Monday, November 1, 2010


"The more financially independent, in control of events, educated and sexually autonomous women become in the world, the more impoverished, out of control, foolish and sexually insecure we are asked to feel in our bodies."

-Naomi Wolf, The Beauty Myth

Monday, October 4, 2010

Because you can't do work at work all the time, and sometimes you look at lolcats

M: I'm assuming cats need special keyboards since their dexterity is limited.
B: It is? I thought they were nimble, quick and always ready to pounce.
M: They are, certainly, but that lack of movable digits will be their ultimate downfall, because if they can't keep up with technology, they'll be obsolete.
B: So birds will be fine but not dogs and cats?
M: Unfortunately.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

This is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

After not being touched or touching someone for a while, accidently brushing hands or arms or knocking knees with a stranger is foreign and uncomfortable for the first few seconds, and then like being hugged tightly and having sweet things whispered in your ear, and ultimately like being pushed out of the car and left on the side of the road.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Dandelion Wine

I'm going to go back.
I'm going to go to the old places I used to wander, play, hide.
I'm going to get coffee and have tea with old friends, old neighbors.
I'm going to spend time with the girl who's really not just my cousin, but my older sister, the only person my age who's known me since I was born, the girl I would do anything for--like eat dog food at age 7 when dared.
I'm going to see the house I grew up in, the woods, the rope swing over the creek.
I'm going to cry and cry and cry and cry.
I'm going to start figuring out what's wrong with me; why I'm stuck; why I let people hurt me over and over; why I don't know what I want; what I want.
I'm going to read and read and read
and write and write and write.
I'm going to get drunk with my cousin while floating on the lake.
I'm going to run around barefoot in the woods and wade through creeks and climb trees and discover the spaces not so often tread on.
I'm going to go to a show by myself at some tiny bar downtown.
I'm going to talk to people I don't know and ask them about themselves and watch their faces and hands while they talk.
I'm going to be alone.
and I'm going to be okay.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

We're men, MANLY men, we're men in tights. Yeah!

Everyone knows I love men.

I love to look at them, think about them and daydream about them.
Especially when they're tall
and cute
and handsome
and clever and witty and intelligent
and maybe have a sleeve of tattoos or some piercings and mmmmmm.

Hold on, where was I going with this?

Oh yes, I love men. But in theory, not in practice.

They are full of themselves.
Seriously, no one likes to talk about themselves as much as a man does:
"Hello, I am so ____ and ____ and ____. Did I mention how ____ I am? Let me tell you more about how amazing I am at ____."

They don't know what they want
(even though they pretend to).
Then they wander around the globe
or their room
reading Nietzsche and Kerouac and Sartre
and somehow end up back in the same place,
though at first perhaps claiming to be newly Buddhist
or vegetarian
or atheist
or some combination of the above.

They show you glimpses of their humanity;
of sweetness;
of tenderness;
of kindness;
but then quickly help you forget they are capable of being vulnerable
and go back to being selfish, self-absorbed and apathetic.
They ignore you,
and then they write stories and poetry and blogs and lyrics about finding love.
And then, after four weeks--
or three months,
or two years--
of fucking around, they call you
or text you
or email you
or show up uninvited
and don't understand why you seem upset.

In conclusion:
Just because you say you are something doesn't make it so.
Be nice.
Don't ask me out 100 times if I've said no twice.
Don't bother texting me after you've blown me off twice.
Goals. Have some.
I'm staring at you because you're my boyfriend and I think you're cute, you asshat.
You're less self-aware than you think
and more transparent than you think.
And I will love you anyway.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Happy is as happy does

People are like marshmallows. They get hard on the outside when they're under fire, but inside they're just soft and squishy.

Okay so people aren't really like marshmallows, but I like analogies and I wanted to make that one worked.
It has nothing to do with anything. This blog post is going to wander, so I wanted you to have visions of marshmallows dancing in your head in case you get bored.

It's hard to take a stand on what you want for your life when you don't know what you want. It's hard to make decisions when you honestly don't know what would be best for you. And when your options are so scarce or non-existent, it becomes more about taking whatever you can get over meeting your needs. But if you don't know what you need, then…this discussion is already over.

My best friend recently asked me if I missed college (even though she already knew the answer).
No, I do not.
It's surprising to me that even though there's so much uncertainty in my life, and I can get so anxious about all the instability and not knowing and HOLY CRAP WHAT AM I GOING TO DO FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE, I'm not unhappy.
And it's because I'm not in school anymore.
Sometimes I wonder what it would have been like to go to a different school or to have not been miserable at mine, but everything brought me to where I am now, not to sound overly philosophical. And I probably wouldn't have two ridiculously amazing best friends if my college life had gone any differently.

