Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Wherein Instant Messaging Helps Me to Self Analyze

Me: i love TV so much. and music. and movies. and magazines. and books. But mostly TV.

Aaron: yeah. tv is good. you should marry tv

Me: heck yes, i should! it would be a blissful union

Aaron: if you ever got bored you could just change the channel. unless its late at night and then there's nothing on

Me: true. Of course, TV and i would have to have our alone time. you can't spend 24/7 with your tv without hating its guts after a while

Aaron: thats very true. but if you did something like read a book...would that be considered adultry?

Me: no. i don't think so

Aaron: well you'd be making tv jealous because books are the enemy of tv

Me: no, think of book reading like poker night ... it's just another interest. he might not like it, but it's not cheating. It would only be cheating if I watched another tv.

Aaron: ohh...well you'll have to get a really good tv then and avoid all other tvs when you are at friends' places

Me: gulp. I don't think I'm ready for marriage.

Mobile me

Is it possible to join the 21st century?

[I'm learning to post from my phone. I feel so fancy! Eighth graders don't got nuthin on me!]

Monday, October 29, 2007

Scary Options

Tis Halloween time, and I'm wracking my brain to come up with a costume. Why is this so hard?? Here's what I've come up with so far ... what do you think?

My Favorite Snack

The gPhone

Gene Shalit


Nah, as much as I love the idea of being Britney, this won't work. Where would I get the sparkly bikini? Plus it's chilly, and I hate being cold.

I'll just have to settle for being a Go-Go Girl, and make sure my Britney is covered while maneuvering this mini dress. It's a lot trickier than I thought!

Happy Halloween Everyone!

Found: Unexpected Religion

As you might expect, Saturday night was a big night for Halloween parties. Georgetown generally turns into a giant costume party as people parade up and down M street in their costumes. (Presumably they are going from bar to bar, but the effect is a giant parade).

In the midst of all of Jack Sparrows and tarted up she-devils walking the strip, I was surprised to see this little scene:

On one corner stood Moses with a woolly beard and shepherd staff. On the opposite corner was Pharaoh, with a very stylish headdress and a golden crook. As they stepped off of the curb, they saw each other and rushed forward screaming:

“Let my people gooooo!”

“Moses, Come back to meee!”

Then they crashed together in the middle of the crosswalk to fight with their staff and crook like Luke and Darth.

It was awesome. Whoever said kids today don’t know about religion, clearly needs to spend a little more time cruising the streets of Georgetown.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Pie! I LOVE Pie!

A new tradition is being started at my house. To watch Pushing Daisies while eating pie. I've been looking for a good excuse to eat pie on a regular basis. So thanks ABC for bringing me a show that has pie as a central theme. If you love Pushing Daisies, and you love pie, then my house on Sunday night is the place to be. (That's when I watch my recorded shows, sans commercials, don'tcha know.) If you're in the area, come on over, I certainly shouldn't be eating all of this pie myself. That can't lead anywhere but to a sugar coma and elastic-waistband pants.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Silver Lining

We've been getting a bit of weather here in the DC Metropolitan area. I, for one, am pleased to see some rain. It's sad to look out of my lofty windows onto what should normally be a sea of bright yellow and red fall foliage, only to see dusty brown lawns and crinkly beige trees. So if a little rain will turn those lawns green and perk up the color, I say, Rain On, little rain cloud, Rain On.

However, rain does have negative side effects. It is common knowledge that if any precipitation threatens to land on any asphalt anywhere within a 50 mile radius of the White House everyone immediately forgets how to drive their car in a normal and orderly fashion. Consequently, when it rains you can count on sitting in gridlock traffic for, oh, several hours at least.

As a bus rider, I face an interesting dilemma when it rains. I can either get wet by walking to the bus stop, but then have the luxury of doing whatever I want as we inch through the traffic. Or I can choose to drive myself and stay dry, but be really bored as we inch through the traffic. It can be a tough call. But I'm here to tell you, sitting next to 40 wet, smelly people (you may not know this, but much like dogs, when people get wet they tend to smell ... some worse than others) while inching through traffic is really something you have to be mentally prepared to do -- even if you have an arsenal of podcasts, newspapers, and scented hankies at your fingertips. If you haven't girded your loins you are better off facing the traffic on your own and forgoing the entertainment.

