Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Fascinating Discourse on Sunglasses

I’m happy to an almost unreasonable degree about my new Oakley sunglasses that I got this weekend. In the past, I’ve been rather bad to sunglasses, especially expensive ones. I lost a pair of Arnettes when I left them in the bathroom at school. My boyfriend at the time bought me new ones, which I subsequently lost about a year later when they fell out of my car, into the gutter and right down a sewer downtown. I had been drinking, and so the loss wasn’t tremendous at the time. Also I didn’t care that much because I had since broken up with the boyfriend who gave them to me.

And so ended the era of lost sunglasses, paving the way for the era of scratched sunglasses. I got a pair of Nike glasses that I had for a year before I scratched them pretty bad – right across the line of sight and so I had to throw them away. I then bought a pair of Oakleys when I worked at REI and got a good discount on those things, and within a year -- scratched. I’ve continued to wear them for another 3 or so years, for two reasons. One is that the bridge of my nose is crooked and also sunglasses tend to sit high on my nose and so it’s next to impossible to find a cheap pair that fit right. The second reason was that I felt like I couldn’t afford another pair of sunglasses over $100.

But now, I no longer have to wear the ghetto shades – I have a pretty new pair of tortoiseshell Oakley Fives (and a visor clip to hold them – we're all about scratch prevention, people), thanks to Linda. Her old boss owns a sunglass kiosk at Park Meadows and we went down there and got the best discount. Which I then canceled out by spending way too much at Super Target. But it was stuff I needed, like the Beastie Boys cd that I lost a long time ago and the Spongebob movie and another pair – ok, two pairs – of pajama bottoms. And some other stuff I could have done without, like laundry detergent.

Seriously, that was the extent of excitement for the weekend. Oh, and I got an adorable $7 lampshade to match the $3 lamp base I got last week at Lowe’s. That’s what happens when you’re 29 – bargains outrank drinking in the “best day ever” department.

Monday, April 18, 2005

The Minutemen

From The Onion:
A group of volunteers calling themselves the Minutemen began standing sentry on the U.S. side of the Arizona-Mexico border last week to watch for illegal immigrants and smugglers. How are they safeguarding the country?
-- Putting live jumper cables in the Rio Grande every 20 minutes
-- Getting can coolers printed up
-- Picking good code names, like Angry Jackal, Freedom Fighting Hardcore 2005, and MastaPatrolla
-- Hank patrols Monday; Don on Tuesday; Don, Chuck, and Mitch on Wednesday; Hank, Don, and Mitch on Thursday; Chuck, Don, and Rhonda on Friday; and everybody on Saturday -- except Hank, who still hates Chuck for shooting his dog
-- Providing unappealing example of what Americans are like, in order to discourage people from wanting to come here

There were more, but I picked the top five. The reason why I bring this up is twofold. One, because I think these guys are stupid and The Onion is funny. The second reason is because I heard from Karen the other day that Sean Donahue, Asshat, has recently decided that he is going to go down to Arizona and become one of these aforementioned Minutemen. It's apropos, really, because he's a radical Republican freakshow AND completely devoid of common sense AND he has nothing better to do (what with the hardly working and the living with his parents at age 28), AND because for some people "minuteman" isn't just a catchy name, but instead a metaphor for overcompensating in an area where they may fall, ahem, short.

As you can see, I'm REAL sorry THAT relationship didn't work out.

Friday, April 08, 2005

I fell victim to one of the classic blunders...

...the most famous of which is "Never get involved in a land war in Asia", but only slightly less well known is this: "Never go in against a Sicilian, when death is on the line."

Ah, The Princess Bride -- chock full of wise words. And while I avoided the land war in Asia and going against a Sicilian when death was on the line, well, apparently there are more classic blunders for me to fall victim to. Observe.

I decided I’d fill you in on my next California “adventure.” It involves the hotel bar, an annoying and desperate guy, me, and classic blunders. Here’s how it went: Saturday night, I was bored of being in my room, and so I decided to go downstairs to the bar, have a drink and maybe get some dinner. Classic blunder number one: Never go to the hotel bar alone. In fact, always stay away from hotel bars. I should know this, I worked in a hotel for 4 years.

