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Miss Peach

Like putting a good belt on a cheap dress

I'm not speaking to Costco

Monday, December 18, 2006

I'm home in California, taking two lovely and blissful weeks off of work, hanging with my parents and catching up with old friends. It's funny coming home--I didn't grow up in this house, or in Orange County, where my parents now live--we lived 45 minutes north of here in Los Angeles, and it's always a little strange to come "home" to this area. I have mixed feelings about it here, which I will undoubtedly post about--along with the fact that I literally swooned in Gelson's (grocery store) about a half hour ago when I saw my first carton of Knudsen's milk (I grew up drinking that, and for some reason, seeing the cartons now make me all nostalgic. How a carton of milk can inspire such deep-seated emotional responses is a little baffling though.)

But there are more important things to address, and by things I mean thing, and by that I mean how Costco totally pissed me off yesterday.

I love warehouse stores. They are awesome. I find the concept of a three-gallon tub of mayonnaise to be disgusting, but, yes, please, hook me up with a flat of bottled water! The toilet paper! The paper towels! Ahhh. It kills me. It's actually almost masochistic for me to go there, because I literally torture myself thinking, "if I didn't live in New York, I could get 85 rolls of toilet paper for around what a 10-pack would run in the city!" And then I get all annoyed I can't take advantage.

My parents frequent the local Costco, and over the years, I have purchased a full set of Henckel knives (yes, a FULL SET) for $120. Seriously. How insane is that? I now have fabulous knives--and all for less than what two would have cost at Williams-Sonoma. Score! That is probably my best buy there, ever, so it's not worth getting into the others. But I've also bought coffeemakers, DVDs, books, printers, and lots of medicine. Advil, Airborne, Delsym... ahh.

So yesterday, my mom needed to run over there for a few things, and never one to miss a chance to score some deals, I accompanied her. Also, I have wanted the DVDs of all three seasons of "Arrested Development" for months now, and I decided that it was time to purchase them. They'd still be pricey, but less so there, and frankly, having access to the Bluths whenever the fancy strikes is kind of priceless, don't you think?

Except COSTCO DOESN'T CARRY THEM. They have the boxed set of the entirety of "The West Wing" (which I loved and, if I had any storage and money to burn, would totally buy). They have the boxed set of "Six Feet Under" too. There were about six thousand copies of "You, Me, and Dupree" and "The DaVinci Code". There were the Bogey boxed sets, and the three-pack romantic comedy sets, and many more beyond that. But no "Arrested Development".

Let me explain why I am so pissed off about this. I understand they can't carry everything. I actually know all about how their merchandising is structured, and how to remain on sale, x units have to move nationally per week, and how the distributions aren't always national. And I can understand that maybe, that's why it wasn't available in ours. Granted, the show is set in Orange County, not far from this particular Costco, but whatever. Fine. I'll accept it.

But that was until I noticed the complete first season of Fox's smash hit show, "Prison Break". And boxed collections of "Northern Exposure". And sets of "One Tree Hill" and "Veronica Mars"--but not "Gilmore Girls". Seriously? What sent me over the edge, though, was the first season of Jennifer Love Hewitt's show "Ghost Whisperer". What the hell? Who is choosing what goes into those stores? Is that show even still on? Does merchandising ever, I don't know, consider what might sell? Also, what is wrong with Fox? Why are they issuing these shows? And why aren't things like "Grey's Anatomy" and "Lost" at Costco?

I'm baffled. Also, their wrapping paper selection blew and they didn't have any socks for women. I did get a set of W.C. Fields DVDs for my dad, as he is a huge fan, so I guess that was nice. But Costco is on notice. If you see him around, can you tell him I'm totally not talking to him? If he's lucky, he'll see me in March, but I can't make any guarantees.

In Which I Share More About My Digestion Than You Ever Wanted to Know

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

On Friday night, I went to a friend’s apartment for wine and to hangout. It was fun—she just ended a long-term relationship so there was lots of life talk, lots of philosophizing and analyzing, and lots of wine. LOTS. I’m talking two bottles, and then we finished off what was left of a third (like a half-glass each). I’m aware that’s a bottle and smidge each. I was slightly horrified when we totaled it up.

