Friday, May 30, 2008
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Speaking of environmental stuff, one of our neighbors stole our recycling bin again. The replacement will come in two weeks, and in the interim the official response is to trash my juice cartons (OK, wine bottles), newspapers, etc. Not exactly surprising, it's just that the trash situation outside my back fence is already dire. I'll spare you the rodent details.
Friday, May 23, 2008
Below is a list of 106 books most often marked as “unread” by LibraryThing users. They sit on their shelf, perhaps to make their owner feel smart or well-rounded.
The meme comes with these instructions: Bold the ones you’ve read, italicize the ones you started but didn’t finish, and underline the ones you read for school.
My main comment, besides that I have been reminded once more of how much I have left to read and that I apparently have a shorter attention span than I thought, is that this list doesn't include the likes of The Great Gatsby but there are TWO Ayn Rand titles. Krista and I also discussed that there should be a "saw the movie" category."
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Crime and Punishment
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Life of Pi : a novel
The Name of the Rose
Pride and Prejudice
The Tale of Two Cities
The Brothers Karamazov
Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies
War and Peace
The Time Traveler’s Wife
The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Atlas Shrugged (gag)
Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books
Memoirs of a Geisha
Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
The Canterbury Tales
The Historian : a novel
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Love in the Time of Cholera
Brave New World
The Fountainhead (gag)
The Count of Monte Cristo
A Clockwork Orange
The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath
The Poisonwood Bible : a novel
Angels & Demons
The Inferno (and Purgatory and Paradise)
The Satanic Verses
Sense and Sensibility
The Picture of Dorian Gray
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
To the Lighthouse
Tess of the D’Urbervilles
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
The Sound and the Fury
Angela’s Ashes : a memoir
The God of Small Things
A People’s History of the United States : 1492-present
A Confederacy of Dunces
A Short History of Nearly Everything
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
The Scarlet Letter
Eats, Shoots & Leaves
The Mists of Avalon
Oryx and Crake : a novel
Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed
The Catcher in the Rye
On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Freakonomics : a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : an inquiry into values
The Hobbit (and the trilogy!)
In Cold Blood
White Teeth (but I have read On Beauty!)
The Three Musketeers
My initials are KKR. When I had that backpack, a few people liked to point out if you covered up the top of the R with Sharpie, my bag would make me seem like an awful, racist person. This was generally followed by comments that I could never marry someone with a last name that began with K; my mom consoled me by saying I could take R as my middle initial. I've never even dated a Klein or Knauss, but the thought of marriage honestly comes up (in the vaguest terms possible!) whenever I see a K last name.
Like today, walking to work, I saw a nametag stuck to the sidewalk near Dupont Circle. If I remember correctly, dude's name was Drew Kleibrink. Thanks to the powers of Google, I concluded that he wouldn't have been a candidate anyway. (To be fair, belly and age aside, he has donated thousands of dollars to Obama and seems friendly.)
Then, after reading a Post article, I realized that its byline was shared by someone named Kimberly Kindy. Relevant disclosure: she and I have the same first name. This made me 1) wonder what her middle name was 2) if she was married 3) if she was as bubbly as her name.
My consolation? My brother's initials are MMR, which, I have noted since I was little and had to get shots, is the name of the vaccination against measles, mumps, and rubella.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Admittedly, I was pulled in because the photo caption begins with "lovable lumps"--"lump" being a nickname that has stuck with me and my sleepy ways since my sophomore year of college. Many others might find being called "lump-o" wildly unflattering, but my heart warms at statements such as "walruses remain perversely, lumpishly obscure."
Walruses, as it turns out, actually sound pretty fun, and the beginning the article itself (three pages! the Julia Allison treatment!) is pleasantly silly.
1. "I watched Sivuqaq, a 2,200-pound adult male, roll toward me like a gelatinous, mustachioed boulder..."
2."'Just push back on the snout with the palm of your hand and blow in its face,' Dr. Schusterman instructed. 'A walrus really likes to be blown in the face.'"
3. "Then I blew in his face, and he half-closed his eyes, and I huffed and puffed harder and he leaned into my breath, all the while bleating and grunting and snorting for more."
Friday, May 16, 2008
"The closest I get to serious exercise is flopping around at concerts like a lumpy, overeducated flounder."
The article does neglect how much of a workout games like boxing already are (although the video feature reveals that Wii Fit has a boxing component). I also don't think it mentions a price. Finally, I know that the physical rehab center where sister-in-law works uses Wii, a detail the likes of which could have added something.
The video is pretty fun, though, especially, because it makes me want to try the hula hooping and skiing. Sooo, do I buy one?
Addendum: Yeah, I just read too quickly. The article does include the price, which is $90 (plus the cost of a Wii itself, which NYT puts at $250).
News that GE wants to sell off its washers and dryers is such fodder for Jack Donaghy and his "Sheinhardt Wig Company" jokes.
(This post is a thinly veiled excuse for me to use news to whine about having to wait for next season.)
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Here's one from Lindsey, an NFL cheerleader in Nashville, Tenn.:
One big thing we procrastinate on is tanning. We have to have color, because our uniforms are really light. But we have practices five times a week, and you don’t want to go in to practice smelling like tanning stuff—you’re already sweating, and you can’t spray and go to practice, anyhow, because it’ll all come off. It’s just disgusting. So you wait until 24 hours before the game, and then you go lay in a tanning bed for 10 to 12 minutes—just to get your body warm—and then you go right into the spray area to get sprayed. And then you can’t shower for eight hours, so you go home and you stink and you smell, and the next morning you’re all dark.I also liked the cheesemonger (and the job title itself):
I hate doing maintenance work—cleaning compressors on refrigerators, that kind of thing. I always find a reason to do it later. … One thing I really enjoy doing is taking care of the cheese in the cave. I love going in there and babying all the cheeses, turning them over, making sure they have straw mats. … It’s a perfect way to kill some minutes at the store if I don’t feel like doing something more pressing. … Building and rebuilding the display is something I [also] get too into. It’s this weird Tetris game, it’s never perfect. I spent an hour or and hour-and-a-half every morning; I kind of obsess over it.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
S: is that jesus?
