You know what my biggest pet peeve is right now? People who don't wave nicely when you let them in while driving, especially if they did something stupid and you're letting them correct it, or there's a lot of traffic. It takes five seconds! Just raise you hand, twiddle your fingers a little and you're done. Simple, right? People who don't wave make me want to ram the backs of their cars until they at least acknowledge my existence in some way. Ingrates.
My other pet peeve is not having insurance. Seriously. It's probably the worst bit of not having a job (despite my fancy education and the giving up of the last 7 years of my life that I've wasted trying to make myself employable, moving all over the damn country and spending piles and piles of money. But no, that's apparently not enough. Way to graduate in a recession, Liza. Okay, I feel a little better now). Anyway, um, insurance. That's what I like for Christmas. Anyone know how to make that happen?
Well then, that concludes your daily rant. I'll be all over the place for the next two weeks or so, so the chances of my posting are pretty slim, but I'll be back after New Year's. I hope you all have wonderful Chrismahanukwanzakahs and get exactly what you want, and I hope that your New Year's Eves are exciting and sparkly and champagne-filled. Smooches!
Saturday, December 20, 2008
You know what my biggest pet peeve is right now? People who don't wave nicely when you let them in while driving, especially if they did something stupid and you're letting them correct it, or there's a lot of traffic. It takes five seconds! Just raise you hand, twiddle your fingers a little and you're done. Simple, right? People who don't wave make me want to ram the backs of their cars until they at least acknowledge my existence in some way. Ingrates.
Posted by Liza Jane at 10:46 AM
Thursday, December 18, 2008
I know I mentioned this briefly a few weeks ago, but the boyfriend and I are officially moving to DC shortly. Shortly meaning less than three weeks. There are a bunch of reasons for it, but it's kind of a weird move in that we're only sort of moving while maintaining ties here in Pittsburgh too. See, a family friend needs a housesitter from January through April, but because I don't have a job nailed down we're keeping the apartment here for a few months until I have something more definite, at which point we may or may not get our own apartment depending on whether the housesitting needs to continue past the beginning of April. Sound confusing? It sort of is, in that it puts us in a weird state of limbo for at least the next few months, which is kind of stressing me out. That, and because I'm kind of a weirdo I feel bad about leaving Pittsburgh, like I'm abandoning it without really giving it the old college try. Not to mention the fact that I really like this city and I'm getting really sentimental about it and doing things like briefly crying in the car because the dinosaur outside the Natural History Museum is wearing a scarf and looks really cute, and the museum with the dinosaurs was my favorite when I was a kid, and I was having a moment.
I can't believe I just admitted that. Moving on...
Anyway, so because the house is already furnished, we're not taking much with us. The question is, what do you take with you besides shoes, clothing, and laptop? It's forcing me to make a decision on what I can't live without for three months, which is hard, dammit! So, my box of stuff so far contains a rather strange group of items. We have, to start:
-The Bon Appetit cookbook, the Fanny Farmer cookbook my mom gave me, my binder of recipes, and boyfriend's diet cookbook. Cooking and baking calm me and make me happy, so I obviously had to include some cookbooks. Oh, and also some magazines with good recipes, which reminds me...okay, have added the last few months' Bon Appetit issues to the box.
- Some random colors of nail polish. Look, I have to have cute toes. One should not neglect her feet just because she's slightly unmoored geographically.
- Jewelry. Basically the same category as shoes and clothes.
- Grey's Anatomy Seasons 1 & 2, Legally Blond - like comfort food in DVD form.
- Life of Pi, Harry Potter 7, Breakfast at Tiffany's, a book on running - a small selection to keep me occupied if I'm having one of those days where I really just want to zone out on something I've read before.
That's all that's in the box so far. To be added shortly are a few trinkets that I've attached sentimental value to, my stuffed animal that I've had since I was a kid (his name is Poindexter, in case you were wondering) and the one that my best friend gave me in the hospital after I totalled her car (um, yeah), my basil plant (all that has survived my poor gardening skills), some photos, and possibly my Kitchenaid mixer. I can't really live without it for three months, but I'm reserving judgment until I find out if there's already one at the house.
So that's my must-have list. Kinda random. Apparently I'm a good cook who watches cheesy girly stuff on TV, kills plants, and likes to be nicely pedicured. I'd ask what's on your list, but I'm not sure if anyone reads this anymore. Comment!
Posted by Liza Jane at 1:41 PM
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Of all of the things that periodically irritate me about being female, the biggest is probably the damsel in distress phenomenon. Most often, this occurs whenever I go to the gas station to put air in my tires. Random dudes catch a glimpse of me, air hose and pressure gauge in hand, and deduce from my capable handling of my own damn tires that I clearly must need help. It pisses me off to no end, whatever their intentions, because to me it conveys a totally caveman-ish attitude that the mere lack of a Y chromosome makes me incapable of handling something as simple as a tire refill. I'll add that the one and only time that I let a guy fill up my tires, because he was being annoying and I was in no mood to argue, he overfilled them, something that poor little helpless me wouldn't have done.
Anyway, gas station rant aside, the other day I posted an ad to sell the portable dishwasher, which I no longer need, on Craigslist. I got a response, set up an appointment, and a guy will be coming by this evening to pick up said dishwasher. Well, I told boyfriend this, expecting a simple response, and instead he tells me that I need to call maintenance and arrange for one of the guys to come hang out in the parking lot with me while the dishwasher transfer is made. Actually, first he told me to have one of them come chill in the basement with me, where the storage unit is located, but then I told him that I wasn't enough of an idiot to meet a stranger in the basement, so parking lot it is. This led to a bit of an argument. I'm not claiming that I was in the right by yelling at boyfriend that I was NOT a damsel in distress and perfectly capable of taking care of myself without a security detail, but...actually I'm claiming exactly that, minus the cranky yelling bit (I probably could've used a nicer tone of voice). But, because he's insistent and I'm incapable of saying "Okay honey" and then ignoring him, I called maintenance today. And arranged for dishwasher security. And now I feel like an asshole, because Bill from maintenance couldn't understand why I needed protecting either. He literally said "So what do you need me for?" after I informed him that I didn't need help hauling the dishwasher. Attempting to explain to someone that you need him to come hang out in a parking lot in the freezing cold for five minutes after his workday is over = really embarrassing conversation.
Oh well, at least boyfriend won't have to worry about my safety being compromised anymore, although I plan on whining about it just a little bit more, just to even the scales a touch.
Posted by Liza Jane at 11:57 AM
Friday, December 5, 2008
If I may be so conceited, I just made a freakin' awesome BLT. Technically, it wasn't a BLT, more like a BSTAC, because I used spinach and put avocado and cheese on it, but it was fantastic. It was a glorious display of gluttony. Anyway, what made it so fantastic (aside from the cheese and avocado, which are awesome) was that instead of toasting the bread like I normally do, I decided to grill it in the leftover bacon grease. Did that make it exponentially more fattening? Yes. Was it worth it? Abso-freaking-lutely.
Posted by Liza Jane at 3:38 PM
Thursday, December 4, 2008
1. I would like for someone to realize that it's impossible to eat only one ounce of cheese at a time, and correspondingly reduce the calories so that I can eat a whole block at a time and not feel guilty.
2. I would also like for alcohol to have no calories, especially wine.
If someone could make that happen I would be eternally grateful.
Posted by Liza Jane at 5:58 PM
Recently, the boyfriend and I got new phones. It was about time, since we'd both had hurricane-era phones and people would actually look at mine and say "what the hell happened to it?" It was sturdy, but time to go, and Verizon was overcharging us anyway. So, new phones. They're nice, and we'd had them about a week and a half when boyfriend lost his. It wasn't really his fault - he got into a friend's tiny sports car and it popped off of his little clip (if you know boyfriend, who is 6'8", you might understand how this could happen while folding himself into one of those bitty Nissan Z things). Anyway, he retraced his steps, but no luck. So he sent himself a bunch of texts, and there was a business card in there - basically, it would have been easy to return it. But of course, people are douchy sometimes, and the phone was gone for good. This baffles me. Now, I know that times are tough and all, but if it were me, and I found someone's brand new looking phone (or wallet, or anything for that matter), I would return it, especially when it's as easy as dialing a number. Maybe I'm naive, but I like to think that most people would. So anyway, he calls T-Mobile and asks them if there's any way to track the phone. You would think so, since you generally have to call the company to switch phones or get an unlock code. But no. Since it's T-Mobile, all you have to do is switch out the little memory card. I was sort of half-listening to his conversation with the rep, and out came this:
"So, basically what you're saying is that my best course of action would be to steal an identical phone and put my card back in it?"
Clearly he wouldn't do that, because he's not one of those douchy people that takes things that clearly don't belong to them, but I get his point. Apparently, when it comes to putting your faith in the basic goodness of people, the best course of action is to pay it backward.
