Monday, January 30, 2006


I've got weaknesses. Driving with the windows down, per my last entry, is one of them. You know what? I'm gonna make a list. So now all you evil-doers can easily thwart me/seduce me/make me cry at will. Any of this stuff will bring me to my knees:
1. The Cure
2. Rosati's Frozen Custard (particularly Key Lime Pie, Birthday Cake, and Apple Pie
3. Farinacci's pizza
4. Pineapple (the food, the smell.)
5. The following colors: Grey, green, black, brown, and pumpkin.
6. Hands
7. Flannel shirts
8. Guitars
9. Hot tea
10. Chai
11. Black Coffee
12. Being underneath anything
13. Dinner & Play (Instead of a movie)
14. Ellis Paul's music
15. Good lyrics
16. Poetry
17. Board games! (Even though I'm good at them, I can't say no!)
18. Being asked to do anything. I love to be ordered around.
19. Teachers and professors
20. Tweed jackets with elbow patches
21. Scarves
22. Baseball movies
23. Dimmer switches
24. Sitting in the two seats at Cinemark or wherever where you can look over the railing at the people coming in. I don't know what it is about that spot but I get soft when I sit there.
25. The following voices: Adam Duritz, Ben Lesh, Ellis Paul, Sting (especially early stuff), Dane Castle (can sing my clothes off), Elvis Costello, Chris Robinson, Peter Gabriel, Fiona Apple, Simon & Garfunkel
26. Vinyl
27. Movie soundtracks
28. Sno-Caps
29. Swedish Fish
30. Any Ed Norton movie (even "Death to Smoochy")
31. Film Noir
32. Trivia of any kind. I won't stop until I find the answer.
33. Saturday Night Live re-runs. (Especially from the Belushi era.)
34. Beards
35. Natural bodies of water
36. The library
37. Mix tapes
38. Midnight walks
39. Road trips
40. Evenings in quiet, independent coffee houses
41. Live music
42. Challenging conversation
43. Argyle (sweaters, socks, whatever.)
44. Corduroy
45. The lingering smell of stale cigarettes
46. Autumn (especially late September)
47. Snow
48. Bumper stickers
49. Cult films
50. The jukebox.

Pop suture

It's not particularly warm outside. In fact, there is a tiny little bite in the air today. This is good because I can wear my trademark plaid scarf and my brown skully. Still, it's warm enough for me to drive with my windows down and breathe everything in. I think if the temperature were five degrees higher, I'd feel perfect today.

I sense a lot of potential growing everywhere. Call it a side-effect of February, the melted snow, the wet lawn, Philip Seymour Hoffman's SAG Award...but I feel like things are waiting to get fresh.

I don't have much material for an entry today. But I did want to document the weather today because it feels notable. I sang in my car on the way to the library with my windows down today and I think I was smirking the whole way there. A few of the strangers that I passed where actually responsive--mostly men, but a few women as well.

I have been getting miffed at old people lately when I drive. I have bad ears so I usually have my music up at a moderate-to-loud level. I don't pump my bass or anything and I'm usually considerate at stop lights by turning down the stereo until I'm moving again. But I get some really dirty looks from older people who pass by in cars or on sidewalks. It pisses me off because I feel like I'm being judged. Like maybe they think I'm some hoodlum druggie chick or something. Even when I'm cranking Dean Martin I get weird looks. So today I unapologetically listened to "Sexx Laws" by Beck and then "Fit But You Know It" by the Streets at a decent volume and it felt great. I don't need to surrender my musical pleasure to a bunch of narrow, sour people.

I picked up some stuff at the library today:

Tom Petty: The Last DJ. I've been meaning to listen to this album in its entirety for a long while now. I was feeling pretty hippie-ish today so this is a testimony to that.

Lisa Loeb: The Way it Really Is. Lisa is my girl. I hope this album is as sweet as its cover.

Queen Latifah: The Dana Owens Album. I'm in love with Queen Latifah. Seriously I want to eat scones with her or something. She sings some standards on this one which should be a little bit of a departure from the days of "Unity." Ha.

Allison Moorer: The Duel. I've never heard of her. Her album cover intrigued me and that's pretty much all it takes to get me interested. I've been known to buy movies and CDs just because looking at them makes me feel good. I've got skills when it comes to snap-judgements. The first two tracks on this are so real.

