Oct 31, 2008

countdown to costumes

Posted by Mary |

I think that “There’s a Hole in the Bucket” is not so much a children’s song as an example of dialogue between a frustrated woman and a lazy, passive-aggressive man.

Not this year's costume. Not any of this year's costumes. But a picture of me in costume nonetheless.

Someone used the phrase “interwebs” in a presentation at the ARSC staff meeting today. It was Halloween, so the meeting was particularly festive. Since tonight’s outfit is not work-appropriate, I simply grabbed one of my normal “wear-a-costume-to-the-Marlin” ensembles, in this case the Schoolgirl. I toned it down a bit, wearing a looser sweater, but I did put on white knee-high fishnets. I think my new retainers really complete the schoolgirl look. Did I mention I was getting some orthodontic work done? I got the retainers on Wednesday and my word! They sure are sparkly. I did opt for the silver glitter "Elvis in Vegas" model. So now my teeth hurt and I'm slurring when I talk, which just makes my coworkers think I've been drinking.

I’m getting tired of trying to coordinate many schedules so that we can all meet up tonight. I think a nap is in order after work so that I can be rested and ready to go for hours. We’re hoping to hit multiple stops tonight. Tomorrow night will require yet another costume, but only one bar. I'll be supporting Tom in his quest for the top prize at Dead Writers. Let's hope that guy from last year doesn't copy him again.

Tom as the best Hunter S. Thompson last year. Until the OTHER Hunter S. Thompson won first. Bastard!

Oct 28, 2008

Yay! reader mailbag!

Posted by Mary |

Who knew a post about an alcohol-fueled weekend would inspire comments and e-mails? But in a grand service, I have decided to stop addressing my readers indirectly and instead address them directly.

Anonymous Admirer asks “Was the Trek talk/flirting about TOS, TNG, DS9, Voyager, or, (god forbid) Enterprise?”
Although we touched briefly on some of the other series, mostly the conversation focused on my recent attempts to watch DS9. I know, I know. I always thought it was crappy too. But after listening to 20+ podcasts of Make It So, I decided that if two fucking funny British nerds listed it as their second-favorite series (after TNG, of course), it might be worth another look. Thus far (5 episodes into season 1), some of the acting has been remarkably wooden. I find myself once again wondering why Miles O’Brien is around. Clearly I’m supposed to like him, but I just can’t do it. A pleasant surprise, though, is Quark. Normally Ferengis just annoy me, with their thick way of talking that you just know involves lots of spraying spit. Quark has had some good lines, though, and I find myself hoping for some character development.

John from Nashville says “I just really need to know...what is MFA....”
MFA stands for Masters of Fine Arts, in this case all from the Creative Writing department. This advanced degree virtually ensures that you’ll spend the rest of your days teaching high school kids and trying to convince people to play Scrabble at cocktail parties. I’m just kidding. Or maybe I’m not.

And finally, a confidential note to one of my readers: The Constitution guarantees your right to free speech. So thanks for breaking one of your rules and telling me what you think. As it so happens, you are in the majority.

On a side not, the title for my car finally arrived. That means I can now get real plates and, more importantly, can get vanity plates. It’s not too late to vote in my vanity plate reader poll!

Oct 27, 2008

monday is a day for recovery

Posted by Mary |

Another long weekend has come and gone. After the drama during the week, I managed to get out and about several times without running into any unpleasantness, which I count as a victory.

Friday night was, as expected, quite a treat. I met Tom at an English department reading, then he and I went out for Korean food and complaining. He works very well as a friend, and the best part of the whole breakup is that I no longer have to share my food with him. We headed back to his place so he could plug his car in to go to a bonfire while I changed into a costume. The Good Daze were playing at the Marlin and had declared it Viking night. I was only able to find one Viking costume in town, and the package referred to it as “Viking Vixen.” It was indecent even by Mary-wearing-a-costume-at-the-Marlin standards, so I had sewn another skirt to go underneath it. Tom kindly cut the skirt up to a more desirable (read: shorter) length, and then we headed our separate ways.

If you’ve never been to the Marlin before, I must tell you that you have to descend some stairs into the basement before you enter. Once inside, you’re pretty much on the stage. I fear for the noob who tried to visit the bar for the first time on Friday, for he or she likely walked in as the entire bar was singing along to a Viking song, mostly dressed in costume.

I had the pleasant experience of flirting with someone. Actually, I have that experience several times a week, but in this instance the flirting soon turned to talk of Star Trek. It’s a good bet that you can win my heart through geek talk. Too bad I got blocked by some skinny girls from the Pub Line.

Saturday found me baking up a storm in preparation for a round of events that evening. The best-laid plans always fail, though. I brought baked goods #1 to a bonfire at Kendall and Wayne’s house. I was supposed to bring baked goods #2 to JK’s going-away party at Chris John George’s Rock Band extravaganza, but instead found myself at a quite acoustic concert in a candle-lit Pub. Sista Trista and I quickly departed that scene in favor of the Marlin, where the Good Daze were once again playing, though this time in their street clothes. More flirting with the Trek guy, more MFA action, then someone force-fed me part of their hotdog and I realized it was time to get out of the Marlin. Which is how I ended up at the Big I, where I found Christi, Gary and Steven. Christi had not mentioned her birthday, but fortunately I just happened to have baked goods #2 in the car (still). Gary dubbed me Betty Crackwhore. I take it as a compliment.

Sunday should have been a day of rest, but Tom and I had agreed to usher at a play. OMG. Our friend Brandon directed “Wait Until Dark,” and it is fantastic! Holly Carroll, Mike Karoly and Shannon Luster are a particularly talented trio, and they helped put on what will easily be the best play at FDA this season. After that, I canceled my sauna plans in favor of a night of Halloween costume sewing. I really do plan to cut back on my going out, but it will have to happen after next weekend. I’ve been working on the costume for a while, though I’m not giving hints just yet. Pictures to come.

Oct 23, 2008

heard while cleaning (and also, WTF?)

Posted by Mary |

Hey, there are kids here!
--Dara's 9-year-old niece, when she
overheard a frank sex talk between me and Dara

Yeah, so maybe there's truth to that whole "Mary shouldn't be around kids" thing. I do lack the internal censor necessary to keep me PG or even PG13.

And speaking of underage girls, I heard some disturbing facts about my ex tonight. And then he showed up at the bar. And proceeded not to talk to me. WTF? This was the guy who, when I broke up with him, proclaimed that he loved me and wanted to be my friend and still wanted to hold me in his arms. I guess a lot can change in a few weeks. Thinking back on it, he did tell me in our first conversation that he didn't believe that exes could be friends. I guess Tom Moran will remain the only exception to that rule.

On the bright side, I met a guy tonight who just wanted to dance. Well, just wanted to twirl me around enough to raise my skirt. I think is name was Charles. And a group of the MFAs showed up again, including the one I have a vague crush on. Too bad they're all smokers.

Oct 16, 2008


Posted by Mary |

Why do the authors wait until page 297 of an instructional book to tell you how to start a project? I’m trying to use Final Cut Pro to edit a time-lapse movie I made of the construction of our newest supercomputer, and it’s been about 3 years since I’ve used the program. However, Diana Weynand has seen fit to spend the first 296 pages teaching me how to edit my film. On page 297, we start to get into how to get my film on the computer in the first place. The logic defies me. Plus, as it turns out, I remember how to do it.

I had a strange dream last night. I’m on Facebook and have been running into a lot of old high school friends there. (Can I call them friends? I don’t recall having many friends in high school, but there they all are...) I dreamed that a whole bunch of them started working with me. It bugged me because the powers that be decided to take away my cubicle and just have us all working together at a bunch of desks. It got to the point where I wanted to see if I could just share a cubicle with my supervisor. Interestingly enough, the only classmates I recall from this dream were all male.

Oct 11, 2008

heard at the pub

Posted by Mary |

Are you ready to be educated about fun, sexy things?
--MFA student

Seriously, do these lines normally work? I went to Tom's reading last night, which meant drinks afterward at the Pub, which meant the rest of the MFA students showing up later on and quickly wising up to the fact that there was a female in their midst. Naturally, the cute Asian one was not flirting with me. Sigh. Why must I be white and therefore somehow off-limits to most Asian men?

