Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Very Merry Pop Quiz Kid Christmas

I made you a "thank you" video. It speaks for itself.

Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Neighbors Might Think

My favorite holiday song has got to be "Baby, It's Cold Outside." I feel a little mixed about this. The song is basically a man pressuring his date to stay at his apartment against her better judgement because it's too cold to go home. He uses mystery drinks and guilt ("what's the sense of hurting my pride?") as his tactics of persuasion. As a self-professed feminist, the feeling of anticipation that this song gives me comes with a guilt of its own. I think that what I love about it IS its retro political incorrectness. If this song came out now, I'd be horrified, but imagining it in the 40's with a couple who wear fedoras and cloches and go dancing is somehow... charming. It's like watching the movie Sixteen Candles. Jake Ryan pretty much offers up his girlfriend's poon to the geek, saying that she's too drunk to know the difference between the two of them. We can only enjoy this because it's in retrospect (although that movie does make me a little squirmy). Maybe the lady-half of "Baby, It's Cold Outside" is using a couple persuasion tactics of her own, like a feigned naivete. I mean she is a smoker and drinker, so I think seducer is the natural next step. In that sense, our little snow vixen is quite empowering (yeah, I'm grasping at straws).

I've been on a holiday roll lately. I watched Elf the other day, last night was my family's holiday dinner, and tonight I'm going to my work's holiday party. I work with some awesome people, so I'm very excited and am gonna throw on a fancy dress. Wisconsin is not ignoring the winter spirit either. It's already snowed about 35 inches and, remarkably, I'm not about to stick my head in an oven. We'll see how long that lasts. Cue weather complaints in 3, 2, 1...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Pop Quiz Kid Goes Comic

Wondering what I've been up to this week? No? Well, I'm gonna tell you anyway. This semester, I took a literature class on comic books. The class itself was a little more boring than it sounds, but it had an awesome reading list and it's pretty cool that it's offered at all. For the final paper, we were allowed to make our arguments in comic book form. I put a lot of work into mine (way more than if I had just written it normally), so I thought that I'd post it here! The argument itself might not make sense if you're unfamiliar with the technical aspects of comic books, so you might just want to look at the art. I now have a dowager's hump for sitting over these panels for so long!






In case you're interested, the books that we read in class were Deogratias, Pride of Baghdad, DMZ: On the Ground, Barefoot Gen, Palestine, Ethel & Ernest, and Maus.

I would recommend all but Barefoot Gen, but that's just because I'm not a manga fan.

Tell me what you think!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Acting with James Franco

James Franco is slowly winning me over. No, not through his supposedly great performance as Harvey Milk's lover in Milk, but through his acting video tutorials on FunnyOrDie.

Real post to follow.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Magic frame, pipe wrench guy

Did the title of my last post make sense? I've stared at it for too long and can no longer tell.

Anyhoo, I'm coming out of my finals cave (it's littered with empty emergence-C packages and pieces of my brain from a self-performed lobotomy) to clue you into something amazing that you've all probably heard about months before me. Well, guess what? You're gonna hear about it again.

Ever watch the A-ha video for "Take on Me?" Ever wish they just sang exactly what was happening on screen? Wish granted.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Closing a chapter: NoBloPoMo

So here we are at the end of November. I didn't think that I could do it when it was first suggested that I should participate in NoBloPoMo in the late days of October. I guess that I can smash this achievement in the face of my past self. Take that, Past Self! How dare you doubt me?! And you know what else? It wasn't that hard. Sure, I spent the last week blogging from a Las Vegas Whole Foods (they're stingy with the wifi on the strip), but I didn't struggle for lack of content. Sure, some posts were stronger than others (Buffy post vs, that post that I copied directly from Jezebel- not to say that I didn't give credit where credit was do), but, in the end, we've laughed together, cried together, and have grown together. This blog was once a seed. Now it's a seed that maybe has something growing out of it. Or maybe it's just a dud seed. Anyways, I'll sort of miss blogging everyday (not enough to keep it up) and look forward to next November.

It's probably for the best that I don't have to blog everyday over the next month for school is about to suffocate me in a sea of Paradise Lost papers, short story revisions, monologues, and comic lit. analysis.

See you on the other side.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Inappropriate Transitional Topics

Remember what I said about taking kitsch back to my place for sexual intercourse? Strike that. I guess a three day kitsch binge will do that to a girl. It's like drinking too many Mike's hard lemonades in high school- you puke it up and then never want to touch it again... or at least not until the next party in Jenna Drucker's basement. The thing with Vegas is that you never have a single moment of repose. When your on the sidewalk there are actual speakers that blare advertisements at you and billboards that flash bright lights into the drivers' eyes. The strip is a trap. They want you to get lost and never leave. EVER. I'm actually blogging from a roulette table at the Circus Circus casino right now. That's not true (thank god), I'm one of the lucky few to make it out.

In other news of gross consumerism, a lot of you have probably heard about the Walmart employee who was trampled to death by Black Friday shoppers. All I have to say is that I hope all those people get charged with manslaughter. I hope that they'll be real proud as they contemplate that blue ray copy of Catch and Release that they got for 40% off while they sit in prison. Happy holidays, scumbags (not directed at you, reader... unless you were at a New York City Walmart at 5 a.m. yesterday).


Friday, November 28, 2008

Home Sweet Home

It's a beautiful and significant thing to experience the world. One should always take the opportunity to experience new sights and meet new people and eat strange dishes. But perhaps most significant of all is the feeling that you get upon arriving home. In just three short days, I missed the old sights, the familiar faces, and my favorite comfort food.

It's good to be back.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving... part deux

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody! Thanks so much for reading my blog. You make me feel a little less worthless (contrary to what my family may tell me).

It's raining here in Vegas for only the second time this year and no one knows how to function. Let's just say that we feel very smug as Wisconsinites.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Las Vegas #1

LAS VEGAAAAAS! We've made it safe and sound after a smooth flight on Midwest Airlines (they give you warm chocolate chip cookies, but are severely lacking in in-flight pornos). Driving into the Strip in our rental car, I almost had a seizure. Because of the lights, sure, but also because I was so excited to see a hotel shaped like a castle and a mall shaped like the Roman Forum. Can I stress how much I love kitsch? Oh, I do. If I could, I would marry kitsch in an all-night chapel and take it back to a motel for sexual intercourse. The best thing about Las Vegas is that, no matter how much money they sink into it, it still feels like a John Waters movie.

A more detailed description will come upon my return.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

I'm flying off to Las Vegas today. Look forward to seeing me on an episode of HBO's Cathouse. Will I be the client or the hooker? You'll have to tune in to find out!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

He's a ranger, suh.

Last night, I went with a friend to see the Hometown Sweethearts (an awesome cover band) at a local club. This friend is pretty new to my life (I only met her this year) and I’m already sure that she’s one of the coolest people that I know. As we walked there in the cold, she told me about this party that she has every November called Friendsgiving and guess what? I’m invited to it! So, as she’s tells me about the food that she’s gonna make (tons and tons of pork, thank god), a thought stuck me:

At this point in my life, I have more friends than I’ve ever had before.

This is extra amazing when I think back to when I graduated high school and how lonely I felt with all of my acquaintances shipping off to out-of-state schools. Spring break was always exciting because it meant that I’d be going out at night rather than just watching T.V. Even though I looked forward to hanging out with these high school kids, I never really felt connected to them. All they ever did was a) smoke pot, b) watch T.V., c) drink bad beer out of cans, or, as was usually the case, d) all of the above. These are things that I never liked to do in high school, let alone as a young adult who considered herself wise beyond her years.

We can even go back before that. In my early high school days, I remember going to sleepovers and feeling so isolated that I would leave early. When friends were having parties, I would usually stay home and watch What Not to Wear with my mom. I always got along better with my parents’ friends than I did my own. Freshman year, I wrote a friend a note that said, “Are we best friends? We hang out a lot, so I think that we are.” I did call this girl my best friend for years, but, in the end, it boiled down to convenience on both our parts. When my cousin was killed in a car accident the summer following my junior year, she didn’t find out about it until I had flown back from the funeral in Portland. I didn’t tell her and she didn’t wonder where I went for a week.

