Saturday, February 28, 2009

life's a bitch

I have been following this sad story from across the pond.
For those too lazy to click the link - Jade Goody is apparently a reality tv star from Britain's super-popular Big Brother show. She's 27, she has 2 young kids, and she's dying of cervical cancer.

Since I am not privileged enough to live in the UK, I admittedly don't know a lot about this girl aside from the whole "oh-no-she's-dying!" thing. From what I gather, she seems like your typical reality-tv celeb. She's kinda mouthy. She has public "beefs" with other D-listers. The dude she married last week in a heart wrenching, cancer-stricken ceremony just got out of prison for beating a guy with a golf club.

Basically - the general public would think she was kinda whack, if it weren't for the fact that she's dying. And she knows it. And she's unapologetically continuing to live her life in the great big, tabloid-filled media circus.

And I love her for it.

This month was supposed to be about my efforts to become a better, more loving person. Did that happen? No, not really. For awhile, I was concerned about this. Am I really just a huge bitch? Am I truly destined to die bitter and alone in an abusive nursing home?

But watching this Jade Goody girl has made me think. Her situation is so tragically, awesomely effed up and randomly unfair. It's horrible, and ridiculous, and kinda beautiful, all at the same time -- just like life, really.

Maybe it's not worth wasting my time, worrying about my karma points, or if I come off as "loving" person  . . . maybe it's more important to just love living - weather you are living like a saint, or a tabloid-bunny reality tv star.

Life is too short to be taken too seriously.

Which brings us to our theme for next month, people! VERY exciting . . .but I'll save for another post. In the meantime, here's a hint:

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Academy Awards Recap - With 4 Day Delay!

How has it taken me 4 whole days to get around to my Oscars recap? I could blame the 9 to 5 rat race, or make up a really great lie about being hit by a snow-plow . . . but the simple truth is - I am lazy.

Also, this year's Oscars was not all that exciting, in my humble opinion. Yes, yes, it was the typical, over-the-top, self-congratulatory Hollywood glam-fest that we all love . . . but still, there was some element of magic missing this year. Luckily, I watched the ceremony at Venn's Awesome Oscar Party - where fab food, booze, and friends made up for the lack of Hollywood excitement. Further evidence that we should have our own TV pilot . . . but I digress.

Oscar Hits!

Kids of Mumbai!
Ok, you all know how I feel about Brangelina (more about that in a minute) . . . but seeing these absolutely adorable Indian kids on the red carpet made me want to hop on a plane and go adopt some. Of course, I would probably have them taken away from me after making them dance and say "Who wants to be a . . . .millionaire?!" over and over, all day, every day . . . but still, a girl can dream, right?

Tina Fey!
We only saw her and Steve Martin for 2 minutes, but they were easily the best 2 minutes of the whole show. Academy, I hope you were taking notes . . . Fey for Host 2010!!

I love that so many of the big awards went to out-of-towners this year. The international winners tend to be either super-eloquent and to the point in their acceptance speeches . . . or charmingly devoid of the English skills needed for an acceptance speech. Either way, you can't lose.

The best speech of the night, however, was given by a good 'ol, corn-fed, Mormon-born American - Milk screenwriter Dustin Lance Black who won for Best Original Screenplay. Cheers, brother, for bringing home the message of equality and hope in sincere and moving statement!

Sophia Loren!
Some might say she looked like a poster girl for sun-damage, or that her dress appeared to be savaged by wolves (or lusty Italian pool-boys) . . .but I still give mad props to my homegirl Sophia for bein' sex-tacular at 85 or however old she is. You can totally tell she tans, smokes and drinks without giving an eff . . . and that's probably why she's still goin' strong! Ciao bella!

Oscar Misses!

Presentation of Acting Awards = Praise Orgy?
What was up with the new presentation format for the major acting awards? Bringing out 5 previous winners to gush on and on about the 5 nominees . . . Hollywood, is this night not grandiose enough for you? The best thing about these awards is watching the 4 losers try to suck it up and maintain their dignity. If you have Whoopi Goldberg come out and tell you, "You are like a gorgeous ray of sunshine that lights up a movie screen with brilliance . . ." where's the sting in losing?

Get Queen Latifah Out of the Middle of My Death Montage
My favorite part of any good awards show is the gut-wrenching montage honoring all the actors and directors and publicists who have died in the past year. Take some old school black and white photos, put them to an orchestral score, and suddenly every dead cinematographer from the 1940's is like your grandpa . . . "Why!? Why God?! I don't want to live in a world without . . . . wait, what was his name again?"