I don't like the word "happy." It's all semantics, sure, but happy feels shallow and selfish. I'm "happy" I just bought a new pair of jeans that are really soft, even though they were expensive. Eating curry makes me happy. I'm happy when children are not annoying.

But being motivated or ambitious, getting a callback from a job, writing a kickass short story--that doesn't make me happy. It makes me joyful, excited, fulfilled. And to me, those words imply so many other feelings than a simple "happy" does. Happy means happy. Happy doesn’t mean anything. I'm totally off on a tangent here, I know, but hear me out.

Who cares if you're happy? People are so worried about being happy. I worry about it, too. But it's more that I make sure I'm not unfulfilled. And if I am, I make sure I’m doing something about it. If you were paying attention, I used the word unhappy earlier; It's hard not to. I feel like I check up on myself to make sure I'm not unhappy--but what I'm really doing is making sure I never feel as depressed and disheartened as I was. I don't think life is about being happy. I think it's about being put or putting yourself in challenging situations. And you find, fight, work and grow your way out of them. And you become a more fully realized person--and happy has nothing to do with it.

I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it, actually. I just want to erase "happy" from my vocabulary. It's like how the Greek and Hebrew words for "love" or "peace" encompass so much more than what they mean when translated into English. I need a word like that to explain what I mean.
Semantics. Yes, I hear you. But words carry weight. It's why I write, after all.

Monday, May 17, 2010

What the Frack-tion?

Today at work there were far too many numbers for my brain to compute.

If a company sends out 5,000 direct-mail coupons and 1,300 people respond, making the redemption rate 26 percent, and a list of 3,400 clients is collected, and ultimately the response rate, through viral marketing, grows to 15,000 people,
how long does it take until Michelle's brain explodes?

Someone do the math on that and get back to me.

I had to have the CEO of a company explain these numbers to me about four different times until I understood what was going on. I felt like I was in kindergarten. At least he didn't talk to me like a child, I guess.

Not to mention I also had to try to figure out the percent margin on what one hotel makes on their markup of Macallan 12-year scotch. I need about three, $12 1.5 oz shots of the $42 bottle after trying to calculate their margin. SPOILER: I fail to calculate the correct number.

Speaking of Macallan, I know how much many different bars across the United States charge for a shot, so if you're into countrywide consumption of scotch, you know who to call, my friends.

I can also give you the names of some premier mixologists in the Vegas and Denver areas, as well as let you know which bar some of the details of the JPMorgan Chase buyout of WaMu occurred.


Monday, April 12, 2010

Forever Young

So I just voted for my top ten favorite young adult books on Persnickety Snark. After submitting my votes, which I used Goodreads to help me out, I realized I completely left out some of my favorite books o' my youth.

Which brings me to a very important question: How can I even begin to choose my favorite books?

Most of the books that have meant the most to me/stuck with me/made me giddy with glee are books I read when I was younger. Granted, I was reading books above my reading level at a young age, so books that are considered Young Adult (about 13 yrs or older), I read before I qualified as one such Young'n. In fact, I had to look up what books are considered Young Adult and it all seems very vague to me, because Twilight, Maniac McGee and Catcher in the Rye all fall under the category of YA. Really, they should be grouped as such: Suckfest of terribly bungled writing of a semi-interesting concept but really has no redeeming qualities; middle school book that was kind of cool; AMAZING.

Seriously, what constitutes young adult? Is Chuck Palahniuk's work considered YA? What about Watchmen? I NEED ANSWERS, PEOPLE.

Most of the books considered YA are written for younger kids, yes, but the good ones (i.e. Catcher) are the ones that are timeless. That you re-read and still relate to. I just recently re-read The Phantom Tollbooth, which is unarguably one of my top three favorite books of all time. It's the perfect book for people like me who revel in words and language and the use (and misuse) of it all.
One of my favorite lines (I love a good play on words):
"Oh dear, all those words again," thought Milo as he climbed into the wagon with Tock and the cabinet members. "How are you going to make it move? It doesn't have a--"
"Be very quiet," advised the duke, "for it goes without saying."

Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass, The Little Prince, Great Gatsby and Brave New World are all books I try to read again every once in a while. They really aren't just for "young adults," after all. Alice particularly has always resonated with me no matter how old I am when I read it. Other childhood (young adulthood? That just sounds gross) favorites included The Voyages of Dr. Doolittle, Island of the Blue Dolphins, and the Narnia books. Yeah, I loved me some fiction.

