Friday, September 08, 2006

Garden State 2

AKA, The Last Kiss. In fact, The Last Kiss looks like it could even be confused with Garden State 1. But don't take my word for it. Check out the (really really funny) breakdown here, complete with illustrations (because them words is hard to unnerstand sometimes).

Thursday, September 07, 2006


My computer at work has a 136 GB hard drive. And today, I found out that I've reached capacity. I've been here 5 months.

The data geekiness is becoming hard to ignore...

Friday, July 28, 2006

Normally I'd stay away from the Dilbert blog as a matter of principle (and I still maintain that I was tricked into clicking on the link by its being referred to as Scott Adams' blog, and I'm ok with acknowledging that I didn't know who Scott Adams was until today), and government-bashing doesn't really appeal to me, but I thought this post was just too dead-on to ignore. Excerpt:
My favorite conspiracy theory is the one that says the world is being run by a handful of ultra-rich capitalists, and that our elected governments are mere puppets. I sure hope it’s true. Otherwise my survival depends on hordes of clueless goobers electing competent leaders.

The only way I can get to sleep at night is by imagining a secret cabal of highly competent puppetmasters who are handling the important decisions while our elected politicians debate flag burning and the definition of marriage.
Read the whole thing here.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Random link of the day

There are things that make you chuckle, and there are things that make you laugh, and then there are things that make you laugh so hard it actually starts to sound more like crying. (Please note: this is much more likely to happen when one works in a quiet office and is trying to suppress normal laughter, lest one's coworkers get the impression that one is not actually working and is instead surfing the internet, reading favorite blogs, and watching Ask a Ninja videos on YouTube.) And I was sent a link to something that falls into that latter category: an entry on Bloggy McBlogalot. Funny blog name. Even funnier post. It defies reason. But I still have tears in my eyes.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Ask a Ninja

I think I'm a little behind on discovering the awesomeness of Ask a Ninja, but that's no reason not to share it with other poor souls who have been in the dark until now. In particular, Ask an Animated Ninja, and Ninja Pirates of the Caribbean Movie Review.

And, while unrelated, this is hilarious too.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Goldman Sachs vs. Goldman Sex

I'm not sure this story about Goldman Sachs suing is really a good example of common sense, both on the part of the plaintiff and on the part of the consumers supposedly confused by the names of these two entities. Chances are that anyone dumb enough to mistake one for the other is not bright enough to even know what Goldman Sachs does. I highly doubt they're losing a lot of potential clients this way.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Viva Mexico!

Am off to Mexico for the weekend to overimbibe on tequila (cuz, you know, if you do it there you're 'experiencing the local culture') and just generally enjoy chilling with friends, the beach, reading a book about pirates instead of just seeing a movie about them, Friday southbound traffic on the 405, etc. Should be a hoot.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Like MySpace, but for people who can read

I think the idea behind this website is effing brilliant: catalog your book collection and then get recommendations on other books you might like based on overlap with other people's collections (that's collaborative filtering, people... like what Amazon does, but not colored by the textbooks or gifts you bought that you'd never choose to read for yourself). There's a little bit of social networking, but I like the fact that the website isn't focused on collecting 'friends'. WSJ article about it (free) here.

Spiderman 3 leaked trailer quality less than satisfactory

The Spiderman 3 trailer has been leaked, so now you don't have to wait and see it before Superman Returns... at least, if you want to see the, like, characters and stuff, you do, but if you want to listen to the music and bootleg background noise and try in vain to read some of the teasers, you're set. Much funnier bashing of the quality + the trailer itself here.

Wi-fi for all who want to pay for it...which isn't many

As someone who hates the idea of paying through the nose to get fast internet service (at least, I did until I no longer had a laptop to take advantage of it), I was really excited by stories about wi-max and citywide wi-fi networks growing in popularity, even with the high likelihood that they would have spotty coverage. As far as I was concerned, it was a step in the right direction. Of course, I think I assumed that they would be paid for via taxes and/or advertising and would at least feel free. It could be that that's the only way they'll have the success everyone's envisioning, too: there was an article in the New York Times this morning about how Taipei has set their citizens up with a citywide wi-fi network accessible to 90% of the population (which is impressive--if/when LA adopts this strategy, that kind of coverage will likely take years)...and only 40,000 people (out of 2.6 million), a paltry 1.5%) have signed up for it. It's not expensive: $12.50 a month is completely affordable, and I'd be more than willing to pay such a fee (particularly compared with the $38 a month I'd been paying to Comcast previously, and that a promotion rate... it was going up to $60 soon). Then again, my options are limited. In Taipei (and in San Francisco, where Google and Earthlink are looking to build the first citywide wi-fi network in the US), there are plenty of free options: cafes, work, your neighbor's unsecured wireless, hotels and airports that want to attract more business travelers.

