Saturday, February 21, 2009

A letter to a few of my friends

Dear Dan and Claire and Jenny,

Please update. I kinda like hearing about you.


Friday, February 20, 2009

Frak it Friday: Learn to sew your buttons back on


Frak It Friday: Wilco Documentary Trailer

First Edition of Frak it Friday, where I post videos with minimal explanation.

Above, new Wilco Documentary trailer, Ashes of American Flags. Are they not over Yankee Hotel Foxtrot?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Sudokus mean a lot to me

The fact that this event happened at least two years ago does not quiet my fury over it. This is a disclaimer: I hold grudges.

I enjoy doing Sudoku. My grandmother, thoughtful soul that she is, cuts them out of the newspaper for me and buys me Sudoku books.

It was an eight hour closing shift, before I had become a manager, so I was entitled to all of my breaks: a fifteen, a thirty, and another fifteen. On my first fifteen, I ate a granola bar and did part of the Sudoku. It was a hard one, I was eating, and there just wasn't time.

Fast forward to my "meal" or thirty minute break. I go to the back, warm up my food, and settle down for my Sudoku.

Only my Sudoku has already been completed, and not by me. The handwriting is considerably neater than mine.

The manager on duty casually admits to completing the puzzle, saying something like, "I love those things and there wasn't much else to do back there."

This is how people get away with doing rude things: by acting casual about it. I, too, acted casual, as though I didn't think taking someone's puzzle and completing it without their permission was rude. And as though I didn't think that acting casual and not embarrassed was out of line.

He was merely filling in as our store had lost several managers. He later moved because he couldn't afford to live on the low salary (just $.25 more than I was making as a cashier). But every time I see a partially filled out puzzle, or when I was rushing to finish my Samurai Sudoku before lunch, I think of that bastard who finished my puzzle. Without my permission. And then had the audacity to act casual about it.

Another Meet The Parents Sequel, or, You Have Got To Be Kidding Me!

Ugh. I saw Meet The Fockers because I was being a good sport as the guest of someone. And was bored the entire time.

Hopefully I will not get dragged into this one. I think that's a good enough reason to hope that awful movies don't get made; you always have a friend who has to see it with you.

Started writing again... and other odds & ends

After nearly dying of boredom and getting inspiration while shelving books part time, I began to write a story again.

It is going okay. I am not as enthusiastic as I was for Nanowrimo, but I've definitely gotten a good start. I wrote 3200 words in the afternoon. Going for another thousand today, hopefully. Doing useful something in the economic downturn makes me feel a tiny bit better.

Today, I'm focusing on some different tools for this blog, including Google Analytics and Google Webmaster's Tools. I'm also trying to work with Twitter, but it might not be for me. It also keeps timing out on me.

Exciting blog business!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Curious Case of Benjamin Button being nominated for best picture..

...because really, it is not that good. More like terrible. And I like boring, let's-think-about-it-movies. I turned it off halfway through because I didn't care what happened.

This is coming from the girl who was riveted by The English Patient. This movie is not good. This movie does not deserve awards, or mentions, or anything like that. It is just bleehhh. That is all it deserves.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

My slow descent into listening to country music

I used to hate country music. A lot. It separated me and my immediate family from our extended family.

They all loved country music. Every single last one of them.

Then, it happened; I discovered alt country. Almost without me noticing it, I was listening to twangy guitars, melancholy and broken hearts. The only thing that reassures me now is that my family would hate the "alternative" part of alt country.


All of my friends were into Wilco. Jeff Tweedy, lead singer, was from Belleville, IL -- about a two hour drive from where we lived. Yankee Hotel Foxtrot became extremely popular when I was in high school. At some point, someone burned me a copy and I bought Being There and Summerteeth. It was a slow process, even with Wilco. Yankee Hotel Foxtrot is more alternative than country, and once I became a fan, I started to get into their back catalog, which is more country than alternative.


Oh, Ryan Adams. Rose to temporary mainstream fame in the days after 9/11 because of New York, New York. Nobody Girl was probably the most country song at the time for me -- an epic melancholy ballad of the most country "feel sorry for yourself vibe" I had ever heard. I listened to it repeatedly.


Unfortunately, there were no Youtube links to the most country song I enjoy by the Old 97's, "W-I-F-E" with this lyric:

"I've got my wife, the other women, and the whiskey killin' me
the first two make it so that I see red
the third one makes it so's that I can't see
If I had half a brain left after my debauchery
I'd give up the other women
and the W-I-F-E"

This is real country, complete with "woman" problems, drinking, and twang.


And then to top it off, I don't just have one country love, but two. Its true, both the Old 97's and Bright Eyes skirt around the country label, sometimes twanging and sometimes simply strumming with limited country roots.

But the damage has been done. For someone who once said, "I will never listen and enjoy country music," I listen to a hell of a lot of it.

I am not one of those people that says, "I listen to everything but Rap and Country" because I can't.

The Application Process: 538

FiveThirtyEight is offering an unpaid internship in DC for the next three months. I starred it on Google Reader as soon as I received it. Then sat on it and debated.

An unpaid internship at a point when my cost of living is the highest its ever been? Not even a tiny $100 a week stipend?

But to work for FiveThirtyEight, a widely read and respected actually be doing something that matters, that would effect people on a much higher level than temping and working at a bookstore. Plus, it would only be for three months.

As Dan put it, its cheaper than a lottery ticket. I can imagine this new life for myself, this life where I get this awesome internship and budget my way through it. I prove myself as an awesome reporter for the website and everyone has to admit that I have a way with words.

After that, Barack Obama wants me in his administration to write the White House blog. Or to do legislative research. Or even to enter data, because I am a fast, focused typist.

Finally, I'd be doing something I like: writing for a living.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Digital Television Switch still awesomely confusing!

Exciting! Everyone proclaims this a failure!

Or, "Not the government's finest hour."

Good enough for me. Someone should have made the post Superbowl special about how to make yourself digital ready.

I got cupcakes for Valentine's Day!