Waiting for My Real Life to Begin

The life and times of a girl named Swishy.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Who wants to help me move?

We had a meeting this morning at work and ... your friend Swishy could soon be moving to a city near you! Holy crap, my head is spinning so fast I look like the girl from the Exorcist. Happy Leap Day, indeed.

(I do have a job, and I will have a job ... it's just a matter of where that job will be! More details later, probably after the big bitch-fest happy hour we no doubt will have later.)

Thursday, February 28, 2008

The most fun you'll ever have on a Tuesday night

The competition for "Fun ways to spend a Tuesday night," by the way, is a whole lot stiffer than you might think. There are a lot of fun ways to spend a Tuesday night. A LOT. And I did the funnest one.

But first, I will very quickly recap Tuesday afternoon: I'm on my way to Manic's and I have to take a call for work, so I pull off at a gas station, get out my laptop and start taking notes on it in between the diesel pump and the 25-cent air machine. Approximately four truckers shoot me bewildered looks. I get done and call Manic, and she and Jess already are totally blog-gossiping. I'm all, I wanna hear! So Manic puts me on speaker phone and immediately is like, "HOW MUCH RED BULL HAVE YOU BEEN DRINKING?" (Answer: none. I never drink Red Bull. Because when it very, very first came out, some guy told me it had bull semen in it, and NO, I didn't believe him, but ... still.) I get to Manic's and Jess shows me one of the first copies of her book (out in May! pre-order here!) and it is super, I mean, SUPER exciting, because I have known Jess for two years and the whole two years we've been waiting for her book to come out and IT'S FINALLY COMING OUT! And we go to Subway and the guy totally knows Manic wants turkey before she even asks for it. We are amazed. And that, in a nutshell, is Tuesday afternoon.

So Tuesday night! We are meeting Eileen for dinner before her reading. I am in the front seat, in charge of directions, and--APPARENTLY, according to SOME people--failing miserably, although a COMPLETE absence of U-turns, missed turns or wrong roads would suggest otherwise.

Manic: You're supposed to be GIVING DIRECTIONS, not talking about the LADY AT THE DMV! (Note from Swish: I will tell you all THAT story later.)
Me: I AM giving directions! I TOTALLY AM!
Manic: East or West? HUH? EAST OR WEST?
Me: West ... I mean East. No! West!
Manic: You are FIRED. Jess is totally sitting in the front on the way back!

Jess, meanwhile, is wisely staying out of the whole thing by busying herself with the seat warmer. Because future bestselling authors deserve--nay, DEMAND!--warm buns.

We arrive at the restaurant (again, worth noting, minus a SINGLE U-turn) and ... it's Eileen! And her cousin! And her friend Ruth! And her lackey! (Otherwise known as Jamie, her friend from college and book tour chaperone. And, you know, lackey.) We are all super excited because we love Eileen (and, by extension, anyone worthy of being in her entourage). They are all sweet and funny and warm and all-around awesome, and as a result we are all on our best behavior around them (during dinner, at least).

And then it was time to go to the bookstore! It was a few blocks away, and I got there last because I didn't have a chivalrous, wildly attractive man holding me up as I teetered across the ice in my oh-so-sensible three-inch heels. BUT! That was OK, because I got a picture of this:



SO BIG TIME! I go inside, and ... hello, I SAID it was the funnest Tuesday night ever! It's Kristabella! And Ms. Jennsylvania! It's a total blogger-writer extravaganza! Because Eileen is THAT popular! Her reading is wonderful--she's composed and gracious and funny and totally looks like she's been doing that kind of thing forever. We are proud little groupies and take lots of pictures (none of which, incidentally, wants to load right now).

Afterward, we all go to a wine bar down the street, which is very cute with lots of great ambience and a waiter named Kevin. Manic thinks Kevin looks like Adam Duritz from Counting Crows. I think he looks like Adrian Grenier from Entourage. Upon further reflection, it's probably a tie: Duritz face, Grenier hair. Kevin is very nice and Manic gives him our blog addresses. Hi, Kevin!

And THEN Jess's brother gets there! Told you it was a party! Pretty much everyone adores him instantly, and he's SUCH a good sport. We're all "Blah blah blah books" and "Blah blah blah blogs" and "Blah blah blah writing" and I look over at him and I'm like, "You must totally feel like you're at a Star Trek convention or something right now." And he's so nice, he's like, no, I think it's great, and everyone likes him even more. But I have to point something out here: We have a few bowls of chocolate truffles, right? One truffle falls on the floor and Manic picks it up and eats it. She SAYS it was because it was the last one left, but really, there was one on the table that Jake had taken a little nibble out of ... AND SHE PICKED THE ONE ON THE FLOOR INSTEAD! I love chocolate, I love truffles, I'm not here to judge, but I would have gone for the Jake truffle before I went for the floor truffle. I am JUST saying.

