Did you know John Aielli has a blog called AIELLI UNLEASHED? That totally cracks me up. AIELLI UNLEASHED! I can't stop saying it.
The title makes it sound like for the past 41 years he's been straining violently against the conventions of public radio, just barely able to contain himself on the air...but now, finally, finally, his innermost thoughts can spring forth like rabid dogs to bite us all right in the throat. And then you read it, and it's pretty much exactly what you'd expect, except slightly more boring. Do you think the title is just a little gentle irony, and I'm too dense to pick up on it? I guess anything's possible.
I think I have a crown coming loose. Yay! All aboard the pain train to Expensivetown! Toot! Toot! Fuckity. Toot!
The unsweetened dried mangoes they have in the HEB bulk section are supremely tasty.
I'm going to a party on Saturday where the hosts are serving Frito pie and will be renting sumo suits. It sounds like it could be potentially dangerous, and definitely worth the drive to Houston.
I hope you have a very nice weekend, you people.
What I really, seriously, don't give a shit about, and I don't want to hear you trying to frame these things as revealing some truth within the larger dialogue or some such horseshit because that's just your excuse to feel better about talking about nothingness and trash:
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's reception at Columbia
What I really, actually give a shit about, and is not nothingness and trash at all, okay?:
Which windows in our house should have solar screens, and which windows should have regular screens? I want the house to be cooler, but solar screens are kind of ugly, and half-and-half on any given side of the house would be absolutely atrocious, but not all the windows get that much sun and we can't afford solar on all the windows anyway, so now what should I do? And why doesn't this house have any screens to begin with, and why didn't we get our real estate agent to get money from the seller for that? What else around here could we have gotten money for that we didn't notice at the time, or bother to? What's wrong with me?
Is the lameness of a business's website any reflection on the work they do, so long as that business is not web design? Could a crappy website just represent seriousness of purpose on the part of the business owner? Or shouldn't any business worth a damn realize that people will be looking them up and judging them on their "Images Coming Soon" pages and copious typos and that it's better to have no website at all than one that looks like they got their cats to design it? Should I just be grateful that I at least didn't have to sit through a 30-second Flash introduction that has nothing to do with the task at hand?
Should I repaint my toenails red, or should I just strip the polish and cut them to the quick? Either would require a purchase I don't want to bother make, as I don't have polish or polish remover. Maybe I should just cut them and let the polish flake off by itself? Or I could get a pedicure, but that seems ridiculous when there's no special occasion and it's not summer.
Should I keep HBO until The Wire comes back on and then cancel it, or should I just cancel it until The Wire comes back on? I hardly watch TV anyway, and HBO even less, but sometimes there's good stuff on, and if I canceled I'd have to call and be on hold and maybe negotiate a new package, and what if we lost a whole bunch of channels that I might conceivably watch at some point in the next three months and seriously, what's wrong with me?
(Oh, and politics and art and shit. Sure, that stuff is great.)
This week: Buying a dress!
Leave work early to pick up your sister, but not so early that you avoid sitting in traffic in the heat for thirty minutes. Arrive at your sister's feeling decidedly sticky and shiny. Go to a boutique that has nice stuff and a helpful salesperson but doesn't carry anything remotely like what you're looking for. Take the salesperson's advice and start driving to the other places she recommends. Realize they are all either closed or about to be, and how the hell did it get to be 5:45 already? Drive another half a block before deciding to say fuck it and go get a snack. Drink a bunch of basil mojitos and eat three plates of half-price appetizers. Drive to Crate and Barrel to sit on the respective couches the two of you have been coveting. Buy a six-pack of Fireman's No. 4 and repair to your sister's house to watch Flight of the Conchords on her giantic new TV.
So that is how you go shopping for a wedding dress if you are my sister and me. I mean, you want to look like a pretty princess on your big day, right?
The boy and I threw some towels and sandwiches in the car and drove out to Pedernales Falls State Park this afternoon.
Here was my view for a good part of the afternoon:
Dragonflies must have pretty nice lives. All I ever see them do is fly around, alight on sunny rocks, and fuck. A lot.
