I believe in Santa Claus. He's called Amazon.com.

So I bought an iPod. A black video one. While it cost about four times more than my previous MP3 player, it is about three times smaller and holds about 60 times the audio. And it plays video! (a feature I find endlessly cool but may not ever actually use...).

So far, it has come as expected in its tinyness and ability to hold all of my music with room to spare (although I really need to prune the collection...how did some of this crap end up on my computer?). However, I've had some issues in my brief iPod ownership period.

Most notably...all of the accessories for my BLACK iPod are WHITE. The hell? Apple, you can make the expensive main unit black, but you can't be bothered to come up with black earphones? I don't WANT to look like one of your grooving commercial people. If I wanted that I would have bought the white one. And now what I will look like is a dork wearing white after Labor Day.

At least I will the whole three days until I go out and buy new headphones, because these things are uncomfortable and have ZILCH bass.

Also, about the headphones. I know the iPod came in a shockingly small box and that was kind of scary but also cool. But seriously, they could have made the box two microns larger and PUT THE FOAM ON THE EARPLUGS. Did they think I needed something to occupy myself the whole three hours while the iPod charged? Especially since the whole smallness of the box is ruined when Amazon.com puts it in their stock box with a bunch of plastic air bags where there is plenty of room to spare.

My only other issue with the iPod...why make the damn thing so small if it's still scratchable? Like, why not make it the old size (I was kind of shocked by how tiny it was) and cover it with some teflon or something? This morning I put it in a case that nearly doubles its size, where it will live permanently (or until I find a case I like better), and while it's still small, I kind of wonder why have this tiny pretty device just to put it in a big case. I mean, it doesn't even look like an iPod!

Oh wait, I get it. That's what the white headphones are for.

wish i was there

So it has occurred to me that the reason for my many-month absence from blogging here is that I had promised to post more vacation pics. But like the lazy slacker that I am, I had not formatted and cropped the second batch of vacation pics. And somehow, I couldn't return to blogging until the vacation pics were posted.

So finally I did. And here are vacation pics, so I can get to blogging about my shiny new iPod, which is what I really want to do. Plus, when are pictures of sunny locales better than in the middle of dreary Ohio winter? Yeah, that's what I thought.

The pool area of the ship.

One of the decks, and also where we would get on the lifeboats if the ship were to, say, hit an iceberg.

The other pool. This one was under a retractable roof. Some sun got through but I liked it much better than frying on the deck. It was also adults-only, which means no belly-flop contests and other such hijinks.

The observation tower-lounge thingy on the ship.

What would a bunch of pictures from a cruise be without one of FOOD? This was from the Grand Buffet.

Space shuttle replica at Cape Canaveral.

Back end of large rocket type thing.

From the rocket garden (I think it has a more official name but I can't remember).

Key West, you are so warm and pretty and full of shopping. Do you need any more online people? Do you?

The place is seriously so damn cute.


The famous La Concha hotel.

Sloppy Joe's. We stopped there for drinks after shopping. Along with every other tourist in Key West. Still, it was nice.

A worthy slogan.

The area we went shopping at Grand Bahama Island.

More of the shopping center. What you can't really get from the picture is that we were FRYING HOT at about this point.

From the boat we took to get to the shopping.

A very untropical picture. This was as we were leaving the port of Baltimore. It really looked like the top of the ship was going to hit the bridge. People were all ducking. It was fun and hilarious.


whee, vacation

Vacation was lots of fun. We were on a 9-day cruise out of Baltimore to Freeport, on Grand Bahama Island, then CocoCay, Royal Caribbean's private island in the Bahamas (beach day), Key West, Cozumel (we went on to Cancun via bus) and Port Canaveral.

I've been to Key West once before and it was one of my favorite ports then. Still is. The shopping is unique...yeah, there are a lot of t-shirt shops (more, even, than Columbia, Mizzou folks...), but there are also lots of stores with unique stuff, not the same old touristy trinkety stuff you see on many of the other islands. My only regret was that we weren't there very long. That would be a good port for an 11 p.m. or midnight departure, to give you plenty of time to drink up at one of the open-air bars (we went to Sloppy Joe's for a beer at the end of our afternoon, but I think they'd all be more fun at night).

Here are some pics. I'll try to post more as I get them formatted.

CocoCay, in the Bahamas. You can see the ship in the background.

More CocoCay. We were worried about Franklin (I guess it was a tropical storm? It was when we left) being a problem, since it was headed for the Bahamas when we left. But the weather was great almost the entire trip. We did get a little downpour in CocoCay, but it was actually nice because it cooled things off.

