Archive | January, 2009

Dear New Friend

31 Jan

Dear New Friend,

Of course I’ll be your Facebook friend!  I thought it was really great to meet you too.  When Mutual Friend A said that you liked running/poetry/vampire movies/coffee/breathing, I hoped you’d come out with us sometime.

I  cannot believe you like lattes too and that you’ve read Eat, Pray, Love.  It’s like we’re supposed to be friends!

I would love to hang out.  We could go exploring the city together, maybe on bikes, or I’m trying to start running so we could do that, or we could go see this new vampire movie that I heard is really, really good.  It’s Swedish, I think.  Or Norwegian.  (Something foreign and indie.  Please be my friend.)  Or we could just go for a walk.  Or play kickball.  I’ve been wanting to go to the Seattle Art Museum and see the exhibit there.  And I think there’s a band playing somewhere on some night this week.

My boyfriend’s out of town this week, so my schedule’s pretty open.  I would ask Mutual Friend A if she wants to come too, but actually, last night was the first and only time I’ve seen her in two months.  She’s really busy.  And I only work part-time, and most of my college friends moved to New York, so yeah.  I AM SO LONELY. Whenever!  I’m around!



PS– Oh my god, who have I become?  Did I really just hit send?

[Note: I would just like to say, this is a note common to many.  Many, many people I know have sent this note, or more accurately a version of it, over the last year.  Not just me.  Lots and lots of people.  I’ve talked to them.  I know them.  I’ve received this note.  I love getting these notes.  I love new friends.  It is hard to meet people in this city and you have to grab the ones you like and hold on. Not in a creepy way.  I make no excuses.  Only explanations.  And it’s not just me.  I swear.  Many, many people.]


Dear Spelling Songs

28 Jan

Dear Spelling Songs,

That is: Dear spelling songs that are not children’s songs. I’m thinking, specifically, of you, G-l-a-m-o-r-o-u-s, and you, dumb “Bananas” thing by Gwen Stefani.

Since you are not children’s songs, and hopefully, you are not actually teaching anyone to spell (oh peter paul and mary, what if you are?), QUIT IT.

I know you’re catchy. That’s part of why I’m so riled up. G-L-A-M-#*&%^ is stuck in my f-r-i-c-k-i-n’ mind. I know that saying one letter at a time is an easy way to create rhythm– yes, yes, I do know, in fact, I have a hard time spelling words out loud without sing-songing up and down like a kindergarten teacher on a Mr. Sketch high. I do nanny. And I do sing the alphabet at least four times a day five days a week. Which is twenty times too many. (In addition to singing the alphabet, I can also do my times tables!)

And can I just say, the alphabet, kind of like Happy Birthday, more often sounds like a funeral dirge than something with a tune. When ANYBODY sings them, not just ME; I may be nearly tone deaf but I know neither of them is supposed to be sung at half their proper speed in registers so low they’re technically sonar and only whales can hear them.

Anyway, the point is, may I suggest creating a song with a rhythm so you don’t have to resort to spelling out your lyrics so that the rest of us don’t have to listen to spelling songs for adults. Use, you know, a percussion section. Use a tambourine. Use a canned backbeat. I don’t care.





26 Jan


You are not easy to fill out.  Stop pretending to be.

And who has their 2008 tax returns done by January 1, 2009?  Or even January 26, because who remembers to fill out their FAFSA on January 1 when he or she is on vacation in Hawaii and deathly ill with the devil’s plague that doesn’t respond to equally lethal antibiotics?



PS– Saltwater does cure everything.

PPS– Go Huskies!  And welcome, Sun, to Seattle.  I believe you two have met before, but it may have been so long you’ve forgotten.

All right, so this is kind of an all-purpose letter.  It’s MONDAY and I’m trying to fill out the FAFSA and it’s SUNNY outside.  And now I’m thinking about HAWAII.  And how my throat hurt last night but it doesn’t today so does that mean I’m not getting sick?  Is it because of all the hope and change?

Dear Wiggles

17 Jan

Dear Wiggles,

So I understand your concept.  Four to five men wear different colors and sing various age-appropriate and (very occasionally) educational original songs in bright landscapes.  Big Red Car (Toot Toot Chugga Chugga), Fruit Salad (Yummy Yummy), Hot Potato, etc.  And some not-so-original ones, like Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes (Knees and Toes).

