Thursday, January 24, 2013

Service Industry Blues

Sometimes, I think it would be so cool to work in a coffee shop.

Not Starbucks. Like, a small, new yorky coffee shop, where I'd be surrounded by chill, hip co-baristas, way hipsterier than me, but who also give me the platform to really rock my clog boots and twisty, exploding up-dos that my hair is too short to stay in. Maybe I would even wear a beanie. No.... no, that is going too far.

But anyway, it would be awesome because I would get to smell espresso all day long, and the ambiance would be rustic and wooden and twinkly-lighted... maybe with a tin ceiling, I dunno. I would get to converse with chatty, artistic clientele and get to channel my creativity into (possibly award-winning) froth art. And no matter how busy it was, I would walk very slowly from the cash register to the espresso maker because I am just that chill and self-composed.

But then I remember that I would probably have to get there really early, and my eyes would be bloodshot, and I'd have to mop the floor all the time, and would only make like 7.25 an hour + no tips because those "Tipping is Good Karma!!!" swirly sharpie signs on recycled cans don't really work very well.

I would also never look as hipster-chic as my flat-chested Brooklynite coworkers, and I would probably start to resent it.

And by the time I got home from my manic, adrenaline-flooded, espresso induced trip-of-a-work-shift, I would be shaky and exhausted and unable to devote any energy to writing my masterpiece, whatever that is. And I would probably forget to consistently feed my 2, hypothetical hipster cats.

And I should know better. I have been down this road before.

I have a history of glamorizing the service industry.

When I was 3, I told my parents that I wanted to be a waitress when I grew up. That was a week after telling them I wanted to be an astronaut. I probably thought that being a waitress meant being constantly surrounded by pancakes.

Then during one summer in college, I thought that my time being a waitress at a cute little comfort food restaurant near Union Square would be the ultimate "I am so mediocre but look how adorable my mediocre life is here in the big city" type thing. "Watch me learn how to support my art in such a predictable way, but still, I am surrounded by fairy lights and my double chin isn't quite as noticeable in this lighting" type thing. I thought it would be all selling macaroni & cheese and key lime pies to hungry diners and making them smile. Maybe that was my destiny! I don't know! Making honest money and feeling good about myself and Living the Dream.

But instead, it was really just exhausting and miserable, and I swear a week would go by and I didn't even know because I worked 6 days, and then would spend all the hours I wasn't working shaking in my bedroom because I forgot to put bacon on that one guy's burger and he got SO mad.

And the managers were out of their minds and at war with each other- and the owner was some sort of angry Russian war criminal. And this one waitress from Seattle, who was an aspiring drag queen costume designer, tried to take me under her wing and would always tell me how wholesome I was compared to the other waitresses, and I would scoff and hope to prove to her that I could rough it too, and was like, totally, you know, very badass and worldly.

There was the kind, Polish waitress, Kinga, who was living in America with her fiance solely for the purpose of saving money for their wedding, which she planned on having when they moved back to Poland the next year. She lived 1.5 hours away from the restaurant and loved to rollerblade by the sea, but then she seriously busted her wrist and knee on her day off, but of course had no health insurance, and carrying those heavy plates was like torture but she had to go on. Such is the life of a hard working, immigrant bride-to-be. (Seriously, I really liked her).

And then there was the 35 year old ska-band-performer-waitress with short platinum/green streaked hairdo, who freaked out at me because she thought I was trying to steal her tables. After mustering the courage (she was the longest-employed waitress there, like basically a head-housemaid type thing), I walked up to her said:

"Ali... I would never steal tables from you. The last thing I want is more tables. I can barely emotionally handle the 3 I have."

Yes, for me the job was never about making more money, or learning how to "upsell" with beers, or staying till closing to get the most tables/tips. It was just about leaving first so I could go home and stress eat 5 Luna Bars. It was about staying alive, remembering orders, and staying out of the way of my managers: Bubba, Anastasia, and Rachel.

Waitressing was the hardest and most unsatisfying thing I have ever done, probably because I never stayed long enough to actually feel comfortable with the computer system, or table numbering system, or the menu. I didn't stay long enough to harden into one of those waitresses who just doesn't care if the couple at table 5 yells at them. Also, my feet killed the whole time.

The one night I actually broke $100 in my tips - I lost the money. It just disappeared from my bag pocket. I am convinced Bubba stole it.

