Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Oops I Did It Again!

I made onto Looking Into again!

I made a distinct effort over Christmas to take photos that were something more than documentary. Denver really leant itself to artistic photos - mostly taken by my husband.

I especially like this particular photo (that I took!) of the Denver train station because I love to travel and travel by rail is one of my fondest childhood memories.

And now with lots of travel expected in the new year I will continue to look for those "Looking Into" kind of shots. Except for airports where armed guards usually attack you if you try snapping a photo. Will avoid that.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Time Suck

As if there aren't too few hours in a day, here's how I've chosen to waste the ones that I have...

1. iTunes - hours of entertainment. especially when your friends have so many recommendations. also a great way to burn through lots of cash - in case you have suitcases full lying around

2. Facebook - really couldn't be a bigger waste. communicating with your husband via graffiti. how many friends can I accumulate in an hour so I can beat my sister in a popularity contest?

3. IM - when your family lives around the world, this can be a collossal vacuum of time. good thing they prohibit it at work or I'd be spending 8 hours a day trying to decipher my mother's shortand - cul8r!

4. The Daily Show - videos online. okay, not exactly a time suck since I do learn a lot about current events. but do I really need to catch up on what happened in 2003?

5. - how many fantasy vacations can you plan and never actually go on? hmmm... last count, 52. one per week. enough to keep me going back to the office.

Okay, I gotta go now and find another way to lose another evening...

Monday, January 28, 2008

Just a few questions

This post brought to you by Soccer Mom in Denial - posting every Monday on a different musical memory.


If you were like any kid in the 80's, heck any kid today, you got a bit of your fashion advice from your favorite rock stars.

It's okay, you can tell me, you had the Flock of Seagulls haircut. How much hairspray did it take to keep that do going in all different directions? You don't need to run so far away when I ask that question.

Or maybe you modeled your hair after Heart? Tease me. Please. How big was the comb you used to get that frizz to perfection? These dreams don't scare me.

Did you show off your cute legs with a mini-skirt inspired by our favorite girl band the Go-Go's? You can tell me, my lips are sealed.

Don't worry, you can confess here. I won't tell anyone. I'm just sitting here typing away in my Madonna-inspired lace gloves. I know, I'm borderline insane.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

It's An Honor Just to be Nominated

Oscar nominations came out today - and since there may be nothing more than an Oscar press conference next month, I thought I'd take this opportunity to put in a plug for a few favorites.

Let me preface all this by saying that I am by no means an Oscar fan. I don't dress up, have a party, place bets. I find the whole thing annoying - I don't need *one* single favorite, I prefer a collection of favorites. Heck, it's not like I go to only one movie every year. These are just some thoughts that you might not hear from the mainstream critics.

Viggo Mortenson in Eastern Promises - Holy Cannoli! Literally. Full frontal nudity in a fight scene. And somehow not gratuitous.

Philip Seymour Hoffman in Charlie Wilson's War - FRICKIN' HILARIOUS! Makes you want to become a CIA agent just like him - maybe they should put him in ads for recruitment.

Amy Ryan in Gone Baby Gone and Ellen Page in Juno - two sides of the young women maybe shouldn't be having children story.

Ratatouille - Cartoon cooking schools should be filled to over capacity after this film.

I won't comment on Best Picture - I haven't seen them all and I think the ones I have seen really bring different things to the table. You should see them all. No need to choose favorites. There are plenty of fake Oscars to go around.

And one sad note - an Oscar nominee we lost today:

Monday, January 21, 2008

Talkin' 'Bout A Revolution

This post brought to you by Soccer Mom in Denial - posting every Monday on a different musical memory.


This being MLK Day and being inspired by SMID's posting this week (Huckabee? Oh God help us!) I thought I would post on songs that inspired me to action.

I've been a bit of an activist all my life - hardly compared to some friends - but pretty much known among others as the one ready for a fight. Pick your battle, I'm in.

So this week's post is dedicated to those favorite songs that make me want to get up and do something.

Top of the List: "Talkin Bout A Revolution" by Tracy Chapman. I remember when this came out - heyday of George the 1st, successor to Reagan, one-termer. The "what me, worry?" president. Your own people can rise up against you when you dismiss and ignore them.

"Stop Children What's That Sound?" by Buffalo Springfield - I remember hearing this Vietnam Era classic on the Muppet Show. Hey, listen up! Pay attention!

and finally, a song that was adapted from another in response to Hurricane Katrina. oh, how far we have not come...(this one not for the kids)


To follow up on my Campaign Songs posting last week - the Washington Post wrote an article on the very same topic!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

To The Rescue!

