Wednesday, December 24, 2008

cabin fever

Except for dog walks and trips Blockbuster, Trader Joe's, and Fred Meyer (the Pacific Northwest's more upscale version of Super Walmart), I have not left my parents' house since Friday. Perhaps it's just too much time spent in their massaging recliner and consuming baked goods, but I've found the following fascinating:

1. Did you know that you can play the word "oxyphenbutazone" in Scrabble for up to 1785 points?

2. I've always been intrigued by the creative naming of portable restrooms. Do portable restroom manufacturers copyright their names and inadvertently force such whimsical variation? Or are we as a nation simply trying to mask our shame of bodily functions with as much humor as possible? I tried to find out through extensive internet research, but I came up empty (no pun intended). I did, however, find, "a nationwide company committed to providing high quality portable restrooms trailers and portable shower trailers ... to accommodate any outdoor restroom facility need." At my next event, whether it be "an intimate outdoor wedding, private party, building remodel, large festival, or a national event," I will settle for nothing less than the Platinum Edition Executive Restrooms, "the elite choice for events hosting the most discernable of guests."

3. The Learning Channel. In two days, I learned about Primordial Dwarfism, face-eating tumors, and a woman who has half a body (and a sex life, they'll have you know). I am looking forward to meeting Tree Man. Congratulations, TLC, on wrapping this neverending freakshow in a stories-of-human-triumph package so that we can all indulge our sick curiosity and still feel good about ourselves.

4. Yes, the song "Twelve Days of Christmas" CAN get any more annoying, courtesy of one Burl Ives:

I recommend listening until at least nine maids a-milking to get the full effect. Merry Christmas, everyone!

Monday, December 22, 2008

snow my god!

So here I am in Portland, Oregon, in the midst of the area's worst snow storm in decades. It's laughable compared to what I saw in Wisconsin, but heavy snow's so rare here that no one is equipped to deal with it and everything basically shuts down and it's all anyone talks about, especially my dad who has a newfound and inexplicable obsession with The Weather. So I've been sleeping, watching the entire first season of Mad Men, shoveling the driveway futilely in between snowfalls because it's the only way I can trick myself into exercising, enjoying classic Via Gina family dinners in which everyone sits at his or her spot at the table reading his or her chosen periodical in silence, and winning real-life Scrabble. Not quite the frolicking-through-the-city-and-surrounding-wilderness vacation I had in mind, but probably for the best since my imagined trip included boutique clothes shopping, gourmet food buying, restaurant dining, and bunny hill skiing, and I don't actually have any money. At all. But I probably would've done all that stuff anyway and then felt bad about it. Anyway! Here's a video of a local baby elephant's first snow experience.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

tater tot casserole!

That's it. I know what I want to do with my life. After years of soul searching, paper shuffling, wine pouring, and cheese cutting, I have decided that I will settle for nothing less than emulating the career path of whatever person is responsible for creating the Name That Duggar Game. I am mostly not kidding.

Friday, December 12, 2008

videos i enjoyed on the internet yesterday in lieu of accomplishing much of anything

Well I did almost finish my Christmas shopping. Suppose I shouldn't sell myself short...

Cat hair handbags.

At least my cat's fur is black, so if I ever go full-on crazy cat lady I'm glad I'll still be stylish.

A dancing cockatoo.

Although I wonder what rock my head's been under when I'm first hearing about an internet sensation from the New York Times.

Allison "Sunny" Sattinger who makes it seem like all my little totally non-lucrative dreams might actually be possible even in this time of world economic crisis. Bless her leather-lovin' soul.

Allen Iverson. What's he talkin' about?

Oh, practice. [thanks, Dad]

super sexy beauty secrets of the girl on the go . . . REVEALED

In this day and age, time is of the essence. With board meetings, hot dates, and Facebook Scrabble, you can't afford not to be efficient. Follow these tips and tricks and you'll be looking your best from day to evening and back to day, with almost NO effort.

