Monday, August 25, 2008


Is it wrong to think this is pretty funny? I hope the people at home hoping to abolish the monarchy clip this one.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Secret to Weightlifting

Use your face.

Brand Awareness

If you felt stupid on your student film set turning the milk carton sideways so you couldn't read the label in the shot, check it out. Though it probably makes a lot of things feel curiously no-name. Maybe it's not so hard to do in a communist country.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Steam Room

So there's this little gym at work.  It's small enough to be empty or almost empty a lot of the time, and there are enough windows that I don't have to think of terrifying Joyce Carol Oates stories.

They renovated it the other week and now the floors are a different color and the running machines have weird screens with the TV right on them next to your stats. Haven't figured out how to successfully change the channel yet, which leads to watching House and Olympic men's volleyball and not the Simpsons, but that's okay.

The most important change is not a change of structure or object. There's only one steam room and it connects to both the men's and the women's change rooms. It's locked one each side every other day, because I guess people sit in there naked, though the thought of kicking it the buff in the humid dark with people you have to walk past in the hallways or even email the next day is super creep, even if they are the same gender as you. It used to be locked on the women's side on Tuesdays and Thursdays, now it's open on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

This has revolutionized my evening gym-going routine. Sitting in there makes me feel like I've left my body somewhere else for a while. I think it has to do with how hard it is to see through all that diffusing mist. And that breathing feels like drinking. It also gets me much closer to my goal of maximum sweatiness on my shirt, which makes me feel like I've achieved more. Maybe the key is that it's the antithesis of my overly air-conditioned desk area and thus neutralizes the typing and shivering which has occupied the many proceeding hours.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Scarier Then Divorcing For Healthcare: Murder by Bureaucracy

Oh, look! I knew there had to be something!

"Soon, according to court papers, he had to rely on other detainees to help him reach the toilet, bring him food and call his family; he no longer received painkillers, because he could not stand in line to collect them. On July 26, Andy Wong, a lawyer associated with Mr. Cox, came to see the detainee, but had to leave without talking to him, he said, because Mr. Ng was too weak to walk to the visiting area, and a wheelchair was denied."

Even Mascots Get the Trips

At The Hollywood Bowl Tonight

According to Etta James, she has a niece named "Hamhock".

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

What I Learned Today

Ann Landers and Dear Abby are the same double-headed person. Actually they are identical twins. For serious.

Marrying For Healthcare

I'm trying to think of what is scarier than this. Selling your hair and front teeth for cash? Selling your kids to a factory? Reunification of church and state? I guess that's scarier. All part of the same continuum, though.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


The annoyingness of our neighbors across the driveway becomes more significant in the summer when everyone's windows are open all the time and despite the curtains and blinds that never get open, it is still possible to hear conversations re: I want to take a shower/but I'm taking a crap/well hurry up/why don't you just go away. This argument was much friendlier (ending with the crapper yelling, "I'm done!") then previous arguments, which have involved shrieking, "Don't touch me!!! Don't touch meeeee!"

I have never seen the sister (aka the toucher, aka the crapper) but I have frequent conversations with the brother (aka the touchee, aka the showerer), who is actually really friendly, built like a Care Bear and says "Oh my god" once a sentence.

So here's where it gets interesting. They somehow got some huge dog in there. I don't know if they are taking care of it for someone or if it's for keeps, but this thing casts a long shadow on their lives. I didn't hear the dog for weeks, but could hear them shouting, "Mado! Mado! Mado! Mado! Mado! Mado! Mado! Mado! Mado!" to it. Much like I have seen men without experience with babies will say a baby's name to it fourteen times in a row, loudly into its face, as if they are actually communicating a concept.

So this is my Saturday afternoon of late: I'm eating crackers or reading or having a nap and I hear from across the driveway, "Mado! Mado! Mado! Mado! Mado! Mado! Mado! Mado! Mado! Mado! Mado! Mado! Mado! Mado! Mado! Mado! Sit! Mado! Mado! Mado! Mado! Mado! Mado! Mado! Mado! Mado! Mado! Mado!"

The dog is maybe as sick of this as I am because this weekend I heard:

"Mado! Mado! Mado! Mado! Mado! Mado! Mado! Mado! Mado!"

[a surprisingly loud and deep growl]

"Mado! Why are you growling? Why are you growling? Why are you growling? Why are you growling? Why are you growling?"

[more growling]

"Mado! No--Mado! No biting! No biting!"

And then I shut the window.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Vancouver Specials

My new favorite website is about stucco and McDonald's brick.

Monday, August 04, 2008

I Am Totally Obsessed With My Three-Year-Old Cousin

One, he looks like a sumo wrestler. A little one. Two, he calls his dad by his first name. Three, he really digs Placido Domingo. I could go on from there. Some where in the long list of awesomeness: the kid is preternaturally dapper sometimes. When you have a chunk of hair missing from your bangs and a dinner party guest is rude enough to ask you who cut it? Make direct eye contact, say, "myself" and change the subject.

And hey, if all eyes are upon you at the dinner table when someone is encouraging you to squeeze their thumb as hard as you can in and in your herculean efforts, you accidentally let one fly, chuckle along with everyone else like the good natured little champ you are.