Thursday, January 31, 2008

Nerds Like Me

Recently, a friend of mine was telling me that she and her girlfriend (who I don't know very well) had been watching episodes of Buffy,* which she had already seen but her girlfriend had not.

So I asked, "Does she like it?"

"Not really."

"Really? Buffy? But. It's so awesome."

"I mean, she likes it okay I guess, but she's very . . . particular."

"Oh. Hmm. So, are there other tv shows or movies that she's really into?"

"Not really. She likes stuff, but she just doesn't get that into anything."

"So what you're saying is, she's not a nerd."

"That's pretty much it, yeah."

"Wow. I don't think I even know anybody like that."**

*I am a Buffy freak. Like, it's lucky there's no Klingon language or other time-wasting educational opportunity on that show because I might have to learn it. That's how freaky.

**No offense to you, if I know you. I just don't know how to relate to non-nerds.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Ladies in Bikinis!

Here, for your enjoyment, is a picture that my oldest friend Lula* emailed me yesterday. Lula and I are showing off in our summer finest, circa 1988.

Look at me, all modest with the towel! Was I cold? Did I think I was fat? Was I worried that the flash reflection off of my snowy white stomach would blind the photographer (probably a legitimate concern)?

Lula also sent this one, which she calls "Pondering."

Who knows what mysteries of the universe my seventh grade self was solving as this picture was being taken. Sadly, that information has been lost. Perhaps I was resolving the conflict between physics and quantum mechanics, or contemplating those weird replacement Duke boys.

Let's hope I was considering other hairstyles.

*Some names have been changed.

Where the Books Are

I regularly visit a building downtown that has televisions in the elevators. Have you seen these? They show an even-more-ADD-than-usual version of CNN, and they say in one corner of the screen, "You are watching the Captivate Network!"

The Captivate Network? Why not just go ahead and call it the "We Will Turn You Into Zombies With Our Shiny Screen And Mindless Advertisements Network"? I mean, I love television as much as anyone (more!), but god forbid anybody have a quiet moment in the elevator. Or be forced to make eye contact with a fellow passenger.

The dystopian future is now, peops!


The tone of this blog has been a little bit grumpy these days, I notice. Let's take that frown and turn it upside down with a heartwarming library story, shall we?

As background I should tell you that the library I work in is very big, and very modern, and sometimes a little confusing to get around in.

So the other day I was crouching down in a heavy-traffic area to put up a poster, and a little tiny kid walked over to me, his dad in the background. Seriously, he was the tiniest kid of all time. You know how some little kids are roly-poly, and other, equally adorable ones, are more like tiny miniatures of adults? That was this kid.

Anyway, so I'm crouching down and when he walks over, I'm right at eye level with him. But he crouches down next to me anyway, puts his finger to his chin, and says thoughtfully, "I would like to ask you a question."

"Great! What's your question."

"I came here, with my kindergarten"--he wanted me to feel the prestige of it--"and we looked at some books.

Can you tell me where the books are?"

I'm not sure if the cuteness translates, but he just about knocked me out.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A Handy List to Know and Share

Where have I been, you ask? Your life is incomplete without daily missives from SogTown, you say? (Okay, I know you're not really saying that, but let's pretend. It's January and I could use a little boost here.)

Thank you for asking! Mainly I have been Event Planning. Which is weird, because I don't actually like Event Planning, nor do I count it among my natural talents. For instance, I pretty much flatly refuse to organize groups of people to do fun things. I like to do fun things, and I like to do them with people. But I don't want to be the one who figures out all the details and coordinates transportation and makes sure to pick a place with enough tables and vegan options without soy and all of that.

It stresses me out. I'll invite you over to dinner, but beyond that, I really don't want to be the plan-maker.

And yet somehow, I end up planning pretty big things on a fairly regular basis. I guess because it's sort of my job. For the past few months, I've been planning and coordinating a big fat city-wide program for the library system (my idea, too!), which ended this past Saturday. Thank god.

It went really well, and tons of great people worked on it. In the end, I was very proud of what was accomplished. Maybe it will be less stressful for me when we do it again next year.

Probably not, though.


