Sunday, December 20, 2009

Valentine's Day, the movie

The first time I heard about this movie, I thought: "lame." When I read the synopsis on IMBD, I continued to think: "lame." When I saw the cast list, however, I wanted to give the trailer a try. I mean, Julia Roberts? Anne Hathaway? Bradley Cooper? Topher Grace? Jennifer Garner? (Of course, when I saw Joe Jonas on the list, I kind of recoiled.)

The trailer had me right up until the last 15 seconds, where Jessica Biel manages to ruin it. (Though, to be fair, it's not her acting so much as the line she was given.)



Really? We're still making "cell phone as vibrator" jokes? Just because the phones are now iPhones are Blackberries doesn't change the fact that this is a really tired joke.

...I'm still going to see it, though.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Currently reading and listening to...

A Widow for One Year by John Irving.

I like Irving, but he's kind of predictable. Sure enough, I got about 5 pages in and there was some weird sex thing. His predictability, however, also means that I have a good read to look forward to.


The Boy Who Knew Too Much by Mika.

Can't get enough of him.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Life List, part 4

This month is NaNoWriMo, in which people dedicate themselves to writing 50k words in 30 days. Anyone who has ever written anything knows that that is kind of crazy, that it takes incredible discipline to write over 1k words a day (working all 30 days) or over 2k words a day if you take the weekends off. I don't really have that type of discipline, but watching others commit to it reminded me that I've also slacked off on this blog...which does not require nearly as much writing, and therefore is even more pathetic when I can't manage to do it.

So, I'm going back to working on the Life List (I actually checked it in hopes that, in the time since I had last looked at it, I had accidentally accomplished something on it. I had not.), and here are the next 10:

31. Win an award for a book I worked on
- This could mean editing or writing...or copyediting...or fact checking...basically I just want some kind of award.

32. Create a lasting legacy at work
- Meaning, create something on my own that people will continue to use after I am gone.

33. Have a window seat with a cushion on it
- There was a show on when I was younger that had a family in it named the Torklesons (anyone remember this show?). One of the daughters was roughly my age and she had a window seat that she sat on every night when she talked to the moon. I was totally enchanted by it.

34. Have a backyard with a deck and a grill
- Mmmmmm hambuuuuuuurgers...

35. Live within walking distance of a town
- Preferably one with a dessert shop that I can walk to. Just to balance out the walking, you know?

36. Parasail
- Floating along above the water in a seat with a giant parachute on it sounds awesome. I suspect I will be terrified most of the time.

37. Organize an event for over 500 people
- I think this one actually has the potential to happen soon, which is exciting and also anxiety-inducing.

38. Meet more authors
- Authors are awesome.

39. Hire someone
- I should probably add "and manage" after "hire" since I mean at my job and not a contractor or plumber.

40. Read every book on the EW New Classics List
- Out of 100, I've read 25. That's sad.

Link to laugh at

Because sometimes the funniest thing is watching someone else laugh...

Colbert's Best Crack-Ups

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Go to Egypt? Check!

I always felt a little smug about living in New York City. It's big, it's exciting, it's filled with people and motion and excitement.

Then I went to Cairo, a teeming city jam-packed with 18 million people, all of whom drive like maniacs and want to know where you are from and if they can interest you in something. Their 24-hour stores aren't limited to bodegas, and people walk the streets at all hours. Suddenly, New York City looks much more like Omaha than it used to.

***

Part of our trip included a cruise down the Nile, during which we were divided into groups by language. Our English group (dubbed "Ramses" by the tour guide, Hamoud) included J, me, a couple from Boston, a couple from Buffalo, and a 16-member Indian family from outside of Mumbai: 4 sets of parents, 7 children, and a grandfather.

One of the temples we visited is situated on an island, and requires a boat ride in what looks like a sail boat with a motor slapped on as an afterthought. Ours was captained by a kid who could not have been older than 14. During the trip, I sat next to the grandfather, who had been quiet for most of the tours. We were all chatting about Egyptian culture vs Indian culture when he turned to me and asked a strange question.

"Are you an anthropology student?"

I am about 7 years past getting my Communications degree, but most people in Egypt assumed J and I were much younger than our 29 years. Still, anthropology? Nonplussed, I told him no.

"Is your friend an anthropology student?"

I again said no, and then asked why he thought that.

"You both ask so many questions and pay such close attention to the guide."

