deadbeat husband and being funny and doing stand-up because I need validation but I will NEVER step on a stage to get it, omg.

The new Taylor Swift album, which I didn’t WANT to like. I tried so hard. But I can’t help it. It’s so good. Like, maybe the best? I still wish the old Taylor were alive, but I guess new Taylor is fine.

Anyway, those two things came out in November and that’s as far back as I can remember. I’m pretty sure I liked things before that. What else happened this year? This has been the shortest but also longest year of my life.

My boss’s son is doing a project on how time changes as you age. He’s asking people of all ages to sit in a room one at a time and guess when it’s been a minute. I did not volunteer because I 100% know that I will sit in that room and count the seconds in order to be as close to one minute as possible. Time may change as I age, but that doesn’t mean I have to be wrong about it. Being wrong is almost as bad as being forgotten. People wonder why I’m so quiet in real life and that is why. What if I misquote a fact or what if I’m ignored? Also people terrify me, but if anybody asks it’s mostly that other stuff.

Okay, now I have remembered you, and now it’s your turn to remember me. I love you. Happy holidays. Happy New Year. Don’t drink and drive. Also don’t text and drive. Basically don’t do anything other than drive when you are driving because the truth is I actually DO care whether or not you’re alive and I prefer alive.


Willy Wonka and the Freak Factory

I don’t know why, but I’ve been thinking about this movie/book a lot. I think I saw a picture of Gene Wilder? Who knows why thoughts appear, they just do. Also it’s maybe because my friend and I (hi, Nicole) are trying to think of a project and I’m remembering how we met. Our other friend Megan said, “do you guys know each other? Because you should.” She had no idea what she was creating. Then we bonded over a buzzfeed quiz about which character you would be from Willy Wonka. We both got Grandpa Joe and Grandpa Joe is such a bitch. He’s super lazy, won’t help bring in money for his extremely poor family, and then when he gets the golden ticket he’s like, “check this somersault, d-bags, I’m getting chocolate.” I mean, it is very clear WHY I got that result, but I was still mad about it.

If I were to answer for us, I would think Nicole would get the fat German kid. She eats A LOT of candy and definitely would have fallen in the chocolate river. I would assume I’d get Veruca Salt because I am very difficult to be around.

Anyway, so where this train of thought was going was I wonder if the other kids in the story made it out alive or if they died. At the end, Wonka hands the factory over to Charlie and he’s like, “peace, I’m out.” Do you think Charlie said, “oh, let them go, it was all harmless fun!” Or do you think he said, “okay, that one can suffocate in that tube, she can burn in the incinerator, he can stay in that television.” I feel like he probably had a lot of rage for the fact that they made difficult what could have been a very easy tour of a candy factory. He would have let Violet out because she would get a TLC show. The Giant Blueberry Girl and Her Trip to a Chocolate Factory. It would give Charlie publicity, and any publicity is good publicity. People would line up for miles to get in because people like a lot of things that aren’t good for them. Have you ever heard of cigarettes?

I learned that cigarettes are bad from watching Mad Men. Everything I need to know about life I learned from television. Like that it never rains in California because I don’t remember it raining on 90210 and Dylan McKay would never lie to me.

Anyway, I am pretty sure those other kids are dead, even though we are completely ignoring the fact that Charlie also partook of some product and that fizzy cola scene is 100% of the reason I hate that movie. It’s a stupid scene! Don’t at me. I am firm in this stance. Also ignoring the fact that Roald Dahl was likely a Nazi sympathizer and ISN’T IT STRANGE that the winner of the factory is the blond-haired blue-eyed boy. HMMMM.

Disclaimer: I have never read the book.

One time when I was googling Roald Dahl and Nazi sympathizing, because I always want to be thorough before I start saying stuff (lol, no, I’ll say anything), I came across the greatest quote about any human ever:

“Even from his earliest days, he was a hateful little fuck.”

I didn’t click the link so I don’t know who said it or if it is in fact accurate, but as I said, I’ll say anything and I love that and want to say it about everyone I know. Sorry everyone I know. No hard feelings.

Here Are Some Things You May Not Know About Me

I’m 60% convinced that when I fly I keep the plane in the air with the power of my mind and that is why I can’t sleep on planes. There is always someone on the plane who keeps it in the sky and when I’m on the plane, it’s me. You’re welcome.

I’m only 40% convinced that my belly button will never come untied, at which point I will deflate like a balloon.

