Thursday, March 30, 2006

real quick

I am in Southern Indiana. . . for the fam. . . am defintiely collecting stories.

In the meantime, quick observation from American Apparel -- I was in there with my sister yesterday, staring slack-jawed at the walls papered with psuedo-porn, when I realized that all the hipster cotton jockeys were dancing around to the song "Don't Stop Thinkin' About Tomorrow. . . "

I was staring directly at a terrycloth shorts/tubetop combo jumper when the lyrics "YESTERDAY'S GONE/YESTERDAY'S GONE!" were blaring in my ears.

IS yesterday gone, American Apparel? If yesterday's gone, why do you keep bringing back the most heinous aspects of it?

That's all.

UPDATE: Ohmigod, y'all, what's worse than that atrocity on a hanger?

That atrocity on a bed.
Now, THAT is all.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Someone call Magnum P.I.

Dear Tivo:

I wish you could talk.

I would even learn the rudiments of a foriegn language for you, say, if you didn't speak English.

We'd have so many fascinating conversations. I would love to hear your take on things. Sometimes I think I know what you're thinking -- like, "Why did you put 'Friends' on your Season Pass Manager?'"

The answer there is, who knows? Maybe it was a fit of nostalgia for the late nineties. I wonder that every time a random episode shows up in my playlist.

But, I know I was the one who put it there.

Just like I had that whole Carey Grant fascination last year, which is why you are, even as I write this, recording Gunga Din. But enough Carey Grant.

So, I went to change the settings on my Wishlist, which is when I saw that someone, and, Tivo, I'm not saying this is you, but someone put "Spanking & movies" on my wishlist.

Tivo, I am pretty sure that wasn't me.

And, if you could talk, I'm sure you'd finger the culprit.

Then I could ask them, "Why didn't you auto record?"

Just think of all the spanking movies we've been missing out on.

Okay, TTYL, LYLAS, BFF and stuff!


Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Extremely Hott and Incredibly Asleep

This New York Post article is awesome. Or, at least, the first couple of paragraphs are.

March 28, 2006 -- LATELY, I've been having this recurring dream where I'm alternately beating up and making out with Jonathan Safran Foer. In the dream, we are standing in a small, sunlit room. "You know, I really think your writing style is precocious," I'll say, and push him around a bit. Next, we start kissing. Then I take him to task on his narrative flow and excessive use of adjectives, while he holds my hand and tells me I'm pretty.

This probably could have been written by Susan and me. As she likes to say, if she met JSF, she would "scream like a Japanese girl at a Michael Jackson concert."

(via Gawker)

BRAIN SHIVERS! Never Coming Soon To a Venue Near You

So, due to some ugly brain chemistry situations, I have been on an antidepressant, Effexor XR, for a few years now. When I first started taking the drug, I was so completely depressed, distressed, and tearstained that I didn't do any sort of research, rather, I clung to the prescription slip from my doctor like a liferaft and waited for something to please, please, help me.

And it did help me. A lot. I'm more or less a normal human being these days.

Unless, as I have been known to do upon occasion, I neglect to take my meds.

The alarming thing about the drug that I am on, the thing that might have freaked me out to no end if I had done some googling prior to popping the pills, is that it has hellish withdrawal symptoms. The symptoms begin within hours of a missed dose. So, for example, if I miss a dose in the morning, by 3 PM I am starting to feel a weird dizziness, by 7PM I am nauseous, and, on the rare occasion that I go to bed without having swallowed a capsule, I sleep very hard and dream Technicolor fever dreams.

So, I try not to miss a dose. In fact, I try very hard to make sure I'm never without -- I have pills stashed all over the place. Somehow, though, this month, I waited until the last minute to refill my meds -- I took every pill in the house, then I called Walgreen's on Sunday and didn't get there in time to pick up my refill. Which meant a forced full 48 hours between doses.

This has happened before, when I've been traveling, for example, and have forgotten to grab my pill bottle off the kitchen counter. What happens is that I become a Raving Lunatic.

I walk down the street with a full understanding of why homeless people twitch and scream at phantom enemies and pull their hair out. Because that's what it is like inside my head.

Yesterday, waiting for the pharmacy to (please please) open at 9AM, I did some Internet research, and found a brilliant explanation of That Thing That Happens In My Brain -- it's incredibly, called BRAIN SHIVERS! Man, I wish I could play an instrument, because that would so be my band name. I very happily stumbled upon this explanation, which beautifully articulates the whole thing. "The Electric Brain Thing!" Yes! That is both absolutely accurate AND a great album name! Sort of retro seventies, how very.

It's bizarre and torturous, and because I'm me, I also think it's weirdly hilarious.

I wrote this email to Sarah yesterday, as she is my clinical consultant AND BFF so, like, she can think it's funny but also let me know if I need professional help. I mean, beyond what I'm already getting. You know. Oh, and, technically, she also prescribes me my meds, so, it's good to let her know what's up.

-----Original Message-----
From: RJ
Sent: Monday, March 27, 2006 11:41 AM
To: Sarah
Subject: meds

I am tempted to write a post about how loopy and goofy I am today as I forgot to take my Crazy Pills yesterday and therefore am like a Drooling Lunatic in a normal person's body. Have done things today like:
- scared the eff out of the cat by walking into the kitchen for coffee, seeing her, and screaming, "TIME TO MAKE THE DONUTS!" then laughing maniacally while she runs away.
- Realized I was twitching on the train platform as this old lady stared at me.
- Using Random CAPS

On 3/27/06, Sarah wrote:
What do you mean you were "twitching"??

On 3/27/06, RJ wrote:
Well, I had a cramp in my leg that I was trying to stretch and I was making faces like, "I'm annoyed at this cramp and in pain" and was maybe mouthing words to myself like, "motherfucker" and such. Basically raving like a lunatic.

On 3/27/06, Sarah wrote:

Ok, that's different. I wanted to rule out true neurological symptoms.
Now take your meds!!

PHEW! Neurological symptoms RULED OUT!

Monday, March 27, 2006

The head that knew too much

Dear Diary:

Heather told me she teaches people "real life." She said, real life sucks losers dry. You want to fuck with the eagles, you have to learn to fly. I said, so, you teach people how to spread their wings and fly? She said, yes. I said, you're beautiful.

