Saturday, April 2, 2011

A Nifty Fifty

I normally don't buy into those kinds of surveys that ask 7,390 inane questions like, "If you had to eat Chinese Food or Italian Food, which would you choose?," But via another blog (She's here), I found that one of her goals was to answer, "The Fifty Questions that Will Free Your Mind."

I thought it was kind of odd to have a goal to answer a survey. I mean, it's a survey, right? It's Chinese or Italian. It's "What color hair do you like on members of the opposite sex," or "If you could switch places with any celebrity for a day, who would you choose?" It isn't, though. Just by reading the list, I was forced to think introspectively and really concern myself with the matters of my own heart and mind. Sometimes, I think, I'm "out to lunch," so to speak, when I'm saying or doing the more boring things that my life entails (work, brushing my teeth, cleaning), but someday I'm hoping that I'll be conscious for all the parts of the day.  

Not that I would be able to answer these fifty questions in one post, but taking the time to answer a few at a time would probably be extremely cathartic.

1. "How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?"
     This is a question that I'm constantly puzzled with when I spend any time with people my own age. As I've written about before, I feel like I'm still a kid that couldn't possibly be old enough to have children, a house, and all of those things that old people seem to like (money, 401ks, escrow, saving money for vacations that don't help them relax, etc.). If I had to pick an age, I'm guessing that I'm around sixteen. I mean, I can still drive and manage a bank account, but I can't really fathom all of the things that my parents (i.e. old people) do. Somedays, though, I feel like I might be eighty: with a bevy of unidentified pains and a horrid feeling that I wasted my life, but others, I ache for the opportunity to be five: and have a lifetime to figure it all out again (except for potty-training. That's really something I need to experience only once). I guess, I have no idea how old I am and when I don't have any idea how old I am, I never have to act my age.

2. "Which is worse, failing or never trying?"
     One of my personal pet peeves is when someone is posed a question and they say, "Well, it depends." Of course it fucking depends. Everything always depends. When I read this question, though, I must admit that the first thing that came to mind was, " depends." I say that because it seems so easy to answer this question with, "never trying," because you want to be like Miley Cyrus and act like you gain your character from The Climb, in all actuality, failing can be extremely devastating. Think: losing your life savings while pursuing a dream business-venture, or even just something as practical as skydiving. That's a one-shot deal, folks. I often find myself worrying about the consequences of something that I've never tried (man, I'd like to banish this quality within myself), but I also am still dealing with the emotional consequences of the failures that have plagued me throughout my life (especially in my career-development). If you're me, apparently, you can't win with this question.

3. "If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do?"
   Good Question! The way I feel about this question can best be summed up in a song by The Smiths,

"In my life, why do I smile at people who I'd much rather kick in the eye?"

This song is the ballad of the retailologist. Why do we do these things? Because we live in a society that thrives on misery. I feel like most people's train of thought goes something like this, "Well, I hate my job but if I don't spend most of my waking week there, I won't be able to afford that house that I never have time to see or afford that vacation that I want to take to escape my job. Why do I stay at this job and afford these things? Because I've been here the longest without a promotion, and goddamnit, if I'm going to be miserable at least I'm going to be miserable the longest out of all of your motherfuckers."

What was I talking about? Oh yeah. Dustin has been schooling me about not doing things that I don't want to do, just because I think that I HAVE to do them. This schooling basically consists of Dustin saying, "We don't HAVE to do anything, Jessica," and then Jessica says, "Yes, sometimes we do, Dustin." To which he says, "Why?", and you know, I haven't really figured out how to answer that question. Best Blogger Tips

Friday, April 1, 2011

A Royal Pain

Prince William and I are roughly the same age.

You can keep the crown, if it ages you like that. I'll stay in my two bedroom apartment with my cat-clawed furniture.Best Blogger Tips

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Grassy Knoll

This might be the newest evidence that I am, indeed, a girl. Normally, I don't get so excited about the notion of nail polish, but this color makes me feel like a million dollars.

This color, called "Don't Mess with OPI," is a shade from OPI's "Texas" collection and is subtitled with the clever phrase, "A Lean, Mean Kick-Grass Machine." I may not necessarily love the Lone-Star State, but I am completely enamoured with most of these "Tex-ceptional" shades.

