Wednesday, June 30, 2004

I'm gonna roll around in all 926 pennies like Demi Moore in "Indecent Proposal"

Just received an email with the welcome news that my latest Amazon Payments deposit has been dispatched to my checking account. For about 4 months I've been selling old CDs, books, and VHS tapes via Amazon. Things I either no longer like or haven't used/listened to/etc. in years. Things I'm embarrassed that I ever spent money on in the first place, like a Nelson CD. Yes, that Nelson. There's more where that came from, but I hesitate to give you more fodder to dis or dismiss me. Sales have slowly trickled off and so I don't get the windfall monetary amounts of the heady early days. For instance, today's whopping deposit is $9.26. That's dollars, not pounds, so the purchasing power ain't that staggering. It'll just about cover my trip to the movies this weekend, but sadly, not the metric ton of Milk Duds I'll be smuggling in in my purse.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

I started a trend.

That Barbie hooch sure has good taste. Anyone know where I can get an Australian boyfriend for $14.95??

I'm sure there's some appropriate movie quotation for this moment, but frankly I don't give a damn

Here is a picture from the local Harrisonburg paper showing my old house, post-fire. Not a great pic (odd angle, over-exposed) but it gives you an idea. StOOpid fucking fire.

Monday, June 28, 2004

Good article on David Sedaris here. (link courtesy of Obscure Store)

Has anyone read "Dress your family..." yet? Reactions?

A city is always better on foot...

I constantly berate myself for not getting out and doing more in DC--taking advantage of all the city has to offer, etc. In that vein, I've taken to trekking all over when I run. One day this may translate into actually going TO places as opposed to loping past them, but for now, it's a start. Anyhoo, lately I've been metroing to the Capitol and then running home along the Mall, across Memorial Bridge, and either along the Potomac to National Airport or to Rosslyn and getting the train from either of those. It's been a particularly pleasant jaunt this week because of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival taking place on the Mall. One of the cultures highlighted this year is "Nuestra Musica" which makes for great entertainment. My whole loop around the Mall was accompanied by the strains of salsa, cha-cha, guitars and percussion. Excelente! Unfortunately its also accompanied by the smells of grilling meat, spices, and desserts. Torture.

Friday, June 25, 2004


I just had an email from my mom with the very sad news that our old home in Harrisonburg suffered a major fire last night. An old neighbor called to tell my mom about it, and she passed on the details:

...[D]amage is total in the entry foyer, living room, upstairs front bedroom (our master) and attic in the front...the firemen broke about 1/2 the windows and stove in the porch.

Just to give you an idea, this house was a full 4-story Victorian (all wood, original siding) with a wrap-around porch and slate roof, built over a century ago with ten-foot ceilings downstairs and original tongue-and-groove hardwood floors. My mother in particular had spent several years in the mid-90s restoring and decorating the house to perfection and it truly was a gorgeous but welcoming home.

I lived there from age 8 to 18, and my parents lived there all through my years of college and graduate school. It was the last house my father ever lived in. It was, in every sense, my home, my roots, and a unique thing for me among my family because all the other kids were true Navy brats who moved every few years from base to base. I'm a little overwhelmed at how sad this has made isn't my house anymore, had no likelihood of being ever again, and, thank God, no one was hurt in the blaze. But I'm still bowled over. Funny how something can be taken from you that you didn't even realize you felt you had.

Don't say I didn't warn you

Take note of the addition to "Link THAT." It's your barometer of how I'm doing on any particular day (according to the stars and THE Paper). You mess with the bull, you get the horns....

I forgot to mention for all you fashion mavens out there (I'm looking at you, Adam) that last weekend in NYC I discovered what the big up-and-coming thing is for men's wear. It also confirms that time travel is possible, because ladies and gents it's 1984 again and if you own a polo shirt, turn up that collar because that is ALL THE RAGE. I saw the look on no less than a dozen young men (no Izod, but give it time). Is it an homage to the Days of Reagan?? Because it was damn silly looking last time--20 years' time doesn't ameliorate the situation.

For all you potential beaux out there: wear your shirt the way god intended or you got no chance with me. I'mjustsaying.

Toby Keith is a lot of things, but original isn't one of them.

The ever-jamming Yahoo! radio just served up "I Love This Bar," one of Toby's salute-the-working-man standards. It occured to me that this was simply a warmed-over pale imitation of "I Got Friends in Low Places," the song that more or less put Garth Brooks on the map well over a decade ago. And *he* cribbed the notion off of a dozen classic country performers I'm sure we can all name. Just goes to show how willing we [Americans? Humans? Idiot Toby Keith fans?] are to scoop up an old idea once-removed. Entertainment culture seems to revolve around just waiting for people to forget about something they've seen before and then re-introducing it as the greatest, newest thing since sliced bread. *Sigh*.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Two important newsy bits:

First, CONGRATULATIONS to Catharine and Pete who became engaged over the weekend!!!! Kit Kat endured many W&M trials and tribulations with me (and I with her) and no one deserves this happy ending more than she does. Pete is a prince among men (for example, when he provided a cheery and charming escort to the drunk ladies at Butz's New Orleans wedding, guiding us past French Quarter weirdos and Rodents of Unusual Size on Canal Street) and this is just too thrilling for them and all us lucky spectators. Good luck you crazy kids!

Second, John Boy has started a blog to house all his interesting and decidedly non-mainstream thoughts and actions. Des and James, methinks you will find a kindred spirit here. JB is too smart for my own good and a straight-up SAIS gangsta! Welcome to the fold, buddy.

Otherthanthat, like James, I am in training of various kinds this week, and so have little or nothing to share. It's humid and I'm feeling laconic, but I can't drink because I have a race this weekend. Dammit. Come Saturday night I'm definitely making a mint julep though. Ah, sweet Saturday....

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Didya miss me?

Probably not, but it doesn't hurt to check. NYC was a blast, of course!! The weather was flawless and we (me, Kristin, and Grace) spent it out-of-doors walking all over the city. East and West Village, Chelsea, Central Park, and Times Square were some of the marquee locations. My only celeb run-in was walking past the girl who plays Nadia, Sydney's sister on "Alias" and being teased with the knowledge that I was very, veeery close to where Hugh Jackman lives. I promised K&G a full-on meltdown of epic drooling and catatonic staring if we ran into him on the street, but alas that, my finest hour, was not meant to be (this trip...mwhahahaha). Grace was the hostess w/ the mostess and tirelessly showed us a wonderful time. I miss Vroom Vroom already.

We saw one of these on our way out of town. Straight up baller, yo.

Saw two of these on the way to work today, tricked out in full Adidas (yes, Adidas) paint jobs. I'm ordering Kristin one for her birffday. ;)

Nuh uh!!

Tim-may!!! If you go who's gonna get trashed and read to us at the Yule Log Ceremony??

Friday, June 18, 2004

Start spreading the news, I’m leaving today
I want to be a part of it - New York, New York

Off on a mini-break, dear readers. Y'all have yourselves a great weekend. Italktoyoulater.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Someone needs to take a page out of Janice Soprano's book and go to anger management counseling

This is hilarious. And insane. And makes me so very glad I have nothing to do with the entertainment industry. (link cribbed from Fussy)

Thank you, God, for this.

It's a Ben & Jerry's kinda day, baby

This afternoon at 2:00 I will be a supremely happy participant in a work party featuring a Ben and Jerry's ice cream cake (I'm only familiar with the Baskin Robbins variety, so, really, this is for empirical purposes. What? It is! Shut up.). What makes this so particularly wonderful is that the cake party goes hand in hand with the trip Kristin and I are taking tonight to sample B&J's "Karb Karma" ice cream--and by that I mean milkshakes. Ice cream is American!

I pledge allegiance, to my milkshake
made in the United States of America,
And to the two hippies
who thought this company up
One straw,
Under chocolate,

Random automotive ruminations

I saw one of these on my way to rowing this morning. I have a healthy amount of disdain for the IROC-Z, mostly based on watching rusted out versions of them being raced around my cracker-hick hometown, and also their inexplicable popularity with the NJ guido set. Anyway, if I haven't thoroughly offended you yet, I suggest you check out that site for some specs. The history of the car and its limited production years have made it something of a poor man's classic, and it had get-up-and-go. Props to that.

