Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Quick Post Before The Chills Set In*

This weekend I visited some friends in New York and we went to the Natural History Museum on Monday. There was a special exhibit called "Mythic Creatures" all about dragons, unicorns, and mermaids that we were super excited for (but only if we could ride the unicorns). We tried to buy tickets for it but it was sold out and we settled on the special exhibit on frogs. The frog exhibit turned out to be really good (take home message: do not trust male frogs because they will eat your babies) but we still wanted to see the unicorns. Lauren pleaded with the guard at the exhibit entrance to let us in without tickets and he was nice enough to let us go ahead. Total letdown. We started to realize that you can't really make a great exhibit about something that doesn't exist - go figure. Anyway, I kept thinking of this video of Charlie the unicorn and all afternoon I kept repeating "Chaaaarrrliee" in my head. I have no idea where I originally saw it but here it is: Charlie the Unicorn

*I was in New York for some work related to food-borne illness risks** and flew home this morning. My co-worker who I traveled with just had her husband come pick her up after she started feeling dizzy, nauseous, and sweaty. We at the same thing for breakfast.
**I really wish I could tell you more about this trip - it involves Spiderman and a semi-retired clown with a gay ex-wife. I could not make this up if I tried.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

I See My Future

But not really. I think I'm going to watch this when I get afraid of turning into a crazy cat lady.
Video here
via Jezebel

How much do I love that she wants to meet David Duval? Infinity.


I went to a art/craft market in Raleigh at the beginning of the month and still haven't framed and hung my main finds. The photograph below will fit in a standard 16x20 frame but I'm not sure about the print. I'm thinking the upstairs landing for the print and above the washing machine (in the kitchen) for the print.

This picture does not do the photo justice - the walls of the buildings are a much brighter orange. It's from Gorga Photography (and here's a link to a much better version of the photo).

The print is from Wolfie and the Sneak.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Because I Got Yelled At Today

Seriously. A woman who works in our office cafeteria told me I was inconsiderate of others and thought only of what I needed. Validity of her point aside, that's a pretty hefty charge to throw at someone because they neglected to tell you the salad bar was out of ranch dressing.

In order to end the day on a good note, here are some things that have made me laugh recently.

This is from Tina Ballerina but I wouldn't recommend reading other posts unless you have an unlimited threshold for obscenity.
"Okay, here's a weird story to wrap up Friday's uber-post. A couple days ago I was walking home from Target with a 20 lb bag of cat litter. Some middle-aged Mpls hippie type pulls over in his van, which has a bunch of clutter and crap in the back. And he offers me a ride. I say no... So then he comments on the cat litter, pulls out an actual live Siamese cat from his van and hands it to me while he writes down his phone number. I swear to god, this shit only happens to me."

This is kind of long and pretty old, but it makes me laugh to even think about it. Make Your Own Pruno and May God Have Mercy On Your Soul

This cracks me up - not really because of the main picture or caption but the collared cat to the left.

I am not the only person with embarassing rips in my clothing.

Friday, May 18, 2007

"I was born and raised down in Alabama...."

Last week Heather linked to this article listing "The 25 Most Exquisitely Sad Songs in the Whole Wide World" and I spent most of my drives home this week internally composing a post about what separates a sad song from an "exquisitely" sad one. I was especially interested in the comments to the article and what songs people thought should have been included. Some of them were laughable - "Last Kiss" covered by Pearl Jam. I just can't listen to that song without cracking up - if you are going to include that then you might as well add on "Leader of the Pack" and all the other teen car crash songs from the 60s. A lot of people wanted to see Eric Clapton's "Tears in Heaven" and Gilbert O'Sullivan's "Alone Again, Naturally" on the list and it took me a while to figure out why I immediately disagreed. I think that you can't really rate the sadness of a song that details a personal tragedy (whether real or fictional) because then you ultimately have to decide who suffered the most and whose experience was "sadder." If you're going to do it that way you might as well put "Patches"* at the top of the list and call it a day.

To me, the saddest songs are those that either (a) invoke an unspecified feeling of sadness (not necessarily depression - it could be more of a happy-sad), partly through lyrics, but especially through music and expression, or (b) remind you of a time or situation that brings back sad memories (again, it could be more nostalgic than depressing). I put together a playlist of songs that, to me, are exquisitely sad. I wouldn't recommend making a cd of these songs unless you enjoy spending your time lying on the floor and crying. You probably won't agree with some on the list so leave your own sad songs in the comments.

1. Fred Jones Part 2 - Ben Folds
2. Lizzy - Ben Kweller
3. This Time of Year - Better Than Ezra
4. Going Away to College - Blink-182
5. Walk Home Alone - Cast Iron Filter
6. Black Metallic - Catherine Wheel (preferably the radio version instead of the somewhat bloated album version)
7. Withering - Cracker (I know this is a Vic Chesnut cover but I don't know the original version)
8. Grace Cathedral Hill - The Decemberists
9. How It Ends - DeVotchka
10. Lover, You Should Have Come Over - Jeff Buckley (a much better pick than the Jeff Buckley song on the other list)
11. Cautioners - Jimmy Eat World
12. The Velocity of Saul at the Time of His Conversion - Okkervil River
13. Wonderwall - Ryan Adams (so much better than the Oasis version)
14. Harder Now That It's Over - Ryan Adams (I could really keep going with the Ryan Adams)
15. The Background - Third Eye Blind
16. God of Wine - Third Eye Blind (I know I've lost all cool points with these last two songs but damn if the last three songs on their first cd don't get me every time)
17. Marianne - Tori Amos
18. Blue and Yellow - The Used (my inner 14 year-old paints her nails black and shops at Hot Topic)
19. Getting By - Weekend Excursion

Honorable Mention:
Empty Shell - Cat Power
Graduation Day - Chris Isaak
Raising a Man - Public Affection (this is Live before they changed their name)
As Bad As They Seem - Hayden

*Some of you may think I wrote this post just so I could mention Patches. You would not be entirely incorrect. If you don't know what I'm talking about just ask and if you're lucky I'll show you a little dance.

