A Self-Meccanization…(And a Cheap Ploy for Facebook Likes)

A few weeks ago, I joked with a friend who commented on (i.e. mocked) my increased activity on Facebook that my self image was in part predicated upon how many people like my Facebook statuses. I was entirely kidding. At the time.

Today, I entered an entirely new realm of lame. And for the girl who chortled and asked “Are you going to test me for Coke?” when Pepsi told her there would be a drug test before starting her internship, that is saying a lot.

I posted a status on Facebook…and nobody liked it. Nobody commented. There was no welcoming little red “1” that popped up on the earth icon to indicate that anyone who subscribes to my feed thought I was funny or cool.

Yup…I just equated my Facebook status message being funny or cool to me being funny or cool. And what’s worse — I cared. I actually found myself re-reading my status and wondering what I should have said differently to make people like it. If ever there were someone to be Meccanized, it is me. Right now. RIGHT NOW.

It’s bad enough that I get so irate about my lack of Foursquare mayorships. With all I’ve managed to accomplish (I taught myself to juggle, dammit! I hunted down Mick Jagger!), have I really been sucked into the social media vortex so deeply that any part of my self-confidence can be impacted by Facebook “likes?”

I can’t be alone here (TELL ME I’M NOT ALONE HERE), and I am sure there is plenty of new psychology research that indicates this is an ever-growing phenomenon. I hope to avoid being a part of it, though. I think Facebook is too useful a tool to give up (i.e. I am hopelessly addicted to it), but I do not want to be the sort of user who lives and dies by others’ likes. I am writing this post so that every time I log-in and face a dearth of little red 1’s, I can remember how silly I felt yearning for virtual validation.

Of course, if I post this to Facebook, please, please like the link!!!!!

Written by lindsay in: Uncategorized |

My Charlottesville Bucket List/2012 Resolutions

If the last two years have taught me anything, it’s that I will only remember to do things if I write them down. I made the mistake of telling this to someone on a date and three days later noticed “Rip P’s clothes off” sandwiched on my to-do list between “buy toilet paper” and “pick up the cleaning.”

So, to hold myself accountable, this year I am using this blog to highlight both my Charlottesville bucket list and my 2012 resolutions. I welcome help completing any and all of these things. For added incentive, at least 50% of these will likely be absurd enough to yield other blog posts, so if you’ve ever wanted to claim your place in Meccanized history, now is your chance!

Charlottesville Bucket List (this list is fluid, so additions are welcome):

– Eat a Gus Burger at The White Spot (extra points if it is consumed after midnight)

– Stargaze at the UVA Observatory

– Organize a fake birthday party at Bounce U

– Win a trivia night at McGrady’s (or Mellow Mushroom or Escafe. Really, I don’t care where we win, I just want to win.)

– Be taken to dinner at The Boar’s Head or Ivy Inn. For you SF folks, this is the Charlottesville equivalent of the Gary Danko item on my SF Bucket List.

– Even classier than the previous item, get dressed to the nines for dinner at IHOP

– Climb Old Rag again, this time on a clear day

– Win a game of pool at Rapture and shuffleboard at Boylan

– Bowl above a 117. Hopefully this will happen during my usual Tuesday night league, but if I have to go alone every weekend to the bowling alley until I roll at least a 118, so be it.

– Attend (and dance my face off at) every Love Canon show between now and June

– Have a one-night staycation at one of the local B&Bs

2012 Resolutions:

Personal Growth:

– Be kinder to myself

– Worry less about other people’s perceptions of me. Along with this, be more confident in my own thoughts and actions.

– Be more positive. I tend to assume the worst about most situations to avoid being caught off guard if things go south. At best it’s draining and at worst it ruins a lot of potential fun.

– Every day, write down one thing about my life that I am grateful for. Each week, read through the list.

– Do not let the actions of others define my happiness.

Interpersonal Relationships:

– Be more honest with others about my feelings. Be brave enough to be vulnerable.

– Don’t expend a single iota of mental or physical energy on people who make me feel less than great. Devote more mental and physical energy to those who are just incredible and who I know I am lucky to have around.