Posted by Liza Jane at 1:29 PM
Monday, November 24, 2008
If anyone even reads this anymore (I wouldn't know, since my new format did away with my Statcounter and I'm too inept to figure out how to get it back into my new template), you may have noticed that I don't blog much lately. There are two reasons for this - (1) my life is impressively boring. I'm unemployed, giving me a lot of free time, but I have no money (and I mean, like, none), so I have nothing to do with said free time, and (2) I noticed that I was mostly using the blog to vent, and while I've been a bit cranky (I was not cut out for poverty), I generally try to hide that part of myself from people. This is probably why I've occasionally been called easygoing by those that are easily deceived. Or those who exceptionally charitable. Either way, my long-suffering boyfriend would probably beg to differ.
Anyways, I still don't have much in the way of news, but thought I'd check in. (The only noteworthy occurence has been the prospect of moving to D.C. I say prospect because I'm apparently much more gung-ho than the boyfriend. Granted, I don't want to move again either, but I have friends in D.C., and there are many more listings for open positions.) So, in an effort to stave off boredom, and because feeding people makes me happy and thus staves off the cranky, I've been baking an inordinate amount. For example:
The Obama cupcakes. Yes, I know this makes me the biggest nerd in existence, but I was supporting the campaign effort in one of the only ways I know how, which is to say, feeding the volunteers. I did some volunteering myself, but on my off days I dropped off a lot of baked goods.
I also recently decided to try my hand at bagels. Turns out they're not as scary as I thought they might be. True, they require a lot of rising time, but that's a matter of patience more than anything else and doesn't actually add much to the work load, except in the way of timing. Other than that, there's some shaping and some boiling, and in the end they turned out pretty well (except the cinnamon sugar, which did not form a "tasty crust" as promised by the recipe, but stayed saturated with butter and kind of wet. Oh well, they tasted good anyway).
See? They look like real bagels! Smaller than the store-bought kind, but just as good. I was a little proud of myself, I'm not gonna lie.
Anyway, that ends this installment of Baking with Liza. Hopefully I'll have good things to report on the job front soon. Until then, happy Thanksgiving!
Posted by Liza Jane at 11:59 AM
Thursday, October 30, 2008
I'm pretty damn desperate to find a job at this point, so when I saw an article with the tagline "25 Best Markets to Find a Job" I clicked on it, thinking that it might provide some insight or something. Uh, no. First on the list: Sioux Falls, Idaho. There's also Bismark, ND and Houma, LA, all the way down to Pocatello, Idaho. Apparently the numbers are based on unemployment and job growth compared to last year's figures and the national average. I'm guessing the simpler explanation is: podunk town + no competition (because who the hell wants to set up a life in Pocatello, Idaho) = low unemployment. It's easy to come out ahead when there are probably more jobs in your town than there are people.
Posted by Liza Jane at 2:00 PM
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
I have a new favorite thing. A favorite condiment to be exact, which I may start eating with everything. Behold:
I implore you to buy this stuff. I beg it of you. It's amazing. It manages to be both sweet and spicy in perfect proportions, like good curry, which is fitting since it contains curry. It's fantastic with thick, spicy tortilla chips (which you can also purchase at Trader Joe's, my new favorite store). It's great on pitas. It fits perfectly with hummus. I would bathe in it if I could. Plus, it's only $3. I love it so much I wish I'd invented it so that I could take credit. Purchase some as soon as possible. You will thank me.
Posted by Liza Jane at 4:34 PM
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
So, as someone of you may have heard, someone at my lovely and well-behaved alma mater recently stole Mr. Rogers' shoe during an event (law prom) at the New Orleans Children's Museum. And, although I know that the school has basically been banned everywhere that they've had Barrister's Ball in the three years that I was a student, there's something about this one that actually made me ashamed to say that "hey, I went to school there." Because, dude, it's Mr. Rogers. What the fuck is wrong with you? Anyway, I brought it up to M yesterday, hoping that he'd sympathize (because, well, it's Mr. Rogers)...
Me: You know, for the first time ever, I'm actually ashamed to say where I went to law school.
Me: Okay, so they held law school prom at the Children's Museum this year, and while they were there, someone actually stole Mr. Rogers' shoe!
M: Hysterical laughter. It had to be done!
Me: Horrified. What?! Why?!
M: They should send ransom pictures of it. Like have pictures of the shoe and...
Me: No they shouldn't, that's horrible! Dude, this is serious. I mean, they could get kicked out of school, and hello? it's Mr. Rogers' shoe. Mr. Rogers. They should give it back.
M: Wait, Mr. Rogers? I thought you said Ronald McDonald. You mean the shoes that he used to take on and off?
Me: Yes! Mr. Rogers!!!
M: Oh, well that's just wrong. They should return it.
Now, I know it may seem, given everything else that I've chosen not to comment on during my tenure at law school, that I'm overreacting and acting like a goody goody. Well, maybe I am, but Mr. Rogers is fucking awesome. He used to go to the same church that my family did here in Pittsburgh, and my mom has told me time and again what a wonderful person he was, and quite honestly, he held me one day when I was a baby and told my mom that I was cute, which is sort of awesome, and makes me a little star struck in the way that most people are when they see, say, Brad Pitt or someone. So, don't fuck with Mr. Rogers dude. Be a good neighbor.
Posted by Liza Jane at 4:59 PM
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
I feel like I have to link to these amazing Potato Chip Cookies that I made yesterday. They combine two of my favorite things, obviously chips and cookies, in this wonderful salty/sweet, crunchy/soft little bit of wonderful. The texture is sort of Pecan Sandy-ish, but lighter, and the taste is like having a salty snack in the middle of the afternoon and dessert all at the same time. And they're super easy to make, so all the better, although maybe not so good for my waistline since I can't stop myself from eating them like I can the heavier, chocolaty cookies that I usually make.
Posted by Liza Jane at 6:23 PM
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Monday, October 6, 2008
Feels Like 52°F
I'm not entirely sure where weather.com is getting their data, but it does not feel like 52 degrees out there. More like 40. More like, holy shit it's cold outside. It's official, I have acquired the tolerance for cold of someone born and raised in the South, rather than that of someone simply transplanted there for a few years. I shiver and whine and cower in fear of the cold, especially when I realize that it'll likely get about 30-40 degrees colder over the next few months, zeroing out somewhere in late January/early February. This is the sort of cold that physically hurts when one steps outside. Something to look forward to.
The other problem with this winter issue is that, after three years in New Orleans, I have almost no cold-weather clothes left. Those that I do have may or may not fit after at least a year in boxes. Normally I would go shopping to remedy this little problem, but my lack of an income precludes me from doing so (quick aside on the job front - bar results are due on Friday. I won't be checking them until Monday because I don't want to ruin my weekend (aren't I an optimist?), but I'm scared). Hence, my uniform for a while may have to consist of jeans and various college hoodies. Hell, at least I'll fit in should I decide to wander down to the college campuses.
2. I posted a while ago about how much I'm dismayed by the return of the skinny jean. I remained strong for a long time, but recently I caved. I am now the proud (maybe? I still need a girlfriend's opinion, which is more difficult now that we've all moved away) owner of a pair of skinny jeans. Like, really skinny. Part of me thinks they're awesome, and part of me is afraid that I look like an asshole. Good thing I'm going to visit Big Booty Ho in D.C. this weekend and can get the required feedback. I have to admit, I hope it's positive, because I'm shamefully excited to wear them out in public for the first time.
Posted by Liza Jane at 6:19 PM
Monday, September 29, 2008
In my joblessness (yes, I'm still unemployed), I've been baking a lot. Last week I made cake, a whole cake, one with ingredients that took four hours to make myself (dulce de leche, in case you were wondering), merely because I was craving a piece. I have time to do these things. I can barely afford ingredients anymore, but I have all the free time in the world. So I experiment a lot too. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. Turns out, trying to make healthy cookies only sort of works. I say sort of because the chocolate chip cookies that I made the other day taste awesome, just like chocolate chip cookies, but they have the texture of cake. Little chocolate chip cakes. They're still quite good, they're just not very cookie-like. This is apparently what happens when you use 2 parts yogurt and 1 part butter instead of all butter. It works really well for actual cake, and for dessert-like breads (like banana), but used in a cookie it just transforms said cookie into a wee cake. I guess you learn something new every day. So, if you feel like making your own chocolate chip mini-cakes, a recipe for you:
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup plain yogurt (I used non-fat)
1/3 cup softened butter (use butter, not margarine)
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 package (12 oz) chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 375
- Beat yogurt, butter, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla until creamy (I used a whisk first to make the yogurt and butter smooth)
- Add eggs and beat well
- Gradually add flour, baking soda, and salt
- Stir in chips
- Drop teaspoons of batter onto a greased cookie sheet (normally you don't have to prepare the cookie sheet at all, but the absence of most of the butter makes the cookies stick a little bit)
- Bake 8-ish minutes until lightly browned
Posted by Liza Jane at 11:34 AM
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
The above is a video of Sarah Palin accepting protection from witchcraft from her pastor, as well as prayers for a well-funded campaign. Seriously. I don't usually talk about politics on here. In fact, I don't think I ever have, but this woman is a fucking lunatic. Totally off her damn rocker crazy. She scares me. A lot.
