Saturday, May 31, 2008

Saturday Links

-One more post reminding us why Mighty Girl is so mighty:
A Brief Note About Pregnancy

-This new Honda ad (airing on TV for the first time tomorrow, June 1) gave me chills.

-The guest writer at kottke.org says this is a vanishing America. But it's exactly the America that I remember In fact, it was eerie to realize I've actually seen more than one of these places in person.

-Also via kottke, a pep talk from Ira Glass reminding us that it takes a while to get good at it.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Books - May 2008

Chuck Klosterman IV by Chuck Klosterman
I love reading Chuck because he thinks like I think, only better and with more swearing. This book is a collection of previously published work, from SPIN magazine and Esquire. The celebrity interviews were my favorite sections, because he talks with people I'm curious about and asks them questions I want answered. And his insight into Britney Spears borders on telepathic.

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
I kept forgetting to read this. I'd sit down to read and think, "hmm...what book am I reading right now?" Not exactly a ringing endorsement, but having said that, it was enjoyable to read once I finally remembered to pick it up.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

HOTT

Is reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder a thing? As in, someone gets depressed when the weather becomes lovely and the sun shines and everyone else is outside frolicking and licking ice cream cones.

I promise this isn't going to become another rant about the Germans and their wacky body thermostats. It's just going to be a poor me, I'm sweaty all the livelong day and all the livelong night and that makes me tired and cranky WAH post. I found myself saying to Jeff this morning, "...and ugh, it's SUMMERtime and I'm going to have to psych myself up to get through it."

Who says stuff like that? People with RSAD(tm), that's who. Come on, pharmaceutical companies, work with me on this one.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Monday again, already?

-I've been unfaithful, dear readers. I'm spending all my time over at Wordpress and neglecting you. Is it a case of the grass is greener, or the template is cooler, or the code is more exciting? I'm not sure. But instead of posting, I spend all my time deciphering FTP instructions and trying to find code in CSS. I'm not really sure what any of that means, exactly, but don't I sound smart? And why do you care? Well, one of these days I hope to teach the old blog some new tricks and get rid of the lovely lavender. But first, I have to put my geek hat on for a while.

-As long as we're on the subject of stuff most of you don't care about, I really wish Twitter would behave. I understand that it's growing fast, and they do make the cutest announcements when they're having problems ("Twitter is stressing out a bit right now") but that doesn't help me when I'm trying to be an effective stalker.

-I know you've been dying to hear what I thought about Kristi Yamaguchi's big win last week. She deserved the title but her partner needs to tone down the singing/facial expressions. Isn't there a deduction for that? Looking back on the competition, I wish Mario had stuck around. He didn't deserve to go. And Jason Taylor may inspire me to tune in to an NFL game this year.

-I'll leave you with this, Saturday's Eurovision song contest winner, from Russia. Not since Madonna's Like A Virgin days has someone mopped the stage floor in a white outfit so attractively.

Monday, May 19, 2008

So, here's what I'm thinking

-Can someone please explain why polygamy is serious and controversial (and I'm narrowing this discussion to polygamy=men who marry multiple consenting adult women) while Hugh Hefner living and (supposedly (ick)) sleeping with multiple women is goofy and entertaining? What is the difference, exactly? And why hasn't someone thrown Kendra out of the house yet?

-Am I the only one who was annoyed/amused that CNN can't get the names right in the graphics on this interview with Duran Duran? Yes? (There is no need to remind me that their graphics person was probably not yet born when I was helping the "Wild Boys" video achieve #1 status on DialMTV. I am aware.)

-If you're looking for a campaign t-shirt that includes Hillary Clinton's last name, you must look long and hard. Sure, that makes her kind of cool, like Cher. But referring to her by her first name also makes her seem less powerful and less presidential. I'm normally not one to get all sensitive about the ladies vs. gentlemen thing, but this situation leapt out at me today.

-Speaking of campaign t-shirts, my picks are up at The Tee Room.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

It's Miller Time

When you're trying to catch a train, you might just miss it. Or you might arrive exactly on time and congratulate yourself for walking calmly from station to platform to seat. Or you might have to sit around entertaining yourself for a frustrating while.

That's the post I started this afternoon, and then I realized it was just a bad explanation of the time/space continuum, something my readers inherently understand already, though you might not be able to say just exactly what it is without a train/arrival/departure reference. Which is exactly how I feel about it.

So let's start this story again.