- Heathers is on Showtime right now. Though I don't think I've seen it in years, I just realized that I still know most of the dialog. A small sampling:

Heather: I brought you to a Remington party and what's my thanks? It's on a hallway carpet. I got paid in puke.
Veronica: Lick it up, baby. Lick. It. Up.

This is taking up space in my brain right now. I can't remember all the state capitols or even all of my multiplication tables, but I remember that Heather Chandler is the Red Heather, Heather McNamara is the Yellow Heather, and Heather Duke is Brenda from 90210 -- and I remember Christian Slater is feeling superior because, "Seven schools in seven states and the only thing different is my locker combination. . . our love is God. . . let's go get a slushy." It's unnerving. And somewhat disappointing -- like, why couldn't my 15-year-old self have focused all that energy to memorizing something more useful than icklugha bullets??

I would also give my 15-year-old self some other tips, like, dude, lay off the bangs. And the black eyeliner. That shit's wack.


As a priviledged white girl who has it pretty good, good enough to afford therapy twice a week, I often feel really guilty about feeling bad. I just read this post that articulated it quite well, I think:

Because unless you've been raped, homeless, molested, or abused (and it better have been recently) -- or starved, tortured, swept up in a flood, made the victim of ethnic cleansing, forced to work in a sweatshop at the age of eight, had your hands chopped off in a diamond mine, seen atrocities beyond description, etc. -- you'd better be fucking happy all the goddamn time, or you are the WORST KIND OF ASSHOLE IN THE WORLD.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Your Karate Tricks Won't Save You This Time!

First off, will someone please make this for me? I would love so much to have a cryogenic chamber mouse. So delightfully creepy. Someone out there, someone who is crafty and good at making things? I am abysmal at making thing -- sewing, carpentry, name a craft and I will be piss poor at it. I can't even paint a bathroom. But, I can take your picture or write a story about you or bake you some sweet motherfucking cupcakes. So, consider it, please.

Last night, we went to see V for Vendetta -- in IMAX, which geeks me out to no end. I love gigantic movies with gigantic sound. The drawback, in this case, is that we have to venture down to Navy Pier for the IMAX experience. Navy Pier on a Saturday night can be an upsetting experience. So many tourists and children and flashing lights and endless kiosks filled with puzzling, inexpensive merchandise! Strangely-themed stores (Chicago Heroes Store -- for Police and Fire Department gear! Russian Doll Store! Christian T-Shirt store -- including this tshirt!) The experience of getting into the theater itself made us all a bit edgy and anxious.

The film was a delight, although we kept laughing at inappropriate places, and we were completely slap-happy giggly after.

The best moment was as we were exiting the theater, when a flat-voiced announcer came on and encouraged us to exit via the designated exits.

Someone behind me yelled, "NO! WE'RE GONNA STAY HERE AND FIGHT!"

Navy Pier was alllll riled up. It's just that kind of film.

Then we went to an old, familiar haunt and consumed many beers, and persued the following topics of conversation:

- Various deformed and mentally challenged and otherwise handicapped types we went to high school with. Apparently, though Susanne's high school had only 57 students, she had an unsually high number of odditities, including a very small hydrocephelatic woman who kept stats for the girls' basketball team, a hairlipped girl named Ruth who, unfortunately, was unable to pronounce her own name, and a mentally retarded night janitor named Jimmy.

Me: How did you know the night janitor?
Susanne: Oooooh. I knew EVERYONE.


Ellen told us about a friend in high school who had a deaf, socially-challenged admirer. Once, she was fighting with her boyfriend in the hallway, when he called her a "Stupid Bitch."

In a romantic, gallant moment of pure chivalry, he admirer came running up, apparently having read the profanities on the boyfriend's lips.




- Fern Gully. The term "Fern Gully" as an unfortunate euphemism for women's parts. We went into great detail about how "Fern Gully" was appropriate -- including metaphors about machetes, adventures, and moist, musky things. Perhaps not best to reproduce in detail, although I invite you to explore the possibilities yourself. I would like to see it come into more common usage.

- I also took a picture, on my cell phone, of the framed Minnie Mouse poster above the toilet in the women's restroom. That's a sign of a good effing bar.

I wanted to post that picture here, but I can't get it to show up on my Flickr account.

You can't have everything, I suppose.

Finally, Ellen and Katie and I hit Santullo's for a late-night slice and met a curly-haired, flamboyant gay man named Brian who, apparently, is a performer in a one-man play about having a single testicle, called "Balls." He performs the play for audiences at hospitals and medical centers.

Then I went home and passed the eff out. Good times.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

So, so, so GIRLY

I just watched this entire movie. The whole thing. Showtime made me do it. Let me explain. I had Mean Girls on for background noise while I cleaned my kitchen. Also, because Mean Girls is an important film. Each time I view Mean Girls, I get something new out of Lindsay Lohan's nuanced performance. But Showtime went and put a late nineties Sarah Jessica Parker film about quirky late twenty somethings on as a follow.

Watching this film was a little like eating an entire package of old fig newtons because that's the only sweet thing you have in the house. It's a little nostalgic, somewhat enjoyable through the beginning but only finished through some sort of compulsion that, in the end, leaves you feeling a bit ill.

I can't believe I consumed the whole thing.

How incredibly indulgent of me.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Prodigal Robot

Dear God:

If I ever have a kid, make it this kid.

Okay, well, not really THIS kid, exactly, but. . . listen. I would so much rather have a punk rock robot prodigy kid than any other kind of prodigy kid. Or prodigal kid. I mean, I want a, like, cute smart healthy happy kid.

But I REALLY want him or her to make some kick ass rock and roll about robots.


Rattling About

You know how, sometimes, it feels a bit like there are pebbles rattling about in your head instead of brains? (mmm, brains?)

I feel that way today. Like I make rattling noises when I walk, like everyone is glancing over, like, 'is that a person? or a giant walking Maraca?'

Anyhow, I'm sad because I lost a very important document.

It is a list I made while drinking bloody marys with Ellen and Susan. I made it on a paper placemat at Silver Cloud in the few days after I lost my last job. I've been carrying it about with me and adding to it periodically.

It was my List Of Things To be Happy About. It included (from memory) some of the following things:
Tater Tots
Snazzy Bloody Marys
Susantha Malatestes
Melrose Bitches
Blogs, blogging, blogosphere, bloggity blog blog blog
Other People's Babies
Singing loud to music in the car
being funny
This American Life
Ira Glass
Thunder Storms
Drinking outside
riding my bike
going to the beach
Beyonce Barbie Dolls
Lindsay Lohan Party Limo
Eating Brunch
Smelling grass
Suddenly thinking something normal is actually hilariously funny
my digital camera
Waking up to sunshine
finding money in the dryer
tax returns
people with English or Southern accents
really awesome random paintings from garage sales

And on. . . and on. . .

And it may seem silly, but it actually is something that made me feel better. And I lost it. And I want to recreate it, because, it's pretty funny to read "disco balls shaped like cowboy boots" and remember that there are so many marvelous things to be happy about.

OMG! Where's Andre?

Right here! With Tim Gunn at the Red Lobster!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Making me Pee My Panties.

Okay, this was posted in the comments a few posts down by Barney Boy, but it deserves everyone's attention, so, I'm reposting.

Anyway, I'm writing to you while bare-chested again. It just feels more honest.

I read these aloud to Susan and Ellen and we almost hyperventilated.

I hope you will enjoy.

(By the way, the title of this post reminds me of an old job, where I did PR for a company that made maxi pads. I once had to write a memo to my client about how women really hate the term "panties.")

Dear Jennifer Aniston:

You can buy a sweet motherfucking pad in Chicago with $23 million. Just don't start hanging out at my bars and get everybody all riled up with your celebrity-ness.

Horrific Reality Today

I'm so freaked out about women's rights, people -- when I read about out and out attacks on women's healthcare and reproductive rights -- and then there's this:

And then there's just the phrase "sodomized as bad as you can possibly make it." I want to scrub my eyeballs with bleach in the hopes that I can erase the memory of having read those words coming from the mouth of an elected official.

All I have to say is, SWEET JESUS, this neocon crap has got to end.

I'm Really Trying, Here

So, I've been struggling a bit with figuring out how to present this week's flip DeeP exchanges. Yes, therapy has its moments of high comedy, but you also have the serious aspects of delving about in the muck between your ears. When you're plunging headfirst into Dealing With Things, specifically, The Shit You Do Not Want To Deal With, it can be less fun and more excruciating.

So, you have to work, and you have to do it, and by you, I mean me -- I have to do this. I have to get in there and fix the shit that's holding me back and making me depressed and then I'll be fine. Or closer to fine. (But not in the Indigo Girls sense, I don't think.) In the meantime, I spend time on the couch crawling out of my skin and fighting the urge to get up and run away. I also cry a lot.

A lot of the funny exchanges stem from the fact that a big way that I avoid the more uncomfortable bits is by throwing out little glib barbs and being generally joke-y. And lately, as we roll up our sleeves and get serious, I've been less barb-ing.

DeeP apparently is tri-lingual. He speaks English, French, and some other language which he refuses to tell me about. I think he refuses to tell me out of some weird boundary issue, also because I think he's afraid I'll make fun of him. He's correct, of course.

It has become an ongoing thing, a nice deflection point, that every week or so I ask him again, "now, what is that other language you speak? Is it Finnish?" And he just half-smiles and refuses to tell me.

Last week he informed me, with the air of some kind of psychic who was sensing the chilling presense of a dead loved one in the room, "I think I'm getting closer to telling you what language I speak."

I just stared at him, mostly because he was acting so corny.

He said, "It is an indication that I'm feeling less threatened by you, I think, which is good. You're letting down some of your defenses."

I said, "Therapy is so ludicrously meta."

He said, "Sister, you have no idea."

So, this week, as I was melting into a jiggly pile of weeping emotional jell-o on his leather porn couch, he said, "You know, I'm so amazed at how you've really taken down your defenses with me in the last couple of weeks!"

I hiccupped through my tears, wiped some snot from my nose, and said, "It's because I want you to tell me what language you speak."

He still didn't tell me.


Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Quick Follow Up

To yesterday's post on animal-human hybrids.

Apparently, their sole pleasure is beer.

It's hard out there for a human-animal hybrid.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Sofas and Sensibility

A friend once told me that Craigslist is the full of black leather couches that women make their boyfriends sell -- a true sign of getting serious. Oh, but, as this blog shows us, there's so much more. . .

Sunday Night Dinner -- Dog for Dessert?

Paws McGee
Originally uploaded by Rebecca June.
Holy cow. Is there nothing more likely to induce a roomful of full-grown adults to babble in high-pitched baby voices all night than a sweet, freaking cute puppy with huge paws and soft ears? I mean, one that isn't an actual human baby. And with actual human babies, you can't get all blitzed on wine and chase them around the living room while they nip at your pants legs, now, can you?

Dog Sandwich
Originally uploaded by Rebecca June.

Best conversation hinged on dog:
Me: Jason! Now you're not the youngest one anymore!
Mark: Or the blackest.

You can drown in puppy goodness here.

Rock the Vote, Y'all!

My lovely friend Maria has passed on a link to the state of Missouri's latest proposed constitutional ammendment, which reads like a fabulous pulp sci-fi novel.

Unfortunately, the ammendment would ban "the genetic creation of a half-human slave race to serve humankind." Mothereffer -- I was seriously hoping I could get one of those little critters for some light housework.

Mimi Smartypants, full of smartypantsed hilarity

I want to gather a large group of obsessive neat-freaks, feed them a mild stimulant, and then let them loose in the Container Store with the directive: "Clean up this mess."

Sunday, March 19, 2006

it takes some restraint not to make some stupid brokeback reference here.

Wednesday was my dad's birthday. I called his cell phone and sang happy birthday into his voicemail. He didn't call me back until today.

