Sunday, January 25, 2009

Don't go gently into that good night

I think I've mentioned before that I'm quite a fan of Brotherhood 2.0. They're pretty much the only YouTube channel I watch. Anyways, half of the brotherhood is John Green, fabulous young adult writer. I've been waiting for him to address the current upheavals in the publishing industry which he did on Sunday.

I don't have any solutions for saving the book industry (although this might help fun), I just know that the idea of a world without books as we know it breaks my heart. One of the most infuriating disagreements I've ever had with anyone (and this was someone I had many infuriating disagreements with), was when he said that he saw nothing wrong with books becoming a solely online medium. What!?! How could he?! How could anyone not understand the value of holding beautiful, magical text in your hands?! How can the world live without the musty smell of well-loved pages?

Books take on meaning, not only in their intangible stories but in their physical presence, and carry memories with them just like a childhood blanket or favorite shirt. I love my tear-stained pages where Dumbledore died, or how my first copy of Pride and Prejudice automatically falls open to Darcy's first proposal, or how there are bread crumbs in Elizabeth Bishop's letters because I read them during lunch, or knowing my Under the Tuscan Sun was actually read under the Tuscan sun. A lot of that connection is lost if I just scroll through Shakespeare on my iPod. I'm sure there are a lot of people who do not need to have a physical relationship with their books, but I do. And I know I'm not alone.

John's conclusion is that stories will survive, but how? In what form? I pray it's the form they're in now. The idea that my future daughter, Elizabeth, would read P&P from some website and not my beloved copy that I read when I was her age, where I drew all the hearts in the margin when Mr. Darcy says things like "ardently," brings tears to my eyes.

And yes, I do feel hypocritical because as I campaign for my beloved books, I do read all my news online and am much less concerned about newspapers becoming online-only. (However, I would pay for an online subscription because I do believe that journalists should eat and be able to produce fabulous work.)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Review: WICKED!

Lee and I went to go see the Wicked here in Louisville last night and it was AMAZING!!! I felt like a little kid again (That happens fairly often...) as I watched in amazement at all the lights and I cried during "Defying Gravity" and "For Good" and the whole thing was just wonderful and amazing and everything I ever could have imagined!!!! I told Lee that if it had really been Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth then I probably would have wet my pants with delight! I've been listening to the soundtrack all day (Oh! "Defying Gravity" just started!!) and it was just amazing.

Last night, as I was in awe of Elphaba's soaring into the air, Glinda's hair tosses and the amazing dragon-clock machine, I kept remembering my first trip to the theater.

It all started in 3rd grade when I saw a Reading Rainbow special on CATS. I was completely fascinated by the costumes and make-up and I loved kittens! I always loved it when the advanced piano students would play "Memories" at piano recitals. Then in 6th or 7th grade CATS came to Owensboro and I begged my parents to take me. My parents weren't really in to musicals, particularly ones with dancing cats, so they had my uncle take me. I still remember what I wore (Plaid skirt with oxford shirt and lime green sweater, knee-high socks and clogs. I thought I was very Cher from Clueless.) and how I felt, sitting in the balcony as the lights started to flash throughout the theatre. I was completely enthralled and sang Mr. Mistofolles all week.

Not only is Wicked an amazing and beautiful sight and sound, I really enjoyed the story. It varies greatly from the book, but in ways that are understandable as a long, dark political fantasy is translated into a Broadway sensation. I even like the musical version better since it ends much happier. Since I've never liked The Wizard of Oz I love the idea that Wicked Witch is more of an anti-government rebel trying to save the lowly in society than an evil, malicious witch. Wicked also deals with a lot of important issues: the consequences of blindly following government leaders, the complexities of moral ambiguities, the importance of treating others with respect, the motives behind "being good" and so on.

I've heard rumors of a movie. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Phantom Glasses

I got glasses in Kindergarten (1988-ish). In the summer of 2004 I had laser eye surgery. Not a fun experience, but worthwhile seeing as I was legally blind without my glasses or contacts. Since the surgery I have enjoyed 20/20 vision. At my last checkup, I learned that my left eye isn't seeing as well as before, but reading glasses are still optional since it's not enough of a vision change for me to notice. Now that I spend 95% of my work day staring at my computer monitor, I think I'm starting to notice. My eyes feel tired more often, I don't know if it's them or what they're looking at. I think I'm kind of mildly excited about it though. I sort of miss my glasses.

In 16 years, glasses became an essential part of my routine. Taking my contacts out and putting my glasses on was an essential part of relaxing after a long day, getting ready for bed, and buckling down to really get serious about homework (I know some of those activities are contradict each other, but that is my nature.). Even after 4 years of a spectacle-free existence, sometimes I still miss them. I don't have a phantom limb, thank God, just phantom glasses.

I also think glasses just fit my bookworm personality. They are the quintessential nerd accessory.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day

Happy Inauguration Day! I must admit, I'm excited.

I voted for McCain. I found Obama to be about 120% more likable than McCain and I loved his message of hope and change, I just tended to agree more with Senator McCain on how things should change. Even though I disagreed on several political points with Obama, I still cried during his acceptance speech. It was truly a beautiful moment in time, no matter whom you voted for.

So here I am, using my second monitor to watch the Inauguration and my primary monitor to work/blog and I'm excited. I'm excited that the country has a leader that most people like. I'm excited that patriotism is no longer viewed as a partisan issue. I'm excited that it's Obama and not Hillary. I'm excited that Bush is no longer president. While this isn't the most important thing in the world, I'm glad that most of the rest of the world supports our presidential decision.

Well, it's time to watch the big show. Here's some entertaining inauguration factoids from my favorite vlogger:

Monday, January 19, 2009


I have long debated getting Netflix. I knew I wanted it and that it was a total bargain, but I'm cheap and lazy. My desires have won though and I now have the $8.99 Netflix plan: unlimited movies one at a time and unlimited online movies. I'm already wanting to bump it up to two at a time but I'll try to resist for a few more months at least.

There are zillions of movies I've been wanting to see for the past 25 years but haven't yet, and there's already about 140 movies in my cue. If I managed to do 3 movies a week...I'm bad at math but it's going to be a long time before I watch all these. My current Top 10 (mostly in order of when I found them):
1. Kung Fu Panda (It was Mama Mia but I just borrowed that from family instead.)
2. The Darjeeling Unlimited
3. The Royal Tennenbaums
4. Rushmore
5. Being John Malcovich
6. The House Bunny
7. The Duchess
8. Wilde
9. Definitely, Maybe
10. Smart People

In other news, LOLcats + Pride and Prejudice = Pure Internet Awesome

Friday, January 16, 2009

New Goals, Renewing Goals

I have a new goal! Apparently England has cross-country bike trips and despite my current lack of a bike or biking abilities. Lee and I have discussed that it would be nice to take up biking. (I also want to take up tennis, but that's mostly for the cute clothes.) We'll see how this new and moderately lofty goal goes since my basic fitness goals have not been going well so far, which I blame on a variety of factors. Mostly, the fact that it is currently 5 degrees outside (unacceptable) and I'm going to a wedding this weekend for which I need a wrap. To be economical I decided to make a wrap which turned out to take many hours because I don't have a sewing machine and can barely attach a button. I finally finished my project last night and think it turned out well. At least I don't think the flaws in workmanship aren't too apparent. It does look like a bit of a bubble wrap, as in a wrap edged in the style of a bubble skirt, something which I have on occasion been strongly against. In my attempt to keep the fabric together, I found it best to pull the thread tight and kind of scrunch it so you can't see the threads pulling apart. I think it will work. I'm overall proud of me on the domestic craft front, not so proud on the physical front.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Winter Morning Runs and Other Miscellany

I'm starting to think these winter morning runs are a bad idea.
A. By the time Lee and I get up to go running, we only have about 20 minutes to run before I absolutely have to start getting ready so I can be at work on time. I would like to run for 30 minutes. I doubt getting up any earlier would help and getting up before 6 a.m. just depresses me.
B. This week the temperature at 6:30 a.m. has become particularly ridiculous. I never thought I would run in 27-degree weather, which I have been, but 17 degrees with a windchill of 10 is a no go.

So I'm going to try to work out at the apartment's "gym" after work. I packed my sweaty clothes so I can change before I leave work because if I enter my apartment post-work, I will not leave it again until the next day, especially not to exercise.

Also, I kind of miss sweating. It makes me feel productive and at this time of year I'll sweat more on an indoor stair-stepper than trotting around outside.

In other very important news...

Jodie Meeks' performance against Tennessee last night was amazing! I'm trying to get Lee to let me name our first-born Jodie Meeks (so far I've been unsuccessful) and I'm rewording Chuck Norris jokes to Jodie Meeks truths. See examples below.

Jodie Meeks doesn't get frostbite. He bites the frost.
Jodie Meeks destroyed the periodic table because he only believes in the element of surprise.
There is no "ctrl" button on Jodie Meeks' computer. Jodie Meeks is always in control.

Also, if I had a couple million, I would totally do the same thing.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Awesome Internet Finds

I've found lots of fun neato things on the Internet in the past 24 hours.

I've always been a fan of dressing dogs, but apparently dressing ferrets can be cute too!

Creeptastically awesome YouTube video

I also found a new blog thanks to its recent CNN fame. Giyen, the author of recently mention blog, also participates in this blog/vlog, which I've really enjoyed watching even though I don't have kids.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


Getting up and going running at 6 a.m. has not gone well this week. Surprise! We managed to go Monday morning. Tuesday and Wednesday was a nasty rain/snow mix. (I'll run in the cold but not in the wet!) And this morning was just general laziness. Last night Lee was actually the one to ask if we were going running in the morning and when I tried to get out of it he insisted. (What an excellently supportive running partner I have!!) However, I was able to get him to retract that at 6:15 this morning. (Even the best running partners have weaknesses.) Maybe tomorrow morning? I'm more likely to just wait it out and run on Saturday.

I've decided that I need to set a specific fitness schedule. I did pretty well last year when I started my 10-week beginning runner plan because I had a specific schedule so hopefully I can have the same luck this year. Let's try this:
Monday 30 minute a.m. run
abs/arms pilates p.m.
Tuesday Take Zoey for a long walk p.m.
Wednesday 30 minute a.m. run
arms/legs pilates p.m.
Thursday 30 minute a.m. run
Friday Take Zoey for a long walk p.m.
Saturday 40+ minute run
legs/abs pilates
Sunday Nothing!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I love Chick-fil-A, but...

this is ridiculous.

Thanks to The 'Ville Voice for publicly making fun of it.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Big Week

This is going to be a big week in lots of unimportant ways. Okay, maybe there's just two things.

1. Special Delivery!
I ordered a new laptop a few days after Christmas and it should arrive tomorrow! I've been obsessive-compulsively tracking it all day. Unfortunately it hasn't been updated since Saturday when it was in Nashville but I'm confident it is speedily on its way to me!

2. TV!
It's a big TV week! Last night was a new episode of Desperate Housewives, tonight is the premiere of The Bachelor, Tuesday is the season premiere of Scrubs with my beloved Monica Geller Bing (Courtney Cox), and Thursday is a new Grey's Anatomy.
No new The Office or The Big Bang Theory though. Boo.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Domestic Goddess

I try to be a bit of a domestic goddess. I aspire to be Bree Van de Kamp with Susan's fun personality and amazing hair. So today was my big culinary challenge: hosting my husband's brother's fiancee's wedding shower! It was actually a lot of fun. A little stressful getting it all sorted out, but it all came together and just in time!!

Observe my beautiful spread:
I made mini cupcakes, cheese fondue with bread and pretzels, peanut butter balls with and without chocolate coating, chicken salad croissants, white bean dip with pita chips, vegetable tray and fruit tray! I just realized that I forgot to put out the carrots and cucumbers. Oh well! I also filled martini glasses with Hershey Hugs and Kisses.

And in other examples of my domestic prowess, I've finally decorated the mantel in a way I think looks really awesome! Plus, I did the floral arrangement myself. It's a really simple arrangement, but I still did it on my own so I'm giving myself all the props for it.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a fabulous New Year and made smart choices.

I am determined that 2009 will be the year that I get in shape. I have no idea about how many years I have said this, but this time I mean it! (I'm also not sure how many times I've said that.)

I have gained 10 pounds since I graduated college in 2006. I've always been skinny, and in theory still am, but all of that weight is pouring over the top of my jeans (in the stomach and love handle regions) in an unflattering way. I considered giving in to this. (I have started every sentence with in this blog with "I." Ick.) Recently (Something other than "I!") I tried on the next size up in pants and while they were quite nice around the waist were huge in the crotch. So I went back to my old size with the muffin top. Perhaps I should have just gone for a different jean.

But no, I'm not giving in! I've been running 3 days so far this week and even done my new Pilates video with this band thing for extra power or whatever. At lunch today I got the Fresca burrito at Taco Bell, which was not nearly as good as their regular burritos, but I'm trying.

So here's to a healthier 2009, sans muffin top.

In other miscellaneous news, I am happy to report that I was wrong about something. (Get excited! I may never say that again!) Rockband 2 is out for Wii! Lee had to go to Clarksville for it (which is apparently just over the bridge) but we have it and I suck horrible at it but my rocker, named London, has an awesome outfit!

Also, my friend gave birth this past Tuesday morning to a beautiful baby girl, Elliott Eileen, Ellie for short. I got to see her and hold her when she was about 5 hours old and hope to visit again soon because she is adorable and babies are awesome. Especially when you can hold them for a little bit and then leave them with someone else to deal with the feeding, crying, pooping, etc.