Waiting for My Real Life to Begin

The life and times of a girl named Swishy.

Monday, March 31, 2008

The streak is over

I am notorious for cutting it close at the airport, and it drives my dad absolutely batshit crazy. Every single time I visit my parents, we have the same conversation:

Him, while watching me either throw things frantically into a suitcase or eat a leisurely bowl of Golden Grahams in front of The View: You're going to miss your flight.
Me: Dad. Relax. It doesn't leave for like an hour and a half.
Him: It takes 20 minutes to get there. And the security lines are always long at our airport.
Me: Dad. I fly all the time. We'll be fine, I promise.
Him: I'm not kidding. Do you know what time it is? You're going to miss your flight.
Me: DAD! It's FINE. I haven't missed a flight yet, have I?

He goes and grumbles in the other room, and I finish getting ready. And then we leave for the airport, it takes me two minutes to get through security and I call him from the gate and say, "Told you!"

I will NEVER get to say that again. Yes, I am home, and yes, I am alive, but sadly--SADLY!--the streak is over. I have now officially missed a flight. But really, it was only PARTLY my fault.

This is what happened. I stopped off on the way to the airport to say goodbye to some people, and I figured since they actually LIVED there they could give me directions to the airport from their office. So one of the girls writes out these directions for me--detailed, NUMBERED directions--and I set off on my merry way.

Well. Several minutes later, I'm like, this does not, not, NOT look like the right way, so I call her and tell her where I am. "Uh-oh," she says, "I think I forgot to write down one of the turns. Let me put you on the phone with someone else." Mr. Someone Else gets on the phone. "Whoa," he says, "you are WAY out of the way. You need to come back the way you came." Did I mention that the NCAA Tournament was in town? The NCAA Tournament was in town. Which meant I got to double back through lots of traffic. Good times!

I finally get back on the road I think I'm supposed to be on, but I'm a little nervous because I don't see any airport signs. I see a guy in a church parking lot and I decide to pull off and ask him if I'm on the right track before I waste any more time. Bad move. BAD move.

Me: Hi. I'm so sorry to bother you, but can you tell me if I'm going the right way to the airport?
Him: Hi! I'm Troy! This is my wife Tracy, and these are our kids ... Tracy's pregnant with twins, due in July.
Me: That's great. Congratulations.
Him: Yeah, it's really exciting. I'm in charge of an afterschool program here at the church ... do you want to come inside and meet our pastor?
Me: I really ... that's really nice of you, but I'm kind of in a ...

Five minutes (that felt like 50) later, I finally get back on the road.

I get to the airport and I zoom, I mean ZOOM, through the rental car return. I book it into the terminal, 20 minutes before the flight is supposed to leave, and am immediately informed that I am too late to check in, but I can fly standby on a flight three hours later. Fine. Whatever. I have my laptop, I have a book, I'll survive.

I go to the gate and tell the guy I'm there, and he's like, yeah, come back in three hours. So I go off, get something to eat, make some work calls, flip through USA Today, all the while being INCREDIBLY Zen about the whole thing. It's just a few hours, I figure. It's no big deal, it's even kind of funny ... and then I go back to the gate.

Guy at the gate: So ... you know how you were here earlier?
Me: Umm ... yeah?
Guy: You actually could have gotten on the flight. They had just started boarding.
Me: Wait ... what? The flight I was scheduled on? The flight you said I MISSED?
Guy: Yeah. There was a lot going on, and I didn't realize it until after you walked away. Sorry about that. (Swishy note: There was more than one flight boarding at the same gate, which is why I didn't push the issue--I knew I was late, and I just assumed it was the other flight.)

Bye-bye, Zen outlook! WHY EVEN TELL ME THAT??? WHY? I did NOT need that little piece of info, I really didn't. But of course I was all nice to him anyway, mostly because I didn't want the only available seat on the next flight to mysteriously end up "taken." Also because I am passive-aggressive. But mostly to make sure I got on the flight.

