Friday, June 27, 2008

Just the facts, ma'am

At first I thought this job posting was quite the oxymoron...fact checkers at Fox News, teehee. Then I reread (checked my facts) and realized the job is billed as Fact Writer. Which, really, is even better.

For anyone without a MediaBistro account, here's an excerpt from the listing:
Responsibilities include writing on-air facts and press conference quotes for daytime programming. Individuals must have strong writing skills, be able to handle multiple assignments and deadlines, and work well in a team atmosphere.
(Three posts and it's not even noon. The coffee is working.)

All tied up

Stay classy, Sarko.

And taking names

Manohla Dargis's review of Wanted makes it sound pretty much like what I would expect. Guns, post-Matrix effects, etc., and Angelina Jolie's character's too perfect name, Fox.

As Dargis says re: Jolie, "Few American actresses, especially those with such pin-skinny arms, can make beating a guy to the ground look so easy and, yeah, man, like fun." Here is where I maybe would have liked an Uma reference, because, hello, as much as Tarantino likes his obnoxious T&A closeups, he has some effing badass heroines. Stuntwoman-cum-actress Zoe Bell is also pretty great in Death Proof.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

We suffer for fashion or whatever

I thoroughly enjoyed this analysis of the pope's getups. Check him out in his throwback ermine cape and camauro (Benedict's looks decidedly more Christmas-y than Urban VII's). They can deny that his shoes are Prada all they want--I really can't judge, Holy Father, because I have been looking for cute red flats for a long time!

Also, this is a funny and fairly creepy quote : "'The pope, therefore, does not wear Prada, but Christ,' L'Osservatore said."

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Cover Models

My housemate Katie's copy of New York magazine just arrived. I don't really like to blog about politics, because, well, there is a ton of that already and I'm in Washington, but the magazine's cover this issue is pretty riiidicuyoolus. Holy spider vein-free old Republican manlegs. McCain and Obama -- just some bros at the beach, bra. Why, they look like they're gonna get up and throw a Frisbee around and toss back some Miller Lites!

Nice disclaimer: "Not really Obama's abs. Not really Obama either. And not McCain for that matter. But you knew that."

At least they put McCain in a tacky shirt. And he totally would be that guy who wears sneaker at the beach.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

"Humour is the first of the gifts to perish in a foreign tongue."

Yeah, Ms. Woolf, it's true. Today I felt proficient because I made a little pun in French. Discussing our attachés, who each work on a different branch of science and many of whom are leaving soon, I said "on est attaché à nos attachés" ("We're attached to our attachés.") That was my foolproof reasoning as to why we should have nice champagne and dessert going away parties for them...which we will actually undoubtedly have. Woot.

Friday, June 20, 2008


Today I caught up on some LOLcats:

Thursday, June 19, 2008

All quiet

I've tried to be disciplined about posting every day, which isn't always easy when your blog lacks the coherence of ones such as Design*Sponge, BoingBoing, etc. (dare I add m4intern). But today I am not feeling especially talkative, and I just sat through a nice Thai lunch barely saying un mot. So, enjoy the rest of your Thursday!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Brits = better?

I was on the British Embassy web site looking for their mailing address, when I noticed the job listings. I passed one along to Krista and noticed two lovely tidbits. First, this paragraph:

The British Embassy Network offers a competitive salary and a strong benefits package. This package includes medical, dental, vision, life, long term and short term disability insurance, a 401(k) retirement savings plan, generous vacation and leave time, and an enriching training package.

OK, so I get *one* of those things at my embassy. Jealousss. That's a nice deal! Also, your work can be described thusly:

Quick and accurate research skills using electronic and printed resources, together with an awareness of current affairs, in order to find information that will add value to the work of Her Majesty’s Government

(P.S. That crown image is from an Armwrestling competition web site....)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Reason no. 2349080 not to live in a group house

Last night, I began the task of cleaning my fridge. I didn't even get to the "wiping down" part, because there was so much expired stuff to throw out. Fortunately today is trash day...although collection is a whole other can of worms.