Earlier this week I posted a phrase that I seem to be saying a lot these days. Quite honestly, I've been saying it for years. Someone thought it might be from a movie - Fast Times At Ridgemont High, for instance. No, it was uttered to a friend by our favorite neighborhood barman.

Way back in the early 90's a good friend (we'll call her Cathy) and I lived in the West Village in NYC. This was pre-super rent increase (though rents were still astronomically high) and we had a local bar that still maintained a regular (not yuppy) clientele and regular bartenders. The jukebox was fantastic, the beers cheap, wood-paneled walls, and the best burgers ever. Hands down. No kidding. It was such a happy place...

One night we were hanging out as usual and there was another woman who was falling down drunk, literally. At one point she collapsed on the floor. Cathy, being a lifeguard during the summers, moved into full-on rescue mode and dialed 911. While waiting for the ambulance, the woman's friends picked her up and carried her out of the bar.

The ambulance arrives with two very laidback EMTs who have come to rescue the fair maiden. Who is now gone. Cathy talks to them and tells them that the woman has been carried away by her friends and apologizes for bothering the EMTs. They're pretty cool and tell her no problem. Dude. Off they go.

Cathy is feeling a bit stupid for having reacted so strongly. I assure her she did the right thing, the woman had literally collapsed. Tommy, the bartender leans over and in his thick Irish brogue says:

"Next time someone does something crazy like that, you see that she's breathing, check her wallet for money, then ask her 'what are you smoking, and can I have some.'"

Words of wisdom.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Three Day Weekend


For more Singular Saturdays go visit Jenn in Holland.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Oft used phrases this week

"They send one of ours to the hospital, we send one of theirs to the morgue. "

"What are you smoking and can I have some?"

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


I once had someone do a psychological test on me - the result, "you like problem-solving". Not as in world peace (still working on that) but more like the NY Times crossword puzzle.

I recently mentioned that I saw the movie Wordplay about a crossword puzzle competition run by the NY Times puzzle editor, Will Shortz. I've been a fan of his for years - ever since he was editor of Games Magazine. I may be a geek, but I am in good company - Jon Stewart also does the puzzle.

My puzzling obsession has taken on epic proportions at my new job. Two weeks into it, and I have already created several grids and have embarked on a project to create an organogram. And another project to produce a service delivery cascade that can be best described as OrgPorn. I can't help it. I have to put things in boxes.

I see chaos and I need to create order.

Now if I could only apply this obsession to my closet.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Campaign Songs

This post brought to you by Soccer Mom in Denial - posting every Monday on a different musical memory.

This week SMID is out of commission - the details of which will no doubt show up under a posting for "parental horror". Please let me know that you will be posting!


In light of the recent activity around the upcoming presidential election I started thinking about campaign songs. Some original, some from bands we all know. What makes a good campaign song? I have no idea.

Here's a few that I thought were pretty interesting:

1932: Franklin Delano Roosevelt: "Happy Days Are Here Again" which was totally appropriate to the time

1972: George McGovern: "Bridge Over Troubled Water" which I very much love and was appropriate to the time, but don't you think it's a bit morose?

1984: Ronald Reagan: "Born in the U.S.A." which I think is particularly funny since Bruce Springsteen asked Reagan to stop using it - Go Bruce!

1988: Michael Dukakis: "Coming to America", an odd choice since I think it's about immigration. Doubt that would go over well today!

1992: Ross Perot: "Crazy", toooo funny! I love Patsy Cline but don't you think this song's title isn't quite the image you want to project? And a bit slow and romantic at that.

2004: John Kerry: "No Surrender". Ouch.

2008: Hillary Clinton: "You and I" by Celine Dion - demonstrating that letting the public vote isn't necessarily a good thing.


Want to read more about Music Monday?

A2eatwrite declares herself Nerd Princess - yay Nerds!

Cablegirl (aka 42) illuminates War Pigs - hmmm....

Wholly Burble has thrown her hat in the ring this Monday

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Fleeing Floyd

This post is written today in honor of our family cat, Eloise, who passed away last week at the ripe old age of 18. She lived a full life, as evidenced by the following true story which she participated in.


In September 1999, due to various transitions in our family, my sister and I found ourselves housesitting (and cat sitting) for our Mom in Savannah, GA. At the time, my sister and I were between homes and Mom was in Europe on a hike about to meet the man she would later marry. As my sister, Jenn, and I were homeless we also had our pets with us - the total in the house being 6 cats and 1 dog. Sounds like a lot but the house was pretty spacious. Blitzen, Eloise, Henri, Hector, Sophie, Lucy, and Wilma (the dog). And me and Jenn.

We were enjoying ourselves in this lovely coastal home overlooking a marsh when some friends from NY called one night - "Are you watching the news?". No. "There's a hurricane coming and you need to evacuate." Alrighty, then. We turned on the TV and the local news was on red alert - everyone must evacuate, Hurricane Floyd is going to hit the Georgia/South Carolina coast. Everyone.

We ran around the house putting away objects that might become projectiles should the glass doors on the house be smashed. We contacted Mom briefly to ask what we should pack in the car - important papers in a box and the rest of it would have to stay. To her credit, she didn't require us to pack all of her possessions - good thing, because the car wouldn't hold it all - what with the 6 cats and 1 (large) dog. Oh boy.

My sister furiously called around to hotels further inland and the best we could do was a motel in Augusta, GA - about 3 hours away. We packed up the car (thank God it was a station wagon!) and headed out. More like crawled. 10 hours of crying cats later, we got to Augusta. The country's 2nd largest evacuation had kinda clogged the roads. Hmmm.....lesson learned by FEMA??

We finally arrive at the motel and when Jenn checks in she discovers that there is a $25 per pet charge - per night. That would be twice our bill and half our income- thankfully, to enter the rooms at the motel you went from outside - no toting anything through the lobby. So under the cover of darkness, and with several trips, we managed to get everyone into our room. Two double beds proved to be sufficient - everyone had a place to sleep. After awhile we got kind of bored and started playing badminton (we had the forethought to pack rackets and shuttlecocks before we left Savannah). That proved mildly entertaining to our sacked-out companions.

The next day we realized we had to leave our room - taking everyone with us - since housekeeping was going to come by. So back in the car went our menagerie and we began to drive around Augusta. We stopped for lunch at a restaurant where we could see the car from our table. Went to a museum for a short visit - the city had made all museums free for the evacuees. And then we drove around trying to figure out what to do next.

The radio stations were in full evacuation mode - "thousands of people homeless, big storm coming" - and they kept asking people to drop off supplies at the local storm shelters. Heeding their pleas we went to the grocery store and stocked up on diapers, shampoo and baby food and headed off to one of these shelters. As we were walking into the shelter with economy size diaper packages a local TV crew filmed us. Later on that evening we ended up on the 7 o'clock news - "Locals help out hurricane victims". Ironic, given that we're from NY.

All the while we were sending emails to everyone to let them know we were okay - and on TV! Mom would get these emails at each stop along the hike and read them to her companions at dinner. Endless entertainment.

After another night in the motel we were free to go home - and in just under 3 hours we were back at mom's house. Lots of tree branches everywhere but otherwise everything was intact. Except the one dish that Jenn broke while trying to pack Mom's valuables safely away. But you can hardly blame that on Floyd.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Dog Ate My Book Report

Oh, I'm having 4th grade nightmares all over again. We had to record the number of books we read and our totals were posted prominently on the wall. Despite being the best speller in the class, I didn't do speed reading. I've never excelled at reading "competitions". I just read whatever, wherever, whenever.

I could peruse an atlas for hours, go through hundreds of National Geographic magazines, pour through volumes of recipes - but ask me to count the number of books I read and I just fall short.

And now with Day to Read, I've failed at even the simplest thing - reading a page. I wanted to, really I did. But I spent a whole day in an intense office retreat and then went to a concert (I read the program!) and at the end of it all my brain was mush. Mush mush mush.

I promise, tomorrow is DEFINITELY Day to Read for me! And no excuses about the dog eating my homework. But there will probably be a cat reading over my shoulder.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


What will I be reading on January 10th? Well, for the past few weeks I've been telling everyone that it will be The Princess Bride - which is true. I'll be reading it at night when I go to bed.

Alas, the rest of the day I'll be reading minds.

I have an all day staff retreat on the 10th. For my new job. I'm somewhat famous for my ability to avoid such retreats - somehow I have magically either arrived at a job just after or departed just before a staff retreat. So, you see, I've never been on one. But I have heard horror stories.

At one retreat a friend was asked for one word that described her office. "Toxic" she replied.

I think the odds are that this will be a good day - alas, no bowling or karaoke like some retreats I've heard of. But maybe avoiding heavy projectiles objects and public singing aren't such bad ideas.

I'm fairly optimistic that this will be a productive exercise - for sure I'll learn a lot about my office and how it functions. I'll get to meet all the new people and learn a bit more about the current staff. I hear they're serving lunch too.

And later on that night I can retreat to my bed, forget it all, and be whisked away to a magical land with princesses and pirates.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

I Feel Warm Inside

As I sit here writing this I am watching Jon Stewart on The Daily Show. He doesn't have writers but he's still funny - heck, he could be bombing and I wouldn't even notice. I'm just so glad to have my major news source back.

Having The Daily Show back is like:
  1. a beautiful spring day lying in a meadow after a cold winter (as long as it's not January and 70 degrees!)

