Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I Make Mistakes In The Form Of Shopping Mall Trips

I made a mistake, just four days before Christmas. I went to a shopping mall unprepared. I thought it would be fun to go shopping with a friend, who needed gloves. I had a $10 any purchase at Victoria's Secret. It was a Monday afternoon, about 2. What's the worst that can happen?

It wasn't terrible, but Jesus Christ, where did all those people come from? Don't they know that we're in a huge recession and that Christmas go canceled? It's fucking Monday afternoon, you all have no jobs, and you're out spending money?

My friend, who apparently has stopped his updating, and I ran into a mutual acquaintance.

"I thought, shit, Monday afternoon would be perfect to shop for my girlfriend. But apparently, everyone has no job and is just out spending the money they don't have."

Exactly my sentiment! I was there because I had foolishly decided to take a week off from big city life to see my parents. (I would have no doubt have been replaced at both my jobs if I wasn't so damned awesome for this audacity.) What were these other people doing at the mall? Aren't we on the verge of all being poor? Do you all think you're as awesome as me in that you'll be allowed to return to your jobs?

Anyway, it was crowded. The message: don't go to shopping malls before Christmas.

Top Five Things That Would Have Shocked Me Five Years Ago

1. Blur would not have produced an album in five years. That they have played a reunion show is a step in the right direction, but fall of 2003 was when I first got into Blur, and it hurts my soul that I got into at the end.

2. I am living in a Big City. I couldn't really see past moving out of my parents house.

3. I have actual jobs. In 2003, I had miraculously gotten my first job: paper carrier at the Southern Illinoisan. It mostly blew because I was sleepy all the time. This is when I first started skipping first hour because I slept through it. But it was the only job I could get. Its relieving to know now that with my last retail job, I sent in an application and they contacted me within four hours.

4. I have a boyfriend. This would have seemed beyond me at 17. After all, I read too much, talk to loudly, and am extremely uncoordinated.

5. I just restarted writing. I used to write all the time. I used to obsessively document the facts of my life. I used to write short stories. I used to be damned prolific. This blog is nothing compared to how much I used to write. Even the novel is almost nothing compared to how much time I spent writing.

That is my end of year round up. Excitement.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

James Monroe Sucks Hugely Because He Does Not Resemble Teevee Characters...Ugh

I've been having trouble coming up with a television character for James Monroe.
Basically, he sucks. Era of good feelings and all that kinda shit. I mean, he was president while some important business was goin' down, but other than that? What did he do? The Monroe Doctrine? What teevee character has a doctrine? What teevee character had good feelings eras?
Give me ideas. I'll keep watching shows to come up with the character he is.

In Praise of my Winnie Wagon

Isn't it cute? It helped me get library books returned, kitty litter from Target (35 pounds!), and groceries from Safeway.
I have joined the homeless and old ladies; I now have a convienent grocery cart to help me with my heavy items.

Apologies To John Irving

I have a fantastic memory failing with this book. I don't remember when I first read it. I own the copy above, the trade paperback, but I'm pretty sure I bought it after I read it from the library.

Key words: pretty sure. I'm also pretty sure I read it after The Cider House Rules, or did I read it before because The Cider House Rules was out of the library? I can't be sure.

One thing I am sure of: I have described A Widow For One Year as my favorite John Irving novel. I've read it several times, but again, my memory fails. I think I haven't read it in at least two years.

So when I sat down to read it again, it was a shock. This is not just my favorite John Irving novel. That is an insult. This may be one of my favorite novels. The beginning is too beautiful, so simply crafted. I was in awe of its brilliance. In fact, that's what the praise on the back said: "Wisely and carefully crafted..." -USA Today

And its true. My breath was taken away when I skipped to the last page and read the end. Its just so perfect, so fitting that even though I skipped three hundred pages, I still had tears in my eyes.

This is my apology to John Irving: I had not given A Widow For One Year its proper due. It is not merely my fave John Irving book, but it is one of the best I have ever read and one that I enjoy rereading.

My conscience is now clear.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Blur are to reunite? WTF?

I don't know if I believe this. I mean, I've been jerked around by these cats before.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Present: Jewelry

I can't get a picture of this, but Kristen gave me some sweet jewelry her mom made. The third of my pre-Christmas gifts! Whooo! Pre-Christmas!

Time Out for Cute Kittens

Hey Remember When We All Loved Of Montreal?

Friday, December 26, 2008

Veronica Mars should just stay with Logan Echolls

Okay, so I've started watching Veronica Mars. And I agree, on the surface Duncan Kane is the most perfect, sweetest boyfriend ever.

But this does not make for good television. He's so boring. Ugh.

But between Veronica Mars and Logan Echolls? There is television magic. There is witty, cutting banter. There is the thrill of the fact you know this is all wrong and it will blow up in everyone's face.

But its so good. Therefore, Veronica Mars should just be happy with Logan Echolls, god dammit.