– Stop being a flake; barring a family emergency or being trapped under something heavy, if I commit to something, I will go.

– Return phone calls within 24 hours

– When in the company of other people, do not check my iPhone for new e-mail/texts/FB notifications/etc. more than once

Looking Towards NYC:

– Purge my apartment and donate at least 5 big bags of clothes/books/etc. to charity.

– Leave Charlottesville feeling as if I have done everything I wanted to do with the people I wanted to do it with.

– Find a great apartment in NYC that a) makes me feel comfortable and at home in a place that has always made me feel claustrophobic and overwhelmed b) doesn’t require me to prostitute myself to pay rent

– Be a NYC tourist without shame

– Go to shows – Broadway, stand-up, tiny theaters, etc. – at least once a month.

– Join a city sports league (a la kickball in SF)

– Don’t bankrupt Pepsi

General To Do’s:

– Learn to drive a manual transmission

– Learn to shoot a pistol

– Make a Turducken

– Publish a piece of original fiction

– Read the news every day

Written by lindsay in: Uncategorized |

Better Left Alone

I was at a bowling alley a few weeks ago and heard a techno remix of “If I Die Young.” At that point, I was distracted by several things – the cheap beer in my hand, coming up with clever trash-talk to rattle our opponents – so I didn’t give the song much thought and continued helping my team lose the playoffs.

The other day, though, the same remix came on during a boot camp exercise class. As I had far fewer distractions this time – pretty much just staying conscious and not tripping and injuring myself — I was able to focus a bit more on the song.

I actually like “If I Die Young” (in the same way I like most saccharine pop ballads), but am I the only one who thinks it isn’t…well-suited…for a bump-and-grind beat? This is a song that is sort of about making the most of the time you have but mostly is about a little girl dying…and things she missed out on in life and how she wants to be laid to rest…and her grieving mother. These aren’t the things I want to think about when I’m seeking a mental distraction from the physical pain of getting my ass handed to me by a screaming boot camp instructor. Or when I’m really excited to dance and hit the floor, ready to get groped and sweated on by strangers (mmm…yummy).

I appreciate the need to find new usage occasions for songs to keep them fresh, popular and generating money. I also appreciate a good beat. But some songs should just be left alone. I’m not irate enough to Meccanize anything – I’m only at my “huh…that’s an interesting choice” level, not my “…REALLY?!” level –  but if I am ever bowling, exercising or rocking out to a techno remix of “Tears in Heaven” or “Cat’s in the Cradle,” I am going to be pushed over the edge.

Written by lindsay in: Uncategorized |

The Hidden Dangers of Eye Contact

A former boyfriend once suggested that I received unwanted attention on SF public transportation because I made eye contact with the crazies. What I learned recently was that, apparently, eye contact represents the universal sign for “please, touch me inappropriately and with purpose” to ALL forms of life, not just mentally unstable bus riders.

It all started when I was sitting at my gate at Dulles playing “spot the Air Marshall.” As my peepers jumped from person to person, I accidentally locked eyes with a 4-year-old girl sitting across from me. In true Fatal Attraction fashion, it meant nothing to me but I guess she felt differently.

When we boarded, I discovered that this girl and her parents were seated across the aisle and one row up from me. As we readied for takeoff, the girl climbed out of her seat, tottered over to me and handed me her stuffed dog. I smiled and said “Thank you, but I think he’ll be happier staying with you.” The girl couldn’t take a hint. She continued to stare up at me with her big, wet, Steve Buscemi eyes and thrust the dog at me until I finally took it. As she turned around, I tapped the father on the shoulder, handed the dog back and continued reading about the safety features of our Airbus A320. Five minutes later, the same thing happened, only this time, the father turned around, took a picture and said “This is amazing, she’s never shared anything with anybody before!” So glad I could play such a crucial role in this kid’s development. When I tried to hand the dog back, the father asked “Would you mind just holding on to it for awhile? We’re so happy that she’s learned to share that we don’t want to stifle her now by having you give the dog back.” Um…Yeah, ok, sure. I guess I don’t want to…stifle…her either. And so I took off for California like all normal 28-year-old women — holding a stuffed dog against one knee.

