Sunday, December 30, 2007

He Just Needs an Understanding Girlfriend To Teach Him How to Read.

My new boyfriend, Tim Riggins, is everything I look for in a paramour. Firstly, he’s 17 years old. And he has a severe alcohol problem. Also he’s a huge asshole. Also #2 he’s fictional. What more could a girl want? But what you can’t immediately see during a cursory viewing of Friday Night Lights is that when you really get to know Tim (which, believe me, I have because we are in a very serious relationship) you find that under the hot hot muscles and the stench of cheap beer he is a tortured soul. Tim loves Lila but she can’t get over being a pretentious stuck up bitch and see his true self. Tim is secretly super smart but his daddy never loved him enough and so he hides his smarts behind the pain! Tim has layers. Tim needs an older woman with an acute appreciation for pouty lips to show him what love is. Obviously I am his perfect match.

Those of you who see me as a smart mature young woman with a future might be shocked by my love for a juvenile hall bound high school football player but it's really quite predictable. Sure, outside of my couch potato fantasies I date nice boys. They may not regularly brush their hair and they might often have to cancel dates due to the demands of their guild but they have respectable jobs and button down shirts and 401K plans. They hardly ever do keg stands. But when snuggled up in front of the flickering TV light I turn into one of those girl who can see the good in the drunkard, the promise in the idiot and mostly, the hot ass hidden beneath the layers of clothing the FCC insists my dreams be draped in.

My TV boy trouble started with My So-Called Life. Brian was acing calculus; Jordan (literally) couldn’t read. Brian valiantly helped Angela pass math class; Jordan helped her to appreciate the romance of losing one’s virginity on a stained mattress inside of an abandoned house to a boy who most likely does not know your last name. Brian wrote Angela a heartfelt moving love letter (granted he signed it, “Jordan” because Brian has no self esteem); Jordan (after overcoming illiteracy – see? He has so much promise!) wrote a song for his car. Were this story unfolding in reality I’d have spent Saturday nights playing Risk with Brian (cause one look at that boy's mop and you could smell the love in the air) but since the tale is confined to inside of the cathode tube I was ordering a big plate full of Catalano (extra sauce!).

There have been exceptions to the bad boy rule. I was never a Dylan McKay girl, choosing instead to swoon over Brandon though I mostly blame this on the fact that when I took an honest look at my life in 1992 I had no choice but to recognize that in the 90210 universe I was obviously Andrea Zuckerman (Even if I wasn’t 45 years old.) and part of accepting the nerdy, not rich enough, fashion challenged part of myself was having a crush on the midwestern boy newspaper editor instead of the tortured surfer. (Though seriously that picture on the left is making me wonder if Brandon wasn't actually a girl, which would make sense -- that Emily chick always had a little lesbian vibe going on). Maybe my love for the geeky boys is isolated to California fantasy dramas since I also own a pair of underwear baring the message, “I’m a Seth Girl.” And I am. The comic book geek from the O.C. might be my perfect man. He makes wry comments about pop culture. He generally can’t hold a conversation with a female. He has somewhat ridiculous hair.

Brandon and Seth aside TV generally inspires the unhealthy Jerry Springer ready white trash in me. I was the only watcher in the Buffyverse to cheer on the Spike years. I mean sure he was a little rough around the edges with the drugs and the living in a crypt and the being a blood sucking killer but he LOVED Buffy! He loved her in a pathetic doe eyed sort of way (when he wasn’t loving her in a tossing her around, pulling her hair, sexing up The Slayer sort of way). He had spent 500 some years as a villain and Buffy turned him into a puppy! Post college I devoted Tuesday nights to Gilmore Girls where I was a Jess fan from way back and was never happier than when practical proper boring Rory cheated on nice floppy haired Dean with my favorite high school drop out.

Does this all mean that somewhere deep down I want to trade in my be-cowlicked video game playing nice boys for an illiterate hunk in a leather jacket and beer goggles? Maybe. But real world bad boys never seems to have any substance. They’re genuinely screwed up, not just using screwed up as a cover for sensitive. And since I rarely find myself attracted to high school boys in real life I’m left with 30 year old losers who are, lucky for me, much less tolerable.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Scenes of Cuteness

Scene 1

Brianna is standing up talking to her aunt, a streak of blonde pigtails rushes by her legs, the gust of wind that follows almost knocks Brianna over)

Delanie (voice getting fainter as she runs away): ReadySetGooooooooooooooo Brianna we’re racing!

