Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Flying Away On a Wing and a Prayer

There’s been sort of a cloud of doom hanging over us at school recently. No one's light seems to be shining, and frankly it’s getting a little old.

Yesterday, I decided to do my part to lift the fog by overhauling my attitude. I'm going to adopt the Traits of an Idealistic Leader one at a time. The first one is “Strive to Be Delightful," so that's my focus for the week.

I first told Rachel about the plan. She was kind of supportive, but her skepticism was slightly more dominant. “I can’t wait to see how long it takes you to crack,” she said, as I smiled unrelentingly and tried to keep the hilarious jokes coming at steady intervals. “I don’t know if it’s going to be a kid or a parent," she continued, "but it’s going to be something.”

Even though she wasn't convinced of the viability of the strategy, I couldn’t help but notice that she laughed a lot during our conversation. And she also used fewer than five swear-words in five minutes, which is sort of a miracle.

Later, I tried to recruit my students to strive to be delightful this week right along with me. I thought it might be easier if we were all on the same page. They also laughed at me, but that’s okay. At least we weren’t scowling at each other.

We didn’t take time at first to discuss the kind of behaviors that could be considered delightful, which was maybe my mistake. Today we were able to identify some behaviors that are really not.

“Ok, see?” I said patiently to Dylan, a usual suspect. “Making animal noises while I’m trying to talk to the class about introductions and conclusions is not delightful.”

“Those weren’t animal noises,” Dylan said, defensively.

Even so, he more or less stopped meowing. For at least sixty seconds.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

You Might Not Know This, But I'm Going to Be Thirty Next Month

It’s well-documented that pregnancy causes red, blotchy skin. It turns out I am having a problem with this symptom, so I went to the Clinique counter this afternoon to purchase something that might cover up the splotchiness.

“I have very dry skin,” I told the nice saleslady.

“You do!” she exclaimed, rubbing my t-zone. “Do you moisturize?”

“Yes,” I told her proudly. “I use Clinique Dramatically Different lotion.”

“Day and night?”

“Oh, yes,” I assured her, even though I sometimes forget.

“You knooow,” she said, as she pulled out a couple of shades of foundation and rubbed them along my jaw, “unfortunately people with very dry skin show signs of age earlier.”

“Hmmm,” I said, frowning at my fine lines in the magnifying mirror.

“Have you tried our Continuous Rescue?” Melissa asked supportively. “You really need to use it at night, after the Dramatically Different, and with a little extra right here,” she said pressing on my crow’s feet, “around the eyes.”

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Preemptively Trying to Fill the Void With American Idol

There's one point at stake in tomorrow's Runway reunion show, if you want to play.

All you have to do is guess who will be the fan favorite.

I'm going with Sweet P. She's awfully cute. Dan says he's picking Chris. He's also quite likable. Really, there were quite a few winsome contestants this year, so the competition will likely be fierce. You can post your guess below if you wish.

And this is an aside, but this is my first season watching American Idol. Why is it such a commitment to watch this show? THREE nights this week? Are they kidding? Still, Dan and I are putting our time in, and we really don't want to be disappointed.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Have the Guts, Got the Glory

We’re back from a fun weekend in Philly with excellent friends Adam and Tracy.

The air temperature in the city of Brotherly Love was almost always between thirty and fifty degrees warmer than Minneapolis, the kids were very cute together, and Team AK-47 once again claimed victory over Team Dumb Tits in our on-going, mixed-doubles Smear competition.

I especially enjoy the banter at the table.

"Adam, you're such a butt wad," Tracy said at one point.

We all considered this for a minute.

"What is a butt wad, exactly?" Adam asked.

"Oh you know," Tracy said, exasperated. "It's like a plug." Here she made some flicking motions with her hand. "An ass... plug."

We all got a lot of mileage out of this comment. It's hard to explain why.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

We Belong To The Light, We Belong To The Thunder

At Dan’s office, along with the free beverages, they have these spectacular Uniball roller pens that I cannot locate in any store. Dan is very suspicious of me around the pens because I love them so much, and I’d really like to have one or two of my own. I can’t have one, he says, because they are the property of his office.

But this morning when I came downstairs, there were two boxes of these fabulous pens sitting on the counter with a note that said, “Happy Valentine’s Day.” Of course, I was delighted. It was 24 pens in total.

