Monday, September 29, 2008

I'm now fairly confident that G didn't read my diary in the sixth grade

...because I just spent 20 minutes trying to pop the lock on it with no success. Various methods were employed, involving paper clips, bobby pins, and a screwdriver. No such luck.

It is KILLING ME. There is so much juicy adolescent awesomeness to be rediscovered. But the stupid little metal lock is thwarting my efforts.

*Like the Tooth Fairy, but better

Hear that? Hear it? No? ME NEITHER. That thing that you don’t hear is not the sound of the freight train that previously resided in my kitchen. No, it’s the gentle purring of a BRAND NEW REFRIGERATOR!

I know. It’s exciting.

I opened my freezer on Saturday morning, and green goo with chocolate chips in it came drizzling out at me. My fridge had died. It was sad (if not unexpected—it was a pretty old fridge), primarily because of the various Omaha Steaks products in the freezer that were ruined. Alas.

(The question that occurs to me now is what was I going into the freezer for anyway at 10am on a weekend? The freezer consisted entirely of the following: several varieties of nuts; half a package of Thin Mints; mint chocolate chip ice cream—or, well, goo; a tuna noodle casserole, probably from February; two packages of Omaha Steaks stuff (burgers and filets-or-beef-tips, I still can’t tell); two popsicles; and four bags of whole cranberries. Not exactly breakfast food.

Which brings up another issue, which is that I have clearly inherited my parents' thing where they stock up on cranberries during the holidays so that they can “use them year round” or something. I do it too, even though I only use them in the fall/winter when they’re easily found at the store. But I digress.)

Of course, because it was Saturday, they couldn’t install a new fridge until Monday, so I made a grocery run for items that would not require dairy products or create leftovers. I left the store with: peaches, Hamburger Helper Microwave Singles, Maple & Brown Sugar Frosted Mini Wheats (for breakfast, since they’re tasty without milk), and apple juice boxes.

Then I went home and played a game called ‘Is This Okay To Eat After A Night Without Refrigeration Or Should I Throw It Away?’ It’s fun, you should try it. And, best of all, I was forced to clean out the three bowls of Former Food, Now Probably Penicillin, one of which has been there for many months.

But today, the Apartment Fairy* came and removed the old fridge and put a brand new one in. It’s so white and clean and pretty and cold! My first thought was, hey, now I can cook! Which, as you know, has SO much to do with the fridge and nothing at all to do with my perfectly functional stove.

The one downside is that the new fridge is about six inches deeper than the old one, which is a slight problem since I most definitely have a one-butt kitchen (no more than one person can properly function in it at a time—I have tried, believe me) and now it’s really only a half-butt kitchen back by the fridge. I expect that this will present some challenges, but I’m too enamored of my shiny white fridge to care right now.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Improv Blogging, Part 3: Pépe

Improv Blogging is a feature where you, my (tens of) loyal readers, suggest topics and I write on them, no matter how random or out there. Full details are here.
I got sidetracked with the Improv Blogging "initiative," if you will, from earlier in the summer for various worthy reasons like
Aaron Piersol and books and visits to and from people. Several suggestions were left hanging, for which I profoundly apologize.

However, Jules is here this week for work and is staying with me, which leads me to....Pépe. Who was suggested as an Improv topic by the lovely Ash.

But. I don't exactly know where to start with Pépe.

Pépe (full name Pepino Rodrigo Serrano Gonzales) is many things. A prawn for starters. A Muppet. A Spaniard (from Madrid, specifically). A film star and self-styled Casanova. For a while, the Long John Silvers spokes-prawn. Master of the non sequitur.

In this photo, Pépe dons an apron for a scene with his best friend, Kermit the Frog, in Muppets in Space.

He is also Jules' alter-ego, featuring prominently in her speech patterns and inspiring her blog, "
Pepe Pontificates."