Brianna: But you already started without me!

Delanie: (running smack into the wall that apparently represents the finish line) I win! (turning around and running toward Brianna) ReadySetGoooooooooooooooo!

Scene 2

Christmas evening, Delanie is wearing new jeans which are at least one size too big

Brianna: Delanie I can see your plumber’s crack.

Delanie: (giving her best irritated look and pointing a finger at Brianna): Brianna. Do NOT look at my butt.

Scene 3

Brianna, Miss D and her parents are seated at a Mexican restaurant, their food has just arrived and first bites are being taken

Delanie: Oh! It’s hot! Brianna, kiss my tongue!

Brianna: Delanie that’s kind of gross.

Delanie (tongue sticking out)i: TISS NY TONGUE!!!!!

Brianna: Ok, I’m a sucker. (Kisses the offered tongue)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Spreading the Geekiness this Holiday Season

Typically any walk I take with my father starts with a series of lies. The first is when he calls it a walk when in fact the proper term is hike or trek or, most accurately, death march. The walk is always “short” and has “hardly any uphill” and “will defiantly not make your legs fall off.” On the few occasions when I have pointed out that he lies about hikes and that I would rather spend my afternoon lounging in the sun with a book and a glass of spiked lemonade and (ideally) a laptop while someone paints my toenails and tells me how pretty I am dad has immediately turned to guilt. “Oh, right, you’re lazy. And you hate nature. And you want to be fat. And you don’t love me. Or the dog.” And then I’m hiking. On the trail (you know, assuming we’re not off-roading on our hike which is incredibly optimistic) the lies continue. “We’re almost there!” “This is hardly steep at all!” “It just seems like a long walk because you’re young, time is relative!”

So it should be seen as a testament to the holiday spirit and family togetherness and possibly my own fleeting sanity that on Monday I offered to go on a walk with my dad. Of course this was no ordinary walk. There was treasure to be had! Dad bought himself a GPS last spring when he found out that his friend Tyson had a gadget that he didn’t yet own and was forced to fork over $300 or be deemed totally uncool. Since then he has used the GPS to dress up jeans and tshirt for evening and as a mighty pretty dashboard decoration for his truck. I think he might have also carried it around in the woods a few times but the way I see it this is all months of wasted time that he could have spent geocaching! The fastest way to turn me from “lump” to “hiking aficionado” is to coat the trail with a thick layer of geekiness. What was once a walk is now an adventure. Trek? Now a scavenger hunt. Nature? Now realistic simulated arena for a battle of wits. Bring it on.

For our first foray into high tech geeky hiking Dad and I took on this challenge -- mostly because Dad knew the area and we thought that would make things easier. And it probably would have been easy – easy and boring. Don’t worry, I took care of that. One of the ways to make geocaching more challenging is to totally not read the GPS correctly. There are lots of ways to do this but I choose to turn on the “pan map” function which allows you to point at a location on the map and get that location’s coordinates and then accidentally start going towards this random point instead of the place where the geocache was placed. Because of this we ended up climbing an extra hill for no reason! I’m sure my dad enjoyed this mostly because the only things he loves more than watching me trudge up a sandy hill is forcing people to eat animal flesh of questionable nature (hey, have you ever had newt? Sure you have, I baked it into your dinner!”) and driving me crazy by implying that he totally loves George W Bush. Because of the holiday and because the extra hill was all my fault I suppressed my natural tendency to follow hill climbing with a heavy dose of whining. Merry Christmas Dad.

