Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Audobon Exhibit

The John James Audobon exhibit at the National Gallery of Art is a must-see for any bird lover or art lover. The selected works are originals from which only two complete copies remain. He was a master illustrator who drew and painted with such detail, his works are relevant today. Enjoy!

Pileated Woodpecker


Snowy Owl (Hedwig!)

Mallard Duck

Nevermore! (Raven - hehe!)

Bald Eagle

This piece is a perfect example of how his works influenced and continue to influence scientists and illustrators even today. This depiction of the eagle with a fish has been replicated in displays in museums all over the world and books on the subject. Because he worked from real specimens, his attention to detail is unmatched.

Ivory-Billed Woodpecker


A little blurry, but this piece was one of my favorites because it captures the playfulness of these adorable birds.


One of his rare oil paintings. The watercolor (or aquatint, as it was known then) hangs nearby. Compare the two - they're amazing.


Easily my favorite on display. This piece was all about the birds themselves. They're so beautiful!

Monday, February 27, 2006


After receiving over 200 internship applications for the summer, I've learned a great deal about Microsoft Access, the copy machine, and the applicants themselves who just WON'T. STOP. CALLING about their applications. "Have my reference letters arrived?" "Have my transcripts arrived?" "Did it arrive on time?" "Did I remember to sign it?" "Did I use enough staples?" (answer: Never! You can never use too many staples! Interns apparently LOVE staples, staplers, and any device that will adhere as many staples as possible to their required five complete copies. My hand hurts from using my trusty staple remover to extract them from each packet). Did I use the best, most unique paperclips?

And that's where the contest begins...

(FYI - This gets scary. Not just the content - that alone is terrifying. It's scary because it shows how completely insane I am. You have been warned).

If you sent in an application with any of these "paperclips," I would disqualify you if at all possible. I hate these paperclips. They're huge! And some are rusty and scary! It's bad enough that I could get anthrax from the hundreds of envelopes I opened - I could get tetanus! There exists a mini version of these clamp-like things, which I adore, but I didn't receive any applications with those :(

These are nice. Small, free of rust, and sometimes colorful, these paperclips make an application desirable. Ah...

You can't tell from the picture, but these are large paperclips. I HATE these. Some of the silver ones are grooved and they tear the hell out of your carefully constructed application. Too late - your application sucks!

I don't know what the hell this is. Scary!

These. I don't know what these are. They were almost impossible to pry off of the applications and left the paper bent and ugly. Ew!

Check out this rogue mini paperclip! It's blurry, but you can see the amazing pattern. Green and white striped! Your application goes in the "maybe" pile!

Let's take a look at all of them together. So many emotions...


Now, the paperclips below are awesome. I've never seen anything like them. These applicants win everything! Yay!

Have you ever seen any paperclips as cool as these? That regular-looking one in the back is special because it is extremely tiny. I LOVE the tiny paperclips. These are all perfection.

See? I told you I was INSANE.

(Though I am insane, rest easy. I actually have very little say in accepting interns. I review each applicant's interests and experience to see with which staff member s/he would best fit, and I'm not allowed to throw away the stupid applications, i.e., the high school students who didn't read the internship description that says UNDERGRADUATE SENIOR OR GRADUATE STUDENT).

Sunday, February 26, 2006

What On a Stick, Now?

Yep. Pork Stick. I didn't see anyone order it. It sounds good, but if any of the other things were ordered were any indication, the pork stick might not be your best happy hour choice. I don't know...

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

So. Damn. Cute.

Already driving!

In between crawling and staring at us. There was much staring.

Kewpie doll.

My weekend in Michigan was great... except for the amazing seven-degree weather we had on Saturday. Yes, seven degrees. It was a bit chilly. And windy. I was all about the layers. And the crazy thing is, I can't wait to get back!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

The Great White North

One and a half hours to go, and then I'm off to the great white north! No, not Canada. Though, speaking of our neighbors to the north, I just got this picture in an email today:

I really have no idea why I thought it was so funny, but there's my sense of humor for you. Thanks, Woelker.

Anyway, The Lady called me this morning to remind me to "bring a warm coat. It's going to be nineteen tomorrow."

Nineteen degrees? Awesome. It's sixty degrees in DC right now. Talk about transition...

Monday, February 13, 2006

And the Weather Closings Begin...

Saturday night, the Capital area got hit with what was supposed to be TEN INCHES OF SNOW. AHHHHHHH!!!!

Here is a view from my front porch on Sunday morning (I took the picture from the front porch because if you saw the view from the back porch, you'd be like, "Um, you live in a scary place." Calm down, it's just an overgrown alley. No worries!):

It wasn't so much ten inches of snow as maybe three or four. Didn't stop them from issuing a policy of unscheduled liberal leave today. Gotta love it.

Too bad everyone in my office knows that I only commute two stops to work. Ah well.

Sunday, February 12, 2006


This weekend was all about the dinosaurs. Seriously.

Amanda and I teamed up to bring down the Koopas on Friday night. We had many nemeses including this guy right here:

I think that he is some sort of -ceratops. Maybe a biceratops. He goes both ways.

Then we realized that Super Mario World's forest level looks pretty awesome through a glass of white wine:


Saturday morning, we were walking to the metro to head up to Friendship Heights to unnecessarily spend money at World Market, and we spotted this tag on the wall near Union Station:

Godzilla! Nooooooo!!!!

Let's get a closer look, shall we?


Thursday, February 09, 2006


I liked it. I think.

EmFace was right, it was definitely my kind of humor. And the bloodiness/disgustingness? Not so bad. I vaguely remember someone mentioning the woodchipper scene - back when the film was still in theaters - but I didn't think about it until that scene popped onto the screen. Good LORD. Honestly, though, I only had to cover my eyes once, and it wasn't at that point believe it or not.

Yes, it was gross. No, it is not happy. Yes, it was
very disturbing. But I laughed like an idiot at the Minnesota/North Dakota accents. I do think that the accents and the seemingly gentle characters made this film easy to watch. Without them, I probably wouldn't have gotten through the first twenty minutes.

The humanity of the sheriff versus the banality of the evil that permeates through (practically) everyone else in the film was
such a stark contrast. William H. Macy was wonderful playing such a sap of a man - but in reality, was the most evil person in the movie. He played the role to perfection. His portrayal almost made it easy for the viewer to feel sorry for his character - until s/he realizes that everything that happens is his fault.

I can totally understand why Frances McDormand won an Academy Award for her role as the pregnant sheriff. She was amazing. I don't remember which clip they submitted to the Academy for consideration, but I'd bet it was one of her final scenes - as she drove her recent capture to jail, she finally cracks while wondering aloud why he did what he did. She allows herself to be affected by the horror - for the first time in her career, maybe - and it is such a wonderfully acted scene.

And the movie ends with her getting into bed with her husband and talking about
his day. Brilliant.

Brand Recognition

There are times when I think that marketers are developing products and designing packaging just for me:

Ha! Let's get a closer look, shall we?

You see, there is nothing on the packaging that explains why these bags are "Awesome!" I've looked. Instead, I believe that the company was depending on gullible people like me to see the flashy-colored box and catchy name to draw me in (well, Jenny bought them, not me, at Shopper's - the Payless of grocery stores - so who knows what will happen).

Granted, the "other brand" shows bags of spaghetti sauce being dropped on women in flawless white pantsuits resulting harmoniously (but let's be honest - we all want that bag to burst open on those Park Avenue 'ladies who lunch' just to witness the meltdowns. Oh, the meltdowns...)

I don't know... until a bag bursts on me, I will buy
Awesome! bags. I mean, just look at them! That marketing team deserves a gold star.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


I will be watching this tonight:

I love me some Netflix!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Blog Cloud

Okay, so I totally copied this from Deals, but it was way too cool to pass up. This is my blog word cloud. Unlike hers (her opinion, not mine), I think that mine is pretty representative of who I am and what I write about:

Ah Cobalt. I Hardly Knew You

So I was walking home from the bar last night and I thought that my neighborhood seemed really pretty and serene:

I love the blue lights. The owners keep them on day and night:

I was kinda bummed because I knew that I had to get up in a few short hours to return the rental car (a Chevy Cobalt this time. Loved it!) to the airport. So instead of getting into bed like a responsible adult, I proceeded to fall asleep on the couch watching Home Alone (I know) before waking up at 5:00 a.m. and crawling/staggering into bed cursing myself and the wall I just ran into.

I woke up this morning wanting to scream. 8:00 a.m. is
TOO EARLY. But I managed to get the car back in time and decided to mosey through the airport. Have you ever walked through the underground tunnel from the rental area to Terminal A (read: the shitty mini terminal far removed from the rest of the airport. The terminal that Northwest occupies and governs with an iron fist. The terminal at which I practically lived for the past six months)? It is eerie down there. I felt like I was in a movie or something:

Being completely alone was strange enough, but even as I listened to my solitary footsteps I could just sense that I was being watched. Neato!

After multiple moving sidewalks and several escalators, I got to this awesome waiting area somewhere in terminal A. It looked just like I would expect an airport to look in a movie from forty years ago:

It was as if Audrey Hepburn could walk through at any second.

I finally made my way to the metro and got home. As I turned into my alley (yeah, I live in an alley. Well, not really. But it's still pretty sweet), I glanced at the cute little market and then immediately did a double take:

That's right... it was OPEN:

Unreal. It's not open Wednesday at four in the afternoon, but Sunday at 10:30 a.m.? No problem.

Superbowl later. Go Steelers! And Go Detroit!

I think I'll take a nap...

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Never Let Me Go

I finished reading Never Let Me Go a few weeks ago, and I've been thinking about it ever since. For me, it was a very original coming-of-age story involving a fictitious London, love, the 1990s, and cloning.


I have
no idea how to classify this novel. It's part science fiction, part theory, part philosophy, and part English literature. But mostly, it was beautifully written. As a historian, I got used to reading dry textbooks and boring articles. But once I learned to really read history, I sought out historians who not only knew their history, but knew how to really write. It was a joy to read books by someone who not only had command of how and why things happened, but how his/her words complimented each other.

This book, of course, was no history book. And Ishiguro really understands how to make words flow. The main character, Kathy, is a student at a strange boarding school. It's obvious that these students are special, and Ishiguro really takes the time to let the reader discover their secrets. The reader is quickly attracted to the lives of Kathy and her friends and wonders where their lives will take them upon graduation.

I honestly don't want to write much more about the plot just because it is such a page-turner. Try this one - even if you don't like the story, the writing is simply amazing.

Good Marketing Pays Off

So it's no secret that I love me some Netflix. Convenience, ease, inexpensiveness... superb!

As I left the house this morning and turned onto 3rd street, I watched as two people - one on 3rd, one on F street - walk out their front doors carrying the same distinctive red envelope. He was in his mid-twenties, she was older, with striking white hair. I was halfway to Union Station by the time they probably met at the mailbox, and I imagined that they had a thrilling conversation about their respective rentals. Which one of them rented
Gosford Park (a brilliant movie, btw) and who rented Bring It On? Discuss!

I find it so interesting that this company has made its product so accessible to such a wide variety of people. Kudos!

I mean, it's a good idea, don't you think?