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.

About Me

I'm just figuring things out.