Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Love in the Time of Cholera

Only 10 pages left of Love in the Time of Cholera

I’m geeking out so much over this book right now that I almost missed my stop this morning on the way to my internship. Unless something incredibly terrible happens in these next 10 pages—which I doubt—I think this one has now replaced Memories of my Melancholy Whores as my favorite of Gabriel García Márquez’s books so far. It is also finding a place in my favorite books of all time list, although I’m quite bitter to include a work written by a MAN among my favorites. (Kidddding.)

As soon as I finish, the movie version is getting bumped to the No.1 spot on my Netflix queue (disregarding the fact that “Volver” has been sitting on my TV for two weeks since I have no time to watch movies). It’s bound to be a disappointment, because the book is THAT GOOD, but still, I’m curious.

You have to read this. If you know Spanish—which I don’t, other than my sweet conversations with the cooks at work, which basically consist of “que pasa?”—I suggest you read it in Spanish instead of English, because I bet Márquez’s prose is even more beautiful in the original version.

This is the most fascinating love story I’ve ever read (and not one that will inspire me to say “yum” at any point, although the movie stars Javier Bardem AND Benjamin Bratt, so I’ll try to contain myself). The story centers on Fermina Daza, who rejects the lovesick Florentino Ariza when they’re young and marries Dr. Juvenal Urbina instead. Florentino never marries, but throughout the story, well, the back of the book says he “whiles away the years in 622 affairs,” but let’s just say: he has a lot of sex. Yet he remains madly in love with Fermina the entire time, and on the night of her husband’s death, 51 years after she rejected him, he declares his love for her again. (I’m not ruining anything by telling you this, I promise.)

It’s a little crazy, sure, but Márquez makes it work. The story goes back and forth in time, chronicling Fermina Daza and Florentino Ariza’s lives, and the way it’s organized is genius. On top of that, his writing is so incredibly beautiful. Please, please, do yourself a favor and read this book!

Here are two of my favorite passages to tempt you with:

“…Florentino Ariza learned what he had already experienced many times without realizing it: that one can be in love with several people at the same time, feel the same sorrow with each, and not betray any of them. Alone in the midst of the crowd on the pier, he said to himself in a flash of anger: ‘My heart has more rooms than a whorehouse.’ He wept copious tears at the grief of parting. But as soon as the ship had disappeared over the horizon, the memory of Fermina Daza once again occupied all his space.”
This next one details Fermina Daza’s early stages of grief for her husband:

“She could not avoid a profound feeling of rancor toward her husband for having left her alone in the middle of the ocean. Everything of his made her cry: his pajamas under the pillow, his slippers that had always looked to her like an invalid’s, the memory of his image in the back of the mirror as he undressed while she combed her hair before bed, the odor of his skin, which was to linger on hers for a long time after his death. She would stop in the middle of whatever she was doing and slap herself on the forehead because she suddenly remembered something she had forgotten to tell him. At every moment countless ordinary questions would come to mind that he alone could answer for her.”
The actress in the movie version is going to have to be pretty damn spectacular to try to convey all that. That might be one of the most heartbreakingly accurate descriptions of grief I’ve ever read.

Read. This. Book.

*I’m writing a book review for Feminist Review this month on the novel Picking Bones from Ash, which I’ll be reading next. I’ll try to be a little more objective with that one.

Friday, June 26, 2009

M'as-tu vu? CAN YOU SEE ME?

I was checking out Blogger's Blogs of Note and daydreaming about the day when "Chasing the end of my rainbow" has the number of followers these blogs do (334? I was excited when I hit double digits.). Shortly after that, one follower, who happens to work in publishing, offers me a book deal. Obviously my book will be a bestseller. It's going to be magical.

Anyway, one of the Blogs of Note, "Avignon in Photos," quickly put a stop to my famous blog/book deal daydream and promptly started the one where I move to France and have escapades similar to the Americans in Tender is the Night and A Moveable Feast. Beth and I got a head start last night when I called her "mon petit chou" and she thought I called her a dog. Nope, just my little cabbage. Chien, chou...French is tricky.

