Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Trunk of MOLD

Once upon a time there were two lovely canvas bags from Trader Joe's. These bags were unlike other bags from Trader Joe's of our most recent time, as they were canvas, had sweet handles, and are no longer sold. They were basically irreplaceable.


There was a wee little girl who owned the bags. Even though she was against showing favoritism, she definitely preferred the bag with the longer handles. It could be carried on her shoulder! It was truly a product of masterful design. When the little girl lived and worked in the nation's capital, she spent Saturday mornings strolling about Eastern Market with her beloved bag, picking up produce and crafts along her journey.

The little girl moved away, but still adored her Trader Joe's bags. She used them for many tasks and outings, as they were very adept at carrying things. Her favorite place to take them, however? Trader Joe's. The employees would marvel, "Wow, they don't even make these anymore." To which the little girl would reply, "I KNOW!"

Yes, she loved those bags. Until her stupid ass left her favorite long-handled tote in the trunk of her car.

Weeks later, unable to locate and identify the source of a strange death smell, her very pretty, very wise sister-in-law solved the case.

Moldy Canvas Bag in Trunk = Smelly Car of Death

At some point in her travels, the little girl purchased something that made the canvas bag damp and sad. And then promptly left it in the trunk - a dark and inviting place for happy, growing mold spores.

She was forced to throw the bag into the trash. And all is sad in the land.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

If I Was On Twitter, I Would Tweet:

"I am loving the insane rainstorm and am watching for the Ark, even though I'm quite aware that I wouldn't be welcomed aboard because I killed that spider that one time. This isn't as prolific as when Ashton tweeted about Demi's ass, but what can you do? I'm not an overpaid moron masquerading as an actor. "

Or maybe that's too many characters, I don't know.

Super cute logo, ridiculous idea.

(Twitter logo borrowed from
as I sure as hell don't want to get sued.)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Mysteries of Pittsburgh

I really, really enjoy Michael Chabon's writing. After The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, I knew I had found something special. (Searching back, I realize that I never did write a review of that book - something that will be remedied once I have a chance to re-read it.)

I finished The Final Solution years ago and I have Gentlemen of the Road waiting patiently on my bookshelf. His writing is intoxicating yet very real, and his ability to capture the feeling of a time period or a crucial time in one's life is spot-on.

I picked up The Mysteries of Pittsburgh with a gift card (in an attempt to follow my new guidelines to saving money), but I probably would have gravitated toward the cover anyway as it is freaking adorable:

Art Bechstein has just finished college, and is spending his summer working in the fluorescent nightmare that is a bookstore chain. He would have much preferred a used bookstore, but his ambition? It's lacking.

A chance encounter with Arthur, preppy and gay, leads Art into a summer like he had never imagined - or even known to imagine. It's an interesting coming-of-age tale written as a love letter to a summer of freedom, to a lack of responsibility, and to the city of Pittsburgh. I'm sure that had I spent any time there in my early twenties, I would understand some of the inside jokes and hidden meanings.

It's a quick read with some unexpected moments of happiness and of sadness, but thoroughly enjoyable story.

(It's going to be a movie. Of course, Hollywood or some random production company has completely ruined it by cutting the entire role of Arthur, changing the main plot, and miscasting Sienna Miller in what should have been a minor role, but whatever. I won't be seeing it.)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Lovely Bones

I know that it's a best-seller, and I think that it might have been an Oprah pick, and I know that it's going to be made into a movie, but I still really wanted to read the damn thing. (I have issues with reading the "popular" books because apparently I am a literary snob. But I also read Archie comics, so I am also a bit of a hypocrite. Whatever, he's going to marry Veronica, which is awesome because Betty lets people walk all over her.)


Susie Salmon was murdered. Just fourteen, she narrates her own story, giving the reader a unique glimpse - and an innocent perspective - as life proceeds without her.

Set in the early seventies, and stretching into the eighties, the reader experiences not only Susie's Heaven, but the lives of her loved ones, her schoolmates, and her killer, still on Earth. Even while silently cheering her father and her sister as they begin to investigate Susie's murder on their own, she is also worrying about her young brother and questioning her mother's actions.

Susie's Heaven is calm and safe, but not as fulfilling as she expects. She learns early on that things have happened that cannot be undone, and there is absolutely nothing to be done. She cannot protect her family, and she cannot bring her killer to justice. At first, she wants nothing more than to be with her family on Earth, but as she slowly starts to let go of her connections to the temporal world, those that were forced to go on without her begin to heal and grow and accept her absence. As does Susie. She is at peace.

