Friday, August 29, 2008

Park time

Sitting on a grassy knoll today after work, reading (how spoiled am I? Spoiled enough to stop at the park on my way home and read for an hour, that's how spoiled), a woman and her two daughters play and frolic near me.

They've found a lizard, and the girls seem to be taking turns holding it and shoving it in their good-natured and even playful mother's face. They're all laughing, then suddenly shrieks of panicked giggling break out. Mom is standing up, dancing in place, feeling around in her skorts: "I can't feel him anywhere! Where could he have gone?! Do you see him? He must have run away, right?" Right after this hopeful question she got her answer, as a little greyish-brown streak ran down her leg and was caught by the older daughter.

"I think it's time to go home, now."

Friday, August 22, 2008

Winning Spam Subject Lines

Paris Hilton Lectures on Dickens and Dostoyevsky : what sick and twisted mind came up with that? Was it some sort of childish play on words that went horribly wrong?

Britney Spears: Picking her nose! : I can see a four-year-old kid thinking that must be the funniest joke on the planet.

Christmas Replica Watches: the perfect timepiece for... August. And what aspect of Christmas is replicated by these watches? Is the wristband chilly? Does it smell like pie? Is there a little bow on top?

Angelina's Newborn Twins Marry Each Other: riiiiiiiiiiight.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Another Lunchtime Guilt Trip

Today I thought I'd get a nice bagel sandwich and eat it out on the bench where I usually eat my sandwiches. Simple, innocuous kind of lunch, I thought.

I thought wrong. As I began to eat, I noticed a tiny bird standing by my foot. Feeling generous, I tossed a little bagel crumb to it. The crumb had barely even left my hand when 27 (not an exaggerated number- I counted them) more birds converged from every direction, all staring at me expectantly. Sheesh.

So then I decided not to throw any more crumbs at all, so they would go away. Right? Wrong. They just sat there, looking at me eating my sandwich, collectively not moving a muscle.

"I know! I'll just throw a whole bunch of crumbs, so many of them will get something, and I'll stay entertained!"

After awhile of these shenanigans, with a horde of birds surrounding me, I heard one bird chirping in a painful way, louder and more continuously than the rest. I must've been throwing the crumbs too fast and too chaotically, because one bird had chomped down on another's little toes in the confusion, and wouldn't let go for the world. The poor victim couldn't do anything but try to hop away on one foot and scream his little brains out while the other bird held on tighter and pulled back. Frantically, I waved at the birds and scared them enough that the overeager one let go his hold and hopped away.

By this point I had one bite left of my sandwich, which I ate in a hurry so as to get away from the scene of destruction and disharmony I had just created. As I sheepishly chewed, some guy walked by, too close to me for the birds to remain. They scattered, and he said apologetically, "I'm sorry- I just ruined all your birds."

But I think that I had already done that.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Who am I?

I just don't even know anymore. Today has been a day of sudden introspection, and I don't like introspection. In fact, I may say that I generally avoid metacognition as much as possible.

In the past 24 hours, I have:

a) been called "hot" while wearing my new jeans. Perhaps I should take them back?

b) had a second dream where I was being charged a lot of money for not much food. In the first one I had to be somewhere in a short amount of time, and the expensive food was taking hours to be made. Last night, I was walking down a street in the dark, and stopped into a cool-looking cafe. Upon receiving the chocolate shake I ordered, I was told that it cost ten dollars. I paid, because I didn't know what else to do (the shake was good), and then the owner handed me a grocery bag full of meat. Like, a bunch of packages of bacon and brats and kielbasa. I feel like these two dreams mean something, I even have an idea of what they mean, but come on! Expensive food dreams? My subconcious is weird.

c) had a conversation that made me question who I am. I thought I knew, but I guess I was wrong. Am I a jerk? Am I selfish? Am I maybe more shallow than I thought I was?

Sheesh, all the important things I thought I knew about myself are being challenged all at once. Maybe now is the time to move to Oregon and live on the coast as a hermit.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

News of the Jews, and Happy Birthday to Me!

Walking to the car after work, Richard nods toward the lanky, Cobain-haired guy in yarmulke and prayer shawl strolling our way. He seems puzzled about the fringe coming out of the bottom of the guy's shirt.

Not sure if he saw the yarmulke, and hoping he won't say anything embarrassing out loud, I give him a preemptive whisper, "he's Jewish," and wait till we're out of earshot to explain. I hate it when I see people talking about me and pretending they're not; I couldn't care less if they badmouthed me in my absence, and even saying rude things to my face is better than pretending I'm not there at all. Once we are safely far away, I begin to explain about the knots in the fringe on the four corners of the shawl and how they have special significance, and how suddenly I have no idea what that significance is anymore. I used to be intelligent, really I did. Anyway, in case you don't know, there is a special significance to the knots in the tassels. Now you know.

In other news, I just realized this week that our next door neighbors, the ones with the big slobbery dog and the blanket tacked over their window so the dog won't bark at passersby? They're totally Jewish. I don't know how I missed it for the however-many months we've been living next to them, but they've got a nice little mezuzah on their doorpost. I told my roommate in excitement as soon as I noticed it.

"Really? A mezuzah? That's great! I love the Jews!"

"I know!"

We'd taken some online prejudice test a year or two ago, in which it was revealed, I believe, that I have a slight preference for black people, and she has a stronger-than-mine preference for Jews. Anyway, hooray for us, I guess.

In other news, I turned another year older a few days ago, and got to celebrate by eating mounds of (delicious) Ethiopian food with my parents, sister, and grandpa and his wife.

We also celebrated with three separate cakes: one very Richardy ice cream sandwich cake for work, one lucious fake Macaroni Grill lemon dream cake from my excellent mother, and one surprise (there's already a cake in the fridge) chocolate cake by my cooking experimenty roommate, who thankfully didn't put any flax or oatmeal into it, but did put lots of cocoa and cream and other lipsmacking ingredients. There was so much cake that I was forced to (sadly) send the remainder of the lemon cake home with my sister, and keep the chocolate cake for Sunday night when we had a smaller, impromptu birthday party with a couple of friends and lots of pictures and talking till deep into the night.

I'm still trying to recover from the past few weeks; with all the vacationing and celebrating and dinner-eating and movie-watching I've done recently, I haven't had a moment to hang up any laundry or go grocery shopping or, you know, sleep. My bedroom currently is beginning to look like my bedroom circa my early high school years, which will have to be fixed pronto, as my roommate will be returning from her hometown in the next couple of weeks after a summer-long absence which spoiled me greatly. Shoot, I'll have to clear off half the bookshelves and shove all my clothes back into one side of the closet again.