Thursday, June 29, 2006
Nothing funny about that, right? Quite sad, actually...unless you keep reading:
"Right now, our deepest sympathies are with the family and we are doing everything we can to assist them," said Disney spokesman Jacob DiPietre. "Right now, there is a Disney cast member who is with them and providing any assistance that we can provide."
Um...exactly which Disney cast member was sent to help and comfort the family? Tinkerbell? Goofy? Perhaps Captain Jack Sparrow...? [he can comfort me anytime]
*Hat tip to Eric...
Five Things in My Freezer:
- Eggo blueberry waffles
- A box of Popsicles with only the grape flavored ones left
- Assorted onion tops and turkey necks for future stock making
- Tater tots! (not quite sure why that necessitated an exclamation point)
- Two kinds of ice cream (Chocolate chip, honey dip, can I get a scoop? (damn that Shoop...it's taking over!)
Five Things in My Closet:
- My perpetually oestruating cat, Anais (she likes to sleep there)
- Two J. Crew bags filled with shoes that need heel caps replaced
- A dreamcatcher purchased for me by a misguided aunt
- An unusually high number of ball gowns
- Way too much dirty laundry
Five Things in My Car (I don't have a car...so how about Five Things on My Desk)
- A Slinky
- A box of jasmine green tea
- A Gumby doll wearing a dress and hat that I made him out of paper towels and Post-Its
- An apple-cinnamon scented candle
Five Things in my purse. (actually a large canvas L.L. Bean tote)
- The July 2006 Wired
- A Gap bag with a navy blue henley, two pairs of pajama shorts, and three men's v-neck undershirts (went shopping at lunch)
- Two Netflix DVDs (Matchpoint and City of God)
- The Watchmen
- My extra toothbrush (always be prepared)
Tag, you're it:
Matt Baer at One Limb (don't hate me)
The sassy ladies at Applebox (again, don't hate me)
Moe, because you really need to get something up on that blog of yours, mi lady...
Oh, and Matt, if you're into silly games, I recommend that you check out Perplexcity...it's a rabbit hole of a game that beats all others...
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Tuesday Night Book Club
I am pretty sad about the recent cancellation of this guilty pleasure. I discovered this while flipping channels last Tuesday night. I clicked on it because it sounded smutty, but in a literary, Jane Austen kind of way--but really it proved to be dumb and trashy in a Jacqueline Susan kind of way. This CBS reality show is basically a Desperate Housewives rip-off, except better, because it's "real" and "unscripted." It focuses on the travails of the wealthy female members of a book club in Scottsdale, Arizona. Interestingly enough, the women have yet to actually open a book (they're currently supposed to be reading "She's Come Undone" by Wally Lamb--read what 16-year-old me thought of the book here). In last week's episode, the girls had a Botox party, two participated in a fitness competition, and one waffled over whether or not to leave her husband for her lover. Classy stuff. I'm hoping that they'll still air the remaining six episodes...
Melody Record Shop
On the days when I don't take the bus home, I walk past Melody Record Shop on Connecticut Ave. and tell myself that I will go in one of these days. I was always a little bit intimidated by it, because it seems like the kind of place where you really have to know about music to go in. Or maybe I've just seen High Fidelity one too many times... Anyway, I finally went in last Sunday and totally fell in love. It's such a great store! They have an amazing electronica/lounge selection and also very good Jazz and Latin sections. They have listening stations and the people that work there really know what they are talking about. When I went in I picked up...
Gotan Project, Lunatico
Amazing. I've been in love with Gotan Project since their first album, La Revancha Del Tango, came out about five years ago. Revancha was classic tango music revamped with great trip-hop and electronic beats. The new album is even more amazing as it downplays the trip-hop in favor of a more classically Latin flavor. I'm talking accordions and spanish guitar. Classic Buenos Aires. And the vocals have that smoky, scratchy-record kind of sound. Very sexy. Very sultry. It's essential stuff, kids...
I spent five years avoiding this place on principal. I'm skeptical of places that are open late and most frequently raved about by drunk jappy GW college students. Especially take-out empanada places. That, and the fact that as a Puerto Rican, I have a very, very specific idea of what an empanada is. Each of the different Latin American countries has its own version of the empanada. Puerto Rico has what we call "pastelillos," and they are made with a very light flaky pastry stuffed with things like crabmeat, cheese, beef and egg, or guava. In Colombia the empanadas are made with cornmeal, fried to a crisp, and served with spicy sauces. The empanadas they sell at Julia's are Chilean and are baked in a sweet, doughy casing. I finally tried one last month for the first time. I had to duck into Julia's because it was raining and I didn't have exact change for the bus. The nice guy behind the counter (Andres) jokingly told me that he couldn't give me change if I didn't buy anything. I figured I'd play along and it was worth it. Those are good empanadas... and at just north of 3 bucks, it's not a bad deal. (Chilean beef is my favorite...)
I remembered this two nights ago when loaded up on NyQuil (and, ok, maybe also a couple glasses of wine) I passed out on my couch while watching White Heat (amazing 1940s film noir starring James Cagney) On Demand. I woke up a little while later to hear a deafening noise blaring out of my television. I put on my glasses and saw that it was the Emergency Alert System and that they were actually announcing a real emergency! For a moment I freaked out, but then I saw it was just something about flash flooding in Montgomery County. That didn't really affect me so I tried to change the channel, but the EAS seemed to have taken control of my TV, poltergeist-style. So instead I did what any good blogger would do: I took a crappy picture of the screen with my camera phone, turned off the tv, and went to bed.
Until proven otherwise, I will continue to believe that this is the first time that the Emergency Alert System has ever been activated for a non-test purpose.
Update: A little Googling came across this 2004 Wired article about the crappiness of the Emergency Alert System
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
My current laptop is actually one that I inherited from my mother in December of my senior year at GW when my laptop died and my dad refused to buy me an iBook.
