Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Dear No One in Particular,

I'm testing out a new moisturizer, and really, all I can think of is:

Damn my face stinks.

[ETA: yeah, that didn't last. I had to wash it off. It's going back tomorrow.]


Sunday, September 28, 2008

Heaven is an endless library

Dear No One in Particular,

I love to read, and always have. I was a solitary child, and so spent much of my time holed up in my room reading. I would escape to far off places, befriend whole worlds of new people; books are my escapist drug.
I'm also aware that it's somewhat en vogue to pretend to be dumb(er), and to shown disdain for reading. I also think that's incredibly stupid. While I often struggled to fit in -- and honestly, still do -- I never pretended that reading was a chore. So many beautiful things lie buried in those words, waiting for our imaginations to set them free!

As an intense bibliophile, I carry around long lists of "To Read" books. I have a list entered in my BlackBerry, another in the Boy's iPhone, and a Moleskin notebook with a list 4 pages long. I can never visit a bookstore without padding out my beloved lists.

And here's another one: 75 Books Every Woman Should Read, as determined by Jezebel (and Jezebel commentators). A response to Esquire's 75 Books Every Man Should Read, Jezebel created a woman-centric list that provides a yin to Esquire's yang. (I bet they would love to hear that!)

I've become increasingly ... upset, I suppose, by my current preoccupation with what I call "mac-n-cheese" literature. Mostly chick lit, and picked mostly for their nonsensical plots, bad writing, and incomprehensible page-turning addictiveness, I feel I've been rotting my brain with books that, while easy to digest, are not particularly stimulating.

So, I've decided to read all 150 novels (yes, both lists for sake of a well-rounded reading experience). I've already completed 26 of the tomes over the years, and am currently making my way through Flannery O'Conner's A Good Man is Hard To Find, which I am absolutely falling in love with. Granted, I've long been an admirer of the short story (Salinger, holla!), so O'Conner's brutal prose is right up my alley.

I invite you, dear reader(s ?) to join me in this epic quest of required reading. Naturally, I'm not going to limit myself to just these books -- sometimes, you just need some mac-n-cheese to better appreciate the prime rib -- but I would love to form a sort of book club with someone, plowing through these greats of literature. I'm trying to convince the Boy to join me: I bought him Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried and Jack London's Call of the Wild, two books that brought me to tears, but he's in the "reading's not for me" camp right now.

What do you think? Interested in joining me in this purely intellectual experiment? Read any of the books and have opinions that burn like the clap? Tell me! I love talking books.


Saturday, September 27, 2008

You know, when I was a kid, I always thought I'd grow up to be a hero.

Dear No One in Particular,

I was planning on writing a blog post, since I haven't written one in a while, but I was greeted with this headline: Paul Newman dies at 83. And now I'm so heartbroken, I can't do much of anything.

He was such a great guy: absolutely gorgeous, deeply humble, a devout philanthropist (his delish Newman's Own brand generated approximately $175 million dollars for charity -- he didn't make a cent), an amazing actor, and an all-around gentleman.

I keep thinking about his wonderful relationship with his family -- his wife in particular -- and making a :-( with my whole heart.

Newman was half of one of the most successful showbiz marriages -- to Joanne Woodward whom he married in 1958. He observed that just because he was a sex symbol there was no reason to commit adultery.

"Why would I go out for a hamburger when [I] have steak at home?" he asked.

R.I.P. Paul, a truly great man.

(Now excuse me while I watch my favourite movie ever, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and weep.)


Monday, September 15, 2008

In what way, Charlie?

[Edit: arg! The videos aren't embedding properly. Links to the NBC website instead.]

Dear No One in Particular,

I'm sure you've seen it already, and it's been discussed to death over the water cooler, but how awesome were Tina Fey and Amy Poehler as Gov. Sarah Palin and Sen. Hillary Clinton? TOO AWESOME, for sure. It almost makes me want to watch SNL again. (Then again, Tina made me want to watch again after she hosted and endorsed Hillary, but that never happened ...)

At any rate, Tina was spot on as Palin, but really, it was all about Poehler in my mind. The little eye-bug? Her sarcastic undercuts? Were just as amazing as Fey's rifle-pose.

But my absolute favourite part? "I invite you to grow a pair. And if you can't, I will lend you mine." That, right there folks, is my new mantra.
"I can see Russia from my house!" is my new catchphrase.


