Sunday, March 30, 2008

Technologically Retarded

I just read an article titled something like, "What Your Cell Phone Ring Says About You."

(I don't remember where I read it. It doesn't matter.)

Yeah, it was clearly a slow news day what with the war being over and scientists having cured all of the cancers and whatnot.

This article... I don't even know where to begin. In a nutshell, it argued that:

~If you have a personalized ring tone (i.e., popular music, school fight song, etc.), you are a super-cool, cutting-edge, techno-savvy individual.

~If you have a generic ring tone (i.e., the ring that comes pre-programmed), you are too busy to learn how to use your phone but are a mindless drone with no individuality.

~If you keep your phone on silent or vibrate, you are terrified to disturb others and have no idea how to use your phone or read the instruction manual and so are completely technologically retarded.

Um, what?

Heather keeps me on vibrate because she's illiterate.

Instead of having whatever song Carson Daly favors on TRL blast out whenever my mother calls, I choose to keep my phone on vibrate. So apparently I am a grade-A moron with absolutely no individuality.

(Also, did MTV kill off Carson Daly? I don't know. I'm old.)

I abhor it when I hear some un-intelligible blast of cacophony erupt from someone's pocket. If I'm in a closed location, like the purple bus, I really have to take deep breaths to keep myself from shooting a death glare toward the phone's owner.

I mean, what the hell is so wrong about not wanting to disturb others? Cell phones have become such intimate parts of our lives that people no longer excuse themselves from the table (or even the restaurant as a whole) in order to take a call. Cell phones are answered in the movie theater, in meetings, and at the register to purchase items at the mall (except for here, of course). What is wrong with having cell phone etiquette?

I remember when call waiting was new - my family never had call waiting because we had a rotary phone until I was in high school. Yes, rotary. But I do remember my dad being placed on hold once because of call waiting and he was NOT amused. To this day I try to ignore incoming calls if I'm talking to him.

(They do have touch-tone now, but the caller ID is broken. Also, they're still with the dial-up internets. I'm working on it, trust me.)

Call waiting etiquette is tough, though. Do you beep over, tell the caller you'll catch them on the flip side, or do you ignore the call completely and just figure that s/he will leave a message if s/he cares enough? There's always a system, at least between female friends: If you're chatting it up with your friend - let's call her "Kristen" - and her psycho mother beeps in, well, that's an immediate IGNORE and the conversation continues. If it's the guy she met on the metro, don't be surprised if you get a "that'shimgottogoi'llcallyoulater!" instead of a formal goodbye. And it's all understood as acceptable behavior. Anthropologically speaking, that is.

But when in public, the cell phone ring? Should be silenced. End of story.

So I am not, in fact, a retarded loser because I choose to keep my phone silenced. I am smart! S-M-R-T! Also, considerate.

The moral of the story is: if you call and I don't answer, it's probably because I'm talking to my dad.



Mmmm... pad thai.

Note: The chopsticks are a photo prop.
I can use them to eat sushi and for no other reason.
Unless it's to light a pilot light.
Oh wait, that was a piece of linguine.


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Reason to Love Ann Arbor #1

I... have nothing to write about. It's raining, it's cold (38 degrees at my last check), and it's supposed to snow tonight. GRAND. So here is a picture of an Ann Arbor landmark, shot on a much lovelier day.
Mmmm... beer.

(This is the first of my planned "Reasons to Love Ann Arbor" series.
I know you're totally on the edge of your seat for the next.)

Monday, March 24, 2008

On Being An Adult

How do you measure adulthood? Some people consider themselves adults when they go to college. Some, when they buy their first place. Some don't think that they are adults until they have children.

Me? It was when I finally bought myself some real, adult-like towels.

The towels I've been using for years were bought in the summer of 1998 with graduation money. I took the advice of my soon-to-be college roommate that it would be "cooler" to buy things that didn't match, as to project a thrown-together, shabby chic (you keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means) dorm room. Thanks, Katy, that was a great idea:

As you can see, I attacked the mall with a mission. The striped towels were from Target, trying to cash in on the hordes of scared eighteen-year-olds who will buy WHATEVER they are told they'll need in the dorms. The light green towels are from JCPenney, and were bought two weeks after I moved into the dorms when I realized that those striped towels were too small and didn't so much dry the body as move the water droplets around. The blue towel actually has three yellow smiley faces along the bottom hem and was a gift from my first Jennifer roommate (Jenni, if you want to get technical).

Side note: I've lived with three different Jennifers.

There's also this set:

I received these as a graduation present from my parents' friends. Until last week, they remained the best towels I had ever owned and I almost peed myself when watching Friends and saw Rachel using the SAME EXACT TOWEL in "The One With the Boobies." To think, I owned a towel that figured into one of Monica's eleven categories.