After all that, here's the list I submitted, which totally isn't comprehensive or even really what I would have put if I'd given it more thought. After No. 2, they aren't in any particular order (because I can't remember what order I put them in on the survey). Among other things, I'd take Mixed-Up Files off, although it's still my ultimate fantasy to get locked inside the Met, and maybe add James and the Giant Peach and Alice in Wonderland. And Brave New World, which I am ashamed I forgot about. Oh, and Heart of Darkness. THERE IS NO WAY TO CHOOSE JUST TEN.

1. The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
2. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
3. Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
4. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
5. The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis
6. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
7. The Giver by Lois Lowry
8. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
9. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
10. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg

Man, this post is a jumble of thoughts.

What would you guys list as your fave YA books?

Friday, April 2, 2010

2010: A Spatial Odyssey

I'm not going to lie to you, I love you.

You're amazing; You're smart, funny, full of random information, and I know I can count on you.

But sometimes you give me a headache. Sometimes I just want a simple answer, and with you there's no one answer for anything. It's overwhelming, and you often go off on irrelevant tangents. You have a great memory, but I just don't need to know half the stuff you tell me.

You can be malicious at times, too, freaking out and going haywire. I don't know what to do when you get like that. I've had to call in a third party more than once for help with your temper.

And remember when we were in England and tried to download and watch Cloverfield online? That didn't go so well, did it? We broke up for a few months after that. Studying abroad without you around wasn't easy for me, either. I had to lean on the support from my roommates. Did it make you jealous that I lived with five boys?

I'm sorry, though, for all the times I mistreated you. I know I can really push your buttons.
And it's not fair to you when I turn you on and then walk away, leaving you to sit idle while I go attend to other things.

You can be really sweet--sending me notes and pictures. Sometimes I don't understand them, though.
Why do you need me to deposit money in the Nigerian Prime Minister's bank account? Also, I'm definitely not going to order male enhancement pills. And that "funny picture of Lindsay Lohan?" I brought that up, and you just shut down.

But, computer, do you know what I like best about you?

When you sit on my lap, you really get me hot.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Duel

Dear Andrew,

Thanks for challenging me to a writing duel. Now I get to look through my myriad folders of crap, semi-crap, crap that could be good, good stuff that could be great and collection of writings that only have the first sentence to pull out something I can fashion into a story I'm not embarrassed to share and would at some point consider submitting to McSweeney's.

Not to mention I only have until Wednesday and I don't want to give you five bucks if I don't meet our deadline. I will gladly take your money, however, should you fail to meet your end of the bargain.

Your friend,

The King of Mexico

P.S. How I feel

Monday, February 22, 2010

Things that aren't fun in the morning

1. Waking up.
2. Discussions on intense topics, like depression, death or sexual experiences.
3. Shampooing your hair three times because you forgot the second time that you'd already shampooed it, and the third time you thought you picked up the conditioner. But you didn't.
4. Zits in the formation of constellations on your face.
5. Cat hair in your tea.
6. Cat hair in your cereal.
7. Realizing you accidentally bought rice milk instead of soy milk.
8. Surprise! Another student loan you need to start paying off.
9. Bank of America email: Low balance alert
10. Menopausal mothers

Monday, January 25, 2010

Call me Mr. Flintstone

I suppose that when your blog sits idle for so long that you get spam comments in foreign languages, it's time to update. I suppose it also helps that the office is dead because everyone is in Miami, and when you're an intern, you don't get to follow along.
Sometimes it's easy to forget that the people you love the most are beautiful. You know it in the back of your head and in your heart, but it's not in the forefront of your mind. And then something as simple--and, in the grand scheme of things, technologically silly--as a Facebook message reminds you how wonderful someone is. Someone pours their thoughts out, and you realize, oh yeah--they are absolutely beautiful.
I'm realizing that lately I've forsaken things that bring me joy for things that don't matter. Forsaken is a strong word, but I'm referring to the fact that I zone out to crap TV instead of reading. I play on my iPhone instead of going for a run on the beach. And then I have moments where I walk by the cliffs, watch the sunset, and realize I'm still working out who I am. It's so easy to settle into a routine--and for now, that's okay--but I can't keep forgetting to pursue things that make me ultimately me. Some of those things are still up in the air (and winners of Golden Globes), but it's the seeking that is important.
I feel like this is starting to get too reflective and esoteric, so let me just end here.