Dad is sixtysomething -- early sixtysomething. I've talked before about his badassitude. I am everyone's favorite cocktail trivia friend, as my dad has a crazy job. He's an electrical engineer -- he has a company that makes radio and television towers. This company was founded by my grandfather.*

So, my dad, he climbs towers. Like, the tower on top of the Empire State Building or the one on top of the Hancock Building here in Chicago. He's been doing this my whole life. I don't think too much about the potential dangers, here -- probably for the same reason people don’t think about the potential dangers of splattering on the highway or getting electrocuted by your toaster. You’re not going to stop driving or toasting, so as long as you’re doing it safely, it’s best not to ponder the worst possible consequences.

Once, a few years ago, I was in NYC for business, and I got an email saying something about dad being in the New York Times. Huh. I went out and found the paper, where my dad's picture took up the entire top half of the metro section, in full color. I've since seen that picture in a lot of places, including in a random email forward. That's my dad in the second picture. With the big, bald, unprotected melon head. I suppose his story caught the imaginations of a lot of people -- he's since been featured there three times. He was also, among other places, featured on 20/20, NPR, Ripley's Believe it or Not (are you completely impressed?), some Discovery Channel special, and some weird game show on Lifetime. He was photographed for National Geographic -- the photograph of my father was the last photo in the magazine that included the twin towers in the background. His photo is in this book, and this one (where you can actually look inside the book and see his pic -- but because Amazon is lame I can't link to it).

So, right. Here's what happens if your dad is a big bad macho tower climbing maniac:
- people think you're cool at cocktail parties. (mentioned above)
- people think your dad is super cool. producers and photographers and writers and such call him.
-your dad starts thinking he is the total fucking bomb. You get some killer anecdotes, like this one:
Dad and I go see "The Ring" together. After the movie, dad provides this review:
Dad: You know, the press often accuses me of being an adrenaline addict. . . but that movie had more adrenaline than even I like!
Me: Was that out loud? Dad, shut up.
- your dad enters his fifties, his late fifties, his early sixties, and he's still climbing towers. You enter your twenties, your late twenties, your early thirties and start to think about your father as someone who will -- who is -- aging.

Imagine you're a man who has literally climbed to the top of his field. You're someone who is notorious for doing things that even freak out Barbara Walters. You regularly climb on the tower on top of the Empire State Building. That's what you live for.

Some people have to face telling their parents that they can no longer drive. I have to suggest to my father that he give up climbing towers on top of buildings. I once had this conversation with my father, a few years ago. He was 58.

Dad: It's the strangest thing. My knee keeps going out, falling out from under me.
Me: Dad. That scares me. What if that happens while you're climbing?
Dad: (completely logically) Oh, it doesn't happen then.
Me: Dad, have you thought that you might have to give up climbing at some point?
Dad: I figure I have at least ten more years.
Me: Dad, I don't think you're going to be able to climb until you're 70.
Dad: 68!
Me: Right.

My dad was gone -- working -- out of town -- more than he was around when I was growing up. He has been traveling and climbing and working nonstop my entire life. He thoroughly identifies himself with his job. He is that guy who climbs towers.

For years I have been quietly worrying about what is going to happen when he can't climb anymore. I have this fear that he'll have no coping mechanism in place when this happens -- that he won't know how to identify himself anymore -- that he won't be able to find reasons to live anymore.

He and my stepmom, Sally**, got a dog last year. This dog has transformed them, in a way. It is their child, their focus. I think this dog has been the catalyst for my dad to start to look at life differently, to transition from king kong to something else, something more earthbound.

A few weeks ago, Dad and Sally bought two horses. Buddy and Bandit. I had no idea, until he casually mentioned the horses, that he even had an interest in the equine arts. Apparently, Dad is now planning on retiring to a ranch, where he will rope cattle.

While I find this surprising, I am also pleased. This is the first time I've seen him even consider retirement. I think it's exciting that he's envisioning a life for himself beyond his current one.

However, I am still really amused at his approach.

Apparently, the reason he didn't call me back all week is because he was in Arizona, taking some sort of ranching class.

He called me this morning to tell me about it:

Me: Dad. Why didn't you call me back?
Dad: I was at a ranch in Arizona! I didn't have cell phone access!
Me: What were you doing?
Dad: I was learning ranch roping and riding technique.
Me: What is ranch roping?
Dad: Well, it's similar to team roping, but it's about caring for the individual cow. It’s the technique you use if you want to give shots to cattle or care for them on the prairie without hurting yourself or the cow.
Me: Right. On the prairie.
Dad: I did get to observe an advanced class, they're doing more advanced cattle roping. The key is to wind a double hitch knot around the blahdy blah -insert many technical terms I cannot accurately reproduce here without doing some internet searching - my goal is someday to do some ranch hand work for a couple of weeks. Maybe in Wyoming or Montana.
Me: How do you do that? Can you, like, do that as a vacation?
Dad: I need to meet some people with a ranch. Then get invited.
Me: Right.

Dad, happy birthday.

I'm kind of confused, but in a good way. I'm excited to meet your horses and I hope that someday you will get that ranch. I’ll totally come visit and learn how to tie a hitch knot or something.

*My dad has three sisters. I have one sister. The fact that my dad had no sons and the subsequent impact on the business is a post for another time.

**Technically, they're not married, but have been together for the last 17 years. She does wear an engagement ring. She’s had it since 2001 or so. A few weeks ago, they were in town and my friend Sarah (god bless her) said, “So, are you getting married?” Sally said, “Yes, we were thinking we would this summer!” That was total news for me. That’s all I’ve heard of it. I guess that's a story for another day, too.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Dear Heavier Than Heaven:

Let me tell you something.

Acoustic emo in a bar -- that's one thing.

But your acoustic emo cover of "In Da Club" -- now that's genius.

Well done.


oh, god

Dear John Denver:

People don't think you're crazy because you're claiming that George Burns is God. It's because you're driving that crazy Pacer.


PS: I was wrong, daytime tv rox.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

DeePly Disturbing

Hey, everybody! It's time for the daily DeeP! (or, at least, biweekly.)

DeeP: So what you're talking about here, is breaking down some habits so you can build them back up again.
Me: Exactly!
DeeP: (Jokingly) Maybe you should join the military.
Me: Right. Because Iraq is so beautiful this time of year.
DeeP: (Suddenly staring, wide-eyed) Did you just say your rack is beautiful this time of year?
Me: . . .

But seriously, folks, it is a lovely time of year for my cleave.

Why are the robots being fake to us?

Maybe because they're planning an uprising.

Thank goodness, now you have the penultimate guide to surviving the inevitable robot rebellion, here.

Some favorite excerpts:


Unless you can punch through sheet metal.



Pay attention to your robotic staff (they may be beneath your contempt as well as beneath your eye level). Watch for the following telltale signs in the days and weeks before your robots run amuck:

Sudden lack of interest in menial labor.
Unexplained disappearances.
Unwillingness to be shut down.
Repetitive 'stabbing' movements.
Constant talk of human killing.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Thanks, ABC News!

For reinvigorating my ever-so-charming obsession with Bird Flu that I was all about earlier this year. I forgot about how I'm totally going to die from bird flu.

DeeP Thoughts.

Me: So, I made it all week without drinking.
DeeP: That's amazing! How did it feel?
Me: (scrunching eyes a bit, because, like, it's not like I'm Meg Ryan in When A Man Loves A Woman and, like, hiding vodka in the bottom of the laundry hamper and such. I just like my wine, people.) Good? I guess? I did drink on the weekend.
DeeP: How much did you drink on the weekend?
Me: It was pretty normal.
DeeP: So, you were totally binge drinking?
Me: I guess so, yeah.


DeeP: So, what are you going to tell people when you go out with them during the week and you don't drink? Because, people are going to ask.
Me: Well.
DeeP: (Lingering theraputic regard.)
DeeP: Huh. I don't think they'll take that so well.
Me: I guess that's not what I would tell them. That's just what I was thinking.
DeeP: Right.
Me: Right.


DeeP: You do have to consider your genetics, here. You might be someone who has a need to seek physical thrills.
Me: Uh, yeah, you remember my dad, right?
DeeP: (making ladder-climbing motions with his hands) Right! The guy who climbs poles!
Me: Which is different from smoking pole.
DeeP: (cocking his head quizzically) Is that slang for a blow job?
Me: (starting to giggle uncontrollably) Yes. And I think it's hilarious. SMOKING POLE!
DeeP: (throwing his bald bearded little head back and cackling) HA! HA! You are pretty funny! (He shakes his head a bit.) So, are we done with the distractions for today?
Me: Jerk.

(Just in case you're one of the three people who read this blog who are not people I talk to everyday, I should tell you I have a therapist named DeeP, I hang with him twice a week. I've talked about him here and, in mind-numbing detail, here. There's my attempt to de-nonsesify.)

Monday, March 13, 2006

The P Stands for PEEE-YAAAAMMMP!

hipster wine
Originally uploaded by Rebecca June.
Susan brought this bottle of wine for Sunday night dinner last night.

A wine so hip it has a jaunty nickname.

I roasted a chicken with quartered lemons stuffed up its butt on a bed of sliced sweet onions. Then I served it over croutons made of a nice rosemary-garlic boule.

I made a lovely pan of roasted asparagus with parmesan and a pan of sautéed carrots with thyme.

It was the total bomb. A great accompaniment to many delicous glasses of wine.

Jason and Mark came over with Jason's mom, who is always a pleasure, outspoken and sweet and fun. She was wearing a cute little top in honor of her birthday, which was about to usher her into her forties. She was not going to allow it to take her without a fight.

Ellen came, too, and we all partook of the delicious foods and beverages and yelled at the TV while watching the season finale of Project Runway on the (magical) Tivo. Chloe is still a point of controversy. Yes, she had some fabulous constructions, that brown suit, for example, that everyone agreed was divine. But the boys yelled loudly about BUTT UGLY STIFF SHINY PINK FABRICS! and we all still love Daniel very much. And, you know, Santino.

Today I stuck the chicken carcass in a pot with some onions, carrots, celery, salt, pepper and bayleaves and I'm boiling that effer up for a nice stock to stick in the freezer.

And there are still dirty dishes in the sink. This doesn't deter at all from the pimposity, though. Don't you worry!

The Birthplace of the Pit

It's comin' around again! Where it all began, the ultimate in hipster heaven, Intonation Fest, motherfuckers!

Highlights from last year include:
- sweatbands galore! In 100 degree heat!
- dust, dust and more dust!
- women in white shorts with neon pumps! Why? I don't know!
- no beer lines. miles of lines for water. lots of people staring in wonder at inanimate objects like waterguns. Or their own ironic tshirts.
- an impromptu hipster softball game. the shortstop, a tall man with a sandy blonde mop, looked fetching in a hot pink sheath dress with a white lace peter pan collar.
- tshirts with ironic messages! Including tshirts that said, "insert ironic message here!" METAIRONY! Holy fuck!
- weird crafts!
- bad sound!

This year, the headliners are actually two of my current faves, the Streets and Block Party, so in addition to the incredible opportunities to make copious fun of people, I'll also be able to enjoy bands I like!


Nice Knives.

So, as a huge project runway fan and avid foodie, I have had high hopes for Bravo's new twist on the genre, Top Chef. My review of the initial show -- eh.

However, this gives me new hope for the upcoming season!

how to tell you've been spending too much time on the internot

Last night I had an elaborate dream that I met Heather Armstrong. We hung out with her daughter, and went to her mother's house. In my dream, her mom had 14 dogs. Which I thought was a little excessive, but I didn't say anything. In the end, we had dinner with her parents and I somehow offended them. Then Heather and her husband swung away like Tarzan on downed power lines.

Yeah. So.


Friday, March 10, 2006


I need this.


I was just sitting on my couch, getting pissed because there is something blocking the infared of the tivo reciever that I'm too lazy to get up and move, so I have to LIFT MY ARM to fast forward through the commercials on last night's Simpsons rerun (are you, like, crazy jealous of my life right now?) SO, I decided to post some fun Friday links for you to enjoy!

LINDSAY LOHAN: You're...just saying the word "cooter" really loud.

And of course, "Stab me, rip, stab, stab"

oooooh. . . sweet Jesus

An excellent reason to feel okay about not paying down your massive credit card balance.