Ah, I understood. Unlike the Indian children, who (like most kids) only paid attention for the first 5 minutes of anything before wandering off, J and I had planned this trip for awhile, saved up for almost 2 years, and paid for it ourselves. We both find Egypt fascinating, read the guide books and wanted to know everything we could, get as much out of the trip as we could. He was right, we did hang on Hamoud's every word, stood directly in front of him when he spoke, ran to catch up when he charged ahead, and asked many questions about what things meant.

In short, we are giant Egypt Nerds. I'm not sure if that would translate, so instead I just said, "Oh, we're just really interested in Egypt."

He didn't talk to me anymore after that, but I spent the rest of the trip thinking about the short exchange. It reminded me how lucky I am that I could go to Egypt, and how it made much more sense to do it now than when I was much younger and more interested in looking cool than appreciating where I was. Now I don't care if someone notices how much of a nerd I am. I've earned it.

Monday, October 12, 2009

#1 On My Life List: Run a 1/2 Marathon

CHECK













I ran the Westchester Medical Center 1/2 Marathon on Sunday, October 11th. Initially, I was planning to run a 1/2 up by Albany that had a mostly flat or downhill course. It closed before I could register, leaving me to either find another run or not do one at all. After training for so long, the latter wasn't really a choice at all. This course was quite a bit harder, what with all those hills and gravity working against me, but I'm so glad I signed up.

First and foremost, I have to thank my running partner Sara for being game to run this with me. And also for being willing to pace me and therefore not make me feel slow at all. It was an awesome experience, and one that would not have felt the same had I been by myself. Also, it would have been much less funny, though breathing might have been easier with out all the laughing.

Secondly, I used the SmartCoach personalized training program available at Runner's World to get my body ready. There were a few moments at the very end on some hills where I really had to push myself, but for the most part my pace was smooth and even, and I felt really good. I owe that to my training schedule (and to sticking to said schedule no matter how much I wanted to just sleep).

My thighs still ache and I've got some wicked chafing issues to deal with, but I'm so happy to have accomplished this. It turns out I actually like running long distances (so long as I can run them in my own time) and I think this will be the first of a few 1/2 marathons for me.

Anyone up for the Brooklyn half in the spring? I'll take that resounding silence as a "yes."

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Life List, part 3

There are some things on this list that I consider "easy," because I know they are going to happen. That doesn't mean they don't involve effort or aren't important -- coordinating ANYTHING with my family is an exercise in patience, planning, and map reading ability. So apples and oranges stay on the list. Really, I should add "annually" to them.

21. Visit all 50 states [Though I have stepped foot in many states, I only count 15 of them that I've actually spent time in. I'm going to enforce a 24-hour and 1 tourist attraction rule.]

22. Visit Madison, Minneapolis, Portland (OR) [There are many American cities I want to spend some time in. Orlando is not on that list.]

23. Sew something well ["Sew something so terribly that no one will know what it is" was accomplished a long time ago.]

24. Have a head board and foot board for my bed [Can be homemade.]

25. Refinish something [Not wood necessarily, just taking something I own and making it new again.]

26. Make pickles [Dill, specifically.]

27. Go to Cedar Point, OH [To ride roller coasters, not just visit.]

28. Go apple picking with my siblings

29. Go orange picking with my siblings [A Christmas-time tradition.]

30. Publish a short story in a real publication [Hardest one on the list...]

Books I Am Thiiiiiiiis Close to Buying

This just makes me laugh so, so hard.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Crush

I really like the word, and concept, "crush." To me it connotes somewhat innocent, puppy-dog love, where it's more about adoring and being in awe than actually knowing and being in love. Crushes are from a distance, from down a hall, from across a classroom. They're uncomplicated, usually unrequited, and often times slightly embarrassing.

In college, "crush" came to refer to things we liked to a point of shy obsession. There were categories: "Intellectual Crush" for the really smart and insightful grad student teaching your Semantics class, "Book crush" for the characters in books that you want to hang around with, "Non-sexual Crush" for the person of your gender-of-interest who you adore and can't get enough of, but have no interest in being physical with.

Crushes of mine:

1) Keanu Reeves
From Paula Abdul's "Rush, Rush" video right up until Speed. One of the few people whose picture I actually ripped out of a magazine and hung on my wall.

2) Mikey in The Goonies
I've had a lot of crushes on characters specifically, and not so much on the people portraying them. This was a big one for me.