Is it so much to ask that a person goes to a bar for a drink and men just leave them alone? Apparently, yes, it is. I did the quick look around at the other two guys sitting at the bar (and there were groups all around as well – it was fairly busy) and I pegged one of them as checking me out and so I didn’t make eye contact. That is also not a deterrent. Because I was not very far into my glass of wine when I noticed that checking me out guy had left, so I was like “awesome.” But then pretty soon, he was back. And talking to me. And to make a long story short, essentially looking to first, date me, second, move to Colorado to be with me, and finally, marry me. You may be asking yourself, “Self, is Amber overstating the case?” and to that I will say, NO. I am, unfortunately, not overstating it. He was all wanting to call my mom and tell her how wonderful I am (and I’m like “um, I left my cell phone mrkxmrkble.”) I had a ring on my left hand, and he asked in a not suave way about my husband, and then I committed classic blunder number two: I said I wasn’t married. I can’t believe it. How stupid was that? I have GOT to work on my offense. Then he’s like “do you want to go somewhere else besides this bar, like on a date?” And I’m like “Uh, no, I’m fine here.” Because as anyone who reads or watches t.v. (or went to kindergarten, for that matter) knows, you NEVER go anywhere with strangers. I do not want to be the subject of a Lifetime television movie called “Stranger Danger” in which I am portrayed by Charlize Theron. Or maybe Reese Witherspoon.

Anyway, he wouldn’t leave the date thing alone, and it started to get annoying, especially when he’s trying to make plans to see me again before I go home. What! Ever! And he was pushy about getting my number, and so I gave it to him. I know, I know, classic blunder number three: I’ve clearly been out of the game long enough not to remember fake number FAKE NUMBER!! So he called Sunday, but as you may have already guessed, I will not be answering his calls, calling him back, or even listening to his messages. Was he ugly? No. Was he hot? No. Did he have the unmistakable aura of “my friends are all married and I’m not and I’m looking for someone ANYONE who might want to change my status so I’m not the only single one anymore?” Most definitely. Did I throw away his business card? Pretty much. I “accidentally” left it in my hotel room.

I blame my new glasses. I guess they make me irresistible (though Joe says that they make me look like a naughty librarian, so maybe that’s the problem). Annoying Guy commented on the glasses. I love my new glasses, but that in itself makes me never want to wear them again! And he also made unspoken comments about my chest when I repeatedly caught him looking at it. In hindsight, I should have told him to take a hike or buzz off or some other equally arcane saying that would have imparted to him how much I just wanted to be left alone, but I didn’t, so it’s my own fault. Yup, classic blunder number four: being nice when it’s not really warranted anymore.

Anyway, we’ll see how it turns out. Will he get the point and never call again? I was hoping for that, however, he called today and I of course, did not answer it. I actually listened to the message which was something like “well, I haven’t heard from you and so I’ll wait another week and then let it go because I don’t want to stay at a party that I wasn’t invited to” or something equally lame. It was also done in the fake “I’m such a nice guy and you’re totally losing out by not dating me” tone. You know what? That’s a risk I’m willing to take.

I would sing you a song of devotion

Ask anyone who my favorite band is, and if they know me BUT AT ALL, they will tell you that it is the Indigo Girls. I don't know why I love them as much as I do -- it could be because their voices are so different and yet their harmonies are so perfect. It could be because they are phenomenal musicians. It could be because they are great songwriters. I don't know, but they have been my favorite band since I was introduced to them in 11th grade. I had this boyfriend who made me a mix tape -- yes, a mix tape -- and it included the songs "Galileo" and "Ghost" off of the "Rites of Passage" cd. I remember sitting in his car and listening to "Ghost" because he thought it was such a great song. I did too, and so he then made me a tape of the entire cd. One time, he also showed up at my house with a bouquet of flowers, 5 videotapes full of episodes of "Magnum P.I." and a Detroit Tigers hat just like the one Magnum always wore. That's neither here nor there, but looking back, it seems that he was a pretty thoughtful boyfriend. Anyway, from then on, I was hooked. On the Indigo Girls, not him -- we broke up after maybe a month I think.

So I was at an Indigo Girls concert last Thursday with Jeff, who ALWAYS goes to see them with me, which is great because he is also a big fan and also because everyone knows how I hate going places by myself. Anyway. It was an acoustic show, and it was awesome. They played a lot of old stuff and stuff that they don't always play at every concert. I know, because this concert marked the 12th time I've seen them since 1993. As I'm listening to these great songs, I'm remembering lots of cool stuff about what these songs have meant to me and what they remind me of.

