October 31, 2008

October 30, 2008

October 30, 2008

My Thoughts on The Office

Favorite quote: "Without its agricultural program, we probably wouldn’t have cabbage.” You know the Wisconsin girl can't resist a farm joke.
Favorite quote, runner-up: "Head shaped like a trapezoid.” It’s funny because it’s true.

Favorite character: Pam. So adorable, even when being harassed by Halperts.
Favorite character, runner-up: Andy the Beet Farmer. You know the Wisconsin girl can't resist a farm joke.

Favorite scene: Andy’s interview of Dwight. I think the conference room table took the brunt of it.
Favorite scene, runner-up: Jim defending Pam to his brothers. She obviously picked the right one.

(Click to enlarge.)

Virginia is NOT for Drivers

Despite that graphic to the right, the vast majority of my experience in the Old Dominion has been pleasant so far. The people are alarmingly friendly (I haven’t had this many doors held open for me and elevator conversations since…ever), the weather is mild…er than Wisconsin’s, and I can do things like visit the Library of Congress whenever I want. Win-win-win.

My main complaints really all seem to be vehicle-related. The personal property tax on cars is irksome, for one. I'm just lucky that mine isn't worth very much. Driving a cheap car finally pays off.

I thought about writing an open letter to the other Virginia drivers apologizing for my inability to properly operate my car, but every draft started with something like “I’m sorry I had to swerve in front of you the other day” or “I totally did not realize that lane was going to become right-turn only.”

In my (admittedly pitiable) defense, the Virginia road system requires an entirely different navigational skill set than Wisconsin’s. Wisconsin’s roads are pretty gridlike. Let’s take a look at a map of my old ZIP code:

Not bad, right? You miss a turn, you just circle back. Three rights equal a left. Easy, peasy, Japanese-y. (Yes, I actually say that in real life. Whee.)

Now let’s examine a map of my new ZIP code at exactly the same scale:

WTF, Virginia. WTF.

If I miss a turn, I usually can’t circle back because the damn road veers off without meeting another large road for a long way. A LONG way. (Note to Virginia road namers: the word “turnpike” is cute, but doesn’t help the situation. Your efforts are appreciated, though.) The road is also probably going to change names at least once. It may also change numbers. Just for fun.

I recently tried going to Target and almost ended up at Mount Vernon. That was a low point. So low that I’ve considered buying a GPS system. Though if The Office is any guide, that may result in my turning into a lake at the direction of a friendly female robot voice.

Driving into a lake or searching for household items at Washington’s estate? Toss-up.

October 29, 2008

October 29, 2008

Let Them Blog Cake

Some blogs are about Serious Stuff. You know, politics. Current events. Punctuation. You put a few on your blogroll as an affirmation to the world that you are, in fact, a grown-up. (Other ways to do this include watching the History Channel and going to wine tastings.)

Other blogs are for entertainment purposes only. While I’m not much of a Perez Hilton fan (he’s bitchy, I GET IT) or a lolcatter (seriously, don’t send me these; they’re arbiters of the end of civilization), I do follow a few fun blogs.

A recent addition to my fun blogs cadre: Cake Wrecks. As the title implies, we’re talking baked goods gone bad. Pastry? Good. Pastry fail? Better. Cake Wrecks hits the food/snark exacta.* If the blog is to believed, it’s become well-known enough in the zeitgeist that cakemakers are actually wary of people taking pictures of their creations. Caveat baker.

Despite my fascination with getting pictures posted on blogs, I have not yet had the chance to take a cake wreck photograph. Obviously, I need to hang out in more bakeries. (Like I needed an excuse, I know.)

Really, can one’s day ever have enough food porn?

* Yes, I know horse racing terms. We all have our phases.

October 28, 2008

October 28, 2008

Sorry I Missed It: The Ricky Gervais Podcast

I wrote recently in part about my workout music. Though I more often than not just plug into the treadmill’s tv and flip to news, sometimes I feel like music. Or can’t get the treadmill tv to work. Whatever.

