Her Ladyship

Notes from the gutter.

Monday, February 28, 2005

Back from the other side of the pond

Howdy all, I survived my 48-hour blitz on London. My bank account didn't - I hemorrhaged money while over there - but what the hell. It's just credit card debt, right? As always, I come back having learned very important lessons that I can't wait to share with the class. So. Here goes:

1) If you are prone to motion sickness, and they announce that you will have to board the plane and THEN wait two hours in a stuffy and hot cabin while it's de-iced, for the love of all that's holy, buy Dramamine.

2) Bring candy with which you can make amends to the flight attendants for the state in which you left the airplane lavatory. Seriously, it looked like a passle of hungover hobos had spent the night in there. Ick.

3) Leaving most of your stomach contents behind does wonders for fighting jet lag.

4) Brits are unfailingly polite...except when it comes to the Tube. Now, even in DC, we wait for people to get off the metro car before getting on. That apparently is an unknown concept for most Londoners.

5) Don't fool yourself: if you're not much of a museum-goer under the best of circumstances, you will have zero interest in tramping around one after having gotten half an hour of sleep on the flight over. And if you are in a modern art museum, bring someone with you who you can make smart-ass comments to, a la "this is art?" Otherwise, you'll scare and annoy patrons of the museum who just want to wander the galleries in peace.

6) The best way to make a million new best friends in clubs is to have a pink feather boa. Mine, which I got in the Camden Lock as part of the club kid gear that Frequent Flyer insisted I buy, made the rounds and at one point almost got away from me.

7) If you wear pink sunglasses indoors at night, and you accidentally knock over someone's full glass of beer, there is no way to avoid looking like an asshole. This would be where your American accent comes in handy, as we all are imperial pigs who don't give a rat's ass about other people's belongings.

8) If the menu in the Indian restaurant has three chilis next to a dish, and only one next to a vindaloo dish, it will be scorchingly hot. It also will be extremely delectable.

9) You can choose not to check your coat at a club and stow it behind a pillar. Just be prepared to smell like a brewery.

10) If your boots are so worn down that they have no grip, then SLOW DOWN while sprinting to catch your flight. Otherwise, you may end up wiping out on a moving walkway. My knee looks like I took a cheese grater to it. I'm thinking of telling people a much more exciting story, like that it's road rash from my Harley.

11) Make sure that the friend you're staying with is patient and generous. Thanks, Frequent Flyer, for being such an excellent host! Hope that I didn't leave too much blue glitter and pink feathers behind.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Off to see the wizard

Well, actually, I'm off to see my friend Frequent Flyer, but he does live in an Oz-like place: London. Tomorrow I get one year closer to my ultimate demise as I turn 31, and I felt that nothing could do it justice except for getting the hell out of Dodge for a long weekend. You know you've been in DC too long when you and your friends can go on for some time, swapping stories about getting in fights with strangers. (In my defense, HE flicked a lit cigarette near ME.) So I'm off to our former colonial oppressors, where I plan on a 48-hour chicken tikka masala-fest that will only be interrupted by pints of beer in the pub. With any luck, I will avoid anything that remotely smacks of culture.

The only drag is the sorry state of the U.S. dollar. Last I checked, the pound is hovering over it at a rate of nearly two to one. My puny American money is nigh worthless. Oh well.

Unless Frosty the Snowman's unwelcome presence in DC delays my flight, I'll be outta here until Monday. I understand they have the InterWeb in the UK but I doubt I'll be able to buckle down and post. Pip pip, cheerio and all that.

I'm embarrassed that I'm embarrassed about this

Last night, having run out of facial cleanser, I toddled off to Blue Mercury for a refill. I started looking around while there, and ended up getting a men's facial cleanser. Look, what would you have done? It has glycolic acid, plus vitamins A, C, and E. None of the women's cleansers had all that. Plus it was cheaper, too. Part of the latent misogynism that penetrates every aspect of our society - I tell you, the Man's trying to keep us down.

Even the salesguy - that's right, GUY - tried to dissuade me from buying it, telling me that the cleanser was pretty harsh. That's probably true, as men's facial skin tends to be tougher than women's by sheer dint of constant shaving. And while my Mediterranean heritage has left me a bit more hirsute than some, I don't have to shave.

