Friday, December 28, 2007

An observation

Benazir Bhutto's assassination and turmoil in Pakistan is going to have a huge effect on the world. That includes us, in the United States.

But I bet if you asked the average person on the street what's going on in that country, who Benazir Bhutto is, the role Pakistan plays in the "war on terror", Pakistan's relationship with India and Afghanistan, and so on -- you would get blank stares.

That's just sad. If you don't know why Pakistan matters to you, I recommend reading up. The Economist is a great place to start. Check it out.

Our friend Severo, summed up the loss very eloquently on his blog.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Today's Lesson: Don't Buy Food From Me With Change Only. I'll Never Forget.

Few things cheese me off so much that I feel the need to rant about it via blog, but this did it.

OK, I get it, it's sort of cute and quaint that this adorable old guy has been squirreling away his change for the last ten years or whatever, just waiting to buy that new truck. But, seriously folks, IT IS NEVER COOL TO PAY FOR SOMETHING THAT'S MORE THAN FIVE DOLLARS IN CHANGE ONLY.

Perhaps this hits too close to home. When I slaved away as a cashier at a Cracker Barrel during college, one family thought it would be fun to pay for their $50 dinner with quarters. My head very nearly exploded.

I could see how a reader might accuse me of being ageist. Perhaps, after all, this man isn't accustomed to this crazy new world, filled with iPods and baggy pants and Coinstars and online-only high yield savings accounts.

OK, maybe. But here is my response:

1) I'll bet this guy knows what a bank is, and that over the years his friendly neighborhood bank or credit union could have been slowly transferring his coins into dollars. He still could have taken those dollars back home with him to stuff under his mattress, if he was so inclined.

2) I can't conceive of a world--past or present--where paying for something with an ass-ton of change was welcomed and socially acceptable. Even at his old nickel-and-dime store in the 50s, I can't imagine that this dude paying for $5 worth of purchases with pennies would have been embraced.

If you want to save up your extra change all year long, that's great. But either learn to deal with the complexities of Coinstar or your local bank, or prepare to meet my (increasingly bitter) wrath.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Rudy Guiliani goes for the Elf vote

Endorsements from fictional characters. That's a bold move indeed.

5 year olds everywhere are convincing their parents to vote Rudy to avoid the inevitable stocking of coal.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The spirit of Christmas is...

... Billy Idol

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A Museum After My Own Heart

I’m not really a fan of most museums. I get bored kind of easily, and just standing around pretending to appreciate something has never been my thing. But, give me the proper subject matter (and trust me, it’s pretty much never going to be something that existed more than 100 years ago) and I’m all yours.
Which is why this mafia museum in the works totally caught my eye. The best part is that the museum is receiving some support by the FBI, meaning that it’s not just the creation of some mobster fan-boy. The museum will feature transcripts of wiretaps, photos, etc. And the museum is tapping history professors to get in on the act to help them find more authentic stuff to populate the museum with. The museum unfortunately won’t open until 2010, but I’m already thinking about a trip to Vegas to check it out.

Sammy "The Bull" Gravano might bust out of the pen for a chance to see the new mob museum in Vegas.

So, the announcement of this new museum made me think of the few other museums that I’ve really been jazzed about. My top three:

The Newseum. Unfortunately, this museum is currently closed but is reopening in 2008. I checked out the Newseum the first time I visited D.C., when I was a sophomore in college on (appropriately) a journalism trip. Plenty of cool—and geeky—stuff to see here, including a gallery of papers from all over the world depicting major historical events.
Museum of Modern Art. I’m not a big art buff, but I do have a thing for modern art. MoMA is cool because in addition to more traditional art, it has several exhibits featuring photography, plus a room filled with furniture and other “functional art.” The last time I checked out MoMA was in May, when the museum had a super-cool exhibit focused on the font Helvetica. (There’s also a documentary on Helvetica,which is coming up very soon on my Netflix queue. Geeky squee!)
The Sixth Floor Museum At Dealey Plaza. Many of you know about my fondness for true crime stories and conspiracy theories, but few of you know that my fascination about the J.F.K. assassination was once so strong that when I was 10 years old, my school sent me to the regional 4-H speech competition with a speech—a very compelling speech— I had written outlining the various conspiracy theories surrounding J.F.K.’s death. My fascination was, of course, inspired by the Oliver Stone movie JFK, which my parents took me to see in the theater. Again, when I was 10. But we’ll save the discussion of appropriateness for another time.
Anyway, there’s plenty of awesome to be had in the sixth floor depository at Dealey Plaza. For starters, you can stand on the spot where Lee Harvey Oswald supposedly fired the shots, looking right out on to Dealey Plaza and viewing the motorcade route. Then, the newsophile in you can check out old newspapers and listen to broadcasts that aired across the country just after the president was shot. It’s amazingly cool.

Maya Angelou on Hillary Clinton

I'm a big fan of Maya Angelou;s work and her presence as a voice for women and social change, so when I came across this I thought it was worth passing on.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Chimney Sweeps and Miracle Chocolate

Early last week I was faced with a major problem -- my home smelled of death. The odor was so bad that I couldn't even stay at home one night. The suspected culprit, a raccoon. It turns out that I have two chimneys that serve as a raccoon recreation paradise.

Well, I hired a chimney sweep to take care of this problem and inspect my fireplace to see if I could easily make it functional again. I learned two important things from my chimney sweep:

1. Both chimneys in my house are disintegrating from the inside and need significant work. It will be a while before I can afford to make my fireplace functional, because right now I have to stabilize it and make sure the chimney doesn't cave in on it. Bye bye fun funds... ahhh the joys of homeownership.

And here's the weird transition....

2. There is a miracle chocolate called Xocai that can heal a variety of health problems and prevent aging when you integrate it into a wholesome diet. I realize how random this is, but my chimney sweep spent about 30 minutes telling me about this while he wrote up the estimate for the necessary and painful work necessary on my chimneys. My chimney sweep is a very vocal advocate of this miracle chocolate product (selling it is a side business for him) and frankly you can't help but enjoy learning about something new from someone who is that enthusiastic. He's really the perfect spokesperson, as he says that after a very serious heart attack, the chocolate helped heal his heart.

Anyhow, the moral of the story is that I really wish I had something to get THAT excited about. I'm notoriously even keeled. I really don't get down about much, but I don't really get super excited about anything either. It's a trait that serves me well in most situations, but sometimes I want my own miracle chocolate.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Holy Locust!

Ok, so this is some biblical, end-of-days insect craziness. I knew our Newser widget would come in handy. How else would I find this stuff?

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Building my biker gang

Lately I've been feeling pretty pitiful, from a personal health and fitness perspective. I'm sluggish, tired, up quite a few pounds, and antsy to have that awesome feeling that comes from being in shape again. Lest you forget, a little over a year ago I was in the best shape of my life, having completed my first century ride with the Team in Training program. If you've never tried Team in Training and want to have the best training and motivational experience out there, I really encourage you to give it a shot.

Anyway, I'm the type of person who works from goals. This summer, I wanted to complete a duathlon, but the damage I did to my poor feet during my famous century wouldn't let me train for several months. So, I just slowly turned into an out-of-shape pile of mush. Don't get me wrong, since the century I've done some decent 30-mile rides, but not enough to feel good about.

So, here's the new goal:

One major ride each month from May to September, culminating with a century ride. Yep, that's right -- I want to be back in century condition. So how am I going to do this? With my bike gang of course (accepting applications).

I'm actively recruiting my friends and their friends to join up. After all, everything is more fun with a group. Training will start in March. The starting ride will be on May 4, 2008 -- 50 miles of the Cincinnati Chili Ride sponsored by the Cincinnati Cycle Club

I'm pretty excited about this idea and encourage anyone who loves to bike to join up. We may even have special bike gang jerseys if enough people are interested.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Getting Into The Holiday Spirit

I have a love/hate affair with “The Holidays,” that period of time that has come to encompass the end of November, all of December and now seems to even be encroaching into January. This is not to be confused with the hate/hate relationship I have with Thanksgiving, covered in my most recent post.

Anyway, my holiday likes: hot chocolate, the abundance of food that suddenly appears at everyone’s houses, Christmas trees, gifts, snuggly hoodies, all the typical sappy stuff, etc.

What I dislike: the expectations. I feel like the holidays are so romanticized by everyone—including America’s biggest retailers—that we have come to expect it to be this magical, warm, happy, fuzzy time where everything is perfect and the sky is filled with marshmallow clouds.

I don’t like the pressure. So I get bummed out pretty easily during the holidays, probably because I’m thinking about how I’m supposed have an ecstasy-like high during this time period, when I really just feel like I do the rest of the year. Except busier. And more full.