So here they are, in no particular sappy order:
Prince of Darkness: We're driving around the summer before our freshman year of college and merrily singing along to the song, when all of the sudden, Becki bursts into tears because she's going to miss all of the stuff we always did together, including a lot of singing in the car. Which we still do.
Ghost: Red Rocks, 1994. I don’t necessarily remember when they played that particular song, only a couple of years later when they came out with a live album and hey! the version of the song from that concert was on it and hey! I was there!
Thin Line: I was listening to the aforementioned live album a lot in 1995 as I was agonizing over whether to get married or not (in retrospect I guess if there’s agonizing involved, it’s a good bet that you SHOULDN’T get married). I remember that particular song and the words “there’s a thin line between pleasing yourself and pleasing somebody else” and how that was probably something I should think about because it’s really never a good idea to marry someone just because you don’t want to hurt their feelings by telling them no. Deep thoughts.
Love will come to you: Kendra loves this song and one time we put it on a mix tape. That’s all – it just reminds me of her and her eternal optimism that no matter how many jerks we date, there’s one out there who won’t be. Something I love about her.
Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee: Also on the live disc, and not one I ever paid attention to until 2 years ago when I went to Wounded Knee and learned all the history. It’s a great version of a great song.
Nomads, Indians and Saints: This whole disc reminds me of going to Mexico with Mandy and Sally and Anita when I was in 11th grade. I listened to it a lot while I was on the beach. “Watershed” is a great song from there – again about the making of a tough decision. Why do those always speak to me?
Cara Mia: Driving to Santa Fe with Chris, the boy I was totally in love with at the time. I was singing along with this song and sort of forgot that he and my other friend Scott were in the car and so I started singing louder than I meant to. Chris looks at me and goes “Wow. I had no idea that you could sing like that.” Long story short, there was trip magic and kissing and I still have a big ol’ crush on him today. He was so hot.

Ok, so there are a lot of songs that I love. I love ALL the songs, for the most part, and since I’ve listened to all of the cds extensively, even the ones I didn’t really like at first have grown on me. The concerts have ranged from front row at Red Rocks (that was cool) to Lilith Fair to the Fillmore to the mountain at Winter Park – that was one of my favorites, because I was there with my (now ex) boyfriend and it was just the best day.

So that’s it, my own Indigo Girls retrospective. And speaking of retrospective, if you’re just STUMPED as to what to get me for my birthday, well, I lost my copy of “Retrospective.” I think it was one time when I was playing drinking games with one of my friends using cards we made ourselves with paper and crayons and I remember I was singing along with one of the songs and then I wasn't, because he kissed me… anyway, I can’t find it.

Oh yeah, and in case you're wondering what the title has to do with the blog besides the fact that I'm clearly devoted to the music of the Indigo Girls? It's a song -- called, surprisingly, "Devotion." I tell you, as stream of consciousness as I may be, I'll tie it together eventually.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

I'm with Stupid...

...and other travel adventures. So right now, I'm in California, and I haven't really been anywhere yet, but here's what I've encountered so far.

First, when I'm getting on the plane, I always look around and pick out the people I really hope aren't in my row. Yes, I'm a snob, so what? I gotta tell you, the last time I picked out the person I didn't want in my row, it turned out that he sat a couple rows in front of me and across the aisle. Luckily, for the guy next to him, the plane wasn't full and so he moved, because the snoring was so godawful that everyone on the plane kept looking around with a look like "the HELL?" I knew where it was coming from and silently thanked god that I wasn't sitting next to him. So yesterday, I saw a guy who would potentially be "that guy" when we were boarding the plane. I ended up walking behind him and he was wearing a shirt that said "I'm with Stupid." I was confused for a moment, because I thought I might have accidentally been transported to 1983, but I think it was just an astonishing lack of taste on his part. He ended up in my row, but luckily was across the aisle. However, the "I'm with Stupid" arrow pointed right at me. Hmm.

When I got to LAX, I spent the time waiting for my luggage by mentally judging people for how they let their children behave. Seriously, who lets their kids climb all over the baggage carousel? Granted, it wasn't moving, but these are the sorts of morons who would then sue the airport when their uncontrollable monster of a child suffered a concussion after the carousel DID start moving.

I'm super old. I was so tired when I got to the hotel that I pretty much went right to bed. On my way there, I ran into some people who obviously don't spend a lot of time in hotels. This guy was standing outside this room, and his friend inside was like "hey, did you know that a rice krispie treat from the minibar costs $2.75? You've gotta see this!" And the guy blazed into the room like this was major news. I went to sleep and was woken up by some teenage girls in the hall talking and giggling -- it was like 11 -- and before I could muster up the energy to get up and be all "you kids be quiet out there!" someone else down the hall did. Old lady label -- averted.

This morning I went downstairs to get coffee and when I walked into the lobby I saw this guy who I at first assumed must be blind. Because of what he was wearing, that is. It made me almost blind just looking at it. He had on a bright yellow shirt with red hawaiian flowers and matching shorts. If by matching you mean "same horrible pattern but in blue and white." He also had on white socks and black sandals. On my way back to my room, I saw one of the village people -- the motorcycle guy, complete with black leather hotpants and jaunty black leather hat thingy. I also saw that lady from "There's Something about Mary" -- you know, Mary's neighbor Magda who looked like the female Crypt Keeper? Yep, she was at the airport.

Anyway, I'm here for 4 more days, so we'll see what other, um, interesting sights I can see. I'll keep you updated.