Saturday, November 24, 2012

There are Times I Miss WoW

I was a hardcore World of Warcraft player for about 2 1/2 years before I got bored and quit. I had two accounts with (at the time) five max-level characters and a ton of alts. I made my own silly guild mainly for the bank. I was Horde, through-and-through, although I did condescend to make an Alliance character to play with some friends.

My beloved warlock

I haven't played in years. Lately I've been watching The Guild on Netflix and man, does it make me miss playing WoW. I've been playing Runes of Magic, which while free and a very good rip-off of WoW, just isn't the same. I can play for a couple of hours and enjoy myself, but it's just not satisfying. It's not the familiar terrain, it's not the 50+ mounts that I spent hours and hours grinding to get. It's not the battlegrounds where I can take my warlock in to destroy paladins and make them cry.

Paladins are kind of effeminate

Despite not having the money to play, my friends don't play any more. There would be no familiar names in the chat list, no voices on ventrilo. There have been two expansions since I quit, and I'm just not feeling either of them. Maybe some day I'll play again. Until then, all my pretty characters are in stasis, waiting.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I Had This Awful Dream

I took a nap this afternoon and had an awful dream that John got someone else pregnant and wouldn't tell me who. In the dream, I got the impression that he wanted the other woman to keep the baby. It really bothered me, and when I woke up, I realized that this dream was based on fear over loss of control. In the dream, I had no control over the situation. In real life, I do. I'm on birth control, and I'm never worried about pregnancy. I'm staunchly childfree and have stated, in no uncertain terms, that if I got pregnant, I would get an abortion. Period. The end.

Sometimes my open talk about abortion makes John uncomfortable, and I think it's mostly because he's a lot more conservative than I am. I think I surprised him the other day, though, when a Palmer's Cocoa Butter commercial came on and I hid my face and asked him to tell me when it was done. I am thoroughly grossed out by pregnant stomachs. Not only do I never want to be pregnant, I don't want to see it. It's gross. It's not a miracle, it's a biological function, a parasite. But I think I actually have a legitimate phobia. I was Googling images for this post and had to stop and use a different search term, because I was being visually assaulted with pregnant bellies. Not pretty.

I'm still a feminist. But I'm allowed to be grossed out.

Monday, November 19, 2012

When You See Stereotypes in Real Life

Stereotypes are stereotypes for a reason: they're exaggerated caricatures of a race or subculture or sexuality or what have you that don't exist. Stereotypes are painting something with a broad brush. So when I see one in real life, a person actually embodying a stereotype so ridiculous that I thought it was the proverbial black astronaut, I'm taken aback.

I've been waiting forever to use this reference here

So here's two tales of my encountering actual living stereotypes in real life.

The sway-backed gay
So I don't have a graphic for this, because I have only seen this elusive creature once, and Google image searches have come up with less than satisfactory results. Several years ago I went to a gay club in Portland (Maine, for those of you who think the only Portland is in Oregon) with a couple of friends, one gay, one so Catholic and straight she was uncomfortable. We went in, ordered drinks (they made really good Midori sours) and stuck to the emptier back room away from the DJ booth out front. The back room was one that had a mirrored back wall with a tiny bit of staging. There was a fledgling queen in a very bad wig dancing with her reflection back there, a few random people, not crowded at all. We settled on a couch to chat.

Then he pranced by. Skinny jeans, tight T-shirt. He wasn't with anyone, dancing by himself from one room to the other. We continued our conversation, got more drinks. He pranced by again, back swayed, lifting his shirt to show his skinny boy not-abs. He was in his own world, just dancing and being the gayest man I'd ever seen. Even my gay friend was like "wow, what a fag." The third time he pranced by (yes, he pranced. Pranced.) he had worked his shirt up over his head but still hooked on his arms so he didn't have to take it all the way off. And he was prancing for all he was worth. I actually thought his back was going to snap, or spasm, with how arched it was.

I have a lot of gay male friends. Never, never, have they looked like this stereotype. It was almost like someone projected anti-gay propaganda into the club or something, with how stereotypical this guy was.