Oct 9, 2008

actually, the wheels on the car are frakked

Posted by Mary |

The new rims for the snow tires?


I gave up and went home to eat my breakfast and contemplate the situation. The flood gods have shined on me, and among the pile of shit that floated to my house was a tire on a rim. A tire on a rim that fits my car. Don't ask, because I don't want to know. But if you want your tire back, you'll need to pick up your 55-gallon fuel drum, 3 ripped tarps, 2 sleds, pile of stuffed animals, jacket, 2 garbage cans, wood pallet, wire spool and raft too. We ended up with a lot shit, but at least one bit was useful.

Still need to figure out those tires, though.

My new car did not come with a spare tire. But don't worry - Robin and I went to a junkyard in Portland where we got a full-size tire mounted on a rim for $16. I've been thinking about this as I contemplate paying $70 and up per rim to get my new snow tires mounted. And that's just for one rim, mind you.

Fortunately I never had to use the spare while Tom and I were driving the Alcan to get back home. Today I got a flat on my way to Pilates class. I swapped out the tire, and lo and behold the spare tire fits! Well, fits on the bolt pattern. When I tried to drive the car, the wheel grinds horribly and the car jerks. Now, I'm no mechanic, but that ain't good. So after leaving a message for Tom to please drive to work today, I walked to campus. (And did I mention I've been meaning to leave an extra hat and gloves, etc. in the car but haven't gotten to it yet? Good thing I decided to wear pants and practical shoes today.)

Since Tom did not get my message in time and biked in, I am beginning a delicate dance of getting Liz to pick me up and work and drive me to Tom's house to fetch his car (again with the reasons why we're still friends), then I can grab my dead tire, drive to the tire shop, hope that my snow tires have been mounted on the rims by now, possibly fall back on the alternate plan of getting a new tire, maybe find some time to get breakfast, and finally get around to actually doing some work.

I baked a cake last night and left it in my car. If it was here, I'd probably eat it right now. Instead, I can use it to reward Tom and Liz for helping me.

Oct 8, 2008

political persuasions

Posted by Mary |

Boy, these election years sure do keep my social life hopping. The picture above is Hayley, me and Liz at the VP debate the Blue Loon last week. Liz won at Palin bingo, damn her. Since one debate is never enough, I ventured back to the Loon last night with Stefan to watch McCain and Obama go at it.

For someone who pays attention to politics like she pays attention to sports (i.e. every four years when the big events come around), it might not have been a wise idea to attend a debate with a former political reporter. Stefan is pretty cool, but I felt politically out-classed. Good thing he had forgotten that borough elections were yesterday, whereas I had already voted. Ha! One point for Mary.

The debate went much as I expected: McCain looked like a confused old man and I felt a little bad for him, especially since we’re friends. Very good friends. He kept calling me his friend throughout the night. I finally leaned over to Stefan and suggested we get a bottle of hard liquor and start playing a drinking game. Memo to the senator: You’re not even my MySpace friend.

All in all, a good evening, even if it did end in the destruction of my final pair of nude fishnets. I can’t find them anywhere in town, so I’m going to have to order them online. Someone asked me recently if I was going to keep wearing fishnets and heels throughout the winter. The answer is yes, yes I am. If other people can keep wearing shorts or sandals when there is snow on the ground, I can wear fishnets and heels. They go better with my dresses than stripey polypros and bunny boots anyway.

Oct 6, 2008

what i did on my summer vacation

Posted by Mary |

A breakup forces me to look philosophically at my romantic life. I never regret anything I do in my life, and I don't regret any of my past relationships although at times I feel like I wasted time before ending things. But from each relationship, I found a lesson. Some of the bigger ones:

J.R. A high school fling. If a boy says he loves you, actions speak louder than words. For instance, if you fight and he then sleeps with a mutual friend, he probably doesn't actually love you. You are perfectly within your means to never speak to him again.
Lesson learned: Don't listen to what people say, but do pay attention to how they act.

