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Travlin’ Roundup

6 Feb

I finally had an aviation cocktail. Here’s a picture:

I had this here.

I also saw this:

and this:

and this:

I do so love me some Frida and Diego. But especially Frida.

Rainbows and Sweets and Weekend Open Thread

1 Jul

Happy long weekend! Since it’s Friday, it’s time for pretty pictures and open threads! Don’t worry, I’ll get to the rest of your wonderful reader requests soon, but for now I have sweets for you, the sweet. D’awww!

This week, my main accomplishment outside of work was making the world’s most colorful rainbow cake. I found a photo of a pretty rainbow layer cake online and immediately determined that I must find a reason to make it – and what better reason that Pride season and the passage of the NY equal marriage law?

I started with a little Technicolor mise en place action:

… and then through bloggie magic, turned bowls full of goo into a neatly stacked Leaning Tower of Pisa:

which became the lovely camouflaged masterpiece you see here (what are those bottles, you ask? Why, Skittles vodka, of course! What could be more appropriate for a rainbow theme?):

… and then waited stealthily for the guests to arrive. Oh! Look! It’s a peekaboo cake! How naughty:

…before dazzling them with BRIGHTLY COLORED CAKE-A-PALOOZA!

It’s the gayest cake ever! OM NOM NOM!

Through the endeavor of making this cake, I have learned but one Very Important Fact about myself, and that is this: If ever I am ever to get a tattoo, it surely must be a Very Colorful Tattoo. None of this stark black tribal stuff for me, oh no. Nor will I be sporting any pencil sketches or stippling. It’s the Care Bears and children’s breakfast cereal color palette for me, please.

Which leads us into today’s Weekend Open Thread. To get you started, today’s question is:

Do you have a tattoo? If so, where and of what, and how many? Why did you get it? What’s the story behind it? How much did it cost, and did you have to save up for it?

Birthday Blowout: Roundup

19 Oct

If you’ve been reading for a while, you know that I insist my friends (really, anyone even remotely proximal) make a big deal out of my birthday. True to form, this year I kept my coworkers up to date on exactly how many days were left before the Big Day. They performed admirably, sneaking in sometime in the night to decorate my messy, messy cube with balloons…


No individual in particular would own up to having done the decoration deed, but I have my suspects who will be repaid in kind with embarrassingly loud and off-key birthday singing next month. To complete my breakfast of champions, Coworker A brought me my favorite type of deep-fried sugary treat, the Almighty Apple Fritter:

My Special Lady Friend sent me some Very Pretty Flowers:

… and my other Special Lady Friend (no no no, not like that) sent me some other Very Pretty Flowers:

You see that red thing on the table there? That’s chocolate. A whole bar of it. Dark. Moonstruck. INSANELY GOOD. And all mine. Chomp chomp chomp.

I also received a tree from my Pops:

 …which has been planted securely in the yard, and I hope someday will grow tall enough to provide some shelter from all the passing thugs and/or hooligans.

I left work early and arrived home to find a couple of SUPER AWESOME packages* waiting for me from Deena, who sent me a bespectacled dog card and two mix CDs** that could not have been more perfect (no, really: I have been listening to them almost as obsessively as I’ve been watching Battlestar Galactica lately):

…and Dani, who sent the ultimate care package of glittery goodness and stickery swellness:

…which I immediately put to work decorating my Lebanese-Mexican Coca-Cola full of rum:

By this time, my adorable mom had arrived after making a Lengthy and Arduous Journey Full of Dangerous Thugs to brig me a delicious homemade birthday cake, complete with sprinkles and pretty pretty candles:

Om nom nom! We scarfed it with some Extra Special Ice Cream, which apparently is difficult to get in Some Parts of This Here State:

And then, to cap off the night, I did a Very Daring Thing. I went from this:

To this:

That’s right boys and girls! I am now a hairless little freak! Or something of the sort. It’s pretty exciting. Be sure to tell me what you think of the change in the comments, lest I think you hate it with a fiery passion that knows no word-y outlet.