One of the places we went shopping in Cancun. It was freaking HOT and most of the stores except the jewelry stores don't have air conditioning. We did a lot of aimless jewelry shopping, although my sister did eventually find a necklace.

More Cancun. It sort of reminded me of a mini Las Vegas, with resort after resort after resort down the main strip.

Main difference? A beach. This one was beside the restaurant we ate at. That was my favorite part of Cancun, mostly beacause although the restaurant was open-air, there was a nice breeze coming in off the water which made it easy to cool down and kick back.

More Cancun beach. I think we all agreed that if we could do it again we would shop less and bring things for the beach.

The beach at Playa del Carmen. We had to take a boat to Playa del Carmen, on the mainland, from the island of Cozumel. From there we boarded the bus to take us to Cancun. You can see some of the hurricane damage in the thatched roofs here. There was a lot of vegetation damage, and some more-rickety buildings had fallen over, but they largely escaped major damage. It was weird...you could see that the leaves on the palm trees had been permenantly blown inland.

Cozumel, near the cruise ship dock. We've been to Cozumel twice but never actually made the downtown area, which would be forward on the left-hand side of this picture.

quick gripe

Long delayed vacation post shortly. I've finally got some pics scanned and formatted. I have to gripe, first, though.

On my way downtown last night, I passed a disabled car on the off ramp from I-71 to I-71/75, just before the tunnel. The guy had his trunk open, I guess to get his spare. It was a bad place to be, especially in the dark, so I called *DUI, as I have in the past, to report him.

I know it sounds weird to call *DUI for a disabled motorist, but that and the other 1-800 numbers (grab dui and one for the patrol) all go to the State Highway Patrol. I know this because the first time I called was when I passed a mattress in the middle of 71 in Columbus. I couldn't remember the highway patrol number so I called grab dui because, dude, mattress.

So anyway, I called *DUI, and explained the situation, and the woman got all snippy with me. She was all, why did you call this? I'm like, uh, because it all goes to the highway patrol and *DUI is easier to dial on a cell phone.

She's all, well, we're in Columbus, this isn't the right number, blah blah blah. I ran into something along these lines before calling about a disabled motorist...aparently this is Cincinnati's jurisdiction. But in that case, the guy was like, I'll contact Cincinnati Police, thanks.

Instead, she's all asking me why I called this number. Uh, I don't know. Maybe because the guy was broken down on an INTERSTATE HIGHWAY and you are the HIGHWAY PATROL. Yeesh. Am I supposd to program the number of every local police station into my phone just to try to help disabled motorists?



Whomever designed my nice shower curtain and deemed that hair dye should rinse out easily, after it's set and turned brown, I owe you.

Yes, there was a bit of a dye spray incident. Oops. Heh.


cruise musings

I am getting ready for vacation way early because it gives me something to look forward to. Also, because I am anal-retentive. So I've been planning what to pack, looking through the Royal Caribbean Web site, etc. Their FAQs are cracking me up, though. Like:

Can I store insulin in my stateroom?
You can store insulin in the mini bar, ice bucket, or kitchen of your stateroom.

Um, I'm not diabetic, but it just seems like a BAD IDEA to me to store insulin that you're relying on to LIVE in an ice bucket.

Do your staterooms have soap, shampoo, and conditioner?
Like a fine hotel, all of our staterooms provide soap, shampoo and conditioner.

I'm so glad, because crappy hotels don't have soap. Maybe they meant fine soap, shampoo and conditioner. I'm expecting L'Occitane now, people. Shea butter, hell yeah.

Can cribs/rollaways be provided in my stateroom?
Royal Caribbean provides Pack and Play's for use onboard. Pack and Play's are similar to a playpen. Cribs are no longer provided.

Suck it up, kid. It's not like you needed a mattress or anything.

Can Passage or a Booking Request Be Refused?
...In addition, a guest may be removed from the vessel where, in the opinion of the ship's captain, a guest is unfit for travel or a risk or danger to himself or herself or a disturbance or danger to others...

Do they make people walk the plank? Because that would be AWESOME.

Do you offer Special Occasion Cakes?
Royal Caribbean offers Birthday, Anniversary and Special Occasion Cakes fleet wide for a nominal fee of $7.95 USD.

This isn't really funny, but I would just like to point out that you should NEVER PAY FOR EXTRA FOOD on a cruise. What you will have is a repeat of my family's SS Norway experience, where my dad got an anniversary cake for my parents, which was sweet, yes. But then every night we would come back from dinner all stuffed, and they would be all, "we should have some cake." But it was that, "we should paint the house this year" tone. And then we'd be all, "arrrrrrghhhhh, bluuuuugh, guuuuurgle, noooooo caaaaaaaake."


because Kelly said I had to update

Also, I really needed to update. Don't go getting a complex, Kelly. Hee.

