Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Modern Poetry

There are so many ways of expressing love.

Here is just one of mine:

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Happy Passover!

Today Jason and I drove down to his Aunt and Uncle's house for a Passover Seder. On the way, I explained to Jason why I prefer the term "Jew" over "Jewish".

Personally, I told him, I only use the suffix, "ish" when I'm describing something non-committal or iffy. For example:

"Sure, I'll get up early on my day off and meet you at the gym. I'll probably be there at nine-ish."

"Nah, this soup isn't too cold. It's warm...ish."

Thus, the proclamation, "My husband is a Jew" seems much bolder to me than the lukewarm, "My husband is Jew... ish."

Take note, natives of England: Be proud! Be "Brits", not "Brit-ish"! Children of Sweden: be "Swedes", not merely"Swed-ish" (chefs and tasty red gummy-fish included)!

I am granting one exception to this theory, and it goes to flaky breakfast pastry. No one wants to have a piece of cheese "dane" with their coffee. That just sounds dumb.

Jason, with a kippah on his keppe!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Why do I do this to myself?

For the past year and a half, I have been trying to grow my bangs out.

I have tried everything from pinning my bangs back and using a headband to hide them, to gradually cutting the rest of my hair to try and match my slowly growing bangs, to actually pulling on my bangs every day to try and make them grown faster.

Today, my bangs are almost down to my chin. They're mere centimeters away from the rest of my hair.

So, naturally, I wound up finding these photos yesterday...

 ... and I thought, "Oh wait, I looked really cute with bangs!"

So, now my plan is this:

1) Recover from my year-and-a-half-long dream of growing out my bangs by, once again, getting bangs cut in!

2) Love my bangs for a week or two.

3) Decide I hate my bangs and then spend the next year and a half growing my bangs out.

Sound good?


Sunday, March 28, 2010

What I Want to Be When I Grow Up

Some things are inevitable.

At some point, in every child's life, someone will ask them what they want to be when they grow up.

The answers run the gamut from classic to obscure, from humble to ambitious. Kids say things like, "A fireman!" or "An astronaut!" I remember my sister once proclaiming that she dreamed of being a school bus driver. At least four kids in my kindergarten  class wanted to be President of the United States.

My first and greatest aspiration?

I wanted to be "a lady who went to the park and gave away free lollipops."

I'm twenty-seven years old now. I've revised my career dreams a few times over the years: equine veterinarian, actor, novelist, teacher... But, in a way, I miss the sweet, selfless simplicity (did I mention I also wanted to be the President of Alliteration?) of my very first job choice.

Sadly, I live in an age where a strange woman handing out free candy at a playground might be met with at least a moderate level of suspicion and hostility on the part of both kids and parents. I can only imagine that my offerings would usually be met with a kick in the shin and screams of, "No, don't touch me! No bad touch!"

I have, however, made a small pledge to myself.

From now on, I'm going to keep a few lollipops in my purse. I don't plan on spending any extra time around playgrounds, but if, from time to time, a friend or a coworker looks like they could use something sugary on a stick, I'll be ready!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Quiz Time!

View the following childhood photo and then choose the correct answer to the question below.

In this photo my troop mates and I are:

A) Mugging for the camera.
B) Experiencing a sugar-induced delirium brought on by eating a hundred boxes of unclaimed Girl Scout cookies.
C) Two seconds away from noticing the assassination of blue-headband-girl in the front row (she had more merit badges than anyone else... someone was bound to get jealous.).

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Library-Loving Blog Challenge!

I'm joining in on the "library-loving blog challenge" that was started two days ago by writerjenn!

The challenge is very simple: For every commenter who responds to this post between now and Saturday, March 27 at 5:00 PM EDT, I will donate 50 cents to the Salem Public Library, for the first 100 comments.

If this post manages to reach 100 comments, though, keep posting! I could be persuaded to reset the challenge to a higher goal.

Pretty sweet, right? You comment, I cough up the money, the library gets a gift! If you don’t know what to say in your comment, “I love libraries” will do just fine.

Note that my pledge is “per commenter”—so if a single person leaves 50 comments, that still only counts once.

You can do even more by spreading the word ... please link to this post, tweet about it, and send your friends here so they can comment and raise more money.