I just made my approximation of the black beans and rice they used to serve at Quack's on Guadalupe. This was one of Roo's favorite things in his vegetarian days. I suspect it was a lot of people's. I was partial to the teriyaki tofu bowl at Banzai, but the beans and rice is a lot easier to replicate.
It's just black beans cooked with onions, garlic, cumin, and chili powder and (duh) rice. Then I add diced tomatoes and avocados, shredded cheese, and sour cream and mix it up until it all sticks together. (If you ever wondered why some vegetarians are fat, the answer is almost certainly cheese.) It's incredibly filling. Too filling, actually. I sort of feel like I just swallowed a cinderblock. But tasty! And cheap. Dinner tonight and lunch tomorrow probably cost me a little more than two dollars.
That's what passes for excitement around my house tonight, unless you'd rather hear about the incredibly prolific abscess on Stinky's ear. No? What's the matter with you?
I did manage to dress and feed myself and show up for work, though. That has to count for something.
Nothing of anecdotal interest. I drank with friends, went to a cocktail party and drank with more friends, did some minor stuff around the house, and admired Wain's new bike.
Also, we have settled on a place to get married, which means I no longer have strangers bugging me about my colors.* I'm very excited about both developments.
To make up for the lack of entertainment in my recital of this weekend's activities, here is a very dumb joke:
Did you hear about the rabbi who performed circumcisions for free? He just did it for tips.
*Beige and safety orange, duh.
My dad and stepmom came into town yesterday, and we toured six potential wedding spots in 24 hours. We saw some nice places, drove through some pretty country, and had fun hanging out and looking around.
Still, all the talk of floating votive candles, chair bows, and Party Machine DJ Packages was making my brain seep out of my pores. It turns out these things literally boggle my mind. I was absolutely useless during the whole procedure, and I still feel a little stupid.
Fortunately, while I was trying to blink out the glazed look in my eyes, my stepmom was busily taking notes in her planner and playing hardball. She's so freakishly organized that she was mistaken for my wedding coordinator. Good thing, too, because if it were up to me I would have just said fuck it and rented Gattiland for an afternoon, if only to not have to hear the word "tulle" ever again.
Things that managed to filter in through my permafog:
Everyone wants to know what your color is. If you say you don't know, they will throw you this quick look, like they're wondering why you're bothering to get married at all if you don't even know what your color is yet. God. For some reason, nobody asked Eric things like that. He got wander off to check out the view from the back porch or at least stare off into space, blissful and untroubled by things like whether the napkins should match the accent flowers in the bouquet.
Most wedding venue salespeople visibly lack a sense of humor. Don't you
know that getting married is serious business, young lady?
Tours seem to spend an inordinate amount of time on the bride's dressing room. Cherub sculptures are popular, as are lace curtains and rose-and-seafoam-green throws draped casually everywhere. Most of them are very pretty, and most of them look like the bedroom I was denied when I was seven.
Grooms get much less consideration, but they do at least get something like a nautical or a lone-star theme and maybe some leather chairs. It's all very manly, almost comically so: You are a MAN! Now grind out your cigar, get out there, and marry the shit out of that bitch! RRRRRAAAAAAARRRRRR!
Finally, the idea of incorporating live cobras into your centerpieces is never not funny. I see them loosely draped in tulle, with champagne-and-blue satin bows securing sprigs of baby's breath to their furious little tails. It'll be adorable.
Eric and I took my dad to this dusty, rundown convenience store just south of the airport so I could buy some of their excellent beef jerky.
It's a stereotypical rural general store, the kind of place you'd expect to find a sleepy hound out front halfheartedly biting at fleas, or a litter of scrawny kittens under the porch. Maybe even a goat or two. But not this:
It was molting, so at least it sort of fit in with its surroundings:
I just finished another piece of their beef* jerky. It's really tasty. If you're near the airport with time to kill, I highly recommend Michalk's Grocery on FM 973 in Del Valle. They have chickens there, too.
*At least I hope it is.
I don't know if I've got a lot on my mind or am suffering from a vitamin deficiency or what, but I have been even more doofusy than usual lately.
