Monday, February 27, 2006

Experience has made me rich

Do you like me?

Do you really, really like me?

Ok, then. Buy me something.

I created a froogle wishlist if you need some ideas. You can find it in my profile.

I tried to hit on all price ranges so no one would feel excluded. Don't say I never think of you.

Happy shopping!

EDIT: I just updated the froogle wishlist, and you will pretty much be able to tell what is on my mind right now. What can I say, it is almost lunch time.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

I walked into the opening chapter of my first novel tonight. It was a world so very different from everything I know, but it was only three minutes from my house. It makes me wonder, what else is three minutes from my house that I don't know about? There was a piano, and singing, and the Liberace's, and I was in complete amazement. The lives of the people around the piano seemed so jovial and alive, but I think that deep down they all felt alone. That is why they were there.

You will have to wait to the book comes out to really know what the hell I am talking about. But if you are cheap you will have to wait longer for the paperback.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Masculine

So very Italy

Back to back Photo Friday entries, aren't you psyched?

This "masculine" shot was taken while I was walking down what should be the sidewalk in any other city, but in Rome they are more like narrow glorified curbs. I caught this man standing down an alleyway, surrounded by the ultimate Italian mode of transportation. All over Rome men, dressed just like him, rode these little Vespas like they had a death wish. And they did not mind brushing up against you at blazing speeds while you tried to hang on to that glorified curb for dear life. But the treacherous walks were fun, and gave me another excuse to eat gellatto. You know, to calm myself down.

It highlights clearly how our American view of masculine, with our big trucks and cars, is so different from other cultures.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Oh baby

Abigail

The photo Friday challenge from last week was baby, and it is giving me another excuse to post up a picture of my niece/goddaughter. The cuteness factor here is in over drive.

My sister really knows how to produce them.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Family Reunion

I attended a work related dinner tonight that left me sitting at a table with one of my work friends, and six strangers who do not work for my company. Despite the copious amount of wine that was being poured I was still finding it a little challenging to connect in anyway to these random people. Until, I caught the 50 something year old woman in front of me talking to her colleague about Tim Gunn. At that point, we rambled for several minutes about the show. She, like so many, is not a Santino fan, but instead is jumping on the oversold Daniel V. bus. We had a few good laughs, I thought she was a nice lady, blah, blah, blah. But when the Project Runway chat was finished she kept talking about other reality shows. Martha Stewart this, American Idol that, Survivor, Trump, ahhhhhhhhh!!!!!!! Dear God save me. I opened up the ultimate reality show can of worms and I couldn't escape. And then it hit me, is this what I sound like on my blog? I am that reality TV show junkie who has lost complete sense of her own reality? Does anyone really care what I think about some show on Bravo hosted by Heidi Klum?

And then I realized that the reunion show was on tonight, and I stopped caring about what you people thought of my bizarre obsession.

-First off, I think it is too late to save Guadalupe. Tom Cruise and his alien friends have invaded her body rendering any normal speech patterns impossible. She is lost to us all.

-The segment on Andrae was brilliant! I wish I had a little Andrae to keep in my pocket for times when I was feeling low. Then he could run around with his arms flailing in every direction rubbing up against my furniture only to make me smile. That would be good.

-Zulema should probably just kill herself.

-And finally, say what you want about Santino. I don't care if you like him, but you cannot deny that Santino made this show what it is. He is the center that the show resolves around. And he has already won in my book.

Bring on Fashion Week.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Stormy weather

I realized this weekend that sometimes blizzards happen for a reason. I was meant to be in Boston this weekend, not just for the Christening. In my post last week I thought that the storm meant two things. I might have been right on the first, but if that one is true I was very wrong on the second.

One new life, one old life, both a huge part of my world, colliding for the emotional rollercoaster that was my weekend. Thankfully everyone is doing well.

1916700-R1-059-28

Not to get too cheesy and sentimental on you fine people, but I gotta say that I am one lucky woman. For all my life, for all my highs and lows, I get to go through them with four of the greatest siblings that anyone could ask for. You are my favorite group to laugh with, and my favorite group to cry with. I could never ask for more than that.

nerds

Too bad you are all nerds.

