Saturday, February 28, 2009

Diet soda

As you may have guessed, I'm attempting to give up diet soda. Or at least drink less. Diet soda is really not so good.

http://theclevercat.blogspot.com/2008/05/skinny-bitch.html
http://scienceblogs.com/cortex/2009/02/diet_soda.php

Jonah Lehrer (Proust Was a Neuroscientist, remember my sister gave me that book for Chanukah? I'm currently reading. Damn, he's good. A genius, even.) researched and agrees with the Skinny Bitches.

Basically, what we're doing by drinking diet soda is tricking our brain. Lab-study-wise, a little miracle. But scientifically, not so cool. So many things can trick people. I don't want to trick myself!

So, so long, Fresca. Adios, Diet Dr. Pepper. Sayonara, Polar Pom Dry. It's more tea for me. Eventually summer will be here and I'll ice them all out, caffeinated and caffeine free alike. Yum!

I don't know how to say this...

...so I'll just say it. It's over between us.

We had fun, and you were there when I needed you. But I used you, for the great things you did to me, for the person you helped me become. We were good together. You were good.

I always knew it would come to this. Sometimes the shortest affairs are the sweetest.

Goodbye, Coke Zero. Maybe we'll run into each other at some point. I'll remember you fondly. See you around...

Nod. Nod. Nod.

http://www.whoopassenterprises.com/pet-bobbleheads-dog-cat-shop/?gclid=CMGnobzr_5gCFRadnAodRl8jnQ

"Memorialize your pet with a bobble hand-sculpted from your photo!" markets one of the infamous sponsored links on Gmail. Is it me, or is that kind of tasteless? I'm all for stupid human bobbles, but making one for a dead pet just seems... well, wrong.

Apparently, plenty of people disagree with me -- over 50,000 bobbles have been sold by Whoopass Enterprises alone. Who knows how many other "memorials" are a'bobblin their oversized heads whenever their previous owner gives them a slap?

A real letdown

So I'm in the office yesterday, just minding my own business, bent over, adjusting a lace on my boot, when I hear a very faint snap. And my left boob wiggles. I stand up, and figure out it was the underwire on my favorite sporty Playtex bra! Which is no longer made. What can I say? These are the things that happen to me.

And by the way, I had almost a full work day left. How did I fix it? Duct tape...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Speeches as a second language

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123517693330337663.html

Japanese students (in Japan) learning English by reciting Obama's speeches. I'm not sure if this is absolutely genius, or absolutely horrible...

E-congestant?

Last night I dreamt that someone had switched my ordinary little red Sudafed pills with Ecstasy. Apparently, ever since I started taking them four months ago, it was never really decongestant at all! And when I tried to take my Sudafed this morning, I realized I had run out. Strange, no?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sproost

Courtesy of Jessica Jones' amazing blog named howaboutorange, I found a totally fun, fast thing. It's called Sproost, and by using it, you can determine your personal decorating style. All you do is rate a bunch of rooms on a very clear continuum -- you either love, kinda like, don't care, dislike, or hate them.

I'm 50% contemporary, 33% vintage modern, and 17% modern elegance. That sounds right. None of that country crap for me!

Today's doings.

What's up with you? This is what's up with me.
  1. I miraculously made it to work on time despite being stuck being four, count 'em, four, yellow school buses in an 8-mile radius. That's a record!
  2. I forgot to apply deodorant today, and I couldn't find the emergency stick I keep in the office! I hate when that happens. It was pretty cold, so I didn't sweat, but still. Grody.
  3. I'm on a new tea kick - Darjeeling! In the past, I tended to prefer herbal and green teas of various types, and I also enjoy black tea blends such as English Breakfast, Irish Breakfast and even the dusty hair tonic tea (I speak of course of The Earl of Grey) but there is something about this straight flavor that just blows me away. Plus, say the word. Darjeeling. Darzhheeeeeeeling. Nice, right? Just don't steep too long or it will become bitter and unpalatable.
  4. Which brings me to the Darjeeling Limited. I just never got around to seeing it! I think I'll rent it this weekend.
  5. I forgoed/forwent my usual pounded-on dry-out-your-smackers long-wearing lipstick in this cold and windy weather. I've started using a delicious raspberry lemonade lip balm by Blistex. It smells good, tastes good, and actually works. And it was cheap, unlike those so-called specialty balms that Bath & Body Works sells. Waste o'cash.
  6. Along the lines of raspberry lemonade, Icebreakers puts out a sugarless gum that tastes just right. But it only tastes right for a few minutes. The rest of the time it's good old-fashioned loud-popping bubble gum.
  7. Spa appointment today. I feel great, look even better.
  8. Madras lentils and naan for dinner. Yum!
  9. My living room sliders will be replaced tomorrow. In addition, the condo sale is moving forward.

