Drivin' Down the 101*.

3.23.2006

That's right, as of tomorrow at 1.00 pm, I am officially on Spring Break, and we are headed home! Which is terribly exciting for oh, so many reasons. Food (In-n-Out. Krung Thai.). Family. Friends. The Bay Area. And yeah, did I mention that my car is currently residing in California and I haven't driven it since August? So that's where I'll be, driving, driving, and driving some more.**

*You can insert your favorite California song here. I'm currently enjoying "Californication" (Red Hot Chili Peppers), "California" (Rufus Wainright), and "California Stars" (Billy Bragg/Wilco). Herman, on the other hand, seems to be enjoying Dion Warwicks version of "Do You Know the Way to San Jose?".

**I'm actually taking a long drive down to So. Cal to visit a couple of my cousins. Barbara - I'd love to see you, but not sure how far south I'm going...

In Which I Make the Biggest Mess Ever.

3.22.2006

At this point in the game, do I even need to give my commentary on this?

In case you're wondering, it was a seasame oil, soy sauce, garlic, scallion, sugar, cooking wine, seasame seed beef marinade.

Guess what our apartment smells like?

And how funny is it that immediately after this happened, we laughed, then grabbed a camera, then finished watching a tv show...and then, 10 minutes later cleaned it up?



Gym People.

3.21.2006

I think I'm finally learning to find some balance in my life. Last semester was just insane with being the first semester back in school after, well, a lot of years, plus getting used to Providence, and meeting new people, etc. But this semester, yeah, I'm a total pro. Sort of.

Part of this new found balance is me finally finding time to go to the gym. I don't love going to the gym, but I see it sort as the necessary evil in my life. You know, in a not-getting-any-younger-and-that-layer
-of-insulation-just-won't-leave kind of way. Also, going to the Brown gym is free, so really, I gotta go.


So this morning, I'm working out and that girl shows up. You know the one: she looks like she woke up at 5.00 am in order to spend 2 hours getting ready to go the gym. Perfectly polished, and wearing the latest trend in workout wear. Actually, this whole thing doesn't really bother me, whatever, right? Except that she must have bathed in perfume before she came to the gym. Flower scented perfume. I was about 6 feet away from her and couldn't smell anything but perfume. I thought that I would press on, you know? Finish my cardio and get out of there. But after 5 minutes of every breath I took tasting like perfume, I stopped early. It took 2 hours before my eyes stopped watering.

The gym is full of interesting people. That girl for one. The beatnik who comes to the gym in street clothes (a sweater and cargo pants), gets on the treadmill and proceeds to work out while reading his paper and drinking his coffee. The 45 year old with the gigantic gut who struts around like a rooster, looking around to make sure everyone is watching how much he can lift. The guy and girl who are sitting on the weight machines, flirting, and not working out.

Oh and the most disturbing to me personally. One of my older male professors...known, not so affectionately, as "the Letch". Yeah. I gave a little wave and kept on walking.

Ah. The gym.

Because I Just Can't Stop.

3.20.2006

And because some of you do, in fact, give a rat's hiney about my music/movie recommendations. Love!

So. Bloc Party. When they came out, awhile ago, everyone was raving about them. The Killers? Who are they? It's Bloc Party that you want to be listening to. They were supposed to be the saviours (see, I even did it British) of the whole post-punk-new-wave-retro-flashback (or whatever you want to call it) that the Killers, and Franz Ferdinand (the band, not the archduke) were doing. Liking both the Killers and Franz Ferdinand, I thought I would buy Bloc Party's album*.

That was like 6 or 7 months ago. I got it, put it in my iPod, listened once, and quite frankly, lost interest.

Then the other day I was noticing that I've crossed the 3200 songs mark, and decided that I needed to go back to a lot of the albums and re-evaluate. So when I was working out the other day, I put on Bloc Party again...and haven't stopped listening. It took about 3 or 4 rotations before I got really hooked, but I'm glad that I came back to this one. They aren't necessarily the greatest-band-ever-to-come-out-of-the-UK or anything, but they are good, and a real fun listen. Plus the drummer kicks ass, and is an Asian guy, so how much fun is that (unless, of course, my dream comes true and I learn to play drums overnight and it's me playing and not him. Yeah, that would be more fun.)?