"Borrow your mother's for now," he said, "and we'll see about getting you a new one for your birthday." My mother, aware of my dad's inability to make decisions regarding major electronic purchases, reluctantly relinquished her brand new laptop.
"I guess I'll never see you again," she said sadly as she gently brushed her hand along the casing.
I quickly grabbed the computer before she could change her mind, stuffed it in my carry-on, and high-tailed it out of Jersey on the next Metroliner.
That was two years ago and my dad never quite got around to buying me that iBook I wanted. I think he purposely hesitated so that he could use the "Oh no...you're out of college now. You have a real job and can buy it yourself" excuse.
I don't really mind all that much. I am still eager to make the switch to a Mac--[although lately I'm kind of irritated by those stupid commercials with the "young hip guy" that represents Mac and the "old stodgy guy" meant to represent a PC. I think they're incredibly arrogant and obnoxious. Personally, I've never had any trouble connecting my "trendy japanese digital camera" to my PC or "capturing a family vacation." So suck it, trendy Mac.] but until then, I've got a pretty great notebook. And I also inherited my mom's stellar business service package (I think it's called "Dell Support 3.0) which provides free next-day in-home visits from Dell service technicians. It's pretty amazing (or so I thought). Last fall, BFF Matt spilled an entire glass of red wine all over this very same laptop and fritzed out the keyboard. Two days later a tech guy showed up at my office and switched it out for a new one.
Anyway, so the reason my computer has been MIA for the past two weeks has nothing to do with Dell or their level of tech support--it has to do with me and my dislike of tech support guys. Basically, I hate talking to those guys with their scripts and their constant assurances that they "understand how frustrated" I am and their "sincere apologies for the inconvenience." I hate that they always ask permission to place me on hold and then transfer me to their supervisor who reads me from another script in order to find out if I was "thoroughly satisfied with the level of support" I received. I know that it's meant to be polite and everything, but really, all I want to know is when is the technician coming to replace my motherboard. That's all. I don't care that you're recording the call. I don't want to know what the weather is like New Delhi. And I don't want to go through a list of prescribed steps when I already know what the problem is. I need a new motherboard. That is all. When can you deliver it? But of course, I have to sit there and pretend to plug and unplug and hold the power button down for 10 seconds while Raman(that's my guy's name) reads and stumbles over his script. "Sure, I'll hold the power button down, but I'm telling you it's the motherboard, Raman."
So I sit through 35 minutes of this and then Raman goes to check through his little manual after asking me if it's ok to place me on hold with all the elegance and reverance of a man asking for a woman's hand in marriage.
"Sure, whatever, Raman, but I'm telling you it's the motherboard." He puts me on hold, and I sit there flicking back and forth between Family Guy and Sex and the City reruns, waiting for Raman to come back and tell me that I need a new motherboard.
"Hello, are you there Ms. Ramos?"
"I'm here, Raman."
"Excellent. Yes well I've identified the problem and have determined that you need a new motherboard. I will send over a technician to replace your motherboard within 24-48 hours."
Anyway, so Raman promises me that a technician will call to schedule a visit within the next day. I thank him, listen to another 5 minutes of customer service script, am transferred to his boss, tell her what a great job Raman did and how freaking satisfied I am with his tech support abilities, and finally hang up.
This was three days ago... I've yet to hear from the technician. I have, however, received two weird phone calls.
The first came last night at 12:59 am. As in after midnight! I realize that these guys are in India, but you'd think that they have some idea of times zones. The message that the Dell guy left went something like this:
"Hello, Yolanda (comp's still under my mom's name), I am calling from Dell to follow-up on the service call we received from you on the 24th. I see that you are not available now and am truly sorry that I missed you and so I will have to ask for a call back. Thank you and have a very good day."
WTF?! I'm sorry but the only people who are allowed to call me at 1am are drunk boyfriends, not Dell customer service reps.
The second call came just a few minutes ago. It was a prerecorded message telling me that the delivery of my new motherboard has been delayed due to inclement weather (read: psycho monsoon that has been raging all over the East Coast).
So here I am...72 hours later and still completely motherboard-less. It just sucks.
Oh and I better not get any comments about how Applecare is soooo much better because I think the only thing even more obnoxious than sitting on hold with some guy in New Delhi is listening to the Pussycat Dolls at the Apple store while waiting for my name to get called up at the "Genius Bar."
Those of you who are still reeling over the recent death of media mogul and 7th Heaven creator Aaron Spelling might find some comfort in this imaginary, but oh-so-wonderful dialogue courtesy of Go Fug Yourself:
DAVID: I really, really like my outfit. I am a hip-hop legend in the making.
BRENDA: I am SO bored with it taking three hours to unzip my pants. GOD, it's no WONDER Dylan dumped me for that bitch.
BRANDON: Calm down, Bren. We all have high-rise pants. The whole world is suffering. Andrea and I are going to do an editorial about it for The Blaze.
BRENDA: Can it, BRANDON. Aren't you supposed to be at the Peach Pit?
DAVID: No, I mean, look at me. I really think I'm going to take the music world by storm -- George Michael would totally wear this. Why hasn't Donna had sex with me?
BRENDA: Because you're dressed like the village idiot who ran off to join a marching-band circus.
BRANDON: Easy, Bren. Remember, you're wearing a vest.
BRENDA: Thanks, BRANDON. You know, I hardly think wearing tight jeans stuffed with a bowling ball gives you the right to talk about other people's clothing.
Monday, June 26, 2006
I received the following e-mail today from one of the Washington Post Date Lab editors:
These Date Lab people are pretty cool...
I was toodling around Technorati this weekend, shamelessly looking for references to "Date Lab," when I came across your blog. I wanted to drop you a note to say, A) You won't get in trouble blogging about it, no matter how many of your questionnaire answers you post, and B) the offensive "dilly" reference was all mine--I was feeling feisty one day as I wrote people back and, well, there you are. Mistakes were made. I've been know to use the word "peeps" inappropriately, too, though it was a long time ago and I don't believe a record of the transgression is still extant. At least I hope not.
For those of you who--like me--are obsessed with this story, check out this link for the first installment of the Date Lab column.
Click here to read just a few of my answers to the Date Lab questionnaire. And now that I know it's cool with them, I may post a few more of my responses in a future entry. Stay tuned...
Sunday, June 25, 2006
The streets were deserted and there was a bit of a chill in the air--a little too chilly for a summer night in June, if you ask me. I shoulda known something was gonna happen. I pulled my sweater tightly around me and quickened my pace, the click of my heels matching the rhythm of the drops on my umbrella.
I'd been working late again, using company resources to finish my book. The boss had been out all week, on vacation at the beach with his sweet blonde wife and even sweeter kids. Things had been real quiet around the office. I'd been taking it easy--we all had--but I knew that come Monday he'd be back and would want to know why not much got done when he wasn't around. "It's because nobody gives a damn," I'd think, but not actually say. But it was the truth. Me and the other girls, we're just there for the money (if you could even call it that). Just trying to get by until something--or someone--better comes along.
We all have our dreams. Kathy is the beauty. She wants to be an actress, but she's got no talent, poor thing. And in this city, legs and a pretty face will only get you so far...
Doreen's a sweet girl, but stuck taking care of that scumbag lush of a father she's got. She shoulda high-tailed it outta town when her mother left, but she's too good for that. All she wants is a nice fella to come rescue her, and though there have been a couple suitors, the old bastard has managed to scare them all away. Guess he knows without her he's got nothing.
And me, you ask? Well I don't have any family to worry about--drunk or otherwise--and while I've got an ok face, I'm in no danger of being called a beauty. What I've got is brains and that's a hell of a lot more than most people. I've got dreams of being a writer and with all I've seen and lived, I know I could make it big. I'm talking real literary stuff, not those trashy yarns you read in dime-store novels. So that's why I stay so late at the office every night. After the other girls and Mr. Lorry go home, I start work on my book. I'm about three-fourths of the way finished and I'm telling you it's good.
So I'm making my way home to my little apartment. It's small and not so nice, but the rent is low and it's not too far from the office. And anyway, it's just me and my cat Iris so we don't need much. The only thing I don't like about it is that it's just above Dancers, that girly bar. It's always tricky maneuvering around the drunk guys that fall (or get kicked) out of that place everynight. But if they get too smart with me, Terry, the bartender, always comes out and gives them a good thrashing. He's kinda what I picture a big brother would be like. At first I was scared of him. You know, you think a guy that works in a place like that wouldn't be so nice, but then I got to know him and I see that he's just the same as me and Kathy and Doreen--waiting for a dream to come true. Terry's dream is his music. He plays the piano like you wouldn't believe. The classical stuff. You know, those German guys.
But tonight, I don't need Terry. I get past the door with no trouble and climb up the four flights to my apartment, 4B. It's real dark in the hallway. The light went out last month and Ol' Jimmy still hasn't bothered to fix it. He's good about not complaining when I'm a couple days late with the rent though so I don't say anything about it. Anyway, there's a window and a streetlamp right outside so I can find my way to my door alright. I'm standing there, looking for my keys when I notice something wedged in between the door and the ledge. I pluck it out and see that it's a business card. Nothing on it but a name and number:
James R. Powell
Contract Federal Investigator
U.S. Department of State
This gives me a bit of shiver. Why was this on my door? I turn it around to see if there's a message, but there's nothing. I let myself in and look around the room. It didn't look like anything was out of place. I checked the floor to see if someone had slipped a note in, but there was nothing. I look at the card again. James R. Powell. U.S. Department of State. What would a federal investigator want with me, I wonder. I look at Iris and wish she could talk. Wish she could tell me something about what was going on.
I've got no telephone and it's too late to call anyone anyway, so I sit down on the sofa and light myself a cigarette. I gotta remember to empty the ashtray; it's overflowing with ashes and stubs, most with my trademark ruby red lipstick. I exhale and watch the whisps of smoke curl out of my mouth and rise up above my head.
I guess it'll have to wait till morning...
Well I just want to report that since that post, my blog hits have skyrocketed (relatively speaking--I'm talking 5 or 6 new hits a day) and a quick look at my Sitemeter stats show that most of these new readers have found the blog by typing the google search words "I was just the aardvark" or "sony handycam aardvark" or other similar combinations. These hits have come in from all over the country, so I guess I'm not the only one with that song stuck in my head.
Unfortunately, nobody seems to know anymore about this song than I do, but at least I know I'm not alone in this quest...
Friday, June 23, 2006
Today I was browsing through an old e-mail inbox when I discovered the login info for an Epinions account I'd opened back in 1999. I'd completely forgotten that it existed and my account had actually been deactivated, but I reactivated it in order to read some of my early reviews.
I discovered that 16-year-old Alejandra had strong opinions (particularly about Oprah and her book club), a penchant for completely absurd metaphors, and way too much free time (seriously, what high school sophomore spends her leisure time reviewing electric toothbrushes online?). I also noticed that both magazines that I reviewed have since gone out of print. I certainly hope that I didn't have anything to do with that...
A sampling for your reading pleasure:
The Interplak Family Electric Toothbrush
"Perhaps it was just me and my high expectations; I think I was waiting for sparkling teeth and a tingly fresh feeling, however that is not what I got. It was just like using a wiggly toothbrush only you couldn't control it and make it go where you wanted it to. I also hurt the gums on the left side of my mouth so that they were sore for a good part of the morning. I really don't think that it was worth the money that was spent on it and from now on I am planning on stickingwith my good old Oral B with the flexible handle. At least that one doesn't wiggle and jiggle like an out of control fire hose... All in I would not recommend this brush.
