New-ier and improve-ier for 2007.


Bye-Bye Miss American Pie.

And cake. And cookies. And warm, chewy chunks of focaccia, fresh from the oven and perfect for dipping into some piping-hot puttanesca.

Yes, kiddies, we've re-entered the Land of Low-Carb here at Casa de Weez. I've already lost two pounds, so I'm not going to bitch too much.




The First.

I was in one of those impetuous, collegiate phases. The kind where you decide that the fate of your entire future rests on the haste with which you put away your childish things.

My adolescent dabblings wearied me. My mature and worldly self was ready for more. Ready and oh-so-willing.

I set myself to the task with reckless abandon. For all my bravado, though, I was more than a little apprehensive. Of course, you hear about others' exploits, but it's the kind of thing you know everyone has to experience in their own way.

It finally happened in the wee hours of the morning, after a night of raucous debauchery, wandering in and out of the local taverns; we were hoarse with singing in the streets. The Boy I Thought Was The One kissed me tenderly and made moon-promises in whispers fuzzed with whiskey.

My childish imaginings left me utterly unprepared for the experience. I was simply confounded, with no small amount of unpleasant aftertaste.

And yet. And yet, I was wholly compelled to seek it out again and again. I soon came to savor all the sensations that had seemed so strange at first -- the juxtaposition of soft and bracing, sweet and bitter. If I close my eyes even now, I can feel the curves under my hand, the feather-light brush that lingers on my mouth, the delicious darkness deep in my core.

It became celebration, absolution, and balm. It became a crutch for the date going poorly, a consolation for the prestigious internship not received, a reward for the professional achievement. It occasionally superceded the need for sunlight, for sustenance, for friends, for sleep. But "occasionally" became "infrequently," and then "almost never," as I've passed from maid to mother.

Through the years, the frequency and venues and companions have changed, but the sensations, the initial thrill, the ritual -- all remain the same. This is my ode. May the next time be as perfect as the first.

Bartender, a pint of Guinness, if you please. Cask-temp if you have it.



New digs.

My lowly contractor status at the Iconic American Company means that I'm lucky to have a desk of my own. Even if that desk is in the bowels of the 100-year-old building, in a dark, climate-uncontrolled, damp-smelling, rat-adjacent room with constant boiler noise that would be more appropriate for workin' in a coal mine than writing database queries.

But today, all that changed.

As part of a massive workgroup location-swap, I am now the proud inhabitant of a new desk. It's brightly lit where my former desk was dim. Airy where the former was dank. Temperature-regulated where the former ran, literally, hot and cold. Quiet where the former was deafening.

And, in contrast to the stark isolation of my old gulag, er. . . desk, my new location offers ample opportunity for socialization.

Because my new workstation? Is in a hallway. A HALLWAY. As in, if I roll my chair backwards at an inoportune time, I will take out a pedestrian. Not that that actually happened today, of course. And certainly not multiple times.

This is going to have a serious negative impact on my internet slackertude.

And how sad is it that, even though my workstation is now in a hallway, I consider it a 100% improvement over where I was before?


Things that make me smile.

1. When, despite your best efforts to be pissed off at the snow, one of the fat flakes catches on your cheek and hangs there, looking like a dandelion puff in your peripheral vision.

2. Receiving a poem from a friend that neatly captures the essence of a relationship you had long ago.

3. True empathy.

4. Remembering the night seven years ago when the two of you went for a walk down a tree-lined path to gaze at an eclipse of the moon; the way the snow scrunched under your boots; the way he took your mittened hand in his, and talked in a reverent hush; the way that you never would've imagined that your lives would become so inextricably intertwined.



An open letter to my complexion.

In which I attempt to set a couple things straight.

Dear Veeg's skin:

We have a problem, you and I.

I ply you with plenty of water. I get a decent amount of rest each night. I eat a respectable quantity of fruits and vegetables, and hardly ever indulge in greasy fried food. I use cleanser, not soap. I pat dry, never rub.

And what do I receive in return for these ministrations of love? Nothing but ugliness.

It is not even 3:00 pm, skin, and my forehead resembles nothing more than a Slip'n'Slide. If said Slip'n'Slide were laid down over a bed of sizeable rocks, that is. Apparently, it is not enough for you to just be oily. Oh nononono. You also must torture me with not-quite-erupting bumps all over my forehead. Bumps, I might add that are both uncomfortable and unsightly.

I am not a greedy woman. I don't demand porcelain perfection. I don't expect that you never, ever look dull or flaky. I will gladly cut some slack for the occasional blemish, even in a front-and-center location. But these many weeks of oil-slicked disgustingness shall not be borne.

Be warned, skin. You are on notice.

Don't make me go all chemical peel on you.



Someone slept through science class.

A California community started an initiative to ban dihydrogen monoxide.

It's an "odorless, tasteless compound that can cause death upon accidental inhalation."



"Daddy track" may be equally detrimental to career.

I'm really not sure how I feel about the phenomenon reported in this article.

On the one had, it's good that people aren't discriminating based on gender. On the other, what does it say about our culture that people who would choose to take time off of work to care for their family are seen as less-worthy?

Also, I wonder if the fact that the subjects making the determinations in the study were grad students (and likely, therefore, to be unmarried and childless) has anything to do with the results?


It's a Small, Small World.

