Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Old Times

Coincidentally, another music post.

Remember this?

And this?

Someone unloaded these in the freebie bin at work today, along with a few other assorted popular mid-'90s albums. I snatched these two up. I used to borrow these from my sister and my Dad, so now I have my own.

"Throwing Copper" is really only good for "Selling the Drama" and "I Alone" (I can't stand "Lightning Crashes"!).

But the entire soundtrack of "The Crow" is SO GOOD. I used to listen to the whole thing on repeat when I was in my room in middle school. Ah, old times.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Awesome Show

Last night, Neil and I went to an awesome show. Iggy came with us, but it was a sold-out show, so she ended up having other adventures.

I got tickets last week when I stopped by Black Cat to pick up tickets to Ratatat, the BOMB-est show there will be all year -- mark your calendar, 10/2/08.

When I got the Ratatat tix, I saw The Ruby Suns were playing this weekend. I'd seen them before at Black Cat and thought they were great. They're from New Zealand and are a lot of fun, and it had been awhile since I'd been to any show, so I got us tix.

Exit Clov, a D.C. group, opened for them, and TRS, who put on a great show, opened for Tilly and The Wall. I'd never heard of TTW, but I had looked them up and liked their sound, too.

TTW ended up being AMAZING. I didn't realize it until I read their bio today that they are on Conor Oberst's (Bright Eyes) label. I like Bright Eyes, so I should have known they'd be good. But they were really great! They were just a lot of fun. Any indie group that plays a mix of songs including "Give it to me" by Jay-Z while they're setting up is pretty sweet. They had great outfits, the two female lead vocalists/guitarists were attractive and EXTREMELY talented -- great voices, PLUS their percussion section consisted of a hipster girl on a little stage in the center of the main stage TAP DANCING. Yes, tap dancing!
Her little stage was rigged so her tapping came through the speakers, and it was pretty much the percussion for every song. One song even had a sort of flamenco feel to it, which was enhanced by the fact she was stomping away to it. Sometimes a guy accompanied her on the trap set, but it was mostly her through the whole show. What a workout! If you listen to their music, you don't really realize it's someone tapping, but she sure was and it was really impressive.

I highly recommend going to see any of the above groups if they come to your neighborhood. Contemplating this whole international move ahead of me, this is the sort of thing I'll miss. I know that's why groups go on int'l tours, but I know I'll also miss D.C.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Happy Birthday, Neil!

My very best friend is 32 today! I hope it's a great day for him. He is my world, and I want all the best things for him -- he deserves it. He is definitely the sweetest guy I've ever met -- he is both kind and he is totally sweet.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I got an e-mail yesterday from (edited) that began with that statement. It went on to invite me to join the September orientation and training class for (edited)!!!! I am SO excited!
I wasn't expecting to begin training until January, at the earliest. I definitely was not expecting to begin training so soon. CRAZY!!! The class begins Sept. 15 and is 6 weeks long, after which I get a couple weeks to tie up loose ends, and then it's off to some country I've chosen. They said I get a list during the first week of training of countries where they need people, I rank order my favorites, and then they let me know if I get one of my top picks. Neil has recommended Argentina or Japan. We'll see. Where would you go? I called (edited) today to ask a few more questions, and they told me they need people everywhere, so I will most likely get to go to my top pick! INCREDIBLE. Life is so funny.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Cocoa Tea Time

The best thing to happen to me all day.

Heard this on the reggae radio station. The song is great and the video editing is better.

"Well, this is not about class
nor color, race, nor creed
Make no mistake, it's the changes
all the people them need.
Them a-shout out,
Barack Obama! Barack Obama! Barack Obama! Woy, woy!"
-- Cocoa Tea, "Barack Obama"

Not Coming At You Live From Des Moines

I'm extremely disappointed. I am not in or on my way to Des Moines at this very moment. I couldn't sleep last night, I kept tossing and turning, thinking maybe I should show up at the airport for the 6:30 a.m. flight and see what happens. Tickets never dropped below $930. I hate the airline industry. I am really annoyed with myself for not having bought tickets earlier -- I don't know what I was thinking -- I seriously just forgot to buy them or something, and suddenly here the weekend is. And I'm annoyed at myself for stupidly using my miles for a fun trip! I don't like to not get my way, and I really thought somehow things would work out and I would make it to the reunion today. Instead, here I am, sitting on the couch at 9:26 a.m. Fri. and I am not on an airplane bound for Iowa. Arrrrrgggggggggghhhhhhhhhhh.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