Tops on my list of miscellaneous things to blog about was the suddenly annoying presence of the bed in my spare bedroom/office type room. It really wasn't annoying until I got the file cabinet and realized it wasn't going to fit where I had wanted it to (behind the desk).

There' s just not enough room in this room anymore. And the bed gets used maybe five times a year. That seems like an awful lot of real estate to give to something that isn't used very often. Plus the bed is like a zillion years old. It's sort of swaybacked, actually.

So I've been giving a lot of thought to just ditching it. Like, literally sticking it by the dumpster out back. Because, two words, people: dust mites. I probably should ditch it, just for allergies' sake. Unless there's somewhere I can donate a used old bed. Anyone know of anywhere?

And now the reason I really want to get rid of the bed: The Gatsby chair. Was there ever a better chair for a library ever made? Because dude, if I got rid of the bed, I could totally have a little library in here. A couple more shelves in a box (yes, yes, I know), the chair, maybe the ottoman, and the file cabinet near the desk, where it should go. It would ROCK.

So this is the current debate 'o Carrie. Fortunately, it can wait until the end of summer, as a library is more of a autumn/winter place, especially with a leather chair. It also must wait until my parents would come down with their SUV, unless World Market delivers.

I should research such things.



Latest piece of furniture in a box: mission-style file cabinet, from Target, to replace second piece of old desk and give me something in which to put files and on which to put my lava lamp, currently on the floor.

I pulled it out of the box and the cellophane completely covered the top of the cabinet, so I thought I might, perhaps, be set. Surely I was due some good karma after the three-tops desk.

Clearly not. After I cut all the ties, the whole thing sort of sighed and it became clear that the top was split down the middle.

Ha ha ha.

ETA: Apparently it wasn't just the top. Other bits are split, too. This thing looks like it's been through a war.

drum roll, please

Bottles of wine completely drank last night at Sideways party: 4.

Approximate total wine consumption: 8.25 bottles.

This discrepancy is due to the fact that there are 6 partially drank bottles still in my apartment. How did we do that? I think it was mostly the taste test and the checker shots.

So....anybody want to come over and drink MORE wine? Hee.

I am actually, amazingly, not really hung over. What I have, I think, is more along the lines of my stomach protesting the Roquefort. "What? You ate that green cheese shit? The hell you doing, girl?"

And now let me tell, for those of you who didn't hear it at the party, my Trader Joe's Burgundy story...

Awhile back I bought a Blason de Bourgogne (a Burgundy pinot noir) at Trader Joe's and put it in my wine rack. It's a slanted one, which is good for keeping corks wet, but in this particular case I went to drink it and some wine had oozed out of the cork (luckily it didn't ooze on down to the carpet).

So I took it back to Trader Joe's yesterday and the guy was all like, do you want another bottle? I asked if they'd had a lot come back with bad corks and he said no, so I said I'd give it a try. Round about this time the French Trader Joe's wine tasting guy comes up and is like, "Zee wine would 'ave been okay! I will take you and ve vill get another bottle and then ve vill open this one up to taste!"

So we did go get another bottle and then he opened the bad-cork bottle up, and it was in fact good ("Ahhhh, zat is good!"). Although, I would like to state for the record that it did taste slightly different than the new one, which we drank last night.


vnv + bubbles

I am too tired to post much but I wanted to post something on the VNV Nation concert last night, which was awesome.

I've heard live bootlegs of them before and was a little concerned about how they were going to translate live, but the sound in the Madison was great. They played a good, long set. Several encores, including one which featured Bubbles, the oldest clown in town. Which was, yes, bizarre. It was someone's birthday - not sure who, I returned from the bathroom and there was a clown onstage handing out balloon animals - and the group's manager apparently told the Madison to surprise them.

So yes, picture a couple hundred goth kids, VNV after a set of largely apocalyptic music and visuals, then on comes Bubbles throwing balloons into the audience. It was quite surreal.

They played a set that was largely from their new one, Matter + Form, with a lot of old stuff. Only "Epicentre" and "Beloved" (the omission of either of which would have caused SEETHING RAGE by me and probably all of the goth kids, too) from Futureperfect, which was the major disappointment. I haven't been the biggest fan of the new album, and thought Futureperfect was clearly their best effort, but perhaps they got sick of playing it (still, though, no "Genesis"???). The traditional instead of Motion version of "Standing," too - it's always a great song but Motion is so much better for dancing.

