Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I love a parade!

Yesterday, I got stuck in the Clarendon Mardi Gras parade on my walk home from the gym. In this case, "stuck" means that instead of just planning my workout so I'd be on the elliptical machine for all of Jeopardy as usual, I also made sure I'd be walking home along the parade route when the festivities began. I couldn't help myself.

I've never actually experienced a Mardi Gras parade before - it's not quite as big a holiday in the Northeast. This one was pretty dinky, to be honest, but the people outside on the parade route had not been clued into this fact. They were shouting and dancing and calling for beads like they were actually in New Orleans. Little kids were wearing so many beads it looked like they were walking a bit bow-legged from the weight. I think my favorite float - if you can call it that - was the Red Top Cab company. Their contribution to the parade consisted of 2 of their cabs, decorated with a single strand of beads wrapped on each door handle. Way to catch the spirit!

But the best part - with no sarcasm this time - was the marching band that brought up the rear of the 2o minute parade. Unfortunately, I can't remember the name of the high school - I think I have to start carrying a camera at all times to properly augment this blog. Anywhosville, they kicked some serious ass. They had attitude. They had a kickin' drum core just oozing rhythm. They had a great sound. Basically, they had everything my high school marching band didn't.

I am a band-geek-wannabe. I love anything that has to do with teamwork and harmony (and harmonizing) so I should have loved marching band. My brother had a great time in our high school's band - but by the time I got there, the director that my bro had respected and admired had pretty much given up on teaching. The marching band consisted of 12 people, all forced to be there in order to pass band class and stay in concert or jazz band. I seriously contemplated trying out to be the kicker for the football team, since that was the only way out of this ridiculous obligation. We didn't even really march - we did what is unaffectionately known as "park and play." Walk out to the middle of the field, find your spot, stand still and blow. Boy, did we blow.

But when I see videos like this, or watch dumb movies like Drumline, I can't look away and my heart races in time to the cadence. If you ever thought band geeks were the uncoolest of the cool, you were wrong. That honor is reserved for people like me, who kinda wish they were band geeks.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I love advertising, it gives us crap like this:

What a ridiculous waste of time this was - thank you Samsung, for being absurd and making my day.

Samsung UltraTouch's Gratuitous Use of Cute

Can you believe that people get paid to make this stuff? Lordy, do I wish it was me...

Friday, February 20, 2009


My internet presence is a little out of control these days. I have a Facebook page, a (completely abandoned and unwanted) MySpace account, a Twitter...whatever it is you have on Twitter, GChat, iChat for work, and this brand spanky-new blog. Even though I have waaaaaay too much connectivity, I wish for one more...

I miss AIM.

My dad always made sure that our family was an early-adapter to all technological improvements of the 1990s. We were the first people I knew to have a DVD player - which I consider a risky move, seeing as it could have easily gone the way of BetaMax. So, I was hip to AOL before AOL was hip. Ya dig? I've had the same screenname since I was 11 years old, which explains the emotional attachment I have with those 9 alphanumeric characters. Like a stage name, it is my World Wide Web name.

Actually - and this could will come across as lame - one of my best friends in middle school was someone from Georgia I met in an AOL theater chatroom. First of all: leave me alone, it was middle school and my glasses/braces/frizzy hair combination was quite the obstacle to overcome. Secondly, no, he was not a 45 year old man that wanted me to do naughty things. This was in the beginning of AOL - people hadn't figured out you could use the internet like that yet. I loved talking to him because he wasn't involved in any of my 7th grade drama. We're now friends on Facebook and have NOTHING in common, hah. Our political views are on complete opposite ends of the spectrum and while he had big dreams of being an actor in NYC someday, he is now the eternal Southern Frat-Guy that would probably get killed in the first 20minutes of Scary Movie 6.

