Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Happy Birthday to Whitman, the world's most badass three year old. May you rule Madison as well as your father one day.

Saturday, October 28, 2006


As I listened to Ethan talk to his brother about their Halloween memories, and about their shared dislike of pumpkin carving, I thought of a year that takes on a whole new meaning now that I'm an adult.

My sister and I each got pumpkins to carve every year. There are tons of pictures of us at the pumpkin patches. One year we carved Bert and Ernie pumpkins, and each of us picked our pumpkins based on our favorite of those two characters. My pumpkin was short and round and was Ernie, and Dana's was tall and oval and was Bert. It only hit me now that our personalities match those choices as well.

The pumpkins looked really cool, too.

Monday, October 23, 2006

My Sister is the Greatest Volume III:

Wherein obscure 90's C-list celebs who later married 80s C-list celebs are referenced while mocking the genetic lot of a newly omnipresent celebutot,

Corngirl521: you know what is hilarious? apparently after singing a few songs at a concert, he totally started ripping on jessica simpsonm
meredithlynnec: nick?
Corngirl521: yeah
meredithlynnec: man that's good stuff
meredithlynnec: did you see how she said that she knew it was over when he didn't go to africa with her for her stupid charity?
meredithlynnec: also, WTF with Rumer Willis' chin?
Corngirl521: yeah. what a bitch-ass charity to be associated with
Corngirl521: what about her chin? did she get it done?
meredithlynnec: no, it's just so damn huge
Corngirl521: oh yeah
Corngirl521: she and casper van dien would have horribly freakish children

PS: The Oxenbergs were a great gravy train to hitch to. How Grace Kelly of you.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Ills and their cure

So I'm laid out with a terrible cold/flu/plague thing, with Arrested Development Season 1 and my knitting as my only entertainment. Also, the therapeutic benefits of a hot shower are being denied me because the hot water has not worked since Maintenance turned on our heat yesterday.

On the plus side, my dear friend Eric is in the Twin Cities and I will get to see him and catch up after a long period of radio silence. I can't wait to go get boozed up with him.

Saturday, October 07, 2006


A friend in Minneapolis who has cable and will let me watch Battlestar Galactica at their house on Friday nights.

Monday, October 02, 2006

California Bitches

(Directed in particular to a woman in Davis whose name I don't know): You are not on The Real World. In the non-MTV "real world," people do not sit their roommates down for a talk about cleaning styles and then spring on them a well thought out manifesto on why you can't stand them. That, in case you are confused, is what normal adults tend to call "cunt-ass bitch" behavior. There is no excuse for cruelty one month into any relationship, romantic, cohabitational, academic, or work-related. If I hear any more about it I am coming out there to kick your butt across the International Date Line. The swim in the Pacific should give my dear tormented friend some much needed peace.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Update: I really am a quitter

I did end up dropping the class, and the only thing I learned from the experience is that "learning experiences" cost more the more you try to learn from them. What a waste of hundreds of dollars.

Emeritus Punk

I sat down to my regular Sunday ritual of diving into the New York Times arts-section-first and discovered yet another Minneapolis-centric article written by Kelefa Sanneh. Like any good current Minneapolis resident who lived in Brooklyn during 2005, I love the Hold Steady(I credit Ms. Lauren with first showing me their awesomeness). Aside from a little confusion about why the author so desperately loves Minneapolis(confidential to Mr. Sanneh-I'll trade places with you if you like it here so much. No, no, it's no trouble. I understand how completely inferior New York is to MPLS in every way), I enjoyed reading it.

After I'd finished, I thought for a while about the bars I've loved in Madison and Minneapolis over the years. The list includes some dank holes in the wall, although none of them could accurately be called dive bars. They weren't faux-dive either; at one time many years ago they had been genuinely rough places frequented by bikers and tattooed characters who weren't afraid to meet you out back with a metal pipe and a chain. The days when the C. C. Club, the Paradise, the Caribou, and the Wisco hosted pissed of punks and derelicts are long gone; now former cheerleaders with artfully applied streaks of Manic Panic pull their Marlboro Lights out of Coach bags on their way outside to get their nicotine fix. Even with the smoking bans and the addition of digital jukeboxes that list the latest Xzibit track next to "Johnny Hit and Run Pauline," these places still feel invitingly gruff.

These places are immune to sanitization as long as they can afford to keep their doors open. You can't get the smoke smell and grime out after 30 years, and there is always at least one man(or woman) who looks like they haven't left their bar stool since 1970. My friends and I don't go to today's "dive bars" because they don't have any other place they feel comfortable; we drink beer and drink in the history of violence and working class frustration to forget for a while that the United States is more prosperous than perhaps any other society in the history of civilization and that we, with out college and graduate degrees and our white collar jobs, live absurdly close to the top of the heap. We pay homage to the old masters, the Emeritus Punk that is home to IFC tv shows, WCW screenwriting credits, and tips on how to make your brand new band t-shirt look like you bought it in 1981(even if you don't look old enough to have been a fetus that year). Hell, even in the old days these places weren't their legends. My father played pinball at the Paradise during his lunch all through the mid-70s, clad in a suit and chatting with his State Government bureaucrat friends.

Don't think for a moment that I would trade my dive bar nostalgia for something "more authentic." I'm way too white and bourgeois for hip hop, which, as the New York Times tells me, is the new punk rock(an assertion I'm loathe to entertain). I'll order my PBR because I want it, not because I'm skeptical of the microbrews on tap next to it, and I'll play my favorite Cheap Trick song because I like the band, and I'll prove to anyone, Frat Boy or Harley head, that I am a force to be reckoned with at pool. I like feeling like a part of a continuum more than feeling on the cutting edge, and it's nice to someplace where the pretense is brought in by the customers and not built into the booths. At least then you can drown your disdain in your rail whiskey in your own corner, and maybe you can befriend another paton who isn't cool enough for the current scene.