I tried listening to The Ricky Gervais Podcast while working out, but that proved impossible because it makes me laugh so much I can’t breathe. While full concentration isn’t necessary on a treadmill, breathing sorta is. Hence the problem.

None of that, though, should discourage you from begging, borrowing, or stealing this podcast. Keep in mind that it is very definitely NSFW,* though. Especially for those of you in elementary education. Or with children of your own.

The basic premise: Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant (creators of The Office and the possibly even more brilliant [gasp!] Extras) along with the delightfully-daft Karl Pilkington comment on the news of the day. This discussion more often than not devolves into mockery of Karl’s intellect. I realize that that sounds mean…because it is. But in a good way.

Here, perhaps this will help:

Honestly, hearing Ricky Gervais laugh is alone worth the price of admission.

* My acronym use may impress you, but keep in mind that I’m the girl who didn’t know what a MILF was until a very short time ago. Thank you, Wikipedia.

October 27, 2008

October 27, 2008

21:35 minutes of your time. That’s all I ask.

At this point, I can no longer explain why some of you aren’t watching 30 Rock. I’ve pimped it. Repeatedly. If you’ve been following SNL’s election coverage at all, you’ve seen how incredibly talented my girl Tina Fey is. Important organizations can’t stop throwing awards at the show.

I have to conclude that you have bad taste, are stubborn, or have no sense of humor.

The show premieres on Thursday. I realize that you may have something to do that night besides watch tv; I’m told people have “real lives.” Whatever. Anyway, since I’m willing to meet you more than halfway in order to gain another viewer for this show, here’s the ENTIRE premiere episode. You don’t need to even go to another webpage. It’s right here. The whole thing. THREE DAYS EARLY. (I know it's also a little too wide for the column, but I can't figure out how to shrink it. We all know I'm just not that geeky technically-inclined.)

(Update: After the show aired, the preview clip was taken down. This is the broadcast version, and it's actually 21:49. I think you can spare the extra 14 seconds.)

Now that you’ve seen it, I realize that you’re going to go back and watch the past episodes.

My work here is done.

October 26, 2008

October 26, 2008

Mi Casa Es Mi Casa

Yes, it’s finally here: the post wherein I show off pictures of my new apartment. I realize this is pretty self-serving and probably of interest to only the vast minority of you. Thus I’ve posted this on a Sunday and tried to find snark where I could. Luckily for me, I’ve got a pretty well-oiled snark detector.

An overview of the apartment. Professionals tell you not to just shove your furniture against the walls. Obviously, I completely disregarded them. On the plus side, I could do kickass cartwheels right in my living room. You know, if I had coordination and/or could kick ass in any way.

The view from my apartment. I’ll allow you a moment to be dazzled by my incredible Word textbox and arrow skills.

I’d like to point out that I have not seen one juvenile being detained. Not a SINGLE ONE. What a sham. (Please find a way to read that in which I do NOT come off as pedophilic. Thanks.)

Not only do I have a kitchen; I use it. Several times a day. I don’t use the dishwasher, oven, or garbage disposal, though. This IS me we’re talking about.

Like a frat boy’s, my fridge is approximately half beverages. Unlike a frat boy, I also have hummus. Or maybe frat boys these days are into hummus. My experience with them is admittedly limited.

I’ve used the office area as a place to showcase some of my too-vast Office goods collection. For those of you keeping track at home, there are five Ikea products in this picture. Alarming.

My attempt to fake Pottery Barn. I’m just a latter-day Rachel Green, I guess. I looked at the throw pillows at Pottery Barn the other day. The ones I liked were $112. EACH. Unless those things were owned by George Washington or lay golden eggs, it's not happening for me.

One of my pet peeves is an overstuffed bookcase. If you’re cramming them in there, buy more shelving.

I have no idea why the trash chute is labeled “Rubbish.” I’d like to think it’s a nod to my excessive Anglophilia. No, you know what? Let’s just assume that’s it and call it a day.

So that's where I live. And now you know the rest of the story.

October 24, 2008

October 24, 2008

My Thoughts on The Office

Favorite quote: "I’m now going to be prone to surges”
Favorite quote, runner-up: "Twice…right?”

