Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Hooray for the U.K.!

A few more reasons to love the Brits:

1. Gnarls Barkley. OK they aren’t actually British. But they have been embraced by the Brits, claiming #1 status with their song “Crazy” for TEN WEEKS. Apparently this is unheard of. And I am totally digging everything I hear from them. Besides, one half of Gnarls Barkley, which, by the way, is the greatest band name ever, is DJ Danger Mouse. I love Danger Mouse! He’s the greatest! He’s fantastic! (OK, in case you don’t actually know what I mean, Danger Mouse was a 1980’s cartoon from the UK that got played on that crazy new kids channel, Nickelodeon. It was very silly and kind of not great animation, lots of characters standing still with a background moving around them. But I did so love it).

2. Editors. Another band and one I guess I kind of stumbled across. I found a live recording of them covering the Gorillaz “Feel Good, Inc.” and I fell in love. There is something about the lead singer’s voice that I can’t quite explain. I both love and hate it. But so far, everything I have heard from them has been entertaining.

3. David Tennant. Yep, he is the lovely newest Doctor. But he’s also a lovely actor. I’ve just watched the first half of Secret Smile and dude, he is menacing! But very,very good. It’s not a happy movie but it has a great cast (Kate Ashfield from Shaun of the Dead!) and he is a fine, fine actor. It’s quite freaky to see his sweet boyish face and hear some not so sweet things come out.

4. Tea. OK this is nothing new but I have really been appreciating my tea lately. PG Tips at home and whatever I can get out and about. But I did go to a new tea shop recently and I was terribly intrigued by “Monkey picked Oolong”. The monkeys no longer pick the oolong. That may be the saddest sentence I have ever typed. Sigh. But apparently, at one time, monks taught monkeys to pick tea. Go figure. (and yes, I do know that tea comes from places other than England but they are quite well known for their consumption of teas that come from other places, so stop lecturing me!).

5. Ed vs. Spencer. This is so totally NOT my kind of show but I watched an episode the other night and it kept me laughing and cringing for half and hour. Two friends are pitted against one another in really stupid challenges. Why would I laugh at two guys TRYING to make themselves ill? I don’t know but I did. The best part is poor “Spenny”, who goes about everything very scientifically and methodically. In his attempts to get sick he exposes himself to…well pretty much everything, but his healthy constitution just won’t allow it! Meanwhile, Ed gets drunk and smokes enough to break down his immune system (he also throws himself down the stairs and asks people to give him s.t.d.s. That’s commitment). Honestly, the concept of this show is totally unappealing to me but the guys are so funny I couldn’t help myself. That said, I will say again what I said while watching this show…Boys are stupid. I strongly doubt that you will find two female friends willing to do this crap. I don’t know that I could even watch that!

6. Alan Rickman. Always.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Good Mama, bad things.

My mom does this thing. And I feel ok talking about it here because a) my mom does not have the internets b) my mom does not know what a blog is and c) my mom will tell you that she does this thing and then laugh about it. Even though it drives me MAD! And she keeps doing it. It may well be the ONLY reason that I am glad not to live near my parents anymore. I love them. I really, really love my parents, and besides that, I LIKE them too. They are smart, funny, people. But this thing, I don’t miss AT ALL! And I don’t think she ever does it to my brothers. Although I am pretty sure she does it to my dad, and I know she has done it to my friends on more than one occasion.

This sounds really bad, doesn’t it? It sounds like my mom does something totally deviant or sick to me when I visit her. It sounds like she must be crazy or unstable the way I talk about it. She’s not. It’s just this thing and I don’t even know how I got to thinking about it today. It just came to mind and all the sudden I found myself gritting my teeth and swearing that I would not let her do it to me ever again. And that makes it sound even worse.

My mom, the wonderful woman that she is, the kind, loving, brilliant, generous woman that she is, can make me flinch, quiver and run in hide with one little sentence. All she has to say is…”Come squint with me.”

This means I must go into the living room, or the dining room, or the “east wing” or whatever room she is contemplating doing something to and stare (with my eyes squinted, of course) at a swatch of fabric on the couch, or six carpet squares of identical color on the floor or a paint chip taped to the wall. We squint for a while and then she will say, “What do you think?” It’s really not meant to be a trick question, but it always feels like one. “What…do…I…think? Of green carpet? You already have a green carpet, Mom.” I always tell her that no matter what I say, she will do the opposite, because, inevitably, she will. But she demands my opinion.