We All Came on Our Birthdays
Black chick #1: You know what's the funniest birthday card I ever read?
Black chick #2: What?
Black chick #1: "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, happy birthday to you, I hope you bust a nut."
Black chick #2: Yeah, on your birthday you gotta cum.

--Duane Reade, Penn Station

Could Jake Gyllenhaal BE any classier??

Okay, people, I gotta go do some work or take a nap or something. Peace.



Thursday, March 09, 2006

DeeP Thoughts (mostly nonsensical)

Discussion with my therapist:

RJ: So, I haven't had a drink in three days, now.
DeeP: Are you shaking?
RJ: No. Not yet.
DeeP: That's good.
RJ: I've decided not to drink on weeknights, anymore. Or, at least, when I'm alone.
DeeP: That's a big step for you.
RJ: Yeah.

Momentary silency while DeeP nods at me theraputically.

RJ: I've decided to take up smoking pot, instead.

Theraputic regard.

DeeP: Really?
RJ: No. Unfortunately.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Thanks, SLIS Procrastination Blog!

For this rave review:

A partially well written, nonsensical blog

Poor Hoff.

SLAPPED with domestic violence allegations. First he gets estranged, then he gets slapped. I just hope he can kick back a few beers with Kit and calm down a bit until this blows over.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

I suppose it's inevitable

That a search for pit+hair would bring someone here eventually.

Snippy Snippets (doesn't that sound like a column name for a newsletter in a retirement home?)

Ah, more blathering about urban life.

Most of us women -- especially if you work on Michigan avenue -- have been accosted by them. They sneak up behind you on their stealth stilettos, shiny cell phone pressed to their ear clutched in well-manicured hands encrusted in clunky gold jewelry. They snap the phone closed as they match your pace, and say, "LOVE your shoes/bag/haircut/bracelet/banana clip/whatever!"

You wake out of your walking-to-work fugue, and proceed to graciously step right into their trap. "Thanks. I just bought them/they're totally old/um, do I know you?"

Well, I do, anyway. You might be smarter, and braver, and you might say, "get the fuck away from me, freakshow!" But, like, I'm not usually that quick.

Their pink lips curl into a shiny smile and they say, "You know, I'm a consultant for successful business women and I'm looking for someone like you! Do you have a card?" If you're me, you back away slowly, hands patting your pockets for potential weapons. Then they whip out their pink business cards, complete with lipstick shades on the back. That's right, people, it's the modern day incarnation of the Mary Kay lady.

You realize, in retrospect, that you should have known that anyone that well-made up would be one of the cosmetic giant's minions.

This morning, I was accosted in the least expected moment. Coming out of my home, stepping into the gated courtyard, I saw one of my well-coiffed neighbors teetering to the gate at the same time. I held the door for her, and she said, "Love your bag!"

(Small confession -- Okay, well, I recently accidentally bought this bag, which I can't take back because I love it. So, like, she hit me right in my achilles heel, there.)

ANYWAY, I said, "Oh, thanks, I just got it," and she said, "how long have you lived in the building," and blah blah and "What do you do?"

I said, "I'm in marketing."

She said, "I used to do that. Now I do training and coaching for professional women!"


She said, "I work for Mary Kay, and I love it!"

Me: "Do you have a pink Cadillac?"

Her: "I'm getting it in May!"

Me -- backing across the street to the safety of my car -- : "that'll be fun! Can't wait to see it!"

Her -- lunging toward me -- : "I should give you my card!"

Me -- diving into the front seat of the Civic: "That's okay! I know where you live!"

At this point I take a moment to breathe slowly, gripping the steering wheel for support, before I peel the hell out of there.

Fuck, people, the city is a dangerous place.

Hipster Party Part Deux

By the way, Johnny and Susanne, this song has been in my head ever since Saturday. And, looking at the pictures, it seems apropos.

Also, am I evil for laughing hysterically at this video?

Greenskeepers- It Rubs The Lotion On It's Skin on Transbuddha

Monday, March 06, 2006

Happy Birthday Susanne!

Originally uploaded by Rebecca June.
Welcome to the club. . . old bitches in our thirties.

I suppose, given this picture, I should make some comment about how we're all feeling our way blindly through life or something, but, that would be lame.

Anyhow, your party was fun. And you're right. It was a total hipster pit.

And, could there be a more hipster gift than a Kewpie Doll Mask? No. Unless it is a pinata stuffed with weird dried fish and other freaky treats from the Asian market.

Just saying.

I love you, thank you for setting my Johnny straight and for being such a fabulous match for him. Not to mention, thank you for being a fabulous girl (and a fabulous cook) in your own right.

Whole party set can be enjoyed here.

am I wack?

Okay, so, I feel kind of like an old woman who is finding out what the kids are doing these days -- but, is this newfangled, creepy advertising on the subway walls thing new? Or have they been doing it for the last couple of years while I was stuck in traffic? Anyone?

Urban Family Ties (What Would We Do, Baby, Without Us. . . )


I just ordered this book, as it seems to have everything to do with me.

I am most definitely part of an urban tribe -- probably several extended families I rely upon for support, love, laughter, and drinking partnership. I have my Susan, my baby sister in name if not in blood. My Ellen, my Sarah (and Chad), all people who I need and love.

I am also a part of the tight-knit group of bitches we call Melrose Place -- two couples, one straight, one gay and one me. Guess I count double.

Melrose place met when we all lived in the same six flat building in Wicker Park. We developed a habit of spending a lot of time together eating, drinking wine (or, in the summer, beer on the front steps), and talking. We're a diverse group, a five-person odd couple. On the surface, JP is handsome and cocky, Rita is beautiful and sweet, Mark is smart and sardonic, Jason is flamboyant and loving.

Underneath, JP is fiercely loyal and searching for connections. Rita is smart, curious and unwavering in her basic principles, Mark is wise, caring, and will never dish you any shit. Jason is a pure soul. Together we've woven a complex tapestry of urban family ties. We have our traditions -- every Sunday night we have dinner together. Once a year we try to go on vacation (most recently, to Mexico for JP and Rita's wedding).

We have been through major life events together -- starting, probably, when I decided to buy a condo, sending shockwaves through the sixflat. We were there when JP and Rita got engaged, we were having Sunday night dinner when the offer on their house was accepted. We're all homeowners now.

When Rita was making a decision about her wedding dress, she took Mark aside. She said, "I bought this dress, and I am not sure if I love it. Please be honest with me." She tried it on, and came into the room.

Mark saw her wearing this white confection, looking radiant (as always), and said, "I wouldn't wear it."

She took it back.

She ultimately found the dress she loved.

Melrose guards me closely -- they don't like it too much when I try to date people, to bring newbies into the mix. They narrow their eyes and ask lots of questions. I find this both endearing and incredibly exasperating. My last relationship Melrose did not approve of. This resulted in my having a teary confrontation at the dinner table, insisting that, "YOU GUYS DON'T GET TO CHOOSE!" Lucky for them, I chose to end that relationship. BUT IT WAS MY CHOICE! MINE! MINE!

It was made clear then that I am the adolescent in this group.

Melrose recently got a new addition -- a little baby boy named Willis. He's JP and Rita's first child -- a black pointer/lab mix. We met him last night and he was duly doted upon. I don't have pictures yet, because I'm a moron and didn't bring my camera to dinner, but I assure you there will be billions in the future. Welcome, Willis.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

It's not exactly Lazy Sunday. . .

But when Natalie Portman says, "all the kids that look up to me can suck my dick!" Well -- that's a very good moment. Well played, Natalie. I think I might be in love with you. Also, Adam. Nice viking outfit. Totally makes sense within the context. Totally.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Oh, what a lovely day.

Originally uploaded by Rebecca June.
Some nice pics of my afternoon walk, for your viewing pleasure, here.


Originally uploaded by Rebecca June.
Just. . . seems. . . appropriate somehow.

paradigm shift (warning, navel gazing to ensue)

Chicago is a fabulous city.

Anyone who tells you otherwise is wrong. (Mahk, that includes you.) My city is metropolitan yet accessible, diverse, huge, proud, friendly and beautiful, among other things.

As I am adjusting to my recent paradigm shift, I am slowly putting together my perspective, fitting in bits and pieces to make a landscape of the last couple of years, lending to a deeper understanding of, well, me. And what influences me and such.

First, let me back up and say, freelancing for my old agency is incredibly comforting. I liken this career move to moving back in to my parent's basement. It's safe and comfortable, I come and go as I please, and they feed me and do my laundry. Metaphorically, that is. From this safe place I can focus energies on figuring some things out.

One thing: I missed working downtown. We've already covered that in some ways, in a sort of giddy "yeah! that too!" sort of way. But I'm only now realizing that what Melrose Mark said was true. I was losing my edge, in a weird sort of way.

Chicago is a city that has a clear central location for commerce -- our entire public transportation system is based on this. The El is a wheel with spokes that radiate from downtown (well, to the West. To the East it is only lake). This physical setup dictates a lot of how we young urban professionals view our lives -- downtown bars are for post-work, lunchtime is for shopping, life is car-free, a little difficult but a lot fun.

When I no longer rode a train every day I missed out on so much -- speculation about the secrets of other passengers, the dank tunnel between the red and blue lines at Washington where homeless men sit splayed-legged, surrounded by scattered litter and suspicious piles of unidentified dirt. I missed the street performers, the sharp-dressed urbanites, the movies and cocktail gatherings and shop windows. I missed seeing my friends at lunchtime, I missed being in the thick of it.

All that was replaced by traffic and suburban sprawl and stodgy midwestern corporate culture.

I missed my city. I missed getting to see the evening light bathing the sides of buildings as I walk to the train, I missed listening to music as I walked and walked and pretended, in my own mind, to be in a music video. (Don't tell anyone I told you that.)

My city, the experience of it, is like a long-lost friend. How did I let us get out of touch? I promise not to let it happen again. Pinkie swear.

I'd like to thank my PR firm. . .

It's that time of year again -- the days get longer, the temperature inches up, we find ourselves inexplicably more optimistic, energetic, planning and scheming for the warm days of summer ahead. It's also the time of year for endless speculation and pointless discussion about that ultimate Hollywood pagent of self-congratulation -- the Oscars.

My favorite part, though, is behind the carpet -- it's the showers of extravagant crap rained down upon the nominees -- thousands and thousands of dollars worth of merchandise given away to the most wealthy and priviledged, just for the opportunity to use the glamour of celebrity proximity to sell product.

What, maybe, not everyone who isn't a marketer knows, is that companies pay dearly -- to the tune of up to $20,000 -- just for the opportunity to include their product in the mix. The New York Times chronicles some items for delivery to the losers alone:
Scheduled for delivery a day after the March 5 telecast, it will include a three-night stay at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas, a coupon for Lasik eye surgery and a set of high-thread-count bed linens. (The academy does not permit companies to reveal their participation in the official gift basket until the end of the month, but it is similarly extravagant.)

Certainly, I can see the value for goods and services to bathe themselves in the sparkly light of celebrity posession, especially in the case of certain luxury wearable items like watches or jewelry. The equation is clear -- give watch to celeb, celeb wears watch, InStyle publishes picutre of celeb and watch, prints watch name and price, consumers take cue to consume luxury item in order to somehow be more like celeb.

But, Lasic eye surgery? Sheets? The connection isn't as straightforward here. Even when you're somehow getting press, as Moonstruck Chocolates has been, the equation seems murky at best.

Look at it this way: Moonstruck, in this article, claims to be participating in this year's frenzy in order to "expand to a national brand." So, they participate in the Oscar basket and invest in a subsequent public relations and merchandising program in order to leverage it. So, some speculative math (Note: I am basing this on my knowledge of what it takes to run a program, and I have NO CLUE what Moonstruck is really doing):

- 10K = cost of entry.
- 10K = cost of product
- 50K = merchandising POS development and implementation
- 80K = PR program

$140K or so to be given the priviledge of perhaps having Heath Ledger eat your chocolates. Or, more likely, to give them to his housekeeper. Google news tells me that you have about, um, three articles, including the one on local CBS affiliate in South Florida.