This is a complete and utter beauty gateway drug. Best Blogger Tips

Charlotte Sometimes

Yesterday, I drove to Charlotte, NC to do some visiting. Because I am a Nana with an inability to sleep through the night, I managed to get out of the house and on the road by 5:30am. The drive was rainy and dismal, but the traffic was light and unobtrusive. Then, I hit the fog.

Going over the Smoky Mountains (or the Appalachian Mountains or wherever I was in the stretch of my trip) is supposed to be one of those experiences where I thank whatever godhead I can think of at the moment for such a beautiful and charming landscape, but instead, I was paralyzed with the fear of slamming into a truck or being eaten by a winged fog-monster.

I've driven in a variety of really harrowing weather experiences (including in the thick of a bunch of mildly-retarded southerners during an ice storm), but the fog is not just an atmospheric occurrence, it's the symbol of the unknown. When you can't see what's fifty yards in front of you, you can't possibly prepare yourself for the emotional turmoil of what lies ahead. It could be absolutely anything: A Yes reunion concert, a horrific auto accident, a Mary Kay convention...and each idea after those are even more horrific than the last.

After getting to Charlotte, I was unpleasantly surprised by the cold and clouds that met my arrival and continue to linger through my stay. Not that I'm ungrateful for a chance to get hell of out Pittsburgh, but I was really looking forward to the sun and a mild spring day. Charlotte's flowers are still beautiful and welcome sight from the unpleasant and ruddy vegetation in the north, but they would be that much better with a little sunlight to shine on them, just saying.

Despite that, there is one plant that has continued to enchant me: Wisteria. It's everywhere here...growing like a fast and loose lady.

When I was still living at home, we would often pass this overgrown house on our commutes. The only Wisteria plant that I've ever seen in the "wild" of Western Pennsylvania grew like a soft and purple blanket over that wreck of a home and my mother and I would often comment on what a great plant it was. One day, we were horrified to find that someone had completely mown the entire area, with complete disregard for such a graceful and rare plant. Fuckers.

Despite my never wanting to actually own a home or have a yard to mow, I often dream of tons of Wisteria and other flowers completely crowding my living space...lying wistful and lazy all over the paths. Or maybe an overgrown and whimsical hedgerow with yards and yards of morning glories winding their way through the branches.

Basically, I want to live in rural England milking goats and making my own soap. Until then, though, I'll settle for Wisteria and a trip to Charlotte.
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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Guilty Pleasure Tuesday: I Think It's Time I Start The Show

Today's guilty pleasure is two-fold. I guess I'm pretty vocal about how much I really love George Michael circa late 80's/early 90's, but it's a shame, though, that he's become somewhat of a creepy faggola in recent years, and had the NERVE to remake New Order's "True Faith," (Thanks Eric for showing me that...well,I think).

George Michael's "Freedom 90," is in my top fifteen favorite songs of all time, and the video is probably in my top ten...which leads me to another guilty pleasure: 90's supermodels.

Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista (especially Linda Evangelista), Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell...*le sigh.* These were the days when being a model was so much more than looking like an emaciated and blase hag in an expensive frock (that looks like it came from the thrift store).

I love Linda Evangelista, because in the right context, she could look like an amazing drag queen, a "wacky heiress" (a term I stole from Gina), or a stunningly beautiful muse. I can't even name or remember the face of one model now.

The days of MTV's "House of Style," and "The Grind," are long gone, and we are left with a smattering of videos made by convicted felons that think that singing is shouting their name over and over on top of a prerecorded backbeat and a sampling of a song that someone else wrote.

Not to sound like a senior citizen, but what is this world coming to when I can't even rely on George Michael to sing a great song, and I can't count on fashion powerhouses hiring quirky and insanely beautiful models?

What can I really rely on?
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Electric Ladyland

After watching, "Theremin: The Electric Odyssey," I can safely say that I am in love with Leon Theremin.

An incredibly dashing and sophisticated Russian scientists comes to America and invents one of the first  electronic instruments. What else do you really need to do know? If it wasn't for Theremin, there would be no Robert Moog. If it wasn't for Robert Moog, there would be no synthesizer, and if there was no synthesizer...lord help us all.