One would think that I would be all sugared out, right? Wrong. My capacity for sugar intake is indeed large. The next day, my mom and I undertook The Great Donut Tasting of oh-ten. We went to Heavenly:

which was populated by adorable friendly workers and very wrinkled old men drinking black coffee, and Voodoo:

…which was running refreshingly low on hipsters. We put the donuts to the test:

and determined that while the maple bars at VooDoo are indeed superior, the Cock and Balls are not cream filled, which is disappointing, not to mention false advertising:

The apple fritter taste test (yes, I had MORE apple fritters. They’re delicious, OK?) was categorically won by Heavenly. Much to our chagrin, we did not track down a single bear claw.

The week was rounded out nicely with some actual food from the Farm Cafe with one of my favorite journalism defectors and her be-Beibered ladyfriend, who were kind enough to treat me to dinner, witticisms, AND a dessert with a candle. So fiendishly clever, those two.

All in all,  pretty awesome birthday, with only minimal reminding and whining from me. OK, not so minimal, but hey. If you don’t ask for what you want, how will you get it? Am I right? Huh? HUH? AM I? Of course I am.

*Proof positive that giving strangers your mailing address over the internet is always a good idea. ALWAYS! No seriously, though, you guys rock. Of course you already knew that, right? ^_^
**You, too, can get down with your bad self by checking out the track lists.

Top ten reasons to work in journalism

19 Aug

10. The Swearing

Only in a newsroom does one get congratulated by one’s boss for using the word “fuck” during a meeting.

9. The Drinking

Newsies can drink average humans under a mesa, and newsrooms have lots of good places to nurse a hangover: Decommissioned darkrooms, for one, are cool, dark and private, and often have couches for reasons that will remain unexplored here.

8. The Sarcasm

The Fake AP Stylebook. Overheard in the Newsroom. This stuff doesn’t write itself, people. We started the whole sarcasm/irony trend before those hipsters co-opted it, and journalists remain sarcastic, lovable assholes to this day.

7. The Liberals

There’s something sweetly safe in knowing that most of your coworkers are, like you, bleeding-heart liberals.*

6. The Misanthropy

Newsroom humor, like emergency room humor, is dark. It comes from a place of finely tuned cynicism, and grants its practitioners the permission to wield dry, cutting wit at the expense of the rabble with nary a thought to the politically correct.

5. Sportswriting

I don’t like sports (except boxing, ‘course), but I love sportswriting. Oh, the action verbs! The wordplay! The ability to experiment with nigh-obscenity due to the sports’ section placement deeep inside the paper!

4. Sportswriters

For some inexplicable reason, I get along famously with sportswriters. I don’t understand their interests, but you have to love a person who can conduct an interview with a high school softball star, hammer out a lead story, and design a front page all while drinking a 40 of 211 out of a MegaGulp cup and keeping an eye on “Striptease,” streaming on the laptop brought from home.

3.The camaraderie

There’s nothing like being on a sinking ship to bring on that tingly “sense of brotherhood” feeling.

2. Schadenfreude

As a journalist, you get to be secretly, or not-so-secretly pleased when disaster strikes other people’s lives. All the better if it strikes on your news cycle. You get to say things like, “Way to die on deadline, Reagan,” or “I need to see the carnage! Find me a shot of the carnage.”

1. Grammar jokes

If this isn’t good enough reason for you, you’re probably a business analyst anyway.

* Yep, it’s true, we media types really are damn dirty pinko Jesus-hating fags. Or rather, journalists tend to have more education than the general population, and therefore wind up more liberal than the majority. Take unsubstantiated theory any way you want.

No. 1 Most Innovative Use for a Mason Jar

19 May

If you’re anything like me, you spill your java all over the place during your morning commute. Travel mugs are always leaking from the seam, regular mugs have no lids and so must be held, leaving only one hand free for tricky maneuvering around other cranky commuters, and often end up rolling around in the footwell of the passenger seat, after thoroughly soaking either a lap, laptop bag or upholstery.

