August 31, 2009

August 31, 2009

Getting Old is Hard to Watch

My generation is getting old.

I know this not because we’re starting to reproduce. Nor because we can unironically use the phrase “kids these days.”

No, my friend. I know this because the books of our youth are being turned into films. Films often depending on CGI wizardry to pull our heartstrings. (And our wallets.)

The Polar Express was ahead of the game. Sure, I read that book (or had it read to me) every Yuletide. And every Yuletide, the ringing of that darn bell got me. Every. Yuletide. But the movie itself seemed to fall a little flat,* perhaps because all the Peter Jacksons in the world can’t seem to create a realistic animated person.

Where the Wild Things Are is garnering quite a bit of press, including a mention on supercilious zeitgeist-tapping blog Stuff White People Like. Though the book itself wasn’t one of my favorites, I’m hopeful for the film because the child is played by (brace yourself) AN ACTUAL CHILD.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, though, is throwing me all off my judge-before-or-even-without-seeing-the-movie game. It’s all animated, true. Even the people. But since I’m already under a certain suspension of disbelief going in**, I don’t mind that so much.

But Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs fascinated me as a child. This should surprise no one. I wanted to move to Chewandswallow. Why, you ask? Let’s consult Wikipedia:

The book describes the town of Chewandswallow, where the weather comes three times a day, at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and is always food and beverages. The rain is juice and soup, the snow is mashed potatoes, and the wind brings hamburgers. However, floods and storms of food come – creating dilemmas such as the school getting smothered beneath a giant pancake (forcing it to close), a tomato sauce tornado, and giant meatballs crushing the town. The townsfolk then build sailboats out of huge pieces of bread. They sail to a new place and grow accustomed to buying food in stores.

No school today? Giant pancake? Good thing my motto is Usquequaque Veho Furca.***



While the trailers make it clear a few story elements have been changed (and that the entire thing is Very Colorful), I can’t miss a film that’s straight-up imaginative food porn. The six-year-old me wouldn’t have had it any other way.

* Judging solely on the trailer, since I didn’t actually see the film. If you’re looking for judgment based on careful research, please leave now.
** Unless a land of food-related weather actually exists, in which case, SWING LOW SWEET CHARIOT COMING FORTH TO CARRY ME HOME.
*** Always carry a fork.

August 28, 2009

August 27, 2009

August 27, 2009

Dear Dairy

There are certain pairings you just don’t get between. A bear and its cub. An engaged woman and a Filene’s sale. Me and my regularly-scheduled programming.

Also, apparently, a Wisconsin girl and milk.

As a Wisconsin girl and an avid fan of all dairy products*, I can’t blame her. I in no way condone fatal neck stabbing (choosing to avoid stabbage as much as possible), but I could certainly understand a smack, mild arm punch, or verbal assault of some kind. I mean, my fridge currently contains four types of cheese**. Let’s not even start on the 40+ cups of yogurt in there.

If you’ve ever seen a “Happy cows come from California” ad, I hope you booed. Loudly. As I do, no matter where I am. I think we all know those cows are just doped up on sunshine, liberalism, and weed. Please.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to find some bread for my butter.

* Understatement of the year.
** Cottage, string, cream, and sliced, HA.

August 26, 2009

August 26, 2009

Metrobus, you have GOT to be kidding me.

A few months ago, Metrobus implemented the shiny NextBus system, whereby riders could use the interwebs and/or phones to find out when the next bus (ba-DUM-bum) was scheduled to arrive. I find it quite handy.

Except when it's wrong. Like when a driver forgets to turn on the GPS, giving you something like this:

It's rush hour. Buses on this route are supposed to run every 20 minutes.

Yeah, NO.

WTF Product of the Day, Volume 5

(In which I devolve from intelligent blogger to enthusiastic weirdo)

One of my favorite mall stores is Brookstone. While my love for the chain isn’t quite an Ikea-level commitment, what Brookstone and I have is certainly more than a fling. In case you’re unaware, Brookstone is the sort of like The Sharper Image, but not bankrupt. It sells gadgets and wizardry designed to make life easier and more comfortable.

Of course, the store offers a fair share of WTF products, as well. Not all bad. For example, I still hope to someday get this EcoSphere. Why, you ask? Okay:

1) Shrimp involvement.

