Sunday, May 30, 2004

My dad's photography website is back up. Check it out! He also informed me that my little brother's boat at his final crew tournament in Orlando was disqualified because of too much cursing. HI-larious. Nice job, boys. Way to make the most of that trip.

Last night was Des and Bryan's most excellent BBQ. They had tiki torches, burgers and brats, and arranged for the fantastic, cool, bug-battling weather. I enjoyed myself immensely and now and spending the morning in a quiet state of recovery.

Speaking of bugs, it seems that while neighborhoods in Arlington are swarming with cicadas, there are barely any here in Alexandria. Someone surmised last night that must be because of the new construction. Perhaps, but I feel like I'm deprived of the crazy cicada experience!

Friday, May 28, 2004

Possibly the only thing of note that I've learned today is that Jake Gyllenhaal is four years younger than me. That's not so bad. Fametracker just did his Fame Audit, btw.
Long Weekend
Woot: Memorial Day weekend cometh soon! Our office is releasing us today at three, which is lovely. I'm sticking around DC to clean and hopefully organize my foul cesspool of a bedroom. I long to be a tidy, organized person, but I think that persona will forever elude me. Matt is gone to Chicago for the weekend, so it will be Spike and myself, kicking it in realtime.

The metros and the streets are a lot emptier than usual since I think many people made a four-day weekend out of it (and two lucky women I know got the day off from their jobs for various reasons).
Woefully overdue
hey, check out Bill's blog! He's a well-written music afficianado still hanging out in hipster heaven, aka Richmond. He was also my across the street neighbor while I lived there. Whatever happened to your wee dog, Bill? Anyway, Bill really loves the harsh, cheap Chinese liquor, so I'll be bringing him back a case soon.
More Armchair Traveling
Check out this Piperboy's Scrapbook. It's a fabulously designed site, and the photos are great. (via tmn)

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Cracking up
I was reading a Slate article that cited Toby Keith and included some snippets of his song. I'm sure that you've heard his most famous hit of a couple of years ago, "Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue"? The Slate song snippet was only of one line, which is THE most hilarious one:

..Cause we'll put a boot in your ass, it's the American way.

That is so fricking hilarious. I totally want that to become part of my lexicon, and find a way to work it into every day conversations.
More from the UN
Carrie so kindly allowed me to post more of her stories from working in Jakarta. I was tickled by this. Apparently, things are quite happening over there. Enjoy!

In other news, remember how there was that ridiculous small arms questionnaire that went around the office here? And I thought it was asking about how many flame throwers I own and how often I lob grenades?? Anyway, in keeping with the saga of the UN questionnaire tradition, a new one went around today on. . . . condom availability? Apparently the UN Development Programme office (where I work, dig the British spelling!) was supposed to receive a shipment of condoms from UNIFEM (the ladies UN or something) and we have not, and the resident rep of the whole UN system in Indonesia has gone online asking about this, where the condoms are and what kind of questionnaires are accompanying these critical little devices to facilitate the proverbial "knocking of boots". And so now this morning a questionnaire, entitled "Condom Supply and Availability" has been sent around. Here's my favorite question:

-- Because female condom is not available in Indonesia, UNFPA at the time being could only provide male condoms. Does your organization / staff has any specific request regarding the male condoms? (size, brands, flavor, etc. ?)

FLAVOR!! Yeesssss.... Durian please. Double durian. Or maybe nasi goreng, some tasty left over fried rice funk flavor?! Yeeesssss..

The most mild mannered cat in the office has had to belly up to this one, writing onto the form (which has been circulated) "The office does not make condoms available to staff as condoms are easily bought in the local marker at a relatively cheap price. Culturally, it is not common to talk about condoms in among Indonesians." Oh! he's cringing!

Working here is a riot. I know I am a little juvenile to be laughing at this form, but there's nothing like a big cheesy big-wig chasing around the little people, making them respond to these hilarious forms. Apparently we are all getting it on in Indonesia and there is no shortage of prophylactics!! Sweet.
Wish that I had something interesting to post today, but I don't. It's a quiet day around here, but I'm about to pop out in ten minutes to have a Last Hurrah coffee with Don before he heads off to Armenia next week. I've been listening to American Analog Set all morning and it's put me in a light, dreamy mood.

Oh, I will comment that I had exceptionally great sleep last night. I think part of it was the cooler temperature outside that lended (lent?) itself to deeper slumber.

