Monday, August 31, 2009

Underpanted Should Totally Be A Word

Canetto wears a very specific kind of underpants. Mr. High Maintenance's brand of choice is nearly impossible to find in stores, and only after an exhaustive Internet search was I able to locate a site to buy them -- called -- get this -- FreshPair.com.

Because he just recently cleaned out his drawers and threw away a bunch of worn out underwear, he asked me to order him about 30 new pairs of underpants. (Younger women: I am speaking to you from your future -- this is what the carefree and fulfilling life of a 10-years-married woman entails.) Off I went to FreshPair.com and placed the order for the 30 pairs of boxer briefs.

First one month passed. Then, another week. That's when my campaign to locate the underpants-in-limbo* began. (*Unrelated aside: When I was in AP Art History in high school with my sister and our friend, Darren, we studied a painting titled "Christ in Limbo" that depicted Christ in between heaven and hell. To amuse us during a rather lengthy lecture one day, my sister drew a line over Christ's head and retitled the painting, "Christ DOING the Limbo". Heathens...all of us.)

I wrote a politely-worded letter to FreshPair that asked simply,

"Can you please tell me the status of my order?"

which received an automated reply with generic information telling me that a customer service agent would be in touch with me soon regarding my order.

No one got in touch with me. So, after another week, I sent another note, this one worded a little more strongly, asking,

"For the love of God....where are my underpants?!"

Again, an automated reply. But this one was followed up with a "personal" note from a customer service representative that did not provide one more bit of information, but gave me some encouragement that there was actually a human being on the other end of the e-mail address.

Another week passed, and I decided this called for some serious action, so I wrote another e-mail that went something like this:

"I've seen London, I've seen France, what I haven't seen are my underpants. Where the heck are the underpants that I ordered?"

And again, I received the most generic note from the customer service representative, with no indication that they had read or appreciated my psychotic ramblings directed at an automated response mechanism amazing wit.

Days later, as I was preparing to send a photo of my husband naked from the waist down to emphasize just how desperately we needed these underpants, we finally received a package of underpants in the mail from FreshPair.com.

Now with a happily underpanted husband,
Brutalism

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Delicate Flower

The most fun thing about having Avery in preschool is she has a whole new audience to whom she can announce that mommy and daddy had an argument last night she learns things from other kids that are pretty entertaining.

Last night, in the middle of dinner, she jumped out of her chair and began walking around like a robot with her arms bent at ninety degree angles saying, "Ro-bot con-tin-ue." We had never heard or seen this before, so Canetto and I burst out laughing.

Because she was enjoying making us laugh, she cranked it up a notch to "Ro-bot poo-poo Diarr-hea Con-tin-ue."

The apple does not fall far,
Brutalism

Monday, August 24, 2009

Isn't It Ironic?

I sent an e-mail to Canetto earlier (he is picking up a piece of furniture later today out in Gainesville that we had painted and distressed) that read:

"Please drive carefully out there...lots of two-lane roads. Please play attention."

Perhaps I should heed my own advice.

Monday, August 17, 2009

We Can Hitch A Ride To Rockaway Beach

Friday night, I'm getting on a bus and heading up to NYC. "Sightseeing?" you ask. "No," I reply. "Bar crawling again?" "Been there, done that." I say. "Taking in some culture and good restaurants?" Sounds nice, but no. (And stop giving me the third degree. Sheesh...)

I'm going to New York to learn to surf. You read that right. I spent 15 of my formative years in Virginia Beach, Virginia, where there was both ample coastline and opportunity to learn, yet I never once gave it a go. (This, of course, did not prevent me from wearing t-shirts from every surf shop at the oceanfront and peppering my tweener conversations with words like "tubular" and "stoked.") (I'm nothing if not a dedicated poseur.)

As I head out to a Long Island beach on Saturday morning, I will try to forget that a 24-foot-long shark washed up on the shore there not even a month ago. People I have mentioned this to inevitably try to reassure me about my safety, claiming that this was a plankton-eating shark and that there is really nothing to worry about. Nothing except a TWENTY-FOUR-FOOT-LONG SHARK, FOR CHRISSAKES!!!

We're gonna need a bigger boat,
Brutalism

UPDATE: Thanks to Hurricane Bill, the surf instructor cancelled classes this weekend, so there will be no surf lesson for me. I am going to go home, put on my (new, bought just for this occasion) board shorts, clutch my bus ticket and play some Chris Isaak while staring forlornly into space.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Good Career Move

One time, my wise older sister suggested that the best way to get a paid vacation from work was to pull my skirt up over my head and run around my workplace babbling incoherently.

This has been a bit of a challenging week. I'm wearing a skirt tomorrow just in case.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

A Woman's Prerogative

Our weekend at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore:

Avery (two seconds after seeing the dragon boats): "I wanna go on the dragon boats. I wanna go on the dragon boats. I wanna go on the dragon boats. I wanna go on the dragon boats. I wanna go on the dragon boats. I wanna go on the dragon boats. I wanna go on the dragon boats. I wanna go on the dragon boats. I wanna go on the dragon boats. I wanna go on the dragon boats. I wanna go on the dragon boats. I wanna go on the dragon boats. I wanna go on the dragon boats. I wanna go on the dragon boats. I wanna go on the dragon boats. I wanna go on the dragon boats."