Posted by Liza Jane at 5:58 PM
Friday, September 19, 2008
I think my conditioner is hitting on me. Observe the contents of the back of the bottle:
Longing for more? Let it out and indulge every inch with my velvety conditioning fused with red raspberry & satin. I'll give your length the strength against breakage and split ends. You've got longer hair to love. And I've got more love to give. How long will you go without touching it?
Use me: soak me in all the way down. My, you're headstrong. Rinse & repeat for good measure.
Use me? My, you're headstrong? How long will you go without touching it? I swear I feel a little violated every time that I end up reading the back while waiting for it to soak in "all the way down." Why is my conditioner trying to get sexy with me? And it's not just me. Max just declared that it sounded like the dirty guy in a chat room trying to talk sexy.
Also, how did I make it through my whole life not knowing that raspberry had a "p" in it? It doesn't make much sense.
Posted by Liza Jane at 1:20 PM
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
It's just a posting bonanza today, isn't it? I decided to add another thing that makes me happy, since I'm enjoying that thing right now while sitting at my computer:
11. Plain yogurt (or plain Greek yogurt, which is thicker texture-wise, but also more expensive) with honey and chopped up bananas (or mangoes, but I don't have any right now). It's just so much better than the regular processed yogurt that I get at the grocery store, and I'm guessing it doesn't have so much crap in it, which is always an added bonus. So tasty.
Posted by Liza Jane at 12:49 PM
Since I've been a whiny brat lately, I thought I'd go the other way for a couple minutes and make a list of 10 simple things that make me happy. In no particular order:
1. Trying out a new shampoo/conditioner - told you they'd be simple. It may seem silly, and it hasn't happened yet, but there's always a few moments of anticipation that this time washing my hair will magically turn me into the Pantene girl I've always wanted to be.
2. Running - there's something really satisfying about coming home all sweaty and gross and knowing I've accomplished something, even if that something was merely running in a circle for 45 minutes. Plus, it's gratifying for an ex-smoker to look at her calender, see 4 miles penciled in, and think "oooo, an easy day."
3. Stretching - what can I say except that it hurts so good.
4. Baking bread - not altogether simple, since it's sort of like a chemistry experiment, but the smell of rising bread is one of the most comforting smells to me, and there is nothing more Zen-like and calming than kneading a lump of warm, good-smelling dough for a few minutes.
5. Friday night, Saturday, and Sunday - technically three things, but as a group they're currently the best moments of the week. Mostly because until Monday morning rolls around again, I have no obligation to look for a job. No one will get back to me until Monday anyway, so there is no networking, no sending of cover letters and resumes, no receipt of rejection letters. And while I may be bored all weekend due to lack of funds, at least I'm not forcing myself to do anything or feeling guilty about avoiding it. Bliss.
6. The first cup of coffee in the morning - self-explanatory, I would think.
7. Making dinner - to me, all the chopping and sauteing and baking and arranging is totally relaxing, and it's fun to try out a new recipe while jazz plays in the background and I drink a glass of wine and occasionally dance around before remembering that people can see into my kitchen window.
8. Rainy days in Pittsburgh - in NOLA, rainy days are annoying because they're generally accompanied by flooding. Here, they're just rainy days, and it gets a little cold so that curling up with a book is really the only sensible thing to do. And hey, since I'm not employed, I can do that!
9. Getting facebook notifications - I know, but hear me out. It's not the notifications themselves, it's knowing that someone thought of me for a few seconds and decided to let me know. It's nice, especially since I haven't seen anyone for a couple months now.
10. Breezy end-of-summer evenings - preferably spent sitting outside with a cold beer.
Posted by Liza Jane at 7:53 AM
Dear Lord, I was feeling melodramatic yesterday, wasn't I? Sorry 'bout that.
Posted by Liza Jane at 5:08 AM
Monday, September 15, 2008
I've been feeling really sorry for myself lately, and I'm pretty sure it's making me an icky human being to be around. I mean, I want to talk to my friends on the phone, but if they ask me how it's going I'll either have to lie or say "well, I'm broke, and miserable, and I just realized that starting salaries here aren't enough to pay my loans, and I'm bored, and I hate being one of the few people I know who doesn't have a job they love/a disturbingly large starting salary despite their 100 hour expected work weeks." I read people's facebook status updates and I see things like "X doesn't want to go to work today" or "X is bored at work" and it makes me want to scream. Because you know what? I want to be bored at work today. I want to be tired and cranky on a rainy Monday morning and have to pull myself out of bed so that I can go to work. I want to be an office drone. Hell, I want to fetch someone's coffee. I don't want to be an over-educated waitress, and more and more I'm thinking that it's about the time for me to strap on an apron and practice saying "Hi, my name's Liza and I'll be your server tonight" with the requisite amount of perkiness. I used to read posts from other law blogs about how finding a job is harder than you think and I'd be all "Well, not me baby. I'll be just fine, thank you very much." Now I take small comfort in the fact that at least it's not just me. And that, my friends, is the real answer to "I haven't talked to you in like, weeks! How are you?" You know, just in case you felt like asking and the standard "I'm fine" wasn't satisfying.
Posted by Liza Jane at 3:33 PM
Saturday, September 13, 2008
I made it to 7.5 miles today. Woot! I've officially run more than half of the half-marathon, which makes me feel like I could do the whole thing. Of course, my knees are filing for divorce as we speak, and I have to sit down like someone who's 8 months pregnant - that is, slowly, with one hand behind me to brace myself and take some weight off of my tormented legs. Good stuff.
Posted by Liza Jane at 10:10 AM
Friday, September 5, 2008
To those who don't know, "merrrr" is the international word for "boo, this sucks," "fuck it," "I'm so not feeling this," etc. The reason: yet another rejection, and a fast one too, although this time I have paper to show for it. It was not met with a laugh, however, as I thought I actually had a chance and was really interested. I mean, honestly, do people open my envelope and just immediately click the "Print" button on Genericrejection.doc? Although, actually, I might not want the answer to that question, as I suspect the answer is yes.
Posted by Liza Jane at 1:03 PM
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Time line of a rejection:
Friday: Send out resume to IP firm. Expect rejection because I don't have a B.S. and thus can't practice patent law, but figure I'll try anyway.
Saturday - Monday: nothing, because it's a holiday weekend.
Tuesday: Assuming even the most generous postal estimates, resume arrives.
Tuesday afternoon: Polite cyber-rejection arrives.
Reaction: incredulous snort of laughter at efficiency of rejection process. At least it beats a disappointed sigh followed by a ripping up of rejection letter. It's almost refreshing, having eliminated the whole "waiting is the hardest part" portion of the job-seeking process. That's gotta count for something, right?
Posted by Liza Jane at 5:44 PM
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Let me just first say that I'm liking Pittsburgh quite a lot. It's really a lovely city despite its reputation as an old steel town and thus somewhat backwards and dirty. Really, it cleans up nicely. Anyway, that said, I'm having a powerfully homesick for New Orleans type of moment. For one thing, it is less than 70 degrees here, and overcast. For another, I'm reading a book set in New Orleans, and Max and I have been suggesting restaurants and activities for a friend visiting NOLA this weekend, and it's making me want to get back in the rental truck and drive another 20 hours cross country, despite the threat of Gustav (what the hell kind of name is that, anyway?), and then eat myself silly for at least a week, because the restaurants in Pittsburgh just aren't up to snuff. Le sigh.
Posted by Liza Jane at 10:55 AM
Monday, August 25, 2008
As you could probably glean from yesterday's post, I have not a damn thing to do. I'm still unemployed, am running out of money, and know a grand total of three people in my new city - my best friend from college, who is uber-busy with school right now, Max, and Max's best friend. Needless to say, there hasn't been a whole lot going on recently. Especially since the apartment pool closed for the summer, something about the lifeguards going back to school, which is a whole 'nother rant about how I don't need a lifeguard, and they never got there on time anyway, and how my tan was getting so awesome, dammit! Whatever.
