Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Take THAT, Nordstrom Shoe Guy!

Do you hear that, Nordstrom Shoe Guy? That is the sound of me prancing around Seattle in my adorable new pink suede ballet flats. Or wait, is it the sound of me skipping around town in my equally adorable new black mary-janes? Whatever it is, it's clearly not the clomping and trudging that you would have had me doing in those heinous velcro walking shoes.

Special thanks to your ghetto step-cousin Nordstrom Rack just down the street for helping a girl out.

Also Gentle Readers, the blog's taking a break for Yee Olde Medieval Wedding of Rena and Austin, so that the blogging wench can drink mead and chow down on turkey legs with some of her friends from -- meep -- JUNIOR HIGH. Fifteen years have passed and we don't seem much more suave, but damn we haves ourselves some good times. Full report when I get back, and no I am not promising to post photos, unless you offer me a giant cup of mead and then we can talk.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Dear Nordstrom Shoe Guy

Open Letter To The Nordstrom Shoe Guy:

Hi there, it's me again. Look, I'm not sure what the disconnect was today. But when I come onto the shoe section floor and ask for something "in a ballet flat...maybe with a buckle or a Mary Jane style" do not -- DO NOT -- bring me some enormously clumpy shoes that my 65-year-old nursing instructor mother would wear. Were you freakin' kidding me? Do I seriously look like I would wear these? In what rustic, cruel world is this a ballet flat?

Word of advice, pal. If you don't have what I'm looking for, just tell me. Don't bring me a pair of the single ugliest shoes you have in stock just so that you come back with something. Also, don't be all cute and flirty and calling me "hon" unless you can deliver the goods because otherwise you're not being cute and flirty, you're just masking the fact that you can't find a decent pair of ballet flats to save your life.


Saturday, August 28, 2004

Save Your $9

How is it possible that a movie about wife swapping featuring Peter Krause, Mark Ruffalo AND Naomi Watts could be both incredibly boring and painfully unsexy? And yet, that's exactly what "We Don't Live Here Anymore" was. Can I mention again that it featured BOTH Peter Krause and Mark Ruffalo? (Translation: HubbaHubbaHubba) AND it was based on some short stories from Andre Dubus? People, I was looking forward to this movie for WEEKS.

But there I was, in the darkened theater, actually looking at my watch in anticipation of when I could be freed from this boring, depressing, pitiful group of sad, sad people that I never got to care about except for when they would go away and the credits would come rolling up the screen.
One word movie review: BLECH.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Shameless, Shameless Plugs

Friends, if you're looking to get totally kablooey-style drunk on $8 -- yes, I said $8 -- then you all need to drop what you're doing and get your asses to The Chapel. The people are pretty, the martinis are $4, it's in a former funeral parlor, I mean, c'mon WHAT MORE COULD YOU ASK FOR? Two blackberry martinis and Bethy was a happy, happy girl.

Also, Al Franken is organizing the Great American Shout Out next week, encouraging folks to gather round and scream when Dubya takes to the podium at the Republican National Convention on September 2. Organize a party -- vent your frustration -- and then take the money you saved on those drinks at The Chapel and send it to John Kerry pronto.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Back to School

It's winter here in Seattle and I've had to dig out my sweaters, coats and other warm clothes. Even the electric blue cookie monster socks that are reserved for only incredibly cold nights came out. I am pissed. I am still ghostly pale. I am not ready for summer to be over and I am FOR SURE not ready to be digging out those warm cookie monster socks.

I am also upset because this funkay weather has illustrated to me how ill-prepared I am for Fall. There are no cute chunky cardigans in my closet. No adorable boots. No tweed of any sort. The back to school retailers would be extremely disappointed in me.

It's a shame when a girl gets caught unaware like this.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Unlucky Number Seven

Seriously, what IS with the number seven bus, or as I like to call it, the Nutjob Express? My commute home gives me access to every freak in all of Seattle it seems. Is there a discount of some sort if you're short a few marbles? There was a guy that got on at one point in a wheelchair and a hospital gown. A HOSPITAL GOWN. Surely that can't be a good sign, right?

What's weirder is that the morning commute is full of well dressed yuppies. I feel totally underdressed on my bus in the morning.

Bonus points to anyone who can write me a haiku about the number seven bus.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

I Need My Blankie

I am reminded of when I was back in high school and read The Exorcist...scratch that, I read less than half of it and got so utterly freaked out that I had to stop reading immediately...ANYWAY...For the next six terrified months the only way I could get to sleep was by convincing myself that I would be safe from demonic possession (and the like) if I just stayed under my comforter. As long as I was totally covered by the blankie, I was safe. This is the only way I could sleep. I realize that's a little strange for a then-15 year old, but HEY, you do what you have to when battling the FORCES OF SATAN.