One of the things that seems to really perpetuate these expectations: the endless spool of Christmas songs that play over and over from Thanksgiving to Christmas in pretty much every retailer, not to mention the heavy play holiday songs get on the radio. Usually, I’m not feeling it. It makes me kind of headachey. But, I don’t want to be a grinch. So, in an effort to get more into the holiday spirit this year, I’m trying to figure out my perfect holiday playlist. Unfortunately, the holiday songs that I truly, truly enjoy hearing are pretty few. So I need some suggestions. Here’s what I have so far.

Wonderful Christmas Time-Paul McCartney
Happy Christmas (War is Over)-John Lennon
Happy Christmas (War is Over)-Melissa Etheridge
O Holy Night-New Orleans musicians (coordinated by the Tipitina Foundation for the holiday episode of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip)
Mele Kalikimaka-Bing Crosby (and yes, totally on the list just because of its inclusion in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation)

Suggest away!

Monday, November 26, 2007

A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words

Does this picture tell a story or what!? Hilarious. Here's the real story.

The picture came from Wonkette, which mocks this whole thing much better than I could ever do.

Doom and Gloom: Your Economic Forecast

"We haven't faced a downturn like this since the Depression."

That's the quote that stuck with me in all of today's depressing news about the state of the economy, housing market, etc. I'm convinced that buying my house, regardless of how cute it is, was a bad idea. I'm becoming seriously concerned that it has actually decreased in value, even if I see houses similar to mine listed at pretty nice prices. I'm so glad I don't have to relocate and sell my house right now. That just sounds like a miserable experience all around.

Another sign of the times: Even Harley-Davidson has had to cut production and put 5400 workers out of work this week because of falling sales. Seriously, things must be bad if people don't want a Harley.

All this bad news, and my local news station still has the time to discuss whether or not Big Foot exists. When I saw that, I think I died a little inside. Seriously.

It's all enough to make you want to flee to Canada (if you can sell your house, of course). And why not, the American dollar is at an all time low.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Giving Thanks...

I'm really not big on Thanksgiving... turkey is one of the few foods I don't care for, and it always seems like the day just drags on and on and on. So the last couple of years Rob and I have decided to take advantage of the built-in vacation days that come with the holiday and travel instead of doing the traditional family dinner. This year, we're headed to London to hang out with Rob's brother Matt and see the sights for a week. As I'm sitting here in Dallas/Fort Worth airport waiting for our connecting flight, I thought it might be nice to do just one thing to celebrate the holiday--give thanks. Here are a few of the things I'm thankful for:

My husband
Family and friends
My house
That I don't live in Texas anymore
Super Mario Galaxy
Colby-Jack Cheese
Kristen Bell
Friday Night Lights
Keri Russell
How I Met Your Mother
The Office
30 Rock
Banana Republic
Sam Waterston’s eyebrows
The Wire
Alpha-Hydrox AHA Souffle
My Garmin GPS
Laura Mercier
Converse shoes
High-Speed Wireless Internet
Entertainment Weekly
World’s Best Burger and my co-blogger. And actual burgers, because they’re tasty.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Right Said Fred Takes on Illegal Aliens

Oh Arthur.... let's stick to setting Jack McCoy straight. The direct plea for money seems a little desparate, but natural considering it took you FOR-EV-ER to enter the race.

And seriously dude, is that background music from Jurassic Park or Armageddon? A sign of the future? Likely.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Chuckabee for President

Have you seen this ad for Mike Huckabee... featuring Chuck Norris!? Shock and awe my friends. Shock and awe!

In other news, Larry Flynt is a big Dennis Kucinich supporter. It's a good day in the political world.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Grading WBB

I saw this listed on Mommy Bits and decided to grade our blog for readability. Apparently, we're as nerdy as I thought:

cash advance

Cash Advance Loans

You can get your own at Critic's Rant.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Post Debate Comments

How many of you watched the CNN debate last night featuring all of our hopefuls from the Democratic Party? If not, you can download the entire debate here. Well, I did, and in case you haven't formed opinions about the roster of options, I'm going to share mine with you:
  1. Joe Biden: Wack job.
  2. Bill Richardson: Thoughtful... and cuddly even. I think he's way up on the list for likability.
  3. Chris Dodd: Speaks amazing Spanish. I just wish I knew what his Spanish-language rant was about during the debate. Otherwise, a more intelligent sounding wack job.
  4. John Edwards: I'm sorry, I just think he's such a sleazy douche bag. I started getting so irritated with him. I wanted to scream at the screen.
  5. Dennis Kucinich: He brought me joy. There was a point in the debate where he was talking about how half the people on stage supported the war and now are against it, supported the Patriot Act and now are against it, supported free and open trade with China and now are questioning it. He was the only one to be against it all from the start, so he said (and this is an approximate quote): "America is ready for a President that gets it right the first time."
  6. Barack Obama: I was looking for a lot more from him. He's on my "to watch" list. I feel pretty good about him, but I'm not sold. I thought he spent too much time floundering around. He came off as inexperienced next to Hillary, which seems to be the chief complaint against him anyway. I'm not counting him out though.
  7. Hillary Clinton: What can I say? I thought she was polished, confident and intelligent in all of her responses. She comes of as the most authoritative person on the stage. I would feel good about her being my representative to the rest of the world. I still have a minor ick factor about her, probably because she seems so calculated... the extreme opposite of what appears to be naivete on Barack's part.
The point here. I haven't made a decision yet. If it was based on performance last night, I swear I'd vote Kucinich. No joke.

There's a GOP debate on Nov. 28. I can't wait to turn in and see my L&O boy Freddy Fred take on the big dogs.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Real Love

So, the song “Real Love” seems to be resurfacing, which I find totally nutty. It first came out in 1996, when I was at the ripe old age of 15, as part of the Beatles’ Anthology 2 album. Which I totally owned, by the way, because my brother and I were Beatles’ geeks even as teenagers. I’m pretty sure I even had a shirt with the Beatles’ Apple logo on it at the time. I also had a shirt with “The Kramer” on it, but that’s neither here nor there.

Anyway, even at 15 I was not so impressed by “Real Love.” It was a neat idea and everything, for the gang to get together and record with an old track featuring Lennon’s voice, but… enh. It kind of weirded me out. Like that recording/video of “Unforgettable” where Natalie Cole sings with her very much deceased father. Sweet, I guess, but still kind of creepy.

Back to the point. So recently, Rob and I went to see Regina Spektor in concert, and she performed a cover of “Real Love,” and it was pretty amazing, but that was probably mostly because she has an insanely gorgeous voice.

But then the song popped up again on, of all things, a JCPenney commercial. Anyway, I don’t know if it’s nostalgia for my teenage years or because this little girl is ostensibly building a rocket ship out of discount cookware and Arizona jeans—cause that’s the only tie I can possibly find to JCPenney’s in the commercial—but I am really digging this song. Like really digging it. I downloaded the Regina version and listen to it several times a day. I hum it in the car. I see the Apple logo in my sleep.

Here’s the commercial—one, for your enjoyment and two, because I think answering Laura’s yearnings for serious-ness on WBB by posting another commercial is the only response that makes any sense.

Love this site

Found Magazine is a fun collection of random notes people find. I love it.

Blogging Mid-Life Crisis

So, today I had my midlife blogging crisis. After doing significant research on blogging for work, I decided I need to be serious. Write about politics, education, the media, business, etc. etc. Keep in mind that my last three blog posts have been about a Jeep Liberty commercial, a cow falling on a car from a cliff and the monkey problem in India. Clearly I'm so serious.

I tell my blogging partner of nearly 3 years (on and off again relationship, since 2005) and she wants to break up with me. Like I'm trading her in for a more serious, richer blog. Seriously, can't she just understand that people question things... even blogging relationships from time to time. She was going to "do her own thing" if I didn't want her any more. Oh the guilt. I think to humor me (and she did), we're going to do a little redesign to "liven things up."

Well, I've come back down to earth, realized I'm not a serious blogger, and am content with WBB's three regular readers: Brenner, ShannanB aka Mommybits, and Rob (who uses this as a forum to try and convince his wife to cook and clean). Maybe I'll write about something serious on occasion, but I'll probably just keep on writing about stepping in human feces and ferocious monkeys. Of course, we're open to other content suggestions.

Viva WBB.

UPDATE: I forgot one of our best readers, Emily. Please forgive me Emily. We really appreciate your regular insights and contributions to WBB.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Rock Me Gently

This commercial for Jeep Liberty is my favorite commercial EVER. Or at least for the time being. I just can't get enough of the wolf belting out "Baby! Baby!" after he drops through the sun roof and spits out the bird.

