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The Brotherhood have now completely taken over my morning walk to work.  They are camped out by the State House, and currently filming across the street from my office building.  There’s a delightful spread at the craft service table that I kind of want to get my hands on, but I’m not quite sure how to make that happen.  Although when I mentioned this to Jewish Friend, she was quick to point out, “I’ve taken food from The Brotherhood before, you just grab some and walk away.  Why can’t I have some food if they’re taking up my entire street? It’s the least they can do.”

So this is now becoming commonplace, but it’s still a little fun (when I’m not trying to find parking).  I was talking to my brother on the phone the other night, and he mentioned that he too has been dealing with film crews lately.  Apparently the Coen brothers are filming a new movie across the street from where he lives in Minneapolis.

“At first I was really confused about what was going on, but then I remembered that we had gotten something in the mail saying that they would be showing up.” he said.

“So, did you see Frances McDormand anywhere?  Did you go snooping around?”

“Yeah, I shaved, put on some nice clothes, and then walked around the block a few times to let them know that if they need an ‘average guy’ I can make myself available.”

I’ve never really harbored dreams of Hollywood success, mostly because I don’t photograph well and am fairly certain I’m not a good actress– but I’ve always longed to be “discovered”.  I imagine scenarios where I’m just walking around nonchalantly and someone runs up to me– “you’re exactly what we need!”  If that actually did happen, I would probably be very alarmed and get away from them as quickly as possible, but it’s been a dream for so long that it’s burned into my brain.

Also I’d like to be friends with famous people.  I imagine that this can be accomplished by me walking down the street in front of Ethan Embry or Jason Isaacs, them seeing me and thinking: she looks like a rad chick, I’d like to be friends with her.

So, like my brother, I wandered over to where the Brotherhood were all set up under the guise that I was getting an iced coffee.  I didn’t see anything particularly interesting, and I didn’t see anyone even moderately famous, but it was a little exciting anyway.  I’m sure that feeling won’t last.

I’m a skirt-wearing kind of girl. I wear skirts as often as I can, have many, and am always on the lookout for more. My brother remarked to me one frigid winter day when I insisted on wearing a skirt even though it was insanely cold, “If you could wear a skirt every day, you’d be a happy camper, huh?”

I said, “Yes.”

The only real drawback to dressing this way (besides the cold, but that can be warded off handily a pair of patterned tights, of which I have many) is the fact that most skirts need to be hung. I fold the denim skirts, but the rest require those clippy pants-hangers, or else I have to iron. I do not iron, instead I buy hangers.

Before I moved out to Rhode Island, I had amassed a huge collection of hangers. Most of them were gotten for free from Old Navy because apparently the cashiers at the Fargo store are simply too lazy to take items off of hangers, which worked out well for me. Since all of these hangers were free, I decided not to take up precious space in my car with them, and left them behind.

The cashiers at the Old Navy in Providence are much more vigilant about removing hangers, so I had to go buy some.

Wandering the hanger aisle at Target is not something I usually do. I was unfamiliar with the varieties presented to me, and appalled by the cost. $5 for a two-pack of the clippy hangers and I couldn’t even hang a shirt on the top part. They did look sturdy though, thick plastic and a rubberized grip in either inside of the clip. I figured that at $2.50 per that meant I was getting a quality product, and still avoiding buying the satin ones that were an outrageous $12.99 for three, and simply too flouncy and girly for me to take their ability to hold my skirts up seriously.

Turns out that these hangers suck.  The clips are too widely spaced to hold one skirt, so I have to pile three on, then it gets too heavy, and they slip; the clips break; and when I take one skirt off the hanger, the rest fall on the floor.  I remain indignant about the amount of money spent on these stupid things, so every morning is a struggle because I refuse to replace them with something better.  It’s a horrible way to start the day, and as a result, I’ve been wearing more and more dresses (which cost more that hangers, but are much more fun to buy).

I’ve put way too much time and thought into this dilemma, but I really think that the more annoying thing in life is when you buy something that has one function but fails to perform it.  I dislike throwing things away, but I dislike when my favorite skirt falls on the floor without me realizing and I can’t find it when I need it most.

Someone translated my blog into French, and they chose the blog where I talk about Québécois– that may not be a total coincidence. Either way, it’s pretty fun to read.

J’ai obtenu une puissante réponse à mon précédent blog sur Woonsocket, alors j’ai décidé d’en faire un deux-fer. Principalement parce que j’ai été là! Yay!! Yay! Despite all of you doubting Thomasinas, Malgré tout vous Thomasinas doute, je aventurés à ce Woonsocket-et l’a trouvé belle.

