Wednesday, July 28, 2004

happy birthday, Lisa!

I can't believe we've been friends for 21 years. We're legal now!

Remember the birthday party where there was a case of champagne? Me neither, but it must have been awesome because I ended up with a black eye.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

call me

Alex recently purchased some new phones that are out of my league of technology know-how. There are three handsets along with one base. The base is an answering machine and can also be used as a speaker phone. Each of these handsets can be used like walkie talkies or even baby monitors. You can pick different rings on each phone for different people. Each phone can have it's own phonebook. There's even a headset you can use and pretend to be Judy the Time-Life operator.

All of these fancy units reside in our small two bedroom apartment. So when someone calls, cacophonous digital blips can be heard echoing throughout the apartment, because each phone has a unique sound. These phones did not receive a warm welcome for me because they made me feel stupid. I was also not fond of the big fat manual that came with the phones; I think it is inappropriate to have a text book in order to call your friends.

At first I was scared of the phones and my fear resulted in some displaced anger, but now I'm starting to like the phones and I even feel comfortable looking like a big dork walking around with the headset on. After about a week I faced my fear and finally figured out how to turn down or even shut off the ringers.

The cool thing about having four different phones to use is that means there are four places I can easily see caller ID. I don't have to run to the living room anymore just to see that it's a telemarketer on the line. Now I can just casually turn to closest unit, which is usually an arm's reach away. Sure, I know I could have taken my former cordless phone and put in next to me in whatever room I was in, but then it would have died by the time it got through it's first ring (thus the reason for the new phone purchase).

Tonight it delighted me greatly to just be able to turn my head to the right and decide not to answer that phone call from a caller named Modise Tay. Although with a caller ID like that, it might have been worth the small walk.

Monday, July 26, 2004

tv is my zoloft

Sometimes I watch TV when I'm feeling kind of blue. Then I get a little happier and feel like I personally know the people in the box who just cheered me up. Two of my favorite people to watch are Will Arnett and Amy Poehler and I just found out they are married. I can't believe they didn't invite me to their wedding.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

what's better than a Justin Timberlake song?


But I'll tell you what worse. People covering his music.

Friday, July 23, 2004

urban challenge (and coffee)

Last Saturday Greg and Dave participated in the San Francisco Urban Challenge.

Britt, Chris and I were the support staff, which meant I got to sit at home in my jammies and drink three pints of coffee while Googling things and sending text messages to Greg and Dave who were running and sweating all over San Francisco. Chris was a mad dog and our leader. He was in charge of all things internet, things that are beyond my comprehension.

Even though Greg and Dave were the last team to start the race (due to an unwieldy #2 pencil let loose on a scantron form) they came in 4th and they're going to Miami in November. If you check out the "results" part of the website, Greg and Dave are Team 4, but their pic is showing up in the team 3 slot. The other weird thing about the website is that they only have 3 checkpoints up there, but there were actually 12.

Here are some things I learned while fulfilling my duties as a Google girl:

* Peekskill was not a fake city where the Facts of Life took place. There's a real city in New York called Peekskill and it got it's name from the Dutch explorer Jan Peek.

* It's hard to type, drink coffee and answer the phone all at once.

* Horse in Spanish is caballo.

* There are tons of websites dedicated to palindromes.

* My favorite palindrome is: Go hang a salami; I'm a lasagna hog

* I will never understand how to solve a magic square math puzzle. ever.

* Chris Chan is like a frickin human computer.

* In 1962 a dude named Melvin Belli (a lawyer kind of dude) sued the San Francisco Giants on the grounds that his box seat at Candlestick Park was too cold. And he won.

* Greg's "I'm concentrating while taking this picture" look is very consistent. See?

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

crappy day

and I'm not just saying it's crappy because I got four hours of sleep, or because the coffee maker broke, or because I have a MIR space station sized pimple on my chin making me look like a witch. It was truly a crappy morning because my toilet decided to purge itself of any items it had digested within the last 48 hours.

