hey pretty

Ceci n'est pas une "dating blog."

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

More Fun Than a Poke in the Eye

Really, what isn't?

I have little to report right now, I just really wanted to post an entry with that title.

Discovery of the week: Nars Glitter Pencil in Le Sept.

I think the lady at the Aveda salon in Georgetown dyed my hair a shade a little too close to black. Mumsies assures me it will fade. Otherwise, I will be rocking the Goth look for quite some time.

Pen in the company ink: people talk about how this is a bad idea, and until now I have always understood that to mean that things could get uncomfortable if you have to work closely with the other person. But what it really means is that things get uncomfortable because OTHER people find out and they can't handle it and they act weird even though it has absolutely nothing to do with them and if their lives were slightly more interesting they'd have things to think about other than your love life.

More later.

Ps: Happy Administrative Professionals Day. Back at my first job I would get really pissed whenever I was recognized on this day because it implied to me that being so and so's public affairs assistant was a long-term career choice with no upward mobility. Luckily, that proved to not be the case and now I never do admin work and I'm not anyone's assistant. And today there are bagels in the kitchen so it's not all bad.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Take My Mom, Please

So Mother's Day is around the corner and I want to do something different this year. Namely, I want to burn my mother a CD of songs either referring to motherhood, or with the word "mother", "mom", "mamma", etc. somewhere in them. The catch is that they have to be good songs that rock, songs that a mom-aged person (see my kind unwillingness to sell her age out?) would enjoy, especially if this mom-aged person is a huge classic rock fan. So far I have...Take Your Mamma by the Scissor Sisters, a song I adore because it suggests liquoring your mom up on cheap champagne, something that amuses me to no end because MY mother is certainly WAY to sophisticated and finicky about her bubbly to settle for anything less then Veuve. But I digress. I need help! What are some other good songs? Taking suggestions....NOW!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Ditched for Jesus

I have little to contribute today, I think the rain is sapping my creativity. But last night I promised L that I would post an entry with the above title. You see, I was supposed to have brunch with K but he cancelled on me for church, and in relating the story to L I told her that I had been "ditched for Jesus," and we both found that quite entertaining. So there you have it.

Breaking news: I just heard that a friend proposed to his girlfriend yesterday by hiding the ring in her easter basket. I am deeply ambivalent about Easter, but even I have to admit that's pretty fucking awesome.

Friday, April 14, 2006

People Are Crazy and Times are Strange

...I'm locked in tight, I'm out of range.
I used to care but, things have changed.

I'm realizing today that I don't deal particularly well with change. As bored as I always become with the status quo, when change actually does occur, I can't help but feel nostalgic for what was. A lot has changed recently. Spring is typically a time of renewal and change, and that is especially the case this year. Several of my favorite co-workers have left our company, my father is moving to Mexico with his girlfriend, friendships are evolving and I'm trying to shake off old immature habits and actually act as wise as I know that I am. While some of this disturbs me, some wonderful things have occurred as a result of these evolutions.

Last night a small group of us stayed out until almost midnight drinking beer and playing the most inept games of pool I have ever experienced. Throughout this event my relationship with a co-worker took an interesting turn. I've known said coworker since August when I started. You know when you meet somebody and your personalities immediately click? This rarely happens to me, partly because flippancy is my primary method of communication and some people don't understand that. But this person is the most flippant person ever so we became fast friends to the point that we always know what is up with one another, without having to say anything. Because this person is married and lives out in the 'burbs we rarely get drunk together. Until last night that is, where we realized that we are the best worst pool team in the DC Metro area, siblings separated at birth, and although this wasn't articulated at the time--not the best influence on one another, but in a really fun way. Basically, we're both trouble and we both know that we're both trouble and that's where much of the fun comes in. It was still one hell of a night.

My experience with him, and come to think of it, several other guys I'm friends with highlights a theme that I am actually really interested in: Platonic friendships between men and women. The movie When Harry Met Sally famously explores the tricky balance between friendship and romantic interest. As we all know, early in the movie, Harry states that men and women can't be friends. Sally, being an idealist and something of a prude, disagrees. As we also all know, the movie ends with Harry and Sally living happily ever after. Clearly, Nora Epheron, the movies' writer, agrees with Harry's philosophy to some extent. In fact, popular culture is constantly trying to ram the idea of male-female friendships morphing into romances down our throats. To cite another annoying example, on Sex and the City, Carrie and Big could never be friends no matter how hard they tried. Their attempts to do so ended up first in them sleeping together, thereby ruining their legitimate romantic relationships, and finally, several tedious years later, getting together once and for all. For once, I would like popular culture to provide me with a roadmap of how to have a successful platonic relationship with a guy without getting together with him in the end. I feel that this would be quite instructive and would probably be helpful in counter-balancing the shit we're constantly fed about waiting for our dense guy pals to morph from clueless beer-swilling 20-somethings into prince charmings.

