Thursday, December 31, 2009

Willennium

2009, RIGHT? Holy jeez, what did you do with your year? That's nice. I'm sure that you would love to go on, but I'm not going to let you cause this is my blog and I wear the adult diaper around here. Besides, I did TONS this year and there isn't enough time for us BOTH to tell our stories. The one thing I probably didn't do is write enough, so this will all be edge-of-your-seat new information for you. For example, did you know that I spent three months in New York, bought a really pretty cardigan, and had SEVERAL lunch dates with AJ McLean from the legendary Hollywood music group the Backstreet Boys?



I bet you didn't.

Needless to say, this was a pretty crazy year full of ups and downs for all of us. Barack Obama became president which was pretty cool, I guess? I'm not sure if it's still cool, but I hope it is. Lady Gaga didn't wear pants sometimes and had crazy wigs and music videos. We also became blood sisters, but she doesn't know it yet, since we haven't OFFICIALLY met. Actually, I'm pretty sure that that is all that happened in 2009 so maybe it wasn't as crazy as we thought. Sorry.

Don't worry. MY year had way more ups and downs than our collective year, so this blog can still be kinda interesting. Maybe. For example, this year, I said a sad goodbye to a very special family friend (not a joke) and watched my dog slowly decline into being an old man (also not a joke). Those were the downs. There were also the times that I couldn't find jeans that fit me, which, we can all agree, was kind of a bummer. But the ups! There were way more ups! Like how much I loooooooooved living in Brooklyn and working in New York City. And how much I loved the place that I was working at, but can't talk about unless I want to be sued for one kajillion dollars! Or how I ran into celebrities like Snoop Dogg or that guy who might have been on Mad About You one time? I don't know, I was negative 30-years old when that show was on. There was also that thing where I figured out what I wanted to do with my life and stopped feeling like an angsty baby all the time and made a bunch of super cool friends. Like I said, ups and downs. But a heck of a lot more ups.

A lot of people do "Best of 2009" lists, which I guess I can try, too. If I didn't, you'd probably leave and go find another blog that did. I don't want that. I want you to stay with me. Forever.

Best Movie of 2009

Did I see any movies in 2009? I must have, but I don't really remember them. OH! An Education was pretty good. It did inspire me to cut some wack bangs, so down points for that. But it also had beautiful dresses and Carrie Mulligan was talented and pretty in it. New Moon was totally terrible soooooo good and ZOMG LAUTNER ABS EDWARD BRAIN FACE! I didn't see it, but I heard that Precious was a good uplifting comedy, I think. Or maybe that was The Hangover. Anyways, Mo'Nique is in it and she's the best. I'll probably save that movie until after my dog dies and I need something to make me feel better.

Best TV Show of 2009

Parks and Recreation, duh. Why is that show so good this season? Better question. How could a show with Amy Poehler, that drunk guy from Deadwood, and Aziz Ansari ever have not been good?

Best Song of 2009

Or how about Song that I sang too much in 2009? Because that would probably be Bad Romance by Lady Gaga or Empire State of Mind by whatstheirfaces.

Best Book of 2009

Fun fact: I don't know how to read or write.

Best Most Cutest Blogger in 2009

This Guy:




HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYBODY! YOU'RE THE BEST.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Sooooo Twiharded!

First things first, I am a nablopomo failure. To be perfectly honest, I'm okay/bordering on defensive about that. I'VE JUST BEEN BUSY, OKAY? WHAT DO YOU KNOW? YOU NEVER UNDERSTOOD ME! But now that's out of the way and we can move on to waaay more exciting topics. Like the recent release of New Moon. Am I right, guys? Forget Edward and Jacob, let's talk about Bella's dad. TEAM CHARLIE 4 LIFE. He's, like, chief of police, always has the funniest one liners, and his go-to parenting move is threatening his daughter with sending her to Florida. Talk about a man! And, I don't know about you, but this sudden urge came over me to get mauled or at least slightly manhandled by someone who loves me as I left the movie theater. What am I talking about- of course you know what I'm talking about cause you, like me, obviously forked out ten bucks to see this movie opening weekend!

And good news! I have finally found a forum for totally reasonable and not-at-all disturbed Twihards like me to get together and share how much Stephanie Meyer's AMAZING works of non-fiction in The Twilight Saga has effected us and bled (haha) into our own lives. Presenting...

My Life is Twilight or MLIT cuz writing it all out cuts into my Taylor Lautner collage-making time.

Here are some of my personal favorites:

Three weeks ago I climbed a tree in the hopes of being like Edward. I fell out of the tree and fractured my arm, which is now in a cast. I plan to try again tomorrow. MLIT!

when the song possibility (where the seasons pass and bella is despressed) came on I did the same thing bella did. I sat at my window staring out with a blank expression on my face except I was crying because I felt like a whole was ripped through my chest. I felt like edward left me. MLIT

I just had beautiful twin boys. I named one Edward and the other Jacob. MLIT.

After reading these, I'm like, I can think of better ways that my life is so Twilight! Like how, for example, I often brush my hair out of my face. Or how all of my favorite books come off of my 9th grade English syllabus. Just to make it official like, here are the top 10 ways that my life is the MOST Twilight:

10. My relationship with my father is based entirely on a fragile foundation of lies about my much older boyfriend.

9. I am a lady with no personality or agency.

8. I am not allowed to go surfing with the Native Americans. But it's because my parents are racists. And I don't know how to surf.

7. My school had a prom.

6. Remember that time that I was Joan Jett and me and Emile Hirsch played that song on stage in a trailer park, but he wouldn't date me cause I was too young, so he went to Alaska and died instead? And how before that I was in this weird love triangle with my mom and the guy from The OC, but then we went to the Triwizard Tournament and everything worked out?

5. I was about to get raped when my lab partner showed up to stop it. He blamed me then mocked me for wearing a seat belt. So romantic!

4. I used to kill people, but I feel really bad about it even though I still want to, you know, kill people.

3. I've started going shirtless, wearing only denim cut-offs. NO, I WON'T EXPLAIN. YOU WOULDN'T UNDERSTAND.

2. My boyfriend won’t sleep with me because he’s probably into guys he might get carried away and kill me.

1. My boyfriend isn't real.

You see how fucking Twilight my life is? That's right. Pretty fucking Twilight.

MLIT found via Videogum

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

yum yum yum.

I am exhausted from a day of running all over the city and witnessing a bombardment of shitty behavior (shame on you, New Yorkers!). Taking this into consideration, I've decided that I would best be expressed by the following video, rather than the usual blogging format.

Monday, November 9, 2009

No (rock of) Love for Megan

Recently, I went out to a bar here in Williamsburg to have a drink with some friends. Somehow, halfway into our first beers, we managed to get on the topic of the suddenly cancelled Megan Wants a Millionaire. And by “we managed,” I mean that I managed because, yes, I love talking about shows like that. And yes, when I do talk about them, it is totally classy because shows that have women with nicknames like Delicious, Buck Wild, and Rodeo deserve a little respect. It’s why I discuss them only in the finest drinking institutions while drinking the finest liquors (that are in no way Miller High Lifes). Sometimes, I might even spark up a Cuban or two (sandwiches, that is). But I digress because this story, like so many, begins with Megan.



Trying and failing multiple times to get my friends interested in MWAM, I finally, and I hesitate to use this phrase, pulled out the big guns.

“The show was cancelled midseason because one of the contestants committed MURDER!” I shouted.

This inappropriate outburst did, in fact, get them interested. Not only that, but the bartender, who had pretty much ignored us so far, also turned and was all, "WAIT. WHAT?" Would I say that she sounded a bit too excited by murder? Yes. Probably even more than I did when I initially shouted about it in a quiet bar. Still, I was finally getting the attention that I feel that I constantly deserve and what was I gonna do, turn it down? Wouldn't that let down all of the Flava/Rock of Love contestants that I hold so close to my heart (or my booze-soaked liver, at the very least)? So I kept the ball rolling, obviously.

"Yeah," I said to her. "The guy from Megan Wants A Millionaire is totally a murderer! Do you watch it?!"

"I don't watch TV," she said, immediately turning her back to me to, I assume, work on her dead eyes and mouth breathing in the mirror behind the bar.

The point of the story, even if we took the long and scenic route to get to it, is this: I live in one of the few places on the planet where being super enthused by homicide is totally acceptable, just as long as you don't own or watch television.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Let's face it: I'm pretty fucking incredible

There seems to be a movement within my lady internet circle to put aside the self-deprecating comments that we broads have grown far too comfortable making. It began with the Maiden Metallurgist calling on her readers to list three things that they love about themselves without qualifying or dismissing them. Next, Rachel and the Pop Culture Librarian followed up with similar posts and the former has asked me to do the same. I think that this is a great idea, albeit one that makes me a little uneasy as I am the queen of self-deprecation. This is a habit that I needed to break for, if nothing else, constantly criticizing yourself might convince others to believe the criticism.

