Thursday, January 31, 2008


Is a really good song. Oh man, Monica, I need those Belle and Sebastian CDs so much.

Urban Chick passed on a meme that asked only one question, what do you expect from your blog?

I thought it was a rather easy question to answer. I expect absolutely nothing from it save that it entertains me. If other people are entertained as well that is simply a bonus. I like cataloging all the random thoughts, happenings, and mindless drivels that I encounter on a daily basis. It is something to do and it makes me smile. Plus, I like to talk about blogging and blogs with people who also blog and like to talk about blogging and blogs. It is yet another piece of things to discuss and for someone who is socially awkward an increase in potential topics is always a good thing.

There are some people who expect a lot from their blogs. They expect that they will get a book deal or a huge readership or quoted in some random media thing. If those things happen for those people it will not only be despite huge odds against it but it will cause more people who want to blog for reasons other than self-gratification to belly up to the keys and churn out tons of mediocre attempts at being deep. I’m sure someone will read their stuff though and stroke their ego and maybe one of them will make something out of their blog. If so I think that is great for them.

I like having readers, it makes responding to comments a much more enjoyable experience than if no one stopped by. That being said, would I blog if no one commented? Probably, I mean how many posts did I do about Figure skating before someone other than my mom really seemed to care? I still enjoyed writing them.

I’m not going to tag people, tagging is totally 2007. I’m just going to say it’s an interesting question to ask yourself and if you want to answer it feel free.

Monica, answer all five of these songs right now.

1. It’s over/ You don’t need to tell me/ I hope you’re with someone who makes you feel safe in your sleep. No Distance Left To Run, Blur. Identified by Jason.

2. Laid back in an old saloon with a peso in my hand/ Watching flies and children on the street. Mexicali Blues, The Grateful Dead. Identified by Monica

3. I/ Was gazing in your eyes/ Seeing butterflies/ Melting on the wall/ Strangest thing I saw . Will You Come and Fetch Me, of Montreal. Identified by Moncia

4. Streets like a jungle/ So call the police/ Following the herd/ Down to Greece. Boys and Girls, Blur. Identified by Monica

5. Your butt is mine/Gonna take you right/ Just show your face/ In broad daylight. Bad, Michael Jackson. Identified by Jenn

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


So, Edwards is out of the race. I have to admit I’m a little bummed. Not that I thought he would necessarily get the nomination, unfortunately I think the media decided that for him. I did think he was a good candidate and brought a lot to the Democratic race. I’ll be very interested to see who he ends up endorsing. At this point I am thinking it will be Obama as they seemed to have more in common than he and Hillary. I could easily be wrong though. I do think he has a solid chance at the VP nomination with either candidate. Maybe his endorsement will depend on how that negotiation goes. Maybe I presume too much.

My cousin sent me a link to a site called vote chooser. It asks you very basic two or three option question about a variety of topics and then tells you which candidate has the most in common with you. My results went Obama, Edwards, and a tie with Hillary and Ron Paul. Interesting. I don’t think that this is the way people should pick their candidates but I found it to be entertaining.

Field Negro seered me to this press release by Marcia Pappas the President of NOW - New York State. I'm not one to get down on feminists in general but for her to put out a press release that said the men have been putting a "gang bang" on Hil by attacking her is one of the most ridiculious things I have read in a long time. Reason One, It's politics and people are expected to down their oppononents to a certain extent. Reason Two, Did you see all the mess she pulled on Obama? Reason Three, That kind of language is simply inflamatory and taking things WAY TOO FAR. Gross.

1. It’s over/ You don’t need to tell me/ I hope you’re with someone who makes you feel safe in your sleep.

2. Stand up/ You’ve got to manage/ I won’t sympathize/ Anymore. Army of Me, Bjork. Identified by Danielle

3. Laid back in an old salon with a peso in my hand/ Watching flies and children on the street.

4. I/ Was gazing in your eyes/ Seeing butterflies/ Melting on the wall/ Strangest thing I saw

5. Streets like a jungle/ So call the police/ Following the herd/ Down to Greece.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Our City Councilman sent out a little brochure with descriptions of all the judges and random things that I never pay attention to. I thought it was a pretty nice thing to do. On the back there was a sample ballot. It showed Hillary Clinton’s name right on top. Then Senatorial candidates were listed. I wondered why they didn’t list other possible presidential candidates. Was it some kind of sideways endorsement of Clinton? I found it to be rather disturbing and made me distrust the things inside about the judge types. Very interesting.

While watching G4 last night they held a poll of how many people planned to vote this year. Sadly 64% of the people said they planned to. It shocked me. I can accept that some people may plan to vote but then something happens and they end up not doing it. I still was amazed by how many people simply didn’t plan to participate in any way. In this time I don’t understand how people can sit back and say whoever is President won’t make a difference in their lives. It’s that kind of attitude that will land us a President who walks around like this.

1. It’s over/ You don’t need to tell me/ I hope you’re with someone who makes you feel safe in your sleep

2. I caught it in the face/ Coming round again/ I thought it was worth waiting/ You're caught up in my head. Dry, PJ Harvey. Identified by Chatty Knitter

3. Stand up/ You’ve got to manage/ I won’t sympathize/ Anymore

4. Laid back in an old salon with a peso in my hand/ Watching flies and children on the street

5. Is there anybody going to listen to my story/ All about the girl who came to stay/ She’s the kind of girl you want so much it makes you sorry/ Still you don’t regret a single day. Girl, The Beatles. Identified by Mom.

Monday, January 28, 2008


I so called it. The US “ladies” have a world team that will be made up of the 3rd, 5th, and 7th place finishers at nationals. Poor 6th place Katrina Hacker got passed up for last year’s champ Kimmie Meisner but I can’t blame anyone for doing so. She certainly isn’t ready for Worlds. The Pairs event also saw its winner being bypassed for Worlds because of age issues. At least the US ladies Jr. World team will kick butt.

