Monday, April 30, 2007

The best parts of Eat Pray Love

So. What was that I said about wanting to record passages from each book I read, to remind myself what I liked about it? Then I go and finish what is easily my favorite book so far this year (and probably of last year, too... and quite possibly of the year to come), and I neglect to write anything about it? I am not sure what's up with that. All I know is that my friend Sarah wants to borrow my copy of Eat Pray Love, and I don't really want to hand it to her with a bunch of Post-it flags still sticking out, so if I'm going to document this book in any way, I'd best be doing it now.

Ordinarily I'm not a bandwagon-jumper when it comes to books. The fact that there were 77 holds on this book at the Minneapolis Public Library should have swayed me against wanting to read it just now, not made me run out and buy my own copy. I'm snooty and above-the-norm that way. I'm kidding, actually. (Mostly, anyway.) I did, after all, read The Da Vinci Code and the first Harry Potter book, just to see what all the fuss was about, and I own at least three paperbacks with the Oprah's Book Club stamp of approval on them. And as it turns out, with Eat Pray Love, 208 mostly very favorable reviews on Amazon can't, in fact, be wrong.

I worry a bit that I'm overselling this book. Expectation is everything, after all, and if you go into it expecting it to be amazing, your hopes might be too high. Case in point: Titanic. All of you who saw it after James Cameron's ego swelled to the size of all of North America easily scoffed and turned your nose up, but I swear if you'd seen it opening weekend, before the hype-wagons ran wild, you would have left the theater crying just like me. Shut up; you would too. Just trust me on this, OK? Anyway, my point is that I'm well aware of the dangers of over-exposure. And yet, while I was reading Eat Pray Love, I couldn't help but recommend it with unbridled enthusiasm to damn near everyone I met. So passionate was I about this book that I told a meMarmony date about it, and when I sent him a follow-up message after the date and forgot to provide a link reminding him of the title, I actually wanted to send another note days later to pass along that info. Never mind that he hadn't replied to the first message and therefore obviously wanted nothing more to do with me. I didn't care about that; I just wanted him to be able to read this book, dammit!

Anyway, a brief summary, in case you aren't familiar with the premise of this one. Eat Pray Love is essentially a travel memoir, but it documents not just Elizabeth Gilbert's literal journey through Italy, India, and Indonesia (in search of pleasure, devotion, and balance), but also her journey through a bitter and painful divorce and a thirty-something crisis of self that is not entirely unrelatable to me (or many other thirty-somethings I know). It's a book about travel and culture and spirituality, but it's about a lot more than that, too. It's about accepting yourself and honoring your instincts. It's about letting go of emotional pain and baggage and finding peace even without any really satisfying sense of closure. It's about pursuing what makes you happy (and realizing that what makes you happy might be entirely different from what makes anyone around you happy). It's about bucking convention and figuring things out as you go. It's about realizing that spirituality and religion are not one in the same, and that God need not be a distant and separate-from-you thing. Oh, and it's also laugh-out-loud funny in parts, which was something I wasn't particularly expecting at first.

While I was reading this book, I felt happier and more at peace than I've felt at any point in recent memory, but it didn't immediately occur to me that I might have the book's influence to thank. I've also suddenly got an incredible urge to take a trip (a trip by myself, no less--something I've never done before), but it's much less of a stretch to realize where that urge came from, of course.

I was going to type out some favorite passages, as I've done with other books this year, but most of the passages I flagged as I read either lose their impact out of context or are far too long to quote. This list of notes and quotes is for my own reference, then, not for you specifically. (Sorry.) For my own ease in follow-up later, here are some of the parts I loved...

  • The explanation in Chapter 15 of just why Italian is the most beautiful language in the world.

  • Gilbert's description (on pages 62-63 of the first paperback edition) of how she had to declare a "pleasure major" in Italy--forgoing fashion, opera, cinema, skiing, fancy cars, and even art, to focus on a double major "in speaking and eating (with a concentration on gelato)."

  • The description of Italian men on pages 66-67: "They're like show poodles. Sometimes they look so good I want to applaud... [They] force me to call upon romance novel rhapsodies in order to describe them." And yet, how there's been a shift in Italy in the last ten to fifteen years, so that these beautiful men no longer leer and pester women like they did for generations. "It seems Italian men have earned themselves the Most Improved Award," Gilbert writes.

  • Gilbert's amusing struggles with learning a new language: "I work hard at Italian, but I keep hoping it will one day just be revealed to me whole, perfect. One day I will open my mouth and be magically fluent. Then I will be a real Italian girl, instead of a total American who still can't hear someone call across the street to his friend Marco without wanting instinctively to yell back 'Polo!'"

  • The theory that every city in the world has a word that fully encapsulates it (Rome's is "sex," apparently), and my inability to decide what Minneapolis's word would be.

  • Gilbert's thoughts (in Chapter 30) on having children ("Not all the reasons to have children are the same, and not all of them are necessarily unselfish. Not all the reasons not to have children are the same, either, though. Nor are all those reasons necessarily selfish."), and her acknowledgment (p. 95) that to step out of the cycle of family and continuity leaves you wondering what your purpose is or what measure you're to use to judge your success as a human being.

  • Richard-from-Texas's explanation of what a soul mate really is (p. 149): "People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that's what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that's holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change you life. A true soul mate is probably the most important person you'll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then they leave. And thank God for it."

  • The story in Chapter 50 that demonstrates we all brood; we all have some eighth-grade-caliber boy trouble keeping us up at night. The example that even Cambodian refugees who'd just been through the worst a human can endure wanted to talk to a therapist not about torture or starvation, but about relationships and lost loves. "This is what we are like," Gilbert writes. "Collectively, as a species, this is our emotional landscape.... There are only two questions that human beings have ever fought over, all through history. How much do you love me? and Who's in charge? Everything else is somehow manageable."

  • The importance of choosing your thoughts (p. 178): "You need to learn how to select you thoughts just the same way you select what clothes you're gonna wear every day. This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That's the only thing you should be trying to control... On first glance, this seems a nearly impossible task. Control your thoughts? Instead of the other way around? But imagine if you could?"

