Monday, December 29, 2008

My CrackBerry (literally)

Every day when I wake up, I have an awful feeling in the pit of my stomach that my BlackBerry might die. But then I stop and think that it's already been through hell and back and continues to triumph over adversity. It's like when your childhood dog is about 14 years old and survived cancer and is starting to go blind yet still licks you and wags his tail. He's been your best friend since you were little and you want him to push through. You hope for the best but in your heart you know his days are numbered.

About two weeks ago, my ball fell out. The little white circle thing that scrolls physically popped out and fell to the ground. This was a great tragedy for about 15 minutes. Because I am so cheap and shameless (my "South County genes" from my mom's side of the family, as my Claytonite dad calls it), I shoved my ball back into its little slot and taped all around it to secure it back in place. It worked perfectly, but a week later I had some extra time before I was supposed to meet a friend and decided to stop into the AT&T store just to see if they would fix it for free. ("Yeah right," I thought. "They won't just fix my ball for free. They'll have to send my phone away and of course I didn't buy the insurance on it.")

I walked into the store and there was no wait. That never happens at the phone store. Ever. THEN the phone guy looked at me and smiled one of those creepster smiles. Usually I would think "wow lammmmme" but that day I thought "he will help me fix my phone just go with it." I told him, "Here's the deal. My ball fell out. It's taped in. Ghetto fab I know, go ahead and laugh. I don't care. I'm completely fine with it the way it is, unless you are going to fix it for free." Usually I would be more patient and polite with a phone person, but I could tell this phone guy was kind of a d-bag and didn't really care for some reason. I think I was so proud of myself for fixing it myself that I really didn't care. I did surgery on my phone all alone and didn't really need their help.

The phone guy grabbed my BlackBerry without saying a word. He looked at me like he was the Zeus of all phone guys, and ripped my taped ball right out of its socket. He walked away into the back room silently. I WAS SO PISSED. "Nooooo whyyyyy did you DO  that?! Uhhhhh," I yelled at his back. This phone guy was messing with my mind. It was like that violent moment in The Fountainhead when Howard Roark just shows up at Dominique's house unannounced and owns her. I immediately wanted to destroy this phone guy, but knew I secretly loved him for his greatness.

He popped out from the back room with a shiny silver ring. "It's your lucky day. I'm not supposed to do this," he said. He took the ring and snapped it over the ball in its socket then handed me my phone back. It was immediately wonderful again. I walked out without thanking the phone guy but very elated that I avoided a possible catastrophe. (Because a BlackBerry with no ball means no BrickBreaker, which truly would equal catastrophe.)

Not even 24 hours later, I was wasted at my friend's graduation party and dropped it. It crashed to the ground, cracking the screen in a horrific shatter-pattern across its whole face. This was devastating. I cried. My friends laughed, knowing the triumphant situation that had just taken place with my ball. 

The next day, I tried to gather myself and learn to love the Crack. I started by learning to text with it. Texting is still basically the same, I just have to tilt my head and/or squint to read the letters when they appear along the Crack. After my CrackBerry and I overcame this obstacle, I had to put it to the real test. Would I still be able to play a significant game of BrickBreaker?

The first game I played was a little rough. The Crack sometimes hides the bricks, specifically along the left side of the screen where its the worst. This was something that I had to get used to. The second game was a little better, giving me some hope that down the line I could recover. It would take baby steps, but there was a glimmer of hope. 

The third game I played was insane. I ended up blowing my past record out of the water. I had been striving to beat my record of 15290/Level 29 for 6 months. Then, the day after what I believed to be a dream-shattering crack, I conquer it with a record of 17180/Level 1. (I made it through EVERY LEVEL...all 34...and BACK to Level 1. And yes, I did die on Level 1, but it was only because I was so elated and incapable of concentrating.) 

I now refer to the Crack as "my lucky crack." It is lucky and kind of makes my phone more consistent with me and my lifestyle in general. It makes me love my BlackBerry even more than I did before. The phone guy deserves a little bit of street cred because I don't think the taped-on ball would've survived the crash at the bar that caused the Crack, but he's still a creep. (A good creep though, kind of in a Justin Bobby-type way.) 

After all of this drama, there are a few things I take from this. First off, I'm so glad I don't have a dumb iPhone. It would have died a horrible death a year ago, at least. RIM created an amazing piece of technology when they created my BlackBerry. It's a survivor. Who cares if I don't have a stupid app that let's me shake my phone and pick where I want to go to dinner? Second, if my CrackBerry does die soon, it lived a wonderful life that should be celebrated. I need to accept its death when the time does come, mourn appropriately, maybe even say a little eulogy about how it enabled me to beat my BrickBreaker record, and then make the creepy phone guy transfer all my shit back to my Motorola peanut-shaped phone that I've held on to since my sophomore year of high school in case of an emergency.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Someday I will have a big oak dresser, 
six feet tall with six deep drawers.
I will also have a matching desk and bookshelf, 
the kind of bookshelf that doesn't have 
a fake wood pattern pasted to its walls.

Someday I will have a walk-in closet 
with three interfacing bars holding all my garments. 
It will also come with shoe shelves, 
the kind Mariah Carey had on Cribs.
I will line my shoes up first by color then by style, 
and the same with my purses. 
Every morning I will be happy when I look in my closet 
and see a rainbow of my possessions staring back at me.

Someday I will have a bed with four tall posts, 
the kind of bed you have to jump up on to sit on. 
I will also have enough room for another person in this bed, 
and decorative throw pillows 
to remove at night before we lay down together.


I went to the zoo the other day. (Yes, the zoo. I know it's 20 degrees out, but we still went to the zoo. The best part about the zoo in the heart of winter is no matching-shirt daycare groups or children on those leash things.) My favorite exhibits at the zoo are in houses. It's my theory that there's nothing worth seeing at the St. Louis zoo that's not in a house. There's the Bird House, the Snake House (more formally known as the Herpetarium) the Bug House (Insectorium), the newly-added Penguin House, the Ape House, and lastly the Monkey (Primate) House. 

Now I know some may think, what about the big cats? The elephants? The bears? I dislike these zoo animals for two main reasons. First, you're lucky if they're even out. These animals like to hide in the areas behind their exhibits - basically wherever they get fed. Half the time you can't even spot them and get frustrated when there's no animal even though the sign says there is. Second, if you happen to be fortunate enough to see these animals, all they're doing is laying. Laying and sleeping. For years I had hope that one day I would arrive at the zoo and see an elephant standing on its hind legs, or two bears having sex, or an angry lion lash out and attack a guy who's growling like a fool, but this never seems to happen. It's even to the point where I hope to see them pee or poop, but they can't even put on enough of a show to do a simple thing like that. This class of non-housed animals gets two thumbs down.

The housed animals, a.k.a the awesome animals, have never really let me down. Even on their off days, they still make funny noises and play with each other, or still look gross and fierce and make me think "Damnnn what if one of those got in my house and attacked me!!?" To illustrate this point about the housed animals, I'll share a story from this particular zoo trip.

I entered the Monkey House and (after gagging a few times and zipping my fleece up over my nose so I didn't pass out from the stench) began walking along the different glassed-in exhibits. I immediately heard sounds of joy and mischeif. I knew I was going to see some monkeys monkeying around. It wasn't long until I arrived at the lemurs. These lemurs were grayish and kind of small with very long tails. This species of lemur looked like a classier version of a raccoon. Like if a raccoon became a celeb and started working out and quit eating garbage and lost a lot of weight, it would be a lemur. (Like, raccoons are American Idol Kelly Clarkson and lemurs are "Since You Been Gone"-era Kelly Clarkson. Raccoons are shaved-head Britney, and lemurs are Circus-video Britney.) Anyway, it was clear that these lemurs were having a good time. They were the noisiest of the housed animals by far, and the most active. For starters, they can bounce off the glass walls. A little kid will be standing there watching them when all of the sudden they will bang into the glass right in front of him, as quickly as a bird who flies into glass and dies, except lemurs bounce right off, propelling themselves high into the air and onto the next branch or rock or fake zoo vine they can find. I knew I was in for a treat.

Anyway, there were 6 lemurs in this huge room of a cage and it was my hypothesis that they were a family. A grandpa, a mom, a dad, an eldest brother, middle sister, and younger brother. They played the roles to a tee. The g-pa lemur just sat in the corner stretching out his legs, mom and dad would get bagel pieces off the floor and give them to the kids, and the kid lemurs were just insane. The best part of my lemur experience (the reason why we watched them for half an hour) was because of the little bro lemur. He was the typical annoying, shit-disturbing little brother. Countless times he would look around carefully, sneak up behind another lemur, and pull its tail and bounce away. After he successfully did this, he would leap and swing all over the place in a dance of celebration. He did it to his big sister at least 10 times before she got pissed and raised her hands up at him. Then she began curling her tail up over her butt/back and holding it by her face. The lil bro moved on to his older bro, who also eventually got mad and flung himself toward his lil bro to fight. They fought for a while, clawing at each other and chasing each other around, then the little one ran and hid behind his mom and got some bagel pieces from her.

This type of behavior is why the housed animals are far superior to a hidden tiger or sleeping bear. The housed animals are just easier to identify with. I had this gut feeling that I totally descended from a lemur, then thought "Oh is this blasphemous?" then immediately "Who cares." If my siblings had tails, I would most definitely be pulling them, bouncing off glass walls.

Monday, December 1, 2008


I'll paint myself up and down until I'm exactly the way you want me.

I could be a pretty circle sun with rays jetting out like spider legs 
or a flying bird whose wings are two humps created from one simple stroke of the brush. 
You could push me up against your refrigerator door 
and pin me down with alphabet magnets.

I could be an awkward self-portrait the teacher forces upon every confused 6th grader. 
I'll have an oval head with eyeballs drawn in the direct middle as was insisted, 
even though everyone knows that eyes aren't really in the middle of a head. 
A portrait of an alien-looking self.

I could pointillate with tiny pricks and form a less formal version of Seurat's la Grande Jatte umbrella lady.
A blurry disaster up close passing as beautiful from far away. 
Still, the people would walk by in a heartbeat to look at water lilies
and take pictures with no flash.

I could use my blues and be a starry night, 
swirling around in the darkness though claiming to possess light. 
Calendars would feature my swirls 
and college students would pin me up on their walls after purchasing me at a campus-wide poster sale.

I could be another lesser known type of debateable artwork. 
Maybe you'd want me to be the bare hexagon-shaped string on the wall, modern and blunt. 
Or the pink vinyll plank that stands tall in direct contrast against the stark white wall. 
Or the shards of glass spewed violently across the wood floor, 
helpless and in need of a good cleaning up,
but until you speak the words I am still a blank canvas.


snow falling and i'm feeling sad and far away from you and sad for you after discovering how fast you've slipped back into your manic-depressive state but i'm not sad because of you but for other reasons like i'm apathetic and unemployed and feeling fat and friends are moving away and i can't pretend it's summertime anymore when you're gone and falling and there's snow falling all around me in your place

What Not to Say Parte Dos

I awoke this morning to a 5:15 a.m. missed call and accompanying voicemail from a former love interest of mine from high school. It said, "Hey Rachel, wanna come do me and get some pizza? What's the matter, you don't like pizza? [awkward drunk laugh]." Needless to say, I did not jump out of bed and rush to get dressed. Guess I just don't like pizza that much.

Five things I love about Christmastime

1. Blue lights. When I'm a grownup and have my own house, I will decorate it completely with blue lights. Apparently this is what Jewish people do, but I don't care. Blue is almost my fav color and blue lights look awesome. White lights are so lame and I cringe when I drive back to Columbia and see white lights all over my childhood home.
2. White Christmas. Best X-mas movie ever. I know every song and dance by heart and the general is the hottest old man I've ever seen.
3. Como Christmas. A Como Christmas translates to Paige coming home, tacky sweater parties, everyone getting wasted every night followed by my mom picking us up at the bars and making us bomb-ass food in the morning.
4. Four Christmases. Not the movie, literally my four Christmases. One of the few blessings that comes along with divorce and remarriage, my four Christmases allow me to bank twice the X-mas money people with happily married parents do.
5. Apple cider packets. Self-explanatory. Along with hot chocolate packets, I consume about 4-7 of these/day during X-mas time.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Weight (Bear with me...)

