Archive for the 'Ego' Category

Cute imploding on itself

This is like, through the looking glass of cute. It doesn’t have anything to do with what I write about ever, but I couldn’t not mention it.

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Bye bye Butterstick

I never went to see cute little Tai Shan panda bearface when he was born. It was 2005, and I was too busy not going to class and cloistering in the isolated nook of Georgetown, DC to schlep all the way out to Connecticut Ave.

But in the past few years (i.e., since I’ve been living with Id and Ego), I’ve tended to regress into a dysfunctional fit of giggles and squeals whenever I see anything cute or cuddly. If someone even so much as describes to me their adorable puppy or cat or puppy dressed as a cat I devolve into smiles and gushing. So I’ve developed a retroactive affection for the once-cuddly (ok, still cuddly; once-small) Tai Shan.

With that background, I share a pitch I wrote (but didn’t actually pitch, which means it certainly wasn’t considered or approved) to try to gin up at least SOME interest in Tai Shan’s unfortunate departure. It’s clearly a stretch, but that absurdity makes it all the more fun.

Adieu, Butterstick. I hope you make lots of panda babies.

PITCH: Panda farewell reminder of Chinese-owned American Assets

A child born in the United States to foreign parents is being extradited to a communist country with one of the most abysmal humanitarian records on Earth. Now, we’re talking about a giant panda here, not a human child, but that surely got your attention. Tai Shan, the beloved panda born in 2005 to panda parents on loan to the US from China, is being sent home to China next Thursday. While the panda loan program is considered an act of good will between the nations, the reality is China owns a lot of the US—including nearly $800 billion in foreign debt—and recalling Tai Shan is just one example of the vise grip with which the country with the world’s third largest economy holds so many American assets.

The war downstairs

Is it wrong to wish death upon your neighbor?

Not death, necessarily, but I’d be lying if I said this woman wasn’t far from death’s door when we moved in a few months ago.

To understand the backstory here, imagine this blog post as one of those really clever episodes of Mad Men or Alias (remember that?) when they start at the end, jump backward an indeterminate span of time, and show you in 42 minutes how the lead character winds up with a bloody nose or at gunpoint or something (in this case) less dramatic.

The folks who lived in our apartment before us moved out because they started smelling cigarette smoke wafting in through their windows and convectors. But the price was right and conditions prime for us to get the heck out of dodge (aka our dank pit downstairs (aka Tom Ridge’s house)), so we rationalised that the smoke probably wasn’t *that* bad, and the lady who lived here was preggers afterall and was probably being sensitive to smells… and we signed on the dotted line. The building manager told us that the source of the smoke was in all likelihood an older woman who was no longer healthy enough to go outside for her ciggy breaks. Id points out that *MAYBE* the ciggy habit has something to do with our downstairs neighbor’s fragile health, but far be it for downstairs neighbor–let’s call her Ashtray–to recognize irony this late in the game.

To add insult to injury, I received a phone call from our building’s front desk while shopping at Bed Bath & Beyond for grownup’s candy and toys new apartment essentials the day after we moved in, inquiring with me exactly when all the banging and loud noises would stop, because evidently it’s rather unneighborly to construct affordable Swedish furniture in one’s own apartment. (And because evidently I’m apartment mom, but that’s a whole other story.) Ego has rarely seen me more enraged. So less than 24 hours in our new abode and we’ve already opened hostilities against one (but, let’s be honest, probably several) of our neighbors.

Secret Sam watching football. Isn't he cute?

Ashtray lights up at around 4 or 5pm weekdays–quitting time for most adults with normal people’s schedules–then moves to one of the back bedrooms at around 8 or 9pm–bedtime for most adults without insomnia, which mercifully doesn’t describe me or Ego. The result is a predictable pattern of wafty smoke that governs by when we should close our windows and/or shut off our heating units. Overall, not the most annoying thing about living here, but still just annoying enough that it prompts stiletto dance parties and the smuggling of secret noisemaking dogs into our apartment.

We often find ourselves wondering when she’d just die already, give our lungs and linens a break. But until then we’ll just combat her stinky habits with an army of scented candles, an artillery of Febreeze, and the hope that when she goes, she doesn’t leave a lit cigarette behind. Because like smoke, fire rises.

The flying squirrel

I just came back inside from a building-wide fire alarm that evidently my office caused. Unlike in middle school–when you’d pray for a fire alarm to get you out of taking a test that you will invariably go back and finish taking in ten minutes after the poor custodian finds and flushes the stink bomb that prompted the alarm, which anyway is not enough time to study the notes that you forgot to smuggle outside (which is probably the reason why teachers ingrain in us that we are not to take ANYTHING with us during a fire drill)–fire alarms during live television are incredibly inconvenient. But not for me, because I have no clearly defined role to fill today, so I’m starting a blog!

Trouble is, I’m not especially clever. I like to think I am, but enough tortured souls have poured their hearts and clever, clever minds out into blogs in the past decade that I feel as though I am in saturated company. So this is what I would write if I were actually clever. And, revisionist history aside, what I should have retorted in so many situations but was too paralyzed by fear of confrontation to actually say.

So without further ado…

I saw this dress. I try to look impeccable every time I step foot out the door, when I’m not trudging into work on weekends at least. A constant paranoia that others are harshly judging me, combined with an inability to leave for work without checking myself in the mirror forty-seven times, sees to that. So I figured, I’m dripping with disposable income like everyone else in this country right now, so why not order it online and try to make it work.

Beyond the excitement of seeing that little “YOU’VE GOT A PACKAGE!!!!” key in my mailbox, getting things from Banana Republic has become such a ritualistic joy in my life. Because I don’t see the point in paying $7 for shipping without buying several unnecessary articles of clothing and accessories, I had a few other garments to try on to build up suspense before the piece de resistance. Normally this is done in private (see “Judgmentphobia,” above), but roommate #1 was home–tough but fair and rational, we’ll call her the Ego–so I decided to model for her the lovely things I purchased.

Until we got to the Flying Squirrel dress. So named because, unlike the chic voluminous silhouette and flattering banded bottom you see on the model (who is admittedly the size of my pinkie finger), this sack looked like a cashmere cross between a 1987-era sweatshirt–exposed shoulder seams and all–and a marshmallow. “Dolman sleeve” is an outright lie, and Banana Republic should be ashamed… is what I would have said had I not wanted to make it work SO BADLY.

The biggest mistake was letting roommate #2–we’ll call her the Id… or, just for today, Snidely Whiplash–try the dress on, which proved that even 5’11” skinny pretty blonde girls couldn’t make it work and that, given the opportunity, good friends will sooner tie you to a railroad track themselves than let you commit fashion suicide. Despite my protestations and assertions that the dress is no longer in my possession, and I’m $65 richer because of it, the Flying Squirrel dress is enduring proof that the risk one takes in fashion is not that people won’t understand your style goals, but rather that you won’t be able to win a battle when your indefensible position is made of marshmallows.

Chew on that, psyche.


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