I toyed with pretending I was buying it for someone else, but then I figured, the hell with it - I'm taking a stand! Why should men get all the good cleansers? So I'm on Day 1. I'll let you know if my skin suddenly sloughs off my face.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Out, damned spot

One thing about having eerily pale skin is that it sucks up ink like nobody's business. So every time I go to a club and get stamped, it's like I've been tattooed. That shit is there for the indefinite future. As if it wasn't painfully obvious when I come staggering late into work, all dark circles and bleary eyes, I have this club stamp marking me like a scarlet letter.

But it was still worth it. We went to the 9:30 club last night to see Le Tigre. We missed the first opening band but caught the second (Willpower. High marks indeed - I'd go see them play solo). Of course, though, the crowning glory was Le Tigre. They put on such a fun show and have a rabid fan base that adds to the excitement. And I never expected to see such extensive choreography. Two of the members were constantly doing little shoo-bop moves while the third sang. It was funny because, to be blunt, they looked like you do when you're little and you and your friends make up interpretive dance routines to songs off the radio. High fives all around.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Peewee's playhouse

Today's word of the day is "hardcore." I just had a radio interview for work, and I managed to use it twice in ten minutes. I would've used it a third time, but I stopped myself at "hard". Such a professional vocabulary.

Did you know...

...that if you get dizzy while turning in one direction, turning in the other direction will counter-act everything nicely? Oddly enough, it's true. I learned that in dance class Sunday. We were working on the barrel turn, which involves a lot of swooping and spinning, so our teacher offered us this life-saving tip. Belly dance generally is the great equalizer: everyone in the West is just as awkward as everyone else...except when it comes to turns. That's where you can see if someone's had dance training. Those lucky souls spin effortlessly across the floor, while the rest of us are whamming into walls and bouncing off the mirrors.

Friday, February 18, 2005


Today is a Friday during Lent, and if I were still a practicing Catholic, I'd be suffering through yet another fish dinner. But I'm not, so it's all the carne I can eat for me.

(Sidenote: one time I asked a server in a restaurant which she preferred, their chicken sandwich or hamburger. Her disdainful response? "I don't eat flesh." I always flash back to that when presented with vegetarians.)

I never really got into the whole religion thing. We went to public schools growing up, but our mom forced us to go to CCD while we were in elementary school. For those of you who aren't former Catholics, CCD is the Church's version of Bible school. It takes place on Saturday mornings, which really chapped my hide as a kid. I mean, who wouldn't be pissed about having to give up their Saturday morning cartoons? Especially since this was the time when the Smurfs had been recently unleashed to the English-speaking world.

As we got older, CCD changed to confirmation classes. Maybe it was just that I went to a particularly unorganized church, but to this day, I'm still not sure what the point of confirmation is. I can gather that it's something to do with being an adult in the eyes of the Church, but we never learned anything in particular about the religion or indeed anything god-related. We did get loads of "Christian youth" lessons crammed down our throats, though.

When I went away to college, I decided that that would be a good time to stop the facade. So I announced to my mom that I would no longer be going to church. She wasn't happy about it, but she realized it wasn't like she could put a gun to my head.

I don't really think about religion much. I mean, I'm happy if it works for some people, but personally it hasn't been a very big part of my life. The only time I've stepped foot in a church in years has been only while sightseeing abroad.

But lately I've been getting into "Joan of Arcadia," which is on at a terrible time (Friday nights) but has an interesting take on religion. The concept is that she and only she is visited by various incarnations of god, who asks her to do various tasks. There's a lot of general philosophy involved about ways to look at the world and options we have in interacting with others. Yes, I know, insert snide comment here about how it takes primetime network TV to get me thinking. It's a good show, at any rate, and worth checking out.

As for me, though, I don't think I'll be going back to the Church any time soon. I really hate giving things up for Lent. And the apple doesn't fall far from the tree on this one. This year, my mom announced to my dad that she gave up chocolate for Lent. He, being the anal-retentive engineer that he is, had already gotten her a VD gift of a YUUUGE chocolate heart. Thinking quickly, my mom told him that you were allowed to have whatever you gave up for Lent on Sundays. My dad, being an Episcopalian, actually believed her. When I confronted mom on it, she hissed, "Do. Not. Tell. Him. Otherwise."

