hey pretty

Ceci n'est pas une "dating blog."

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Get Your [fill in the blank] On...

Oh my, what a weekend, my darling readers. Things went down.

I was in a wedding. I walked down an aisle to Pacabell's Canon playing on the organ, a groomsman on my arm. I tried my best to not cry, not let the makeup that had been professionally pancaked on to my face several hours earlier run down my face in sentimental streams. I had my picture taken a million times, ate barbeque, danced a little, drank a little, said my goodbyes when the reception ended, and high-tailed it to my other Saturday night engagements.

Now, in my experience, Halloween Saturdays are rife with opportunities for regrettable behavior. Perhaps it's something about being in costume that makes people more prone to behavior they might otherwise think twice about. This year, true to others, potential regret nipped at my heels all night. While it was good that I did not follow my impulse to throw down the gauntlet at 2 am when S found it proper to respond to a drunken phone call from a mutual friend (let's remember that it's taking him an average of 4 days to return my phone calls these days) I did see it as a clear opportunity to down a few more beers and to not exactly rebuff some friendly conversation from another party-goer or two. It's impossible to justify revenge flirting when the person you're feeling moderately scorned about is going through some sort of life disturbing situation, but a girl can only be patient and understanding for so long. As HP is only human, HP's tether is about 2 weeks long. But still, my hand was on my cell phone and poised to make an extremely perturbed, sarcastic "nice to acknowledge her calls and not mine" call when I thought better of it. Hooray for the intervention of logic. In my extensive experience with complicated male/female situations I have learned at least one thing, the most important of which being, do not do anything that may make you look like a psycho, even if you feel justified doing so at the time. When upset, there is a time and a place to express your angst, and a drunken late night phone call is never, ever one of those places.

As for S, I certainly cannot speak for his communication style. I'm guessing however, that the situation is causing him extreme stress and that from his perspective, it's probably easier to text a casual friend than to commit to a conversation with somebody who feels emotionally invested in him, and who may suggest that he explore some of his own emotions. Whereas in a similar situation, I am betting that many women would draw comfort from the support of a significant other, men seem to find it yet other complication. There was a time when I'd perceive a situation such as this to be an opportunity to hold on that much harder. But trial and a whole lot of error has jaded HP just a bit and these days I'm finding it impossible to do so. I can't experience emotions for more than one person. Alas, I have far too many of my own to properly sort out. Instead, I'm just going to passively ride this out until a more appropriate moment of resolution. Stay tuned for the return of a more light-hearted, devil-may care HP.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

A Post Having Nothing Whatsoever to Do With Boys

Sometimes I feel bad having this blog in which I primarily do nothing more than pontificate on whatever relationship I am in at the present moment. From an outside perspective I have no doubt that I look utterly shallow and needy. Therefore, I am going to let you all in on a fascinating experience I had this morning at my job at consulting company x. I should note here that I have no problem with you all knowing what I do for a living or where I work, but I dread the idea of my coworkers Googling something relating to what we do here and having them stumble across me ranting like a moron about getting drunk and hooking up. Wouldn't help my professional image, you know?

Anyway, using the vaguest possible terms, let's just say that I was pulled into a meeting in which we discussed developing graphics to accompany some text I had written for a certain collateral piece. At first I wasn't particularly into the meeting, but I did appreciate the excuse to leave my desk for a while. About, I don't know, ten minutes or so into the meeting I was struck by the revelation that I totally dig talking about graphic design. Now, I have known for a while that I like art. I grew up going to museums, have been a photographer since about the age of seven when I first discovered by mom's Olympus OM-1, minored in art history in college, etc etc. But it has never once seemed like a practical thing to weave into my professional life. Ostensibly, I am a communications professional. This primarily means that I write stuff. Were I working at a higher level here at company x, I'd be charged with crafting an overall message for our pieces, but normally that stuff falls to people with more experience than me. Most of the time, they just say..."We need some words to convey this, kid..." and then I go work my magic. Because of this I haven't ever really cared about graphics because it just hasn't been my problem to deal with. But today...I actually had the opportunity to think about the interplay of words and art, and how they can complement one another and work together to create a cohesive message.

Now I'm sure those of you out there who do advanced messaging for a living are rolling your eyes at how utterly dense I've been this whole time. But if you're always marginalized from the larger process, you can see why it might not be that obvious. Anyway. All of this is to say that I am utterly smitten with the whole concept of visual and verbal communication. And even better, after the light bulb went off, I had all these wickedly good ideas for the kinds of images we should use to convey the message we were trying to develop, and how are text could be amended to better complement said images.

In other words, I discovered something new that I am good at, and because of it, I actually had fun at work today.

Go figure.

It's About Time

How women perceive it: I haven't talked to him in 6 days, 7 hours, and 43 minutes. I called him exactly two days ago to this minute and he hasn't responded. What could possibly be wrong?

