Waiting for My Real Life to Begin

The life and times of a girl named Swishy.

Monday, October 29, 2007

This is getting ridiculous

So I got pulled over again Saturday night. AGAIN! This is ... what? Three times in the past six months? WTF? I am a TOTALLY GOOD DRIVER!

OK. Maybe not totally good. But DEFINITELY not totally bad!

So I'm on the phone with my mother of all people, and I see my favorite red and blue flashing lights in my back window, the lights that seem to follow me everywhere I go. "Shit," I say.

Mom: EXCUSE ME? What did you say?
Me: Shit. I'm getting pulled over. (Pause.) DAMMIT! I cannot believe I am getting pulled over right now!
Mom: What did you do?
Me: I killed someone. The body's in the trunk.
Mom: Are you kidding?
Me: About the dead body? No. Listen, I gotta go.
Mom: But--
Me: I didn't do ANYTHING! Gotta go, gotta go, gotta go. I'll call you back.

I flip the phone shut and, to my utter surprise, a HOT cop strolls up to my window. I actually got a hot cop this time! The last three were grumpy, middle-aged men with limps, cops who couldn't take down a senior citizen in a wheelchair if their lives depended on it. This one looks like he has plenty of energy, if you know what I mean. He is yummmmmmy.

Officer: Did you know you ran a red light?
Me (batting my big green eyes): Really? I did?
Officer: You didn't know that?
Me: Well ... I thought it was yellow!

He checks my insurance and takes my license back to his car, and the second he walks away I'm like crap, crap, CRAP! Why did I say it was a yellow light? I admitted to speeding through a yellow/almost red light! You're supposed to slow DOWN at yellow lights! I totally just admitted to breaking the law! WHY AM I AN IDIOT?

He's still in the car, so I text message my mom: "I AM NOT A CRIMINAL!"

He's STILL in the car. If I have learned anything from my frequent brushes with the law, it's that if the cop takes longer than five seconds, it means you're getting a ticket. So imagine my surprise when he comes back, leans his delicious head through the window and goes: "All right, you have a great driving record, so I'm going to let you go with a warning. No more running red lights!"

Me: Wha--oh! Really? Thank you so much! Seriously! THANK YOU SO MUCH!! Have a great night! Thank you!

And then I speed off--exercising liberal use of my blinker, of course--before he can change his mind. Or realize that the address on my license hasn't been updated since I moved, oh, 16 months ago. Oops.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Just a few random things

* Great news! This marks the first of, oh, about 749 references I plan to make in the next four months to how much I hate the cold! Can you think of a more riveting topic? I am seriously obsessed with it, though. Every year, I am completely in denial about cold weather coming. I feel like if I continue to wear sandals and act as though I don't own a coat, it will scare winter back into submission. And sadly, it never works. It just makes me colder, because I'm the idiot standing outside in 47-degree weather without a coat. Like I was today.

Anyway, part of my denial includes refusing to turn on the heat until November. I came home from work today and it was 68 degrees in my apartment and I swear to you, I huddled up on the couch with a huge blanket and basically acted like I was living in a third world country the rest of the night. Because it was SIXTY-EIGHT degrees! It is soooo gonna be a long winter.

* So the other day I was getting into my car to go to work and I hear this noise. I look up, and see this guy hocking SNOT over his BALCONY! Like, holding the one nostril and blowing out the other off the side of his balcony. Nothing says "good morning" like snot shooting from the sky. I was completely grossed out. I DO NOT LIVE IN A FRAT HOUSE! This guy was like in his 50s. It was totally disgusting.

* I had to cancel a dentist appointment last week because I was too busy to get away from work, and I hadn't rescheduled yet. So what do they do? They send me a text message to remind me to make a new appointment! A text message! My dentist! It was sort of disconcerting. I mean, I consider cable TV on the wall to be very progressive for a dentist. I'm not sure if I'm comfortable with the whole text messaging thing. Next thing you know, he'll be friending patients on MySpace and Facebook.

* I am quickly becoming the queen of the late-night Oprah rerun. Heidi Klum is on right now, looking gorgeous, of course ... but can you believe what she says about Seal?!? HA! She basically tells everyone what a big package he has! I died when I saw that. Because, you know, Oprah is on later where I am, but in some places it's on at 9 a.m.! Can you imagine sitting there with your coffee, Cheerios dribbling down your chin, kids running around, hearing about Seal's enormous package? I can't believe she put it out there on Oprah. But you know, good for her. As I'm sure it is. Ha.

