Spite will get you to the altar, but love will carry you through.
--Dara, on whether or not to
marry someone out of spite

I have survived the following (in chronological order):
  • a massively unhealthy dinner from Carl’s Jr. on Wednesday night (made even more unhealthy by my decision to swap out the drink for a Cap’n Crunch milkshake)
  • beer. Quite a bit of it.
  • moving furniture while drunk. When I was growing up, I used to rearrange my bedroom every few months. It was a small room with lots of furniture, but I found at least four arrangements that would work. Living in our cabin at the commune, I couldn’t rearrange because some of the furniture was built in. I’ve been in this house for 11 months and have rearranged the living room twice and my bedroom once. I am scared of being in a rut, even furniture-wise. Commitment issues??
  • watching crappy TV with Jennie
  • starting Thursday with a bottle of champagne. At 8:15 a.m. Don’t worry – I took the day off from work.
  • finishing said bottle by 10:30 and realizing I hadn’t eaten food yet.
  • an epic-length dinner at a local restaurant. We had no less than three people helping us, resulting in a lot of miscommunication, and it took us more than 90 minutes to get our food. The end result? 25% off our bill and profuse apologies from a young man who was wearing makeup.
  • Bollywood choreography after a day of little work but much drinking
  • a frank sex talk with my ex-boyfriend
  • Thursday. In general.

But you know what can cheer me up even when I’m down? My grandmother sent me a dirty card. And tonight I’ll meet up with a friend who is in town from NYC for the summer. Dinner, hopefully no more drinks and a movie with a group of friends. I’ve nixed my plans to flee town for the weekend. Instead I’ll let James cook me dinner on Sunday. And I think I’ve found two grad students to move into my house. Life may not have been good yesterday, but it’s getting better.

May 24, 2008

that time of year

Posted by Mary |

Memorial Day weekend. Time to do nothing. A whole lot of nothing. Last night Marmian and I kicked off the festivities by going to see Matt Vrba playing at the Loon. Today is the Clucking Blossom post-mortem barbecue. Tomorrow is the Bob-Eley-cue. And Monday the university is closed. Coincidentally, this is also my boyfriend's day off from work, so I predict a lazy day of laying around and doing absolutely nothing for hours.

Later this week, as per usual, I will take to my bed for a day of dramatic self-absorption.

After that, the hunt for new roommates will continue. I've been talking with a few people, but have made no decisions yet.

May 16, 2008

cute attack

Posted by Mary |

Tuesday night brought the Meeting Of The Dogs. After dinner, henna, a movie and drinks, Victoria and I brought her Italian Greyhound, Itchy, over to Robin's house to meet his Italian Greyhound, Zoe. I guess IGs do have something of a territorial nature, because Itchy has assumed that I am her property, and thus she staked out a spot on my lap. As previously discussed, Zoe adores me, and thus she also staked out a spot on my lap. It's a big lap, and they are small dogs, but no human being can stand such a high level of cute for very long. Fortunately, it quickly degenerated into a lot of humping. Not on my lap. No pictures, but we'll have another doggie playdate soon.

Now to a more serious subject. Robin's best friend is coming to visit. Actually, the visit has morphed into coming up here for the rest of the summer. Now, this wouldn't be a problem, except his best friend happens to be female. And historically, I don't do well with female best friends. Of course, the inverse is also true: I often don't like the women my friends date. But back to the issue at hand: She is coming up. For the entire summer. And I'm pretty sure she's going to hate me.

Longtime readers of my blog who don't know me may be scratching their heads and saying, "But why would she hate you, Mary?" Longtime readers of my blog who do know me are cackling, because, well, they know me.

Let's look at the facts:

  • I am dating her best friend
  • He (and his little dog, too) adores me
  • I have a somewhat caustic sense of humor
OK, maybe the list doesn't truly represent my fears, but trust me. She is going to hate me. We will circle each other like wary dogs for months. (Much like Dara and I did when she started dating James. We're great friends now, but this undermines my argument.) This should be an interesting summer.

May 13, 2008

barack o'bollywood

Posted by Mary |

OMG this hurts my brain. And I promised myself I wouldn’t make this blog political.

OK, here’s the deal:

I will give baked goods to the first person who can:

a) name two of the dance scenes featured in this clip. Just the movie titles will do, though you get bonus points for knowing the names of the songs.
b) explain why this technically could never be considered a Bollywood clip

May 11, 2008

heard at dinner

Posted by Mary |

I guess only one of us is truly aware of
the damage an airborne log can inflict.
--Me to Tom, defending the Ewoks'
ability to bring down an
Imperial All-Terrain Scout Transport

See, the beauty of this one is that Tom could do nothing to continue with the argument. A few months into our relationship, he hit me in the head with a log, sending me to the emergency room. I'm going to miss bringing that up all the time now that we're moving away from each other.

