tiaras optional

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

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

I Got Nothing

I have really been trying to post every day, but I just don’t have it together today. I started a couple of posts, but they just don’t make any sense. So, it’s going to be one of those numbered ones.

1. The other night I went to a bar I used to hang out in a lot but hadn’t been to in at least two years. A guy I used to go out with hung out there all the time. I wondered if I would run into him, figuring there was a 40% chance even though he doesn’t live here (he was *always* there when he was in town). Of course, he wasn’t there, but it got me to wondering about how he is doing (which is a little silly of me since I didn’t respond to the last dozen or so emails he sent me, and he gave up about two years ago. I’m just curious).

2. I watched Safe Men last night. It’s hysterically funny and reminded me of my great love for Sam Rockwell. Lord Kissington would like to be known as Veal Chop from now on, but I just don’t think I can do it.

3. Weezer is going to play the Velvet Underground in the upcoming movie about Edie Sedgwick, Factory Girl. Weezer seems like an odd choice. Fortunately, the presence of the ultra-annoying Sienna Miller will be somewhat offset by Guy Pearce as Andy Warhol (lurve him).

4. I still can’t seem to sleep. I thought that after getting only 5 hours Sunday night and being totally exhausted all day yesterday that I would be able to sleep well last night. Not so much. I am just going to stop obsessing over it, since the worrying is probably just making it worse.

5. So, yeah, this post totally sucks.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Who Am I Kidding?

I don’t have cable. I haven’t had it since I lived at home many many years ago. I’ve gotten by pretty well without it for all these years (reading US Weekly regularly helps me to at least know the names and major players of the bigger cable shows, so I’m not totally out of the loop). I have always said that I don’t want to get cable because it would be a waste of money because “I don’t really watch TV.” I like to think of myself as this well-read intellectual type who doesn’t need TV in her life. I’m not like everyone else in America. I’m not a slave to my TV. I’ve got a DVD player and Netflix, and I can watch all the indie and foreign films I want. But recently the list of shows that I watch has gotten longer. It used to be just reruns of the Simpsons. They are still on the list, but they’ve been joined by Lost (although after last week’s suckfest, I’m kind of over it), Alias (not for much longer), House, and Bones (but they moved it to opposite Lost. I hate it when networks do that). Oh, and Guiding Light. Every day. And other soaps if I’m at home.

But now I have realized that I am just kidding myself. My reasons for not having cable are not that I would never use it. No, now I’m afraid that if I get cable, I will never leave the house again. There’s just so much to watch. I spend a lot of time at the gym, where they have cable. I watch a lot of TV at the gym. I’ve been telling myself that I am just watching because I need a distraction while I’m working out. But I know this isn’t true. I would watch these shows at home if I had cable. Here’s a sample of what I’ve been catching lately:

A Laguna Beach marathon on Christmas Eve (I worked out twice as long as I planned to, because I couldn’t tear myself away).
An episode of Little House on the Prairie (again I couldn’t tear myself away, because I really wanted to know if Laura would forgive Almanzo for talking to that saloon girl, who I’m pretty sure was Alexis from General Hospital. Also, my friend B went on a date with the guy who played the adopted son, so I was sort of curious to see him. Excuses, excuses.).
The Gastineau Girls
I Love the 80s (Strikes Back)
Racheal Ray’s show (the 30-minute meals one)
Reruns of the Golden Girls
World War II stuff on the History Channel
Hollywood Breakups, When Models Go Bad, and the True Hollywood Story of the Women of Desperate Housewives (E! is the best channel ever).

As if this weren’t bad enough, two Saturdays ago, I hung out on my neighbor’s couch and watched more than 6 hours of SoapNet. That’s an entire week’s worth of General Hospital and a couple of other shows. This Saturday, I skipped the gym so I could watch the Thursday and Friday episodes of General Hospital (Robin goes on a date with Dr. Hottie! Jason catches Sonny and Emily kissing! Robert Scorpio is alive and still hot!). I could actually feel the brain cells dying, but I couldn’t tear myself away.

What do I do? Should I just give in to the inevitable? Or can I save myself from cable? Should I just get rid of all those books I was planning to read, because if I get cable, I’m just not going to have time for them. Sorry Proust, I’ve got other priorities now.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Why Would I Want That?

