Tuesday, November 30, 2004

scholargooglestalk me!

Once upon a time, I was a scholar. I know it's true because my officemate told me that he read it on the internet.

Scholargooglestalk me at


Another Barbie doll

I went for my first post-race run this morning, just four easy miles. After the last mile my legs were pretty sore and I was ready to stop, but as expected, my legs feel better after the run than they did before it. Yay lactic acid removal!

Hectic week: after the craziness of the weekend, my interview loop is Thursday, followed immediately by me whisking off to Boston for the weekend. Mmmm, Boston in December.

So I'm just about finished with my Christmas shopping. Surprisingly, Noelle (my seven-year-old sister) has become one of the hardest people on my list to shop for. What do you get the little girl who has everything and who only wants Barbies? Maybe it's weirdly feminist or post-feminist or something-ist of me, but I just can't bring myself to do the Barbie thing. I think it's a destructive little toy. The real problem, though, is that she already has tens of thousands of dollars worth of stuff. The challenge is giving a gift that won't just get consumed by the ever-growing mass of crap on her porch/playroom. Something that will matter, that is less commodifiable and inherently disposable. And yet: when I was a kid, some of my favorite toys were things that all force of logic would have suggested were indistinguishable from my own mass of stuff but for one reason or another resonated with me.

I usually end up settling on something shlocky that she's asking for and something less shlocky that she's not but that I feel she's probably going to like. I feel gratified by the fact that she usually likes the non-shlock better in the long run, although the shlock is invariably more popular in the week following Christmas or birthday. Either way I can't bring myself to include Barbies. Or make-up, or high heels, or another princess outfit, all of which are routinely on her list. This is a seven-year-old more comfortable walking in heels than I am, which says a little something about both of us and a whole lot about her mom's encouragement. Why does this irk me so much? Is it because seven-year-olds aren't supposed to be wearing heels (bad for the back)? Because seven-year-olds shouldn't even be thinking about make-up and how skinny their waists are (bad for a whole variety of reasons)? Yes, but it's also because it's just not me, not when I was seven or now, and I fear that that's a less good reason not to break down and give her another Barbie doll. Her other interests I'm happy to support and indulge: she likes cooking, art, dancing, music. Whether or not they're my interests too.

The other day when I was on the phone with her she told me that she didn't want to have a career when she grew up, because moms are supposed to just be moms and cook and clean and stay at home. She's seven. It's 2004. I wasn't sure what to say.

So I just can't give her a Barbie doll. In a way I feel like it would be irresponsible, which is very high horsey and pulpity and even a bit arrogant of me. But I can't do it.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

And the results are in...

Despite having pulled a muscle in my butt that is spasming weirdly every time I shift the wrong way, I'm pretty happy with how the race went this morning. I was hoping to finish in about 1:50, and ended up finishing in 1:51. Ritchie and Chad did well too.

I'm wiped.

Vice Principal Gupta

I'm sitting here scarfing down some pre-race breakfast waiting for it to be time to leave. I think I got three hours of sleep last night between 11:30 and 2:30. Just as I was finally falling asleep into a great, great dream, my alarm went off at the ungodly hour that I had set it for. Blurg.

I meant to post yesterday about Sideways but forgot. In what has been a pretty lackluster year for movies so far this is one of the good ones: the best of stage-y, theater-type movies along with the best of vista-type flicks that make full use of the big screen. Definitely one of my favorites so far. Has Sandra Oh made a bad movie? I'm sure she has -- after all, a brief perusal of IMDB reveals that she played "Vice Principal Gupta" in The Princess Diaries -- but on the whole that woman knows how to choose her scripts.

Twenty minutes until I leave. I fear that I've timed the peeing thing wrong today. There's an art to not getting stuck on the portapotty line just as the race is getting going. I don't have to pee nearly enough right now.

Saturday, November 27, 2004


The day after Thanksgiving I had something to be thankful for: Katherine and I went shopping yesterday for Christmas party dresses and I found not one or two but three of them. For $140. Total. I realized as I was making the purchase that they were all black and pink. Although I'm feeling very Madonna-in-the-80s, I am nevertheless delighted. I think I'll bring one to Boston for Erin's 30th birthday party next week as a test run.

Our Thanksgiving gathering was successful. I can tell because we're still eating the leftovers. (I'm somewhat sad, though, that I ate the last of the stuffing this afternoon. Stuffing's one of those things that I vow every year to make more often but never do.)

Tomorrow morning Ritchie, Chad, and I are running the half-marathon that's associated with the Seattle marathon, and tomorrow afternoon Greg, Chad, and I are going to see that Seahawks-Bills game, both of which taken together mean that I can predict with confidence that Chad and I will crash hard around 5pm. I'm also predicting with confidence that I'm going to be wishing that I were in better half-marathon shape between miles 7 and 11 tomorrow, which four mile stretch is straight uphill.

