Thursday, July 31, 2008

Review time...

Latest book read: House of Lights by Leah Cohen
Latest movie seen: The X-Files, something, something, something.

House of Lights was extraordinarily good. I don't use that word lightly (extraordinarily) either. It's not up there with "best book I ever read" kind of praise but it's definitely upper middle-class. It was so good I read it all in one sitting, which almost never happens. I started it, it got interesting, and when it was time to go to bed, I couldn't put it down. So I read on and on and on. And it made me cry, it made me laugh (not that it was a funny book), and it made me want to call my mom and listen to classical music. Oh and never marry a significantly older man, although that's another story, I'm sure. I found this book on one of the NYTimes greatest of the year lists and while I can't say it was "greatest list" worthy, as I haven't read all the books on the list, it didn't disappoint. Oh and fyi, it's about a 19 y.o. aspiring actress who contacts her estranged grandmother, who is a famous actress, to, ya know, cut through some of the red tape and what not. The grandmother is estranged because her mother doesn't talk to her, not because there's any history between the granddaughter and the grandmother.

X-Files was more than okay. I am not a fangirl or anything like that but I watched enough X-Files back in the day to like the show and hope for a better movie than the "other" one. The movie caught me off-guard with some romantic developments and while I was squealing (alone) in the audience, I kept looking around wondering if anyone else was as icked out/delighted as I was to see some of the scenes. I don't think they were. Weirdos. The movie also acted as a catalyst for a completely ridiculous fight between the bf and me re: whether X-Files was really about aliens or not. (I say not, he says yes. I'm totally right. It was about the unexplained, and sometimes that happened to be aliens but not most of the time and barely even some of the time.) If the show had been all about aliens, I probably wouldn't have watched it as much as I did. While I'm all into psychic unexplained phenomena, I'm less enthusiastic about the possibility of life outside of earth. I believe it could be and I believe there probably is other life out there, but I just. don't. care. I could not care less if there are little bacterias or amoebas out there waiting to grow up big and strong into dinosaurs or birds or pseudo-humans or whatever.

I'm off track. The movie was good and if you dig any X-Files epis at all, check it out. You won't be disappointed although you might be cold (there are a lot of snow-covered scenes in the movie). And did I mention I adore David Duchovny (Why don't you love me? - name that tune) and Amanda Peet (I know of no song that mentions her name).

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

It's 10 items OR LESS, lady.

It's my turn to buy the cupcakes/cookies/whatever for a birthday at work. Fine. I'll go to the store and run in quickly and get something. (Um, it's not actually my turn, to be fair, because I got some recently but there are a number of people at my office - generally the well paid few although not all - who refuse to ever buy anything for work bday parties. Assholes.) Anyway. I run in, grab two dozen cupcakes (so pretty! so bright!) a few cans of tuna (since I'm there, right?) and head to the express, express lane right by the produce at the front door. See there are regular express landes in the regular check-out section but this is the super express lane, because it's right by the prepared foods section. Most people run to that line when they have 1 - 3 items, maybe slightly more but rarely ever reaching even the 10 item pentacle that is the line's limit.

But not the lady in front of me. Here's how my line worked out: Lady 1, like 4 things, Boy - drink, and then Cat Food Lady. At first I thought she only had a basket because she had a watermelon in it, which makes total sense. Who wants to carry a watermelon around? (At least who wants to that's not named Baby?) But her big bosom and large old-lady purse hid the real culprits: bottles of substance (couldn't tell what it was) and cat food. I see her think hard, as if debating, as she stares at her basket. I think at first it's because she's got a big bag of regular potato chips in her cart that she should totally not be eating. (I could be projecting but whatev.) Now I think it's because she was counting her plentiful items and realizing that she was putting other customers (me!) out by making us wait on her grocery line-hijacking self.

Her items: bag of chips, watermelon, cantaloupe, about 5,000 bottles of unidentified substance, and approximately 20,000 cans of cat food. In case you can't add, that's more than 10.

The real crime was not all the many minutes it took for her to load up her purchases on the tiny, tiny conveyer belt (indicative of the "express" nature of the line) or the many environmentally unfriendly plastic bags the checker had to use to bag up her 25,000+ items or even the check she wrote (in arabic, apparently, since it took her so long to get the thing written). No. None of those was the real annoyance. The biggest crime she committed was using her big bosom (I'm being very nice here) and hiding the evidence of the crimes she planned on committed. As it was, when I made my decision to stand behind her, the only visible items were the melons and fat-inducing shards of lard (chips). The mystery bottles and cat food were hidden as her mighty, mighty chest fell over the entire front part of the shopping cart and hid what was buried beneath.

