Urban Fantasy

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Deja Vu All Over Again

Phew! I haven't good-ol' fashioned made out with a boy in months! That was refreshing!

Is it wrong that I only did it because he reminded me entirely of my high school boyfriend? To the point where I kept calling him "Sean?" I don't think he cared for that.

Friday, January 28, 2005

The Feisties are Moving!!!

Visit ejtakeseurope.blogspot.com for all sort of European backpacking goodies

Monday, January 24, 2005

19 Days to Go...

Critical flights/hostels reserved? *Check*

Purchased backpack, hiking boots and overpriced yet extremely practical coat? *Check*

Combed Craigslist in search of short-term work (not inc. nudity) I can perform for extra cash? *Check*

Freaking the f*ck out? *Check*

Thursday, January 20, 2005

I've started several attempts at posts over the last week, and they all sucked. Just sucked. Event-based nonwriting. Do you want to know about how I ran into, and immaturely avoided The Ex twice in one Saturday? Or how there was an Inauguration today, and I've spent all day reeling from how little I care about something I am supposed to hate and push against, that I've devoted my entire nascent political and professional life to defeating? Or how The Sister, for the sake of appearances, lied to our entire family for four months about something idiotic and trivial, yet scary and huge for all the issues behind it?

Here's what's what. Tomorrow, once I officially hire my replacement at work, I am buying a ticket. To Rome. And I am leaving.

I will be coming back, eventually. But not before I spend Valentine's Day in Verona, St. Patrick's Day in Dublin, Easter Sunday at the Vatican. Not before I get hopelessly lost and find myself again.

I spent all four years of college putting on a suit and going to work, standing in line at Starbucks at 8 AM, standing at the Metro, standing over a copy machine duplicating other people's work. So much time pretending to be a grownup, when I should have been enjoying my last grasp at being a kid.

I'll be a grownup someday. Someday soon. But for now, after a false start out of the gate, I'm going to find out what else is outside of this small town, small world, I inhabit now.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

It's the people you meet in the neighborhood

X (4:37:58 PM): wanna go to the liquor store
EJ (4:38:26 PM): sho
X (4:38:47 PM): where is there one near us
X (4:38:50 PM): aside from the wine place
EJ (4:39:58 PM): there's one on east capitol that sells the hard stuff
EJ (4:40:06 PM): on senator landrieu's block
X (4:40:18 PM): oh right

You just don't have these IM conversations in Michigan

And from the annals of great early 1990's animation:

"The Brain: We must head to a place where overweight, middle-aged people go to party and throw away money.

Pinky: Capitol Hill?"

In case you were wondering

There is no doubt about it. Despite all my best efforts to drink cheap beer, get rowdy about Big 10 football and not do laundry until the housemates start to make comments, I am a girly girl.

In the space of an hour, I just bought myself a solo ticket to the Folger Theater production of Romeo and Juliet (WITH postshow discussion moderated by the director of the Library) and spent an overlarge amount of time coveting items at crateandbarrel.com.

Rawk on.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

I'd like to thank God and the Academy

This weekend marks the beginning of one of my favorite times of year. Religious holiday? Family celebration? No, silly... Awards Season! That special time of year when just as we are at our most fat and bloated from the holidays, the shiny happy peacocks of the entertainment industry gather together to wear $8,000 gowns and congratulate one another for being so damn talented, sexy and awe-inspiring. Since my plan to win an Oscar has been temporarily derailed by that pesky thing called Supporting Oneself by Earning a Living (and this blog is about 200K readers short of a Bloggie Nomination), I will present the update on my little life in the form of awards.

Creepiest Compliment by a Supporting Character:

X informs me that her Creepy Cousin and a guy from our freshman floor apparently enjoy sitting around and talking about how hot I am. When she asked them what they saw in me (Ed: Not in an awful bitchy way, but merely stealthy reconnaisance work), Creepy Cousin said "Girl answer? She's really friendly. Guy answer is she has perfect breasts."

Um, thank you? I think?

Best Editing by a Scattered Motorist:

It is a small miracle that I have not killed someone whilst fiddling with my iPod stereo adapter. This thing is ridiculous. You have to plug in multiple cords, tune to a shitty-yet-not-too-shitty station so the FM transmission will instead take up the iPod waves, and then surf using the iPod unit, not the car. These dangers are combined with the schizophrenia my iPod on shuffle already induces. I happen to get very into whatever I'm listening to (in fact, the whole reason I love driving is so I can get my singing kicks without X and J mercilessly mocking), and the jump from Sufjan Stevens to the Les Miz soundtrack is a jarring one. It is solely due to my awesome motor skills that the schoolchildren and little old ladies of our fair city continue to cross the street in blissful peace.

Best Unintentional Comedy from a Board Game:

"What percentage of the United States House of Representatives is re-elected every two years?"

"A. 1/3 B. 1/2 C. 1/4"


Lifetime Achievement Award for Marinade Use:

EJ and her Rockin' Shishkabobs of Destiny

Ballsiest Action by an Undergraduate:

The Sister for rushing, even though she was full of doubts about the process. Maybe it didn't work out exactly how she wanted, but she went for it full-throtle and stepped way out of her comfort zone. And hey, she did get a bid from one of the biggest sororities on campus (even if it's not the one she wanted). And I say, fuck the Alpha Phis. The mother will just have to be buried with her stupid pin (and I'm sorry, but that whole pin thing is just silly). Congrats for being so brave-- I'm so proud of you.

Best Headline from a Snarky Blog that EJ Desperately Wishes She Wrote For:

"Brad and Jennifer Split! Oh, and Tens of Thousands Still Dead from Tsunami"

Monday, January 10, 2005

One more day out in the canyon

The end is in sight! I have narrowed the list down to three candidates to replace me... RB will choose one in a dramatic ceremony broadcast live before a studio audience, after having enjoyed exotic cups of coffee furnished by our friends at ABP with the lucky final ladies. Plan is to have her choose one by the end of the week, then train the poor thing all next week. This means... I will be FREE as of Inauguration. How appropo, don't you think? "New" administration, "new" lease on life.

A lot of my fellow liberals are refusing to attend the Inaugural festivities, be they the swearing-in or a ball. Now, I obviously won't be going to the Black Tie and Boots (or for that matter, the Christian Coalition Ball a la Inauguration 2000). Despite my lack of enthusiasm, there's something very reassuring about the pomp and circumstance that accompanies Inauguration. I take comfort in the fact that the ceremony is essentially unchanged despite whoever is being sworn in, and that the ritual allows the citizen to separate the office of the presidency from the individual who holds it. It reminds me that, in the immortal words of J.M. Barrie, "all this has happened before, and it will all happen again." I have to believe that the Bush administration is just another chapter in history, rather than the harbinger of our national doom.

Of course, I don't have a job in the pipeline to fill my days. X is convinced that I should get my butt to grad school and start hoarding very expensive diplomas in arcane subjects. Don't get me wrong, grad school will happen in the future. That being said, it feels like the kind of thing to wait for until you're really passionate about it. I understand why people go to grad school to advance their careers, and think it's a noble pursuit, but that isn't why I want to go. I'd love to be able to soak in knowledge, to be slutty with a library card and gluttonous with writing and papers. I'd go back when I knew I just couldn't do without that kind of atmosphere and lifestyle.

So the plan, as it stands, is to half-heartedly keep applying for writing jobs. What I'd really like to do, however, is travel. I keep on finding myself perusing European backpacking sites, looking for the best hostel in Prague and the cheapest flight to Rome. Even sent home for birth certificates so I can get my passport ASAP. It sounds crazy-- quit job, keep lease and bills, jet off to Europe. The more I think about it, tho, the more practical it seems. If I don't go now I'll never go, at least not in the seat-of-the-pants, hostel-budget way I want to. Besides... when have I ever done anything life-changingly, gloriously wonderful? And don't I deserve some kind of reward after my year with RB?

