Tuesday, January 31, 2006

It's February 1st! Which means it was two years ago today that my niece was born. I'd point you to her blog link at right, but it hasn't been updated in a very long time. I ordered the kid a set of bongos, because she's got the groove, baby, she's got the motion.* These bongos, which the website says are not a toy but a "real beginner's instrument," should hold up better than the children's bongos I got her for Christmas, which broke on the very first toddler hit.

*Speaking of 80s songs: For the past few weeks, during my morning shower, I have been getting the song "Careless Whispers" stuck in my head. I'm not cheating on anyone, nor is anyone I know (to my knowledge, at least), and I'm not dancing or thinking about dancing, guilty feet or no. It's kind of been driving me crazy, because it's not a good song (seriously, think about it without the kitsch factor. Bad song.) and once it's in my head, it takes a while to get out. Like I'll be walking to work and notice I've started whistling parts of it. This morning I think I might have discovered where "Careless Whispers" has been coming from: the ventilation fan, which has a high-pitched drone that may be the exact note George Michaels hits when he sings, "nooooooow! that you're gooone..". Since I rent, I can't do anything about the fan, but I may be able to do something about the song: I just need to find a less-objectionable song that has that same note as "nooooooow!" in it, and try to steer my brain towards that new song. The trouble is that if I had such a song already imprinted onto my head, it would have popped up already. Damn you, brain, and your perfect memory for top-40 80s pop hits!

Monday, January 30, 2006

Thank you everyone for your offers of sledding companionship - especially sledding-pal Max, who emailed me an hour after I had posted, assuring me that sledding fun could happen with baby and wife (who is also a friend, I don't want to make it sound like she's just some appendage of Max's) with us taking turns holding baby at the top or something. So that's something to look forward to, once it stops raining and starts snowing again. Because it will start snowing again, don't be fooled.

Just now a guy walked out of the law office across the alleyway, grabbed a handful of snow from the sidewalk, looked around sneakily, and walked back inside. I suspect some semi-legal hijinks are about to happen!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Yesterday I saw something I hadn't seen for many years: A destroyed cassette tape, all unspooled and tangled in the weeds by the side of the road. It reminded me of walking by busy, dirty, sidewalk-less roads in New Jersey in the summer.

I have a problem. I want to go sledding, but I only have one sled. My semi-regular sledding partner, Max, has a baby now, a baby too young to safely hold onto while hurtling uncontrolled down a steep snowy hill. And it's hard to invite people to go sledding when it's BYOS. And when you're not, you know, 8 years old. What's a perpetually-adolescent, childless woman-child to do?

Monday, January 23, 2006

Improv Everywhere's No Pants event yesterday ended up with the NYPD stopping the subway train and detaining six members of the pantsless — but it sounds like everyone had a great time anyway. The overzealous police action spurred people to chant "No pants is not a crime!" and, on the way home, sing "99 Pairs of Pants on the Train" (one person commented, "by the mid-80s, I knew we were going all the way"). Read more here.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Aw shizzle (is that old enough to be retro-cool yet?), Kelsey tagged me. Here goes:

Four jobs I've had in my life:
Dunkin Donuts croissanwich/coffee maker/server
banquet server, Somerset New Jersey Marriott
NJ PIRG door-to-door canvasser
magazine editor (just passed my 10-year anniversary. Weird!)

Four movies I could watch over and over:
Lawrence of Arabia
Star Wars
Lost in America
The Jerk

Four places I have lived:
Somerset, NJ
Gramercy Park, New York City, NY
Amherst, Easthampton, and Northampton, MA (really, this should count as one, though there've been multiple addresses.)

Four TV shows I love to watch:
('currently on the air' edition)
Arrested Development
Project Runway
any and all Law and Orders

Four places I have been on vacation:
I have been very vacation-deprived so far in my life.
London, England
Lake George, NY
Orlando, FL (when I was 11)
All over the U.S. (month-long roadtrip seven years ago)

Four websites I visit daily:
Curbed (got hooked when I was living in NYC, and now I can't stop.)
Gawker (just because)
boingboing (duh)
overcompensating (one of the characters is an ex of mine)

Four of my favorite foods:
sushi, all sorts
chocolate-chip cookies with walnuts
really good, warm bread and butter

Four places I would rather be right now:
on vacation in Greece
on vacation in Iceland
on vacation in the Galapagos Islands
Here, but without a headache, with my boyfriend, and with better food treats

Four bloggers I am tagging:
(do they all have to have comments? I hope not...)
my blog-friend Jennifer M.
Tits McGee! (also see her awesome high school diary)
Tallulah, because she turns two soon and should be able to type. That's right, kid - you're on notice.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Improv Everywhere is doing their annual pants-free subway ride this weekend, and if I was in NY, I would definitely participate. Details are at the link; tales of former No-Pants rides are here and here and here. I'm not sure they've ever been so public in their call for participants, so you might end up with a subway car full of nothing but pants-shedding Improv-ers. Which might actually be okay, too.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Alright, fine, whatever. I got just one comment below, even after I asked you all to chime in. It's delurking week, too, did you know that? Not that it matters, to you, and why should it, I guess... No, really, don't worry about it.

(Passive aggression was my minor in college.)

