Sunday, February 20, 2011

There is only one right way to hang toilet paper

Almost two years ago, there was a change between me and my roommate.

He found himself looking forward to coming home. Not because he wasn't at work anymore, but because he was looking forward to spending time with me. Cooking dinner together and watching TV. Silly boring things.

I found myself eagerly anticipating him getting home after work. Looking at the clock. And if he didn't come home, or came home late, I was way more disappointed than I should have been. I mean, he was just my roommate.

And after my last roommate (hell satanspawn bitchface hoooker hell hell), it seemed to me a good idea to keep my distance.

But, he had this big blue eyes, see? And I told my friends about it, that I had a crush on my roommate, and they were like, "that is a terrible idea. Remember what happened with your last roommate? Crazyface bitchass. And you weren't even sleeping with her. Don't do it. It'll end poorly, then you'll be out one awesome roommate. He picks up dog poop AND mows the lawn. Also he's super nice. And, you know. I mean, he's single, right? Can I maybe come over for dinner sometime?"

One friend was at least a little more honest.

"If you hit that, let me know how it goes. He's pretty cute. Maybe you could warm him up for me."

And I was like, "Oh, pishposh. Nothing will happen. I'm sure he's not interested in me. Plus, he's such a responsible person, he wouldn't do something like that."

Well. I was wrong. I'm way glad I was wrong.

One really good thing about getting together with your roommate is that you already know you can live together and you're comfortable together. Because moving in with a boyfriend can be really hard -- I know from experience. The guy I was with in college? Even when he was out of work and I was going to school and working full time, he couldn't be bothered to wash a dish. Or scrub a toilet. Ever. I think, in three years, he may have .... no. Actually, I don't think he ever cleaned the toilet.

But Roomie and I were OK with each other's habits. There were no arguments or bad blood about how clean the bathtub was, or who left dishes laying around. All was copacetic as far as home was concerned.

So a few weeks ago, I was going to the bathroom, and I noticed, to my great irritation, that the toilet paper was hung the wrong way. Underhand.

I realized that Roomie and I had never talked about how toilet paper is hung. And I didn't think that I'd ever noticed it being wrong before. I shuddered. Had I just been lucky? Did he have a willy-nilly approach to TP, and somehow, either I hadn't noticed, or it always happened to get thrown on the right way? Had I been the one who'd replaced the roll most of the time? It didn't seem like it ... I've lived with guys who left me empty rolls, and Roomie's just not that kind of a guy.

"Um, so have we ever talked about how we like toilet paper hung? I mean, are you the kind of person who thinks that there is a right way to hang TP?"

He looked at me, and quickly answered.

"Fuck yeah. Overhand."

"Oh, thank god. It must have been your mom."

Saturday, February 12, 2011

I couldn't have possibly made this up.

This is a real magazine I discovered in a stack of free mags at the gym:

You read that right.

Recipes, lifestyle, and weaponry. I feel like I'd be doing something wrong if I didn't subscribe.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Old southern women

Forgive me if you already saw some of this story on Bookface, but it's so awesome it bears retelling.

Not too long ago, I accidentally got sort of wasted while talking to my best friend on the phone. 

No. Really.

So the day after, I was as hung as I'd been in a long time. Naturally, Roomie and I took the opportunity to take a break from our weekend projects and catch up on movies. He's been pushing me to watch the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo movies (not for the lesbian scenes, I swear) for awhile, so we settled in. Problem is, we only had a love seat in our living room. No chairs. No couch.

See, Roomie is 6'2". Snuggles are nice for awhile. Not for 4 hours on a teenytiny lil loveseat with someone with allll of those limbs -- it seemed like he sprouted a new limb every time something violent happened.

By halfway through movie 2, we were on Craigslist. We found a guy selling a giant leather and micro-suede couch for cheap. I took another Aleve and we hitched our moving trailer to the truck and headed to town. On the way out there,  Roomie's mom called with an offer for some free furniture we needed.

While nice southern boys helped Roomie load up, I got to talk to the old southern women who were watching over the moves.

First, the Craigslist guy's grandma sat on the stoop, smoking a cigarette (which she referred to as "my habit") and telling me about how she had recently been so sick she thought she was going to die, but just as soon as she got out of the hospital, her husband had been diagnosed with brain cancer. He died two weeks later. Then her sister died.

"So," she said, poking her smoke into the air in front of her and shaking her head, "You can forgive me for my habit. I don't know what I'm going to do."

I forgave her.

