Monday, April 30, 2007

No Napas Actually Taken in Napa 2007

Oh Jeez.

Okay, so I went to Napa and haven’t blogged about it in for-EVAH, okay? Sorry, World at Large. We ate yummy food, we stayed in an adorable yellow house, we basked in the 85 degree heat, we tried wineries that no one else has ever heard of – in short, it was a fabulous trip. I even got to shop for olive oil and schmancy cheese.

This was actually my third time to Napa Valley. The first was in my 24-year-old Chardonnay guzzling years, in which I couldn't drink anything anymore robust than a super-oak-y, fruity Chardonnay (hey, no compaints or judgement). The second being the Naked Mud Bath Experience Trip, in which I remember nothing except being naked in a mud bath and then this trip, in which I feel I've become enough of a respectable wine snob to know the difference between the varietals but remain cheap enough too not stray from what's offered at my neighborhood Trader Joe's. It's all good anyway you look at it.
Still, if you’ve never rocked out to Young MC’s “Bust a Move” while gazing upon endless fields of grapes then you’ve not done Napa properly, Amigos. There was the obligatory viewing of "Sideways", an educational tour at Mondavi that took roughly seven hours, several ongoing conversations about Why Beth Will Never Go Camping*, and more cheese and bread than you can shake a $24 Merlot-dipped stick at.

I returned home feeling rested, sun-baked and saturated in bold, full-bodied Cabs. Ain't a bad feeling.

** Look, smores and bonfires are cool and all, but I don't like peeing outdoors. I don't like sleeping outdoors. I don't like not showering. I don't like being that far from room service. I'm sorry, but I am NOT a happy camper.

Monday, April 23, 2007

An Open Letter to “Shut Up And Sing,” the Dixie Chicks Documentary

Dear Dixie Chicks Documentary,

Having recently spent what felt like an endless number of hours watching you, could you please explain to me how it is possible that a documentary such as yourself could be so dreadfully, painfully, mind-numbingly boring? You have rednecks versus liberals! You have freedom of speech issues! You have war protesters and death threats and Rick Rubin! You even have that inspiring “Not Ready To Make Nice” song that even I like as your soundtrack!

And yet, you waste half of yourself with extended footage of the Chicks in the studio, recording tracks, plinging their banjos, talking with producers – blah, blah, blah. There's a lot of footage of Nathalie Manes laying on various couches in recording studios with no makeup on, but she's never saying anything particularly articulate or motivating. In fact usually she's getting counselled by her PR advisors and tour managers about how to react - this is supposed to inspire me? Plus, you’re poorly organized – flipping back in time to 2003, then ahead to 2006, then back to 2005, then back again to 2003 – what is UP, Dixie Chicks Documentary?

I was so looking forward to spending some time with you and this is what I get for it?


Sunday, April 22, 2007

Dispatches From The (Perhaps More Than) Friends of the Public Library Booksale

I’ve always fancied myself a book geek. I love reading, I love authors, I love libraries, I love words. Hell, I even love punctuation. And yet, after going to the Seattle Friends of the Library Book Sale this weekend, I’ve discovered a new culture of “book people” who have taken book love to a Whole ‘Nother Level.

For one, these folks come prepared. They plan ahead and bring giant suitcases and military-sized duffel bags and plastic milk crates and roll-y luggage carts to drag their book purchases around the shopping area. They shuffle slowly around the book tables because they’re nudging packed cardboard boxes of books in front of them with their feet while carrying additional packed boxes in their arms. These people buy in BULK. The $14 stack of books I came away with has got nothin’ on these folks. The people watching alone made this experience worthwhile.

God I love how nerdy Seattle is.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

A couple days ago I got hit with a weird eye infection/allergic reaction thing where my eyes basically puffed up and weeped all day, making me look like I was having a nervous breakdown all day long. But I digress. The point is, I stayed home from work and found myself watching TV off and on throughout the day.

During which I saw a commercial for the new Volvo S80. The commercial features a woman walking to her car, late at night, alone, her 3-inch heels click-clicking their way to her reliable safe Volvo after a hard day of working at the local Swedish blond furniture factory. But then (cue creepy music), as she takes out her remote to unlock her Volvo during the dead of night, she notices the remote’s HEARTBEAT DETECTOR feature is blinking – i.e., Ax Murderer In The Car Alert! Ax Murderer In The Car Alert! - and she immediately turns around and scurries to safety.

So, this is good….I guess? Sort of? Engh? I think I just find the whole scenario rather terrifying – that so many people are being attacked by freakshows hiding out in their Volvos that they needed to design and market and install a remote control HEARTBEAT DETECTOR as part of your remote keyless entry systems. The world's a scary place - I'm glad Volvo's creating ways to keep us safe, but this just creeps me out because it's a threat and a danger I didn't really even pay attention to that regularly.

As Engadget noted last year, I’m glad I just have to deal with the regular homeless/crazy non-Volvo-lurking weirdos on my public transportation system rather than fighting them off in my own car.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Body Modification Alert

So maybe I’ve just be watching too much Miami Ink and developing way too much of a crush on Chris Nunez and Garver, but I’ve got the tattoo bug. BIG. TIME. No rash decisions yet, I’m just thinking about it and trying to psych myself up for actually taking the plunge.

I’m throwing around some ideas for what I want and trying to think of where to put it on my body. Right now I’m leaning towards the image of Jack Kerouac’s Underwood typewriter (worthy of a posting in itself), surrounded by Saucer Magnolia Blossoms (another post in itself). But where to put it on me where it will still be appropriate in a professional setting is the challenge.