Favorite character: Dwight. He sure knows his way around an ultimatum.
Favorite character, runner-up: Phyllis. She just wants to give advice and auction off a hug. C’mon.

Favorite scene: Michael the auctioneer. Don’t get me wrong; there’s no way I could be an auctioneer. But I think I’d be able to refrain from “Swing, batta batta batta.”
Favorite scene, runner-up: The explanation of the CRIME-AID acronym. I declare.

(Click to enlarge.)

October 23, 2008

October 23, 2008

Listen to This, Volume 17: John Mayer

Let me start by saying that this would normally be something I’d append to a Duly Noted Recommends episode, except that I don’t know how to pronounce “Mayer.” I realize that when you consider MY last name, this is pretty hilarious. Shutup.

I’ve had “Waiting on the World to Change” on my MP3 player for quite some time. I first heard it at the movie theater, as part of the soundtrack they play before the film starts. You know, while they’re showing movie trivia and weird local business ads (Uncle Dick’s Pizza?) on the screen.

It’s a good song for me: upbeat, with catchy lyrics. It’s part of Workout Mix 1. (As if I’ll have others, I know. Just go with it. When Pam* said, “It's totally going to change the way I work out,” though, I knew exactly what she meant.)

For whatever reason, I decided to see if anything else in Mr. Mayer’s oeuvre caught my fancy. And indeed, it did. My favorite track is “Dreaming with a Broken Heart” from Continuum.

Sad boy, piano, depressing lyrics? I call that a trifecta.

* What do you mean, “What Pam?”

October 22, 2008

October 22, 2008

Accidentally on Purpose

For some reason, I still check my hometown news blog regularly. I don’t know if I’m trying to stay connected at least peripherally or what, but there’s something comforting reading about the latest homicides, a failing school system, and bad traffic. (Coincidentally, D.C. is doing quite well in these areas. It really IS just like home.)

One of the news blurbs last week was about a big truck wreck on the freeway. Two semis collided; I believe one was carrying diesel. Sadly, there was no giant explosion. Jack Bauer was not called. We all live to fight another day. Sigh.

Did you ever notice how the best truck wreck stories involve vehicles carrying something crazy? Eggs. Milk. Beer. Or even cash. Oh for the day when the evening news features chopper footage of crazies running through traffic while snatching at flying currency. Gives me a little tingle just thinking about it.

Since I enjoy hypothetical violence as much as the next girl, I started thinking about what sorts of collisions would make for the most fun. Here’s what I came up with:

- Caramel and apples. I don’t know that caramel gets shipped in giant tanker trucks, but this is America, dammit. Anything’s possible. Ideally, the caramel tanker would just get sliced open a little, and the apples would fall in. Talk about dunking for apples.

- Silica and water. Let’s see if those little “Silica—do not eat” packets REALLY work. I’d like to see a giant puddle totally evaporated by the combined efforts of a million of those packets. (Note: the preceding statement may or may not reflect my a lack of scientific understanding beyond high school chemistry. The most exciting thing I remember from that class was burning magnesium. You know where my priorities lie.)

- Super balls and ANYTHING. Honestly, it could just be two (or more) trucks of super balls. The bouncing would go on for DAYS, I imagine.

Truck drivers of America, let’s make this happen.

October 21, 2008

October 21, 2008

In My Opinion: The Duchess

After several attempts in multiple states, I finally saw The Duchess yesterday.


I’m going to have to bump something out of my top ten for this one. I was surprised at the level of emotional involvement; I went in expecting corsets and accents and came out pondering the meaning of societal and gender roles in the late eighteenth century. Allow me to elaborate.

“I fear that I have done many things too late. And some too early.”

The film opens with a very typical pastoral English scene. Georgiana Spencer (Keira Knightley) and some friends and frolicking, as the beautiful and titled did (and do). What Georgiana doesn’t know is that she’s about to be engaged to the Duke of Devonshire (Ralph Fiennes at his dispassionate finest). Georgiana is delighted to hear of the match, as it’s quite the coup. Or appears to be.

“I am her mother, after all. Even if she is only a girl.”