I began my day with a 6:30 wake up (after having gone to bed at 2:00) followed by an ant crawling across my pillow and onto my face. When I finally managed to drag myself out of bed Alex kindly let me know that he didn't put enough water in the coffee maker, so there was just a smidgen of really strong coffee left for me, if I wanted it. I decided to make new coffee and upon doing this noticed that Alex had put plenty of water in, but the coffee maker was busted. I tried to fix the coffee maker, and while working on this impossible task, realized that this thing which supplies me with delicious coffee every morning was actually the anti-Christ and the root of every problem I've ever had since I was 12. This led me to believe that the best thing to do would be to "Fonzie" the coffee maker. With one swift hit of my fist, three mysterious and small plastic pieces flung onto the countertop. So long, coffee maker, thanks for the memories. I pulled the old tiny coffee maker out of hiding and began my brewing again.

With breakfast finally out of the way it was time to get ready for work. I knew things were bad when I was taking a shower and noticed water wasn't draining, but instead kept accumulating along with hair and soap scum. This has been happening for weeks, but the water never got this deep.

Then I flushed the toilet.

Alex and I always put the toilet lid down after each use, because that way it's fair all around. Everyone has to put something down, regardless of how you use the toilet. (And I don't know if Zach the cat would ever want to drink toilet water, but this way we don't have to find out.) I put the lid down before the fateful flush and while washing my hands noticed something out of the corner of my eye; was the lid moving? Oh yeah, the lid was moving, and all sorts of unpleasant water was moving that lid. Powered by sheer panic and adrenaline I was able to move the scale and the litter box before anything coming from within Village plumbing reached them. Then I started thinking plunger. I knew we used to have a plunger, was it under the sink? was it in the closet? was it outside? was it in the outside storage? was I sure I didn't see it under the sink? We used to have a plunger. I guess a plunger isn't one of the things you take with you when you move. I'm not going to get into details here, but I will let you know that I will be buying a new toilet brush this evening and even though Swiffers are fun little moppy things to have around, it's very important to always have legit mop in the house.

Even after my cleaning and creative problem solving, the toilet was still not doing so well, so I had to call maintenance; something had to be done that was out of my realm of toilet knowledge. I called the Village office and then ran around hiding all things cat-like and hoped to skedaddle before the maintenance dude got there. Alas, I wasn't fast enough. For some reason I find it humiliating to explain a mess in my bathroom to a maintenance guy. As I opened the door my gut reaction was to say "It's not my fault," because honestly, it wasn't! But what came out was "sorry." That's a fine how-do-you-do to a man with a plunger in his hand. I just know that I would never want his job, so I have an immense amount of respect and sympathy for the guy, thus the sorry.

I stuck around while he finished whatever he did. He worked some plumbing magic that even fixed the tub! I would have offered him some coffee, but I didn't want to revisit that trauma.

The rest day didn't turn out all bad though; lunch with Sean and Greg had me feeling better and then Jerome sent me this. I think I'm on the road to recovery. I even used a toilet again today and didn't flinch before flushing.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

favorite lyrics of the day

from Sunshine, Lil' Flip (feat. Lea)

I need a lady in the streets but a freak in the sheets
That know how to cook cause a nigga like to eat
Spaghetti, shrimp and steak and I'll adore you
I'll treat you like milk, I'll do nothing but spoil you

isn't letting milk spoil kind of irresponsible?

Thursday, July 15, 2004

et tu, Amazon?

Today I was doing a little fake shopping and took a trip to to look at things I will  never buy, it's like window shopping, only without the benefit exercise.  The fine folks of Amazon surprised me because the first page I landed on (when signed in under my Amazon account) was my Plog.  Plog? What? I never posted anything on Amazon.  Oh, I see, since they track everything I look at, click on, put on my wish list, purchase or even dream about they seem to think they know me well enough to create a blog, sorry, plog, for little ol' me!

I can't think of anything more exciting and informative than marketing blurbs disguised as blog postings created by Amazon... telling me what they think I think will be interesting.  Here's how they explain the Plog:

The Plog™ Service is a personalized blog. A blog is a straightforward and now widely adopted method of posting a reverse chronological diary on the Internet.
Your Plog is a diary of events that will enhance your shopping experience, helping you discover products that have just been released, track changes to your orders, and many other things. Just like a blog, your Plog is sorted in reverse chronological order. When we think we have something interesting or important to tell you, we'll post it to your Plog.
(They also have a list of 15 blogs which they describe as "some of the best and most popular blogs", go on and check it out, you know you want to.)

Enhance my shopping experience? I can think of some better things to enhance, but okay Amazon... try me.