So, here we go, ladies. I'm in. Today, this very moment, I am going to make a resolution to knock off the self hate and start with the self love. It ain't New Years, my friends, but tomorrow is a new day. Care to join me? Write your own post or leave me three things that you love about yourself in the comment section. Here are mine:

1. I am hilarious.

2. I have a scar above my left knee. I love it's shape and, even though it's small, I think that it makes me unique.

3. I am very brave.

Having trouble getting comfortable with this whole idea? Listening to Empire State of Mind eight kajillion times really seemed to help me, but it's effectiveness might vary by geographic location. How about listening to the band Chicago or the songs Sweet Home Alabama,
Back Home in Indiana, If You're Going to San Francisco Be Sure to Wear Some Flowers in Your Hair, Take Me Back to Tulsa, or the Tenessee Waltz?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Rule Britannia.

After much pressure, the distinguished British landmark Big Ben has decided to start twittering. Alcohol monitoring bracelet, sexually explicit memoir, and werewolf bar mitzvah cover to follow.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Speaking of Steven

We collaborated tonight and the results were hilarious. He also titles me a humorist which is both flattering and crazytown.

mish mash

I'm being hassled to blog by my friend Steven, which is fair enough because I always say that I'm gonna blog and so rarely make the actual commitment. Anyways, here I am. Happy? Do you want another piece of me? I swear, all I do (besides overwhelming hoard) is give.

(Here, we ignore the need for a transitional sentence)

The past week has been a little bit out of the norm. My mother and stepfather came to New York for a lovely visit filled with cupcakes, dinners that weren't cereal, and little to no tension-filled moments. Not to brag, but I really lucked out when it comes to parents because mine are all pretty amazing. It was great having one set of my folks here to witness that I'm not living in a cardboard box or selling hand jobs in McCarren Park (because they're FREE!) and am, in fact, doing quite well.

I'm gonna change directions now, because, I don't know about you, but I'm getting a little tired of the recaps. Too much time is spent recalling what I've done and too little time is spent focusing on what could actually be a good piece of writing. The problem is that I am such a lazy blogger, yet I feel it necessary to fill you in on every detail that you may have missed in my waaaaay exciting life ("last week, I thought about going to the farmer's market, but I didn't leave the house on time"). How am I to solve this dilemma? Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you...

... Nablopomo Lite!

Why "Lite"? Because I'm being slightly realistic. And because I already missed day one. So, friends, tune in every day...ish for the month of November for a post by yours truly.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Pop Quiz Sleepy Baby

I’ve been having trouble sleeping lately. It’s not the kind of sleep trouble where I wake up every half-hour, but rather the kind where I am up till crazy late hours doing absolutely nothing that’s worth being up that late for, night cheese style. For some reason, come two o’clock in the morning, I cannot NOT watch an episode of Veronica Mars or check my facebook one last time cause, really, who knows what could be posted up there at that hour? A grammatically correct status update? A friend request from a vague high school acquaintance? The whereabouts of the Lindbergh baby? You see how tired I am? The freaking Lindbergh baby. THAT’S the most topical thing that my slow brain can think to make a joke out of. Yeesh.

So, yes. The point of this post is that I’m really tired. And it’s bumming me out because, call me crazy, but I like being a functioning adult rather that an over-sized baby who cries and thinks that it might be easier to wet herself rather than make the exhausting 30-foot trip to the bathroom. That last sentence, I think, signals my time to sign off.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Dear Hair,



Grow on my head?

photo by Juco. found via For Me, For You.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Lookin' is free. Touchin'll cost ya.

Alright, ya'll. Fingers to keys. Let's do this. Since we’ve last talked, a lot has gone down. For one thing, I’ve moved to Brooklyn. For another, I lied. The Brooklyn thing was really all I’ve got, but what a thing it is! I can’t believe how many little pockets exist here, each with a new style of architecture and culture to explore and ultimately gentrify (ha ha?). Really, there is something so satisfying about taking the train into Manhattan in the morning, contributing the to crazyville that is midtown, and then, come quitting time, leaving it all behind for the quiet tree-lined streets of Brooklyn where a burrito is but a stone’s throw away and free (and good) comedy shows occur on a weekly basis. Fetch the smelling salts and get those slapping hands ready cause this previously sour and foul blogger is obviously under some trance that makes her want to give transformative make-overs to the less popular and pass out affirmations to the homeless (you see? I’m feeding their souls). Seriously, this whole positivity thing could severely damage the whole unlikable witchy vibe that I’ve spent half of my life cultivating. AND I’m living in Williamsburg, which, as a post-hipster epicenter, should breed nothing but a holier-than-thou attitude with a constant cloud of cynicism hovering over it. But no. I even like Williamsburg cause it just makes life so damn easy.

Another thing that I really like about being here? I think that I might have friends. Creating a social circle for myself was a little more difficult than I expected. I sort of thought that I would be met at the airport by an ethnically diverse group of young people who all wear cardigans and split their time between the UCB theater and writing sketches at some coffee shop/bar where none of the furniture matches. And what? They think that I would be the perfect addition to their comedy group that is currently teetering on the brink of success? And I would be the one to push them over the edge? Why, of course I’ll accept. And while I’m at it, I’ll take the perfect leather jacket and a cure for world hunger (more affirmations, maybe?). Alas, I once again had to learn the lesson that seems to be popping up all over my life these days. Most things worth having take work to get (yeah, you're welcome for that taste of mind-blowing philosophy. I'm full of life-changing shit like that). And by work, I mean loudly complaining at work about how you don't know anyone in this city and how depressing your weekend is going to be until someone, ANYONE, takes pity on you. See, the first time you spend time together, it's out of pity, but then you hit them with the awesome personality that lurks beneath your shameless bids for attention and WHAM they're hooked. Then you use the first friend to get another and another and... Suddenly, you're training it down to Park Slope for a Bad Movie Night or heading to the Lower East Side to go to a literal pickle festival. Through my methods, I've actually met people who do perform improv, write amazing sketches, and perform stand-up. True, my complaining has yet to convince them to collaborate with me, but I'm sure I'll wear them down eventually. If that doesn't work, I can always exhaustingly and unnecessarily throw out punch lines until my real funny shines through ('what is this? New Jersey?!").

Apropos to nothing, isn't it about time that Jane Lynch got some public affection? Has she ever been less than great in anything that she's been in? Sue Motherfucking Sylvester, am I right? How many rhetorical statements can I put in a row? Does Glee's success mean no more Constance Carmel? You can actually answer that last one, if you'd like...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

"Better to be lucky than to be good."

I have so much to write about New York, but it'll all have to wait because, tonight, THIS happened:



Yeah, I met Bunk FUCKING Moreland (a.k.a. Wendell Pierce) from The Wire. To borrow one of his own phrases, FUCK FUCKIN' FUCK! Sorry. Can you tell that I am out of my mind about this? The whole thing is probably not a big deal to those of you who haven't watched The Wire. If that's the case, I have to ask WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH YOU? Do you not spend every waking moment in front of the television like I do? Do you hate great writing and acting??? Do me a favor. Turn off your computer, pull on your sweatpants, run to your nearest video store, and rent all five seasons right this moment. When you're done watching them (don't sleep till you're all finished, now), come back to this blog entry. I promise, even through your sleep deprived state, you, like me, will be excitedly dropping the f-bomb left and right, going "THE FUCKING PQK MET FUCKING BUNK MORELAND." Or perhaps it'll be done more enviously, like "THAT FUCKING PQK? SHE HARDLY EVER UPDATES! WHAT DID SHE DO TO DESERVE THIS?" After all of your ranting and cursing, you should probably check into a hospital because watching 60+ hours of television without food or rest cannot be good for you. Once you recover, though, I'm sure you'll thank me.

And how did this meeting come about? This evening I was treated to a play called Broke-ology. My benefactor (which makes it sound like I have a sugar daddy... which I do) told me that it was going to be a musical-- turns out, it wasn't. As much as my falafel-clogged heart loves a little song and dance, it did not go unsatisfied and it's strings did not go un-pulled. The play was amazing-- probably one of the best that I've seen so far-- and Wendell Pierce was the lead. After the show, it took me and my companions a little while longer to get up to the lobby (they're a bit older, you see) and who should be standing there when we finally arrived? Wendell and the rest of the cast (who were also freaking amazing, by the way)! Did I pounce like a crazy person? Maybe. Why do I look that way in the photo? Because I balled my eyes out at the end of the play. Seriously, there's a chance that people were embarrassed to be seen with me, I cried so hard. So, yeah. I don't look stellar, but that's not the point. The point is BUNK FUCKING MORELAND.