2) It’s a pet that you don’t have to take care of. (Remember sea monkeys? I could never get those to work. Despite the fact that you only had to add water. One step, people. ONE FREAKIN’ STEP. Bubkes.)

3) Shrimp involvement.

So, yeah, awesomeness abounding.

Brookstone has done it again, though, with this:


It’s a FROG-O-SPHERE. I saw this recently at the Pentagon City Brookstone and almost SHRIEKED in DELIGHT. Granted, it’s a lot more labor-intensive than I’d like. Change the water twice a year? Feed them TWICE A WEEK?If I wanted that sort of responsibility, I’d have a kid.

But there are li’l frogs, hop-hop-hoppin’ around in there!

AND a snail.

Zomg. So adorable.

August 25, 2009

August 25, 2009

State Fair 2009, Part 2: What I Ate

You know the drill. Let’s get right to it.

Deep-fried PB&J on a stick. The heat made the filling gooey, melty, and awesome. Definitely a winner.

Chocolate-covered bacon. I’m not a huge fan of bacon (seriously), but anything covered in chocolate is good. Honestly, you could have removed the bacon and I don’t think it would’ve made much difference.

I didn’t eat any of these, but I found it amusing that “cheese” now appears to be a Wisconsin meat. We’re big fans o’ the dairy, obviously.

Duck fajita, buffalo burger, roasted corn, and plate of cheese curds/cheese sticks/French fries. I split it all with my dad. Let’s pretend that makes it socially-acceptable.

(Wait. Since when have I cared about social acceptability?)

Cranberry cookie. Not a huge fan of the cranberry in general, but I’ll be darned if it’s not better than raisins in a cookie.

Cranberry juice. Hey, I needed something to wash down the cookie. And I had a coupon.

Also, check out that girl. I wanted to be like, “Hey, 15 years ago, I was you.”

I’ll take the entire tray, thank you.

I didn’t. BUT I WANTED TO.

I learned last year that the deep-fried Snickers is better than the deep-fried Milky Way. Nougat doesn’t melt well. Caramel does. Oh, does it ever.

So yeah. I ate approximately 5000 calories. And had indigestion for the next three days.

Totally worth it.

August 24, 2009

August 24, 2009

State Fair 2009, Part 1: What I Did

State Fair 2008 was twinged with sadness, as I expected it to be my last one. When the end of summer rolled around this year, though, I found myself inexplicably drawn to fair park gates. Like a moth to a funnel cake, really.

“Welcome back, Heather.” Let’s pretend they actually said that, in a Hogwarts-esque way. Thanks.

The Exposition Center is always my first stop. Partly because I’m fascinated by the hundreds of vendors shilling wonder mops. Partly because if you don’t get there before 10 a.m., maneuvering around wheelchairs, strollers, and slow walkers is impossible.

I myself got a lovely coaster at The Packerman. It’s foam cheese. In the shape of Wisconsin. CLASSY.

I find that there are two types of fair vendors. The ones who try to convince you with niceness, and the ones who try to convince you with meanness. Sham Wow guy was the latter. I don’t need to be Sham Wowed, man. LEAVE ME ALONE.

Another “It’s good to be home” vendor: the UW store. The rest of the states keep their cans cool. We in Wisconsin worry about the bottles, too. We just drink that much.

I like to think that those restrooms are conveniently placed, what with the giant bouncy trampolines and all. I imagine that kid was thinking long and hard about his life choices right then.

You know I had to play me some bingo. Though I didn’t win, I did get one number away several times. I get so excited when that happens, it’s not even funny. I am secretly 85 years old, hi.

Checking out the prize winning foods is another big part of the Fair. It’s not just animals that compete. Though I like to think that maybe these hams were once entered as pigs. Just sayin’.

Riding the Skyglider gives me a good overview of the fair. Where else would you see Hot Wisconsin Cheese and the world’s largest piggy bank in such close proximity?

Why L’Oreal was selling stuff in a giant tent at the freaking State Fair, I’ll never know.

At this point, let’s begin the gratuitous animal portion of this blog entry.

Black angus. [/obvious]

Billy goats gruff.

Three not-so-little pigs.

Who tries to pet a horse?

Bunnicula.

Second-coolest duck ever (after Daffy).

I once again saw Timber Tina’s World Champion Lumberjills. I remain convinced that any one of them could take me. Single-handedly.

Finish it up with a walk past (but not into) the Midway, and it’s time to say goodbye to another State Fair. See you in 2010.

