August 2009


So in the new Rolling Stone, there is a review of the bootleg of the August 4th Dylan concert, in which the reviewer states that Charlie Sexton joined Dylan and “made chestnuts like ‘All Along the Watchtower’ and ‘Highway 61 Revisted’ crackle like they haven’t in years.”

To which I say: awesome. Sign me up. Well, not me so much as the boyfriend because the boyfriend loves Dylan more than anything else in this world, except perhaps Derek Jeter the Yankees,* and I need something else to accompany this which I got him for our upcoming pseudo-anniversary thing in September.

But here is the problem: how do I get my hands on a copy of the aforementioned standout bootleg? Clearly it must exist somewhere in order for RS to be reviewing it, unless by “bootlegs” RS just means “concerts our writers recently attended,” in which case, BE MORE CLEAR RS. Googling has led me nowhere, so I put this quest out to the universe in hopes that one of you may have some ideas. Let me know.

*Yes, I realize that puts me, at the very best, third on his list of things he loves most in the entire world and, no, I am not exaggerating.

Advertisements

Before I lose all my faith in you, please affirm that this is some sort of joke and there are not actually people out there who buy this crap???

Thanks,

fifi

I realized yesterday morning that I am going to have to bite the bullet and buy a new pair of running shoes. I’ve been suspecting this for a little while now because my knee has been throbbing post-runs for the last couple of weeks and while I do have knee problems in general, when I’m getting adequate support from my shoes, the knee problems remain relatively under control. This last week, my feet have also been throbbing post-run which in turn seems to have resulted in my (really rather small, so this is another red flag) bunion (sex-ay, no?) on my right foot feeling all tight and uncomfortable. I did a sole check to confirm my suspicion and (surprise, surprise) the treads are super rundown, especially in the toe box. So we have a situation where I clearly need to invest in new running shoes, but I really don’t want to right now.

I’m just annoyed because the shoes I currently have (Asics Gel Kayanos) are only a little over a year old and when I roughly calculate the mileage I’ve put on them, I’m only in the high-300s of actual running miles (of course, I do also wear them when I do the elliptical so that has contributed to the tread wear). The shoes prior to the Asics were Mizunos and I got closer to 500 out of them. I liked the Kayanos (the boyfriend has the men’s version and LOVES them), but, for the price, I’d rather get something with a little more staying power.

I went and tried on shoes yesterday and then did some research today and have ultimately on another pair of Mizunos, these lovelies (just because I didn’t want to buy them doesn’t mean I won’t love them any less):

41lZTIZkjgL._AA280_

(the order went through about 5 minutes ago – how’s that for real time?)

I ended up buying them on Amazon for $89.99, with free shipping included. I could have gotten them in another color for $79.99, but decided that not have florescent, eighties-style red/pink/black/orange running shoes was worth the extra $10.00 to me. I think they are going to be a good fit – I have pretty high arches and these fit my foot well (I was never 100% happy with the arch fit of the Kayanos. It was fine, but it could have been better). They’re also nice and lightweight, which is important to me. I will update after I actually run in them, but as of right now, I’m pretty happy with them and I actually think they might be an improvement on the Kayanos.

Even though I also think I got the best deal I could have on them, I’m frustrated to have to spend another $90 right now. Although I have a great deal with the parents in that I am living here free and all my needs are taken care of, I have been spending what feels like a lot of money lately, which is something I hate doing when I have no income to balance out the spending (watching my bank account balance decline has been incredibly depressing). Pretty much everything I’ve bought lately is something I need or have to do, so I don’t feel like I’ve been spending frivolously (except for maybe one thing, which I am super-excited about and which deserves its own post when it arrives tomorrow).

What am I spending this money on, you might ask? Well, for one thing, my new office is suits Monday – Thursday, whereas my old office was business casual so my super-cute business casual wardrobe which I painstakingly established over the past couple of years will now be relegated to Fridays and the summer, so I need suits. The Madre and I have been shopping the sales, but they’re still not cheap (maybe if I’m feeling motivated this week, I’ll post some pictures of our triumphs). And I still need probably at least 1 more in a heavier weight for winter.

There are also gifts and plane tickets and and hotel rooms and other misc. expenses for the two weddings we have in September and the little issue of health insurance for the next 2 months as my G.town policy expires at the end of this week.

But what can you do, right? And my feet/knees/hips are already thanking me for spending this $90 so I’m going to try not to worry too much about it.

The boyfriend’s sister (Stephanie) and I played phone tag for the better part of last week, with the result being that I am not playing a minor role in the wedding (they are having a full Catholic mass and I will be carrying the gifts (i.e. the not-yet-blessed eucharist and wine for you non-Catholics)). Based on her messages, I was expecting something along those lines, although my guess had been “guestbook attendant” and I was actually really looking forward to coming on here and quoting Miranda from SATC:

Carrie : Are you sure you can leave the Guest Book unattended?
Miranda : Its a bullshit job, Carrie. People know what to do with the guestbook.