Christmas Present Number 2: Tea Kettle

Isn't it cute? Dan had to look around to get a red one.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Literary Obsessions; an embarrassing list

A lot has been made out of this Edward Cullen character, the main love interest in the Twilight series. And really? I'm not that jazzed by him. Oh, he desperately wants to drink Bella's blood and totally fuck her brains out at the same time, but meh.

This is not to say I haven't completely fallen in love with a literary character before. It isn't even to say that I didn't have the nerdiest and most embarrassing loves. And most of these aren't run of the mill, either. I never fell in love with Holden Caulfield or Harry Potter.

For one thing, a few of these also have movies, so they've melded into a hybrid of what happened in the books and what happened in the movie. Bear with me. This list is also in no particular order.

1. Jason Bourne of The Bourne Identity

I read the book before I saw the movie, mostly because the movie looked damn intriguing. What results: a vulnerable hero. A hero who can't remember essential facts like his own name or what the hell he was in his past life, but still knows how to make coffee and kick ass.

Haunted by his own dreams. Et cetera. It really got to me.

2. Homer Wells of The Cider House Rules

I know I saw the movie way before I read the books. But still, the two stories have fused in my mind. In the movie, Homer Wells is an orphan, cast out by his mother and then second best out of two to the women he loves.

Totally sucks to be him. Still, his devotion was appealing. And if it were me, Homer Wells, you would not have been second best.

3. Sandy and Dennys Murray of Many Waters

For a long time, the only thing I knew about Sandy and Dennys (twins) was that they had a vegetable garden in A Wrinkle In Time. Ordinary twin brothers to the extraordinary Meg and Charles Wallace. In this instance, ordinary totally meant boring.

So what a surprise when I ventured into the bookstore to see that Sandy and Dennys had their own adventure. I read it five years after I had first encountered them. Set in biblical times (Noah's know when you accidentally time travel), the twins fall in love with the same woman. She's youngest daughter of Noah, not included in the bible...not saved from the flood by any account. After all, it was Noah and his sons on the boat, with their wives. No one ever said anything about a daughter.

Did my heart break a little? Yes. Did I love them? Yes. Was I able to tell them apart? Well, I mean, they are twins. That part wasn't my fault. After all, I still can't remember a fact that distinguishes the two characteristically. The were both noble and courageous and all the things that heroes are supposed to be. Occasionally they were in separate places. That's why its listed as both of them, because who could ever tell them apart?

And that's it. I have read so many books over my lifetime, but these are the only three characters that I ever felt anything the way those teenage girls feel for Edward Cullen. Only not nearly as much, because this is the first time I'm writing about it. And even this is embarrassing.

Snoopy vs The Red Baron

My favorite Christmas song.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

First gift of the year: bag of Ghirardelli Chocolate

Received from a resident at the apartment building I work at. Tasty.

Presidents as Television Characters: James Madison

Out of all the founders, James Madison is supposed to be the most boring. Too dull to have a biography written about him, until Lynne Cheney decided she would have tapped that two hundred years ago.

His writing style? "He has the style of an insurance policy writer," says Joseph Ellis.

The qualities we're looking at? He was short. And inscrutable. Who in teevee shares these characteristics and would be hard to read?

That's right. The midget from Twin Peaks. This one makes more sense when you watch it. Short. Inscrutable.

Tally Hall Videos! New Song! New Videos! OMG!

Also known as my fave Tally Hall song. But what is up with the video? Boys, you are pretty. You should show yourselves.

Like in this video you put out a few months ago:

Here is a new song too. OMG you guys should not be fucking around. You need to record this shiznit right now so I can buy it and fall asleep listening to it every single night and day of my life. Why are you wasting time?

Also: excellent job doing a gig in the POLO STORE. Seriously, how do you get contacted about that?

Jens Lekman: Postcard to Nina

Awwww. When he talks, its nice.

The Greatest Breakup Story Ever Told

Roger Ebert Loves This. Although I can't find the permalink for this. Apparently he published his gushment of the short film, then deleted it?

You can never tell. Anyway, a good retelling of the Ramayana always makes people happy.

Quite possibly going to be at the Overlooked Film Festival in Champaign.

[Sita Sings The Blues]

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Presidents as TV Characters: Special Edition

If the republic had begun fifty years before, would Ben Franklin have been president? He would have been someone. Instead, he's known as the wisest guy, like ever. Every quote you can think of right now is by Ben Franklin. Dude flew a kite in a storm. He was a part of the old boys club, except by the time American had rulers, he was the oldest boy.

He also loved him some womenfolk. He had illegitimate children all over the place. He loved France because the womenfolk let you do more with them. Even though dude was old, he still had game.

Who loves the womenfolk in teevee world but still gets (some) work done? Who would say something like, "When God closes a door, he opens a dress" ?

Damn that Roger Sterling! What with his mistresses, his cushy job, his mistresses, his leaving his wife, and his old boys club, he might as well be Ben Franklin. He has his own witticisms:

"What do women want? Who cares?"