I will make a choice between Navajo white, eggshell, pale taupe, Yankee flesh, fresh cream with just a touch of vanilla, soft albino bunny white and delicate snowdrop petal and no matter what I tell her…she will pick…something else.

I talked to my mom the other day. She told me that she had replaced the chair in the living room, you know, the one that your cat chewed on when she was little? And all I could think of was “Someone else finally had to squint with her! Thank god!”

Bad Mama

I had a bad dream this morning. It wasn’t scary in the typical sense but it sure was unnerving and creepy. And I know from whence it stems…or something, but that doesn’t make it any less creepy.

In my dream, I woke up this morning and realized that I hadn’t seen my baby in a few days and I wondered if he must be hungry (In real life, I was asleep and I do not have a baby). I walked out into the living room to see a lovely baby boy crawling out from behind the loveseat. I sat on the floor and picked him up and thought in passing that I should get a cool cloth to wash his sweaty, sticky face and perhaps I should change his diaper. I scratched his back and ruffled his hair and although he did not seem any worse for being ignored for several days and living behind the love seat, I woke up (in real life) horrified.

Yeah, not having any babies any time soon. Yeesh.

Actually, I suspect the dream is related to the fact that my cat (who is neither a baby nor a boy) is suffering the side effects of her asthma medication, which makes her behave like a gothy little teenager and hide behind the couch. When she does come out she is surly and gloomy so we have been showering her with extra love (which like, totally embarrasses her! Can’t we see she just wants to be LEFT ALONE in her room with, like, the radio on? And why can’t she pierce her nose? Everyone else is doing it…jeez.). I suspect seeing her emerge from beneath the couch last night (when she won’t come out, I like to beat on the cushions and yell, “TURN DOWN THE CURE AND STOP SULKING OR YOU ARE GROUNDED!”) and feeling bad for her discomfort and worrying that I wasn’t paying enough attention to her triggered the dream. Well, either that or it is my realization that I could make a very bad mother.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


This? This is pretty much genius as far as i am concerned.
(click on "collection" if you can't figure out why)

Oh we had adventures!

May is an interesting month for me. Well, it’s a month, I don’t actually know how interesting it is but I did make two life-changing decisions in Mays. Not this May, other Mays. So in May I can, but don’t really, celebrate the anniversary of my move to Los Angeles. And I can, but only sort of, celebrate my wedding anniversary. The two are, of course, interconnected. I did move to Los Angeles 9 years ago in order to live with my fiancĂ©e, otherwise I would be…somewhere else. And we did get married one year later, but we did that in New Jersey, so although it is a life changing event, I’m not going to write about it because he has no way to defend himself.

So, when I decided to move to L.A. I packed my stuff; hired movers to put it in a truck and haul it cross-country. Then I packed some more stuff, crammed that and my best friend in my little Escort and we set off. This is pretty much what I remember. We drove to my parent’s house so I could say good-bye to them, we drove to her family’s house so we could say good-bye to them and then we went to Burger King. I seem to remember having chicken nuggets in the shape of dinosaurs. As we stood in the Burger King waiting for our order so we could get back in the car for a life-changing journey, the grill caught on fire. The decidedly non-Hispanic girl at the counter saw the flames and said very casually, over her shoulder, to the decidedly non-Hispanic fry guys, “Fuego. Fuego.” No one seemed to take notice of her not-very-alarming alarm and I figured that hey, this is Burger King, they must have grease fires all the time. But, a few minutes later, when the fry boys noticed the flames shooting up the wall, they freaked out and…well, they put the fire out. I don’t actually remember how. Then one of them yelled at the counter girl, “Why didn’t you say there was a fire?” and in her most disgusted, most New Jersey high-school-girl-with-an-attitude (and believe you me, New Jersey high school girls can give you some wicked attitude) voice, she said “Uh, DUH! I said FUEGO! That’s like Spanish for FIRE.”

This was the auspicious beginning to my life-changing journey.

