Friday, August 28, 2009

My Favorite Blogger

It's posts like this that make me love Dooce. Read this post. Read others. I think I have to get her books now.

For the record, almost the exact same thing happened to a coworker when he bought a brand new Maytag front loader several years ago. Except Twitter wasn't around, he doesn't blog, and he didn't get his machine fixed, even after several visits--it got "clunkered." He got to buy a brand new cheap top loading washing machine, which he claims is the best thing that he ever did.

After my coworker's Maytag nightmare, when it was time for me to get a new washing machine, I went with LG, based only on reports that their customer service is pretty good. I figured that things like washers break, especially the fancy ones, and I want to deal with a company that actually cares when things break. So far (fingers crossed, touching wood, etc.), so good. Love the LG.

My So Called Rewatch

It's all over hipster blogs by now, but My So Called Life is available on Hulu.

Oddly enough, one of my house guests happened to be carrying his DVD box set of this very same series a few weeks back, before I knew about the Hulu thing, and I begged to borrow it. I loved this show when I was in high school. I wanted to be Angela Chase. I wanted to make out with Jared Leto. I wanted to live in a suburban home with two "normal" parents and "normal" neighbors. I did not want to be getting up at 5:30 a.m. to get ready for school, thence waiting on the crack vile strewn corner for the first of the 3 bus routes that I had to take to acquire my education. Hail Northeast! (Follow up note: I did not, however, wish to make the move to the suburbs between my Junior and Senior year. I actually wanted to live in one house/neighborhood from birth, so as to ensure that I had established friendships and social circles. Funny, I'm going off on a tangent that might require another post...short message to parents--DO NOT MOVE YOUR KIDS WHILE THEY ARE IN HIGH SCHOOL, THEY WILL NEVER FORGIVE YOU. EVER.)

Back to MYSCL. Magically, I loaded the series onto my computer for transference to my 32GB iPhone 3GS. (Thank you HandBrake and Apple for being awesome.) I've been watching episodes during my almost daily lunch break gym visits. And you know what? Sometimes, while watching, I want to pop Angela upside the head for her vapid stupidity. I also get pissed at the "happy family" dynamic and convenient plot resolutions contained in every episode. Yes, there is tension and teen angst, just not enough to make it "real," whatever that means. And finally, the way those kids speak...ugh. That was not my adolescent reality in the 90s. Honestly, it gets me through the workout, but I can't recapture that "loving the show" feeling that I know I had when I originally viewed it. I'm not sure if I'm upset about this or not. Maybe I've changed more than I thought I had.

One show that does hold up for me is Buffy. That show will rule for all time and eternity. The end.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I love my iPhone. I'm testing blogging via text. Because I just have so much to say.

Holy Moley Marriage

I owe a new post here according to Jaime. While I'm thinking of something to write about, you should go here and read what white middle class teenagers in 1962 were taught about marriage. I am both horrified and sickly fascinated.

Side note: I read a lot of "mommy blogs." I am not a mommy. I have no interest in being a mommy. I just find stories of parenting to be interesting/amusing and useful as birth control. I also like looking at funny pictures of kids.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

I married an actual maniac.

On Thursday last, I went to watch my husband play a little show in NYC.


CPM and I are such total opposites. I hate being the center of the attention. The few times that I have been on stage in my life, I have been absolutely terrified. CPM is a natural performer. I am in awe of his musical talent and ability to make an entire room full of people laugh. He made me laugh hysterically on the first day that we met. This is no small feat, when you consider that I mostly laugh "on the inside," and rarely let a full guffaw escape my lips.



So, here's a moment from that show he played on Thursday night at Webster Hall. I have my own video, but it's on my iPhone and I'm too lazy to upload it at the moment. Also, this person's video sounds much better than mine.

Edit to add: My videos are here, here, and here. The sound goes away sometimes. I think the iPhone is too much of a pussy to handle the rock.

Monday, August 17, 2009

No pictures, please.

The most important part of this blog is that as it is being written, my husband is in the same country as I am. I did end up having to retrieve him from JFK airport on Saturday, a 2.5 hour drive from home, which involved crossing three bridges (ugh, hate driving over bridges, hate hate hate). It was worth it. To calm my nerves, the spouse took me to lunch at Papacito's in Brooklyn. I took no photos, but thoroughly enjoyed my Chile Relleno Burrito. I was sending mental images to the blog, though, I swear.

CPM brought me lots of chocolate from Europe. I have to take pictures. I asked for one bar of lemon chocolate. I got about 12 bars of chocolate, in assorted flavors and sizes, including lemon, lime, ginger, and tangerine.

Finally, I've been to this pizza place twice, and have yet to mention it, so here it is: Jules Thin Crust. I took pictures, but I was rushed because somebody just couldn't wait for me to focus properly, so the pictures were crap, and I deleted them. Trust me: you have to have this pizza. My favorite is the Veggie #2: fresh chopped organic tomatoes, basil, arugula, garlic, cubes of fresh mozzarella, organic tomato sauce, mozzarella.