How men perceive it: Huh. It's been a couple days. 'Should probably call woman.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Jury of His Peers

As I deal with the latest round of boy frustrations, I am learning to be grateful for one thing: my jury of 20-and 30-something men who I am coming to rely on for advice, wisdom and the occasional reality check. Of course I adore my girls, that goes without saying. My girls can always be counted on for pithy comments and insights ranging from validating quips like "boys suck" to actual, practical advice. But there is something to be said for my menagerie of male friends. The concept of "just friends" can be a complicated one to wrap one's mind around, especially when the people you are attempting to be so with you may have had certain romantic feelings for, or entanglements with in the past. But sometimes it can work out, and when it does, their support can be invaluable.

Of course it's ironic to receive insights from such characters when in the past you have had first-hand experience with their imperfect boy-ness. But at least you can be sure they know of what they speak, oui? And when it comes to overanalyzing perplexing male behavior, isn't it only fair that such behavior be examined by a jury of the offender's peers? After all, they're the true experts. It's also kinda cool to know although the doors to one form of intimacy may close, opportunities for another kind abound if you nurture them correctly.

So to any single women attempting to navigate the treacherous paths of dating in the present day, I say to you this: amass for yourself a collection of platonic male friends. You will not regret it.

How to Torture a Boy

Last night I learned a delicious new fact. If you're ever in the mood to be truly evil, subject a 20-something male to an evening of Lifetime channel made-for-TV movies.

Still in recovery from my weekend, still suspended in relationship limbo as Sailor attends to his family business (thereby not really communicating with me), irritated with work, I camped out on the sofa for a solid evening of nourishing food and TV-watching. Only I couldn't find anything good on, so I landed on a Lifetime movie about a 16 year old girl who gets pregnant, has a baby, and then suffers as her mother insists on taking over the raising of the child so that she can have a "normal" childhood. Like all other movies on the channel, one begins to watch with a high degree of skepticism, and despite oneself, gets completely sucked in by the sheer melodrama and pathos of what is being depicted. At some point, one of my male roommates wandered in and parked himself on the other end of our sectional. I warned him that he wouldn't like what I was watching. I apologized for the lack of depth in the programming I had chosen. Heck, I even admitted that the damn program was causing me to weep in spite of myself. And yet he stayed. But he complained the entire time, throwing out sarcastic remarks here and there about the sheer stupidity of the characters, how the "teenage" characters where clearly being acted by people in their late 20's and how generally insipid the plot of the movie was. I can't say I didn't agree, but I was sucked in nonetheless. There's something so satisfying after all, of watching a program that depicts drama far worse than your own, at least because it illustrates that things aren't actually that bad. After a while, the utter misery he was clearly experiencing in being subjected to this drivel began to surpass the pathetic brilliance of the movie itself, and my enjoyment began to stem from his lack of it. He clearly could have left. He has a TV in his room. But he stayed, and because of this, I can't deny that my entertainment eventually shifted from the TV to him.

When the movie was over, I handed him the remote, and as I left the room I looked over my shoulder to see that he had flipped to a football game. Clearly an attempt to channel some much needed testosterone. I giggled and went upstairs to call Lulu to brag about what I had just done. We had a good laugh at his expense.

Speaking of roommates, my girl one and I seem to be engaged in an entertaining game of "hot potato" with a Styrofoam takeout container in our fridge. We have two refrigerators, and she and I share the smaller one. A couple years ago, after a spat of disagreements over available food space, I rearranged the shelving situation so that we were each assigned our own, with the remaining space designated as "first come, first served." It's worked out pretty well and we rarely seem to clash over fridge space anymore. Yet a couple of days ago, a white takeout container holding something resembling Chinese food appeared on mine. Needing the space it was taking up, I figured she had misplaced it, so I moved it to hers. Yesterday I saw that she moved it back to mine. I laughed when I saw it again this morning, and not wanting to be a *complete* jerk, moved it down to the "first come, first served space." I'm beginning to think it actually belongs to one of the five million significant others/friends of roommates who visit our abode at any given time. But I still think it was sort of entertaining.

Monday, October 23, 2006

A Note About RSVPs

I'm not going to profess to being the world's most polite person or anything, lord knows I have my fair share of rude character traits (blurting out inappropriate comments; spacing out when other people are talking; smoking; borrowing my roommate's cooking spray when I should have bought my own) but there is one thing that I am religious about in regards to etiquette and that is responding to a social invitation, especially one extended through an Evite. As you all know, Evite gives the recipient three possible responses: yes, maybe and no. One would think that they would cover the entire spectrum of possible responses as those are generally what people are in regards to availability. And yet, the number of people who can't be bothered to commit to any of these three choices astounds and appalls me. It is so fraking rude, I cannot get over it. If somebody is nice enough to invite you to something, you should be polite enough to acknowledge this gesture. I understand that people don't want to commit, especially in this age of total social flakiness and last-minute plans making. Whatever. But that's why the gods of Evite provided you with the convenient and concise "maybe" option. I know that some people regard a "maybe" as a "if I don't have something better to do and my hair is too clean to wash that night" but actually, I think it means just what it says--"I don't know, perhaps, perhaps not." No rocket science to that, is there? You can always go back and change your response should you have a change of heart and have the sudden urge to commit.

