Friday, June 29, 2012

Friday roundup

Wow, a lot happened this week in the world. Here are a few articles that caught my eye:

As a lifelong singer--in church, in choirs, in the car, on any possible occasion that might annoy my friends--this is fascinating. (Hat tip to Mom for sending me this one.)

I was crushed when I heard about the death of Nora Ephron, writer of some of my favorite movies and some of my most quoted lines ("Waiter, there is too much pepper on my paprikash." "Who belongs to this fish?"). This tribute by Lena Dunham, one of today's brightest young female writer/directors, is beautiful.

Regardless of where you come down on the healthcare debate, this piece on the Chief Justice is really thought-provoking.

And finally, amidst the flurry of people threatening to move to Canada because of the healthcare ruling (See ya! Enjoy their socialized medicine! Don't let the door hit you on the way out!), someone tweeted this gem (which may only make sense if you've made it to the end of the Harry Potter series).

Happy weekend, ya'll. If you're, oh, anywhere in the continental U.S., try not to melt.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

In which I sacrifice my dignity for free desserts

Thursday, 4:15pm. Outside temperature: 95 degrees. My boss comes ambling into my office.

JK: I'm thinking about a frozen yogurt run.
Me: Yeah?
JK: Are you interested? I'll buy--
Me: Sure!
JK: --if you go get it.
Me: ..... 
JK: [Grins; looks at me encouragingly]
Me: You see, THIS is why people think I'm your assistant.* 
JK: ... Is that a no?
Me: No, I'll go. I mean, free yogurt.

*My title is Assistant Director, but he enjoys telling people that I'm Assistant to the Director.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Heard/Photo Wednesday: Partying with celery

During Annie's wedding in Iowa, I found myself--once again--skipping the cake and consuming large quantities of raw celery. So naturally, I had to document it for my colleague, who once pointed out my frequent commentary on crudite consumption. 

Me, mid-dance: Jay! I need to you take a picture of me with this celery.
Jason: ... Seriously?
Me: Yes. Please post it to Facebook right now.
Jason: ... 

Bad lighting, good veggies
Nobody can ever accuse me of not knowing how to have a good time.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Honestly, I can't believe I just listened to a Captain & Tennille song

I've been listening to NPR's Songs of Summer 1962-2012 mix nonstop at work for the last week, largely because it's one of the most enjoyable compilations of songs I've come across in a while. (Jules wrote about it last week.)That said, given its long timespan and broad array of songs included, some of the transitions are pretty amusing. My favorites:

Nicki Minaj's "Super Bass" ---> Sammy Davis Jr.'s "Candyman" ---> the Notorious B.I.G.'s "Mo Money Mo Problems"

"Glory of Love [Theme from 'The Karate Kid'] ---> Gnarl's Barkley's "Crazy" ---> Hanson's "MMMBop"

Captain & Tennille's "Love Will Keep Us Together" ---> Sean Paul's "Get Busy" 

The Bee Gee's "How Do You Mend A Broken Heart" ---> Carly Rae Jepson's "Call Me Maybe" 

Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl" ---> Bo Donaldson & The Heywoods' "Billy, Don't Be a Hero"

Eminem's "Without Me" ---> Jim Croce's "Bad Bad Leroy Brown" ---> Beyonce's "Bootylicious"

Huey Lewis & The News' "The Power of Love" ---> Backstreet Boys' "Everybody [Backstreet's Back]"

The Carpenters' "Close to You ---> The Vengaboys' "We Like to Party!"

Stevie Wonder & Paul McCartney's "Ebony & Ivory" ---> Nelly's "Hot in Herre"

Monday, June 25, 2012

Summer cold, summer hot, summer Olympics

I've spent most of the last four days shut up in my apartment, avoiding the oppressive heat and trying to kick the cold I brought back from Iowa. I took a sick day and everything! Happily, this has coincided with my acquisition of HBO (the better to watch Aaron Sorkin's new show The Newsroom) and, thus, HBO onDemand, so I've watched the entire first seasons of Girls, Veep, and Game of Thrones. But you know what else was on all weekend?

The OLYMPIC TRIALS, that's what. And, well, you know how I feel about the Olympics. It's been exhaustively documented here and here and here and, wow, I really write about this a lot, don't I?

Anyway, the diving and track-and-field trials were this weekend, and the swimming (my favorite!) starts tonight and runs on NBC in primetime all week, with some gymnastics thrown in for good measure. These are particularly important, as I must find a new Olympics boyfriend, since my longtime love Aaron Peirsol has retired. Ryan Lochte is in the running (and I don't yet know whether Pieter van den Hoogenbandenbergenwhatever is competing), but we need to see who else is out there.