The next morning, I show Manic and Jess the Matt Damon-Sarah Silverman video and the Ben Affleck-Jimmy Kimmel rebuttal because they hadn't seen them yet. NATURALLY, Manic starts making up her own version of the song:

"I'm bleeping Matt Damon ... and Ben Affleck ... at the same time!"
"On the floor ... by the door ... cuz I'm a whore!"

And, yes. Sixteen hours later, I still TOTALLY have that in my head.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Authorpalooza!

Right now, I am sitting in soon-to-be famous author Manic Mom's office along with even sooner-to-be famous author Jess Riley. And in a couple hours, we'll be meeting practically famous already author Eileen Cook for dinner before her big book signing. Hilarity no doubt will ensue. Stay tuned ...!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Quick, say something nice!

OK, I'm sorry I've taken so long, but this week has been one big slice of crap on crap toast and I figured February is depressing enough for everyone without dragging the rest of you into my personal Suckfest '08. I am nothing if not thoughtful while bawling on my couch with a fistful of chocolate in one hand and an array of sharp objects in the other. (Ha.)

Moving on! Without any FURTHER ado, the winner of the CD is ... Stephanie! And because I can never pick just one, the second winner is ... Cecily! Send me your address, ladies, and I will send you merely the greatest CD ever created.

OK, speaking of bad days/weeks/months/lives, have you heard of the website Quick, Say Something Nice? This is a very cute website. You go there, and it gives you a quick compliment. If you don't like the compliment, you hit the thumbs down and it gives you another. If you need another (or 20), you hit the thumbs up and it keeps feeding your ego until you feel better. You can also submit compliments of your own.

Examples of some of the compliments:
"Stop being so awesome. You're giving me a complex."
"If you, me and my iphone were in a boat and it was sinking, I would save you."
"You are a saint for putting up with those people at work."
"It's impossible to be in a bad mood with you around."
"You never have a bad hair day."
"I dig you more than cheese. And you know how much I love cheese."

FUN, right? So for this, the last weekend of the shittiest month on the calendar (THANK GOODNESS. Hello there, pretty light at the end of the tunnel!), leave a quick, funny, awesome compliment you've given or received (or would LIKE to receive) in the comments and we can all read them and smile. Have a good weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Dancing with the Stars' biggest fan

That would be me, as of 24 hours ago. Do you know who's going to be on the new season? DO you? Jason Taylor, that's who. So? you ask. So, I reply, Jason Taylor is merely one of the MOST AMAZING PHYSICAL SPECIMENS ON PLANET EARTH.



I am not kidding. Photos do not do this man justice. This is the only person who has ever rendered me speechless--no small feat, I will have you know--simply by virtue of his physical beauty. A reenactment of when Swishy and Jason met:

Swishy: Hi.
Jason: Hi.
Swishy, mouth open, drool puddling on the floor: I ... I ... I ... I'm sorry, I completely forgot what I was about to say.
(Jason smiles, and Swishy is simultaneously dazzled and driven into further idiocy.)
Swishy: I ... I'm sorry. I just ... my mind just totally went blank.
(Jason smiles some more, and Swishy stares some more. And then some more.)

I literally COULD NOT TALK. It was like the sky parted and the heavens opened up. Angels started singing and he was suddenly surrounded by a halo of radiant light. Holy crap, that man is beautiful. And now I will get to watch him (in regular clothes! TIGHT clothes! sans helmet!) every Monday night on my TV. I am totally going to start a training regimen for my dialing finger. And possibly invest in a high-definition television. A BIG one.

(P.S. I will do the CD drawing as soon as I can tear myself away from Mr. Sex on a Stick.)

Monday, February 18, 2008

To tell ... or not to tell

So. I'm in this store returning something, and I stop by the makeup counter as part of my neverending quest to find a lipstick to replace my soon-to-be-gone-forever discontinued one. I draw a little bit of lipstick on my hand, look it over and then go on my merry little way. I'm also on the phone, and I use my left hand--the lipstick hand--to reach across my face and grab my phone from my right ear so I can hang up before I get to the counter.