  • Gilbert's answer to those who've fallen away from religious teachings or been unable to commit to one religion's school of thought. "You don't want to go cherry-picking a religion," a friend of hers once said. Gilbert's reply: "Which is a sentiment I completely respect expect for the fact that I totally disagree. I think you have every right to cherry-pick when it comes to moving your spirit and finding peace in God. I think you are free to search for any metaphor whatsoever which will take you across the worldly divide whenever you need to be transported or comforted... You take whatever works from wherever you can find it, and you keep moving toward the light." (p. 208)

  • The theory (p. 260) that all the sorrow and trouble of this world is caused by unhappy people. "Not only in the big global Hitler-n-Stalin picture, but also on the smallest personal level... I can see exactly where my episodes of unhappiness have brought suffering or distress or (at the very least) inconvenience to those around me. The search for contentment is, therefore, not merely a self-preserving and self-benefiting act, but also a generous gift to the world."

There's a lot more, of course, but as I said, I'm well aware these scattered notes aren't likely terribly helpful to anyone but me. So read this one yourself (or, you know, don't). If you love it half as much as I did, it won't be time ill spent.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Friday Five: Five reasons being an adult does not suck

On my birthday last month, my friend Amy gave me a card that she claimed she purchased months in advance, because she thought it was so very perfect for me.

I can't argue with her for thinking of me, I guess... Here's the card in question.

Outside:

La La La

Inside:
See? There are perks to getting older!


At times, it is easy to forget all the advantages of being a grown-up. When I'm paying my mortgage or my gas bill or spending $70 at Target and having nothing fun to show for it (that is, unless garbage bags, shower cleaner, paper towels and the like can somehow be deemed "fun"), it is hard not to look back fondly on the carefree days of youth. But then I remember all the reasons I would not go back to being a kid... all the reasons that being a grown-up does not, in fact, suck one bit. Here are five of them.


  1. Consuming alcohol is not verboten (in fact, in many cases, it's encouraged!)... and it's actually a lot more fun than I realized during my misspent goody-goody youth.

  2. Usually, when I am out for the night, I am more than ready to go home by midnight. (Particularly on a Friday. It is rough getting up at 6:30 a.m. every day!) That said, however, on those rare nights when I'm able to rally and keep it going into the wee hours, I do enjoy having no curfew and no one waiting up for me angrily when if I get home.

  3. Getting paid is in no way dependent on whether my clothes are put away or my bathroom is clean. In fact, the person who signs my paychecks has actually never even been in my house to assess this sort of thing. And that is the way I prefer it.

  4. I have to finance my own vacations, yes, but I do not have to take my vacations with my parents (huddled three across on the vinyl seats of an ancient station wagon), and, better yet, I actually get paid my full salary while I'm gone!

  5. Cereal for dinner is a perfectly valid choice, as is eating said dinner on the living room floor in front of the TV. This was never an option as a kid.


I'm sure I am forgetting several other very good examples, but I am going with the first five that initially came to mind. If you have other points of proof as to why being an adult is not so bad, feel free to leave them in the comments. I need to send another check to the mortgage company this weekend, after all, so I could use all the reminders I can get.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

I really should have titled this before I started typing, because now all I can think of is Hans Moleman

At the private boarding school featured in Prep, one day a year is designated as "Surprise Holiday." The students show up for roll call that morning and are told, "Surprise! You get the day off. Go do with it as you please."

I would like to institute something similar for every time there is construction going on in or near my office. That shouldn't be too much to ask, should it?

The condo building next door is apparently having some sort of roof work done, which means I get to hear hammering and shouting and the low and constant rumble of some sort of large machinery idling for what I can only assume will be most of the day. Fun! Hello, headache that I had during all of December (when our office remodeled and expanded into an adjacent part of the building--an area conveniently located on the other side of the apparently rather thin wall directly to the left of my head). Can't say I missed that constant throbbing pain one bit.

Also, the roof crew's trucks and machinery are now consuming a full two-thirds of our tiny parking lot, which seems not particularly fair or right, but since I'm not the one who owns the place, I guess I won't complain. Also also*, would it make me sound like a judgmental old lady if I point out that the crew looks like a band of misfits pulled straight out of Boys Town? It would? OK, forget that part then.

---------------------------------------
* Apparently I
like that word as much as -R- does. (Apparently I also like the word "apparently.")
---------------------------------------


(Sidenote: Know what’s one thing I do not need to hear when I am already in a bad and agitated mood? The one man here at That-Place-That-Shall-Not-Be-Blogged-About who annoys me and makes my stomach turn the most, strolling through the hall singing "Ifff you want my body, aaand you think I’m sexy..." Ew. No, sir, I do not want your body, nor do I in any way find you sexy. OK, I am cranky. I apologize. Moving on.)

In other news, I saw Eagle vs. Shark last night, which will not be in wide (or, I guess, limited) release until June, according to Rotten Tomatoes, but which was screened here as part of the film festival this week and which I am certain will be widely talked about and near-universally adored when its release date arrives. I say near-universally because I didn't particularly love it myself. It was OK; I liked some of the characters, and there were several amusing parts throughout the film, but overall I didn't laugh nearly as uproariously as the people around me did. Those people also probably loved Napoleon Dynamite, however (the film to which this one draws some very immediate and obvious comparisons), and I did not. Don't get me wrong. I am all about rooting for the underdog, and I love me a quirky nerd hero. In my mind, though, the nerd must be subtly charming and self-deprecating, not an unjustifiably arrogant idiot who's rude and cruel to the few people who inexplicably want to spend time with him. It's entirely possible I'm taking things too seriously, however. After all, I'm also the girl who can't stand hidden camera practical joke shows or slapstick physical comedy because it makes me nervous. Perhaps I need to lighten up. Or perhaps it's entirely OK that this style's just not for me. Anyway, Eagle vs. Shark. You may love it. (Most of my fellow theater patrons last night seemed to.) I did not. Let me know in June, I guess.

Tonight I am off to see Warchild, and later in the week I am heading to Once, because apparently the Film Festival is my excuse to make up for the fact that I saw only two movies on the big screen between August and December of last year, and now I'm getting them in all at once. I may be spending so much time in dark, smelly rooms this week that I become some sort of mole-person in the process. For the benefit of my already sad dating life, let's hope that’s not the case.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

One down, four to go

Seeing as it is late April already, I suppose you are all wondering just how my New Year's resolutions are going. What's that? You forgot all about those? Well, frankly, it seems I have, too. Yes, I am still making what I think is a valid effort to think before I speak and to remember that the people I care about (and even the ones I don't) might not see things through the same window I do (and, more importantly, trying to realize that that's OK). I am also remembering to take my multi-vitamin and calcium supplement at least four or five days out of seven (not stellar progress, I'll admit, but an improvement, anyway). But that whole cooking one? The one where I was going to make a measly five meals out of the Pillsbury Fast and Healthy Cookbook that's collecting dust upon my shelf? Yeah, with that one, I'm not doing quite so well.

