Friday, December 29, 2006

'Tis the season for thank you notes

After looking over my posts from this week I'm starting to realize that I sound awfully cranky and whiny, so here is a sorely inadequate list of thank you's that need to go out for folks who have been warm and fuzzy lately and throughout the year:
  • To my friends, who don't give up on me when I get all asocial and need my "special alone time," as well as when I get all yakky and hyper and sassy and biotch-y.
  • For anyone who has seen me do my "PR laugh" non-ironically and not vomited a little in their mouth
  • To anyone who has been present when I announce, loudly, that I am drunk and has not run screaming in the other direction.
  • To red wine, for helping me find the path to announcing that I am drunk.
  • For the Shar-Pei dog across the yard at my mom's house, who offers me literally hours of amusement while having my morning coffee.
  • For my mom, for buying me Starbucks so that I won't have to drink Folger's as my morning coffee.
  • For Mrs. Puff, who teaches me in no uncertain terms the importance of not straying too far from home for too long.
  • For my jeans, who so far have not miraculously split in half out of protest.
  • For Flexcar and Target and Trader Joes, for being there.
  • To pandas, otters, harp seals, polar bears and animals that wear clothes, for being so freakishly, ridiculously CUTE.
  • To Brie and French bread, just for being you.
  • For the loyal readers of the World of Beth, whoever you are, and for whatever it is that keeps you coming back for more.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

If the city of Denver were in a movie, it would be played by The Rock these days

While most cities would be MORE THAN content to have just ONE major, crippling holiday blizzard, Denver is apparently a macho muscle-shirt-wearing city that needs to pull out all the stops and have two. In a ROW. Whatever, Denver.

So Beth is trapped - again - at her mom's for another two days*, because I've had to reschedule my flight until Monday morning when hopefully Denver will get over this macho shit and let the damned sun shine in again. Ahem. Sorry. I'm a little wound up. I've found lots of housecleaning projects to occupy my time and have managed too to find some lovely things to blow my gift cards on online, but this is a bit much.

Clearly one has to be careful with what one asks for when they're sitting at there desk at work thinking "Man, all I want is to be on vacation chilling out at my mom's house with absolutely nothing to do." Lesson learned: Be a little more specific and maybe throw in the words "Maui" or "Hugh Grant" if you get the opportunity.

*Um, Mom, if you're reading this, I don't mean to sound ungrateful and tired of hanging out at your lovely home, it's just two weeks was a bit more than I bargained for and I just want to sleep in my normal bed again. Really, you're a lovely mom. Thanks for making tacos last night and for not being judgemental when I went for that second glass of wine.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Excuse me while I whine a bit here

Look, I'm sorry to be a whiny, pouty, irritable little baby right now, but the weather people are predicting another 12-16 inches of snow in Denver to start tomorrow, which will continue right into Saturday , which is right about the time I'm supposed to leave on a giant jet plane and return home.

Which means, if the city is shut down by another blizzard, I could either be stuck in Denver for another 1-3 days or potentially stuck at the airport, which does not make me happy AT ALL.

Which means. Just. Well. It just means I have to feel like a whiny, pouty, irritiable little baby, I guess. It hasn't even started snowing, so I'm just being prematurely panicky and whiny. I get that. I'm tired. I'm sick of frickin' dial up. I hate smelling like an ashtray and I'm starting to miss my bed and my obese cat and my stuff and my life and the thought of being stuck away from it for another 3 days just seems a little overwhelming.

Seriously, Denver, TWO blizzards in a two-week period that coincide with Christmas holiday travel? WTF, Denver? You're on my list, pal. Watch it.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Adventures in Sprawlsville, or How Beth Almost Smacked Someone in the Middle of Kohl's

Ah, suburbia. I've always had a serious love/hate thing going on with the 'burbs and I knew that the decision to spend 12 days smack in the middle of 'em would test the love part big time. Being homebound with nothing to do but (literally) watch it snow for three days sure hasn't helped much.

However, on the positive side, I've started to get out and see the world outside of the beige neighborhoods of Southwest Denver. So far this included a Christmas Eve brunch at Bump and Grind, which is apparently best known for its "Petticoat Bruncheon," which involves a waitstaff composed entirely of drag queens. Honey, nothing makes Beth happier than to be served coffee by a sassy, foul-mouthed drag queen while listening to Britney Spears ON CHRISTMAS EVE. Oh wait, unless it involves getting presents and custom-made CDs and seeing old friends and it DID. I was giddy all morning after that, especially as I drove home listening to "Barenaked for the Holidays" (a holiday album from the Barenaked Ladies, natch) on full blast.

Today Beth and her mom ventured out to see the retail offerings the 'burbs had to offer us, wherein Beth attempted to spend her gift cards IMMEDIATELY and, of course, absolutely nothing even remotely decent was to be found in the stores because Beth had actual money to spend. Sigh. We went into Kohl's to look for cheap Christmas flare at 50 percent off and I was so outraged by the snotty teenage girls that I actually got up in one's face and said "Seriously?" all intense and scary/snarky-like. God knows if she had so much as looked at me directly I would have turned and run right back to my mommy and hid. Still, I felt tough. At least as tough as one can feel in a Kohl's in Littleton on the day after Christmas with their mom.

More reports from Sprawlsville to come....

Friday, December 22, 2006

Homebound: Day 3

Sweet baby Jesus there's a lot of snow here in Colorado! I have amusing pictures to post of just how bad it is, but forgot my camera cord, so y'all will have to stay tuned until after the new year when I get back home to Seattle.

I'm pleased to report that Beth made it home safe and sound just three scant hours before Blizaard 2006 whapped the city upsite the head with a can of Whup Ass. So far it's been two straight days of sitting in front of the TV watching 9News and eating giant M&M cookies from Safeway.We're on to day 3 now and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't going a wee bit stir crazy. I've read a book, cleaned and reorganized my mom's kitchen pantry, chatted with the dead bartender in the ballroom, and packed up a carload of things to take to Goodwill once the roads are clear. Let's GO, Department of Transportation, I'm getting BOOOORRRRRED, here.

More to post, perhaps if I ever get out of the house, but just wanted to throw out a quick holla to my peeps and let them know I'm alive. Bored, but alive. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Light at the End of the Tunnel

In the spirit of offering hope and goodwill for the new year, I'd like to mention the Backwards Bush Countdown Site so that we can all watch as the seconds tick down to a Dubya-free White House. Shop, download a screen saver or even add the countdown to your blog as yours truly has already done.

Pour yourself a cup of organic holiday cheer, take out the recycling, renew your subscriptions to the Utne Reader and Mother Jones and Bust and other liberal-lefty magazines, and watch the numbers tick down. There. Doesn't that feel better?

If you're still not convinced, here are some more reasons to love the site and its products:
  • Wearing one around your neck helps to keep Republicans away and smells much better than garlic.
  • Purchasing a BackwardsBush keychain instantly qualifies you for "Enemy Combatant" status.
  • Now that Bush has his judges on the bench, the keychains will most likely soon be illegal (and therefore a collector's item).
  • Unlike Bush, our keychain has a 100% approval rating.
  • You might as well spend your money on a keychain now, because if social security gets privatized, you won't have any money left!!!
  • If you're reading this, the NSA is most likely already spying on you, so you might as well make it worth it!!!
  • Backwards Bush proudly supports Save the Children.

Monday, December 18, 2006

A SparkPeople Shoutout

It would be downright un-American of me not to want to start the new year off with the resolution to be healthier and more active in 2007, so I’m passing along this little gem of a Website onto my loyal readers in case they’re wanting to do the same.

SparkPeople is free (cheapskates rejoice!) and is one of the comprehensive and legit diet/fitness sites out there from what I can tell. Plus it offers up customized weekly meal plans, grocery lists, exercise plans and more goal charting resources than I can get my head around. Plus, a Best Of The Web award from BusinessWeek ain't bad either.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

The Bad Movie Marathon Continues

Today, while nursing a fierce hangover that nearly crippled me and made me retarded, I caught up on my Cheesy God-Awful Christmas Movie Obsession. Today's movie was "Santa Baby," a made-for-TV offering for the ABC Family Channel (strike one) which starred Jenny McCarthy (strike two) as a high powered corporate consultant type who is, um, Santa's daughter (strike three).

I have to confess that the main reason I Tivo-ed this movie is that it was directed by Ron Underwood, who I mistook for Ron Livingston, who is the guy who played Peter Gibbons from Office Space. My bad. My really bad.

In a nutshell, Santa has a heart attack, Mrs. Claus phones up her sort-of estranged city slicker daughter and asks her to come home and help out the family business this year. Santa is played by George Wendt which I was skeptical about (would Santa be a barfly?), but he was quite charming actually. You GO, former Norm, with your charming made-for-TV movie self!

And, in another nutshell, my hangover is finally clearing up at now 6:16 on Sunday night while I'm sipping some Detox tea and trying to squeeze some productivity into what's left of the day.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Apologies in advance to Dolly Parton

Recently my friends and I gathered around a loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and the CMT holiday movie “A Smoky Mountain Christmas,” starring (and co-written by) Dolly Parton.

I realize that making snarky comments about Dolly Parton is a risky business, because after all, that woman is as sweet as a soft caramel melting in hot chocolate poured over a cupcake served in a bowl of powdered sugar and as wholesome as a kitten wrapped around a harp seal pup tucked inside of a rainbow guarded by unicorns, but I’m going to have to go out on a limb and say, Dolly, honey, your movie was freakin’ weird.

On the most basic level, the move was a variation on Snow White set during the holidays. Except the dashing prince was known as “Mountain Dan” and played by Lee Majors (hi, Bionic Man!) wearing the World’s Worst Fake Beard EVER. And the dwarves were instead orphans dressed in Depression-era clothes who may or may not have been related even though one of them was black and none of the others were. And the only black orphan was named “String Bean” which was also weird, because none of the other orphans had folksy names, but were instead named “Josh,” “Mary,” “Freddie,” etc. And the fact that, now that I think about it, everyone in the quaint mountain town were dressed in Depression-era clothes which seemed especially disorienting because the movie was, after all, set in the (then) present day of 1986. Seriously, no one could ship a box of Pac-Man or Miami Vice t-shirts to the Ozarks for these residents?

