Friday, January 31, 2014

change the world! hahahahahaaa oh shit lollllllll


Stolen from -- I mean, inspired by -- the brilliant Me At 13: This is the room, c. 1989, of someone who might be a bit confused about things, the room of a person who is still at the stage of accumulating all of the influences and has yet to even begin the process of culling, of figuring out who she really is and swimming up out of the enormous pile of Maybe I Am.


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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Let's Pretend We All Have Bright Futures!


In response to Francine's request, here's what I've got that shows my 1991 prom dress. Oh god I loved that dress! I just wish I had some video or something, to show how it moved. I felt like the sexiest bitch on Planet Earth in this thing, y'all.

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There should be more songs about happily day-drinking with strangers on weekdays, eh wot.


I have a compulsion to read things like what the Hairpin's got going on over there: 20 Songs By Women that Will Turn 20 in 2014. A lot of these are riot grrl things, which I know the names of and the bands by whom they are made but have still never heard them, because back in the day, wanting to be way cooler than I was (photographic evidence TK), I pretended I was at least a little bit riot grrl because I'd read about that whole deal in Sassy and thus learned all the names, but had no access to the actual music so I just bluffed a lot. Which perhaps is a Theme Emergent in these 40/40 posts, ha! Anyway.

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Monday, January 27, 2014

It was while we were putting up the decorations for this that Berwie explained to me that the Extreme song "More Than Words" was about BJs.


Y'all, I'm pretty sure you think you had a prom, but if you look at this, you'll understand: *I* had a prom.

This is the bunch I went with to the junior prom. We had one of the moms* drive us to Ft. Worth in her minivan, and then had pooled our babysitting/Dairy Queen cash to hire a limo to take us from our motel rooms to the event site (a "ballroom" at Tarrant County Junior College, aka TacoJocko). The theme, which was selected by me and pretty much strong-armed into place over any thoughts anyone else might have had in the selection process, as was my wont in those days: City Lights. The dress I wore** is one of the most awesome garments I have ever known, including the 24 years since this photo was taken. Lab Partner and Berwie would have and should have been in this pic, but they went separately with a wild crew from a neighboring town (only juniors and seniors from our school were allowed to attend, so the boys they brought spent the actual prom time getting shitcanned at the Sandbagger, if I recall correctly). Ahh, kids. Good times.

* I think it was the blonde girl right next to me in purple, whose mom, a couple of months prior, also let a bunch of us drive that minivan, alone, the TEN HOURS overland to Lubbock to the state finals basketball tournament to watch our HS boys' varsity team get fucking crushed by a real HS boys' basketball team. 
**It was a clingy black sequined sheath with spaghetti straps, under a 3-foot-long black fringe that hung from the very top. Hard to describe, but OH I LOVED IT. 

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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Currently, in this one building, the standings are: Volts, 3; Teslae, 4.


A very California thing is currently underway.

Mr. Gleemonex is getting pressured to join a co-ed fraternity: the people at his work who own all-electric cars. The building has four charging stations in the parking lot,* which there is apparently a lot of jockeying about for (in a convivial way; there's this whole system of if you need to charge up, leaving your plug door open so that when the person using the charger is done, they'll plug yours in, and etc.). His pals who already have electric cars are kind of driving him nuts about it, and it does look like we'll make the leap soon.** And but so he said they were working on him the other day, trying to get him to join their ranks and even up the model numbers at the charging station, something like, "Come on, man -- you gotta join the Volt crew, we can take those Tesla boys!"

*Never mind that the building next door has a whole bunch of chargers available (he works for, ah, some kind of a fruit company, if you get my drift, which company has a LOT of buildings in this part of the world). It's California -- nobody walks, even to the adjacent parking lot, if they can help it.
**Our Prius is in great shape but is 7 years old and has 90K miles on it, plus if you get the electric car now, you can get a sticker that lets you use the HOV lane alone, which would do wonders for Mr. G's commute.

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Another way you can tell someone's from Texas


Francine got it 100% right over there at Me At 13. This is my family's version: the Epic Hair-Off of Xmas 1994. I think my sister (at left) wins it, but I'm pretty proud of my own entry. That shit took FOREVER to blow-dry.
By the way, the man-hand looped over my left arm is, I think, my uncle's. It's not as bad as that one photo from the Internets a couple of years ago where that girl in a group shot from a party looks naked because of the way her friend's arm is kind of in front of her, but it took me quite awhile to figure out what was going on here anyway. 