So Theremin (also known as Lev Termen) invents not only the Theremin but also Interlace, and "The Thing," (this crazy spy tool). He also builds a cake for a girl that he likes (Theremin Virtuoso Clara Rockmore) that spins around and lights an electronic candle when she stands near it. C'mon...What a stud.

Aside from his devilish good-looks, intense stare and electronic genius, Theremin breaks the color barrier and marries Lavinia Williams: a black ballerina that was working with his invention that dared dancers to create music with and while they were dancing. 

While married to Lavinia, she claims that the KGB kidnapped Theremin and rushed him back to the Soviet Union where he was imprisoned for a while and then forced to work on espionage tools until well into his later years. Lavinia, on the other hand, died of a strange and sudden food poisoning several years later while in Haiti.

What style! What intrigue! What great taste in women!

The theremin, for so many years, was used only as a means of making  a "scary" sound for films like, "The Day The Earth Stood Still," until Brian Wilson used it in "Good Vibrations." With that being said, that still doesn't make me like the Beach Boys, sorry. I mean, ew, Mike Love is such a creep. He looks like the kind of guy that would slip you something while you were at the wavepool and then take pictures of you in his AstroVan.

Theremin, on the other hand, remains an adorably fascinating kook.

I think that one of the things that I liked the most about this documentary was the dignity that they gave to Leon Theremin, even though he was in his nineties when this film was created and wasn't necessarily as spry as he used to be. So many documentaries capture the elderly as doddering fools, without even trying.  This film has managed to create a entirely new celebrity crush. Bravo!

As an aside, here's a photo of Clara Rockmore. Talk about Rock Star!

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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Those Times, They Went a Changin'

Last weekend I was talking to my friends Dana and Jammie while we were walking a leg of the Montour Trail in Cecil Township. Jammie said that one of her friends whom had just gotten married, was going to start trying to get pregnant right away. I thought about this for about a millisecond before I said, "Already? Man, we're kids. What's the rush?," and she said something that I clearly remember. Something that clings to my ears even a week after the fact, "Well, Jessica we aren't kids anymore, I'm thirty."

It was kind of an a-ha moment. Up until now, these were the only a-ha moments I was having...

I'm not delusional about my age. I'm twenty-eight years old and everyday I'm reminded of this fact by the decline of my joints, my inability to stay up past midnight, and my general dislike of most popular music (get the hell off my lawn!). I guess, for me, being of the age to bear children is like saying, "now there is definitely no chance in hell you can get away with the shit that you did ten years ago."

When I'm creepin' on my "suggested friends," on facebook, I see that many people that I went to high school and college with feature elaborate family portraits of parents, toddlers and babies (usually they're all wearing the same colored shirt, or they're standing on a beach or they're all dressed for easter. meh). TODDLERS?! My parents are the ones that are old enough to have toddlers, not me. But, oh wait...

With this recent a-ha moment, I've not gotten any closer to even considering having a child. This a-ha moment makes me realize my need to really focus on what I'm doing with my life and marriage, rather than worrying about what to do with my life, my marriage and a dependent. Basically, it's all about me. And Dustin. And my banjo (nerdy Futurama reference in da house!).

What's the point of this post? I have no fucking clue, actually. I guess what I'm saying is that just because I'm twenty-eight, I don't feel rushed to have all of those things that the television told me I should dream about. Or, ultimately, to really have them at all.

When I was a pre-teen, I watched the Rosie O'Donnell Show everyday after school (gawd, if that isn't a sign of the times, I'm not quite sure what is). Anyway, she used rally to get certain guests to appear on her show. People like Barbara Streisand (although, I have no idea why), Elton John, and Prince...for example. I remember her saying on one of her shows that Prince had called her up and invited her out for a drink, but that she couldn't go because it was really late at night and she had a baby to think about (she'd just adopted the very first of the litter). Even at that age, all I could think was, "Man, if I ever get the opportunity to be invited to go out with Prince for drinks, I'm not letting anything stand in my way."

Let's go crazy. Let's get nuts.

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