Friday, August 14, 2009


In a little over 30 hours, the spouse returns home. I am so excited and happy to see him. I am drinking a medium decaf iced coffee from Dunkin Donuts (cream, 2 splenda) in celebration. There is enough caf in the decaf to keep me bouncing around all day. I had a late night last night: "late" means "went to bed later than 9:30 p.m."

Last night I went to see a friend's band perform (I would link to their myspace, but the powers that be have blocked my ability to access that page from this computer). They play some scary black metal, which is not usually my preferred style of music. However, they were incredible! I was quite impressed, even though it was tough to hear the vocals. (Dear Johnny Brenda's: hearing vocals is actually important to me. Fix your mix. Thank you.) I also enjoyed standing out like a sore thumb. I was there with Perry. We were the only two people wearing white shirts. Perry's was way cooler than mine, as it featured Howard the Duck. Everyone else was wearing black on black on black. There was a family with matching bullet belts, possibly purchased on sale ("Look Ma, they're three for $20."), and one dude came in full face make-up to pay homage to the headlining band, Marduk. Alas, I lasted only through Black Anvil's set, and left at 10:30 to go home and go to bed (see also, all posts and tweets about my dog waking me up at 4:30 a.m.).

I've made it a point this week to keep myself busy every night, despite it being a work week, to make it fly by. My tactic was a success. The week passed in no time, and tomorrow I get to retrieve CPM from the airport. I'm so excited.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Punch Buggy Red No Punch Backs

I have no idea why I'm thinking about this right now. Maybe because it's overcast and gloomy outside. Maybe because I'm reaching that point I always do: about 2.5 weeks into a CPM tour, I start to get jealous, angry, lonely and depressed (Lucky for him, he comes home this weekend, before I can start my usual barrage of insulting email messages, in which I try to make him feel as bad as I do). I'm possibly trying to distract myself from those feelings with semi-happy thoughts. Honestly, I have no idea. I just know that I keep thinking about how when I was a pre-teen, I dreamt of having this as my first car:

My first actual car was a 1987 Mazda 323 hatchback with a manual 4 speed transmission, no air conditioning, and no working stereo. It was given to me by a relative during my first semester in college, right around the time that CPM and I began dating. CPM put a tape deck stereo in it for me. The stereo was one of those sexy pull out monsters that was approximately the size of a refrigerator. The stereo worked 70% of the time. If you hit a bump driving, the stereo would probably stop working for a while, until you hit another bump, and then it would resume working.

I loved that car. She was covered in stickers. She took CPM and I to lots of shows in distant places. I freely admit that I abused her. Neophyte car owner that I was, I didn't understand about old cars and the need to check their oil regularly. At least once, I was driving her without any oil. Whoops. It came as no real surprise that a few weeks after the night when the oil light went on, she died on the side of Route 55 in New Jersey, on the way to visit my gram at her shore trailer. The engine basically exploded. CPM and I had to be towed back to my parents house in the Philly suburbs. I got to ride in the cab of a gross tow truck with a sketchy tow truck driver for 88 miles (a tow that was covered completely by my AAA Plus membership). Exciting.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

New Math

What do you get when you combine:

1. A thrifted table cloth in a vibrant shade of yellow.
2. A hat pattern.
3. Lots of uninterrupted time to yourself on a Saturday night.

Answer: The Lady in the Yellow Hat (thanks Jaime, for the inspiration.)

I made a hat! The pattern is Vogue 8405.

I'm making the cranky face because I still can't quite figure out the perfect self portrait technique. My camera doesn't let you see the shot in the screen, so I'm always guessing what I'm aiming at and focusing on. Gah.

Those sunglasses were $7.95 at H&M. Such a deal!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Heights and Tunnels Freak Me Out Now. Thanks, Old Age.

Last week, I spent a day with my sister and my niece at Dorney Park and Wild Water Kingdom. The last time I had been to Dorney was when I was a teenager. Based on my memories, I was not expecting to have much fun. The place was run down and pretty dirty as I remembered it. Something happened in the ensuing years. Someone spent a little money, cleaned things up, and added some awesome amusements. I would "do Dorney" over Six Flags any day of the week now. Plus, it was super cheap. For both parks, since we went on a weekday, and ordered our 4 tickets online in advance, it was $30 per person. That is cheaper than going to the boardwalk in Wildwood!

