Thursday, July 29, 2010

Diary of a Winner

I threw my tennis shoes away in May.

It wasn't some huge symbolic stand against the perpetual onslaught of diet plans and workout tips aimed at women or anything. I had to throw them away because I'm an idiot. I dropped a Pyrex bowl and my kitchen floor and it shattered (which I didn't even realize was possible. I kind of believe Pyrex to be magically unbreakable), and I - reasonable person that I am - immediately ran to put on shoes so that I wouldn't step in glass as I stood there scowling and crying out to the heavens about the glass-infested chicken that would now have to be thrown out. And, you know, also cleaning up said glass/poultry debacle. The problem is that it didn't occur to me to first check if I'd ALREADY stepped in glass. Which I had. I know this to be the case because, when it occurred to me to take off a shoe and check, I shook out a tiny shard of what once was a medium-sized Pyrex storage bowl. Also, because I was bleeding. So, rather than clean the glass off in the kitchen sink, I risked further injury and put my glass-filled shoes sneakers back on, grabbed a pair of flip-flops, ran to the bathroom, and washed my feet off in the bathtub (because if feet ever go where my dishes go I will never eat or drink anything in my apartment again ever), put on the flip-flops, trashed the sneakers, and cleaned up the chicken.

This is not the part of the story that makes me feel super-dumb (though it ranks).

After this, because I am cheap/broke/lazy/broke, I didn't replace the sneakers and just spent the next 2 months wearing flats all the time. Apparently that's a terrible idea, because the human foot, which is designed to allow you to stand flat on the ground, isn't designed to stand flat on the ground. It's designed to be lifted at the heel and snugly embraced at the ankle by overpriced running shoes. But, since I didn't know that, I scoffed at all manner of air-cushion technologies and walked around wearing what amounts to fabric on balsa wood. And so I ended up hobbling around due to problems involving stressed tendons and anterior Achilles something-or-other and lots of other words that basically amount to "hey, you seem to be hobbling" and end with me being under doctor's orders to immediately buy some super-snazzy running shoes and wear them all day, every day for a month. Seriously all day. His words were "You know when you get home from work and you're ready to unwind, so you slip your shoes off and relax on the couch? Don't do that."

So trying to duck paying $40 for some Shoe Carnival (don't judge me) sneakers, cost me a co-pay, plus running shoes, plus fancy runners' socks since I wore flip-flops to the doctor. That put me down about $90 from where I would have been if I just replaced the stupid shoes in the first place.

That's also not the part that makes me feel dumb.

What makes me feel like a complete moron is this: since I have to wear the running shoes non-stop for the next month, I'm doomed to four work weeks of office wear from the ankle up and big-ass, puffy sneakers from the ankle down. I'm one giant set of shoulder pads away from looking like some long-forgotten extra from Working Girl.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A follow-up

Last week I was talking to a couple of friends about my new-found issues with Beauty and the Beast's "Be Our Guest" and a lot of other issues were pointed out. Like the tea comes out of Mrs. Pott's nose (that almost made me vomit) and to eat you're sticking a person's whole head in your mouth. Then, one of my friends made the absolute best point in the whole discussion:

What happened to all of the regular dishes?

Because before the people were dishes, they had to serve off of something, right? I mean, I know that they don't have thumbs (except maybe the wardrobe), but couldn't the people just get down their own plates? Just to save them some dignity?

It's the principle. And my own cheapness. But mostly the principle

In my head, I imagine this blog to be a really positive thing. I'm coming to realize that that simply isn't the case. I mean, I'm not some bile-spewing attack-blogger (which is, let's be honest, a patently silly phrase) but I'm...peevish by nature so, amidst high-fives to Wonder Woman and Friday-improving playlists, things tend to get a bit peevish here.

I just wanted to acknowledge that now, before I dive into this.

I don't understand paying for autographs. I know that for some people, especially when meeting someone they really idolize, it's totally worth it, but to me paying for an autograph kind of seems to defeat the purpose.

Appearance fees make more sense to me (though the fact that Snooki can probably make more in a few nights of club appearances than I can in a year of working full time does chafe a bit). Sure, the still seem crazy high to me, but you charge what the venues will pay, and then they recoup that increased ticket and door prices, which people are willing to pay because you're there. It's a how market analysis - /supply and demand - /other words I learned in Senior Econ and immediately forgot - thing. Plus, it's not like you really want your free time priced to move. Otherwise you end up contractually obligated to karaoke "Endless Love" at some wedding in Minnetonka.

