Monday, April 30, 2007

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

The illustrious Megs has kindly consented to interview me (because I kind of asked her to). And now, you have the dubious honor of asking me to do the same. Here's how:

1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions of my choice.
3. Then, you should update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You have to include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you get to ask them five questions.

Number 1: Quick! The house is on fire! Excepting the obvious people & pets, what 5 things do you take?
1. Fuzzy Fur, the well-loved if not somewhat dishevled teddy bear I've had since I was six
2. Photo albums - I'm counting these as one gigantic armload

3. My black BCBG heels - don't tell the other shoes, but they're my favorites
4. The laptop, since it's got a lot of life history living in it
5. The original Clue movie poster Tom bought me - irreplacable!

Number 2: What is the best or weirdest reconnection you have made via the internet?
Hmm. I'd have to say the best reconnections have been the blogs. I've been able to keep in touch with some folks from high school and grad school via the blogs - it's nice to be part of the little e-neighborhood.

Number 3: What is your most hated word?
I really, really hate the word "pus." There is no context in which the word pus is good. It sounds horrible. It looks horrible on the screen. It is horrible. Oooh. Shudder. Pus.

Number 4: Tell me something funny you've never blogged before.
When I was freshman in high school, I was playing softball in P.E. with a Pakistani kid when we collided and he broke my nose. I was forced to sit in the field house with a 50-gallon garbage bag full of ice draped over my face while the coach called my mom to "come take a look" even though he didn't think it was broken. (This used to be a story I would tell like a party trick.)

Number 5: What is your all-time favorite song?
Oh, my, this is a very hard question. I'd have to say...well, I'm thinking of songs that I can hear over and over again without tiring of them. And a song that makes me feel warm and happy. Hmm. I guess I'm going to say - despite my love affair with John Mayer - "Tidal Wave" by David Gray, but if you asked me next week, it's probably say something different.

Down With Brown

I must begin this post with two important disclaimers. Number one, this post is in no way meant to disrespect my readers of the brunette persuasion. Number two, this picture is not of my hair. I will post pics - I promise - but right now, the download cord for my camera is packed in a Follette textbook box somewhere in my parents' attic or my mother's van, and my laptop isn't wired into the internet at home yet.

Now. Let's get down to business. I hate my hair. Now, I have waxed poetic about Crazy J many a time, and in my heart, I still love him. How can I not when I only had to pay half price as a going-away gift? And he worked me in to cover a scheduling snafu that had me down for a cut only. He did double-time and had two girls in his chair at once. But the end result? I have to say, this is one of my least favorite hair-dids delivered by the amazing Crazy J. Even the cut is kind of bizarre, and I've tried to tell myself that it's the change in water, but I suddenly feel like my hair isn't my hair.

I can't decide if it's just because it's one more change heaped on an already-overwhelming pile. Or if it's that I really hate the hair. I've complained about it enough that my mother is offering to pay for me to get highlights put in it, but I've sworn to live with it for a week before I sink any more money into it. I feel like I should give it a fair chance. But, truly, I hate it. So much so that I've taken to wearing a hat since Friday. The outlook for the brown hair is not good.

Perhaps it's a case of not knowing where I work or live or belong, I simply needed to know who I am when I look in the mirror. Apparently, I really do only like chocolate in my mouth and not in my hair.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Leaving: Part One

Yesterday was so brutal. The packing. The disposal of unwanted items that, for whatever unknown reason, you've kept neatly tucked in a drawer, a closet, behind the door. Dividing belongings between storage and temporary life at my parents' house. But the worst part was the leaving. I'm quite sure that the impact of it will come to me slowly. That the next week will be the subsequent parts of leaving that I need or want to express. But today, there is just the first part, the iconic part, the length of time no more than five minutes long that was everything.

It is time to go. The apartment is empty, just like it was the first day that I saw it and fell in love with it and begged my landlord to let me put a deposit down even though she wanted me to think about it over the weekend. I walk through and say goodbye to the porch. Goodbye to the bathroom and bedroom and living room. And then I go to the kitchen window, the one with the big sill that I sat in and talked on the phone, or thought, or dreamed or cried, or simply stared out into the darkness of night and lost myself. I put my hands on the glass and curl my fingers around one of the cross bars of the frame. And I lean my head against the pane and I cry. Slowly, it becomes a sob - the heart-wrenching, gasping, from the bottom up sob. It is loud and painful. My mother puts one arm around my waist, and I sense that it is both to comfort and to support. I am coming loose. Then in one breath, I stop for a moment and say, "Okay." I step away from the glass, turn and walk from the kitchen.

