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Tales of a Post-Grad Nothing

Monday, July 25, 2005

Project Du Jour

Go here. Fast forward to the commercial at the very end and someone reassure me that all commercials in the States aren't really that creepy. If they are, I'm never ever coming back.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Boyfriend: "Before we moved in here, I distinctly remember thinking that our landlord was a pretty cool guy. How wrong was I? Wrong. Wrong-o. Hello, we're the Bea-les. I'm John. I'm George. I'm Paul. And I'm Wrong-o."

Cricket, cricket.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Excepts From E-mails Received This Week

"We ate at a restaurant called 'America' in Union Station, and I kid you not, we ate there just so that I could tell you that's where we went. Come on, it's called 'America.'"

"Isn't it time you strapped on some planks of wood and careened down an icy slope of frozen water particles? I think so."

" Can't wait to have you guys back in the U.S. of A. so we can really get this party started. That's what Pink says. I was just quoting."

"Though you're eyes will be skimming across the words, your mind will be singing along with that Radiohead tune and calculating how quickly you can cram bites of brie and baguette into your mouth and still accept yourself, socially."

"I just learned how to play Texas hold-em two weeks ago. We are four girls who think they
know how to play poker but dare not use real money, sit around in our bikinis at my friend's pool and play poker on Sunday afternoons. I do it cuz it makes me sound hot."

Friday, July 22, 2005

COMPUTER IS BACK!

This is what France can do to a person:

Summer 2004:
















Summer 2005:






























Projected Future:






























The evidence speaks for itself.

Monday, July 18, 2005

If iTunes had any conscious at all, they would turn off their service at midnight to prevent people from buying music in an exhausted and/or inebriated state. This morning I came ridiculously close to downloading Guns N Roses' Sympathy for the Devil. Disaster narrowly averted.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

In college I had a radio show that ran between the prime hours of 2AM and 4AM on Thursday nights. You would think that nobody would ever listen to the radio on a week night between 2AM and 4AM, but you'd be overlooking an enormous population of people who are used to being overlooked. That population is the prison population.

Every Thursday from 2AM to 4AM, I hosted a show called "More Rock Than You Can Shake A Stick At" and every Thursday, various inmates from the local correctional facility would call collect and shout out things they wanted to hear in place of their name. For example, you might pick up the phone and hear "You have a collect call from: PANTERA RULZ, CELL 4A" and you would know that it's just your good buds at Cell 4A putting their two cents in. There were always tales floating around the station of prisoners getting pissed off and calling in with things like "You have a collect call from: I GET OUT IN A MONTH, REMEMBER THAT" and other asundries of that nature, but the prisoners were always really nice to me and would call in just to tell me that I was doing a good job.

After a few months, I would know what the various cells wanted and would play their stuff without being called. Then the thank-you calls started coming in. You have a collect call from: The Metallica made my night. You have a collect call from: Thanks for listening to us. I was moved. The prisoners were actually really kind, much kinder than several of the bitches I knew on campus. I began to think that these people with nice manners surely didn't committ real crimes. Hardened criminals are, well, hardened and have mean voices and are impolite and will spit on you just for being alive. These guys just wanted to rock out between the hours of 2AM and 4AM on Thursday nights and as we all know, rockin out in NOT a crime.

After someone not incarcerated phoned in a bomb threat to the station, we weren't allowed to take calls from prison anymore. My Thursday nights weren't nearly as exciting and honestly, I was kind of sad. Today I found this (over at Melting Dolls) and I can't help but wonder if these people are doing time for rockin out too.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Awesomely Bad Alert

Counting down the days until September 23rd.

Friday, July 15, 2005

My friend Christine has a thing for men in uniform. I have a thing for not spending a lame-o evening at home so when we learned of the annual Fireman's Ball being held tonight, the sun, moon, and stars all aligned and we were there. What exactly is a French fireman's ball like? Well, settle back and let me spin you a yarn.

