Tuesday, January 31

Giving me whiplash

1.) I can tell already that this new Supreme Court guy, Samuel Alito, is going to do his best to curtail a woman's right to choose, and eventually will insist that every woman should be without birth control, credit cards and driver's licenses; enforce some kind of non-Islamic burka; and promote arranged marriages ('cuz those chicks cain't choose nothin' on them's own).
2.) One of those cheesy Santa's villages is still ... still ... set up along one of the file cabinets at my work. I think people around here went a little ape-shit with the holiday decorations this year, as there were several displays of garland, stars, lights, wreaths and Christmas trees throughout the building. (All this from a group who neglected to dress for the year's best holiday: Halloween.) But seriously, the late-winter village is driving me nuts. Perversely, I'd love to stroll past the display and knock over a lighthouse (there are three), but that would be too much, even for me. I'll just silently bitch every time I walk by it.
3.) I simply will not have the stomach to watch the State of the Union address tonight. You know that nails-on-a-chalkboard feeling? I get that chill down my spine every time that man opens his mouth. Since I'm not completely uninterested in the state of our Union, I'll read the transcript tomorrow morning, but I know it'll be nothing more than a calm-your-jitters, I'm-a-cool-guy-really, don't-listen-to-those-crazy-liberals-in-the-media, it's-all-good, Republican jerkoff on national television.
4.) And since I'm clearly giving in to an attitude this afternoon, I'll make myself feel better and enjoy this photo of Whiplash, the amazing, rodeo monkey.

Big-screen TVs

Jon and Emily, friends of Brian and mine from dental school, were interviewed in an article in yesterday's USA Today on big-screen televisions and the space they take up in rooms, and how people have to arrange a room around them. I remember that Jon told Emily he wanted the TV before they left Boston to move back to Houston, and I remember her saying, No. She and I were a united front: no big TV for Jon, no puppy for Brian. Here's the excerpt:
More sighing goes on in the Houston one-bedroom apartment of Jonathan and Emily Lepow, where a 57-inch TV has been dominating since October.
"When you're in the store, they're all so big, it didn't really look huge," says Jonathan, 26.
But once he squeezed it into the living room, "It was definitely shock and awe. Even I said, 'That is a lot bigger than I thought.'"
Emily, 27, was not thrilled about having to lose a chair and a coffee table to fit the TV. But "he was cunning and convincing."

He also gave her a diamond necklace.
So she gave in. Huh. Well, if a diamond necklace comes with the puppy...

Oscar nods

Academy Award nominations were announced this morning, and they went along the route that most entertainment pundits predicted. Brokeback Mountain notched eight Oscar noms, while Crash and Good Night, and Good Luck each boast six, and five were named for Munich and Capote. Those just listed are up for Best Picture. Here are the big acting and directing nominees:
Best Actor: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Capote; Terrence Howard, Hustle & Flow; Heath Ledger, Brokeback Mountain; Joaquin Phoenix, Walk the Line; and David Strathairn, Good Night, and Good Luck.
Best Actress: Judi Dench, Mrs. Henderson Presents; Felicity Huffman, Transamerica; Keira Knightley, Pride & Prejudice; Charlize Theron, North Country; and Reese Witherspoon, Walk the Line.
Best Supporting Actor: George Clooney, Syriana; Matt Dillon, Crash; Paul Giamatti, Cinderella Man; Jake Gyllenhaal, Brokeback Mountain; and William Hurt, A History of Violence.
Best Supporting Actress: Amy Adams, Junebug; Catherine Keener, Capote; Frances McDormand, North Country; Rachel Weisz, The Constant Gardener; and Michelle Williams, Brokeback Mountain.
Best Director: George Clooney, Good Night, and Good Luck; Paul Haggis, Crash; Ang Lee, Brokeback Mountain; Bennett Miller, Capote; and Steven Spielberg, Munich.
Interested in the rest of the nominees? Check out: http://oscars.org.
As last year, I've seen only a precious few of the nominated films and performances. Perhaps I'll jump on the wagon and tally for you how quickly I can run through these? Right now, let's cross off Crash, Walk the Line, and (as of last night) Hustle & Flow.
But seriously, I think this is going to be an interesting contest. I wish I was having my Oscar party with the regular crowd, because the ballots will be tough, and the competition fierce!

