Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Futures I Thought I Might Have, Part I

If you've missed any updates on this blog and you've thought that perhaps it is because of the complete and utter Blogger meltdown, well, that has not been the case. It has been because yours truly has been embroiled in a good old fashioned existential crisis. And well, you know.

I won't get into that really, because it is not fun to try and figure out what you want out of life when you are an old lady like me. It is not fun to try to pick a place to move or to apply for jobs in other places or try to explain to your kids why your head might explode if you have to live many more months in our current place. Kids have not heard Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run," they have not read any Kerouac, they do not understand the beauty of a new place, of being able to eat a mothereffing curry without driving an hour and a half. There is a lot of talk of "broadening horizons" and "expanding worldviews" and other buzzwords, and it is enough to make you sick really. And in the middle of it, here I stand and I am sighing a lot and really wondering when it will be that the little fairy that is supposed to appear and tell you what you're supposed to do in life will make her entrance and put my mind at ease.

This morning I was driving to work and listening to NPR and really thinking about just how old I am, because, well, I was listening to NPR and actually giving a shit about this slum dwellers who are getting evicted from their homes in Thailand. But, moreover, these past few days and weeks, I've felt old. Like not rickety-back-old. Like practical and world weary and wizened. Like I-bought-a-Frappuccino-and-found-it-too-sweet old. However, after getting to work, I saw a link from the amazing site I'm Remembering about movies that were your favorites as a kid. And there it is--a description of the movie Rookie of the Year. My favoritest favorite movie ever. And a movie that I had forgotten existed because I lost that information somewhere around age 20 when I had to take this dumb anthropology class and do a report about these people who spoke click.

For those of you who lived poor, sad, depressed childhoods and did not see this movie, here is a rundown. There's a kid. And he absolutely sucks at little league baseball. He's the kid no one wants on their team, despite the fact that he is freaking HAWT, which no one in this movie realized, much to my 10 year old chagrin. Anyway, he has this horrible accident where he trips over a baseball and he does something crazy to his shoulder and ends up having to wear this truly bizarre cast that no kidding, a picture pops in my mind of whenever someone mentions Tommy Johns surgery. ANYWAY, after the cast comes off, it is revealed that he has now acquired the ability to throw a blazingly fast fastball, and VOILA. He goes to play for the Cubs. Now, if you know nothing about baseball, you're shaking your head right now. However, if you have seen the Cubs play in the last couple of years, you're thinking, "Yeah, I can totally see how they would need the services of a 12 year old." And after that point, hijinx ensue and the kid loses his magical fastball powers (and I'm sure that someday, that very line will be in the Biography of Aroldis Chapman), but he still manages to win a game because he's smart and it's Hollywood, baby! Fuck yeah!

Now, I'll just be honest and say that I haven't seen this movie since I was 12. So I'm quite sure that it is a big ole flaming pile of suck, and if you Netflix this shit based on my recommendation, well, it is your own damn fault. Why? Well, for starters, it was directed by Daniel Stern (oh, yes, that Daniel Stern. Marv from Home Alone), and while I'm sure he's a perfectly lovely human being, you don't see that name and think auteur. And well, it also stars Gary Fucking Busey. FOR REAL. I certainly didn't remember that little detail. Mostly because, when you are a 10 year old female, you don't give a shit about Gary Busey. All you care about is one Thomas Ian Nicholas. Who, at the time, was the finest piece of man-meat I had ever seen.

Just seeing the movie poster, from all those years before, took me back to that fateful summer. I saw this movie about three times. The first time, my mom took me and we went together. The next two times, she drove me to the mall while she did bookkeeping down the road, gave me some cash and I went in and saw it on my own. Ah, 1993. A simpler time when there wasn't a child molester lurking behind every corner that a terrorist wasn't already hiding out in. I'm pretty sure she gave me $20, and the rest of the money that I didn't spend on a movie ticket and some Sweet Tarts was spent on Big Bopper and Tiger Beat magazine which I bought just for the glossy pictures of Thomas Ian Nicholas.

And with those pictures, I engaged in some powerful fantasy. NOT THAT KIND. GOD. I WAS 10. And an immature 10. I remember imagining he and I, living together, watching baseball as 25 year olds (for some reason, as a kid, 25 was my age of fantasy). We would get into all the Cubs games for free, and Harry Caray would be there and when they sang "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," they would put the camera on us, singing, smiling, and being very much in love. We had both gone to Duke University for college and wore a lot of blue. My hair, in the 15 years between reality and fantasy, had gone from stick straight and dishwater brown to vivaciously curly and black. And I had a tan. I really think that when I was a kid, I was hoping that I would grown up and become Hispanic. I had changed my name to Dominique, which was the most wonderful name ever. I was a writer of children's books, and he was an actor/baseball player. We were very much in love, and had an interior decorator design our house. I imagined a big white couch and a lot of peach accents. Yes. Peach.

