Thursday, August 30, 2007
Okay, so I didn't almost do anything. But I wanted to. Bitch deserved it.
Right, so here's hoping that I don't get too burnt, hungover, into any fights (I'm not naming names, Stu), or tattoos (like last time):
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Keith Coogan, who plays Brad in Adventures in Babysitting, is the brother, Kenny, in Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead.
Anthony Rapp, Daryl in Adventures in Babysitting, is Tony in Dazed and Confused. (He's also, incidentally, one of the stars of RENT, which is how the little 80s field trip started in my head. I've never seen the musical or the recent film (gasp!), but I kind of sort of want to see them now...)
Anyway, how is it that I never made these connections before? I own all three of those films, and I watch them often. Dazed and Confused is one of those special films that I will watch anytime I find it on TV, regardless of the fact that its DVD sits very close to said TV and contains elements that will inevitably be cut from the version on TBS or TNT. Or whatever.
There are a good number of films that I will watch if I discover them on TV, whether I own them or not, or whether I know that I will bawl like a lost child or not.
There are the usual suspects, of course, for the children of the 80s: Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Sixteen Candles, and The Breakfast Club. "Automobile?" Exactly.
For me especially, these old "classics" grab my attention after just a few frames: Wuthering Heights, Breakfast at Tiffany's, West Side Story, and Dr. Zhivago. I will cry at some point in all of these films (some more than others, and by "more," I mean gushing like a fountain), but my momentary sorrow is justified because they are just so good. And totally worth the tears.
Comedies like Dumb and Dumber, Super Troopers, and The Sweetest Thing never fail to have me rolling on the floor laughing. Do you agree with meow?
And while I watch Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone at least once a week (I know), I will nevertheless tune in to ABC Family when it's shown four times in a weekend.
Annnnnnnd, I seem to have gotten off on a tangent.
Well, too late to save it now. Kbye!
Monday, August 27, 2007
Some schools in the
"In particular settings, teachers of history are unwilling to challenge highly contentious or charged versions of history in which pupils are steeped at home, in their community or in a place of worship."
Um, what? I thought that the whole idea of LEARNING was to be faced with different ideas, piecing them together, and then making up one’s own mind on the subject. My parents never forced me to believe what I was taught by them, in school, or in church, and I think that I turned out just fine.
Besides, it doesn't matter if students are taught something that differs from what they hear at home - most of the time, they'll just dismiss it and go back to whatever their parents taught... good or bad. In high school, an acquaintance had parents who taught him that the Confederate flag was a powerful symbol -- so powerful that he learned to turn off the porch lights when children of a certain color came trick-or-treating.
Sick, right? There was no changing his mind or his prejudices - no number of history classes would alter those deep-set beliefs. Either he was never given the power of choice, or his parents were lightning quick to instill within him dangerous, contentious ideas.
While these are in effect currently in the
If that's the goal, then I hope that children enjoy staring at a blank chalkboard for the entirety of the day:
They'll have to cut out English because it will be offensive to children who aren't native speakers. Say goodbye to math and science because it might make the female students feel inferior. Art, gym, music, and woodshop would have to go because, let's face it: some are better than others in these areas.
(I hope that my sarcasm is strong enough to be detected here.)
So, hey! QUIT IT. These kids may be young with fragile little minds (again, sarcasm!), but they are much, much more intelligent than adults assume. They are constantly aware of what's going on around them, and they are intensely intuitive. They'll ask questions and they'll make their own decisions. And let's be honest - the kids aren't the ones who will end up "offended" and scarred -- it'll only take one parent like Kyle’s mom start a freaking revolution.
History is not simple. It's full of wars and conquests, struggles for power and multitudes of oppressed people. It's not often nice to read or easy to think about. Human history is full of pain and suffering.
But history also teaches us about the uplifting power of the human spirit, the strength to rise above adversity, and the ways in which normal, unassuming people can change the world.
So stop molly-coddling these damn kids! They’re going to learn about these subjects eventually, so how about we stop worrying about what’s going to offend them and take a very large, very potent collective chill pill. And a nice, deep breath.
Friday, August 24, 2007
The Washington Post ran an extremely depressing story the other day: One in Four Read No Books Last Year. (No comment on the poorly-worded title.)
A whole year? No books? Nothing?