The Men’s event was, as predicted, awesome. The two top finishers actually tied (unheard of with the new scoring system) but as Evan won the long program (by 1.35 points) he won the gold. It wasn’t the result I wanted and made me wish Johnny tacked one single jump onto the end of something or held a spin for one more revolution but so it goes. He was happy with the results so I am as well. Plus, he is so freaking fab in the most hilariously awesome way. I wish I had a picture of him strutting down the NYC streets in a blue bomber jacket with a popped fur collar, skinny jeans, fitted white ankle boots with pom-poms, and aviator glasses while toting shopping bag upon shopping bag that they showed in the NBC profile video. It was too perfect. This will have to do. Oh, and the pictures on his website that Nigel Barker of ANTM fame took of him….uh…yeah.

This weekend I also found a new show, Torchwood. Sure it’s been on for a season already but I had seen one episode with the rents and loved it so when I saw the season 2 opener was on I just had to watch. Imagine my happiness when James Marsters (aka Spike from Buffy) was on. I also learned that there was a very entertaining remake of Bye Bye Birdie starring Jason Alexander, Vanessa Williams, and George Wendt. Awesome and Awesome.

In other awesome news Avenue Q is coming to town as well as JC Superstar with Ted Neely (of the movie) as Jesus and Corey Glover (of Living Color) as Judas. In case anyone was planning to get tickets who is not me or Monica you shouldn’t because we still need to get ours. You can get them next week.

Now for the song reveal.

1. When the Witch Doctor Life/ throws his silent bones/ some are crowned kings/ while others lose their thrones. Witch Doctor, by Captain Beefheart

2. It was a clear black night/ a clear white moon/ Warren G was on the streets trying to consume. Regulators, Warren G and Nate Dogg (come on people)

4. Goodnight/ Goodnight/ Sweet baby/ The world has more for you/ Than it seems. Lullaby, Ben Folds

Friday, January 25, 2008


It’s time. The weekend where the US Figure Skating nationals will be aired has finally arrived. This is going to be a very interesting competition. Last night I watched the Ladies event (although it may as well be renamed girls) on and realized that we very well may be in sorry shape internationally this year. While many of the results surprised me, the judges must have seen some things I didn’t in a few of the skaters, one thing I predicted was true. The best hopes we have for high placements internationally won’t get the opportunity to compete. The reason being they are simply too young.

Skaters are allowed to compete at Worlds and The Olympics if they are over 16 at a particular date. The girl in first place is 14 and the one in third is 15. Neither will be eligible for World competition. Although Caroline Zhang (also 14) currently sits in 7th for some odd reason she will likely move up in the long program. The person in fifth is not only unknown but didn’t have any of the really hard jumps in her short program which worries me. It looks like there is no way for our best skaters to make the World Team. The Pairs team that is currently leading is also ineligible because the girl in that team is also 15. At least we’ll have a great chance I the 2010 Olympics, provided all these kids don’t hurt themselves.

Anyway, I’m incredibly excited to see what happens this weekend. In case you are interested, and who wouldn’t be, Coverage is on NBC 4-6pm and 8-11pm on Saturday (I believe pairs, dance, and men’s) and 7-9pm on Sunday (I believe ladies). The men’s event should be very promising and I am hoping to see Rohene Ward who Skated at the same rink as me and has one of my old coaches on the TV. Plus he’s a skater of color that isn’t Asian, something incredib;y rare at the top levels. I hope they put him on. If not, though I’ll be seeing it on icenetwork. Best $30 I ever spent.

1. When the Witch Doctor Life/ throws his silent bones/ some are crowned kings/ while others lose their thrones

2. It was a clear black night/ a clear white moon/ Warren g was on the streets trying to consume

3. Riding round town with all the windows down/ Eight track playing all your favorite sounds Summer, War. Identified by Johnny Yen

4. Goodnight/ Goodnight/ Sweet baby/ The world has more for you/ Than it seems

5. All my friends are embryonic/ All my friends are dead and gone/ All my friends are microscopic/ All my friends wake up alone. Gutless, Hole. Identified by Jason

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Today is an important day in my office. The first things of mine are going up on the wall. Ah yes, IKEA frames painted in fun colors and arranged in various ways. It resembles a small slice of wall from Addison Apartment Dining Room. We couldn’t paint but we sure could hang a HUGE number of frames and pictures all over the walls. There were frames of all sizes and shapes as well as mirrors, masks, and paintings of various types. It was a room of crazy. I loved it.

Sometimes I think the beauty of design is in its randomness. Sure our cheap IKEA frames didn’t stay straight on the wall. Sure the designs we painted on them were sometimes questionable. It didn’t matter though. The beauty of the room was in the fact that it was a disorganized mess of color and love. When Tony and I resigned our lease this year I was a little sad. Sure, some of that was compounded by the fact that a crazy person lives upstairs but most of it was because it would be another year before I could decorate someplace new.

I think our next apartment will be the last place we live before buying something so it needs to be a place we can stay for a while to save and plan for that next big thing. It needs to be a place with character, it should be a place that I can paint, and it absolutely must be a place where we can have a dog. I don’t think that is too much to ask. We’ll have to see what we can find.

Something about newness is really exciting to me. I feel like this year will be a preparation for many things that are to come. It will be a year of summoning strength and resources to start on something bigger, something important. I don’t know why but movement has really been on my mind lately. Maybe it’s because this will be the last year of my 20s. Come birthday ’09 I’ll be the big 30. I freaked about turning 20 but I am much calmer about 30. I actually just realized that we will be moving a month before my 30th birthday. I’ll start the new decade in a new place and that sounds like a good plan.

