Monday, February 23, 2009

Aced it again

Getting much better buzz from the fashion critics this time, compared to the Golden Globes outfit (which I loved). Needless to say, Marisa Tomei doesn't need me defending her this time around, but I'm still blogging about it because this was my favorite dress of the night.

I'm not usually a Versace fan, but this was swoon-worthy. And think of the work that went into making those pleats! Dang.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Belgium is pretty

Finally finished editing all my photos from Belgium and thought I'd do a quick post to share a few favorites. I've got a list of other stuff I want to blog about but geeze is life work keeping me busy these days. Yes still. It's a problem. I'm looking into it.

First things first, CJ is a-ok. Thanks for the positive thoughts and well wishes and such. The anesthesia was indeed risky and they had a close call, but they made the proper adjustments and he pulled through just fine. He's got a little shaved spot on his leg where the IV was and he smells like a dentist's office, but aside from that, he seems to be doing well. I'll be even more excited when his pupils return to normal size and the funny smells go away.

Here he is earlier today, back in his usual window post. Must send out my most sincere thanks to Metro Paws Animal Hospital in the Lakewood area of Dallas. They were really fabulous and very kind and I'm so glad I've found a good vet here, since the next few years will probably be pretty bumpy with CJ getting so old and such. They had a chart up in the office so you can calculate your pet's age in people years (it's a little more complicated than just multiplying by 7) and CJ is 80! He's like a grandpa. My own little grandpa. Yay!

Okay, so onto Belgium. Which is just in time, as I plan to take lots of photos of Chicago when I'm there later this week, at which point I'll again be behind in photo editing. Sigh.

Of course any photo of my niece Suzy is a winner. Here she is with her dad on the train to Bruges.

And this was taken in Bruges itself, in a church. Have you ever seen that movie In Bruges? As I was walking around there, I couldn't help but hear Colin Farrell in my head saying "Fawken Bruuuges!" like he does through the whole movie. By the way, be forewarned if you watch that video I linked to there, it's a crapload of curse words and funnier if you've seen the movie itself, so you might want to just take my word for it..

Taken on the Rue de Bouchers, the restaurant row of sorts in Brussels. Mom and I had moules et frites (that's mussels and fries) at a place near where I shot this.

That's Mom and me in a mirrored Christmas tree, near the Grand Place in Brussels. I think I might have taken this the day I flew in? Yep, I did. Christmas day.

This one was on the front steps of the Bourse, a few blocks from the Grand Place.

And this one was taken in the Royal Museum of Fine Arts - just a cool find in a stairwell.

Taken from the top of the Musical Instrument Museum. I love how the old rooftop frames the hazy skyline.

And this one, of mom poking her head out of her building, is really cool. Her apartment was just an absolute perfect location for setting out on foot daily to explore the city. Thanks for putting us up, mom!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Single Awareness

Norts? Really? I think the jury's still out on Liz Lemon's new exclamation of choice. I'm not sure I could drop this one into everyday conversation without getting a weird look. Though I did get two uses of "I want to go to there" in this week. The first in response to a Braum's commercial on the radio, in which they described in great detail the building of a sundae that was on sale, and the other in response to receiving a card in the mail at work advertising the Seattle Cheese Festival. Both in response to food, natch.

As you can see here, I have an "old" TV. So I guess the big analog to digital thing got bumped back. But I'm not sure a little box is going to solve all my problems. Since all the shows are now filming in HD, I'm frequently noticing something akin to watching a "pan-and-scan" movie. As in, faces are being cut off on the edges of the screen, etc. It's really pissing me off, frankly. I mean, really, who can afford these HDTVs right now? Sure some of ya got some money and can get fancy TVs right now, but I am quite happy with my 2002-era TV and I got no plans to upgrade any time soon. So either letter-box my TV shows or stop filming with the assumption that everyone's screen is that wide. Cos mine ain't. Dang.