And so last night, after some deeply disappointing news, I crawled into bed at 6:53 p.m. and pulled the covers up over my head and stayed there until the alarm went off 12 hours later. Sometimes you just have to stay under the safety of the blankie until the bad news passes over you.

Monday, August 23, 2004

The King Is Satisfied**

Amen and praise be to the Gods at Purina for making Fancy Feast, which is apparently the only substance on this earth that passes the test for my royal orange highness, who has been on a no-eating kick/protest/tantrum for the past month.

An entire can! In an afternoon! This is more than he's eaten all month. I will have my fat cat back if it kills both of us in the process.

** Beth is clearly experimenting with titles for her blog.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Why Married People Freak Me Out

So there I am, at the grocery store with the rest of humanity on a Sunday afternoon. And I've been following this guy and his four-year-old throughout the store as we both go through our shopping lists. And this guy keeps calling his wife throughout the shopping experience with all sorts of questions and worries and concerns:

"We have another problem. They don't have the type of turkey you wrote down, but they do have a smoked version...is that okay?"

"Hi, it's me again. They don't have the 64 ounze size of cranberry juice, just the 32. So should I buy two or do you want me to wait?"

And so on.

Swear to GOD I came THISCLOSE to losing it and suggesting to this guy that he hang up the phone and head to the parking lot and grow a pair and make a decision on his own about the damned cranberry juice for the love of us all. But I didn't. I just gawked at him and made him feel self conscious while he waited for advice about the turkey.

God, I'm going to die alone, aren't I?

Friday, August 20, 2004

Sometimes I love the state of Washington SO FREAKIN' MUCH. Even our bears are cool.
Also, I provide an exerpt of a conversation had with The Wonder Cat last night:

Beth: Thomas, what's the deal? Why won't you eat? That's really annoying.
Thomas the Wonder Cat: (closes eyes)
B: I mean, seriously dude, I can feel your hip bones.
TTWC: (purrs)
B: Are you just stressed about the move? Because that, my friend, is over. Comprende?
TTWC: (stares at me)
B: Then WHAT IS IT? Are you sick? Do you have a brain tumor? Oh my God, what is that lump , is that a tumor? That's a tumor, isn't it? You're going to die, aren't you? Please don't die. I thought we agreed you were never going to get sick and never get old and never die. Now you have some sort of inoperable brain tumor. You can't go back on your word like that, you orange freak. I'm a horrible mother. I'll never move again, I swear. Ever. What the hell is wrong with you?? EAT, DAMN YOU!
TTWC: (purrs, licks my nose)
B: Siiiigh.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Beth takes her blog into uncharted waters as she introduces PICTURES. No one is safe, not even a lobster sneaking Oreos in New Orleans. Posted by Hello
My stepsister had a baby this week. So my dad called to give me the news and was trying to figure out what my relation to this baby might be. After several guesses, I just blurted out "he would be my step-nephew. I'd be the step-aunt."

To which I got a stern conversation about using the word "step" and that "we're" all family and "we" apparently don't use the "step" word anymore. For example, he went on to explain, when (my wife) and I sign cards to the kids, we sign it "Love Mom and Dad," not something like "Mom and (my name here)."

Now look. I know I'm being a bit of a whiny brat about this, but the fact that my dad refers to himself as "Dad" to anyone other than me, makes me feel like a little peice of me just got chopped off.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Week One of South Beach is done and I don't feel transformed beyond recognition. People are not stopping me on the street telling me I look fabulous and visits thus far by potential soul mates/male supermodels have amounted to zero.

Still, I'm not giving up. But I can say that I've learned the following:

1.) Sugar free Fudgesicles are not as disappointing as one might think.
2.) Sugar free Jell-O, on the other hand, tastes like chemicals and is a foul, foul invention.
3.) While it makes perfect logical sense to have a salad plus a serving of vegetables for lunch and dinner, it's haaaaard to do when you're tiiiiired.
4.) Cooking is haaaaaaard.
5.) Cutting up vegetables is haaaaaaard.

Basically, I've learned that I'm incredibly, incredibly lazy when it comes to preparing healthy balanced meals. I'm also a really good whiner.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

I am FASINATED now with the idea of blogging. You may be thinking, um, Beth, dearest, you've been blogging for several months now, what's the deal? And I reply, Gentle Reader, with this. I recently uncovered the blogs of two people I know. Actually, I don't know these people at all. I know of them. It's like discovering your florist's blog, or the blog of the woman who sold you mascara at the Stila counter. And DAMN if I can't stop reading about the personal lives and secrets of these people that I don't really know.