I’m about 80% sure that Planet of the Apes is not a sci-fi movie, but a cautionary tale and we should not believe that primates learning sign language is cute but is, in fact, part of a long con in which they convince us they are harmless before they take over the world and put US behind glass where they laugh at us for being dumb enough to eat our own vomit. I once saw an ape vomit and then eat it and I will NOT be that ape. I will not.

If NASA says that an asteroid is coming to destroy the earth I will kill myself. Have you seen SEEKING A FRIEND FOR THE END OF THE WORLD? That movie stressed me out. At the end [SPOILER ALERT] they lie on the floor just waiting for the world to end? They just lie there? Waiting? The anticipation alone would certainly trigger a fatal heart attack so let’s just get that shit over with.

I’m about 50/50 on California breaking off from the United States, especially now that Antarctica is splitting itself into pieces, but I would still live there because of the weather even though burning alive is number two in my top six ways I don’t want to die and they have a lot of fires. Drowning is number three and if the state literally breaks apart from the U.S. there is a very real possibility that we will fall into the ocean and drown. But, as I said, I’m only 50/50 on this happening and about 20/80 on it happening in my lifetime.

Apocalypse is number one in that list. Though I think everyone knows that already.

Global Warming would decrease significantly if I stopped buying bottles of water and just drank from the tap like a commoner.

If I have anything other than Campbell’s condensed chicken noodle soup when I’m ill, I swear to God I will stay sick out of spite. Condensed soup or nothing.

I’m very entitled for someone who hails from the lower-middle-class.

I’m at about 30% on whether or not ghosts exist.

Seasons 7-9 of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia are nearly perfect seasons of television, and Brooklyn 99 is the greatest show to ever grace the small screen and nothing you can say will convince me otherwise. Unless you’re arguing for 30 Rock, in which case you might sway me, also Community. But no others.

I get really sad about animals sometimes and then I can’t eat meat for a while.

I think a lot about Judy Garland (nee Frances Gumm) and I want to step in her footprints to see if we were the same size and so I can know whether or not we could have shared ruby slippers or if I would have had to buy my own. Before you say, “but Megan the ruby slippers were not hers, they were part of a movie,” I will reply in advance “Nobody asked you.” Also I do not know if she even has footprints in LA or if it’s just her hands, which I know about because of the picture of her putting her hand in cement while Mickey Rooney looked on.

I wrote a paper about Judy Garland when I was in 8th grade and she is very special to me, so back off. The only thing I remember from the paper is that her name was actually Frances Gumm. The Mickey Rooney picture I know about because I saw it yesterday when I googled pictures of Judy Garland for no real reason whatsoever except that I’ve been re-watching Arrested Development and Liza Minelli has made me think about her.

Thing I Love Right Now That I Will Probably Not Love Next Week Because I’m Fickle

The title of my last post was an accident. I did not intend to reference the brilliant Broadway show “Oh, Hello,” which is now on Netflix for the viewing pleasure of the teeming masses who could not make their way to New York in the winter. Because who wants to go to NY in the winter, it’s so cold. I’ve canceled on a friend who lived there so many times because I didn’t want to walk through snow because I am very selfish and also sort of the worst. It’s fine, I saw her this year in April when it didn’t snow and it was lovely and also she no longer lives in the city. That is a lot of information irrelevant to the topic.

“Oh, Hello” is very funny. That is my review. Now I am a theater critic. Can I make money for that? I need some side cash to climb out of the debt that is like 70% my fault because I just liking getting on planes too much. Also I apparently liked getting an education, because that makes up 90% of my debt and you guys, I barely even made it through. That would have been so much money to pay back for failing out like I almost did because I didn’t go to class when it rained. Or when it was sunny. Or when it was Tuesday. Basically ever is what I’m saying. Also I’m saying I need money. I’ll review the shit out of anything. I am clearly very amazing at it.

I just remembered that I am also paying back loans for my graduate program and while I did not fail, I still have not graduated, seven years after I started. I have to word that very carefully in resumes and letters for jobs that do not require an MFA in creative writing. Because no jobs require an MFA in creative writing. Not even creative writing.

Back to “Oh, Hello,” which is very funny. The guest for the filming was Steve Martin and I love him. He and Martin Short are my old dude crushes BUT it turns out that I did not even know I have a crush on Nick Kroll. But is it Nick Kroll as a 75-year-old man or Nick Kroll as a younger, attractive man. Impossible to tell. We may never know.

