Quit your Job. Watch TV.

I have that thing. You know that thing where you watch a TV show and you immediately become obsessed with it and  you start thinking in the voices of the characters and you’re upset when no one  is taking your advice to quit their job and stay home to absorb the 40-minute chunks of brilliance you keep recommending over and over again? That thing.

I started watching Fresh Meat last week, despite the series’ truly terrible name, and I’ve already made it through all of the existing seasons (there are only 2–I’m not completely avoiding adult life).  The show manages to cover absurdly well-worn territory (6 misfit strangers become an unlikely group of friends? And wait a tick, 2 of them have unresolved sexual tension? Whoa nelly!) and transform cliches into sparkling new gems of comedy and pathos.

It’s vulgar and silly, and if you already dread the dentist you should stay far away from episode 13 entirely, but if the idea of Skins and Undeclared having a child together appeals to you at all (give up the dream–television shows cannot reproduce), you should watch this.

Salsa, Stripes, and Straightening

Black and white and read all over (because there are books behind me--do you get it? Do you get the hilarious joke that I am making?  How hard are you laughing right now?  Very very hard?)

Black and white and read all over (because there are books behind me–do you get it? Do you get the hilarious joke that I am making? How hard are you laughing right now? Very very hard?)

Rare are the days when I fall out of bed and into a clothing combination that immediately makes me feel like a bajillion dollars.  Sometimes—like last week—I manage to get my outfit magically right on the first try, and I feel cooler than a roller derby girl and prettier than Charlize Theron, and then I spill mango salsa all over the front of my silk dress and I have to trade in my enchanted confidence for jalapeño-soaked shame.

I want to look like this all the time--pouty and murderous and perfectly accessorized and about to make out with a 1967 Warren Beatty.

I want to look like this all the time–pouty and murderous and perfectly accessorized and about to make out with a 1967 Warren Beatty.

Thankfully, I stayed away from all Mexican condiments while wearing today’s outfit.  I was going for a kind of Faye Dunaway in Bonnie & Clyde meets French riot grrrl cartoon character kind of thing, and I think I nailed it (probably because it’s super easy to fit into specific categories when I’m the one defining them).

I’d also like to thank my complete lack of hair-styling skills for this sartorial success.  You see, I tried to straighten my hair, and I failed miserably (as I always do), so I had to cover my mistake with a hat.  I’m still waiting for someone to fill me in on the secret of hair straightening.  I don’t understand the process at all.  Every time I try, I end up looking like David Bowie in Labyrinth.

Me, basically.  Except I'm nowhere near as talented with eye makeup.

Me, basically. Except I’m nowhere near as talented with eye makeup.

In conclusion: frying your hair will fix your clothes.  And don’t attempt to cradle a tub of salsa in your lap while wearing silk.

Questions & Answers

From the "I Need a Picture of Myself for this Post and Also I Am Proud of Myself for Mailing Things" Collection.

Where should you put mail? Try a mailbox, you dummy.

Where did I put my iPod earbuds? Why is there a rolled up sock on this bookshelf?  How did I forget that I had a bunch of red Skittles mixed in with these pens?  These are questions that plague us all, because we are busy bees, hurriedly buzzing through this hive we call life (that is maybe the dumbest sentence I’ve ever written, but I’m sticking with it, because I just can’t say “no” to bees).

In answer to literally zero of those questions, but in answer to some other ones that you never asked, I have compiled this helpful list. You’re welcome!  Mail thank-you poundcakes to Santa Cruz, care of: a swarm of bees.

Question 1: What are some good things to put in my ears?

Answer: Have you tried music? Specifically English-language Swedish music, which might sound like an unnecessarily obscure genre, but is really quite large and overflowing with wonderful songs like Säkert!’s “Quiet,” Jens Lekman’s “A Postcard to Nina,” or my recent favorite, “Blue” by First Aid Kit?

Question 2: What about my mouth? What should I have in there?

Answer: I find it odd that you phrased the question like that, but I’ll answer it anyway.  There are really only two things that you should put in your mouth: roasted lemon and thyme hummus, and the word “synesthesia,” both of which have a nice mouthfeel.

Question 3: I have 35 two-dollar bills hidden beneath my bedroom rug and I’m not sure how to spend them.  Any ideas?