Overall, I guess, sort of, kind of, the movie wasn't that bad. It was a Dolly Parton Christmas movie after all and you get to watch her sing and play the guitar with her ginormous fake nails and giggle and say those Mountain People sayings that she’s famous for. It’s good times as long as you’re not looking for something, say, coherent.

I’d like to close by calling out a review of “A Smoky Mountain Christmas” from alert North Carolinian Amazon.com reviewer J. White who says: “The story is a bit hoakey, but I don't mind it since it is a good story with no political correctness or other garbage such as the A Very Muppet Christmas was laden with.”

Yup. Thanks J. White. I sense another blog post comin’ up quicker than a gathering of ants after a spill of honey mixed with molasses and maple syrup stirred with sweet Carolina tea.

You don’t dis the Muppets and get away with it on MY watch, pal.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Do not resist the otters. Don't even try.


I realize I have a THING for super-ultra-mega cute things, therefore I’m contractually obligated to draw your attention to CuteOtters.com, which is apparently the new sister site (sort of) for Cuteoverload.com.

Just try to look away. Try not to giggle like a little school girl when you see them nibble their lunch off of their tummies. Just try.

Dude, you know you want to just smother them with kisses. Yes, even YOU, tough guy reading this blog in jail. EVEN YOU.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The trip to the ninth circle of hell (Bellevue Square) was worth it in the end

Beth is feeling smug today. Last night, Beth went shopping. Shop, Beth, Shop! Beth found lots of nice professional clothes to wear to work. Because every piece of clothing she bought was 50 percent off, plus an additional 40 percent, (dude, I know!) Beth ended up saving a ridonculous amount of money, while still coming away with a schnazzy navy blue velvet blazer from Ralph Lauren in the process. Save, Beth, Save!

Now Beth’s feeling both well-dressed AND financially savvy. And smug. Very smug. Gloat, Beth, Gloat!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Curse you, Hallmark Channel! CURSE YOU!

In making this confession, I realize I’m scrapping any sense of hipster/indie-film-fan street cred I ever had. And I didn’t have much to begin with, folks. But (deep breath) my name is Beth, and I’ve been Tivo-ing an alarming amount of Christmas movies from both the Hallmark Channel and Lifetime this holiday season.

(World at Large: “Hi Beth.”)

We’re not even talking kitschy retro movies like Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas (truly, the best holiday movie EVER), we’re talking movies with hokey soundtracks and appalling scripts about city slickers that learn to love Small Town Life and the Importance of Family over Christmas.

I need help. I need to re-watch Sid and Nancy and recapture my bitter inner film snob. Maybe after one more Hallmark Original movie though...

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Introducing...Tready!

The World of Beth introduced a new family member into her home last week - Tready the Treadmill! Tready lives in my living room and enjoys it when I take him for walks. So far I'm trying to go for 30-minute walks with Tready every day, but sometimes Tready kicks my ass and makes me feel like a 98-year-old woman after I'm done with him. I've learned I need to tread lightly with Tready or else I will hurt the next morning. He's spiteful like that.

Yes folks, it's the end of the year and that means Beth is ramping up for new year's resolutions - in this case it's "Shape Up In 2007," my committment to not being Fatty McFatterson at this time next year. Going for daily walks seemed like a good first step - hence the adoption of Tready.

Even Mrs. Puff seems to enjoy Tready, or rather she seems not too be terrified with it, which I take to be a good sign. Perhaps I could even get her furry fat bottom onto Tready and we could walk together? Bring it on, 2007, this girl's ready.

If Rocky Balboa can go to battle in his sixties, then surely I can commit to a brisk walk in the evenings, right? Right? (Desperate whimper) Right?

Saturday, December 09, 2006

A Conversation With Daiso


Beth: Thanks very much for joining me today, Daiso. All too often I write open letters to random things but today the idea occurred to me to interview them instead. Especially when these random things are as FREAKIN' FABULOUS as you are, Daiso.

Daiso: It's my pleasure. Nice to be here. Please stop touching me.

Beth: Oh, sorry. I'm excited. You were really, really cool. Anyway. Recently I paid you a visit at the Alderwood Mall....

Daiso: Yes, I remember you. Saturday night, right?

Beth: Omigod, that's right! You saw me? You remembered me? (blushing) Wow, that's so cool. I really enjoyed meeting you, Daiso. I admit I wasn't sure what to expect, but you were so much cooler than I could have imagined.

Daiso: (squirming uncomfortably) Yes, I get that a lot. Could you sit a little farther away from me?

Beth: But Daiso, you're dreamy. You're like a Japanese dollar store, isn't that right? (Daiso nods). But you're more than that. Of course you are. I mean, an American dollar store wouldn't sell packages of tissues with sleeping kittens on them, would it? God, all American dollar stores sell are dented cans of soup and Nag Champa incense and discontinued household cleaners. They're not like you, Daiso. They're not all kitschy and cute and cool and authentic and awesome.

Daiso: You're very kind. I do feature an extensive selection of Japanese ceramics such as teapots and sake pitchers, chopsticks, snacks, household cleaners, decorations, stationary and tupperware-like items all for around $1.50 each. Some items are as high as $3.00, but most are in that $1.50 range.

Beth (sighing): You were fabulous, Daiso. Seriously.

Daiso: I have to go now. I'm very crowded and you're creeping me out.

Beth: I'm going to tell all my readers about you, Daiso. I want them to know how much I love you so that they can love you too. Please don't go. I want to look at more rice paddles with bunny rabbits on them and miso soup bowls with tiny fitting lids. I want more of you, Daiso!

Daiso: Again, I'm flattered. But I'm a chain store in Alderwood Mall. It would never work out between us. Please, just visit me occassionally.

Beth: Oh I will, Daiso. I will. I hope to see you very soon.

Daiso: You're a strange woman.

Beth: Yes, I get that a lot.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Crazy Cat Lady Alert


Yeah, it's my cat in a dress. You got a problem with that?

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Nine Nifty Lessons learned this weekend in Portland

1.) Tax-free shopping = GOOD
2.) Tater tots with ranch dressing = SUPER
3.) Holiday Ale Festival taking place downtown = FANTASTIC
4.) “Blizzard of Oz” ale at said festival = NOT GOOD. NOT GOOD AT ALL.
5.) Being sober(ish) in a room of about 1,000 really drunk people = NOT SO GOOD EITHER.
6.) Getting lost on the way home, in the cold and the dark = SERIOUSLY BAD TIMES
7.) Finding a local chapter of the Elks Club and having them call us a cab = A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE
8.) Knowing that in order to get that cab at 11 p.m. it’s likely that someone in our group had to flirt with an Elks Club member = SAD
9.) Safe arrival home, with garlic bread and brie afterwards = HAPPY TIMES

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Ah well....


Sigh. Twelve days, folks - I lasted for twelve days as part of the blog-every-day-in-November project and clearly I just wasn't up to the task. I tried, I really did. Ah well...

So I'm back from the Mile High homeland where I gnawed on turkey wings, enjoyed The Olive Garden's hospitaliano, slurped wine and oysters at one kick-butt happy hour, pondered the future of social security via my dad's impromptu poll and generally sat in stunned amazement at how much Broncos fever Denverites have. I always think I'll be prepared for the Broncopaloozaness and every time I am taken aback at the ferocity of the Broncos fans. Ah well...

So it's a snow day today for most of the Seattle metro area. I'm must officially be a Seattleite now because I now find myself panicking and sweating and slobbering like a lunatic at the mere thought of snow rather than using common sense and my Colorado roots to take it all in stride. Ah well....

Time to make some tea and get back to staring at the window at the white stuff...

Sunday, November 12, 2006

The Wurst is the Best!

In Check Out What I Found While I Was Surfing Yesterday-news, I present the Wurst Gallery, an online art gallery based out of Portland. I particularly enjoyed the "vintage vandals" category and if the world's not careful, I might have to head to Goodwill and remake some bad paintings myself.

Do I sense some unusual and wacky Christmas presents in the works? Hmmmmm.......(insert evil cackle here)

Saturday, November 11, 2006

An "Ugly" Posting

Every now and then you find something on TV so ridiculous - so mind-boggling crazy that you find yourself hitting the TiVO rewind button over and over and over just to prove to yourself that something that patently ridiculous was actually broadcast on television.

Case in Point: Entertainment Tonight's "Investigation" that people generally respond better to pretty people than ugly people. To summarize fairly quickly, they dressed Vanessa Minnillo up as the lead character on ABC's "Ugly Betty" and made her go out and ask strangers to assist her with a survey. Turns out no one wanted to help her. Then she got all super glammed up and people were falling over themselves to help her.

This set-up gets a gigantic W-to-the-T-to-the-F from me to begin with, but as the video shows, even before Vanessa gets her fat-suitted/uglified self out the door, she starts breaking down at the terrifying prospect of actually being (gasp!) ugly in the outside world. "What do you think is the most beautiful part of yourself," someone asks from behind the camera. She replies her heart (Awwwww, good answer!) but then, upon looking at herself, she starts to cry because, in her own words, "PEOPLE HAVE TO GO THROUGH THIS EVERY DAY." (Oh my GAHHHH...)

Yes, Vanessa, we are truly a brave and hardy bunch, those of us who are not professional entertainment gossip show anchors. It is an emotional challenge every day for the tragically affected other 99.99 percent of non-gorgeous humanity to leave our dark caves of isolation and subject ourselves to the horrors of being a non supermodel. Oh, the horror.

But then. Siiiiigh. Vanessa gets her composure and says that "It's sad but that's what I feel is the most beautiful thing on me right now," (i.e., her heart). Yes, Vanessa, that IS sad. It would have been so much nicer to be able to say the most beautiful part of you was, say, your ribbed abs, but instead you had to reflect inward and find a part of yourself that shows who are you and what makes you unique and wonderful. That sucks, dude.

Ugly people are the worst.

Friday, November 10, 2006

More Reasons to Love the Seattle Public Library

A while back I had a light bulb moment, which would have been more impressive if the rest of the world hadn’t had the exact same moment about five years ago before me. I’ve recently been discovering the joys of getting CDs from the library. Way to expand your music collection – FOR FREE – and enjoy artists that you might not ordinarily listen to. Again, FOR FREE.

