Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas is, Christmas is (on a keyboard that sticks)

Two years ago was the worst Christmas ever in the Mikel household. I will spare you the details. It was horrible. Since then, my family has collectively and undiscussedly decided it will never happen again. We go to extremes, like the whole 11-foot real christmas tree shebang, dropping tons of money on presents, cooking/baking marathons that result in an amount of food that could not possibly be eaten by 4 people, no matter how hungry we were. The coffee table heaped with books, DVDs, shirtboxes, etc, etc, empty tin that used to have homemade fudge but the dog ate it. The fire place lousy with ashes from the roaring fires that have been burning for days. The fridge packed with leftovers. The tree heavy with hundreds, hundreds of bulbs.

The holiday reeks of lavishness unnatural to the Mikel family.

That one Christmas was so awful, that it really makes one appreciate a good Christmas even more. So my dad gave me a kleenex box in the shape of a totem pole. Is that really all I have to complain about? Yup.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

The holiday season has begun

I hate Christmas lists. This is not what Christmas is all about. No, no, no, no, no. This isn't a holiday for you to receive all the stuff you were too cheap to buy for yourself over the past few months. Maybe stuff you couldn't afford. But Christmas lists take all the joy out of the holiday, which comes from painstalking searching for the perfect gift for someone based on that person's personality, taste and relationship to yourself.

'Well,' you're saying to yourself, 'how is anyone going to know what to get me? My Christmas list prevents my parents from buying me worthless trinkets I didn't want in the first place.' Hm. Well I say, Suck It Up. Christmas isn't about you. Do you think I wanted/needed footy (sp?) pajamas or a Discovery Kids fish tank over the last couple of years. There is no question mark at the end of that sentence because the answer is clear. What you get doesn't matter - mmm duh it's what you give. And so don't be a lame ass this holiday season and put some thought into gift giving instead of foolishly resorting to people's Christmas lists. You will ruin Christmas that way, you know.

I like to write posts about how peeved I am about life. It gives the impression that I am never happy. Ha!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Ode to the Great Things in LIfe

One of my favorite things in this world is free food. Food is delicious. And it costs money. No one likes to spend money. So what could be better than something delicious that costs nothing? I think we all know the answer here. Nothing better exists.

This post is inspired by the box of bagels and cream cheese I discovered on top of the microwave at Lee Hills. I was going to make some popcorn. Instead, my hunger can be satisfied by this no-cost cream cheese smothered bagel, and I can save the popcorn and eat it later. In the long run, I don't have to buy as much popcorn - um, awesome.

Now some people think us women have it hard in this world, ever struggling to eliminate the glass ceiling and all. Psh. I enjoy being female because it entitles me to more free food than my male peers. Guy-buying-girl food is much more common than the opposite action. Now that I think of it, one of the downfalls of being single is the amount of money I have to spend on food. I am going to find myself a boyfriend right this minute.

Monday, November 06, 2006


Earlier today, I swear I complimented myself on how independent I had become. Yes, I most definitely was all set to pat myself on the back as soon as I had the chance. "Good job, Betsy. You are so awesome. You don't need anyone."


What does independent mean? It means you can do it all yourself. Well, I can do the following things alone: wash clothes, cook food, make bed, get dressed, these sorts of things. What I cannot do for myself is be my own support, on many different levels, when I completely screw up. Such an idiot sometimes, I am. Look, now I'm Yoda. My sense of humor is spectacular. Or should I say, ridiculous. I feel my posture slooping right now, physically, emotionally, mentally and whatever other allys there are too.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

good mood for listening to Junior Boys

Like many of the Mikel clan, I often think too hard. Lately - actually that is a lie, I think about this all the time - I've been thinking about where I was a year ago, and how different I am now. A good friend (who's name may or may not start with an O in the friend world, but an A in the real world) tells me I have grown incredibly bitter. I don't want to admit it, but it's a little true. I think it's really just being more aware. I'm sad that O/A friend thinks I have progressed for the worse. But not so sad, but today I realized that I have also moved in a positive direction too.

Today I had a "hm" moment when I realized that something about me has really changed. Last year I had a bit of a freak out over something that happened in the newsroom, because people weren't taking something seriously as I was. A strikingly similar something happened today in The Paper's newsroom, and people reacted the same way. I, on the other hand, didn't. Details, details, not important here, but I may have learned something. It's okay to laugh in the face of something really serious, because oftentimes, that's the only way to stay sane.

Oh man, I am so deep. I can't very over it. I wish I could find some Junior Boys lyrics in less than 20 seconds so that I could post them here. But I've got other deep things to think about.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Go here and tell all your friends!