It better have a dishwasher.

Oh, and how did Ricky manage to win a challenge on Project Runway? I mean his piece was kind of cute but I liked Sweet Pea and Christian's outfits better. Also, why was everyone amazed at the originality of Romi using zippers as trim when Jeffrey did that in his winning collection last season? Don't they remember? Just goes to show that the show is slipping. Not that I will stop watching it or anything.

1. When the Witch Doctor Life/ throws his silent bones/ some are crowned kings/ while others lose their thrones

2. It was a clear black night/ a clear white moon/ Warren g was on the streets trying to consume

3. Riding round town with all the windows down/ Eight track playing all your favorite sounds

4. Goodnight/ Goodnight/ Sweet baby/ The world has more for you/ Than it seems

5. Where did you come from lady/ And ooh won’t you take me there/ right away/ Won’t you baby. PYT, Michael Jackson. Identified by Terry

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


The year was 2000, I was a senior in college and I had the best hallway in the world. My hallway was off a main hallway and led to two rooms. The rooms belonged to myself and Friend. We spent many a good time in that hallway. I’m not entirely sure why we did because we had two perfectly good bedrooms and one perfectly good (most of the time) common room to hang out in. Even so, the hallway was a special place.

To make the hallway even more fantastic, we decided to decorate it. The entry to the hallway was adorned with purple shiny beads that let everyone know they had entered our world. The left wall was covered with three LARGE pieces of paper that were printed with this black wavelike pattern that were just cool looking. The right wall became the “Wall of Heath”.

It was that year that Friend and I discovered 10 Things I Hate About You. Being Sarah Lawrence girls, we found it particularly amusing that the main character wanted to come to our school. It was even funnier that she was a total moody bitch who read the biggest copy of The Bell Jar (cause that book isn’t all that long) ever. It was also funny that the girl who played her younger sister was a Freshman that year. We liked to try and make her know she wasn't all that cool. It didn't necessarily work. Anyway, we were enamored with Heath Ledger. He was delightfully off in that movie. Just the type of guy we thought was awesome. He was also our age which was nice.

One day, we spent HOURS online looking up various pictures of Heath and named the files things like “really awesomely hot Heath” and “cool Heath with sunglasses”. We then proceeded to print these pictures out and paste them all over our hallway turning it into the epitome of an obsessed eleven year olds bedroom. We knew it was hilarious, we also thought he was incredibly hot.

As I am sure most people know by now, he died yesterday. The details surrounding what happened are unclear and I’m not going to speculate because I just don’t know. I do know that he made me cry in Brokeback Mountain, disgusted me in Candy, and I was/am eagerly awaiting his role in The Dark Night as the sickest looking Joker I have ever seen. The pictures on the wall are long gone. In fact, they were only up for a short while because our hallway was considered a fire hazard and we were ordered to take everything down. Sadly, there won’t be a chance for any more.

1. When the Witch Doctor Life/ throws his silent bones/ some are crowned kings/ while others lose their thrones

2. It was a clear black night/ a clear white moon/ Warren g was on the streets trying to consume

3. Riding round town with all the windows down/ Eight track playing all your favorite sounds

4. Everywhere I hear the sound of marching charging feet boy/ Cause summers here and the time is right for fighting in the street boy. Street Fighting Man, The Rolling Stones. Identified by Jason.

5. Goodnight/ Goodnight/ Sweet baby/ The world has more for you/ Than it seems

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


So while browsing around I found an entire of Montreal concert from their recent tour and decided to put it on this blog because...duh, it's awesome. Sadly, they are playing for the lamest crowd I have ever seen in life. Apparently, people in Amsterdam are notoriously dull concert goers or at least so said a commenter who was there that night. Sadly, the dull concert goers seem to have made the band rather dull as well. Where are the jumping up and down crazy theatrics??? Huh??? Huh??? Wait...they are in Amsterdam. Regardless, if I was at a concert where they played So Begins Out Alabee, Wraith Pinned To The Mist and Other Games, Requiem for OMM2, and many many more awesome jams I would have been a crazed dancing fool. Still, it is great to see some live footage that sounds good. Monica just called me to say I am an of Montreal obsessed fool, and it is true. Whatever, she can't wait to watch.

On another note, I have realized that my blog is now about Figure Skating and of Montreal. I should change the name to Definitely Boring Musings Unless You Love Figure Skating and of Montreal. I won't though. I'll just find some other things to post about.

I could write about those fool ass fools who decided to hold a white supremacy rally in Jena on MLK Day but the absolute mess that was such an event doesn't even warrant my rantings. Even a person completely blind to any and all racial bogusness would understand that one.

Today is exciting because I submitted my first flex spending reimbursement. OOOOHHHHH neat. Now that I have a grown up job I get real grown up job perks. I wonder where my transit card that I ordered through that great pre-tax transit program is? There is less than a week and a half until February. It better get here.

Speaking of transit. I can't believe G-rod (our Gov) made it so people over 65 can ride the CTA for free. I hope that only Srs who actually need the break apply for the card. I guess the CEO types generally take their cars anyway. Regardless, as much as I love the Baby Boomers there are far too many of them and they will all be over 65 in the not too distant future. They also happen to be the richest generation ever. It just doesn't quite seem right. I'm all for not taxing people on seriously fixed income and would be more than supportive of a sliding scale payment tier for Srs that went all the way down to free. I guess that would be too much work though. Eh. I'll just watch awesome concert footage and forget about it. When, oh when, will there be a DVD of their awesomeness?

1. When the Witch Doctor Life/ throws his silent bones/ some are crowned kings/ while others lose their thrones

2. It was a clear black night/ a clear white moon/ Warren g was on the streets trying to consume

3. You sure you want to be with me/ I’ve nothing to give/ Won’t lie and say this lovings best. Overcome, Tricky. Identified by Jason.