Moreover, many people seem unaware that on the host's version of the Evite it is possible to see who has viewed it but not responded. Yes, in case you were unaware of that you are officially BUSTED, my friend. So, those Evites you've received, opened and not responded to? Chances are there was an annoyed host sitting out there somewhere being all "I KNOW that so-and-so read the damn Evite. Why the frak won't they respond?"

Hosts appreciate RSVPs not because they are anal retentive, but because if you're having a party it's nice to be able to know how much alcohol and food to buy. Should I expect 10 people or 50? Do I buy bottles of beer or a keg? How many pizzas should I get? It's about logistics, my friends. Not that any of my dear sweet readers are ever guilty of this...

A Somewhat Boring Post In Which I Solicit Your Advice

So I'm having a party. The occasion? Ushering out the second decade of my stay here on planet earth, and welcoming the third. The title of the Evite was "farewell my sweet 20s" and I chose a template with a hot air balloon and the words Bon Voyage above it. As you may recall, I spent some time a few months ago on this blog wondering how I should celebrate this momentous birthday. Many of you offered some excellent suggestions such as taking a trip, but ultimately I decided that I would simply throw myself a party. My logic was this: as you go about your life, you amass friends and acquaintances. What better way to observe my 30th than to invite a bunch of friends and friends of friends over so that everyone can mingle,eat good food, get a little tipsy and basically chill?

As I said, the Evite has gone out and the attendance numbers look promising. Some friends from college who I haven't seen in years might also be coming. And now I am starting to think about logistics. My primary preoccupation right now is decorations. I don't want to get too crazy here but some details here and there to spruce up my shabby group house interior are definitely in order, but what? I suck at party decorations, which is ironic because I'm good at regular decorating. I want to set a mood and that's what decorating is all about. Chill, sophisticated, not a frat house. But what I have to work with is a little depressing. Futon in the living room. Mismatched chairs. 70's lamps. Yucky old carpet. I know I can dim the lights and that will do a world of good. Moreover, I'm due to have several photographs of mine returned that I had hanging in an art show that was up far longer than anyone expected so those may also help. But I still need suggestions. Does anyone know of a website that offers interesting festive decorating ideas?

Secondly, I am thinking about food. I haven't promised anyone a full spread or anything, but I happen to appreciate it very much when people offer stuff to nibble on when I am drinking at their house. It's simply good hospitality. But I don't want to spend a fortune either. The whole dip with bread or chips or veggies; cheese; pigs in a blanket are obvious ones. I also make this awesome pesto and white bean dip but I have stopped serving it at parties because it looks utterly unappetizing (tastes amazing though--you should try it). I was also thinking that maybe I'd pick up some pizza at Vace (Italian market in Cleveland Park) and quietly bring those out around midnight or so when people will be starting to need a little something in their tummies. Any other suggestions?

Wardrobe I am actually not stressing about too much. Since I only own one or two truly interesting "going out" outfits, getting dressed will be a breeze. Finally a plus to having limited wardrobe options.

And in other birthday related news, I bought myself a present. And now, I will eat Ramen for the rest of the month to make up for it.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Not So Tranquil Space

It's been a long time coming but I think I am going to divorce my yoga studio. I've been a faithful customer for several years, at times attending as frequently as twice a week and other times only dropping in sporadically. It's not a cheap endeavor and sometimes I just don't have the emotional energy to go and be introspective while squatting in slightly uncomfortable poses. I used to love the cheery girly aesthetics of the studio and the boutique that sells slightly overpriced post-workout threads. But in recent visits something is beginning to make me uncomfortable about the place and I can't quite put my finger on the problem itself. Perhaps it's because my current distaste is made up of a number of small grievances.

1.) It's crowded. Maybe it's me and a problem that I simply need to work on, but being in a tight space where everyone is inadvertently in everyone else's way drives me nutty. I hate the fact that after I spend 16 dollars on a class to get all centered and quasi-enlightened, my mood is immediately shattered by somebody stepping on my feet to get their coat. Disorganized masses of people just get to me in a uniquely annoying way.

2.) The staff. I used to think that maybe it was a product of not being enough of the regular, but I find both the people who work the sign-in counter and the teachers to be terribly aloof. When I think yoga, I think good karma and friendliness. I don't think being made to feel somehow not good enough or wanted. It provokes this weird tendency in me to want to please those people by being extra interesting and funny, which in turn makes me feel like a huge dork, and in turn makes me feel desperate. Why is it asking too much for my yoga instructors to be friendly? I already graduated from the 8th grade, this phase of my life should be over.