Then we went to Mama Roomie's landlord's house. She was a sweet, tiny thing named Dell, and she wandered around muttering intelligible things as her grandson helped Roomie. She asked me to help move a few things, folding chairs and such, and praised Jesus that I was strong enough to do so. Then she told me I could only use her bathroom if I gave her a quarter.

As we stood on the front porch, she started waving her little hands around as she asked Jesus to bless our vehicle on our trip back to Aynor, and to fill it with angels so no demons could touch us. Then she looked at me, shrugged her little bird shoulders and said, "You're good now."

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Ch-ch-ch-chaay-yanges (and also some notes on trends in the south)

First off, I got a new layout (which I'm also hoping to ditch soon) and changed the way I do comments here, because I want you to know when someone replies to your comments. I think this means I'll be commenting as Serial here, just to confuse folks (did I mention I'm terrible at blogging?) -- though it's really a nod to folks who knew me back in the day.

Please tell me if you hate. Or if love it, I suppose. But to do that, you'll have to comment. Bwa ha ha ha ...

Second: I'm now going to paint an entire region with a very broad brush based on limited experience. Ready, set, go!

So there's been much ado about the DIY trend in the last few years, no? How now it's cool to knit, and to make your own food, and cook, and locally source. How it's fine and all to drink good beer, but to make good beer is truly divine.

But if you not only do all that but also grow the hops for your beer? Organically? Right on, man.

Right? I feel like I've seen this all over the place. Moms make their own baby food. Crafting is in. Store-bought is out -- or out-ish, anyway. I mean, it's really fun to make a sweater, but it takes a REALLY long time to make a sweater. So it's hard to actually stock your closet with shit you made, but oh, wouldn't you love to try! And wouldn't it just bake take the cake to make your own yarn? Except, who the crap knows how to make yarn? Or has the equipment? I think you use a spindle, right?

Actually, now that I'm thinking on it, I could probably have left my house in Bend, started knocking on doors, and within an hour turned up a guy with a spindle, and someone whose sister down the road raises free-range llamas. People where I'm from make sport of DIY. Homemade jewelry. Creating entire meals made from food produced within 100 miles -- this in the high desert, which has a ridiculously short growing season.

I thought this was a widespread trend. I know it is in a way. It spreads from places like Bend, Oregon, to Brooklyn, N.Y. And Bend's a pretty small town!

But Bend ain't the south. And I live in the legit south. Not a hip version of the south. Where I live in the south has no university, no cool music enclaves of hipness.

Now please don't think I mean the people here are backward. Some most certainly are, but for the most part, that's not the case. What I'm saying is that what's cool here has a different flavor.

I was recently asked by a co-worker if Roomie and I were "stay-at-home" kind of people (I resisted the urge to proclaim myself a former party girl, because, although it's true, bringing it up seems idiotic at a certain point) as opposed, I guess, to people who go out. She asked me this after I mentioned another fabulous meal we'd made at home (homemade curry with homemade paneer cheese with punjabi garam masala we'd ground ourselves. Ahem).

The question made me realize that the fact that we don't have kids and still prefer to stay home makes us ... kind of odd here. Now, the woman who asked is no 21-year-old partier. She's in her mid-30s, she's totally together. I just get the impression that she would rather have someone else make her good food than make her own. She likes to dress up and go out. That's something that to me, sounds nice on occasion. Most of the time, though, it doesn't appeal to me. My girls back home and I were far more apt to load up on fancy cheese from the market and stay in, sans heels. Sometimes we'd go out, but it was usually to a chap place with a stiff pour, and we were just as apt to get together on a weekend and make soap. Seriously.

I don't know anyone here who's interested in knitting. Or sewing. UNLESS they're, well ... how do I say this ... you know ... country folk. Or church ladies.

It seems like the hip girl (and boy) fondness for old world craft doesn't apply to the hip kids in this part of the country. And my theory is this: Here, raising chickens for free-range eggs ain't cool, it's farming. Sewing? Grandmothers here never stopped sewing. Same with all versions of canning, preserving and pickling (and I don't suggest you even mention kimchi). Potlucks are for church functions.

Maybe it's that when the country is gone from your life (as we pretend it is on the west coast and it most certainly is in actual urban areas), things country people "did" seem cool. When those country people are still doing them, and you can see the country folk selling that shit on the roadside to tourists, it doesn't seem cool anymore.

Am I right (or am I right)?

*Note: All of this pretty much ignores the existence of the midwest. Where I guess (based on the 3 people in my world who live in the midwest) people are into knitting and scrapbooking, despite their farm ties? Is it because the midwest has a better relationship with its rural roots? I'm sure some of my midwestern (bred, at least) readers will fill me in.