March 31, 2005

Fantasy Payday Shopping

There wasn't anything much out there that captured my imagination last payday, so I skipped this. But there were a couple things that caused that covetous little glint in my eye lately, so I thought I'd share.

The PC EZ Bake Oven - Could make those late-night crunches bearable if you can whip up a little snack without even leaving your desk!

The New Shelby Cobra GT500
- What better machine to tool around in as spring hits its stride? You have to click on the link to see the pictures in a pop-up, but it's worth it.

Eleven on Top - The upcoming novel from Janet Evanovich, who is one of my favorite authors, not to mention one of the very, very few whose books I will actually shell out for in hardback. Every book in the Stephanie Plum series is a hoot and I am always looking forward to the next one.

Google Gulp - This latest "must have" from those wacky guys over at Google is truly in the realm of fantasy, seeing as how you can't even buy it. (My favorite part is really the "Frequently asked questions," but maybe you have to deal with them as often as I do to really appreciate them.) If anyone scores a Glutamate Grape, can I have it? In case you hadn't noticed, I really like purple -- I'll trade you a couple dozen Gmail invites for it...

Have a lovely Friday and welcome to April.

March 30, 2005

"It's a race, Phil."

That's what last night's Amazing Race came down to for me: Did Rob and Amber do the "wrong" thing by not stopping when the brothers crashed, whereas Lynn and Alex claimed to have done the "right" thing by stopping?

Oh, sure, there were lots of other highlights and moments in all two hours of the double episode -- from the low of seeing Ray and Deanna come in first and win a pair of cars and the high of seeing them later eliminated, and the sheer grit of the otherwise-often-annoying Gretchen continuing on after taking a header in a cave and then being stripped of all possessions -- but the crash debate was definitely the lingering aftertaste for me.

Ol' Phil even decided to sow a bit of his Jeff Probstian oats and pointedly asked Rob at the Pit Stop about seeing the crash but passing by. making his distaste obvious in the doing -- I guess if your show wins a few Emmys, you can accelerate the timeline for inserting yourself more into that show.

There's still no recap up over at TVgasm yet, so if you missed the episode I imagine much of this won't be terribly meaningful for you, but if you're watching in general, I think you can relate. As I've mentioned before, I feel people are either for Rob and Amber or against them. I have to imagine that the thoughts on the crash will fall along similar lines.

My opinion: It is a race. There were no bodies laying in the road for them to run over and no one waved them down. You can't tell me that, had that been the case, they still wouldn't have stopped. Lynn and Alex may have been crowing about being "people first and Racers second," but they made a choice. The brothers told them to go on and they chose not to do so. They are so consumed with jealousy over Rob and Amber's celebrity that I think they made a point of staying just to be able to rub it in.

The only other observation I have to make is that, while I haven't disliked the brothers at all, I found myself liking them a lot more than before after these legs of the Race. I still can't tell them at all apart, but I definitely got a better appreciation of them and their relationship last night.

Oh, and did I mention how overjoyed I am to see that prick Ray (and his sucky, bossy, misogynistic attitude) gone from the Race?

That road

You know, that road...the one paved with good intentions? Yeah, that one. It's a one-way road, you know, and so thick with litter that ol' Oscar the Grouch would be right at home.

I had good intentions last night. I watched Amazing Race and actually had a few things in mind to post. But I was thwarted! Thwarted, I say, by none other than Blogger.

When I went to try to condense my thoughts on two hours of viewing into something that wouldn't put you to sleep, Blogger had other ideas. I couldn't even get to their home page. I don't know what was up, but I know it went on for a while. I eventually realized that it simply wasn't going to work and called it a night.

I really can't complain about Blogger; I know they're not the best, but I have had so few problems with them over the last year that, on the whole, it has been a happy relationship. I can give them this one. I don't really believe in "signs" all that much, but I know when I'm up against something bigger than me and this was one of those times.

So, while I'm not entirely thrilled with the ongoing "CBS has put the fix in for Rob and Amber" conspiracy theory being perpetuated in the recaps at TVgasm, I would direct you there (to read the post that I'm sure will be up soon), until such time as I can get to my own would-be post from last night.

March 28, 2005

It's not you, it's me.

No, really, it's nothing that you've done. I know, I know. I'm not writing, I'm not reading, I'm not commenting. I can't really explain it, but it's nothing you've done. No, it's me. I don't know what it is, to tell you the truth. You're great, really, you are. It's me, I'm just not feeling it; I...I...I need a little space. Call it a break. Don't get me wrong, there's no one else, maybe I just need a little time apart to remember how wonderful you are. Trust me, baby, it'll all be so much better.

(If anyone had any traumatic relationship flashbacks in the last minute, my apologies. Amazing Race should snap me back into it. Maybe it is that damned gnome after all...)

March 24, 2005


Inspiration. If you know where I left it, please let me know. Small reward possible. Have a nice Friday.

March 23, 2005

Here comes Peter Mallowtail, hopping down the candy trail.

In case you haven't been paying attention, Easter comes around very early this year. Yes, we're only days away from another visit by the Easter Bunny.

Want to do something special for your baskets this year? Did you know you could eschew the mundane and not merely buy the ultimate Easter candy all pre-packaged and perfect and shiny?

Thanks to the fine folks at Wham-o, now you can make your own Peeps!

And because you're going to have so much fun and success in making them (but note the coupon in the box for the maker, just in case you, um, don't), you can also buy refill packages.

I'm not going to go out of my way to find one, but it definitely sounds like a good follow-up to the Great Cotton Candy Experiment to me. (Pictures aren't working on that post, sorry. They've disappeared.) Does anyone else feel that something is missing without their little stamped-on faces, though?

I've noticed that Peeps are huge this year. Not only are the candy cuties out in force at the stores, but they now also have a line of Peeps Easter baskets, a selection of stuffed plush Peeps toys, and a bunch of other stuff. And if all this is getting you as giddy as I am at the mere idea, you can even join the Peeps Fan Club! But if that's going a little too far, you could just send one of their e-cards to the Peeps fan in your life. (Rita, please pretend you didn't read that and act surprised when you get one from me, okay?)

Well, I feel that my Easter preparedness work here is done. Go forth and Peep!

March 22, 2005

Phil, would you mind pointing in the direction from which the Racers will be arriving...again?

Oh, Amazing Race, how you do make my week!

Tonight's episode had almost all the elements of a perfect show: drama; tension; humor; beautiful scenery; taxi mishaps; boating mishaps; balky horses; sulky gay youth; plucky and goofy elders; one arrogant prick (sorry if you don't like the word, but that's what Ray is); one near-weepy wife of said prick; lots of baby and honey use; despair; and joy!

And those that it didn't have are in next week's two-hour show! It's almost too much excitement for little recovering me to bear.

Yes, I'm feeling significantly better (thanks), but the stuff I'm taking to help me get through the night without waking up coughing -- I hope! -- has made a little more sleepy than usual at this point. So for the details, I am, predictably, going to point you in the direction of TVgasm for the full recap. (Tip: Don't drink anything while you're reading it. Your keyboard will thank you. I speak from experience.)

Here are My Moments:

Most useless statement -- either Lynn or Alex saying "My shoes are getting wet!" as their rubber dingy takes on water before dying completely.

Best "too much information" statement -- Patrick declaring "My crotch hurts," after completing the Detour on a horse. (But of course he didn't complete it without having a little session of bitching at his mom.)

Second-best comeuppance -- Ray having to settle for a next-to-last-place finish, when he spent the whole show bitching about not belonging down with the "bottom-feeders" and weak teams, and how he wouldn't allow it. I sincerely hope he and his burned, red, peeling, jerky nose are eliminated next.

Worst missed opportunity -- my deciding not to count "babies" and "honeys" this time around, since this episode was chock full of them. The things I did decide to keep track of were a complete bust.

Best poking fun at oneself -- Rob declaring, "[It's] like I was born with a horseshoe...right up my ass!" when talking about his luck. I will also give the Sweetest moment to Rob, for giving his beloved Boston Red Sox cap to the driver of their rubber dinghy for performing beyond the call of duty.

THE best comeuppance...EVER -- The instantaneous wiping of smirks off the faces of the four lead teams when Rob and Amber got on the earlier flight at the very last moment, after their spending an inordinate amount of time crowing about the Survivor pair being left behind. THAT was classic Amazing Race.

Best re-use of a joke from a prior AR7 post -- Bad news for Rob and Amber as the first team to arrive at the Pitstop and winning yet another trip from Travelocity: They're stuck with the gnome for that much longer! (At least I amuse myself.)

