Waiting for My Real Life to Begin

The life and times of a girl named Swishy.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

French fry, Quarter Pounder or Big Mac?

Sooooo. I'm driving home the other night, it's like 12:30 a.m., and I'm like, I kind of want some McDonald's french fries. So I pull into the drive-thru at the 24-hour McD's, and as I'm placing my order I see this kid running down the hill toward a bunch of office buildings. I'm like, hmm, random. But, you know, whatever.

I pull around to the window and hand the guy my money. He's kind of looking past me, and he doesn't reach for the money right away, so I'm like, "I'm sorry ... am I supposed to pull up to the next window?" And then he kind of snaps out of it and goes, no, no, I'm sorry, it's just that this COMPLETELY NAKED GUY just ran up here and took some food, and that other guy started chasing him. And I'm like, whoa, whoa, back up ... a naked WHAT did WHAT?

Yeah. Naked dude comes out of nowhere, snatches the bag as they're handing it out the window, and runs off. And then, NATURALLY, instead of just reordering their food, the boys in front of me have to jump out of their car and chase him.

(I mean, really. What were they planning to do when they caught him? They think they're reaching for an apple pie, and they come back with ... who KNOWS what?)

Of course I start laughing so hard I think I might die. I pull up to the next window, where everyone inside is completely losing it.

Me: So ... I hear you guys are having an exciting night.
Guy at window: UNBELIEVABLE. He was COMPLETELY naked and just appeared out of nowhere. Fastest thing I've ever seen in my entire life.
Me (laughing): No way.
Guy: Yeah. He came last week, too, same time and everything.
Me: Wait, wait, WAIT a second! He came LAST week and took a bag of food, too?
Guy: Yeah, same time. We got him on video this time, though. We're gonna come up with a plan to catch him.

A plan! They're gonna hatch a plan to catch the McDonald's streaker! I would just LOVE to see the police lineup for that one. (Do you dare me and my camera to go back next week at the same time? I might dare myself.)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

It's the most wonderful time of the year

Oh, how I love a good awards show. My favorite is the Golden Globes, but right behind it is the Emmys, which means I'm a giddy girl right about now. In the grand tradition of my little blog (see: here and here), I'll be live-blogging later during the red carpet and awards, so please stop by and chime in if you feel so inclined. It'll be one big cyber Emmy party!

A few pre-Emmy thoughts/predictions ...

* I am pretty sure it's going to be a Mad Men year (much to my friend's chagrin: "No one even WATCHES that show!" he keeps saying. "ONE MILLION viewers. Arrested Development had SIX." He does have a point.) Anyway, I've watched Mad Men a little bit ... it's OK, January Jones is great, but I can't get into it. It's too slow, too depressing, too something. But I still think it'll win best drama. (If I were queen of Emmy land, I'd give it to Dexter.)

* On the comedy side, I totally think it will be all 30 Rock. Best comedy, best actor (Alec Baldwin), best actress (Tina Fey). (If you haven't seen this clip from the episode Alec Baldwin submitted, go watch it, you will totally laugh.)

* I totally want Michael C. Hall to win best actor in a drama. I don't think he will (anybody but James Spader, PLEASE), but I hope he does.

* When I first heard the reality host nominees were going to be hosting, I was like, BAD IDEA, but actually, I take it back. I really like three of them (Jeff Probst, Ryan Seacrest, Tom Bergeron, who all have hosted live shows well) and Howie Mandel is fine. I'm not very excited about seeing Heidi Klum try to host--I'd let her just sit on the side and look pretty for most of it--but whatever. I actually think they'll do a pretty good job. DON'T MAKE ME REGRET SAYING THAT, GUYS!

OK ... see you in a few hours!


All right! Red carpet time!

5:12: Ryan Seacrest! Kathy Griffin! Red carpet hilarity! It's ensuing! Kathy just informed Ryan that Josh Groban gets more tail than he does. And now she just called Ryan a manwhore. The Emmy love, it is in the air.