My solution to my boredom problem is threefold: First, learn how to use the camera properly. This was Max's solution when I walked in to his man cave (his computer room) earlier and declared that I was "so motherf*&^ing bored." Second, pester Max more than usual. Sometimes, as above, it yields favorable results. Third, get a library card. Despite a weird fear of library books (not the books themselves, just the germs that I'm sure they contain. I mean, how many people have held them in their unwashed hands or sneezed or something while reading them? Best not to think of it), I've managed to check out about 20 or so since I went in two weeks ago. Since I'm apparently incapable of finishing one book before starting another, I'm now actively reading 7 of them at once. In no particular order:
Dark at the Roots (Sarah Thyre) - a memoir written by a comedian about growing up in a lower-middle class family in the Deep South. At times, it's really funny, like when she details playing "Poor Barbie" with her sisters. Other times, it's funny and also really depressing, like a puppy that's so ugly it's cute. When the depressing starts to outweigh the funny, I usually have to switch off to something else. In any case, I recommend it if you like David Sedaris-type books, although it doesn't rise to the level of hilarity experienced when reading "Me Talk Pretty One Day."
Way Off the Road (Bill Geist) - a collection of essay-type stories about the author's travels through small town America. I especially liked the bit about the entrepreneur who solves the town's prairie dog problem with what amounts to a giant vacuum.
Bridget Jones's Diary (Helen Fielding) - obviously people know what this is about. A bit trashy, but I like it that way.
Written on the Body (Jeanette Winterson) - can't decide if I like it yet, or what it's about really since I'm only about 10-15 pages in. I think it's supposed to be pretty steamy, and one of my best friends swears by her books, so I'm giving it a try.
The Social Lives of Dogs (Elizabeth Thomas) - an anthropological-type look at, obviously, the social behavior of dogs. I thought it might be dry, but it's much more novel-like than I thought it would be, and I really love it so far. Good for dog people.
Harry Potter 5 - uh, yeah, I'm sort of embarrassed to admit that I'm reading this for about the 12th time, but whatever. Judge me if you want, they're good stories.
How to Make Love Like a Porn Star (Jenna Jameson) - not even sure yet. I'm on page 42, and I'm totally baffled. Like, it starts off like it's going to be a thriller rather than a memoir, and the parts of the book have names like "The World's Fresh Ornament" (that's not even the most mystifying one, trust me). However, I've watched her E! True Hollywood Story about 6 times, so why not? So far though, odd.
And if I could make a recommendation, go get yourself "Are You There Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea" by Chelsea Handler. I laughed so hard I had to leave the pool because I was starting to embarrass myself. Just don't read it if you're easily offended. Seriously though, hi-lar-i-ous.
Posted by Liza Jane at 5:55 PM
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Did you know that there are whole websites dedicated to what people put on their grocery lists? There have even been books written based on people's lost and forgotten lists of things to shop for. One author turned herself into different characters based on these lists and the people that she imagined lay behind them. With that in mind, and because I have nothing better to do, let's look at my grocery lists for this week. I'm pretty sure that they say that I'm anal retentive.
Grocery list #1 (there are two - although they contain the same items, they're organized differently)
Hmmm, bad picture, but you can probably get the point. First, ingredients are organized according to recipe, with miscellaneous items at the bottom. The list is italicized because I put each item in italics as it was added to Grocery list #2:
Grocery list #2, if you can see it properly, is ordered according to section of the grocery store, so that I can start at produce and work my way through in the most efficient way possible. The grocery store that I go to is always insanely busy, and rather huge, so it works best this way and makes me less irritable by the time that I leave.
Looking at the above, I realize now what my grocery list says about me. First, I'm crazy and probably afflicted with OCD. I'm definitely anal retentive. I've managed to somehow memorize my entire grocery store's layout in less than a month of shopping there. I like to think that all of this adds to my charm, but in any case, at least I'm efficient. And to think I was worried there might be some embarrassing item on the lists.
Posted by Liza Jane at 5:14 PM
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
So, since I started my maybe/maybe not half-marathon training 2.5 weeks ago, I've run about 36 miles. Woot! That's about 15 miles per week, and this weekend starts the longer runs. Since I nearly passed out the other day from overexertion and not properly fueling myself, I decided it was time for some sports nutrition type stuff. Enter Gu (or, in this case, CarbBoom, but same difference really). If you've never had the pleasure, Gu and its ilk are energy gels, meaning that they're little packets of carbohydrate-heavy gel that you take before and during long runs. Although they don't taste all that bad, sort of like a melty sweetart, the texture is problematic. Most of my friends are aware of my texture problems, meaning that I don't eat bread pudding, no matter what it tastes like, or tofu, or other foods falling into the mushy category. It just grosses me out. Well, Gu-type products have a texture roughly approximating that of Vaseline. In order to get it down, I basically put as much as I can in my mouth and quickly gulp some water to wash it down. Tasty, huh? However, the little packets do really work, and I went for a long run today without any of the jelly-legs feeling that I was experiencing the other day. So despite my aversion to the texture, the benefits of not feeling like a bowl of Jello far outweigh my problems with melty-Jello-like texture.
Today's mileage count: 4.1
Posted by Liza Jane at 9:35 AM
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
I'm worried that in addition to sounding slightly insane yesterday, I may have also been slightly offensive. It happens sometimes. The point is, what I was trying to say is that I am sick of being coddled and analyzed simply because of my gender. I would like to watch a commercial without thinking of the meaning behind it and how it might subtly be affecting the way that I feel about myself. I would like to put some clothes on without thinking about my motivations for wearing this particular outfit over that one. I would like to simply wonder whether I look good today without wondering how society has shaped my definition of "looks good." That's all.
Posted by Liza Jane at 8:44 AM
Monday, August 11, 2008
Not all feminists, mind you. I only target the ridiculous ones. Some of my best friends are feminists. I consider myself one. But I have to admit, I've gotten sick of every little fucking thing being related back to the fact that I'm a female. Yes, I'm a girl/woman. Yes, I have a vagina. Yes, there are breasts involved too. That does not mean that every article I read about women and such womanly attributes needs to protect me from feeling the slightest bit bad about my body. Let's discuss.
Several years ago, eating disorders became a big deal. Everything was blamed, from parents to the fashion industry. The fashion industry seems to have lost the battle. Lucifer himself has a better public image. But, as far as I can tell anyway, nothing was ever said about one's own fragile psychology. Speaking as someone who was anorexic for years, I can say for damn sure that it had nothing to do with the fashion industry. It had little to do with my parents. It had to do with me, and feeling out of control. If there was anything to be protected from, it was myself. In fact, I'm so sick of hearing the fashion industry blamed for my teenage self's poor self-image that I now react unfavorably to any attempt to protect my fragile feminine self. Screw your BMI. Runway shows are about the clothes, not about the models. There's actually a reason they pick the girls who look like hangers. How come it all of the sudden became about how women felt about themselves? Now, before you judge me for the last comment, look at men's fashion. Behold the male model:
Anyway, never mind why I always need to be protected from feeling bad about myself, why is every goddamn women's fitness post somehow about my relationship to my body and how media, etc. is damaging it? Maybe I'm wearing a running skirt because it's comfortable and doesn't ride up. I can tell you it has nothing to do with looking sexy. A fitness blog I occasionally read, however, went totally apeshit on girls who run in skirts recently, claiming that as women, it's always about being sexy and stylish and clearly shouldn't be. Obviously, it claimed, if you're running in a skirt, your main concern is clearly not fitness. Your choice of attire has nothing to do with comfort and the fact that they don't ride up (the article has since been removed since the poor author felt attacked. Apparently a lot of people felt the same way that I do about her harsh blogging, but she couldn't stand harsh criticism). Today, I read another way off post, ostensibly talking about women and their sexy clothes, but ending up totally jumbled. You let me know if you can glean a coherent point from that, but the way I read it is thus: the fact that I occasionally wear a corset has nothing to do with curviness, or sexiness, or a desire to pleasantly surprise my boyfriend. It's because I need to be both hot and protected at the same time. Protected from what, I'm not sure, but clearly being semi-correct doesn't matter in the world of women's body-blogging.
Basically, my point is this: I am woman, hear me roar, or whine, or cry, or tell you that I need to lose a few. Do not tell me that this or that or the other thing is responsible for the way that I feel about me. Do not confuse EVERYTHING with the way that I feel about my body. It is my own, and the fact is, you're pissing me off way more than the size 00 girl sauntering down the runway.
Also, can I just rip off John Stewart for a second and cap off this angry little post with your "feel good about yourself no matter what" Moment of Zen: Dove, creator of the Campaign For Real Beauty, is owned by Unilever, which also owns Axe, creator of many, many commercials featuring naughty vixens overcome by the deployment of icky male body spray, and creators of the Naughty to Nice Program, designed to rehabilitate nice girls led astray by their delicious product. Can you say hypocrite? Because I'm pretty sure that, in this case, it rhymes with feminist.
Posted by Liza Jane at 4:45 PM
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Another running post ahead...if you're sick of me babbling about my exercise routine, feel free to skip this one. What I really need is a secondary blog like my friend Abbott's, where I can talk about running without worrying that my core audience (of like, six people) isn't listening. That way, running people can make fun of my progress, and people who'd rather hear me babble about the rest of my life can do so here. Anyway...