I just ran into a young woman in the cafeteria of the Iconic American Company. She looked very familiar to me, and I to her.

In talking about why that might be so, we exchanged names and realized that we'd gone to theatre camp together. Thirteen years ago.

I can't decide whether or not it's a good thing that I've changed so little since I was fifteen. At least my hair is better, even if my skin decidedly isn't.




Most of you are probably all-too-familiar with "Izzle," the catchily irksome language trend that swept across the youth of America several years ago. It was embodied by the phrase, "Fo' shizzle, mah nizzle," and it's death knell was sounded with last winter's Old Navy ad, in which Fran Drescher bleated "My shizzle's gone fazizzle!"

In our continual quest to be the lamest white people in America, The Weez and I have developed our own Izzle variants. Below, I've listed them, and their linguistic variant of Snoop Dogg's catch phrase.

Padiddle. Fo' shiddle, mah nadiddle!

Tweeter. Fo' sheeter, mah neeter!

Quidditch. Fo' shidditch, mah bidditch!

They're a bit slow to catch on, sure, but I suspect you'll be using them yourself, soon. Mark my widditch.



Stalker? I hardly even know 'er!

First of all, yes, I realize I suck and should've updated last week. Yadda yadda yadda. . . blah blah blah.

As penance for my slackitude (or, more accurately, LACK of slack), I shall reveal to you all a rather shameful secret.

I've been online stalking an old boyfriend and his wife.

It all came about rather innocently, really. Several months ago, I found a link to a theatre blog done by a regionally well-known playwright, and started reading it. This playwright has been an integral part of a small theatre that my former flame and his wife (let's call them Marx and Stacy) are very involved with, and he linked to Stacy's blog in an entry about a show she recently directed.

I tried to look away. I did. But the curiosity was just.too.strong.

So, I clicked the link.

Stacy seems like a lovely young woman. Her blog exhibits the fanatical devotion to Marx that I recognize as being instrumental to preventing him from reverting to a needy, psychotic, blubbering mess of a man. Marx has apparently gotten some of his writing produced in "real" theatres, and to that I say: good for him! Especially because his original goal was AHHCTING(!) and Marx? Not so talented.

I know all about Stacy's desire to lose some weight. Marx's boring workaday job. Stacy's new career. Marx's addiction to Playstation. I know when and where they're meeting up with their online (and theatrical) friends. Seriously, I know more about the lives of these two people than I do about many of my actual friends.

And it all seems so. . . embarrassing. Obviously, it's just the online version of idle gossip, but there's backstory here.

I broke up with Marx after my sophomore year of college, when I realized that he would always put his own needs first and foremost, and expect me to do the same. He blew off coming to see any of my shows because of "prior commitments" (and this guy lived and breathed theatre, so it's not like he didn't understand what it meant). He freaked out when I postponed a planned weekend together, because I needed to return to my hometown for the funeral of the mother of a long-time friend, and accused me of cheating on him with said friend. He was a horrible drain on my emotional and mental resources.

He, obviously, did not take the breakup well, and we spent the remainder of our collegiate careers civilly avoiding one another, and moved off to our own lives.

About a month after The Weez and I got married, we attended the wedding of another couple. Imagine our surprise to see Marx and his fiancee (Stacy). Since many of our current friends also attended college with Marx, we moseyed over en masse to say hello and catch up. Marx? Was FREAKING OUT. Shifting around. Sweating. Stuttering. Acting like there was a freaking scorpion in his shorts. We chalk it up to the fact that he's never been much for emotional maturity, and forget about it.

Then last year, some very good friends of ours run into Marx and Stacy at a party. The female half of the very good friends couple went to college with The Weez, Marx, and I, but didn't know any of us well at the time. She mentions to Marx that she still see The Weez and me, and Marx just goes OFF. He tells her elaborate tales of how I cheated on The Weez with Marx, including graphic details. How I stalked him after he broke up with me and made him feel unsafe, causing him to get a restraining order against me.

My friend, to whom he is excoriating me? Was a bridesmaid in my wedding and is a clinical social worker. She patiently listened to his diatribe, then recommended he get some counseling. Heh.

And thus, the humiliation. After all the drama, I really AM stalking him. Dammit.



Mini-script with The Small Child.

In which I am confounded by early language-acquisition skills.

TSC: Mumma?
VG: Yes?
TSC: Oprah go?
VG: What, honey?
TSC: Oprah go?
VG: Where did Oprah go?
TSC: Yettth. Pway. Oprah.
VG: You want to play with Oprah?
TSC: Yettth. Oprah? Me. Pway. Oprah.
VG: [to The Weez] Hon? Has Small Child been watching Oprah at your mom's?
TW: Not that I know of!
TSC: [with increasing urgency] OH-PRAH! ME! PWAY!
VG: You want to watch Oprah on television?
TSC: [starting to melt down in earnest] NOOOOO! PWAY OPRAH! ME!
VG: Honey, nobody needs to hear that. Can you show me *where* you play with Oprah?
[TSC takes VG by hand and leads her to toy shelf. Points emphatically at Fisher Price Noah's Ark toy.]
[VG takes down toy. Opens it up. TSC removes striped equine toy and holds it up triumphantly.]
TSC: Me! Oprah!
VG: [laughing hysterically] Um, "Z," honey. ZE-bra.
TSC: Oh! Seeprah!

Could I love that kid more? I think not.