Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Holiday Bits and Pieces

So I haven't been posting much lately, and I apologize for that.  I'm having a hard time shaking off the holiday cobwebs.  However, here's a collection of bits and pieces that I couldn't quite flesh into full posts, but, now that I'm A Blogger, I have a compulsive need to share:

  • I've been spending an increasing amount of my time daydreaming about what I would do if I won the lottery.  Won it big-time, like $170 million.  These dreams have gone past the point where I have been planning which friends I would hire as personal assistants, at what salary, and how I would have to get a good tax attorney to review all the scholarships I would create.  This is all well and good, except I just got alarmed thinking that I was really behind on what I had to today and then I realized that I was thinking of my imaginary "buy 5 houses" list and not my real work one.  
  • Speaking of winning the lottery, my million dollar idea, which you are not to steal: Congressional Guess Who.  TELL ME THAT WOULDN'T GO OVER BIG WITH THE HILL NERDS.  Think about it: Do you have inappropriate relationships with people outside of your marriage?  Are you from New York?  Is it with your staff?   Do you like to tickle?  YOU'RE ERIC!  Copyright pending.
    • Sub-point: I plan on learning to properly use the free Photoshop-type software I downloaded just to try to get that game to happen.  It will be my  holiday gift to you all.
  • Speaking of which, this will be David and my first Christmas together, and people have been asking if we're going to get a tree.  "I want to get a Charlie Brown Christmas tree," I always answer, which serves the joint purpose of 1) answering the question and 2) screening the person, because if he doesn't know what I'm talking about, then I know to stay the hell away from that jerk.
  •  And for another nice transition, I saw my old D.A.R.E. officer, who was way past inappropriately drunk, out at the bar over Thanksgiving.  I'm not sure what to do with that information (and that is far from the whole story), but I thought you should all know.
  • There are two young women in my office who have done nothing for the last two months but talk about the calories they consume each day.  I need to stop this and I do not know how.  Please feel free to leave your ideas, because if I have to listen to one more rendition of "I'm having salad for lunch, just the lettuce, no dressing," I will scream, and this office already thinks I'm awkward.
  • Speaking of which, on Monday two women in my office were talking about what to do with leftover turkey.  They were standing in the middle of a narrow hallway, which means I had to basically walk through them to get to my desk.  I felt the need to contribute, so like a 3 year old with Aspberger's, I enthusiastically yelled, "REUBENS!"  There was silence for a good 5 seconds.  
  • It's after Thanksgiving, which means I can now troll you all with this little thought: I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The worst thing I could think of

Cat: ok so i have to tell you something that might make your head explode
and it will be hard...but you did not hear it!
esp from me!
Katie: oh no
tell me that buffy is still streaming on netflix
i can't even look now
Cat: oh i have no idea
why would i care if you heard that from me lol?
Katie: i don't know
it was the worst thing that i could think of
now anything else won't be as bad

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Cookies and Skyrim

Oreo-stuffed chocolate chip cookies (double-stuffed, in fact!) and Skyrim.  We have become an internet stereotype.

Spoiler Alert

Ryan: i am just a little frustrated that everyone is trying not to spoil it for me
which makes me think there is some sort of really over the top ridiculous thing that's going to happen, like ned stark getting offed
so i just keep waiting for that
Ryan: ...
i don't think those guys have been introduced yet? which ones are they?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Things I Wish I Could Do That Would Make Me Infinitely Cooler

Last weekend I roasted my first turkey. Or rather, I roasted a turkey for the first time. My first turkey was probably something like 25 years ago at this point.

But I digress.

While the turkey is certainly a notch in my cooking belt, and removing the neck and giblets is a notch that I'd prefer not to think about again, it doesn't make me cooler in any real, any cool, sense of the word. 

Not in the way being able to climb a mountain would.  And I'm not talking like this:

Climb every mountain....get it?!

I'm talking like this:

Or even just like this:

I'll settle for not being a Scientologist.

Other things that would make me instantly and infinitely cooler:

Monday, November 21, 2011

Guest Blog is Coming

I have a friend who recently began blogging. This friend has invited a number of her friends to write “guest posts” on her blog. I am not one of those friends. This has, as you can imagine, caused me not a small amount of pain and jealousy. Why has she not invited me? I have a voice. I have a keyboard. She has a blog. It’s obvious.