Weight is one of those annoying, horrible issues people either talk about way too much or are afraid to address at all. In other words, if we suddenly lose 20 pounds, everyone loves to say "Oh wow, have you lost weight? You look great," and we reply modestly by saying, "Oh well maybe a few pounds, I've been [fill in the blank with working out, on a new diet, having occassional lipo, starving myself, taking new antidepressants that make me lose my appetite, etc.]. I can't believe you noticed," followed by a shy smile. Or, let's say someone packs on some pounds and we start to notice. This is when we don't like to mention weight. However, this doesn't stop us from calling a mutual friend we share with the fat person and saying, "Omg, have you seen Fat Person lately? Is she pregnant? Didn't think so. Wow what a [whale, tub of lard, chunk, fat ass, etc]! I can't believe it."

Now, as a person who has been Suddenly Skinny, Fat Person, Gossip, and Mutual friend of Fat Person and Gossip, I'd like to share some thoughts:

1. There are so many reasons people gain/lose weight. Some may be obvious, such as they just don't give a shit anymore and enjoy laying on their couch and watching TV and venturing to Taco Bell every other night for Fourthmeal as opposed to running. Or maybe they've started going to the gym 4-5 times a week because they looked in the mirror and noticed their stomach hangs out more than their feet or there are 4 rolls now instead of 3 or their thighs are touching or they can't even fit into their "fat day" pair of jeans anymore. However, there are also many private reasons. Maybe Fat Person actually IS pregnant and didn't tell Gossip because she's not ready to announce it to the whole crew yet. Or maybe Suddenly Skinny actually does have some sort of eating disorder. Before deciding whether or not you're going to mention the weight change, just think over all the possibilities and ponder whether it's worth it or not.

2. The size of your clothes is not the determining factor. We've all known that person (your mom, perhaps?) who is so accustomed to being a size 12 that when she gains 10 pounds and needs to bump it up to a 14 she just refuses. This causes muffin top and actually makes the person look even bigger, whereas if they would just buy a bigger size they would look better. Let's face it, I'm a size 2 at New York & Company and a size 8 at Express. I'm not going to try to fit my big butt into a pair of size 2 skinny jeans at Express. The zipper would get stuck (if I could even get them up past my thighs), the seam in the butt would rip, new rolls would appear out of nowhere, and/or every time I'd go to put them on I'd have to do at least 15 minutes of squatting and calisthenics. (In the words of Chingy, I'd have to "jump up and down," "wiggle it around," and "lay back on the bed just to zip em up." You know there's thick girls from the STL down to the A-Town.) Bottom line is (no pun intended) that it's okay to go up or down a few sizes if it looks hot (for example, if yo waist so little and yo ass is like woah) and/or it feels comfy.

3. Everyone has their own (and sometimes multiple) definitions of fat. If I see a girl that's my size walking down the street, I probably think, "That girl's cute," and would never call her big at all. I might even think she looks skinny. However, I'm allowed to say "God I look so effing fat right now," even though I realize that I'm not fat. I think we should accept this. I'm not offended anymore when my skinny friend says "I'm fat" because for her, maybe she is a little fat. She's not saying that I'm fat, just because I happen to be bigger than her. Fat Friend, don't be offended when Skinny Friend feels fat. Maybe Skinny Friend is used to weighing 100 pounds in high school and is struggling with the fact that she's now 115. The opposite also applies. If 300-pound friend drops 40 pounds, it's possible for Skinny Friend to say, "Wow you look skinny!" and really mean it and be happy for them. Basically, we all have our God-given body types and range of acceptable sizes. Conversely, we all have unacceptable sizes as well. If Fat Friend turns into a toothpick or Skinny Friend has a Kirstie Alley experience, Good Friend should intervene and say "Eat some food, bitch," or "You're growing at exponential rates." Or maybe something more encouraging like "Are you okay?'ve lost too much weight," or "Wanna power walk with me?"

Monday, November 17, 2008

An Observation

I've noticed that Obama supporters have yet to take down their yard signs. I can't say I remember this phenomenon occuring in past years. A couple days after election day is understandable; I think to myself, "Oh maybe they just haven't gotten around to it yet." However, two weeks post-election can only mean one thing: Passion. Blatant passion for the change that is to come. Proud Americans who've witnessed history and can finally rejoice after the horror of the past eight years. Voters so secure in their choice for America's future that they wouldn't  dare remove a piece of flimsy, graphically-designed posterboard from their front lawns. The only way we'd get their Obama yard signs would be to pry them out of their cold, dead hands.

But what will they do next week when a windy rainstorm destroys their precious lawn ornament, crumbling the cardboard and sweeping away the two little spikes? Or when December comes and the snow falls, surrounding their sacred leader's name in a huge pile of whiteness?

True Barack-n-rollers have no other choice: they will paint their houses. Calligraphic campaign slogans will adorn doors across the land. Siding will shout "Yes we can!" and they will follow from the rooftops. A light-up decoration in the shape of that infamous Black Power-esque side view portrait of their president elect will sit right above their garage doors, as if it were a smiling Santa Claus face decoration instead.

All of this is necassary because without it, neighbors (who took down their Mccain-Palin yard signs weeks ago) might just forget about Obama's sweet victory. Afterall, it was an extremely close call and no one saw it coming, right? I bet it was all of those yard signs that swayed so many undecided voters' opinions.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Got Homework?

