30 June 2005


for that is what I think Jen and I need. servants, like in Merchant Ivory productions. like in bad victorian novels (and most of them are).

but why, I'm sure you're wondering, do we need servants for a 2 bed, 2 bath one storey house. go on: ask.

Good question, I'm glad you asked. Well, it turns out that I'm really fricking lazy. monumentally lazy. if my kind of lazy was a planet it would be sitting on uranus. that's how lazy I am. on a scale of one to ten thousand million, I'd be ranked at *yawn*, I so can't be bothered to do anything productive.

so. send me servants, the dishes need to be done and I have to have clean clothes for lounging around in.

Make it so.

Now, dammit.

29 June 2005

petit bourgois merde

So what's your favorite moment in movie cursing? While "I [Heart] Huckabees" has an awe-inspiring sequence of the foulest vocabulary imaginable, my hat goes off to Anne Heche delivering these lines to Dustin Hoffman in Mamet's "Wag The Dog":

"Whadda we do now, huh? Huh? What do we do now, huh, Mr. Boy-producer? Mr. Win-an-Emmy, social-conscience whale-shit save-the-rainforest peacenik commie hire-a-convict shit-head? Huh, whadda we do now, liberal affirmative-action shithead peacenick commie fuck? Whadda ya wanna do now?"

So, it's time for those Oscars that are never gonna happen: this category, best swearing/foulest mouth.

damn, it feels good to be a... Southerner.

pork shoulder (slow cooked over wood fire for 9 hours) served pulled with spicy horseradish pepper slaw and topped with apple wood smoked bacon on a kaiser roll. from the posh new sandwich place near the office.

that was my lunch. pork, with bacon. only in the South, baby.

okay, so I couldn't finish it, but I'll eat the rest this afternoon. heart attack scheduled for later this evening. and it will be SO WORTH IT.

27 June 2005

food advice

never eat anything that will leave your body with greater velocity than it entered with.

this is the end of the lesson, you may go about your business. God knows that's what I've been doing all-too-frequently for the last couple of hours.

26 June 2005


spent today helping a friend/co-worker of Dunc's move. everyone else had bailed on him, poor guy, so the three of us (and Dad's truck) worked our butts off. in the drizzle and eventual rain and later humidity. we now have so much moving karma that it hurts. then we came home and ate french bread with fancy butter and soup and red wine, so that made up for all the calories we burned today.

Dunc updated his resume tonight for a possible upcoming interview (phone interview happened unexpectedly Friday afternoon and went very well) doing the very busy and important things he was doing in Newcastle. with any luck, he'll get the new work permit on Wednesday at his INS appointment, so it'll all be sorted and they can offer him a fabulous job when he only works when the sun is up and we can live like kings in Patagonia.

belated Father's Day celebration Friday night. the two of us had dinner at the Peruvian tapas place with Dad. got a couple good pictures, but mostly we gobbled up the food as fast as they brought it to us. then we met Mom and Kate and went to the Braves game, where we ate lots of cotton candy and wondered why baseball now has cheerleaders. good game, though, and they won (10 wins in their last 13, as of today).

ate a fabulous thing for dinner last night, carmelized apples and a creamy pancake batter in a skillet, finished under the broiler with raw sugar crystals on top. recipe coming soon.

green wing is one of the funnier shows i've ever seen on tv.

that is all.

no, wait, one more thing:


22 June 2005

smart vs. not-smart

ways I am smart:
  1. I made our radio thinger work for Ben.
  2. I remembered to start the dishwasher before I left for work.
  3. I figured out where to get good Braves tickets for the sold-out section we wanted for Friday night.
ways I am not smart:
  1. I was changing the 5-gallon water bottle for our water cooler and didn't think it would matter that my fingers were right where the bottle fits into the collar. ow.
  2. I somehow changed the association for .exe files, which meant none of the programs would open on that server. not a single one, not even the registry. whoops. that was four hours of my life I'll never get back.
  3. I forgot to rinse out my half full tea mug. now it's fuzzy and talks back.
  4. I planned to get up at 6am, but didn't bother to change my alarm from 7:45, so of course I didn't wake up early at all.
  5. I hit myself in the lip with the (very) spring-loaded part of a barrette clasp. no blood, just a small welt. sexy.
right now I think the not-smart list is outweighing the smart list by quite a bit. I shall have to be a GENIUS this afternoon.

21 June 2005

made-up lamb from sunday

obtain lamb sirloin (top part of the leg). ours was almost three pounds, deboned, pounded until even thickness (about 1.5"). not sure the deboning is necessary, but if you do, you'll need to pound it.

saute a sweet onion, a red onion, four cloves of garlic until soft.

season each side of sirloin with salt, coarsely ground black pepper, oregano, coriander, cumin, chili powder.

sear the meat on each side and then finish cooking on top of onion mixture. remove from onions, let side, slice as desired.

in original pan, add around a cup of canned chopped tomatoes (with juice), add salt and seasoning to taste, cook for a few minutes. add red wine vinegar (3T?), white pepper and taste again, adjust seasoning as needed. olives may be a good addition to the sauce.

served on Sunday with yellow rice and green soup. pictures on Flickr.

20 June 2005

last.fm personal radio tips

-once or twice I've clicked on it only to find that it didn't find the part of the code that tells it to load the radio for "transferwindow" and so it doesn't play anything because it doesn't know whose radio to play.