That's sad - my books are like my babies. I get excited in bookstores like some women get excited in shoe stores. My face lights up, I rush from one shelf to the next, and I pick up any book that catches my eye. I browse Amazon for hours, clicking from one book to the next, adding to my wish list.
I can't imagine even a week-long diet from books, let alone an entire year.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
So I had a bit of a party last night. I wanted a nice dinner with my friends to celebrate my birthday. I don't have the largest living room in the world, but I figured that maybe half of the twenty invitees would be able to make it.
Instead, they all came. And they brought wine. It was cramped, but it was glorious.
It was a great time and I am so lucky to have these wonderful people in my life.
I'm really not sure when those happened...
Thanks again, guys. It was a blast! (Pics here)
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Yeah, that was yesterday. Except with the work I thought I had to do, not pee. I only made the comparison because I was in the bathroom when I thought of it.
Yeah, I'm crude. So what?
Every year, each and every GD year, my office publishes a book. It's a boring book. It lists research opportunities, fellowships, and internships and I don't think that anyone reads it. Ever. And yet? We keep doing it.
It's the same every year: I send out announcements to staff (none of whom seem to be physically or mentally able to respond by the due date), resend announcements to staff, await their responses, and begin edits on book. For years, we had submitted a camera-ready copy (in Microsoft Word) to the printer, and they literally took a picture of each page. They decided that they won't be doing it anymore, mostly because it's so out of date, but also because it's stupid. We could never just send them an attachment because depending on who opens it, Word likes to do silly things like change the indentations of paragraphs.
This year, they suggested that we try a new program. Adobe InDesign CS2. It's... intense. And terrifying. It's far too sophisticated for a black and white, text-only publication like ours. I'm no graphic designer, and I've absolutely no experience with this kind of program. And yet, it was purchased, installed, and I was expected to learn how to use it. My boss even bought InDeisgn CS2 for Dummies.
Long story short, I was freaking the fuck out for a month. I couldn't figure out what was needed, I was staying late at work, and I was thinking about it way too much once I was away from work. Once I returned from my birthday vaca, I had trouble getting to sleep. "I'm going to get fired, I'm going to get fired, I'm going to get fired..."
As I walked to work yesterday morning, my steps echoed, "I'm screwed, I'm screwed, I'm screwed..."
I sat in my office with InDesign open in front of me as I muttered at the screen. "Crap, crap, crap..."
Then? My boss entered my office later that morning to tell me that she spoke to the printer and that we weren't going to use InDesign after all.
Nope, we are going to create the book in Word and then convert it to a pdf.
Are. You. Kidding. Me?
This stupid book could have been done TWO MONTHS AGO if she hadn't jumped the gun and bought InDesign because it was pretty and shiny and she "always wanted to try it." I really didn't know what to do. Should I hug her or punch her in the throat? In the end, I did neither. I smiled. And I got back to work.
So yeah, that's my story. Just like running to the bathroom to pee, right?
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Instead, here are some classic shots of me as a young donut. A mini donut if you will:
I love that I am wearing a Hard Rock NYC shirt.
I first went to NYC when I was 17.
Also, water rides are disgusting.
The Lady and my aunt were saints for going on them.
My cousin Christin is rocking the shorts and bathing suit,
my brother is wearing a vintage TNMT shirt (he has a TMNT fanny pack in the first pic),
and I have my shirt knotted at the waist over SPANDEX.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
I read TWOP because the writers are amazingly gifted and I want to be them and write like them and I LOVE THEM. I want to pass them notes that say, "Will you be my friend? Check yes or no." I want to take them behind the middle school and get them pregnant. (Seriously watch that link. It's awesome. Then go watch every episode of "30 Rock" online.)
I don't have HBO, but when I read the recaps of "Big Love," I am whisked away to a magical time when we totally got HBO and Showtime for free because apparently no one on my old block paid for premium channels. But I don't need to have the channel because the TWOP writer recreates the episode so wonderfully... so adeptly... that reading them is sometimes more fun than watching the actual show. (In the case of "Big Love," the recaps ultimately save me from the inevitable shot of Bill Paxton's ass. A good thing, trust me.)