I quit the job by going on vacation at the end of the summer and then lying about a sprained ankle and then just never returning. I eventually had to go back to get some tax thing to give to my dad months later, and Anastasia the Romanian manager informed me that both Rachel and Bubba were gone, and would I like to come back to working there? "No, uhh, I am a full-time student". Phew. Real excuse. That was a real excuse Caroline. Just walk out slowly. Act normal.


the actual restaurant
how could I forget about those KETCHUPS!
setting those up was the worst part of the DAY

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

I Hate Google, Part 2

Google continues to think it knows me, just as it thinks it knows you, by gathering data from searches and frequently visited sites...

Then through its tailored advertising, it tries to connect me with amazing products and services to enhance my unconventional and possibly depressing lifestyle.


Google thinks I am a gay man, which, is actually pretty intuitive of Google. But this still goes to show that machines are not as smart as we wish they were. Or arrrreee tthheyyyyy?

And not only am I a gay man, but I am also apparently:

Ok, but really, this is the scariest one. WHO IS THAT SCARY GIRL!? I nearly jumped off of my couch when her face startled me from the sidebar of Weather.com.

I seriously don't understand why Christian Mingle thought that this was an enticing ad!?

But no, I... already said I would want to die before I did something like Christian Mingle. OR DO I!? Oh my God I don't know anything anymore.


(Just to put it in perspective, above is an ad for some shoes I was actually looking at the other day on amazon....)


Again, I am some sort of overweight man, maybe named Erik, desperately seeking a gay, christian lover and hoping to fit into my old corduroys from college. Thank God I won't have to give up wings.

Ok, well this....

is sort of sweet. But Google, don't you know that my mother gave away both of my childhood dogs? Way to punch be in the heart-belly.


...Really? I am?! Why?!?!?

"Warning"? Should I be concerned?

Ok, to be fair with this one, I only get this pop-up alert when I am on illegal sites like a "youtube to mp4" converter site, or illegal streaming sites for Homeland or Downton Abbey. So I don't necessarily think it is Google's Artificial intelligence, more like... "illegal ads for illegal people doing illegal things". (This one came with a picture of a silhouette of a naked woman and a dropbox for age verification and a "click to continue" button.)

However, who knows. Google is pretty omnipresent...What if Google knows something about my life that I don't even know yet???

Thank you, Google, for keeping me on my toes.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Perfect Diet - a.k.a. How To Be Afraid of Everything

It is very important that you eat a diet based in whole grains and plant food. "Eat Food, Not Too Much, Mostly Plants". Michael Pollan said that.

Lots of Fruits and Vegetables. Also, you need calcium, so drink Milk.



Well, it is also very important not to eat too many grains, because a diet high in carbohydrates can cause insulin resistance and diabetes and like, ugliness. So yea, don't eat a lot of carbs, you can maybe have some sugar-free jello. Actually, don't. Cancer.

Don't eat a lot of eggs. Saturated. Fat. Don't eat a lot of saturated fat. Or, maybe just don't eat trans-fat.

Fish is a good idea. Good fats.

No salt. Salt causes some kind of popped veins and water retention.

And actually, wait, apparently everyone is also gluten-sensitive, so just don't eat grains at all.

But also don't actually drink milk or eat dairy either because it is mucus-forming and like, are you a nursing baby? NO. You are not, so don't be gross and don't drink animal mammary colloids. Just eat Kale. Kale smoothies are so delicious.

So, start thinking about eliminating cooked food from your diet. Do you want to be Dead and Cooked?! NO. Stupid American! You want to be glowy and beautiful and enlightened like a raw vegan. There are toxins in everything imaginable. So eat lots of organic fruits, vegetables, coconut oil, and expensive dehydrated-at-less-that-118-degrees-treats made out of nuts.

So, wait, yes eat fat...

Actually, cut out those dehydrated treats, you are getting fat and poor.

Do lots of juice cleanses. Get those toxins out. Don't be alarmed if your health gets worse and worse. This is just because the toxins are on their way out. Your health has been bad for months? Toxins! Be Patient! Be STRONG!

Consider staring at the sun. Sungazing is a way to soak in energy from the universe without eating toxins. (This is a real thing)

Actually, ugh wait, scratch all of that. We are supposed to be Hunter Gatherers. Duh, History + Science. Eat meat. Wild meat, if possible. Meat and avocados and vegetables and fruit and coconut oil by the spoonful. Potatoes... ugh I don't know. Do you want to be fat and have diabetes? This is your choice.