Bamboozled. I enjoy this movie. Yesterday I watched 25th Hour again and I remembered how much I think Spike Lee is boss. I represent Tarantino too. I'll keep this movie away from Pulp Fiction on my bookshelf. Just like I put dividers between my Van Halen/Van Hagar albums.

The Cooler. I've wanted to see this movie since it was in our local art theater. Mmm Bill Macy.

Walker Percy's The Moviegoer. I've been looking for a follow-up novel to Sex, Drugs, & Cocoa Puffs. I wanted something different so this seemed like a good way to go.

I think if there were a movie made about my life, I'd want one of the following people to play me:
-Tina Fey
-Lisa Loeb
-Scarlett Johansson
-Thora Birch
-Miranda July
-Haley Joel Osment (because he really needs the work right now.)
Of course by the time I actually do something sweet that might warrant a biopic, most of these people will be too old. Hollywood sucks.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

No sleeves.

Last night I acted like I was in college and it was probably the best night I've had during my college social career. Really.

I like thinking of my life as a series of completely trivial individual moments that create a larger and much more enlightented product.

I'm being careful about saying that I wasn't "myself" last night. Because really, I was absolutely the same person that I've always been. But there were a few small changes that I must have made--intentionally or unintentionally. I was a different version of myself and I wish I could have seen what happened from the outside.

I wanted to project myself everywhere in that basement. I wanted to hang from the wooden rafters and the dusty rusted pipes and I wanted to crouch beneath the bar and look from below and see what my feet were doing while the rest of me was completely surrendered to something so incredibly visceral. I wanted to know if I could see my toes curling through the tops of my shoes and I wanted to see the shape that his jawline took.

What an excellent and truly surprising series of events. And I don't mind not knowing which part of the bigger picture this fits into. It was a fantastic series of moments and I look forward to making more of them, however unconnected or trivial they may seem.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Guess who?

Here's my entry for the Cleveland Free Times "Worst Valentine's Day Ever" Essay Contest:

He wasn’t classically attractive. Not in that heavy-lidded James Dean in a worn leather jacket sense. He was chubby and his wardrobe consisted of a seven-sweater rotation that he teamed with the same baggy jeans and suede flat-soled tennis shoes every day of the week. As far as I knew he’d never had a girlfriend. He wasn’t a Prom king or a quarterback or the honor society president—he was accessible. I’ll call him Dominic Fabrizzi to protect his name and to ensure that there are no questions regarding his heritage.
Dominic stood a few people to my left on the second riser up in our high school’s highest-level choir. I was an alto and he was a tenor with a rock star’s timbre—think of a portly Steve Perry with better hair and, again, only slightly looser fitting jeans. That’s what he sounded like. If you closed your eyes and listened closely during our choir’s take on Handel’s Messiah, every one of Dominic’s lines sounded like they could be alternate verses to “Open Arms.”
The other girls would giggle in appreciation when Dom belted out melody with those magic pipes but the thing that really made me swoon was his sense of humor. I loved him for his self-deprecation and his impeccable comic timing that breathed life into every theatrical production our school ever put on. He was just good. I imagined my sense of humor blending with his and how we would jive together if I could ever get the courage to speak to him. I foresaw both of our mental pop culture reference libraries blinking back and forth like little green lights on a network hub—and believe me, I wanted to interface. We’d be like Belushi and Radner: a perfect mix of husky frat-boy foolery and dweeby schoolgirl giddiness.
The trouble with this whole situation was a complete lack of communication. Mostly I stared pathetically out of the corner of my eye while we did our solfege exercises so I could see the fleeting but marvelous pout that his lips took on when they made a smooth transition from singing “mi” to “fa.” On days when I was feeling a little bolder, I would smirk innocently at him as we reached for our music folders before the bell rang. Some might say I was being coy. These people were wrong. I was being a total wuss.
I’ve always been a wuss when it comes to men. I still am. Maybe it has something to do with the way I’ve always seen myself as the smart, funny girl. I’ve never thought of myself as being pretty or attractive—I still don’t, even now that I’ve escaped the cruel conformist clutches of public high school. It was my senior year in that high school when I first realized my feelings for Dominic. If I was going to get him to notice the quirky girl to his right on the second riser up in choir, I was going to have to get brazen.
I asked around and friends of Dominic said that he always appreciates personality and creativity in a girl. I had both of those things so all I needed was a modus operandi to get him to realize that I was everything he wanted in a woman and maybe even more. (After all, this was the same year that I learned how to make homemade pie crust!) So one evening as I was putting my clothes away and noticed a blank t-shirt at the bottom of a drawer, it occurred to me that I should just go for it and wear my heart on my sleeve…in the most literal sense.
I immediately took a thick black sharpie to the clean untouched fiber of the straggler of a white t-shirt that I had earlier spotted in my drawer and feverishly scrawled the first thing that I thought of on the front of it: “Gee, I really wish Dominic Fabrizzi would ask me for a date.” I grabbed a red sharpie and drew a comic-inspired thought bubble around the text with an arrow pointing up towards my face. Then I added a few little red hearts, just in case the message itself was too subtle. I stared at the shirt from an arm’s length away and it looked creepily professional for how fast I had created it. I didn’t consider the possibility of Dominic thinking that it might be creepy; I was so determined that I was being creative and showing my true personality that I stuffed the thing in my backpack with all of my other homework and zipped the thing shut. I slept with a smile on my face and with little specs of sharpie littering my fingernails like tobacco stains.
The next morning at school I wore the shirt under a sweater that I pulled off as I entered the choir room. I sat down on the riser and waited for his eyes to meet mine. And they did. And then they met with the text on my shirt. I pulled the loose tendrils of hair behind my ears and felt my face get hot. I smiled a little bit and I think I started to squint as I tried to read him. He laughed nervously and climbed up the riser, fiddling with his choir folder. We spoke about it the next day. Then we never spoke again. I was completely heartbroken. I’ve since decided that actual conversation is a better foundation for a relationship than a homemade t-shirt. I kept watching him out of the corner of my eye in choir for the rest of my senior year and I came back to high school a year later to watch him sing “Open Arms” at the senior choir show. I think Dominic got over the whole t-shirt thing. I hope he has anyway—we go to the same college now and I've been thinking about joining choir again.