Monday, January 30

A tale of two presidents

I spend so much time writing about my favorite train-wreck couple that I feel as though I'm neglecting other Dawson's Creek alumni. Not so, as of this post. To the left there, you'll see one of the best pictures of Michelle Williams (who played Jen on the show) and her boyfriend/maybe fiance, Heath Ledger, taken since they got together. Williams and Ledger reportedly met on the set of Brokeback Mountain, fell in love in one of those classic coworkers-falling-for-each-other storylines, and have a newborn baby, Matilda (a possible name for the G. Baby, too). They both have been nominated several times for their roles in the movie, and I like to think, in a soft and fuzzy way, that their love story is the reason why they did so well in the film. (Yikes! Romantic notions enough?)
Both of today's pictures were taken before the Screen Actors Guild awards last night. I didn't watch the show (shame on me), but did read up this morning.
Apparently, this photo op of Geena Davis and Martin Sheen, who both play the president in different shows (Commander-in-Chief and The West Wing, respectively), was a hot commodity and impromptu happening. Now, I haven't watched The West Wing much since they kicked Aaron Sorkin out of the head writer's seat, but I will confess to a pang when I think about it going off the air at the end of this season. It was a really good show in its day, and B and I both loved it. I have heard a lot of good things about Commander-in-Chief, and was super enamored of Geena Davis' Golden Globe speech, so I think I might have to check out the female president side of the spectrum. I don't even know what night and time the show is on. I'll have to look into that.

Friday, January 27

Memoir = not necessarily true

Perhaps I'm the wrong person to try to convince, but a book is a book is a book. If it touches the heart of a reader, be it fact or fiction (or audio), that is all that matters. There are plenty of books out there that stretch the truth more than a little, and as they were superbly written, it didn't matter, as they touched the spirit.
I was privy to a small post-Oprah's confrontation conversation among girls at work today regarding the James Frey book, A Million Little Pieces (cover art to the left). Only a couple have read the tome, and more hadn't (include me in that group), but one or two mentioned that, as he has now confessed to truth stretching, they maybe wouldn't finish it, but certainly wouldn't like it anymore. This, I think, is a mistake. Appreciate a book for the story, not the author. Did the characters in the book reach an emotional core? That's a special thing, if they did. Were readers inspired to better themselves and those around them from reading the book? Yes? Then that, in itself, is worth all the book royalties in the world.
Oprah was indignant that she'd been "duped." Had she? Billed as a memoir, the book is inherently not an autobiography, and therefore subject to the author's poetic license and subjective opinions, feelings and interpretations of events. Perhaps if The Smoking Gun hadn't headlined their article on the book something along the lines of, "the man who duped Oprah," she wouldn't have gotten so upset. She mentions that her credibility was on the line because she promoted the book on her book club. Nonsense. No one can argue that it was a well-read book that inspired people -- especially drug addicts looking for help.
Frey's next book is reportedly a novel (read that word as a FICTIONAL ACCOUNT OF EVENTS, CHARACTERS AND CONVERSATIONS). The big question though is whether this brouhaha will vilify the author enough to keep readers away. Should this particular book be on par with To Kill a Mockingbird, Catcher in the Rye, and War and Peace, the real shame will be the millions of people who won't read it due to their own misinterpretations of the first book's genre.
Again, it comes down to whether or not the book touched the heart and soul of the reader. No book has to be fact to do that.


I spent a couple minutes going through the internet pictures of people up at the Sundance Festival in Colorado. It's nice to see that some of these people are still working. I don't mean that in a bad way at all, either! I really like knowing that there are still places in the entertainment industry for Corey Feldman, Ally Sheedy and Timothy Hutton (posted below).

MWF looking for hammock on beach

I have a couple of those desk-top, page-a-day calendars at work, and dig the experience of ripping off one day to be amazed by the next's pictures, bit of wisdom, or random cartoon. This year though, I've got an "every day is a beach scene," and "The Know-it-All," about the guy who spent a year reading the entire Encyclopedia Britannica. (Everyday is something interesting that he's learned. It's really kind of a cool idea.) Anyway, today's beach picture is the most beautiful view of a hammock stretched between two palm trees on the beach in the Bahamas. Wouldn't that be a lovely place to be?
Here's Mom's newest floral arrangement. It's got pussywillows in it, which is a good thing, I was told.

Thursday, January 26

New paralyzing fear

So don't go all crazy on me, or bitch at me, or scold me severely (as Amy did), but I had another lack-of-gas and stuck-in-traffic issue today. Today's adventure, which had me freaking out on the phone to Brian and him saying, "What is wrong with you?," solidified my new paralyzing fear: being stuck on the side of the road with the car pooped out. We know that this has happened to me, what with the two tows last year, but I can now say that I fear this more than most anything else. What is about not getting gas until I absolutely have to? No idea. I'm going to have to work on it.
Some of you may know the story of the stolen Santas. I gave out chocolate See's Santas to my coworkers at Christmas. I left the box with five extras in my workspace, and upon reopening the box to move them into my desk drawer, found them to be gone. Stolen, actually. I sent a note to facilities management. Anyway, I always bring a two-pound box of See's candy back to Boston with me after a visit home. I opened it up yesterday for consumption, and counted 16 pieces left before I closed up the box before going home. This morning, there are 13, count them: 13, pieces still in the box. The See's thief strikes again. How much does it suck that one can't leave a box of candy on their desk without worrying about it being stolen?