Yesterday my loins were not girded. So even though I KNEW the traffic was going to be horrendous, I opted to drive. And I wasn't disappointed. We were moving so slowly I had time to read, and I mean REALLY READ, an entire magazine during the commute. It isn't everyday that I get to have the best of both commuting worlds: entertainment AND privacy. Of course it also isn't everyday that it takes me an hour to drive 3.5 miles. (Thank heaven for that!)

I want to remember this event in a positive light, because I can't say that I've ever done any significant reading while driving. I'm an avid reader, as you know, but I've never considered it to be something I could do while driving. This appears to be a whole new venue! My brother in law told me that he used to read western novels while driving across Wyoming, which at the time I thought was completely AMAZING. And completely DANGEROUS. Like Are-You-Totally-Insane-Man? dangerous. Even if Wyoming is a dusty, uninspiring, ugly, oil refinery wasteland, you still shouldn't be reading a book while trying to drive 80 miles an hour. That's just crazy, man.

But now that I've done it going 3 mph, I can see the appeal. This is the next X sport, people! EXTREME READING!! Just start taking a bunch of steroids and rocket around the desert in a convertible while reading James Joyce. Before you know it Sal Masekela will be interviewing you at the X Games.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Return of the Art Geek

I'm keeping up my newfound tradition of living my weekends like I'm a rock star. This time, however, I decided to add a cultural element to the replay of last weekend's shenanigans by going to a couple of art exhibits on Saturday.

I had heard good things about the Edward Hopper exhibit at the National Gallery of Art, and I thought, hey, what better way to shake off a Diet Coke hangover than go to a museum? Are you folks familiar with Hopper? Like me, you've probably seen The Nighthawks before but maybe haven't delved into his work. But damn, kids, this dude is good. Like really good.

The Nighthawks

I got my undergraduate degree in Humanities, so looking at art and throwing out intelligent sounding critiques is sort of my forte. Or at least it was. I haven't been so great about keeping up my art know-how. But there's something about looking at great art that really makes me wax sentimental and want to use phrases like "steeped in allegory" and "chiaroscuro" and "pointillism".

The question is, do you care about what I thought about Hopper's art? I doubt it. I'll most likely end up sounding like a pretentious windbag. Which, of course, I am. I just like to hide it behind silly jokes and thinly veiled mockery. But I'm not here only to entertain, when possible I should also try to educate. So here are 5 things I think you should know about Hopper. Commence windbagginess!

  1. Hopper liked to depict voyeuristic scenes. Like scenes through windows or from trains. Voyeurism makes for great art.
  2. He really knows how to work a vertical line to give life to his pictures. His paintings are littered with chimneys, barbershop poles, telephone poles, and masts. No where else is a rooftop full of chimneys quite so interesting.
  3. Many of his scenes are quiet, private moments. There is a real sense of isolation. Almost as if you are seeing something you aren't supposed to see.
  4. He is a master of geometric shapes and strong color fields.
  5. This dude uses white paint like a BADASS!

See these? Check out all of that white paint! Can't say that I've ever admired white paint quite this much before. And those geometric shapes, vertical lines, and color fields?? Genius! So spare, so intimate, but still engaging and provocative.

Don't see what the fuss is about? Don't worry, it doesn't make you any less of a person. It just makes you less interesting. No biggie.

If you want to see a nice slide show of Hopper's work, you can check out this really cool site that the National Gallery of Art set up for the exhibit. If you aren't a fan after going here, well, there's really no helping you. Is there?

Friday, October 19, 2007

If I Were a Handbag

**** Notice to sensitive eyes - Swearing ahead, but it's in tapestry, so I'm not sure if that counts ***

Earlier this work week I was just about to burst a vessel because I was told that I had to rework a perfectly fine document for a completely pointless reason. I'm not the kind of girl that likes to do things over and over again just for kicks. I'm crazy that way, I know.

Since my next-door cubicle neighbor, Amy, is a good friend and a sympathetic listener, she didn't mind that I kept interrupting her busy day to complain about how mad I was about it. She feels my pain, as only someone going through the same torture can. So when she called over the partition that she had the perfect thing to make me feel better I knew it was going to be good.

Maybe it was fate, or Karma, or something, but the day of my meltdown her purse-a-day calendar had this paragon of fashion to offer. It could not have summed up how I felt better:

To me, it is the perfect mixture of Kelly Bag style and Kiss My Grits attitude. I'm not saying that if I were a handbag that this one would absolutely be me; I'm way too complex to be defined by a single handbag. But it is absolutely running high in the polls. The classic glamour of a Kelly Bag, AND a sassy attitude? You have to admit, it's a pretty good match.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


I got a letter from the BYU Records office yesterday. I get mail from the BYU Alumni Association every damn day asking me to donate or subscribe or support. Which I never do. You'd think that after 7 years of ignoring them, they'd give it up. In this way, Alumni Associations are not unlike nerdy men that keep harassing you even after you've ignored their calls for 3 months.