  2. a tall cold beer on a blistering hot day (as long as it's not December and hotter than Texas!)

  3. a breath of fresh air on a mountaintop (that still has some snow on it because it's not the beginning of the Presidential primaries and balmy!)

Ah, my heart is warm (and not because it's steamy outside!)

Monday, January 07, 2008


This post brought to you by Soccer Mom in Denial - posting every Monday on a different musical memory.


I was watching the movie Wordplay (which is awesome if you're a big NY Times crossword geek like me - includes Jon Stewart who is hilarious!) and there was a song playing that I couldn't quite place. The tune was familiar, the singer was familiar, but they didn't match. My puzzling mind tried to figure it out.

Finally it came to me - Shawn Colvin singing This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody) - a song I've known to be sung by the Talking Heads. She did a wonderful version of it and I even felt like I heard phrases I'd never heard before. A positive effort all around.

And that got my puzzling mind thinking about remakes (not covers - which are more like what wedding singers or Las Vegas bands do) of other famous songs - and maybe not always so successful. Here's a list of a few remakes I like - can you add any others?

  1. One: U2 (original), Mary J Blige and U2 (remake) [not really a remake but oh so much better with MJB]

  2. Hurt: Nine Inch Nails (o), Johnny Cash (r)

  3. Red Red Wine: Neil Diamond (o), UB40 (r)

  4. Tainted Love: Gloria Jones (o), Soft Cell (r)

  5. ...

Puzzling minds want to know...

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Work is Harsh

I know none of you will shed a tear for me on this one. Probably throw tomatoes. But here goes.

I started a new job this past week. The first job I've had in an office in 3 years. In case you think I've been completely unemployed, I have been working - just from home. The consulting stuff got to be too unstable, and benefits too appealing, so I took a job (with more travel and interesting work too) and so it's back to the office for me. I think I'm prepared - I've been watching The Office for 3 years.

Well, at least I thought I was. Here's my past week's foibles:

  1. First day walking to the metro - 28 degrees with whipping winds at 7am. ouch.
  2. Work wardrobe. Shoes. ouch.
  3. Need a security badge to go to the bathroom and anywhere else. Kinda like a hall pass only worse. Fear being accidentally strangled by lanyard.
  4. Squatted in someone else's empty cube for 3 days before realizing that the cube they assigned me did in fact exist and wasn't just a figment of my imagination. To reach said cube, must enter wardrobe.
  5. Staff. retreat. next. week. Never been on one in my life. Can't say I've heard good things about them.
  6. No IM. No talking with my sister and mom who both live overseas in far away time zones.
  7. Husband still learning "make dinner" concept.

Now here are the good parts just so you don't think I'm a total whiner:

  1. Get to work with friend who is cool - alas need badge to get to her office.
  2. Have work space not defined by couch length
  3. Regular paycheck (soon)!
  4. Lunch buddies
  5. Conversations with people who aren't sleepy 19-year old cats
  6. Husband understands "make coffee" concept very well.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

After the First Week at the New Job


For more Singular Saturdays go visit Jenn in Holland.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

There's An Epidemic

MADISON - New video was released of a police chase in Madison. Dash cam video shows officers pursuing a man in a stolen Krispy Kreme truck! You can see doughnuts literally flying out of the back. Police eventually caught up with the suspect. The cops say he was drunk.

Police recover doughnuts
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Police followed a trail of doughnuts to find a stolen Krispy Kreme delivery truck.

"It has a happy ending," Swatara Township Sgt. Robert Simmonds said. "The evidence was brought back to the police station, and the cops are eating the doughnuts."

It was 12:45 a.m. Thursday when Krispy Kreme deliveryman Tim Trostle stopped at a Swatara Township convenience store and left the engine running as he made the delivery. Someone fled with the truck, but since Trostle had left the back doors open, police were able to follow a trail of doughnuts.

The doughnut trail ended before long, but police in a nearby township found a doughnut cart near the Harrisburg city line. City police found the truck near a downtown bar.

No arrests were immediately made. The truck was returned to the company.

Although Simmonds had been joking about police taking the contents of the truck, he acknowledged seeing Krispy Kreme doughnuts in a station conference room Thursday.

"I suspect that the manager from the Krispy Kreme might have given us a little thank you for our efforts," he said.

Thieves Find Hole In Plan
TWO crack cocaine smokers left a 15-mile trail of doughnuts after they took a delivery truck from a car park lot.

The truck was parked at a store with its rear doors open and engine running while a Krispy Kreme delivery man carried doughnuts inside, police in Slidell, Louisiana, said.

They abandoned the truck when they were spotted by police responding to reports of a driver losing his doughnuts.

A police spokesman said: "I don’t know if it was a need for transportation or if they just had the munchies."