'Tron Tuesday 7/27/10

I have not been regular in any way. But now is the time to change all that. I think. Step one: 'Tron Tuesday!

1. Dear boys, dudes, bros, men, and males of all ages and creeds,
Are you in awe of ladies' biology and connection to nature? Have you ever wondered what it's like to be reminded of the circle of life every month? I think this is supposed to be art, but for the right price, I'm sure you could at least rent the best invention ever: the menstruation machine. It allows men to experience the bleeding and cramps of the girls' monthly cycle. Now, if they could just add mood swing and bloating simulators.

2. In my last post, I did a lot of talking to the ladies. In case the menz are still feeling neglected in spite of that miracle of a machine above, here's another Intertron bonbon for you, especially the Single Male Programmer Types who are looking for ladyfriends. It's about your apartment:
It's a vicious circle: your apartment looks like Lonely Larry's Despair Emporium, so every time a girl looks at it, a slow, cold wind blows through her mind--she might sleep with you anyway, but the key word there is anyway. And so you're lonely, and so your apartment looks like an advertisement for a suicide hotline. Inner and outer are related, they cannot help but be.
3. Have I mentioned how much I adore The Middle Finger Project? She's inspiring in a kick-ass rather than smarmy way. Now, I've been hearing many friends express the dream-zapped sentiment, and I've been doing some thinking along those lines as well, but this article might make you start to take a little more life responsibility.

4. Somewhat in line with the last point, if you need a push being productive, here is an online timer that divides each half hour into 25-minute spurts of work and five minutes of rest/lunch/Facebook time. This is called the Pomodoro Technique (who knew?). I've used it today, and it seems to have been working so far.

5. "Is that your blood?" "Oh! Yes... some of it."

Have a nice week, my lovelies. Stay tuned for more musings and ramblings this week.




I've been doing some thinking about the words "girl" and "woman." At what age does one stop being a girl and start being a woman? Is there some kind of weird step in between? Why don't I feel the same way about "boy" and "man"?

I am pretty sure my mind does not work correctly, but I tend to associate the word "woman" with what seem to me to be stereotypically grown-up, mature activities and behaviors: Women get married. Women cover their grays with Nice 'n Easy by Clairol. Women eat yogurt. Women go to the symphony and the opera. Women never put out on the first date. Women drink chardonnay and know how to waltz. Women wear sensible pumps and blazers to the office. Women schedule their days in BlackBerrys and Filofaxes. Women paint their bathrooms a nice shade of taupe. Women never leave the house without lipstick. Women write thank-you notes. Women use Olay and aren't in love anymore. Women write checks. Women read Danielle Steel and Dean Koontz. Women never miss a birthday.

To my consciousness, girls, on the other hand, much like Cyndi Lauper, just want to have fun: Girls fall off their stilettos. Girls don't know what they want. Girls dance on tables. Girls wear knee socks and drink Bacardi. Girls shop at Forever 21. Girls text all the time. Girls live in apartments. Girls eat takeout and watch YouTube. Girls fall in love with boys, men, other girls, life, lust, and laughter. Girls take photos of themselves and their friends. Girls paint their own toenails. Girls flake on plans. Girls tell secrets and lie to people's faces. Girls go shopping and spend too much money. Girls sleep in instead of going to church. Girls go to rock shows. Girls wait tables and accidentally explode things in their microwaves. Girls need rescued.

I remind myself of my younger brother, who used to (and still might) call every female, ages 1 to 92, a girl. He'd say, "I'm going to help that girl cross the street." My mom would be like, "Oh, that octogenarian 'girl' over there?" Although I share a few qualities with women, in my brain, I still picture myself as a girl, and out loud, I still call myself a girl. I remember the first time a kid called me "ma'am"; I was 15, and I didn't think he was talking to me at first, but I was the only person near the beach ball he had knocked out of the swimming pool, so I tossed it back to him, pondering the gravitas of this event. I was startled but eventually decided it had to have been a fluke. I'm not a "ma'am," I thought. I'm not so distinguished as that. I feel weird when someone calls me a woman, even in a compliment ("You are a beautiful woman"), like I haven't done anything to merit that title.

I occasionally call myself and my (female) peers "ladies" if we are being particularly fancy, but that's as far as it goes. I call males "boys" if they are very young and "men" if they are very old, but in between these age extremes, the two terms are interchangeable.

If I start calling myself a woman, do I grow up, or does it work the other way around? When I reach a certain age, will I start being able to accept being called a woman? Why does my mind pigeonhole you, me, and all women everywhere? What are the best terms to use? Am I the only one with such a word-association problem?



'Tron Tuesday 7/6/10

Hi hi hi. No, it's still Tuesday, which is totally different from Wednesday. I'm sorry I've abandoned the blog, more or less, for the past two weeks. I've been insanely busy, but I am having a blast. Perhaps you'll read about the past two months or so in my memoir someday. But while you're here, let's do a 'Tron Tuesday:

1. An open letter to men by superbabe Christina Hendricks of Mad Men in Esquire. I don't really watch this show, but this letter is a basic summation of what I, too, would like men to know. Pro tips: Remember what we like, we want you to order scotch, and marriage changes very little. I would remove the Facebook item and suggest that real men eat dessert.

2. Story of my life.

3. Having trouble sleeping? Can't relax? Need to tune out your thoughts? Wish you had a box fan or noise machine to drown out noisy street traffic and hollering crackheads outside your second-floor city apartment? Turn up some Rainy Mood (FREE), and turn down your insomnia.

4. 'Tis the season for street fairs around here. The Superhero Street Fair is not quite up my alley, but if you're into superheroes (like, really into them outside of just Batman, Superman, +c.) and live in San Francisco, check it out this weekend.

5. Remember Daria? I am not exaggerating when I say it is my favorite show ever. I used to watch reruns of it every day when I had to babysit my younger siblings over the summer. Well, some genius wrote up some dating tips with the perspective from that show, and it is genius. Are you a Stacy? A Brittany? I'm probably a Quinn, sad to say.

And that's all I have. Got something better?



A Pursegasm

Hey, remember when I blogged about lightening my load? You'll recall that it was a colossal failure.
My wallet would barely fit in the newer, smaller purse, much less my phone, keys, or essential day planner. My back felt much better immediately, but I couldn't enjoy it because I was busy trying to carry my credit cards and IDs in my pockets (in the rare event that I was wearing pants), playing Tetris with my purse contents, and wondering where my chapstick went.

So I went back to toting luggage everywhere. My back hurts, and I'm feeling more hunchbacked and arthritic by the day, but at least I know I've got all my necessities on me at all times.

But my trusty yellow carryall has certainly seen better days. It's at least a year and a half old, and the faux leather is starting to crack and turn a weird color. The inner pockets are shot, and a slurry of sand, dirt, hairpins, and leaked hand sanitizer lines the bottom.

Why is this timely? Because Gala Darling turned me on to Deux Lux, where I found this beauty:

Come to mama.

I want this purse so hard. I can't stop thinking about it. My mouth waters at the larger tote size. My heart rate skyrockets for the pink glitter. My eyes roll back in my head when I contemplate the hearts -- the shiny, 3D hearts! Three of them! fhewuafgeryugtrehfjsndjsvnfheiahgregdf.........

Anyway, at $80, it's not too terribly pricey, and I'm saving up as we speak. Deux Lux has a ton of cute stuff, though, so go check it out, and even get one for your fly self. Just don't choose this color and style, or I'll have to cut you.



The Great Hair-Curler Tragedy of 2000

My 14th year was tumultuous for me in many ways: I lost a bunch of friends, moved on to the seemingly greener pastures of high school, and had my first boyfriend. But there was one change that affected me more than all others. This is its story.


The date is May 2000. The eighth-graders have been tasked with putting on a program celebrating the 20th century. We separate into groups and are assigned a decade. My group receives 1900. Our theatrics representing the decade consist of holdovers from the Victorian era. I play the part of a dance instructor (waltz, I think) brought into a house to teach two young girls (other classmates) how to dance properly. As we prepare -- writing scripts, practicing our lines, choosing costumes, building sets -- the discussion of what the girls should do with their hair is broached. We agree to shower the night before, put our wet hair up in a high ponytail, and set the ponytail ends with curlers. The effect was supposed to look something like this:


So the night before, I follow the plan. I shower, carefully lathering, rinsing, and repeating my long, stick-straight, shiny blond hair. This hair is my pride and joy. It took three years to grow down to my waistline. I spent most of my eighth-grade year painstakingly braiding, twisting, and knotting it into a fresh new hairstyle every day, from Pippi Longstocking-esque braids to dozens of little ponytails all over my head. One of my teachers even called me Princess Leia. I gather all this hair into an elastic on top of my head. Then I discover that the only curlers we had in the house (none of the hair belonging to the females in my household was able to hold much curl, so we didn't invest) were for one of my dolls. They are pink and about half an inch in diameter each, and they have tiny teeth like combs have, but much shorter. So I wrap thin strands of hair around 85 curlers or so, tuck a bandanna around it to keep flyaways at bay, and go to bed.

The next morning, I'm going through my usual getting-ready routine -- eating cereal, brushing teeth, washing face, agonizing over new zits -- and I begin to unravel the curlers -- or, I try to begin to unravel the curlers. Much of my hair is still damp, and the curlers made for doll's hair are irrevocably tangled in a rat's nest at the crown of my head. My efforts are fruitless, and tears come to my eyes, so I call my mother in to help. She does no better and after about 20 minutes suggests we use scissors to cut them out.

"NOOOOO!!!!" I cried, "not my beautiful hair, my only characteristic that anyone ever compliments!"

I was inconsolable as we tore the curlers out of my hair one by one, each emitting a horrid ripping sound that echoed in my head all day. We pulled out enough hair to make wigs for two bald infants. I zombied through the rest of the day, preoccupied by the loss of my very identity. That evening, my mom -- my own flesh and blood! -- took me to Great Clips, where they cut my hair into a bob so uneven and not what I asked for that it took me an hour to part it each morning.

Thus began my second disastrous love affair with short hair, in which I spent a lot of time dyeing my hair a new color every month and looking butch.


We've all had bad hair days. Tell me about your biggest hair calamities (or any other notable mishap).