I’m not saying that I’ve watched it more than once, but….I’ve watched it more than once. Which I already said on Twitter. But that is because Bojack Horseman isn’t back yet and G.L.O.W. doesn’t start until Friday and I am NOT going to shut up about G.L.O.W. and I cannot understand why nobody else seems to be as excited as I am. My cousin and I would beg to stay up late and watch it. I had glasses for my Barbies and used them to re-enact some of the matches with Zelda the Brain. She was my favorite. I’ve always loved glasses. And they RAP. If there is no rapping in this show then there is no point to anything. I mean I’ll probably still love it, but the terrible rapping is 75% of the appeal. All of my percentages are correct. I am very good at math. Will that help me in my career as a theater reviewer? Also does that career come with travel expenses?

This has been another entry in things I currently love but will soon forget about because I am very good at reviews but very bad at commitment.

Oh, hello

It wasn’t supposed to rain today. I’m not the only person who thought that. Not one person on the street had an umbrella. It didn’t just rain. It stormed. Runners were soaked. Commuters were miserable. I was in my car listening to Betty Who and getting nostalgic about my childhood.

(After I pulled into a parking lot and waited out the heaviest of the rain, duh.)

As I slowly made my way through traffic, I saw two girls on bikes and suddenly I wished I were on a bike. I used to love riding my bike in the rain, through puddles, watching the water rise on either side of me. I used to love walking barefoot in the rain, wading through warm puddles then feeling the asphalt hard under my feet.

I’m not afraid of storms, in theory. And if I’m safe at home and in for good, I love a good storm. I love the shape of lightning and the crack of thunder. I like the way the world looks electric against gray skies. When I was a kid, my mom would sit us outside to watch the storms. We’d run to the beach when one started, to see the lightning fight the waves. I loved being in a car and watching the windshield wipers throw drops from the glass. But now I sit in parking lots and worry I won’t get home. This fear of rain began in adulthood, as many things do. Things that were never scary to me as a child are now the most terrifying. Snow. Wind. Rain. Most of the elements, I guess. I am most myself near water as long as I don’t have to go in it. And even though I love the sun, I am terrified it will kill me.

And I guess it wasn’t so much the bike riding I was missing as just the general feeling of innocence. Not watching the news and anticipating the end of the world. There’s a possible big change coming at the day job and I miss the security of going to school every day. Even if I failed, I still had a place to go. I miss having someone to fix the things I can’t, helping figure out problems that seemed so huge and life changing.

I’m sure it’s different now. Innocence is lost through the use of social media. Google can fix or solve anything. I didn’t have the most stable home growing up, but there was still a sense of security in childhood. The ability to imagine yourself out of where you were, onto bigger and better things. That’s lost in adulthood. I can still imagine bigger and better things but they seem a lot farther away. The need to be responsible to ensure my survival casually ruins my daydreams.

Not really sure what my point is/was. Maybe coming to terms with the fact that I am now An Old. Missing innocence. Missing when the worst that could happen when I drove in rain was a skinned knee and not a head-on collision. When the big day-to-day changes were who your teachers would be and worrying about whether your friends would be in your classes.

I guess I miss when I used to WANT to be an adult because now I am one and it’s not what I thought it would be. It’s fine. Just different.

Now who wants to bike through some puddles?

I’m on a PLANE

I’m flying high over Nashville, Tennessee and we’re all about to die. The thunderstorm rolled in just as I was taking off and as it turns out, I do not like flying through dense clouds filled with lightening.  I do not like that even a little bit. And I know, I KNOW that the plane wants to stay in the sky, but does the sky want the plane to stay there? Have we ever asked? Does the sky get a say?

There is a girl on this plane flying for the first time and the man behind her calmed her by telling her that it would probably be a bumpy flight because of the storm. And by calmed I mean he had the opposite effect. On me. A girl to whom he was not speaking.

After the initial ascent through the clouds and once my dramatic sighing had ceased, I realized we are okay. The clouds are too thick to fall through. They’ll hold us up. And also with the thigh of the manspreader next to me resting heavily against my own I feel oddly at peace. As though this muscly man can hold us up if we fall, like Atlas shouldering the weight of the world. Maybe it’s residual safety from the weekend where the only thing that could have hurt us didn’t even have hands. Probably teeth though. Ghosts totally have teeth

Had a writing retreat in Gatlinburg this weekend with some of the funniest and funnest and most talented people I’ve ever met and when I say writing retreat I mean I wrote hardly anything at all, but I laughed more than I have in a long time and I call that a success. Not for my potential career, of course, but in general for sure. It’s a rare thing for me to go to a place with so many people and feel safe. If you are reading this and you were in Gatlinburg this weekend, I don’t mean a word of this. After all, I have a reputation to uphold.

When I fly, I am like a toddler standing outside a toy store, face pressed against the glass, desperate to get in. Out? I don’t want to go where I’m going. I want to go literally to any place other than the one to which I’m going. I want to keep going.

