Let me tell you a story.
Once upon a time, a boy and girl fell in love. They spent so much time at each other’s respective apartments, that their respective roommates were like, “OMG why don’t you just move in together?” And the two love birds were like, “OMG, you’re right!”
And so they did. They found a reasonably cute, reasonably sized, two-bedroom apartment close to the downtown area and combined the contents of their two households. But there was one small problem. The boy half of this couple had boxes and boxes of things, boxes which hadn’t been opened since he haphazardly packed them when he moved out of his parents’ house. There they stood, a fortress of sealed boxes, their exact contents unknown. Now, rather than go through these mystery boxes and sort out the treasure from the rubbish, the boy put the boxes into a moving van, where they were dropped off into the spare room the boy and girl had decided, as they mapped out their life together there, would be an office and exercise room.
There they sat, the lonely boxes. They sat through a summer, a winter, a marriage proposal, a wedding, and two anniversaries of said wedding. In those three years, maybe a third of the boxes had been dealt with, if the girl was to be generous. However, the boy appeared to have placed an enchantment upon the boxes and the room, wherein he would unpack one box and sort its contents, yet the room would appear no less cluttered than before! While the imagined purposes of the room were technically achievable—there was indeed an elliptical trainer and a desk in there— the room was so cluttered with the boy’s belongings that it has really become the Enchanted Man Cave, where the boy would go to do boy things like play video games and (probably) look at porn on the internet (the girl does not pry much into the intimate affairs of the boy when he is in the Enchanted Man Cave).
All seemed lost, and the girl had become resigned to fate, her hopes of a spare room for their mutual enjoyment dashed, until one day, like a beacon, her fairy godsister came upon her and granted her a magical opportunity. “I am looking for a place to stay for the summer,” the fairy godsister declared, and she offered a handsome sum to the boy and girl in exchange for lodging in the Enchanted Man Cave.
“Oh, fairy godsister, this sounds too good to be true,” quoth the girl, “but I’m afraid the enchantment the boy has placed over the Man Cave has rendered it forever a Man Cave. Alas and alack!” However, after productive conversation with the boy as to the benefits the godsister’s handsome sum would bring to their household, the girl convinced the boy to lift the enchantment.
The boy and girl are not out of the woods, yet. The spell for lifting the enchantment will require both their efforts and take several days of labor. Even so, they are (okay, she is) determined to lift the spell over the Man Cave, in order to transform it into livable quarters for the girl’s fairy godsister. After two months’ time, foregoing any other enchanted boxes, the room may be repurposed, hopefully into a habitable workspace for both the boy and girl to live happily ever after.
Please wish the girl godspeed.
A few months ago, there was this hilarious episode of How I Met Your Mother where Ted makes a list of things he’s too old for called “The Murtaugh List.” The Murtaugh List is named for Danny Glover’s character in Lethal Weapon. Allow me to illustrate:
While 28 is not particularly old, it can often feel pretty ancient when so many of your friends from school are between six and eight years your junior. I didn’t really think there was much of a difference between 22 and 28 until I started running with a gang of 21-22 year olds. Now, with more regularity than I care to admit, I find myself muttering, like Murtaugh, “I’m too old for this shit.”
Because I am a goody two-shoes, this has mostly been made evident this year when I have tried to pull the ol’ all-nighter (which, incidentally, is on Ted’s Murtaugh List as well). Without fail, somewhere around 4 am, I feel like crying, and the next day I’m completely useless. Long gone are the days I could at least pretend to be semi-conscious after an all-nighter. Now I’m lucky if I can make it to the other side of 2 am.
Now that it’s summer, I am learning new things to put on my Murtaugh list. This weekend I went out twice in a row dancing and boozing. It is now Monday and I still feel like a 90-year-old woman with osteoporosis. Yesterday was worse — my feet felt like they would snap off at the ankles if I stood up. What the fuck, I ask you? I’m under 30. Isn’t this what we under 30s are made for?
I am also apparently too old to be unemployed and really enjoy doing nothing all day. I mean, the downtime has been nice and all, but I’m already kind of bored. Thankfully, I’ve made it pretty certain I can keep busy. For one, I have the blogging here and at MamaPop. I’ll also be studying for the GRE starting next week, as I mentioned yesterday, and I might also attempt the LSAT because I’m a freak and I kind of love standardized tests (probably because I’m good at them). Also mentioned yesterday, I will also be participating in Infinite Summer, which is a big internet book club wherein participants read Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace from June 21st to August 21st. I’ve read it three times, and I know it shouldn’t actually take me three months to read, but I may go ahead and stick to the 75 pages a week with the others and devote the rest of my reading time to other books in my queue.
So what else is on my Murtaugh List? Well, I’ll tell you:
– eating whatever I want without getting heartburn
– rock shows where the bands don’t start until 10 pm
– Jager Bombs
So what’s on your Murtaugh List?
Hey baby. I’m back.
Look, I know what you’re gonna say. “Where have you been? You just up and left us without even a note and then you just come back here with your, ‘hey baby’? Hey, fuck your hey baby! And fuck you!” That was what you were gonna say, right? See, I knew it, because you know what? You’re right.
I don’t deserve for you to take me back, my sweet internet. But please believe me when I tell you this:
This time it will be different. I mean it. Look, I know I’ve said that before, but things have changed. I’ve changed.
See, I was going through some stuff this year. I didn’t make time for you like I said I would, but now the school year is over, and I finished my job, and I’m making the time to make you feel special. All summer it’s gonna be just you and me. Well, I mean, mostly. I also have a bunch of books I plan to read, and I’m doing Infinite Summer and studying for the GRE and maybe the LSAT too. I know that sounds like I’m taking on too much again, baby, but I’ve learned a lot about time management this year.
I swear, internet, I’m gonna make our relationship a priority. I’ll write here every weekday. I’m gonna tell you every day that I love you, because I do, baby, I swear—more than anything.
So, baby, please take me back. I’m nothing without you.
I don’t blog much about work. A lot of what’s bloggable at work is also confidential, and I also know that this blog is very easily found by students and faculty members, and I’d just rather not go there, you know?
But I don’t think anyone could blame me for complaining about working in the giant bureacracy that is a public, post-secondary institution of learning. How anything gets done is beyond me, since about 40 hands have to touch an event before it actually takes place. Often, somewhere along the way, as the ball is bounced from desk to desk, it gets dropped, misplaced, or just plain forgotten.
Today I tried to track down the status on a lodge reservation I made last year, only to find it had been misplaced and that the lodge is now closed that weekend for maintenance. Had I not gone to check on that, we may never have known we do not have a place for our end-of-year camping retreat. I wish I’d found out sooner, since it will now be impossible to find a campground that is available Memorial Day weekend. That’s kinda why I reserved it a year ago.
I then tried to reserve a facility for a concert, and the only day it was available was also Memorial Day weekend. Since the camping trip is a no-go, I put in a reservation for that, and was told I couldn’t, because the whole university shuts down for that weekend. I guess that explains why that space was available. Now I have an event I’d love to do, but have nowhere to put it.
A whole bunch of other unfortunate events happened today, but the end result was that I went in on my day off and accomplished absolutely nothing to realize my upcoming projects, except to grow even more discouraged than I was before I went in to “take care of business.”
Let this be a lesson to me. Never ever go in on your day off, self. Best to sit on the couch and do nothing than go to your windowless office to work yourself into a tizzy while accomplishing absolutely zilch.
I am trying really hard not to let this put me into a weekend-long bad mood. Tomorrow night, gay icon and sex columnist Dan Savage will be speaking at our campus, and I have to introduce him, so I suppose rather than whining about getting nothing done, I should write my introduction for said icon so that I don’t also make a fool of myself onstage tomorrow.
So I’ve been on break from school and work for a week, so you would think during this time I would have little excuse but to update. It’s amazing how easily I find things to do other than write.
The problem isn’t a lack of things to write about. I have dozens of posts stored up in my head, about the drag show I put on, or the classes I took, the paper on Sex and the City and whiteness, which I wrote for one of said classes, or even an ode to coffee, my perfect drug. I wrote none of these posts, and will now try to devote the last four days before school to addressing each one. (And then probably go silent again for another twelve weeks, naturally, because, really, who am I kidding?)
So first! The drag show! Oh my lord, the drag show. It ate my life up for most of the quarter. I had to run auditions, deal with publicity snafus, make sure the organizers of my raffle did their thing and my volunteer coordinators did theirs, and then there was the fun week where I thought I had no sound engineer. That was a fun week. Lots of sleep lost.
Then, finally, rehearsals came and some of the acts were uh…not very good. Very very sloppy indeed. However, control freak that I am, we whipped those acts into shape until they were good, stage-worthy acts, and then we had the show. But first we had THE SNOW.