As I reach for the door of the apartment, I turn one last time to look. I see myself in the gilt mantle mirror - face red, eyes swollen beyond recognition, my nose a bright cherry under the brim of my cap, and I say, "Goodbye" and I leave.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Emotional Forecast

Overcast and cloudy...Chance of precipitation 100%...General area is on a flood watch...Officials recommend securing an emergency supply of Puffs...Sixteen minutes from a serious emotional front marked by rising pressure (i.e. departing from the office)...Expect turbulent weather with a brief calm (party time)...Severe showers again late tonight and most of tomorrow...Due to the weather, the blog will be unplugged for the next 48-hours...Take cover...

Holy Cow - I've Been Sixed

It seems like just about every time I've gotten my hair cut in the past six months, I've bragged about the new brown color. And every time I've had to show the proof in the pudding, people have been disappointed to find that it isn't really as brown as they thought it would be. But tonight, at my last appointment with Crazy J, he said, "How do you feel about milk chocolate?" My first response was to say I like to eat it.

Now I find that I'm walking around with it on my head. And after all the crying wolf, I'm pretty sure that none of you will believe me. Let's just say that hair color is on a scale of one to ten (this is actually true) with ten being the blondest. He's been coloring me about a 7.5. Now I'm a 6. This is brown, folks. And now I can't decide if I like chocolate on my head as much as I like it in my mouth. I'll let you know in the morning.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

New Wallpaper?

Order of the Phoenix sure has a savvy marketing team behind it. Warner Bros. just released this new promo poster for the film in the wake of the full theatrical trailer (see below). I love that Ginny's got such prominent placement and that Cho's just a little face at the back. It's interesting that they put her right next to Harry - foreshadowing of the poster for Half-Blood Prince? The overall look of the poster really captures the essence of the book. Just 78 more days! Rah!

Seacrest In?

Dear Ryan Seacrest:
I admit that in seasons past of American Idol, I complained about you. I called you whiny. And punkish. And annoying. I may have even said that I kind of hated you.

I don't know what happened between this season and last, whether it's me or you. But I'm kind of in love with you this season. Maybe it's the way you came to Sanjaya's defense after his "Something to Talk About" performance. Let's face it - he's just a kid and Simon was really giving it to him. And you stepped in and stopped the massacre. All five-foot-four of you! It was kind of a thrilling moment.

And this whole Idol Gives Back effort has me seeing you in a whole new light. Sure, the highlights you got put in before you went to Africa cost more than these kids have ever seen, but you seem genuinely touched by the experience and - dare I say it? - much deeper of a human being than your shellacked exterior suggests.

I might have a little crush on you. Just a little one though. No bigger than your skinny ties.

XO & Ashley out


Total cost of 9 books from the Friends of the Library sale. It was pretty picked over by the time I got there today at 6:30 after going to the downtown branch only to realize I needed to go to the northeast branch which would have been only a hop, skip and jump from my office. But I digress. I did luck out and find a hardback of one of my favorite books for the bargain price of a quarter. And eight paperbacks - including another favorite -and two unread titles by a well-loved author. (Names and titles withheld so as not to incriminate myself any further than I already have on this blog about my love of romance novels.) Thanks to Pen & Meg for the heads up! In less then thirty minutes, I had an armload of books purchased for one dollar! All good things to look forward to reading during my hiatus from gainful employment.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Phoenix Extended

I made Susan and Shawn watch this three times at the office today. I may or may not have watched it twice before they came in. Is it just me or are the Potter movies getting more delicious as they go along? I mean, this looks action-packed, drama-filled, and...well, Susan and I agreed that Ron is so lovable. Check it out here - or see it before Spider Man 3 in theaters May 5.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Champagne Wishes & Chocolate Cake Dreams

A group of very dear friends were kind enough to gather Saturday night for a last supper of sorts at the illustrious Circa 1922 in downtown Wilmywood. Thanks to Justin, Dave, Tom, Mel, Penelope, J.Lo. and The Bug for coming out to toast my departure. It isn't every day that someone orders champagne in your honor. (Many thanks to J. for his generosity.) In spite of (because of?) the jaunty piano player with his Disney medley and off-kilter "Your Song," the atmosphere was lovely, the food delicious, the company extraordinary and the dessert, well, just look at the picture. You are all people of the highest order and friends of the rarest kind.

