Thursday, April 29, 2004

Ahhhh. That is the sound of a relaxed and prepared traveler. The computer is fixed, the bag is (almost) packed and Beth is ready to hit the road for a week of Jambalaya in the Big Easy.

Thanks to all of you who have mocked me and asked if I will be leaving for the airport TONIGHT in order to make my flight for tomorrow. Very funny. I stand firmly by my nuerotic airport behavior. Let's see how you all like it when you're running to catch a plane while I am already sitting snugly (and smugly) aboard the plane in my seat, seatbelt firmly fastened low and tight across my lap.

Stay tuned for reports throughout the trip!

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

I am. Freaking out. BIG TIME.

Laptop at home is very grumpy and irritable. Last night it was all but spewing pea soup through its floppy drive. No Internet access. Mucho problemos with the ISP. Crashy crashy. Why is this happening two days before I leave and have to travel with it? Do laptops get nervous before trips or something? Is it boycotting something?

I was actually petting it and speaking in hushed gentle tones last night. "Come on baby, you can do it...I know you're old and tired, but let's give it a shot..."

God help any of my neighbors who happened to see the crazy lady talking to her computer and eating plain arugula at 11:30 last night.

Monday, April 26, 2004

According to the calendar right next to me, today is Anzac Day in Australia and New Zealand. Interested in reading more about this national holiday? Click here.

If you're not interested in reading more about that, and would rather, say, learn more about what Beth has planned during her stay in New Orleans, click here.

Don't say I never give my readers options! I am a regular Choose Your Own Adventure author. Remember those books from your youth? I was an enormous fan. Here's an updated version for our times.

Sunday, April 25, 2004

Sitting here. Doing nothing. Haven't done laundry. Haven't cleaned my house. I leave for New Orleans is less than a week and I'm totally unprepared. Totally useless day.

Well, that's not true. I did have a darned nice brunch with my friend Steph over some killer bloody marys, so it hasn't been entirely non-productive. And I did buy a fun pair of pink slides from Payless for $7.

Was surprised to see that Jelly shoes are making a comeback. That is, if the Capital Hill Payless is any indicator of couture fashion and I believe it is. Those were such a bad idea, even when we were 10. The sweating! The slipping! The dirt! The imprints of your grimy foot on the plastic soul. Why would we relive this experience? I am all for fun, colorful summer shoes, but let's get a grip and not relive our jellied past.

Need to slide my pink (non jellied) shoes on and see if they motivate me any...

Saturday, April 24, 2004

I noticed today that I've started getting the Home and Garden channel and with it has come a whole new world I didn't know existed. It's like getting a view into an obscure Aboriginal culture. Well, more like an obscure Aboriginal culture with in-ground pools and rooftop hottubs.

You'd think from this channel that everyone in the universe owned homes and had unlimited spending budgets to remodel, redecorate and redesign. As an apartment dweller, I couldn't know (or care) LESS about irrigation trenches and window installation and crown moulding. No trips to Home Depot for this girl. I like the absence of responsibility that an apartment brings.

Sure, every now and then I want to paint my stark white walls and install better fixtures and move a shiny new stainless steel kitchen into my place...but then that feeling quickly dulls away when I consider the $100K tab and months of construction that it would entail.

For now I'll have to continue observing this strange new culture from the safety of my sofa and my rented apartment.

Friday, April 23, 2004

Morrissey was right -- we DO hate it when our friends become successful. Take bands, for example.

Have you ever found a totally obscure band that no one has heard of and fall in love with them and then -- suddenly they hit the mainstream and they are EVERYWHERE and you become disenchanted and eventually deeply annoyed/hostile with them? Dude, I knew them when they were cool, you might say. (Or you might not, I can't say for sure.)

That was me with the Barenaked Ladies. My friend Jen and I were listening to them when we were just high school punks buying CASSETTES at Wax Trax. We had to ask for them because they were so unheard of. Now, they're freakin' everywhere. They kind of bug me now. Not sure why. They haven't done anything to me. They still put on kick-ass shows that are hilarious. The lead singer Steve is still a total cutie.

Why am I going on and on and on about this? I found their blog site today. Check it out. Hope they don't annoy you. They were darned cool singing about Yoko Ono and Cruel Green Dresses.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Seriously people, not a single comment? At all? Sniff.