I occasionally buy things through Amazon.com. Amazon is pretty good about tracking what you buy and suggesting other items you might like. They often send emails suggesting things, based on previous purchases. These emails usually go something like this:

“We’ve noticed that customers who purchased Dynasty Season 1 on DVD also purchased Dallas Season 1 on DVD. Dallas is on sale now, blah blah blah.” (Ok, Amazon.com has picked up on my love for trashy 80s nighttime soaps. Unfortunately, they have totally missed the point that Dynasty is far superior to Dallas. I’d say more, but that’s really a post of its own.)


We’ve noticed that customers who purchased Madonna’s Confessions on a Dance Floor also purchased the Queer as Folk Season 1 DVD, which is now on sale, blah blah blah. (Ok, Amazon.com has clearly identified me a hag, and they would be right about that.)

But today I received a message that said

“We’ve noticed that customers who have purchased Kingdom of Heaven (Widescreen Edition) also purchased Henry Fonda’s Clarence Darrow on DVD. For this reason, you might like to know that Henry Fonda’s Clarence Darrow will be released on January 31, 2006 on DVD. You can pre-order yours at a savings of 30% by following the link below.”

This seems so random. My reasons for purchasing (ok, preordering) Kingdom of Heaven were that I really like the movie, I am very interested in the Crusades (ummh, history nerd alert), and I am wicked hot in the pants for Orlando Bloom. But I just don’t see a connection to Henry Fonda’s Clarence Darrow, which is apparently Fonda’s one-man show about the famed defense attorney. I just cannot figure out the connection here. I am not wicked hot in the pants for Henry Fonda (not that I have anything against crushes on dead people. I totally heart William Holden circa 1953). I have no particular interest in Clarence Darrow. I pretty much hate one-man or one-woman shows, because there are very few actors I like enough to sit through two hours of them monologuing and chewing on the scenery. And this DVD hasn’t even been released yet, so how many people who bought Kingdom of Heaven have actually preordered it? Is there huge cosmic connection that I am missing here? What’s next? “We've noticed that customers who have purchased the new Kate Bush CD also purchased Cheaper by the Dozen 2 on DVD”?

Thursday, January 26, 2006

The Incredible Shrinking Breasts

I have been working out regularly for the past few months. I started hitting the gym on a nearly daily basis because I wanted to lose a few pounds (and look better in my wedding dress) and because I tend to sleep better if I exercise regularly (emphasis on tend because lately this just isn't working). The results have been pretty good. I am feeling much better about myself. I have only lost about 5 pounds, but I can see noticeable differences in my body, so I may have gained some muscle. My arms are thinner and more toned. My stomach is smaller. My ass is a lot smaller. My waist is definitely smaller, and I can see a difference in how my clothes fit. Unfortunately, my thighs don’t seem to have shrunk at all, and my breasts are shrinking daily. This is just weird. I developed breasts at the normal age and by high school I was a C cup. After college, I lost some weight (without really trying, which was weird), and I went down to a B cup, which I was fine with, because I had always thought they were a little too big (and yes, they can be too big). When I gained a few pounds a couple of years back, I went back up to a C cup. And now, they seem to be shrinking again. My C cup bras are all a little too big. I still have a few B cup bras, and they are all a little too small, so I seem to be hovering somewhere between B and C. I feel a little like Goldilocks when I search through my dresser drawers. What’s a girl to do? I’m not sure I want to run out and buy all new bras until I figure out what size the little darlings are going to settle at. Poor Lord Kissington isn't exactly thrilled by this latest development.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