Brill's Content (a magazine)
"I often meander into the nerd section of Barnes and Noble, where they keep the political and literary magazines. One day, as I stood next to a burly tweed-clad gentleman of about 60 who smelled strongly of tobacco, I noticed a magazine that I had never before heard of. It was nestled between Harper's and George, and it looked mildly interesting. I picked it up and began turning the pages of what has quickly become my favorite magazine. The premise behind Brill's Content, is that someone has to watch the media and make sure that it doesn't become too censored and monopolized. When it does, they make it their job to tell us about it. Kind of like the Noam Chomsky of magazines. It's a wonderful publication with informative and well-written articles on little known or little covered stories, opposing viewpoints on debatable issues, humor and much more. It is a very contemporary magazine, similar to George in its writing style and approach, a refreshing departure from the stuffiness and intellectual snobbery of many non-sports-or-women's magazines. It is actually the only publication, apart from the newspaper, that I hold a subscription to. I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who is interested in gaining a new and varied perspective from a magazine"
The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver
"I've once again fallen into the Oprah trap. I don't quite know how it happened; I really thought that I was stronger than this. However, once again I found myself, egged on by trusted friends and that ubiquitous round "Oprah's Book Club" sticker, standing at the register...That was more than three months ago and I can't seem to get past the first chapter, "Genesis." It is so boring! It goes on and on with endless descriptions of nothing leaving one feeling hot, tired and exhausted, as though one is standing in the middle of the jungle wearing a parka and holding a cup of steaming tea..."
Oprah's Book Club
"Just because Oprah said it's good doesn't mean that it is. I hate how the minute that Oprah deems a book "fabulous"it shoots up the charts and becomes a bestseller. Isn't it sick that this one woman has so much say over what society reads? ...Read books because they interest you, not because they interest Oprah! Look around. Wander through Barnes and Noble or your local independent bookstore. Ask the salespeople for suggestions. Talk to your friends. Read reviews in magazines and newspapers. Don't be afraid to disagree with Oprah or anyone else that recommends a book that you don't find interesting. Don't just read new releases...try the classics: Joyce, Kate Chopin, Salinger, Capote, Bronte, Austen...the list goes on and on and spans hundreds of years. ...I know that you may not agree with me, but that's okay because this is just an opinion...as is Oprah's Book Club. Make your own."
George (a magazine)
"The late John F Kennedy Jr's objective when he created George was to provide a contemporary view of politics for today's generation, and this magazine fulfills his goal beautifully. The articles are clear, humorous, and informative. They offer fresh viewpoints on the usual topics, as well as the offbeat ones. Another plus is the low newsstand price. Many people complain about the general sense of apathy towards the government that many teens and young adults have. I believe that George is a positive step towards eliminating this problem. Another interesting note is the hidden Washington-head on the cover of every issue."
Here on Earth, Alice Hoffman
"There are places in the novel when one conjures up the image of Alice Hoffman typing away at her computer with a very large thesaurus by her side in an effort to appear intelligent. ...For some unknown reason, the novel has been compared to Wuthering Heights. This is an insult to Ms. Bronte. I can't believe that anyone has the nerve to call it a "modern Wuthering Heights". I'm sure that Ms. Bronte must have turned in her grave the first time that she heard that reference to her masterpiece in the same line as this trashy novel."
She's Come Undone, Wally Lamb
"Oprah has bad taste in books."
The review that struck me most was my opinion about whether or not to apply for college "Early Decision." I remembered how determined and motivated I was senior year of high school. I know things get more complicated the older you get, but I'd really love just a little bit of the clarity I had back then:
"I have spent the past three years preparing for college, and I know what I want to do, where I want to go, and since I do...why wait any longer? By December 20 it should be official, but as for now, I already know. I'm going to be accepted, and now I can relax and enjoy my final year at home."
Well done, 17-year-old Alejandra. Well done.
Thursday, June 22, 2006
*hat tip to sara for the link
**As cute/creepy as these Nazi cats are, the real reason why I posted this was because I came up with such a clever title. I'm pleased as punch with myself right now...
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
I spent most of my summers in a variety of nerdy camps for the "gifted & talented." G&T camps specialize in climate controlled indoor activities--much better for all the scrawny, asthmatic, nerds. One summer my mom decided that I really needed to "get outdoors" so she and my dad signed me up for one of those "normal" camps with lakes and trees and cabins and matching t-shirts. [Just thinking about it makes me feel kind of itchy and grossed out.]
I hated it.
I somehow convinced my parents to let me "drop out" after a couple weeks, and I spent the rest of the summer in relative comfort at the Hasbrouck Heights Public Library. To this day, the smell of OFF makes me cringe.
This past weekend, a friend of mine took my best friend Vanessa and I fishing. I'd never done anything like that before and so I was pretty excited. The day was beautiful and I was amazed that a place so gorgeous existed just a 10 minute drive from my apartment.
"This is just like summer camp!" I said when we got out of the cab. "Oh look! Canoes! Like the ones at summer camp! Oh! You can rent bikes! Just like at summer camp!" I proceeded to compare things to things I'd seen that one summer at summer camp about 3 or 4 more times before my friend turned to me and asked, "Was summer camp the only time you've been outside in your life?"
"Basically," I replied.
Vanessa nodded and added, "Alejandra really prefers air conditioning."
My friend shook his head and told us to wait for him while he bought some "nightcrawlers."
At which point Vanessa and I both looked at each other and exclaimed, "Nightcrawler! Like in X-Men!"
Outdoorsy friend looked at us, shook his head, and sighed, "Just. Wait. Here."
Once we had our bait we walked down a path until we reached a fork in the road.
"Two roads diverged in a wood," he said.
"Oh!" I exclaimed happily, excited to see this bit of poetry come to life. "Can we take the road less traveled by?"
"No, we can't," said outdoorsy friend.
We reluctantly followed him down the trampled path towards the water where we set down our stuff and he showed us how to bait our hooks and cast the line. After a couple minutes I felt a tug on my line and asked him what to do.
