Tuesday, June 27, 2006

She's Crafty

I'm about to design another t-shirt for myself. In the past, I've only made shirts with text. I usually use sharpie, printing the text first on a sheet of paper, and then transferring it by hand to my t-shirt. I've got one that says "Turning Suburban" which I made for my character in the film I worked on this spring. I made another one the other day on a neon green tee that says "Jukebox Hero."

If this shirt turns out to be any good, I'll post a picture of it on here later. I don't know why I feel the need to post this right now, because if it ends up being hideous then whoever's reading my blog will pester me to see it. I should really not say anything about it. Don't ask, don't tell, right?

Whatever. I'm making a shirt. Give me leave.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Out of town

I just got back from Cincinnati today. Apparently the day after I left Brecksville, the town flooded. There was a freak thunderstorm that lasted for a few hours that poured tons of water onto my hometown and left quite a bit of devastation in its wake. Our gazebo was in danger of floating away. Waters gushed six feet deep or higher throughout the suburb. Kids were paddling around on surfboards where sidewalks used to be. This is what they tell me. I didn't hear about any of this, oddly enough, until I piled into my parents' van after a long weekend of sweating in the dry Cincinnati heat. I was completely disconnected from all of it.

I went down on Wednesday night to see my sister. An engagement party was in the works for Saturday so because my parents would have to come down anyway, my mom drove me and I met my sister in Columbus so we'd only have one car down there.

She lives in a house with her fiancee and his roommate. She moved in with them when her roommates moved out. It was stupid for her to pay rent on the place when she's going to move in with her fiancee in May anyway. The house is alright on the main floor. Nice kitchen, lots of space. Upstairs is tricky because all three bedrooms are connected in the middle and separated by a sliding closet-door type of mechanism. I'm sure this makes for some interesting situations in the later hours of the night. I'm just saying, it all seems a bit "Three's Company" for my taste.

Their roommate is a smart guy. At least he seems smart, but he also seems a bit unmotivated. It makes me wonder if he's a philosophy major. He works at this hip sushi restaurant called Aqua (he quit his old job as head waiter at some five star restaurant or something because it had no benefits.) The guy seasons his Ramen noodles with his own spices. Seriously. And his spice rack is incredible. He has fennel. I want a spice rack with fennel. Anyway, he mostly lounges around in his shorts until early evening and then ducks out to work in all black and a pair of green checkered Vans slip-ons. Cool dude.

It's hot in the house. The morning after the third night there, this proved to be catastrophic. I woke up in the middle of what I'm pretty sure was a heat stroke. I basically laid on the bathroom floor shivering and being sick for about an hour until I got up enough strength to scour the house for some kind of medicine. Excedrin on my sister's nightstand. Thankfully, there were no hallucinations this time so I stayed on the couch under a Bengals blanket until my fever broke and then promptly drank about a gallon of water to regain my strength. Enough about the heat.

On the second night my sister and I passed up free tickets to see Rusted Root. We shopped and grabbed dinner at a Thai restaurant called Bangkok Bistro. The food is supposed to be served on a spiciness scale of 1-10 but I guess the chef must have had some loose wrists or something that night because my four tasted like her seven which tasted like her eights of meals in the past. Either way, it was delicious and it cleared my sinuses right up.

We rented a terrible movie called "Tennis, Anyone?" (Seriously, Donal Logue--I don't know if I can forgive you, man) and popped it out after about forty minutes to watch "Walk the Line." This made me nostalgic for my fellow who called almost on cue in response to my long-distance pining. What a guy.

The next day included more shopping. And then a Greek Festival.

Something about this night really got me. My sister has been dating her fiancee for seven years and I think it wasn't until that night at the Greek Festival that I finally started to feel like I actually know him. We walked there from his parents' house and on the way he told me that all of the negative traits that my sister has are ones that I don't have. He started calling the two of us Yin and Yang and encouraged my sister to spend more time with me to study my behavior and emulate it closely. I told her I'd make her a tape that she could listen to while sleeping. They both laughed at this. I felt like I was in a movie for a moment. Like he might pull me aside and tell me that I was the woman for him, not my sister. A ridiculous notion, of course, but it made me chuckle to think of a scenario like that.