Now that my clean freak housemate Tessa's somewhere in Paraguay with the Peace Corps, I thought I'd take the reins. She used to clean old stuff out pretty regularly, so I thought the job couldn't be too bad. Little did I know she never did the door. Seriously, I threw out stuff that expired in 2006. That was TWO YEARS AGO. I threw out/recycled maybe 20 containers, which meant cleaning them out first so that I could a) do maximal recycling b) make the bags less heavy.

Conclusions? I am ready to live in an apartment again, and Tessa's not as much of a clean freak as we had all thought.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Onwards and upwards

So, my stomach and body in general are getting better; the salmonella is gone, and my cold's almost there! Woooo. Also, I bought tickets for my cousin's wedding in Portland in August, and now I need to book the train leg of the trip down to San Francisco. (Yes, that's approximately 18 hours on Amtrak.) It's remarkable how much the act of purchasing tickets makes things that much better.

Speaking of trips, I was in New York, and it was fun! My attitude about the city has progressed from a feeling of being totally overwhelmed to a desire to explore it all.

One thing I found: a preserved shark ("The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living"), the sale of which apparently made Damien Hirst the the world's second most expensive living artist after Jasper Johns. (He went on to claim 1st place by making a platinum cast of a human skull that is covered in 8,601 flawless - and, worth mentioning, "ethically sourced" - diamonds. It is aptly titled "For the Love of God" and made the rounds on BoingBoing, etc., last year) Qualifiers: I'm not really a fan of works like Marcel Duchamp's pissoir, this work isn't my favorite stuff either, and that many diamonds is ridiculous. But I have a strange appreciation for this shark, because I actually felt something when I saw it (unlike the pissoir). And I liked the title. At any rate, it does a lot more for me than most bowl o' fruit still lifes.

More photos on Flickr.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Go to hell, tomatoes

My stomach felt funny for most of today, but, then again, my stomach often feels weird. So I dismissed it...until I couldn't any longer. Then I took my temperature (99.6), and I have deduced that I have salmonella. (The cause was most likely a tomato/mozzarella sandwich for lunch yesterday--stupid, I know.) Woooo, tomatoes. I never really liked you and detest you now.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Gawking - Lieberman

Today I had my second Joe Lieberman sighting on the Georgetown campus. Short man. Not entirely sure why he was on campus either time (Google failed me!), considering that if he were going to teach a class it wouldn't be in the summer. I know he lives in the neighborhood..

Friday, June 6, 2008

Updates: losing stuff, videos, toilets

So I have succeeded in misplacing my iPod (do I buy a nano or Touch?) and finding a better Magnetic Fields video. Also, they fixed the ISS toilet.

I daresay, OMFG

From NYT:

The inquiry involving the Air Force was an effort to determine how four high-tech electrical nose cone fuses for Minuteman nuclear warheads were sent to Taiwan in place of helicopter batteries. The mistake was discovered in March — a year and a half after the mistaken shipment.

Mr. Gates made clear that most troubling was that the inquiry showed how little the Air Force had done to improve the security of the nuclear weapons infrastructure even after it was disclosed last year that a B-52 bomber had flown across the United States without anyone’s realizing that it was carrying six armed nuclear cruise missiles.

(Emphasis added.)

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Weird 1 and 2

Yesterday on the bus to Dupont Circle after work, I saw a man dressed as Abe Lincoln. He was just sauntering down the street in full gear. (Note that it was hot yesterday and had just poured.)

Also, to have something to listen to at work, I started listening to Magnetic Fields videos on YouTube. Note the verb choice. Once I started actually looking, I noticed this one. Ahh! On the positive side, I actually like this one.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Potty humor

Forget liftoffs and all that tricky NASA stuff--the International Space Station is battling a toilet that's on the fritz. (The problem is "confined to the urine side of the commode," fortunately.) I first read coverage of it in French, just now, for work, and the wording is much amusing than it is in English:

Depuis la semaine dernière, l'unique cabinet de toilette ne fonctionne plus et les trois membres d'équipage de l'ISS sont obligés, depuis lors, de faire leurs besoins dans des sacs en plastique.


