Thursday, July 24, 2008

15 Years Ago Today, We Were Slow Dancing To This.

Fifteen years ago today Rigel and I were married. Everyone who knows me has heard the story of how we met a gazillion times, so I'll just give you the condensed version here: We were fixed up by a mutual friend and hit it off so well on our first date that we made plans for a second. On our third date I was picking him up at a train station in Paris where we spent a week together, culminating in a day on the lake in Versailles on a rowboat.

How could I not marry this guy?

Let me just say how grateful I am to be married to my best friend, the very best man I know, the most wonderful father I know, and the most kind man I know. So what if he doesn't like my plaid shorts, puts his feet on the table and hates it when I try and give him directions?

This is "our song" that we danced to at our wedding. Okay, so Paul Weller looks a little geeky, but the lyrics still make me teary eyed every time.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Soy Rage: The Dark Secret of Trader Joes

Dear Asshole In Line At Trader Joe's:

First of all, you smell, and I wouldn’t have gotten in line behind you in the first place if it wasn’t the most convenient checkout near the exit. Then, when I asked you to hold my place for a second so that I could grab an Orangina which was around six feet away and you said, “Hold your place? What does that mean? I don’t think so,” I noticed that your breath smelled, too. Also? Get a decent haircut.


p.s. Your goatee is stupid.
p.s.s. So is your earring.

As you can see, I had another bad encounter today at Trader Joe's.

The last one was a few weeks ago, when I was waiting for a parking space and a woman pulled up behind me, got out of her car and started yelling at me to "get going." My girls were in the car so I didn’t get a chance to tell her to get her wrinkly, pale ass back into her Mercedes, but I wanted to. Then I wanted to grab her by the hair, swing her around a few times and throw her so far she’d have to have the Space Station retrieve her dehydrated, lifeless body. When I got out of my car a guy who had witnessed the whole thing shook his head and said, “What is it about Trader Joe's that brings out the worst in people?” I thought he was reading my mind, but really he was just talking about that awful woman.

It’s a mystery I’ve been pondering lately. Why does Trader Joe's, which by all appearances attracts a fairly upscale, socially conscious, tree-hugging, organic-loving clientele, have more than its fair share of aggressive, self-involved jerks? It’s not just based on my experiences – our local Trader Joe's had to hire a security guard to watch over its parking lot because of the number of altercations between soccer moms and studio production assistants. I couldn’t believe they hired him for that reason – surely it was because someone was caught making off with cases of $2 wine, or they had too many incidents of Fair Trade French Roast being snuck out under coats. But the manager confirmed that they had to bring in the big guns after a series of fist fights that had taken place between the Range Rover and station wagon crowd.

I even witnessed an incident around a year ago where a guy chased a woman into the store because he swore she rammed a shopping cart into his Prius after she thought he had stolen her parking spot (I’m sure he did.) He was quickly surrounded near the organic vine-ripened tomato display by a cluster of cashiers in Hawaiian shirts and escorted out.

And it’s not just at my local store – I’ve heard similar incidents from people in other cities, although one friend insists that the crowd at Whole Foods is even nastier. And I have to admit leaving that store in a boiling rage more than a few times when I had to pay eighty dollars for a single organic potato and a loaf of sprouting rye bread.

In contrast, my local Ralphs supermarket has no such problems. I’ve never been yelled at once in the six years I’ve been going there (although my husband insists it’s because everyone’s too drunk to raise their voice.) Sure, most of the people shopping there are missing half their teeth and are wearing their bathrobes, but I’ve had people save my place in line and even let me get in front of them when I’ve only had a couple of items. I’ve helped old ladies sort out their coupons, and had strangers offer to lift heavy cases of water into my van. Okay, so their selection of organic cheese is marginal at best and I once found a three-months expired pack of cold cuts in the deli section, but I’m telling you these are nice people.

Honestly, I’m beginning to think there’s some sort of connection between excess amounts of soy milk and asshole behavior. Or maybe there’s some link between consuming too few preservatives and a tendency to act like you own the whole fucking planet. Are the people who shop at Trader Joe's so tired and worn down from trying to save the world all day, that by the time they get around to buying their muesli it’s just too much to ask to be civil?

I’d like to collect stories from people who’ve had similar encounters in Trader Joe's, send them to a social anthropologist somewhere and have them do complete scientific study. You’ve heard of Roid Rage, could this be a similar affliction, Soy Rage?

Stay tuned while I get to the bottom of this. In the meantime, I'm taking a crowbar when I go over to Trader Joe's to pick up my free-range chicken, just in case.

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tags: | trader joes parking lot |

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Kind Of Like Taking A Picture Of Your First Bra, Only Worse

jessica-alba-genlux-marsha-takeda-morrisonI was in the magazine section of Barnes and Noble the other day, and saw the current issue of Genlux, the one that has my interview with Jessica Alba in it. I got so excited I took out my iPhone, gave Kira my double-tall-dry- soy-cappuccino to hold, and took a picture.

So nerdy, I know.

Look closely, and you'll see that the cover of Cosmo that's next to it says, "SEX POLL! 30, 570 Dudes Tell What They're Dying For You To Do In Bed!"

Which one would you buy?

I think I know the answer, so you can go read my interview here for free.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

tags: | genlux |

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Friday, July 11, 2008

Sometimes It's NOT The Thought That Counts

I'm hosting a giveaway on my reviews blog, a first for me. I'm giving away a cookie bouquet to the person who can tell me the most pathetic gift story ever. I'm not talking about a sweater that was the wrong color, or the time you received a sauté pan when you clearly stated that you wanted a griddle. I'm talking about the most grievous of gift giving crimes, the ones that leave you speechless when you tear off that wrapping and make it impossible to even utter a 'thank you.'

I would totally win this contest.

It happened when I was in my twenties and dating a guy who was totally wrong for me. I was living on my own in the city and running a business. He was living near the beach, sharing a small house with three other guys, one of whom had a pot farm in the closet of his bedroom. If my mom knew who I was dating back then she would have been so proud.

We'd only been going out for a few months, and we were coming up on Christmas which is always awkward in a new relationship. The selecting of a gift for your first holiday as a couple is excruciating, since it will be infused with meaning. Spend too little, and it looks like you don't care enough. Even worse, spend too much and it looks like you care too much and will send the guy running for the hills. I've had friends ruin perfectly good relationships because they chose to give the expensive wallet from Barney's instead of the totally non-committal jacket from Banana Republic.

Thinking back, I can't remember exactly what I got him, but if it was like everything else back then I totally over-thought it. I probably considered no less than twenty different items, photographed them all and sent them out to six thousand of my closest girlfriends. Then they chimed in with their comments which I entered into my special Gift Meaning software that calculated the most appropriate level of meaning for each item. It probably told me to buy the guy a pair of socks.

He came over to my apartment for the big exchange since I told him I didn't want his three roommates hovering over our evening, and those huge, bright pot-growing lights were always so intrusive. When the time came he seemed eager to give me my gift, and he handed me a small square box. I tore off the wrapping and was surprised to see that the logo on the lid was from a very expensive watch company. If he had run this through my special software he would have known that a gift of jewelry means the relationship is serious, and I immediately started planning our wedding in my head. By the time I had opened the lid to that box I had already picked out the flowers in my bouquet and the names of our two children.

So imagine my surprise, or should I say horror, when the inside of the box revealed not a tasteful timepiece but a t-shirt, scrunched into a fist-size square and bearing this logo:

In case you're not familiar with this lovely piece of art, it's a surf wear company that was popular at the time. I'm sure in his mind it was the perfect gift; he was always trying to get me to abandon my city life and become a part of the beach scene, his tank-top-clad, Hooters-chowing, pot-farm-in-your-closet crowd. I knew I would never wear that t-shirt, unless I could wrap it around my wrist and ask it to tell me the time.

I know very well it's the thought that counts, and the idea behind the gift wasn't so bad. But someone should have told this guy that next to calling her 'mom' by accident, giving your girlfriend a t-shirt disguised as expensive jewelry is probably one of the biggest mistakes you can make in a relationship and will cause her to blog about it to the world many years later.

I think I'll go have one of those cookies now.

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