Tag Archives: birthdays

Happy New Hair.

Happy 2016.

Happy election year.

Happy birthday.  To me.  I’ll be 29 years old in 10 days.  I ain’t worried.  I could easily pass for 27.  I could even pass for 25, maybe, if I grew my hair out, but I’m not going to do that.  Too many interesting strangers love my cropped ‘do.  In fact, just this evening I was stopped by a homeless lady as I was leaving Trader Joe’s.  She told me she loved my hair and that she used to have a haircut just like mine when she was younger.

“My husband used to tell me, ‘You look BUTCH!'”

“Oh no.”

“I would just turn around and say, ‘Well you’re a PUSSY!'”

I am simply not willing to sacrifice these wonderful interactions for the sake of shaving a few years off my appearance.


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For Melanie, For Everything

My good friend Melanie turned another year older on June 8.  After her birthday dinner, I presented a belated birthday present to my friend Nicole, who had her birthday on May 11.

I’m a bit behind.  Just a bit.  Let it be known that I am not behind because I don’t care.  On the contrary, I’m behind because I care very, very much.

I first met Melanie in Miss Warren’s third grade class.  We were seven-years-old.  She was very skinny and had big, round glasses — I had totally excellent bangs and wore awkward Jockey sports bras.  Once, during a time when Melanie and I sat next to each other in class, I was reading my vocabulary sentences aloud to our table when, quite suddenly, an ENORMOUS SNOT BUBBLE came out of my nose.  I did my best to sniff it back in immediately, but it was too late — everyone at the table had seen the ENORMOUS SNOT BUBBLE come out of my nose.  Everyone laughed, myself included.  Embarrassed that I may still have snot in my nose, I held my vocabulary sentences in front of my face.  Melanie, without missing a beat (as usual), leaned right over to me and said, “Be careful, now, don’t get any snot on your homework!”

Hours later, Melanie acted as if nothing had happened.  We practiced writing paragraphs and multiplying by 4’s — the day went on like any other.  In fact, The ENORMOUS SNOT BUBBLE Incident was never brought up again.  She could have asked Miss Warren to give her a new seat — after all, there was no real explanation for my ENORMOUS SNOT BUBBLE, and there was no guarantee that this wouldn’t be a regular occurrence — but she didn’t.  She got over it.

It really wasn’t until 5th grade that Melanie and I became Partners In Lunacy.  With 5th grade came our love for writing silly songs (favorites such as “BFG,” “When The Sun Turns Grey (El Niño Returns From His Lair),” “Bakery Goodies (Have Faith in Your Mother)”…), the invention of The Butter Girls comic strip, our obsession with Billy Madison; the kinds of things that lasting friendships are made of.  The shenanigans were endless: we used to pass each other notes using her Merry-Go-Round pencil sharpener as a means of transporting and camouflaging our precious messages; during a week long rainstorm (which, actually, must have been El Niño), we spent every precious minute of recess time writing ridiculous stories on our classroom’s brand new iMacs; we were separated during an assembly because I made her laugh by whispering “Mouth-watering marshmallows” in her ear; during Outdoor Ed we stole a pair of our friend’s underwear and hung it from a rafter above our bunk beds.

Looking at the paragraph I just wrote, I realize that very little has changed.

Melanie and I have now been friends for 14 years.  A few things are different (she wears contacts and has traded in her skinny physique for a downright slammin’ bod), but we are still very much the same people we were when we first became friends — we make up songs, think up kickass ideas for comic strips, and obsess over silly movies.  Neither of us are too proud to own things such as pencil sharpeners shaped as Merry-Go-Rounds — in fact, I think I should go find some as soon as possible — and as far as stealing underwear for the sole purpose of having a good giggle fit, well, yeah, that sounds like us.  Most importantly, though, is that Melanie is still the kind of person who will be your friend even after she’s seen ENORMOUS SNOT BUBBLES come out of your nose.

So, Mel, happy belated birthday.  Part II of your birthday card begins NOW.

I couldn’t just buy you one.   Birthday cards don’t come with pictures like THESE:


On Tuesday, I decided that I finally had the time to assemble your gift.  I went to the mall in search of a cute journal.  Yes, a cute journal.  I had originally planned on decorating a journal for you.  That is not what I ended up doing.

I hate the mall parking lot.  It’s full of SUVs with old Bush/Cheney stickers on them.  Parked next to me on Tuesday, however, was a BLUE CORVETTE!!!  It gave me a thrill.

I wonder what the geniuses behind Eiffel 65 are up to these days…

The first thing I did when I got to the mall was look inside Bath & Body Works to see how much they charge for bottles of Piña Colada Butt Lotion and jars of Nipple Butter.  Don’t ask.

NEXT, I went to a cute little crafty-ish store that just opened up.  They had a PERFECT journal that was just BEGGING to be ripped apart and glued back together again by moi.  Of course, it was for display only and there were no others like it.

I went to the outside shopping area to take the stairs back up to my car, and I saw THIS:

“Shop Irresponsibly SALE.”  Our country amazes me. Corporate Fat Cats have come up with a way of using The Recession to their advantage.  This ad says, “Yeah, we know you have no money…but we bet you just sit up all night dreaming of all the STUFF you could BUY if you had some, right?  Don’t you just wanna say, ‘Fuck it, I want sunglasses’?  Well just DO IT!  YES!  DO IT!  It’ll feel SO GOOD to be BAD!”  It reminds me of the kind of thing we would discuss while watching Easy Rider and drinking Lemon Drops.

As I was walking back to The Former Site of Sisley — because even though Sisley is gone I still only ever park there — I passed friggin’ Papyrus.  I thought, “Screw it.  Maybe they’ll have what I’m looking for.”  Dude, they didn’t.  I wasn’t going to buy a $30 leather-bound journal and then rip it apart and glue it back together.  I was about to leave when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a flash of a BEAUTIFUL shade of blue.  I looked, and, oh yes, it was a journal!  Upon closer examination, I saw that it was a…

…TAYLOR SWIFT JOURNAL.  What?  She’s such a renowned writer she has her own line of journals?  Like Rachel Ray’s “EVOO?”  Or Emeril’s bottled “Essence?”  Ridiculous.

For a moment I considered buying it so I could rip it apart and glue it back together IRONICALLY.  Ultimately I decided I wouldn’t buy the journal because I never want Taylor Swift to see a single red cent of my hard earned money.  Shop responsibly, Steff.

Needless to say, I came home empty handed.  Well, not true — I did end up buying some underwear, because every damn pair I own has multiple holes.  It’s not as sexy as it sounds.

YESTERDAY, though, when I returned to the mall to purchase Piña Colada Butt Lotion and Nipple Butter (don’t ask — and yes, I’m very much making fun of Bath & Body Works), I decided that on the way home from the mall I would stop at Michael’s.  Ya know.  For craft stuff.

I wandered in-and-out of the brilliant stacks of picture frames giggling at plastic bananas, admiring the balsa wood, and never passing the cashier.  (Shameless Allen Ginsberg reference.)  I didn’t see a single journal.

And then I saw it.  I saw IT.  And I BOUGHT IT.  And I knew EXACTLY what I was going to do with IT.

I sped home, and when I got there I was pleasantly surprised to find that my most recent online purchase had arrived!  I now have THIS on VINYL!

As I listened with glee, I scoured the internet for pictures.  The RIGHT pictures for IT.  Quickly, I loaded them all on to a flash drive, jumped in the car, and sped to Kinko’s…or, ya know, FedEx, or whatever the Hell I’m supposed to call it.  As far as I’m concerned it’s a freaking Kinko’s.  Yes, I had to go there because no, I do not own a printer.  The printer is in Isla Vista.


I giggled like a 13-year-old.  Seriously, they must have done this on purpose.  There’s no way I’m the only person who thinks this is funny.

I came home, put on Cry-Baby, and got to work.  First, I burned you a bunch of CDs.  Five CDs.  THEN, I got to work on IT.  Here is a sneak peak…

There you have it.  Your sneak peak of your belated birthday present.  Hope you’re getting excited.  Are you getting excited?  ‘Cause I am excited.

Happy belated birthday, Melanie.  You are one of the most charming, funny, interesting, loving, loyal people I have ever known.   I love you to bits.  Here’s to 14 more kickass years.

That guy is so cute.  Whoever he is.

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I Guess I Must Be Having Fun

It is the evening of January 17, 2011, and I am now 24 years old.

As I typed that second clause, I imagined a camera zooming in, à la Sex and the City, capturing the words as they appeared, one at a time, to emphasize their gargantuan importance. Well, the words “I am now 24 years old” may not be as substantial as anything Carrie Bradshaw ever wrote (“Are we sluts?”), but I’m feeling rather, I don’t know. No, I do; I feel vulnerable. I feel vulnerable. I’m in control of very little, and that scares me a little. Happy birthday to me.

Having a birthday at the very beginning of a new year is strange. New Year’s resolutions aren’t just about how Next Year I Will Be Better At Such and Such — they’re about growing up. “This year, I’m going to lose 20 pounds.” Well, that’s cool, but for me that resolution sounds more like, “This year I’m going to lose 20 pounds because it looks like I still have my fucking baby fat and I’m an adult now and I’m another year older and for as long as I have a chubby little face I’m gonna look like a fucking teenager as opposed to a mysterious, grown woman and FOR FUCK’S SAKE, YOU KNOW WHAT ICE CREAM TASTES LIKE!”

Did I frighten anyone, just then? Good.

I had a fantastic time this weekend. See?

So, what’s my damage, right?

Well, I decided in December that 2011 is going to be all about working towards The Next Step. For as much as I’m enjoying living with my parents and working at an office part time, I realize that life cannot, and should not, go on like this forever. I do not wish for that to be the case, either. I have no doubt that some substantial changes are going to occur. Eventually. Meanwhile, I need to help get things moving. At least a bit. Right?

Just who am I talking to, and just what do I expect him or her to say to me?

Last week, I attempted to “get moving.” I thought to myself, “What kind of job would I be willing to settle for that somehow involves doing things that I like to do, and may possibly lead me down a rewarding, somewhat [if not extremely] lucrative path?” I narrowed it down to a few choices, and then got to Googling. I came up with nothing. I found no information on how to break in to any of the fields for which I searched. Feeling downhearted, I decided I had three options: go to bed, cry, or watch a Peter O’Toole movie. After choosing the third option, I realized I had three new options: The Ruling Class, What’s New, Pussycat? or something I haven’t already seen five times. I went on Netflix, and found a movie called The Creator, a comedy from 1985, where Mr. O’Toole plays a wacky scientist. Having very little expectations and wanting nothing more than an escape from the very real reality that I was feeling very, very sad, I hit “Play.”

The sub-plot just had to be a love story, and it just had to be a sweet one that really got to me. My mood suddenly went from, “I feel rather bummed that I’m going to live in Agoura for the rest of my twenties,” to, “I feel rather bummed that I’m going to live in Agoura for the rest of my twenties and be single for the rest of my Goddamn life.” I cried. I did. The sight of young Virginia Madsen naked in the shower with a dude didn’t arouse me — it made me insanely jealous and sad. I’ll say it again — I cried.

Hey, at least I was alone. I wasn’t bringing anyone else down with my wackness.

I continued watching the movie, because even though it wasn’t exactly serving as the greatest sanctuary, it was better than nothing. Plus, I find that crying while watching a movie is so much better than crying yourself to sleep. (How SAD is that sentence? FUCK!) A scene ended, and suddenly I was looking at Mr. O’Toole sitting at a table on the patio of the fucking Stevenson Coffee Shop at UC Santa Cruz. Not only did I go to UCSC, I lived at Stevenson College for two damn years. The patio at the Stevenson Coffee Shop was my favorite place on campus, and remains one of my favorite places in all of California. The patio is incredible — it’s elevated, and all the tables are surrounded by majestic trees that are several hundred feet tall. If you sit at the table in the middle of the most elevated part and look up, it’s like you’re looking through a tunnel to the heavens. I spent many days of my life sitting at that table socializing, studying, and daydreaming, always accompanied by a cup of dark roast coffee and a feeling of immeasurable tranquility — a feeling that I was very much not experiencing whilst watching The Creator… until I saw Peter fucking O’Toole, the current object of my idolatry, sitting at my table. I’m not entirely superstitious, I don’t completely believe in fate, and I’m pretty much Agnostic, but dammit, I know that I get markedly nervous when I see people open umbrellas indoors, I know that my “random” decision to borrow Blonde on Blonde from my dad when I was 14 was meant to be, and I know that the Stevenson Coffee Shop scene in The Creator was a message from the universe.

A few hours ago, I treated myself to yet another viewing of What’s New, Pussycat?, and a homemade banana split, consisting of non-fat frozen yogurt from Golden Spoon, an organic banana, and fat-free Reddi-Whip. When the movie ended, my dad decided it was time for the two of us to watch YouTube. We watched The Rolling Thunder Review version of “Tangled Up In Blue.” We watched Tom Waits sing “Pasties and a G-String” live in Germany. We watched Patti Smith being interviewed by Tom Snyder. We watching Jason Mraz sing “Blitzkreig Bop,” and when he said, “I first heard this song when I watched National Lampoon’s Vacation,” my dad exclaimed, “That shows just what a total DORK you are.” Then my dad put on “This Must Be The Place (Naive Medley),” by Talking Heads. It brought tears to my eyes.

After a few more videos and a few technical difficulties, dad gave up on YouTube and realized it was time to watch the Lakers, anyway. I went upstairs, thinking I’d finish the evening with some reading. Before cracking open my book, I went on facebook to read all my birthday wishes. Then I decided I needed to hear “This Must Be The Place” one more time. I guess I could say it brought tears to my eyes again, but that would be an understatement. The flood gates opened, and sweet Jack Guerney, they did not close for a good long while. I finally had to stop crying and run to the bathroom to wash the melted mascara out of my stinging eyes.

It is the evening of January 17, 2011, and I am now 24 years old. Old enough to know better, and young enough to still make a few stupid mistakes. Old enough to look for a grown-up job, and young enough to work part time. Old enough to set goals for the future, and young enough to escape with the help of a Peter O’Toole movie. Old enough to have a place of my own, but young enough to live with good ol’ mom and dad for a bit longer…

Home is where I want to be
Pick me up and turn me round

I can’t help it when I feel uncertain. I think that goes hand in hand with being in your twenties, not to mention being in your twenties after eight years of George W. Bush’s master plan. If there’s one thing most liberals and conservatives can agree on, it’s that things suck right now. My paycheck isn’t huge, I need to save money, and yet my fear of pesticides and Dollar Menus compels me to spring for organic lettuce and other luxuries.

When ya think about it, though, isn’t it really kind of exciting? Struggling through uncertainty, I mean?

I feel numb – born with a weak heart
I guess I must be having fun

It’s true, Google failed me the night I watched The Creator, but Google also fails me when I try to find copies of rare Marlon Brando movies. I can’t let an internet search engine dictate whether or not my life has any direction. Direction! How could my life possibly have NO direction?

God, I’ve been told over and over, for so many years by so many assholes, that it’s all about The Future, The Future, and The Future in that order, but what about right now? No, that question is not cliché, it’s legit. Is it not better to enjoy today with your eyes and ears open than to miss today entirely for the sake of a day that hasn’t even happened?

The less we say about it the better
Make it up as we go along…

Fuck all that. I’m only going to be 24 once. I’m only going to be 29 once. I’m only going to be 35, 48, and 64 once. Yes, I’m sticking to the idea that 2011/24 will be about moving towards The Next Step. Yes, I know that I can only do so much to control what happens to me in The Future. Yes, I know that there will be many more moments of crying on my couch, thinking If Only I Had A More Stimulating Job, or If Only I Had A Boyfriend, or If Only I Had Been A Dancer All These Years, but I know that moments like these are par for the course.

So what if there’s a bummer of an evening in my future? Peter O’Toole enjoyed a beautiful afternoon at the Stevenson Coffee Shop, sitting at the table where nothing can hurt you. And so did I. Many times.

Feet on the ground
Head in the sky
It’s ok I know nothing’s wrong…nothing…

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