In this photo from 1988, my older sister confirms what I had already suspected:
Books are pretty much the best.

What else can you say?

Tonight, at work, I brought a bottle of Savignon blanc to a table of businessmen. As I presented the bottle and began to uncork it, I noticed that the men hadn't quite finished the glasses of beer they had ordered earlier in the meal.

Me: Just to let you gentlemen know, I'm technically not supposed to serve you a second drink when you have one unfinished in front of you. I can uncork this wine, leave it on the table and leave you to do what you want with it, but I can't actually pour it for you.
Guest 1: Really, since when?
Me: (Pulling the cork from the bottle.)That's been the rule at least as long as I've been here... it's true for a lot of restaurants in Massachusetts. (Placing the bottle into an ice bucket on the table.) Some establishments don't follow the rule too carefully, but we're pretty strict about it here. I think there's actually a law about it
Guest 2: (Rolling his eyes.) Yeah, and there's also a law in some states that says you can't have sex unless it's in the missionary position.
Me: Um... yes... we're pretty strict about that here, too. If you're going to have sex in our restaurant, we do request that you do it in the missionary position.

Thankfully, at that point, all three of the men chuckled and I was able to make my escape.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Joke Fails!

Sometimes the funniest way to tell a joke is by failing completely in the delivery.

Years ago, my mother made an attempt to retell a joke that went infamously awry (see if you can figure out how it should have gone). She said, "What did the Mexican fireman name his two sons? José and Hose Two!"

Last night, Jason tried to tell the Interrupting Cow Joke (Knock, knock. /Who's there? /Interrupting Cow/ Interrupting C.../Moo!). Here's how it went:

Jason: Knock, knock.
Me: Who's there?
Jason: Moo!
Me: (Laughing, and then noticing the puzzled look on Jason's face.) Wait, are you serious?
Jason: (Embarrassed.) Oh no, I screwed it up. Let me do it again.
Me: Okay.
Jason: Knock, knock.
Me: Who's th-
Jason: MOOOOOOO!!!


This is my nephew, Ryan Edward Fitzgerald (I call him my chuleta de cerdo):

I recently sent my sister a text message instructing her to give him 37 kisses from me. She sent back the following message:

I gave your little pork chop 38 kisses for you instead of 37... 1 for good luck. I swear he said, "lola" right afterward.  Mighta been "blaaaawa", but I knew what he meant.

Ha-HA! Yes!

One day all will know the name, "Blaaaawa" and tremble before it!

Monday, March 22, 2010

"They show extraordinary intelligence, even problem-solving..."

My friend Kolleen was recently inspired by some graffiti (that may or may not have contained an accidentally hilarious misspelling ) that prompted her to issue me the following challenge:

"quick, lola, what would a philoso-raptor look like?"

While a quick internet search reveals that at least one person has already created and marketed a fantastic version of the philosoraptor, I wanted to try my hand at my own interpretation:

Edit: As Facebook contest winner Sarah correctly guessed, the top portion of my philosoraptor "is a reference to John Locke, philosopher and resident LOST hottie."

Saturday, March 20, 2010

¡Viva Obscura!

It's Obscura Day!

As described on the official website, Obscura Day is "an international celebration of wondrous, curious and esoteric places."

To celebrate, I took a quick drive across Salem to one of my favorite wondrous/curious/esoteric places ever. It's a little fenced-in workshop, just across the street from my old apartment, surrounded by an assortment of fantastical iron creatures and amazing miscellany.


 This little guy was caged into the stone wall.

The dude on the right is cooking up something tasty,
and the gentleman on the left is practically drooling into the pan.

Something epic is happening here...

If you want to check this place out for yourself (which you should), pack up a camera and head over to where the Salem Ferry docks - this amazing little iron wonderland is right by the parking lot.

#1,254 on the List of Things That Confuse Me

I get how most makeup trends developed. Things like eyeliner, lipstick and blush were meant to enhance a woman's natural features and make them look more ideal.

But what's up with nail polish?

I can understand the French manicure - it mimics the look of the natural fingernail. However, the origin of the bright-red-painted nails eludes me.

