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Monthly Archives: February 2010

The Dude on the Couch

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Oh, Valentine’s Day. I feel like there is something of a spectrum of the way people feel about Valentine’s Day, but people seem to cluster on either end, either declaring that they absolutely hate it or totally love it. Personally, I’ve never had a tremendous issue with it– I like that there’s a special day when you tell people you care about how much they mean to you (should there be a comma in there somewhere?), even if it is mostly made up by greeting card companies. Granted, I am a sap, and completely susceptible to marketing ploys of all sorts, but I can get behind the sentiments behind the celebrations. On the other hand, it seems sort of disgusting that so much of it is obligatory– a dozen roses, heart-shaped boxes of chocolates, and Jan Seymour-designed jewelry? No thanks. I’m happy with the daffodils, and the fact that my husband just rewound the DVR to show me a commercial where dogs and cats are driving cars in a parking lot. Last year around Valentine’s Day, Dooce posted something of a meme about her husband, and I think today is as good a day as any to trot out my own version.

What are your middle names?
Mine is Elise, and GP’s is Peter. His mom once told me a story about how, as a youngster, he wanted to go by his middle name (as his father does). But when she told him that he’d have to learn to spell it, he was like, “The hell with that.”

How long have you been together?
We met/started dating in September of 2006…so, what is that? Three and a half years? It seems simultaneously longer and shorter.

How long did you know each other before you started dating?
Well. We exchanged emails for a good 36 hours before we met…so, about 36 hours?

Who asked whom out?
Look. We met through the Magic of the Internet, and if you want to get technical about it, he was the poster and I was the responder. Craigslist, it turns out, is a good place to find things like, housing, furniture…and a spouse. I think the fact that we were both obviously looking for someone to date cut out a lot of the “Will we? Won’t we?” b.s. that hangs around a lot of new relationships. We had no idea whether we would actually like each other once we got more familiar, but I think that the way in which our relationship began helped us cut through a good bit of the mess.

How old are each of you?
I’m 26, GP is 28.

Whose siblings do you see the most?
My brother lives about 15 minutes from us, and his sister lives across the country. (Oh, and my stepsister lives in San Diego.) So, unsurprisingly, we see my brother much more.

Which situation is the hardest on you as a couple?
I wouldn’t say that this is a constant source of tension between us, but it certainly came out a good bit when we were planning the wedding: we have different ideas about what degree of closeness we want, both individually and as a couple, with our families. GP lives thousands of miles from 99% of his family members, whereas my entire immediate family lives within driving distance. At the same time, he has expectations that our parents will be Best Friends, and I don’t think of that as a priority. This has been the topic of many a…discussion, but we haven’t had to overcome very much in terms of “Oh God, we’re completely different people!”

Did you go to the same school?
Nope. Not at the same time anyway. (I’m looking at you, grad school.)

Are you from the same home town?
No. I’m a California girl, and he’s quite the mid-Hudson New Yorker. That means he does charming things like dropping the “t” from the word “mountain.” Yes, charming…we’ll go with that.

Who is smarter?
I don’t think we bother to compete here– our intellectual interests and strengths are pretty different. He did do better on his SATs than I did, though– a 1420 to my 1400.

Who is the most sensitive?
Um, me. Crying is pretty much one of my hobbies.

Where do you eat out most as a couple?
It really depends– we’re homebodies, so takeout/delivery is usually preferable. We do have our favorite local sushi and Italian restaurants, but I think now is the time to confess that we have a weak spot for the very-shameful Chili’s.

Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?
Australia.

Who has the craziest exes?
Probably GP, as I have definitely been The Crazy in past relationships. Luckily, though, there is very little intrusion by exes into our lives, literal or otherwise.

Who has the worst temper?
Me. I feel all the feelings, and generally have to put more of an effort into keeping my shit together. GP, however, loves himself a Principled Argument…but I guess that’s not really an issue of temper.

Who does the cooking?
Me. I love to cook, friends.

Who is the neat-freak?
We each have our Things That Drive Us Crazy in terms of neatness. For him, it’s that I leave my shoes in the living room (I just kick them off when I come in), and for me, it’s his “spit cup,” into which he spits his sunflower seed shells. We’re a charming pair.