Some of my favorites from Avignon in Photos:
"M'as-tu vu?" is a phrase I think of often (translating it as "can you see me?"), primarily when I'm waiting tables, apparently invisible to my customers. Seriously, can't you see me standing next to your table? Can you hear me asking if you want a drink? Quit ignoring me!

Maybe instead of just repeating myself loudly ("CHIPS, FRIES, OR VEGGIES?"; "DO YOU WANT A BEER?"), I'll just start screaming, "M'AS-TU VU?"

I need that book deal. Fast.

Standing at the punch table swallowing punch

The first time I listened to The National's "Boxer," I wasn’t too excited about it. I thought it was good, but none of the songs really grabbed me. Just kinda boring. I gave it a few more listens, and resigned it to my background writing music.

But then…obsession hit. I’m baffled. How did I not immediately love this album?

I think I’ve listened to “Slow Show” four times today.

Love these lyrics. (Is it a little 8th grade that I’m copying them here? Too bad! “My leg is sparkles, my leg is pins/I better get my shit together, better gather my shit in.” Yeah, that's right.)

Standing at the punch table swallowing punch
can’t pay attention to the sound of anyone
a little more stupid, a little more scared
every minute more unprepared

I made a mistake in my life today
everything I love gets lost in drawers
I want to start over, I want to be winning
way out of sync from the beginning

I wanna hurry home to you
put on a slow, dumb show for you
and crack you up
so you can put a blue ribbon on my brain
god I’m very, very frightening
I’ll overdo it

Looking for somewhere to stand and stay
I leaned on the wall and the wall leaned away
Can I get a minute of not being nervous
and not thinking of my dick
My leg is sparkles, my leg is pins
I better get my shit together, better gather my shit in
You could drive a car through my head in five minutes
from one side of it to the other

I wanna hurry home to you
put on a slow, dumb show for you
and crack you up
so you can put a blue ribbon on my brain
god I’m very, very frightening
I’ll overdo it

You know I dreamed about you
for twenty-nine years before I saw you
You know I dreamed about you
I missed you for
for twenty-nine years

On that note, I think I better put on some Of Montreal. It's getting a little emo-gloomy in here.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The new BK Blow Job! I mean, sandwich!

I know I'm supposed to be pissed off at Burger King’s ridiculously sexist advertising, but it’s just too hilariously stupid to get upset over. (Read Feministing’s post about it anyway.)

I mean, come on:
IT'LL BLOW YOUR MIND AWAY. Fill your desire for something long, juicy and flame-grilled with the NEW BK SUPER SEVEN INCHER. Yearn for more after you taste the mind-blowing burger that comes with a single beef patty, topped with American cheese, crispy onions and the A1 Thick and Hearty Steak Sauce.

AHHH! Nobody warned this poor woman that a gross looking, magically floating beef sandwich slathered with, errr, mayonnaise, was coming toward her open mouth! No wonder she’s terrified. Oh no, it's a SUPER SEVEN INCHER! Mind-BLOWING!

The blatant misogyny of this ad isn't even what offends me. I mean, how is it possible that the copywriter/s responsible for this MIND-BLOWING ad have a job and I don't?

Another writer’s take on the ad, via Slate:

“They got two ‘blows’ in there. Nice. The sandwich (by itself an obscenity), slathered in unnaturally ultra-white mayonnaise, is floating in the air directly across from the disturbingly pale profile of a young, gape-mouthed woman who looks frightened to death of the manly meat. Sexy!

But, now, wait a minute. Let's look at that copy again. The ad is aimed at young men, right? Of course it is. So why does it tell them to ‘fill your desire for something long,’ etc.? Is that a purposeful bit of sublimation (know your audience!) or is our cargo-pantsed copy jockey himself like one of those guys from my high school's wrestling team—that is, even more of a stereotypical frat boy than I had at first imagined?”