August 21, 2009

August 20, 2009

August 20, 2009

Maybe it has to do with all my gum chewing?

How are you people keeping your earbuds from falling out? What sort of deal have you made with the devil on this?

Maybe it’s me. No, check that. I’m sure it’s me, and more specifically, my ears.

Because every day I see a plethora of people riding the bus, entering the Metro, or walking down the street with ear buds. There are people who JOG with these things.

Me? I can’t even get them to stay in while I am SEATED. I’ll pop one in, blink, and feel it fall into my lap.

I’ve already thrown in the towel regarding certain types of clothing (e.g. anything strapless) and shoes (e.g. anything stiletto) because I’m just not built that way. But it’s a hard realization when you discover that you seem to have misshapen ear canals.

Ah, the cruelty of fate.

August 19, 2009

August 19, 2009

Professor Plum was Eating a Cream Puff at the Time

Went to the State Fair on Saturday. Had a blast, as I knew I would. Full recap coming next week.

But first.

This.

Okay, so.

Yes.

Okay.

Okay, let me say that those of you who don’t believe me when I say how big a deal the State Fair is are hopefully believers now. People will brave PIPE BEATINGS for this thing.

(Too soon?)

The Wisconsin State Fair is held in West Allis, Wisconsin. I don’t know about your major metropolitan area, but Milwaukee has good suburbs and bad suburbs. West Allis falls in the low-middle range of that spectrum. It’s no Fox Point, but it’s not Cudahy, either.

(The preceding paragraph will make sense to approximately two of you. Whatever.)

So while you wouldn’t encounter the sort of shooty stabbage you’d find in certain areas of Milwaukee, you still have to watch your back in West Allis. Tom Barrett knows this, of course. It’s why he’s mayor of Milwaukee and not mayor of West Allis. Unfortunately for him, though, he was in the wrong place at the wrong time last Saturday. Add that to his admirable attempt to be a good Samaritan and you have a Clue-esque attack. (Am I the only one who saw “Mayor attacked with pipe” headlines and added “in the Conservatory, by Colonel Mustard”?) (I am? Oh.)

To be fair (no pun intended, shutup), I have not once been assaulted at the State Fair. And I’ve been going for almost (WOW I’m old) two decades. Not even while carrying valuable bingo door prizes. And moving sluggishly after having consumed HALF MY WEIGHT IN CHEESE.

Don’t let this turn you off to the State Fair. Just think twice about moving to West Allis.

August 18, 2009

August 18, 2009

Bringing Home Baby

The new laptop arrived last week. Like any good parent of the modern age, I documented its arrival with the intention of blogging All About It.

It came in this badass cardboard briefcase. I wanna carry this thing to work. Granted, it would just be holding my book and my lunch. But no one else needs to know that.

Dell knows my baby needs protection from bumpy delivery trucks and rough FedEx men. This Styrofoam cradle isn’t quite as fun as packing peanuts, but it’s certainly more slimming.

Sweet merciful crap, it’s BEAUTIFUL.

SO MUCH YES. SO SHINY.

Before using it, I needed to charge the thing up. After plugging the adaptor into the wall, I discovered that the “power on” indicator light was blue. Bright blue. Bright, BRIGHT BLUE.

CLOSE THE POD BAY DOORS, HAL. I mean, seriously.

Dude, I got a Dell. Judge away, Mac people.

The meeting of old baby and new baby. I didn’t want the old laptop (left) to feel left out by its sexier, shinier sibling. Little does it know that it will totally be left out by its sexier, shinier sibling.

(Yes, I was watching Conan at the time. I can’t not multitask.)

I haven’t had much time to actually start mucking around with the new laptop, so it spends most of its day sleeping. I’ll be darned if it doesn’t look good sitting on my desk, though.

August 17, 2009

August 17, 2009

Couches: The New Fitness Equipment

As a Time subscriber (gratis, thanks to my Mom’s Delta miles), I was rather chagrined to see last week’s cover:

Oh hell no.

I mean, sure, I got a chuckle out of the dotted line going from the woman’s eyes to the cupcake. Whenever TheBoy and I pass a cupcakery (and this darn town is full of them), he has to physically and verbally restrain me from going in. Sometimes I elude him long enough to slip in the door and get an eyeful. Like a cartoon character led by its nose, really.