I can’t just ask her “may I please write something for your blog?” What if she says “no”? What if she says “yes”?? What if she says nothing and then just blogs about it? It occurs to me that situations like this seem to arise much more frequently than they used to. It makes me wish I had been born in another time, and maybe another place. (Despite all evidence to the contrary, the 1970s don’t count.) 

I wish I had been born in Westeros, the (probably) fictional setting for Game of Thrones. (I know the series is actually called “A Song of Fire and Ice”, but I defer to HBO as the definitive source here.) After spending 10 hours there this past weekend, I feel certain I could apply for dual citizenship. (And I would, if I were not certain Joffrey would have me executed for treason.) Even as a visitor, it is easy to see that life in the Seven Kingdoms would be simpler, more adventurous, and generally preferable to life in present-day DC. As evidence:
  1. I would bring a sword to work instead of a laptop.
  2. I would (probably) never receive spam messages via crow.
  3. There is no Beltway.
  4. There is no Facebook. If I post something on my Wall, it will be someone’s head; if someone “pokes” me, I won’t be confused as to the meaning.
  5. Men outside of the theatre can wear capes with impunity.
  6. Family mottos would replace corporate slogans. I’ll take “Winter is Coming” over “I’m Lovin It” any day.
  7. MTV hasn’t filmed any shows there… yet.
  8. The “nuclear option” is a dragon.
  9. We would finally have a wall to keep out Canadians.
  10. When summers span decades and winters can last a lifetime, you rarely need to switch out your summer/winter wardrobes.
Alas, I cannot return there until Season 2 comes out. But I digress… 

What to do about the blog situation? Instead of thinking for myself, I will draw wisdom from a “WWJD” bumper sticker. I assume it means “What Would Joffrey Do?”, and the answer is obvious: he would cut off somebody's head.

On second thought, I think I will just submit an unsolicited guest blog post.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Potty Mouths, Drugs and other Vices

Potty mouths!!  Get it?!

In this week's news, people find interesting uses for abandoned homes, we talk about vices and a whole bunch of people ain't sorry.  Not at all.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Hey little heroes, summer's long but I guess it ain't very sweet around here anymore

Somewhere out there is a security tape that would have taken place at your local neighborhood Windmill.  For those of you not in the know, The Windmill is a mecca of fast food delight found only in the cosmic center of the universe.

The Windmill is famous for its cheesefries, and, in my head, a fantastically low-cost, unintentionally hilarious commercial that they shot in the '90s in which they declared that there was "a location located conveniently near you!" followed by someone proclaiming that they "travel over 50 miles for the cheesefries!"

 Anyway, I imagine the security tape's footage is rather grimy, both with age and because it's on a VHS.  Everything is black, white and shades of gray, except for the bright yellow polos splattered with ice cream worn by a group of overly tan blonde kids.   They are slowly passing bulging white paper bags over the counter and receiving baskets of greasy delight back.

The footage then fades out.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Cuddle Wars

Why are the dos and don’ts of sexual politics so complicated? Let’s take sleep etiquette for example. Is it that we don’t want to seem too needy—or worse, disinterested, that drives us to these stress-induced situations? The problem is that this is a recurring quiz with no right answer. A test you know is coming the moment you exchange flirtatious looks with the opposite sex, but inevitably creates a late night, partially clothed panic attack, nonetheless. Let’s look at a possible situation that may arise— with the knowledge that this habitual night-time conundrum will be back for our dignity, self-confidence, and personal space.

The beginning-of-a-relationship-cuddle is a very delicate and dangerous dance to master—one must be careful not to misstep. When a relationship is new and blinded by the fallacies we feed each other to appear more desirable than we really are, no one wants to be the first to suggest sleeping space. So, we blissfully fall asleep in each other’s arms, content with our decision to finally settle down.

An hour later, it strikes. A once comfortable embrace of security and acceptance has transformed into a sweaty prison of torture from which there is no escape without looking like a heartless monster. So, you endure the heat, or try a feeble whisper of “Are you hot?” (which they never are, and you know that considering they are fast asleep and sweatily snoring in your ear). You attempt a bathroom run, hoping to return undetected. This is a rookie mistake. This cocky move will only falsely raise your hopes and lower your temperature momentarily, before plummeting to the ground in a fiery (and overwhelmingly hot) end in the arms of your new lover, who wants to warm you up after your chilly walk to the bathroom. What a guy.

So we sweat. We sweat in the name of a blossoming romance, and in the hopes of a future where we are comfortable enough to tell that special someone to back off. Try to stay positive and focus on the perks of the love sauna during those sleepless nights. Your skinny jeans will fit in no time. Didn’t you ever wonder why people suddenly appear more attractive once they are taken? Mystery solved.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Layman's Guide to Office E-Mail

For those entering an office environment for the first time, I offer a brief introduction to professional e-mail communications.

The Care and Feeding of Your Ellipses
All this grammar nonsense can be a great hullaballoo of rules and procedures. Luckily for you there is a short cut that grammarians don't want the public to know about. The secret is thus:
If you are ever in a situation where you don't know how to punctuate a sentence you can use the special "catch all" punctuation: the ellipsis.
While many people have invested a great deal of energy perpetuating the myth that the ellipsis is intended to designate omitted words, the truth is that the ellipsis can also replace omitted punctuation!   This versatile little guy can represent anything writer wants.

Take this sentence:
"I have a party on Saturday, I'm bringing the cake!"
This can easily be rewritten without changing the meaning as:
"I have a party on Saturday… I'm bringing the cake…"
Exactly the same.

And the snozberries taste like snozberries!

The pineberry is a member of the strawberry family, with white flesh and red seeds.  According to The Daily Mail, the UK's answer to the New York Post and therefore everyone's favorite source for hard-hitting news, the pineberry tastes like a pineapple but looks like a strawberry, hence the name.

It joins another member of the strawberry family that hit big in England this summer, the strasberry.  The strasberry is genetically the same as a strawberry, but is smaller and, its seller insists, has a "unique, aromatic flavor" that apparently goes very well with cream and in dacquiris--

--just like some other fruit I know.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Let's clear this up.

Screech fit right in.

Let's clear this up: you can't get a 1502 on your SATs, and Stanford is NOT the Harvard of the West.  Besides that, everything was completely realistic.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

How Not to Reassure a Cynic

As the black Santa Claus who worked at Macy's in December of 1990 can attest, I am an extremely skeptical person.

For the past several months I've been enduring chronic lower back pain. It's nothing close to a demon drilling into my eye, more along the lines of a troublesome imp kicking my lumbar. A gremlin rotating my spinal discs, or perhaps a lesser goblin operating a gondola service through my spinal canal.

The best treatment to chronic lower back pain,  people smarter than me say, is to see a Chiropractor. The cynic inside me was yelling "let me out, I have a family! I'll give you anything!" and also something about chiropractors not being medical doctors. As stubborn of a skeptic as I am, I'm open minded enough to try most anything at least once. Plus my insurance covers it.

Milestones are Important

After a year plus of huge changes (we got married! I got a new job! We bought our first condo! We got a family plan for our cell phones! etc), it seemed like the 'newness' was drawing to a bittersweet close. But last night, hubs and I hit yet another major milestone.

Are you ready?

I'll wait....

We had our first kitchen fire.

All together now:  


Here's a tip for all you amateur cooks out there: the appropriate reaction to squeezing something like a massive hunk of French bread into a toaster oven is not "Amazing! Victory!" but rather something more measured, along the lines of "Hm. That appears to be awfully close to the heating coils."

The worst part? Now hubby has a justifiable reason for his obsession with smoke alarms. FAIL.

The End of the Rainbow

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A DC Metro User's Guide

This weekend, I sent the following text (verbatim) to my fabulous co-blogger Katie: "On the weekend, pure anarchy descends on the metro. Strollers. On the LEFT side of the escalator! Asdfjkl;"

Remember how your mother always said patience is a virtue? Well, the DC metro between the hours of 7:00 and 9:00 a.m. on weekdays and ANY time on the weekend is like immersion therapy for those of you struggling to compensate for your not-so-virtuous (would we go so far as to say villanous?) natures.