Here's something I don't get. I get hot when I run, like I'm assuming most people do. This is despite the fact that I may be the slowest runner in the world. Really. Imagine yourself walking at a normal pace. Now imagine that you're going at the same pace, but you're bouncing slightly while wearing short shorts and sweating profusely. This is what I look like when I run. The thing I don't get is, my temperature when running is nothing compared to what happens when I stop. I'm pretty sure that every blood vessel in my whole body heats up and goes directly to my face, which immediately turns tomato red and seemingly pulses with heat. It makes no sense whatsoever. If someone can explain this to me I'd really appreciate it.
I ran another 5K this morning. See, I'm sort of training for a half-marathon. I say sort of because I'm not making any commitments. When I commit to running that far, I get scared that I can't do it and stop, so for now, I'm just following the training schedule and seeing how I do. If I make it to 13.1 miles, good for me. If not, well, I never said I would, so there. See, 13.1 miles is a long way. If most people walk about a 16-minute mile, it would take you about 3.5 hours to walk that far. That's probably also how long it would take me to run it. Also, there are no half-marathons coming up, so there's that too. The training schedule is set out in this book. It's written by Dawn Dais, a self-proclaimed couch potato and another slow runner who decides to run a marathon. She says if she can do it, anyone can, so I'm testing that hypothesis. I'd also like to test the hypothesis that when training for such an event, you can pig out on whatever you want guilt-free. I imagine that'll be the easier part of this little experiment. So anyway, I'm planning on setting up another blog for the training stuff, I just have to think of a catchy title. I'll let you know when I do. For now, I feel like someone beat my legs with a stick, so I'm not feeling really creative. Any suggestions would of course be appreciated.
Posted by Liza Jane at 7:33 AM
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Well, the bar is over. I should probably feel more overjoyed, and to my credit I did let out an ecstatic whoop in the car yesterday after leaving the Convention Center, but I don't think it went well. I think that's why I don't feel relaxed - because I don't feel done. If I'd felt better about the whole thing, I wouldn't be thinking "but what if I have to take it again?" The thought of returning in October is marring what is a legitimate accomplishment, win or lose. So instead of celebrating yesterday, I spent most of the day with my phone turned off, avoiding happy people so that I wouldn't bring them down with my bad attitude.
But, enough with the bad news. After running pretty regularly since last October-ish, I finally did a 5K this morning! I didn't even really mean to. I just started off on my regular running route and decided to go a little further, and ended up on a 3.5 mile course around the local park. I kept telling myself "just go a little further and you'll be home soon," or "you can stop at this tree." But I didn't - I'd get to the tree and realize I could keep going a little more, and eventually, I made it the whole way back to start without collapsing once (although I did walk halfway up one of Pittsburgh's crazy-steep hills). So, while I may not be proud of my performance on the Bar, I'm definitely proud of this, and it makes me think that maybe I'll be ready to run a half-marathon for real this year, especially since Pittsburgh is bringing the marathon back after a 6 year hiatus (or maybe 5, who knows?). I like to think that at least I channeled my bar rage into something good, because I'm pretty sure that's what kept me going past miles 2 and 3. It's a teeny silver lining, but at least it's there.
Posted by Liza Jane at 8:18 AM
Friday, July 25, 2008
Actually six, or is it seven? Days, that is, until the bar is over and I've turned back into something resembling a normal human being, rather than someone who is in a constant state of barely controlled panic. The bar is four days away (including today), and I'm freaking out. I just watched that episode of Grey's about the girl who fails the bar five times and has to be admitted to psych because she holds her hand on a burner to get out of taking it again. I probably should've turned it off when I realized the episode that I was watching. Anyway, the point is, I'm a spaz, so I'll be back when my thoughts are once again free to wander to something other than Civil Procedure.
Posted by Liza Jane at 8:16 AM
Monday, July 21, 2008
Is it a bad idea to go work out at 9:00 at night when you've just had a lot of wine? I mean, I think it is, but I could be wrong since I've been drinking my feelings (stress, fear of failure, stress) all night long. Lord, I can't wait till the bar is over.
Posted by Liza Jane at 5:53 PM
Normally I don't feel bad about what I'm eating. I occasionally think about the animals that my food comes from, but I'm a hardcore carnivore, so I usually just push it to the back of my mind. It's easy to do, since I buy all of my food nicely trimmed and ready to go, and it doesn't resemble its source so much as yummy, yummy bacon (or, you know, whatever, but I really have a thing for bacon). Anyway, Max is currently in the kitchen, making arroz con pollo, which requires a whole roasting chicken. I bought the chicken and brought it home, before realizing that this meant he'd have to butcher it. And Max is not a clean cooker. Last time he made chicken I found raw bits on several of the cabinet doors. So I volunteered to do it if he'd show me how.
Max: "Crack the spine."
I stared at the chicken. Suddenly, it seemed not so dinner-like. But I took my knife and did the deed, then sat there sadly stroking the raw chicken for a couple minutes and telling it that I was sorry. No, really, and it takes a lot to get me to even touch raw chicken, so I must have felt really bad about it.
Seeing as how there's more to butchering a chicken than splitting it, there was more work to do. Which I did, but the whole time I was thinking that I was going to feel a little bad about eating it later. And talking to it, telling it that I was sorry for such a heartless fate.
The thing is, I'm probably still going to be a carnivore, because for one thing, it's so much easier, and for another, meat tastes good. Max suggested a while ago that we give up pork and red meat, and I sort of agreed, but it was reluctant and we haven't actually done it yet. Mostly because every time that I'm ready to take the plunge, I think about bacon. And burgers. Turkey burgers are a good substitute, but there is no substitute for bacon. And don't even talk about turkey bacon, because it's not the same thing. For one thing, it's not greasy and crispy, which is a prerequisite for a good breakfast meat. But maybe from now on I'll at least tell the bacon that I'm sorry. Small comfort, I'm sure.
Posted by Liza Jane at 2:56 PM
Saturday, July 19, 2008
What the hell was I thinking going to law school?! This is ridiculous. I'm going to fail the bar. Fuck the bar. Fuck law school. Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck.
I'm in a totally horrendous mood. Stupid contracts outline. There is no possible way to learn all of these subjects before next Tuesday. I will have to tell all of my friends that I am the dumbass who failed. I will have to tell my family that I failed. I will have spent $4600 on Bar-Bri for nothing.
Posted by Liza Jane at 1:32 PM
Friday, July 18, 2008
This is the same blog as always, just prettier. I was inspired to update by my friend Some Girl, and like her, I must give kudos to the lovely lady who created this design. The pink was getting on my nerves, and besides, this is more me. I mean, it's quite uncanny really, since I look exactly like the girl in the picture up there.
Posted by Liza Jane at 2:04 PM
Monday, July 14, 2008
As most of you know, I lived in New Orleans for the last three years. And, as most of you know, New Orleans isn't exactly low-crime. Shit happens all the time. Not to me though. With the sole exception of some crazy dude following me around a couple of years ago, my car (Goldie) was safe and sound in her neighborhood outside the Quarter for that whole three years. We had people parking there all of the time. It was a hotbed of drunken foolishness. But I never had any problems, aside from a random beer can left on the hood of my car.
About a week and a half ago, I moved to Pittsburgh. I live in a nice, middle class neighborhood with one of the lowest crime rates in the city. There's an option to park in a garage, or off the street, but there's a waiting list and I figured "why bother?" There's plenty of off-street parking, no big deal. Not so. Today, I go out to my car, hoping to go to Whole Foods to get some dinner that was neither hot dog, nor pizza, nor chicken salad. Instead, I walk up to my car and as I get closer, I see all this glass beside my parking space. No way, I think to myself. I drive a 95 Mazda with nothing stealable in it, and though fabulous in its own way, not exactly a target car, so surely this is not my car's problem. Turns out it was. Some jackass decided that it would be a good idea to smash in my front window and steal nothing (or so I thought, more on that later). There is glass everywhere. So I, having had a bad day anyway, call the police, trying not to cry with sheer frustration. Didn't work. I practically sob out my address and 10 minutes later (one benefit of living in a functional city), the cops show up, file a report, tell me to call if I need anything else. All in all, it wasn't so bad, I guess. There was nothing of value in my car, although being broke and frustrated by the bar, the expense in mental health is so not worth any gain to the resident stupid criminals.
A few minutes after the police have left: I go and clean my car out, and tape up the window, remove the artwork from the truck, and generally make it look as empty as possible. As I'm doing so, I realize that they have stolen something. What did they take? What was worth the dignity of my window? Fucking cassette tapes. CASSETTE TAPES! They've probably been in my center console since the car was purchased. Bet that fetched a lot on the black market you total fucking idiots. I honestly hope that they get run over. It would be karmic perfection. I'm not a violent person, but I wish violence on these people. A friend suggested that the proper punishment would be to take the sheets of glass lying in my car and break them over the heads of these morons. I think it's fitting, personally. I mean, honestly, cassette tapes. I keep saying it over and over in my head and it still makes no sense. I have to spend in the neighborhood of $200 to fix a window for some fucking tapes that total about $3 in value, which I'm guessing isn't even enough to buy crack. Welcome to the neighborhood indeed. I'm putting myself on the waiting list for a parking space.