Oh, well. It could have been worse. They could have lost my luggage. Or the plane could have crashed. Or I could have sat next to someone who farted the entire flight. So ... not so bad.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Where I've been this week*

In my attempt to become more Zen, I have really sort of avoided the whole topic of where I am going to be living and working four months from now. Some might call it denial. I call it ... OK, fine, maybe it's denial. But this week, I got kicked off my little raft in the middle of that lovely river and am auditioning the first contender in the "Future Home of Swishy" contest. I expect it to wine me, dine me and seduce me with long, lingering kisses at the end of the night.

In the meantime, my running response to anything job- or life-related (or trip-related, for that matter) is "I don't know." Which doesn't make for very interesting blog posts (trust me, I've tried) but DOES open the door to, ohhhh ... say, an airport post or two. And what a coincidence--I just happen to fly home tomorrow. So I will catch you all (hopefully) tomorrow night. Until then, take care of yourselves ... and each other. (Please tell me someone gets that.)

*****

Update: It's Thursday afternoon. I missed my flight. Good times!

*Because isn't the world just clamoring to know? Ha.

Monday, March 24, 2008

This is why I get the mail

There are things I love more than People magazine. Certain blood relatives. Toilets that flush. The fact that I'm not in jail in some foreign country for a crime I didn't commit.

Some things. But not many.

I don't always have a lot of opinions when I read People magazine, but I did yesterday. Very hard-hitting opinions. Life-changing, world-altering opinions. Which I will now share with you.

It was the J.Lo baby picture issue. We'll get to that in a second. First, Angie and the kids.



Would you just look at the bags of Cheetos in those kids' hands? Would you?? Those kids love their Cheetos, and I love that they love them. Their parents are freaking Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, and they still have sticky faces and orange fingers and messy hair like any other normal kids. That is awesome.



Oh, my hotness. I loved Pacey Witter. LOVED. If staring at this picture for 10 straight minutes is wrong, I don't want to be right.



Apparently the editor of People shares one of my guilty pleasures, because this is merely one of THREE separate pages devoted to The Hills in this issue. That is on par with the attention they devote to, say, shirtless Matthew McConaughey pictures, which is basically as high status as it gets in People magazine world.

The Hills starts its new season this week. I'm not sure why I like The Hills. It's kind of like asking Shiloh Jolie-Pitt why she loves her Cheetos so much. I just DO.

And finally ... the J.Lo baby pictures.

(OK, all of a sudden I'm scared to post this one because People paid like SIX MILLION for them AND agreed never to call Jennifer Lopez J.Lo again and I don't want their lawyers to come after me and my tiny little blog. I'll mail you my copy if you want to see them, how's that? Or you can look when you're at the grocery store. In the meantime just PRETEND you're looking at a picture of J.Lo and a pink-clad Mark Anthony pushing highly impractical strollers across their driveway. Ready ... go!)

I am sorry, but these pictures CREEPED me OUT! The photos themselves are beautifully shot and the babies are cute and everything else. But there was something SO CREEPY to me about them. They reminded me of Brad and Angelina's W magazine shoot a couple of years ago. I liked those photos ... but the difference is that THOSE were fake. They were two people play-acting, sort of a stylized satire. They weren't supposed to be representative of someone's REAL LIFE! Like, do people really wheel around $3,000 strollers? Do they really decorate their children's nurseries with crystal chandeliers and silver baby rattles? Do straight men really wear pink cardigans? SO MANY QUESTIONS!

All right, that concludes this installment of "Let's pretend you're sitting on the couch next to Swishy while she talks nonsense about nonsensical things." Tune in next week when she dissects the pros and cons of the three different vanilla lotions she has in her bathroom. Fun!

(P.S. How was everyone's weekend? Good? I hope so. Bracket update: Pretty much everyone has taken a turn in first, I think, but coming out of the weekend Mr. Josh is in the lead. I have it on good authority that he drank the USC Kool-Aid, though, soooo ... we'll see!)

Friday, March 21, 2008

Prepare to be amazed and astounded

So the other day a bunch of us went to the Macaroni Grill by our office for lunch. The great thing about Macaroni Grill is that they give you lots of crayons and let you draw all over big sheets of white paper on the table while you eat. You KNOW I am a big crayon hog--our waiter even brought me extras!--so I grabbed them all and drew a house and a little pencil and a Christmas tree. Having pretty much exhausted everything in my artistic repertoire, I turn to my friend, who's sitting next to me, and I'm like, let's play tic-tac-toe! He's like, no, you can't really play tic-tac-toe with a winner and a loser, let's play hangman instead. So I'm like, OK, I like hangman! Hangman it is.