In the past 26 hours, I:
Tonight I treated myself to a few hours of British self-help reality shows. It turns out the British have a capacity for bitchiness and humiliation that makes our reality shows look like the Teletubbies:
"Look at this kitchen. You're a filthy, disgusting pig, do you know that? Well! Go on and smirk, then. You know it's true." (From the show where the two women take turns acting like venomous harpies and jolly mother figures as they alternately try to encourage and shame people into cleaning their totally disgusting houses or flats or whatever the hell they live in over there.)
"We had a look at your poo sample, and I'm sorry to say your poo looks like a big pile of vomit. You don't chew your food very well at all, do you?" (Not verbatim, but damn close. From the diet show where they lay out all the food you eat in a week on one giant table and go on and on about what all that sugar does to your bowels.)
It's all awesomely uncomfortable. I don't remember what these shows are called, but if you have BBC America you should definitely watch them.
the first in a series of one.
I did a lot this weekend, but the only really tangible thing that came out of it was this magnetic spice rack.
I ripped the instructions off from this three-year-old Washington Post article, and they worked like a charm. Except I got tired of pretending I was really going to call around to find an inexpensive and appropriately sized piece of sheet metal that I would then bore holes into. I just bought a metal bulletin board thingy from the Container Store, which more than doubled the price of the project.
Also at first I bought a pack of cheesy, cheap magnets at the craft store. They are not quite strong enough, so if you reach for something, then all the tins around it take the opportunity to jump to freedom. (Run, allspice, run! Oh, that's right, you can't. Sucker.) Eventually I'll have to peel off all the insipid crap-o Michael's magnets and replace them with the expensive super magnets I just ordered. That also made the whole project considerably less cheap and easy.
Still, even with the corner-cutting and backtracking, it was still a lot cheaper and funner than buying a bunch of these. It's refreshing to not have a sticky tangle of those bulk-spice plastic bags wadded up in the cabinet, and I have to say, it looks pretty damn nice on the wall.
I'm wearing white shoes after Labor Day. That's 'cause no one can tell me what to do! Woohoo! I'm so crazy!
I'm really bored right now. I wish my friends would show up soon.
Eric aka Eric aka Mr. E. made some paintings of many friendly friends. I love...yeah, yeah, shut up.
Sadly, Stinky there hasn't done anything artistic lately. Stinky, we're all very disappointed in you.
I have been in a good mood all day. To celebrate this good mood, I attempted a high kick on the back patio tonight and came away with a scraped foot for my trouble. Decidedly not the superwinner moment I had intended. This did not temper my good mood much, but now I feel like a big dork. Which is about how things should be.
I posted more pictures on flickr. They are not particularly notable, but they are there. I need to take more pictures and make prints and see friends and shit like that to distract from the work-house rut I seem to have fallen into. Also, the wedding planning is starting to gel. More about that later. I keep saying that. I feel incredibly busy even though I suspect I'm not, really. I tell you, life is hard on the lazy people.
The big bar mitzvah weekend is over. Good food, nice people, and a margarita machine, plus nice swimming and relaxing at my dad's house in between events. Not a bad way to spend a weekend.
I thought the services were pretty interesting this time. I grew up Catholic, and synagogue is a lot different than mass. The bad part is that it's three hours. The good part is that you can talk quietly and get up and wander around a little if you're so inclined. It felt strange to talk and laugh. When I was growing up it was implied that if you talked in church, the priest would kill you...WITH HIS MIND, and you would then fry in hell for all eternity or the time it takes to complete a Shabbat service, whichever runs longer. Ba-da-dum!
The Hebrew makes it hard to follow, although an English translation is provided. This time the reading was mostly a string of luridly horrific curses from Deuteronomy, each more brutal than the last: Endless drought, plagues of incurable hemorrhoids and boils, women eating their babies and afterbirth.
I usually zone out during religious services, but I followed along avidly on Saturday. The descriptions were so over the top, plus I thought it would come in handy if I ever need to call down a rain of locusts or inflict a full-body sore on some jerk.
The curses were so violent and awful that they have the most upstanding person they can find read them very softly and as quickly as possible to mitigate their impact. I wondered what my little cousin made of the whole thing as he studied the passage in bar mitzvah class. Hemorrhoids, boils, anguish, misery. Welcome to spiritual adulthood, kid!