"What? Where else would I sleep, if not in the sink? That is made of ceramic. And is not soft."
Thursday, May 29, 2008
"that's a hell of a thing to do. I'm now picturing Tony Blair with McCain's face grinning as the house boisterously hoots until someone is passed the microphone. "Would the Commander-in-Chief care to address the heinous alteration in migratory patterns of the red-breasted grosbeak caused by the construction of a federally earmarked coal plant right down the street from where my mother takes her daily walksthankyouverymuchmrpresident?"
and there's more hooting. and mccain raises out of his large chair, flanked by his vp and secretary of state, opens up that large book like they have over in great britain, puts on his glasses, and cleverly remarks, "While the gentleman from Maine's mother may enjoy bird watching and other fine outdoor activities (more hooting), this project is vital to the energy security and stability of our nation in the face of terrorist threats."
That description is actually more awesome than pretty much anything else that has happened in this stupid election cycle. I can't remember if I have mentioned it in this space but I'm becoming increasingly disenchanted with the political process and thus have begun to wonder if I do in fact want to return to full-bore speechwriting when I graduate. I just feel like nothing is changing, and that maybe I'm just perpetuating the problem by helping these people put out the same spin, the same eloquent nothing statements, the same bullshit. I like the vast majority of people I work and have worked with (and those I don't like know it), but what I really want is a client or two strapped to the teeth and ready to burn the bullshit establishment to the ground. I feel we are so far from the discourse that American began with that modern American political society hardly even resembles its former self, and that's a damn shame.
I have started thinking about teaching - college level, of course...we all know how gracefully I deal with children - because in theory I could do that as well as some consulting and writing on the side. More to the point, though, I think that maybe if I could teach one kid to not be such a douchebag, maybe a couple more to abandon textspeak as their chosen means of communication, maybe that could be more important and more beneficial to the world at large than perpetuating a bunch of masturbatory bullshit in a deeply flawed system. I don't know. After all, that means a hell of a lot more school, and as we all know, I have a bad habit of going all ADD Theatre after a while, but I also love being smart and love being in school, so maybe the two could cancel each other out. Hard to say.
In the meantime, I choose to ignore the punditry and 99% of what the candidates emit, and turn instead to the Swedish Pirate Captain's much more enjoyable commentary.
Monday, May 26, 2008
Even though they are crafty (see Jacuzzi Jailbreak Episode) and a lot of the time I think they are just trying to lull me into a false sense of security by acting like morons, but the fact remains that we once dropped a ridiculous amount of money on cat surgery because Cady thought it would be a really great plan to eat yarn, and Flyboy runs into solid objects on a semi-regular basis. For this reason, I worry that someday I will finish cleaning something and one of those dipshits will come along and start licking chemicals, and then we will have to give Tufts another wing of the hospital or they'll fall over dead or something.
We use your standard array of cleaning stuff...Magic Eraser, Simple Green, Windex, etc., but I have been watching a fair amount of How Clean Is Your House lately and I am AMAZED at how much they are able to clean with natural products. I don't mean natural in the sense of the new GreenWorks line that Chlorox has out, I mean it in the sense of..."cut a lemon in half and smush it around with some salt." Because I am my father's child, I get very excited about these kinds of "nature is awesome and does cool stuff" things, so I am completely fascinated by the possibilities.
In toodling around looking for some suggestions, I found this neat website that lists absolutely effing everything you could want to clean with stuff you find in your pantry, and also found out that white bread solves about 99% of the world's problems. No, for real.
Coming soon: lemony freshness! And apparently also vinegary freshness!
Thursday, May 22, 2008
So anyway, the common sense approach to environmentalism in combination with the people who work there make for a really wonderful workplace environment, and I'm offering the Adventure of the Day up as an example.
The company is located in one of those corporate campus wonderlands out in the 'Boroughs, so there's a fair amount of wild life...deer, turkeys, any number of small critters like bunnies and squirrels, etc. There are also birds. Specifically, there is a family of starlings that has taken up residence in the area of an open gutter on the roof. Several folks near their area have been treated (read: subjected) to the babies' cheerful squawking for a few weeks now, and today they learned to fly.
...unfortunately, being birds, they weren't really bright enough to fly outwards toward freedom, and instead flew and/or careened into an interior wall.
So...what do you do now?
I think a lot of companies would call someone and just be like "get them out, do what you have to do," and the birds would wind up extracted or just fumigated to death or whatever, and that would be the end. Not here, my friends. No, instead, one of our field guys and a couple of the women in the office spent a good chunk of time carefully getting the birdies outside, which meant that as I went through my normal day, someone would walk past with a screaming baby starling.
What a great place.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
So here's what the Nice Macy's People sent me.
- DNKY Be Delicious
- DKNY Red Delicious
- DKNY Be Delicious in some kind of special edition
- DKNY Red Delicious in some kind of special edition
- I think we can all agree the DKNY people must be stopped
- Marc Jacobs Daisy
- Issey Miyake L'eau D'Issey
- Juicy Couture Juicy Couture
- Jennifer Lopez Deseo
- Emporio Armani Diamonds
- Calvin Klein Euphoria
- Tommy Bahama Set Sail South Seas
- Clinique Happy
- Mysterious "refreshing towel" in Bulgari Oshiboi au The Vert
- Izod for Men, duly assigned to Speed for testing
After writing that last post about perfume, I wound up talking about it with a couple friends and realizing that I'd left off a wide variety of perfumes, including Everyone In The World's First Perfume, "Love's Baby Soft," a seriously ill advised foray in to CK One (luckily every other 9th grader on Earth was bathing in this substance at the same time), and a handful of other minor flings. Interesting that some are easily remembered and some just slip the mind; one of the ones I forgot is on my dresser right now, and also came in this sample pack. With those holes in my memory, I'll admit that I can't remember everything and move forward.
Now, a couple of these perfumes I have worn, and I'll try and explain why I do and don't like them. I do not speak the strange, cryptic language of the people who write copy for perfume, so don't ask me to discuss "motes of plum" or "essence of amber" here...amber is a rock, okay, what the hell you people. God forbid perfume description writers ever breed with the OPI nail polish people.
What Sephora Says: "Launched in 1997, the original Happy is a lingering, multi-layered floral. Wear it and be happy." Notes: Ruby Red Grapefruit, Boysenberry Bush Flower, Hawaiian Wedding Flower. Style: Chic. Modern. Sparkling.
What I say: This perfume has never smelled good on me. It's very cute and fresh and my sister wore it (maybe still does), but it just never smelled right. I don't think pure florals work for me on any level...I'm just not quite girly enough. That being said, I think for people whose body chemistry synchs up with this better, it's an awesome summery perfume, and more power to 'em.DKNY Be Delicious
What Sephora Says: "A modern feast for the senses. Served in a sleek metal and glass apple bottle, this juicy fragrance combines the scent of apple with a sophisticated blend of exotic flowers and sensual woods. Like the city that inspired it, Be Delicious celebrates individuality with refreshing spirit." Notes: American Apple, Cucumber, Grapefruit, Candid Magnolia, Tuberose, White Muguet, Rose, Violet, Sandalwood, Tender Skin Accord, Blonde Woods, White Amber. Style:Free-spirited. Refreshing. Unique.
What I Say: Can we just get something out of the way? What in the blue fuck is an American Apple and how does it differ from European apples? Again I say to you - start stockpiling canned goods and duct tape if these people ever get together with the nail polish people. God. In any case, this is the perfume I own that I actually forgot about, which probably tells you everything you need to know about how often I wear it. I actually do like it in summer, but I'll also note that it comes in a REALLY COOL apple shaped bottle and I am extremely susceptible to shiny shit and creative packaging...that it smells good in general and on my skin is entirely a happy coincidence. It's a bit strong for winter...I believe winter perfumes should be less strong and not as bright, since you're more likely to be inside socially. That being said, it's an unusually fruity scent, and the apple is quite clear. Very distinctive, very clean, almost to the point of being sharp. This also smells really good on me when I sweat a ton...I don't know why this happens, but it does. I'm just saying.
Marc Jacobs Daisy
What Sephora Says: "Enter the world of Daisy: fresh and feminine, with a playful innocence. At the heart of Daisy is a floral with vintage edge: violet. Sophisticated, with a touch of whimsy, violet captures the eclectic, vintage flavor of Marc Jacobs' feminine, edgy designs. Always elegant, always enchanting - but not too serious - Daisy is a sparkling floral bouquet, spirited and fresh, wrapped in comfort and warmth." Notes: Strawberry, Violet Leaves, Ruby Red Grapefruit, Gardenia, Violet Petals, Jasmine Petals, Musk, Vanilla, White Woods. Style:Bright. Alluring. Eternal.
What I Say: My absolute favorite thing about this perfume is its versatility. Those who know me know well my fixation on being able to dress up or down my clothes and makeup, and I find that it's a bit difficult to find perfumes that can do this. I have almost always had Day Perfumes and Night Perfumes, and during one dizzying period while I was in DC (and living near a physical Sephora...ah, Georgetown, I love you still), had Day Perfumes that when LAYERED by another perfume evolved into Night Perfumes...it was complicated, and problematic. But Daisy is a really great one, and I think the effect hinges on how we approach smell and how it's affected by what else is going on and vice versa. I think everyone's tried the trick where you eat something while smelling something else and it all gets gunged up and weird tasting and such, and I think scent can work the same way...if you're in a certain setting, your nose will pick out certain aspects of a complex smell, and in another, other facets of the scent. Really fantastic, and I expect it to be fabulous for summer. I bought this for my sister for Christmas, and then when I...yeah okay I totally opened the box to smell it SO SUE ME, I decided to ask for it for Christmas, and Speed's Mommy got it for me. (Thanks Speed's Mom!)
What Sephora Says: *Juicy Couture's description of this perfume is a made up fairy tale of towering ditziness, and if you think I would deign to copy it here we cannot be friends* Notes: Watermelon, Mandarin, Pink Passion Fruit, Marigold, Green Apple, Water Hyacinth, Crushed Leaves, Tuberose Absolute, Wild Rose, Princess Lily, Tuberose, Caramel Creme Brulee, Vanilla, Precious Woods, Patchouli. Style: Flirtatious. Romantic. Precious.
What I Say: Honestly, I'm horrified to discover that I have applied anything to my body that involves patchouli, much less something that I LIKE. Ugh, just the WORD makes me think about dirty hippies. Ew. In any case, I love this perfume and recently bought a full size bottle of it. It's not as versatile as Daisy, but it certainly has good range and is appropriate to most situations not involving sweatpants or evening gowns...actually even the latter might be okay. It has distinct floral aspects to it, but there's a grounding background to it as well that almost has an oriental feel.
Those are the ones I know and have tried already. I'm putting the Armani Diamonds on the top of the list, mostly because in the commercial Beyonce is shiny (no typos or missing words in that sentence. Yes, Beyonce is shiny. Yes, that is the appeal)...further bulletins as events warrant!
Saturday, May 17, 2008
In any case, this commercial features an octopus doing assorted house cleaning kinds of things while talking about how she has so little time to do anything. Then, she waxes poetic about how now because of her automatic air freshener, she can save some time and thus conquer her domecile.
Now tell me this...how much fucking time am I supposed to be spending spraying air freshener around? I work, go to school, and do a bunch of other crap...I'm busy, all right? WOO TIME SAVING. Great. But of all the things that I can think of that would save me time? Spraying air freshener does not make the list. In what Martha Stewart world would eliminating your spray time save you more than about 45 seconds in a day, if you were at your most neurotic. But dude...if you're that concerned about it all, wouldn't your house be...clean enough to not need eleven cans a day of air freshener?
Can anyone explain this to me?? I was concerned enough about the fact that I don't steam clean the carpets on a routine basis, and now that I've found out I'm meant to be contributing more towards the hole in the ozone layer, I'm REALLY concerned about what else I could be missing.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Sunday, May 11, 2008
*Prof and Obnoxious Liberal Guy I Hate talk about how Nancy Pelosi would be running the show if Bush and Cheney get impeached and how that equals ew*
Prof: She's a nice lady.
OLIH: blah blah blah something about Pelosi
Prof: I'm just trying to get a rise out of Miss Brown now that she's here.
Me: Don't look at me...I can't stand that woman. If that's the best you can say about her, that's not...great.
Prof: Well, you watch hockey, how could you like Nancy Pelosi?
Seriously you guys, I hate Nancy Pelosi. As I went on to say, everyone expects me to think it's TOTALLY FREAKING AWESOME that she is Speaker because I vote liberal and have tits but for real y'all, she sucks. Is it too much to ask that the First Woman ________ be somewhat awesome, instead of a petty, no-backbone weirdo?
That all being said, I never really knew there was a pro-hockey/anti-Pelosi corellary, but I kind of like it.
The assignment is as follows: In what ways does Solzhenitsyn's The Red Wheel explain the accelerating process of Revolution without succumbing to a Marxist-style doctrine of "historical inevitablity"? Discuss three chapters from the work that both illuminate the unfolding of the revolutionary process and illustrate how different choices by the principal actors in the drama might have led to a different outcome (that is might have led to some other outcome than the eventual seizure of power by a determned dictatorial minority headed by Vladimir Lenin).
Amongst the Gulag and Wheel selections, we read a chapter called "Stolypin's Last Days." I pride myself on being somewhat better on Russian history than most Americans (NB - is no one worried about the sudden reappearance of Victory Day parades in Moscow? BESIDES ANNA KARENINA, that's cheating. No? Okay then.) but I had not heard much beyond throw-away comments on Stolypin. My final paper for the I&R course was a choice between several topics - writing about The Red Wheel, writing on Hannah Arendt, and making up a paper topic on an Alain Besancon book called "A Century of Horrors." I chose the Wheel assignment mostly because I enjoy Russia and am fascinated by the rise of the Soviet revolution, and also because I love Solzhenitsyn's writing.
Pyotr Arkadyevitch Stolypin was a Prime Minister of Russia. Not only was he a Prime Minister of Russia, but he was a Prime Minister fighting for economic reforms that included the peasantry in a time when the Soviets were mostly promoting the whomping of peasants. He wasn't all good dude - anyone who once had his name associated with a nickname for a hangman's noose is probably someone you should approach with caution - but the fact remains that he was a significant individual who pushed a fairly radical strategy for social and economic development at a time that Sovietism was busy starting its reign of face smashing.
So, interesting guy. On the one hand, I think it's cool that there are people like that out floating around waiting to be discovered, and on the other...dude why I have I not heard more about this individual? I know we exerted a lot of energy towards the SOVIETS BAD mindset but would it kill history to be all "PS not everyone was on board"?
Saturday, May 10, 2008
So off I go to the Internets, thinking about how awesome I am going to be when I track down that shirt and buy the womens' version and can spend all my time being sparkly and staring at myself. [Insert navel gazing joke here] And hooray! I find the shirt and it's awesome and WOO there are womens' designs...
Friday, May 9, 2008
Yes, I am very, very nerdy.
Obviously, this list will be scribbled out and corrected and done over eleven thousand times this summer, but here's the preliminary plan.
- Plants: conquer weeds in front garden, start back garden, buy machete to deal with brush in back yard, and do happy dance because the wisteria is planning to flower this year. If possible, burn backyard and begin growing actual grass. Transplant clematis to lightpost so it has something to throttle.
- Install outside outlet so I can plug in lights at Christmas.
- Go through every item I own and throw out or otherwise get rid of everything I don't need, use or want. Everything else gets organized.
- Get the eighteen tons of tailoring I've put in my tailoring pile tailored.
- Actually use Rosetta Stone and learn Italian so as to help GPA and graduate with honors.
- Finish Large Scale Top Secret Project in time for Christmas.
- Organize garage and basement.
- Go to Boston more. I used to head in there all the time and now never make it in.
- Go on more adventures.
- Learn how to actually use Bowflex machine instead of puttering around like a weirdo.
- Find rollerblades, clean bearings, put washer in gap from removing brake so jingling noise stops, replace wheels, and see if I can make it to school and back without being mowed down by elderly drivers. (Subgoal - regain fabulous legs of 1999-2003 era)
I have also developed a large and frightening reading list which is my own fault and will be awesome even if you think I'm a nutbar, to wit:
- The Third Reich, Michael Burleigh
- Julius Caesar, William Shakespeare (again)
- Richard III, William Shakespeare (again)
- Henry IV, William Shakespeare
- Henry V, William Shakespeare (aaaaaagain)
- The Case for Greatness: Honorable Ambition and Its Critics, Robert Faulkner
- Shakespeare as Political Thinker, John Alvis & Tom West
- Shakespeare's Politics, Allan Bloom (eeee!) & Harry Jaffa
- As much of Prof. LePain's EXCELLENT recommended reading on theology as I can get my mitts on
- The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
- Bel Canto, Ann Patchett
- Against The Day, Thomas Pynchon
- The Road, Cormac McCarthy
- Theodore Rex, Edmund Morris
- As much of my Amazon list as I can obtain via BookMooch
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
- "Dr. M is an IR Ph.D. Dr. D, too. Mine's in American shit."
- "It's like an ancient world in [the DMV]. I feel like I should be carrying a spear and wearing a kilt or something." -student comment
- "After 9/11, we were like 'bomb someone! We don't care if it's fuckin' Toronto, just bomb someone!'"
- "So, what Socrates is saying is that all these philosophers should be in charge, but they're all walking around thinking deep thoughts. So basically your ideal leader is Professor S (who is insane). *horrified pause* Wow."
- "This kid comes in and we're doing class, and he stands up and goes 'I've got a gun.' So I told him, 'John, sit down.' And he sat down. I told people about this later, and they were all horrified because I didn't call campus safety. But he sat down, so I don't know what the big deal was. He did it in his next class too and they called security on him and stuff. Someone just needed to tell him to sit down."
Thursday, May 1, 2008
The first "big girl perfume" I ever wore was this one, Dior's J'Adore, and let me tell you, I freaking bathed in this stuff. It's just another item on the laundry list of things my parents tolerated for no immediately apparent reason. They probably should have pegged my gravitation towards Dior as trouble from the get-go, but alas, no such warning bells went off.
When I moved to DC, I discovered two things - Sephora, and Demeter perfumes. Demeter makes perfumes that smell like...stuff, which I realize sounds incredibly indescript, but I don't know how else to explain it. You can buy a perfume that smells like tomato, or wet garden, okay? In any case, these were relatively cheap ($17/small bottle) and smelled like things I liked, so I wore Earl Grey Tea, Gin & Tonic (which I still have and use in summer), and briefly (and regrettably), Hot Toddy. Luckily for all involved, I'd learned how to apply perfume without overdoing it.
After the Demeter phase, I moved into a phase I was always concerned about admitting...the Jennifer Lopez Still phase. This smells SO GOOD on me, but something about J.Lo drives me RIGHT up and down the wall, so I always felt kind of weirdly guilty about wearing it. Non lo so.
After the shameful, shameful J.Lo perfume, I wore Benefit's Maybe Baby, which is a great summery perfume and about as flowery as I get. It's got underpinnings of oriental-y stuff going on to avoid the "Violets and Rosewater" crap that I hate with every fiber of my being. I would buy this again, but am lazy.
After my relationship with Maybe Baby ended, I ran back into the welcoming arms of J.Lo, this time to her Live perfume. In retrospect, I'm not sure this is really me, but I like the smell generally and thus stick with it. I still have this.
For this Christmas, I got (and gave to my sister) Marc Jacobs' Daisy, which I adore and smells like early fall/early spring school feels like to me. That is less pigtails and backpacks than one might thing, but it synchs up with what I am feeling about school right now, which is "I love it and am fabulous." Time does not permit explanation of why school equals my own personal self being fabulous, so just know that it has EVERYTHING to do with my ego and little to do with sense and reason, and THAT IS HOW I LIKE IT.
Marc Jacobs perfume number two...this one's called Blush and has it's toe over the Violet and Rosewater Line but I like it well enough. I'm not going to lie to you, either...as you can see, the box of this one is very shiny. YES, I totally bought it on impulse at TJ Maxx because of this. YES, I agree, that's totally pathetic.
There's a wealth of wisdom available on loving the things you hate, etc., etc., and all of it applies to my relationship with this perfume from Juicy Couture that I got as a sample with my Sephora order. I am wearing it right now, and I keep catching a whiff of it and being all "oh my GOD what smells so fucking good?!" That is some serious awesome right there. However. I hate....hate hate hate, hate Juicy Couture as a brand and a concept, what with the tacky-ass sweatsuits with shit written on the butt and what have you. So once again, we are back in the J.Lo place. Other things I love and also hate? Jessica Simpson shoes.
Whither the fake pockets?
I really feel like I am missing out on secrets here. I'd say about half the pants I own have false pockets - there is a full pocket lining, but the opening of the pocket is stitched closed. Now, the Esteemed Michael Kors once said on Project Runway that all the women he knows cut the pockets out of their pants. This I understand. When there are back pockets in dress pants, I cut them out and sew the opening shut, the theory being that I don't ever use them and thus the lining will do nothing but get gunged up and thus pocket-line-y, which is unacceptable. But why put a pocket lining in if said pocket isn't intended to be used? WHY?
I'm sure there's an explanation, and I'll put it on the list of Questions to Ask Fashion (along with "why do you think women who wear jeans ALSO want and/or have a New Look size waist? Who the hell has a waist that cuts violently inward six inches over a span of 3?"), but in the meantime, please know that the last goddamn thing I want to do in the morning when I have just heard on the radio that 495 is backed up is spend five fucking minutes rearranging utterly useless pocket liners and generally looking like a crazy person.
PS - Please bring back hats.