Sunday, August 30, 2009

Fusion Envy

I love my little car. She's not too big, not too small, and she's red. She's cute and I love her. When I see other Ford Focuses (Foci?) on the road, I always think "Focus Power!" (Okay, I usually say it aloud, but whatever. It's not like I do a fist pump or something.)

(Okay, sometimes I do.)

The Focus seems to be the new Escort in that it is affordable, reliable, and they zip around with the greatest of ease, so perhaps that's why I see them everywhere. Again, I love this because I buy American and I am proud of that, and because they are super adorable.

But once in a while, I get to drive Mike's car. It's a Ford Fusion and it's nice. Well, compared to the Focus... it's very nice. I don't even think that a leather interior is available for a Focus, nor is one of the awesomest things ever - heated seats (heated seats!). Mike was playing in a golf tournament at his course today (which he WON, by the way), and it was decided that I would drop him off that morning and pick him up later in the day. You know, just in case the celebrations got a little too festive.

So there I am, at nine in the morning, driving a sleek, silver, automatic everything Ford Fusion. I stopped for coffee, forgot to stop for a paper, and cruised around Canton. All of a sudden, a Focus pulled into the right lane, driving alongside me and the Fusion. And I turned my nose down. At the adorable little Focus!

I am such a snob, I can't even believe it. And then I felt bad about it. But seriously, I was in leather seats with seat warmers, an iPod dock, and electronic everything. Everything!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

As If I Didn't Already Love Target

They go and do this:

What? A handle? That is AWESOME.
Target, you are awesome.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Free TV. Just the Way I Like It. Free.

You know how people say that you learn something new every day? Well today, I learned that I can watch old cartoons for free on my "On Demand" television programming. I won't mention the cable carrier, because I think that they are an evil conglomerate, but I also can't complain because its internet and cable are built into my rent. And so I don't actually know how much they charge.

But I do know that people were mighty pissed that year that they didn't carry the Big Ten network.

Anyway, I love cartoons. I love them all, but especially Scooby Doo. Sweet Jesus, how I love Scooby Doo. But the "new" episodes are pure crap. I only have to watch a few moments of one of those abominations before I want to punch the television.

(And can we all agree that Scrappy Doo is one of the worst characters ever on any television program ever in the history of time? God, he sucks.)

So Kari, my fabulous sister-in-law, always in search of ways to entertain her children, showed me that there are free cartoons available ON DEMAND.

And lo and behold, Scooby Doo! The old episodes! From the seventies!

Also, that reminds me of an email I sent to Mike's cousin Kimmy once:

I just watched a Scooby Doo cartoon and was wondering if you've seen it so that we can discuss the underlying themes. Here are some questions to ponder:

1. Just HOW ridiculous is Fred? Explain the significance of his scarf.
2. Is Scooby misunderstood, or just a big bully with an insatiable craving for human food?
3. What does the Mystery Machine say about society?
4. Is Scrappy Doo the worst television character ever?
5.The pirate ship is a metaphor for America's relations with the UK. Discuss.

It's a bit of an inside joke, but it certainly is fitting here today.

Right, so here are the points I've been trying to make:

1. Cable conglomerates suck, but at least there are free cartoons.
2. Scrappy Doo is the worst.
3. My spellchecker doesn't like the word "Doo."
4. Mike's family thinks that I am insane.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Passive Aggressive Office Signs

Like any office setting, you're going to run into people who like things a certain way. Like me and how I hate it when people steal my favorite pen. I love that pen. I have resorted to taking it home with me just so no one will touch it.

Yes, I am a little off. I don't care. That pen rules.

No one in my little office gives a flying fuck about much else, but the people in the surrounding offices and the denizens of the cubicle jungle have other things to say. The fact that we all share a kitchen leads to fun encounters and hilarious anecdotes.

It really wasn't until I was working in one of the empty cubicles for a few days that I started to really notice the insanity. Mostly because that empty cube has been recently vacated, and apparently the previous occupant had things to say:

There are no fewer than FIVE of these signs in that cube. A cube that measures eight feet by four feet. She really doesn't want people up in her shit, touching her stuff.

Then, there's the kitchen. This location seems to be the most likely candidate for passive aggressive signs, in any office. In my office, there's the one by the sink:

I tend to agree with this one, just because I am one of those people who likes to soak her dishes before washing. But this gets gross, especially in my own kitchen, when dishes are "soaking" for days on end.

So yeah, wash your dishes, but throw them in the air when they're clean.

Then, one of my favorites is the one on the fridge:

Making new ice cubes makes life OH SO GRAND! And now, there are four trays, so I'm never really sure how to proceed. Not like I would refill them anyway. If I want ice, and there are four ice cubes left, I take three. Because I am a bitch.

Finally, another one on the fridge that appears every month or so:

OH SWEET GOD, don't let it happen to you! Eat your lunch by three, or don't eat at all!

Which reminds me of a story. I once worked in a horrific office in DC, for an organization that rhymes with "Pithonian," and someone would clean out our fridge without warning. I remember this day very clearly, because they were barely paying me enough to live on, and I had just treated myself to what, at the time, was a pretty costly dinner at The Cheesecake Factory (oh, who am I kidding, a dinner there would still break the bank now. For I am temping, and I am still poor. I am so glad that I got this here History degree!). I got a chicken pesto pasta with mushrooms and sun dried tomatoes and pine nuts and it was absolutely glorious.

I took a good portion of it for lunch the next day and someone THREW IT OUT because she said, and I quote, "It was moldy."

IT WAS PESTO. It had my name on it, it had the DATE on it, and yet someone thought that it was MOLDY and that it should be thrown away.

Also, who the hell cleans out the fridge at ten in the morning?


I have one more sign for you, and I like it very much:

Because we are all animals. ANIMALS!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

In My Family, Birthdays Tend to Last Longer Than a Single, Solitary Day

Yesterday was super sweet. My brother and bitchin' sister-in-law threw a little party for me and my dad, as his day of birth falls just ten days after mine. We had steak. There was other awesomeness, but the steak (ooh, and the grilled onions) was pretty much amazing.

With big sister Alexis hanging out with her Grandma Mindy, Savannah realized that she was king of the mountain for once, and absolutely relished in the attention.

"Hi, I'm Savannah. I just woke up. Do you like my hair? I think that it looks punk. Anyway, let's get down to business. When I want something, you will get it for me. Do you understand?"

After we bowed to her every whim (for about three minutes), she then made it clear that there would only be one favorite today, and moved her chair as close to Grandpa as she could:

"Yes, this is good. I enjoy this."

Meanwhile, Bruiser the Jack Russell Psycho Terrier was confused as to why Mike didn't want to stop watching the horrible, horrible, horrible Detroit Lions and get off the garage couch:

Ah, but there was someone who was able to change that:

That is, until she got drunk on Woodchuck (I know)
and dove into the kiddie pool behind her:

Just kidding, Bruiser wouldn't let her. It was too cold!

And thus ends the epic tale of my birthday. SO FAR.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

How Cool is This House?

No, seriously. How cool is this house?

When I first drove by, we were on our way to a winery, but I knew that I just had to snap a picture or two. It reminded me of one of the books I've been reading, The World Without Us, which discusses how long it will take the Earth to reclaim the land once humans are gone. It's absolutely fascinating and not at all dull. It reads almost like a novel, rather than the factual, scientifically-based book it is.

Clearly, this awesome house was given to the Earth years ago. I wonder how long it will be before it's gone?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Hey Verizon? I Have a Question For You

Verizon, please riddle me this: Why is it that almost every call I've received today has been from someone other than the caller ID announces? Why is that? Hmmm?

Mike called at lunch today and it wasn't him. I thought that maybe I was hearing his coworkers in the background, but they soon hung up on me. I was all, "Jerks!" He then called back wondering if I had heard someone else's call as he had.

Weird right? I mean, it happens once in a while, so no biggie.


