September 29, 2002

I can't shake the sense that I'm on a time delay, that if I bumped my head tonight, four days later I'd say "ouch".

September 27, 2002
Couturette's Syndrome

I tried on an Armani skirt a few nights ago, and I spent a long time staring at it in the mirror, stuck in the zone between wanting something and deciding to buy it.

The arguments for were obvious: this was an incredibly beautiful skirt. I couldnít get over how well it was made, and it fit like it was supposed to be mine - trim along the hips then falling just below the knee in that sexy/conservative way that says, "Oh yes, I look hot in this, but please have the good taste not to mention it." It was light wool, in gray, such a gray that calling it interesting wouldnít be an oxymoron. And the drape...have I mentioned the drape? You wouldn't believe the drape.

Also in its favor was the 75% off tag. I have never been in the company of couture without a sale tag to chaperone. We just can't be trusted together.

Some of the arguments against were also obvious: the 75% was off $400, and while thatís quite a bargain, "I saved $300 on an Armani skirt!" is not the kind of saving Iíve resolved to do.

But in the end more subtle factors made me put it back.

Iíd originally come to the store to replace my trusty but now overworn black pumps. Iíd already picked out a pair - nothing extravagant, but not cheap, either. Iíd slipped them on with the skirt to get a better idea of how it would look in the field. What I didnít notice at first, but which once noticed became impossible to un-notice, was that next to this stunningly beautiful skirt, the shoes - shoes which would be fine in any other context - looked painfully, well, inferior.

And then I had a vision of what life would be like with this skirt. Iíd have to go right back upstairs and find more worthy - and certainly more expensive - shoes. And how could I be sure that any of my current blouses or sweaters would do? Buying this skirt was likely to kick off an unstoppable cascade of wardrobe upgrades, my taste outpacing my income at every turn, until, Emma Bovary-like, I was forced to end it all, killed by exhausted credit.

The dry cleaning bills alone could have been fatal.

September 26, 2002
Beak Snout, Baby!

Robot Platypus!!

September 25, 2002
A Note from My Mother

My mom sent me this message in response to Friday's beehive entry, and she gave me permission to share:

Hey Jane,

Did you know your mother was in a "hair show" when she was 17? The style was named "Yellow Rose of Texas"! Hee hee!! The top of my (yellow blonde) hair was ratted & shaped into a VERY large yellow rose and the bottom layers were ratted and shaped into swirled leaves and yes, sprayed green. All of this to get my hair bleached by a professional for free! Oh, yes...we lost the contest and I was late for school the next day...had trouble getting the green out!

My mom is so cool.

September 24, 2002
Crimson Tied

Reason #17 to be happy you went to Harvard in spite of debilitating student loans:
It's ever so easy to just smile politely at the annoying man who keeps trying to impress you by repeatedly mentioning that he went to Brown.

Reason #18:
If anyone tries to tell you that "veritas" is Latin for "hopelessly catty", you know better.

September 20, 2002
What a Tease

Aquanet. Must purchase Aquanet.

September 19, 2002
The gloves are off

Eric ("look how fast I can type, meh meh meh") is already talking trash, and it's not even November!

I wonder how fast he types with broken fingers. Not that I personally would stoop to such a thing, but maybe he wouldn't be throwing down gauntlets if he had a really good reason to keep wearing them...

E - thanks for the non-trash talk, too. See you Tuesday. And watch those fingers. I'd feel terrible if anything happened.

Second Amendment

Hmm...maybe I am capable of personally breaking his fingers.

I don't know, E - already identifying with Hamlet, are you? Probably not a good sign. Sure, you can type fast. Sure, you're verbose. But at 12:00:01 on November 1st, are you going to be ready to do what has to be done, or will you still be fiddling with your mousetrap?

Oh, and honey, I don't think a lack of manual dexterity will have anything to do with why it will be hard to keep turning the pages of your many-leagued novel.

Love ya.

September 18, 2002
Damn you, Eric!

Here we have an activity brought to my attention by my well-meaning but nonetheless evil friend Eric, an activity so completely insane, I think I have no choice but to participate.

Bless you, Google!

Okay, you know how every once in a while you feel compelled to do a Google search on the names of people who have disappeared from your life...a favorite elementary school ex-lover...a long lost ex-lover? And sometimes - say if it's an ex-lover - you feel like a bit of a sap for doing it, but it just seems like the universe wants you to?

That's because sometimes the universe decides you deserve a good laugh.

September 17, 2002
Master of Allusion

I was reading Douglas Couplandís Generation X, and in it one character addresses someone just waking up from a long nap as "Rumpelstiltskin". I take it on faith that the mistake is meant to make the character seem like a dink. Still, I start to go a little crazy, because I canít remember what the allusion should have been.

The name of the guy who spins straw into gold in exchange for first-born children is running interference against the one who slept for twenty years, and I canít come up with anything other than "Rumpelstiltskin".

Eventually the words "Sleepy Hollow" pop into my head, and I figure the solution must have some of those letters or the same number of syllables or the same rhythm or something. I play around with this theory for a while, getting more and more frustrated, when it dawns on me that Iím thinking of Sleepy Hollow because Washington Irving wrote the story about the character whose name escapes me. Which means thereís a good chance itís a Dutch-sounding name. And now Iím really annoyed, because if I can remember Sleepy Hollow and Washington Irving and even Brom Bones and Katrina Van Tassel, why, why, why canít I remember Rip Van Winkle?!!

Phew. Take that, Rumpelstiltskin.

September 14, 2002
Jane: Pointy-Headed Freak

I saw a huge - I mean ridiculously huge - cargo ship out in the Puget Sound yesterday afternoon. I'm talking about the kind of boat that leaves a lingering wake miles long because it displaces so much water. The name of the company was written on the side, and, maybe because the letters were in such a common font, I found myself trying to figure out what point size they would be.

I must be spending too much time in the company of typeface.

And frankly I find it no consolation that I'm not the first person to think "Typeface" sounds like it should be the name of a comic book villain.

So the letters looked about 12 feet high...12 inches to a foot...60 points to 8640. Give or take.

September 12, 2002
The Doppelganger's All Here

In the elevator yesterday a woman looked at me and said, "It's Theresa, right?" I told her it wasn't, but we made small talk until my floor.

I hope I'm the evil twin.

September 11, 2002
Bush Declares War on Inflammatory Rhetoric

WASHINGTON - In a stunning reversal of previous policy and practice, President George W. Bush announced his administration's strong stance against inflammatory rhetoric.

"We must bring all our resources to bear against this scourge which has brought so much pain to so many," declared Bush. "Every day in America, inflammatory rhetoric keeps people from engaging with the outside world, and in some cases is so overwhelming it even prevents them from thinking clearly."

"I don't think any of us could have seen this coming," said one Washington insider. "I mean, inflammatory rhetoric is a pillar of Bush's governance. Without inflammatory rhetoric, there is no Bush administration."

The confusion was lifted later in the day when Press Secretary Ari Fleischer explained that the President meant to declare war on inflammatory arthritis.

In an attempt to salvage the stated policy, the Bush administration has instead declared war on the "h" in the word "rhetoric".

"It's not like it actually does anything in there," said a visibly grumpy Bush.

September 09, 2002
Cher Theo

The villagers laugh at my paintings and throw copies of MoliŤre plays at my dog. Yellow paint and Cheerios are a comfort. I'm thinking of getting my ear pierced.



September 05, 2002
Bye Bye, Mr. Hamilton

I saw a $10 bill on the ground this morning. It looked real, not like one of those "Ha ha made you look - repent, sinner!" religious tracts you find lying around sometimes. In fact, it looked like there were several bills, and the ten was on the outside.

I didn't pick it up, in part because I would have felt an obligation to try to figure out who it belonged to, and I didn't know how I would even begin to do that. And then, because I felt like I was somehow shirking a social duty, I rationalized, "I'll leave it for someone who needs it more than me."

Later it occurred to me that some thieving, book-cooking CEO could have walked by next and picked it up.

Hey, what if there were hundreds inside that ten?

September 03, 2002

Back in college I was sitting in a pub with a pack of friends 'n' acquaintances when some wag announced she could tell who was a dog person and who was a cat person (no, this had nothing to do with furries). I don't remember her overall success rate, but when she got to me she stared for a second and then said, "Fish person."

Of course I protested - I grew up with English Springer Spaniels, I'm godmother to a Golden Retriever in Connecticut, and the right dog will have me rolling around on the floor and spewing baby talk like an idiot. But I conceded that I don't like most little dogs, or high-strung, over-bred dogs of any size. I also don't assume that everyone who is out with a puppy wants strangers to accost his or her pet, so I'll usually suppress the urge to play unless I know the owner. And since I've been a dogless apartment dweller for years now, I'm rarely seen cavorting with canines.

All of this comes to mind because as I was walking to work this morning, I saw a chocolate Lab puppy, and I couldn't take my eyes off it. This was in front of a hotel, and the owners were busy unloading their car. The Lab was looking up at me, trying to follow along and getting all tangled up in its leash, which was looped around a parking meter. If I hadn't kept walking I wouldn't have been able to resist dropping to my knees and kissing its fuzzy little face.

That's when I realized that the bigger the breed, the more likely I am to go gaga over the puppy, and I figured out that it must have something to do with the big ol' feet on those little tiny bodies, the telltale sign that this creature, with those big eyes and that little pink tongue and ungainly gait will grow to be something much more than it is now, that its current state of vulnerability is only temporary, and as a temporary state much more precious. Seeing the dog-to-be in a puppy, or the puppy-that-was in a dog makes me all melty every time.

If that's too sweet for you, take heart in the sociobiological theory that we're wired to have warm responses to cute things, "cute" being defined as possessing disproportionately large eyes: puppies, babies, E.T., Jake Gyllenhaal, anime, squid.

Okay, maybe not squid.

September 02, 2002
Chateau Jane '71

Yesterday morning I woke up in a cellar, and I thought, "So this is what it feels like to be a bottle of wine."