Thursday, 30 December 2010

Goodnight, Moon

We (somehow) made it to Bratislava this afternoon, met up with Yussi, got hot chocolate, and wandered around the city for a bit before hopping across the border to Vienna and meeting up with his parents for dinner. My body isn't sure whether it's currently 2:45pm Fargo time, 8:45pm London time, or 9:45pm Vienna time. All it knows is that it has gotten like 10 hours of sleep on the past few days, half of which was on an air mattress in Merinne's living room and half of which took place in any number of half-darkened planes, buses, and cars. And for that reason, I think I'm going to take an ill-advised amount of cold medicine now and sleep for twelve hours.

The Mediocre Race

I love that no matter how much we plan in advance, every trip that David and I take is like an episode of the Amazing Race. The alarm didn't go off today and, by sprinting, we somehow made it on the Tube, the EasyBus, and our RyanAir flight to Bratislava, which is about to take off. We decided on the bus that we should make a checklist of all of the things we have to do on time and call this trip a success if we get anything above a 90%.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

A Meme I Am Shocked to Find Does Not Exist

By chance, Brady was on the same flight as David and myself back to Chicago, which would be fun regardless but was especially fun because the flight attendant was AWESOME. Her name is Maura, and she's with American Eagle, and she has a sassy Midwestern accent and does a dramatic reenactment of the flight safety procedures and tells people going to Cincinnati that she's sorry and she is literally the most fun flight attendant I have ever had. I Googled her name thinking that she had to be an internet phenomenon by now, but somehow, she isn't, which I can only explain by thinking that people who fly from Fargo to Chicago maybe aren't in a hurry to write about that flight on the internet. I assumed she would be on tee shirts by now. If you're on that flight in the near future, a) call American Eagle and tell them she's awesome, and b) bring a FlipCam.

Monday, 27 December 2010

So Long, Midwest

The weird thing about Christmas is that it has slowly become less and less about actual Christmas and more about the weird traditions that have developed after I left for college - having my annual M&M Cookie at Atomic Coffee, going out for Gay Martini Christmas with my mom and Brady, buying my new annual pair of Sketchers, and the Yule Log that my friend's dad makes every year, which is delicious.

Now all of those are checked off the list, which means that it's time to start packing for our trip across Europe that starts tomorrow. I've come down with a terrible flu literally in the past twelve hours, which is probably some kind of divine punishment for letting my little sister talk me into watching Bridalplasty with her last night. Transitioning from being at home with my family and having a car, a kitchen full of food, and a bottomless pot of coffee in the kitchen to being transient in Europe with a backpack and bronchitis is going to be rough.

Monday, 20 December 2010

One-Upping the Virgin Birth

Best Christmas sighting so far, at the thrift store in the old Pamida in Detroit Lakes, MN:

"Nativity Scene, 13 pcs. (Mary Missing.) $10."

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Early New Year's Resolutions

I just hit 50,000 words on my dissertation, meaning that I'm technically halfway done. (The "technically" is because I'm halfway done if I decide that I should attempt to submit something that is incredibly disjointed, missing a number of footnotes, and lacks any theoretical framework for large portions of the text. Realistically, I'm going to have to heavily, heavily rewrite and edit parts of this after I present it to my department and get their feedback about two and a half months from now.) Still, this puts me on track to have 60,000 words and about three chapters by the time I get back to Oxford, which would be a huge relief.

I realized I'm also nearing New Year's and have to figure out my resolutions for the upcoming year, one of which involves scaling back my use of Facebook and Twitter and using this blog more, since I'm increasingly realizing that I'm weirdly more self-reflective and less self-involved when I take the time to write like this than when I post brief and snarky posts directed to a semi-captive audience. (The other resolution I've developed is to begin assembling a dowry for myself, which was triggered by visiting New York and realizing that all my friends have spent years acquiring all the furniture and dishes and things they keep in their apartments, whereas I will be settling down somewhere in July with approximately two suitcases full of clothing, most of which I have had since my freshman or sophomore year of college. I think setting aside enough money to afford a bed and a set of dishes is probably a good investment.)

Thursday, 9 December 2010

A Lot of Night Music

As one might have predicted, I landed at JFK, dropped my suitcase at Brady's, and the two of us went directly to Splash for Musical Monday. We made it in time for two-for-ones and managed to catch four Patti numbers in the three hours we were there. It is times like this when I miss New York in an almost physical way.