Monday, September 7, 2009

If I can make it there.

Hoo, boy! Has the last month been a whirlwind or what? I, for one, have been moving out of the house that I lived in for two years, transferring everything to my mother’s, wrapping up my job, packing up my suitcases, saying goodbye to friends, and moving my ass to New York City. I write you right now from my temporary digs in the heart of Harlem. A friend of a friend has been nice enough to put me up for a few weeks (mind you, I persuaded her with fists full of cash) until my lease starts in Brooklyn.

Leaving Madison has been a definite mixed bag. To put it lightly, I needed to get out. At least for a little while. Overall, I’m incredibly grateful to the city whose influence has given me so much. Still, Madison tends to breed a sort of complacency. So many of the people who live there have these brilliant minds, but no desire or motivation to do anything with them. Ultimately, that’s a choice, although the comfort of the city makes that choice exceedingly easy to make. For my purposes, my hometown has been seeming more and more limited.

Another reason to leave? Ol’ Rachel (much like Ol’ Yeller), one of my best friends for life, is heading out west to find fame in the publishing world. Doing Madison without her would be like Andy Bellefleur solving crime without Jason Stackhouse. Sure, Andy’s awesome on his own, but he’s somehow made even more incredible when Jason is around and vice versa. The fact that Rachel and I are moving to opposite sides of the country somehow seems easier than her leaving me to rot in Madison. We have to learn to content ourselves by leaving phone messages consisting solely of the Ferris Bueller Bee Bow Bow song and knowing that we’re both off doing the things that we set off to. That being said, WAH! Who am I supposed to watch True Blood with? Who will take me down a peg when I get too lofty? Who will text me when random celebrities die? Who will stick their gum on me like a big fat jerk? WHO, I ASK! WHO? I’m hoping that if I throw a big enough tantrum, she’ll say, “Screw California! I’m gonna move to New York to start the official Golden Prince of Scandinavia foundation with the PQK!”

Other people that I’m freaking out about leaving? Well, there’s my other BFF, Dustin. We probably go out for lunch twelve times a week and generally speak in voices that are not our own (Hepburn, for example). He’ll never laugh at my jokes when they aren’t funny (though he’ll sometimes laugh at how unfunny they are) and he’ll always come to weddings with me so that I don’t have to sit at the weird distant relative table with the rest of the freaks. It’s a little easier saying goodbye to him—it’s likely that he’ll come and visit me and I’ll see him for sure when I’m back in Madison this winter to finish my undergrad. And then there’s my mom. I’m already missing our afternoon trips to the coffee shop and have been calling her daily. There’s the rest of my family, too. We’re a pretty tight knit bunch, so not having them around has felt like a drastic change even if it’s only been four days.

Enough on what I’ve left behind. How about where I’ve arrived? As I mentioned, I’m currently staying in Harlem, which has been a pretty extreme culture shock. For the first time in my life, I’m the racial minority. What, you ask? Madison is not the center of cultural diversity? Feign shock, everyone, cause Madison is probably one of the whitest places on the planet. It’s pretty facinating seeing things from the other side—the ratio of white to Black here is probably 1:100. Needless to say, with my red hair and pale skin, I stick out like sore thumb. Often, I feel rather self-conscious—mainly because I don’t want to seem like a representative of the first wave of self-entitled young white people to move to the neighborhood and slowly raise the rent cost (although that’s probably exactly what I am). Ultimately, (much at the cost of my self-inflation) I’m forced to realize that no one really gives a shit about me as my neighbors (SURPRISE) have lives of their own that keep them occupied most of the time.

Let’s talk about the New York-y things that I’ve done so far, shall we? I’m gonna do a list of highlights because I’m tired and who doesn’t love lists? A-holes, that’s who.

-My favorite New York experience so far was probably my morning trip to the Fort Green flea market in Brooklyn. Being in Fort Green was love at first sight. Tree-lined streets? Check. Cool restaurants and cafes? Yes’m. Vintage clothing stands EVERY Saturday? Diversity? Brownstones? Yes! Yes! Yes!

-Central Park is about 10 minutes away by train. I’ve been going almost every day just to walk around and people watch.

-Met up with a friend who bought me a phenomenal bagel. That’s not a euphemism, but if I were you, I’d probably read it as one. Don’t be embarrassed.

-Had my work ID picture taken. It turned out foxy, obviously.

-Mayor Bloomberg welcomed me to New York, albeit unknowingly from about 20 feet away.

-Went the Western Indian Day parade today. Holy crowds! Did you know that the NYPD has it’s own Caribbean steel drum band? They do and they’re awesome. Another awesome thing: the New York Corrections department gets its own float in the parade.

-Fried plantains and homemade ginger beer at the parade. Thank you, Caribbean New Yorkers!

I know there’s more, but I’m really effin’ sleepy and I start work tomorrow.

Too tired think of a snappy send-off.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Va-Jays are so easy to write about...

One of the few things that I've been doing over this embarrassingly lethargic summer is taking a once-a-week improv class that happens to occur in the basement of the local Planned Parenthood. No, it has nothing to do with improvising sketches about birth control or women's sexual health (although both of those things are pretty cool); that's just where the class takes place. It actually works out quite well to go straight from a pelvic exam into a game of "What Are You Doing?" because they're both such fun and I don't ever have to quit laughing.

Anyways, the culmination of this class is that we "get" to perform at the end, signifying a graduation of sorts from Level One. This performance occurs this Saturday and I'm actually feeling sick with nerves even though it's supposed to be no pressure as we are performing for friends and family. I've even begun having nightmares. Last night, for example, I dreamt that my very-much-not-pregnant-in-real-life mother had a baby and that her labor caused me to miss the warm-up for the show. When I finally made it to the performance venue, everyone was mad at me for being late even though my excuse was impenetrable. The dream ended with me sobbing/screaming "fuck off!" in front of the entire audience before running off stage.

Truth is that this whole "performing for friends and family" business if what's probably making me the most nervous. When you perform badly in front of people you don't know, you can trust that they'll forget how awful you were within a couple days. But with people you do know? How can I be sure that when Rachel and I text each other about Vampire Eric and this week's True Blood, she's not actually thinking about how embarrassed she felt for me when I for some reason decide in a moment of panic that a Hitler impression is all that our performance needs? When my mom and I go out for coffee, will she actually be thinking, "well, at least her hair looked nice under the lights"?

In the end, I had to consider this: Having people you love see you crash and burn sucks. It really does, but does it suck any worse than having no one there to congratulate you when everything goes swimmingly?

I think another thing that's making me freak-the-fuck-out is that it has been a long time since I have been on stage. Sure, I have taken theatre classes and have performed scenes and monologues in an academic setting, but that's a whole different animal. The last time I acted in front of the public was in The Man Who Came to Dinner during my junior year of high school (I was totally the lead, by the way). After that, I sorta gave up acting because, at the jaded age of seventeen, I felt that it wasn't a realistic thing to pursue. Luckily, at twenty two, I'm trying to hop back on the horse that I reluctantly climbed off of five years ago (if that metaphor doesn't prove my gift for theatrics, I don't know what does).

Laying it all out on the internet makes it seem like I'm being all mature and reasonable about understanding and dealing with my performance anxieties (I never claimed that the anxieties themselves were reasonable, just to be clear), but, in the interest of full disclosure, I should tell you how I've actually been dealing with them in the real world:

Step 1: Invite friend/family member.
Step 2: Disinvite friend/family member.
Step 3: Re-invite.
Step 4: Tell them not to expect anything.
Step 5: Repeat steps 1-4.
Step 6: Blame your low expectations on fellow class members to deflect own insecurity.
Step 7: Cry while grotesquely eating freezer-burned yogurt bars.

Well, I hope that you'll send good thoughts my way on Saturday. Worse comes to worse, maybe I can get a free pap smear out of it.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The blogs that I read are proof enough that I'm not the only one who can hardly wait for the new Mad Men season to start. Now that it's almost here, it's hard to understand how I went so long without checking in with the Sterling-Cooper offices. Are Pete and Don are dealing with their baby mama drama?! Will Joan actually marry Dr. Rapey Raperton? Will the feminist movement propel Peggy into becoming partner? Plus, I need some gosh darn fashion motivation because I can't spend the rest of my life in cut-offs, can I?!

Luckily, for those of us about to combust, the AMC website is offering a way into the Sterling-Cooper universe with MadMenYourself!



See? I can now hobnob with Dick Whitman just like a certain other booty-ful redhead! The more martinis the better!