I am nitpicking, though. All in all it was a great night and really nice to have a break from work.



I am now in possession of a nice, hopefully nothing-wrong-with-it desktop from Target. The parts people said there were no more tops there (I think they just wanted to be rid of me) so I would need to go to Target and have them pull another one off the shelf and get me that one.

Which is what they did and it seems to have worked out. Watch this new top be from after the "redesign" in which they put all the screw holes and shit in different places.

Most amusing part was when the very helpful Target guy gave me the special-little-organized-thingy of hardware from the soon-to-be-scrap other box. He was all, here, even if you don't need it, your husband will like all the hardware.

Which begs the question...

IF I had a husband and IF said husband was the type to get excited over desk hardware, wouldn't I have made HIM take the desktop back?

Maybe he wanted me to say, "Oh, I don't have a husband! Why don't we go out to dinner and then you can come back to my place and....assemble my desk."




The Ridge Road Golden Corral has catfish all day Tuesdays and Fridays. I thought you all might like to know.

Also, today I told the Target representative that called me back this:

"You guys might want to, like, invest in some cellophane or something."

And I bought tons of wine at World Market. Fun times, people, fun times.


breaking (furniture) news

New desktop arrived.

New desktop was wrapped with all of one piece of paper.

New desktop damaged worse than old desktop.

What were they thinking? FedEx would gingerly nurse my desktop?



Today during break I went over to Express to see if they had any more crop pants I liked. As I walked in, the salesguy said something along the lines of, "And what are you looking for today?"

Um, I was in the market for a pet leopard and I thought you guys might have one.

Or, clothes.


fromage a la Hyde Park

I went to the new biggs Hyde Park today. I was eager to see what they'd done to take biggs and make it Hyde Park. Clearly, the cheap-prices-scummy-atmosphere would not be the same as other biggs. But would it be like a cleaner, newer biggs, or truly grab for Hyde Park Kroger's throat and rip out its trachea?

(I would like to note that both biggs Hyde Park and Hyde Park Kroger are in OAKLEY. Oakley in the house!)

So I needed groceries, and they gave me a coupon for free salad (organic salad...at biggs! holy crap!), so I went. First impression...definitely more stylish than a typical biggs. There's a little cute Awakenings coffee shop in the front. The fruits and veggies section was typically biggs-sized (which is to say five times larger than Kroger's and half as big as Giant Eagle's...ah, Giant Eagle, how I miss thee).

Then I got to the first clear difference. Rather than do, like, market research or something, I think the biggs people sat around and said:

"CHEESE! People in Hyde Park like CHEESE! Lots and lots of CHEESE! We will have cheese and people will come from miles around and buy the cheese and eat the cheese and it will be grand!"

Seriously, I think they have more cheese in this store than Jungle Jim's. And that takes some doing.

However, while there was some you-bake-it bread, there wasn't the good kind that made it worth the occasional venture to the Ridge biggs. Someone needs to tell them that bread goes well with CHEESE. And despite a whole freezer aisle of ice cream, I didn't see any Healthy Choice. The cashier assured me that they must be out, but no Healthy Choice could be a deal-breaker if this continues.

The prices are definitely better than Kroger, and the sushi looked good, although I wasn't hungry so I didn't repeat last week's "I should get sushi...but I'm not hungry....but I'm at Kroger, I might as well........uuuuuugh, I should not have gotten sushi" debacle. The wine section is larger than the regular biggs selection (although it's not hard to beat a couple dozen bottles of Sutter Home White Zinfandel and the odd merlot). And clearly, they have robbed the French of their entire supply of cheese.

So biggs definitely merits a return trip. It's still no Trader Joe's, though. Which reminds me, I still must post my ode to Trader Joe's. Some other day.

Edited to add that I attempted to google image search Giant Eagle to see if I could find a picture of the produce section of, say, the Stow Giant Eagle (Grand Poobah of Giant Eagles...it would CRUSH Hyde Park Kroger like a little bug). And I found myself asking myself, "why are all these freaking birds showing up?" Uh.....


should have seen this coming

I believe many folks out there are well familiar with my ongoing saga of furniture in a box. The cliff notes version:

Approximately 86.7 percent of the furniture in a box I buy (and that's a lot, as most of my furniture came from a box) has some damaged part. The best examples have been the shelves (top shelf completely split down the middle) and dining table (giant crack in the tabletop) I bought from World Market. Bed, Bath & Beyond has also put forth its share of damaged bits.

