March 31, 2005

 verbal diarrhea

well, thanks to rick! i'm feeling a bit too loopy to drive myself home right now. the tacos were good, but i guess they weren't that filling. one glass of wine has me slightly schnockered. d'oh.

so i'm sitting here in the XDU lounge, desperately needing to pee but refusing to do so. that bathroom is NASTY. word.

anyway, i have a question for you: why are you obsessed with shoes? if you aren't obsessed with shoes, why aren't you?? it seems to me that shoes are the perfect accessory... i love wearing bright red shoes with orange tops, yellow shoes with blue. i think they're a great showpiece! and the more the merrier!!

i was happy to hear rick! say the same thing tonight. he likes shoes, too. not as much as me, i don't think. but quite a lot for a boy. yay. i like rick! he gives me wine.

also, i have to say that my life has been REALLY stressful lately. pledge drive starts tomorrow, and the days leading up to it are almost as terrible as the event itself. i'm not sleeping well. i'm antsy and my shoulders are tense.

but divaville makes me happy. from the moment i enter the station (carefully avoiding the bathroom), and throughout the show, i can feel my tension melting away. is that too cliche?? i had lots and lots of nice phone calls and requests tonight; i feel loved.

and the tiniest bit tipsy. but my bladder is telling me to get in the car and go home. so i will.

Posted by xta at 8:08 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

March 30, 2005

 would you like some toast with that jam?

it's 70 degrees!! ack! my wardrobe isn't ready!

more importantly, my toenails aren't ready. i need a pedicure. STAT!

Posted by xta at 1:47 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 28, 2005


i've been thinking about my next home improvement project.

i want to build a window seat in the kitchen, but the more i think about it the more i realize i need to start somewhere else:

the garage.

in order to build a decent piece of furniture for the kitchen, i'm going to need a decent work area in the garage. currently there is nothing decent about the garage... it's a disaster.

i fantasize about clearing everything out (much of this will happen on its own after the yard sale april 9), painting the walls, and building shelves, workbenches and storage solutions.

this will be an immense project, but it will also lift a huge weight from my shoulders. there is so much potential in that garage... right now it is just a big seafoam-green mess.

at a party saturday night a neighbor who has followed my home improvement projects innocently asked, "so how's it going?"

i said, "fine!"

"you must not be working on anything then, if things are fine."

i laughed. he was so right. i'm currently not stressed, not tearing my hair out over renovations, not giving myself an ulcer. i'm taking a huge break, and things are fine.

unfortunately, i think it's time reverse that "fine" trend and start on the garage in mid-april.

Posted by xta at 11:25 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 25, 2005

 caution: highly suggestible


zappos has now become an official addiction, and my brain has gotten stuck in spring shoe mode. nothing else can be accomplished until i've gotten your opinions on the following:

sofft geneva

i love these sooo much. the heel is about the height i prefer these days, and i really like the knotted detailing on top. i would hope the color might be a little more rich in real life.

clarks dade

are these too cutesy with the embossed doo-dads on the leather? i like the green a lot, but wish the heel were higher.

clarks sarong

this may feel a little more "dressed up" than i'm shopping for right now. all of the colors available in this style seem really bright, too. hmm...

clarks garland

the heel seems clunky compared to the previous few, but i really like this color blue. (that rhymed.) i'm excited that there are so many pairs of clarks on this list... i've never owned a pair. (i have never seen this many cute clarks in wide-widths before, i don't think.)

sofft violette

heart heart heart!! this may be a little too girly for me (i'm not really the girliest girl you'll ever meet) but ohmygosh these are almost cuter than roxi.

sofft melody

these seem utterly perfect for me. i love the detailing, they're not overly girly, they seem practical. i do wish they had a little more of a heel, but i think i might be able to deal. the last pair of soffts i tried on fit so incredibly well, maybe i won't miss the heel. (if the shoes are too flat, without enough arch support, my back starts to hurt really badly.)

softwalk ferndale
$104.95 (ouch)

girl. ee.

hush puppies charlize

i have a pair of hush puppies that are very much like this (last season's style), but they are actually too wide. these would make a good replacement, and i already know how comfortable they are. these are probably going to make the short list, just for practicality's sake.

rockport vicki

drool literally came out of my mouth when i saw these. i've never had any rockports before, either. i like that they're cute & girly, but have a butch heel/sole. they are very interesting-looking.

rockport graham

eh. i have some flip-flops similar to this, but not in orange. me likey orange.

rockport pollard bay

ditto the above. i don't have any pink shoes. but there we go again with the girly thing...

rockport briza

let's mark these off the list right now, ok? i mean, they're fine, but i already know there are at least 3 or 4 other pairs i like better than this.

clarks elite

and here are the requisite "serious summer" shoes... because we can't go play at the beach every day.

clarks carina

i mean, really... who on earth would prefer to wear these over green and pink shoes?? but sometimes you've gotta be conservative. right? sometimes you do?

