17 November 2010

Sad, Just Plain Sad

I know I complain a lot about how boring and brain-shrinkingly awful my job is, but I think this is a new level of sadness.

The window nearest to my cube (but not visible from my desk) looks out onto the back driveway of my building.  This is where the dumpster is located.  Here is the sad part: The people in the aisle next to the window get all aflutter when the trash truck arrives to empty the dumpster.  For true.  I hear comments on the contents of the dumpster; how full the dumpster is; if the dumpster is fully emptied...oy.  I suppose I could look at it as those people making the best of a bad situation, and are trying to find entertainment anywhere they can, but mostly I feel sad that the people I work with are so enamored of trash.

image found at http://www.roydoty.com/ via google image search. 

11 November 2010

Public Service Announcement

Science lesson time.

Polyethylene glycol is not the same ingredient that is in antifreeze.  That is ethylene glycol.

Write that down in your copybooks, people.

01 November 2010

I Am Doing Science To It, And Random Info

A couple of weeks ago, JR sent me a link to an article about the use of apple cider vinegar as a weight-loss tool.  As I am using valuable company time/resources to write this, and not my netbook, I do not have the link to the study.  Nutshell: 175 obese Japanese men drank either no vinegar in 500mL, 15mL in 500mL of water, or 30mL in 500mL of water after breakfast and dinner for 12 weeks.  Clarification: they drank one cup (250mL) of the mixture twice a day.  The selling point for me (and others, I am sure)?  Diet was not changed.  That's right, folks.  The study saw reduction of waist circumference by drinking a vinegar mixture twice a day. 

Since JR is all knocked-up, we thought it wouldn't be a good idea to be doing science to her and the parasite, so I volunteered to drink vinegar for science.  Today was day one.  I'm doing my best to adhere to the study guidelines, but I'm sure there will be slight variations.  If I remember, when I get home tonight, I will find the link to the study and include it.  I measured my waist circumference this AM, and then drank down my 250mL of vinegar/water after having breakfast.  I should say this: I usually don't eat breakfast, so I'm already changing things.  I may end up bring the mix to work and downing it after lunch instead.  And if you were wondering, vinegar in water isn't the tastiest of libations, but it isn't the worst thing ever.  Anyway, 250mL of water is easy enough to chug right down.

Other random info: I am trying yet again for a different position at my work.  One thing I may have on my side is that the person doing the interviewing used my as her bitch for a while, and also hand-selected me (like fruit) to fill in as the DE supervisor back when the Princess was out being all insurance fraudulent or whatever.  I should have an interview set up by the end of the week.  Annoyingly enough, the girl who got the last position I applied for is applying for this one.  I may have to hate her if she does it to me again.  What?  No, I don't think she is just the better person for the job.  Pfft.  What are you thinking?

That sucker up there was lunch yesterday at the Renaissance Faire, in Lancaster PA.  It was delicious.  We also watched a human chess match and some bawdy comedy (because that's all they had in Ye Olde Tymes, right?), had random people accost us in the streets, and got heartburn trying this Mount Hope wine.  It was unbelieveably harsh.  Wooo-eee!  Good thing I only had a taste.  BB tried the Swashbuckler Red Sea Amber.  I tried a taste, but it wasn't really to my liking.  The cinnamon almonds, however, yum.  Oh, and funnel cake.  What?  It's a faire.

27 September 2010


That's right, folks.  It is time for another crap movie review.  This time we will be learning about Shark Attack in the Mediterranean, aka Shark Alarm.

This fine example of German cinema takes place in Majorca.  You can tell it was a crap movie in German, and the truly pitiful English dub track only makes things that much worse(better).

There is a legend, a revenge arc, a rebellious daughter, and a love story.  Oh, and car chases.  At one point in the second half of the film, it tries very hard to be a spy caper.  Something starring Meg Ryan from the 90s maybe.

Sven is a tour guide type dude, I think.  He has a Jeep and a helicopter.  We are introduced to him as he is going to fetch our fetching microbiologist from the airport.  Can we say "instant chemistry"?  She works with sharks and he used to be a professional swimmer, "one of the rough ones".  Whatever that means.  Sven has a surprising amount of knowledge about sharks because his wife was eaten by one.  What?  Doesn't everyone immediately become an expert on the terrible monster that killed their spouse? 

Sven ferries the sexy doctor to her underwater lair, I mean, lab, but not without a pit stop to rescue the rebellious daughter and some tourists from something.  A something that frightened away regular sharks.  What ever could it be?  According to the awful dub work, it is a Mega-lodon.  There are some emphasis issues.

Since everyone knows sharks hold the key to all sorts of medical mysteries, the scientists are using sharks to find a cure for cancer.  I'm all for that.  Cancer sucks.

After the fine doctor is deposited at the lair, Sven encounters a doped up fisherman who saw the giant shark (Mega-lodon) eat a regular shark.  Oops, almost forgot about the reporter in pursuit of the big story and her shady-looking cameraman.  People on boats everywhere.  Anyway, Sven freaks out because he knows this is the same Mega-lodon that done eated his wife lo these years ago.  So Sven, in some of the finest Jeep abuse ever, races to the beach where his rebellious daughter, Maya, is competing in a Jet-Ski race against a snooty blonde chick with prominent nipples.  Dad does a spectacular job of clearing the people out the the water by yelling, in a not very concerned tone, "Shark alarm! Shark alarm!"  He says this about 30 times and barely changes his inflection.  Of course, there is no shark and his daughter gets all pissy because he made her lose the race.

Sven confronts his cop-friend-with-a-dying-wife about not telling everyone about the Mega-lodon.  Cop friend apparently is also president of the Camber of Commerce because he can only think of the tourists cancelling their trips.  Mustn't let all that foreign money dry up.  That is far, far more important that people being eaten.

Sven vows to kill the monster that done eated his woman and breaks out his old school shark-hunting kit.  Then there is an arrest, a break out, a madcap chase in a Fortwo through the streets of Majorca, and an encounter with a fat man surrounded by women who gives up his sweet ride in the name of shark killing.  Sven and pretty doctor are on the same side by now, and are rushing to stop the head scientist from capturing the megalodon. 

I gotta say, I'm kind of with the head scientist lady here.  She is looking for a cure for cancer, for fuck's sake.  I don't think that Sven's desire to sushify the megalodon to slake his thirst for revenge should take precedence. 

Sven and attractive doctor have the crew of the boat at gunpoint and are preparing to fire explosive-tipped spears at the megalodon.  Uh-oh, turns out that the cop-with-a-dying-wife is on the side of the scientists because his wife is dying of cancer.  Will the cop kill Sven, his BFF, in order to save his wife?  (Let us ignore the fact that cop's wife looked seriously end-stage, so even if they get their shark samples, wifey's gonna kick it looong before a cure is viable.)  Begin fisticuffs.  Crash, bang, boom, and evil scientist is munched by giant shark.  Irony?  Cue heartfelt speech from Sven to cop friend.  Cop friend realizes the error of his ways and massages Sven's face in apology.  Many spears are fired at the megalodon but not before he rams the shit out of the boat and some gas lines are severed.  Cop friend valiantly volunteers to stay on the doomed vessel and shoot more spears should the megalodon reappear.  Which it does...at the big Jet-Ski race!

Once again Sven is rushing to save his rebellious daughter.  See, bitchy blonde cut rebellious daughter's fuel line!  Of course, our megalodon friend is fast approaching.  Luckily for our hero and his progeny, sultry doctor is a capable helicopter pilot.  This leaves Sven free to do some dangling and jumping and quick fuel line fixes.  Daddy and daughter are safely back in the 'copter and megalodon is making its last attempt to eat Sven's entire family.  Sven, that former body-building motherfucker, fires a spear right down megalodon's gaping maw.  Shark guts everywhere.  But look out! rebellious daughter has fallen into the water.  Sven does his rescuing thing, again, and daughter wakes and immediately starts panicking.  Dad shoulda knocked her out again so she wouldn't damn well drown both of them.