Mmmmm. Stuffing.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Music, "music," and me

We've been running around like crazy today getting ready for Thanksgiving tomorrow, leaving work early to run by the market and cook and clean. Tonight we went to see Chris's friend perform with his jazz band, which was way less painful than I expected it to be, and way less painful than this holiday special with Kelly, Ruben, and Fantasia that I got home to find that Chris had TiVoed.

Ruben still sucks.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Arrested Development

Arrested Development is the best show on TV. If you're not watching it, you need to start.

I'm eternally grateful that someone at FOX had the good sense to stand up to the numbskulls who wanted to cancel it.

For real. You owe it to yourself to be watching this.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

A couple of sandwiches + Thanksgiving turkey

I finally saw I Heart Huckabees Friday night. What a disappointment. It really, really wanted to be a P.T. Anderson movie. It really, really failed. I imagine it would appeal to self-styled avant garde sophomores in college. I can't imagine who else it would appeal to, except evidently for Darren. I feel bad that I dragged Chris and Ritchie to see it with me.

Yesterday we spent the afternoon helping Jake and Kara move from their old house into their new garage and as a result my arms are good and sore today. Or maybe it's fatigue from dancing wildly at the Razorlight show last night, which was really pretty good. They're sort of a British Old 97's, so if you already like one of them you should really check out the other. I wanted to give a few of them and the leader singer in particular a couple of sandwiches, though. Holy skinny!

Tonight our Thanksgiving shopping begins in earnest. Fortunately I'm well-prepared, having already made several hundred lists of guests, pre-meal snacks, menu items, desserts, ingredients, and master lists correlating all of the above.

Friday, November 19, 2004


Last year Chris and I and a bunch of friends participated in the ultimate dorky puzzle event -- a weekend-long team puzzle-solving event with teams of up to 12 people each. It was seriously dorky, but also seriously awesome. I wrote about it here:


Well, we just found out that the next hunt is going to be on February 19, and I'm pretty psyched. Unfortunately, a couple of our original teammates are going to be out of town. Mario, on the other hand, already bought his plane ticket here.

Yay! Puzzles!

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Are you my friend? Have you ever been single?

More on Breakup Girl: Given my experiences of late, I've been finding the matchmaking posts particularly entertaining. Are you my friend? Have you ever been single? If the answer to at least one of these questions is yes, chances are that you've been set up on a date by me once or twice. I am incurable, in a kind, loving, and mostly well-intentioned kind of way.

I've recently learned that two friends I set up years ago have gotten engaged. Whatever happens to them from this point on -- and honestly, one of them is kind of insane so it's really hard to say how this is going to go -- I think I can reasonably claim this set-up as my success. Whenever a couple gets over six months, definitely a year, it's my success. If they mess it up after that it's their own responsibility. I just want to be singled out at someone else's wedding. Is that so much to ask?

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

TV Detective

First Magnum, p.i. and now this:


I expect great things in the decades to come.
I expect the author to reveal his/her identity in the minutes to come so I won't have to.

I've recently discovered that the Breakup Girl pages are back online. They're not quite as nice as they used to be, but they're still awesome:


Adela gave me a good offline answer -- well, technically I guess it was online, but offblog -- answer to my first impressions question. Have you made out with Adela yet? Why not?

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

This narcissistic post brought to you by...

I've been thinking lately about what kind of first impression I make, and how people revise their impressions of me upon getting to know me a little or a lot. I'm wondering which parts of me show through right away and which take longer for people to see. As yet I haven't gotten any unified or generalization-friendly answers. That in itself may be something unified and generalization-friendly. I don't know.

I'm feeling vaguely less misanthropic than I have been the last couple of days, but only vaguely.

Monday, November 15, 2004


There is currently a thread going around on the Scrabble listserv that is non-ironically entitled "Properly filled rack." And not one person has made a snotty remark yet.

I love Scrabble dorks.

Imperial Teen

The CDs I ordered a little while back have finally all arrived and I've had a chance to listen to all of them but Ladybug Transistor, which I've heard before and know I'm going to like. The clear winner is the Imperial Teen album (On), which I heartily endorse. I'm thinking I need to go buy their back catalogue of albums now, and I'm thinking that several of you would like it too (Ben and Erin and Vince and Heather at least).

Friday night I went with a bunch of people to the Magnetic Fields show at the Moore. It was definitely the best of the three times I've seen them. I've always thought of them before as a studio band, since Stephin Merritt seems to disdain his audience so much. Now I think maybe it was just Philly. They were positively chipper here in Seattle. Anna even enjoyed it and she hasn't liked the album stuff she's heard that much.

I guess I'm going to see Razorlight this coming weekend, and we just bought tickets for the big alt.clear-channel.radio holiday show here because it features Modest Mouse, Franz Ferdinand, Keane, The Killers, Snow Patrol, and The Shins, and it's hard to turn all that down for $40.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Boys and clothes and shopping and math

Yesterday I bought knee socks and last night I wore them with a skirt on purpose, which is something I swore I'd never do through all the years of elementary and middle school uniforms that required me to wear navy blue and then hunter green knee socks every single day and all anyone really wanted was to wear any sockage but knee-highs. If Katy F., Deirdre M., or Eileen D. found out, they'd probably feel betrayed, unless they're wearing knee socks again too.

