5 Questions returns with my girl, Roo. First, you should know Roo's my old school blog buddy for me. We first met back in February 2006 when I made the trip to NYC during the first week of being on in between jobs for the first time in my life. She's the warm, long-lost sister you wished you had (my first words in our first phone conversation were not "Hi, it's Jen" but, "so, whatahya wearing to this thing?" (our excursion out on the town), but has an acerbic wit if you don't watch it. And if that don't do you in, there's always The Hair, all 8 yards of it.
Things you should know: she's an artist in the truest sense of the word designing some of the most intricate costuming I've ever seen up close anyway:
...and if I were a betting person, I'd say her renderings of Mickey Mouse probably do not look like Mr. Potato Head the way mine do. She will stop at a drugstore and bring you Advil at your request prior to your first meeting at a bar because you have a headache brewing from a stressful ride down(seriously, we hadn't even met yet and I felt comfortable enough to send her on an errand), and will pretend not to be appalled as she is holding your boob* in her hand in the back of a taxicab.
Right -- um, let's get to know Roo!
1. If you could change one thing about yourself that you otherwise feel is beyond your control, what would it be? Why?
It would be nice to feel less anxious in unfamilar social settings. It's funny. There are situations where I feel free to be myself right from the get-go-- like going to a big party by myself. Maybe because then no one knows who I'm supposed to be. Or maybe because it's more like performing-- I find it easier to talk to a room of a hundred people I don't know, than to sit alone with one. I guess that's part of the reason I felt drawn to on-line journaling.
On the other hand, one of my favorite ways to connect with people in a large group is to go off with just a few of them for a smoke. The whole business of smoking makes it easier to be with new people. You get some conversational starters, including but not limited to: Do you have/need a light? Want one of mine? Man, it was hot in there! It's so nice out! They don't know what they're missing! You get some mild chemical stimulants, and a chance to focus on your breathing. And there's always something to do with your hands. In other words, my means of dealing with my social anxiety is slowly killing me. Yeah, I'd like to change that.
2. What movie or TV show do you find yourself quoting most? What situations bring about their use? Please share the quotes, as for I am a sucker for the movie and tv quotes.
Well, there are really too many to list-- I quote a lot. It's all part of letting my dork flag fly. Here's a sampling: 1."What-ever!!!" delivered in the style of Homestar Runner. I also quote Strong Bad extensively: "Burninating, the countryside, burninating the peasants!" "Arrowed!" "Crazy Go Nuts University: Where the future is YOU... probably." Embarassing fact: Talking like the characters of "Homestar Runner" is something Jeff and I do when we're alone.
2. "Excellent..." a la Montgomery Burns.
3. "Looks like I chose the wrong week to stop sniffing glue." --"Airplane!" This is often uttered in response to stressful situations at work.
4. I find it impossible to visit the Temple of Dendur at the Met without commenting that "I have a theory heiroglyphics are just an ancient comic strip about a character named Sphinxy." One point if you know what that's from. Only one, though, cuz it's easy. it's also one of the movies I can quote most extensively.
5. "A'whe-ere did that silly fish go?" fom "The Meaning of Life." As you might imagine, I find myself saying this when I'm looking for something (though I'm rarely actually looking for fish.)
6. "Ah! Red Snapper! Very tasty!" from "UHF." I often say this in response to things that are decidedly not tasty. I really like quoting Gedde Watanabe. Other favorites include: "You get NOTHING! You so STOO-PID!" and "No more yanky on the wanky-- the Donga need sleep." (Two points if you know the source of that last quote.)
7. "Share the lo-o-o-oaaaad!" This line was uttered by Samwise in "The Return of the King"-- accompanied by a super-zoomed-in shot of Sean Astin's lips. It's a very stupid moment in an otherwise enjoyable film. It makes me laugh. I could keep going with these, but I won't.
Working the Underbar like it's her job, unlike our perma-orange Oompah Loopah waitress who just seems annoyed that people are willing to shell out 9 bucks for a Bud Light.
3. If you could live in any era, in any country, which would you choose? Why?
[note: I tailored this question for Roo given her extensive background in costume design and also because she seems to be an old soul, I was curious as to what era she would like to live in. Based on her response, it appears I manged to fuck this up. Still, she managed to pull out an interesting answer]
Is it Roo imitating her art, or her art imitating Roo?
You know, I've thought about this a lot. I think there are other periods of history when my looks would have been more in vogue-- I like to imagine myself into portraits by John Singer Sargent, or Ingres, or Vigee Lebrun, or Mucha. But that's a pretty shallow reason for shifting my position in space-time. There are other times in history that I think must have been exhilarating to experience first-hand-- like the Renaissance in Italy, or 18th century France, the 'Thirties in America (yes, there's the great Depression to consider, but look at the flourishing of the arts during that time, and public works, and new social theories. And all those beautiful bias-cut gowns.) But whenever I try to really imagine what my life would have been like at any point previous to my own era, I'm confronted by the fact that as a woman, I'd have to go without most of the rights and opportunities I currently enjoy. So I'm brought right back to the here and now. I'd say that I'd like to live in the future, at some point after issues of gender, race, etc., have been resolved. But I'm afraid that by then there won't be any trees.
4. What is your biggest "I am. So busted" moment?
In the summer of 2001, I went to the backwoods of Vermont to work on a play for children. The producer/playwright hired a group of New Yorkers (the director, set designer, puppet/costume-designer me, and a few actors) to come out to stay in her hippie compound in the middle of nowhere. We taught theatre classes to campers aged seven to seventeen, who were also cast members in the show. The producer had strict rules for us to follow while we were in residence, in terms of drinking, smoking, language, and the like. In response, we grown-ups went out into the woods each evening, to drink, smoke, and talk shit. While I can't say the producer's rules were unreasonable, she was still a bit of a nut-job-- a very quiet, damaged woman, who each year mounted the same play for children, in which she illustrated through drama (and historical re-enactments of battles of the American Revolutionary War), how her ex-husband robbed her of her innocence and tossed her aside for a younger woman.
One day, she took one of the actors who came with us (a tall, handsome man in his mid-twenties) on a long walk through the woods behind her house. She had a dead son she'd buried on the side of a hill, and wanted to show him the grave. She didn't tell him the purpose of the trip before they set out. Here's the thing-- she had a lot of good reasons why she was the way she was. I felt sorry for her. I wanted to be kind. I knew I ought to be kind. But she was so strange it was hard to know how to do that. Before the New Yorkers left for Vermont, we each received a copy of a video of one of the previous productions of her work. She'd cast herself at fifty-five as herself when she was a teenager. She was terrible. "Waiting for Guffman"-level terrible. Watching her was both painful and hilarious.
One night, the camp grown-ups, which included some local Vermonters who were involved with the production, assembled in our spot in the woods. One of the locals brought his friend, a white girl with dreadlocks and a stoner voice, to join us. We started talking about the show and how terrible it was. Somehow, we got to comparing it with previous productions, and someone brought up the video. And I started imitating her performance. Judging by the reaction I got, I think my impression was pretty dead-on. Everyone was laughing hard. Eventually, I emerged from character long enough to become aware of another social current running through the group. People looked a little shocked, and guilty, like they were laughing despite themselves. The set designer sounded like he was trying to shush me, but couldn't stop giggling long enough to do it. The girl with dreads said good night, and walked off. As soon as she was out of earshot, the set designer turned to me (still laughing) and said, "That was her MOTHER you were talking about!" "What? No!" I felt sick. I've rarely felt more ashamed of myself than I did in that moment. I wouldn't mind getting a chance to un-do it.
5. What has been the best advice or helpful tip that you've ever been given? Who gave it to you?
When I was in fifth grade, I was sitting on the floor in front of the television, in my nightgown. My father was sitting in his chair, watching TV with me. I heard a car pulling in the driveway and started to run upstairs, to change into regular clothes. My father said, "Don't ever be ashamed of your body. Look at me-- this body's not beautiful, but it's what I've got. What am I gonna do? Hide in the house all day? "There's nothing wrong with being what you are." It was a strange thing for my father to say, but it's stuck with me. And I think it's affected me in positive ways-- I've never seen sex as dirty, I've never been afraid to ask my doctor questions, and even when I'm not entirely pleased with my shape, I'm pretty comfortable in my skin.
Kicker/Bonus: What is it, and feel free to elaborate using many paragraphs, makes me so unbefuckinglievably awesome?
What makes Jen (from Boston) so unbefuckinglieveably awesome? Well, I'll tell you...
1. You are warm, and funny, and kind, and you're enthusiastic about life. There's a recipe for total awesome-nity right there. But there's more:
2. You keep strong, loving ties with your family (even when you don't see eye-to-eye with them, or when you'd like to see eye-to-eye with them, but you're blinded by chickenlights.) And you make your friends feel like they've been invited into the fold.
3. You can make people laugh until their stomachs hurt, without being cruel or foul-minded.
4. You like hooking people up with the good stuff-- shopping, TV, pop-culture, skin care... and,
5. There's always a chance you might take off your bra in the back of a taxi.
*Okay, about #5 which was also noted in the intro I guess some explaining is warranted. Part of my outfit the first night (seen below) we hung out was a low cut top, lower than I normally wear anyway, and I decided to give "the girls" some help (inserted into another bra that manged to STAY ON, thankyouverymuch).
(well, it's just a good thing my bra isn't hanging out. See now that would be tacky.)
Of course, another girl Melissa sort of threw me under the bus (by the very fact that she said something akin to "chick, nice rack!" in front of my male friends) and this got me a few awkward moments throughout the evening. Anyway, at the end of the night as Roo and I were making out way back to the hotel in the cab, and in the manner of Christina Applegate at the end of The Sweetest Thing, turned to her and asked, "Yeah you guys, you want boobs? Well, here are your damn boobs!" as I plopped the chicken cutlet looking inserts into her hands.
Hey, I thought it was funny.
For my leetle friend, Marnie, who dontcha know, lives on the WEST side of Canada (did you know people from Canada can live on the West part of that land above us? Neither did I! I think Canada's new slogan should read: Canada: We're more than just Toronto!*")
Anyway, she tagged me for the 6 weird things about you meme to drag me out of blogger poserland that I've been living in and that seemed easy enough because, well, I should have buckets.
1. I never have the right kind of cash on me. If I need tens and twenties, I have $2.79 on me. If I need bus fare or a dollar for the soda machine, all I have are tens and twenties. Corallary, odds of me hitting you up for bus fare? Pretty solid. Corallary Part Deux: I hope you weren't too attached to that buck you just gave me, because you're never seeing it again. (and I will say as much) (and thanks to Pete for all the cab fare you gave me!)
2. My moral compass can best me summed up by a theory I call Karma Building. Understanding that Karma's basic gist is "what comes around, goes around", I take a step further in that I am Karma point builing as a do something good. If I sub for another soccer team at the last minute because they're stuck, or help out giving a person a ride, or offer to help someone move without being asked, I am building points for Karma to come my way one day when I need it (because I usually do). Probably not how you're suppose to rely on Karma exactly, in that doing a good deed should be a little more of a selfless act "for the sake of doing it" rather than the Keeping a Ledger variety, but I cannot stop the madness. And besides, ...who's really getting hurt here?
3. I can be pretty impulsive. Not much of what you call "a planner", and this I think drives both my Planner Type-A sisters nuts, because more often than not, I can pull it off. Last weekend, without oven thinking of it, I marched down the street to a local salon I'd never set foot in looking something like this:
Telling them to make me look like this (lopping about 3-4 inches off):
(Updated: hopefully, a little less blurry photo of it.)
4. Based on the 6 years that I have lived in Boston, I will never, ever get what I am after from the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles on the first try. Or second. Or sometimes even third. For the Mass. RMV is designed to break me and my will to thrive. And that is all I have to say about that.
5. I am the fastest pee-er in the Universe.
If you are behind me in line, you are in luck. Some of you will think I am just being chatty in line when I say as much, but when I leave I'll hear you say, "damn, that WAS fast."
If you' ve ever been stuck in a long line for the bathroom, and we all know that there's "that girl" who takes 10 minutes to what, wizz, primp or talk on the phone or whatever, and as bladders if the line start to become pressed on, you actually begin to wonder if the line gonna turn mob mentality on her ass as the girl finally exits. I, however, and the antithesis to "that girl". And it has been commented on by guy and girls alike. I have made friends for the night based on this skill. In, out under a minute. The primping more often consists of washing my hands and looking in the mirror and shrugging.
6. My fly is always down.
Okay, not always, but there was a run there wher I was getting used to wearing belts, a concept I didn't really latch onto (heh) until maybe a year or 2 ago, and the extra step of buckling, usually after going to the bathroom, meant that the zipper was left in the Downward Dog Position. After getting called out too many times to count (often by my MANAGER), I am now hyper aware of that status of my fly. As a result of being hyper aware of it, I am contantly taking my right hand to my lower abdomen to do a "secret check". Yes, this looks about as cool as you think. I try to do the "secret check" before I exit the ladies' room, however, (surprise!) sometimes I forget.
*and Dawn's all, "And Montreal!"
Okay, so I've been away from this site for too long (and don't even get me going on commenting) and I have much to post (2 interviews, a meme) and write and now, after 25 minutes on the phone with nice guy George from Comcast this morning, I have Internet for the first time in about a week.
Let me just say, "HURRAY, INTERNET!"
The only excuse for my absence (of which there are many) that may be of remote interest can be explained by the Jefferson's theme song. Yes, I did move on up, to the deluxe apartment (well, it has a eat-in kitchen, a fireplace, a view of the Pru, and a bedroom closet that doesn't make me want to slit my wrists, so deluxe to me) in the sky-y-y (2nd floor).
The genesis of this moved actually came from 2 bathroom tiles, if you can believe it. Two located in the shower that landed squarely on Mike's man-of-steel foot. Mike did his best to patch up the wall and we called the management company.
My guess is that when the looked behind a few more of the tiles in the fix-it process, they didn't like what they saw because, um...:
I mean, I'm no "contractor" or "wall" "expert" or anything but that looks pretty bad, right? Later I'd see they had to rip the ENTIRE bathroom apart (and "Hi! toilet in the hallway and good day, Mr. Sink in my old bedroom!"), not just the walls within the shower.
This naturally left us without a shower, however, there was an open apartment upstairs which we could use the shower while they fixed it. Let me tell you, nothing like walking throughout a building in your towel/bathrobe/pj's to take a shower. But silver lining here, they said we could have the nicer apartment if we wanted it. Surprise, surprise, we took it.
So, it has been 2 weeks of packing and unpacking, throwing shit out by 11 units' refuse containers-full (oops, our bad), going up the stairs and down the stairs eleventeen billion times and transporting items what we couldn't fit here like 2 air conditioners and sofa tables down the street at our friends, Steve & Heather's. (thanks, guys! I think there is only one more blue tub to come and that's it. I swear). I have been exhausted.
Other than streamlining all the crap you've accumulated in the past few years which is always good idea (I found an old college textbook I've hung onto for far too long in which a 19 year old me wrote on the stacked pages side of the book, "I will NOT expose the ignorance of my teachers" - B. Simpson." In calligraphy, because I roll classy) but my true feelings on moving can be best be summed up as dramatized here by Libs:
I don't see why we just can't PAY someone to do it.
But we're in, the boxes are unloaded, and now comes the "fun" part of hanging stuff back up and finding homes for the rest of the stuff.
Now I get to make the place Home.
(p.s. does anybody know where I put the cord to my battery charger for my digital camera? )
Putting you arm in between the bus doors as you try to get on at the last second I would suggest that you do NOT expect to yield the same results as you would say with elevator doors which come handily equipped with electronic sensors.
For in this situation you see, it is the bus DRIVER that controls the doors and he WILL close it on your arm ("Sorry, I didn't see you there.") and it WILL hurt (well, it did a little bit, I have a bruise forming anyway, but at least he was "nice enough" to open the doors back up after hearing me squeal "OW!" and not drag me along the block to the next stop.)