tiaras optional

"My only argument is with those who do not view the world as cynically as I do." Michael Korda

Monday, October 31, 2005

I'm So Grumpy

The theme of this weekend: irritation. Yes, I was very grumpy. I spent Friday evening recovering from a migraine, while Lord Kissington was out with some visiting high school friends. I had decided that I could only do one evening of listening to other people’s “remember that time we got really wasted” stories, and it would have to be Saturday. Yes, I’m just a really supportive fy-ance like that. I managed to improve Friday a bit by making an H&M run on my way home from work. I am now the proud owner of the cutest green tweed coat ever. Finally, I can open my coat closet and see something other than a sea of black. I also bought some adorable hot pink suede gloves with ruffles and two big gaudy rings, one in blue and green tones and one in pink. (I am wearing the pink one right now, and I just can’t stop looking at it. It’s so sparkly.)

Saturday afternoon was really fun. Kissington, Lord Merlin, and new friends P and R drove out to Germantown, MD, to pink apples and pumpkins. Apple picking was great, although most of the apples were on the ground. I guess we were a little late in the season. The pumpkin patch was just bizarre. I suppose that if you wait until two days before Halloween, the pickings are going to be a bit slim, but this was like some sort of bizarre post-apocalyptic pumpkin patch. It was mostly just dirt, and of the remaining pumpkins, about two-thirds were smashed or rotted. It was so depressing. I found two unsmashed pumpkins and decided they needed to come home with me to save them from the rampaging little darlings who seemed to be bent on destruction.

Saturday evening turned into a bit of a fiasco. Our evening plan was to stop by a friend’s Halloween/housewarming party and then meet up with the out of town friends at a bar later. I was worn out from all the fresh air, so I took a nap. After about 45 minutes, I sort of half woke up and could hear Kissington talking to someone and sounding exasperated, which is unusual for him. Turns out that the friends are in the car on their way over. No warning, they are 15 minutes away, AND they want to cook in our kitchen. Hell to the no. Kissington tells them this won’t be possible, since we hadn’t planned on having visitors and I am asleep in the bedroom. Some snippiness ensues. I am now totally awake and realize that our bathroom is not fit for human habitation, so I jump out of bad, throw on some clothes, and start scrubbing the toilet. So much fun. We ended up going out to dinner and having to miss the party. I was totally irritated, that being the theme of the weekend I suppose. I bailed after dinner and went home and was in bed early.

Even with the time change, I was up early Sunday morning, which was fine since it meant I could make it to my 10 a.m. yoga class. After that, I felt very zen and no longer irritated. Holding all that irritation in is probably really bad for my spleen, and I’m sure it isn’t doing my chakras any good either. The yoga instructor was talking about listening to your body. As an example, she said, if you are really craving bananas, your body is probably trying to tell you that you need potassium. Right now, I think my body is trying to tell me that I have a serious vanilla pudding deficiency. Yoga makes me very relaxed. So relaxed that I left my mat outside the studio and had to go back and retrieve it. But that’s ok, because I am RELAXED, GODDAMMIT.

In the afternoon, we went to see Elizabethtown. It was ok. There were some things about it that annoyed me, but I am trying to get past them. Much of it takes place in one of those bucolic, overly idealized small towns where everyone is just so darn friendly. Sorry, but I prefer my small town Americana with a touch of David Lynch. Sure, Twin Peaks looks like such a pretty little town, but you don’t even want to know what’s happening under the façade. Orlando Bloom does a very good American accent, and he’s just so pretty. Kirsten Dunst’s character is really annoying, she does a very uneven Southern accent, and she isn’t nearly as pretty as Orlando. I’m a tough audience.

After the movie, we got pizza at Bertucci’s. This is a tough one for me. I usually really hate chain restaurants, but I really like their pizza. And the rolls they bring you while you’re waiting for the pizza are to die for. And yes, I know I don’t need rolls when I am about to eat a huge thing made of dough, but they are just so tasty. Sometimes I feel like I am eating all the carbs the rest of America has given up. Someone’s got to do it.

