Friday, March 31, 2006

Another Spring sign: Rich people have taken their convertibles out of the garage and are driving them around town. I've seen two already (both little Jaguars, I think). It's only a matter of time before we see Zeke in his tiny orange car.

A friend just told me a rumor that Smokin' Lil's, the really awesome BBQ place downtown, is closing. I am very unhappy and am currently choosing to be in denial about it. The place is never crowded when I go, even on weekends when there's an hour and a half wait at the neighboring Eastside, so I suppose the writing was on the wall. Lil's is fabulous, though, and I've never gotten a bad meal there. Damn it! If only a few of those Longmeadow/Connecticut people dining at Eastside decided to try Smokin' Lil's instead, this would never have happened.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

It's a lovely day. Jill Carroll was released, the weather is gorgeous and warm, everyone is wearing a skirt (if the person is a gal) or a cool shirt (if a fella), and I "had" to recipe-test apple turnovers at work earlier and they were delicious. People are walking down the street eating ice cream cones. Tulips are coming up. Tonight I am going to have to swap my down comforter for my cotton blanket combo. It's all happening, people!

I think someone should put a Dairy Queen or a Carvel in the space where Coldstone used to be, on Main Street. I know, they're just as bad and corporate as Coldstone, and would hurt Herrell's business somewhat. But I am tired of having to hop in a car or bike a long way (long = a mile) just for some soft-serve. I needs my soft-serve in the summer, people. The other weekend it was chilly and rainy, and I went to the mall with a friend and we got some vanilla soft-serve at the brand-new DQ in there. It was a delight. There's a soft-serve shack by the seafood restaurant next to the bike path, and they do that "87 flavors" thing where they somehow add ribbons of colored/flavored syrup to vanilla. I don't recommend anything but the true chocolate and vanilla. The syrup adds even more sugar to the already-sweet-enough vanilla, so it's kind of too intense.

Last night DG asked me where "Oh snap!" came from, as my brother-in-law says it a lot. I said, "um... black people?" but the answer didn't satisfy him. He wanted to know if it was originally from a particular movie or song or something, but I honestly don't know. I mean, where did "doy!" come from? Or "junk in the trunk"? Or "dude!"? Some grad student must have done this research somewhere, right?

Friday, March 24, 2006

I was home sick yesterday, which meant I watched some very, very bad television. I could have watched something of quality on DVD, but I feel guilty if I actually enjoy myself when I've taken a sick day. So it was Maury, who got help for some 13-year-old hoes, and then Springer, which has become even more cartoony than it used to me a few years ago. Springer now has this pole on the side of the stage, and when an audience member says something particularly mean and funny, they're urged to go hang out on the pole, and stripper-dance with it or something. It seems to be a bit of an honor. My mind's a bit hazy on the pole thing, to tell the truth - I was half-awake by that point.

The only other thing of note that happened yesterday was that I got a work email saying that we were soon to have mandatory Diversity Training sessions. I actually thought it might be an April-Fools' Day joke, but no. Apparently my uber-uber-boss has never seen The Office, or she has seen it, but didn't understand that it was a comedy. I am going to have a very hard time taking this seriously. First of all, my office is 95% white; I live in a very white (though very liberal) area of the country. If we had more applicants of color, we would hire them, but we don't. (A similar problem happened when I was at college, and they were desperately trying to find a minority professor for the art department, but got very few minority applicants. They were so hard up that one of the finalists was a white guy who happened to have an amputated foot.) True, some people here may be unaware of their "white privilege" but I bet they're few and far between. Maybe I'm giving people too much credit, I don't know. But I do think that the kind of ingrained racism people here might have wouldn't show itself in the workplace.

I predict the workshop is going to teach me that having input from a diverse group of people will make the organization stronger and more creative. If it turns out I'm correct, can I get that day of my life back?

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

I know it doesn't feel like spring outside, but I have proof that spring has begun. Go to Trumball Street, near the corner of State Street, and find the dripping tree. There's a huge maple with a broken branch up high, and it's dripping sap onto the grassy median between the sidewalk and the street. I walked past the puddle and thought, that's weird, a puddle and stuff dripping into it, even though there's nothing above but tree. So I turned back and let some of it drip into my hand, tasted it, and hey! Sweet-ish liquid. Nice. Someone should put a bucket out there to catch all the sappy goodness.

Also sweet? Yacht Rock, the current hit show of Channel 101. I love Yacht Rock. I love that it's made by guys who are genuine music nerds (just go to the Channel 101 forums and read the Yacht Rock threads), so while they're making fun of "smooth" music, they also really love it. Because it cannot be denied that "What a Fool Believes" is both cheesy AND an awesome song. If you must know what the show is before viewing it, visit the wiki article. And then go watch some YR. Episode 2 is my favorite but they're all worthwhile.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Things I have been busy doing:

1. Singing. The convention was fantastic. Lots and lots of great singing. My voice gave out eventually. I saw Mr. Tits McGee poking his head in, don't know if Miss Tits was there too. I was one of the coordinators for the event and my task was completed well, with a minimum of problems (though there are always problems). There was a "memorial lesson" on Sunday, and it was led by a couple who had lost a son in the past year. It was very moving and heartbreaking, and after they had read off the list of people in the singing community, as well as their friends and relatives, who had died in the past year, they ended with the name of their son, Mark Seiler. I got chills at the name, as that guy was a part of another obscure "family" of mine, kids who went to Powell House. I had forgotten that I had gotten obituary notices via email by both a Quaker source and a singing source. I never met him, strangely; he was younger than me by just enough that our paths wouldn't have crossed at PoHo. Very sad.

2. Working. Work is very very busy and complicated right now. Not as bad as the fella's, though; he emailed me at 10 this morning to say he was going to sleep, having been up all day and night doing some big technical thing at his job. I could probably remember what exactly he's doing if I worked my brain hard enough, but I'm saving those neurons for work. Worky work-work work.

3. Playing Roller Coaster Tycoon. I have a problem.

4. Feeding Brian's cat, getting my car inspected, going food shopping... Life. You know.

5. Agonizing over, then deciding and buying a new cell phone. I'll miss my 2.5-year-old LG, but I wanted to upgrade to a phone with a camera in it, mainly so I can receive photos on the fly (my sister and bro-in-law like to send me pics). I got very close to buying a Razr, but ended up with a Motorola 815. I need to play around with it some more, but so far I really like it. I got a free month of that stupid-ass V-Cast stuff on all of the ads (the ads that get "My Humps" stuck in my head for hours) but the service isn't even available in my town. So now I gots to remember to call and cancel it, otherwise they'll start charging me for it. Whatta scam.

6. Enjoying the crazy weather. Right now the sun is shining in the middle of a snow squall. A couple of nights ago we had a thunderstorm. The crocuses and snowdrops are blooming.

Friday, March 10, 2006

What are you doing this weekend? During the day, I mean? Besides sleeping, eating, and doing chores? Well, you could come to the Western Mass Sacred Harp Convention! I will even be there at the ungodly (for a Saturday) hour of 8:30 a.m. for an hour-and-a-half stint at the welcoming table. The convention is very amenable to "just stopping by" -- that's how I first got into this whole shape-note singing thing in the first place, I stopped by for a few minutes just to listen. The welcoming table people may try to encourage you to take a book and participate (because it's all about the participating, there's no audience). So if you want to experience the spectacle of 200-300 people singing four-part harmonies at the top of their lungs, and embarrass me a little bit as a side-effect (because singing makes me feel dorky), come on by.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Some advice:

"Passed" and "past" are not the same words. They sound similar, but are not spelled the same way, and do not mean the same thing. At all.

Same goes for "lose" and "loose," which don't even sound the same.

If you are going to be drinking a lot, to the point where you must throw up, please do so in the gutter and not on the sidewalk next to my office building (or the bank, or the clothing store). I really don't enjoy stepping over dried-up, chunky puddles of whatever you ate just before going out for Bud Lites at Tulley's. Plus: Have some fucking dignity.

Perhaps you haven't shopped anywhere other than WalMart, ever, in your entire life. You may be surprised to discover that prices at Target are a few cents higher than what you are used to. This is not a good reason to loudly state your complete shock at how expensive the Lean Cuisine entrees are. Please keep it to yourself and your long-suffering husband.

Homeless (?) lady: As I walk down the street with my boyfriend, don't talk right over our conversation with a request for money; I'm stupid and lose (note word usage) my train of thought easily, and so when you interrupt me I get pissed. Also, when I ignore you and continue talking, it doesn't help your cause to add a "have a lovely evening" after I walk past (note word usage).

Some advice, Oscars section:

Reese Witherspoon: You're cute, and you aren't Renee Zellweger, but still: Shut up.

Salma Hayek: You have an awesome body. Don't let some stupid designer stuff you into a weird boob-bisecting dress ever again.

And finally, Charlize Theron: WTF.

Friday, March 03, 2006

My slackittude has produced a post! I've discovered, via apartment therapy, a way to actually use old flea-market frames. Here's a place online where you can order mats cut to your specifications - both the outer dimensions and the inside window (for the artwork), for a reasonable price. Awesome.

And if you're in need of artwork to frame, visit boygirlparty. I have a tiny painting of susie's, bought at the Giant Robot store in NY. I accidentally linked to her recently -- instead of a previous post like I meant to do -- with the words "creepy naked guy" or something like that (it has been fixed). Which was a mistake I made due to my lame method of html coding, where I copy and paste a link example I have saved on a stickie on my desktop. I've since changed my "example" link from boygirlparty to a fake url. And now you know all my secrets.

Edited to add: Apparently the link never got changed at all, providing boygirlparty with a lot of interesting referral links, I'm sure. D'oh! Stupid Blogger, I KNOW I made the change. Anyway, it's all kosher now, unless Blogger is lying to me once more.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

I know I am overdue for a post but I just don't have anything to report. Maybe I'll try writing anyway. Currently, I am sitting on the sofa in front of the TV, my laptop on my actual lap. I bought some pretty boots on Zappos and they're way too narrow, so back they go. My dream boots are yet again but a dream. In other news, my cat is adorable. And it snowed really hard for about 45 minutes today. In addition, oh my GOD this toe nail fungus advertisement should be AGAINST THE LAW! Horrifying! Sorry. I am in front of the TV, half-watching a PrimeTime Live show about a polygamist cult in Colorado. This woman escaped it and now she's going back to confront the life she left behind, where she had 55 siblings (!!!) and ended up marrying a man who already had a wife - one of her sisters. I can't decide if I should keep watching this, or switch over to Animal Cops, which rouses my indignation in a different way, though at least when I watch Animal Cops my cat gets a lot of extra attention.

Animal Cops it is. Oh my god, that dog's coat is so long and matted and filthy it's a wonder he can even move! Poor little guy! So they just shave him and give him back to his clueless owner? What the fuck is that?

Okay, now it is Friday morning. This week has been long and hard, but I was so resigned about it lasting forever that I kind of can't believe it's about to be the weekend. Today I am wearing the nice Anthropologie shirt I got on sale the last time I was down in NYC, even though it's too cold to wear it and I have to cover it up with another shirt.

Do you see? Do you see how boring? Stupid winter, keeping me inside, in front of the TV...