Wednesday, January 25


Occasional work-related post, #2: Three of my favorite people at work got laid off yesterday, and I'm not afraid of saying that working here without them will suck. Seriously, I'm in complete denial, because thinking about it too much will send me into a depression spiral. I'm losing one of the best bosses ever; my everything gossip-, life-, lunch- and fun-buddy; and a terrific friend. So suddenly, since I'll be left without three of my best chatters, I'll be getting a whole lot more work done, and life will be quiet, too quiet.
As for the bruise on my butt, it's still there, and probably won't fade for at least a week. Brian was absolutely horrified by it last night, reacting as though he'd seen a decapitated body ("Oh my god! Oh, shit! That's so nasty looking!"), and then proceeded to giggle at my discomfort on the sofa all night. He did take a picture for Mom though. I could post it, but it's just too personal, my friends. I mean really, isn't there enough porn on the internet?
And thanks to Andy, we've got some new evidence of interestingness for our favorite celebrity couple, Tom and Katie. Here's the gist: Tom Cruise has three upper incisors, which in combination with his shorter stature, dyslexia and family history, indicates a genetic disorder called holoprosencephaly, a disorder that might explain why Nicole Kidman's pregnancies during their marriage ended in miscarriages. We certainly don't wish anything bad for our favorite crazy couple, and hope that the pregnancy goes well. However, this picture to the left may make you go, "huh?" (Click on it to make it bigger.) It's a timeline of the last few months, and chronicles the size of Katie's belly, speculating that the pregnancy may not even be real.

Tuesday, January 24

Welcome home

I knew, when I saw the dog sailing down the apartment's front steps, that they were clearly a bit icy. I knew this, and was sure to take my steps one at a time: one foot, two foot, down to next step; one foot, two foot, down to next step. But even with my careful and considered deliberation, and specific stepping, the ice took my legs out from under me, and I ended up bouncing down the stairs, too.
This is the second time this has happened to me since we moved into this place. (Last year's incident was worse, as the slip occurred closer to the top of the stairway, and Oliver had bypassed the ice patch, so I was not at all prepared for it.) Still, today, I'll have a sexy bruise on my butt by the time I get home. The fun, you see, is that the pain is in such a place that I can't sit in one position for too long before my butt starts to ache. Cripes. This sucks.
As I sat there, at the bottom of my stairs getting my breath back, all I could think about was how, this past weekend, I wore flip flops.

UPDATE: I have since looked at my butt, and there is a huge (no relation to the butt size), dark purple bruise spreading across it. This could be the grossest and biggest bruise I've ever had, in my entire life. Nasty. Amy said I couldn't post a picture of it on the blog, but I just might anyway.

Sunday, January 22


It's super late, and I'm super tired, but I just had to post some pics from my surprise birthday party tonight! All my peeps showed up, and I got some good loot. All that mattered was having the chance to hang with my friends and family, and for them to break out a wicked rendition of the birthday song...

Friday, January 20

Stitched up

I had an appointment with the dermatologist today. It wasn't much of anything--I thought--just a funky mole that had gotten funkier, that I wanted to have looked at by a professional. Aesthetician Diane gave me a hard time about it before the appointment, saying that it would probably have to get frozen off--with nitrogen--and that the process hurt so bad I'd cry and whine like a baby. Now, I really can deal with pain pretty well. I've done the bellybutton ring--sober--and don't fret needles, so I kinda laughed off Diane's antics and readied myself for a relatively painfree visit. Well, check out the stitches to the left there! Turns out, the doctor wasn't too impressed with the mole at all, and thought, "Well, let's carve that thing out!" (She was much more medically professional, using all kinds of doctorly words, and I dug her.) Three shots of don't-feel-nothing, and a half-inch long divot cut out of my stomach, and we've got four stitches, and what should end up as a cute, pink scar. I've never had stitches before, and I've got to tell you, they kinda freak me out. I was not expecting to have a "procedure" this morning. All in all, the doc will check out the biopsy, and in about 10 days, I'll know what the deal is. Oh yeah, and p.s., there's another mole on my back that she doesn't like, and she'll be wanting to dig that one out the next time I'm in town.
While the stitches were the big story of the day, having lunch with Daddy was the highlight of my day. We had yummy Chuy's, and sat outside, where the temperature hovered around 64 degrees (in January?! Crazy!!). I ate my whole Burrito Ranchero, Daddy liked his sandwich, and we must have gone through three baskets of chips. I think, even at 5 p.m., I was still full from my lunch.
And for all you "how can you live without the seasons" doubters out there, check out the view from Chuy's patio...