This year's death montage was interrupted by a live vocal performance by Queen Latifah. While I've got nothin' against the Queen, her diva-licious presence on the stage distracted us (and the camera operators, who clearly had no clue what to focus on) from the mourning process. Queen Latifah, someday you will get your 20 second sepia toned death-tribute . . . just be patient.

Actually Agreeing With Peter Gabriel . . .
Peter Gabriel was right -- the presentation of the Best Original Song nominees was effed. While I looooove me a good Bollywood dance number (or 2, or 5) -- trying to mix those hot Indian dance beats with a soaring Gabriel love ballad from a animated robot romance doesn't really work. Still, I was plased that my Bollywood friends took home the award.

I don't actually have a reason why they brought the evening down, I'm just contractually obligated to hate them every 5 blog-posts or so.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

hold on tight

In just over 2 weeks, I too will be frolicking in the tropical sunshine.

If I survive until then. But hell . . . if Amy's still alive and kickin' . . . there's hope for me yet.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

small favors

I was doing so well with my daily updates . . . and then President's Day had to come along and ruin the whole thing!

Not that'd you'd have known it was a National Holiday yesterday. Things were in full swing in my little corner of Corporate Hell . . . I got home basically in time to throw together some food, turn my brain off and the TV on.

Are we noticing a pattern?

Tonite was a Very Special Episode of everyone's favorite little-people-reality show: Little People, Big World. If you've never
wasted a half hour of your life watching an extremely entitled, asshole-y 3 foot tall man brow-beat his entire family and spend ridiculous amount of money (from the Bank of TLC?) on wacky shit . . . well, good for you.

Last night's Very Special Episode featured Little-Dad travelling to Iraq to "help" some Iraqi dwarf children recieve surgery to correct their legs and knees. This sounds like it would be a touching act of humanitarism . . . people helping people across borders . . . Heal the World . . . blah, blah, blah. And yet, Little-Dad somehow managed to make the whole thing about his noble sacrifice -- the dangers of travelling into a war zone, how effing hot it is in Iraq, how hard it is to climb to the top of a 5000 year old temple that is not handicapped accessible.

Meanwhile, the Iraqi family was obviously moved and genuinely grateful, and super-worried about their kids. I'm sorry, but I'm pretty sure that the world over, parents don't appreciate having video cameras and pompous little people crowding the Recovery Room when their child is waking up from life-threatening surgery.

The Iraqi kids were so gracious and thankful that some a-hole American dwarf and his camera crew came to watch their legs get sawed open, they put up with Little-Dad's half-assed attempts at "comfort" and "bonding". Little-Dad seemed to think it would be a good idea to show the kids a video of Spoiled-Little-Son playing soccer in their lavish backyard back in America. "See, he's had this surgery too!" he shouted. Little-Dad then presented the bed-ridden Iraqi child who'd just had his femur sawed apart and screwed back together with . . . a soccer ball. Classy.

This episode reminded me about my initial goal for February . . . reaching out and being kinder and more loving towards my fellow man. Yeh, remember that? Well, Little People, Big World gave me a great example of how not to be a better person. Acts of kindness can't be done simply for the sake of being kind -- or, you know, because they make for a good TV show or blog post. It's gotta come naturally . . . in the moment. Or you gotta wanna really do it because your heart is telling you to . . . not your TLC reality show producer.

If Little-Dad wanted to spend some of his "fun money" to really do some good deeds, he would have flown those Iraqi kids to America to have their scary bone surgeries, and let the family stay on his 100 acre farm while they recovered. He would have left the TV cameras at home.

Little People, Big Mistakes.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

the race is on

So in case you haven't noticed, I watch a lot of crap tv. It is just one of my many innocent vices . . . and the reason I would probably make a bad high school English teacher.

Anyway, today's shameless boob-tube indulgence was The Amazing Race. For a long time I scoffed at this show as another Survivor-style, reality show for corn-fed middle american housewives. Then I watched 5 minutes of it and was completely sucked in.

I would like to be a contestant on The Amazing Race.

Laugh all you want, bitches! You know the footage of my mad-cap dash across the continents, booking flights and chatting with cab drivers and eating weird shit would make amazing television. Think of all the great songs I could make up along the way . . . "Oh, Travelocity gnome! Eff this shit, I want to go hooome!"

So, I will be accepting applications for My Partner on the Amazing Race. All are welcome to apply! A few up-front guidelines:

1. As my partner on The Amazing Race, you will be required to do all of the driving. Exceptions can be made for rickshaws / donkey carts / bicycles / paddleboats / and other vehicles not requiring strict adherence to the rules of the road.

2. We will be super nice to all cab drivers, no matter how creepy / filthy / inept they are.

3. We will attempt to speak to the locals, in their native tongue, as much as possible. Whether or not we actually know the language is irrelevant. "A" for effort, people!