Final scene: Sven and lovely doctor are scuba-ing through the wreck of a boat that is supposed to be haunted (the legend mentioned above) and make with the underwater nookie.  Ende.

06 August 2010

Witness The Crazy

I have made mention of my most favoritest boss ever, Stoneface, many times on this blog.  Usually I am commenting on his fascination with sandwiches; his inability to have a conversation with me that doesn't involve food, or how I take my coffee; his delicate feelings; his alcoholism.  This is something a little different.  I now have photographic evidence of the bizarre world that Stoneface lives in.  Let me set the scene:

The is a server room near my desk at work, and outside this server room is a blade rack with no blades in it.  See random server rack image below.

Just a basic metal framework.  Well, Stoneface, in what I can only assume was a fit of drunken inspiration, decided it looked much like a guillotine - or the frame of a guillotine.  That lead to this:

That's right; my crazy, drunk (pretty sure he's a stoner too but that actually makes him slightly more appealing) boss taped cardboard and poster paper to the server rack and used my red Sharpie to add the super realistic-looking blood.  Then he skipped around like a giddy little boy and pointed out his creation to everyone.  Yes people, this is my workplace.

30 July 2010

Restaurant Review - Distrito

University City Dining Days was July 15-29.  In keeping with my history of procrastination, BB and I went on the last night to Distrito, one of Jose Garces' places.

Forgive me in advance for not adding accent marks to the Spanish.  I'm just not that kind of motivated.

I should have had an inkling of what to expect after viewing the website's primary color scheme, but I wasn't prepared for the pink.  Very, very pink.  Pink walls, pink t-shirts, pink napkins, pink plaid chair coverings.  You get the idea.  The whole space is pretty kitschy, what with the wall of luchador masks, glittery tabletops, and the Beetle that is a booth, but it's (surprisingly) not overwhelming.  It is, however, a loud space.  I don't know if the place is always packed on a Thursday, but there weren't many free tables upstairs.

Dining Days, for those of you who may not know, is when restaurants in a specific area offer fixed price menus.  Much like Restaurant Week in any given city.  Distrito was offering three courses for $30.  I will mention that Distrito's menu descriptions veered dangerously close to Elements-style, but was saved by adding slightly more information.  Example: sangria sorbet, as opposed to simply sangria, or grape.

First course was ceviche; yellowtail and octopus.  While I enjoyed the octopus more than I thought I would, the yellowtail was fantastic.  Very citrusy with a slight, lingering burn.  There was also refrieds (I tried them but really not my thing), and guacamole.  The guac was tasty enough, but oddly salty and a little light on the lime.  Bear in mind that I'm a little sensitive to saltiness, so what I call salty is probably perfectly acceptable to many other people (I'm looking at you, JR).

Second course was queso fundido with shredded duck and peppers, head-on shrimps with a raisiny sauce, rabbit with a pineapple mole, and diver scallops.  The fundido was gooey and delicious, served with silver dollar tortillas.  I'll admit that the shrimp eyeballs threw me off a bit, but I was a brave little soldier and just chopped them off.  The spice rub on the shrimp was, again, a bit salty, but otherwise subtly spicy.  There was no sucking of the head though.  The salsa served with the scallops was fruity and yummy and the rabbit...well, the rabbit tasted like chicken.  The mole was tasty.

Dessert was chocolate flan and tres leches cake.  The flan was more of a bitter chocolate pudding, but it did have the spicing of Mexican hot chocolate.  The tres leches was very good, with a brown sugar crunchy topping and tropical fruit accompaniment.  Oh, and there were drinks: white sangria (white wine, orange liqueur, apricot brandy) for me, and Dock Street Rye IPA for BB.  The sangria was good, but the beer was on the bitter side (OK, super bitter) and didn't have much character.  Then again, I don't like IPAs, so maybe you shouldn't listen to me.

The bathroom situation is a little unique at Distrito.  There are 4 individual stalls; 2 men and 2 women.  Or so I believe.  I didn't really inspect all the doors, so there could have been a handicapped stall I didn't notice.  Anyway, there's the stalls, and then a central handwashing station that is in full view of the dining room.  I'm wondering if it's Garces' way of shaming people into washing their hands.  Even weirder, I was telling my coworker, Mo, about the bathroom situation, and she said the only other place she saw that type of set-up was at another Mex place.  Is it a Latino thing?  Can I apply a sterotype here?

There were many other things on the menu that looked worth trying, so I would like to go back at some point.  There are some chef's tasting options which are probably worth checking out.  How could I resist ordering a Frida Kahlo tasting?

21 July 2010


I was listening to BBC News this morning on my local NPR station and heard a crazy story.

People lie all the time to get laid - this is not new information to most people.  If I wear a padded bra and have sex with some dude, can he say it was rape because he wouldn't have boned me if he knew my true cup size?  Or what if I used to be a man?  Or a man who used to be a woman?  Or any lie at all that a person would tell in order to get some ass?  Where is the line drawn?  I don't believe that some lady who is embarrassed that she banged an Arab should be able to bring rape charges against him.  This wasn't a case of a boss using a position of power to tap that, right?  This was two people who met at the supermarket and decided that porking in a nearby building would be the best way to wrap up their respective trips.

OK, I know I wasn't there, but obviously force isn't the issue here.  Stupid lady needs to own up to her mistake and move on.  Stupid dude needs not to be boning chicks while he's married.

13 July 2010

It's Still The Little Things

They have been doing a fair amount of construction around my desk recently, and today they laid down industrial Saran Wrap to protect the carpets.  The reason this is awesome?  Because there are air pockets between the layers and walking across it is like walking on bubble wrap.  Poppoppop.  Fantastic.

12 July 2010

Restaurant Review - Elements Princeton

BB and I got cleaned up for a visit to Elements on Saturday night.  We were smack-dab on time, but still had to wait a few minutes for our table.  And those tables are oddly wide, or long, depending on how you want to look at it.  I felt like they could have been shorter by about 4 inches, especially since the noise level was a bit high.  Not an intimate place to have a meal, but the space was inviting with a vaguely Zen design scheme.  

Our server, Giovanni, came to the table right away to ask about water preferences and wine lists.  The water took longer than I would have liked, but I got over that.  There was a little bread basket with some pretty tasty foccacia and crispy, cheesy things.  Dining entertainment (for me, anyway) was provided by the table next to us, which was populated by two women and one guy.  More on that later.

There were some changes to the menu from what I had seen online, but no big deal there.  I had  hard time choosing an appetizer, and eventually decided on the tuna tartare.  Not adventurous, but it contained things I found tasty so I figured I wouldn't be disappointed.  BB went for the foie gras.  

Side note- this is what the menu descriptions were like:

foie gras
bitter chocolate, sour cherry, granola 
tuna tartare
avocado, rice, nori

To me, that's  equivalent to describing a dog as: dog; fur, eye, claw, but oh well.  The foie gras was served pate-style and was a bit on the salty side.  It was very tasty despite having the consistency of spray cheese.  The sour cherry goop accompanying it was perfect.  My tartare, as predicted, wasn't new and exciting but it was yummy.  

Entrees: lamb for BB; short ribs for me.  The short ribs were fantastic.  Rare, tender, served with panzanella...so good.  I was sad to have to leave a few bites behind.  I've had some good luck with short ribs (see Sepia review).  The bite of lamb I had was good, and BB seemed satisfied with his choice.

I wasn't super pleased with my wine selection.  I wasn't familiar with many of the vineyards on the list, so I had done a bit of research.  I settled on a 2007 Lucky Country Shiraz.  It was on the tannin-y side when opened, but mellowed with airing.  Unfortunately, it never developed any real complexity.  It was acceptable but no more.  I felt bad that I hadn't chosen better since it was my job.  BB is a beer connoisseur and I feel like he would have made a better beer selection for me than I did with the wine for him.  Alas.  It wasn't terrible, just not great.