5:15: They seriously expect me to listen to Rainn Wilson wax on about surburban America when there's a very dapper-looking (yes, dapper-looking!) David Boreanaz to gaze at? Rainn is funny, but David IS wearing a tux. A nicely-filled-out one.

5:24: I can't believe Mariska Hargitay is pulling off that yellow dress! Gosh, she is gorgeous.

5:31: Ditto Debra Messing. Sigh. I'm going to eat some more chips and salsa now.

5:36: I know that no one is ever allowed to say America Ferrera looks bad because she's the poster girl for non-cookie-cutter women in Hollywood ... but I don't think I'm feeling it tonight! I was busy eating chips and salsa, though, so I might need another look.

5:54: When my sister was little, she used to twirl her hair--wrap it in big loops around her fingers, over and over, until it was one tangled mess. That is what Mary Louise Parker's hair looks like right now.

6:35: OK, I just made guacamole. Michael C. Hall! Love him! Giuliana asked him if he wrote down a speech just in case, and I went on my awards show rant, which, in a nutshell is: Why on earth would actors, who memorize pages and pages of dialogue, need a piece of paper to remind them of the names of the most important people in their lives? I hate that. I am a mere blogger, and I bet I could rattle off a semi-coherent speech if someone handed me an Emmy right now.

6:37: You are NOT private about your personal life, Brad Garrett! You did an ONLINE DATING CONTEST to find women! I read about it in People magazine AND I saw it on The View! Seacrest, CALL HIM OUT ON THAT!

6:39: Did Brad Garrett make a joke about meeting her at Sarah Palin's vibrator party? I totally missed that.

6:47: The room is officially freaking out at how different Malcolm in the Middle's dad looks. (He might be nominated for Breaking Bad, but he'll always be Malcolm in the Middle's dad to me!) Is that a mustache on him or excess self-tanner? I can't decide.

7:04: I love Oprah as much as the next girl, but I didn't really get the point of that.

7:09: I might have to take back what I said about the hosts. What WAS that?

7:10: Look, nobody liked the opening, but Jeremy Piven! Catty, catty! Jean Smart ... classy!

7:25: My friend swears Eva Longoria is pregnant. I don't know, but I do know she has the best dress in a BAD lineup of Desperate Housewife dresses.

7:39: Please, please, please can Steve Carell and Ricky Gervais host together next year? Puhhhlease?

8:20: I haven't said anything in a while. There is nothing to say. There is only guacamole to eat.

9:42: Bryan Cranston's mustache: real. I think.

9:45: Are they serious? They're really going to commercial before they announce the reality host winner? They ARE serious!

9:51: I am glad that Jeff Probst won. I would also like to point out that Probst managed to give a very nice and articulate speech WITHOUT THE HELP OF A PIECE OF PAPER.

9:57: 30 Rock is cleaning up. Tina Fey can do no wrong right now, I swear. She could drive a semi truck through the front door of the White House and all of America would be like, oh, that Tina Fey!

10:02: And Mad Men wins. And then there's me, left wondering yet again why I can't parlay these Emmy-watching and predicting skills into something lucrative. Sigh.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I hope there are gas stations there

Thank you so, SO much for all of your nice comments. They made me laugh and they made me cry and, yes, I know that's cliche but it's also totally true. You guys are so totally the best, and I have little daydreams in my head all the time of throwing a big, huge party that somehow all of you can come to. I really might try it one day, just you wait and see.

Well, in Decision '08 news ... it looks like I'm moving next month. I'm not really entirely comfortable with the whole thing yet, and part of me still hasn't committed, at least not emotionally. But I gave them an answer and that answer was yes, so either way, things will start to get really interesting around here. Either I'll have a total meltdown and tell them I changed my mind and then have ANOTHER meltdown, or I'll have a million and one horrific yet amusing-in-a-sick-kinda-way moving stories to tell. Wheeee!