  • At hour 1.5, I fell asleep. At hour 1.75, I woke up to find her standing in the aisle, face inches from mine, staring at me…expressionless…like an extra from Children of the Corn.
  • At hour 2.5, I exited the bathroom and tripped over her…standing in the aisle outside of the stall…waiting for me. She then followed me back to my seat and stood in the aisle staring at me…still expressionless.
  • At hour 3, she walked over to my seat, reached her stubby arms into my row and fiddled with my magazines in the seat-back pocket in front of me until I put them in my bag. At this point, I wondered why her parents weren’t paying attention to her but was too distracted by “Elf” to say anything.

And then, at hour 4,we hit turbulence. Like a normal person, I fastened my seatbelt, started sweating and prayed silently that we stayed afloat. Not like a normal person, this kid climbed out of her seat, OVER her father’s seat, walked back to my seat and started to climb in my lap. That was enough for me. I gently pushed her away, tapped her father on the shoulder and said: “Hi, I don’t mean to be rude, but would you please keep a closer eye on your daughter? She’s adorable, but she’s been a little bothersome and I really don’t want her to get hurt climbing on me during turbulence.”

And that is apparently how to become the most hated person on a JetBlue flight from Dulles to Long Beach. The little girl finally decided to get an expression and started bawling. The mother held her and said “What did you do to her?” The father glared at me and rudely exclaimed “Jeez, lighten up, she’s just a kid.” The woman directly across the aisle from me whispered to her husband “well, she could have just held the kid for a few minutes.” Really? Really?!

When did it become acceptable behavior to let your kid creepily stare at and crawl all over fellow passengers? Shouldn’t that go the way of smoking or carrying on liquids over 3 oz? To parents who think their kids can do no wrong and who don’t bother to keep an eye on them, I say: Meccanized.

Written by lindsay in: Uncategorized |

A De-Meccanization

Usually on this blog I rant and rave about things that bug me. For example, I could tell you about the exchange I had with a nurse taking my vitals at a doctor’s office recently:

Nurse: “How tall are you?”

Me: “4’11″…and a half.”

Nurse: [tilting her head to the side and giving me the kind of condescending brow furrow and half smile that says “Aww, that’s ok that capri pants fit you like regular pants.” Then, lowering her voice and in a “this will be our little secret” way…]: “Well, we’ll just say you’re 5 feet.”

If I were more adult, I would have smiled and let this slide. But I’m petty. So I looked her right in the eye and said “No, please write 4’11” and a half commander viagra pas cher. Because that’s how tall I am.” Kids, that’s how to turn a nerve-wracking doctor’s appointment into an awkward, nerve-wracking doctor’s appointment. Meccanized.

But today is not about Meccanization. Today is about honoring some truly  wonderful people.

For a number of reasons, these last few days have been stressful and vaguely unpleasant. I’ve been anxious, cranky, exhausted and whiny… generally, a real joy to be around. That’s why when I feel low, I tend to lay low. This week, “laying low” has meant a few things. Lighting candles, drinking wine and listening to the Avett Brothers. Ordering Chinese food, watching movies like “Jerry Maguire” and “Love Actually” and crying like a little bitch. Last night, laying low meant banging my head against the wall trying to finish my last paper of the quarter. I was not a happy camper, as there were many other things – basketball games, having needles driven through my eyes – that I would have rather been doing.

Then came a knock at my door. I asked who it was. No answer. I asked again. No answer. Now, this is pretty much the universal sign for “you’re about to get serial killed.”  But I did a quick statistical analysis on the likelihood that the knocker was going to hack me to pieces (which, based on my performance in Decision Analysis last year, was most likely 100% inaccurate) and ultimately decided to open the door.

Instead of a rapist or other unsavory character, I found two beautiful ladies standing before me with three different bunches of flowers, ice cream and Celebrity Taboo. There was even an attempt (and alleged rehearsals) to quote movie lines from the long list of cathartic movies I had been watching these past few days, but this failed when one of the two couldn’t stop laughing. My friends stayed just long enough to put the ice cream in the freezer, help me arrange the flowers in an aesthetically pleasing way and tell me they were thinking of me.

