Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Maybe we'll even ride up on horses!

My friend Matt's wedding is coming up in August. I cannot wait to see him and meet his betrothed, Jody. A little trip to Portland, Oregon to a lodge in the middle of Mount Hood doesn't sound too shabby, either.

I was mentioning this to my friend J and his friend--whom I'll call "Annoying"--last night and added the tidbit that I hadn't actually seen Matt in ten years, since college. They both scoffed. Since college? Ten years? And you're going to his wedding?! I was all, "Yes, I'm going. Matt and I were super tight in college. We recently tracked each other down online and have been in contact a lot since."

Annoying, thinking himself clever, asked, "And they have a registry, right? With gifts listed for you to buy them?" I assumed they did and shrugged and said yes. He laughed and said, "Ha ha, that's why you're going--so they can get more gifts. Ha ha ha...I'll be sure to invite you to my wedding. Ha ha ha."

I was unreasonably put off by this. Aside from people laughing at their own jokes when they're not funny,* my reasons for being bothered were twofold:

1. Typically, it costs more money to host someone at your wedding than the price of the gift you get them (I'm totally cheap: they're getting a washcloth. Maybe a handtowel.)

2. I'm sensitive.

Following my sneer in Annoying's direction, I expanded the subject to weddings in general, saying that I want all my family and friends at mine. They were all, that's a little expensive, you know, do your parents know this?

I explained that I want to get married at my parents' farm, a place perfectly supplied with fruit trees and fully stocked with trout in the pond; making it a self-serve kind of thing. A subsistence wedding, if you will. Or, to make it fancy, all I have to do is provide massive amounts of macaroni and cheese to augment the apples and Rainbows and call it a day. There will, of course, be BOXES and BOXES of Franzia--blush AND white. No one can actually complain with such sweet, sweet wine flowing.

Hearing this, they seemed appeased that my wedding guests would indeed be satisfied. Come to think of it, I don't think I even mentioned the wine. Here's what else I didn't mention:

1. My wedding song, which will be Eternal Flame by The Bangles

2. My bride's maids' dresses, which will be the tacky 110% polyester mini-dresses I used to wear in college and still have hanging in my closet just for the occasion

3. My tiara, whose sparkle and shine will require protective eyewear on the parts of my guests

4. The wedding dance with my new spouse will be, naturally, to our wedding song, Eternal Flame. For the duration of the song, the bride's maids are to surround us, linking arms and swaying along with the music. They are also to hold lighters in their right hands to symbolize the eternal flame of our love. This will require great balance on their part (aka, easy on the Franzia, ladies!) lest the polyester dresses burst into flames, potentially causing eternal damage to one or more bride's maids (NOT something I'm trying to deal with in the middle of my reception, thank you very much).

5. The footwear: barefoot, on grass.

6. The dress: something in the neighborhood of white, to feign that I am somewhere in the neighborhood of virgin. Heh.

7. The spouse: TBD, most likely a man (for several years I imagined it would be a woman), preferably a goofy one to appreciate all of the above.

8. The guests: As I said, as many family and friends as possible. I mean, how fun is it to have everyone you love all in one place, all celebrating love?

Ahh, love. Ahh, tiaras.

*I always laugh at my own jokes, but that's okay: they're all hilarious.

Monday, June 19, 2006

My iTunes calls it With Love and Squalor

I like the new We Are Scientists album. I think. I mean, I know I like the music and recommend you give it a listen; it's just that I'm fuzzy on the details. That is, I don't know if it's "the new one" or even "their first one." I really think of it as the plain silver CD with We Are Scientists written on it with a Sharpie pen in my friend Kathleen's handwriting. And I like it all the same.

I have no details about this band, but everytime I look over at the CD (when not in play) and see the Sharpied-in name, I read it, like a sentence. We are scientists. And everytime I do, my mind goes immediately to the song, "I Am A Scientist" by Guided By Voices--one of the finest songs of our time. And then, still glancing at the CD, I think, I bet that's where they got their name. And then I think, How do you know? It could be that they are actually scientists.

Every time. I think this every time. Perhaps it's time to get a sleeve for the CD and put it safely in the desk drawer. Otherwise, I'm not gonna get a lick done at work.

Too bad there's not a super easy way to find out something, ANYTHING, about this mystery band. Certainly it's nothing I can tackle while sitting in front of my high-speed-internet-enabled computer.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Tribute to a flash in the pan

By the time senior year of college rolled around, I found myself living with the fabulous Lo (not to be confused with the less fabulous J. Lo) and wonderful Wynne. Wynne and I had been bff's since freshman year of high school and Lo (and fabulous others:) came around freshman year of college. We moved into a cute little yellow house on Harding, strategically close to our fave bar, The Cellar. Our place had a nice little yard and a porch swing. It was very cute and sweet. Upkeep not being our college-town landlord's bag, it was also so run down that only not-very-picky 21 year olds would have lived there. Enter us: not-very-picky 21 year olds.

Looking back, it's a good thing that the hardwood floors were kind of crappy and the kitchen linoleum was worn. Otherwise, we may have felt bad about having a huge party right after we moved in. We had bands playing in the basement, a keg in the kitchen and people everywhere. It was a FUN party. Bands were playing NAKED. People were rocking out, people were laughing, people were outside on the porch swing, enjoying the beautiful Virginia summer night.