Ted My first love. Breakups happen for a reason. You can't control when they come, but you can control how you react afterward. Fortunately, Ted provided numerous chances for me to learn this lesson, as we broke up every six months for many, many years. I got to experience some horrific breakups this way, the kind that left me sobbing and calling my sister in California for hours of consolation. But, like a fool, I took him back every time. Well, every time until the last time.
Lesson learned: It's hard to keep going down the same road. Relationships don't fail for no reason, and it's usually best to leave them broken up.

Tom My best friend. Sometimes a guy can be right for you in so many way. So very many ways, but there's still something missing. We had 5 years of mutual love and respect, and he showed me that I deserve someone who is considerate of my feelings. I still consider him my best friend and the one person who knows me better than even my family. It hurt like hell to end things, but I ended up being able to keep him.
Lesson learned: Stop dating guys you wouldn't want to be friends with. And if you value him enough, you'll want him to be happy again after the breakup, instead of hoping he'll always be miserable without you. (Even though I'm the awesomest person on Earth and he'll never be more compatible with anyone!)

Robin My recent ex. It's hard not to sum this up as a rebound fling, but I did think it was a relationship since we lasted about 6 months. Maybe I'm just getting older, but it's hard to waste time when it becomes clear that the relationship can't go anywhere.
Lesson learned: Don't waste your energy trying to make something work. The first time someone does something cruel should be the last time. This would have made me single again by June, but live and learn.

So as I re-enter the dating scene (quite literally tomorrow), I'm trying to look at my past and figure out where I've gone wrong. The big thing that jumps out is that I fall into relationships too quickly. When I meet someone I really like, I don't see the point of dating anyone else, which means I get to that "exclusive" place far too quickly. It pushes things along too fast and blinds me to other possibilities. The other big issue is the "project boyfriend," aka my-love-can-change-him. I don't want to find someone who's good is some ways but really bad in others. I don't want someone to rely on me to help them change into a better person. I want that better person now. I want someone who meets a reasonable amount of my needs, who is considerate of my feelings, and who has their shit together enough to be content in their lives. I'm tired of transitions. So my goal is pretty much the same that it was until March: Enjoy single life, date a lot, get to know a lot of people, hold off on a relationship until I'm sure it's someone I want to be with. And this time I'll make sure he's someone I would consider a friend, too.

Oct 4, 2008


Posted by Mary |

I have found the gays. It was supposed to just be a costume night at the bars (not for everyone, mind you, just me and my friends. We are in your bars, wearing costumes), but apparently there was a drag show across town. It ended, and the bar was infiltrated. Joy!

I know what you're thinking. "Mary, if you just broke up with your boyfriend, shouldn't you be looking for a straight man?" But the answer is no! Since Jeremy left, I've got no gay boyfriends left. And a girl needs to be surrounded by hot men who wink, flirt, dance and appreciate her wee little top hat.

Did I mention I was wearing a wee little top hat?

Oct 3, 2008

and therefore also

Posted by Mary |

Today I am going to answer all questions in Palin-ese.

I wish somebody would ask me a question.

Oct 1, 2008

footloose, fancy-free

Posted by Mary |

So I broke up with my boyfriend last night. Did I also mention that I’m a firm believer in jumping right into a conversation?

Anyway, don’t cry for me or send me gentle comments of regret and sympathy. It had been coming for a while. I started thinking about it before I returned to Alaska, but some wise friends suggested that perhaps I ought not make decisions about my relationship while I was suffering from depression. Good advice, but I found that my therapist and I were mostly talking about why I was unhappy in the relationship. I ended therapy last week, which was about one week after I resolved that it was over. That it took two weeks after I made up my mind to actually see him and end it is an entirely different story.

Can I keep his mom in the breakup? I mean, his dog is cool and all, but I really like his mom. Maybe we can split her and I’ll get her every other weekend and two weeks in the summer.

But more importantly, I am single once again. Kind of the way I wanted to be when I broke up with Tom in January. And you know what that means …. time for a costume night with my girls.