After high school, I picked up a few friends at work or at the ol’ tech school. I was surprised to find that these people didn’t simply put up with what a weirdo I am, but actually seemed to enjoy it. I changed jobs from retail to restaurant and picked up even more friends. The restaurant industry is good for that. People are generally booze fueled (and not on that canned crap) and thus more likely to laugh at my incredibly vulgar and childish jokes.

This year, I’ve been particularly driven to make friends, which is great because, for the first time that I can remember, there are a lot of people that I really want to be friends with. The thing is that I get terrified when approaching friendly acquaintances about maybe taking things to the next level (I mean a deeper friendship, not handjobs or anything). This is the girl who has no problem standing in front of a crowd of people and humiliating herself for the sake of entertainment. That’s totally fine, but calling someone to see if they want to meet up for a platonic drink? Nuh-uh, son. But this year, I’ve been trying harder and it’s paid off. I get along super well with my roommates and I’ve become better friends with coworkers, better friends with people who I’ve been extremely intimidated by in the past, and better friends with people that I’ve known for years. I’d even describe some of these friendships as… dare I say it? Kismet.

On a complete non sequitur, I’m going to Las Vegas on Tuesday! While you know that I’m a gamblin’ woman (this is a complete lie as I actually grip my money with an iron fist), this is not a gamblin’ vacation. My step dad’s parents actually live out there (surprisingly, they’ve made their residence at the tip of the Eiffel Tower at the Paris hotel) and we’re going to spend Thanksgiving with them. This is the first vacation that we’ve taken as a whole family in a long time, so it should be a blast! It feels like I have a million things to do before then. Here’s a brief list:

-Buy 3 oz. bottles for shampoo, lotion, etc.
-Get hair cut.
-Get hair dyed.
-Learn to walk in new high heels
-Choose adorable outfits for brief time that I’ll be there.
-Go to bank.
-Withdraw all money for cards and hookers.

Okay, bed now.

P.S., I definitely have some childhood friends who will always be near and dear to me. If your reading this, I hope you know that I still have nothing but love for you.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

NARAL and Cornrows

First things first, there's a virus sweeping campus. It's called the Norwalk virus and symptoms include projectile vomiting (I know. Awesome). For some reason, I can't get over calling it the NARAL virus. I told my mom this today and she responded, "you know that NARAL is an actual organization, right?" Yes, mom. That's why it's funny.
Anyway, as a hypochondriac, I feel like I'm getting NARAL virus every time my body tweaks a little bit. Yesterday, I had a stomachache and I was certain that I had caught it, completely disregarding the glazed kosher donut that I ate that afternoon as a possible culprit. So there's some news, right? I might be dying from imaginary symptoms of a virus that I probably don't have. Or I might have indigestion.

Second, here's a bit of a conversation that I overheard on campus today:

Girl: (whispering) Sometimes I'm jealous of black girls. I mean, it would be so nice to put your hair in braids and, like, never have to deal with it.

I wanted to ask this girl if she has ever been friends with a black woman. I have (and I don't mean that in an "I'm not racist- I have three black friends" kind of way) and, let me tell you, those ladies work hard on their hair. Also? Getting your hair braided hurts and not just while your getting it done. That shit hurts for a week. I've had my hair braided before, too (add that to my dossier of middle school fashion disasters), so I can tell you first hand (and not in that whole "I understand the black experience" kind of way).

I should go before I accidentally projectile vomit and abortion all over the keyboard. Mmmmm.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Probably on the rag

Lately, it seems like a handful of my favorite bloggers have pulled on their feminist pants for a post or two. For example, Blythe over at Five by Five wrote a great post about a double standard for women in the comedy industry and she was totally singing my song. I won't rehash what she wrote because I don't think that I could put it any better than she did.

Next, the ladies over at Jezebel knocked out a pretty awesome article called "You Can't Figure Out 'Women,' You Can Just Try To Figure Out One At a Time" about recent trends toward sexism in dating. I'll even do a little copy and paste for you:

In this month's City Journal Kay Hymowitz writes about the backlash she received from an earlier column about how "too many single young males (SYMs) were lingering in a hormonal limbo between adolescence and adulthood, shunning marriage and children." Predictably, those dudes didn't want to hear about it. Did you know its all the fault of us women today, having "options" and changing our minds? Of course it is. It always is.

Hymowitz actually quotes me from once upon a time, when I said:

"I've gone through phases in my life where I bounce between serial monogramy, Very Serious Relationships and extremely casual sex. I've slept next to guys on the first date, had sex on the first date, allowed no more than a cheek kiss, dispensed with the date-concept all together after kissing the guy on the way to his car, fucked a couple of close friends and, more rarely, slept with a guy I didn't care if I ever saw again."

She responds, rhetorically:

"Okay, wonders the ordinary guy with only middling psychic powers [who walked into a bar and met me], which is it tonight?
In fact, young men face a bewildering multiplicity of female expectations and desire. Some women are comfortable asking, “What’s your name again?” when they look across the pillow in the morning."

Well, my response is: does it matter tonight? Should a guy treat me differently based on the multiplicity of expectations I might or might not have... or is he treating me based on the expectations that he has about me and about (maybe) what he wants? Maybe — and I know this might be terribly shocking to men — if you respectfully walk up to me and try talking to me without staring at my tits and trying to get me into bed, you'll find out without having to try that hard what kind of woman I am, and what I am looking for. And maybe what I'm looking for in a guy is based on the guy. Whoa, weird concept, I know, but maybe wanting to get into a relationship, or not, or to have sex with, or not, has to do with the person and not the penis — and maybe I'm looking for someone, regardless, that wants to be with me and not just another vagina-owner.

This thing is, all these guys that Hymowitz quotes are really, really angry (and shallow) at some girl or group of girls who hurt them.

Here’s Jeff from Middleburg, Florida: “I am not going to hitch my wagon to a woman . . . who is more into her abs, thighs, triceps, and plastic surgery. A woman who seems to have forgotten that she did graduate high school and that it’s time to act accordingly.” Jeff, meet another of my respondents, Alex: “Maybe we turn to video games not because we are trying to run away from the responsibilities of a ‘grown-up life’ but because they are a better companion than some disease-ridden bar tramp who is only after money and a free ride.” Care for one more? This is from Dean in California: “Men are finally waking up to the ever-present fact that traditional marriage, or a committed relationship, with its accompanying socially imposed requirements of being wallets with legs for women, is an empty and meaningless drudgery.”
So, you went out with a shallow girl who only wanted a husband to pay her bills? Great. I went out with, this year alone: a guy who tried dating me to get me to vote for Obama; one who asked me out so that we could "get to know one another better" and took me to a loud dance club; a guy that called me up on the day of our second date to tell me that he knew I was going to fall for him and thus he didn't want to go after all; a guy who asked me to pay for everything when he asked me out; a guy who got annoyed at me for picking up the check when I asked him out; and on and on and on. You know what I have learned from that? That men are all different. Sort of like — gasp! — women.

Oh, and let's not get started on the whole bullshit "nice guys don't get the girl" that all these guys re-hash. Well, yeah, sure, if The Girl is the head cheerleader (and she always is) — but were they ever asking out the girl who was President of Students Against Drunk Driving and the German club (i.e., dorky, awkward me)? Some of them were, sure, but I'll be damned if most of them aren't happily married to truly pleasant women who they adore. My photo albums from high school to this day are a virtual pantheon of sweet, dorky guys who asked me out or who I asked out, most of whom were actually as nice as they look and none of whom were bad boys.

I dated two legitimately bad dudes in my life — the first one, in high school, I dumped rather ungraciously on our second date for grabbing my ass, and the second one more recently who I dumped, equally ungraciously, after about a month of jealous fits. One of the supposedly nice ones tells Hymowitz:

According to a “Recovering Nice Guy” writing on Craigslist, the female preference for jerks and “assholes,” as they’re also widely known, lies behind women’s age-old lament, “What happened to all the nice guys?” His answer: “You did. You ignored the nice guy. You used him for emotional intimacy without reciprocating, in kind, with physical intimacy.”
Oh, so, the only reason you were ever nice to a girl, the only reason you ever got close to a girl, was to fuck her? Don't worry, dude, you were never a nice guy. You probably didn't get fucked more because when you were holding a girl crying she caught you feeling up her boob. By comparison, at least a bad boy doesn't lie about his intentions or caring about your feelings.

