Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Nerd is the word

Driving with Biogirl, we see a "Do Not Pass" sign.

Her: None shall pass!
Me: You shall not pass! Fly, you fools!
Her: Wait, what?
Me: Gandalf. We're doing Gandalf, right?
Her: I was doing Monty Python.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Recipe for a good month

I saw this birthday card recently that said the following: "Martin Luther King. Jr. gets one day where we celebrate his birthday. So calm down, Birthday Month People." It sort of cracked me up.

I mention that only because I want to emphasize that I didn't even set out to be a birthday month person this year, and yet, it just happened. This whole month has been super terrific happy times. These are among the things that have been making it grand.

1. Delium took me to see the Paul Taylor Dance Company who just so happened to be in town. They were so delicious and unitardy. I loved every minute of it.
2. Nordic Boy and I went to a fancypants restaurant and did a million-course tasting menu. The final course was brought out and the waiter explained what it was using not one word that either of us could define. It was also visually indecipherable. "You taste it first and tell me what it is," I said after the server had gone. Nordic Boy took a big bite and said "Oh, you'll like it. It tastes like a lemon muffin with Cool Whip!" Really, when eating fancy food you should take Nordic Boy with you for descriptive assistance.
3. Biogirl took me for a road trip down the Oregon coast for a weekend. In the car, she invented what might be the best mash up of all time: Demi Lovato's "Give Your Heart A Break" mixed with "Break me off a piece of that Kit Kat bar."
4. My brother took me out to another fancy dinner and regaled me with stories about my nephew who recently, after scoring a goal during one of his soccer games, with no forethought whatsoever, busted out into the Gangnam style dance in joyous celebration which led to all his little friends joining right in. Trust me, I know you don't know my nephew but this is hysterically adorable.
5. My coworkers made a really big deal about my birthday this year. I know that work-related birthdays are usually cheesy and excruciating but this one felt really genuine. I felt appreciated.
6.  I sent out a blanket invite to a bunch of friends to meet up with me at my local pub for a drink on my actual birthday and it was just the lovliest night. The weather was gorgeous, we sat outside, I got to soak in the awesomeness that is my life, and my friend Kevin actually brought me some Vernor's so I could indulge my newfound love for the Detroit Cooler.
7. All of my favorite faraway people called me or texted me funny, thoughtful messages. My parents, Alli, her husband Chris who I also adore, Map, Palindrome, my brothers, my cousin R, just my small but steadfast group.
8. I have discovered that there is a thing called a pajancho. Yes, I am taking this fact as a personal birthday present to me. Not the item. The word. Don't you just want to say it every day of your life? Pajancho, pajancho, pajancho.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Consumables #69

Holy smokes, so many Consumables to talk about! Let's DO THIS.

Jiro Dreams of Sushi
Documentary about an 85-year-old master sushi chef. Even if you are not into sushi specifically, this film essentially functions as a portrait of a great artist. If you are into sushi, it'll make you want to lick the screen.

The special effects are pretty dang cool in this one. The characters were a bit too much of a rehash for me- I mean I know it's Alien-related, but something new? Anything? The entire scene where poor-man's Sigourney Weaver takes an alien out of her belly was just dumb. Also, there's too much set up. The whole thing is setting up, which I guess will feel better when the sequel comes out but as a stand alone movie, not so much.

Deep Blue Sea
The other night, Nordic Boy and I were in a mood to snuggle up and see something romantical. The description of this movie made us think: doomed love in post World War II times, with pretty Rachel Weisz and pretty Tom Hiddleston. Sign us up! Only, oops, nope, do NOT sign us up. The following phrases were used while we were watching this movie. "Wow, that's messed up." Also, "dude, these people have got PROBLEMS." Then "someone PLEASE separate these suckers, for the love of god!" As the credits rolled, Nordic Boy just summed it up by saying: "well, shit." Precisely, my good fellow. Well, shit.

The Avengers
Can it be true that I haven't mentioned the Avengers until now? I saw it in the theater ages ago. This is everything you expect it to be: cheesy, fun, explosion-y, bubbly goodness. Some random thoughts: will we ever see Robert Downey Jr in a non-sardonic role ever again? Because he can do that too, remember? And why wasn't Gwyneth Paltrow allowed to wear shoes in this movie? I want Pepper Potts to be in a suit and acting smartly buttoned up, not a Daisy Duke wearing hippy dip. Lastly, I think it's probably an uncool choice but the Hulk is sort of my favorite.

Margin Call
I think that the thing I enjoyed most about this movie was the convergence of pop culture that happens in it. Dan Humphrey plus neo-Spock plus the Mentalist guy plus leathery old Jeremy Irons plus Demi Moore plus Aasif Mandvi and of course, Stanely Tucci. I say of course because isn't the Tooch in everything? Also, this movie made me think about suspenders. In order to wear suspenders, you have to either be a Wall Street business dude or a lumberjack. There isn't a lot of middle ground on suspenders.