The annual fireman's ball is an enormous awesome party where there's sausage (real and euphemistic), men in uniform, and music that one might hear on a gay cruise from the 1980's. It not being a physics club or Nerd Rockers of the Future meeting (seriously, braingasm), I was fairly unimpressed with the selection of men, but what was lacking in the boy department was more than made up for in the music department. When we walked in, the band was playing Manic Monday, firemen in full regalia were dancing with girls and with each other, parents sipped champagne and watched their children gaze at the fuschia lights and smoke-filled stage. A woman in a black miniskirt, knee-high boots, a red haltar top, and a black motorcycle jacket got up and started singing It's Raining Men and all I could think of is "How can I make this woman my friend? What if I bought her some candy? Everyone likes candy."

I never did get to meet the 80's rocker of my dreams, but I did meet this very lovely boy from Scotland who I talked to for a good while about France and travel and life and math (He's a mathematician. I have no excuse). And when I excused myself to leave, he went to shake my hand and pulled me close to his chest and whispered in my ear, "I don't think you know this because of the way you carry yourself, but you're the most beautiful woman here and I wanted to be the one to tell you that." That's one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me and definitely the nicest thing I've ever heard from a stranger. I was completely speechless. So after a moment, I looked him right in the eye and said the first thing on my mind.

"I have to go to the bathroom."

I have to go to the bathroom. Smooth like butter Couch. Maybe next time, you could just say 'wee wee' and point to your crotch and hope that they understand what you're talking about. Make sure to do it at another really appropriate moment too, say, during the middle of a wedding proposal or better yet, in the middle of intercourse. People love that. My own stupidity astounds me every single day.

Later in the night I ended up seeing the same kid again and he just looked at me with this weird sort of half-smile and said, "I hope you have a really great life." And I said, "I will...I mean I do...like right now [wild gesturing at this point]...I mean...shit...thank you...thank you [deep breath out]...thank you...I hope yours is great too." And I truly do.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Death Becomes Her

I have a phenomenal ability to dream, it's a gift that I have always cherished. Three or four nights a week I have vivid, bright dreams involving colors and every month or so, I have a fantastically long dream that plays out like a film, complete with a full plot, emotions, and a soundtrack. Dreaming is one of the body's ways of burning off stress and in lieu of exercise or a healthy diet, dreaming and pooping are essentially the only ways my body has of ridding itself of the daily toxins I put in.

Last night I had a dream in which Chris and I died in a plane crash on the way back home in August. I didn't see the crash and I didn't feel the crash in the dream, but I heard someone announcing that flights from London to the U.S. were under attack and for some reason I knew that I was bound for certain death. Dying in a plane crash is probably my greatest fear, just alongside dying without ever accomplishing anything good or beneficial to society in my life...the two kind of go hand in hand.

I'm not really sure why I have this totally irrational fear. I've never been in a plane crash. I've never seen a plane crash in real life. I've even met someone who was a plane crash survivor and I consistently read about people who fly, not occassionally, but EVERY SINGLE DAY (Adventure Girl, I have no idea how you do it). I would even go so far as to say that I've never had one crappy flight. But for some reason, once there's the slightest bit of turbulence, I'm gripping the seat in a futile effort to keep the entire vessel from crashing to Earth. God forbid a child come running or even walking softly down the aisle...DON'T YOU SEE, YOU'RE GOING TO THROW THIS PLANE OFF BALANCE THEN I'M GOING TO DIE AND I'VE NEVER ACCOMPLISHED ANYTHING REALLY BENEFICIAL IN MY LIFE AND IT'S GOING TO BE YOUR FAULT YOU EIGHT YEAR OLD ASSHOLE. AND IF I SEE YOU IN HELL OR PURGATORY OR IN THE NEXT LIFE OR WHEREVER I'M BOUND FOR NEXT, I AM GOING TO PUT YOUR SKINNY PALE ASS ON TOP OF MY VERY SHORT 'TO KICK' LIST. TELL YOUR MOTHER (or supportive single parent father, grandparent, or guardian unit) I SAID THAT!