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Monday, January 20, 2014

Upon reflection, I'd have to give this one a pass.


One of the fun things about being my age and having small kids is getting to revisit a lot of the stuff you knew about three or three and a half decades ago. There's a lot of WTF involved.

The Revisit: Peter Pan (Disney, 1953)

We watched this over the xmas break on family movie night, figuring it'd be OK for both kids (ages 6 and 2) and the grandparents. Well ... yes and no. There was no cursing, sex or violence, but yikes, that thing was NOT what I remembered from the once or twice I saw it as a kid.

The story itself is pretty thin -- it'd be about 30 minutes if they told it straight. But then they go and add all this crap about the whole family tiptoeing around this blustery clumsterfoot of a domineering dad, which makes me not like the Darling family much. And then and THEN they have this really long (like 15 minute) super crazy racist scene at a "powwow" with what Kid Gleemonex, bless 'er, called "Native Americans" -- big old red hook-nosed Injun "braves" and nasty "squaws" and one suspiciously pale young princess (because only light-skinned people can be pretty), all this "How!" and "Big Chief smoke-um pipe" business that just went on for god.damned.EVER. Plus there is this longer-than-necessary scene with the deliberately pre-pubescent/latent Peter Pan and these clearly adult and super, SUPER-cunty mermaids who get their mer-vajays all stretched sideways over the amount of attention he pays to young miss Wendy -- it's pretty fucked up, honestly. Not Judy-Garland-as-Dorothy-Gale fucked-up, but close.

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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Can't you spare a square? Just one lousy ply?


You might be a sleep-challenged paranoid maniac who has spent too much (highly enjoyable) time down the rabbit-hole of LOL My Thesis if: You spend an entire night dreaming in vivid detail about defending your thesis to your not-bad-looking fiftyish Welsh thesis committee chairman, which work is entitled "Not An Acceptable Reason For Returning a Jacket: Narratives About, Instances Of, and Relational Repercussions From the Uses of Spite In Seinfeld."

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Friday, January 17, 2014

I am pretty sure we're discussing who's going to the Bon Jovi concert.


So, there's a lot going on in this casual snapshot of the gals of the class of 1992 lounging about by their lockers before school on a ... spring? day of ... 1989? Possibly fall '88? Anyway. That's me, second from left, on just about the worst hair day of my high school career. And I'm not kidding about the Bon Jovi concert. That really was what we were probably babbling about.

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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

"It was just as if everyone had swelled."


Your Aging Body at Forty: An Occupant's Manual

--If you are going to drink alcohol, then you need to drink a lot of water. Yes, it's going to make you have to go to the can like five hundred times, but trust me, it's the only way to get ahead of hangovers now. Pound a glass of water for every two beers. It won't fix how tired you'll be tomorrow, but come sunrise, it'll keep your brain relatively well-tethered to its moorings inside your skull instead of banging around in there like monkeys in an Ebola ward whose keeper has already crashed and bled out.

--Plan to get those wee patches of eensy little red spidery old-lady veins lasered in the fall or winter. It's painless and relatively inexpensive, but the bruising is comically vivid and surprisingly long-lasting, and shorts are really out of the question for a fairly long time.

--Spend money on the right undergarments. Athletic bras & underwears, everyday pantalones, bras that fit right and make your chestal region comfortable and happy-looking. Don't settle for ill-fitting crap anymore; bodily youth and elasticity can no longer make up the difference, and besides, you're old enough to do this for yourself now.

--Rejoice at how much easier it is to accept your own body than it was when you were younger. We all have our issues -- some new, some lifelong -- but it is now time to revel in the feeling that most of the issues you have, you can be all " ... [sigh] ... oh well," (or "Shit yeah, lasers for my birthday present to meeee!") instead of "OHMAHGAAAAH I HATETHISSOMUCH FFFFFFFFFFFFFF GODDAMMIT!!!" It's nice, isn't it?

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Friday, January 10, 2014

"Don't ever call me a have-not."


So among the things I learned in college is that there is, in fact, an us and a them. I am speaking specifically of the us/them of the moneyed and the non-moneyed.