So, when a recent housewarming gift of a set of Mason jars coincided with the misplacing of my $2.95 teal plastic portable coffee mug, it was time to perform experiments. COFFEE EXPERIMENTS:

The Mason jar is the world’s most perfect coffee-transportation mechanism, so long as you don’t need to sip while driving. Fill with cafe du jour, cap and throw it wherever, and you’ll arrive at your destination with nary a drip nor stain. You can even put it in your laptop bag. Not that I’m advocating that. Ahem.

You may be thinking, “Mason jars are a slightly odd housewarming gift. Aren’t chip-and-dips the customary gift?” Well, my friend, let me tell you about Mason jars. Specifically, let me tell you about how much I love the Bye and Bye’s eponymous pink beverage, served in a GIANT Mason jar. Consisting of peach-infused vodka, peach-infused bourbon, cranberry juice and lemon, it’s a one-way ticket to blammo-ville. Can’t go wrong with a bar that serves Brussels sprouts as pub grub, too.

The set came from a guest aware of my love for the booze delivery mechanism known as the Mason jar, and accompanied a bottle of whiskey, 1/4 of which was promptly spilled on the new house’s hardwood floors. C’est la vie!

Top 10 reasons you shouldn’t be friends with me

24 Mar
  • 10. I’m a grammar Nazi. This means that even if I don’t say anything, I am silently judging you just a little bit when you abuse an adverb.
  • 9. I’m terrible at conversational segues, and prone to interruption.
  • 8. I will get drunk and call you in the middle of the night. For no reason.
  • 7. I will get bored and whiny if your party does not amuse me. This means I will probably get drunk in order to liven the place up.
  • 6. Then I will make you drive me home.
  • 5. If the ratio of people-I-don’t-know to people-I-know at your party is too lopsided, I will probably get bored and act spastic, embarrassing you in front of all your respectable friends.
  • 4. I occasionally disappear from all social life, leaving nary a trace of my existence. I won’t return phone calls, text messages, or emails; I won’t leave the house or wash my hair.

    Mostly I just lie on the couch in sweatpants and a fuzzy sweater, cradling a cup of swiftly cooling tea and telling my cat he’s the only one who understands.

  • 3. I will insist that you make a big deal out of my birthday.
  • 2. It will take you a really, really long time to break down my emotional walls.
  • 1. I will demand an unnaturally high level of loyalty from you. You will be required to share my enmities, politely ignore my drunken phone calls and never, ever make fun of my hair.

Related: Top 10 reasons you should be friends with me.

    Grokking the touch barrier

    15 Feb

    How many times have you found yourself jogging alone at 4 a.m., on a poorly-lit street, blissfully rocking out to some old-school tunes via your trendy compact music gadget of choice, when you spot a gang of no-goodniks looking for some Bad Touch?

    Or, perhaps you like to go out on weeknights and have a few pints with your buddies, but woefully underqualified potential suitors, emboldened by booze, keep approaching you. Maybe sometimes they think they can touch you on the shoulder. Maybe sometimes they think they can touch you elsewhere. Maybe sometimes they get a little pushy. Maybe you’re tired of handing out black eyes and running out of bars from which to get 86’d.

    Or maybe you’re a 9-to-5er and you have a coworker who just doesn’t grok the touch barrier. Perhaps he touches you to drive his points home, so to speak. Maybe he holds your hand just a bit too long when shaking. Maybe he just annoyingly taps your shoulder when trying to get your attention.

    Well fret no more, touch-o-phobes! Ladies and gents, I give you the No-Contact Jacket:

    Perfect for fending off hoodlums of all varieties, it’s electrified to deter any and all who’ve not gotten the memo about unwanted touch. Just don’t wear it in the rain.