I seethed so much behind her and gave so many dirty looks (with many pointed gestures at the 10 items or less sign visibly displayed) that I kind of think she got my point, but it really wasn't enough. I really, really wanted to tap her on the shoulder, kindly point out the sign, and mention that if she has more items than that and is writing a check, she might be a little more considerate to her fellow shoppers and go to a regular line. But I didn't. *sigh* I couldn't bring myself to be that confrontational, even though it wasn't really a rude comment. It would have felt wrong to die by a mad cat woman suffocating the life out of me with her moutainous jugs while she jabbed me in the eye with her readily available check-writing pen. As such, I kept my mouth shut.

Is there a polite way to tell someone they have too many items for the express lane? I've occasionally gone to the 10 items line with 11-15 items, but I always ask the cashier if it's okay and never when it's busy or there's someone behind me - I let them know I have more than 10. But I've never gone to the super-express line and expected to get away with such insolent behavior.

Oh and by the way lady, your cat's teeth are going to fall out from all that soft food. I hope you're happy.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I think this is called tagging?

She named me - is that the official tag? I'm new to all of this stuff. If so, here goes. If not, oh well. I haven't done a survey since my rabid myspace days. Thanks to Blondie for the... tag? She's on my blogroll so you probably have but if you haven't, read her blog. It's definitely read-at-work worthy.

1. What are the last three things you purchased?
I won't list groceries and my amazing good deal on Electrasol thingees at Target because that's boring, right? I bought an Astros hat at Walmart Saturday morning. I am usually anti-Walmart, and it's on my "boycott when convenient" list (along with Target pharmacies, Exxon, and beef products). But the bf wanted to look at Star Wars toys (please, please don't ask), and we were in hostile country (Clear Lake) where the only thing resembling Target was Walmart. So we went and since I wanted a hat to wear to the Astros game that night, I bought it. It was only $12 too! I now know what anti-union, anti-American smells like. It smells like the cheap, cheap price of $11.99, and I have to say I liked it. Let's see. I also bought some ear buds (with bling on them!) in the clearance section at Target over the weekend and 2 UT Longhorn shirts at Kohls. I don't support buying your own school's memorabilia like that (I'm weird, I know), but I'm going to Cape Cod over Labor Day and figured I could get away with wearing them there.

2. What are the last thee songs you downloaded?
Ha! Three songs from the Newsies soundtrack. A Christian Bale post on Jezebel last week got me all Newsied-up and since my soundtrack got stolen a billion years ago, I downloaded what I could find of the record. I love that movie.

3. Where were the last three places you visited?
Nasa (to take a special behind-the-scenes tour), Moody Gardens (where we snuck into the Titanic exhibit - boring - so glad we didn't pay), and Minute Maid Field (see previous post). It was an extension of the staycation where we traveled far and away (Houston) to visit all the lame touristy places we never bothered to go to when we (I) lived there.

4. What are your three favorite movies?
Only 3? I'm counting series as 1 movie - Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Goonies. (I could have easily listed the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice, Legally Blonde, and Bridget Jones' Diary but I was going with my nerdy list this time.) See what I did there? I disposed of the 3 requirement with a parenthetical reference. Pure genius.

5. What are your three favorite possessions?
My computer - silly but true
My pearl necklace - I won't label whore but they're very nice and were a gift
My flute
My blanket that my grandmother gave to me made by my great-grandmother of my great-aunt's curtains. Got all that?
My silver ring from Tiffany's (I bought it for myself with my own money at the Tiffany's on 5th Ave after I graduated law school - it's very symbolic to me even though it's not the huge endeavor now that it was then)
I'm obviously ignoring the rules of this survey.