So, give them a listen. Or 2 or 20. And let me know what you think.


*This, of course, seems to beg the question: "Are you rich? How can you manage to buy so much music?" To which I say, No. Not rich. But listen carefully, because I have really great sources for music: the first is emusic. This place is fantastic and chock full of fabulous indie rock (among other things). In fact, next to iTunes, I think it might be the best place to find little known bands. I had the $9.99 plan - 50 downloads a month. Nice. Then we decided to subscribe to Yahoo music. $52 a year for unlimited downloads. You can't beat that. Really.



My Happy Place.

3.16.2006

When you've got worries, all the noise and the hurries, you can always go*...To your happy place.

I've recently found that it's nice to have said happy place to go in order to get away from some of the stress that's been surrounding me. Mine? The Daily Show. Your's might be different. But how does it work, you ask?

Have a near death experience in the elevator from hell? Don't fret. Watch the Daily Show.

Find that the bottoms are falling out of your pilsner glasses way to often? Don't cry. Watch the Daily Show.

Have a heated discussion with the spouse? Pause. Count to 10. Then watch the Daily Show.

Find that you're frightening to the local townfolk at 2.00 am? Go home and watch the Daily Show.

Can't cook your frozen pizza in English? Download the Daily Show.

Have a pigeon smack into your head...while indoors? Chop it into bits, throw it on the chicken house roof...then go watch the Daily Show.

Actually, those last three aren't mine. Wesley, David, and Josh...Find your own damn happy place.



*My sincere apologies to Petula Clark for stealing and then changing her lyrics. Or...not...Most likely, not.


Just the Beginning.

3.14.2006

Last night was the Providence screening of Invisible Children. To be completely honest, I wasn't expecting a great turn out. We weren't able to really promote the event until last week, and I figured that people might just be too busy, or forget.

But we had around 150 people show up. It was incredible. There were people standing because we ran out of chairs, and the team showing the film is even going to come back for 2 or 3 more screenings in the next couple of weeks.

All leading to the Global Night Commute. Basically, on April 29, all over the states, people are going to walk to their city center and sleep outside, in solidarity with the kids in Uganda who have to do it every night of their lives. It's going to be a peaceful thing - no one yelling or waving signs. Just bringing awareness. It should be really incredible.

So. There are still screenings of the film happening until the end of April.
Check here. I'm positive that there is a screening somewhere near most of you. And if you're interested in the Global Night Commute, check here. Again, I'm sure most of you live near places where this is happening (Boise and Ithaca are even on the list). And again, if you just want to see the film, let me know...I'll send you a DVD (and Julie, I'll get one out to you asap).


Strange Days.

3.12.2006

A couple of years ago, we were in Krakow, Poland (one of my favorite places, by the way) enjoying a particularly delicious meal in a great little restaurant. We were also enjoying one of their more popular brews of beer: Okocim. At the end of the meal, my dear husband managed to somehow talk the wait staff into giving us a couple of the Okocim Pilsner glasses (I think he offered to pay, but they gave them to us for free). They also threw in a number of these beer coasters.

The first of the glasses met its fateful end when I was washing it and bashed it against the side of the sink. Not surprising, seeing as I've broken over 20 glasses in our 4.5 years of marriage.

But this one...was strange.

We have this bookcase (in black/brown, not white) sitting behind our couch, dividing our living room from our work space. Naturally, we end up setting glasses there while we're reading or watching tv. This morning, I reached to grab this Okocim glass (half full of Coke, and possibly a bit of rum, of course) to take it into the kitchen, and the bottom fell off.

It's one of the stranger things I've seen. It just came clean off. No little shards of glass, and the separated edges aren't even that sharp. I was so confused as to how the glass was half full when I picked it up, then completely empty in my hand, that it took me a few seconds to realize that the bottom piece, and the coke, was all over our couch.

Any of you out there that are smarter than me (that would be all of you)...do you know what would make this happen?

I'm thinking Dick Cheney had something to do with it. But I'm sure that can't be proven. Yet.


In Which I Almost Die (Seriously. I'm Not Joking).

3.08.2006

So today started out like any other day. Got up, worked out, got ready for school, walked to school, got to the Design Center, entered the elevator, pushed the button for the 6th floor...and that's where my day took a sudden and crap-in-my-pants-horrifying turn.