But there is something…inappropriate in your execution.  As in, you’re grown men.  Squished into a child’s red car.  Traveling through what looks like Mario’s world.  And when you sing “yummy yummy,” you massage your breasts instead of rubbing your stomachs.  I don’t know if that’s because you’re Australian, or what, but…yuck.

I tend to kind of lean back in my chair, away from the YouTube as your videos play.  (I’m a nanny!  Shut up.)  Anyway, my friend Emma finally pointed out that part of why you’re so freaky is you kind of look and sound like live-action Teletubbies.  Which are disturbing in their own right.  Also, as she said, on Sesame Street, adults always acted like adults.  Children or animals were given the rights to over-exaggerated facial expressions and child-speak.  And as G, with years of experience in before- and after- school childcare pointed out, you might make a generation of children not properly wary of adult men who are overly friendly towards children.

You’re not even characters!  You wear different-colored shirts!  And black pants!  Like some sort of demented barbershop quartet!

Sesame street is educational, and the characters have developed personalities and very, very carefully avoid any sort of inappropriate social education.  The Muppets!  Amazing puppetry and always good for laughs.  What about Raffi?  The children’s music equivalent of Dr. Seuss?  As in, great artistic execution while supremely entertaining for both children and adults?

And now I’m officially one of those old people—“adults”—that complain that things were better and more wholesome in their day.  But let me tell you—you, Wiggles, have got to go.

No ifs, ands, or shades of yellow and red about it.


Dear Georgie (a farewell)

17 Jan

Dear Georgie,

Well, we’re at the end of the road. Words fail me. You amaze me. You really, truly, undeniably do. As I sit here, bright, cold January sun filling the windows, more blue sky than gray for the first time in a month, all I can think of to say is that I am amazed.

[Note: Amazed in its more traditional sense of dumbfounded—(kind of like you: you were found dumb; found meaning created; ergo, you are dumb-founded. Don’t worry about it, it’s pretty advanced, we’ll come back to it later if you want. I know it’s late in the day to be learning English.)]

I’m a little too nervous to be grateful. Nervous that you’ll turn around and say, “Gotcha” with a little frat-boy grin, like a toddler who took off his own diaper and stashed it somewhere while you were cleaning the kitchen of strained peas.

I just know that as I watched you give your final press conference the other night (it was during the day? Oh yes, I mean, as I watched Jon Stewart show your final press conference the other night…) I had the very physical reaction of wrinkling my forehead and cocking my head to one side and half wincing/half almost laughing—sort of like I do when I watch America’s Funniest Home Videos. As in, why would someone subject themselves to this? Don’t they understand the humiliation involved? How did this ever come to be?

And in your case, where is your capacity for empathy? Not, why can’t I see it, or sense it, or why don’t you have any, but literally, where is it? I usually start by looking under the bed, or sometimes in the dirty laundry. Occasionally I find things behind the armchair that’s next to my dresser. Then I call my mom and ask her. Not that I’m suggesting she’s to blame; she just has an uncanny ability for finding lost things. While you’re on the phone with her (your mom, not mine, leave mine alone), ask her where your sense of responsibility is and when the last time you visited the ophthalmologist was. Your worldview seems to be different than everyone else’s.

Is this funny or just deeply, deeply sad? I tend to believe this is one of the situations where laughter is our saving grace. And history will not vindicate your decisions, given it’s unfair liberal media bias, unless Daddy writes the history books. But even he plays favorites sometimes, and the one coming up behind you is looking a little more High-Achieving Alter Boy than Fast-Drinking Frat Boy. I know, it’s terrible the way roles and pigeonholes are divided up among siblings. But you will always have…um…well, your own self-delusion to keep you warm and snug at night.

And anyway, you just don’t give a flying *%#!, do you?

So here’s to you, and please, go gently into the soft tee time of retirement.


PS—Were you drunk at the final press conference? Sedated? Good for you, nothing like some good old substance abuse to help you through the last days of senioritis. It’s hard, when everybody picks on you, asking you questions and stuff.

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