Thursday, February 17, 2005

If I had a band...

...this would totally be my band's name: "Surprise Shellfish." Or possibly "Mollusk Munitions."

This is from an article in the Feb. 16, 2005, issue of The Philadelphia Inquirer: "Army Is Fishing For Ammo; Old grenades made their way to clamshell driveways."

Apparently, WWI-era French and British hand grenades were dumped decades ago off the coast of New Jersey. The ordnance got incorporated in with clams. Dredging outfits brought up clamshells, which were then put in driveways in Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. Now the Army Corps of Engineers is spending $6 million to investigate the matter and may end up spending twice that.

This is a frigging great story, all around, and most journalists would've reported just the facts. But not Steve Goldstein. He managed to slip in "surprise shellfish" and "mollusk munitions" in a very casual and yet snarkily entertaining way, and warned readers that they are about to be "shell-shocked." Hats off, my good man.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Ah, Par-ee

I was blasting through a DVD of Season 6 of Sex and the City last night. The disc I was watching had the final episodes where Carrie and the Russian head off to Paris for their relationship to rather spectacularly self-destruct. It reminded me that I haven't been to Paris (outside of the horrid Charles de Gaulle airport) in nearly eight years.

I lived there the summer of 97 as an intern in the ambassador's office. Ostensibly, that was the most prestigious internship they offered, but my god, the boredom. The other interns got to go to meetings and write up cables and hell, even slave away in the visa department. Not us losers in the ambassador's office though. My fellow sufferer (Envirogrrl - hey, we bonded over it) and I got to be unpaid secretaries and do any unsavory task that no one else would touch. I think the nadir of my existence was when they were re-painting the ambassador's office. They had locals doing it who didn't have clearances, so us interns had to alternate sitting in there and I guess ensuring that no bugs were planted. What that meant was spending a week breathing in paint fumes as the French version of the Three Stooges fell off ladders and spattered paint all over everything.

Pamela Harriman had died the previous February and they hadn't gotten around to installing Felix Rohatin yet, so we were ambassador-less. Which isn't that glamorous. Instead, we had a career Foreign Service officer serve as the head of the embassy (Charge d'Affaires), and he really wasn't glamorous. The one thing I had been pretty excited prior to my internship about was attending embassy parties. I shouldn't have given it a second thought. I understand Harriman would augment the embassy budget with her own money, but the career FSO clearly wasn't in a position to do the same, so the parties were fairly unimpressive. That is, when we were allowed to attend. Very often, we were stuck in coatcheck or, even worse, sitting in a little cubby with the Charge's cell phone on the off-chance that it rang.

Another one of the duties we tried our best to duck out of was escorting people through the Commissary. Harriman would do anything for her rich friends and they got used to being able to call up the embassy and demand favors. So we often found ourselves in the embassy store, trying to find something that would kill time while some multimillionaire searched for the best price on an Hermes duty-free tie. I actually didn't mind so much because I'd been living abroad prior to coming to Paris and I missed American consumer products. I would go back to the section that had Taco Bell nacho kits and ooh and ahh until I could go.

Paris wasn't all bad, I must say. We got to live for free in embassy buildings right off the Champs Elysee. A friend from undergrad had been doing an internship right before I got there and gave me a heads-up on which room to claim. So I ended up having a postcard view of the Paris skyline and the Eiffel Tower. There were about 25 interns, so there was a good mix of people to hang out with (and that one guy everyone picks on. You know the type. Hey, he deserved it). We were always off exploring the city on the weekends and doing everything that was cheap and/or free. Plus I got to practice my French, which got to be fairly passable (not so much the case these days).

Verdict? Paris was a fun place to do an internship, even a mindnumbingly dull one. I need to get back there, tout suite.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

I apparently am 12

When I get tired and/or brain-dead, as is my wont as the end of a work day approaches, I have trouble enunciating clearly. This sometimes has negative consequences. Earlier on today, a co-worker and I agreed that we'd meet at 6PM tonight to work on a project. He called a few minutes ago about something related to it. I wanted to make sure he hadn't forgotten about our meeting, so as our conversation wrapped up, I said, "Now, we're still on for six, right?" You can guess how that came out. There was a rather awkward pause as he tried to digest what I'd just said and I realized what he thought I'd said. I quickly added, "PM! 6PM!" He agreed just as quickly, and as we got off the phone, I could hear him snickering. I myself have been giggling off and on for some time now.