At the Greek festival he knew everyone. At least twenty people anyway. The Greeks know how to party. The men walked around with two $12 bottles of wine while their women played cheap carnival games for even cheaper prizes. I'm told that there is traditionally a rope climbing wall where drunk Greeks fall off and embarrass themselves. Everyone in my party was extremely upset at its absence this year. Maybe somebody died.

On the way home from the festival there was a bit of a fight. It was the first time I've ever seen my sister's fiancee get fired up and fight back with her. My sister isn't always the most agreeable person (this is a huge understatement) and usually he is completely easy-going and opts to let her have her way or say or eat wherever she wants or whatever. But this time I felt squeamish in the backseat of his car. I wanted to cup my hands over my ears and tuck my chin into my knees until it was over.

Oh yea, our bridesmaid dresses are celadon, which is this indescribable sort of green. I call it asparagus. I don't know much about dresses which makes me a weaker writer. I'll have to study up on the terminology and update you later. Or I'll just find the website and post a link.

On Saturday there was an engagement party. I was convinced that it would be awkward for me but I was totally comfortable. I played this Southern Ohio-bred game called cornhole and won six straight with my sister's man. I drank bourbon slush and got better and then it got dark and I got worse. I actually remembered peoples' names. I mingled. My brother let me have half of his beer at the end of the evening. (Read: I now feel like I've crossed that line where I have an adult relationship with my siblings.)

Last night I had to stay in a hotel with my mom and my dad and my brother. It was sort of surreal. I felt like I was on one of our old family vacations. My dad snores like a beast so I got no sleep whatsoever. It's funny--even in his sleep my dad is a competitive freak. My brother would start to snore just a little bit and he would get exponentially louder. It's no wonder I'm so fiery--I was raised by Vince Lombardi.

On the way home we passed a place called Rob's Western Palace. There was a horse on the roof. Classin' it up.

I've arrived home just in time for the city fireworks display, which will mark the end of our three-day home days extravaganza. It was almost canceled because of the flood but our mayor assumed that people would need some kind of relief. I wonder if the firecrackers got wet. I may call the library this week and see if they need help cleaning out stacks. They may be closed for a month--they were horribly waterlogged.

I also plan on heading to the Salvation Army this week. I just cleaned out both of my closets and all of my drawers and my bed is a breeding ground for old unwanted clothes. I can drop these off and get some new ones. I intend on dressing like Annie Hall at work one day this week. I really want to convince them that I'm insane. I'm sure there are benefits to being the crazy person at work.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

A chord, accord, this chord, discord

There were moments when I'd look up at him, bent over his guitar--a perfect Taylor with pointed abalone inlays and a marbled red pickguard that rolled and peaked beneath the sound hole like the crest of a tsunami. It was a wedding present that probably would have taken me three weeks of work to pay for. I'd see the thin goatee curl from his bottom lip and under his chin, the top of his head nodding rhythmically in a hypnotic, almost sleep-inducing manner. In these moments, I mistook harmony for love. I felt our voices blend and flourish. His was rough and weathered, strong and textured. Mine felt soft and unassuming at times, then thick and full when suddenly emboldened by his timbre.

I felt him react to my voice. I felt our pulses form a union. Our notes clung to each other passionately, floating with ease through cracks in the boards of the heavy wooden ceiling above our heads, slowly closing in, feeling comfort in present company. There were no others in the room. We were strangers on a train, brothers separated at birth, the shifting wind. I felt like we were contributing to the pull of the tide--as if each of the notes that joined seamlessly from our lips were fragments of thread in some giant quilt of meaning that could wrap this world in comfort and warmth and peace.

This was love at times. It was unexpected, unlikely, invigorating, fluttering love and I was swept into its wake, surrenduring to the current, to the centrifugal force that kept pulling me closer and closer to the neck of his guitar as it rocked and tugged seductively.