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July 21, 2007

A gun rack?

I promised Wink I wouldn't write about my roommates anymore, but one of them just bought something so weird the only way I can stop thinking about it is to express myself in blog form. At least that's what I'm hoping.

Last week a new appliance appeared on the counter top, charging in the corner by the microwave. Rather than something useful, like a Magic Bullet or a food dehydrat0r (mmm... jerky), my roommate bought an automatic wine opener.

Now, my roommate is no wino. I think I've seen her consume perhaps two (and I'm being generous) bottles of wine in my two months living here. And it's not like she's having tons of people over all the time for fabulous dinner parties; as I believe I've mentioned before, I've yet to see her in the presence of someone other than my other roommate.

So that means that she is ungodly lazy... so lazy that she can't bring herself to exert the effort of uncorking one bottle of wine per month. Meanwhile, this thing is sucking up electricity and casting it's haughty red glow all over the kitchen. Granted, the kilowatts spent on this gadget are no doubt minuscule, but couldn't that energy go to solving world peace or something?

The whole thing reminds me of a scene from Wayne's World. If you aren't familiar with this gem, I'd be happy to transcribe it for you:
Stacy: Happy anniversary Wayne!
Wayne: Stacy, we broke up two months ago.
Stacy: Well that doesn't mean we can't still go out...
Wayne: Well it does, actually. That's what breaking up is.
Stacy: Well are you gonna go to the GasWorks later tonight?
Wayne: No.
Wayne's friends: No.
Stacy: Don't you want to open your present?
Wayne: If it's a severed head I'm gonna be very upset.
Stacy: Open it...
Wayne: OK. (unwraps present) What is it?
Stacy: A gun rack!
Wayne: A gun rack? A gun rack. Shyeah! Right! I don't even own a gun, let alone many guns that would necessitate an entire rack. What am I gonna do... with a gun rack.
Stacy: You don't like it? Fine. You know Wayne, if you're not careful you're gonna lose me.
Wayne: I lost you two months ago! Are you mental? We broke up! Get the net!
I'm just waiting for one of those paraffin hand waxer things to show up in our living room.

July 14, 2007

Don't Yuck My Yum

Every Thursday is "Back to the 50s" night in the downtown area of the suburb I live in. People from around the area drive their refurbished vintage vehicles to the parking spots lining the main drag and pop the hoods so passers-by can peer inside. The cars are so polished they look almost tasty.

It's really a brilliant marketing tool, this car night. All the antique stores and real estate offices stay open late, and the two Mexican restaurants are overflowing with people, when on all other nights I see only a few families or couples tucking in as I take my nightly stroll from the trolley to my apartment.

Downtown (and think Small Town America downtown, not thriving metropolis downtown) takes on a carnival atmosphere, and people line folding chairs along the street. I haven't yet ascertained a reason for so doing; I don't think any of the cars actually move in a parade-like fashion after being parked.

I'm just going to be straight with you: I don't get it. Of all the things to bring people together, especially in hippy-dippy California, why the bamboozle would it be cars? Did I mention that the car dealership down the road currently has a HEARSE for sale?? Where the hell do I live???

But to each his own, and all that jazz. I was listening to a story on NPR the other day narrated by a single dad. His son was using broccoli florets to paint pictures with ketchup and then gobbling it all up. The papa reacted with disgust, asking why he would do that. "Don't yuck my yum," the son replied. The phrase has repeated in my head ever since, and inspired this post.

July 9, 2007

The Competition is unreal

Wow. I am really going to have to step it up.

As you'll remember, my roommate and I are competing to see who can go the longest without talking to the other. I mentioned in my previous post that my strategy largely boiled down to avoidance.

But this night was different from all other nights. Tonight I had to go way across town to tour an apartment, and my roommate (the one who still talks to me) said she'd pick me up to preclude me from having to take three buses and an hour and a half returning home. I was looking forward to spending some quality time with her, since she spends nearly every waking (and sleeping) second with the Competition.

