Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The soundtrack of my life

If I'd ever actually read Proust, I'd describe these as Proustian flashbacks. Here's a list of certain songs that, whenever I hear them, take me back to a point in my life when they were playing.

1. "Blister in the Sun," Violent Femmes.
I'm dancing in a dorm room in my freshman year. (Given the amount of grain alcohol I'd consumed, I technically should not be able to remember this.)

2. "Electric Avenue," Eddy Grant. I'm throwing up after riding the Caterpillar at Rye Playland.

3. "There is a Light That Never Goes Out," The Smiths.
I'm 18 and driving home from a kiddie new-wave club in Connecticut in my brother's powder blue Chevette. Good times.

4. "Waterloo Sunset," The Kinks.
I'm wearing a Walkman, standing on a bridge and staring at the dirty old river in... Binghamton. (Drama queen!)

5. "Do You Realize?," Flaming Lips.
I'm looking at the most amazing sunset ever in Montana, feeling vindicated for a map-reading error that took us two hours out of our way.

6. "You're So Great," Blur.
I'm flying Virgin Atlantic to London, thinking that this song describes the man I just married. Except for maybe the "sad, drunk and poorly" part.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Special Guest Blog: Signs of likely douchebaggery

Ed. note: today's extra-special guest blogger is Mr. Snevets.

1. Oakley sunglasses (or any orange-tinted sunglasses)

2. Sleeveless shirts

3. Ponytails on pattern-bald men

4. One- to two-inch "ponytails" on any man

5. Ford Mustangs

6. Any window decal with Calvin peeing on something

7. Bluetooth earpieces

8. Referring to elderly women as '"Miss" or "young lady." Nobody's fooled by this level of condescension.

Monday, September 15, 2008

My favorite words, by part of speech

Ed. note: this posting is brought to you by
Schoolhouse Rock, without which I would not know my parts of speech. Or how a bill becomes a law. Or the preamble to the Constitution.

1. Adverb: "actually."
I use this one a lot, perhaps inappropriately. (Hey, there's another adverb!) Actually, I also like "exactly."

2. Interjection: "yikes!" Though I'm not above dropping an F-bomb when it's really necessary.

3. Adjective: "cool." If I were a teacher, the kids in my class would keep a tally of how many times I use this word, much as my friends and I kept track of how often my 6th grade math teacher said, "Uh."

4. Conjunction: "or." I like having options.

5. Noun: "beets." As I've said, I just like the way it sounds. And beets are so weird.

6. Pronoun: "me." Of course.

7. Preposition: "beyond." The possibilities are endless.

8. Verb... OK, this is getting dumb.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Things that bug me at the gym

1. Men who grunt while lifting weights.
Or when they're not lifting weights. Seriously. Just stop with the grunting already.

2. People who talk on their cell phones while doing cardio. Admittedly, cell phones bother me everywhere. It's probably time to concede defeat.

3. The thought of contracting a drug-resistant staph infection from unclean equipment.

4. Peop
le who talk and/or giggle during yoga. Take a step aerobics class, why don't ya?

5. That lady with The Worst Bangs in the World. OK, I realize this is peculiar to my gym (God, I hope so). But every time I go to work out I see this woman who wears her bangs in a tight curl on her forehead, a la Peggy from Mad Men (see photo, left). I am both fascinated and repulsed by this hairdo. I mean, has no one told her how weird it looks? Doesn't she have family or friends to set her straight? Is the curl covering up some strange scar? Does she only wear it that way at the gym, or is it an everyday kinda thing? I keep hoping one day she'll get a makeover, but she's been rockin' the Bad Bangs look for at least two years (and presumably much longer). It's infuriating.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Things I like that I used to hate

1. Various dairy products.
Time was, you couldn't get me near sour cream, cream cheese, gorgonzola or yogurt. Now I love them all, and I've got the elevated LDLs to prove it.

2. The word "hottie." I don't necessarily like this word; I just find it useful on occasion. It is not, however, acceptable to have it printed across the seat of one's exercise pants. I am not making this up: a woman who stood in front of me at yoga one time had "HOTTIE" in big, sparkly letters on her butt. For some reason I found this distracting.

3. Asparagus. It's amazing how good vegetables can taste when they don't come out of a can.

4. Exercise. I barely broke a sweat until I was in my late 20s. In college, I remember mocking the women in my dorm for starting an aerobics class. (But c'mon, they were sorority chicks from Long Island. I had the right.) I'm not sure when the tide turned, but these days, if I don't get to the gym at least three times a week, I am a cranky mess. No, I don't have washboard abs, but I'd look a whole lot worse if I didn't work out at all.

5.The epithet "douche." For years I considered this word beyond vulgar. OK, it's still vulgar, but when used by people I like, it cracks me up. And let's face it, there are a lot of folks out there who deserve the name. I'm not a fan of "douchebag," however. It's somehow too graphic.