Thursday, January 06, 2005

The one resolution I didn't make is the one I keep

Went out for beers last night with High School Acquiantance who is now living in DC. Third time hung out with him since Election Night Horror Event, and v. much enjoying company. Is especially pleasant given that in high school I had written him off as an unconscionable douchebag. Being proven utterly wrong and a judgemental bitch has rarely resulted in such a nice friendship. So, huzzah to getting over oneself!

Beers were had at the Dirty Pigeon, sight of many little crimes from many years ago. The Pige was the only place where, as nineteen-year-olds, we were virtually certain to be let in and not carded. It had the added advantage of being a) down the street from our favorite sketchy Mexican dive restaurant (con Eduardo, el jefe de cocaina) (tho we were strictly there for the exceptionally potent margaritas) and b) full to the brim of Marines from the barracks across the way. Hey, it was 2001. It was our patriotic duty to keep up morale in the armed forces. Leaving the bar last night was a truly novel experience-- I was able to walk without lurching into parked cars, and I was departing with a male friend, not falling on a buzz-cut serviceman from Kansas.

That was the first time since the my pre-New Year's digestive pyrotechnics that I've had a drink, and yes, that was a conscious choice. It's not that I have a problem, or that I think I need help. I really don't. And yes, that is what alcoholics say, but it happens to be true in my case. I'm just not that interested in coming close to a repeat performance of last week. I really screwed up something that could have at least been a great friendship. Now there's someone really nice out there whose main mental image is of me making an ass out of my drunken self. And lets face it, drinking is fun and a great activity, and both my social life and career would suffer permanent damage if I asked people to meet at Cosi instead of a bar. I'm not interested in stopping drinking. It's more about doing it as a grownup, now that the there is no novelty in putting up away messages about the whereabouts of myself and my hangover or cursing the sun for its ability to hurt my eyes so.

The Someone did respond to my mea culpa email in a very nice way. Thank goodness, because I groveled quite enough in it. However, is pretty clear that the door has shut on anything more than being friends, at least for now. So, am back to spending downtime at work prowling the JDate profiles for cute boys. Yes, know am not Jewish, but they tend to be cuter and better writers than the Match boys, and anyways have not had good luck with Match (re: Tongue-Stud Intel Analyst Guy).

In other news, am trying to put together ski weekend for friends over President's Day! Eleven people, five bedrooms, one hottub, one mountain, a stocked kitchen-- will be good times.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

I'm just not that into Tuesdays

There are some things that are truly, fundamentally wrong with this town and the people in it.

To start with, on Sunday we lost a great public servant in Congressman Bob Matsui. He kept his rare blood disease a secret, suffering in silence so that he could continue his work for the people of California without being tainted as weak by the Republican leadership. He was well-respected by Republican and Democratic colleagues alike, and spent over twenty years serving the nation that once imprisoned him in a Japanese internment camp.

In death, instead of being praised and admired for his hard work and devoted service, Congressman Matsui is being used as a pawn in Republican pissing contests. His funeral tomorrow will take place in a House meeting room that hold under 300 people, a room that holds far less than just the membership of the House. This shameful location may actually be sufficient, because Matsui's position at the DCCC has caused the House Republican leadership to forbid Republicans from attending the service.

That's right. Republicans, the same souls who trumpet "burying the hatchet" and "the spirit of bipartisanship" when it will benefit their own agenda, will not even permit one another to attend the funeral of a Democratic colleague.

People from home often ask me how I stomach living in Washington, working with all the sleazy politicians. There are a couple of reasons. One, I have seen many of them grandstand in public while practicing something much more moderate and tolerant than what they preach. It's the one case in which I welcome hypocrisy-- it provides a nugget of hope that they will someday stop the grandstanding, because it turns out oop! they actually believe something else.