In fact, cities in the US are looking for a way to provide wi-fi free to their residents, with the company that made the investment recouping it via advertising. A company that had started negotiations to build a network in Sacramento pulled out earlier this month because the city insisted they make back their money with advertising rather than subscription fees. People just don't like paying for stuff that they don't see as essential, which is the case in Taipei. We're willing to put up with everpresent banners and commercials you can't skip if it means we get something free. I'm willing to pay a small fee to get rid of it, but we're talking a pretty small fee: I pay Yahoo about 20 bucks a year to get my email advertisement-free. Of course, along with that perk I also get more storage, I got to switch to Yahoo Mail Beta (which rocks, it's like a portable Outlook) months and months ago, whereas regular users still have to sign up to try it out and hope for the best, and there are some other perks that I really can't remember because the beta mail interface is so friggin' awesome... anyway, I think that $20 is well-spent. But I'm not willing to spend much more. With wireless it'd be about the same, I think: ubiquitous wireless access is a nice-to-have: I can't live without the internet, it's true, but I spend 8-10 hours a day in an office where I have access to it for free. And I would imagine that most of the people who would be interested in wi-fi in the first place are in a fairly similar situation. It'll be interesting to see what happens.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

This is a real ad.




UPDATE: Clicking on it led me to this site. You won't be disappointed.

Monday, May 08, 2006

M:I 3

Saw Mission: Impossible 3 on Saturday. It was like watching the pilot episode of Alias all over again. Which is good, in that that episode was really good, but bad in that, well, if I can draw that comparison, I've already seen it. (C'mon J.J., I'm sure you've got a couple more tricks up your sleeve. If you aren't going to blow them on a big-budget summer movie, then when? I don't see your style meshing with Sundance.) Was the movie worth the price of a $12 movie ticket? I don't know. What I do know is that it was not worth the price of a $12 movie ticket plus gas money for sitting in two separate traffic jams on the freeway on the way back from BFE. On a Saturday. After midnight. Oh no. Nothing is worth that.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Month in review

A quick summary of what the hell I've been doing with myself when not blogging:

1. Watching movies from my Netflix queue. 8 more down, 140 to go.
2. Reading. Seriously. Have finished like 5 books in the past month.
3. Strep throat. Again.
4. Turning 24 and celebrating like I'm still 23. Big mistake. Am now exhausted.
5. Complaining about the weather.
6. Going out and getting sunburned the second we had good weather; don't mind the bad weather so much anymore.
7. Adding new links to my sidebar.
8. Swimming. At least until I got strep throat.
9. Working.
10. Drinking too much.

Y'all aren't missing out on anything.

RIP laptop

I always knew this day would come... I just didn't think it would be this soon.

About a month ago, my laptop bit the dust. I don't know if I got one too many blue screens of death--I've gotten a lot of those, actually--or if it simply got bored with doing nothing but surfing the internet (I do actual work only when I'm at work, usually, and the few things I did bring home were even duller than whatever it was I was reading online. Trust me.), but at long last my laptop decided to stage a protest and simply stopped turning on. As it happens, this is remarkably effective at getting my attention, though not so effective that I was motivated to do anything about it until last week. (Because, after all, all I really do with it is surf the internet, and since I can do that at work, the only real effect of losing internet access at home has been falling a little behind on current events and requiring driving directions from my friends, because I can't map anything online anymore. I will also blame it for the dearth of posts here over the preceding month, but we all know that's a lie.) And per the feedback of an engineer at work, it doesn't look like it's worth investing in fixing the problem, which uncertain success, when I could be investing in a shiny new laptop that will turn on. (Hopefully.)

So now, birthday money in hand (I had to turn 24 to get wasn't pretty), I am in the market for said shiny new laptop. And am suddenly stunned by how little I know about laptops. What's the hot new Intel processor? Should I care if it's Windows Vista-compatible? What's the new standard for hard drive space? RAM? Battery life? Weight? Screen size? Built-in wireless? Do any of these questions really matter given that all I really do with my laptop is surf the internet? Are there other things I could potentially use it for if I got a heavily feature-laden laptop? Is there one that makes chai tea lattes from Coffee Bean appear? Will it fold my laundry? I demand the best there is (particularly if it makes chai tea lattes from Coffee Bean appear or folds my laundry), despite the fact that my use of those additional features will likely be limited. I no longer need the complete MS Office Suite, as there's little need for me to do PowerPoint presentations anymore. (Thank God.) I don't really need much memory or RAM, as I'm not a gamer and don't even own a digital camera which pictures I'd want to store and organize. I suppose I'd like to watch DVDs on it when I travel, but from what I understand, no laptops yet really have the battery power to undertake that for the duration of a cross-country flight. And I hate travelling with laptops anyway: everyone glares at the guy who takes extra long going through security because they require you to take your laptop out of its case and run it through separately. (By the way, can someone suggest to airports that they make those conveyor belts longer so you don't have 5 people struggling with 10 bags in the space of a 6 foot-long table, everyone behind them wondering why on earth they didn't prepare for the conveyor belt sooner. Until they actually get there and realize that there's nowhere to put your effing stuff! Argh.)