But these days, AIM is a thing of the past. I have barely anyone on my buddy list because people don't really exchange their screennames any more. I don't really talk to the people that ARE on there, either. When I first moved to DC two summers ago, I looked at my very short "DC People" section and thought, "Soon this list won't be so depressingly small." But it's pretty much the same, while my Gchat can be overwhelming.

Lately, my AIM won't recognize that my screenname is supposed to be in lowercase letters. Every time I sign on, I have to go to EDIT--> Screen Name Format and re-type it. It drives me nuts. It makes me angry that the program doesn't remember me from log-in to log-in. And it's made me re-evaluate my use of AIM. Why am I even logging in? Almost everyone I'd want to chat with is on Gchat.

So it's not really AIM itself that I'm hesitant to give up - it's the Away Message. I view Gchat Status more like a Facebook update. I don't feel comfortable logging onto Gchat and walking away, which was my M.O. for AIM. And I do really love away messages. I've always seen them as mini-advertisements for myself. Considering the fact that I went to school to be a copywriter and now work in print production, it's one of the few chances I have to practice my craft.

I guess it's time to grow up, though. Goodbye, AIM, it's been a long friendship. But you've changed, too - you're all about playing games and you have even forgotten how I spell my name. I think it's finally over between us.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Upstaged on Broadway

Exhibit A: Oliver Platt
Film/TV credits include:
  • Frost/Nixon

  • "The West Wing"

  • The Ice Harvest

  • Kinsey

  • Dr. Doolittle

  • Bulworth

  • A Time to Kill

Exhibit B: Craig Bierko
Film/TV credits include:

  • "Unhitched" <-- did you miss this one? I caught an episode centering around a girl's retch-worthy "skin flap." Honestly, how did that not last?

  • Superhero Movie

  • "Boston Legal"

  • Scary Movie 4

  • Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star (with the man-child only Heather Locklear could love, David Spade)

  • "Sex & the City" - that guy that loved jazz music and played Carrie like a bass cello

Somehow, these two guys ended up in Guys & Dolls together on Broadway. Seriously, small world! and all the other theatre websites don't actually mention Bierko at all - when I first walked into the Nederlander on 41st and saw his name, I thought Craig Bierko was the guy from the "Hercules" series (tsk, you can't take Hercules away from Kevin Sorbo! It's all he has!). Top billing goes to Oliver Platt - whom I truly love as the intelligent, self-deprecating sidekick character actor - and Lauren Graham, best known as the mom from "Gilmore Girls."

When Oliver Platt first stepped on stage as Nathan Detroit, the crowd was given time to applaud his famosity...famousness...and we took advantage of the opportunity. The same went for Lauren Graham as Adelaide. Applause all around! Except...when Craig Bierko made his entrance as Sky Masterson, there was ample time for a round of recognition applause. Instead, everyone kind of sat uncomfortably, wondering if any one else in the audience was thinking of clapping. Yeouch.

It's a crazy thing to say, given all the evidence piled against him, but Craig Bierko kicked Oliver Platt's Broadway bottom. Platt barely even phoned it in - for example, the choreography was composed around him since he's not quite what you would call "nimble." But, Bierko was on fire. In fact, he was pretty durn hot. Clad in a white suit and matching hat, he salsa danced in the Cafe Havana scene, pretty much sweeping Sister Sarah the Missionary and the audience off their feet. He was a true show-stealer!

Thankfully, he got the ovation he deserved at the curtain call. Since I went to Guys & Dolls specifically to see Oliver Platt, I was a bit disappointed in the show overall. As a person who was literally dragged to see Scary Movie 4 and spent the time checking my watch, it's hard to believe I'm saying this, but: Thank heavens Craig Bierko was there to save the night!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Not Such a G'Day

It isn't often that Australia is a hot topic in American news, but the massive wildfires this past weekend have received a lot of media coverage. I am shocked by the severity of these fires and their widespread destruction - and the idea that it could have been arson is just infuriating.