Our flight IS bumpy, but I’m far less scared than I was on the way TO Nashville, when the woman in the seat in front of me put the the shade on her window down. Who flies with the shade drawn? What kind of life is that, all trapped and unseeing. Like we are in a box? What did we do that was so bad that we have to be in this box?

The guy next to me resembles Pauly D if Pauly D had gone to college and didn’t spray tan. That was unfair. I have no idea whether or not the man next to me has gone to college. He’s watching something on his phone and I keep trying to see what it is but I think he can tell and he keeps covering the screen. Don’t worry. It’s not porn. I know this. I definitely know what porn is. I’ve seen many porns.

They turned out the cabin lights and now I can see what he’s watching and it’s a movie with The Rock and Kevin Hart? Is this Moana? Just kidding! I watched Moana. I cried a lot when I watched Moana. Oh man. I’m fun.

He’s manspreading mostly because the overhead bins are filled with guitars and his large bag is stuck under the seat in front of him and taking up most of the space for his feet. Because I’m flying out of Nashville. Ugh. Musicians. Right? Ugh.

The lights on ground twinkle like stars. Is this how the man in the moon feels? Or God? Am I God?

(I’m not God.)

Mini Book Reviews

It’s migraine season, so after work I avoid screens as much as possible and therefore have been reading a lot. Reading! Who knew! I finished two books this week already! Here are some reviews of what I’ve read this year.

Strange Pilgrims – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
This is a short story collection and there are two stories in there that are mind-blowing amazing. I don’t remember the titles. If I’m reading the stories one after the other, like I don’t know, a book, I don’t read titles. It’s a problem that will come up in a later review as well. Anyway, so I don’t know the titles, but one of the amazing stories is about a woman who teaches her dog how to catch the bus, where to get off, and shows him her plot of land in the cemetery so that after she’s dead he can go and mourn her. I mean wtf that’s so good.

The other amazing story is about a woman whose car breaks down. A bus full of women passes and they’re like, “oh no! That’s terrible, we can definitely take you to a place where you can use a phone!” So they take her to this place, but they don’t let her use the phone and it turns out it’s a mental hospital of some kind and she just keeps saying, “I only came to use the phone” (also maybe the title? Who knows!) and they’re like, “sure, dear, sure.” Then her husband finds her and visits and she’s like, “I only came to use the phone,” and he’s all, “yes, yes, it makes sense that she’s here. Love you! Byeeeee!” Like shut up. Just shut up. That’s so good.

Chronicle of a Death Foretold – Marquez
I guess I got on a bit of a Marquez kick. So anyway, in this book there are these guys who are all, “We’re going to kill Santiago!” And they do. And the narrator is speaking from like years after the fact and he’s like, “maybe perhaps it’s possible this could have been avoided? Since they told literally everyone it was going to happen? Maybe?” And that’s the book and it’s great? Stop being amazing, Gabe, it’s annoying.

Caraval – Stephanie Garber
This is a pretty book. Like, the setting sounds really pretty and I want to go to Caraval even though it’s a tiny bit scary. Also I think the moral of this story is men are evil. Don’t trust any men. Down with men. Until you decide to forgive them, then it’s fine, but they’re still evil, so keep that in mind. TW for abuse like whoa. But it’s pretty?

We Are Okay – Nina LaCour
If there’s such a thing as a perfect book, this is pretty close to it, I think. I think the slow reveal of what went down was really great and nicely paced and not annoying to the point where I was like, “JUST TELL ME OMG.” I never felt that! So that was great! Also there were some beach scenes and I’m just automatically here for any and all beach scenes. The book kept flipping back and forth in time and it wasn’t until I was almost finished that I realized that the chapters gave you the date? Did they do that all the way through? I honestly have no idea. I don’t read chapter titles! It’s a problem. I’m aware of it. It made THE NIGHT CIRCUS way confusing. I’d be like, “Megan, don’t forget to read the chapter titles so we know where we are!” But I never did. I never did…. Anyway, WE ARE OKAY was fine and not confusing even when I skipped all that! So that was good!

Currently Reading: Cosmicomics – Italo Calvino
Italo Calvino is one of those authors who when I say he’s a favorite makes me feel really pretentious. But whatever. He’s a fave! It’s a story collection and these stories are about space but they are funny? I’ve only read one story so far. What was the title? Who knows. It was about the moon and it’s basically everything I’ve ever wanted to write every time I try to write about the moon and I loved it a lot and can’t wait to read the rest. Yay books, right!?