Que Sera Sera


We’re friends, right? So let’s play a game: admit something embarrassing about yourself, something you wouldn’t let someone know on the fourteenth date, much less the first. Something you might not even let your close friends know, at least initially.

Rules: It can’t be something faux-cutesy-embarrassing, something you’d pretend you wouldn’t want someone to know, but you let it slip so you can determine whether or not they find it as heartwarming as you secretly do. It has to be a real guilty pleasure, but by the same token, I don’t want to know that you once killed a man in Reno just to watch him die.

To show you what I mean, I’ll go first:

I liked that J.Lo and Ja Rule song. Not only did I seek it out on my car’s radio, I downloaded it at work.

Your turn.

Everyone needs an editor:

I went to my parents’ house the other night, and I think I’ve determined what will eventually do them in: post-it notes. They’re everywhere. I found it especially amusing that my mother has the home phone numbers of our city’s indie rock elite on post-it notes by the kitchen phone. (One is my brother’s guitar teacher, one is my next door neighbor, and one is a guy whose car I hit last summer).

After they fell asleep, I edited some of their kitchen post-it notes for humor content. For instance, the note over the toaster oven now reads: UNPRUG PREASE.

I wonder if they’ll even notice.

Jobby Job:

First of all: bastards!

Second: the following is a note on my friend Emily’s desk at work.

Notes to Self

  1. Do not allow yourself to feel inferior by someone who mispronounces “picture.”
  2. Do not allow yourself to feel inferior by someone who does not know how to spell “which.” (Not even because they don’t know which witch is which.)
  3. Enjoy your own company even when it appears others are not. You are optimistic; they are on anti-depressants.

Third: I don’t miss my advertising job. Not one single bit.

I say, more power to whatever helps you make it through the day. Unless it’s kiddie porn, you sad fuck.


Check it out!

Become your own foal:

Brian mentioned this site to everyone while we were out at the bar and really drunk and it was a good laugh, but then I came home and found it and all I can say is Oh my God he wasn’t kidding.

Ad Astra:

I’m sorry, but is anyone else horrified by this whole Lance-Bass-in-outer-space thing? If they go through with it, ten years from now it will be like we sent Jordan Knight up. What a mockery of the space program. Unite, ye astronauts!

Not a girl, not yet a soccer mom:

We went to the planetarium Saturday. I love planetariums. You know how on MTV Cribs the nouveau riche stars do crazy things like build bowling alleys and parking garages in their homes? If I suddenly became crazy rich, I’d build my very own planetarium. And I’d sleep there, in a big rotating circle bed like in The Jerk. You know you’d want to come over and try it out.

Anyway: the planetarium. It was a sparse 4:00 show, but a row of 8-10 year olds sat behind us. They whispered, very loudly—those screaming whispers people used at elementary school slumber parties. (You GUYS! If we wake up my MOM we are going to be in BIG TROUBLE!) This was fine with me when I could hear them oohing and ahhing at the heavens, but it was constant, and finally, when I caught a snippet that ended with “...and then it came out his butt!”, followed by guffaws, I turned around, summoned a reserve of angry bitter adult I didn’t know I possessed and went SSSSSSSHHHHH!!!!, spitting all over them, with the meanest face ever.

Then I hated myself. I had become Mean Lady, the lady you are embarrassed your mother might be at your slumber party. So I sat there, lamenting my sudden old age, wondering when I’d crossed the line out of Narnia and into mortgages, out of wonderment and into efficiency.

Then the kids left and we made out like bandits. Evidently I’m not that old yet.

Lucky me:

I must give a hearty shout-out to my valentine, although he doesn’t even know this page exists, because he gave me the coolest gifts ever: a kick-ass vintage Wonder Woman shirt, some sweet red mary janes, the latest Lileks book, and a Pavement poster from their first show of their last tour.

Any boy who knows that the way to my heart is through books, music and shoes is bound to be a keeper.

I’m back!

Just a quick thought: does anyone else ever wonder what happened to that red-headed girl from the movie Teen Witch?

Just in time for Valentine’s Day: Flower-Buying at a Glance

Carnations say, “Thanks for being my grandma, Grandma.”

One rose says, “I thought of you when I got my change back from buying gas on the way to pick you up.”

Dozen red roses say, “Happy Valentine’s Day, Kirsten/Ashley/Mackenzie/Tiffany. I love you.”

Dozen peachy-yellow roses that are red around the tips say, “Sarah, my name is Prince William, and I’m here to say you’re lovely, smart, and oh-so thin. Would you like a job at the Onion?”

I’ll be away for a few days, but hopefully I’ll return with fewer toilet stories and more funny. Happy Valentine’s, all.

Ye Olde Really Long Story Involving My Bathroom:

If you didn’t come here to read about my plumbing woes, I suggest you leave now, while you still can. Maybe my next post will be about Topanga and McSweeney’s and indie rock again, but right now, it’s about my toilet. If you love me, you’ll read it.