Friday, October 28, 2005

The Pounding of My Head

I was good last night. I stayed home, worked out, watched Alias (not so good), and was in bed by 10:30. I might as well have gone out and gotten wasted since I woke up this morning feeling like someone was smashing my head with a hammer. I haven’t had a migraine for a few months, and I had sort of forgotten just how bad they can be. I called into work to say I would be late and almost threw up while I was on the phone leaving a message. Hopefully, that made me sound appropriately weak. I made it in at 2 today, and I’m hoping to leave by 5. I have to use the worst joke ever here, working hard or hardly working?

Those annoying three pounds are gone again. Note to self: throw scale out the window and stop obsessing.

Thursday, October 27, 2005


Well, I seem to have gained back those magical three pounds. Yet, a skirt that used to be way too tight now fits, and the waistline on my wedding dress is now a size too big. So, the exercise is working I guess, even if I am not technically thinner. Maybe I just shouldn’t weigh myself at all. It’s way too easy to obsess. Besides, even if I am not getting thinner, I am enjoying my newfound love of exercise. That’s got to be worth something, and it does seem to be helping with my stress level. (Note to anyone thinking about getting hitched: if you are proposed to, if the answer is yes, arrange for an immediate elopement. This goes for the proposer too. I cannot stress this enough, people.)

I have become so lame that I am forgoing an evening at my favorite bar with some of my favorite people just to work out. And watch Alias, which I’m not even sure I like anymore.* And it’s cold out. I guess I’m moving into hibernation mentality. Time to go store some nuts or something.

*A few thoughts on Alias. I hated the new girl for maybe the first 15 minutes, but I have warmed up to her. I actually like the new guy. But they just seem like a retread of Sydney and Vaughn. And what is up with Sydney these days? Are they trying to make her into a total bitch so that no one misses her when she leaves after this season? It seems I am not the only one who doesn’t really believe that Vaughn is dead. Yes, I know we saw him get shot with about 85 bullets and flatline onscreen, but that means nothing on this show. I am really annoyed about Weiss leaving. With Francie dead, Will in the witness protection program, Vaughn dead, Nadia in a coma, and now Weiss leaving, Sydney has no friends. Yes, she still has dear old daddy Jack, but he’s not always the most fun to be around. Maybe this is why she’s so uptight lately. It really bugs me that they had Weiss leave without any kind of acknowledgment that his girlfriend was in a coma. I know, I know, it’s serious, but apparently Weiss doesn’t.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Not the Worst Day Ever

So, today has been a pretty good day. I managed to convince my cell phone provider to take 15 bucks off my bill, even though I was basically in the wrong, just by complaining loudly. I imagine they are used to complaining, as they have replaced their annoying press-a-number automated system with a far more annoying tell-us-what-the-problem is system. After screaming “there is a problem with my bill” at a computer 18 times, I was beyond annoyed, and I’m sure the person who answered my call just wanted to get me off the phone.

I weighed myself this morning, and I have actually lost a couple of pounds, three to be exact. I know, it’s not exactly astounding, but since I am only trying to lose approximately 12 pounds, I have reached 25% of my goal. So I guess ramping up my workouts has actually paid off. Woo-hoo.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Feeling Hot Hot Hot

It’s been a beautiful October week, sun shining, temps in the 70s, a perfect time to… turn on the heat? Yes, that’s right. When I arrived home from work on Monday, it felt extra stuffy in my apartment. A quick trip to the bathroom clued me in: the management had turned on the heat for the winter. Never mind that it’s hot out, it’s mid-October and that’s when they turn on the heat. Grrr. What a waste of resources. We have all the radiators turned off, except in the bathroom, where it’s jammed. Thus, the bathroom feels like a small porcelain sauna. I am not happy.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


Boy George

Everyone is so down on the coke users lately. (It’s ok—we still love you, Kate!) I will always have a soft spot for George, who brought us such classics as “Church of the Poisoned Mind,” “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?”, and the theme from “The Crying Game.” But George’s interesting journey through life (chronicled in the Broadway flop Taboo) has apparently not taught him two very important life lessons: (1) Never trust a hustler, and (2) always flush your stash BEFORE you call the cops. Really, George, these are just amateur hour mistakes.

Overheard this weekend when the latest Netflix arrived:

Lord Kissington: Ummh, are we having a Sam Rockwell film festival this month?
Me: We’re not not having a Sam Rockwell film festival this month.
Lord Kissington: Well, thanks for clearing THAT up.

(Just for the record, Galaxy Quest is really damn funny. Even if it does have Tim Allen in it. Maybe having Alan Rickman in a movie negates any Tim Allen influence?)