Moonstruck may feel differently, but I would be worried about a return on my investment if I were the marketing exec on this job.

I know that many marketers still consider any chance to rub elbows with (or, in the case of Revlon, lipstick and blusher on) the stars to be "simply good marketing", as this CNN article calls it. Perhaps for Revlon, who has enormous budgets and a widely-distributed, affordable product, it makes sense. Create the association to luxury and glamour, and everyday women are far more likely to shell out a few bucks for lipstick. But I do believe it may be a dangerous gamble for a small company to attempt to hitch a ride to national fame in the Oscar gift baskets.

Not to mention, what we're talking here about borders on disgusting -- people who make millions upon millions of dollars each year. People who have grown accustomed to getting everything free, people who cannot possibly be placing value on things they don't have to pay for or even acknowledge. People who accept and embrace the idea that they should be the recipients of the type of luxuries even well-off people only dream of. All in the name of making more money off of people who should know better.

I love my celebs (especially you, Linds! I LOVE YOU!) just as much as the next gal, but I have to say, this topic still has me cringing. Not just as a frugal marketer, but as a person who would love got get 100K worth of free crap. Then I could sell it and pay off my mortgage or something.


Hey, Socialist!
We can free videogames from the "dictatorship of entertainment", using them instead to describe pressing social needs, and to express our feelings or ideas just as we do in other forms of art.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Linsay Lohan Wants To Kick Your Ass

You better watch out, everybody, because Lins is ANGRY.

Old girl has mastered the looks of death in these snapshots with her coked-out buddies.

Either she is totally paranoid on dope (see bong in pic 5, nestled right beneath Linsay's scowl), or she really, seriously, is one hell of a hater.

See you in Hell, Lohan.

Where can I hire your Illustrator, Gawker?

Well played. All I have to say is:
I'd like to titty fuck a Gyllenhall, it doesn't matter which one!


I love you. Susan loves you. Even though it is your birthday, I'm still pissed you're moving to New York. I'm a Chicago girl and I can't help feeling that this is a blow. But today is your birthday so I'll stop giving you a hard time about it. Just for today.

Hot as a Pistol

I know this story about the autistic kid who played some killer ball is everyone's current favorite heartwarmer, but my favorite part is the video, wherein these kids go progressively more bananas with each subsequent basket, culminating in an ecstatic moment where they pour down upon this kid like they're charging to war. I can just hear all of America clapping, laughing and wiping away a grateful tear from their eyes. I can just see dollar signs popping up in the pupils of movie producers as they rush into town to try to get rights to this story. I think Leonardo DiCaprio is probably calling his agent right now, saying, "I think I'm ready to play another retarded kid, Jerry. . . "

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Does the idea that just looking at something can get your kid suspended from school seem a little gestapo-esque to anyone but me? It's not just the idea that a school can punish their students for the simple act of clicking on a link -- it's the idea that anyone's meandering about the Internet can have such devestating consequences. This brings to mind the This American Life episode* where the guy becomes obsessed that maybe he's downloaded child porn somehow, on accident -- I think about that all the time. Have I accidentally clicked on something that might indict me?

Do I have too much time on my hands?

*Note -- if you really want to hear that episode, search for "job interview pervert."

(I really hope someone googles that phrase and finds this page. Because that? Would be awesome.)

chicago-centric moment

Abby Ryan, watch out, girl. There's gonna be a lot more for you to sigh about in the next two years.

UPDATE: In an effort to illuminate my mini rant for my non-Chicago Public Radio listeners, Abby Ryan is our traffic reporter. Each morning she morosely doles out the bad news to commuters, sharing the delays with repidation, and saying things like, "It's just not pretty out there today. . . "

And, I thought, I'll find a picture of her or something! And link to it! And, people, OMG, this is a smoking gun moment -- she has a most amazing web page. Chicago NPR geeks, I present you with the nutty, blonde, jewelry making voice of your commute -- Abby Ryan! Abby makes mardi-gras themed zipper pulls! YOU CAN BUY THEM! Abby was an alarming OOMPA LOOMPA for Halloween!

Hold on. I've got to reorder my entire perception of the universe. This may take awhile.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Unmasking . . . something. . .

I was on the plane today reading this bizarre fashion news in the New York Times and I made a jarring connection to the story about Immet St. Guillen I read just minutes before.

Okay, I ask you to stay with me here. Because even as I write this I find myself trying to check my assumptions -- which makes me want to explore them even more.

First, there's this imagery of obscured faces marching down the runway to misogynistic music, and then there's this:

Out came models with their faces obliterated altogether, wrapped inside eyeless cloth hoods. Little metal punk chains were draped between where a nose would be and where an ear might be buried.

Hooded, chained, silenced -- it says right there, the most disturbing word: OBLITERATED. It has the effect of dehumanizing these women , which is so flippantly explained away:

"It was a kind of a joke," Mr. Takahashi said afterward. "I didn't want any distraction from the line."

At this point, I am contemplating a tangential rage about objectification of women and models as the case in point, but, back to my earlier jarring juxtaposition -- about the woman who was found slain last week -- brutally. It was this detail that really made me cringe:
Ms. St. Guillen's unclothed body was found inside a quilt. Her mouth was sealed with packing tape, and her head, feet and hands were bound with more tape, officials said.

In the meantime, designers are creating these binding, chained garments that are a stylized, fashion-forward representation of a this violence, the act of binding, blindind, and muting women. And we are consuming it still, accepting, ignoring, coveting, turning a blind eye to disturbing signifiers:

As the Undercover show ended and people filed out into the twilight, post-mortem chatter ran to the beautiful tailored strapped trousers, the sturdy boots, the nice fur coats (although it seems worth mentioning that a number of the coats came equipped with straps that pinned the wearer's arms to her side).

Just, real quick, that thing in the parens? "Straps that pinned the wearer's arms to her side?!" I'm pretty sure that this has very little practical significance -- at least not to the wearer. Unless, you know, she needed to be bound up for easy storage somewhere.

Thanks, CBS NEWS

for including me in your blog roundup today.

Mornin', Manhattan

Originally uploaded by Rebecca June.
My hotel room has dirty windows -- but spectacular views.