Who is more stubborn?
Remember when I mentioned those Principled Arguments? This is a man who, when I pointed out how stubborn he is during one of our wedding-related heated arguments, asked me to detail the ways in which he was stubborn. “Uh, hello? Like right now!”

Who hogs the bed?
Me…but I can’t help it! I need to be positioned just right in order to fall asleep. Unfortunately for those sharing the bed with me (you know, GP and the cat), it is rarely the same position from night to night.

Who wakes up earlier?
Unlike some people who can sleep happily into midmorning with their head in a little pillow-sandwich, I have to get up early to head to the internship.

Where was your first date?
We met at a bocce ball restaurant, then made our way to a pizza place. The rest of our marathon first date played out in a local park (I like to talk, y’all).

Who is more jealous?
Hm. GP? I guess.

How long did it take to get serious?
About 45 minutes or so. Really, things escalated pretty quickly– we went from seeing each other three or four times a week to every day within about a month and a half. We moved in together less than six months into our relationship.

Who eats more?
GP, but I can give him a run for his money in dairy-containing things. I have no restraint when it comes to cheese, ice cream, etc.

Who does the laundry?
Whoever has the fewest pairs of clean underwear at any given time. He’s not the best at folding and putting things away, so I don’t mind doing it if it means wrinkle-free shirts.

Who’s better with the computer?
The man has “engineer” in his job title (which is a funny joke between the two of us). He knows how to build Actual Websites. And he has the patience to explain why just smashing the computer and getting a new one isn’t always the best best solution.

Who drives when you are together?
He does. He claims that I make him nervous when I drive, and I have no interest in learning to drive stick (which his car is)– how would I be able to nap on long drives if I was the driver?

If you feel so moved, feel free to borrow this meme for your own blog purposes, or leave your responses in the comments! Also, Happy Valentine’s Day…may your lives be filled with love every single day of the year.

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Project Runway: "Run for Cover" recap-ish

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So, okay, this started out as a recap and quickly devolved into me making notes and comments. I’ll divide my thoughts and unrequited crushes from actual commentary on the show…you’re welcome.

Episode-specific commentary
I get that Project runway has to show off its sponsors and affiliates and all, but come on– it’s the fifth challenge and you’re doing two back-to-back? Campbell’s was more egregious, but the editor of Marie Claire (who looks a bit like Tilda Swinton, don’t you think?) is a bit much as well.

Other shows might do well to show off their also-rans, given that they are sometimes more popular than the actual winners (I’m looking at you, American Idol). On the other hand, does it diminish the win…? Oh, also, it seems sort of needless to have not-Tilda explain that magazine covers are cropped. None of the designers looks that blown away by this opposite-of-earth-shattering news, which is reassuring (good thing Jesus went home last week, otherwise we’d end up with a sick Tiger Beat look).

What’s the twist? Is Heidi pregnant right now?

Let’s review the things that we know Heidi likes, as evidenced by her judging over the years:

  1. shiny things (season 2 floral challenge)
  2. expensive-looking things (“It looks cheap, no?” Budget for this challenge is $150, which isn’t terrible by PR standards.)
  3. things that make her boobs look good (She always seems very concerned that the models’ breasts look ok. I think this must be because of Victoria’s Secret.)

I wonder how the fittings will work– will Heidi just be traipsing from designer to designer? Oh…so the models are showing the clothes, and Heidi just picks what she thinks will look good on her? This seems less interesting than Heidi actually working as their model, but doesn’t necessitate an extra judge.

Oh, also– do these designers never have to deal with time pressure? I know that 24 hours to complete a piece is extreme, but they must have at least had to work with timelines before.

From the clips of judging before commercials: Janean cries (again!), Michael says they’ve never done something before (what could it be? Kicking off two people at once? I feel like that’s happened before…).