As further validation of just how cool Seattle’s downtown library is, I’ve been able to track down all sorts of good indie alterna-goodies, including The Delgados, Pedro the Lion, Whiskeytown, Aimee Mann, Damien Jurado, Tegan & Sara – hell, even the new Duran Duran and an old best-of Dolly Parton CD. Can I mention again I got these for FREE and that YOU CAN TOO?

Sure the selection is hit or miss and you’ve got to wrestle with the hard core music geek boys that linger waaaay too long in front of the shelves you want to check out, but as one that’s been hitting up used book stores for years, it’s all par for the course. Hard to complain when I’m finding CDs I would normally pay good money for, for FREE.

Seattle Public Library, if I haven’t told you lately, I heart you.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Beth's Holiday Shopping Guide 2006

Several of you have been hounding the World of Beth and asking what I’d like for Christmas. That’s cool. I like that. I’ve been doing the same thing to ya’ll right back, I guess. A helpful guide for your holiday Beth-centered shopping:

Good ideas:
Movie gift cards, especially for Landmark theaters
An unusual “something-of-the-month” club subscription
Kitchenware and home decor items from Anthropologie
Funky jewelry or home-related items from Urban Outfitters
Gift certificate for a class or workshop in any of the following topics: cooking/wine, painting, photography, yoga, creative writing
A really nice coffee mug
Houseplants
A pamphlet of your favorite recipes that you and your family enjoy often
A cool new journal from Ex Libris Anonymous
Yarn of YOUR choosing for me to make a toasty scarf for you in return

Less-than-good ideas:
Reptiles
Tapestry-covered luggage
Flavored coffees or coffee creamers
Ceramic animals and/or angels and/or patriotic-or religious-themed figurines
Fleece clothing
Antifreeze
Sweatshirts/T-shirts with kittens, wolves, hummingbirds or sports teams on them
Anything at all with a cat or kitten on it.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Fun with Food!

Loyal Readers of the World of Beth have requested more hilarious commentary about wacky foods. Apparently y'all really enjoyed the chocolate-chip-pancake-wrapped-sausage example from a while back. Sickos.

First off, I need to give props where props are due - to Not Martha, who is ALL OVER this topic. She's actually the one that tipped me off to the pancake/sausage combo and she's also the one that pointed out this ready-made Tur-Duc-Hen to me.

Oh yes. You heard me. Don't tell me you haven't ever wanted to enjoy a ready-made frozen turkey stuffed with duck stuffed with chicken stuffed with shrimp and crayfish. On second thought, don't tell me if you ever HAVE wanted that. The idea makes me throw up just a wee bit in my mouth.

But anyhoo - fun with food! More to come.....

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Best Dollar Store EVAH. Maybe?

It's came to my attention a while back that waaaay up North in Lynnwood's Alderwood Mall there's a dollar store known as Daiso. Since I've not been to check this out in person yet, I'm curious what all is involved here.

Has anyone been yet? Is it full of the adorable Japanese trinkets and unusual foodstuffs that my creative brain is imagining? Or is it more like our American dollar stores, with their sad shower caps and chipped angel figurines?

Monday, November 06, 2006

Yuppie Foodies Unite

From the “It’s About Freakin’ Time, Folks,” files, I’m pleased to report that the new Westlake/Denny Whole Foods is opening on Wednesday! I'm fairly certain that I've been driving by the construction site for this store since early 1984, so it's nice to see they've finally gotten around to finishing it.

Bring on the paycheck-vaporizing grocery bills!

Read local paper's account of the new store here.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Commonly Asked Questions About Spitesgiving

Yesterday afternoon the World of Beth celebrated its second annual Spitesgiving Feast, and we've put together a handy FAQ list for you, gentle readers, so that you can learn more about this terrific, spiteful holiday.

What exactly is Spitesgiving?
Spitesgiving is a holiday where participants gather with friends, enjoy a roast beast, discuss all of things they regret and/or are bitter about and then gear up for the holiday season ahead of them.

Um, isn’t that sort of like Thanksgiving?
Um, no. You don’t give thanks at Spitesgiving. You give spite. And bitterness. And woe. Lots of woe.

Isn’t that a little dysfunctional and sad?

Face it, the holidays are a little dysfunctional and sad, aren’t they? So before you cram yourselves onto an oversold plane or train or automobile to travel thousands of miles to see your family, with their inappropriate, slightly racist, humor and binge drinking, who will no doubt harass you about why you haven’t gotten married/had a baby/bought a house/become more like your more successful sister or brother/gotten off smack (and so on), wouldn’t it be nice to have an outlet to prepare you for that?

When is Spitesgiving held?
It’s a flexible holiday. Spitesgiving is breezy. A good rule of thumb is a few weeks before Thanksgiving.

Sorry, but I'm still confused. If all you do is sit around and complain, how is Spitesgiving truly a special holiday? What makes it different from, say, a normal Tuesday?
Look, you're missing the point here. It's about more than just complaining and being whiney. Well, okay, maybe its not. Did I mention you get to eat roast beast? By putting formal traditions together around our collective bitterness, we've created an outlet for healing and a sense of community. Plus its an opportunity to think of really disgusting things that we can make Eric eat.

Okay, I guess I'm sold. What all is involved with Spitesgiving?
There are several traditions associated with this holiday. The day begins with the Gathering of People With Issues. Then comes the Random Shouting Out of Things We Are Spiteful About. Before the meal, then there is the Ceremonial Tasting of Something Truly Foul. Then the group toast, or the C’mon Guys Everyone Go Around And Say Two Things They Are Most Spiteful About, Seriously. Then there is the Devouring of the Roast Beast. Followed by the Burning of Sage and Beginning of the Healing Process.

What should I wear to Spitesgiving?
Ideally, you should wear a sweatshirt that features a disgruntled, angry looking turkey on it. The turkey should ideally be flipping someone the bird (no pun intended).

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Get me!

Okay, well, so I didn't blog yesterday, but today I'm blogging about yesterday, and in Bizarro Beth World, that counts enough to not ruin my attempt to support November's BloMoPo....whatever. I'm feeling smug because last night while entertaining some guests I made Szechan Green Beans, Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps and Peanut Noodles. AND no one secretly spat the food into their napkins. That I could see. Get ME, bein' gourmet and social!

However, I'm feeling bummed because yesterday I stayed home from work to await the delivery of a studly new (um, used, actually) treadmill that I found on Craigslist and no one ever showed up with it. Get ME, attemptin' fitness! Get ME, havin' good intentions but not bein' able to actually execute them!

I will say that my New Balance rock star "off road" running shoes purchased this week are cushioning the blow a bit. Who cares if I will never in a gabillion years run "off road" and will more than likely only wear these shoes to the mall to buy elastic waist black pants. I will at least be able to maintain the facade of being active and sporty. Get me, livin' in my own little private fantasy world!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Stabler Versus Goren, the Debate Rages


It’s no secret that I’m a wee bit obsessed with Law and Order SVU and Law and Order CI. I’ve had multiple conversations with folks about my little problem, and without fail the discussion always turns to the red-hot debate of Who Is The Hotter Investigator – Detective Bobby Goren of CI, or Detective Elliott Stabler of SVU? As someone suggested recently, it’s like the next generation of the Ginger versus Mary Ann debate.

For this gal, hands down, it’s Detective Goren. No question. He’s all weird and socially inept and uber-tall and brilliant and insightful about totally random stuff. How could you not heart him? Yeah, I know Stabler’s all masculine and steely-jawed, but he lacks the insight and the sensitivity of Goran. Goran's like this gigantic freakshow/autistic teddy bear that you just want to snuggle up with. Plus there was that one episode where Stabler showed off his way-too-tiny speedo underwear and that just tramautized me off of him for good.

Where do YOU stand on this debate?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

NaBloPoMo, like you've never NaBloPoMoed before, World at Large

It’s November and apparently the world is blogging every single day this month, in honor of NaBloPoMo, so I’m joining in. I actually enjoy this idea, and do agree that it’s a lot less intimidating that cranking out a novel in 30 days. I

f I can’t come up with something to whine about or an embarrassing story of Mrs. Puff to share with total strangers, then I just need to amp up the creativity big time. Stay tuned! See how long Beth’s commitment will actually last...

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Peace the Spork Out, Halloween


It’s Halloween in the World of Beth, and in a last-minute panic, I’ve decided to pay tribute to the things that I love best – flamboyant and witty gay boys and celebrity gossip. Welcome to Pink is the New Halloween Costume. Slap on some celebrity photos and you're good to go!

(Slightly stoned appearance and princess tiara optional.)

Monday, October 23, 2006

Amy Sedaris, I like you.

I will say this for Martha Stewart – never once in her many books on hospitality and housekeeping does she feature a poster of herself covered in frosting and sprinkles. Nor does she advise on what to prepare for when, say, a lumberjack comes to dinner. And I’m fairly certain Martha’s never included a guide to giving oneself a proper breast exam in the same chapter that she mentions taxidermied squirrels and homemade lemon frosting.

Leave it to her new book that I recently picked up at Barnes and Noble. Now I can be domestic AND get my freak on. Thanks, Amy Sedaris!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

A historic day in World of Beth


As my loyal readers can attest, I have a really, really, really passionate dislike for eels. They give me the heeby-jeebies of the worst kind. And every single day for as long as I have had this blog, they have been included on my list of Things I Do Not Enjoy.

But today heralds a new dawn for the eels because I have found a new creature that has surpassed them in both blechiness, scariness, and lately, just plain audacity and showmanship.

This morning I opened my Internet to find the headline, "Stingray Jumps Onto Boat, Stabs Man." Read that again. It took me a few times to actually process what I was reading. A stingray actually resembles a fish-like Kleenex with a face. This fact makes this story all the more amazing and terrifying. ONE OF THEM JUMPED ONTO A BOAT AND STABBED A MAN.

For as creepy as they are, eels have never once jumped onto a boat and stabbed anyone (that I know of). Clearly the stingrays are becoming more aggressive and creative in their ways to freak the bejesus out of their human counterparts.

And for that, readers, they have REPLACED EELS AS THE CONSISTANT THING THAT BETH DOES NOT ENJOY. Drumrolll please.....

