Ok, here's a weird one.
As I mentioned before, and as you all are aware of if you blog, we bloggers get many emails from companies and organizations asking us to mention them on our blog for marketing purposes, sometimes with a free prize as incentive. I am not so big on doing that, but maybe that's because no company that I really actually liked has ever asked me. Do you hear me, Anthropologie? How about you, Lola Pop shoe store? I'll even take you, Trophy Cupcakes.
But no. I always seem to get asked by a place that I really have no interest in promoting. The other day, I got an email from a cable network, asking me to promote a series they are doing on shark attacks. I have no idea why I would do that. Really, I'm asking. Why would I do that? Normally, I would delete the email before even reading the whole thing, but for some reason I skimmed this one. And then I got to this line.
"We’ve been building incredible excitement for this annual event with a breakthrough online marketing campaign that’s been generating great buzz. Many bloggers received their own personalized shark story in a custom bottle which contained the artifacts of an imaginary shark attack."
What...the hell...does THAT mean?
So many questions. They are sending bloggers their own personalized shark story? Like, personalized how? A shark story where they insert my name as the victim of a shark attack? Why would I want that? "The shark tore at Librarian Girl's leg until it ripped off of her body..." I mean, yikes. Or maybe it's personalized like I am the shark? And the victim is a person of my choice? That's better, but still. "Librarian Girl stalked her prey with steely resolve. Sean Hannity paddled along on his surfboard, never suspecting that his face was about to be a distant memory..."
They put the personalized shark story, whatever that is, into a custom bottle. A custom bottle? How exactly is it custom, I wonder?
But then, my favorite part. The custom bottle, which, at one time or another, in the past, contained an artifact of an imaginary shark attack.
Let us ruminate on what such an artifact might be. What sort of artifact would result from an imaginary shark attack? An imaginary shark tooth? An imaginary spattering of blood? An imaginary shark turd? An imaginary hospital bill?
But it doesn't matter what that artifact is, because that statement is written in past tense. You are not getting the artifact. You are getting a bottle which ONCE HELD that artifact. So- do they tell you what that artifact was? And how do you know it was really once there?
It can't really be there, though, can it? Because it is from an imaginary event. So wouldn't the artifact, too, be imaginary?
Wait, I just read it again, and it says artifacts. Plural. Not just one thing that once lived in that custom bottle. Two things. Perhaps more. Things that they removed, and replaced with a copy of your own personalized shark story. Because if you had a choice between artifacts of something imaginary and a personalized shark story, then you would choose the shark story, right? I mean, duh. And if you didn't choose that, and you decided you really wanted the artifacts, too frickin' bad. They have removed them.
I almost want to advertise this show just so I can get my hands on what this could be.
Ok, here's a weird one.
My outdoor thermostat reads 104 degrees in my city today. I fear all of my friends will just be puddles of water by the end of the day, like Frosty the Snowman was at the end of that Christmas special. (And how messed up was that cartoon, by the way? Merry Christmas kids! Your friend will die when the season is over. Ho ho ho!) I will be fine though. There is a reason that my friends used to sing "Cold Hearted Snake" to me in high school. And it wasn't because I was a loverboy at play.
Our house, can I just brag to you please, is so pleasant, temperature-wise. All that energy-saving, insulating, eco housing mumbo jumbo that Nordic Boy is always spouting off about? OMG, it TOTES WORKS, you guys. It is a frickin' inferno outside, but in our house, it is easy breezy beautiful, no AC required. It's a lovely thing.