Then, one day last week, I knew. It was time. It was time for real towels. Towels that weren't thin as sheets. Towels that actually absorb water. Towels that don't embarrass me on my bathroom shelf.


They're thick and warm and AWESOME. They're like fluffy fleece blankets.

Of course, I could only bring myself to buy two, as they were expensive and as I am poor, but I am at least on the long road to adulthood at this point.

Of course, my landlord considers this to be a towel rack, so...

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Oooh, Piece of Candy!

I... get excited about things. I like to point these things out to Mike, whether they're hawks (red-tailed hawks flying around are super cool), 500 thread-count sheets on sale (500 thread-count? That's like sleeping in CLOUDS), or strawberries at the grocery store (strawberries are good).

I realize that this gets... annoying. It all came to a head when we were at Kohl's for a simple return. From the front door to customer service, I must have pointed out twelve different things, and - here's the kicker - I DON'T KNOW WHY. I seriously don't know why I do this! First it was sunglasses. Then insulated mugs. Then the Friends Scene It game. Then towels. Then candles. And everything started with, "Ooh, a ____!"

Mike is a saint, and just says, "wow," and "cool," and "interesting." Or he says nothing at all, which apparently doesn't register with me. He's too nice to tell me to can it, which... see? A saint.

Then he told me about this commercial and once I saw it, I about died laughing. It is ME. I am the pointer. And I don't mind admitting to it:

Saturday, March 22, 2008

At Least It's Sunny

Yes, my babies, this is what I awoke to:

My incredibly wonderful neighbor (the same guy to tow me and The 'Scort out of the driveway and also to open his home to me while my keys were locked in my running car) dug out the snowblower for what seems like the millionth time this year, and plowed our sidewalks. Thank goodness - I'm so fucking sore from two ballet classes each week that I think that brandishing a shovel might have damn well killed me.

And of course, tomorrow is Easter, which makes my planned wardrobe choice of short dress with flats a bit improper. Happy Easter, y'all - throw me a sweater. Oooh, and a scarf if you have one.

The thing is? I love snow. I LOVE IT. I love that it's pretty and light and cold. But the thought of cleaning off my car... AGAIN... makes me want to scream and shout and stomp my feet and have a full-blown temper tantrum on my front porch.

But hey, it's sunny, right? Right?

Okay, off to clear some snow from my sweet ride!

N.B. The snow plows just came through and plowed in my sweet ride. FAN. TASTIC.

Heather! Come save me!

Friday, March 21, 2008

An Early April Fool's Joke, Perhaps?

Hello! Today is Friday, March 21. It's the second day of spring, as yesterday was the first day of spring. So, naturally, this is my deck at 3:15:

This is my deck at 5:15:

This is my sweet ride at 3:15:

This is my sweet ride at 5:15:

This is your brain on drugs:

I kind of want to scream a little bit.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


Happy Birthday to my sweet baby!

(Also, look at that pint of cider. Mmmm... cider.)

March On, My Babies. March ON.

Do you remember your best friend from third grade? Did you play together on the playground? Did you pass notes folded in such clever ways that you were positive your teacher, Mrs. Hipple, (seriously, that was her name) would never be able to open them because you were just TOO CLEVER? Did you have sleepovers and watch Troop Beverly Hills over and over and over? Did you plan to start families in the same year and go shopping together and then make sure that your babies were friends 4-ever?

Did you lose touch?

I didn't!

Emily is happy and well, living it up in western Michigan and is still forced to be my friend (she got a call from me the other day in which I pretended to be the voice of my menstrual cramps, saying that I had taken over Heather's body and was going to kill her, and instead of hanging up on me like any normal person, she laughed. See? She puts up with my insanity. Granted, she wasn't the only one of you to get that call... seriously, why are you people friends with me?)

Emily is participating in the March for Babies again this year, sponsored by the March of Dimes. The March for Babies helps all babies - those born too early, those with defects, and those who were born healthy but still need support in order to thrive. Please help her reach her goal and donate! Then leave a comment here so that I can send you my gratitude. Or a dinosaur valentine. Same thing, really. Make the mouse go clicky right here:

You know you want a dinosaur valentine:

"Hi, I'm Valentinosaurus. I realize that it's March, but if you donate to Emily's baby campaign, I'll show up in your mailbox all happy and gay and full of life. Do you have any other male dinosaurs at your house? Because I... sort of like them. Are they purple? I like purple. Or pink. Unicorns would work, too. Heyyy."

Right. Donate today!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Bed-Hopping and Skull Scars

Have any of you realized that you can watch the inaugural season of Melrose Place online at

Oh, BUT YOU CAN. It's crazy!