Yesterday afternoon, I decided it was finally time to apply a single hash mark towards that goal. I had big plans for the evening, after all: a hot date with myself, watching the the Netflix DVD that's been sitting in my living room since before Easter while knitting several rows of a summer sweater for my spinster self. A lovely home-made dinner and a glass bottle of wine would be a fine lead-in to that. So instead of falling back on my usual stand-bys (frozen pizza, ravioli, or deli-case sushi), I pulled out the cookbook and started perusing it. I decided on Spinach and Feta Quesadillas and I took off for Trader Joe's.

I had never actually been to Trader Joe's, by the way. We've had one in the Twin Cities for less than a year, I think. According to TJ's web site, we've got two locations now, but both are in ridiculously overrun and/or remote areas that I tend to avoid as best I can. The lure of $3 wine was strong, however, as was my curiosity about the whole Trader Joe's phenomenon. When I finally returned from that voyage, however (well over an hour after I left), I told myself, "Well, I hope you enjoyed that, because we are never, ever going there again." The location I went to is a mere 10 miles from my house, but it took me 35 minutes to get there due to the ridiculous route Mapquest laid out, and once I arrived, I had to park two blocks away, because the hype and novelty of Trader Joe's has, apparently, not worn off quite yet. Interesting private-label snacks and Three-Buck Chuck are appealing, but not so appealing as to make me repeat that pilgrimage any time soon.

That said, my dinner turned out great. I cook with real, actual ingredients so seldomly that it was an event worth documenting for proof. See? I cooked! Really! People, a photo doesn't lie.









All right, so I don't have the mad food-photography skillz that some people have, so you'll just have to trust me that dinner was a success. I am particularly proud of my improvisational prowess. Not only can I follow a recipe, but I can look at said recipe and say, "Red bell peppers? I don't think so. I say tomatoes would be a far better choice." (By the way, I can hear all of you "real" cooks laughing, and I am ignoring you, OK? Progress comes in baby steps, and these are valid advancements, if you ask me.)

Since I am using my blog again to showcase my domestic skills, I thought I would also highlight what I did last weekend, which was to assemble the new bed I purchased recently, the latest exhibit in my bid to prove that a real grown-up, in fact, lives here. I've been sleeping on a mattress and box spring on a simple headboard-less frame for about seven years now, which, granted, is one step above a mattress simply laid upon the floor, but was still, I feel, embarrassing in some way. No more, however... check it out: a real and proper bed! A headboard and footboard, no less!

Where Stefanie Sleeps

What is most amusing to me (and likely no one else) about my new bed are the benefits of a headboard that I quickly found. No, I am not fantasizing about who I might tie to those bed posts with luxurious silken scarves; what actually got me excited was the fact that I can now sit up in bed reading without my back inadvertently pushing against the wall and rolling my wheeled bed frame towards the center of the room. This was a problem before, however uncommon and lame a problem it may be.

Speaking of reading, I have finally finished Eat Pray Love, the book that has been resting in my sidebar for likely damn near two months now. I don't even want to write a recap, because inevitably nothing I write will fully capture just how very much I loved this book. I'll attempt a recap anyway, though I'm not sure just when that will occur. This week is the MSP International Film Festival, so I'll be off watching movies (and quickly growing broke, at $9 a pop) for the next several days. A blog hiatus may ensue; thought I'd just mention that right now.

To keep you busy in the mean time, a few questions for you:

  1. What easy (no, seriously, easy!) recipe should I try, in an attempt to hone my missing domesticity gene?
  2. What was the last piece of "real" furniture you bought? What is the next one on your list?
  3. What was the best movie that I maybe haven't seen as of yet (but should)?

As always, I thank you for your undoubtedly sage and helpful advice.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Two Friday Fives for the price of one (which granted doesn't mean much, since the price is "free")

So -R- and One Smart Cookie played a fun game yesterday wherein they detailed just what would be deemed splurge-worthy if they suddenly found themselves buried in gobs of superfluous cash. Handily enough, they chose to itemize their choices in five-point form, which makes this topic a perfect fit for my weekly Friday Five thing for today.

Because I love lists but I hate making decisions, I am already stressing out about all the obviously better choices I am undoubtedly forgetting (because, you know, someone is actually going to bequeath upon me ridiculous sums of money and thereafter hold me to precisely what I've written here). To avoid this undue mental agony, I am just going to go with the first five things I thought of and find peace with that somehow.

That said, here are five luxuries I would absolutely think were worth splurging on if money were no concern:

  1. Remodeling. First up would be my bathroom, which desperately needs an overhaul for reasons I already detailed once before (see #11 in that post if you're actually curious). After that, I'd refinish my basement and put in a workout room and a retro-swanky bar (where I would thereafter have awesome parties using my new-found mixology skillz). Then I'd build a patio in my backyard and pay someone to landscape my property appropriately (nothing fancy or elaborate--just something prettier and more cohesive than the random shrubs and what-not I've got now). Although, hell, if I'm doing all this and money is truly no concern, I could just say "screw it" to my generic little shoebox and buy a cuter, pricier house that already has amenities such as these. I suppose that's a fine and valid option for this windfall as well.

  2. Snow shoveling and lawn mowing services. I've always firmly believed this is not worth my money, as shoveling and lawn mowing take comparatively so little of my time and are things I am more than fully capable of doing on my own. If I have all the money in the world to toss away as I wish, however, you can bet I wouldn't be wasting even a minute of my free time on annoyances such as this.

  3. A personal shopper. -R- picked this, too, but it would have made my list even if she hadn't mentioned it. I have no idea what to wear anymore and no interest in spending days at the mall trying to figure it out. I lost my love for clothes shopping somewhere around 1998 and haven't found a way rekindle it more than sporadically since then. I want to be cute and stylish; I just have no idea how to make that happen anymore. I would love to pay someone else to help me with that.

  4. Awesome vacations. I would take way more trips than I do now, and I would pony up for lots more fancy meals, souvenirs, and add-on activities when I do.