Things just feel great for me right now (in spite of a slightly uncomfortable forum at work today in which we discussed the budget.) So goody! I'll do what I can to keep this amazing feeling. (And if it requires going to the gym... so be it.) Power to me!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

No results found



Thanks ever so much, thesaurus.com.

Why yes, I did mean "slippery."

How did you guess?

Galaxy go bye-bye


http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2009/02/23/dark-energy-universe.html

Oh, where, oh where has my galaxy gone?
Oh, where, oh where can it be?
When the sun burns out and no light remains,
Oh, bring back my cosmos to me, to me,
Oh, bring back my cosmos to me!

"Nothing can move through space faster than the speed of light, but space can do whatever the hell it wants as far as we know...we live at a very interesting time, namely the only time in which we can empirically verify that we live in a very interesting time," said some guy who studies this stuff.

Thank you, Mr. Scientist. What, me worry? We’ll all be dead in 50 billion years anyway…

One pen down, thousands to go

Used up a pen today. Got a thrill. I’m just sayin’.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Kudos and felicitations

Today, my mom received word that she has been promoted to full professor!!! Woo hoo! She totally deserves it. She is the absolute best in her field. Add this to her recently won tenure and she is simply flying. Hooray! Hurrah! Hot damn!

Mom, you da bomb!

Scary dream!

I had a disturbing dream this morning. It was scary!

I was working in a huge warehouse as a supervisor or administrator. Deliveries and pickups at the warehouse were made at the rear of the building, where it opened right onto water. My home was also on the water, a short distance away. We were in some very warm, tropical climate, and I spoke the language. I think it was not English, but I was native to the area. Wherever it was, I have never been there before.

Every day at lunch, I would drive home for a swim (in a sensible black maillot), peel off the suit standing on my clean, well-maintained dock, then towel off and get dressed. There were a few houses around, but for some reason, nobody really noticed and I was not self-conscious in the least. It was normal for everyone to do this. In the dream I was as quick as I am now, but also had a breathtakingly gorgeous face and a fantastic body to boot. Maybe I'd had plastic surgery. And my hair was always perfect with just a quick shake-shake-shake of my head, even after my swim. I wore natural makeup. The house was large for one person, with many glass walls and high-quality, tasteful furnishings. In the dream I never went in, but I could see through the glass that the rooms were really excellently done. Maybe I lived there with someone, but that was never made clear.

Then I would drive back to work, in my convertible, with the wind whipping through my perfect hair. I saw lots of bright blue sky and colorful, lush flowers; fine, pale sand, and vast expanses of clear water, without danger. The sunshine would play off the amazing paint job on the car. My lunch hour was really a lunch two hours. On this particular day, I had the morning off. I hadn't bothered calling to say what time I'd be in. The company often gave the morning off to its workers with full pay. In fact, we were all very well paid. I had a fancy handbag on the passenger seat, a surprise perk for working late one day.

I let myself into the building with the key ring they supplied, my not-very-sensible white slides slapping my heels as I crossed the floor to my desk in the back, which overlooked the main warehouse, and started working quietly. It was an open office on a deck above the working area. There were enough skylights that I didn't have to turn on a light, and I noticed lots of dust swirling in the air. There were huge windows in the walls and a large mechanical door, big enough to see the boats as they delivered of picked up. There was also so much floor -- it was concrete, painted battleship gray. The dock was also concrete. I had greeted some coworkers in the front of the building when I'd let myself in.