I know that's a lot of detail. I'm telling you all that so you can understand how I could have gotten back to my car, looked in my rearview mirror and seen LIPSTICK on my chin. I wasn't quite a little kid who got into her mom's makeup, but it was still OBVIOUS. I mean, nobody INTENTIONALLY puts lipstick on their chin. Immediately, before I even wiped it off, my mouth dropped open and I was like, "Why didn't the woman at the counter TELL ME???"

And then I thought, OK, would *I* tell someone? I think that I would. But then I started running through different scenarios: What if someone was walking by with toilet paper stuck to their shoe? A big glob of gum on their butt? What if a huge booger was coming out of someone's nose? Or their fly was down? What if a woman had a button undone in the middle of her shirt?

Of course I would say something to a friend of mine. But a total stranger? I would like to think I would, but then I was like, OK, BE HONEST, would you REALLY? Toilet paper, yes. I have done that lots of times, although one time someone in an airport didn't hear me so I just went up behind her and stepped on the toilet paper so it came off as she walked away. Gum? I THINK so ... I mean, it could potentially be a LITTLE bit awkward to admit that you were looking at someone's butt, but I think I would.

The clothing issues ... I would definitely tell a woman her button was undone, but I don't know about a guy whose fly was undone. Once again, you have a potentially awkward situation. ("Excuse me, sir, but were you aware that your barn door is open?" "Excuse me, but I was just admiring your ..." I mean ... AWKWARD!) The big one for me, though, is the booger. If I am being 100 percent, totally honest, I don't know if I would! If I'm in a public bathroom, yes. If I'm looking at the same rack in a clothing store as someone else and not that many people are around, probably. (You know, just in a "Go like this" while rubbing my nose kind of way.) But I don't want to EMBARRASS anyone--and the "someone just told someone else over the age of 10 to wipe a booger off their face" aftermath can be even MORE embarrassing than telling them in the first place! But it's more embarrassing to walk around with a huge booger hanging out of your nose, right? So I would like to think that most of the time I would. But I don't know! A total stranger?! I DON'T KNOW!

I still think the woman at the store should have told me about the lipstick, though. I am JUST saying.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Music mania

OK, you talked me into it--we'll do a little CD giveaway. In honor of the just-about-over Valentine's Day, put your favorite funny/sweet/angry/whatever song about love in the comments, and I'll take some of yours and some of mine and put together a little mix. (I'll pick a winner from the comments at the end of the weekend.) A very, VERY random sampling of some of my favorites (in addition to some of the ones I listed the other day):

Glycerine, Bush. My friend Andrea and I always said that every time we were out on a Friday night and heard this song, it meant we were going to see hot guys (we called it, appropriately enough, the "hottie boy" song). And you know what? Every single time we did.

Just Like Heaven, The Cure. Is this not one of the most infectious songs ever? It ALWAYS makes me smile. Plus, I am a huge sucker for songs that talk about running off together: "And I promise you, I promise that I'll run away with you."

I Still Remember, Bloc Party. I mentioned this in the music post, but this is why I love it. You know how you can have a little moment with someone, but before you get up the nerve to do something about it, it's gone? Or you find out, years later, that someone totally liked you, and you're like, "Why didn't you just TELL me?!" That's what this song is about.

The Promise, When in Rome. This song came on the radio once when I was just starting to date someone and I was like, oh, my gosh, I AM TOTALLY IN A MOVIE RIGHT NOW! "I'm sorry, but I'm just thinking of the right words to say. I know they won'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."

Time, Chantal Kreviazuk, and London Rain, Heather Nova. I call these (and every other song by these two) my ABC Family movie songs. If you've seen any of those movies (especially the SUPER AWESOME Lucky Seven and This Time Around), you know exactly what I mean.

Love Me Still, Chaka Khan. Thank you, Party of Five soundtrack. This is such a pretty song.

Mystery, Indigo Girls. So many great lines. "I could go crazy on a night like tonight ... every thought's a possibility."

You've Got to Hide Your Love Away, The Beatles. Hasn't everyone felt like this sometimes?

Swing, Swing, All-American Rejects. A great, fun song about moving on after a breakup. I love it. (And I ADORE Dance Inside, also by them, about ... well, sex. Ha. Really, really good sex.)

Collide, Howie Day, and Cannonball, Damien Rice. I always think of these songs together because I listened to them incessantly while I was working on a project a few years ago. Collide's about the uncertainty of a new relationship; Cannonball's about not having it out of your system once it's over.