I love surprises. I love flowers. I love board games. I LOVE ice cream like…well…like a fat kid loves ice cream. But most of all, I love that there are people on the planet like Priyanka R. Tandon and Cassidy McKee, and I love that I am lucky enough to have them in my corner.

Ladies, let me say…without hope or agenda…but because it’s Christmas…and at Christmas, you tell the truth…to me, you are perfect. As promised, for brightening up a really bleak few days and for being two of the best friends a girl could ever ask for, consider yourselves de-Meccanized.*

*Please note that this does not make you immune to Meccanization in the future…you’ve been warned.

Written by lindsay in: Uncategorized |

Navel Gazing (Fair Warning)

It’s 2 am, and I can’t sleep.

Part of it might be the absurd amount of food churning in my stomach (I got a little too friendly with the chocolate fountain at Darden prom). Another part might be that my feet are throbbing (dancing my face off in high heels…looks good, feels horrible). But I think the real reason is that I’m just generally feeling restless right now. And this blog is way cheaper than therapy.

About every 6 months I go through a mild crisis of self where in some form or another I start wondering if I’m living “correctly” and doing things the “right” way. It’s stressful but the introspection (i.e. mental masturbation – almost as much fun as real masturbation!) is always interesting. The topic on the agenda for this mid-year freak-out is whether the way I am naturally inclined to live my life is no longer the way I should be living my life. If this makes you want to slam your head into a table until you lose consciousness, feel free to check out lighter fare in this post or this one.

Most people who know me would say that I’m the one who is usually up for anything, and the more ridiculous the better. It’s the ridiculous experiences that make the best stories, and I love to have stories to tell. And not just any stories, either. I want the conversation-stopping, choke-on-your-food from laughter, “this is something that would only happen to you” stories. And I’ve done a pretty good job of being an experience collector (with an overdeveloped sense of the absurd) over the years.

There are definitely upsides to this approach to life. For one, it’s fun. Second, I am 100% confident that in any given stage of my life, I have gotten the most out of it that I possibly can, and that’s a pretty cool feeling; I rarely feel regret that I should have done more, because I have a strong innate sense of whether or not I’ll feel bad about missing an opportunity, and if I will, I make sure not to miss it. Third, going and doing has been my way of figuring myself out, of defining personal boundaries and learning who I am and who I’m not. Sure, some things I perhaps didn’t need to do even once to figure out that I wouldn’t ever do them again, but those mistakes were valuable, too. All of this is good.

But I worry that I’m too old to still be approaching life this way. And even more than that, I worry that I’m not taken seriously because of it. At this stage of my life, shouldn’t I be…calmer? Shouldn’t I have my boundaries figured out and solidified by now? Shouldn’t I pick one or two hobbies to do consistently rather than trying a bunch of new things just for the hell of it? I have passions I dive into deeply, but I get equally excited about doing interesting, random one-offs. A BYOB pole dancing class here. A trip to a Scientology center there. Three hours ago, I agreed to train for a race using the Zombie method (no joke — it is a running training program where you pretend you are being chased by Zombies to motivate you…I KNOW, DOESN’T IT SOUND ABSURD?!)

I know I’m a serious person. I have depth. I think about and can speak intelligently about a wide variety of socially relevant topics. But I worry these things don’t come across when I meet people. Instead, I worry I seem like a good time gal. Someone who is always up for fun. Quick with a joke. Bubbly. Friendly. But not the person you take seriously. Consider for career advancement. Marry.  I guess there is a part of me that feels like I need to grow up, calm the crap down, stop doing things for the stories and start…like…being a legit adult. One who can talk politics. And cook a meal that looks like a meal and not like something that fell from above. And whose furniture matches. And who seems polished and sophisticated.

I like to think there is a way to meld these two worlds, but I haven’t figured it out yet.

Written by lindsay in: Uncategorized |

Leaf Me Alone

As a kid, I loved to jump in leaf piles.