Just watch. It makes sense, I swear!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

WGA On Strike

Long time no blog.

My current obsession: The WGA strike. It’s probably no shock that I’m pro-writer and pro-union in this situation. I could get into the nitty gritty now, but WBB’s 2-4 member readership is typically well-read and the type that keeps abreast of the news, so I’ll just put in a plug for this handy video that the WGA created to describe why they’re striking, which you can see here:

I’ve been getting most of my updates on the strike from these sites/blogs:

Anyway, it looks like this thing might go on for a while, which obviously sucks for someone—like myself—who considers TV equivalent to a major food group. By January, most of my favorite primetime scripted shows will be out of episodes, and I’ll have to find something else to do to fill my time. Any suggestions for a new hobby?

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Cows from the heavens

I was having a really bad day, and then I read this and realized it could be much, much worse.

Walk of Shame

Today is election day, which means I go through a very special yearly ritual.

I wake up.
Leave my house.
Go to work.

And then... I spend the rest of my day shaming the friends and family members who neglected their civic duties. And, they deserve it. That is all.

Monday, November 5, 2007

This is creepy

Thank you random gmail link! This is just bizarre.

Have I mentioned that I'm intrigued by how Googzilla chooses these stories for me? Anyone know?

Monday, October 29, 2007

Overheard in Downtown Cincinnati

So, I'm totally I'm totally ripping that title off from the DCist, but I admit it. Accept me.

But, I overhead the most amazing line today when walking to my car. I had to laugh, because it was so amazingly absurd.

Redneck man at bus stop to classy woman in nice sports car:

"Baby, you're the hottest thing since fire. Why don't you give me a ride?"

I have a feeling that guy is going to be at the bus stop for a long, long time.

Monday, October 22, 2007

When Monkeys Fight Back!

This story is so amazing that I had to post it in full. I've highlighted the important parts. A very special thanks to the BBC for reporting this story. The link to the original is here:

Monkeys attack Delhi politician
Monkeys in India
Delhi has long struggled to cope with marauding monkeys
The deputy mayor of the Indian capital Delhi has died a day after being attacked by a horde of wild monkeys.

SS Bajwa suffered serious head injuries when he fell from the first-floor terrace of his home on Saturday morning trying to fight off the monkeys.

The city has long struggled to counter its plague of monkeys, which invade government complexes and temples, snatch food and scare passers-by.

The High Court ordered the city to find an answer to the problem last year.

Solution elusive

One approach has been to train bands of larger, more ferocious langur monkeys to go after the smaller groups of Rhesus macaques.

The city has also employed monkey catchers to round them up so they can be moved to forests.

But the problem has persisted.

Culling is seen as unacceptable to devout Hindus, who revere the monkeys as a manifestation of the monkey god Hanuman, and often feed them bananas and peanuts.

Urban development around the city has also been blamed for destroying the monkeys' natural habitat.

Mr Bajwa, a member of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), is survived by his wife and a son, according to the Press Trust of India news agency.

Sunday, October 7, 2007


On recent lazy Sundays when I've actually been home, I've gotten sucked into marathons of the show Snapped on Oxygen. The premise, for the unitiated: profiles of cases where really crazy women murdered their husbands/boyfriends in incredibly violent (and often surprisingly innovative) ways.

Anyway, I'm really into true crime, but this show is extra creepy. I mean, there's a lot of crazy, murderous women out there. And they all seemed somewhat normal pre-murder. The show is in its sixth season, and after several marathon viewings, I've caught very few repeats. Apparently, there's plenty of material to mine for this show.

Also, as you might imagine, my husband is mildly perturbed by my interest in the subject matter. But it keeps sucking me in, and making me paranoid. And, I'm pretty sure it's not just me or my perception, but a large percentage of the bizarro murders seem to happen in Kentucky and Ohio. Which kind of ups the creepiness factor... like, is it in the water or something?

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Exercises in the domestic arts

I recently acquired two new household items that may make me seem like I'm 27 going on 40 with 2.5 kids, a suburban pottery-barn inspired home, a giant SUV and a Martha Stewart obsession -- but I'm OK with that.

Item #1 -- not incredibly unusual, but I bought a crock pot. I'm terribly excited by the prospect of pot roast, 40-clove chicken and Cornish game hens in my future. Not to mention vats of chili cheese dip. My crock pot is red, and it's absolutely adorable. One day, when I get my Kitchen Aid mixer -- in red, of course -- my world will be complete.

Item #2 -- is something I've been secretly longing for -- a breadmaker. Thanks to my wonderful bf, who understands and appreciates my obsession with bread and soup, I got a deluxe-super-duper-does-everything-for-you-magnum-gorgeous breadmaker supreme! It will complement the vats of soup I make in my crock pot quite nicely. I'm looking forward to making everyone I know loaves of bread for Christmas... so brace yourselves.

See, I'm so domestic, it's great.... minus the fact that my house is a dirty mess and I really am not that motivated to fix the situation....

Now I must order kitchen curtains -- primarily to make sure the world doesn't see my mess!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Baby's Black Balloon Makes Her Fly

Editor's note: Totally taken from my MySpace blog. Because I can.

I love Cold Case on CBS. I like it for many of the same reasons that I dislike other shows—when it comes to showcasing the past, it's not particularly nuanced or complex, but that's what makes it totally awesome, at least in my opinion. If Det. Rush and company are looking into an early '80's case, for example, you can bet on big hair and Duran Duran. You totally know what you're getting into—the only surprise is the obligatory twist in the case 45 minutes into the episode.

Anyway, Cold Case is getting even more love than usual from me so far this season because in the first two episodes the team reopened cases from the '90s. Nineties music hasn't reached that level of nostalgia where it's cool to embrace it yet, but I'll totally cop to still loving those tunes from my middle- and high-school days. The first episode, Thrill Kill, highlighted a '94 case and featured flashbacks jam-packed with flannel shirts and—you guessed it!—an all-Nirvana soundtrack.

But last night's episode, That Woman, was truly awesome because it only went back to 1998, which means that all the songs featured in flashbacks were regularly played in my super-cool '92 Plymouth Acclaim as I cruised the streets of P-town my junior year of high school. Here's a few of the songs featured:

Black Balloon: The Goo Goo Dolls
Closing Time: Semisonic
Counting Blue Cars: Dishwalla
Sex and Candy: Marcy Playground
Torn: Natalie Imbruglia

It's kind of funny to hear those songs and then instantly what was going on in my head when I was 17. I loved some Natalie Imbruglia… I thought she was super-angsty—just like me!—even though I later found out she was a former soap star and didn't write her own songs, but whatevs. I also remember being pretty keen on Closing Time, despite never having stepped into a bar at the time.

I think this may trigger some mid-to-late-'90s iTunes downloading over the next few days. I think my first download might be Banditos by The Refreshments…

Friday, September 28, 2007

Close Encounters of the #2 Kind

Sorry for being so MIA lately... work, travel and teaching have taken me away from this most worthy past time. But, I found it very important to relay one of the most amazing things that's ever happened to me.

I stepped in human feces while wearing open toed shoes.

Yes, that's no joke.

Let me tell you how it happened:

It was an unseasonably warm Wednesday morning in downtown Cincinnati. Being the industrious person I am, I tried to get in to work earlier to start my day off right. As I turned the corner from the busy rush hour street into my office's doorway, key card in hand, I smelled the most amazing smell....

You know that saying "What crawled up your ass and died?" Well, I think that's the best way to describe the rancid odor in the doorway. Unfortunately, the complete shock of the nauseating aroma caught me so off guard that I didn't notice as my foot landed in the ginormous pile of shit.

Immediately I thought: Oh shit! It's shit! Dear God! Open toed shoes...tetanus... AAAAACCCCCCKKKKKK!

I immediately pulled my foot out of my shoe, pulled the shoe (did I mention it's one of my favorite pairs?) from the steaming pile of poo, and hopped to the curb where I fruitlessly scraped my shoe against it, hoping it would easily come off.

That was not the case, since apparently the person in question had a very loose bowel movement, creating a concoction similar in consistency to cement with similar adhesive ability. I hopped into the office and into the restroom, where I went through a lengthy process of scrub. gag. scrub. gag. exit bathroom for air. scrub. gag. Is that corn? sweet god. scrub. gag. scrub.

20 minutes later the shit was gone, yet the pungent odor still remained. Luckily for me, I once had to write an article on removing bodily fluids and odors for a janitorial trade publication. (Who knew THAT would come in handy some day?) So, I filled a bucket with Lysol and laid my shoe in it to kill the odor causing bacteria responsible for the rancid odor. It worked. No more odor.