So, look, the problem is that there are no rules, and there is no one end game any more. Great. I'm glad there's not. I don't mind paying for dinner, or going to see a hockey movie on Valentine's Day, or calling first or opening my own fucking doors — and I don't mind being paid for, or getting roses or being called or having a door opened for me — and I am damn glad that I don't have to hang up my dating spurs at 31 and call myself a spinster and start knitting booties for my younger sister's eventual children. And, yes, it's more difficult because in the absence of rules and regulations, in the dearth of universal social expectations and proscribed life paths, no one knows what anyone else is really looking for in a two minute interaction. But this is solved by actually not expecting things from people you don't know, and by treating women as individuals worth more than the sexual pleasure they might or might not eventually afford you. And it doesn't help to bitch about how all women are shallow, money-hungry harpies who you're just going to game the way they've gamed you. Maybe you've been gamed because as a shallow, money- and pussy-obsessed prick who isn't interested in getting to know a person, you missed out on more than just being played.

Courtesy of Jezebel

Speaking of feminism (?), I can't stop watching this video:

I'm really not a big Beyonce fan. Really, But I just gotta say that the girl has an ass that won't quit.

Monday, November 17, 2008

So when do we destroy the world already?

Today, like every Monday, I had a discussion for my British Lit. class. In this particular discussion, we were talking about one of Satan's soliloquies in Paradise Lost and whether or not he is being honest with himself as he debates between good and evil. I brought up that this is a convention of villains that we still see today in fiction and was asked to give an example. The first examples that I thought of were from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. Deciding that those examples were too nerdy, even for nerdy English majors, I went with Dexter.

"Right," the T.A. said. "Or, to sound even dorkier, you might think about Angel from Buffy."

He then went on to explain why he thought that and actually brought up show specifics like the gem of Amara. Everybody in the class was laughing at him, but my jaw was on the floor in awe. Quietly, another student in the class brought up that Satan is really more like Spike from BTVS. This led to a fifteen minute explanation of where the three of us were coming from, in which we discussed the most awesome plot points and the meanings behind them. It was probably the best discussion that I've had in college yet.

Now, this T.A. and I got off to a rocky start and I've always gotten the strangest vibe off of him. I think that I may be willing to put all that aside and ask him to marry me. Even if we never have anything else in common, at least we'll always have seasons of Buffy to discuss and pass the time.

Wow. I've completely out-nerded myself.

P.S. I loaned the complete BTVS series to a friend LAST DECEMBER and still haven't gotten it back. What's the deal?
P.P.S. I can no longer drink coffee. I had a small cup around noon and could barely write this post because my hands have been shaking so bad. This is a bummer because I really like coffee.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Love Unites

Shepard Fairey (ignoring obvious joke, which is very big of me), designer of the iconic Obama "Hope" poster, has designed a new poster in support of love and equality for everyone. It's available for free download here.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The facts were these

I was just reading on Gawker that ABC may have secretly canceled the PQK favorite Pushing Daisies. Worse still, they’re doing this without letting the show wrap itself up! This means we’ll never know if Ned and Chuck will finally get to kiss, not just by proxy, and we won’t be able to see anymore of Chuck’s adorable outfits! Woe is me! Another T.V. favorite is getting the axe (just as I was finally getting over Arrested Development, too).

The folks over at Gawker are obviously big fans of the show (as most people with good taste are) and proposed a list of shows that should be canceled in lieu of PD:

HBO could cross out the lines on the budget for fancy guest stars and location shootings that dimly buoy this sad, tired old alpha dog of a series. The current season, about resident movie star Vincent Chase being not quite on top but not quite on bottom, has been boring and slow, with only hints of humor (Werner Herzog joke!) peppered in between lame Johnny-is-dumb, Turtle-likes-poontang jokes. Pushing Daisies has the arty design and defiant oddness to flourish on the premium cable net. Over there, 6.6 million viewers (which the show is averaging this season) is a lot!

Private Practice
Well, this is probably on its way out too. But for the time being, it remains. It's a really irksome, forcibly "sexy" show about rakish beachside California doctors and the various genitals they fall onto or have fall onto them. Ick. We understand giving creator Shonda Rhimes, who spun this show off of her ludicrously popular Grey's Anatomy, a pat on the back and a sweet new series deal, but this... this is just a punny lady joke nightmare. ABC should stop forking over what I imagine are pretty hefty salaries for Kate Ward Walsh, Tim Daly, and Taye Diggs and spend it on advertising Daisies a bit more. Send supporting star Audra McDonald back to Broadway where she belongs. Yes, Kristin Chenoweth belongs on Broadway too, but whatever.

The Office
Yeah, we said it. This once-great series is languishing under the "stretch it out!" studio mandates that the creator of its British inspiration, Ricky Gervais, so deftly avoided by insisting on only making two short, neat little seasons that were wrapped up with a heart-swelling Christmas special. We used to really like this show, but now it's weighed down too heavily by big Plot Points—Dwight and Angela, Jim and Pam, Michael and Sadness. One of the greatest ensembles on television is no longer allowed to play like they used to. NBC could use a little creative jolt, so why don't they lovingly put this show to bed and bring Daisies into their fold. Ever-tarnishing wunderkind that he is, top Peacock exec Ben Silverman has typically been really good about supporting critically-beloved but low-rated shows. Daisies could be one of those low-rated shows!"

(for complete article, click here)

Okay, Entourage. I couldn't agree more. That show is BOOOORIIIING. The first couple of seasons were alright in that male-"Sex in the City" sort of way (all glitz and no substance), but now it's just repetitive. The way most series stay interesting is through this little thing called character development. Vinny and company have acted the exact same way since the show's conception. There comes a point when watching thirty-year-old men act like they're in their early-twenties just becomes exhausting.

I've never watched Private Practice. I've only seen previews of it while watching PUSHING DAISIES.

The Off—wha? Alright, I can't believe that I'm saying this here, but... I sort of get where they're going. The show has definitely lost it's kick and... oh, god... I sort of blame Jim and Pam. Jim pining? Hilarious. Jim content? Where have the pranks gone?! Believe me, if they can recapture what they had at the beginning, I will take everything that I just said back. I wouldn't go as far as to say that the show merits cancellation, but how about a little scare to get their blood moving?

Maybe it's best for the axe to fall quickly on Pushing Daisies. I get the feeling that this is a show that will always be hovering on the edge and I don't know if I could take the stress. Still, I just don't get how someone couldn't fall in love with the Burton-esque sets, snappy writing, vintage cocktail dresses, and, of course, the handsome 6'3" pie maker who wakes the dead with the touch of his finger. Am I the only one who loves whimsy?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

DeNiro on: Frozen Treats

This is a conversation overheard by me on the bus between two men and a woman. They're all middle aged prototypical Wisconsinites (the Wisconsin accent is important to remember here).

And scene.

Man 1: I love frozen yogurt.

Woman: What about gelato?

Man 2: Ooh! I love gelato.

Woman: There are so many flavors!

Man 1: So many!

Woman: Or as Robert DeNiro would say, "There's so many flavahs!"

And scene.

Did I miss the scene in Taxi Driver where Bobby D soliloquizes about the vast varieties of Italy's ice cream? Or maybe that scene was in Raging Bull. Either way, the woman's New York accent was Oscar worthy.



P.S. I think that this could be the beginning of a new column called "DeNiro on..." It could just be him musing on the simple things like "DeNiro on: Sandwiches" or "DeNiro on: The Best Julia Roberts Movies."

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Hammond, IN. That's what she said.

Stay classy at Hammond, IN's Dynasty Banquets at the Ramada Inn

I’m back from the Rust Belt a little older and wiser.

Truth be told, regions like that sort of freak me out. I mean I’ve been to big cities, I live in a small city, and have visited a handful of small towns and farms (all have been relatively quaint), but I have very few experiences with formerly industrialized towns like the ones that fill northwestern Indiana. It is crazy how depressed-looking they are. Maybe it was just the cold and gray weather, but it seemed like the town was made up of White Castles, potholes, and beauty supply stores with weird names like “Milky Beauty.” Madison’s economy isn’t really based on industry, so it was surprising to see the effects of deindustrialization close up. Let me tell you, it was effed.