Monday, October 16, 2006

Open Letter to Celery

Hi Celery,

Why do you have to be so awful? Right now I'm nibbling on you and cursing myself for ever having thought up the idea of bringing you to work as a healthy snack. Everytime I sit down and try to give you another chance, I am a little bit sadder and more disgusted for the experience.

Look, Celery, I'm trying to take small steps towards a "lifestyle change" by incorporating veggies like you into my diet. But it's your ridiculous, almost comically noisy personality, mixed with your consistent bland flavor and mouth-full-of-spongely-floss sensation that continues to keep us apart.

Maybe like the wise scribe from ABBA said, "knowing me, knowing you....there is nothing we can do." I do wish it could have worked out, Celery. Please have your homeboy cucumber give me a call if you happen to see him in the crisper later on.

Best,

Beth

Friday, October 13, 2006

Open Letter to the professional cat-sitter who refused to cat sit Mrs. Puff because it would (quote) "break his heart"

Dear Inappropriate Pet Sitter Guy,

I try to use my blog for good instead of evil. I try not to be That Girl who rants in excessive detail about my friends, my work, my politics etc. But when I inquired about your possibly cat-sitting my cat over the holidays, I must say your reaction surprised and offended me enormously. You have given me no choice but to go off and rip you a new one in my blog.

Without ever having met me or my cat, your email response stated that the experience of visiting the 25-pound Mrs. Puff would "break (your) heart to see her before, during and after visiting her." You stated that "some people might find fat cats cute or funny, but I just see an uncomfortable animal who probably can't run around and play, can't jump onto a window sill, or pull herself up to the top of a kitty condo., and who will probably die young."

You stated you would be "bummed out big time seeing your cat" and went on to lecture me about the risks of feline obesity ("diabeties, and other terrible illnesses, through no fault of their own..."), letting me know that you apologized to your 16-pound cat the last time he got weighed ('I'm sorry I let you eat to much.').

Where do I even begin with this, sir? Look, on one hand, I appreciate your concern for my cat's welfare. I do. But you know nothing about my cat or how I, or her veteranian, care for her. I don't really appreciate your lecturing me about my pet's health, diet, weight, and prognosis for a healthy rest of her life. The snide implication that I keep my cat fat for my own amusement is totally out of line. You're not really in a position to pontificate about how mobile or comfortable or healthy my cat is, never have seen or interacted with her. The repeated mentions of how "bummed out" and heartbroken you would be during the cat-sitting experience is melodramatic beyond compare. Even the most well-intentioned animal lover need not be a guilt-tripping judgemental ass.

So, phew. Thanks for getting back to me about the pet-sitting gig, but next time, just decline politely and spare your potential customers the side dish of judgement you served me.

Meow,
Beth

Thursday, October 12, 2006

I'm a happy (non) camper now


In happy online shopping resource news, this site is not just an online fridge magnet powerhouse, but it features this fabulous magnet, which was just given to me as a special surprise giftie. Way to support my love of both non-camping activities and fridge magnets, buddy!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Bad Dreams

Last night I actually dreamt that I had udders.

One, that is freakin' freaky and gross

Two, I evidently need to get my behind to a gym pronto before my subconscious gets any more warped and aggressive about the size of my behind.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

This one's for you, Dumplings

Someone I know was recently discussing chicken with dumplings with me. No, they really were.

And since I'm a big fan of All Things Dumpling (Mental note: Make that my first book's title), this list of 675 recipes of Chicken and Dumplings made me downright giddy. It's autumn, it's time for comfort food, folks. Other options worth sharing include Chicken Curry soup (890 recipes worth) and the classic oldie-but-oh-so-goody, the Impossible Cheeseburger Pie from Bisquick.

This made me all recipe-sharing happy. Stark Raving Mad for recipe sharing. I even talked to someone suggesting that for Christmas we could make each other a book of our favorite recipes. Which I know sounds lame, but it's actually quite sweet if you think about it, isn't it? You could prepare their favorite meals and think of that person while you're doing it, bringing them into your kitchen when they couldn't be there in person....and...oh nevermind.

All's I'm saying is, if you're game for sharing good recipes that you and your kin folks enjoy, drop me a line and I'll do the same on my end. If you're lucky, you'll get Rita's Banana Bread recipe.

Monday, October 09, 2006

And people wonder why I'm good with just coffee for breakfast

Oh sweet baby Jesus. Is there anything Americans won't eat? Seriously?

Sunday, October 08, 2006

The Return of Lawyer Beth

I'm thinking of Lawyer Beth this evening. (For those of you unawares, Lawyer Beth is my perfect alterna-self, that is like the total and complete opposite of my actual-self in that she accomplishes and embodies everything I never could. Yes, I realize that's a wee bit messed up, just go with me here.)

We're entering into Autumn, which means I'm feeling all back-to-school-like and trying to think of crafts and projects that will see me through to next July. It's the time of year when I get all nesty and domestic and inspired and that little voice inside my head says "Well sure, Beth, maybe you can turn your life around this winter and not spend the next six months on your couch eating frozen pizzas watching Law and Order Criminal Intent reruns and fantasizing about being, ahem, interrogated by Vincent D'Onofrio in an interview room."

This is where Lawyer Beth usually comes into play. When I start thinking of what I can do this winter, I play the proverbial game of "What Would Lawyer Beth Do?" This is not a game one can win. Because she's imaginary, Lawyer Beth is perfect and unattainable. I know this (sort of).

Still, there's a part of me determined to throw a dinner party at some point this winter where I will ladel homemade soup into bowls made out of hand carved individual-sized pumpkins for my guests. A girl can dream, right?

Word of Advice

If you ever want to try one of those "peel off" facial masks where it dries and you then peel it off of your face in disturbing skin-like strips, it's important to pay attention to the instructions - which I'm willing to bet will almost ALWAYS warn you not to get the mask in your hair.

Or else you're going to find yourself picking the textural equivilant of rubber cement our of your hairline for the next 3 hours or so. And soft, refreshed skin or not, that's not glamorous at ALL.

Just sayin'.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Liberry Goodness

What better way for a thirty-something single woman to spend her time on a Saturday evening than to be online reading blogs and becoming enamored with this new site, LibraryThing. I haven't done much research on it yet, but it looks quite intriguing.

Bringing people together based on their personal libraries? Creating a virtual place to show off how literate and smarty-pants you are? Sign. Me. Up.

Plus (again, to show off how cool and cutting edge my single woman life really), I made pickled asparagus, pickled green beans, batch two of peach jam and chili today. Bring on the nuclear winter, folks, I've got enough canned goods to get me through the next few months. Or at least to garnish enough bread and martinis to get through another Seattle winter.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

I"m just a blogger, standing in front of a laptop....

It might just have been the whole “waking up to a bed of poop” thing that put me in a bad mood yesterday, but I finally got around to watching “Notting Hill,” and came very close to barfing right there on my floor from it. I chose not to, as I had already cleaned up one body-related mess too many that day.

Back to Notting Hill. See, I wanted to like this movie, I really did. It was written by the same bloke that wrote “Love, Actually,” (which also should have been a better movie than it was), and it featured a positively charming cast, a truly adorable setting and lorry-loads of posh British quirkiness. And yet....the saccharine dialogue, Julia Roberts' teeth, the race-to-get-the-girl ending…it was just too bloody much, really. I laughed out loud at the “I’m just a girl standing in front of a boy….” speech and I’m pretty sure that wasn’t what the writer had in mind when he wrote that part.

Have I become irreversibly bitter and spiteful, or is something going around the air this Autumn season?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

You know it’s going to be a bad day when…

….you wake up in the early, early morning to the sound of your obese cat scratching around the comforter down near your feet. And she just keeps scratching. And you start mumbling in that sleepy voice of yours “ENOUGH WITH THE SCRATCHING ALREADY.” And then you eventually fall back asleep. And then when you wake up a few hours later you pull back your comforter to get out of bed and your realize that your obese cat has POOPED ON YOUR BED WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING IN IT. RIGHT THERE. NEXT TO YOUR SLEEPING BODY. SHE POOPED. APPARENTLY OUT OF SPITE OR LAZINESS OR SOMETHING.

And you almost want to cry because, Jesus that is NASTY, but you're more disgusted than sad about it. And then you realize that the obese cat's brain is about the size of walnut and it's far too late to punish her about it, which actually makes the whole situation all that more gross and disturbing.

Yep, you do indeed know it’s a bad day is in the works when that happens.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Beware of Squrrels Holding Cupcakes

In further proof that my hipster street cred has all but diminished entirely, I’ve only recently discovered the joy of cupcakes. Now you may be scratching your heads thinking that the cupcake “trend” has been going on for about a year or so (clearly you’ve all been talking about it while collectively watching Law and Order without me this whole time…), but I never really got into it. I’m not anti-cupcake, mind you, but I wasn’t passionately PRO-cupcake, either. I just didn’t understand what the big dealio was.

It wasn’t until a weekend trip to Ballard took me Cupcake Royale that I got what everyone has been so twitterpated over this whole time. Adorable little carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting? It was practically love at first sight. Plus, the fact that the store’s mascot was a squirrel holding up a cupcake for Cupcake Harvest Festival meant I was all but powerless to refuse its charms. Try them. You’ll liiiiiike them.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

A tongue twister for the Fall Canning Season

Peter Piper (and his preppy precocious pal Beth) purchased pounds of pickles at Pike Place to pickle a peck of. And pickle they did, my friends.

Twelve jars of pickles made this weekend – which I believe translates to approximately half a peck. If you’re dying to know exactly how much a peck weighs, check it out here.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Spitesgiving 2006


It’s that time of year again, Gentle Readers. When the air becomes crisp and leaves start falling and the holidays start galloping towards us at full speed. And you find yourself, right in the center of your heart, becoming just a little more SPITEFUL ABOUT IT ALL.

I am pleased to announce the Second Annual Spitesgiving Feast has been scheduled for November and with it a slew of traditions and festivities is now being determined. The airing of grievances! The tasting of something truly foul! The roundtable of regrets! The feasting on our own bitterness! It’s all coming down the road in just a few weeks’ time. Do you have something you’d like to suggest we do for Spitesgiving? A brilliant idea we need to partake in that could become part of our annual tradition?