Posted by Liza Jane at 5:00 PM
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Normally, I try not to take pleasure in others' misfortune. After all, schadenfreude is unflattering and generally kind of icky. However, for some I'll make an exception.
I went out to lunch yesterday with one of my best friends from college. We ended up picking up where we'd left off and talking for three hours and, during this time, she gave me this little tidbit to snack on: apparently, my ex-boyfriend (I've written about him before. He's the one who set the couch on fire while drunk one night and ran down the street naked after we'd had an argument. Several times.) didn't get only one DUI after we'd broken up (as I'd thought), but three. He went to JAIL! Anyway, like I said, normally I might feel bad for someone so obviously messed up, but this dude made my life miserable for four years. MISERABLE. He was an awful cheating bastard, and I guess you could call this comeuppance. The best part is that his parents were always convinced that I was some gold digger after his trust fund. They were generally disapproving of me and thought that their son could do no wrong. So it's really sort of poetic when you think about it: he went to jail, I graduated from law school.
Warms my heart just a little bit.
Posted by Liza Jane at 8:36 AM
Monday, June 30, 2008
I'm going to pick up the moving truck with Max in a few minutes, and then begins the three day drive north, so I probably won't be posting for a little while. Send good driving thoughts, because I'm a little scared of the size of our truck.
Posted by Liza Jane at 7:32 AM
Friday, June 27, 2008
The simulated Multistate Bar Exam has temporarily kicked my ass. So much so that I'm convinced that the Bar doesn't exist so much to test your readiness for lawyering, but merely to ensure that any self-esteem left over from law school will be beaten out of you.
Posted by Liza Jane at 6:31 PM
Everyone who has ever driven in New Orleans knows full well that we have some of the worst drivers EVER. Mostly, I've learned to deal with it. I know, for instance, that a turn signal often means nothing at all, and I should stop asking myself "Maybe he's lost? Is he going to turn here?" I've learned that speed limits are suggestions only, not to be taken seriously. I've learned that going anywhere near Metairie means at least an extra half hour stuck in the traffic. But one thing that continuously irks me is when people don't use their turn signals at all. For instance, in the last two days, this habit has been at least a contributing factor in two very near misses for myself and my darling car. It's like I have a fucking bulls eye painted on it. For instance, let's look at what happened yesterday on the way to the grocery store. I'm driving along on Gentilly Blvd., on my way to the Winn-Dixie. There aren't that many cars out, and I'm in the far right lane, minding my own business. Suddenly, and seemingly out of nowhere, a big ass SUV decides that he would also like to be in the right lane. In fact, it seems he wants to be on top of my car, because without any sort of turn signally warning, he just moves on over. I lay on the horn, but the asshole apparently had bad reaction time, because it took him a second to move back over, causing me to have to scrape the curb and then jump it to avoid certain death. I scraped the shit out of my rim (not that they're nice, but still), but was otherwise unharmed. What pisses me off the most is that if he had used his damn turn signal, I would've known what he was doing and could have slowed down to let me in. Actually what pisses me off the most is that his whole apology was a goofy little wave that wasn't even really a wave but more of a gesture suggesting that he didn't realize how close I'd come to DYING. Idiot.
Fast forward to today. I'm having a bad day. I didn't do well on my bar practice test, and the gym was filled with children armed with megaphones (quick aside: Ripples day campers currently taking over the Reily Center - I HATE YOU). So I left, because I couldn't even hear my iPod, let alone relax and work off some stress. I'm driving home, and I'm stopped at the neutral ground intersection, waiting to cross the street, when a United Cab Of Death decides to make an illegal U-turn, without a turn signal, and with no lights (it was pouring down rain). He runs smack into the front of my car, after I had politely honked the horn to let him know that, hello? there's a car here. Does he get out to see if my car and I are okay? No. Does he respond to my signals to pull into the parking space right across the street? No. He makes me get out in the monsoon to check my own car. I am normally mild-mannered, but this pissed me off. So rather than a quick check of the damage (of which there was none), I felt the need to lecture him. So I did. I left him have him it a little bit about a turn signal, and turning your damn lights on, and how you're not allowed to make a U-turn here anyway, and "Seriously!!!! How did you not see me?!" It made me feel better, but not as good as when I reported him to his employer. Idiot.
Posted by Liza Jane at 1:23 PM
Monday, June 23, 2008
My boyfriend likes to go on these adventures through the Quarter. He sets out, gets a beer or two, and wanders around, taking pictures and talking to people. Sometimes he'll be gone for hours, and I have no idea how he amuses himself, but he's the king of small talk, so he tends to find other wandering souls to chat with. Lately I've been going with him, although mostly we talk to each other, and we're not gone nearly as long. It's a nice way to remember the neighborhood as we're about to leave.
So, the other night, about a week ago, we took a couple of friends with us, E & P. We got our beers, we wandered around, taking in the people that populate the Quarter on a random Sunday night. We actually did have a destination in mind, for once, and on the way back we stopped a little bar on Royal so that P could use the facilities. We're standing at the bar waiting, nary a bartender to be found, but these two rather tipsy almost middle-aged guy took a liking to my friend E, as they so often do, because she's cute and seems approachable. People like her. And because she's nice, she indulged them with a little conversation, which quickly veered into the slightly inappropriate since, as I mentioned, the men at the bar were slightly drunk and she's pretty and approachable. And apparently I was supposed to help save her, but I didn't, and as we're walking away, I remarked on how guys at bars never talk to me, and I sort of like it because I never get sucked into conversations that inevitably end up in slightly awkward territory. And apparently, according to boyfriend, this is because I'm kind of bitchy. Not that he said that of course; as a matter of fact, I did. What he actually said was that I give people such as these tipsy bar patrons a look that blatantly says "I'm so not interested, so don't even bother." I'm unapproachable, shall we say. To which I responded that being a bitch had worked for me for 26 years, because I rarely have to talk to people that I don't want to. I'm not mean to everyone. I just have no desire to talk to you if you're a horny middle aged dude who thinks it's fun to hit on girls who are too young for you. Anyway, the conversation continued, and eventually, sick of being the snobby one, I blurted out that it was really an utter lack of social skills, not snobbery, and that I just didn't do small talk well and thus avoided it. Which is really more true. I'm not actually a bitch. I just don't know what to say to people. I never mastered the flirty but not really available thing that some girls seem to do so well. It's really a valuable skill, probably called charm, as a matter of fact. Anyway, I just wanted to put that out there. If I've ever met you in a bar and looked at you as though I'd rather tongue the paint off of my walls, it's nothing personal. I just don't know what to say.
Posted by Liza Jane at 8:10 PM
Thursday, June 19, 2008
In the past three years, I've probably complained about a lot of things about New Orleans. There is weirdly bad traffic, and the scariest bugs I've ever seen, and screwy government, and the heat is oppressive. But it's also the most charming city that I've ever lived in, and it's felt like home since my first visit back in March of '05, when I decided to stay. And I'm going to miss it like crazy, because I'm leaving in 11 days to move to Pittsburgh in the hope that it will be easier to find a job to fit my overpriced education. My house is barely packed, but a couple days ago I finally packed a couple of boxes and it hit me that the last three years are over and I have to start again, in a new-ish city (I lived there for four years) without my friends, who have absolutely been my family since only a few days after school started. So I'll miss New Orleans, but I'll miss them more. Even though 90210 was a ridiculous show, I'm really wishing that my life was more like a sitcom. We could all go to high school together, and then it would seem like we'd actually have to say goodbye but really we'd stay in the same city, which would miraculously have a great college, and then we'd all get jobs in the same city and no one would have to say goodbye ever. And although our early years in 80's-colored spandex would be caught on national TV, it would be awesome.
I'm doing really badly at this, aren't I? I think I might be better at bitching about the bugs. Basically, what I'm trying to say is that I miss you already, and you mean the world to me, and I'll see you soon.
Posted by Liza Jane at 2:42 PM
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Because I am procrastinating for studying for the bar, and I think that you should be too, let me just say that the Daily Show last night was f-ing fantastic. Even if you're not studying for the final of all law school finals, I trust that you'll enjoy:
This just makes me wish that I were British. I believe that is has special relevance since I am moving, in less than a month, from a city where drinking in public is the norm, to a city in which I will need to go to a different store for my groceries, my beer, and my wine and liquor. I predict that there will be at least one occasion where I wander out of my house, drink in hand, before remembering that Pennsylvania is a wee bit more puritanical than New Orleans. Just a little.