I’d like to say that BK’s offensive, but more importantly, STUPID, advertising is the reason why I’ve only gone to the one directly out my back door three times in the last year, but really, their food just blows.

Ha, ha. It BLOWS. Maybe I can get a job in their advertising department!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Yet another dumbass comment from a politician...

Wow. Way to go, Nixon, you dipshit.

From the NYT:

On Jan. 22, 1973, when the Supreme Court struck down laws criminalizing abortion in Roe v. Wade, President Richard M. Nixon made no public statement. But the next day, newly released tapes reveal, he privately expressed ambivalence.

Nixon worried that greater access to abortions would foster 'permissiveness,' and said that 'it breaks the family.' But he also saw a need for abortion in some cases — like interracial pregnancies, he said.

'There are times when an abortion is necessary. I know that. When you have a black and a white,' he told an aide, before adding, 'Or a rape.'

Gross. All in one breath, comparing interracial pregnancy to rape? Yeah, Nixon, children from a “black and a white” are always bad. Bad like rape.

I’d like to introduce you to our President. You know, the one that came from a black and a white.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Seriously, Newsweek?

Really, Newsweek? REALLY?

I can't even believe I read this entire article. "Like a virgin no more?" Is this a joke? Did Newsweek actually publish this silliness?

The breaking news:

"Two decades ago, when young girls wondered how brides were supposed to look and behave, they'd most likely conclude—with some prompting from Cinderella—that on their big day they'd be a princess. They'd be blushing, virginal and wrapped from head to toe in tulle and lace.

So why is it that these days, some brides seem to be taking their cues more from Jessica Rabbit than Cinderella? More vamp than virgin, they're having bachelorette parties that are as raunchy as their fiancés' sendoffs. They're selecting cleavage- or lower-back-baring bridal gowns that might get a gasp from conservative relatives."
Like, OMG! Bachelorette parties as raunchy as their fiancés'? And are women, like, working outside of the home these days, too? I didn't know we were allowed to do that!

But aside from the silly "revelations" that television characters like Murphy Brown liberated women to have "racy bachelorette parties" and that the white gown no longer symbolizes virginity—what? you mean people are having sex before marriage?!—I just DON'T CARE.

Could you please write about something a little more NEWS worthy, NEWSweek? Quit wasting my time.

Here's what my girlfriend had to say about it:

"Are we seriously supposed to be scandalized by back-bearing dresses and cheesy bachelorette parties with penis straws? Come on now. But apparently this article is less about how immodest brides are, and more about moral panic over women in general."
Newsweek has now shattered my dreams of being a princess, "blushing, virginal and wrapped from head to toe in tulle and lace" on my wedding day. Dammit. I guess I have to be a whore now.

Those are my two options, right?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Thoughts on Father’s Day, a day late

I’m sure if you’re an Obama supporter like me, his reflections on fatherhood in PARADE won’t necessarily be anything new to you.

But read it anyway. Or at least this part:
“As fathers, we need to be involved in our children’s lives not just when it’s convenient or easy, and not just when they’re doing well—but when it’s difficult and thankless, and they’re struggling. That is when they need us most.

And it’s not enough to just be physically present. Too often, especially during tough economic times like these, we are emotionally absent: distracted, consumed by what’s happening in our own lives, worried about keeping our jobs and paying our bills, unsure if we’ll be able to give our kids the same opportunities we had.

Our children can tell. They know when we’re not fully there. And that disengagement sends a clear message—whether we mean it or not—about where among our priorities they fall.

So we need to step out of our own heads and tune in. We need to turn off the television and start talking with our kids, and listening to them, and understanding what’s going on in their lives.

We need to set limits and expectations. We need to replace that video game with a book and make sure that homework gets done. We need to say to our daughters, Don’t ever let images on TV tell you what you are worth, because I expect you to dream without limit and reach for your goals. We need to tell our sons, Those songs on the radio may glorify violence, but in our house, we find glory in achievement, self-respect, and hard work.

