Monday, March 15, 2010

Mini-Skirts, Multi-Colored Soda, and Whiskey: An Update

I was sitting around at work this morning, thinking about how much I like mojitos, and what a shame it is that they're so much trouble to make or more bars would serve them, when it occurred to me: Why don't bars use orange soda in drinks? I mean, I'm sure that somewhere, some bar in the world must use orange soda in something. But what if I opened a bar that specialized in using a wide variety of soda flavors in mixed drinks? Think of the possibilities! Strawberry, grape, raspberry, raspberry ginger ale, kiwi strawberry, the incomparable Egil's Apelsín! This might be the best idea I've had since chocolate gum. No wait, since car-themed karaoke. I tried to think of names for this bar but my brainstorming was cut short by some work junk I had to do, and I didn't get anything much better than "Prism of Delight," which, I think we can all agree, won't do at all.

The last few weeks have been so hectic, with two visitors practically back-to-back, holidays, and the sudden realization that I've got two weeks left at this apartment before I have to decide whether to stay on in Chicago for half of April or if I should just spend the full month in Maryland before my trip. And I still have to buy my ticket! Geeze. I try to breathe through the stress, but all those mounting tasks are still there. At least I'm finally doing my taxes, since it turns out my friend the IT guy is actually a tax accountant by trade and had me bring all my paperwork to the office today to help me sort through it. Woot!

I'm not sick anymore and only the uppermost registers of my voice are still at large. Karin and I successfully sang "Part of Your World" from The Little Mermaid Saturday night at my Icelandic friends' house during a dinner/youtube party, so it's good to know  that on my car ride to Maryland I will be able to maintain my tradition of singing songs that make others cringe whilst traversing the nation with no one but my little Honda to hear me. I think the vocal thing might be allergies, my room is kind of dusty. And my skin needs help because the weather changed from ridiculously dry to humid at the same time I was pumping my system full of over-the-counter medicine, so I broke out and am nursing it back to clarity. While it's sort of handy having a sensitive system to keep me alert to imbalances, it can be a pain in the name-a-body-part.

One bit of good news about this here body is that, due to the touch-and-go nature of my financial situation in February, I've gone down a dress size. Which means I had to go shopping for new pants. As a general rule, I hate shopping, especially for pants because it takes ages for me to find any that fit, and I usually end up having to get them tailored. However, with friend Karin (self-proclaimed shopaholic) in town, I had the perfect companion to talk me down off the ledge (and by "ledge" I mean the little stool in the dressing room when I can't bear the sight of myself in my underwear under the flourescent lights), navigate through dizzying racks of clothes, and give me honest yet loving answers such horrifying questions as, "Does this make my ass look too skinny?" And thanks to this wonderful shopping fairy (who went WAY above and beyond the call of duty), I discovered that, even though my driver's license may say I'm almost too old for a mini skirt (almost), the dressing room mirror and camera-brandishing Karin seem say otherwise. (I didn't trust the mirror so she took a picture to prove that my thighs seem to have become, suddenly and without warning, worthy of being seen by human eyes in the light of day.) So, this week on pay day I'm marching myself out of the office and north up Michigan Avenue to purchase that short strip of black cloth onto which someone brazenly sewed a zipper and declared it to be an article of clothing. (I know I'm supposed to be saving money, but I haven't bought a thing all winter, and if you can't occasionally treat yourself to a little affirmation in naughty skirt form then what is life?)

In other news, I was successfully introduced to whiskey last week. It was, in fact, IT Buddy who decided it was his duty to baptize me by firewater, and now I don't know how I went this long without it. Although I do need to be careful, it's as if it contains some secret ingredient which flips a switch within me and inflames my already "spirited" temperament. I'll feel normal, normal, a little buzzed, and then suddenly I have this urge to run through the streets shouting something Walt Whitman said about pioneers, or to summon the masses, along with the beasts of the sea and air (you think I'm joking) to join me and "start the revolution," or to sit down for three days without sleeping and write some wildly nonsensical, slightly hallucinogenic and bizarrely accusatory drivel and call it my first novel. Then an hour or two later, it's over and I'm completely back to normal, making embarassed phone calls apologizing for anything I might have said or done while under the influence. It's a little off-putting. Maybe there is a genetic link to the Berserkers that gets activated by whatever it is that makes whiskey what it is. Or maybe I'm crazy, it doesn't matter. However, thanks to Karin's mostly successful attempts to keep me in some state of intoxication at all times for the last four days, I think I've finally learned to pace myself a bit. As Alisha sagely advised, "Do not fear whiskey, just respect it." In that way I imagine it's not unlike peyote. I mean, I wouldn't just walk up to a big pile of peyote, start popping it like tic tacs, and wait for something to happen. Hell no! I won't go near that until an actual, leathery, indigenous desert shaman gazes deep into my soul, says, "You are ready," and gets out the drums and rattle to summon my spirit animals and guide my vision. Similarly, I have learned not to just skip up to a bottle of Jameson and start swigging it like a devil-may-care hobo. Anyway. Whiskey. It has not replaced rum in my heart so much as kicked down the door to a previously undiscovered chamber and set up shop near the right ventricle.

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