But sadly for me, I still have not recovered, and I'm not convinced that I ever will be able to wear those shoes again. Just thinking about them makes me smell shit. It's quite unfortunate.

So that's the story of me stepping in human shit. I didn't even go into detail about the overall havoc it wrought upon the office, as I was not the only victim of the foulness.... I just had the most severely foul interaction.

Ah the joys of working downtown!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Fall TV Is Back!

Longtime blog readers by now know that I have nothing going for me in life that doesn’t involve TV. I live for it. I make plans (like sleeping and eating) around it. To me, new episodes of my favorite TV shows are like smack, or what I imagine smack to be like since I grew up in Paducah, KY, and the most hardcore tale from my youth involves stealing a pen from K-Mart when I was seven. My mother made me return it later. So I guess what I’m saying is that, to me, new TV episodes of my fave shows are like the high a seven-year-old gets from stealing a pen.

Anyway, since Fall TV is back, I’ve been gearing up for the return of old favorites— such as The Office, How I Met Your Mother, Friday Night Lights, Heroes (yay for bringing in Kristen Bell!) and even Grey’s Anatomy, even though it was all sad and weird the second half of last season with the ferries crashing and the dying and coming back to life and the Derek hitting on Meredith’s sister and the Addison leaving Seattle Grace to chat with an elevator. I’ll give it another chance. The music was still good, anyway.

There’s also new shows, and the ones I’m most excited about are Pushing Daisies, Bionic Woman (although stunt casting Isaiah Washington for an arc isn’t doing it any favors in my book), and Gossip Girl. I actually saw the pilot of Gossip Girl last night, and it was pretty good in that guilty pleasure kind of way. It stars Blake Lively (the blond girl from Sisterhood of The Traveling Pants, which you know I loved), and it’s pretty much The O.C. set in New York City. Let’s just hope it’s The O.C., seasons one and two, and not three and four when it got terrible.

Other shows I’m planning on tuning into (and have reasonably high hopes for) are: Private Practice (despite the terrible pseudo-pilot, I’ll watch anything that includes Tim Daly); Cane, and Women’s Murder Club.

Anyway, so today I totally mapped out my fall viewing schedule. Once everything premieres, here’s what it’ll look like with some nifty DVR maneuvering (assuming I like the new shows I want to see and stick with my favorites from last season.)


9 p.m.
Cold Case
Desperate Housewives

10 p.m.
Brothers & Sisters


8 p.m.
How I Met Your Mother

9 p.m.
The Hills


10 p.m.
Boston Legal
Law & Order: SVU


8 p.m.
Pushing Daisies

9 p.m.
Bionic Woman
Gossip Girl
Private Practice

10 p.m.


8 p.m.
Ugly Betty

30 Rock

9 p.m.
Grey’s Anatomy
The Office


10 p.m.
Mad Men
Without A Trace


9 p.m.
Women’s Murder Club

10 p.m.
Friday Night Lights

I'll bet you wish I knew how to link to a blog page because this post is taking over the whole homepage! I don't!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Cars, cars, cars

I recently decided to nickname my car--a trusty 1997 Buick Century--Agnes, because it's sturdy and also because it sort of looks like a lunch lady. Agnes is almost at the 100k mark--just about 200 miles away--but she's still soldiering on.

Although I plan to drive Agnes for quite a bit longer, I've recently had to come to terms with the fact that one day Rob and I will either need to replace Agnes or at least have a trusty second vehicle on hand. Also, although I love Agnes' reliability, she's a bit large, and I feel kind of like I'm driving a boat.

Anyway, I thought this article from Forbes was pretty cool--it lists 10 frugal new car picks. I've always been more of a used-car gal, but I admit that I'm kind of into the new sub-compacts, and these cars certainly provide a lot of bang for the buck.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Hills Are Alive...

The folks at Gawker talk about how The Hills is the shit.

Start watching. It's TV crack. I swear to it.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Will It Blend? - iPhone

This is the most amazing abuse of technology I've ever seen. The iPhone is great, but the crappy network it's on may spur angry blending incidents all over America.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Any Hills Fans In The House?

Team Lauren or Team Speidi? Please weigh in. I'm a Team Lauren gal all the way.

Also, Justin Bobby? Funniest thing ever.

Monday, August 13, 2007

My Latest TV Find

I've decided that the USA show Psych is the new Scrubs. I used to think Scrubs was the funniest show on TV--got to love those wacky hijinks--but then I kept reading about how Zach Braff is a huge asshole, so that kind of took the fun out of it for me.

Anyway, Psych is heavy on the hijinks, which I love, and as my friend Tara (who introduced me to the show) says, it has "more obscure pop culture ‘80s references than any other show." True that. It's a winner!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Home on the trail

I love the Little Miami Scenic Trail. For those of you not from the Greater Cincinnati area, it's a bike trail that weaves up the eastern side of Cincinnati, then on to Lebanon (Ohio, obviously) and Xenia. From there, you can pretty much find your way to Lake Erie. Pretty great, right? Yes it is, and for me especially.

One of the things I love most about the Little Miami is the number of fun cyclist friendly businesses right off the trail. I really enjoy hopping on my bike in Milford, riding the 9.5 miles to Loveland, stopping for a breakfast sandwich and heading back. Actually, the downtown Loveland stop on the bike trail could be my version of utopia, which is really shaking my formerly firm philosophy about where I will and will not live.

The philosophy now: live in a more urban area, close to downtown where I work to minimize my commute time. Also, by living in a more urban area, I'm more likely to have a home with character (and I do) and have many more activities in close proximity (which I also do).

I don't live in the heart of the city by any means, but I definitely have the perks of living close-in. My neighborhood in Covington is only a couple miles from the riverfront and all the great festivals and things to do that come with it. But there's one thing I don't have... the bike trail.

I want to ride from my house to the bike trail. I want to ride my bike to the canoe rental place and spend a leisurely afternoon on the river. I want to go on breakfast rides and get a coffee and sit, relax and read my newspaper before going back. I REALLY want this! But to achieve this, I'll have to be much farther from downtown and the riverfront. What to do?

I'm not moving anywhere anytime soon. But when the time comes to move again, it's going to be a very very interesting decision. As I get a bit older, my idea of a great Saturday shifts from spending the evening at the Levee to spending the day on the trail. I guess that's a pretty good sign--but knowing me, I'm likely to change my mind.

Power for good, not evil

I've apparently gotten quite the reputation for ruining my friends' favorite fast food items. Really, all I've done is research and find out how bad certain delicious items are--like the delicious Chipotle burrito. My usual at Chipotle (at least until I learned this information) clocked in at 1420 calories. Really, what I do is a public service... I do it for YOU people.

But, as a way to make amends, I thought I would use my research powers for good, not evil. I'll give you a couple healthy fast food selections from your ( favorite restaurants.


Instead of a Baconator combo, try a Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger, side salad with Italian dressing and medium Minute Maid Light Lemonade. The damage: a tiny 540 calories. If you can't give up fries and ditch the salad, you'll be at an acceptable, if you eat carefully for the rest of the day, 710 calories.

Taco Bell

Order your tacos "fresco style"--that's without the cheese and sour cream. A fresco style beef taco is only 150 calories. Not too shabby. Eat two and you're just a tad higher in calories than a lean cuisine. (I know you Lean Cuisine fanatics will point out the higher fat content, but here, we're just counting calories, so give me a break!)

Saturday, August 11, 2007


Today, Rob and I made the 45-minute drive to Ikea for the second time in the last month. The first time, we went to pick up a bunch of goodies for our new place before the big move; the second time, we ran out to pick some stuff up for Rob's mom.

As much as I love Ikea--and I do love everything about it, from scouting out what I want online to walking through the faux home setups to picking up random shit in the marketplace area--my favorite thing about a trip to Ikea is, of course, food-related.

For $2.50, an Ikea shopper can get two hot dogs, chips and a drink. This is the tastiest, most filling, $2.50 you will ever spend. You can also get a delicious $1 fro-yo cone for the road. We love the Ikea hot dog deal so much that we have planned every Ikea trip--even the ones we made to NJ when we were in NY--around a meal time so we can take advantage of it. I love it just for the good deal; Rob actually drinks the disgusting Swedish soda when he's there, too.

Monday, August 6, 2007

File Under Dream Jobs

I secretly (OK, maybe not-so-secretly) think writing for TV is probably the most amazing job ever. So when I caught this article with the creators of How I Met Your Mother (one of my favorite shows) discussing the creative process and how they got their start, I was jazzed. I'm probably not going to quit my day job anytime soon, but it's a fun read.