Friday, February 17, 2006

We interrupt this normally happy blog

I have been trying to follow the news about google and yahoo censoring their searches in China, but there is not much in the media about it. I listened to the NPR story about how execs got a wrist slap from Congress, and it just made me feel angry about the whole situation. Angry that these American companies, that I use (i.e., my blog, picassa, my email, and all my searches-google and flickr and fantasy baseball-yahoo), are preventing people in China to search for words like "Democracy." It also makes me angry that these stories are not covered well in the U.S. media, largely because most of us Americans really don't care. It isn't going to sell papers, but Neil Entwistle is.

Now, I recognize that there is a balance when it comes to doing business in a country like China. Is it better for the Chinese to have no google, or a censored google? Same for yahoo. But at what point is it OK for a US company to help Chinese authorities imprison a person who was trying to speak out about their government? Isn't freedom of speech a core US value? And even if our companies don't practice and support these values, shouldn't we be responsible for acting and speaking out against them? Will anyone care, besides me, if I stop using their services?

At home, the same argument can be made for the publication of the controversial Mohammed cartoon in the US media. Where were they published in the States you ask? Wikipedia has a list of who actually printed the cartoon and it is stunning. Since when are the Sacramento Valley Mirror and the Akron Beacon Journal our source for international news? Perhaps the New York Times and the Washington Post didn't want to fuel the flames over the cartoon. Regardless, along with major newspapers like them, they preventing their readers from forming their own opinions on a key element of a major international political event. Is this not censorship too? What is worse is how we, as citizens who enjoy and take for granted our freedoms, aren't reacting to this. It isn't part of our day to day existence so we don't do anything about it. Or even worse we don't care.

This issue touches home for me because I express my views in a very public way several times a week. Right now most of what you will find here is under the censorship radar. I don't think the government cares too much about what I write regarding the Red Sox, my upstairs neighbor, my photos, or details of some of the dumb ass crap I do. But that is now. Somewhere in another country there is someone sitting at their computer trying to do just this and the company that lets me do it, is preventing them from doing the same. Where does it stop? Maybe it is Martin Luther King in the back of my head saying "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Or maybe I just feel too helpless to be able to fix it.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Oh what a beautiful day

It is going to reach 64 degrees today in the nation's capitol. The sun is shining. Traffic wasn't too bad. Santino is in. Life is good.

Except for the guy who was peeing on the street, next to his truck, at nine AM, right in front of me, a block from my office, in a residential neighborhood. At first I naively thought that he was dumping water on the street. But the steady stream cascading in my direction led me to believe otherwise. When he saw me walking on the sidewalk, only ten feet away from him, he stopped the deluge. Ew. Is it just me, or is nine o'clock way to early to be peeing on the street?

What are the chances that I would see that happen? Not very good, right? How often is one so blessed? I felt lucky. So lucky I took it as a sign and bought a powerball ticket. For $365 million. Maybe lady luck will strike me more than once this week.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Good Guys In

Woohoo, Santino is in!

I know I take the show way too seriously when I feel nauseous during the whole thing. I am glad that Kara is gone, but none of the dresses were fabulous. Again, I wouldn't wear Santino's dress that was made for a Solid Gold Dancer, but at least it was unique. He probably made Marilyn McCoo proud, wherever she is. I can't believe how everyone threw Chloe under the bus- she comes off as so sweet, it was like throwing your puppy out into moving traffic.

Oy, I can't wait two weeks to see what they are making. I need my fix now, damn it.

(Edit: Dan has posted a preview of the Fashion week outfits, so check it out if you, like me, cannot wait. And if it isn't obvious, I love the internet.)

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

I Heart Snow

Does anyone think that my becoming a Godmother and a blizzard arriving on the day of the Christening, postponing the event, a coincidence? I didn't think so either. If another act of nature forces it to be cancelled again this weekend, I will take it as a sign that 1) there is a God, and 2) he is really f-ing mad at me.

I miss Boston. I enjoyed the thirteen plus inches of snow this weekend in the Ham. I spend the day Sunday being really productive. And by being really productive I mean watching The 40 Year Old virgin, the Olympics, and my sister and NTS's wedding video(at which point I was held down and forced to watch my toast against my will, not even Ralph Nader could save me), eating, a little shovelling, attempting to make a snowman in the worst snowman-making-snow possible, more eating, sitting in front of the fire, repeatedly commenting on how big Jenn's belly is getting, helping her make brownies and cookies, eating the brownies and cookies, and playing Payday. Now if that is not a good day I don't know what is. I miss snow days like that here in DC. They acted like they had a storm here this weekend, but a few inches of snow is no snowstorm in my book.

Monday Dave and I spend wandering around Boston. It was warm enough to walk everywhere which is one of the best things to do in the city. We got off a commuter boat, grabbed the #1(two slices of cheese with a soda, my go to) at Pizzeria Regina, and cruised through downtown to the snow covered Common and Public Garden. We even met with Melville. And if you know who that is, Cheers to you.

Blur

Blur

This photo has a double meaning for me this week. First, it is my Photo Friday entry for Blur. Second, two of my very good friends are leaving this week for Paris and therefore I am supremely jealous. My expectations for Paris were ridiculous. I had built it up so much in my mind, the museums, the cafes, the food, the wine, the chocolate, the shops, and the churches, I never thought it would remotely reach my expectations. But it did, and then some. I know that I will return, hopefully many times in my life, but I wish I was going this weekend. Bastards.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

The World is Ending

I have proof. If this isn't proof, I don't know what is.

Our good friend R.Kelly was nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Long Form Music Video category. I am going to repeat that in case you think you read that wrong, R.Kelly's "Trapped in the Closet" was nominated for a Grammy. If you don't believe me, which should be the normal human reaction, just follow that first link and scroll all the way to the bottom. There you will find our friend R. next to The Ramones, Bruce Springsteen, Brian Wilson and Bob Dylan.

Now, I love "Trapped in the Closet" as much as anyone else. Come on, where else can you find a closeted gay minister walking in on his wife having an affair with a guy whose wife is also having an affair who keeps whipping his baretta around until he shoots her brother who doesn't need to go to the hospital he just needs to go to the bathroom. Seriously, that is some good shit. But a Grammy?? Can you even believe who his fellow nominees are? It's not like he was up against Ashley Simpson or something.

We are all doomed.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Auf Wiedersehen

What does it say about me that I get all anxious when they announce who is getting booted from Project Runway? Like I know these people or something. I mean, Nick totally deserved to get booted. I hope that Kara is next. Everyone hates him, but Santino is entertaining and I dig him.

Kill me.

In my defense, I have never seen one episode of American Idol, or Survivor.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

So you take a picture of something you see

It has been unseasonably warm here in DC, and as much as I want it to snow I can't really complain. I enjoy having the chance to go out and take night shots without freezing my bowling muscle off.

Stand

Not only does the National Mall look amazing at night with the lights and the lack of tourists, but it can also be a pretty funny place. The other night I scared the crap out of a woman who I am fairly convinced thought my tripod was a weapon. I was walking towards the Lincoln Memorial down a dark path when she saw me, yelped and ran towards her kids. In her defense I was carrying it under my arm and it could have looked like an uzi in the dark, this is DC after all you never know, but it was funny once she realized that I was not a gun wielding monster.

Or am I?



This is Independence Ave. facing east. You can see the Jefferson Memorial in the background on the right.



Lastly, the Einstein Memorial. The rest are over on flickr if you care to take a look.

Oh, and just ask my sister, she can tell you what the first one is.

Disguise

Self Portrait at Night

My entry for the Photo Friday subject Disguise.

This is me.

Bet you couldn't tell.