"Just reel it in," he said.
And that's when it clicked. "Reel it in" "Cast the line" "The road less traveled"
Suddenly, it was like all the metaphors that I'd used and read and written over the years meant something! I realized that once you leave the libraries and book shops behind, figurative language becomes literal. I pointed this out to my friend, but he didn't seem to find it quite as interesting as I did...
But I know you guys will...
1.) I watched a few minutes of The View and marveled at how gross Star Jones looks now that she deflated. I finally agree with my little cousin Crystal's observation that she "looks like a worm." I had a close encounter with worms recently because I spent last Saturday fishing and can report that she does, in fact, look like a worm. Imagine the fish you could catch with that worm on your hook...
2.)The power of advertising is remarkable. I'm not sure if you know this, but 80 percent of the commercials that are on during the day are either for medical malpractice/ personal injury lawyers or correspondence courses. By 3 pm I was convinced that I had consumed lead as a child and was strongly considering a career as a washing machine repairman.
3.) Daytime television sucks. A selected list of the crap I watched:
- The Oxygen original movie, "Romancing the Bride." Starring the girl from That 70s Show, Carrie Fisher, and a hot Mexican guy. I was horrified by how bad Carrie Fisher looks. I think that all those boys that used to get off on Princess Leia would be really disappointed to see how she turned out. Please see Exhibits A and B:
- "Waiting to Exhale," starring a pre-wacked-out Whitney Houston and Angela Bassett, who looks way too much like a man.
- Judging Amy
- An episode of Coupling on BBC America. Damn good show.
- A PBS thing about Aibo, the Sony robot dog, crazy Japanese trains, and a Tokyo fish market where one Blue Fin tuna costs $10,000. Still not sure what the common thread there is, but at least I learned that I should never order sushi in Tokyo on a Wednesday.
- "The Anatomy of Sex" This one, save for a few uncomfortably realistic reenactments, was actually pretty cool--all about pheromones and the limbic system. Also, I now know that 2 in 5 males get more turned on and have stronger erections when they are anxious or scared. Anyone want to come see The Omen with me? ;-)
- The Gilmore Girls--I realized that I still have quite a bit of pent up resentment at Rory Gilmore for selling everyone out in Sin City. I realized that they're two different characters, but I just can't stand her...
4.) It really sucks to not have internet access at home. I need to call Dell and get my laptop fixed. (yes the truth comes out...sometimes I blog from a Dell Notebook and not a Dell Desktop)
5.) I'd like to stay at the Fairmont Hotel in Acapulco someday.
6.) France, Greece, and Spain are the only EU countries with 1-syllable names in English.
7.) I want a robot dog.
Oh and one thing that I am very proud of: No Oprah.
As previously stated, I'm not an indiscriminate linker and will only add blogs that I read and enjoy on a daily basis--so trust me, these are good:
First up is Deglazed, the tales of a former full-time computer guy who is giving it all up to pursue his dream of becoming a kick-ass chef. His clever blog is chock full of stories about cooking classes, cheesecake, and absurd late-night infomercial gadgets. As a current full-time computer girl/former culinary student, I definitely admire what he's doing and wish him all the luck in the world. I figured the least I could do is send over a few new readers...
The Blank Top Chronicles are incredible. It's basically just conversations between a taxi company dispatcher and the freaks and weirdos that call in needing a cab. Check it out for a quick laugh. It's a little disturbing that these people all live here in the DC metro area...seriously...that can't be good.
I was turned on to DC Urban Family a couple months ago by a friend and I haven't missed a post since. It's the place to go for slightly-sordid tales about jug wine and gay bars in the U St. corridor. Oh, and I'm pretty sure that it is THE definitive blog for any breaking news regarding everyone's favorite chain-smoking Republican DC Councilwoman Carol Schwartz.
So definitely check these guys out--but only after you finish reading all my clever gems...
*Sorry about the cheesy Ludacris lyric/pun thing. It's bad. I know.
Monday, June 19, 2006
I'm not posting the entire thing up here because I feel like that would eventually get me into some kind of trouble (although none of the rules said that I couldn't blog about this) and might even disqualify me. The following are just a few of the questions and selections from my accompanying answers:
Do you work out?
I do yoga with a kind of self-loathing sense of irony about it. I don’t like the kind of New Age-y lifestyle that it's associated with, but I really love the stretches and the way it makes my body feel. I just wish people weren’t so weird about it sometimes—I’m not into the whole “edamame-eating-third eye-namaste” kind of crap.
Do you eat meat?
Do you have pets? If so, what kind?
I have a cat, but I don't like her and I’d really prefer a dog. I sort of got the cat on a whim last summer and now I feel like I’m stuck with her. We're currently coexisting in a kind of uneasy détente. I won’t go as far as saying that her days with me are numbered, but you never know…
Imagine your date writes you that s/he is “equally comfortable in jeans or in formal attire.” Your reaction?
“Could you be more cliché?"
What’s his/her theme song? You know, the one that plays when the person walks into any room.
Hmm…I think I prefer a man who doesn't have a theme song because that would be especially inconvenient those times that we're a few minutes late for a movie and trying to slip in as unobtrusively as possible.
What I would like, however, is the kind of guy who, when asked, would pick something by Sinatra or Dean Martin. You know, that sort of old school cool, classy, a little jazzy, cigarette hanging out of the side of your mouth kinda guy. So maybe he's not actually that way, but it's the way he imagines himself sometimes and that's actually better for me, because I'm not really the way that I imagine myself to be either.
If you could be a superhero, what super-power would you want? Why?
Actually, I think I'd rather date a superhero than be one. I'd like to be the superhero's girlfriend. You know, he comes home late after a long day of doing super-things and I have dinner waiting and we talk about those people he rescued in the mudslide or the baby that he caught falling out a window. We joke around about his nemesis (who is a complete idiot). I show him the chapter I wrote and he offers suggestions (I'm a best-selling writer in this fantasy). I patch up a rip in his costume. Then we curl up and watch a movie, have super-sex, I fall asleep in his super-arms. Occasionally we go to super-functions (award ceremonies, movie openings, etc.). We get photographed by the tabloids. I go on The View and talk about what it's like to live with a superhero. We have cute half-superhero, half-Puerto Rican kids...