Intellectual blockage

Do you ever have intellectual blockage? I am having a bad phase right now. I usually read about a book a week, sometimes more if they are lightweight. I haven’t picked up anything new in a couple of weeks. I am reading one of my favorite books for the fourth time, but it’s not exactly heavy duty. I just can’t get into anything. I was sitting on the couch last night watching the day’s episode of Guiding Light and flipping through US Weekly, and I felt just so, well, dumb. The Reformation: A History by Diarmaid MacCulloch is sitting on my coffee table waiting in vain for me to pick it up, but it’s being obscured by copies of Elle and the Charlie’s Angels DVD. So sad. I need two CC’s of Foucault, stat.

(Un)-exciting Weekend

As a result of last week’s supermarket senior moment, we needed a few things from the store, so rather than drive to the social Safeway as we usually do, we decided to walk over to our local ghetto Safeway and pick up a few things. Bad idea. There was a traffic jam in the doorway, because of some idiot who was trying to attach their little walking cart to their grocery cart. Ummh, do you have to do this in the doorway? People who regularly shop at this Safeway are apparently so used to things being chaotic that no one was even complaining. Except me. Yeah, I’m that person. What can I say, I have issues. Once we finally got inside, even the express lines had about 30 people in them, and I started mumbling something about “What the fuck? Do we live in Russia?” So we decided to split a burrito at Chipotle instead and pick up a few necessities (Cheese Wiz, a couple of 40s, and a Powerball ticket—we’re all class at the Tiara/Kissington abode) at our local convenience mart. Even half a Chipotle burrito left me ridiculously full. I don’t know how I used to eat a whole one. (Actually, I do. I would just eating until I get past the full feeling. Bad idea.) I don’t feel too bad about the burrito since I went to the gym Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I have been to the gym 10 out of the last 14 days. This is not really all that exciting for an average healthy person, but this is probably the most I have gone to the gym in the last 3 years. And on some of the days I didn’t make it to the gym, I did weights at home. New leaf, consider yourself turned over.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Pucks and Flicks

This post may come as a bit of a surprise to my faithful readers (all six of you), as I’ll be dealing with a topic I don’t usually discuss: sports. More specifically, hockey. I am not much of a sports fan. I enjoy the occasional blue blood sport like tennis (I still look back on my tennis camp days with great fondness) and I also enjoy figure skating, which some (narrow-minded dolts) will claim is not even a sport. Be that as it may, as far as team sports go, it’s all hockey for me. Being a hockey fan has been tough recently, with the long lockout, and being a hockey fan in DC is even tougher, with a team that breaks my heart every year. Yesterday, two very good tickets to last night’s game against the New York Islanders fell into my lap. The game wasn’t so great. The Caps lost 5 to 2, bring their record to 2-4 for the season. But it still gave me reason to hope. Backup goalie Brent Johnson made his first start for the Caps. Yes, the result might have different with the Cap’s veteran goalie Olie Kolzig (a Vezina trophy winner) playing, but it’s early in the season and Johnson needs to get some practice (given last night’s showing, LOTS of practice), so starting him is good thing. The Caps were pretty sucky in the first period, but they took it up a notch in the second and third periods. The defense needs work, but rising young star Alex Ovechkin (the number one draft pick of 2004) looks very strong and scored his sixth point of the season. So, I am cautiously optimistic about this season. What makes me less optimistic is that the arena was barely 1/3 full last night. It must be hard for a young, inexperienced team to play in these circumstances. With football, basketball, and baseball teams, is there just not room for hockey in DC? I think there is, but I am just one hockey fan.

On a completely different note, we joined Netflix a few months back. Lord Kissington has handled the queue, and I hadn’t even looked at the site. I would just tell him to add things as I thought of them. Well, this week, I finally went to the site, and I started adding movies left and right. If I don’t leave the house again until Christmas, I just might be able to make it through the list. I have a long list of movies from the past 7 or 8 years that I need to catch up on. I was thinking about why this is, and I realized two things: (1) I was in a long relationship where we could never agree on a movie. Because of this, we rarely went to the movies or rented them. We had a few movies that we liked in common, but usually, it was just too much work to come to an agreement. (I guess compromise wasn’t really part of that relationship.) (2) When that relationship ended, I was too busy being social to have much time for movies. I started going out six nights a week, which didn’t leave much time for going to or renting movies. As a result, there is a lot I never saw. I’m trying to catch up, but between working, drinking, and sitting around on my ass, there are only so many hours in the day.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