Anyway, yes. Some of my most favorite friends are guys, but with many of them I feel like there's an under current of sexual tension. With the ones who have girlfriends and wives, I tend to wonder how ethical that is. Even if you aren't actively cheating by hooking up, where does the line between okay behavior and not lie? And what pacts, spoken and otherwise, exist to make sure that neither party traverses that line?

Wow, this post did not cover what I intended to cover at all.

More later, (maybe) (perhaps next time, on topic).

New Post Coming Soon

I see some activity on Hey Pretty today from my site meter. I'm currently struggling with articulating my thoughts. Lots of change seems to be in the air and I don't know how to sort it all out.

More in a bit.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

It All Looks the Same, Even From Different Angles

Because I am a huge dork, I play on two kickball teams. Sundays are for the team I've been with for many seasons, in a league I have grown to love despite its eccentricities. Tuesdays are for a team I recently joined through work. I joined the work team because in our office, kickball is the 20-something equivalent to golf--a bonding activity that if you don't participate in, you risk being a total outsider. Unfortunately, my office team formed last year and everyone knows one another and is all bonded and doesn't really have time for the new girl. A note about me: when I feel like I'm not fully accepted in a situation, I tend to withdraw and feel isolated, so my own lack of assertiveness isn't really helping. My beloved Sunday team, of which I have been a co-captain for several seasons (at this point it's basically a habit) is notorious for not winning very often. But we love flip cup and we're all social and have plenty of friends in the division. My Tuesday team is undefeated. Last night we won 14-4. The other team told us we take the game too seriously. My Tuesday teammates rarely socialize with other teams, and they're terrible at flip cup. They looked at me like I was from Mars when I suggested a game of Survivor Flip Cup. In short, my other team is *that team*--the team I have never liked.

Which brings me to the point of my entry: Kickball appears to be the same everywhere in DC. Every league has the same token characters:

-The competitive team that doesn't socialize and sucks at flip cup (already covered)
-The annoying screeching 22 year old girls
-The team that exists only to play flip cup, that is still playing at 12:30 when the bar is clearing out
-The guy who thinks he's hot shit, who sort of is in fact, who isn't about to let you forget it, who probably isn't worth the hassle but it'll take you several mistakes to figure that out. (him to me: so is this where the hot chicks on the blue team hangout? Me: Yawn)
-The bartenders who watch in amusement
-The boys who are so drunk they can barely formulate a sentence
-The annoying person with a camera ready to capture a bunch of really bad ideas on her digital zoom, preserved for posterity for all the world to see.

Adendum: I forgot to mention that 75% of Tuesday's team is stoned all the time, and who likes hanging out with people who are always stoned and don't share with you?

Monday, April 10, 2006

Accepting Suggestions...

..for a new haircutter. Mine moved back to Ocean City and I realized recently that I haven't gotten a trim since December and my highlights date back from August! Ability to cut curly hair a must. After seven years in DC I finally found a good person and now I have to find a new one. Ugh.

Hangover Food

Fresh from the weekend, I thought I'd touch on a subject familiar to many of us: hangover food. Opinions about this vary widely. Some say its better to not eat when recovering from a bender, while other swear by the therapeutic effects of a nice greasy meal. I for one, have never been able to understand the grease approach. Sure, a burger rare with provolone seems perfect in theory, but the actual realization of that idea is never so successful. Two bites, and I usually abandon it for a second bloody mary, also usually not such a great plan. The more I experience the unseemly aspects of alcohol consumption the more I am realizing that when it comes to hangover food, I crave flavors that are clean and crisp--usually the polar opposite of the dried out, shriveled, fuzzy mess that i am. Earlier today macaroni and cheese sounded like just the thing to spring my body back to life after a night of post-kickball revelry. I was wrong. Too much mushy, salty goo for my already stressed out system to enjoy. But the California rolls that I thought to pick up delivered the goods. Could sushi be the perfect hangover food? It sounds weird, but between the cleanness of the rice and the nice smooth avocado, my stomach was temporarily at peace. I will of course, continue to investigate this. In the meantime, here is my list of hangover food yesses and nos.

Yes: Sushi, mashed potatoes, ice cream, gatorade.

No: Red meat, lettuce, anything fried, more alcohol, anything from 7-11.

Speaking of kickball, it looks like I'm attracting more DC Star readers. Hey guys!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Mantra for a Spring Weekend?

Counter guy where I'm buying a soda: Have a good weekend. Be good.
Me: (Smirk).
Counter guy: If you can't be good, be happy.

And that, kids, is it in a nutshell.

Returning to Our Origins For a Moment

My newer readers my not be aware of this, but Hey Pretty was born out of a backlash against mass media representations of prominent women in politics. My first post was a response to an article in the Washington Post criticizing former Attorney General Janet Reno's refusal to conform to mainstream notions of femininity. This post was also published as a letter to the editor in the Post which ran the same weekend as the March for Women's Lives, which brought thousands of prominent women's advocates into DC for the weekend. Talk about awesome timing.