I just saw a paper sitting by the computer. Here's the first paragraph of Got Homework? by Jeremy Phillips:

"Got Homework? Are you kidding? Of course I got homework. Everybody does. Sometimes, scratch that, most of the time, kids have too much homework. It stresses them out to a point where they don't care about learning but just getting good grades. There's a gap between homework that's there just to waste time and homework that is thought out and meant for you to learn."

A List of Upsetting Things

These are some things that have really been upsetting me lately:
  • Burning the inside of my mouth. It causes a painful, peely clump of gum skin to form and also makes yummy foods have less taste. Why can't I ever just wait 2 minutes for the pizza to cool before I bite into it?
  • The taste of water. It isn't very exciting or good, causing me to never drink enough of it. This results in me feeling blah and dehydrated and not having very shiny hair.
  • Freezing cold nights. So many reasons why this is upsetting, but mostly because it's too cold to wear flip flops and because I had water instead of wiper fluid in my car's wiper fluid tube thing.
  • No more Lost to watch. I conquered 4 seasons in approximately 2 weeks and now feel like there's an empty space in my heart that could only possibly be semi-filled in January.
  • Permanent marker on my new shirt. I fell asleep and rolled over on it and now there's a dumb black line on the sleeve.
  • No Forever 21 in Galleria. This seems so wrong to me and this (among other things...and by things I mean ridiculously loud and obnoxious baby thugs who are bussed in without supervision) causes me to hate stepping foot into that dreaded mall.
  • Stupid facebook invites. I'm about to defriend this Jose dude that keeps sending me  lame-ass events. I don't care if its salsa DJ night at Iggy's or if ladies drink for free from 8-10 at PURE. Leave me alone, weirdo.
  • Being poor at almost-Christmastime. I don't think I'll be getting up at 6 a.m. and spending $700 on Black Friday this year. (Dammit I won't get my free tote bags.) Sorry friends and family, I'm warning you in advance that you will be getting bracelets and poems for gifts this holiday season.
  • Attempting to not check a bag. I'm the epitome of an overpacker and with all these vacas, this is really stressing me out. NY next week will be the absolute hardest, but I'm determined to leave room in my carry-on for multiple Chinatown purchases. Amy told me my personal item can be a backpack, so that might help a little.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Scary Man in My Car

A couple of nights ago, I was walking to my car (which was parked in a lot at 11th and Washington). After opening the door and half-plopping into the seat, a scary old black man joined me. He decided it'd be okay to try to get in the car with me, telling me to scoot over. This really freaked me out. He had wedged himself between me and the door, making it impossible for me to close it. He said "you're really pretty" and tried to touch my face. I told him to get the eff away to which he replied "I got lotsa sisters and I got a mama I ain't tryin ta hurt you. Now just come shoot a game of pool with me." I was still freaked out and yelled again for him to get the eff away. He then said, "okay baby girl okay I hear you but can I at least get your number?" I think this actually made me laugh in a half uncomfortable, half genuinely amused way. This guy was basically as old as Ray Charles in those early 90s Pepsi commercials (Remember? Spotlighted in Rookie of the Year when Henry left the shoot to go build a boat with his friends?) and seemed kind of bummish. He clearly had no game, sneaking around trying to hop into my car at 2 a.m. I give him some credit for being sneaky...he came out of nowhere. Anyway, after he asked for my number I said "No...I need to drive home now...please leave me alone." He said "Okay I leave you alone but why can't I have yo number?" Instead of screaming at the top of my lungs " BECAUSE YOU'RE A PSYCO HOMELESS MAN WHO JUMPED IN MY CAR" or telling him simply "old black men aren't really my type" I just said "sorry I have a boyfriend." He looked embarrassed, immediately removed himself from my vehicle and stated "well I do apologize. He must be da most blessed man in da world," and casually walked away.

So, what did I learn from this tramautic/awkward/unexpected experience? First, I will never ever no matter what the circimstances may be walk to my car alone downtown late at night again. Second, kind of like the vampires in True Blood, it's possible for people to sneak up on me out of nowhere. And third, I guess I learned that not all people who try to get in my car late at night want to kill me or rob me or steal my car. Or if that's not true, maybe saying I have a boyfriend deters them for some reason. Last but not least, I think I was just really really lucky and hope I'm never in that situation again.

My Mom

My mom could definitely be Vice President if Sarah Palin could.

My mom sometimes still wears high-waisted, tappered "Mom" jeans, but when I come home she doesn't. She wears the jeans we picked out together at Old Navy and Ann Taylor. (We compromised.)

My mom is a nurse, but she hasn't worked as a nurse in over 15 years. She used to work with sick little babies and she'd let us see them through the window when we were young and I thought they looked like this small bean bag rabbit doll I had. She misses them all the time.

My mom has a beautiful wonderful smile and the nicest eyeballs I've ever looked into. When I look at my moms eyes it reminds of when I was a kid and had stomach aches and she used to rub my back and hold my hand, even if I was in the bathroom. And now that I'm getting a little chunkier and my hair is brown again sometimes I look in the mirror and think I look a little like my mom and it doesn't make me upset at all.

My mom likes to relive her younger days and go out on occassion. I like these occassions because she tells my brother's friends to buy her drinks and then eventually she ends up buying jaegerbombs for everyone and she gets excited and laughs and bounces around and looks so cute.

My mom loves E.R. (as in the show that no one else is still watching.) My mom is still watching, even now that Uncle Jesse is one of the doctors. Carter left, but not my mom. George Clooney moved on to bigger and better things, but my mom didn't. Goose even died, but my mom's love for E.R. never has. Now that the show is ending, maybe she'll focus more on Grey's.

My mom has put up with a lot of crap, and most of the time very gracefully. Dealing with my dad alone would have been enough to make the average woman throw in the towel. My mom kept on trucking, and now she has the joy of dealing with me and my siblings. She's a tough lady and people don't give her enough credit.