Lame post, I know. I don't have the energy to do much about it right now, though.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

There's a new David Sedaris book coming out on June 1st!
Ah, Austin was lovely. It was a great long weekend, and while I felt sorry for my brother who took on the job of being the gracious host/babysitter, I am grateful as well and glad that it happened that way. Truly, though, the weather was warm and dry and enveloping, and the land was alarmingly like Zambia, complete with little bungalows by the side of the road. My entire family commented that it was like being in Africa again, which might sound precious, but was amazingly true. It was quite challenging to stay on SBD, since pretty much every meal was served with fresh chips and salsa (Lord, give me strength), but my mom served as SBD police so we were all set. Anyway, major congrats to Robin who is now a MBA. My parents were talking about how the would add "...the MBA" to Robin's name, every time they mention it now. Awesome.

Also, everything is so cheap in Austin, comparatively. Robin (the MBA) and his roommates pay under $400 for their rooms (which are like twice the size of mine with WALK-IN CLOSETS and their OWN bathrooms). Granted, there were four of them. One night, they took me out on the town and I bought a round where the mixed drinks were $3 each. Robin and his roommate, Chris, were grousing over how they raised the price so high for graduation weekend, but I was busy picking my jaw off the floor in my shock over how cheap they were. Apparently, at that bar, the drinks are usually 50 cents. Jeebus.

James mentions in his blog recently about how he gets carded regularly. To add to that thread, two different times this weekend people asked me if I was finishing high school when I told them I was "going to school" next year. Hilarious, but there's no way I'm passing for 17...or perhaps they think that I'm extremely delayed. I think I need to specify that it's GRAD school I'm going to next year.

And in Chicago news, I have an apartment now! I'll be moving in with Jenny, of the famed Second City. Commuting will be the one challenge, besides the cold, but I'm thrilled over the ease of it all, and I also think that it will be a blast. Plus, now I don't have to take time off to go and troll for apartments. I'll forward the mailing address later on. One to-do item down, thousands more to go. Anyway, Jenny and I met by being in the same sorority in college--which you wouldn't probably guess--but Jenny told me yesterday that she was going to drape the apartment in green and white with plenty of pearl strands in honor of our sisterhood.

And finally, Licorice, my precious car, had her first accident. My dad backed into her by accident, so we rushed her to get her front panel replaced yesterday. It's not a huge deal, but the first ding is always kind of unsettling. Honestly, if it had happened before I had taken vacation, I might have started crying or something, but I am so relaxed after this weekend, nothing is permeating this shell of mellowness. Remember that part in "Office Space," when Ron Livingston is under hypnosis and wanders around in a sleepy, pleased daze? That's kind of where I am right now.

Actually, on the REAL final note, I have to share this. My poor boss had her car stolen this morning from her neighborhood, Cleveland Park. It's a safe, well-to-do neighborhood, and she parked her Accord in front of her apartment, under a streetlight. It was gone this morning. But the kicker, is that this is the SECOND time this has happened to her. She had another car stolen from her in Capitol Hill ten years ago.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Off to lovely Austin for Robin's graduation. I'm looking forward to the jaunt out of town. Back Tuesday!
The UN picks Ten Stories the World Should Hear About here. (via tmn)

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Kurt Vonnegut's piece "Cold Turkey" about America and oil and its role in the world right now. I can't believe that he's 81.
This dude wanted to escape a public urination charge, so he did the only conceivable thing to escape: he attempted to ship himself in a box to his friend. The thing is, the box wasn't scheduled to be sent till the end of the month, so when finally caught on and found him (two weeks later or something) he was still inside, all disoriented and dehydrated.(via os)
Crazy Flashes from the Past
This has been quite an eventful week, in terms of people popping up from the past. On Friday night, I got a call from Bronwyn close to midnight, which was out of the ordinary. When I checked messages, the message was from a high school friend who I hadn't spoken to since graduation. He, another high school friend, and Bronwyn were out drinking margaritas one night during our Ten Year Reunion weekend (which I opted out of), and he had nabbed Bronwyn's phone to call. I called back and spoke to both Abdi and Tom, which was kind of wild. TEN years. Jesus.

