Monday, January 30, 2006

how to sleep in a bed without a boy by your side

DISCLAIMER: What follows is decidedly unfeminist and I am not ashamed.

11:00pm: It was a long day at the office, and a long night of editing away in my home office (a.k.a. my bed when my laptop computer is open on it). YAAAWN. Phew, my eyelids feel heavy.

11:05pm: Time to wash my face and brush my teeth. I close my laptop, put it on the floor beside my bed, and hop out of bed, on my side. My side is furthest away from the door to my bedroom. I walk all the way around the foot of the bed, swerve to avoid walking into the book case, and another book case, and another piece of furniture. I head for the bathroom.

11:06pm: It occurs to me as I flip on the bathroom light that it makes no sense to take the long way around to the bathroom. I avoided crawling over to the other side of the bed & hopping out right beside the door because there is usually a person lying there beside me. Tonight, however, I am alone. Mental note: Stop doing that. Next time crawl across the bed, reach the bathroom quicker. Next time.

11:22pm: I am back in bed, tucked into freshly washed sheets. They feel heavenly, and smell divine. My white comforter floats around my face like a cloud. I nuzzle into my pillow. For a brief moment I consider reading my book, but decide not to. I am simply exhausted. I reach up and turn off the light.

11:27pm: I am a little cold. I actually felt cold a minute ago, ignored it. I thought the temperature of my body would warm up the cool clean sheets, and that in a minute I'd be toasty.

It didn't. I'm still cold.
But I'm so tucked in...

Knowing that in a minute I'll be freezing, I throw the covers off of me, swing my feet around to my side of the bed, walk all the way around the foot of the bed, narrowly missing two bookcases and a piece of furniture, and open up my closet door to rummage around for my little black hoodie. Of course I'm cold, I think, shivering a little, the wood floor cool on my bare toes. My nightgown is a pink, loosefitting, summer-y little dress. What am I thinking? This is New England, most people probably tuck into bed wearing flannel PJs and socks. Mental note: the pink nightgown is only a viable option when wrapped around a boy.

11:29: I fish my hoodie out from between a blanket and a towel on the top shelf of my closet. Finally! I shove my goosebump covered arms through the sleeves of my hoodie. This is the same sweatshirt that Rachel once referred to as "the smallest sweatshirt she'd ever seen." Duh, I got it at the kids section at Walmart. I head back to my bed, back past the furniture and the two book cases, all the way around the foot of the bed, to my side. I dive under the covers, throw them dramatically over me, and nuzzle in, attempting to recapture my formerly blissful, tucked in state. I close my eyes and sigh, realizing that, damn it, I just did it again.

11:32pm: I am curled up on my side of the bed. Way on my side. As in, as though there was a person on the other side. Actually, more like as though there were two people on the other side. Or perhaps as though a line of demarcation had been drawn down the middle of the bed, and were I to cross that line, I lose a digit or a limb. But whatever. I'm too tired to adjust.

11:37pm: I feel ashamed that I was so quick to surrender the privilege of sprawing across my queen bed. I worry that this is a symbolic representation of my own independence. I thus creep a few inches closer to the center of the bed. My fingers crawl over to the other side like little spiders. I tuck them under the other pillow.

12:ooam: I am dozing now, almost asleep actually, when I realize that I am still cold. The thought wakes me up. That's it, this itty-bitty Walmart hoodie ain't cuttin it. I need to find the other hoodie. But where is it? The bathroom? I remember my independence this time, and crawl out on the other side of the bed. To do so, I must wrestle the sheets out from under the other pillow, and tear them from between the mattress and box spring, where I had so neatly tucked them just hours earlier while making the bed. I try to do this with as little effect as possible, so I don't ruin my beautiful bed-making handiwork. In the process, I fail to untuck the sheets enough, get my right foot caught in a tangled mess of covers, and basically fall out of the bed, wacking my arm against the wall, right on the spot where I bruised it last week when I fell down the stairs.

12:02am: I am finally back in bed, wrapped in the other hoodie, which is bigger, warmer, and navy blue. I pull the hood up over the crown of my head. I remember to situate in the middle of the bed, and am, for the most part, comfortable. I reach up to the thermostat above my head, and turn it sharply to the right, just in case. Having exhausted all possible hoodie options, my last resort is to turn up the heat.

1:35am: I wake up sweating, swaddled, nearly strangled in the huge navy blue hoodie. My decision to turn the heat up to "way way high" in a moment of sleepless frustration now seems totally dumb. Also dumb was my decision to eat my weight in ice cream before going to bed. My body is clearly having a bitch of a time processing all those carbs, especially in this oppressive, almost tropical heat. My room is sweltering, and my once lovely sheets are now twisted around my legs. They feel swampy, yet the air is as dry as the sahara. I throw the covers off of me, frown up at the ceiling, and sigh.