6. What three things can you not live without?
Diet coke
The internet
ghost shows on A&E

7. What would be your three wishes?
Jump out of a plane (doing it for my 30th bday this year)
spend time in Paris (hopefully going next year)
own a house in Hyde Park that I could afford (meaning I'd have more money, not that there would be a house that would be in my current budget)

8. What are three things you have not done yet?
Isn't this the same question as the one above?
jumped out of a plane
been to Paris
been to Turkey, Russia, Japan, Hawaii, and many, many other places

9. What are your three favorite dishes?
vietnamese spring rolls - good ones
unagi (eel) rolls - any kind will do as long as there are no sauces on it
my mom's mac 'n cheese - freaking amazing

10. What three celebrities would you want to hang out with the most?
Kathy Griffin
Lauren Graham
Jon Stewart

11. Name three things that freak you out.
cruise ships
plants that move towards the sun (like ivys and vines) *shudder*

12. If you could describe yourself in three words, what would they be?

13. Name three unusual things you are good at.
counting things
playing the flute
thinking shit up

14. What are three things you are currently coveting?
a fabulous purse (i'm shallow, i'll admit it)
new bedstuffs
someone to buy me xm radio because i can't justify spending the $$$ on something that's supposed to be free - radio (but all the sports channels!! I never have to search for a game again!)

15. What three bloggers would you like tag?
I'm not sure who has already been tagged (besides Blondie and Rana and Lauren) so I'll go with:
Squishy over at BoredSquishy
CK at DisplacedUrbanite
and MaterialLust

To endcap my previous post...

A Little Texas Sports Love

I have three things to glow about today, at least with regards to Texas and her illustrious sports teams.

1) I was in Houston over the weekend and I had dinner at Yao's. (For those of you that don't know, Yao's is Yao Ming's family restaurant.) It was surprisingly good and very light on the sports decor. We sat in the bar area so we could watch the Astros game and it was a really nice evening. The bar area is not like most restaurant/bars. It was big, decorated well, had these comfy round booth things, loads of non-beer soaked tables, and at least when we were there, wasn't crowded with drunkies. The food was good too. I was pretty impressed with the whole thing, to be honest. I never expected it to be anything but a Chinese version of Dave and Buster's. But since we were in town and staying so close to the area where his restaurant was, we decided to check it out. I give it two chopsticks up.

2) I also attended to Astros vs. Cubs game Saturday night. It was the best game I've ever been to. I had the awesome seats (right below the press box, just behind homeplate) and the Astros pulled it out inning after inning. Wandy? You're alright, man. I won't discuss how the series ended - I was hoping for a sweep - but for one, brief moment in time I caught a glimpse of the team I've grown to love over the last few years. It was a nice endcap to my extraordinarily nice weekend.

3) I love T.O. I will say it proud(ly) and say it loud(ly). I love him. Remember that scene from Jerry McGuire when Renee Zellwegger's character is gushing to her sister about how much she loves Tom Cruise's character in the morning, post-sex? And he accidentally overhears her? That's me with T.O. I can't comment too much on his behavior with the Eagles because I didn't have the love that I have now. I do believe that the media loves to have a story and will make one up if they have to (not saying they did but it's the whole Barry Bonds = steroids phenomena - get over it already). To justify my love for the man (or the boy as he is in my head - aside: he reminds me of my nephew; can't say why or how but something about his face gets me right there, man), I present you with this article: It's not sporty, so click on. Moral of the story: he's awesome.

He deserves a beautiful picture so I'm posting one for all to enjoy. Oh, and did I mention he's quite the snappy dresser? And funny? Dude's hilarious. Wearing the U.S. Postal Team outfit when he had to ride the exercise bike on the sidelines? Guffaw-worthy.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Speaking of renewable resources...

If someone could figure out a way to turn human hair into an energy product, I could fuel the earth for centuries.

That's a fancy way of saying that I shed a lot hair. A lot. There are long, blonde hairs all over my work building and home. And last night they were all over my pilates mat, thanks to an inefficient hair tieback.

I haven't seen any sign of baldness so I'm guessing my hair officiall counts as a renewable resource. I command thy scientists to get on it!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Sleep is a luxury.

I've been living on a lack of sleep for the past few weeks. At first I really felt it. You know, tired all the time, sleepy, etc. Now I barely notice. Getting 2 or 4 hours of sleep doesn't phase me at all anymore. One day this week I went to bed at 3 a.m., the next at 5 a.m., and last night, at about 1:30 a.m. (damn All Star game!) I decided to take an Excedrin PM since I was in no way tired.

Turns out that shit makes you weepy tired and then keeps you up all night hearing things. (I'm not at all about to admit it was possibly all the ghost shows I've been watching or the ants in my bathroom that made me soul-jarringly awake when I heard weird noises last night. It must have been the meds.) As a result I saw, or rather listened with eyes tightly shut, Sports Center about 5,000 times last night. I had to turn on the tv to shut out all the craziness in my head/ears.