Wednesday, April 21, 2004

It's been a crazed couple of days at work, so I offer up a few warm and fuzzy ways to relieve stress:

1.) Virtual Bubble Wrap. Check it out. Enjoy the soothing popping sounds it makes. Note the "boss button" up top in case you need to switch over and look Officially Busy in a pinch.

2.) Poke the Bunny. Go ahead. Poke him. He seems okay with it.

3.) Singing Hamster. Need I say more? He rocks out with the best of them.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Today is the five year anniversary of Columbine. I honestly hadn't thought about it very much until Dateline whacked me upside the head with it on Sunday night. Then I couldn't stop thinking about it. I was a receptionist when it happened. My friend emailed me a link to a Denver news station that morning and said "isn't this in your old neck of the woods?" right as it was starting to unfold. I called my mom and we put her on speakerphone and everyone at work huddled around it while she repeated the reports from the newscasts. Later that week, as I stayed glued to the TV, I saw Al Gore standing in my old church back home at one of the funerals. It was very surreal and very terrifying.

This morning I turn on the news and find Katie Couric coming to us live from Clement Park with some parents sounding all sniffly and emotional. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us, she said.

The media scene about Columbine now just makes me ill. Thousands of press swoop in, gather up quotes and interviews with survivors and witnesses, and they fly home and wrap up their packages and their stories. Then they're done. Onto the next bit of news for the day. It becomes a story, not a reality.

Just makes me hurt, the tragedy that happened and the aftermath it brought.

Monday, April 19, 2004

Man I love libraries. I mean, I LOVE THEM. I love what they stand for, I love what they provide for a community. They just rock. When I lived in Denver, one of my favorite places was the downtown library they had just built at the time. One of the saddest things is to walk into a run-down library and feel all...icky...while you're there. It feels like a disservice.

There was a book/library convention here a few weeks ago and I was seriously giddy to see all of the library and book aficionados walking around the convention center with their cardigans and their book bags and their sensible walkin' shoes. Those are my peeps!

So I have to gloat and share that in just a few short weeks, Seattle is getting a brand spankin' new library right downtown. Check it out here. It's very cool looking.
I will be there with bells on when it opens.

Okay, so maybe muted bells so I don't get yelled at by a librarian.

Sunday, April 18, 2004

In my dream this morning, I dreamt I bed, just beginning to wake up. There was a guy next to me that looked like Christian Bale (but that's really beside the point). It was clear this was our first morning, ahem, together if you get my drift. Legs all tangled up together in the sheets. And it was that dozey time in the morning where neither of you are awake yet, and you just cuddle up into each other still clumsy with sleep. Everything's quiet and serene and not yet invaded by the rest of the world.

Christian Bale-guy got up, surveyed the room around him, and then came back to bed, all warm and snuggly.

Then I woke up. Next to my cat. And felt very sad and disappointed and lonely. I forgot how wonderful those mornings are.

Saturday, April 17, 2004

Ladies and Gents, I bring you the joy of This is a great site and a surefire way to put a smile on your face. People send this guy titles, and he draws them pictures to match those titles.

My favorites so far have been "Don't Eat That Banana" and "Why Are You So Sad?"

The archives are especially nice as well. Check it out and see which ones are your favorites.

Friday, April 16, 2004

Things I Fear:

Giant mutant goldfish that live in the sewers
Gutters (see above)
My parents getting sick and/or old
Having blood drawn
Not being cool enough
Life without my car
Conversations about politics
Getting laid
Getting laid off
Meeting someone wonderful
Never meeting anyone ever
Spontaneous combustion
Frat boys
The sensation that people might somewhere be talking about me
Heart disease
Getting evicted
Dark, unfamiliar places
"Schmoozing" or "Networking"

For more information about fear, and the scientific names for specific phobias, check this out.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

As my love of processed food and great middle American cuisine continues to ripen, I include here a recipe for the Bisquick "Impossibly Easy Taco Pie" which I made recently, with great giddiness.

I could seriously eat this every day and not get tired of it. Note how I am able to say that without shame. That cannot be a good sign.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

In perhaps the kinkiest/weirdest/most bizarre marketing concept EVER, Burger King has introduced the new mascot for its BK TenderCrisp, the Subservient Chicken. Go here and make him do pretty much anything you want. I've had him walk over to the bookshelf, tap dance and hop like a bunny.

He's in my control. He's very obedient. Make him your slave chicken as well.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Do you ever meet someone new and develop an innocent crush on them? And maybe, say, start thinking about that new person and how great the two of you would be together? And you keep thinking "It would be so fun! We could go to shows together! And movies! And frolic in the park like those obnoxious couples are always doing!"