Deux amis de la prairie est venu visiter récemment: Heidi et son mari Zac Echola (qui veut son nom sur l’Internet autant que possible). Je devais venir les chercher dans Shirley, MA et sur le disque retour à la Providence, Zac Echola demandé s’il y avait quelque chose pourrait nous arrêter et de faire en cours de route. The Museum of Work and Culture in Historic Woonsocket. Je pensais que pour un peu, puis de rappeler Le Musée du Travail et de la culture dans la ville historique de Woonsocket.

“Qu’est-ce que c’est?” Zac Echola demandé.

Je crois que c’est un musée dédié à les Québécoises et les Québécois qui y vivre et a travaillé dans les usines.”

“Let’s go!” Zac Echola cris, sa femme et laminés à ses yeux.

Donc, nous avons trouvé le musée, se sont rendus, et attendu à la réception pendant environ trois minutes avant un vieux, vieux mélangées à l’extérieur du bureau et réalisé nous y étions.

“C’est seulement 5 $ aujourd’hui, car il ya une douche de mariage en cours au sein de l’Union Hall.”

“Ok”.

“Est-ce que des élèves de vous?”

“Oui,” nous lui a dit: “Nous sommes tous.”

“Etudiants taux est de 5 $», at-il mis en veille “, mais qui ne dépend pas de vous causer c’est ce que vous payez de toute façon.” Il a sorti une carte et d’une amende point marqueurs Crayola violet. “Vous commencez ici à la maison de ferme, et si vous appuyez sur le bouton ci-dessous ici”, at-il a un point sur la carte “, vous pouvez entendre Jessie et Simone de conversation au sujet de quitter le Canada et à venir vers le Nouveau Monde. Ensuite, vous allez ici et appuyez sur le bouton ci-dessous, “d’un autre point,” à regarder le film. After that you go here, and then you can go upstairs. Après cela, vous allez ici, puis vous pouvez aller en haut. Maintenant vous pouvez généralement regarder la télévision dans l’Union Hall, mais il ya une douche en mariage aujourd’hui, si je suis passé en haut du téléviseur et mis en quatre chaises “, at-il a quatre petites marques et une case pour représenter la télévision,” ici. Ensuite, vous allez ici, et il existe des dispositifs à écouter ici, ici, ici, ne pas utiliser celui-ci, le son est si bas que vous ne pouvez pas entendre quoi que ce soit, et ici. “Il a remis la nouvelle nous a marqué la carte», Bonne chance à vous. “

Nous sommes donc allés dans la ferme et écouter de la Simone et Jessie du bon flic / mauvais flic de routine à venir à l’Amérique:

Simone: «L’Amérique est une terre magique, plein de possibilités.”

Jessie: “Mais nous allons perdre notre culture et la religion.”

Simone: “En Amérique, nous pouvons travailler dans les usines et rendre la vie meilleure pour nos parents.”

Jessie: “Je ne veux pas quitter notre patrie.” Etc

L’échange a duré un bon trois minutes, et je ne pouvais pas m’empêcher de penser: Les filles, vous allez passer avec vos parents indépendamment de vos sentiments à ce sujet, afin quitter perdre mon temps. Fort heureusement, il n’a pas été traduit en québécois comme bien, mais que mai ont été plus intéressant. Après Simone avait vendu à peu près tout le monde sur la façon glamour de la vie en Amérique, nous avons vu un bref documentaire sur quel point il aspire à travailler dans un moulin. Noix de vous, Simone.Dans les enfants de la partie du musée, nous avions une canette de tri concours (Heidi gagné), j’ai des coups de poing sur une ancienne horloge en temps (Heidi essayé de me convaincre qu’il s’agissait d’une antique et je n’étais pas censé toucher – il pourquoi ils ont échantillon punchcards il alors, hmmm?), et les biens meubles affiche est née de notre vie sans avoir à pousser des boutons (qui, après Simone conservés nous tous au sein de la maison de ferme de façon trop longtemps, nous avons décidé de nous tout va sauter à partir de maintenant), et la peur de la merde. Au deuxième étage, je renversé par les anciens annuaires dans l’école, joue du piano dans le salon de la triple-étages (nous sauté regarder la télévision que le vieil homme a lugged l’étage pour nous, mais acclamé lorsque nous avons vu les quatre chaises, tout comme il nous avait dit), et a trouvé le dispositif d’écoute qui juste ne fonctionne pas (bien que, quelqu’un a essayé de fixer avec du ruban adhésif-mon genre de personnes).

Puis il s’est mis à neiger sur Magical Woonsocket. Donc, nous avons vu venir à elle, et a remarqué une patinoire extérieure de l’autre côté de la place, que nous n’avons pas aller, mais en revanche, a une conversation sur la façon dont les patinoires extérieures sont assez impressionnants.