My point is, while I realize it's silly of me to spend money on features that I'll probably use for about 5 minutes during the duration of my ownership of the laptop (those 5 minutes being the entirety of my attention span the moment I discover said feature and think it's cool...and 5 minutes might be overstating it), I'll do it anyway because I think that I may potentially find them to be of use in the future. It's the same reason I won't give away clothes that no longer fit, or simply can't be seen wearing in public: I refuse to believe that there will not be a day when I can wear them again, and on that day, if I've already given them away, my reaction will look something like "You stupid bitch! What's wrong with you, you totally knew you'd be able to wear that again and look totally cute and now look what you've done! Well, I guess this means you have to go shopping. Again. Don't drink beforehand this time."

See, I just know that if I don't get the Core Duo processor (whatever the hell that sounds fancy), then there will be a day a year from now when I need to do something that can only be done with a Core Duo processor, or I could do something slightly faster if I had the Core Duo processor, or my laptop would still be working despite the beer I spilled on it if only I'd gotten the Core Duo processor. See, I'm thinking ahead to the angst that I will avoid by knowing that I did everything in my power to get a top-of-the-line laptop, because if you get a top-of-the-line laptop, and something goes wrong, then clearly God has it in for you and there was never anything that could be done except resign yourself to your fate. I'm buying a coping strategy, people.

So, uh, any suggestions?

Monday, April 03, 2006

Week 1

A few things I've learned in my first week at my new job:

1. Wearing flip flops a slightly less attractive idea when one has to walk half a mile to work from the parking lot. Uphill. Both ways.

2. Bribery with M&Ms not effective in securing a closer parking spot. Same for offer to be their best friend.

3. In Los Angeles, distance is a poor indicator of travel time. I now drive half the distance every morning in the exact same amount of time.

4. Sitting within 20 feet of someone else who has the same name as you and a bunch of vocal friends who like to say it a lot really blows.

5. You haven't felt cool until you've gotten a computer with two monitors. I can only look at one at a time, but my God, just think of how much time I've saved by only having to minimize and maximize different windows about half the time.

6. Packing all my decorations and stuff into a box on the last day of my old job really expedited process of decorating barren cubicle at new job.

7. If a group of people are standing around the open door to what appears to be a supply closet, do not duck in and stare vacantly at shelves that contain no office supplies and then ask where the supplies are. Much simpler to simply ask before making a fool of oneself.

8. Tearing open first paycheck and cackling with glee frowned upon.

Monday, March 20, 2006

For anyone who's ever kicked the shit out of office hardware

(Admit it. We've all been there.)

A limerick from the Blogger Blog (there are pictures, too!):

There once was a router so crappy
That it made all the Bloggers unhappy
It caused pagers to beep
And kept us from sleep
So we smashed it on the ground with golf clubs and threw paving stones at it and kicked it and someone filmed part of it but that’s not up yet and then we dropped it off a dumpster and kicked it again and gathered up the parts and sent them to be recycled quite snappy

Strapped for cash

I finally made it to the fundraising list.

I suppose I should be flattered that USC thinks I've made enough money by now to consider giving any of it back to them. (They should really concentrate more of their efforts on graduates from their professional schools.) Or maybe ticked that they have the nerve to ask me for money when I was still paying them thousands of dollars per year as of 3 years ago and, for all they know, could still be paying that money back in the form of student loans, and will for years to come. And just a little weirded out that they got their hands on my cell number, which I don't remember giving to them. Shouldn't my parents be suffering this call instead of me? But mostly, I'm amused. Whoever arranged for students to call and wrote their script knew what they were doing. A quick analysis:

1. Get your foot in the door by immediately identifying yourself as an undergraduate from the prospect's alma mater. Awww.

2. Allay their suspicions of fundraising by asking if they'd participate in a short survey. Just a couple minutes of their time would be much appreciated.

3. Ask easy, nostalgia-inducing questions. Did you enjoy your time at USC? Did your follow our football team this past season? And have you been on campus at all recently and seen all the new construction and campus improvements?

