Monday, February 27, 2006

One thing leads to another

Obviously, the internet is great for many reasons. This is one of those reasons. So is this. I spent a bunch of time over the weekend working on the design for our wedding invitations--and even more time being distracted by internet junk.

The whole wedding planning thing has kept me pretty busy. The Planning Shop has also become a whirlwind of activity lately, hence the lack of blog. If I'm too busy to blog in my spare time, and there's so much going on at work that I can't slack off and blog there, and I'm actually eating lunch at lunch time instead of blogging, the posts are bound to be fewer. It makes me just as sad as it makes you, I promise. I'll try to designate a tinch of my Law & Order time to more regular blogging (notice that I only said "regular," not "interesting" or "read-worthy"). Maybe I'll even slice off some of my Project Runway time. Plus, the Olympic break is finally over, and Sharks start playing again tomorrow. And we all know that the winninger they are, the blogginger I are. Am.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The power of Disney compels you!

It's so true. Every store, emporium, shoppe, kiosk... I bought loads of Disney crap.

I bought pens, candy, t-shirts, stuffed animals, shoes, baseball-mouse ear antennae toppers, squeezy skulls whose brains come out of their eye sockets--luckily for my friends and family, I hate Disney stuff. Everyone got lots of gifts. The power of Disney compelled Miriam as well:

It's a hard thing to reconcile, but I truly hate Disney stuff. And I absolutely LOVE Disneyland. I love Euro Disney. I would probably love Disney World if I'd ever been there. I love Space Mountain and Pirates of the Caribbean. Just can't stand the mouse. Or the duck. Or the dog that wears pants. Or the one who doesn't. I do have a soft spot for Stitch, though.

But the fake rocks and fake mountains and fake castles make me giddy--for reals! Everything at Disneyland is clean and well thought out and has high production value. Talk about getting your money's worth! I can't think of another cartoon character-themed amusement park where $119 would go so far. Three fun-filled, action-packed, park-hopping days! Totally worth it.

My Top 10 favorite rides from my Disneyland weekend:

1. Space Mountain
2. California Screamin'
3. Tower of Terror
4. The Matterhorn
5. Splash Mountain
6. Soaring Over California
7. Pirates of the Caribbean
8. Indiana Jones
9. Big Thunder Mountain
10. The Flight of Peter Pan

Note: The Haunted Mansion was closed, and we didn't ride the Sun Wheel or the Grizzly River Run, but those would have bumped 8, 9 and 10 off of the list for sure.

One weird thing about It's a Small World though, I'm pretty sure the 2 Israeli kids that were there in May 2004 were gone this time...

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Slightly more stalker-ish

The List, Part 2

6. Belle & Sebastian, primarily Stuart Murdoch. Back in 2003, Belle & Sebastian were planning a 3-city US mini-tour (NYC, LA & SF) to support the release of their new album. They thought it would be fun to get a couple of fans in each city to organize a treasure hunt the week before the show and the band would present the winner with a special treasure chest on stage at the show. The band announced an essay contest on their website, and chose 2 winners in each city to run the treasure hunts. Having just done a treasure hunt for L's birthday, I felt compelled to enter the contest--and won! After weeks of hard work, my treasure hunt partner and I pulled off a treasure hunt that was so good that apparently it was too good--nobody found the final answer in time! So we were called up on stage during the concert (it was August 2003, at the Greek Theater in Berkeley), awarded with engraved medals AND a kiss on the cheek from Stuart (swoon), plus we got to hang out backstage with the band after the show. It was possibly the closest I'll ever get to becoming a hipster.

7. Jon Stewart from The Daily Show. The biggest and brightest of my Book Expo America celebrity meetings, this one took place in 2 parts. First, there was a Q & A breakfast session at BEA Chicago in 2004. Almost every single question was about politics, so at one point, I stood up and asked Mr. Stewart who he thought would win the Stanley Cup. Then he made fun of hockey. Plus, it was broadcast on CSPAN-2 (and more horrifically, it was Tivo'd by my dad who has shown it to everyone who's ever set foot in our house). I took the exchange as a personal insult and didn't watch The Daily Show for over a year. Now I can watch it again (especially after attending a live taping of the show while in NYC for BEA 2005), but my stomach still gets queasy. I learned a valuable lesson about putting myself out there for ridicule by TV personalities. Next, when Mr. Stewart was signing books in the exhibit hall later in the day (actually, he was signing blads--the book hadn't been finished yet), I said to him "You never answered my question. Tampa Bay or Calgary?" Just for fun, I put 5 bucks on his answer--and won $15.