Thursday, January 19

Back in Cali

It's been a long day, peeps. I was up way too early, and I spent way too much time on an airplane. The flight took off on time, and was relatively pleasant, but the strong headwinds put us about 20 minutes late, which, after you've been on a plane for six hours and 33 minutes already, is a drag.
I had a chatty lady sitting next to me, which also sucked a bit, but I was able to drown her out with the iPod and book, so she really only bothered me when it seemed as though I had nothing else going on ... and of course, whenever the drink cart came by. "Did you want something to drink, dear?" Anyway, she was nice.
Mom and I hit Islands for lunch, which was wonderful, and I got to dig into yummy nachos. And half a hamburger later (yes, Sarah, even in California I tend to always go with the red meat), we were out in the sunshine and on our way to the hair salon.
The beautiful Malia and I share a birthday, so Mom and I picked up some flowers for her on our way to the shop, and we had a good visit while she did my hair. (Just a trim, but I decided to go with the royal blue hair color instead of the orange that Brian was advocating.)
I've had some quality time with Sheila, a good dinner with Lisa at Yolanda's (of course), and right now, I'm tired, stuffed with Mexican food, pleased to have had a good visit with Lis, and getting ready to collapse in bed. And the world just kept on turning.
By the way, two giant pandas donated by the Chinese government to a zoo in Thailand decided to mate for the first time this week ... Jan. 17, actually. Chuang Chuang and Lin Hui got it on with the cameras rolling. You've just got to appreciate that. It's so Pam and Tommy.

Wednesday, January 18

No worries, Kelly

I've got to say, before the whole thing gets blown out of proportion: I think it's okay for Kelly Clarkson to deny American Idol the right to use her songs in competition. Of course that's where she came from, and of course she owes the show a debt of gratitude, but I don't think that loaning out her tunes is the end-all, be-all of loving gestures that must be made. Why should she let someone who's just trying to knock her off the top of the charts sing her songs?
I'm sure there are a ton of singers who have refused the show. You know, it's not a PBS documentary or afternoon special on the dangers of drugs; it's American Idol.
Kelly's fought hard and worked hard, I think, to make it on her own without the phrase "American Idol winner" constantly dogging her. Cheers to that, Kell! There's no shame in staying away from a chapter in your past.
There are a multitude of songs these singer wannabes can choose from. Get creative, kids.

"Sweet sixteen" (times two, plus one)

So today's this year's big day! Yep, the big, fat, and anticipated 33rd birthday!
You'll notice that I'm calling it something else a bit more mathematical, but at the end of the day, it's still 33. I'm finding this age, as a multiple of 11, a bit weird. No idea why. I wonder how the rest of the year will shake out with this duplicate-digit age bracket.
As for birthday joy, I've had an abundance! Three, count them, three serenades of the birthday song; five birthday cards; one birthday party; three e-birthday cards; five birthday e-mails; two birthday calls; three birthday hugs; and one birthday present. Sweet! As much as I bitch about getting older, I really do enjoy my birthday. You all know that I love the attention, but I really am such a silly little girl when people do stuff for me on my birthday. I dig it.
Nick asked me what celebrities I share my birthday with, and, even though I've played that game before, I couldn't remember. Anyway, I checked it out online again: Muhammad Ali, Kevin Costner, Cary Grant, Oliver Hardy (Oliver!), and A.A. Milne, the brilliant mind behind Winnie the Pooh.
As for the weekend, I'm off to California tomorrow to be spoiled by my mom for a few days. I'll be blogging from there, so you can keep up with me throughout.

The Death Psychic

Amy passed along a funny Web site at work yesterday, The Death Psychic (www.thedeathpsychic.com), and we all had a great time learning about our untimely demises. This is afternoon fun at it's best, my peeps.
So, with no drum roll, here are the predictions:
KG: While in a hardware store, a strange man picks up an axe and attacks you with it, dismembering your body.
Alison: You are the victim of an unprovoked stabbing by a carnival worker.
Amy: While on a group tour of a candy factory, you fall over a guardrail and land on a taffy-pulling machine. Your head, torso, and legs are ripped into three separate sections.
Pamela: You die of heart failure after a night of mixing pain killers and hard liquor.
Craig: While driving too fast in icy conditions, you run a red light, and your car is struck in the intersection by a speeding truck. You are killed instantly.

Tuesday, January 17

Avatar production and posting

Those of you who have an e-mail address on Yahoo! have probably heard of this new-fangled thing they've got called an "avatar." Really, up until a month or so ago, I'd never heard of them before. Until you create one though, Yahoo! isn't shy about bothering you to do so every time you log in to your mail account. What it is, essentially, is a cartoon caricature of yourself that you can create in a look to suit your actual features, or do something completely opposite, and then can add clothing, backgrounds, sport accessories, and yes, even a pooch. I built mine several weeks ago, but until now, had no idea what to do with it.
Then came Tara's new blog, and the foresight she had of posting her own avatar in an entry. Brilliant!
So, I spent a good portion of a couple hours playing with the avatar options, and have used it as my blogger image all the way to the left there, and have posted the whole smash here for your enjoyment. (The dog is supposed to be Oliver. It's the picture that looks the most like him.)
The point of the avatars is to play with their moods, clothes, environments and the like. I'll keep posting them as I change them! New fun!!