I worked and worked, without regard for how much time had passed. It was still sunny outside, but the warehouse had become darker. I had never turned on a light. Suddenly it was so quiet. The huge gate opened and a yacht arrived, unscheduled. A group of men in dark suits and sunglasses walked in from the front of the building. They had bulges in their suit jackets and I didn't recognize them. They weren't sweating despite all the layers they were wearing. They looked around but didn't notice me. They conversed with the men on the boat and started loading a shipment that had not yet been identified.

Who were they? What were they picking up?? Where were the rest of my coworkers??? I became anxious. I froze! What would happen if they saw me? They were loading so fast! I could barely breathe. All I could hear was my heart pounding a bass rhythm, and deep voices shouting instructions. I couldn't even make out what they were saying, my heart was beating so loudly and fast. I slowly started to slide down my swivel chair so I would not be seen behind the wooden sides of the office deck. But suddenly I felt I was in danger... someone was approaching the office area. They knew I was there! I was sweating and shaking in fear. My breathing became more labored, and I tried not to gasp. Step, step, step… shiver, shake, sweat… and then I woke up.

Ordinarily, I hit the snooze button a few times, but not today. I jumped from my bed as if the dark-suited men would follow me right though some unknown bed sheet portal. Eeek! Part of me doesn't want to know what was about to happen, but part of me does. What was it? What was it…???

Likklegirl

http://likklegirl.blogspot.com/2008_08_01_archive.html

Great blog! Clear, great pics, and oh so pwetty. Fabu fabrics and gastronomic goodies. She actually made heart-shaped pancakes with her bf. I would roll my eyes, except that they are totally adorable...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A labor of lamp

Why oh why do I have such trouble putting together lamps?

I'm fine with put-it-together-yourself furniture (desks, bookcases, that kind of thing) but whenever I attempt to put together a lamp, I turn into all thumbs. I bought this beautiful lamp at Target to replace the ugly torchiere currently in my living room. Today, after lunch out and a visit to the MSPCA to see the kitties (enormous heads, it was weird) and doggies (mostly pit bull mixes, yipes), a friend and I tried to put it together. But we failed, over and over. I will try again tomorrow, but I think that if I wrap the screw-y piece with electrical tape it will grip it better and stand up straight. Any better ideas?

Movie night

Movie Night last night.

I mean, Stupid Movie Night. I watched Meet the Spartans and Balls of Fury. Surprisingly, I really liked Fury! Dan Fogler is so funny. He does deadpan so well. And the costumes were really great, too. Enter the Dragon is one of my all-time favorites, and so a similar story featuring ping pong was a great idea.

Meet the Spartans was exactly what I expected -- enjoyable in a juvenile way. It was nice to see Kevin Sorbo again, though. And I just love Sean Maguire. (Yum. He was the only reason I ever watched Eve.) The painted-on abs were a nice touch, although I suspect his body is pretty freakin' sweet, even without the brown airbrushing. I wasn't as fond of the Roman-style hairdont's. Bottom line: if you like hot men, leather loincloths, skipping, deep, breathy voices, and Carmen Electra, rent Spartans. If you prefer goofy guys, ping-pong, not-quite-slapstick humor, Def Leppard, and Aisha Tyler, rent Fury. They are both entertaining in their own way. Have fun!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Search-a-speech

http://www.asksam.com/ebooks/obama-speeches/

If you're at all interested in following up regarding Obama's promises, look no further than this convenient compilation. You can search his downloadable speeches from 2003 to the present. Not only that, there are plenty of other categories: classic literature as well as a slew of judicial, legislative, and political texts. In addition, there is a section on resources and miscellaneous databases. The last section is kinda random, but still fun. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Riddles the Cat

funny pictures of cats with captions
more animals

Yahrtzeit Yankee Candle



I know it's blasphemous. And maybe a little bit funny? Just don't ask me to be a test sniffer on that one...


