Monday, February 27, 2012

Crap comes to Pemberley

Oh man, this may be the last time I try to read one of these books-based-on-books-that-I-already-love.

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The first chapter or so of Death Comes to Pemberley was awesome. The rest was pretty much crap. First boring crap where nothing really happened and then implausible crap that made me want to punch P. J. James (who is apparently, NOT a man, as the Southwest employee told me rather emphatically as I was telling her about my opinion of the book) in the throat.

I am not sure why I thought that this wouldn't be disappointing, maybe because they advertised it on the back of the New Yorker, maybe because Lydia is secretly my favorite Bennett sister (I am a big fan of doing things just for the story, as is she - trust me). But this was a mega let down.

Speaking of Lydia, for some reason as I read this book, I was not picturing Colin Firth or Kiera Knightly or anyone EXCEPT I could pretty much hear Jena Malone reading Lydia's dialogue in my head. Say what you will about her as an actress, but clearly she leaves a lasting impression.

Of all the things that pissed me off about this book (and there were MANY) - the thing that got my goat the most? The cross over business between the books (I won't ruin it and tell you how it affects the story, but I feel like you have a right to be warned against such atrocities). I am not quite sure who died and named P.D. James queen, but there needs to be a coup d'etat. Pronto. You cannot just wave your magic freaking quill pen and connect imaginary dots between Emma, Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion. You. Can. Not. I do not care how many old ladies think you're really great.

Thank goodness it was over quickly. And for the record, I knew who did it all along.

Friday, February 24, 2012

From the Unpublished Archives: Do it yo' self

Sometimes I start blogs and then get distracted by something shiny and abandon them. Often times, I pick up and finish them eventually but other times I cannot figure out where I was going with those thoughts. But I want to publish them anyway. This is one of those times...

I miss New York City subconsciously pretty much every single day of my life. I miss the street food, the pace, the feeling of confidence I used to have just walking down the street.  But what I really, really miss is access to all the good shit.  New York has all the good shit.  Good cupcakes, good delivery food, really good theater.

That's all I had written when I first started this blog.  Clearly I was going to make a comparison between Chicago and New York because I spend far too many waking hours making comparisons between these two cities.  I do not know what in particular where I was going with this.

New York does seem to have the best shit. And perhaps it is because, in New York I felt as though I was always in the center of everything. No matter what neighborhood I was in, I felt as though I had access to all the best parts of the city at my fingertips. In Chicago, I do not always feel this way. Even though it is all there, something about this city just feels sleepy when compared to New York.

Maybe its because I cannot manage to get street food in the neighborhood where I work (come on, food trucks, show Uptown some love) and maybe its because I had to get 15 people to come see Book of Mormon with me, because the run is going to be so short in Chicago, that it would probably sell out before I could get individual tickets or maybe its because it just is. sleepy. It will never be New York and after 5 years, clearly I have decided that that is okay for now. But I don't know if it will be okay for forever.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Everyone Love.

Same-sex marriage bill approved by Maryland Senate

I could not be more proud of my home state right now.  While I am frustrated that not all states allow people who love each other and want to be together forever announce it proudly with some flowers, rings and good food - knowing that the good people of Maryland (or at least their elected officials) think that it is A-OK has me jubilant.

My thoughts on marriage as an institution are for another day, but today I feel like a proud Mama watching my little state make all the right choices (we will ignore the fail bombs my particular county is dropping for the time being).

Thank you Maryland for being a great place to grow up. Right now, I am incredibly proud to call you "where I am from."  The sprinkles on this sweet, sweet news is the editorial the Frederick News Post came out with in support of this bill.  Frederick is a backwater of conservative assbaggery (as proven by the link above) and coming out in support of this bill lost the FNP some of their subscribers. But they did it anyway. And I love it.

I am also incredibly happy that I surround myself with loved ones who agree with me on this particular topic (as I am seeing by the responses to my facebook post on this matter). I am willing to debate many things, but on the topic of Love, there is my way, or the way of people who are wrong and who want others to be just as miserable as they are.

Go Maryland. Two points for love. And two points for the crabcakes I had last weekend. You win again. You always do.

edited to add - Apparently I have already written about marriage. Right here!  I still feel exactly the same about it (and babies) as when I wrote this post, if you are interested. But I still think everyone should be able to do it if they want to.

Thursday's Best Internet Finds! The Fun Facts Edition

I only have one Internet find for you, because I have been working more and internet-ing less in the past few weeks. But this deserved a special nod, if only because with any luck this nod will turn into a nudge and she will update more.