Alice Seibold writes beautifully, reminding me very much of Ann Patchett's prose in Bel Canto (my review here!). The stories are similar, in a way - both tales of loss. Loss of innocence, loss of control, and loss of self. Both have bittersweet endings and both create characters with amazing strength. I don't know if it's because both authors are female, but Seibold and Patchett have a undeniable knack for capturing the beauty of a moment, even when it's sinister and ugly in context.

The plot twists and turns and the reader experiences tales and memories of all of those who knew Susie or knew of her. Every single character felt real because Seibold didn't hold back - she was clearly against making Bones a black and white story. Instead of an obvious delineation between good and evil, each and every character possessed both. All of her characters were flawed.

While I enjoyed The Lovely Bones, it was a little painful to read at times. If you have a child, I don't think that this would be the best book for you - basically you'd be reading about every parents' worst nightmare. It is beautifully written, but it is not happy. There is no easy ending here.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The First Drummer Died in a "Bizarre Gardening Accident"

I'll be the first to admit that I am no spring chicken. I need my 7+ hours of sleep each night, two glasses of wine leaves me with a painful hangover, and I have to work in the morning!

Now that I've been waking up for work at 6:00 7:00, I've been attempting to get to sleep by midnight at the very latest. Luckily, that hasn't been too much of a problem, as long as I banish all distractions beforehand (sudoku, crosswords, DVDs, and books). Lately, though? It hasn't made much of a difference, considering that some asshat in the neighborhood is up until all hours playing the drums. The DRUMS.

Now, I don't know if this is some high school kid, hoping to make the marching band drumline, or if it's some mid-life crisis who couldn't afford that sportscar. Either way, I want to murder him.

(Yeah, I'm assuming that it's a guy. I don't know why.)

But it really, really needs to stop. Is what I'm saying. Or maybe he'll spontaneously combust.

"He died in a bizarre gardening accident, that the authorities said was 'best left unsolved.'"

Monday, July 13, 2009

Suck It, Squares!

A '30 Rock' Quiz

Score: 100% (13 out of 13)

Bonus Question:

Who said, "I don't drink hot liquids of any kind. That's the devil's temperature."

a. Jenna
b. Liz's brother, Mitch
c. Jack's mother, Colleen
d. Kenneth

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Kitchen Confidential

In "Heather uses Netflix to watch a sweet show" news, I watched Kitchen Confidential - an awesome show that only managed to get thirteen episodes before cancellation by Fox. Of course.

We are a very attractive cast.

Based on a book of the same name by Anthony Bourdain, a guy with whom I would love to drink heavily, though I'm sure that he would just insult me, Kitchen Confidential follows the ups and downs of an executive chef in NYC, Jack Bourdain (subtle, no?) - played by Bradley Cooper (love!).

(As an aside, Bourdain blogged about the various Food Network personalities a while back and it's completely spot-on.)

Jack's career has suffered dramatically the past few years due to an excess of women, booze, and cocaine. Fired from job after job, he's stuck cooking in a chain-like establishment with a set menu and no room for his expertise.

Miraculously, he gets a call to start up a new restaurant from scratch, and he calls up past associates to get in on the opportunity. (Past associates include sous chef Steven (Owain Yeoman - oh holy Jesus look at him), pastry chef Seth (Nicholas Brendon, expertly cast), and fish guy Teddy (John Cho, who is absolutely hilarious in every scene).

Next, add to the ensemble Bonnie Somerville, mix in Jaime King, and sprinkle a little John Francis Daley (Waiting), and you've cooked up a great cast. (See what I did there?)

But the cast alone isn't the best part - it's the writing. It's crisp and quick, and it really focuses on what it's like to work in a high-end restaurant. I love this behind-the-scenes look at an industry of which I know very little, and it's not too heavy. It's fun to watch!

Next up? Twin Peaks.

Friday, July 10, 2009

There's No Snooze Button in Baseball!

No matter how many times I try to fix my bad habits, I continuously pull the same crap.

Each work night, I set my alarm for six, thinking to myself (or perhaps uttering aloud, because I am sometimes of the crazypants variety):

"I am going to get up and get ready and catch the 7:06 bus. Then I'll walk to my favorite coffeehouse, get a mocha, and take a nice, leisurely walk to work. Unless the barista takes forever with my order as it's 7:15 in the morning, and s/he was most likely out until last call and then had to open the place at six, in which case I shall walk the few blocks back to the transit center and catch my usual connecting bus to the medical school."

It's such a grand idea. Really, it is. And of course, it's only happened once. And that time, I didn't even get coffee. Where do I go wrong?

It doesn't matter what time I get into bed, you see, because I will inevitably watch my Arrested Development or Friends DVDs for some time while speeding through a collection of Sudoku or crossword puzzles.

"Hello. I am like crack."

Once my eyes start to droop, I set the television to snooze and attempt to get some sleep. And that's just about the time that the crazy ass squirrels on my roof start chasing each other back and forth over and over and over again, stopping to scratch at the shingles (and as Neighbor Bob explained to me, get into the attic space and start chewing the shit out of everything).

So after standing on my bed and slamming my pillow against the ceiling to scare them, I eventually get comfortable again and apparently fall asleep.

Ahhhhhh...... sleep. REM and nightmares and dreamscapes and whatnot........

"That's me in the spot. light."

I have nice dreams about walking in the woods and seeing birds and chipmunks AND THEN ALL OF A SUDDEN my alarm jolts me awake at six. I crawl out of bed, struggle to keep my balance, and hit snooze. I climb back into bed and pretend that nothing happened. Five minutes later, the alarm blasts me awake. And I hit snooze. Again.

This happens several times. More times than I would like to admit. Actually, I might as well just set the alarm for seven. Which is just awesome, considering that I have to be to work by eight.

(Though I have gotten quite good at getting ready in a hurry. I can shower and do all kinds of getting-ready activities and be out the door in thirty minutes to catch the ringworm bus. Impressive, yes?)

I guess I don't actually have an excuse other than I just really, really like my bed. It's super soft and comfortable, and my duvet makes crinkly noises that make me feel all princess-y.

And wouldn't you want to stay in that world a little longer?

Monday, July 06, 2009

Care Bear Stare!

If you were a child of the eighties, you probably remember The Care Bears. I had the one with the smiley face sun, I think. I don't know. I was pretty much a one bear kind of girl. Anyway, along with The Gummy Bears, Rainbow Brite, TMNT, and G.I Motherfucking Joe, the Care Bears ruled Saturday morning.

BUT. Do you remember The Care Bears MOVIE? It was... something else. I remember that it TERRIFIED me, but not much else. There was an evil book and that whole plotline made me mad because books weren't evil - they were good! But then the book bitch got squeezed to death (if I remember correctly) and all was well in the land of caring.

Turns out, someone wrote a review of it the other day, seeing it with new - possibly baked - eyes, and it's pretty damn funny. Eric's Bad Movies: The Care Bears Movie (1985).

"Our chest rays will heal you all!"

(Of course, in my opinion, the second movie, Care Bears Movie II: Electric Boogaloo was far superior, what with the scary summer camp theme. And though the Caring Cousins were totally lame, that Dark Heart psycho was fucking awesome.)

Thursday, July 02, 2009


I stapled my pants today.

They're not my favorite pants, by far, but I wasn't feeling too ambitious this morning and the iron stayed on the shelf. My friend Hallie likes these particular pants, and compliments them every time I wear them, but to me they are just the too-long pants I got on sale at the Gap Outlet that I only really wear when I'm super lazy and/or feeling like fat camp.

They're too long even though I got them hemmed at this little place in Alexandria directly below Merrick and Gerald's apartment, but I was wearing Merrick's shoes at the time and not my own, and everything obviously went tits up.

And also? They're wool. "Wool in July?" is something that you might ask yourself. Yes, wool in July, because the weather is inexplicably cool and rainy. (I'm about done with the bipolar weather around here, but I will always take cool over hot and humid. Blergh.)

Anyway, as I walked down the hallway at work, I noticed that I was treading on the hem of the pants. Who knew that the stray thread I trimmed that morning was integral to the performance of the pants? I was just trying to catch my bus.

Asking around the office, no one had a safety pin - even the woman who has practically everything in her purse, including a spare pair of socks and her passport. I tried paperclips, but couldn't find any non-scary options. It was then that I spied... the stapler.

It worked, the staples blend in with the fabric, and I don't feel like a beggar child. And I'm proud of myself for thinking in a new way.


Wednesday, July 01, 2009

How to Save Water

I simply do not have good luck with work bathrooms. There was the girl who studied in the museum bathroom, the people who kept their water bottles amongst bleach bottles, and of course, the horrific, disgusting horror movie experience that still makes me cringe.

But now I have this, and it's not so much a bad experience than something that makes me giggle like an idiot every time I close the door to the stall:

And it's really just another example of how I am a twelve year old.