March 21, 2005

Random thoughts randomly presented

I am still sick. I spent the weekend sick. I went home early sick. I spent many hours at the doctor's today because I am sick. I mention this not in a bid for sympathy, but to give you the full picture of why I have so little of interest to say...again.

Because my focus has been so narrow for days --cough, cough, gag, cough, watch TV, sleep, eat, cough, repeat -- there are only a few things on my mind. And, as much as I have tried to come up with something to say apart from those things, it's no use. So, in no particular order, here are the top three things uppermost in my mind.

1. The Terri Schiavo situation. It's no longer just a "case," thanks to Congress, so I think "situation" is the best way to describe it. I think I made my position on it fairly clear in an earlier post, and I'm not interested in debating the matter.

There are only a couple of additional thoughts about it I want to share at this point:

A. If this does not spark a national movement, whether publicly or just individually, to get all adults to either make a living will or make sure all the relevant people in their lives know, without question, their wishes on the subject of "end of life" decisions, it will be a complete disgrace for our country.

B. I really, truly and sincerely hope that those of you who support the actions Congress has taken -- which I personally find ill-advised, hypocritical, dangerous and inappropriate in the extreme -- never, ever have reason to regret this slide down a very slippery slope in their own lives. The door has been opened, people. And, like Pandora's box, I don't think we'll be happy with the results.

2. The Retail Alphabet Game. I'm obsessed. I have gotten 17 out of the 26 in the 4th Edition since I linked it on Friday, and you would not believe the amount of time I have spent actually watching commercials and looking at signs along the road trying to identify those last two. "A" is making me nuts because I know I know it, but I just can't "see" it. Anyone want to help a sick chick out?

3. Playing Phlinx. I can't explain why I find this game so fascinating, but I do. I can, however, tell you why I've been playing a lot lately -- the current $3,500+ jackpot up for grabs. The coolest part about it is that it's not timed, so you can play a little, do something else (like blog), go back and play some more, without losing anything. That might explain why it took twice as long as usual to complete this.

March 18, 2005

A Little Weekend Game

There was a young woman of the west,
Who really wasn't feeling her best.
Not wishing to be (totally) lame,
She provided this interesting game,
Only half the answers to which she has guessed.

March 17, 2005

Erin Go Blagh!

Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone!

I'm too full from all the traditional corned beef, cabbage, carrots, potatoes, my mom's fantastic Irish soda bread, and S'mores pie (okay, that one's not traditional, but it sure was good) to sit here and "blagh"* without falling asleep.

Does corned beef have tryptophan like turkey? Sure feels like it at the moment.

Feel free to share your St. Patty's Day highlights...or lowlights if you hit the green beer a little too hard.

*Word stolen from Norman, without remorse.

March 16, 2005

Late-night musings

Boy, do I wish I had something of interest to say right now.

I could tell you how annoying I'm finding David Letterman tonight. His first guest is Amanda Peet and, while I think she's a decent enough actress, she is not the amazing talent he is making her out to be. If he wanted her number or a date, he should have just asked -- ten minutes of his fawning was just nauseating.

But I imagine that 99% of you aren't up this late so you can't really appreciate what an ass he is making of himself. And that's coming from someone who likes him and was a major fan of his back in college and a number of years following that.

I could tell you how much I am enjoying the show after Letterman, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, these days. He's the guy who took over when Craig Kilborn left, and who used to play Mr. Wick on The Drew Carey Show. It was quite a surprise the first time I saw him on this show and realized that he's Scottish, not British, and has an accent, to be honest, makes my knees go a little watery.

It runs too late even for me, though, so I have to TiVo it and see the second half later. But I'm seeing enough to affect my dreams, since it's the last thing I hear before falling asleep.

Last week they showed an interview with Minnie Driver, who I happen to really enjoy as an actress, and that night I had a terrifically vivid dream wherein she and I were the best of friends tangled up in some sort of drama that involved tears and intrigue.

A few nights later Samuel L. Jackson was the first guest and he was quite entertaining. That night he appeared in an even more vivid dream with even more intrigue and a whole lot more, um, interpersonal relations. (A surprisingly great kisser, in case you were wondering.)

Then, last night Drew Carey was the first guest. Thankfully I did not have a vivid dream about him. No, I skipped to the head of the line and my dream starred Craig Ferguson himself. Don't really remember what the "plot" was but I can tell you that he's a great...guy.

But you don't really want to hear all about any of that, do you? Nah, didn't think so.

March 15, 2005

"Do you want a mint?"

The title is the memorable quote from Joyce in tonight's episode of The Amazing Race, following the most disgusting Roadblock...ever. If I'm not mistaken, it's the first memorable thing she has said since the start.

The title was going to be a quote from Gretchen...or is it Meredith? Damned if I can keep 'em straight. No, it was Gretchen, the woman who has trouble not verbally expressing every emotion she's experiencing. That's according to her, mind you. But, in the most disturbing instance of "mental image we didn't need," she claims that, for putting up with this tendency, she makes it up to her husband in others ways. The moment's pause that the producers inserted after this statement told me that it was more information than they needed, as well.

I enjoyed this leg of the race but, apart from that disgusting Roadblock, there weren't a whole lot of highlights. The Roadblock from hell involved eating four pounds of cow parts, from ribs to intestines to saliva glands. Yee-uck. I mean, I love food, but I don't know if I could eat four pounds of something I adore, let alone four pounds of what I will kindly call a "feast of culturally diverse cuisine" from deep in Argentina.

It was a memorable challenge because so many teams decided to take a penalty instead of completing it, led without apology by Rob, who managed to turn it into a strategy that paid off for the team. Even with a four-hour penalty, he and Amber came in fifth...and minus four pounds of cow parts. In fact, all of the teams who elected to not to complete the task made it through to the next leg.

In a squeaker of an ending, the suddenly hapless navigating team of Debbie and Bianca were eliminated, beaten to the mat by the suddenly squabbling (and equally navigation-challenged) mom and son team of Susan and Patrick. I wasn't the biggest fan of Debbie and Bianca, as I found their constant cooing at each other somewhat annoying, but I did have to admire the way Debbie chowed down the "feast" to make it close, after having fallen so far behind.

If anyone was wondering, there were again a mere two lame Survivor references this episode. It's funny to me, because Rob and Amber being "the Survivor couple" is an omnipresent factor -- and apparently enough for almost all the other teams to be looking for a chance to Yield them. The thing is, the other teams are going to have to actually get to the Yields first in order to do that, and I don't think Rob and Amber are going to make that an easy task.

Before I sign off I'd like to say two non-AR7-related things: 1) Thank you to all of you who expressed your kind sympathy over the death of my friend; and 2) I hate March Madness. Every year it comes around, dominates the sports report with stuff I really don't care about and messes with the regular airing of Survivor. Grrr. If you're watching, it's on tomorrow instead of Thursday.

March 14, 2005

Mournful Monday

I promise, not another week of alliterative titles. But today it fits.

The death of a friend yesterday leaves me unable to come up with anything lighthearted to write here. When left to think for any length of time, I am swamped by sadness at the loss of a lovely woman who had so much of her personality stolen by illness toward the end of her life. I missed her already because of that, but knowing that she's really gone leaves me so hollow.

So I'm going to go use the time I would normally spend here writing to go sit, have some popcorn and think about some nice memories. Like how she was always so happy to see me, and how that smile made me feel so good. Like the last time that she and I spent time together before she began her decline and the little adventure we went on. And, on an entirely selfish note, how she was the one person I could count on to tell me I was beautiful when I really needed to hear it.

I miss you, Alice. And I hope that, if there is Heaven, you're as happy to be there with Ed Sr. as I am sorry to see you go there.

March 11, 2005

Thoughts from the morning after

Well, that was quite a party!

Thanks again to all the people who came by and said hi from Michele's -- it was a pleasure to have you. There were so many offers of spoons and even one proposal. (Tammy, as tempting as that is, I have to decline. Your hubby sounds like a good guy and I wouldn't want him braving it up there in the cold all by himself!)

I hope those who were here for the first time will stop by again soon...and that those of you who have been by before won't be so shy now that you've broken the ice! I'm looking forward to stopping by to visit each of you throughout the weekend.

Having so many new people come by, on top of a couple of discussions over the last few days about maintaining privacy on blogs, made me think about what people might learn about me from reading here. The best answer I could come up with is "A lot and not much at all."

It is accurate to say that I'm a pretty private person in general, not just here. You'll notice that there's no "About me" or "100 Things" list -- I have nothing against them, they're just not my style. But at the same time, everything I write is a little piece of who I am...and who I'm not. Because, in my typically perverse way, I think knowing who someone is not can be as telling as knowing who they are.

So, instead of telling you things about who I am, I am presenting -- for better or for worse -- a list of ten things I am not and will never be, in no particular order.

I will never be:
10. Ghetto-fabulous.
9. Someone kept alive by artificial means for a ridiculous period of time, because my family is very, very clear on my wishes (and has been for years) just in case the worst ever happens.
8. The owner of a ferret.
7. A Nobel prize-winning mathematician.
6. A billionaire.
5. An award-winning singer. A famous singer. A singer.
4. A Republican
3. Someone who turns down a Krispy Kreme doughnut because I'm being "good."
2. A shoe-lover.
1. A SaberKitten.

(While I have no illusions that this is something that will interest everyone, and don't expect to see it making the rounds, if anyone else feels like sharing who they aren't, I'd be pleased to hear about it. If you think about it, it's kind of a blog version of the "I never" drinking game. Sláinte!)

March 10, 2005

Can we all scream?

There are few things in life that I enjoy more than ice cream. Some of you may have realized that a couple weeks ago when you learned that the current love in my life is a pint of Ben & Jerry's.

In case you were wondering, yes, we're still rapturously enamored of each other.

But tonight, I cheated.

I know it was wrong, and I could barely even look at the freezer when I got back home, but I couldn't resist. I am weak. There are too many other flavors out there for a girl to just sample one.

I waited until after Survivor was over before I went catting around, but I know that it really started earlier in the day when I lusted in my heart for one of his siblings. Please, try not to think too ill of me until you hear the whole story.

It all started right here, in the blog world, earlier today. I was checking out a blog I'd never visited before, which I had found in that wonderful hopscotch way of the Internet, when I saw this post. What was I supposed to do? Add the allure of a great band to the siren song of ice cream with raspberry and brownies and I'm supposed to not be moved? I mean, come on. I held my moral ground for a minute, gulped, and clicked off the page that was calling me to temptation.

Unfortunately, this was the page I clicked over to. Can you say "Childhood in a pint container" with me? Chocolate ice cream, the magic of s'mores and the memory of the most classic Brady Bunch episode ever? But no, I told myself, it's just not right. Click away, click away!

So I did. But then I literally found a flavor I couldn't refuse. No, literally. Those pied pipers of chilled confections have loosed The Gobfather™ upon the world. "Chocolate Ice Cream with Fudge Covered Almonds & a Nougat Swirl" -- who could say no?

I tried, mightily. I staggered away from my desk and buried myself in busywork, trying not to think about it. I was successful for several hours, but then came that moment when you have the chance to say "no" and you make your decision.

That moment came to me in the form of my brother querying with five simple, innocent words: What time does Coldstone close?

I will spare you the messy details that followed. But I am a fallen woman. So there's really only one question left to ask.

Does anyone have a spoon?

March 09, 2005

Do you know this boy? Well, don't lose him, for cryin' out loud!

If you don't know who he is, where have you been? This is Flat Stanley, of course!

Still not ringing any bells? Here's a story about his recent appearance on the red carpet, and here's the home of all things Flat Stanley.

The first time I heard about the Flat Stanley Project was a number of months ago from Rita, who I hope will chime in on the comments and share a little bit about her experience with him. I was floored because I thought I was the only one around who even remembered Flat Stanley!

I very fondly remember the book, Flat Stanley, from when I was a kid. But as an adult, whenever I would mention him or the book -- usually when someone dropped something down a grate or the like that only Flat Stanley could retrieve -- no one seemed to know what I was talking about.

So I was thrilled to hear that not only was he "alive and kicking," he was helping to get kids interested in reading and learning. I'm a little jealous that he's now more well-travelled than I, and disappointed that not being a teacher or parent I can't directly participate in the Project (though, sadly, I understand why that's necessary), but I find the idea of it going on all over the world very inspiring. Maybe eventually he'll find his way to my doorstep through a more circuitous route than I can envision. In the meantime, maybe I'll just have to catch up on all the other Flat Stanley books that I didn't even know had been published!

How about you -- do you have a Flat Stanley story to share?

March 08, 2005

"Use your library voice!"

I really enjoyed tonight's Amazing Race 7 and, while I'm still not going to do a recap -- after reading B-Side's recap for the first episode, I knew I'd made the right decision because I can't touch that -- I'll share some of my favorite moments.

I'd settled on counting "Survivor" references going forward, instead of picking back up the Baby Count. There were a number of lame and gratuitous ones in the first episode, so it seemed like a good bet. That was shot, however, when there were only a measly two the whole show while the "babys" were rolling fast and furious right off the bat. *sigh*

If I'd really wanted to be busy, I could have counted the number of times the racers said "Gracias." (Unless, of course, they were Joyce, who I would swear kept saying "Glassy-ass.") With the exception of Bianca, it's just about the only word in Spanish they all know and they feel the need to repeat it endlessly. Can we leave South America and go to Asia or somewhere non-Hispanic now?

Anyway, onto My Moments:

Emergence of a villain -- Without question, Rob. By the end, I was surprised he and Amber had any money left whatsoever, as he paid off and bribed pretty much anyone he could! I've never seen the likes of it on this show before; it was almost a thing of beauty.

Two camps (dare I call them "tribes"?) have emerged this season: Those who seriously dislike having Rob and Amber in the Race and won't be happy until they're eliminated; and those who like them and are cheering them on to the end. I firmly believe that anyone who doesn't fall into one of those two camps is someone not watching the show. I've already stated where I stand and tonight only reaffirmed my position. Without Rob in this season, I think it would be a hell of a lot less interesting and he and Amber have shown themselves to be viable players. I also firmly believe that people who continue to put forth the ridiculous idea that the producers are helping them so that they won't be eliminated too soon are just that -- ridiculous.

Favorite in-house comment during the Detour: "If Kendra were there, she'd have wanted to stop and do 'research' at that bookstore."

Favorite "Sure to be mentioned at TVgasm" quote from Lynn: "We're good at pulling up the rear!"

Best "duh" moment: The almost-eliminated Brian and Gregg running out of the library on the way to the Pitstop, yakking back and forth about the clue at a near-shout, when one (Gregg, I think) suddenly chastises the other by saying, "Shh, use your library voice!"

Second-best "duh" moment: The unfortunately not-almost-eliminated Debbie pointing out to Bianca that the clearly marked 6:40AM bus is the earliest one to leave in the morning.

Biggest downside to Rob and Amber being the first team to arrive at the Pitstop (Ha! Take that Rombah-hatahs!) and winning a trip from Travelocity -- They have to take the gnome along with them.

March 07, 2005

It's all Greek to me

I was chatting with a friend tonight when the topic of Greek letters/words came up. He mentioned one I didn't recognize, I asked what it stood for and he told me. End of discussion and we moved on.

A bit later, through no connection to the prior conversation, he sent me the link to a Web site he'd found. I noticed that the banner featured some Greek letters. All of a sudden, like a bolt of lightening, I recalled that at some point in my youth I decided that I had to commit the Greek alphabet to memory.

Believe me, when I set my mind to something like that, it gets done. I knew that alphabet cold. I just for the life of me can't remember why I did it. Now it seems like one of those things we do in life that, in retrospect, seem so utterly random and meaningless. At the time I suppose it mattered, at least to me, though I can remember very little of the Greek alphabet now.

Unlike when I learned the sign language alphabet after getting a little pink card for giving money to a deaf person in the parking lot of what used to be a Kmart here and is now a Home Depot, some thirty years ago! I carried that card around until it was dog-eared and greying, but I learned something that stuck with me.

What's the most random thing you can remember setting out to learn, for whatever reason?

Do a nice thing on a Monday

Please go visit panthergirl at The Dog's Breakfast today and leave a comment at this post.

Panthergirl works with a greyhound rescue group in NY that does great work in finding homes for these magnificent animals, and she has committed to making a $2 donation for the first hundred comments she gets today, with an additional $1 for every comment beyond that. Let's help her write out a big ol' check!

If you've never had the opportunity to meet a rescued greyhound, you'd probably be surprised. I know I was. I think we've all heard greyhounds characterized as very high-strung and nervous, but I got to know one very well a few years back while dogsitting for her and for the most part she was nothing like that.

I'm drawing a complete blank on her name at the moment (it's late!), but she was the sweetest thing who wanted to do nothing but play and snuggle. Even though she was taller than me when standing on her hind legs, she loved nothing more than to try to climb into my lap on the sofa as if she were a dog a quarter her size.

For the right family, they make wonderful pets and deserve good homes after years of racing. Groups like this need help to make sure that happens. I hope you'll take a moment and go leave a comment. Thanks.

March 04, 2005

Do you know this box? Well, don't eat it, it's got rocks in it.

This morning I stopped by my favorite local bakery, Copenhagen Crown Bakery, to pick up a little Friday bit of goodness to share. If you read the blurb about it, believe me, the name "Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake" does not do this creation justice. It is almost heaven on a plate. Sweet but not too sweet, flaky and light, but filling enough that you don't feel like you just ate an air-filled doughnut. Makes my mouth water just thinking about it. Mmmmm. But I digress...

While I was waiting for the guy behind the counter to get my treat ready (they didn't have any out in the case, but as soon as he saw me, he told me they had some in back that had just been made -- is it a good sign that he knows what I'm going to get before I say a word?), I saw what looked like the biggest Tiffany's box ever. Then I noticed that it was in the refrigerator. I realized that it was a huge cake done to look exactly like the famous robin's-egg blue box of so many womens' dreams.

I correctly surmised that it was for an engagement party -- when you are almost single-handedly keeping a place in business, you can ask questions like that -- and thought it was one of the most clever things I had ever seen. The baker had done a fabulous job and it truly looked precisely like the one above, right down to the bow. Surely it was unusual, right?

Shows how much I know. While doing a little search to find a picture to put here, I found an entire world of Tiffany box-inspired things! Did you know that out there exist: Tiffany box pinatas? Tiffany box cookies? "Tiffany aqua" boxes for wedding favors? Tiffany box Groom's cakes?

Well, they do. Not only that, but for the do-it-yourselfers out there, you can learn to make your very own Tiffany box cake! And, as if that weren't already enough, for the creative guy who would never dream of laying out the cash for an actual Tiffany ring (or other gift because, you know, I'm sure those are very nice, too...), you can find instructions on how to construct a Tiffany box out of jelly beans!

What an education this little exercise was. Oh, and in case all this Tiffany-ing has made you feel like doing some Fantasy Payday Shopping of your own, here's their site. If, on the other hand, you're just left wondering what all the fuss is about, here's a good story about the power of their brand that may help shed some light on the subject.

March 03, 2005

Fantasy Payday Shopping

Does everyone else love payday as much as I do? There is something about the thrill of seeing your bank account balance jump, checking over how much of your hard-earned money is actually not going to taxes, seeing how much has gone into your retirement account, and delighting in what your vacation time balance is up to. It makes my day...I just wish it made my day a little more often.

I understand why many companies (if not all, I don't know) have gone to the every-two-week payday instead of every week, but I miss the weekly thing. It's also harder for me to remember exactly when I get paid. So each payday I have a little reminder pop up first thing in the morning at work. Then I go out and treat myself to a really nice lunch because, well, I can. (To the person who is shaking his head and thinking, "If you compounded the interest on each of those lunches, you could have a downpayment on a house in about 20 years": Quiet. And you know who you are.) It's my reward for slogging through the prior two weeks with only (relatively) minor complaining.

But in the interest (Ha ha. Get it? Anyway...) of not actually going out on shopping spree on paydays, I'd like to introduce Fantasy Payday Shopping. So long as I can remember to do it, and don't get tired of the idea, I'll plan to share some things that I would otherwise be tempted to go out and buy just because I like them and I'm feeling flush in the ol' money department, even though I don't really need them. Which is most things, come to think of it, but that's really neither here nor there.

Fantasy Item 1: The Chrome Cell Phone Flask - I'm not that big of a drinker, but this is the coolest flask I've ever seen.

Fantasy Item 2: The Hello Kitty iPod mini - I don't have any intention of getting an iPod, but if I were going to get one, this is the one I'd have to get. Until they come out with a purple version, that is. They already have a U2 version; who's to say that Prince won't eventually do one?

Fantasy Item 3: Tierra Y Luna Rugs - I have absolutely no idea where I'd put these, but I think they're very cool.

Anyone else want to shop with me? Feel free to share your coveted would-be purchases.