And then, last night, I got an email that I was set to delete, suspecting that it was spam, until I noticed the subject heading: "Hello from ISI." ISI was our beloved school in Islamabad that I left in eighth grade, yet the bonds from alumni are still pretty tight. Anyhow, the message was from this fellow, Dave, who was in eighth grade with me--he had gotten my address from Robert (names given in case you might know who they are) who I had been in touch with about three years ago. Dave was the gangly funny man when we were in middle school with a massive crush on my friend, Christie. He coaxed his family to name their dog after her, which still kind of cracks me up to this day. Regardless, Dave was out of my sphere of thought for about 14 years now, so it was wild to see his name again. Apparently, he's in DC now finishing up grad school and is headed to Chicago next year as well.
Girl, you know you are the best, and your Asian blood only makes you sweeter.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Sorry, I don't see "Crazy MF" listed
In our office, we keep one tray of the printer loaded with scrap paper, so we can utilize the dead trees as much as possible. I just printed something out and noticed that the paper on which the first page was printed was originally a Fax. It's a fax from the Paraolympic Games 2004 in Athens, and one of the women on my floor was filling out the registration to attend. Of course, there's a space for the name, there's a spot where you mark your sex, and then, there's the part for "title." The following are the boxes that you can check:

"His/Her Royal Highness"
"His/Her Majesty"
"His/Her Serene Highness"
"His/Her Excellency"
and, finally

I never knew that Her Serene Highness is actually a recognized title. I'm all over it!
Jon Stewart was William & Mary's commencement speaker this year (lucky Clarence got to see him). We got the Thomas Jefferson specialist who ended up lying about his past. Anyway, here's the link to the speech, and it's hilarious and great, as would be expected.
China, in response to the State Department's Country Reports on Human Rights:
"Shut up. You suck!"

This is so awesome. This is China's report called The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2003, which was their jab back at the US for the probably not-too-pretty report on them.

It starts out:

On February 25, 2004, the State Department of the United States released its Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2003 (called the "reports" thereafter). As in previous years, the United States once again acted as "the world human rights police" by distorting and censuring in the "reports" the human rights situations in more than 190 countries and regions across the world, including China. And just as usual, the United States once again "omitted" its own long-standing malpractice and problems of human rights in the "reports". Therefore, we have to, as before, help the United States keep its human rights record.

Some of the infringements:

Unrestrained evil social forces and widespread drug abuse endangered the people's life and safety. According to a report released by US National Youth Gang Center, there were altogether 21,500 sinister gangs in the United States in 2002 with a combined membership of 731,000. In April 2003, an innocent woman was killed in a gang shootout in New York. Police had to impose a state of citywide emergency in the summer of 2003 due to frequent gang-related violence (see the edition of USA Today on Dec. 16, 2003).


According to an AP report, a woman in the city of Detroit had one of her fingers cut off and another finger injured by the police simply for a dispute with them in a parking lot. The report said the police also boxed her ears and tore her hair.

If you look at the "report," (it likes to use quotation marks, so I will join the spirit of things), it's long and cites papers like the NY Times, and the Post, and USA Today (?). I definitely will not argue that the list contains horrible things, but I find that China had to put together a retaliatory report pretty interesting and not unfunny, either. I also love that they use the word "sinister" and the term "boxed her ears." Again, awesome.

Monday, May 17, 2004

Last night...
...As I lay in bed, I re-devoured both Definition and Potential, the graphic novels that are basically the high school diaries of Ariel Schrag of Berkeley High School. Schrag is hilarious, intelligent, and amazingly candid--not afraid to show low moments as well as high ones. I'm actually amazed that she could be so self-aware and articulate when she was 16 and 17, and frankly, I'm kind of jealous. She's in the middle of working on her series, Likewise, about her senior year in high school, so there's more to come.
I interrupt this bad mood to bring some good news
The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the ADA in the Tennessee vs. Lane case, to everyone's surprise. Did you read about this? The guy, George Lane, has to crawl up the steps of a Tennessee courthouse because they didn't comply with ADA. Easter Seals was very involved in this case, and Beverly Jones was our Adult Spokesperson for awhile there. People weren't extremely hopeful over the outcome during the hearing, but it paid off.
Cranky? I am!
I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. I felt lazy and prickly and didn't want to come to work, but wouldn't have wanted to stay home, and wouldn't have wanted to do anything else either...except maybe sit around with my arms crossed, shooting people dirty looks. Now THAT I can do anywhere. I know, I know: you'll have to get in line to hang out with me tonight. I have to confess, sometimes it's fun to be this grumpy as we're all entitled to a black cloud over us every once in awhile.

My mom and I are heading to Austin this Friday for Robin's graduation, and are making a long weekend of it. I am quite thrilled at the prospect of a little vacation. Honestly, the last time I had a real day off was when we went to New Haven in January to visit Christie. That's been over three months, which is pretty brutal for me. Because I am a princess.