Now, this was not a lot of snow, mind you, but here it doesn’t take much snow to be a Major Weather Event that keeps people in their houses and away from charity shows. It didn’t help that our publicity materials were three weeks late. And apparently we’re suffering some sort of economic crisis? I dunno, it was on the news. So, sadly, attendance wasn’t quite where I wanted it to be, but we still managed to raise a couple thousand for some very deserving charities.
And those who didn’t attend missed one helluva show. If you don’t believe me, just look at the photographic evidence:
Truly, all of my queens and kings were a site to behold. A few of them have been invited to do their performances elsewhere after the show. I helped my boss do his makeup for one last weekend, and his act was by far one of the best in the show. Despite all the hard work, missed sleep and occasional nervous breakdown, the drag show was, thus far, the most rewarding two months of hell I’ve been endured in a long time.
Hi internet. I’m back from “sunny” Las Vegas. I didn’t actually see this alleged sun very much while I was there, but I’ve heard tons of assurances that the rain we had ALL WEEKEND was some sort of freak occurrence. Suuuuure, Las Vegas. If it never rains there, how do you explain the giant lake in front of Bellagio? How do you explain the canals inside The Venetian? Likely story, Vegas.
The purpose of my trip was to meet some of the fine writers I have the pleasure of counting myself among at MamaPop. I thought I would get into a long, detailed chronicle of the weekend, but it honestly wouldn’t translate, so I will share some reflections.
At some point, while waiting for brunch at Black Hockey Jesus‘s lovely home, I had this bittersweet little pang. Because, you see, most of these people were just pictures and text to me until Friday night, but here they all turned out to be REAL people made of flesh and blood and bone, and here we were together in the same room. It was the realization of how wonderful and, yet, how unfair the Internet can be. The relationships I’ve made with these writers online showed me how many wonderful, bright, funny people exist — not just those precious few whom I see on a near-daily basis, but all over the place — and that I may interact with them from thousands of miles away. At the same time, that textual contact cannot begin to compare to sitting down to a meal, or laughing in unison at the same joke or staring incredulously at the same ridiculous cover band. When I giggled with Miss Banshee or chatted with Goon Squad Sarah, or talked about books with Schmutzie and Palinode, I called them by their “real” names, I heard their laughs, I saw their wry expressions. I learned little things I never thought about when they were just words on a screen, like that PetCobra orders his martinis with three olives just like I do, or that Sarah truly does have an amazing recollection for 80s one-hit-wonder bands, like Quarterflash.
I guess I just mean that I felt like I was with “my people” this weekend, and now they’re back where they came from. I’m very wistful. On Friday night, I stumbled into a bar with a cheesy cover band on stage and a table of strangers in the back, each with a slightly familiar face. Yet, when I sat down, I found I knew them all along, even though their voices were unfamiliar and their names seemed foreign as I uttered them in place of their online aliases. Having all these people in one room was very much like the convergence of miniature versions of the world’s great great cities on Las Vegas Boulevard: surreal.
Then, just two days later, a great wind blew us all to our separate places on the continent. Here they are again, in text boxes and still images, same as I found them. Only now it kinda bums me out that I can’t see Sarah’s “really?” face and kdiddy‘s hairy eyeball or hear Sweetney‘s delightful laugh. And oh GOD, the fact that I can’t watch TV in bed with Miss Banshee is torture — making fun of Top Chef over IM will never compare.
In the words of kdiddy yesterday on Twitter: “I don’t see why I can’t have all my favorite people in one place in one time. it’s 2009.”
The internet is great. It’s become a place for me to write, to create, network, and meet wonderful people. But today, I am profoundly aware that, in the case of friendship and community, the digital world will never be an adequate substitute for the analog.
So on the Facebooks, Sweetney tagged me in one of those things where you have to say a bunch of random things about yourself and then tell a bunch of people to do it back. Since I am in a very fragile condition right now, wherein I will do anything if it means putting off homework, I of course immediately drummed out a reciprocating list. Then she posted hers in her blog and I realized: Hey, this counts as a blog post?! OMG, SCORE!
Because, seriously, I have no additional brain cells to devote to actually thinking about things to write about.
So anyway, here are some things about me. I’ve said some of them before, but those that are repeats are reiterated because they bear repeating, like my hatred of the putrid Gourd of Hades most people refer to as “cucumbers”.
You should tell me things about you now, so that we can be closer to each other. But not too close, please. I like my personal space, even on the internet, so please don’t tell me (too much) about your sex life or where you stick your boogers when you pick your nose. Please read extra emphasis into that plea if you happen to be someone I hang out with in real life. There’s something to be said for leaving a little mystery in your relationships, dig?