Over the weekend, I was talking to a bunch of my friends and one of them mentioned how observant I am--like, if someone were to describe me, that probably would be one of the adjectives they'd use. Well, OK, there probably would be several others, but it's true, I do notice a lot of things, and I think it surprises people because usually very observant people are quieter and I'm like, blah blah blah, talk talk talk all day long. Anyway, I was talking to her again last night and she said she'd come up with a theory about why it's so hard for me to make big decisions. She said because I'm so observant, all of the details of all the options are really clear to me and it gets overwhelming. I was like, oh! That makes sense, huh?

Orrrrrrr ... I'm just neurotic. Either/or. But it does make sense!

In fact, I'm going to tell you a story now about something I observed the other day. I stop to get gas. It's like 10:30 at night, and a black Explorer pulls up next to me. The music is blaring, the bass is pumping, and the driver, a guy in his 20s, sits in the car, tapping the wheel, bouncing his head with the beat, for several minutes until the song is over.

OK, pop quiz of the day: Who was he listening to? Go on, guess. Jay-Z, Kanye West, hell, Chris Brown and Jordin Sparks?

Nope. Guess again. Justin Timberlake, Beyonce ...

OK, never mind. I'm just going to tell you. He was listening to ... the Cheers theme song. THE CHEERS THEME SONG! "Sometimes you want to go, where everyboddddddy knows your naaaaaaaame. And they're alwaaaaaays glad you caaaaaaame." Yes. THAT Cheers theme song. And, I mean, not just listening to it. ROCKING to it. REVELING in it. By himself, at a gas station, in the dead of night.

It's almost strangely poignant, in a way. ALMOST.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Freaking out a little

(Mildly serious, "I'm in the throes of an existential crisis" post to follow.)

All right. So you remember all the drama of this and this, otherwise known as "Swishy blows up her life in an idealistic but hopefully not ill-fated quest for something more." I have been feeling pretty guilty I haven't written more about it the past couple of months. The reason is, while it's been empowering and proactive and all that great stuff, it's also been much, MUCH harder than I thought it would be and sometimes it's hard for me to talk about or explain. There have been some days where I've been completely good and a lot of days where I've cried and cried. It's less about not having opportunities and more about having too many, maybe. And it's definitely about me and my personality and how absolutely, gut-wrenchingly hard it is for me to let go of things, including the "perfect" scenarios I have in my head. I'm probably one of the most sensitive people I know, definitely the most sentimental, and ughhhh I swear I make things harder on myself sometimes because of it.

Anyway. I have been spending some time writing, which in some ways was sort of the whole point of this little adventure, and it's been challenging but rewarding and hopefully will become even more rewarding someday. I also have been looking for a new job, and I got a very good offer a couple of days ago. It's with a very large media company (and when I say very large, I mean VERY, as in every single one of you has heard of it). It's a good company, it's good financially, total job security, nice people, lots of room and encouragement to move up and grow. Which is all big, especially in this economy. Buuuut (there's always a but, isn't there?) ... it's not quite the perfect job (it's a little more money but a little less responsibility than I'm used to) and it's not quite the perfect location (a thousand miles away, in a city that feels TOTALLY random to me). I can make them both OK in my head ... a little less responsibility gives me a little more time to work on other long-term stuff I want to do, and I get into a massive company that promises I'll be able to move around, one that has massive sister companies I also could work for someday. The location itself isn't perfect, but it's close to a lot of places that ARE good, and it's not necessarily permanent. And blah blah blah.

The point is, even though it's a great opportunity and I'm very grateful to have it, it's another leap. And I sort of knew that quitting my job wasn't the only leap I was going to have to make, but ohhh, I HATE leaping. HATE IT!

I love my friends. I love my apartment. I love my cute little coffee shop. I love where I work out. I love that finally, FINALLY, I can drive in all directions and not get lost. When I moved here, I had been here once in my life (on my 24-hour interview, most of which was spent either at the airport or the office) and did not know one single solitary person in the whole city. I was young and STUPID and it was all a little bit of a nightmare, at least for the first year or so. It is HARD to move somewhere by yourself, especially to a place where you don't know anybody. I sort of think everyone should do it once, because it really does "build character" or whatever dumb cliche you want to use, but it is definitely not in the "fun" column of things to do in your lifetime.