Posted by xta at 4:40 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

 split personality


what the fudge??

here's another shoe named after me.

am i, christa, an overly colorful slip-on, or a chunky clunky loafer?

i really don't know what to think.

Posted by xta at 2:50 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 24, 2005


i want to migrate my cussing to more of a 1950s style.

"fuck" and "shit" seem so pedestrian, and my own overuse of those words doesn't help their standing. (not to mention the fact those words become quite expensive if i were to accidentally let one fly over the airwaves.)

so instead, i propose the overuse of words like "fiddlesticks!" or "cripes!"

my mom was fond of "crimenently". i'll try that one, too.

"dag-gum!" "jeepers!"

it will be fucking hard, this transition. but, golly, i'm looking forward to it.

Posted by xta at 1:08 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

March 23, 2005

 oh, for pete's sake...

all this talk of shoes got me hankerin' to go browsing at zappos.

it turns out i have a shoe named after me, but it's the most unattractive footwear known to (wo)man.

seriously. i dare you to find me something uglier than that.

Posted by xta at 2:26 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

 ipod love boyfriend graham crackers

last night, while having dinner at federal, we noticed a "no wax dj" contest in progress. actually, no one was really participating but it was a great idea nonetheless.

the premise: program your ipod with 15 minutes of knock-out material, sign up for a time slot, then hope your set is the one that impresses bar patrons the most. we noticed that the sign-up sheet only had one name on it, so i'm guessing that this was perhaps the first attempt at the event. maybe with more publicity it will catch on.

* * *

i realize that my ipod isn't really conscious of its surroundings, but it did exhibit a certain awareness this morning. i left the house, dashed to the car through the rain, and when i hit the road pressed "shuffle songs" and heard two "rain" songs:

randy newman - "i think it's going to rain today"
the orb - "outlands" (which is more about boyfriends than precipitation, but the song starts with the sounds of a thunderstorm).

* * *

today is first day i haven't worn a coat. it felt weird to step outside without that extra layer of heaviness.

* * *

i've blogged before about ray's morning love notes. it's one of the reasons why he is the best boyfriend in the world; i'll wake up to find a piece of scrap paper with a quickly scrawled message left for me on the kitchen counter, or on my bathroom sink, or some other obvious loaction that my bleary eyes couldn't possibly overlook.

this morning i found perhaps the most creative "note" ever:


Posted by xta at 10:32 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

March 22, 2005

 think about this little scene; apply it to your life.

sister's chicken and biscuits was the crappiest job i ever had. it was also the first job i ever had, so it's easy to understand why i never really warmed up to the idea of work. (if the first job sucks, well... the rest are bound to suck too, right?)

i was 17 years old. my mom and i ordered at the drive-thru speaker, and when we pulled around to the pick-up window she craned her head and said, "are you hiring?" i thought she wanted to work there, but it turns out she just wanted me out of the house. i was honestly shocked at the notion of getting a job.

i was pretty much hired on the spot. i was an "A" student, clean-cut, geeky... just the type they wanted. i knew i wasn't going to like the job, though, the minute they told me i was going to have to wear a uniform. i was forced to wear their unappealing beige polyester shirt, though they said i could wear my own black pants (thank god). i didn't want to ruin any of my own hip slacks, of course, so i went to goodwill and bought a few pair that would be able to suffer the fried-chicken grease.

sister's was my only foray into foodservice, and i hated it. it scarred me so badly that i vowed --on the day i got fired-- to never work in a restaurant again.

memories of my time at sister's have mostly just dissolved into a wash of "ick", but i do have three vivid recollections:

1) my manager constantly made fun of my black goodwill pants. she always called me "fancy pants". to my face. "hey, fancy pants... go put down a fresh batch of thighs." ooh, i loathed that woman. the particular pair of pants that she ridiculed above the others were made of a cheap jersey material that weren't even fancy at all. i hated the idea of a uniform, i hated having to wear goodwill pants, and i hated her for teasing me about the very pants SHE and her CORPORATE RULE were making me wear. i wish i remembered that woman's name; i'd look her up and send her hate mail. all i remember is that she looked a bit like marie osmond.