Today in History

Kelsey came into my life at the most opportune moment, meaning - I was looking for a roommate and everyone I had met had been batshit crazy.  Way, way too crazy to share a kitchen with. But Kelsey showed up in a pair of green ballet flats and a kicky scarf (she will hate me for saying kicky - I am not quite sure what to call it though. Jaunty? Fun?) and saved me from a year of living of living with any of the lunatics who came marching through before her.

She is the friend with the best clothes, good hair and enough talent to make you totally jealous, but in a way where you still want to get drinks with her on the regular. 

She started this blog where she is teaching us all about history! And she has fun designs to go with it. And her commentary is hilarious.  You should learn from her, and then protest when she doesn't update for days and days (the days where she is not posting and Jon Stewart is in reruns are the worst for learning in my mind).

I too have a tumblr. It can be found here. It used to be about losing weight but I managed to crush that pipe dream under a pile of double stuf Oreos, so now it is just random thoughts and pictures. It is updated sporadically. If you combine the updates here and there you almost get one per day.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Princess Organizer

This past weekend I got to spend some quality time in Maryland. It was a very under the radar trip, without any sort of extensive planning or promise of social engagements - which was exactly what I needed.

I still got to eat amazing food and see some of my favorite people AND I got to do amazing, practical things - like organize Mom's wrapping paper closet.

I spent most of my life being a horrible slob and then I grew up, had a roommate who was the Felix to my Oscar, and realized how much less likely I was to break/lose things if I kept them tidy.

So now, I get a huuuuge rush out of cleaning and organizing. It helps to have it not be my own things and to have it be things with little sentimental value, but either way - it is immensely satisfying and I wish I could do it professionally.

Anyway - we started with this.

This is even after a whole bunch of the stuff fell out as I was trying to get enough light for the picture. I started by taking everything out, there is really no point in organizing if you are only going to do it half way.

This is maybe 3/4 of the stuff. The rest is on the floor and on the chairs.

Then I organized like with like. All the boxes together, all the Christmas bags in one pile and the "various other holidays" in another.

A dining room table is a perfect place to do this because you have the added benefit of having chairs to put your piles on. If a pile cannot fit on a chair, it is too big and needs to be reevaluated.

Throw things away. Anything that was kind of broken or dirty and I didn't think I would want to present to someone as the wrapping for their gift automatically went in the trash. I probably threw away at least as much as I kept, if not more.

And then think critically about how you are going to use things. My mother mostly wraps presents at Christmas, so those things are the most prominently featured (the bag on the right and the paper at the top of the pile). Everything is easily accessible, the boxes are full of other boxes - the goal is to not have to take out more than one thing to get to what you need.

The only caveat to my brilliant plan is the shipping supplies (big boxes, peanuts, etc) are behind all of this. I wish there had been a way to make them more accessible but since they are always used in conjunction with everything else, it seems like it won't be too tedious. We'll have to see how she does.

Anyway, please let me come organize your house. You will have to pay me some money, but it turns out that, for now, I work for brunch and peanut butter M&M's.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

dead things

We're 0 for 4 on getting flowers for Valentine's Day.  It is totally my own fault. I have made my thoughts on flowers and other cliched 2/14 gifts Very, Very Clear, but it turns out, sometimes I get to be a softy. Maybe its a distance thing.

It just goes to show that you probably shouldn't be so vocal and forceful about hating flowers to the guy you think you'll just be dating casually for the next three or four months...

I did get an over-the-sink strainer and some socks from Cougar. Moms tend to be the best Valentines.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

loneliest cupcake.

1 DAY. I made it ONE. DAY.

Someone offered me an amazing, homemade cupcake with PINK frosting that had been baked for a small child's birthday party.  And I took it because I hate denying myself nice things.

That's really what it comes down to, I suppose. I don't want to turn down pink-frosted cupcakes. So today (since I'm already going to be boozing it up later), I won't.

See you tomorrow, faux-diet.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Sad cake

Boyfriend is sitting next to me and eating cake and ice cream. Cake AND Ice Cream. Those are my two favorite foods and I am not having a single bite. Despite my craptastic day, despite the fact that I am legitimately hungry, and the fact that I really, really love cake.

This will be an interesting challenge as my favorite arms to run into are those of sweet, sweet simple carbs. I did have a jolly rancher and a bite of extra dark chocolate. And a banana? Is that okay? (T-bone, I might need more guidance).

In other news I have already done 40 push ups. 10 more before bed.


I told myself I would stop talking about food & dieting on the internet, because its super boring BUUUT I am getting headshots done next Friday morning and so I am going on a crash diet of insane proportions.

Starting tomorrow - No Carbs (except for booze on Saturday, which is totally cheating but there are birthday celebrations that I need to be a part of) not even for breakfast. Boom. Seriously.

50 push ups a day.  I am moderately satisfied with my body, but I want me some of them Michelle Obama biceps. Besides, arms are always the worst part of any picture I am in.

Besides that I am just going to try to wash my face every day and think really photogenic thoughts.

Anyway, we'll check in in a few days to see if I can actually go 7 days (Friday - Thursday) without carbs and with push ups. It'll be interesting. I'll probably learn a lesson about how crash diets don't work.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Books, y'all

I recently met a new person who I have been getting to know.  In one of our conversations she mentioned her insulin pump.  I, of course, asked if it had a name - because I am socially awkward and the only other person I know who has an insulin pump has named it (Needy T. has named most electronics though, so perhaps it is the person, not the pump...I digress).

She said no to the naming and mentioned she has been dealing with diabetes since she was three which is crazy to me. A child of near-perfect health trying to fathom dealing with anything chronic for such a vast majority of a life is always mind boggling. So again (due to the social awkwardness) I announced, proudly, that I had diagnosed my friend with her diabetes.

Being a patient woman, my new acquaintance allowed me to tell the story of how Needy T. came to visit me on Nantucket and she was drinking tons and tons of water and peeing, like, ALL the time. I mentioned several times during this trip that her symptoms pretty much exactly matched those of Stacey from the Baby-Sitter's Club and she should probably go to the doctor before she peed all over the bed during a slumber party.  Needy T. got off the island, went to the doctor / who gave her the news / that she had a bad case of the diabetes.

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"Well, thank goodness you read all those books."

I think she was just trying to get me to stop talking about it - but it totally struck a chord with me. Of ALL the books I've read in the past 27 years (y'all know I could read when I was born - Recognize) the baby-sitters club have been the only ones that have given me practical, Life-Saving knowledge.  The others have been good for lameskis, bourgeois meditations on society, and trivial pursuit domination - but these books saved a LIFE. Not just any life, this life:

Pre Diagnosis, Post Awesomeness

Anyway, when you have children and they want to read crappy tween books - First - thank the little baby Jesus that they are reading books. Second - Remember that most medical knowledge that your child will posses (unless they become a medical professional) will probably come from those books.

Trashy teen literature saves lives.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

off today.

I spent most of the day in my pajamas today and it was glorious. I so desperately needed it. I was tired and stressed in every inch of my skin. I spent most of yesterday on the verge of tears - not because anything particular that had happened but just because I had not had any real minutes of just sittingandbeing in weeks and weeks.

I am trying not to complain because my life is quite nice but there is just too much of it sometimes.

So I needed a day off. And now that I have had it, naturally, I am dreading a return to real life. But I will. And I just need a reminder that a day of quiet and solitude can be extremely therapeutic.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

City Love

I think about moving all the time, but as I ponder adventures in new places - one thing remains.  I have to live in a city.  Here's a perfect example of why.

My eyebrows are out of control.

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Its totally inexcusible because there is a fantastic spot near my office that will fix that business for $10 (including tip!) but they are only open until 7 - and believe it or not, if I am still up in that neighborhood at 7 PM, chances are its because I am still working.  Every effort to get there by 7 PM this week has been thwarted by meetings, teenagers and the stupid win $250,000 game at the Jewel-Osco.

But I live in a city. And there is a salon in the first floor of my apartment building.  Its more expensive but what it lacks in fiscal responsibility it makes up for in the fact that I don't have to spend a 45-minute commute looking like a terrifying red-faced alien.

What's even better? I go downstairs (without anything besides a credit card & a house key), she says it'll be about a 20 minute wait.  I tell her I can come back down whenever, just let me know what time works.

"Why don't I just buzz your apartment when I am done with this client?"

So now I get to sit in my apartment with my cat, my 30 Rock and my glass of wine and wait until the second I can get my face fixed.  Then when its all done, its just two flights of stairs back to all of my things.

This is why I live in cities. Because they don't always require cars or schedules to work out.  Because they thrive on impulse and tend to have better snacks.

She's pint-sized and amazing.