Now for the runway show, pictures from which can be found here (and judging, in italics)…

  • Amy: I’m glad I didn’t have to watch you construct this monstrosity. Heidi can be boho at times, sure, but that print! Jebus. Also, the rosette? Yikes. She does appear to have stuck to the aesthetic she has going on, though, as this looks a bit like her piece for the farm challenge.
  • Seth Aaron: A suit? With what appear to be mutton-chop cleeves? You can’t “guarantee” shit, buddy.
  • Jesse: The new Jesus? I can see that model’s vajay. I do like the basketweave on the bodice.
  • Anna: Maybe you will be one of those girls who is great at making clothes for yourself and for others with your same look (cute and hip and a little Anthro-like, but pretty straight-up-and-down rather than curvy), but I can’t see you being a mass-market designer. Nina thinks it’s shapeless, not-Tilda uses the phrase “slightly nauseous,” Michael thinks it looks too young for Marie Claire, Heidi thinks it’s well-made but doesn’t push the envelope.
  • Anthony: I don’t love it, but it might look pretty cool on a magazine cover. The color really pops, but we’ll see what the judges say. Heidi grins at him and says it makes the model’s body look beautiful, Michael declares the costume drama over (yay, Anthony!), Nina likes it and Anthony is proud to have won some praise from her, not-Tilda loves the color.
  • Janeane: At least you don’t suffer from the hubris that some of the other designers seem to. The skirt looks a little stiff, and the little cap sleeves/sleeveless bolero thing? Not a fan. Michael is not impressed by the “sea” inspiration, Heidi thinks it’s not fashion-forward, not-Tilda calls it a “polluted sea” (damn, girl), and Nina comments that it looks bridal. (After Janeane voiced the same concern as she was sewing! Follow your instincts, designers!)
  • Mila: Of course you love your dress. Those colors are going to wash Heidi the frick out, though. Michael tells Mila her “peach” looks a little more like “Ace bandage,” Nina notes that the “arrows” are pointing right at the model’s crotch (like in Naked Gun?), not-Tilda harps on the color again.
  • Emilio: Good color choice…but it looks a little like a nightie. I am not convinced by those straps. Michael appreciates that Emilio made the silk jersey look structured, not-Tilda says that it would make for a very strong cover, Nina loves the color but says it feels a little “junior” to her, and Emilio cuts the straps off and makes it all grown-up-looking. Apparently that’s what’s never been done before. Yawn.
  • Jay: WHOA. That, sir, is volume. Crazy, monochromatic volume. This moves well, and I like the one-shoulder, but I feel like it’s the wrong kind of Too Much for a magazine cover.
  • Jonathan: Um. Is that a shirt? And…tap pants? Oh, a romper. Not a fan.
  • Maya: Eh. That front seam looks wonky. Not crazy about the colors.
  • Ben: Loves it! I’m happy he replaced the belt, and the colors are cool. Maybe not for an April issue (it just hit me why there are so many pastels), but this might be my favorite look of the episode. Michael thinks it’s a good choice, Nina thinks it looks very modern and likes the color combo, Heidi likes the back, not-Tilda says it’s a contender. (YAY!)

The winner (does not get immunity): Anthony, who yelps and asks if the judges “are for real.” I want to hug him. Instead, he hugs Emilio on his way off the runway, and everyone seems very excited for his win,
The loser: Anna. Which makes Janeane bawl. Get it together, lady! Anna, who is sweet, appreciates the opportunity and gives a nice little goodbye.
Next week: New models– little girls! I DIE. Also, oh my god, Jesse is going to snap and kill one of them.

Contestant notes
Mila, stop complaining that people didn’t congratulate you on getting second place last time. I know you’re a special snowflake, but come on. You are too old for that shit. Ooh, are you speculating about copying now? Don’t be such a hall monitor. Turns out everyone hates you, and I can’t say that I find anything that compelling to argue against them.

Jay, you are adorable, and appear to have some skillz. You know, apart from the insect-thorax you put your heart disease survivor in last week. Your hair looks fine, trust me. Also, I love your little towel turban! I must confess that Jay and Amy are two of my favorites because they are awesome and are representin’ the Bay Area. Also, chances are slim that there will ever be a contestant from San Jose, so I’ve got to root for whoever is even remotely near.

“Icy color pallette…silver, light blue, and charcoal gray.” Oh, Anna. You are so sweet. But those colors are going to make Heidi look like shit. Also, now is not the time to try to make a crazy amount of pieces. Seventeen minutes in, you are getting the loser’s edit. I’m going to miss you.