Katherine and I had a mediumly successful shopping expedition yesterday in which I learned that: Black and Decker has outlet stores; North Bend has a serious over-concentration of shoe stores at which one can buy knee-high leather boots for size 9 1/2 feet for $10.84 (sadly, I wear size 8); it was only a matter of time until I bought clogs, and the time has arrived.

When I was about eight years old my dad had a very serious conversation with me in which he told me that my other friends would start to be interested in boys and clothes and shopping but that I would not, because I'd have math. I ended up a weird kind of undercover-until-I-open-my-mouth nerd girl who likes boys and clothes and shopping and math.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

My big fat obnoxious reality TV show

It's finally happened: I've come up against my reality TV limit. Though I respect and gravely admire the idea of My Big Fat Obnoxious Boss, I can't get past the fact that the "Ivy Leaguers" they've rounded up for the fiasco are beer distributors and copier salespeople; though the musical extravaganza on this week's The Biggest Loser was strangely compelling in the way that a traffic accident is strangely compelling, I felt my brain cells dying as I watched it. I think this is it. The beginning of the end of reality TV. What I'm feeling, the rest of the country has got to be feeling too. I'm not alone in this, am I?

Oh, sure. You still have your America's Next Top Models and your The Amazing Races, but they're precious and rare. I think it's enough to drive me to finish the David Foster Wallace short story collection that I'm only somewhat enjoying, if only so that I can get to the new William Trevor collection that I prevented myself from buying the other day because I have too many books in my queue as it is.

I think I'm reality TVed out. It's a day of mourning.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Magnetic Fields

Friday night (11/12) is the Magnetic Fields show here in Seattle. It turns out that I might have an extra ticket available for it. Let me know if you'd like to come with us.

I'm feeling grumpy today. What's good for degrumpifying?

Monday, November 08, 2004


I can't stop listening to the music on the Merge Records site:


I'm addicted.

Sunday, November 07, 2004


Last night before an evening of heavy drinking Katherine and I went to Persimmon for dinner. I've been wanting to try it for a while, particularly for brunch, and Katherine's new apartment really close by there so we gave it a shot. Really simple menu, nice selection of wines by the bottle and by the glass, and everything we had was really, really good. We shared mushroom escargot to start and bread pudding for dessert, and for our main courses we had macaroni and cheese with a whole array of fancy melty cheeses and pork tenderloin with mashed potatoes and greens. I'm definitely going back for brunch.

This all followed an afternoon when I went shopping with this guy:


We got lots of good stuff. Now he's just gotta wear it.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

The Incredibles

Last night I went to see The Incredibles. Both the movie and the short before it (Boundin' were really, really good. One of the things that's so striking about the Disney/Pixar collaborations is how great everything looks, especially as contrasted to the ugly stylized characters of the Shrek/Shark Tale team. In any case I really liked the movie and I'm glad I was able to persuade people to see it with me on opening night. Chris was sick and not feeling up to going so I might end up seeing it again at some point. So far it's in my top three movies of the year. (The others? Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Garden State, which is my favorite.)

Friday, November 05, 2004


I bought four new CDs today:

On -- Imperial Teen
King Me -- Visqueen
Antics -- Interpol
Ladybug Transistor -- Ladybug Transistor

Now I'm impatiently waiting for them to get here.


My friend Jake has a geeky blog. You can read it here:


The concatenation of these person names and blog names reminds me of Less Than Jake, which reminds me of Philadelphia, and possibly even of Kretchmar if I'm being honest and willing to pander to his ego, because what he really needs is ego pandering. Furthermore, Jake confirms for me that this band name is the origin of his blog name, which makes me feel prescient and smart on this Friday afternoon when I'm wishing I'd planned to leave early so I could go out and enjoy the spectacular sunshine.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Important reminder

A reminder:


OH yeah.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Four more years

What do you expect from a country where people believe that all Middle Easterners orchestrated 9/11, come out in droves to prevent gay people from getting married, and want Creationism in public school curricula?

Monday, November 01, 2004

My new sideline careers

As party girl: I have a bunch more Halloween pictures from Jake that I could post here, but I haven't gotten around to it yet. The weekend stories I told and was told today make it increasingly obvious that parties and stories about parties make a nice sideline career, with all the pressure to deliver of everyone's ordinary jobs.

As chauffeuse: I gotta know: am I a bad driver? I've been a lot of shit from the beavers of late. Let me rephrase that: am I a bad driver on the scale of normal people? how about on the scale of my sister? This evening on the way back from work when I was driving with five people in the car we saw an accident happen right in front of us. I was proud not to have caused it.

As fashion consultant: I am about to embark on the most exciting straight boy makeover of my illustrious career to date. If I can get away with it I'm going to post before and after pictures. If you were making over a very straight straight boy with strong hottie potential, where would you take him?