I will not, however, defend this asinine trend. They are a jack-assed thing to have on your car. For chrissake, if you're gonna blow money on your car, make sure it's UNDER THE HOOD. ASS. I saw a set of these on a 1992 Mazda Protege the other day. What. The. #@&^*&%$##!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Friendster needs to be a liiiiittle bit more precise

I signed up for Friendster about 9 months ago (mainly to humor Corinna) but was also pleasantly surprised to find out how many people that I know who are also on the site. So I link to them, get the whole "six degrees of separation" thing going on, blah blah. Except that one of my buddies is a very wonderful, cute, social, ha'nin GAY man. So now whenever I check Friendster and they have "suggested" connections for me, its always with very cute boys named AJ or Corey or Shane who are 100% G. A. Y. And there is nothing wrong with that. But it does me no good in my quest for the FrankenMan of my dreams (that would be equal parts Jeremy Piven, Viggo Mortensen, Oliver Platt, Howie Long, and Bradley Whitford). I work in Dupont Circle, for cryingoutloud!!! Haven't I already suffered enough with the untouchable eye candy?

Go Vroom Vroom, it's your birfday!!!

Asians are like fine wine...they only get better with age. Especially if they use Oriental Pearl Creme. Happy 28th Grace-ro!!!

Love, La Fille Blanche

Tuesday, June 15, 2004


This afternoon we had an employee recognition "thing" for those at the school who've been here landmark numbers of years (5, 10, 15, etc). So it's a 2-hour affair, and I was all geared up to go when it started, but everyone else in my office flaked, so I did too (because I can think for myself like that). Then suddenly, come 3:45, somebody gets a bug up his bum and decides to go, so we all caravan over there. We arrive--with impeccable timing--just as the Dean of the school is standing up and giving an award, so what do we do? We HIDE in the hallway, trying to figure out if there's a backdoor into the room, then sending someone in to do recon, except she doesn't come back ("WE HAVE A MAN DOWN!!") so we send a more experienced officer in and he does come back with the 411 of a back door. We scurry through at some moment when there's a pause for clapping, take our seats, and....the fire alarm goes off. For serious. However, the ensuing trudging down 5 flights of stairs and standing out in the muggy D.C. heat was mitigated by the arrival of HOT. FIREMEN. And then after that I got a piece of chocolate cake. All's well that ends well my good people.

RIP Netflix...for now.

I finally cancelled my membership to Netflix yesterday. It was a very hard decision for me, because their service and selection both kick ass. And it's not about the fact that they've raised their prices, effective tomorrow. It has everything to do with the BOMB cable package I got when I moved in March (courtesy of being a dish-to-cable convert) and at this point, between 390 channels (I kid you not) and the joys that are HBO-, Showtime-, and Starz-On Demand, I have more TV at my fingertips than I could ever possibly watch. Right now I need that $21/month for things other than to pay for 3 DVDs to sit collecting dust atop my television. Fear not though, Netflix. This is not "goodbye"; merely au revoir....

Monday, June 14, 2004

Steve went to see Madonna's Re-invention tour on its stop in DC last night. He reviews the show here.

Are they KIDDING?

Based on other songs rated, Yahoo radio just served me up something from a band called--I am not kidding you--Alabama Thunderpussy. Let's all take a moment collectively to imagine the 19 year-olds in their mother's basement who thought this would be the most badass, chick-magnet band name *ever.* Never mind that it only makes us laugh and laugh and laugh. And then put them on our "NEVER PLAY AGAIN" list on Yahoo radio.