Metro pet peeves have been done to death as a topic, but a series of incidents over the last few days have created a straw-that-broke-the-camels back phenomenon:
  • Taking the red line on a Saturday, during the day. (omg did you know the zoo in DC is SO COOL?? You should go. With all your friends. On a Saturday. And stand directly in front of the doors so as not to allow people on OR off. Then definitely act totally shocked when people shove you politely tap you to ask you to move.)
  • A ten minute wait for a Shady Grove train yesterday morning at the peak of rush hour (why? Why does more than every other train stop at Grosvenor instead of going all the way to Shady Grove? You don't even just do it at rush hour anymore! DON'T YOU KNOW I WORK AT TWINBROOK?)
  • Speaking of Twinbrook - randomly skipping stops during rush hour is super cool (yo, some of us use the train to like, Idk, nap in compensation for the 6.5 hours of sleep we got the night before. Also, it's very difficult for me to ravenously devour gossip pages time my newspaper reading if I don't know when I might need to hop off the train. We need more notice that you're skipping a stop then, say, just as a random example, immediately before the doors close at the previous stop)
So today, in the spirit of the DC DMV's Open Letter welcoming you to our roads, I offer you, DC traveler, the following survival guide to making your ride on the metro the most pleasant it can possibly be:
  1. Stand on the left. Especially on the escalators.
  2. Don't, under any circumstances, move to the center of the car.
  3. Lean on the pole. No-one else needs it, and besides, you look so much more emo that way!
  4. Make friends with your neighbor. The "every other" principle, so common with bathroom stalls and bar stools? Doesn't apply to train seats, at least not in DC. It's not friendly!
  5. Spread out. Your stuff deserves a seat just as much as you do. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
  6. Make yourself at home. The metro is a perfectly appropriate place to apply your makeup, brush your hair, pluck your eyebrows, etc. Though brushing your teeth might be pushing it a little.
  7. Eat your food. The whole "this is not a diner" campaign? Totally false. You're a busy man/woman on the go, and the Metro is a perfect place to enjoy a leisurely meal. The more aromatic, the better.
  8. Hold the door. Though the conductor tells you "these are not like elevator doors you may be familiar with...," definitely stick your bag in the door to hold it for your travel buddy. Don't worry if they wind up having to offload your car - that's just more time to sight see in the tunnels under Metro Center!
  9. Crank the tunes. There is no such thing as a quiet car. Consider it a public service to entertain your fellow passengers with your personal music player. Bonus points if they can hear you more than three seats away.
  10. Time your trip. Whenever possible, do ALL of your travel during rush hour. New "peak of peak" time slots preferred. It's totally when the atmosphere is best under there, and when you and your stroller/shopping bags/suitcases will make the most friends.
You'll know me when you see me. I'm the short kid giving you the thumbs up.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The League of Super Villains

They are ordinary men in extraordinary costumes.
We are extraordinary people in ordinary costumes.

This mantra is continuously repeated to me during the time I have spent with The League of Super Villains, a group so exclusive and so powerful that for centuries their existence has been but rumor.

Forget what you've heard, what you've read and what you've seen.  These are not your comic's villains.  These people, are much, much more terrifying.

Daddy issues.

I'm still not sure how or why I was granted access to their ranks. With the resurgence of the Real-Life Superhero Movement, headed by Seattle's Phoenix Jones, I suppose there must have been some desire to tell the other side of the story.  I know I wanted to hear the other side.

And then I got the phone call. 

I was flown by private jet bussed to an undisclosed location.  It was hard to judge how long I was on the road, because I fell asleep rather quickly after the glass of wine they gave me.  Odd, because wine never affects me in that way.  The taste, though, was delightful.

They did me the courtesy of carrying me into their headquarters rather than wake me from their nap.  This caused me to miss not only the way to get to their lair, but also the chance to identify the location from any of the surrounding topography.  I assume I was either deeply underground in Arizona, or in one of the top floors of a skyscraper in north Jersey.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Further Reasons My Life is a Farce... or My Unintentional Battle With God.

As I mentioned in my First Guest Post, People always think that I’m being facetious when I say that I truly believe that my life is a farce. As a result of the comedic twists that befall me, twice in my life, I thought it was a good idea to do battle with God over my perception of unfair treatment. The first was in high school… and intentional... and it didn’t end well. My second time at arms was completely one sided. For this entry, I thought we could take a leap to the time I went to Egypt for a month for a study abroad graduate course, and a world of misfortune rained upon my head for weeks. Literally. Misfortune LITERALLY rained down upon my head.

Thanks for noticing me...

The trip started out with such promise. Life had been pretty devastating the five months prior to going, and I was really looking forward to escaping from my current realities. My roommate for the trip, Amanda, and I bonded immediately over our matching J. Crew hair clips and Coach wristlets. I was in photography heaven, and it was fascinating to learn about this new, exotic land.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Fuck You Jenny McCarthy

I just got a flu shot! Or rather, an anti-flu shot (you have to remember to ask for that)!

There is a group of people who believe that, despite any scientific evidence proving otherwise, vaccinations cause Autism, Retardation, decreased SAT scores, Human Cortico-Deficiency Virus, Legacy Virus, back-talking, sass-mouth and in rare cases witchcraft. I call these people F.U.C.K.I.N.G.C.R.A.Z.Y. for short and pretend I was clever enough to come up with words to fit the acronym. 

I look at vaccinations differently. Vaccinations are nothing less than science's ability to grant us superpowers. Every time I receive a vaccination I can cross another viral nemesis off my list. They're not injecting egg yoke into me as much as extracting weakness. It's a gift that can't be taken away. The apocalypse comes, and we all have to make some hard decisions and compromise what we thought we were to survive the zombie hordes, but hey - I don't have to worry about Yellow Fever (unless the Yellow Fever vaccinations caused the Zombie onslaught).  

Whenever I travel to other countries, I eagerly pop open the US State department's website to see what new super powers I have an excuse to ask for (pro tip: always go to the travel clinic if you want the fun vaccinations, physicians usually only carry the MMR and Tetanus vaccines as well as the vials of mislabeled autism mixed in). Before traveling to Peru (maybe Brazil? I'm really cool) the doctor offered me two vaccination options for Typhoid (squee): a refrigerated pill which would provide 5 years of resistance or a painful injection which would last 10. If she had offered 15 years for a kick in the balls I probably would have said yes. Take note potential assassins: slipping typhoidic tissue into my drink will not work (and it's so cliché anyway).

The Department of Health is (considering?) suggesting boys under 18 be vaccinated against HPV as well as girls. What about 27? When the current generation of HPV-free humans enslave the rest of us I don't want to be on the receiving end of the (HPV-free) overseer's whip. Also, what about other papillomaviruses? All it takes is one person to screw a pig, and then BAM - brainless mobs of PPV infected undead are clawing at your door and you're regretting your stance on gun control.

Katie suggested that I became gay from a childhood vaccination, but I'd be disappointed to find out that the vaccination against heterosexuality was only successful 2-4% of the time.

Sex, God and Academia

In this week's news, academia embraces Snooki and Jay-Z, although no word on whether it was mutual.

Could Gotham City be In NJ?

The Star Ledger just posted this video, answering every fanboy and girl's favorite question: Where is the Real Gotham City?

Incidentally, if this works out, that would move Ellis Island and the Nets down to the 2nd and 3rd most important things that New York has tried to steal from New Jersey.

Katie: i tagged my batman video with dc, because i'm hilarious
get it??? dc COMICS
Éamonn: haha
Katie: i'm funny.
Éamonn: I got it
Katie: i'll pat myself on the back since your arm can't reach to dc

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

In Which I Live-Blog the Greatest Show (Currently) on Television

Okay, first off, Spoilers EVERYWHERE.  Second, the font and spacing aren't consistent and I apologize, but it's late and I am done trying to figure it out.  Either way, I welcome speculative comments on the next episode in the comments.  And here we go!

9:58 PM
A commercial for REVENGE! just came on.  I got way too excited and fell off the couch looking for the remote so I could un-mute the television.  Game on.

10 PM
The show opens with Emily/Amanda quoting Hamlet.  "God has given you one face, and you give yourself another," she intones, as the camera pans to a shot of Victoria getting her makeup done.  Makeup as war paint.  I love it.