(I realize that crazy Kimberly Shaw didn't enter the apartment complex and go... well, crazy, until a later season, but you can't mention Melrose Place without referencing the wig removal scene.)


Monday, March 17, 2008

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Oh Holy Hell


On Friday, my downstairs neighbor smelled gas and called the gas company. Long story short, there's a leak. A giant, massive leak, and they were surprised that we were still functioning as normal, non-retarded adults. I was at Mike's for the night, watching a little Pistons-Spurs action, so I ignored the whole situation.

When I waltzed in on Saturday around nooner, I immediately noticed an extreme temperature change. The gas company decided to turn off the furnace. Awesome.

At least my landlord is positive and productive, unlike Maria the Harpy From Hell:

The furnace company said that if the problem is what the gas company says it is that I'll probably need a new furnace and that a house call on a Saturday would be pointless. He's coming Monday. That means the house is without heat right now. I apologize!

She went on to say that the furnace company offered up some free space heaters if we were interested, but I headed to Mike's instead. Like I need an excuse to see him!

The electricity works and I've got hot water. It's not so bad. At least it isn't 12 degrees outside... But I'm not even going to attempt to shower here. Hope that my parents didn't have some romantic evening planned, because I'm totally crashing!

Saturday, March 15, 2008


Doesn't "cakery" sound like a made-up word?

No matter. A market! And a cakery! Two blocks from my house!

Friday, March 14, 2008


You're going to have to excuse my extreme nerditude for a moment, and just bear with me.

This morning, on my walk to work, I noticed a bright red bird in a tree just ahead, but he didn't have a tufted head like a cardinal. He also had black wings, so I knew that he wasn't a cardinal. I sat there and stared at him for several minutes when another bird joined him. She was lighter-colored, and looked something like a female cardinal, but like the male, did not have a tufted head.

I tried to get a picture, but they took off.

I resumed walking, but it was driving me crazy not knowing. So I called the resident bird-nerd of the family, The Lady. She determined that I had seen scarlet tanagers, which is just AWESOME.

Just one more reason that I cannot WAIT for spring and sitting on my back deck. I love birdies!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Watered Down

Against my better judgement, I stopped at Biggby for coffee yesterday, only to have a guy totally sneak in front of me in line. Heather angry!

But! I quickly realized that his douchebaggery found me witness to the following, fantastically mind-blowing, exchange:

Douchebag Customer: "Gimme a tall coffee with thirteen ice cubes."

Barista: "What?"

DBC: "Tall coffee with thirteen ice cubes."

B: "Thirteen..."

DBC: "Ice cubes."

B: Pause. "Tall coffee." Pause. "With thirteen ice cubes. Coming up."

I stood behind this guy, trying not to pee myself, but also trying to come up with an equally ridiculous order. In the end, I couldn't do it. The douchebag customer left quickly and I stepped up to the counter.

Heather: "Um..." And then I exploded in giggles.

Barista: "AMAZING."

Heather: "I can't wait to tell that story all day!"

Barista: "Same here!"

Then I recounted a similar experience at Bruegger's, in which a girl ordered:

"A large coke. Half diet, half Coke. More diet than Coke." Pause. "Oh, and no ice."

Yes. Such is Ann Arbor. When the students are in town, that is.

Anyway, I paid for my mocha, and the barista stamped my coffee card six times. Score!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


I don't know if it's incredibly awesome or extremely sad:

I am amazing, though.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Will They Get the Ring on eBay Again?*

In the span of a weekend,
Awesome Old Roommate moved to California...

... and got herself engaged!

Congratulations, Jenny and Dave!

*When Jenny and I were still living together at the craptastic cavern of a house near Union Station, I came home to find her and Dave on the couch, giggling like morons. Turns out, they bought an eBay "diamond" ring for one dollar and they were EXTREMELY PROUD of themselves.

Monday, March 10, 2008


Here's how it usually happens: I get movies on Netflix, and Mike "suffers" through them. Because he's a saint. For the most part, I don't choose sickeningly sweet flicks. Instead, we've watched Waitress, Juno, Casino Royale, and Thank You For Smoking.

But it's a compromise. He enjoys decidedly different movies, and some aren't always easy on my brain. Or stomach. So we take turns. On the next movie night, we dive headfirst into his movie collection (or whatever film he's chosen on Netflix) and I am completely blown away.

One night we watched The Departed, one of the best movies I've seen in all of my twenty-seven years, and another night I learned that Rene Russo is fabulous (not to mention smokin' hot) after watching The Thomas Crown Affair. Pierce Brosnan is fabulous too, but we already knew that.

Last weekend we snuggled in to watch Traffic. I don't know why I shied away from this 2000 film, but it had fallen off the edge of my "must see" radar and I never got to the theater.

I think that I subconsciously ignore the gritty films, no matter how well-received, and I realize that I am missing out on some fantastic film-making. Sometimes it's difficult to pay the $11 at the theater when I know that I'm going to leave with a topsy-turvy stomach.

Maybe that needs to change, or maybe I just need to add films to my Netflix queue and let it alone for awhile.

Traffic circles around three different, yet interconnected, story lines. Javier Rodriguez (Benicio Del Toro) is a Mexican cop with questionable morals. He's no saint, but he's willing to do what needs to be done in order to make Mexico safe for children. Robert Wakefield (Michael Douglas) is a conservative Ohio judge recently elevated to U.S. drug czar, who soon realizes that he can only police the American public to the same extent that he can police his own family. Helena Ayala, desperate to keep her way of life, delves into the secret business of her jailed husband and keeps two undercover agents (Don Cheadle & Luis Guzman) guessing.

The underlying theme is that drug control can only be achieved from the ground up, starting at the tiniest level - the family. There are always going to be addicts and there are always, therefore, going to be those who traffic drugs.

Only you can prevent forest fires. You know?

Traffic was extremely intense and constantly moving. I cared and despised the characters, as none were painted in a perfect light. I wanted to know more, and then I wished I had just kept my head in the sand.

The performances were incredible, especially Del Toro's, for which he won an Academy Award. I would have voted for him, too.

Sunday, March 09, 2008


Arrested Development

Score: 100% (20 out of 20)

Can you tie my score?? Try here.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Fat Squirrel


Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Cheerful Gloom

It was raining like hell on Monday, and when I arrived at the bus stop, I waltzed right into this scene:

Pink, turquoise, orange, green and red... I loved the different colors! In DC, there were plenty of lovely umbrellas, but the majority were black. This was a cheerful sight on such a gloomy day.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Silver Lining

I'm currently obsessed with this song by Rilo Kiley:

What I also love is that Jenny Lewis, the lead singer, played Hannah Nefler in Troop Beverly Hills, and that Blake Soper, the guitarist, played Pinsky on Salute Your Shorts, an epic television show from my Nickelodeon childhood.

Salute Your Fucking Shorts! How rad was that show, anyhow? Summer camp shenanigans. I wanted to be a camper at Camp Anawana.

I also miss Hey Dude.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Let Me Tell You About Friday

Oh my God, I am an idiot.

Let's start at the very beginning. A very good place to start...

Day: Friday
Time: 1 p.m.
Place: The street in front of my house
Scenario: The most important thing for me to do on Friday was to drive to Ypsilanti and pick up my sexy new license plate to go on my sexy new car. The temporary plate expired that day and I had to get to work at some point. I couldn't risk going to work and getting stuck there past 6, so I opted to hit up the dealership first.
Gold Star: I have yet to make copies of my keys. Keys for the car or house. Yep.

You know what? I'm just going to spare you all the details and jump right to it:

Locked the keys in car. While it was running.

But wait! It gets better.

I was locked out of the house.

My phone was in my bag.

My bag was on the passenger seat.

After my super nice, super patient neighbor tried opening my power locks with every keychain remote he could find in his house, I had to resort to calling a tow company, who then charged me $45 to open the door with what looked like a giant, unraveled coat hanger.

I waited an hour with green tea and hung out with my neighbors' housecat, which is half BOBCAT. No joke, it has no tail.

The best part of the whole situation is that this was not the first time.

Day: Friday, most likely
Time: Evening. Senior year of High School
Place: Applebee's
Scenario: I had just gotten the 'Scort and I was at our friendly neighborhood Applebee's enjoying some chicken fingers and fries. I assume that this was my meal - it was pretty constant for years until I discovered salads and balsamic dressing. (Side note: the Lady and I now boycott Applebees because they charge $8 for a 6-oz glass of shitty wine.)
Gold Star: I parked, we waited for a table, we had dinner, we had conversation, we... emerged two hours later to find that I had locked the doors with the engine running. I called my poor dad to bring me a spare key and made him pass it to me all covertly like a drug deal was going down in the parking lot. Good sport, my dad.

No one at work gave me any crap, even when I showed up over three hours late. Instead, they all ventured to my office to tell their own keys-locked-in-the-car stories. My favorite was John's, who locked the keys and wallet in a rental car on a remote road in Saguaro National Park at noon. In July.

So I am now wondering if each car I own has to go through this rite of passage. What if it gets worse? What if I do stupider, more ridiculous things each time? Well, since I am hoping that this car lasts a while, I'm hoping that it won't be an issue any time soon.

But what would happen if I ever get a house? Yikes.