S: because he's kind of hot
Sometimes, it's food--I'll take a few bites of a muffin, put it down, and find it half an hour later. (This clearly has the potential for being gross, but I've discovered that I leave snacks either on my desk, bedside table, or dresser, so no food stays un-found for too long.) I once lost a coat for over a year, only to find it in a suitcase. A boyfriend counseled my dad to buy me a larger iPod over a Shuffle not because of increased storage capacity, but because I would inevitably lose the tinier one. (My dad bought the Shuffle. To my credit it was once misplaced for a few weeks, but it is still with me, more than a year later, only because I always keep it in the same place.)
Fortunately, I've never lost anything terribly important or expensive (see: iPod), but it seems strange to me to feel so "with it" with some things and so absent-minded with others. I mostly just don't want to wind up as an old lady who points ointment on her toast and her dentures in juice.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Suggestions, please, folks.
P.S. It may not always be accurate, but the minutia of Wikipedia can be great. "Liz has been seen signing her name on a check with her left hand, adding items to her pros-and-cons list of Dennis with her left hand, and Jack has referred to her "left-handedness". Tina Fey is left-handed." Also, did you know that Fey's middle name is Stamatina??
Monday, May 12, 2008
Taking into consideration me, my boss, and my boss's deputy, I think our sector is the shortest within our office. Those two are 5'5" max.
Friday, May 9, 2008
Highlights include sleeping late (duh); making a smoothie and fixing blender leak that left OJ all over counter, drawers, and floor; cleaning the kitchen in the wake of aforementioned smoothie problems; getting lunch somewhere other than the embassy caf (Teaism); paying a fortune to get a print framed; and engaging in a TVfest over Dogfish Head.
As great as it was to have the day off, it was mildly disorienting being put out of my routine like that. I'm taking a half day today (comp time for doing last weekend's Open House) to slouch around the house and make a lemon meringue pie for my parents' visit. I'll be going all out making a mother's day dinner.
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Honestly, what stuck out to me amidst all the standard stuff about how learning new things wards off dementia was this line: "She recommends practicing a Japanese technique called kaizen, which calls for tiny, continuous improvements."
What immediately came to mind was the 1991 Bill Murray movie What About Bob? and the "baby steps" credo espoused by Richard Dreyfuss's character, shrink Dr. Leo Marvin. (I watched this one, Groundhog Day, and Rushmore innumerable times with a high school boyfriend.) So basically, I know that it's important to keep trying new stuff, that baby steps aren't a bad idea even if the shrink is crazy too, and that I should probably finally set up my own Netflix account because I now have an overwhelming urge to rewatch Bill Murray movies.
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Please do offer alternative capshuns and submissions (the latter can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org)
Monday, May 5, 2008
The idea, in short:
And even when I don’t want him to stay — even when he and I find each other as strangers and remain strangers until we stop doing whatever it is we are doing — I still want to believe that two people can meet and like each other well enough to stay together exclusively, without the introduction of some 1960s rhetoric about free love or other noncommittal slogans.This article is about 120,908,325 times more insightful than any Laura Sessions Stepp article or book has ever been--and it comes from a girl who hasn't even graduated yet. Pure gold:
Then there was the installer of soy insulation who cooked soggy pasta and made me watch football and whimpered and kicked in his sleep. In the spring there was the guy 12 years older than me who shared an apartment overlooking Tompkins Square Park with an antediluvian man who walked around in graying long underwear.Unfortunately the end is kind of weak, but overall it's one of the more refreshing things I've read there in awhile.
It also makes me think of the last New Yorker cover, which had the gall to include "Mother's Day" in the title--the image of a woman drooling over babies that are enclosed as if in a pet store, while the man whose hand she is holding is desperately trying to lurch her away. It could have felt more like a comment on noncommittal guys if the desperate woman and the babies hadn't been the ones in the foreground. Blah.
Friday, May 2, 2008
I realize there's plenty of crime in D.C., and Savage's death certainly isn't the only one worth talking about. I mention it here because it hits literally close to home.
I rarely feel unsafe, but Champlain near Kalorama has always made me uncomfortable. Last year I learned it's in a police "hot zone." Champlain dead ends near Marie Reed, which I don't think helps things. (Less traffic flow? It doesn't seem to matter that the MPDC third district station is on V between 16th and 17th.) The fact that Savage was ganged up on by a bunch of kids there isn't so surprising to me, unfortunately, just based on stories I've heard from other people. My boss when I worked at CP had been beaten up by a group of teens, too, nearby.
I paired up with an athletic woman who was about my size, and we spent the better part of an hour jabbing, elbowing, and kicking at one another. If you suffer from "noodle arms" (as I have dubbed my own), this is the workout for you. We didn't really spar, but that doesn't stop roundhouse kicks from feeling pretty badass.
Thursday, May 1, 2008
If you're in DC, this is the EU site for the embassy open houses. Hopefully the weather will be good. At any rate, no matter your location or forecast, I hope you can enjoy as much as I did the discovery that Melle Gainsbourg starred in a 1996 version of Jane Eyre.