Somehow, someway, my Ked-laden landlord unclogged the toilet. For 24 hours, there was much rejoicing. My bathroom smelled like fresh tulips and the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds played whenever you flushed. Everyone danced and laughed and shook their hair in the sunlight, in slow motion. Bathroom life was bliss.

And then lo! the dripping started.

A slow drip at first; no reason to alarm. The wood floors were still safe. I notified my landlord just in case, wedged a bowl under the back of the tank, arranged a towel underneath, and went along my merry way. But the next day, the dripping became more insistent, more intense. It could sense my anxiety. I cancelled plans to appease it. I had to change the bowl once an hour. There was talk of sacrificing virgins. Leaving my house was a thing of the past.

So I called my landlord again. His wife answered. “Oh, he came out last night while you were gone to look at it, hon. He didn’t know how to fix it. Is it still leaking?”

As if focusing his eyeballs on it for 4 minutes would have stopped that.

She agreed with me that the toilet needed to be replaced. She assured me that “Randy” would be over today. “He’s tall, real nice, real good with the plumbing,” she said. She paused. “But he’s probably too old for you.”

What the fuck? This is why I cannot get my plumbing taken care of, people. My landlady is too busy trying to set me up with a 50 year old man named Randy—whom, I might add, was also too fierce and mullet-headed and Freebird for me.

Randy showed up, as promised. He pretty much wrested my toilet from its resting place with his bare hands. I was impressed. Then my landlord showed up (no Keds this time, but get this: Guess jeans!) with another toilet he apparently had just lying around somewhere. I don’t know; maybe this is normal landlord behavior. I’m obviously not the person to ask.

New (well, new to me) toilet was installed. Much jubilation! Then Randy tried to shut the door.

It wouldn’t clear the seat.

I remained calm. Surely there would be another toilet. A new one, even. I’m not paying this much rent to have a bathroom door that won’t close.

Randy asked how I felt about a curtain, or maybe those doorway beads. I laughed. So did Randy, and my landlord. I was beginning to like Randy. He was capable. He had tools. He wasn’t wearing Keds.

Then Randy eyed the door. He eyed the toilet. “You know…,” he began, pulling out his measuring tape. “We could just put the door on the other way.”

I laughed. No one else did.

This is where it gets really depressing.

I now have a hole in my bathroom door, custom-whacked by the not-so-great Randy. This hole is two inches wide and five inches long. It is not a notch. It is not a chip. It is a not slot. It is a fucking hole. Sure, all you can see is maybe part of someone’s leg, but what about the sounds? What about the sounds?

I am not ashamed to tell you that I cried.

Crow, Eaten:

McSweeney’s is going to publish one of my lists! I’m very excited, although I have no idea what made them choose this particular one over any of the other ones I’ve submitted. I don’t know when it will go up, but there are new ones today, and I especially enjoyed this one.

The post that would make my mother cry:

I recently went to a bridal luncheon at the Villa at Philbrook. Raspberry tea and dainty sandwiches do not a meal make. And what is it about weddings and fresh-cut flowers and big airy rooms that make everyone’s voice go up an octave? How wooooooonderful, oh, hahahahaha-ahhhhhh.

When I get married, everyone is wearing reflective jumpsuits and safety goggles, and dancing to Danzig.

Neverending Update:

I was wrong! First of all, the band name is Tears Like Atreyu, and they play next Saturday at Seasick. I’m so there. And I’m so wearing my locket.

Tears of Atreyu

When I was seven years old, my parents and I went skiing with family friends in Aspen. We stayed in a huge 5-level house next door to both Arnold Schwarzenegger and Emmanuel Lewis (of Webster fame), I stayed in a room with my best friend and we each got our own bunk bed, I skiied for the first time ever, saw my parents drunk on margaritas for the first time ever, and was allowed hot chocolate with every meal. However, what I remember most about this trip is that it was also the first time I ever saw The Neverending Story.

First of all: don’t even talk to me about the sequels. I ain’t trying to hear that. Words cannot describe the love I had for this movie—and for its stars. I was young and finnicky, and therefore wavered back and forth between Barret Oliver and Noah Hathaway, playing the two male leads, Bastian and Atreyu. I named my first boy Cabbage Patch Kid “Barret Oliver,” but it was Atreyu who had my heart. When I received a gold locket for Christmas (the Annie boom was still going strong), I cut Atreyu’s face out of the HBO guide and pasted it inside, locking the bathroom door because I knew my mother would kill me if she knew what I was doing. It was a bad picture—he was in the Swamps of Sadness, his horse had just died—and it was a tiny locket. For years, usually in the lunch line, people would say, “Does that locket open?” and when I would admit that it did, the next question was always, “Who is that?”

You try explaining that to Tony Layne, the cutest boy in 7th grade, and make it sound cool. You can’t!