Ideas? Suggestions? If you’ve gotten a tattoo in Seattle and liked the experience, let me know where you went and who you liked. Hell, if you’ve gotten ink anywhere and liked it let me know too in case I’m traveling somewhere and inspiration/madness hits me.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

An Open Letter to MySpace

Myspace, are you intentionally trying to be difficult? Do you want me to stop and turn this Internet around and go back home? Do you, MySpace? Because I WILL.

All I want is a cute little background picture, maybe some cute little extra features, to customize my, well, my space, and it’s taking me hours to figure that out. Are there no good editing/customizing programs out there? Can no one make this an easier, more intuitive process? Seriously, MySpace, 12-year-olds have figured you out and I can’t? Is there a special invisible font that you employ that people over 30 can’t see somehow?

I was hoping to work with you as a nice compliment to the World of Beth, in the off chance I get organized and take more digital pictures to share with, well, the World of Beth. I was hoping to put up a nice playlist of songs I enjoy. I had lots of hopes and dreams for us, MySpace.

But right now I think you just need a time out. Just wait until your father gets home, MySpace, he’s going to have to have a word with you. For now, you’re officially grounded.


Monday, April 16, 2007

Food review: Strawberry Fusion Gum

One of the best perks of my job is that we have an incredibly well-stocked kitchen area, complete with drinks, snacks and a breath-taking (breath-saving?) assortment of mints and gum. You would think we were professional make-out artists what with all of the Altoids we have stocked in there.

But recently I’ve discovered, waaaaay in the back of the gum drawer (yes, we have a Gum Drawer and it is glorious), was a case of candy-coated Chicklet-ish yumminess which has become my latest guilty pleasure. Ladies and gentleman, I present to you Trident’s “Strawberry Fusion” sugar free gum!

This is the most complicated gum ever, and I like to think I’m a fairly smart person that knows her way around gum. First of all, there are two flavor sides to choose from – sweet versus sour. I’m not sure if you’re supposed to mix and match the flavors or what. Experiment with various degrees of each for your own flavor experience? Maybe. All I know is that I can’t cram the pieces of gum into my mouth fast enough. They taste like candy. They smell like candy. And they’re calorie free! They prevent cavities!

God only know how foul it is for my co-workers that have to sit near me, emitting strawberry fumes a la my Strawberry Shortcake dolls with every breath I take, but I cannot get enough of this stuff. The sour strawberry side is particularly delicious, although it is clearly laced with crack because I’m literally chomping away on it as I type this like a cow feasting on sweet Kentucky grass.

Mmmmmm....Mystery ingredient Xylitol……

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Peepapalooza, Peeple!

Heads up, Peeps - there's been waaaay too much going on in the world of Peeps. 'Tis the season, I guess...

May I share a ball gown made of Peeps, as well as highlights from this year's Peepapalooza from the Seattle Times. I think "Ameri-Peep Gothic" is my favorite.
Then, not to be outdone, check out the official Peeps Website, (which truly never, ever disappoints) as well as pretty durned comprehensive site about the science behind Peeps. And, if you're especially brave, might I recommend the Lord of the Peeps site, which should really put us all in a Peep Coma.
Peeps out.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Eat my nail dust, Carmela Soprano

Sigh. Well, I went and got some fake nails yesterday. A "full set" as they call them. Given to me by a teensy tiny Vietnamese woman who had teensy tiny little hands. I felt like I had actual gigantic paws while she was holding my hand.

Anyhoo. I have mixed feelings about the nails. Look, they're tasteful. Really. They are. But still I feel a little Carmela Soprano meets Harvey Fierstein-esque. I have now become one of those women who needs to "get their nails done." On the flip side, that's why I wanted them to begin with. I liked the idea of getting more manicures and spending more time taking care of myself. Having these things make that a necessity. I wanted to be a little more girlie and princessy and somehow, as I passed the nail shop, it seemed this might be the best way to do that. Engh, we'll see.

On a related note, may I share how much joy it gave me when I asked two distinctly different people where I could find "a makeup organizer" and both of them instantly said, "Wait, you mean like a Caboodle?"

Yes, if you're interested, they still make and sell Caboodles and they are still fabulous. Just very odd to hear the word "Caboodle" said twice in one day.

I gotta go organize my Caboodle and tease my hair while I work on my Jersey accent.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Open Letter to Every. Single. Person. At the Northgate Target this weekend

Dear Every Single Person At the Northgate Target This Weekend,

First of all, let me be clear. This means you. Yes, you. All of you. Every single person that was there on Saturday. All of you.


Thank you, that is all.


P.S. Hi there, did anyone else notice they're selling Boot's goodies at Northgate now? Bring on the Eurotrashy skin care products and makeup! That was the only thing that saved my sanity among the cell phone toting masses.

P.P.S. Hi there, I see you still talking on your cell phone. HANG UP RIGHT NOW. ENOUGH ALREADY.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

"You TAKE a nappa, you don't MOVE to Napa!"

Or, Carrie Bradshaw, in my case, you go to Napa for a three-day weekend with your girlfriends in just under a month. Looking forward to snarfing down cheese and wine at every meal, driving along lush country roads and reading trashy magazines while mocking celebrities.

God I love frequent flier miles. Thanks, Alaska Airlines, for making this trip possible!