Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Royally Ridiculous Fantasy

Hey. Can I share a secret with you if you promise not to judge or laugh too harshly? Yes? Okay, here goes...

::deep breath::

I'm sort of geeking out about the Royal Wedding.

I know, I know. I'm one of those people who you want to punch in the face. You're sick of, "William and Kate this" and, "William and Kate that," and I'm giddy at the thought of what the future princess' wedding gown will look like. So what's up with my obsession? It's twofold.

For one, it's a reboot of the royal nuptials that went down back in 1981. I may not have existed when that wedding took place, but I've seen some of the footage, and it's disappointing. I'm sure Diana and Charles had some great qualities, but they weren't exactly the most handsome people on the face of the planet, and Diana's dress was fugly with a capital F. (Sorry, Di, rest in peace, boo.) While Prince William is no Johnny Depp, Kate Middleton is cute enough for the both of them, and girlfriend has good style, so logic dictates that their wedding will pwn Charles and Diana's.

Secondly, I get to vicariously live out my fantasy of becoming a princess through Kate Middleton. I've harbored this fantasy since I was a kid, but my path to the throne is starkly different from Kate's. I fully blame King Ralph. Ever since seeing that movie, I've hoped that secretly I was a long-lost relative of a royal family (country doesn't matter; I'm not picky!) and that by some freak accident they all wind up dead and I become either a princess or a queen. Kids, that's the stuff of which fairy tales are made.

So what would I do if I ever broke into the royal ranks? In all honesty, I'd probably be just a tad self-indulgent at first because I JUST BECAME A FUCKING PRINCESS. I would stare at my tiara for a full two hours first thing in the morning. Just admiring it. Polishing up the diamonds and rubies. Relishing the fact that even though I wasn't popular enough to be voted prom queen or homecoming queen in high school, I was sure as shit more than adequate to be a real-life princess, thus pwning the entire TCHS class of 2002. After the two hours were up, I'd place my tiara on my head and wear it for the rest of the day. It would have its own Facebook page. I would treat it like Flat Stanley except it wouldn't be flat and it would be an honest-to-god tiara. It would RSVP to my high school reunion on my behalf.

I would also throw mad crazy parties in the castle. I would use any excuse to fly out my friends for a few days of revelry: the Oscars, (Insert Name of Country) Idol, just because it was Wednesday. I would have old money at my disposal, so the alcohol would be top-notch: Grey Goose, Cristal, Dom Perignon. If anybody tried to sneak in some shit like Popov, I'd have the royal guards escort their asses out. Seriously, Popov? At a royal party? Are they kidding me?

If I became a princess, that would make Ava a royal dog, which means she'd have her own tricked-out doggy castle. And her own tiara so we could be twins. She would also have a collar made out of diamonds because that's how she would roll.

If I became a princess, I would do the following (in no particular order):

1. Watch The Princess Diaries and laugh at the irony.
2. Re-visit King Ralph and laugh at the irony.
3. Play Risk and laugh at the irony.
4. Develop my own signature perfume.
5. Buy this and play Hansel and Gretel with my friends.

You know, looking back at my list, I'd make a horrible princess. I'd be boorish. Selfish. Probably hated by my staff and subjects. My abuse of power would know no bounds. So I think I'll leave being a respectable princess up to Kate and tune in to watch her say, "I do" instead.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Weekend Randomness

When the driver's side power window of my Found-On-the-Road-Dead Focus crapped out on me after work Wednesday evening, more than a couple of four-letter words flew from my lips. I could feel my blood pressure rising and my frustration mounting. The weekend prior I unexpectedly had to replace two tires. Now, the power window was dead. Based on my own experience with my Saturn, and watching how my sister's Focus met its eventual demise, I knew it was only a matter of time--the seemingly innocuous repairs were the start of an avalanche that would include replacing the entire break system and alternator and end with a total of about $20 million in car repairs and me living out of my POS car because I couldn't afford to make rent. My Focus was almost 5 years old. It had 61,000 miles on it. And already I've had to replace all four tires (two a few years earlier!) and deal with a dead power window. I. Had. To. Jump. Ship.