And while we are at it, like, fruit actually has a lot of fructose which is terrible for your ....liver. Yes, your liver. So just eat vegetables and meat, mostly. We were right about the carbs thing the first time.

Cut out all those nuts and nut-based baked goods that you now eat to feed your sad, malnourished soul. Polyunsaturated fats are terrible for you in high quantities! Do you realize how hard it would be to just eat a handful of nuts in the wild, willy-nilly? It would take you like a whole day to collect those nuts from the tree and crack them open. Saturated fat is way more natural.

Ok, eat salt, though! You definitely need salt.

Ah, well if you have digestive issues now, maybe don't eat a lot of vegetables, because they are really hard to digest. And you definitely don't have enough good bacteria in your diet or your intestines, so take a probiotic and eat some fermented cabbage. Did I tell you not to eat a lot of vegetables? I know this is confusing, but you are really close to being really, really healthy.

But stop eating so much FISH, you have mercury poisoning now.

Eat Eggs.

Eat lots of soup, soup is good for you.

Not out of a CAN!!!? My god. Cans have BPA-plastics in them. They cause all sorts of fertility issues and boobs on men. DON'T.

Have you been using the microwave all this time? Oh GOD. The Nazis invented the microwave! It changes the molecules and causes cancer. CANCER.

Don't bring soup in a thermos made out of plastic! Plastic leaches hormone disruptors. And don't bring it in a thermos made out of metal because then I am going to have to take you to chelation therapy to get all of the heavy metals out of your cells. Do you want all your children to have autism?

Drink cold, homemade soup. You can warm it up in a very expensive pot on the stove.

Are you now tired and cold all the time? Well, you probably screwed up your metabolism. Add some carbs back in. ADD THEM BACK IN!

Your body thought it was starving... whoops.

Oh God, my GODDD, just eat whatever the hell you want. You are crazy now. Why did you ever listen to me!

Just put down your cell phone. Do you want to get cancer of the earlobe and hand and brain?!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

You Wish You Were Bridget Jones

If you do any number of stupid, awkward, or embarrassing things- the use of self deprecating humor may be a good choice- because it will feel very important to let everyone know that you also know you are out of your mind.

And, if you are a girl, you may find yourself saying: "Oh Gooooooddd, I'm juuust like Bridget Jonesss". (Or, "Lizzz Lemmmooonnn")

But don't. Because that is not really a self-insult at all. It is about as pretend a self-insult as they come.

"Har Har! Pity me, pity me, I'm so dysfunctional yet hilarious, FML!!!!"

Girl, you wish you were like Bridget Jones. I wish I had the good fortune to be just like Bridget Jones.

Because Bridget lives in the beautiful land of fictional comedy and fake-snowy British cinema, where no matter how many nights you spend getting drunk alone in your pajamas on the couch, lip-syncing to "All By Myself", and no matter how stupid your job is, you still live in a gorgeously glowy and charmingly sloppy little million-dollar flat in London. And no matter how many psychotic things you say or do, (scripted to be hilarious by the way) the modern version of Pride and Prejudice's heartthrob will still be there to whisk you off your feet, even if you just ran after him through the snowy streets of London with no pants on.



Yea. You could only wish you were like Bridget Jones.

Here are some more reasons why her life will always be better than yours:

Her "depression" aside, she has really clean hair


She makes a fool out of herself constantly, but it is still ok, and her hair still looks clean no matter how straggly the costume department tried to make it look


(She is also friends with Moaning Myrtle:)


She has lots of downtime, cute cushions, and even owns a legit robe. I don't have a robe:



After quitting her job, quite triumphantly (even though she was sleeping with her boss who was also secretly engaged to a "skinny american"), she magically lands a job in TV, which then magically turns into a job on TV- which she does all wrong but somehow it works out anyway



She can't speak properly, but everyone thinks she is adorable (even though Mark Darcy acts very cold when they meet because she insulted the reindeer sweater his mom made him wear). (But of course he is secretly falling in love with her haphazard speech and clean hair)


She is also "fat", but looks pretty good to me


She is "such a mess" but always has a lovely shade of pink lipstick on. And, god, really clean hair even though I KNOW they try to make it look limp and like she may need to get her roots redone


She has all these "horrible habits" that seem like a really good time, and don't seem to negatively affect her life all that much, except maybe that she was late to her parent's "Turkey Curry Buffet", but who cares.


Mr. Darcy, who she is not dating, just randomly shows up to her house for her birthday dinner-party (!?), and witnesses her being a horrible cook (blue twine = blue soup), "how embarrassing", but then he heroically saves the day by making omelettes for everyone


Then, just to add some drama, but also to give her the special feeling of "Wow all these men love me!?!?", Daniel, the former boss shows up with a bottle of wine, only to realize Bridget is not a complete loner, and actually has lots of friends over plus a random omelette-maker man, who also just so happens to be Daniel's arch-nemesis. It is very dramatic and exciting.



Wait, also let's "totally ignore" the fact that Mark Darcy has a serious girlfriend, (that his father seemingly forces him to announce his unconfirmed proposal to, at a big party, in front of everyone???? they are moving to New York to be partners in Law together???) but just so we don't totally hate him, we are also led to believe Natasha is mean and bosses him around and doesn't smile (except below when his father is telling the whole party that they are probably going to be "something else in-law as well" hahahahahahahahaha. They are LAWYERS. Get it? She is so happy. He looks so miserable. It's really a great movie).


Then Mr. Darcy jumps into a freaking lake because he is so stressed out


Wait- sorry-- confused.

Then Bridget YELLS out after the announcement "NO!!!" And then she makes a long and awkward speech to the entire party about how England can't lose their top 'barrister'.... and she dramatically trails off and calls him "England's top person...." and everyone stares at her thinking "who is she??" and "why can't this girl shut up???". And then she leaves the party awkwardly.

But then he follows her into the lobby of his family's London-mansion as she is putting on her lumpy sweater to go out into the London snow, and he makes a joke about her awkward speaking abilities, and she gets mad and defends herself!


But then he says this shit:


And she's like, What is my life, a movie!?

Oh wait, then it is AFTER THAT when he turns up at her house to make omelettes to go with the blue soup. Ok, Ok, that makes a bit more sense. Less random.

So, back to the awkward birthday dinner-party where "all these men are fighting over me even though I can't string 3 coherent words together and weigh more than Renee Zellweger normally does", Daniel makes some comment about how it's no wonder Mark's ex wife left him, and all hell breaks loose.


But then, whatever, don't worry, it all works out in the end... after a few more misunderstandings, Mr. Darcy and Bridget make out on the street in the fake-snow while she is just wearing underwear, sneakers, and a coat. And then there is a sequel movie that I have never seen. I dont know why I ended up telling almost the whole plot, I thought I was just going to talk about her clean hair.

The point is.... don't tell anyone "God, I'm like Bridget Jones or like Liz Lemon or something. Ugh, I'm soooooo weird and quirky and dysfunctional. I may end up having to get married to James Marsden at City Hall wearing my princess Leia costume!!!!!". 

We alllllll know what you are doing.


You wish.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Posts I Never Wrote: Part 4


I did "The Posts I Never Wrote" a few months ago. Since then, I have already accumulated quite a few drafts that will never make it to blog publication, because they were bad ideas.

I honor them below:



Title: I am so (not) Chill (Lizards)
This was supposed to explain in a "hilarious way" how stressed I get, and then talk about this one book I read which explains our stress response: part of our brain, our primitive brain, is still the same as a lizard brain, and how our socialized side is just an act. I wrote: "When I am stressed out, I like to remind myself that it is not my fault. It's just because I am a little lizard, and as long as I cover up with amazing, chill, Life-Acting, nobody will find out I am a lizard. Unless they read this." I did however write a post inspired by that, entitled "I am so (not) Chill: Shopping", and I'm not going to link to it because it is not my favorite.

**


Title: How to Be Afraid of Everything
This was going to explain how plastic is touching everything and ruining us with hormone-disruptors. It really isn't funny.

**

Title: Dating Site Profile
When I was on vacation with my family at the beach I wrote this long, fake dating profile in the form of a blog post, where I just painted myself in the worst light possible. I made it when my friend was trying to convince me to go on match.com, because she was having the "time of her life" and because she thought it would would shake up my inclination to dread upcoming dates. She showed me her profile: "I am a fun, energetic and optimistic girl. I love life and meeting new people..." and on and on. So I tried to write a serious one but it annoyed me too much, so I ended up writing my own that said something like: "I am an often stressed, tired and judgmental girl. I don't always feel like doing things. I love dark windy days...", and on and on. I would read it, and crack myself up, imagining that I really paid 80 dollars a month or whatever to have this profile up. It was funny to me because it was all generally true stuff that you aren't supposed to say when selling your soul to the Gods of Internet Dating. But... then it somehow got deleted and I lost it, and I can't bring myself to write one again. It will NEVER BE AS GOOD AS THE FIRST ONE.

Here is the thing though, I thought it was funny, so I showed it to my mom. My mom thought it was funny so she showed it to my dad, even though I told her not to because he wouldn't get it- and I was right:

"Wait, what? You are going to do internet dating?" (as if internet dating was code for "becoming a stripper" or "becoming a loser". BOTH. both.)
"No... no Dad, this is just-"
"Wow the world is so different than it used to be"
"No it's just a-"
"Why are you making yourself sound so bad?"
"MOM, I told you not to show him"

**


Title: Buying Roomy Clothes
This was going to be about when the laundromat gave me someone else's underwear in a bigger size, and how wearing them was a revelation, and then how they soon became my favorite pair. And then how I started buying all my underwear in a roomy size, and then even normal clothes in bigger sizes in order to trick myself into feeling like I fit into my clothes. It might be a slippery slope, but it is very comfortable.

**


Title: The Anti-Kelly Ripa Arm
You know how girls often put their hand on their waist and flex their arm muscles in pictures, sometimes even purposely popping out their collarbone... as if it's just a totally normal stance. "The Kelly Ripa Arm" it is apparently called. Well, I thought I was just morally opposed to it, but the real reason I was against it was because I didn't want anyone to be able to think like, OH, Caroline wants her arms to look super toned, so she is doing "the stance" that everyone does. Pffffffff. So I refused to do it in pictures because I was not giving anyone that satisfaction. (as if anyone cares. it's crystal-clear to me now that I am the judgmental one.)

But, you know, it's sort of like taking steroids. If everyone is doing it, and you aren't doing it, either way- YOU LOSE. And I definitely lost, because instead I was just squashing my arm fat down, while everyone else was stretching and flexing and posing, and so I just looked like an arm-troll every time.


**


Title: Evil Capricorns
I had such grand plans for this, but this was one where I had TOO MUCH to say about things no one cares about. It was going to start off about how JK Rowling made all of the Harry Potter characters have birthdays that suited their personalities (Hermione: Virgo. Harry: Leo etc). And the only two Capricorns that I know of are Snape and Voldemort. HilARIOUS to me. "I am evil" bwahahahhahahahaa. Then I'd talk about the eerily accurate "Sextrology" book that my friend got me for my birthday, and then saying I am allowed to be the way I am because this book predicts it, and that it's all the stars' fault anyway. "She often likes to wear her hair pulled back" "She likes to wear dark clothing" "She is quite like Marian the Librarian" "like a mountain: a looming, solitary figure who cannot help but appear iconic to those she encounters" (yessss). And, "Death, too, could become her constant preoccupation, but being acutely aware of her mortality is what helps her to appreciate being alive." HAHAHAHA YES. And then, you know, I'd go on and on, but no one freaking cares about what my astrology sign says about me, so I aborted it.

**

In case you care:

Thursday, January 10, 2013

If the Shoe Fits

...which, it doesn't.

When I was around 13 / 14 years old, I remember insisting that I needed size 8 shoes. One reason was because it made me feel like an adult to wear such a mature and legitimate size, and of course, when I was young all I wanted was to be a mature and legitimate adult and to be taken very seriously. These days all I want is to explain to people that I am not really an adult at all, but for them to consider taking me seriously anyway, even though I should probably not be taken seriously. The other reason I wanted size 8s was because my mom would only buy me new shoes if my feet had grown. So, I convinced myself, and the world, that I was a size 8. And then for the next 5 years I forgot that it was all a careful ruse, and consistently bought shoes that were too big for me.

I remember when I was with my grandmother in Florida trying on fancy strappy, golden shoes, she said: "Are you sure those shoes fit you? They look a little big...maybe we shouldn't buy them", and I said "They definitely fit me, I love these golden jewels and shiny adult heels, maybe you are just losing your eyesight".

Fast forward to college, and I was very used to just hobbling around, wondering why my shoes kept shooting off my feet and down the sidewalk in front of me, and still foolishly thinking that wearing heels was a reasonable expectation for my life.

Speaking of high heels and going to college in NYC, I would buy heels and then never be able to wear them- because there is never such a thing as "not needing to walk anywhere" in New York. (One time in college I walked home from a restaurant down the New York City sidewalks with just my socks on, holding my shoes because I could literally not take one step further in those high heeled booties.) (yes, I could have looked homeless, but I wasn't walking alone. Imagine me barefoot and laughing hysterically with a friend. Like a pretend free-spirit).

So, during my delusional college high-heel shopping-experiences, I was surprised to find that the size I actually fit into most consistently was a size 6.5. It turns out I have very small feet, like Cinderella.

And then it all came rushing back to me. Ohhhh, I remember why I convinced myself I was an 8! I wanted new shoes and also it made me feel more mature! Dumb Caroline!

So to try and remedy the problem, I started buying shoes that were way too small for me, because apparently high-heel sizes are not the same as normal sizes. And also my feet are VERY WIDE.

Then I just had a closet full of shoes that were way too big and way too small, and I was so confused as to why everything hurt.

But it was OK for a while, because I just wore clogs every day and nobody cared:

college

backstage of a show (with salmonella)

I bought Croc flats the summer I was in Ireland.
They eventually hurt a lot too.

So now that I finally sort of understand my dilemma, I still don't have any shoes, mostly because shoes are expensive. And even still, most of them are too narrow for me feet, so I am back to buying 8s and 8.5s to accomodate their generous width. Even the sneaker salesmen are too dumb to accurately fit shoes onto my feet.

So yea, it's tough, every day is a struggle, thank you for asking!

But, thank god for sandals, and flat boots, and little bensimon sneakers, and combat boots, and clog boots. 

And rainboots. Rainboots are probably the most comfortable shoes I own.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Please Eat Your Cake & Birthday Sequin Problems

"Have Your Cake and Eat It, Too"

I know I am not the only one who thinks this: If you have some cake, you'd better get to eat it, "too".

I know what the saying means- 'You can't freaking have it all, man'. But the wording definitely does not imply that. So when people say "He can't have his cake and eat it too!", all I think is But why can't he eat his cake if it is his cake? Is he on a diet? I need some more background information. 

It should be: "Ma'am, you cannot have your own cake and eat our cake too, just expecting us to sit idly by while we watch you steal everyone's dessert".

Or, "Sir, why are you eating that piece of cake from the other patron's table? We brought you a piece of cake of your very own! What is wrong with you? Sir, STOP eating that cake. You can't just eat EVERYONE'S cake- are you an animal?! Bob, call security". (I have to say, this man is probably also on a diet, because diets make people binge. Believe me, I know.)

Speaking of, the only time I probably sneakily ate other peoples' cake was when I was on a diet.

One Google Search Later...

Oh Wow! Someone at Urban Dictionary explained that the phrase really means: "You can't eat your cake- and have it too." Meaning: Once you eat your cake Miss, it will be gone and you won't have cake any more.

I would say that is less of a life-lesson and just more of a fact.

***

Throw A Party

Another saying that is not grounded in any logic is "Throwing a Party"? I am just gonna throw it around and hope someone catches it! Heads up! Catch my party!

It makes no sense.

***

Now Watch Me Put the Two Above Topics Together

This weekend was my birthday, and looking back at my blog, I am now seeing that I wrote about my attempts to not have the pointless birthday blues last year, and had forgotten that I expressed the same whiny sentiment two years ago.

This year I am not going to write about that. This year was great:

-I wore a very sparkly dress that my Russian saleswoman tried to convince me to buy in a size Small, but I bought it in a Medium because I didn't want to look like a sausage with fish scales. I was already buying it because the other sparkly birthday dress I own is too low-cut for my prudent Capricorn ways, and I looked like "Wooaa, when did Tinkerbell let herself go?". So I opted for a sort of sparkly nun neckline instead.

-I was surprised with a round of champagne sent to dinner, called in by my awesome Aunt from out of state. It was so exciting that I decided: One day, I too will do that for an elderly niece of my own.

see the nun neckline?

- My friend Melanie brought me like 7 balloons to the restaurant, and I pretended to be so thankful and to love them, even when some popped and everyone in the restaurant looked at me angrily because my birthday was ruining their romantic dates. Then Melanie told me that she specifically got them for me because she knew the balloon logistics would stress me out- and she thought that was hilarious. And it was, but I made her carry them from then on.

-There was a fun band at the bar, and everyone else who met up got to jump/dance to the Beatles and "I would walk 500 Miles", and "I want You to Want Me", and most importantly, "Sweet Caroline". (Which is debatably a much better Caroline song than "Her roses really smell like poo poo poo- she is the meaning of the word bitch").

Sequin Problems

Look, I loved my sparkly nun dress, but it kept on getting caught on the wall and my bag and other people. The fishing wire that all the sequins seemed to be sewn on with kept getting hooked on things and people, causing some weird situations and also some worries that my dress would unravel. So I had to dance with some caution. Also those stupid balloons kept popping and scaring people into thinking there was a bar gunman.

And then my birthday ended with birthday-nachos- which is always a good thing.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Adult Things I Don't Do

I would generally like to be a better person- or at least seem like a better person- or maybe just make others think I am a better person. It is unclear to me which one it is, but either way... there is a lot of improving that probably needs to be done.

You know how adults bring bottles of wine to their friends' houses when they visit or go to a party? What a great thing to do. The other night I was contemplating Ehhh, do I stop at the wine store and do that extra thing? (That thing that... really... isn't actually going above and beyond at all- it's just standard practice.) Or do I just show up and pretend that my company is enough and all they really want? It's in delusional moments like those where I realize I am half-assing my life. They don't care about my company! Grow Up! They want the wine! But I still didn't get them the wine.

Here are some more adult things that I do not do- that I probably should do:

Have a calendar. I really, really don't have a calendar. I have a Google Calendar on my computer and my phone. And it is empty. I check it a few times a year hoping that the one thing I forget the date of is actually in there, and it never is. However, I am actually impressed then, with my ability to sort of remember when things are. Oh there is a party on the 10th, I think my cousin is visiting in like two weeks or something, I said I'd go out tomorrow night, there is a show I said I'd go to in a few weeks, next week on wednesday I am doing something- I think, I am going to DC in two months on the Friday of a week in the middle of the month, next week I said I'd do like 4 things and I forget what they are but I will find out, I think I double booked this Saturday afternoon- who to cancel on now? That is how I live my life. And I actually just realized that is probably not normal.

Of course, my method goes horribly wrong, and I overbook myself, and totally forget, and then don't show up to things. Or find out again last minute that things are happening and then have to bail. But, weirdly, more often than not I actually (generally) know when things are. It's just that if someone asks me about a certain date- I never have anything concrete to look at. It's always: I think I am free.... I have to consult my brain and get back to you. Or I am pretty sure I am not free but I totally forget why. I always tell people I need to "look at my calendar"- but that really means... I just need to take some time and see if I remember what is going on.

Giving people gifts. There is no consistency here. Sometimes I do a great job with gift giving and purchase thoughtful, personal gifts in advance. But most often, I just don't even get it together to get a gift at all. Same with cards. Sometimes I write people thoughtful cards! And thank you cards! Because my mother tried so hard to raise me right. But more often than not- I don't. And that is not ok.

Dates. Yea, well actually, I force myself to go on those occasionally with nice people who I never like. Everyone I ever like, I never go on dates with. I don't know if that is normal.

Having a car. Whenever I hear about my friends, or just other adults who I think are older than me but are really not, who have cars.... just.... how? You have to pay for them and get them inspected and replace the tires and wash them and fill them up with gas and park them! And, like....insurance??!! Right? What!?

Vacuum. I actually vacuum 2 or 3 times a year. Maybe 4. Other than that I just occasionally pick up dust bunnies with my hands and throw them in the trash. It sort of works.

Cooking Meat. I eat cheese and toast most nights, like an old, medieval pauper.

Spa Treatments. Nope. Lots of female adults I know get facials. Lots get manicures. Lots get massages (ohh, that would actually be nice. When I got my first massage at 18, the lady told me I was the tensest person she had ever worked on in her whole career). Bikini Waxes? Nobody will explain to me what you are supposed to do in between, during the summer, while it is growing back in? Nobody will tell me no matter how many times I ask them. Nobody knows. There is no winning.

Ironing. Ok, well now I ... well my roommate... officially owns an iron, which is great. But I have only used it, in my adult life, once. And it shows.

Dry Cleaning. I am wearing velvet pants right now that are "Dry Clean Only" and that means they will NEVER be cleaned. EVER. Coats, Dresses, Wool things.... If it is Dry Clean Only, it means it will just never get washed.

Taxes. I should probably not be admitting this because I might get arrested, but because my income has been so minimal and sporadic in the past (theater jobs) and then under-the-table babysitting.... my dad just took my tax stuff and gave it to his accountant and then he paid like the 80 dollars I owed to the government. This spring will be different though.

In conclusion: This post started off by me thinking: "Oh I had better change my ways to make people think I am a better adult person"... but actually I think what I have learned (besides the taxes thing) is that I am not actually going to change anything with any real urgency at all.

Great.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

My Life is Apparently Half Defined

I have been hearing a lot about the book The Defining Decade. Being mostly in our mid-twenties, a handful of my friends have been reading it... and then anxiously bringing it up over dinners and  "recommending it".

Apparently we are all treating our twenties carelessly, when actually, apparently, your 20s are way more important than people tend to think of them, and also don't you listen when people optimistically try to calm you down by saying that "30 is the new 20", because peace is for turtles, and the choices you make in your 20's set up your whole life and send you down your general life-path, and if it is the wrong one you either are screwed, or at least end up paying the price by later regretting it... and then needing to fix it- if you are even lucky and brave enough to face your careless life-mistakes, you big lazy baby! Or maybe that is just what I am telling myself the book is about.

"It really made me re-examine the way I do things", friends have said with feigned optimism.

So I ask my usual question:

"Well, is the book stressful?" (I ask this a lot when people recommend anything: activities (like... maybe sky diving), movies experiences (like this, and this), TV Shows (like Breaking Bad), and now, books.

"...um... No.... um.... it's... I guess it's helpful!", they say.

"Bahhh"

I spend a lot of time stressing out about making sure I don't stress myself out. As you may guess, this is very counter-intuitive and it doesn't work. But the reason is because I spent my teens stressing about various things that I should never have stressed about. So I went into my 20's with the intention of enjoying things way more- and not letting myself worry too much or think that anything is too important. But I am not always great at it! Ok!?

Well, I am good at it sometimes. Sometimes I am super-chill. And sometimes I am the most easy-going and wise person you have ever met. But then sometimes I can't fall asleep because I am not sure what shoes I should wear the next day that will be both warm and comfortable and why did I tell the person I work for that I don't like to use calendars?

I don't think I need a book to tell me to start worrying. Or do I!?!?!?! I DON'T KNOW.

be very inspired

To be fair, I haven't read the book. But I bought the free sample on my Phone/Kindle earlier today on the Bolt Bus, and then stopped reading when it started explaining how everything I do is shaping my life to come, choice by choice. I started staring out the window at the sun in the clouds and the migrating birds and the bare trees zooming by.... Wow, I am being Zen! In the face of trying to figure out whether I should be figuring things out!... ahhhh.

I am a few days away from my 25th birthday, which I would normally tell myself is still young enough. Don't worry Caroline, you are sooo fine, you still have so much time to become a professional tree climber or a cheesemonger, and become really chill and figure out what you want and what is going on. And 25 is young, sort of, when you are not reading a book about how important your every choice is during your 20's, and then realizing that your 20's are already half gone.

If this book is right: my life is already half defined. And that would be a shame. Almost half of that half was still in college! And how was that fair!? And then how would I be half-defined? By me not having the wherewithal to buy any wearable shoes? By my irrational worries that I will never sleep enough ever again? By the time I loved that guy who was Bisexual? NO. My God no, no no no no.

And pffff, if it is true, then people definitely shouldn't have been so easy on me. They should have been saying: "Caroline don't you know that you need to make good choices in your 20's or you will end up being a Post Office Clerk with a mustache and an internet gambling problem!?".

But- I don't necessarily think it is true. I don't think that my choices now, and for the next 5 years, are unfixable and unchangeable. I don't. Because I believe in amazing things. Things I don't talk about on this blog because they would sound annoying and happy, and for better or worse this blog has become a weird exercise in pretending to judge annoying and happy people.

But I actually believe that every moment is the perfect moment. Even if I don't always live like that. (I will never repeat this sort of optimism again on this blog again). All of those self help books and spiritual quests, however selfish, must have gotten stuck in my head. So I know that even if I make "terrible decisions" and end up chopping off my left hand while I am learning to be a butcher and then marrying some kind of Alligator Swamp Hunter Man and living my life as a morgue beautician with a bad Velveeta-cheese-eating habit... or maybe the even more frightening life, would be a life of just doing the exact same thing I am doing now for the next 30 years... But even if, I will still be able to look out the window of the bus I am on, listening to music, looking at the trees and the birds and the sun and being very impressed with my ability to live in the moment and smile at the way the sun is hitting the trees.

So take that, Defining Decade! Or at least what that free sample of the Defining Decade said!

It is 2013, and I am almost 25, and today I am not going to worry about a thing.