Nous complété la journée avec une marche (dans la neige) les trottoirs au centre-ville historique de Woonsocket. Zac Echola émerveillé au nombre de panneaux publicitaires “weiners chaud”, négocié et mal utilisé pour un CD. Here is a reenactment of the bargaining: Voici un Reenactment de la négociation:

Zac Echola: “Je veux acheter ce CD. This is awesome, Heidi, donnez-moi l’argent.

Heidi: “Je n’ai pas de liquidités.”Zac Echola: “Andria, avez-vous des espèces je peux emprunter.” Je n’ai pas mis un point d’interrogation à la fin de cette question parce que Zac Echola ne pas utiliser des points d’interrogation.

Moi: “J’ai un peu d’argent, mais je ne suis pas contribuer plus de $ 2 pour cette stupide chose.”

Zac Echola: «Je ne paieraient pas plus de 2 $ pour ce de toute façon-je vais à la négociation.” Zac Echola marcher résolument au pouvoir adjudicateur de la boutique pion, “Combien pour ce CD, mon brave homme.”

Good Man: “$ 2”.

Zac Echola: (brève pause) “Vendu”.

Zac Echola est alors revenu à pied où sa femme et moi avons été ouvertement se moquer de lui et dit: «Je pense qu’il nous entendre.”

Maintenant, pour donner crédit à tous les commentaires glorieux je suis arrivé sur Fasciné par cette Woonsocket:

Jenna dit:

Q: Combien d’ampoules peut-on vis dans le Rhode Island?

R: Un! There’s only Woonsocket.

— Haha, très drôle, Jenna

Lex dit:

Ne pas aller

– Trop tard, Lex, et je suis de retour en arrière. Vous pouvez venir avec moi.

Sarah dit:

Il suffit de surfer blog ici… Je vis à Woonsocket. Il n’ya rien de vraiment spectaculaire à ce sujet. We don’t even have a bookstore. Nous n’avons même pas une librairie. Le Starbucks tout récemment fermé. Si vous aimez les bonnes affaires, je vais proposer au magasin-entrepôt CVS Mark Stevens (heures d’ouverture sont maintenant 10-6). Si vous tricoter Je vous conseillons de Yarnia.

— Je n’ai consultez Yarnia. Il est un peu hors de ma gamme de prix, mais je ri au nom pour le reste de la journée. En fait, je suis un petit rire à ce sujet pour le moment. Je vais vérifier la entrepôt CVS, parce que j’aime bonnes affaires, et que n’importe quelle ville peut fermer un Starbucks est un-ok dans mon livre.

Joanharvest dit:

Je suis né à Woonsocket, RI 58 ans. Ma mère et son père était propriétaire d’une épicerie sur Road.I Manville est allé à Mt. Saint François qui est maintenant un poste de soins infirmiers home.I suis moitié des Canadiens français. La dernière fois que j’ai visités, juste pour voir ce que les choses étaient comme était d’environ 15 ans. Ma mère avait 12 frères et soeurs, je suis sûr que je encore ont des parents il si nous ne sommes pas en contact. Son nom de jeune fille a été Lemay. Lorsque je vivais là, il était une usine de textile ville. Je voudrais visiter à nouveau un jour.

— Très intéressante histoire de la famille Joan. De mon temps limité dans Woonsocket, je peux vous dire encore qu’il ressemble à une usine de la ville, mais s’est adaptée avec le temps. Je vous recommande de faire visiter à nouveau un jour, comme il est beau.

Alf dit:

Je suis bummed que le Starbucks fermé. J’avais l’habitude de s’arrêter sur ma façon de travailler de Cumberland.

Sur une note positive, je viens de découvrir un excellent restaurant à Woonsocket appelé Vintage.

– Regrettons que Starbucks, Alf, je tiens également à apprécier un café sur la route ma façon de travailler. Aussi, merci pour le restaurant recommandation.Voilà, j’ai mon prochain voyage à Woonsocket tous les projets: achat d’affaires, peut-être remontant à Yarnia, de conduire à Manville route pour voir si Joan parents épicerie est toujours là, et le dîner à Vintage. Peut-être que je vais aller assez tôt pour que je peux avoir le déjeuner, car j’ai entendu que le poisson “n” puces place en face du Musée du Travail et de la culture est très renommée.

Je suis un Woonsocketeer.

Almost two years ago, on the 4th of July, I went to a demolition derby, in Hatton, ND with D.C. Insider Friend before he was D.C. Insider Friend when he was just wannabe D.C. Insider. It was the first demolition derby I had actually seen, but I’d heard many before since for a while my family lived near the fairgrounds. Because it was a demolition derby, we bought Bud (there’s still some dispute as to whether it was Budweiser or Bud Light), and Jim Beam, and listened to the cars crumple in front of us, got hit by flying balls of dirt, and had a seriously kick-ass time.