I reckon that I should probably give a nod to the artist, Dyna Moe. She first came to my attention during Mad Men's last season with her Joan Holloway paper dolls and ability to capture the 1960's advertising world within her art. In case you've never seen them, here are some of my faves:











August 16th, you're so close, yet so far away!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

ACCIO BLOG INSPIRATION!

Blogs, man. I know that I've never been super reliable when it comes to posting, but lately, I've been the worst. Not only have I not been writing, but I'm way behind on reading as well. Today, I logged into my reader and it said that I had 200-something blogs unread! Holy bejesus! I can tell- you're freaking out, too. For the most part, I've actually been staying away from the internet and have been concentrating on rereading the last two Harry Potters. Say what you will, but those books are great. I can read them over and over, yet still be surprised by something new. Sadly, revisiting Hogwarts has totally renewed my envy of those who get invited to wizarding school. Fiction-scmiction, I say. Yes, I really am 22 years-old... do you think that they have wizarding grad school? I keep pointing at things and shouting "ACCIO CEREAL!" or "REPARO!" Nope. I still have to walk over to the honey nut cheerios and my dresser is still broken. My sanity, however, is obviously still intact. Speaking of HP, have any of you seen the new movie? I actually really enjoyed it.

Back to the Muggle universe (NERD). Today, Rachel and I had ourselves a little day trip to Mazomanie, home of the Wisconsin River's nude beach. We didn't make it to the waters (nor was it our intent, though Rachel did get partially naked at one point in our trip), but we did make it to Hattie's Closet, an amazing vintage clothing store. I got lucky and found a perfectly fitted dress from the forties that makes me feel like Barbara Stanwyck and a green satin hat that has a ginormous bow attached. The hat might make Aretha proud. I'm not sure that I have the confidence to pull it off as I've never been much of a hat person, but it was too darn pretty to turn down.

On the way back, we discovered this old cemetery with at least one grave dating back to the 1700's. Wisconsin's got loads of old places like that- it's one of the reasons that I love my state. The day was overcast and chilly, making the graveyard look even more beautiful and enticing. It was here that our friend may have momentarily removed a select few pieces of clothing... out of respect.

While our day concluded back in Madison with dinner at a Japanese restaurant and watching an improv show, there's something else that I want to spend my last paragraph discussing. On the drive out, we saw a sign advertising a brat fry. Brat fry? What the heck is a brat fry? I have lived in Wisco for my entire life and I have never eaten a brat fried. Boiled in beer, absolutely. With casing. Without. Yes. Yes. Beef/Pork/Turkey/Veggie. Uh-huh, I follow, but, I'm sad to confess, I am lost at fried. I guess this means that Wisconsin is kicking me out and it really is time for New York.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Playing Catch Up

Things brewing in the PQK universe:

-After having the same cellphone since 2005, I finally traded in. Not only that, but I bought the Lexus of cellphones- the iPhone. Have you ever wanted to marry a piece of technology? Usually, I'm not the type to get all lusty over gadgets. Sure, I've maybe gotten breathy over a patterned mini-dress or Vampire Eric, but things that contain chips or motherboards or GPSs or what have you? Not usually my thing. But the iPhone? It's the coolest. It's so cool that I want to take a picture of myself holding it, only that would require a second iPhone, which really doesn't seem all that crazy right now. It'll be great for New York, where I'm likely to get lost all of the freaking time, because it contains map functions and restaurant apps and whatnot.

-Speaking of New York, my internship was momentarily jeopardized by the incompetence of an advisor. Luckily, I know people within the system, so I didn't have to lose my shit. Actually, that's a complete lie as my shit was lost multiple times. One of my biggest faults is my ability to throw myself into a complete panic, which, surprisingly, is not very solution oriented.

-Finding a place to live in the city is not very fun, especially when you have no way to check a place out in person. A little advice to people trying to rent a room on Craig's List:
1. Clean (or at least make your bed) before you take photos.
2. Spell check.
The last thing I want is a dirty roommate with bad grammar (weird, I know).

-Over the 4th of July, I went camping with a group of friends up near Crivitz, WI. While there, I ate some awesome fried walleye, drank my first old fashioned, drove around in an RTV, had a stomachache, and found two ticks on me. Since being back, I've showered, repeatedly checked my scalp for more ticks, and researched the symptoms of Lyme Disease. Fortunately, feeling perfectly healthy is not a symptom.

-Did you know that Rachel and I met Librarian Girl and Nordic Boy? Yeah, they're like the Joanne Woodward/Paul Newman of the internet (and, it turns out, of the real world), only I doubt what Paul and Joanne could contribute to conversations about sustainable living and throw-up (not discussed all at once).

-I have to go to work. Boo.

-Please watch this music video: Smell Yo Dick. Sorry, it won't let me embed.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Lance who?



See this group of intense and professional looking bikers? Well, the one in the red (the one that's still on his pedals, not the one under all of the wheels) is the Pop Quiz Brother. In only a couple of years, he has gone from bike hobbyist to full-on racer. He's currently in the throes of an incredibly intense racing schedule and I couldn't be more proud.

Someone sponsor the man already!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Awful Man

I am terrified that I was the inspiration for this article.

Sweat

So, the Summer of '09 officially kicked off yesterday and I sit as living proof of that. I write, sweating my balls off, from my couch. Or I would be if I had balls... but even then, I wouldn't have balls because they would have been sweat off. Oy! This heat is making me talk crazy. Seriously, Wisconsin! Must we resort to such extremes? Cold and dry. Hot and humid. How about warm with a soft breeze? Too much to ask? Blah. I bitch, but Madison summers are known for being crazy awesome. All of the students are gone, so the townies get to reclaim their city for a few months, which means late night patio drinks, seeing free music at the Union, biking, and eating amazing local produce.

Speaking of fun summer activities, today I went with some friends to Lake Ripley in Cambridge, WI. Did you know that Madison's lakes are supposedly unswimmable? They are, which is why we have to drive a half-hour to go swimming. Not that I'm complaining. Lathering up with sunscreen, cracking a High Life, and blasting some Santogold- I don't think that I could ask for much more. It was so relaxing that I even fell asleep for a bit, face-down into my towel.

Tomorrow is going to be in the nineties and I'm searching desperately for some air-conditioned space to sit in for a few hours. I think the closest that I'll get is sitting in my mom's shadowy downstairs, drinking smoothies, and watching hours of Generation Kill (which, by the way, is turning me into an even angrier person). In the evening, I'll be celebrating my roommate's birthday with a soiree at our house that will include pizzas baked in ovens (ick) and whole bunch of white wine (yay).

This was the worst blog post ever. Sorry, but I'm feeling a complete blog-related lethargy (blogthargy?) and I fear that, if I don't push through it now, it might be September before I post again.

Better stuff to come, I swear.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

My muffin top is all that

Internet, I have once again failed you. But I have excuses! Travel! Interviews! Exams! Funerals (boo)! Internet outages! House guests! Dance parties! See, I wasn't just watching Real Housewives marathons- I was actually leading a busy life. When I did have a bit of leisure time, I was sleeping. Perhaps it says something about leading a pretty privileged life, but I'm not used to actually feeling sleepy when I go to bed. Tired, sure, but it usually takes me at least an hour to actually fall asleep Lately, however, I've been out soon as my head hits the pillow.

I mean it sincerely when I tell you that I've missed blogging. So many weird things have happened that have made me think 'ah, man. I can't wait to blog about this,' but then I get home and my roommate's mom from Canada is sleeping on the couch or I realize that I've been living in squalor for the past few months and I can't put off cleaning anymore or another one of the billion things that I have to do pops up and I forget all about it. Either that or I pull a Dr. Spaceman and try to remember to blog about it later by repeating it three times out loud. Even now, I should be doing some stupid stats homework (summer classes make my heart hurt), but instead, I'm writing you. See, that is what I call loyalty.

What I'm really about to do right now is take said stats homework and go to the pool where I will proceed to blind everyone with my glorious white flab. Even worse, I couldn't find my flattering swimsuit so the other patrons will get a delicious dose of muffin top. Jealous?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I PROMISE I WILL POST TOMORROW.

I PROMISE I WILL POST TOMORROW. I PROMISE I WILL POST TOMORROW. I PROMISE I WILL POST TOMORROW. I PROMISE I WILL POST TOMORROW. I PROMISE I WILL POST TOMORROW. I PROMISE I WILL POST TOMORROW. I PROMISE I WILL POST TOMORROW. I PROMISE I WILL POST TOMORROW. I PROMISE I WILL POST TOMORROW. I PROMISE I WILL POST TOMORROW. I PROMISE I WILL POST TOMORROW. I PROMISE I WILL POST TOMORROW.