Answer: I have exactly three ideas for what to do with your stash of Jeffersons.  One thing you can do is to throw the cash in the air like confetti and pretend that you’re Richie Rich, which will feel awesome, probably.  A less obnoxious option  is that you can have a custom dress made by the amazing Judith at Rusty Cuts.  I have a Star Wars dress from her that nets me more compliments than anything else I have every worn, including my “Give Me a Compliment and I’ll Give You a Dollar” tee shirt.

I took this picture months ago when I first got my dress so that I could text braggy pics of it to everyone on my contact list, and surprisingly, the photo has not improved with age. The dress has, though.

I took this picture months ago when I first got my force frock so that I could text braggy pics of it to everyone on my contact list.
Rest assured–my modeling skills have NOT improved.

Another brilliant idea is that you buy a copy of the Spanish horror film Tesis ($20), pick up some Buffalo Trace bourbon ($22) and a variety of fancy cheeses ($20) and haul it all to my apartment, where we’ll have a night of friendship that you’ll never forget (priceless).

If you like scary movies AND you have a thing for actors named "Fele," you are in for a real treat.

If you like scary movies AND you have a thing for actors named “Fele,” you are in for a real treat.

I realize that that last idea leaves you with 8 extra dollars. Put those bills back under your rug or buy me tulips.

What other questions are you dying to have answered?  Have you missed me? Do you happen to know where my car keys are?

Tasty Trivialities

Me and my salmon, candying rose petals.

My students turned in their final projects this week, and now I am sitting in front of my computer, reading through their work with pride and nervous anxiety over how much grading and evaluating and editing and reflecting I need to do to close this semester and be ready for the new semester that starts in just a few days (!).

Laurel & The Flower-Flavored Frosting (also the title of a tambourine song I’m releasing on vinyl).

So, instead of diligently slogging through these essays or planning my lessons for next week, I am writing this blog post about vanilla rose cupcakes that I baked 7 weeks ago.  If this makes any sense to you, we should be friends, because you’re bonkers.

I would say that these were “too pretty to eat,” but that would be the biggest lie I’ve ever told, because we ate them immediately with zero regard for their beauty.

Honestly, Laurel and I baked these so long ago that I don’t even remember what they tasted like.  But, I remember that they were good, and I remember that we were incredibly impressed with ourselves and I remember that we kept saying “we’re amazing” and taking pictures with our phones, like the awful lady clichés that we sometimes are.

In other cliché news, I am currently wearing polka dots, drinking tea from a mason jar, and listening to French pop, and I am thinking that you should be doing these things too, because they feel great.  Take my hackneyed hand and let’s leap into quirky banality together.

Smells Like Teen Spirit

Until last night, I hadn’t been to a middle school dance in over a decade.  This was a fact I was perfectly content with, as I remembered middle school dances mostly as a time of nervous stomach aches and blue eye shadow and leaning against gym walls with Nest while we tried to fix our faces into the perfect “Ugh, I don’t even CARE about this nonsense” kind of expression.  At my junior high (it’s now a middle school, but it still looks like a prison), my school dance routine was something like this:

Put on a short black skirt and a “fancy” tee. Get your mom to do your makeup because you have no idea how any of these brushes and powders are supposed to work. End up looking like a 12 year old who is trying to get hired to work in HR, because that is what your mom does and that is the makeup that she has.  Go to the dance with the highest of hopes for True Love and Romance and Previously Undiscovered Dancing Skills. Get asked for ID by the principal because you’re wearing heels and now you’re a 6’ preteen and he doesn’t believe that you are one of his students.  Return home sweaty and disillusioned.

This photo pretty much sums up my junior high dance experiences. Nest looks cute. I’m wearing running clothes because I was a dingus. Please note that we are sitting on a hay bale and that even that paper chicken behind us is all “this is the worst.”

I’m happy to say my 2013 dance experience was better.  I was stationed right in the middle of the dancing action, instructed to watch for and interrupt any “lewd or inappropriate behavior.” Lucky for me, there wasn’t even a whiff of lasciviousness (there was more than a whiff of sweaty armpit, but I’ll forgive them for that). Instead, I saw a room full of kids partying with the kind of carefree abandon that’s usually absent from adolescence. I saw kids dancing in groups, sliding across the floor in their socks, and two separate boys breakdancing with the intensity and focus of extras from Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo.  I notably did not see the forlorn wall-leaning and grody grinding that I remembered observing in my youth.