The trip itself turned out to be a lot of fun. We scheduled our time so we could take little tangents off the route and see things like…oh, Tampico Illinois, birthplace of Ronald Reagan. Neither of us are fans of Ronald Reagan, we just thought it would be fun to see. We were pretty much wrong. Do not blink as you drive through Tampico. You will miss it. We also saw some iron crosses in the middle of a cornfield, the starting point of the Pony Express, a giant teepee that housed a restroom which precipitated many “pee-pee in the tee-pee” jokes and the giant freaking dinosaurs outside of Palm Springs that caused me to pretty much wreck my car (but the damage would not become evident for almost a month at which time my car would simply stop and then would cost me $500 to fix…stupid dinosaur).

Oh we had adventures, but since I don’t have very many now, I suppose I should save some for another time. Or not. I guess they aren’t all that interesting if you are not me. Oh well.

Happy Anniversay to me anyway.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Make with the clicky.

Handy things I have learned on the internets:

How to eat a cupcake with out making as big a mess of myself as I normally would if I did not eat a cupcake this way (Jodi already mentioned by newly aquired cupcake skills but I thought it was worth reiterating).

How to stir chocolate syrup into my soymilk (or what have you) in a manner which makes it blend better and leave none at the bottom of the glass.

How to peel a banana like a monkey.

How to stop a baby crying…ok, I don’t have a baby to stop from crying but this annoys the hell out of my cat.

Then there is an interview with the author of a book which I find intriguing…but I will wait for paperback.

And a nifty website from my cousin (click on the vending machine on the left unless you speak Danish. Otherwise you will be all confused.)

Friday, May 12, 2006

I never really know if it’s
a blessing or a curse.

Today at work we had a lengthy (read as “almost all day") conversation on what actually makes a human. A deeply philosophic conversation all about semantics and science. A lengthy conversation that really isn’t over yet. How did it start? Oh, I just said something about Dr. Who not being human and then someone said, “Well, what makes him not human?” so I said “Well, he comes from another planet”
“But you can be human and come from another planet”
“He has two hearts?”
“OK, that’s not human. But just being from another planet…Superman is human.”
This led to researching the word “human” (the most recurring and basic definition being something like “Bipedal primate mammal”) and much debate over whether Martian Manhunter is “human” or “humanoid” or neither.

Of course we all agree that mutants are humans either way. We’re very progressive.

In the end we all disagreed and Mark Waid may or may not have been called for a ruling.

Is that dorky?

Linky goodness

If you are in L.A. this weekend, you may want to check out Felt Club. I hope to stop by there but if not this time, perhaps next month.

And here yet another stupid poetry stunt that makes me unreasonably happy.

If you’ve been watching Doctor Who then you might find this little article interesting It’s all about Captain Jack and it mentions Torchwood, the proposed spin-off that appears to be very much in the making. I have now seen three episodes with the new doctor and I think all three have mentioned it in some way.

This might be handy if you are like me and you spend waaaay too much money on books.

Finally, in case you think you had a bad mother or you ARE a bad mother…nature says it could be worse.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

June Gloom

Right now in L.A. we are having gloomy weather. This happens every spring, it’s got something to do with the marine layer. It is so regular that we even have a name for it. It’s called the June Gloom (yes, yes, I know it's only May but the June Gloom cares not for such things!) and it is decidedly gloomy. Today as I was driving to work, the bleak sky reminded me of my favorite weatherman ever. Well…I always imagined he was a man…

When I shared an apartment in New Jersey with my BFF, we had alternate schedules. I worked from 8 am to 4 pm and she worked from 4 pm to midnight. (This was a condition of our living together since we also worked for the same company and we didn’t want to end up killing one another). But we still liked to spend time together, so I would take a bit of a nap when I came home from work and then I would hang out with her for an hour or two when she came home. It was during those times that we discovered the most emo weatherman ever.

Every night I would turn on the local cable channel before she came home. It was usually around 12 am. After a few days I started to notice something interesting. The weather reports all had a decidedly gothic slant to them. “Dark and menacing clouds with a chance of all-consuming rain” or “Painfully bright sun only relieved by the embrace of sunset and the lingering gloom of evening clouds”…it was good stuff. I think I fell a little bit in love with the weatherman. I suppose it could have been a weatherwoman but I always thought of some college-age dude with black eyeliner and a too-big black turtleneck sweater, sitting alone in the cable offices, listening to Bauhaus and wishing he looked more like Robert Smith. It went on like this for most of the year. Quirky, funny and dark weather reports, but only late at night. Surely it was some intern just trying to keep awake during the long hours. Every once in a while there would be a really good one “Night followed by a 85% chance of early morning” kind of stuff. And then, one day…nothing. No more goth, no more humor. Just plain old weather. I still turned on the local channel, searching in vain for my poor, sad little forecaster, but he (possibly she) was gone. Maybe he fell in love and suddenly everything was bright and sunny, or maybe the internship was over. I don’t know, but I really missed my goth weather report.

This morning I couldn’t help but think how much he (or possibly she) would enjoy the June gloom.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

So long and thanks for all the fish!

I linked to Inky Circus (Life in the Girl Nerd World) in the sidebar but I feel the need to link to this article specifically...
Dolphins have names!

It made me smile.

Love Letter

Dear Richard Butler,

How are you? I am fine.

Let me get this part of the letter out of the way…I am sorry. I am sorry about that time several years back when I yelled at you…loudly…right before you went on stage. In my defense, I didn’t recognize you but that really doesn’t matter since you ran right into me as if I wasn’t even there. Yes, yes, I used some strong language, yes, I told you exactly where you could go and where you could cram it once you got there and I am sorry for that. I shouldn’t have gotten all up in your grill.

What I am not sorry about is buying your new album. Gee, Mr. Butler, you really are swell. I loved you when you sang for the Psychedelic Furs, and I loved you when you sang with LoveSpitLove and I love you now. Your voice has been a favorite of mine for years and I can only liken it to curling up in my woobiest jammies with a hot cup of tea. It’s welcoming and soothing and to me, very beautiful. I know some people will disagree. It does have a certain…quality to it. But I love that about it. I love how it is rough and sleepy and how you sing with an accent when so many people lose theirs in song. Not you. Oh no, not you.

I was kind of afraid to buy the album without hearing anything from it first but I knew I would buy it even if it wasn’t good. Not like that Kip Winger album. I only bought that because I felt sorry for him after that “Where are they now?” show and I found out that the guy I had been mocking for so long had been having a really rough life. That was totally a pity purchase (but he did send me a bunch of autographed photos…hint hint). Your CD was totally not a pity purchase and you absolutely made it worth my pennies.

OK, to be honest, not every song is great, but it’s all very listenable. And that first song, man that one gets me. Everyone else can have their Morrissey (sounds like Kermit); they can keep their Prince (never liked him all that much anyway). I’ll always pick you for my dodge ball team.

Look, here’s the deal, Mr. Butler, I promise never to yell at you again if you promise to make more music. OK? Thanks.

Yours Always,

Dear Anyone else,

I really like this album. It’s good.


p.s. justJENN caught up on her letter writing today too. Sorry about the thematic overlap.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


Actually, I am starting to feel better.

Please remind me not to eat falafel anymore. I think I say that every time I have them but then I forget. It is very important that I don’t ever forget again.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Trust me.

Well, I was on vacation for the past few days and it was goooood. A hot pink cowgirl hat bearing the legend “Pirate Princess” may or may not have been purchased, I ain’t sayin’ one way or another. But a grand time was had by all.

And quickly here because I have so much other stuff to catch up on…

I would just like to assuage the fears of anyone who may think that there can be no better doctor than Christopher Eccleston…ok, maybe there can’t. I don’t know. But we all have our favorite doctor. I bucked the trend years ago and declared Peter Davison my favorite. In some ways he was actually the most boring doctor ever, but he also played Tristan on All Creatures Great and Small and that was enough to win me over. I know Jules was always a fan of Tom Baker and I think he is the doctor that most Americans think of when you mention "Dr. Who", but there were so many others. And that’s the thing about the doctor; you can’t really get too attached. He’s gonna change eventually, that’s just the way it works. Well, at least he will change 12 times, and then the writers need to find a way to explain it all away.

Anyway the point of this is just to say (mostly to you, Brenda), the new Doctor, he is good. I loved the casting of Christopher Eccleston probably as much as anyone. I have drunkenly recounted the night I first heard that he had been signed (while at Comic-Con) and how I got drunk (OK, so talk about Dr. Who a lot when I get drunk, so what?) and discussed the merits of Eccleston as the good Doctor with anyone who would listen, many times. And I was surprised that I was not sad when it was announced that he would not be returning to the role that he had…"given new life" doesn’t begin to do justice but I can’t think of any other way to put it at the moment. I realized that I was actually OK with the idea of new Doctor because Eccleston had blown it out of the water and I would rather him go out on top then play the role for ten years and let it just become sad. I looked up David Tennant and realized that I had actually seen him in a number of things that I had really enjoyed, and that he was a good enough actor that I couldn’t picture him just as David Tennant. I could remember the characters he had played but not really the man underneath. And I liked that.