"Being with a client is like being in a marriage. Sometimes you get into it for the wrong reasons, and eventually they hit you in the face."

Oh man. Dude loves his women and his old boys network. And his women. These two would have plenty to talk about.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Presidents as Television Characters: Thomas Jefferson

I've got to preface this post by saying that lately I've just been hating Thomas Jefferson with the hugest passion. I watched John Adams and Jefferson was such a dick to him. Yeah, sure, Jefferson had great ideas, but he was constantly undermining Adams while he galivanted with the French. Poor Adams was always getting undermined by that bastard and tried his best to keep his presidency creating the Alien and Sedition Act? Not the best move, but dude was desperate...actually reminds me of this other situation...

...when Jack was all, "We gotta stick together." or "We need to leave the island!" or "Lets not kill this girl!"

There John Locke was, fucking things up for the leader. Always doing the dick move.

Eventually, Thomas Jefferson was president. Eventually, John Locke leads the island.

Sucks to be both Jack and John Adams.

Sucks to be these people

Digital Transition Still Sucks

I wrote about this forever ago. The point? The public still doesn't know what the fuck is going on with this bullshit.


According to surveys conducted by the Consumers Union, a consumer advocacy group that also publishes Consumer Reports magazine, while 90 percent of the nation is aware of the transition, 25 percent mistakenly believe that one must subscribe to cable or satellite after February, and 41 percent think that every TV in a house must have a new converter box, even those that are already connected to cable or satellite.

Okay. Add to this the fact that every time I try to watch the digital station it gets all skippy like a scratched DVD. Ugh. I just want to be able to keep watching television.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

I hate this place!

At midday, it was five degrees. Oh My God.

I forgot that I hated this place. Its so cold it takes your breath away.

[Edit: Dan wants me to clarify "central illinois" as the place I hate.]

Top Five Songs of The Year (of my year, not music industry's)

Lots of people think on this list, but I don't follow music well enough to know which five songs that came out this year I really loved. Sometimes I discover (or rediscover) something in 2005 or 1995. Of course, this is going to be heavy on one band, because this year I really discovered one band for the entire year. Oh, yeah, I love Ra Ra Riot, Vampire Weekend, etc, but I discovered a band previously unknown to me that a a back catalogue. And the listening ensued.

1. Okkervil River - Our Life Is Not A Movie Or Maybe

Thanks to Kristen for giving me this album. Thanks to Last.Fm for allowing me to download this track for free.

2. Amy Winehouse - Rehab

An anthem for the night out. Played continuously while getting ready to go out.

3. Okkervil River - You Can't Hold The Hand of a Rock And Roll Man

I kinda love Marie in this song. The character. Anyway, this video is from the Canopy Club. I was told that he was sick during this and it didn't sound good. Lies!

4. Okkvervil River - John Allyn Smith Sails

The last two minutes. Sigh.

5. Vampire Weekend - Walcott

I think I only listened to this spring semester into the summer a little bit. It started with Kristen forcibly suggesting I should be listening to them. All the blogs were a-chatter with this Vampire-y Weekend. Staying in Saturday night to watch SNL with them on it. Et cetera.

Honorable Mention:

Tally Hall - The Whole World and You

God Dammit, guys, make a new album.

Merry Christmas from the auto makers

Andrew Sullivan explains the bailout.

Battlestar Galactica Season 4.5 Promo

Can you believe its been 6ish months already since we last learned anything new?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Presidents to Television Characters: John Adams

John Adams. Short guy. Had an excellent HBO miniseries about how much better he is than that douche, Jefferson.

He put his heart and soul into his work.

What TV character would he be?

Grey's Anatomy's Miranda Bailey. Short. Commanding. Gets shit done. Had a whole part of season about how much better she is than Callie Torres.

Puts her heart and soul into her work.

The second President would do well on Grey's Anatomy...staying out of the scandals that Callie was in (you know, marrying George on a whim, sleeping with Sloan). And Miranda Bailey wouldn't have loved the French.

Top Five Listened to Songs Since 2005, According To My Last FM

A long time ago, I was a freshman in college eager to define my musical tastes. So I got Last.FM when it was still known as audioscrobbler and everyone was happy. This is primarily heavy on music I was listening to 2005-2006, because sometime in 2007 it stopped working.

1. Wolf Parade - Grounds For Divorce

2. The Killers - Where Is She?

I actually have three tracks labeled this, so that's partially where the inflation comes from. Also because I would put all three of these tracks into an iTunes playlist and put it on repeat. I loved this song but they'll never release it because its based on a murder in Scotland, and the parents felt uncomfortable with it.

3. Wolf Parade - I'll Believe In Anything

Okay, I was hardcore into Wolf Parade. I used to play these songs over and over and over again sophomore year (2005-2006).