So there I was, sitting on the couch, watching Ross try and give a paleontology lecture using an English accent, when old roommate Jenny called from California.

Me: "Hello friend!"
Not Jenny: "What?"
Me: Wondering why Jenny sounds like Big Worm from Friday: "Jen?"


Me: "WEIRD."

The phone rang again. Caller ID? JENNY.

Me: "...Hello?"
Not Jenny: "Jess?"
Me: "Jenny?"
Not Jenny: "Who is this?"
Me: "You called me!"
Not Jenny: "Is this Jess?"
Me: "No."
Not Jenny: "Oh. Wrong number, I guess."


The phone rang again. Caller ID? JENNY. I let it go to voicemail.

Actual Jenny left a hilarious message about talking to some random dudes who were trying to flirt with her and all she wanted to do was to not talk to them and talk to me. And that she was worried that I was going to think that she was completely insane when I heard the message.

So basically, Verizon? You need to cut it out. Quit making me talk to weirdos disguised as Mike and Jenny. It's mean! Stop it!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Hello, It Was My Birthday Today

My 29th birthday, easily the best birthday yet, consisted of lots of food and fun. And wine.

-My museum friends took me to Red Hawk for lunch, my favorite lunch in town.

-My coworkers got me cupcakes and a giant cookie, which lasted about 1.3 minutes:

There was FROSTING on the giant COOKIE.

-And then there was dinner with Mike and our parents at Bravo, where there is a fun, family-friendly Roman ruin decor. At least, that's what their website says. When I think of Roman ruins, I most definitely think of FUN. But they did offer LOBSTER RAVIOLI and alcohol, so I stopped worrying about the ruins potentially falling on my head.

I think there was a restaurant. I know there was wine.

We all headed back to Mike's parents' house and had dessert, presents, and a boat ride.

Mike got me the sweetest, most perfectest necklace:

Behold my mad camera phone skillz!

I wasn't scared of turning 29, nor am I scared of 30. I'm happy. The happiest I've ever been. That's all that matters!

Monday, August 17, 2009

This is What Happens

Just in case you were wondering about what time I start to zone out at staff meetings, it's when I get to page two:

Click for an up-close example of my insanity
and lack of attention span.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Em and Tim Got Married!

My EmFace got married on August 14th, and it was a total blast. I've known her for over twenty years, and it sure is awesome to see her so happy. Tim is wonderful and I can't imagine a better match.

Laura, Em, and Katie

Rehearsal smiles.

"Um, hi."

This was before most of us had to redo our $25 wedding hair
Angie had a mullet. It was amazing.

This seemed painful.

The very long ceremony was over!

This was my idea.
You're welcome.

We definitely stopped at a bar before heading to the reception.

Tim has a definite case of gingervitis.

In case you didn't notice the camouflage vest above,
it should be explained that Tim is a big time hunter.
And Emily loves him so much that she let him get those vests.
But the cake topper was her idea. Awww!

M&M and Peanut

If I ever found out that there was to be no cake at a wedding,
I wouldn't go. I fucking love cake.

Also, please observe my hair.
That's what $25 for an updo gets you on the west side of the state.


Yes. Congratulations indeed.
I love you guys!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Chipper!

It looks like this tree didn't fulfill its summertime destiny
of housing happy little birds
(except for blue jays - they're obnoxious):

Soon it went into THE CHIPPER, which was fairly traumatic for me:

It was all very sad, really.

Monday, August 10, 2009

One of the Most Epic Museum Tales That Has Ever Been Told

In college, I worked as a docent at the Museum of Natural History on campus. Latin for "teacher," a docent leads guided tours for museum visitors. And does many other things for the Education Department, but that's not really my point here.

(Coincidentally, if you've ever wondered why my blog is called The Donut - previously DC Donut - it's because one of my hallmates in the dorm decided that "docent" was a ridiculous word that sounded more like "decent" crossed with "donut." Hence I became known as "Donut." They still call me that.)

Occasionally, we would have docent get-togethers, which were basically the lamest things you could ever imagine. We would end up at the museum after hours, watch Monty Python movies and then usually pass out in the planetarium.