The Unwashed Geek
 Okay. I know the kid in the picture to the left. When Google was being fail, I remembered him from college and looked him up on Facebook. No I won't use his name here, and yes I'm a horrible person. This story isn't about him, but in retrospect, he fits this profile. No, this story is from... last week? John and I went to the video store (I know, right? There still are some, hanging on) to see if there was anything worth seeing. We started at one end of new releases (which they should just name "anything that has come out in the last 12 months") and we noticed that there was Jeepers Creepers number 267 or something. I was commenting on this when the clerk stocking things just interjects and starts talking about how great the first one was while I was in the middle of saying "they should have given up with the first movie" (I have feelings about horror movies). Then I gave him my "why are you talking?" look and there he was: greasy, uneven hair cut, no chin with stubble and acne. Mouth breathing. Since I don't make eye contact with strangers, I didn't see if he had a googly eye. But the only other person I'd ever know to meet the stereotype of the unwashed gee was  that fellow in the picture there. And that damn video store, there were two of them.

None of my geek friends are unwashed, unkepmt, Cheeto-dust covered nasties. Socially-awkward, yes, sometimes. Sometimes neck beards grow; I try to look past that. But they are clean.  I must emphasize, friends, that these two clerks were not hygienic in appearance whatsoever. And I've been in gaming shops.

My mind always reels, when I see these walking stereotypes, so these memories stick. I'm a people watcher by nature, but the stereotypes sneak up on you, when you're not paying attention. Like, when I walked out The Great Hungry Bear in Portland and came face to face with actual hipsters. That took me by complete surprise so much that I talked to John about it on the way to the car like we were tourists and had just seen an attraction. I can't wait to run into my next walking stereotype.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Not Even Taking Time to Cry

I have been a tightly wound ball of stress lately, so badly that I'm snapping at people and crying at inappropriate times. The thing is, I have been so focused on my stress, so focused on trying to find a job before my unemployment runs out, trying to figure out how to pay bills, buy gas for my car, buy presents for Christmas, afford medications, pay medical bills, everything has been piling up and up and up into one big shit pile that I have not left myself any time to just cry. In fact, I found myself crying in my car Thursday night when I found myself with ten minutes to spare before going in to the bowling alley. And then I just started to cry in John's car last night on the way home from the store. I have been so stressed out that when I get bad news my first reaction is to go into fix-it mode now, instead of my old first-reaction which was to collapse and cry and feel helpless. But the problem is, I'm keeping the stress pent up inside, and when I sit alone, I stew over it and obsess and that makes it worse. But now, when I'm alone, I just feel like crying all the time. I told John I wished there was a way I could have him around all the time, because he distracts me. Hopefully soon, I'll have a job to distract me.

If anyone has any leads to a job that doesn't involve wiping asses, drop me a line.

Friday, November 16, 2012

My Not-Quite-Definitive Wine List

When I say "not-quite-definitive" I mean, I'm a niche market. I don't care for red wine. I used to exclusively drink Pinot Grigio, until I discovered Moscato. My lovely, sweet, bubbly heart's desire, perfect, I have determined, with everything, even red meat. So here is my penultimate (for now) list of the best of the best. And guess what guys? They're all under $15! Score! Be a cheap drunk with me, okay?

1. Villa Rosa
2. Cupcake
3. Cavit
4. Yellowtail
5. Fisheye

I first tried Villa Rosa Moscato D'Asti at a tiny Greek market in Tarpon Springs, Florida. The shop keeper offered free samples of all of the wines in stock and I eagerly asked for a sample. Have you ever tasted something that immediately made you smile? The burst of pears and peaches and subtle white grapes that danced amongst the bubbles were like happy friends. Fast forward many months when I actually found this in a local liquor store in Augusta, Maine. I may or may not have screamed and alarmed John. Okay, I screamed. And begged him to buy a bottle. And got him hooked. So far, I haven't found a Moscato to knock this off the top of my list.

Cupcake was my number one for a very, very long time. It was, you might say, my gateway Moscato. I first tried it at John's aunt's house. She'd bought it at the grocery store to try, and the bottle was empty very quickly thereafter. Cupcake makes a lot of stuff, and their Sauvignon Blanc is decent (I've used it in my mussel recipe). I've also seen that they have a line of flavored vodkas that I've been curious about. But this Moscato, again, has notes of pear and is delightfully sweet and crisp. Extraordinary with brie and crusty bread.

Cavit has been my go-to for wine for ages upon ages. I've been drinking their Pinot Grigio since I started drinking wine, I think, so it was only safe to assume that once I saw that they had jumped on the Moscato bandwagon, I had to try it. It's excellent, really, and it's honestly a tie for second with Cupcake, or just a really, really close third. It's clean, it's crisp. And if I'm opening the bottle, you get bonus bits of cork! (Seriously... I can't open wine bottles for shit, but that is an entire blog post, and possible dissertation) Of the listed wines, this is the most expensive unfortunately, so I don't get this one as often, but as wine goes, it's something like $14.99, so that's still not bad. Just not in my budget.