3.) Yoga itself. This is a new development, and it might be because I haven't been doing it as faithfully as I should, but last night's class wasn't that much fun. My bad ankle was responding poorly to some of the simpler poses like Warrior 1, and my knees continue to hate any pose where weight is put on them. I should note that there's nothing wrong with my knees, they're just sort of bony. I always place a blanket under them in such instances, but even that only goes so far to alleviate my discomfort. I just spent the whole class feeling physically out of sorts, which raised some difficult emotions, and I was having something of a bad day to begin with.

4.) Lack of community. When I think yoga, I think community. Here, I'm not feeling it.

Having issues with a yoga situation makes me feel crummy. I desperately want to enjoy it but sometimes I wonder if its for me. In the past I have shied away from the philosophy behind it simply because I grew up over-saturated with touchy-feely goodness and needed a break. Recently, I've been thinking that maybe a little new-agey philosophy would be a good thing to soften these cynical edges. I feel like yoga should be this thing that gives you unbounded pleasure and not fully getting it makes me wonder what's up. Everyone else around me seems to feel it, why can't I?

Perhaps I need a new studio. Any recommendations for a studio in Northwest DC (not Georgetown) that's less trendy and a bit friendlier?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Worst Case Scenario

I love how girls, myself included, heck, I could be crowned the queen of this phenomenon, get all anxious and borderline crazy when they suspect (note careful selection of that term) that something is amiss with their relationships. It seems to happen so often we should all be used to it by now.

You know the drill.

Girl meets boy, they hit it off, things start up, things go well....BOOM! Rough spot.

Girl waits for boy to call, is greeted with silence. Girl emails fifty of her closest friends for advise, they remind her she's nuts, girl calls boy, more silence.

And so on and so forth.

Girl starts to brood over all the terrible developments that may or may not be about to happen. Girl begins to wonder if they're about to breakup. Girl infers a whole lot of drama into a situation that really isn't all that dramatic. Girl frets some more about the hypothetical breakup.

Meanwhile, Boy is dealing with some life crisis like a sick parent, or his fantasy football team not doing that well. Boy retreats into himself, sits on sofa, most likely drinks a beer while scratching himself. And the irony of this whole thing is that Girl has made herself sick. Girl worries that the relationship is over. So let's say that it is, or that it is indeed about to be. There are in fact, two possible scenarios to choose from.

Scenario One: The current one.
Scenario Two: You break up.

Neither is that appealing, are they? But in the former, Girl is driving herself and those around her mad and sick through constant second-guessing. In the later, she is no longer with Boy, but honestly, what is ever that bad about being single?

Being on the precipice of a breakup is never fun, but what we always forget to think about is how totally fine we are single. Isn't buying a hot new outfit, blow drying your hair, hitting the town with friends and getting free drinks from strange admirers who you can talk for 10 seconds and dismiss so much better than giving yourself an ulcer? Indeed, I think it be. However, we always seem to forget that in the heat of the moment. The worse case scenario isn't the one you think it is. Often times, its actually the one you're in at the moment.

Carry On...

So last night's post was not so cheery. Sorry, reality show outcome and hormone cocktails can do that to a girl. We can't all be charming at all times, can we?

So as boring as I found Laura's general work to be, I LOVE the clothing she wore on the show. What I wouldn't give for a closet filled with black dresses of varying lengths and levels of dressiness. My mom and I were just emailing about this. My mom sews, quilts rather, (she's really good) but she said she's been considering finding some good black fabric and whipping up some little black dresses for herself after seeing the ones that Laura wears. I however, have always been a total disaster when it comes to fabric and sewing machines. I have attempted to learn to sew many times, and each endeavor has ended with me breaking some part of the machine after the thread gets all knotted together and the fabric of whatever item (pillow, hair scrunchie, sundress, etc) gets completely torn to shreds. And it sucks too, because if I could competently sew, my problems with finding clothes that fit would be trivialities of the past. So unless one of you is a really good sewing teacher, chances are I will remain limited to buying whatever little black number Banana Republic decides to make in a given season. Yawn.

Say What?

A career in forecasting reality show outcomes is clearly not in my future.

Michael and Laura-meh, whatever.

Uli--I TEARED when her collection came down the runway.

Jeffrey--Huh? I'm trying to comprehend. Okay, so the zipper seamed dress was innovative, but the rest? To quote Veronica Mars, what the frack? Plus, he's such a total and complete jackass. Congrats to Bravo for at the very least proving that Project Runway is not in fact, a popularity contest. What it actually is, I am no longer certain.

First a raging case of PMS, no word from Sailor in days, and now this? Fuck that shit, I'm going to bed.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Project Blah-way

I've been hooked on Project Runway since the very first episode of Season 1. Finally, a reality show that depicted a truly creative process and all of the challenges, hang-ups and rewards that go along with it. Say what you will about the so-called evils of the fashion industry and of modeling, fashion design is an art. It's reflective of historical and social context, grows upon previous eras and movements while often winkingly referring to them, and is very often used to create a statement.