And here I am, three years past that line that I gave myself so many years ago. I don't really need to go into how short I have fallen of my preadolescent fantasy. I decided to check up on Mr. Nicholas and see how the years had been to him. IMDb tells me that he is still acting, although in not much that I have seen, and that he combines this with being a musician. Apparently, you can download his stuff on Amazon. A professional headshot taken of him is indeed, still hot. However, the other pictures, the various pics taken at events, are what got me. There was one where he was badly in need of a haircut, wearing a t-shirt under an unbuttoned shirt. He is smiling, and something in that picture--I just looked at it, and I thought, "Holy crap. He looks just like Matt when he was in grad school." I am thinking of a particular picture, Matt smiling in the California sun, Sather Gate at this back. This made me smile.

So yeah. I don't even know a freaking interior decorator, in fact, I don't think I've heard of anyone being one/using one outside of Sweet Valley High. But I look at the things I do have, and I can't help but feel I'm right on track. For what, I don't know. For something.


  1. My first comment on your blog (because I don't really comment on blogs very often, not because I don't enjoy them, just because I am horribly busy with my children/work and pretty self-absorbed the rest of the time). You always make me laugh. This one really delivered, especially the parts about growing up to be Hispanic and decorating in peach accents. When I was ten years old, I thought peach accents were the bomb. I especially enjoyed peach with black...and white carpeting. How chic...? I'm a few years older than you are, but I find it amusing that perhaps all ten year old girls think that peach accents are to die for.

  2. Thank you so much for commenting! I admit that I'm a lurker on many blogs too, so I totally understand where you are coming from there.

    That sounds very chic--the peach with the black (or at least as chic as peach can be!). I remember thinking I would want a peach and lilac wedding, which sounds absolutely sickening now. What is it about peach????

  3. Peach and lilac wedding! I can see the appeal of that combo (10 year old perspective). My cousin had a peach wedding in which I was a junior bridesmaid. The year: 1987. The dress: pale peach satin (read: polyester) with an overlay of gauzy white tulle, trimmed with white satin ribbon. It went down to my ankles and I wore a hoopskirt underneath. I'm feeling all Laura Ingalls Wilder just thinking about it. And I was 10 years old. I remember thinking how it was my favorite color, ever. And now? Not so much as a splash of peach in my wardrobe. Pinks of all varieties...but nary a peach.

  4. BTW, I just changed my profile picture and yet my first comment to you still has my old picture attached. I didn't know it would do that...weird!

  5. Hi Gigi! :)

    I wanted emerald green taffeta off the shoulder, long-sleeved bridesmaid dresses, columns with a slit on the side. And Spiegel catalog had pink breakfast nook tables and cafe chairs, matching fan light, baker's rack, microwave and coffee maker and I KNEW I would have that when I moved to NYC to be a magazine editor and have a fab bachelorette apartment with a view of Central Park.

  6. I freaking loved the Spiegel catalog. It was like my Bible. I remember taking it to my room and creating stories about the models in there. When I got old enough to start very small adult clothes, my mom ordered me a bodysuit from there. It was white ribbed, with a turtleneck. HAWT. I thought it was the greatest thing that ever happened and remember telling my stepsister in complete awe that it was from Spiegel (I'm sure she was amazingly jealous!).

    I never fantasized about bridesmaid dresses that much, but I remember thinking that if I didn't have a French twist with classy tendrils coming out at my wedding, I might as well not get married.

  7. Hi Allie! :) I think that your bridesmaid's dress sounds rather elegant compared to my ideal dress. I required everything (from dresses to hair) to be poofy; my imaginary wedding was drowning in pastel meringues. And Belle, I must say that a French twist with classy tendrils would have been divine. As long as you had at least 3 inches of hair in front to accompany it.

    Did someone say bodysuit? I lived in those during high school. They were a must-have! Anyone for Chadwick's catalog? Spiegel never came to our house, but I do remember their commercials. I feel deprived.

    Where do our dreams go? I was totally going to be starving artist living in Charlottesville where I'd teach English courses at UVA while I waited for my big break. The rest of the time, I'd travel the world. How I was going to do this as a starving artist--enter wealthy husband...? I guess I didn't plan that part very well.

  8. Chadwicks! Oh.hell.YES. I had an awesome chambray shirt from Chadwicks that had (get ready for this) a full-on lace back. There was some embroidery around the middle of the back (presumably to hide your bra), but it was all ivory lace with like lacy roses. I wore it with khaki pants, tucked in ya'll. Like a gangsta.

    I entertained the UVa option as well! I thought I would live on the lawn (I don't even think they let professors live on the lawn, nor should they!) and teach there and write a lot of very bad poetry in coffee shops. When I was deciding where to go to school, my mom was pushing hard for UVa (because it was closer and I had a scholarship) and was like, "Don't you want to live on the lawn?!" And I was like, "Yeah, LIKE 5 YEARS AGO!" And that's how you pwn your own mother.