Saturday, December 11, 2010

jingle hell

Ok, I kind of fell off that #10reverb wagon after one post.

Me, give up on a project after one half-assed attempt? Don't act so surprised.

So while I wasn't writing contemplative blog posts about the experiences of the past year, the holiday season has crept up on me. I walked into Rite-Aid yesterday, fully prepared to roll my eyes and snort derisively at the aisles of Christmas candy and crappy ornaments, as has been my habit since October when all the Christmas shit first appeared. But suddenly, the XMas aisle was lookin' a little sparse. The fake trees and the candy cans have been thoroughly picked over, the five-pound bags of red and green Christmas M&Ms are now largely outnumbered by crappy plastic trays of stale holiday cookies. Who buys cookie trays in Rite-Aid? Besides hoarders or the elderly?

I digress.

It hit me then that the holiday season is official here and, in fact, is quickly approaching the Christmas climax. And my frigid little heart is nowhere near ready.

A quick glance around my apartment proves this fact. The corner where, in years past, my humble little fake tree stood is currently stacked with overdue library books. The kitchen still boasts the plastic jack-o-lantern from my Halloween party. There is also a fake bat hanging from the chandelier.

A carpet of notebooks, school papers, and Amy's sparkly fake mice surrounds the bed. In short -tattered cat toys are about the festive "decoration" in the house.

Instead of bustin' out the garland and Christmas carols, all my free time has been spent writing papers and slicin' tongue.

I did watch the holiday episodes of Community and 30 Rock this week, but even that felt strangely wrong:
"But -- Christmas is so far away!" I said to myself.
"Um -not really," my calendar replied.
"Seriously, why haven't you done any shopping? I'm only a cat and even I know this is the season for buying shit!" said Amy in disgust.

Things had clearly reached Scrooge-like levels of delusion.

So I did what I often do when seeking guidance about how to live my life: I turned to Sweet Mother TV for answers.

Sitcoms tell us that not every holiday can be the Best Holiday Ever. Christmas or not -- shit happens. Examples:

The Golden Girls:

Picture it -- Dorothy, Blanche and Rose are held hostage by a gun-wielding guy dressed as Santa who wanders into the Grief Counseling Center where Rose works. A holiday without cheesecake?! Say it ain't so!

Full House:

The Tanner family spends Christmas Eve stranded in an airport. This was especially tragic for all the other people forced to spend Christmas stranded in an airport with the Tanner family.

The Facts of Life:

Jo's parents suck, and she is forced to spend Christmas at Eastland with Mrs. Garrett selling fruitcakes. This actually sounds like the makings of the best Christmas ever.

Boy Meets World:

People lose their jobs, mall Santa has a heart attack, poor Mr. Feeny is like a sad old shut-in next door with no family. Weeping!


Roseanne and Co. get snowed in at the diner on Christmas Eve. Better there than at the airport with the Tanner family, I suppose.

Yes, Tea Guarie -- there is a Santa Claus! And he is probably being played by a extra who graduated from Emerson College with a degree in Musical Theater.

In short -- the holidays are a time for the suspension of disbelief. No matter how outlandishly crappy your life may seem, you can have faith that Christmas will pull through with a happy ending. The holiday spirit can find us anywhere -- even snowed in at an airport, or trapped by a gun-toting Santa -- if we are just open to it. It's not too late for me to get on the holiday bandwagon -- after all, some of the best Christmases ever happened at the 11th hour.

Sigh. I feel jollier already! Thanks, TV.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

the end is near!

Um, it's December.

How the hell did that happen?! Where did 2010 go?? It seems like just yesterday I was crowing triumphantly about getting into grad school, and making plans to get in shape and grab this year by the balls. And now suddenly, its all drawing to a close.

Time freaks me out.

It always seems like there's not enough of it -- except when there's too much of it, as was the case with my Big Fat Year of Unemployment. Either way, Time is forever messing with my head.

So perhaps I should take a moment to put down the library-school books, set aside the organ meats, and reflect back on this wacky-ass year. God knows, I didn't do much writing / reflecting during the actual year -- please see giant blogging gap from June to November.

In order to make up for lost time, I've decided to participate in this #reverb10 project. For every day of December, the site sends a writing prompt designed to make you reflect on the previous year and think about what lies ahead for 2011. For lapsed-bloggers like myself, this challenge is also supposed to alleviate the: "waaah, i have nothing to blog about!" BS.

As usual, i am a few days behind on this challenge -- but better late than never. So lets just start with the day #4 prompt:

December 4 – Wonder.
How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year?

Wonder . . . well, I suppose I did spend a lot of time "wondering" this year: Is this grad school thing gonna work out? Am I ever gonna find a job? Am I ever gonna find a job I don't hate or suck at? Why is time going by so fast? What happened to my other black Reef sandal? Why do hoarders hate toilets so much?

Clearly, I'm not "cultivating wonder" in my daily life, so much as "breeding insecurity and self-doubt". Duly noted, writing prompt. In 2011, I shall attempt to be more ponderous and zen. I will take time to enjoy the scenery. I will stop wishing for a magic crystal ball that I can use to spy on my Future Self.

I will try to see the world more like Amy (my cat) sees it -- as one giant playground that exists solely for my entertainment and exploration, which I can also claw to shreds at my leisure.

And in the meantime, I will continue to wonder at the Powers of the Internet that allow me to stream Netflix movies directly to my Wii.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

my offal new job

food service jobs are, in many ways, a magical anthropological adventure. you can tell a lot about people based on what they eat, and how they choose to eat it, and how they behave when they're ordering it.

let us begin our study of human behavior at the deli counter, where people often line up to drool over the meats and organs on prominent display. my question to these folk is: why?? why would you eat this?? have u ever had to slice a giant hunk of cold tongue? cuz i have. and it really does look just like a giant dead cow tongue. now, perhaps back in medieval times, when serfs were given the discarded carcasses of butchered animals to nibble on, the tongue was the meatiest bit left. but civilization has come a long way since then, people -- you don't have to eat the unsavory parts of the animal anymore.

i believe the people who eat this shit should be invited back behind the counter for an up-close look at the tongue in its whole and natural state. they should be forced to really examine the . . . purpleness of it. observe the gelatinous mucus that seems to jelly up the ends.

still hungry? then you, sir, are a monster. good day to you.

also -- what is up with chopped liver? people order this shit by the bucket-load, literally . . . and it does, in fact, resemble the shit of a baby who has been fed only cat food and mashed bananas for several days.

worse, people seem very righteous when they order this crap:

"Yes, give me a pound of your finest chopped liver -- post-haste!"

"You there, girl! Fetch me a half pound of very thinly sliced tongue! So thin that I can see my mottled, liver-spotted hand through it!"

whatever, old people. you wanna stuff yourself gouty with offal -- who am i to judge?

in my previous food service jobs, cold food made for an irate customer. in this new world of strange deli offerings, people want everything cold. cold soup, cold fish, cold meat. if it looks like it could be served in the steerage section of an immigrant steamer, or the barracks of the gulag -- all the better! apparently, people like their sausages cold and seasoned with a hint of hardship and sadness. it brings back fond memories of when the whole family slept in one bed and had consumption, i guess.

now some of you might be thinking -- shame on you, tea guarie! how dare you be close-minded! it's true -- perhaps i am too quick to pass judgment on people based on their affinities for odd meats. some of these old folk might be scandalized by my tastes for diet coke and lean cuisine.

but hey, at least i can sleep at night knowing that i've never willingly had the tongue of a farm animal in my mouth.

just sayin'.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


that's the sound of me defibrillating this blog and raising it from the dead!

mmmm . . . zombie blog want braaaaains . . .

as you can probably guess from the four month hiatus -- life has gone from super-boring to super-busy! quick recap::

-- i am still on the path towards becoming a badass librarian.

-- i now share my apartment with the world's most badass kittykat, Amy Sedaris Guarino the First:

here she is attacking an angel . . .

and here she is being an angel. awww.