We need to realize that we are our children’s first and best teachers. When we are selfish or inconsiderate, when we mistreat our wives or girlfriends, when we cut corners or fail to control our tempers, our children learn from that—and it’s no surprise when we see those behaviors in our schools or on our streets.”Link

Amen to that. I especially love how he says, “I expect you to dream without limit and reach for your goals”—maybe because it reminds me of my own dad, who has always had that sentiment, as well as the bit about “in our house, we find glory in achievement, self-respect, and hard work.”

It’s obvious that Obama is a great father, but he’s got nothing on my pops. Each year I am increasingly aware of how lucky I am to have my dad. He’s always there for me, no matter what. He didn’t tell me I was an idiot when I announced I was quitting my job and moving to Chicago. He listens to me bitch about waiting tables, even when my stories make him uncomfortable. He shines up a bike for me then hauls it up to Chicago. Believe me, I can keep going. My dad is awesome. If you’ve met him, you know. If you haven’t met him, I’ve probably told you 15 million times. He’s awesome.

This was the first Father’s Day that I can remember that I didn’t see—or even talk—to my dad. It’s been our tradition in the last several years to go to the Indy Jazz Fest on Father’s Day weekend, and then spend time together that Sunday before I’d head back to Bloomington that evening.

This year things were a little different. The Jazz Fest will be in September this year, I’m up in Chicago working like a maniac, and my Dad and Debbie were on vacation (his first in about a million years). Since D and D were just getting home yesterday and I was working all day, I sent my dad a text message and left it at that, knowing I’d call him today.

But I woke up this morning with a big ball of guilt in my stomach. I didn’t get him a gift. I didn’t talk to him. I am the worst daughter ever. It’s official. This is what’s been going through my head all day, even though I know as soon as I talk to him, he’ll say it’s no big deal.

I’m hoping that, come September, I’ll be able to buy Papa Hamm a ticket to the Jazz Fest. It might be late, but it’ll still feel like Father’s Day to me.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Sharon Jones wants to let you down easy

Yet another example of a badass show I've missed this month. Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings headlined the Chicago Bluesfest this year. Free show at Grant Park, and I missed it. Sigh.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Time Traveler's Wife!

Finally! The movie adaptation of The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger is coming out on August 14. I first read the book when I was studying in London in 2005, and me and my friends there passed this around and gushed about our love for it. Why so much love? It's a great love story and science fiction all in one, it's clever, it's largely set in Chicago...it is just all around goodness.

And to make it all even better, the casting could not be more dead on. Rachel McAdams plays Clare, and Eric Bana is Henry--as if Henry wasn't already my dream man in the book, now he's in the form of Eric Bana?! Yum. And Ron Livingston is playing Gomez? Love. It.

I could do without the uber-cheesy running into each other's arms in the meadow bit, but aside from that, the preview leads me to believe that they've managed to adapt this with a limited gag factor. Let's hope that's the case.

I can't wait! In the meantime, if you haven't read the book, come over and borrow my copy. I actually reread it earlier this year, so all I have to do is wait.

Oh, Henry and Clare!


Seriously, how does anyone accomplish anything while at an office these days? Right when I start focusing on an assignment, one of the following things happens.

A. gChat
B. text message
C. gChat
D. realize my ass hurts from this awful desk chair
E. stomach growls
F. doze off
G. gChat
H. Facebook
J. gChat about how my ass hurts
K. daily trip to vending machine for 30 cent DDP
L. gChat
M. start blogging about all the distractions

This doesn't even include time spent on look at this fucking hipster, NYT, feministing, go fug yourself, slate, etc.

Yet miraculously, I'm still getting everything finished on time. Umm, does blogging about this potentially compromise my chances of getting hired? Shit. This might get deleted in 15 minutes.

I think I need to sleep for about 2 weeks.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

charmin charmin/but you are of no assistance

I've been rereading Ntozake Shange's "for colored girls..." and this is just one of many passages I'm absolutely in love with. Wish I could write poetry like this.