Golden Globe recap

So it's taken me a while to get to blogging about this, but really, it's because I had actual work and e-mailing to do this morning, and I wanted to be able to devote a good portion of time to this. I also was kinda not sure how I wanted to format it, but I think I've got a general idea. We'll see how it looks...
So, yes, of course I stayed up and watched the Golden Globes last night. Brian was a trooper and hung in with me for the first hour and 15 minutes, but then bailed and left me to my not-so-secret crush on the awards show.
HITS: I'm beyond giddy that George Clooney won. No, I haven't seen Syriana, or Good Night, and Good Luck, but he is a good actor, and it's nice to see him get some recognition. ... Scarlett Johannson looked too beautiful. She's got some old-movie star glamour going on there, and it's a refreshing change from some of the other starlette actresses. ... Steve Carell and his acceptance speech were a highlight in the best way. He was gracious, and funny. Everything we could expect of him. ... Reese Witherspoon and Joaquin Phoenix winning for Walk the Line. This was a great movie, and they gave good, and touching, performances. And call me sappy, but she even made me tear up a bit during her speech. ... Anthony Hopkins was well deserving of the Cecil B. DeMille Award, and I thought Gwyneth did a good job of introducing him. ... Mary Louise Parker winning despite the Desperate Housewives overdose in her category. I think the four split any of their votes, so really, Parker winning was a no-brainer. ... That one, quick bit of footage of Kiefer Sutherland and his dad, Donald Sutherland, hugging. ... Geena Davis and her blatant fib about the little girl tugging at her dress. Brilliant. ... I was a bit frightened that Jamie Foxx would try to lead everyone in a sing-along again, and was excited to not have to hear it. ... Alanis Morrissette as a blond; Renee Zellweger looking regal; Natalie Portman in vintage Chanel; Jason Lee in all pre-show interviews; Jane Seymour looking beautiful; and Zach Braff and Mandy Moore making an appearance together. ... My show, Lost, won for best television drama, and everything's right in the world. ...
MISSES: No win for Michelle Williams. I hope she is able to break the Dawson bonds with, if not a Globe win, an Oscar win. ... Zach Braff walking home empty handed. He was robbed. ... E!'s pre-show coverage of Nicollette Sheridan not attending, and then her being there. Seriously, I believe most "cast feuds" are perpetuated by no one more than the media ... Miss Golden Globe, Dakota Johnson. Don't get me wrong; she's a pretty girl. But even at 16, would it have killed her to flash a smile while her mom, Melanie Griffith, was introducing her? ... My girl Mariah, and her incessant primping for the camera. I muted the television and averted my eyes when she was on stage. I changed the channel during the E! interview. She bugs. ... I get Cillian Murphy and Jonathan Rhys-Meyers mixed up, and that's all my "miss." Which one fought the zombies in 28 Days? ... The continued segmentation between television in the back, and movies in the front. I'm sure it's a logistics thing, but really.
Mark your calendars: Academy Award nominations will be announced Jan. 31!!

Monday, January 16

Apologies abound

ITEM!: I had two Quiznos apologies in my e-mail this afternoon when I checked it. While this should make me feel better, and vindicated, I still somewhat believe that this particular Quiznos will always be icky, and that if ... if ... I send the franchise owner my address and allow him to comp me a couple sandwiches, I won't be getting them in that store.
ITEM!: Did anyone watch the season opener of 24 last night? It was really good! I've only really kept up with that show peripherally, but this season I decided to commit totally, and I'm glad that I did. I'd forgotten how really good Kiefer Sutherland can be, and I think this particular show and its subject matter suit him to a tee. Tonight is another two-hour helping, and I can't wait.
ITEM!: Stop the presses, my friends! I'm not sure if I'm interested in watching an awards show! Did you know that the Golden Globes are on tonight? I didn't, until I was notified via Internet and the Yahoo! homepage. It's so wrong that right now, in this present state of mind, I don't really care. Of course, just writing about it, and thinking about who will win and who will lose, and what they'll say and wear, is getting me psyched up to watch the show. I'm sure I'll have some kind of wrap-up tomorrow.
ITEM!: The temperature in lovely Boston went down into the single digits last night, and with the wind chill, registered well below zero. Always awesome ... until the doggy has to pee.