4. Elliot Smith - Say Yes

You know, like when you fall in love with someone and they send you a song that you listen to 60 times in one night? Yeah.

5. Saturday Looks Good To Me - Lift Me Up

Okay, this is technically cheating but there was no good recording of Lift Me Up (the only one was set to skateboarding, WTFuck?) so this is Alcohol instead.

Number One Youtube result when you search "Southern Illinois"

Yes. UFO's. So ILL on Youtube is best known for Highland, IL's UFO.

Posting over the next week...

I'm leaving my fast internet for dial-up for the holiday week. I have regular posts scheduled for then and I'll try to get to a computer any time I can.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Addicted to this song: Okkervil River - Lost Coastlines

In Praise of Lattes: how I'm even awake right now

Over the next week, I won't feel the need for that much caffeine. Oh, the fam will be annoying and pull me in five thousand directions, but it won't be me on my feet for hours at a time, wishing I could sleep.

The Chocolate Caramel Latte. Oh, how I bow before it. I have never paid for one. Ever. Usually when someone's training in the cafe, I'll request something. Before my knowledge of the Chocolate Caramel Latte, I would get Chai Lattes or Hot Chocolate.

I realize now I was wrong. Wrong wrong wrong.

The problem: these beauties, even for the small size, will run about $3.50. No wonder these sweet drinks are so elitist.

My second favorite latte? The Gingerbread Cookie. Third? Pumpkin Spice.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I Finally Got My Hands On Eclipse

Finally. They came into the store today and I immediately checked it out. This means that I won't immediately disappear from my family when I go home, just so I can read it.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

In Defense of Illinois Voters PART TWO

Okay, I've already defended myself and others in Illinois here. But what headline do I see on CNN this morning?

Commentary: Illinois voters should blame themselves

Can I get a What What? Yes, it is your fault you had a lack of good choices. The uninspiring Judy Baar Topinka and the slimy Rod Blagojevich. Keep in mind the scandal Republican George Ryan had created. Keep in mind the scandal Republican Jack Ryan had been in during the senate race during 2004 (that led to Barack Obama's election).

Republicans in Illinois have been sucking it up. Judy Baar Topinka needed to be the Barack Obama of the Republican Party to pull this off. It just wasn't going to happen.

Lets take a look at the article:

Still, most people assumed we were stuck with him for two more years. The tapes described in the federal criminal complaint last week confirmed what many in Illinnois had suspected for a long time. The real Rod Blagojevich has been running the state like a Chicago ward boss, according to the complaint.

Okay, first dude, its Illinois. Second...Illinois still might be stuck with him for another two years. Dude is refusing to resign. Thinks he has done no wrong. What were people supposed to do, oust him with a special election before his term was up?


Blagojevich won a bare majority of the vote in a three-way race.

No. No. No. Blagojevich won a plurality.

Check out the Wiki entry:

Rod Blagojevich (incumbent) 49.8%
Judy Baar Topinka 39.3%
Rich Whitney 10.4%
Randy Stufflebeam (Write-in) 0.5%

He goes on to say that Illinois ethics laws are weak, and that's why there's been so many problems. Blah Blah Blah. Who passes ethics laws? The legislators, who are supposedly part of this corrupt machine.

And he says it is because of a culture of corruption. That's were I think the blame lies, not on the voters. Rod is the fifth of the last eight Illinois Governors to be charged with a felony. That sounds like a cross party problem. How do Illinoisans choose if the only candidates who can raise money are the corrupt ones? How else can Illinoisans figure out who to vote for?

So, Dr. Kent Redfield, you are wrong. Wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong.

Google Adsense Round-up

So far, I have earned $6.22 from people clicking on adsense. In order to get paid, I need to have $100 worth of people clicking on advertisements.

I make roughly $.07 from this blog a day (if you roughly estimate that I've been at this 90 days). That means that in roughly 1,429 days at this pace, I will have a check for $100. Or, in almost four years.

Jeez. I'm a long way from making this my day job. At least I'm having fun while doing it, huh?

Monday, December 15, 2008

When I get bored, I look through Tally Hall videos on Youtube

Them on Craig Ferguson:

Impromptu concert in what looks like a college quad area (To Be With You):

Obsess much? Yeah. With a tinge of nostalgia. This was so college.

George Bush must've been great at dodgeball

For all George has done lately, he was super impressive when he dodged those shoes.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Puppies are cute! Ignore the old guy

I wish I could get a dog and then have other people house train it because I'm "busy" with running a country. Barack Obama, you need to get on this whole puppy thing so that you, too can get a cute photo op.

[Daily Kos]

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Growing Up Sucks According To One Polar Bear

Awww. This is a a polar bear named Knut who lives in Germany. Of course, this is a picture of him as a cutie pie baby. A sweetheart. I wonder what he looks like as an adult?

I bet he still wishes he was a baby after looking at himself in the mirror. Not only that, but he faces eviction from his zoo since he's too big for his enclosure. Life sucks when you get older. This polar bear proves it.