Anyway, this past Saturday I drove with a friend to the flagship Yankee Candle store in Deerfield (a 3.5-hour round-trip drive is quite pleasant when your ass is snuggled into a leather seat.) But when we got there, I was unable to find my favorites... in the whole damn complex! I tried and tried to find orange-scented candles, but apparently they are all discontinued. I was luckily able to rescue a few Juicy Orange little ones. By the end of the day, I was all smelled out.

After gorging ourselves on Raspberry Lemonade (sweet), Black Cherry (sour), Vineyard (absolutely grape. If Welch's were to put out a candle, this would be the scent), Creme Brulee (positively good enough to eat... I found myself chomping the air surrounding the candle just to get more stink in my nose), and six flavors of fudge (yes, this we actually ate), we bought a few more candles. My friend's favorite was something about roses. It was nice, but not as nice as orange.

In addition to the Juicy Oranges, I also picked up a small Sicilian Orange jar (oh, yum), a Clementine baby, and a Mango Peach Salsa baby, just to mix it up. And wow. They are still in their packages, and they are pretty powerful. Those Yankees sure know how to make a stink!

Bi-polar

funny pictures of cats with captions

"You could look it up…"

I've been a bookworm since the day I started reading the NY Times when I was four years old. One of the best services my parents did me as a child was to not explain what unusual words meant; they would sing out, "You could look it up…" And I would. And so would my sister. We had the best vocabularies in P.S. 24!

To this day, my family has lived by the same creed: If the OED says it, it is so. This rule applied to homework, Scrabble, Perquackey, and everything else. It was a chore, but we always "looked it up" in the ancient huge black two-volume, itty-bitty-font-sized, "compact" Oxford English Dictionary my parents had from before my birth. You know, the one with the beautiful, heavy magnifying glass in a little drawer above the books? Someone would always caution, "Don't break the spine!" "Weeeee wooooon't!"

In looking up one word, my sister and I would get sidetracked and read another, and another, and then one more… I loved that dictionary! Webster's? Surely you jest. The only ones worse than a Webster's were the American Heritage or anything abridged.

I still look everything up, but now it's a pleasure. I use the online version of the OED now, which I can access through work, and is considerably more convenient than lugging those tomes from room to room. I have also branched out into other dictionaries – online and written. What can I say? I'm a freak!

My sister and I Scrabbled on my recent vacation, and were forced to refer to the online Scrabble dictionary since we had no access to the OED online. To one another's chagrin, we were surprised many times by nonsensical words and "wrong" spellings it provided. "Fe" and "pe"? Not words, as far as we were concerned – until the game dictionary counted them in. I looked up "pe" and "fe" in the online OED and sure enough, they are not there. I wonder who would have won those games, if not for the silly Scrabble dictionary! I kinda liked it… it was almost like word gambling!

Am I a word snob? Maybe… but no more than I'm a food snob. So what if I have three different olive oils and seven types of vinegar? I also enjoy cheeseburgers and fries…

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Hunting and fishing

On the recent plane ride I read The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Bank. It was meh (my first and probably last use of this word. It just doesn't thrill me.) It's a snack book -- you know, one of those 3-4 hour jobbies. Perfect for a plane ride, because by the time you get there, you've finished it.

So anyway, we're airborne and I open the book. And discover that I had already read the first fifty pages! At some point I had decided this one wasn't worth my time and apparently never removed it from my bookcase. Sigh. The only other thing I had to read was a magazine, and I just didn't feel like a glossy. So I read it.

What I thought: Good viewpoints, if somewhat predictable. An easy read. I was touched by very little in the book, and found myself wanting to smack some sense into more than one of the characters. On the positive side, I did feel like I knew Jane by the end of the book.

One thing is for sure -- this book isn't for 30-somethings. We have been through all this shit already! Give it to a 20-year-old or a mature high-schooler. I'm sure they will enjoy it more than I did...

Slain in my sleep!