And then someone, say, who doesn't know about your innocent crush/growing obsession, mentions how great said person's GIRLFRIEND is and you're seriously bummed out that your imaginary/nonexistent relationship didn't work out even though it never really began?

I mean, I that doesn't happen to me. I'm much too suave and sophisticated when it comes to relationships to be like that. I was just asking. In case, you know, it happened to any of you. To see, maybe, what that was like. Because I don't know. Seriously.

Monday, April 12, 2004

HUH. Check this out:

I found this site that appears to be a Netflix-type setup for books. You sign up, they send you books, you return them in a pre-paid envelope. Interesting idea -- I'm still trying to decide how I feel about it. I'm a huge, huge fan of Netflix and as one that is bad at returning videos on time, it was a perfect solution for me. I guess if you had a similar problem returning library books, this would work out well.

Looks like the company is founded by a bunch of former DC bigshots, including Marilyn Quayle.

Talk amongst yourselves.

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Happy Easter, y'all!

Nice mellow Sunday filled with knitting and chilling on the sofa, in between seven loads of laundry. Phew. I can safely say that everything I own is now clean, from the duvet cover to the bathroom rugs to every peice of clothing worn over the past three months. What a huge sense of accomplishment.

I've potted my houseplants and have scattered them around the house feeling my green thumb glowing with pride. Check back in two months and see if they're still alive.

Looking forward to an Easter dinner of sushi and sake tonight. A bit non traditional, sure, but given the choice, who wouldn't prefer a spicy tuna roll to a sticky honey glazed ham? The choice is clear.

Saturday, April 10, 2004

One trip to Home Depot and I am feeling like a gardening beast. I decided this weekend to throw away some money on some new houseplants. Right now all I have is a plant that I have literally owned since college and a sad, sickly little umbrella tree that I rescued from my work. That's it. Not good.

So I trekked on down to my neighborhood Home Depot to pick up some cutesy plants that would brighten up my place and bring a bit of spring into my world. First off, I need to report that you Home Depot people are INTENSE. You are totally unforgiving with your giant palates of drywall and 800 pounds of cement mix. I felt like a complete amateur. Little apartment-dwelling Beth was clearly out of her league in this environment.

$23 later, armed with some potting soil and 4 new additions to my plant collection, I returned home feeling content and connected to Mother Nature. Amazing what a little greenery can do for a girl.

Friday, April 09, 2004

I think a nice warm round of applause is due for the Mental Health Day! Is there anything better than taking a day off from work just to lounge around the house and chill? I think not.

Absolutely gorgeous day today -- a clear, blue, sky from beginning to end. I scampered out of bed bright and early (8:15! For those that know me, you know that's practically the crack of dawn in my world!), headed out for coffee (yes, OUT for coffee -- impressive, eh?) and then got sidetracked by a major allergy attack in the car that left me with weepy red eyes and violently angry contacts. I passed on the coffee idea and just went to get some gas and a car wash. So it wasn't super busy or glamorous, but hey, I wasn't at work like the rest of the world, right?

I am ashamed to admit I watched "The Swan" last night on Fox. It was a combination pitiful/horrifying/embarrassing viewing experience, which of course means I'll be hooked for the entire season. Let's hear it for plastic surgery, extreme liposuction, and 3 months of physical and emotional isolation in order to beauty pageant! Who says we women haven't come a long way?

An appreciative shout out before I forget to the Easter Bunny that sent a delightful little basket my way. You're awesome.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Ah, the nostalgia bus! I was cleaning out some of the files in my computer and came across some old letters I had written to folks. In one I was super giddy because it was the first time I was writing anything on my laptop. ("Look at me! Using a laptop! Look at all the fonts it has!")

Some were really angry peeved off letters, mostly to old boyfriends. Those were amusing in their own way, but only because I've got the distance and closure to laugh about them now. I felt really bad because in one I spent a good half a page telling one person how amazing he was and how much I loved all of the great things we were doing together and...looking back now...I honestly can't remember ANY of the things I was talking about. Oopsie. It was like reading your high school yearbook with all of these inside jokes that were like a secret language to you then, but incomprehensible jibberish to you now.

Sorry man. I'm sure we had fun, didn't we? At the time?