A mysterious Amazon blogger (a.k.a. computer) posts on random days telling me what newly released item I would like to buy (a book which is already on my Wish List) because of what I have already purchased (a book I bought as a gift three years ago). Anonymous Amazon blogger then gives me all sorts of pertinent information on the product they are sure I would love to purchase. At the bottom of each post there are two handy little bubbles, which are located where the comments are on most blogs, and these bubbles give me the option to let Amazon know if this post was helpful or not. Wait a minute! Isn't this MY Plog? If my name is on this Plog shouldn't everything be helpful?  Oh, okay, I have a little control here...  if I so desire I can clear any post. Just delete it with one swift click of the "clear post" link.   I cannot create a post, only anonymous blogger can do that.  Corinne's Plog is written by someone else.  I do not feel enhanced.  My experience is not improved.

I find the entire idea of this Plog pretty ominous.  To be honest, Amazon already creeped me out because of their uber tracking powers, but the Plog took it one step too far.  It's basically the equivalent to some dude following me around a store with a dogeared note pad and chewed up pencil.  He hides at the end of aisles and waits until I pick something up,  then he takes dirty reading glasses out of his rumpled suit jacket pocket and makes a note of which item I've chosen and how long it's been in my hand.  He licks the end of his pencil and nods in a slow methodical fashion.  I put the item down, and notice something out of the corner of my eye.  He scurries behind a bookcase and scribbles some more.  I continue to shop, he secretly follows.  This goes on all day.  Later that night I find an envelope has been slipped under my door.  Inside this envelope is a neatly typed note, kindly letting me know that there may have been some items I overlooked in the store I visited that day. At the bottom of the letter, following suggestions for future purchases, are carefully drawn pie charts and bar graphs.  I break out in a cold sweat as I crumple the letter and carefully look around.  I hear an evil laugh followed by "see you around!" and then the sound of fleeting footsteps.  I am forever tainted and know that I can never recklessly window shop again.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

happy birthday, Sean!

fell off the wagon

It's sad, but true. I fell into a some sort of stupor and checked those damn message boards again. Those brides... every time I think I'm done with them, their siren song lures me in and I take a walk down that dark tunnel of no return. It's a very slippery slope. I recently read all about a bride who cancelled her wedding with only 99 days to go. I got all the 411 about what to do when your future mother in law refuses to wear a dress to the wedding, but a jacket and slacks instead. The horror!

But I also did find this very special list and I would like to share it with you:

AW = "Attention Whore"
BC, BCP = birth control, birth control pills
BF = Boyfriend or Best Friend
BM = Bridesmaid or Best Man
BP = Bridal Party
DF = Dear (or darned, or dratted) Fiancé
DH = Dear Husband
E-ring = engagement ring
E-party = engagement party
FG = Flower Girl
FI = Fiancé (male) or Fiancée (female)
FIL = Father In Law
FILs = Future in-laws, sometimes referred to as:
FBIL = Future Brother-in-law
FFIL = Future Father-in-law
FMIL = Future Mother-in-law
FSIL = Future Sister-in-law
GF = Girlfriend
GM = Groomsmen
GTG = a Knottie get-together
HM = Honeymoon
HTH = Hope this helps
IHO = In Honor Of
ILs = In-laws
IMHO = In my humble opinion
IMNSHO = In my not so humble opinion
JK = just kidding, or joking
JP = Justice of the Peace
LMAO = Laughing my @ss off
LOL = Laughing out loud
LTBM = Living together before marriage
MIL = Mother In Law
MOH = Maid / Matron of Honor
MS = Martha Stewart
NFP = natural family planning
NFT = No Further Text
NMS = Not my style
NWMT = Not worth my time
NWR = Not Wedding Related
OMG = Oh my gosh / god
P&E = Planning and Etiquette board
PIB = Pictures in Bio
PSA = Public Service Announcement
RB = Ring Bearer
RD = Rehearsal Dinner
RP = Repost
SAHM = stay-at-home mom
SAHW = stay-at-home wife
SBD = South Beach Diet
STDs = Save The Date cards
TIA = Thanks In Advance
TMI = Too Much Information
TROLL = Someone posting a fake question or a nasty reply to get a reaction
TTC = Trying to conceive
TY = Thank you
WP = wedding party
WW = Weight Watchers
XP = Cross posted (posted to more than one board)

Attention Whore? I didn't know there was such a whore. Fabulous! Where can I get one?
But what I really love is the fact that if you want everyone to mark their calendars for your special day you better make sure that each person on your guest list gets your STDs ASAP.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

these dreams

I guess I watch more reality TV than I ought to.

Last night I had a dream in which I was on a new reality show. I had to live on a boat with Ashton Kutcher, P Diddy, Alexis Bledel, Nick Lachey and my very own sweetheart, Alex.

It was a large boat, yacht-like, and we were collectively supposed to figure out how to get this boat from wherever we were to an island off the coast of somewhere. This boat was huge and I remember thinking that we wouldn't have enough gas. I complained about gas a lot. No one listened. Cameras caught me acting like this. I knew I was going to look bad.

Everyone was pretty excited and instead of thinking about gas (or how to steer the boat) they all decided to inspect the digs. I gave in (there's that peer pressure again!) and while we were checking out every nook and cranny of our new living quarters, the boat careened into a rock and suffered a big ol' hole in the front. Diddy and Ashton went to check it out, but only Alex and Nick would swim down to look at the hole. Alexis and I stood on the deck and bonded. Eventually, somehow, the hole got fixed, but not before Ashton decided to bail. As he thought about how potentially hazardous the rest of the trip could be he realized he could still see the main land and swam to safety. Then there were five.

All things back to normal, we had a big party with champagne and everything. Alex got pretty drunk and passed out in our brand new boat bedroom. Instead of breathing, or even snoring, he was burping. Burp in, burp out, like breathing, but much more obnoxious. I couldn't sleep in there with him, so I decided to bunk in one giant bed with P. Diddy and Alexis. They were happy to accommodate me until burpy Alex came in and tried to puke on my face. I put the sheet over my face before I saw any vomit and then woke up.

Wouldn't that have made some compelling reality TV? There's nothing like watching a boring control freak bitch out celebrities who don't give a rat's ass about how much gas is in a boat! How exciting is it to watch someone puke on their own wife?

As it turns out, Alex alerted me to the fact that our cat was actually retching in the hallway during this dream. Not so compelling now, is it?

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Friday, July 09, 2004

I scream, you scream, we all scream for FOUR BEAN (salad)

Shopping at Costco is a favorite past time of mine, it takes courage and skill to navigate those aisles with an oversized carriage. It takes years of training to lift that 25 pound bag of frozen stuff and get it in the cart without crushing the 85 hamburger buns you just put in there. It takes willpower to pass up giant boxes of pens.

I went to Costco by myself before the 4th of July, which is odd for me, because ever since Alex and I got married he's been my Costco buddy. Our vows stated that we would always stand side by side, especially in warehouse situations. He was busy though, and I had to go it alone. Alone, for me, sometimes involves bad decisions.

This solo trip to Costco brought about what I like to call the four bean salad incident. I bought a jar of four bean salad. I like the bean salad. I like it so much that I figured everyone would like it. I bought a half gallon worth of beans.

That delicious bean salad proudly sat on the kitchen table for our lame barbecue on the 4th, and that's all it did. It remained covered in it's pretty little Corningware dish, untouched for hours. At one point I lifted the cover and toyed with the idea of scooping some on to my plate, but then a victim of peer pressure, I joined the masses and made fun of my own beloved four bean salad. I mocked the beans which I hold so dear.

Now I am stuck with a half gallon of this stuff and I've been eating it all week. I've hardly made a dent in it. At this point I'm making an ass of myself and only eating it to spite everyone; I'll show them how wonderfully scrumptious these beans are! How foolish they were to walk away from such greatness! I brought it to lunch yesterday and made a point to comment on how YUMMY the four bean salad was. People looked in my general direction and nodded. Today I ate lunch at my desk and felt the sinking shame of falling out of love with my salad.

So I am left with the following questions: how do I just let all that bean salad go? and, does anyone want some four bean salad?

Thursday, July 08, 2004

ladies' night

Sometimes Wednesday night is Ladies' Night with Julianne and Molly. Last night was one of those nights, and it included drinks and tapas followed by a movie. I'm not going to write about the movie today because it got me a little depressed. And I'm not sure if it made me feel better or worse to get home and open a letter from John Kerry asking for money, because "The success of our campaign depends on having a strong and active group of supporters." (Can I be a supporter even if I don't send you 25 bucks? Will you really lose without my money?)

But I did have a good time being out and about on a school night. If there was ever a sure sign of being in my 30s, I think that having a designated evening called "Ladies' Night" might be the appropriate milestone, and I'm okay with that.

Since I'm not going to write about the movie, I will instead tell you all about a few of the people attending the movie. It was a sold out show, and even with new fancy pants stadium seating it can seem a little cramped in the theatre. I don't mind not having a buffer seat though, because isn't it always a new adventure to sit next to a complete stranger? You never know what's going to happen! Here's the first thing I heard from the gentlemen to my right (who were obviously together):

Tall Dude: I think I have to go to the bathroom.
Bitter Dude: So you want me to moooove?
Tall Dude: Unless you want me to piss in your face.

Bitter Dude moves his legs and allows Tall Dude to pass. Tall Dude awkwardly squeezes through the aisle without allowing sufficient time for me to move my legs, Molly to lift her bag or Julianne to get her foot out of the way. He steps over the last two people in the row.

As he's leaving for the restroom Young Couple (frantically looking for seats together) spots two seats together in our row; one of the seats is still warm from Tall Dude, the other seat is the buffer seat for Tall Dude, to separate him from the unworthy throng. But there is a bonus third seat in our row (to the left of Julianne) and if Dudes would move one measly seat over to the right then Julianne, Molly and I could all move over, and Young Couple would be ever so grateful. Since Bitter Dude refuses to acknowledge Young Couple hoping to sit together, Julianne and Molly explain the situation to Girl of Young Couple. I then turn to Bitter Dude and ask if he would move down a seat, to which he responds (with his mouth full of peanut M&Ms) "well, my friend isn't here, so I can't speak for him, or ask him." Molly and I laugh. Bitter Dude continues to shove M&Ms into his angry little mouth. Before Tall Dude even returns to make the all important decision about the seat to his right, the other half of our row moves to the left, obliterating Tall Dude's buffer seat. Girl of Young Couple shrugs and sits next to Julianne. She turns around and makes sad face to Guy of Young Couple 3 rows away.

Tall Dude returns, without stepping on anyone this time, because we all stand up. The movie starts. Bitter Dude eats the most epic bag of M&Ms ever, taking them from the crinkling bag ONE. AT. A. TIME. For the entire length of the movie.

I think it might have been better if Tall Dude had just pissed in Bitter Dude's face after all.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

I tried to be patriotic, I really did

but the Bay Area just is not a fun place for the 4th of July. Last year Alex and I walked out to the extremely windy and cold Albany Waterfront Park and sat on some cement blocks which sucked any remaining heat out of our bodies. We saw 5 different firework shows, but I admit that I spent some of my time on that cement block slightly cranky and very cold. The bottle of wine we brought with us helped to create a little artificial warmth and the fireworks cheered me up, but having grown up in Boston always leaves me to expect more on the 4th than drinking mediocre wine on a landfill while watching very distant explosives.

In my attempt to be All American for a day I bought and consumed too much food, because isn't that what Americans are best known for? Apart from the food front we had a pretty unpatriotic day. Our 4th felt more like a rainy Sunday afternoon get together than a barbecue. The typical July chill of our close-to-the-water neighborhood kept us indoors for most of the day, the time I spent on our patio was to warm my hands and lower back by the gas grill. To keep our guest amused indoors we ended up playing a lot of Eye Toy and watching some Tenacious D.

Around 7:00 the real crappy weather rolled in. Our plan was to walk down to the park (like last year) and see what we could see. When everyone started to hear of these plans it got real quiet-like. Half of the group made the wise choice to head to back to their warm homes and drink tea. The other half of us bundled up and pessimistically headed to the park.

Once we got the beach we could feel the cold mist on our faces and the closer we got to the water the wind picked up. Greg had made the comment earlier that the Albany Bulb seemed like a "tetanus-y" place to watch fireworks... and he was right, it was a little sketchy finding somewhere for 5 of us to sit, but as it turned out it didn't really matter where we sat, because there wasn't anything to see. We were able to make out faint colors and shapes of fireworks in the Jack London Square area, but the Berkeley Marina fireworks merely turned the cloud cover sad shades of green and red. Forget about San Francisco or Marin. Twenty five minutes on the cement blocks and we gave up.

To make our day seem like it was more fun than it actually was, I give you these dynamic Eye Toy photos.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

worst lunch ever

my sandwich sucked so bad today that as I sat at the lunch table in the park, surrounded by coworkers, I couldn't help but give it the finger.

the worst part is that I made that sandwich myself.