Okay so maybe more than one person reads my blog? Maybe? There's no way to tell, what is most important that you go to this website:

This is the Missouri School of Journalism for you. This is a commercial my good friend Joe made for Chipotle. If he wins, he gets $10,000! And the J-school gets $10,000! We need to get a ton of people to watch the commercial, so get all your friends to watch it too. And then get your friends' friends. Chain reaction Oh My God.

if you can't remember the link to tell you friends, just tell them to go to youtube and search chipotle and foil.

ps this public computer lab is creeping me out, the girl next to me is making farting/squirting noises with her mouth and talking to herself. Mmm ... gotta go.

Monday, October 23, 2006

On the other side

Working a Gatorade stop @ the Chicago marathon was third behind the following things:
1. running the chicago marathon (done)
2. running the chicago marathon with Amy (will do?)


I will admit, it gets boring once the runners turn to walkers and handing out gatorade to the walkers is just as thrilling as… well, no analogy needed – as thrilling as it sounds to hand a cup to someone who is walking.

The real excitement is with the fast ones. There is strategy:
- You need to hold the cup from the top, between thumb and pointer finger. This way the runner can grab the cup in natural cup grabbing motion. This also means if it is very cold, your fingers will turn numb, and if you are wearing gloves, your fingers will get soaked — and ultimately turn numb. Might as well forget about the gloves.
- You must concentrate on each handoff. If you're not on your game, gatorade will end up everywhere, ground, hair, clothes and that is not the point of the task. The point is as little spillage as possible.
- The way to make this happen is to follow your hand with the pace of the runner, until you are quite positive that he or she is really holding it. Then you need to release in a perfect upward motion, not left or right because that will lead to spilling. This is very complicated when you are moving your hand leftwards, then must simultaneously release upwards. And you absolutely must release. It is very easy to hold on for too long — you're not sure if they're ready to hold the cup themselves. But you have no time to ask them if they're ready to hold alone. They are running a marathon for christ's sake! That is why you must have talent, you must have skill, you must have a sixth sense. You absolutely must know the proper time to release. And that is if you even get that far.

Now tips for marathoners:
- a thank you is always appreciated, and will get you personal encouragement
- if you are running on the left side, don't grab with your right hand, and vice versa. Seriously people, WTF? That just complicates the whole process way more than is necessarry.
- If you are aiming for a particular cup, signal to the cup holder that you are coming for her cup. This is a good idea for several reasons. 1. she knows not to give it away to anyone else 2. she can physically and mentally prepare herself for the extremly faced paced and extremely complex process of handing off a cup of gatorade that is about to happen.

Enough digressing on passing out Gatorade. You're reading this and are embarassed to know me. Oh yeah?!?! Well I'm embarassed that you know me too.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Monday, October 16, 2006

Hey now, here it is!

Some people know the Halloween season has arrived because of aisles and aisles full of bags of trick-or-treat candy and skimpy costumes. Others know because they also know it is almost Oct. 31. I can now breathe a sigh of relief because now I know it is almost Halloween, I have finally received my Halloween care package from my aunt. I will let the contents speak for themselves:

1. Wooden witch decorative-like thing that your grandmother may find interest in
2. Four-piece spooky shapes cookie cutter set
3. Two-pack Halloween potholders
4. Tellcherry Black Peppercorns Grinder
5. Jack-o-latern ornament/candle holder (?)
6. Two plastic smiley faced serving spoons
7. Halloween themed Runts®: ghosts, pumpkins, bats and… bananas?
8. Homemade spider ornament, made of bells and beads
9. Gardenia body lotion
10. Sudoku 50 Puzzles, Volume 1
11. "Halloween Night" bucket
12. I Can Bake Vanilla-Sugar PUMPKINS!, pumpkin shaped ornament included
13. 3-Flexible Cutting Mats (FDA approved)
14. Two dish towels with witch, cat and spider stitching
15. Reese's miniatures
16. Pumpkin nonstick flexible spatula

Friday, October 13, 2006

Lame, lame and LAME

"Ridiculously" is a horrible adjective. Everyone uses it and it doesn't even make sense. What the F does that even mean? Do you mean extremely? Do you mean unusually? Do you mean remarkably?

Things do not always have to be sensical, but I ask this question: whatever happened to originality? Riduclously is number one on my least original list. If I hear one more clone girl tell her bf about someone she knows who is "ridiculously skinny" or see another "ridiculously happy" facebook status update I might papercut my ears. It's not clever. It's not creative. It's not descriptive. It was in Zoolander. Now, it's just overused.