We finally righted ourselves and climbed back down the hill (Dad didn’t even mock me, which I considered his greatest gift to me.) and found the correct spot and began turning over rocks and glancing under bushes and eventually bemoaning the possibility that maybe the cache got stolen and we were screwed. But eventually I saw a beam of sunlight glint across a bush and thought “hey, bushes aren’t made of metal!” and low and behold like the star of Bethlehem the ammo case of treasure was revealed to me. The treasure inside might not save me from my sins (especially since it contained an unscratched lotto ticket and I think gambling is not so cool with the savior) but it did make my Christmas. Geocaching rules dictate that you take one prize and leave another we took a matchbox car (which we gave to a friend’s two year old.) and left a Christmas bow which, in retrospect makes us incredibly lame. See, when leaving the house we thought, “it’ll be cute, a bow because we found the cache on Christmas!” but now that I’m thinking more clearly (my mind finally out of the cookie/candy/pie induced coma) I realized that a bow is the lamest prize ever. Probably people in the hip geocaching community will now shun my dad and I. Probably “yeah he left a bow” will be the hip new way to say “What a loser.” Probably the next cache we find will contain a little note saying that if we so much as consider “bow-ing” this cache a stealth agent will be dispatched to take away our GPS forever. Probably our nerd credentials will be revoked.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

On Being a Girl in the Big Bad World of Software Part 2

To graduate from most California high schools one must accumulate two semesters worth of credits in “Regional Occupational Programs” (ROP). The idea (I think, but this knowledge is entirely based on what I heard in the school hallways at age 16, I tried to do research on the program on the intertubes but my California education didn’t give me the skills to slog through legalize without submitting to sleep.) is that if you take an ROP class every term for all of high school the state will help you find a job after graduation. The reality is that schools require the 2 terms to get the state money associated with the program and McDonalds has a lot of employees with impressive flower arranging skills. The ROP options at my high school were Construction, Auto Mechanics, Floriculture, Secretarial Skills and Computers. I eliminated the first two as too dirty and the next two as pathetically useless and so second semester of my freshman year when my advanced math class conflicted with Drama 2 (the horror) I was left with ROP Computers filling up my 45 minutes post lunch.

I was the only girl enrolled in this class (shocker, I know). In fact I was apparently the only girl to have EVER enrolled in this class. At the time I thought this might have made me a feminist badass but it soon became clear that it only made me an idiot. Surprisingly the class was not made up of all nerds (if only…) but had a heavy representation of senior football players looking to shore up an easy ROP credit before graduation. The teacher was a guy my mom had known during her “I live at the Yosemite rock climbing camp with my hippy boyfriend” days (which took place right before the “I live at a cross country ski lodge with my hippy boyfriend/soon to be husband/father of my children” days) and it turns out he’s a little bit famous. A few years earlier he had suffered a fall while climbing that resulted in him loosing a lot of his hearing – specifically he was unable to hear high frequencies at all. This wasn’t really a problem…until a girl decided to take his class. The first test was an oral exam. This consisted of him asking me a question and me trying to answer it over and over in an increasingly louder (and, ironically, higher pitched…) voice until I started crying. Eventually he gave up and handed me an A-. Luckily the rest of the class was taught by a series of programs that the teacher wrote so that he could spend the class period at his desk reading and pretending that his hearing was so bad that he didn’t even notice that class time was primarily focused on tormenting me.

Everyday I came into the classroom to find my monitor, mouse and keyboard unplugged, this meant I had to crawl under the desk and blindly paw at the back of the machine while simultaneously using my free hand to hold down the back of my skirt so as not to expose my panties to the classroom full of giggling boys. Some jokes are apparently funny over and over again for 4 whole months. This kind of tomfoolery haunted my semester until the boys decided to up their game from mischievous to skeevy. One spring day I came into class and football player #1 says to me, “Hey, Brianna, if we gave you $250 would you take your shirt off? Cause we took a collection.” It is at this moment that I make one of the worst mistakes in my young life – rather than flash some boobage, pocket the cash and donate 25% to NOW (and 75% to the cute skirt fund) I decided to care about “principles” (and not even the right principles! Everyone knows Capitalism>Feminism). So my boobs remained a mystery and my pockets remained empty and the teasing continued through June and women were finally allowed to wear pants and own property and men started birthing babies and getting excited about cute shoes. Please write your thanks you notes on Georgia O’Keefe stationary (and I wouldn’t turn my nose up at pair of sensible shoes).Publish Post

How, after this intro experience to the awesome world of technology, I ended up actually majoring in Computer Science in college I cannot explain but after a few years of hanging out with the boys I’ve mellowed and come to love being the only girl in the room. Sadly no one has ever again offered me money for a boobie show now that I’d be happy to take it (off). Life is unfair.