My mom's the bomb.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

On the News Tonight

Tonight I watched the news, national followed by local. Here are some of my thoughts:

1. I finally learned all I need to know about "earmarks." This word, along with the words "maverick" and "track record," kept annoying me while repeatedly hearing them during the debates (especially spoken in Sarah Palin's horrific voice). Thanks to Brian Williams, I now know that an earmark is basically a little section of a bill that directs money to a very specific, localized project, a.k.a. an unimportant, crappy project. McCain's earmarks = approximately zero throughout his entire career. Obama's earmarks = over 100 for the 2008 fiscal year.

2. Apparently we're experiencing a "slow-motion stock market crash." This became reality when my 500 shares of General Motors stock went to $4/share (Yeah right. I don't even know what that means? I don't know what it means when the Dow drops 700 points? All I know is that it sucks and that gas prices are still going to be high and that I need to find an industry that's benefitting from this whole financial crisis and start applying for jobs while crossing my fingers because I'm not going to find one. It's times like these that I wish I was an accounting or psychology major, or maybe like a teacher or a nurse.)

True Blood

I've been disappointed lately by the lack of people who have heard of HBO's somewhat new show, True Blood. Along with The Office and Project Runway, this is one show that I refuse to miss.

Part-comedy, part-mystery, part-romance and part-borderline porn, True Blood combines the best of every possible genre. AND it's about vampires (but not in a gothic/Dracula/Interview with the Vampire way). The vampires in True Blood look like mortals (until their fangs shoot out of their mouths randomly) and don't die from crosses or garlic or anything dumb like that. Plus, Bill Compton, the main vampire, is incredibly hot. There's also an interesting dynamic between humans and vampires in that people are prejudiced against vampires. The VRA (Vampire Rights Amendment), "God Hates Fangs" signs, and the term "Fang-Banger" (a woman who sleeps with a vampire) illustrate this point throughout the show. To add to this amazingness, vampires possess special sexual powers, causing humans to buy and sell vampire blood ("V") like it's a drug.

Bonus: Remember Anna Paquin? The girl who won an Oscar for The Piano and was in that other movie about ducks migrating home or something? She's in True Blood and she can read minds. 

Here's Robert Blanco's USA Today review of the show

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Can the creatures in this house just leave me alone?

During the middle of the night, I woke up because I had an itch on my leg. It felt like something was crawling on me. Sometimes I get paranoid and think things are crawling on me, so I just assumed that's what was happening. Anyway, I reached down to scratch it, AND A SPIDER WAS ACTUALLY CRAWLING ON ME! That's the sickest feeling ever. I panicked and turned the light on and saw that I had squished its guts on my leg. It was really gross, but I wiped it off and tried to go back to sleep. At least it wasn't a bat.


I often wonder what's happened
to all of the lost things.

their letters,
the pens they used to write the letters,
my favorite pair of underwear,
and the boy who used to remove them.

Are they on the Island
with Others
and a Hatch
having flashbacks
of times from before they were lost?

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Really, MTV?

After last night's episode of The Hills, I'm officially SO fed up. Like Doug and Stephanie reallllly started dating? Kind of like when Lauren and Whitney went to Paris and Lauren didn't bring any going out clothes and had to hem that dress then mysteriously got coffee all over it? It's been apparent for years that The Hills (and all MTV/VH1 reality TV in general) is completely scripted and planned, but it's just gotten entirely too obvious and not even fun to make fun of any more. I'm to the point now of just being really ANGRY!

Remember the good ole days, a.k.a Laguna season one?! Or even the brief enjoyment brought by Maui Fever, when that total bro, Cheyne (yeah, pronounced like "Shane," making him even more of a bro) was caught on camera cheating on his girlfriend with Anna, muttering the embarrassing question, "When's the last time you got done just right?" while underneath the sheets. He made SUCH an ass out of himself, but it was entertaining to watch. 

I digress, but point being: those were the days when high school reality TV was still decent, before we had to watch Lauren and Whitney steaming clothes all day. Remember "What happens in Cabo stays in Cabo?" when Steeee-vennnn was shitfaced out of his mind screaming "Whore! Slut!" at Kristen across the dance floor as she grinded on some pole in her red dress? Remember the chunky brunette Mormon girl that went to New York to try to live out her dreams and sing her heart out? And REMEMBER when Lo was SKINNY!? It's such a shame that those days had to come to an end and that this crap is supposed to be replacing the past greatness. Before Lauren was handed the internship at Teen Vougue, before she wore sequined dresses to Area and LAX, and before she turned down Paris, she was just a hometown girl named L.C., sitting around a bonfire on the beach holding a red plastic cup full of alcohol pretending it was soda.

Monday, September 22, 2008

A Surprise in the Shower

So here's a little story I didn't get a chance to tell before I left for my wonderful Puerto Rican adventure. I awoke during the middle of the night to shower and finish packing for my 6 a.m. flight (gross). I tip-toed across the hall into the bathroom (didn't want to wake up my dad or little bro at 3 a.m.) and, as usual, I threw my clothes on the floor, opened the shower curtain, and lifted my left foot over the tub. Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed I was about to step on a 6-inch-long brown lump (sounds like poo...but keep reading, because it wasn' was much, much worse). The lump looked like it had fur, but also looked like its fur was wet. 

At first I questioned what I saw, convincing myself that this lump was probably just a brown washcloth. I wiped my eyes, bent down carefully to peer at it, and confirmed that it was, in fact, an animal. A sick, gross, animal. I had never really seen a bat up close, especially not with soaking wet fur half-dying in a shower, but my gut told me, "That is an effing bat." I could see there was a distinguished head, it was much too dark to be a mouse, and overall looked really dirty, like it might even have rabies.

Even though it was the middle of the night, I rushed down the hall to my dad's room and yelled and knocked on his door. "Dad, wake up, there's something in the shower. Like an animal. Like a mouse or a bat," I said. 

He woke up and wasn't too happy. "Rachel it's the middle of the night, you're probably just dreaming," he said, in an unpleasant voice. After turning the corner into the bathroom and ripping open the shower curtain he exclaimed, "OHH myyyyyy Gooodddd...that's a bat." (Yessss...I KNEW it was a bat. Victory at last! He never believes me when I say I see spiders or roaches, and NOW he's seeing the BAT with his own eyes.)

