Friday, April 08, 2005

Aping the Master

This summer, I became acquainted with one of the more excellent offerings in the blogosphere: The Post-Modern Drunkard.
His roommate is the cutie-pie who gave my my new boyfriend, Phineas Lumpy (see last post), and I have spent not nearly enough happy hours chilling in their awesome Washington Heights apartment. PMD is a Fargo, ND transplant to New York, a sort of modern-day Norwegian bachelor farmer of the Lake Woebegon species. He smokes, he drinks, he grouses, he grumbles, he smirks; he's adorable. Go here to read it. And post comments; He loves it.

For a while, I maintained a small running joke that it was PMD I was really after, not his storky roommate. It was funny because it was ridiculous. No one wants a curmudgeon-in-training, unless one is a crone-in-training, and I'm not. But I started reading his blog, his alcohol-soaked, wiseass, soulful blog, and while I still don't think I'd *date* him, per se, I find myself idolizing him. I want to be somewhere where my friends would be cool, snarky, cosmopolitan people like him. I want to write like him, travel like him, hold my liquor like him (we all know this last one is and will always be a physical impossibility, but hey, a girl can dream, can't she?).
Currently, though, all I can do is rip off his posting topics, visit now and then, and hope he reads this and isn't totally weirded out/annoyed by the whole hero's-pen-worship. But at least I know that the way to his heart, should I ever need it, is straight through his liver.

So, with apologies to the Post-Modern Drunkard, whose idea this sort of confession it was originally, here is a little compilation that in the interest of full disclosure, I publish here, for your general amusement. *bows with flourish*

Potentially Embarrassing Things I Probably Shouldn’t Reveal Until At Least the Third Date:

1. I still, at the advanced age of 23, sleep with a stuffed animal at night. Her name is Lammie. She’s a lamb, and I’ve had her since childbirth. She goes (almost) everywhere I go, has a passport, a full seasonal wardrobe, mostly sewn by me, and a distinct personality, created by my parents when I was little. She likes to drive. She’s terrible at it.

2. I am a terrible nail-biter. I can’t remember a time when I had nails visible above my fingertips. Not only do I pare them off, I then like to work them around my mouth—run them between my teeth, split them etc. before breaking them into little bits and spitting them out. It saves me from flossing but it looks disgraceful.

3. I talk to myself incessantly. It’s an only child thing, I think. When I was in college it helped because I could rehearse presentations and explain things to myself to learn them better, and of course if I’m in a play I’m always the first off-book, but I know it’s really weird to see a young, non-vagrant woman walking down the street muttering to herself with no visible cell phone apparatus. Plus, I emote when I’m doing it, especially if I’m rehearsing something to tell someone, or imagining/reenacting a scene between me and a friend, my parents, etc. So I must look totally insane most of the time. I also read interesting passages of books out loud to myself, occasionally.

4. I have a wretched music collection. While all my other friends have either huge CD libraries, zillions of files on their computers, iPods that hold more music than I’ve ever listened to in my life, or some combination of the above, I have a few dozen CD’s, some tapes stuffed into the seat pockets of the family car, and 10 songs on a computer I never use anymore. I totally missed the Napster boat. I have no knowledge of any music beyond the most basic facts and songs. Most of my albums are show tunes, traditional Japanese, or random bluegrass. No rock or hip postmodern music. In other words, not particularly listen-able stuff. Because of this, I rely on commercial radio for my auditory sustenance, and we all know how low that is.

5. I still live at home. This sounds pathetic at first, but the reasons are sensible: I don’t make enough money to eat properly or live anywhere decent, and since I’m trying to get into grad school (possibly overseas), it strikes me as foolish to waste a few months on rent when I might have to pick up and leave elsewhere in less than a year. But it’s pretty embarrassing entertain guests, especially male guests, in my parents’ house. Makes me feel about 12.

6. When I was living in Japan, I joined the college judo club. Because I was the newest member when the annual college festival rolled around, they made me dress up like a porn-star nurse, complete with skimpy vinyl dress, cap and fishnets, and advertise the club massage booth. There are pictures. I will never be able to run for public office. Anywhere.

7. I had seen every episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation by the time I was fifteen. And all the movies. And owned a Star Trek communicator button that bleeped when you pressed it. Actually, I still have that somewhere.

8. I have a loom in my bedroom. And not one of the little craft-store kinds for making belts and headbands. A full-sized floor loom. And I know how to use it.

9. I haven’t seen the Star Wars series all the way through. Not even the older trilogy. Nor have I seen Braveheart, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Dazed and Confused, or Die Hard. These don’t sound like such great cultural pillars to me, but every time I mention that I haven’t seen them, people’s mouths drop open as if I just informed them that I still watched my movies (whatever they may be, obviously not the big ones) on a Beta VCR. Which, just for the record, I don’t.

10. The same goes for television. Being a PBS kid meant no Spiderman, Batman, Transformers, Thundercats or, until recently, The Simpsons. And no, we don’t have cable.

11. I have an odd penchant for child-rearing books. Talk about creepy, guilty pleasures. When I babysat in high school, I used to curl up with the parents’ guides after the kids were asleep and my homework was finished. And I worked, briefly, at a baby and children’s clothing store where I was able to read “Today’s Child” and “Mothering” magazines to my heart’s content. I find them fascinating, and it’s probably a little narcissistic, too. Plus, my mother and I discuss my childhood at great length. I was, as you might expect, a model child.

13. However, I have ZERO tolerance for ill-behaved children. I am firmly convinced that much of the country’s current disorder stems from crappy parenting. I am not classist or racist about this; crappy parents come in all colors and socio-economic strata. I also don’t like toddlers, no matter how well they’re behaving. They’re just so…little, and weird. I’m sure this will change when/if I get a few of my own, but until then, expect no sympathy from me when your two-year-old pitches himself on the floor out of exhaustion and frustration because YOU didn’t take proper care of him earlier. If you can’t handle them, get your tubes tied.

14. I collect stamps. Years ago, my father suggested that I needed a hobby, and started me on baseball cards. It was cool. It was fun. It lasted a couple of years. Then, cleaving to the paper-ephemera theme, he said I should take up stamps. His motives became obvious a little later: my maternal grandfather had literally hundreds, from all over the place, and someone was needed to properly organize and catalogue them. That someone was me. And still is. And proud of it, too. If you'd like to see it, just ask. I'm not a snob about them; I don't go to stamp conventions (they're VERY weird) and I don't buy new ones, because god knows I have enough just sitting around at home, but I love those tiny works of public art, and I don't care who knows it.

15. I was staying in a huge old monastery-turned-summer-house in France, which had about 35 bedrooms and toilets in very odd places, including nowhere near my room. In the morning, I had no idea where the nearest toilet was--I had followed my host sister to hers, then she led me about half a mile away to my room in the dark. There was, however, a small sink in the bedroom, for washing up, etc. It would hold my weight if I braced my feet against a chair. You finish this story.

Now, I had to remove one of these Things from the list, because it involved not getting into graduate school. And I suppose I should remove the one about my music collection, because my new baby iPod and I are fixing that in a hurry. Other than that, though, none of this is likely to change, so if you were thinking of setting me up with someone, give him a copy of this and let him decide. If he laughs, he's a keeper. If he likes short nails, stamps, and textiles, I'm not interested. I'm weird enough for two people.


Tara said...

Dear Lex – During a brief moment in our lives you were my archenemisis, my competitor, the pillar to which I measured my strength, brilliance and beauty against. Your words were kryptonite reminding me everyday of my weakness, in second grade you used words like diagonal and vertical while to me a line was only a line. After reading your blog – particularly your self involved stuffed animal loving, stamp fetish, Star Trek/Wars, Japanese porn star peeing in an old Monks sink binge – I am breaking up with you. Your lengthy and clearly Webster assisted words (“incongruous against the bleak skies”) are no longer a challenge, your surface level thoughts flirt with artistic interest yet lack substance. I need more in this relationship, a true enemy, someone who understands my needs and tests my abilities. This was fun while it lasted, the hatred we felt for each other helped me to grown and develop into the person I am today, and I will always look back on our battles and spats with a smile, but I have changed and matured while clearly you and Lammie the lamb have stayed the same. I would still love to be friends though, okay. Hate ya Always, Tara

CadGrublygold said...

Yeah Hazel Nut, you are a weird one all right. But after careful review of your alarming behaviors, my offer remains on the table. A smelly bridge by a putrid little stream can be yours for the asking.

Stu said...

For the original post, you can of course go directly here:

This may just be personal preference, but I think your embarassing things nevertheless leave you much more likely to make it to the fourth date than mine.

Keep trying, though, Grasshopper. And drinking. Can't forget the drinking.