Friday, June 18, 2010

Not So Epic

Do you want to know what is exhausting?  Constantly striving to be something extraordinary, and hating myself for my normalcy.  Do you know what is ridiculous?  Hating a quiet life and a job that is less than fulfilling.  Yeah, it'd be great to be some published, revered author, or a beautiful model, or an admired artist.  But, the plain truth of it is: I'm not any of those things.

I can be beautiful, but I can't be a model.  Maybe I can take some drawing classes, but I don't have the innate talent to be the next Picasso.  I'd love to be an author...but I'm not (not yet, anyway).
My job feels pointless, fairly often.  But I have one, which is nice. It's nice to have a roof over my head, and a boyfriend I love, and friends that brighten my days.  It's nice to live in such a wealthy country.  It's nice not to be starving.

Does that sound like settling?

It's not.

There is a beauty in the tilt of my dog's head when he tries to understand my ramblings.  There is a beauty in that same tilt of my boyfriend's head.  It means something when you make someone laugh so hard they clutch their stomachs, or when you laugh so hard that a snort sneaks out.  Or those rare moments when you can look in a mirror and be happy with what you see.

Not every night needs to be epic.  Some nights are better in your pj's watching a movie, petting the dog, and eating too much ice-cream.  Maybe I won't be painting any Sistene Chapels, but I will be seeing you at your barbeques, making you laugh, trying hard not to snort.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

French Lessons

Florent was an exchange student at my highschool, one grade above me, and ridiculously cute.  He couldn't get over when I would ask, "Hey, Flo, what's up?"  He would always look up, like some glob of crap was going to fall down on him.  I'd say through much of our friendship, he was in a near state of panic.
Before he left for his flight home, I took him to an amusement park.  Whalom Park, to be exact, where "you'll have a whale of a time."  I had studied up before hand and informed Flo, "je vous donnerai des baleines cette fois."

This, judging by his confused expression, was to be the beginning of a whole series of language barriers.

Have you googled that translation yet?  If not, here you go: "I will give whales to you this time."
Maybe he thought that was like a specifically American form of Crabs.

Being lunchtime, we went straight for that astronaut ice-cream stuff.  Being French, and clearly classier than I,  he'd never heard of the stuff.  I tried to make a joke of it and let him know the astronauts make it themselves.  I think you already see it coming....that's not what I said.  Not at all. "Ils sont des boules faites des astronautes."

Translation:  "They are balls made of astronauts."

I can't believe he ate it.

Later in the day, we took a ride on The Scrambler.  This was my favorite ride back in the day.  If you are the unfortunate person to be in the outside seat, the centrifugal force drives the other person into you.  It is sickening awesome!  Being the host, I let Florent take the awesome seat.

Whalom Park was in its last season that year, so even though it was a weekend, nobody was there.  The carnie working the scrambler was more than happy to let it run while he ran off to grab a beer.  7 minutes in, Flo started groaning.  12 minutes in, he went really quiet.
6 minutes after that, Surly came back and let us off the ride of death.  Flo whispered to me, "Caitie, I have to kiss you."

That wasn't at all what he said, but I substituted, because I didn't know what he was trying to say.  This was only my second semester of French, and we hadn't yet learned that "dégueulis" meant "puke."

This day of sparkles ended with an enervating ride on the roller-coaster.  A piece of it fell off during the ride and hit Florent in the head.

He wrote a few months later, comfortably in his own country, safely away from all American whales, and told me I should come visit.  In the letter, he told me a phrase I would, "definitely need during my visit," but he didn't include the translation.  It was only last week, when I was proudly demonstrating my awesome French skills to co-workers that I learned what, "J'ai essayé de péter, mais faire caca est parti," really means.

"I tried to fart, but poop came out."

Thanks, Flo.

I'm Pretty Much an Expert

Having seen the velocity with which everyone around me is commenting about soccer, I thought perhaps it was time to weigh in.
Having played soccer in grade school and listened to people in the office discuss it at length, I think it's safe to call myself an expert on the sport.

When I was about 5 or 6, I played on some local town league.  My memories of that are as follows:

I think our shirts were light blue.

I think my dad was one of the coaches.  Clearly, he was preparing me for a glorious life full of medals, much like that of Venus or Serena Williams.

I think I played goalie, mainly because it allowed me the time necessary to search for 4-leaf clovers.  However, this may have been a clever ploy, since I only landed in that spot after scoring my first and only triumphant goal.  On my own team.

My footwork was tremendous!

I remember one of the boys my age caught me picking my nose and blackmailed me into being his girlfriend for an entire week.  Alas, we broke up after 3 short days, when he realized I would never change my ways, no matter how much candy he offered.

As you can see, my expertise knows no bounds.

Now, allow me to present to you, my darling addlepates, with the bounty of my knowledge:

1. They throw cards on the ground.  Clearly, this is the soccer version of valentines.
2. David Beckham won't be there, due to some lame-o reason like Achilles tendons or somesuchthing.
3. Coach McGuirk did it better. CALL A YELLOW CARD REF; YELLOW CARD REF, YELLOW CARD. Brendon, what's a yellow card? ... Oh it's literal... well that's just stupid..
4.  This is the lowest-scoring World Cup in....who cares some time, making it boring to watch even for fans.
5. The fans are all using these ridiculous looking trumpets which makes the entire stadium sound like a swarm of locusts.
6. Soccer players clearly have a motto of "All Hair, All the Time."  They are reminiscent of the Red Sox, circa 2004...before Johnny Damon went all suck.  Instead of the narcoleptic mascot of present, they should just have Samson walking around, slaying philistines.
7. If you're American, don't be that guy that calls it football.  I know the rest of the world does, but as an American, you should go about your solitaire ways and continue to expect the rest of the world to change for us.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Plaid Shirt or Death to Angels

I like to think that, just as in a Disney cartoon, I am burdened with two warring angels on my shoulders.  Except, these have nothing to do with conscience, and much more to do with shopping (ah Life, so it goes).  On my left, weighing in at 3 oz and wearing some dazzling beading is my Spending Devil.  On my right...there is a distraught little guy near convulsing: my Saving Angel (he's so tired).

Spending Devil drives me to online shopping sites, like Amazon, or Gilt Group, or HauteLook, or whatever else you can imagine, and begins piling its trophies into the shopping cart.  He whispers things to me like:

"You won't get free shipping unless we get $30 more of vital goods!"  or "If you don't get this, it'll sell out and then where else will you find a plaid shirt?"

Then, at the last minute, Saving Angel swoops in, narrowly avoiding sharpened American Express and Visa cards thrown at him, and closes out the window before the sale is complete.

Today was payday.  My shabby, disheveled cheapskate angel is tired, and I'm tempted to let him sleep in.  In situations like this, he told me to alert you all:

"Send help....or plaid shirts."