But no. I am the gift bearer. Of course, it is nice of her to include me in the wedding (although, really, I was fine with just being a guest). I would probably be feeling more charitable about the whole thing if, in the conversation in which she told me this was my role, she did not keep making comments in the vein of: “of course, you’ll understand how it is when you and the boyfriend finally get married” or “I’ll have plenty of tips for you by the time you and the boyfriend ever get engaged.”* Ugh.

Hmmmm….

Those of you who’ve been around for a little while and who have read this and this and, well, the above may have picked up on the fact that I am not the biggest fan of the boyfriend’s sister.  I probably ought to provide a little background.

Now I realize that reading this you may think “Gosh that fifi sure is petty” or “Wow-fifi is a mega-bitch” or even “fifi is f-ing crazy,” and, well, fair enough. I can see why you’d think that. And I do know that I’m not perfect and that part of me not liking the boyfriend’s sister is me and my issues. But she’s also really annoying.

Stephanie is one of those people who consciously makes an effort to act in what she thinks is an adorable manner – like you’re supposed to look at her and think “oh gosh darn it, that Stephanie is just too cute.”

Example: [FYI, Stephanie does consulting. And from all appearances, she’s good at her job and she’s definitely rising in the ranks with her company. She may be annoying, but she’s driven and seems to work hard]. A few months ago, she worked with a famous person (FP) and part of what they were working on involved photographs. FP had complete photo approval. They ended up needing three pictures, but FP had only approved two pictures. Stephanie then decided that instead of getting in touch with FP to sort this out, she would just pick the third picture. FP was extremely upset about this and Stephanie had some problems at work as a result, although, because other than this, she’s good at what she does, it’s pretty much been forgiven. You might ask how I know this, considering it seems like something a person might not want to share with the world? Because she tells everyone this story. And when she tells it, it’s with a giggle and a “isn’t FP so silly for getting mad at little old meeeeee since I am so cute and adorable and no one in their right mind would think that anything I did was not cute and adorable?” shrug. I really don’t understand why she tells people this story. It does not reflect well on her. FP had a contract that gave FP certain rights. Stephanie completely disregarded said contract. You just can’t do that people.

In addition to the cute and adorable thing, Stephanie also thinks that everything she does is extremely special. I find this trait particularly irksome because we have several overlapping interests and I often feel like she’s trying to trump me (I know, I know – paranoid fifi alert). But it’s also annoying because the things she does aren’t actually as special as she thinks.

Example(s): The title of this post. I have previously made reference to Stephanie’s wedding-related “calligraphy” kick. Well, the invitations came this week and…still not calligraphy. Now, I think it’s great that Stephanie hand-addressed all the invitations and I think they look very nice (although, FYI, the address should be on the city/state level if you want to be all etiquette-ly correct about things). BUT don’t go around telling people that you spent all this time teaching yourself calligraphy and talking about how calligraphy comes naturally to you when you are NOT actually doing calligraphy. I give you:

DSCN0534(It’s kind of hard to make out here, but she used a regular pen to address the envelopes so her lettering lacks the varying thickness of true calligraphy).**

Or, there’s the cooking thing. The boyfriend’s sister enjoys cooking. Which is great. But she wants everyone to think that she’s is the greatest cook EVER. Whereas other people might be satisfied with throwing parties and the like, Stephanie self-published a cookbook. Which, okay,*** but the recipes are pretty much things like pigs in a blanket (Take cocktail hotdogs. Wrap in crescent rolls. Bake. Serve). She gives this to people as gifts. My copy may have gotten lost in the move (although, never fear, the Madre has a copy). She’s currently planning another cookbook, which she described to the boyfriend and me a few months ago over dinner. She pretty much described this cookbook to a T, down to the shopping lists, and tried to pass it off as an original idea. Not so much.

Or the photography thing. The boyfriend’s sister fancies herself a professional photographer. Which pretty much means that she shows up to any and all events with her camera around her neck (when we picked her up before the engagement brunch thing, despite her many bags, she still had her camera around her neck). Which is great at family bbqs and birthday parties, but tends to annoy the hell out of irk the real hired professional photographers at weddings, particularly when said photographs are trying to get complete family and wedding party pictures.

And this is just me being bitchy, but, while she has a nice camera, she doesn’t really do anything special with it. She sticks with the basic 18-55 mm lens and is AF all the way. There’s a reason the pros use multiple cameras and lens.