I was also pretty hungover on Saturday. I had to go out that night to a birthday party, and come 5:30, my attempts at not eating too badly were keeping me from any semblance of a happy recovery from the festivities of the night before. So I gave in and ordered a turkey burger and fries from our local spot, and ate half the burger (I don’t know what seasonings they used, but they were not good) and about half the fries.

I haven’t had fries in, oh, about two months. I’ve had the odd fry here and there, but I haven’t actually had more than 5 at any given time. Well, word to the wise, because apparently your body loses the ability to digest them. People, I have never had such stomach issues in my LIFE. I was dying. My stomach felt like it had tied itself into a double-knot. I couldn’t sit or lay comfortably. I finally found that tossing my left leg over the left arm of the armchair was the only solution. (I couldn’t stand up straight either.) I kept drinking more and more water in an attempt to dilute the offending fries into oblivion, but that just gave me the look of a starving Somalian child, as my stomach was legitimately distended. Meanwhile, I had a birthday party to attend, and needed to leave in about 20 minutes. So I’m sit/laying there, in horrible pain, all dressed up and ready to roll, but completely unsure as to how I would actually get up, get into the elevator, and get downstairs.

Somehow, someway, with the help of some tums and more water and a lot of me just willing it to go away, it finally passed. This entire experience has, however, caused me to rethink having children. Maybe I’ll just adopt. SWEET MOTHER OF GOD, I thought I was going to die. I imagine this is what it’s like having a baby in your stomach. Gaaah.

Flash forward to last night: I bolted from work relatively early because I was sure I was coming down with a cold. When I get sick, soup is about all I want. Chicken broth with anything works—I was so broke in college I once nursed myself through a cold on generic broth alone. I didn’t have any on hand at home last night, though, so I decided to order wonton soup from a spot near my apartment—it’s fresh and chock-full of spinach and veggies and the wontons are fabulous. In order to get them to deliver it, however, I had to order something else, so I went with the steamed veggie dumplings. They are deeeeee-lish.

Well, I haven’t had Chinese food in about as long as I hadn’t had fries, and good god, it’s SALTY. I couldn’t taste the salt, but I know it was in there, because my fingers were sausages when I went to bed. My solution was, again, to drink as much water as I could to flush the sodium out of my system. So I’m sitting on the couch, pounding water, watching a Lifetime movie called “The Christmas Wedding” starring Sarah Paulsen that was crappy, even by that station’s standards, and my hands and feet are swelling. I finally just went to bed. Which was great—I needed the sleep. I just didn’t get it, because I kid you not, I had to pee ever hour on the hour all night long. It should have stopped around, oh, 2 or 3, but I was so thirsty still, I had to drink more water, which perpetuated the cycle until I had to get up for work.

Tonight, I plan on eating dry toast and a banana. No more fun food for me. It’s blandsville from here on out.

Profile Me, Please

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Stefanie recently posted about the profile Guiness Girl wrote for her. It was a great profile. I jokingly asked Guinness Girl if we could talk and... well, apparently the old adage "Ask and you shall receive" DOES work, becuase today she sent me a fabulous profile. Check it out:

I am the kind of girl who adores champagne but isn't above drinking a cold can of beer. I've been described as "the perfect mix of kind and funny", "easygoing", "friendly", "if you were a band, I'd wear your t-shirt", and "as full of shit as [my] father". Although people often comment on how friendly I can be, I'm no shrinking violet, either - I love the F-word. I never forget who I am, which keeps me grounded even when things get crazy in my life. You can throw me in nearly any social situation and I can handle it (no, that's not an invitation to challenge me!). I'm definitely a glass half-full kind of girl - I love the infinite possibilities that life offers with all its choices. I think everyone has an interesting story to tell. I have a great group of friends and a fantastic family, and I value them above all else. I'm a hard worker and get satisfaction out of doing a good job, but I'm no workaholic.

I have a deep and abiding love for made-for-Lifetime-Television-for-Women movies, but I also love college football (Go Michigan!) and I get sucked into March Madness every year, even though my teams are often chosen as favorites simply because their rival is the alma mater of a girl I hated in elementary school. I cannot keep plants alive. I'm a big fan of fun and crazy music on road trips, but for my daily commute, NPR's the way to go. I make a mean guacamole that goes perfectly with margaritas and lime-kissed Tostitos, if I say so myself.

As for who I'm looking for, I'd love to meet someone to have fun with; someone who is laid-back and open-minded and interested in a variety of things. Kindness is key, and a sense of humor is a must as well. There's nothing better than being with someone who makes you laugh until it hurts. Modesty is always appreciated - as is confidence, and conviction/passion is very sexy. Guys who are rude to the waitstaff at restaurants need not apply.

Thank you, GG! Also, who thinks she should start a little side business? I do!

A Literary Friday Five

Friday, December 01, 2006

I recently picked up The Sportswriter by Richard Ford. He’s won a Pulitzer for his fiction, and several people I know (who, I should say, have literary taste I trust without question) have said I should to read him, and that The Sportswriter is the place to start. So for Thanksgiving, I took a copy with me to the midwest, along with a book about the Anglo-American tradizzzzzzzzzzzz and a novel called Love and Other Impossible Pursuits, which appealed to me because I liked the title.

I didn’t actually start The Sportswriter until last night, on the subway downtown to meet someone for dinner. I wanted to start with Love and Other Impossible Pursuits, because I just needed something accessible and fast, and Ford’s Pulitzer made me think he might be a struggle to get into. Love… was fine, and quick, and achingly sad at times. And unexpectedly informative about Central Park. But by the time I finished it, I only had another day of break, and I spent it doing other things. Like watching football. NFL football. I hate the NFL. But I was in Ohio with a slew of alpha males, and that is what Americans do over Thanksgiving. They watch ESPN and theorize on the merits of the BCS system, and who am I to question such a fine national tradition?

I’ve now read a mere 30 pages of The Sportswriter, and I don’t understand how I haven’t read this before. I’m blown away by this book. It’s straightforward. It’s true to life. Things are stated in a way that make you stop and think, “this man is a phenomenal writer.” But it isn’t show-offy. I can’t stand authors who insist on two metaphors instead of one, or whose sentences seem to need diagramming before they can be processed and understood. And you won’t (well, from what I’ve read) find that here.

I haven’t read a book in a long time that has made me ask myself why it is, exactly, that I don’t carry highlighters around in my purse. This is a question I’ve now asked three times in 20 hours.

So here is my Friday Five. Five great lines/passages from the first thirty pages of The Sportswriter by Richard Ford.

1: “I do my work and do it well and remain expectant of the best without knowing in the least what it will be.”*

2: “A woman I met at the college where I briefly taught, once told me I had too many choices, that I was not driven enough by dire necessity. But that is just an illusion and her mistake. Choices are what we all need. And when I walk out into the bricky warp of these American cities, that is exactly what I feel. Choices aplenty. Things I don’t know about but might like are here, possibly waiting for me. Even if they aren’t. The exhilaration of a new arrival. Good light in a restaurant that especially pleases you. A cab driver with an interesting life history to tell. The casual, lilting voice of a woman you don’t know, but that you are allowed to listen to in a bar you’ve never been in, at a time when you would otherwise have been alone. These things are waiting for you. And what could be better? More mysterious? More worth anticipating? Nothing. Not a thing.”

3: “Sometimes we do not become adults until we suffer a good whacking loss, and our lives in a sense catch up with us and wash over us like a wave and everything goes.”

4: “I suppose our life was the generic one, as the poet said… We paid bills, shopped, went to movies, bought cars and cameras and insurance, cooked out, went to cocktail parties, visited schools, and romanced each other in the sweet, cagey way of adults. I looked out my window, stood in my yard sunsets with a sense of solace and achievement, cleaned my rain gutters, eyed my shingles, put up storms, fertilized regularly, computed my equity, spoke to my neighbors in an interested voice—the normal applauseless life of us all**.”

5: “I know that you can dream your way through an otherwise fine life, and never wake up, which is what I almost did. I believe I have survived that now and put dreaminess behind me, though there is a resolute sadness between X and me that our marriage is over, a sadness that does not feel sad. It is the way you feel at a high school reunion when you hear an old song you used to like played late at night, only you are all alone.”

Thank god it's Friday. More time to read. Especially since we're getting 60 mile an hour winds here tonight. Wheeeeee!

* Possible tagline?
** Definitely a tagline coming to this site soon.

Three Cheers for Haloscan

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