Anyway, the letter from the Records office intrigued me, and I wracked my brain for who could be asking for my transcripts. So I tore it open to find out.

This is what the letter said, more or less:

Dear Gretchen,

We have your diploma in our vault. It has been there since 2000. Do you want it?

The BYU Records Office

Last week I couldn't have told you where I thought my diploma was, but my best guess would have been under my bed right next to my library science grad school diploma.

In retrospect, I shouldn't have been surprised to learn that I never got my diploma. I didn't go to my graduation ceremony. And really couldn't have cared less about the whole graduation process. I was heading off to grad school in a couple of months, so I didn't see any point of lulling myself into a false sense of having finished school. Therefore, I kept it simple and my undergraduate graduation was one of the most anti-climactic events in my life.

But now my long lost diploma on its way to me, which of course presents the question: What should I do with it? I rather like the idea of framing both of my degrees (as a matched pair, of course) and hanging them in my cubicle. That would lend some much needed gravitas to my cube while simultaneously informing that here resides a Mormon Librarian. How awesome would that be?

Or, Maybe it will just take its foreordained place under my bed with my other degree.

Monday, October 15, 2007

A Party Party Weekend

I like to pretend that I've got a rock-n-roll lifestyle going on out here on the East Coast. Flying to Boston for the day or England for the weekend, zipping around in my MINI, dating men nicknamed "Captain Underpants". In a certain light my life has the potential to look pretty glamorous. But actually it is quite dull, and Friday night is more likely to find me doing laundry than catching a red eye to Spain. But not this weekend. This weekend I pulled out my red paintbrush and went to town.

Friday night my friend Jen and I went to dinner (I had my first pupusa ever! Yum!) and then dancing. Now, I know Jen's mother reads this blog (Hi Mama Linda!) and my mom reads it on occasion too (Hi Mama DeAnna!), so I won't reveal incriminating facts like that Jen does an awesome stripper-hair-flip-move and that my lack of chestage did not diminish the excellence of my shimmies. Instead, let me just say there was a whole lot of booty shaking going on. And we did, indeed, shake our money makers. Of course you can't really blame us when they've got Bel Biv Devoe and Technotronic on the turntable. (everybody sing: "Pump up the Jam! Pump it up! While you feet are stompin'! And the jam is pumpin'!")

It was 80s night at the Clarendon Ballroom and the upstairs had an 80s cover band, Gonzo's Ghost, playing and the basement had a DJ. Normally, a live band should completely dominate a DJ ... but I'm sorry to report Gonzo's Ghost did not deliver. Let me just take a moment to share my opinion on cover or tribute bands. They suck. I'm completely opposed to them. I mean, can't these people come up with their own songs? Don't they feel like they've completely sold out by mimicking someone else? It seems pretty lame to me.

The one exception to this hard and fast rule is the 80s cover band, because they aren't a tribute to a single artist ... but are instead bringing all of your favorite 80 songs to life. One of my favorite concerts of all time was the St. Patrick's Day Legwarmers concert. This was the concert where every song was your favorite song! So I was excited for Gonzo's Ghost, expecting to have all of my favorite songs played. But no ... No GNR, No Madonna, NO MICHAEL JACKSON! No nothin. All we got was some Footloose and The Final Countdown. (And as Jen said, one good way to find the gay guys in the room is to see who squeals and jumps up and down when the first chords of The Final Countdown start.) Pretty sad, GG, pretty sad.

So Jen and I went to the basement, which started to fill up as more and more people gave up on the live band. We had a great time! I won't bore you with the details of the guys that hit on us, or the funny joke Dave Navarro's twin whispered in my ear, or the comings and goings of a guy we called "Tight Hawk" because of his hair cut (one part high and tight one part wide mohawk), nor will I tell you that when Tight Hawk got shut down by a lady we'd cry out "Tight Hawk Down! Tight Hawk Down!" Yes, it was a good time, a good time.