4. We will try to work in plugs for various products / personal agendas as much as possible. For example, at some point during our donkey-milking challenge, I might say, "Gee . . . I really wish we had some delicious Kashi Heart to Heart cereal to go with this donkey-milk . . . nothing fuels me for a race across the continents quite like a healthy and delicious bowl of Kashi brand cereals." Then, even if we are eliminated from the race, we still get to come home to a lifetime supply of free Kashi.

It would also be nice if you could say, "You know what would make this 18 hour train trip across Siberia much more entertaining? Some great blog-reading material!" which would be my cue to say, "Oh! You should check out this crazy-awesome blog called "One Girl, 12 Ways . . . you'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll learn more than you ever wanted to know about penicillin . . . tell your friends!"

5.There will be no alliances / strategies / trickery. We are on The Amazing Race to be wacky and take a free trip. Winning, etc is just gravy.

Think you can handle it? Send me your "Why I Am Your Obvious Partner For The Amazing Race" essays now. You know you want to.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009

friday the 13th . . . scary or delicious?


This kid fathered a child:

Scarier still -- I knew he was British before I even clicked on the article. Doesn't he have a pathetic, Oliver Twist-y look about him?


Chelsee made this amazing Valentine's Day bark that I could probably eat every day for the rest of my life! It's salty, its sweet . . . just like moi. The perfect kickoff to a pms-y Valentine's Day weekend!:


Drew Peterson has a more active dating life than most people I know.


Corporate America threw me a bone today a rewarded me with a swanky lunch on the town. This Office Monkey is not above workin' for food . . . especially when it's sashimi tuna and champagne!

All in all, a not too terrifying day. Guess that fist-full of salt I threw at a black cat this morning served me well.

And yes . . . I know this is not exactly a riveting post -- but we're going on 13 straight days of blogging here, people! It's quantity not quality that I'm going for right now. I promise I'll try to live dangerously and romantically this weekend, to make for better reading. Until then, go check out this weird shit!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

doctors and saints

my head came dangerously close to exploding earlier this evening. dr. phil was involved -- that should give you a clue.

of course, the good doc has wasted no time in putting together a show devoted to crazy-octuplet-mom. if there is misery and dysfunction to be plundered -- dr. phil is there! there's a special place in hell for that dude . . . and i know, this is supposed to be my "month of love" . . . but i consider it an act of compassion for the housewives of middle america when i wish death upon dr. phil. why is he on the air?! he brain-washed oprah, he's clearly lobotomized that robot-wife of his . . . should we be allowing him to prattle into the ears of the innocent and impressionable day-time-talk-show audience? once again, i cry out -- save us, barack!!!

anyway, here's my explode-y moment . . . so, dr. phil's take on octo-mom was basically, "that shit ain't right!" except dr. phil speaks in his own secret language of faux country colloquialisms, so really he said, "don't let the barn cat have kittens if she ain't got access to a puddin' patch!" . . . or something. i was too busy trying to rattle my brain back into working order.

could dr. phil and i be in agreement on something?!

I've checked for other signs of coming apocalypse, but so far, i think this might have just been an eerie fluke. plus, at the end of the show, dr. phil did put up her super-creepy website and asked people to "search their hearts, for the good of these precious children." dr. phil will shill anything -- he's like a modern day travelling side show.

luckily, 30 rock was able to shake my dr. phil-funk with its usual amazingness. i almost want to write the best lines down as i watch, but then that would raise me to such a high level of sad-dorkiness, i think even liz lemon herself would say, "nords!" here's one of tonite's many gems:

"how dare you say that in front of the statue of st. lucia! patron saint of judgmental statues!"

phil mcgraw, that one's for you.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

hot topic

I often wish I had a time machine. Not so I could go back in time and alter the course of history or anything. I wouldn’t attempt to meddle in anyone’s fate except my own.

This week, I would travel back to 1997 and give my 13 year old self a copy of the riot grrrl mix CD that Miss A gave me for my birthday.

“Whooooa!” my 13 year old self would say, “How did you make your own CD? With cover art and everything! Are you a witch?”

“No, little Tea . . . in the future there will be a thing called itunes, and every computer will have a CD burner built in. You, of course, will still have trouble operating this basic technology – so don’t worry about that now . . . just shut up and listen to the music!”

And then, I would introduce my tender, Alanis-Morrissette-loving ears to the likes of Bratmobile and Sleater-Kinney. I would pull my awkward 13 year old ass out of her chair and force her to rock out to Bikini Kill.