I love this guy. I'm so glad that they hired him. I hope to see him more regularly in the weeks to come.
Who travels to Hiroshima, Japan just for the purpose of quitting smoking? David Sedaris, apparently. Wonder if that would help me? Since I don't have $23,000 to spend on a personal anti-smoking campaign, I'll just have to stick with my Nicorette for now.
Posted by Liza Jane at 11:32 AM
Friday, May 23, 2008
Mostly, when I think of leaving New Orleans in a month or so, I'm sad. I'll be leaving my friends, and gorgeous, jealousy-inducing weather in February, and decaying yet romantic houses, and the general charm that is this city. However, right now, I'm mostly thinking of how nice it will be to live in a city that doesn't play host to those fucking demon termites that are swarming right now. I just saw a couple in the kitchen and it nearly caused a nervous breakdown. After last year's horrid infestation, and the resulting two weeks that I spent living on my couch (the living room was inexplicably termite-free), I can't deal with them. They induce the sort of instant, run for your life fear usually reserved for spiders. I hate them. I hate them so much. I don't want to spend the next two weeks sitting petrified on the ottoman in front of the couch, whimpering in fear while Max deals with the flying menace. So I'm sending it out into the ether: no termites this year, please. I promise to be a good girl. I'll help old ladies across the street, and I won't even be too catty. Just tell the termites to leave me alone.
Posted by Liza Jane at 7:07 PM
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
I've heard a lot of really ridiculous, recycled, and overused pick-up lines in my day. Most of them make me want to ask the guy if that has ever worked. But today, I got a new one. Whilst walking back from the A&P in the Quarter, one of the dirtiest Quarter dudes I've ever seen (seriously, if he were a car windshield, you could write "Clean Me" on it through the grime) looks at me and says:
"Baby, you so fine I'd take a shower for you."
Now that's creative.
Posted by Liza Jane at 5:43 PM
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
You know how the fifteen minutes or so of something always seem so much longer? Like, the last 15 minutes of a really long drive, or a really boring class, are so excruciating. Waiting for the last final of law school EVER is like that, except so much worse. 15 hours, 33 minutes, and counting.
Posted by Liza Jane at 6:26 PM
Monday, April 28, 2008
I don't know how many law students read my blog, but I'd like to issue a warning in case there are any 1L's or 2L's out there: people will tell you that 3L year is soooo damn easy. This is a lie.
I know people who've had a relatively sane, calm 3L year, with obscenely long weekends and very few finals. Most of the people I know, however, I think will agree with me on the above statement. 3L year may have easier or fewer classes, or maybe not, but that certainly does not mean that it will be easy. Here, for your reading pleasure, some common bits of 3L stress, with some suggestions from yours truly randomly thrown in. For example:
You may have job, but if you don't, prepare for the stress. Prepare to send out a ridiculous number of resumes. Prepare to say congratulations over and over again, and mean it, while nonetheless gritting your teeth with jealousy. This doesn't make you a bad person. It makes you honest. Try not to throw your computer when Career Development emails you repeatedly about your job search. Try not to worst case scenario yourself when you look at your bank balance.
You will no doubt have to apply for the bar. Do not, as I did, leave this to the last minute. It will be tempting, but there are many, many papers and phone calls that go along with this. Start thinking now of all the places, with exact addresses, that you have lived and worked for the last five (at least) years. Start trying to remember every location where you've ever gotten a speeding ticket. Have a helpful link, on me. It's from this year, but it's illustrative. You may also start questioning your actual character and fitness for the first time ever. Trust me, you're fine, unless you embezzled from your summer job or something. In that case, I'm sorry.
You will have to sign up for Bar Bri, if you haven't already. If you have, you will finally have to pay them. This will hurt, and you will curse them to the ends of the earth. You will have good reason to. My suggestion: comfort yourself by looking up the number of times that they've been sued, and the settlement amounts.
You will probably have a financial aid exit interview. More helpful advice: have a bottle of your beverage of choice waiting for you at home. Trust me on this one.
My last piece of helpful advice: I'm not trying to scare you, I'm just being realistic. Every year has its own unique obstacles. This is your last, so even if you don't have a job, and you're kind of broke, and your bar application's due next week, try to enjoy yourself, because chances are it's the last time that you'll get to live like a student, for better or worse.
And, with that, enough "trust me on the sunscreen" style writing from me. My last finals ever are coming up, and I still have outlining to do.
Posted by Liza Jane at 6:29 PM
Friday, April 25, 2008
I'm starting to think that CC's on Magazine is a sort of gathering place for odd people. Yesterday we had space invading girl, not to mention an assortment of odd balls that didn't bother me, thus not warranting a post. Today, there was an especially strange breed, known as Toothbrush Boy. TB started out outside in the Cafe Rani courtyard. I noticed him because he smooshed his face into the window to get his friend's attention, which would have been fine on its own, but he had a toothbrush. An orange toothbrush that he was holding and occasionally scraping his teeth with. In public. Eventually he came inside, still with his toothbrush, still scraping his teeth, and sat at the table across from me. Now, I have a short attention span to begin with, but this was too much for me. I spent the next hour, during which he played with, examined, sucked on, and repeatedly scraped his teeth with his toothbrush, trying not to giggle hysterically at this blatant display of strangeness. When a couple of friends called me to go for a drink I was glad in more ways than one, because I'm sure that if I'd stayed my curiosity would have overcome my sense of propriety and I would have asked him what the hell was up with the toothbrush. As my friend Pink Pirate said when I emailed her about this strange phenomenon:
That is a really weird thing to carry around and chew on, because it causes people that cannot see you (she was at school) to ask whether or not you are homeless, i.e. whether or not you have some sort of mental illness/personality disorder.
In addition to the above suggestions of mental illness (aside from the toothbrush he seemed pretty normal), we have the pledging frat boy suggestion, wherein said pledge must look like a total spaz in public, and boyfriend's suggestion, which is that, given the fact that people can hang out all day without spending any appreciable amount of money, you're just bound to get some interesting characters.
I'll be there all week, so I'm hoping for more stories of unabashed freakiness throughout the next seven days, although I doubt anyone can top Toothbrush Boy. Stay tuned.
Posted by Liza Jane at 2:05 PM
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Maybe I'm just being bitchy, but weigh in and tell me if this is as weird as I think it is:
I'm sitting at the CC's on Magazine, doing some outlining for class. It's early-ish, so there aren't that many people here, and thus many open tables in the back room. I'm sitting in the corner, using one table for my laptop, and the table next to me for my books, since I've got a bunch of crap with me. So I'm chilling, doing my work, and this girl comes, sits down at the table that I have my books on, and just...sits there. She flips her phone open and closed, pressed some buttons on it, but otherwise...she's just sitting there. I thought at first she was waiting for the bathroom, but people are coming in and out and she never gets up and goes in. She just sits there, at my second table, which is really close to the one that I'm sitting at. So I give her a couple of "may I help you?" sort of looks, which do nothing. Eventually, after about 15 minutes of this uncomfortable closeness, I start flipping the pages of my book a lot, hoping that she'll get the hint that, yes, I'm using this table, and get up and leave. Which she finally does. But seriously, I feel like her actions were sort of freakish and inappropriate. There were plenty of open tables! It wasn't like I was taking up an inappropriate amount of space. We didn't know each other. And she wasn't doing anything! Weirdo.
So, tell me, am I being excessively protective of my personal space? Or is she a big weirdo for randomly chilling at my table, not knowing me at all, and fiddling with her phone for the better part of 20 minutes, despite my rather obvious discomfort with her presence?
Posted by Liza Jane at 8:21 AM
Saturday, April 5, 2008
Last night a friend and I visited the New Orleans franchise of Coyote Ugly. Normally this isn't the type of bar that we'd set foot in, but she'd won two gift cards to the place and we decided that drinking for free was a good idea. Not so much. To demonstrate:
Decor: think sparsely decorated falling down warehouse. By "decorated," I mean that there are hundreds of bras hanging from barbed wire decorating the ceiling. Over the front door there are plastic flags donated by Jagermeister declaring "bikers welcome!" Good to know.
Drinks: "we don't really do fancy here." Nor do they stock fruit, apparently, so there will be no limes in our drinks. Okay, you're taking a stand, refusing to fancy up my drink for me. Oh, but you will dump some overly sweet fake lime juice in my drink? Interesting. Why bother with the lime juice if you refuse to stock the fruit? Now you're no longer taking a stand. Just buy some limes already.
Bartenders: pushy. One of them starts pressuring us to buy shots, despite the fact that we have just taken two all on our own. We concede, and she tells us that said shots are buy two, get one free. The third one being for her, of course. So we take the shots, get one for her, and she tells us that it will be $14. We tell her that we're paying with a gift card, and she tells us that in that case, the price will be $21. Note to bartender: this is not a good way to get your customers to buy you more shots. Just sayin'. We are also told that $15 is not a good enough tip for a $70 bar tab. Really, because that sounds like about 20% to me.