We’ve all heard the “eat less, move more” mantra for losing weight. I found that it was really more of an “eat a teeny bit, move more, and get used to being hungry all the time” thing. It works, but you’re left with an unhealthy obsession with food and an inability to ignore calorie counts. I don’t understand trigonometry, but I can diagnose a fast food meal +/- 100 calories.*

One of my favorite parts of the article is the chart that shows how much of different activities you’d have to do to burn off a 360-calorie muffin. See, what people don’t seem to understand is that food has a lot of calories, and that burning calories takes a LOT of work. Using the stairs from your office to the Starbucks in the lobby isn’t going to burn off that caramel macchiato.

So, yeah, don’t tell me that exercising is bad. Because the desperate hope that burning 200 calories every day on the treadmill will help me out has been the light at the end of my diet tunnel.

Well, that and lots of water.

And food porn on Flickr.

* None of this sentence is true. It’s called HYPERBOLE. Thanks.

August 13, 2009

August 13, 2009

How Fair Art Thou

You’ll be amused to learn that tomorrow I leave the hustle and bustle of D.C. in order to attend the Wisconsin State Fair.

That’s right. I am flying home for the weekend solely to attend an event based in agriculture. In my defense, there will be a great deal to see. And eat. Including a new offering this year: chocolate-covered bacon.

On the one hand, this sort of item is exactly why the world hates us. It may also be part of the reason for that whole morbid obesity epidemic.

On the other hand, this sort of item is too fascinating to pass up. I doubt it will taste very good; I’m not a huge fan of bacon in general.

But I’m going to enjoy telling my co-workers next week that I flew two hours for bacon. They know me well enough by now not to be surprised. I’ll be sure to document the experience. Like the Jane Goodall of pork products. Bacon of the mist.

August 12, 2009

August 12, 2009

Free Parking

As we head into the second half of the week, you may be looking ahead to that glorious two (or more) day stretch known as “the weekend.” While you could certainly spend your time shopping stimulating the economy, going to the movies, or preparing for Sunday’s Mad Men premiere, might I suggest rounding up a loved one or two and visiting a national park?

Though I’ve been to only a handful of them myself, the national parks are one of America’s greatest innovations. Like baseball. And jazz. They’re even going to be the subject of an upcoming Ken Burns documentary. Like baseball. And jazz.

I’m sorry to say that this weekend’s free parks seem to be concentrated in the East and Southwest (with not a single one in Wisconsin); though many of the NPS venues NEVER charge admission. As my penchants for libraries and illegal downloads attest, there’s little I love more than free entertainment.

If I can offer one word of advice, though: if you go to Yosemite, do not—UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES—stay in these canvas tent cabins. “Rustic charm,” you say? No power + no heat + no bathroom = [adult language redacted]. I’m all for experiencing the great outdoors; I just like to have a shower before I do so.

August 11, 2009

August 11, 2009

My Friends Are Creative, Too

Since I have very few social causes, children, or strong beliefs to shout about, I feel somewhat responsible to mention the accomplishments of my friends. Rest assured that should you ever win an Olympic medal, have writing published, or meet a celebrity (C-list or above), I will blog about it.

In that vein, then, allow me to present my friend Michael’s latest project. Enjoy.



I’ve known the man since my high school days. This may very well be his greatest accomplishment. In addition to being a showcase for his ginormous t-shirt and hat collection.

August 10, 2009

August 10, 2009

To the Woman Who Vacuums My Office

Dear Woman Who Vacuums My Office,

Since you see hundreds of [federal agency redacted] employees every day, allow me to introduce myself. I’m Heather, and I work in [room number redacted]. I see you almost every day during one of my 68 trips to go to the bathroom and fill up my water bottles. Though I am not one of the people who attempts to converse with you in Spanish, I go for at least a hearty “good morning” and a smile. Unless I’m on the way TO the bathroom, in which case a grim nod might be all I can manage. It’s not my fault! My bladder is the size of a pea!

Do those people who venture beyond “buenos dias” annoy you, by the way? Considering their best qualifications are probably a couple of high school Spanish classes and Taco Bell commercials, I’m guessing their skills are somewhere on the godawful end of the language spectrum. You do a very good job of humoring them; I would probably laugh scornfully and continue vacuuming.