Please people of my generation, expand your vocabulary. Instead of ridiculously skinny, with unecessary emphasis on the ridiculously, can you just say what you mean? She's scrawny. Emanciated even. So skinny that you wonder if her soul has deteriorated along with her body. I don't know. Just not ridiculously.

I am so fed up with this word that I don't want to talk about it anymore.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Sunday, October 08, 2006

good words I read in an article today


Saturday, October 07, 2006

Welcome Fall! Time for apple cider, carving pumpkins, blustery weather, red and orange and yellow leaves!

how to recognize a witch:
1. a REAL WITCH is certain to be wearing gloves when you first meet her. even in the summer. because she doesnt have finger nails. instead of finger nails, she has thin curvey claws, like a cat.

2. the second thing to remember is that a REAL WITCH is always bald. bald as a boiled egg. a REAL WITCH always wears a wig to hide her baldness. she wears a first class wig. and it is almost impossible to to tell a really first class wig from ordinary hair unless you give it a pull to see if it comes off.

3. look for the nose holes. witches have slightly larger nose holes than ordinary people. the rim of each nose hole is pink and curvey, like the rim of a seashell. a REAL WITCH has the most amazing sense of smell. she can actually smell out a child who is standing on the other side of the street on a pitch black night. and the cleaner you are, the more smelly you are to a witch, an absolutely clean child gives off the most ghastly scent to a witch. the point is this. when you havent washed for a week and your skin is all covered over with dirt, the quite obviously the stink waves cannot come oozing out nearly as strongly.

4. look carefully at the eyes. because the eyes of a REAL WITCH are different than yours and mine. look in the middle of each eye where there is normally a little black dot. if she is a witch, the black dot will keep changing color, and you will see fire and you will see ice dancing right in the very center of the colored dot. it will send shivers running all over your skin.

5. witches never have toes. the feet have square ends with no toes on them at all. it gives them a problem with their shoes. all ladies like to wear small rather pointed shoes, but a witch, whose feet are very wide and square at the ends, has the most awful job squeezing her feet into those horrible pointed shoes.

6. their spit is blue as a bilberry. they even use it to write with. they use those old fasioned pens that have nibs and they simply lick the nibs.

so there you are. thats about all i can tell you. none of it is very helpful. you can still never be absolutely sure whether a woman is a witch just by looking at her. but if she is wearing the gloves, if she has the large nose holes, the queer eyes and the hair that looks like it might be a wig, and if she has a blueish tinge on her teeth and walks with a slight limp - if she has all those things, then you run like mad.

- Roald Dahl

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

If there's cheese around, you know it's a good place

So after my race on Sunday, I was reminded of why long races are so amazing. And that is all the free food you receive. It started with the bag you get beforehand, which had a coupon for a free meal @ Chipotle. My mom doesn't eat there so I yoinked hers too, so now that is six free Chipotle tacos if I'm in Columbia, eight if in Chicago.

Then post race, the general rule, well maybe not, but at least the rule I live by, is grab as much as you can get your hands on. Sometimes they even give you a bag for it all. This was not the case in this instance, or else I would have taken more. I was able to cradle in my arms the following:

1 bottle of gatorade
2 bottles of water
2 cliff bars
5 fruit snacks
1 bagel
1 box of raisins
3 packages of organic string cheese
1 banana

And the funny thing I wasn't even hungry.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

An unexpected surprise (just as surprises often are)

My sister's landlady totally cracks me up. When I returned to the apartment from work today, she mentioned that she had been inside to fix something, and meanwhile had straightened things up a bit. This is what she was referring to:

1. drag unused AC unit into hall
2. assemble dirty clothes strewn on bathroom floor into neat little pile
3. wash dishes
4. add additional furnishings to the apartment: microwave stand and rug by kitchen sink
5. take out garbage (from both kitchen and bathroom)
6. line up all shoes into line
7. push my haphazard pile of duffel bag and its contents into corner of room
6. sweep floor, possibly mop as well

For some reason, I do not feel that Joe and Linda will be as on hand when it comes time to clean the VIP Lounge. I guess I will find some way to deal.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The Worst Song in the World

What is the big fuss over that stupid Imogen Heap song? Hide and Seek? If you haven't heard it, don't listen. It is so horrible that it hurts my ears. I mean even Kanye doesn't do that to me. He just irritates. But this song makes me shudder. I was really excited about yoinking the Last Kiss soundtrack because there are some stellar artists on it. Fiona Apple, Rufus Wainwright, Snow Patrol, Aimee Mann, Coldplay etc. etc. But now we have Imogen Heapp too. WTF seriously why does this lame song live? I thought I had escaped it after moving out of the dorms - weirdo neighbors would play it really loudly while they were getting ready to go out and party (which even it did not make my ears bleed, I cannot fathom how this would be a getting ready song. It's like about death or something, I am pretty sure) - but alas, no, it is now haunting me. I don't even want to discuss this anymore, it is making me angry.