My dad jumped back away from the bathtub, grabbed the small trash can that was next to the toilet and dumped all the trash it was holding onto the floor. Kleenex, Q-tips, tampon applicators, and hair balls spilled out onto the tile floor. He leapt toward the tub and slammed the trash can over the bat, trapping it underneath. He then commanded that I get something to slide between the trash can and the tub so we could lift it up and take the bat outside.

I was in shock and kept yelling, "Dad, can't we just please like call animal control!!? Or the police?" Of course my Dad wouldn't do that, he was going to handle the bat himself. He came into my room to search for something to use to slide under the trash can. He said, "It has to be hard, like cardboard, in case the bat tries to fly out. Like it can't be paper." He went to grab a small painting I've had for years that my friend Chad painted.

"Dad, that's like a painting?! You can't just take it and let the bat touch it???!!" I yelled. "Rachel, can it be sacrificed? The bat's moving around?!" he replied.

Using my quick problem-solving skills and analytical thinking, I threw the painting down (because of course it couldn't be sacrificed? wtf Dad?) and grabbed a binder. I ripped the cover off and gave it to my dad. We both went back into the bathroom, he slowly lifted the trash can up about half an inch and I slid the binder cover underneath. We successfully trapped the bat.

The whole ordeal was almost over; all that was left was to take the bat outside and free it. If it were up to me, I probably would have just thrown things at it while it was in the bath tub or hairsprayed it until it died, but my dad said we should run downstairs and release it.  I ran down the steps in front of him then down a second flight of stairs to the back door in the basement. It was still dark out, of course, making things even more creepy. I quickly opened the door, waiting for my dad to step outside and let the bat go. My dad, however, didn't run out the door after I had opened it. Instead, I saw him throw the entire trash can with the bat inside as far as he could out the door. It went about 30 feet away into the back yard. We rushed back upstairs.

I was in a huge hurry to get ready for the airport and insisted I would not let this event stop me from taking a shower. I poured an entire thing of Comet on the floor of the tub, scrubbed with a brush, ran the water for a bit and then showered anyway, trying to avoid the sick spot where I remembered the bat laying.

I made it to the airport on time, and began my vaca with an interesting story to tell Samantha when I got there.

My dad called later that day to tell me he ventured into the back yard to recover the trash can. The bat was nowhere to be found.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Puerto Rico

Hola amigos! So I've just returned from my vacation and I thought I'd share some of my thoughts on Puerto Rico:

Raggaeton: Raggaeton was bad enough a couple years ago when "Gasolina" started popping up at every random house party and dive bar, but it became even worse when I was subjected to it 24/7 in Puerto Rico. Whether I was trying to read my book peacefully on the beach or trying not to pull my hair out when we were lost for the 7th time in the rental car, those around me insisted on blasting this awful form of music. The signature beat that repeats itself in every single song is stuck in my head, haunting me wherever I go.

Octopus salad: Yes, octopus salad. Just the name of it is gross enough, but the taste adds to the grossness even more. It's basically chopped up octopus tentacles mixed with celery, onions, and spices thrown in water. It's like a much stinkier, drippier version of tuna salad. Samantha told me it would taste like chicken, but it definitely did not.

Mosquitos: This is self-explanatory. I have (literally) over 100 mosquito/spider/other sick insect bites all over my body. They have no shame and will bite anywhere (including my ears, face, elbow, back, butt, fingers, toes...I could go on and on). Also, they bite right next to or on top of previous bites. These mosquitos were like none I had ever seen before. It made things even worse when a nice employee at the resort told us they only bite gringas (us white people) and leave the locals alone.

Rental car prices: Over $80/day. Ridiculous. And we had no choice, that was the saddest part.

Highways: I'm being gracious when I call them highways. The expressways and/or roads on the island are labeled by numbers (these range from 1 to 999), with highway 625 right next to 626 right next to 627, etc. Also, these roadways abruptly split, with two lanes going to the left and two lanes going to the right. In addition, there is no warning as to whether or not an exit will be on the left or right; it varies. And to make things even more complicated, the people we were getting directions from did not know the numbers of any of the roads. They would say, "Take your 4th left, go for a long time until the fire station, take the last exit, follow the flow of traffic, turn right at the 'no flammable materials' sign, then get on the highway that goes west." We were lost for hours, and the "fire station" turned out to be a subway station.

Sour cream: I am in love with sour cream, and actually just all dairy products in general. I was very disappointed each time I tasted Puerto Rican sour cream. It was watered down and thin, almost to be compared with light sour cream, but way more light and rotten-smelling.

Crashing a party: One night we thought we'd venture out on our own and do some bar-hopping. Good plan, and when Samantha saw a club with a line out the door, we thought we'd found the perfect spot to begin our night. When we got in the door, they asked if our name was on the list. Of course it wasn't, so we payed the $10 the door guy asked us for and got our cup (it was open bar, so we thought we had it made). Upon entering the dance-floor area, we see a little girl with a tiara, aunt with a camera, mom with a box of cake, and hundreds of overdressed Puerto Rican tweens. We figured out we had crashed a sweet sixteen party when everyone started staring and whispering at us. We chugged about 4 drinks and made our way to the 80s hair band bar (read on).

Playlist at the clubs: About 3 years behind. Examples: Sexy Back, Break it Off (Rihanna and Sean Paul), old Akon (even like pre-Young Jeezy), Buttons, Shakira

Luis Figueroa: This is an example of something that's awesome and lame at the same time. Luis Figueroa originally greeted me at O'Hare while waiting for my flight. He told me he was returning to his home in Puerto Rico after injuring himself playing baseball. He proceeded to outline his baseball career for me (which consisted of him coming up from the minors for about 8 games, hurting his wrist, being traded, getting sent back down to the minors, etc...this cycle repeated itself for about 7 seasons and I finally thought "wow, this guy is old, why is he talking to me?? Creepy...") Overall, he was nice. He offered to show us around, take us shopping, etc, but he eventually turned a little sketch when he kept calling multiple times/day. I quit answering and that was the end of that.