Is body termperature really this difficult to control???

2:00am: I am half alseep on top of the covers, and it appears to be cooling off in my room. I have cranked the thermostat down to "comfort zone", and it's true, my body temperature does appear to be approaching a more comfortable zone. At least the radiator isn't heaving and wheezing like it was before, struggling to pump my room full of as much hot air as possible.

2:10am: I am cooler, perhaps ready for a sheet.

3:20am: I somehow wormed my way under the blankets in my sleep. Okay, fair enough.

5:00am: I recall that this hour, the final hour before day break, is the coldest hour of day. I grab the navy blue hoodie, which is by now cool and dry, and put it on. This time, I leave the hood off my head.

?am: In my dream I see my mother and my friend Kim. We are drinking peppermint tea, and laughing over some joke I just told, about penguins and pandas. I don't recall the punch line, but they seem to, and they seem to think it was hilarious. They are laughing and laughing and I do too, even though I don't think whatever I just said was very fun. I laugh anyway, it is a forced laugh, then realize I have to pee and excuse myself to use the ladies room. In my dream I know I am in my mom's house, but I've never been inside this house before. It kind of looks like Aunt Jan's place in Sacamento. Where the heck is the bathroom?

6:57am: I have to pee. I glance at the clock. My alarm is going to go off in four minutes. I stare up at the ceiling. Maybe if I close my eyes I can sleep for just a little bit longer...I shut them... oh my god, do I have to pee. I brace myself for the cold wood floor on my feet, then swing my legs over my side of the bed. I walk all the way around the foot of the bed, swerve to avoid bookcase #1 & bookcase #2, and narrowly miss the other piece of furniture.

7:00am: I investigate the dark circles under my eyes in the mirror as I wash my hands. Wow, do I look tired. I twist the knobs on the faucets to off, and as the spray of the water ceases I hear my alarm clock go off, bleating like an angry sheep.

Happy Monday.

Friday, January 20, 2006

pretty people

During dinner the other night, the Mathemetician made an interesting comment that I have been pondering for days. He said:

"The pretty people that I know tend to be far more self conscious than their more average counterparts."

I think he's right. Most of the people I know happen to be quite pretty, and also, quite insecure. I think about the beautiful, intelligent girls I know, who fall into bed with mediocre guys that in the end treat them like shit, who are wooed there by flattery, as if no one had ever told them they were pretty before, as if they were hearing such compliments for the very first time. I think of the gay friend of mine who acted truly surprised when referred to him as totally hot, despite the fact that I found headshots and an old modeling portfolio in his room once, who I know believes, deep down, that he could turn any straight guy by virtue of his looks alone.

In a sense, we live in a culture where pretty = power. Things happen more easily for pretty people: they get served first in bars, are more apt to be approached for anything really. They are simply more marketable. Then why are these pretty people so self-conscious, so powerless?

Is it because beauty is something that can be taken away? Or because it's emminently subjective, something that inevitably fades with age?

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

the podcast

So, the Mathemetician has a podcast. It is a confession podcast, based on a friend's website, where people can anonymously call in and confess to the sordid things they've done or would like to do, their hopes, dreams, fantasies. The confessions run the gamut from innocuous to obscene. People call in to confess, and the Mathemetician and three of his closest friends, the Dudes, listen and comment. It's funny. And sometimes also very sad.

Here's my confession: At first I liked the podcast a lot. Then I kind of started to hate it. I wasn't able to put my finger on it exactly, but here are a few reasons thought might be behind it:

1. They talk about other girls being hot on the show. This is petty and I am embarrassed to admit I feel this way, but it's true.

2. They don't really feature any cool, intelligent women on the show. The only calls they regularly feature are from a 19 year old girl who calls in after plying herself with alcohol, and says "cute" (a.k.a. stupid) things. The other calls from girls that they feature are usually confessing to things like masturbating while listening to the podcast--you know, intelligent stuff like that.

3. The Mathemetician carves time out of his schedule for the show, and takes it quite seriously. He has even cancelled plans with me to do it, which is annoying, but forgivable. I thought a lot about this, and have deduced that I feel jealous of his ability to be focused on himself and his own work, and devotes real, serious time to his creative projects. Really I am projecting frustration with my inability to do the same onto his poor podcast.

After thinking about reasons 1-3 a lot, and discussing reasons them the Mathemetician, I decided to turn over a new leaf in the new year, and give the podcast a second chance. Here's why:

Reason No.1 is a totally stupid reason to not support him--I need to just buck up and get over my insecure self on that one.

The Mathemetician actually agreed with Reason No.2, and encouraged me to call in and get my friends to call in, as representative cool, intelligent women. My friends are brilliant and funny--I can do that.

Reason No.3 is another thing I need to seriously get over because, duh, The Mathemetician's creative focus was what drew me to the Mathemetician in the first place. Also, if I want to create anything in this lifetime, I need to mimic his behavior in this regard, rather than pout about it.

So, in an effort to embrace the podcast, I called in last week. I left a message, commenting about how funny one of the Dudes was being during the last show. This particuar Dude, in normal life, is deadpan guy. On the most recent podcast, though, he was being totaly hilarious, talking in funny, voice-over quality character voices and shit. It was awesome in that it was totally incongruous with his usually composed presence. So I called and told him so. Why not--new year, new leaf, right?

Last night I found out that, during taping, they featured my call. In a segment that the Dudes who wrote the shownotes called HANDJOB OF THE WEEK.

I feel so embarrassed. The Mathemetician made them stop taping. The show will likely never even be played. But, still.

This is how I feel when I think of my call being referred to as HANDJOB OF THE WEEK: small, stupid, sexualized, and powerless. My Sarah Lawrence education, my successful career, my writing, my 12 years of classical piano training. All of these things disappear.

And somehow, I am the one who feels embarrassed, like it's my fault, like I brought this upon myself. One could argue that I should have known that the winds would blow this way. One could say, "tough shit, sweetheart. You listened to the show before, you know how those guys talk and think and act," and it's true, I do.

This makes me think a lot about sexism. About the sexism that exists in all of us, that we don't even realize is there. It was latent in the show, I know that now. Even though I second guessed myself, tried to tell myself it wasn't, I know now that that's why the show bugged the shit out of me. But I also know that these guys are intelligent people. They are friends of mine, who think highly of me. At least I think they do.

I suppose like love, sexism works in mysterious ways.

Friday, January 13, 2006

"you just don't like black men"

"hey, cutie," he said.

But I thought he said "hey, kitty," so I looked up, a bit startled, and looked right at the man talking on the cell phone.

Ugh. Oops. Shit.

HIs eyes light up. "Hey gorgeous," he says. "You look so pretty today. Mmm, mmm, mmm, I mean, you look real, real good." I laugh. I do? Do I look real, real good in my calf length winter coat, with a scarf is wrapped around my face? There isn't much to see here. Maybe he likes my boots.

"Hey sweetie, come on honey, aren't you gonna stop and talk to me?"

I laugh again. His words sound so silly, he must be trying to joke with me. I shake my head at him.

"Dude...seriously," I say.

Of course, this only encourages him more.

"Hey beautiful, hey blondie, where you going? Can I talk to you, just for one second, just for a minute? You know, you look so good today."

I put my head down. Keep walking.

"Come on sweetie, come on. Just stop and talk to me for a minute." Okay, at first he made me laugh, but now this Joe is starting to annoy me. And he's still got that cell phone to his ear--is he even talking to anyone? What does the person on the other end think of all this? Is he on hold?"

"Oh, okay. I get it, I see. You just don't like black men."

Ugh. For christ's sake. Yes, yes, that's it. I just don't like black men. See, you're just not my type. If you were white or Puerto Rican or Asian, I'd be interested. In fact, I'd drop what I'm doing right now and give you a blow job.

You've got me all figured out, cell phone dude. That's right, my problem is that I just don't like black men.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

November Blonde

Originally uploaded by kirstenamann.

At long last! The blogging neophyte conquers photo hosting! The Mathemetician took this picture of me in Prague. Note my roots, which were just starting to grow out then. The photo captures the many layers of the blonde at that point, the different shades with highlights & lowlights. It has only gotten blonder since, and I will post photos soon to demonstrate as much. See, on my last visit to Jason on December 10, I arrived late, and he totally berated me. This was odd, because Jason is a friend, plus it's kinda weird & vulnerable to get yelled at by your stylist, when you know you're going to be sitting there at their mercy for like 2 hours. He was really mad and actually kinda mean! I think he was just in some sort of foul mood, and my lateness was the last straw, because after the first ten minutes, he started being all extra nice to make up for his 'tude. Anyway, I learned two important lessons that day.

#1 Don't be late for hair appointments, especially when your hair is a foot long and require 100 years for color, cut, and styling.
#2 Hell hath no fury like a stylist scorned. Don't fuck with your stylist, because they can seriously fuck up your locks.