I write the following on the paper

_ _ _ _ _
_ _ _ _
_ _ _
_ _ _ _

and say, "It's a phrase." He looks at it. One second goes by, two seconds go by ... and he goes, "That's what she said." HE WAS TOTALLY RIGHT! After like two seconds! I didn't even include an apostrophe! Or write down ONE letter!

I start seriously freaking out because I cannot believe he got a four-word phrase right with ZERO letters, so I'm like, OK, I'm gonna think of something else, something super hard. Something TRULY RANDOM. Something I never say or think or even hear. EVER!

_ _ _ _
_ _ _
_ _ _ _ _ _ _

Song or phrase, I tell him. He guesses an e, an h, a t. And then he looks at me: "Over the rainbow." And he's right. AGAIN! With just a THE!

So then I'm like, OK, this one is gonna be really hard. Really, REALLY hard. Song or thing.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
_ _ _ _

He guesses an a.

_ _ _ _ a _ a _ _
_ _ _ _

And then he drops his napkin on the table, and his face is just like, oh, you poor kid, you tried, you really did. "Hollaback girl," he says.

HOLLABACK GIRL. With ONE letter! Why am I not pimping this person out on Wheel of Fortune and a rotation of other potentially lucrative game shows, you ask? GOOD QUESTION. I have been asking myself that all week.



We played a quick round again yesterday. TV show, I told him. He guessed e. I hadn't even filled the second e in yet, and he was like, "Sex and the City." So then he gave me one--a person. I kid you not, I must have gone through the alphabet three times. In fact, I am probably STILL going through the alphabet. I'm like, raisins? Oh, wait, RAISINS is not a person's name. Rain man? Oh, wait, that's TWO words, not one. Raibotag? Oh, wait, that's NOT EVEN A WORD.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Monday Madness

Happy Monday, everyone! I hope you're all having a good day. I'm all sniffly with an earache (random, right?). I also spent, like, an hour on the phone with my bank canceling my debit card because some ASSHOLE thinks it's cute to make random $79.99 withdrawls from my checking account ... but you know what? Don't care, I'm in a good mood anyway. I'm in a great mood, actually, for a whole variety of reasons:

* I paid all my bills and balanced my checkbook, which I hate doing while I'm doing it but LOVE when I'm done because it makes me feel all organized and responsible.
* I cleaned the gross food out of the fridge and took out the garbage, which is another thing I hate doing but love to have done.
* I heard this song (fourth one) and this song (second one) on the radio. I love hearing songs I like on the radio!
* I walked into my coffee shop and the girl behind the counter was like, "Hey, guys! Swishy's here!" And then I walked up to the counter and she was like, "Hey, Swishy!" Which is so super nice because one of the things I love about this place is that they just let me be ... but they know me and remember me anyway! AND I got a booth with an outlet, which ALWAYS makes me happy.
* My sister is applying to grad school and had an interview today at Berkeley, which is her first choice, and it went great, which makes me totally happy for her.
* I know smart, funny, nice people, which makes me feel lucky AND happy.

AND ... March Madness (which I SUPER love) starts this week! Which means one very important thing: It's time for the Second Annual Swishy Bracket Challenge! The winner gets a $10 Amazon.com gift certificate, and yes, it's all as fun and exciting as it sounds. And no, you don't have to know a single thing about basketball--in fact, you're probably better off if you don't. My mom won one year by choosing teams that played in states she liked, and this other girl I know won by picking teams based on uniform. True story.

To enter, go here. (If you need 'em, the group number is 120261 and the password is Swishy.) And, of course, email me if you need help. Just don't beat me. By too much.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Random bits and pieces

A few things ...

