Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Recipe for Temporary Depression

1. Bake one lone potato.
2. Unwrap the tinfoil, slide sad wrinkled potato onto plate, smother in cheese to conceal the blank white space of pure, unadulterated starch.
3. Eat.
4. In front of computer.
5. As you write a paper on the topic of what it's like to grow up the child of a bipolar alcoholic in war-torn Rhodesia.
6. Remind yourself that your childhood was significantly happier; feel sincere yet fleeting gratitude.
7. Stab morosely at potato with fork.
8. Drink some cider.
9. Spit out the dregs.
10. Stare blankly at your bulbous, cheese-smothered potato.
11. Consider potato's potential as metaphor.
12. Hate yourself for being so cheesy.
13. Ha! Cheesy! Like my potato!
14. Drink tap water.
15. Realize that you are wearing pajama bottoms with pictures of moose and black bears, while eating a solitary potato and writing about someone else's mother.
16. Bake at 350 for one hour.
17. Eat with potato.
18. Blog.

Monday, September 29, 2008

A Rant

I am so sick of people trying to argue that the book is always better than the movie. Sometimes it isn't. Sometimes the book sucks, and the movie manages to extract the good parts, add interest, make the characters more believable, use a freaking awesome soundtrack, and just generally improve a hopelessly sub-par book.

And sometimes the movie does suck - it smacks the characters with terrible dialogue until they become 2-d, paper-thin with generically attractive faces; or it turns the story into an incoherent mess of garbled words and unclear motivations. But sometimes the book was garbled and vague to begin with - sometimes the movie is just being faithful to the story, the characters, the dialogue; sometimes the movie's suckitude is just mirroring the book's, and I don't understand why people are so surprised.

And can we please get over this bullshit notion that film is somehow an inferior medium? Because it isn't. Don't blame Micheal Bay on the art form he's chosen to eviscerate. Micheal Bay is a terrible director with a barely rudimentary understanding of dialogue, and that's all he is. He doesn't stand for anything but his own gaping plot holes, yeah?

Oh, and also? I don't get Hugh Grant. I thinks he's a competent actor, but far from exceptional, and I find him incredibly unattractive. While some people have posited that I only hate Hugh Grant because "he never called me in the morning," I call BS. Hugh Grant is icky, and his accent makes him sound so snobbish I've often wondered if it's fake - maybe he's just a pampered kid from Jersey who went to Syracuse and smokes clove cigarettes, who listens obsessively to the New Pornographers, not because their music is catchy but because it's oh-my-god-indie.

In fact, I was talking to someone the other day who claimed to do a fantastically fake British accent, and when I finally convinced him to prove it, I immediately said, wow, dude. You sound like Hugh Grant. Because he did. Hugh Grant is a walking satire, and his apparent ignorance of the fact is something I find highly amusing.

Plus he cheated on Elizabeth Hurley with a prostitute. I don't care one way or another about Elizabeth Hurley - I'm not even sure what she does, exactly, which probably means she's a model - but damn. That's low.

So, in sum: people should stop constantly whining about movie adaptations ruining the books they are based on, Micheal Bay is a talentless asshat, Hugh Grant is an oblivious walking satire whose appeal I will never understand, it must really suck to have your husband cheat on you with a prostitute, and I could use a good night's sleep.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Knitted Limbs Are Creepy

So the new Knitty is out, right? And it's got some cute stuff. Like really cute armwarmers, and this quite interesting shell with armwarmers, and, well, lots of stuff to protect my arms. This issue is just chock full of armor. (Good Lord, am I witty.)

Unfortunately, it also features actual knitted arms. With hands attached, no less.


Because, in addition to "Hug" featuring some truly hideous knitting - what size needles did she use, anyway? - it kind of looks like it's about to drag that adorable creature into a cave littered with bones. And that just isn't right. The kid knows it, too. He's doing everything he can not to touch those arms. And his face is just crying out for help.

This hideous piece of crap totally reminds me of the "Therapy Buddy" from American Inventor - you know, the creepy blue doll with arms that wrapped around your shoulders (or wherever) and said "everything is going to be all right." Remember that?

No? Well then, I envy you.

But seriously. I bet that all over Manhatten, pampered upper-class moms are firing their nannies and knitting "Hug" as a replacement. Which is really pretty sad, is it not?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Free Disease?

I just got a long boring e-mail from the student health center reminding me of all the wonderful services they have to offer, and I read it, for reasons unclear. Then I got to this bit:

The health services also have some vaccinations available. If you are 18 years old and younger, we have HPV, hepatitis B, and meningitis available for free. (Bold mine.)

And I thought, damn. I'm barely old enough to drink, but too old for free hepatitis.

On a different note, every time I write the word "damn," I have this brief moment where I want to berate myself for pronouncing it wrong. "Duh, Sam, it's dammen."

And that is all I have to say. For now, at least.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Team Angelina

Whenever I'm standing in line at a coffee shop, waiting to order my 20 oz. breve with an extra shot, there's always a brief moment when I consider just getting coffee. A plain coffee, with a bit of cream and nothing else. It's a solid, reliable, and sufficiently caffeinated beverage, is it not? There's nothing wrong with just a coffee.