2) one of the most popular dishes at sister's was the creamed chicken over biscuits. it was kind of like an inside-out pot-pie. the creamed chicken was made --in-house, unbelievably-- from the fried chicken that hadn't sold because it had been sitting under the heat lamps too long. the employees (namely, me) would take that old chicken into the back kitchen, rip off the fried skin, and tear the meat from the bones. we'd throw the mangled hunks of chicken meat into a giant pot and toss the bones and skin into the trash. the whole process made me feel like i had bathed in goo, and i often got burned from the hot, greasy slime.

3) sister's was a fast-food restaurant, but occasionally they would have an all-you-can-eat sunday. in those instances the customers would come to the counter, pay, and get their tray of food (just like at KFC or something), but they were told that when they wanted more we would bring it to them. so, it was up to the employees (namely, me) to act as their wait staff. every 10 minutes or so i would load fried chicken parts into an unwieldly square pan (which was not at all designed for presenting food to the dining public), and then i'd wander around the dining room (which, again, was basically a KFC with kitschy country decor) with a pair of tongs, asking each table if they wanted more. the pan was heavy and no one ever left a tip.

it was at sister's that i learned how to call in sick. i remember my manager took me aside on what turned out to be my final day, and said, "i now count on you to not be here when you're on the schedule." i'm not sure i even went back to collect my last paycheck. i think mom probably went through the drive-thru and got it for me.

Posted by xta at 4:24 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

March 20, 2005

 new furniture

i'm still rubbing my eyes. it happened so fast.

mary asked me to help her take a coffee table to my secret closet, a consignment furniture shop in hillsborough. we hauled the table into the store, and after she concluded her business we started pawing through their stuff. i spied a brand-new couch (so brand-new that the sofa bed mattress was still wrapped in plastic) on the sidewalk out front, and a couple of really nice, slightly modern, ultra-comfortable side chairs in the back room.

i honestly wasn't prepared at all to shop for myself. i had never been to this store, and had no idea of the wealth and quality of the stuff they had on consignment. i just came along to help mary lift her coffee table. but that couch on the sidewalk kept niggling at my brain, so i thought i should at least get ray to come sit in it to see if he liked it, too.

so mary and i drove all the way back to durham, got ray, then came back to the store (about 40 minutes round trip). ray liked the couch and loved the chairs. the folks to run the store said if we took them all today they would cut us a deal. oh, and their delivery guys were on the way back to the store, so if we wanted to, we could have them drive all three pieces to our house now for just $50 more.

done and done.

so, within 2 hours of showing up at the store i had bought 3 pieces of furniture and was sitting on them in my living room.



Posted by xta at 12:07 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

March 19, 2005

 intimidating meme


blackbird's got a damn fine sink. puts mine to shame. but i like her little meme nonetheless.

Posted by xta at 1:21 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

March 18, 2005

 good morning, sunshine

the last 12 hours have been a blessing. i feel like the sun is out again (i am speaking metaphorically, but actually the sun is out again) and i've had a near-constant smile on my face.

the transformation began last night with... the wusses. dear lord, what a 70s soft-rock cover band will do for one's spirit. it's surprising, really.

the wusses once again performed covers of little river band songs ("walkin' through the park and reminiscing..." seems to be a crowd favorite) but they also added a one-hit wonder by player ("baby come back! any kind of fool could see... i was wrong, and i just can't live without you...") and a couple of other songs that i'm too giddy to remember right now. halfway through the set i thought my face was going to crack from smiling so hard.

i got to bed waaay past my bedtime, but i wasn't worried because i had a late breakfast date and didn't have to get out of bed the next morning until 9am. (which, of course, lightened my mood even further.) there were two things about that breakfast that made my life sparkle:

first of all, the location: the mountain valley cafe. i had never been to this restaurant before, and i'm KICKING MYSELF now... because they're closing their doors on march 31. (that part tarnishes my shiny mood a bit, i'll admit.) the coffee is best in town, hands down, and the food... oh my gosh, the food. i had the mandarin crepes and thought i was in heaven. i think i need to go back every day in order to try everything on the menu.

(as a side note, the cafe is owned by steve martin, who used to be executive director at the carolina theatre. so go already.)

finally, i was dining with two comic legends: nick meglin (former editor of mad magazine) and john boni (who, among other things, was a writer at national lampoon). i kept saying to myself, "i can't believe i'm sitting here with these men..." and all the while they kept introducing me to the restaurant staff as the celebrity. it was very surreal.

they were both extremely warm people, as curious about my life as i was about theirs. this was a sort of business meeting (i had to keep reminding myself) but it didn't feel like it. as we parted ways, i got hugs and kisses and promises to do it again soon.

i'm feeling good.

i don't want to over-analyze this happiness too much, but i need to remember that the way to get myself out of a funk is to do the opposite of my instinct, which is to retreat into myself and clam up. going out, socalizing, meeting new people... these are the things that make me thankful to be alive.