-- amy also has a blog. like me, she does not update frequently.
-- i now have a part-time job at Local Family Restaurant, reprising my classic role of Snarky Countergirl #2.
-- the band T&A is making great strides towards taking over the nerd-punk-noise-pop world. we hope to record our first "demo" by the end of the year. what, whaat!
-- i am still locked in a love / hate relationship with Gold's Gym of Somerville. lately i have been ignoring its calls and blocking its facebook status updates, but i'm hopeful that we will reconcile soon.
-- i am still slightly insane.

so yeh, i think those are the major talking points of the past four months. from here on out, my goal shall be to chronicle Librarian School and Restaurant Adventures for your reading pleasure.

also, there have been some requests for another Lady-Mag, Deconstructed post. some day in the very near future, i will take a break from Librarian Homework to read something awful and full of perfume samples, and share my findings with you all.

stay tuned!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

summer awakening

hey, remember when i used to blog?

i know, i know -- i have been neglecting my little corner of the internet. crickets are chirping all up in here, and my last post was littered with spammy comments from asian robots. i deleted them all, so you can't see them now -- but they all included weird links . . . probably to some sort of penis enlargement website. sorry about that.

anyway -- i'm not dead! yes, i might have spent most of the winter holed up in my apartment watching TLC (aka 'The P.T. Barnum Channel') and eating. but now, summer is here, and life has gone from zero to 60 in the span of a few short weeks.

grad school has started! i am now officially a student of library science, hopefully on my way to becoming the most sass-tastic young adult/children's librarian the world has ever seen. if not the world, then at least east cambridge.

also -- i'm in a band. that's right -- you didn't know i could play a musical instrument, did you? well that's because i actually can't! i'm teaching myself the electric guitar with the help of our killer bassist, Rev. the band is called T&A. yes, we know what that means.

so far, we can "play" 3 songs -- one of which is an original composition. i figure another few practices and we'll be ready to go on tour. hell, we already have a myspace. now all we need is some hot merch and we'll be set.

i promise to keep ya'll regularly updated on my adventures in library-school-land. after all, the title of this blog promises a "bad-ass librarian", and i aim to please! in the meantime, go call your local college radio station and request something by T&A. when they claim ignorance of this new band, scoff at them. say: "you don't know T&A? dude, what kind of hipster are you?"

in the meantime, i leave you with this:

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Cosmo, Deconstructed

This week, Shaw's is having some sort of insane sale on 12 packs of Pepsi products. I know this because yesterday I spent 15 minutes in line behind a woman who was trying to buy an entire floor display's worth of Sierra Mist. The cranky old checkout woman was baffled by the whole transaction . . . is Sierra Mist a Pepsi product? Is Schweppes ginger ale? How do you even pronounce 'Schweppes'? Can we get a manager over here? Bueller?

While all this was happening, I had a plenty of time to browse the magazine racks / contemplate my own mortality. Which is how I even noticed this in the first place:

That would be Cosmopolitan magazine, with a faux-naked Lady Gaga on the cover. I should note that I spent a good portion of monsoon-weekend watching the Telephone video and contemplating making my own smoking glasses. Needless to say, Gaga in granny panties intrigued me. So, in a moment of grocery-store-impulse-buy weakness, I tossed Cosmo in my cart.

Now -- the last time I actually purchased an issue of Cosmopolitan, I was probably 14, and on my way to someone's pool party / sleepover.

It was a simpler time.

These days, I am a loyal reader of Bust, Bitch, Vanity Fair, and the occasional tabloid. Yeh, I like to keep abreast of how lonely Jennifer Aniston is, and whether or not Katie Holmes is preggers. But I usually draw the line at the heavy duty "lady-mags" . . . Elle, Lucky, Allure, etc. Which is why I was almost surprised to get home and find Cosmo in my bag.

So I sat down to lunch and started flipping through this glossy new world . . . and an hour of shame-eating later, my brain had officially exploded.

I feel like I need to share this experience with someone -- so internets, I choose you! Let's digest this amazingly whack lady-propaganda together, shall we?

What We're About to Read:

Welcome to the April issue of Cosmo! Spring is in the air, and you know what that means! Sex-capades and shimmery eyeshadow! Wheeee!! I can't wait to see what the 'Sex Article they Can't Describe Here!' is . . . its gotta be pretty freaky-deaky if the worldly Cosmo editors are censoring it. Also -- '50 Things to Do Butt Naked'? And here I could only come up with 32!

Page 30 -- Lady Gaga Wants You:

Wha-whaaa. Cue disappointment sound-effects. I don't know what I was expecting from a Cosmo interview, but this somehow managed to make the most eccentric performance artist of the times just . . . eh. Perhaps it has something to do with the target readership of Cosmo, which is ostensibly 14 year old girls and Snooki. But yeh -- they made Gaga fill out the effin' Cosmo quiz. Notice how she basically wrote in her own answer for every lame-ass question. Nice try, Lady!