To my horror, however, as I approached the vehicle from the rear I could see the Competition's frizzy head in the passenger's seat, casting a shadow over my heart. "Wow," I thought. "this is quite a curveball. How are we going to play now? Is this going to be a time-out?"

Turns out I needn't have worried. Like a pro, she ignored me the entire, half-hour ride home and directed all her conversation to our other roommate. It was unbelievable, like watching Babe Ruth round the bases even with a spare tire flopping around his waist.

She's a master at this game, and I can only attempt to keep up.

July 8, 2007

You know, I've had some bumbles too

Wink's latest post, a hilarious account of an embarrassing introduction to her new city, made me think you'd want to hear about all my faux pas upon moving to a new port of call of my very own.

They include:
  • Boarding the wrong train on my first day of work
  • Dumbly pushing at said train's doors, wondering why they wouldn't open, until a kindly nun informed me as to the whereabouts of the door-opening buttons
  • Tripping up the hill on the way to work. Regularly.
  • Listening to a CD made by a friend that includes a certain smash hit by the group Rockapella, smiling in delight and thus garnering the attention of a nearby transient, who decided I was flirting with him. Don't worry, I shook him off after three blocks.
  • Doing everything the hard way, i.e. suffering extreme bouts of nausea while scrolling through roll after roll of microfilm before realizing I could use a computer to obtain much more successful results in a sixth of the time. But hey, if I didn't have to go through both morning and evening editions of the local paper for the entire month of November, 1991 I would have never learned about the reaction to Magic Johnson's disclosure he had AIDS.
  • Spelling my editor's name wrong in not one but two memos. So much for proving my dogged zeal for accuracy.
  • Deciding it would be good exercise to walk three miles to and from a grocery store to fulfill my constant cravings for Caprese salads... and break in my new sandals while I was at it. My feet started bleeding from the blisters before I even got there.
  • Repeatedly making myself huge batches of meals on Sunday nights, planning to eat the leftovers throughout the week and getting sick of it by Tuesday's dinner. I just won't learn.
Moving someplace completely new, especially when your roommate is so hostile to you for an unknown reason she won't even talk to you (see previous post) is akin to regenerating a limb. It hurts. You have to relearn things you thought you knew how to do, making you feel like quite the infant. But eventually you get stronger and, one day, you can clap (if the regenerated limb is an arm with the hand at the end of it, that is).

Sometimes I play games

I play a lot of games. All kinds of games. Some are board games, some are athletic games and some are just games with your heart.

But my favorite kind of game is the sort I make up. When I was still dating an ex-boyfriend, we liked to play the game where we sat in a coffee shop and made up stories and/or songs about the people who walked by. I used to play a game with my siblings called "Fall Off the Bed" where my older brother and I would invest considerable effort into pushing our younger brother off our parents' bed by any means available.

I'm currently playing a new game with one of my roommates. It's called "See How Long I Can Avoid Talking to My Roommate." Unfortunately, I can't take credit for masterminding this jewel. For reasons unknown (I can't really ask her for a rulebook as that would violate the primary objective of the game), for the last two weeks she has been going to extreme measures to not talk to me.

Once I caught on to this admittedly genius concept, I started playing too. It's really not as difficult as you might think, as my daily commute doesn't have me coming home until 8 at the earliest on weekdays, and she usually leaves before I get up. As long as she's not in common areas I can sneak into the kitchen for my nightly ration of one cupcake, one slice of pastrami and four green olives and scurry into my room with my hoard.

The real challenge is on the weekends, but I've perfected my technique to limit face to face contact. My internal alarm clock jolts me awake at 6 most days, so I do my morning routine then before retiring to my room for one of my beloved morning naps. All I have to do is listen for her heavy, hurried trot and the forceful closure of her door to know when it is safe to exeunt.*

My competitive spirit has made me eager to win this feat of strength (of will), but I'll be durned if I know how. Do I win if I make it through the rest of my lease without uttering a peep? And if I win do I get a trophy?

I do love trophies.

*I know that's the plural and I'm a singular but I've always wanted to use it