Let’s move on. The wedding was a good ol’ fashioned blasty blast, made even better by a 1 a.m. trip to one of the aforementioned White Castles. The ceremony itself was catholic which generally equates to B-O-R-I-N-G (sorry, Catholics. Keep on keepin’ on). Luckily the bride and groom at this wedding are totally awesome and added some of their own pizzazz to keep it interesting. Mainly, any time the priest would mention something being hard, the groom would tug his earlobe, signifying “that’s what she said.” By the time the priest was talking about being filled by God and allowing Jesus to be the third party in the relationship, we were practically dying from laughter in the pews. Yep, we are definitely all going to hell.

The reception was a good time as well, despite the cream of chicken soup (I’m pretty sure that paste was a key ingredient) and wine that tasted like a cherry jolly rancher (they closed the open bar just for dinner—who does that to someone?). Post-dinner, the dance floor was booming. A hint to any boy who wants my attention (there’s gotta be at least one out there)—I will automatically like you twice as much if you bring your shit to the dance floor. The boys at this wedding? They were working it.

The night ended with a party in a room at a Super 8 motel. Cops and security were called multiple times. I was gone by the time they showed up, which is great because I’m sure that I would have had a stress-induced heart attack from all of that noise and activity.

Overall, it was great to be around so many of my favorite people and I think that the whole thing was amplified by the foreign setting. The drive home was spent in equally good company (this time I hitched a ride with my favorite couple Tom and Emily) and probably provided the best “that’s what she said” moment of all:

PQK: I hate the way nuts make my breath smell.

whole car (in unison): That’s what she said.

I think that I’ll end there.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Rock the region

Today, I'm heading down to a friend's wedding in Indiana. My usual wedding date has better things to do than make me feel wanted, so I will be going stag, which means a) I'm hitching a ride with a friend of a friend's parents, b) I will likely be placed at the table with all of the inbred and unseemly relatives that they are too embarrassed to put front and center, and c) I will drink too much champagne and start crying about how beautiful the flower arrangements are, how beautiful the bride is, and how pure their love is. And then I will yak on the dance floor. And then break out my moves.

God, I love weddings. No, really. I do.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Too tired to think of snappy title

I gotta say that the past two days have been exhausting. I'm not used to feeling all of this hope, optimism, and good will toward mankind.

When can I go back to hating everybody? Oh well, I'm sure that it will happen soon enough.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I am so happy to be alive and so proud to be an American right now (and this is the first time that I've ever said the latter without irony).

This little boy grew up to be president:

baby Barack

Pinch me. I'm pretty sure that I'm dreaming.

P.S. Please check out Casey's blog for her report on how the election was received in Paris. It's positively beautiful.

Free from the Bradley effect

I just voted in my first presidential election for the first non-white democratic candidate in the first school that I ever attended. If that's not enough to make a girl misty-eyed, I don't know what is.

A little obvious, I know.

On a less world-changing note, I've decided to do NaBloPoMo! Check here or at Lake City Lake for daily blogs from me in the month of November.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Final Countdown

Just a reminder from your local Pop Quiz Kid to please please PLEASE get out and vote tomorrow. This is the first presidential race that I'm allowed to vote in and, let me say, it's an absolute honor.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Fashion show! Fashion show! Fashion show at launch!

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I'm very proud to introduce a new venture. Rachel and I have teamed up to start a fashion blog. I give you...

...Lake City Lake!


Please stop by and check it out! In a nutshell, the blog will include "what I wore" posts, inspiration posts, "what I wish I wore" posts, and basically anything else pertaining to style. What makes this fashion blog different from all of the rest? Us. Booyah.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The best possible information

I just checked wikipedia for some quick facts on the Great Depression. Here's what it had to say in it's opening paragraph:

The Great depression in the United States began on "Black Tuesday" with the Wall Street crash of October, 1929 and herpes rapidly spread worldwide. Asians everywhere were dying.

What? Now, I don't find Asians dying funny or the worldwide spread of herpes funny (the latter is a blatant lie), but I just gotta say that wikipedia is full of comic gold. Gold, I say!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Justice has a name and the name that it has, besides justice, is Captain Hammer

How can I be so slow on the uptake?

About a month ago, my friend Brian told me that he had just watched Joss Whedon's new internet series on iTunes and that I had to check it out. Brian and I have killed many hours at work geeking out on our love for Joss (I could talk about Buffy for hours), but for some reason I totally ignored him when he told me that I should really watch Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog.

It's a couple months later and I've finally remembered to watch it. And you know what? AMAZING! Why? You want reasons? Fine, here we go. Neil Patrick Harris. Neil Patrick Harris singing and video blogging. Done.

Best of all, you can watch it for free at Hulu!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Black Forest (Tra La La)

Listen up, non-Madisonian readers (that means you, Seattle)!

My friends and favorite local band Pale Young Gentlemen are kicking off a nationwide tour to promote their new album Black Forest (Tra La La). They've received a lot of really great press, both locally and nationally, and are on their way up up up.

You need something more descriptive than me just saying that they're great? Well, there's a reason that I haven't attempted to be a music critic, but I'll do my best despite any of my skills to apply adjectives now flying out the window.

Their genre has been dubbed chamber pop by someone who is a lot better at this than me. To break that down a bit more, it’s a mix of orchestral elements (like the cello), driving pop beats, and literary-inspired lyrics (think Beruit + Brahms + The Decemberists + Andrew Bird). Mixing all of these elements together makes their sophisticated work seem equally at home at a pre-war cabaret, your local hipster dance party, or your tweedy lit professors house where he sips sherry and debates Ford Maddox Ford.

If you are totally lost (how can I blame you), you can check out their myspace page and have a listen for yourself.

And another thing! Tour dates are listed on their website, but they have also started a tour blog!

Hopefully my poor music reviewing skills haven’t turned you off. I would hate to be the ruin of their whole tour (yes, I have that much influence over you).

Go see cool people play cool music and be cool.


P.S. Guess who finally figured out how to add a blog roll! Holla at your girl!

Your week in Barack

I don't know how my mom keeps finding these amazing photos. Does she Google Image search "Barack Obama looks effortlessly kind, capable, and sincere while spending time with beautiful and happy young children?" Is there a blog she knows about where they just post picture after picture like this?

Speaking of adorable kids, she also passed on this photo of school children in India celebrating Gandhi's birthday this Thursday.

I've gone over my suggested intake of adorable. Now, I'm gonna puke puppies.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Solid As Barack

My mom is going to feel totally victorious when she sees this here, but I just had to.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Every Woman is a Marilyn or a Jackie

It’s back to school, so, first and foremost, that means a month long absence of blogging, but, secondly, it means the return of fall fashion. Bloggers galore have been hailing the return of tights and layering. I, being the Sconnie girl that I am, have the sense to realize that long underwear season follows tights season, so I guess the anticipation of fall is a little bit lost on me (didn’t winter only end here, like, a month ago?).

Despite my distaste for the return of long-johns, pants, puffy and shapeless coats, frostbite, windburn, etc., etc., I can’t stop my heart from skipping when I’m able to pull out my Mad Men-inspired cardigans and pencil skirts. Seriously, Bryant Park can suck it—all I need is Joan Holloway telling me what to wear and I’m set. Big sixties hair? Yes, please. Bright lips? Sure. Fake eyelashes? I’m there…Well, I would like to be there anyway.

I have one fashion mantra this season: embrace the pretty. After a couple years of trying to pull off super-skinny pants, trapeze tops, and irony, I realized that I’m doing my body and myself a disservice. It’s like a romantic comedy. I’m Kate Hudson (only I’m cool) and I’ve been in and out of crappy relationships that are humiliating and full of hijinx (much like pant shopping at H&M) and I finally have a choice to pick between two relationships, the trendy pleated khakis that have sprinkled across transatlantic fashion blogs across the globe or the flattering A-lined skirt dress that’s been hanging in my closet for the past five years (always available and faithful). It looks like I’m about to make the wrong choice as I try to see if tapered khakis look good on anyone who isn’t 5’11’’ and doesn’t weigh 72 lbs, but, down to the wire, I choose the timeless vintage silhouette and we escape together on a city bus. Wait. Now I’m doing The Graduate. Maybe I should steer clear of movie analogies.