But then I'm like, OK, I learned from the last time, it doesn't have to be like that again. I totally went on all those stupid websites that list book clubs and restaurant clubs and cooking clubs, and I swear to you I'd go to every single one of them and make you read about every single socially inept person there. I'd take my sewing machine out of the box and finally learn how to make potholders. I'd knit a scarf, and work out all the time, and watch every single new show on TV. And, you know, go to work occasionally. So ... it'd be OK, right?

But it's not the same. And the same is what drove me crazy sometimes, but the same can also be sort of nice, especially when you're scared to death of change and of doing the wrong thing.

I sound schizophrenic, don't I? I feel a little schizophrenic. Anyway, don't get me wrong, it's very exciting, but you know, it's stressful. Then again, I feel like the last decade of my life has been stressful, so maybe that is just life as a grown-up.

You have to promise me one thing, though. I promise I won't pull any disappearing acts when I'm stressed if you promise you'll be patient while I drag my angsty little self through the next few months. I will try to be funny and positive, I promise, but no matter what, I will totally totally totally need you guys. Otherwise I might, like, accost the guy in the coffee shop with hugs and tears and, really, I don't need to add a mental hospital or jail stay to the mix right now. I've got to save SOMETHING for '09, right?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

At least it doesn't land on my balcony

(Quick aside: All right, I know I said that Russell Brand was unfunny on the VMAs, and he was, VERY unfunny. But he redeemed himself last night on Craig Ferguson. I would watch a reality show starring the two of them, yes, I would, and bask in the fluorescent glow of laughter and fantastic European accents. My favorite part, Russell on surfing: "It's unnatural! Who looks out at a big, blue, wavy ocean and says, 'Ooh, I'd like to stand on that'? It's cheeky!" IT'S CHEEKY, he says. Ha ha ha.)

Anyway, on to bigger (not really) and better (definitely not) topics. A very disturbing trend has emerged at Casa Swishy the past few months (yes, MONTHS). Every single night, at the very same time, my neighbor goes out onto his balcony. He goes out there and, very loudly, very showily, hacks up phlegm and blows snot out of his nose and engages in whatever other disgusting bronchial activities he can think of. It is vile and disgusting and you KNOW I had to sneak outside and tape it to share with all of you.

(Forget it. The stupid, stupid file won't convert right, so while the video works--big freaking deal, it was dark outside and I was being sneaky so you can't see anything anyway--the audio does not. Use your fantastic imaginations while I take out my frustrations on my computer, kitchen utensils or, perhaps, the phlegm-spewing neighbor himself.)

Anyway. It is disgusting, and one night I said as much. I was in my bedroom and the window was open and I was cranky, maybe even crying, I don't remember, but I was definitely cranky, and he was making that gross phlegmy sound over and over and finally I turned toward the window and yelled, "THAT'S DISGUSTING!" And then I buried my head under a pillow all scared, as if he could see me through the closed blinds. There was this long pause, this quiet pause fraught with phlegmy tension, and then I heard him say, "What?" And then I decided the pillow wasn't protection enough so I ran and half-hid under the bed instead.

I don't understand. This isn't a cold. This isn't an exceptionally bad run of allergies. This is ... just gross. He's out there doing it again, right this very second. I know. If I just ruined your bowl of Cheerios, I'm sorry.

Monday, September 08, 2008

I will never get those hours back, EVER

I love awards shows. If they had an awards show for, I don't know, toilet bowl-cleaning and toenail-picking, I'd be all, pass the popcorn! Hand me the JuJuBees!

