Friday, March 30, 2007

Starring: Me!

Well, not starring, exactly, but I did get to be the featured reader on EW.com's Idolatry webcast this week. Which is just about as cool as anything that has happened to me lately. I got the call on my cell phone on my way to work yesterday, just as I was about to merge from 880 onto 84, which seems to be a place where I get very bad signal. But it was all good, because it cleared up right about when I had to start talking, and I made it off the freeway without getting into an accident and I think I even managed to be kind of coherent. Even better, they cut the joke I made about killing myself if Haley outlasted Lakisha, which is a big relief because I was kind of regretting that one.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Well, Okay

Last night, as I was driving home (or, more accurately, stuck in the massive traffic jam caused by the Mexico v. Ecuador soccer game at the Coliseum while trying to drive home), I found myself creeping slowly along behind a Prius. With an NRA cap displayed proudly in the rear window. Driven by a young Asian woman who pulled off lane changes that would make me grip the wheel in fear.

My mind is now officially blown.

Friday, March 23, 2007

I tried to resist...

But I just couldn't. Its. Just. Too. Cute.



I think my heart just grew three sizes

Thanks, again, to CuteOverload.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Every Book Ever Written: Condensed Version

Self Help:
If you want something, work hard to get it, but remember that you may need extra skills and some luck.

Weight Loss:
Calorie Input > Calories Expended = Weight Gained
Calorie Input < Calories Expended = Wieght Lost

Memoir:
Everything that ever happened to me is Very Important, because it happened to me.

Romance:
"I don't love you."
"I don't love you either."
"I love you!"
"I love you too!"

Thriller:
"Look out!"
"Oh no!"
"Whew."

Mystery:
"I don't know."
"I don't know."
"I don't know."
"I know!"

Science Fiction:
The future? Gonna suck, but the clothes will be cool.

History:
And now they're all dead. The end.

Literary Fiction:
Everything that ever happens to these characters is Very Important, because they are characters in a work of literary fiction.

Business/Investing:
It's easy to get rich, but it takes a lot of money.

Travel Narrative:
I had a great time on my trip! Wanna see some pictures?

Fantasy:
We don't need no steenkin' internal combustion engines.

Celebrity Autobiography:
Look at me! Look at me! Look at me! Why can't I have any privacy?

Political:
We're all going to die, and it's all their fault.

Children's Board Books:
Printed with non-toxic ink.

Pictures Stolen From Other Blogs, Part 2

This one comes from Popwatch, my spiritual home on the internet.



Here's how I imagine this picture came to be:

"Okay, let's get one of Stamos with his shirt off. The ladies love that guy."
"But it's a family show- we have to get the family in there."
"So we toss in the baby. Even better!"
"But won't it look weird if she's dressed and he isn't?"
"Too 'Picnic on the Grass'? Maybe you're right. Strip the baby!"
"I'll get a towel."

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Could Be Worse

You think your rennovation is going badly? Well, look at it this way; at least you haven't ended up with candy-striped upholstery or a toilet in the living room, right?



And exactly whose idea was it to install the four-hundred pound mouse?

(with regards to CuteOverload, the interweb's primary provider of all that is cute)

Monday, March 19, 2007

Friday, March 16, 2007

My Early Influences

Were I ever to become famous, at some point someone would probably ask me what works influenced me in my early development. And I would most certainly lie, because the truth would be that it was shows like this:



It's a half-hour animated ad, with commercial breaks! Oh, how I loved Saturday mornings.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Arizona Pictures

My pictures from the first ballgame.




I don't think Sports Illustrated is going to be calling any time soon.



We had seats right behind home plate for the game against the Cubs.






Along with the cacti, the Botanic Garden featured this very odd tree.





Also at the Botanic Garden there were these sculptures made out of twigs and saplings. You can walk around inside them and the windows frame little snapshot views of the desert.



Navajo dancers at the Indian (not Native American) Festival.



More dancers, this time from a Mexican troupe. What you can't see is that it's a fairly windy day, and those headdresses must have been hell to work with.



Mmm, fry bread with honey. Bee-licious!

Friday, March 09, 2007

YouTube Friday: Bonus Song Parody Edition!