“These girls have something to say!” I would shout at myself. “They’re doin’ their own thing and they’re proud of it! They are bad-ass with a purpose! Now, roll up your uniform skirt and go make a ‘zine, goddamn you!”

At 26, I have found riot grrrl. Better late than never, of course . . . but part of me is pissed that I missed out on its birth and its heyday. DIY-punk-feminist-girl-revolution. I love all of those words. I love girls who can’t really sing and can’t really play – but don’t give a shit as long as people listen.

This is what I was trying to stumble towards last month with my “rockstar” theme. Amanda Palmer was my icon, but riot grrrl is the real, original movement. Those chicks blazed the trail so that my AFP could one day put on stripey socks and play the piano and sing about date rape and abortion.

I just wish I’d been in on it from the start. Back before the days of blogging and internet message boards . . . when grrrls made ‘zines out of necessity, in order to connect with like-minded ladies. When DIY music really meant teaching yourself 4 chords on a guitar, not plugging shit into Garageband software. But hey – these are the times we live in, yo. And there’s time yet to start my own riot-movement-girl- revolution.

I just better kick my ass into gear and get busy, before my 40 year old self climbs into her time machine and travels back here to kick it for me.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection . . .

i'm feelin' lazy tonite, folks. too lazy to even punctuate my sentences correctly. so instead of my usual blathering on about life / liberty / pursuit of happiness / etc -- i've gifting you all with this gem:

origins of the muppets

i feel like every one of these should start with "so, jim henson was stoned out of his mind and . . . "

i love muppets. and that is just about all the love i can muster for today.

Monday, February 9, 2009

my body is a cage

Two days post-birthday, and I am still nursing a serious booze / food hangover. My body is totally pissed.

"What the eff was that all about? Why the sudden carb overload?? Ok, your birthday was one thing . . . we can overlook the lobster roll / mac n' cheese / chocolate bread pudding onslaught . . . but yesterday -- did you really need to consume a huge-ass chicken and mozzarella wrap and a pint of froyo as a "hangover cure? Seriously - what did we ever do to you?!" -- direct quotage from my liver, digestive system and solid Italian birthing hips.

Hi, my name is Tea, and I have food issues.

Like so many other women in America, I obsess about my body and the shit I put in it. Even as I rail against the madness of stick-figure-models and the ridiculous emphasis placed on women's appearances . . . I am also budgeting my calories for the day and beating myself up over that extra ½ cup of grapes. That's right, grapes. I have also been known to feel remorse over having too many pieces of gum throughout the day.

I am not very kind to my body.

Now, there was a time when I had some legitimate chub-issues. The first two years of college found me drowning my sorrows in all-you-can-eat benders at the Dining Hall. A chocolate-chocolate chip muffin with a giant smoothie was a "healthy" breakfast choice, in my opinion. I had a "Membership" card at TGI Friday's. Those were dark times, people. Dark times.

I spent the summer of 2003 doing the LA Weight Loss Supervised Anorexia Diet and lost 40 pounds, which I have more or less kept off since. My attitude towards food went from: "Don't think, just eat!" to "This is War, Bread Is My Enemy!" I keep food diaries. I diet. I eat the same basic meals day after day after day. And I have managed to keep the bulge at bay, mostly. But I am certainly not a "skinny" sistah, either. I'm average. I'm probably the size of girls I used to look at back at my heaviest and think, "What must it be like to be a normal size and like your body?"

It's been a long time comin' . . . but I think I've finally concluded that the size of one's pants does not equate directly to one's personal happiness. Or at least, it shouldn't. And when it does . . . there might be a problem.

I can't tell you the hours I've spent in the past 5 years agonizing over food. Depriving myself, bargaining with myself, consumed with guilt over what I have consumed. I think about food more now than I ever did when I was fat. And it's exhausting. One can only ration out slices of 35 calorie diet bread for so long before willpower dissolves into a binge of epic proportions. As a result, when "special occasions" like my birthday come around, I use it as an excuse to cram in all the crap I don't allow myself to eat the rest of the time. Instead of indulging in an occasional, sensible half of a sandwich, or a serving of ice cream on a regular Saturday night . . . I say, "no, no, no, you can't!" for weeks until I finally break down and eat my body weight in crap.

I know that isn't right. Hell, half the time I'm not even really hungry!

So, why am I like this? What is it I'm looking for . . . and why do I think some magic number on the scale or the tag of my jeans is going to solve it? I'm 26 years old, for fuck's sake - too old to be afraid of a slice of bread.

My Month of Love needs to extend to my own body, too. I need to accept and appreciate it for what it is and stop letting the numbers on the scale dictate how I feel about myself and my life. That's just craziness - I realize this.