* So you remember when I asked for jokes? Well, they ALL made me laugh, so if you want a little prize, send me an email with your address and I'll send one to you. Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not next week, but soon. Ish.

Happy Friday, everyone! Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Permission to live

So I was up late last night, and the 1:30 a.m. repeat of Oprah came on. I flipped the channel because it was supposed to be a Dr. Oz special report on death, which sounded depressing, but when Dr. 90210 proved to be MORE depressing, I flipped it back. And I am so, so glad that I did. They mistitled the show topic. It wasn't really about death, it was about life. And it wasn't depressing or sad at all, it was uplifting and empowering.

There were two guests on the show: a woman in her early 30s with stage four inoperable cancer, and a man not much older in the last stages of pancreatic cancer. And they talked about life. They talked about how the things they regretted were the things they didn't do, rather than the ones they did. They talked about how important it is be happy and have fun. They talked about how one of the things that stood out to them most was the inherent goodness of all people--how they might not show it to you at first, but give them time, and it'll show. The man, a professor at Carnegie Mellon, gave his "last lecture"--the most valuable lesson he wanted to leave with his students. His lesson? Achieving your childhood dreams. And the woman talked about how, when she found out she was dying, it was like getting permission to finally live. To do the things she'd always wanted to do, to be as happy as she wanted to be, to live the life she'd imagined.

That part--the idea that finding out you might not have a lot of time to live is like getting permission TO live--really resonated with me. Her point was that we are all going to die. Life, as she said, is terminal. She happens to have a little more information--she knows she'll probably die from cancer--but other than that, she's no different than the rest of us.

So I thought, well, why don't we all live like that? Why don't we all just go for it more often? And I think it's because you have to be incredibly brave. You have to put yourself out there, you have to take risks, you have to be the one taking accountability for your own happiness, and it's scary. If you're told your time is limited, well, then you have nothing else to lose. But otherwise, you can tell yourself you have forever. Or at least 30 more years. Or 20. Or 10.

I panic sometimes about not having enough time. There are so many things I want to do, so many things I want to be, so many kinds of happiness I want to experience, I sometimes wonder how I'll get it all in. I am still chasing my dreams, and I am glad for that, because so many people abandon theirs. But I DO find myself "getting through" things. I think, just let me get through this day, let me get through this week, let me get through this year. I don't want my life to be about getting through it. I want it to be about savoring it, about soaking it up, about wringing every last bit of joy I can out of it. I think every single person on this earth has enormous potential, so much you can't even believe it, and it is never too late to start realizing it.

So, I am challenging myself and all of you to live a little more. Pick something you've always wanted to do and do it. Chase a dream. Take a chance. Do something scary, do something you know deep, deep down you should do but haven't quite gotten the courage to do yet. If you want, put it in the comments, but if you don't want, that's OK, too. Just do it.

Give yourself permission to live.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Gone baby gone

So I saw Gone Baby Gone this weekend. I liked it, although I am going to tell you right now that it's not for everyone. It's on the grittier side, a bit like The Departed. It's based on a book by Dennis Lehane (who wrote Mystic River) and Ben Affleck--yes, BEN AFFLECK--co-wrote the screenplay and directed it.

Anyway, this movie made me think several things:

* I cannot believe that five years ago, Ben Affleck was on a yacht, pulling on J.Lo's bikini bottom (not to mention starring with her in GIGLI), and now he has made his directorial debut with a movie that most likely will get at least an Oscar nomination or two. I leaned over to my friend as the movie was starting and said, "I really, really, really hope this is good enough to get nominated for an Oscar, because if Ben Affleck can go from Jenny from the Block back to the Academy Awards, there is hope for us all." And now, I am proud to say ... there is hope for us all. Seriously! Nobody would have guessed five years ago that Ben Affleck would be directing one of the better movies of this year, so yay for him. The movie is not perfect--it gets little off track about 2/3 of the way through--but it is quite good and I bet Ben gets nominated for the writing award, if not the directing award.