Wow. Another person killed me last night, too. At least this was not by a bounty hunter. He just happened to kill me in a fight. Plus, I keep getting robbed. Oh well. I guess I should check in a little more often...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Bounty hunted

Haha! I was just "snuffed" in Mafia Wars by some thug who claimed a bounty on me placed by another player who goes by the unlovely name of DrStinkDink... for $16,000,000! Just a few days ago I was only worth $8,000. Now there's a waste of "money." I'm not exactly powerful... I sucker punched the guy to further piss him off. I'll get him back eventually... when he least expects it...

Walking the dog on the moon

http://www.space.com/businesstechnology/090213-technovel-axel-rover.html

The new Axel rover is cool and was designed for use on the moon, not Mars. Styled like a yo-yo, and with just three actuators, it attaches to another robot and can then descend into craters, unlike other rovers. It can control its own wheels and trailing link. It can pick and choose its way down a slope, even turning in place if necessary. It does other stuff, too. Ain't science grand?

Office supplies


I really like using up office supplies.

The satisfaction I derive from writing with the same pen until it runs out of ink or using the last paper clip in the box is way out of proportion to its actual importance. Whenever someone flips a new jug onto the water cooler I get a strange little thrill. I get the same kick from seeing a ream of paper placed into the copier. Don't even get me started on toner cartridges and Post-its.

I enjoy using my own paper clips at home, but for me, there's something compelling about using office supplies in an actual office. And it doesn't stop there. If I use the last paper clip in a shared dish, there's no thrill. I have to use the whole box myself, and then and only then do I get it. Why is that?

After some thought, I decided to blame it on growing up in the 80's. It must have given me the compulsion to use, use, use! It's a decent theory. Does anyone else feel that way?

Rampant fat!

I had to share. This will make it much easier for me to stick to a diet! Pictures like this, after making me laugh, make me want to throw up from the sheer volume of it all… yuck!

http://thisiswhyyourefat.com/

Monday, February 16, 2009

Byetta

So just when I thought I was done writing about taking strange things into one's body, my mom calls me share an interesting tidbit. Her sugar went down 100 points in two days! "Great, Mom!" "Yes, it looks as if the Gila monster spit with which I have been injecting myself in the stomach is actually working!"

Whuh-huh? At first, I thought she was speaking another language. But apparently Byetta injections contain a derivative from lizard saliva that helps a diabetic's body produce the right amount of insulin at the right time. The trick is to stick yourself an hour before breakfast and dinner.

After an initial shock (and research. I heart research) I do believe this sounds pretty cool. We've already started on the lizard jokes. Maybe a little scary, and definitely scratch-your-head-able, but ultimately if lizard spit works, that's a good thing. And I do hope it works.

Before the conversation ended, my mom made me promise to go to the gym, by telling me that she doesn't want me to ever, ever have to poke myself in the stomach with lizard spit in order to become better. She's got a point there. I'm dining with two friends tomorrow who are training for a marathon (my heroes!) We all belong to the same gym. I suppose I'll be seeing a lot more of them...

Mmm, amniotic fluid

A coworker's daughter gave birth this past Friday. How nice for her. Mazel tov! But today my coworker regaled us with loud story after louder story of the water breaking, the birth, when she cut the umbilical cord, the baby himself, this, that, and the other thing. Goody goody gumdrops. I'm actually not particularly interested so I attempted to tune out.

But then she mentioned the placenta. And my stomach turned a little. Against my will, my ears perked up. That's when I remembered the Tom Cruise thing. "I'm going to eat the cord and the placenta right there..." A joke, Tom? You don't fool me. Better you should plant it...

Anyway, it actually happens. The eating and the planting. ew! Ew!! EW!!! Occasionally, art is even created from it. Yes. Cecil says it and it is true. Interestingly, some vegans eat it. [Vegan readers, please respond. What do you think?] In one article I read about a Berkeley birth, they practically lined up at the door for it. The reasoning behind that makes no sense to me -- flesh is flesh -- but, whatever. And lucky you, I've decided to not include a link to one of the nastiest things I have ever seen. I do, however, leave you with thoughts of roast placenta and placenta smoothies. Bon app├ętit!