The Face-Washing Myth
When you wash your face in the morning, you're setting yourself back at least ten minutes. So don't do it. Whatever eyeliner and eyeshadow shimmer that didn't get washed off the night before will diffuse up your lids, giving you an instant smoky eye. And no need to curl those lashes. They'll have a natural lift from being smooshed against the pillow all night, so mascara is all you need. If that's not enough convincing, your skin will be extra glowy. Just make sure to have a little concealer on hand for any resulting blemishes.

It's All in the Shoes
Carrie Bradshaw wasn't just a squealy drama queen with completely unrealistic relationships. She knew that shoes are the most important items in your closet. According to Licensed Footwear Expert Helen Aller, "With the right shoes on, you can wear jeans and a pit-stained tee and no one will know you haven't showered in three days." A pair of sweet flats is the simplest way to make any outfit really pop. Even sweatpants.

Make It Last
A professional pedicure is the most bang-for-your-buck beauty treatment out there. Trust us, that polish is not going anywhere. Depending on your toenail size, you can expect your pedi to look decent for at least four weeks. And, if left un-acetoned, you'll have a splash of color on your big toe for up to six months. Now that's what we call an investment.

two weeks and counting!

Hold and Shine
Did you know that your very own scalp has built-in hair product? Resist buying that $30 bottle of Kerastase and let nature do its thing! Your hair will be at its peak the day after a shower--piecey, smooth, and frizz-free. Let it down and you'll be channeling MK and Ash. On Day 3, what you've gained in shine you'll have lost in volume. Now's the time to go for distraction and break out a little braid or a headband. We don't know why, but guys love that shit.

No Diet, No Exercise . . . Finally!
And the moment we've all been waiting for. Yes, there IS a way to lose weight without depriving OR exerting yourself. It's called Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS, a functional bowel disorder in which you're either plugged up (IBS-C), racing to the john (IBS-D), or a mix of both (IBS-A). Nearly anyone can get it. If you're leaning towards C, ruminate over all the negative aspects of your life until you become depressed, and seal the deal with excessive cheese consumption. You'll be so bloated and sluggish you won't want to eat anything solid for a week! If D's your bag, date uncommunicative and emotionally unavailable men so that you're in a heightened state of anxiety, and have lots of coffee and cigarettes. Whatever food you put in will come straight out! Enjoy that trim new bod, ladies.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


There wasn't much to do at work this afternoon so I went down to the basement and folded t-shirts for three hours. In addition to the calming effects of repetitive activity, increased precious storage space, and the fact that it will no longer take 30 minutes to find the right size/color shirt when someone wants one, this was a fruitful endeavor because I am pretty sure I've figured out the most perfect t-shirt folding method. It minimizes wrinkling and effort, and maximizes store-ability and efficiency. You don't even need a folding surface!

I've been such a terrible folder for as long as I've been folding. Life will never be quite the same.

Monday, December 08, 2008

to the rescue

The weirdest aspect of my disorder, whatever you want to call it, is how quickly the moods come and go. (Maybe because nothing right now is that good or that bad and I'm just kinda bored in general my brain is trying to entertain itself? I don't know.) In the morning I can be ecstatic because my iPod shuffled three good songs in a row, in the afternoon sitting in the basement on a case of imported Italian sparkling water sobbing because I can't stop thinking I have nothing to live for, and then I'm normal at night, wondering how any of that just happened. Sometimes it goes away as inexplicably and suddenly as it comes on, and sometimes I need a little assistance. A few hours with a dear friend, a bottle of curious Ligurian red, half a bag of movie popcorn, a few squares of "bean-to-bar" Madagascarian chocolate, a Joe Strummer documentary, and a good night's sleep later, and it is back to our regularly scheduled programming. Hooray! For now.

Here is a recipe for the best drink in the history of the universe. And this is neither drunkenness nor the mood disorder talking.

Amber Colored and Bubbly
half a bottle of ginger beer (good sharp ginger beer, not Schwepps--this is important)
whiskey of some sort (I like rye. Because that's what's always on hand at work.)

Pour whiskey into ginger beer. Heaven in a glass. Or plastic 8-ounce food service container.