So yesterday, I had a meeting across town. My job often requires that I be pretty mobile- it is not unusual for me to have to be in two, maybe three different locations within the course of my day. Nordic Boy's job is the same way. This requires us to drive a lot more than either of us cares to. I am not a big fan of driving. I would much rather walk, or bike, or ride public transportation. Driving somewhere is at the bottom of my list of preferences (although I do love me a road trip). But because I have to get places in a timely manner, I have to drive. Yesterday morning, as I was getting ready to drive across town, I thought to myself "what if my car crapped out? Wouldn't that be a kick in the balls?" I drove to my meeting, and then afterward, I got in my car, and it refused to start. Dudes, I totally did that with MY MIND, I just know it. I thought about my car crapping out, and then it did. It was like The Secret! Oprah was right! Although, I think the point of The Secret is to think about something good happening and then that happens to you. Which is bullshit because I think about winning the lottery almost daily and that shit has not come to pass. So I guess my forte is to to do The Secret in reverse. Just my luck.
In other news, I have rediscovered popsicles. I hadn't had a popsicle since I was a wee lass, and I bought some the other day, and oh my god, popsicles kind of rock. Why are there not popsicle boutiques? We've got the trendy cupcake stores, and the upscale doughnuts, and hand dipped ice cream, and gelato, and now custard. We need popsicle stands! I demand popsicle stands! (I get very bossy when it comes to popsicles).
That's about it. Oh hey, did I ever show this to you? It's a table top sculpture that I saw at a flea market. Aren't you shocked that I didn't buy this?
My favorite part is the guy coming out of the bathroom zipping up his fly.
1. This week, the week after the Hallowed and Angelic Vacation of '09, has been sort of crap in terms of working. The downside of going on vacation is that things pile up while you've been gone. And although I know I will catch up, at this point I feel like my skull is being crushed by the weight of my to-do lists.
2. Sorry to bring up my stupid dance show favorite again, but last week on SYTYCD, they inexplicably brought Katie Holmes on the show to do a song and dance. Why? Why was Katie Holmes all of a sudden on the show? Can Katie Holmes dance? No, she can't, it turns out. She perhaps thinks she can dance, so I guess that goes with the title of the show. She did this number where she totally lip synced and marched around for a few minutes with jazz hands and a few poses thrown in. Why, on a show whose whole purpose is to illustrate artistry and skill, would you bring on Katie Holmes to make a mockery of the whole thing? THIS HEARTILY IRRITATED ME. And also, I think I need to stop taking this show so seriously, what do you think?
3. It is up into the 90s this week. I am pretty sure I am the only person in all of Seattle that is happy about this.
4. I went to see the Harry Potter movie. Does anyone else laugh in a very immature manner whenever they do the quidditch scenes, as Nordic Boy and I do? If you don't know what could be so funny about quidditch, then you are far too mature and I am far too embarrassed by us to explain it to you.
5. I have been looking for a sideboard for a long while now. (Sideboard? Credenza? Cabinet? Whatever the hell it's called. Something within which one puts crap inside). I really have wanted a Matthew Hilton Cross sideboard. I look at photos of it and I want to lie across it and hug it in rapture. However, this may shock you but I don't have $3,000 to drop on buying a piece of furniture such as that one. So then I started trolling vintage furniture stores in the hopes of finding something similar. I've looked for over a year now. Still, too much dough, even for something that I could refinish myself (meaning, in the parlance of my house, that Nordic Boy would refinish it. Just in case you don't speak my language). Finally, I found something I could live with from West Elm. It was $800. Yesterday? We went to Ikea. And found something that I could live with for $150. I got the Ikea one. That sound you are hearing? To quote Death Cab: this is the sound of settling. Pah paaah, pah paaah. Still, it's pretty, right? Sort of? (And please don't look up the Matthew Hilton one before answering this question or your answer might be all askew).
6. I ate two most awesome things this weekend. One was this.
Porcini mushroom tarlets.
The other was this.
Pancakes from a spray can.
I am hard pressed to choose which of these was more awesome.
There is all kinds of crap saved up on the Tivo since we have been gone for two weeks. Now is the time to catch up on things that will make my brain rot. Last night, I watched Tori and Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood. Ok, so I watched three episodes, if you must know. When someone watches tv in my house, the other person in the house has to be aware of it, even if they are doing something else, because our house just ain't that big. So Nordic Boy is half-watching this shite whether he likes it or not.