Today, thanks to a tip from T, I am yet again compelled to comment on a Washington Post article about a woman in politics. This article concerns Rep Cynthia McKinney (D-Ga.) who has recently made headlines due to an altercation with the police. The article deconstructs McKinney's public image, and cites the fact that she wasn't wearing her trademark braids as a reason why the police might have reacted to her in the manner that they did.

T and I are having a hard time wrapping our brains around this one. The article seems to imply that the police didn't recognize her because she didn't look the way she normally does--that she appeared outside her normal "respectable" identity as a woman in power, perhaps even, that she looked like any disenfranchised black woman in DC. But does that make their actions okay? The article doesn't say, and for that reason it is disturbing. The article brings up issues of racial and class-based tensions, but doesn't go far enough to make a statement about it. It says that her normal hairdo has become a statement of who she is, and without that hair she loses her identity. But existing outside of a carefully crafted public persona doesn't make it okay for the police to treat you as a moving target. I wish the Post would say that but it doesn't. And beyond that, isn't it frustrating that as women, our public identities are yet again defined by our appearances? T and I are still stewing over this article and the answers that it refuses to articulate. Perhaps some of you readers can help us out?

Thursday, April 06, 2006

She's Over Bored and Self Assured

(Oh no, I know, a dirty word)

Do you know what April 8th is? It's the twelfth year memorial of the passing of Kurt Cobain. To this day I remember hearing the news of his death. I was practicing driving maneuvers in my parents' beat up Subaru on our gravel driveway, gnashing my teeth over the challenge of mastering reverse on an unwieldy stick shift, when the Tori Amos cover of Smells Like Teen Spirit came on the radio. I remember pausing to take in this particular version of the song, a version I had never heard, rendered soft and haunting by Amos's vulnerable voice. I remember wondering what the significance of the radio playing this particular version was, why this one, and why right now. It ended, and the DJ announced in a hushed tone that Kurt Cobain, age 27, 90's rock icon, had been found dead earlier in the day, evidently at his own hands (although rumors to the contrary would eventually emerge and flourish within certain circles to this day).

Nevermind, the album that we all know, the one that sprung his band Nirvana to astronomical levels of fame, the one that would place them at the very least in the pantheon of 90's rock legends had come out in 1992, but I didn't discover them until at least a year later. Word of new cultural phenomena often hit my sleepy New England town later than they do in other parts of the country, and I rarely listened to the radio, preferring instead the same Indigo Girls and Edie Brickell I had favored since the beginning of high school. But when I did finally hear Nevermind, its now eponymous first track in particular, it was like some sort of switch flipped for me, suggesting a path into self awareness that I hadn't yet considered. To put it more concisely, I was at that moment, plunged into adolescence. I have always been a late bloomer-- the last of my friends to kiss a boy, defy authority, the last to occur to rebel. Listening to Nevermind, a new world of ambivalence and bravado opened up before me, a new lens through which to view my surroundings, with which to question (endlessly, I can assure you) everything I have ever been told--the perfect springboard for the end of my senior year of high school, the beginning of my gradual evolution away from sheltered only child to head strong, independent adult.

Of course I didn't know any of that at the time. Back then, I was only aware of an escalating feeling of boredom with my surroundings, my friends, my family, my identity. Hearing of Cobain's passing on the radio, I was saddened in a way that I could not pinpoint, grieving--but why? In short, perfectly encapsulated in the angst of late 20th Century privileged adolescence.

Today, admittedly still hanging on to some vestiges of rebellion and ennui, hopefully spinning towards a better understanding of adult self-assuredness, I still dig out the Nirvana every now and then--Nevermind in particular (thanks to Musical Guru by the way, for burning me a new copy). Listening to it reminds me of how far I have come from there, and how much further I have to go. Plus it rocks, which is always a plus.

This April 8th I encourage everyone to follow my lead. Dig into the deep corners of your cd collection and dust off a copy of some Nirvana CD you haven't listened to in ages. Even if its just for one track. Listen and learn, or at the very least--remember.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The Cell Phone Purge

Over the weekend my cell phone was destroyed. No, it didn't shortwire because I received so many incoming calls at once. Rather, some drunkard spilled a pitcher of cheap beer into my purse, soaking its contents and ruining basically everything that was in there. This included my cell phone. I had been wanting to upgrade to a Pink Motorola Razr for sometime, so in a way I was sort of happy about the phone. Granted, a rather liked the small size and general functionality of my little Samsung flip phone, but the time has clearly come to move on to a more sophisticated piece of telecommunications equipment. It has come to move on in other ways as well. Like many of you, my phone represented a collection of relics from my dating past-- a veritable museum (or graveyard if you will) of ex-hookups, fleeting crushes, situations that proved BAD FOR ME in the form of old text messages I didn't have the heart to erase and phone numbers I couldn't bear to delete. Well, those are gone now, and later today I have plans to march down to the local friendly cell phone store and buy a new device--one that I intend to fill only with the numbers of those who contact me for productive purposes. My cell phone will no longer be the contemporary stand-in for a little black book. Out of site, out of cell phone, out of mind.