Eventually, though, we ran out of alcohol. D.C. Insider said, “I have to go to the bathroom; those people in front of us are drinking, your job is to make friends with them and get them to share.”

This was no problem. While the male half of the couple was a bit aloof, the girl just wouldn’t shut up and was more than happy to share her rum and cherry coke with us. We chatted for quite a while until finally the aloof guy muttered something about “city folk”and gave us a look like we should “get off his land”– we excused ourselves.

Hatton, ND may be a city of 707, but it’s not like Fargo is a teeming metropolis. Also, D.C. Insider and myself had grown up in teeny tiny towns, not unlike Hatton– but aloof alcohol-sharing guy didn’t want to hear that. D.C. Insider was indignant about this turn of events, where I was mostly just confused having never been called city folk before in my life.

Two weekends ago, the Historic Pawtuxet Village in Warwick/Cranston, RI celebrated Gaspee Days and the ritual burning of the HMS Gaspee. The HMS Gaspee was a British ship sent to to colonies to enforce the stamp act. It was a jerk ship, and the colonists had had enough! They burned it in the Historic Pawtuxet Village (back when it was just “Pawtuxet Village”), and this act– not the Boston tea party– started the Revolutionary War. Rhode Islanders are so proud of this feat that they re-burn a miniature Gaspee every year, which does not look as impressive as the burning in this painting.

Being a new Rhode Islander, and a lover of all things a bit ridiculous, I simply had to see this event for myself and make my Jewish Friend see it too. Admittedly, it was a bit slow, the colonial fashion show was rather lame, and Jewish Friend was much happier to ogle all of the cute dogs and try to make friends with them than she was to learn about the history of this historic day.

Finally, as we were waiting by the raffle table to see if we had one any of the 500 crappy (chemical peel), and awesome (basket of wine) prizes they were giving away, the re-enactors wheeled a cannon down to the shoreline and fired it off.

I jumped, and yelped “Jesus Christ, that’s loud!” Then they just kept firing the damn thing over, and over. After about five rounds, I just left my hands clamped on my ears, and muttered “why do they keep firing it?”

“They fire the same number of shots that they fired at the Gaspee.” a woman standing next to me said.

“So, they’re actually trying to set that” (I indicated the fake, miniature Gaspee in the water) “on fire with the cannon?”

“No, some men rowed out there earlier to light it, and they’re hiding and waiting for the appropriate number of shots to be fired before they do it.”

“Well, how many shots is that?” I asked her, thinking that this booming had been going on for quite a while already.

She looked at me a bit like my mother used to when I’d put on an outfit she deemed too ‘wacky’ or like my grandmother when I ordered mashed potatoes with a side of french fries, ” You don’t know how many shots they fire?”

Gaspee beforeGaspee after!  Viva la Revolucion!

For all of the faults and quirks that my parents have, one area I feel they really succeeded in was making sure I see AMERICA. My dad is one of those guys who I suspect is always humming Proud to be an American silently in his head (ain’t no doubt, he loves this land), and he and mom made it a point to see as much of the lower 48 states as possible (apparently, they have no interest in Alaska or Hawaii).

When I was growing up, we took a major family vacation every summer, usually in the car. We saw all of the roadside attractions: Storybook Village, Storybook Island, Olde Tyme photo places, Flintstone Village, the Wisconsin Dells, the place where Al Capone died (or maybe it was just where he hung out), we took DuckBoat and Trolley Tours, and a whole lot more. They were also willing (albeit reluctant) to occasionally fly places, which is how, at the somewhat snarky age of ten, I first found myself at DisneyWorld (which is the one in Florida).

At DisneyWorld’s sister theme park EPCOT (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow– bet you didn’t know that, or its rather hilarious, and true in the early 90s acronymal nickname Every Person Comes Out Tired), they celebrate the world of the future as well as the world most people who long for a vacation at DisneyWorld are less inclined to seek out– the rest of the world. The World Showcase Pavilions. You can experience a country in 15 minutes and speak to people who are actually from there. Drink beer in Germany, buy tea in England, eat pasta in Italy, and get heckled by vendors in Mexico– it’s all there!

EPCOT’s popularity has been dwindling in recent years because the entire premise of the park (besides the World Showcase), is the marvel and wonder of the future. Unfortunately for the park, the future is now, you can’t build rides fast enough to keep up with things, and videophones stopped impressing people years ago. One of my favorite bits is The American Adventure. While the other countries are merely named as what they are, American becomes an adventure complete with a 1/2 hour movie about the history of our great nation narrated by animatronic Benjamin Franklin and Mark Twain.