It's widely known that when facing the elevators, the left one is the worse of the two. It's older and apparently, the last time it was inspected was, oh, about the 1600's.

That was the elevator I got in today.

Everything was fine until I hit the 5th floor. Suddenly there was this awful grinding noise, then, (I kid you not), the elevator dropped to the 4th floor. I actually fell back against the wall. Then it slowly crept up to the 6th floor and after a horrifying amount of time, the door slowly opened and I jumped out before it decided to drop again.

People say that their life flashes before their eyes when they have such an experience. Mine didn't. All I saw was the flaming ball of fire that was going to consume me when I hit the basement after falling 6 stories. And seriously? That's how I was going to die? In an elevator in the frickin' Design Center? (although one of my friends pointed out that going down in a firey elevator is sort of glamorous. I don't think I agree)

It took me about a half hour before I could stop shaking. And I absolutely took the stairs on my way down.

Live 8 DVD.

3.03.2006

So, my dear husband continues with the awesome gift giving (I promise to stop bragging about his awesome gift giving abilities after this. Only probably not, cause I like bragging about him). He finally got home from his long (3 week) trip to China, and as usual, picked me up a few things. This time, his big surprise was this Live 8 DVD set, which contains all of the Live 8 concerts (he obviously remembered me trying in vain last fall to download the concerts online). I'm especially happy and excited about this, first, for the music and all, of course, but also for the packaging.

I love this Live 8 graphic, and the packaging for the DVD is pretty exciting. But can I point out that Coldplay* just never gets the love from China? Last time it was "Coolplay", and now it's "Coldpaly". Classic.

Also, I just love the Jib Jab / Last Supper - ishness of the 8 Leaders. Tony Blair looks like he'd rather be anywhere than sitting at a table dressed like a Sargent Peppers Lonely Heart Club member. And GW obviously can't wait to finish up the meeting so he can have some pound cake. All of this is happening as that poor little starving boy is watching. I'm sure there's a metaphor in there somewhere.

*The DVD is even more fun if, while Coldplay (or Coldpaly, if you will) is performing, you dance around your living room to see who can do the best "Chris-Martin-On-Stage" impression. I think I might have won this round. Sorry Herman.

**And contrary to popular belief (*nudge, nudge* Julie. And you know I love you right?), not every music/movie store in China is pirated and illegal. Although their English (or is that Engrish***?) spelling might not be spot on, this DVD is legal (to the best of our knowledge, that is).

***And speaking of this "site-of-endless-reading-pleasure", you must check out the toilet seat cover entry. Because one truly does not get enough of the blessing of nature when going to the bathroom. "Take a pause, have a rest. Then look back and reconsider your life." Oh, how I love you O-Type.


3 AM Dexter.

3.01.2006

It's been awhile since we've had a good old fashioned Dexter post around here. And no, Crab Cat doesn't count.

This is Dexter at 3.15 am. He didn't even open both eyes when I headed towards the bedroom (normally he runs after me like a dog).

New things that Dexter loves: french fries (not freedom fries), preferably covered in ketchup, salt, and pepper. Also, soy sauce and rice vinegar (as in what you dip your potstickers in). Oh, and he almost exclusively drinks water out of a glass. The bowl just isn't good enough anymore. And before anyone gets all up in my grill* about what I'm feeding him, let me say that I gave him half a french fry and I only dipped my finger in the sauce and gave him a drop after it looked like he was going to lap it all up.

*I heard this expression somewhere the other day. I've been waiting to use it. Doesn't work for me huh? Yeah. I didn't think so either.



I'm Beat.

My spring semester only started a bit over a week ago and already I'm feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and tired.

This is the desktop of my computer. If you'll notice the (small) time in the upper right hand corner, you'll see that I was up until 3.00 finishing work that was due today. But of course it always takes me awhile to wind down and actually fall asleep, so at 4.00, I was laying in bed reading my Johnny Cash autobiography (courtesy of Julie), only to wake up at 8.00 so that I could print all my stuff. I just made it to class at 11.30.

Ok. No more complaining. It really isn't all that bad when you love what you're doing. But I am hoping to get 8 hours of sleep tonight.



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