3) JK Rowling
I love the HP series, she's fabulously wealthy, and she seems really smart and down to earth. My version of heaven is a coffee shop where I get to hang out with people like her.

4) John S.
He lived across the street from me when I was a kid. The first of a long line of crushes on my brother's friends.

5) Calvin O'Keefe
He travels across the universe with Meg Murray and helps her save her dad. And he doesn't care how non-lustrous her hair is.

6) Alison B.
Taught a lot of my college courses. She was just so cool. She lived in Harlem, knew karate, was very smart, and not the least bit preoccupied with the rich kids in class. I sort of wanted her life, minus having to teach people.

Like I said, somewhat embarrassing. I could waste a lot of digital ink on the whole "characters (but not the actors) that I have a crush on."

Friday, September 11, 2009

Apple cider donuts = happiness

Things I thought while walking behind a very skinny girl last night, in the order that I thought them:

1) I would like to be skinny like that.

2) You know what doesn't help when trying to be skinny like that? Eating 5 apple cider donuts.

3) You know what makes me really happy? Eating apple cider donuts. Happiness FTW.

Life List, part 2

First off, I reread my last post. There are a lot of commas in there.

Secondly, #11 - #20 on the still-unnamed list:

11. Pyramids at sunset or sunrise
12. Boat down the Nile
13. Get married
14. Have a kid
15. Buy a house
16. Build bookshelves
17. Own a library ladder
18. Go on a multi-day biking trip
19. Go on a real back-packing trip
20. Visit Alaska

#11 and #12 are happening in Egypt. #16 should really be clarified, because I mean "from scratch" and not "from Ikea".

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Life Lists

Maggie at Mighty Girl has this amazing project going on where Intel is sponsoring items on her "Mighty Life List," which is essentially a "things I want to do before I die" list. Some are very simple ("Take [her son] camping"), while others are very ambitious ("Watch the sun rise over the Agean"). Or, I guess, more expensive than ambitious.

I often thought about making my own list, but, like many things I plan, I never got around to it. Recently, however, I realized that I'm about to do 2 things in quick succession that would have seemed impossible a year ago:

1) I am running a half marathon on Oct 11
2) I depart for a 9 day trip to Egypt on Oct 16

Clearly, these belong on some kind of list, and I had better start it before these happen and I don't get to count them anymore. Therefore, I have started my Life List. I'd prefer a more creative name, but I fear I will get so focused on coming up with a witty name that I won't finish making the actual list. Hm...maybe "naming the list" should go on the list...

I have only come up with 56 things so far, including these 2, but I don't want to add things to this list just to make it to 100. So, I'm taking it slowly.

Here are, in no particular order, the first 10:

1. Run a 1/2 marathon
2. Run a marathon
3. Camel ride in the desert
4. Safari in Africa
5. Ride an elephant
6. Travel to India
7. Cross the Canadian border
8. Cross the Mexican border
9. Have my eyebrows "done"
10. Sleep on the roof of a building

More to come in the next few days. Got suggestions? Leave a comment.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

From Lonely Planet:
Denmark’s hydrocarbon-rich economy is booming; it has the highest per capita GDP in the European Union (EU); literacy is 100%; unemployment is low; and its social-welfare programmes are the envy of continents. Education is free, and about half of all Danish students who graduate from secondary school continue on to higher education.

[Bolding is mine.]
Hm...Copenhagen 2011? Or should I just move there? After all, I'm pretty sure they're all as pale as I am -- I'd fit right in!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Librarians don't want to be parents

John Green is one of my favorite authors, partly because I like his books, and partly because I like him. That may seem like and odd thing to say about an author, but thanks to social networking and blogging, I feel like I get to know authors more than I did when I was younger. But that's a whole other post topic.

Recently, he referenced a NY Times article about how the Brooklyn Public Library handles challenges to the books that are on its shelves. Included are not only the letters that the challengers send in, but the response from the Library, which includes beautiful sentences like this one:

Librarians and library governing bodies cannot assume
the role of parents or the functions of parental
authority in the private relationship between parent
and child.

That text is from the ALA's "Free Access to Libraries for Minors," and is spot-on for how I feel about library materials.

The best line, and my favorite, however, is this one:

Librarians and governing bodies should maintain that
parents-and only parents--have the right and the
responsibility to restrict the access of their
children--and only their children--to library
resources.

Man, I love libraries.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I like my "offensive" material, thank you very much

While sifting through my updates from Publisher's Weekly, I ran across this story. Here's the gist:
Bills have been introduced in Utah and Louisiana this year that give private citizens the right to sue booksellers and other retailers for committing an "unfair" trade practice by selling "offensive" material to a minor.
There are so many problems with this, I almost don't know where to begin.

1) There is no definition of what material is considered "offensive." The Bill stipulates that the material would contain "sexually explicit conduct," but that is all the description given.

2) Unlike movies and video games, there is no generally accepted ratings system for books. Publishers can put recommended age grades on their titles, but are not required to. Therefore, booksellers have no tools at their disposal to guide them.

3) A 17-year-old is still a minor, but is a much more mature reader than a 10-year-old. However, this law would still apply to books they bought.

4) There is no indication in the language of the bill that the person bringing the suit has to be the guardian of the minor. It could be just some crazy lady on the street who thinks your 13-year-old should not be able to buy The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian because it talks about masturbation.

5) Worst of all:
The defendants in these lawsuits would have to hire a lawyer to defend them and could be forced to pay thousands of dollars if they lost.
Quite a blow to independent booksellers, especially those who stock a lot of romance novels and might be forced to abandon those lucrative titles in case they accidentally sell one to a 17-year-old, get taken to court, and end up bankrupt because of lawyer fees.


The good news is that a similar bill that was passed in Utah was eventually vetoed by the Governor, and the Louisiana legislature decided to delay a vote on the bill when they realized how much it would cost to enforce: $1.6 million.

Hm...let's think about the numbers:
The government policing what children read: $16 million in taxpayer dollars
Parents policing what their children read: free for everyone.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The point of Twitter

Someone asked me recently what the point of Twitter was. I made a joke about how following comedians is the only reason to join.

I'd like to change my answer.

The election in Iran is the point of Twitter: skirting around official lock-downs, fighting back against voter fraud, organizing protests in not only a town, but a country, a continent, the world.

Social media can seem silly and self-involved. But when we all need a fast, efficient means to communicate information that is vitally important, that media's built-in ability to do so suddenly becomes the thread that ties everyone together.

Monday, June 1, 2009

BookExpo America 09

A summary of my BEA experience, in the form of a list of galleys I got and can't wait to read (in no particular order):

Catching Fire
by Suzanne Collins (already finished it, AMAZING)
War Dances
by Sherman Alexie (excerpt)
That Old Cape Magic by Richard Russo
Spooner by Pete Dexter
Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby
Lips Touch by Laini Taylor
This is Where I Leave You by Jonathon Tropper
Downtown Owl by Chuck Klosterman (already out, but I didn't own it)
Elephants on the Edge by GA Bradshaw
The Day of the Pelican by Katherine Paterson (she wrote Bridge to Terebithia)
Between Us Baxters by Bethany Hegedus

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Recognizing a Right


Protests Precede Obama at Notre Dame
I think it's fantastic that students at Notre Dame were able to protest the President's speech. Speaking as someone who tends to shy away from organized demonstrations of any kind, it strikes me as a brave thing to do.

It reminds me of Voltaires's (or Evelyn Beatrice Hall's, depending on your research) thoughts on the freedom to speak and write. Regardless of whether or not I agree with the students, I fully support their ability to protest the President (and the government) without fear.

Long live the Bill of Rights and the First Amendment.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Sherman Alexie's YA novel goes on my "checked it out from the library and loved it so much that I will be purchasing my own copy of it" list. It's a long list.

Monday, May 11, 2009

You know what I don't like?

Axe commercials.

First off, this is just gross. Is that supposed to be sweat shooting out, fire-hose like, into people's faces? Blech.

Second off...no, I'm still twitching from the first off...move along...

Hey, Sarah Haskins, can you take Axe on next?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Headlines that make me happy





I like it when people pound the Taliban.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Banning all books

I tried to post a comment to this story, which is about the dismissal of 4 librarians in Wisconsin due to their refusal to remove material from the library that some found objectionable. One line in particular caught my eye:

[two] patrons...demanded that the library add books “affirming traditional heterosexual perspectives.”
Wouldn't this apply to any book that includes a male and female involved in a romance? Which would include about 95% percent of fiction. Libraries don't need to add books affirming traditional perspectives -- those dominate.

Here's a question: are they going to ban books that include divorces? Or that showcase dysfunctional heterosexual relationships? How about books where couples fight and then break up? Or have premarital sex? Because there goes all the Gossip Girl books.

Libraries exist for the public, which includes all sexualities. Boards should not have the right to tell people what they can and cannot check out of the public library, which is funded with public tax money. Responsibility for deciding what underage readers can and cannot read belongs solely to that child's parent or guardian.

Just because you don't agree with a book doesn't mean I can't read it or give it to my child to read.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Backpack

The new backpack arrived today. I went with the Hermit, and the accent color is actually white, not pink or purple. So far, it's awesome.

I lead a very exciting life, I know.

More apartment pix to come now that we have all our shelves up and the desk assembled. ETA: next week sometime, b/c I will be out of town all weekend.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Pirates

Pirates hijack American ship.

If this were a movie, this is where there would be a scene of the President going into the Situation Room, all angry and determined, yelling "That pirate scum has messed with the wrong country! Send all the fire power we have -- [insert cool names of helicopters and fighter jets that I don't know]."

I really hope that scene is actually happening. And that there are actually helicopter, fighter jets, and pissed off Marines on their way to take care of this.

After all, this is no corporate oil tanker. It's a ship carrying RELIEF AID. At this point, I'd volunteer to help fight them myself, but I have a feeling that our military would prefer I didn't touch anything that is explosive.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Backpack

I went with this one:

Egypt:

Booked!

(Busy day here, huh?)

Best industry to work in right now:

Gay Weddings

Seriously, moving to Iowa or Vermont and becoming a wedding planner no longer sounds crazy.

Best named company, ever:

Puppet Heap

What an awesome mental image.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Apt pix, finally

Before looking at the video, you need to read this disclaimer (though I think most of you will just jump down to the video, impressed that I was able to actually make one, watch it, get confused, and then say "Jeez, Karen, why is your apartment so messy and undecorated?" To which I say: read the disclaimer):

We have not decorated yet. Or bought the desk and new shelves we need. Or hung all the shelves we have. Or figured out where to hang the shelves we have. Or really finished unpacking. Everything in the apartment right now is, as we say in the biz, FPO -- for placement only. It all might move. Also, I have a lot of stuff to go on the walls as well as a lot of stuff I want to purchase to go on the walls.

(Digression: is it totally pathetic to purchase a poster of a band you don't really know and might not like just because you like the actual poster and the people who made it?)

So, now that you know, enjoy!

video

Friday, April 3, 2009

Opinions needed

I've decided to upgrade to a backpack that was NOT meant for a 4th grade boy. Here are the ones I am trying to decide between:

Ogio Hermit Pack:


- Cute, fits my laptop.
- Kinda sticks out a bit.
- MIGHT be pink, but I'm pretty sure accent color is purple.



Dakine Campus Pack:


- Plaid!
- Not quite as cool as the Ogio. Also, not as cool a name.




Ogio Chamaco Pack:


- Basic, simple.
- Kinda boring.




So?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Love Hate Elephants

(Warning: bad language ahead)

This is one of the funniest things I've read in awhile.


Also, an awesome word: "unwieldy." The word itself is what it means. It also makes your mouth do funny things when you say it. (Insert dirty jokes in the comments.)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I love this (and by "love" I mean "can't f-ing believe"):

We cannot attract and retain the best and the brightest talent to lead and staff the A.I.G. businesses — which are now being operated principally on behalf of American taxpayers — if employees believe their compensation is subject to continued and arbitrary adjustment by the U.S. Treasury.

— Edward Liddy, chief executive, American International Group

1) Last time I checked, docking bonuses for bringing down THE ENTIRE ECONOMY was not considered an "arbitrary adjustment." It's a very rational adjustment.

2) As others have said, these are the best and the brightest? Clearly not, what with the whole BRINGING DOWN THE ENTIRE ECONOMY thing.

3) I think I know a finance guy who is in need of a job. His name is EVERYONE WHO USED TO WORK AT BEAR STEARNS. Let me see if I have his number around here...


Monday, March 16, 2009

Should I buy this?

I love Gonzo

Propa-gaaaan-dhi

Went to see Propagandhi on Friday. Found out that they pronounce their name with their Canadian accent in full effect: Prop - a - gan - dhi. I have been calling them Prop - a- gahn - di for years.

The show was sold out and fantastic. The main floor was a mass of wriggling testosterone, with bodies squwanched together up against the stage, a circle broken open in the middle for dancing, and the rest of the crowd in the back just trying to enjoy the band. Then there were the people up in the balcony, myself included, who had a perfect bird's eye view of the band and the stinky mess of humanity below. I feel a bit too old to be down there, legs numb from standing on tip-toes to see the band.

First off, every single member of that band looks like they are all of 25. They're not.

Second off, the bass player Todd wore gym shorts for the show. Gym shorts! No hip, too-tight pants, no attempt at looking nice. Gym shorts. I loved it.

And lastly, they played Anti-Manifesto, which is one of my favorite songs of all times.

Friday, March 13, 2009

A more accurate rendering

Updated version of the apartment. Still not totally to scale, as I don't have AutoCad or anything. However, after measuring, this version more closely resembles the actual dimensions of the apartment. Notice how much smaller it is this time around, when I'm not drawing it from the idealized version in my head.

(Not shown in the drawing: my scaled-down decorating budget.)

Dickensian

I don't consider myself a Dickens fan (I only ever read the Cliff Notes to David Copperfield, Longest Book Ever), but I have a deep love for A Tale of Two Cities. This is partly due to the use of my favorite literary mechanism ever: parallelism (I'm sure my Mathlete sister would approve). It is also partly due to the famous opening lines: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..."

That pretty much sums up my life right now:

Best of times: new apartment in Astoria, moving in with Drummer Dan, less rent.

Worst of times: layoffs at work, benefit cuts, possibly salary cuts.


Less applicable is my actual favorite part of the opening: "...it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity..." I just really like the words "epoch" and "incredulity." I could probably write an entire entry on words that I like, but I doubt anyone would find that interesting. (Preview: "catalyst" and "sarcophagus" Bored, right?)

[Updated floor plan to come, once I figure out how to scale it in InDesign. I can't do proportions any more. My Mathlete sister is disappointed in me.]

Monday, March 9, 2009

A rough sketch, by request

Not the one we originally thought we were getting, but we love this one more. Not drawn to scale, or drawn with a ruler, or drawn carefully.













Click to see it bigger.

The solid shapes are things that are already there. The outlined shapes are things we will be moving in with or (hopefully) purchasing.

Green are doors. Yellow are windows.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Hunting Apartments in the Wilds of Queens

This weekend was long and arduous, but the results are worth it: we have found an apartment we love. Though it lacks the two things we really wanted (laundry and outdoor space), its proximity to the local laundromat and Astoria Park is close enough.

The apartment's real charm is its proximity to something more important: people we like.

...and the subway.

p.s. to The Drummer: eeeeeeeeeee

Friday, February 20, 2009

This month is too short

First weekend in Feb: up to Port Jervis for a birthday celebration.

Second weekend in Feb: back up to Port Jervis for more birthday celebration and family time.

Third weekend in Feb: Taxes. All day movies. Gym. Dan.

Fourth weekend in Feb: All apartment hunting, all the time.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Blogs I Love, Vol 4

Tomato Nation
I tend to skip the baseball commentary, mainly because I don't follow the game and therefore it reads like Greek to me. However, her advice column--The Vine--and her language and usage commentary are the reason I love the site so much. An example:

Re: Why we need the Oxford Comma
The function of language is to communicate; the function of usage rules is to aid in that communication, and it's clarity and accuracy we should prize...
An entire entry on punctuation! As an editor, you would think I would be passionate about spelling and grammar rules. Really, though, my true love is punctuation. Ah, nerdiness.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Books, Movies, Music

I just finished Schuyler's Monster. I had been wanting to read it for awhile, as I follow Robert Rummel-Hudson's blog, and have found his writing to be just what I love: smart, funny, sarcastic, and touching. The book is exactly like that, causing my eyes to well up several times while riding the B train to work. I also laughed out loud a lot, which might be even more embarrassing. A fantastic book. "Rire!"

Next weekend I'll be going to see all five Best Picture nominees in the theater. The tickets were all sold out at Times Sq., but Kips Bay still has them, and you can buy them online. I even gave up the $5 discount I was entitled to as a Movie Watcher member (card-carrying, thank you very much) and paid the $1.50 surcharge to ensure I got my ticket. My butt will be numb, my stomach will ache with popcorn, and my contacts will dry out. I can't wait.

Lastly, Julia Nunes is awesome. I discovered her through the Vlogbrothers, who are also thoroughly enjoyable. I was blown away by a video she did in which she layered the audio of several videos of her singing to create an amazing harmony. I'm in such awe of people who can sing. I bought her CD I Wrote These and have been listening to it incessantly.

Blogs I Love, Vol 3

Design*Sponge

Because it's so pretty to look at, even if I can't ever afford to buy the stuff I see on there. It has, however, given me a lot of ideas about how I plan to decorate my future mansion.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Employment

Any time I start complaining about anything to do with life, someone please remind me that:

1) I am employed

2) I am employed at a job I really like

3) I am employed at a job I really like where I got to spend my morning here:







I'm a lucky bastard.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Blogs I Love, Vol 2

Dooce.com is also celebrating a birthday today: Heather Armstrong's daughter has turned 5.

Reading that entry and watching the video, I started thinking about the next generation of children and how they will react to technology.

People in my age group are old enough where we remember the "time before the computer," but young enough where it's kind of a distant memory. We have adapted pretty quickly, embracing new technology and new ways of communicating with each other. I was in college when Napster blew up, and spent a lot of my time IMing with friends.

The next generation of kids, the ones who are being born now, are growing up not only knowing technology, but being in it. Some are having their lives documented as part of a blog. Their growth, their changing faces, and bodies, and vocabularies.

What will it be like for them, how will the approach technology when they are old enough to interact with it?

Hard decisions to make:

Should I go to Egypt for 9 days or 12 days?

As you can see, the 9 day trip is more affordable. However, the 12 day trip does allow me to break out my red polyester pants suit:







Tough call, right?

Blogs I Love, Vol 1

Happy Blogiversary, Brooklyn Arden!

Cheryl Klein has been blogging for 4 years now, along with being a guiding force behind the Harry Potter books. As an editor at Arthur Levine (an imprint of Scholastic), she has one of the only other jobs I want beside my own.

Congratulations on both the longevity of the blog, as well as the ALA kudos for A Curse as Dark as Gold.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Right now I'm...

Reading: Octavian Nothing II

Listening to: Julia Nunes, I Wrote These

Enjoying both very much.

A thought...

Could Obama please pick someone for his cabinet who knows how to fill out a 1040?

It'd be cool if the people running our government -- you know, spending our tax dollars -- knew how to actually pay their own taxes.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Fracture

Some movies feel like the writer or creator had a single idea and then built a move around it, instead of fleshing out a full plot.

In Fracture's case (SPOILER!), it is the idea that attempted murder turns into murder if the victim dies after the trial, and those are two different charges, negating double jeopardy.

Take that idea, cast Anthony Hopkins as a smart-as-hell bad guy, pit him against Ryan Gosling, and bam! Movie. But when Hopkins's character is built up as an incredibly meticulous man who has thought of everything, it's hard to believe that the flaw in his plan was his failure to realize that attempted murder and murder are two different charges, which seems quite an obvious thing to me. And I've never meticulously plotted anything.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Monsters

Monsters--cute ones--are part of my job, and I honestly can't get enough of them. Clearly, neither can this guy. The site is in German, but Monster humor is a universal language.

Link via Media Macaroni.

This is why we're friends

Last night I spent almost 10 hours hanging out with my friends from high school. I laughed a lot, drank a lot, and had multiple serious conversations.

Today I spent four hours in a cafe with my friends from my old job. When we weren't eating, we were laughing and talking and probably annoying the hell out of our waiter.

This is, as far as I'm concerned, time well spent. As much and I enjoy my alone time, I am focusing this year (as I did last year) on making sure I dedicate time to my friends. I used to find myself floating through life in an isolated bubble, not returning phone calls or keeping up communication. I miss a lot that way, and I'm determined to change that.

Plus, my friends are a lot of fun to hang out with. So: win win. Win.

Friday, January 30, 2009

I love bands

Two shows to look forward to:

Propagandhi and Superdrag

Both at the Music Hall of Hipsterville, which boasts some of the best women's restrooms I've seen at a concert venue.

Why pennies?

An explanation of the name of the blog:

1 - It is a reference to a part of my name. And no, my first name is not Penny.

2 - It is a reference to my salary. I work for a non-profit.

3 - It is a reference to the little things in life. They tend to make it awesome.

4 - It is a reference to the length of the posts. I'd like to write often without feeling the pressure to write a lot.