Sunday, February 28, 2010

Cutting Edge

I’m feeling bittersweet as the Olympics drew to an end last night. I don’t regularly watch most of the sports in the Olympics, but they suck me in, nonetheless. One sport that I have watched, on occasion, is hockey. I went to my first NHL game last year to cheer on the Capitals. Having no clue of hockey rules or regulation, I surprisingly enjoyed myself, despite the insanely intense fans sitting behind me. I’m sorry that I had to walk upright and momentarily block your view in order to make it to my seat—but it’s not nice to name call. Other than fearing the fans behind me were going to attack every time I got up for a beer, I had a great time. Being the fiscally responsible planner/drinker that I am, I of course rationed the last beer I purchased at the beginning of the 3rd period to last for the rest of the game. Alas, there was no 4th period as I had assumed (dont all sports have 4!? crap), and I enjoyed myself even more as I had to chug my rationed  beer before being kicked out of the Verizon Center. But all in all, a good first hockey game experience.

So being a sucker for the Olympics/dramatic moments and a very infrequent viewer of hockey, I tuned in for the USA/Canada gold hockey match. Hot damn, that was exciting! I seriously can’t even follow the puck half the time, but thank god for the lightning-speed announcing skills of NBC analysts. Bummer about the outcome, but I will say, I think it was pretty obvious who had a hotter team. And by hot, I don’t mean the competitive, we-are-on-fire/on-a-winning-streak ‘hot.’ Maybe it’s my recent man drought, but these guys were lookin’ good to me. They can skate and they are manly (check!). The only thing that is better than a hockey player, is a former hockey player who, injured in an Olympic game and unable to play professionally any longer, is forced to swallow his pride and become a pair figure skater, matched up with a temperamental, yet talented young woman who has yet to find the right partner to help her reach her figure skating potential. Check it.

Also, NBC please work on your interviewing skills. First you air an interview with a prank caller pretending to be Ryan Miller. Then, did you catch the in-person interview with Ryan after the game? That was the single most awkward interview I’ve ever seen. Lots of weird pauses and odd questions /wording from the interviewer. My favorite exchange was when the interviewer goes “Was there any difference in this game?” I even paused for a second when he asked this. Ryan answers, “Ummmm, I dunno….” and goes on to answer the question better than I ever could. Is there a difference in this game, in comparison to what? Interviewer man, let the superstar go and cry over his silver medal and the fact that he gets paid tons of money to play a sport and do something he loves. Don’t berate him with these silly questions.

Anyways, Ryan Miller/Ryan Kesler/Zach Parise/Jamie Langenbrunner, call me. Crosby, get in line.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

If We Couldn't Cachinate, We'd All Go Insane

I learned a new word today: cachinate. To laugh loudly, hard, too much or convulsively; guffaw. This word is even important enough to show up on a GRE preparation word list.

Sentence: Though I did not see any reason to laugh, the man next to me at the movie theater suddenly cachinated in a booming voice.

If you need to know it to enter the highest form of higher education, then you need it for life, I always say.

Seriously, I really should have heard this word before, not only because I am wordsmith as my day job, I am also guilty of cachinnating. A lot. I don’t laugh exceptionally loudly, but I do enjoy a good (and frequent) laugh.

Unfortunately, despite what I see as me being a joyous participant of life, others view cachinating as a form of diztiness (me? A ditz? Huh?). I’ve even had someone say, because of my laughing, that they “cant imagine me doing a real job.”

Uh, thanks, you stoic Scrooge. No, I kid. But, it seems that there is an actual Facebook group called “I Hate Guys Who Cachinate.” Their description: For all the girls, and gay boys, who are fed up with those cachinating asses who either won't give you the time of day or are obsessed beyond cuteness! Where are the cuddlers at, eh? That's what we want ya know... a repeat cuddler, a drinking buddy, a sex partner ya know...and of course, someone who won't make it awkward the next morning! ...P.S. the dictionary meaning for cachinate does not apply here!

This group really confuses me. What the hell are they talking about here?? I for, one would never join this group. If a man don’t cachinate, we ain't meant to be. And the goofier the cachinating, the better. Clearly this group is not talking about convulsively laughing, but to what are they referring? I feel like I’m taking a dirty version of the SAT where you have to deduce the meaning of a word based on the sentence and other secondary clues. I am stumped. Cachinating asses? Who are obsessed beyond cuteness? I get being obsessed with cuteness. But, ahh hahah I’m already cachinating again, I just cant control myself. What was I saying? Oh right, strange facebook groups devoted to disregarding true meaning of words.

In the recent news category of this group it says : Stay strong ladies- not all men cachinate.

That’s for damn sure!?

Anyways, I really like the word guffaw. I’m not sure why, but it reminds me of that Celebrity Jeopordy Skit with Sean Connery. Here is a little excerpt:

Alex Trebek: Let's just go to "Animal Sounds" for $600. This is the sound a doggy makes. [Connery buzzes in ] Mr. Connery.

Sean Connery: Moo. [ buzzer sounds ]

Alex Trebek: No.

Sean Connery: Well, that's the sound your mother made last night! [ laughs ]

Alex Trebek: No! Good Lord! We would've accepted "bow-wow" or "ruff"!

Sean Connery: Ah, ruff. Just the way your mother likes it Trebek!

Go forth and cachinate, my friends.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

1, 2, 2,1

Although spring is right around the corner, these dreary winter days are still leaving me sluggish. As I lay here in bed about to pass out at an embarrassingly early hour I am far too exhausted to begin my bedtime routine. This is because my bedtime routine may be a little more involved than others...well, the process I go through to set my alarm clock to be exact. It’s my own personal OCD problem.

I am fascinated by the A&E show Obsessed. It chronicles the lives of those suffering from OCD – from those with germ phobia to a deathly fear of driving. One episode featured a man who was extremely germaphobic— washes his hands 50 times a day and doesn’t even keep a trashcan in his house. If this dude ever came to my house, he’d go into cardiac arrest. Anyways, to overcome his OCD, the therapist forced him to experience an extreme cause of “germiness.” I’m not really sure how experiencing the most extreme manifestation of your fear is supposed to help, but I guess it’s kinda like throwing your kids in the deep end of the pool in order to force them to swim. (Because, swim lessons, who needs those?). Or, I suppose exposing someone to the most severe version of their fear helps put everything else in perspective. This poor germaphobe had to hear his therapist announce that she had just used his bathroom, including his towels, and that she was on her period. Because, truly, what could be worse, for a germaphobic man to learn, than this.

Then, the therapist forces this man to not only touch the towel that she has “used” (I’m sure this was all just a tricky little mental game, but that is beside the point), but to touch it to his face. This man, sweaty and trembling does as he is told while the therapist informs him that, yes, he has in fact absorbed some of the germs, but what is your anxiety level on a scale of 0 to 10 right now?

I’m not even sure what his anxiety level was, but would it be wrong for him to say 10! 10, 10, 10! I mean, eww therapist lady, this is just sick.

I realize this is a serious disease that can get to the point where it interferers with normal life to a debilitating state. But let’s focus on the non-life impacting, yet equally odd cases:
  • A friend’s future sister –in-law has a strange pre-sleeping routine. She has to repeatedly bang her feet and head up and down, alternating, before she can fall asleep. First of all, how does this in any way usher in sleepiness? I also wonder how that conversation went the first time she slept over with her fiancé. How do you drop that bomb? I think, for all involved, its best to not waste time discussing it and just let the chips, or your head and feet, fall as they may. He might think you’re completely insane, or he’ll find it strangely attractive and it’ll put some spice and mystery back into the relationship. (Said spice/mystery may fade significantly after the nose breaking incident that will inevitably occur at some point during sleepovers.) I sorta wonder how fast she does it, and if she just passes out from fatigue when it’s all over? I’ll try it tonight.
  • I have a friend who only writes in blue ink. If forced to write in any other color, she suffers anxiety for the rest of the day about what she wrote. It even progressed to the point where she went out and purchased all new planners because there was black ink written on one of the days. Dear friend, I commend you. Black is bland. Why settle for black when you can stand out with blue! I mean, think-outside-the box, throw your reader off and flaunt that blue. I personally prefer red, but that’s just crazy talk.

And then we come to my own personal OCD. As I mentioned, it involves my alarm clock, numbers, letters, and two fine major league baseball players. It’s a little diddy that goes something like this:

A, B, B, A
1, 2, 2, 1
Jeter, A-Rod, A-Rod, Jeter

(repeat 3 times)

And then, I know, without a doubt, that my alarm is properly set. I nearly died when A-rod was almost traded a few years ago. That would have really messed up my life and nocturnal patterns. I can only hope that my future husband does something equally as awkward, or maybe there is another soul out there that sings a similar hymn to their alarm clock. Come to me, lover!

I shudder to think how the therapists from Obsessed would combat these OCD tendencies. I can only assume that mine would involve the Red Sox and chanting blasphemies such as Jason Varitek, and that is just a form of torture I am not willing to endure.

Excuse me while I go set my alarm.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Freak Patrol

As a kid I took the obligatory dance lesson or two. Alright, I actually enjoyed going to ballet/tap class as a little kid and performing in recitals. Of course, I quit before I needed actual skills and talent to not look like a complete fool. But donning that little leotard and sparkly spankies was about the last time I didn’t feel utterly awkward dancing soberly. As I matured, so did my dancing style, until, inevitably it became fueled entirely by alcohol. Let’s take a look at its progression:
  • In middle school, I was in complete shock when the cute, older 8th grade boy asked me, the awkward, dorky 6th grader to dance. Dancing at that time, for me, consisted of slowly shifting weight between left and right feet. And a chaperone still came over and told us to move at least 6 inches apart. Damn you, chaperone, you stunted by dance dreams.
  • In high school, acquiring a date for homecoming or prom was much more of an anxiety-inducing task than the dance itself. My most memorable moment was during 10th grade homecoming. At dinner, I ate all my chicken fingers, as well as many of my dates’, like the classy lady I am. I guess they didn’t settle well and I remember rushing to the bathroom towards the end of the night. After projectile vomiting repeatedly, my mom had to pick me up from the “after-party” (aka watching TV at our friend’s house) and I couldn’t partake in the sleepover. Gah! I wasn’t even drinking!
  • College = alcohol and was basically just a blur of drunken dance parties. Which have somehow extended into the adult world.

Which begs the question….where do we draw the line between the classy and the trashy? Sure, dancing at a bar, even as a postgraduate, is still generally considered socially acceptable. Go out with your friends, have a few drinks, jump around wildly when you hear Journey and get your groove on.

However, there is always that person that crosses the line. When, I ask, did it become appropriate to dance, squatting in your seat, at the table of a sports bar? (I don’t even mean dancing beyond wasted on TOP of the table, I might even give you a pass for that). And in what universe would anyone choose to dance, alone, up against a wall, or as one onlooker described it: f*ing the wall. Not only is this uncomfortable for the wall, it’s distressing to observe.

This is what we call inappropriate dancing. It goes beyond “grinding,” or “freak dancing,” if you will. It’s downright inappropriate. Which is why I propose we (when I say we, I mean all of society’s appropriate dancers) implement a dance contract as this school did.

According to the principal, “it got to the point where it was simulated sex on the dance floor, and we needed to make a stand on it.” Amen! It’s time to follow their lead and implement their policy: dance contracts.

Anyone attending a school dance is required to sign the contract to agree not to dance inappropriately. They wear wrist bands and are monitored by the Freak Patrol (I am not making this up, though I wish I had). After one freaky- deaky dancing incident, your band is snipped (that’s what she said). After the 2nd warning, you can dance your skanky butt on home. You are O-U-T.

So, how about it? Due to the actions of a few unfortunate souls, dance contracts may be necessary to attend adult social functions. Flash your ID, sign a contract and slap on that wrist band. If you follow my lead and “dance like a white girl” (as my friend so lovingly complimented me this weekend), your wrist band will always be intact. And we shall put an end to inappropriate dancing for good. Thankyouverymuch.

(Oh, and I love the one parent at the end of the video who adamantely disagrees with the whole concept. Totally an ex-stripper.)

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Bachelor: Bananarama

As I sit here, watching The Bachelor: The Women Tell All Episode, I can’t help but wonder what the room would look like if all the guys I’ve dated were thrown in there, reminiscing about their experiences with me. Let’s be clear here—I haven’t had the most successful dating life. After a long-term relationship that ended pretty badly, I’ve had to endure the dating scene of D.C., which has been interesting, to say the least. There have been all types, with “weird/awkward” probably being the common thread (I don’t really fall completely out of this definition either). But between the wanna-be-poet who told me about writing a memoir of his grandfather's sexual escapades (on a first date, didnt feel the need for a second) and the man with the unnatural obsession with cooking oils, I've met a few odd birds in my day. Let’s imagine Chris Harrison interviewing some of these fellows. We’ll begin with a unique, sarcastic whip who shall be known as Bananarama

Chris: How did you and our fair lady [I’m the fair lady] meet?

Bananarama: Check it. My boy was in town and although we may be in our mid-to-upper 30s, we decided, bro, gotta hit up Adams Mo. First, I had to be sure to spike my hair and throw on my fave Ed Hardy. Ditch this corporate lawyer shit. So, we’re out, chillen, hitting up that hot spot Fish Bowl when I see her walk in.

Chris: I see, so you made your smooth move and were able to have some quality get-to-know-you time at the bar?

Bananarama: Oh yeah dude. I mean it was probably quarter after 1 when I made the move, had already thrown back a few jack and cokes. I threw out my usual “Yo, girl you are so gorgeous!”

Chris: And that did it for you? She didn’t roll her eyes and as soon as she saw you approaching and thought to herself “Please, dear god, don’t let this loser in a too-tight-tshirt come talk to me, my friend dragged me out here tonight and I’m just not in the moood”.

Bananarama: Nah man, not at all. Then I turned on my lawyer charm and made some semi-intelligent statements.

Chris: That probably caught her off guard. Considering the outfit and all.

Bananarama: Yeah, and then it got better when her friend left her stranded there. Ideally, I like to get the youngins’ alone and vulnerable so they will have no choice but to give me their numbers. When she realized she lost her friends, I knew it was a green flag.

Chris: Alright, so you get her number and then help her find her friends and part ways?

Bananarama: C’mon Chris. Don’t you know how to play the game? I put her in my phone under my future fiancé. Flash a few photos of my "nieces" and lay it on thick. Girls totally dig this, and don't find it forward or weird at all. Then, knowing full well that the bar is closed and won’t let us back in, I tell her we should go outside and look for her friends.

Chris: Creepy.

Bananarama: Exactly! (Big smile spreads across his face.) But damnit, if she didn’t end up finding her friends. I told her to come with me to find my “friend” at McDonalds (aka my apartment) but she stuck with her posse.

Chris: McDonalds was your first mistake. Nobody can resist Jumbo Slice. But I digress. What happened next?

Bananarama: Well, of course I gave her a goodnight kiss- figured I’d give it one more shot. I had to try something after the odd expression she gave me after I told her my age. I think the gelled hair really knocks about 4.5 years off my age.

Chris: Hmm, yes. I’d agree she was a bit taken aback by your age. But who are we to judge? Creep on my friend. According to our cameras though, it appears she gave you what we like to call the “side-cheek” when you went in for that kiss?

Bananarama: She was just temporarily blinded by my sweet metallic shirt. It happens sometimes. I forgave her though.

Chris: So thoughtful of you. Well, time for a commercial break. When we return to The Bachelorette: Re-tards of the Dating World, we’ll get more into Bananarama’s first official date.

Stay tuned.

(In case you are interested, this shirt is called "Deeper Shades of Soul king Centaur Skull Fleur Gold Men's Short Sleeve Polo Shirt in Tan." Oddly, this describes Bananarama to a T.)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

What Would Johnny Weir Do?

True friendship: Going out for your friend’s birthday and missing the most anticipated, juicy men’s figure skating competition of all time. That was my predicament this week when I realized my friend’s birthday celebration would be disrupting my plans of once again, sitting on my couch, reading live blogs and watching the show. Luckily (or sadly), we went to our “regular” bar and I was able to sway the powers that be to put ice skating on as many TVs as possible. In my post-couple drink/couple saki bomb confusion I couldn’t understand why they were showing skiing, snowboarding and every other imaginable sport except skating. Wasn’t this supposed to be the most dramatic Olympic event!?

By the time 10 rolled around and it finally aired, I gave up any hopes of actually hearing the broadcast and settled for just watching distantly. Unfortunately, my viewing was interrupted by the behavior of my friends and their dramatics. Someone makes out with someone else’s crush and all hell breaks loose. (Yes, my friend was turning 26, going on 16.) But this isn’t surprising coming from my incestuous “we’ve-all-made-out-with-each-other” kickball team friends.

Once that shitstorm settled I was able to catch just a few performances: Johnny Weir, Evan Lysacek and Pluscenko. Now, I am a fan, but even I don’t understand what the hell is going on without Scott Hamilton’s insightful commentary. So I saw Weir’s flawless performance and saw the joyful outburst of Lysacek. But then I saw that crazy Russian land his QUAD, and I knew it was all over. I sank in my chair until I realized, in fact, all was not lost. USA had claimed victory for the first time since Brian Boitano. USA! I also made friends with a fellow Johnny Weir fanatic. I can only hope I run into that classy fellow again.

Somehow, yesterday, I also learned that I’ve been out of the What Would Brian Boitano Do?-loop a la South Park. (Update: He now has a show on the Foot Network called What Would Brian Boitano Make? ) My roommate schooled me in this last night and it made my gchat convo from earlier in the day make a lot more sense. We’ve also created a new name to call someone who is….awesome?:

In reference to questioning how to deal with our friends’ crazy drunk antics and aftermath….

g: what would johnny weir do?….
g: id concur. no Jweir but he'd do in a pinch
me: hahah nobody can compare to jweir
g: he is such a jweir
me: new phrase that we must include in our vernacular
g: deal


me: are you seriously drinking tonight
g: i told my coworker id booze with him
me: ah, you're a beast. i'm going home and napping lol
g: i should. my minds telling me no...but my body
me: hahah my mind and my body scream no. WWJWD
g: too funny. you are being a jweir about all of this
me: i thought we agreed jweir was awesomeness

Take-aways for above exchange: 1) Clearly I got no work done yesterday. 2) We are still working out the kinks in our definition of jweir. WWJWD?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Quad or Bust

I get that people mock men’s figure skating. Really, I understand that, based on some of their—how shall I put it—outlandish outfits, mockery is inevitable really. But, as I stated earlier, I love watching the skating. And it truly requires amazing talent and athleticism to perform at this level. This year, the men’s skating is the most exciting because the US actually has a couple contenders. Granted, they are going up against this Russian dude who is scary good and can do a QUAD. If you want to play a drinking game and get smashed during the Olympics, here is one: Drink every time they say quad during the men’s figure skating. “Plucshenko’s landed the QUAD/triple craziness!” “But Lysacek may not have the QUAD, but he’s got the total package” “Can you win the gold without the QUAD?!?”, “That guy fell 3 times, good thing he didn’t attempt the QUAD”…you get the point.

Anyways, while the skating itself was interesting to watch, I stumbled across people who were live blogging/twittering it. This greatly enhanced my experience watching an already entertaining event. And if you don’t enjoy the men’s competition, find a humorous blog, grab some beer and you will. Ah the power of social media.

A couple observations about last night:
  • NBC made Pluschenko (Russian-gold-QUAD man) out to look, uh, a little crazy in their pre-program interview/Russian dictator statue montage. I mean, sure the man is undoubtedly cocky and a trash talker, but he’s allowed, I suppose. He can do the QUAD AHHH.
  • France’s Brian Joubert is HOT. Of course I immediately Wikipedia-ed him. Found this interesting little tidbit. Keep in mind this dude does wear sequined outfits for a living. Just sayin’…. “Joubert has been considered somewhat of a heartthrob in his native country, France. This reputation has been contributed to by Joubert's short relationship with former Miss France, Lætitia Bléger. He later brought a lawsuit against Bléger for 40,000 Euros for insinuating that he was homosexual and that their relationship was arranged to hide this.”
  • Canada’s hopeful Patrick Chan didn’t do that great, but he is still super cute! Come from behind kid.

  • Johnny Weir reminds me of a gay Edward Scissorhands. I’m a fan.

  • Some dude, don’t even remember his name, wore a scary, sparkly skeleton costume. I understand wanting to present a complete presentation, outfit and all, but really dude? This was just hideous, even for this.

  • My roommate walked in when Evan Lysacek was skating. Here was our interaction. Roomie: “His outfit looks like a Lady Gaga ripoff” Me: “Um, his costume is tame compared to the others!” Roomie walks away like I’m crazy. (Good job Evan!)

  • To the other American, Jeremy Abbott – better luck next time. And by next time, I mean in four long, long years.

So those were some of the highlights. Check out this hilarious blog that I followed during the broadcast for more in-depth analysis. I’m sure she will be doing it again Thursday.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sweetest Love Affair In All of Sports

The Olympics always get to me. While I love the swimming and gymnastics that come with the summer games, I’ve always been the biggest fan of the figure skating during the winter Olympics. I remember watching competition after competition as a little girl. I was a fan during the days of Kristi Yamaguchi, Nancy Kerrigan, Brian Boitano, Kurt Browning and Scott Hamilton. I thought I was Kristi Yamaguchi’s biggest fan. Yes, I had a poster. Yes, I wrote her a fan letter. Yes, I brought flowers to her on Stars on Ice. But enough with my obsession. I even took ice skating lessons. After breaking my wrist, I realized ice skating wasn’t my calling. But I still love watching it.

I just finished watching the pairs skating, and again, I am in aw by the beauty and power of this sport. And I love seeing the pairs that are actual pairs in real life. In honor of Valentine’s Day this past weekend I stumbled across this article with some of the best on-and-off the ice figure skating pairs.

My most vivid memory of a real life pair were Russian gold medalists Ekaterina Gordeeva and Sergei Grinkov. They were and are arguably still regarded by some of as the best pair team of all time. And then they fell in love in real life.

"They were partners in the sweetest love affair in all of sports. They were a real-life Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Only better. No credits rolled across the screen at the end of their eye-pupping performance. No cameras and lights were broken down and taken to another place. The greatest pair in pair skating was a total pair, 24 hours a day, every day..." Sports Illustrated, December 4, 1995

Look at them. They are both GORGEOUS! And they had a beautiful little daughter Daria. I remember them performing with Stars on Ice when I was young. And then, tragically, Grinkov died suddenly from a heart attack at the age of 28. Apparently Gordeeva has happily remarried (the'98 men's gold medalist!) . But their story always comes to mind as I watch pair skaters.

Monday, February 15, 2010

I'm Back!

I’ve been a bad bloggy. I started this blog about a year ago because I loved reading blogs and wanted one all my own. It was supposed to focus on books and the publishing industry. I started with good intentions, but as the warmer months settled in, my life got crazy and busy. The blog started straying from books and publishing—to be honest—these weren’t the most important things in my life. And some of the posts became a pain, rather than a fun and open place for me to express my inner voice.

So I stopped completely at some point. But I miss this blog. I thought I could define my life and interests into a tidy little compartment. But if the past year has taught me anything, it is that this is far from the truth. I’ve learned so much about myself, my interests and life in general in the past year. And that’s what I want to share in this blog. I still love books, and always will. But I’m also becoming very interest in environmental issues. I have grown to love the city of D.C. and the group of friends I am blessed to know. I even have some (alright, a lot) of funny, and sometimes, sad dating stories. I want to share all of this so that one day, I can look back, remember and hopefully laugh, at this exciting time of my life. Welcome back to Between the Pages.