* Which leads me to ... I always sort of assumed that Matt Damon was the brains behind Good Will Hunting. (Matt and Ben won an Oscar when they were, like, 25 for writing the screenplay.) I mean, Matt DID go to Harvard. And Ben ... I mean, he starred in Gigli! I'm sorry for not thinking he was the brightest bulb in the box! Now I have to reevaluate all of my judgments and assumptions. Maybe I've been wrong about everything. Like, for example, maybe Britney Spears knows exactly what she is doing and is totally playing all of us. And Paris Hilton is a genius. And Heidi Klum looks bad without makeup. Or ... not.

* He thanks Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz in the credits. Which I thought was kind of funny.

* Where has Casey Affleck been all my life? Because hot damn, he is sizzling in this movie, and I swear he was never, EVER that hot before. There's this one scene ... I won't ruin it, just in case, but suffice it to say there is one scene where he is so hot I almost somersaulted down the stairs of the theater and started making out with the movie screen.

* Now, finally something about the actual movie. I've read several stories where they've said it's about, essentially, "Good people who do bad things for the right reasons." It brings up a lot of interesting questions about life. The right thing is not always the best thing, so ... which do you do? The right thing? Or the best thing? And are you wrong if you choose one over the other? I know, it sounds confusing. But so is life sometimes, and it does a very good job of portraying that. I keep thinking about it, and I STILL don't know what they should have done.

Look at that. Ben Affleck, making me think.

(P.S. I'm sorry, this is completely, 100 percent unrelated, but I have to say it: It's late, I have the TV on and The Wedding Date just ended on TNT. Now My Best Friend's Wedding is on. Dermot Mulroney is in both movies. WHO decided that he is sexy? Who? I would have liked to have been consulted on that. He totally comes off as wooden, and I'm sorry, but to be sexy you have to actually have a personality. I don't care how tall or dark-haired or smoldering you try to make yourself, YOU NEED A PERSONALITY! I do like this movie, though. OK. Done.)

Friday, October 19, 2007

(Insert your city here) Vice

First, and most important ... ahhhhhhhhhhh.

I am finally, finally done with my work project, and my poor sore Pisces feet got a much-needed soak tonight. Yayyy!

So I read a column yesterday in USA Today about vices, and I thought, hmm, what's my biggest vice? I don't smoke, I don't drink buckets of coffee, I don't go crazy shopping for shoes ... I have a little bit of a potty mouth sometimes, so swearing is probably mine. I like to say ass a lot and I've been known to give other drivers special names when they cut me off or refuse to let me in or honk at me when I'm looking at my hair in the rear view mirror at a red light.

But then I started to think, OK, I am a complete glutton for french fries, so is that a vice? I like TV ... is that a vice? Magazines? Chocolate-covered Oreos? Or are they simply guilty pleasures? And then I decided that most vices are pretty much in the eye of the beholder. Someone might consider my McDonald's french fries to be on par with a bag of crack; someone else might think of them the way they regard having a glass of wine or a scoop of ice cream at night--something a little indulgent, maybe, but no big deal. I've heard people talk about TV like it is Satan's little sandbox; I happen to think it's wonderful and I would just die without it. And so on.

I think everyone has vices, and that everyone SHOULD have a vice or two as long as, you know, it's not self-destructive or whatever. So my question is ... what's your biggest vice?

(P.S. Duh. Clearly, as my last post indicates, shopping for beauty products is one of my vices. Or guilty pleasures. Or however you want to define it. I have no doubt I'm about to think of a million more.)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I'm such a product whore

(I've also been a terrible blogger lately, but my big work project gets done this week--halle-freaking-lujah--so I will be much better in that department in a few days. Yay!)

OK, so anyway. I am the kind of girl who will sit and debate the merits of a $30 shower curtain for days, but six things of $5 lip gloss? Sold! I don't think I am THAT girlie, or THAT high-maintenance, but I am SUCH a sucker for girlie things sometimes. A few of my recent purchases:

We'll start from the left.

-L'Oreal mineral powder foundation. Have you seen that infomercial with Leeza Gibbons and Alyssa Milano and that girl Yoanna from America's Next Top Model? Well, I saw it one Saturday afternoon while I was avoiding cleaning my bathroom and I was riveted. RIVETED, I tell you. It's this magic powder that makes your skin look flawless. It even made this one girl's red birthmark disappear. Yes, you heard me right. Powder! Made it disappear! Think of what it could do to an occasional pimple! I was half-tempted to dial that 800 number, oh yes, I was, but then I made myself turn off the TV and clean the toilet instead. I did not exercise such restraint, however, when I saw this VERY similar-looking powder on the shelf at Target for half the price. I've used it once. I can't tell if it looked different or not.

