Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Summer is almost over...

....and I couldn't be happier about it. Not because this was a bad summer, per se, but because (prepare to gasp)
I don't really like summer. It might, in fact, be my least favorite season.

Admitting you don't like summer is like saying
you hate dogs, a subject I blogged about back in June. From a very early age, we are programmed to look forward to summer. School's out! No more getting up early, no more homework! You can eat hotdogs and watch fireworks! What's not to love?

Well, off the top of my head:

1) It's too fucking hot. And air-conditioning is expensive. There is nothing worse than taking a cool shower and then starting to sweat again before you can even get your clothes on. I enjoy the hot weather for about two weeks -- then I'm over it.

2) The beach is overrated. Unless you look like this :For most of us, donning a bathing suit and being close-to-naked in front of total strangers who may or may not have better bodies is not a fun prospect. Also, I usually get bored after about 2 hours on the beach. I read, I nap, I swim (if I'm not on a beach on the Atlantic where the water is frigid) and then....I'm kind of ready to go back indoors.

3) Everyone who can afford it is out of town on the weekends, making for a stagnant social life. And for those of us who don't use "summer" as a verb and jet off to the Cape/Hamptons/the Vineyard every weekend, there's not much to do except visit the same old bars and drink watery sangria.

4) The Fourth of July is usually disappointing, much like New Year's Eve. You try to make "awesome" plans, but something always falls through -- it rains and the BBQ you planned to attend is canceled, or the roof party with the great view of the fireworks runs out of beer at 8 pm. Something always goes wrong and before you know it, it's July 5th. Happy fucking birthday, America.

5) August is, hands down, the worst month. It's the Sunday of months -- you can't really enjoy it because you're thinking about all the shit you have to get done in September and feeling guilty about all the stuff you were supposed to accomplish with all your free time over the summer. Everyone is depressed and sluggish. No good movies come out in August ("Hey hon, want to see Nanny McPhee Returns tonight?").

I'm not depressed at the end of August, however -- I'm positively elated that fall is almost here. I love fall clothes and colors, I love the cool evenings, and my favorite holiday, Halloween, is right around the corner. August is insufferable, but there's a light at the end of the tunnel, a light signifying salvation from the heat and the exhausting summer expectation to HAVE FUN CONSTANTLY.

I say, bring on September! I'd rather shop for Trapper Keepers than bikinis any day.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Brief Sojourn Into My Subconscious

Given all the hubbub surrounding the film "Inception" and the subsequent articles (like
this one by my friend Alexis), I thought that I would post about my dreams of late. But first, a word about my sleeping habits. Essentially, if sleeping were a sport, I would be an Olympic athlete. I sleep more than most people I know. An astrology book I flipped through once told me that people born on my birthday (March 1) need more sleep than others because we have especially active dream lives. This is what I remind myself when I guiltily wake up after 11 am.

Those of you who know me know that I sometimes have some, um, anxieties. And thus, I have a lot of stress dreams. Now that I think about it, I have at least one a night. Some are more garden-variety/common, while others (I think) are more specific to me and my bizarre little brain. The basic categories of my stress dreams are:

1. The Travel Stress Dream

I only started having these about two years ago, when I was preparing to leave NYC and move to Boston for grad school. So obviously, the dreams are manifestations of my anxiety about transitions and changes. In the dream, I'm about the take a trip, BUT

a) I don't have time to pack/can't find my suitcase and/or

b) can't get a cab to the airport and/or
c) I'm at the airport, but I can't find the gate and/or

d) I'm at the gate, but I can't find my ticket/passport/luggage

I'm always in the same, horrible imaginary airport and it's huge and there are no informational monitors or signs. It's also strangely deserted, so no one can help me find my gate, etc.

2. The Academic Stress Dream

This one's pretty classic. Sometimes I'm back in high school, sometimes I'm in college. Sometimes I'm in "college" but the campus is my high school campus. Usually, the problem is that I suddenly remember that I signed up to take a class and meant to drop it, but forgot and now it's too late. The semester is almost over, I haven't been attending the class and I'm going to fail because there is no way I have time to learn/read everything before the imminent final exam.

3. The Health/Appearance Stress Dream

This one's a little weird. I occasionally dream that I'm blind or that my teeth are falling out. But sometimes, I have a more vain variation where I look in the mirror and I just don't look like me. Sometimes I've gained a lot of weight and sometimes I just look like a different person. Once I looked in the mirror and had become Monica Lewinsky and I was really upset about it. Because who wants to look like Monica Lewinsky?

4. The Performance Stress Dream

Again, fairly common among theatrical types -- I'm in a play and just haven't bothered to learn my lines. So I'm frantically trying to get my hands on a script backstage. The show is about to start. The twist is that the play is always something classical, like Shakespeare or Sophocles, so I know I can't just adlib my way through it because my lines are in iambic pentameter or rhymed verse or something.

5. The Restaurant Stress Dream

Since getting hired at Lineage, I have had one of these about once a week, usually following a busy shift. In the dream, I have a bunch of tables and am totally in the weeds. And to make matters worse, the computer system has been redesigned so I can't enter my orders. Also, the menu has completely changed and customers ask me questions I don't know the answers to (in one version, Lineage had mysteriously transformed into a Brazilian steakhouse).

6. The Wedding Stress Dream

I'd be curious to know if other single women nearing thirty ever have this one. It's my wedding day and everything looks beautiful. I'm in my dress, my bridesmaids are helping me with the final touches. I'm about to get married. My mom is literally weeping tears of joy. But here's the bad part: I know I'm marrying the wrong person. I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that it's a huge mistake. I know it will end in divorce. But it's too late to call it off so I know I'm going to go through with it. I'm about to make the biggest mistake of my life and there's nothing I can do about it. Pretty fucked up, no?

It's not uncommon that I will become aware that I'm dreaming at some point in these dreams and then will try to alter the course of events. Even though I know it's not real, if I can just get on the plane/drop the class/keep my teeth/ring in the order/memorize my lines/call off the wedding, I will wake up feeling less anxious. Sometimes I achieve this, sometimes I wake up before it happens.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Cradling the Mustache

The title of this blog post is not a euphemism for female masturbation, though maybe it should be. If want to read my thoughts on that subject, click
here (i.e. Mom, DO NOT CLICK THERE).

When I talk about cradling or cuddling with my mustache, this is the mustache I mean:

A few things to know about my mustache:

1. His name is Maurice.

2. He is from Provence*.

3. I share my bed with Maurice almost every night.

*He was a gift, so I don't know his actual origins. Probably he's from somewhere terrible like Urban Outfitters that sells kitschy Japanese plush toys, but I like to pretend he's from France.

Yes, I am a 29-year-old woman who sleeps with a stuffed mustache. And sometimes, Maurice is not alone in bed with me (and Maude). Allow me to introduce a few of my other bed fellows:

Laufgraben the Lion

Mr. T-T-T


Master P, who lost his left foot in a tragic Maude-related incident. I don't actually sleep with him though, because when you squeeze him, he goes "Uhnnnn....na na na na."

So as you can see, it's often a menage-a-many in my futon.

When I'm sad, cuddling with stuffed animals is especially useful. My mother still endorses this practice -- I called her crying the other night (yeah, that whole happiness thing? Crock. I'm back to my normal ups-and-downs existence) and after calming me down, she asked "You have a stuffed animal you can cuddle, right?"

I can do you one better, Mom: I've got a stuffed mustache. A stuffed mustache WITH a mustache. And he's a great photo accessory at parties!