When discussing the whole plane/fiery death/useless life thing with the boyfriend, we got to talking about how we wanted our funerals to be. Now, unlike blood-spattering plane crashes, I can get down to talking about funerals...funerals and divorces are the only times my family every totally gets along with each other and acts completely supportive, you know, like a family should, so funerals are kind of like a really morbid comfort food....mmm...comfort food....like Ben and Jerry's Phish Food ice cream...drooool.

Just for the record, in the off-chance that there is some sort of accident, plane related or not before we get to see the fantastically traffic-riddled likes of our nation's capital again, I want someone to make sure that there's a bunch of trees planted and a huge donation made to Richmond public schools in my name, that there's a Black gospel choir because as far as I'm concerned, a Black gospel choir and Mario Kart for N64 are the closest things this world has to heaven, that there's at least one hearty and happy toast to what I did with my life, and that for God sakes, someone go home and get laid...crap...if the afterlife is drier that this one, I'm in for an eternity of trouble.

Friday, July 08, 2005

July 7th

The July 7th bombings in London are a petrifying reminder that the world is still full of unspeakable atrocities and concentrated acts of evil and hate. There's really nothing anyone can say, since 'I'm so sorry this happened' sounds more like a poor joke than genuine empathy. That being said, is it really necessary to have headlines like:

TERROR HITS LONDON

Thanks media, very necessary. Aren't things scary enough without the huge, bold, terrifying print and Joel Schumacher-esque title? Can't people understand the gravity of the ordeal without a video timeline of how many other times London has been bombed? Other ominous headlines that only further complicate an already severe situation include:

TERROR COMES TO CLOSE QUARTERS

LONDON BOMBERS HUNTED

DEADLY BLASTS ROCK LONDON


That last headline is extra ominous because it's in red. I wish I could make that headline look like its on fire just to give you a true sense of just how level-orange, R-rated-movie serious this situation is. For God sakes, American Idol could be cancelled.

All those headlines need is the man who does the voiceover for every movie trailer ever announcing them. CNN, I love you man, you my boy Blue, but please, fire the guy who wrote the Fast and the Furious and hire someone with an iota of consciousness and sensitivity.

Thanks from abroad,

---Chris---

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The Fourth of July in Paris is almost as much fun as the whirlwind of nothing that is Bastille Day in the U.S. What makes the understandable lack of fireworks and delicious hot dogs ok is the prevailing thought that the typical American in some way misses the gaudy, trashy, over-hyped, and ultimately stupid awesomely bad treasures of home. We do. Let me rephrase, I do. I LOVE the outdoor caf├ęs, deadly bakeries, and refined culture of here, don't get me wrong. At the end of the day, I truly do love both the city and to a lesser extent, the people who reside here. But there is something about a huge batch of flaming hot wings served in a sauce that I will walk away wearing that brings a tiny tear to my woeful expat eye. That's why places like The American Dream were created.

The American Dream is a hybrid of all things awesomely bad and totally trashy about The Motherland. What should tip you off is the fact that it's a beacon of over-the-top Americanism shining from amidst tiny boutiques and flower shops. It's not the lifesize Blues Brothers statues nor the 17 neon signs that really won my heart the first time I saw it, rather, it's The American Dream's primo location just around the corner from the Paris opera house, one of the most classically beautiful buildings in the city.

Stepping inside The American Dream is just as good as looking at it from the outside. There's so much Betty Boop memorabilia and so many vintage tubas on the walls, it's hard to see the faded yellow screens that play Nelly videos on a constant loop. The true gem of The American Dream isn't found on the menu or on the walls, but instead is located upstairs where every weekend night the diner-style second floor throws out the underage soda jerks and ushers in strippers. The world hasn't seen something so damn trashy since the creation of South of the Border. Should you ever visit the city of Light, I will take you to the only place I've ever heard of where you can sip a rootbeer float and enjoy a lap dance, because unlike Virginia, that shit ain't illegal here.

I haven't been for the strippers yet, only for the chili, but the sheer novelty of going to a diner-turned-stripclub on the most nationalistic day of the year makes my heart fill up like a balloon that's about to burst. If I can find someone, anyone to go with, then I can promise both a good story and photos later this week. Happy 4th people. See some strippers and think of me.