Friday, November 30, 2007

“I want to have a boy and a girl. The girl is going to be named ______”

Girls love to talk about their favorite names. These conversations quickly veer into the discussion of potential names for future babies, desired number of children, wedding fantasies, ideal dress, etc, etc...

Because these conversations come up so frequently in girlhood, I always have a few names ready to pull from. When I was 12 I invented the name Camarie and debuted it to the world as "my favorite name." It's ugly, and I knew that. And it was quickly pointed out to me that Toyota already makes a very popular car with an almost identical name. I didn't care. I stuck by Camarie, and to this day I still can't shake Camarie1085 from following me as my semi-permanent online identity.

I stopped saying Camarie was my favorite name about 5 years ago, and started adapting regular but not-so-popular names. Natalie was a big one. I never really cared about the names I was saying, unlike some girls who felt so sure of their choices. It was kind of like how I felt about talking about boys in high school. Umm, I guess I like him? Sure, I'll say him.

But recently I've finally discovered my name niche in the world: Vintage.

Names like Eleanor (Ellie), Edith (Edy), Beatrice (Bea), and Winifred (Winne).

I find these all insatiably adorable. They're like floral silk scarves and gingham wasp-waisted dresses. So vintage they feel fresh and modern. They convey the history carried in a grandmother but embodied in a youthful mold.

We'll save my insecurities with the rest of those recurring girl conversations for another entry.

Name: CHECK.

Postscript: according to facebook there are at least 23 people named Camarie.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Julie + Project Runway: A Punctuated History

Underground art scenes tend to wither or commercialize. The good news is that Project Runway hasn't done the former. The bad news is that it has succumbed to the latter. (! How I miss the classy days of Banana) But alas, such is life. If TV is life. I mean it mimics life, thus creating life (a la The Hills). I digress. Back to Project Runway. I still derive (loads of) pleasure from it, but about 33.33% of the affection is out of nostalgic dedication (similar to my feelings about Megan McCafferty's J. Darling series from my adolescence). We go way back.

Here's a timeline explaining how:

12/04: first viewing. Julie and Mother consume three consecutive episodes of engaging new television program. After viewing Austin Scarlett's ingenious corn husk dress in the Supermarket Challenge, said viewers are declared fans. Project Runway becomes a key bonding instrument between Julie and Mother.

1/05: Julie unsuccessfully tries to introduce Project Runway to her roommate and hallmate friends. Friends whine and say the program is "boring." Julie questions quality of friends.

1/05- 4/05: despite Muhlenberg's poor reception of Bravo, Julie watches the rest of season one in solitude. She feels invigorated by the creative energy and forms minor parasocial relationships with the contestants who are quirky characters without being edited caricatures. She is pleased with reality television.


12/05: Season 2 begins. Reception still poor. For an inexplicable reason, Bravo comes in beautifully off-campus. Julie enlists Albright Streeter, Julia Zur, to tape show on weekly basis. Life comes into focus.

2/06: Julie finds a fellow fan in advisor and neurobiology professor, Favorite Person (Muhlenberg Alpha Male, i.e. - gay and fabulous). The two discuss the latest ProjRun in Neuro lab. Julie is thrilled with strong new rapport with FP.

3/06: Favorite Person informs Julie that one of the current season's duds, Marla, is a local and had been spotted in the Student Union buying coffee and around campus walking her dog. Julie and friend visit Marla's store in Bethlehem and chat it up. Julie was not in a state to process information, so she regrettably can not share any of the gossip that she learned, as she forgets it.

4/06: Julie writes an article for the Muhlenberg Advocate dissecting the show's appeal and equating the characters to those found in Muhlenberg's theatre department.

4/06: Julie attends talk given by Marla meant for business students, and Marla points her out to the audience as someone who has visited her store. Shame and embarrassment ensue. Superfandom has peaked.

--Short Hiatus--

7/06- 3rd season begins, albeit a little prematurely.

9/06- Julie notices that "Project Runway!!!!" is beginning to appear every Wednesday in away messages of friends who formerly declared show "boring." Signifies demise. How much of what we believe we like is constructed by societal trends?

?? - 10/06: Julie finds that it's a little too hard to follow the program what with Muhlenberg's poor Bravo reception and the lack of a far off-campus taper.

Which brings us to present day. I now have terrific Bravo reception and a surplus of time to dedicate to Project Runway. Hello, Season 4.