Feedback is always appreciated.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

They better be making soup

Well, a friend of mine asked me to fill out this survey sort of thing. I objected at first because I usually make my lists in "5's" like Rob in "High Fidelity" but I broke down and decided to do it. I added a few items that I felt needed to be added.

4 Things

1. Local newspaper delivery bitch. In my grandma's neighborhood. They handed me ten dollars every week, and fifteen when there was a "newsletter"
2. T-shirt presser/manager at Hometeam Sports Memories. Yes, that's right. I actually hand-pressed mass amounts of t-shirts every day. On slow days though, it was great. I worked alone and read a lot.
3. Head of Internet Sales & Shipping/Guitar & music saleslady at the Karaoke Kandy Store. Yes, a karaoke store. They exist. And I'm still marginally employed there.
4. Editor-in-chief and staff writer for BW's Maelstrom. Stick it to the Man. Alternative press rules.

1. Staff writer for The Onion or SNL
2. Owner of a record store/coffee shop
3. Whale trainer (seriously)
4. Owner of an independent movie theater

1. Love Actually (I like to cry myself to sleep watching this one.)
2. Kill Bill Volume 1 (Even though I prefer Volume 2, it's more fun for me to watch Volume 1 repeatedly.)
3. American Beauty (I once watched this film three times consecutively)
4. The Wedding Singer (Four times in a week!)

1. Cuyahoga Heights, OH
2. Brecksville, OH
3. Berea, OH
4. I lived in Cincinnati for about a week once. Yea the whole "moving" thing will probably happen someday but college is sort of getting in the way right now. Anyway, Cleveland is a pretty okay city. You get what you put in around here.

1. Saturday Night Live
2. The Colbert Report
3. The Office
4. Grounded for Life (Because I want to do Donal Logue)

1. Punta Cana en la Republica Dominicana. I fulfilled one of my life's dreams there--I swam with a shark. I broke away from the beach with my snorkel and happened upon what I'm pretty sure was a baby port jackson shark in a small patch of reef. Someday I'll graduate to bigger sharks.
2. Seattle, Washington. A beautiful and truly unique city. I love all the piers and the artisans on the streets. My kind of weather too.
3. Bar Harbor, Maine. Whale-watching, The McLobster, rock climbing and hopping. So perfect. If I ever become a great and famous writer I will buy property here.
4. Yellowstone National Park. My favorite area was in Wyoming.