4. Hey, hey, mama/ said the way you move/Gonna make you sweat/ gonna make you groove. Black Dog, Led Zepplin, Identified by Katrina

5. riding round town with all the windows down/ Eight track playing all your favorite sounds

Monday, January 21, 2008


Since Thursday I have had about a million ideas for a blog post. Sadly, none of them can be remembered currently. So it goes.

I do remember that my record of not falling down has been broken. There was a time when I used to fall down rather often. I don’t know why I was such a clumsy goof but I was always tripping over something. In the past five years or so, maybe more, I have actually regained my balance. It has all been for naught. I went down. I was walking home from work on Friday and there was a light dusting of snow over everything. It also happened to be extremely icy. I slipped and there was no hope of recovery. I was so disappointed in myself.

This weekend was unbelievably cold. I vowed that I wouldn’t leave the house because I was not ready to deal with the cold. I stayed true to my word. The weekend was awesome. On Saturday I spent the large majority of the day under a blanket doing crossword puzzles while Tony played Resistance Fall of Man. Sunday I watched the rest of my old Figure Skating DVDs and Tony and I watched Empire and Jedi. I got out my Jedi figures (many of which have mysteriously disappeared over the years) and acted out many scenes from Jedi (with hilarious embellishment) as the movie played. Yes, I realize this is the dorkiest thing ever to do but it was really funny at the time. Tony had wanted to see all the toys and once they were out I had to do something with them. I miss when my speeder bikes exploded at the push of a button. Now they just kind of flop apart. I thought I had many more old school figures than I appear to have. Many are the next gen figures that I have somehow come into possession of. I wonder what happened to my original Lando at Jaba's figure? He had that awesome helmet and everything. He was super cool. Now I just have the new version. I bet Eric stole them. What a dick (I don’t really think he did but I wouldn’t be at all surprised).

1. When the Witch Doctor Life/ throws his silent bones/ some are crowned kings/ while others lose their thrones

2. My old man he’s a singer in the park/ He’s a walker in the rain/ He’s a dancer in the dark. My Old Man, Joni Mitchell. Identified by Mom.

3. It was a clear black night/ a clear white moon/ Warren g was on the streets trying to

4. You sure you want to be with me/ I’ve nothing to give/ Won’t lie and say this lovings best

5. I ain't happy/ I'm feeling glad/ I got sunshine/ in a bag. Clint Eastwood. Gorillaz. Identified by Monica

Thursday, January 17, 2008


All I have to say is about freaking time! This season of Project Runway has been excruciatingly boring in comparison to all other seasons. Although there have been some interesting challenges, many of the designs were just blah and I wasn’t too fond of any of the designers. It started to get a little interesting last week but I really had to question the intelligence behind telling high school girls they looked horrible in what was supposed to be their prom dresses, particularly if they love the dresses. It was just mean. Now even if they like the dress they can’t wear it because everyone will know that fashion experts think it is horrible. Or, maybe they already had prom and no one will care.

Either way, this week was plenty of fun. Design and drama abounded. I haven’t much cared which outfits have won in the past but I was about to tear someone apart if Chris and Christian didn’t take this one home. As much as the judges love Victorya I think she needs a good slapping and I find most of her clothing to be cute enough but nothing special. Jillian’s jacket made that outfit, not the nasty jodhpurs or anything else Victorya did. I mean does Michael Kors really think all women will want to wear those things? I don’t think I know too many who would. Then her snarky comment, “we made three outfits so we should win,” was just too much. Sadly, she may very well end up at Bryant Park with her boring self.

I was also sad to see Kit go. I know they always kick off the team leader but Ricky needs to go home, what is he still doing there? They say everything he makes looks cheap. I think this time they should have made an exception and sent him packing. He seems like a nice guy and all but COME ON.

Chris and Christian put it together. That avant-garde piece was so incredibly fantastic it made me giddy. They handled the surprise second outfit with class and I think it truly embodied the feel of the original piece. They also worked so incredibly well together. Jillian and Victorya were just a couple of last minute ladies and planning is very important. Anyway, take a look at the top looks and judge for yourself. The second place ladies made the black things and the winning guys the tan.

And another thing, Robin Hood Prince of Thieves is AWESOME! Tony and I watched it the other day and were thoroughly entertained. There was so much hilarity that had been forgotten.

1. When the Witch Doctor Life/ throws his silent bones/ some are crowned kings/ while others lose their thrones

2. On a rooftop in Brooklyn/ One in the morning. Watching the lights flash/ In Manhattan. You Said Something, PJ Harvey. Identified by Jason.

3. My old man he’s a singer in the park/ He’s a walker in the rain/ He’s a dancer in the dark.

4. I did you wrong/ My heart went out to play/ And in the game I lost you/ what a price to pay. Oooh, Baby Baby. Smokey Robinson. Identified by Mom.

5. Well I’d rather see you dead little girl/ Than to be with another man. Run For Your Life, The Beatles, Identified by Mom.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


I gave my first Financial Fitness workshop today and it went just swimmingly. I had seven people initially sign up and Brenda got three emails saying people canceled but three came so I was happy. I hear we have a 50% show rate anyway so I was only expecting three. I had some very minor technical glitches but nothing that disrupted the presentation as a whole.

Glitch 1. To get the presentations on the computer that hooks up to the projector you have to email them to yourself then download them onto that computer. I did this with no problem. However, I neglected to close out my email when I was done. Therefore, every time I got a new email during the presentation a window would pop up that said “you have new mail”. It would go away after a few seconds but it was slightly embarrassing.