I think I lost a little weight from all the walking around I did on vacation; much more walking than I'm used to with a car at my disposal. It's a wonder I didn't gain a ton of weight from all the ono grinds I enjoyed there. Which reminds me of another pidgin phrase I think is funny: broke da mout'. Like, something tasted so good, it broke (the mouth).

The weird thing about this possible weight loss is that my shoes are loose. What?? Since when are my feet the first things to lose weight? They're already skinny enough. Either I lost weight in my feet or Neil was wearing my shoes while I was gone, which I wouldn't put past him to do.

In related news (Hawaii, eating?), the two geckos we've had for a month seem to be thriving. They no longer come out and crawl the walls and ceilings, which is too bad. I don't know where Nubbins hangs out, but I have seen him scurrying across the wall to hide behind pictures. His tail is also growing back nicely! "The big guy," our unofficial name for the other gecko, has taken up residence in the perfect place: In the kitchen, under the stove and refrigerator. The two appliances face each other, and I have seen him run back and forth from one to the other. This is the perfect place, because that's where the roaches lurk. What a smart gecko! We have supplemented their diet with the occasional mealworm, just in case. But they seem to be fat and happy.

I am still eyeing the faint glimmer of hope that I'll make it to Des Moines on Friday. I never thought I'd be hoping to go back to Iowa!

I feel like I've been picking on Neil a lot lately. I am a horrible person! He is seriously the most patient, kind, understanding person I have ever known, so it is even worse that I am being such a brat. I had the horrifying thought that I am doing the "he squeezes the toothpaste the wrong way" thing that you hear about when going into marriage. I thought we were too old for such nonsense! And too good of friends!! Well, I don't know how many times I have told him to "please don't place flammable things on the stove" and "please don't cover the air conditioning vent with a pillow just because you're cold sitting beside it." Things I think are legitimate now but that don't matter in the long run (like the next week or, you know, the REALLY long (eternal) run). Well, I guess paper towels on the stove could pose an immediate threat, but I'm just being paranoid, because it's not on. Really, I think my problem is ME. He never complains about the fact that I'm totally lazy and I never clean our place and I leave messes everywhere and I do 1/4 of the things he does in 5 times as much time as he has. I mostly sleep in. I'm like a grasshopper to his ant. So I think I am criticizing things in him when I really am just insecure or something and need to turn some harsh criticism back on myself. Phew. I guess I'm the one who has some growing up to do. I like to blame my inadequacies -- well, on anything but myself -- but in these cases, I always tell him it's because he's older than me ;)

BREAKING NEWS: The President does not have a magic wand.
"You know, if there was a magic wand to wave, I'd be waving it, of course."
-- George W. Bush, The Rose Garden, July 15, 2008

Friday, July 11, 2008

I'll Take Iowa, For $1,000

But first: After I got back from Hawaii, I discovered that during my absence Neil's moles met with an unimaginable fate, which he dubbed "molicide," involving safety pins, dental floss and fingernail clippers. TMI? I'm really upset about it, but there's nothing that can be done now; they are definitely long gone.

The college newspaper that first introduced me to the wonderful world of journalism is having a reunion next weekend. The Iowa State Daily was a fun and awesome learning experience and place to work. I really, really want to go to the reunion, but I just started looking for tickets, and they're $980, which is INSANE. I should have thought of that before I sent my frequent flier miles on vacation. Oh well. I am still trying to think of some way to make this work. I would love, love, LOVE to go. We'll see if I can swing it somehow. I even got desperate and looked up Greyhound and trains. Needless to say, those may be more economical but are not at all practical choices.

I came up with an idea, though. With current gas prices, and commercial shipping companies complaining, why not start a "Trucker Tagalong" program, where you can pay to hitch a ride with a trucker? It would be cheaper than air, and truckers are totally focused on getting to their destination with no delays, unlike air travel. Sure, you may have to share some beef jerky and truck stop siestas along the way, but your bags wouldn't get lost.

This solution would be perfect for my (hopefully) upcoming trip, since I want to go to Iowa, otherwise known as the "truckers' crossroads." The world's largest truck stop is, in fact, in Iowa. Believe me, I've been there.

Unfortunately, riding along with a trucker could have its risks. Truckers have developed a certain reputation, possibly deserved, that could pose a hazard to a young woman such as myself. So the idea isn't perfect, but no transportation solution is without its flaws.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Back from Hawaii

Aloha! I'm back. It was great to visit Hawaii again, but it's so good to be home. As much as I love it there, I love Arlington way more. I've decided my favorite place in the world is wherever Neil is. Definitely the last separate vacation I'll ever take!

True to form, I don't really have any pictures. I lugged a 20-lb. bag of camera goodies out there and probably took 5 pictures. I'm too lazy to get up and download them, so they will be in a forthcoming post. It's always hard for me to pin down the feel of a place in a photograph. I guess that's what practice is for, but I was nervous to bring the camera around in HI, when I didn't know if we'd be at a beach or some other unsecured place. And when I did carry it around, I felt stupid snapping away. Alas.

On my flight back, they had the weirdest movie/TV programming.

For comparison: On my way out, from Dulles-San Fran, they had a mediocre Michael Caine/Demi Moore movie, "Flawless." Then from San Fran-Honolulu, of course my headphones didn't work, but they had episodes of "The Office."

But on the flight home, the weirdest programming ever: This horrible, horrible movie with Pierce Brosnan and the chick from "The Notebook," all about infidelity and adultery (is there a difference?). I think it was called "Married Life," (which is absurd) but I don't know, and it's not even worth IMDBing. But I thought to myself, "This is quite a provocative topic for this audience. I don't know if other adults are into it, but what kid is going to be into this movie, or even understand it? (And what kind of influence is this having?) What happened to the days of 'The Cutting Edge' (played on my first flight out to Hawaii years ago) and other light, innocuous, in-flight entertainment?"

So after that crappy movie, there was NBC in-flight news or something about the Olympics. OK, I can definitely appreciate Michael Phelps. And the highlights of gymnast Shawn Johnson, some volleyball players and BMX riders was cool.

But after that, they played some BBC program about China. First, they talked about the people and culture, which should have interested me (hellooo, cultural anthropology?) but it didn't. Then the program became more nature show and featured a series of animals native to China, like the panda, Chinese alligator, some sort of crane, a golden mountain goat thing, etc. But the weird part about that, where they again seemed to disregard the audience, was the AWKWARD moments where it got all Discovery Channel and showed each animal mating! It just seemed weird to have five TV screens down the airplane all showing this; there was no way to avoid it. Call me prude, but seriously, didn't they used to show episodes of "Friends" or "Seinfeld" or something? What's going on with the airline industry? Dumb question. After THAT, they showed an episode of the most AWFUL show ever, which makes me very glad I don't own a TV, because of the sorry state of television programming. It was called "Psych," and I'm obviously no TV snob, but this was painful to watch. It was soooooo dumb and the acting and jokes totally forced.

Um, so yes, my point is -- I have no idea what is going through the minds of the folks who select in-flight programming, but they've got to do better than this. But who am I to complain -- with a free ticket, I guess I got what I paid for.

Pretty lame post for just getting back from a great vaca, but there you have it.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

I Severely Underestimated American Consumer Product Development



WEEELLLLLLLlllllllllllllllllll, if you've got a MICROWAVE, WE'VE got JUST the product for YOU!!!!!!
This has got to be the most disgusting thing I've ever seen. It's so bizarre, I didn't even understand what it was until I put it in context with the frozen offerings beside it: Chicken Cordon Bleu; Chicken Stuffed With Broccoli and Cheddar.

Still, I've never seen a concoction intended for U.S. consumers that was so far off the mark. Well, except maybe Crystal Pepsi.