Saying it enough times will undoubtedly make it happen... right?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

New York Post Lacking in Transitions

Hi friends! It’s been awhile and BOY have I missed you! I’m sad to say that some serious things have kept me away from the internet. A week ago Thursday, a good friend passed away after a long battle with ALS. I’ve tried to write a couple of posts regarding this remarkable woman, but they never came out right. This small mention will have to do until I can write something more profound and elegiac (which might be never). Needless to say, the loss has thrown my preparation for finals into pandemonium and I’ve been scrambling to catch up even with hand full of extensions.

Onto happier news, I am currently watching Seinfeld in my tiny New York hotel room and trying to calm my nerves for my big interview tomorrow. I cannot express how much I want this, but I’ll try… I WANT IT I WANT IT I WANT IT I WAAAAAANT IT! Again, I’m not so sure what I can reveal about the job itself, but I’ll tell you that it would be for a very popular comedy show with an amazing writing staff. Okay, I’m working myself into a tizzy.

New York is awesome, but I gotta tell you that I’m a little mixed about seeing such beautiful people mixing about with us normal folk. Honestly, a girl can’t swing a mediocre arm without hitting a pack of super models. Just kidding. My arm is certainly not mediocre. Despite being surrounded by the prettiest humans on the planet, I feel so comfortable here—all of my city-related anxiety slipped away within my second lap around Union Square. I’m sure life gets harder when you actually live here and can’t afford to drop thirty bucks per meal. If I get the internship, I guess I’ll find out seeing how it’s unpaid and all. If I’m lucky, they’ll give me a subway pass and a “good luck.”

As you probably know, I’m not above getting into pop culture and the world of celebrity. Celebrity sightings so far? First, I saw the not so famous Maria Thayer from Strangers with Candy and, more recently, an episode of 30 Rock (double squee!). Then, as my friend and I ate Indian food at a sidewalk café in the East Village, Julia Stiles walked by holding a potted orchid. This wouldn’t have been so weird if she wasn’t just going into a restaurant with some dude.

“Are orchids the new thing that celebrities carry?” my friend asked. We both agreed that it should be.

Back to Julia. She was very pretty and was wearing an enviable blazer. She also seemed to know the people of the neighborhood. I don’t know why this surprised me, but it did and it was pleasant to see (or at least try to see out of my periphery—I’m not that rude, people). It wasn’t the best celebrity sighting ever, but the seventh grade Pop Quiz Kid would have died of joy. I used to live on a diet of Ten Things I Hate About You and idolized Stiles’ Kat Stratford. So, high-five to twelve-year-old me.

Okay, bed time. Wish me luck tomorrow.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Shuster, you might just have to make some room

I’m debating setting up a twitter account. I know that twitter is old news and every blogger and their mothers have covered it, but I’m a little behind, nay, reluctant on the times. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t judge the twitterers out there, I just know that I will go bananas over it and waste hour after hour writing things like, “I just ate my third bowl of Raisin Bran” or “What would happen if I was given a chance to swap bodies with a turtle?” Maybe it could be kind of funny. I’m probably better in short form. In fact, I suggest that you only read one to two sentences of my blog per day. It’ll make more sense over time.

I don’t know what’s holding me back. I rock those Facebook status updates like a motha fucka, so it’s not like I’m all worried about being self-indulgent (this blog is evidence enough of that). I’m not afraid of sharing the mundane details of my life, either. In fact, I’m always terribly surprised when someone isn’t entertained by my stories about seeing a bee on my run or trying a new shampoo.

Chances are that I’ll be signed up for one by the weekend. I remember when a friend first had to “talk” me into a Myspace account (ah, when the world was as simple as Myspace). The conversation pretty much went like this:

PQK: I don’t want a Myspace account. They’re so trendy.
Friend: I don’t know, you should get one just t—
PQK: OKAY!

I guess I just need to wrap my head around how much time will be devoted to tweeting (right?). To be fair, I did finally finish watching The Wire so I got a little bit more time on my hands. It’s not like I’m some sort of nerd who’ll now use those hours productively. Jeeze.

Tell me readers, do you twitter? Would you read my twitter? Are you proud of me for not saying twatter once this entire post? Cause believe me, I wanted to.

P.S. Something awesome happened to me yesterday. It’s likely that I’ll be flying out to NYC to interview for my dream internship. I’ll keep it vague until I know whether or not it’s okay to be specific. We wouldn’t want this little po’dunk blog to ruin the chance of lifetime, would we?

Monday, April 6, 2009

I Love You, Unappealing Nerd

Last night, I went to see Adventureland. Going to movie theaters automatically puts me on edge because I have absolutely no patience for youths or anyone else who feels like their conversation is worth more than the 10 bucks I paid to see the movie. It’s even more stressful because I always feel obligated to say something or at least throw some blatantly dirty looks. But last night’s anxiety didn’t even have to wait until the movie started to peak. It happened during the previews. More specifically, it happened during this preview:



So, no. It wasn’t the talking that did me in. Actually, for the most part, the teenage boys that made up the rest of the audience controlled themselves relatively well even though they might have been disappointed (the movie is certainly not what it’s advertised to be). What did me in was the concept for this super piece of shit movie that’s been made, I don’t know, a thousand times. Okay, here’s the formula:

Ingredients:
(1) Geek
(1) Popular Hot Girl (PHG). She can be a prom queen or a head cheerleader. If you’re lucky enough, she’ll be both. Big boobs and short skirts a must.
(1-2) Overly involved comical parent(s)
(1+) Adversary. This can be a school bully, former love interest of hot girl, friend of hot girl, or jock.

Plot:
Throughout high school, geek lusts after PHG from afar. Even though he’s never spoken to her, he feels like he knows the real her because, you know, she’s so hot and geeks can magically see hot girls’, especially the popular ones, inner sadness and depth. At the end of their senior year, geek realizes that he must tell her how he feels because he’s going away to college and he wants to spend his summer boning. But wait! PHG has asshole boyfriend/ex/friend who might stand in geek’s way. Oh well. He’s going to tell her how he feels anyway and in a large public setting because who cares about PHG’s feelings or embarrassment? PHG responds positively! Geek and PHG spends a wild night together in which the Adversary somehow intervenes. Geek overcomes Adversary and learns to be a man. PHG realizes what it’s like to be treated right. The promise of sex is made, if not fulfilled.

Realistic, right? Cause all any girl wants is an unattractive and insecure boy who wants to use your vagin—erm, personality to become the man that he probably will never be. Have you learned your lesson, boys? Set your sights on the most popular bitchy girl in school who you ultimately know nothing about and then… what? Oh, that’s right. Be turned down. And then turn into one of those guys (I know several) who seem to think that women’s sole purpose is to be two-faced (even though she probably never gave you any sign that she liked you in the first place). Meanwhile, ignore your nerdy lab partner who is probably right on your social level and who you’ve actually had a conversation with. Yeah, ignore her because it’s totally reasonable for a PHG to accept your love for Magic: The Gathering (she’s a stuck-up and shallow bitch if she doesn’t), but you should never be expected to do the same for anyone else.

Does this go both ways? Are not-hot geeky girls cinematically paired with the popular guy? No, because for this to happen, the geeky girl has to be secretly hot. They’ll try to sneak this up on you. Maybe they’ll even have her, yeesh, working for a living. But don’t worry. When the Auntie Anne’s Pretzel uniform comes off, no one would have any clue that she comes from a working class background and probably likes books. If anything, the popular guy only helps free the Queen Bee that’s always been hiding within. It’s just a reminder, ladies, that the world is your oyster as long as you focus your energies on men who are less good looking than you (date someone equally as attractive at your own risk). I don’t know about you, but my standards feel refreshingly low. How freeing.

On a side note, Adventureland was really wonderful, although I do agree with Blythe: Kristen Stewart lacks range. How surprising. Still, I get so excited seeing Bill from Freaks and Geeks all grown up and getting work. As I mentioned before this movie is not what it's been marketed as (a slapstick comedy). Rather it's a really tender coming of age story with an awesome (non-ironic) 80's soundtrack. Also, it's really nice to see a movie about people my age who are in similar situations (so what if their situation occurs the year I was born). Even though we (21-23 year-olds) are such a large and important demographic, few stories are written about us. Yes, poor us.

Oh, and fun trivia! Jesse Eisenberg, who played the lead in Adventureland, is this girl's brother. Now, when I see him I can only think of old Pepsi commercials.

Friday, April 3, 2009

The PQK says the darndenst things...

Happy Friday, my pets! I'm coming off of a nutty week and finally have time for an entry. It's going to be mind bloggling! Sorry for the wordplay- like I said, this week's been hectic and my brain feels like a fried egg. Wait, I'm not sorry. I live for lame wordplay. But this is not what I want to talk with you about.

Often times, the voice inside my head doesn't sound like the voice that ends up coming out of my mouth (somehow this sounds so vulgar). I don't mean this in an "I hate the way my voice sounds on tape" kind of way, although I totally get that. I still can't listen to the recording of me singing "Leaving on a Jet Plane" at the 7th grade talent show even though it's been however many years since then. What I mean is that sometimes I'll move to say something and it will come out completely crazy. And these are just normal sentences like "are we out of milk?," not naturally crazy sentences like "what do you think a burger made of Candace Cameron would taste like?" (readers?)

The other day, I was in a coffee shop studying when some dude approached and asked if he could take my table's vacant chair. Nobody was joining me and I didn't need a foot rest, so I just said, "Yeah, sure" and then went back to reading Faulkner or what have you.

WRONG. That's what I thought to have happen, but what actually happened was this:

Gentleman: May I take this chair?
PQK: (snapping her head up, eyes full of crazy) YES, PLEEEEEEEEEEASE!
Gentleman: (pauses; looks at floor; looks at chair; looks at PQK; takes chair; walks away)

Other examples of this happening in my life:

In a public restroom:

Girl: Excuse me, do you have a tampon?
PQK: SURE!
(what could be more creepy than someone who's REALLY excited to give you a tampon?)

Or sometime the slip is more action based:

Running into a classmate:

PQK: God, I run into you everywhere! (proceeds to walk into door)
(note: this happened to me today)

Does this happen to you, readers? For me, it's actually a blessing that most of these entries are typed. If anything is demonstrated by the above scenarios, who knows. I may have actually sung "does this happen to you" out loud, complete with high kicks, and still be none the wiser.

In other news, I really don't want to go to work tonight.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

"Out of Order" indeed



It's a good thing they posted that sign. Otherwise, who knows how long I would have stood there trying to make the right-hand dryer work.

And yes, I was taking photos in a public bathroom. No, I don't see anything wrong with that.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Today's Word of The Day: WRATH!

My grandfather (who hails from Great Britain) has survived at least three car accidents in his seventies. I think that my English accent here might be what finally does him in.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

I don't want to be your weekend lover...

Generally, I try to avoid dating or any type of sexually charged mingling of the sexes. Lingering glances and touches make me feel claustrophobic; I can’t function in a conversation that lacks boner jokes; and, to me, “sexy” means putting on a clean bra and possibly deodorant. Despite my better efforts, I occasionally find myself in situations where people somehow manage to test my unreasonable and unmoving boundaries and see past my unwelcoming attitude (usually through vast consumption of alcohol). So was last night when I went to see a friend’s band play at a local club. Just so you don’t assume that I constantly wallow in a pool of self-pity and deprecation, I’ll admit that I was feeling pretty good. My hair was doing nice things for me, my skin was all aglow, and for once I managed to look not like a complete A-hole (A=ass) in skinny jeans. Not unrelated, I drank a gimlet after work AND am trying this new thing where I don’t send out unwelcoming vibes. Anyway, sitting at a table with my friend, a bunch of dudes suddenly saddled up like we invited them or something. Naturally, I started trying to play wingman for my girl, saying stuff like “She’s real smart at college” and “I hear she gives a sweet beege,” but more and more this one guy kept turning to me and asking me what I studied, where I’m from, etc. More than that, he kept touching my arm. WHO DOES THAT? Not I, that’s for sure. Ignoring my natural instinct to run home and watch old episodes of Perfect Strangers on the computer, I decided to be brave and try and do what comes naturally to others.

Things were going… okay. The guy had an ironic mustache, which never bodes well, but he also went to Berkley, which means that he’s probably pretty smart. So, for a while, I hung in there and I can’t stress enough how unusual that is for me. But then he said this:

“Yeah, I’m sort of a connoisseur of cities.”

What. The. Fuck. Before you think that I’m being too hard on the guy, let me tell you how unbelievably pretentious this sounded: SO UNBELIEVABLY PRETENTIOUS. That’s when I got up and left the table for a “closer look at the band.” Later in the night, a couple of friends approached me to plead his case.

“PQK,” one said. “You were just the other day saying that you don’t get touched enough.” (note: I was joking when I said that)

“He’s a really nice guy,” the other said.

“I’m not really the ‘in town for the weekend’ type of girl,” I said, diplomatically.

A little bit later, I felt someone’s hand on my messenger bag. Turning around, I saw The Guy. Naturally, I said the first thing that came to mind:

“Are you trying to mug me?”

Apparently, he wasn’t (though I’m still suspicious). Turns out, he was just checking out the buttons on my bag.

“Oh,” I said. “That one’s from Lula Café in Chicago. Have you ever been there?”

“No,” he replied. “Which is weird because I’m sort of a connoisseur of cafes.”

I am not kidding. He dropped the C-bomb TWICE. And yes, this post merits lots of caps locks. But the fun doesn’t stop there. No, he followed it up with something equally uncomfortable and self-conscious:

“PQK, how do you feel about candidness?”

Candidly, I think questions like that are reserved for bullshit, whimsical hipster rom-coms, but I think I actually answered with something along the lines of “if you don’t have anything nice to say…”

“Well, candidly,” he continued. “I think [insert comment about my looks that I'm to embarrassed to type here].” (at least the guy has good tastes. har har)

“Candidly,” I said, almost puking with nervousness. “That girl is dancing crazy.” And then I pointed to some crazy dancing girl. And side shuffled away, muttering “thanks.”


I’m asking you, Internets, is this sort of thing normal? Is this how men and women usually strive to interact with each other? Maybe I just grew up with too many male friends, which means that I openly scoff at lame comments like a sister rather than say “connoisseur of cities and cafes, eh? That is sexually appealing to me somehow” like a flirt. All I know is that, for once, it was so satisfying to go home to my own bed and sleep alone, clutching my laptop. Call it sad, but it cannot be anymore depressing than bragging to random girls in bars (as nice as their hair may look). Besides, how can I fit into that world? What can I say back? I guess I’m a connoisseur of Buffy episodes. I’m a connoisseur of bagels. I kick ass at Trivial Pursuit: Pop Culture Edition. Jaded as I may come off, I’m convinced that one day I’ll meet someone who will be impressed by these things, but I highly doubt that he is the type of person who continually takes pictures of himself (this guy did) and has facial hair that is intentionally stupid.

I know this post is about a mile long, but I'd like to give the gents out there some advice that I'm completely unqualified to give:

-Beards can be good if kept neat. Mustaches are just awful no matter how great your fixed-gear is.
-Be sincere. If you love to ride that fixed-gear, by all means, ride that fixed gear. Just don't do it if you don't actually give a shit about bikes. The same can be said for conversations. Rehearsed sentences like "how do you feel about candidness" come off as just that: rehearsed. It's not quirky. It's awkward. Just talk.
-If you want my attention, be funny, be smart, be humble. That's really all there is to it (is that so hard?). Oh, and be wicked good looking.

And now a note to my friends:

It's become clear that you have no idea what my type is. I know that I'm into fashion, but, in the end, it comes down to the fact that I would date a guy in cargo shorts over a guy wearing raw denim as long as Mr. Cargo Shorts would repeatedly watch Wet Hot American Summer with me and make me laugh. Also, I kind of like socially integrated nerds (meaning a nerd that can handle drinking a beer at a bar with a small group of people, not nerds who solely date through online gaming). I've crushed on many a T.A. even though there are more stylish people in class. It's way cooler to know about Shakespeare than it is to complain about how Animal Collective have sold out with their newest album. I guess what I'm saying is that I appreciate the effort. You're just trying to help cure the social awkwardness and loneliness that I wear way too obviously. But please, stop pushing me towards boring people who are later randomly described to me as an "arrogant asshole" and a "pretentious prick."



Oh, and P.S., the night wasn't a total waste. I definitely danced the "Tootsie Roll" along side one of Kanye West's stylists. Ah, brushes with fame...ish.

Breakdown


snowdrops


buds


delicious smoothies


my dog refusing to sit still so that I can take his picture...


...but insisting on being in others.


new shoes


short sleeves


and nothing productive.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

go go gadget flow

Thank the Lord for it is finally SPRING BREAK! And we all know how much He (and the chancellor) has to do with that. And how have I been using my free time? No, not sitting around while I stupidly laugh at YouTube videos and eat bagels. No, not crying either. Instead, I spent the weekend hanging out in Chicago with two of my dear friends. We all threw in for a hotel room off of Michigan Ave. and just took our sweet time riding the L, eating food, and shopping.

Highs:
-Sitting in the sun, drinking viogner, and eating a crab cake sandwich at bin
-Bruschetta and duck breast at my favorite Chicago restaurant lula
-A gin, cucumber, mint, and rose water cocktail
-Browsing Crossroad Trading Co.
-Finding these:

-Not being surrounded by the same old boring white people (not that I'm anything but)

Lows:
-Sleeping at The Red Roof Inn
-Dirty carpets at The Red Roof Inn
-Bugs in the bathroom at The Red Roof Inn
-Boring breakfast at The Bongo Room
-Telling my friends that they could go ahead while I was browsing Crossroad Trading Co., them going ahead, me feeling my natural inclination toward jealousy, then me throwing internal tantrum as I walked to find them.
-Trying on awesome glasses. Awesome glasses costing $375.00. Not buying glasses.

Overall, great weekend.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Looking Forward to... Sunshine Cleaning

So, I've decided that I'm excited for this new movie Sunshine Cleaning. For those who don't know, it's a movie about two sisters who start a crime scene clean-up business. Crime scene clean-up is a job that's fascinated me since a middle school friend (I was in middle school, too, so nothing creepy here) was reading a book on the world's weirdest jobs. One of the people they talked to was a man who loved cleaning up crime scenes so much that his marriage broke-up over it and he didn't even care (lots of creepy there). Believe me, this is a job that I'd never want to pursue (I can barely look at roadkill), but it seems, just like with Six Feet Under, a great backdrop for family drama and humor to ensue.

Here's the preview:



Other reasons I'm excited to see this movie:

1. I love Any Adams for inexplicable reasons. I saw her in Central Park once while I was visiting New York. She was there filming Enchanted and I obnoxiously bring up the encounter whenever I see anything related to the movie. I also think that she has perfect skin and hair. This isn't exactly a deep basis to love some one, but, then again, I'm a remarkably shallow person.

2. Begrudgingly, I have gotten over the fact that John Krasinski is dating Emily Blunt instead of dating me. I've even gotten to the point where, after seeing Emily Blunt in interviews, I think that she is funny, smart, and charming. I kinda want to go out for drinks with her and Mandy Moore (my other celebrity best friend). I'm pretty sure that the three of us could have a pretty good time and they'd probably be up for ordering wings or something.

3. They use a Decemberists song (The Crane Wife 3) in the preview. As much as people call The Decemberists too precious or nerdy, I continue to love them more than almost any other band. Their concert was probably one of the most fun that I've ever attended. If you aren't familiar, check them out here and be prepared to think, "wow, they ARE nerdy."

See ya at the flickers!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

There's a pedophile in the school

Alright, one midterm paper down and another to go by Friday. Totally doable. Maybe I'll even try to finish it tomorrow so when Thursday night rolls around and I'm all "OH MY GOD, I HAVE A PAPER DUE TOMORROW!" I can tell myself to take a deep breath and relax cause that shit is done, son!

In other news, I've faced two vigorous academic critiques in the last two days and I am burned out on criticism. Last night, my short story was workshopped for the first time this semester. The instructor for this class is kind of a big deal in the literary world (not to give it away, but she's been published in The New Yorker, is frequently mentioned in the New York Times, has published several successful books, and will casually mention hanging out with John Updike (RIP) like it ain't no thang). Needless to say, I was pretty nervous, especially because I didn't think that my short story was all that great. Thankfully, she loved it. The rest of my class? Not so much. I really like receiving constructive criticism, but struggle when it's coming from a group of college-aged boys who possess the emotional intelligence of the lamp that's currently lighting my keyboard. These are people who can't understand that marriages and families can fall or drift apart without someone cheating or a bomb exploding. Bleh, maybe I'm not open to constructive criticism as much as I thought. When reviewing my classmates' work, I try to be very honest and put social niceties aside. My inner narcissist tells me that this is why a lot of them said the things that they did about my story. You know, to get back at me. In truth, they were probably doing me the same favor that I try and do them. Even the positive response from the professor is getting me all agitated. This class is now mine to lose and my next story needs to be even better...

Moving on. Today in theater class, we worked my scene in front of everyone. My character carries the majority of the lines for the part that we were working, so I got to experience my drama teacher in her full-on crazinesss, with hardly anyone else to distract her. Have any of you taken drama classes? If you have, you'll have found that the instructors for these classes are some of the most intense and wacked-out people in the world. Take Mr. G for example. This is what I deal with twice a week:


(she actually has made us participate in improve exercises similar to Mr. G's evacuation procedures).

This afternoon, she kept saying, "What is your motivation here?" "Um," I'd say. "Power?" "Simplify!" she'd yell. So, I'd say "being right?" "No, more complex!" And that's when my head exploded and I had to leave the class to go to the hospital and have it slowly and painfully put back together. Even now, in recovery, I can hear her shouting "Consistency is the death of acting!" right in my purple and bleeding ear. She's right, but jeez, it's not worth a girl's head exploding and all.

Needless to say, I'm having an intense need for coddling and self-assurance, so I guess I'll go spoon my pillow and stroke my own hair. Admit it. You want my life.

Monday, March 9, 2009

We don't read too good

Yesterday, Washington Post writer Ron Charles posted an article on the the sorry states of college students' bookshelves.
In 1969, when Alice Echols went to college, everybody she knew was reading "Soul on Ice," Eldridge Cleaver's new collection of essays. For Echols, who now teaches a course on the '60s at the University of Southern California, that psychedelic time was filled with "The Autobiography of Malcolm X," "The Golden Notebook," the poetry of Sylvia Plath and the erotic diaries of Anaïs Nin.

Forty years later, on today's college campuses, you're more likely to hear a werewolf howl than Allen Ginsberg, and Nin's transgressive sexuality has been replaced by the fervent chastity of Bella Swan, the teenage heroine of Stephenie Meyer's modern gothic "Twilight" series. It's as though somebody stole Abbie Hoffman's book -- and a whole generation of radical lit along with it.


I'm not out to prove Charles wrong. In fact, when I see former classmates' facebook statuses that read "So and so is... in love with Edward Cullen," it makes me puke a little bit. And then there's the whole mess of cleaning off my keyboard and changing shirts which is just a pain. You know, it even makes me a little nauseous just knowing that I know who Edward Cullen is (an abstinent vampire? Come on!).

I guess what I want to know is why people like me and my friends are never polled for these articles. I'm their demographic, aren't I? I'm a 22 year old college student and I own three bookshelves worth of books and they range from graphic novels to Milton to Bronte to "The Autobiography of Malcolm X" to, yes, Harry Potter. And most of the people I spend time with have bigger and more eclectic bookshelves than I do.

Charles makes a point that our generation is lacking a voice like that of Kerouac (honestly, the Beats can keep him). Maybe, but what about popular and smart writers like David Sedaris or Jonathan Safran Foer? What about Jhumpa Lahiri? Chuck Klosterman? Chuck Palahniuk? Certainly all of these authors say something about the current generation, but what they're saying is different from what Ginsberg and Kerouac had to say. The authors of the 60's were rebelling against the rigidity and social expectations of the time. Now we're put in a position to rebel against our parents' generation, a generation that expects and, to some extent, respects rebellion.

He also writes:
According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, the best-selling titles on college campuses are mostly about hunky vampires or Barack Obama. Recently, Meyer and the president held six of the 10 top spots. In January, the most subversive book on the college bestseller list was "Our Dumb World," a collection of gags from the Onion. The top title that month was "The Tales of Beedle the Bard" by J.K. Rowling.


First, if you don't think The Onion offers commentary on who we are as a generation you're drinking stupid sauce. Secondly, who is to say that reading Barack Obama now is any less valuable than reading Malcolm X then? Are they not comparable in literary worth? Sure, Malcolm X's life is more intense and filled with sordid details, but either represents important movements in history. And you know what? The Harry Potter series was great and encouraged millions of kids to turn off their TVs and read. Twilight? Beyond being a vampire enthusiast (note: not fetishist), I obviously have problems with it, but more for it's deeply rooted sexism than for its popularity.

We should also note how many more forms of media are effecting us now. We have blogs, viral videos, and the ability to download movies straight on to our personal computers. We have TV shows like The Wire, Mad Men, 30 Rock, etc. We have podcasts. I'm not going to get on a high horse and say that all of this technology is bad. If anything, we should accept that new forms of media are influencing us and look for movements and voices within these forms.

Lastly, and I'm not sure if things were any different then, academics have crushed my ability to read for pleasure, at least while the semester is going. In the last two months, I've probably read 15 authors and none of these were simply because I wanted to. After hours of reading for curriculum, who can blame me for wanting to curl up in front of The Office rather than with a copy of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance or read blogs over The Sun Also Rises?

I just realized that I have no idea what this entry is about. Sorry for the ranty-ness, internet.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Why Miss March, you're beautiful.