ANY way, I started telling you about the recap for "The Hills." I honestly don't give a crap bag about these overindulged princesses, living in the "real world" but treating it like high school, because it's not my world... but I guess that's the power of escapist television, right? But today, I read a recap on a whim and about peed myself. Basically, TWOP's Joe R. is extremely gifted and I want to take him behind the middle school and get him pregnant:
"Audrina meets Justin for their date. And...I may need coffee myself if I'm to accurately convey this guy. He looks like Jared Leto playing a grunged-out parody of himself on Entourage. He looks like if Keanu and River Phoenix conceived a child during the My Own Private Idaho shoot and he's now of age. He looks like a low-rent male stripper in character as Eddie Vedder. He looks awesome, is what I'm saying. I hope he's around all season."
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
My coworker, in many attempts to stay sane under this kind of pressure, searches for any escape -- even if it's only for his lunch break. Yesterday, he planned a grand escape. GRAND. All the way to Chinatown and beyond in search of something other than several picked-over buffets.
And he hooked me. I am weak and he offered free lunch.
When he returned with a Jr. Whopper for me, I was happy. I scraped off the congealed "cheese" and, well... I ate it. And it was gooooood.
Five minutes later, I remembered that I hadn't eaten a smidge of fast food since viewing a certain film. I don't know if it was the "cheese" residue or the fact that my system was not equipped to handle the meat, but there were a few uncertain hours there.
The wastebasket was directly next to my chair, is what I'm saying. I haven't felt that foul in months. I will not be having anything from the BK Lounge anytime soon.
Heather's Body: Things do tend to taste better when they're free, though...
Heather: No! No fast food! Go back to your nap.
Heather's Body: But I want more greasy fas... zzzzzzzzz.
Heather: Ugh. Where's the trash can?
Old Roommate Jenny had planned an evening event to celebrate my birthday and had been keeping it a secret. I had no idea what she had planned, but by yesterday afternoon I was getting curious:
H: What time this evening then? We're not painting mugs or something gay like that are we?
ORJ: Yes we are biotch. How did you know?
H: I'm going to paint giant breasts on mine.
H: We're not really painting mugs are we? Because then I'd feel bad for calling it gay...
ORJ: Not mugs but we are going to that place. Is that dorky?
H: What place? I totally made that up!
ORJ: Shut up. That's weird. All Fired Up. No kidding, that's the name.
H: No way! I've never heard of it! I'm still painting boobs...
ORJ: I can't believe you made that up.
It took me a while to realize that she was serious and for her to realize that I had completely made up the whole thing. Honestly, I really hadn't heard of that place -- I had had a certain "Friends" episode in my head all day:
Lauren: Hey! So since we're getting off early, do you want to go and paint mugs?
Lauren: You know! At that place I told you about last night?
Joey: Oh yeah, with the mug painting. Yeah. I was so listening to that.
So basically, I am an asshole. I had no clue that she was planning a creative evening, and yet? As soon as I hit "send" on that first text message, I knew that she had planned exactly that.
I didn't need a mug, however, so I painted a bowl. No breasts, I'm afraid -- there were children present ("Please, there are ladies present!"):
Jenny, in a display of hidden artistic ability, painted nuts on a mug:
One super awesome thing about this place? You can bring in your own beverages. Including wine. Delicious wine. Or delicious sugar:
Somehow, I don't think that would have been the case if it had been Chardonnay.
This last photo is just to illustrate Jenny's freehand technique:
I know that she doesn't believe me (see: insensitive text messages), but I had always wanted to do this and I had a blast!
Monday, August 13, 2007
I love my perfume. It's been my scent of choice for several years - my signature, if you will. Like my one dainty necklace and two rings, I wear it every day. I am simple and that's okay, dammit!
But I like the scent, and I like it to last longer than five seconds, so I've shelved it for a while - at least until I stop sweating like a bandit every time I go outside. As an experiment, I wore CK One this weekend. A little 'high school,' I know, but I love it. Thing is-- it was pretty strong. I don't want to smell like Macy's, I just want an idea that the scent was once there.
This morning, after a horrible night's sleep (the only excuse I have at this point), I spritzed on Clinique Simply, a small sample size from the brand's last bonus sale.
Within seconds, I realized my mistake. It smelled so much, well... simpler in the bottle. I tried to wipe it off before leaving for work, but it was too potent. Plus, I think it's in my hair. And now I am sitting here with a headache because apparently I am MY MOTHER.
The Lady has worn Chanel No. 5 for as long as I remember, and has only recently tried new scents. (Personally, I don't think that any smell as nice as Chanel, at least on her, but that's just my opinion.) She has a very refined sense of smell (nasal palate?), and pretty much hated each and every perfume/cologne that my brother or I would wear.
I never understood how she could get a headache from Steven's Drakkar (talk about high school!) or my Polo Sport (ugh. I can't believe that I liked it, either!), or from whatever gum we were chewing at the time. Really.
But now? I am the same. I can't stand it when my roommate burns incense (the headache is evil and immediate), I get sick to my stomach if I use the wrong clothing detergent, and the wrong perfume can ruin my day.
Of course, it could be worse. My poor friend Emily gets migraines from even the idea of certain foods. So I shall stop complaining.
I would like to discover a new scent, however. While I am extremely loyal to my perfumes, I wouldn't mind trying something new. After much caution, however. One can only have so many headaches before throwing bottles of perfume into the Potomac.
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Friday, August 10, 2007
And I reflected myself in the window quite nicely, eh?
Evidence of why I need to take a photography class, really.
That's right. I hate the WHOLE SAMMICH.
Quite a feat for me. Quite.
so I popped down to the mall to see them today to pose with Greg.
I love working so close!
And that's about it for me. I have a weekend of craziness ahead of me. Well, crazy if you consider drinks at Bar Louie, shopping at Eastern Market, and sleeping "crazy."
Oh, and I'm reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone again. Watch out for this girl!
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Okay, so the pain has since subsided, but let me just tell you: if the owners of a kayaking company tell you that the trip is "going to be a very strenuous workout," LISTEN TO THEM.
Let me start at the beginning (cue the wavy lines):
Last week, the Lady and I drove from Detroit to Athelstane, Wisconsin to spend the weekend camping, kayaking, and white water rafting. My cousin Holley (30 years old today!) set it up as a way for us all to save some money while helping her celebrate her milestone. Considering that her original plan was to spend her 30th in Europe, I'm thinking that it was a good choice (well, money-wise).
Sure, the Mackinac Bridge is amazing, but once you arrive in the Upper Peninsula, things get a little weird:
Too bad though -- I need new ones.
After nine hours in the car, we met up with my aunt & uncle and our family friend Di and immediately headed to the hotel bar. What? It was a long drive!
After spending the rest of the evening at a brewery with my Uncle Mike, we woke up refreshed, drove an hour to Kosir's to meet up with the rest of our group (twenty-two people!), and set up camp. And had some beer(s).
It was like a freaking commune.
It was soon time for the "funyaking." Now, in their defense, they really did try to dissuade us from going, and even offered to let us raft two days in a row instead, but we were apparently too stubborn (read: stupid) to listen.
I don't know how many people are familiar with the way rivers are measured, but I'll make it simple: Very good, very high water levels here are measured up to a 42. Very bad, very sucky levels are down to a -7. At -7, trips are cancelled.
The Peshtigo River was at a -6. A NEGATIVE SIX, people.
And we still went.
A trip that should have taken an hour and a half took FOUR HOURS. We put in and were stuck on rocks within seconds. It was almost surreal. After a few minutes of rocking back and forth, you'd free yourself, celebrate your victory over mother nature and her goddamn devil rocks, and then promptly get stuck again. Within seconds! I am not kidding!
I actually thought that it was fun and laughed each and every time I found myself marooned, but near the end, I was close to tears when my arms just stopped working. I was so tired and so frustrated that I just waited for one of the guides to free me. Once I finally finished and trudged back to the campsite, I had to ask the Lady to comb out my hair because I couldn't do it myself. Seriously. My arms would not work. It was hell.
We made up for it that night:
We rafted the next day, on the Menominee River. We put in on a spot in Wisconsin and finished in Michigan. That was pretty cool. Again, the water was lower than usual, so it was slow-going at first. Luckily, the Menominee is dam-fed so we weren't dragging ass like on the FREAKING PESHTIGO River.
We tore through Piers Gorge, the biggest drop, twice. I sat in the front for the second trip. It's a good thing that someone was instructed to hold on to the two morons in front, because my foot came dislodged and I got some sweet air.
It was a bit of a disappointment, especially for those who had rafted elsewhere (my cousins in West Virginia and the Lady in Colorado). There was one major "white water" area and it seemed like nothing more than a water ride at an amusement park.
But then, a massive bald eagle flew above us and all was forgotten.
