Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Save a tree and your sanity.

Tired of receiving 14 credit card offers in the mail every day?

Opt out for 5 years by going here

I've done this before and I the only negative is that it seems that as soon as I check my credit score the offers start coming again. It may be coincidence or the fact that I keep changing my address. Either way, you may need to do it again at some point in the future.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

A New Goal

I used to want to grow up to be Dame Judy Densch. Now I also aspire to be Julie Walters.

A scene from Mamma Mia (go see it! Hilarious and cheesy! Perfect for a summer evening.) below.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Does this mean I have to give him an allowance?

Whilst Friendster Guy and I were checking out at the grocery store:

Checkout lady: "Is this your son?"

Uh.

No.

In fairness (?), she was trying to figure out if FG needed to be carded for buying beer. Apparently, she needs glasses. Or I need some surgery. Needless to say it provided us with hours of comedic material. And she did apologize profusely.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

God speed, Tony Snow

Earlier today I was listening to an NPR story on Tony Snow, the former press secretary who just died of colon cancer. Turns out, that in addition to having a job that would be my own personal version of hell, he was a jazz flutist. After hearing a few clips, I've decided that the soundtrack in said personal hell would feature the jazz flute in heavy rotation.

To each their own.

[This clip from Anchorman makes the genre almost tolerable. Almost.]

Friday, July 11, 2008

White Folk 101

When I went away to college the first few days were filled with freshman orientation. This was mostly a whole bunch of 18 year olds hanging out together, meeting their faculty advisers, and getting, well, oriented. One of the things the university planned for us was entertainment of the ice breaking kind.

Now, I had come from what would be called an inner city school to this university in the middle of Amish country. My high school had double the population and 8.3 million times the diversity. My high school class was 30% Caucasian, 30% African American, 30% Hispanic and 10% other. My university had about 3 black kids and a couple of international students. Other than that, it was white, white, white. White.

Until this orientation get-to-know-you-thingy, I hadn't realized that despite being heavily Caucasian myself, I hadn't really grown up within "white culture." One of the activities was a sing along (I know, totally fun thing to do with a bunch of strangers you just met. You're so jealous.) Turns out, I had not been exposed to something most of these other white folks had been raised with and that was Jimmy Buffet. All of a sudden a whole cafeteria full of people were singing:

I don't know, I don't know,
I don't know where I'm a-gonna go
When the volcano blows.


I clearly remember being on the edge of panic thinking, "What the fuck? Did I miss a memo?" It was like those dreams where you get to class and there's a test you didn't know about. My test was on "things white people listen to." If they had asked, "what is CCR?" I would have been equally baffled. Yet everyone else seemed to be up on their John Fogerty and Bob Seger. I can imagine it's what being an exchange student feels like but I didn't have a cool accent or second language to fall back on.

The whitest music I listened to was probably Boys to Men. If they'd asked me to sing all the lyrics to TLC's Ain't too Proud to Beg or Gerardo's Rico, Suave I could have. Am I proud of that? Maybe. All I knew then was that somewhere in my upbringing I missed out on very pertinent white folk information. (Later in the year I couldn't believe the fervor that happened whenever the latest J. Crew catalog hit campus.)

Luckily, I had brought along my Weird Al collection so I was still accepted as one of them. Sort of. [Aside: for a list of other things white people like, go here.]

And here, for your own edification are TLC, Gerardo, and Jimmy.





Thursday, July 10, 2008

Life's a Beach

While I was on vacation last week my brain wandered, as it tends to do anyway but really does while relaxing on vacation, and I kept having thoughts. The kind of thoughts that lead to really random blog posts as well as really long to do lists. Because I was on vacation with little else to do but eat and read (awesome!) I started writing these thoughts down (dangerous). As I now scan this list of non sequitors I see that I decided that it would be a good idea to talk to my boss about speaking at a personal training conference. (What?) I also wrote down things like "mosaic the book shelf in the kitchen " and "do an oral history of my friends who escaped Iran during the revolution."

Am I kidding me?

Luckily, there was one thing I wrote down that does not involve me starting a 6 to 24 month to lifetime project and that was my list titled, "How to make real life more like a vacation." Now this, this I can get behind. The other things are just a teensy bit on the side of crazy talk. So, without further ado, here is how I decided to make life more vacationy.

  1. Work less (duh!)
  2. Keep life simple (you always bring more stuff than you need on vacation with you, same is true in real life, downgrade)
  3. Be a tourist in your own area
  4. Eat locally and not at chain restaurants
  5. Spend less money
  6. Spend more time on things you want to do than on things you think you need to do.
  7. Read more and don't save "summer reading" for the summer
  8. Create a "getaway"space, somewhere comfy and cozy in your house to escape to.
  9. Take walks
  10. Take deep breaths
  11. Keep only beautiful meaningful, useful things
  12. Eliminate the guilt from doing all of the above and below
  13. Visit galleries, museums, and artistic spaces
  14. Eat out for breakfast
  15. Take naps
  16. Own only white or off-white linens (everything matches everything else)
  17. Go on a picnic
  18. Take art and/or cooking and/or dance classes
  19. Eat more slowly
  20. to be continued...
Do you have anything you'd add?

Monday, July 07, 2008

Caveat Emptor

I am aware of advertising. Mostly.

I am aware of advertisings ability to make me want things. Things, that until I saw the advertising, I didn't even know existed.

I am aware that advertising makes a person's head do crazy things. It can make me want to drive 75 miles to the nearest Target or TGIFriday's.

It's good to be reminded of this and to talk myself out of purchases.

My latest advertisement induced craving is for this fancy pomegranate raspberry juice (that I am having a Dicken's of a time finding on the internet and therefore can't show you). I don't even buy juice. For one, I'm too cheap ($4 plus per container) and for another, I don't like to drink my calories. Just eat a piece of fruit and have a glass of water.

However, I have recently found myself scanning the shelves of my Cooperative grocery store for this product. When I found it was not carried (it's a small store and you'd be hard pressed to find many items readily available at most super stores - although now I'm wondering if said product even exists) I started thinking about how I should drive 10 miles out of my way, on a street I normally avoid like the plague just to see if they had it. I was honest to goodness making plans even though I would be spending extra money on gas. For juice that I don't even know what it tastes like.

I'm choosing now to make a public declaration - I will not buy this juice! I will not be disappointed in something I didn't even know existed until I saw the stupid ad. I will watch less TV so as to avoid the bombardment of things that will supposedly make my life better but
in reality will just empty my wallets and make me feel guilty.

Ha, take that ad guys!

Note: I found it, sort of, it's Tropicana Pure Raspberry Acai juice. And I'm not the only one enthralled with this commercial.

Note 2: Friendster Guy found it for me!