Prodigal Blogger Returns:
So, something fun is when your phone has no dial tone whenever it rains, and so you call Southwestern Bell on your cell phone, many many times, whenever this happens, which is many, many times over the course of a few months, and they always assure you that someone will be out to take care of it, but no one ever comes out: it just stops raining the next day, and your phone comes back to life. But then it rains for several days in a row, freezing icy rain, which is really just the last straw, so you call again and exhibit the sort of vengeful consumer dissatisfaction you thought only your mother was capable of, and lo and behold, there’s a very nice man on your doorstep within the hour, and it’s all taken care of, no charge, Miss Brown. Damn right no charges, biotches.
In other news: I went home to my parents’ house this weekend, and secured both the pirate love story notebook and several old journals and diaries, which were more entertainment that I’d ever dreamed during these lonesome no-phone-or-internet days.
I also came across a box in my old closet half-full of old high school graduation announcements. I briefly considered sending the remaining ones to the same list of friends and family in the box, just to shake things up a little, but decided instead to pocket the little cards with my full name on them in old gothic script and hand them out as business cards, my phone number and email scrawled at the bottom.
Also: I know Adam already knows of its hidden treasures, but I received the Royal Tenenbaums soundtrack as an early Valentine, and it’s absolutely perfect.
Did someone say “Preteen Pirate Fan Fiction?”
First of all: word.
Next order of business: today, while Erin and I were in the car, paused in a sunny patch and listening it Skee-lo, I suddenly felt the urge to share with her my darkest secret:
“One time, way before my first kiss, I filled an entire notebook with pirate love stories. Featuring me. And Christian Bale.”
She seemed receptive, so I continued:
“I had seen some TV version of Treasure Island starring Christian Bale, who I’d been hot for ever since Empire of the Sun, and I was twelve and bored, and at my grandma’s all weekend, and… it’s still buried under my bed at my parents’ house. I found it again when I was sixteen, and was so simultaneously mortified and amused that I had to grab a pen and Mystery Science Theater my own story. The only way you knew there were pirates was that they prefaced every sentence with ‘aye.’ It was so, so bad. So bad that I would still be embarrassed to even let my dearest friends, the ones who’ve seen my naked and snotty and unwashed, see it. In fact, if I suddenly die, Josh has instructions to go find the yellow notebook and burn it, sight unseen.”
Long pause. And then:
I have never seen anyone so overjoyed to admit that they understood, because they totally wrote Dead Poets’ Society fan fiction at that same age, wherein (natch) their father was the new headmaster, making them the only girl at the boys’ school.
I love my friends.
A few guilty pleasures:
- Archway Frosty Lemon cookies. Sometimes they’re so faux-lemony, they’re fluorescent. That doesn’t stop me, though.
- George Michael’s “Freedom.”
- The Vicar of Dibley on PBS, late Sunday nights.
- Gwyneth Paltrow magazine interviews. (I know, I know: we’re all supposed to be showing a unified front on this one, but I can’t help it.)
- Reading every single page of my page-a-day calendar in advance. Say what you will, but I’ll never stop. Never!
I am officially an old lady:
I saw Gosford Park with my parents earlier today. I wouldn’t recommend it, and I’m always a sucker for any movie about some tweedy Brits holed up in a country house. It was pretty boring, and very slow-going… although slow-going insinuates that at some point it picks up. Definitely a rental, if anything. Still can’t resist those accents, though. I will date a British boy before I die, mark my words. Or at least kiss one.
I spent the earlier part of the day finally writing my Christmas thank you notes (so late this year! I have no idea why; I love anything involving stationery) and watching Antiques Roadshow. My favorite bits are the little in-betweeners of people in line. When I went with my parents last summer, they filmed my dad for one, but they never aired it. Also, a 50 year old woman jumped in front of me to get Dan Elias’s autograph while I was at the Silver table. I bet he gets a lot of that.
Daddy, Don’t You Walk So Fast:
Last night, at the Holiday Inn Select: Rusty Davis, world-famous Wayne Newton impersonator!
After the show, Jon called him over and bought him a drink, so he sat at our table and told us how he got into the impersonator business, how he was in a band in the mid ‘60s with a hit in the top ten (I didn’t recognize it, and I listen to a lot of oldies), and how he lives across the street from Gladys Knight and down the street from the real Wayne Newton, who sometimes pays him a grand to just walk around his ranch when there are camera crews the real Wayne “doesn’t want to deal with.”
He had 32 diamonds on one ring alone. He requested a Fuzzy Navel. Erin and I got a picture with him that will most certainly end up on T-shirts and mousepads and homemade calendars.
Next week at the Holiday Inn Select: Buddy Holly impersonator!
This Slate article about Wes Anderson is interesting, although its subtitle (“Wes Anderson, the sequel to Tarantino”) initially irked me a bit.
Things About Me That Impress My 18 Year Old Brother’s Friends:
- I have my own apartment.
- The picture of me on my parents’ refrigerator, smiling on the beach in a bikini, circa 1994.
- I can write my name in cursive on a travel-sized Etch-a-Sketch while driving.
- I once saw Topanga at Hideaway Pizza.
- I am capable of buying alcohol, and often do.
- My best friend in high school was their former hot babysitter.
- I once hopped a freight train with my friend Josh. Yes, for real.
Things About Me That Do Not Impress My 18 Year Old Brother’s Friends:
- I once hung out with Frank Black.
- In the same vein, Frank Black once called my apartment. On purpose.
- My photographic memory.
- My excellent spelling skills.
- Yes, I have read all of those books on my shelves.