Dinosaurs are so much awesomer in the dark.

Once in a while we'd play hide-and-seek in the dark, which was much more unsettling than you would think, considering the number of fossilized killers and taxidermy-ed predators. One scan with a flashlight usually resulted in screaming fits if you weren't expecting it. There was no alcohol involved (as far as I know), because we were good little docents, and we always respected the museum and its exhibits.

Sometimes we'd go up on the roof:

Of course, this was during the day and many years after my years as a docent, but that's what the roof looks like. It looks like a roof. Also, I am very short.

Anyway, after one rowdy viewing of Monty Python and the Holy Grail and all the pizza we could eat, we decided to put our keys to good use and visited the vault. The basement vault houses collections from all areas of the museum, from paleontology to zoology and much more. We poked around the vault for a while and then headed up to the research wings.

We started in the Anthropology wing, the department with the most cluttered and crowded hallways. Navigating the mess was totally worth it just to see some professor's collection of National Geographics from 1922 to the present. I was in awe. I'm guessing that his wife was sick of them collecting dust in their house and banished them to the museum hallway.

We would find all kinds of gems like this sign:


We soon made our way down to the third floor to check out the Zoology wing. That's when it started to get... weird.

In one small, non-descript room, we found two freezers. One was marked "Bird Division," and the other "Mammal Division." We just figured that each division kept their lunches separate, to avoid confusion. We were stupid.


We opened the bird fridge and saw nothing but plastic grocery bags. Same with the mammal fridge. Turns out, that's where they placed roadkill to keep until they needed a certain bone or an eyeball to study. People would bring in dead stuff all of the time, knowing that the scientists salivated over the thought of having a fresh specimen for study.

So that was fun.



We continued down the hallway to the Mammal Division. Most of the doors led to offices and laboratories, and most were locked. The door to THE BUG ROOM, however, was unlocked. "What is THE BUG ROOM?" we all wondered aloud. We found out.

Until that moment, I never really knew of the scent of death. But now? I know it, and I will do whatever possible to never have to smell it again.

The Bug Room consisted of several crates with wood frames and mesh sides. In the crates were carcasses of recently deceased animals. Added to the fun? Flesh eating beetles. These beetles are used for their special skill of completely cleaning all matter from bones, leaving a perfect study piece. I can't describe the smell, but I do remember that it stuck in my nostrils for days.

After that, what else could we possibly find? Oh... let me tell you.


Roaming the halls of the Zoology wing, we were drawn to the sound of music. Loud music. Scary music. Death metal music. The closer we got to the open laboratory door, the louder the music grew, and the more terrified we became. All of a sudden, a very short woman with grey hair side-stepped out of the room into the hallway.

She was wearing glasses and a floor-length lab coat. On the lab coat, she (or someone) had drawn a body of a large mouse, standing on its hind legs. The mouse's tail ran around the back of the coat. At the mouse's feet were lots of baby mice. But the baby mice were dead, with crossed-out eyes.

So there we were, standing in front of this mini person (she was shorter than me, y'all), completely terrified. She then said, "Come with me," and retreated into her lab.

We thought that she was going to call the campus police, but instead she began explaining her research. "This is the microwave where I put all of the mouse embryos. Don't heat up your lunch in there. Ha. Ha. Ha." And this went on for about five minutes. Then, as abruptly as she jumped out at us in the hallway, she said, "Leave now."

That was all we needed, and we shuffled out into the hallway and half-walked, half-jogged back to the exhibit space. Once the director caught wind of this, we weren't allowed to have parties for a while. And there still wasn't any alcohol involved!

End note: One of the exhibit designers heard our story and thought that it was hilarious. When we were somehow bullied into creating an exhibit about this woman's work, he snuck in an awesome inside joke into the panel:

Interesting, I'm sure, but look at the bottom left...

What are those things on her lab coat?

Could they be...?

They are!


And that was one of the most epic days I ever experienced at the Museum of Natural History.