Saturday, January 14

Bad Quiznos, bad

Most of you know how much I love the perfectly constructed sandwich. Quiznos has usually given me a pretty good starting place for the (re)construction, and their menu is a well-varied delight to the sandwich lover. Recently, the restaurant chain started serving another of my favorite menu items, soup served in a bread bowl.
Brian and I visited the Quiznos near our place this afternoon, in hopes of feasting on the yummy sandwich and soup/bread bowl. Jeez, were we sorely disappointed. Here's the letter I just zipped off to that particular Quiznos store and the company's franchise operations:

Saturday, Jan. 14, 2006; 12:30 p.m.
My husband and I just had a very disappointing experience at this particular Quiznos today. We went in for lunch, and were excited about enjoying some good food, and came home with a compromised lunch on several fronts.
First off, the man working the beginning of the line was rude to my husband when he ordered a steak sandwich and was not able to specify what kind of steak, as the menu didn't state the steak options. The employee's response: "What kind of steak. You know we've got all kinds of steak. You tell me."
I asked to try the new bread bowl, only to be told in a disrespectful manner, "They're gone. What do you want now?"
While constructing our sandwiches, the employee greeted his friend in line behind me, and went on to tell him in a loud voice that, "I don't like working Saturdays. They made me come in, man, I don't want to be here." That, in a nutshell, is bad customer service for all the people in line to get their food.
Now perhaps, if we got home and the sandwiches were good, a bit of this employee's awful behavior could be excused, but our fears for his sandwich preparation were confirmed when we found that he put twice as much sauce and condiments on the sandwiches as normal, and they were soggy with sopping bread that had to be tossed out.
This is not the first time we've been unsatisfied with a visit to this Quiznos, but ever the optimisits, we like to think that maybe it was just a weird phase, or problem, and that this time, the meal and service may be better. Imagine my chagrin when I realized that our optimism was dashed by a surly employee and two gross sandwiches.
We'll not be visiting this shop again, and will be sure to dissuade our friends, family and coworkers from visiting it, too.

So, here it is, my peeps. Don't visit the Quiznos on Park Drive in Boston.
They suck it big time there.

Friday, January 13

Five-day work week

So, it's Friday, and we're all about to embark on another long weekend. You know, this will be the first week I've been in the office five days since mid-December, and is the last one until early-February. And don't forget that I've got two weeks of less-than-five workdays in that month, too. I dig having the short workweek. It should be noted that my production hasn't dropped either, for all you doubters out there.
Here's Mom's newest floral arrangement. Her classes have begun again, so check back here every Friday for the weekly bit of beauty arranged so elegantly by my mommy.
The Casino Afternoon corporate holiday party was a success yesterday, and we had a pretty good time. Minus the fact that none of us won the door prizes, there was a 15-minute mind-numbing presentation given by someone that we all wanted to kick off stage, and that we lost a good portion of our fictional money pretty early; and add that the food was pretty good, we scored extra drink tickets, and that conversation did, once again, sway towards the "who at work would you sleep with" realm; and we are left with a nice afternoon away from desks, phones and p.r. people. Just so you know, I bet $200 on red (for the car) 33 (for next week's birthday), and lost it all. This year is gonna be awesome!

Thursday, January 12

Casino day

The company's holiday event takes place this afternoon, and we all are getting ready to shuttle over to the nearby hotel for "casino day." I'm a little scared, simply because of the cheesyness factor, but these things usually turn out to be a good-enough time. Our mantra going in will be along the lines of, "What happens at the casino party stays at the casino party," but those intentions never work out that way.
(Witness three of my coworkers last year--two were managers--betting on whether Sarah and I would be able to drag ourselves into the office the next day. I called in the next morning citing a hangover and stayed home. Sarah tried to work, but ended up going home before lunch.)
At any rate, management decided to hold this event in the afternoon rather than at night at a club downtown, so the odds on any of us getting wasted and calling in "sick" tomorrow are really, really low. Which is a good thing, really. So, I'll be brief this morning, and hope to get online tonight to let you know how it went.

Wednesday, January 11

Brad and Angelina pregnant

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have confirmed to People magazine that they are expecting a baby together. I know, I know -- you all probably figure that I'll go on some kind of Tom Cruise/Katie Holmes rant on this one. But really ... nope, I'm not going to. I'll go on the record as saying that I like the Jennifer Aniston, but I prefer Jolie, as apparently, does Pitt. (Did you see the excellent Mr. and Mrs. Smith? Their chemistry was crackling!)
I don't get too caught up in the gossip behind the whole "split," and if Aniston believes that Pitt never cheated on her, that's good enough for me, since she can probably spot his lie better than US Weekly or The National Enquirer. The point here is, if someone is unhappy in a marriage, especially if there's no children involved, there's really no reason to continue the relationship. I think most people would agree with that (as has Aniston, in published reports), even though a lot do believe Jolie to be a "home wrecker." (I don't, by the way.)
At any rate, when it went down a few weeks ago that Pitt was adopting Jolie's two children, I didn't sweat it too much, since they obviously had come to some major life decision together. No one takes that kind of responsibility lightly. And for them, that's all good. They're not getting married in the near future? So what. Need I remind that Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell still have not gotten married? So many non-married couples last longer than married ones anyway, that sometimes, the event and ceremony are unnecessary.
I'm sure that the whole "pregnancy watch" that the tabloids engage in with every reproducing starlette will go into a full-court frenzy, and no, I won't be above checking out the news and the pics whenever they hit the web. In fact, I'm super intrigued already.
But my goodness ... Just look at them, and silently marvel at the fact that this mixing of DNA may result in the most beautiful human ever.