Monday, August 07, 2006

no title captures it all

After such a hardcore weekend, I feel as though I owe it to the 3, possibly 4 people who read my blog to give them a nice hardcore post of what it was all about. But um… I don't feel like it.

If I were to do such a thing, I would discuss, aside from the three consecutive days of nonstop music, my super fly day @ the lolla lounge, face planting onto an L platform, Wayne Coyne in a bubble, a spectacle of swimming in the Buckingham Fountain, drunk girl whose boyfriend didn't love her, hipster spotting game, etc. etc. But that would take too much time to both type and also to read, and I know that no one has the attention span to take that all in.

So instead, I will mention a brief conversation that took place directly behind drunk girl whose boyfriend didn't love her, while my sister and I were tiredly inhaling the rambunctious tunes of Red Hot Chilli Peppers. She asked me if I was happy to go back to school or if I was sad to leave. At the beginning of the summer, I was telling myself it was only a few months before I was able to go back, ie the answer to that question would have been very obvious. But after those few months spent in a great place with great people, said answer, not so much obvious anymore.

Monday, July 31, 2006


So I am pretty much exhausted right now and am a little delirious. But I knew, I knew that YOU, person who reads my blog, really so badly wanted to read a post from me. And that is because you were wondering how Pitchfork was, right? Exactly. Well it was rockin'. And even though I wasn't quite hipster enough and chose to wore the old tank top skirt flip flop combo as opposed to thrift store purchased or home sewn dress giant belt neon leggings funky jewelry bandana tattoos and pyscho gelled hair combo, I could still enjoy the music and fun times as much as the rest of them.

I also may try and get into the underground electronic scene with Devin. That's because the tent was the where it was at. It was sweaty and loud and dancing and I was definitely in the mood for all of the above today. But I also thoroughly enjoyed seeing Ted Leo bleed and 'Hounds of Love' last night. And a million other things. I need to recover and get mentally and physically prepared for next weekend, which will be… well I will just leave things here.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Ways to get boys to not like me

1. constantly have spinach in teeth
2. abstain from brushing teeth
3. also from wearing deoderant
4. also from washing hair
5. not wear glasses or contacts so that I am always squinting
6. wear oversized tshirts
7. eat a lot of ice cream. don't exercise
8. find poison ivy and roll in it
9. crack really unfunny jokes constantly

That's all I can think of. But those will probably work.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Yep yep yep

So my sister played a funny joke on me today, I think. I told her I would go grocery shopping for dinner tonight since she will be at dance class. She said the Jewel was close, I could walk. She lied. It was at least 6 miles. Right, I'm exaggerating, but it was so freaking far. I kept going thinking "well it can't be that much farther…" But it WAS. I am pretty sure it was about a mile and a half there. But Betsy, WTF, you run marathons!!!! Okay shut up. Today was the hottest day I can remember in a long while. I also left my sunglasses in my car. I also eeked out 6 miles running this morning and nearly collapsed of dehydration. I also walked to the L in the morning, to work from the L, to urban outfitters at lunch and back, to the L from work. Total: not exaggerating this time, probably about 10 miles. Okay, okay honestly I am not even that tired. This all wasn't that bad. I just wanted to complain so that the .432 people who read my blog can feel sorry for me. You should, I almost got a blister on my foot.

Monday, June 26, 2006

The longest day of the year

"Why candles?" objected Daisy frowning. She snapped them out with her fingers. "In two weeks it'll be the longest day of the year." She looked at us all radiantly. "Do you always watch for the longest day of the year and then miss it? I always watch for the longest day of the year and then miss it."

When the longest day of the year approaches, I always think about this passage from The Great Gatsby and think to myself 'I will not forget. It will come and I will remember it and say to myself "today is the longest day of the year." ' Yet I always forget. I did this year, just as I have ever year since I read this book in high school.

I really like these few lines from The Great Gatsby because they give Daisy a little substance. Readers often interpret her as flitty and ignorant and clueless. Sometimes she is those things, but so is everyone. Sometimes Daisy is also very intelligent. Everyone forgets the longest day of the year. Just because Daisy forgets, that doesn't make her any different than anyone else.

I have not read the book for a few years and so can't say much more about the subject. But I still think about it every year, at least once a year, when the longest day of the year approaches and then passes without me having remembered to remember it.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Everything And Its You In Whose Right Army Place?