I think we've all been here before:

without any assistance or guidance from you
i have loved you assiduously for 8 months 2 wks & a day
i have been stood up four times
i've left 7 packages on yr doorstep
forty poems 2 plants & 3 handmade cards i left
town so i cd send to you have been no help to me
on my job
you call at 3:00 in the morning on weekdays
so i cd drive 27 1/2 miles across the bay before i go to work
charmin charmin
but you are of no assistance
i want you to know
this waz an experiment
to see how selfish i cd be
if i wd really carry on to snare a possible lover
if i waz capable of debasing myself for the love of another
if i cd stand not being wanted
when i wanted to be wanted
& i cannot
so with no further assistance & no guidance from you
i am endin this affair

this note is attached to a plant
i've been waterin since the day i met you
you may water it
yr damn self

Friday, June 12, 2009

Update: Awkwardness Averted, Sorta

Enough people have asked me about the awkward text message I promised was in the future after my run-in on the El Wednesday morning that I feel obliged to give you an update. First off, if you’re wondering if I still went on that date, I’m going to need you to smack yourself across the face. Hard. Clearly I did not go on this date. Are you fucking kidding me? Does “I’m going to go stand down there now” ring any bells?

Okay, now that we’ve got that part cleared up, here’s another fun fact from Wednesday. So, before THAT GUY practically sprinted away from me on the El platform, he asked me if I had to work that night. My answer was yes. And yes, he knows where I work. He may or may not frequent the bar. Get off my back.

(Side note: THAT GUY is now his official name, as I’m either changing his name in my phone to THAT GUY or deleting it completely).

Fast forward to many hours later. I’m now at work and slightly buzzed from the shots of Jameson Rachel and friends forced me to take with them. (By forced I mean asked politely if I wanted to take shots with them, obviously. Or did I suggest the shots? Mwahaha. Umm, just kidding. I am a responsible young budding journalist. I would never take shots of whiskey while at work.)

ANYWAY. So I’m doing whatever it is I do when waiting tables and I happen to look toward the door just as...THAT GUY walks in. He sits at the bar for a few minutes while I consult with everyone what I should do in this situation. I heard enough “let him come to you” suggestions that I pretend I’m busier than I really am and actually pay attention to my tables. But after a few more minutes, he still hasn’t approached me, and I’m really irritated. What the hell is THAT GUY doing?

Just as I start to head over to him, he leaps up from the bar and scurries out. Now, I don’t know if he saw me or not, but still: LAME. At this point I have every intention of just blowing him off completely, which ordinarily I would never do, but good god, this behavior deserves a blow off. I assume he’s not going to contact me either after these displays of weird social behavior. But then:

Last night around 6ish I get a text from him. “we still on for drinks?”

Umm, NO, you weirdo. I reply: “sorry, something came up.”

By something, I meant I’d rather hang out with my cats all night, every night, than go out with you. Ever.

Just another example of why I told my father I've given up on dating. Although in retrospect I'm pretty sure he interpreted that as, "I'm a lesbian, Dad."

*Spencer, I dropped that F-bomb specifically in honor of you becoming a follower. Was it necessary? Always.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Ali’s Awesomely Awkward Adventures: More Blue Line Fun!

Maybe it’s just me, but it tends to get weird when you bump into an acquaintance when riding public transit. Take, for instance, the morning a coworker walked on the same car as me. First I feel excited to see a familiar face—and a face that’s not familiar because I served you beer last night, cause that happens more than I’d care to talk about—but then quickly, I realize now we either have to make small talk for the next 15-20 minutes, or one of us risks being rude by not sitting down with the other person. She sat down next to me. Whew. I put my book away and feel confident that we have enough work gossip to get us through the morning commute.

Her phone rings. She answers. Okay, back to reading. I pull my book back out. She loses her connection. I put my book away. “So…” Her phone rings again. I take my book back out.