AND, on that note, that’s probably enough bitchy-ness from me for the moment. Beyond the now well-documented fact that I find the boyfriend’s sister annoying, I actually do have a very specific reason for not liking her very much which I should probably give you as a a form of defense of my character so you don’t think I’m completely petty, but this is already a long post and it’s late so maybe I’ll follow up on that tomorrow.

*Although, I did actually find this whole emphasis on the fact that she is getting married and I am clearly not kind of amusing because she had to give Russ multiple ultimatums hints before he finally proposed. We spent a good year and a half with every holiday or family event or vacation with her telling everyone that this was when Russ was finally going to ask her dad or that she knew Russ was going to propose at Christmas/on Valentine’s Day/in Italy/etc. And with every holiday/family event/vacation that passed and Stephanie was still ringless, she got a little more cranky. She then took matters into her own hands and booked the church and the reception site and pretty much every vendor she needed, told Russ that they were getting married on X date, and then waited. 6 weeks later, he proposed and people who did not know that her parents had been writing deposits checks for awhile were shocked at how quickly Stephanie got everything planned/reserved/whatever for the wedding. So if you were wondering why I said this, well, yeah.

**The other not-correct-etiquette (and I actually think this one’s straight up weird) thing the boyfriend’s sister did with the invitations is that she invited the boyfriend and me twice. I got an invitation addressed to “Ms. fifi and Mr. boyfriend” at my parents house and I promptly filled out the response card and sent it back in for both of us (of course, the boyfriend is IN the wedding, but it’s still a nice gesture). However, it then turned out that Stephanie had sent a second identical invitation to “Ms. fifi and Mr. boyfriend” to the boyfriend’s apartment. I do not get this. The boyfriend told me that the rationale behind the two invitations is that Stephanie though that I would like my own copy (probably so I can save it to use as an inspiration in the event that the boyfriend and I ever get engaged 🙂 ). Which, okay, but then I should have gotten my own invite to “Ms. fifi” and the boyfriend should have gotten his own to “Mr. boyfriend.” Or she should have just sent the invite for both of us to me. Her solution = fail.

And, in case you were wondering, the invitations are nice, but not great. They’re very traditional in format, which I like, but I’m not a fan of the brown ink (I like classic black). And maybe I was spoiled by my friend Hope’s invitations which were absolutely gorgeous Vera Wang with really thick cream cardstock and embossed printing, but these were just plain paper so they feel really flimsy. They’re just not really my taste. The thing is, if you want to not spend as much as Hope did (and she spent a FORTUNE on her wedding, which is also not exactly to my taste), there are tons of nice invitation options out there. But what Stephanie did feels kind of like a knock-off of the traditional embossed-on-nice-thick-cardstock approach, which in turn just makes them look a little cheap. It’s like if you can’t afford a LV handbag, then I think it’s better to buy a nice handbag from a designer you can afford instead of carrying a fake LV. But that’s just me.

***Full disclosure: the Madre and I have put together a family cookbook. It’s just a binder of our favorite family recipes collected from various sources printed on pretty paper. Whenever we find a new recipe we like, it gets added to the cookbook. But this is for us – we do not, say, give it to people as a gift.

Subtitled, “Optical Illusions”

Scene: The Madre and I are in the sunroom looking at the backyard.

The Madre: Look at all those branches in the flower bed. One of the squirrels must have slipped.

fifi: Well, if you didn’t feed them so much, they wouldn’t be so fat. [We have EXTREMELY large squirrels. The cats are terrified of them]

Branch

The Madre: Honey! [to the fifi Dad] Come see what the squirrels did to this poor tree.

The fifi Dad: Hmmmm. Honey. That’s not a tree. That’s a BRANCH.

The Madre: Ooohhh. Now that you mention it, I didn’t have a tree there in the middle of my hostas.

Branch2


The Turks and Caicos
!

And it was wonderful. The water was the clearest and prettiest that I’ve ever seen and, since it was the off-season, the beach was nice and quiet* so I was able to completely relax. Which, of course, was much needed post-Bar.

Beach View2

It turns out that this is going to be my 100th post so I think it’s only fitting to celebrate such a milestone with lots of pictures of a beautiful locale.

Beach View4

Our hotel from the beach.

Hotel-Sunset4

Our hotel.

Pool View

Our pool.

Beach-Me15

the elusive fifi-bird, spotted on the beach in a rare state of total contentment.

Beach

the boyfriend puts in an appearance.

Conch

The boyfriend finds a conch.

Room-Sunset

Beach-Me5

Beach, book, and beer. What more do you need?

Sailing2

Sailing!

Sandy Feet3

Water Feet

fifi toes with (hopefully) lucky purple-is-for-the-law polish.