Glitch 2. Not only did I not close out my email, I didn’t close out anything. Therefore, when I needed to go to a website during the presentation, I had to sift through all these mucky windows to get there. I thought it made me look a little technically incompetent. I also flubbed the should be seamless transition back into the slide show.

Glitch 3. This is actually not a glitch, I just thought it was. There is a remote thing by the computer that I assumed you were supposed to operate your presentation with. I couldn’t’ make it work so I operated the presentation by mouse. I guess that is just how it works.

Needless to say those errors are really minor. On a scale of 1-5 I received one 4 and two 5s for the presentation and two people said they planned to take action on what was discussed so that is a good thing. I was even able to answer all questions. Tomorrow’s presentation may be another story. While the material is easier only three people signed up. We’ll see what happens.

Although I haven’t had a Foodie Friday in some time, I thought now may be a good time for some foodie stuff. Why? Because Mom sent pictures from Christmas and that means you can see the Christmas Pizza. Yes, my family eats pizza for Christmas dinner. We never had a tradition and one year my sister said she wanted pizza and fudge. It stuck. Shoshana and her friend Will handled the crust, cheese grating (mozzarella, romano, provolone), and ingredient chopping while I made the sauces and picked ingredients. This year we made some beautiful pizzas.

3 cups fresh basil
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic
1 1/2 cup + (or so) olive oil (add more if needed)
Squirt of lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste (All this stuff is really to taste)

Artichoke hearts
Fresh Basil

The lemon juice was a totally new thing to my pesto making but it really hit the spot. I tasted it and thought it needed citrus but wasn’t sure but Shoshana suggested it and I knew she was right. It was delicious.

Red Sauce
1 big can of whole tomatoes drained
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup fresh basil
Dash sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

Fresh Garlic
Fresh Basil

I think we ended up adding some of the drained out tomato juice to the sauce for volume but you can’t blend it all together, then you don’t get the nice chunky quality.

1. When the Witch Doctor Life/ throws his silent bones/ some are crowned kings/ while others lose their thrones

2. Hot Cha where are you/ Everybody’s eyes are closed/ I can’t see why I miss you so/ So Hot Cha where are you. Hot Cha, They Might Be Giants. Identified by Monica

3. Little bag of bones been out all night/ Little bag of bones been out all night/ Can you hear him scratching at the screen door. Kitty, The Presidents of the United States of America, Identified by Jason.

4. On a rooftop in Brooklyn/ One in the morning. Watching the lights flash/ In Manhattan

5. Look on yonder misty mountain/ See the young monk meditating/ Rhododendron forest/ Over dusty hills I ask you. Epistle to Dippy, Donovan. Identified by Monica

Monday, January 14, 2008


I am sure that many of my readers understand that I love Figure Skating more than most people. I accept this fact as well. However, this weekend I think I sunk to extreme Figure Skating dorkdom. Ages ago Mom had taken our beloved Beta tapes from the 1988 Olympics and put them on DVDs for me (although I am still waiting for dance, pairs short, and ladies). Sadly, they would not play on my DVD player or on my ps2. However, I hadn’t tried them on the wonder that is the ps3. Lo and behold they worked! Glory be to me.

It was time to pop some popcorn and settle in for some “Battle of the Brians”. Truly, there was never a greater moment in Olympic history. I also got to watch plenty of Chris Bowman (whose cause of death is still unclear and apparently won’t be knows for many weeks) and was struck by how well he would have fared under the current judging system. His spins were more innovative than virtually anyone else on the scene and he had some decent footwork as well. It is truly amazing how far spinning has come over the past 20 years. Jumping has made some strides as well but not to the extent of spinning. I mean how many rotations can a human being possibly do in the air? I bet someone makes a quintuple jump one of these days but, after that, fuggedaboudid.

Anyway, I remember that the Battle of the Brians was excruciatingly close and was essentially won by Boitano’s higher technical merit marks. I was curious to see if the results would have been as close under the new judging system. Why? Cause I’m an enormous dork. I had to base my results primarily on jumps (because I can easily comprehend their assigned point values) and then factored in spins, footwork, and connecting moves to the best of my ability. The way I calculated the technical marks Boitano came out about five points ahead of Orser. Had I subtracted the points for one of Orsers double axels (it wouldn’t have counted today because it wasn’t in combination) it would have been greater but since they didn’t know about that rule I thought it would be unfair. I also didn’t factor in the 10% bonus for jumps at the end of the program because, again, they didn’t know to backload their programs. The biggest difference was that Boitano did two triple axels (although one got a negative grade of execution for a slight two foot). Orser got a negative grade of execution for a two foot and a “wrunch around” on a triple flip, while Boitano’s triple flip got a positive grade of execution. He also may have gotten a negative grade of execution on his last triple toe. It seems to have been two footed but I am not positive. Both of their spins would have been scoffed at today but it seemed to me that Boitano held his positions a little longer and that they were more precise. That camel Orser did, what was that? A comparison of their Death Drops left Orser in the dust.

However, the presentation mark is something I was unsure about. For the past 20 years I have been trying to understand why Orser so greatly outscored Boitano’s presentation marks. Not that I found anything wrong with Orser’s presentation, it was a fine program, but Boitano’s was a mixture of a cohesive story, emotion, superior positioning on basic skating elements, and general awesomeness. His connecting movements were stellar (the spread eagle heard around the world and those Russian splits that hurt to watch) and the choreography was impeccable. Maybe there is something I simply don’t see? There has been a lot of talk that Orsers scores were inflated because it was "his turn" but there has been a lot of talk the other way as well.

