Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Big Confusedski

(Prescript - I am aware that this movie achieved cult-like status in record time, and I know that there are many, many people out there who claim it as one of their favorites. I have seen it only once, and plan on viewing it as many times as it takes for it to become one of my cult favorites, too. So go easy on me, k?)


I'm not sure where to begin.

The Big Lebowski was strange, but I was aware of its Coen Brothers pedigree, so I was prepared for that bit of weirdness. And because of that pedigree, I also expected brilliance.

It's just...

I wasn't able to pinpoint a moment where I was supposed to care.

Jeffrey Lebowski (The Dude), becomes entangled in a kidnapping scheme because he feels that another Jeffrey Lebowski (the "Big" one of the title) owes him a new rug.

That's the plot. It gets twisted a bit, and more and more characters are thrown in the mix, but that's it.

I guess must pose this question: Had the rug not "tied the room together," would any of this have happened?

We're introduced to Walter and Donny, the Dude's bowling buddies, early in the film. I liked them both, even though they were obviously flawed. Well, Walter definitely was. Whoa.

Maybe I should have been sad when a character died, but as we never learned a single thing about his character, why should I care? Because I never got to know him, I was able to believe that he was the most pure, and his death was preventable. That the situation in which he died was no fault of his own. Tragic.

But was it? Look who he associated with: a happy-go-lucky layabout with very little ambition and a Vietnam vet with a short fuse and a warped mind. Donny was a quiet, mild-mannered man. Who was he supposed to represent? Was he really as fragile and gentle as he was portrayed?

There are so many questions and so few insights. It's a toughie. I thought that Fargo was infinitely more insightful and meaningful, and while its real theme wasn't immediately apparent, it wasn't completely hidden from view, like in Lebowski. The Coen Brothers are famous for their character development (among other things, obviously) and their films are recognized as being important insights into the human condition. So. While the characters in Lebowski were original and entertaining, I just didn't get it.

Would I be more attuned to this film if I'd have ever smoked pot? Because I haven't.


Amanda, Jen, and many, many others have informed me that Lebowski is a film that requires more than a few viewings before its brilliance surfaces, so I promise that I will give it the chance(s) it deserves.

Oh. And who the hell was The Stranger supposed to be? God? A prophet?

Okay, I clearly need to see it again.

Saturday, September 29, 2007


With more and more of our favorite books being re-imagined as movies, I completely understand the fears and protestations of most on the subject - they'll never capture the magic of the book, they will ultimately disappoint, and they might even piss off their authors. So why create a film based on a beloved book?

For me, the question has always been, "Why not?"

Perhaps I am in the minority, but even as an avid reader and a LOVER of books (seriously, they are my babies. I love them so much. In fact, if you added up the value of the books on my many bookshelves, well... you just might be able to afford a down payment on a car. I am not kidding - I have waaaay too many books), I anticipate the opening of a movie in spite of those fears.

When I read, my imagination takes me to the world described in the story. I imagine the faces, the clothing, and the mannerisms of the characters. I build their domiciles in my head. Every little detail - all that is revealed to me by the author, as well as things of my own creation - are there.

I don't care that someone else (a director, producer, actor... whatever) might have a completely different idea. I don't care because I feel that I am just so darn lucky to see this story on the big screen. I am excited to witness this retelling. I don't care if the film isn't as I had imagined the book because IT'S A FILM. IT'S NOT THE BOOK.

I don't care if the film completely mangles the storyline or moves the setting across the country because that story? That setting? Are set in my mind forever. They cannot be compromised. If bad, I still have the book. If I end up loving the movie? Well then, I am the luckiest girl in the world.

(P.S. Could I be a bigger nerd?)

How many versions of Pride and Prejudice have you seen? I've only seen one - the A&E miniseries starring Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy. I LOVE this version. But my dad, my viewing buddy, swears on the Olivier version. And then there is the new Keira Knightley version, which garnered her a Best Actress Oscar nomination. That, and the Olivier version, are in my Netflix queue. I can't wait to compare!