So -- #1, no beating myself up over my delicious, over-the-top food orgy of the weekend. No starving, no hatin'.

#2, No more War on Food. If I really want something, I am allowed to eat it. In sensible amounts. Listening to what my body actually wants, and whether or not I'm actually hungry, is ultimately more healthy than this starving-binging roller coaster.

#3, Appreciate the bod. Really, I should be grateful for this sack o' guts and bones. It is pretty resilient - it gets me all over the city without need for a vehicle. It works well - I have no weird-ass syndromes of chronic diseases. My brain is tumor-free. My boobs are pretty hot. Really . . . what's not to love?

#4, Learn to be full. Just because the food is there doesn't mean you have to eat it. There will be other opportunities for bagels and birthday cake. If I let myself eat things whenever I really want them, I won't need to resort to the "Oh my god, you suck! You broke down and you're eating ice cream - so you might as well eat the entire carton and make it a worthwhile sin!!" mindset. Which is the mindset of insane people. I know this.

#5, Move the eff on, already! It's true, maybe my body tends to hold on to carbohydrates more than some other people's . . . but I've come leaps and bounds in my dietary outlook on life. I crave salads now. I enjoy grilled chicken and broccoli and apples. Never again will I be a card carrying member of the TGI Friday's Appetizer Fan Club. And when I do put on a few extra holiday pounds, I know I have the ability to amp up my work outs and bulk up on salad to trim the fat.

I just need to trust myself, love myself and focus my time and attention on other things. My body and my brain will thank me for it.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

it is written

I spent my first full day as a 26 year old eating, sleeping, and going to Target. Last night I had a kickass time partying like a rockstar . . . but I think my liver and digestive system will be glad when I return to "office monkey" life tomorrow.

I would like to share my birthday horoscope from British Glamour:

Your Month:
A lunar eclipse on the 9th means and end of a chapter in your life in the five days on either side of that date, or in the coming weeks after. But if one thing is coming to an end (it could mean curtains for an annoying problem), something else is beginning. After the 5th you have energy plant Mars in your sign, so get proactive about eliminating anything that's past its sell-by date -- or starting something afresh.

Your Year:
The coming year has the potential to be incredibly healing as you get a major chance to lay ghosts to rest. Whether you were bullied at school, grew up with body issues or have insecurities about live, you can end that pattern for good. And it's a relationship that helps you do it. Arguments flare up in December, but keep your cool and they'll be sorted in time for the party season.

Ch-ch-ch-changes! I've already been feeling like this is a total "power" year for me, and its nice to have the goofy astrology page of a fashion mag confirm it! Apparently in the next 5 days . . . or weeks . . . I'll be having some sort of major change. Layoff? Lottery win? Will this blog be picked up for national sydication? I guess we'll all just have to stay tuned to find out . . .

Saturday, February 7, 2009

i want to be the girl with the most cake

On this Day in History:

Charles Dickens is 197.
Eddie Izzard is 47.
Chris Rock is 44.
Tea Guarie is 26.

Cheers to living thru another year!

Friday, February 6, 2009


If you don't have facebook / live under a bridge, you might have missed out on this whole "25 Things" craze. People have taken to posting lists of 25 random facts about themselves and then tag their friends to do the same. For a while, I thought it was just my peeps that were into this, but apparently everyone's into it now -- even the snark-nerds at Time magazine.

I've been avoiding the 25 Things. I'm not even sure I can come up with 25 Things to say about myself (although the examples from that Time magazine article give me hope). But since I'm only going to be 25 for a few more hours, I figured I'd cave to peer pressure and give it a try.

Some of these things may be lies.

Here we go.

Tea's 25 Things (At 25 Years of Age)

1. Hi, I'm Tea, and I'm a coffee addict. Irony!
2. When I was a kid, I used to tell people I wanted to be a waitress when I grew up. Many years and a college diploma later . . . and I still kinda wanna quit my job and become a waitress.
3. I love drag queens. In a previous life, I might have been a drag queen.
4. I'm afraid of being pushed in front of an oncoming subway train.
5. I've hugged Tori Amos.
6. I want to learn to surf. Or snowboard.
7. My life goals have changed very little since I was 13. This either shows great dedication to my dreams, or extreme immaturity.
8. I was 23 years old before I realized that the scarecrow, tinman and lion in The Wizard of Oz are the 3 farm hands from the beginning of the movie.
9. I have a really, really hard time remembering people's names. I think this is because no one ever gets my name right, so I tend to just answer to anything and assume everyone else will do likewise.
10. I was once escorted off the premises of my job (not my current job) in a police car.
11. I would like to be a burlesque dancer.
12. I actually really like old people. Way more than I like babies.
13. I once sprained my foot getting out of bed.
14. I don't have a brain tumor.
15. I get really angry when I make popcorn in the office kitchen and other people come in and say, "Oooo . . . someone made popcorn!"
16. I live in the same building that my grandmother was born in.
17. I would like to go to India someday.
18. I don't like following recipes or playing games with complicated rules.
19. I still count on my fingers to do basic addition and subtraction.
20. I will do *anything* to avoid taking left turns while driving. Consequently . . . I rarely drive.
21. I would like to own a boat someday. I will name it the "Extemporanea".
22. When I die, I want to come back as a ghost and scare the shit out of people.
23. I played the viola for 8 years. I pretended to play the piano for 3 years. Now I want to play the drums.
24. My favorite muppet is Rizzo the rat . . . or maybe Gonzo . . . or those two old guys who sit in the corner and heckle . . . oh, who can only pick *one* favorite muppet?!
25. I used to be afraid of Amish people. And the State of Maine. Now I am only afraid of being pushed in front of an oncoming subway train. And left turns. I think that must mean I'm becoming an adult.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

excuse me, Sister

They're trying to close down my high school. Enrollment at Our Lady of Nazareth Academy is down. Apparently, being a "Catholic school girl" has gone out of style since Britney got knocked up and went crazy.

The school is costing nuns money. That is never good. 

The news of the school's demise was surprisingly upsetting. I haven't been back to Nazareth in years, but the sudden thought of it no longer existing was like a stab to my bitter little heart. It's like hearing that your best friend from 4th grade is dead . . . or in a coma. Why didn't I try harder to stay in touch? How did all this time slip away? And, in this case, Why did I just toss out all those Alumni Newsletters asking for money? 

I am proud of my former classmates, though. Upon hearing about the immenent death of our alma mater, alumni have come out of the woodwork in droves. There was a big meeting last night to rally the troops and save the school -- Naz won't go down without a fight! 

And that is why today, I wrote a letter to a nun. 

Even at the height of my Catholic-schoolgirl glory, I was not too familiar with nuns. All of our teachers were regular people with spouses and kids . . . a couple were even dudes. I was a little uncomfortable penning my plea. Would the Sisters be sticklers for grammar? Would they ignore my message if I sent it from my gmail account? Do nuns really know how to access email? 

I decided to take an ass-kissing approach. This was not the time to point fingers and play the blame game. I suspect nuns are too wily to be manipulated by a "You're selling the time capsule of my young adulthood!!" guilt trip. I waxed poetic about how Nazareth Academy teaches their girls to lead a life of leadership and service (direct quote from the school's Mission Statement) . . . blah, blah . . . sisterhood . . . blah, blah . . . save our school . . . . blah, blah . . . Jesus is awesome . . . etc". 

And suddenly . . . I felt like a total asshole. Was there a time when I believed all the things I was telling this nun? Did I ever live a life devoted to "leadership and service"?  Do I even know what the eff that actually means? 

Lying to nuns . . . that can't be good. Shit, shit, shit. This month of karma boosting is already a train-wreck and we're not even a week in!

On my way home tonight, I was struck with a  sudden need to rack up some quick Good Deed Points.  Along the T concourse, I spotted Guitar Playing Man Who Is Actually Kinda Good. Normally, I breeze right by him with my ipod cranked. But tonight . . . tonight, I'm trying to save my high school. My high school that supposedly made me a kind and loving person . . . 

I barely even stopped to put the money in his case -- I just kinda stooped and dropped a dollar in while still walking. I don't even think Guitar Man saw me do it. Did anyone else notice? Did Jesus? He better have . . . I was gonna use that dollar to buy a Diet Coke at lunch tomorrow. 

Now here's the part where I love karma. When the train finally pulled into Lechmere, there was the usual mad-dash for the door . . . business men stomping on babies, blind people and crazy people scratching and biting their way off the train. Still riding my "good deed high", I decided to hang back and give my fellow passengers the right of way. And then . . . something happened that has never happened to me on the T before. 

This old, knarly looking rasta man suddenly jumps back, holds his arm out, and says, "No, no! Ladies first! The ladies, they always gotta go first!" 

He was probably hoping to cop a feel of my ass or something, I realize now. But in that moment, when a random stranger suddenly singled me out as a worthy target of his kindness . . . I smiled. A genuine smile. This is what humanity is supposed to do -- look out for each other, watch each other's back. Pass on a spare dollar, make sure everyone makes it down the stairs. 

Just when you think your school days are over . . . life teaches you shit. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

live and let die

I'd almost forgotten about some great eavesdropping I did in the dentist's waiting room yesterday. 