Music: bad. Really bad. We walked in to the sounds of "Pour Some Sugar on Me." Okay, I like that song as much as the next person who likes tacky music. We hear it again 15 minutes later. In between we are treated to music ranging from Metallica to Nelly Furtado's cover of "Man Eater." My friend tells me that she refuses to acknowledge that Nelly Furtado exists, much like she refuses to acknowledge that Chloe "I'm so Avant Garde" Sevigny exists. I start thinking that this is a good way to look at it. We are also told that some horrible Papa Roach song about emo kids wanting to kill themselves is the bartenders' "signature song." Ah, yes, because that screams sexy fun bar song to me too.
Clientele: Mostly tourists. One truly fine mullet. Business in the front, party in the back!
I'd say that about wraps it up. Go if you must, but bear in mind that this is not the Coyote Ugly of the movie. Piper Perabo will not be singing to you from the bar, and there will be no fruit in your drink. But you can have lime juice, should you so desire.
Posted by Liza Jane at 9:04 AM
Thursday, April 3, 2008
I have a seeming inability to quit smoking. I'm really good at deciding to quit, and I'll be fine for a couple months, then have one at a party, smoke for a couple days, decide it's bad for me, and quit again. I've been doing this for about five years now. It's annoying.
Posted by Liza Jane at 8:09 PM
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Traditional wisdom would have it that if my boyfriend and I got sick at the same time he, despite being a big, strong man, would act like a whiny little girl, laying about bemoaning his condition while making me fetch him things like chicken soup and cough drops while I would stoically bear my illness while going about my daily business, all the while managing to look pretty. Not so. While he doesn't exactly make a sinus infection look good, the boyfriend certainly managed to comport himself with more dignity than I have. In the simplest of terms, I got sick and promptly cried like a little girl. I whined that it wasn't fair, blamed him for infecting me, had him fetch me tea and tissues, and visited the health center a record 3 times in six days, begging for something that, if it wouldn't make me feel better, would at least let me slip peacefully into unconsciousness so that I wouldn't wake up every morning a bitchy, tired mess. I'm pretty sure that they hate me now and have probably posted my picture behind the front desk with the caption "Frequent Offender." As such, I have now amassed a pharmacy that would make even the neighborhood CVS jealous. I have acted like I have no shame whatsoever. I even pulled my trusty stuffed animal from the top of my wardrobe to keep me company while watching my 10th or so hour of Friday Night Lights. Boyfriend didn't even complain when the Sudafed that I kept forcing on him made him feel much worse.
Simply put, at least in my house when it comes to being sick, I am not of the "fairer sex." You'll find that that honor goes to the guy coughing next to me.
Posted by Liza Jane at 10:33 AM
Thursday, February 28, 2008
I have a shameful confession to make (only one of many, trust me): Even though I totally hate you on sight if you drive a Hummer (because honestly, who needs a suburban assault vehicle), I totally want a Range Rover. Not that I'd ever buy one, gas guzzling overpriced beasts that they are, but I just feel like I'd look totally pimpin' in a car like that.
Stay tuned for another shameful confession next Thursday. I figure since I'm boring now I might as well air all my dirty laundry for my loyal readers.
Posted by Liza Jane at 2:41 PM
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
I believe I've posted before about how floor furnaces look to be inherently dangerous. But then I was mostly talking about how a flame under my dusty, hundred-year-old hardwood floors just seemed like a bad idea. And I know I've posted numerous times about how damn clumsy I am, usually involving spilling some highly colored beverage all over a hard to clean area of my house. Well apparently, my clumsiness + the inherently dangerous floor furnace is a volatile combination. See, here we have said floor furnace:
See that metal rim all around it? Yep, I tripped over it. And fell, hard. And it got caught on my big toe and ripped most of the skin off of the bottom of it. Gross, right? Oh yes, yes it was. And I'm not even all that squeamish. Normal people probably would have walked right over it with no problem, but I ended up with this (don't worry, it's not gross):
How does one accomplish this? Well, if one happens to have the motor skills of a five-year-old, it's surprisingly easy. You just try to walk, and things get in your way. If my foot hadn't hurt so damn bad I probably would have kicked the hell out of my floor furnace, but knowing me that would have resulted in greater injury. The kicker is that I was having a really good day. I was a model of efficiency. And I'm now up to 2.5 miles a day, but I'm guessing that this is going to put a damper on that as well. Stupid shoddy heating devices. That settles it. As soon as my foot feels better I'm going to kick the furnace. Let's just hope I don't sprain my foot like that time I kicked the kitchen cabinet for hurting me.
Posted by Liza Jane at 3:08 PM
Friday, February 8, 2008
Okay people, here's the deal. Tonight is the last pre-strike episode of Friday Night Lights, and it may be their last ever. The show was originally supposed to have 22 full episodes this season, but it hasn't been decided whether it will come back after the strike ends, and the prognosis for a third season is even worse. When asked about the show's future, Ben Silverman, NBC's entertainment head, blatantly told his Radar magazine interviewer to start watching 30 Rock instead. 30 Rock is undoubtedly a great show, but FNL deserves another season! And I'll cry if I have to stop watching Tim Riggins waste his potential every week. Seriously, I will. So, here's what you should do. Watch the show tonight. It's on NBC (Channel 7 for Cox Cable NOLA), at 8:00 p.m. Also, sign the petition to keep it alive. It's what Riggins would do.
Posted by Liza Jane at 12:55 PM
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Being a second semester 3L, there are certain things that I should be doing these last couple months. Or, not doing, as the case may be. By all accounts, I shouldn't really be reading for class, or going to class, or caring all that much at all. Instead, I'm pretty sure that I should be drinking too much, and starting my weekends early, and generally making the most of my time here in New Orleans before I leave for less crime-ridden pastures in May. Basically, I should have the mother of all cases of senioritis, since this is my third time as a carefree senior. Turns out, I'm kinda bad at being a slacker.
On Wednesdays, I have three classes, and I'm done at 3:45. Not too late or anything, but I had to go to the grocery store, and I hate going shopping during rush hour, because I'm nothing if not impatient, and being at the Winn-Dixie between 4 and 5 is liable to cause me to scream upon seeing the first person holding up the line by say, writing a check or something. It's an attractive trait, I know. Anyway, I was sort of toying with the idea of skipping class, and had decided to blow off the last one, get to the store early, and get my shopping done before I would've even closed my laptop at 3:45. Unfortunately, I'd seen the professor earlier that day to have him sign a form and, even more troubling, I actually like said professor, and the class. So I hemmed and hawed, and left the building to go the grocery store, having made up my mind to play hooky. Except, somewhere around State St. I started feeling guilty. At Nashville it was even worse, and I was convinced that karma would get me for blowing off class. So halfway up Jefferson, I turned around. I drove back to school, and ran to class. I was ten minutes late, but at least my karmic balance was intact.
Guess not. The room had a mildew problem, and smelled like hot, moldy vanilla. This is what I get for being the worst slacker ever. Next time, I'm gonna keep driving.
Posted by Liza Jane at 5:26 PM
Friday, January 18, 2008
Here we are, in the thick of cold and flu season, so I'd like to give you one of my all-time pet peeves, to make you feel better. Are you feverish, unable to swallow because of a sore throat, vomiting, sneezing, coughing, or otherwise ill? Are you out in public, sharing the wealth with the healthy people? If so, I hate you a little bit. Because, WHY?! One of my best friends currently has the stomach flu that's been going around the law school (which might rival a daycare center in sheer germ levels). Where is she? At home, having decided to keep her germs to herself. Which is part of what I love about her: she's considerate. She knows that the rest of us wouldn't want to spend the next three days eating only saltines and ginger ale, so she's taking a couple days off. And that's fine, because she's probably not missing anything. You heard it here: your job, your classes, none of them are that important that you just can't miss them. Unless you're an on-call brain surgeon, and someone will die if you don't go to work, just stay home. I'll even give you my class notes. Because to do otherwise is just unfair. Thanks, and get well soon.
Posted by Liza Jane at 12:40 PM
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Okay, here's my monthly post about how I suck for not updating and I promise to do it soon. It's just that I've been busy with the school starting and the vice that goes along with this first week. I might actually need a weekend to recover from my weekend. So, I'll be back soon. For now though, I'll leave you with this friendly tip: if you don't already watch Friday Night Lights, you should do so. It's fantastic, and it needs more viewers or I might be deprived of my weekly Texan drama fix. And with the writer's strike, I know you're not really watching much else. Unless you're planning on getting sucked into Farmer Wants a Wife. No, I'm not kidding. And if any of you ladies need more convincing, some of those football players are pretty foxy. So get to it.
Posted by Liza Jane at 7:06 PM