So there's some townie stuff I must address, so if you don't live near me, you might want to skip this post. First: The former Cafe Casablanca, now Fire Cuisine, is open until 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. This brings the number of late-night eateries in my town back up to one (Jake's gave up at least a year ago). So it's pretty exciting.

Spoleto's has a window display hawking the various Claudio restaurants as perfect Valentine's dinner locations. And one of the signs uses "your" for "you're." This is a freakin' college town, people! You've got to bring your A-game here. I happen to know that a friend's ex-girlfriend works there, and she is (according to him) a freakin' genius, so she's failing in her moral duty as a smartie-pants grad student by not correcting this sign immediately.

The old, dirty, icy snow has been melting rapidly, which is nice, except that it's exposing a ton of wet garbage, which is not. It must have snowed like the day after New Year's because I'm seeing a lot of silvery streamers and bits of confetti. And, as usual, lots and lots and lots of cigarette butts.

Yet another Asian restaurant is about to open, called Zen. It's been about-to-open for weeks now, though. Like Tofu, this one may be another slow train wreck about to happen. Or it could be a Silk Road Cafe. Who can say?

The Iron Horse's dinner menu spells avocado "avacado." Plus they say their chicken salad is "straight from New York's famous 2nd Ave Deli." So they've got some corrections to make.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

I have a problem. If my significant other doesn't like something that I really like to do, I then feel compelled to do it. For example: Imitating the noise that his radar detector makes every time he starts his car. Or: blowing raspberries (a.k.a. zerberts) on him. I am told "stop, for I actually kind of hate that" and the switch in my mind is thrown to "you must continue doing this behavior - in fact, step it up!" This has caused some tension in my relationships, to say the least. It's especially hard being with someone who has definite pet peeves. But they wouldn't be called pet peeves if you weren't supposed to pet them, right? (Sorry, I think I channeled Jean Teasdale for a moment there.) Seriously, it's a compulsion, one that I actually have to work at to control. I stopped doing the car noise thing, and the zerbert edict was just laid down a few days ago, but I think I'm making progress in controlling myself. It's just so hard to go from hanging out with my niece, who loves getting them, and then back to the other cute and affectionate person in my life, who hates them. Talk about receiving mixed messages.

Am I the only one with this problem? (Not the zerbert thing in particular, although if you have that exact same problem, then we should probably hang out.) Comments, please.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Chalk on the side of the Sweeties building this morning read:

are ye matey
I want your booty
free coffee (with an arrow pointing to a ledge with a Dunkin Donuts coffee cup on it)

At work we are finally upgrading to the newest OS, which means lots of problems but ultimately some goodness. We have a training session tomorrow that's scheduled during lunch (12:30-2:30), but we were told that not only was lunch not being provided but we shouldn't bring any lunch in to eat during it. The whole thing reminds me of having my "lunch" time being assigned at random every year in elementary school and how much that sucked ass. Back then I had the metabolism of a rabbit and would end up nearly fainting from hunger around 1:00 since my lunch had been at 10:45 or whatever. My god, public school SUCKS. I know it's a cliche, but it's true: The whole 12-year process exists in order to produce children ready-made for the unnatural-ness of corporate life.

Anyway. On Saturday I drove to Laconia to visit my 88-year-old grandmother. It was a three hour drive, and it flew by due to the five Ricky Gervais Show podcasts I had downloaded. There were a few times I was laughing so hard while I was driving that I feared for my safety. I am serious. He's doing a series of 12. I got them via itunes, which might be the easiest way to get them (and not through the link above).

My grandmother is fine. She was very pleased to see me and the rest of the family, and proud to show us off at the "supper" at her nursing home dining room. The food was, well, made for 88-year-olds, which is strikingly similar to airplane food (back when there was such a thing as airplane food...). My niece is in a magical developmental stage where she's funny and cheerful and always exploring and doing odd things with serious determination like rearranging the boxes of pasta in the pantry. During breakfast I drew her a picture on her mini magna-doodle, and she named it correctly as a house and a tree. Then my mom noticed that my tree didn't have a Trauma Hole* (which is good, since it means I don't have hidden trauma) but my house didn't have a chimney (which is bad, since it means I have no release for my anger). I told her I was trying to make the house look like a brownstone, where my niece lives and which has no chimney, but then I was told by my brother-in-law that their building does have a chimney, so I threw my coffee cup against the wall and told them to go fuck themselves.

*The trauma hole is the hole that I'd wager 99% of children put in the trunk of their trees, since that's how kids learn how to draw them; maybe there have been a bunch of traumatized adults teaching generations of kids how to draw, I don't know. I remember often drawing little squirrels peeking out of my tree-holes, and apparently that's a sign I am managing my trauma, or that someone is protecting me, or something. I just thought it looked cute, but clearly I'm not a trained professional.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Is it just me, or does everyone seem kind of down lately? The holidays are over (well, they will be for me after this weekend) so hopefully people will start feeling better soon. Either now or later when spring comes and change is in the air.

I have been doing things in my spare time, things like playing at one of the free tables at an online poker site, and knitting a scarf, and watching TV, and sometimes all three of those things at once. It's all very sofa-oriented. I bought myself a popover pan because I love popovers and have been making do with a ridiculously shallow old aluminum muffin tin. And I also did a fair amount of work on a quilt I started last spring. So yay for me, there.

There's not much to say, really. Things will pick up eventually. This weekend should provide some kind of fodder...