To the delight of Regis' red pants on Regis & Kelly, I came in late to work today. Oops. Apparently Excedrin PM works much like my own sleep cycle - stay up all night only to really, really kick in about 7 a.m. Perhaps sleep is a defense mechanism for me, like my body is trying to tell me that the night is a good time - let's play! - but the morning is sleepy time, so don't you dare go to work, it's sleepy, sleepy time.

Luckily I'll be here until the cows come home (what time is that, exactly?), so it doesn't matter. I should really just get a night job.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Not that there's anything wrong with that...

I've never dug the whole borderline homophobic Seinfeld episode where they harp on gay people and clean it all up with "not that there's anything wrong with that." The simple act of implying that there could be something "wrong" with being gay, although Seinfeld and his posse were way too cool to think such things (obviated by the constant need to defend their words and/or actions), always seemed to me to be more than a little offensive and hypocritical. It's like having a discussion about gay public affairs, current events, hell, even clubs or people you know but making sure to state that you (or me or them or whomever) are not gay. It's the guy who talks about going to a gay club one weekend but stressing how awkward he felt having guys hit on him. Or the girl who talks about girl-on-girl sex but follows it up with an explanation about how sexuality is more fluid with women, so same sex exploits don't equate with lesbianism.

All of this is a long way of saying that the above picture sucks. I like satire. I appreciate satire. I even love a good French farce (and don't lecture me on the difference between satire and farce - I know). But this? is not cool. The thing is that it's mainly not cool because it came from the New Yorker. I know this expectation of liberal open-mindedness from a pseudo-intelligensia magazine exposes some of my baser assumptions about media, and I guess that's the talking point to take away from all of this. I think racism is a real issue. I think we all have to constantly question our assumptions and thoughts about what is and is not okay about the way we think and portray ourselves (i.e. our externalization of our internal mechanisms).

I guess the moral of the story is that just because you consider yourself liberal, open-minded, non-racist (or non homophobic in Seinfeld's case) doesn't mean that a) you actually are (at least not always) and b) you get to be above reproach because you no longer clutch your purse tighter when a black man walks beside you.

And sometimes the response to the initial negative thing (the New Yorker says it's satiring all the misinformation out there) only creates a second, independent negative thing. But, like the editor from the New Yorker said on Morning Joe this morning, they totally didn't mean it that way. So you dumbasses out there who are offended, you're obviously not intelligent enough to read our magazine anyway. With that reassurance I guess we can all go back to reading our fancy media publications, drinking our lattes, and watching our Seinfeld re-runs. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Pet Peeves, Issue #435,598

Pet Peeve: Guys who think they know better than girls because the topic is a "guy" type of topic, or better yet, because they have a penis.

Scenario: I'm in the elevator at work when two of my guy co-workers jump in. We all say hello, exchange pleasantries, etc. They continue on with their conversation re: money in Mexico (for one of the guy's upcoming vacation). I jump in the coversation - and while I'll admit that maybe is a bit impolite, these are two coworkers I'm very comfortable with and have lunch with - and mention that the dollar goes over better than the peso in Mexico in most places. Jackass coworker #1 says that if you throw a 10 peso at a person for a tip, they'll flip out and give you the best service ever. I laughed out loud and said that I was certain he'd get a better response from people if he tipped with dollars or at least more pesos than that. (I mean 10? Hello? That's $1.) They both looked at me and jackass #1 said "just give them a 10 peso," in a manner that strongly suggested I did not know of which I was speaking. And then they promptly went back to talking and completely ignored me the rest of the elevator ride and the walk through our floor as we were all going back to our offices.

I am a bit beyond pissed. In my grand, old age I'm beginning to have less desire to rein in my anger than perhaps I did when I used to run into situations like this frequently: in law school. In law school I would be so taken aback by such blatant behavior that I'd spend my time shocked that the situation was occuring. Then I learned to stop being shocked by bad behavior because it was inhibiting my ability to react. That's not to say I did anything more in this particular elevator. I didn't. I stood quietly as my opinions were derided because I was a girl and therefore couldn't possibly know anything about money. (Did I mention we work in a finance-related field?) Hence the livid anger. But! I was not shocked at the behavior and I knew exactly what was happening as it happened.

And don't worry. I'll have my revenge. I'm completely vindictive and passive-aggressive at work (when I'm not being aggressive-aggressive), and Jackass #1 will pay, most likely in a large group of our peers. The best payback is public payback.