Let us know and YOU (yes, YOU!) might get an invitation to Spitesgiving 2006. Or you might not. Cause, you know, it’s not really a holiday about feeling warm and fuzzy…..

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

What I'm Watching

I’ve noticed that my blog actively advertises to share “what I’m watching,” and true to form I have a new favorite program this Fall: Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. It’s smart. It’s got witty banter. It’s got what appears to be weird, dare I say slightly homoerotic tension between Chandler and Josh from the West Wing. It’s got the winding, mazelike sets with people speed walking through them conversing via the witty banter. It’s Aaron Sorkinalicious! Sorkintastic! Sorkintagious! I love his work, and have since the days gone by of Sports Night. (Don’t even get me started on Sports Night and the travesty that was done to that show or I’ll get out my can of Whup Ass...)

Anyhoo….I’m really looking forward to Studio 60 and hope it does well. As an added bonus, it looks like Amanda Peet has even trimmed her eyebrows for the job. Nice work all around, guys!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Not exactly Sex and the City

What do 3 single, sexy, intelligent, hipster ladies do when they have a sunny Saturday stretched out in front of them? Why, they head out to the country to buy farm fresh produce to make jam and pickles, that’s what!

The ladies might go to this place outside of Seattle called Remlinger Farms, in search of quaint country kitchiness and farm fresh produce. And then, because they’re already there, they might also pay a $10 admittance fee to go inside of the “Country Fair Family Fun Park” because, seriously, who can turn down a freakin’ Country Fair Family Fun Park if it’s RIGHT THERE, I mean, COME ON PEOPLE.

Except, as they slap on their hospital patient-esque wristbands, they realize they’ve entered an amusement park that is not so much tailored for single, sexy, intelligent hipster ladies, but rather for “farm girls” and “farm boys” that are, on average, three to four years old. But the ladies are already there, right? And they might as well enjoy it ‘cause they’re already driven into the country and slapped down $10 a piece for this Freaky Fantastic Family Fun Fair Park. So they continue to wind their way through the pint size petting zoo, the haphazardly assembled carnival rides, the waist-high hay maze, the “peacock enclosure” that featured a wounded, possibly paralyzed, peacock, as well as something called a “goat climb” that did NOT deliver on its promise of goats that climb, until they have reached their fill of Family Fair Fun Park Festivities.

These ladies would try not to pay attention to the fact that they’re the only Fun Park visitors without children and are, in fact, getting stared at by concerned parents who find it odd that these 3 thirtysomethingish single ladies are wandering around looking for the pony rides when they frankly should have just stayed in the city and drank bloody marys all morning like they usually do on the weekends.

Sigh. We followed all of these Funky Fun Farm Fair Family Festivities up with beer and appetizers at the Claim Jumper because we had already fallen so painfully, irreversibly far from our sexy hipster realm that we had no choice but to embrace it by eating an iceberg lettuce wedge with suburbanites wearing hummingbird sweatshirts and mom jeans.

It was, let’s just say, not one of our hipper weekends.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

I hear Sliced Bread is pretty cool too

As embarrassing as this is to admit, I just discovered the joy of “Law and Order: Criminal Intent” and “Law and Order: SVU” this weekend. While the rest of the World at Large has been watching these shows for about a decade now (my own mom included), clearly I’ve been whooping it up in my cave not paying attention to them. Special snaps go out to my boyfriend TiVo for introducing us and making sure we keep all of our appointments. Seriously, TiVo, is there anything you can’t do?

I also discovered that for every hour that I spend watching CI and/or SVU that I need to spend at least 2 hours thinking of baby pandas or reading InStyle or doing something non-violent to get the grittiness out of my brain. I also find myself staring into the bathroom mirror and asking myself a barrage of intimidating questions. Is that weird?

Friday, September 15, 2006

Good Grief, Beth, where've you been??

I know this has been a burning question for many of you and Lord knows the bushel of mail from my adoring fans has proven this to be a hot topic. So, what the heck has Beth been up to?

I joined the broadband revolution! After living without cable and high-speed Internet for a month, I broke down and hooked myself up with Comcast. I'm back to my normal, drooling slugging self watching the Food Network and Family Guy, but dang if I am not enjoying this broadband thing on the Internet. Niiiiice.

I went to Denver! Having not been there since Christmas, the parental units were pleased to see me, and this trip was waaaaay overdue. Highlights included purchasing a schnazzy sexy olive green purse from Tar-jay, having my mom buy me back-to-school clothes at age 32 and ask me outloud in a store "Do you need underwear? Do you HAVE enough underwear? We're here. You should get some underwear if you need it," and devouring fondue on the Pearl Street mall in Boulder. Good stuff.

I had Special Guest Stars! After ten years of my ceaseless nagging, my junior high buddy Chrissy finally made it to Seattle, which was delightful. Highlights included GORGEOUS weather, a ferry ride to Bainbridge Island, 3 hours spent in traffic to Vancouver, and the fiercest game of "Would you Rather?" EVER.

I went to LA! For a wireless trade show. Okay, that one's not so exciting.

I cleaned up Mrs. Puff's poop!

Okay, this list is rapidly deteriorating. That's a good overview for now. Hope to be posting more regularly...

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Guilty (Musical) Pleasures

Recently, my office gave each of us $10 gift cards to iTunes, which was exceptionally cool of them. My little gift card sat in my Inbox gathering virtual dust for several weeks, which is QUITE an accomplishment for me, but I've finally renewed it.

So for those of my co-workers that actually read this thing (waddup peeps!), I share Beth's Guilty Pleasures Mix 2006:

1.) Mama Told Me Not to Come (Three Dog Night) - Mama knew what she was talking 'bout. I'm just sayin.

2.) Girls Just Want to Have Fun (Cyndi Lauper) - It's literally impossible not to grin and shake your groove thing while listening to this song. Viva Captain Lou!

3.) If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out (Cat Stevens) - For a suspected terrorist, this is a pretty warm and fuzzy song. For my high school peeps, I'd like to dedicate this song to Paaaaaaat and his pet rock.

4.) Annie's Song (John Denver) - As embarrassing as it is to admit, I tear up every time I hear this song. You can't fight the power of the cheeseball. I'd like toplay this song at my wedding while attendees pelt my new husband and I with corn-covered cheeseballs.

5.) Tangled Up In Blue (Bob Dylan) - Good stuff. A particularly ironic purchase since Dylan's all riled up about digital music.

6.) Standing Outside A Broken Phone Booth With Money In My Hand (Primitive Radio Gods) - I listened to this song overandoverandover while mending a broken heart. Good for driving in the rain while contemplating the sad state of your life.

7-9.) Colors, Arms of a Woman, and Keep it Loose, Keep it Tight (Amos Lee) - Props are due to my friend Katie who turned me on to Amos Lee. I like what I'm hearin'.

10.) The Passenger (Iggy Pop) - I've got particularly fond (and slightly dirty) memories of this song. Turn it up loud and sing along.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Standing on the street with my fists raised this morning

I’m just sayin’ I had to wear a sweater to work today for the first time in months. It’s officially the beginning of the end of summer. I will have none of this madness. YOU HEAR ME, AUTUMN? YOU HEAR THAT, PUNK?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Eat my dust, Michiko Kakutani

Since my blog promises to uncover “what I’m reading,” I feel I need to share a few recent discoveries that I’ve quite enjoyed over the past few weeks:

She Got Up Off The Couch, by Haven Kimmel. I freakin’ love Haven Kimmel. If you haven’t read anything by her yet, then close out of this window right now and haul ass to a bookstore. Seriously. Her quirky essays about growing up in Moorland, Indiana, are amazing and touching and hilarious. This particular book features one about her older brother Dan literally took my breath away. On a side note, Haven’s also friends with Augusten Burroughs, which frankly elevates her street cred in my mind Quite A Bit.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, by Jonathan Safran Foer. This guy’s previous book was all over the hipster bookstores in Seattle for a long-ass while, but I never really paid attention to him before this. I’m definitely paying attention now. Okay, so he’s like twelve and that's annoying, but I try not to think about it. This book is about the weeks/months after 9/11 written from the perspective of a nine-year-old trying to make sense of his father's death. He comes across as vaguely Owen Meany-esque, which is not a bad thing at all. Um, did I mention Foer’s kind of adorable for being twelve?

Little Earthquakes, by Jennifer Weiner. Once you stop giggling about her last name and wipe the tears from your eyes, this is a good book to pick up and read. It’s all about new moms and babies, a topic that I usually find incredibly boring, but this one is interesting even for the most die-hard singletons out there. I love Jennifer Weiner. I want to have coffee and doughnuts with her and be her BFF while we watch bad infomercials together in our stretchy black pants. Did I mention she has a nifty (albeit sometimes too blatently commercial) blog?

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

On Life Without Cable

I’ve been at my “new” place a month now and have yet to call Comcast to hook up my cable. Part of me enjoys this because it means I can be one of those smug bastards that say they “don’t watch television” and instead spend my evenings reading or knitting or having people over and being sociable. The other part of me (the larger, more dominant part) hates not having cable with every fiber of my being because it means the only channel I get clearly is the WB, a channel not really known for its, well, programming.

Last night, for example, I had to choose from a snow-filled episode of “Mama’s Family” and a repeat of “7th Heaven” that was so saccharin I almost spit up my frozen burrito. I chose instead to turn off the TV and cut the matted fur off of Mrs. Puff’s chest. This past weekend I had the choice of either a snow-filled televangelist barking at me, or an episode of “The Parkers” which was so dumb it actually made my brain cells seize up. As a side conversation, what is Blossom’s BFF Six doing on The Parkers??

I really need to take some action here so I can get caught up again with my friends at Animal Planet and the Food Network. Cesar Millan, what have you been up to?

Monday, August 14, 2006

What I have learned from self-help books about relationships/dating (see previous post on Drunk Shopping)

  • Every single book about dating starts out with the disclaimer that it is “like, so totally different from ‘The Rules’.” Note that every single book about dating will then go on to offer a new set of complicated, and likely very offensive, rules for the reader to follow.