As awesome as that is, it really pales in comparison to the Hall of Presidents at DisneyWorld. Located in Liberty Square, which was called New Orleans square before Katrina (seriously, kick them while down), Liberty Square is where you go to buy all manner of Americana and take in the greatest animatronic spectacle ever.

I first took in the wonder and majesty of the Hall of Presidents with my dad choking back sobs next to me, and I do think that we had to re-visit before the end of that vacation. He occasionally still talks about the experience in hushed tones. I was more dumbfounded by the fact that they had created robot replicas of every single president (even the crappy ones), and all of these robot replicas moved and twitched and seemed to really resent Lincoln as he got to get up and made a speech while they were forced to just sit there and fidget. So, many years later when I visited DisneyWorld with friends, I insisted that we re-visit this hallowed space.

I was with a friend who is generally a good sport, a former history major, and a friend who can’t read. I thought the non-reading friend would be the loudest complainer since all of the rides at EPCOT had been “too talky” and “fucking boring” for her. Turns out all three were equally vocal about their displeasure, and that was even before we were told that we’d have to wait 35 more minutes until the next presentation.

I don’t regret forcing my friends to wait 35 minutes, maybe they didn’t appreciate seeing Calvin Coolidge bob his head, or Franklin Pierce stand in the back looking confused, but I think my joy was enough for everyone.

Now I’m reading Sarah Vowell’s Partly Cloudy Patriot, and she’s mentioned that at the Lyndon B. Johnson Memorial Library there’s an animatronic LBJ who tells folksy jokes. I immediately started thinking of ways to get myself to Texas, which is an urge I’ve only ever had once.

Interesting.

It’s a bizarre fixation, and a misunderstood one, but the friends I made visit the Hall of Presidents with me admitted that it wasn’t as bad as they had thought. Perhaps others will come to feel the same way.

I’ve mentioned before my love (or rather need) for watching travel documentaries. Well, I was perusing the ol’ library stacks a while looking for something about India, when I came across a travel documentary about Rhode Island. What better way to get to know your new home, than to watch a low-budget movie about it? I thought. So I got it, and watched it, and that has already come in handy because on Sunday I went and watched the ceremonial burning of the H.M.S. Gaspee (more on that later).

The DVD (yes, it was actually a DVD), also included a glimpse of The American Diner Museum in Lincoln, RI. Diners apparently started in Rhode Island: “It is generally agreed that the first diner was a horse-drawn wagon equipped to serve hot food to employees of the Providence Journal, in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1872. Walter Scott who ran the lunch wagon had previously supplemented his income by selling sandwiches and coffee to his fellow pressmen at the Journal from baskets he prepared at home. Commercial production of lunch wagons began in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1887. The first manufactured lunch wagons with seating appeared throughout the Northeastern US in the late 19th century, serving busy downtown locations without the need to buy expensive real estate. It is generally accepted that the name “diner” as opposed to “lunch wagon” was not widely used before 1925.”– Wikipedia.

So they created a museum to honor this contribution to eating, and showcase the history of the loveable institution of “the diner.” Sounds great to me.

A while ago my Jewish Friend and I were driving home from a super-fun-adventure-Sunday hiking in Purgatory Chasm and then eating ice cream. It was early, and we still felt like more adventures could be had. So I pulled out Susan, the trusty GPS and asked her for a list of local attractions.

“Ohhhh, The American Diner Museum.” I said, “I just watched a travel documentary about that. Do you want to go there?”

“What is it?”

“It’s like a tribute to the American Diner.”

“Sounds good.”

Susan was not on her game that day and she made us drive in circles for quite a while leading Jewish Friend to yell out, “Why is she making us drive in circles? Doesn’t she know how expensive gas is?” Finally, we found the museum, and found it to be closed. There were no posted hours on the building, nor did the recording give me any when I called them. So we went home.

The following day, I found their website which promises: “Visitors to the Museum’s permanent home will be able learn the history of the diner through interactive video and exhibits commemorating the numerous diner manufacturers. The Museum’s reference library will provide access to manufacturers’ literature and records, a registry of diners and a collection of photographs and artifacts.” Except there are no posted hours on the website either. So I sent them a politely worded email. I thought maybe, it’s only open during the summer months, and we had visited too early.

The email bounced back– three times.

So I called them, and left a politely-worded voicemail explaining that I’m new to the area, saw the museum on a travel documentary, and would simply love to come visit if they would only tell me when I can actually get into the building. No response.

Now, I have to ask, what is the point of having a museum that no one can visit? Do I need to be a part of a documentary crew in order to get inside? Someone must be paying the phone bill, so why is he or she not checking messages?