Now I have seen him as the Doctor and I am well pleased. Believe me, I loved the ninth doctor more than any previous doctor, but I am not sad to have a tenth. He’s good. Trust me. He’s different but familiar. Eccleston made the character his own by the sudden turns from goofy to steely eyed that left me reeling. Tennant is…different, cute, floppy, boyish even, but I think that in his first episode he showed some of the same steel that has given an old character new life. I didn’t steer you wrong when I recommended the show, did I? Trust me on this one. You may not love him as much, but I think you will at least like him.

P.S. If you’d like a primer on David Tennant, keep an eye out for Viva Blackpool, Bright Young Things, and the BBC version of Cassanova (written by Russell T. Davies, current producer and writer on "Dr. Who") and if you still need your Christopher Eccleston fix, check out The Second Coming(also by Davies), Shallow Grave and the early episodes of the original “Cracker” with Robbie Coltrane. I don’t want to spoil anything but I did cry when I saw Eccleston’s last episode of this one. It’s absolutely brutal (and it also features more Brit boys that I love (Robert Carlyle and Robbie Coltrane).

Damn, that wasn’t quick at all!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


I am bored so here are the widgets that are entertaining me today, as seen on my desktop.

...And here is the Who who is hiding under all those widgets on my desktop...

My Boyfriend's Back!
(hey-la, boyfriend's back!)

Bruce is back! Bruce is back! And I didn’t even know it until it was on.

I have documented my love for Bruce Parry before. And I really didn’t think there would be a second season of Going Tribal. But there is! And I am so happy that I keep starting sentences with “but” or “and” even though it is terribly incorrect to do so!

I don’t care much for reality TV. Look, I don’t care if YOU watch it but man, I hate seeing the worst in people put on full public display like that. It all just makes me cringe. But Bruce Parry…he is cute and cool and brave and I love him so! He spends time with fairly remote tribes, in this particular instance, a tribe in Ethiopia that is enemy to a tribe that he visited with in the previous series. It amazes me how willing he is to adapt to another culture, food, clothing, shelter and all and how he just DOES it. He’s honest, he described eating a blood clot (yeah, they drink cow’s blood and eat the clots over there…mmmm) as being similar to what it must be like to eat the stuff from the bottom of the tub, but he did eat it and it did garner him the respect he needed to work within the tribe. When I think of the fact that I won’t even eat a green pepper…man, that’s some kind of courage he’s got. He’s very engaging and open with the people he meets and it’s not at all…showboaty. He comes across as a very genuine person. I hope he is but if he’s not, he plays it way.

In any case, I still love him and I still recommend his show.

Written on Monday, Posted on Wednesday
(That's how tired I was)

Whew! Man am I tired. I did a lot this weekend and I am nowhere near done. Company coming on Thursday and there is STILL cleaning to be done. But this weekend was all about baking, some for me, some for others. Let’s see: on Saturday night there was corn bread and brownies to go with the catfish (and salad too, but that’s just rinsing). And then there were two kinds of scones (whole wheat with currants and almonds and sour cherry) and two loaves of challah bread for the parents for mother’s day/birthday gifts. I figure they already have everything they need but everyone can always use a little breakfast. And then there was reduced fat brioche for me for breakfast. It’s good but you can tell that it’s reduced fat. I just wasn’t prepared to put TWELVE TABLESPOONS of butter in anything. Man, that is A LOT of butter!

Making bread is one of those weird things that you just have to learn by doing. Most recipes tell you to “knead until it feels like an earlobe” (I’m not kidding, that’s actually how they describe it). So I end up standing there, feeling the bread with one hand and my ear with the other saying “well…I GUESS it feels the same.” But, once you actually hit that texture, you know it forever. I didn’t know it the first few times I made bread but one day I just kept kneading and BAM! the dough suddenly felt like…an earlobe. It’s kind of gross but now I know why the cookbooks describe it that way.

I really like making the breads but I swear that twenty minutes of kneading (two different loaves at 10 minutes each) is equal to a pretty serious upperbody workout. I’m gonna look like Popeye if I keep making the bread.