Swimming

The boyfriend was a wee bit cranky about this one. He alleges that I am the “worst suntan lotion apply-er ever,” but I think it was more that he never wanted to get out of the water to put on more sunscreen. (For reals people, sometimes it is like dealing with a child. But I love him.)

Grocery Store

And, because I am a geek like that, I leave you with a picture of the grocery store, mainly because it was SO much nicer than any grocery store in NYC!

*Except perhaps for the girl who struck up a conversation with us on the beach after we all participated in a snorkeling excursion and who punctuated her sentences with “FUCK YOU” said in a strong Philly accent. She used it kind of like how some people use “Shut Up!” i.e. “You’re from New York City? FUCK YOU. We’re from Philly” or “You’re a lawyer? FUCK YOU. No, seriously, FUCK YOU. So’s my husband! Crazy!” Indeed.

My friend J was in town last night visiting his mom for the weekend so we met up to see (500) Days of Summer and grab a bite to eat. J and I go WAAAAYYY back – we went to preschool together so we have known each other practically all our lives. J actually lives in New York and I had actually just seen him while I was in New York last, but it was nice to have some time to just chat one on one (the last couple of times we’ve seen each other, we’ve been with the boyfriend and J’s boyfriend, Nick).

The movie was cute, but not particularly memorable. I went into the movie really wanting to love it/want to see it immediately again/come out of it wanting to place my pre-order for the DVD on Amazon, for several reasons (including, but not limited to, the fact that the trailer looked great and that Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is one of my top-10 movies) but, unfortunately it just wasn’t that great. There were parts (like the IKEA scenes) that we pretty perfect, but really just served to make you think of what the movie could have been with a little bit better screenplay. I didn’t necessarily have a problem with the fact that Zooey Deschanel’s character was pretty one dimensional, as other reviewers have had, (why does she act the way she does? I have no idea), because the story wasn’t really a story of boy and girl, but really just boy. My problem was that boy wasn’t a fully fleshed out character either. I thought the movie relied too much on gimmicks like animation, a quirky soundtrack and the omnipresent narrator at the expense of plot development.

Also, I don’t know if it was because of all the Inglorious Basterds posters around the theater, but the filmmakers here used an instrumental snippet repeatedly throughout the movie to introduce key scenes that, every single time, made me think of Tarrentino and Kill Bill and kind of took me out of the movie because part of me was expecting the characters to engage in a vicious and bloody (but beautifully choreographed and filmed) showdown. Anyone else? Or just me?

Anyway, even though the movie was not all I hoped it would be, it was still a perfectly nice way to pass a Saturday evening. Afterwards, J and I went to a winebar by the theater (we were at Crocker for all you Cleveland-ers) and got dinner and chatted. J is in in the process of deciding whether or not he wants to go back to school so we talked about that for awhile and we discussed our respective relationships. J and Nick live together and J finds it very upsetting (in a very cute, older brother protective kind of way) that the boyfriend and I will not be living together when I move to New York in a couple of weeks because he thinks it should have been a foregone conclusion that the boyfriend should have asked me to live with him since we have, in J’s words, been together FOREVER and that it what happy couples do. I will confess that I was a little upset about the boyfriend’s lack of interest in living together at first, but now I do think living apart is for the best. We’re in something of a holding pattern with our relationship these days in terms of the future (I’m getting tired of the “and when are you two finally going to get married?” questions) and just in case something were to happen and we were to break up, it will be better if we have our own places. And if we are completely happy, then it’s only a year. Plus, I am starting to look forward to finding a place and getting new furniture (I sold pretty much everything in DC if you will recall), so I do think this is for the best. But the boyfriend is a little bit on J’s bad list right now.

It was a lovely and relaxing night, which then, as you know if you follow me on Twitter, ceased to be relaxing when I returned home to find my brother throwing a party for 20 or so of his nearest and dearest (the parents stayed on Catawba for the night to go out with their friends and while the cat’s away…). Highlights of my night cleaning up a six pack of beer that was dropped and shattered on the tile floor at 2 am and convincing one of the bro’s friends that the backyard was not an ideal place to sleep and I could provide him with a nice aerobed instead. Being the grownup was totally not fun (I think I was cranky last night while Twitter-ing because I just felt so damn old and boring) – I would have much rather been part of the beer pong tournament, but sadly was not asked to participate (I do recognize that that was completely inappropriate. I have mad beer pong skills though).

The bro and his friends seemed to have a good time and the bro was very good about cleaning up this morning, so all in all, it could have been much worse. I ended up only getting about 4 hours of sleep which is less fun when you get no benefit from your lack of sleep (besides big sister brownie points, I guess). However, next time I stay up until 4 am, I want it to be because I am drinking and having fun, not because I am playing chaperone!

Next Page »