What $1,000 Can Do...

While doing my weekly scan of, I came across this article on the different ways you can use $1,000 to change your life--or someone else's. I like reading personal finance articles in general, but I find I respond to these people-focused articles more than ones that are strictly about... portfolio diversification, for example. Anyway, my favorite bit is the piece on organization that allows individuals to invest in small businesses in developing countries.

Saturday, August 4, 2007


I just harvested an eggplant, a butternut squash and four tomatoes out of my garden. MY GARDEN! Yippeee! They are beautiful!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Dear writers of Law & Order....

Dear writers of Law & Order,

I came across two stories this week that seem primed for some good, old-fashioned, ripped-from-the-headlines action. Thought you'd want to know.

Loree Stark

P.S. Also, maybe once or twice when you get famous actors for an episode, you could consider NOT making them the bad guy? Just for the audience's sake, you know. When Rebecca De Mornay popped into view within the first five minutes of an SVU rerun last night, it kind of took the guesswork out of the rest of the episode.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Awkward things...

I'm the queen of getting in awkward and uncomfortable situations. I feel like I should create a running tally of the various awkward situations that come my way. For instance, and this is the inspiration for this post--overhearing something you weren't supposed to hear but that you have to address because it directly affects you. How do you start that?

"I promise I wasn't eavesdropping, but...."

"You probably didn't realize I was in earshot, but...."

"So I hear (quite literally) that you think..."

"I may have heard this out of context, but I heard you say..."

Seriously, what do you do? I'm not very subtle, so this should be an interesting challenge... and I can't just let it go, because I'm incapable of just letting it go. Conversation starter suggestions?

Friday, July 27, 2007

Butternut Squash

My garden is on the verge of yielding about 10 huge butternut squash. So here's the question: What in the world can you do with butternut squash!? I probably should have thought of that before I planted this green monster that has taken over my yard.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

New Study-- Scary predictions

Health studies, especially when they involve American eating habits tend to be all doom and gloom. This one from Johns Hopkins is no different, but particularly frightening considering it's abundantly clear that there's a correlation between obesity and overall health. Epidemic is definitely the right word here. The prediction: 3 in 4 adults will be overweight by 2015; and, 41 percent of Americans will be obese.

If that's not inspiration for me to put down the Peanut Buster Parfait and hit up a spin class, I don't know what is.... (Man, but I LOVE my Peanut Buster Parfait)

All About The Benjamins

I was on the Consumerist website yesterday and I came across a link to this article from the Get Rich Slowly site. Basically, the site asked MSN money columnist Liz Pulliam Weston how closely she follows the advice she gives readers, and she offered to write a column detailing how she lives her financial life. As somewhat of a personal finance geek, I thought it was cool that Weston was willing to pull back the curtains a bit and let us peek in. I was also impressed that she drives an old-ass car--a 1993 SUV with 250k on it--which made me feel a little bit better about the 1997 Buick Century with 100k on it that Rob and I have been driving around in for the past few years. We've started to kind of loathe the car--particularly because it feels sort of like we're driving a boat--but Liz has convinced me to stick with it for a bit longer.

Speaking of Rob and money, I assume that probably 100 percent of our tiny blog readership knows at this point that Rob got laid off last week. We're also in the middle of buying a house, so timing... could have been better. But, Rob's lined up some freelance work, and has some job prospects, so things are looking up.

But it all comes back to my personal finance obsession. I've been a little lax this past year, largely because we were finally in a place where we had a good amount of income coming in and our fixed expenses had dropped. We definitely managed to save, but I also spent probably a little too much time on the Banana Republic site ordering sale merchandise. Now that we're looking at a mortgage payment--and a potential/possible/likely drop in income, I've started re-dedicating myself to a few of my favorite financial resources on the web. Here's what I've been looking at:

I'm not sure why, but I'm a huge fan of the money columnists, advice and message boards on the MSN money site. As a recent college graduate with a journalism degree and mostly non-existent math skills, this is the website I started scouring during my first job, before we got married, and when we were carrying $10k-plus in credit card debt between the two of us.

I learned about the 60 percent solution, which I've been following a modified version of ever since. And I met, and fell in love with, the Women in Red, which started out as a twice-monthly column about a group of women that know very little about "the rules" of personal finance, but want to get rid of their debt.

So, this week, I'm going back and reacquainting myself, discovering some new stuff, and learning some old stuff all over again.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Summer TV, take two

A little over a month ago, I blogged about how the lack of solid original programming on TV during the summer months usually means my summer is kind of boring.

So yeah, I've been watching Murder, She Wrote. And Law & Order. But I've also decided to give some of the minimal new summer programming a try. The Closer, for example, on TNT. It's great. It has the procedural thing going for it, which I love, so I can watch virtually any episode and not have to worry about knowing backstory. And Kyra Sedgwick, as a Southern transplant in Los Angeles with a penchant for junk food, is amazing. It's good stuff.

I've also decided to give Mad Men on AMC a chance. It's an hour-long drama about the advertising industry in the early 60s. I usually think anything remotely historical equals boring, but... I guess the 60s weren't that long ago, so I can handle it. It was created by Matthew Weiner, an exec producer and writer for The Sopranos, so the script doesn't suck. I'm only one episode in, but I like it. The clothes are great, anyway.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Condom Controversy

So, have you heard about FOX News not airing a new Trojan ad because "it objected to the message that condoms can prevent pregnancy," according to the New York Times.

All I can say is this just reaffirms why I don't watch that station.

RIP Cincinnati and Kentucky Post

It's always a sad day when a newspaper announces it's going out of business.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Maybe This Will Get Me To Exercise...

I'm super-excited about the new Wii Fit. It kind of reminds me of the old-school Nintendo Power Pad. Too bad it's not coming out for awhile....

Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Baconator

Today, on my way home to clean my house from top to bottom (It's pretty gross--exceptionally gross even. Ask me about my cat Toga and the "poop incident") before my weekend guests arrive, I stopped at Wendy's. When I'm feeling fat and happy and I head to Wendy's I splurge and get the Big Bacon Classic, sans ketchup. As I pulled up, the menu item on the super value menu usually reserved for my bacony delight was replaced with "The Baconator".

If you're not familiar with this artery clogging monster, it's described on Wendy's site as...
"Six bacon slices piled high atop two1/4 lb. fresh, never frozen, burger patties. Complete with American cheese and mayonnaise dressing on our signature premium bun. Go on, obsess a little."
Who needs that!!!!? I couldn't order that... It's called the Baconator. It's on the list of fast food items I'll never eat--with the Hardee's monstrosity burger. Six bacon slices... dear God.

Calories: 830
Grams of Fat: 51

If you ate this burger while taking that new diet pill Alli... you know, the one that doesn't let you absorb 1/3 of the fat in your food and can cause explosive diarrhea... you would shit your pants for sure.

Monday, June 25, 2007

I Love This

I'm a bit of tech geek. As I've previously mentioned, I have numerous gadgets--a GPS/heart rate monitor for running, a GPS for our car (a 1997 Buick which probably isn't worth much more than the GPS itself), and, of course, I heart my iPod.

So yeah, I'm one of those dorks that's jazzed about the iPhone, although I can't see myself spending $600 for one right away. Anyway, I thought this infograph from The Onion (via the Consumerist) highlighting "features" of the iPhone was pretty hilarious. My favorite feature: Comes with an iPhone hat, so people know you own an iPhone during the brief periods you're not using it.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

When Google gets it right...

If you have Gmail, you probably get those weird little headlines at the top of the screen that the computer gremlins think you'll enjoy. For the first time, I clicked on one, and it was well worth it. The title: Narcissistic Blog Disorder and Other Conditions of Online Kookery.

I can't resist anything with the word "kookery" and to be quite frank, I'm probably a narcissistic blogger. After all, I am the coolest person I know.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Summer TV

I like warm weather and a little less stress at work, so I should probably be more excited about summer. But every year, I'm always a little disappointed when June rolls around because my normally packed TV schedule is wiped clean. As a person who has spent the last few years scheduling my life around my favorite television shows, I get pretty bored during hiatus.

To fill the void, I do a couple of things. One, I set my TiVo to record reruns of shows I missed or didn't check out during their regular run (although many of those have been displaced by original summer programming and reality shows).

I also TiVo reruns of good old standbys that play in reruns all year long, but that I typically miss because my TV schedule is jam-packed. My summer viewing schedule is pretty Law & Order heavy, obviously. Without A Trace is a good one, too, and nothing beats The Golden Girls. I'm also kind of ashamed to admit a burgeoing interest in Charmed.