OK, *Who* plans Kojo's show lineup?? I'm officially POd. All morning on NPR they touted the fact that David Sedaris would be the guest on an afternoon WAMU (local NPR station) show. Of course, I am all up in that junx, to the degree that I emailed others with said information. And now here I am, downstreaming the audio, and Kojo just informed us that David will be on later in the hour, but right now we're hearing the latest on the Mars Rovers. Now, I love me some space information, but 1. it has no place in a show with David Sedaris and 2. FALSE ADVERTISING. No mention of Mars or our bloody Rovers was made during the ad nauseum promos on "Morning Edition." I cry Foul!! Plus, dude who's talking about Mars has a NY accent that won't quit...."wah-tuh" for the commodity distinguished by two hydrogen and one oxygen atom. HEAVY SIGH.

I watched the funniest movie yesterday. Trouble is, it wasn't a comedy.

I stumbled upon "Oxford Blues" on one of the romance/lerv channels in ComCast's vast pantheon of dreck. I saw this movie waaaaay back in the day (picture me sneaking down to watch HBO--when all the dirty movies were on at night--when I was about 7 or 8), so I remember it VERY vaguely, and have new-found interest in it because it revolves rather heavily around my beloved rowing. All I can say is, it does 80s movies proud, and that's nothing to write home about. Rob Lowe has on enough eyeliner to make a drag queen proud and is still in his smarmy pre-videos with teens mode. The premise is laughable at best--he parlays one night's gigolo wages from Vegas into tuition for a year at (snort) Oxford University--because he wants to meet and woo a member of peripheral English royalty studying there. Meanwhile he makes a name for himself rowing 8s with the Oriel College crew (after a hasty entry into a singles race, where he OF COURSE wows the crowd with his moves, despite rowing in jeans and a leather jacket. WTF?!?!?). I mean, this movie was so bad it was hilarious.

To their very wee credit the rowing shots were nicely done, and they must have had good technical advisers because the terminology they use is pretty solid. It's from a time before high-tech fiberglass and plastic racing shells though, so they're hefting wooden boats and oars all over England. Most of which means little or nothing to you guys, but I got a damn good laugh out of it. Plus there's far too little rowing featured in media at large, so I have to take it where I can get it, y'know? Except here. Even I have standards.

PS--The movie stars Julian Sands as well, in his "Room with a View" prime, and an INSANELY young Carey Elwes, who is just too pretty to be real.

Friday, June 11, 2004

WTF?! The Gipsy Kings are French??!

I'm enjoying some GK vocal stylings courtesy of my Yahoo radio and decided to look up some info. Lo and behold, this group, whom I always assumed to be of some Hispanic origin, is from the south of France. Son of a.... Why they gotta be from a country that esteems desiccated 200 year old human hearts?

Ghost town

With all the Feds and DC government employees (and various other businesses--Des and National Geographic, I'm looking at YOU) having the day off in honor of Ronnie McGipperton the metros and streets of the city are empty. It gives me the feeling that I've made a mistake and come in to work on a Saturday, which, as you all know, is a very pleasant sensation. meh. I am wholly and thoroughly ready for us to stop talking about this man and his legacy and his kids and his wife. I will say, though, that I feel great sympathy for Nancy at the moment. She is old, and frail, and has been watching him deteriorate for a decade, and now has been paraded across the continent for the better part of a week. Grieving is an exhausting process anyway, but to do it on stage over the course of several days?? I cannot imagine. The historian in me wants to catch a glimpse of the motorcade on its way to the Cathedral this morning (I *think* they're passing very close to where I work) but the lazy hooch in me supercedes and so if I can't see it by looking out the window, chances are it ain't ha'nin'.

And again....sniff.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Awww. Say it ain't so.

My abject happiness at having continual casket coverage interrupted is tempered by the fact that this is the story to do it. Tears....

(sorry, not very original w/ the links. get over it)

I stumbled across this through no investigative qualities of my own but was riveted and outraged nonetheless.

I'd vote for him. But I suppose that's how we got stuck with Ahhhnuld...people going on the instinct of "Hey!! I saw you on TV/in a movie once!!" Just my wee Aussie version of "Where Are They Now?" Midnight Oil was a great band, yo! Dig that chrome dome, too....

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

This is creepy and disgusting. Oh, wait. They're French.

You know you've been watching too much "West Wing" when...