Mr. Darcy is so dreamy.

What I'm getting at is that it just doesn't matter how many times a book is re-imagined as a film - the book will forever be the point of reference. The book remains the pristine original, no matter how many times it is told - and retold - on the screen.

So. Here are some adaptations that I've been anticipating for months:

Feast of Love
I read The Feast of Love years ago when it arrived on my doorstep after I forgot to cancel my monthly book club selection. My forgetfulness paid off. Written by a former English professor at the University of Michigan, Charles Baxter, it's a charming, uplifting tale of... love. The reader follows several very different characters around Ann Arbor, Michigan, and watches as their lives intersect. I laughed, I cried, I grieved, and I rejoiced. It really is an amazing tale.

Feast of Love opened in the U.S. this weekend, and I don't know that I will see it in the theater - it seems more like a Netflix kind of film - but I will see it. From the trailer, I realized that the setting was changed from Ann Arbor to Oregon, a switch that the author approved. I'm guessing that it had something to do with money, and that's fine. As long as the characters remain intact, I think that it should be a great adaptation. I'm not really sure why the "The" was dropped from the title, but I'm betting that those movie executives probably know what they're doing.

I don't remember where or when I read this novel, but I will never forget the story, the characters, or the absolutely superb writing. It was positively illuminating.

The film opens in the U.S. on December 7, and the trailer took my breath away. It is EXACTLY as I imagined these characters, these sets, and the story in my mind, and I cannot believe how excited I am to sit in that theater. (And since it's already opened in the U.K., I just might see it when I am there in November...)

The Golden Compass
I really must urge you all to join my book club, because this book (the first of the His Dark Materials trilogy) was recommended by its editors along with almost every amazing book I've read in the past five years. Compass follows the adventure of Lyra, a young girl living in a parallel universe to ours. The books challenge our ideas of the human soul, religion, original sin, and the consequences of uncontrolled power. Can you believe that these are considered children's books?

I was excited to hear about this film, which also opens on December 7, from the first stirrings, but when I heard about the amazing casting coup of Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig, and Eva Green, it cemented my ticket pre-order for opening night. In my opinion, these actors are perfectly cast. Perfectly. Plus, it seems that New Line is planning on investing an immense amount of time and money into this trilogy, making it their next Lord of the Rings.

And just because we're talking about movies here, I am SO PUMPED to see El Orfanato (The Orphanage).

It's being lauded as the scariest horror film in years, but without the gorefest that has permeated "horror" flicks of late. It's being compared to The Others* and The Sixth Sense. With a mastermind like Guillermo del Toro involved (ohmygosh see Pan's Labyrinth if you haven't yet), I can't imagine how this could be bad. The buzz for El Orfanato is already extremely positive and it was the talk of the town at Cannes. It releases in late December, and you can bet that I will be there on opening night. The trailer is fine, but read the reviews for creepier information.

*The Others holds a rare distinction in that it was one of the few movies to make me scream out loud - and we're not talking some wussy, girly scream. This was a visceral, guttural scream that left my throat sore. And without giving anything away, I screamed at a pivotal point in the film and then screamed again while watching that same scene in the EXTRAS on the dvd. I knew that it was coming and I screamed again.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Making It Happen

It was when I was sitting under my desk - crying - that I realized, "Hmmm. I don't think that I am all that happy with this job."

It was the final straw.

What I'd like to tell you is that I marched into my boss's office, told her to blow it out her ass, and skipped on home. That I cleaned out my desk and carried my mug home.

But I didn't.

Thing is? I'm a realist. I love to dream and I really believe that you can do anything you can dream. Climb every mountain and whatnot.


There is no way that I could quit my job right now and be okay. I know this. And so I shall deal with it and be a grown-up.

And swear at her under my breath. Obviously.