Last night, I went to Bavaria's second-largest beer festival. Though it is not as big as Oktoberfest, it's miles more charming, set on the side of a hill with tall trees above and cool beer cellars carved into the earth. Also, they serve delicious Hungarian fried bread with garlic sauce and cheese, along with a million kinds of sausage and pretzels that are so big you can wrap them around your waist like Alice's caterpillar and his hookah. I drank some beer, though not as much as everyone else apparently, because when I returned my half-full stein (you can only buy beer a liter at a time), the lederhosen-clad Herr who returned my five-euro(!) mug deposit frowned at me for not cleaning my plate...er, mug. I'll admit that there was some singing along to a German oompah band playing Bon Jovi covers, a bit of standing on my chair and dancing (no, it wasn't a table dance situation, it's just what people do at these festivals - those crazy Germans), and a few dirty looks pointed toward the drunk guy at the table behind us who would not stop leering at our table of happy, dancing women.

Then, as you've probably already guessed, I missed my homebound train by two minutes and spent forty minutes sitting around waiting for the next one.

Were you expecting a moral to the story, about everything in life turning out OK even when what missed the opportunity you wanted?

Nope, just a story about beer and sitting around on a train platform. Enjoy.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

How do I know I'm a grown-up?

Because I just agreed to buy a set of eyeglasses that costs almost twice as much as I paid for rent in my first post-college apartment. Fifteen years ago, I would have looked longingly at the frames and either continued to squint through my outdated prescription or ordered the cheapest, plainest set and then hated them. Then I would have spent five hundred dollars on the all-night locksmith because I broke my key off in the car door at midnight. Possibly.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Onward

Remember a while back, when I said I just wasn't putting enough effort into the blog, and I needed to get my act together or I would consider shutting it down?

I'm not sure I've got my act together, but I'm going to keep going. And, because I am completely illogical, I've started a second blog. Surprise!

Just to make even less sense, the other blog is all about t-shirts. That's it. Just t-shirts. Check it out here:

The Tee Room

Monday, May 05, 2008

Favorited

DAD OWT!
Lately Theo has been expressing a preference for one of his parents. And by preference I do not mean clinging to one's leg and being dragged across the floor, because that's just how he expresses hunger. No, I mean when he wakes up in the morning he says "Daddy?" and when the phone rings he says "Daddy?" and when I say "What's my name?", he slaps my chest so hard I start to have breathing difficulties and he giggles and says "Daddy!"

My good friend Sandi tells me this is thoroughly normal. Her daughter just turned six, so my other friends of Advanced Maternal Age and I see her as a kind of oracle. She got pregnant before the rest of us and is now dealing with explaining what "giving the middle finger" means, and playing Little Mermaid board games while the rest of us are still hoping to get a full night's rest.

Sandi's daughter has always been close with her dad. We have been assured that this is an optimum scenario, since the least-favored parent status can come in handy when it's time for bed and someone requires twelve stories before her tucking-in. I can see the wisdom in that.

I'll admit, though, that I hope Theo remembers to call me Mommy eventually. According to Sandi, it will definitely happen. The drawing pictured above was posted on her daughter's door recently, following a father/daughter disagreement. It depicts Daddy, running from his angry daughter, who is shouting "DAD OWT." I think he's officially been demoted.

See what we have to look forward to?

Friday, May 02, 2008

Behind Closed Doors

Yes, that's a hot sauce stain on my jeans. And yes, Theo is humming a George Jones tune while Jeff puts the leftover root beer in the fridge. If you didn't know better, you might guess that we've been to the county fair.

Yesterday, thanks to Christina's tempting promise of Mexican delicacies, we spent the afternoon at the US military base outside Hohenfels. Their annual German-American Volksfest tempted us to make the drive, and while I'd like to say we attended in the name of international relations, we were actually just on the hunt for some decent salsa.

We arrived to a rainy day and a beerfest tent with a bratwurst stand outside the door. While we'd hoped they might allow us on the base itself (and inside the doors of that mythical stucco temple, Taco Bell), we were ushered to a runway-turned-parking-lot far outside the base's gates. Theo pointed out the horse-riding area ("Moo! Moo!"), where five or six ponies trudged around a small corral backed by 1970's country hits.

From nowhere, I caught a whiff of nacho cheese. Jeff must have smelled it too, for we turned in unison and ran, hand-in-hand, toward a row of small wooden huts. Their signs gleamed in the single ray of sunlight that had broken through the clouds: Baked Potatoes; Burritos; Hamburgers; Chili Dogs; BBQ ribs; Tacos. The angels sang.

We scurried from one to another, sampling the chili (Nalley, straight from the can, there's nothing like it), the Doritos (Nacho cheese flavor), the hot dogs with ketchup and relish. The tacos were decent, the Dr. Pepper and A&W Root Beer made them perfect. Theo scarfed bites of all of it and proved his heritage. He also begged to ride the bumper cars but was eventually satisfied with jamming to dance music and watching the big kids crash into each another.

On our way out the door, Jeff ordered two slabs of barbecued ribs wrapped in tin foil. We inhaled their scent all the way home. You'd think, after eating six lunches between us, that we might have saved them for another day.

You'd be wrong.