Ok, let’s be honest. As an adult, I love to jump in leaf piles. And because of my stature and general adorableness, I can…whenever I want…and it doesn’t seem weird. If people see a 6’2” guy jumping in a leaf pile by himself, they might think he was crazy…or they might look around and try to spot his white, windowless child molester van that clearly must be nearby. If people see me jumping in a leaf pile by myself, the worst people think is “man, that 8 year old has big boobs.”

Bottom line – I’m always up for a good leaf pile romp. But this morning, the leaf piles of the world united and took their revenge.

There were three men blowing leaves outside of the gym around 9 am. Two of them had simple hand-held leaf blowers but one had, like, the mother of all leaf blowers. It looked like a Zamboni with a giant fan on the back of it – no leaf was safe from that thing, let me tell you. Clearly they had been working for a while, because there were already several piles of leaves right by the sidewalk where I was walking. Perhaps that should have been my first clue to walk on the other side of the street, but I was distracted by Toto blessing the rains on Pandora and wasn’t paying much attention.

I can’t really tell you exactly what happened next (it all happened so fast!), but this is what I remember: I saw the Zamboni-esque machine hurtling towards me at the speed of light and then turn suddenly, about 4 feet away from me, heard a loud “WHUMP” and then everything went dark…

…because I was fucking COVERED in leaves. Millions of tiny pieces of leaves. Wet. Dry. Everywhere. In my face, in my mouth, on my clothes, in my raccoon wounds. As the dust settled, I heard the laughter of a few law school students on the other side of the street (assholes). But no one was laughing louder than the three leaf blowers, all of whom were doubled over in hysterics. To steal an expression I recently learned from a very charming young man “Graaaaaaahhhhhhttttt.”

I didn’t really know what to do, so I stuck out my arms and took a little bow, pieces of woodland glory falling from every inch of my being achat viagra sur le net. I then gathered what was left of my pride, went inside and composed this post on my phone.

Leaves. Leaf blowers. Law students. All Meccanized.

Written by lindsay in: Uncategorized |

This Is Why You’re Fat…

When I was a freshman in college, I was set up on a date with a very handsome sophomore. Like, be still my beating heart handsome. Like, I have never seen anyone so beautiful handsome. Like, I might soil myself if you even look in my general direction handsome. So yeah, I was nervous.

We went to an Italian restaurant with a few of my friends and their dates prior to a formal dance. The group started talking about hobbies, and my beautiful, beautiful man turned to me and asked, “So, Lindsay, what do you like to do for fun?”

What did I like to do for fun? I had no idea. My brain was completely blank, erased by the lush, rolling blue waves of his eyes. I became extremely aware of the seconds passing after this very basic question was met by my complete and utter silence. My friends were slowly growing mortified on my behalf as I struggled to come up with anything to say. I was holding a breadstick in my hand, and in a moment I have not yet lived down, I said the first thing that came into my head: “Uh…I like to eat…a lot.”

That’s right, boys….form a line.

I tried to laugh it off, but the sense of embarrassment for me and about me at that table was palpable. Wah wah!

But now, 10 years later, I am comfortable with my gluttony and am in no way ashamed to admit that, yes, I in fact like to eat…a lot…and prefer to surround myself with people who  find that charming and only mildly disgusting.

Which is why I am writing about an epic journey I took today with six
worthy companions with one goal in mind: to eat ourselves into a stupor at the world famous Dr. Ho’s Humble Pie.

There were nachos!

And pizza!

And Pepsi! (rookie mistake. LOVE THE BRAND!!!but I should
have known better than to suck down a carbonated drink on top of pounds of nachos and pizza)

Oh My!

I took one of the boxes of leftover pizza home and immediately put it on my bathroom scale – 4 slices weighed just under 5 pounds. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t pretty impressed with myself.

Of course, I am now sitting on my couch, one eye half closed, pants open and breathing really heavily.

Seriously boys…form a line.