Besides, I know that I am far from the only person who hates her job, who hates her boss, who hates her situation. I am doing what I need to make it better - to make life better - and I know that everything is going to work itself out. I know what I want and I am making it happen.

I just wish I wasn't so damn impatient.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Feels like I'm
Lookin' for a reason
Roamin' through the night to find
My place in this world
My place in this world
Not a lot to lean on
I need your light to help me find
My place in this world

My place in this world

Michael W. Smith
"Place In This World"

Today has been a struggle, and I need... some guidance.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


...I was a little tired this morning:

I did change into my heels when I got to work, but the best part? I didn't even notice that I had worn two different shoes until I kicked off those heels and searched for the flops. At 5:30 p.m.

I mean, it's not like they were Converse and I could pull it off by being "ironic." They're flip flops, and I'm a moron.

And yes, I am aware that my pedicure is severely lacking. Leave me alone, I'm tired!


We hit up Ella's for Amanda's 27th last night. How much do we love that place? Well, we've been going there for four years... The service is excellent, the food is great, and the sangria? Well, the sangria speaks for itself.

Mike, the best bartender in town.
And shots. Lots of shots.

That's Amanda's leg. In case you were wondering.

SO not representative of the actual damage to our livers.


Happy Birthday, Amanda!

Mutual Admiration

Oh, it was a banner weekend, my lovelies. BANNER.

Let's start with my meal on Friday evening:

Brown rice with garlic, onions, and mushrooms; edamame; broccolini; D Coke; pizza rolls. But seriously? How much do you love pizza rolls? And how much do you love having to eat things because there is nothing else in the fridge?

Saturday, I washed dishes for FIFTY-FIVE minutes because our dishwasher is all broke to shit and also we're gross. And apparently can't use the same glass twice:


And then, as I have mentioned, I bought me my very own laptop. I've named her Audrey:

LOOK! Mutual admiration.

Monday, September 24, 2007

We Were Drunk on Low Prices and Icees

This is what happens when you let three girls loose in Nordstrom near closing time after they've shown The Limited who's boss. Oh, and after they've had more sugar than a ten-year-old on Halloween (thanks, cherry ICEE!):

Amanda enjoys long walks on the beach.

Lauren prefers the silver, though she was hoping for clear heels.
I guess we can't always get what we want.

Size four for me! Who would have thought?
Also, aren't they amazing?
I can't understand why they're on sale at all, really.

And then we got yelled at for taking pictures of the stripper shoes. Suck it, Nordstrom.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

On Board

Guess who just bought her first laptop?

This girl!

I am so pumped. In fact, I am composing this post from my bed! And I might not be wearing pants! That's the beauty of the laptop. Also? My wireless mouse? Brilliant!

Anyone have an extra copy of Microsoft Office?

Friday, September 21, 2007

TiVo Me

Against my better judgement, I tuned in for the 59th annual Emmy Awards Sunday night. Each year, I am annoyed that quality shows are completely ignored in the nomination process (Gilmore Girls), and amazing actors are snubbed of nominations (Kelly Bishop, John C. McGinley). And yet? I still watch.

Thing is, why do I care? I know the shows that me laugh (Scrubs, 30 Rock, Ugly Betty, The Office) and cry (Scrubs, Ugly Betty, The Office). I know which shows bring me closer to people I care about (Rules of Engagement), and I know which shows are the best ever made (Arrested Development). So why do I need to watch an awards show at all?

For the dresses, I suppose. Pretty!

This year, there wasn't much else on that night, and I was actually really interested in some of the winners. And unlike past years, I was pleasantly surprised with some of the wins:

America Ferrera, Best Actress in a Comedy for "Ugly Betty." Brilliant. She is such an amazing actress and comedienne. She plays the 'fish-out-of-water' role to perfection and has a brilliant supporting cast behind her. Watch it for her geek romance with Henry the Accountant, but especially for Amanda the secretary and Marc the Executive Assistant. Trust me here.