I am having a REALLY hard time reading articles about these wildfires without "hearing" the quotes in my head in a thick, Aussie accent. It's really taking away from the gravity of the situation. Today's newspaper quote is from Jon Rowden, the president of a wildlife rescue group: "There's no doubt across that scale of landscape and given the intensity of the fires, millions of animals would have been killed."

That is a terrible and sad quote. Still, I couldn't even type it just now without my brain converting it into a pretty dismal recreation of an Australian lilt. For shame.

Also, I just realized I made an unintentional pun to start this post. That's not helping!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I miss recess.

It is disturbingly beautiful outside right now. Disturbing because it shouldn't be 68 degrees in DC three days before Valentine's Day. But still - beautiful! I want to take a walk, or go play soccer in a park, or just find a bench and read a book.

Alas, such is the life of a Dilbert-esque adult. I am fortunate enough to be in an office with a window. Until I was hoisted up a rung on the corporate ladder a few months ago, I sat in the middle of a hallway - at least I didn't have to deal with a cubicle and those gray, fuzzy Office Space walls. Still, said window doesn't open so I am just looking out at the world and lusting for a breeze.

I wish there was such a thing as office recess. If I was a partner in a company, I'd send an email like this:

To: All Employees
RE: Seize the Day!

In case you were not aware, the weather outside is divine. Please stop what you are doing and take 45 minutes to walk around and breathe fresh air. Hula hoops and playground balls are available at the receptionist's desk.

The Partners

This office could really benefit from a four-square championship. I'm a little rusty, but I bet it's just like riding a bike. Oh - what a great day for a bike ride, too!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Sleepless on Sundays

Every Sunday night, I toss and I turn. It doesn't matter if I stayed up late on Friday or Saturday or went to bed early....or if I slept in that morning or got up early. I just can't turn off my brain on Sunday nights. Maybe it's from 48hours of minimum mental exertion; whatever the reason, it's annoying. Most times, I try to plan out the outfit I'll wear the next day, since that can save me about 5 minutes in the morning. And chances are good I will hit snooze one too many times if I don't fall asleep until 2 a.m.

Last night, I spent some time thinking about all the hare-brained inventions I'd love to patent one day. I've actually looked into it and boy, is that prohibitively expensive! I'd have to be rich off of one of my inventions before I could afford to patent one of my ideas...wait, what? I have 4 or 5 notions rattling around in this noggin' of mine that I really think could bring home the bacon. I already missed out on one - in my sophomore year of college, I made up a beer with "Cold Pak Technology" that kept a 40oz beer cold longer than any beer on the market. A year and a half later, Coors Lite came out with a product that was pretty much the same thing. (Coincidence that my advertising professor had connections to the beer industry? You tell me....) I don't think they make it any more, so maybe of all the ideas to miss out on, that was the one.

But if you ever happen to meet someone who works for Hanes/Fruit of the Loom...or RCA, or the Cape Cod Beach Chair Company...maybe you could let them know I have an idea that will knock their socks off! In the meantime, I'll just be lying awake on Sunday nights, thinking of more crazy products to improve the world....and wondering if the sweater I want to wear on Monday is clean.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Coffee Talk

My company is nice enough to provide us with an endless supply of free Green Mountain coffee. After a year and a half here, I've never swayed from my Colombian Free Trade K-Cup; it is presumably good for the world economy and, as an added bonus, tastes like coffee and not sludge.

But every morning, when I reach into the Colombian Free Trade caddy, I pull out French Roast. And then another French Roast. French Roast. French Roast. French Roast. French Roast. I start making little K-cup pyramids of all of these mis-stored coffees in my anger. You cannot mess with a girl's coffee - mess with me all you like AFTER I've had my coffee, but don't mess with my coffee!

Today, I gave in. Something in the depths of my being urged me to try the French Roast. And I am extremely ashamed to report that it was delicious. Completely blows away the Colombian I've been slurping down for 18 months....

It seems all along the Coffee Gods were telling me, "Try the French Roast - you won't regret it." But I do - I do regret it. I wish I'd never known what I was missing....