Monday, November 28, 2011

See you never, old blog!

The time has come for the surprise (non-baby-related) news!

Check it out here, then tell your friends!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I'd Be Thankful for Some Suggestions


I'm hosting my first Thanksgiving as a married lady tomorrow and BOTH our parents are coming. Fingers crossed!

I'm pretty prepared in the food department, but it just occurred to me that I'd like to make a Thanksgiving-themed playlist, so I think I'm going to need some suggestions, stat. I'm thinking it should be festive yet chill music that does not necessarily need to be Thanksgiving specific, e.g.  Adam Sandler's "The Thanksgiving Song." A few titles I came up with so far include:

  • "Lorelei" by Fleet Foxes
  • "Down in the Valley" by The Head and The Heart
  • "Moon River" by Patti Griffi

Help me out, gang! What have you got for me?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Major Letdowns: A Real Julie and Julia Situation

Don't you hate it when you get really excited about something and then it turns out kind of "meh"? That is such a pain! It bothers me so much, that if I start to get too excited about a new movie or book that's coming out, I try and tell myself to dial it back it bit, that it won't be as good as I think. Well, that's happened to me a few times lately, with a couple of different things.

Please note that the plot line referenced by the right side is okay, while the plot line referenced by the left side is rubbish
(i.e., a bad made-for-TV movie).

1. Once Upon a Time. I really wanted to like this show. It's the one where the former doctor from House is a private investigator who ends up charged with helping all the fairy tale characters figure out they're trapped in this time-space warp in Maine. The premise seemed cool, and I'm a big fan of fairy tale/folklore study (Maria Tatar has my dream job). But it is not that great. In fact, even though some parts are pretty entertaining, others are just plain annoying, specifically the fairy tale part, i.e., half the show. If you ever read or saw the movie Julie and Julia (sorry, Amy Adams!) you know what I'm talking about. When literally half of a thing is pretty terrible, the rest of it just doesn't seem worth it.

2. In the Next Room. I saw this play on Monday night and was very excited because I had heard so many good things about it. It's a comedy that takes place in the home of an early 20th century doctor who uses "the next room" as his medical office where he treats women by massaging their lady parts with a vibrating implement, specifically to loosen the "congestion" in the uterus. (Apparently this was a real thing.) So, as it seemed to be both a sex comedy AND a comedy of manners, I expected it to be pretty good. And the first act was; it cracked me up. The second act, however, went down a different road entirely, allowing for long-winded monologues on mother-child love and spousal intimacy. Let's just say that mess got real serious real fast, and I was not in the mood. Anyway, if it still sounds neat to you, you can check it out this week at Horizon Theatre (although the show is put on by Synchronicity). I wouldn't say don't check it out; I would just say be aware that it's not all jokes and vibrators.

3. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. I just finished this audio book that was a dual history on some of the most prolific cells in scientific research today and the woman (mostly forgotten by history) from whom they came. For the most part, the book was very interesting, gave me a lot to think about, and told me a number of things that I didn't know. I was really bothered, however, by the way the author, Rebecca Skloot, inserted herself into the story. I mean, I understand why she did it. In the course of her research, she ended up befriending Henrietta Lack's only living daughter and becoming very close to her. Subsequently, she ended up including a lot about the time she and the daughter spent searching for the material to write the book, and all of that definitely could have been left out (e.g., I don't spend a lot of time to describing to you my drive over to the library from which I borrowed this audio book). I just feel as though she got so close to the story, she could only see what was important to her, not what might be important to the reader. The book was okay, but if you aren't that interested, the Henrietta Lacks wiki should suffice.

What shows/books/movies have you felt let down by lately? Or better yet, what has not let you down? I'm clearly looking at all the wrong stuff.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Larry, Carols, and Mo!

OK, Atlanta friends, I seriously want to go to Larry, Carols, and Mo this year and you should too! It is the Fox Theatre’s Larry Douglas Embry playing sing-along carols on the Mighty Mo organ FOLLOWED BY my favorite Christmas movie, The Muppet Christmas Carol (as previously mentioned in this post).

 What is it about old previews that make them seem so ridiculous/dated? The voiceover?
The "coming to videocassette this fall?"