Since last week the only toilet on board has stopped working, and in the meantime the three ISS team members have been forced to do their business in plastic bags.

While its title is clever, the English version of course makes no direct reference to the act of urination:

Crew members aboard the International Space Station have been fumbling with plastic bags since their zero-gravity toilet made "a loud noise" and stopped working properly last week.

I've always been impressed by the many things astronauts do, and it seems that peeing into a plastic bag in zero gravity will just have to be added to the list.

Blaming it on the rain

Last night, I went to my first Nats game at their new stadium. It didn't start or end well.

I unthinkingly got on the D6 to Stadium-Armory, realized that said stadium didn't apply to where I was actually going, and got on the metro. Got off at Waterfront, like Tyler advised, but should have gotten off at Navy Yard; while walking, it started to pour. Then it rained some more.

Then, at the top of the fourth, they delayed the game. I ate peanuts, joked around, talked on the phone. Two hours later (about 10 p.m.), they resumed play. Some live-action bobblehead presidents ran a race; I was told it's rigged so that TR never wins (Wikipedia confirms it). "Jefferson" won. Maybe ten minutes later, the rain started again! Given that we had already patiently waited a few hours, we weren't going to stick around any longer. Don't think we get a rain check because they eventually finished the game. Apparently at some point they made an announcement that they were going to reimburse people $1.35 for the metro. (Can you hear my scoffing?)

From what I saw of it from under my umbrella, the stadium seems alright. Like most new(ish) baseball stadiums I've seen (Camden Yards + Citizens Bank Park) , it feels very open. Unrelated, but my hot dog made my stomach hurt. Finally, one of the weird things is that the women's restroom had no mirrors, just reflective plastic frames with Geico ads. I didn't really need one, despite feeling kind of disheveled from the rain, but that seemed weird to me.

Conclusion: I'll go back in July when the Phillies play.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Television Have I Loved

Today I went to lunch at a cafeteria-style restaurant that used to be a Georgetown campus dining hall nicknamed "The Max" for its likeness to the hangout in Saved by the Bell. I can't in good conscience call it a cafeteria now, because it is so much nicer than it used to be. Gone are the 80s decor and, ooh, waffle machine; they've been replaced by giant salad bars, made-to-order food, and a really amazing array of gummy candies (Haribo + Kasugai).

Explaining the old dining hall's nickname to the two coworkers with me led to a discussion of Saved by the Bell and, subsequently, Clarissa Explains it All. I think besides my current fixation on 30 Rock and Project Runway (OK and a growing love of Gossip Girl...), I was most in love with TV when I was about 8 or 9. My parents only let me watch TV for about an hour a day, but I was undeniably influenced by Clarissa's fashion choices and had dreams about Zach. Granted Clarissa is rocking a pretty small outfit in the show's opening credits, but on the show it's refreshing to look at it and see a kid clearly looking like a kid.

Talking about Clarissa also brought up Matilda, another favorite girl character. Which also made me realize that those are two of my favorite names, the former also for literary ties. I blame my interest in names on one of my absolute favorite professors. Anddd speaking of professors, I ran into a preferred French professors at lunch.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Fix up, look sharp

RE: "As has been said many times before on the forum, if you want to attract a hipster you can’t act as though you’re too excited about your 'life situation.'”

Hey doods, you can also try dousing yourself in the suds of some handmade Pabst soap.


Yves Saint Laurent died, and while it's a pretty huge deal as far as French culture goes, I realized in reading the obit that his muse has what it is maybe the best name ever: Loulou de la Falaise. (I'm into fashion enough to know a thing or two about YSL but not so much that I'd heard of her before). A cute but insouciant first name. Last name indicates breeding, but literally means "of the cliff."