That said, there's nothing all that exciting about it, either. Its main attraction is its affordability. Well, that and the fact that it's convenient. Whereas espresso is fresh, and exciting. It's dark. It's mysterious. It packs more energy into less liquid. It is, in essence, the Angelina to coffee's Jen.

Anyway, I was standing in line today, thinking about these things, and I said to myself, you know...maybe I should give Jen a chance. She seems like a nice girl, and she's probably better for me. Angelina is all shades of awesome, but kind of intimidating. Let's get a Jen.

My decision made, I started reading the sign with descriptions of each coffee flavor, but ultimately found myself horrified by the way they were written. That isn't to say the writing was poor, exactly, but that the descriptions read like personal ads. The bodies of each coffee were either "good," "very good," or, delicately, "full." Some were "very bright," while others had "a tinge of fruitiness." Some flavors were "powerful," while others were "light" and "gentle." At which point I realized: why jeopardize my meaningful relationship with espresso by taking up with some drip coffee floozy?

So I ordered a breve. And then I spilled it, and the foam dried in my hair. But whoever said that love was easy?

P.S. - Don't let foam dry in your hair. It's gross. Also, it reminded me of that scene in There's Something About Mary. "What is that? Is it hair gel? Oh good, I needed some."

Monday, September 15, 2008

Serious Fangirl Moment Comin' RIGHT UP

I saw the Wallflowers. They were awesome. Jakob Dylan, what with his chiseled jaw, intense gaze, and prominent cheekbones, is hands-down the most beautiful specimen I have ever had the good fortune to set eyes on. He is gorgeous. He does not look forty. He was a dry, understated sense of humor that catches you off-guard, and a knack for skillfully layering blazers over checkered flannel shirts. He looks good in a cowboy hat, and I'm pretty sure he could read my mind if he felt so inclined. (If only.) His eyes are piercing, his voice is perfect, and I'm pretty sure I love him.

Oh, and he's also a good musician. So yeah.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Quote of the Day

"Do you have bibles, or reasonable facsimiles?"

Yeah, who doesn't want a fake bible? A reasonable one, that is. An outlandish fake bible is simply not acceptable.

Seriously though, what was she talking about? And do I really want to know?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Something I Noticed While Checking the Weather

The top searches on MSN today are Victoria Beckham, 23,000 Big Macs, and Child Brides.

That's wonderful. Or would be, were it not for the fact that I will probably have some weird dream tonight involving all three.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Scraper of the Flies

One of the many occupational hazards of working in a used bookstore is the possibility of touching books which are utterly disgusting. Books that are molding; books that are speckled with mud; books that shower your shoes with dirt when you shake them. I have seen books stained with blood, both dried and fresh, and I'm pretty sure I once smelled cat pee while flipping through the suspiciously yellow pages of a Danielle Steel novel.

All these things are pretty repulsive. The fresh blood in particular. It got on my shirt - a shirt I no longer own - and on my hands, which I must have washed fifty times that day. For a week I agonized: What if I get hepatitis? Did I have any open cuts where it touched me? Did I put my hands near my mouth? Am I going to die?

Eventually, yes, I learned to live again. But it was a long, hard battle - one I wouldn't wish on anyone. (Except that one chick. God, she sucks.)

So anyway. Today I got a box of books, right? They were old and dusty, but that's par for the course 'round these parts. The woman who brought them in apologized for the dust ("sorry, they've just been sitting in my garage so long"), and I assured her it was no problem to clean them. I started going through the box, wiping each book down with a paper towel soaked in Windex as I went - but then, as I neared the bottom, there appeared a colony of flies.

They were repulsive, these flies. Some had been crushed beneath the weight of the books and become two-dimensional, while others had fallen in the gaps between the books and had actually expanded, their puffy bodies rolling back and forth like marbles over the dirty cardboard.

I turned the book I was holding over in my hand, and found about five or six flies stuck to the back cover. They were so flat they were starting to become one with the jacket: their wings were tissue-thin, and their heads looked like ink blotches.

"Um." I paused, unsure of how to proceed. "Huh. It appears that these ones are a bit...damaged."

"Well, but you can just wipe that stuff off, right?" she asked.

Oh, of course. Of course I can "wipe that off." I mean, how are mashed-up flies any different from a bit of water? You just grab a towel, and...well, no. When they're all mashed up like that, you usually have to scrape them. So you grab a chisel - you know, that chisel you keep on your person at all times - and you...oh, wait. THAT'S REALLY GROSS.

But I didn't know how to say that in a professional manner, and anyway I didn't feel like arguing with her, so I shrugged, grabbed a Kleenex, and used it to pick off one of the flies. I managed to rip the body loose, but the wings remained; they glowed green and pink, like the wall of a bubble caught in the sunlight. I stood there for a moment, pressing my thumb and forefinger against the lump embedded in the Kleenex, and then I took a deep breath, looked at her, and said:

"Of course."

Thereby cementing my status as the patron saint of retail.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Something I Noticed Last Night

I have a pair of wire cutters, but no screwdriver. Also, I have orange juice but no vodka, meaning I couldn't even make a screwdriver. I guess I'm screwed in both departments.