Here's how it went.
(Sad music, sad Dean face, tears from Tori)
Nordic Boy: What's wrong? Are they breaking up?
Him: Their kids ok?
Me: Yeah. Everything's fine.
Him: So what's the problem?
Me: See, Dean has motorcycles. Tori doesn't like his motorcycles. So Dean has to give up his motorcycles. He's really sad about it.
Him: Wow. I'm surprised he can function.
(Tense music, Tori in tears, Dean looks worried)
Nordic Boy: What's happening this time?
Me: Tori is throwing a party for her kid. The party planner and her friends messed up the ice sculptures, and now there is mud in her backyard.
Nordic Boy: And?
Me: That's all.
Nordic Boy: She's crying?
Nordic Boy: Oh.
Still later, and I turn around to see that Nordic Boy has put his book down and is full on watching. I don't say anything about this.
(Silent watching, silent watching, silent watching)
Nordic Boy: You know what I think their problem is?
Him: I just don't think they have the BALLS to be rich.
Him: They just don't seem to be able to handle themselves. They just can't take it. It's too much pressure for them.
Me: You could do better, I suppose?
Him: Are you kidding? We would rock being rich!
Him: Although a melted ice sculpture IS pretty sad.
Me: Tragic, really.
Him: Hand me the tissues.
Being sarcastic? About Tori and Dean? Do we have hearts of stone?
The other day, Pop Quiz Kid blogged about our blog friend meet-up. In this post, she referred to Nordic Boy and I as "the Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward of the internet."
Call me easily flattered, but this compliment put me in a good mood for at least 48 hours straight. Ok, maybe the buzz is still going. That is such a kind thing to say. And fook yeah I am going to eat that shit up, no question. What I am about to say will prolly make you think I am a horrible person, but I am not one to feel embarrassed by a compliment. I just think they are nice, and I don't get them very often, which I don't think is unusual, because people aren't usually of the awesomeness caliber that Pop Quiz Kid is. So if you want to say something nice about me, I WILL TAKE THAT. I won't duck my head or feel weird about it. I will say thanks and skip to my lou. Or is that loo? I would rather it be skipping to my lou. I imagine myself skipping toward Mr. Lou Grant from the Mary Tyler Moore Show. Much better than skipping to my loo, which is just a fancy word for the crapper. Although skipping to Mr. Grant is sort of creepy, I suppose. Why would you skip to him?
I don't go around tooting my own horn about a compliment I have received (except, uh, right now, to the interwebs), but I had to tell Nordic Boy about that one, as the compliment was to him too.
Me: Pop Quiz Kid said that we were like Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward.
Him: Because we make spaghetti sauce for charity?
Me: We don't make spaghetti sauce for charity.
Him: So you're saying the comparison makes no sense.
Me: No. I'm saying: wasn't that a kind thing to say?
Him: So... we're old? Because, they were famous for being together for a long time. Until they were old.
Me: No. We are, you know... Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward-esque. Power coupley.
Him: (super skeptical face)
Me: Or something.
Him: A couple, yes. But a power couple? We don't even power WALK.
Me: Ok, but you have nice blue eyes. Although I sort of want to be Paul Newman. You can be Joanne Woodward.
Him: Why don't you want to be Joanne Woodward? What's wrong with being Joanne?
Me: Nothing. I just want to be the race car driving hearthrob.
Him: But you don't even like driving. And I usually make the spaghetti sauce.
Me: Will you stop it about the spaghetti sauce?
Him: Whatever. I am happy with being Joanne. You can be Paul.
Him: So, when I see you, can I say "Newman!" like Seinfeld does?
Me: No! I don't want to be that Newman.
Me: You think Paul and Joanne had conversations like this?
BioGirl has a thing about being a "regular" at a local business. You know, like Norm in Cheers? A place where everyone knows your name and yells a hearty hello at you when you enter the room? TV is big on pushing the concept of being a regular somewhere. Lorelei and Rory had Luke's, Fleishman had The Brick, Richie Cunningham had Al's (or Arnold's, as the case may be), Brandon and Brenda had The Peach Pit, and Rog, Dwayne and Rerun had that place where Shirley worked. What was that place's name? Whatever. You get the picture.
I have been a regular at various places and at various times in my life, and there are good things about it, and there are not so good things about it. The good things are obvious- it's a nice feeling to be recognized as an individual human being in a city that can make you feel anonymous. But there is a bad side too, at least for me. Remember that episode of Sex and the City where Miranda calls the same Chinese restaurant for take-out constantly, and is chagrined that the take out lady knows her order so well? Like, the take out lady knows something sort of intimate about her (eating alone AGAIN, are you?) when Miranda sort of wants to be anonymous? I can feel like that sometimes. I used to go to this Indian restaurant whenever Nordic Boy went out of town on business. And the people there knew us, sort of, and when he was gone a lot, they would sort of look at me sadly. That deadbeat partner of hers has left her alone again, out doing god knows what all. But I just wanted my samosas, without the pity party. Don't cry for me, Argentina. Or Calcutta. Or whatever. Just don't cry for me.
Anyway. There is no better poster child for being a regular than our very own Nordic Boy. I don't know what it is, but he is a consummate regular. Restaurant people love him, remember him, treat him like family. To be perfectly honest it is straight up weird. Here's one instance. There is a Subway sandwich location near our house (and really, is that not a universal urban statement? Don't we all have a Subway near our houses? We were in Chicago last week and we literally counted a Subway on every block within a 15 block radius of our hotel. It's like we are all, collectively, Sarah Palin, and the Subway sandwich franchise is all, collectively, Russia). And this one time, he went there, but before he could walk in the door, he got a phone call. So he answered the phone outside the door, which was ok by him because there was a ginormous line of people waiting anyway. After he was done with the call, he walked in to the Subway and got at the end of the line. "No, no!" the Subway staff said. "Come up to the front of the line! We have already made your sandwich!" They had not only remembered him, but remembered his favorite sandwich, saw him standing outside the door on the phone, and made the dang thing ahead of time so that he wouldn't have to wait. I mean, WUT. That's nuts.
As you know, we have been gone from our homestead for two weeks. We arrived home from our travels to no food in the house. Our first meal back in Seattle? Our favorite Chinese takeout joint. This is what happened when we walked in the door. There was one worker standing in the vestibule.
Worker #1: (in a very "NORM!"-like way...) HEY!!! You're back! We missed you! Where have you been?
Nordic Boy: We were on vacation.
Worker #1: Vacations are great aren't they? So good to see you!
(Enter Worker #2)
Worker #2: HEY!! He's back!
Worker #1: He's back! He was on vacation!
Worker #1 and #2, together: HEY!!! He's back!
Worker #2: How was it? Nice to have you back!
(Enter Worker #3)
Worker #3: HEYYY! Look who's here!
Worker #1: He's back!
Worker #2: He went on vacation!
Worker #3: You look rested. Let's get your order started!
It was like this GRAND WELCOME. And thank you very much for not pointing out that I was total and complete chopped liver in that little scene there. I just don't merit the "NORM!" behavior, I guess.
The next meal, and we still hadn't gone grocery shopping. So on to our favorite burrito place. Nordic Boy called the order in. I could hear the excitment over the phone.
Nordic Boy: I'd like to order take-out, please.
Burrito Lady: SENOR NORDIC!
Nordic Boy: Hi there!
Burrito Lady: Where have you been?
Nordic Boy: We've been on vacation.
Etc, etc, etc. And yes, at this place, the workers do actually call out his name when he walks in the door. SENOR NORDIC! they say. How much more Norm-ish can you get than that??
BioGirl is, I shall presume to say, envious of this type of regularosity. She has told me that she covets regular status at a local coffee shop or restaurant. So yesterday, I asked Nordic Boy why he thought he was so good at being a regular. What pointers do you have, oh regular Yoda? He gave me the following, and I thought I would pass it on to you, in case you, like BioGirl, would like to cultivate this in your life.
1. Pick a place that you would like to become a regular and when you go there, (this part is very important), always order the same thing. Always.
This is Nordic Boy's way of making me feel better that no one yells "SENORITA LIBRARIAN!" when I walk in. It's because I always change my order. I am not Cheese Quesadilla Lady. I mix it up too much. That takes the regularity out of being a regular.
2. If you can, go to this place of business at a regular time.
Make every Sunday night sushi night. Or go get a coffee at the same cafe every morning at exactly 8:45 am. If the people who run the business can tell time by your appearance, then you've got a good chance of becoming a regular.
3. Thank the person by name if they have a name tag. This will make them remember you.
This one strikes me as particularly ballsy. Nordic Boy is constantly saying people's names and telling them his. When he calls random customer service type people (the bank, the rental car place, the whatever) and the customer service agent answers the phone and says "This is Amelia, how can I help you?" He always starts the call by saying, "Hi Amelia. This is Nordic Boy. I need to check on..." And he always ends by saying "Thanks, Amelia." He manages to do this and sound sincere, which I think is key. If you try it and it sounds like a cheezy dickwad, then maybe you should skip this one.
4. Do all of this consistently for a long time.
Stick with that cafe or hot dog stand for weeks and weeks and months and months. To be a regular, you have to go there, you know, regularly.
Being a tag-along to Nordic Boy's regular status is pretty nice, I have to say. We get good service at these places, and it is nice to be greeted with a smile and a little conversation.
I would also like some credit for writing this whole blog post about being a regular and not making any sort of Correctol or Metamucil type jokes. Because me not taking it there? Irregular.
I think I'm going to have to quote Inigo Montoya on this one.
"Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up."
1. I am on the last leg of the Midwest Extravaganza of '09 and it has been the raddest trip ever. Fuck Paris, Rome, Cancun. This shit is phun.
2. I had delicious Blue Moon ice cream that was made by students in the University of Wisconsin agriculture program. I think I might just take up arms to defend the sanctity of that ice cream. If there ever turns out to be an ice cream war. I also ate some delicious green bean concoction at Kabul's Afghani restaurant in Madison. If you are a fan of eating, you should go there.
3. Lest you think my whole trip centered around food, there were other memorable moments to be had. Most notable for me was meeting blog friends for the first time, and oh the cherry was popped in a most satisfying manner. (Too much? I think that was maybe too much).
4. First on deck, there was Leah, her hubster Justin, and Annie. Leah and Annie have read this here blog, and Justin I'm sure was there for the vittles. Never mind that he didn't know me, and never mind that I was in a complete daze from being on a plane all day. Everyone pretended that I was bright-eyed and gregarious, which was mighty neighborly of them. And everyone there was about twenty-three kinds of awesome. They really were. I wished I could have a second friend-date, especially when I was, you know, not brain-fried. They were just kind, funny, genuine people. Yay blog friend inaugural!
5. Next up, the ladies behind the blogs The Astounding Adventures of the Pop Quiz Kid and The Life of a Lovechild. If I weren't phone-blogging I would totally link to them but I can't be bothered to figure that shit out so you'll just have to look over in the sidebar there. Anyhoo. These two ladies also rocked my socks. Hilarious, first of all. And once again I am fairly certain that if we lived near each other we would be kicking it on the regular, as the kids like to say. If those kids lived in 1992, that is. As far as blog friends go, they also knocked it out of the park.
6. Lastly, it was Berg with Fries and the Maiden Metallurgist. Two finer bloggers are not to be found, yes? How could the blog awesomeness measure up to any in-person awesomeness? It can't, right? Wrong-o, buster. They were all of their fabulousness, plus more. I sort of wish I had a horrifying, embarrassing blog friend date story to tell you, but what can I say? My blog taste, it is perfection.