  5. A trampoline. Yes, this one is ridiculous, particularly since I'd also have to build some sort of cloaking structure around the thing so my neighbors do not think I am a lunatic (33-year-olds playing on trampolines are not the norm in Minneapolis, sadly). I don't care. It's my list, and trampolines will never not be fun.


The other side of this game is to list the five things you would never waste money on, no matter how much of it you had--the five luxuries you think just aren't worth it in any way. Here are mine:

  1. Designer purses. I couldn't tell a real Fendi or Kate Spade from a fake one, and I really just do not care. Are Fendi and Kate Spade even the right examples to use here? See? I have no idea about these things. My everyday purse right now is a little red Liz Claiborne one I got for $14 at TJ Maxx, and it suits me just fine.

  2. Music. I know this will be a controversial one, but it makes the list anyway. I love music, and in theory I would love to have a massive collection that I add to regularly. The reality, though, is that I just don't take the time to listen to lots of stuff from new artists. I'm not much of a downloader (I don't even know how to get iTunes tracks on my iFraud*), and most CDs I buy end up spending more time in my CD rack than in the player. It's not that I don't listen to music; on the contrary, in the car or at home something's playing at almost all times. Ever since the Twin Cities got a commercial-free radio station that I actually enjoy, however, I've spent a lot less time picking my own playlist for the day.

    * TM The Other Girl. (I miss you already, Regina!)


  3. Products. I am fascinated by all the wonders within Sephora, and I love perusing "favorites" lists from true connoisseurs, but having a cupboard and shower full of half-used bottles of impulse buys I just had to try makes me weirdly nervous in some inexplicable way. I think I'm just easily overwhelmed. Perhaps I need a mentor to hone my product love.

  4. A Cabin. Around here, it seems it's everyone's lifelong dream to own lakefront property somewhere up north.** I do enjoy a weekend cabin getaway as much as the next girl, and "Friend with Cabin" and "Cabin in the Family" are useful reference points without a doubt. But my own cabin? No thank you, sir. First, I do not enjoy keeping up with maintenance and repairs on my own primary house. Having to maintain two homes sounds like no fun to me at all. Second, people who have cabins feel compelled to go to the cabin every weekend from May until September. Going to the cabin becomes a task in and of itself. All that packing and unpacking, every single week? Uh-uh. Not for me. Spending summer evenings on a jam-packed freeway traversing between the city and there? No interest, thanks. I'd rather spend lots of summer weekends hanging in town with my friends and spend my cabin money on getaways to different places regularly.

    ** "Up north," to Minnesotans and Wisconsinites, is essentially anyplace north of where they live. It could be an hour, it could be three hours, but it must be north in order to count towards the dream.


  5. A decorator. I know this sort of goes against what I said about a personal shopper up above, but I always sort of think hiring a decorator for your home is cheating in a way. I would love for my place to look great and I wish I had the knack for effortlessly pulling colors and textures and nick-knacks together to create a homey and cohesive look, but I think my home should be a reflection of me and my tastes, and to have someone pick stuff for me seems phony in some way.

So, want to play? You know you do. What are your picks for "worth it" or "not worth it"? Diamond-encrusted gloves? High-priced champagne? I'm dying to know.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

I'll show you my power, Bitch

I've had this sort of weird, pinching pain in my abdomen for most of the day today, and what bothers me most about it is that I can't decide if it's from the kickboxing class I attended yesterday or if it can be attributed to any of the food products of questionable origin that I ingest on a regular basis. I'm pulling for the kickboxing explanation, but really you just never know.

The kickboxing class is a new addition to my routine. My gym canceled the Bosu class a while ago, leaving me with nothing to do with my Tuesday lunch hours but see what conniving schemes Sami and Chelsea are up to while I pump away on the Elliptical for a half hour or so. Recently, however, they've added a mid-day kickboxing class to the schedule, so I decided to check it out. It's been one of those "sore in muscles I didn't know I had" sort of experiments, which I think is probably a good thing overall. What's surprised me, however, is my response to the instruction style of this particular class. Our leader in this kickboxing endeavor seems to think that the best way to get us pumped and energized is to focus our efforts as though we have an actual enemy in mind. "WHERE ARE THOSE STRONG ARMS!?!" she shouts. "GET HIM!! HE'S RIGHT THERE! SHOW HIM YOUR POWER!!" she commands. A few months ago, I might perhaps have had a specific target in mind, ready to pummel my imaginary foe with all the strength in my girly biceps. Now, however? I don't know what's up with me, but I'm somehow in this Zen state of "Life's good, man; why you gotta rain on my parade?" I roll my eyes at the imaginary antagonism she invokes, thinking, "OK, fine; I'll give it all I've got. But I don't really need to punch anyone in the face to get me moving." Honestly, I think Eat Pray Love has something to do with it. Despite how long that book's been in my sidebar, I am digging it beyond any in recent memory. It's inspiring in so many ways, and letting go of all that nags at me is only one of the many things it's been teaching me.

I don't mean to imply that I'm pure and good and unshakable in all ways, however. Rest assured that my resident passive-aggressive surly streak is still well intact, without a doubt. Case in point? The parking lot at said aforementioned gym. On busy days, all spots in the gym's lot are occupied by suburbanites' SUVs and minivans and the occasional sensible vehicle or two. When this happens, the logical solution is to overflow into the adjacent clinic lot, a mere 30 feet plus a grass-covered median away from the gym's own and proper spots. The decidedly lazy among my fellow gym patrons, however, have decided that 30 extra feet is simply too much too endure, and thus, they park their cars in the no-man's land that is the brief connecting strip between the two lots instead.

During the winter months, when snowbanks presented even more of an obstacle between these two locales, the gym planted orange warning cones, designating the in-between space as a "Do not park here" zone. Now that the snow has melted and the sun in shining, however, it seems we are on our own.

I cannot explain why it irritates me so severely to see someone parked in the non-space between these two lots. Sure, it makes traversing the area a bit more difficult, as my visibility is impaired somewhat. But it's not exactly a high-traffic zone, so it really shouldn't affect me so adamantly. I think it's just the principle of the matter. I am a goody-goody and a rule-follower, after all, particularly when the rules mean minimal inconvenience on my part. To park in a properly marked and legal spot means walking a mere 30 feet beyond your expected path. Considering these people are at the gym, presumably to work out, should this really be such an inexcusable inconvenience in any way?

So the other day, when I saw a rude lazy-ass in that non-spot between the two lots, I decided someone really needed to be put in their place. I scrawled a note on the memo pad I keep in my glove compartment, fully intending to place it beneath a windshield wiper as my stern reprimand...