I’ve been thinking about injecting a little more fashion into this ol’ blog for a while now. Ideally, I’d like to post photos of outfits I’ve come up with. There are just so many great fashion bloggers out there and it’s a little intimidating. And I don’t know how to use the self-timer on my camera. And I’m too lazy. What do you all think? I mean the theme of this blog is pretty set in stone. Can I afford to veer off of it? Can I… Oh, I’m thinking of someone else’s blog.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Shanaynay says, "Oh, no. You didn't."

A couple of nights ago, I had a dream in which I was involved in a car chase with Martin Lawrence. I'm not sure who was chasing us, but I am sure that the dream was filled with a lot of "straight-laced white cop teams with loose-cannon black cop and comedy ensues" movie clichés. Having thought about it for a few days and momentarily gotten over how much I hate Martin Lawrence (Big Momma's House 2 aside), I've decided that this can go down as one of the best buddy-cop dreams in history.

On a related note, this is the first time that I've ever published a photo of myself on this blog! And yes, that is my real body and is in no way Monique.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Come on, baby. Gonna teach it to you!

On the phone:

Dustin: So, what have you been up to since I saw you last?

Me: I've been trying to teach myself how to do the mash potato.

Dustin: Really?! I've been trying to teach myself how to jitterbug!

Me: Are you serious?!

Dustin: No! Wait. Are you serious?

Me: ...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I got skillz

This afternoon, checking out at the grocery store, I ended up in the good-looking cashier’s lane. The day hadn’t been going my way so I decided that I didn’t have much to lose by attempting to be charming and memorable. It turns out that I did have something left to lose and that little something was my dignity.

First, I couldn’t read the codes that I had written down for the massive amount of nuts that I had bought. Second, I tried to fix the situation by making a joke that was met with patient albeit lukewarm politeness (I resisted making the joke about nuts, so I guess that this interaction could be considered a success). Finally, I decided to pick up the remaining scraps of my pride and book it out of there… without paying.

I am the master of seduction and I now have enough trail mix to last me through the coming winter.

P.S. Thank you all for the kind comments on my last post. As I demonstrate above, I often use humor to cover up when things get rough. It’s a little scary to drop that joking veneer and be serious, but it really helps to have such nice support and reinforcement.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Word Vomit

I’ve been trying to write an “I’m back!” blog for over a week now and it really isn’t going well. Truth is, Italy was kind of a bust and recounting it to you folks is almost as exhausting as living it. Eventually, I hope to slap up some pictures of my trip, but this brief paragraph will have to suffice until then.

Speaking of exhausting, almost everything has been exhausting lately. The humidity is dragging me down, physically and emotionally, and all I can bear to do, it seems, is watch Pushing Daisies reruns, internet shop, and emotionally collapse in on myself like a dying star (a tip of the hat to Jan Levinson). I’ve been almost entirely off caffeine for two weeks now and am attempting to exercise regularly to prevent the stream of anxiety attacks being thrown my way. The sudden speeding up of my heartbeat, accompanied by tears and pillow biting, has subsided, but the constant tug of dissatisfaction has remained, well, constant. The upcoming semester is completely uninspiring, my job is equally lack-luster, and I’m finding myself questioning all of the relationships that I have (or don’t have). Remember that entry that I wrote awhile back? Well, instead of feeling like my world is on the brink of change, I find myself constantly losing hope.

I can’t blame anyone else. Maybe if I were motivated or, and I hesitate to use this word, self-assured, I could propel myself into something better. But I’m not these things. I’m not a problem solver; I’m a problem dweller. Do I try to be a better blogger? No, but I do sit up at night wondering why crap bloggers (all readers excluded) seem to get a kajillion hits a week and receive various accolades while the bulk of my readers consist of people who share a part of my genetic make-up. I get jealous of actresses in movies and on television for having a job that I would love to have, but do I have the balls to audition for anything? No. And why? Because by not blogging more, not auditioning for plays, not learning to play guitar, not singing in public, and not approaching people who I want to be friends with, it all stays under my control. I can tell myself that it’s my choice that I don’t do theater anymore and it’s not because I’m a bad actress and someone won’t cast me or I can say that my lack of readership is do to my choice to not involve myself in blogging communities, not because what I have to say is uninteresting or poorly put together. Is blaming my lack of motivation just another excuse to put off doing anything?

I can self diagnose all I want, but what do I do with the diagnosis?

Sunday, July 6, 2008

French Keyboard

This one will be short and sweet because I'm using a funky European computer and the Q is where the A should be and it's taken me five minutes to type this sentance. Sorry for any oddly spelled words in advance. Oh, and no more apostrophes because its too hard to find the button. Did you know that I have to press shift to get a period? Oh, there goes another five minutes.

Today was my last day in Paris and I really wasnt digging the museum/monument circuit that the fam had planned. I ended up talking myself into it and Im glad that I did because it was a beautiful day to walk around and the museum we went to, L'Orangerie, had a great collection of impressionist and modernist paintings. Impossibly enough, I may have even gotten a bit of color, which will spare me a bit of redicule in Italy. The ninety two pounds that Ive gained is a completely different story.

Tomorrow, Im off to Italy to see the family that I lived with in high school. The town is nothing glamorous. It was founded by Mussolini in the 1930s and fascist architecture and conservitism reign supreme. Also from the 30s is their current level of technology, so I will be detached from the internet like a screaming infant from a mothers womb. Luckily, my Italian family and my trashy novel will be more than enough to keep me entertained over the next week.

Now Im off to my last french supper. Add that to a week of my host moms cooking and Ill have to buy an extra seat on the plane.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Pathetic Olympics

So, I'm back in Paris after a week of exploring the Loire Valley! Wine tasting, chevre, and hanging out with my family was good and all, but, being the cultured lady that I am, my first thought upon arriving back in the city was "INTERNET!" and my second though was "INTERNET TV!"

I'm starting to get a little travel weary. There comes a point where all these chateaus begin to run together, the rich food actually starts to make you fat and feel sick, and the comforts of home begin seeming pretty sweet. Anybody feeling bad for me yet? I didn't think so.

Being with my entire family has had its peaks and plateaus. My whole "trying-not-to-look-like-a-tourist" cover was pretty much blown when the larger part of them showed up in rain slickers, tevas, and sun hats, not to mention the youngins inability to grasp that people don't speak English here or that, by stopping and petting every dog we see, we'll never get anywhere. It's strange watching my grandparents get older and seeing how some of their quirks have developed into full blown unattractive qualities. Like how my grandpa has a habit of saying really inappropriate and mean things. For example, after my nine year old cousin made a bad throw during a family boulle game (I had long ago been disqualified) which she deemed "pathetic," my grandpa said, "Yes, but all of your throws have been pathetic, so you don't get another pathetic throw." He then continued, saying, "If there was a pathetic olympics, you might win." For real. To a nine-year-old.

Being around all of these people makes me right tired, sheee-ooot! Moments alone are rare and are usually spent napping, reading (First "Incident at 20-Mile" by Travanian and now "The Stand" by Steven King. C'mon, it's vacation, yall!), or writing in my journal which has turned into a total burn book. I've spent most of the long car rides wondering what it's like to be engaged, creating a storybook character (Maxine the Cupcake Queen), thinking about what I would wear if I could afford it (touring Miu Miu and Chloe here in Paris has taken its toll), and watching the impossibly beautiful countryside slip by.

Friday, June 27, 2008


My day with Casey took me to Paris' premier Jewish/Gay neighborhood. There's nothing like seeing a pair of orthodox jews followed by a couple of men wrapped in leather and wearing ball gags (okay, there was no ball gag).
Anyway, one of the neighborhood's most brightly colored buildings is a bar/café called Cox.

"C'mon! Even in a second language, that title lacks ingenuity!" I complained.

The lack of ingenuity, THAT is what I found most offensive about Cox.

Parlez-vous American?

Yesterday with Casey, we started talking about how living abroad can somehow turn apologist liberals like ourselves into rabid patriots. This change occurs gradually as attacks on your nationality grow increasingly repetitive, hypocritical, and banal (pronounced buh-nahl. Thanks, Mom!).

You hear things like:

"In America, you are so racist. Now, go barter with that Algerian negro."

"You have problems with black people and we have problems with Eastern Europeans. Now, I don't hate Romanians, it's just that stealing is in their blood."