We had a beautiful day to be there...temperatures were in the mid 80's, there was brilliant sunshine, with low humidity and a light breeze. The breeze made the water park a challenge. After getting off of one water slide to go wait in line for another water slide, I found myself wishing for a big fluffy towel to cover myself. Thus, we only spent a few hours on the water park side. Once we changed into dry clothes, got some fried foods in our bellies, we headed over to the amusement side. (This was after I discovered that I have developed a teeny tiny claustrophobic streak on a water slide that involved a few tunnels...even thinking about it makes it a little hard to breathe. When did this happen?)

My niece is 8 years old and she is an absolute maniac. Not only did she ride every roller coaster (except for the one where the operator was super strict about the 54" height requirement, and her 53.5" just wasn't good enough), but she rode many scary rides all by herself because Aunt Cakes, designated scary ride escort, has lost the ability to do rides that spin in circles without vomiting as she has aged. I can do roller coasters that loop, things that drop you from heights and bounce you around, but put me on the Musik Express or the Tilt a Whirl and I just wish for death for hours afterward.

The Niece, after her blue slushy thing.

Why do I do this to myself?

I skipped this one. This is why.

Greatest roller coaster ride!

Good thing we rode the log flume when the sun was shining.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Random Monday Night Trip to the Mall

My sister wanted to go to the mall last night to buy a dress for a wedding that she is attending. I invited myself along. She was going to leave her 2.5 year old son with me, and take her 8 year old daughter with her. Realizing that I would be forced to hang outside all night because the kid loves to not be in the house (and who could blame him, since he's still too young for Facebook), I just forced my way into her car and decided to play babysitter at the mall.

Observation 1: If you park at the entrance near the carousel, the kids must ride the carousel. Twice.
Observation 2: The dude running the carousel looked a lot like the guy who hosted The Frugal Gourmet.
Observation 3: Escalators are thrill rides in the eyes of a two and a half year old. We rode every escalator in the mall multiple times.
Observation 4: When you are two, hiding from your aunt amidst the clothing racks in Macy's is mandatory.
Observation 5: Build A Bear is the store with the grumpiest employees ever. I seriously think that the woman stuffing the nephew's bear mumbled something about "stupid kids" under her breath. Um, maybe you picked the wrong retail job? (Don't judge me, they are running a SPECIAL! $29.99 for any animal, one outfit, and shoes in the month of August. See! A DEAL! Also, the niece is a little bit manipulative...okay, so she just asked and I was all "whatever, I'll buy you a bear. Wee, spending money makes me feel better about being alone for 2.5 weeks.")
Observation 6: Being two, a boy, and potty trained means getting to demand a special "lift" so you can pee standing up in the public restroom. "Hold me so I can pee Aunt Headuh."
Observation 7: One piece old lady bathing suits with mid-section slimming ruching are HOTTTTTTT. That's what I'll be telling myself this Friday when I sport my new sexy one piece at Wild Water Kingdom. Honestly, I was afraid that any of my "cute" two piece suits just wouldn't hold up to the violence of a water slide splash pool. I don't want to be "that lady whose boob popped out of her top on the tube ride" or "that lady whose bottoms floated away in the wave pool."

Monday, August 3, 2009

I think I gave myself whiplash.

I've been able to ride comfortably on 2 wheels since the age of 7. (Shut up, I was a late learner.) I can honestly say that I can't remember when I last fell off my bike. I can't say that anymore. I knew it was just a matter of time. The new road bike is far less stable than my comfy hybrid, or even my trusty old mountain bike.

15 mph. Sharp curve. Gravel. Wet asphalt. Yeah, you will probably eat shit. And then you will still need to ride yourself home. Of course, you might actually clean the wound BEFORE you photograph the evidence. But maybe not. Maybe you are insane and hopped up on adrenaline, feeling no actual pain.


The highlight of the incident was the fact that I was riding solo. My spouse and riding partner is gallivanting in Europe with H20. Laying on the bike trail, I realized that if I had broken anything, I'd be calling 911 for myself (thankfully, I do take my cell phone). Then I got the giggles.

So I rode home giggling. Before I could enter the house to clean up, I realized that my elderly neighbor had left her garage door open all night. She's 85. A widow. Lives alone. Visions of her laying on her living room floor flashed through my head. I walked around to her front door to knock, dreading that she might not answer. After several pounding knocks and one doorbell ring, Mrs. P came to the door in her jammies. She had simply forgotten that she was in her garage the prior evening, got distracted before closing the door, and left it open. In hindsight, I was covered in blood and dirt. If I had had to call 911 for her, I'm not sure what the responding officers would have thought.

After all that excitement, I was happy to join Jaime and family for some gelato at Capogiro's later in the day. They picked me up. We got parking right in front of the South Philly location (almost impossible)! I had Mexican Chocolate (too spicy) and Turkish Coffee (too mild). We then returned to my house, where Jaime's awesome kid wore my dogs out. After the family Avon left, my puppies were sawing some serious logs. They even let me sleep until 5:07 a.m. the following morning. Luxurious!

All in all, it was a pretty exciting day.