I'm not trying to diminish Orser, he was a great skater and put together an awesome program. Either way, my opinion is that, if the current judging system was around in 88, Boitano would have won by much more. Then again, I didn’t judge the short program (which Orser won) so maybe the seven or eight point difference in the long wouldn’t have meant as much? I doubt it though. Anyway, Here they are if you want to be the judge.
Boitano (the program starts at one minute)


1. Every second/ of every minute of the day/ I let my fancy play. Spike The Senses, Of Montreal.

2. OOOHH Baby/ Cry Baby/ Cry Baby/ Welcome back home. Cry Baby, Janis Joplin

3. There are people going hungry/ Far away/ They got nothing on their plates. A Cantury of Fakers, belle and Sebastian.

4. Deep in the bosom of the gentle night/ Is when I search for the light/ Pick up my pen and start to write. Insomnia, Faithless.

5. Glue/ Stuck to my shoe/ Does anyone know why/ We play with an orange rind. Putting The Damage On, Tori Amos.

Friday, January 11, 2008


This morning I checked my email and saw a link that a champion figure skater had died. I clicked on the link and my jaw dropped when I saw the name Christopher Bowman. I guess i had expected one of the current skaters was in a car crash or something (which would have been equally tragic)Bowman was one of my all-time favorite skaters and I had a huge crush on him (which is a little embarrassing but I was 12 and loved figure skating, who else). In 1991 when the US Nationals were in Minneapolis I took a black baseball cap and put silver puffy paint on it that said “Congratulations Chris”. When I gave it to him I received the sweatiest hug known to man.

He was 40 years old and died in his sleep at a Motel in California. It is posited that it was a drug overdose. He had many problems over the years in that area. Seen as one of the “bad boys” of skating he could easily serve as the prototype for Will Farell’s character in Blades of Glory. As I was reading some comments on the story I was shocked at how many negative things there were about him. People commenting that he couldn’t’ have been that good because they had never heard of him. Maybe they were just too young or maybe they were just assholes.

For those who followed the sport in the late 80s and early 90s, Bowman couldn’t be missed. He had a flair that few skaters have and it earned him the nickname, “Bowman the Showman”. In the article I read Boitano named Chris as one of the top three male figure skaters of all time. Maybe of US male figure skaters…. Regardless, he brought a sense of levity to the sport that is in many ways lacking in this day and age. He’ll be missed.

Bowman’s Short Program from the 1988 Olympics in Calgary. It exemplifies who he was as a skater and you can easily see where he got his nickname.

Bowman’s Long Program from the 1991 Nationals. It’s a more subtle performance, although still great.

1. Every second/ of every minute of the day/ I let my fancy play

2. OOOHH Baby/ Cry Baby/ Cry Baby/ Welcome back home

3. There are people going hungry/ Far away/ They got nothing on their plates

4. Deep in the bosom of the gentle night/ Is when I search for the light/ Pick up my pen and start to write.

5. Glue/ Stuck to my shoe/ Does anyone know why/ We play with an orange rind.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


So last night I was having a enjoyable time dinging with friends at Dave’s place when I got a frantic call from Tony telling me that I had to come home right away. Of course I hopped in a cab and got out of there. When I came home I couldn’t believe what had gone down.

I don’t know if I have mentioned our upstairs neighbors before. They disagree with the volume at which we sometimes like to listen to things. They have disagreed with said volume at such strange times at 4pm on a Saturday afternoon. However, we hadn’t heard a peep from them in well over six months, probably closer to a year. That all changed last night.

From what I understand Tony was watching youtube on the TV and was having some problems getting it to go full screen. He ended up listening to three songs, which would take roughly ten minutes. During this time he heard a noise like nothing before. Like the walls were falling in. He went to the front door and saw nothing. He looked out the windows and saw nothing. As he walked to the back door ther was a huge smash and the back door came swinging open and the boyfriend of our upstairs neighbor came into the kitchen and began yelling at him to turn the music down. Tony grabbed onto the guys sleeve, because what else are you going to do when someone bursts into your kitchen, and demanded to know what the fuck was going on. The guy yelled at Tony to let him go, which he did, and then left. Tony called the police, who came after about 20 minutes (the station is a block and a half away) and a report was filed.

This morning our maintenance man came and fixed the door. I just recently got off the phone with my landlord. I guess the plan is for me to talk to my upstairs neighbor (her boyfriend isn’t an official resident) and try to work something out. Tony is going back and forth about bringing charges up against the guy. I have absolutely no clue as to what I should do in this situation. I am going to talk to the lady but it just seems utterly insane. I never thought I would say I wish that someone had called the landlord to complain about me or called the cops to my apartment but that would have made so much more sense that what happened. I don’t know what else to say. Instead I will give you the most awesome thing I have seen in the last two days. It comes to us from "The Whitest Kids You Know", I give you Get A New Daddy.

1. Every second/ of every minute of the day/ I let my fancy play

2. OOOHH Baby/ Cry Baby/ Cry Baby/ Welcome back home

3. There are people going hungry/ Far away/ They got nothing on their plates

4. Deep in the bosom of the gentle night/ Is when I search for the light/ Pick up my pen and start to write.

5. If You Want Me Too/ I Could Hang Round With You/ If I Only Knew/ That's What You're Into.

If It's What You're Into , Flight Of The Conchords. Identified by Mom.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008


So I am officially incredibly uncool. I have known for some time that my level of cool is not the highest. I stay relatively up to date with gadget talk and video game news by watching Attack of the Show on G4 more days than not. I am incredibly socially awkward, particularly when around people I fear could possibly be cool but even around people who I know are definitely not cool. Before doing something new I often have nightmares and feelings of utter failure, even when I know the chance of utter failure is negligible. Regardless of all this embarrassing horror, I am very comfortable in my own uncool skin. Remember, it’s hip to be square.

However, I just found myself hardcore groovin’ to Sarah McLachlan. There is absolutely nothing remotely redeemable in the coolness department about that. It would be one thing if I had a moment of nostalgia and put the album on but to be jamming like it’s the hottest new joint is just not right. I’m really not THAT much of a total tool. Or maybe I am.