7. I also saw many a pal that I know from outside of blogland, including my college roommate and my childhood doppleganger. They are also The Shit.
8. Basically this whole blog is about how my friends are way cool. Certainly way cooler than I am. I am a coat-tail rider and I am unashamed.
9. Now I am typing this blog on my phone while I lie in a hammock in my parents' backyard after being stuffed with an absurd amount of homemade cinammon rolls.
I love vacation. And blog friends who materialize into real friends. And vacation. And cinammon rolls. And hammocks. And vacation.
So I was totally right (and I love it when that happens) that blogging from my phone is a total drag. So the next couple of weeks are going to be heavy on the photos and light on the blah blah.
Before I shut up though, GET THIS. Graham from the tv show "Lost" was totally on our plane yesterday! Not some dude who looked like Graham. The actual Graham. Or I guess it's the actor who plays Graham, if you want to be technical. he was up in First Class, and he kept getting up to mess with his bags and looking back into Coach. how creepy is that?? A fucking Other was on my plane! Actually, to be honest I think he kept standing up and looking around because he, like, wanted to call attention to himself or something. People were totally recognizing him but no one went up to him. The lady sitting next to me whispered "Is it me or is that an Other?" and that's all that was said about it.
Anyhow, so much for the more-pics-less-talky thing.
So busy around here. Must list.
1. I'm about to go on a little tripsie and I'm wondering what to do about the blog. I'm thinking of just blogging from my phone, but I've never done that before. Is it a pain in the ass? It sounds like a pain in the ass. So votes, please. Phone blogging, yes or no?
2. Wow, I almost put myself into a coma with list item #1. I am so fascinating, you guys.
3. Speaking of my phone, I was talking to Nordic Boy on the phone the other day and the traffic noise on the street where I was standing was really, really loud. And the street where he was was very, very loud. Our conversation went like this.
Me: We have to get something from the store for dinner tonight.
Him: Ok. You want (traffic noise) to go get it after work?
Me: No, I want you to come with me!
Him: I said do you want (traffic noise) to go get it?
Me: No!!! I want us to go together!!
This went on for three rounds. All along, he was saying "do you want me to come with you to go get it?" And I kept screaming at him that no, I wanted him to come with me. Ah, life in the big city. It makes me even more lovable.
4. I want to move to the land of So You Think You Can Dance. Really. The awesomeness is too much to handle. It sort of blows my mind that there is ART on tv, and on everloving FOX on top of it. I mean, what's next? ABC plays "The Skin of Our Teeth" after Grey's Anatomy? I watch the show and I picture John and Bertha America watching it on their couch and they have never seen live arty dance before in their lives and they are all the sudden watching this?????
Yes, they are.
An American In Paris mixed with Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
How can you even ARGUE with that, is all I'm saying. Not that you are arguing with that. And if you are, then you are just clearly not my people and we never need to speak of this again.
5. Speaking of tv, why is the Fashion Show on Bravo so lame? Lame, lame, lame. Sorry Isaac. Like your Target stuff.
6. I had a total oldster "Get Off My Lawn" moment yesterday. Some fratty boys were walking down my street, and one of them was carrying a watermelon (this sounds like the beginning of a joke, doesn't it?). In the midst of their disgusting frat roughhousing with each other, they dropped the watermelon. Do they clean it up? Hardly. Do they leave it on the sidewalk and keep stepping? Not that either. No, they decided to take the pieces of shattered watermelon and throw it at each other. Which, ok, fine. Whatever. But they did it with my parked car between them. And the pieces of watermelon hit my car, like a billion times. It seriously looks like someone puked watermelon all over my car right now. What the hell, dudes? Maybe I should just be grateful that it isn't actual puke on my car, you know, considering the source.
7. I overheard someone in the library call another person a "noodle" in irritation. I kind of love that person.
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