But, oh, oh, OH! MY! GOSH! What a freaking debacle the VMAs were this year. Last year was a train wreck, but at least a train wreck is mildly entertaining in a sick "wait ... is that a body part? it IS a body part!" sort of way. There was NO entertainment value, morbid or otherwise, in this show. ZERO. It was horrible. And yes, I watched the whole thing, and no, I don't really care to reflect on what that says about me as a person. Let's just focus on the horrible terribleness that was the VMAs.

* Russell Brand = not funny. AT ALL. I'm not a stingy person when it comes to laughs, but I did not laugh once. And I WANTED to laugh! I did! I liked his commercials! Plus everything is at least 10 percent funnier/more clever/generally more awesome when said with a British accent, so he had that going for him, too. All he had to do was be funny! Just a little!

* Michael Phelps might look good in a Speedo but, oh, my goodness, is he going to be terrible on SNL this weekend.

* Kanye West ... what in the hell WAS that? I mean, really, can someone please tell me what that was? Also, please feel free to explain the flashing red heart on his lapel, because I don't get that either.

* Why was Christina Aguilera trying to be Britney Spears in that performance? Why would she lip-synch when she sounds good live? And the cameltoe? WHY, Christina, WHY?

* Britney's big comeback, the one that was going to propel her back into the pop culture elite, the one that--this is a real quote--was her "opportunity to start over again," was a 90-second skit with Jonah Hill at the beginning followed by her 15-second introduction of Rihanna? SERIOUSLY? Not even a tiny little bit of a performance? A duet? Anything? Maybe they were referring to the three, count 'em, THREE awards she won for a video no one saw. NICE FIX, MTV. Do you think we're stupid? WE'RE NOT STUPID!

Why do I even care. Why do I even care. I don't care. Not really. But seriously. The Hills and The Real World/Road Rules Challenge. Those are the only two things MTV has going for it anymore. Sigh. I do SO love The Hills.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

My very guiltiest guilty pleasure

(Unrelated side note: I really, really, I mean REALLY want to write about politics, especially the role of women--Michelle Obama, Sarah Palin, Bristol Palin, Hillary Clinton--in the election, but that requires a little more thought and editing than I am capable of coming up with at this hour, so maybe later. Or maybe no one cares. But you should care! I am fascinated, absolutely fascinated I tell you, by this hot mess of an election. I LOVE AMERICA! Even if I hate sexism! But for now, another thing I love ...)

I don't read Nicholas Sparks books, I don't watch Jane Austen movies, I don't listen to Journey and, oh, yeah, I've never done online dating a day in my life. But I LOVE eHarmony commercials. If I'm in the kitchen pouring a bowl of cereal and I hear an eHarmony commercial, I will drop that carton of milk right on the floor and rush into the living room to watch. If I'm in the bathroom cleaning the toilet and I hear an eHarmony commercial, you better believe that toilet brush will be bobbing in the water for the next 29 seconds. EVERY TIME. Considering the number of hours Bravo is playing in my house, and the apparently very lucrative deal eHarmony has with Bravo, that all means one thing: a hell of a lot of eHarmony commercials, a nasty toilet brush and a lot of spilled milk.

My favorite couple is Lee and Anne Marie. I'm sure you know them, they like to bowl and clap and twirl together down nondescript city streets. I hope Lee and Anne Marie never break up. I'm totally serious. I love them. I hope they have cute little kids and a cute little life and invite me to their golden anniversary party.

I was looking for the video to embed here, and I realized two very curious things: eHarmony does not let people embed its videos, and it does not let people comment on its videos. Doesn't eHarmony have any faith in its message of love and compatibility? Is it worried that people who don't believe in bowling and clapping and twirling will spew their cynicism all over that message of love and compatibility? I thought love triumphed over all, eHarmony!

And then I glanced over at the "related videos" and I saw one more curious thing: a video alleging that eHarmony includes subliminal messages in its commercials. Subliminal messages like: "I have to have sex."

Subliminal messages?!?! In my beloved eHarmony commercials? COULD THAT BE THE REAL REASON I LOVE THEM?

Hmm. I better go watch again, just to see.