Just inside Auditorium Theater, just past all the hopeless hopefuls agitating outside hoping to get in, I start getting really excited. I was excited before, but now I am really really excited. Everyone is milling about, quite calm looking and so I follow their cue. But there is this smokey-ness just adds to the surrealness. Yet, there isn't actually any smoke, it's just the lighting. Even better because I am pretty sure cigarette smoke would have subconsciouslly ruined a teeny bit of the experience for me.

There's time for us to wander too, so we check out the overpriced merch, get a little lost trying to find our seats but get there shortly after the light flicker and are seated before the start.

Come on, come on you think you drive me crazy? The song is so big, the lights are big, the words are big, the music is big and it's all trapped so that it travels from the stage to every person without escaping into the night sky, like at an outdoor concert. The whole concert will stay here in this tiny theater, just for a couple of thousand exclusive ears that don't have to share with thousands and thousands and maybe more thousands more, or for the parking lot or fields all around. And a good song to start too, because it starts with Thom Yorke's almost alone voice and is soon the whole band, and it makes you think yes this is Radiohead but no I can't believe I am here.

The new songs are distinctly theirs, honestly which songs really aren't, but also bring meaning to the word new. Danceable? A good one was the song that started out with Thom playing on the piano and maybe Jonny Greenwood or Ed O'Brien on something, them not fitting together in what they are playing, a little bit uncomfortable to hear, but I think "well that's the point." And it is, at first, but gradually I catch their beats synching and eventually they match beautifully. It's worth the uncomfort because when everything comes together, I appreciate how good it sounds.

The crowd is good, and that is important because it is one thing that makes a concert more than just a band replaying their tracks from an album. It's Exit Music (For a Film), and everyone for the most part is quiet, which adds to the effect because everyone is standing, unmoving and silent and I can see the crowd's silhouette very clearly in the single light that is shining on Thom Yorke and his voice and his guitar. But at The National Anthem, it's completely different, everyone's free to act how they feel at that one part, you know the part. Of course it's louder and more dramatic and much much much better live, also when every single person around you appreciates the louderness and plus dramaticness and liveness of it as well. Also when Thom is dancing on stage. He isn't predetermined like Chris Martin, who I think pratices his arm twirls in the mirror before Coldplay shows? Organic dancing by the spastic frontman can best be appreciated live.

It's over, it's almost over, one encore and then two and I can't believe my luck when things wind down to an end with the same song they closed with last time I saw them in concert, Everything In Its Right Place. Which I guess I'm not that lucky because this song fits great for a closer. Because it starts, they play in the amazing way that Radiohead plays, and Thom loops it on his whatever it's called machine and it's coming to and end so he stands close to the crowd and before he walks off alone, he waves goodbye. Each band member has his own exit and one by one we wave goodbye and cheer, goodbye Jonny, goodbye Phil. Goodbye Colin, goodbye Ed. Goodbye Radiohead, you were great. Everyone's off the and the mixer is still mixing and we're still all standing and thinking how every penny was worth it. Ever and ever and ever and. . . we want you to stay longer and play more for us, but we'll take this because it was pretty damn good.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

interns. a guide.

"Interns, we love you. We've come to depend on you. We want you to be happy with us. Seriously, be honest: Does this shirt make us look fat? Because we have to be honest with each other if we're going to make this relationship work. Also, we should let you know our wants and needs. Yes, diapering is one of them, but we can talk about that later. . . "

Saturday, May 13, 2006

simplying is fun

Whilst I was packing boxes and boxes of somewhat useless possessions, it came to my mind that I own way too many things. And then when I helped Doug pack a little, who only has basically clothes and books, I thought to myself, I really do not need to live the way I've been living.

My family facilitates the collection of objects. Then there is a bid hubbub when we could not pack everything into the car for our trip home from Columbia. It's your fault parents. You made me like this.

So now that I am home and crammed into my bedroom, I have decided to get rid of at least 95% of all these things that are suffocating me.

It goes like this,

save: Radiohead ticket from Alpine Valley
trash: ticket from Miss Saigon

save: kickass cd Maciej made me
trash: weird cd my dad made me

save: workbook from costa rica
trash: workook from lifeguarding

slow process, but it's guaranteed to work.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Scenes from Home

This images are real. I did not fabricate these. They serve as evidence that my family is crazy.

1. Puppy sunglasses. My mother actually purchased these from target.

2. Why Libby is so freaking cute. This is how she sleeps.

3. Warning sign on the new tractor my dad purchased.