And as if the day couldn't get any sexier, all I have to snack on are prunes, and I am going to town on them, which I'm sure will be regrettable in the near future. That is wise planning, my friends.

Friday, May 14, 2004

Anne and I watched Survivor, AMERICA'S TRIBAL COUNCIL last night, and it was totally lame (well, lamer than you would even expect). I was sad to see Rupert, the self-important lug, win the million. Anne described him as a "crazy bear baby" (is that right?) when he bared his teeth into a self-satisfied grin, which cracked me up, though.
Unsightly gnomes (Thanks, Steve!)
Oh, If that's the case, okay then.
All right, so I was reading the Washington Post this morning on my way to work, and was flipping through the Metro section. Deep in its bowels (like that imagery? Yummy, right?) there was a story following the case of this Maryland teenager who murdered his friend by putting cyanide in his vanilla Coke. I couldn't even find the link to the article, but then again, I only skimmed.

Anyway, the story is pretty tragic--this lonesome, screwed up kid murdered his childhood friend because he was jealous, and felt neglected, and apparently also had quite a thing for his friend's girl. The article details the screwed up kid's rationale for the murder, though, which is morbidly entertaining:

Rarely during the interrogation did Furlough [screwed up kid] mention Caroline Smith, Vassiliev's girlfriend. Furlough declared his love for her the year before the poisoning, and prosecutors have offered that as a motive for the slaying. Furlough instead focused on Vassiliev's failure to give him gifts. Furlough said he took his friends' birthdays seriously, spending never less than $15 and usually about $20 on their gifts. But Vassiliev did not reciprocate.

....One one occasion, Vassiliev gave him a Japanese cookbook. Furlough, however, recognized it as having come from a bookshelf in Vassiliev's home. "It wasn't even wrapped," he said. "He just didn't care."

Well, if you put it that way, then I can see your point!

Thursday, May 13, 2004

It's a sad week
Bandit, the world's heaviest raccoon, died on Saturday. Bandit's weight topped 75 pounds at one point. The Baltimore Sun has a story about his passing (that includes photos!)

My favorite part of this article:

Tim Pitts, owner of Ice Cream World, recalls watching Bandit sit in Klitsch's sport utility vehicle, holding a cup of blue raspberry Slush with his paws and drinking it through a straw.

''He was a good customer,'' said Pitts.

Pitts said he was surprised to learn Monday of Bandit's death, having sold a birthday cake for the raccoon just days earlier.

The most poignant part of the article:

Klitsch said Bandit was put down by a vet who came to her house Saturday, the day after Bandit's birthday party. She laid Bandit to rest beneath a maple tree in her yard. He was buried wearing her favorite T-shirt, the one featuring the monster truck Grave Digger.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Best News that I've Heard All Day
UPN is going to air the first season of America's Next Top Model this June!
Smearing Tactics
Here's is a lengthy, interesting article in the Atlantic Monthly all about how the parties work to smear one another during campaigns. They also mention a BBC documentary about this topic and the 2000 election that never aired here but I would love to watch.
You don't say?
Yesterday, I went to lunch with some people in my office, including the two highest-up individuals, both men in their late 50s or 60s. Conversation was the kind you'd expect at a work meal when the only thing many of the people have in common is that they get paychecks from the same organization. I'm not sure how it came up, but at one point, one of the VP-types asked the table if people still used the term "going steady" [as an aside, I totally think that term is underused]. I opined that people my age used the terms "dating" or "seeing someone" now to connote a relationship.

Then two of the women at the table (one of them an avid church-goer) looked at eachother and both threw out "Knocking boots! That's what people say now." I looked at them immediately to see if they were joking, but I couldn't tell if they were or not. The best part is that both of these older, grandfatherly men repeated "knocking boots, knocking boots..." to themselves, mulling it over and trying out the phrase. They never were informed that the term refered specifically to the act of intercourse. God forbid that they use that term sometime in a public setting.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Kristin is a very rare male name.

Did you know that:
Kristin is the #214 female name?
Or that
0.099% of females in the US are named Kristin?
Find out your own name statistics here.

Monday, May 10, 2004

Blogger's updated it so that their web site is pretty fancy right now. I like.