I Need to Sleep

I am basically a chronic insomniac. I always have trouble sleeping, and I never feel like I get enough sleep. But things have reached a critical point lately. Ideally, I would like to get 8 hours of sleep a night, but I will happily settle for 7. I never sleep through the night. I wake up least two times a night, I get up to pee, and I stumble back to bed and usually fall right back to sleep, unless one of the many anxiety-provoking thoughts I’ve been having lately pops into my head, in which case, sleep is hopeless. My sleep pattern for the past two weeks has been that I lie awake for a long time once I get into bed (by no later than 11). Then I finally fall asleep, wake up around 3 or 4, fall back to sleep pretty quickly, wake up again around 5, and lie awake until the alarm goes off at 6:45. I’ve made efforts to combat my insomnia over the years. I gave up caffeine two years ago. I’ve tried not drinking (heavy drinking makes a difference in my sleep patterns; moderate drinking makes no difference—I don’t sleep any better sans alcohol, so I can’t see depriving myself of that daily glass or wine or two). I sleep with a face mask and ear plugs to blot out all noise and sound. I work out almost every day in an effort to tire myself out. But the main problem seems to be that I can’t turn off my brain, and that’s what keeps me up at night. Damn overactive brain. And it’s not like I’m solving the problems of the world while I’m lying awake at night. I wish I could be one of those people who can just admit that she is not going to get anymore sleep and gets out of bed and does something productive, like doing my taxes or rearranging my closets. But I am not. I just lie there, ever hopeful that sleep will come.

Two weeks of less than optimal sleep has left me looking a little haggard. I always have dark circles under my eyes (just a hereditary thing and having pale skin makes them more prominent), but they are really dark now and all the concealer in the world can’t hide them. And those tiny lines that normally aren’t so noticeable seem to be more prominent. Unfortunately, I had to get my aforementioned passport photo taken during this sleepless bout. And this is by far the worst photo I have ever taken. I usually look a little younger than my age, but this photo adds at least 10 years. The lighting completely washes me out, that annoying vertical crease on my forehead (don’t people normally have horizontal lines on their foreheads?) is suddenly huge and prominent, my skin looks sallow and greasy, and although I didn’t realize I was doing it when the picture was being snapped, I was doing my Scarlett O’Hara/Vivien Leigh raised eyebrow thing, so I look like I am sneering. (Maybe my mother was right—if I keep making funny faces, my face WILL freeze like that.) The photo didn’t look that bad on the camera display, but it came out truly horrific. I almost asked the guy to take it over, but I just didn’t have the energy. Because, you know, I’m tired.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Weird Things (and Some Good Things)

1. When I left work on Friday night, a man on the street walked toward me and screamed “bitch.” I resisted my first impulse, which was to scream back, “Who the fuck are you calling a bitch.” I supressed that impulse when it occurred to me that an oddly dressed man with a 50-yard stare who was screaming at me for no reason wasn’t someone I really wanted to get into an argument with.

2. About 10 minutes later, I got stuck in an elevator, something I am deathly afraid of. It was only for a minute or two, but it kind of ruined my night.

3. Saturday night was a friend’s wedding. It was really just a reception (family-only ceremony was earlier in the day), so Lord Kissington and I met the Professor and Mary Ann for dinner beforehand at Bistro Français (I pretty much never eat out in Georgetown since it’s not exactly convenient and there are about 8000 restaurants in walking distance of my apartment, but the reception was in Georgetown, forcing me to try something new). If you get there between 5 and 7, they have an early bird special, with a glass of the house wine, an appetizer, an entrée, and dessert for 20 bucks. This was pretty great. Before you make the obvious jokes about early bird specials, I will mention that 80% of the people there at that time were 65 and up. We stood out because of our sparkling youth (ha!) and the fact that we were all in black tie (fancy fancy).

4. At the reception, I saw my father’s oldest friend. He didn’t recognize me. That wouldn’t annoy me so much, except that he and his wife are invited to my wedding, and I had to leave close friends off the list because the guest list was so tight. It seems odd that I have to invite a bunch of people I don’t know and people who don’t even recognize me, and I don’t get to have the people who actually know me there.

5. At least two of the people I would like to invite to the wedding but can’t were at this reception. I felt awful.

6. My adorable black velvet wedge evening shoes with the bows were the most painful things I have ever put on my feet. Most of you probably know the sanitized version of the Snow White fairy tale, but in the original, after the Prince saves Snow White, they invite the wicked stepmother to their wedding and she is forced to put on a pair of iron shoes that have been sitting in the fire so they’re red hot. Then she basically dances herself to death. (The original, non-Disneyfied versions of these tales are tres gory.) That’s how my feet felt by the end of the night.

7. Jesus must have been working miracles at the wedding, because toward the end of the night, they still had plenty of wine, but they had run out of water, so I was *forced* to have another drink.

8. Yesterday, I told my mother that there was one phrase that I did not want to hear from her again until after the wedding. The phrase is “I’ve never heard of that before,” or in a slight variation, “I’ve never heard of such a thing.” This phrase usually comes in response to something involving my wedding, and it’s said in a slightly incredulous tone, as if to indicate, “But why would anyone want to do *that*?” It’s been used in response to the following ideas:

a. the bridesmaids luncheon (not exactly unheard of)

b. sending invitations to the rehearsal dinner (not everyone does this, but I figure it can’t hurt, right?)

c. the maid of honor giving a toast/speech at the reception (she acted like this was crazy. This is really common, isn’t it? At every wedding I’ve been to in recent years, the Best Man and Maid of Honor have given toasts.)

d. not attaching the tiara to my veil (what if I want to ditch the veil at some point during the reception, but keep the tiara on?)

e. and about 15 other things.

I finally got her to admit that she hasn’t been to a wedding in 13 years. I don’t consider myself to be any kind of wedding expert, but seeing as I have actually been to a few in this millennium, I think I might know a thing or two.

9. I got to spend some quality time with my Maid of Honor yesterday, which was really nice.

10. Can anyone explain the phrase “hairdryer treatment” to me? Apparently, this is some sort of Britishism. Used in a sentence: “A close friend said: ‘Sienna went absolutely ballistic when Jude told her Sadie and the kids would be staying with him. She screamed and shouted, giving him the real hairdryer treatment.’” Does it mean she blew hot air all over him? Any explanations would be appreciated.

11. When I was runing a spell/grammar check on this entry, the phrase "Who the fuck are..." came up as being "grammatically incorrect." Word suggested that I change it to "fuck is" or "fucks are."

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Change Can Be Good

Don’t go changing, to try to please me…
I love you just the way you are.
--Billy Joel

Don’t change for you
Don’t change a thing for me

Change is inevitable in life. But what about in love? Many years ago, when I was first dating the boyfriend I like to call Mr. Ex (which is short for “Mr. I don’t really want to be with you anymore, but I’m afraid to be alone, so I’m going to drag out the breakup for six months and leave you a quivering mess at the end of it, because well, I just don’t know what I want, and then even after I dump you, I’m going to call you every night and cry about how much I miss you, while I am actually dating someone else who I will marry six months later.”), I complained to him that I had a lot of issues with my family because they didn’t accept me for who I was and were always trying to change me (yes, I realize how earnest that sounds, but I was 23 at the time and not too far removed from the high school days of slamming doors and screaming things like “you can’t make me be like you.”). And he said, “Why would anyone want to change you when you’re perfect just the way you are?” That was a total swoon moment. Unfortunately, when he said, “You’re perfect just the way you are,” he really meant “You’re ok, but you would be much better if you would just follow this simple list of instructions. One through 20 are the really important ones. The other 40 are optional but strongly suggested.” He didn’t like my hair, no matter what I did with it. He wanted me to exercise more (not a bad thing in theory, but I weighed 107 pounds at the time and everyone thought I was anorexic). He criticized my clothes. He didn’t like my makeup. He found fault with my shopping habits (although I never charged anything and had no debt). He wanted me to be more assertive (except when I asserted my personality in the relationship; then assertiveness was a bad thing).

He was an extreme case, but I wonder if it’s inevitable that we try to change the one we love? I know I’ve affected some changes in Lord Kissington, but I like to think they weren’t too major and were desperately needed. For instance, I suggested that eating fast food seven times a week wasn’t the best way to keep the pounds off. And I suggested buying some new underwear, because the old ones were, well, not leaving much to the imagination. I suggest clothes I think he might look good in, but I would never force him to wear anything he didn’t like. In a relationship, one tries to introduce the beloved to all the things you like, in hopes that you can enjoy them together. In my case, baroque art and Don Delillo stuck, but show tunes didn’t. You can’t have everything. (On the flip side, Lord Kissington introduced me to the genius that is Sam Rockwell, but he may be regretting now that I’m all wicked hot in the pants for Mr. Rockwell.)

But how much is too much? I felt that Mr. Ex asking me to change my whole style of dressing was too much. Asking someone to wear their hair up because you like it that way. Acceptable. Asking someone to change their hair color. Too much. Suggesting someone try moisturizer. Acceptable. Asking someone to give up all their friends and family and join your exciting new cult. Way too much.

Friday, January 20, 2006

The Perfect Picture

My plan for today was to get my new passport photos taken. My passport expires eight days before I leave for my honeymoon. And yes, I should have taken care of this sooner. But if you pay an extra 60 bucks, you can get your new passport rushed to you in two weeks, so I’m still ok. (Normally, I would balk at having to pay the extra fee, but this whole wedding thing has really given me a new perspective about what is an acceptable amount of money to spend. 60 bucks seems like pocket change at this point.)

In any case, I have decided to jettison my plan because my hair looks awful today. I washed my hair this morning and didn’t have time to do anything with it. I am one of those people who looks bad with clean hair. My hair is dry and tends to get frizzy. I only wash it twice a week (any more than that and it’s as dry as a dead tree branch). When my hair is a little dirty, it’s much easier to manage. So I’m going to have to get it good and dirtied up and style it and have my pictures done on Monday.

Why all the fuss? Well, I’ve just had so many bad official pictures over the years and I want this one to be good. I’m normally pretty photogenic, but when it comes to official pics, something falls apart. In my current passport photo, I was having an awful day when I got the picture done, and I have a scared deer in the headlights look. It’s the look a young woman who’s just been arrested at Bangkok International Airport might wear, as she thinks, “But how can this be happening? I’m just a nice girl from Peoria. I don’t do drugs. And I probably shouldn’t have let that Australian guy spend the night in my room and rifle through my luggage, but he was just so hot. I can’t believe this. I feel just like Claire Danes or Kate Beckinsale in that movie whose name I can’t remember.” But this time it’s going to be different. I’m going to have a passport picture that actually resembles me. And it’s going to be hot.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

It's Happy Hour Again (and Again)

I stopped by the blogger happy hour last night. It was crazy packed, but I managed to say hello to a few bloggers I’d met before and a few new ones: Kathryn, I-66, Rhinestone Cowgirl (love the tiara!), Travis, EJ, Betty Joan, Marci, Chase, Nicole, and probably some others whose names I didn’t catch. Fortunately or unfortunately, there were no zombies at the happy hour. I came to two realizations last night:

1. Blogging, which one tends to think of as a rather solitary pursuit, has become extremely social in DC. Thus, an activity that brings to mind visions of loners typing away at 4 a.m. has become a way to meet some interesting people in the real world.

2. I don’t like draft beer. I llike my beer supercold, and it’s just way colder in bottles than from the tap.

Hey, I didn’t promise they would be Earth-shattering realizations.

(Anyone who gets the song reference in the title of this post gets a gold star.)

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

A Little Help Here

One of the items I was most excited about on my wedding registry list is an asparagus steamer. Right now, you are probably thinking, “Wow, she’s totally excited by an asparagus steamer. (Cough)Dork(Cough).” But I have been wanting one for a while, because I really love asparagus and it’s a pain to cook it without a proper pot. Anyways, I received said asparagus steamer as a Christmas gift. And now I have a bit of problem: It didn’t come with instructions. How do I use this thing? How much water do I put in it? How long do I steam the asparagus for? Help me out here, all you Food Network junkies.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Notes from the Weekend

1. I am suffering from major insomnia at the moment. Every night since last Thursday, I have had trouble sleeping. I lie awake for at least an hour. I wake up in the middle of the night and lie awake for another hour. Then I wake up again before the alarm goes off. All of this equals not enough sleep. I figure that sooner or later I will hit a wall and sleep will finally come, right?

2. My mother is still threatening to die before the wedding. And no, she has not developed any fatal illnesses that I know of. At this rate, I will be the one who dies—from sheer aggravation.

3. I ordered a tiara for the wedding. As you might have guessed from the title of this here blog, I dig tiaras, so I’m pretty darn excited to have my very own special wedding tiara. I had to special order it because the pearls in the tiara are being dyed to match my dress. Who knew you could dye pearls? Not me. The tiara is fabulous and reminds me a bit of Napoleonic-era cut steel tiaras. Sorry, that last bit won’t mean anything to anyone who doesn’t own the catalog from the Victoria and Albert Museum’s tiara exhibit. And I’m guessing most of you don’t, so you’ll just have to take my word that it’s beautiful.