Friday night’s dance was inspiring and heartening and encouraging, and everything I expected a middle school social event not to be.  Cheers to kids these days.

May Day

From now on, I am modeling my entire aesthetic after the vibe of this photo. Expect a lot more cheek to cheek greetings from me.

Elaine May and Mike Nichols.  From now on, I am modeling my entire aesthetic after the vibe of this photo. Expect a lot more cheek to cheek greetings from me.

On the terrible side of things, I am sick today.  However, my sick day was full of many not so terrible things, like Holland mints, garbage television, naps, thick socks, and the Vanity Fair comedy issue.  I also spilled tea onto my fake chicken cutlet, which was totally terrible, but I will admit that worse things have happened in the world. Probably.

Take it away, Elaine May.  I am far too ill for further typing.  Cough.

The End’s Not Near, It’s Here

Welcome to 2013, kids and baby dogs (that’s my target audience)!  Let’s hope that this is the year we all get chosen as Anthropologie dress-testers, stop having weird dreams about that guy who plays the brother on Up All Night (just kidding—I love those dreams), learn how to conjure chocolate from thin air, and get retweeted by Zooey Deschanel (I assume that these are goals we all share).

Because my heart is lazy above all things, I’ve decided to start the new year on the blog with a pictorial review of my final few weeks in 2012.  Here’s what I’ve been doing instead of blogging:

1.  Working:  Most of my coffee shop coworkers are little baby collegiates, so they bailed for home during their winter break. Because of this, I worked as frantically as a North Pole native in the days before Christmas.  Lucky for me, this meant free cups of ZOOOM Brew and hefty holiday tips.

Me and my awesome coworker, Kat, at work on Christmas Eve. In Christmas sweaters, which were wildly appreciated.

Me and my awesome coworker, Kat, at work on Christmas Eve. We wore Christmas sweaters, which were wildly appreciated by the crusty surfers who frequent the shop.

2.  Grading:  I love my teaching job and I love my students and I love my school.  But BOY, do I hate grading.  I graded approximately one zillion papers in the past few weeks and I only have one trillion more.

Try looking at this pic for more than 10 seconds without falling asleep.

Why can’t I just give everyone an A? I thought this was AMERICA.

3.  Daydreaming about Clothing I Don’t Need:

This is a dress that will never live in my closet (it didn't fit), but I love it so much that I want the internet to be a part of our brief love affair. If you ever run into this Hi There by Karen Walker dress on the street, tell it I miss it.

I feel like a dingus for posting a dressing room pic, but I love this Hi There by Karen Walker frock so much that I want the internet to be a part of our brief love affair. If you ever run into this red beauty on the street, tell it I miss it.

4.  Eating Cheese.  

5.  Watching Pretty Little Liars on Netflix.  Whoa, you guys. What is even happening on this show? Eep, don’t tell me!

6.  Spending Time with the West Coast’s Finest: Otherwise known as my family and friends.  I went to a shooting range with my little baby bro (he is 6’1″ and a full-fledged adult, but I will call him a baby until the day my casket is shot into space) and two wonderful camp friends; I painted pottery with some other camp lovelies; I shopped for climbing shoes with Laurel; and finally, I spent countless hours crying into a bowl of popcorn with my mom as we watched Parenthood.  If the ending of 2012 is any indication of the wonders that await me in the beginning of 2013, January is going to be a blast and a half.

Carson and Eva are excited to shoot guns and wear sweet orange ear protectors.

Carson and Eva are excited to shoot guns and wear sweet orange ear protectors.

You wouldn't guess it, but this pic is from the swimsuit edition of Climbing Shoes Illustrated.  It's not a very interesting magazine.

You wouldn’t guess it, but this pic is from the swimsuit edition of Climbing Shoes Illustrated. It’s not a very interesting magazine.

I straight up ripped off this design from an existing Anthropologie dish.  But I made it my own, you guys. It's not plagiarism--it's more like paraphrasing.

I straight up ripped off this design from an existing Anthropologie dish. But I made it my own, you guys. It’s not plagiarism–it’s more like paraphrasing.

What are YOU excited about in the new year? What are your resolutiozzzzzzz…zzzzzz. I just fell asleep, because these questions are so cliche and boring.

But really: I love you guys.  Happy 2013.