It is to the point where now if I'm planning to buy furniture in a box, I make sure I have enough time to get the furniture, bring it home, figure out the damaged part, and then take it back for a new one. If there's a stack of folding shelves at Bed, Bath & Beyond, I know without a doubt that I will grab the box with the damaged ones (I have four sets of shelves from there...they rock, if you can find a non-nicked set).

So cut to last week, when I asked my parents to help me get the new desk and hutch I'd been eyeing at Target while they were there, thusly saving me much struggling up the stairs with my dolly.

My dad, in total dad awesomeness, carried both things up the stairs and set them up against the wall in my living room, since, minor detail, I had not yet gotten rid of the old desk. I'd had it up on craigslist for a couple weeks and a couple people seemed interested, so I figured it would sell. Come Saturday, the interested people had not gotten back to me, so I posted signs around my apartment complex. I got a call back within 3 hours (Paper 1, Internet 0) and they took the desk out today (not without its own drama...when they pulled the desk out, they also basically pulled it apart, and took it to their apartment in peices to be reassembled).

Now, I believe there are two pieces of furniture I've ever bought that did not have a damaged part. One was from, oddly, Value City, and the other was my entertainment center from Target. One of those four sets of shelves from Bed, Bath & Beyond might have also been okay...can't remember. So I figured perhaps my broken furniture in a box jinx would be broken. Surely the Great And Powerful Target knows how to package furniture such that it doesn't get busted. Awhile back I had vowed not to buy any more furniture from a box, but I don't like and really can't afford furniture store furniture, and come on, this was Target.

So you can see where this is going. I took the desk box into the room, pulled out all the peices, and the TOP OF THE FREAKING DESK is nicked. It was pretty obvious it was going to be, too, since the protective wrapping had shifted off of it in that spot.

So this is why I am blogging and not assembling a desk. The only good thing is that Target has a replacement parts program thingy, so I emailed that and asked for a new desk top, and with any luck will not have to lug the whole desk back to the store.

But here's my question. Why on earth can't they wrap this shit up better? Like, two layers of cellophane might have done it. One layer, well taped, might have even done it. This isn't like the World Market shelves or table, which had clearly been punted by something large somewhere between Thailand and here. So now, instead, Target is going to have to ship me a new desktop.

At least now I guess I can spend my afternoon by the pool as I originally planned. Heh.


everybody wang chung tonight, or hollaback girl part 2

Okay, so today on 97.7, as I was doing my usual "Cincinnati radio sucks" pass through the dial, they were playing "Kung Fu Fighting."

Yes. On the former future of rock and roll.

That's not even the past of rock and roll. That's bad bad '80s pop. They could have at least played good bad '80s pop and busted out, like "Everybody Have Fun Tonight" or something.

Also, speaking of bad pop, Sarah C. reminded me that I did not even broach the worst part of "Hollaback Girl." This was a horrible oversight. So here it is:

Just when you think the song could not possibly get any worse, and just when you're really totally sick of it, Gwen busts in with a chanted spelling of a word I'm sure everyone was totally waiting to hear.

Bananas. B-a-n-a-n-a-s.

Whuh? Surely that must be because the room full of monkeys they had write that song was getting hungry. It must be.

Also, I have realized that despite Gwen Stefani's best efforts, I still find the word bananas hard to spell. Clearly, the song is an utter failure.

P.S. - I got Wang Chung in your head, didn't I? Didn't I? Muahahahahaha. My work here is done.


schedule girl

Also meant to mention that I have "officially" scheduled the Sideways party for June 11 at 9 p.m.

There will be drinking of wine, eating of cheese, watching of Sideways and other such fun.

And Melvin and I are going to see VNV Nation on the 14th.

Too much fun for one week!

Edited to say: Sideways party now "officially" scheduled for the 18th of June as Melvin's going-away party needed to be the 11th. It's all a bunch of party, people, so I don't want to hear any complaining...

3 mile coffee

And now here is a blog entry actually related to my profiley thing.

Yesterday after my parents left, acting on my newfound (via cheering for Jeff in the Flying Pig) knowledge that I could walk to the Starbucks on Marburg, I decided I would try walking there and back. I say try but really it was more of a do, as what are my other options? Collapse on the sidewalk? Sleep at Starbucks?

The Starbucks on Marburg is 1.5 miles away (I know this because I tracked it with my car pre-FP). The walk there kind of sucked because it was still a little hot (yet not hot enough to lay by the pool with my book instead, which would have been my other option), but I made it, hung out for awhile and then walked back.

No, I didn't collapse on the sidewalk. My legs were a little tired, though, but it was a good, Maybe-I-Burned-Off-Some-Of-That-Derby-Pie-From-Taste tired.