Winter's Bone
If this movie was in a heartbreaking contest with Wendy and Lucy, which would win? Probably this one, but it would be close. All I really need to say is that I love John Hawkes, ever since he played Sol Star in Deadwood, so that was good enough for me.

I am just now catching up with this, and is it weird that the ingenue person that we're supposed to root for (Katherine McPhee) is the one I do not like? I wish that the show had a bit more of a wink to it. I think it suffers because it takes itself too seriously. Come on! You are singing show tunes and having soapy plot twists and you have Anjelica Houston making out with that One Life To Live Irish guy! Own your ridiculousness!

These are the most clean, stylish, shiny-haired, lip-glossed apocalypse survivors I have ever seen. And doesn't the guy that plays Miles have a distinctly Herb-from-WKRP vibe going on?

Oh my god, I'm so tired.

Blindness, by Jose Saramago
Trippy story about a plague that sweeps through an unnamed city that causes some people to lose their sight. The fear of the plague causes the government to quarantine these people in an abandoned asylum, and the book describes the social breakdown that occurs within as well as outside of its walls. The characters in the story all remain nameless throughout, and the baseness and despair that occur are awful. The poetic language is the draw here, but there are seriously no rainbows anywhere to be found.

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration, by Isabel Wilkerson
A big mammer jammer of a nonfiction book that tells the story of the migrations that occurred in droves (1920s through 1960s or so) of African American people who fled the Jim Crow south. I loved how it had an engaging, readable narrative that focused on representative individuals, but it doesn't rely too heavily on anecdotes.

The Sparrow, by Mary Dora Russell
A Jesuit priest leads a team on a space mission to discover an alien civilization on another planet. Think Contact mixed with The Mission and you've got it.

Habibi, by Craig Thompson
There are some gorgeous drawings in this graphic novel, but the stuff that didn't work for me outweighed that. There was some serious race, gender, and sexuality trouble of the kind that was so glaring that I couldn't see past it. And the gratuitous naked ladies with the idealized bodies in every single scene, alRIGHT already. I will forever think that this book should have been called Haboobie.

Castle Waiting series, by Linda Medley
Graphic novel re-tellings of fairy tales that are fun and soothing. I think this is a great series for kids in upper elementary because it has a tongue-in-cheek sort of humor that they will get an especial kick out of.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts, by Susan Cain
These kind of anecdotal sciencey books are always a bit of a frustration for me. On the one hand, it's interesting, but on the other hand, I just end up having so many questions about the meanings of the various studies and conclusions that are discussed that it ends up being not so convincing to me. Also, the author's definition of introversion seemed hazy at best. I understand that this term is not one that has definitive boundaries, but in this case there were times when things got so broad as to seem kind of meaningless.

Just My Type: A Book About Fonts, by Simon Garfield
A fun, informative book that talks about font history and theory in an entertaining way. It was fontastic! (Come on, I had to).


Monday, October 08, 2012

Post bday un-blues

I walked in to my office to find this, because my coworkers are awesome.

Sunday, October 07, 2012


Still feeling like a baby.

Friday, October 05, 2012


My birthday is this weekend, and I gotta say, I am feeling super good about the birthday this year. Like, not just an excited birthday feeling because I have a lot of things planned (which I am because I do), but a bigger, better birthday feeling. I know that birthdays are sort of meaningless, really- I mean we are aging all the time and so marking a particular day and feeling like we are all of a sudden older on that day is sort of weird when you think about it. But birthdays are a time to look around at one's life, and take stock, and think about how things are going. And for me, this week, I have been feeling good, just deep down in my soul. 2011 was, in a way, about letting go of 2 people that I was trying to keep in my life who- when I really took a look at the truth of it-didn't really want to be there. So I let them go, and it was really, really sad, and I was sort of preoccupied a lot of the time with the fact that those people were missing. 2 core people who had kind of always been there for me for years and years and years, were just gone. Even though I didn't wallow, I did sort of feel like it was in the back of my mind a lot of the time. It was like I was walking around with these ghosts of people who I loved so much that just didn't love me back. It was hard to eat that, but eat it I did. I kind of didn't have a choice, I guess. I have to say that as hard as it was, I took it like a champ, which is something.

This past year though, I feel like that phase is finally passing, and just in the past month or so it really feels different. I just feel... better. More than better. I feel really good. I think the ghosts are- if not gone- then at least they don't live with me all the time now.