-A new nail file. Because it was only 99 cents! And it smells like oranges! Well, not really, but it's supposed to. (And yes, that is plastic on the end, and no, I can't get it off.)

-Lip gloss from Bath and Body Works. I got that today. Because I was reading In Style, the one with Katherine Heigl on the cover, and she was raving about this lip gloss she got from Bath and Body Works. And you know how I love Katherine Heigl, and you know, she's blonde, I'm blonde ... OK, that's basically it. Ha. But I was like, MAYBE if it works for her, just MAYBE it will work for me. Because I have a HORRIBLE time finding lipsticks and glosses that I like. (The only one I really like got discontinued, so I had to special order it and once I use the extra one I have in my closet, I am completely screwed.) So I stopped there on the way home, but I couldn't remember the exact name of it. I was like, berry ... berry ... oh! Frozen blackberry! That must be it! So I bought it, went home, opened up In Style and saw that ... it's actually Black Cherry Soda. For the record, I never even wear berry-colored stuff, because I feel like you need to have brown eyes to wear berry and my eyes are green. So not only did I buy something PURELY because some celebrity said she liked it, I didn't even get the right THING.

-Vanilla Bean Noel lotion from Bath and Body Works. Because you can never have enough vanilla lotion. Also, it was free, because I had a coupon. Also, it is a different kind of vanilla that smells so yummy I want to eat my left arm right now.

-Goody clips and hair elastics. I pretty much only use the clips to hold my hair back when I'm getting ready. But did you know those are specially made for blonde hair? So naturally, I HAD to get them to replace the plain old boring black ones! And the elastics? Do you SEE the cute little designs?

-OK, the last one? That represents one of my old phases, my Bumble & Bumble phase. INSIDE the bottle is my new phase: ocean water. I spray a little bit in my hair before I blow dry it sometimes to give it some extra texture. Yes, that's right: I consider the OCEAN to be a beauty product. And no, I am not ashamed. Not even a little bit.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Random, schmandom

So my parents called me like 10 times tonight and I was like, holy crap, who died? I seriously did think someone had died. So I called back and it turns out, I was ALMOST right. My dad wanted to tell me they did a new will and I'm the executor and here's what everyone gets in case they die and please don't let Stephanie (my little sister) spend it on that piece-of-shit boyfriend and please make sure Marc (my little brother) finishes college.

I KNOW! MORBID!!! And they wonder where I get my neuroses.

OK, seriously, no one is dying. No one is close to dying. My dad isn't even retired yet. This is just my parents deciding to be prepared. And, you know, trying to freak me out. So I responded by asking my dad if he had any special requests for his funeral. His answer: "What the hell do I care? I'll be dead!"

Ahhhh. This story explains so much about me, you have no idea.

Other quick bites of randomy goodness:

* I had to shut all the windows and wrap myself up in a blanket because it was FREEZING in my apartment when I got home. And by freezing, I mean the thermostat read 69 degrees. That alone should tell you how much I'm looking forward to winter.

* My back hurts. My neck hurts. Even my calves hurt. I want a massage soooo bad.

* They don't hurt because I've been working out, though. Ohhhh, no. I have been the biggest workout slacker who ever slacked lately. I used to never skip, and now all I DO is skip. Skip, skip, skip. And not to my lou. To my loo, maybe (after detouring to the fridge), but not to my lou.

* I think something in my freezer smells, but I have no idea what and I'm not really inclined to find out.

* Wait ... how does frozen stuff smell? Doesn't the fact that it's frozen ...?

Never mind. I should just go to bed.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

I'm a joker

(Actually, I'm just a midnight toker, thanks to my neighbor. Although I do play my music in the sun.)

It occurred to me today--well, not for the first time, I guess I should say REOCCURRED to me today--that I don't know any jokes.

OK. That's not entirely true. I know this joke:

Knock knock
Who's there?
Boo who?
Why are you crying?

And the orange-banana knock-knock joke, which I will spare you all.

But really. I don't know ANY jokes. I can tell a funny story sometimes, but a joke? If someone held a gun to my head and told me my life depended on telling one joke, even a very unfunny one, I couldn't do it. I mean, I really couldn't. I would die. I would die right there, a victim of my unfunniness. The headline of my obituary would read: "Swishy, dead. NO JOKE!"