4. Enthusiastic responses to the answers, be they yes or no. They're your ticket to the segue to...

5. Asking for a lot of money. $125 in honor of USC having its 125th anniversary last year. And when you get turned down,

6. Totally go with it, and ask for a lot less money. Not just less money, but a nostalgic amount of money: $20.03, as a tribute to the year they graduated. And when you get turned down again,

7. Be ok with it, and launch into how important it is to stay involved with USC, and how it was ranked 30th by US News and World Report last time and how involvement of alumni helps that rating improve and just a small gift of only $5 would indicate your involvement...

8. And when you get turned down again, now's the time for the guilt trip. Not even $5? You'd really be helping... are you sure you can't even give that much?

At which point I totally shut down the junior who said she was in Annenberg and said no, not even that much. I'm sure that, had I caved, she would have immediately started trying to upsell me, because once you get someone's permission for something small, it's a lot easier to get them to agree to something a little bigger. Yeah, I've read Robert Cialdini's book too, and know that that's also why the conversation started off with a survey, so I'd let my guard down (surveys are also a very successful direct mail tactic, particularly in B to B--not only does it generate more leads, but you give the sales team exactly the information they need to construct the right pitch). And another rule taken advantage of is that of contrast: she began with a big number like $125 and dropped it down to only $20... that contrast makes that $20 sound a lot more acceptable than it would if that were the starting bid.

I suppose I should've caved. I mean, I did have a good time in undergrad, I went to at least half the football games this past season, and was on campus for a number of those because, well, it's almost unavoidable when you go to home games. I'm even sitting here in a USC sweatshirt as I write this, one that I won in a raffle that my mom entered me into at an alumni function a few years ago. I should give back. And I will. One of these days. But that USC education has to be worth something: Professor McClure recommended Cialdini to me way back when (Guns, Germs and Steel, too--dude knows what he's talking about), and today, it saved me $5.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

What if baseball had a single championship game instead of a championship series?

In the midst of all the St. Patrick's Day articles on Slate, I found this one about the World Baseball Classic, which is employing single-elimination playoffs to determine the champion. This is a significant departure from what we're used to watching come October every year, and I remember reading an article once that asked why the Superbowl and football in general drew so many more viewers than did the World Series or baseball. The answer seemed to be how the season was structured: in baseball, there are 162 games, in which teams play each other multiple times, and even the best teams still lose a lot of games. In football, there are only 16 games, and how your team ranks against others is judged solely by whether or not you beat them. And trash-talking is a lot more fun when you can say your team flat-out beat the other guy's, rather than saying your team beat the other guy's team more than his beat yours.

But what if baseball was structured that way too?

Here's a thought experiment: What if baseball, like football, played one game a week for a 16-week season? The team's ace pitcher could now start every game. The best positional players would never get a day off. The intensity and focus would never wane (as they necessarily do in the midst of six games in six days in two cities).

In these circumstances, the best baseball teams might well go 12-4. Or even 14-2. And we might be less apt to consider baseball a game of chancy vicissitudes and random luck. The big upsets ... would not be chalked up to the baseball's nutty nature, but instead would be recognized for what they are: one team outplaying another on a given day.

Interesting article. Read the whole thing here.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

When I gave my two weeks' notice, my boss said,

"I guess some things are just meant to be."

To be honest, I don't really feel comfortable making a definite decision on the whole existence of fate debacle. Partly because things seem to be going pretty well, and I don't want jinx myself, and partly because I'd like to believe that I myself have had something to do with the things going pretty well. But I won't say that I don't have my doubts. (That goes for regular use of double negatives, too.)

When I finished grad school, I had a plan: I was going to travel around the South Pacific for a couple months and then move back to Chicago and get myself some sort of job related to what I'd studied. I undertook part A of that plan and succeeded with flying colors, but did not anticipate the resulting financial straits that left me stranded at my parents' house in LA. So I delayed part B. I got a temporary job in LA while I looked for a full-time job in Chicago. Then I got a full-time job in LA. I delayed the move to Chicago further, giving myself 2 years at my present job (and my present apartment lease) before moving back. Well, the plan is being revised yet again.