  • The more blatantly ridiculous title your self-help book has, the more likely Drunk Beth is to pick it up and make loud comments about it in the bookstore. Special thanks go out to “If I’m so Wonderful, Why I Am Still Single?” (“Awwwwwwwwwwww. Oh dude, that is saaaaad”) and “Men are Like Fish: What Every Woman Needs to Know about Catching a Man” (“Holy, holy, holy, holy cow”).

  • If you’re happy and you know it, go on a date. Clap your hands afterwards. Apparently the dating world prefers happy people to self-loathers who skulk around staring at the floor.

  • The key to going on more dates is to actually leave your house/apartment/trailer/mountain shack and go on more dates.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

A few questions for Frozen Burritos

1.) Frozen burritos, why do you taste so frickin’ amazing?
2.) Why are you so satisfying and so easy to prepare?
3.) Frozen burritos, do you have any idea how much I adore you?
4.) Frozen burritos, can you explain to me how a little spicy pocket from heaven such as yourself can have so much fat and sodium tucked inside of you? Where do you hide it, my friend?
5.) Really, frozen burrito? 370 calories? You are so small and tasty. I love you so much. Are you trying to break my heart?
6.) Frozen burritos, our relationship cannot last. I know this. I have pants I must fit into. Why must you taunt me from my grocer’s freezer aisle, calling to me like the sirens to Odysseus?
7.) Again I ask, frozen burrito, how and why must you pack so much deliciousness into your 5-ounce self?

Saturday, August 12, 2006

More random gifts!

I’ve got to shout out to not just one but two loyal readers who recently bestowed fabulous gifties my way! Garsh, you guys……you done near outdid yerselves.

Now I can begin my Dirty Martini Fest 2006 in style, as well as procure some lovely home accents from my local Pier One. Niiiiiiiiiiice work, both of you.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Your Daily Dose of Oeniphilia

Okay folks, settle down. It means one who is freaky-deaky about wine.

I’m finding that one of the biggest perks to having a new apartment is that when people come over they usually bring wine. This is especially useful if you’re working to build up an addiction to alcohol. With my new place, rather than having to sit knee-to-knee in a cramped cell of a studio apartment, we’re now able to take said wine out to the patio and chat for hours and make fun of my neighbors while gulping down (okay, maybe more like sipping) wine and sinking into a happy, sloppy wino haze. My friends are classy like that.

Two individuals have now come totin’ offerings from Erath, which I felt compelled to research this evening. Methinks I sense a weekend trip in the making, hint hint hint.

On an sort of related note but not really, I also check out Purple this week and was quite, quite pleased with the floor-to-ceiling “fort” of wine. Yes, that was the word our waitress used. A fort of wine. Nice if you have disposable income pouring out of your pockets, but probably not a good option for those of us with, well, food and housing to think about.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Karma flicks its finger and whacks Beth sharply upside the head

Lesson learned by yours truly this week – when you mock someone about a task that you’re totally sure that you could have done a better job on (such as making a couple dozen mix CDs for a party), and then later on life actually gives you that specific task to complete, it’s pretty certain that you will manage to screw up that task way worse than the person you were mocking in the first place ever did or could.

So let’s just take a lesson and keep the mockery down a bit lest Karma come and kick your booty.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Cleanup in Aisle Five….

After dropping a bottle of red wine in the major thoroughfare at Costco yesterday, thereby spilling wine all over myself, my shoes, my fellow shoppers and the floor in front of the coffee grinders, I’ve decided to camp out at home today and spend the day with my head buried in my favorite cookbooks.

Oh how I’ve missed my BFF Mark Bittman and his “How To Cook Everything”! My Williams-Sonoma Soup book! Even my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook that features nothing but Midwestern comfort food. I’m getting incredibly motivated to throw more fabulous dinner parties since more than 2 visitors can be in my place at a time now. Stay tuned, world at large, while I contemplate the various themes I can offer….

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The Buffet in Heaven

Special snaps and golf claps go out to my recent hostess with the mostess who, after taking a class in wine and cheese pairings (hello? why was I not informed of this??) decided to share her findings with a group of cheeseheads. I’ve determined that when you arrive in heaven you are promptly served a glass of chilled Prosecco, given a hunk of triple cream brie the size of your head, and asked to retire to the French Bread sofa right next to the bathtub of cheese fondue.

Oh, and for those of you who are not already acquainted with the Sofia mini cans of champagne, you may learn about them here. Beware the bendy straw. No good can come of alcohol with a bendy straw, let me assure you.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

More pictures of Beth's Happy Places



Immediately upon typing that subject line, I became filled with regret, as that's not really a subject line one wants pasted all over the Internet.

Anyhoo, here are more of my smiley, giggly happy places in the new apartment. My plant-filled, Bay window-adorned reading nook, and of COURSE, the World's Best Washer and Dryer.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Behold the most charming place on earth

Um. Okay. I didn't really mean to post TWO pictures of my most-charming patio, but clearly Blogger feels the need to bring it to you all in Quaint Double Vision....Why is this damned program so easy about so many things, and then randomly difficult about others? Siiiiigh.

Okay. I digress. Here are some sneak peeks at the new place. Doesn't this just invite you to soak in the charm, the adorability? Can't you just smell the lavendery goodness on that little side table while you sip from your icy beverage and relax with the latest US Weekly?

Consider the invitation now fully open for y'all to join me on the patio -- appointments are now being taken at Casa de Beth. Unless you happen to know Philip Seymour Hoffman or Hugh Grant and in that case we can rush you right to the top of the guest list. Stop on by!



Wednesday, July 26, 2006

A gift from the kitchen cabinet gods

Last night I was engaging in my new favorite pastime, which is going through my kitchen cabinets and reorganizing my crap. Seems that when Beth moved in, she sort of just haphazardly threw everything into drawers and cabinets just to hide them, but once you actually open the doors you will immediately discover what a disaster area they actually are.

I digress.

So there I am, sitting on the floor, organizing my cleaning supplies under my sink, and I find this little guy sitting there, being all adorable and cute and functional. Who doesn't need a little froggy sink stopper? Did you notice the little webbed feet scattered all around it? Siiiigh. Big, moist, amphibious thanks go out to the cabinet gods (or, more like, the previous tenant) that left behind a little goody for me.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Wendy McClure and Poundy

I have a new BFF.

Um, she doesn’t technically KNOW me or anything and might be a little creeped out if she knew I was referring to her like that, but I have to share that I am LOVING this book I’m reading by Wendy McClure. This gal is hilarious. She is, most definitely, my kind of people.

Extra snaps are owed her because she used to (still does?) write for Television Without Pity, which is one of my most favorite websites ever.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

(Not Quite 15 Pieces of) Patio Flare

Who’s got a full-blown case of patio flare? Why, Beth does, that’s who!

I write to you, World at Large, as the proud owner of a now fully decked-out deck complete with two lounge chairs, window baskets, lovely flowers and herbs and even a little lavender plant to put on my side table for added aromatherapeutic patio flare. I braved Home Depot with the rest of the Sunday suburban sprawling Seattleites (i.e., the sworn enemy of any hipster urbanite worth their salt) and picked up enough charming goodies in the garden department to keep me happy for the rest of the summer. It even took a platform cart/palate jack type of contraption for me to wheel all my flare to the Flexcar.

Siiiiiigh. Did my previous post about retail therapy teach me nothing? Clearly not, because again, I’ve proven to myself how DELICIOUS it feels to go out and buy things. Retail Therapy, again I ask, can’t you learn anything from your cousin Alcoholic Black Out and make me forget how fantastic you make me feel?

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Retail Therapy’s Downside

Damn you, Retail Therapy, why can’t you be like your older brother Co-Dependent Relationships, who never has anything good to offer?

You know what the problem with Retail Therapy is? It works. It works SO WELL. You go out, you buy things, you bring them home, you play with them. And you feel GOOD. They make you happier. They fulfill you. They make your problems seem so less troubling. Plus you end up with neat stuff, which is nice.

This is all backed by a ginormous purchase made at Half Price Books this afternoon – including several movies (Crash, Royal Tenenbaums, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, the TV series “Undeclared” and more) and several books (Joan Didion essays, John Irving, humorous travel essays and more….). I got my two jam-packed bags home and practically rolled around in all of my new possessions.

I love you, Retail Therapy. You are truly the best EVER.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

To Whom It May Concern

For those loyal readers that simply cannot get enough of MY open letters to random persons or things, I humbly offer the McSweeney’s list of Open Letters to People or Entities Who Are Unlikely to Respond.

My favorites so far include An Open Letter to Penguins, an Open Letter to Low-Cut Pants, and an Open Letter to Umlaut. Anything that involves sending a letter to a smug seldom-used punctuation mark wins instant points with me.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Random gifts

Again I write about the joys of random gifts and how great they are. For the person who sent me a box of housewarming goodies, including some really scary/kinky looking Dryer Balls, I say THANKS AMIGA, YOU ROCK!

Way to help support my new fixation on doing laundry whenever possible!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

A Lesson in Cheesecake

Someone recently asked me what the difference was between “normal” cheesecake and “New York style” cheesecake. Seriously, they really did. Behold the answer here!

Monday, July 17, 2006

You know what?

So, um, I was staring out the window? On my bus? And saw a sign in the Gap? That they are starting to roll out their Fall Preview line? And then? You know what? The same thing is happening at Nordstrom? Which means that Fall is starting to peek its brisk chilly little head out of the corner of summer? And? And you know what?

I AM NOT READY TO ACCEPT THAT AT ALL.

Fall better step the heck off or I am going to have a bust a cap in someone’s ass.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

It's Done: Beth Is Moved!

Greetings to the World at Large from the new and improved Casa de Beth where I am (get this) listening to the sounds of my LAUNDRY BEING DONE right here in front of me. As i wrote to someone else earlier today, is it sad/wrong that I want to take a picture of this occasion?

Quick update since its been a few weeks....I am, for the most part, moved in. It's glorious -- the place is large enough to do cartwheels in (if a person so desired), with a patio for drinking wine on while doing some serious people watching. Not a single drunk/homeless ex-con in sight, which is more than I can say for my old neighborhood. Life, it would seem, is good.

So I'm headed off to San Diego tomorrow for a business trip (note to friends who live there...don't feel bad, I'm there for less than 24 hours....), and then home again where I can chill and get settled.