The Chocolate Cake (as listed on the menu)

It's hard to be sad when the Bug's around.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Overcoming First Impressions*

When it was released, I adamantly vowed not to see the new version of Pride & Prejudice featuring Keira Knightley and not Colin Firth. But it happened to be on HBO this afternoon, and I started watching. Out of curiosity, really. You know, to compare it my beloved BBC miniseries and find it severely lacking.

I was begrudgingly surprised. Despite my protestations that Knightley was all wrong for the role of Elizabeth Bennett, she pulled it off swimmingly. She delivered a witty, complex performance and possibly brought out the flawed humanity of the character more so than other portrayals, in which Bennett becomes somewhat of an above-reproach heroine. I admit, they even accomplished making her look rather dowdy. And while Matthew Macfadyen is clearly not Colin Firth, his Darcy is well-played and appropriately stand-offish. A bit more vulnerable and yielding than Firth's ever is, for he does smile on several occasions during the film.

Overall, this film has a verve and energy to it that the BBC miniseries lacks, though the BBC version does cover the novel in its entirety more faithfully. Knightley, Macfadyen and fellow cast (including the illustrious Judy Dench as the deplorably pompous Lady Catherine de Bourg) draw the wit and comedy out of the story and more accurately depict the societal gaps between the various characters. Also, Simon Woods, who played Octavian in Season 2 of Rome delivers a performance quite the opposite of the confident dictator with his affable Mr. Bingley.

My only beef was the end scene added specifically to the American version that insinuates that we tacky Americans will never understand the passion of Elizabeth and Darcy without an implied sex scene...which, just doesn't really belong in this film. Still I confess...I'll be adding it to my DVD collection in short order. For like Elizabeth and Darcy, I'm not to proud to admit when I've been prejudiced.

* A postscript for any trivia lovers - First Impressions was Jane Austen's working title for the novel.


1) Sunday, 10:36 p.m. Intersection of 17th Street and Shipyard Boulevard. Following baked ziti and The Sopranos at Tom & Mel's.

2) Tuesday, 4:12 p.m. Office of The Client. Following presentation of embroidered tote bag. This is the first semi-official goodbye.

3) Saturday, 1:33 a.m. Martin Luther King Parkway. Following Girls' Night with Pen & Mel. Listening to "How to Save a Life."

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

I Feel Irrationally Angry Because Of...

...Fergie's voice...and Muppet face...

...the Burger King commercial with the fat man who pretends to be Spongebob Nopants...

...the fact that a show called "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader" can be a phenomenon in this country...

...being almost 28 and getting breakouts...enough already...

...ridiculous media spin...

...running out of Skittles again...

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

First Question

Starting today, J.K. Rowling's American publisher, Scholastic, is posting seven burning questions about the conclusion of the Potter series leading up to the publication of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Fans can vote on their site and discuss the questions with other Potterheads.

Today's question is one of life or death. Who will survive book 7 and who will meet their end? The characters cited on the Scholastic site are listed below along with my votes. Discuss amongst yourselves.

* Harry Potter - (Lives) Despite rumors that Rowling will kill him to keep anyone else from writing about him, I think Rowling is too dedicated to her story for petty deep-sixing. Besides, in this story of ultimate good and evil, what does it say if good dies?

* Lord Voldemort - (Dies) If I'm voting for Harry to live, I think Voldemort has to die. Duh. "Neither can live while the other survives."

* Ginny Weasley - (Lives) This vote is one of hope more than confidence. Ginny's definitely vulnerable, as Harry pointed out himself at the end of Half-Blood Prince. It's entirely possible Voldemort will use her to get to Harry and then dispose of her. Let's hope not.