4. I spent some time catching up on US Weekly (and feeling my brain turn to mush). Last week’s issue was pretty hysterical since one of the big stories was Lindsay Lohan’s “diet tips.” This issue hit the newsstands right about the time that her Vanity Fair interview became public, you know, the one where she talks about her drug use and bulimia (or alludes to them or whatever). So when she says her diet tips are “eating five small meals and day” and “working out with a trainer,” I should read that as “bulimia” and “blow”? This week’s issue had some back peddling to do, and the cover story was all about Lindsay’s out of control lifestyle. Both issues made light of the Angelina Jolie pregnancy rumors—you know, the rumor confirmed by their publicists last week. Sorry, US Weekly, People totally scooped you on that one.

5. I realized that the state of our bedroom (also know as “the room where we throw everything that we don’t have a place for”) was depressing the hell out of me, so I began the long process of overhauling it. I managed to throw out two garbage bags full of stuff (including several purses and shoes, things I normally have major issues parting with). I’m not done yet, but it’s a start.

6. Viking lager is my new favorite beer.

7. I am totes embarrassed that I wouldn’t let the waitress take bryc3’s plate away at dinner last night, but those tater tots were so worth it. I admit it, I have no self-control.

8. Not really weekend related, but is everyone going to the blogger happy hour tomorrow?

We Love You, Hugh

So, last night, I am flopped on the couch, tired as hell, flipping around the channels to see if there is anything remotely decent on. I stumble on the Golden Globes, and I am debating whether to watch when I see Hugh Laurie on the red carpet. Well, that seals the deal. I have had a not so secret love for the talented Mr. Laurie since circa 1993, and the rest of the world is finally catching up. He ended up winning for Best Actor in a TV drama, and he gave this really amazing, hysterically funny acceptance speech. Since he’s now best known for his snarky dramatic turn on House, it’s easy to forget that he got his start as a comedic actor (see his brilliant comedy sketch show, A Bit of Fry and Laurie, which he and best friend Stephen Fry wrote and acted in. Sadly, it’s not available on DVD.). In any case, we lurve him. (Although to be perfectly honest, there’s a little part of me that liked it better when I was the only one who knew he was. It’s the same part of me that stops listening to bands once they sell more than 20,000 albums. I’m a snob that way.)

(The Golden Globe system of categories is utterly mystifying. The Squid and the Whale, a film about how a bitter divorce messes with the lives of two kids, was nominated as best movie--comedy or musical. This film had some funny moments, but it's clearly a drama, and rather hard to watch, with lots of cringe-inducing moments. Not exactly a comedy.)

Friday, January 13, 2006

Packing Light

Since I’ll be traveling soon, I’ve been thinking about packing and luggage. I am a very anal packer (hmmh, I might want to rephrase that), and I make tons of lists beforehand and come up with elaborate schemes for maximizing space. Still, I always end up overpacking. This time, I am determined to pack light. We’ll be traveling for 12 days and visiting three different cities, so we just can’t carry too much. We are in the market for some new luggage. Lord Kissington’s luggage is old and sad; I really only have a small roller bag. Thus, I am planning to add a luggage set to our Amazon wedding registry, in hopes that someone will buy it as a shower gift, so we’ll have it before the wedding. Here is the set I would really like. Here is the one we will probably end up getting (in black or perhaps red). Since we apartment-dwelling types have only limited storage space, I can really only justify getting one set for us to share. And as comfortable as Lord Kissington is with his masculinity, he has drawn the line at hot pink luggage. I can live with this, but it’s hard to give up on the hot pink luggage, because I would look so damn cute with this adorable set.

Picture this: I am sitting at the Barcelona airport bar, surrounded by my adorable hot pink luggage, wearing a beret to show solidarity with the Basques*, and drinking a delightful glass of Verdejo. Prince Felipe** walks by with a slew of bodyguards, his eye is caught by my luggage, and his glance falls upon me. “If only I had met this stunner before marrying the hook-nosed divorcee***,” he thinks, as he spies the newly minted wedding ring on my hand and gives an audible sigh. Hmmh, perhaps one more reason for Lord Kissington to veto the hot pink set.

*One of the thousands of random facts rolling around in my brain: the Basques invented the beret.
**Heir to the throne of Spain. Decent looking for a man, wildly handsome for a royal.
***Not that there is anything wrong with being a divorcee of course, but I find it curious that the future king, whose predecessors were known as “their most Catholic majesties,” was allowed to marry a divorced woman in a Catholic ceremony (something normally completely frowned upon by the Church) on what basically amounts to a technicality. Just sayin’, s’all.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Going for Baroque

I haven’t had much to say this week, because not much has been going on. I eat, sleep, and breathe wedding planning, and I just can’t blog about that because (a) it makes me so anxious that I want to curl up in the fetal position and sob, and (b) it will bore you to tears (trust me on this one).

The fun part of the planning (the honeymoon) is coming alone nicely. We’re going to Spain. I had to give up my dream of traveling to the Basque country and joining the ETA (jokes, people. Note for the Justice Department: In case you’re reading, I don’t actually plan to join any fringe terrorist groups. Just sayin’.), because it was getting really complicated, but we’re going to spend a night in Madrid (which we hadn’t originally planned to do), so I can go to the Prado and the Thyssen-Bornemisza museums. I had a bit of panic this morning when I realized that our one day in Madrid was a Sunday, and the Prado closes at 2 p.m. on Sundays. But we’ve rearranged our plans so we’ll be there on a Saturday instead. (Lord Kissington nervously asked, “Just how many hours are you planning to spend at the Prado?”) You see, something you probably don’t know about me is that I am obsessed with Baroque art. And Baroque art really flourished in Spain. My favorite painter is a Spaniard, Francisco de Zurbarán. Two other Spaniards are in my top 10 favorite painters (what kind of dork has a top 10 favorite painters list?)—Velazquez and Murillo. (If you click on these links and hate the paintings, all I can say is that Baroque art can be big and florid and even gory, so it’s not for everyone.) We’ll be spending the bulk of our time in Barcelona and Seville. Luckily, both of these cities also have museums with some Baroque paintings, so I should be able to keep busy. I can’t wait to see some of the works by architect Antoni Gaudi in Barcelona, and in Seville, we’ll be checking out the Cathedral, which is supposed to be amazing, and the Alcazar, a medieval castle. There should be plenty of rioja and tapas on the agenda too.

On my way to work this morning, I saw a couple of outfits that gave me pause. I just can’t get into the puffy coat thing. I have an old puffy parka that I wear if there’s a blizzard, but the puffy coat thing just mystifies me. This woman had paired her hideous puffy coat with one of those cotton print puffy stitched purses. Too much puffy, and isn’t that really a summer purse? Then I saw a young woman wearing a very cute green coat. I noted the coat with approval, but then my gaze fell to her legs. She had decided to accessorize the coat with matching green tights. Sorry dear, but that get-up makes you look like one of Santa’s elves. (I often feel like a bitch when I write posts criticizing other people’s clothes. Maybe they are perfectly happy in their clothes, and who am I to tell them what they should wear? On the other hand, does anyone really want to look like an elf?)

The gym was packed again last night. Dammit, people, when are you going to drop your resolutions and go back to your couch? You are taking up valuable gym space. Don’t make me join a real gym.

Friday, January 06, 2006


The other night I was having a serious anxiety dream (in which I was trapped in an elevator, with my mother, two of my worst anxiety triggers), and a strange thing happened. I was at a bad point in the dream, as I had just realized that I was stuck in a very small elevator and that I had no way to get out (and did I mention that I was with my mother?). As the panic rose, I suddenly thought, “Wake up.” And I did. This has never happened to me before. I am pretty excited, because I’m hoping that I’ve learned some form of mind control, so now whenever I have an unpleasant dream, I can just snap right out of it. Lord Kissington informs me that this is called “lucid dreaming” and it’s quite common. I think he just doesn’t want to recognize my awesome mind control powers.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Best (and a Couple of Worsts) of 2005

It’s a few days into the new year now, but I can still get all nostalgic for the past, can’t I? Here are a few notes on things I liked and hated in 2005.

