the illustrious history of the goober pea
It has been a while. Why? Long weekend. Long even for the standard American Memorial Day weekend, since I also took today off to work on a project. And to be slack. For instance, what have I done today? Well, I took a two-hour nap, and just now I cracked open an Old Style tallboy. And before that I had sex. And before that I took a bubble bath, with Origins Ginger Float. And before that I had cheese and crackers for breakfast, just like all the sophisticates do. (I think I am making this up about sophisticates, but something about always eating hors d'oeuvres instead of proper meals appeals to the 1940s Constantly In Loungewear High-Class Call Girl who lurks deep inside me. Now where did I put those marabou slippers?)
I did do some work on the project, so I am not a total cracker-eating, sex-having, tub-soaking slug. It's damn close, though. Damn close.
A lot of fun was had this weekend, actually. Starting on Thursday, when I went out to dinner. I was early, as usual, so I visited Myopic Books, and remembered all over again what a great store it is. I think they overprice some things, but the selection is delicious. Chatting with the employees on my way out, though, was when I discovered the slightly-discombobulating news that Myopic is moving to where Earwax is, and then Earwax is moving across the street and down one storefront, and basically you Chicago folk have better get your heads ready for a different Milwaukee Avenue. We are all going to be wandering around like idiots until we get used to this new arrangement.
Thursday's dinner also provided some dramatically awesome eavesdropping.
Hipster girl and hipster boy are walking down the street, and I am slightly in front of them, listening. For a while hipster girl names various people they know and disses their modes of dress, which pisses me off because she's all decked out in thrift-store avocado green sweater and chocolate brown pants, and I am thinking: Where do you get off, bitch, you look like a 1970s kitchen. Then, suddenly (if there was a transition I very much missed it), she delivers this soliloquy:
Everyone is so fucking different. People are, are totally fucking different. Everyone is such an individual. The only, like, similarities between people are just fake! Like you pretend to like the same things as someone else, you pretend you are the same kind of person. Just to be friends. But no one is the same, everyone is different. Everyone is so different. Sometimes I feel like an anthropologist [ed. note: pronounced with the stress on the wrong syllable. An-thro-po-LO-gist. I am not shitting you.] because no two people are alike.
Hipster boy: It all comes down to comfort level, really.
Hipster girl: Oh, I'm totally comfortable with myself.
Hipster boy: Me too. I am SO comfortable with myself. It's like: Hey, this is it man!
Hipster girl: Totally.
Then they continued to talk over each other about how comfortable they are with themselves, and I started to giggle and ducked around the corner to transcribe all this into my notebook. Totally garbled. My favorite has to be the juxtaposition between the (shockingly cynical) “people just fake all their common ground” alienation thesis vs. the loud-mouthed braying of the I'M COMFORTABLE WITH MYSELF! Oh man.
That same night I also had an idea for a scratch-and-sniff bible, but I couldn't come up with any more smells besides roasted lamb from sacrifices. I guess you could manufacture some pus smell for Job. And wine, and fish, I guess. Never mind, it's a lousy idea.
BAND NAMES WITH MEDICAL CONOTATIONS (EXCLUDING “DEAD” BECAUSE THAT'S TOO EASY)
Nurse With Wound
Spin Doctors (yeeesh)
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists
House of Pain
There are probably lots more.
I also keep seeing people with these NO WAR IN IRAQ buttons on their clothing, and I want to say, yes, no war in Iraq. Did you not get the memo? And these are not just buttons on backpacks or jackets, where you could easily forget it was there, but on clothing, which requires a deliberate effort each morning. If they want to make a general point, like NO PUPPET GOVERNMENT IN IRAQ or THE CURRENT ADMINISTRATION ARE ALL BIG FAT BASTARDS that would be fine with me, it's a free country, but you need to spring for that button then because the war one is outdated.
Other things I did this weekend included:
1. Ate Mexican food in the tiniest restaurant ever (you could easily take a bite off someone else's plate by accident), and then drank in an equally tiny bar. It too had marvelous eavesdropping potential—there was a gaggle of Fancy Fashion Girls in the far corner, and one of them was talking about taking an internship in Boston. (By the way, who ARE these trust-fund babies who can afford to go take unpaid jobs in expensive cities? Oops, I think I just answered my own question.) One of them said, “Oooh, Boston, that's where Mario lives,” and internship girl said, “I already fucked him,” with this little dismissive wave of her manicured hand. PRICELESS EAVESDROPPING!
2. Went to yet another party that was visited by the police. This so rarely happened to me in high school, it is almost like the police are making up for lost time. It was just a noise complaint, as very little of any illegality was happening at the party, and in fact I think the cops were somewhat peeved to be more or less ignored by a bunch of drinking-age adults with proper ID and bought-and-paid-for beer. They left soon enough, all sulky and disgruntled. Cheer up police! Someone out there still respects you! I enjoyed this party very much, not least because I got to wear a fabulous hat from my fabulous hat collection. You may have seen me wear a fabulous hat before, but this hat was something else: huge (I had trouble hugging people), black (like something a goth would wear to the Kentucky Derby), and very feathery (I left a trail of insubstantial debris everywhere I went. I linger. You can never be rid of me.)
3. Attended a classic Memorial Day barbecue thing (my tofu hot dog on a real grill for once). It was on a rooftop deck behind a car dealership and there was a large dead rat in the alley to look at. A large, very flattened, dead rat. It provided that little urban touch to the barbecue and I got to watch a group of teenagers accidentally step in it. There was much screaming. I also changed my friend's baby for her, after three beers (me, not the baby), and everything went fine. There was not much screaming. So you can leave your kids with me if you want to go out for a while, I think I have proven my Mary Poppins-ness.
A LINK OR THREE, AND THEN I HAVE TO GO
A drug to sleep less. (I have a feeling everyone knows about this already. I am slow.)
HOMEMADE TAROT DECKS TOTALLY RULE, I have made a few myself back in the day. Right now I give you the Eighties Tarot.
—mimi smartypants deserves what she gets.