* Ron Weasley - (Lives) While the Weasley clan is definitely a target for a death, I don't see Ron being the one to snuff it. He's Harry's best friend, but there are definitely some more likely candidates to get it over Ron.

* Hermione Granger - (Lives) Since Rowling's been prepping us for, oh, about six books now for the love connection between Hermione and Ron, I don't think she's going to waste her groundwork by killing either of them.

* Neville Longbottom - (Lives) Neville's tenure in the Potterverse has been fraught with failure. I think Rowling's setting him up for a heroic conclusion. But, like Ginny, I also have a sneaking suspicion that he's vulnerable for going down in a blaze of glory. Another hope vote from me.

* Severus Snape - (Dies) I'm stealing my prediction on this one from Kim. I think Severus is going to die protecting Harry in some way. I don't think he's necessarily good or evil, but I think the death scene with Dumbledore was too complex to just be what it looked on the surface. I say he bites it, but with honor.

* Rubeus Hagrid - (Lives) Let's face it: Harry's already lost too many parents. Taking Hagrid would be cruel at this point.

* Draco Malfoy - (Lives) She's going to take Voldemort, but leave us with Malfoy. He's got potential for redemption, but I think that might be too sentimental for Rowling. He'll still be pointy-faced and sneering at the end, but intact.

*Peter Pettigrew* - (Dies) Two words: Wizard's Debt.

*my addition for Scholastic's "Other" category

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Wilmywood Idol

I have never seen Martha's Karaoke Lounge more crowded that it was last night. On top of singing in front of all my coworkers, it was a packed house. My nerves got to me a little bit - not that I had a chance of belting out anything short of a well-intentioned tone-deaf 2 minutes and 40 seconds. I think my performance was summed up best by Shawn, who said, "You were just as bad as you said you'd be." Thanks to Lindsay for capturing me in all my horrible glory.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Southern Belles

This photo was too good not to post. I just wanted to make sure all y'all know how deb-u-tantes behave after a few vodka drinks in the afternoon.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Workin' 9 to 5

One night during grad school, I got a call from Kim asking me to come and get her from Martha's Karaoke Lounge. I went, thinking that I'd just dash in and retrieve her. Instead, I ended up with a microphone in my hand, waiting for the words of "9 to 5" to come up on the screen. That first karaoke experience is kind of legendary - it was like I became an entirely different person. My inner diva finally tapped, I became a frequent visitor to Martha's with my fellow grad school comrades. Kim and I do a killer "I Want You to Want Me."

Now that I'm moving away, I'm making one more appearance at the famed Martha's. Back by popular request (a.k.a. my coworkers who would like to see me humiliate myself in the name of good fun), I'll be taking up the microphone again on Saturday evening. Wilmywood friends, grad school kids, join us if you dare.

Fashion Espionage

Tomorrow, I'm going to the Azalea Festival Garden Party in historic Airlie Gardens. We'll all stand around under the giant live oaks drinking gin and tonics and eating East Carolina barbecue to the sounds of the band who will undoubtedly be wearing seersucker suits and playing "When the Saints Go Marching In." And while the majority of these people "aren't from 'round here," they'll all play Deep South for the day. Women will wear all manner of floral-printed sundresses and giant hats and men will wear madras pants and pastel blazers.

And in the grand tradition of it all, I decided to go by TJ Maxx after work to see if I too could find some sort of appropriate head accoutrement. Instead, I encountered Miranda, office executive assistant by day and personal stylist by night. Before I knew it, she was shoving me toward the fitting rooms with 7 garments in my hand.

I fell in love with one of the dresses. A dress that I loved despite its requiring a strapless bra. And even though I worried that its babydoll shape might be a bit young for me. I loved it. Needed it. Had to have it. But it was a bit too big. No matter, I thought. I remembered seeing a smaller size on the rack.

When I went back, there was a woman there who was clearly almost twice my age - with my dress. I waited 35 minutes for her to go the dressing room with it. I figured she would try it on, decide it was way too young for her, and discard it - for me.

I lurked one row over from her. Followed her through the shoes and the handbags. That's where Allison, another officemate, found me leaning against the size sixes, peering through the last row of purses, my eye on the fitting room door. And finally, after 45 minutes of waiting, the woman emerged, carrying not one but two of my dress. She kept holding them up and considering them.

I lost my patience. "Excuse me," I said. "If you decide you don't want either one of those dresses, will you let me know? Because I really want it." She had the next two sizes down from the one I had. And gave me the smaller. I felt sad, thinking there was no way it would fit. But it did! Hurrah!

Almost two hours after getting there, after an insane debacle in the checkout counter, I left TJ Maxx, feeling rather satisfied that my stakeout had paid off. Tomorrow, I will be a precious magnolia in bloom.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


A girlie-girl prone to crushes since, oh, I don't know, birth, I've always had some celebrity that I secretly pined for - or not so secretly wrote on every notebook I carried. According to the same journal that charted my musical tastes, I've had crushes on the following celebrities:

Dean Cain (of Lois & Clark fame) * Chipper Jones (of the Atlanta Braves) * Adam Duritz (of Counting Crows) * Harrison Ford * Colin Firth * Michael Schoeffling (from Sixteen Candles, although my crush had more to do with the little-known Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken) * Hugh Jackman * Joshua Jackson * John Mayer...and I'm sure there were many, many more whose names I was smart enough to not catalog for future embarrassment.

But far more embarrassing than any of my past crushes is that, I must confess, I still get celebrity crushes. And they seem to come in threes. My current list of crushes includes:

*James Purefoy - British and delicious. If you missed HBO's Rome, you missed his incredibly witty and sexy portrayal of Mark Antony, you missed out. He's just rugged. And wicked. Great voice, too. A guy's never looked so hot shoving a sword into his gullet.

*Christian Bale - I know he was popular among my friends (a.k.a. NIKI!) when he was in Swing Kids. I thought he was cute then, but now? He's smoldering. He's got that mysterious quality. Best Bruce Wayne ever (and with the worst script of all of them).

*Mr. Armani - I tried to find out this guy's name, and the best I can do is find one site that names him Andrew Cooper. But I don't think that's right. So we'll just call him Mr. Armani. He's spearheading the spring campaign for the label, and well, let's just say I'm glad we get GQ in the office so that I could tear the ads out and pin them to my billboard. Plus the latest issue has Christian Bale on the cover - bonus!

Once a crusher, always a crusher.

Sign of the Times

As a thanks for one of the surveys I just did for The Gallup Panel, they sent me some results from surveys they've conducted. I found this particularly interesting.

As candidates for the 2008 presidential election continue to emerge, Gallup asked panelists an open-ended question about what quality they deem most important in the next president. One-third of panelists say that honesty or the ability to be straightforward is the most important quality for the next president to possess. This response far outpaced the percentages for any other responses given.

It's a strong commentary on the political climate among the people going into this presidential race. Party lines aside, it's interesting that people just want to be able to believe in leaders. Hopefully that won't be too much to ask.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Cutting Class

This photo appears in the May issue of British GQ. I know he's got no control over the pull quote they choose to put on the page, but the photo it necessary? Isn't the killer combo of "Cry Me a River" and "What Goes Around Comes Around" and his sell-out world tour while she's in rehab enough of a slap in the face? He's saying he's "so far removed" and yet, putting himself right in the middle of the fray with this photo. Downgrade, JT.

Strange Things I Do

1) Sit in the dark. I don't like the dark. But I will sit on the couch and start watching TV or surfing the internet and it will get dark outside and very dark inside, and I will wait hours to turn the light on.

2) Not put garbage in its rightful place. For example, this morning, I put inserts into a pair of shoes that didn't quite fit. The packaging? On the coffee table. Wore a new shirt the other day and cut the tag out. Left it on the desk. I will wad up a piece of paper and throw it in the floor. That's wrong.

3) Put off eating dinner. For a ridiculously long time. I'll consider it and weigh my options and then sort of try to convince myself that maybe I'm not hungry. Just because I'm lazy.

4) Write a to do list. Do three of the nine things on it. Rewrite the to do list and add four things to it. Do two things (neither from the original list). Wad up the page and throw it in the floor. Things do not get done this way.