Friday, December 12, 2008

If you like Lincoln, Vampires, and Zombies...

...then you'll love Illini Film Video's d! From the people who brought you University of Illinois vs A Mummy.

Corny Post About Being Thankful

A woman had been wandering around the bookstore for more than an hour, looking for books. I had helped her find different things twice, and the manager had also been looking things up for her. She came in as soon as we opened at eight.

When she finally get to the counter, I do the whole cash register rigmarole: find everything okay? have a discount card with us?"

And then: "Oh, I read this last week." Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen.

"Is it good? I don't want a page turner. I want something that I can put down."

"Uh." I turn the book over and read the back. "No, I was able to put it down."

"Good, I'm stressed and I don't need anything else keeping me on the edge of my seat."

"Christmas got you down?"

"Possible foreclosure. So I'm buying all these books." Little laugh.

I'm not going to lecture on what a bad idea it is to spend frivolously while having money problems. Instead, in that moment I was incredibly grateful:
  1. I'm not in foreclosure
  2. I am completely living within my means
  3. I have a month's worth of expenses saved up in case I lose both my jobs
  4. I don't possible have to find somewhere else to live (what a pain!)
Its so bad she's watching the news to see if they will temporarily halt foreclosures. I wished her good luck. Several times. And then stood around thinking about how despite having a retail job and low paying concierge job, I am lucky.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

New playlist for winter

I generally dump all the songs I want to listen to into a playlist of between 100-200 songs, to give me variety but keep giving me the songs I want to listen to. God, I love my iPod. I haven't done this since April 2007 because I'd been working off an old list while deleting things I didn't want to listen to and adding to it. It was time for a change

This playlist is heavy on albums I haven't listened to before (i.e. the last two Of Montreal albums) and new favorites (Okkervil River). This is one of the songs I've recently loved:

(Note: I was going to post "The President's Dead by Okkervil River, but lets not tempt fate, huh.)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

In Defense of Illinois Voters

Soon after Rod Blagojevich was arrested, one of the blogs I read regularly, We Love DC posted about Rod Blagojevich with this choice passage:

The blatant “pay for play” and pure escapist’s collusive fantasy, it’s hard to take in without thinking, as my friend PJ does, that Illinois no longer deserves the right to hold free elections.

WHAT? So, the voters are to blame for Rod Blagojevich's mistakes?

I was in Illinois during the reelection of Balgojevich. Voters were between a rock and a hard place. Republicans are suspect because of George Ryan's scandal, plus Judy Baar Topinka isn't a favorite. Rod Blagojevich is pretty much universally hated by this point but is he much better than Topinka? It was the hardest choice any Illinoisan had to make.

It was a common topic of conversation, simply because people were bewildered. How in the hell do you decide between someone you hate and someone else you hate? Illinoisans were stumped.

Take a look at the election Wiki entry again. Rich Whitney, Green Party candidate from Southern Illinois (both tend to fair badly in elections), received 10 percent of the vote. This is better than Ralph Nader faired in 2000. I took the easy way out and voted for him.

Moral of the story: it isn't the voters fault. There just weren't choices. Democrats were sure to nominate Rod Blagojevich, simply because he was the current governor. Judy Baar Topinka is probably one of the more respectable Republicans but couldn't escape the taint of the rest of the Republican party (Sex scandal, anyone).

Oprah Should Stay Fat

Oprah is upset that she's gained weight. She's 200 pounds. What she doesn't realize is that the only person who really cares about her weight is her. And the media. The media loves this confession and has leaped all over it.

Huffington Post has a great article about this. We love Oprah, the article says, because of her weight:

Because if anyone has a pass on the rule that says women on TV have to be skeletal, it's Oprah Winfrey. Her heft is part of her appeal. It's an oft-quoted statistic that the average American woman is size 12 or larger. O looks to be about a 16-18 at the moment. And nobody's turning her show off because of that.

You hear that? Oprah, you have bounded past the expectation that women need to be skin and bones to be on television.

We accept you the way you are. We love you at a size 12-16. Its time you do the same.

My favorite lip gloss found in an unused purse

I love Victoria's Secret Beauty Rush Lip Gloss. It all started when I got a coupon for a free tube of it. At $7 apiece, or 2/$10 its hard to justify. I mean, its fucking lip gloss. I could do without the sparkle.

This doesn't mean that I don't have tons of tubes of it lying around. I've bought way too many of them. I know at one point I had a $10 off anything in the Victoria Secret and was able to get a two for free, and that during the Semi-Annual Sale they were cheaper than usual.

I found two unopened tubes in an unused purse on Sunday. I must have put them in there for safe keeping during the move to DC and forgotten about them. And finding them was pure joy. Pure, sparkly joy.

Hey, remember the movie Outfoxed?... Or, Fox News never learns its lesson

This was posted on Wonkette, and yes, its a hilarious video of the douchebag I used to call governor. But the thing that struck me more than anything else were the words out of the Fox News person.