This year, I'm excited to add Murder, She Wrote to my summer viewing. I used to watch MSW when I was young with my mom, and then as a teenager when reruns played on The USA Network. Now, the Hallmark Channel has been playing loads of Murder, She Wrote reruns, and the show's 12-year run means that it'll be awhile before I see them all. Now, I just need to get a network to start playing Quantum Leap and I'll be set.

Saturday, June 16, 2007


There's nothing better than a really great haircut.

That is all.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Here's your ticket to Washington

Ever since that Senator from Wyoming kicked the bucket (may he rest in peace), there's been a search for a new Republican Senator from Wyoming. The Wyoming GOP is taken a novel approach to finding representation for the nation's least populous state.

It's called the online application. Yes, you too can apply to be the new Senator from Wyoming, simply by visiting

I wish I was a fly on the wall as the party faithful sift through those applications.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Your tax dollars at work: The 'gay bomb'

Ok, so if you haven't heard about the most absurd piece of news floating around today, you are seriously missing out. It turns out that the Pentagon was developing a gay bomb. The purpose of this bomb is simple: cause enemy soldiers to be so sexually attracted to each other their ranks and effectiveness crumble.

Clearly there are still some idiots in government that really do think gays in the military will cause chaos, mass hysteria, and wild orgies on the battle field.

I'm sure we could make a list of at least 2 million less absurd ways to use time and money. Shall we start compiling it? I'll start:

How about Pringles that have super energizing powers and can make soldiers regenerate body parts?

Or, how about a hover craft and some rocket shoes?

Or, how about some body armor and decent protection -- if we're going to get serious.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

More Personal Finance Fun

Yes, as I've mentioned in the past, I'm a bit of a personal finance nut. Does this mean that I always make wise financial decisions? No. I probably spend too much money on travel, and I recently brought out the plastic for a Memorial Day sale at Anthropologie. And I'm not into the whole "latte factor" thing, because, well, I really heart Starbucks.

But I do try to pay off my credit cards monthly, and do the best I can with the money I save. To that end, I'm a big fan of the online savings accounts, like ING and Emigrant Direct. They offer the high interest rates you find with CDs and money market accounts, but without the restrictions. And, for the most part, they're FDIC-insured, so it's not like the internet is going to run off with your money. The only downside is that it takes a couple of days to get the money out of the account, but that shouldn't be a problem if you're really trying to save it. And I always try to keep $100 or so in my WaMu savings account that's tied with my checking for true emergencies.

Anyway, all of my financial commentary is going somewhere here. Today, I saw this roundup of some of the online banks on It's pretty handy, and I kind of wish I had it last year when I was figuring out where to put my cash. For the record, I have two online savings accounts--I keep short-term savings (travel, car repairs, etc.) and money I save to pay freelance taxes in ING, which is super user-friendly and has a yield of 4.5 percent. I like ING because it's easy to create different categories for your savings. For long-term savings (basically money we're saving to buy a house) I use Emigrant Direct, which has a higher yield of 5.05 percent, but is one really ugly-ass website.

Basically, yay for high interest! And personal finance is edgy and fun!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007


Interesting L&O news.

Monday, June 4, 2007

R. Kelly...

...may be one of the sketchiest men alive, but four years after it was released, the remix to Ignition is still super catchy.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Spirit of Truth

For your completely inappropriate amusement, go to YouTube and type "Spirit of Truth".

This guy is flowin' straight from the survival scrolls. In the 8:11 segment, go to about 5:20 for the best series of lines ever. You won't regret it.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is bad, as in f-bomb every three seconds bad--which is why I didn't just post the video. But it's glorious and I highly recommend it. A big thanks to Darren for introducing me to this phenomenon.

Random Updates

1.) The Lost finale was freaking AWESOME! Heroes was good, but not as good as it could have been.

2.) I got made fun of this week at a conference for having Veronica Mars as a screensaver. (RIP, Ms. Mars. RIP.)

3.) I got a haircut. With bangs. But the side-sweepy kind, not, like, sixth-grader bangs or anything.

4.) I have a week-and-a-half before I have to get a plane again. Whee!

Also, not to be super cheesy or anything, but I had one of those moments at said conference this week where I sort of realized how far I had come in the past few years. I was standing at the bar at a random cocktail party on Monday and I had a flashback to the summer after I graduated in 2003. I was interning at a food industry magazine at VNU, and my editor (the illustrious Tara M.) had asked me if I wanted to go in her place to a super swank event at the French Culinary Institute in NYC. Considering I was making $10 an hour and eating out usually consisted of Subway, I jumped at the chance.

The event was amazing, but terrifying. I was seated at a table next to an editor at People magazine, and there were a million courses that I had no idea how to even approach eating. But the most terrifying part of all was ordering drinks at the beginning. I had never really been a wine drinker--and I honestly had no idea what even the most basic varieties were. Cabernet, Chardonnay, Merlot, etc.--all of it meant nothing to me, and this was not a situation where I could just specify red or white. The woman next to me ordered something I had never heard of at the time (probably Pinot something or other) and I just tried to play it safe by ordering what she did. And while I probably didn't look like a total idiot, it was kind of the first indication that just winging it--which I've always been decent at--might not be so easy. I felt totally out of my league.

Anyway, it's not like now I'm a social butterfly with a vast knowledge of varietals (although I now know the word varietals, which at least says something) but I realized in the past four years, I've become much more comfortable in situations I wouldn't normally put myself in. I can make small talk without being incredibly uncomfortable, I feel less out of place in most situations, and I now know that Merlot is the wine I want to order when I want to seem mildly educated but not like a totally pretentious asshole. So, I don't know. I thought that was kind of cool. But mostly cheesy. My apologies for not being my usually snarktastic self.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The long walk

Gas prices hit $3.50 per gallon in the Nati today. I'm more than slightly bitter. And while I live close enough to work that it's actually cheaper for me to drive than to take the bus. (I'm one of the lucky ones whose employer pays for parking).

But, I still think it's time to protest the gas guzzling way of life. Tomorrow I plan to walk to work. Yep... I'm going to get up early and make the 3.32 mile trek from my house to downtown. It's actually a pretty scenic route that involves crossing the river on a beautiful bridge. By my calculations, it will take me approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes to make this journey.

Not only will I be making my statement about gasoline prices, I'll be getting exercise! This is good right?

I'll let you know how this little adventure goes, and if I'll actually do it again.


UPDATE (2 hours later): I'm SO not doing this tomorrow. On what planet would I, a person in a sordid love affair with deep and enduring sleep, choose to get up early? Besides, I have lots of stuff to carry, and I don't have a backpack.

Thursday, May 17, 2007


My life is over.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Jerry Falwell Quotes

Jerry Falwell, founder of the Moral Majority died today. I thought it would be a good time to pass along some classic quotes to mark the passing of this both loved and hated individual who left a profound mark on politics in America. Here are some classics, but you can view a larger list here:

Grown men should not be having sex with prostitutes unless they are married to them.

Billy Graham is the chief servant of Satan in America.

Textbooks are Soviet propaganda.

The whole (global warming) thing is created to destroy America's free enterprise system and our economic stability.

God continues to lift the curtain and allow the enemies of America to give us probably what we deserve.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Life, death and 4-wheelers

I saw my life flash before my eyes this weekend. Yep, and it happened at the evil hands of an All Terrain Vehicle, otherwise known as a 4-wheeler. For those of you who know me well, you are well aware of my lack of coordination and incredible fear of falling in wooded areas (long story for another time and place).

Anyway, while out with my always super adventurous bf Jonathan, in the woods, on the 4-wheeler, I nearly plummeted to my death into a rocky mountainous crag. (rocky mountainous crag or 3-foot drop into rocky creek bed -- details shmeetails) This all comes down to the fact that I didn't know what I was doing (first time 4-wheeling). I was trying to go up a hill when I got the wheel stuck, freaked out, slid backward and flipped the whole vehicle. It threw me down into the ditch where I banged up my shoulder and lower back pretty bad and ruined my favorite J. Crew summer shirt. Tragedy of tragedies.

Moral of this story: ATVs are scary. I tried it, but unless on flat ground with no obstacles and a utilitarian purpose, I don't think I'll be trying it again. I think I'll stick with the horseback riding. I prefer riding something that has a survival instinct of its own... clearly, mine is NOT enough.

Friday, May 11, 2007

How Boring Are You?

I'll start.

Every week, I get an email newsletter sent to my PERSONAL account that starts with this sentence:

Each Friday, we present a short list of the hottest whitepapers, webcasts and research available.

I'm very boring.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The land of fried foods...and poor underwear choices.