Luckily, the first full week of the Olympics is during our family beach week, which means I don't have to worry about it affecting my sleep cycle (and job performance) as much this year.

What about you? Do you prefer the winter games (ski jumping! figure skating!! short-track speed skating!!! biathlon!!!??!) or the summer (swimming! gymnastics! diving! decathlon!)? I can never decide.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A comprehensive list of items in the top drawer of my desk


Clockwise-ish from top left:

Teas (assorted): Bentley's, Celestial Seasonings, Bigelow, Throat Coat. What's your poison? I've probably got it here. Also some sort of gourmet chocolate tea, which Ashley sent home with me from Saint Louis last fall and which am guarding like it's the damn Ring of Endor.....Is that a thing? From Lord of the Rings? Or, wait, is it Mordor? Eh, whatever. I haven't read the books.

Apple cider vinegar (one bottle): from the time I was having killer acid reflux and read somewhere to dilute it in water and drink it (PSA, if you're thinking of trying it: it didn't really help, and it tasted pretty unpleasant.)

Zicam Chewables (one box, minus one chewable), which I bought last year when I had a cold, popped one into my mouth, spit it out in horror, and have not touched since, despite the fact that they were like $12 or some absurd cost

Lindt Lindor Truffles (1 bag) with only the white chocolate ones (which I dislike) remaining

Ritz crackers (1/3 sleeve), stale and mostly crushed 

Potato chips, classic (two bags)

Danish butter cookies (large tin): obviously I need to eat something with all that tea

Blue tissue paper (one package) and white ribbon (remnants of one spool): What, don't you keep your gift wrapping supplies near your vinegar?

Trail mix (one bag, half eaten)

Cheez-It Snack Mix 100 Calorie Right-Bites (one bag), stolen from a board meeting yesterday

Welch's Berries n' Cherries fruit snacks, with exactly two fruit snacks remaining in bag

* * * * * 
Not visible in photo:

Gladware with one stale cookie, sent home with me by my grandmother after a visit sometime in 2010 (it wasn't stale at the time, of course)

Apple juice (one bottle)

CD, Bach's B Minor Mass

Memoir titled Safe Passage

Coupons for Subway, expired

Seven pieces of Dolle's Taffy from Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, which the president of our company brings back from vacation every year for the staff and I only take out of politeness, even though I can't stand taffy

Monday, June 18, 2012

My kind of town

I got back late last night after a late flight from O'Hare, on which my seatmate was a lovely girl who happened to be reading the exact same book I am (A Clash of Kings, for those who are wondering). She also happened to be a nervous flyer, a fact that she mentioned as we watched assorted emergency vehicles assembling on the tarmac as our plane taxied out for takeoff. (Apparently there was a problem with an incoming flight, though I'm assuming it ended okay, as I've seen no headlines about distressed planes today.) She understated it just a hair ("I don't like flying much."), though, because about 20 minutes into the flight, as I was settling into a light doze amid some very slight turbulence, I felt a hand grab my arm. The poor girl was clearly freaking out. So I spent the entire flight making conversation, talking her off the ledge ("Well, the flight attendants are serving drinks. They wouldn't be doing that if the plane was in trouble."), and generally distracting her. 

I got home at 1am. So much for sleeping on the plane.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Photo Wednesday: Three Rivers

At the end of May, my family convened in Pennsylvania to celebrate my cousin Daniel's high school graduation, including an amazing dinner at the Monterey Bay Fish Grotto atop Pittsburgh's Mount Washington. The views of the city couldn't have been better.

City of bridges

Heinz Field, home of our beloved Steelers

Sparkly! (PNC field on the left, where a Pirates game was taking place)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Broadway, baby!

So I went to New York last week. Ashley, who was headed there with a friend for a theater trip, had called me just a couple of weeks prior to invite me along. Though I was to be in Pittsburgh for a few days to celebrate my cousin's high school graduation, I decided I could squeeze in a couple of days in the city and a show or two. So, for the second spring in a row, Ash and I started making New York plans.

Unlike last year, however, I was basically crashing Ashley and Dustin's (her friend from St. Louis) trip, so I was pretty much along for the ride. "There will be no sleeping in on this trip. Up and at 'em every morning to stand in lines," she warned me, referring to the lines for the TKTS discount ticket booths. But that was fine, so I bought my BoltBus tickets, and off I went. During the mere 48 hours I was there, we managed to:

  • See two plays and a musical: