Thursday, September 29, 2005

Miss me much?

Today's Thai soup lunch contained three unrecognizable elements, two of dumpling form and one of possible tofu origins.

The immediate task at hand is not identifying said unrecognizable elements, however. It's determining which unrecognizable element gave me crippling gas.
Wednesday, September 28, 2005

I'll be stifling laughter, of course, of course

Today I must interview a man about the time he interviewed a horse.
Friday, September 23, 2005

Friday's Quick Hits

(Think I'll make this my new regular feature...)

- Last night I settled into the couch to begin Guns, Germs, and Steel, which I've been meaning to read for ages. But the remote beckoned, and before long I was watching a special about D-Day on the History Channel. Then, flipping around during a commercial, I landed on "Game Show Bloopers 2" and, well, guess I'll never know how D-Day turned out or what really is up with all the guns and germs and steel and stuff. But when Richard Dawson asked "At what age do men usually go gay" instead of gray? Man, that was awesome.

- Also last night, I dreamt that ESPN Classic was replaying one of my JV basketball games. I tuned in just in time to watch myself driving the lane for an under-the-basket lay-up that secured us a three-point win. Final score? 11-8.

- It's my mom's birthday today. Besides being a savvy, funny, whip-smart lady, she's also maybe my number-one blog fan. Or as she puts it, "I read you even before I read the New York Post every morning!" Happy birthday, mom!
Thursday, September 22, 2005

Does Starbucks make a travel sippy cup?

My top three coffee mishaps of the last 10 years, in descending order:

3. Morning T commute, Brookline to Boston, Summer 1999: Carrying my daily Dunkin’ Donuts large regular, I got to the T stop just as my train was pulling up, got on the train just as the doors opened, and spilled the entire contents of my cup down the front of my white summer dress just as I sat down. I got off the train just as the doors were closing, walked back up to my apartment just as four dozen commuter-line passengers filed past me, and got to work just about one hour late.

2. Interview for magazine article, Boston, Summer 2000. I was profiling a prominent Boston-area publisher and met her at her office. She offered me a cup of coffee, which I accepted and then promptly spilled all over her desk and my tape recorder. While her assistant went in search of another tape recorder, my profile subject offered me another cup of coffee, which I accepted and almost just as promptly spilled down the front of my shirt.

1. Prelude to morning commute, one end of Los Angeles to the other, End of Summer 2005. On the way out the door this morning, I decided it was a grand idea to rest my travel mug on top of the TiVo box. The box flipped over, splashing coffee all over a tangle of wires belonging to the TV, the TiVo, the DVD player, the VCR, the stereo and the DSL.

Thankfully, the TiVo's contents survived. Had the season premiere of “Lost” been lost, I would have been served divorce papers before week’s end.
Wednesday, September 21, 2005

This fall, there will be TV shows, and they will be good

I think all the TV marketing execs were in rehab the month that this fall's ad campaigns were conceived. How else to explain such taglines as "Based on the life of Chris Rock ... as a kid" and "This fall, a woman will be president"?

So very much better to play the less-is-more card and let the pedophilic lust-glance of your moth-eaten headliner add unintended dimension to the show's title. Exhibit A: the promotional billboard for "Just Legal" featuring a physically ruined Don Johnson ogling that innocent little kid from "Undeclared."

(Strenuous but unsuccessful efforts to locate a reproduction of said billboard have resulted in my getting behind on my workload today.)
Monday, September 19, 2005


Today is Talk Like a Pirate Day, which means that the hubby will likely greet me at the door tonight with a hug and a “How ARRRRR you?”

Few people may be aware that there's an entire Pirate Week down in Key West, Fla. The nation's pirate fetishists come out of the woodwork and spend the week dressed in their most swashbuckling garb, getting drunk.

Coincidentally, my sister and I were down there for the week last year. It had been a pretty paltry pirate turnout, however, and we barely saw any pirates until the last day of the festivities. That day, we were playing pool in our favorite local bar when in walked a bonafide, decked-to-the-nines pirate couple, replete with gold hoop earrings, a braided beard (him) and a heaving bosom (her, I think and hope).

To be honest, the pirate couple depressed me, in the same way that the middle-aged swinging couples on "Real Sex" depress me. They were just so … homespun. Ugly too. And it may be me, but I don’t like my pirates with sock tan lines.

But oh, did these pirates like my sister. Almost from the moment they walked in, they were transfixed. Buying beers and popcorn, they settled in about 10 feet away from us and unabashedly stared at her, occasionally speaking to one another in hushed tones.

It actually made perfect sense. My sister, after all, is a lifelong plunderer. She was stealing change out of our local Aku-Aku lobby fountain before she could read; she spent years obsessing over her penny jar, the contents of which she would recount every Saturday afternoon; and she went through a prolonged metal detector preoccupation. Clearly this couple had spotted a kindred soul and meant to bring her into their mercenary fold.

They never made their move though. My sister was terrified, I was fitfully overcome with laughter, and despite their garb, the duo seemed shy. The circumstances just weren’t lining up, and eventually they left.

So, we'll never know. We'll never know if my sister let Fate pass her by, or if she merely dodged the advances of a couple of crazy-ass deviants.

Very ARRRRRgravating indeed.
Friday, September 16, 2005

The origins of my brow-grooming habits

My high school was the first school in the U.S. to receive exchange students from the then-Soviet Union. A baker's dozen showed up our junior year, the majority of them girls, many of them named Svetlana.

We had been wisely briefed about certain cultural differences, most concerning personal hygiene practices. But what we hadn't been prepared for was the dourness of our Soviet counterparts. The first day of their visit, each stepped forward at assembly and, with basset hound-like gloom, declared that they were "very happy to be in this country." The propagandistic statements continued for the entirety of their visit, even though they were clearly miserable and couldn't wait to leave.

Occasionally their despair would turn to antagonism. During Russian class one day, we were each assigned a Soviet "pal" about whom we had to write a short essay in Russian, which we would then read aloud; our pals had to do the same in English.

I got assigned one of the Svetlanas, who seemed to detest me on sight. She asked me a few quick personal questions but then fell silent as she scribbled out her essay. When her turn came, she bound up to the podium (a music stand) and, with vitriol and glee, read her opening sentence:

“My friend is called Meaghan, and she has eyebrows like a gorilla.”

I countered shortly thereafter by declaring, “This is Svetlana; she is a virgin,” but that was merely the inadvertant result of my poor Russian syntax.
Wednesday, September 14, 2005

What were you up to in there, pardner?

Heh heh. I just caught my graphic designer coming out of the bathroom with his iPod headphones on. I guess the iPod is today's equivalent of the sports section.

Then she turned me over, and as our eyes locked....

Whereas I used to invite people to walk all over me via my too-eager-to-please attitude, I am now paying people to do so.

I had a Thai massage this weekend. For an hour and a half a middle-aged, 90-pound Thai woman kneaded me, kneed me and elbowed me, then stood up and paced up and down my back, butt and legs for a good 30 minutes. Twas drool-inducing bliss. I've never zoned out so much during a massage before.

Except at the end when she sort of slapped my ass and said "nice body." That brought me back to attention. That also earned her a much bigger tip.
Monday, September 12, 2005

Those LA DWP workers are total teases

The power was out long enough to kill the workday but not quite long enough to force the local ice cream shop to start donating its melting wares. What's the point of a city-wide blackout if it doesn't lead to free ice cream?
Friday, September 09, 2005

Still waters run stupid

What does it mean if you open up the Tupperware drawer on a Friday morning and discover a container of rotting strawberries that you apparently put in there several days prior as a result of one of your biggest brain farts in recent memory? It means you're a latent genius, right? And really pretty to boot?
Thursday, September 08, 2005

Why some 1950s slang should be retired

The worst thing my father ever said came the summer I was 10. One evening my sister and I were out front playing HORSE, while our dad was in the back yard emptying the grill of about five years' worth of ashen charcoal.

Suddenly there was a loud thump, followed by a small mushroom cloud of ash rising above our rooftop. A second later came the scream:

“ARGH! Right in the puss!”

Apparently, he had tripped while carrying the garbage bag full of cinders and had fallen face-first into the morass.

My sister and I mock-dry-heaved in disgust for a little while, then exchanged a look and a telepathic understanding: Let us never speak of the “in the puss” moment again.

Of course, it happened again a few years later, with witnesses, on a rafting trip in Maine. We hit a nasty patch of rapids and some water splashed into the boat. “Girls!" he yelled. "Did you get it in the puss?!!”

A short time later, when our guide offered that we could get in the water and float behind the raft, my sister and I were the first ones overboard.
Wednesday, September 07, 2005

My Fall TV Preview

This morning I drove by a billboard for a new girl-on-girl-on-girl-on-girl WB series from the "creative forces behind 'Friends' and 'Sex in the City." The series is titled "Related." My brain read it as "Retarded."
Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Hair of the dog

Showering at a friend's house last weekend, I dawdled in her luxurious multi-spray system for a while. Then I scanned the hair product shelf for some shampoo. This is what I found:

-One bottle Aveda conditioner for chemically treated hair
-One bottle stolen hotel conditioner
-One bottle Aveda body wash
-One bottle Aussie 3-Minute Miracle conditioner
-One bottle dog shampoo
-One bottle Aveda conditioner product for dry, porous hair

I stood there for a while. Then the hot water began to run out. My eyes ran across the inventory one more time: conditioner, conditioner, body wash, conditioner, dog shampoo, conditioner.

In totally unrelated news, my meat byproduct consumption has risen sharply and I’ve developed a sudden, intense dislike for my two cats.
Friday, September 02, 2005

How to help

I've merely cobbled together some of my preferred suggestions from other outlets, but quickly, here are a few ways to donate to the Katrina relief effort:

Network for Good: A catch-all site with links to various other relief organizations besides the Red Cross.

Hurricane Housing: A effort to connect those with a spare room or bed to those who need it.

Liberal Blogs for Hurricane Relief: Donations to the American Red Cross made via the liberal (and possibly progressive? a bit unclear) blogosphere.

The Humane Society or Noah's Wish: These groups will be taking care of homeless animals and, hopefully, working to reunite them with their owners.

Mercy Corps: This humanitarian group offers both immediate and long-term assistance to disaster-struck regions.