Best vacation where I got engaged: Cornwall, England (not much choice here really.)

Best book I read this year: The Basque History of the World by Mark Kurlansky

Favorite albums of 2005:
You Could Have It So Much Better, Franz Ferdinand
, Kate Bush
Confessions on a Dance Floor
, Madonna

Favorite album in 2005 that didn’t necessarily come out in 2005: Libertines, Up the Bracket

Favorite movies of 2005:
of Heaven
Good Night and Good Luck
Pride and Prejudice
Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Totally awesome movie that I never thought I would like and I am surprised that I am admitting I liked because it totally kills whatever remaining punk rock cred I have: Rent

Dumbest movie I spent two hours of my life that I’ll never get back watching: Star Wars III

Best of Netflix watched in 2005 (stuff that didn’t come out in 2005, but I didn’t see until now):
Shattered Glass
Confessions of a Dangerous Mind
Infernal Affairs

Favorite time waster for the first half of 2005: MySpace

Favorite time waster for the second half of 2005: US Weekly

Worst trend of 2005: gaucho pants.

Favorite TV show: House

(Actual favorite TV show that I am ashamed to admit I watch: Guiding Light)

Best celebrity train wreck of 2005: a tie between Tom Cruise’s meltdown and the ever amusing Britney/K-Fed marriage.

Worst personal train wreck: trying to plan my wedding without losing my mind (the jury is still out on this one)

Most annoying celebrity of 2005: Sienna Miller

Best “We’re mad as hell and we’re not gonna take it anymore” journalism moment: Anderson Cooper reporting on Katrina

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Resolution Time

I’m not really big on New Year’s resolutions, since I’m usually just setting myself up for failure. My main goal for 2006 is to make it to my wedding without having a nervous breakdown. So far, I’m failing miserably.

I guess another resolution would be to continue working out regularly, which I’ve been doing for several months now. I slowed down the pace a bit over the holidays because everything got really hectic, but I was still making it to the gym about three times a week. I’m getting back into my routine and should be back up to six times this week. I work out in my rather lame apartment gym. It’s got the basic stuff that I need, but it’s certainly no frills. This isn’t a problem; it’s usually not very crowded, which is a huge plus.

Now it’s 2006, and apparently, the whole building’s number 1 resolution was to get in shape, and the gym was insanely crowded last night. I was totally bitter. Of course, by next week, none of them will be there and I can go back to working out in relative solitude (and I won’t have to deal with people who ask if I’m really watching the TV. Ummh, yes, I AM watching the Golden Girls. Want to make something of it?). Also, note to the rather large dude hogging the new elliptical machine: I don’t care how sweaty you get, that hot pink do rag is the worst look ever for you. Just say no.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

New Year, Whoop-dee-do

I took Friday off from work, so I had a 4-day weekend, during which I did little to nothing. I exchanged my duplicate gifts at Borders (yes, I heart Orlando Bloom, but that doesn't mean I need two copies of Pirates of the Caribbean) and bought the new Madonna CD, which everyone refused to buy me for Christmas (interesting thing I’ve discovered about my family—they’ll buy me stuff I want, but only if they “approve” of it. Apparently, Madge does not make the cut.). I watched all six hours of the Pride and Prejudice miniseries and Persuasion (yes, that is a lot of Jane Austen, but see number 17 of my last post). I had two anxiety dreams about the wedding (one of them was relating to stamp anxiety. This is just pathetic. If you are going to have anxiety dreams, at least make them good.). I sat around a lot. It was good.

Last night, I checked my email, and found that an ex-boyfriend (Mr. Ex) had emailed me. He had found out that I was getting married and he wanted to send his congratulations. I have been meaning to email him for ages and let him know, but I just had never gotten around to it (lazy lazy). He apparently found out because we are somehow connected on Amazon.com through our wish lists or something (I have a wedding wish list. Don’t look at it. It’s really kind of a joke.). It was nice of him to wish us well, but this does drive home how much the internet has changed things. Back in the day, one wouldn’t have Amazon to point out all sorts of personal facts about your exes (Wow, she’s getting married. And she still likes Joy Division.).