I love me some WW, for rill. Great cast chemistry, a man I would want as my president in a heartbeat (Jed OR Martin), and of course the delicious Bradley Whitford. Lately I've been glutting myself on the second season via Netflix. But I became a little worried this morning when, in listening to NPR's "Morning Edition," I kept wondering why they weren't talking about the DEA agent hostage crisis in Colombia.

Yeah....that was a plot on the show I watched last night, NOT real. (PS--this was immediately after I woke up, so I was definitely still sleep-fuddled. But still).


Tuesday, June 08, 2004

The new and improved BlogSport!!!

I decided the old look was just that and--daring girl that I am--chose from one of Blogger's other templates. Whaddya think??

Can I show these to my boss as a legitimate reason for staying home in bed?

My horoscopes lately have been pretty abysmal: my "instincts are off" or it's a "bad time to start a love relationship," among other things. The Sydney Morning Herald accurately predicted a Friday night of EXTREME crankiness a few weeks ago, but in general, all the celestial bad karma is getting me down. Take today's gem from The Washington Post:

TAURUS (Apr. 20-May 20): Gaiety is dampened by a serious and dismal tone in the air. New friendships may be marred by undertones of suspicion and distrust. It is better to keep your wallet in your pocket and your heart guarded for the next few days.

How awful is that?!

I had to read this to cheer myself up. (link courtesy of Steve)




If you know what's good for you you'll join me in wishing my eldest niece a Hap-Hap-Happy Sweet Sixteen.

She still balks at learning to drive the manual transmission car THAT HER PARENTS ALREADY BOUGHT FOR HER (seriously--did you get a new car when you turned 16? Because I? DIDN'T. Kids that age don't need their own new cars. And stick shifts RULE so get on that already Shelby.) but she's screwed anyway because Virginia changed the driving laws and now you have to be 16 and 1/4 to get your license. D'oh. Sucktastic. But gives you 3 more months to learn.

Other than the car thing, she is the greatest. Scrumtrellescent. Just an amazing person--cool, smart, funny, lovely. She takes after her Auntie Anne.

There's a little black spot on the sun today.

Venus is passing between us and the sun right now, for the first time in 122 years. These passes occur in 2 8-year intervals, and then not again for another century or so. If you missed it this morning, it'll come again in 2012. I totally lucked out in that I was rowing at exactly the right time--I caught a glimpse at sunrise, when you can look straight at the sun with being mistaken as "special" or burning out your retinas. The transit looked like a little black marble, at about the "4 o'clock" position of the sun. Bitchin'.

Monday, June 07, 2004

He is riddikulus handsome. Seriously. Just....crikey.

South Beach was just a place in Miami this weekend because I strayed off of that food plan something *fierce.* Friday night I saw "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" and indulged in soda and candy during the show. Then Saturday was the much-planned, highly-anticipated surprise bachelorette party for Desiree in Williamsburg (total success, btw--she had no idea but had a blast). I had, in order: a regular with slaw and hush puppies at Pierce's Pit BBQ; a Julie at Paul's; Combos; blackberry pancakes, biscuits and gravy, and sausage at Cracker Barrel; Jelly Bellies from Wythe's candy; 2 tuna w/ provolone and sprouts on whole wheat (to GO! I ate one for dinner and the other is for today--I swear) from the Cheese Shop; and a chocolate malt from Baskin Robbins.

And did I mention THE BEER? Or the shots? Or the Hurricane 40?

I put more into my body in a 24-hour period than I had in the whole week preceding, it seemed. I am stuffed to the gills, and not a little disgusted with myself, but at the same time I was so frigging happy to let go and indulge to the point of lunacy. Not just to get away from the not-unsatisfying but still very regimented food plan I've been on for 2 months, but also just to steep myself in all the sensory associations that I have from William and Mary.

Food and drink make me so happy.

It's too bad that it's so much easier to be unhealthy than it is to be healthy, and usually I strike the balance well enough, but this weekend I let go and wouldn't have had it any other way.