Last night, Nordic Boy was doing the dishes, and I was reading a book, and the new Tegan and Sara song came on, and Nordic Boy came out of the kitchen swinging a dish towel around in that silly way of his, and pulled me out of my chair, hit "repeat" and we danced. We laughed, and jumped, and Saturday-Night-Fevered, and dipped, and were breathless, and just got our boogie on in our living room, and I thought to myself, yay for me. I am still loved, and I'm not even talking about that gorgeous Nordic Boy of mine. I'm talking about me. I heard my own laugh and I felt my body moving around and I felt the parts of my soul that are still open to things, to people, to fun, to life, and I thought: ah, yes, now I remember.  I am kind of awesome. I really love being me. Look at that girl, I thought to myself. She pretty much rocks it. I love her.

Go dance around and think about how awesome you are. It's really so necessary, you guys.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

hhhhhwhere have I been?

Is this thing still on? Anyone there?

(crickets, crickets)

So I may be just talking to myself at this point, but that's ok. Hi, me! How have you been? Well, me, I feel that I have to quote my close personal friend Inigo Montoya and say the following "Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up." Not that anything big has happened. Just livin' life, as T.I. would say.

Where else are you going to get Inigo Montoya and T.I. in the same breath, you guys? Did you miss me? Or does that make you not miss me? I could see it going either way.

So here's some stuff that I want to tell you, with no rhyme, reason, segues, or cohesion. In other words, I AM BACK.

I went to Michigan last month and Map told me a story about a coworker of hers who, when agitated, will over-aspirate her "wh" words. So like this: "hhhhhhhwhere are those budget numbers and hhhhhhhhhwhy haven't they been turned in yet? Hhhhhhhhwho is responsible?" I don't know why but this made Alli and me so completely delighted that we have been talking like this at every opportunity. I highly recommend it.

We went to the local state fair. Nordic Boy, who has spent part of his life working an actual family dairy farm when he was a youngster (and will not drink a glass of milk if you paid him ever since), revealed to me that he has never ever been to a fair before. To which I said hhhhhhwhat? How can that be? He's from Wisconsin, for pete's sake. Isn't it the law that everyone go to the fair in Wisconsin? It turns out that his family was more likely to have gone to carnies that would travel through his town, which actually rings true for me too. We didn't do the fair thing when I was a kid either, but we sure went to the local ethnic festivals or travelling carnies and did some fair-like things, like eating cotton candy and getting on rickety/dubious death-traps (aka rides). I have a lot of really fun carnie memories. But yet, whenever I think about the carnie concept all I can think of is that movie Two Moon Junction. Do you guys remember that? It was Sherilyn Fenn having sexy times with a burly carnie worker drifter guy who had veins popping out everywhere. It was all kinds of ICK. It is also one of Nordic Boy's mom's favorite movies. Which I sort of think is awesome while also is a thing I wish I didn't know. Like, simultaneously.

Thankfully, there were no burly drifters trying to sex us up when we went to the fair, at least that we could tell. We had an awesome time, although afterward, Delium was asking us about it and we realized that we had probably the most un-state-fair-est time of anyone who has been to a state fair. It went like this:

Delium: So did you go on any rides?
Me: No.
Delium: How about animals? Did you see those?
Me: Well, we actually skipped that part.
Delium: How about fair food? Slushies? Kettle corn?
Me: No, we skipped that part too.
Delium: You went to the STATE FAIR, right?

In our defense, we had no time for all those things, because we got sucked into three other, much more awesome things.

1. Giant vegetables. PUMPKINS AS BIG AS MY CAR, YOU GUYS.
2. Grange competition. There was this competition where these farms would put together a huge mosaic made from their produce. Which, yes.
3. Home arts. This was actually where we spent most of the day. Quilts! Crochet! Dollhouse construction! Pie contests! It was totally mesmerizing. There was even something called a "table setting competition" which, from what I could surmise, was just what it sounds like: pick a theme and set a table according to that theme. And then you get a RIBBON if your setting is superior! I have pretty much been demanding a mf ribbon every time I have set our dinner table every night since the fair. I will tell you if I ever get one.

In other news, it is coming up on my birthday and I have celebrated so far by sleeping wrong and pulling a muscle in my neck to the point where I basically couldn't move. I felt like I maybe would have benefited from one of those brace things like Joan Cusack wore in Sixteen Candles. Neck pull around birthday time makes me feel, let's see, how can I put it? Forever young, I think is how Rod Stewart would prefer I say it.

Also, in related old fartness, I have been out three times in the past month and have not been carded AT ALL. Now, I know I am way, way, way (waaaaaaaay) past being at an age where I should really be getting carded in bars and it was happening less and less over time, but I was still averaging a carding about a third of the time. Sure, it was probably sympathy carding that was happening but I WILL TAKE IT. But apparently not anymore.

So, to summarize: I find the home arts fascinating, I have a pulled neck muscle and I don't have to have ID when going to clubs that perhaps I am too old to be in in the first place. I am rolling up to this next birthday like a BAWSE.