1. California. Specifically Napa Valley or maybe even San Francisco. I have no desire to see LA.
2. Ireland. Seriously let's go right now.
3. Japan. As much as I'd love to see Japan's countryside, I'd probably do better in Tokyo since I don't speak Japanese. I could be like Bill Murray in "Lost in Translation."
4. Shark Bay, Australia. Remember that part about graduating to bigger sharks? There you go.

1. I check my mail a lot. A LOT.
2. Yea, I have another blog.
3. I'm one of those geeks that communicates on message boards about film.
4. I am, after all, an American college student.

1. Stancato's of Richfield
2. La Dolce Vita, Little Italy Cleveland
3. The Tin Angel, Philadelphia. (Best bangers & mash I've e'er tasted!)
4. Blaggard's Pub, NYC (The one on West 38th)

1. Matt McKenna, my co-producer from BuzzTV. I had such a crush on him. Then I found out about the whole "I'm married" thing and I realized it just wasn't going to work out.
2. James Catullo. He was in my intermediate improv class and he's positively delightful. We've been e-mailing back and forth and it's fun.
3. Shawn Gaines. He's got a new lady and I'm not her. Good for him. Life goes on!
4. Angela Spisak. I need to call her. It's been a while.

1. Pesto. On bread, on pasta--I love it.
2. Veggie lo mein
3. Quiche
4. Diet Coke. It counts, bitch. And yes, I do eat meat, contrary to what one might imply from my answers.

1. Highland Elementary
2. Chippewa Elementary
3. Oakes Road Middle
4. Brecksville Middle/High (I got bounced around because I was "gifted")

1. My big heavy black ribbed Eddie Bauer sweater--I pretend that I borred it from my nonexistent boyfriend.
2. My black Pumas
3. My glasses!
4. My black Mossimo jeans, cuffed.

1. The White Stripes "Elephant"
2. Ellis Paul's "American Jukebox Fables"
3. The Police "Synchronicity"
4. Over the Rhine "Drunkard's Prayer"

1. Bed
2. On a couch with James Catullo
3. At the river ford (during summer though, reading.)
4. In a loft. Any loft, really.

Alright. There it is. Never again.

Only in the Movies

This morning I woke up and hit my head on the ceiling. I guess that's the price you eventually pay when you loft your bed. The strange thing is that I've lofted my bed for two years now and this is the first time it's happened. It really hurt. I'm still feeling it.

When it happened though I was reminded of two films:

1) "Zoolander", simply because he hits his head in similar comic fashion.
2) "Magnolia" because of my make-believe boyfriend Philip Seymour Hoffman's excellent telephone monologue.

His character discusses the possibility of extraordinary circumstances and quasi-cinematic occurances happening in real life and he painfully tries to convince someone else to believe that what he is saying is not some fantastic fabricated sob-story. In fact, in the opening of this movie the narrator tells us, "These strange things happen all the time." And I think that hitting my head this morning was a case of life imitating art or the other way around or something. Then I went to turn on the TV and it was already on. I had it set to "Input 2" last night whilst I was watching a movie and I must have forgotten to turn it off. So when I pushed the power button on the remote, I heard a click and nothing happened. It was strange.

Last night I saw a screening of the new Woody Allen film, "Match Point." As always, he offers up a really insightful and captivating (if sometimes slow-moving) exploration of the politics of sex and ambiguity of love. Scarlett Johansson was weird. I mean, I love her a lot but I guess I wasn't used to seeing her playing such a forward and overtly sexual woman. To me she's still the awkward indie girl from "Ghost World" with a thrift store skirt and a crush on the guy at the gas station. I make bizarre connections with characters in movies.

I hope that I never hit my head on the ceiling again--not because it was so painful--but because if it happens again it won't be such a special occurance anymore.

The girl next door is singing some horrid radio "country" hit. I like the old country--back when it knew what it was. Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, George Jones.

I can't think of anything good to say. I think I'm going to finish watching "Girl, Interrupted" and simultaneously forge bizarre connections with two of my favorite cinematic foils. (Susanna (Angelina Jolie) Kaysen and Lisa Rowe (Winona Ryder)). )))))(().