Knock-off surprise: This one is just awesome. Ever since I went to Rome in 8th grade, I have been obsessed with fake designer purses. I know this is very, very tacky, but I don't care. When I see knock-offs on the side of the road, I get a twinkle in my eye and butterflies in my stomach. I mastered the art of finding the perfect purse during multiple trips to New York to see my brother. There's something about the smell of Chinatown combined with all the bright colors and patterns on the purses that makes me feel like I've died and gone to Heaven. Purse Heaven. Anyway, traveling to Puerto Rico, I was not expecting to see any shady little men with garbage bags on the side of the road selling knock-offs. However, while walking through Old San Juan I spotted them. It was great, and made me feel comfortable and warm inside; a definite turning point of my vaca.

Fried balls of potato with meat in the center: I don't know the real name for these, but they were so yummmm. Ground beef surrounded with mashed potato then deep fried in crispy batter hit the spot one day. This type of food is sold in sketchy-looking open hut areas along the side of the road. Same place where Samantha got the octopus salad.

Free-roaming iguanas: You will be walking along a path, minding your own business, when a huge, pet-sized iguana will scurry across, or maybe even stop and look at you and think about attacking you. Seeing 4-foot-long iguanas leap out in front of me was a huge surprise the first time it happened, but then I got used to it. Instead of dead squirrels and deer on the side of the road, Puerto Ricans have dead lizards and iguanas.

El Morro: One of the largest forts built by the Spanish settlers in the Caribbean. It dates back to the 1500s, is really big, looks really old, and has an elaborate cemetery at its base. When you look at it, it makes you think about conquistadors and fighting and war and death. The moment when John Smith calls Pocahontas' people "savages" in the Disney movie popped into my mind. Different time, different place, but same vibe. Anyway, maybe not "awesome," but very powerful.

Hair band bar: There is a bar in Old San Juan called NoNo's that features a huge flat screen TV above the bar that plays nothing but 80s hair band music videos. We're talking Van Halen, Lita Ford, Ozzy Osbourne, Winger-Winger, Warrant, White Snake, Def Leppard, Poison, etc. One of the locals told me there's a "hair band scene" in Puerto Rico. Who would have thought? Definitely hilarious and much better than Raggaeton, in my opinion.

Miguel the drug dealer: Miguel the drug dealer was awesome because he reminded me of your typical pothead boy from the States. He was about 5' 2" and very emaciated, had long hair tied back in some sort of bun, spoke very slowly, had squinty eyes, and laughed at everything. What seemed to be a friendly conversation at a bar turned into Miguel telling me about how he goes down to La Perle (which is like the ghetto of San Juan, just down the hill from the city along the coast...kind of the like the East St. Louis of Puerto Rico) and sells his drugs. He told me about how he thinks bums are good people, how his friend just made some Web site on conspiracy theories, and how Led Zeppelin is his favorite band. After he told me that 9/11 was "an inside joke," I became very irritated and offended by Miguel. I told him that I did not think 9/11 was a conspiracy and he went ape shit, shouting at me, huffing and puffing, eventually marching off. He returned later, acting like everything was fine, to ask if I wanted to smoke some of his Caribe, which he described as "the best weed evverrrr, maaannn." Overall, Miguel had a good heart and was quite endearing.

Resort club: Our resort, El Conquistador, was the epitome of a resort. This means there were 20+ restaurants, 34 pools, a casino, a club, shops, a Starbucks, and anything else you could imagine that the typical American honeymooning couple would need to make their time in a foreign place seem like they were right at home in the States. One day we figured we might as well check out the resort amenities and not pay 80 more dollars for another night of the rental car. I won 63 cents at the casino and then we made our way to the "dance club." We opened the doors and saw 2 wasted couples performing on the dance floor. A very red, obese man did air guitar and fist pumps to countless ACDC songs while the wives and skinny husband served as his back up dancers. At one point, he fell off the stage flat on his face, but that did not stop him. The vibe changed when the tape player (yes, there was no DJ) played Madonna's "Holiday." More couples got up to dance, and they all started doing that thing people do at wedding receptions where two lines are formed and then guests take turns dancing down the middle. It was very awesome, but could also maybe fit in the "lame" category.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Amy is a Feather

Amy is a feather.

I like to float with Amy
and ride across the air.
She lets me latch on to
her soft, white, pretty fluff
and go wherever she goes.

Amy is a feather.

She glides by trees, bushes, houses,
front yards with smiling children
playing, laughing, waving at Amy.
They jump to try to catch her
but she’s just out of reach.

Amy is a pretty, floating feather.

The nice, peaceful kind of feather
at the end of Forrest Gump
that always makes me cry
half-happy, half-sad tears
and think about my life.

Friday, September 5, 2008

What not to say

If you're a male dating a female and you happen to be lucky enough to have her spend the night, do not turn to her in the morning and say, "Will you buy me McDonald's breakfast? Sorry, I'm really broke right now."

Clarification of my interesting picture choice

Okay, so I was talking to a friend and he asked, "Is that picture from like a perfume commercial or something?" That made me feel lame. 

I decided to post my picture in its entirety (note the dead hammerhead sharks on the beach) because it's a little more edgy that way. Maybe not edgy, maybe weird, or maybe just not the type of picture that would qualify for a perfume commercial.

I will also take a brief moment to be vain and say that I created this picture in my computer art class, using nothing but a combination of fun Photoshop tools and photos that I had already taken on my own. (The sharks coming from an actual picture I took of a shark in an aquarium, the sky from cool Vegas lights, the beach/ocean from Destin, and the crazy half-naked Amazon women walking out of the ocean...none other than myself and my beautiful friend, Samantha.)

So take THAT anonymous friend who thought it was a perfume ad. Hah.


I have this friend named Liz that I am really, really missing lately. For the past 3+ months, I spent 5 days a week with Liz, from 8:30 (or more like 8:41, as we were both sometimes a little late) to 5:00. There was one day when Liz was sick, and that day was quiet and sad, kind of melancholy.