Page 36 -- The Rise of the Less Successful Boyfriend:

Favorite Quote: "Give him opportunities to treat you in inexpensive ways. E-mail him a link to an affordable restaurant, and ask if he'll take you. Or point out little things you covet -- a hat, a pair of earrings, even a cupcake -- and say, 'I need to have that. Will you get it for me?'"
Everyone knows that successful relationships are built on a foundation of material goods and fancy dinners -- so keep those hats and cupcakes comin', boys!

Page 57 -- 4 Signs He's Hiding Something:

Seriously?! Way to fuel the paranoia-fire, Cosmo. The next time your boyfriend clears his throat or actually shares the details of his day with you -- throw that lying bastard out! Or, you could just cut the pockets out of all his pants. Problem solved!

Page 60 -- The Guy Report:

I'm going to print this out and keep it in my wallet for handy bar-reference. I recommend you all do the same.

Page 62 -- Why He Loves Your Cooking -- Even If It's Bad:

At first, I was trying to figure out how they stretched this to a full-page article. Or why this was deemed an article-worthy topic, period. To summarize this ground-breaking piece of journalism: dudes (by Cosmo's definition) are like giant 8 year olds who will gladly eat whatever crap is put in front of them.

Page 76 -- Beauty, HIS PICKS:

And here I'd been thinking that only chicks judged me based on my choice of nail polish color -- but it turns out, guys have very strong opinions about this, too. Um, direct quotage, in case you missed this: "Nails grown barely past your fingertips are the ideal length [ . . . ] They look feminine but won't stop you from, say, unzipping him or sexting." Brain exploding in five . . . four . . . three . . .

Page 116 -- Fun, Easy Ways to Fall More in Love:

I LOL'd so hard at this, I cried . . . and then I couldn't stop crying, for some reason. Best tips ever:
"Notice stuff about him. And then tell him."
"Really thank him. If he helps you paint your bathroom, leave his favorite salty snack in the pantry."
"Defuse a fight. Calling him by his pet name in the middle of an argument cools things down [ . . . ] Say something like 'Baby, I hate fighting with you.'"
"Learn a funny joke to tell him that night."

And don't even get me started on that '5 Best Compliments You Can Give Him' box! Seriously, have I accidentally stumbled into a hot-tub time machine back to 1950? I'm fully expecting next month's issue to have a 'Get Back in the Kitchen! 5 Great Sandwiches You Can Make For Your Man!' feature.

Page 118 -- The Sex Article We Can't Describe on the Cover:

I've been waiting for this one, Cosmo! What lurid new sex trend are you about to reveal to your innocent readers? Fetish porn, orgies and bears -- oh my!
Wait a second . . . "oral sex"? That's your top-secret-uber-steamy article of the month??
Dude . . . this really is a magazine aimed at 14 year olds, huh? Not that that's any comfort -- especially with this effing side-bar:

Page 122 -- Be the Girl Every Guy Wants to Talk To:

Please note the first heading in this article -- 'Don't Say A Word . . . Yet'. Instead of, like, talking to a guy, you should, like: "try to casually touch the guy your talking to 5 times within every 15 minutes". And don't forget: "Being a bit fearless by sharing something that's a little out there -- for instance, recounting the time you won a karaoke contest with your awesome rendition of 'Endless Love' or admitting that you've seen all the Saw movies at least twice -- shows an attractive amount of balls-out confidence."

Page 156 -- Read This Before You Drive Alone:

Translation: FEAR! FEAR! FEAR!!!!!

Page 174 -- 50 More Things to Do Naked:

My personal fav is #31: "Bid on eBay. Wearing nada will make you feel ballsy, so you'll get exactly what you want." Huh -- I always thought sitting around naked in front of your computer buying used crap you don't really need was a sign of clinical depression . . . but thanks for setting me straight, Cosmo! Girl power!

Page 178-- Send Him a Secret Sexy Message:

Now, I don't consider myself a bra-burning feminist or anything . . . but this page of Sexy Secret Messages for Your Man -- which are printed on cardstock and designed to be pulled out of the magazine and actually used -- is making me wanna go throw paint at someone.
Also, I am totally gonna use these "Sexy Messages", so watch your mailboxes!