Monday, February 14, 2005

J-Dawg in the hizzouse

(yes, I realize that talking like Snoop Dawg is so three years ago. deal)

J-Dawg is crashing on my couch for a long weekend. She came officially to attend ZFF and G&T's Swanky Cocktails party. She's hardcore, y'all - have YOU ever traveled crosscountry for a party? Didn't think so. Anyways, the evening of festivities was a blast. They had sufficient amounts of cheese for my addiction and a signature cocktail mixed up for the masses: Manhattans. As the night went on, we decided to tweak the recipe and I came up with the Hoboken*: bourbon, grenadine, and a splash of tonic. Also entertaining was a Pacman console, bought from Urban Outfitters expressly for this party. Sadly, my game has not held up in the two+ decades since I last played Atari. Still fun though.

Yesterday J-Dawg and I went to the Churreria de Madrid near my house for dinner. I miss their croquetas. We ended up getting an obscene amount of food, most of which just showed up at our table, unasked-for. Seriously, it was an Atkins nightmare. At one point, we had two baskets of bread, a plate of crisscut fries, two containers of baked potatoes, and a big honking serving of rice, in addition to our actual entrees.

After, we decided to go to Chi-chas, a nearby bar that has a live trio playing on non-weekend nights and nargeleh pipes for the renting. And, um, in-house green sangria and cava. I am a smidgen tired today. My eyes, they burn.

The only thing keeping me going is that my parents have promised me a big package that I think contains VD chocolates. It'd better. I am not at all big on Hallmark holidays, but if you hate a holiday that delivers chocolates to your door, then you must be dead inside.

* It's close to a Manhattan, but not quite. Geddit? Geddit? Haw haw. It's a good thing I find myself entertaining because precious few other people do.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Let's butch this place up a bit

I could barely breathe from all the estrogen floating around here, so I thought I'd change the tone to something infinitely more phallic: nuclear weapons. After years of fruitless six-party talks, North Korea announced that it does, indeed, have nukes and claims it will no longer participate in the international talks.

Clap. Clap. Clap. Well done, Bush administration.

So we've gone from having an international forum to discuss this issue with countries who could actually affect North Korea's policy (China and South Korea, both of which have burgeoning economic ties to Pyongyang) to nothing. We've gone to North Korea having maybe one or two nukes to them having a suspected six to eight weapons. That's enough to test one, store one, and sell a few.

And this was largely because the United States was off chasing its bete noire, Iraq, and left North Korea to stew in its own juices. You neglect a bad situation for long enough and it will come to a head of its own.

I have to say, though: suck it, Weldon! Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Penn., just got back from a series of meetings with the North Koreans. He likes to brag about his ties to most world leaders and is no different about Kim Jong-Il. He returned, going on about how they were *thisclose* to rejoining the six-party talks and they were running scared because of the new nuclear weapon (one that supposedly can hit underground bunkers) that the United States is researching. Looks like someone overestimated his authority and the extent of his persuasive capabilities.

Now we've really got our hands tied with North Korea. We should be doing everything we can to get an actual agreement with Pyongyang. Instead, the United States is continuing its mantra of refusing to do or give anything until North Korea agrees to stop completely its nuclear program. Apparently we'd rather have the warm fuzzy feelings of having won the upper hand in negotiations rather than the satisfaction of cooling the heels of an active nuclear program.

And yet who is the administration focusing on presently? Iran, who has been publicly warned and of whom a spate of articles have been written recently. A lot of companies are pulling out of Iran, there's vague discussions of how Israel would bomb Iran's nuclear facilities, and the Pentagon admits it's updating its Iran warfighting scenario (just housecleaning, you see). What fantasy world does the Bush administration live in, where the sun is blue, up is down, and North Korea isn't the most pressing threat that the U.S. national security faces? Because I'd like to visit it. Must be nice.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Everyone should have one

My friend Dr. Eye recently announced her engagement. After getting the two most common questions - "Did you know he was going to propose?" and "Have you picked a date?" - out of the way, most (female) people go on to harangue her about dress-shopping. I'm not the kind of person to pressure her friends about their clothing attire: if she wants to wear a hot-pink dress and marimba down the aisle (HYPOTHETICALLY), god speed. However, I will do everything within my power to make sure she's wearing a tiara.

I know, it probably isn't surprising that someone with "Ladyship" in her name gets all a-twitter about tiaras, but people, when do you have a perfectly legitimate chance to wear sparkly stones on your head? These opportunities, unless you happen to be a member of some inbred European royal family, are hard to come by. I say, snag them while you can.

When my sister, BeachBunny, got married last year, she wanted a simple yet tasteful dress which would be in keeping with the whole low-key mood of her ceremony. She ended up with a gorgeous gown that was just to her liking. The style, at least - the fitting took some doing. I arrived in California early to help out and was able to sit in on one of the later ones. While BeachBunny at first vehemently opposed wearing a tiara, the bridal shop owner and I were able to wear her down enough to agree to try one on. So pretty! In fact, I drooled over it so much, BeachBunny tried to bag out of it by having ME wear it instead of her. Nope.

But when my 30th birthday approached a few weeks later, BeachBunny sent me the ultimate gift: her tiara. She said I could wear it on the big day - which I did, and can highly recommend for any of you ladies who might be having issues with the big 3-0. I have yet to return it to her. In fact, I may have worn around the house while doing chores. Maybe.

What's my point? To chase away any male readers because this is going to get even girlier. Are all the homies gone? Good. I just have to bitch: I put my birth control patch in a bad place this week (right where my underwear intersects with the side seam of my pants) and OH MY GOD does it itch. I'm only on day one, which means that I have to refrain from ripping it off until next Wednesday. I don't think I can hold off much longer. La la la, not thinking about it...

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

It's official:

I am the whitest white girl in the history of the planet. Our new staff pictures are up on our website. I've always known (if not accepted) that my skin is devoid of color, but goddamn am I pale. Seriously. I'm surprised that light doesn't bounce off of me and blind planes flying at low altitudes.

How many college graduates does it take to figure out how to work a calculator?

Far too many, I found out. I have a series of numbers I needed to figure out percentages for. Now, I know how to do this by hand, but there are a lot of them and I wanted to take the easy way out and use a calculator. As with many things in life, the short-cut ended up costing me more angst than it was saving. I've been trolling the hallways, trying to find someone who knows how to work the percentage button on their calculator. I'm still searching. In the meantime, it's back to the old skool methods for me.


(Warning: various and sundry Amazing Race 6 spoilers to come. Consider yourself warned! Also, if you couldn't give a flying fig about this show, or if you like this show, but only in a healthy and well-adjusted manner, perhaps today's incoherent and babbling entry is not for you.)

So Kris and Jon came *thisclose* to pulling it off. If only they hadn't gotten lost while coming out of the El. Once again, foiled by public transportation. I'm still not sure how they got so far behind Freddie and Kendra, especially since they were on the same train. That one shot, where Freddie and Kendra were running out of the pizzeria and Kris and Jon were running in, showed that they were fairly close, and with Freddie and Kendra's taxi troubles, Kris and Jon should have been able to make it. (Who among us was flashing back, when Kendra was heaving up her deep-dish Chicago-style pizza, to Freddie eating his own puke while trying to down a bowl of spicy Hungarian goulash? HA! Freddie may be pretty, but he always be the vomit-eater to me.)


I'm okay with Freddie winning, even with his little breakdown at Gategate (when he threatened to break someone in half for allegedly slamming the gate down on his face), but Kendra bugged. The Princess was basically dragged around the world by her boyfriend. I hate to say this, but there has never been a female winner of TAR who actually would've won on her own merits. They always have been carried by the stronger and male member of the team. Yes, even Kim (of TAR5, who I liked a lot). I would've felt the same way if Hayden and Aaron had won. I would've been shocked if Adam and Rebecca had won; however, say what you will about Rebecca - and if it's not nice, come sit next to me - but at least she was a strong player. As was Kris. Oh well - she and Jon will go on to have nice and rewarding lives, while Freddie and Kendra will have to coast on their increasingly failing looks as they blow through their money and get tired of each other. Not that I'm bitter or anything.

And what up with Aaron proposing to Hayden? She was nothing but a shrieking harridan the whole race. You'd think her whining "Aaron, DO something" for two months straight would've scared him off. I used to think he was cool and that he'd come to his senses. Clearly, though, they deserve each other. And? They deserved to be eliminated. I know they had a bad day, but they never should have gotten back into that cab with that awful driver at the Xi'an terracotta warrior museum. (Btw? How cool was that? I've always wanted to see them.) Plus, surprise surprise, Hayden freaked out and just lost it at the keys and locks. They shouldn't have given up: they still had half an hour before the park closed, and Adam and Rebecca could've had trouble en route to the pit stop.

I noticed that Rebecca cut out the smooches and "honeys" once she and Adam were on the final stretch. That seemed really manipulative and fake. Just like her!

So three weeks until TAR7. Can't wait! They showed previews for it last night. One of the couples is the (in)famous Survivor couple who met and got engaged on that show. I'm tired of the stuntcasting, especially of people who are known to be manipulative and sneaky. TAR doesn't really lend itself to that kind of intrigue, nor needs it to capture its audience. One surprise team member is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom who was a prisoner of war. They showed his screen shot from when he was paraded on TV. Damn. This should be good.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

My personal Superbowl

Today is Mardi Gras, and tonight I'm going to celebrate with what I like to think of as my own Superbowl: the two-hour season finale of The Amazing Race. So very excited to see how it ends, but also so very sad to think of the gaping hole that will be Tuesday night for the rest of my life. Or until the next season begins.

Actually, I think people took the Superbowl less seriously than I take TAR. God help you if you are in the room with me and happen to speak when it's not a commercial break. I don't answer the phone while the show's on, which it doesn't do that often because friends and family have been trained not to call me from 9-10 PM on Tuesday nights. At most I'll text-message others who are watching it, just because at times things must not go un-commented upon. Like Kendra wrinkling her nose at all the breeding going on in Senegal. Or Jonathan hitting his wife for daring to pick up the backpack he discarded.

Anyways. I would love to see Kris and Jon win, because they're lovely people and cute as a pair of bunnies. But fate is usually not that kind and traditionally my favorite team falls victim to fourth place. (Sorry Kris and Jon!) All four teams are in excellent physical condition, which always helps. Of the teams that are left, two have lost all their money at some point, which may affect the final leg (it usually ends with a taxi race to the finish, with the team members essentially throwing all the money at the cab driver to speed him along). I think that the final three will be Dating Actors Hayden and Aaron, Dating Models Freddie and Kendra, and Long-Distance Dating Kris and Jon. I'm just amazed that Formerly Dating Adam and Rebecca managed not to self-destruct before now. I wouldn't call their persistence Luck of the Evil because that only applied to Jonathan and Victoria this season. Let's just say that Adam and Rebecca have Luck of the Incompetent, which should be finite, right? (Knock wood)

Monday, February 07, 2005

Very Important Lessons I learned this weekend

1. Forget when the coffee machine malfunctions: when the internet goes down at my office, things get ugly. Reeeeeally ugly. Our router got fried, cutting off all access to email and the InterWeb on Friday. At first, it was a good chance to catch up on my reading and little tasks that I'd been putting off. And then it hit 10:30 and I realized that I still had far too many hours to go here at the office. To make matters worse, my co-workers and I ordered lunch from a place that took forever to deliver our food, making Friday the morning that would. not. end. Supposedly we're back up to full speed, but who knows.

2. Downtown Bethesda? More like Downtown Disney. My friends G&T and ZFF and I decided Friday night that we would Give Bethesda A Chance. We figured we spend all our going-out time in a very circumscribed area, so we should see what else the DC area has to offer. Bethesda has been renovated lately in an effort to spruce up their downtown. Offshoots of DC restaurants and shops have moved in, making Bethesda seem like DC, minus the panhandlers guilting you out of your change, drunks pissing in alleyways, and yoots strewing wrappers from their giant slices of pizza everywhere. So: sterile but I guess if you like that sort of thing.... We had a good time, anyways. We did the low end (Barking Dog, where we washed down nachos with $2.50 beers) and the high end (Mon Ami Gabi, which has delish cocktails).