I follow about five blogs pretty religiously on a daily basis, but they're not people I've met or have any contact with (Ramblin' Dave being the exception). So it always struck me that I was just reading the funny site of some wise crackin' person in New York (or San Fran, or wherever...) as opposed to accessing someone's personal day to day existence, if that makes sense. The voyeuristic aspect of blogging (both reading and posting) sort of escaped me because I felt so removed from the people I was reading about. But its the voyeurism aspect that's the appeal, I think, at least when it comes to personal blogs. This may all seem very obvious and elementary. I knew it to a degree, I guess. But it seems particularly clear today.

These people -- and damn, myself included -- have put themselves out there to share with the WORLD their day to day existence and embarrassments and dramas and opinions for anyone to access and comment on or just lurk and read about for hours on end. What a bizarre little medium and bizarre society for feasting on it.

Monday, August 16, 2004

You know what's cool? When you're walking home from the bus and randomly you just trip yourself and FALL DOWN onto the sidewalk, scraping your elbow and knee and palms just like you were six years old. And then, when you pull yourself up and investigate what might have tripped you (a twig? Rocks? Human femur?), you don't see anything, which means it was purely your own God-given GRACE that let you just splatter on the sidewalk.

Yes, I am indeed very cool.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

It's been a pretty mellow and asocial weekend, which is usually fine by me. But by this afternoon I was going insane in da membrane with boredom and loneliness, so I decided to head out for a walk. This is, after all, why I moved -- to wander through an actual neighborhood and admire people's gardens and stare nosily into their living rooms.

I wandered into two bookstores near my house (yes, two bookstores, near my house, you heard me), the first of which had several cats wandering about that were literally the size of toddlers. You could ride these things around to various sections in the store, I'll bet. Second bookstore was toddler-sized cat free, but was playing Wilco's "Jesus, etc." which is by far the best song in the universe (**) and instantly transported me back to the summer of 2002 when I was on a road trip pulling over for gas in Jerome, Idaho at a gas station/video store that featured two dozen taxidermied animal heads on the walls.

** Okay, it's a tough battle between that and The Smiths' "There is a Light That Never Goes Out," The Rolling Stones' "Beast of Burden" and "Punk Rock Girl" by the Dead Milkmen. There's no good answer here.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Note to self when you find a cute pair of shoes in the back of your closet that you haven't worn for six months and you think "Gosh, those are CUTE, why don't I wear them anymore?" please FOR THE LOVE OF GOD stop and think and remember why, otherwise, you'll be hobbling around by 9 a.m. cursing those blasted shoes and remembering all too well why they were thrown into the back of your closet in the first place. Got that?

Also, snaps go out to Julia Child, who died today. Sniff. Not sure why exactly, but she's always been a role model of sorts for me. Is it because she was six feet tall? I still recall watching her on the small black and white TV in the kitchen with my mom. Also please please please when I die, let my obituary have a headline like this one.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

So, ahem, drum roll please, I have officially made it through Day One of the South Beach Diet. Yes, I know this takes away all my hipster street cred by lumping me in with the low carb lemmings, but you know, who DOESN'T want/need to lose 10 pounds? Wouldn't that really make me all the more fierce? See how I imagine things to go in about a month when I reintroduce alcohol into my diet and enter a dark smoky bar:

Ironic hipster #1: Hey, who's the tall, blond in the corner? Damn, she is witty.
Ironic hipster #2: Don't know, man, but she seems slightly...smaller than last I saw her.
IH #1: Smaller, yeah. That's cool.
IH #2: Yeah.
IH #1: Think I need to buy that lady a beverage (heads towards me with a devilish grin)
Ironic hipster #3: Where did Mark go?
IH #2: Mark?
IH #3: Ruffalo, dude, he's in town shooting a movie. Didn't you know who you were talking to?

See, it will all fit into place soon enough...

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Life without TV continues to turn me into a reading BEAST.

This weekend I finished Where Is The Mango Princess? which was about a woman whose husband suffers a major brain injury after a boating accident. All weekend I kept thinking about the brain and the body and how the two work together and how much there is that our brain does that we don't even think about. At one point in the book the author says that our body is literally just a "pile of meat" that our brain singlehandedly controls. I mean, THINK ABOUT THAT. That is some crazy stuff, man. Your heartbeat, your memories, your personality, your ability to swallow...it's all up there in mission control and you don't control any of it. Then I starting thinking about a friend-of-a-friend's-friend (if only it were that simple) I knew about five years ago that had a brain injury and wondered how he is now.

And now I'm in the middle of Rescuing Patty Hearst which is about a woman whose mother suffers from schizophrenia and kidnaps her children for three years to their summer home to prepare for an imaginary war. Clearly I'm all about the mental illness/trauma these days, which can't be a good sign.

Also compelled to note that ONCE AGAIN I have been bitten by some mutant angry spider/insect scary thing while I sleep, this time on my wrist and today my hand is puffed up like some weird inflatable fake hand. I feel like John Merrick. I AM NOT AN ANIMAL.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

I was feeling mighty, mighty blue tonight; a little crispy around the edges.