In its first incarnation, Project Runway presented viewers with the brilliant madness of fashion design asking a bunch of unknown designers to translate creative themes into practical, aesthetically pleasing, and wearable garments. And because it was new to us, we weren't yet familiar with its editing ploys, didn't understand that the designer who was presented as the most competent throughout the show wouldn't necessarily be the victor, and we scratched our heads at why the obvious villain was being kept in the mix for so long (it's the ratings, stupid).

But now, three seasons in, Project Runway is looking played-out. Several weeks into the season we endured the show's first true scandal when contestant Keith Michael was booted for allegedly keeping pattern books under his bed. Later, contestant Jeffery emerged as the new villain, unabashedly bating poor Angela's mom into tears during the every day woman challenge. Crazy pants Vincent, he of confoundingly ugly garments was kept around purely for ratings. The creative themes of the challenges while promising in theory, fell flat when executed by the contestants. Design a couture gown in 48 hours? Come on, really. Make an outfit out of trash? Blah. Design a black and white dress? Sigh.

In a not particularly interesting twist, this season the show decided to allow four, rather than three designers to show their works for the Fashion Week finale in Bryant Park. In previous seasons, four designers actually showed, but only three of those collections were depicted on the show. Most likely because diligent spoiler hounds were easily able to uncover this truth through simple internet searches and the fourth "red herring" collection was always available to be seen on-line, the show did away with the whole "final three" and let all of the designers who showed in Bryant Park be eligible for the win.

With two previous seasons to go on, the editing style of the show has grown predictable. So unless Bravo has gotten smart and decided to change up their story editing strategy, here is my prediction for tonight's outcome.

Michael Knight: Already voted the fan favorite, Michael has been a front-runner for much of the season. Like Kara Saun and Daniel V before him, he laid low for the first several challenges, before emerging several weeks in as the apparent favorite. But like those two, I predict that he won't quite be able to pull off the win. Photos of his Bryant Park collection depict a problematic collection of urban hoochie wear not quite ready for prime time. I'm afraid that his booty check from the fan favorite vote is as much as Michael is going to win this season. It's a shame too, because aside from being hot, he seems like a truly nice person with a bright potential in the industry if he can manage to appreciate his strengths and grow on them.

Jeffery: Has received the Santino "villain" edit for most of the season. Viewers of Part One of the Finale know that there is currently a question over whether he actually sewed his collection. Much like Kara Saun's "shoe gate" of Season One, I expect this to blow over within the first ten minutes of tonight's broadcast. Like Santino, he was partially redeemed when as viewers we learned of his troubled past and dark history with an abusive father, drugs and alcohol. Still, a redemption arc only goes so far. Bravo doesn't want us to leave the season hating Jeffery quite as much as we have for the last three months, but I doubt they'll go so far as to reward him for his bad behavior. And it's too bad, because at his best, Jeffery's garments mix whimsy with punk rock and display an interesting eye for detail and draping. He already runs a successful company that caters to the LA rock scene, and I predict it will find future success based on the exposure Project Runway has granted it.

Laura: Arch, impeccably dressed with a keen sense of sarcasm and wit, Laura has been around all season to offer amusing color commentary on the madness around her. Her garments have been consistently strong, if not a little one-note. As a fan of neutrals, I like Laura's work, but much of it seems a little "old" to me and I can't tell who could successfully wear it other than old society women with no breasts. Laura lost me however in the last episode by calling into question the origin of Jeffery's collection and calling him out as a possible cheat. She simply came off as a big ol' tattle tale, a trait nobody likes. I seriously doubt they will reward her with a win at this point.

That leaves one other contestant.

Uli: Turned out some consistently strong designs all season and even won a challenge or two. Uli has been criticized for being too limited in her design vision and creating too many flowing halter dresses with wild prints. Like last season's winner Chloe, Uli has been edited to be likeable, innocuous although a little boring. In the last possible elimination challenge however, Uli came up with a design that based itself on her previous work while appearing different and new to the judges. At first I thought it looked exactly like everything else she made all season, but on further inspection I see that she thought to streamline the silhouette, which helped to change it up a bit from her previous succession of long, flowy things. I suspect that learning from her success in this challenge, Uli will build her runway collection off of similar looks, and being the best over-all bet out of the four finalists, will pull out a win.

Of course, I could be totally wrong. We'll see what Nina Garcia, Michael Kors and Heidi Klum have to say tonight at 10 on Bravo.

Monday, October 16, 2006

I Survived Another Blogger Happy Hour (Or, Ow, My Liver)

So, ostensibly, the object of attending the blogger happy hour on Friday was to meet Ms. Irish Red, who I had forged a friendship with via our respective comment sections, and who the time had come to finally meet. Mission accomplished, dear readers. Ms. IR proved to be a worthy partner in crime for the evening's proceedings. We hit it off immediately, and spent much of the evening enveloped in a haze of cigarette smoke and laughter, trading girlish confessions and marveling at the scene around us. As I have mentioned many times before, these events intimidate the hell out of me. But I managed to shake off my ambivalence and party it up with the rest of the cool kids. Highlights included meeting Kassy K, Virgil Kent (thanks for the whisky, by the way. note to self: next time say beer when a boy offers you a drink), Red, The View From Dupont, Arjewtino, Nicolasix, V, Good at Drinking, Velvet, and countless others. Also caught up with I-66 and E (what is it about Australia? Does it just breed gorgeous people?). Later, more drinking occurred. Liver still mad at me but it should be used to this shit by now.