We returned to camp, lit stuff on fire, and drank ourselves into oblivion. Well, not me. After an hour at flip cup, I was DONE and went to bed around 2:00. (Oh, and does the fact that we had three separate games of euchre going at one time make us nerds or totally awesome?)
What can I say? I love FIRE.
I loved seeing my cousins - now that Holley is in Wisconsin and Christin is in Arizona, we only really see each other at Christmas (and sometimes not even then. Holley works for the airlines and is almost always working on Christmas Day).
It doesn't matter that the water was low or that the drive was long - that's not what it was about. It was a blast!
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
I don't know if it's because I already ate or because I had Little Caesar's when in Michigan, but hot damn! Domino's sucks!
When I lived the dorm life, Domino's was the only way to go - with tax, a large pizza cost $7.41 and arrived in fifteen minutes (and it goes without saying that the delivery guy got a whopping 59 cent tip. Sorry about that, guy. I mean, the Lady would send me "pizza money" every so often, but I spent it on booze. I mean, books. Books and copy cards). Maybe we were just used to the mediocrity, or maybe we were too cheap to shell out for Papa John's, I DON'T KNOW. But honestly, it wasn't that bad. I guess that the fact it was founded just a city away might have upped the stomachability quotient.
Even though it was complete crap, I do recall that ordering Domino's at a sleepover made the host unbelievably cool. We would eat our grease bombs while playing Mall Madness, Girl Talk, and Dream Phone. I may have had a Saved By the Bell game as well, but I totally don't remember. (But OMG if you picked the right card, ZACK was your date!) Some of those games, as well as covers of some of The Babysitter's Club books, prominently featured Domino's. It was a massive mind fuck, really. Though I guess that could be said of much of the early 90s after all...
(Okay, that link to the SBTB game is amazing. The author kills me: "They threw in a driver's ed spot too, but as any fan knows, these kids crash through houses after one beer.")
Right, so in conclusion: Domino's sucks, Little Caesar's rules, and Pressman Toy Corp. warped our fragile little adolescent minds into thinking that Zack Morris was a dreamboat when it should have been clear that he was a spoiled hornball who probably harbored numerous diseases and would break our hearts if something better (Kelly Kapowski) appeared after breaking up with Jeff from The Max.
Although he did turn down pot from Johnny Dakota. D.A.R.E.!
Whatever. I'm going to go take some caffeine pills now. "I'm so excited!"
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
In a few short hours (oh sweet Jebus, please let them be short), I'm off to lovely Wisconsin for some camping, some kayaking, and some white water rafting. It's a weekend-long celebration in honor of my fabulous cousin, Holley, who is turning the big three-oh and is now over eleven years cancer-free. (!!!)
I've never been white water rafting or kayaking, so this should be an experience for the books. I have a feeling that I am going to be a little sore and/or sunburned after the excursions, but after seeing the "best dressed rafter" on the company's website, I'm not worried. She looks so happy! And white-trashy! I plan on dressing like her and it will all be SO WORTH IT:
I don't exactly have "tennis shoes" that look like hiking boots, nor do I have lipstick in that particular shade of whore, but I will so be buying myself a super fly glasses strap when I arrive! I don't plan on wearing mom jean shorts, though. Those look, um... painful.
On Sunday, I found myself in an insane cleaning/straightening up/organizing mood, and so that's when I packed. I'm not sure that this was a good or a bad decision. It's good, mostly because Merrick and I made dinner last night and I was way too exhausted and full of wine (Delicious wine? Exactly.) to pack, but it's bad because I can't actually remember what I packed.
There is a good possibility that I will find myself standing on the banks of the Peshtigo River wearing six tank tops and no pants. Granted, packing while hopped up on chardonnay probably would have yielded the same result. I definitely almost forgot my bikini until I saw it hanging on the back of the bathroom door this morning, so who knows what surprises lurk in my suitcase.
And because the cost of flights into Madison from DC are the industry's way of sweetly asking us to bend over, I am flying into Detroit instead. Tomorrow morning, bright and early (I heard the words "six," "a," and "m," but subconsciously chose to ignore them), the Lady and I are motoring our way north on I-75 and then west through the Upper Peninsula. I'm pumped! Besides Maine, the UP is one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited. Oh sexy little camera, I hope that you are prepared!
(Oh, and P.S.? Northwest? If you fuck up my flight, there will. be. BLOOD. YOURS. Mwuhaha! Mahwah!)