* So this drive-up ATM I go to sometimes? It is the craziest ATM ever. For one thing, it talks to me. But it doesn't just talk to me. Ohhhhh, no. It talks to me IN A BRITISH ACCENT. A British accent! Is that not the most random thing ever? I love it. It also calls my PIN my "secret numbahhhh" which, for some reason, entertains me to no end.

* If you have not checked out Hulu yet, do it, do it, do it. There is some totally random, totally awesome stuff on there.

* I am totally not adjusted to daylight savings yet. I swear it takes me like a month and I know it's psychological, I know it, but STILL. I will be yawning from now until April. Seriously.

* I am so loving Rock of Love 2 lately. Why? WHY? I don't know why. I didn't watch the first one, and I'm not really watching this one very consistently, either. But whenever I flip over to VH1 it's on and it suuuucks ... me .... in. Please let it be Daisy and Kristie Joe and Ambre (yes, she spells it Ambre) in the final three, please, please, please!

* I just might know someone who just might be talking to Jim from The Office tomorrow. I thought you should know, just in case that someone we both know ends up changing her name to Pam and moving to California and, oh, you know, not updating her blog for a while.

On that note ... happy Friday!

Monday, March 10, 2008

You'll find my picture in the dictionary next to 'self-control'

Me: I am pretty sure I am going to eat an entire box of Girl Scout cookies before the day is over.
My mom: That's OK. It's not like you do stuff like that all the time.
Me: Umm ... I don't know if I'd say THAT.
(Pause.)
Mom: It's not like you do it every week?
Me: Hmmm ...
Mom: Every day?
(Another pause.)
Me: Yeah, OK. I guess we can say every day.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

They say it's my birthday ...

... and by "they" I mean my super awesome BBFF Manic! THANK YOU so much to everyone who has wished me a happy birthday! It was such a fun surprise to see all the comments this morning.

I am having a very mellow, very nice birthday weekend (I can only handle partying like a rock star every OTHER year). I might post pictures later ... in the meantime, I was cleaning out some stuff the other day and came across a couple pictures from that very first, very rollicking celebration of my arrival on this planet.

Some things never change. Ha ha.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Borrrring

I have had job stuff and nothing but job stuff on the brain for the past week, which pretty much makes me the most boring person in the world. Here is a (partial) list of things that are much more interesting than me right now:

* Bleaching socks.
* Blowing air across a half-empty bottle of Dr Pepper to the tune of America the Beautiful.
* Flossing.
* Googling random area codes to see what cities they belong to.
* Cleaning the lint out of the dryer.
* Watching a bug crawl up the wall, all the way to the ceiling.
* Seeing how many times you can shake your head back and forth before you get dizzy.
* Holding both arms over your head to see how long you would last in one of those endurance challenges on Survivor.
* Calling the 800 number on the back of cough syrup/Hostess cupcakes/L'Oreal mascara/whatever just to say hi.
* Counting how many squares are on a roll of toilet paper.
* Reading old term papers you wrote in high school English class ... which, yes, for some reason you still have in your possession.
* Engaging in a debate about what it means to be a "hollaback girl"
* Or what Fergie means when she talks about her "london bridge"
* And then wondering why you even care about two stupid songs that came out like two years ago anyway.
* Et cetera.

Actually, I take back what I said earlier. I've thought about lots of things besides work. Like, for example, I finally got around to reading the Oscar issue of Entertainment Weekly and I decided that if I ever win an Oscar, I'm going right up to Jack Nicholson and totally laying a big kiss on him before I go on stage to get my award. Just because it's Jack Nicholson. And it's the Oscars. And--

I'm sorry, you what? You have to go clean the lint out of the dryer? Fine. FINE!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

In my next life

I want to come back independently wealthy with a beach house on one coast and a cozy little bed and breakfast-y place on the other, with no time for trivial concerns like, ohhhh, major life and career decisions.

I'd also like to have a personal chef. And perfect hair.

I have no real announcements but everything, and I do mean everything, is on the table right now as far as I'm concerned (in other words, feel free to email me fabulous job listings!). I have until the end of April to make a decision and, yes, I'm obsessing about it a little right now. When I'm slightly less neurotic about the whole thing, I'll blog about it ... but either way, I plan to be back to spying on people at coffee shops before long, don't you worry.