Saturday, similar scene, different players. Note to the Cap Lounge: Dear Cap Lounge, You know I love you, and you know I am trying to get over my ambivalence about visiting you, in light of all that stuff that went down last spring, but we seriously need to discuss the matter of how weak your vodka and tonics are. Listen, I know that considering all the alcohol I ingested on Friday, maybe I didn't need any more, and it was certainly my plan to take it slow on Saturday. But if my friends and I are going to spend 9 dollars a pop on Grey Goose and tonics, we'd at least like to get a little tipsy in return. So let's work on that issue, shall we? Thanks.

Sunday, we had playoffs for kickball (yes, I am a dork, what of it?). Despite having an awesome season and winning way more games than we normally do, we weren't able to pull it out yesterday. In fact, we were slaughtered by a team that we beat in the regular season, and that was even with Sailor acting as our ref. Later, Sailor taught me how to play Backgammon, my new favorite game.

Speaking of Sailor...Some not great stuff is happening in his family, which I won't get into out of respect for his privacy. However, watching him act as the rock of his family (getting details in line, making phone calls, ensuring that the right players would be at a certain place at a certain time) was a marvel to behold. Stoic as always, he acted as if what was happening wasn't a big deal. He simply sprung to action. It's always weird when you haven't been dating somebody very long and something serious happens to them. What is your appropriate role in the situation? Do you go home to give them their space to work it out? Do you stay? I stayed. It just seemed like as the person everyone was counting on to be strong, he might want to know that somebody was there to support him even if he didn't want to talk about it (which he didn't of course, and I let him know that he didn't have to). So I just let my presence be known, and held his hand as he fell asleep after finally climbing into bed around 1:30 am.

Thursday, October 12, 2006


It seems that the second I pledge to become a responsible spender, I think of all sorts of things that I want. Not simply the frou frou sinfully expensive, never gonna happen kinds of things like a chanel handbag or a Mini convertible, but practical things sort of within my financial reach. A couple of days ago, I pledged to invest less of my money on eating and drinking out in order to apply more of my income to paying down my credit card debt. It suddenly struck me as dumb that I live in a crappy old house for dirt cheap and I still have credit card debt from my years of too-high rent and not much of a savings account to speak of. My problem is that I earn just enough that I have fun in the city without paying much attention to my bank balances. I squeak by, sometimes slowing down to buy a couple of new sweaters or a pair of shoes, but I live in denial of the amount of cash I throw away at whim. So this week, I decided to be better.

1.) I paid an outstanding credit card bill.
2.) I realized that I had a card with zero balance so I transferred part of the other, higher interest card to that one where it will live as I dutifully pay it down.
3.) I transferred a little money to savings.
4.) I set up automatic payments for my cell phone bill.
5.) I walked to the grocery store at lunch and stocked up on food I could easily keep at work--balance bars, bread, sandwich supplies, yogurt and the like.

But then of course I felt obliged to start obsessing about my not particularly chic wardrobe (it has its moments but I spend far too much time in jeans and tees and Dansko clogs) and now of course I am preoccupied once again with materialistic girlie longings. Repetto flats, a scarf for my hair, new sunglasses because I lost the three pairs I bought this summer, a pretty coat from Zara with a peter pan collar, boots, a preppy monogrammed Lands End crewneck simply because it reminds me of my New England homeland. Damn, damn damn.

How can a girl possibly live within a budget when there are all sorts of wonderful chic baubles out there to be had? I think my new method is to spend more mindfully, to buy less, and to possibly spend a little more per item. As I approach thirty and wave hello to all sorts of new milestones I value the wisdom of owning fewer, better items. And, I am rediscovering my love of vintage and consignment items. My new hobby? Trolling used clothing stores on Saturday afternoons. If I can't beat back my materialism, I might as well embrace it wisely.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

I'm Going To Need You to Come In On Columbus Day...

So yesterday when the rest of DC slumbered blissfully in their beds, recovering from the effects of non-stop three day weekend partying, I found myself in Maryland at 8:30 am for a day-long company planning session. When I think company planning, I think discussions about specific projects, goals, revenue projections, deliverables, benchmarks, TPS reports, and the like. I do not think crazy pie in the sky brainstorming, group projects wherein somebody has to give a silly speech, conversations about flying cars and magic dryer shamies really fit into the general purpose of corporate planning. I left the meeting with absolutely no clue what the direction of the company is, other than "different" and "exciting." Um, yeah.