What do the following foods have in common? McDonald's sausage biscuit and hashbrown, Chik-fil-a #1 combo with diet lemonade and plenty of mayo for the fries, Fried Chicken with mashed potatoes and cornbread, beer, and fried pickles. I'll tell you what they have in common... they were all in my stomach last Friday when I was in Memphis for the Beale Street Music Festival. I think the saturation of my mind in grease is one reason I've blogged so little lately.

In addition to the artery clogging fat forced into my blood stream, my eyes were burned by crimes against underwear... including the near capital offense to your left, which I had to document upon catching my jaw, which was clearly dragging on the pavement. Who is this woman? What is she wearing? Does she own a mirror? An equally sinister crime involved a woman with a yellow backless shirt wearing a hot pink sports bra. Yep, I think she missed the point of the shirt.

I also became aware of a new trend while roaming the park around the music festival stages--giant brightly colored rubber rain boots with teensy tiny jean skirts. Have I been under a rock? When did this trend happen? Does it have to do with proximity to the Mississippi River? I don't know, but I can say that I had a great time last weekend. Sorry I haven't blogged in while, but I'll catch up.

Free Ice Cream!

Haagen-Daz is giving away servings of its new flavors--Cinnamon Dulce de Leche and Sticky Toffee Pudding--on May 15! (From 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. only.)

Also, when I was 11 I read in Teen Beat that Elijah Wood's favorite ice cream was Haagen-Daz coffee-flavored ice cream, and that was pretty much the only flavor of ice cream I would eat for two years. This is a true story.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Lost's End Game

Losties like myself know that the show’s producers announced an end date for the series this week. The show now has 48 episodes to go—three more seasons with 16 episodes each.

It’s an interesting decision to make, especially for the network execs, who likely care less about creative satisfaction and more about money-making possibilities. But for the past couple of TV seasons, I’ve kind of been thinking that this sort of approach might make sense for more series down the road. Shows like Friday Night Lights (which is excellent, by the way), for example, will have to introduce compelling new characters or follow the current high school juniors and seniors into college in the next two years, which will disrupt the show’s current—and very cool—formula one way or another. Unfortunately, viewers don’t seem to be willing to suspend disbelief watch characters go through their fifth senior year anymore.

And take, for example, The Nine: It started off strong this season but got canceled midway through because of the complexities of creating a long-running show based off of one event—in this case, a bank robbery. If the show had been presented as a one- or two-season deal, it would have been more workable, plot-wise, and more viewers might have tuned in.

So, I don’t know, it’s just a thought. In other TV news, my much-loved Veronica Mars is still on the brink of being canceled, but apparently Rob Thomas’ presentation of a totally new 4th season concept—which starts four years down the road with Veronica as an FBI agent—has been very well-received by CW execs. Veronica, there may be hope for you yet!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

TV Time!

Long time no blog, peeps. I’d blame it on work craziness (work has been crazy, in my defense) but it’s mostly because of my insane TV addiction. That’s right—it’s May, folks, and time for sweeps and action-packed season finales!

Here are some of the wrap-ups I’m looking forward to:

Grey’s Anatomy
Veronica Mars
Gilmore Girls
The Office
How I Met Your Mother

Grey’s is actually kicking off its last few episodes with a two-hour extravaganza tonight designed to set up Addison’s spin-off. I’m hoping for some highly angsty drama.

Also, it looks like Gilmore Girls is wrapping up at the end of this season for good. I’m not devastated, as the Girls just haven’t been as enticing the last two seasons, but I thought things were picking up the last few episodes. Oh, well. I’m sure reruns will live on at ABC Family.

Friday, April 27, 2007

The big day

Loree is running a half marathon tomorrow. Wish her luck!

I, on the other hand, plan to drink. I may walk quite briskly from the bar to the table though, and considering my coordination, may need some luck myself.

Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

$10 Airfare... yeah right

So, I really have nothing good to blog about. Nothing new anyway... but I thought I'd share information that I originally got from Consumerist via Loree and then through an insane "media blitz" (I hate that phrase, but it seems appropriate) here in Cincinnati.

Have you heard about Skybus? It's a new airline advertising $10 one-way airfares on select flights through December. Of course, with all the coverage, the $10 flights are pretty much sold out. But!! They are still cheap enough to get me from Columbus (closest airport) to Vancouver for $175. Not too shabby.

I really need to plan a trip!

Monday, April 23, 2007

If I had a million dollars

I have a plan if I win one of those insanely insane powerball jackpots. You know, the ones that include so many millions of dollars that you immediately have to change your name and relocate to another country to avoid being stalked for cash by every person within 150 square miles.

After I change my name and relocate to some exotic Caribbean location, I will visit the world's best restaurants one by one. Yep, that's it. $225 per person -- no problem.

I'm especially intrigued by The Fat Duck in London, which has menu items described like this:

"This is the place that does bacon-and-egg ice cream, snail porridge and sardine-on-toast sorbet. So you can safely say you’ve never had a meal like it."

Yeah, that just sounds bizarre and horrible, but that doesn't matter! They were THE best in 2005, bacon-and-egg ice cream and all... I must go. We can just hope they do bread and cheese well. Bread and cheese make the world go round.

So now that you know what I'd do with my millions, what would you do with yours?

Friday, April 20, 2007

Stephen King Weighs In

Every time there's a school shooting and the gunman is a writer, I always spend a lot of time thinking about what (if anything) teachers and other students could really do in advance of such a tragedy occurring.

I was a creative writing minor in college, and we had workshop classes where we had to turn in two stories a semester, and every week we would analyze one student's piece of writing. My personal writing style has never included a great deal of violence (I tend to suffer from "navel-gazing, depressive protaganist" syndrome) but violence--and we're talking the gory, disturbing stuff--is something that many other students explore in their writing. And, I don't know. I guess when someone wrote something terrible and scary, I would occasionally wonder what they were like outside of class, or what issues they might be working through... probably much the same way they wondered if I went home to drink booze, watch The Golden Girls and feel sorry for myself.

And I think about the writers that I read--Stephen King, and really any other horror, mystery or true crime writer. These guys have written some of the most disturbing stuff on the planet; for instance, I recently actually gagged when I was reading James Ellroy's memoir because I was so disturbed by a scene he described imagining as a child. But, as far as anyone else knows, these guys have, for the most part, been fine, upstanding citizens.

So it was with great interest that I read Stephen King's thoughts on the topic in Entertainment Weekly. I don't know that it puts us anywhere closer to a definitive solution on the matter, or what actions should or could be taken, but I think he makes some interesting points.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

For the love of beans!

I love beans... black beans, kidney beans, refried beans, adzuki beans, garbanzo beans, soy beans, navy beans, black-eyed peas, pinto beans, great northern beans, lentils of all kinds... need I go on?

I guess not, but I may need this shirt!

I Am A Running Nerd...

My husband sent me this link earlier today. It's funny, because I totally use a number of gadgets and special products when I run, including an iPod, Garmin 305, Body Glide and Dri-Fit running clothes and socks. I even ordered a special running outfit for the half-marathon I'm running (well, maybe more like running/walking) in a couple of weeks. (The outfit is Nike, of course, because I'm a sucker for their women-targeted marketing.)

One might think that I'm a hardcore athlete, but really I think this is just indicative of a greater problem that I have: I tend to get freakishly obsessed with things, and I won't stop until I buy every little techie gadget or product associated with said obsession.

Maybe, following Laura's financial planning below, I need to establish an obsession fund.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Fund for Everything Fund

So, I have stuff I want to get done... stuff that requires money. I hate money. Sometimes I wish we could go back to a time based on bartering, but then I remember I have no skills that can produce anything worth bartering. So, to acquire this elusive money I've decided to get secondary employment specifically geared toward the following:
  1. Fixing my fireplace before next winter for warmth and a nice boost to my home's value.
  2. Paying down my evil, evil, evil credit cards--what I call the "DC Debt."
  3. Buying patio furniture for my porch. (This is definitely the immediate short term goal.)
  4. And shopping... shopping... shopping. My shoe collection is getting a bit tired.
So these goals are all well and good, right? I mean, they aren't all stupid and shallow... a girl NEEDS shoes! So, today I sucked it up and decided to look for some "help wanted" signs at various retail establishments. I learned some important things.

First and foremost, working in a shoe store would be a bad, bad idea. I barely made it out of DSW without multiple pairs of shoes. There were some kitten heeled gold peeptoes that were awesome, and some tall strappy red heels, and a pair of really cute canvas olive green flats... sigh. I would only be able to accomplish goal #4 if I worked there. My second learning was that I'd have to be very very careful to choose a location to work where I wouldn't be the oldest employee by about 7 years. That cut out a number of the clothing places. I have a feeling it's going to be a long search.