Yellowtail is what I drink the most regularly now because it's the second most cheap on this list. By being fourth on the list in no way makes it terrible (I'll get to that), on the contrary, it is tasty, crisp, and fruity. I have a bottle chilling in my fridge right now, for whenever I have a wine emergency. I can drink a bottle and feel okay about it, because it doesn't cost a lot. I actually tried this because John and I had bought a bottle for someone as a gift, and I got curious, so I tried some. I had my sister try it, and she was pleased to find that it did not trigger a migraine (which wine sometimes does to her). So yay Yellowtail! And, twist-off cap!

Fisheye was an unexpected surprise. I just tried it last weekend. I had stayed away because it's so cheap.  It's good, but the key is that you have to let it chill, because if it's not cold enough, it tastes like cheap wine. But properly chilled, those wonderful fruity notes come through. Now that I know it actually tastes good, I'll get it again. Also, my grocery store often has it on sale, so score! And another huzzah for a twist-off cap! No cork for me to fuck up!

So you know how I like all of these and I didn't include anything bad on the list? It's because I can't go to wonderful and yummy to absolute terrible skunk water in the same list. So, take it from an avid Moscato fan, avoid Barefoot and Gallo like the plague. They are absolutely, hands-down disgusting. Cheap wine disgusting. They didn't even taste like Moscato. Absolute crap.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Loneliness of Roads

I  was going to write about wine tonight, thought about it on my drive home, but I had an Angela Chase moment and started to just think.

Driving on the Interstate at night is a lonely thing. It's very dark, because it's rural, and although you can't interact with them, you just wish for another vehicle. It's one long stretch of darkness from John's house from mine, and my mind is sometimes just too active. Sometimes I worry about a deer jumping out in front of me, sometimes I have full-blown fights with people in my head, sometimes I compose entries for this blog.

And sometimes I just look into all that blackness and despair. It just seems so overwhelming, a living metaphor for my life. It is all encompassing and closing in and there are no other headlights or tail lights to break it up. Sometimes I cry when I drive.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Intimidation by Pretty

I'm pretty; it's fact, not vanity. Even before I became vain about it, it was the unspoken reality that I was "the pretty one." There's a certain power in being pretty, and it's not just  getting free drinks at the bar or getting your way all the time.

Within the world of female politics there are intricacies of social dance and appearance plays a larger role than we let on. Tomorrow night (or, since I'm writing this at 3:20am, tonight) I am supposed to go on a double date with John and his cousin and his cousin's new girlfriend. Despite the fact that my depression has been in a downward spiral and I've been stressed and headachy, I will be there, and I will turn it out. Despite being secure in my relationship and in no way wanting his cousin, I need to make sure I am the best looking female on this date, even though we will be, for a majority of the time, in a dark theatre.

So why will I beat my face to sit in a dark theatre? Intimidation. Ever since I became fully aware of my prettiness, I have used that fact to intimidate other women in an utter unabashed display of feminine superiority and dominance. I used to come to work in full makeup to a gas station job when a new female employee was starting on her first day, just so she knew her place. So I'll spend tomorrow making myself pretty so the other girl knows I mean business.

Don't be jealous of my boogie.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

My So-Called Youth

I just ended a marathon re-watching of Parks and Recreation and not yet ready to turn off Netflix, I remembered that I had put My So-Called Life in my queue with fond reminiscence. I must have started watching it at a previous time because it started me on episode two. I watched this show when it first aired on TV, when it was so relevant to me because I was that age, I was a teenager and I related so much. I had angst, I thought Rayanne was so cool and wished I had an emotionally unstable yet street-smart friend like her. Sure, I had gay friends, but none of them were out yet. I had an unhinged slut of a friend who got pregnant at 17 and told her mother that if she smoked, she got to, too (I ended the friendship) and a very modest Catholic best friend, but we had good times.

But man, did this show speak to me. I wore all black and sulked. I didn't dye my hair but I used a hair crayon to put temporary blue streaks in my hair. I fought with my parents. I had a crush on the mysterious guy that leaned. Really. He had a great lean. And amazing green eyes. We all passed notes and gossiped and rumors with absolutely no grain of truth got spread. Unlike Angela and Rayanne, I spent no time in the ladies room. The facilities in my high school were less than stellar for hanging out in.

