Friday, September 24, 2010


Hold the phones!

You know what I just realized, you guys? This is the 100th time I've ever written an Open Letter to The Internet via this blog. Yes'siree--my 100th post. And it only took me an entire year to do it!

My accomplishments, they are blinding in their celestial radiance!

Anyway, I've been thinking about the idea of celestial radiance lately because mine is obviously so distracting; and so I've been listening to Neutral Milk Hotel because to me, nothing is so awesome as In the Aeroplane Over the Sea. And I mean "awesome" in the Biblical sense. It's like you can hear God's voice in their tubas. And then God singing harmony with Himself in their musical saw.

Now, I understand NMH is not everyone's Thing. It's probably exactly the opposite of 62% of my readership's Thing. But that aside, I'd like to say that my goal is to create just one thing in my lifetime that's as purely inspired and good-at-what-it-does as In the Aeroplane Over the Sea. If I were going to paint a painting, I'd want it to be that good. If I were going to write a novel, I would want it to be that good. If I were going to sing a song, I'd want it to be that good. It may happen, and it may not. I'll keep you posted.

So, speaking from this great height--having stuck with writing this silly blog for a whole year--I can see that perhaps my collected works are not quite as good as Aeroplane. Therefore, I will keep practicing.

But it makes me wonder: what do other people think is celestially radiant and biblically awesome? If you were ever going to do something that's so good that it couldn't be changed even one tiny hair's breadth without being sullied, what would it be as good as?

I won't be offended if it's not this:

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Grit Manifesto

I have a kind of slavish loyalty to this restaurant in Athens called The Grit. It's a vegetarian restaurant that fries most things they don't drown in butter and/or cheese. Their cakes are sublime and if I weren't already married, I would consider starting a life with one of them. The wait staff is, by in large, both magnificent looking and theatrically unpredictable. An intoxicating combination.

My friend Lane loves to argue with people--it's just his idea of having a meaningful conversation--and sometimes he'll saunter over to me at a party and say, "So, The Grit. Mediocre food, the waiters are pricks, it's loud in there. Also, they don't serve meat."

As a general rule, I don't engage in conversations about about politics or The Grit, just in case it turns ugly. But I'll tell you guys why I love The Grit and I'll refer Lane to this post whenever he brings it up, just like my Granny refers people to her memoirs every time they ask for specifics about things that happened in 1923.

Well, first of all, LANE, the food is actually like the Milk of Paradise that has been drizzled on some ambrosia. And then rolled in nutritional yeast, fried in butter and sprinkled with cheese. Either that's your thing or it's not. It just happens to be my thing.

Secondly, when I was in high school I was one of those vegetarians who didn't eat any vegetables. My diet consisted mainly of Wendy's hamburgers without any meat inside them, frozen waffles and scrambled eggs. It's a wonder I survived. But The Grit was like Xanadu. I could eat anything and I liked everything, and if there was anything too botanical hidden within, I didn't notice. I am thankful for that.

Third: Lane actually has a point about the staff. Once I had an experience at The Grit wherein my table mistakenly neglected to tip the waiter, and he dealt with the situation by busting out the back door of the restaurant as we walked away, hollering profanities. He apologized after we gave him some money, and the only explanation I can give for his behavior is that he was profoundly drunk. I still see that guy every week, and he's never done anything like that since. In fact, he seems kind of shy.

But there's something about people who work there that I really like. No, they're not super nice all the time, but there's something respectable about them. Like even though they are bringing you a bowl of fried tofu in a minute, they're not going to get all waiter-y on you.

Also, I think they purposely hire strange and extravagant looking people. Years ago, Amber Valentine, the guitarist in Jucifer (which is the loudest band you've ever heard in person), worked there. Every day she wore fake eyelashes, 6 inch platform boots, a skintight tube dress and this Dolly Parton wig. At least I think it was a wig. She must have spent over an hour every morning applying her make up with a spackling knife, but she had a dedication to her craft that I admire.

The Fourth and Final: I get take out from The Grit pretty much every Friday evening. I call in my order beforehand, and the guy knows my voice over the phone. I walk in and the sunlight comes in the front window a certain way that lights up the pies so they wear little halos. It smells good in there, but it's not a food smell, really. If Odessa's with me, some waiters flirt with her and we walk around and look at the paintings they have up that week. Claudia's the weekend manager there, so she comes and sits with me while I wait for my food, and there's always the swinging sound of the door to the kitchen opening and closing, and voices echoing off the tall plaster walls. There's a waiter on a ladder adding something to the specials board with a wet piece of chalk. Led Zeppelin or The Shins or Rufus Wainwright is playing kind of soft in the background. Somebody I know walks up and says hello. And it's that's how I know it's Friday.

And I love Friday.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Caveman Days

When I was a little kid, I was infatuated with cavemen. I really wanted to understand what made them tick.

Unfortunately, my mom was a flagrant perpetuator of misinformation concerning the caveman lifestyle. Here's an example of a conversation I would have with my mom regarding cavemen and their habits:

Me: Mama, in caveman days, what did they use for toothbrushes?

Mom: They used sticks.

Me: Huh. Well, what did the cavemen use for a colander when they needed to strain their spaghetti?

Mom: Well, I'm pretty sure they would make one out of sticks.

Me: Oh. Well, what did cavemen use for dollies?

Mom: Well, they probably wrapped a stick in a piece of sabre-toothed tiger fur, and used that as a dolly.

You get the point.

So today I have about 60 gajillion chigger bites with a little poison ivy thrown in for good measure that I got bushwhacking through the woods this weekend like a jackass. At one point I found an entire TREE of poison ivy which I briefly mistook for a box elder until I realized it was covered in evil poison fur. Anyway, my malady has again made me think about being a caveman because they probably spent most of their time scratching the chigger bites under their sabre-tooth tiger loincloths. And what did cavemen do for Hydrocortisone cream?

They used sticks.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Ghostly Preferences

Well, it happened again.

The ghosts in my office building keep ejecting the doorknob on the backdoor of the building. It's happened once every year since I started working there 4 years ago: we arrive at work one morning and the handle to the door is completely disassembled and lying on the ground.

It's an old house.

My boss says ghosts don't like doors and one time when she lived in a haunted house, a door that never wanted to stay closed unless it was locked just fell off its hinges. Those ghosts were sick of all that locking monkey business.

I can't say I blame them. If I were a ghost, I'd get tired of hanging out at my office, too.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Date: 9/02/10

On the first day of seventh grade, a girl in my class had a yard sale out of her locker in which she sold all her New Kids on the Block posters. I think she made like $30. I hope she's a financial futures analyst now because like 3 months later, the bottom fell out on NKotB. Entire fortunes of weekly allowance were lost. Those were dark times.

Anyway, around the same time, I was in the locker room changing for gym, and these two girls wearing button fly Levis and embroidered vests were talking about a new TV show that was the greatest thing evaaaaaar. And so began the reign of Beverly Hills, 90210. May it ever serve as a reminder that the gold standard for beauty and fashion is constantly shifting, so getting that tattoo/boob job is a definitely bad idea. Also, never lose your virginity at prom or leave your boyfriend alone with your best friend while you spend the summer in Minnesota. Take it from Brenda. (Update: I've been corrected. Brenda went to France for the summer).

Happy September 2, 2010, ya'll.