I Am So Pumped for Pinter

Congratulations to Harold Pinter on his well-deserved Nobel Prize. I’ve been a devoted fan of Pinter since high schools. I am one of those people who actually enjoys reading plays. I’ve seen several of his plays staged, and I am always mesmerized by the incredible claustrophobic quality of them. If you haven't read any of his work, check out The Dumb Waiter, The Birthday Party, Old Times, and Mountain Language. He is also a screenwriter, responsible for such films as The Go-Between (a favorite of mine) and The French Lieutenant’s Woman.

Last night, we went to the grocery store. When we got home, we realized that quite a few of our grocery items were missing. What’s even stranger is that none of them were on the receipt, yet we both remembered putting them in the cart. At that point, I was too hungry and tired to care, so I just chalked it up to one of the mysteries of the universe. Of course, I live with Agent Mulder, who just couldn’t let it go. He eventually figured out that after hitting the dairy aisle, we must have lost our original cart, picked up an empty cart, and started putting our groceries in it. That sounds plausible, but it does bring up another question: should people this dumb be allowed in the grocery store? It’s bad enough to walk off with someone’s else cart, but neither of us noticed that it was empty. Oy.

Lost didn’t annoy me last night as much as it has the past couple of weeks. On the other hand, it didn’t thrill me either. It wasn’t too surprising to find that Rose’s husband was one of the other group of castaways. She TOLD everyone he was still alive, didn’t she? Again, the flashbacks are getting on my nerves. Yes, we know that winning the lottery ruined Hurley’s life (although that line about “Driveshaft? More like suckshaft” was good), just like we know that Locke has serious issues and that Jack has a savior complex. Enough already. Is it just me, or is Ana Lucia a total bitch? Although, given the coming attractions, maybe Sawyer likes it that way? Some interesting questions were raised in this episode: Are there multiple bunkers on the island, or is the hatch really huge and multi-parted? What happened to the other 18 (?) castaways (I counted 5: African (?) dude, Ana Lucia, blonde chick, Rose’s husband, and another woman, but I might have missed some)? Were they killed by the mysterious "others" or the equally mysterious “monster,” or did they die of the mystery plague? Why is Sawyer’s hair getting longer by the second, yet Jack’s hair hasn’t grown at all? How is all that food still fresh, when it seems that no one has replenished the supply in years? How did Desmond resist the temptation to eat all the candy bars and chips? If there is a working shower, and we saw Desmond use it, why was he so dirty? (Again, despite the dirt, I still found him kind of hot, crazy eyes and all. Yes, I'm weird.)

Is everyone psyched for the opening of Elizabethtown tomorrow? Yeah, ok, probably not. I’ll be honest here--I’m only excited because I am wicked hot in the pants for Orlando Bloom. (My Kingdom of Heaven DVD should be arriving any day now. I really like this film; it’s not just about Orlando.)

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Three Days of Couch Time

Three-day weekends are the best. Columbus Day is one of those holidays that many don’t get off, which is cool because I got to walk around yesterday and laugh at people who were working. (I was one of those people at my last couple of jobs, so I feel your pain. We kid because we love.)

I watched a bunch of movies this weekend, including A Mighty Wind for maybe the fifth time. I think Christopher Guest is a genius, and even after multiple viewings, the whole “Kiss at the End of the Rainbow” moment totally gets me every time. I made it through about 20 minutes of Sin City before I fled to the bedroom. I just can’t do that kind of extreme violence. The scene with the trophy heads was just too much for me. It’s too bad I am so squeamish, because the film was pretty interesting and I liked the way it was shot. I just get so repulsed by the violence. For some reason, I had never seen Charlie’s Angels, so I watched it last night. (It came out at a time in my life when I wasn’t going to see a lot of movies because that activity tended to cut into my bar time. One exception was the Cinema Drafthouse, where you could combine two really great activities.) I really liked it. My taste in movies generally leans more toward indie and foreign, but I definitely enjoy the occasional ass-kicking, shit-blows-up kind of movie (and I heart Sam Rockwell). Yesterday, we went to see Flightplan, which was pretty cool in an ass-kicking, shit-blows-up kind of way. My new favorite movie is Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. I owe Lord Kissington for this one, since it’s probably not something I would have thought to watch on my own. He didn’t like it that much, but I did and I just ordered the DVD, so I can follow my usual pattern of watching movies I love over and over again, to the point that I begin to hate them.

I went to the gym on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. This is unheard of for me. Usually, once the weekend begins, inertia takes over. So this was a lot of working out for me. Why am I not thin yet?

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Some Random Thoughts and Rambling Rants

1. J. J. Abrams, I am so over you.

Lost is driving me freaking crazy. It’s like time doesn’t move on this stupid island. I am really sick of the flashbacks that take up half of every episode, time that could be better spent on some actual action. We’ve had to sit through two long, drawn-out flashbacks this season, neither of which told us anything new about the characters. About 50 minutes of screen time was wasted to drop three clues: 1. Jack’s wife killed Shannon’s dad. 2. Jack has met Desmond before. 3. Michael gave Walt a stuffed polar bear when he was a toddler. Couldn’t these flashbacks be shorter? And now that there are going to be a bunch of new characters, are we going to have to sit through flashbacks for all of them too? (Is there something wrong with me that I find Desmond kind of hot? That uneven Irish accent and crazy stare just do something to me.)

And don’t get me started on Alias. You killed off Vaughn?! Just because Jennifer Garner had to go and get herself knocked up with Ben Affleck’s spawn and apparently doesn’t want to have to deal with ex-boyfriend Michael Vartan, he has to die? Couldn’t Mrs. Affleck just suck it up? Also, it is extremely difficult to believe that he is dead, despite that fact that he was shot about 20 times with a machine gun and he flatlined on-screen. You see, on Alias, no one ever dies. So far, Emily, Sydney, Evil Francie, Sloane (granted, he was only dead for a few minutes), and Irina (twice!) have come back from the dead.

2. Nick and Jessica, Paris and Paris

Blah blah blah. Give me some scurrilous gossip about some celebrities I actually give a shit about.

3. Friendster: no longer an anonymous stalking tool

I am days late in the discussion of this. And there really isn’t much to add. Yes, the new feature whereby you can see who is checking you out sucks, but it is sort of interesting to see who is checking you out. Of course, you can opt to be anonymous, so I’m sure everyone will do that, and this issue will quickly die. Still, I would like to point out that when I emailed a bunch of friends about this, our discussion quickly devolved to a competition over who had the most views. I won with 23 last month. Apparently, this means I am a “slut.” Whatevs, I still have more views.

4. My next of kin

The other day I was cleaning out a backup email account that I rarely use. Somehow, the Nigerian scammers have discovered this address, and they are getting slightly more clever. They now know my last name, so the 42 messages were all tailored to that. Apparently, a doctor or engineer by the name of Larry/John/Robert/Pitt/David/Harry [Tiara] and his entire family died in a car/plane crash. They are willing to give me 20/30/40 percent of his estate as I may be his “next of kin.” Has anyone ever fallen for these messages?

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


We had a firedrill at work today. We didn’t know it was a firedrill, so when the siren started going off (yes, it’s a siren, not a regular alarm. It’s like an air raid siren from WWII London. I have to fight the urge to grab a thermos of tea and head for the nearest Tube station.), I went into fire panic mode. I probably wouldn’t be so nuts about the whole fire thing, if I hadn’t once been left homeless by one. Years ago, during my second year of college, someone torched my apartment building. No one died, but about 60 people were left homeless, and for the most part, possessionless. I spent the remaining month of school living on a friend’s couch and xeroxing notes. The university library system is probably still bitter about the 30 or so library books that were irreparably damaged. So, if you are a UVA student wanting to find out all about Japanese Noh drama and its connections to the work of William Butler Yeats, you are so out of luck. So when I hear a fire alarm, I get my ass in gear pronto.

It was quickly apparent that this was a drill and not a real emergency, so I decided to take a walk rather than fight my way back into the building. I ended up buying two pairs of shoes (and they were on sale). I decided a good way to celebrate not losing any more of my possessions (read: whatever crap I brought to work two years ago and have been too lazy to carry home. You know, I would really miss that official Washington Capitals hockey puck and the contents of my predecessor’s Rolodex.) by buying some more. That adorable pair of green tweed flats with little velvet bows has made this day bearable.