Watching the show now in my 30's, I can still enjoy it, but I don't relate as much. We grow up. In hindsight, I would have slapped some sense into Rayanne and probably encouraged her to see a therapist. Same with Rickie and his struggles with hate crimes and bullying. And Angela's catty little friend Sharon? I've always wanted to punch her in the face, so that feeling has never changed.

I think of people my age who are still stuck in the high school mentality and and I wonder why? It's so puerile. I know of someone whose behavior is perpetually that of someone who is seventeen and it's ridiculous and tiring. Part of life is growing up, learning who you are, and discovering yourself. I've really enjoyed the process of getting to know me. I recently showed John my senior picture from high school and he said "I wish I had known you back then." I said to him, "no you don't. I wasn't who I am back then." And it's true. Even in college, I was a different woman than I am today.

I was going to wrap this up with an inappropriately out of context quote from Red Dragon by Thomas Harris but I couldn't find a good quote. You have been spared.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Driving on the Lawn

I can be pretty passive aggressive sometimes. It's a skill I learned from my mother (hi Mom!) and honed over a sulky adolescence. It's one of my greatest weapons. I also hate my neighbors directly across the street with a passion and I don't hide it. Oh no, I exercise every passive aggressive muscle in my body.

It started by using my natural inability to back up my car properly by backing too far out of my driveway and backing a little onto their lawn, which they mow twice a week in the summer. My Dad raised me to never walk on anyone's lawn (so dealing with the neighborhood kids who cut across the lawn because they're too lazy to walk around the corner is going to be something I'll have to do without throwing rocks at them) and god help you if you ever let your car tire hit the lawn. So in my passive aggressiveness, deliberately letting my tires roll onto their lawn and grind in as I turn my wheel is the ultimate disrespect. At least in my book.

My neighbors also have a small, football-sized white yap dog named Bentley, which will heretofore be called "my hat" because that's what I call it. I always say I'm going to make a hat out of it. As a disclaimer though, I love animals and would never hurt one ever, but I would love it if they would train it to not bark constantly. Constantly. When they let it outside it's like letting off a bomb of barking, you know, that annoying little dog verbal assault? Also, they never leash it so it's always in the road, and it really would be a bad think if it go hit. At times, it has come over to my yard. My yard. God help me if I find dog shit in my yard. We had a neighbor who let their dog shit in our yard and my cousin had to deal with it. This neighbor won't like me. Anyway, when I realized my tomatoes were blighted this summer I started throwing the rotten ones out in the road in the hopes that My Hat would roll in them, because  dogs roll in disgusting stuff.

One thing I did that wasn't passive aggressive though, was calling the cops on my neighbors about two or three times this summer because they broke the town ordinance on fireworks. I really hate fireworks.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Losing Something and Wanting it Back

I used to beat my face every day just to go to work in a call center. I constantly watched Youtube videos and was very active in makeup communities. I have a vast collection of MAC eyeshadows and many of their cheek products. I used to do it every day. Sometimes, I'd hang out in my bathroom swatching eyeshadows and pigments to come up with new color combinations. I lived for it. I could spot counterfeit MAC brushes and products on ebay easily. I was wary of swaps with poor feedback. I craved the discontinued product and pounced on any new-in-box item I could find on ebay. I have a full brush roll of MAC brushes, some of which are duplicates because they are some that I use a lot. Expensive brushes. Expensive cleaner for them. 

I'm trying really hard to remember when the last time I did a full face was, aside from Halloween (and that was greasepaint, not real makeup unlike previous Halloweens). A full face: primer, concealer, foundation, contour, blush, highlight, shadow primer, multiple eyeshadows, eyeliner, mascara, brows. Lipstick and gloss. Lipliner if it's red. I'm sad to say, I think it was last September, when I attended a wedding with John. I don't even think I beat my mug for his company Christmas party.

A Halloween past
On Halloween, even though it was greasepaint, I realized I missed the process, I missed being the pretty girl. It's so hard, though, when you have absolutely nowhere to go, no reason to be done up. I've realized it's been a huge blow to my self esteem. I went to put on eyeliner last week and had to use one I didn't like much because my gel liner had dried and cracked. It upset me more than a dried out liner should. That dried out liner symbolized how much I just haven't cared in the last year or more. About anything. It's so fucking depressing. I used to be makeup and heels every day and now I can barely deal with putting on eyeshadow any more. 

I want that life again.