Tuesday, January 10

Mouse revenge

Did you hear about the guy in New Mexico who threw an unwanted house/attic mouse into a fire he was burning in his backyard to kill it? The mouse, having caught fire, ran back into the guy's house and set the entire structure alight. The house and its contents were destroyed. The mouse, I assume, also perished in it. But cheers to the mouse and it's "vengeance is mine attitude." If this makes even two or three evil people who would kill a mouse in such an inhumane way think twice about losing their own houses in the wake of such animal violence, I'll believe that the mouse died for a reason.
The mouse martyr.

UPDATE: The "fire marshall" is casting suspicion on this old guy's story about the mouse setting the house on fire; and says that it was instead rogue embers and sparks that ultimately burned it down. Me? I continue to go with the mouse. Just because it's nice to see the underdog (or undermouse?) win in the end.

Yearly reviews

I try really hard to not bring the office, or work in general, into and onto, this blog. I really do. In my experience, people who bitch about their jobs all the time are a bit of a psychological drag, so I strive to not become one.
Today is the exception to my rule though. Because it's that time of year again: the yearly review. My company has a nifty and fun-sounding acronym to represent it, but as in every office building, it comes out to be the same thing -- a painful 30 to 90 minutes in January, and a 30-minute mini-review in July.
I appreciate that they are a necessity in the corporate world, and that companies like to know how an employee is progressing, but the review, in any form, sucks. And really, no matter how the review itself goes down, one always leaves the manager's office feeling a bit battered and bruised.
In the several companies in which I've had to deal with the yearly review, I've had a couple bad experiences (one in particular from an editor who didn't seem to know what they were doing and how to conduct the review, and I went home crying), and a few not-so-bad experiences (one never, ever has a good review, since it's every manager's job to find something that you're not doing exactly right). The more recent reviews haven't sent me home crying, but the general consensus that no matter how good your review, you won't get a larger raise than the company average, is enough to make any employee whine and wipe away a tear.
The best year ever was in the last office, where it was so small that we didn't even conduct the yearly review. We all sat so close together that everyone knew what they were doing, what they could do better, and how to do it.
I believe the yearly review to be more of a morale-crusher than anything. How do you justify the last year of doing it all just as you should, but then being told that it wasn't exactly as they expected? How do you approach the next year knowing that the best work you'd done last year still wasn't good enough? How do you appreciate knowing that even should you excel in every way beyond your set objectives, that you won't be getting any more money for it? How do you volunteer for more exceptional ideas and duties beyond your own job description when you know that your responsibilities will end up increasing during the year anyway?
When I'm Queen of the World, I will remember this, and one of my first acts will be to abolish yearly reviews.

Monday, January 9

Sam can do the tango

* When I moved out to Massachusetts, I had to leave my bougainvillea behind in California with my mom. These plants, while they flourish in California and in the desert of Arizona, would not be able to survive the New England winter (so I assumed), and I had no idea where I'd be able to put him anyway. Yes, the plant is a "him." And his name is Sam. Every time I visit Mom at home, I spend a couple minutes out in the backyard with Sam, reinforcing that he'll be living with us again soon, and that yes, of course he's still my favorite outdoor plant. Mom does her part by e-mailing me pictures of Sam in all the seasons so I can see his progress. Clearly, by the growth going on over there, all the rain this year agreed with him.
* Brian and I watched Mad Hot Ballroom last night. It's a documentary on 11-year-old kids in New York who participate in a school-funded ballroom dancing class, and eventually compete in a citywide dancing competition. We neglected viewing the movie for a couple days, but finally settled in to watching it last night after football. And I have to tell you, we both thoroughly enjoyed it! Such a heart-warming, uplifting story! And a couple of those kids are just too cute! Sadly, even though we were both inspired, Brian still would not consent to take such lessons with me.

Friday, January 6

Happy Friday!

I've got nothing for you today except this picture of a tiger that seems to be smiling.
Have a good weekend!

Thursday, January 5

Too... much... going.... on....