"In America, you like your pasta soft and you use ketchup as tomato sauce."

"Why do you call foreign people 'aliens'? What are we, from outer space?" ("Seriously?" I responded to this certain Quebecois)

Eventually, this gets so frustrating that you start responding in the same way.

Responses may include:

"Well, at least we don't generally risk hepatitis by using a public restroom."

"In America, I generally don't have to crouch on my knees to take a shower."

"In America, we're friendly."

This back-and-forth grows so tiresome that you end up arguing for things that you don't even believe in:

"Fuck yeah, WMDs!"

Or, as Casey shouted, "George Bush is awesome!"

I assured her that I never fell quite that far.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Bonjour, Paris!

Well, I've arrived in the city of light, but only after about 24 hours of travel, a sore throat, a bout of constipation, 6 advils, and a xanax. What did I do for my first day here? I slept. And ate some pizza. And had a nightmare about Dexter.

Today, however, will be very different. In a couple of minutes, I'm catching the metro to meet with my friend Casey who has been au pairing in Paris for the past year. The last time I went on a trip with Casey was to see Lilith Fair when we were in fourth grade. Everybody thought that our moms were lesbians. Needless to say, this time should be very different (i.e., more booze, less Paula Cole).

Monday, June 23, 2008

Ou est le bibliotheque?

Alright, gang! Bright and early tomorrow morning, I’m off on a three-week jaunt across France and Italy. I imagine that it will be a mix of What A Girl Wants, Breathless, and Top Gun. I guess that means that I plan to take up with a French criminal, look like Jean Seberg, fall down in front of high society types, and finally make Colin Firth realize that he is my real father. I threw Top Gun in there because I think that I would like to be called Goose or Ice Cubez or something.

Anyway, I’ll try to blog my happenings as much as possible. Until then:

My Old Bush

Yesterday, I went with my friends Dustin and Veronica to visit Dustin’s parents’ land in Dodgeville. Everything was beautiful—the air, the country, their hospitality, etc. Perhaps most beautiful of all, however, was the amount of innuendo.

First, my friend Veronica keeps talking about how much she loves to toss salad, but not with tools. Oh, no. She likes to get in there and really get her hands dirty.

Second, Dustin’s grandma, talking about her garden, waxes on about how her old bush is really thick this year. While imagining this, please keep in mind that she wasn’t saying THE old bush, but kept saying “MY old bush.” And she keeps repeating it over and over again.

Finally, over dessert, there is a big conversation about pie, providing lots of material for my internal eleven-year-old boy. The cherry on top of the immature cake was when Dustin’s dad, shaking his head, says, “If there’s one thing I hate, it’s a runny pie.”

Pop Quiz Kid Endorsed

This Saturday, I went to see Tarsem's The Fall. It was cinematically beautiful and features the delightful Lee Pace. I cried like a little girl (not the feat it used to be) and held my pee for the entire second half of the movie for fear of missing anything. It's definitely a big screener, so catch it while you can!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

"Clever Taxi Title"

Tonight, I took a taxi home after meeting up with some friends for a drink. The driver, obviously bored from dragging people all over town, decided to make my ride as uncomfortable as possible by telling me how he can’t pay the rent or electric bill and needs two thousand dollars.

“I’ve had such a stressful day,” he said. “Basically I’m gonna get evicted and my house will be dark when they take it away from me.”

What does a person say to that? My mind was blanker than Jerri.

“Well, at least you’re leaving it worse than when you found it,” was all I could think of.

“Hey, if you know any rich women who want me to do things to them,” he joked.

“Can’t help you there.”

This cab ride lasted six more excruciating blocks in which he told me how supportive his daughter has been, how this will never happen to her, yadda yadda yadda.

Pulling up to the house, I gave him my money. He counted it and sighed. I think he expected me to toss him a thousand and wish him luck in his future endeavors, but he over-estimated my kindness and the depth of my wallet.

Trust me, internet friends, I’m generally a bit nicer, but (a) there was a meter running,(b) I was a captive audience, and (c) this was the THIRD time I’ve had this cab driver and the THIRD time that he has given me uncomfortable personal information. I actually planned to write this blog two weeks ago when I encountered him a second time.

Here’s a summary of the previous encounters:

Conversation #1:

Pop Quiz Kid: Did you get to enjoy the weather today?
Taxi Driver: No, I was in court all day. My girlfriend was trying to get her daughter back from the government.
PQK: silence
TD: Yeah, when they said she could have her back, we all just started crying.
PQK: silence
TD: Now we just have to go back for her son.
PQK: Reaching for the door, ready to throw myself into oncoming traffic

Conversation #2:

TD: How was work.
PQK: Fine, but I’m glad to be done.
TD: I’ve never been to that restaurant before.
PQK: You should try it sometime.
TD: My girlfriend’s on Weight Watchers, so we only go to places that have food points listed.
PQK: Oh, sure.
TD: You know, I lost seventy-five pounds.
PQK: Congratulations. aside Jesus Christ.

Either Madison needs more cab drivers or I need to find another mode of transportation because I am terrified of Conversation #4

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Ain't nothing gonna break-a my stride

Remember that blog a couple of posts back where I talk about trying to be braver through the voice of Al Swearengen? Well, my new attempt at bravery is causing me to do some crazy fuckin’ things—like life-changing fuckin’ things, things that I wouldn’t of even tried before.

I just e-mailed a sort-of estranged friend and… gulp… told him how I feel. No, not in an “I’m in love with you” way, but a “we’ve never recognized that we barely talk anymore and I’m sick of it” way. My heart is beating about a mile a minute and I think that it’s moved into my throat. Does that say anything to my abilities regarding confrontation? Yikes.

It’s not just that. I’ve got a couple big things in the works… things that I’m keeping under wraps until I know that they’re for sure going to happen. That way I won’t have to announce to the entire internet that I’m a cock sucking FAILURE.

My, this blog was a weensy bit personal. Just goes to show that once you allow a woman to let one thing off of her magnificent chest, she won’t stop until she’s dead… or until she wakes up tomorrow morning and thinks, “Oh, god. What the hell did I publish?”

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Oh, I'll come over. I'll come over at 'night'

The other night, I was invited over to a couple of friends’ air-conditioned apartment to avoid the rain and humidity while helping mix and roll out some hand-made pasta. Six delicious ricotta-stuffed ravioli, one beer, two glasses of cava, and a glass of wine later, I polled them on a question I have been thinking about lately:

Is sex appeal something that can be learned or is it just inherent?

I admit it. I had ulterior and personal motives to my question that my friends saw right away.

“What is this really about?” they asked.

How shall I put this in a way that isn’t exaggerated? Alright, here we go. I am probably one of the least sexy people that you will ever meet. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t have poor body image. If I may so myself, I think that, on the ugly-pretty scale, I definitely lean towards pretty. It’s not a personality problem either. As you can tell from this blog, I spend a lot of time in my head and, believe you me, it is a great place to hang out. It all comes back to sex appeal and my lack of it.

For example, despite the amount of times that it has been explained to me, I don’t know or understand what flirting is.

“You just act more interested in whatever that person has to say,” they say.
“So, it’s being fake,” I say.
“No, because you really are interested.”
“So, it’s just talking?”
“No, it’s more than just talking.”
“What about fart jokes?”

Oh, I also feel uncomfortable touching people, so those lingering handshakes and under-the-table footsie games can be ruled out.

My little poll evolved into a thoughtful critique on my romantic abilities.

“Ha! It’s like when Kenneth on 30 Rock says ‘I’m a good sex person!’” I interrupt.

“Maybe your problem is that you focus more on 30 Rock than you do on sex…”

That little taste of truth was quite the conversation killer, let me tell you.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Like Peter Pan, but without charm

This afternoon, I walked over to my parents’ house for a little (more) R & R. I didn’t feel like they were paying enough attention to me, so, naturally, I did what any mature twenty-one-year-old would do:

I threw a tantrum about my new highlights and left.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Rainy days and mondays always get me down

Forecast for the next week:

Saturday: rain, Sunday: rain, Monday: rain, Tuesday: rain, Wednesday: rain, Thursday: rain, Friday: rain.

Gee, I sure am glad that winter is over and we can finally enjoy the great Wisconsin outdoors

How much of this blog must I devote to complaining about the weather?.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Age impedes my stream, no fuckin' fear of you

Recently, I’ve decided to try and be more ambitious. To be more ambitious, I’ve decided that I first need to be more assertive. Now, I don’t consider myself a doormat by any means. I come across as pretty confident (a brilliant façade) and I can talk big, so people generally let me be—growing up on the mean Wisconsin streets, this is quite the accomplishment for an O.G. like myself. However, there are certain times, particularly times involving my advancement in the world, that I totally fall apart like when asking for a raise (to be truthful, I’ve never been ambitious enough to have a job where you get raises) or applying for college (my mom decided I should go to community college—Thanks Mom!). I panic, apologize, excuse myself to go stifle my sobs in the bathroom stall (done multiple times at various jobs and once at an orientation for UW), etc. In fact, my voice has a certain point of volume which, when exceeded, unfailingly breaks into crying. Yes, I know what you’re thinking, but no. This is not has sexy as it sounds. Anyway, coming to a point in my life where I’m exhausted by my lethargy and ambivalence—a point where I actually want to test my own abilities in becoming what I might want to be—I’ve decided to assert myself.

Some people might do this by reading self-help books; others might do this by being aggressive assholes to people who are weaker than them (also a valid choice). Me? I’ve decided to do this in true PQK fashion: converting my thought process into the voice of Deadwood’s Al Swearengen.

Warning: This clip is on the vulgar side

So basically I’ve been thinking in iambic pentameter and peppering my internal sentences with words like fuck, cocksucker, and cunt. I haven’t confronted any prospective employers yet, but I do break it out while speaking to the decapitated head that I keep in my closet (rent the show, it’s only three seasons for Christ’s sake).

This internal change might be because I have finally finished the show’s final season and it may also be because I’ve realized my calling as a surprisingly good-hearted thug/pimp/leader in an 1870’s South Dakota mining town. Either way, I enjoy thinking, “Does that cocksucker mean to give me fuckin’ pause?” while waiting on a table at work.

On related HBO note, I saw the Sex and the City movie and 14 of my 15 predictions come true. Carrie does not wear a hat shaped like Marx. Rather she wears a hat shaped like Ezra Pound.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Is it here yet?

One month out of the year, the redbud tree in front of my father’s house, the house I grew up in, explodes into a vision of pink that perfectly matches the house’s trim. Seeing those flowers is reassurance that spring has arrived and summer is not far behind. Today, out for a walk, I found the tree in full bloom. How can I study for finals on a day when the world is so obviously inviting me to slip on my best sundress and go tree climbing?

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Predictions for the upcoming "Sex and the City: The Movie"

1. One character will say, “It feels like we haven’t seen each other in years.” Theaters will fill with self-conscious laughter.

2. Chris Noth will be replaced by Benjamin Bratt, Bratt will be replaced by Jesse L. Martin, and Martin will be replaced by Anthony Anderson. Jerry Orbach’s ghost will possibly make an appearance.

3. Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) will wear a hat shaped like Karl Marx.

4. Steve (David Eigenberg) will literally regress into a baby before our very eyes.

5. Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) will be dressed in flattering cuts and colors to make up for the fact that she was made into the show’s least attractive character for its entire syndication.

6. No one will be able to watch Harry (Evan Handler) without remembering his threesome involving David Duchovny on Californiacation.

7. Samantha (Kim Cattrall) contracts HIV. God finally punishes her for all those years of sexual freedom.


9. Jennifer Hudson turns out to be a better singer than Beyoncé.

10. Charlotte (Kristin “BJ” Davis) is grossed out by something.

11. There will be an inappropriate resurgence of “I’m a Carrie,” “I’m a Miranda,” “I’m a Charlotte,” and “I’m a Samantha” t-shirts among your local uggos and fatties.

12. There will be a rise in HBO-based movies, such as “Real Sex- The Musical”, “K-Street” directed by George “Fuck you, I’ll make it if I want” Clooney, and “Bret and Jemaine Love The Pop Quiz Kid, a Flight of the Conchords Film.”

13. Our heroines learn that, no matter what crazy events occur in their lives, they will always have each other to depend on… then Charlotte is hit by a bus and dies.

14. Things seem like they’re on the path to perfection until crazy cousin Oliver shows up!

15. It looks like Carrie and Big will be unable to make the down payment on a house until Carrie sees a flyer advertising a music contest where the grand prize is the exact sum of the payment. She and the girls organize a song and dance routine during an intense montage. Will they be able to beat the all-girl hip-hop team called Rock Deez Heelz from the Bronx?

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

This dream is wet only from my tears

Last night, I had a dream that I was dating John Krasinski. A few of you who have tuned in with frequency may have noticed that I have an itty-bitty full blown celebrity crush on J-Kraz, so having a full night of dream-dating him should have been, well, a dream come true. But here’s the thing—when I dream-date someone, it’s never the fantastical event that it ought to be. The dream is generally about me growing tired of quirks that I once found charming or simply being bored by the dream boyfriend. For example, I once had a dream where I was dating Vincent Chase from Entourage. In it, we were walking through an airport and he was going on and on about the legalization of marijuana and wouldn’t let me get a word in edgewise. I was all “I can’t wait till we get home to Los Angeles so that I can end this. Word.” See?

Well, in my J-Kraz dream, it was my birthday. He arrived at my party after a bad day at work and in an equally bad mood. Instead of mingling with our guests, he grabbed a beer and sat on the porch. I followed him out there, wanting to let him know how hurt my feelings were because he wasn’t enjoying my party.
“This is so passive aggressive!” I cried. “You can’t even forget about your own shit on my birthday! You’re ruining it!” And on and on and on and on.

All the while, he just stared at the sidewalk and nodded, numbly enduring my emotional outpour.

Serves me right for getting between this:

Monday, May 5, 2008

Project Freeway

I just read that Lifetime is moving their first season of Project Runway from New York to Los Angeles! GASP!

Next thing you know, they'll announce that Delta Burke will be replacing Heidi Klum and Valerie Bertinelli will be replacing Tim Gunn.

Remember, you heard it here first.

P.S. Please don't be threatened by my mad photoshop skillz.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Back in 19 Diggity 6

Truth be told, I’ve never really gotten along that well with people my own age. Yes, before anybody jumps on me (you know who you are), there are exceptions, but generally my friends average out to be about seven years older than me. Believe me, this is not a “look how mature I am” post. My premature aging probably goes beyond what is natural or impressive. For example, on a recent trip to Target, I bought corn pads (all cleared up, FYI) and a contour neck pillow with memory foam. And no, it wasn’t the fancy NASA kind. I’m also a penny-pincher who always chooses to go generic. I also love old lady names like Ethel and Dolores, am obsessed with comfortable footwear, and, when I can be talked into driving, I don’t like going faster than 25 miles an hour. To me, the perfect Saturday night is curling up with my dog and catching up on my stories. I think that music was better “back then” and hide my alcohol in a collection hollow Civil War figurines (that might be a lie).

Anyway, never was my old ladyishness more raging than today in my Women’s Studies lecture. As the professor was introducing the guest speaker (some broad on her period, no doubt), I kept being distracted by two girls sitting next to me who were fake whispering (the kind that sounds more like talking). Not only that, but these were the same girls that had fake whispered through the entire previous lecture. I tried to ignore it, but found out that I could not. What did I do? Did I yell at them to shut up? Did I give them the hard stare? No, what I said was this:

“Ladies, can you please wait to have this conversation after class?"

Throughout the remainder of the lecture, I kept shaking my head and thinking, “Kids these days. Who ARE their parents?”

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Under the knife

Hi all,

I’ve been away prepping the site for a little reconstructive surgery, but now we’re back! Move over, Meg Ryan. It’s The Astounding Adventures of the Pop Quiz Kid that’s got the hottest new face on the block!

The illustration is by me, but it was aided and computerized by my pop, a photoshop extraordinaire. Hopefully the new banner will make my site a little more legitimate looking, but, more importantly, a little more comfortable for you to spend time in.

I hope you like it!


Friday, April 11, 2008

April is the cruelest month

In every English major’s life, he or she is blessed with hearing a recording of T.S. Eliot speaking. The first time I heard him was in my modern American lit. class. The second time was today. For those of you who haven’t heard him speak, here’s a little taste. And no, I really don’t expect you to listen to the entire thing.

