On Beauty

Last year, when our new store opened, there was a wall of orchids in the stairwell. I wanted one, and many people around me bought them, but I kept waiting for the perfect one and never found it. Then they went out of season. They just put them out again for spring, and as I was on my way to find some fig newtons this morning (WFM store brand is highly recommended, btw), my orchid found me. It was sitting slightly apart from the others, and instead of being pink or white or yellow, was a beautiful cream color, with purple veins. Also, it had two bug clips instead of just one and six blossoms, and I do everything in even numbers only.

Oh yeah, the title just reminded me that I read a book called On Beauty not too long ago. It's a retelling of Howard's End, set in a contemporary (imaginary) Ivy League school. The plot doesn't always translate well, but the writing itself is beautiful and hilarious. I highly recommend.


1000 Pages of Dickens

So finally, my long awaited (ha!) review of Bleak House:

Actually, I really don't have too much to say. If you enjoy Dickens, you'll enjoy this book. If you don't, you won't. As always, the minor characters were the most enjoyable: the Bagnet family were my favorites, with Mrs. Pardiggle, the Smallweeds, and Caddy Jellyby coming in close behind. I loved the absurdity of a character actually spotaneously combusting. Every plot twist can be seen miles ahead of time, but that doesn't make it any less enjoyable. In fact, it allowed me to focus more on the hints and foreshadowing that preceded each revelation.

I heard there was a TV movie being made with that X-Files woman as Lady Dedlock. Anyone know anything about this? When it's coming out? Is it BBC? A&E? Did I already miss it? When is it available on DVD? Why am I so lazy that I don't just look this up myself? I know B is anxiously looking forward to watching yet another TV miniseries based on a classic British novel.

p.s. for some reason, the blogger spellcheck insists that I should replace 'foreshadowing' with 'presidential'


Seen on the El Arroyo billboard on 5th:

Come try our ricin beans


Neurosis (Cont.)

A list of things my 85-lb dog, Monster, is not deathly afraid of:

My bed
Chew toys (most)
Hair dryers


A partial list of things my 85-lb dog, Monster, is deathly afraid of:

Ironing boards
Vacuum cleaners
Pool noodles
Loud doors
Cardboard boxes
Hot tubs
Men on unicycles
Water bottles
Garbage bags
My MIL's shitzus
Manhole covers
Hair brushes
The swans at Town Lake



From Overheard in New York

Woman on cell: Jesus Christ, this is like Russia in the 19th century only instead of toilet paper and soap, people are lined up to buy brie and pate.

--Whole Foods, Union Square



One of my two favorite podcasts, Coverville, is featuring video game covers in the latest episode. Check it out for some serious nostalgia - my thumbs started twitching after a while.

And I guess, while I'm on the subject of podcasts, I should recommend my other favorite too. Coverville and The Sounds in My Head are the only two podcasts I have consistently listened to since I discovered podcasting a little over a year ago. Both are amazing and have introduced me to new music, and I have developed a huge internet-crush on Brian Ibbott.



My whole life feels different when it's foggy outside. Everything seems misty and mysterious. Reading Bleak House also helps.


Here's Johnny

Our kitchen has a big granite island in the center with a very tall skylight over it. The wall closest was painted blood red. B called it our sacrificial altar. It did look kind of creepy.

Last night, B went down to the garage and found the leftover red paint and left me a surprise on the dining room wall.

Really, I think we're too juvenile to be homeowners.


It's still all about me

Please click on this and tell me what you think.

Thanks to Jill - where do you find all this cool stuff?


It's all about me

I have now been told by two different people that I look like this person, Kelli Garner, who (as far as I can tell) is a second-rate actress who has only been in one movie that I have even heard of.

And while I am completely flattered to be compared to someone who is pretty and an actress, the first thing I thought of when I googled to find this picture, was "is it because I have big circles under my eyes too?"

Which celebrity do you look like?


Absurd Austin, Part II

The window near my cube looks out over BookPeople's loading dock. I have seen many interesting things going on back there over the last year. On Monday, there were two girls outside spray painting something. At first I thought it was a life-sized Oscar, but when they stood it up, it was obviously a C3PO.

The girls walked around him, admiring their work, and making adjustments here and there. Then, rather than pick him up, they each took an arm and made him take a walk around the entire loading dock with him, being careful to make his walk look realistic. Then they walked him inside.

So far, he has not made an appearance in any BookPeople displays, although I've been looking. I suspect that he might be decorating the break room.


Absurd Austin, Part I

Last Friday, I answered a Craigslist ad about a bicycle (I'm going to try to start riding my bike to work, as part of my ever increasing efforts to become a toefunk-loving, hippie-treehugger). I stopped by her house on my way home from work to check out the goods. She lives in the Zilker neighborhood near downtown, where all the houses are very cool, very unique, very expensive, etc. When she opened the door, the first thing I saw was a floppy puppy with huge paws. I dropped down to play with him, because that's the kind of rude person I am, and asked what his name was. "Grover Cleveland," she replied. I thought it was cute and laughed. She did not. Then I stood up and noticed that the walls of her living room were plastered with pictures of US presidents. Nixon was over the fireplace. Carter and Clinton were flanking him. Lincoln and FDR and George Washington were on what I guess was the 'Great Presidents' wall. The throw on the couch had a picture of Reagan. There was nothing in the room, aside from the furniture and the rug on the bare concrete floor that did not have something to do with a US president. Interesting. But she sold me a great bike for cheap.

I only wish I could have taken a picture of the walls without attracting attention...


Getting older

None of the grown up things I have done in my life have really made me feel like a grown up. I wonder if the whole world goes around feeling like little kids playing adults. Strange to think about.

Anyway, something happened recently that made me feel appallingly like a grown up. My baby sister announced that she is getting married. And if my baby sister is an adult, then I guess I have to be too. Damn.


mmmm, salad

Baby spinach
Shredded carrots
Fresh mozzerella
Pomegranate seeds
Parmesan walnut vinagrette

We've been having this for/with dinner every night this week - I think we've created a new culinary masterpiece.


Have some funny

This is very possibly the funniest thing I have read in months. Just don't read it at work, because then you will make snorting noises while you try not to laugh out loud, and then your boss will become concerned and ask if you're ok, and that will make you have to go around the corner to laugh some more, and then the payroll ladies will see you and think you're crazy. Yup.

Here is my favorite:

How about Lou? When I was in England, I heard that name and it seemed to have a little tinkle to it. Randy is good too.

You weren't listening QUITE hard enough in England, were you?