Seething Reprimand

I fully intended to place this note on the offender's windshield... but then I saw a surly teenager coming towards me as a witness... and I noticed the mock-chainlink license plate frame and the barbed wire screenprinted seat covers inside the offending car... and suddenly I remembered that I am one part vigilante justice-seeker and three parts 'fraidy-cat chicken-shit. So I folded the note into my pocket, destined for no end-point other than my new Birthday Scanner, through which I can share my timid passive aggression with the Internets instead.

If the illegally parked lazy-ass happens to be among the microscopically small part of the Twin Cities population reading my blog, however? Then consider yourself warned, motherfucker.

There. I feel better now. Really I do.

Metalia made me do it

I had fully intended to write some semblance of a real and proper post tonight. I very much hope I motivate myself to do so. Because this? This cannot stay in top-position for too long.

I present... my unfortunately unattractive soul mate, as envisioned by Poppy, who I had no idea had it in for me in any way. Rendering inspired by Metalia, in the comments on that interview post.

Come on, ladies... don't you want a piece of that?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Public Service Announcement

Just in case you're like me and you nearly forgot during its latest annoyingly lengthy hiatus that a show called Gilmore Girls even exists (and you're one of the few people remaining who actually cares that it still exists), I thought I would point out that there's a new episode on tonight.

I suspect that my regularly scheduled Gilmore Girls references will begin invading my posts again very shortly.

That is all.

Monday, April 16, 2007

300

As I understand it, 300 is an adventure epic that one Rotten Tomatoes reviewer says "is full of violence and testosterone and fills in the story holes with gorgeous slaughter." This post contains no violence, testosterone, or slaughter (gorgeous or otherwise), but I do want it to be epic in some way. It is, after all, my 300th post on Stefanie Says, and surely that's worthy of some sort of fanfare, no? So in honor of my 300th post, I thought I'd list 300 things you might not already know about me.

Relax. I'm just kidding. The 100 in my sidebar are most definitely more than enough.

Instead, I'll tell you just five things you might not know about me. Perhaps you've seen this "Interview me" meme that's going around. After 299 posts, I am apparently running short on ideas, so when Poppy offered to hand out some questions, I said, "OK, hit me with a few." It's kind of like a Barbara Walters special, except it won't take an hour, and there won't be any crying (I hope). Oh, and Poppy has better hair (in my opinion, anyway).

The "rules" (because just like a mass-forwarded email, there are always rules, right?) stipulate that to keep this game going, I must offer to interview any of you in return. If I don't, I will have bad luck for five years and my hair will fall out and I most likely will not have a date for the rest of the decade. (Given my track record, that last one might actually not be so bad.) Anyway, if you want to play along, see the rules at the end and I'll be happy to oblige. Meanwhile... on to the questions!

Here's what Poppy wants to know:


1. You said I was a lightweight when I got totally plastered on a bottle of wine. How much wine do you drink on a regular basis?! And what's your favorite? And why?

OK, define "regular basis." I almost never have wine with breakfast! Or even lunch! Really! All right, seriously... this varies depending on the week, the mood, the events, etc. I have put away a whole bottle more than once three times, however, and been not too worse for wear the next day. The secret is to start early and to pace yourself. If you pour the first glass with dinner at 6:00 and finish the last of it off after midnight, you can rise with only the slightest of headaches the next morning. Or, rather, you can if you're not an amateur (which is what I actually called you, Poppy, though I suppose "lightweight" is close enough). Then again, being a lightweight just means you're a cheap date, and that actually comes with its own set of benefits, I suppose.

As for my favorites... I generally prefer red to white, but as I've said before, I'm not too picky. (I'll even drink a fine Mer-lott on ice, after all.) For my birthday, my friend Gregorlee* brought me a Trapiche Oak Cask Argentinian Malbec that was noticeably awesome enough that I'm holding on to the bottle so I can remember it and buy more, but generally just about any red will do. And when I'm feeling concerned that my teeth might start to look like tiny gray bits of gravel jutting out of my gums, I'll drink just about any white instead (Riesling, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, and the like). No Chardonnay, however. That and baseball are two of the few things I do not have in common with Red at all.

* Not his real name, but it amuses me no end anyway.


2. How much does it impact your daily life that your parents were comedians like mine and spelled your first name phonetically?

My daily life? Not much. I was much more annoyed by it when I was younger, when I had to spell it out for every teacher and doctor and dentist in my life and when personalized erasers, pins, and bike license plates were big and not a single rack anywhere had my name spelled right. What bothers me, actually, is the reason my mom gives for choosing that spelling. "We thought it would be easier for you," she says. Sure, Mom. Having to spell out my name for every person I ever meet is definitely easier than learning that "ph" sounds like "f." Also, thanks for the vote of confidence that your daughter might not grow up quite intelligent enough to handle anything but a phonetic spelling of her name.

I'm exaggerating, obviously. It doesn't really bother me at all. At this point, I kind of like having a unique spelling. And it could be worse, after all. A co-worker recently forwarded me an email from a woman named "Stefnee" with the comment, "This spelling's even weirder than yours." True enough, co-worker. Poor Stefnee indeed.


3. If you could have only movies, books, or music, which would you choose and why?

I respectfully refuse to answer this question on the grounds that it might make my head explode.

What? That's not allowed? All right, fine; I'll choose movies, but it's a really, really hesitant choice. And if I try to explain "why," I'll likely change my mind again, so I'm just going to move on now, OK?


4. If you had to lose one of your five senses, which would it be and why?

I'm going to go with smell, because I think my sense of smell is already weaker than most people's (inhalant abuse as a kid--just kidding) and because my mom actually has no sense of smell and seems to cope with it just fine. Giving up sight or hearing is not an option (going blind is actually one of my biggest mostly irrational fears), and we already know from those monkey studies that being without touch creates all sorts of problems for development and emotional stability. Taste would be the one I'd give up after smell... I'd obviously eat a lot less if I couldn't taste anything, but is life without pizza, brownies, and ice cream really worth living, skinny or not? It's a tough call.


5. Let's pretend you know the future and you learn that your soul mate is a man 20 years your senior who is bald, missing a few teeth, out of shape, and has tattoos. Would you accept this soul mate, fall madly in love with him, and live happily ever after OR would you reject him and live your life alone?