And here is a bad baby name in uncharted badness territory.


Take a moment to think about how one might pronounce that.

The answer?


As the birth mother said to the OBGYN, "the dash is silent." [via my friend Susie's friend's friend]

And I think now would be a good time to repost one of my favorite pre-Blog Era websites: Baby's Named a Bad, Bad Thing.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

what did you do today?

Today was my day to be productive and apply for part-time jobs and stuff. So I went to my favorite neighborhood cafe and sat with the other laptop-having non-9-5ers to get shit done. The good news is I've found two things that I want to apply for. The bad news is I'm telling myself I will do so tomorrow. Or Friday. Might as well take advantage of my four-day work week while I have it, right? It's only been a year, afterall. Ahem, anyway. But I still consider my cafe time a success, and here is why:

1. A really good curry chicken salad sandwich--warm, crusty-but-not-so-crusty-the-sandwich-contents-squirt-out baguette, a high curry mayo to chicken ratio, walnuts for textural contrast, and lots of balsamic on the side of greens. Deeelish.

2. The boy barrista's playlist that included Fiona Apple, Alanis Morissette, and Journey.

3. This "Vintage Hungarian Sausage Commercial" courtesy of my friend Dan:

4. This live Broken Social Scene + Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse + Emily Haines video courtesy of Prefix Mag:

Emily Haines is totally my Angelina Jolie, in the I'm-so-comfortable-with-the-grey-areas-of-my-sexuality-that-I-will- say-I'd-go-gay-for-a-celebrity-I'll-never-have-a-chance-to-go-gay-with kind of way. I did meet her a few times when I worked at The Restaurant. The first time I was so nervous my face turned red and I had to stick my head in the wine fridge behind the bar but we managed to have a nice conversation about the economy and apartment hunting and she put me on the list for a Metric show, but I'm pretty sure she didn't want to sleep with me. Not so sure I'd actually want to sleep with her either though I'd love to go clothes shopping some time, just the two of us. But I digress.

5. A three-way Gchat discussion of the validity of this Craigslist personal ad. I contend, and would wager money, that it was written by a stoned male Univeristy of British Columbia sophomore. My male friend, of course, believes it to be real. Wishful thinking, dude.

who's with me?

I know David Chang doesn't need any more blog attention, but this is the most exciting food porn I've seen in a while...

I'll have a Volcano to start, then a Pork & Egg Bun, and salty pistachio soft serve ice cream with a side of Crack Pie for dessert, please.

so ready

You know it, Orbitz!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

infinite jest: page 37

I read the foreword in the bathtub. Dave Eggers makes me feel like I need to be reading this book, right now. He says the average age of Infinite Jest readers is probably about 25. I am somewhat slow in my crawl to adulthood, so I'd say that's about right!
It's long, but there are pleasures everywhere. There is humor everywhere. There is also a very quiet but very sturdy and constant tragic undercurrent that concerns a people who are completely lost, who are lost within their families and lost within their nation, and lost within their time, and who only want some sort of direction or purpose or sense of community or love. Which is, after all and conveniently enough for the end of this introduction, what an author is seeking when he sets out to write a book--any book, but particularly a book like this, a book that gives so much, that required such sacrifice and dedication. Who would do such a thing if not for want of connection and thus of love?

The water's still warm enough but I end my bath early. I am so excited to read this book.

I definitely can't get away with my usual reading style of spacing out every few pages and I have to check back constantly to find out which abbreviation is for which person and who's talking when. I still can't always figure it out, but I think I'm getting it. As much as it could be gotten. Well, by me, anyway.

What's an Erdedy? Oh, it's a name.

What the hell does "lapidary" mean? In this context, I'm going to go with the sixth entry in Unabridged (v. 1.1): "characterized by an exactitude and extreme refinement that suggests gem cutting: a lapidary style; lapidary verse." Mmkay. That works.

The chapters I've read so far are titled:


I have no idea what any of this is supposed to mean, but I like it.

In looking for a picture, I found this impassioned review of Tucks Medicated Pads. God bless the internet.