At1AM we decided to head home. Jen's most awesome housemate Wes had made us pizza and tried to get me to eat a pint of super sinful Pomegranate Chip ice cream. He's a little bit evil. (Just a warning to you, if you decide to go get this Hagen Daaz ice cream get a couple because one pint WILL NOT be enough. It's ridiculously good.)

Saturday, I decided that Paris Hilton is right and no one should get up before 10am. Especially if they've been out until 3 AM the night before. So I spent the day lazing around, before going shopping for shoes. And Hello! I found the cutest boots!

Then I met Camie for a Rooftop party, which was actually quite fun. I was surprised it was so fun because there were a couple of things going against it: 1) It was a Mormon party ... which can have a high lame-factor. 2) It was on the top of a 25 story building in October, so it was quite cold. And windy. And as you know, wind frustrates the Eternal Plan. (Wind ruins your hair, which makes it so you are not hot, so you will never meet any hot guys, and therefore never get married, and never have kids, and there you go, Eternal Plan ruined. Thanks a lot wind.) But I still had a good time, and actually met one nice normal man. I didn't think there were any left, so that was a faith restoring experience. Of course I'll never see him again, but at least I know there's at least one out there ... somewhere.

Again, I didn't get home until 1:30. So Sunday was spent lounging around after church watching my recorded TV programs. Which after all of the socializing was the perfect bookend to my rock-n-roll weekend. See, I'm not such a couch potato after all!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Isn't Starbucks That Guy on Battlestar Galactica?

I've been neglecting my blogging duties. I apologize. But I'm soooo tired. I've been trying to get to work earlier ... and it has completely wiped me out. My body loves the nightlife. It loves to boogie. It thinks being an early bird getting the worm is disgusting. And it also happens to believe that my alarm clock playing a supporting role in whatever weird dream I happen to be having when it goes off at 6AM.

But on the other hand, my body also really likes getting home earlier in the day. So I get up.

Consequently, I have been stumbling around like a damn fool until it gets to be around 11 or so and I can have a Diet Coke. I can't have any soda earlier in the day, otherwise, ugh ... rotgut. So at any given moment between 7:30 and 10:45 this is my thought pattern:

I am so tired.

I wish it was time for my Diet Coke.

It is so unfair that I don't have a bed in my cubicle.

Man, I'm tired.

If only someone would invent a caffeinated breakfast drink.


.... (Fantasizing about what this wonder drink would be like. Fruity? Oatmealy?) ....


Wait a minute. They already did, it's called coffee. You've heard of it ... the most popular drink of ALL TIME! moron.

Holy cow, I'm so tired. My brain is completely gone.

The sad part about this story, is that I'm not joking in the slightest. Almost every single day I think about this, always somehow forgetting about coffee. Caffeinated breakfast drink, indeed.

[Although seriously, I think this would be a good idea ... something suitable for breakfast that would have about as much caffeine as a Diet Coke. You know a nice little perk up drink, not one that turns your cardiovascular system into that of a rabbit's. And while I'm making up perfect requirements, lets have it be calorie/fat free. Drinkmasters of World, get on it. And don't forget me when doling out royalties.]

Monday, October 8, 2007

Columbus Day Every Day

Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

From this day forth, I declare that it shall be Columbus Day every day.

Since, of course, the government still needs to "work", all government workers shall be forced to work from home. Without them clogging the highways and byways, commuting in the DC-Metro area is a dream come true. With 500,000 fewer people on the road, my usual hour long commute got shaved down to a very pleasant fifteen minutes. And I even tempted fate by going shopping on Rockville Pike (also known as Gridlock Pike) during the five o'clock rush. If I didn't know any better I would have thought I was in the mid-west somewhere.

And best of all, with government employees working from home parking will no longer be at a premium, and so I also declare that all public lots will be free.

Long Live Columbus Day!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Verzion FIOS, Where Are You When I Need You?

OK, so you guys know that I don't really pay much attention to my finances ... right? I mean I pay attention to them, but I don't get all crazy with a calculator and a monthly budget. I'm more of a glance over my online statement a couple of times a month to make sure everything seems reasonable and that I'm not going to be in any trouble if I want to buy something extravagant like groceries, kind of girl.

So I'm browsing through my statement yesterday and I see that my cable bill is $20 more than it was last month. Since it's Comcast, which at my house I lovingly call The Money Grubbing Spawn of Satan, I immediately fly off the handle: TWENTY DOLLARS?! WHERE THE HELL IS MY TWENTY DOLLARS YOU THIEVING BASTARDS!! You know, that kind of thing.

I immediately rummaged through my pile of mail to see if my bill had arrived so I could get to the bottom of this mystery. But .... it was no where to be found. So I tried calling them. Now, just to give you an idea of how often I have to call the Money Grubbing Spawn of Satan for whatever reason (snowy picture, randomly dropped channel, no picture etc.) I have their local number stored in my phone. (I don't know if this is unusual for most people, but I only store the numbers of people I call a lot like my friends or Baja Fresh.)

So I dialed them up. But - oh what a surprise - they were not taking calls at this time .... whatever THAT happens to mean. So I get on the internet machine and look up the national number. But that TOO dropped my call. I was livid. One good thing about me is that even when livid I can still be rational. So I decided I would just try again tomorrow.

Today, I called them up ready to raise hell.

To protect the innocent I'll call my customer service representative Erica. Because that is her name. And if she wants protection she can ask her Money Grubbing Spawn of Satan employer.

I explain to Erica that I have a mysterious $20 charge, and could she please let me know what it is for? She sleuths around for about 15 minutes while I jam to "Don't Cry Out Loud .... Just keep it inside .... and learn how to hide your feelings" on muzak. When she returned she said that the charge for $19.95 was for a technician call. At some point in August my picture had disappeared and now I was being charged $20 for them to send someone to fix it.

She informed me that I could purchase Service Protection for just $4 a month to keep me from getting these $20 charges if my service fails and someone needs to come out and reinstate it.

At this point my skin peeled back from my face and flames shot out of my eyes. "NO! I am NOT going to pay $4 a month to make sure that you provide me a service that I pay SIXTY dollars a month for you to provide! Doesn't that seem completely ridiculous to you, Erica? Doesn't it? I mean, if you aren't selling a service, what are you selling? Why do you need to sell insurance for your service? Shouldn't service be PART OF THE DEAL?"

Erica agreed. As anyone with even half a brain would do when faced with such irrefutable logic. And she offered to refund the charge, thankyouverymuch.

I'm telling you, as soon as Verizon FIOS is available in my area I'm going to drop The Money Grubbing Spawn of Satan faster than they can say Competition-Infringing-Monopoly. And FIOS may suck, who knows. And really, who cares? Its not about getting FIOS, its about dropping Comcast on its fat corporate ass. Oh and about getting more channels at a better rate on 14 spectrums of light. That'll be cooool.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Wednesday's Child

Wednesday is my new reason for living. I'm not even exaggerating about this, you guys. I used to think that Thursday was a pretty great day. It was so close to the weekend, but still had a strong element of anticipation to it. The best parties in college were all on Thursdays. And Thursday's, of course, had the most anticipated television. Yup, Thursday was a great day. Still is, as a matter of fact. But right now I can't even give Thursday the time of day. I am ALL about Wednesdays.

What's so great about Wednesday, you might ask. After all, it does have that really horrible moniker, "Hump Day". Ugggghhh. I hate that. Whoever thought that was clever needs to be beat with a wire hairbrush. And Wednesdays are the day I have to schlep all the way out to College Park during rush hour traffic for Young Women activities. So that doesn't make Wednesday very pleasant. And the work week is only half over, granted you've turned the corner, but there's still plenty to go. In this light, sorry Wednesday. You're a little bit of a loser.

Fortunately, there is a force that overcomes all of the negative things Wednesday has going for it. It's a VERY POWERFUL force. So powerful, in fact, it is actually three things. But united they have the power to elevate poor little jammed in the middle of the everything Wednesday to be loved beyond all measure.

In a phrase, we could call this Monster Force, "Wednesday Night TV". But that doesn't really do it for me. A more appropriate phrase is HOLY-CRAP-I-LOVE-THE-NEW-SHOWS-ON WEDNESDAY NIGHT TELEVISION! I mean, hello? Gossip Girl? Is this not the best show on television? Yes. Yes it is. Or Dirty Sexy Money? 6 minutes into this show I cried out, "Holy Crap! I already LOVE this show". And Life? .... everything I hoped and more. And ... if all of this wonderfulness isn't enough, Pushing Daisies starts this week.

I'm a bit breathless just thinking about it ...

And here's the best bit ... all of these shows are available on the Internet. I can't even tell you how much I LOVE watching shows on the Internet. It's SO convenient! If you haven't had a chance to watch these shows ... fire up your browser baby and hop to it. And then you too will be extra impatient for the weekend to end just so that Wednesday is that much closer. Like me.