Intrepid Girl Reporter

Monday, 12/15: like you and me
December 16, 2008, 1:20 am
Filed under: history, I am not cool, IGR Recommends, life progress, meta, music | Tags: ,

I thought I only had one thing to write about, but actually I was wrong.

1. You probably have (not) noticed that my avatar has changed. Tricia Takanawa seems to fit me, since we’re both essentially Connie Chung 2.0. Given the fact that I do have a job that will be starting soon, I need to make a much stronger effort towards anonymity. I’m also going to try to sort of consolidate my internet identity in the new year, because I have so many damn projects going on. I need to make sure that everything is identifiably me, where “me” is “anonymous” (unless you already know me). At least that’s what I’m thinking right now.

2. I lost my watch. I really hate losing things, which is strange, because I do it so often that one would think I would have established some sort of fail-safe by now. I know it’s in my room somewhere, and what I’m inclined to think happened is that I probably left it out on my dresser and the cleaning people MM hired to come every couple weeks put it somewhere I can’t find. (I don’t think they took it, because there are a lot of other nicer things they could have taken.) At any rate, I am usually okay with trying to find things over the course of time, but occasionally I lapse back into my old panic mode, which usually involves me blowing the whole thing out of proportion (i.e.: this means that I am forever irresponsible, that I have no appreciation for the nice things my parents have provided for me, therefore that I am a bad daughter, etc., etc.). All of which means that although I sound calm, I am secretly freaking out. I am reminded of a story I never liked about my father: when he was little his grandfather gave him a piastre and he lost it and went ballistic, so much so that his grandfather tried to give him another. “No,” he said. “I want THAT ONE.” I hated it for two reasons that should be fairly obvious: 1) even as a child I was concerned with the prospect of buying love and wanted my parents to know that I would never be so materialistic that I would care what they got me (yes, I was the most neurotic six-year-old on the planet); 2) I totally sympathized with my dad and knew that he never got that stupid coin back.

3. I will hopefully write a series of entries re: my favorite Christmas CDs, and I would like to start by discussing a set we listen to with some frequency every year:

We actually have 1 and 5 as well, but they never get as much play. It should be unsurprising that as a middle/high school student, I was far more taken with traditional songs covered in a way that could be construed as “edgy” (well, if you’re thirteen) than anything else. Also that I’m a big fan of what was considered cool in the mid-1990s. NONETHELESS: AVSC2 has an absolutely incredible cover of Bob Dylan’s “I Believe in You,” by Sinead O’Connor, as well as an awesome jazzy version of “What Child is This” by Vanessa Williams (yes, that Vanessa Williams). Meanwhile, 3 features the Smashing Pumpkins’ “Christmastime,” which makes wonderful use of that joyous thing the Pumpkins do so well when they want to, as well as “The Christmas Song,” one of my favorite Dave Matthews songs. SHUT UP. Also “Christmas is Now Drawing Near At Hand,” which is probably the best and weirdest thing that Steve Winwood (!!!) ever recorded.

4. I went to look at house shares in DC this weekend, which was for real almost as difficult as trying to get a job. Demand > supply. Fortunately, I managed to meet a lot of really cool people whom I would like to see again, even if I don’t live with them. Still, though, I got to experience the open house, which is basically like a co-ed Greek rush in which everyone is desperately trying to convince the current tenants that:

  1. they are the most fun person there, except
  2. that they are totally cool and already have friends and thus are not doing the housemate thing to make friends at all and that it doesn’t matter if the housemates want to hang out with them or not, and
  3. that in addition to being fun they are also responsible and employed and
  4. will simultaneously be really clean and not care at all if anyone else is dirty.

FUN STUFF. I will have housing updates by tomorrow at the latest.

We stopped at a Vietnamese place in Arlington on the way out, and it had canh chua tom, which is probably one of my favorite Vietnamese soups ever and is often absent from restaurant menus. I think it’s kind of a pain to make. The walls were lined with pictures of American military officials, all of whom had written notes for the owner. During the meal, I think I asked MA who used to cook for the family when he was a kid, and he started telling us about the nannies and the cook and the chauffeur/bouncer (“He was like a cool uncle”), none of whose whereabouts are currently known. At least not by us. Later he said, “The owner probably knows my mom.”

“Why?” I asked.

There’s a large Vietnamese community in NoVa, and apparently it’s full of ex-military officials and high-ups – which makes sense when one considers its location. Which is the circle my family would have been in. “You should ask to see him,” I said, and he shook his head.

For whatever reason, I’ve been thinking about that man a lot, and how young my father was when he lost all of that – a loss for which most people probably wouldn’t have much sympathy. No one has any love for the bougie.