"Just yesterday some people might say he sounded somewhat arrogant..."

Some People? Why not say, "This douchebag is fucking arrogant in this clip." I know that quoting this "some people" sounds journalistic, but it isn't. Its your opinion. Quit acting like it isn't.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I Am Not Crazy For Vampires

I am not crazy for vampires. They are interesting, I will give you that. But they're cold. They thirst for blood. And they know fucking everything because they've been around forever. They're tiresome. Boring. Bah humbug.

I still enjoy reading about them in the series Twilight. It isn't as good as Harry Potter. But I read a lot, and not all of it is high brow. But I enjoy me a good plot every now and then.

I read Midnight Sun today, the abandoned draft, a retelling of Twilight from the vampire's point of view. After it was leaked, the author refused to have anything to do with it. This is too bad, since with a brush up it could be just as good as any of the books in the series.

To sum this all up: I enjoy it but I am not seeing the movie. I like the books but I'm not going to petition the Publisher or Author endlessly for Midnight Sun or any other book about the characters.

Except for this blog post.

Presidents to Popular Television Characters: George Washington

It takes a particular brand of nerdy to say things like, "Oh man, Teddy Roosevelt was John McClane sans Christmas party! Kicking ass and taking names! Why don't they base a movie on him?"

That wasn't a spoiler, since this is the television character edition. We begin with George Washington, Father of our Country:

Pretty awesome dude. Warm. Non-threatening rebel. The father figure we all look up to. Who could he be in teevee terms?

Pretty awesome dude. Warm. Non-threatening rebel (to the white status quo). The father figure we all look up to. George Washington only wishes he had those sweaters.

Rod Blagojevich taken into federal custody! I didn't have to check the spelling of his name!

With a lower approval rating than Bush, this is not surprising. Everyone hates this motherfucker. Is it any surprise that he was in Chicago at "home" at the time? Like he's anywhere else in the state, ever.

Who's making the decisions for the state of Illinois? Oh noes! Illinois is missing a senator and a governor!


Honeymoon continues despite the fact it hasn't started

Leave it to CNN to be silly. To suggest that Barack Obama's honeymoon could be waning before he enters office.

The article then quotes some nobody as saying that Bush has been the equivilent to a National Disaster to many people. Hell yes. Now think about the fact that Oprah cried her eyes out when he was elected. We are a nation who loves what Oprah loves.

Recognize, CNN.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Werewolves? I should have seen this coming

Bah. It's called fucking New Moon so I should have seen this one coming. But there are werewolves now and most of the book (well, at least half) doesn't involve her love, Edward. Instead, its all pining away. And her trying to kill herself.

I'm most the way through it and I've already ordered Eclipse.

There's an article in Newsweek about how vampires won't die. Their death sure isn't coming anytime soon.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

New Project Coming Up!

I was feeling listless and dumb. Apparently reading isn't enough for me. I also need to be creating now, especially after NaNoWriMo is over.

Dan came up with an ongoing project in which United States Presidents are matched up with television characters with whom they share attributes. The criteria is vague.

Do you have an idea? Leave a comment. Send an email. I think I want to do this George Washington to Barack Obama chronologically, but that means I need to figure out who James Madison is. That may take some time...

Friday, December 5, 2008

Ra Ra Riot - Dying is Fine

This video was posted on Youtube more than a year ago but its my new favorite song. So there. Mostly the chorus makes me want to dance like I'm one of the Peanuts Gang.

Job Interviews and Thank You Notes

I had a phone interview today. Most advice suggests a "Thank You" note afterwards. If pressed for time, a thank you email will do.

This felt incredibly awkward. I mean, I had just talked to the person twenty minutes before. I had ended the conversation with a thank you. Did I really need to send a note? I agonized over this briefly. Will he think I'm needy? I mean, he told me that he wouldn't get back to me until Monday. Is sending him an email now too much?

I ended up sending a short one. After all, advice I had read on getting jobs had gotten me this far. It feels weird, taking so much advice from the internet and books, but most of it is concurring advice, so I decided to go with it.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

There Will Be No Christmas This Year, America

A headline on CNN caught my eye as I perused:

Jobs cut today = 20,650

I know the networks will place this in the "Too Close To Call" category, but seriously: no Christmas this year. Consumers can't spend if they have no money. If no one has money to spend, businesses will lay people off. Those people have no money and can't spend any. More businesses lay people off.

The madness will never end!

I have finished four books this week

Notice I say "finished" rather than "read." This is because one of these books I actually started on Thanksgiving (Thursday). So to be fair, I've only started and completed three books within this week. But that sounds a hell of a lot less impressive. This is also less impressive because two of them were Young Adult books.


I was skeptical at first. But I have read all her other "Tudor" books, beginning with The Constant Princess and ending with The Queen's Fool. Or is it The Virgin Queen? Anyway, I had read all the others and was resigned to this one.

It is a recreation of Mary, Queen of Scots exile in England. Not allowed back to her kingdom in Scotland, or to her in laws in France, she has no court but many follwers. Told from the point of view of Mary, Queen of Scots, and her two prison keepers/hosts, Bess and George, it is compelling, if only because of Bess. She has worked her way up from being a poor widow's daughter to a Countess. All of this is threatened by Mary, Queen of Scots who attracts Bess's husband George while emptying their treasure rooms with her needs.

Oh, the conflict!

Monday, I read All We Know of Heaven.

It is also the title of a Sue Ellen Bridges book I read when I was in junior high. That was a tale of love gone completely wrong. This book is the tale of two high school students, best friends Bridgett and Maureen, who look incredibly alike in pretty much every way.

So when Bridgett, reckless driver extraordinaire, offers to drive Maureen's truck because Maureen's leg aches on the way to the cheerleading competition...well, things go incredibly wrong. There is a fatal car crash. The truck crosses the midline.

The two girls are mistaken for each other. They look so alike. People expected Maureen to be driving. "Maureen" is dead and buried before the doctors realize they have made a mistake. Dental records don't lie, and chipped teeth don't repair themselves.

Major tear jerker. Very embarrassing to read on the metro.

Tuesday brought Twilight.

This one took the least amount of time. From the moment it was in my possession to the moment I turned it back in, time had elapsed six hours. Really, I probably spent three of those seriously reading the book.

Classic vampire love story? Yeah. Enjoyable to read? Of course. Inspiration to scream madly whenever anything Twilight related comes on screen? I don't see it, personally, but that's just me. I enjoy the read and realize why girls/women love the vampire love story.

The vampire is just a bit dangerous. He's beautiful. He bites. He's generally about three times as old as his love interest, and because he's a vampire, he's super interesting. There are probably very few people on the planet that would be less interesting than a vampire. And this vampire is interested in an ordinary girl/woman.

The interesting part to me was that the major vampire battle scene took place "off camera." Instead, there's lots of anxiety about this. But we don't see the action. This is primarily a romance. I'm reading the second one soon, but as it stands I've checked out three other books from the library that I'll read first.

Thursday (today) I finished Assassination Vacation.

This book is kinda up my alley. Or at least Sarah Vowell is up my alley. In my teen years, most of my family vacations were historically nerdy. I visited Laura Ingalls Wilder homes. I went to Gettysburg. The same trip as Gettysburg we visited Hershey, Pennsylvania. We toured the factory but did not go on the rides. Instead, we visited Hershey's museum, which had artifacts like his ticket for the Titanic (he ended up not being on the ship after all) and Native American knick knacks he had picked up. Hershey wanted to preserve history along with make sweet, sweet candy.

Vowell also mentions her favorite website, FindAGrave. I was obsessed with this website when I was a teenager.

The only issue I had was that there were no footnotes or endnotes. She does cite a few books within the text, and says a lot of the information comes from historical sites or pamphlets, but still. She knows a lot. How can I go back and replicate her research?

I have started Water For Elephants. Its the first NaNoWriMo novel to be a best seller.

Prop Eight: The Musical Version of how this will play out

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die

Thanks to Dan and Dan for this.

Please pay attention while you're driving the train I'm on

I ride the red line round trip every day. Its not my favorite thing in the world, but its passable. I read the Express, I do the crossword or sudoku, or read from the latest book I'm reading.

The night train is peaceful, but usually ends up picking some Metro workers between the White Flint and Grosvner/Strathmore stop. Last night, an off duty Metro worker is riding the train. This is usually no big deal and pretty common. Last night would have been no different except for one thing: the Metro worker propped open the door to the driver's cabin with his foot and they were chatting.

I ride in the front car because the red line in particular makes me motion sick. It helps to be able to see out to the track ahead. But today I was disturbed. A driver who killed and injured people in Los Angeles had been distracted by texting. A conversation with someone seated behind you cannot be much different.

Am I overreacting? Maybe. But I've never seen an off duty person chatting with the driver while the train was moving full speed. The Metro workers beside the tracks? The get on, tap the door to tell the driver they're on, and we're all on our way.

There has to be some kind of rule against this. I mean, the WMATA has instituted a random bag search to enhance security. Don't you think that focusing while you are driving the fucking train is also important to enhance security?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Axl Rose is a Huge Bag of Douche

Apparently, Axl Rose is pissed that Dr Pepper used the album Chinese Democracy for publicity, claiming it "ruined" the release of his album.

For one thing, if anyone benefitted from PR from this whole debacle, I'm going to go ahead and say Guns 'n' Roses did. I might be biased, but Dr Pepper is currently way more relevant than you. You should be happy this joke was made so your album could get the attention it did.

Plus, Dr Pepper made the people happy with free soda. Axl Rose, when you sue a company that gives people free things, you look like a douche.


He's Insane! Let's Give Him A Megaphone

Crazy man with megaphone in Dupont Circle: Give us this day our daily bread, so that we may be fed, so we can give head...

Excellent. Who gave the crazy guy a megaphone?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

On Hold With Angels: A Colbert Christmas

I've had the hardest time accessing this over the Internet, so this is only the second clip of it I've seen. Is it so hard to access because they want us to buy it? How evil, how capitalistically Christmas!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Things I Can Do Now That NaNoWriMo is over

  1. Read a book every day
  2. Redeem coupons for three free game rentals
  3. Cook more
  4. Stay up on the laundry
  5. Work more hours
  6. Sleep
  7. Watch more television
  8. Edit my NaNoWriMo Novel

Sunday, November 30, 2008

I Own The Cutest Move Of All Time -- WALL-E

"Hey... I know that guy! It's uh, uh... Wally! That's it! Hey - Wally! It's your buddy John!"

Yeah, that WALL-E. Bringing joy every where he goes.

Killers Album gets released; no one calls to let me know

This is what I get for not listening to pop radio anymore or following music blogs.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The District Of Columbia: Where Customer Service Goes To Die

Since arriving in the district, I have noticed a high level of bad customer service. Indifferent and rude workers, disappearing help, and difficult to navigate stores.

I was perplexed. Didn't these people want me to spend my hard earned money in their retail and restaurant establishments? I had been taught that customer service was more important than anything else. Did these people not get the same lesson?

It seems, however, people in DC don't want you to go out of your way. They don't want you to talk to them. They want their purchase, and they want out. They are embarrassed when you lead them to their item, or look excessively for what they asked for. "I can just go online," they say. "Really, don't go through any more bother." Or, "Really, I just want my purchase." Or even just a wave of their hand. As though you are an annoying fly.

It is incredibly isolationist. Okay, so some of the time people are trying to sell you things. Homeless people want your change. You've got a lot to be hard-hearted against.

But allow yourself friendly customer service. It's what we're here for.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends Reminds Me Where I Get My (Stolen) Catchphrase

Have you ever heard me say, in a strange childlike tone, "Sus-pic-ious!" This is the clip that made me do it. I haven't seen it in about three years, and apparently one watching was all I needed to do this over and over and over again.

(See Rickrolling post. I forgot about Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends mostly because I do not have cable and spend hours watching Cartoon Network. Anymore.)

Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends Gets Thanksgiving Rickrolled

This is so April Fool's Day 2008 of the Thanksgiving Day Parade. Insta-Nostalgia.


Let Us Eat Cake! Jon Stewart Turns 46

Happy Birthday to Jon Stewart, who made the last eight years under the Bush reign palatable.

George W Bush Sanitizes his hands after touching Pure Hope

CNN Reports:

Obama recalls shaking hands with Bush, who then "turned to an aide nearby, who squirted a big dollop of hand sanitizer in the president's hand." "Good stuff. Keeps you from getting colds," Bush said, according to Obama's account.

President Bush is to hope as vampires are to holy water. Without the hand sanitizer, he would MELT! Oh noes!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Time Travelers Wife MOVIE?

I've loved The Time Traveler's Wife for a little more than a year. I let my sister borrow it and never got it back.

I reread the local library's copy. It is beautiful. It appeals to my sense of science fiction (time traveling! can't control it!) but also has a lovely story of a relationship.

The movie rights were purchased by Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt's movie company. I assumed the project was dead.

It is not. Instead, it is slated for a 2009 release! With Rachel McAdams as the lead female role!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I have won NaNoWriMo

I am not quite finished with the story, but I achieved the word count. Excellent.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Ann Coulter learns that silence is golden

Is it fitting that someone who spreads such ridiculous nonsense broke their jaw and had it wired shut? Is this Aesops Fables?


Monday, November 24, 2008

Tally Hall! Headed into the studio! In January!

I have a need for new Tally Hall music. Hurry up guys. I might forget you. I can only play Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum so many times. Stop working on your internet variety show and make music. Please.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Ra Ra Riot - Can You Tell?

Kristen likes them. I quite like this song as well. Take a listen.

Today's Obsession: Ben's Chili Bowl

Picture Credit: alvaro_p-ff

This place is super tasty and recently had its 50th anniversary. Next time I'm going to have to bring Moist Wipes because the chili is super messy. For less than a second during the movie Talk To Me, Ben's Chili Bowl was flashed onto the screen.

Before the election, they had a sign up of people who eat free: Bill Cosby (No one else). Before the election was called for Barack Obama, the sign had changed to this:

Maybe we'll see them in there one day. The Chili Cheese Fries are excellent.


Perfect Fifths cover versus another Jessica Darling

That's the new one.

These are two of the older ones:

I still like the first one best, but the fifth cover isn't bad. Lets hope this means Perfect Fifths is awesome.

[Megan McCafferty]