What had happened was my iPod was on shuffle and this Elsewhere came on and I was like, “man I miss this stuff,” so I put on the Fumbling Towards Ecstasy album and was instantly transported back to a time where I actually thought listening to it might somewhat approach coolness. I heart this album. It ranks up there with More Than Words and To Be With You in my list of guilty pleasures. The thing is, those are songs and this is a whole album. I am actually a bit scared that one of my co-workers or worse, one of my student workers, will come in the office and catch me. Whatever, it is so good.

Monica gave me a meme. It’s been a while.

1)Three Exes I would pretend not to know today:
I don’t think I would really pay much attention to any exes but I also don’t think I wouldn’t at least give a nod.

2)The most scandalous rumor to pass through my high school:
I am sure there were plenty but I honestly can’t remember a single one.

3)The time I Knew Santa didn't exist:
I had an inkling but it was confirmed when I was around 7 my parents rapped the Santa present in the same paper as the other presents. They then tried to tell me it was possible that Santa also shopped at Target.

4)The funniest thing I did in a house of worship:
Other than weddings, funerals, and bar mitzvahs I have only been in a house of worship once or twice. I don’t think I have done anything funny in one at all.

5)Best excuse I came up with for being out past curfew:
The cops stopped me for speeding. See, if I hadn’t been stopped I totally would have made it home on time.

6)Saturday cartoon character I had a crush on:
Keith from Voltron. At least he is a person.

7)Cartoon character I wanted to be:
Princess Allura from Voltron

8)Foods I can no longer stomach:
spaghettios. I went through a month or two of really liking them in high school because I had never eaten them and I thought they were grossly delicious. Now I think they are just gross.

9)Tacky pick up line you used that worked:
I don’t think I have ever used a pick up line.

10)Secret Hangover recipe:
If I told you it wouldn’t’ be a secret anymore.

Song time.
1. Every second/ of every minute of the day/ I let my fancy play

2. OOOHH Baby/ Cry Baby/ Cry Baby/ Welcome back home

3. Stand/ Under/ Fountain/ Cool skin/ Wash clean. Wash him/ From me. Fountain, PJ Harvey. Identified by Jason.

4. There are people going hungry/ Far away/ They got nothing on their plates

5. Deep in the bosom of the gentle night/ Is when I search for the light/ Pick up my pen and start to write.

Friday, January 04, 2008


So last night I watched the Iowa Caucuses fully expecting to see Hillary Clinton coast to a win. I wasn’t hoping for it, of the three top runners she is my least favorite. Something about her just seems a little robotic and I don’t trust her. I feel pretty good about both Obama and Edwards. They seem sane, passionate, intelligent, I like their plans, and are generally stand up guys that I wouldn’t mind having dinner with. I think dinner with Hillary would make me really self-conscious.

Just a little under a year ago I wrote a very honest post about how I felt about Obama’s chances to become president. I really wasn’t sure at the time if I thought our country would actually vote a Black man into office. I still am by no means convinced that it would really happen but the actual possibility of it sank in a little bit. It brought a tear to my eye. Don't get me wrong, I'm not for Obama because he is Black, I like his politics. I just didn't know how many people would feel the same way. Obama himself doesn't talk about race all that much but all the commentators do and it is certainly in the mind of the public. It isn’t something that can be ignored.

Political commenters, and Obama himself, have been saying for a while that he needs to have a victory to really gain the full support of the African-American community. While I was ready to support him win or not, I think there is likely to be many people who, after seeing his rather definitive success, will take a closer look at him. I don't know if that is all that it will take to get people to support him, believe it or not politics do matter. However, it did play out that way in the Illinois Senatorial race.

His speech after the win was absolutely priceless. If you didn’t get a chance to see it take a look.

He spoke of hope, unity, change, and a belief in the inherent good of our country. I felt like he said everything that I needed and wanted to hear. However, in the middle of his speech one thought came into my head, “please don’t kill him”. I don’t know where it came from and I was actually a little disappointed in myself for thinking it. Sadly, I couldn’t see myself thinking anything else.

Even if he never gets another win in this race I think great strides were made last night. I think, at the very least, the possibility is there. Sure Iowa is only the first of many many steps and it won’t be an easy road from here on in. It will be interesting though. Very interesting.

Ok, enough of that. Time for some songs.

1. Every second/ of every minute of the day/ I let my fancy play

2. OOOHH Baby/ Cry Baby/ Cry Baby/ Welcome back home

3. Stand/ Under/ Fountain/ Cool skin/ Wash clean. Wash him/ From me

4. There are people going hungry/ In Far away/ They got nothing on their plates

5. Deep in the bosom of the gentle night/ Is when I search for the light/ Pick up my pen and start to write.

Thursday, January 03, 2008


In case no one knew it is really incredibly cold here in Chicago today. When I woke up the TV said it was 1 outside. That just shouldn’t happen. Unfortunately, I wore my one pair of pants that are not jeans to work yesterday. I also wore my new boots (and could walk in them unlike the other time I tried to wear them in the slush and gave up two feet from my door) and broke them in significantly but not enough for two days in a row. Therefore, I was all about tights and sneakers this morning. I’ve worn tights and sneakers all winter for the last many years, it isn’t a big deal and I knew I would be fine. However, something was different this morning. By the time I got to the train station the place between my knees and my sneakers just didn’t feel right. They came back to normal but it was a little dodgy there for a second.

Not to worry though, I have a solution…legwarmers. Now I wouldn’t typically be a legwarmer wearing in public type of person but it’s freaking cold. I also wouldn’t typically own legwarmers but apparently Tony’s mother figured that since I asked for a bunch of tights for Christmas that they would be a good idea. I laughed a lot when I saw them but have been sporting them around the house under my target pants for extra warmth for some time. Apparently they will make an outside debut.