But ok, that wasn't the question. So, my first instinct would be to say something like the power to heal myself, but then I think about what that would mean. I would probably live much longer than everyone that I love, which seems kind of sad and lonely. Then I thought about how incredible it would be to read people’s minds, but the repercussions of that just seem a bit too dangerous. It would be far too easy to manipulate people with that kind of an advantage, and I mean do I really, genuinely, honestly want to know what people are thinking about me all the time? No. Definitely not. So I think I’ll just have to go with something a bit more prosaic (in terms of super powers) like “the ability to fly.” And the "why" is so that I can stop spending so much money on DC cab fares.
What song is currently stuck in your head?
Led Zeppelin, "Trampled Under Foot" and the song the little aardvark girl sings in the Sony HandyCam commercial.
OK, so reading over my answers I'm pretty sure that they're not going to know what the hell to do with me...
Friday, June 16, 2006
The Washington Post Magazine will debut a new feature in June called "Date Lab," in which it will explore different rules of attraction by setting up a pair of strangers every week. The Post will pay for your evening out and the next day a writer will call to get the skinny on what happened. A head's up: All participants must agree to have their pictures taken and published. Interested singletons should drop a line to this mailbox, email@example.com.
Normally, I'm not into the idea of blind dates, but for some reason, I'm really into the idea of being set up with a stranger by a member of the Washington Post Magazine editorial team. It's probably because I'm a little bit of an exhibitionist...that and I like having my picture taken. I'm not really looking to go on a date with anyone...I'm just curious about how it works. Anyway, I dropped a line (as requested) and will let you know if I hear back.
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Too much wine.
Advil for breakfast.
Cigarettes for lunch.
Just noticed that I've been frowning for the past hour.
Should stop sleeping with contacts in.
Brewed some jasmine green tea. It's an attempt to do something healthy.
I crave my pillow.
I'll be back later with fewer sentence fragments--promise. In the meantime, check out this link.
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
It's not the HandyCam or the microphone that I'm obsessed with...it's the song in the ad. You know what I'm talking about: "I know that you're with me...through the storm." It's annoyingly cute and has been stuck in my head for days and days. I seriously have spent a total of at least five hours googling and trying to figure out what the song is. I even tried to find an online version of the ad with no luck. Not even adtunes, my usual go-to, could help.
So if anyone has any clue where I can find out more information about this ad please let me know. My sanity may depend on it...
UPDATE: Case closed.
Monday, June 12, 2006
Nobody guessed all the guys in the ManLysol Ad Contest, but Sara was the closest with 8 out of 9. Well done, Sara! She also wins bonus points for "Best Use of Movie Puns" and "Most Hot & Bothered Response."
"Oh how I love sexy men... ok .. the sexiest of all has got to be Mateo O'Keefe of course. Hands down.. a man that can ride a donkey like he did in Boston.. sexyyyyy.
Olivier Martinez.. Yumm.. he can Unfaithful me anytime.
Colin Firth....he loves a woman in granny panties.. even sexier.. [actually that was Hugh Grant that dug the granny panties, but who's checking...]
Cary Grant.. Were he alive and I some 1950's siren I'm sure we'd have An Affair to Remember...oohh yea.
Ewan McGregor... voulez vou cou chez avec moi??? (he would say yes of course and have insane Moulin Rouge sex with me right then and there) .....(several times)...
Joaquin Phoenix.... I'll Walk the Line (maybe a little more) with him..
Then there is Vicente Fox...the president of Mexico.. I dont know what to say about that or if I consider him foxy indeed... because when I ask myself "would you ever succumb to passionate lovemaking with him?" there is a long pause and I haven't thought YES YES YES yet.
Hugh Jackman is another sexy thing
and then the last guy on the far bottom left.. all I can think of is sexy model like guy and yes yes yes.. but a name doesn't come to mind. But who really needs a name right? (Think 'Possibly Brad'*)"
Wow...That's all I can say to that.
The sexy "euro" looking guy who "needs a haircut" is Francesco Totti, an Italian soccer player who serves as just one more example of why soccer is the best looking sport in the world (check him out when Italy plays the US next Saturday).
I must admit that, much like Ilana, I am really disappointed in those of you who were unable to name Colin Firth. I mean really, people... Didn't any of you see Bridget Jones?
Also amusing were the guesses of Matthew Fox, Patrick Dempsey, Patrick Duffy (wtf!?!), Jamie Foxx, and Clive Owen for the picture of BFF Matt.
I feel compelled to share this brilliant suggestion from Miss Laina V: "I think there should be a dual marketing promo with ManLysol and the new, sexed-up Brawny man. Just the thought makes me want to forget all my life aspirations and subject myself to years of orgasm-filled domesticity. They could do a giveaway where you send in a certain number of UPCs and get a free vibrator sent to you in the mail. Just a thought..."
Someone should really look into that...
Thanks to everyone who participated. I love that so many of you commented and/or e-mailed. Look out for more interactive blog contests in the future.
*"Possibly Brad" is what my friends and I call this really hot guy I met a couple summers ago in NY. I met him at this lounge "Cielo" when I spilled my champagne on him. It was so loud that I never really heard him when he told me his name (although I'm 78% sure that it was Brad) and then it just reached a point where it was really too late to ask. Hence, "Possibly Brad."
Saturday, June 10, 2006
Seriously, it made me wonder. I mean it's fruit, right, but it's pretty huge. It's not like eating an apple or a banana. I think eating an entire cantaloupe is more along the lines of polishing an entire can of Pringles or bag of Mint Milanos while watching Golden Girls (not that I ever do that)...actually, it's probably more like eating four apples. I think I wouldn't have felt so weird about it if cantaloupes were smaller.