The theory I've developed is this:

Back in prehistoric times, there were certain matriarchal tribes of early humans who prized a female's ability to hunt. So, in order to heighten their appeal as a mate, the women of the tribe began to paint their fingertips red so as to look bloodstained from many successful hunts.

Thus, one caveman might say to another, "Get a load of that sexy broad... she looks like she's spent some serious time knuckle-deep in a mastodon carcass!"

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Nerd or Idiot? You Decide...

Because I'm a model employee, I spent about a half hour tonight during my shift working on the Boston Herald crossword puzzle.

Here was the clue for 8 Down:

The answer, I eventually realized, was "Noah". Because in the Book of Genesis Noah built his famous ark. "Noah" was not my first answer, though. I originally wrote something else in, and only realized my mistake after a number of other answers weren't fitting into the crossword grid correctly.

In related news, I discovered that I need to spend less time playing video games and more time reading.

Today's French Lesson

déjà vu 
 The illusion of having previously experienced something actually being encountered for the first time.

jamais vu 
A sense of unfamiliarity with, or of never having experienced or seen before, something that should be familiar.

dormez vous 
A phrase from the song “Frère Jacques”. Translates to, “Are you sleeping?”

vuvu vous 
The realization that an eerily familiar vuvuzelist is blowing on an unfamiliar vuvuzela over your bed to find out if you’re sleeping.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Orange Julius Caesar Salad

May 15th, the Ides of March! In honor of Julius Caesar, who was aerated like a lousy lawn on this day in 44 B.C., I'd like to post this classic painting:

 The Gallic chieftain Vercingetorix offers Julius Caesar a tasty beverage to pair with his salad.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Pi Day Pie Challenge!

Today is National Pi Day! To celebrate, I issued myself a noble challenge: eat a whole pie in under 3 minutes and 14 seconds.

In honor of one of my favorite childhood movies, Stand By Me, I decided to go with a blueberry pie. Anyone remember Lardass and the "complete and total barf-o-rama"?

Naturally, I recorded the whole thing on video. 

Right before the pie. Feeling good!

First bite.

Bite two. 
"This is going to be harder than I thought."

Almost three minutes in.
"I don't think I'm going to make it."

Three minutes and five seconds.
Still about a third of a pie left in the plate.
"Don't... give... up..."

Three minutes and fourteen seconds.
3.14 = π 
But... not for me.

Pi fail!

Jason's post-pie portrait of me.
I refuse to let defeat lead to despair!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Dude, Time to Let Go...

It's been almost a week since the Academy Awards were handed out, but one disappointed Hollywood celebrity is still campaigning for his Best Picture pick:

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Happy Goodface Day!

From A.J. Jacobs's The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World :

"It's a cruel concept, Valentine's Day. It's as if they had a holiday to celebrate rich people or attractive people. Miserable and alone? Sorry, this isn't your day."

This passage got me thinking... If there was a holiday to celebrate attractive people, what kind of cards would Hallmark be churning out for it?


News: The Muses Go on Spring Break

I am utterly uninspired tonight, and can think of nothing to blog about.

I am blaming this on a rumor I heard: this is the week that the Muses go on spring break.

For the purposes of this blog entry, I used Clio, the muse of history. According to Wikipedia, there is no muse of blogs. I intend to remedy that omission ASAP.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Behold the Baconfish!

Tonight Jason and I met up with some buddies at our friend Joe's apartment, where we had our second weekly pre-Lost Lost-themed meal. Joe served up haddock and biscuits (fish + biscuits = fish biscuits!). In a show of ingenuity, Joe had topped each haddock filet with bacon, and the dish was thus referred to for the rest of the night as "baconfish".

This, naturally, led me to wonder what our baconfish had looked like before it was caught and prepared.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Quiz Time!

  View the following childhood photo and then choose the correct answer to the question below.

In this photo I am:

A) Enjoying a delightful, dad-assisted ride on my totally sweet rocking horse.
B) Contemplating my pediatrician's prognosis that my horribly crossed eyes would eventually self-correct.
C) Trying to figure out if that gentleman in the poster behind me is Tom Selleck or my dad.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sayings I Hate

I hate the saying, "Keep your eyes peeled."

As in, "Exit 37 should be coming up soon. Keep your eyes peeled."


I speak on this topic as someone who has actually had their eyes peeled. Both of them.

A few years ago, I had LASIK surgery to restore the vision in my eyes. While the results were fantastic, the experience itself was horrific.

From the Wikpedia page:

"The operation itself involves creating a thin flap on the eye, folding it to enable remodeling of the tissue beneath with a laser. The flap is repositioned and the eye is left to heal in the postoperative period."

During the operation, the muscles around both my eyes repeatedly seized, causing the eyeball-squeezing-clamps (I'm pretty sure that's the technical term) to pop out. As a result, both eyes hemorrhaged so badly  that the entirety of the white in both my eyes was replaced by deep red and purple. When I returned to work a few days later, a coworker took one look at me and shrieked, "Oh my god!". A child at one of the tables I was waiting on began to whimper and then hid his face in his mother's sleeve.

To make things worse, I had to constantly worry about tearing my healing "eyeball flaps". I couldn't rub my eyes. I had to wear sunglasses whenever I went outside to avoid getting any sand or dirt in my eyeballs. In one particularly traumatizing episode, I was making sangria at work and I accidentally squeezed lime juice in my eye. I had to stand there, clenching my hands in front of my eyes, knowing that if I rubbed my burning eyeballs (as I desperately wanted to do) I might upset my delicate eyeflaps.

On the upside: once my eyes healed, I was left with perfect vision. This left me (who had spent a lifetime squinting through glasses and contact lenses) feeling like I'd been implanted with bionic eyes. That was pretty awesome.

But still, I have to ask, "Keep your eyes peeled?"

Dear god, why?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

#637 on the List of Things That Confuse Me

Okay, so...

People "turn their nose up at" things that they deem not good enough for them, right?

So what would the opposite reaction be? If you found something quite satisfying, might you "turn your nose down toward" it? Or, if you were really excited about something and wanted to be appropriately humble before it, might you "smash your nose onto" it?

The only way to be sure, I decided, was to give it a try. So I took a little walk around my apartment - just strolled around, mashing my nose on things I like.

Frank's Red Hot! Nose-smash!

Xbox 360! Smash!

iPod Touch! And... SMASH!

I chose to turn my nose up at this particular door... its corner and my forehead
had an unfortunate run-in last night.

Mina definitely got a nose-smash from me.
Based on her expression, though, I don't think she would have reciprocated.

"I'm checking my Facebook! I'm checking my Facebook on my iPod!"

Oh man. Jason got me good last night.

He arrived home, after doing some errands, and reached into his pocket.

"I got you a new case for your nano," he said.

I looked down at the large, pink case in his hand. I frowned. Something wasn't right. Slowly, like the rust-crusted parts of an abandoned lawnmower, the gears in my mind started to turn.

That pink case was way too big for my nano.

"Oh," Jason said, seeing me furrow my brow, "of course I realized after buying the case that it was too big. So I got you an iPod that would fit in the case."

Then he pulled out a shiny new, smiling, glorious iPod Touch.

I spent the rest of the night half-crazed, playing with my new gadget; hissing and spitting like a protective mama cat if Jason got too close to it, and occasionally shouting out narrative jubilations on whatever new function I had just happened to discover.

"I'm checking my Facebook! I'm checking my Facebook on my iPod!"

All in all, Jason put up with my mania pretty well.

Friday, March 5, 2010

My Dad's Mustache: In Memoriam

Two Christmases ago, upon arriving at my parents' house, I received a terrible shock - one that I had been wholly unprepared for.

My dad's mustache was gone.

For forty wonderful years, the world was graced with the presence of my dad's mustache. It had never occurred to me that there might come a day when it just wouldn't be there anymore. But, my dad told me, he had decided to move on without it. It was time to let it go.

 I'd like to dedicate this entry to the memory of my dad's mustache. It was around long before I was born, and it was there for me during so many important moments in my life.

 My dad's mustache and my mom, on the day they were married.

 Me, 1 year old, and my dad's mustache, 15 years old.

Me and my dad's mustache, surveying the damage done by Hurricane Bob, 1991.

My sister, me, my mom and my dad's mustache at my high school graduation.

My dad's mustache and I share a dance at my wedding.