More later -- I know I have amusing stories to share but nothing's coming to mind. Better run and watch the dryer finish its load of towels. This might well beat TV for a few weeks.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

History Lessons

By popular request, I've done some investigating and uncovered the history of Rachel the Pig, the mascot of the Pike Place Market:

"The unofficial mascot of the Pike Place Market is "Rachel," a bronze piggybank located below the Market clock. The piggybank is used to collect donations to the Market Foundation, which provides a variety of services for those in need. Installed in 1986, Rachel was named after a real pig-a neighbor of Georgia Gerber, the Whidbey Island sculptor who created the piggybank."

That's um, kind of boring, to be honest.

Also, I've looked into the history of Beef Wellington, so named "because in its larger version the finished product looks like a highly polished riding or Wellington boot."

That's um, kind of nasty, to be honest.

History -- proving once again to be sort of boring and nasty once you look further into it.

Monday, July 03, 2006

And what did YOU have for dinner?

Special thanks and elastic waist pants go out to the visiting Johnson Family - Rachel, Mike, Sophia, Tony, Sara, RadioShack, Muffin and Hairball - (and Gus, Bonnie and Charlotte!) that prepared a feast that will truly go down in history:

Tasty toasty triangles with your choice of caviar, foie gras, or pate with truffles and champagne
Fresh basil, tomato and mozzarella salads
Roasted butternut squash soup
Beef Wellington with collard greens
Seared pineapple and mango reduction with vanilla ice cream
Did I mention champagne and wine to wash it all down with?

As if a day of basking in the sun with the salmon weren't enough. A girl could get used to this.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Reflections Upon Packing

Well, I've officially begun to pack up my things for the move. Really this is just Phase One, an initial sweep through the things that I don't use on a daily basis. And now, as I sit surrounded by bare bookshelves and my floor becomes a maze of boxes, I'm waxing philosophical.

In theory, it seems perfectly logical to pack the "non-essential" items first so that you're not scrambling at the last minute to pack up random candles and napkins and bud vases. And yet, after just two hours of packing, I'm already feeling displaced. My home doesn't feel quite so....homey. I still have two weeks to go-- did I learn nothing from the last time I did this? I already miss the pictures of my friends and my magnet collection on the fridge.

Lesson learned (again)-- all of your possessions are essential. Even your grandma's teacups that sit on your top cabinet shelf and gather dust and the reminder near the door that "76.2 Percent Of People Leave Their Homes Every Day." It all adds up to create the place and the feeling of your unique home.

Grumble. I'll see them all soon enough, but still. Grrr.

Friday, June 30, 2006

And I wonder why the single, normal men avoid me

Did Beth really, honestly, truly, head to the Ballard Locks today for some sun and socialization, only to take along some KNITTING and a book about GRIEF*? (Note to self, can you become any more like a 70-year-old if you tried??)

And did she really, seriously, SNARL at the group of 30 first graders that came along to frolic on the grassy knoll she had parked herself?

Oh yes, my friends. She did indeed. Stay away from my grassy knoll when I'm knitting, kids.
She followed that up with a ginormous blue raspberry Slurpee at the 7-Eleven and all become right with the world.

*Joan Didion's "The Year of Magical Thinking" -- an absolutely heartbreaking read. Highly recommended, but perhaps not so much for sunny summer days.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Note to self

Hey Jackass,

For future reference, when you plan to move, you shouldn’t forget that your apartment will be shown by your landlord to future tenants.

So, given that, maybe its not such a swell idea to live in total filth for the week and leave the house when you still have laundry spilling out all over the entryway (even if it is clean) with dirty dishes piling in the sink and cat litter scattered around the floor and salt scrub coating your bathtub and used Kleenexes tossed casually around like confetti and last night’s dinner probably still on your living room floor and GOD ONLY KNOWS WHAT ELSE – dirty underwear? sad self-help books? that escort you hired from last week? - laying around for total strangers to see.

Cause, you know, your landlord might call while you’re at work to give you a heads-up that some possible tenants are on their way over in the next 15 minutes and you’ll just dive headlong into an anxiety attack about your filthy house. Just sayin’.

Keep on keepin’ on,
Beth

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

On the Subject of Drunk Shopping

It’s recently come to my attention that there are folks out there that don’t yet know about the wonders of Drunk Shopping, which is something that ranks fairly high in my Top Five Activities I Enjoy list. So, under the theory that if you give a man a fish….something something….but if you teach a man to get drunk and then go shopping for fish, he’ll come home with a lot more than he bargained for.

It’s really not that hard of a concept – everyone knows about drunk dialing, right? This is not that far removed. With drunk dialing, one makes the decision to “reconnect” with old friends/one-night-stands free from the constraints of restraining orders/dignity that cloud your normally sober mind. With drunk shopping – one makes the decision to, well, buy whatever the hell they want to at that very moment, free from the limitations of your d├ęcor/credit limit/dignity. In either case you are completely convinced that your decision is COMPLETELY RATIONAL AND SANE, whether it be regarding a purple ottoman or that ex that done you wrong. Go ahead – buy it! Call him up! You’re drunk – it’s all good!

In both cases, unfortunately you’ll likely be disappointed the morning after. At least with drunk shopping you might have a cute sweater or a pony or a flat-panel TV to enjoy the next day while you recover.

(*In the interest of full disclosure, I felt compelled to share that Drunk Beth’s favorite haunts for Drunk Shopping include the self-help/relationships section of any used book store, and her local Whole Foods store.)

Monday, June 19, 2006

Simple Joys

I just bought a basil plant from Trader Joes for $2.99. I could smell that thing all day long and never get sick of it.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Movin' On Up (but not to the East Side)

Alright, alright, ALRIGHT. I am back! Summer appears to be in full swing here in Seattle with our blazingly hot 60 degree days and gradual transformation from partly-cloudy to partly-sunny. I’ve even shaken off my heavy black cardigan and switched out to my light/medium weight cardigan to celebrate.

In the biggest news of the summer, it looks like Beth will be (DRUM ROLL PLEASE) moving in about a month! This is truly an exciting occasion – because it means that I have found a place that has met every single one of my requirements. Upgraded and significantly less sketchy location? Check. Balcony for evening wine drinking? Check. Located on the busline and nearby access to Flexcar? Oh yeah.

But the kicker of them all is the simple joy of a washer/dryer IN. MY. VERY. OWN. APARTMENT. Do you realize what this means, World at Large? No more running out for quarters at 10 p.m. – no more waiting for an open washer while someone else’s boxers are sitting in the machine I want to use – no more having to schlep 40 pounds of dirty-and-then-clean laundry up and down to the basement laundry room! I get a little teary-eyed just thinking about it. Its a beautiful thing.

I am thinking of hosting a laundry-themed housewarming party where people can bring laundry-themed gifts or even bring in their own laundry to do. Details to come shortly....

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Update about my new boyfriend TiVo

He apparently thinks I’m five years old. My TiVo recommendations are all from Nickelodeon, including Dora the Explorer, Go, Diego, Go, and something called "Squirrel Boy."

Thanks a lot, Season Pass of “Family Guy” and “South Park." Way to confuse my new boyfriend.

Monday, May 29, 2006

It sure doesn’t seem that exciting when you commit it to paper

This Memorial Day weekend, I:

Watched two very good movies about mentally unstable people (Prozac Nation and Proof).
Ate asiago bread and spinach dip.
Hooked up with my new boyfriend TiVo and spend most of an afternoon snuggling with him.
Finally got my Smiths poster professionally framed.
Vowed to start knitting again and even braved a trip to Michael’s (which was terrifying) to buy yarn.
Bought a docking station for my iPod and updated my stereo system.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Trust your Instincts, Girlfriend

Let’s just say that maybe you find a bag of clothes hidden under your bed in a garbage bag. And you go through the bag, thinking, “Holy cow! That’s where my khaki pants went to….and that jean skirt! I wondered about that. Look at all this stuff – why is it hidden away like this?”

And then you try on the clothes that were hidden under your bed in a garbage bag and then you think “Sweet baby Jesus, I look like total crap in these! This skirt is awful. These khakis could cover a Winnebago – everything is awful!”

And then you might realize that maybe there was a REASON that you stuffed those items into a garbage bag and hid them from yourself.

Methinks its time to go to the Goodwill.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Your Suggestions Needed!

Okay kids, here’s the dealio. This Labor Day weekend marks the 10 year anniversary of Beth’s Journey To Seattle. TEN YEARS! I was but a wee little 22 year old fuzzy baby bunny when I hopped in my Honda Civic and left the Mile High City behind for good.

So I need suggestions for how I should celebrate this milestone – whether for that specific weekend or for the summer leading up to it. There are 14 weekends between now and Labor Day -- do you have a cool weekend trip I should take? A Seattle sight I need to see? Just a cool idea that you want to make me do?

Send ‘em my way….

Friday, May 19, 2006

I Heart my BFF Santino

Can I just put it out there for the record that I freakin’ LOVE Santino of Project Runway fame? Love. Him.

I have checked out his blog and am a wee bit miffed that I was not given a heads up about his visit to Seattle last month. Hello? A 7-foot bitchy gay man that impersonates Tim Gunn to a tee? AND he was at the Cha Cha, the War Room and the Bus Stop which are, I might add, literally just a few feet from my house.

Whatever, biotch. I’ll get over it. It’s nothing a dinner at the Red Lobster with Andrae can’t cure.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Open Letter to Ra the Sun God

All hail Ra,

First off, I’d like to open by saying thank you very much for your gift, the sun. Really nice work overall on your part here. We in Seattle don’t see a lot of the sun, but we sure do appreciate it when it makes an appearance.

Which brings to my reason for writing. I wanted to take a moment to apologize on behalf of my people, the Seattleites. As I mentioned, we’re sort of new to the concept of “the sun” and as such we tend to get a little overexcited when it appears. This week is a prime example. It’s been 80 degrees now for two days (again, great work!), but it seems that folks haven’t quite worked out how to dress in this warm climate.

On behalf of the pale, the flabby, the hairy, the pasty and the totally inappropriately underclad citizens of Seattle that have been prancing around our city this week, I apologize. Especially for the shirtless man with a paunch in cut-off hotpants that was riding the number 11 bus last night. Sorry ‘bout that. Seriously.