Problem was, I wasn't planning on buying a car for awhile--I didn't know if I could afford it. My parents graciously bought my Focus for me, and the plan was to transfer the title and deed over to me when they finished paying it off next month. It was my responsibility to get car insurance. I was perfectly fine with that plan until the avalanche started. Then I wondered just how much a used car would actually cost.

When I got to work on Thursday, I pulled up and perused the used cars. I found one that I liked, a 2009 Pontiac G5 coupe, and plugged in the numbers on the car payment estimator. I was pleasantly surprised--the payments were well within my budget. I got excited and called my dad to tell him of my plan to buy the car next month. My dad was on board, but suggested I get the car as soon as I possibly could, since it might not be there next month. And he pointed out that I would only be waiting a few weeks anyway--why not just go ahead and buy it now? He also suggested I get financing through my credit union.

A few phone calls, some signed documents and one test drive later, I was the proud owner of the Pontiac G5. My first solo car-buying experience turned out to be the most random experience of my life. It was exciting and nauseating, but when I look at my little red car, I feel a swell of pride and a sense of relief that I had put off the avalance of car repairs a little longer.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Random Thoughts on Beauty and the Beast and Hawaii

Yesterday, I revisited my childhood and watched Beauty and the Beast. While that movie is still awesome, some things did stick out to me, watching it as an adult.

1. The Beast's servants/furniture/dishware are incredibly durable. They sing, they dance, they hop around, they DEFEAT A MOB WITH A BATTERING RAM and they don't break. I know they're enchanted and all, but just because they're alive doesn't mean that the china of which Mrs. Potts and Chip are made doesn't suddenly become like steel, unless the enchantress who cast the spell in the first place also did a switcheroo on the properties of the materials.

2. Gaston really is a dumb-ass. His objective is to marry Belle. Does he get her flowers or chocolates, help out her father, buy her books, or cook her a nice dinner like any other normal human male would do in trying to win over a woman? NO! He opts to ambush her with a surprise wedding and throw her pops into a mental asylum. Not winning, Gaston.

3. While watching this movie, I thought the strangest, most random thing I've ever voluntarily thought of in a long time. I thought about my dog, and what if she used to be this really bitchy, self-absorbed princess who got turned into a dog? And she had until her 21st birthday (in human terms, natch) to find a guy to love her or else she'd be a dog forever? That would mean she would have until November (3rd dog birthday/21st human birthday) and I have been cock-blocking her this whole time. It would also mean that the cute moments we've shared (her curling up on my lap, or lying on my chest for a few minutes when we first go to bed) are now hella awkward.

4. Random subject change...This has nothing to do with Beauty and the Beast, but lately I've had the urge to go to Hawaii for a few days, by myself. It's definitely because I've got a romanticized view in my head that a trip to Hawaii by myself would be this life-changing quest in which I "find myself" and other such hippy nonsense. I don't even know what I would be trying to find, or if I even needed to find anything; I just want to go to Hawaii.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Open Letter to Play 98.7

Dear Play 98.7,

You bother me. Don't get me wrong, I still listen to you because you do play some good songs, but still--you bother me. I hear your commercials, the ones that call out Mix 100.7 for being old and outdated while positioning you as the newer, hipper, younger model. Ordinarily, this would not bother me, but lately you've been playing songs that just don't jive with the image you've been trying to convey. Like Anna Nalick's "Breathe (2a.m.)." Does that really fall under the heading of, "today's hits?" It's a good song and all, but it came out in, what, 2006? Or "Scar Tissue" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I think that came out back in 2004! How can you boast that you play only, "today's hits without the rap" when your playlists include five- and seven-year-old songs? More importantly, how does this make you any different that Mix, a station that plays those same exact songs every single day?

Last Sunday really took the cake, and turned my minor annoyance with you into full-fledged, "Holy shitballs, if I hear ONE MORE commercial that makes fun of Mix, I am going to send everybody at Play 98.7 anthrax-laced envelopes." Wanna know what it was? "FAST CAR" BY TRACY CHAPMAN. Just so we're crystal clear, it's this song:

NOT this younger, hipper, fits-more-in-with-your-image song by the same name:


Really? REALLY, PLAY 98.7?!
FAST CAR?! THAT SONG CAME OUT IN 1988!!!!!!!! COME ON!! Honestly, Play 98.7, you've gotten me so worked up, I've used italics, capital letters, exclamation points and question marks in conjunction with each other.