For reference here’s Part 1.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

This Should Cost me a Few Readers

During the holiday season I like to reflect upon just how awesome it is not to have a religion. If it weren't for atheism I might have to waste value present wrapping and cookie eating time in church or (even worse) reviewing and possibly questioning my life choices. That would suck. Being a godless heathen allows me to enjoy the commercialism of the holidays (in particular when DeBeers reminds us that if you only bought some diamonds you could avoid talking to your wife for an entire year.) with none of the “Jesus is the Reason” guilt, the naked dancing with none of the having to use the word skyclad, the hamburger topped with blue cheese and bacon and shrimp and the heart attack that follows (and most of all the medical expertise that will laugh in religion’s face and save my life).

When family and friends fail to bring me the xmas gift of my dreams (a Wii and an advanced copy of Spore delivered by a naked Jack White – get on that.) I don’t have to question if this is God sending me a message about the evils of greed and I don’t have to feel bad for kind of hating everyone for like 5 minutes and I also don’t have to repent when the lack of video games to distract me leads directly to spending my evenings swimming in impure thoughts. With Atheism all of these sins are met with a shrug. Unlike most gods atheism accepts me as I am (already perfect).

Atheism is also the lazy girl’s best friend. In addition to not expecting me to read some verbose tome or get out of bed early on a Sunday (the day after Saturday aka the day I am most likely to do something that will make it impossible to get out of bed early the next morning) Atheism makes no demands on followers to convert others to our way of thinking. In fact Atheism would prefer to remain the religion equivalent of the band no one really likes as this allows followers to feel superior to nonfollowers which is one of the main tenants of the faith. In other ways that Atheism rocks:

  • I don’t have to pretend that Easter is the best holiday when clearly painted eggs and candy cannot compete with presents
  • I get to watch Harry Potter movies in peace

Frankly most gods remind me of a very oppressive boyfriend and I’m happy to avoid having the awkward break up conversation (“Hey god, I’m not that into you. Beards don’t really do much for me. Let’s just be friends. And also? You’re kind of a jerk.”).

Ok, I know what you’re thinking – Atheism has a clear downside in the form of uncomfortably high temperatures, the constant smell of rotten eggs and (one assumes) being forced to watch Everybody Loves Raymond on a never ending loop. I am, of course, talking about the burning in hell that occupies my outlook calendar from 2072-eternity (“Brianna will be out of the office with no access to email for the rest of time however if your question is sufficiently annoying we might be able to work it into her torture routine, please send inquiries to”). I say small price to pay for getting to enjoy things like lust, gluttony and sloth. And frankly, I think any God who allows a writers strike to jeopardize my TV viewing schedule for upwards of two months hasn’t really earned my love anyway.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Dear 1995 Me

Stealing this idea from Peter...

Hi, it's me, you, blogging from 2007. I promise that is a good thing and I am very famous and important. And hot.

Sooooooo.... You need to chill out. No, Seriously. It is not that bad. I don't even need to know what exactly you're freaking out about right now (and really who can keep up?) to be 100% confident that you need to let it go. I'm going to take a minor leap and guess this has to do with your hair. You have curly hair. Why you are just discovering this at 17 I do not know but feel free to blame denial, having a mother with very little concern for appearances and/or the incredibly dry weather in eastern California. Anyway you have two options – straightening or scrunching. Do not expect hair stylists to help you out, they will forever stare at your head in confusion. Straightening is more reliable but scrunching is faster, both are a gamble. I know, we hate uncertainty, consider this just another way that god is fucking with you.

You should probably let go of being embarrassed that you had an unrequited crush on Cameron in 4th grade because no one else cares. Ditto the fact that you wore hot pink overalls in your 6th grade school picture.

While we’re on the topic of you relaxing here’s another thing. This is going to be hard to believe but you really need to get laid more. Or some. How about once and we take it from there? I know you think that sex is a big mistake unless you have some guarantee that you will totally be dating this boy long term but it terms out that’s actually not really true at all. The slutty girls? Kind of have a good thing going. I mean you know, love yourself, you’re awesome, you don’t need boys, I KNOW. But sometimes (as in all of the time) you take things too far. While we’re on this topic you should also drink more. Really you’re kind of a prude. (No, you are not pregnant)

Ok, on to the good news. EVERYONE cool in 2007 hated high school (ok, except for your friend Amy but you consider this a flaw on HER part.). June 7 1996 == Freedom. (oh, right about that double equals… you kind of go down this computer science path and it turns out pretty well but I am, perhaps, *slightly* geekier than you had expected. Don’t worry geeky is the new cool. I promise.) Anyway, college is awesome. You will not miss your cat anywhere near as much as you think you will.

About college -- All of the girls in your freshman dorm are lame, I know, I tried to be friends with them, it was a disaster. You need to get out. Find the theater kids early, glom on. (except for that one boy that you meet at the party around Halloween who claims to be Matt Damon’s cousin, do not glom on to him, do make out with him and do not care when he flakes on calling you, not worth it. I just Googled that guy and even though he claims to be a “computer bitch” he has next to zero web presence. He appears to still be using Friendster which I promise you is no longer cool or necessarily even functional. Also he has put on some weight. Also there is no way hooking up with him will lead to some Matt Damon action.). Do not even pretend that maybe you’d like frat parties, you will not. The boy from the sailing team who is in your freshman orientation group is adorable, try to talk him out of falling for the slutty girl in your dorm – use your boobs (this advice applies to pretty much everything. You are neglecting a prime asset in your assault on life).

Life wise things turn out ok, which means you can stop worrying (are you sensing a theme here?) and maybe have a bit more fun. But no too much, I like my paycheck.

Love You You!


Thursday, December 13, 2007

And She Put the Clean Dishes Away!

I have been contemplating hiring someone else to clean my house for about 6 months now. The problem is that while I’m perfectly willing to admit that I’m lazy and that I hate cleaning behind the toilet I’m less comfortable admitting that I am willing to pay someone to do these things for me. It's not the money. Or the principal. It's the guilt.

I’ve struggled with Middle Class Guilt (MCG) for years. Back in 2002 it made me hesitant to let Asian girls paint my toenails bright red. In ’05 I finally triumphed over a particularly debilitating flare up and started using that most wonderful of New York City services – laundry drop off. These past victories gave me strength and after looking around at the thin coating of chinchilla dust that was currently serving as décor in my apartment I bucked up and with one email to a friend’s old Cleaning Lady (CL) bravely stepped onto a dangerous path that if I’m not very careful could lead to boats bought for noncommercial purposes (thanks Bob) and possibly even an urge to vote Republican 50 years from now (the horror.).

The real test of if I had finally kicked the MCG came 2 hours before the house keeper arrive – would I be able to fight the urge to preclean? No. I broke down. I did the dishes and made my bed and picked up the living room – I considered scrubbing the stove because what kind of impression would it set if the CL knew I cooked meals on a greasy stove? It suddenly seemed possible that the whole cleaning business is a racket – perhaps they don’t clean, perhaps you just hire them and your guilt eats away at you until you clean your own damn apartment. Impressive business model. Touché cleaning ladies.

The CL arrived at 2pm on the noise. She was young, I have no idea why I expected someone’s grandma to come clean my house – maybe because the cleanest women in my life was my paternal grandmother. She died a few years ago and I miss her chicken soup and marble cake and inability to resist tsking the cleanliness levels of every location outside of her house (she used to SWEEP HER FLOWER BEDS) but thank god she will never see (and judge) the (relative) sty that I live in and I will thus not be held personally responsible for killing her.

At the last minute it turned out that the cleaning lady needed cleaning supplies. (aka “At the last minute it turned out that Brianna is an idiot”). Oh. Right. Since I assume actual cleaning ladies (As opposed to a snobby middle class girls half assedly cleaning her own apartment on a Saturday morning) probably don’t like using a mini trashcan as a bucket for washing the floor (in my defense neither of the drug stores near my house sold buckets.). Especially when the mop only fits into the trashcan if you put it in at the right angle. So when she asked where my mop was I sheepishly admitted to being too much of a disgusting dirty freak to own a bucket. Somehow she managed to resist rolling her eyes when she offered to just use the trashcan from the kitchen. “Sure, great idea – Please don’t judge me.”