For me, however, the penultimate award was the sweetest: Best Comedy. While my beloved Scrubs failed to garner a nomination, The Office, Scrubs, and Ugly Betty all did. Entourage and Two and a Half Men rounded out the nominees (both of which I've watched and have made me chuckle, but never really impressed me much). I fully expected Ugly Betty to bring it home, so imagine my surprise and delight when 30 Rock was announced! I know that I've mentioned this fantastic show on several occasions, and you might still be watching something else...

But listen to Tina Fey! "Please join the dozens and dozens of people who watch this show." It premieres on NBC at 8:30 p.m. on October 11.

Oh, and watch The Office, too.

Oh, and buy me a TiVo, because Ugly Betty and 30 Rock will be aired at the same time. Gah!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Be My Friend!

Netflix has updated their community options: in addition to allowing members to send each other reviews and suggestions, you can see your friends' ratings and comments. I'm sure that there are even more options, but I haven't had the time to explore.

Do you have Netflix? Click here and join my Netflix friends! I only have three right now, and while they are truly lovely people, that's pretty sad. Three? Lame!

I have to admit, those three people are much better than me about leaving reviews and letting me know which movies rocked their worlds. I have lots and lots of opinions (did you know?), and I should be sharing them! I think that an influx of 'Flix Friends would be a great motivational tool. Join!

In fact, to whet your appetites, I would totally write a review RIGHT NOW of The Devil Wears Prada, but the disc I received yesterday was a little bit on the cracked-to-shit side of the spectrum. It started skipping at the imperative makeover scene and never regained consciousness. Jen and I cried over our pizza and popcorn (come to think of it, the tears were more for the horrible pizza than the ruination of our movie night, especially since we popped in my freshly opened "30 Rock" dvds instead. Avoid Al's Pizza on the Hill. Vomitous!). A new copy of Prada arrives tomorrow, though.


The desperation and begging will just get worse and worse, people. It'll even be too embarrassing for you to read.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Intuition, a novel by Allegra Goodman, is about a world I have never experienced: the world of a cancer research lab and the quest for a cure.

I don't know that I could pinpoint the moment I became hooked, especially since I am usually drawn to historical novels and the like, but once I started this book, I didn't want to put it down. In fact, I stayed up until 3:00 a.m. to finish it. Goodman creates wonderfully real characters, and as flawed as they are, you still like them. You still want to know more about them.

Sometimes authors let their characters be pulled along by the story, as if their inclusion is merely a passing thought. With some books, the characters are so one-dimensional and predictable it's as if the author believed the story to be good enough without significant character development.

Not so with Intuition. And that is its predominant strength. Goodman's writing is a close second.

Intuition follows the lives of several post-doctoral students toiling away in a cancer research lab run by two eminent researchers. Some have more success with their experiments than others, and jealousy, pride, and ahem... intuition come into play.

Cliff is struggling with his assignment. The virus he had been injecting into the test mice was doing nothing to cure their cancer. He is aware that his appointment at Boston's Philpott Institute is in jeopardy, but he can't imagine not doing research.

His girlfriend, Robin, a fellow post-doc at the Institute, understands his pain. Her research interests have been pushed aside while she is expected to conduct experiments for the good of the lab and she is frustrated. Her life is research - it's what she's good at. She's working on getting better at her personal life.

And then we have Marion Mendelssohn and Sandy Glass. Sandy, the head of the Philpott, is a brilliant oncologist, though a bit headstrong. Marion, his colleague and professional partner, is more collected and inquisitive. These two characters have everything and yet nothing in common. They work together quite well, and are, at first glance, stereotypical opposites. But Goodman doesn't let that happen. She created a beautiful partnership in Mendelssohn and Glass, and doesn't allow them to evolve into parodies even when faced with crippling negativity.

The plot is actually quite simple: Cliff's experiments start to get positive results and Robin is seemingly jealous. What follows is a whirlwind that no one expects. The ending is perfect.

Goodman writes so well. She equalizes the most trivial processes and specific scientific terms with her descriptions of the human experience, bringing the reader to a level footing. By explaining the scientific jargon - but not treating the reader like an idiot - she is able to make every sentence interesting and important. A story that could have drowned in terms is enhanced by her style. Her extensive exploration of cancer research, lab environments, and post-doctoral attitudes just enhances the book's quality.

Goodman introduces a good number of secondary and tertiary characters, and you can't help but enjoy each and every one. She allows each to be more than just background - they all enhance the plot.

Intuition was languishing on my bookshelf for over a year. I am so glad that I finally gave it a chance.

Monday, September 17, 2007

I Am... Well, You'll See

After cleaning out the fridge last week, and almost having to disinfect myself (y'all I am not joking, it was GROSS), my darling Fred, I have come to a very serious decision: No longer will I waste food.

I pride myself on being quite healthy - I drink liters and liters of water and eat a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables. Thing is, I usually end up dragging their liquefied carcasses from the fridge a few weeks later. I either fail to use them or I ignore their presence completely.

When Merrick and I tornadoed through Trader Joe's and Giant last Monday night, I had ten tons of produce and knew that I wanted to save it all from the gooey depths of the "crisper." (Why is it that this "crisper" even exists? It does absolutely nothing except provide a place for your food to go to die. If I want to forget about something, I place it in the crisper! That's why you'll find my MasterCard bill there, making out with those damn shoes that need to be re-heeled. And have needed new heels on those babies since 2004.)

Huh? What? Where was I? Right, so I made a list. Not just any list; this masterpiece details all of the things I purchased and how I plan on using them. Are you ready for this?

Click for a larger view of the crazy!

And I pretty much followed this entire plan. I got a bit of a cold last week, so the days got pushed down due to my complete lack of appetite, but I haven't had to throw anything in the trash yet!

I'm pretty proud of myself, actually. I think I deserve shoes! Or at least some new heels on those sandals...

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Product Endorsement

Trader Joe's Moisturizing Cream Shave (it's amazing!)

Honey mango! (a very subtle scent. Not overpowering!)

For Men and Women (no razor burn! Really!)

100% vegetarian! (Whatever the hell that means!)

Bad picture! (Sorry!)

If you have a Trader Joe's in the vicinity, I suggest that you rush your stubbly legs (or face) out the door and yoink this right off the shelves. It's $2.99 (in DC, at least) and it is fan-freaking-tastic.


Your legs will thank you!

(And K-10? No worries. I just sent some across the pond for you.)

Saturday, September 15, 2007

The Devil & Miss Prym

For years I had been told that Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist was a must-read, but grad school got in the way and I never made it happen.

The Devil and Miss Prym had been on my wish list for a while, mainly because the cover was so enticing (I know, I know - I'm also the same woman who buys new wine for their labels, so... marketing works!), but also because it was recommended by my super sweet book club. They've yet to steer me wrong, so I gave it a chance.

There is a small town; it doesn't matter where, as it stands in for any town in the world. A man appears in this small town with bars of gold and a plan - he is determined to prove that men are basically evil.

Sets up pretty nicely, eh?

He soon encounters Miss Prym, a single, pretty young woman working as a bar maid, and he selects her as his mouthpiece to the town.

He soon presents the town with an unbelievable wager: perform the unthinkable, and they can keep the gold.

And there's a time limit. Of course.

Like Miss Prym, I am an optimist. I believe that there are bad people in this world, just as there are good people. And there are a lot of people in between. We all sin, we all have immoral thoughts, and we all tend to find ourselves in very difficult situations. Sometimes there is no right answer, but sometimes there is only one answer.

What will the town do?

The Devil & Miss Prym is slightly predictable, but there are some really nice surprises. My favorite thing about the book is the way it made me feel - it made me feel good. It was like the feeling I get after leaving Mass and the feeling I get in a ballet class all rolled together. It was spiritual and yet very earthly. I closed the cover with a satisfied smile on my face.

The Alchemist is next.

Friday, September 14, 2007

The Trashiest Place I Have Ever Been

Picture this, if you will...

Me, in college. Dating a boy who just adored country music. I was more into the indie and "good" music persuasion, but I was "in love" with him, so I went along with it all. I even started to like some of the artists. I just might have one or two Garth Brooks cds. Maybe.

I attended a few concerts with him, including Brooks & Dunn, which I have to admit was one of the best concerts I've ever seen.

And then... July of 2000: Fort Laramie, Ohio.

Country Concert.

It was a four-day camping and music festival. A Middle-America Woodstock (I assume), but messier. Dirtier. Muddier. White-trashier. Urine-soaked-ier.

It was a veritable sea of white, chain-smoking, overweight, sunburned, beer-bellied people. And I'm not just talking about the men. Pause on that for a second.


There were tattoos, mullets, and piercings as far as the eye could see. Just look at their posted pictures, and you will understand the severity of this event.

Almost every tent and trailer flew a rebel flag.

We drove down to mid-Ohio the night before in order to line up for good camping spots. At the time, it was first-come, first-served, and it sucked. The fees were high, but not unreal, and we got super sweet wristbands to wear for the next five days.

Each morning, we would wake up and take our fold-up chairs down near the stage and set them up. It was imperative that we "get a good spot." Unfortunately, you weren't really able to tell who you were setting up next to, because the chairs were generally already there. And so, on the first day of performances, we made our way to our seats, and... well, I'll just blurt it out:

A big, fat, sunburned, shirtless, mullet-haired JACKASS sprayed my boobs with his super- soaker. And it WASN'T WATER.

It was beer.

I almost hit him. I was so upset. I just couldn't believe it! Everyone kept telling me to loosen up and let it go, because this was apparently the norm. Yay! Objectification of women! Norm! I was told that all the men super-soakered the chests of the women they found attractive:

"Ah like yo titties. Mmm hmmm. Niiiiiiiiiiiice. Let me cool 'em off fo ya. YO WELCOME."

Now, I know that it really wasn't a big deal (it was 95 degrees in the shade - and he probably thought that he was doing me a favor and giving me a compliment), but at the time, I was livid. The feminist in me just exploded on him and for the rest of the day he turned his head away when I walked by. But the next day spawned a new group of people and a new group of water guns. I learned to deal with it. I even got my own water gun and started spraying them back.

But I still felt dirty.

And this wasn't good, because... the showers. The first year we went, there were no showers. Read that again. No. Showers. People were RANK after one day in the heat, so just imagine how bad it was after four...

Luckily, one of the girls in our group was a total tramp (she was, coincidentally, the same girl who, just two months later, tipped me off to the fact that my boyfriend was cheating on me, and for that I will love her forever because I almost ruined my life by staying with him, but... she was a tramp), and she "befriended" a guy who lived a town away. We would caravan to his dad's house each morning to shower and his dad made us biscuits and gravy. It. Was. Great. They were really, really good people.

After a day or two, we needed to make a run for supplies. And by "supplies," I mean "beer." It was my first ever trip to Walmart. In Ohio.


It was like they emptied the entire Country Concert campground in a store. They were everywhere, buying beer, Doritos, water guns, and NASCAR shirts (really). The towering display of sunblock sat untouched, like sunburns were a rite of passage or something. It was messy and dirty and it was all I could do to keep from screaming. And it's not like we could go back to the campground to relax, because it was a complete sty. Come Sunday, I was so relieved it was over, I think I cried.

And after all of that, we went a second year. 2001. In the end, now that I look back, I realized that the only reason that I even went was because I didn't trust my boyfriend. Nice, huh? And I still stayed with him for another few months. We are idiots sometimes, aren't we? Stupid, trusting idiots.

It was the same story: get there a day early, set up camp, get trashed. Wake up, do it all again. It was punishment, really. I just wanted to camp a little, read my book, and take some naps. But it wasn't so much a campground as it was a plowed cornfield, so the same camping activities I was used to, like hiking, campfires, and star-gazing, were not so much possible. Plus I got made fun of for TRYING TO READ.

Looking back, I did get to see some amazing performances: Martina McBride, Kenny Chesney (in the "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy" days. Yes, that was actually a hit song.), Toby Keith, Terry Clark, Vince Gill, Lonestar, Dwight Yoakam, and The Charlie Daniels Band. I even saw Jeff Foxworthy do some standup. The organizers also brought in some great 80s bands one year, so I caught Styx, REO Speedwagon, and 38 Special.

And really? Most everyone there was perfectly nice. The guys with super-soakers were the exception, not the norm. It wasn't the worst experience of my life... just the dirtiest.

And you know how I am always talking about what a good little girl I was? And still am? And how I've never smoked the pot or done anything bad ever?

That second summer, I was *this close* to getting arrested.

I was doing a little underage drinking, mostly because my boyfriend's frat brothers were all about the PEER PRESSURE, and I was a month away from 21.

Oh, hi mom! I'm just kidding about the drinking. I didn't do that. I read the bible in the tent that I shared with all the other women in our group while the other legal people drank responsibly and one of them totally didn't pass out on a hill only to wake up the next morning covered in mosquito bites and vomit. So really, Lady, just stop reading here. It just gets boring now anyway.

Right, so I was a teensy bit drunkardly on the dance floor in the "saloon" and a few policemen asked me for ID.

And my sweet, sweet Bud Light buzz went down the drain.

"Well, shoot! I don't have it officer! It's back at my tent! But I'm twenty-one, I swear! Just had my birthday! I know I look young, I get it all the time!"

They then asked me for my social security number so that they could run it in the computer. I recited mine with ease, but deftly changed the last digit. OH YES I DID. I think that I may have also told them that my name was Heather Smith. Which it is not. When they went to their squad car, I RAN AWAY and HID IN THE CAR. And I drank Coca Cola for the rest of the weekend.

Aren't I such a bad ass?

My relationship went south a few months later, and I haven't been back to Country Concert. I think it's for the best.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I. Have. HAD IT.

I'm getting a new computer.

Over in my world, times? They are a-changin'. Life is getting increasingly more complicated, but I have a plan, and I need to make things happen. Right? For many, many reasons, it has become essential that I get my home computer back online, and I thought that it was going to be an easy one-two-three... gmail chat! Picasa! iTunes! Woo!

Annnnnnd... we all know where this is going, yes?

Before I moved to DC for grad school, I didn't have a computer. I either frequented the many computer labs at school or borrowed my roommate's (which was a major distraction, what with Snood right there on the desktop...), and this worked very well for four years.

But then it was time for DC, a one-bedroom apartment, and a computer lab full of undergrads. Ew. My parents wanted to help me out, but I didn't want to ask for too much, so I ended up getting a basic desktop with few capabilities. All I really needed it for was to write papers, right?

I got an eMachine. A low cost, basic computer. And it was fine.

Fast-forward five years. I'm done with school, I have the degree. I had my computer all set up with the innernets and the chatting and the downloading of music and pictures. All was well. All was lovely! And then I moved to the new apartment.

A new, loooooong apartment. The big, sweaty Comcast guy didn't have enough wire to connect my computer, so I dealt with it. I used my roommate's laptop. Until now.

I needs the innernets, people. I needs my gmail and I needs my blog. But mainly, I needs the online courses so that I can better myself!

I bought a wireless card yesterday. It was on sale, and it matched our router. I left work all happy that I would be able to chat with K-10 again, considering our mobile bills have been astronomical lately, and that I could use iTunes and Picasa at home instead of work. Yay!

But. When I inserted the cd warm-up downloader thing, my computer went all ape shit and spewed an error message my way:

"No, you can't have innernets! No! Our insides are all boinked up and it's your fault for having too many pictures of your niece and far too many John Denver mp3s. Suck it!"