March 02, 2005

The Reflex

Q: What happens when two bloggers take in a great concert together?
A: They spend half their time enjoying the show and the other half writing the post about it in their heads.

Well, that's what happens if you're me and April taking in the Duran Duran concert tonight. Which you're not, but we are. I knew that's what I was doing, but I didn't realize she was until she mentioned it on the walk back to the parking garage. I commented that it becomes "the reflex" you have once you've been doing this for a while. Ha ha. Get it? Anyway...

They had what I felt was a pretty crappy opening act, Ima Robot. Had I been tired enough, I would have slept through their half hour on stage. No one knew them, no one knew their songs, and I couldn't understand a word of what was sung apart from the odd curse word now and again. Not awful, really, simply not my cup of tea. The lead singer, I believe, fancies himself a very skinny version of Robert Smith, voice-wise. Frankly, I would have preferred to have The Cure up there. And I don't even like The Cure much.

Duran Duran was fantastic, though, and it was a show well worth seeing if you are a child of the 80s, musically speaking. Simon Le Bon has still got the voice, most of the moves, and a hell of a lot of stage presence. He also seems to need to spit...a lot. They had this taped-off square behind the keyboard area, and he would pop back there and spit on it, or stop in front of the drum set where he had a cup or two there just for that. I've never seen anything like it, but he managed it in a fairly discrete way; we just happened to have a good view of the Spit Square from where we were sitting.

Which, for once, was not directly behind the crazy, SNL skit-worthy, dancin' fool lady. (Barenaked Ladies/Alanis Morrisette.) It was not in front of someone who decided they needed to sing Every. Single. Word. Of. Every. Single. Song. (Billy Joel/Elton John.) It was also not in the midst of pot-smoke heaven. (Dave Matthews Band.) Nor did I have to stand up the whole time. (John Fogerty.) It was not a view obstructed by a railing. (Simon & Garfunkel.) I was not surrounded by women screaming for a male singer whose appeal I don't get. (Matchbox 20, Clay Aiken.) There was no fight in the seating behind me. (Garth Brooks.) Or in the seating in front of me. (Fogerty again.) It was not about 100 degrees out and I was not dehydrated. (Duran Duran '02/Seal.) The roof of my car had not been destroyed while I was at the show. (DMB again.)

You can see the trend. I have the worst luck when it comes to these things, and they generally bother the shit out of me while I'm there. Almost every time I go to a concert these days, I end up thinking, "That just may be the last one I go to..." It never is, of course, but still.

At last, it appeared that I might just have a near-perfect concert-going experience. Until the chick behind me lit up a cigarette practically next to my ear. I decided not to do anything about it, which always pisses me off in retrospect because she was in the wrong not me, and I spent some time dreaming of an unobtrusive device I could invent that would allow me not to have to inhale the smells of cigarette smoke, pot smoke, body odor, buckets of perfume and stinky, jalapeño-loaded nachos whenever I go to concerts and other entertainment events. I have earplugs for my ears, which let me hear the music well enough, why can't I have noseplug filters that let me breathe without all the smells?

But I must have done something nice recently that the universe appreciated. Because before she could light up her third cigarette (which may have sent me over the edge), the people whose seats she and her boyfriend were occupying -- their tickets were for 15 rows further back -- finally showed up. The usher tossed them out of the seats after a protracted discussion and they headed off...just moments before the song Cigarette Girl had been saying over and over again that she really, really wanted to hear. That's right, The Reflex.

March 01, 2005

Bloggus interruptus

Tonight's blogging has been cancelled on account of hiccups. No, I'm not kidding. I can't stop hiccupping and it's very difficult to concentrate on writing when that happens. Go ahead, try it sometime. You'll see.

Yes, this means that there won't be much on the Amazing Race 7, and no "Baby Count." I've decided not to do it this time around, or at least not at the moment. I know all (two) of you are disappointed, but this season just has a different vibe. There are no dating models. There are no sickeningly gooey couples. There were "baby" and "honey" moments, but it's just not the same kind of teams this time around and I'm not feeling it.

So go check out TVgasm and let B-Side crack you up with his recap when it's up. Feel free to discuss the show and your thoughts on the teams in the comments, however.

But I will state, here and now, that I like Rob and Amber in the Race, and I plan to enjoy watching them compete. So there.