Now that I'm not seeing Liz's smiling face everyday, I realize how lucky I was to have worked with her. When I first met her (not gonna lie) I thought she would end up being a total bitch. My first impression was based on nothing more than the fact that Liz is absolutely gorgeous and most of those people can turn out to be pretty mean. She has perfectly white teeth and long blonde hair...kind of old-school Kim Basinger-looking. Plus she has the cutest clothes I've ever seen someone wear in a corporate environment.

Aside from Liz being pretty, she is also probably one of the most truly interesting people I know. She seems like she'd be a huge stoner, the way she talks about all of this hippie shit like "reconciling relationships" (she's very go-with-the-flow), but isn't at all. She's moving to Africa soon BY HERSELF (which is insane but equally awesome), finishing up her graduate degree, and will probably marry her really cute boyfriend soon.

That would be my description of Liz in a nutshell, if it were possible to fit her in one. There are so many things I love about her and I can't believe I won't see her for months, but she will be doing important things in Africa like helping children and telling funny stories and changing lives. That is what Liz does.

My unhealthy obsession with BrickBreaker

So last night, I attempted to beat my BrickBreaker record and failed miserably. BrickBreaker is a game on my BlackBerry that I play every night late-night to try to make myself fall asleep. The object of the game is to use a paddle thing and a ball to break bricks. It's a very simple concept, and a great one, also. It's like the modern version of Tetris (who would have thought that stacking blocks on top of each other could ever be so fun?). Anyway, BrickBreaker is kind of Pong-esque, but way more awesome. It also has these really baller little capsules that fall out of the sky (Laser, Gun, Bomb...basically anything that could be used to completely destroy something) that you can catch that make you way more powerful at breaking bricks. 

While I was playing last night, I lost 5 lives in a row. For me, having 5 lives saved up is substantial. I mean, it's 2 more lives than you start with. Usually when I have 5 lives, breaking my record is a possibility. So when I lost my 5 lives in a row, I was extremely discouraged. I immediately thought in my brain, "Dammit my head's really not in the game tonight." That exact phrase. Then I literally laughed out loud to myself (honestly, I did) because I realized BrickBreaker has become so much more to me than a tool I use to make myself fall asleep. It's now a staple of my daily life. Like if all of the sudden my phone broke or fell in the toilet or a glass of milk (true stories), I would be devastated to have to go back to my old LG flip phone with the mirror on the front and play Snake every night.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The much-anticipated Sarah Palin speech

Most people don't know I'm a part-time political analyst. So, here are some of my initial thoughts after viewing/hearing Sarah Palin tonight:

1. She looks just like Tina Fey, which caused my brother to send me a text message mid-speech that read "Sarah Palin is seow hot." ("Seow," as in much more than "so").

2. Her half ponytail was perfectly teased. The back of her hair was sticking up just the right amount, forming a nice poof. It was the perfect medium between a ratty, too-high sorority girl tease and the pseudo/amateur tease (the kind that has too many bobby pins and not enough hair spray).

3. I don't really like the way she talks. Something about it just seems a little bit off. It's like there's a hint of that northern, Minnesoooota sound to it, but not quite enough to make it endearing/pleasant for the ear.

4. Her 5-year-old daughter cracked me up when she licked her entire hand and then wiped her spit through the little baby's hair to mat it down to its head. (I just realized I called the baby "it." This is one of my bad habits with babies in general.)

5. She could be our future president. I don't say this meaning her speech was great and she is capable of being our next president. I say this meaning that John McCain looked hella old and shaky on stage as he was awkwardly side-hugging her. Not being rude, only being realistic: It is quite possible that he could die within the next 4 years.


I remember the day at Shepard Elementary
when the teacher called me in to help you
after you peed your pants
because you couldn't undo the button on them
with your little, chunky, clumsy hands.

Mom bought you elastic-waist jeans
from Lands End from then on.
You were big, anyway,
and they suited you and your tummy.
But you cried when you realized
every other little boy had pants with buttons.

I remember the day in 7th grade
when you tried out for the basketball team
and pledged to stop eating red meat
because you were tired of getting made fun of
and me calling you "Fat Patch"

You made turkey sandwiches
and lost 20 pounds
and grew 6 inches
and then made the team.
Dad yelled as he coached you from the stands
and molded you into his star point guard.

I remember the day a couple years ago
when you told Dad you quit playing basketball
and dropped out of college
and met a guy named Jonas in New York
who would turn you into a male model.

You moved into a piece of shit apartment
with a Vietnam vet in the middle of Hells' Kitchen.
You found yourself an agent
and started wearing skinny jeans
and stole all of my t-shirts
when you came home for Christmas.

I remember the days in February
when I saw your runway pictures online
and you sent me the Barney's catalogue
they paid you $5,000/day to shoot.
And now you don't answer the phone when we call you.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Telling myself "this can always be deleted"

That is something that's very hard for me to do. I am not the kind of person who can sit down at a computer and just start typing (as I am doing now. NOTE: I feel very very uncomfortable right now) believing that I am free to type any ridiculous, nonsensical, or even obscene phrase that comes to mind. Instead, I am the kind of person, or maybe just a person, who would stare at a blank screen for hours, stomach in knots, nails bitten off, unable to write a paper before the day before it was due, and by day before it was due I mean beginning at 11 p.m. and not sleeping until after turning it in the next day. And I can honestly say this is not because I am unmotivated, or a slacker, or even a tiny bit lazy. I am simply a perfectionist with substantially low self-esteem, realizing I am incredibly imperfect.

This, of course, holds true in the realm of blogging as well. So in my first post, I promise you (and myself) absolutely nothing. No blog mission, vision, or goals. Basically this is an experiment to force myself outside of my comfort zone, which currently consists of scribbling random thoughts into my notebook and shoving it back under my bed so that no one could ever possibly read it. (That sounds very 10-year-old girlish.) Stay tuned.

About Me

I'm just figuring things out.