So now I have a dilemma.

Prior to this I had been going to Awakenings. I like the pseudo-Europeanness of Hyde Park Square, I'll admit, and also the pseudo-Europeanness of Awakenings, as well as the fact that it's a local chain.

But I like the idea of being able to walk to a coffee shop, although in this case there's about an hour of walking, round-trip. If it hadn't been hot out, maybe I could have kicked it into old Kent State Why-Did-I-Schedule-These-Freakin-Classes-All-The-Way-Across-Campus gear, and then it would have been less time.

So do I walk to the Starbucks, which is a bigger, nicer Starbucks, but yet still the big chain, or do I drive to Awakenings, which is not so good on the exercise end? Maybe I will just let weather dictate things. Such as, if today were not a holiday, I would go to Awakenings because it's all drippy and nasty and wet. Yep, I think that's the ticket.

This would all be fixed if the Blue Manatee coffee shop Kelly told me about pans out. *fingers crossed*

I just have this fear that a coffee shop associated with a children's bookstore will be overrun with little kids stamping around and throwing smoothies everywhere. Maybe this fear is unfounded. How many parents are going to stop at a coffee shop with their kids, seriously?

This close to Hyde Park? Probably a lot.



wax, wax, and more wax

If you were ever wondering how to get mass amounts of candle wax out of a carpet, the solution is to first scrape off the excess wax. Betty Crocker types would use a putty knife. Normal people can substitute with a butter knife.

Next, plug in your iron and lay down a sheet of paper towel, then a paper bag (if it becomes clear you are not going to melt your floor you can forgo the paper bag). Iron over the paper bag, removing the paper towel when it becomes saturated with wax. Repeat, 50,000 times.

You can speed this process along by using a hair dryer to help melt the wax if it's hardened. However, don't use the hair dryer on a really high setting or you will melt the carpet. And you WILL melt the carpet.

Of course, if you are like me you do not really wonder about this until the three-wick candle you were burning suddenly lets loose and dumps half a gallon of wax on the floor.

Thank goodness my carpet already looked like ass. I've got it mostly cleaned up, although it's a little stiff in places and also fused together in a couple spots from the melting. Considering that half a foot away there's paint all over the carpet from the shoddy-ass paint job they did, I don't think it's going to matter. Also, because I also used my steamer in this process for some of the final clean-up, that spot is WAY cleaner than the rest of the floor. I'll have to tromp on it or something.


rock lobster

I've decided that I should be in charge of development for Oakley Square. Or maybe dictator of Oakley Square. This would allow me to say, "you, frame shop, will merge with one of the other bazillion frame shops in Hyde Park and free up some space." Then I would put a coffee shop in there. And kick out some other places for cute little clothing stores or something.

In other news, I really, really, really should have applied sunscreen before football. My arms are pink. Oops.

Also, I arrived home to find the two CDs I ordered used from Amazon.com ouside my door. Awesome! Except one of them is not remotely close to what I ordered. Now I'm pissed, because I got all excited and thought I was going to be able to listen to it, and now, not so much. The whole thing smells sort of scammy, too. Like, the paper with my Darren Emerson Global Underground CD listed on it was inside the CD. So whoever packed it had to take the paper that says one thing, and put it in something completely different, and then ship it off. Did they think I would not notice that I got some crappy singer-songwriter compilation instead of my techno? I emailed the seller, guess I will see what they say. At least I'm protected by Amazon, no matter what happens.

Today I think I spent most of the overtime I racked up this week at work. This includes the original Star Wars trilogy (it was on sale at Target!), which I now want to see again after watching Episode III yesterday (which was great...definitely much better than the first two).

I also ordered Sideways used from Amazon, which would be phase one of the Sideways party. I'm thinking first weekend in June. This means I should update the calendar. Argh.



Am feeling much better, but I think given the choice between current work stress and previous food sickness, I'd pick the food sickness.

On the list of things I've meant to blog about but haven't gotten around to, with apologies to anyone who likes the song:

I like a lot of Gwen Stefani/No Doubt, but I really don't think I can actually classify her new song as music. I think it would have to have...musical things...in it for that to be true. It's just a lot of her yelling and people stomping. I've listened to it a few times now, waiting for the music part to kick in, but it just never does.

There is that little bit of bass line that sounds like it's been ripped from Cups, but I don't think it was, as Cups is one of the sexiest songs of all time (best. transition. ever!), and Hollaback Girl is pretty much its polar opposite.



So what I thought was mild food sickness? That was phase one.