Just as I’ve discovered I should hold my book on my lap so I can stop this little game, she jumps up. “My stop is next! Bye, honey!” Umm. My stop is next, too. But to avoid the likelihood that I will fall into someone’s lap by the jerking of the train stopping and starting, I always wait until the last possible second to stand up and exit. Now my routine was shattered! Uggh. I get up and try not to fall down.

I chat with her a bit more until we reach the stop. “Ok, bye!” she says. Uhh, what? We don’t walk together now? Now I feel obliged to let her walk ahead of me. I feel increasingly like a social pariah. Luckily I had to transfer to the green line, so eventually I stopped feeling like I was following my coworker around Chicago.

I completely accept that in this situation, I made it awkward—and probably only in my head—but this morning, I faced some awkwardness that I know was not in my head, and not my fault. AT ALL.

So, on the days when I have to go straight from my internship to working at the bar, I park my car by work and walk to the California blue line stop so I don’t have to take public transit home late at night. Might seem a little silly, but last night a homeless guy was peeing right in front of the train entrance as I walked to my car, so I was grateful not to have to get in range (or better eyesight) of all that bizness.

Anyway. This morning, I’m stepping out of my car and see a guy I know walking down the street.

We say hi. We discover we’re both walking to the El, and we’re both going in the same direction. Going to the same stop, as a matter of fact. However, he’s walking incredibly fast and I’m wearing heels, and Lord knows I can barely walk in my bare feet, so this presents a problem. I’m thinking he’s in a hurry and doesn’t have time to chat, so I’m fully prepared to say bye and leave it at that. But he keeps talking (albeit over his shoulder practically, because I’m tripping all over myself trying to keep up), and we end up walking up the El platform together.

We talk for a minute while we’re waiting for the train, and he’s looking over my shoulder for the nonexistent train so frequently that I’m starting to get uncomfortable. I ask him a question. He starts pulling a book out of his bag and gives me a distracted answer. And then: “Well, I’m going to go stand down there. See ya.”

Umm, bye?

You might be thinking, “Oh Alison, this isn’t that weird…it was the morning, he just wanted to read his book and get to class.” Uh huh. Maybe.

But when I said “a guy I know” I also meant a guy I’m supposed to go out on a date with.


Guess who has an awkward text message coming his way!

Hamm Family Photos

Jay undertook the major project of scanning some old family photos and putting together a slideshow in memory of our grandparents--our grandpa passed away this February, our grandma 13 years ago as of tomorrow--and some of these photos are too badass not to show off.

Here, Grandpa milking a cow. To state the obvious. And here are two of Grandma Hamm:

Clearly, becoming a cat lady was inevitable. It's in the Hamm genes.

Monday, June 8, 2009

I need more live music in my life.

Every week, it seems like I think about, then don't actually go, to see some kick ass live music. Last week was Jenny Lewis. Two weeks ago, Camera Obscura. Etc. Etc. Of course, there's often some legitimate conflicts, like sold out shows, no money, waiting tables on a Saturday night...blah blah blah. I need more live music!

This week, I'm missing Anthony Hamilton. Sigh. These YouTube clips just aren't cutting it.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Major Oversight

Somehow, the NYT's obit of David Carradine completely overlooked his most important role. What the EFF--how could you possibly not mention this?

Justin! What a bastard.

You might already be familiar with this one from Swayze fest, but since the NYT so carelessly overlooked some of Carradine's finest work, I feel obliged to show it again:

Speaking of Swayze fest, I'm sorry for slacking. I know I've ruined your Sundays without it. On a serious note, I was sorry to hear about Carradine's passing. It sounds particularly difficult for his family considering the circumstances.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Magical Moments Waiting Tables

Last night was a magical one at Logan Bar and Grill. Simply magical. I am still astounded on a regular basis by the silly, silly things men will say to waitresses.

Here are some of the gems from last night:

Silly Customer: “You know, you’re kind of cute. But you look like a good girl—you know, the kind that would love to talk to my mom about baking. I bet you’re one of those good girls.”

Me: “Uh huh.”

Silly Customer: “So where does a good girl like you go to have fun?”

Me: “Mostly I just stay home, knitting, baking and reading the Bible, thinking about how much I’d like to meet your mom.”

This is the point where I pretend I am very busy and important and scurry away. May I just add that this conversation occurred shortly after this man whined to me that his Grey Goose Pear and cranberry cocktail (“with two limes, please, sweetheart”) was too weak.

A) Don’t call me sweetheart. B) Don’t drink that. Ever. C) Shut up and drink your damn cocktail.

Luckily, we ran out of his precious pear vodka after his second cocktail, and his friend had his fill of pear ciders, so they asked for their tab. Thus ensued the next fun exchange:

Silly Customer, who we'll now call GG Pear and Cran Fool: “I hope you put your number on our check so we can go out sometime.”

Me: “Yeah, but it’s for your mom.”

GG Pear and Cran Fool: “You’re breaking my heart, sweetheart. Can I ask you something?”

UGGH. NOW WHAT. I nod and pray that this guy will give me his effing money as quickly as possible.

“What’s your favorite pizza topping?”

Do I really need to go on? Apparently he “read” somewhere that this was a great pickup line. Then, to make my night even more exciting, he went outside to have a smoke, and told two other guys I was waiting on to ask me that question as well. They did. Then they asked me to describe myself in one sentence. UGGH. I don’t need a sentence, just two words:

“Not interested.”

Later on, a guy who'd been sitting at the bar came up to me and said, “Do you find me attractive?”

HA! Now that one is just funny. After I busted out laughing, he said, “I think you’re pretty attractive, but I guess I’d better tell you that I live with my girlfriend. I think we should start out by being honest.”

This is my life.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Introducing…the best bike in the whole world

You might be wondering: How many posts can Alison possibly talk about this EFFing bike? The answer: A LOT.

I’d like to introduce Patricia:

I can think of no better name for this beauty. She was my grandma’s, and my grandma’s name happens to be…Patricia! Now, my grandma goes by Pat, but that just won’t do for this bike. It’s Patricia. Remember that.

D and D (Dad and Debbie) delivered Patricia on Friday night, and of course my Dad shined her up for me beforehand. Check out how she gleams in the sunlight.

Saturday, after a lovely trip to the Chicago Botanic Gardens and to Goose Island for dinner and delicious beer, we got back to my apartment, and I think Debbie could tell I was antsy to take Patricia for a spin. (My dad was falling asleep into his beer at the time.)

The next thing I know, I am suddenly 12-years-old again. D and D walked around the block while I circled around them a few times. (I wasn’t ready to brave the traffic on Belmont without a helmet.)

The wind was in my hair. I was grinning like a maniac. I passed D and D and waved wildly. I almost ran into a car. My neighbors out on their porches looked increasingly confused at the sight of a grown woman on a bike riding around in circles on a Saturday evening. I kept grinning. Then I forgot how to brake.

The next day, we went to Target and picked out a helmet. Still looking for the suit of armor.

All in all, a great weekend!

And just a warning to all you possible bike thieves out there: Stay away from Patricia. We don't want this to happen. Yeah, it's another Pee Wee clip. Accept it.


"I bought this one hour before my bike was stolen! WHY? WHAT'S THE SIGNIFICANCE?!


The 'aww' factor

Last night I was talking to this couple who are getting married next month, and they were so happy and in love, talking about their wedding, that I actually said, “Awww.”

And meant it.

But Jesus, they were talking about being best friends, and you could tell it was actually true. They even looked a little teary eyed! It was so heartwarming that I actually found myself being genuinely interested in their wedding plans. I was so stunned by it all, I accidentally gulped down half of my Tecate in one drink.

Basically what I’m saying is that I’m not always the angel of doom. I think I’m growing.

But I still think diamond rings are bullshit.