I was huddled in a chair close to the door, imagining the gruesome, festering horror that might be lurking deep in my mouth. Damn those graphic Listerene commercials. 

As I sat whispering my goodbyes to my beloved molars, a twenty-something, average-looking girl came out of the exam room and stepped up to the reception desk to make a follow-up appointment. 

"So," said the receptionist,  "Dr. McToothington (not really the name of the dentist -- although, it should be) gave you a prescription for penicillin. Now, I'm going to schedule an appointment for you with the oral surgeon in the next week or so -- he'll want to see you while you're still on the antibiotics --"

Here the girl interrupted. 

"What happens if I don't take the penicillin?"

"Well . . . you run the risk of the infection getting worse," the receptionist replied. 

I began to literally quake in my seat. What kind of indescribable nastiness could be going on in this girl's mouth that required actual prescription drugs? Was she harboring some sort of rare and insidious mouth parasite? Did her teeth explode? Why was she not writhing on the floor in agony? 

"I really don't want to take the penicillin. I've never taken an antibiotic before," the girl said. 

I was now openly staring at her. Never taken an antibiotic?? To my mind, she might as well have told the receptionist that she'd never used toilet paper before, or could only make out her check with a quill and ink. 

Please understand, antibiotics and I go way back. I spent pretty much my entire childhood on a maintenance dose of heavy duty drugs, in order to keep from going deaf due to chronic ear infections. My favorite was Ammoxicillin - a sweet, pink, syrupy liquid clearly designed with children in mind. I remember thinking it would go great on ice cream --  I would literally cheer as the doctor wrote out the prescription. 

 Sadly, my body grew immune to the kiddie stuff pretty quickly, and I was bumped up the scale to some nasty, nauseating "orange"-flavored tablets that tasted like an orangutan's asshole. These bad boys came with all the much-heralded "side effects" of hardcore antibiotics . . . I will let your imagination fill in the details. 

But . . .to have never experienced the stomach-churning, wonder-delirium of some serious anti-bacterials coursing through your system . . . what's that like? Where the hell was this girl raised? In a bubble? In the middle of the Australian outback? In a magical world of witchcraft and wizardry?

The receptionist, I was pleased to see, was as baffled as I was. 

"You've seriously never taken antibiotics before?" she asked. 

"Maybe once, when I was, like 3," the girl scoffed. 

I fought the urge to chime in -- Aren't there antibiotics in milk? But as I get a lot of my "scientific information" from The Daily Show, I thought it best to keep quiet. And anyway, I think I might be confusing antibiotics with growth hormones. Milk is the reason girls get their periods at age 6 now, yes? I think Oprah told me that . . . 

At this point, the hygienist wandered into the waiting room looking for me, and I was distracted from the end of the antibiotics debate by sudden panic and fear for my teeth (needless panic! teeth and i will be together forevah!). But now I am left wondering about Anti-Antibiotics Girl. 

Is she gonna take 'em? Or will she remain steadfast in her boycott of modern medicine? Will her mouth become a cesspool of bacterial decay? Can't an infection like that travel from your tooth to your jaw . . . and from your jaw, why -- its just a quick hop to your brain! 

Take the drugs! I should have shouted to her. You are young, and apparently healthy aside from whatever hideous situation is currently going on in your mouth! You have your whole life ahead of you . . . if not for your teeth, do it for your brain! Your beautiful, beautiful brain!

Maybe I am misguided. Maybe that girl and her pure, undiluted immune system will survive some coming Space Plague, while my sullied and much-abused body will be thrown into a mass grave after the first 3 days of pandemic. No matter. All I know is, antibiotics saved my hearing and blessed me with a keen ability to rudely listen in on other people's conversations. And for that, they will always hold a special place in my heart. 

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

just another fantastically effed up tuesday tv nite

Dear Mom -- thank you for never subjecting me to this:

Also, thank you for not having 18 children. I suspect your womb thanks you, too. 

Tuesday night tv on "The Learning Channel" is a lesson on what not to do when you're a parent. These are pretty basic lessons:

1. Do not spray tan your 5 year old. 

2. Spending upwards of $10k a year on pageant related expenses so your kid can win a cheap-ass tiara and maybe a couple hundred bucks is not a solid financial strategy. 

3. If a 12 pack of generic brand soda will not serve your entire brood . . . you have a problem. 

And yet, I need to send some love to the Duggar family and all the whack-job pageant moms of the deep south. They are just 2 examples of the many wonderful pockets of insane sub-culture that thrive here in the Land of the Free. I'm sure in some burkah-filled nation, there is a legion of little girls who wish they could be made up to look like an effing 20 year old prostitute . . . or, at the very least, show a little ankle. And in those population-controlling societies of Asia, I bet people would love to pop out as many babies as their uterus can hold. So kudos, Duggars and tiara-moms! Keep doin' your thang! 

Giving props to the deranged -- does that count as love? 

I would like to note that 3 days into February, I find myself chatting more with strangers. Not necessarily in an overtly "kind" way, but it's a start. Today I had a very nice discussion with a cab driver about how much this weather effing blows, and how I was totally afraid of the dentist. 

Soon after, I told the dental hygienist my entire life story while she attempted to scrape 3 years worth of crap from my teeth. My friendliness paid off, however -- she and the dentist were very kind when informing me that my gums are receding and may require some sort of "graft". 

Later, in the checkout line at Shaw's, the lady behind me asked my opinion of the salad dressing I was buying. 

"So you like that dressing, huh?" she said. For a moment, I thought she was gonna tell me that it was laced with rat urine or something. But when I replied, "Uh . .  .yeh . . . ?" she said, "I've been wanting to try it." Then we had a nice little exchange about the superior flavors of Newman's Spritzer salad dressings. It was almost like living in California . . . or some other place where people don't hate each other.

Then I walked back outside into the driving sleet. Ah, yes. New England. 

But yeh -- Chatty McChatterson, that's me! I don't know if this is a coincidence, or if I'm giving off slightly less hostile vibes . . . but I'll take it!  

Before I go, I would like to direct your attention to the recently revived Nutrigourmet blog (see right). What was once my chronicle of scary Nutrisystem meals is now my chronicle of equally scary experiments in the kitchen! Please to enjoy. 


Monday, February 2, 2009

no love for groundhogs

PETA, please take notice.

Apparently, that furry little bastard saw his shadow, so I guess its 6 more weeks of ass-freezing for the rest of us. Someday, I wanna meet someone from Punxsutawney, PA and get the lowdown on "Gobblers Knob".

On the lovin' front -- not so great. I was actually a bit bitchier than usual today . . . work deadlines, nagging sinus / ear pains . . . it's hard to be kind when you wanna pull off your own head and throw it at people.

A nagging little voice in the back of my mind kept saying, "Be nice! Smile! What would Amelie do?" But then that little voice of conscience got fucking annoying and became one more thing to make me tired and cranky.

I believe Amelie would have had le crepes with Nutella and called today a loss.

God bless the french.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

february is for lovers

All hail, the shortest month of the year! And, perhaps, what might prove to be my most challenging undertaking . . .

For the next 28 days, I will try to be a more loving person.

Don't think I'm buyin' in to all the Valentine's Day, hearts n' flowers, woe is me -- where is my soulmate? crap. My use of the term "love" is pretty loose here. Not glaring down old / crazy / rude people on the train . . . taking the initiative to converse with the whack-jobs in my office kitchen . . . actually giving my change to a homeless person occasionally -- or the dude who plays the guitar in the subway station who is actually kinda good . . . that's the type of lovin' I'm down for.

Does this make me sound like I go around kicking puppies on a regular basis? Because I don't. I mean . . . I don't go out of my way to scare babies -- but I don't go out of my way to smile at them either. I have never pushed anyone on the train, or called them an asshole (which I've seen happen) -- but sometimes I'll pretend to be studying my ipod so as "not to notice" the dude on crutches who probably wants my seat.

Oh, jesus. Maybe I am a bad person.

Well, whatever. This is my opportunity to make some positive change -- and maybe boost my karma points while I'm at it! Like everyone's favorite French ingenue, Amelie. An elfin fairy godmother who does secret good deeds and is in love with a mysterious photo-booth repairman . . . perhaps if I start doing good deeds for others, the Universe will throw me a frickin' bone.

I want to be more loving towards other people. Snarkiness has it's place, of course. Nothing short of a lobotomy could rob this girl of her cynical take on the world. But maybe if I stopped approaching everyone I meet like a plague sent from Above to ruin my life . . . life would be a little more cheery. And who knows -- maybe I'd make a new friend . . . or at least, not make an enemy?

It's a start, people!

So tomorrow, I vow to go out of my way to have one deliberately kind interaction with a stranger . . . which shouldn't be hard, since I only know the names of about 12 people in my office even though I've worked there for 3 years. Just because they're all a bunch of humorless robot freaks (i mean, "perfectly nice human beings like myself") doesn't mean they aren't worth a smile and some "how bout this crazy coffeemaker?" chitchat.

I am exaggerating my meanness here, of course. But bottom line -- my goal for this month is to romance the world with goodness! Take a positive attitude -- embrace what the Universe throws at me with grace and love.

And maybe, just maybe, the Universe will love me back.