Well, guess we can kiss that one goodbye for this case. Good thing we still have the second reason-- that nothing stays secret forever. Someone else always finds out. And more often than not, if he or she is so inclined, that someone will find a way to get it out in the open.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Those sweet Ann Arbor days

If we may, for a moment, depart from my tired scribblings on impending alcoholism and perpetual self-improvement programs:

Growing up, Mr. Gray was a truly excellent dad. He didn't seem like a Dad in many of the conventional ways. He watched HBO with his (young) children. Music ran in his veins, but he was never one of those awful rock snobs who would shun you for enjoying the occasional foray into cheesy Broadway show tunes. He listened to children and young people, and evaluated what they had to say as if they were colleagues, not charges. At the same time, it was always very clear that he was the Dad, not the Pal. I remember running from Pookie's house one bitingly cold New Year's Eve, scampering down the asphalt in our floppy slippers, loudly singing the alternative lyrics to the X-Files theme music (Sweet Moses, we were nerds) instead of the admittedly more appropriate Auld Lang Sayne, only to be greeted by a Not Pleased Mr. Gray at the door. Mostly, though, I remember looking up at his big teddy bear face with a gentle grin, and thinking "Mr. Gray is so cool!"

Mr. Gray died two years ago today.

I still ache for his wonderful family, and especially my dear, dear friend, with whom everything and nothing has changed. I see how she she aches, and wish so much that I could make it more manageable from her. Today cannot be easy, so Pookie, if you're reading this, join me in my memory of one of the happiest times I can recall. I'll be the one with the car keys and still in her underwear, thankyouverymuch.

We incestuous, tight-knit four hadn't been all together in years, but it was almost unnerving how effortless it felt. We went back to the scene of our many crimes, and toasted the future on the Rock where scores of little battles were won and lost as we waited for our families, our buses, our Ethical Soccer teachers to arrive. We were pretending to be grownups with the people who knew us as kids, and it was one of those moments where what you're doing and what the universe thinks you should be doing synch up perfectly. We held each other, and told Deep Dark Secrets, and ate overlarge amounts of fondue and pancakes. Later that weekend, not wanting it to end, we just drove for hours around the hometown that in many ways was no longer home. At 3 AM we pulled over in the middle of a street to watch a herd of deer graze in a field a stones throw from apartments and dorms. We knew that the end was in sight, and we talked about it, not wanting to hide from it, but took joy in the familiarity of having new thing to share with old friends. We didn't deny what you were going through, but we found something great in the comfort we could give you and each other. And, most important, there was a Transcendant Naked Puppy Pile.

So, though they may be just empty words, here's hoping they bring back fond memories. You continue to inspire and amaze me, and tonight I will be thinking of you, that weekend, and all the wonderful things we did in our brilliant youth.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Old acquaintance be forgot

I am so not meant for polite society. Or, for that matter, functioning amongst other humans.

To recap: when I had the chance to impress Someone (yes, the same Someone of previous entries-- was granted a reprieve by Fate), instead was so nervous that got ridiculously, sloppy, idiotically, yack-tastically ill after only 5 gimlets. Am really not sure how that happened. Usually drink around that amount in a typical 3-4 hour night out, which if you split it up, really isn't more than 1.3 drinks per hour, which is significant but not destructive. X and J suggested the someone might have spiked my drink, which I scoffed off because I was too busy trying not to throw up my water, but the more I think about it, it would be a rational explanation. However, since there really isn't any way to prove it now that over 36 hours have passed and since I will clearly never be seeing that Someone again, suppose there is no point.

To clarify, if I was drugged, I'm sure it wasn't him. For one thing, he took care of me and was a total gentleman the entire night. After cleaning up after me, he let me pass on on his bed while he took the futon, and didn't blink an eye when I didn't come to until 11:15. Even that evidence aside, I can't see him doing something that awful. He's such a Boy Scout. And a straight man who loves musical theater. And is very clean. And in great shape. And well-read.

I am such a jackass.

And I'm very sorry for 2004.