Monday, May 14, 2007


My trip last week was completely fantastic - the work part was interesting and I didn't feel like stabbing my eyes out, the weather was absolutely fantastic for our site visit, and I got to take an extended vacation - first by myself and then with two friends. I had fabulous meals and ate way too much fried shrimp. You can see my pictures here and I've posted some of my favorites below.

Also, we were at the beach when this happened. You can see my very own investigative video below. (This is the first video I've uploaded so it may take a while to work. Check back later if it doesn't!)

Nose in the Air

I am one of, if not the, world's biggest beach snob(s). Don't get me wrong, I'll never pass up an opportunity to go to the beach, but the whole time I will be silently tallying the pros and cons of each new beach and waiting to complain to my family that a certain beach failed to live up to my standards.

To me, the Atlantic side of Florida (specifically between Jacksonville and Daytona) is the gold standard for beaches. My mom grew up there and our family vacationed there at least once every year for as long as I can remember. The beaches there define the criteria by which I judge all other beaches. These attributes are, from most to least important:

  • Waves. Waves must be at least four feet and catchable. I see no point in going to a beach where the water has all the motion of a swimming pool. If I want to sit in still water I'll take a bath.
  • Beach structure. No rocks or sandbars. The beach must be wide enough that you can still walk along the shore at high tide. Sand should be firm and relatively shell-free.
  • Temperature. I like going to the beach when the air temp is at least 90. The water temperature isn't as important.
  • Crowds. The fewer people the better. That said, I have plowed into my fair share of wading toddlers and old women while riding waves in Florida.

Patricia and I think that it's easy to develop snob tendencies when all you know is the best. We compare our beach snobbery to the way someone from Vail might feel about skiing in North Carolina or the way a German might feel about Bud Light. To me, it's just not the beach if you don't have sand burns on your knees at the end of the day.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Heard and Seen

  • Multiple mating seagulls
  • Red billboard with single message across yellow banner:
  • Yard sign, half a state away: Love Your Bride
  • Gruntz Videos "The Video Store with a Twist" ...ewww
  • Outside a strip club: Bouncing Boxing Babes!
  • Discussing local accents: "What you gotta do, is you gotta go up to Island Convenience and talk to Mack Midget..."
  • Dolphins playing in the sound at our restaurant tonight
  • Quite possibly the world's most pathetic (and somehow happy!) museum - you know there's a problem when your main display is multiple nearly identical duck decoys.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Not Dead. Arm Attached.

So I think it's poison ivy. Just an odd, single dime-sized spot on my forearm. It looks like no poison ivy I've ever seen and I have no idea where it came from. I am happy with mererly disgusting rather than flesh-eating so I'm not going to think about it too much.

In other news, I get to work from the beach next week! Notice that I said work rather than "work" - I'll be in meetings all day that will make me want to stab my eyes out, but it's the beach! It will be warm! We will be doing site visits on ferrys! Our meetings wrap up on Thursday afternoon so I am planning on staying down there through Saturday. Come visit and join me!

This weekend I'm heading to Raleigh for a craft fair and to check out the flea market. I have a very poorly conceived idea of a project I want to make so I'm looking for materials and inspiration. I also need to finish or pitch my current poorly conceived project - a shirt dress that's in pieces across my living room. My sewing philosophy is more along the lines of "eyeball it, sew it, rip out seam, repeat" than "make a pattern, measure twice, cut once" so it takes forever to get anything done. I worked three nights last week and finally have the skirt part of the dress finished. I would never make it on Project Runway. (Except the budget part - the dress materials were $6.)

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Spidey sense

I was working in the yard this weekend and got bitten by something. I first assumed it was a mosquito since I have some stagnant water behind my house and can't spend a considerable amount of time outside in the summer without walking around in a protective cloud of Cutter (smells like the woods! repels mosquitoes while attracting mountain men!). It really started itching today and I realized that it might be more than a mosquito.

After talking to my officemate and a friend I made the near-fatal mistake of asking Dr. Google about spider bites. I may never venture outside my hermetically sealed chamber again after seeing just a single picture of an untreated brown recluse bite. Luckily, my flesh has not yet started to rot but it can't be long now. If you don't hear from me after several days assume I am wasting away alone in my apartment surrounded by hungry cats or have joined up with Peter Parker to fight crime. It may be the latter, as I feel tingly all over and have been jumping out of my skin all afternoon. (Of course, it's always possible that those are just effects of my lunch-time bucket of diet coke.)

Google did say that there were two proven treatments for unknown insect bites: Coors Light and American Idol. It will be tough, but I think I can work that into my busy schedule tonight.