So last night I watched Conan because I was curious to see what a show without writers would be like. It was pretty bad. However, I really like Conan’s new beard that he grew for solidarity with the writers. I do not like Letterman’s new beard, he looks like a creepy Santa. I realize that many people do not agree with my like of the beard but I think it makes him look less like that little girl from Mary Poppins and more like a regular dude. Plus when he was walking around his office playing the guitar is was way cooler than it would have been if he had not had a flaming red beard.

In additional TV news I still heart Project Runway and really want Christian to die. As I am discussing the show with Monica, however, I realize that everyone is kind of boring. They kept telling me that this season is full of the strongest talent but I don’t believe them. I heart last season. I extra heart season two but just because of Santino. Couldn’t they have brought Santino back instead of Chris? I also am embarrassed to say I watched the Supermodel show that came on I am also ashamed to say that I could possibly become a voter. Crap.

1. Every second/ of every minute of the day/ I let my fancy play

2. OOOHH Baby/ Cry Baby/ Cry Baby/ Welcome back home

3. Get down get down little Henry Lee/ And stay all night with me/ You won’t find a girl/ In this damn world/ That will compare with me. Henry Lee, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds w/ PJ Harvey. Identified by Jason.

4. I can’t get no/ Satisfaction/ I can’t get no/ Satisfaction. Satisfaction, The Rolling Stones (althouhg I wish it had been Devo) Identified by Jason.

5. Stand/ Under/ Fountain/ Cool skin/ Wash clean. Wash him/ From me

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


Being back at work after many days off is never an easy thing. Luckily, I have plenty or organizing and planning to do and it doesn’t involve an extraordinary amount of brain power. Mostly I just have to read lists and then put the information in different places. Good times. My office is freezing. I think I need a heater. When I get home I am totally sitting in front of one.

Since my last post the year has changed. I had a fantastic New Years Eve and a very slow New Years Day. So it goes. Tony and I got all dressed up at around 5pm and left the house at six for our 7pm reservations at MK. We got there at 6:55 and were promptly taken to our table, which was nice and private but still in the middle of everything. We were thoroughly overwhelmed by the wine list and asked the waiter to recommend something, he did and it was delicious. I have no idea what it was. All I remember is it was Spanish and white and had an apricot aftertaste.

Our meal started with an amuse bouche. I had some salsify with a few sprigs of what was either very large sprouts or very small greens, a lemon sauce (we’ll call it a reduction to be fancy), and some black truffle shavings. It was delicious. Tony had some kind of shooter in an oyster shell. I think there was something cucumberish about it. He said it was nice.

Course two was an endive and field green salad for me and a lobster salad for Tony. Endive is an interesting food. It is very bitter and yet somewhat sweet, almost licoricesque. The dressing was light and lemonish and complimented the bitterness of the salad very well. There were also some baby croutons and orange slices in there that went perfectly. Tony said the lobster salad was good.

The third course was, in my opinion, the highlight. I had a sunchoke soup that was poured tableside over two small piles of diced endive topped with an orange slice. It was creamy, just the right temperature, and had the most delicate flavor that I’ve had in quite some time. However, it still really stuck to the ribs. The tiny orange slices were the icing on the cake. The way they just burst apart and complimented the soup was exceptional. Tony had the squab which was served over lentils. His face lit up when he tasted it and seemed to enjoy it most of all. Monica later told him that squab is pigeon. He still thought it was tasty.

My main course was a risotto trio. The first didn’t quite seem like a risotto as it appeared to be made of diced endive (a common thread) but I could be wrong about that. It was topped with baby carrots and delicious carrot foam. I was ecstatic about getting foam on my meal. It just made me think of Marcel and smile and laugh. I was surprised at how carroty and delicious the foam actually was. The second risotto had a delicious parmesan flavor and was topped with I believe oyster mushrooms that were cooked to perfection. MMM delicious. The last was a black truffle infused risotto with an abundance of black truffle shavings. Also divine. We ordered some pomme frites with the main course and they were served with a white truffle aioli. Those were some killer fries. Unfortunately, we were fat too full to eat all of them. Tony had turbot which he said was tasty but he was getting too full to really enjoy it anymore.

The dessert course was also a highlight for me. I ordered the lemon dessert while Tony opted for the chocolate. I was so glad I had the lemon. The chocolate wasn’t bad; warm chocolate cake with some chocolate moose type stuff on the side. The lemon was heavenly. I had a very light custard that just melted on the tongue and it had these sweet lemon curls of wonder on top. Then there was the lemon tart with a caramelized crust on top and a flaky wonderful crust on the bottom. Although I couldn’t finish it I most certainly wanted to. Although we took longer than the 90 minutes we were told we would get the staff didn’t rush us out at all and were more than accommodating throughout the meal. They were an absolute delight.

Then it was into a cab and over to Dave’s place. He assured us that the march to the lake would be optional so we didn’t need to go home and change first, which was good. I don’t know if I would have made it back out had I been able to enter my cozy abode. In true Dave fashion there was a plethora of delicious looking food at his house, sadly we were far too full for anything although I did sneak a couple handfuls of popcorn and a forkful of enchilada at around 1 or so. I did help myself to the rum and hot apple cider though. MMMM. After a march around the block (although some continued on to the lake) and some more chillin, Tony, Brooke, and I headed home and proceeded to drink some wine which I think helped me feel very lethargic on Monday. I went to bed around 3 while Tony and Brooke stayed up until about 7. Crazy. Tony still managed to get up around 9, take a shower, and head to the store to buy breakfast. What a goofball.

I forgot my iPod today, although I did remember to bring my iPod speaker to the office. No songs today.