Charging for autographs, though, seems less like getting a cut of the profits you're helping to bring in and more like actually charging people money for liking you. And it's not like I'm anti-autograph, or like there aren't autographs that I want; for example, Sir Patrick Stewart the king of all things awesome, but for forty plus dollars I'm going to need more than his name on a piece of paper, ten seconds of eye contact and some innocuously charming banter. For forty dollars I need an actual story. We need to split some cheese fries, or talk about who we like on Top Chef this season, or something. Because if that forty dollars gets me no interaction, and a souvenir of the moment where a famous person asked my name and then wrote it down, wouldn't it be just as good to take a quick picture of them signing other people's stuff, and drop the forty bucks some Star Trek:TNG DVDs? Because then, I still get to tell a story about sort-of meeting Patrick Stewart, but I get to do it while watching the episode where the girl had the creepy-ass imaginary friend who was actually a totally non-imaginary Borg.

And, I'm sorry Patrick, but that episode is pretty hard to compete with.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

And here we are, again

Sorry for my absence the past few days. We moved over the weekend, so I spent last week packing, and I've spent this week studiously avoiding unpacking. I fully expect to have my butt in gear by this weekend and to be shamelessly promoting my soon-to-launch Etsy shop by Monday.

But from now until Friday, I'm mostly going to loll about, read the new Scott Pilgrim (!), make French flashcards, and re-watch Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and seasons 1&2 of Veronica Mars.

Saturday I'll be productive. Right up until the Doctor Who season finale, which has potential to be awesome.

But Sunday, I'll definitely be a useful part of society.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

On personal failings

I'm not a vegetarian. I'm not really likely to become one. However, for budgetary/health/environmental reasons I try to cook about half of my meals vegetarian.

But I'm really, really bad at it.

Part of it is just the lack on an adventuresome spirit. I have this massive vegetarian cookbook with a million recipes marked but I don't trust it. It doesn't help that I won't eat zucchini, because it looks like a spoiled cucumber. And if you slice an eggplant, it basically looks like purple-skinned zucchini. And broccoli makes me ill.

You get the point.

But beans are where I reign supreme. With a bag of black beans, a slow cooker and some spices, I can Change. Your. Life. Or at least Make. You. Tacos.

Which is close enough.

But there's a limit to how often one can eat black bean tacos. Mine is probably two-three times a week, but my husband doesn't feel quite as committed as I do. So I figured I would venture into the realm of lentils. I mean, they're cheap, there are multiple kinds, and they pop up in multiple cuisines, so it seemed genius. Except that I'd never had them. I don't know that I'd ever actually seen them. They were just something that Cinderella had to pick out of a fire.

At this point I've made lentil tacos once, lentil soup twice, and one god-forsaken mistake of a red lentil curry. And I can't tell if I'm doing it wrong, or if I just really hate lentils. I almost found out with the last soup, which followed a very promising sounding recipe. And then it went kind of wrong.

See, you know how toasting whole spices makes them more fragrant and delicious? I only knew that in theory. This recipe, which called for toasting cumin seeds, was the first time I'd actually tried to put it into practice. I'm pretty sure I burned them. Or, given that I'm pretty sure used too much oil, the problem may simply be that I deep-fried them. Having no basis of comparison, I can't say for certain but the seeds went in tan and came out black. I doubt that's how it was supposed to go. The other problem was I didn't feel like measuring the cumin - I just eyed it. And I like cumin, so I used an amount that I felt reflected that. This was not the correct choice. Every bite made you feel like you'd been sealed into a giant envelope of low-sodium taco seasoning, which I used to think would be a perfectly lovely way to pass an evening, but no longer. By the time things got this far, I realized I'd also forgotten to blend some of the soup. Then I stood there and I thought about all the work that would go in to setting up the immersion blender (i.e. taking it out or the pantry, plugging it in, and pressing a button), and just gave up, walked away, and watched some Buffy.

Monday, July 12, 2010

I still love you, though

I am, as I previously whined, in the middle of packing my apartment. It's not that big of an apartment and I don't feel like I have that much stuff, but I spent all weekend working on it, and have more yet to do after work today.

It's making me whiny.

And lazy.

So lazy that I was going to just post a list of things that made packing semi-enjoyable over the weekend. Then I couldn't remember anything except making faces at my husband, doing the Pulp Fiction dance in the kitchen, and watching Eddie Izzard's Dress to Kill.

So then I was just going to post a list of quotes from Dress to Kill. Which would be SUPER lazy. So instead I'm just posting to tell you all of the lazy things that I felt too ashamed to do.
Which is probably the laziest option of all.

I'll return later this week - hale, hearty and full I started that sentence without a good ending lined up.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Happy Friday!