So I sat in my chair for a good ten minutes staring blankly at the floor like a mental patient and then got up and went to the store, because when a girl's feeling depressed the last thing she needs is to open up a refridgerator and see nothing in it but capers and Thai hot sauce. Ain't nothing you can make with those. On my walk I saw:

1.) A woman getting the keys to a new BMW, which made me very happy and proud for her, even if it is a pretentious status symbol there was still a part of me that thought "You GO girl in your pretentious Euro car, you've earned it."
2.) An electric blue dildo. (NOTE: It was in the window of a sex store, not lying there on the street or anything)
3.) A corgi waiting outside of the store for its owner with a ridiculous grin on its mug.
4.) A hip little fabric store, where three adorable prepster men were actually sitting at sewing machines and actually sewing.

I feel much better somehow.

Monday, August 09, 2004

If you've ever found yourself thinking, "Hey, I wonder what that guy Steve from Blue's Clues is up to?" -- I can happily say that I have the answer to your question here.

And then if you've ever thought, "Hey, I wonder why the heck Beth is looking up that guy Steve from Blue's Clues?" -- I can sadly say that I have no answer for you at all.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

My new neighborhood is, let's face it, a little scrappy. People are edgy and peirced and gothed up to the hilt. Everyone looks a little beaten down by life. I wore capri pants to work on Friday. I'm feeling a little out of sorts. More precisely, I'm feeling like an enormou-dork that stands out like a sore thumb. I feel like some suburbanite that's trying to be cool ("Hey, how about that local popular music band, eh?"), all the while people are rolling their eyes at me while they listen to Skinny Puppy on the number seven bus.

I love my neighborhood, but GAWD I need to toughen up. I am SUCH a geek.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

God DAMN but I am productive when there is no television to watch. I feel like I'm on some sort of retreat where I am forced to actually read and think and call people and get stuff done. There's no distraction from Queer Eye or Designed to Sell or the Clorox informercial on how bleach is produced. Tonight I actually sat in front of my window with a steaming mug of tea and watched the sun set into a pinkish orangy sky. I've read two books today. TWO books in one day -- I mean, how insane is that? I listened to CDs. I read a magazine cover to cover. Its like being on vacation in a very accomodating hotel with all of my possessions. My brain feels quiet and restless without the background noise. It's hard to realize how much baaaad TV I used to watch, how many hours I wasted sitting on the couch watching infomercials and Simpsons reruns. It kept me company, more than I really care to admit.

I'm actually thinking of not hooking up my cable permanently. Maybe I could go for a few months and see how it goes?

Friday, August 06, 2004

A lot of things freak me out, and high on that list are spider bites. Because more often than not, they happen while you're sleeping which means that a spider was crawling around your bed -- on YOU -- in your pajamas -- while you sleep -- and then....oh...see, its just all too icky and scary to contemplate. You get the picture.

I have one right now, on my arm - all red and itchy and I. Can't. Stop. Scratching. It. This only means I'll be shaking out my sheets and pajamas for an hour straight tonight. Hate those 8 legged bastards.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

All. Moved. In. PHEWWWWWW. Be it ever so humble, there's no place like....a box-laden disaster area that is my new home. Right now it feels like I'm living in a hotel room that just coincidentally has all of my things piled into it. There's no homey feeling yet or any sense that this is actually my place.

On a major kick now to find a houseful of brand new beautiful, hip, funky furniture that doesn't require self assembly. Anyone out there, say, giving that away for free?

Monday, August 02, 2004

I'm so worked up over the move. My heart is actually racing. You'd think I was scaling Everest or something by the amount of anxiety and stress and overthinking that's gone into moving a one-bedroom apartment. Jesus Beth, I keep telling myself, you used to move twice a year in college, what's the big deal?

Change is hard and downright yukky to deal with sometimes. I feel like I'm leaving the past eight years behind me, which is both wonderful/liberating/exciting and daunting/terrifying. It's a new beginning, a new opportunity and I find myself resistant and wanting to just stay in my bed in my same old apartment for another eight years. Why is that?

I just want the comfort of my things back. Note to self for the next move -- do NOT, for the love of God, DO NOT pack up your stuff a month early with the hopes of being "organized" and "proactive." You will miss your picture frames and your banana bread recipe from mom and your candles and your Kerouac books. Trust me on this one.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

The Martha in me rises up again. So far this week, to counteract the boredom of not having my things available, I have made both pickled green beans (Hello, Bloody Marys anyone?) and oven dried tomatoes that I'm saving in olive oil. I feel So. Damned. Domestic.

Now however I've got tomato juice and olive oil splashes all over the bottom of my oven, making for a very smoky smelly mess. Time to meet Mr. Oven Cleaner and make friends, I think.