We bypassed a sweet dessert for the cheese plate.  There were three cheeses: a bleu (which I did eat, thankyouverymuch), a sheep's milk cheddar (I think), and a brie (my fave, of course).  BB liked the sheep's milk the best, probably because it was served with a grainy mustard.  The brie got a blueberry compote, which was surprisingly tasteless.  Elements has a good tea selection, and their coffee was more than drinkable.

OK, I know you're waiting for my comments on the table next to us.  First of all, they weren't quiet by any meaning of the word.  As I said, the place was on the loud side, so I can't say the threesome was a particular nuisance.  The two women were of Eastern European extraction, the dude was Latino, I think.  They were the kind of people where you wonder just why they chose Elements.  The dude was reading the description for the foie gras appetizer and professed a desire to vomit.  Then don't get it fella.  No one is forcing you to eat delicious fancy food.  They ordered apps and then after those were done, all three of them disappeared.  Purses were left behind, so I assumed it was an en masse smoke break, but they were gone for almost half and hour.  Bit of weirdness.  When ordering entrees, one lady asked if the ham could be left out of the dish.  She doesn't eat ham.  Then order something else without ham, lady.  I will say that Giovanni asked about food allergies, but it's not fucking Burger King people.  Part of the experience is seeing what the chef pairs with what and opening yourself to new flavors.  Anyway.  It was free entertainment and it was fun witnessing the Philly Russian Princess syndrome outside of my neighborhood.  "Yes, Sveta, I will buy you things and hold your bags and pay for your friends just so I look like a stud."

Rereading that paragraph makes it seem that it wasn't nearly as entertaining as it was.  I didn't take notes so I'm sure something got lost between Saturday night and Monday morning.

Would I recommend Elements?  Yep, I would.  It is on the pricier side, but the portion side is good, and the food well worth experiencing.  I can't speak to their bar, but the drink selections looked pretty decent and they had a reasonable beer menu, too.

23 June 2010

Movie Review: The A-Team

Do you enjoy wildly implausible situations?  Does it make you happy to hear Liam Neeson strive mightily to suppress his Irish accent?  Do you love it when a plan comes together?  Then The A-Team is the movie for you!  As always, spoilers may lie within.

The extended opening credits introduces you to the members of The A-Team: Hannibal (Neeson), B.A. (Jackson), Face (Cooper), and Murdock (Copely).  Hannibal and Face are on a mission to deal with some Mexican general.  Face, of course, got caught boning the general's hot wife.  Hannibal is about to be fed to the dogs but, of course, he has a plan to escape. 

Hannibal encounters B.A. shortly after B.A. has pulped a bunch of Mexican car thieves.  Not because it was the right thing to do, but because he had been dishonorably discharged (more on that later) from the Army and needed something to pay the bills, so he turned to jacking cars for a chop shop.  B.A. retrieves his beloved van and takes off across the Mexican desert.  Hannibal carjacks B.A., they bond over Ranger tattoos and race off to save Face from a smelly death-by-tire-fire. 

The still-incomplete Team makes their way to a hospital, where Hannibal has a pilot (go on, guess who) lined up to take them back into the US.  Predictably enough, the Mexican baddies track the Team to the hospital, where Murdock, a patient, has just finished stitching up the bullet wound that B.A. got when Hannibal jacked him.  B.A. gets all Hulk-smashy when he see the lightning bolt stitched into his massive biceps.  Murdock says craaaazy things in a wide variety of accents.  The Team loads up into an old hospital chopper and has a batty, upside down, engine-stalling chase back to the US border.  It is this helicopter ride that ruins flying entirely for B.A.  And that's the Team.

Cut to 8 years and 80 successful missions later.  The Team is in Iraq.  Somehow, even though I swear he said he was dishonorably discharged, B.A. is back in uniform.  Feel free to correct me if I misheard.

Enter Lynch (Patrick Wilson) and Sosa (Biel).  Lynch is a shady CIA operative who tempts Hannibal into taking a job retrieving missing hundred-dollar minting plates.  Similarly, Sosa dangles the job in from of Face, who she (shockingly) has history with.  A plan comes together.

I did quite like how they would lay out the plan and cut to scenes of the plan going down.  Hannibal has a seemingly endless supply of little model cars, trucks, copters, missiles - you name it.

Oh, I should probably mention that there is a private security firm in the picture, Black Forest.  How's that for subtext?  The chief sleaze is a dude named Pike (Bloom).

All is happy, laughing congratulations until someone blows up Major Dad and steals the plates from the Team.  You see Pike & Co. walking away from the wreckage so there's no question there that the Team was framed.  Which, like, duh.  That's the idea behind the A-Team, no?

Court marshal happens.  Team members are shipped off to different Army facilities.  six months pass and Lynch visits Hannibal in jail and offers to help him break out if Hannibal and his Team can retrieve the plates.  Of course Hannibal and his Team can retrieve the plates.  They are the fucking A-Team!  There is also a promise of name-clearing and reinstatement.

During the ensuing escape montage, you learn that B.A. has found inner peace and won't be killing anymore.  Murdock is still "Howlin' Mad", and Face managed to bang his female guard.  Who says the Army lacks discipline?

While I wasn't thrilled that they shoe-horned in a vaguely romantic subplot, I do have to admit that it was a very small part of the overall "plot".  Biel plays her part as an ambitious DOD lieutenant well enough, I suppose.  I don't much like her in general, so I have nothing more to say on the matter. 

For those of you looking forward to the parachuting tank scene, it is even more far out than you think.

OK, this is taking too long, so quick and dirty time. 

Plates are located, in Pike's possession.  Sosa is hot on the Team's trail and they use her and the two dudes who follow her around to set up the ultimate showdown at the Port of Los Angeles.  Which is also where The Losers climax plays out.  PoLA is the new New York?  There are massive cargo containers everywhere, splosions, a Kevlar helmet, some fisticuffs, and then the final reveal.  Yes, the A-Team saved the day,and yes, they are once again carted off to prison.  Luckily for our Team o' heroes; Sosa, in a wildly inappropriate move, passes a handcuff key to Face via her sexy tongue action.  But of course - there's gotta be room for a sequel.

Bottom line?  The movie is very enjoyable and loud and testosterone-y.  Copely steals the movie as Murdock, playing him with surprisingly convincing moments of lucidity, tempered by bat-shit insanity.  As I said earlier, Neeson has trouble with the American accent, but I like him enough that it didn't ruin things.  Jackson did a decent job as a first-time actor.  He managed to play B.A. with some depth, but didn't try to be a whole lot more than a big tough dude who occasionally struggles with being a big tough dude.  Cooper was fine as Face and they had him shirtless quite frequently.  Wilson slimed entertainingly across the screen and had some nice repartee with Pike, and with the Team.  As long as you go into the theater knowing that all you're getting is slimy bad guys, splosions, and testosterone, you'll have a fine time.

10 June 2010

Common Sense Is Overrated

Sometimes doing the right thing isn't the smart thing...or do I mean that the other way around?

I was pretty pooped last night after finishing up Grave of the Fireflies (very, very sad).  I kind of wanted to go for a walk to clear my head, but the weather was conspiring against me.  Instead, I decided to make what I thought what a smart decision - I was going to go to bed before midnight.  Shocking, I know, but I figured it might be nice to have a Thursday morning where I didn't feel like I was peeling myself off the asphalt after being creamed by a cement mixer.  Unfortunately, I am not able (anymore) to function all that well on small amounts of sleep.  I went to bed around 10:30.

Getting to sleep wasn't a huge problem.  Staying asleep until my alarm went off at 6:30 was a problem.  I guess I'm so used to getting significantly less sleep on Wednesday night that I confused the hell out of my system.  I woke up around 4:30-5 o'clock and refused to get up.  Of course that meant that I nodded off again around 6:00 and was very salty when my alarm went off.  Then I stubbornly waited until the damn thing shut the fuck up and didn't get out of bed until 6:45.

OK, consider the lesson learned.  I will never again attempt to get a decent amount of sleep on a Wednesday night.

03 June 2010

Road To Philadelphia

We got a relatively early start on Monday morning.  The only (minor) snafu was us forgetting the cooler in the room.  JR had to run back and get it.

Our first planned stop was the Bewitched statue in Salem.  JR took lots of pictures of our roadside attraction stops and I will link to her blog once she has them posted.  For now, you are going to have to rely on my powers of description.  Sorry.  The statue was a 2 minute detour and then we were off to Dino Haven in Uncasville, CT.  However...

Once back on the highway, JR expressed a desire for Dunkin Donuts.  I saw no problems with that, so we kept our eyes open for signs.  Sure enough, there was a Dunkin in Reading, Mass.  As I needed to get gas too, we pulled off.  After filling up, we headed into Reading.  The DD was on a corner but I had to make a left across two lanes of traffic to get into the parking lot, so I thought I would turn left before the DD and go around the block.  That part was fine.  What was not so fun, but fucking hilarious, was the town Memorial Day parade that came marching down the road we were on.  I made a quick left into a parking lot to turn around and that's when the cops block off the road I wanted to be on.  Shee-it.  I figured there had to be another way out of the parking lot.  There was.  Then began our attempt to get back to the main road we wanted to be on.  Somehow we managed to cross the main road and end up on a little side street.  JR had the very good idea of checking the satnav to see how far from the DD we were.  Turns out it was only .2mi away, so parking and walking was the thing to do.  It felt a little odd walking down Main St, Reading, while their local marching band toodled by.  Not that there was any way the locals would know we were tourists. 

We make it to DD, order sandwiches and coffees, and wait about forever for everything to get made.  Then the uphill walk back to the car.  By that point, the parade has passed through and the streets were empty.  Seriously, I have never seen a town empty so fast.  We made it back to the highway no problem, but our quick DD stop ended up taking closer to an hour.  No big deal really.  There was no timetable for the trip home. 

OK, back to Dino Haven...

Dino Haven is the pet project of Jeff Wells.  He started crafting dinos in his woody, buggy, uphill backyard in 1981.  After a few false starts, he went to a nuclear submarine shipyard, got a job and some pointers on welding, and the rest is history.  The highlight was definitely his life-size T-Rex.  A T-Rex with a guitar in its tiny little arms.  Which somehow didn't make it any less terrifying.  I turned to JR and said "I would shit my pants."  Heh, wouldn't it be great if Wells could make the T-Rex move at unpredictable times?  People would so shit themselves.  Note to fellow curiosity-seekers, flip-flops are not idea footwear for visiting Dino Haven.  Walking through falls in the short hike category.  Nothing too strenuous, but sneaks are probably the better choice.  And for those of you so inclined, Mohegan Sun is right across the street.

Next stop was Wild Bill's Nostalgia Center in Middletown, CT.  Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, the store was closed for Memorial Day.  We took some more pictures, changed into shorts - it got progressively hotter and stickier as we made our way south - and headed off to Holy Land USA.  We were delayed at a Wendy's staffed by the slowest people ever, but that's just the way our unscheduled stops went.

Holy Land USA is located on a hill in Waterbury, CT.  Apparently it was a legit tourist destination in the 60s and 70s, but was closed in the early 80s and has not been maintained.  There's on is VA, I guess, but I don't have any plans to roadtrip there.  The land is owned by some convent now, but the nuns' only effort at upkeep is keep the stones in the entryway painted white. 

There are no tresspassing signs posted on the chained shut gates, but it is very easy to park outside and walk around.  The place is overgrown and we tramped through weeds and trees to get a look at the remains.  There is a hands-less Jesus, bits of faded iconography, and creepy pathways to nowhere.  I didn't see a whole lot of grafitti or anything, but Holy Land is out of the way and at the end of a residental street.  I kind of wish we had found the catacombs, but I probably would have crapped my shorts.

That was our last stop, and we made our way home.  We got bombarded by fist-sized drops of rain in Trenton, and it continued most of the way to JR's.  Luckily, it stopped by the time we got to her house and we didn't have to unload her stuff in a downpour.

For a JR's perspective, and pictures (eventually), head over to JR's blog.

01 June 2010

Road To Danvers

Instead of playing extreme croquet and eating too much Mennonite meat this Memorial Day weekend, JR and I went up to Danvers, Mass for my friend Brian's wedding.  I've known Brian since high school; and he, JR and I used to get into small amounts of trouble together.  Nothing too exciting, really; mostly hiding from the cops in Playwicki Park.

There wasn't any room in the schedule on the trip up for side trips, so it was straight highway driving.  Despite the holiday weekend and all the dire predictions, we ran into almost no traffic.  The weather was ideal, the company was good, and Roger did great on gas.  We left around 7:30 am and made it to the hotel by 1.  Which turned out to be a fantastic thing because we ran into Brian in the parking lot.  It's a very good thing that there wasn't anyone driving behind me because I slammed on the brakes and flew out of the car so I could latch onto Brian. 

After chatting with Brian and a few other people, JR and I went to see if we could check in early.  We could and that was wonderful because it meant I could take a power nap before the festivities.  JR and I both had very late Saturday nights.  Her excuse was last minute packing and cookie-baking.  Mine was that I wasn't responsible enough to toss BB (I think I can stop with the New Boy moniker) out at a reasonable hour.  This is why coffee was invented, right?

Now for the hilariously awful part.  There was a trolley provided to ferry guests to the yacht club.  The trip over was uneventful.  Disembarking however...not so great.  As she was walking down the steps, JR's knees decided to stop functioning properly and she skidded down two steps and landed knees first on the ground.  This all happened right as I was thinking how confident she seemed since she was walking down the steps without using the handrail.  I went "Ohmygodareyou-" and stopped as she popped to her feet saying "I'm OK" and walked off like it was nothing.  Adding insult to injury, she was the third person off the damn trolley so all the other passengers we already standing and looking in that direction.  Oy.  The poor girl had skinned knees and a nasty looking scrape along her right shin.  The only small amount of sunshine?  No one there knew who the hell we were.  The time before the ceremony was spent laughing hysterically and watching JR pick skin off her knees.  It's a good thing that I wasn't wearing more eye makeup because the little I was got all smeared from my tears of laughter.

The rest of the reception was, by comparison, no big deal.  Except for the fact that we had no table assignment.  That's right, I was crashing a wedding I had been invited to.  I decided a drink was necessary and the bartender hooked me up right well.  I think my second Malibu and pineapple was a triple shot.  Still went down real easy.  We didn't deal with the table issue until 2 minutes before they were going to introduce the wedding party.  Then we discover that there was a handful of people without assignments but a table set up for them.  I'm still not quite sure how that works.  The food was surprisingly decent, but it definitely felt like dinner was rushed.  I wanted more time with my green beans, dammit!

Being anti-social types, JR and I caught the first shuttle back to the hotel and spent the rest of the night smoking and continuing to laugh hysterically about the trolley incident.  I managed to do a pretty faithful re-enactment of her tumble.  I know it was faithful because I felt it in my knees and along my right shin.  Lucky for me, I was doing my impression in sweatpants and on carpet so the damage was mostly nonexistent. 

OK, I am seriously slacking at work, so I'm going to save the trip home for the next post.  That is where you will learn about Dino Have, Holy Land USA, and how JR and I made an unexpected, hour long side trip in Reading, Mass.

19 May 2010

Nothing Exciting

I've been at work for less than an hour, and I already don't feel like doing much of anything work-related.  Good thing I have Preacher.

New Boy (NB) brought over a scan of Preacher for me, and as I suspected, it is not much fun to read on my netbook.  Then, an idea occurred to me: Why not load a volume on a flash drive and bring it to work?  Try not to be blinded by the light bulb shining over my melon.

I finished up the first volume, Gone to Texas, yesterday and I'm quite enjoying it so far.  There is the preacher, Jesse; and his tough-yet-vulnerable ex-gf, Tulip.  Cassidy (a friend with a quirk) was probably my favorite, if only for the glee he takes in mayhem.  Oh, and who can forget about Arseface?  I don't think anyone in TX would use the word arse, but Garth Ennis isn't American.  There are a few things that slip through, but nothing that has taken me out of the story. 

Really, my major problem with Preacher is that everyone smokes.  OK, not everyone, but many of them.  This wouldn't be a big deal if I were reading at home, or on my parents' back porch, but reading while I'm at work I don't have the ability to smoke and read.  Boo.  Stupid addiction, I won't let you rule me!

Anyway, I started volume 2 (see link above) this morning and was just introduced to Gran'ma.  Gran'ma looks like a right awful harpy.  Jesse and Tulip are tied up and feeling confessional.  What will we learn?  How will they escape Gran'ma?

PS - I have a really annoying kid sitting across the wall from me and I think I'm gonna have to kick him a bit.  He fucking whistles on the call floor.  That's not proper call center etiquette, now is it?

Ed- I realized that the person saying "arse" is Irish, so ignore my comment above.

14 May 2010

Not The Best Friday Ever

After weeks, nay months, of speculation, my program was moved over to the newer section of the building.  You're probably thinking that this isn't such a big deal, but moving sucks.  Not only did I have to get 3 years worth of accumulated junk into my new, smaller, drawers, I also had to move my coworker's junk.  And she had a LOT of junk.  Plus the moving was sweaty work and I have a date tonight.  Now instead of going home and relaxing for a minute, I have to jump in the shower and wash off the sweat and dust coating my body.

My new desk makes me feel very short.  The desktop is higher than my old one, and if I have the chair at a height that is comfortable for keyboard and mouse manipulation, my feet barely touch the floor.  I do have a much newer and more efficient computer now, so I am happy about that.  However, I don't have Outlook anymore and that means I don't have access to many many email addresses or saved emails.  The IT guy says he can fix that for me.

And it's not like the day started off great either.  As I mentioned above, my coworker was not in today, and my back-up back-up person was taking calls for a different program.  This meant that I had a pile of papers on the fax/copier that needed attention.  Then came the DE, then came the VM retrievals, then came the move.

I'm still damn glad it's Friday, because I would seriously consider calling out if I had to work tomorrow.  I want a beer (maybe two) and a back rub.

10 May 2010

I Feel Pretty

Today has been great for my ego.

On Saturday, I cut off a huge length of hair for Locks of Love.  It's a ten inch minimum, so I was anticipating some seriously short hair.  Apparently, I am a terrible judge of that sort of thing, because my hair is no where near as short as I thought it would be.  I can still pull it back - which is a big deal for me.  There's only so long I can deal with it hanging in my face, or blowing around.  I do have a stubby little pony, much like a Dobie that has been docked.

So at work today, I've been getting TONS of compliments.  One coworker said she wanted to bite my cheeks.  Another one got frisky with me in the hallway.  There has been petting.  I feel like a puppy, or a baby.  But I guess it is OK because both those things are cute (usually) and I know people are being complimentary.

I know it will be old news by the end of the day, but I'm soaking it up while I can. 

07 May 2010

Movie Review - The Losers

Went to see The Losers last night with the new boy.  I had read several reviews of the movie that said it was your basic blow-shit-up flick, which we all know is my favorite kind.  Oh, spoiler warning, just in case.

In the interest of full disclosure, I don't know the source material at all, so I can't comment on how faithful the movie was.

There is no clear reason why these fellas are "The Losers".  The head dude, Clay, refers to them as "Losers" once during the movie.  And there is one conversation about why Clay doesn't want to be called Colonel anymore: "...because if he doesn't have the Army, then he's just a loser like the rest of us."  There's more to that conversation, but it's not especially important.  And I know I used quotes, but it's really paraphrased.

The movie opens in Bolivia, where the crew is marking a drug lord's estate for bombing.  You are introduced to the "The Losers" in comic book panel style; with their handle (Jensen, Cougar, Roque, Pooch, Clay) and their speciality.  No explanation is offered as to the origins of said handles.  It's probably goes without saying, but the attack on the drug lord's compound doesn't go as planned.  The Losers decide to abort the mission.  Turns out, a shadowy figure named Max had reasons for destroying the drug lord and intercepted the Losers' abort order.  Losers are framed for a massive loss of life and are stranded in Bolivia, while everyone in the States thinks they are dead.

Clay is obsessed with finding out more about Max, while the rest of the Losers just want to clear their names and go home.  Enter Zoe Saldana (Aisha); beautiful (duh) and mysteriously rich, and willing to bankroll the Losers in order to get her hands on Max.

I should probably mention that Max is in the process of buying a weapon called a "snook".  It's sort of a bomb, and sort of a tornado generator, and mostly a huge pile of crap.  Shiny, though.  Max has a side-kick named Wade who doesn't seem to know much about anything and is mostly used to toss people off buildings (accidentally) and guard "packages".

The Losers concoct a plan to abduct Max.  Doesn't go so well.  There is some internal strife, especially between Clay and Roque.  Then (oh no!) it seems like Aisha set them up.  Roque wants to kill her, but Clay, who has a weakness for volatile women, says no.

Have I mentioned the explosions?  There were explosions.  Thankfully, the movie never tries to be more than it is, and they avoid shoveling plot into the mix.  There is one bit with Max and his mangled hand that has no earthly reason for existing, but they mostly avoid such things.

And yes, it was left open for a sequel, but I honestly don't see that happening.  Aisha and Clay have unfinished business (I know I didn't talk about that), Max is still loose, and the Losers still haven't cleared their names.  I figure that people who saw the movie without knowing the source don't particularly care about resolution (you so don't get that kind of invested in the characters); and the people who saw the movie because of the comic already know how it plays out.

03 May 2010

Oh No!

This is not good news.  And while I don't work for JnJ, I do deal with calls for a leading generics manufacturer.  You would think that one has nothing to do with the other, but you would be oh-so-wrong.

See, people can't seem to distinguish between a name brand product that has been recalled and a generic product that has not.  This means that oodles of panicky individuals will be bombarding the customer service line for the generics manufacturer and I will have to QC all those inquiries.  It's times like this I wish I had a much larger readership so I could put a message out there, or know that lots of people would follow the link to the FDA and have the proper info.  Alas, my core readership consists of reasonable individuals who will either do their research before succumbing to panic, or they don't use the products in question.

29 April 2010

Quick Update on Things

The (potential) job: still haven't heard anything.

The boy: still talking regularly, and are planning to get together this weekend .

The boy cat: home from the vet and feeling much abused and prone to vapors (actually, that's fairly typical...the vapors, not the abuse).

The orchid: flower is in full bloom.

The (current) job: still boring, mind-numbing, pointless, and so on.  Though, that must be obvious as I am posting a stupid little update instead of doing any work.

27 April 2010

Poor Wittle Puddy Cat

That handsome fellow up there is Tiberius.  Ti is my parents' cat and he shares a characteristic with Hank Hill.  So poor Ti is at the emergency vet with a tube in a sensitive place.  I'm sorry to say that he is probably going to have a procedure to correct the issue.  No one wants to have their cat (or any pet, I suppose) die for an inability to pee.

24 April 2010

I May Not Be A Killer

You see that? That, my friends, is proof that I don't kill every plant thing I own. That there is the first of Phaedra's new blooms and I couldn't be happier. You can see a smaller bud to the left, and there are a couple more spots that look promising. I am cautiously optimistic about her future.

23 April 2010

And In Other News...

I found out today that I am going to be moving into the other building at work. At first, it sounded it was going to be just me and Jodi (my crazy as a loon project coordinator who doesn't really do ANYTHING on my project except occasionally go to FLA for conferences) and two other girls who are (tangentially) related to my project. It's a good thing I'm in a good mood today, or there could have been some kicking.

Then I found out that the people around me, who work on a similar kind of project, will be moving also. This is a good thing. I think I would have been hurling myself in front of the Ivyland-New Hope train if I were trapped with Jodi. As it is, she's not going to be sequestered in an office, so I'm going to have to hear her fucking loud mouth and insanely loud typing. Bah.

Really, I'm hoping that it will be a non-issue for me, but I won't know that until after my interview on Monday.

The Postmortem

I am having a little bit of difficulty figuring out how to start with my date report because nothing insanely exciting happened. Which is a good thing, because the last date I was on (remember, back in April of 2009?) went well and then I got shafted. I decided that I'm going to be way more laid back about things this time.

We met for dinner at Isaac's. It was a good halfway point and the food is good and there is a HUGE selections of beers. The boy is an admitted beer snob. Not surprisingly, the place was busy, but we both got lucky with parking spaces. Our table felt a little like they just threw one up in an available corner, but it wasn't too bad.

So far we have not had any issues with the conversation lagging. He's a good listener and always has a follow-up question ready. This is good and not good because if you get me started I can be hard to shut up. And the more I talk, the more chance there is to say something stupid. But, honestly, I haven't been worried about that so much this time around. I know I said something that were corny, and made a couple of jokes that fell flat, but that happens to me regardless of who I am talking to.

We wandered around town for a bit after dinner and talked some more. He made a point of telling me he was weird, but it hasn't been anything I can't handle so far. In fact, I would have to say that I quite like his brand of weird. Also, I'm thinking that he's playing up the weirdness the way I would normally play up the awkwardness - it's a built in excuse if you say/do something that comes off wrong. "Oh, that's just my weirdness."

He's very bright, which is excellent. I had to be more on my game than I usually am because he's not one to let a point slide. It's a challenge, but a good one. In fact, he's very much like me with the "but did you look at it this way?" thing. We both see things sideways. Humor-wise, he is VERY dry. Actually got me a couple of times. Oddly enough, I didn't mind.

As of posting time, there is not second date planned, but we did say we'd like to do this again. And I don't think it's like the "we could do it again" from the date I had two years ago. I think this one will actually happen. Mostly because I'm going to call him tonight to set it up. I won't lie; it would be nice if he called me, but I have a feeling that I'm going to have to be the aggressor for now. I'm surprisingly OK with this, because I like him enough to want to make the effort.

21 April 2010

Disturbingly Chipper


It's amazing how two small things can make me super happy.

Thing One: I have a date tomorrow night. I'm sure I'll do a postmortem on Friday.

Thing Two: I have a job interview on Monday! Yay!

That is all.

16 April 2010

Another Crap Movie Review

Last night was Wawa and crappy movie night. Wawa was up to its usual standards. The movie, well, that was a new level of crapiness.

We watched Mortal Passions. Side note: there really should be a separate category under "Free Movies" in the On Demand section. Something called "Crappy Movies that are Crap" might work. Back to the movie. The premise of the movie is this: money-grubbing, cheating whore of a wife wants to off husband (played by Zach Galligan of Gremlins fame) for insurance money. Wife has plan to fake depressed husband's suicide with cokehead lover but is interrupted by the arrival of husband's older brother. To add a little drama to the drama, the brother and the wife don't get along. Oh noes!

To be fair, the movie is a product of the era, which was late 80s, early 90s. I'm talking about scrunchies and low ponytails with fluffy bangs, denim shorts cuffed at the knee, fucking Z Cavariccis! Seriously, even the older brother used a scrunchie to hold back his "I'm a rebel" long hair.

No one is safe from the wife's vagina. After the brother follows her to the lover's condo and then shoots the lover; the wife rubs herself on the brother until all his brains run into his dick and they fuck on the bed while the cokehead lover chills in the corner. Then comes the obligatory wrap the corpse in garbage bags and duct tape and toss in the trunk of the car. Then, then! they proceed to bury the dude in the backyard of Gremlin's guy house! Sure, the guy was doing some landscaping to work through his issue so there was a hole waiting, but really? Really? Really.

Of course things spiral out of control. The husband, who had only suspected cheating up til this point, has his suspicions confirmed by the brother. Some random chick who had been dating the cokehead lover shows up and acts all quirky. Which is apparently just what the husband likes because next thing you know, they are getting cozy at a diner and the quirky chick is talking about fucking. They don't, but she has no problem blackmailing the husband. And I totally skipped over a bunch of stuff there. There's a bank box filled with money, the fact that the father (of the husband and the brother. try to keep up.) had committed suicide, the brother's history of over-reacting to people who fuck with his little bro, the shrink that Little Miss McWhorey is manipulating, and Zach Galligan's fucked up right ear. I'm not kidding, people. He has an extra fold in there that was completely distracting. Major alien ear syndrome.

Predictably enough, the husband and the quirky chick find cokehead lover in the backyard. The husband removes a finger and presents it to the shrink as proof that his wife was trying to kill him. For whatever reason, the shrink doesn't follow through with calling the cops, and instead calls the wife and says he needs to speak with her. Wife shows up and when the shrink doesn't succumb to her ravenous vagina magic, she shoots him. It was actually pretty fucking funny because the recoil knocked her back into the window and she had a hilarious look of shock on her face. Cue the confrontation back the house, brother against brother. Older brother leaves, but doesn't take the cash. The husband mans up and kicks out the wife who gets in the brother's car. Quirky chick shows up and says she didn't want the husband's money and he says "Now's not a good time." Awesome.

And if you're thinking that more people need to die, fear not. The brother, feeling all guilty for fucking the wife and considering stealing the bank box $$$, drives his convertible off the road and manages to flip it over on completely flat ground. Cue Wilhelm Scream, cut back to husband sitting in giant house, hugging a bagful of cash, slightly witty remark is made, end.

I know; words fail you, right? Well, if you have Comcast (sorry, Xfinity) check it out. My slapdash synopsis really doesn't do it justice. Then again, what could?

14 April 2010

New Who, Same Crush

This is my third attempt at this Doctor Who-related post and I'm really hoping that it works out OK.

Anyone who is the right kind of nerd knows that Matt Smith began his tenure as the 11th Doctor a few weeks ago. Well, nerds who are torrenters do. Law-abiding nerds are still waiting for the April 17th BBC America premiere. Being the more impatient sort, I and some friends were good to go the night of the BBC One premiere.

There were some serious concerns about the new Doctor: he is very young (well, 28 now but that's still younger than me), he is mostly forehead and chin, and well, he's not David Tennant. But this (obvs) isn't the first time a Doctor has been replaced, and I'm sure it won't be the last, so I swallowed my trepidation and tried not to make any(more) snap judgements.

The first episode, The Eleventh Hour, was a bit frenetic, so I couldn't really decide how I felt about Smith's Doctor. There was much vaulting of hedges, a reasonably entertaining bit with the Doctor trying (and rejecting various foodstuffs), and the introduction of the new companion, Amy Pond (Karen Gillan). Side note: I was VERY concerned that I was going to hate the new companion. Not because I have an undying loyalty to any of the past companions, but because in every teaser I saw she had this wide-eyed look of surprise that drove me mad. I did not want her to be the baffled, constantly needing-to-be-rescued companion. Also, with any luck, there will be no romantic overtones at all. The Rose Tyler thing was fine, but Martha Jones was painfully awful (no offense to Freema Agyeman). I think I liked Donna so much because there was definitely a matey vibe to the whole thing that was very refreshing after three seasons of shmoopishness. But this isn't about the companions.

After watching the second episode, The Beast Below, I was in love...again. Don't get me wrong, I'm still very fond of Tennant and his zany hairdo, and Eccleston's jug handle ears, but Smith has firmly established himself as a crush-worthy Doctor. Yes, he looks like he was half-sculpted from Silly Putty, but he's the bloody Doctor. The Doctor is the crush, not the actor. I think Steve Buscemi (again, no offense) could pop out of the TARDIS and I would still be ready to jaunt across space and time. It's the idea of being with this "very old and very kind" Time Lord that makes me all happy in my pants, not necessarily wanting to shag Tennant or Smith. Not that I wouldn't shag Tennant. I think it's the hair. And while I'm not fond of Smith's little bow tie, I'd happily rip it off and proceed to blow his Gallifreyan(?) mind.

I apologize for all the parenthetical asides but it felt right.

05 April 2010

Today's Random, Probably False, Factoid

According to a rambling voicemal I had to transcribe, 6% of people are vegetarians. According to this, it's more like 3%. This is just one example of the bits of "knowledge" I pick up in the course of my day.

Why I (temporarily) Have No Appetite

If I were the type to believe in signs and portents, I would have gone right back to bed after getting a mouthful of spoiled milk with my Cheerios. Blech. And don't give me any crap about not sniffing the milk. It has been a long time since I have had a carton of milk long enough to worry about spoilage. Plus, it really seems like organic milk has a longer shelf-life after opening. Regardless, I'm not the superstitious type, so I soldiered on.

I went to Barnes & Noble on Friday and for the first time in I don't know how long, I left empty-handed. I went specifically for Dhalgren, but B&N failed me. In fact, it failed to have any Delaney at all. I was bereft. Then, to cap it all off, there wasn't one other book that interested me enough to be an acceptable sub. That's right, people. Nothing in the store appealed to me. How appalling. But honestly, I'm not that surprised. I don't know about you, but if I'm looking for a specific book, I'm usually hard-pressed to choose something else if my original choice is unavailable. I wanted weird scifi/fantasy, dammit! Not that there isn't tons of that out there, I simply wasn't up to the task of finding it. The happy/duh ending to the story? I found the book at a different B&N on Saturday/my dad (of course) had a copy sitting on the shelf. I even had the thought on Friday: Gee, I'll bet my dad has this book. I should really check with him first before shelling out. I forgot that amazingly quickly. I'm considering returning the copy I bought for some credit, and taking my dad's copy. He said that he never managed to get through the book, so it wouldn't matter to him how long I keep it (likely forever). So far, I'm not having that much trouble with the book, but I can be partial to weird-ass scifi (like Barker) so I think it will be easier for me than for my dad. I'm going to attempt a review when I finish, but that may be a while. And if what I've read so far is anything to go by, the review may also be incomprehensible.

Weather related comment: I like that it is warmer, but as I'm currently short in the summer shoe area, it's not as much fun as it would be if I had fucking sandals. I'd be perfectly happy (OK, maybe not perfectly) if the weather stayed cooler until I can do some shopping.

23 March 2010

Baby Steps

My credit history is what a person could call spotty. Had a bad run of it a couple years back, blah blah, excuse excuse. It's a wonder they let me buy a car at all (which is a year closer to being mine!). Anyway, I've been chipping away at the debt and trying to get shit cleaned up. I would like to buy a house one day and it would be ever-so nice if my picture wasn't hanging in every mortgage office with the caption "DO NOT LEND!!" It would seem that I am indeed making some progress because I got a letter from my wireless provider saying that they were removing my spending limit. Now, this may not mean a lot to some of you, but I have lived with that cap for so long; ever since I opened the account, in fact. It is good to see that my efforts are paying off. Luckily for my credit score, there isn't a whole lot of crazy I can do with an unfettered cell phone account. I already have unlimited almost everything, so I don't see myself getting dug into a wireless chasm from which there is no return.

One Has Nothing To Do With The Other

Four people in the last 5 or so days have commented on my weight - in a good way. For the record, I haven't lost any weight recently. At least, that's according to the scale and my ego-crushing Wii. Whatever the cause, it's nice to hear. I think I got the comment today because, for once, I'm wearing nothing remotely baggy. And my ensemble is all black, which everyone knows knocks about 5lbs off. To say nothing of my kick-ass motorcycle/cowboy boots which draw the eye downward (and give me a nice swagger too!).

In "oops, that was embarrassing news" I managed to let out a sizable fart at my desk. The kind that flaps your ass cheeks. The bitch of it is, I don't know how audible it was as I was A) coughing and B) wearing my headset. My neighbor didn't recoil in massive disgust, but she's a pretty cool chick, so maybe she chose not to draw attention to my flatulence. As I didn't immediately pass out from the odor, I guess I got lucky this time.

image courtesy of flowtv.org who got it somewhere else, i'm sure

13 March 2010

Back From Holiday II + Minor Weirdness

There's nothing like the first day home from vacation. Piles of laundry, piles of cat puke, buckets of rain. OK, perhaps I'm exaggerating a tiny bit - there was only one pile of puke. Stupid sensitive male cats.

For those of you not in the know, I spent the last week traveling to, skiing in, and traveling back from Sunday River. That's in Maine, in case you didn't feel like doing a Google search. About a 9hr drive, which isn't too awful split between three people. The reason I'm only now writing about my trip is because there was no internet in the condo and I wasn't comfortable leaving my netbook at the lodge while we were skiing. I'm going to get the annoying stuff that happened out of the way:

1. Had an underwire fail.
2. Found a hole in some underpants - I think I'm going to be done with Victoria's Secret. Those panties were NOT old.
3. My favorite jammie pants ripped beyond repair. Considering how old they were, it was not entirely unexpected.
4. I lost my ring somewhere in the lodge. Major sadface about that.

On to the rest...

The conditions on the mountains were fantastic. Sunny and warm, not too crowded. The lack of crowds was especially good as I hadn't been skiing for about 2 years and I wasn't sure how it was going to go. Other than having my ski pants jammed up my hoohah for 4 days straight, and taking one minor tumble, it went rather well. The tumble didn't even injure my pride as I was expecting to take at least one. The ski pants issue was just because I'm apparently exactly the same size as I was when I got the pants two years ago...just too large for them. Doesn't really matter because they were comfy enough.

Our condo was on the small size and the door to the balcony required an authoritative push to get it to latch. The bathroom was minuscule but hot water was plentiful. There was a pool with a hot tub and a sauna in the complex but I didn't use either of those. The hot tub was mostly populated by young bucks drinking beers. Luckily for us, since our windows faced the pool, that all closed down at 10.

I had a choice of sleeping spaces. The first was one of the most claustrophobic bunks I have ever seen. Picture a blank wall. OK, now cut out a 6x6 hole and shove two beds, one about three feet above the other, in there. Yeah, I took one look and announced that I would be sleeping on the couch. It was a fold out, but I didn't bother with that. I can manage to sleep anywhere for a short period of time. And the couch was long enough, so I was actually pretty comfy.

We had a great view up the mountain from the balcony. It was really cool to look out the window at night and see them grooming the trails. No, I don't have any pictures. You should know by now that I'm not any sort of shutterbug. Just imagine a hill with trees and snow and you're good.

Not surprisingly, we had some really good meals while up there. One place, S.S. Milton, was in the town of Bethel. Milton's is a small, slightly pricey place (good thing I wasn't picking up the tab) with excellent food. They have a delicious lobster chowder (nothing like being close to the source) and the chef obviously knows how to cook seafood. The lobster casserole I had was a bit on the rich side, but I had skied all day. I needed to replenish, right? Eh, I was on vacation. I've never had the kind of willpower that could keep me on any sort of diet/sensible eating plan while vacationing. I also had a drink from Holland called Choco Vine. The menu said it was better than Bailey's and it was definitely as good. Who knew Cabernet and chocolate were soul mates? We ate at Milton's twice and it was equally as good the second time.