If I know the future, then presumably I'm not going to meet this bald, toothless fatty for a while yet, right? In that case, I guess I'd have fun with trim, younger men for a while, knowing my fate was already sealed somewhere down the line. If he's my soul mate, then that means I would fall for him despite any conventional charms he's lacking, so I suppose I would somehow be unbothered by all that. Then again, maybe "soul mate" doesn't mean "life partner" or "lover" necessarily. A friend can be a soul mate. It doesn't mean you're meant to be with that soul mate forever or in a romantic way. Liz Gilbert actually has an excellent passage about soul mates in Chapter 48 of Eat Pray Love (which is an amazing book, by the way, that I cannot stop recommending to everyone I know), but perhaps I will save that for the inevitable write-up when I'm finally finished with that one.


Bonus Question: Who's your favorite Poppy?


Why, YOU, of course. And certainly not just because you're the only one I know.



OK, now the rules. (I told you there were rules, right?) If you want to play, too, just read and abide by the following:

1. Leave me a comment (with your email address, if I don't already have it) saying, "Interview me."
2. I will respond by asking you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Simple enough, right? I thought so.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Yes, I am writing this on Thursday night, but let's call it my Friday Five anyway

One of the very cool benefits of living in a relatively large metropolitan area is the veritable plethora of activities I can partake in during any given evening. I can go to the theater. I can see an orchestra. I can go roller-skating. I can take tap-dancing lessons. I can learn to cook*. I can slide a stone with a handle on it down an alley of ice and call it a sport. Really, the opportunities are endless. I rarely take advantage of most of these, however. So when I got an e-mail from the Guthrie Theater announcing various adult classes on their schedule, I thought, "I should really do something like that sometime."

Hence, tonight I attended Mixology 101, a "hands-on exploration of the elements and techniques that help create the perfect cocktail." The description for this 90-minute class was as follows:

SPIRITS OF CUE!

Preparing the perfect cocktail requires not only the perfect spirits and ratios, but also the proper build technique and the finest quality ingredients. We'll show you how to dazzle your guests with innovative and flavorful cocktails, and teach you basics of the culinary art that is mixology.

The class will provide a brief overview of each of the world's spirits, including production methods, origin, and flavor profiles. We'll discuss how to heighten these basic flavor components into complex and explosively flavorful cocktails. Yes! You can drink your homework.

A hands-on exploration of the elements and techniques that help create the perfect cocktail.

Thursday, April 12, 7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Instructor: [Name deleted because I decided I don't really want him Googling his way here]. General Manager of Cue at the Guthrie; Experience: General Manager and Sommelier for restaurants in Colorado and California (Monterey Peninsula) earning numerous "best of" awards; Education: Sommelier certification from the Court of Master Sommeliers and the International Wine Guild.

Well, I wouldn't say I got a particularly detailed education on the production methods, origin, and flavor profiles of various spirits, but I did indeed drink my homework (and I did take home a rather detailed multi-page handout containing plenty of information on said production methods, origins, and flavor profiles should I decide to learn more about these things at my leisure). I also had a fine time chatting with the diverse group of fellow students seated at adjacent barstools. Even if I hadn't learned much about liquor, I did at least learn that I can still converse relatively comfortably with strangers when forced (even strangers with "mom-hair," wearing corduroy appliqu├ęd jackets and little wooden reindeer decorative pins), something I find myself generally rather averse to these days (even when I do have alcohol as a social lubricant).

So. I am not socially incompetent after all. That is one thing I learned tonight. Here are five other things I learned as well.

  1. What bitters and simple syrup are! I have seen these ingredients in many a drink recipe before but never had any idea what either was. Bitters are made from the pith of an orange or other fruit and provide a bittersweet flavor to a drink (particularly useful in a before-dinner drink or apertif, to kick the salivary glands into action and make you hungrier for your meal). Simple syrup is, simply enough, one part sugar dissolved in one part water. Let it simmer for about five minutes to completely dissolve; store any leftovers in the fridge for up to a month.

  2. The guy at the Guthrie whose job it is to be an expert about liquor buys the same vodka as I do for my own home. In other words, Absolut, Grey Goose, and the like have simply spent more money on marketing than the cheaper guys have. In our Sommelier's opinion, the $10 Smirnoff I have in my freezer is just fine. "Vodka is meant to be neutral, tasteless, and flavorless," he said. It's meant to enhance the flavors of the things with which it's mixed. "If you need a vodka you can drink straight," our expert said, "then ask yourself why you're drinking vodka at all."

  3. If you want the worst hangover you can get, Scotch is the drink for you. It isn't distilled as many times as other liquors, which means it still has more of the impurities that make you sick. Also, 20-year Scotch apparently isn't any better than newer Scotch; it just costs more because the makers have to pay for storage space for 20 years and because 20% of it evaporates through the porous wood barrels it's aged in over time.

  4. Grenadine is named for the French word for pomegranate. Hence, Grenadine should taste like pomegranate, not like cherry or like high-fructose corn syrup mixed with artificial fruit flavors and colorings. To make the best Grenadine you have ever tasted, mix four cups pure pomegranate juice with a half cup of sugar and the juice of half a lemon. Then use that for a blood orange Tequila Sunrise. I am telling you, that drink was damn tasty. This is good advice.

  5. If there is a balding, middle-aged man in the house, he is going to ask me out. Actually, this I already knew, so I shouldn't include it in a list of things I learned. Still, I can't help feeling surprised that this particular balding, middle-aged man heard me tell the Sommelier, "I go on lots of bad dates," and he subsequently took that as an opportunity to slide me his card with the comment, "Well, if you ever want to go on another one..." Way to sell yourself, buddy. Way to set the bar entirely low.**

One more thing I learned at this class? You really can make a career out of a love of alcohol. I actually have a few friends in mind who I think would love our instructor's job. Let this be a lesson to all of you out there still searching for your path in life.



____________________________

* Ha. Obviously I am not partaking in this opportunity.

** I actually feel a little bad writing this, because in truth, Mr. Low-Bar seemed perfectly nice, and maybe I'll email him after all, because, hell, you never know. I go on plenty of dates, after all; really, what is the risk with one more?


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

I guess I could always hyphenate

Not that I'm getting ahead of myself or anything (Lord no; have you ever heard me exhibit any sort of lofty optimism before a date??), but it just occurred to me that if by chance the guy I'm meeting tonight actually turns out to be perfect for me... and somewhere at a reasonable point in time down the road we should get married... and I should be a traditional sort of girl and change my last name... my name would be Stefanie Tanner.