Yup, just another Single Awareness Day with my FIV-positive kitty cat, blogging, making baked goods (scones), and watching Tropic Thunder. What's that? Yep, that's right. I found out this week that CJ has FIV.

For those that don't know much about it, it's very similar to HIV in that it's an immunodeficiency disease. Most of the cats that get it are either born with it or get it from being bitten or scratched by another cat with FIV. Which is probably how CJ got it, since he spent the first 8 years or so of his life as an indoor-outdoor cat. This was while I was a teenager and during college, when he still lived at home with my mom. We always had indoor-outdoor cats so I didn't think much about it. Since that time I've learned enough about the dangers of letting cats roam outdoors to want all future cats I own to be indoors only, as CJ is now. Not only does it increase their life expectancy, it protects them from things like FIV, cars, and sickos who do mean things to animals. So if you can, keep your kitties indoors.

As for CJ, since he's probably had this for at least 8 years or so, not much is changing. He still seems to be doing well. We're getting his teeth cleaned up, since gum disease is a big risk with FIV positive kitties, and his teeth are pretty atrocious. This might also be part of why he's lost so much weight, so I hope getting his teeth back in shape might help increase his appetite. Keep him in mind this Friday, if you're so inclined. Anaesthesia is always risky with senior cats.

In other news, I'm eagerly awaiting Liz's new strap. Caro of Splityarn made it for me from some fabric I had stashed away. Isn't it cute? She took a photo of it, and it's better than any one I could take, so I'm borrowing it here.

Caro makes lots of cute camera straps and little bags and pouches and such. She does custom orders too and she's great to work with. So if you've been thinking your camera's strap could use some jazzing up, go check out her shop. I know she's planning to update it soon with lots of cute new straps - she does little ones for point-and-shoot cameras too.

I'll have my new strap and Liz in tow when I hit Chicago in t-minus 1.5 weeks. My choice for seeing Chi-town for the first time would not have been February, but this is work related, so it's out of my control. And it's free, so, you know. Also, between the Hudson River incident and Buffalo, I am less than excited to get on a plane these days. The one other time I've set foot in Chicago was when I was changing planes there on the way to New York once. It was the scariest landing ever as the wind was just yanking the plane all over the place. I think we had to do several attempts to get her down. You remember that Nicole? Yikes. Anyway, if you've got Chicago tips to share (favorite places to get some chow, cute but not insanely expensive shops, etc.), please do let me know. I'll be working but I'm hoping to squeeze in some fun-time stuff too.

So, happy Single Awareness Day to all my Single Ladies. And Happy Valentine's Day to you coupled-off folks. I'm off to hit that half-gallon of Blue Bell that was on sale at Kroger today. Rawk.

Friday, February 6, 2009

On language and stress

Gotta get my 30 Rock geek-out down here. I loved it last night. Most notably Liz Lemon responding to a cake-baking Jon Hamm as most any woman would: "I want to go to there." I am pretty much obsessed with this line, which you might remember also being spoken in the high school reunion episode as Liz's response to the offer of an Outback Steakhouse gift certificate.

From this site:
In addition to "I will put my mouth on his mouth" (with Tina Fey emphasizing "mouth" both times, which makes it read even funnier), we also witnessed the return of "I want to go to there," uttered after Drew apologizes for smelling like frosting on account of all the baking he's been doing. Fey has credited the line to her daughter Alice, and to my ear, it is pretty much never not funny.

Small children should be the source of all great comedic lines - especially when they are being used by 38-year-old women. Genius. My other favorite Liz-isms include "Blerg!" (which had a falling off this season but featured more prominently in previous seasons). And another favorite from the high school reunion episode is the insult "jag-weed," which I can only presume is the artful combination of "jagoff" and "dillweed." I plan to sub this in for my all-too-frequent use these days of "douche-bag" (which I'm blaming Jon Stewart for), and which I read once should really not be used too lightly and really be reserved for true a-holes and I agree, so on that note will try to work in "jag-weed" more often instead.

PS - My apologies to my family for that last paragraph.

Another highlight in my week? Discovering my new Jack Purcells in the new J. Crew catalog as the "it" sneaker for spring. Cos I worship it and desperately want to be dressed exactly like everyone in it, so am apparently well on my way with my new shoes.

Also discovering the new Bird and the Bee album, via LaLa. More new music, yay! I'm not sure that the whole album is genius or anything, but the first handful of songs are so addictively good as to have been on constant repeat for three days or so now. Here's the duo on Jay Leno (not the coolest venue but whatev), with a stellar backup of go-go girls.

I feel like the blog is sorta lacking these days but work has just been keeping me so busy. Plus am still editing photos from Belgium because all I want to do when I get home lately is zone out staring at the TV or work on ripple blanket as way of relieving stress from the day, and the evenings are when I'd typically be editing photos or blogging and, so, yeah.

And I got my apartment so sparkly clean and pretty last weekend and now feel it is total disaster again as cat has been dispersing litter and barf all over it and also was running late this morning and was getting into shower and large roach was waiting on shower curtain, which was incredibly uncool and upsetting. It's bad when the majority of words uttered in your day by the time you get to work are f*ck. As is my typical response to oversleeping and finding giant roach on shower curtain.

Okay, better get back to work cos, yeah, there's a lot to do. Later jag-offs!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

When crafts attack

When crafts attack your coffee table, it might end up looking a bit like this.

Don't be afraid. The carnage is not as bad as it looks. Also you can click on the photo to get a breakdown of what all is going on there. It's a lot. I'm proud to say that today my coffee table is much improved, if not totally clear of the stuff. I did a big clean-up yesterday--mostly focused on cleaning the floors but everything got a little bit of tidying up. I love hardwoods, but damn, when it comes time to clean 'em, it's a pain. Swiffer to the rescue.

Now that all the holiday gifts are done, and baby gifts are almost done (next one's due in April, so I've got a short break), I was so very happy to bust out my ripple blanket again. I fully expected it to take a long time, so I don't rush it, and I set it aside when I need to. I love how it's always there, waiting in the wings for when I return. Plus it keeps my lap warm while I work. CJ loves it too.

I took that photo in Austin back when I was about to stop working on it for awhile, so it hasn't grown much since then. Just a few rows.. No rush, it seems to say.

This week at work has been keeping me so very busy. I hope that works in my favor when the layoffs come. If they come. When they come. Do we get to say "if" anymore in magazines? I still think one layoff per recession per person should be enough, and I've already gotten mine, so if I get another one, it just means the universe is out to get me.

Didn't have much time to browse the blogs, but I did get terribly addicted to this song. I think I'm a year behind on the Bon Iver bandwagon fun-times, but it is a lovely album, and "Flume" in particular, and it suits this time of year so much. Also it doesn't make much sense lyrics-wise, which I take no issue with, so long as the sound of the words and the music work together well. I think this is the primary idea behind Mr. Bird as well, which Paste magazine clearly didn't get.

Here's a choice snippet from their review:
"You might start by looking up the word radiolarian. The dictionary says it’s a protozoan. So you look up protozoan and learn that it’s a eukaryote. Before you know it you’re looking up organelle and cytoplasm and eventually end up with the word cell—you’re pretty sure that radiolarian isn’t a fancy way of saying cell, but you’re kind of pissed off that a lyric sent you on such a goose chase, plus, now you feel stupid and don’t even care what the word means anymore."

Dude. Why are you even stopping to look up the words anyway? I'm not against looking up words. I'm all for expanding the vocabulary. But if you gotta understand every word out of his mouth to enjoy the music, then Andrew Bird's just not for you. Do yourself a favor, put down the dictionary, and just listen, mmmkay? Geeze. These music reviewers today.

Oh, and also, today is this beautiful girl's birthday (seen here with her mom).

She's 8!! WTF, when did that happen? Oh my gosh, so big. Pls stop growing. Also, am sorry prezzie from your aunt is late. Should be arriving any day now I hope.