Though Georgiana is incredibly beautiful, charming, witty, and loved by society, she soon learns that God doesn’t give with both hands. For a titled woman in the 1770s, being beautiful, charming, witty, and loved by society isn’t enough.—it’s all about the baby bucket. The Duke and Duchess have a pretty awkward wedding night, and things don’t get any better. Georgiana has a couple of miscarriages and a couple of daughters (considered the same by the Duke), and the couple becomes increasingly distant. The Duke occupies himself with his dogs (and not a few maids). The Duchess becomes involved with Charles Grey (Dominic Cooper), sensing in him a kindred spirit (and perhaps that he would one day both become Prime Minister AND have a tea named after him).

“I don’t mind the politics. It’s the rhetoric I can’t stand.”

Georgiana was an avid follower of politics, something almost unheard of back in the day. She and the Duke entertained many politicians, most of whom were from the Whig party. Rather, Georgiana listened intently to the discourses while her husband ran off to do who knows what with a scullery maid or something. But I digress.

The film obviously doesn’t focus on the political climate of the day, though Georgiana’s campaigning activity for her cousin Charles Fox and a passionate speech by Grey well evoke a time when campaigning was more than backyard barbecues and late-night comedy skits.

“It’s said that every man in London is in love with the Duchess…except her husband.”

Georgiana hits bottom when her best friend takes up with the Duke (or he forces himself on her, or whatever) and the two refuse to separate. After a lot of wheeling and dealing (sort of like Ye Olde Divorce Court), the three end up living together (a literal ménage a trois) once Georgiana bears the Duke a son. Grey pleads with Georgiana to come away with him, but she chooses to stay with her children. It’s a scene in which little is said, but much is communicated.

I realize that all of that was a much longer review than I usually give to movies; I believe some of my recaps could probably be boiled down to “explosions good.” But I was struck not so much by the parallels of Georgiana’s life to those of her descendants Diana and Fergie, but rather to the similarities with Marie Antoinette. (They actually had at least a passing acquaintance.) Both women were victims of circumstance but did the best they could with what they had. Whether history has portrayed them fairly, who can say?

Regardless, we’ve certainly come a long way since then. As a girl who likes to fancy herself more than just a baby bucket, I for one couldn’t be happier to consign to history the life of a duchess.

October 20, 2008

October 20, 2008

Feed Me

Though I am perhaps the last person who should be dispensing technological advice, I would like to spend a little time pimping a very useful tool I (along with its inventors and the rest of the world) call Google Reader.

Wikipedia (also a product I’d recommend, for the two people on Earth who don’t already love it) tells me that Google Reader beta came out in 2005. It’s good that I’m so on the ball with stuff like this. I actually have another Google product, Blogger, to thank for getting me in the loop.* Blogger’s frontpage recently introduced a sort of Google Reader widget, and that got me curious about the full version. It’s like how I got a Fiber One granola bar in the mail and found them so delicious that I had to get a gigantic multipack from Sam’s Club. But anyway.

I’m hoping you read blogs other than mine; using me as a sole source for news could be hazardous to your health. What used to annoy me was that a good number of the blogs I read update only occasionally. (I suspect this is because other people have, you know, actual lives and whatnot, whereas I apparently just sit in my apartment eating granola bars.) As I clicked on umpteen blogs every day, only a handful of which had actual new content, I knew there had to be a better way.

Enter Google Reader. GR, as I’ll call it, because I am lazy we’re close like that.

With GR, the feeds from all your blogs are combined, so that you can go to one site and see them all. GR certainly has its faults, of course, but that’s probably for the best. Gives the Google boys something to fix for the next version.

Google will eventually be taking over the world. It’s best to start converting now, don’t you think?

* I’d have to say that Blogger remains my favorite Google offshoot, with GrandCentral and Google Reader tied for second. No, wait, Google Maps would be second. Or iGoogle. Not Gmail, though. I’m a Yahoo girl through and through.

October 18, 2008

October 18, 2008

The Day That Was

I don't expect to recount too many of my future Saturdays for you, since they're likely to be a) boring or b) filled with activities of the sort I don't blog about. (Use your imagination.) However, today was pretty interesting, if for no other reason than the fact that I was within spitting distance of the White House.

Here's how it went.

The main reason I went into the district was to go to the White House Fall Garden Tour. The weather was perfect and tourist numbers were low. Win-win. When I told the guard I only needed one ticket, he said, "No friends?" Sir, you have no idea.

I had an hour to kill before the tour, so I checked out the D.A.R. Museum, which is small, free, and obscure. I love it. It's filled with period rooms from the different states.

My favorite would have to be Michigan, for the killer salmon bookshelves.

The garden tour itself was wonderful (see "perfect weather, above), as getting near the White House these days requires two forms of identification, a DNA sample, and a credit check. I think we all know that's really fifth date territory.

The Rose Garden was perhaps my favorite part, but probably because it reminded me of the scene from Alice in Wonderland. Sadly, no one was painting the roses red.

While waiting for the train home, I noticed some hotel chocolates on the bench next to me. You know me well enough to understand what a quandary this was. On the one hand, free chocolate. On the other, free chocolate that has possibly been poisoned or tampered with. It was like Sophie's choice.

And that was Saturday.

October 17, 2008

October 17, 2008

My Thoughts on The Office

Favorite quote: "DO YOU HAVE THE SHARPIE?"
Favorite quote, runner-up: "Tell my intended about the miracle of childbirth.”

Favorite character: Astird Astrid. Too freaking adorable.
Favorite character, runner-up: Jim. I'm a sucker for a man with a whiteboard.

Favorite scene: Dwight vs. the $1200 stroller. He sure showed IT.
Favorite scene, runner-up: Michael's holding babies montage. He may suck at a lot of things, but he's good with kids, and that's always a plus.

(Click to enlarge.)

October 16, 2008

October 16, 2008

Blind Them With Science

The advent of digital television on February 17, 2009 (yeah, I know the exact date—is that weird?) means a few things for you and me. Well, you probably have cable, so mostly for me, then. But, really, what on this blog ISN’T about me?


Through magical science and technology that I don’t fully understand, switching tv broadcasts from analog to digital means a larger spectrum. A larger spectrum means more channels.

More. Channels.

Oh yeah.

Unlike the internet, where more channels would basically translate into more porn, the tv people have decided to use the extra spectrum space for things like infomercials, classic shows, and PBS.

As a long-time ardent admirer of PBS, I heartily approve. Specifically, I’ve found myself enjoying a lot of PBS World. Wikipedia notes that PBS World’s schedule is “documentaries, primarily science, current affairs, and history programs.” If that turns you off, stop reading now. I also may or may not like you just a little less.

I realize that that lineup may sound really boring in concept. But oh, the execution! I keep flipping past it and finding myself saying things like “Ooh, an American Experience on Reagan!” or “Wow, a NOVA episode about Einstein.” EINSTEIN. I may not have the greatest track record with physics, but I really enjoyed it. I was actually drawn at first to the costumes in one of the historical re-enactment scenes. But I stuck around for the science. (And maybe also a little because the guy playing [I think] Faraday was sorta cute. I’m only human.)

In the Milwaukee area*, PBS World is on channel 36.4. Yeah, now that we have digital, our channels have turned into decimals—I have no good explanation. Check your local listings.

* I still don't know the D.C. channels. I also for some reason get Baltimore stations. What's THAT about?

October 15, 2008

October 15, 2008

Great Expectations

I had to think for a bit when picking which day to post this. (I tend to write a week's worth all at one go. The "marathon sessions" writing strategy has been serving me well since college.) I figured that since Monday was a holiday, Tuesday would be like Monday...and I hate posting serious stuff on Mondays. It's not like you don't have enough to deal with already. I start looking forward to the weekend on Thursday, so I didn't want this to be a downer then, either. Thus I've sandwiched it here, on the most neutral of days. Or something like that, anyway.

I think that optimism is one of the best qualities of Americans. I think it’s also one of our worst. (It was the best of qualities, it was the worst of qualities?)

Without our can-do attitude, I imagine things like winning wars, becoming an international industrial power, and inventing the Big Mac would have been a lot more difficult. Even now, in the face of THE WORST ECONOMY IN FOREVER OMG WE’RE ALL SO GONNA LOSE ALL OUR MONEY AND I’M INVESTING IN GOLD AND SHOTGUNS, we know it’ll end eventually, things will rebound, and gas will go back to being $4 a gallon. Circle of life.

Yet where our optimism harms us, I think, is in our sense of entitlement. It’s the pursuit of happiness that is an unalienable right, not happiness itself. It’s easy to assume that everything should and will turn out exactly as we want it. But that’s so rarely the case.

This is why I try to keep my expectations low. Very low. I mean, that bad date doesn’t seem so bad if you’ve resigned yourself to dying alone. A mediocre episode of The Office pales in comparison to the awesomeness that was The Engagement. You may have chipped a tooth, but odds are good that your others are all fully-functional.*

The trick is to pick the absolute worst-case scenario and assume it as the default. Then when anything better than that does happen (and it probably will, unless you have the world’s worst luck**), it’s like a little bonus. Sort of a “live every day like it’s your last” thing, but with less shrimp. (Or would that just be my last day? Whichever.)

If you’ve braced yourself for the worst, reality doesn’t suck so much.

* Depends on location; your mileage may vary.
** You don’t; I checked.

October 14, 2008

October 14, 2008

WTF Product of the Day, Volume 3

Ah, the SkyMall catalog. A constantly-changing supply of products that you never knew you needed. As well as of some you really don’t need. Really. You just don’t need it. At all.

Like this:

That’s right: the instant doorway puppet theater.

I can picture walking past a doorway and maybe thinking that it looked empty. Plain. Bland. Fine. But are there really people out there who walk past a doorway and think, “Hmm, what this needs is a puppet theater”? Seriously?

Not to degrade the product, of course. It’s a pretty fancy instant doorway puppet theater, as far as these things go. Note that it has a fold-down stage, working front curtains, AND a curved backdrop. Professional grade, almost!

I myself personally would have preferred to see an actual puppet stage in progress in the picture. You know, to give you a sense of the scale and scope of the thing. But that’s just me.

And if I were the one in charge of the SkyMall catalog, most of it would look like this:

Perhaps Instant Doorway Puppet Theaters are for the best?

October 13, 2008

October 13, 2008

Sweet Potatoes, Incoming

It’s Columbus Day, the day on which we remember the man’s American landing in fourteen hundred and ninety-two.* Federal and bank employees celebrate by not working. Bostonians have a parade. Perhaps you re-enact the landing in your backyard, or take a trip to Columbus, Ohio, or permanently screw up the life of a Native American. Whatever suits your fancy.

In some years, Columbus Day falls on my birthday (or, I guess, my birthday falls on Columbus Day). When I was small, I tried convincing myself that was on purpose. Not even a young Heather was that gullible, I'm afraid.

In every year, though, Columbus Day falls on Canadian Thanksgiving (or, I guess, Canadian Thanksgiving falls on Columbus Day). While Canadian Thanksgiving has very little to do with pilgrims, it does involve one Martin Frobisher (random explorer alert). There’s also football, though I have no idea what the quality of Canadian football is like. I’m not hopeful. (Sorry, Canada!)

My favorite section of the Wikipedia article on Canadian Thanksgiving:

While the actual Thanksgiving holiday is on a Monday, Canadians might eat their Thanksgiving meal on any day of the three day weekend. Thanksgiving is often celebrated with family, it is also often a time for weekend getaways for couples to observe the autumn leaves, spend one last weekend at the cottage, or participate in various outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and hunting.

Whoa. Let’s examine the ways in which their celebration trumps ours:

- There’s a giant meal, but you can eat it at ANY TIME. I’m not a huge fan of surprises, but I think I could get on board with an ambush that involved turkey and mashed potatoes.

- You have the family stuff, yes. But it’s also perfectly acceptable to find that one person you like best and hang out doing fall things. And who doesn’t love fall things? (Full disclosure: I’m not sure how much hunting I would do, but I’m all about looking at leaves.)

Folks, it may be time for me to move to Canada. Good thing I have the accent down already.**

* Be honest: how many of you automatically filled in the “Columbus sailed the ocean blue”?
** Eh?

October 12, 2008

October 12, 2008

Truth in Advertising

In the midst a weekend of putting together furniture from Ikea, like so*:

And having entirely too much fun with painter's tape, like so:

I managed to spot this travesty of an advertisement:

I'll give you a minute to look past the errant apostrophe.

Okay. You know I'm as die-hard a Diet Coke fan as they come. Diet Coke Plus is even my favorite flavor--I find it smoother (and more Technicolory) than plain old Diet Coke. But not even I would label it as vitamin or supplement.

C'mon, CVS. You can do better than this.

*Can I just mention that as an "a place for everything and everything in its place girl," the current state of my apartment makes me die inside not a little. Bear with me until I can scrounge up a decent-enough living space to photograph for you.

October 10, 2008

October 10, 2008

My Thoughts on The Office

Last night, I found myself without a tv. On a Thursday. A Thursday during the tv season. As you might imagine, I briefly considered killing myself but settled for a small pity party instead.

Anyway, I finally managed to steal an internet connection long enough to watch last night’s episode. Since I don’t have the wherewithal to upload pictures of my notes, you’ll have to settle for the new-school transcription below.

Favorite quote: "It’s a quarter to five and I have started to gather my things."
Favorite quote, runner-up: "I was just hoping middle school was over.”

Favorite character: Holly. She’s competent; thus she obviously has no place at Dunder-Mifflin.
Favorite character, runner-up: Meredith. Not because of the prostitution, of course. Rather, because she apparently has a supply of barbecue sauce IN HER MINIVAN.

Favorite scene: Jim’s hilariously- and purposely-incorrect description of Battlestar Galactica. As much as I was laughing at Jim’s incorporation of Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Star Wars, I was also cringing just a little.
Favorite scene, runner-up: The business romantic lunch. What kind of freakish restaurant WAS that?

5.02 – Business Ethics

“That was Roy.”
“the tall guy”
Love the headbands
“merge this into a relationship”
Misconduct at corporate
“HIREd guy”
Applauding the hookup
Ah, my good friend Time Theft.
Meredith’s bag of cigars
“drop an ethics bomb on you”
Cuckold alert!
“Turns out he’s clean.”
Steak exchange
“It is…unknowable.”
6 years?!
Timed yawns
Pam needs to come back.
“It’s Mike-raculous.” “Reaching.”
Intelligent, funny, attractive—none of which I would use to describe Michael
“bang it out over lunch”
“business romantic”
“the most contemplative of seasons”
Jim, do NOT dis BSG. Just don’t.
Lobstah alert!
Jobs shouldn’t depend on performance?
Chastity belt
Ew, Dwight. Ew ew ew.
“It’s exhausting being this vigilant.”
He threw away good leftovers! Evil man!
Coffee truce?
Holly, we’re ALL just hoping middle school is over.
“You get me.”
“I don’t know. CAN you?”
“during the immunity part of the seminar”
Poor Holly.

October 9, 2008

October 9, 2008

In My Opinion: Appaloosa

While the Western genre isn’t one of my favorites, I certainly prefer it to some (romantic comedy, war, and musical come to mind). Even if you don’t understand or care about what’s going on, you have sweeping vistas and horsemanship to watch.

I went to see Appaloosa based on one online trailer and a blurb in EW. No commercials. No in-theater previews. Just a smidgen of press and the strength of the cast.

Ed Harris (who also directs) is the sheriff of Appaloosa, a small town in the New Mexico territory. Viggo Mortensen is his deputy. Together, they work to rid the town of Scar Jeremy Irons. In the meantime, Renee Zellwegger comes to town. You know she’s fancy because she’s neither a whore nor a squaw. This isn’t me being crass; it’s actually pointed out several times.