Seriously. Get your shit together and stop playing old songs. Otherwise, get a new advertising campaign.


Sarah "HonestlyLikesFastCarButHatesToHearItOnPlay98.7" Van Blaricum

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Let's See How Many I Times I Can Cram the Words, "Richard Lewis" Into This Post

Judging by my dreams, I'm convinced that when I go to sleep, my brain sees it as a free pass to to go hog-wild and do all kinds of crazy shit. Apparently last night, it wanted to hang out with Richard Lewis (1!), and so I was treated to the following:

Richard Lewis (2!), my friend Ali and I were all getting ready to go somewhere, and Richard Lewis (3!) and I were dating. My friend Ali was in this very New York-looking outfit: black slacks, black turtleneck shirt, and a long black coat, and she was wondering what to accessorize with it.

Being a smartass, I tell her, "If you added a scarf, you'd look just like Richard Lewis (4!)!" Richard Lewis (5!) then shoots me a look, clearly not amused, and it hits me: I just made fun of Richard Lewis (6!) in front of Richard Lewis (7!) Trying to rectify the situation, I go over to him, playfully tug on his scarf and say, "But you look good." (Sidenote: He, too, is wearing black pants, a black turtleneck, a black coat, and a black scarf.) He's not quite appeased, but he lets it go. Ali disappears then comes back wearing the same outfit except she ditched the coat and put on a Native American poncho instead.

Then, I woke up.

Don't ask. I do not know what Richard Lewis (8!) was doing in my subconscious. Like I said: apparently my brain wanted to hang out with him while I was asleep. It's like a high school kid who has the house to himself the whole weekend sans parental units and decides to GET FUCKIN' CRAZY.

Richard Lewis (9!) wasn't harmed in the making of this dream.

Total Richard Lewis Count: 9 (10 if you include the title, 11 if you include this line)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Who I'm Listening To: Paul Simon

Paul Simon, both as a solo artist, and as one-half of Simon and Garfunkel, is my favorite musician in the whole entire universe, including Harmonia. That says a lot. For an earthly musician to beat out whatever Harmonia has to offer, which I guarantee you is a combination of whimsy, fantasy, and holy shit, must mean he's special. Now, I know what you're thinking, and the answer is yes. I love Paul Simon more than Journey and Steve Perry.

"Bullshit!" you might say. "If you love Paul Simon so much, why don't you create a blog about him? Oh, that's right. You didn't. You created one for Steve Perry. Hmph."

My reply to that is, as soon as Paul Simon starts sportin' him some glorious man-hair and shockingly tight pants, then he'll get his own blog too. But he won't, because he looks like this:

Musician Paul Simon, co-founder of the Children's Health Fund, participates in an event to encourage politicians to not forget young people during the debate on health care reform at the U.S. Captiol September 16, 2009 in Washington, DC. The American Academy of Pediatrics have asked Congress for health insurance coverage for all children, ag-appropriate benefits and reasonable payment to assure real access to services.

It's okay, though. If Paul Simon were flashy, it would take away from his songs, and that would be a crying shame. He's a brilliant lyricist, and, so far, the only one who can make me choke up. His songs are beautiful and haunting, tortured and inspirational. One of my favorites is from "Slip Slidin' Away:"

God only knows
God makes his plan
The information's unavailable
To the mortal man

Every time I hear a Paul Simon tune, I get the same feeling I do when I go to visit my parents: a sense of comfort, of familiarity. I flashback to when I was twelve and listening to Negotiations and Love Songs on my Walkman knock-off in the backseat of my parents' Mazda Protégé, going home after attending a Christmas celebration in downtown Perry, warm, cozy, happy. Whenever I hear a Paul Simon tune, I feel that everything will be alright in the world, that no matter what my worries or concerns are, somehow everything will turn out okay. A musician who can elicit that kind of emotional response is truly one-of-a-kind, one of the greats. He's the kind of artist who can give those frou-frou, lute-playing bastards on Harmonia a run for their money.

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Here are a few other songs I love that didn't have in its database or I forgot to add: