In an effort to infuse meaning into my life, i am again dieting.
I happen to not be embarassed of this fact. I have dieted for long periods ever since i was twelve years old, and i happen to think the activity is one of the more exciting things life has to offer. Counting calories and grams of carbs, i've always found this simply fun. It's like running the numbers on gambling, except it's not your paycheck that's on the line, but your ass that's crossed over it, haha.
In the past few years, however, dieting has unexplicably become uncool. Instead, it is trendy to have "dietary restrictions." Oh, i can't eat that, it has gluten. I'm alergic to dairy. I can't have peanuts. My scillia will soooooo freak out over that cookie. You martyrs, you take up your cross so modestly.
I believe these trendy "health" nuts are secret dieters in disguise. Everything is "not a diet, but a lifestyle" "for health" "for the planet". When did people start lying about the fact they want to lose weight? Yeah, you know i'm talking to you, vegan fatty. You never liked animals that much, anyway.
No, dieting is suddenly uncool, unless you're a middle-aged woman for whom weightwatchers serves as kind of menopause play-group. The other day at a party i said to someone "I don't think i can eat that cake." And she was like, "Why, are you gluten intolerant?" And i was like, "No, i'm just fat!" Then she got all huffy and embarassed. You're not supposed to restrain yourself, you see. You should naturally eat only broccoli and sprout smoothies because "your body feels so much cleaner. You have so much more energy." Bullshit hippies, your stomach developed a double chin and you're trying to keep your husband from divorcing you. BE HONEST!
So now i am dieting and proud. It took a lot of work putting on fifteen pounds after my wedding, so hopefully it will not be so much work taking it off. I'm really getting to enjoy Pilates. And Cardio Kickboxing. And living with a purpose.
Leah: "What do you get if you win the website design contest?"
Dan: "Four thousand dollars."
Leah: "Wow. Really?"
Dan: "I could really use four thousand dollars."
Leah: "Yeah? What would you buy with four thousand dollars?"
Dan: "Nothing! Food."
Leah: "Now you're sounding like me!"
Dan: "I've always been the same! When did I ever buy anything?!"
Leah: "I dunno, i guess now that i'm poor too i just have more appreciation for it."
We watched the Narnia movie. Leah's parents got it from NetFlix and lent it to us so there was alot of pressure to watch it quick and get it back in the mail so they could rent something else. All in all it wasn't bad; not as bad as it could have been, in any case. The previews and the tv ad for the video game led me to expect the whole thing to be taken up with battles and valor, and also cool sword tricks in the true hollywood tradition. Happily, the beginning of the movie followed the book nicely, and was also fun to watch on its own merits (except the silly scene with the waterfall). After Aslan was killed (OMG spoiler warning!), though, things took a turn for the worse. As Aslan returned to the battle at the head of a huge army of revitalized recently-statues, I explained the movie-maker's point to Leah: who cares about sacrifice unless you come back from the dead with reinforcements!
Leah's joke was funnier though. "It's just like in the Bible: the lion lies down with the lamb and then they go kick some ass!"
Yes, as Dan put it, the Narnia movie really spoiled the allegorical power of the story, but no one really cares. After all, what can you expect? We go to church to learn about Truth, but we go to the movies to learn about swords and premarital sex. What's that? The movies are teaching this nation's children about the holy powers of cleavage, vengence, and sarcasm? Oh well, America's little brats are doomed.
After we watched the movie, i asked Dan, "So what do Christian people think Jesus does all day? Do they think he sits around on a thrown in heaven? Chats with God?"
"Well," Dan said, "The trinity is more metaphorical. It's not like there are three people sitting around in heaven, looking for a fourth for bridge."
"That's pretty funny. Did you just make that up?"
"It's funny... fourth for bridge... insightful and funny."
"Why thank you."
"Hey, maybe WE'RE the fourth for bridge."
"Wow. Now you're going deep."
It was hot out today. hoooooooot ooooooout. 75 degrees in the city. So obviously it was a good idea for me to wear a wool jacket to my interview. (I'm trustworthy, i swear!... sweat bead...) On the walk back, i took off my wool coat and sighed comfortably in the halter-top i was wearing underneith. But then this big frat-boy dood waked right in front of me and was like, "How are you doin today? I'm much better since I saw you!" And i was all: why does one guy always need to spoil my breasts for the rest of us?
Dan remembers that in college he had some stoner acquaintances who would use the word f---in in all sentence pauses, instead of "um."
They would be like: "F---in ... let's get something to eat!"
I've noticed, over the past five years, that our president seems to do the same think with the phrase "nine-eleven."
He's like, "Nine-eleven... we need some more pretzels up in this oval office."
"Is that show on tonight...nine-eleven....what's it called? Oh, West Wing."
"Well I'll answer your question... nine-eleven... and I'll say that...nine-eleven...we're doing our best to secure this nation's ports."
Am i wrong here?
Dan: There's only one clean fork left.
Leah: That's okay, i'll eat my Broccoli with my fingers.
Dan: But what about for cake? Here, you take my fork. I'll use my soup spoon.
Leah: You use your fork! I'll wash anouther one.
Dan: No, I'll use my spoon.
Leah: You can't use a spoon for cake! I'm washing a fork.
Dan: No, take mine.
Leah: No, i'm washing one.
Dan: Take it.
Leah: I'm washing anouther fork! You use yours!
Dan: mmmmm. spoon cake.
Leah: You're so stubborn.
Today I worked on an HTML email, and since they tell us the CSS doesn't work in email, I did my best to make things go with tables and font tags. Remember when we used to do that? I tell you, I forgot all the tricks I used to know back in 2001 (the 1999 in the heading is a little hyperbole, and also a song reference or something). I had to go look at some of my old pages to remember that 'cellpadding' has no hyphen, and fonts come in 'faces'. Man, I'm glad those days are gone.
Although, the future has also brought us some pretty unpleasant abominations. I'm also working on a few designs for a Movable Type design contest thingy (there are prizes; wishes of luck will be greatfully accepted), and I am obliged to report that the folks at MT haven't advanced tremendously since I complained about them back when I started this blogging endeavor, and also a couple months ago. They pretend to be all forward thinking and flexible now, but what they mean by that is that they wrap every single page element in not one, but two or even three named divs. I'd rather have tables! What happened to semantic markup for lightweight pages?! I guess they figure we all have broadband now, and also they didn't think about their design very much.
So, my apologies to the 9/10ths of our readers who could care less about web design (perhaps Eric is the exception). I've been dealing with it alot, so a little had to leak out here!
Yesterday i completed a final paper for my marketing class, and good thing too, because one more day of market research and my brain was about to explode out my ears. Now i have a ten-day break until summer classes start, in which i will.... i don't know. i have no idea. Dan just asked me what i'm going to do today, and i gazed longingly out the window and said, "Contemplate my own mortality."
No actually, i'm going to the mall. But first, i'm headed to the spa to get all my zities popped by a professional. The other day we were sitting on the couch watching IRON CHEF, and i was fingering a huge volcano surfacing from underneath my cheek, and i said to Dan, "I thought i was supposed to, like, be done having zits after puberty!" And Dan was like: "I KNOW, RIGHT?"
There's nothing that makes you less psyched up for an interview than the threat of your potential boss leaning across the table, pointing, and taunting "Pizza face!"
It's been a good year for dandilions so far. I'd guess they're better able to cope with the heat and drought than other plants, such as my grass. We're not as plagued as some folks, but still we've had our share of work trying to keep our lawn free of the yellow peril. They're tricky, though: like, even if you pull em up when the flowers are small they can keep developing and morph into the dreaded puffball form days later. (Of course I never leave weeds lying around after I pull them up! I heard that fact from a friend.)
Also, sometimes they just grow sneaky, and come out with the puffball before you even get a chance to see that they're there. That happened to me the other day. Even worse, I saw the telltale white fluff when I was out with Rascal, and before I could react he ran right over the flower sending the hideous spores flying. It was just like in the movies when I dived through the air, screaming 'nooooooo...' in oddly distorted slow motion. After that I picked up every single fluffy seed, or at least all the ones I could find.
We might have dirt patches and clovers and some other little white flowers, but at least we're keeping the squibix family lawn dandilion free! Mostly.
I took my car to the dealership service center today, because it had been running sluggishly these past weeks, and was also in need of a snow-tire change, new wiper blades, and some other not overtly expensive services. Then at 2:30, the service man called me with the bad news: You need new breaks. To the tune of a thousand bucks.
Funny how this information actually intensified my desire to suddenly be killed in a car crash. Ironic even. But how would it seem if i'd said to the service man, "Nah, don't bother. I've actually been waning on the whole will to live thing lately, and no breaks on my car seems like somewhat of a winfall at this point!" No, not particularly appropriate.
NPR: The Catholic church is protesting the movie The Divincy Code.
Dan: Good, because I'm protesting the Catholic church!
Leah: But you're also protesting the Divincy Code.
Dan: I know! I'm torn!
Leah: So you know Cingular's new ad campaign saying their network the fewest dropped calls?
Dan: Yeah, I know it's completely made up!
Leah: Made up?
Dan: Completely made up! It's like they had a research firm just say that Cingular had the fewest dropped calls. But they don't really know, they never did a study on it.
Leah: Did they ask you how many dropped calls you had? Maybe they look at the call logs.
Dan: But how would they know if a call had been dropped, or if you just hung up.
Leah: Maybe they data mine the wire taps for a sequence of words, like: "Hello? Helloooo? Can you hear me? Helloooo? Can you hear me? F---!" And that means a call is dropped.
Dan: But if the call is dropped, then they don't even hear that, because it never gets recorded.
Leah: Oh Yeah, i guess the government wouldn't hear it.
Dan: It's like a Zen Kohn. If a call is dropped in the forest, and the government isn't around to hear it...
Leah: ...does the cellphone make a sound?
Dan: ...does somebody curse?
Leah: What is the sound of one unconnected man cursing?
Today i got a manicure from a Korean woman who made it her life's work to create the most perfectly straight white lines on the tips of my nails. It was so intense at times, all the other manicurists stood around watching in awe. Even i was humbled.
Grades are in, and i got straight A s, maintaining a perfect 4.0 after my first semester at Babson. I should note that my first year at Mount Holyoke i ended with a 4.0, and proceeded to have a hyperventilating fit because where can you go from a 4.0? Only down! Indeed, i graduated from my four-year career with a 3.93. What happened to those seven extra tenths of a point? Pathetic!
Whats-her-face won America's Next Top Model this evening. It is my highest aspiration to be on that show, just after i grow anouther 8 inches and have the bump on my nose Ashlee-Simpsoned. Imma commin Tyra!
Kangaroo on cute overload. That is all.
Some people in the wider world and also dangerously close to home (How could you, Mom?) have taken the book The Da Vinci Code, and its upcoming film adaptation, as fact. As explanation for this abomination, blame has in turn been placed on the fragmentation of American media, the confusion caused by reality television, the failure of primary school education, cow hormones in milk making people dumber, and the decline of the Catholic Church. I on the other hand believe that this immense display of stupidity reflects a larger global phenomenon.
When the Matrix came out, there were some people (even over the age of 14!) who were like, "Whoa, what if we totally live in an alternate universe that's, like, created by someone else, and even though we think that weíre in a real world, the real world really exists like somewhere else, and what we think is real we only THINK is real!" The answer to this thought is obviously either, "Yes, but who cares" or "No, you freakin moron." A level of introspection one step deeper would indicate that the philosophical query posed by the situation is a worthless sinkhole redundant unto itself; it is not only impossible to prove either way, but once proved is completely moot in its application to anything. (Has anyone heard of Occam's razor? Or am i overreaching?) We canít blame Hollywood for Americaís credulity, however. Centuries ago priests argued over how many angels could fit on the head of a pin. Or at least iíve heard people tell it that way.
This is the same phenomenon which is occurring so appallingly over the Da Vinci Code: "If i haven't thought of it before, it must be true!" Similarly, children sometimes say: "What if what i see as red you see as blue, and even though i call something red and you call it red too we're really seeing different things!!?" Again: Either "Yes, who cares" or "No, itís moronic," but the reasoning is excusable as long as you're under 12, or under the influence.
It hurts me to see people talk about the Da Vinci Code and say, "Wow, i never thought of that!" losing all critical faculties they seem to poses in other areas of life. Perhaps itís because the book centers on matters of religion, and people are a little shaky on their Catechism these days. On the other hand, there's no excuse for mistaking formulaic fiction for historical fact, and i wonder if the people who think Jesus was busy knocking up Mary Magdalene also fantasize about Pocahontas and John Smith doin it in the treetops of the great American wilderness. ("How hiiiiiiiigh can a Sycamore grow") But i donít want to tread on sacred territory.
Maybe believing whatever next thing you hear is exciting. Hey, that's why lots of people do yoga! And maybe history and religion is too simple and boring to merit a poorly-written thriller and poorly-acted movie. Still, i believe most people have the capacity in their minds to exercise a little critical discernment between fact and fiction. But maybe thatís my leap of faith.
So because of the court injunction against me which prevents me from talking about the weather in these pages, I didn't mention that it was like wicked rainy the whole last week, but it was. From the morning of Sunday the 7th to the early afternoon of Tuesday 16th it rained constantly. It was just light rain for the first couple days, but then it started coming down serious: I said it was the most rain I'd even seen, and I guess other folks thought the same because it was all over the news and things. Flooding, roads closed, schools closed... alot of rain.
But it's all over now, and we've seen the sun two days in a row now. Everyone is out enjoying it, frolicking and what not, and expressing their relief (those people who aren't working to clean up their flooded basements, that is). The only problem is, I'm stuck inside doing work. I need the money so I can't complain, but I have to say it was alot easier to be stuck inside doing work when it wasn't possible to go outside without scuba gear! Yard work is calling out to me, to say nothing of just lounging around in the hammock or playing with Rascal. It's not fair! I want to play outside!!!
Oh and, if all you readers are never going to comment then I'm not going to turn on comments for my posts. So there!
Barring bad weather (what are the chances of that? It's only rained on 10 of the last 12 days!) I'm supposed to bike 30 miles tomorrow, as part of a bikeathon for our church. I'm a little worried because I've barely biked at all this year; 30 miles is a bit much for a first trip, I think. Sadly, Leah won't be able to ride: she has to help run a Girl Scout yard sale. She hasn't run a yard sale yet this year, but I have a feeling that won't be as much of a handicap. Since she so regrets missing the bike ride, though, I told her we could have a bikeathon of our own next weekend. We're taking pledges now: indicate the ammount you're prepared to give in the comments!
I happened to notice that both Coke and Pepsi are now running tv ads featuring attractive young individuals dancing joyously while consuming their cola of choice. I hope--HOPE!--that this is mere coincidence; the alternative is too frightning to contemplate.
"Did you see that Pepsi ad with the dancing? They think their product is more joyously delightful than ours? Get the ad agency on the phone!"
Leah: So, i walked into class talking with Lauren from orientation, and she wanted to sit in the back row like the cool-kids, but then all class she spent talking to this guy she knew from last semester, and i couldn't see the numbers on all the slides. So i was mad at Lauren, but then Lindsay my friend from my marketing class, well actually she's not really my friend but i wish she was because she's cool and smart and works for Dunkin brands, she turned around and said, "Do you wanna be in a group with me for presentations?" And i was like, "YEAH!!!"
Dan: It's good to be back in school, isn't it?
When I was young lad living in my parents' house, the light in the stairwell in said dwelling was controlled by a single switch, which was found at the top of the steps. Due to this setup, one perforce had to ascend the stairs before activating any sort of illumination. Even though this less-than-optimal situation changed when the ancestral home was expanded, I couldn never manage to remember to use the new lower-level lightswitch; the other one was still in the same place, after all. Even worse, though I've now lived away from home for as long as I've had this blog, more often than not I still go up the stairs in the dark and turn on the lights at the top.
There's this commercial on TV now that always makes me cry. It's for Petsmart.
See, there's this doschund, a long skinny doggy, who has a long skinny toy who's shaped just like he is. And the doggy carries the toy with him everywhere he goes, to the park, to the car, to the vet, banging on each one of the stairs ba-dump ba-dump. [tears of love and companionship starting to well up in my eyes]
But the toy gets dirtier and dirtier and worner and worner, until one day when the puppy is sleeping, his mommy takes the toy out of his mouth and throws it in the trash. [Real tears flowing now]
But then, the mommy and the doggy go to Petsmart, and the Petsmart worker says to the puppy, "Where's Bobo? [lump swelling in throat]
And THEN, the mommy buys the puppy a NEW Bobo, and the puppy is so happy that they have to run him over the scanner because he will not take Bobo out of his mouth! [SOBS OF JOY!!!]
When i told Dan about this commercial, i punctuated the story screaming through my tears: "YOU SEE! The Petsmart worker KNEW the doggy, and KNEW he had a Bobo, and THAT'S why he said 'Where's Bobo?' AND THEN, they got him a NEW BOBO!!!!!"
YOU SEE DAN???!!! THEY GOT HIM A NEW BOBO!!!!!"
gets me every time.
Summer starts a few days early this year. Not only was it all kinds of hot today, but the fireflies were out in force in the woods when I took Rascal out for his late-evening constitutional. I was contemplating trying to write a post about fireflies and serenity, but I couldn't come up with anything. I've never seen the show, so any real sense of context is lacking.
Leah: "Speaking of bathrooms... no, actually maybe I won't tell that story."
There was a rummage sale at the church the other day. While I have plenty of most categories of rummage, I feel that one can never own enough books, so I picked up a couple. One of them was Al Franken's Lying Liars book, which Leah is now enjoying after I read and recommended it (good stuff: it both amuses and angrifies!); another was the Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex book, which I plan never to read unless I'm in a really down mood. By far the best selection, though, is the Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Library's Muffins & Quick Breads. Besides mouthwatering recipes, it also presents tantalizing photos of delectable muffins revealed in the most provocative poses. Provoking me to cook em, that is! I am so going to make Herbed Cheese-Beer Bread. I keep the book by my bed and look at it every night before I go to sleep.
Also, they weren't kidding about this Memorial Day business being the start of summer around here. Luckily our neighbors have their pool open, and even better they invited us over to a pool party. Otherwise we might have melted away entirely this weekend.
My memorial day was an orgy of non-stop eating and drinking, how was yours? I had been mentally and calorically preparing for my parent's BBQ on Sunday, when my mom called me on Saturday morning and said, "Your cousin is in town, come to dinner tonight too." Thus began two nights of large eating, with a pool-party liquor fest thrown in in the middle. In the aftermath i went to Old Navy to buy some new looser-fitting t-shirts. But turns out i'm not THAT fat. Come on Old Navy, you're really underestimating America.
Despite the mandatory "relaxing," life is pretty stressfull around here. Summer School Statistics turns out not to be the bucket of laughs that the name implies. And my oh-so-helpful mathy brother is leaving for oh-so-inaccessible China in a week. Where's a shady rock to crawl under when you need one?