Really, I just want a job that has a social element that I can work 10-15 hours a week. I'm not looking for anything lavish or high paying, but sheesh, it's not as easy as I thought. Maybe I'm just too picky. I guess I'll lose the pickiness soon enough if I see my goals going down the tubes.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Virginia Tech

My first impulse was to blog about the obvious communication breakdown at Virginia Tech today; after all, it's hard to understand how a gunman can shoot two people in a dorm, and then move to the other end of campus and begin shooting again two hours later with virtually no public announcement/warning given to the school's 26,000-plus students.

But, to be honest, it's so horrifyingly depressing that it's hard to criticize just yet. School shootings have been a part of our collective vocabulary for more than a decade now. The shootings have expanded from high schools to encompass universities, grade schools and middle schools, from one or two victims to more than 30. There's plenty of room for criticism, and clearly something went very, very wrong here. But right now it's hard to do anything but feel sympathy for those who lost family and friends today at Virginia Tech.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Check out the Peep Show

I think Peeps are disgusting, with their marshmellowy sweetness and sinister eyes. That's probably why I think they're best suited for jousting. If you're not familiar with Peeps jousting, it goes something like this: take two peeps, place a toothpick in each of their hands (wings, nubs, whatever), place them directly across from eachother in the microwave and heat until one expands enough to stab the other. Yep, that's all they're good for--exploding in a blaze of gooey glory.

I know plenty of people who do love Peeps though, and I was highly entertained by the Washington Post's Peeps Diorama contest. They received 350 entries from all over the world, proving those little bastards have staying power. The story on the contest and link to the photo gallery are here. You have to love the variety of scenes, like Bride of Peepenstein, and my personal favorite (Viva John Cusack!) "Say Anything: I gave her my heart and she gave me a peep."

Thanks to Mel for showing me this! I love it!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

On Second Thought...

I was going to post about Anna Nicole's baby daddy, but that's such OLD news already. So, here's a bunch of real news that you may have missed while Larry Birkhead said "I told you so!"
  1. I have baby eggplants! woo hoo
  2. Dieting is unlikely to lead to long-term weight loss and may put a person's health at risk, a study says.
  3. Color Changing Cars
  4. Iran plans to expand its nuclear program.
  5. More proof that Bill O'Reilly is an idiot.
Yeah, this is important stuff... Enjoy. Expand your mind.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Imus' Morning After

So, now that Imus has been publically spanked by NBC, how long until the inevitable announcement that he's going to "rehab" to work through his issues? I give it less than a week.

The Career Conundrum

A very wise friend once told me that you should never make an important life decision between the months of November and March. It's too cold, and your brain isn't functioning properly. And while the April weather is yet to become warm here in Cincinnati, it is the season for life contemplation. And it seems like everyone I know is contemplating their careers. Here are a few scenarios I've come across most recently:

  1. It's time for a complete change in your life. A change of careers. A change of cities. A whole new start is in order.
  2. It's time for a change of cities, and you really really hate your job situation. But it's impractical to move before the fall. How do you deal with a heinous job for 6 more months?
  3. You know the perfect city for you, but before you move you have to conduct a long-distance job search and deal with significant obligations in the city you're in before you can up and go.
  4. You absolutely love the place you work and the people you work for, but you aren't sure you're really the right type of person for the career you're pursuing. How do you decide what's more important: the employer or the career path?
  5. To advance in your career path, you MUST move to another city, but you see yourself coming back to your current location at some point. What is your plan of action?
I'm sure all of you could add a scenario to this list. I wonder if it's the season for change or just the general time in our lives for it--all of the people in these scenarios are in the same places in their careers (3-5 years experience), give or take a year or so.

What do you think? How would you solve these career conundrums?

Miss Saigon... Really Needs A Power Suit

I have this list of things I want to do and places I want to see in this lifetime. Well, not a real list, because I’m terrible at organizing anything—including my thoughts—but a list in my head that changes and evolves depending on what obsession I’ve most recently latched on to.

One of the things I’ve long wanted to do is go to Hong Kong, Shanghai or Saigon to get a custom tailored suit. I put this on my must-do list several years ago, after reading an article in an in-flight magazine about a woman who got an a beautiful custom Jackie O.-style suit in Shanghai for just a few hundred dollars. This is one of those goals I tend to forget about in the midst of all those other, easier-to-accomplish goals. But once every six months or so, something will remind me about that custom suit I want and I’ll go online to do some more research. This time around, it was this simple guide to finding a good tailor in Saigon that was recently published in Budget Travel magazine. Now my goal is revived, and I just need to find a cheap fare to one of these destinations. And a few hundred dollars for a suit. And a place to wear the suit, since I work from home. Whatever… at least it’s a start.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Cheney caught lurking in the bushes

This was my favorite video footage last week. Thanks to the folks at Wonkette for making me, and everyone I know laugh all week with "Cheney in the Bush" references.

Super Garden Update

So, as I mentioned a few weeks ago, I'm jumping into the wide world of vegetable gardening. Being that I can't help but go overboard with these projects, I've decided that my small yard should become a veritable garden of eden with edible plants o' plenty. Blackberry bushes in the front yard is a good idea, right? I mean, it's definitely a community discussion item.

Anyway, the main reason that I'm writing about this today (and I'm sorry I haven't been writing as often generally), is that I have about 20 tomato plants sprouting in my little indoor greenhouse. It's really thrilling. They're like my little babies. But what I didn't realize when I planted this many seeds is that two tomato plants can feed a family of four all summer. So, if all my plants grow, I can feed 10 families of 4! Now, while I do love to eat tomatoes, I'm by no means capable of eating that many, unless I decide to go on a tomato diet of some sort... which, actually might not be such a bad idea. Talk about sustainability!!!

I'll keep you updated as my babies grow. I really know nothing about gardening, and rumor has it I need some sort of mesh hoop or something for my plants to continue to grow on. Hmmmmmm... Your tips?

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

The pitch heard 'round the world

Those of you who live in the Cincinnati area are tired of the worst pitch ever... but those of you who don't live here might enjoy it.

Basically, to say Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory's Opening Day pitch was off is an understatement. You just have to see it to believe it.

Luckily the Mayor has a great sense of humor. You can check him out on Jimmy Kimmel tomorrow reliving the incident.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Going For The Gold

Ed Note: I may not have blogged much this week, but hey-when I blog, it's always extra-long reading. And that's got to count for something, right?

I love, love, love to travel. But despite my propensity to jump on a flight to just about anywhere in the last few years, I’ve never achieved “elite” status with an airline. The reason: I’m cheap, and loyalty has always mattered less to me than finding a good deal. The closest I ever got to airline commitment was with the now-defunct Independence Air, which I flew so much in six months that I got a free ticket. Of course, a month or so after I actually got the ticket, Independence Air shuttered its doors, I lost my ticket, and I was burned on the experience.

Last fall, I decided to suck it up and try again—this time with American Airlines. I had booked AA for a cheapie Thanksgiving trip to Paris, and I knew the earned miles would put me about a third of the way to a free domestic airfare. My plan of attack seems to be working—mostly because Dallas is an AA hub and offers the most nonstops (at decent prices) to the places I’m going. I’ve earned enough miles for one off-peak international airfare or two domestic trips.

But “elite” status has still evaded me. The perks—free upgrades to first class when available, bonus miles for each fare you book, and discounts—are nice although certainly not necessary, but I’m a sucker for wanting what I can’t have.

Which is why, when I read this article in Budget Travel magazine about American’s secret 90-day Challenge, I got excited. It’s not advertised anywhere—you have to call them to sign up— but basically, if you earn 5,000 points in a span of 90 days, you’re automatically “gold” for the rest of the year. Sweet! The catch is that miles don’t necessarily equal points. For a deep-discount economy fare, for example, one mile equals only half a point. And given my aforementioned cheapness, I usually book the deep-discount fares.

But, I figured, if there’s any time this year to give it a shot, now’s the time. I’m in the airport right now waiting for a flight to Mexico with my husband to celebrate his 30th birthday. In the next 90 days, I already have trips planned (and mostly booked) for Louisville, St. Louis, Chicago, and Paducah. I have two other trips in discussion—to New York for work, and to Nashville for a friend’s bachelorette party. If I can’t get 5,000 miles in the next three months, when will I be able to do it?

But if, as the deadline gets closer, and it looks like I might fall just short of elite status, I’m pretty sure I’ll freak out and just book another trip. So if I show up in your town or at your doorstep unannounced at the end of June, at least I’ve given you a little warning.
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