It was indeed a lovely weekend, what with the sunshine, the picnics, and the flawless weather. Mother's day was nice as well, despite the tough leather meat that I made. It was so tough that my parents had to masticate their meals and Erik wisely stayed away. Now I'm back at work did that happen so quickly?
FOUND Magazine
Annie and I went to see the FOUND Magazine tour at Politics & Prose this past Saturday. We were expecting it to be swamped with people, but overestimated the popularity of the magazine since we got there at 5:30 and the reading area was empty for their show at 6. We installed ourselves in the front row, bought the new book, and waited breathlessly. The show was great. Davy Rothbart, who created the magazine, was this outrageously personable young fellow who was dressed in mad hip hop gear, sporting some crazy fake bling (my favorite was the big, metal peace sign that was *taped up*). He read aloud and told the stories of some of the Found items from the book, and then his brother came up and sang a couple of numbers based on some of the items (the best was a sweet folk number called "The Booty Don't Stop").

Annie and I stayed around after to talk to Davy and have him sign our books, and I totally degenerated into a silent, wide-eyed puddle of nerves when he started talking to know, really emanating with coolness. I'm proud to say that Davy signed my book with the message: Kristin, It's grass roots leaders like you that make a difference! Love, Davy. Matt was all, "What the hell is that supposed to mean?" when I showed it to him, but I'm telling you, it's very meaningful. Believe. Anyway, this is all to say that FOUND is doing a 50 state tour over the next year or so, and I highly recommend trying to catch up with them if you can. Plus, the book is awesome.

Friday, May 07, 2004

Britney tattoos herself with meaningless pap. I love this.
Apparently I'm a gay man, according to Over the years, I've purchased from them a few books from well-known gay men (David Sedaris, Stephen Macauley, and I'm blanking on others), and Amazon thinks that must mean that I am indeed a gay man who may or may not be thoughtful about his sexual life. What is amazing to me, is that these were all fairly main-stream authors, so it's not as if I was buying books on the very cutting edge of gay sub-culture. I mean, they made a movie with Jennifer Aniston out of one of Macauley's books for God's sakes. Regardless, every few months or so, Amazon sends me recommendations, or my "personal picks" ("Based on your past purchases, we think that you would enjoy...").

Today, it was Ultimate Gay Sex, by Michael Ford Thomas. "More to Explore" is SEXBOMB! by Lalli X and Bruno Gmunder Verlag.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Sad Stuff
Today is my work friend, Don's, last day here in the office. He's joining the Peace Corps and going to Armenia in a month! This creates major waves in our office since he's the jack-of-all-trades here, everyone's sounding board, and has been here for eleven years so knows the ropes. Don showed me his language book that they sent him with key Armenian phrases such as, "I would like to drink some beer." Awesome. In an hour we're going to celebrate with some cake (yay) and I know several people are going to have to work hard to fight back their tears.

A couple of months ago, I suggested to Don that he find a Russian bride. I had watched a Discovery Channel "documentary" on the topic the night before and after that, considered myself an expert. Apparently, there are many hot Russian brides to be found. Once Don told me that he was setting off for Armenia, we looked at eachother and both burst out with: "Russian bride!" He'll be all the closer to Russia so he can check out his options. I told Don that if he gets married over there, I want to be invited and stand as his Best (wo)Man, since I was the one who planted the original seed for this possibility. Remember that, Don!

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Indeed, the Happiest of Birthdays to Bryan! I'll buy you a beer at Wrigley Field in Chicago in celebration!
Want to be a successful politician?
Then you've got to be able to bring the funny, according to The Atlantic Monthly. Hey, I want my own personal comedy writer as well.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

To Noone's Surprise...
...I spent my morning at the dentist's office. I know: shocker. I actually went to get molded for a mouth (mouf) guard and then I have another appointment to pick up my new guard in a couple of weeks. I imagine it to be like one of those sports mouth guards. Sexy! I also gave the dentist another $200, you know, because I just felt like he should have it.

Don at work (who only has three days left here!) wrote this:

They need to add your name to their sign. "Patient of the year" or something. If you go back next year and the dentist is driving a new BMW with license plates "THX KRSTN" you'll know why.

I love that.

Monday, May 03, 2004

I love Derek Kirk
I linked to one of his online graphic tales, Small Stories, before, but I was perusing his site and found the great little stories, "My Sistine Chapel" or the fabulous "The Sound."
Freaking and Geeking
This weekend was spent putting in a lot QT with my new Freaks and Geeks dvd set. The amazing. I can't say much more. Plus, the dvd set is truly a valentine to the fans, as it's chock full of commentaries and deleted scenes. If you like the show, run out and purchase it. If you're short of funds, you can borrow mine, but just make sure that you return it.