(How cute would that be, btw? Miniloupes. I bet you some agriculture major somewhere in California totally did that for his senior project. )
I don't know, I guess there is just a weird guilt attached to eating something the size of a baby's head.
(Btw, I have no idea who this freaky looking child is. I just typed "baby and cantaloupe" into Google images and came up with this. I think it helps to illustrate the gluttony I engaged in today.)
That’s right kids: public urination.
Wait! Before you start judging let me tell you the whole story:
The night started out classy… BFF Matt received a gift certificate to Kinkead’s last Christmas from his former boss, but had never quite gotten around to using it. (His boss specifically told him to use it to “seal the deal” with a “nice girl.” Now I may be a “nice girl” (sometimes), but he and I have long since sealed that deal, however BFF Matt was still gracious enough to pick me to join him for this amazing dinner.
As some of you may know, BFF Matt is leaving me and DC (but mostly me) to move to Las Vegas where he will be teaching for America for the next two years. His departure is less than 10 days away and I am not happy about it (not one bit). So this dinner was kind of our good-bye dinner where we talked about turning the page on what will probably always be one of the favorite chapters of my life.
I met him after work at the restaurant, where he sat on the front steps looking all California-casual-meets-Patrick-Dempsey about himself. He was actually wearing some kind of suede moccasin/boating shoe combination that probably cost upwards of 350 dollars and which only he and some very stylish gay men could successfully pull off. (I should mention that at least one point during the evening he made the following comment: “Ahh…I love these shoes so much.”) Matt refused to open the door for me so for about 20 seconds we both kind of stood there staring at it until I finally relented. You see, BFF Matt is from the left side of the country where they don’t believe in things like “chivalry” or “God”. This door thing has been a point of contention between us for just under five years. His point is that I am not disabled and can handle opening my own door. My point is that he should just fucking do it because he’s a man and that’s what men are supposed to do, damn it.
But I digress…
Dinner was incredible. It took us approximately 20 minutes just to figure out what we were ordering, because we kept talking too much and not actually looking at the menu. During this time I had the waiter ask the bartender to make me a Moscow Mule, my new favorite drink (ginger ale, vodka, lime juice). Once we looked at the menu we found that we were completely overwhelmed with the choices. I was incredibly pleased with my selections, however. As was the Muffin. I started with the world’s most tender ricotta gnocchi in a sun dried tomato and mushroom sauce. Then I had the pan seared tuna with a jicama cilantro relish and vegetables.
With dinner we ordered a bottle of Dolcetto D’Alba, Cantina del Pino, 2004. I have always been a fan of the Dolcetto varietal and it was probably my favorite wine that I tasted when I lived in Italy. Dolcetto is Italian for “little sweet one” because although it is a pretty dry wine, the grapes themselves are very sweet. The wine is best when young and has this balanced fruity flavor that’s followed by a slightly bitter, almost almond-y finish. I actually prefer it over the more robust Barolos and Barberescos for which the Piedmont region is primarily known. I’ve already bought another bottle of this to enjoy at home and I definitely recommend that you check it out.
Dessert was basically an orgasm in the shape of a crème brulee trio of orange cardamom, semi-sweet chocolate (flecked in gold), and vanilla bean. The only problem was the weirdly large spoon. The little pots of crème brulee were tiny and the spoon was like this massive spatula. I had a really hard time getting into the tiny crevices of the ramekin and ended up just using my fingers. I was pretty drunk by this point so all shame had gone out the window.
After dinner, Matt and I decided to have another drink. By “another drink” I mean “a bottle plus two glasses of sparkling Pinot Gris.” I’d go into more detail about the Pinot, but by this point I was much too wasted to really take note of the color or perlage. What I do remember is the very cool waitress who admitted to liking the smell of gasoline and Sharpies. There was also a half-carved whole-roasted pig (head to tail) on display in the middle of this odd establishment. I wanted to take a cab home after that, but Matt goaded me into walking by offering to escort me as far as Florida Avenue (where the zone changes). We started walking when I realized that I really had to go. And I mean “I just drank half a bottle plus one glass of American champagne” have to go.
This is when Matt proposed that we “find an alley or something.”
At first I was a bit shocked at the idea. Me? Squatting and peeing in an alley? But then the pressure of all that fake champagne got to me and I agreed. There aren’t many alleys in the West End but we came across a sorta-secluded driveway on one of those cute little streets. There was a wooden fence that separated the parking spaces and Matt and I each went to one side and went for it. As I held up my silk skirt, squatted, (ironically next to a champagne-colored Toyota) and released that half-bottle plus a glass of sparkling vine onto the gravel, I realized once again that the second best sensation in the world is the incredible relief that comes from breaking the seal after several hours of drinking. And it’s especially nice under the streetlamps on a warm summer evening.
So thanks, Muffin, for dinner and for once again widening my horizons just a little bit.
Oh, and my apologies to the owner of that champagne Toyota…
Friday, June 09, 2006
The discussion reminded me of a discovery I made several years ago (7th grade) that few people seem to have noticed. Country Scent Lysol doesn't smell like the country; it smells like a sexy man.
Seriously...smell it. It's like man cologne. That woodsy, sultry, a little bit lemony, man smell. It's that warm, whisky and cigar smoke scent on a man's neck. It's the cool taste of Corona and limes in his mouth. It's even a little bit sweaty, but in that good, manly way.
I've created a new, suggested ad for Lysol to use. I think that by changing the name and using a little creative marketing, Lysol could really make it big in that young, single, and, yes, horny, female demographic.
*BONUS: The first person to identify all nine sexy men in this ad will get a prize. (click on the image to enlarge). If nobody identifies everyone, the person who gets the most right will get a mention in my blog. That's right...I'll make ya famous.