Anyway: this was all brought to mind because Jared just told me that a band named Tears of Atreyu played at Seasick Records last weekend. And I missed it! I don’t care if they’re genius or awful or how broke I am, that’s a band T-shirt I needed.

Not for the squeamish?

Okay, I was just going to leave my toilet troubles blog as it was, as it seems I’ve already delved into the world of unmentionables enough this week as it is, but I just have to share. When I called my landlord about the plumbing problem, he came over, stood there with his industrial plunger, and scratched his head. Then he asked the question all men ask when a woman alerts them of a plumbing problem: “Are you flushing Tampax down there?”

I seethed. First of all, who calls them Tampax? Judy Blume? Margaret? Second of all, NO. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t know you’re not supposed to flush tampons down the toilet, and I resent my 60 year old male landlord (I mentioned the Keds, right?) attempting to school me on the Menses Facts I learned in fifth grade.

Then he says, “Well, maybe there’s something from your makeup case down there.”

I could not help making the face I’m sure you would make, had someone wearing Keds said this to you. “What?”

“Well, the back of the tank is sloped, and one time we had a girl rest her makeup case there, and it slipped, and some mascara clogged up the pipe.”

Dude. So it’s some past tenant, some Caboodle-owning, Tampax-flushing broad that’s making the rest of us look bad. I am well-versed enough in basic physics not to place anything I treasure on a slope overlooking a bowl of toilet water. I said tersely, “No, I don’t think so. I don’t put anything on the back of the tank. Since it slopes.”

My landlord: “Huh. Guess I’ll have to plunge it, then.”

Like this hadn’t already occurred to me.

What does he think I do all day—stand there curling my eyelashes and stuffing the pipes with tampons? Where is he getting all these horribly stereotypically feminine ideas of me?

Maybe he’s been reading my blog this week.

Because everyone was using the guestbook so much as it is...

I got comment boxes, like all the cool kids. I’m hip, yo. Now those of you too lazy to go all the way to the guestbook can tell me it’s gross when I mention my period. Please, have at it.

In other news, the interview went smashingly well, and then I came home and my toilet overflowed (overflew?) all over my hardwood floors. My landlord wasn’t much help, but what can you expect from a grown man who wears Keds? Me, I’m going to mop my bathroom floor and have a glass of wine. I’ve earned it.

My period is turning me into motherfucking Ally McBeal:

I just sat on the couch and watched the motherfucking Gilmore Girls while eating chocolate ice cream straight from the motherfucking carton. Jesus.

(I thought maybe the profanity would balance out the estrogen surge. Did it work?)


Last night I went to an excruciating modern arts center board meeting wherein a lot of loud annoying people attempted to talk over one another for two hours and thirty-four minutes. Leading the interruptions was Adverb Lady, thusly named because her favorite thing to interject, loudly, while the other person was still finishing their sentence was “Exactly!” or “Absolutely!” or “Desperately!”, which if you ask me is a pretty passive-aggressive way of pretending to be supportive, but in reality a) acting like previous comment was your idea, or b) sneaking a segue into your own comment, which has nothing at all to do with the previous comment. She was also the sort of person who would begin sentences with “Well, structurally speaking…” or “The guy I’m in contact with to film the Olympics…”, both of which I found irritating.

I had cramps and I was cranky, and I couldn’t wait to come home and put on my pajamas and eat my Godiva Belgian dark chocolate ice cream, however stereotypically female that may be.

A Thought:

I thought it a bit odd that they asked U2 to perform at the Super Bowl, given that one of U2’s latest videos featured a guy fumbling and losing an important football game. I thought of this before the game, and then realized how especially ironic that could be during those last few seconds. I don’t generally move in football circles, so maybe this has already been discussed. If so, please disregard.


Sarah: I’m drinking a glass of wine in my pajamas. Earlier, I wrote a love letter and put it in a stamp with an envelope and then put it in the mailbox. Hopefully it wasn’t just the wine writing.
John: Wow.
Sarah: I mean, reverse the stamp and envelope part.
Sarah: That was most definitely the wine writing.

Our Lips Are Sealed

Tonight I stayed with the son of my parents’ friends whom I used to nanny for in the summers I was in high school and college. He’s 10 now, and his 9 year old sister was at a slumber party for the evening, so we went to Blockbuster, where I told him he could pick the movie. He came back with a Mary-Kate and Ashley flick. I raised my eyebrows at him increduously, and he said, “Dude, they’re hot!”

After watching, I must say: dude, they are. Although just minutes away from their centerfold debut, don’t you think?

Watching the movie made me feel woefully under-accessorized. The Olsen twins are so much cuter at fourteen than I was. I spent fourteen shut up in my room, listening to the Pixies and scribbling furiously in secret notebooks—or, as Erin likes to say, “journaling through some rage.” Until tonight, I thought that was a pretty cool way to spend fourteen. Now I wish I had a twin sister and I’d gone to more beach barbecues. Damn you and your cute sarong skirts and your nine exceutive producer credits, Michelle Tanner!

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