Call the doctor. I need shoes!

Woo hoo! New boots! Well, not necessarily new... but new for me… my sis gave me two more pairs of Dr. Marten eights! She says her feet became too big for them after she popped out two kids. Too bad for her, but too good for me! (They are even in excellent condition.) I lucked out with green shinies and also an amazing shiny cherry red pair.

When I was in FL, she tried to buy a pair of tens from Zappo's, but they pinched. I still can't believe they are mostly produced in China now. What a rip! If you want the proper England-made ones, they cost significantly more. I will never, ever get rid of any of mine, now (adding these to my collection makes it seven pair.) Hmm… come to think of it, I wonder where my suede three-hole burgundies went… it's been years since I've seen them. They must be around somewhere… I couldn't have chucked them, right?

Anyway, today I could have worn one of these new pairs, but instead I wore my black knee-high boots (the ones I bought in the summer) and totally wasted them, wearing them to the office under a pair of black pants. What was I thinking? Any of these bright colors would have looked just fine with my standard all-black outfits. I didn't have to wear black boots! And by the way these could-be-sexy-with-the-right-clothes boots slide down my calves. Maybe not a bad thing in certain situations, but every time I wear them, after a few hours, at least one inch of boot ends up scrunched around my ankle. Sigh. Not so sexy after all…

Red pod, blue pod, iPod, you pod

So I've joined the revolution and got an iPod (as a birthday present.) It's an adorable, apple green, 2GB Shuffle. I decided not to buy the special hookup for the car so I instead bought a vibrating Homedics seat thingy that it can plug directly into, with a built-in speaker (Christmas Tree Shops, $8. Don't you just love a bargain?) Basically, while driving, I'll have a magical, musical, gluteus maximus that plays all my favorite songs… I just love that idea, don't you?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Fododo-de-yacka saki

I just love The Andrews Sisters, those naughty, naughty girls. Such clean voices and smiles and tight, catchy harmonies for such dirty thoughts and political incorrectnesses. And this past week I was able to hear them almost every day since the kiddies like them too. 5-year-old Niecey especially likes "Rum and Coca-Cola." You know, the one about prostitution? She sings it at the top of her lungs. "Workin' for the Yankee dol-laaaaahhhh!"

Anyway, my wonderful vacation is almost over. I didn't write as much as I wanted, unfortunately. But I have plans to attend some writing meetups in my area and see where that leads. Good luck to me! I'll keep you posted...

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy birthday, Charles

Tonight I hung out with a friend, ate Chinois and watched two movies -- Leatherheads and in honor of Charles Darwin's 200th birthday two days ago, The Darwin Awards. They were both enjoyable, but Darwin was right up my alley... a dark comedy with a good-looking lead. There was not one part of the movie that found me twiddling my thumbs. I liked the whole hilarious thing! I also liked that it included the guys from Mythbusters and Metallica for cameos. It's remarkable that Metallica still rocks so hard. How about that James Hetfield? He even looks good with short hair. But I digress. If you like dark comedy, I daresay you will like this. Rent it, and enjoy!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Angry little pussies

Consider cat vomit. It happens. Kitties eat too fast, or get hairballs and have to upchuck. Twinkie vomits so often that I actually think he does it for sport. Either that, or he's bulimic.

But this time. Butch and Twinkie were so disappointed at me for going away that they puked... on my dining table! They sure know how to make a point...

Oops, forgot about V-Day

So that's why no one is available to hang around tomorrow. I totally forgot! This is what happens when I take a break from dating. Vacation helps to clear the mind...

So as a gesture of care and understanding, I'd like to send well wishes to everyone who has someone (even though it's not always necessary.)

I hope people who are happy together stay that way. Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Yum, Chinese food

Did you read the article by Jessica Cerretani (The Past is Present) in The Boston Globe Magazine on 1/25/09? (I know this is late, but I finally got around to reading it three days ago.) It's about reestablishing ties with people via Facebook and other social networking sites -- the article itself is fair (engaging, but in my opinion meandering) -- but something very funny was overlooked. I can only imagine it was a typo that various proofreaders didn't catch (and not some kind of little-known Asian technique.)

Fill in the missing letter. "His memory of me was of a w-nton seductress..." You would fill in "wanton," right? Not "wonton"? I laughed so hard at the airport that I think I creeped some people out. Anyway, if you want to read it... the "a" has since been replaced for the online version... but it's still funny... 

Nap time = online time

Just another one of the things that I'm learning here. Others:
  • The Backyardigans are very cool (and they actually are! Nothing Like Tinky Winky.) These strange little animal-styled urchins are urban and musical. Uniqua is Niece's favorite (and mine), but we still can't figure out if she's modeled after a bug or something else. 
  • Forget about going online when little ones are awake. Even the most boring-looking websites hold hidden treasures when your aunt views them. Hence, I'm blogging in the middle of the day.
  • It's ok to eat pizza several meals in a row.
  • Not all little girls like Barbies.
  • Little kids' poo smells the absolute worst. Note to self: bring gas mask next time!
  • Advil doesn't always work.
  • Housing "communities" and pink stucco strip malls make me uneasy. 
Let's see what the rest of the day brings!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Greetings

General doings from sunny Florida:
  • Happy birthday to me. 36 years and still adorable. Yipes!
  • We baked a cake as a family today, but I think we might have baked Niecey's cold germs right in. *sniffle sniffle, cough cough*
  • Great gifties from Sister: Crazy by the Letters and an Eames House of Cards "game" from the 1950s
  • Because Niecey was sick, she didn't go to school today and wear her special pomegranate costume. We still have to take a pic. 
  • There is a hawk that zooms around above the development. I must remember to keep Nephew away, or he could become a tasty snack.
  • I'm sleeping on the softest, snuggiest, most cuddle-worthy sheets ever! I want! (Cotton knit from Target. I'll check if they still sell them.)
  • My back = little pain nuggets. I think the plane did it.
  • Florida water is light green. I rediscovered that today while running a bath for said pain nuggets. 
  • Sister and I played a few games of Scrabble in person for the first time in a long time. We are perfectly matched... we fought for points, and still tied at 287!
  • Whoever draws Tinkerbell for little kids' sheet sets might be "into" the cartoon a little too much. She is in various Vargas girl cheesecake poses all over the pillowcase -- sitting on her heels, laying on her stomach with legs bent and pointed toes, bending over, leaning back, one hand between her cartoon legs, looking over her shoulder... all the while with a flirty twinkle in her eye... it's charming and funny and also a mite disturbing. 
  • I fell asleep gazing at the stars last night and can't wait to do it again...

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Totally unimportant

This is so unimportant, but... I can't believe that the mylar balloons are still inflated two weeks later. Cheap thrills, I guess...

Expressionism

So I'm all about Mark Peters right now. In the snowcloned words of Salt and Pepa, "Whatta writer, whatta writer, whatta writer, whatta mighty good writer!"

He has ensnared me with his clever wit and needlelike typestrokes. I'm unable to extricate myself. I just can't stop reading! Thankfully, I'm now on vacation so I have the time...

And so I have added his best blog, Wordlust, to my stuff list (with his permission.) There, you can find all his articles and his lovingly crafted compendium of present-day descripto-syllables. In addition, he has a better-than-good column on good.com. Woo hoo!

In summation, yes, I am a self-admitted Mark Peters groupie. I have mini brain-gasms every time I read his work. Hey, anyone who can reliably make me laugh over and over again deserves a groupie! Reader, raise your glass (or your cup of tea) to Mark Peters -- the Jon Stewart of words...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Full frontal football?

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hh0DjqPF9rK8q1skduiPinoJO2Jw

Ha! Due to a "malicious incident," Comcast broadcasted about 30 seconds of a couple playing indoor sports to Tucson watchers with three minutes left in Sunday's game.

"I just figured it was another commercial until I looked up," viewer Cora King told the Arizona Daily Star. "Then he did his little dance with everything hanging out." So that's what it takes for someone to realize a blow job isn't a commercial...

Monday, February 2, 2009

Inflation

It's been nine days since the baby shower and the mylar balloons are still inflated. I'm pleasantly surprised! It turns out dollar store helium balloons outlast their iParty cousins. (The only danger is ugly choices.) No biggie, just thought I'd share.

35 more words I like

Some more words I like. My sister laughs and laughs whenever I use the word "peculiar." She says it's old-fashioned. But since when do I care?

rapscallion
pipsqueak
nurdle
squinch
typography
cross-hatch
contraption
frangipani
puny
explosive
cascades
treacherous
persnickety
claw
stuporific
horchata
butte
raconteur
peculiar
fatuous
whither
fathom
snarkiness
bootylicious
sanguine
quaff
plinthe
referential
handiwork
silken
goldenrod
dodgy
stickler
kismet
completion

Inkheart

Last night, instead of watching the Superbowl, I went out to dinner with a friend and then saw Inkheart. At first I was there purely for the eye candy (Brendan Fraser and Paul Bettany, yum) but then I got into the story. Fraser plays a man who causes stories to come to life when he reads them aloud (he didn't sound at all whiny, squeaky, or goofy, which sometimes happens with him), and Bettany plays one of the characters in the story.

Of course there's a villain and henchmen, and along the way Fraser's character's wife ends up in the book, leaving him and their young daughter alone against her will (when a character leaves a book, someone else goes in). My favorite scene (which actually had very little to do with the plot) was Bettany doing tricks with flaming batons, shirtless and glistening a little in a piazza. Gratuitous nudity is a very good thing.

It was beautifully filmed abroad which disoriented me (which I like in a movie) and there were some cool effects, and it was certainly an hour and 46 minutes of fun, if not thought-provoking visuals. Everything is not tied up in a neat little ball, there were holes in the story, and many of the details went missing, but that's ok. It's a kids' fantasy movie, after all. But if they had made the music more spooky-sounding, the lighting darker, and thrown in some smut it would have been a great movie for adults. I'm not into kid's movies in general, but if you ask me, the storyline was kind of dark to begin with (and by the way the daughter's British accent made no sense and was annoying, considering her mom said about 10 words). All in all, I had a good time and I'd watch it again, but not in the theater.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A Map of the World

Yesterday I finished reading A Map of the World by Jane Hamilton. It was art. I call it "art" because it elicited in me a powerful emotion.

I intensely disliked the protagonist from the moment I opened the book. The first chapter finds her petulant, lazy, volatile, thoughtless, and a blurter. Depressed? Hard to tell. She's all over the place. She would certainly be tiresome to befriend, and with good reason: she seems unwilling to do anything other than daydream and dance. While sitting for her only friend's children, this daydreaming costs her enough time for the neighbors' two-year-old to leave the house and drown in the farm's pond.

With each page, I became more disgusted with this woman. But I became hooked, and I couldn't wait to find out what other careless things she would do. How badly can things go south? Pretty badly... and pretty fast.

The writing is exactly like Alice: just when you think you know what's going to happen... whoosh! Off it goes in another direction. We hear from her husband as well, and he's got his own battles. Hamilton even pulled an Arthur Miller and went with the last name of "Goodheart" for this family. I particularly liked the book's structure. Reading more than one point of view is usually fun.

By the end, some of my thoughts about Alice had changed: I still found her tiresome, but I realized that everyone goes through moments in which they lose themselves. I can't say I identified with her particular moments, though (thankfully!)

I liked the book, but I was disappointed with the ending. I don't want to call it a morality tale (because it isn't), but I don't know what else to call it. I'd go with "parable" but the book is long. I'll choose "existential novel", but it's more than that -- there is at least some meaning in Alice's world. If you read this book, please let me know what you think...

The talking cats

This always cracks me up.