Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Monday, December 29, 2008

this sits on a chair in the guest room at my dad's house

I'm not sure what the point of it is exactly, but if it's supposed to scare the crap out of me every time I walk into the room, it's doing the trick nicely.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

my date

I had a date tonight; it was pretty sweet. He took me out to dinner and a movie. We hit Mickey D's for chicken nuggets, and then went to see Bolt. In 3-D, no less, so he got to see how awesome I look in shades:

On the way home, I asked him what his favorite Christmas gift was. He answered immediately, "Legos Star Wars Republic Gunship. And my Legos wristwatch." After a beat, he added, "And the ones you got me."

Friday, December 26, 2008

why the chimes rang

When I was at the Grove Christmas Tree telling Christmas stories with Cubby and Breezy (I feel like Brie deserves a blog nickname too), I was trying to remember the story that my dad used to read to us every Christmas. It was about two brothers who were trying to make it to a church, where only a great offering laid on the alter of the Christ-child would make the Christmas chimes ring. I couldn't remember the story very well, and I was like, "I think one of the boys gets stuck in the snow, and the other one leaves him behind to go to the church... and then... his coin makes the bells ring."

Cubby and Breezy just stared at me. "He leaves his brother behind in the snow? To die?" And I was like, "Yeah, I think... that's what it was." They were like, "That cannot possibly be right."

You'll be pleased to know that it wasn't right, but one of the boys does stay behind in the snow, to help a woman who is about to freeze to death. I forgot that part. My Dad read it again this Christmas, and you can read it here.

After presents, we played with our toys. Sean with his legos:

And me with my new camera:

Thursday, December 25, 2008

the fayetteville food lion would like to wish you and yours a happy kwanzaa

and to tell you and yours that Bud Light is 12.99 for a 24-pack, limit 2.

I'm sitting in the kitchen trying to work on revisions for that writing job I mentioned, and doing my best to ignore the dog, who thinks that I will take her out into the backyard in the rain and play fetch with her if she looks at me like this long enough:

Here's hoping you're all having a very Merry Christmas, and also hoping that you didn't get $400 worth of unauthorized paypal charges on your checking account this morning, like I did.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

they're singing deck the halls, but it's not like christmas at all

My mom just wandered out from her bedroom to see why the living room light was on at 3 in the morning, and found me sitting on the floor, using the sofa as a table and eating potato chips and drinking cherry coke zero while reading blogs of people that I don't know.

Sometimes you don't realize how sad you're being until someone else sees you being sad. Even if it is someone who loves you unconditionally and barely raises an eyebrow at the chips you're scarfing down after you swore you weren't eating any more junk food for the rest of the trip. Although let's face it, you didn't last two minutes after she pulled the little sugar cookies with Christmas trees in the middle out of the oven, anyway, did you?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

ok, good to know

When I was driving the other night somewhere in or near Ohio, and my family was all asleep, the GPS told me to get off of I-77 and take a state road. I wasn't sure that was what I was supposed to do, but I decided not to wake up my dad to ask him, and to just do it. But as soon as I took the exit, he woke up anyway, and said, "What are you doing? Stay on 77 to Cleveland."

Then he turned over to go back to sleep, mumbling, "Even when you're not watching them, you can tell when your kid is doing something wrong."

Monday, December 22, 2008

got this note from vincent

who wanted to cheer me up about the groovy situation:
I cannot repeat to you often enough, boy, that when one is thirty, one is just beginning. Look at the biographies of artists. Even many who had painted from their earliest years changed only then, found their own personality only then. I only ask you to take those things into consideration.

~ Vincent van Gogh
Very encouraging, though I keep asking him not to call me "boy."

Sunday, December 21, 2008

do not go gentle into that groovy night

Friday night the paternal side of my immediate family drove all night to Michigan, braving snow and wind and doughnut pit stops. About midnight I was driving through West Virginia, and everyone else was asleep. I was listening to the radio, very low, and balanced all the way to the front and left, and trying to find a station that wasn't playing either country, gospel, or classic rock. I finally stopped on one that was playing U2's New Year's Day and then Sinead O'Connor's Nothing Compares 2 U. I think Sinead O'Connor and U2 were among the very first batch of cassette tapes (cassette tapes!) that I ever bought when I was trying to grow up and listen to cool music. (Rounding out the list: Janet Jackson, REM, and a band called Icehouse that I bet you don't remember.) And I definitely recorded the video of Nothing Compares 2 U on our beta player (beta player!) and watched it obsessively.

So, I'm driving along, happily listening to Sinead, and a commercial came on. Well, first there was a commercial for Pocahantas Mine (which apparently has underground positions to fill immediately, great benefits) and then there was a commercial for the radio station itself, Groovy 94.1. It went something like, "Don't you hate it when you get into your car and the kids have been messing with the presets, and you turn on the radio, and it sounds like this: [punk guitar riff]? Turn it back to Groovy 94.1! The music from your generation!"

And I realized with horror that I was listening to an oldies station. An oldies station that plays music from my lifetime. An oldies station that not only assumes that I have kids, but assumes that I have kids old enough to listen to crazy rock music that is too loud for my sensitive, decrepit ear drums.

I didn't know what to do. Accept my fate? Change the station to country? Try to find a station playing the Jonas Brothers? I just shut off the radio and pretended it didn't happen, but I'm still feeling a little shaky.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

love and basketball (ok, just basketball)

I nearly slept through my last flight to Fayetteville Wednesday night. I left LAX at 5:30 pm, flew to Salt Lake City, had a five hour layover, flew to Atlanta, then had a two hour layover. I fell asleep waiting for the last flight, thinking the noise of people boarding would wake me up. Instead, I woke up to the sound of a stewardess standing over me, going, "Fayetteville? Fayetteville? Ma'am? Fayetteville?"

They had already closed the gate, but they reopened it for me and I boarded the plane, which was about 3/4 empty. I picked a random seat in the back in an empty row. After a few minutes, a man came walking down the aisle. He stopped in the aisle and stared at me. I figured I must be in his seat, and I kind of felt like, "Are you kidding me, just sit somewhere else." Then I remembered the creepy guy who sat next to me on the flight to Atlanta (who introduced himself to me and shook my hand, then put his other hand on top of mine and asked if he could "catch up with me sometime") and hoped there wasn't going to be a repeat performance. I said, "Am I in your seat?" And he kind of laughed and put his backpack down across the aisle, and said, "Yeah, you're in my seat." Then he turned back to me and went in for a hug, and I think it was about two seconds before contact that I realized he was my high school basketball coach. He was thinner and had a beard! He was hard to recognize! I have a picture of him and my team at home, which I will scan in later.

It was fun to catch up with him. He had just gotten back from six months in Afghanistan, where, he said, his beard was "four fingers long," which is how it's measured there. And I had just been talking about playing basketball a couple of days ago. I loved it, it was my favorite part of high school. That's definitely something I wish I could go back and do again. Guys can play in pickup games, but girls don't really do that. Unless some of you want to. In which case, let's do it. There's a park near my place.

My mom picked me up at the airport and I went home and slept for a few hours, then we got up and drove to Raleigh to pick up my brother Ryan and his wife Rachel, and we all went to Chapel Hill to go to the Carolina-Evansville game.
When my dad first moved to Fayetteville, he opened a surgery practice with a friend from residency who had played center for UNC in the 60s. He is so tall. I definitely remember being pretty old and still only coming up to his waist. And so we became Carolina fans. By "we" I mean Mom and Ryan. And me by attrition.

Ryan was freaking out that we wouldn't get to the game on time. He and Rachel left work early, and Mom and I left at like 2:30 to get to Chapel Hill for a 7:00 game. We parked at the lot, got on the shuttle, where everyone is wearing Carolina Blue (I borrowed a shirt from my mom) and talking to each other like they know each other, and got to the stadium. WHICH WAS NOT OPEN YET. That's how early we were. THIS is how early we were:

The game was sold out because it was the night that UNC forward Tyler Hansborough was poised to beat the record as all-time leading scorer at Carolina, if he scored more than nine points. My mom made a poster ("All I want for Christmas is 9 points" written in her perfect, third-grade teacher cursive,) but they took it away from her in the line to get in. She did manage to smuggle her purse in under her shirt (she didn't want to go through the "search your bag" line) which looked pretty great, with a strap poking up out of her neckline and a big Frankenstein-looking lump on her torso.

Tyler beat the record, of course. And my mom did a little dance to "Jump Around," which was my favorite part of the evening.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

what in the sam hill you yellin' for, george?

Brie and Cubby are over watching It's a Wonderful Life. I've been working on research on a certain post-impressionist painter who cut off a body part (because I got my first for real writing job that is not an arbitration!) but I am taking a break to be Christmasy.