Posted by xta at 1:06 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 17, 2005

 i bet john cage likes it...

it's been rainy and dark for a couple of days.

i don't mind the wet. i don't mind the cold. i don't even really mind too much when raindrops get on my glasses.

and honestly, the rain doesn't get me down. this weather is kind of neat. it's different. i especially like thunderstorms.

but what does piss me off about the rain is the HORRIBLE RUBBERY SCRAPING NOISE my windsheild wipers make. jezus fucking christ, make it stop!! it's absolutely soul-wrenchingly, ear-bleedingly terrible.

it happens when my windshield is not wet enough. the wipers howl in pain as they make their arc across the glass. sometimes the only way i can make the rubbery noise stop is to make sure the windshield gets wet. the easiest way to accomplish this is by tailgating: the car in front of me kicks up a lot of extra water, which makes the wipers glide, perfectly silent.

yes, i'm risking my life. i could easily hydroplane into the bumper of the car ahead of me. but at least i won't go mad from the wipers.

fuck. seriously.

Posted by xta at 8:31 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

March 16, 2005

 why not take all of me

my first instinct is to talk about how sad i am.

sad to have left colorado, sad that i'm far from my family, sad that i can't see that excruciatingly beautiful niece of mine every day.

i cried, of course. not as much as in december. i guess i'm getting better with the crying. last time i cried for 3 days. this time it was only about 2.

we're all talking about the possibilities. of me going there. of them coming here. moving requires so much sacrifice and inspires so much fear. i'm not sure what's going to happen.

* * *

i have a friend whose name is john. john's best friend, paul, struggled with kidney disease for years. paul badly needed a transplant, but the waiting list was 3 years long. thankfully, paul's brother reassured him that if things got bad before the 3 years was up, he would donate one of his own kidneys to paul.

last fall things got bad for paul. to make matters worse, paul learned that his brother wasn't a suitable donor. paul was devastated.

my friend john tried to cheer him up. "hey, maybe i'm a match and could solve all your problems... what's your blood type?" he was only half-serious, of course.

but it turns out that not only were john and paul both a-positive, but subsequent tests showed that john was a perfect donor for paul.

john and paul had many conversations. i imagine they were all more than half-serious. paul kept telling john that while he would gladly take one of his kidneys, it was such a huge thing to ask of a friend that he would understand if john backed out.

john didn't back out. in january he donated his left kidney to paul.

i asked him, "did you ever get scared?"

he said no. there was a brief moment a week before the operation when he felt a little anxious, but even as he was putting on the hospital gown he was at peace. john had spent weeks ingesting every bit of information about the procedure that he could. he felt comfort in knowing exactly where the scalpel would enter his body.

* * *

to even go through those tests takes a strength of character that --to me-- seems rare. i said to john, "i don't know if i could ever do what you did."

"everyone says that," john said. "but you never know what kind of sacrifice you're capable of until you find yourself in a situation that demands it." john didn't see this as a choice. it was simply something he wanted --needed-- to do. he loved paul, and wanted him to live. giving him one of his kidneys would allow that. case closed.

the procedure went flawlessly. john recovered fully in 8 weeks, with only a couple of tiny scars to show for his gift. paul is doing well, too, and has just completed his final round of post-operative checkups.

Posted by xta at 3:30 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

March 13, 2005

 bath time is fun time


Posted by xta at 6:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 12, 2005

 my, what pretty feet you have...



Posted by xta at 9:28 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 11, 2005

 mmmm... beer


Posted by xta at 9:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack



Posted by xta at 9:36 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

March 10, 2005

 behold: the next generation of x-box gamers


Posted by xta at 11:54 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 9, 2005

 oh, by the way...

... did i mention that i'll be in colorado for a few days?

well, i will be.

and i am. here. in colorado. right now.

btw, a friend just pointed out to me that "colorado" is just the words "color" and "ado" jammed together. i've looked at that word my whole life and have never seen that before. are there any other states' names that are just words stuck together?

anyway, it will come as no great surprise that i'll be posting a few photos of my niece while i'm here. but i'll also likely be posting some photos of my cousin, joy --who many of you met last year-- who is flying in from arizona to share in the fun.

let the (drinking) games begin!