I’m writing mostly to thank you for asking me whether I’d like my office vacuumed every Friday. It’s not just that you ask, per se. It’s that you call me “mamacita” when you do it. You see, Wiktionary tells me that “mamacita” means “sexually attractive woman.” I realize that you aren’t hitting on me with this, but I appreciate the sentiment all the same. I have been called many things, Woman Who Vacuums My Office, but I believe you may be the first person to have ever called me a mamacita.

For that, I thank you.

Cheers,
Heather

August 7, 2009

August 7, 2009

Writer's Almanac Highlight of the Day

On this day in 1934, the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the novel Ulysses, by James Joyce. In 1920, a literary magazine called The Little Review published an episode of Ulysses in which Leopold Bloom, the hero, masturbates while getting a glimpse of a young woman's undergarment, as fireworks go off over a beach. It was not difficult for a person to find real pornography in 1920, but Ulysses stood out to officials for its highbrow aura and the publicity it attracted as the newest, most advanced thing in literature. The New York Society for the Suppression of Vice brought The Little Review to trial under the state's obscenity law. The episode was ruled obscene, and Ulysses was banned in the United States.

The banned book was a hot item on the black market, and Joyce knew he was losing a lot of money to pirate publishers. He wanted an American readership and the royalties that came with it, so his lawyers worked with the executives at Random House to bait the U.S. government into going to trial. In 1933, Random House decided to import a single version of the French edition of Ulysses, and the company had people wait at the New York docks for the book's arrival. It was a hot day and the U.S. Customs inspector didn't want to be bothered with another inspection, but the Random House people made sure that one book was seized.

A second trial, "United States v. One Book Called Ulysses," was held over the fate of that single copy of Ulysses. Judge John Woolsey ruled that the book had no "dirt for dirt's sake" and was not, in fact, pornographic. His ruling changed the standards for literary obscenity. He disregarded the traditional standard for obscenity — whether the work would "deprave and corrupt" a vulnerable young reader — and said that the proper test is whether it would "lead to sexually impure and lustful thoughts" in the average adult. Also, no longer could a single line make a whole book obscene. Woolsey pointed out that the book was so difficult to understand, people would be unlikely to read it for titillation. The Court of Appeals agreed and called Ulysses "a sincere portrayal" and "executed with real art." Ulysses was safe to sell in the United States.

In his opinion for the case, Judge Woolsey wrote: "In respect of the recurrent emergence of the theme of sex in the minds of his characters, it must always be remembered that his locale was Celtic and his season Spring."

Folks, I've read this book. Anyone who reads Ulysses for sexual gratification needs counseling and a Showtime subscription, stat.

August 6, 2009

August 6, 2009

Summer Watching, Had Me a Blast

Since my regular television programs seem to take a break every summer (what’s THAT about?), I usually supplement my summer shows (The Tudors, Californication, Mad Men, etc.) with an old favorite. Last summer, I re-watched The West Wing. What with the big move to D.C. imminent, it seemed appropriate. At any rate, it’s a good way to while away my time without exposure to reality drivel or the great outdoors.

This summer, I’ve been enjoying Sports Night (another Sorkin creation) and Will & Grace. Both sitcoms are brilliant in their own ways, and both have aspects that make me wish I lived in their universes.

Sports Night is a workplace comedy set about a Sportscenter-esque show called Sports Night. Josh Charles and Peter Krause star as Dan and Casey, the young guns who anchor the show. Felicity Huffman (in pre-pre-pre-Housewives days) is their producer, Dana. Several other Sorkin favorites fill other supporting roles.

And please note, this is a true Sorkin creation. It’s an early work, so he hadn’t quite developed some of his signature moves. Not too many walk-and-talks here. But what Sorkin had already nailed was the idealized workplace. I’m not sure about you, but every episode of The West Wing made me want to move to Washington. (So I did, but that’s another issue.) The bosses care about their workers as if they were related, everyone gets along (or doesn’t get along, but in a humorous way), and decisions Of Great Import are made everyday.

Of course, I won’t even get started on the awesome verbal repartee. I have not yet found a group of conversational sparring partners the like of these characters, but I’m working on it.

Will & Grace is probably more familiar, if only because it ran a lot longer than Sports Night (7 seasons vs. 2) and won a lot more acclaim. Frankly, I suspect this is because it’s a lot more accessible to the average viewer. Sports Night is fast and smart. While I love W&G, it puts the cookies on a lower shelf, so to speak.