“Did you steal those?” I asked Dan.

“No,” he said, very pleased with himself. “I asked the guy to order them for me, and then I paid him.”

Wasn’t that nice? That’s just the kind of thing Dan does for me. Like the time he got me Tivo for our anniversary. That was really awesome, but this was almost as good.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Resolve. The Skirt.

PR People: On the preview video, Heidi says two designers are cut tomorrow, so here's what we're going to do: Everybody picks two losers for tomorrow, and everybody picks one winner.

Three points are at stake for each of the losers, and you get three points if your winner wins. If your winner is a clear second, you get one bonus point. That's a lot riding on tomorrow's round; but that seems appropriate, as we're getting down to the wire.

The episode is called, "The Art of Fashion," and I can't tell what the challenge is.

Here's what I think: I'm picking Christian for the win, and I'm betting Chris and Sweet P are out. I like Sweet P, but I think Rami, Jillian, and Christian are the most professional. We'll see.

Monday, February 11, 2008

I'm Sending In Your Divas

When I first read Jane Austen in high school, I was totally nonplussed. I didn’t care about Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy at all. The whole Pride and Prejudice thing was a total yawn; especially when compared to all the other really exciting things we were reading, like King Lear and, oh I don’t know, I guess Paradise Lost.

But then in college, it turned out I started to love Jane Austen, especially Emma, and it’s in that spirit, and in the spirit of being completely desperate what with the writers’ strike persisting so annoyingly, that I’ve Tivoed Masterpiece Theater’s The Complete Jane Austen with gusto.

Dan is less than thrilled with this development. Once, in 1999 when we were dating and he still cared about impressing me and attending to my whims, he did come with me to see Mansfield Park at the Uptown Theater. Apparently, this was an unremarkable experience, as he had forgotten entirely the premise, plot, and outcome of the story; and even seeing the new version on PBS, complete with heaving bosoms and covert passions, did nothing to jog his memory.

“I simply cannot believe I’d ever fritter away the entirety of a perfectly decent evening watching such nonsense,” he announced, nose in the air. “Pish tosh, what silliness.”

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Thirty Minutes At Spandex House

Morale at the work site has been pretty low of late. I'm not going to lie: some days I enter the school building with a bit of dread in my heart.

My refuge is crashing on the couch after Shef goes to bed, watching American Idol or Masterpiece Theater or my favorite, Project Runway.

Fashion hasn't been a priority during this activity; but I'm thinking maybe I should put a little more effort into my evening-time appearance, since last night, Dan burst into guffaws and ran for the camera when he found me looking like this:

Yes, that's a regular non-maternity size-medium t-shirt. Indeed, it's paired with regular non-maternity size-large fleece pants pulled up over my definitely maternity-sized belly. And yes, those are Valentine's socks. And yes, I'm laughing so hard at how ridiculous I must look that I'm pretty much just trying my best not to pee in my pants.

I have a weigh-in at the doctor tomorrow, and I'm sure from the looks of things that it will be a sobering experience.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Don't. Stop. Thinkin' About Tomorrow.

Since our neighborhood is rife with hippies and college students, the line for the democratic caucus was out the door and around the corner of the church we’d been assigned. Once we got inside, we saw that they’d chosen the tiniest meeting room possible on a night promising overwhelming turn-out for Minneapolis dems.

The line for the republican caucus on the other side of the street was nonexistent. I don’t think I saw a single human (or animatronic) republican enter that building during my thirty minutes waiting in the cold. This is a shame since I happen to know the meeting room in there is a spacious gymnasium with accommodations for at least a couple hundred folding chairs.

In the end, I voted for Hillary Clinton, and Dan supported Obama. We asked Shef about his preference, and he said he was voting for Dora; but she wasn’t on the ballot.

L-A-T-E-R This Week

So, new Runway coming up tomorrow. I just need one winner guess from all.

We'll have to see how they work this, though. They're taping the finale in Bryant Park on Friday; so we'll all hear who's showing final collections.

The PR powers that be will have to have one or two designers show decoy collections, or they'll have to kick off two people tomorrow night. If they kick off two this Wednesday, that'll leave a final four for Bryant Park.

I'm baffled.