Friday, June 04, 2004

I'll take a dozen Bavarian Creme, please. It has come to my attention that a Krispy Kreme will be opening in December LESS THAN A BLOCK FROM MY OFFICE. Oh, holy God. I am in serious trouble, people.

Today's the day!!!!! I have my tickets for tonight in hand and I'm ready to go! I will, however, be bootlegging Milk Duds and Dr. Pepper from CVS into the show....Bush should tap into movie concessions to pay for the war in Iraq, I swear. Goobers are UNGODLY expensive these days.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Young people, don't hate sex.

Poor Japan. They aren't, in the words of Kristin's officemates, knockin' boots very much.

Spawn is getting married.

Cuthbert To Wed

The Girl Next Door beauty Elisha Cuthbert is celebrating after becoming engaged to her boyfriend Trace Ayala, a personal assistant to pop star Justin Timberlake. The 21-year-old actress - who rocketed to fame playing Kim Bauer in hit TV series 24 - accepted Ayala's romantic proposal last week, according to Britain's The Sun newspaper. In April Cuthbert angrily denied reports she was romancing Timberlake after she was spotted sneaking into the "Cry Me A River" star's Dublin, Ireland hotel - an event which forced her to inform the world she was actually paying her beau of one year a visit. She said, "Those rumors about Justin and I put me in an awkward position, as I was actually seeing his best mate Trace Ayala and have been for the past year. I'd been friends with Justin and met Trace afterwards, we got on brilliantly although we don't get to spend as much time together as we'd like." It's not yet known when the happy couple will wed.

What's up with all the British-isms?? "Best mate"? "Got on brilliantly"? Jeebus. The only good thing about this is maybe she'll decide that she needs to quit "24" to follow him around or have his babies or something. Whatever. Off the show is all that matters.

HBO On Demand has "Band of Brothers" queued up right now. When I saw that last night I just about stroked out with joy. It is such a phenomenal series: perfectly cast, beautifully shot, wrenching, uplifting, mesmerizing--the works. I've seen it twice through already and am seriously considering buying the DVD set. I'm drawn to it the way my dad's generation was to "Victory at Sea." I thought it 'po of HBO not to do a BOB marathon on Memorial Day (although maybe they'll do it on Sunday?), but this is a good close 2nd.

David Sedaris was interviewed on NPR's "Morning Edition" this morning.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Non sequitur of epic proportions

Two things, having neither anything to do with each other nor with other events in life or postings on this blog:

First, I was reminded the other day of an AMAZING book that I loved as a child, that I still go back and read every once in a while, "The Westing Game." A masterful suspense/mystery for kids that--coincidentally given our current predicament--has a healthy dose of patriotism (someone tell Ashcroft). Anyway, damn fine read. Although I just noticed in posting this that its target audience is 9-12 year olds, so that thing about me reading it still to this day? Disregard that.

Second, my Yahoo radio just served up a Tina Turner early-90s classic complete with rockin' saxophone solo. It reminded me of her videos in the early 80s, especially the ones with sax solos where her guy--who was, you'll remember, a HUGE muscle-bound oaf with long hair, kinda like Kenny G and Michael Bolton's love child--would stand alone and RAGE on his horn (as much as one can "rage" on the sax). Even by 80s standards it was cheesy and ham-fisted (mmm...cheese....ham!).

See? I told you it would be apropos of NOTHING. It's how my mind works, what can I say?

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Dropping like flies William Manchester, noted WWII veteran and biographer died. While I haven't read his works on Churchill or JFK, I did read his memoir of WWII, "Goodbye, Darkness", which was *excellent*. His passing reminds me how much I miss Stephen Ambrose, too.

There's no shortage of material on WWII, though (PS, why are so nostalgic for WAR?). Right now I'm reading a great book about a U.S. Army Rangers raid on a Japanese POW camp in the Phillippines in the final months of the Pacific War. Guess Sides is taking up where older writers are leaving off. As are others; this weekend's Post Book World was, understandably, all about Memorial Day and remembering WWII and "why we fought." I guess we're so confused about our current war that we harken back to when the enemy was clear, our objectives were known and relatively right, and there were no home videos.