Saturday, January 31, 2004

Tonight I tried to go to see "The Triplets of Belleville" at the new E street theatre downtown in DC. I saw it last month in New York with Grace, and liked it so much that I wanted to see it again. I misjudged train times, though, so I ran 10 minutes late to the theatre, got in line, and waited for a few minutes to find out that they sold out. Bummer. It figures, since all the local papers did reviews this past week (even the extra contrary City Paper loved it), so the crowds to see it were immense. Don had gotten a ticket already so he went in, and Marv and I went to a bar nearby and had a drink. I had my first alcohol for the first time in a few weeks (it's legal now on my SBD, since i've passed the first 14 days), and it was something else. I'm a cheap date now! As we got our check, our bartender was giving us advice as to where to head out after, so he obviously thought we were tourists. That was probably from being in the touristy part of DC (the bar was part of a hotel), but Marv and I took a bit of umbrage at being taken for out-of-towners. We were gracious, though, since he obviously meant well and more points for him for recommending other bars, rather than encouraging us to stay there.

I'm home now, though, and deep into the American Kennel Club dog show. I may have missed the working dogs, though, which are my favorite ones. Newfoundlands are my favorites--big old babies bumbling around for love! I tried to encourage my parents to get one for their new house, but when I described how very large they were, my dad could only laugh in response. I also missed the toy dogs, which I enjoy watching, because..what is up with them? Maybe in my next life I should be a dog handler. Anyway, I love these kinds of shows because they like to give little personality tidbits about the various dogs. One of the dogs in the past years they said this: "his favorite food is butter." Awesome!

In other news, I finally went to the Alexandria Central branch library today, and what an amazing place! It's huge, and full of windows and large comfortable seats begging for you to settle into them to while a day away with books. I was surprised and pleased to see that they held every volume of graphic novel I typed in. Anne gave me for Christmas this book called "Palestine" by Joe Sacco, which is a graphic novel about the author's experience in the area. Pretty obscure, but they had it! (I checked, just for fun). I loaded up with "From Hell" by Alan Moore, more "American Splendor" by Harvey Pekar and "Nickel and Dimed," since it had been a while since I had read it.

I started reading "From Hell" on the metro to the movie, but had to close it since it tended to get (um) graphic, and there was a kid sitting next to me.

Friday, January 30, 2004

I'm having a tough time right now figuring out how it takes to post things. Some things go right up, but when I screw up, my mistakes stay up for awhile.
Des sent this link to a site where you can listen to Al Franken. Very cool!
Two days till the next Survivor. WOOHOO.
(Thanks to Ms. Anne for the link.)
What is it? I better put it into my mouth and find out.
I love this article about trying to coax pandas to breed. Besides pandas being ridiculously adooooraaable, how could you not love a creature that would rather eat and nap than do anything else? My favorite moment was when Marv and I visited the National Zoo recently and one of the pandas was noshing on this piece of bamboo, but falling asleep while he was doing it. He was all sitting up, bamboo in his mouth, and his eyelids falling every couple seconds. When he would come to, he would realize he had precious food in his mouth and chew a little more.

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Oh man, this morning I went to my 7am dental appointment. The doctor drilled and drilled and was driven to exclaim as to how big this cavity was. I must have looked mortified, because he was quick to reassure me that they had seen *much* worse. I don't know about that, though, because he kept on muttering "more decay, more decay" as he was drilling into my pathetic molar. Then, he took a photo to show me the damage. Basically, it looked like a dug out volcano. The sliver of tooth left between the gaping hole and my cheek is literally a millimeter, so if he did put a filling in, it would fall out and the tooth would be vulnerable to cracking. It looks like I'm getting a porcelain crown, so I got fitted for it today, and they stuck a purple gum like thing up in there in the meantime to deter any stray SBD food particles from getting stuck. The visit was not painful, except in the monetary sense. My dental insurance only covers 60% of the stuff that isn't standard cleaning/checkup. My boss told me that porcelain crowns run about $800 and I nearly stroked out. This whole dental extravanganza will probably set me back about $1K, when everything is said and done (the crown isn't even the end of it, I have to go back in March to fix a filling that's falling out).

I'm trying to not feel bad about this by reasoning that this is the amount that I normally would have spent to fix my crap Hoopty every year, when I had it, so this time it's for my oral health, and I can't skimp on my oral health. But, I will never, ever skip out on dental visits as long as I have dental insurance. What a massive pain in the tuckus.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

I finally figured out how to change the links on this website, so check out the new link that I added to my dad's website containing his photos. Dad wants me to inform everyone that it's stored on a server simply because his ISP forgot to take it down. It doesn't contain recent work, and if anyone feels inclined to contact him, do so through moi. I got a collection of his photos of Ladakh for Christmas, so I particularly recommend checking out those.