The whole week was kind of fun and nostalgia-inducing like that, though. The next day, I went to Amy's for breakfast and went down to my old office to say hey to everybody, went uptown to Soho for a meeting and got the casing on my MacBook replaced at the Apple Store, had the veggie press at Grey Dog, and then saw A Little Night Music with my brother. (It was awesome, and I finally understand why people like Bernadette Peters. Since junior high I've been like, I don't understand, she sounds like a child, this makes no sense to me. And I saw her in Gypsy as Mama Rose, which was equally weird to me, but then I saw this production and was like, oh, it all makes sense now. Elaine Stritch was awesome, obviously, but struggled through a couple of parts - including forgetting the lyrics to Liaisons and having someone yell a prompt from off stage - and it was kind of hard to watch. I maintain that this only heightened the poignancy of the role. When in doubt, reach for Brecht.) And then we went for drinks at Eatery and caught up, which was lovely, because it always is.

The next day I got that ridiculous vegan oatmeal date scone at Whole Foods that I eat when I feel good enough about my body that I give myself permission to consume a small cake of oil, went into work again because I wasn't really sure what else to do, then went up to Columbia and poked around the law school before going to the Hungarian Pastry Shop to catch up with Abby, and then for beer at Valhalla with a friend of mine, and then for gay Thai with Brady, and then Bartini with Brady and Lee et al., where Bebe was performing and I got myself some cheek kisses and skinny vodka and Red Bull cocktails that I felt filthy ordering but were actually pretty good. And now I'm rocketing toward DC to spend time with David, in a replay of pretty much every weekend from mid 2009 to mid 2010. Somehow, during all of this, I managed to read Lefebvre's The Sociology of Marx, Fanon's Black Skin, White Masks, and a few essays on development anthropology, so it's not even like I was a total slacker between the rediscovery of my favorite pastries and the singing off-key in bars.

I can't decide whether all of this means that I have to move back to New York in the fall or if it means that I have to perpetually be on the brink of moving to New York. It seems like a win-win.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Musical (Su)ndays

The only really unfortunate thing about my flight back to New York tomorrow is that I'm going to get in too late to rock over to Musical Monday at Splash, meaning that I am probably going to go a full calendar year without shrieking when Donna McKetchnie does her insane neck rolls during Turkey Lurkey Time. BUT. The realization of that fact has not stopped me from watching some of the Musical Monday staples all morning. Seriously, this is what my procrastination has become.

BEA AND ANGELA. This is a Brady and Ryan staple. We have perfected the dance from 2:05 onwards. (Whoever choreographed it is absolutely terrible.)

"And as for pimps, pimps is something you don't need to get your daily business done." This is my motto, and I wish to have it on my grave when I die:

In this perpetual favorite, watch for the Patti LuPone swing-and-miss at 4:27. It is classic.

This was our apartment's anthem last year. Note all of the subtle chess imagery. Art!

I still flip out every time I see this, and it makes me wish I were a gay man in the 70s just so I could belt it in a very loud club without people staring at me, like they do in, say, a bar:

This was actually my favorite movie for most of high school. I had two copies of it on VHS.

Someday I want my face to be as expressive as Lucie Arnaz's:

And, of course, Annie, which always causes Emma to actually clap her hands in excitement because it comes on five minutes before we're planning to leave and we all have a few glasses of wine in us and basically shout it at strangers:

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Add a -40 Windchill and This is My Upcoming Christmas

I actually think this is way cuter than Teenage Dream. I'm a sucker for reappropriated duets.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Queer Thanksgiving

One of my favorite made-up holidays we started during undergrad is Queer Thanksgiving, where everybody just brings whatever they feel like bringing and it ends up being a weird, fabulous potluck where people leave with stomachaches, just like normative Thanksgiving. I write saccharine posts about this every November, so we will just leave it there.

But Gay Thanksgiving is obvious enough that it has been autonomously started by thousands of people, and in the absence of Queer Thanksgiving, I was kind of excited to have a Gay Thanksgiving tonight. I threw together some stuffed peppers - I will be eating a giant mass of stuffed pepper filling for approximately a week, and also my kitchen looks like someone detonated a bag of couscous - and hustled over to our Gay Thanksgiving.

It was totally charming, and kind of exactly what I needed as I wind down this term. When you spend all day deleting and retyping single paragraphs, seeing humans whose company you enjoy is surprisingly reenergizing. Within five minutes, a stranger was like, "hey, we met like five years ago in your undergraduate library," and I was like, "behold, the magic of Gay Thanksgiving." I also took a ten minute break from my otherwise sterling vegetarianism - which has exceptions for seafood, novelty, or meats consumed while abroad - and ate a slice of turducken. I ended up catching up with people for like four hours before walking home in a food euphoria and then it began to snow, and I was like, oh, my faith in made-up holidays is totally restored.