Highlights of the Day:

No trust falls--always a plus.
God awful potato salad--is potato salad supposed to taste fizzy? no? then why did this?
One co-worker donning a bald cap to illustrate the potentially negative effects of hair product chemicals
Um, did I mention no trust falls?

As much as I complain about work, I really love my company, mainly because I work with a lot of brilliant, irreverent 20 and 30-somethings with finely honed BS meters and an unbending enthusiasm for happy hour. They make work interesting, there's always someone to chat with should I need a break from an article for le trade publication du jour, and management truly believes that it values the input of all of its employees. I can't say that really happens on my specific team, but I am told that if I have a brilliant new business idea for the company, I shouldn't be shy about presenting it to our CEO. And that's great. But...such claims do little to help the every day frustrations like stagnating responsibilities, communication issues, boredom and all the other little earthquakes that threaten the rupture the surface of our professional lives. I think it's great that management is open to hearing about an idea that may bring in new revenue, but what is it doing for those of us who are simply trying to put up with the basics of what we've been given? Rather than bigger and better, shouldn't we be concentrating on fixing what already plagues us?

Later on, I watched the Ravens/Broncos game with Sailor and was shocked to discover that I sort of understood what was going on, and I wasn't dead bored. In fact, I sort of liked it. At one point I turned to Sailor and remarked that the teams were playing rather cordially with few of the knock down tackles I associate with football, and that Denver was pulling off some nice interceptions.

Ah, the pride in his eyes.

Friday, October 06, 2006

And Good Riddance

This week has sucked like whoa. Thankfully however, it is now over. I am just about off to go knock back another large-ass coffee in order to be in top form for tonight's show at the 9:30 Club. If you happen to go and see a girl so unbelievably relieved to not have to go into work tomorrow, that will be me. Stop by and say hi, perhaps even buy her a drink.

And in case any of you have had the same five days of existential malaise that I have, I bring you this joke, courtesy of Popbitch (it was a huge hit when I told it at lunch today).

Bono is at a U2 concert in Glasgow when he asks
the audience for some quiet. Then in the silence,
he starts to slowly clap his hands.
He says into the microphone...
"Every time I clap my hands, a child in Africa dies."

A voice from near the front pierces the silence...
"Well, stop fucking clapping then."

And, I'm out. Love to all...

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Guess Who's NOT Coming to Dinner?

It's been almost two months so I decided it was time to tell my mom about Sailor. In the past, I have gushed to her about my boys at the slightest hint of interest, but since I seem to cycle through them so, um, efficiently, it has seemed wiser lately to hold out on certain pieces of information until situations seem a bit more stable. It's all about message control, as the PR pros would say.

Some background on my mother: WASP upbringing, rebelled against her New England conservative parents in the 60s to be the quintessential anti-war protester, eloped with my dad in the early 70s, experienced progression of identities following that union from Vermont hippy to upper-middle class executive's wife throwing dinner parties on fine china and sterling, blah blah blah. There's no need to wonder where my love for luxury trappings, progressive political leanings and tendency towards mildly confusing bouts of rebellion comes from. Look no further, my friends.


I have always maintained the suspicion that my mom's ideal partner for me would be somebody from a well-to-do family, with liberal politics, into literature and art, patient beyond belief, kind, good looking, and most likely from New England as well. Such a man does not exist by the way, I have looked. Since moving to DC I have disappointed her many a time by selecting short-term mates who meet few if any of these criteria. She seems to think that limousine liberals in vintage Brooks Brothers grow on trees here, and perhaps they do, but certainly not in the circles I roll in. After the Republican bartender I promised her my days of dating conservative boys were over (because surely politics is entirely to blame for inter-personal communication problems, right? right?) And I held to that promise for a whole two months. Of course, semi-vintage installments of HP will reflect my ambivalence towards involving myself with Sailor due to extreme cultural differences. So sue me, you see now what I had to work with and how that may have been a might confusing. Also note, that I haven't brooded over those differences in weeks.

So I told her about Sailor. That I am seeing a southern Republican who also just happens to be an commissioned military officer (something I have developed a ton of pride for, to be honest). That he drives a completely hot gas guzzling pickup, that he likes country music and calls me "girl." That he's kind and respectful and understanding and (mostly) treats me better than I have been treated by any boyfriend.

*crickets chirping*

Ma? You there?

Right, sorry. Could you repeat that?

I SAID blah, blah, blah, blah.

Ma: Sounds sort of creepy.

And there you have it. I'm sure she certainly doesn't begrudge me my happiness, but the current match up clearly does not fit Ma's picture of her ideal potential future son-in-law. Ironic considering that she eloped, and her mother certainly did not marry a man her parents approved of either.

Certain tendencies among the women in our family appear to be decidedly genetic.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

A So-Called 'Sad Cliché' We Need to Put To Rest

I do not understand the overall sentiment that single women who live alone and own a cat is in some way sad. Actually, the idea of having a cozy little apartment that I get to decorate all by myself and that I am financially savvy enough to afford sounds pretty empowered to me. I think we should propose a holiday. Something along the lines of "Yay! I get to live alone in this fab apartment, pay for it by myself and live independly while calling my own shots day." Plus, some people just happen to like cats. Why is it that they're deemed pathetic by society but dog owners aren't?