Statue, Low Millions. I don't listen to this song too, too often, but I have very fond memories of when I heard it the first time. It's kind of melancholy but uptempo at the same time.

Fall to Pieces, Avril Lavigne. When you don't want to break up, but you kinda know you're about to--this is the moment right before you do.

A Murder of One, Counting Crows. This might be my favorite song on that August and Everything After CD, which is saying a lot.

Must. Stop. Myself. Now! Happy Friday (and V Day), everyone!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Procrastination, Swishy style

So the other day I was like, I have soooooo much to do! Life is passing me by! I have to get moving! Be a woman of action! Get this massive, not-so-flattering albatross off my neck and finally get it all done! I was motivated. I was fired up. And I went to my favorite coffee shop to do it.

You know where this story is going, right? This is the part where I tell you I worked, worked, worked until the fingerprints on all my little fingers, even the pinkies and thumbs, wore off. Or ... the part where I tell you I got absolutely nothing done and instead took pictures of random strangers through the window. OK, let's go with that one.

First up. These boys came in to get coffee, and then they went outside and sat in the back of the one boy's truck for FOREVER. I was trying to guess what they were talking about. Relationships? Favorite music? American Idol vs. Project Runway? Elliptical vs. treadmill? Snickers vs. Milky Way? Regular vs. decaf? I couldn't decide, but I knew it had to be MUCH more interesting than what I was doing.



Then, a few minutes later, I see ... Slash! From Guns 'N' Roses!



I know, I couldn't believe it either. Especially since Axl Rose was nowhere to be found. Plus the obvious lack of a guitar in his hand ... but wait! There's a guitar shop two doors down from the coffee shop! He must have dropped it off to be fixed! See? It IS him!



I would like to say it got more productive and exciting from there, and I'm proud to say that it did. If you call eating two chocolate chip cookies productive. And the fact that they had just come out of the oven exciting. Which I do.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Music makes the people write blog posts

Things I think about while screwing around in my iTunes:

Song I listen to when I'm about ready to plunge a pair of scissors into my jugular or someone else's (or otherwise need to chill out RIGHT THIS SECOND): Follow Through by Hotel Lights. That is like my Xanax. It COMPLETELY mellows me out. Runner up: Lazy Eye by Silversun Pickups.

Favorite guilty pleasure song: Mmm Bop by Hanson. Mock if you must. But I dare you--TRIPLE DOG DARE YOU--to listen to it and not start laughing. Runner up: The Sign by Ace of Base. (Side note: I completely stopped being embarrassed about any of my guilty pleasure songs once we got on shared iTunes at work and I saw that someone had Rico Suave by Gerardo on his iTunes. Yeah. RICO SUAVE.)

Best song used in a movie: If You Leave in Pretty in Pink. Can I tell you, I STILL get goosebumps when Andie goes to the prom and that song comes on? Runner up: Tiny Dancer in Almost Famous. (Best background music: Only Living Boy in New York and Fair, both in Garden State.)

Best song to play over a trailer to trick me into seeing your shitty movie: Solsbury Hill by Peter Gabriel. I could go into my Vanilla Sky rant, but I'm sure you have better things to do with, oh, the next 16 years of your life, so we'll leave it there.

Favorite song to sing to in the car: Mr. Brightside by The Killers. Runner up: I Still Remember by Bloc Party (sung only with a very loud, very exaggerated British accent).

Best spin on a classic: In Your Eyes (live) by Jeffrey Gaines. The best part is when he's all, "I look to these times with you" (long beat) "to keeeeeeeep me awake and alive." Runner up: I Will Survive by Cake.

Favorite '80s song: Out of the Blue by Debbie Gibson. Runners up: Mad About You by Belinda Carlisle and Eternal Flame by The Bangles. There are far funnier, campier classics from that great decade of music, but based on the years of my life spent daydreaming about boys to these songs, they win.

Song I imagine playing over the opening credits of the movie of my life, when I'm running late to work, dropping my mascara wand on the bathroom floor, hopping on one foot to put my shoes on, and then running into Dreamy McDreamboat on the elevator with a velcro roller still in my hair: All I Really Want by Alanis Morissette. (My favorite line: "And what I wouldn't give to find a soulmate, someone else to catch this drift.")

Song I imagine playing in the background of the movie of my life as I prance around in front of the mirror in hot knee-high boots after bouncing back from heartbreak: One of These Days by Kraak and Smaak.