Earlier we walked to the Grove and got hot chocolate and sat on a bench under the big Christmas tree. Brie told a story about the year she and Adam saw Santa Claus in the sky. Cubby told a story about a gift that meant a lot to their family one Christmas. He was sitting in between Brie and me on the bench, and a guy from Crate and Barrel walked by. He looked at us, gave Cubby a nod, and said, "Life is good."

So true, guy from Crate and Barrel. So true.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

sundance, or as my friend katie calls it, hollywood schmoozefest 2009

Now that it's been officially announced, I can say in the blog that Short Term 12, which, as you may remember, is the short film I produced with director Destin Cretton earlier this year, was accepted into Sundance! So in January, I will be off to Utah for a week and a half of doing my two favorite things in the world: networking and standing in lines in the freezing cold.

Monday, December 8, 2008

all i ever get for christmas is blue

If you go to a little college in the middle of an Indiana cornfield named Taylor University, it's practically a rule that you have to have a favorite milkshake at Ivanhoe's, you have to be willing to trample other people for a good seat at Airband, and you have to listen to Over the Rhine.

My friend Heather inducted me into the OTR cult fall of freshman year. I remember riding in her SUV and listening to the first line of Latter Days - "What a beatiful piece of heartache this has all turned out to be, Lord knows we've learned the hard way all about healthy apathy" - and falling in love a little.

I haven't seen them play in a long time, but it seems fitting that when Cubby, Brie, and I went to their show at the Troubadour last night, I saw at least three people from Taylor.

One was a guy who was known as Phubbbbs at Taylor. (I'm not sure I have the number of b's right.) I remember that he drove me an hour to the airport in Indianapolis only to find that I had only brought my student ID and not my license with me. Even in those pre-orange-alert days, a student ID didn't fly (haha) and he drove me all the way back to Taylor to get my license and then all the way back to the airport. And we barely knew each other. That is a nice person.

Another was Brie's and my friend Matt. We saw a couple with a baby standing in the coveted side bench seats above us and thought, "That couple has a baby with them. In a nightclub." And then we realized it was Matt. Karin dedicated a song to them. The baby seemed to enjoy it.

Another was my friend Neville, who I didn't even know at Taylor, but met at Sundance last year. This is apropos of nothing, but Neville made it pretty far on Chinese Idol, which is awesome.

The show was great, although I am old and my back hurt after standing up the whole time.

This clip is not from last night, but this was my favorite song they did, and she's wearing the same dress, so it's practically the same thing. The video quality's pretty poor but you can see the fun cookie-sheet-weird-mallet percussion thing she was doing. If I could have one stupid, selfish wish, it might be to sing like this:

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

tired of the job search? try this!

Seeing as a lot of people are looking for work right now, I thought I would share a little tip I came across in my research today:

All right. There's a thing call the wishing bean - you've heard of them, yessir. Well, I have some at home. I wish I had brung some. Well, anyhow, there's a wishing bean that most of the places has them. It's a little bean that looks like - looks something like a peanut, the inside of the peanut, but it's yellow. It's got a straw-colored shell on it, it's soft, and inside the shell is a lotta little bit of seeds like guinea pepper. You know guinea pepper seeds. It's got little seeds in there like that. You take one of these wishing beans and put it in your purse, anywhere about you.

Then before you get to this - before you go to this place to seek this job, you sweeten you a little glass of water - very, very sweet. Pour it in a little bottle and before you leave your home you take a drink from this bottle. Let it be big enough so that you can take about two drinks of it. Take a good drink of this water and you spit it and go across it to go out.

Then when you get to the office or place of work where you want to work, you take another drink and you spit it before you go to see the man, and you put one these wishing beans in your mouth, and take a match stick or toothpick or something that you can keep in your mouth, and while you talking to him you bite the bean. Be just talking and bite it with your teeth, and you do like this [demonstrates] - like that. You'll get that job. Yessir. You'll get the job all right.

~ excerpted from "Hoodoo, Conjuration, Witchcraft, and Rootwork," an oral history by Harry Middleton Hyatt

Now, of course this does require you to have a prospective employer who doesn't mind you spitting in his office and chewing a toothpick and a bean while you're talking to him. It might work better with a telephone interview.

Monday, December 1, 2008

the something of boris

This pretty much sums up my thoughts. If my thoughts had British accents.