There are many things one could say about Pépe, but instead, I offer you his screen test for the coveted position of Spokesprawn for Long John Silvers.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Things that happened today

1) My Obama t-shirt arrived!
2) I learned that sweetened condensed milk does, in fact, spoil. (Evidence: weak brown color; glue-like consistency; curious smell.)
3) How I Met Your Mother returned. And all was right with the world again.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

On the upside, I did get to see NPH and Boreanaz in tuxes, so it could've been worse

I don't know why I do it, but I can't help myself. It's like watching a car wreck or the early rounds of American Idol. But I JUST CAN'T LOOK AWAY.

I'm talking about the Emmys, of course. This year's were particularly bad, due in large part to the terrible idea of having it hosted by five REALITY TV "personalities." Heidi Klum is not funny, folks. And don't get me started on Ryan Seacrest.

However, four moments stand out as the most painful of them all. In no particular order:
1) Kathy Griffin (who I'm going to see in a week! woo!) presenting with Don Rickles, who is, apparently, clueless. I have never seen Kathy at a loss for words before, and I sure hope she talks about it in her act next weekend.
2) The wonderful, hilarious, smokin' hot David Boreanaz (aka my TV husband Special Agent Seeley Booth of Bones--or THE Bones, according to Heidi) being forced to present with LAUREN CONRAD of The Hills. WTF, YA'LL? Even Boreanaz looked mad, like, "Dempsey gets Sandra Oh, and Ferguson gets Brooke Shields, and they give me this chick??"
3) They cut Neil Patrick Harris (and Kristin Chenoweth)'s funny banter! Why? Why, why, why would you do that?
4) Josh Groban. Ohhhh Joshie, how far you have fallen. I cringed--CRINGED, I tell you--as he butchered those 30-some various TV theme songs. I mean, Whitey McWhiterson Groban, singing "Movin' On Up" from The Jeffersons? Not okay!

Anyway, yikes.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


New blog look! It's time for a change.

One of these days I'm going to get myself a custom-designed header and maybe a fun new template, but for now I shall have to deal with a new Blogspot look. I'm not sure how I feel about the pink yet, but we'll see.

Anyway, it is a lovely almost-fall day here in D.C. My windows are wide open, and I'm watching the Vols choke against the Gators, listening to someone play the saxophone outside my window (not very well, either.... He seems to know only four notes), and weeding through the piles of mail and junk that have accumulated around my apartment. I'm making piles--to file; to pay/deal with/mail; to trash--and just generally putting my life in order. Bills are paid. Letters are written. Magazine subscriptions are renewed.

I'm discovering--and this is nothing new--that I have a lot of paper. My life, apparently, is all about paper. Once every two weeks or so, I spend an hour at work unearthing my desk from the piles of paper that accumulate there. Yesterday I spent the morning cleaning out a filing cabinet full of PAPER. The tall bookshelf in my office is covered in piles of brochures and programs and flyers and postcards--the fruits of my (and my predecessor's) labor. I suppose it's inevitable in my line of work. I mean, I read and write and print things for living. Paper is a fact of life--all the drafts and proofs and work order forms and lists.

That's another thing--I make a lot of lists, but I never seem to finish one before I start another. I usually have three or four lists going at a time.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this, really, but the environmentalist in me is dying inside a little bit as the pile of discarded envelopes and credit card offers grows.

Anyway. Happy almost-fall.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Oy with the bowling already

It would appear that one side effect of bowling is turning into a 90-year-old Jewish woman.

The transformation happened overnight. I got out of bed this morning, and my legs immediately said, “Not so fast!” My thighs and glutes ache like I’ve run a marathon. I am honestly surprised I ever made it to work, given that I’m waddling around at about half my normal speed. Various utterances, like “OOF” and “OY,” issued forth from my office at various points today, any time that I attempted to either a) sit, or b) stand. In other words, every 20 minutes or so.

In my defense, I was not the only one in post-bowling pain. But I do believe that I was the most vocal.

I can barely walk. I have to lower myself into chairs because I can’t trust my legs to get me there safely. Going up or down stairs is agonizing.

I really need to start running or something. Jeez. BOWLING.

Monday, September 15, 2008

This one will win a Pulitzer for sure.

Want to know what I'm doing right now? Sitting on my bed! With my computer! While online! So exciting! I have been sans internet for about a week (and NO I don't know WHY), requiring the occasional use of dial-up (AOL, ya'll! So primitive! So 1997!), requiring me to sit at my desk.

There is something surprisingly unnatural about sitting at my desk while on my computer.

Oh, and also. This will come as no surprise to anyone, I'm sure, but: I am Not Good at bowling. In case you were wondering about that.

We had an office party of sorts today--bowling--and it was actually quite fun. I was not actually the worst, but I am possibly the most inconsistent player ever. Zero pins! Zero pins! Two pins! Zero pins! STRIKE! One pin! Nine pins! Spare! Zero pins! Very confusing.

Anyway. That's all. Aren't you glad you tuned in today?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Little known facts*

Many of my favorite blogs have these sections called "100 Things" (or some variation) where they list a bunch of random facts about themselves, so I--being devoid of anything interesting to say these days--decided to give it a go. I made it through 64 facts, and then I read back through them and realized DUDE, this is BORING. Except for a few of them, which actually made me laugh and which may not be common knowledge. So, in lieu of a real post, I offer you Random Tidbits of Hannah-ness:

1) When I was in 6th grade, we were studying medieval times in all our classes, and my English teacher invited my father in to sing medieval ballads to our class. OH, THE MORTIFICATION. Having your dad sing "Scarborough Fair" and assorted other ditties in front of all your friends (and, worse, enemies) ranks somewhere just below getting your braces tightened and above getting your hand slammed in the car door. Shockingly, he seemed surprised by this. (He also came to my class in preschool dressed as an elf, or something, and played the tin whistle. Apparently I was much more receptive then.)

2) I was a band nerd in high school (GO TOPPERS!!!!) and marched in both the Rose Parade and the Macy's Parade. For Macy's, I was one of the drum majors, and I was responsible for making sure none of us ran into anything (since we marched backwards), so I spent the entire parade looking over my shoulder, watching for manhole covers and curbs and the float in front of us. I needed a serious massage once we were done.

3) The only C that I ever got in high school was the first time through Algebra II (I ended up taking it again later because I couldn't stand to have it on my transcript). I blame it on my friend John and Tetris on my calculator.

4) After having traveled the subway systems in Washington, London, Paris, Boston, and Toronto with no problems, I spent years being baffled by the New York subway. I finally conquered it this spring, and the personal satisfaction that I derived from it cannot be put into words.

5) I have had exactly one illegal (under-age) drink in my life, consumed two days before my 21st birthday when my high school friend BMac threw me a surprise party at his apartment. It was half of a Bailey's milkshake, and I felt guilty about it the entire night.

6) That was the second of three surprise birthday parties that I've had: age 17 (by my high school friend Monica), age 21 (BMac), and age 23 (Jay, Ed, and Jules).

7) I have traveled to 22 states and eight foreign countries (Canada, England, Ireland, France, Italy, Germany, Austria, and Liechtenstein). This does not count states/countries where I have landed (like in the airport), but not actually spent any meaningful time. (For instance, I have flown through the Zurich airport, but I don't count Switzerland as a place I've visited.)

8) At parties, I'm the girl who cleans up (even when it's not my house).

9) One evening, a couple of years ago, Jay and I were dressed to go out on a Friday night, but we ended up playing Scrabble and falling asleep on the floor of the living room, fully dressed, before 10pm.

(Wow, I sound like kind of a loser, don't I?)

10) Despite attending college in D.C., I never took a political science class. Plenty of international studies and global communications stuff, but no straight U.S. poli sci.

11) The first time I was ever asked out was in a note "disguised" (badly) as a questionnaire and stuck in my locker. I chickened out and said no. But I think I still have the note somewhere.

12) I have a song for every occasion. It is a useful skill (if sometimes obnoxious), and I credit my parents for it. (*The title of this post, for instance, was inspired by a song. First one to guess wins... my undying love and respect.)

13) I think Julie Andrews hung the moon.

14) My southern accent only emerges when I'm tired or mad or both (and occasionally if I'm talking to someone from home). I do, however, say "ya'll" a lot.

15) The first musician/group that I ever fell in love with was Simon & Garfunkel. It was junior year of high school, and I vividly remember buying the Greatest Hits album. It also provided the soundtrack for one of the more memorable weekends of my adolescent life, a band trip to Miami.

16) No! Wait! That's not true! Hootie and the Blowfish came first, in seventh grade (I had Cracked Rear View on CASSETTE, ya'll) but their impact on my life was not as lasting as Simon & Garfunkel, which endures as one of my favorite albums to this day.

17) In college, Jules and I would lay out complete sets of clothes every night before bed in case of a fire alarm, which we had at least once a week during sophomore year. I always had to climb out of the top bunk and nearly killed myself every time.

18) I am afraid of rollercoasters, but I don't know why. I don't mind heights or speed, and I don't get carsick easily, but they scare me to death.

Heard.... ("Jay's back!" edition)

...while discussing Val and Annie's recent visit to see Jay in Chicago
Val: Several things reminded us of you.
Me: Like what?
Val: There was this fountain that played music and we knew you'd know all the songs.
Jay: [singing] Da da da da da da da dum dum dum...
Me: 1812 Overture. Tchaikovsky.
Val: See?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Twist-twist-twist-twist-mashed potato-mambo

Jules gave me the "Shake and Shimmy Edition" DVD of Hairspray for my birthday, and I am addicted. I've watched most of the extras two and three times and have even learned most of the dance to "Ladies' Choice." Unfortunately, the side effect is that I've had the song in my head literally for three days straight. I love Zac Efron, but it's getting a little old.

Monday, September 8, 2008


...halfway through dinner with the family in Pittsburgh
Grandma: [looking horrified] Do I have to eat all these carrots?!

(We had a casserole, and she somehow ended up with four million carrots in her helping.)


Apparently a girl can’t take a brief blogging break without disappointing her millions tens of readers. YOU CAN’T RUSH THE CREATIVE PROCESS, people. But I aim to please, so here I am.

Anyway. I’ve just come off of two fun-filled weekends, entirely different but both quite noisy. Last weekend's AU "family reunion" of sorts was jam-packed, and we visited nearly every museum known to man that isn't on the standard Smithsonian roster, specifically:

  • The OTHER Air and Space Museum (Udvar-Hazy Center) out by Dulles, which is awesome. (It has a Blackbird! And a space shuttle! And other things.)
  • The Newseum - I had been to the old one in Rosslyn, but the new, recently re-opened one is so much cooler! I could spend hours there. Among the museum's extensive collection of historical papers was one covering the 1925 Scopes trial. The paper in question? The Johnson City Staff-News, former rag of my hometown!
  • The Spy Museum - I was expecting it to be overrated but…well. It was not, primarily due “Operation Spy,” an hour-long interactive extravaganza (!) where you become a spy and go on a mission. My hours of watching Alias paid off, though Jason started things off well by figuring out how to open a secret door. (The answer? Push.) Anyway, it was exceedingly fun and well worth the extra $7.
  • Mt. Vernon - Honestly, it was a lot like any other historic landmark (Monticello takes the cake, in my opinion), except for the view, which is spectacular. Also, the peanut soup was quite tasty.

We also went to Zorba’s (obviously), spent large amounts of time wedged into my car, and ate a lot of food. And we talked a lot—generally all at the same time—though it obviously wasn’t very exciting because we nearly made Miguel fall asleep in his raspberry tiramisu at the dinner table. It was lively and exhausting and all the things that a good reunion should be.

AND THEN. This weekend, when Hanna (the hurricane or tropical storm or whatever) came to visit the area, I went to Pittsburgh for a Steelers game with my family. It was also quite loud, but fun was had by all. The weather was lovely, the Steelers won convincingly, and I discovered the joys of Nintendo DS Lite and the game “Brain Age,” which is addictive and awesome.

So now I am home, where I intend to stay for the foreseeable future.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Uh, duh.

Did anybody besides my mother notice the typo (now fixed) in the title of the post prior to the "Mavrick" one? Withdrawal. Yeesh. Clearly I should not be a smartass unless I check my spelling first.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


So. They were here. It was awesome. Now they are gone. It is quiet.

I shall write about it later, but for now I leave you (well, them, actually) with this: COMMIT, and MERGE!!!!

More later.