My dad also told me that he would be checking this blog regularly and will be offering "grammatical help as necessary." Thanks, dad!

I went to the dentist today for the first time in several years, and I was sincerely frightened because I thought that the dentist would tell me off because of my mossy teef. The hygenist had hold of me most of the time, and took 18 (yes, you read that correctly...18!) x-rays of my teeth by using these horrible plastic contraptions to hold my jaws open. To put it mildly, it sucked a lot. Then the hygenist proceeded with what was a particularly thorough and brutal cleaning where she scraped every enamal surface of my mouth and picked under the gum edges (which gives me the willies to even think about). By the time this was over, I rinsed out, and I spit out a fair amount of blood. NICE.

The dentist informed me that I had a pretty bad cavity and one of my fillings is slowly falling out. I have an appointment to get that bad cavity filled tomorrow morning at 7 a.m. (again, you read that correctly). This is what I get for avoiding the dentist for so long.

Apparently, I also clench my mouth in my sleep, so may need to be fitted for a mouth guard as well before I grind my teeth down to marbles.
Last night I was treated to a double helping of reality TV: "American Idol," (AI) followed right up by "America's Next Top Model" (ANTM). Dare I say that AI is wearing out its welcome for me? I know, we all thought the day would never come. It used to be kind of cheesily appealing, but I think it's even lost that now. Not to say that I won't be watching it anymore, because you know I will. I was rooting for this one dude whose gimmick was a crying dad who confessed that he came in on a boat from "Indo-China" 20 years ago and now his son is living the American dream because it's too late for he and his wife. All I could think was: "who calls it Indo-China, anymore?" I'm probably ignorant, since the the words came out of the dad's mouth, but still. Doesn't that sound so colonial and dated? I don't know.

I know that everyone's dying to know what happened on ANTM, and I'll put you out of your misery and tell you. The models got new hairdos, and then had a contest where they had to try to do the best "smokey eye," all while sharing the same mirror. After that, they had to do a photo shoot while hanging from these wires. I don't know how the producers some up with these missions, because if these women were "top" models, would they even have to worry about doing their own makeup? Anyway, I officially can't stand Catie, the 18-year old ingenue who hated her new pixie cut. I'm rooting for April, who seems relatively classy and looks to be at least part Asian (woooo!) but is so far wholly drama-free, so I don't know if they'll allow for her to win.

I am going to be sincerely sad when this whole reality thing ends. I eat up this terrible tv.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Dude, the metros were ridiculous this morning. Happily, it looks like the federal government is closing early today so everyone can get a headstart on those metros at 2 instead of 5! (doesn't that just make it equally as bad at 2, when it ISN'T rush hour schedule?). I'm not overthinking it, though. Plus, there is a sugar free fudgiscle waiting for me at home, whereas I have a whole lot of nothing waiting for me here.

Monday, January 26, 2004

It snowed last night in DC, coating the ground with what looks like 4-6 inches of snow. My commute was cake, since I just had to hop across the street to the metro, but the roads were empy and the metro was atypically uncrowded as well. Downtown is pretty empty too. I at first thought when I walked into my office and everything was dark that my organization was closed and I had no idea, but it just turns out that I was the first one there. Apparently, the federal government is on liberal leave today, so half of our office is out since we follow the fed govt in terms of weather alerts. I am scrambling for enough vacation days, though, so I wouldn't sacrifice one of them even I had known. It's peaceful in here and kind of pleasant to look outside the window and see white. I can see the stop of the steeple of the church next door, and it's collected a bunch of snow.

Anne wrote me from home, since her job canceled work for weather conditions. Lucky duckie! I wish my work canceled as well.

In other news, I'm happy to have found out that the dvd collection for "Freaks and Geeks" is available for pre-order on the website, I would venture to say that this show is the most tremendous I've seen, closely followed by "Homicide: Life on the Street," which you shouldn't even get me started on. The edition available for pre-order is a limited one, jam packed with all of this great stuff. However, the whole shebang is $120! The show is great, most definitely, and worth it, but that's some pricey stuff.

Sunday, January 25, 2004

Marv and I were standing in line at Eckert last night, and the cover of the Weekly World News caught his eye. The cover story was about a 600 pound woman who adopted the world's fattest cat. The picture is priceless (I think that the editors realized this, because they also included a free poster of the two "to keep and treasure.") It was a must-have item. Later that night, the newspaper, or "newspaper," was shared among friends, and all of the articles were perused carefully. This publication kills me. My favorite article was the one titled: "How to Tell If God is Mad at You" by correspondent John Addison. Here are some pieces of the article, so you can decide for yourself:

--"Your boss not only ignores your contributions at work, but gives credit to others."
--"Your lottery numbers never come on--not even close."
--"Your once loving son or daughter has turned from sweet to sassy almost overnight, giving you sullen and sarcastic replies--when they even bother to acknowledge your existence."

I love this, because with all of these included, is there *anyone* who wouldn't assume that God is mad at them?

As I'm typing this, Discovery Channel is on the television and it's the show about the woman having the 200 pound tumor removed! It's going to be a good morning. I wonder if it has hair and teeth? In the article I read about the surgery, they said that Discovery Channel paid for the operation in order to be able to film it. Discovery Channel knows what America wants!

Friday, January 23, 2004

Shout out to Zack, who claims to be reading this.
Bless you, my boy.
Last night I was standing in the grocery store line at about 7:00pm. It was right in the middle of that after-work rush, and the place was jammed. As I clutched my frozen spinach, I heard a yell that reverberated through the entire Safeway. Some guy, maybe a few years older than me, and *definitely* crazy, was yelling: "Bush is an idiot!" (He's not crazy because of his opinion, with which I happen agree, but because of his general demeanor).Everyone was quiet and uncomfortable--it's always interesting when a crazy person surfaces, loudly and boisterously, in a public place. It's the total elephant in the middle of the room effect for everone else. Anyway, he then started repeating that he would rather vote for a three-legged dog, which is kind of interesting. "Three legged-dog, three-legged dog, three-legged dog..." is what he was repeating when I was checking out. I noticed that he wore black converse all stars; I wonder how he chose those?

Thursday, January 22, 2004

This travel organization has a newsletter that I recently signed up for. They have really interesting trips all over the world, and one goal is to save enough money to do one of them someday. Anyway, they have a weekly contest where they give spots on various trips away free, and last week's contest, for a trip through Vietnam, challenged people to look at a picture, and put together a slogan to go with it. The picture was a closeup of this older man holding a huge spider (think big, black, and hairy) up to his open mouth, about to take a big bite.

In moments like this, I always have a brainfreeze, so I called upon the talents of my colleague and friend, Steve, who works in Madison. He outdid himself. Here is his responding email:

This is all I've got:

Lloyd neutered all of his pets, and he did it the old-fashioned way.

Lloyd loves his pet tarantula so much that he insists on eating it only one leg at a time. (Stolen from an old joke.)

Lloyd enjoys a "fuzzy, wiggly chocolate cookie" while "tripping his ass off."

"An eye for an eye...." intoned Lloyd, as he devoured the tarantula that had recently eaten his pet cricket.

To illustrate the dangers of radioactive contamination, scientists displayed a Los Alamos-area tarantula that had grown a 180-pound tumor in the shape of a demented elderly man.

"If I can't have you, no one can," whispered Lloyd, moments before consuming his "pet," Alexis.

No one showed up at Lloyd's "Mondo Cane" theme party, but that didn't dampen his enthusiasm one bit!

"So tired," wheezed Lloyd, hoping that the spider's venom would bring a quick end to the slow, painful twilight that his life had become.

(I guess that last one's not really funny, in a traditional sense.)

I was pleased with all of them, but decided to submit the first on the list since it was especially accessible in that wink-wink/nudge-nudge kind of way. (Note that I had full-disclosure with Steve that I was planning to use his work, and he didn't care--is that still ethically wrong?). I breathlessly waited for my response telling me that I was the winner, but, alas, none arrived.

I found out the winner's response today and it was something like: "Watch what you eat." I think Steve's submission was far better, but that's just me. We didn't even warrant an honorable mention! That's just wrong.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

UPN's "America's Next Top Model," where have you been all of my life?
I watched my first one last night, and it was everything that I want in a show: drama, drama, and more drama. I'm also completely intrigued (and not in a good way) by the bodies of some of these women. There are a few who don't really make me blink--they look relatively normal--but there are a couple of them who are downright gaunt. Like, sickeningly gaunt. The worst was when they brought this one super sassy catwalk coach (where do I sign up?) in, and he made the women practice walking in these flesh colored leotards and 10-inch heels. You could see every goddamn rib and tendon in a couple of their bodies.

And then I remember: the camera is supposed to add ten pounds. what in the hell do these women look like in person? Gack.
Happy Birthday, Marvelous!

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Last night, Marv came over and was subjected to my South Beach fare (this is funny only because the boy could not be more lanky and thin--damn him.) I for the first time in my life broiled some tuna steaks with some fresh garlic and ginger, and they were pretty successful. Also, so inexpensive! Two big slabs of tuna steak were $4.50 at Trader Joe's. (How I love thee, Trader Joe's. I can't begin to count the ways.)

Anyhow, I served my precious steaks with some salad with this balsamic vinegar dressing, its recipe I found in the South Beach book.

As Marv dined, I bragged to him that I included thyme in both the dressing and in the tuna marinade and he countered back with: (drum roll, please...)

"So you're saying that the South Beach Diet is very Thyme-consuming?"

How punny! It was so smoove that I didn't even catch on till like 30 seconds later.

Sunday, January 18, 2004

I'm watching "Surreal Life 2" right now, and what a train wreck! I'm already totally into it, though. After half an hour of watching this, I've concluded that the Artist formerly known as Vanilla Ice (VI) is an ass and Eric Estrada seems to be a nice man. In this particular episode the crew has been taken to a local diner, given paper caps, and been ordered to do various jobs around the restaurant (seriously, who allowed this? Ron Jeremy and Vanilla Ice *preparing people's food*?). Gary Coleman is their foreman.

Anyway, apparently Gary Coleman was taking his job really seriously, and VI was yanking his chain for various reasons and then Gary stormed off the job! This was after Todd Bridges showed up for some food, by the way. Surreal, indeed! Before it started, VI walked around with a banana stuck in his pants. I wish someone had called in a health inspector or something.

Tracy Bingham is now karate kicking everyone (she also tried to karate kick Gary Coleman as he was trying to leave earlier on).

I think I've found my new show.

Anyway, day deux of my eating plan, and I think it went okay. I made a most excellent spinach salad topped with grilled shrimp. Not too filling, though, so I had to have a low fat string cheese for dessert and like ten almonds. It's kind of annoying having to think about *every* single bite that goes in my mouth. I'm also holding off on weighing myself again till a week passes, in order to fend off discouragement because of fluctuating weight.

I love three day weekends. Tomorrow I plan to finsh up my last application and relish the terrible daytime tv that I can watch. In the meantime, VI has serious anger issues.
I was distracted by my old Outlook emails from China as I was doing my UVA application and found this email that Erik had written. He must have been 9 or 10. This is what an earlier email from my mom read: "Erik will write you today, he says. I wanted him to write you last night but he was busy with his TGIF shows (Sabrina and the Teenage Witch show in particular) that he did not want to miss any of them since this week is the beginning of the TV season." I'm glad that his priorities were so well thought out.

Anyway, on to Erik's email:

Hi Kristin, I'm getting into Harry Potter Books. It's about a boy who finds out there's a wizard world and he is one of the greatest wiizards that was born there. A dark-arts wizard named Voldemort tried to kill him but didn't suceeed, yet Harry was a baby he defeated Voldemort.Oh,yeah . I miss you Kristin. Please take care.

Love, Erik

I think that the "Please take care" must have been dictated by my mom, because the thought of Erik choosing to add that is fricking hilarious.

Saturday, January 17, 2004

Okay, it's almost 1 am and I'm thinking about M&Ms, garlic bread, big mounds of hot, cheesy pasta, and crusty hot baguette smeared with a hunk of Brie. Is this where I'm battling my South Beach Diet (or, SBD, for those in the know) cravings? I think I'm going to go to sleep in order to distract myself.
So we had the joint birthday party shindig last night at a VERY crowded and smokey karaoke joint a few blocks from my house. It was a good time, and good to see all of the gathered faces, but it was really fricking loud. Plus, it was supposed to be karaoke, but then the DJ busted out with some tunes that were hot in '99 and the crowd when *nuts*. Hence therefore, karoake was put off for awhile. Jonathan, a true karoake friend, was the only person in our 15+ person group who signed up for a song, and he kicked the ass of "Careless Whisper." A few of us slow danced in support. It was a beautiful moment.

This particular bar where the party was is always confounding: it hosts a completely wide array of people, all eager to holler, smoke, and do as many shots as humanly possible. Wending my way out of the bathroom proved to be a Herculean task in terms of avoiding eye contact with sketchy men. It was a true gauntlet of them. I was totally shlubbed out last night, and maybe (alarmingly!) they felt that I was not decked out enough to be unapproachable. blech.

Anyhoo, in other news today I start the South Beach diet! woowoo. The name is totally lame, but I assure you that the menus look fabulous. I just had my mid-morning snack of exactly six almonds.