Monday, November 19, 2007

I <3 Cow

To ignite my spirit this holiday season, I would recommend giving me a smoked meat/cheese basket. I am currently paging through a catalog at work (my boss got it in the mail...I have to approve it as worthwhile pass-on material...definintely salaried work), and in spite of being completely full, I am drooling. That's how much I loved smoked appetizers.

I never considered my love for smoked meats and cheeses until Julia expressed her hatred for such delicacies. It is only in times of great opposition that we realize what we truly believe.

What more could a girl want?

Monday, November 12, 2007

Tights are not always sensible, and here's why.

If your mom's glass door shatters and you forget and fall backwards through the door frame while locking up, your left (unprotected-by-pants) thigh might scrape against a pointy shard resulting in a bloody gash. Pants, however, would not have prevented the deep violet, baseball-sized bruise from forming on the westernmost peak of your butt.

This tragic story happened to me just this Saturday. Here's a paintbrush reenactment:

Seriously, this is not your average black and blue. This shade of purple should only come in a paint can. Julia thinks it’s beautiful; Adam gave me a maternal, “you really hurt yourself!”; my mother refused to look.

While I was falling, I actually screamed. It wasn’t a high pitched shriek of fear. It was an alarmist, “I’m hurt; help me!” scream. Totally my survivor instincts kicking in. I give myself an A+ for natural selection abilities. My friends/family would zoom right over in the wild, and the butt-wounded Julie would NOT become prey.

Overall, I’m deriving more pleasure than pain from this injury. I totally blew it when I tried to tell the story at work though. Too much mental rehearsal. No laughter. Planning will always getcha. Maybe I’m even blowing it now. Was the paintbrush reenactment too much?

In other weekend news, Adam Neal made a stunning Edward, the pampered, girlyman half of the brotherhood in the Suffern Playhouse's production of Blood Brothers. To see a video of him rehearsing (British accent and all), please consult this. Don't mind his lack of eye contact with the camera. (Isn't he cute?)

I need to nurse my bottom (aka: lay on the couch and watch The Hills). The one-time-only Broadway Dance Work Out is this Wednesday at the gym, and I can NOT miss it.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Dreams of terror visit me at night

I have been having nightmares lately. A lot. They don't involve falling or witches or big bears chasing me. They involve unplanned pregnancy and hard core drug addiction.

Why am I telling you this? Just to share my dream with you? A little, but I wouldn't do that to you without reason. Generally, I really don't like hearing about people's dreams (unless I really really like you...then I'll listen to you talk about every dream...and gayboy ever had), so I try not to inflict this information on others. Sometimes I have enough trouble paying close attention to your real life, now I have to listen to your fictional life too? No. (grade A info from the source: being quiet does not always = being a good listener). But for real, no, I will listen to your dreams if you want to share them with me. Promise. Your words are important.

OK, back to me. I am sharing this with you, because these dreams cause such an enormous amount of anxiety while they are occurring! And they always happen right at the tail end of my slumber, so my prefrontal cortex (AKA, "the seat of rational thought and critical reasoning"-- thank you Natalie Angier.) is starting to wake up and be rational and tell me, "no! this isn't real!" but PC can't function enough to tell me WHY it's not real, so I freak. A lot.

The theme in both of these dreams is clear: anxiety over losing control. In both cases a foreign substance (or person...though let's not get into that debate) is claiming control over my body, and for whatever reason I am unable to stop it. In REM, I always seem to not realize I'm with child until my third trimester. And with the drugs, I always go in thinking, “I will certainly have the willpower to not become addicted to this heroin that I am shooting up my arm.”

Wrong. I've learned my lesson. I did get addicted. And I'm learning it repeatedly. Real-life simulation.

What if you could give impressionable adolescents pills to induce these dreams? I'm really not pro the WAR ON DRUGS approach to middle school health education (b/c I had an unfortunate experience where I truly bought every single word they told me and let it negatively impact my late adolescent social life), but if I were pro WAR ON DRUGS, I wonder if that would be an effective means of preventing the kiddies from engaging in BAD THINGS. Would it be ethical to enforce a mental experience like that? Hmmm...

Anyway, these are my current nightmares. They'll probably continue. And that's ok. It's kinda nice seeing myself doing the badass things that I don't do in real life. But ya never know. And now I am totally kenahara-ing myself.

Ahhhh, will you still be my friend when I'm an unfit mother addicted to intravenous drugs? I promise I'll listen to your dreams! K, bye.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Shower Curtain Spurs Serenity

Life is a balancing game.

Work: a balancing game called doing the minimum amount of work to efficiently accomplish all my pre-determined “objectives” so that I can do what I really want: read my fave blog, page through the mostemailed list on the NYtimes website, enrich my mind with random wikipedia pages, write silly emails, etc…

Now that I spend every evening thinking about the Zodiac (thanks to my brilliantly colored Zodiac-themed shower curtain) and some days (thanks to my horoscope-dedicated coworkers), I’ve come to realize that I am much more a Libra than I used to be.

In 6th grade when we took Latin (Fun fact: my Latin name was Zelda) and learned about the Zodiac signs as if they were an academic subject, I felt really jipped when I colored in my black and white ditto of a scale. A scale?! I wanted to be an animal, or better yet, one of those really hot Gemini twins that looked like mermaid goddesses. And yes, despite being in 6th grade (and taking LATIN), we were coloring.

And then when I came to understand the symbolic meaning of the scale: balance, serenity, being calm, etc…I realized that Libra was the least appropriate sign for someone with such extreme obsessions and hatreds as Julie Eisen. Yet now, I embrace the (concept of the) scale.

Yes, I am still a woman of extremes (When it comes to thoughts, people, ideas, I have tended to be full-on passionate or utterly apathetic).

But not as much anymore. My feelings for more things are in the grey region. I still max out on certain interests (recent overdose: the L-word, only to have come to a temporary halt b/c the Philadelphia public library system is unable to sponsor this educational experience beyond season 2). But for the most part, Julie of 2007 has mellowed significantly as compared to the Julie pre-2005. I attribute this to good friends, Oprah Winfrey (who is one of my good friends), and a host of other things.

And speaking of the library, library is libra + ry. Perhaps this is a message that books keep us balanced and whole.

Also speaking of the library, my online account tells me that I owe $1 for something I already returned (on time).


Tuesday, November 6, 2007

After this I am going to improve my blogger image

Voting Update:
So it turns out I am currently in "active status" (says my friend, 'ST, VOTERREG []') which means that I AM registered to vote. In Montgomery County (obviously…that’s where I “live”).

I know I should make the schlep home (train, wait for mom to pick up at train, drive to voting destination—reverse all steps to return to the city), but…no thanks. Now is not the time. I am not sufficiently knowledged. But I did consult so I AM on my game.

Best of luck without my support, Montgomery County.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

No one's perfect (my political aspirations)

I have no idea if I am registered to vote. Moreover, I don’t even have the desire to google this question and figure out if/where I am registered.

This is a weighty confession.

I google to solve absolutely everything. Ashley Olsen’s height? Googled (5'1"). Any original Nickelodeon Guts Agro Crags for sale on ebay? Googled (not right now). MC’s jail status? Googled--biweekly (still pending). I am trying to be honest with you (Cara and Julia and whoever may read this in the future). When it comes to politics—local, state, national, international, ALL OF THEM—I know very little, and what’s worse, I don’t really care. It's not that I don't care about people or society or how life's institutions are carried out. I care a lot about these things. And if you would like to discuss gay marriage or abortion, I am not completely dispensable. But Iraq, Iran (!?), Nutterformayor, Hillary vs. Obama, etc...lord, am I ignorant.

And this is going to change. Why exactly is this the year this is going to change, you ask? Because I am out of school. The imposed intellectual reading has now vanished. Without obligatory scholastic opinions, I need to shift this focus (something many of my peers managed to do as early as high school - HOW?). I am going to become decently politically literate.

Need: Knowledge.

I need to be invested. It’s a little late to get invested in the Philadelphia Mayoral race (and I’m 99.9% sure it’s too late to register to vote in Philadelphia by Tuesday, nor do I want to do that because I am hoping really really hard that Philadelphia won’t notice that one week when I paid my citywage tax, and then promptly changed my address back to Elkins Park), but I will be invested by this time next year. Because it’s the big one. And I know that. And I’m going to have opinions right and left (pun obviously intended).

Good night.


In honor of finally ushering the world of tights into my life, (and thereby freeing myself of the burden of HAVING to wear pants in the winter months) I am starting this blog.


(I’m starting it for other reasons too)