Still Making It Work

Just in case you missed it, Bravo announced Friday that Tim Gunn will be back for Season 4 of Project Runway. It was rumored some months ago that Gunn, who has since left the Parsons School of Design, might not be back for the show's fourth go around. But producer Harvey Weinstein is smart enough to know that Gunn is so much the heart of the show. Now if only we could figure out...what happened to Andre??

Sunday, April 08, 2007

3 Weeks From Today

Saturday, April 07, 2007

A Mistake in Judgment

I came across an article on Yahoo last night about a new book called The Feminine Mistake by Leslie Bennetts. I couldn't find the same article this morning, but I did find this insightful piece about the book on Salon.

In the book Bennetts makes a call to arms for young women not to sacrifice career in order to stay at home with children. Her argument is rooted in staying self-sufficient, maintaining earning power (which drops 37% after just three years out of the workplace) and being prepared for a husband or partner who loses his job, develops a drug, alcohol or gambling problem, or skips out on the marriage for a newer model (usually one, according to Bennetts, who is more career-minded).

Bennetts' arguments are not new. In fact, this debate has been going on since women entered the workplace, and I suspect it will go on for generations to come. In my view, the stay-at-home or stay-at-work choice is intensely personal. I have close friends who come down on both sides of the fence for reasons that are personal and economic. So that is not why I call attention to this article.

Instead, I call attention to the crux of the first paragraph of Joan Walsh's review: If female fear and self-doubt were ever eradicated, the publishing industry would matter the issue, the premise is pretty much the same: We're doing something wrong. And in the article I read last night, Bennett was quoted as saying, "Women are so defensive about their choices." Well, no wonder. We're under attack from all sides for what we did or didn't do.

Look at me. I'm 27-going-on-28, unmarried and childless. For every person who thinks I'm living the life, there's someone to judge me as inept, incomplete, or just plain sad. A career may be completion to some, and for others, I simply haven't found my purpose until I have a baby. There's judgment for all of our choices, and most of the time, they come from other women.

We have so many choices today - which is a blessing and a curse. Believe me, I'm thankful for that - if I ever needed further convincing, I could revisit my Women's Lit text or rent HBO's Iron-Jawed Angels to reaffirm that we've got the long end of the stick. But because our place isn't dictated by society anymore, it's dictated by us. Which puts an enormous amount of pressure on choosing a direction.

The freedom to choose has also given birth to some sort of inherent insecurity about those choices. Instead of banding together and supporting each other and embracing the classic viewpoint that it takes all kinds, we spend our time defending ourselves to each other in case anyone should think we've failed womankind by taking a certain path.

All this to say that I find people like Bennetts distasteful. Her need to push her lifestyle choice to the front, to suggest that anyone who doesn't go that way is damning herself to a life of misery, points to insecurity rather than certainty. I know several stay-at-home moms who are very happy, in healthy, stable relationships and very fulfilled by the time they spend with their children. I also know a number of women who work every day and love and support their children just as much as the stay-at-homers.

Beyond the Mommy Wars, the pressure to have the right career, choose the right husband, be the right kind of homemaker is overwhelming. The Have It All Agenda is still out there, providing the illusion that we can have it all with no sacrifice - and that anything short of the sum total of all the facets of wife, mother, career woman, and individual - doesn't add up.

Yet, I think of the women I know and the choices they've made - my mother who gave up an excellent job to stay home. Pen, who stays at home and Andi, who is a working mom. Niki, who's pursuing law, and Jenn, who's pursuing social work. All of the women who read this blog and are career women, students, writers, mothers, wives, friends. And I'm proud of them all for making the decision that was right for them. No judgment. Other than I think you're all amazing women.

One Sugar, Cream & Paint Chips

This morning, I noticed my coffee cup, which had been stored upside down in the cabinet, had little paint chips from the shelf stuck to the rim. Considering how old my apartment is, I'm fairly certain this makes my morning coffee "leaded." This explains so much.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Ash's Obsessions du Jour

Tagged by Pen - here we go.

1. Noticing. Everything. Contemplating the light through the windows in the apartment in the late afternoon. Considering Kudzu's regular patterns of movement from room to room and neat jumps onto the windowsills. Ways of getting from one place to the other in town, recognizing the acute knowledge of each curve and straight and landmark - I know this road. Wondering (but trying not to overly much) if this will be the last time I do this or that in Wilmywood before I move. Noticing. Everything.