I was fully prepared to visit this establishment, appreciate the contribution that my adopted home of Rhode Island made to food service, marvel at olde tymey cooking gadgets, and then leave satisfied and say nice things about it to other people– no more. I fully intend to scoff every time someone else brings it up and say something like “good luck getting in.”

And this is why I love librarianship. A while ago, I was sitting at the circ desk at job number 1. A gaggle of teenage girls came in with an older gentleman who had a very chaperonely air. Teenage girls are rare in this type of library, and they all looked very baffled, so the reference librarian asked if she could help them.

Basically, these were girls who go to some private school, and one of their treats for being honor students is that they get to come to Newport and go on some sort of scavenger hunt. They needed to acquire a book from our library, and also were looking for Mr. Potatohead.

Naturally, I found this very confusing, but it was explained to me that Hasbro is located in Pawtucket, RI, and some years ago (to increase tourism, to raise awareness, cause this seems to have been a trend in 2000?), the state decorated large Mr. Potatoheads and scattered them throughout the state. Unfortunately for these girls, no one knew where the potatoheads had been relocated, and 15 minutes of asking the internet and making phone calls only resulted telling us where the potatoheads had been, and confusing the people who were unfortunate enough to have answered the phones.

This made me curious, and I thought that it might be fun to sleuth out where the potatoheads had ended up, and make a day of finding them. So, I settled into my web-based research, only to unearth something a bit shocking: Mr. Potato Head Statue Said Rascist

By Gillian Flynn
Associated Press Writer
Friday, Sept. 29, 2000; 12:47 p.m. EDT

“WARWICK, R.I. –– A 6-foot Mr. Potato Head statue, one of dozens dotting Rhode Island as part of a tourism campaign, will be taken down because of complaints that the grinning, brown-skinned figure appeared racist.

The “Tourist Tater” was painted dark brown to appear suntanned and wore an ill-fitting Hawaiian shirt, glasses and a hat.”

And the best part:

“Kathy Szarko, the artist who designed “Tourist Tater,” said that she meant no offense and that several other spud statues are a similar color.

“He’s a potato. That’s why he’s brown,” Szarko said.”

Oh man, what a gift. Of course, you can judge for yourself.

I’m getting the winter hair. Pair that with the librarian hair– and you’ve got one gnarly mop-top requiring a lot of product just to look passable. When I leave the house in the morning, it looks just fine; but after a day in the dry, dry, dry library air– my curl says “ohforfuck’ssake”, and flattens out; the static blossoms and grows on my hair like a fungus; and what was previously straight gets a strange, inexplicable kink to it like I’ve had my hair in a ponytail all day.

I’m not completely surprised by this since it happens every year, but I thought maybe the New England maritime climate would lessen it, maybe it has, but now I’m spending more time in dry libraries and overheated classrooms so I’m slowly turning into one of those dried out corncob dolls the Ingalls girls used to play with.

So, how do I deal with this? In past years, I’ve cut my hair short– eliminating the problem; I’ve employed an elaborate regiment of conditioners and cremes; I’ve washed my hair every other day instead of daily (which I can’t stand doing and will not try again); and I’ve cut it slightly shorter and just waited for more humid weather so it could grow back. Currently, I can neither afford an elaborate regiment of cremes and conditioners, nor can I afford a haircut.

As far as I can see, my options are to use household methods i.e. eggs, mayonnaise, beer etc. as conditioners. The drawbacks to these are obvious: you smell like either a sandwich or a brewery, and you have to put cold, slimy, and fizzy things on your head (also, waste of beer). The other option is to cut it myself a’la Natalie Imbruglia in the Torn video where she had that super-rad hank of hair on the side that made her look nonchalantly amazing.

I wouldn’t mind looking nonchalantly amazing, but I’m not heart-stoppingly beautiful like Ms. Imbruglia, so there’s a good chance that I would look like an asshole. I don’t mind looking a little silly sometimes, but I’d rather not be ridiculous.

Also, there’s the problem of my wardrobe. As I get further and further into librarian chic, I wind up looking quasi-respectable, and I kind of like it. A funky home-haircut would confuse what I have going on– possibly. I also fear turning into a hipster librarian since I don’t care for hipsters in the first place, and hipster librarian is right up there with the question “what do you do in library school, memorize the dewey decimal system?!?” guffaw guffaw guffaw, possible knee slap– as things I’ve heard too much recently, and do not care for.

Presently, I do not know what I’ll do. I may try to raise the humidity level in my apartment by boiling pots of water on the stove, and I may crack an egg or two. Probably, I’ll just wait it out, and avoid mirrors until Spring.

I am not a jock. It is painfully obvious that I am not a jock, and that’s something that I’m actually pretty happy with. Usually when I tell someone that I run, the response is, “Really? You? Huh,” and I prefer it that way. I’ve never been a sedentary person; I used to get up at 5:30am when I was in high school and do step aerobics, but my activity level has always been my dirty little secret. I want people to believe that I can eat whatever I want and not get fat. I want to be viewed as “lucky” rather than “dedicated.” It makes no sense.

My father decided that he and I needed to go down to Florida and run in the Walt Disney World Marathon. He runs marathons and has for 20 years. He is crazy. I ran a 5k last spring. I agreed to do the ½ marathon because I wanted a free trip to Florida.

We were required to be in the staging area by 4:30am. Wayne decided that traffic was going to be a nightmare, so we had to leave the hotel at 2:30am.

“You should really eat something, Annie.” he insisted.

“Wayne, it’s 2:30am, I can’t physically eat at this hour.” Unless I’ve been up all night drinking, but I kept that part to myself.

He kept talking about my time, how long it would take me to finish. “What do you think your time, will be Annie?”

“I don’t know Wayne, I’ve never run more than 5.5 miles in my life. I just hope I don’t collapse before the finish line.”

“Well, I think you’ll do it in 2:20, yup, 2:20.”

That’s 2 hours and 20 minutes. For a free vacation, I signed up to run for more than 2 hours. I barely go to movies that are more than 2 hours.

At the staging area I choked down a free sample of an energy bar, and a vitamin water, met a couple people from Kansas who offered me a pretzels and asked what I thought my time would be, then got in line for one of the 10 million porta-potties. Okay, it was more like 100, but whatever.

At the starting line, people were stretching out in that way that shows they mean business using poles and trees and making faces like they were encouraging their muscles to loosen up “Come on quads, I need you guys.” There were banana peels everywhere, which struck me as very unsafe. An insanely chipper woman was yelling over the P.A. about the tradition of the Walt Disney World Marathon, and this year’s theme “Imagine.” Seriously, imagine. Was last year’s theme “Imagination? Imagineer?” Disney really does make itself into a cliché.

The starting gun went off for Wave A, the runners who are actually going to run the whole race, and everybody cheered. Wave B, the less hardcore group including myself, moseyed toward the starting line and waited for out starting gun. Wave A got fireworks, we just got a loud horn sound, Wave C, the walkers, which started 20 minutes after Wave B, probably just got the perky lady yelling “Ready, set go!” I jammed my earbuds in, and turned my Ipod on. First song of the race: Crazy, by Gnarls Barkley. I just looked around and thought, I will remember when I lost my mind. Why do people pay money and fly across the country for the privilege of running on Florida’s highway system? Then I realized that no one around me was actually running. The crowd of people was so dense that there was no room to actually run. So I took my pristine running shoes that had never been outside before and ran the first 4 miles of the race in the ditch.

Around mile 5, something seemed to shift in my brain. I was running beside a huge group of strangers and I felt completely isolated. The songs on my running mix seemed to take on a new poignancy. I had to skip Faithless’s I Can’t get no Sleep, because it just made me tired. I ran through Cinderella’s castle to Cypress Hill telling me that “in the drug game if someone jerk you, you can shoot ’em and kill ’em.”

Mile 7, and I wanted to die. My guts felt like liquid, my hips ached, and the arches of my feet twinged with every step. I’d had more disgusting yellow Powerade than I thought possible. Someone at a refreshment station gave me some kind of energy goo that was apple pie flavored, but actually tasted like a foot. But I ate it (or slurped it, or whatever you do with something you can’t chew), because I was starting to get light-headed. I started walking, even though I heard my dad in my head telling me “Whatever you do, don’t walk. Once you start walking, you won’t stop.” I walked for 2 miles, slowly.

A little after mile 9, I started trying to psyche myself up. “Just get through it, you’re almost done, etc.” All the little lies we tell ourselves when we’re faced with something truly daunting and unpleasant. Then some girl passed me. That was nothing new, lots of people had passed me by this point. She had her racing number pinned to her back when most people had theirs on their front. I stared at it dazedly for a bit and then realized that this bitch was from Wave C. That wave started 20 minutes after mine and she just passed me.

Just as that thought registered my Ipod flipped to Me Against the Music, and all I thought was “Fuck this, I am not getting passed by a Wave Cer.” Suddenly, just like Britney, my hips were moving at a rapid pace, and I was, in fact, feeling it burn. Thankfully it hurt less than before, or else I was going numb. I left the hateful Wave Cer in my wake, and ran the rest of the stupid race.

The race finished in EPCOT where we looped around the big spiky golf ball and wound up back in the parking lot where we started. Once we got into the park I started frantically skipping through songs trying to find the perfect music to finish to, finally settling on Unwritten, by Natasha Bedingfield. I passed mile 13 and saw the finish line .1 miles away. There were bleachers full of people cheering and screaming. I passed another 10 people who apparently were going to jog to the finish line (again, fuck that people were watching), and passed under the big arch. A medic ran up to me as I was lamenting that I had timed my song out poorly (I wanted it to finish as I did, but alas) and asked if I was okay. She seemed really concerned and I briefly though about making something up to get some free medical attention, but instead I just smiled and said, “No, I’m great.”

For my efforts I got a ridiculous medal shaped like Donald Duck, a t-shirt, a couple orange wedges, and a horrific case of the runs. I spent the rest of the day in bed wanting to die, and when I finally managed to get up and try to eat some food, the first thing my dad asked me was, “So Annie, what do you think your time was?”

My official time was 2:39:50. My personal goal, once I changed my goal from just wanting to finish, was 2:40. I’ll get 2:20 on the next one.

Every time I go to DisneyWorld (or Land), I go on the Small World ride. I don’t particularly like this ride; I even would go so far as to say that I dislike it more and more every time I go on it. My father and I were at Walt Disney World last week, and in my mental list of rides that I wanted to go on, Small World was not included.

For anyone not familiar with this ride, it is located in the Fastasyland portion of the Magic Kingdom. That’s were all the kiddie rides are like the Carousel, the Teacups (Mad Hatter’s Tea Party), Snow White (Snow White’s Scary Adventure), Peter Pan (Peter Pan’s Flight) etc. The ride is a slow boat ride past mechanical children that sing the song “It’s a Small World,” Lyrics: It’s a world of laughter/a world of tears/ it’s a world of hopes/ and a world of fears/ There’s so much that we share/ that it’s time we’re aware/ it’s a small world after all. Lovely sentiment—you only really need to hear it once because after you’re done with the ride you don’t care how much we share.

The children are supposed to look like they’re made of wood, small worldbut I’m sure it’s some scary-ass, space-age polymer developed by Disney Imagineers to not succumb to the ravages of being near water all the time. They represent a bunch of countries from around the world both in dress and backdrop, and they sing the song in various languages. It’s a frightening, frightening thing.

My father and I were going to go on Peter Pan’s Flight, which is a good ride employing a “flying” ship and a lot of blacklights, but the line was advertised as being 50 minutes long. The Small World ride was only a 20 minute wait. My dad looked at me and said “Should we just go on this one and see if that other line has gone down at all by the time we’re done?”

I had a strange feeling of déjà vu as I realized that that is the logic that has made me ride this ride so many times. That exact statement has been made by someone, maybe even me, every time I’ve been to the Magic Kingdom. I’m now convinced that the only reason anyone goes on the Small World ride is because the line for Peter Pan is always too damn long.

I was told that they’ve updated Small World since I was last on it, but honestly, it doesn’t matter. It’s still the same scary ass children singing the most annoying song in the world. My dad made sport of trying to identify the various countries as we floated past them. Spain: Don Quixote and Sancho Panza tilting at windmills, The Netherlands: scary-ass fake wooden children wearing scary-ass fake wooden shoes, and another windmill. Seriously Spain and The Netherlands were right next to each other necessitating two windmills. Couldn’t they just share? Isn’t that more in keeping with the spirit of the ride? I made sport of trying to pick out robot children that were slightly defective: not blinking in unison with their peers, pivoting slightly behind the others etc.

I noticed that there are more Middle Eastern countries represented than I remembered. Unlike Spain and The Netherlands, which are clearly identifiable, these were just kind of generically “Middle Eastern.” I guess most kids don’t recognize famous Kuwaiti landmarks, but it seemed kind of sad because there were displays enough for at least 3 countries, but they all looked the same. Once we floated past some African nations, I was really hoping for a version of the song in that kick-ass popping/clicking language, but alas, it was not to be.

So anyway, we go past all of these countries. Once my father misidentified a couple out loud, he quit talking. Then we floated into the grand finale of the ride, a giant room where all the children from various nations are all dressed in white and singing the song together. Dressed in white, singing in English. In horror I realized that I have floated into the Disney version of heaven. Yes, these children freak me out, but I don’t want them dead! They’re not alive anyway.

Inevitably the ride got stuck there, so we sat in heaven for at least 5 full minutes giving me plenty of time to notice that even though all of these nations have finally gotten together to sing and make merry (in English), none of them are actually interacting. Each nation (obviously not every country is represented here, just the most identifiable ones), exists in a little area of their own. Essentially, Disney took one display from a few countries, made it white, and plunked it down at the end of the ride.

Heaven is where nations exist side by side, but never mingle.