My disguise is that good.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Pain in my ass

I went bowling on Saturday afternoon with Dave, his sister and his nephew. My cover was that the nephew wanted to go bowling, but in all reality I will take advantage of any excuse to hit the lanes. Because, like in so many other things, I am awesome! All kidding aside I do have some mad bowling skills. My skills are so good, and my technique is so great that for two days now my bowling muscle is sore. Yes, my bowling muscle. When your form is as good as mine you get the whole crouch down and sweep the leg behind you thing happening. You know what I am talking about, proper bowling form people. The problem here, if you are right handed, is the repetitive strain you put upon your left butt cheek. Yes, your behind, your tush, your can, your buttox, or in this instance your bowling muscle. And it hurts. Sitting, standing or walking I am pretty much screwed. Who knew that bowling was such a good workout? For one half of your ass?

Bowling is also great people watching, especially kids. The two little boys in the lane next to us could not have been more than six and eight, and they were having the time of their life. They were struggling in trying to get the ball down the lane, and they weren't hitting many pins. At one point Lady lucky struck and knocked down all the pins. Judging from their reaction you would have thought they just won a gold metal at Torino. They actually ran towards each other, embraced, and jumped up and down together. It was brilliant.

I wonder if their butts hurt today.

Friday, February 03, 2006

The Scent of a Woman

When I was a kid I had a routine. Every night after dinner was done and the dishes were put away and all my homework was finished I would go upstairs to my Nana's room and watch TV with her. The shows varied over the years but we had our regulars, Who's the Boss and Perfect Strangers during the week, Golden Girls and Empty Nest on Saturdays and always Murder She Wrote on Sundays. She would sit on her couch and I would be in her chair closer to the television. Nana always had snacks in her room, usually Nilla Wafers or Social Teas, and she kept them on top of the dresser in her closet. They were located right next to the dog biscuits, because Nana always had snacks for everyone regardless of their species. In between shows, or after my Dad yelled for me long enough, I would jet downstairs to clean the birdcage on the nights that it was my turn. Before I went back up I would scoop some ice cream for us. There was a particular type of cup, plastic and white with a handle, or Kelly's cups as we called them, that we preferred our coffee ice cream in. Growing up in a big family it is hard to find your own space. Despite the large size of my parents house, there was never a place that I felt was my mine. I shared a room with both of my sisters so that was never fully my space. But in that orange chair in my Nana's room, loading up on sugar, I felt safe and at home. We would talk about school, or our family, or she would get on the phone to talk to her cousins, but it was never the talking that mattered. It was just being with her that I enjoyed.

As I grew older and went into high school, our TV time grew less and less. I had games and practices to attend to, and friends to talk to on the phone, and more important things to do. Some nights I would come home and not even go in to say hello. My Nana passed away eight years ago this week and I would do anything in this world to have one of those nights back. But I can't. Not a week goes by where I don't think about her, and miss her, and wish that she could see my life now and share it with me. But I can't do that either.

This past summer I was going through some boxes and found a red tin that she had given me when I went away to college. Inside she had placed a needle and thread, an ace bandage because I was always spraining my ankle, and various other important items that would help fill the void of not having a grandmother around. As I opened this tin, over ten years later, I was struck by how much it still smelled like her. Maybe it was her soap, or her lotion, or the lining she placed in her dresser drawers. Whatever the combination, it was how I remember her and the scent was overwhelming. The sensory overload reduced me to tears. Wailing tears, the kind that don't stop even after calling both of your sisters and making them cry too. That scent, her smell, was how it felt in her room, safe, warm and full of love. I know that she is always with me. It is not just her scent in that tin that keeps her with me, but her love. I know that. But some Social Teas and a few episodes of Cheers would still feel really good.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Happy Birthday Schmenny!!

Jenn,

It's your birthday and I know you are probably afraid that I am going to post some crazy photos of you on my blog. But, you have that whole pregnancy thing going on and I would hate to upset you in any way. Really, I would hate to upset the baby. So, instead I have some photos that I think are very flattering of you.

Jenn Dancing

You were glowing on your wedding day.

Jenndress1
You are a beautiful woman and I think these photos express that.

Jenn doing dishes

God, you even look good doing the dishes.

See, no crazy photos. No sequences of you doing something dumb. No Shot after shot of you being a dumbass.

Just one shot that I think no one will be able to forget. Ever.

Happy Birthday my sister.