I’m sure you’re familiar with the concept of the show, so let me speak to the part of it that I like: the relationships. Oh to have a Will!* A friend with no ulterior motives, who knows you like the proverbial back of his hand. W&G didn’t always get along, but they knew they’d still be friends no matter what.

Can I talk for a minute about Jack and Karen? Was there ever a pair of supporting roles like this pair? I don’t think I’m the only one who watched the show just as much for this duo and for the titular one. Together, the foursome is unbeatable.

One of my favorite first-season scenes:



* Technically, I do have a Will in my good friend Michael. But seeing as he is the (straight) Will to my (gentile) Grace, it doesn't really count for the purposes of this exercise.

August 5, 2009

August 5, 2009

To D.C.’s Federal Interns

Dear Federal Interns,

Though it seems like just a short time ago that you arrived here, I’m afraid the time has come for you to leave the National Capital Region. Certainly bittersweet news for everyone, as your presence at our agencies and offices has reminded those of us permanently stationed here that people do, in fact, live outside the beltway. I mean, some of you have an actual YARD back home. What’s that like?

Though I didn’t have much personal contact with any of you (other than the guy who occasionally rode the 13A Metrobus while carrying nothing but a VitaminWater), I enjoyed seeing you around federal-agency-that-shall-not-be-named. You made me happy to realize that people born after 1980 are, indeed, interested in working for government.

Then you made me ill to realize that people born after 1990 are, indeed, OLD ENOUGH TO BE WORKING.

I won’t use this letter to try to convince you to join the federal service, though it’s one of the few issues I feel very strongly about. I’ll leave that to the director of OPM; he seems to know what’s what.

And while your internship may not have been all you expected (e.g. you were not able to meet the president, shoot a gun, or roller skate in the Capitol), here’s hoping you at least got to assist a wayward tourist or two. Believe me, it comes with the territory.

Before you go, a couple of short requests:

One, please spread the word about Metro escalators. Actually, pretend the “stand right, walk left” rule applies to all escalators, everywhere. Together, I think you and I can start a system.

Two, please inform your friends and family that there is no such thing as THE Smithsonian. It’s like fourteen buildings, people. Not one. Fourteen. And a zoo.

See you next year,
Heather

August 4, 2009

August 4, 2009

Don’t Touble Yourself

So I took the plunge yesterday and bought a shiny new laptop to replace my current older-than-dirt Dell. (“Older-than-dirt” here meaning December 2005). Don’t get me wrong; I love my laptop. I wish we could be together forever. But when clicking on the start button causes the CPU light to stay solid for a good thirty seconds before anything happens, it’s time to move on.

It’s not me, Dell laptop. It’s you.

So, like the fickle woman I am, I traded up for something prettier. Behold! I picked the specs yesterday, slept on it, and made the actual purchase today. Yes, I wanted to sleep on it. God forbid I ever have to buy a house—I imagine I’ll require an entire week in some isolated Tibetan monastery to convince myself to buy.

Anyway, I was touched at the concern Dell.com showed for me during the buying process. You see, they didn’t ask if I was having TROUBLE. They asked if I was having TOUBLE (click to enlarge):

No touble. No touble at all.

Does Apple show that kind* of concern? I think not.

* By which I mean the misspelled kind.

August 3, 2009

August 3, 2009

Would You Rather? Volume 6

Would you rather have your brain and a chimp’s body, or your body and a chimp’s brain?

I can’t take credit for this one; it’s yet another stolen from Extras. But the question still stands.

I’ve never been of the type labeled as “hot girl,” so I can’t say that I have any unusual affinity for my limbs. I must say that I’ve grown rather accustomed to them, though. Plus, I’m not sure I could deal with being any shorter than I already am.

However, having a chimp’s brain would be a definite issue. Understand that I’m not an animal lover, so the whole “They’re just as smart as humans” thing is not going to work on me. You may look at your cat and see adoration. I look at your cat and see it calculating the best opportunity to hack up a furball on me.

But while chimps and I have some similarities (clumsy, love bananas), I don’t think they’re enough to overcome the obstacles I’d face with a primate body. The commute would be even more hellish, and I’m pretty sure federal-agency-that-shall-not-be-named is not monkey-friendly. I mean, it’s barely people-friendly.

So where does that leave me? Picking the lesser of two evils. And unluckily for my co-workers, that means their finance and personnel issues will have to be processed by a primate disguised as a human.

I apologize in advance for the banana smears on the 2012 Congressional Budget Justification.