Keep in mind, friends, the man is from St. Louis, AMERICA. He’s just some expat who decided he wanted an English accent. He’s like the original Madonna, rubber bracelets included (I hope). Some people are annoyed by people who speak in accents that aren’t originally their own. I, for one, think that they’re awesome. I adopt multiple accents a day, all of them equally terrible.

Since hearing ol’ T.S. for the first time, his accent has been put into my repertoire. Don’t get me wrong—I don’t throw him around haphazardly. I don’t shout, “Marie! Marie! Hold on tight!” to the cab driver or the kid behind the counter at the coffee shop. No, he is reserved for only those I care about most deeply.

Here’s an example from a conversation between my mother and I this past weekend:

PQK: (in the voice of T.S. Eliot) Winter are the cruelest months.
Mom: Don’t you mean “April?”
PQK: (still as Eliot) No.
Mom: It’s “April.”
PQK: (as myself)No! I… (as Eliot) Yes.
Mom: Ha.
PQK: (as Eliot) Shut up. It’s my poem and I can do whatever I (pausing for dramatic effect) want with it.

Excluding telling my mom to shut up, that’s relatively endearing, right? Not if you ask my poor friend Dustin, one of the main victims of my impersonation. Not only does he have to listen to it, but he has to listen to it as I freestyle poetry… poetry about him. Once, I recited one on the way to the dog fair (yes, dog fair) that lasted almost ten minutes. It went vaguely like this:

PQK: (as Eliot)
Dustin… How he used to laugh and play,
Crying “Mama, mama! Unleash the dog!”
Now his hands, cracked and long, they stretch
Toward the sky, stained with clouds like a soiled blouse.
“We will get coffee. No, we shan’t get coffee.”
This is our day. This is our day
You must listen to whatever I say.
Dustin: (exasperated) The end!
PQK:(as Eliot)The end!—is not yet here!

I think that I have now thoroughly demonstrated (A) what an amazing modernist poet I am and (B) why you should never be friends with me.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Are you there, blog? It's me, the PQK

Alright, yall. It’s been awhile. Many of you have probably gone on to find new and better blogs. How can I blame you? I wouldn’t want to be in a relationship with a blog this unreliable and distant either. But please, I’m begging you to give me one more shot to explain myself.

Over the past month, there have been numerous occasions where I have sat down to write entries, like “What would it be like to live with aliens?!” (I sort of know, I live with a Canadian) or “If I was a has-been Backstreet Boy, which one would I be?” (Wikipedia has just informed me that they are still together. I wonder how that’s going), but for each crazy topic line, I was only left with a blinking curser.

Truth be told, there were a lot of other things keeping me from the blogosphere. University (yes, I’ve acquired British dialect since I’ve been gone and am far to sophisticated to say “college”) has been working me to the bone (and not in a sexy way)—essay after essay, exam after exam. While I’ve only been working weekends, work has been driving me a little cuckoo, too. Gosh, it’s a good thing that the creative writing degree that I’m so tirelessly working on will provide such a lucrative career. Then I’ll really get out of the service industry, huh? crickets
There’s been a wee bit of fun in there, too. I went to visit my friends, nicknamed A-mos (a lá Bennifer), in Philadelphia. Maybe I’ll do a Philly post in honor of the upcoming primary, complete with photos.

I digress. The fact is I was feeling pretty void of creativity and the little bit that I could muster generally went into dressing up in spring ensembles and narcissistically photographing myself in front of my window. Keep in mind, I really wanted to write, but geez louise was it not going well. What was wrong with me? Usually blogging is a welcomed form of procrastination from my wacky schooly world. Was I sick? Was it time to throw in the towel?

I did a little research, scouring the web for new blogs and carefully reading my old favorites. What do these people have that I didn’t? It hit me. I was trying way too hard. Each entry I tried to write in the last month was so lame because all it was was me trying to show you how clever and awesome I am. Somehow, through the internet, I had reverted back to the Pop Quiz Kid of middle school days, showing up to class in my new sketchers and Jennifer Aniston haircut only to have the popular kids laugh about it later.

So I’ve decided to make the same decision now that I did then (only this time, it won’t involve flared jeans and Blink 182 t-shirts) and stop trying so god damn hard. One thing that all of the bloggers that I like have in common is their sincerity or at least the talents to fake it. So here we go, embarking on a new path with the Pop Quiz Kid… that is if you’ll have me back.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Pop Quiz Kid Endorsed

Independent artist, I am not, but I do like to support them on occasion.

For Christmas, I was given these lovely earrings from my equally if not more lovely mother:

typewriter earring from Tilly Bloom

(I would post a picture of the mother, too, but I don't think that she would be very pleased)

They are by artist Tilly Bloom, tracked down on online marketplace

One snow-filled day, one of these lovely little earrings slipped out of my ear while walking home, never to be found again. I imagine that it now wanders house to house, its little earring breath fogging up windows as it peers in, spying on cozy stuffed jewelry boxes.

But this is not a story of the little lost earring. I was heartbroken upon the discovery and decided to e-mail Miss Bloom, pleading with her to send me one earring more. She turned out to be more than willing and, within five days, it had arrived at my door. Still, there was a problem- it was twice the size of the original. Sheepishly, I emailed her again, asking to order a new pair and reassuring her that I'm really not a pain. Do you know what she did? She sent me another earring, this time for free! That's right, out of the very goodness of her heart.

Anyway, I figure I'd pass on the good word about a really unique artist who is also very generous. Please check out her shop!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Where has my Sunday gone?

Due to some gray (albeit warmer) weather, roomie issues, and very emotionally manipulative music emitting from my itunes' shuffle, I’ve found myself in a good old fashioned self-indulgent funk and it’s you folks that have to pay for it. How? By listening to a one act play called “A Day In The Life: A Pop Quiz Kid Fantasy.”

Setting: A restored Brooklyn brownstone. The walls are all painted in vibrant yet tasteful colors and the furniture is a variety or refurbished vintage pieces. Oriental rugs overlap each other on the gleaming hardwood floors.

A man sits hunched over the breakfast table working on blueprints. He has the personality of The Office’s Jim Halpert and the looks of Pushing Daisies’ Ned. He is called Ned/Jim.


Ned/Jim (hearing the front door open): Pop Quiz Kid?

The Pop Quiz Kid enters. She is a beautiful successful young woman who is NOT a waitress or a student. She is dressed like this:


Or this:


PQK: Yes, Ned/Jim. It’s me.

N/J: I am SO happy that you’re home. I respect your need for independence, but I won’t lie. My life is brighter when you are here. How was work as at your hip progressive fashion/pop culture magazine?

PQK: It was great. I got a call from Jonny Stuart; he wants me to become a regular correspondent on The Daily Show.

N/J: Wow, that IS great.

PQK: I don’t know. Between writing that new movie for Quirky Director and these regular trips to Paris, I’m just not sure that I’ll have time.

N/J: Being the best boyfriend in the world, I support every decision that you make—Did you lose weight?

PQK: Why yes I did! I am really enjoying exercising and just found out that goat cheese, bacon, fried things, and butter are really good for me!

N/J: Just so I don’t appear like a total pussy, I’m gonna make some edgy joke right now.

PQK: HAHA, you are edgy. Now I will make a sarcastic joke in response.

N/J: Oh, PQK! You are the funniest person ever and I am not intimidated by that or your intelligence. How can we be so well matched?

PQK: Speaking of matching, I found the perfect dress/vest/belt/shoes/coat/hat at the vintage clothes store today and it/they were only five dollars! And I was given these high heels, that I in no way have trouble walking in, for free!

N/J: This is the most glorious life ever.

PQK: Isn’t it though?

N/J: I forgot to mention that I made you dinner and programmed Tivo for all of your favorite trashy programs. Oh, and here’s a pet puppy that I have already trained and will walk whenever you don’t feel like it.

PQK: This is SO us…

N/J: And I’m sure that we are not obnoxious or self indulgent to anybody who happens to be observing us right now. Hey, I have an idea—being two ridiculously good looking people, let’s go have ridiculously good consequence-free sex!

PQK: Can we watch the Janice Dickenson Modeling Agency marathon afterwards?

N/J: Of course we can.

And scene.
Cocktails to everyone who made it through this.