Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Christmasy Thingies

So here's the thing: I am stuck at work today and tomorrow with absolutely NOTHING to do until my flight tomorrow night. I've been trying to make the most of it, but apart from being overly tired and headachy (oooh, I hope that's not a touch of the flu I feel...), there are just not enough nypost word searches or mahjongg games to keep my mind from wandering. I have no idea what this Christmas will bring or how I'm going to feel when I finally get back to the freezing Midwest (though I hear that it's going to be fairly nice when I'm there - in the 30s. Nice!), so in an attempt to keep my mind from falling off the edge, here are some of my favorite Christmas movies! Let's start with the oldies.

Miracle on 34th Street. I've never seen it. I know. But the Lady swears by it. And Natalie Wood sure looks adorable... I'm sure that it will be on Turner Classic Movies at least once, so I'll try to catch it. Unless Lady has it on DVD, which is quite the possibility.

It's a Wonderful Life. I get it. Life sucks, but here's what it would have been like without you. Life is grand, I want it! Bells ring, angels get wings, and Donna Reed is delicious. Really though, I haven't seen this in a while either, so a fresh viewing might help to melt my cold, cold heart. I do love Jimmy Stewart, after all.

"The best way to spread Christmas Cheer, is singing loud for all to hear."

I remember getting an email from K-10 or Woelker when news of Elf hit. All the email included was Will Ferrell's name and the movie poster of his legs, and I was laughing like an idiot. I saw it in the theater pretty much as soon as it came out, and I bought it the day it was released on DVD. We even had an Elf party last December! I can easily see this becoming a holiday classic, especially since it will age well.

I don't think that I've ever known anyone who dislikes A Charlie Brown Christmas. It makes me cry every time. I think that I love it for how it makes me feel, really. I find myself relating with Charlie Brown every year - I just can't get into Christmas and I feel down. Linus's recitation of the scripture reminds me of why I should care. Every time. Every year.

While I would never be able to choose which movie I like better, Vacation or Christmas Vacation, the Christmas version is just amazing. Chevy Chase and Randy Quaid, oh hilarity. "Every time Catherine would turn on the microwave, I'd piss my pants and forget who I was for about half an hour."

I've watched Home Alone three times in the past four days. I know. I love it, and I really can't tell you why. It's easily one of my favorite comfort movies, and I've been known to pop it in the VCR (yes, it's on tape, not DVD) in the middle of August when I need a good laugh. I don't necessarily love the painful moments, but when Kevin places the tarantula on Marv's face and he screams like a little girl, I double over laughing. Oh, and Catherine O'Hara is amazing.

It doesn't matter that it's on for twenty-four hours straight - I just wish it would be shown at some other time during the year. I really need to own it! I love A Christmas Story, and I'll watch it over and over again. I'll catch the last twenty minutes (fa ra ra ra ra) and the first twenty minutes of the next. It's rare to watch it all of the way through, really. It spawned some of the funniest lines in Christmas movie history (at least in my mind):

"Only one thing in the world could've dragged me away from the soft glow of electric sex gleaming in the window."


"Be sure to drink your Ovaltine. Ovaltine? A crummy commercial? Son of a bitch!"

and how about

"Fra-gee-lay. That must be Italian."

Simply amazing. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Fives Look Like Sixes!

So here's what my DUMB ASS did last night: So I have my sweet alarm clock on the other side of the room. It plays CDs, y'all - it's sweet. Do I use it? Um, no. That whole "getting out of bed to hit snooze will make me stay out of bed" idea didn't really work, so I just stopped it altogether.

Instead, I started using my cell phone's alarm clock and that seemed to be working out pretty well. Except that the numbers are kind of small. And blurry, once I've taken out my eyes for the night. Glasses? Who the hell needs those?

And so, when my alarm went off at what I THOUGHT was 6:15, I woke up diligently, stumbled to the bathroom and got in the shower. La di dah. I know that I take long showers, but it usually doesn't matter since CreePaul gets in the bathroom at 6:45 and Jenny at 7 (after she's come back from her runs. The girl is insane - she runs to work a few times a week. In ROSSLYN. From Union Station. Amazing).

I flip-flop down the hall to my room and CreePaul stomps past me to the bathroom. The fuck? CHILL! And then I saw the clock. 5:35.

What?!!? Fantastic. So I stood there in disbelief for a few minutes, and then figured I would get ready, have a nice breakfast, and get to work a little early. Ha.

Dried my hair and went back to bed is more like it. Got up at 7, got dressed and whatnot, and got to work 5 minutes early. I still can't believe what a MORAN I am. Yes, I know it's spelled wrong. If you're a reader of FARK, you'd understand. No? Okay, well, then let this be a clue:

Simply amazing.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


When I decided to start posting links to the books I was currently reading, I had no idea that I would want to write a review of each one! But that's what it's turning into - they've all been so good, I want to share them with everyone!

Early Monday morning, high in the sky (my flight was at 6:40 - who the hell schedules flights that early?), I finished Ian McEwan's
Saturday. Everyone else in the cabin was asleep and snoring. I was that obnoxious passenger - the only one with her light on. Sorry!

Anyway, it was, as his other novels, poignant and brilliant.

follows a British neurosurgeon on a random Saturday. It's set sometime after September 11th and the invasion of Iraq, and McEwan reflects the views and opinions of both sides - using his main character, Henry, and his daughter, Daisy, as mouthpieces. The best part about this side storyline was that both Henry and Daisy began to understand the other's views and appreciate their differences. That's something many people could learn!

The reader comes to meet his small family and really makes you
like each of them. Tragedy strikes, of course, and Henry is faced with an astoudingly difficult situation and decision.

McEwan consulted with top neurosurgeons in order to craft what should have been very difficult, impossible-to-understand medical-jargoned passages. But his words flow flawlessly, and I actually found myself really following a brain surgery - and enjoying it. If that's possible...

I really recommend any work by Ian McEwan. He has yet to disappoint me.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Snow! Well...

Here we are again - the beginning of the snowy season in Washington, DC. Honestly, though, it should be called the Season of FREAKING THE HELL OUT. The first "snowstorm" of the season started at noon on Monday, and after the media had been reporting the severity of the storm for a few days, the stores were packed, milk and bread were completely out of stock, and schools were already being cancelled for Tuesday.

At 5 p.m. yesterday evening, I had a half hour to finish up at work (read: fuck around until slinking out five minutes early). My boss appeared in my doorway giggling, "We're the only ones left in the office. The southerners all wigged out early."

So at 5:30, I headed out into the "storm." It was warmer than it had been earlier in the day, the snow was softly falling, and the sidewalks were ice free. To give them a little credit, the snow was sticking in a few places - grass and flower planters. Walking home along the streets around Union Station, all of the trees were covered in a light dusting of snow and looked so pretty!

I love snow - or at least I love the idea of snow. It gets annoying after it turns to slush, and unfortunately, that's about all we have in DC. I miss real snow that sticks around for days. Snow that packs well and can be easily formed into snowmen and snow forts. Snow that flutters down to the ground and accumulates in drifts. Snow that you can catch on your tongue.

"It's too early. I never eat December snow. I always wait 'til January."

But really, there is nothing better than a new snowfall on Christmas morning. Just beautiful! I can't wait!

Monday, December 05, 2005

Fever Pitch

I watched a sweet little movie called, Fever Pitch, starring Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore - two actors that you may have heard of. I love them both, and had been wanting to see it for months. The fact that the movie is based on a book by Nick Hornby (author of High Fidelity and About a Boy) made it even more of a "want-to-see" for me.

I really liked it and recommend it to all! It's not a sickeningly sweet chick flick, and it really tugs at guys' (or any sports fan, really) heart strings. As you watch the poignancy of the 2004 baseball season, you can think back to the times your favorite team won it all (GO WINGS!) or even imagine what it would be like (Um... GO LIONS! Heh. Right, like that will ever happen).

It also wasn't that predictable - at least for a romantic comedy. I liked it, especially because Jimmy Fallon's character didn't have to... oh, wait. Don't want to ruin it for anyone!

Try it out!

Score: Mice - 0, Us - 4

The smell of death has left the building!

I suppose I should backtrack here. So we had mice. Several. CreePaul put out snap traps, which made me sad, but as I never discovered any "successful" traps, it wasn't that big of a deal. The traps caught three mice, but I got home from work one evening to find a sprung trap and blood on the floor. But no mouse.

Not good.

About a week later, the kitchen was permeated with a definite smell of decay. I knew that it was a mouse, but I couldn't find it. Now that I know where CreePaul found the mouse, I feel like an asshat (right near the washer/dryer), because I would have found it had I looked harder.

He said that he's glad Jenny and I weren't there to see him act like a huge wuss. I'm just glad I don't throw up in my mouth every time I enter the kitchen. I think we should buy him cookies.

The mice never had a chance.

Monday, November 28, 2005


(Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire).

Saw it. On opening night. A week ago. And I'm still trying to decide how I felt about it. The book is darker, yes, so I should have expected to be scared. And I was. (Feet up on the seat, anyone? Oh, just me then?) . Then again, I thought that E.T. was scary. Of course, I was four years old... Nevermind.

The book is sad, yes, and that was most definitely reflected in the film. Ask those sitting around me how hard I was bawling. (Answer: Like a little girl).

I guess my main problem is not being able to get over the "feel-good" whimsical touch of the first two films/books and then the excitement of the third. This is the first book/film to actually get inside the mysteries of Harry's life and bring the horrors out into the open. Maybe I wasn't ready for that, I don't know.

I do think that the humor in the film was very well placed and executed quite well. Additionally, the whole "teenage angst" portions were fabulous. And hilarious. And slightly painful - now that I've gone through it all and know what the characters must be feeling!

I do not like Michael Gambon's portrayal of Dumbledore. And the makeup department has made him grungy and dirty and I am SO not a fan. Richard Harris was perfect - anyone playing the Big D in the future has a hard role to fill (and I hope someone else is slated for the fifthe film).

Of all four books, the viewer would benefit most greatly from reading
GOF before seeing the film adaptation. The first three films allow the viewer to be slightly oblivious to the background and inner thoughts of the characters. Because there are so many important clues in the fourth book that aren't captured on screen, reading the series would be beneficial. Don't get me wrong, I think that prior to seeing the films, reading the entire series of HP books is the best mode of attack (as for any movie adapted from a book - might need to read P&P again before seeing the most recent adaptation, for example).

Anyway, see it and make up your own mind!

Sunday, November 27, 2005


That I didn't let myself get stressed out is reason enough for celebration. The fact that I had 14 people crammed into my tiny living room is why I'm still smiling a few days later.

Now that the food has been eaten and the wine has been poured (oh, the wine. Multiple... so many bottles of wine...), the dishes have been done (thanks, Joshy!) and the leftovers stored, I'm finally able to look back on the enormity of the evening. Such a good time! Thanks to everyone who made it wonderful!

Pics to be posted when people send me some!!

Saturday, November 26, 2005


I got to see Butterstick today! And he was a cutest ball of fluff EVER! He was very small - the published pictures make him look much larger and mature than he really is. We had only a few minutes, and he was crouched behind some straw most of the time. But when he picked up his fuzzy face and looked at the crowd, there was an audible gasp as the air was sucked from the room.

I admit, I was one of those people.

He's just so damn cute! And it's the hottest ticket in town. Can you believe that people are actually selling their tickets on Craigslist and ebay (not that it
matters)? Craziness! I mean, the public will get to see his buttery highness eventually. But he might be all grown up by then and will no longer be as adorable.

Well that explains the hysteria, I suppose.

Monday, November 21, 2005


So I'm home. I feel like ick and there was nothing to do at work. Therefore, I left. I honestly have no idea why I went in at all. Being at home has allowed me to make some interesting observations...

The cafes at Union Station? PACKED. Packed with (mostly) men in suits, schmoozing away. My, that scone looks lovely, my friend. And my latte? Delish! Here, try some of my quiche - no worries, I can order another one. It's covered! Ha ha hum ha ho hum! Now where do you stand on gun control? I forgot. My latte is just so intoxicating! Perhaps that was the Bailey's... No matter! What were we talking about again? Right. If this is "work," where do I sign up?

Children in "D.A.R.E."-like shirts? Standing on all of the street corners, of course. They weren't passing out flyers, or trying to sell candy bars, or even paying much attention to what was going on around them (a cop pulling someone over? nothing). Why? Why aren't they in school for one thing, and why are they standing around unsupervised with big yellow t-shirts covering their uniforms?

Loudy McStompy? The guy upstairs? Has a CLEANING SERVICE. At least, that's my guess. What else would explain the CONSTANT banging and stomping and vacuuming and dropping of things and my stuffing my ears with Swedish Fish to attempt to block out the noise since my HEAD IS POUNDING and this headache WON'T GO AWAY? Who needs a maid, anyway? How messy can one guy be? Well, if it's in any way related to how loud one guy can be...

The two mice CreePaul caught and wanted a victory parade for doing so? Must have sick family members, because there is a smell in the house that makes me want to VOM. Ah, scented candles... Problem solved.

The sound I hear when the mailman drops the mail through the front door mail slot? Terrifying! I thought that someone was in the house! Where's that baseball bat? And where's my Netflix? Arrested Development season two, disc three isn't going to watch itself, now is it?

I need vitamins.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Go... Blue?

My beloved Wolverines SUCKED this afternoon, regardless of the fact that they were playing in the freaking BIG HOUSE and the stupid FuckBucks have bragging rights for another year. Again. DAMMIT! My throat hurts from yelling at the t.v.

Okay, I still love them. Fine. Whatever. At least our hockey team is consistently good. That's something.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Stupid Email

I can't get into any of my email accounts here at work (and why do I have so many, anyway? gmail, yahoo, and comcast -- in addition to umich and gwu mail (both forwarded). I don't think that I need all of them, clearly, but now that I can't get into them... GAARRRRGGGHH!). Perhaps I have been blocked by the network server thingamabob? Not sure... Anyway, I can't remember anyone's email address and since I only use my work email for "work," I have a feeling that this is going to be a very long day...

On a happier note, going to see Harry Potter tonight after a satisfying meal of ginormous Chipotle buritto. I. Can't. Wait!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The Shadow of the Wind

I recently finished The Shadow of the Wind. It was quite good. I think that I would be gushing more about it now had I not left the final chapter unread for a week. It allowed me to come down off of my high and I had to backpedal a bit to remember what was going on. I should have finished it -- though my sleepy eyes no doubt prevented that.

That said, it really was a phenomenal book with some great twists. A little longer than average at 496 pages, but definitely worth it.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Which Peanuts Character Are You?

I'm Woodstock, who are you?

Okay, I totally stole this from Deals, but it was so cute!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Northworst Remorse

Ah, Northworst. You provide me with endless entertainment and stress.

The flight back to DC last night, now? Holy pain in my ass, Batman!

As usual, I stepped out at the curb to get my e-ticket. The machine was being difficult and kept asking for my confirmation number... which I didn't have. So I hauled ass inside to talk to someone at the counter. This is where it gets good...

The area for coach passengers was packed. I spotted an empty e-ticket kiosk and attempted to check in again. No dice. So I waited for the counter employee to take a breath from talking to this guy, and I go for it.

"Excuse me, ma'am? I'm being asked for my confirmation number, but I don't have it. What should I do?"


"Ma'am? I need some help."

She very slowly, alien-like, turns toward me and very icily says, "Can you not SEE that I am helping someone else?"

Under my breath, "whoa." Pause. "Yes, of course, but I just have a quick question."


O...kay. So I stand there like an idiot while she tells this poor gentleman that there is no way that he is going to make his 7:00 flight (it's 6:30) because the line at security is way too long (there are about five people in line) and that the gate is near the end of the terminal (they have a people-mover type tram that can get him there in seconds). And his bag would never make it. He said, fine, no problem, I just want to get home. TOO BAD. She imformed him that he'll never make it and hands him a ticket for a flight the next morning at 6:45 a.m. Dejected, he was about to say something, and she sent him this GLARE that about knocked his head off. It was terrifying.

All through this, she kept yelling at every single person who DARES step up behind me, "I. AM. CLOSED. NO MORE CUSTOMERS."

I ask, "Ma'am, should I go to another counter?"

Nothing. I take that as a cue to stay put. Besides, if I get out of line, I will definitely miss my flight. Annnd, it makes total sense that there are three employees assisting at least twenty coach customers and seven employees helping exactly zero first class passengers. Heaven forbid they walk over and help us peons, SERIOUSLY.

And then, to herself, "Life is just grand. JUST GRAND."

Fantastic. I have awakened the beast. And she is HUNGRY.


"DC. Reagan."

"WHEN DOES IT LEAVE?" (It's close to 7 by now).



"Just carry-on."

She thrust a boarding pass at my face and I hightailed it out of her line of vision. Terrifying!

Security was fine except for the asshat guard who was arguing with the x-ray scanner chick about a pen or something. COME ON! I have NO TIME! AHHHHHH!

Got to the gate, and they weren't boarding yet because it's hard to board a plane when the plane ISN'T THERE. When I finally got onto the plane, there was a bit of commotion going on behind me. One row back, across the aisle, there were three people arguing. The woman by the window, who I couldn't see (we'll call her 'Crazy'), the twenty-something guy in the middle seat, and the chick on the aisle.

Crazy: "I want to move!"

Chick: "If you just switch with me, it will be very simple."

Crazy: "I paid for a window seat, and I want a window seat!"

Bitch, this isn't a hotel where you pay more for an ocean-view room - what the hell is she talking about? I caught the eye of guy, and he shrugged, looking a little scared.

Chick: "I need to be asleep when the plane takes off, or I will FREAK OUT." (Never did find out what that meant, though). "If you're going to need to get up several times during the flight, why don't you just sit on the aisle so you don't disturb everyone?"

Crazy: "I want to sit by the window. I want to move. I WANT TO MOVE!"

At this point, guy said something that pissed her off even more, and she was out of her seat and in the aisle. I don't know how she did it - there was a blur ;)

Here comes the perky flight attendant, completely unaware of what is about to unfold.

Perky: "Did someone need some assistance?"

Silence. Not a word.


Guy: "How full is the flight?"

Crazy, interrupting him: "I WANT TO MOVE. I have allergies."

Perky: "Well, passengers are still boarding the plane, but it looks like there should be a few seats."

Crazy: "I'll be in the back waiting for my new seat."


So chick moved to the window, guy moved to the aisle, and I didn't see/hear Crazy or her allergies again until she hit me with her suitcase on its way down from the overhead compartment. Thanks!

It was a banner day for Northworst - at least in my book!

Monday, November 07, 2005

Done For

When I got home from the airport last night, CreePaul announced that the mouse tragically lost his battle with the snap trap this weekend. Here's hoping that there aren't more, because we are out of traps...

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Rodent Paradise


Mice. Or rats. Whichever. Point is, we've got 'em. There can't be just one. These little fuckers managed to eat every chip in every bag ON TOP OF THE FRIDGE. How the hell they got up there, I'll never know. And there were many, many bags of chips, pretzels, and goodies up there. They ate EVERY LAST CRUMB.

So I emailed the landlord, asking what we are to do about it. She asks if I've seen the little fat-asses. Well, no, but there is a gnawed-out hole in the wall next to the fridge, it (or they) have knocked down things from the top of the fridge, and one took some royal liberties with a very delicious apple that I was planning on eating. Oh, and we can hear them in the walls, building a fortress of solitude.

"How large is the hole?"

"About 2x3 inches."

"Well it's obviously a mouse because a rat would never fit through there."

Okay, does she know anything about rodents? I used to have pet gerbils (the only pet to which I wasn't allergic), and those little guys could squeeze themselves under and through the smallest openings. Plus, as we lived across from a field, we used to get little mice in the house every so often. I've seen them. I know the signs.

In fact, my dad would corner the little guys in the linen closet, hold a garbage bag completely over the bottom opening, and wait for them to run into the bag. He would then trot across the street, find a nice area, and let them go. So they could get together and plot on how to get back into the house stocked with Better Made potato chips (chips that we eventually had to store in the microwave so they couldn't get them. That was one thing - my dad loves his Better Mades. Don't mess with his chips, for reals - he'll corner you in the linen closet).

That's why I have a hard time killing spiders and other assorted insects that find their way into my house. My dad used to catch spiders and take them outside - something that I continue to do. Even in college, when I was living in a basement apartment, and the biggest, hairiest spider I had EVER SEEN decided to chill on my living room carpet for awhile, I trapped him under a bowl and took him outside. I was fine until he jumped at me. I shrieked all Homer-like and ran away. Classic. I found out later that he was a wolf spider. Yummy!

Centipedes, however... they die. SMOOSH under my flip flop. And any unfortunate pervert spiders who get into the shower with me? They get a nice, long swim. I don't like eight eyes on my when I'm all vulnerable...

Anyway, all I really wanted to know is whose responsibility it was to rid the apartment of the fucking rodent freeloaders. I wasn't sure if it was in the lease. According to her, it's our move. Apparently.

So when I was in Chicago, Jenny cleaned and organized the HELL out of the kitchen. There are snap traps (of which I am none too happy about, but I guess it's better than putting out poison and having them die in the walls). Not that it matters anyway - the fuckers tripped the wire thingy and then ate all of the peanut butter. LICKED IT CLEAN. And they've done this every night since. CreePaul thought that it would be a good idea to bring a cardboard box home from work and trap them in it. Because they'd probably find it to be the craziest, most complex prison EVER. They probably wouldn't gnaw through it, considering they gnawed through a PLASTER WALL. The plan gets better, though. Once the mouse (or meeces) were caught, he would then hurl it out the door into the parking lot. BRILLIANT plan.

Anyway, they really weren't bothering me until they ate my honey twist pretzels. I love those. I can just see this turning into us destroying the house as we try and trap them and at the end of the story, they're giggling in the rubble of our house as we stand, dejected, covered in soot.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Right, So I'm a Wuss

Got home from work today and the temperature inside was 57 degrees.

The heat's on.

The Scene of the Fog

Waking up at 6 am is pure torture, especially since we have yet to switch on the heat. I swear it dips below 60 degrees in this place as we sleep. But we're not ready to start paying what we've heard are going to be astronomical heating bills, and it's supposed to warm up again, so we're sticking it out. Because we're tough. So we're tolerating the cold. I get home and don sweatshirts and pajama pants and wrap in a huge down-filled blanket. And get into bed. And then I'm totally comfy!

It's not like I'm not used to it - my dad kept the house at 65 degrees all winter. Throughout MICHIGAN winters, people. It was COLD. "Dad, I'm cold!" and "Dad, I can't feel my toes!" were always met with the same response, "Put on a sweater, honey!" Whenever the heat did come on - once in a blue moon - my brother and I would grab blankets or towels or our parents' long robes and fight over who got to stand over the "good" heat register. The bad one was halfway covered by the couch, therefore robbing you of precious heat. We would trap all of that warm air in our blanket togas and get all toasty warm. Seriously, my dad would turn up the heat whenever we asked - which was constantly. But if we touched that thermostat without permission... You'd think the steam coming out of his ears would have warmed the house...

Anyway, it was so cold this morning that it GOT FOGGY when the steam from the shower reacted with the frigid air. It was like my own little science experiment in there. Granted, I was a little worried before I figured out what was happening - I definitely had a "what the hell?" moment.

And then it comes to the worst part of the morning - turning off the shower and counting the seconds until you turn into an ice cube. Most of the time it takes a good thirty seconds for the cold to catch up with you. This morning, it only took four. I've never dried off so quickly!

The scene of the fog...

Monday, October 24, 2005

Shenandoah v.2

No camping this time, though I would have pitched a tent in a heartbeat. Have you ever gone camping this late in year? It's awesome! Of course, make sure you have plenty of blankets -- it gets cold at night!

We hiked in the Matthew's Arm area of the park, about 20 miles south of Front Royal, VA. It was basically a leisurely 45-degree angle walk alerting me to how ridiculously out of shape I really am. And here I thought that walking up and down the metro escalators was exercise enough... Once I got past the searing pain in my thighs and chest, it was quite exhilarating -- especially considering I had only gotten two hours of sleep the night before.

The smell of autumn, though... it was amazing! This time of year is my absolute favorite. Mmmm... sweater weather... Mmmm... cider... Mmmm... donuts...

It was surprisingly chilly, but then again, we were in the Blue Ridge Mountains, so perhaps that was to be expected. Once we got hiking though, we warmed up quickly!

Picked some apples at
The Pumpkin Patch and had dinner at good old Bob Evans. Why is it that I now find biscuits and gravy to be the only acceptable meal when dining there? Or at any diner, for that matter? I'm strange.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


Right, so lately I haven't been reading as much as I would like, but I do get some time in during my two-stop commute. You know, like a few pages. Unless it's super crowded or there's a creepy-creep inching too close to me. And Northworst has provided a few hours here and there when I make the hop to Detroit every other weekend :)

Anyway, I've been a member of this fab book club for a few years now - since living in Ann Arbor, I think. Soooo... four or five years? I don't know. I was seduced by the "get six books for a dollar each" dealio, and I got sucked in. I also liked that I could buy naughty books if I so desired, and the guy at Borders wouldn't give me an inquisitive once-over, wondering why someone who looks so young is buying the Kama Sutra (and dammit, what a waste! No pictures! Heh... I mean, what?)

But it's not like the Columbia House CD thing - you don't get stuck with stuff you don't want or have to mail stuff back. They don't make you mail the "main selection" cards back in - you just go online and, clickety click! "please send!," or "no thanks!" And they give you over a month to make a decision.

Of course, I've been burned by forgetting to respond - sort of. The first time this happened, I received two books that I probably would have glazed right over: The Toughest Indian in the World by Sherman Alexie and The Feast of Love by Charles Baxter.

I had to read Alexie for a class in college (American Studies 101: Easiest. 'A.' Ever.), and his tales of life on a reservation were beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. But I had never heard of Baxter. Turns out, he's an English prof at U of M. And The Feast of Love? Easily one of the best books I've ever read. Top five, for sure (and that includes P&P and TKAM). It was wonderful - I've lent it to so many people since then, and it's been well-received by both guys and gals. Definitely not chick lit or whatever you might call it. Since then, I've been a bit disappointed with his other works, as they're mostly about couples cheating on each other or contemplating cheating or divorcing or sadness. A little too depressing, really. But that book, gosh. Let me know if you'd like to borrow it, seriously!

So really, even in the few instances when I forgot to respond in time, I've always been pleasantly surprised with the selections I receive. The club is really up to date on hot new authors and whatnot, so I feel like I am reading all of these great books before the rest of the world has caught up!

QPB is where I discovered some other gems. Memoirs of a Geisha? Read that four years ago. It's going to be a movie soon, and I can't wait! The Eyre Affair? If you enjoy English/American literature, this book is a must-read!

I just finished The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, a fat book I picked up at the used bookstore at Eastern Market - but only because I bought one of his other books from QPB and discovered that K&C won the Pulitzer. And now I know why. It was amazing! Hence the title.

There are way more -- too many to list. They have a fab selection of history, nonfiction, cookbooks, etc. And you get stuff in "early softcover," which is perfect for impatient little-ol'-me.
Try it out!

Monday, October 17, 2005


Oh, how I love you, Nalgene. Look! Look at the cuteness!

I want it!

I have this one, you see - the tiny one (16 ounces):

I just don't think that it is fulfilling my hydrating needs. (Well, really, what it's not doing is being completely adorable by wearing smiley faces).

Flexible. Brilliant!

Started the Flex schedule today. For those of you not in-the-know, this is yet another way that the government allows its employees to slack off even more than they already do (see: here for other worthy examples of federal slackitude). You see, my babies, in a two week period, I will now work eight 9 hour days, one 8 hour day, and I have that second Friday off.


Listen! Let me just tell you how awesome this is.

For example, Veterans Day just so happens to fall on my second Friday. Or, FuckOffDay, if you will. I always thought that the government would force me to forfeit that day, but as it is a lovely federal holiday, I get to take my Flex day the day before. Sweet! Four day weekend, without even trying!

But this is what happens - I wake up at 6 instead of 7 in order to avoid bathroom war with the roommates. I the "work" from 8-5:30 instead of 8:30-5. I really don't see how working one extra hour a day is manually equivalent to an entire day. Well, I mean, obviously the hours are the same in the end. It's just that I pretty much plan on using my first 45 minutes at work to wake my ass up and finish the crossword. And I'm sure that I'll space out several more times during the day (
Yeah, I just stare at my desk, but it looks like I'm working. I do that for probably another hour after lunch too. I'd say in a given week I probably only do about fifteen minutes of real, actual, work).

Long story short, this is a good deal for me. It should help me more productive, not that I need any encouragement,but work to do might be nice. Now, as long as I can avoid falling asleep at my desk again, I should be fine.

Right, you know those squishy "wrist-saver" things that you place in front of the keyboard so you don't get all carpal-tunnel syndromed? Those make awesome headrests. So if my building doesn't do something about the air conditioning blasting into my office, I am going to have to haul a freaking quilt to my office, and being warm will make me fall asleep. And I know where to find a great pillow...

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Tagged. Again.

Here you go, Deals:

The instructions are as follows:
1. Go into your archives.
2. Find your 23rd post.
3. Post the fifth sentence or closest to it.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.
5. Tag 5 other people.


When I was still in grad school, procrastination was an art form.

And, I tag:
1. Emily
2. Lynne
3. Gabester (because I know Deals already got him)


Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Potbelly Wishes, Chinatown Dreams

"Hey! Want to meet for lunch?"

"Sure! What'd you have in mind?"

"I don't know... How about the Potbelly in Chinatown?"

"That sounds great - it's right by my work!"

Sound familiar? Doesn't Potbelly sound sooooooo good right about now? The Chinatown Potbelly, especially?

WELL, TOO BAD. Because as of yesterday (or earlier - but who knows? I barely left the house all weekend thanks to that sweet cold/cough thing I had going on), it is a cavernous HOLE on 7th street, forcing me to walk to the Potbelly at 11th and F instead.

But I was, apparently, too wrapped up in my phone convo with the bf to notice that it was no longer a bustling eatery in the heart of Chinatown. I had noticed that the sidewalk was blocked off, however, and I had to go into the street to get around the chaos. But when I was safely off the street and on the remaining sidewalk, I paused, turned around, and suddenly realized that I had just passed my beloved Potbelly. That was now a hollowed out store. With the menu hanging on the wall.


They probably sold the space and made serious BANK. I wonder what will go in next? Maybe an authentic Chinese restaurant! In Chinatown! Heh. Right.

Just a quick question to those of you not accustomed to 60-degree weather: Scarves? Really?

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


Man, I sure love me some Simpsons.

Mmm... Unexplained bacon...

This site rocks!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Things I've Always Wanted to Ask Northworst Employees

Now that I've been frequenting terminal A at Reagan pretty much every weekend, I've encountered hilarity like you wouldn't believe. From the incompetence at security to the screaming ticket counter employee, I always find something entertaining enough to keep my book in my carry-on bag.

As I've been trying to build up as many frequent flier miles as possible so that I might be able to one day collect a free coach ticket (of course, this won't happen until I earn 25,000 miles.) I've been in the air every weekend this month (or, will be, as I am journeying back to MI this final September weekend for Goddard's wedding) for a wedding and a baptism.

I think that they designed airport waiting room chairs in a moment of insanity - they're made of weird fake leather, so that no one can manage to sit up straight for more than a few minutes before sliding to the edge. Before you know it, your knees are higher than your head. How did that happen? The pleather isn't as bad as the freezing metal armrests. I suppose they don't want people laying across an entire row of chairs, so they found recycled jungle gym pipes, stripped off the gleeful red paint, and screwed them to the pleather in such a way that you almost don't get out alive. Maybe it's part of some master plan to make the seats on the actual airplane seem comfortable, I don't know.

Right, so as I sit at the gate in the most amazing chairs ever made, Ms. Crazy Northworst Employee #1 gets on the microphone and begins screaming something in a language that I can only assume was English.

I'm not going to try and recreate her accent. I just don't understand why they gave her the microphone at all (btw, it's the same lady as
here), since NO ONE COULD UNDERSTAND HER. People are frantically looking around cluelessly, hoping that someone will eventually rise, stand next to her, and start TRANSLATING. Because at this point, she could be telling us that our plane is scheduled to crash into Lake Erie and WE WOULDN'T KNOW.

Which brings me to the things that I have always wanted to ask Northworst employees:

1. So it's not required that you speak English, then?

2. Where can I buy that hooker eyeshadow?

3. Is it statistically impossible to seat me next to someone who actually brushes his/her teeth once in a while?

4. Are scrunchies part of the required uniform, or are they some kind of approved add-on that you ordered from some Girl Scout-like uniform catalog?

But they still get me from DC to MI in a freaking hour and a half, so they're pretty much awesome in my book.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Private Dancer

"I'm your private dancer, your dancer for money - I'll be who you want me to be!"

I love that my parents had that Tina Turner CD and they used to let me sing along not knowing what it meant! Of course, these are the same people that laughed their asses off when I used to pull off the fur on my teddy bear and stick it up my nose, so maybe that gives you a clue as to why I turned out the way that I did. Thanks, guys.

So I've decided that since DC stays warm through the end of October, I will wear skirts as often as possible until it gets too cold. Although, DC never really gets "too" cold, now does it? It dips below freezing every once in a while, causing the residents to FREAK THE HELL OUT and declare snow emergencies and cancel school and send federal employees home early. Oh wait. I should be glad for that...

But right, skirts. I love skirts. Feeling feminine is good. I just wish I could wear jeans. Old office was all about the jeans - probably the only good thing about that job. Of course, wearing my favorite pair was completely out of the question, as they are so old (I've had them since senior year of high school, so... eight years? I don't know. I've forgotten how to add and subtract in my head), that there are a few holes. For example, I like to pull on my jeans using the beltloops. So the two on the side have ginormous holes underneath them. There are also holes at the inside tops of the back pockets. Have no idea how those got there. So basically, when I choose to wear those jeans - though mostly around the house or on a quick trip to the market - I have to be extremely creative in underwear selection. I don't want people to think that I am an old prude, so the boring, flesh colored ones are out. But I don't want people thinking that I am some slutty whore, so the thongs and any black ones are also out. I usually settle on something pink and lacy, because I figure that makes me seem flirty, cute, and a little naughty. Because let's face it - sometimes there just isn't enough naughty in our lives...


Have recently realized that I am turning into that annoying person who forces pictures of her infant relative onto unsuspecting coworkers. I am not proud of this. But my brother sent pictures to me the other day (oh, let's be honest, Kari sent the pictures), and they are SO PERFECT that I wish I could share them with everyone. Maybe I'll find someone with a scanner to help me out...


Dinner party tonight - just the ladies. We haven't gotten together in a while, and it just seems like a good night for food, wine, 80s movies, and good conversation. Having salad, garlic bread, and awesome spaghetti, because my mom's fabulous recipe makes SO MUCH and I wanted to share! Making a yummy marinara for Laurel, since as a veggie, she might not fully appreciate the two pounds of beef that goes into the Lady's recipe. Such a good comfort food recipe for me. I usually just end up freezing most of it into convenient "dinner-for-one" baggies. Works well when I'm hungry, not so well when it reminds me that I'm a little lonely sometimes.

The Vine

So it's no secret that I love Television Without Pity. One of the recappers has her own site (well, most all of them do, really), and it's fabulous. I came across this little snippet the other day, and I thought that it was fitting. Here's the text as well:

Dear Sars,

I recently moved into an apartment at school with three good friends from the past couple of years. We have all gotten along well in the past, but yet are very different.

One big difference between me and my roommates is that I have a long-time boyfriend. I really like to spend the night with him, but his apartment is very noisy. He stayed here a lot before school started and it has only been a week since school started. He stayed here on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night.

This weekend my roommates called a meeting. One in particular wants to ban boys staying in the apartment during the week. My boyfriend is very polite, quiet and courteous to them. He cleans up after himself, never showers here, and doesn't disrupt anyone's sleep. My roommate just says that she wants to know it is only girls in the apartment. And she is worried about it being awkward if she runs into him in the hall in the middle of the night when she goes to the bathroom. I do not share a bedroom with any of my roommates, if I did, he wouldn't stay. Am I asking too much for him to be able to stay? Should he be staying less frequently?

I'm stuck. Right now, I feel like I have to choose between my best friends and my boyfriend. What do I do?


Dear Lonely,

The issue isn't that your boyfriend is rude or a dick; it's that he...doesn't live there. He doesn't pay rent. He doesn't have a room. This isn't the arrangement your roommates agreed to; they thought they'd live with you, not with you and him.

That might seem like splitting hairs to you, but think of it from their side -- four out of five nights last week, they had a houseguest whom they didn't invite, and again, I'm sure your boyfriend doesn't clog the drain or make noise, but he's still in their space, and his loud apartment isn't their problem, really.

The "during the week" part seems kind of arbitrary, but if they want to limit "people who don't receive mail at that address" guests to, say, two or three nights a week, I think that's fair of them. If you and your boyfriend want to spend more time together than that, you can invest in some earplugs.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

No Chicken Dance?

Yep, so I totally underestimated the new job. I definitely LOVE it, but I was so used to having absolutely nothing to do, that I forgot what it was like to be productive.

Jeremy's wedding was this weekend in good old Michigan. I headed to Jeremy's parents' for a little pre-wedding get-together on Friday night. It was super fun, AND I got to play a few hands of euchre. Why does no one here know how to play? Gah. So we kept his parents up until 1 a.m. or so before venturing off into bumblefuck OHIO to find the hotel.

The wedding was beautiful and elegant - and I bawled like an idiot pretty much the whole time. I was okay until Jeremy's sister got up to sing There Is Love (Gordon Lightfoot) which is, coincidentally, my parents' wedding song. LOST IT. Mascara didn't really run, but when we stopped at the hotel before the reception, I noticed that all of my under-eye makeup had disappeared, leaving me looking like a freaking zombie. Ah, well. Cover Girl to the rescue!

Reception was a blast - sit down dinners are always awesome because you don't have to do ANYTHING. The boys were upset because the bar was closed during dinner, but they sure made up for it as soon as those plates were cleared away... the drunken dancing... oh man. The DJ was quite obnoxious, too - what kind of a DJ only has TWO Journey songs and doesn't play The Chicken Dance )actually kind of grateful for that one)?

Anyway, I am exhausted. I may have gotten a total of ten hours of sleep this entire weekend.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Computer Fun-ness

My computer was down ALL DAY yesterday. So I had a productive day. If productive means getting some sleep, then YES!

I waltzed into work, logged in, got into my work email and was reading the first new message (from A - not a work-related one, of course) for about 10 seconds before the inbox went blank. Huh?

Fine, must just be the stupid email application. Checked gmail. Same thing - 10 seconds, then nothing.

Called the computer nerds to file report at 9:15.

Logged out. Logged in. Again, 10 seconds to complete meltdown. Logged out. "Saving your settings." That message was on my screen for two hours before I turned off the whole damn thing.

My supervisor was in a meeting from 9:45 to noon, so I had literally nothing to do. I attempted to clean my office, which was left in a whirl of emotions by my predecessor. Closed my eyes for a while. I thought about going down the hall to ask my director if she had anything for me, but then realized that I didn't really WANT to do anything, so I worked on the crossword some more. More closing of eyes.

By 11:15, and no computer nerds, I went to Chipotle. I ate 1/3 of that damn veggie burrito. May have more for lunch today, but they don't always keep that well in the fridge. Always better the first day.

Meeting on the Mall at 1:15. Left on the shuttle at 12:45, meeting lasted until 4. Got back, STILL no nerds. The monitor seemed to be fucked now, too. Called again. "Yes, I see that you filed a report. But he's been there."

Oh, obviously! That's why everything is shot to hell and I can't even get the damn thing to turn ON. But he's BEEN here, you say? "Oh. Okay. Well, it's still not working. Could you see if he can come check it out before the end of the day? You see, my supervisor is going to be out tomorrow, and I will have nothing to do if I can't log in."

"Well, I can't make any promises."


He showed up at 4:45. It works fine now. Most of the confusion was from my switching offices and nothing's been updated to reflect that. Meh - if people can't find me for a while, I am totally fine with that. Obviously.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Another Long Weekend

Thursday was my last day at the crap job. I was there for one year. A very long year. Right, so I know that I was lucky to find a salaried position and not have to wait tables, but MAN ALIVE am I glad it's over.

I seriously felt myself getting stupider and stupider each day (see? At this point, I'm not even sure that 'stupider' is a word. I'd look it up, but laziness has really set in during this past year as well. Meh. SEE?!?!?!) My brain had started a shut down process and the only way I kept it alive was with the Washington Post crossword and daily doses of Jeopardy (I hate you Alex Trebek).

I had NO idea that this would happen. The boredom and laziness made me complacent, and sending out a resume every few weeks
became good enough. And then the call came about Sweet New Job.

I interviewed on a Wednesday afternoon and I got the call Thursday morning. FINALLY! My new boss and I completed the same MA program at GWU. Did that help? Who cares? I got the job! The day after Labor Day, the intellectual stimulation begins. I am so looking forward to intelligent conversation...

Tomorrow, I am meeting Amanda for lunch (we're going super high class at The Baja Fresh). And that's all I have planned! I'm sure I'll have to take a nap at some point during the day. Hmmm... I wonder if I'll ever be able to "work from home" like K-10...

Thursday, September 01, 2005


See? I knew I wasn't the only one who thought that the concert was above-average AWESOME. But I also have to agree with this writer.

I mean, yes, Green Day playing a huge arena technically dissolves their "punk" status, given that punk bands just "don't play" big crowds - it's in their definition of "selling out." That's for them to ponder, not me. And watching the crowd chant and wave along with Billie Joe made me hope that they could see the irony in following him mindlessly - something their latest album strongly preaches against!

But they were good. And there's nothing wrong with that.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005


This is much more eloquent that anything I could try to write.

Green Day Awesomeness


Went to the Green Day concert last night on the
OnTap drunk bus. It was at Merriweather Post Pavilion, and we got there so late that we completely missed Jimmy Eat World. I was bummed about that for maybe five minutes... but then Green Day came on stage and rocked out.

I've been to some pretty sweet concerts in my young life - U2, Counting Crows, Weezer (twice!), Snow Patrol, The Killers, and pretty much any country music band/singer you can think of thanks to an ex and the white trashiest event in the history of the world called
Country Concert. Green Day was easily one of the best I've ever experienced. They played almost every song from American Idiot and a ton from Dookie (including She, my favorite).

Every time they would start a new song I would shake Laurel and jump up and down - you know, to make sure she was paying attention.

The best part of the night was when Billie Joe announced that they were going to form a new band on stage and started asking people in the audience if anyone had experience playing drums, bass, and guitar. He then hand-picked three people to come up on stage and play. The drummer was this college guy wearing his frat letters. (And he wasn't too obnoxious, go figure!) The bass player was young, but he could play. Then Billie Joe picked a 13-year-old kid out of the crowd to play guitar. We were all holding our breath as he showed him the chords to play. The kid put on Billie Joe's guitar, took the pick and a deep breath, and played the chords perfectly! Everyone went nuts! The kids played as Green Day jumped around the stage singing.

Then Billie Joe gave his guitar to the kid. It was so awesome. I totally cried. Shut up.

Something strange though - during the ballads, instead of lighters, people now hold up their cell phones. It was a little eerie...

Didn't get home until past 1 a.m. Totally worth it.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Birthday Party Pics - 8.20.05

Gen, Amanda, John

Waayers, Me, Amanda

Waayers, Gabester, Rhett, Maskulinski

Laurel, Me, and CAKE!

Tucker, his gf (I can't remember her name, I'm sorry!), Shane, Me

I remember very few of these pictures being taken. On account of the drinkees. So many drinkees. I do remember the cake, though. Thanks, Laurel, that was volcanic!

(And if anyone remember's Tucker's gf's name, please let me know so I can fix it! -- In my defense, it was the first time any of us met her, so... nevermind that's just an excuse)

The VIBE Gets Around. Whore.

My plans to visit Great Falls this weekend in the VIBE were thwarted by the evil rainy weather. Stupid weatherpeople! They said no rain this weekend. NO RAIN. They are all LYING LIARS. But I got to do a bunch of other neat things!

Woke up at 7 in the a.m. on Saturday to go to Great Falls. Pouring down rain. Fantastic. So I had some Rice Krispies instead. Because THAT'S the same. When is the last time that you had Rice freaking Krispies, though? For me, it's been years since I had some snappy, cracky, poppily goodness. But that's mostly because I never buy milk. But I had some milk! AND, I had some apple juice. Man, I love apple juice. Especially in the morning. People who'd rather have orange juice with breakfast are weirdos.

Then I made the mistake of going to Tyson's Corner Mall. Right, so we've established that Virginians cannot drive. So because it was semi-sprinkling, it took me about an hour longer to get there than normal.

So I walk in with two bags. Both are shirts that need to be returned, because I am a stupid moron who never tries on clothes at the mall because I see it as a hassle. More of a hassle than going back and returning/exchanging said items of clothing, you ask? Well, there are a few stores where I am fairly confident of my size. Like The Limited. LOVE. But this XS shirt was a little big. And the XS shirt I got at NY & Company was a little small. Right, anyway, Limited there is closed for a month for renovations or something. Meh. At least I got one thing done. Wish I had remembered to get a smoothie or something...

Then I headed back to The Hill, but not before stopping at my favorite Thai place in Arlington to pick up a late lunch/early dinner. Fab. Also fab? How I still have their number in my phone.

Went to Old Town with Amanda and Waayers. Ended up at Murphy's, of course. The singers were, well... awful. How you can screw up both Irish classic songs and fun bar songs like Piano Man and Country Roads, I don't know. So we drank to numb the pain. Well, Amanda drank. I was driving.

Today, the VIBE was due back at 1 p.m. It was sad, really. It was the epitome of freedom - to me, anyway. It was a spectacularly stupid looking car, though! But it was a car, and it was MINE for the weekend.

And now I miss the 'Scort. :(

Friday, August 26, 2005

Good Vibes

I have a Pontiac Vibe for the weekend. A what? A VIBE. What on EARTH would possess the good folks at Pontiac to name a car THAT?

It's cute, it's small, and it zips around like a hummingbird on crack. All I really ask for in my cars, really. Mine's red - just like this one.

I feel like a badass, having a car again. Well, as much of a badass as I can be in a VIBE. I really miss being able to go to a grocery store in which I can actually afford the merchandise. Because really, Martin's Market here on Capitol Hill hikes up the prices like we're being rationed. $2.50 for a two-liter of Coca Cola? Sure, that sounds reasonable! Let me go grab my giant sack of GOLD. One minute...

So I've been to Safeway, Trader Joe's, and Old Navy. I didn't get much - I went because I COULD. Although, every time I go to Old Navy, that place looks more and more like an overflowing Salvation Army warehouse. Can we get SOMEONE to fold the freakin' shirts? Anyone? Is it just that customers are so appalled by the choices of capri pants and "ironic" t-shirts that they THROW the clothes on the floor in disgust? I don't know. It's just a mess. All the time.

I'm supposed to go to a party tonight, and as it's in Falls Church, I didn't think that I was going to be able to make it. But now, thanks to the VIBE, I think I might. I also might get me some of that lovely food from Crystal Thai in Arlington. Or maybe save that for tomorrow.

OH! What about Jimmy John's? I should get that sometime, too! So much to do, so little time with the VIBE.

Thursday, August 25, 2005


Today marked the start of my looooong weekend. How did I spend my day?

Woke up at 11:30 a.m. Washed face. Contacts. Mmmm, sight!

11:45 Walked to the mailbox to mail RSVP to Greg's wedding and Netflix DVD. 80 degrees! Only 35% humidity! Lovely!

11:55 Listened to The Killers CD.

12:07 Shun shower to do laundry.

12:08 Laundry, laundry, and more laundry. Launderiffic! When you cannot remember the last time you washed your sheets, it's probably about time.

1:13 Listened to Bob Dylan: Greatest Hits CD.

2:30 Spaghetti for lunch. No, it's not weird. Besides, it was homemade sauce. Mom's recipe. Comfort food goodness. Mmmmmm...

3:22 Reveled in lovely clean-laundry smell in bedroom after washing sheets, pillowcases, and duvet cover.

3:24 Created photoblog.

4:15 Still haven't showered. Yum!

5:00 Listened to Josh Kelley CD.

6:00 How am I not done doing laundry yet?

6:18 Listened to Coldplay CD - A Rush of Blood to the Head. Oooh, I need to get their new one...

6:49 Put in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

8:30 Made pizza rolls. Laundry still in dryer. Think I'll wash the bathmats.

9:29 Still watching HP3. Why am I such a nerd?

9:48 Shower!

10:56 Watched Indian Summer.

I suppose I'll go to sleep eventually. It was a nice, lazy day. Very much needed. Well done!

(Damn, this post was booooooooring.)

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Sick Leave? Sure, If That's What You Want to Call It

I have to use up my sick leave before the new job starts (11 days - but who's counting?) because the conversion to being a true federal employee allows for me to keep my annual leave - in the form of a nice, fat check - but not sick leave. Bastards.

After being sick so many times in the past few months, I only had 24.5 hours left. But, after some fast math in my head (divide by eight, uhhhhhhh), that's three days! Three whole lovely, sunny, tasty days. Determined not to forfeit hours that I had earned by working very, very diligently (hahaha! RIGHT.), I approached my supervisor tentatively:

Heather: After speaking with HR, I discovered that my unused annual leave will be converted, but I am going to lose my sick leave. I earned that leave, and I don't want the government to steal it. I gave three weeks notice, instead of the one week recommended by HR, so can I try and use it up?

Supervisor: Sure.

Heather: Uh, neat. Thanks!

And now I have tomorrow and Friday off, and my last day will now be September 1 instead of the 2nd. Fantastic!

In other news, I have discovered the perfect kind of underwear. Not bikini, not a full-on thong. Nope - somewhere in between coupled with lacy goodness. I'm not even sure if they have a name, but they are pretty damn sweet. I mean, pretty damn Swayze.

As I have tomorrow off, I finally got around to watching Casablanca. For the first time.


As a World War II historian, I am kind of amazed that it took me this long to see it. Maybe I thought that I would have had to watch it for one of the many classes I took at UM (or GWU, for that matter). Yeah, if everyone else hadn't already seen it!

And so, I can finally give an informed review: LOVED IT! (oh, In Living Color flashback...). I can see why this film is consistently ranked in the top ten movies of all time - the acting alone was flawless. Sentimental, yes, but it captures the "Vichy" mentality prevalent in Casablanca at the time. One thing that I found interesting - that I would have missed had I not read an article about it - was the French girl who started dating a German soldier. French soldier gets pissed, etc. Women like her were treated like criminals once the war was over - many had their heads forcibly shaved. Right -- you didn't need to know that, but I felt like my entire expensive education was justified just because I picked up on that one minute scene.

I did quite enjoy hearing some of the most famous lines in cinema. I'll spare you.

But we'll always have Paris.


The National Zoo is allowing the public to choose the name of the panda cub. We all know that it should be named "Butterstick," yet it is not one of the choices. Here's a link to a site that somehow bypasses the zoo's voting form and *might* give Butterstick a chance. (Is "hacking" the correct word anymore?)

The adorable Butterstick.
(image courtesy of the Smithsonian National Zoo)

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

That's So Swayze

Right. So my friend really likes Patrick Swayze. I don't know. I don't know why! And he (yes, HE - didn't see that one coming, did ya?) uses the name as a freaking adjective.

"How was the movie?"
"Oh, it was so Swayze."

"What did you make for dinner?"
"I made some Swayze chicken and some zesty Swayze pasta."


OH, it gets better.

He has a Patrick Swayze poster over his living room couch. Not some artsy framed poster. Nope. It's from a magazine. Which? TEEN BEAT. Did he do a search on eBay for "Patrick Swayze 1986?" Because I can't imagine that there are many teeny bopper magazines including posters of Patrick Fucking Swayze in 2005.

Patrick Swayze. I swear...

The poster in question:

Just kidding, the one above his couch is a headshot. But still, this one made me snort apple juice out my nose. I mean, because seriously, guys? It's so Swayze.