No. Just... no. That cannot happen.

Such a shame, really. Via e-mail he seemed like he might actually maybe be a nice guy...

Monday, April 09, 2007

Random Like Ralph Macchio*

Hey there. Did you ever just click that "New Post" button without really any idea exactly what you were going to write about? You have? Great. Then, you have some idea what you're likely in store for here, I guess.

Frankly, I have several various thoughts in mind, but none are particularly post-worthy on their own. So let's try one of those bullet-point posts of randomness, shall we? It works so well for other people... Might as well give it a try myself...

  • List-a-licious
    Those of you coming in through Bloglines or Google Reader may have noticed I added a new post to my "Lists" list tonight. (Yes, I added it tonight, even though I post-dated it for sometime in January. Surely you're all familiar with this mechanism.) I don't imagine my list of concerts attended in 2007 is any more interesting to the average near-stranger from the Internet than any of my other lists are, but my selectively obsessive nature led me to create it anyway. I was a little surprised I didn't create this list sooner, but I realized after the Badly Drawn Boy show a few weeks ago that it was actually my first legitimate concert of the year. So much for all those people who think I go to "so many concerts." Three-plus months with no live music is not "so many" in my book.

    Speaking of books, I suppose I don't even really need a list to help my feeble, near-middle-aged mind recall all the shows I've attended recently, as I now have a lovely and practical book in which to aesthetically arrange the ticket stubs as evidence of all these events.



    This handy and awesomely obsessive-compulsive tool came into my life last week as a belated birthday gift from Stacy, who saw it on my Amazon wishlist and rightly assumed it was something I would find useful and yet would not likely splurge for on my own. Whoo! Clearly I was wrong to think birthdays get ever less eventful with each year. Getting surprises from Internet friends a full two weeks past my birthday? It really doesn't get much more spectacular than that.

  • Seriously, how would they fit a razor blade in there?
    I hope everyone had a very happy Easter. Or, for my non-Christian friends, I hope you had a lovely and relaxing average Sunday. Me, I took part in the third annual Urban Orphans and Heathens Easter Brunch, which this year was held in an Italian restaurant in Uptown instead of the retro haven that is Nye's Polonaise. (L Sass, these local references are for you, OK? Try not to miss home too much.) Nothing says Easter like pizza, pasta, waffles, and cannoli, right? I think a fine time was had by all.

    On the afternoon of Easter Eve, my doorbell rang, and despite the ever-present knowledge that a doorbell can mean only clipboard people and beggars, I answered it anyway. At my door was a polite and smiley woman with an Easter basket for me. "We're just here from [name of new church apparently opening just down the block]," she said, "And we want to wish you a very happy Easter and let you know we're in the neighborhood. Happy Easter!" She also told me I have a beautiful door. No one's ever complimented me on my door before. Do you think she actually meant it, or does she say that to all the heathens on my street?

    In the basket was a handful of Hershey's kisses, a Ziploc bag of Jelly-Bellies, and various bits of church-related propaganda. The What on Earth Am I Here For? pamphlet might actually be useful to me, frankly, if I could get past the fact that its title ends in a preposition. And who knows--the Changing from the Inside CD might actually contain some lovely, soothing tunes. I will have to remove it from its plastic packaging to find out.

    Speaking of plastic packaging, the question of the evening, following this event, was this: When handed a bag of re-packaged Jelly-Bellies from a presumably harmless church-representing lady and two innocent-looking school-aged kids, do you trust that they are wholly un-tampered-with and safe to eat, or do you toss them in suspicion and cynicism? I was on the fence in this dilemma myself. Two of the four friends I asked immediately said not to eat them, while a third friend shrugged and opened the bag to dig right in. The bag is nearly empty now, and neither she nor I have died as of yet. Score one for trust in humankind after all.

  • Also, I eat caviar and rare truffles for breakfast
    I think perhaps my small-town-dwelling father may be right after all: I have become an urban snob. His point of proof was the way I scoffed a few Thanksgivings ago when my older sister and I asked the bartender at the Manitowoc County supper club where we were dining if he had any red wine on hand and he answered, with a straight face, "Well, I've got this Mer-lott..." Not only did he pronounce the "t," mind you, but he pulled the bottle off of ice. I honestly am no wine snob (in fact, the only red I can recall ever complaining about with any insistence is a glass I had in San Francisco several years ago that was so pale it resembled Kool-Aid, and had the legs of Cherry Kool-Aid as well. But still, to my father, knowing red wine should not be chilled = urban snobbery of the highest offense. I may as well have been shunning Wal-Mart and Velveeta as well. (Oh. Wait...)

    Anyway, my point is he may be right. Clearly I have become a snob to some obscene degree. I cannot even imagine what he would say if he knew I purchased an $11 tube of deodorant. He would likely have a second stroke right on the spot if he knew that not only did I use that whole tube, but I recently bought a refill to replace it. And to hear that I made my shipping dollars go further by adding a backup tube and a $13 lip gloss to my order as well? Well, that might just be the very nails in his coffin, so to speak. Yes, thank God my father thinks the Interweb is a crazy fad that will disappear any minute, because reading this might just kill him, I'm afraid.

  • I'd file this under "Strangest thing I've done while sober this week," but I really couldn't justify this even if I'd had the better part of a bottle of wine beforehand, honestly
    Last night, I went to a movie with The Magical Boy. It was a last-minute plan that left little time for chatting and catching up before the lights went down and the previews started rolling, so after the show, we ended up sitting in my car for a good thirty minutes just rambling on about various things. Because no topic is verboten with MB, we somehow segued into the hazards of making out whilst wearing glasses (lenses smudged due to icky facial oils and all). MB claimed never to have noticed this problem, so I did the only logical thing following such an assertion: I blotted his forehead with a nearby library receipt in search of proof. Amazingly, (1. The paper remained clean and grease-free, and (2. MB did not immediately wave my hand (and the aforementioned library receipt) away in horror. My discoveries following this absurd event are thus: (A. The Magical Boy obviously is magical, because seriously, what mere mortal has no shiny spots by 9:00 p.m. in the evening-time? and (B. A true friend lets you blot their face without question or fear. This might be a new test to implement from now on.

All right; that oughtta give you enough to ponder for a while, I think. I'm off on the second-last of my meMarmony dates for this round tomorrow, so perhaps a Round 2 wrap-up of some sort is in the works for later this week. I'm a little concerned that such a recap will only depress me, but if there's anything I've learned about blogging in the past year, it's that you guys can make even the most painful and mortifying events feel amusing, so I look forward to that, anyway.


_____________________________________
* This title makes little more sense than the flow of this post, but see here for an explanation, if you'd like. (That title was for you, of course, FunkyB.)

Friday, April 06, 2007

Friday Five: Fantasy Edition

Josh/Paul
I had a Friday Five for today all picked out... started writing it last night and everything... and then I went to IMDB this morning and realized it is my fake boyfriend Paul Rudd's birthday today*. Happy birthday, Paul. Or rather, happy birthday, Josh, as I prefer to call you, since I've never particularly liked the name "Paul" and since it was as Josh in Clueless when I first fell for you a little bit. Since you are, after all, just my imaginary boyfriend, I feel it is entirely within my rights to change your name.

Thinking about Josh made me think about all my other imaginary boyfriends (which is something I was already thinking about recently, ever since Preppy Girl posted a list of her movie boyfriends). So in honor of Josh's birthday (and in the interest of continuing the discussion started over at Preppy Girl's Guide), here we are:

My Five Favorite Imaginary Boyfriends

  1. Paul Rudd. Duh. It is his birthday, after all. It would be rude not to put him first in the list.


  2. Ethan Hawke. The number one spot on every day that is not Paul Rudd's birthday. But then, he got his own post back on his birthday, so I can't imagine he should be too terribly offended.


  3. Michael Vartan. I never watched Alias, but I have had a crush on Michael Vartan even since before Never Been Kissed... since way back when he played Richard's hot eye doctor son on Friends. I have a bizarrely accurate memory for bit-part co-stars, and when my friend Cary and I saw Never Been Kissed in the theater two years later, I actually said, "That's the guy Monica couldn't date because she had already gone out with his dad!" I am not particularly proud of this talent, mind you; I am sure there are much more useful things I could be storing in my brain, but in the days before IMDB, I still think this is a wee bit impressive.


  4. Rhett Miller. Since I am going with the category of imaginary boyfriends rather than specifically movie boyfriends, I obviously need to include him on the list.


  5. OK, for this last slot, I cannot decide between John Krasinski (too recent to assume that my love for him will undoubtedly endure), Viggo Mortenson (my imaginary boyfriend only as Aragorn and entirely unattractive to me in too many other roles), Justin Long (too young, really), or Jon Stewart. Instead, therefore, I will fill this slot with my imaginary girlfriend. If I can pretend any of these men are my boyfriend, I can pretend I'm a lesbian as well, can I not? In that case, how's it going, Tina Fey? That's right; I'm lookin' at you.


So. Who's your imaginary boyfriend/girlfriend? I'm sure I've forgotten more than a few someones who are undoubtedly quite worthy.


____________________________________

* If you go to IMDB, you will see that it is also Zach Braff's birthday. Much as I appreciate Zach Braff, however, I am for some reason not smitten enough to consider him my movie boyfriend. Feel free to send your own birthday wishes to him, however.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Out to prove that some things aren't worth the wait

As I mentioned in a comment back to -R- on that last post, I finally overcame my laziness and procrastination and actually unpacked and installed my new printer/scanner/copier thingie. Whoo. It was actually much easier than I anticipated, so frankly I don't really know what my problem was. I even managed to install it with approximately nine-tenths of a bottle of wine in me, which means either that it was so easy, even a drunken monkey could do it, or perhaps that I am a little too used to functioning effectively on more than a bit of wine. I'm going to go with an explanation somewhere in between the two, OK?

So. The printer thingie was no problem. In the midst of connecting the printer thingie, however, I managed to tug the cord connected to my desktop speaker and inadvertently send the speaker in free-fall to the floor, landing directly on my left middle finger knuckle, which, frankly, hurt like a god-damn motherfucker, if I may be so indelicate and repeat a few of the words that spilled out of me immediately thereafter. I'd blame the wine for that, but considering it was the third injury incurred to some portion of my hands in the same damn day, I think the real problem is that I am decidedly lacking in coordination and depth perception skills even when under the influence of nothing stronger than water or cranberry juice.

I also managed to turn off and knock a cord out of my cable modem during this whole process and, unable to reconnect everything in the specific and picky order that's apparently necessary, I ended up having to call Qwest technical support for assistance. At 11:30 on a Saturday night. With nine-tenths of a bottle of wine in me. It has been a while since I had to tell myself, "Now, focus, Stefanie. Don't slur, and don't ramble on with drunken nonsense." I don't know why I didn't just go with it; the Qwest technical support rep would maybe actually like a drunken caller to liven up his night a bit. Damn Midwestern pride and decorum.

Anyway, I don't imagine my technical issues or unintentional self-mutilation are in any way particularly interesting to anyone, so let's get on with the long-promised first fruits of labor from my new toy... my sad representation of my junior prom dress.

Ta-da... (click for larger view)

Promarrific

I also wanted to provide a picture of Miss Prom Pants, the triangle-haired she-devil whom the love of my 11th-grade life took to prom instead of me. OK, so she-devil is a little harsh. I actually had no problem with this girl at the time aside from her occasionally questionable wardrobe choices and her bizarrely geometric hair. And, of course, the fact that she unknowingly stole my prom date. In all fairness, I can't really blame her for that.

Anyway, so I wanted to provide a picture, but it seems the full-on triangle action didn't take shape until later in the year. In the fall of 1990, when most of that year's yearbook photos were taken, her hair wasn't all that absurd for the time. (Emphasis on "for the time." I mean, those bangs? Today? Obviously no.)

Miss Prom Pants

Somewhere between when this photo was taken and when Prom Pants was my imaginary boyfriend's date, however, the hair had sort of filled out or been re-permed to be much curlier towards the bottom than alongside Prom Pants's head. In addition, she shunned layers in favor of a blunt cut that let the ends of her permed and frazzled hair lie in a decidedly straight line on the horizontal. The effect was something like this:

Perhaps a visual aid would help

Unfortunately, since I have no real documentation, you'll just have to trust me on this.

So. That is the representation of my Hee-Haw dress and of the much-maligned triangle hair. I bet you can't wait to see what ridiculousness I'll deem worthy of posting with my new scanner next, huh? Grocery lists? Baby pictures? Time will tell, I guess.