Most of the people there were friends. Our friends from school, maybe a few locals, and of course the two skinheads I'd befriended earlier in the summer, Jason and Chris. You'd think being skinheads, they'd be named Killer and Yaywhitepeople or something like that. You'd also think they'd have no hair. But they were former skinheads, you see, and so had hair and, as for the names, well, I guess they were just uninventive.

As a superfeminist superprogressive Women's Studies minor, you can imagine I was a bit conflicted about hanging out with these two 6'4" muscular tattooed guys. I was conflicted about it. Truly. But, this: it was all so convenient. I met them when they moved into the apartment below me (before the move to the little yellow house). I was on the balcony smoking a cigarette and saw them moving their very few belongings in. In a rare bold move, I yelled down to see if they'd like some wine. They were quite game. Seeing hair, I never would have suspected that they were skinheads. They'd just moved up from Florida and chose Blacksburg because Chris' brother played football for the Hokies. They also chose to move to get off of heroin once and for all. They were clean at least that summer. I know because I hung out with them. Every day. I mean, not only did they live right there, but they also had about as much time on their hands as I did: TONS.

We'd go to Ton 80 every night and get pitchers of black and tan and shoot pool. Every night. We'd watch Oprah. They'd tell these wildly exaggerated stories wherein they were the heroes. Some of the stories were funny and others I found terrible and offensive. And told them so. They were loud and caused trouble and I witnessed it all. The cops didn't like them--and even came to my house one night to tell us to shut the hell up. The nighbor who called them on us came by the next day and wondered what happened to me, "You used to be so quiet and respectful. What's going on?" I could only lamely shrug and apologize to him, leaving me to wonder why and what, in fact, had changed? Why did I hang out with these guys? Well, they were funny, which is about the only requirement I had. More so, though, they were exciting and dangerous and super hot. I had a thing for Jason. A big thing. He, I'm pretty sure, had a thing for me, too. A small thing (ha ha), but a thing nonetheless.

Good thing his sort-of-still-but-mostly-ex-girlfriend of four years who lived four short hours away never found out about us (did I mention we had a thing?); she'd have kicked my ass. I'm not saying this for drama. I am saying this because, when she came to visit Jason for what I think was weeks, she kicked other people's asses. At our fun party with naked bands playing at our cute little yellow house with the cute little porch swing.

Her name was Candy (no lie) and I was (rightfully) scared of her. She talked a lot of smack and knew that my friend M "loved" Jason and wanted to beat her up because of it. She ended up punching my friend K instead--who just happened to be the wrong place at the wrong time at the party. K, I am proud to say, punched her right back. And then the boyfriends got involved. B and Jason were pummeling each other in no time in our cute little front yard. Jason called to Chris to jump in and help him. Candy was yelling and egging it on, K was crying and wanting it to stop--like all of us.

I recall it stopping as abruptly as it began. Jason, Chris and Candy left. We then convened to the upstairs with K and B and a lot of us, really, to kind of sit for a minute, wipe some tears, talk some smack. I was full of apology for all the badness I had brought in. [Sorry K and B.] But the ex-junkie/ex-skinhead crew was now gone and tears dried up and the whole time the party continued. I think we all returned to it. I did.

In the kitchen later that night (party still in full swing), a tall blond punk rock kid came in for a beer. I was cleaning idly (I think) and we got to talking. Nice guy, in college like me, a year or two younger, jeans, jacket with pins in it, blue eyes. Very kind. We talked about school for a minute and music for much much longer. Then we started kissing and he stayed over and we were psyched about each other. We stayed in bed until 5:00 the next afternoon, just hanging out, recovering from the drink and lack of sleep and feeling all cozy and comfy and excited--apparently leaving Lo and Wynne to clean up the party mess. [Sorry Lo and Wynne.]

Turns out my little punk rock pal was an engineering student and was doing an internship two hours away for the semester; he was just in town for the weekend for fun. He stayed over again that night and I woke up with him at 5:00 the next morning, sending him off with a thermos of hot coffee. This was pseudo-before-email. We exchanged addresses and wrote letters. I visited him. He visited me.

This didn't last long but it was sweet and I have fond memories. He was a nice college boy after a summer of skinheads. The skinheads who beat women. A few days after that party, Candy came over crying immediately following a fight she and Jason had. He hit her (again, like always). The police were called by his neighbors. She left, coming to the little yellow scene of the fight she'd caused with another woman. A fairer fight. [Right.] Except it was all unfair and now she was here pleading with me to let him know that she didn't call the cops and she wasn't mad anymore and it was all okay. [Right.] [Witness the crux of my summer-long conflict...lifted now by my curtailed contact with them and new contact with a blue-eyed punk rock boy.]

I thought the best thing about him was his introduction of Descendents to me. Writing this now, I guess this is.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Madelyn, here's your fricking blog already

One of my friends--who has a FANTASTIC singing voice--went to Nashville this weekend to work on her music. She recorded four songs with a full band in the back. Guess who's full band it was? Dolly Parton's! OMG.

I had a dream about Dolly Parton once. We were in an elevator at Dollywood (going down, heh heh. (kidding!)). Anyway, we were in the elevator together--just the two of us--and I was so so starstruck and wanted to talk to her and couldn't and was all freaked out. Elevators can be very very small--especially in the presence of greatness.

Speaking of greatness, I think that is what I will achieve someday. As soon as I get around to it...

...right now I'm too busy workin' 9 to 5.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The kindness of strangers, aka the new "going postal"

I love love love Post Secret. I read it every week and have since (I think) its inception.

This postcard is my favorite ever. It is the most touching thing.

Back with the snark another time.