While I wasn’t crazy about the plot itself, Harris and Mortensen sure made for convincing lawmen. All Renee Zellwegger really needed to do was look pretty, and she did an admirable job there. She also fake-played the piano very well, though I realize that sort of thing is only appreciated by musicians like myself. (During one scene, I was concentrating more in the Hanon warm-up exercises she was playing in the background than on the main dialogue. Hello, priorities.)

Appaloosa is another semi-obscure film, so you may have trouble finding it. If you like any of the cast members, Westerns, horses, or guns, you’ll probably find something to like.

If not, save your money for James Bond. There’s no way you can’t find something to love THERE.

October 8, 2008

October 8, 2008

Past Is Prologue

Imagine, if you will, a bespectacled brunette with a funny accent preparing to descend on Washington, D.C. from a cold, distant land.

But enough about Sarah Palin.

Yes, everyone, the day of my move has finally arrived. If you’re reading this in the morning, I am in the air. If it’s the afternoon or evening, I am actually inside the beltway.

It’s a little hard to believe that the elements of the Master Plan are finally falling into place. They say that luck is preparation meeting opportunity. While my anal retentive tendencies meant the former was never really in doubt, I’m quite pleased to have been afforded some of the latter, as well.

Now is when it all begins. Stay tuned.

(Um, also, I’m 25 today. Woo.)

October 7, 2008

October 7, 2008

Acceptable Birthday Cakes: A Threeve

For those of you who STILL haven't gotten me anything, never fear. Food is always an acceptable gift and (as far as I know) I do not yet have a birthday cake.

Any of these would work:

You know how I love Monet.

Van Gogh: also good.

Pearls Before Swine is probably my favorite comic strip.

I like this one because it is both pink AND Hello Kitty-related.

Whose clues?

And while this puts me over the "threeve" limitation, I'd like to give you a peek at my wedding cake. It's a bit more complicated, so start planning now:

Nothing says "Long and happy union" like a plane crash.

October 6, 2008

October 6, 2008

Ya Burnt*

Though I’m probably not the only person to get this Facebook ad, I can’t help but feel a little awkward.

Okay, a couple of things:

1. Is this really the best way to present this concept? “Hey, you’re listed as single…why don’t you create a virtual boyfriend?”

2. I find the phrase “Start your virtual relationship” incredibly troubling. I assume this is like a chatbot, right? Please tell me women aren’t becoming attached to these robots. I believe that’s what’s going to usher in the Matrix.

3. Does everyone get this same picture? If not, why does my Mr. Right have alarming sideburns from and no shirt? Is he homeless? From 1971? BOTH?!

I’m just going to continue “looking for Mr. Right” and pretend this never happened. Yeah.

* Obscure 30 Rock reference.

October 3, 2008

October 2, 2008

October 2, 2008

Pan Left

I was looking through Craigslist ads the other day for a bookshelf and came upon a troubling picture:

My first impression is that the bookcase looks to be in great shape. The Ikea Billy model, black-brown, half-wide. I also really like that wall color: a sort of dark grey ecru. The white trim really makes it pop.

My second impression, though, is that someone needs to clean out that closet. For the love of all that is good and holy, come ON.

If only that were the most disturbing furniture picture I’d seen on Craigslist.

October 1, 2008

October 1, 2008

We’re All Mad Here

News broke recently that Johnny Depp has been tapped to play the Mad Hatter in an upcoming live-action adaptation of Alice in Wonderland by Tim Burton.

I’m hopeful. I mean, I’m a big Alice in Wonderland fan. Some young girls want to be Cinderella. Belle. Snow White. I wanted those little cakes that said “Eat me.” Do you remember how the March sisters played Pilgrim’s Progress while tromping all around their house? I did the same thing but pretended it was Wonderland.

I should actually start doing that again. It was great fun.


I’ve of course read the books. I own entirely too many versions. I’ve also seen a lot of film adaptations. While the Disney one is my favorite, the made-for-tv one starring Tina Majorino is a close (if obscure) second.

The one area in which I’ve managed to rein in my Alice-philia is memorabilia. I own no dolls, nor clothes, nor furniture.

Which isn’t to say that this Craigslist item didn’t sorely tempt me:


Quirky, garish, slightly disturbing…I think Lewis Carroll would have approved.