Saturday, November 29, 2008

too much information

I have 35 books on my Amazon wish list, eighty bajillion movies queued up on Netflix, and 13 albums saved for later on eMusic when I've been downloading five per month since last February. Plus a bunch more on mental or Moleskine lists. And I've never even seen Mad Men or Bones or Always Sunny in Philadelphia (okay, one episode, because it was based on America's Next Top Model) and have only watched one season each of The Wire and Weeds! And let's just not talk about the pile of partially-read books on the floor next to my bed that's reaching my pillow, the fact that I haven't returned a DVD since August, and how I don't even know a quarter of the music on my iPod. (Or that I AM fully caught up on Gossip Girl and The Hills.) It's too much! I am culturally overwhelmed. For some reason starting Infinite Jest seemed like a good solution to this problem.

It's an 1100-something page book that meanders all over the place and makes allusions like crazy and doesn't make much sense and has really tiny letters in lines that are really close together. Which means that, given my attention span, I will have something to focus on for a good two years or so! I will try to share my thoughts here periodically. I doubt they will be remotely profound, but I think this might help me actually finish the thing. Okay, off to read! When I can tear myself away from this new music website Lala that my friend Alexa just told me about on which you can listen to basically any song you want. It's like freshman year of college all over again (ooooh, the original Napster...), only Alexa and I are discussing our finds via the internet from the comfort of our Brooklyn apartments and not with our backs to each other from opposite sides of our eight-foot-wide dorm room. I am suddenly craving pita and hummus procured from a mini-fridge.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

nubbin but love for you, honey

When we cut cheese for customers, we're often left with little pieces. These can be hard to sell, because they don't look as impressive as a half-wheel, say, and it's easier to give a taste from a bigger hunk than a little nub. I always get a (probably unreasonably large) rush of satisfaction when I sell one of these. Does this size piece look okay to you? Yes? Okaygreat. Today the idea of a $5 and under section was tossed around and eventually turned into the "Nub Bin." The nubs go in, and, hopefully, go out with customers in a hurry or unwilling to engage in riveting cheesemonger dialogue. While we have no room in the fridge for this whatsoever and I can already envision untrimmably moldy nubs languishing in the bottom of the bin, the play on words makes me so happy that I support the idea 100% (for whatever that's worth, which is actually not that much, until I have my own cheese store, which I would never in a million years have the patience for. Anyway.) Not to mention it's such a no-bullshit idea. None of this "it's our daily special!" crap. These are our nubs. Take 'em or leave 'em.

This is the first Google Image result for the word "nub:"

Monday, November 24, 2008


I should probably take this off my wish list before sending it to my mom. But look at those stellar reviews!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

whatever floats your boat

Lately I've been thinking a lot about the different ways people find fulfillment in life. Work, family, hobbies, opiate and anxiolytic cocktails . . . the list goes on. This dog groomer proves that you can do anything you want if you just put your mind to it. She is nothing less than an inspiration.

analyze this

I feel pretty much normal with the medicine I'm taking. Me, but less moodswingy. Except that I've been having some of the weirdest, most vivid dreams I've ever had. Last night, Jon Stewart murdered Ben Gibbard with his bare hands while riding on the outside of a rocketship.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

gina's top ten albums of 2008 that were not necessarily released in 2008 and are presented here in no particular order

With the help of music nerd coworkers,*, a job that lets us play our own portable electronic mp3 devices, and the realization that long brisk walks with headphones on keep me sane (except when the stupid ear buds keep falling out), I have listened to a ton of music this year. If you like catchy songs that are complex, quirky, and/or pull at the ol' heartstrings, I recommend the following.

David Byrne and Brian Eno - Everything That Happens Will Happen Today

With Byrne's familiar voice and Eno's lush composing, this is the musical equivalent of a brand new sweatshirt that just came out of the dryer.

Broken Social Scene Presents: Brendan Canning - Something for All of Us
Brendan Canning is officially my favorite member of the Broken Social Scene scene. His solo album is better than Kevin Drew's (nothing against Kevin Drew, bless his crazy soul), he's responsible for my favorite song of theirs, and he's friendly to geeked out waitresses.

Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes

The Beach Boys moved to the Appalachians and joined the church choir. Beauty ensued.

Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago
This album makes me want to move back to rural Wisconsin, lock myself in a cabin with a sweet and scruffy mountain man, and wear nothing but my (long) underwear.

Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country

Music for riding on a train, sitting in one of the backwards-facing seats and staring out the window longingly, watching the countryside (or industrial suburban Connecticut) roll by.

Shout Out Louds - Our Ill Wills

Like the Cure during a manic episode, and Swedish (i.e., totally weird, yet adorable).

Billy Bragg and Wilco - Mermaid Avenue

I feel like having a good cry when I listen to this and can't figure out why. I was at a bar in Boston recently where the bartender played it two times in a row. It was great. (But I didn't cry. I was drinking whiskey so that would've just been sad.)

The National - Boxer
If I had a Gina's Top Ten Albums Ever list, this would be on it. Like the rest of its imaginary cohort, it took a while to grow on me and then kept growing and growing until I'd listened to it a million times and the music became so wired into my brain I could barely hear it anymore.

Forro in the Dark - Bonfires of Sao Joao
Me: [feeling smart and insightful] This sounds like Latin Talking Heads!
Coworker: It's David Byrne singing with a Brazilian band.
Me: Well, that explains it then!

Music For Animals - Music For Animals

Every single song from this contemporary San Francisco rock band sounds like something you heard on Top 40 radio in the 90's. And I mean that in the best possible way.

*This post is not sponsored by Unfortunately. But if you want to get an subscription, which I wholeheartedly recommend (it's cheaper than iTunes, the user reviews and social networking aspect make it easy to discover new things, the site saves what you've downloaded so if you lose your files you can download them again, and you can make copies and distribute them so when you make mixes for your sister you don't have to remind her of your iTunes password), let me know so I can send you the referral email and get free songs. Thanks!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

moments of life at the cheese store

Coworker: The one thing I don't like about our holiday display is that I want to take everything home right now and eat it.
Me: That's why I hope I have a lot of parties to go to this year. So I can bring stuff, and it's a nice gift, but I'm also satisfying my own desires.
Coworker: I think in one sentence you've just summed up western philosophy.

Coworker: I love opening the Neal's Yard boxes.
Me: I'll always remember the first time I opened up a Keen's box. It was like doing a face plant on a farm after it's just been mowed.
Coworker: I'm stealing that.

Coworker: Did we already finish that bottle of wine (a 15.6% alcohol by volume California Zinfandel)?
Me: Uh, I believe so.
Coworker: Ah, that would explain my general sense of well being.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

simple pleasures

I just bought these kind of ridiculous bright blue suede shoes after consulting with two friends. The first one said they were awesome but not $110 awesome. Of course, she is correct and I agreed with her assessment and advice to put them out of my mind. So then I asked the one with the shoe obsession and got the moral support I required. Thanks, guys!

I received them in the mail the other day. Are they practical? No. Was this a sound financial decision in this time of personal and international financial crisis? Hells no. Did they make me feel like a, uh, a girl wearing awesome bright blue suede shoes when I was out and about in them for the first time today? Yes! Did I stare at my feet the whole time I was riding the subway? Totally!

I think it's safe to say that I am pleased with my purchase.