It's Friday, which is normally a magic day where impending freedom makes everything a little brighter. This week, however, all that's impending is 60 hours of non-stop packing, followed by a week of fretting about the likelihood of every single one of our dishes getting broken in our impending move.

I hate packing. The fretting, in all honesty, is an everyday thing for me; I've grown accustomed to it.

The point is that I have the one cure for a crappy Friday (other than alcohol), and have decided to share it.

Simply put on any of the following songs - and, if possible, a pair of light-up L.A. Gears - and running-man your troubles away.

4) Bobby Brown, "On Our Own"
3) Digital Underground, "The Humpty Dance"
2) Salt N Pepa, "Push It"
1) Bell Biv DeVoe, "Poison"

You're welcome.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I'd say it "get's my goat," except I would NEVER say "get's my goat"

I've developed a new pet peeve. Developing pet peeves is really something of a hobby of mine, and this one strikes the perfect balance of being fairly reasonable and kind of nit-picky at the same time.

I'm currently really annoyed with TV/Movie fashion. I've long since accepted the fact that the leads on any given TV show aimed at young people will dress in an improbably cool/hip/of-the-moment way, even if they're supposed to be drunken slobs. Further, I've had to embrace the fact that (in order to be fully make-over ready) nerds will often be beautiful people with their super-flattering haircuts artfully mussed to imitate a severe need for conditioner. Fine. I get that. That's just the reality of the situation.

But I've inexplicably decided to draw the line at all of these people dressing in $70 button-downs under $120 sweaters. I mean, if the person in question has a great job? Fine, I'll take it. But when it's a random high school student in the middle of Kansas (I'm looking at you, Lana Lang) it gets a little absurd.

Now it's possible that my parents were just wildly under-investing in my wardrobe, but back in my day if I wanted a $22 t-shirt from PacSun (shut up, we all have our phases), I was paying for that shit myself. If I had wanted the 60-some-odd-dollar t-shirt that the blonde girl of Secret Life of the American Teenager (the one who's always in the clips on The Soup) apparently wore last week, my mom would have laughed in my face. That's not even hyperbole. She would have looked at me, laughed, and walked away. And that would have been her WHOLE ANSWER.

Plus, though I'm loathe to even suggest this, isn't it kind of a missed opportunity on the part of the networks? As prevalent as product placement has become, why not outfit the cast of Glee in Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy, then air ads every episode offering the chance to dress just like Quinn Fabray for $20 per piece? Sure, it smacks of old 1950s television, where shows would have a full-on commercial as part of the plot, but that's basically come back anyway. Spending the first 30-seconds of a commercial break hearing about how Rachel put some pep in her step with Piper Lime ballet flats is no worse that Angela and Hodgins taking a fresh-off-the-lot Sienna Mini-Van to a crime scene, or Chuck Bartowski eating a $5-footlong while under fire from rogue spies. And it would have some pretty solid logic behind it.

I'm not suggesting that Blair Waldorf start wearing clothes from Kohl's (please, CW, don't make Blair Waldorf wear clothes from Kohl's), just that maybe characters' clothes should actually reflect things about the characters. Like age. Or employment level. Or income. Or whether they even care about their clothes.

Oh, and also? I wear the same jeans twice in a week so maybe shirts could pop up more that once per season.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Reasonably Related Title

There's a TV... thing that bothers me. I can't really call it a trope, because my extensive research (2 hours on, most or which was spent clicking links from the Supernatural page) only turned up two actual examples, though I know I've seen it more than that. I cannot stand it when people in shows/movies/books/what have you demonstrate what a social pariah they are by eating their lunch in the bathroom. My issue with it is threefold:
1) I've been the new kid. Unless you smell, making at least one friend by lunchtime isn't really that hard.
2) You know what's not a good way to make new friends? Becoming the girl who eats on the toilet. "Does she have some sort of intestinal issues?" your new peers will wonder.
3) People. Poop. In. There. I don't bring open containers of food into the bathroom. Seriously. If I buy a soda, take one sip and have to pee then that soda is over. Because there are some things you just don't come back from, and drinking toilet soda is right up there getting vomited on by an adult.

Additionally (and I recognize that I should have counted this as one of my issues, but I couldn't pass up a chance to say "threefold"), how small does a school have to be for there to be no viable empty table, or floorspace, or anywhere where someone isn't peeing within two feet of your snack pack?

I could go farther with this, but not without veering directly into "crazed germaphobe" territory. Instead I'll just close out by saying, if you've never been to, go now. search for any show of movie, start clicking links and watch the day slip away.