The other place we ate was about 20 feet away from our condo, Phoenix Bistro and Bar. Again, a bit on the pricey side, but the food was good across the board. And the portions were extremely generous. I took leftovers back the first night (chicken piccata), and thought I was going to grow gills after the enormous and delicious and perfectly rare tuna sandwich I had the second night. Couldn't manage dessert but I did down two glasses of Shiraz.

The weather turned a bit on Friday, but I still got a good view of Mt. Washington on the way home. Driving through Connecticut is a fairly awful experience but my mom got that stint. It started raining pretty steadily in NY but without the winds we got today. Got home around 9 or so, thought I was gonna do laundry and watched TV instead.

Now for the minor weirdness. Back in September, I posted a silly little thing in Missed Connections on Craigslist about almost running over a cyclist. Surprisingly enough, I got a couple of replies. Nothing came of it, which was fine as I wasn't expecting anything. Then this morning, I'm checking the email account I used for the post, and I have an email from one of the dudes who had replied to my post originally. It said (paraphrasing here) "Cycling season is right around the corner, do you want to see me in my spandex?" What now? It's been six months, guy. Do you really thing I've been pining away for a glimpse of you in your candy colored man tights? 'Cause I haven't been. In fact, I'm a little worried about you. Why would you decide that this was a good idea? We exchanged about three emails and now you want to parade around for me in form-fitting biking gear? I think I'll take a pass. But thanks for thinking of me.

22 February 2010

Washington's Birthday Randomness

If you refer back to an older post, this will make more sense. On the way to work this morning, I saw a Pepto-colored Nissan 280(?). There was a number in the upper corner of the windshield, so I would assume that it was once some sort of fleet vehicle, but what company, besides the one that makes Pepto, would have Pepto-colored cars? Maybe it was the second pink Horseman of the Apocalypse?

I spent Saturday afternoon with my nephew and his mom. He was so happy to see me, which made me all gooshy. Throughout the day, he called me Carrie, Terri, or Harry. Since he was mostly right, I'll give it a pass. He fell asleep on me while watching Elmo. And since he's in the repeat everything phase, I got him to say "dude". Also, in the "Kids Say the Darnedest Things" category, his dad taught him this little trick. If you ask my nephew what's for dinner, he will promptly say "Beef!" Bloody hysterical. I told his dad I give him a case of beer if he could get his son to reply "Pork" when asked what the other white meat is.

Once he was down for his nap, his mom and I got a chance to kick back and watch some Olympics. She promptly chastised me for not writing anything about the opening ceremonies. I told her that I didn't see the point because they were so snore-worthy. It would seem that I was supposed to write about the extreme level of boredom. Here goes: the opening ceremonies for the Winter Olympics was really really boring. In fact, it was so forgettable, that I can't even think of anything remotely snarky to say about it. I'm sure there was some traditional dancing/singing happening, and I know the commentators made shitty comments about some of the countries with smaller delegations. I don't think I would have had anything more to say if I had written about it the night it happened.

My current bathroom book is God Hates You, Hate Him Back, by CJ Werleman. It's a point-by-point breakdown of the hypocrisy and general shittiness of the Bible. The guy is a reasonably entertaining writer, but I sometimes feel that he's being a little too, oh I don't know, too snarky, I guess. I'm not defending the Bible here, not at all, but I think it's better to make your point in a more scholarly manner. But that's not what I was going to talk about. I was going to mention the author's use of the word "grizzly". Mr Werleman, I do believe you meant "grisly", especially since you were talking about terrible and bloody acts. Unless you were talking about biblical bear attacks - which didn't seem to be the case. And this doesn't fall under the "callous/calloused" heading. "Grizzly", if you aren't talking about bears, means gray-flecked. Maybe Moses was pretty grizzled, but his acts weren't.

19 February 2010


A few of us at work ordered from PF Chang's today. I have to give them props for giving you the option to order online. There's never any argument about who is placing the order when it only involves clicking. In case you were wondering, I did the ordering. And now I'm signed up for sundry coupons and exciting PF Chang's news.

This was my first PF Chang's experience. I ordered the salmon lunch bowl, which came with asparagus and brown rice (my choice). There was also a grilled half a lemon for garnish(?). The lunchbox came with egg drop soup, which most closely resembled, texturally anyway, chilled chicken broth. I added a little vinegar and chili oil to it, but it still wasn't anything amazing. I gave up on it about halfway through.

I also got a small order of Asian slaw, which was supposed to be Napa cabbage and red pepper and scallions. Well, cabbage was present, along with carrots, but I didn't see any red pepper or scallions. I fucking love scallions and I feel a bit gypped. The dressing was supposed to be a creamy citrus and I guess it was. I mean, it was cream and bright fucking yellow. Like glow in the dark yellow. It was definitely creamy, but there wasn't much citrus to speak of. I think they should retool the recipe a little, and maybe make the dressing more rice vinegar-based, with a shot of lime juice to liven things up. Don't misunderstand me, I ate all of it and it was tasty, but it fell a bit short of my expectations.

On to the entree...

The piece of salmon was good for the price I paid. Probably around 6-7oz and the lunch bowl was 9.95. Remember, it also included rice, asparagus, and soup. Oh, and the charred lemon half. The outside of the fish was nicely charred, but I think some people would prefer the insides to be a little more well-done. I like my salmon on the rarer side, so I was very happy with it. The brown rice was brown rice. I pepped it up a bit with a splash of the "Special sauce". Shockingly enough, at least to those who know me, I ate half of the asparagus. It wasn't half-bad. In fact, it was pretty tasty. My cube mate ate the rest.

I found their fortune cookies too sweet, so I only ate half. I wonder if that means my fortune (something about my ambition and making a name for myself) will only be half true. Not that I've noticed all my other cookie fortunes becoming reality. I'd be much richer and more famous by now.

I decided to sit at my desk and pick at my teeth with one of PF's toothpicks. OK, they weren't branded or anything. Moving along. These toothpicks were possibly the bluntest toothpicks ever. Did someone on PF's legal team think they could avoid a slew of toothpick and gums-related lawsuits? Honestly, the ends were flat; no crevice penetration at all.

Overall, my PF's experience was good, not great. Maybe it would have been different if we were eating in the restaurant, but I can't blame a lack of flavor/imagination on transportation time. Still, it was a nice change of pace from The Works.

18 February 2010


There is something wrong with me (shut up). I have never considered myself an especially patriotic person, or the type to get overly emotionally involved in sports (the exception being my never-quite-good-enough Eagles). Imagine my surprise when I found myself getting all choked up when Lindsay Vonn won her damn gold medal. This wouldn't be such a big deal, but I'm finding this weird emotional shit is showing itself in other ways...like during fucking BMW commercials.

No, I didn't just start bawling or anything, but I'm finding that I am far more susceptible to advertisers' wiles than I ever used to be. And I can't even blame it on being all PMS-y. I'm the person who doesn't cry at movies, or TV shows, or anything really. Two movies my entire life have brought tears to my eyes, and one of them was An American Tail. Yeah, the Fievel movie. What? When he's calling out "Papa! Papa!" I just fell to pieces. The fact that I was about 8 at the time makes no difference. The only other movie to have the effect was Hotel Rwanda. Amazing movie - don't watch it.

I realized a while ago that it's OK to cry at movies and TV shows and the like. Not that anyone had ever told me otherwise. I always felt like crying at entertainment was, dunno, super-girly, and made every effort not to do it. But you know, these actors and directors are trying to entertain you and, sometimes, to move you. If so and so actor has some amazing performance and I feel the tightness building up in my throat and chest, I might let the tears come to my eyes. It's a compliment to the performer and all the others involved in the production. Plus, if something can make me cry, you know there's got to be something there.

This doesn't mean that I'm OK with getting stupidly emotional during adverts. I will do whatever I can to avoid such an occurrence. I blame the Olympics.

In an exciting case of synchronicity, JR: Fact or Crap? Paul McCartney's "Yesterday" was recorded more than 1500 times in 20yrs. Come on! You know you know!