To be continued...again...

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Not in a creepy stalker way

It turns out that I have met quite a few famous people. By "met" I usually mean "stood in line at an independent record store for hours in order to get the autograph of." Sometimes, I also mean "had a phone conversation with." In one case, I even mean "scammed my way into interviewing them for a fake business magazine." Here's a list!

1. John Linnell of They Might Be Giants. It was, to this day, one of the best experiences of my life. I got his autograph after an unexpectedly less-than-crowded solo in-store appearance at Amoeba Records on Haight Street in 1999. And there were lots of pictures. I have a nice glossy 8 X 10 of us together; me leaning in as close as I could without frightening him, him leaning as far away from me as he could without actually standing up and walking away from me.

2. Stephin Merritt of The Magnetic Fields (and various other stuff). This one was pretty scary. In order to get into a sold out show at Bimbo's, I got on the press list as a reporter from a supposed small business magazine. I am so not a good liar. He smelled my fear, and it all went downhill from there. No autographs. No pictures. Just a stomach ache.

3. Marc Summers. We spoke on the phone when he called for Rhonda once back in the day. They were once on the same talk show to promote their respective books, and they remained friends. He has since sent me 2 autographed pictures.

4. Don Novello (AKA Father Guido Sarducci). A few years ago, he ran for governor of California. When we (shockingly) discovered that was available, we bought it and built a little "Don Novello for Governor" type of deal and offered it to him as a gift. He called to thank us, but informed us that he hadn't gotten enough signatures to make the ballot. Boo.

5. Just last Friday, I spoke with Kevin Smith on the phone. He was guest hosting the Sarah & No Name Morning Show, so I called in (first time caller!) and asked him what it was like to do a few episodes of Degrassi: TNG, and what it was like to kiss Caitlyn Ryan. I totally stole the show. Totally.

And I'm sure there are more. Perhaps a List Part 2 is in order.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Me too! Me too!

Wow. I've never been tagged with a meme before. What the hell is a meme? Oh well, I guess I'll just answer these questions.

Four Jobs I've Had
Personal Assistant
Sandwich Artist/Deli Engineer
Retail Clerk at a holistic vet's office
Everything Do-er for a publishing company

Four Movies I Can Watch Over and Over
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Young Guns
Hello Dolly! (with Barbara Streisand)

Four TV Shows I Love to Watch
Arrested Development
Six-Feet Under
Medical Incredibles
Law & Order (all 3 varieties count as one show for this purpose)

Four Places I've Been on Vacation
Paris, France (Euro Disney!)
Banff, Alberta
Minneapolis, MN
Las Vegas, NV

Four Favorite Dishes
Bacon or anything with bacon in it
American cheeseburger classic pizza from Domino's (such utter crap, it's a good thing it's not available year-round)
Chicken Tikka Masala
Ravioli di Zucci with brown butter ancrispypy sage bits...

Four Websites I Visit Daily
The Planning Shop
Pink is the New Blog
You Don't Have to Kiss

Four Places I'd Rather Be
Tel Aviv

Four-ish Bloggers I am Tagging
I would have tagged Miriam, but her blog is a myspace blog and I don't support myspace blogs. They are crap.

How do they know they've been tagged? Do I have to send them tag-mails? Or am I supposed to assume they read my blog?

Back in the saddle and headed south

I have not been a good blogger lately. And I could give you plenty of excuses why--including, but not limited to, such great excuses as I had a root canal, I've had lots of stuff to deal with, I drank too much at Teatro Zinzanni on Saturday and am just now regaining the ability to form coherent sentences in my head, let alone type them into a blog--but I won't do that. I'll just say that I'm back in a blogging place because of 3 things:

1. The Sharks won their last 3 games--all against Pacific Division rivals--before the Olympic break.

2. I got beautiful Valentine's Day flowers delivered to me at work, complete with a card on which the sender's name was misspelled (if that doesn't make a body smile, I don't know what does).

3. I'm going to Disneyland this weekend! A totally spur of the moment, let's get up at 5 am and drive to Anaheim on Saturday type of plan hatched by my very favorite, Miriam.

All of this happy tingly stuff reminds me to blog about how happy and tingly I feel. I don't really enjoy blogging about how bad or sad I feel, except through the powerful mis-placed fear and sadness subject matter of weird and debilitating diseases and injuries like those high-lighted on the Discovery Channel and TLC. Which isn't to say that when I'm not blogging it's because I'm sad or anything; usually it just means that I'm super busy or just generally uninspired. So the mere fact that there's a new post on this blog today most likely means that I'm more happy and tingly than sad or upset, and that I'm more inspired than not. Good things to be!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Wednesday is for weeping

Hooray, Wednesday, my favorite day of the week. Except for when Wednesday means my car needs new brakes and I'm getting a root canal (like Ozzy! But who will spend the evening cuddling me while the anesthesia wears off?). So in light of that, boo, Wednesday, the stupidest day of the week. Boo.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Worst. Episode. Ever.

I've been such an absentee blogger lately. But I've got all kinds of good excuses.

Like on Friday. I spent the afternoon watching the longest, most boring episode of Law & Order ever. 3 1/2 hours of lawyers, plaintiffs, defendants, judges, bailiffs, and court clerks. 3 1/2 hours of questions, assumptions, bad excuses, head shaking and exasperated sighs. But where were the snappily dressed detectives, groan-worthy one liners and atmospheric "doink-doinks?" Worst. Episode. Ever.

Oh, wait. That wasn't an episode of Law & Order, that was jury duty.

I was actually excited that my group was selected to show up. I've been summonsed for jury duty 3 or 4 times before, but never got past the part where I call the automated system and am told that my service is not needed and that I'm free for another year. This time, on the 5th and last day, my group number was called. And for a minute, a was filled with some weird sense of patriotism and pride. I wanted to do my civic duty and help decide whether or not the freaky-looking skinhead on the judge's left was legally evicted. Not this time.

I celebrated with a fun-filled night of live entertainment and enjoyed the comedy stylings of Emo Phillips. Enough said.

And today? Oh, today was a joy on so many levels. I slept until 10 am with a furry black cat perched squarely in the small of my back (one last night of cuddling before the dreaded Advantage Day, after which meaningful cuddles are off limits for 3 approximately 3 days). And then: the Puppy Bowl 2! Last year Rhonda watched the Puppy Bowl, and when she reported on the canine escapades the next day at the office, there was not a small amount of laughter on my part. And as hard as it is to admit it, she was so totally right. This year, I Tivo'd the dang Puppy Bowl--and I watched it. All 3 hours. Including the Kitty Half-time Show. Does that make me crazier than I was last week? Cause I felt a little more crazy than usual by the end of it all.

Today was also doggie homecoming. My folks have been dogsitting since Thursday, and everyone was happy to have the pack back together. Everyone.

Besides, the Sharks are still sucking right now, and that always makes things seem less blog-worthy. But I have to work on that.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

We are less of a loser

Hooray! The Sharks won last night, so I can blog today. Cheechoo even got another hat trick! But sadly, the game was not televised. Boo.

It's a bad idea, I know, for the girl who watches too many crime dramas and frets over traumatic head injury, but I've been watching the entire Six Feet Under series--I'm up to the last disc in season 3 (hooray for Netflix!). And it's really not so much about death as it is about inter-personal relationships and how different people deal with change. The death thing and the funeral home aspect are more like a back drop. But thinking about death and dying is unavoidable when you watch 3 episodes in a row. You become forced into thinking about the practical issues involved in dying, like cremation, which outfit you want to be buried in, what kind of ceremony you want to have and what kind of music you want involved in said ceremony. Not entirely unlike planning a wedding. And I don;t mean that in the obvious morose and disturbed way, not at all. Just in the practical event planning way. I mean, I picture wanting my funeral to be more like a party than a cry-fest, with finger foods and lots of dipping sauces, good beer from micro-breweries and plenty of comfy places for everyone to sit. Sure, when it comes time to actually plan such an event, I may see things differently. I'd like to think I'll be much, much older by then and have a firmer grasp on the importance of life and be less preoccupied with trying to create memories than with remembering the memories, so chances are I won't necessarily find a party-style funeral to be fitting or appropriate. But still, it's a neat exercise to consider these things, and not at all depressing or weird as you may be compelled to think. Besides, I'll loyally watch any show with any of the guys from Sports Night, even if it makes me think more about death than I'd prefer to. (Except Benson. Screw Benson.)