P.S. For my busty Jewish friend from NY, (you know who you are)Sorry about the lack of Bill Clinton. It was a terrible oversight. I'm going to have to come up with a new product just for you and me: "Sexy Ex-President Scent Lysol."
Thursday, June 08, 2006
"Why do people always get so horrified on finding out that one has drank an entire bottle of wine by themselves? I mean, really - it's 4 glasses. What, they've never drank four beers in their lives? COME ON!"
And this person is a vegetarian. As you know, vegetarians--while totally insane--also tend to be a little bit healthier than the rest of us. So, when one of them says it's ok to drink a bottle of wine alone, that means that it must definitely be ok.
This aforementioned vegetarian also directed me to this magazine for the drunks among us.* I'm sure this will quickly become a favorite of mine.
*Not really suitable for work (unless of course you happen to be THE web girl...oh, the power we wield).
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Since I can't offer you a virtual taste of this amazing limeade, I'll just leave you with this bit of lime poetry from the side of the bottle:
"Quenching bite of pure-squeezed lime.
Tall cool drink on a long hot night.
Sunshine throbs to summer's beat. Sip of the lime eases the heat.
Crickets, sing the solstice in!
We got Summertime Lime again!"
Oh Summertime Lime, how I love you...
Monday, June 05, 2006
That evening, as I prepared the meal, I opened up the Tempranillo and poured myself a glass to test it. Any good Italian chef knows that as far as cooking wine goes, "if you can drink it, you can cook with it."
So drink it I did.
I used the 1/2 cup the recipe called for and kept absentmindedly refilling my own glass as I cooked and waited for my friend (who was running a bit late). An hour and a half later he walked into the apartment and saw me holding a half-full glass of wine.
"Thanks for waiting for me," he said as he walked into the kitchen to get himself a glass.
"Oh I just had a couple glasses while cooking...from the cooking bottle. I didn't touch the good one." I looked at the Tempranillo and was surprised to see that it was practically empty. Suddenly I realized how buzzed I was.
He picked up the bottle and looked at me, "You drank this entire bottle yourself!?"
"Uh...yeah," I replied a bit sheepishly as I watched him pour what was left of it into his glass--it barely reached half-way. He looked at me and shook his head and muttered, "lush."
We then went on to split the second bottle, which was in fact very, very good (although I probably could have done without). I woke up this morning with a pounding headache that practically pulled me, Ambien-zombie style, to the nearest Starbucks. As I stood in line, bleary-eyed and grumpy I noticed a woman fighting with the "barrista" in front of me. I wasn't quite sure what the argument was about (nor did I really care), but I did catch the woman's parting words as she snatched her grande latte from the barrista's hands and stomped out of the store in a huff:
"Sorry bitch, but I don't speak 'Starbucks'!!!"
I tried to offer the barrista a sympathetic smile, but she didn't seem to notice--or care.
Friday, June 02, 2006
Thursday, June 01, 2006
I thought I was doing well last weekend. It was a beautiful, sunny day, I had a full carton of Newman's Own Virgin Lemonade in my fridge, and plans to see X-Men: The Last Stand, which I'd been anticipating for months.
I was positively giddy when we got to the theatre. I was quick with the snide comments about my "regular" sized tub of Cherry Coke and marveled at the freakishly smiley ticket-taker's large teeth. We got good seats. All was well.
And then the movie started. And it was bad. It just...sucked.
Now, I don't profess to be some kind of X-Men expert. I did, however, love the first two movies, and thanks to a few of my friends (two in particular) I’ve been pretty well-briefed in the original storyline from the comic books. But as I said before, I’m not an expert and walked into the theater with only slightly more background than someone who has only seen the first two installments. And even from my layman viewpoint, the movie just plain sucked.
It could have been great. Centered on the discovery of a “cure” for the mutant-creating X-gene, the film, much like the first two, could have touched upon the ethics of a multitude of socio-political issues. The ideas were there, but unlike the first two films, they were barely explored and just left hanging, like much of the plot. What I loved most about the other films was the way they brought together the external superhero action film with the deeper themes of identity and persecution.
This film lacked subtext. It was more of a schizophrenic summary of the film it could have been had director Bret Ratner put a bit more effort into it. Characters ran on and off screen in a constantly revolving door that left little time for development or exploration. At times it was as if Ratner was so overwhelmed with the horde of new and old characters that he simply just forgot (or opted not to deal with) some of them. Main characters disappear, are killed off, or are stripped of their powers unceremoniously and seemingly indiscriminately. New characters are thrown in with little more than a line or two, their powers introduced with patronizingly worthless dialogue (my favorite bad line: Iceman to Kitty Pryde, while convincing her to sneak outside with him: "you can walk through walls, you know!") and their roles diverging greatly from those in the original books. (In the words of one friend, "Since when was Juggernaut a mutant?!")
The worst offense, in my opinion, was the utter neglect of Famke Janssen’s Jean Grey. Resurrected from the dead she rises “more powerful and dangerous” than ever before, in line with the famous Dark Phoenix Saga from the comic books, but while that storyline in itself would have made for a far more effective and poignant film, it is relegated to little more than a subplot. Janssen spends the vast majority of the film staring blankly in silence, her cranberry-red Feria extensions flailing about her head (not unlike the movie posters of her which grace bus stops all over this city—in fact, you could probably just stare at one of those for a couple minutes and save yourself the 10 bucks).
The clashing themes and storylines culminated in a ridiculous final battle sequence that, like much of the film, could have been wonderful, but really just proved laughable. There were moments when there was so much going on at once that I wasn’t sure where to focus. Once the film ended, my friend and I (and the rest of the theater) jumped out of our seats and left without waiting for the credits to end. We missed a bonus scene that added absolutely nothing to the film, but is available online if you are curious.
I’ve always thought disappointment was one of the worst emotions because it holds within in it the promise of what could have been great. It might be trivial in the grand scheme of things, but this film disappointed a lot of fans who expected a lot more than this.