And then out of embarrassment and in an effort to avoid offering to help out I locked myself in my bedroom and spent 2 hours on conference calls rather than wallow in my guilt by actually watching the cleaning process. I emerged to a whole new world. The hardwood floor in my living room isn’t gray it’s brown! (Not so the floor in the rest of the house which was inexplicably painted gray and thus will NEVER look clean. Just thinking about this caused me to go on a 15 minute internet search for vinyl floor tiles to cover up the ugliness in the kitchen, sadly it turns out that all vinyl floor tile manufacturers are involved in an elaborate “who can make the ugliest floor ever” contest.).

One more hour, a clean bedroom and $50 (so cheap!) later I was happily living the lie of being a clean person. CL will be back next month. I will try to resist the urge to hug her.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

'Tis the Season for an Immaculate Conception

Warning: The following post makes reference to a certain biological process that happens to women. If you are a squeamish boy (especially if you are a squeamish boy who works with me) you may want to consider the back button your friend.

I have had roughly 80 pregnancy scares over the course of my 29 years. Most of these occurred before I actually participated in the key activity that causes pregnancy. As a teenager I did not consider this sure fire proof that I was not with child because it seemed likely that God would totally deal out an immaculate conception willy nilly just to ruin my life. I already knew for a fact that the big man hated me because I was already cursed with incredibly weak nails, parents who insisted on talking with me honestly about S-E-X (there is no scarier phrase than “Well, your father and I…”) and an inability to hide my gift for math.

You see health class made me crazy. In addition to the joys of carrying around 10lbs of flour dressed up in a frilly pink dress health class also taught me all of the following:

  1. Drugs are bad.
  2. Getting pregnant is incredibly easy, it could happen at any moment and it will RUIN EVERYTHING.
  3. You should get your magical girl visit once ever 28 days because women are somehow linked to the cycles of the moon, just like werewolves.
  4. If you do not get your magical girl visit by day 28.5 you’re probably having bastard triplets.

Here are some things that are actually true

  1. A LOT of girls in my high school got pregnant.
  2. You have to have sex to get pregnant and the sex usually needs to involve 2 people
  3. Some girls (who are obsessed with schedules and things being on time and who also have a primal fear of pregnancy and who also shall remain nameless) actually get their special friend once every 45 or so days (some special friends are not very prompt).
  4. 1+2+3 = FREAKING OUT

This is how things usually go down.

Day 26: Begin expecting visitor in case she’s early

Day 28, 12:15am: No visitor. Try not to panic.

Day 29: Remind self 15 times that it takes two to make a baby

Day 32: Admire cute baby outfit in window of store, consider buying it in an attempt to look on the bright side because clearly I am pregnant.

Day 34: Have little chat with God about more appropriate wombs to host the second coming.

Day 37: Wake up hyperventilating. Decide this is probably not good for the baby, try to calm down.

Day 40: Mix some whiskey into my coffee. Take that baby.

Day 43: Begin adopting pregnancy posture (wide stance, leaning back slightly, hand resting on belly)

Day 45: Oh right. Hi, totally not pregnant. Woo.

And then one day I went on the pill. The pill is magic. Suddenly I had special friend visits scheduled down to the hour! It was amazing. (I wish they made a pill that could make people this prompt then I could slip into drinks all over town.) But last month I forgot to refill my prescription and now? Let’s just say I’m lucky to be in a dry spell or I might have already gotten out Missy Flourbag for a little mommy practice.

Friday, December 07, 2007

I'm Not As Big Of a Slacker As You Thought

As I'm sure my loyal readers have noticed I'm following posting every day for a month with the infinitely more enjoyable event: slacking off every day for a week. But it's not as bad as you think! Recently I was asked to join the team over at Burt Reynolds' Mustache as the designated blogger for the 7th of every month. As this is a humor blog there was a certain expectation that I be funny which is more stressful than letting Fox TV film my dating activities. So all week I've been wrapped up in knots thinking "Friday: BE HILARIOUS!" Clearly I had no time to think of crap to post on this blog of no expectations. I think I have an ulcer in my funny bone.

Anyway, my first attempt at professional level humor skewers my family's Christmas traditions. Enjoy.