“Short but not slutty.” Good idea, Anthony. We do not want any “tootie” showing. I love you for saying that you “wish [Seth Aaron] would stop…” and not being a bitch about it. If only people on reality shows were more like grownups! “Did you smoke anything besides a cigarette when you went outside?” Anthony, can we have lunch sometime? I’ll even buy. Oh, honey– that sketch looks like something that Hollywood Montrose would like. (Can we have a Mannequin reunion, please?)

I like Ben. He could very well sneak into the top 5… “The magenta is looking fuchsia.” Heaven forbid!! “Madame Butterfly on acid” is fine, but I hope that Carefree bubblegum pink doesn’t make it into the final look.

Janeane: figure out your color story before you go shopping! Dude. Also, this “spewing out factor” (thanks, Tim) is going to look sort of strange on Heidi. What is Janeane going to do when Anna is gone? It seems that Anna functions as a sort of touchstone for her, at least in terms of seeing her as a kindred spirit. We need to get Janeane something to smoke outside “other than a cigarette” (thanks, Anthony!)…maybe it’d calm her down.

Jesse seems to be containing his murderous rage pretty well…so far. (We are nine minutes in.)

Seth Aaron is (thankfully) not this season’s Jeffrey Sebelia, but should stop his singing in the workroom before I change my tune. (See what I did there? Yeah, I’m sorry.)

Jonathan, you may actually be a jerk, but at least you are funny about it. (Witness the exchange between him and Anna: “Are you making a dress?” “No, I’m making a spacesuit.”)

Emilio, you are pretty badass– and fairly awesome at following not-Tilda’s advice about putting extra detain above the waist. I hope this works out for you.

Where is Amy? She’s participating in this challenge, right?

Um, does anyone else think that Maya’s look this week is really reminiscent of the look from her partner challenge (with Jay)?

T, to the A, to the S-T-Y

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(Yeah, I refuse to misspell “tasty,” even if that means breaking with some genius Black-Eyed Peas lyrics.)

Internets, I have to tell you something: I started a food blog. With friends! There is relatively little mention of Not My New Mommy, and there are only two recipes posted so far…but they are delicious! So go on, get over there.

P.S. Fear not! T&CT isn’t going anywhere. I need a place to vent about all of The Crazy, and hope that there will be more than one person to send treats to when I do my 200th post!

Every party has a…

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See, I draw the line at including the word “pooper” in the title of this post. The body, apparently, is fair game. But please, let me elaborate…

We had a Super Bowl party yesterday, just as we’ve done the two previous years. Though the Evite response was a little more lukewarm than I hoped it would be, we still had plenty of friends over– enough to fill our living room and eat most of the (crazy amount of) food I made. And, of course, we invited my dad. He can always be counted on to bring the beer, and generally gets along with our friends, plus he always gets crazy excited about gatherings. He called about a week ago, asking if he could bring “a friend.” Thinking that it would be one of his work friends that I’d already met, I asked who, and was told that his guest would be “a female.” He confessed that he felt really awkward asking me in the first place, so I didn’t press him for more information…though maybe I should have.

When he and The Guest arrived, only one of our other friends (one I’ve known since 6th grade, so knows the sad tale of my parents’ divorce and my dad’s lack of love life for the last, oh…decade) was there. They got out of the car, and when I let them in it was immediately clear that she was a good bit younger than he is. Now, my dad isn’t the oldest of parents (next to GP’s, my parents are children) at 53, but the fact is that both of his children are in their 20s. The Guest appeared to be, at the oldest, in her early 30s. We found out later that she was 28, which (and sorry for the all-caps) IS HOW OLD GP IS. Let me repeat this: SHE IS AS OLD AS MY HUSBAND. AND APPEARS TO BE DATING MY FATHER. I love my dad and everything, but here is the thing: he isn’t wealthy (by any stretch of the imagination), he doesn’t really have any “game,” and he’s not that good-looking. Any attraction that she might have to him is a complete mystery to me. And she is cute! What on earth is going on?

But I was determined to be a good hostess. We welcomed The Guest into our home, introduced her to all the friends in attendance (including two who are, like her, from the Seattle area). And then, at some point, it became clear that she was aiming pretty pointed comments at one of our friends…one who she had previously seemed to be getting along with just fine.