Posted by xta at 11:55 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

March 7, 2005


when i was in my 20s i made a practice of going to bars, getting totally loaded, then driving home.

i have no idea how i lived through that period in my life, especially given the frequency of these escapades. i lived in the rural outskirts of town, so the drive home was not short... about a 15 minute trip, down dark, woodsy roads full of twists and turns.

the more i type, the more i'm amazed that i never smashed my car into anything.

i did have one run-in with the fuzz, though. it was a cold night in late fall. i was driving my roommate home from a rock show. i was drunk, and i had no business being behind the wheel. i guess my roommate was worse off than i was, though, because he's the kind of guy that would have otherwise offered to drive.

i remember him complaining about how bad he had to pee. i also remember ignoring him, and staring very intently at the double yellow line down the middle of the road. "don't cross the yellow line... don't cross the yellow line... don't cross the yellow line..." that was my mantra the whole way home.

what seemed like an eternity later, i finally turned onto our street, and just 50 feet from our driveway the flashing lights appeared in my mirror. crap. i knew i was totally hosed. my roommate knew it too.

since home was right there, i pulled into the driveway and we both sat, shaking, as the cop approached my car.

he demanded my license. "have you been drinking tonight?" he asked.

i hedged. "we were at a club..." luckily that sentence contained no slurr-able consonants. i wondered if maybe i could get away with this.

"that's not what i asked! have you been drinking tonight?" he sounded mean.

"uhhh... i had a beer or two..." i lied.

i glanced at my roommate for help, but he was clearly experiencing extreme bladder-induced pain. he leaned forward and craned to see the cop. "can i go inside and use the restroom?"

the cop was confused. he was only starting to realize that we lived there.

after scanning our paperwork, he decided that my roommate's presence was not needed and he let him go inside. then the cop asked me to come back to his car. this was not good.

i briefly fantasized about making a dash for it into the house and locking the door behind me. but i wasn't that drunk... i still knew enough to realize that would be a tremendously bad idea.

so i meekly followed the cop back to his car. i slid into the passenger seat and shut the door behind me, my heart pounding in my ears. i was so scared. i knew i was going to jail. i just knew it.

he brought out what i assumed was a breathalizer. i had never seen one before. it had a strange straw-thing sticking out of the top and a control panel full of buttons below. he shoved it towards me and told me to breathe into it. "breathe hard," he said.

my remaining few brain cells kicked into high gear. i wrapped my lips around the straw and in a snap i decided that i would only make it appear like i was exhaling into the machine. i blew --hard-- but i only sent a little bit of air out my mouth, while most of it went out my nose. (this is not an easy thing to do. i suspect only drunkards are capable of it.)

miraculously, my performance was convincing. the cop thought i had exhaled entirely through my mouth and into the machine. he pulled the breathalizer back and started punching the buttons. he got a confused look on his face. he punched some more buttons, and appeared to be frustrated. i sat there, watching, hopeful, praying.

finally, after what seemed like an eternity, the cop looked at me --a bit skeptically-- and said, "well, i believe you about how much you've had to drink." he handed me back my license. he was letting me go.

i practically ran into the house. i think my roommate was a little shocked to see me. i was a little shocked to be there.

and to this day i cannot believe i got off. either that cop was a total rookie, or he didn't know how to work the breathalyzer... or both.

without sounding like i'm tacking a moral on the end of this story, i feel i have to say that i've never taken that moment of grace for granted.

Posted by xta at 10:01 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack


i'm at work today for the first time since tuesday. i've still got some snot issues, but i otherwise feel ok.

my left eye is twitching, though. an incessant tic. right now it's bothering me more than my sinuses.

i know what kinds of things to do to get rid of a cold --i'm drinking tea, taking echinacea, slurping dayquil-- but is there any cure for a twitchy eye?!?

Posted by xta at 12:27 PM | Comments (14) | TrackBack

March 3, 2005


because i'm sick (a-gain) and have very little of interest to talk about, i'll give lisa's meme a try:

ten things i've done that perhaps you haven't:

1) ate kimchee in seoul, south korea
2) got a tattoo in amsterdam
3) interviewed david byrne
4) graduated from college on crutches
5) studied horn with members of the chicago symphony orchestra
6) shook hands with tony bennett
7) stood on a felled tree that had fallen through my roof
8) interviewed fred schneider over the phone
9) retrieved a towed car from a police station in brussels, belgium
10) got a hair makeover from the antonio

(also be sure to check out sarah's and lisa b's responses.)

Posted by xta at 5:00 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

March 1, 2005

 social studies

for those of you who weren't able to attend, i really am sorry that i didn't take more photos at the party. here are some people laughing, though, and here are some of those same people falling asleep. but that's all i got.

i guess i was too engaged in moral wrong-dom to think to take any other pictures that night. (getting loaded on apple martinis is a basic civil right, yes??)


this f*cking church pisses me off every week with its ridiculous sign.

Posted by xta at 2:26 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack