The Battlefield Where the Girls Say I Love You

That's just the thing: we will never tell you we love you. In fact, we're here only to hold hands across state lines and yell at the world. We're here to try to touch you across this chasm of flown things. Not even that. At most, I will teach you how to make a gin smoothie when there's nothing left in the house. Hannah can teach you several languages and what to do when your car breaks up with you. Thanks for coming out.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

people don't dance no more; all they do is this: the interview

well, this whole interview thing was bound to come to a screeching halt. here, hannah wants to post the second course...yadda, yadda, yadda. but, i think there should be increments. i mean, this isn't--suddenly--rachel ray and moesha.

so i said, stupidly, "songs."

love songs. break-up songs. dance songs.

this is, by far, one of the dumber blogging decisions i've made.

best dance song ever?


me: people don't dance no more. all they do is this. or, i'm a hustler baby. i just want you to know. it ain't where i been, but where i'm 'bout to go...

hannah: gershwin? "summertime," maybe? are we talking a fox trot or what?

later, i call her to talk break-up songs.


hannah (crying): ohmygod. "passing afternoon." iron and wine. saddest song. or warren zevon's--

me: warren g?

hannah: NNNNOOOOOOO! zevon. "keep me in your heart for awhile."

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

So, you're there with Hart Crane and Tim Gunn--What do you serve?: The Interview

First course.

*Upon hearing what Mamie was recommending, I faintly recall saying something transparently competitive, like, “Ahhh, I see we’re both doing cold.” And then we pulled each other’s hair and shouted over Marlborough Sauvignon Blancs.

Mamie: okay, my favorite drinks and recipes are cheap and easy, so:


2 medium size cucumbers
1 bunch shallots
2 whole tomatoes
1 medium size green pepper
2 cloves garlic
1 tp chopped parsley
2 small cans tomato juice
2 cups beef bouillon (or veg broth)
1 Tb vinegar
2 tps worcestershire sauce
1/2 tp tabasco

1. finely chop and combine veg, etc.

2. put in bowl and add everything else.

3. chill and serve. (serves 4)

i'd serve with a pilsner or glass (bottle) of chenin blanc.


thomas creek dockside pilsner (if you're so lucky as to live in the upstate, sc)
ken forrester chenin blanc (my friend and wine guru, danny baker, swears by this one: dry, full-bodied, herb-tinged, south african, and cheap cheap cheap)

Hannah: I’m doing complicated and expensive. (Not really. But in reaction to.)

The Handsomest Drowned Scallop Ceviche:

* 1 1/2 lb large sea scallops (I’m imagining this to be 20-25), remove weird ligament thing
* 3 tablespoons evoo
* salt/pepper
* 1 navel orange (can use kumquats instead)
* 2 tbspns fresh lime juice
* 2 cups seedless cucumber, thinly sliced, cored, etc
* couple tablespoons thinly sliced shallot
* ½ cup cilantro
*** if you’re feeling particularly sexy, as I often do (ahem), add any of the following: jalapenos, mango, papaya, pineapple, chives, EXCESSIVE AMOUNTS OF CILANTRO AS IT IS THE AWESOMEST HERB!!!!

Toss scallops with 1 tablespoon oil, salt & pepper then grill (using skewers if on a big electric or charcoal grill… if, like me, you have no such equipment, just use your grill pan). OR you can do what you’re supposed to do, which is make sure your scallops are v. good and eat raw.

While scallops cool, cut peel, including pith, from orange then cut segments free. You need a quarter cup. Stir in everything else, serve chilled.

Go with a Domaine Ostertag Gewurztraminer. Maybe a 2006. I think they have it at the Wine Sampler? If not, Pious will suggest something.

Monday, May 26, 2008

shake ya ass, watch yaself: the interview

my question: what twelve people, dead or alive, would you have to dinner?


geoffery chaucer
michelle obama
elford chapman morgan (my father's father, whom i've never met)
hart crane
ellen degeneres
winston churchill
scott avett
ralph ellison
elizabeth bishop
david sedaris
drew barrymore
meryl streep


johnny depp
humphrey bogart
my paternal grandfather
truman capote
robert downey jr.
sean penn
marilynne robinson
john stewart
matt laur
tom cruise
lauren bacall

i think we've both kept in mind "dinner party." it's not that we wouldn't want amy winehouse, jesus, eudora welty, james wright, and gertrude stein there...but who would look after them?

also, neither of us could think of a single woman we'd ever met or loved. it was this weird freeze. and then, for some reason, salma hayak came blazing back into our memory at the same time...

oh, and it turned out to be thirteen. alternate officers and what have you.

hannah: what subject, other than literature/writing (oh, because THAT we've mastered), would you profoundly like to know?

hannah: didn't we both think of astronomy? and then you backed out in favor of home ec or something? because astronomy made you panic? i might stick to astronomy. no, i want languages. or music. physics. no, definitely astronomy.

mamie: asshole. i wanted home ec because i can't clean a piece of monkfish or sew a dress hem. anyway, i say pre-colonial history. the story before the tyrant's story. fo sho.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

let the adulation begin: the interview

* dunno what mamie's on about. you love this.

mamie, on her question, which follows: while i realize this is my question, i hate "best" and "worst." i have a student who (seriously) has a panic attack when asked to choose one thing--favorite poet, city, what have you. if you know my mother, though, you know this is a particularly apt dilemma.

what is the best advice your mother ever gave you?

a. never wear shoes when hosting your own party.
b. there's gotta be heat. everything else, at some point, will go to hell. (she said this to a much younger me when i confessed i'd only kissed my boyfriend of 4 months 3 times. right now, to be fair, she and my father are in the outdoor shower at my beach house while we're all in here, pretending nothing out of the ordinary is happening.)
c. make your own money. do something you love that no one can take away from you.
d. if you put all the scraps on a pretty plate and cut all the ugly ends off, you've got a melange. not leftovers.
e. don't try to find a dessert better than champagne. you won't.
f. if you have fifty dollars to your name, spend it on great skin care.

hannah: had to go swimming into the dark and murky past for this one. to clarify, this is my dad's advice, not the words of a rebellious teen picking his nose in an alleyway, or of Blaine, the snooty white-clad character in Sixteen Candles, or of someone who is wealthy and wields some sort of terrible power. thought i'd blocked it all out, but now, thanks to mame, it comes rushing back...

a. cocaine will ruin your nose.
b. never cut corners at the grocery store.
c. if there's not a sign that says you can't, then you can.
d. always carry business cards. yes, even if you are twelve.
e. if there's a law, there's a loophole. find it.
f. don't sign anything without your attorney. yes, even if you are twelve.
g. look like you're meant to be there.

what junk you got in your trunk?

hannah: already regretting this one. i just moved. plus kids. so. sidewalk chalk and stencils, muddy pink ballet flats in a girl's size 13, one small pot, a bag of tennis balls (special! they never get flat), a file folder of letters, the title to mink island (which we all believe to have sunk in the intracoastal a few decades ago), zoloft, and a bottle of concannon.

mamie: aside from the obvious (and, by the way, f off...i just went out to my car and actually looked): a copy of wuthering heights on CD (read by freda dowie, with the help of ken drury), two tampons, a belk credit card bill from 2005 (i cancelled that account two christmases ago), a bottle of torrontes, a signed widespread panic poster that's been ripped in half, and a quilt my aunt minnie case i'm ever camping/picnicking unexpectedly?

Saturday, May 24, 2008

we know you don't care: the interview

we are fully aware that you could care less about our opinions regarding politics, our affinity for chaise lounges or day beds (me, the former; her, the latter), obsessions, tastes, regrets, and emotional temperatures. there are entire teams of you, to be sure, who read our blog for precisely the same reasons we read yours: to laugh. at you. and judge.

which is fine. whatever gets you through the night, as it were.

but we've crafted something genius, if only genius to us. we plan to interview each other every day. we each think of one question and ask it. again, fully aware of the ego at hand. fully aware that we already know each other too well. that any more knowledge of the other might drive us off opposing cliffs.*

mine: what is the best cure for a hangover?

hannah: i guess if i know a hangover might be possible, i will drink water before bed, take four aleve. perhaps sleeping aid also to, you know, prolong the sleep. and, that next day: fried food (it will make you feel worse, but that's later), maybe swiss cheese and rosemary triscuits (there's something addictive to the triscuit). and the fetal position. the air conditioning set at fifty. a television marathon of sorts. lost. antm. any maraton will do. finally: make sure your phone is lost under a pillow or behind furniture, so you don't have to listen to mamie's shrill voice yelling for you to go on a run.

mamie: one crystal light on-the-go lemonade mixed with iced water. and a three mile run. preferably listening to: the pixies' "where is my mind?" and justin t-lakes' "sexyback."

hers: what is the most expensive thing you've bought in the last two months? price and description.

mamie: i hate this question. you just want me to look bad.

hannah: no. i want both of us to look bad.

mamie: i hate this question. it's masochistic and stupid, like all my hundreds of mix CD's with no labels. also, OUR APARTMENTS is the obvious answer. but fine. a trina turk paisley tunic. $232. wait! 20% off. so...$186.

hannah: a white casey day bed. $550. whatever. i was going to be funny, but my answer has been chased away by your bitterness and censure.

*in the future, questions are bound to carry emotional and intellectual weight. you know, we're just treading lightly is all.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

p.s. hannah has a soul.

i warned her about this p.s. i love you movie. i said, "that's the one, that's the one where i cried through the whole thing. then after. only to then yell at then-boyfriend, who did not cry, maybe you've never been devastated!!!!!!!!"

so she got what was coming to her, which we'll get to shortly.

i stayed up half the night reading my seniors' final portfolios and woke early to finish them. midway through a particularly strong student's, a certain swell-of-pride thing happened. and i started sobbing. at starbucks. at seven in the morning. so i call her, i say,

oh my god. i'm bawling. i'm just so proud of them.

her: jesus. you're pathetic. get it together.

me: i can't help it. they're just so good. and to be a part of that. and they're leaving.

her: i'm so embarrassed for you. get outta there. go some place where people can't see you. or hear you.

me: i gottagotoclass.

her: good. i'm going to watch p.s. i love you.

me: just you wait. in two hours this whole scenario is going to be flipped.

her: whatever. i'm going to show you just how heartless i am.

two hours later, the phone rings.

her (a blubbering mess): it's. just. so. sad.

me: what?

her: all of it. life. the fact that there are no jerry's in this world. that hilary swank could go on living in that beautiful place with all those beautiful clothes and not have a job or anything.

two hours later:

her: hey. i'm looking out my window and there are these kayakers in a cove. i can't tell if they're stranded or if they're happy being there. whatever. what are you doing?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

what annoys me other than hannah: a post in 5 tangos

1. the bumper sticker on the back of this F-6,750 truck, or whatever they're called: a man without a knife isn't much of a man at all. his W sticker doesn't so much bother me, seeing as how i am now immune to them.

2. portion control a and b:

a) my trainer (merry like the christmas, you might remember her) decided i should also see a nutritionist. nutritionist suggests i bring snacks to work! ones that might fulfill me in lieu of, you know, slabs of mahon cheese on chibatta bread. CRAISONS! she says. AND SMALL ZIP-LOCS FILLED WITH CASHEWS! PERHAPS SOME RAW CARROTS!!! this, before she tells me i can't drink diet coke. as some of you know, my fear of commitment is coupled with a total lack of respect for authority. i immediately drive at top speed to a jack-in-the-box for a jumbo soda.

b) the new wine bar that i love, in spite of the twenty dollar glass of wine, has a wonderful atmosphere. great view. fabulous range of wines (averaging in price 7-10 dollars...not the 18-46 you might expect). only, their food is miniature. like it should be in morgan's dollhouse.

reminds me of that sedaris essay where their meal in all comes to be about 3 ounces. when the server suggests dessert, sedaris sarcastically rubs his belly, says, "i just couldn't."

3. okay, fine. hannah. she's such a woman. she demands you react to her in a way she deems suitable. so today she says, "i have a garbage chute in my new place." keep in mind, while she's bestowing the good word, i'm opening my mail: the new box of checks with some incorrect address, a rejection letter from a shitty journal. i say, "really?" and she actually yells, "REACT!!! REACT, WOMAN!"

4. status updates on social networks. i feel inclined to partake in them and yet, does the pubic really care that you: just ate a hardee's biscuit, are mad at your girlfriend, are sore from running 6 miles, wish h. clinton would. just. stop (although, i rather like that one), or are SO EXCITED ABOUT THE WEEKEND. question mark.

5. george. he's quit smoking. i'm so nervous about this. i come into work in a dress today and he yells, "is it picture day?" the last time i wore a skirt he asked if i was a) applying for another job that day or b) hoping to see george clooney.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Chardonnay lifestyle, champagne budget

When I waited tables, my strategy was simple: get the least busy section, actively resent any customers that found their way to the third floor balcony, demonstrate that resentment with not so subtle implications that their dress was ridiculous and their children insufferable, and finally to hide in the kitchen eating as much blue cheese dressing on crackers as possible.

On the other hand.

Her: I can’t talk, I’m going into work.
Me: Liar! It’s only 4.
Her: I know. I decided to start going in earlier now that I can.
Me: Oh dude, did someone find out you don’t have to teach so late?
Her: No. I just feel like I should go in earlier now that I can.

You, like me, are annoyed, incredulous, miffed. Go. In. Earlier. It’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever heard. I try to make excuses for her. Figure it must be the money, even if they do only make a buck fifty an hour without tips. But I figure it must be that, especially since when I talked to Mamie in the middle of the afternoon the other day and asked what she was doing, she said: “Putting money in my piggy bank.” If it’s money for that damn piggy bank, then I’m worried.

But it’s not. “Are you being, like, responsible?” I try dubiously. This is a topic that makes me supremely uncomfortable.

Her, exasperated: God. No. It’s just I’m a real bitch to everyone. And I don’t want them to be able to say, Yeah, but Mamie comes in thirty minutes later.

Me: So, you just want to feel justified in being mean as hell to everyone?

Her: YES! Gotta go.

Me: You’re crazy. I bet you’re the one, at the end of the night, that has to find out what everyone else has made.

And here, she sort of loses it. Partly, I think, because I’ve slowed her down, cost her three precious minutes of her life which must be lived atfullspeed. And partly because she’s sick. Some sort of weird competitive disorder which extends to EVERYTHING.

Her—a series of seeming nonsequiters at top volume: Of course!!! ALWAYS win! If not, I throw a tantrum!! And then, I make excuses!! Get the hundred dollar bottle of wine!!!

Okay, so this type of thing still throws me for a loop, even though it shouldn’t. Before I knew her better, I generally thought of Mamie as a high-roller who was mortified by the mere insinuation that money had to be made, who shied away from any aspect of the dollar except the spending of it.

The other night, she asked a sommelier to serve her a glass of his preference. His preference turned out to be a twenty dollar chard. Despite the fact that she hates chardonnay, it was a TWENTY DOLLAR GLASS. She tipped him eight, while recoiling inside.

See, but I almost forgive him. There was a time, I would have thought Mamie, upon receiving the bill, would have looked at the charge and nodded to herself: yes, that is adequate.

Her, still screaming: Out of the last twenty nights—STOP LAUGHING! LISTEN TO ME—out of the last twenty nights, my sales were higher NINETEEN times out of the TWENTY!! I HAVE TO GO!!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

happy adorable tyrant's day!

before my mother came to visit a few weeks back, i did all the scrubbing, polishing, and folding
i don't normally do. as we walked up the stairs, i said, "excuse the baseboards. i know the baseboards need some work."

"mame, you overestimate me. i'd never have noticed."

only, when i turn around, she's straightening a lamp shade. then a painting.

we were going to dinner, so i stayed upstairs to change. when i came down, magazines had been fanned on my 4 dollar coffee table: bon apetit, gourmet, budget travel, real simple.

the irony is that i can't find my box labeled "silverware, pots and pans" and am too cheap to go get new convinced i'm going to find them somewhere.

yesterday, i asked what she wanted to do for mother's day. because i am her spawn, this sort of question makes her panic (fear of commitment, fear of commitment).
"mamie, dear, i want to do exactly what i want to do tomorrow. i don't want a timeline. i won't be pressured. if i even hear the word schedule... i want to clean the porch and work in the garden. and i don't want any gifts. absolutely nothing. except a bottle of veuve clicquot and lobsters shipped from maine. and you're welcome to come by."
absolutely nothing. except a bottle of veuve clicquot and lobsters shipped from maine.
there is a scene in when harry met sally when harry says, "there are two types of women. low-maintenance and high maintenance."
"what kind am i?" sally asks.
"you're the worst kind. you're high-maintenance, but you think you're low-maintenance."
when i called my sister this morning to wish her a happy mother's day (and also to confirm she'd be home when i delivered the gift-wrapped 6-pack of mich ultra lime cactus) she answered the phone as she always does: slightly annoyed and, apparently, barely clinging to life.

"hello," she says. "what."

"hey. what are you doing?"

"well, i was lying on the couch watching indiana jones. until you called and i had to get up." she sighs.

"you're such a joy," i say. "i don't tell you enough."

"whatever," she says. "are you coming over or not?"

Friday, May 9, 2008

daisy chains

in the park down the street, with our aunt and uncle. aaron picked flowers, kan made daisy chains. we had a picnic under an oak. it's not like this every day, but when it happens, it's perfect.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

do the jane fonda!

with our friends joel and alison

Sunday, May 4, 2008

field tripping: dacusville

this is the possible jacket shot for when g. singleton and i put out our self help book.
the senior cook-out. moe's. reminded me of a babysitter's club meeting. i, while not in the picture, am clearly claudia. and celeste is kristy. and cody is stacey. obvi. and somewhere, in another room, jessica and elizabeth and lila are pulling their hair into ponytails somewhere in sweet valley.
while some of you might have been playing badminton in dacusville beside a yellow school bus at 6 pm on sunday, i doubt it. suckers.
ash. me.
s'mores. these took about an hour, considering we had no coat hangers and the kids were sort of shoving their own limbs into the fire.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

i would have given my favorite asics, one nephew, the laptop, a first edition of absalom, absalom! and my trip to napa with hannah to have been on this bus.

Friday, May 2, 2008

i know, i know. enough with the numbers.

I. i don't know how hannah takes her coffee. similar to runaway bride, how no one truly knows julia roberts' egg preference. scrambled with one man, poached with another. meanwhile, hannah can repeat with annoyed clarity what i drink when it's cold out (tall, nonfat, one splenda toffee nut latte) and when it's warm (tall no-whip caramel frappacino, affagato style).

so, just now, while we're on the phone, she orders a large no room organic coffee. i never knew. similar to that if you like pina coladas song, when the couple tries to cheat on each other...with each other. and how surprised!!! they are to discover that the other is not into yoga!

to further highlight my self-absorption in this relationship:

i call hannah no less than five times in an hour last week. finally, she picks up.

"thank god you called," i say in relief. without a trace of irony...had genuinely forgotten it had been me who called.*

II. last night, i leave work to go meet undergrad for a drink at an irish pub. i must preface by saying that he is the sweetest person in the whole wide world. as in, finds a gold display plate (which, oddly, reminds me of the awakening and all of that damned talk about calling cards) at the goodwill, takes it to work and cleans and polishes it and gives it to me. as in, i notice my (ahem, jessica simpson) cowboy boots in the back of his car. "why are my boots in here," i say. "i was going to get them resoled," he says.

*to be fair, hannah is no walk in the park. she frequently points out how undeserving i am of such treatment.

anyway, i pull into the parking lot and my phone rings.

"hello," undergrad whispers.

"hey. where are you? why are you whispering?" i ask.

"i'm in the bushes behind the sun trust building," he hisses. "saw you pull up. i'll be there in a minute."

turns out, he and his chef-friends had tied a halibut carcass to a friend's bumper and were waiting for said friend to leave work and find it. somehow this also involved video footage and a car chase.

i'm dead serious.

hannah's like, "it's as if you date both an episode of top chef and jackass.

III. in the movie of hannah and me that no one with any sense would watch, i'm thinking minnie driver could play abrams.