    State of the Blah Blah Blah

    28 Jan

    I was invited to a “State of the Union” drinking game last night, and I have to say I declined the invitation. Strangely, I think I would’ve gone had it been Dubya behind the pulpit.
    Why? Because it’s way more fun to get drunk and rip on an easy target than it is to get drunk and have nuanced conversations with belligerent frat boys I’m way too old to be hanging out with anyway. Dubya was, at the least, a galvanizing president for we left-wing nuts, and a terrible speaker to boot. In his speeches lay endless potential for grammar gaffe-based shot-taking, and lots of opportunity for idealistic moral outrage, followed by earnest head-nodding and more shots.

    Say what you will about ‘Bama, but the potential for fun is just not there. It’s hard for me to congratulate him on being a better speaker, since it’s not like he writes his own speeches (no leaders do, nor do they write their own books, which kind of makes critiquing any of them pointless in the first place but that’s a whole other topic); and it’s hard for me to care on any real level about his (or anyone’s) rhetoric, which is what speeches are.

    Speeches tell you nothing about politics. Actions are what people should pay attention to; yet I am often called a philistine because I refuse to slavishly follow the media circus around political posturing. The problem with that line of thinking is that allowing your brain to be invaded by carefully crafted rhetoric (definition: language designed to please or persuade; loud, confused and empty talk) just leaves you more snowed than you were before, gifting you the ability only to parrot what you hear on TV. Who’s the philistine now, huh?

    Down With Smiles

    4 Jan

    I’d like to introduce you to a little something I like to call The Cityface. I invented it when I moved to The City in order to deal with a phenomenon which I will outline for you forthwith:

    I am cruising down the sidewalk, squeezing melons in a grocery store, wending my way through a crowd of Pabst-drinking hipsters wearing ironic and medically unnecessary eyewear, or wandering despondently through the labyrinthine hallways of my office complex, when suddenly, I lock eyes with a total stranger. Like a deer caught in headlights, I do the thing which comes naturally to nice people: I freaking smile. But does this stranger smile back? Oh no. S/he does not smile. S/he looks directly into those dreamy windows to my soul, sees the ineffable beauty that resides there, and glowers.

    Despite what mid-century television shows set in small towns would have you believe, this is not a phenomenon limited to The City. It does, however, happen a great deal more often in The City, due to there being significantly less elbow room. Every time this happens, it makes me feel embarrassed: I extended myself in the name of friendliness to a stranger, only to be rejected on the most basic of levels. They have taken the social power away from me, for no other reason than they can. Stupid meanie heads! Thus, I give you The Cityface:

    Some call it The Bitchface or The Cuntface, but whatever nomenclature is used, its purpose is to stop smile-rejection in its tracks. I invented it to keep myself from proffering wanton undeserved smiles, and protect myself from power-theft. I wear it in public pretty much all the time these days, and avoid eye contact to fend off smile-temptation.

    Given my essentially neurotic nature, imagine my surprise when I discovered that I am not the only one to have given extensive thought to the power dynamics of facial expressions: Shulamith Firestone, in “The Dialectic of Sex: The Case for Feminist Revolution” has this to say on the subject:

    “The smile is the child/woman equivalent of the shuffle; it indicates acquiescence of the victim to his own oppression. In my own case, I had to train myself out of that phony smile, which is like a nervous tic on every teenage girl. … My ‘dream’ action for the women’s liberation movement: a smile boycott, at which declaration all women would instantly abandon their “pleasing” smiles, henceforth only smiling when something pleased them.”

    I had pretty much fallen in love with Firestone’s giant brain previous to coming upon this passage, but this was the clincher. I, for one, plan to personally take this ‘dream’ action and make it a reality. I know I said my New Year’s resolution was to ‘take more pictures,’ but I think ‘smile less,’ or at least ‘smile falsely less’ will be a more instructive one.

    Next up, I will be training myself to not only not smile, but to not smile at people who first smile at me. Take that, jerkfaces! Don’t worry, though: My “sitting on the kitchen floor at 3 a.m. after too many G&Ts” face will remain quintessentially the same.


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