Just over 2 weeks ago, I got an email from a guy I'd known in grad school with a job title in the subject line. I figured it was one of the few queries sent to my grad school listserv, but opened it anyway just to see where my former classmate had ended up. Turned out it was an email asking me personally if I was interested in the position described--he'd found out I was in LA and tracked me down. The job description was working in the search engine marketing department of a shopping comparison website. (FYI, am a huge SEM fan.) It took me all of 2 seconds to figure out that yes, I was interested, so I emailed him back with my answer and a quick update on what I'd been up to for the past two years and went to bed (had gotten up at a quarter to 5 that morning to go the account executive extra mile--marathon, really--for our client). My friend called me maybe an hour later (he kind of woke me up, but I was willing to overlook it) and we talked for half an hour about the job, in such a way that it was really a preliminary interview. (Though in a real interview, I'd never ask about salary, work hours, or "Do I have a shot?"--that last one because I have a number of interviews under my belt to which the answer to that question was a resounding "no" and I didn't want to waste my time.) At the end, he asked me to forward him my resume by Friday and he'd see about setting up an interview.

This happened on a Wednesday. On Thursday night, I revised my resume and forwarded it to him, and on Friday morning, I got a call from HR to schedule an interview--first thing Monday morning. I spent all weekend studying, learning everything I could about AdWords, search industry current events, and reminding myself of some of the concepts I'd learned in grad school. I am not, by the way, someone who naturally gravitates towards studying. I got up at 6 am on Monday to get ready, study some more, ingest a sufficient amount of caffeine and arrive there early. I interviewed with both my friend and another manager at his level, and was so wound up during and after the interview that it took me 3 hours to remember that I was back at work and it would help if my mind was too. Right about when I'd calmed down, I got a call from HR asking to schedule another interview--did I have any availability on Wednesday?

I lied to my boss and went to the interview on Wednesday. (I was fooling no one by saying I had yet another doctor's appointment, but you need plausible deniability on your side in case the job interview doesn't work out.) I arrived a little after 2 and didn't leave until 6, after having interviewed with 6 people, all very smart and very demanding when it came to requiring answers of me. I had barely slept since Saturday due to anxiety, and had consumed nothing that day but coffee and Red Bull--I simply couldn't work up the energy to get anything else down. It's remarkable that I was able to communicate anything coherently at all.

Then I got a call Thursday afternoon: “We’d like to move ahead to the next step of the process with you.” They were calling my references. Oh shit. I had to call my references and remind them of my existence and simultaneously ask them to do me a favor and say nice things about me to a recruiter.

But it must have worked out, because after a very tense Friday, at 6:30, when I was on my way home, steeling myself for a weekend of anxiety, the recruiter called and informed me that I was going to be receiving an offer letter on Monday, pending a couple signatures from the CEO and CFO and other people who are clearly very busy and not likely to suddenly take against hiring me.

The offer came. And I gave my two weeks’ notice on Monday. One week after my first interview, and less than two weeks since the whole thing had started. My first day is Monday, March 27th.

I still can't get over how quickly this happened, and what a huge change it really is. Three weeks ago, I was simply dealing with the constant chaos of work, looking forward to another promotion in a few months and my first profit-sharing check. I was looking forward to summer in the Valley (I love driving home on warm nights), and counting down to my move to Chicago. When I got there I'd probably look into work at an ad agency, as that's what my resume would show me to be best-suited for.

And now... A complete change in my career path, one I'd really wanted but had never hoped for, at least not for a number of years. I've only been at my first job for nine months, and even after several years of agency work, it would still be difficult to segue into search engine marketing. Nothing on my resume really shows me to be well-suited for it. Unless there's someone who can vouch for me, and give me a chance at an interview, as my grad school friend has done.

Now, who can tell where I'll be in five years. But I am so excited to be where I am now.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

There's just something in a swagger...

...that says, 'I just picked 16 out of 24 of the Oscar categories correctly... that's 67%, biatch."

...and "I didn't even see any of the movies and didn't know there was a contest so I made all my picks in like five minutes."

...and "And I totally won! Like, an actual prize and everything!"

...and "These boots that I chose to wear to the Brokeback Mountain-themed Oscar party friggin' hurt."

Saturday, March 04, 2006

The price of chic

Last night had all the makings of a great night out. I met up with friends at the W Hotel in Westwood, and upon giving the clipboard-bearing velvet rope guy my name, I was immediately let in, because I was on the list. I found my friend and she led me to the table next to the dancefloor where they'd all just been seated, to the dismay of a couple girls who'd been sitting there who were asked to leave by the hostess who let us in. There's fun music. The waitress shows up with a bottle of Grey Goose, ice, glasses and mixers. We hear that Ludacris is hanging out at a nearby table and wander over to gawk in the most subtle manner our drunken selves could accomplish. Little John showed up a bit later. (I know absolutely nothing about Little John that I didn't learn watching Chappelle's Show, but that little bit was enough to make me want to get a good look at the guy.) We talked (or at least gave it our best shot). We danced. We enjoyed feeling posh.

Then our bill showed up.

Clearly 'posh' is much more than just a state of mind. Our surprise bottle of vodka cost us $400. I ended up ponying up $50 for my single Grey Goose and cranberry. The one that I had to make myself. Another friend, who had none of the vodka but had ordered a mojito, paid $70.

Then another bill showed up, this time for the few drinks ordered in addition to the bottle of vodka. $70. I threw in another $10 for having some of a vodka and soda that had been brought to the table and never found its owner.

The night was ruined, for everyone. I'm still angry at what happened, and at the guy (a coworker, as it happens) responsible for it. It is absolutely inexcusable to put one's friends in that situation, making them financially responsible for your error in judgement without their knowing it. We trusted that, if a bottle showed up at our table, that someone had made an informed cost-benefit analysis. A mistake, clearly, and I won't be hanging out with that guy ever again.

I should put this in perspective. When I was in Chicago a couple weeks ago, I met my friend at a house party for someone's birthday. We didn't know the guy whose birthday it was, so we left to go to a club downtown, but her boyfriend, who did know him, and everyone else hung out and then all went to a club in Boystown. At least, that was the plan. One of the girls at the party went around offering to carry everyone's cell phones and wallets in her purse so they wouldn't have to worry about them. And just about everyone complied. They cabbed it to Boystown and, upon trying to gain entrance to the club, realized that the girl who'd tried to do them all a favor left her purse in the cab.

I wasn't even affected, but the sheer idiocy of the person so careless with her friends' belongings still makes me angry, and I suspect that's why I can't let go of what happened last night, either. No one's asking that people have all their wits about them and exercise common sense at all times (I'd recommend it, but realize that it's a standard I myself could not live up to), but they should at least try to do so when people other than themselves are involved.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

The Onion does it again

I know my 3 readers (or is it 4 now? I can't keep track of these things) are totally into podcasting--have 8+ subscriptions, load them all up on their iPods once, sometimes twice a day and try to listen to them all but keep wondering who has the time? (Answer: people who are too geeky to function. Just listen to the radio like a normal person. Or at least like one who hasn't had it stolen out of their car 5 times.)

Well, wonder no more. Those 8+ podcasts suck. Unless they're from Slate, in which case they're ok, because that's how I found out that The Onion has podcasts. Not only are they better than, like, every other podcast (I mean, think how geeky do you have to be to go beyond just listening to them to actually producing and distributing them? These are not people worth listening to.), but each one is less than a minute long. Which is kind of a bummer until you realize that you don't even need to download the damned thing--everyday, when you have a minute, just find them in the iTunes music store and have a listen and then go on with your day, knowing you're thinking of something at least as irrelevant, but far funnier than whatever it is your coworkers think about.

Today's podcast: Area Man Breaks Out Dating Boxers.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


Oh yeah, this is what losing feels like. Been awhile. I've gotta hand it to the Longhorns, though, they played a great game, and deserved the win. It hurts, but I've kind of been expecting it ever since the Notre Dame game--that one was just too close for comfort.

And on the bright side, I might have a date for Saturday.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Memoirs of a Bridesmaid

Day 1: December 28, 2005

12:30 a.m. Finished packing and went to bed.

4:45 a.m. Alarm goes off.

5:00 a.m. Supposed to get up. Failed.

5:30 a.m. Actually get up.

7:15 a.m. Picked up by Andrew Long, the best man. Start the six-hour drive to Phoenix, passing the time listening to David Sedaris readings (my contribution) and MXPX and Johnny Cash cds (Andrew's contribution... have since downloaded both on iTunes) Also told life stories, etc. etc.

2:30 p.m. Pick up Mike Wiser at Sky Harbor; head to tux shop.

3:00 p.m. Arrive at tux shop.

3:10 p.m. Get bored with tux shop; wander over to used book store.

3:30 p.m. Pulled out of used book store, but not before purchasing more books to add to my pile of 'I should read these someday' books.

4:00 p.m. Arrive at resort.

5:30 p.m. Bridesmaids and groomsmen go their separate ways for dinner; the men to a steakhouse, the girls to a bar/restaurant in Tempe.

8:15 p.m. Girls finish dinner and head to bowling alley to meet boys.

9:15 p.m. Boys finally show up at bowling alley. All the girls berate them for being late and then go back to the resort cuz they're tired. Except for me and Shannon.

11:15 p.m. Finish two games of bowling (scored over 100 both times, sweet!), head back to the resort and to bed.

Day 2:
December 29, 2005

10:00 a.m. Wake up, catch a ride to the beauty salon for a mani/pedi.

12:30 p.m. Mani/pedi over; walk up the street to Walgreens to get cash for tip as well as sustenance cuz I’m damned if I’m going to pay for over-priced hotel food for every meal. So I buy Pringles, Tostitos, Donettes and M&Ms for my breakfast and lunch for the remainder of my stay.