3. I have the upper arm strength of a newborn babe. At belly dance class yesterday, we got the veils for our routine (I decided that I didn't have enough embarrassment in my life and signed up to perform in May). These veils are gorgeous - candy pink, hot pink, and warm violet - and are made out of a beautiful raw silk. But damn they're heavy. Yes, I know that sounds utterly pathetic. And it is. My only defense is that they're huge - 3 by maybe 2.5 yards. Plus, of course, the fact that I have no muscle tone whatsoever.

4. Quite possibly the most important lesson I learned this weekend: No matter how fervently you believe otherwise, you really don't need cheese hot dogs (that's right, plural) at 2AM. And you really don't need that last whisky and diet coke.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

I'm going straight to hell

This is awful, but during last night's State of the Union address (which I watched only because my cat was in my lap and I couldn't move) (what? just because he has a purple collar engraved with "princess" and a leetle gold crown doesn't mean he's spoiled), a moment that many found heart-felt had me stifling back laughter.

It was the part where the mother of a slain U.S. Marine hugged an Iraqi woman who had voted on Sunday. They were both crying, everyone was applauding, it was all quite touching. Except when the mom tried to disengage herself and couldn't since she got all snagged in the Iraqi woman's sweater. Hee. That is totally something that would happen to me: go on national TV and do something clumsy like that.

Although, it wasn't just me who thought that wasn't the best image to be broadcasted. The cameraperson had zeroed in on the two women, but when the snafu became apparent, the camera suddenly reared back and panned over the crowd.

Oh, what did I think about the actual content of the speech? I particularly enjoyed the boo's Bush got when he talked about Social Security reform. If we ever got to the point where the minority party razzed our leader the way the Brits do in their parliament, I would sign up for C-SPAN in an instant.

That doesn't count as analysis of Bush's words? Damn, you guys just won't let up. Okay, I am glad that he didn't mention North Korea, but Syria and Iran have been put on notice, something which makes me a bit worried. There are those neocons in Washington who have been biting back their tongues for the past year who will leap to prove that their policy worked in Iraq - hey, they had an election, mission accomplished, right? - and move on to "reapply" the policy of preemption elsewhere.

Also, the social initiatives Bush proposed are unsettling. A Constitutional amendment to define marriage? Protecting "life"? No activist justices on the Supreme Court? "Clean" nuclear power? Good thing Bush got a so many votes, or else he'd be steam-rolling over a good chunk of the American electorate in his zeal to play to the conservative wing of the Republican party. Oh. He didn't, and he is? My bad.


Today, my hair looks like that of a 1970s porn star. I can't decide if that's good or bad.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005


I am all sorts of dorked-out excited that my boss was in this month's issue of InStyle magazine. Well, the back of his head at least. They had a big spread on a fundraiser that Bradley Whitford and Jane Kaczmarek held for the Union of Concerned Scientists. My boss is an honest-to-god scientist, and he lives in LA, so I guess they felt his presence would add to the party's credibility. Anyways, there’s a long-distance shot where you can see the attendees on the lawn. He had to point it out to me - it's a very Where's Waldo tableau - but sure enough, there he and was wife were. Neat-o.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Careful what you wish for

Trite but true. The Washington Post's Sunday magazine had a fascinating article about Jack Whittaker, the West Virginia man who won the Powerball on Christmas 2002. He opted for a one-time payment of $113 million and vowed that he would tithe and use the money to better his community. Instead, his granddaughter ended up a drug addict who OD'd, one of her friends also OD'd, he got addicted to strip joints and gambling, his wife kicked him out, the woman who sold him the ticket (and was rewarded by him with a trailer and a big check) ended up having family members stop speaking to her since they thought she was rich and could buy them things, and his neighbors are so disgusted with him that none of them want to attend the church that he's building with his winnings. This lottery pay-out wrecked not only the Powerball winner but pretty much everyone around him. Um, cheerful stuff but utterly gripping. The story is available at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A36338-2005Jan25.html.