Lately, I have been thinking about this song:



It is not my favorite song, mainly because it has one of the dumbest metaphors in recorded music. But, thinking about it now, I realize that there's something to be said for the idea of letting Our Lord and Savior do the driving, so I came up with my own version. Enjoy!

Jesus, Take the Wheel (Revised Lyrics)

We were drivin' down 5 on our way to San Diego
In a snow white Honda coupe
Goin' down to see the beaches and some sunshine
And the pandas at the zoo
Fifty miles to go and we were runnin' low
On chips and gasoline
It'd been a long hard day

We left at nine this morning and we were tryin' to make it
There before sunset
Before we knew it it was almost seven and we weren't there yet
I saw a rest stop sign flash before my eyes
I could barely keep them open wide
So I changed lanes, I said "I'm done for the day."

(Chorus)
Jesus take the wheel
I'm gonna take a nap
'Cause I can barely see the road
I'm stopping here
So we can stretch our legs
And maybe get some Doritos
Jesus take the wheel

We stopped for ten minutes at a little place of business, selling fruit and homemade pies
I stayed in the car and climbed in the backseat just to rest my eyes
When I woke up we had gone down the road three miles more
I said I'm sorry did I snore
I've been up since five
I'm just completely wiped
So from now on tonight
(Repeat chorus)

Monday, March 05, 2007

Daisy and Mom Go Native

We did not go to the baseball game yesterday, because the A's were in Tuscon. Instead, we went to the 49th Annual Heard Museum Indian Fair. Not Native American, Indian. Apparently, actual Indians are a lot less sensative about the terminology than people in Berkeley. (On the other hand, there are a lot fewer actual people from India here to make things confusing.) We went without knowing much about it, other than there was going to be dancing and art and fry bread, but those seemed like good enough reasons to us. The art was a mixed bag; lots of chunky silver jewelry and paintings of wolves and eagles looking noble, some beautiful and very expensive pottery and weavings and a few cool pieces in my approximate price range, which I bought. The dancing was likewise cool, with different troupes representing various regions (Navajo, Plains, Northwest, Mexico). I am typically made very uncomfortable by the "displays of native dancing" put on for tourists, and avoid them whenever possible, but for some reason I was fine with this, even liked it. I suppose it had to do with the lack of pretense about what we were watching: these were professional performers on a public stage, not some kind of anthropological curiosity under glass. Like watching morris dancers at a ren fair, only more entertaining and with less of a risk of having someone call you "wench".

But frankly, the hit of the party was the fry bread. Which is, in fact, fried bread. You could get it with beans or honey, but not both. We went with honey, which came generously applied and showed a tendency to spread to all available surfaces. It was also very popular with the cloud of honeybees that had gathered over the grounds and which forced me to do the kind of odd flapping you do when you're trying to drive something off without actually hitting it. Eventually we managed to broker a truce, with me eating the still-dripping bread and the bees happily slurping up the pools of honey on the plate. So it was a very succesful snack, though I did spend the rest of the day being rather sticky.

Our other food-related adventure had fewer insects but more cultural intrest, and also sand. There was, as a kind of combination food stand and cultural display, a couple of women making parched corn and pika bread, both traditional dishes that make you very happy to live in a place and time where you do not have to make traditional dishes. The bread was made by a woman taking small handfuls of a blue cornmeal batter and spreading it in a thin layer with her bare hand over a piece of stone, The stone, which was about two inches thick, was sitting over a constantly roaring fire and after a minute or two she would peel up the paper-thin sheet of bread and roll it into a tube. It looked like it might be good, but the servings were so few and far between that there was really no hope of getting one, so we settled for the parched corn. That was a handful of corn kernels cooked in a pot with very fine sand (to distribute the heat) and stirred non-stop by another woman, who was assited by what appeared to be her mother and daughter. After about ten minutes of cooking, the woman would scoop the corn out with a strainer into a colander, shake the sand out and sponge it down with salt water. Then the older woman would go through the basket, picking out all the burned pieces while the corn cooled, before the girl (who was probably ten or eleven) carefully filled styrofoam cups all the way up to the brim, patting them down to make sure they were nice and even. I know this all because each batch only produced about five servings, and there were about ten people in line ahead of me, so I had plenty of time to watch and learn.