P.S. Yes, I am supposed to be working on my mass media paper ... what of it?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Cave + Bookshelf = LOVE

Dear No One in Particular,

You know how I said I found my dream home? It was missing something. Namely, this:

It's totally earned a spot in this bibliophile's heart. Now if I can find 5,000 Euro, it will have a spot in my home.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Drool Worthy Design

Dear No One in Particular,

I think I found my dream home.

all found via Design*Sponge

Mid-century modern coupled with a craftsman-style apartment in Oakland? Bright pops of colour? I'm 100% sold.

Naturally, I'm head-over-heels for Christine's e-store LAMA (the sick Katrina pillow on the bed can be found there), and subsequently have a wish-list as long as my arm. Now I have an apartment to covet, too.


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Call Me Baby

Dear No One in Particular,

I'm one of those people who names just about everything: my computer (Betty), my iPod (BrickLove*), my car (Lokelani). I'm also the special kind of crazy that names things that don't exist quite yet, like my future dogs (2, named Benito and Gunther) and, well, my possible future children. Yep. I'm one of THOSE girls.

I seriously believe that our names affect who we grow up to be. A shitty name -- or nickname, for that matter -- can scar a psyche for life. Personally, I HATED being called Mandy. It really doesn't suit me, and I resent the fact that the name is linked forever with that Barry Manilow song. However, Amanda was -- is? -- a very popular name, and just about every class I've been in has at least one other "Amanda".
As a result, I want to name my kids something more unique, so they'll never be saddled with being "Ava 1" or "Jacob 4".

But on the other hand, there are parents who look at naming their children like a personal challenge. The couple that creates the most bizarre name, wins. What the prize is, other than years of therapy is beyond me. Here is a repository of those horrible baby names, with biting commentary to boot. Just about every entry made me giggle out loud, so unless you are made of stone, don't read the website unless you're prepared to laugh.


ETA: This is a great article about the seemingly ridiculous-sounding African American baby names. Wonderfully written food for thought.

*It pairs nicely with my iTune library, "Feck Off, Cup!" Points if you can name that reference.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Turn it On (Again)

A conversation between me and the Boy, held last night.

Me: Wanna hear about something freaky I found on the internets?

Boy: Uh. Sure. I think.

Me: Michael Phelps SWITCHPLATES.

Boy: (looks excited) Really?!

Me: What. Why are you so happy about this? You're scaring me.

Boy: Dude, that's bitchin! (makes a stabbing motion) Bam! You just got stabbed -- by Michael Phelps, bitch!

Me: (laughing) Oh my God, no, I said switchplates, not switchblades!

Boy: (disappointed) Aw, damn. That would've been awesome. (makes stabbing motion again) I just stabbed you AND I won eight gold medals! (thinks quietly for a moment) So ... switchplates?

Me: Yeah, like for light switches. I looked through them and was thinking that they totally missed out on some hilarious places to put the switches.

Boy: Like putting the dual switches on his arms, so when he's swimming, his arms flip up and down.

Transcribing this is convincing me that someone really needs to do this. I might consider buying one just for the novelty value of being able to flip Michael's "arms".

Turn it On

Dear No One in Particular,

Someone likes this photo a hell of a lot more than I do.

The truly creepy part? There are so many more to choose from. And that's just one store!

Etsy: taking the Michael Phelps love to a whole new level.


Thursday, September 4, 2008

Reality Check, One, Two

Dear No One in Particular,

I've been told that religion and politics are never topics for pleasant conversation. And I've pretty much held to that piece of advice. I'm extremely passionate, opinionated, and infuriatingly stubborn, and while I might be a small percentage of people who possess that particular holy trinity of traits, just about everybody can get worked up into a lather over religion and politics.

When I started this blog, I decided that religion and politics would be off-limits, just like in my real life. I'm about to break that rule now, but this will not be a breeding ground for my liberal politics, just as I'm not really opening this oft-ignored blog into a forum to discuss the presidential race.

I'm genuinely terrified of a McCain presidency. Genuinely terrified. His track record regarding women's rights is appalling, and honestly, pulling a uterus onto his ticket doesn't come close to making up for that. In fact, it scares me more. I am worried that they believe that having a woman V.P. would draw votes simply for the novelty. I am worried that they believe that people are dumb enough to believe that a vote for Palin is similar to a vote for Hillary -- and I'm worried that they're right. I'm really, really worried about what they would do to our country should they -- God forbid -- win.