Growing up, I thought that rich people just ... had more money than my family did. I had rich cousins (oil company); we happily took their hand-me-downs, which since they came from Neiman-Marcus usually and in great quantity, were awesome, and swam in their pool all summer long. There was the "Smith" family, whose daughter was in my class and whom I was pretty tight with, off and on, throughout school; they owned a few dozen fast-food restaurants, and therefore had a huge property north of town with what I now recognize as stupid new-money Texas kind of gewgaws on it like semi-exotic animals (ostriches, emus, a kangaroo), a video game room with full-size game parlor stand-up consoles (I remember Galaga, Q-Bert and a Ms. Pac-Man, but there were at least 8 in there),  fugly gold-plated fixtures in all the bathrooms, etc. This family is responsible for a lot of my Rich Knowledge, e.g. how to ski (they took five of us girls to New Mexico on a private jet in fifth grade, and paid for ski rentals and a week of private lessons) and what the inside of Dallas' Petroleum Club looks like.

But until college -- specifically, Columbia, an Ivy which is in the middle of New York Fucking City -- I didn't really get that there were entire WORLDS of money and family and privilege that I would never ever be a part of. I recall this one party, about two weeks into freshman year, at which things became crystal clear. My friend Tom and I decided to go to a "frat" party at this coed place -- St. Someonescock, I think, which was open to new membership -- for the free booze (rumored to be champagne). Tom is a middle-class Korean-American kid from suburban New Jersey; I am a scholarship hick from Hickburg. We dress up -- him in whatever he wore to, like, bar mitzvahs and such, me in a party dress of some sort from Dillards -- and hit the scene. It's slightly off-campus, like two blocks over, near the river, and once we find it, there is in fact Champagne (real stuff, Franch), which we drink some of, quickly, before someone detects a disturbance in the Force and comes to take it out of our rough, common hands. We never even had to speak the words aloud -- we both just somehow came to know that these were not our people, nor were we theirs. These kids -- Christ, they looked like adults, and had these beautiful well-made understated clothes on, with perfect imperfect hair, and the loveliest teeth and shoes -- they had great manners, they welcomed us warmly, they invited us to look around, asked us what we were studying and where we'd gone to school and so forth, and I can't speak for Tom's internal process, but I was inwardly panicking and feeling like a giant, giant asshole, ever larger, hicky-er and poorer by the moment. You can't say "Cowburg High School, in Cowburg, Texass" in response to "Where did you go to school?" when it comes out of that kind of person's mouth, you know? It was in those moments, that shattering half-hour, that I began to understand what lay behind a question like that, and why someone would ask it, and how an event like this, which was technically "open" because they wanted to maintain good standing with the college, was in reality as closed a circle as ever there could be in human interaction. It was deeply weird and unnerving -- not shaming, I've never been all that shame-able in terms of, like, one's story of origin -- but a real wowzer of an eye-opener, the type we experience maybe a handful of times in life.

If it happened today -- and various loops of my personal social Venn diagrammatics could put me in a place like that again, theoretically -- I'd be fine with it. I understand that our worlds are different, and that's all right, which I think is a great boon of my age and experience. So, long way of saying: Being 40 is not a bad thing.

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You can wear my clothes!


So the actual date is past, I am 40 now, and it is: Completely OK. I always have liked the round numbers better than the nines, and the sevens better than the fives. In fact, here are some of my favorite age numbers, JUST as numbers, regardless of the state of my or anyone else's life at that time: 33, 17, 42, 6, 54, 92, 71, 88, 40, 32, 77, 27, 60, 104.

Anyway. I had a great, great, GREAT party (one of our band weekends, a one-nighter actually, with Mr. Gleemonex and a small handful of our oldest, dearest friends and all of our kids around somewhere, mostly staring at Apple devices; early-90s theme for costumes and setlist), was not dreadfully hung over the next day (just tired, since we rocked until almost 2:30 a.m.), and have spent a whole lot of time appreciating just how full and blessed my life really is and how undeservedly but terrifically lucky I am. This is a pretty goddamn good way to enter one's fifth decade on planet Earth, and I am so, so grateful for it all.

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Thursday, January 02, 2014

I went on my first diet when I was eight. You?


Back from holiday-related hiatus, with a quickness. I am a little afraid to post this on Facebook, but I suspect I might anyway because goddamn if it doesn't take up my entire brain right now. FUCK to the yes.

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