1:00 p.m. Trudge half a mile back to the resort carrying my heavier-than-planned-for snack food.

1:30 p.m. Arrive back at room; veg in room until rehearsal dinner.

3:00 p.m. Brendan and Becky arrive with a wealth of beer, wine, hard liquor, mixers and ice, all of which is thrown into our bathtub together so it’ll be cold for our rehearsal dinner preparty.

4:00 p.m. Wedding rehearsal. Giggle throughout.

4:30 p.m. Finish rehearsal and head back to room to partake of massive volumes of alcohol.

6:20 p.m. Realize we were supposed to leave for the rehearsal dinner 20 minutes ago.

6:35 p.m. Arrive at restaurant for rehearsal dinner.

7:45 p.m. Victoria, Kristy and I decide it’s a good idea to take pictures of random restaurant patrons wearing Kristy’s boyfriend’s new cowboy hat. Accost no less than 6 people, including a member of the waitstaff.

8:30 p.m. Dinner winds down and we walk back to the room, after having made plans to meet up at the hot tub.

8:45 p.m. We realize not everyone brought swimsuits.

9:00 p.m. Head to the hot tub anyway.

9:10 p.m. Lisa goes skinny dipping. So begins her reputation as ‘the naked girl.’

9:40 p.m. Not to be outdone, Shannon and I go topless.

9:42 p.m. We try to get some of the boys on the nakedness bandwagon. We are successful with 33% of them. Out of 3.

10ish p.m. While details are fuzzy, it seems we put our clothes back on and went back to the room, where someone emptied the bathtub of alcohol and everyone else passed out.

Wedding Day:
December 30, 2005

7:30 a.m. Alarm goes off. Mmmph.

8:00 a.m. Get up. Grrrr.

8:05 a.m. Shit, there’s still ice in the shower from yesterday.

8:30 a.m. Call Becky and tell her that I cannot possibly get to beauty salon if I have to walk and beg to be picked up.

8:35 a.m. Walk to main lobby to meet Becky. Wish desperately that I owned sunglasses.

9:10 a.m. Get talked into getting an up-do by my hair stylist. In weakened state, am unable argue.

9:45 a.m. Walk back to hotel. Still hung over, but with fancy hair.

10:00 a.m. Arrive in hotel restaurant, attack waitress and demand breakfast potatoes, corn beef hash, eggs with cheese, water, coffee, and a Bloody Mary.

10:30 a.m. Order another Bloody Mary.

11:00 a.m. Ah… much better.

12:00 p.m. After hanging out with some of the guys for awhile, decide to finally head back to the room and start getting ready for the wedding photos at 2.

12:30 p.m. Arrive at bridal ready-room, begin frantically doing makeup, getting wrinkles out of dress, and telling each other how cute we all look.

2:00 p.m. Wedding planner picks us up and drives us to photo site.

2:15 p.m. Get tired of posing.

2:25 p.m. Get tired of maintaining good posture.

2:30 p.m. Get tired of smiling. And I’ll hold my bouquet wherever I damn well please, thank you.

3:15 p.m. Taken back to bridal ready-room to hang out until ceremony begins.

4:00 p.m. Picked up for ceremony, omigod!

4:05 p.m. Are lining up for ceremony, omigod omigod!

4:10 p.m. Ceremony’s starting, omigod omigod!

4:15 p.m. And there’s Becky coming down the aisle… awww.

4:25 p.m. They’re doing a sand mingling ceremony… awww.

4.26 p.m. There isn’t enough room for all the sand in the mingling jar. Tee hee.

4:30 p.m. They’re kissing… awww!

4:35 p.m. Wedding’s over!

4:37 p.m. So… can we drink yet?

4:38 p.m. How ‘bout now?

4:40 p.m. Ooh, waiters with appetizer trays. Score.

4:42 p.m. Start taking our own group shots, interspersed with munching on quiches or chicken on a stick.

5:00 p.m. Full of appetizers.

5:05 p.m. No really, what does a girl have to do to get a drink around here?

5:06 p.m. According to the wedding planner, go into the reception area and order it.

Oh. Ok.

5:10 p.m. Ah, vodka-cranberry.

5:20 p.m. Seriously, how long do sunset bridal pictures take?! Let’s start this thing!

5:35 p.m. Are lining up to march into the reception to Tribute to Troy. Awesome!

5:36 p.m. Da-da-da da da da da dum da-da...


5:50 p.m. Toast!

6:30 p.m. Mmmm… prime rib…

7:00 p.m. They’ve started all the dances. Awww.

