Monday, August 31, 2009

I crack myself up

Yesterday I was driving downtown and I came up behind a woman in a Smart car with a vanity plate that read PILATES.

I thought to myself, "Now does this woman make her own granola, or DOES THIS WOMAN MAKE HER OWN GRANOLA? Amiright? I mean, seriously what's up with that?"

Thanks I'll be here all week.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

It's Still There

I like to include pictures as much as possible, but I think you'll thank me for not doing that with this post.

Remember that bat? The one that woke me up from my clothing optional beauty sleep? The one that my landlord killed and then laid to rest in an Amazon box, placed gingerly in the bottom of the trashcan? Because I can be a paranoid person, I had a lot of issues surrounding that trashcan for quite a while. Allow me to share them with you.

The entrance to my apartment is on the side of the house, right next to where the trashcans live. So until trash day, I had to think about that dead bat body in the bottom of that trashcan, less than a foot from my door. I got very very good at keeping my gaze far away from the inside of that can. And then on trash day I had to muster up all my squeamish-girl-living-on-her-own guts and carry that trashcan/coffin to the curb. And then I went to work and spent the whole day imagining what I'd come back home to. What if the garbage men don't shake the can enough and the bat doesn't make it out? What if they throw the can back and it falls over and the bat comes tumbling out onto the curb and I have to see it??? How will I ever manage to bring the trashcan back to it's spot beside the house if it potentially still has a dead bat body in the bottom?!?!?

I avoided this by coming home as late as possible on trash day, increasing the chances that one of the other women downstairs would bring it back for me. And that worked well for a few weeks. Then I realized the trashcan was light enough when it's empty that I can carry it with my arm stretched out far away from me so I can't see inside. And that worked even better. I had no idea whether or not it was still there, and that was fine because I could just pretend it wasn't. I shared all this with my boyfriend and he looked, but I made him promise not to tell me what he did or did not see.

Well the other day I had some junk mail and I thought I'd just toss it in the can rather than take it upstairs. My guard was down, and there were no bags in the can, and I leaned over just a little too far... I saw the box, smashed. I saw something black underneath it, smashed. I stifled a scream and managed not to faint, turned the key and went upstairs to pour myself a stiff drink.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Lord help me, I'm a Phan

If you make it to the end of this monster post, there are pictures as a reward. Or, if you just want to skip ahead to the pictures I won't be offended.

When I was 16, I threw myself a birthday party and told all my friends if they wanted to get me a gift, I would love a copy of their favorite cd. This turned out to be one of the best ideas I've ever had. I don't remember all of what I got, but one standout was Phish's Rift. Now I have to say I didn't love it then. But gosh darn, I tried to love it. Most of my friends at that point were Phish fans, and I think almost all of them went to at least one concert while we were in high school. They never asked me if I wanted to go. I don't know if this was because I tended to not be allowed to go to stuff like that, and so they assumed it would just make me sad to be invited and then have to say no, or if they were just awful people. (I know it's the former, but I've always been a little insecure about being left out of stuff!)

So anyway, when I got that copy of Rift, I listened to it as hard as I have ever listened to anything. I wanted so desperately to "get" whatever my friends found in Phish, so I could be as gung-ho and avid a "Phan" as the rest of them. And then maybe they'd talk to me when they were making their concert plans too. But try as I might, I just couldn't totally get into it.

Twelve years later, I've got it.

My boyfriend is probably the biggest Phish fan I'll ever have the privilege of meeting. When the reunion was announced, and summer tour dates set, he had counted me in before I even understood what was happening. And this, to me, was a huge compliment. We went to two shows this summer and about two songs into the second show, I knew I'd never be the same again.

The first show was at Starlake, near Pittsburgh, on June 18th. I had fun for sure (photo evidence below) but I only heard one song that I recognized at all, "Free" which I only sort of knew from hearing it randomly at a friend's house. I loved the crowd, I loved the energy, but I didn't totally love the band yet. Yet.

Over the course of July, my wonderful boyfriend redoubled his efforts in mentoring me towards Phandom. He let me borrow his copy of Rift (that original copy that I had got lost somewhere in the 15+ times I've moved in the last 10 years) and then Hoist and then Billy Breathes. (This all combined with the fact that anytime we were in his car he'd play live shows from the summer tour.) Hearing the album version of "Free" on Billy Breathes and then immediately getting hooked by "Character Zero" and "Taste" and then realizing that I had real preferences for different songs and albums ("Character Zero" is still my favorite song, Billy Breathes is my favorite album, with Rift a solid second and "Silent in the Morning" makes me love it a little more everytime I hear it), all of it started to really grow on me.

And it was just in time to get me really, really excited for the show at Merriweather Post Pavilion outside of DC. I can't really explain what it was or why it clicked, but even though they only played two songs that I knew ("Taste" and "Time Turns Elastic"), I finally reached the point where I felt like I really connected with the music. It was great! And I know that the more Phish I listen to, the more gems I'm going to find.

Carrie Brownstein had a similar, if truncated, journey this summer too.

This is at the Starlake show. Look! I'm pumped! But I think you can kind of tell in my eyes that I'm not as pumped as I could be.

Tailgating at Merriweather. Our friend Lisa randomly had a baby picture in her bag with her. We stuck it up in my trunk and told people that it was a kid that we lost two shows ago. We got some funny looks. Shockingly, the omnipresent police force didn't question us about it. (Also, look at my hippie top! Patchwork corduroy?? I must be into Phish!)

Sometime in the second set, Aaron managed to finagle us this amazing spot right in the front of the lawn. The screen that you see in the upper left was huge and cast this cool funky glow all around us. I've learned that the best thing for me to do at concerts with Aaron is to hold his hand, stay alert, and keep as close as possible when we're moving. If I do that successfully, a great view is my reward. He's a master at getting up close.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Mental Test, La Marseillaise

I took French for three and a half years in jr. high/high school and another three semesters in college. I never really got fluent with it, but I did pretty darn well in Paris on the class trip we took. And I was starting to get to the point of thinking in French, as opposed to thinking in English and then translating, when I was writing papers for that last semester in college. But there's not a ton of it left now. I was in Quebec a few years ago and I understood a decent chunk of what was said around me, but I couldn't really respond to complex questions. And my pronunciation is for shit.

It turns out a co-worker of mine is friends with my jr. high French teacher and she came into the office a while back to chat. I was shocked that she remembered me and my sister (sister took German, but our teacher is Swiss so we got a combo deal there), but I was also really scared that she'd ask me something in French and I would only be able to stare blankly back at her. So as a mental exercise, I decided yesterday to see how much of the French national anthem I could come up with off the top of my head.

Here's what I got without looking anything up:

Allons enfants de la Patrille
Le jour de gloire est arrive!
Contra nous de la tyrranirer
Les tendarts blah blah blah blah blah
Repeat that line I just made up
Entendez vous dans les compangnes
Muirer quelque chose les souldats
There's a serious change in the melody here
And can't remember how many lines it goes on for.....

(ready for the big finish?)

Aux armes les citoyains!
Formez les battaillons!
Marchons! Marchons!
Quelque chose autre!
Nice, uplifting closing line!

And the entire country erupts into applause over my mastery of their beloved anthem. (*"Quelque chose autre" I think is French for "something else")

Hmmm, doesn't look great. Let's look up the real one shall we? From Wikipedia:

Allons enfants de la Patrie,
Le jour de gloire est arrivé!
Contre nous de la tyrannie,
L'étendard sanglant est levé!
L'étendard sanglant est levé!
Entendez-vous dans les campagnes
Mugir ces féroces soldats?
Ils viennent jusque dans nos bras
Egorger nos fils et nos compagnes!

Aux armes, citoyens!
Formez vos bataillons!
Marchons! marchons!
Qu'un sang impur
Abreuve nos sillons!

Huh, well it certainly could have been worse, but I'm still disappointed because I could sing this thing in my sleep in 10th grade. You can go look up the translation if you feel like it, it's kinda gory actually.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I want to ride my bicycle

This is my bicycle. I bought it at the Wal-Marts with my birthday money from my grandparents. I love that it looks kind of retro, but it's from Wal-Mart so I feel like that aesthetic actually just makes it a little dorky. I'll show you a real picture of the actual one I bought later when I'm not blogging at work and stealing images from

I rode it to work the other day (I'm partly lying here, I drove with it down to the bike path and then rode it from there to work; if you lived in WV you'd do the same thing) and it was pretty fun. Not as fun as riding it just for kicks, cause when I'm riding it just for kicks I'm not also trying to carry stuff with me and I'm wearing clothes that I don't mind sweating in. So clearly I need to bring a change of clothes with me if I ride to work again. I also still need to bring the entire contents of my large purse. I can go without my large purse for short periods of time and on the weekends, but I can't go without it at work.

Dear Internet, should I do the very easy and sensible thing and carry my stuff in a backpack when I bike? Or should I do the thing that this bike seems to require in order to make it whole, and put a basket on the front? And if I do, should it be this one?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Keepin it real

I'm sorry I whined yesterday about how I wish I were funnier. I don't particularly like it when bloggers whine on their blogs about how they wish their blogs were better cause it feels a little insulting to me, I am choosing to read that blog. I don't want to hear about how I picked a lame one. So, I'm sorry for doing that here. I'll stop it now.

One thing I have realized about blogs that I like is that the authors tend to tell embarassing stories about themselves. And then I realized that I left out the funniest and potentially most embarassing part of The Good, The Bat, and The Ugly.

The real reason I was so happy that "I managed to miraculously end up with a bra, sweatshirt, and yoga pants in the completely random fistful of clothing I grabbed in the dark," is because I was sleeping in the buff that night. Yup, you heard me.

When I told my boyfriend the whole story he said, "Wow baby, I'm so sorry that happened but of course now all I can think about is the fact that you were sleeping naked. And I'm so sad because I'm guessing you'll never do that again."

And he's right, I haven't been able to sleep nekid since. And I have to say my world is a little less bright because of it. I really liked sleeping that way, especially because I received the fanciest sheets I've ever owned last Christmas and they feel so nice.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

This one's about knitting

I like how in my last post I wrote "So even if I don't blog for a long time...." I know myself.

I've been reading a lot of Whoopee lately and wishing I were funnier and British. I'm not. But I do knit. Here's a link to my facebook album of "Stuff I have knitted". You should mentally add to this three failed shrugs, as well as things I have given away without photographing: another pair of fingerless gloves, another head wrap thing, a couple of early not very good scarves, and a handful of baby hats and booties. Feels like not a ton for almost three years. Though I suppose I often feel like I don't knit as much as I want to. Sorry no pictures, click the link.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Check me out!

I have finally made it into relative currentness with the interwebs here. Along the techno-phile/phobe continuum, I'm a mid to late adopter usually. Stuff has to be around for a while and enough of my friends have to have started using something before I start using it. I might get an iPhone or a Blackberry eventually, but 75% percent of the people I see/talk to regularly will have to get one first.

For example, it took me a while to get on myspace, and then it was mostly because all my friends started having conversations there and when we hung out in person I didn't get the jokes. And then there was the migration from myspace to facebook, and I was a little late on that bandwagon too. I was relatively early amongst my friends to gmail (I got it when you still had to be invited!) and that helped with using blogger. But I was so late with rss feeds (I just started using Google Reader and I LOVE it, can't believe I didn't do it sooner) and my current cell phone doesn't even have a camera.

But now look what I've figured out! I'm using Twitter with my phone and I even set it up to update my facebook status as well as this cute little box here on the blog!!! It's awesome! So now I can tweet from the middle of the Shark Week party. With just a text message! I can't upload a picture via cell phone, but I can change my online status in three different sites with just a text! So even if I don't blog for a long time, there's still something being updated here. And it's so simple.

So while I have to admit that this is definitely not cutting edge or early adopting in any way, it's still fairly early for me to be doing this. I'm proud of myself. =)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Shark Week!

It's Shark Week! So in honor, I made shark attack cupcakes! I got the idea after seeing a friend's version that she made from Hello, Cupcake! I'm sad to say I was cheap and didn't buy the book, which may be why my sharks are pretty messy.

My favorite part is the life preserver with a bite taken out of it. I don't know if that was in the book, but my friend did that and I thought it was hilarious.

These were taken with my boyfriend's camera which is much better than my camera. You're welcome.

The snack that bites back!

Woman versus shark!

*Chomp* I win.