Dear March,

I've just gotta say that I really like what you're doing these days. To be honest, I've always thought that you were just a lackey of February. I mean for so long you've dressed alike (meaning in buckets of dirty ice and snow) and acted alike (bitchy), so how can you can you blame me. But now? You're really coming into yourself and, dare I say it? I find you quite attractive. Who would have thought that under all that slush was shapely sidewalks and sweet smelling mud. Yesterday, I even went for a run with you outside and we didn't lack for conversation or good humor. I didn't have to curse you as I pulled on my stupid boots and dirty coat. Oh no, all I had to wear was a hoody and, as you remember, it was too much clothing.

I hope this isn't just a faze. According to the weather website, you're looking like this nice new you is here to stay. Sure, there's one day next week where you dip down to 32-degrees, but, hey, I have days that I'm feeling a little cold, too. In fact, I have many days like that so I won't be throwing any stones your way, my friend. Still, let's be straight-forward, shall we? I hate game playing. You've been a tease in the past. First it's all "Hey PQK, I love you. Here's some spring" and then the next day it's suddenly "I'm gonna throw some snow and cold in your face, so suck it." Of course, I'll respond "no, you suck it" and then we'll get into some weird wrestling match of the most unsexy variety.

I'm sorry. You're right. Let's not dwell on what could be and focus on what is. Yes, it's a 55-degree day out and I will probably bike to work for the first time since November. This is the nicest present that you could give a girl.

XOXO,

PQK

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The gramps are alright...

I have an exam on Friday and two papers due next week. I need to fill out a lease application and write a cover letter and resume for a couple of internships I’m planning on applying for. Naturally, I’m spending my time blogging the following incoherent post.

First, I don’t hate Jimmy Fallon like everybody else seems to. I found his interview with Tina Fey last night to be incredibly endearing. Just want to get that off my chest.

Second and more importantly, I’ve come into a new discovery. It turns out that my pops decided to share my blog URL with my grandparents. I learned this through a series of birthday cards in which relatives mentioned this very website. Needless to say… yikes. It’s not that I write anything offensive about my grandparents here, it’s that I write many offensive things about everything else. Even my grammar is occasionally offensive, sometimes intentionally. What can I say? You can’t tame the beast. I was also embarrassed because I may every-so-often have a blog breakdown. A blogdown, if you will. Or is that what you call a party where everyone blogs and dances? Not that I believe in emotional dishonesty, but I’m not quite sure how I feel about my grandparents knowing about my pre-birthday freak-out. My dad was shocked when I confronted him about this, saying, “what? Strangers can know about these things, but you don’t want your family to know?” Well, yes. You see, there’s a nice boundary between me and all of you and I don’t really care if you judge me because, chances are, I’ll never hear about it. Speaking of boundaries, there are things that grandparents might not want to know or need to know about a girl. For example, I just coughed and my ovary hurt. I probably have cancer. This is something my sweet grandma needn’t hear about.

When I first heard about the leak (yes, I’m that important), I was pretty angry with my father. What does this mean for the Pop Quiz Kid? Do I censor myself a bit more? Start a new blog and give up the five readers that I’ve built up over the past year? Or do I say to hell with it? After sleeping on it for a week, I decided on the last option. Maybe I need to give my grandparents more credit and accept that they can handle the occasional anal sex joke.

What it comes down to is that I’m looking to form a career out of comedy and writing and how do you do that without ruffling a few feathers along the way? If my GPs don’t like what they read, I’ll take this moment to assure them that no matter how many times I talk about wanting to put my mouth on someone else’s mouth or accidentally write “their” instead of “there” (I know, totally embarrassing), I’ll still be the accommodating and grateful 4.0 student that comes to visit over the holidays. Read on, Dottie and Julian. I welcome you!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Early Birds

Today, I went out for dinner with Rachel. At 4:30 P.M. This suited both of us fine.

Before going to the restaurant, she and I sat in the sun (41-degrees today, suckas) talking about the new apartment I'm hoping to rent.

"It's smallish, but the architecture is nice," I told her. "The only problem is that I hear that the building isn't very soundproof."
"That sucks," she replied.
"But I also hear that the crowd is pretty low key, so it's quiet by 10:30."
"No," she said. "It'll suck for you."
"Why? I don't listen to music or own a T.V. I never have people over either."
"I guess that only leaves the sound of you weeping."

Plurals

A group of apes is called a shrewdness.
A group of bucks is called a clash.
A group of cobras is called a quiver
A group of cows is called a kine. A group of twelve cows is called a flink.
A group of crocodiles is called a float.
A group of curs (or mutts) is called a cowardice.
A group of goldfinches is called a charm.
A group of grayhounds is called a leash.
A group of hawks is called a kettle.
A group of jellyfish is called a smack.
A group of moles is called a labour.
A group of owls is called a parliament.
A group of peacocks is called an ostentation.
A group of pheasants is called a bouquet.
A group of rattlesnakes is called a rhumba.
A group of ravens is called an unkindness.
A group of rhino is called a crash.
A group of rooks is called a building or a clamour.
A group of starlings is called a murmuration.
A group of swans is called a lamentation.
A group of turtledoves is called a pitying.
A group of woodpeckers is called a descent.

Friday, February 20, 2009

For the Pop Quiz Mother

Having mentioned my momma's birthday, I thought I'd share the card that I made her. It is, if I do say so myself, awesome. Hey, the card fits the lady.



It's true. I really do admire her. And she really is that chic.

Bucked up on nasal spray and optimism

Just to let everyone know, I'm out of my funk. The day after I wrote that last entry, I got kind of sick, which explains (to an extent) my emotional hysteria. Yes, bring on the birthday and I'll be happy anyway that it comes (runny nose and all), just as long as I spend it with my family and closest friends (one of whom has taken off work to have dinner with me)!

Let's move on from less sentimental topics, shall we? Here are things that I should have been blogging about instead of feeling like a lame-dash-oh:

-How much I hate Terrance Howard
-A dream that I had in which I was helping Mary Louise Parker find a sperm donor. I referred her to my friend who happened to be OMAR from The Wire
-How much I love The Wire
-The awesome new art that I just got framed (more later).
-How my mother celebrated a birthday of her own.
-Needing to come clean about watching a full episode of Sober House with Dr. Drew.
-Having a coffee with the head writer of The Colbert Report (more later?).
-Anything else. Anything else at all.

Monday, February 16, 2009

PQK, it's your birthday. Happy Birthday, PQK.

Do you remember that episode of The Simpson's where everyone forgets Lisa's birthday? The one where she sings "Happy Birthday to Me" while sitting in the dark, eating a lone cupcake? And then Bart cowrites a song with Michael Jackson and everything is all better?

Like I mentioned in my last post, my own birthday is coming up pretty quickly. Do to my recent lethargic attitude towards everything, I've been feeling pretty blah about it. I want something low-key and low pressure. I have no desire to have a party or go to a nice restaurant like I usually do. Instead, I'd rather go eat some samosas at my favorite Himalayan restaurant with my nearest and dearest before hitting up a bar and then returning home, relatively sober, by one.

Even with what I consider to be pretty frickin' low expectations, I'm already beginning to feel the dreaded clouds of disappointment gathering above my head. So far, it seems like everyone who I'd want to be with has to work. Some have even picked up shifts, knowing that it's my birthday. I also wrote in my facebook status that I would like people to come out. So far I have one response and it's from my friend S who would probably agree to go out and celebrate anytime you had a particularly satisfying jog. If the jog didn't go so well, he'd probably want to go out anyway. The calm, reasonable, and mature PQK tells me that these slights have absolutely nothing to do with me or how these people value my friendship. The louder less mature PQK is saying "WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!" So, right now I'm feeling pretty bummed. About a birthday that I didn't think I cared about in the first place.

Believe me, I know how immature I sound. But also believe me that I have a history of having parties that nobody showed up to, of people forgetting to pick me up on New Years, or, less painful maybe, sitting in a restaurant for a half hour before anybody else showed up. I would love to be a person who didn't care at all about my birthday, but every time it comes around, no matter how everything else in my life is going, I revert back into a sixteen year old girl, all dressed up for a celebration that only my parents will show up for. I hate how that sixteen year old version of myself manages to take over so easily, like the last six years of my life never even happened.

I just told my roommate that I don't want to do anything at all. I'm not sure if that's entirely truthful because, right now, all I can think about is sitting in a dark kitchen as I sing "Happy Birthday" to myself. I'm pretty sure that no one has time to team up with Michael Jackson and write a song for me. Besides, I don't really want to meet Michael Jackson anyways.



Urgh. I promise that this blog will get less maudlin any day now.