Does anyone know jokes anymore? I've got to believe that even if you don't TELL jokes all the time, you know some. Right? So let's hear 'em. Tell me your favorite joke so that, should I be held hostage by a master riddler someday, I can emerge unscathed. If you make me laugh, bonus points. And hey! Maybe even a prize.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Super speedy fast

What a crazy, busy week! What do you guys all think of the new TV season so far? Really quick, my 30-second impressions of some of the new shows:

* Dirty Sexy Money is a lot better than I thought it would be. Peter Krause, of course, is awesome.

* Big Shots is COMICALLY bad. I didn't see the second episode, but the pilot was sooo horrible and cliche. It was so bad, it was funny. Oh, Bobby Donnell! Michael Vaughn! You deserve so much more!

* Private Practice is stupid. I haven't even gotten through a full episode yet. It doesn't hold my attention and I don't care about the characters, except Addison and maybe Tim Daly. I basically can't watch unless they're on the screen.

And finally ...

Pushing Daisies is adorable! A-DOR-able. I don't know if it can keep it up every week, but so far it is cute, cute, cute. It's sweet and charming and unlike anything else on TV. (Hopefully delaying the premiere of CSI: Timbuktu for another year.)

Hope you're all having a good weekend! More later!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

I'm in love with the ordinary

(The World You Love, Jimmy Eat World)

OK, I love, love, love music. I was just going to throw together a fast little playlist yesterday, and instead I ended up sitting at the computer for like an hour listening to snippets of different songs.

(And it was only PARTLY because I wanted to procrastinate so badly that I would have rather licked the fungus from a homeless man's toenail than started working. Only PARTLY!)

My big thing is that I love parts--little lines, a couple of seconds of music. I adore the song Une Annee Sans Lumiere by Arcade Fire--even though most of it's in FRENCH! which I don't know!--on the simple basis that I love the line "My eyes are shooting sparks." (Because it's a boy, who's looking at a girl, and it's dark outside, but when he looks at her she lights up, and ... SEE WHY I LOVE THAT LINE?)
And I love the opening of Beautiful Girl by INXS because of the piano at the beginning. Do you know what I'm talking about?

Anyway, here are a few of my favorite lines from songs (chosen randomly--VERY randomly--because otherwise, we'd be here all day):

I look to these times with you
To keep me awake and alive
-In Your Eyes, Peter Gabriel

I'm almost drowning in her sea
She's nearly crawling on her knees
It's almost everything I need
-Sullivan Street, Counting Crows

I'd rather live in his world
Than live without him in mine
-Midnight Train to Georgia, Glady Knight and the Pips

There's still a little bit of your song in my ear
Still a little bit of your words I long to hear
You step a little closer to me
So close that I can't see what's going on
-Cannonball, Damien Rice

And the feeling that it's all a lot of oysters and no pearls
Then all at once, you look across a crowded room
And see the way that light attaches to a girl
-A Long December, Counting Crows

You touch my lips and grab the back of my hand ...
-All I Need, Mat Kearney

Come up to meet you
Tell you I'm sorry
You don't know how lovely you are
-The Scientist, Coldplay

I'm sorry, but I'm just thinking of the right words to say
I know they don't sound the way I planned them to be
But if you wait around awhile, I'll make you fall for me
I promise you, I promise you I will
-The Promise, When in Rome

This could be the very minute I'm aware I'm alive ...
-Chocolate, Snow Patrol

And if I die before I learn to speak
Can money pay for all the days I lived awake but half asleep?
-Standing by a Broken Phonebooth ..., Primitive Radio Gods

You should have asked me for it
I would have been brave
You should have asked me for it
How could I say no? ...
I'd have loved you if you asked me
-I Still Remember, Bloc Party

I won't always love what I'll never have
I won't always live in my regrets
You'll sit alone forever
If you wait for the right time
What are you hoping for?
I'm here and now I'm ready
Holding on tight
Don't give away the end
The one thing that stays mine
-23, Jimmy Eat World

But Fonda ain't got a motor in the back of her Honda
My anaconda don't want none unless you got buns, hun!
-Baby Got Back, Sir Mix-a-Lot

OK, that was more than a few. But there are SO MANY! And I didn't even say WHY I liked them! What are some of your favorite lyrics?