Full disclosure: I wasn't an Obama supporter from the beginning. I still have my reservations about him. My vote will 100% be a vote in favour of the lesser of two evils -- which, I must continue to admit is not the best phrase to describe how I feel about this. I don't particularly like peas, but if the alternative is eating nuclear waste, hand over the peas. I'll eat peas every day, and while it may not be the cake I wanted, it's not bad, and it's not nuclear waste.

Which is how I feel about the election: something I'm not all jumpity-excited over, but can live with vs. something that chills my bones and keeps me awake at night.

While I'm not a 100%, true-blue Democrat, I do believe that Obama is the beacon of hope that this country needs. He promises change, and I think that, while he is young and relatively (to McCain) inexperienced, he is far from "more of the same". And no matter what lies the Republicans tell, they are more of the same. Possibly worse, because they say these lies and believe them.

I will vote, even though my favourite candidate did not win the Democratic nomination. I will vote because I love this country, flawed as it is, and I know we can make it better. I know it can be better. And I know that, despite that it's been touted so many times it's now a cliche, we need to change for the better. I need to believe in that change, because what we need now is a reason to hope for a future better than the one we're currently experiencing.

I vote in favour of hope. Come November, I'm voting for change.


Monday, September 1, 2008

Pillow Fight

Dear No One in Particular,

The Boy and I have been together so long that we're essentially an old married couple. We rarely converse, we bicker. We argue constantly, yet we can't live without each other. It's sweet sometimes, but mostly it's infuriating, since we don't argue about anything of importance. No, we fight about minor, everyday things, like what kind of milk we should buy. I admit, I have a short temper, but it's mostly his fault, since he provokes me.

This morning, we fought about pillows.
Yes, pillows.

He was doing the laundry (which is nice, I admit), and I noticed that the pillows were stained. Really stained. Like, I can't remember what colour these were originally, they're covered in orange-y blobs stained. Naturally, I was grossed out and told the Boy that we needed to buy new ones stat. He looked at them and decided, no. No, we didn't. The orange pillows were just fine, and besides, we're moving soon anyway so what's the point in buying pillows that are only going to be tossed out?

I stared agog. Seriously? Could he not see the vast amounts of gross? The gross that we sleep on every night? Our faces, our beautiful faces lay on these filth-laden pillows for upwards of 8 hours. They were being thrown out tonight, and we were buying new pillows.

He threw a conniption fit, saying that buying new pillows is a total waste of money. I pointed out that we're not moving for another year, and I refuse to sleep on a Petri dish for that long. He argued that we have extra pillows hiding in a closet, which he pulled out for me to examine. These "perfectly good" replacements have been stored in a dusty, unused linen closet for the past 2 years and are covered in stains of their own. Additionally, they're curiously both flat and lumpy. I tossed them back at him and told him that they're rejected science experiments, and I now have hepatitis from handling them.

He looked more closely at them, and began to laugh, asking why we still have them then. I blew a gasket. I started shouting about how he is a miniature version of his father, and can't throw anything away because -- God forbid -- he might have to spend money to replace something that is absolutely horrifying (can you tell this is a recurring argument?). He laughed some more, while STEAM CAME OUT OF MY EARS. He then attempted to compromise, saying that I can buy a new pillow, while he continued to sleep on the stained ones. I told him if and when his face falls off, he can't borrow my pillow.

The Boy then began to examine our current pillows, saying that maybe we should get new pillows. I picked one up off the bed, shoved it towards his face, pointed at a particularly nasty looking stain and shouted "DIS-GUS-TING."

His reaction? "Ew. Yeah."

And then I fell over dead.

I nearly took pictures of the pillows just to show you what I have to live with, but I have some semblance of self-preservation left. Suffice it to say, any sane person would have looked at them and immediately headed to Macy's. Instead, I had a 30 minute screaming match about why stained pillows are unacceptable DO YOU SEE WHY I WILL DIE YOUNG.

The upside? The Boy conceded, somehow squeezed 4 pillows into a plastic bag making an uber-pillow, and tossed them in the dumpster. That's one small victory for reason, and 4 years off of my life.