Oh and again - hello? Do you know anyone, Mexico or not, that would bend over backwards for you for a $1 tip? I don't think so. It's not like they have no concept of money in Mexico. They know very well how much a $1 is. And they especially know how little 10 pesos are. So give me a goddamned break, jackass coworker #1.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

I have blood underneath my fingernails.


But really it's my own fault. My boss was getting so excited (i.e. annoying) about a case that I got completely frustrated and took it out on a tiny, little, head itch. The least he could have done was leave me be so I could express my disgruntledness (word?) verbally but no. He had to stick around and make sure I thoroughly agreed with and enjoyed his excitement. As a result I have a self-inflicted injury. And I couldn't even yelp out loud when I did it because I was still in his presence. How do you tell someone you just scratched your head so hard that there's a high (although temporary) level of pain and blood? It just doesn't come out right.

On a different note, squishy and I are tied 1 to 1 in the epic battle of subpar baseball team series. And I'd still like to point out, even though the 'Stros played the Red Sox last weekend (and creamed 'em!), we still never made it to the front page of any non-local sports headline site, i.e. or or or any other one you can think of.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

It's official.

I'm sending in an application for "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?" And to prove I am not, I even had to look up the title of the gameshow to determine if "than" should be capitalized or not. Turns out I was right but I didn't know for sure. See, here's the thing. I could really use $25,000. I can think of no side job that would afford me that kind of cash, or at least I can think of no side job that I would do that would afford me that kind of cash. As I don't see any dying relatives in my future - or I should say any dying relatives who would a) have money and b) leave it to me - I've convinced myself a gameshow is the way to go.

I've thought about all the usual suspects: Millionaire & Jeopardy - not smart enough. That Truth show - not dumb enough. All the other gameshows are action oriented (i.e. dancing, singing, having a talent of some kind, trying to lure a man, staying alive for 6 weeks with a bunch of crazy people on an island, running a very physical race, etc., etc., etc.). So that leaves me with the 5th Grader show. I'll admit that I find Jeff Foxworthy's humor kind of hilarious, because I'm 10, although I haven't seen the show that many times. Maybe like 5 times altogether? But I think that's enough.

My only concern is that they'll be scared away by my advanced degree, but they really shouldn't be. In the few times I've seen the shows, I'm 50/50 (at best) on the questions. I did recently get a 3rd grade (I think) animal science question right about a woodpecker not pecking for wood but rather for insects underneath the wood. To be fair it was a T/F and I happen to know that most birdshit doesn't contain wood particles (if the exterior of my car is any indication). Really it was an educated guess not based on any actual knowledge to speak of.

The application is actually kind of involved. They want to know if you have a myspace "or similar" account. I don't think I should admit such things because what if they read something and (assuming I get chosen) say it out loud on the air for my mommy to hear? So maybe I'll say no to that one.

Another question asks: Even though it's not true, people always assume about me:

Um, how the hell should I know? One asshole at work once said he assumed I liked Britney Spears' music (back when it was very uncool to like BS), but I can't imagine very many people would assume such things about me, especially given my proclivity to give off the air of "music snob" even though I don't know shit.

Question: something about biggest risks I've taken. I definitely know I don't want to answer that one truthfully. Ouch. What's a good answer for that? Going all in at the final table of the 2005 World Series of Poker? Do you think they'd research that to see if it was true?

And shit. It wants to know if I have any surprising talents or tricks. If I did I'd be on that other gameshow with the Osborne chick.

This ones funny: "What type of organizations do you belong to? (Mensa, etc...)" hahaha! I was a member of Junior Mensa. Or at least my mom bought me a Junior Mensa puzzle game book. Does that count? (My mom's fascination with completely odd logic puzzles is almost the entire reason for my better than mediocre LSAT score.)

And finally it asks if I know anyone who graduated from an Ivy League school in the LA area? That's a bad sentence because if I didn't know better, I'd be confused as to whether they meant someone who lives in LA who went to an Ivy League school or someone who graduated from an LA Ivy League school. Luckily I know what they mean and I'm slightly insulted. Are they using my application to try and recruit smarter people to their show? Seriously uncool.

Oh and they want my SAT scores. I think I can definitely lie on those. But should I lie higher or lower? I can't tell what the purpose of this application is! Should I appear smarter or dumber than I really am? Because obviously the truth would never work.