Written by lindsay in: Uncategorized |

Sometimes You Need A Reminder…

A few years ago, I was riding the 22 Muni in SF en route to some crazy adventure or another. I stood from my seat in anticipation of getting off the bus (hello, neurotic) and apparently caught the eye of a few…oh how to say this nicely…horizontally-affluent, Crabbe & Goyle-looking lady bullies across the aisle. They started laughing, whispering and pointing at me. That progressed to hollering across the bus aisle at me, calling me a “little mini midget” (department of redundancy department, much?) and asking if I had trouble reaching the pull cord to stop the bus. (I don’t, for the record.) When I continued to ignore them, they came over, got in my face and the bigger girl said “you must be so embarrassed! I can’t even believe you go out in public when you’re that short.” The other snorted “good one” and basically drooled with laughter. Mmm…yummy. I continued to ignore them until we all got off at the same stop. Now, I can’t really explain how I grew such big balls so quickly, but when their teasing continued on the sidewalk, I turned around and shot: “Look, I can wear heels. There’s no quick fix for being fat, ignorant bitches.” (Oh, my mother would be so proud of me…) Then, fearing that I would get the snot kicked out of me in front of the line of homeless people on Haight Street, I basically turned and ran.

Lame as it is, that’s a defining moment in my life. I don’t usually seek out confrontation, and I rarely have zingers at the tip of my tongue, but somehow in that moment, the stars aligned and I felt really proud that I stood up (though not too tall) for myself.

I was reminded of that 22 trip just now. I was at the gym, elliptical-ing like a fiend, and one of my favorite songs came on. What do you think I did? Smile a little and bop my head? HELL NO. I rocked out! Singing along, dancing around as much as you can on the elliptical and generally looking like an idiot (and how!). There was even a little air guitar in there. And then out of the corner of my eye, I noticed two girls huddled together staring at me and giggling. Now, I honestly have no idea what they were laughing about, and it most likely had absolutely nothing to do with me, but I started to feel embarrassed. For a second, I quieted down and tried to look more like a normal human and less like Richard Simmons on crack.

And then, something magical happened. The old dude on the elliptical next to me started singing…loudly…to the Jefferson Airplane song he was listening to. I looked over at him, he looked at me and big grins broke out on both our faces. Then came the nerd-tastic high-five. Seriously, movie moment to the Nth degree! The only thing that would have made it better were if he were about 30 years younger, looked like Jeremy Renner and asked me to do some squat-thrusts with him…but now I’ve ventured into a whole different kind of movie.

There is no shortage of things that make you feel bad about yourself. As someone who categorically says the most awkward things at the most awkward times, I know. But these little moments are gold and remind me that the days are way more fun if you just be yourself without worrying, and the people who are worth a damn are the ones who not only appreciate your weirdness but are more than happy to sing along.

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Thin Line Between Heaven and Here

Dear USPS,

After years of delivering my mail, I think you have a pretty good idea who I am and what I’m all about. You’ve seen all the bills, paid on time. You’ve brought me good news in the form of college and grad school acceptances and bad news in the form of rent hikes and rejections from literary journals. You probably know more about my life than some of my closest friends.

Which is why it is so upsetting that you didn’t realize how much it would piss me off that you are tardy in getting me my Wire DVDs.

I had things perfectly planned so that I could have one night – ONE NIGHT – where I could sit, uninterrupted, and take in a few episodes of Season 2 before life gets hectic again. There is even snow and ice falling from the sky – it’s like the Universe saying “Yes, Lindsay, this night is my gift to you. It’s too cold to brave the outside world, too dangerous to drive anywhere. I want you to take this night and waste it absorbing TV…no, not TV…HBO.” But when I flung open my mailbox, eyes filling with excitement like a kid on Christmas morning, fingers fluttering in anticipation of holding that little red envelopes, did I find Bubs and Omar waiting for me? No. No, I did not. In the words of McNulty and Bunk in Season 1, “Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck.”

Now, I’m sitting here typing this post, watching the storm worsen outside and longing to know the identity of the female body floating in Baltimore Harbor, to see what deal Avon Barksdale is able to cut with prison officials by offering information on the tainted the heroin supply and to hear the melodic chorus of “Way Down in the Hole” filling my apartment.

Damn you, USPS.



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