Incidentally, it's a line that Hamlet says to Ophelia.  Ophelia is my least-favorite Shakespearian character.  She's such a wuss.

Victoria and Conrad Greyson are being interviewed for the Style section as "the Hampton's most perfect couple."  The irony is thick.  Too thick...

Ruminations on This Blog on its 2nd Month Anniversary

Some important and fun facts:

1. People have come to this blog via some of the following google search keywords:

  • kegbus average tip
  • positive reinforcement
  • celebrity with hemochromatosis
  • cluster headaches
  • guy in empty house

I admit, I'd be most perplexed about the positive reinforcement, but who googles the address of a blog instead of just typing it in?

2. We have some regular Russian readers.  Zdravstvuj, comrades!  You are my favorite readers.  The rest of you may fight to the death for second place.

3. I have clearly come a long way from my fear of having an internet presence.  Now you all know about my little family of oxygen tanks.

The oldest one I shall call "Oscar."

4.  I've learned a lot in the last two months of blogging.  For instance, things that are conducive to blogging: 
  • boredom
  • professional ruts 
  • wine 
  • rants by people I do not  like 
Things that are not conducive to blogging: 
  • cluster headaches 
  • hospitals 
  • forced sobriety 
  • not being able to look at lights 

I promise a triumphant return to the former.  

Although I may keep Oscar.  He's cuddly.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Road Justice

I've vented my frustrations earlier on this blog about DC drivers.

This morning I was cut off by a man wearing tweed and a Lucky Strike helmet on a vespa.

It wasn't just that I was cut off by a Don Draper-wannabe, and it wasn't just that he was in a vespa.  There was more.  There was sidling.  He sidled up next to the car, and then when the light turned green, he not only cut me off, but he had to turn sideways to do it and wound up perpendicular to me.  And then he sat there for a while, confused as to how to face forward again as the light turned from green to yellow.  When he could finally right himself, the light had turned red.

If any of you have a particular type of father, you know exactly the type of look I'm about to describe.  I can't do it on command; it only happens when I'm particular furious.  I'm pretty sure I actually saw the red laser beam shoot out from my eyes to his mirror at that moment.  I will say that my nostrils were probably flaring.  Also, I grew horns. 

And fangs. 

And claws.

I don't know where the nipple piercing came from but it's really uncomfortable.

He looked into his rearview mirror and we made eye contact. 

Unfortunately for him, we were then stuck at that light for a few minutes.  I was too furious to even blink, while he tried really, really  hard to avoid me.

He decided to look everywhere but the rearview mirror, resulting in him giving a plausible imitation of a muppet with Parkinson's searching the sky for Super Grover.

Blog readers, rejoice.  Every so often, something happens that reinforces my faith in kharma, my faith in justice, my faith in life itself.  When it happens on the road, let's call it Road Justice.

For instance, one time Bre and I were driving on the two-lane road down to Cape Cod.  On our way to Maggie's wedding, I believe.   There was a huge amount of traffic, and people started driving their cars up the shoulder in order to pass everyone else.  This was obviously infuriating, and so for a while Bre swung her car partially out into the shoulder to block all the would-be line-cutters.  We could only handle the honks for so long before we turned completely back into the right lane and just stewed at the injustice of it all.

That is, until we turned a slight corner and saw the policeman, who was standing there handing out tickets to all those who tried to drive in the shoulder. 


Another time I saw a car speeding up the highway from a far distance away, weaving in between cars and just being completely wreckless.  He started tailgating me-- NOT in the left lane, I might add-- and I would have just let it go, until I glanced in my mirror and caught a glimpse of the kid.

He was young, he was making obscene gestures, and more importantly, his collars were double-popped.  At that moment, Providence intervened and I glanced to my left, and An Understanding passed between me and the driver of that other car.  We both slowed down.  To about 25 mph.  And just let that kid stew.


So this morning?  Mr. Vespa-Sidler decided to try to make a right turn from the middle lane.  Another car was already going straight in that lane.

They collided.

Now, don't get all upset.  All vehicles were moving slowly, so nobody was hurt.  But still....