2. Quiet solitude. Not that quiet is the way anyone would describe me - prone to nervous chatter as I am and filling silences with it. And generally talking too much and too loudly. But today is quiet, and I relish the quiet and hold the quiet.

3. Oakdale Cemetery. Having never been there until yesterday, I was unaware that it holds the esteem of being quite possibly the only place in Wilmywood that I might describe as "hilly." Any other season, it might be drab - naked wintry branches or fully-leaved summer trees. But in spring, it is blossoming and fragrant and serene.

4. Songs that I hear that have a confusing context. How sometimes The Killers' "Smile Like You Mean It" sounds like a song Kim and I would've listened to in the car on the way to the beach, even though it came out after we graduated. Or how The Fray's "How to Save a Life" feels impossibly like a song from college that I would've listened to on repeat going up Stretch Road and hummed to myself as I rattled around Frost Chapel.

5. Kudzu's relentlessness in waking me these days when he wants to be fed. His pawing the covers off me and wet nose on the eyelids. He drives me mad until I stumble into the kitchen and crack open a can. But then, after he's eaten and I've gone back to bed, he'll curl up against my spine in a tight circle and I feel loved.

6. My secret day off. I hedged about going home for Easter because I selfishly wanted a three-day weekend to myself. Other than my sister, sworn to secrecy, my family thinks today was just another day at the office.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Here Comes Peter Cottontail

Happy Easter Season!

Separated by American Idol

Separated by Wong Foo & Julie Newmar

Separated by Princess Fiona & Donkey

Separated by De Plane

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

In Praise of Spring

The shift in seasons reminded me of a poem I wrote in college during my e.e. cummings period. I was quite fond of wandering around campus in the wee hours.

2 a.m. in spring

blooming into april neverdarkness

alive with lush green whispers
brazenly unfurling petals for a pale moon

who smiles at fevered spring eyes.

wild feet kiss fresh grass lips

lately wetted by dew's first --

poetry in the trees, these leaves

that rush against one another

like the lines of a sonnet, rhythmic

rustling words of lovers, spoken

during these hours of sleeping

when the light across town burns,

a little daylight saved for me.

18th Century Jive

I just finished reading the eighth (and final) book in a series of romance novels set in Regency England. And that's just one more in the list of the, well, embarrassingly large number of romance novels I've read over the past few months. A certain dialect pervades these novels, comprised of singular words and phrases that we don't use anymore. Maybe we never used them - these books, while historical in nature, are not necessarily committed to accuracy. At the very least, it's an interesting collection of words. Perhaps I'll try to work them into a conversation at the office tomorrow.

* missish (as in prudish)
* peevish (as in woke up on the wrong side of the bed)
* tin ear (as in can't play Beethoven in tune)
* perverse (as in charmingly naughty)
* wicked (as in totally naughty - but you like it)
* apoplectic fit (as in Regency England's version of "wigging out")
* vexed (as in pissed off)
* press one's suit (as in "Will you marry me?")
* by my troth (as in "Yes, I will marry you.")
* cast up one's accounts (as in drank too much stout last night and now I'm hugging the chamber pot)

Monday, April 02, 2007

Just Like Pretty Woman

This morning, I put on my brown faux croc heels and noticed that the toes were a bit scuffed. Hmmm, I thought. What to do? So I did what any classy lady would do and colored them in with a Sharpie.

Thanks, Julia Roberts.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Done & Undone

* Stoned kitty sleeping by cat-nipped scratcher near the kitchen
* Filmed various important Wilmywood locations: first office, first apartment, Morton Hall, beach
* Sushi
* Long bath
* Palm Sunday service
* Watching She's the Man (twice)
* Identifying Amanda Bynes ' next teen movie project and duly notifying Penelope
* Almost entire bag of Skittles
* Afternoon nap
* Marathon procrastination
* Agreeing to tap dance at Kim Shable's wedding

* Dishes
* Taking the trash out
* Sending out resumes
* Unfinishable proposal I'm writing for work
* Packing
* Bank deposit
* iPod loading
* General life planning
* Learning to tap dance

And It Was All Yellow

Forsythia in the late afternoon sun. Gorgeous.