What a Thursday morning! Just getting through my first couple Web sites, I've found so much going on this morning! I can't stand it!!
a.) Brian and I stayed up until 12:30 a.m. this morning watching USC lose to Texas in the Rose Bowl. I'm crazy tired, and disappointed that now ASU won't get any piece of any Rose Bowl winnings. However, the commentators did mention ASU enough last night to make me think that perhaps the ass-kicking USC gave us this season was more hard-fought for them then we thought it was.
b.) I love Vanity Fair. It's an in-depth, non-fluff, interesting and well-researched magazine that keeps me glued to the sofa for a few hours every month. I tend to read it cover to cover, but every once in a while will skip an article or two. But from what I read yesterday, I fear for the February issue. Seriously, my lovely magazine is going to the tabloids. Check it out: Lindsay Lohan on the cover of the February issue. Even better, Lohan in a bikini of sorts. I cancelled my People and US Weekly subscriptions for this very reason: I can't stand celebutantes and gossip magnets on the cover of my magazines. Paris Hilton a few months ago was bad enough, but this is it. I won't cancel my subscription, but I will rip off the cover, pull out the article, and send it back to them.
c.) Jon Stewart, one of my TV boyfriends and host of The Daily Show, has agreed to host the Oscars this year. In a word: Wahoo! I'm hoping he'll be given a good amount of freedom, and allowed to shine as he, and his writing staff, does every night on Comedy Central. As if I'm not excited enough about my favorite awards show, now it'll be even better!!
d.) A Baptist pastor in Oklahoma City, who has spoken out against homosexuality (calling it a "sinful, destructive lifestyle"), was arrested for propositioning a male undercover officer outside a hotel. He was charged with offering to engage in an act of lewdness. I love hypocrisy in action!
e.) The Screen Actors Guild nominees were announced this morning, and include Heath Ledger for Brokeback Mountain and Russell Crowe for Cinderella Man; Don Cheadle and Matt Dillon for Crash; Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon for Walk the Line; Charlize Theron for North Country; Michelle Williams for Brokeback Mountain; and the casts of Arrested Development, My Name is Earl, and Lost.

Wednesday, January 4

An exclusive advisor

I received an invitation to be part of the "exclusive" Movie Advisory Board in my e-mail today. The Board is sponsored by both MovieTickets.com and Nielsen Research, and, as obvious by the title, will focus on movies, and will consist of surveys for me to fill out, maybe some tickets to screenings, and basic information on my movie-going habits. While there is no shortage of people who have bought tickets off the Internet movie site, I'm pretty comfortable in saying that a few other people may have been chosen to participate. Be that as it may, if someone wants my opinion on entertainment, and it's an organization that may really listen to me, then I'm all for being a member.
For my first assignment, I had a preliminary survey to fill out, and upon finishing it, they shuttled me to a thank-you page that said that they would contact me for what my next set of duties may be. I'm pretty excited actually. Maybe they'll ask me to sneak into a theater and let them know how easy it was. I love a good intrigue.
I'm pretty sure though, that my next assignment will probably be to review the new Mariah Carey movie. Cripes. These things never really end up being as cool in real life as they are in my head.

Drawers full of stuff

I've got one of those plastic file drawer things in my portion of our home office, and it's always chockablock full of stuff. Last night, I decided that this piece of drawer needed to be cleaned out, as well as the bottom drawer of the oak file cabinet.
Jeez, it's really kind of amazing the things that you decide to keep for a hundred years, you know? Seriously, how many spiral notebooks (ripe for poetry yet curiously empty) does one need to hold on to? How long does one keep the floppy disks that hold college papers and courses' worth of homework? How many cell phones must you go through before throwing out the old ones?
I've got a drawer full of pretty stationery, that yes, I do use, so I'm keeping it all. I've got a box full of random pictures sent to me throughout the years of friends and family that should be in an album, but aren't. (That box, in itself, goes against every anal-retentive urge in my body.) I kept all the CDs of computer programs and stuff, but finally threw out all the floppies I've saved from college; I do have a floppy reader, but it's kinda crappy, and most of the stuff on the disks I transferred to the iBook years ago. I'm keeping all the artsy supplies in the other drawer, too, because you never know when you might need sidewalk chalk, markers, crayons, rubber cement and colored pens. I tossed out the old cell phone, but kept the power adaptor, since I do still have a Nokia. The big portfolio full of funny cartoons, articles, random papers and such still takes up a portion of the oak drawer, as I couldn't bring myself to throw it out. Those things still make me laugh!
Anyway, the cleaning job is finished, and the drawers are still kinda full, but now there's room for more!

Monday, January 2


The idea behind New Year's resolutions is a good one. One that I embrace every year, but then discard by mid-January. All the new years begin the same way: will not eat junk food; will exercise more; will read more often and cut back on television; will save money for fictional savings account; will be better at my job; will be better in life. It usually comes down to about the beginning of February before all these are really broken, but then, I guess, that's the name of the game. How many people really stick with their resolutions, anyway? I applaud those people, whoever they are.
Best things about the coming of January:
New calendars filled in and put up around my house and office;
A brand new slate to start filling up with grand plans and ambitions;
The new year is the biggest question mark;
Everyone becomes a year older "this year."
Okay, so what are my resolutions this year? I'm not telling. This year, I will choose to believe that they are a lot like birthday wishes. Perhaps, if I don't tell anyone what the resolution is, it is more likely to come true. Yeah, I'm all over that logic.