Monday, February 25, 2008

Curmudgeon of the Week (oh, let's face it -- the month): Cristina

Cristina and I lived together junior year at Wesleyan, during which we spent many late nights bemoaning our lives over Party of Five, gin-and-tonics and Marlboro Reds. It speaks to Cristina's strength of character that even now, eight years later, having finished her first novel, she has never wavered in her delightfully cynical, curmudgeonly spirit while still enjoying heartwarming television shows. I quizzed my old friend on her pet peeves (toddlers!) and secret loves (Coach Taylor).

When did you first self-identify as a curmudgeon?

Before birth, actually. I was so uninterested in the outside world and all it had to offer that several days after my predicted birthday they had to tear me out via c-section. Little has changed--getting me to leave the womblike environs of my apartment requires roughly the same amount of effort.

Would other people call you one, or are you a secret curmudgeon?

There's no secret about it. My roommate, Saki, recently had to rewrite the email invitation to our house party because he felt my version was too "crotchety." He also accuses me of occasionally getting behind the wheel of what he refers to as the "belligerent bus" and driving it into people--friends, strangers, whomever--when I've had too much Jameson or just a crappy day. I referred to myself as an optimist once in front of some close friends of mine who openly laughed at me for about ten minutes. So, yeah, I think my secret is out.

Top 10 list of things you hate

1. The mother teaching her toddler to climb stairs in the subway station at rush hour.
2. The people who refuse to move to the middle of the subway car and make more room, or refuse to step out of the way of people entering and exiting the train.
3. A blatant disregard for correct grammar and spelling.
4. The multicolor spinning beach ball of death that appears on the screen when my laptop freezes.
5. The people in my neighborhood who refuse to clean up after their dogs, forcing me to navigate an obstacle course of dogshit every time I venture outside my apartment.
6. The New York Post.
7. Mercury in retrograde.
8. Hangovers.
9. Listening to my guy friends discuss whether a girl is "hot" or simply "cute" or neither of those things.
10. Shiftlessness.

You are on trial for murder. Who did you kill, and why?

The person at NBC responsible for canceling Friday Night Lights.

If you could blight one thing from the earth forever, what would it be?


Curmudgeon (living or dead, historical or contemporary) you most identify with?

These days I think it's Rhett Miller, the lead singer of rock/country band the Old 97's. See such albums as "Wreck Your Life" and such songs as "Valium Waltz" for irrefutable proof that this man is my soulmate, and the sooner he realizes this and leaves his supermodel wife for me, the better off we'll all be.

Favorite curse word/phrase?

Sweet Jesus Christ on a cross!

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