- “Why do you listen to all of this emo crap?”
- I will not buy them beer, nor will I allow them to purchase the three remaining Rolling Rocks in my refrigerator for $5 apiece, no matter how persuasive their “but you’re unemployed and need the money” argument may be.
- Frank Black! From the Pixies!
Cold Hard Dis
My McSweeney’s list submission got turned down, which bummed me out a whole lot more than it should have. The rejection email wasn’t even from Mr. Eggers himself (not that it really would have mattered).
However, the email was very nice, and said, “I’m sorry to say it isn’t for McSweeney’s, and unfortunately, with these lists, it’s always hard to say why they don’t work.” Valid point. It went on to offer suggestions for the sort of writing they were looking for, including, “Writing that is flat-out good, not writing that you think McSweeney’s will like because it’s writing that bears a strong resemblance to something that’s already appeared in or on McSweeney’s.” This I find a little suspect, but what are you going to do? I wrote my piece and then thought it seemed McSweeney’s listish, not the other way around. Although I have to question the published list that was merely someone’s last name put in spellcheck.
I think what really bummed me out was reading the last suggestion, which read, “Tight, descriptive, well-told pieces from people traveling. Or just writing about specific places. Not travel writing necessarily and not what I did last summer, more like, say, So-and-So: A Letter from Sumatra, in which someone who happens to be in Sumatra for something or other writes an engaging piece about some event she saw or took part in while there. The place needn’t be all that exotic.”
Off the top of my head, I have no idea where Sumatra is.
I am a tiny little person, a tiny pathetic little person who has no business even inquiring about joining the ranks of the cool kids of my generation who are involved with cool magazines! Sumatra! God, do I ever suck.
I do have excellent handwriting, though.
(Or would that be “Shouts Out”? Reminds me of the Onion sidebar, “William Safire Orders Two Whoppers Junior.”)
- To ReadyMade, the coolest magazine I’ve seen all week.
- To To-Do List, the other coolest magazine I’ve seen all week. (It’s a sickness for me. I can’t get enough of magazines, their glossy pages and tidbits of information. They beckon to me from the shelf.)
- To the impossibly cute Heather B., and her very clever page. She likes the Starlight Mints and Britney Spears! Give me one good reason why you shouldn’t have a crush on her. (While visiting, check out the pictures of Heather and her equally impossibly cute roommate.)
- To this strange little circle of dedicated Dr Pepper fans.
- To Daniel Handler, who is eternally in my top ten. Check him out here, and here (show from December 10).
- To the strangely ubiquitous James Frain, who should be the Que Sera Sera page’s unofficial mascot.
- As always, to my main man Ira Glass. We’ll be together someday, baby. Someway, somehow. Don’t worry your pretty little head about it.
- And to you, gentle reader. It’s so good of you to check back regularly. Even better when you send me email or sign the goddamn guestbook, though.
Last night, my apartment. Much wine and toenail painting, although no lingerie pillow fights. (Those are for the slumber parties.) And much Michael Jackson Special on CBS (the second time for me, sadly), and much Barbie Queen of the Prom Drinking Game, which is the best drinking game ever, if your goal is to get really drunk. How to play? Drink whenever the game is being sexist! And the game is always sexist! A good example square: “He criticizes your hairdo! Miss a turn.”
In order to become Queen of the Prom, you must buy a dress (“Silken Flame” is my personal favorite), become president of a class organization, and go steady. Your boyfriend choices are Ken (who we all know can’t get it up without thinking of his mother), Tom (the cool glasses science boy whom I burn for), Poindexter (who will surely one day rule a vast technological empire), and Bob, of the thick neck and blond crewcut. (Go ahead and just call him Biff. I do.)
The side of the box, a replica of the original 1961 game, says “A fun game with real-life appeal for all girls!” Hell yeah. (Don’t tell, but I played with Brian last week, and he totally won. He even got Biff as a boyfriend, and the “Solo in the Spotlight” dress. He sulked a little, but looked so cute in the crown.)
Que Sera Sera: Your 2,500th Location for James Frain on the Web
I received this email recently:
Subj: James Frain & this Topanga person
Date: 12/30/01 11:58:44 PM Central Standard Time
I just found your site whilst doing a search for James Frain (I’m a huge fan of his) on Google. I saw your write-up about seeing him (or his double) at a pizza place in Tulsa. Well, I don’t know if it was him, but he was in the States during this time. He has a supporting role in the upcoming HBO movie “Path to War”. The only thing is, this film is, for the most part, being filmed in L.A. But, who knows, maybe they had something they had to shoot in the mid-south. I hope it was him. Anyways, it was fun reading your page.
After reading this, I searched for James Frain on Google myself, and my site didn’t come up until somewhere around the 25th page. That’s some search dedication. Kudos to you, teri_2. And mad props for using “whilst.”
Speaking of James Frain, he was in the trailer for The Count of Monte Cristo (scruffy Guy Pearce = yum) that we saw before The Royal Tenenbaums, which was excellent. It was opening night, and the theater was packed, mostly with the cool kids, but some were people that probably said, “Ben Stiller is in this, right? I just loved Meet the Parents!”, and were left scratching their heads afterwards. When the lights came up, some girl behind us said, “I’m going to ask for my money back. I kept waiting to laugh, and I never did!” I wanted to say, Not Another Teen Movie is right down the hall, ladies.
Am I a snob? I don’t know… I doubt snobs like Wendy’s enough to mention the passing of Dave Thomas.
Whatever gets me to sleep at night, right?
I will pour out a little of my Biggie coke for my slain homey Dave T.