7:10 p.m. The bride and groom’s first dance! *Sniffle*

7:15 p.m. Lots of dancing, etc. etc.

7:30 p.m. Incorporate the cowboy hat: form dance circles around whoever’s wearing the hat. First victim: Mike Wiser.

8:15 p.m. Cake!

9:30 p.m. Are they actually kicking us out at nine-freakin’-thirty?!

9:35 p.m. Good thing we can all reconvene at the hot tub.

10:00 p.m. Arrive back in room with a dozen bottles of unopened wine from the reception.

10:05 p.m. Take half of the aforementioned bottles with us to the hot tub.

10:10 p.m. More people showed up tonight (Lisa did not disappoint them)--some of us move into the 85 degree pool.

10:30 p.m. Chicken fights. Kristy and Eddie are an unbeatable combination until Mike Wiser and I get through with them.

10:45 p.m. Play Marco Polo until someone’s caught who doesn’t want to be It.

10:55 p.m. Brendan and Becky leave to go to the honeymoon suite. There is much cheering.

11:00 p.m. The hotel employee who came to kick us out ended up taking drink orders instead. Said we could stay if we remained quiet.

11:05 p.m. Brendan reappears; I scream ‘WHY AREN’T YOU FUCKING?!’ at the top of my lungs. Am shushed. Turns out Brendan left the room key by the hot tub.

11:45 p.m. Party winds down and people start leaving; I walk, dripping, into the lobby to demand a golf cart to take me back to my room.

12:00 a.m. Take a shower, then pass out.

New Year’s Eve: December 31, 2005

7:30 a.m. Wake up.

7:40 a.m. Still awake.

7:50 a.m. Still awake.

8:30 a.m. Why the fuck can’t I sleep?!

8:45 a.m. Give up, get dressed, grab a book and walk to the restaurant for breakfast. In front, run into Brendan and Becky, who also apparently woke up at an absurdly early hour. Meet Kristy in the restaurant as well, also with a book.

9:15 a.m. Sean shows up.

9:35 a.m. Dane and David show up.

9:40 a.m. Head back to room and run into Victoria, Shannon and Theresa. Guess everyone’s up early.

9:50 a.m. No one in my room, though. Go back to sleep.

11:15 a.m. Everyone in my room wakes up.

12:00 p.m. They all head to the restaurant for lunch. I go back to sleep.

1:15 p.m. They come back. I wake up and get cranky.

3:00 p.m. Decide it’s finally time to get out of bed again. Shower and get ready for In N Out run.

4:30 p.m. Play Taboo. Lose.

5:30 p.m. Decide we have everyone who’s going to go and leave for In N Out.

5:45 p.m. Are we there yet?

6:10 p.m. Arrive at In N Out.

6:25 p.m. Mmmm… burgers…

7:15 p.m. Head back to the resort with a stop at Becky’s parents’ house. Miscellaneous planning madness for that night’s expedition up Silly Mountain ensues.

8:30 p.m. Still with the miscellaneous planning madness.

9:10 p.m. Arrive at Silly Mountain.

9:15 p.m. Unload cars and start walking up Silly Mountain.

9:30 p.m. Get tired and declare the line of boulders halfway up the moderately-inclined hill to be the summit of Silly Mountain.

9:35 p.m. Beer.

9:40 p.m. Sit around gossiping and enjoying the view. Note a couple of towers off in the distance that we guess to be about 100 miles away.

10:00 p.m. Watch the ball drop on Brendan’s 5” black and white portable TV. Happy New Year!

10:01 p.m. We all yell Happy New Year at Shannon’s cell phone.

10:01 p.m. We all yell Happy New Year at Brendan’s cell phone.

10:02 p.m. We all yell Happy New Year at Shannon’s cell phone, twice.

10:03 p.m. We all yell Happy New Year at Shannon’s cell phone.

10:05 p.m. We all yell Happy New Year at Shannon’s cell phone, making it clear that that’s the last time.

10:10 p.m. More beer.

10:30 p.m. Brendan sets up his camera.

10:45 p.m. A car pulls up and someone starts walking up the path. There is much nervous speculation until we ascertain that it’s Becky’s brother. Whom we should have known to expect around that time.

10:50 p.m. More beer.

11:45 p.m. Another car pulls up that we didn’t expect. We think we see lights moving around and can’t decide if it’s a cop, a car thief, or just a couple of people fucking. Send some of the boys down to check it out.

11:50 p.m. If it’s a car thief, wonder if they’ll try to kill the guys.

11:51 p.m. Or if we’ll be able to hear the gunshots.

11:55 p.m. Guys return. Tell us they disturbed a couple people fucking.

11:59 p.m. Countdown!

12:00 a.m. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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