May 8, 2008

word nerd

Posted by Mary |

I like it when people make me think. Driving home last night, Robin and I started musing over the difference between “oblige” and “obligate.” How can you not love a man who will discuss etymology with you? *swoon*

The dictionary, though usually my friend (OK, usually read by me and my friends at parties. Seriously.), was not help with this one. The definitions (of the transitive verbs only):

Oblige: {OFr obligier, obligare to bind, oblige < ob + ligare, to bind} vt 1) to compel by moral, legal or physical force; constrain; 2) to make indebted for a favor or kindness done; do a favor for;

Obligate: {L obligatus, pp of obligare} vt to bind by a contract, promise, sense of duty, etc.; put under obligation

Not so different, eh? Both words essentially mean to make someone feel like they have to do something. In common usage, though, I tend to think that “oblige” implies more of a voluntary act. Is this simply because we most commonly hear the intransitive form of the verb? “Much obliged” is a stand-in for “thank you” in some parts of the country, seeming to give the feeling that to “oblige” someone is to be accommodating to them, not to force them to your will. Conversely, “obligate” implies a forced or compelled act.

However, further investigation has shown that perhaps this understanding of the difference between the two words comes down to my nationality. We do not speak the Queen’s English in America. Rather, we have an English all our own. Don’t believe me? Try reading The Economist’s Style Guide section on Americanisms.

While The Economist simply states that it is oblige, not obligate, I found further explanation from an Aussie. As it turns out, “obligate” as a verb is an American construct not necessarily found in other forms of English. For example, Australians would say “Though the watch was meant as a birthday gift, he felt obliged to get her something expensive in return.” Americans would use “obligate” in that instance.

The moral of the story? Well, you can use “oblige” and “obligate” somewhat interchangeably, but it will mark you as an American. And if someone does you a favor, I would not recommend saying you are “much obligated.” And, more importantly, when you start talking words with me, I like you more.

May 7, 2008

welcome to the 21st century

Posted by Mary |

Ladies and gentlemen, we have an RSS feed. I finally got off my ass today and subscribed to a whole bunch of blog feeds.

My Toolbar Bookmarks were becoming increasingly complicated. There were the design blogs that updated a lot and I visited daily. Some had sporadic updates, so I visited them weekly. But sometimes the sporadic sites would have a good run of posting and I'd be stuck wading through stuff for an hour.

Now all of those blogs (well, at least the ones that have feeds) go right to my Google Reader. What did I do before Google? It's my default e-mail client. I G-chat with my boyfriend almost nightly. I sort, store and share documents and calendars. Ah, Google, how I love thee!

read at Bollywood

Posted by Mary |

I was dreaming with my eyes wide open
and falling in love like hell.

featured two songs
within the first 9 minutes and some of the worst subtitles I've ever read. To be fair, it's a pirated movie that I bought for $2. It's also based on a short story by Fyodor Dostoevsky, "White Nights." The set was very reminiscent of Moulin Rouge, in that it was set in the seedy part of town frequented by prostitutes (Note: I'd pay many rupees for Rani Mukherjee. That raspy voice!) and there was the windmill/bar decorated with Christmas lights.

None of the songs on my poorly pirated disc were translated, but the director made up for it with a dance scene featuring the main actor dancing around in just a towel. A towel which kept slipping out of his grip. The boy wasn't my cup of tea, but when you're laid up on the couch with cramps, you take what you can get. Plus, Rachel has been teaching us some choreography to "Chabeela," though Rani does it better.

This movie probably would have kicked ass in the Diwali box office, except it came out against Om Shanti Om. Sure, Saawariya has Rani Mukherjee and Salman Khan, but they are secondary characters. Om Shanti Om has Shahrukh Khan. Topless. With water pouring down his body. I'm sure there were other people in the movie too, but I forget.

Thank you, Farah Khan, for talking SRK into beefing up for an item song in Om Shanti Om.

In conclusion: You should maybe watch Saawariya if you can find a copy with better subtitles. Mine is like Hinglish from hell. And you should definitely watch Om Shanti Om. You probably won't get all the inside Bollywood jokes. But the "Dard E Disco" scene more than makes up for that....