Anyway – I know you’re busy. Thanks again for the sun and the warmth thing that you’ve got going on. We’re looking forward to seeing more of it in the months ahead and I promise I’ll do what I can to throw a couple of cardigans around the biggest pasty and hairy offenders out there.

Keep on keepin’ on,
Beth

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Letters, oh we get letters…

Mailbag from the World of Beth....

Q: Your blog claims to feature the musings of Mrs. Puff, but she’s awfully quiet. What’s her problem, anyway? Does she think she’s too good for the World of Beth?
A: Gentle readers, here’s the deal with Mrs. Puff. She’s old. She’s obese. She’s very cranky. She’s kind of smelly. Her postings would most likely be about how I cruelly abandon her every single day, forcing her to sleep for long periods of time in the sun surrounded by toys. It’s a very difficult life for Mrs. Puff and she really doesn’t like to talk about it. Okay?

Q: So, what’s the deal with Mr. Puff?
A: We don’t like to discuss Mr. Puff. It stirs up bad memories for Mrs. Puff.

Q: No, seriously. What’s the deal?
A: Okay. It goes like this. They married way too young. Just kittens, really. They lived in poverty and filth, under a crowded porch in Factoria surrounded by a dozen other cats. They had some Pufflets (who, by the way, never call her, even on Mother’s Day).

Mr. Puff had a catnip problem. He gambled. He pawned her wedding collar to pay off his bookie, Fluffy. He was away from home a lot, likely cavorting with thinner, sexier tabbies. The Pufflets grew up and left the porch. Eventually Mr. Puff left too, claiming to see a shiny object that needed investigation, and he was never heard from again.

Mrs. Puff comforted herself by gorging on liver and chicken snacks while watching soap operas. She ended up at the Bellevue Humane Society, sick with a foul, snotty head cold, after a bender on Cat Chow (eaten right out of the bag!), where I adopted her. She doesn’t like to talk about her past and I don’t press her for details.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Eau de Doh?

So, get this.

I'm sure most of you have seen the Demeter fragrance line, featuring unusual scents such as "Gin & Tonic," "Dirt," and "Sugar Cookie." I myself am partial to the "Laundromat" scent, but I've never taken the plunge and actually purchased it.

Now Demeter has introduced "Play-Doh" cologne that smells like....well....you know. I think perhaps the most disturbing part of this is not that people can walk around smelling like Play-Doh, but that it will cost them $20-$40 to do so.

Monday, May 08, 2006

SIFF-a-licious

Hey kids! The Seattle International Film Festival schedule is getting announced this week! You know that means, don't you? It means that Beth is going to be huddled over her kitchen table diligently studying and marking her target list of movies with a highlighter pen and a dayplanner while she maps out her life for the next months.

Unfortunately, as has been the tradition for the past five years or so, it also means that Beth will likely get really, really excited about this at the beginning, buy a dozen or so tickets and then end up going to only 2 or 3 movies at the most.

Will Beth buck the trend? Will she be able to either buy fewer tickets or somehow manage to go to more movies? Only time will tell.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

A weekend with my Spice Girls

Yes, I'm back, loyal readers -- after yet ANOTHER weekend out of the house! Get me! This is a pretty remarkable trend in the World of Beth. I headed back down the old I-5 to Oregon once more, but this time to lovely and picturesque Cannon Beach. A few highlights and observations:

1.) We realized that if we were somehow to perform in a Spice Girls reunion band, we would refer to ourselves as Spinster Spice, Barren Spice, Bitter Spice and (for me) Cynical Spice (alternatively Cat Lady Spice). This pretty much set the tone for the weekend.

2.) After a pitcher of beer, we felt the bitter barren spinster thing was kind of negative, so we tried to come up with some imaginary lives for each of us. This is an EXCELLENT exercise to try -- I highly recommend it. I had suffered a nervous breakdown after accidentally falling off of a boat and splashing into an eel breeding area and was on a day pass that weekend from the hospital. My husband was a chain saw artist.

3.) The movie "Reality Bites" never, ever gets old, sugar boogers.

4.) Yahtzee is a pretty freakin' boring game, even when alcohol is involved.

5.) A dog running at full speed on the beach is a remarkably happy thing.

6.) Dolly Parton's "9 to 5" could well be one of the best songs ever written.

7.) The Tillamook Cheese factory -- which should be one of the happiest, most exciting places a girl could ever see (provided that girl is kind of freaky about cheese) -- is actually kind of lame and depressing.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

After one too many not-so-beautiful days in the neighborhood....

....Beth is packing up and moving her ass to a better part of town.

Same general neighborhood, just a little on the safer/quieter/less drunk area. I have found a DELIGHTFUL little place that ideally I'll be moving up to at the end of June. It's really quite adorable with a rooftop patio that offers views of Mount Rainier and the entire city.

Plus. GET THIS. It features both a WASHER/DRYER and....AND.....a Garbage Disposal. My heart is literally fluttering at the idea of not having to put my fingers into a slimy kitchen sink again.

Stay tuned and I'll let you know how it goes. Wheeeee.

Monday, May 01, 2006

If Anna Nicole Smith can be thin again, then surely.....

I'm a little overwhelemed, World at Large.

The thing is that I'm sitting here in my kitchen, surrounded by what can only be described as a GINORMOUS pile of boxes/cartons/containers and tubs of food from Nutrisystem.

Yes, I've taken the plunge and decided to make my contribution to the billion-dollar diet industry. I figured last week that since I largely only eat prepared food ANYWAY I might as well try and lose weight while doing it..... I can't quite figure out how I feel about all of this.

Hmmm. This is a lot to handle. Stay tuned.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Weekend Update

I'm back from a lovely 2 and a half day trip to Portland where I got to spend some time chillin' with my old buddy and fellow only child Louanne.

To summarize the trip:

Half-price Lemon Drops and Buffalo Chicken Pizza +
Reminicing about both She-Ra and Jem and the Holograms (after half price Lemon Drops) + Kicking the day off with bagels and lox and coffee +
Manicures and haircuts and spa-filled fun +
Watching "Pretty In Pink" while eating Thai food +
Tax-free shopping at Kiehls and Lush and Powells bookstore +
Sunshine and the chance to meet Vince the Wonder Fish =

A very nice weekend indeed. Thanks to my hostess!

Monday, April 24, 2006

On the Topic of Carl the Panda


Several years ago, after a particularly soul-crushing day at work, my friend and I decided that our office needed a mascot.

A mascot, we thought, would cheer us up, create pep to motivate our myriad mundane tasks, offer comfort on our down days and serve as a much-needed distraction from our regularly scheduled abuse and mistreatment.

We debated several mascot options, including an imaginary fabulously flamboyant gay boy named Trey that would give us makeovers and share his collection of genuine Dolly Parton wigs with us. We imagined what it would be like to go clubbing with Trey and how fantastic it would be to go for drinks and dish about our co-workers' bad fashion choices.

But then we met Carl. (Or rather, imagined to meet Carl.) Carl was a panda that would work at our office providing basic administrative and emotional support. Carl could get you a cup of coffee while you were on a conference call, but he could also headbutt you and give you a snuggle after you got yelled at by your boss. Mostly, he was there to listen. He was the snuggliest and more adorable imaginary mascot EVER.

I mean, think about it. Imagine (if you can) that a live panda bear worked in your office/school/hospital/spaceship/whatever and was there to help you out in meetings, or just offer snuggles when you had a bad day. Would there be ANYTHING FINER THAN THAT, I ASK YOU?

Imagine the conversation taking place in this picture:

Office professional (and apparent Michigan alum): "Jesus, Carl, PowerPoint just drives me freakin' insane. I just couldn't get slide 34 to print in Notes View for that messaging meeting!"

Carl: I'm listening. Would it help if you rubbed my tiny furry ears? They're very soft.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

The Piglet Slayer has a new book out!

You can bet your collective bippies that I’m all over this one.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Phrases I will likely never say in my lifetime

“Look, let’s just make things easy on everyone. We can take my minivan.”

“Who’s up for a trip to the eel farm?!”

“Why yes, I’d love more boiled celery, thanks!”

“The liberal media can complain all they want, but I have complete and utter faith that the Bush administration is doing the right thing."

"Pardon me, ma'am, is that your spleen on the floor?"

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Janes, I'm giving up

You read it here, folks, I am officially giving up on Janes Austen and Eyre.

As I continue with my spring cleaning kick, I've been filtering out my excess books that really could make themselves more useful at the used book store a block away. Some of these are just lame books that I don't understand why I bought in the first place. Others are really great books that I genuinely enjoyed reading (Bel Canto, for example), but that I don't really need to keep in my library for the next twenty years.

And then. Then there are the heartbreakers -- the classics. A few years ago, I got on a kick to read many of the classic books that I never got around to reading in high school or college. These including Jane Eyre, Tess of the D'Urbervilles, Pride & Prejudice, Madame Bovary, etc. I ask you, have these books been touched since I brought them home? Have I read even one page of any of them? Have I taken them off the bookshelf even once and read so much as the back covers? Siiigh. You get the picture.

So as I was going through my bookshelves pruning out the titles that aren't going to make the cut in the long term, I struggled over Jane Eyre and other weighty titles for a long time. They got thrown into the "sell" pile, then got guiltily fished out, then got thrown back in again. Finally I've given up -- they are all staying in the sell pile. My AP English teacher may be clucking her tongue at me in disapproval somewhere in the Denver suburbs, but spring cleaning has never been for the faint hearted.

I've accepted my fate as a woman that will never be able to wow her collegues at a business dinner with a witty retort about Emma Bovary, nor will I apparently be able to decipher the inside joke when someone makes a joke about Mr. Darcy over cocktails.

And, okay, wisenheimers, I'll stop you right there because I know you're all sitting there in frotn of your computers thinking, "Um, who are these people making jokes about Mr. Darcy that she's all worried about? Does this actually happen in real life or is she confusing it with a scene in an Emma Thompson movie?"

But I swear to God, people, you just wait, you will be a dinner somewhere, sometime, someplace and something related to Jane Eyre WILL COME UP, and you will be proud and smug that you read that book in high school like the rest of us should have done in the first place.