What could be more festive this holiday season?

Tickets go on “sale” (they are free, you just have to pay the ticket master charges) on Monday at 10 a.m. The event itself takes place on Monday, Dec.  12 at 7 p.m.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Falling for Fall

I had an a-mazing weekend. I didn’t get anything productive done, but life’s not all about working hard, okay?

Saturday JP and I met up with some friends at Chomp and Stomp in Cabbagetown. It’s an annual chili cook off, bluegrass festival, and 5K race, although we only took part in the chili and bluegrass elements. The weather was perfect (sunny, upper 50s/lower 60s), the music was great, and the chili was delicious. Actually, some entries were delicious and some were just okay (I’m looking at you, chicken and green chili chili!). But we had a super fun time regardless, and we will definitely go back next year. I wanted to take of photo of JP and me holding up our chili spoons, but after a few rounds o’ chili they were stained that never-to-be-clean-again orange and just looked gross. Sorry!

Then, yesterday, JP and I drove up past Clayton to the Ellicott Rock Wilderness. I wanted to go on a hike and take in all the beautiful fall foliage, and that’s exactly what we did—with a typical JP twist.
First of all, it took two hours to get to the site we planned to hike, which I feel is a little far, considering there are beautiful sites just outside of the city. After the first hour in the car, I asked JP why he was so insistent we visit this particular spot, and he said, “You told me you wanted to see the best leaves, so I’m taking you to see the best ones.” I’m pretty sure I said I would like to see “some” leaves, but whatever. The truth is revealed, of course, when we arrive and he pulls a previously hidden fishing pole and tackle bag out of the back. His defense is that he would not really be fishing because the pole he brought was not his fly fishing rod but instead just a regular fishing pole. ???

However, despite the fact the site was a little far and JP stopped every quarter-mile to take a little fishing break, we had a lot of fun. The day was gorgeous, the trees looked great, and it was really nice to get out into nature and just hang around. I feel really relaxed today, and I seriously doubt I would feel this good if I had spent yesterday doing laundry and hanging around the house. Getting outside: I recommend it!

Did you have a good weekend? I hope you took advantage of the great weather!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Too Much Time: November Goals

So I’ve basically decided not to do any plays through the end of the year. There’s nothing coming up that I’m really interested in (Xanadu? No, thanks.), so I might as well utilized this time to take care of some stuff that got pushed to the wayside for the majority of the 2011 while I was wedding planning and dealing with family stuff. And to hold me to my intentions, I’m going to start posting monthly goals of the crap I need to take care of each month.


 Hopefully, by the end of this month, I will be the lady in white...making all my goals...

1.     Finish writing thank you notes
You guys, I have so many left, it’s embarrassing. I’m not even going to discuss it here. However, I’m really going to aim for finishing them by the end of the month (with a super-secret backup goal of the end of the year)

2.       Pay down wedding debt
I’m not going to lie. Although my parents paid for half my wedding, I had to cover the other half, and I either didn’t save enough in advance or I went outside my allotted budget when things got down to the wire. Probably a little of both. So now I have a few bills left to pay. And I need to KNOCK THEM OUT. Nobody likes bills hanging over their heads, so I’d like to pay these down as soon as possible so I can start saving for fun stuff again. Which leads me to my next goal:

3.       Don’t buy lunch during the work week
$10 here or there doesn’t seem like much, but it can definitely add up. So while I’m on this self-induced payback plan, I’m going to cut costs where it doesn’t hurt by bringing my lunch every day.  Can I do it? Probably, but only time will tell! See you never, debt!!

4.       Attend five yoga classes
“Take up yoga” was one of my 2011 goals. I don’t want to get into yoga for its focus on mindfulness and relaxation—I can’t really see that working for me—but I do think it would make me more flexible, limber, and strong. 

For a little over a year now, I’ve been a pretty committed gym member, running a few times a week and attending a few strength classes regularly. However, I read somewhere that to be truly fit you have to have cardio endurance, strength, AND flexibility, and y’all, I am just not flexible. I can’t even touch my toes. It’s sad. Anyway, hopefully yoga will help me out with that.

5.       Work on TOP SECRET blog project (i.e., not being a human incubator)
More information to come this month.

So that’s it for November’s goals. Is there anything you want to knock out this month?

Monday, October 31, 2011

My Favorite Halloween Story

OK, so if you know me personally (as most of you do) and were around me last Halloween, you may have already heard this tale. If so, too bad; it is a festive story and I’m telling it again. If not, good for you; it still cracks me up.

So last Halloween, I decided that the best way to overcome my awkwardness over large groups/social situations would be to attend an older crowd party in Woodstock hosted by an acquaintance. Typing this now, all my mental naysayery about how it “would only be weird” sounds more like reasonable decision-making at work, but alas, I often ignore my own good advice.

ANYWAY, so it was the costume party of a 40-something man I know through community theater. A lady friend (Heather) and I were going together, so we decided to attend as “double rainbow”, a viral video from earlier that year. We each wore a shirt blazoned with a felt rainbow that read “All the Way” across the front and “What does this Mean?” across the back. Looking back, this was a poor choice.

The guy/all his friends were older, thus unfamiliar with the “viral video” we spoke of. Nobody “got” what we were supposed to be, so in their eyes, we were just a couple of wacky ladies wearing matching rainbow shirts. I should now note (and here’s where I really should have thought this through), that the host’s sister is a lesbian and approximately 80% of the female guests were as well. And there Heather and I were, rocking our rainbow shirts, a concept costume, which we (at first) didn’t know that nobody got.

About an hour in, we realized people assumed we were a couple. This was fine with me; Heather’s a cute lady. But as we really got talking to people, though, we started hearing some unusual things.  One woman was like “All the way! Exactly! I’m so proud you can be who you are.” And: “You’re right. What DOES this mean?” At first we were confused, but then we realized what she must have thought and just laughed. But then this other woman (who I believe had had a few too many cocktails) stormed over to us and started hassling us pretty aggressively.

“What are you trying to say with those shirts?” she said. “I mean, are you lesbians?”

“Oh, no! We’re not, but our shirts aren’t about Pride. They’re from that viral video—double rainbow?” I explained.

“Are you trying to tell me the two of your came here in matching rainbow shirts and that has ‘nothing to do with Pride?’ I think you thought you were being real funny. Well, guess what? I don’t think that’s funny at all.”

“No! We didn’t think it would be funny like that, we just thought it would be funny because—well, because it—”

“Because, because, because! I keep here you saying ‘because,’ but you haven’t explained to me what you’re trying to say!”
It was definitely a yikes situation. She was pretty drunk/country and would have been up for a brawl if another lady hadn’t stepped in at that point.

Anyway, when I went home that night, I immediately sent that guy and his sister the link to the video. I didn’t want their friends running around saying what a hater I was! I’m not a hater—of ladies who love ladies OR Halloween! 

Do you have any wacky Halloween tales?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Blogging and Surprises

I follow a number of blogs. I read blogs about books/movies, fitness, cooking, and several on weddings (until just a few weeks ago when I got married myself and realized I never wanted to look at wedding porn ever again). And, occasionally, one will post something enigmatic like "sorry I haven't been writing that much lately, but I've got a few exciting things in store for the blog that I can't talk about just yet"—well, today that enigmatic speaker is me! Exciting things are going on around here, and I look forward to telling you guys about it soon! Sorry I can't be more specific just yet.

But this brings up another thing: it's weird how when you read people's blog all the time, you start to feel like you really know them, even if you've never met in real life. One blogger I particularly like, Allie over at Hyperbole and a Half, writes hilarious stories about her goings on and illustrates them using what appears to be Microsoft paint. (You can find my favorite post of hers here.) That's why it seemed really weird when she fell off the face of the Earth—until yesterday. I had missed laughing at her posts, but yesterday she popped back up with a seriously funny post about what she's been up to: "Adventures in Depression." Apparently she's been dealing with a bout of depression, but the way she wrote about it managed to be moving and neat at the same time. It is great, and says a lot about what the experience of depression is actually like. Even though I don't actually know her, she seems like such a funny and neat person; I hope this is something she's able to overcome STAT.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Things I Do Not Recommend

This may become a regular installment because I often find myself in situations that I do not recommend. So, to start:

1.       Drinking wine and online shopping. This is not something I do often, but after a few glasses of wine the other night, I decided that what I needed to do was start knocking things off of my to-do list. One of these items, “go through my starred email,” really could have been postponed indefinitely, but at the time it seemed like something that I Had to Take Care of Right Then. Anyway, one of the starred emails was a message from Amazon reminding me to check out their current batch of $5 albums (so important, I’m sure, self). In the past, I’ve found some great albums and usually will buy only one or two, but not this time. In the sobering light of day with my five new albums  I knew that I spent money for NO REASON on music I didn’t give a crap about, but my biggest mistake was clearly the purchase of Now That’s What I Call Music 39. I seriously bought this; JP was just amazed that this franchise is still a thing. I think I was justifying it to myself because it was only $5, and I was bound to like at least 5 of the 12 songs on there (I don’t). It is home to such hits as “Good Life” by the OneRepublic and “Who Says” by Selena Gomez. OMG! I am the (not-so) proud owner of a Selena Gomez song!! But now I keep listening to it at work even though I hate it both a) in the hopes that it will grow on me, and b) as a kind of self-torture to reinforce the message that I should never purchase something so ridiculous EVER AGAIN.  Sigh. I am lame. Please tell me I’m not the only one who has made inadvisable purchases under the influence of libations!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Seasonally Creepy: October Media Picks

It’s the middle of the week—what have you got going on?

I am halfway through The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan. Let’s just say I’m not wowed. It’s supposed to be more literary than the young adult fantasy that’s currently outselling everything, and I guess it is—it reads like a comprehension essay—but I don’t consider the story to be very interesting. The plot revolves around the narrator (the literal last werewolf) approaching his impending death, but his voice is all snark and no wit, and at this point I’m ready to kill him myself. Another reviewer described the book as “if Bret Easton Ellis had written a book on werewolves,” and I say that’s a reasonable comparison, if you’re into that kind of thing. Also, this review makes the book sound interesting and good—don’t be fooled!

Sunday night JP and I watched Scream 4—just in time for Halloween! It’s entertaining yet not gory enough to make me vom, i.e. my perfect horror movie. Set 10 years after the initial trilogy, this movie emphasizes the “meta” ness of contemporary culture and creates “new rules of horror” to accommodate the massive media overhaul that’s taken place since 2001. Although I kind of felt clobbered over the head by the message—so many scenes of just texting!—I give it credit for being a neat idea.  Also, Hayden Panettiere is my new lady crush. She’s so cute!

On the television front, you need to watch Revenge. Now. It is the best guilty pleasure show. It comes on Wednesdays at 10 on ABC. It is trashy and great. Watch it and we will discuss.

This week’s post is seasonally creepy. What are you read/watching this time of year?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Finance, News, and Trivial Knowledge

So it’s the middle of the week—what’s up with you?

Have you been following this Occupy _____ movement? I can’t decide how I feel about it. On the one hand, hurray for citizens trying to enact positive change; on the other, since there seem to be no specific goals and no one’s really doing anything but camping out, it seems kind of like a waste of time…? Like when hippies used to hand out flowers to people and say “make love, not war.” Also, was that ever even a thing or is that just something we got from movies?

Related: the other night JP and I watched Too Big to Fail, the HBO Movie based on the bestselling book about the 2008 Wall Street financial collapse. Sounds super interesting, I know, but it was actually really great—very dramatic and thought provoking. One thing I didn’t know: A British company was going to step and buy Lehman Brothers to save everything from falling apart, but the British Fed stepped in and stopped it saying (in the movie), “we don’t want to import your cancer.” Way harsh, Brits. But also, I don’t blame them…?

Semi-related: During my runs, I’ve started listening to the (free) podcasts put out by Stuff You Should Know and Stuff You Missed in History Class. They run only about 20 minutes, but they are so interesting! And I always learn new things, e.g. Did you know that William Moulton Marston, creator of the early technology that led to the contemporary polygraph machine, also created the comic book character Wonder Woman whose signature weapon is her “magical lasso of truth?” Fun fact! You should check out these podcasts. They are great.

Seriously, though, what are you reading/watching/feeling ambivalent about these days?