Most Amazing Weight Loss Ad of the Issue:

Ok, so if I'm reading this right -- you're supposed to live on "Almased" and vegetable broth for a week, followed by several weeks of "Almased" and one meal of veggies and lean meat. Why does this sound like a recipe for failure in a glass?

Sigh. Well that brings us to the end of the issue, folks! I think we've all learned a little something, right? I know I have! I need to find myself a dude who drinks microbrews and never puts his hands in his pockets and, ideally, is more successful than me. To do this, I must keep my nails short (but not too short), learn some funny jokes I can tell him while simultaneously not talking too much, and caress him 5 times during a 15 minute conversation. Also, stock the cabinets with snacks and my crappy-ass attempts at cooking. Also, send him sexy secret messages and ask him to buy me cheap hats.

Also -- oral sex!!! Tehehehe!!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

T is for Toolgirl, Who's Terribly Handy . . .

After a rainstorm of biblical proportions, I was all set to start my Build-An-Ark project . . . but lo, the sun is shining once again! In fact, today was so damn lovely, I was inspired to do some spring cleaning / home improvement.

Now . . . I should note that I was raised in a family where doing things the "right" way with the "correct" tools was generally scoffed at. Why bother looking for a hammer when you can just pound that nail in with mom's old shoe? Who needs a flashlight when you've got a booklight / cell phone / Game Boy to illuminate your path? As a result, I've learned to just live with a lot of malfunctioning appliances, burned out overhead lights, and a tub that doesn't exactly drain correctly.

But the appearance of sunshine made me so giddy this morning, I rolled up my sleeves and decided to clear away some winter cobwebs before the next round of rain and gloom. And since my schedule will soon be filled with school and work, I figured I might as well get my household in order while I can. So I dragged the stepladder up from the Basement of Doom and changed all the lightbulbs in the apartment to low-wattage, energy-saving ones. Then, by the light of freshly changed bulbs, I tore apart my closet and got down to some good ol' fashioned organizing!

I have lots of hats. And shirts. And skirts. And not a lot of dresser space.

Alternative storage solutions were called for.

Soooooo . . . I strolled over to Target in the lovely bright sunshine, and came home with this bad boy:

Meet My First Drill! Drilly McDrillerson!

Wow, you guys -- do you know how much easier shit is when you have a power tool?!

Don't answer that.

Anyway -- behold, the fruit of my labors!

Julie gave me this hanging candle holder for Christmas, and I've been puzzling over how to hang it for months now. Clearly, those hooks with the sticky tape on the back weren't going to cut it. But with my new pal Drilly, mounting a hook into the ceiling was a snap! I might need a slightly longer chain to hang the light from, but overall it looks lovely.

After drilling into the ceiling, I was ready to tackle a wall. But I was still a little nervous about attempting this. My apartment building is very old, and there's no telling what secrets / faulty wiring lie behind the walls. Perhaps a more conscientious person would have used a stud-finder -- or even a tape measure -- to figure out the best way to mount something. I used the next best thing to a stud-finder -- Papa G.

Papa G: "Good afternoon, Guarie Design Group."

Me: "Papa, it's me. I have a home improvement question."

Papa G: "Oh, God . . ."

Me: "If I just drill into the kitchen wall, will anything bad happen to me?"

Papa G: "Well, you could electrocute yourself. Where'd you get a drill?"

Me: "How will I know if I'm going to electrocute myself?"

Papa G: " Just don't drill directly above any light switches or electrical outlets and you should be ok."

Me: "Ok. If you don't hear from me for a few days, it probably means I've zapped myself and I'm being eaten by the cat."

Papa G: "Good luck!"

So, I called upon the protective powers of the Patron Saint of Household Chores, and went to work. And not only did I survive -- I managed to successfully hang this Ikea storage rack that's been in my closet for months!

You have no idea how happy this thing makes me! I have no drawers in my kitchen. At all. My silverware has been living on the sideboard in these little metal containers -- which look way cooler hanging from the wall!

After my success in the kitchen, I moved on to the closet:

Fancy-pants new rack . . .

. . . means no more hunting for lost scarves and hats!

Who knew hanging shit on the walls would be so satisfying/empowering! If anyone needs any drilling done, you know who to call!*

*ew - not that kind of drilling, you pervs!