Song I imagine playing on the radio in the movie of my life when I have my great epiphany while driving around late at night: Chocolate by Snow Patrol.

Song I imagine playing in the background of the movie of my life when I have a chance encounter with the one who got away: The City by Joe Purdy.

Song I imagine playing over the closing credits of the movie of my life, when I drive off into the sunset with the hot yet sensitive, smart and funny man of my dreams: Take Me Away by Lifehouse.

Best sad breakup song: The Scientist by Coldplay. "Come up to meet you, tell you I'm sorry, you don't know how lovely you are ..." Awwww. Runners up: Cautioners by Jimmy Eat World and Try by Nelly Furtado.

Best angry breakup song: The Kill by 30 Seconds to Mars. Runners up: You Oughta Know by Alanis, Ex Factor by Lauryn Hill, Sick Cycle Carousel by Lifehouse, You Wanted More by Tonic ... should I keep going?

Best song about not-quite-unrequited-but-kinda love: 23 and Kill by Jimmy Eat World. Oh, my gosh, I love those songs times INFINITY. Runner up: Champagne High by Sister Hazel.

Songs I like almost purely because of the way one line is sung:
- "Hey ... my eyes are shooting sparks." (Une Annee Sans Lumiere, Arcade Fire)
- "It's almost everything I need." (Sullivan Street, Counting Crows)
- "You touch my lips and grab the back of my hand ..." (All I Need, Mat Kearney)
- "How long 'til my soul gets it right?" (Galileo, Indigo Girls)
- "Look me in the eye and tell me you don't find me attractive." (Where Does the Good Go, Tegan and Sara)
- "Are these times contagious? I've never been this bored before ... is this the prize I've waited for?" (Run, Collective Soul)

OK, your turn!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

I love voting!

So on the way to work, I go to fulfill my civic duty and, more important, insure that I have the right to bitch about whoever winds up in office for the next four years. I walk up to the table and show them my license.

"Oh!" says the one woman. "You have such a nice photo on your license!" She turns to the woman next to her. "Look at this--isn't this the best driver's license photo you've ever seen?"

"Oh, yes!" says the other. "It looks like it was professionally done!"

(HA! Ha ha ha. I swear she did, and I was totally cracking up and loving every second of it because, needless to say, IT IS SO NOT.)

I retrieve my driver's license, the driver's license that we now know is is not really a driver's license but is really a mini cover of Vogue, and head over to the voting machine, which is manned by a cute, cute boy in a striped polo shirt.

Me: Hi.
Him: Hi. (Pause.) Wow. You smell great. I mean, REALLY good. Is that apples?
Me: Thanks! Actually, it's ...
Him: Green apples? It is, isn't it. You smell AWESOME.

(It really wasn't apples. But if someone's gonna tell me I smell awesome, who am I to quibble over the details?)

And then, on top of it, the voting took about 0.7 seconds, it made me feel like a responsible member of society, everyone else who was there was super friendly ... it was just SO nice. I walked back outside into the crappy, crappy weather and I was like, can I PLEASE go back and vote again? It was by FAR the highlight of my day. I'm serious. I really think I might go over there and try.

In other Decision '08 news ... we have a crazy love winner! I laughed at every single story, oh, how I laughed, but can any of us REALLY top Beth's brush with the law? (Side note for those who don't know: She ended up marrying a cop! Ha!) Even bigger news: Our friend Eileen's book Unpredictable is now in a bookstore near you! So if you're scared of Amazon--I'm just saying IF--you can go pick it up in person instead!

And, finally, my brother reports that he is still dizzy but, on the plus side, he's allowed to listen to his iPod while he rides around in a wheelchair for money. Oh, yes, this IS a great country. Happy Super Tuesday!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Doctor-patient privilege

So I'm sitting at the coffee shop, and the guy next to me starts making phone calls. Apparently, he's a doctor. Apparently, the people he's calling are patients. Do I really need to mention that I moved from one side of my table to the other to hear him better? I didn't think so.

Call No. 1: "Hi, this is Dr. Brasher. I wanted to check up on you and see if that rash has gotten any better ..."

Call No. 2: "Hi, this is Dr. Brasher calling. I'd like to schedule that procedure we talked about for this Friday, February 8 ..."

Call No. 3: "Hi, this is Dr. Brasher. I just wanted to let you know that I looked over your test results. Everything looks OK, although I want you to keep taking that prescription I gave you until it runs out ..."

I am SO waiting for him to call someone and tell them they have syphilis.