I would like to note here that I drafted a much longer, rantier version of this post and deleted most of it. I'm having that kind of day at work again. That is what happens when you're on version three of the fact sheet you're drafting and your manager is too checked out to offer substantial guidance on the project.

Fact of the Day: 1 Shot of Jager has 103 calories and 11 grams of carbs.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Welcome to Tuesday, in Which I Rejoin Polite Society

If yesterday could be summed up in two words they would be word and vomit. As in word vomit. It seems that all day, whenever I opened my mouth to express an opinion, out would tumble a jumble of semi-sensical paroxysms that would then fall limply on the floor while everyone around me looked at me like I was charming yet a little nuts and I played the whole comment off as my bitchenly wicked sense of humor. It might have been funny had it happened just once, but after the dozenth time or so, I was ready for a muzzle. Seeing as I am normally one to turn every thought over in my head a million times before I say it (I may actually be the only person on earth who overanalyzes things before they actually happen), the whole experience was a bit alarming. But I think I am better. No more Ally McBealisms for this one.

And actually, a truly good thing happened last night. So earlier I mentioned being on the brink of mending things with a certain boy, one who I can't really define but who has meant a lot to me in the past, who will hopefully continue to mean a lot in the future. He really needs a nickname by the way, but that's a challenge for another day. Anyway. Things were beyond, beyond f-ed up. Broken. It was bad news. However, we sat down last night, beers in hand, and caught up on everything that has happened to one another in the past two months and now I can honestly say that things are fixed. Well, not 100% fixed, as I think things will simply always be a bit off, but at least back to a feeling of semi-normalcy. I'm okay, he's okay. Friendship reinstated. Ambiguous flirtation still there but since I'm putting less stock in its ultimate "meaning", I'm more comfortable with it and can playfully roll with his punches. In short, I'm no longer convincing myself that the way he locks gaze with mine means anything beyond that of two people who have swapped spit a couple times and have moved on to more appropriate dalliances.

Later, we watched Grey's, a tradition of ours, and an ironic one at that because I can easily draw a parallel between our relationship and the McDreamy/Mer thing. In fact, we even once had a discussion about Grey's that ultimately morphed into a heated debate where I stated that McDreamy should stop giving Mer swoony looks and acting if as if he wants to be with her if he can't follow through on it, and he countered that maybe I should cut McDreamy some slack because he's confused and doesn't know how to create the ideal circumstance for a relationship to bloom. That's when I changed the subject. By the way, I am so routing for McVet this season, although methinks his days are numbered. And Alex? I know they've written him as an ass, but I predict this to be the season where he'll gain more depth as a character. I'm guessing that be the end of the season, he'll be the anti-hero we can't all help but adore.

Monday, October 02, 2006


As I grow more and more apathetic about my job, the prospect of graduate school becomes more and more appealing. I'm pretty much sure that writing is what I want to do, as it's obviously my natural reaction to everything to post a silly blog entry. I write quite a bit in my current job and I am preferring it over the public relations and marketing aspects of my work, which I am growing to find soul-numbing and pointless. So...I am considering a Master's in Journalism. However, I have some reservations which are rather complicating my enthusiasm towards the idea.

1.) Will I go to school for two years only to have to take a huge pay cut because journalists earn no money?
2.) Would it be better to do a weekend program so I can keep my current job, which may even agree to pay for said program? But would being a student and an office drone at once be like, rilly hard?
3.) Does anyone even care about M.As in journalism?
4.) Are the programs in DC worth it?

This last one is especially important as I don't want to leave the area. Sure, a program in NY would kick ass, but I like my life here and don't want to leave it. So many questions. Any DC-based J-schoolers out there?

Drama, Drama.

Sigh. Another weekend comes to a close in the life of Hey Pretty. I'll spare you all the gritty details, but let's just say that I feel as if I might have aged 5 years in the span of two days. Drama with Sailor, who seems to lack a certain amount of self-awareness when it comes to a.) his interactions with other women when we are out in public; b.) the fact that when in a relationship, it's generally nice to be capable of forming emotional bonds. I think things have been resolved. I hope so. The making up process sure kicked ass, I can say that much. I had forgotten what hard work relationships can be. They do certainly serve the purpose of reminding you of your shortcomings, that is for certain. My resolution for the rest of '06? Work on the whole "jealousy" issue and be more accepting of the fact that not all relationships are built for "forever." More on this later, I am sure.

In other developments, the universe seems to be reintroducing me to various boys from my past. Can it be that in the past week, two complicated off-and-ons have actually become close confidants? Have stranger things happened?

As an added bonus to my current state of apathy towards the world, my iPod is frozen. On an Ashlee Simpson song. How embarassing. My indie rock street cred? Out the window.