Yes, I was the girl in Hyde Park Kroger with 3 bottles of Pepto and umpteen cans of chicken broth. Oh yes, and a case of ginger ale.


definitely not a high roller

I am back from Vegas...finally. Drive back from Indy is a real killer when you're tired.

The trip was mostly good, wedding was beautiful. Among the high and lowlights:

1. Despite the fact that I had calculated out when I needed to leave for the airport at Indy, taking into consideration their freakish inadherance to daylight savings time, using timeanddate.com, when I left the apartment Thursday morning I got it into my head that they were an hour ahead and there was, therefore, no possible way I would be able to get to the airport in time for my flight. I figured that I would arrive at about 7 a.m. - my flight was at 7:05. Not so good. I sped to the airport, walked in the front doors at 7:10, figuring I had missed my flight, totally stressed out. I went to do e-ticket check-in, not knowing what else to do. I figured I could (hopefully) change my flight there. Looked at the e-ticket screen: 5:10 a.m. I am such an idiot. Needless to say, I did not miss my flight.

2. Vegas is huge. Yeah, duh. But seriously, I did not realize the full magnitude of it from TV/movies. Like, the buildings just look like buildings. But then you get there and those buildings are like a bazillion stories tall and a mile wide. We stayed at the Golden Nugget, which was downtown, but me and my friend Sarah took a bus out to the strip. We started at New York, New York and ended up walking all the way down to Wynn. Which was, we learned later, insane. But the buildings are so big you have this off depth perception, and it's all, "we can totally walk to the Venetian!" It was really cool to see some of the casinos. The theme ones were kind of fun, but I think my favorite was the Bellagio. It was really pretty and classy. We didn't go in Wynn, but I heard mixed reviews on it from others who did.

3. I thought it was interesting that they had a city ordinance that from every point in Las Vegas, there has to be a Starbucks within spitting distance. Seriously.

4. I gambled a bit. By a bit, I mean like $5. In the penny slots. In and amidst the strip walking, we stopped to feed a few slots, but that got boring really quick. It's like, wait, I just put my money in here and play this sort-of-but-not game, and keep feeding it dollars? Windows solitaire is more fun than this shit, and it's free. Maybe Microsoft should make slot machines. Then you could totally hack them and steal money. They should make a whole Microsoft casino. And put a McDonalds and a WalMart in there. They could call it the Evil Palace.

5. Spent Friday before the wedding by the pool and then in the spa with a book (Oryx and Crake...holy pacing issues, Batman). Definitely much more my idea of a vacation. Got moderately tan, which was good. The sun there is really scary -- I got in the pool and then the shade when I could feel myself baking.

6. We took a party bus from the hotel down the strip to the wedding chapel. Pretty wild. I've only now been in one Vegas wedding chapel, so I can't really gauge, but I thought this one was nice, especially compared to some of the places we passed along the way. Heh. As I said before, the wedding was short, but beautiful. Not without light moments, too, like when the preacher was talking about a rainbow, and what's at the end of a rainbow. We're all like, uh, a leprachaun? A box of Lucky Charms?* But anyway, my friend Katherine looked really beautiful, and I'm so happy for her and Eric.

7. Somewhere along the line, I apparently picked up a mild case of food poisoning. Woke up at about 3 a.m. this morning and did. not. feel. good. at. all. I've felt mildly nauseous all day, even after the worst of it passed. I bought the world's smallest bottle of Pepto at the hotel for $6 (ironic, considering that I ate at the hotel all Friday). Then I got hungry at the airport and decided to try a Cinnabon and coffee. Remember how I said that I am an idiot? Yeah. Not a good idea. So then I wandered around trying to find some ginger ale, because that was about the only thing I thought I could stomach. But all the little grab-random-crap-before-you-fly stores only had water. WATER! That's it! Then I passed an airport bar and thought, "they will totally have ginger ale there!" They did not. What kind of BAR doesn't carry GINGER ALE? In an AIRPORT? I did finally get some on the plane.

8. Speaking of airports, I have to hand it to McCarron. I gave myself three hours from hotel to flight time, partly because of the Indy scare, but also because people said it was a bigger airport and it might take a long time to get through security. Nuh uh. It took an hour to get from the hotel (via shuttle, not cab) to my gate. Now, this might change later in the day as it get busier, but I was impressed. Big airports don't screw around with stuff -- there were a lot of people that needed to go through security, but they had a ton of lines. And they didn't do stuff the smaller airports do, like make you take off your shoes, no matter what shoes you're wearing. They did that at Indy. People were taking off tennis shoes, even. I'm there like, these are Nike sandals, I SWEAR there's no metal in them. But if you try to argue it just takes longer. Ironically, I was so flummoxed over the shoes that I forgot to take off my watch at Indy. It didn't set off the metal detector -- nice. At least the floor wasn't filthy, like in San Juan. I flew Northwest both ways, mostly because they fly nonstop there out of Indy. My planes were, like, older than me (WAY older, I think), but the ride was okay. I think they even had a little more leg room than a 737. My prize for best planes still goes to Continental, who have those little wing-headrests, so you don't fall asleep on your neighbor (and vice versa) or wake up with a sore neck. Got to see the Grand Canyon from above, so that was cool. It even looks freaking big that high up.