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

I got nothin' today. I mean, NOTHIN'. My mind is a big blank white canvas. Puffy white clouds are drifting through it. Can't concentrate on anything. I stare at my computer. Type for a while. Erase what I've typed. Stare again.

I've got a three day weekend ahead of me and nothin' planned for that either. Surely the blankness has to stop at some point? I need to check out the Roadside America Sight Of the Week for inspiration.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Since all I can do lately is bury my head in the Al Franken book about liars, it would be remiss not to link to Air America Radio, the recently-launched liberal oasis in the talk radio world.

Check it out and spend a few minutes listening to my main man Al Franken tell it like it is...

Monday, April 05, 2004

From the "As If I, An American Woman, Didn't Have Enough To Consider In My Current Beauty Routine" files -- I offer up Belly Button Love Potion Fragrance. Which is fragrance. For your belly button. Seriously.

You can also buy this stuff here at Sephora for $34, which, if the concept of this product alone didn't upset/confuse you, then surely the price will knock your socks right off.

$34 for belly button gloss endorsed by Jessica Simpson? Clearly I am getting old, or rather getting cheap AND old because this seems like a lot to pay for something you literally stick in your belly button, even if it DOES taste yummy and even if it DOES attract nice morally upstanding men like Nick Lachey.

Sunday, April 04, 2004

Sigh. Just had the most UNREAL phone conversation. I was relaying to my father my weekend, where I mentioned my giddy trip to the beach yesterday.

Him: "That sounds fun, who did you go with?"
Me: "Nobody. Just me."
Him: "Really? Just you? That's so great you can do that. You do a lot of stuff by yourself."
Me: "Yep."
Him: "It's so great you can do that. I mean, I can't do that. Like when (my wife) isn't in town, I could rent a movie, but I couldn't, say, GO to a movie. It would be too weird to sit there by myself."
Me. "Hmmm."
Him: "But then again, you've been single for 30 years. I mean, you're probably used to it."

Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you the amazing SINGLE WOMAN! For a limited time! She not only sleeps by herself, but manages to grocery shop, put gas in her car, go to work and even SIT ENTIRELY UNATTENDED IN COFFEE SHOPS! Do not be fooled by imitations! This is the genuine article!

Saturday, April 03, 2004

Today was so good it was just...silly. Just downright silly.

First of all, I was the recent recipient of not one, but TWO random gifts from people. Random gifts rock! They're just like little hugs in a package (that sounds really corny, but its true)...just knowing that someone was thinking of you and wanting to send something your way is enough to put a goofy smile all over your face. Thank you so, so much. You know who you are and how much you rock.

So, giddy from my recent gifts, I decided to take advantage of the first official sunny warm day in Seattle and headed for Alki Beach. Alki is my happy place. It's like a slice of Venice Beach right here at home. There are cars lined up for miles just cruising the main drag, there are rollerblading bikini clad girlies, there are bikers looking mean, there's even an ice cream truck. I parked far away and walked towards the beach...literally GRINNING because its warm and sunny and the city looks beautiful and the Sound is this unreal shade of blue and HEY I got two random gifts recently! It was truly a nice day to be alive.

Laid out for two hours, sifting the sand through my fingers, listening to the waves. It was allll good.

Just got done watching LOTR The Two Towers. Lesson learned: War is bad. Also, trees can only put up with so much before they just get pissed off and vengeful.

Friday, April 02, 2004

So today at lunch I went with Stacy to grab a fish burrito. And the next thing you know we're talking en Espanol. Which seems hilarious. We're giddy about saying things like "necesito una cerveza este noche," etc. I realize that's kind of sad, but when you can randomly start speaking in Spanish to someone with no explanation, it's a very amusing thing.

So later on in the afternoon, still high on the hablando-ing en Espanol kick, I mention that our mascot should be BumbleBee Man from the Simpsons. Which brings me to THIS which is the Official Website for BumbleBee Man from the Simpsons.

Is there anything out there that's NOT on the Internet I ask you? Viva la Internet!

Thursday, April 01, 2004

I'm feelin' the urge to be crafty stirring up inside me. The craftiness, it's a callin' to me, big time.

Check out the paper window shades here and here -- how CUTE are they? So often I see that fancy, funky paper in stores and think "Huh, well that's nice, but what would I do with it?" and the answer is clearly to make it into a window dressing. Now we'll see how long it takes before I actually follow this through....

April already. 2004 is already a quarter OVER! Where does the time go? (Beth, the time gets sucked away when you organize photos for six solid hours on the weekends...jeez)