Avery (two minutes and $16 after getting on a dragon boat): "I wanna get off the dragon boat."


Avery -- ready to get off the dragon boat.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

I'd Like To Thank The Academy

When one of your very best friends calls you from LA and asks, "Do you want to work the Vanity Fair Oscar party with me?" you immediately say, "I thought we agreed that you’d stop spray tanning because the fumes make you all loopy (though in a sun-kissed, bronze goddess kind of way)." Then when she repeats herself and says that it is $300, you realize that she is serious and consider the possibility, thinking that paying $300 for a unique experience like this is fairly reasonable. When she corrects you and tells you that they pay you $300 (and subsequently accuses you of huffing the Mystic Tan), you get your butt on JetBlue. Which is how I ended up serving cocktails to Hollywood royalty.

LA friend and I had no idea what to expect as we arrived at Morton’s West Hollywood on the night of the 2002 Oscars. Blatantly disregarding the rules about bringing in any recording devices (and after being egged on by me), my friend had stuffed a disposable camera up her sleeve. And as we were going through security to get into the event, the camera fell out of her sleeve, hit the ground and the flash went off. Twice. I'm such a good friend, that when this happened, I completely turned my back to her and chatted up a replacement best friend standing behind me. (Hey. I travelled across the country. I was getting into this party.) Thanks to all the paparazzi, security did not seem to notice a couple of extra flashes, and we made it into the party with the camera (and surprisingly, our friendship) intact. She managed to sneak a few photos throughout the night, including one of Tobey Maguire and Nicole Kidman canoodling, though I’d never be so crass as to post that:

Working the party was a little surreal. And not just because I had no experience serving cocktails (which may be a slightly different story than what I told the person who hired me for this gig.) Every single person at this party was white-hot famous – movie stars, sports figures, artists, media figures, designers, supermodels, television stars, musicians – it was nuts. And you know how everyone always tries to make you feel better by saying that people in Hollywood have great lighting and are airbrushed and styled which is why they look so good? Well everyone is a big, fat liar. This is a group of people that is just genetically blessed, and each person is more beautiful than the next. (With the obvious exception of Larry King.)

And of course I'd never be so gauche as to mention which of the major stars in attendance were totally cool (Tom Hanks, Luke Wilson, Alan Alda, Sandra Bernhard, Helen Hunt, Hillary Swank), who was definitely not (Katie Couric), who made me star struck (Johnny Knoxville, Annie Leibovitz, Gwen Stefani, Diane Sawyer) and who was just freaking hot (Gary Dourdan, Vince Vaughn, Ellen Barkin, Halle Berry, Kirsten Dunst, Jake Gyllenhaal). Because even though these people are celebrities, they deserve their privacy.

It was a ridiculous, fun experience and we had a great time doing it. So, a few years later, I decided that I wanted to do it again and that Canetto must do it, too. I called the guy who did the hiring to make arrangements and found out that another friend who I’d met while working the party would also be there. I figured we should also see if our friend, Cockey, who had recently moved out to LA to be an actor wanted to join the party. But apparently, I had already used up all of my favors in getting people added to the list and he was denied. Were we discouraged? Not at all. We were motivated to come up with a great (nay, brilliant) plan to get Cockey into the party.

This is how it worked: Canetto and I had to get fitted for uniforms the day before the party at a costume designer’s studio in West Hollywood. We figured that if Cockey came with us and acted surprised when his name was not on the list for a fitting, the costume designer may figure there was a miscommunication (because how else would he have known where and when to show up for a fitting?) and go ahead and outfit him. Fortunately, it was a female designer, and fortunately, Cockey is charming, so within minutes, he was getting his inseam measured (not a euphemism) (or is it?).

The second part of the plan was that when Cockey arrived at the party the following night in full uniform, he could again pretend there was a miscommunication, which is why he was not on the security list…because how would he have a tailored uniform and know how to get to the secure staging area if he had not been hired for the event? (See? Genius.) And again, because Cockey is a deceptive bullshit artist charming, we were serving cocktails to A-listers in no time.

Okay, we actually may have spent more time helping ourselves to a little champagne and talking to people than doing any serving. At one point, I decided that I did not want to serve at all, and just sort of wandered around the party, stopping to talk to anyone who looked like they might want company. (Which is how I found out that Paul Sorvino had just broken up with his girlfriend and had an art exhibit opening in LA. It is also how I found out that Allison Eastwood got her (gorgeous) dress for only $300 off the rack. It is amazing how much people will open up to you when you are dressed like a poor man's Captain Steubing.) (See photo for humiliating evidence.)


And of course, we managed to get a picture with the biggest star of the night. (And the only one who did not try to convert us to Scientology.)

Air kisses,
Brutalism