Maybe I'll try to figure out how to post pictures tomorrow.

* FYI: Pot of gold. I think everyone simultaneously blanked on that one.


radio free...columbus?

CD101 highlight of my drive home: Patti Smith's version of "Gloria". It's not like I don't own a copy of Horses, but the fact that somewhere in Ohio there's a radio station that will play songs from it I find both comforting and aggravating.

Why do we not have a radio station like that? Whyeeeee? Why do we only have like 10 stations to begin with? It takes like 2 seconds to get through the entire Cincinnati dial.

It's not like commercial radio in Akron is much better (well, I swear there are twice as many stations). But there are good high school and college stations. Get your asses in gear, Cincinnati kids.

Meanwhile, Winamp has decided to remind me that I had a moderately out-of-control cover of "Love Hurts" (yes, that one) by Damien Rice and Lisa Hannigan. I heart Winamp.

Trip home was mostly uneventful. They checked out like every square inch my car and found nothing wrong. Shocker.

However, apparently I did rattle some cages at Hyundai. When I went in, the conversation went something like this:

Hyundai guy: Okay. I want you to know that we rearranged the schedules for our two best Hyundai technicians so that they could work today.
Me: Uh, great. Has Hyundai regional been in contact --
Hyundai guy: Yes. We've been in communication with them. And our district manager stopped by to strategize the other day...

And yet they found nothing. This leaves me with the only possible conclusion: my car is possessed.

Also during the weekend, I took my mom and sister to the Trader Joe's near Cleveland so they could experience the awesome cheap goodness. At first I was afraid I had built it up too much and they wouldn't be impressed. I needed more faith.

Joe had them at the cereal aisle.

By the time we checked out and the cashier gave my mom a free bouquet of tulips for being a first-time customer (my mom parked the cart on the wrong side before I could stop her...rookie mistake), they were totally wanting one closer to home.

Muahahaha, more converts.


May 4

Yes, I know it's May 5. But I didn't get around to saying anything about May 4 yesterday.

I have nothing historically valuable or important to say about May 4, but I've been missing Kent lately and the anniversary has made me miss it more. I wish I was going to have time to go out and walk around campus when I go home this weekend, but that probably won't happen. I don't want to go back to school. I just want to go have a beer at Ray's or something.

I guess I was expecting to see more on it — it was the 35th anniversary, but apparently after we passed 30, everybody stopped caring (except, of course, the May 4 Task Force). 30 I remember well; I was a junior and living in Prentice, right next to the parking lot where everything happened. I was living in the midst of a media circus for a week. I feel very distant, this time.

In other news:

The Highly Questionable Restaurant Named Roadhouse on Ridge has on their sign a Mother's Day Ribeye & Shrimp special.

Now, I am fairly sure (and by fairly I mean 99.9%) that would not be my mom's choice for Mother's Day. I'm not sure how many other moms would be in for that, either. Like, steak and shrimp seems much more a Father's Day thing. Or a not-related-to-any-parent's day thing.

Perhaps I am gender stereotyping. I'm sure somewhere out there are some moms who'd love to get their steak and shrimp on for their day, and this is the only place they can do it. Some places would call this filling a niche. I'm not sure Roadhouse has put that much thought into it.

Also, for the last two days, I have got the dribble cups from Starbucks.

You know the kind. The ones where you take a sip and all of a sudden there's coffee on your pants and you're all, "Man, did I not push the lid down all the way?", but you did, and the coffee is apparently coming out of some part of the cup via osmosis? So you take another sip to try to figure out where in the hell it's coming through, and you get coffee all over your hands and never do actually pinpoint a location, despite numerous, foolish sips?

Yeah. Hate those.


Blogger attempt #2

So apparently many moons ago I created a blog at blogger and made like two posts and subsequently forgot about it. I am going to try to, uh, not forget about it this time.

So this is my currently-very-dull-hope-that'll-change blog. Name stolen from Underworld's "Dirty Epic."

The real question is how long I'll go without feeling the urge to tweak the template to death...