I spent an hour on the phone with some call center in India and it was decided that my computer is crap and needs a buttload of memory and probably a whole overhaul.

People. I don't love my eMachine enough. I want a new, shiny, pretty computer. I just have no idea where to start.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


It was quite a weekend, my babies. Epic. One for the books.

Right. In actuality, I really didn't do much. I did start running again, which was nothing more than a horrific assault on the senses. And the muscles. And the brain. Oh sweet Lord, I forgot how much muscles could hurt.

I haven't really run since high school track, which was... erm... a long time ago. My body was PISSED. But since I had thrown myself out of bed at 7:00 a.m., and was back in the house by 7:30, I had no choice but to shower and get the hell out of there.

Ever wonder what Eastern Market looks like at 8:00 a.m.?

Temporary East Hall. It's nice!

It obviously lacks the charm of the original structure (as well as the enticing smell of mildew), but it's great! I'm happy for the vendors - they got a nice, clean space. And there is a ton more room to walk around. I bought bacon!

Next, my breakfast. It's my version of the English breakfast. Now with more aspartame!

Oh mylanta, it's so beautiful I could cry.
And possibly not eat anything else for the rest of the day.
I didn't.

Sunday, I got out of bed and was out the door by 9:45. I was determined to see the American Treasures exhibit at the Air and Space Museum before the place was flooded with visitors. Also, I need to work on my camera skills:

C-3PO looks much better in this setting...

...then he did here.

The scarecrow and the ruby slippers.
Now with reflect-y goodness!

M*A*S*H signpost


The curators had a tough task here, because "treasures" can mean so many things to so many people. They did do a great job of including American History's most popular items, like Kermit, the ruby slippers, and Mr. Rogers' sweater, but recognized that America is more than just pop culture, television, and movies. It's about who we were, who we are, and who we will become.

The best areas of the exhibit were those related to "National Challenges." From our beginnings in the American Revolution to slavery, from women's suffrage to the Civil Rights Movement, these times illustrate our complexity as a nation. I guess it's sort of a 'that which doesn't kill us makes us stronger' kind of thing, because these moments in American history were more than defining. These moments contributed to our national identity.

Of course, there were many, many other items -- more than I was expecting, really. George Washington's uniform, Abraham Lincoln's writing desk, the Greensboro lunch counter... they're all here. You can see Jackie Kennedy's gown, Ali's gloves, and Ray Charles' sunglasses.

I think that it was absolutely brilliant that these items were brought to Air and Space during the American History renovations. These are the things that people travel here to see. These are the items that give us a collective identity. And what better place than the world's most visited museum? Everything is presented well, in low light, and spread out enough so that you aren't right on top of other visitors. It's very well done.

It's not a huge exhibit, and it won't take long to browse your way through. Make the trip if you can.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Great Way to Start the Day

My work computer is the devil. I am not kidding. Lucifer himself has come back to earth as my computer and he's going to wreck havoc. Starting with my sanity, apparently.

This happens about once a week: I'll shut down my computer after a long day, and hightail it out of here. When I arrive at work the next morning (or sometimes after a long weekend), a stupid box will be open on my computer that reads, "Windows is shutting down." Yeah, ALL WEEKEND.

And, that's what I arrived to this morning. Fine. I shut down the computer manually, waited a bit, and rebooted the Bastard of the Underworld. This is what happened next:


I yelped, grabbed the camera for documentation (obviously), and shut it down. Again. I may have kicked it once or twice. Finally, after TWO MORE reboots, I was able to log in to the system without incident. Things started to move along. The virus shield popped up. My Audrey screen saver glided into view. And then:

I want to go home.

Friday, September 07, 2007

So Tired...

It's been a long week. Okay, so it was technically a "short" week, but Monday seems like it happened years and years and many millennia ago.

We'll catch up soon? Okay, I love you, buh bye!