In case you were wondering, parched corn tastes a lot like corn nuts, only smaller and less likely to break your teeth.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Notes From Arizona

1. The Phoenix Metropolitan area is very large, and sometimes they close large sections of their freeways for no apparent reason.

2. I wasn't kidding about the strip mall thing. Despite that, it is surprisingly hard to find a grocery store around here.

3. I have the power to influence anyone to buy shoes, up to and including my Mom.

4. A's vs Brewers: 3,000 fans. A's vs Cubs: 10,000 fans. There was a lot of blue in the stadium today.

5. Spring training is one of the very few times when the line for the men's room is longer than the line for the ladies' room.

6. The Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix is a lovely place. There are a lot of cacti there.

7. There is a restaurant in Chandler called The Carlesbad Tavern. It is decorated in a very tasteful bats-and-faux-stone motif (with a moat!) and serves New Mexican food. Which is, for the most part, spicy, and also good. After some discussion with our waitress, who warned us that certain menu items were on the intense side, I decided to be adventuresome and order one anyway (with sauce on the side) despite my well-documented recent experiences with doing exactly that. At least no one can accuse me of learning.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Baseball, Nachos, Sunburn

Daisy and Mom's Baseball Adventure, now in its second day, and for the first time including actual baseball! Plus nachos and a sunburn. The baseball came courtesy of the A's, playing an exhibition game against the Brewers. It was easily the most relaxed I have ever been at the ballpark, particularly compared to the last game I saw, in the playoffs last year. For example, at no time did I have to put a rally towel over my head because I couldn't bear to watch. (I probably should have, considering the sunburn, but we'll get to that in a minute.) We had terrific seats, out along the third base line, one row back from the field, which should have put us next to the A's dugout, but for some reason they had them reversed so that the visiting teams was on our side. But it was still cool and, despite never leading until the eighth inning, the A's won, which was nice even though it didn't matter.
The "nachos" were provided by the concession stand, and consisted of a small basket of corn chips and a little plastic cup of "cheese". I know it was fresh because I saw them dispense it from the machine right there.
The sunburn is not as bad as it might have been, thanks to the nice lady sitting in front of me who let me borrow her sunscreen (she also knew one of the Brewers' players, which made for some cool evesdropping). And yes, you read that right: we managed to go to Arizona and not bring sunscreen. But I got pretty good coverage, not perfect, because when you're borrowing a stranger's sunscreen you don't get to be really thorough, and I thought I would be okay. I didn't do my face, because I knew my maekup had sunscreen in it. What I didn't know, unfortunately, was that while I was applying my makeup I must have gotten distracted, and I missed my nose. Let's just say that right now, if anyone needs help guiding a flying sleigh through the fog, I'm your girl.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Spring Training Run

Greetings from Phoenix, land of sunshine and strip malls! And many, many pieces of tourquoise jewelry. Mom and I arrived here today, having gotten up at an ungodly hour for the airborne cattle drive that is flying Southwest, because we are baseball fans, and we are here to get our first look at the 2007 A's who, along with about a third of the MLB teams, have their Spring Training here. (The rest are in Florida, due to unknown forces that cause baseball teams and old people to co-localize in the winter.)
We don't have tickets to a game until tomorrow so, since we got here too early to check into our hotel (in Chandler), we made our way to Scottsdale, where there was a place listed in Roadfood and (we thought) the good shopping was supposed to be. Lunch was great, at a real old-time ice cream parlor with quilted pink booths and grilled American cheese sandwiches on the menu. In purely objective terms, the sandwich may or may not have been good. I am not qualified to judge because it was so perfectly like the grilled cheese sandwich (with potato chips and a pickle spear) that was my favorite thing to eat at Ortman's (on Solano, where the Starbucks is now). That there were hot fudge sundaes for dessert should really go without saying.
Shopping, on the other hand, was slightly less successful. This was probably our fault. After all, are the good shopkeepers of Scottsdale really to be blamed if we were not interested large pieces of silver jewelry, Mexican-style home accessories, bronze horse sculptures or lifesized, plastic Native Americans? Of course not.
But all is not lost. As soon as Mom gets done impersonating an office (they just opened the bids for building the new treatment plant) we're going to go to the outlet mall across the street, where we may be more appropriate.