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.

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