Let’s have a pause to talk about the sense of humor that exists between me and GP, between us and our friends, and between us and my dad: we give each other a hard time. It is good-natured, and clearly so, and it is rare (nearly unprecedented) that someone actually takes us seriously. It seems practically impossible to me that anyone would think that they were being personally attacked by the jokes (jokes y’all!!) that we’re making.

Back to the story. It’s the third, maybe fourth quarter, of the game. There is shouting, cheering, heckling, what have you. The Guest is insisting that Peyton Manning is “her boyfriend,” (take a number, bitch) which means that, upon every Colts snap, she begins baby-talking. “Come on, honey! You can do it, baby!” Shit that’s funny the first, second, maybe the third time. But not, my friends, in the last ten minutes of the game. Our friend, J, says something to the effect of, “We get it, dude,” and is met with scattered comments from The Guest that J is “so negative.” Any comment that J makes is met with some little remark: “Of course you would say that.” (Which, what the fuck. You just met.) And then, finally, the huffiest of huffs: “You know, J, not everyone is a FEMINIST!”

Hold the phone. This thing came out of nowhere. Seriously. Also, you came here with my dad, who I have marched alongside in Washington, D.C. chanting, “This is what a feminist looks like.” Clearly someone’s signals have been crossed. Oh, also…my dad was out of the room at the time.

J, not being one to shy away from confrontation, turns and says that there is clearly an issue that The Guest has with her, and can they please just have it out and be done? And The Guest says– you guys are going to love this– “You couldn’t handle it.” Would it surprise you to know that, at this point, I wanted to drag her out of the room by her ear?

My dad and The Guest left about fifteen minutes later (shockingly, it felt like a fricking eternity), and that’s when the discussion began. What was that? Well, let’s give her the benefit of the doubt: it’s her first time meeting all these people, maybe she was nervous, maybe she had too much to drink, clearly she took something personally, maybe she doesn’t get out humor, etc. Allow me, however, to freak out a little. When you are meeting people for the first time– especially the child of someone you’re dating– don’t you want to make a good impression. If she is actually just a friend (though my dad described her to GP’s mom as a “special friend”), there is just no excuse for that. As for the “too much to drink” excuse…I don’t buy it. You’re a fucking adult. Keep your shit together.

I’m waiting for my dad to call and solicit feedback– it seems too terrible to call him and go, “Yeah, The Guest? We completely hated her.” And of course, when he does ask, I will be honest and tactful. Because, though I am two years younger than The Guest, I know the value of adult communication. Short of a pretty intense apology (because you do not come in to my house and act incredibly rude to my friends), I have no desire to give The Guest a second chance.

Thanks for making it all the way through this rant, if you actually did. Now, tell me, am I being a total crazypants? Or do you think I’m right to want to slap The Guest right across her bony little face?

Today we lunch in the tub!

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I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather, and took to bed immediately upon getting home from my half-day of interning (oh yes, my life is so hard…I had to work for four whole hours today!). The kitty, of course, was a fan of this idea, and I decided to capitalize on my illness and “let’s just stay in bed” mood and make the queen-size ground zero for all my afternoon operations. Luckily, this only included a bit of reading, a rousing round of Plants vs. Zombies (hopelessly addicted, sorry), a lunch of Goldfish crackers, and a few hours of Rick Steves’ Europe that had built up in the Tivo. Over IM, I had to let GP know that Sydney and I had decided to conduct all of our business henceforth from the bed. He, of course, pointed out difficulties like using the bathroom and going to work. Because he is a curmudgeon.

In potentially exciting news, we’re coming up on T&CT’s 200th post! I didn’t do any celebrating for the 100th, but I was thinking of rewarding one (or a couple, who knows) of my faithful readers (you’re still there, right?) with a giveaway of some sort. Ideas? I’m a lady of limited means but solid culinary skills– maybe some salted caramels? How well would my gougeres ship?

(Did anyone else read this book when they were a kid? It’s funny how some things stick in your mind. P.S. The New House doesn’t even have a tub, which is sort of a bummer.)