Also, a few words about January. It is a fact of science that January is the second-most suck month of the year, right behind February. In fact, here is that list for your convenience.

Most Suck Months of the Year
1. February
Cold, dark, miserable. Contains Valentines Day. You've already suffered winter for months, and no end is in sight.
2. January
Cold, dark, miserable.
3. March
You feel like it should be less cold and miserable by now, but instead it's just less dark.
4. April
Crap on a stick, will it never warm up?
5. December
You think the holidays are going to be fun this year. But they aren't.

As you can see, we are now in the approximate center of suckage. It is at this time every year that I wonder, what the fuck am I doing here? I'm cold! And wet! And the basement keeps leaking! But we can't call the landlord because it is our basement!

Well, I guess those thoughts about the basement are pretty specific to this year. But you get the idea.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Miscellaneous Nice Things

It's been clear and sunny yesterday and today, and this has made a world of difference in my mood. There's really no beating Seattle for the pretty on a clear winter day. I love the summer, don't get me wrong, but on a sunny day in winter there's no haze (or smog, I guess), so you can see all of the mountains at their snowy white best, and the air is nice and clean. Plus, you're a hell of a lot more grateful that it's not raining. It's nice.

We registered for wedding gifts this weekend. I'm sure you are as sick of hearing about wedding stuff as I am of talking about it, so I will only say that this exercise in wild consumerism just wasn't as much fun as one might expect. Still, I am humbled and grateful that people want to buy us stuff, so I'm not really complaining.

Have you been watching the Jane Austen Extravaganza on PBS? I watched Persuasion last week, and then this week our dumb vcr only recorded the sound for Northanger Abbey, so I'll have to catch the re-airing next week. I will watch each and every one of these (because, you know, costumes! and accents!), but I was a little disappointed with the first one.

I have some questions for the good people of Masterpiece Theater. To wit:

1. Did Anne's hair have to be so GREASY? Perhaps you were trying to make the point that they didn't bathe quite so much during the Regency period. Point taken!

2. Did the actress who played Anne insist on having her mouth open the whole time, or was the director into getting all those shots of her uvula?

3. 90 minutes? For a whole book? Why not go nuts and use all 120?

That is all.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Wedding Ideas

Wedding stuff is so weird.

For instance. The lovely Lass just pointed me to some dessert-related ideas for my wedding. Currently we are planning on having a tower of doughnuts (seriously), which would no doubt be much more festive once adorned with a cake topper that looks like us. This example is my favorite:

Because nothing says forever like cell phones and weaponry, am I right?

But there's plenty more where that came from. Have you considered having a dolphin-themed wedding? Someone has! How about a lovely NASCAR wedding? Don't worry, the guide has already been written!

I don't even know if I should show you the other thing Lass linked to today. Are you ready?

Seriously, are you?

How about a cake that looks like you?

I assume the cake part is red velvet. What fun to disembowel yourself on your wedding day!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Two Tickets to Paradise

I think I might be getting married. Within the past few days, I've bought:

1. A wedding dress.
It's poofy, even. I never thought I'd buy a poofy wedding dress, but here I am, poofing it up.

I did end up buying it from that charity that supports breast cancer research, and they had plenty of extra certificates lying around.

I didn't take any more, though. No need to be greedy.

2. A veil.
I also never really thought I'd wear a veil. It's the kind that comes with a comb that you just stick on the back of your head, so there won't be any games of peek-a-boo at the altar, but still. So bride-y!

I tried the whole get-up on again when I got home, and I am embarrassed to admit that I was kind of completely into it. I've never understood the wedding outfit before--"White is so unflattering!" I would say to myself. "And veils are weird! Why don't people just get lovely formal gowns in black, or green, or something? And why must they be so POOFY?"

What can I say, I'm a jerkwad. I have been totally won over by the poof.

Even so, the most exciting recent purchase was:

Two one-way tickets to Dubrovnik, Croatia. Check it out:

Can you stand the pretty? It is almost intolerable, how pretty that is. I bought the one-way tickets only because I found a super cheap deal, and we decided that we'd leave the return ticket open for now and see where else we might want to go. But I'm going to pretend that it was because we're never coming back.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

It's Cat-tastic!

I had to work today, but if I hadn't I would have been really tempted to head down to the Seattle Center to check out the "Kitties Sweeter Than Wine Cat Show." It's put on by the Pacific Northwest Outlaws Cat Club.

How do I join?

Friday, January 4, 2008

New Year's Meme Thing (or, How Badly I Want a Dishwasher)

I am stealing this meme from Pop Culture Librarian. What? She said I could.

1. What did you do in 2007 that you'd never done before?
Snapped at library patrons who had not been rude to me and did not deserve it. (Way to start off a downer!)

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I honestly cannot remember if I resolved anything last year.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Actually, most of my people did their birthing in '06. A bunch of them are knocked up again though! They're slutty that way.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No, but thanks for asking such a jinxy question, Interwebs. Now I have to spend the rest of my day knocking on wood.

5. What countries did you visit?
Costa Rica and Nicaragua. And Alabama.

6. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007?
A dishwasher! A dishwasher! My kingdom for a dishwasher! Also, I would like for my cat to stop peeing outside the litter box. That would be excellent.

7. What dates from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory?
Engagement, home purchase.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I learned how to paint my nails without painting my cuticles.

9. What was your biggest failure?
My cat still pees outside the box. See above.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Uh, I guess the house. I also bought a hoodie I'm pretty enamored with.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My boyfriend is pretty nice to me.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Name a Republican. Also, my brother.

14. Where did most of your money go?

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Sunshine, whenever it appeared.

16. What song will always remind you of 2007?
"Take Me With You," by Prince, and "This Must Be the Place," by the Talking Heads. I'm looking at making the leap into the new century by about 2017.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
Happier, I guess? 2006 wasn't bad either, though.
b) thinner or fatter?
Well, I did exercise more in 2007 than I ever have before. Let's say fitter.
c) richer or poorer?
I guess the same, although I'm seeing a lot less of the cash I make than I was last year.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Reading. I always wish that.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Freaking out.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
I spent it with the boyfriend and the family in Alabama.

22. Did you fall in love in 2007?
It's been a three-year-fall, and counting.

23. How many one-night stands?
Like, keg stands?

24. What was your favorite TV program?
My conversation is now limited almost entirely to references to 30 Rock. I love 30 Rock. Dear Corporate Executives, please pay the writers so that they can write more 30 Rock. Thank you.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

26. What was the best book you read?
I tried to do a Top Ten Books of 2008 list for work, because everyone in my department was doing it. But even that was too limiting.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
God, I'm getting so old. Maybe Beirut, a band everyone else had previously discovered?

28. What did you want and get?
So many things! I'm pretty lucky.

29. What did you want and not get?
A dishwasher.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?
No Country For Old Men and Juno.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Hiked up a mountain, ate Indian food at my favorite restaurant, and met up with friends at my favorite dive bar, where the proprietor sent me a baking tray with 100 egg rolls on it. Also, the boyfriend brought cupcakes. A good day.

32.What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
A dishwasher.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007?
Librarian drag.

34. What kept you sane?
The boyfriend. To the degree that I could be called sane this past year.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Just one? Climate change.

37. Who did you miss?
My parents, and my many East Coast and otherwise far away friends.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
My mind is blanking here. Am I not meeting new people anymore?

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007:
That it's not about me. This is a lesson I've learned before, but it bears re-learning from time to time.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
Out of all those kinds of people, you got a face with a view. I'm just an animal looking for a home, maybe share the same space for a minute or two.

Happy new year!

Sorry, I know I've been gone forever--and that's forever and ever in blog years. We went to Alabama for Christmas (which, more on that later), and then on to snowboarding at Mt. Hood.

This was about my fourth time snowboarding. I'm still not great, but I can more or less do it.

That's me in the foreground. On a more hilarious note, here is me in all my gear, plus a borrowed helmet. As you can see this photo was taken right before I blasted off into space.

Have you been to the Timberline Lodge at Mt. Hood? It's the one they used for exterior shots in
The Shining, and it is fairly awesome. Here is the view from the bar:

That's all I have time for right now, except for a quick GO OBAMA. But I'll be back soon.