-you probably already figured this out, but you have to download a plugin for your music player (winamp, windows media player, itunes, etc). apparently the plugin is what tells the desktop that clicking THERE on the button means "pull up the music player and play the stream from this server for this user".

-check Jen's blog and try hers, just to see if it's something wrong with ours or if it's your end somehow.

-try going to last.fm, logging in with your account there, then go to the search and look for transferwindow as a user. see if the personal radio link on that page works. if it does, there may be something up with the code on our page.

-if it still doesn't work, find me on instant message, and I'll try to think of something else.

19 June 2005

comcast must die

after two months of us complaining, our cable and internet provider has finally realized that there's a problem with the signal as it comes from the street.

um, duh.

the weekend without internet was a nice vacation from the work I usually do on the weekends, even if it was unplanned and will make the coming week busier. we had meant to hit a movie Saturday afternoon, but ended up dealing with the cable company most of the day. instead we spent some time unpacking books (finally) and playing PS2.

on the plus side, we won't be giving the cable company any more money until the fall, at this rate. and at least we ate well:

friday dinner: brie, french bread, grapes, red wine.

saturday: turkey, avocado, swiss sandwiches for lunch. dinner was breaded tilapia, asparagus, rosemary creamed corn, double chocolate brownies.

sunday: lunch was more brownies, but dinner was slightly more elaborate--mediterrean-seasoned lamb, yellow rice, accidental tomato sauce, chilled cream of avocado soup.

and in other news, The Tick is back on tv. SPOON!

17 June 2005

no sense of urgency

So I'm sitting here, waiting for a call back from the US Postal Service Consumer Affairs Office.
Sounds fancy, no?

The problem is this. Jen and I asked them, a couple of months ago, to forward the mail from our old house to our new house. A simple, everyday, nothing to get your panties in a pickle about, kind of request, no?

Apparently not. After having no luck calling the information center, I escalated the issue to the USPSCAO to see if they could fix it, since I'm waiting for a letter from immigration that I need to take to an interview with me, and failure to have the letter (saying I am actually supposed to be there at all) will result in my not getting an appointment to renew my work permit which is bad, since I've been waiting for that appointment since SEPTEMBER, and may have to wait another nine months to get another one.

Oddly the lady wasn't interested in that and asked if I could "go by my old address to see if there's any mail collected there for me". Let me ask you this: you move in somewhere, you maybe put "Not at this address" or "return to sender" on the first week or so of mail, but after that...? Yes, it goes in the bin. Stupid people not changing their address with the people who send them credit card bills and stuff.

So I suggested that maybe, just maybe, the lady should have called me back a month ago like she said she would. In fact, I shouldn't have had to talk with her at all because the post office should have been forwarding my mail like they promised they would.

I told the lady that her company had broken a promise to me every day for two months and that, since she had taken over dealing with my complaint a month ago, I would be holding her personally responsible when I complain higher up the chain.

Needless to say, she hung up on me and now I'm waiting for her boss to call me back.

Comcast. ComCANT, more like.
We've been having what you would call "issues" with our internet since we moved in here. From simply not having any connectivity to take advantage if the 6Mbps stream, to being lied to by people on the phone, it all seems to have happened this last two months. They have been outside the house, inside the house, back outside and finally fucked off. We haven't had to pay for the service (which they're spectacularly failing to provide) for any day since we moved. That's thanks to my superior negotiating skills, naturally.

So I'm wondering: do I have an over-inflated sense of customer service and responsibility/ownership or does the rapidly growing field of customer service need to hire people with better soft skills?

Discuss. You may use your textbooks.

16 June 2005

vodka tonic mix

it's summer in Atlanta. which means it's hot and humid. which means I need a drink. a cold refreshing drink. like a vodka tonic with lime. bubbly and bright and tangy. not unlike this mix.

  1. ben lee - catch my disease
  2. franz ferdinand - auf achse
  3. a-ha - the sun always shines on tv
  4. hot hot heat - middle of nowhere
  5. elvis costello - oliver's army
  6. dum-dums - you do something to me
  7. the killers - smile like you mean it
  8. teenage fanclub covering the pixes - here comes your man
  9. the stars - ageless beauty
  10. the jam - it's too bad
  11. rem - (don't go back to) rockville
  12. dave matthews band - lie in our graves
  13. modest mouse - float on
  14. divine comedy - gin soaked boy
  15. oasis - stay young
  16. travis covering the beatles - here comes the sun
  17. tears for fears - call me mellow
  18. the eels - someone to break the spell
boo yah.

15 June 2005

the thing about work is

it gets completely in the way of the hundreds of thousands of things I'd much rather be doing instead. No, there are a lot of things. Really.

Aside from working with (mostly) young hipsters like myself I have found that this week has been much less tedious than has been historically true. And I can only think that the reason for this is that we changed the music in the store. We're playing a mix that includes the Alanis Morrissette Jagged Little Pill Accoustic album, the new Dave Matthews record, a not horrible young country-style bunch of girl-rockers called Antigone Rising and also a few songs by the Finn Brothers, the Decemberists and the Clumsy Lovers. So at least there's good tunes on while I toil.

Or rather, while I "direct" the toil of others. Ha!

That is all. You may go about your business now.

in which I praise IBM

the acquisition of our company by a German IT consortium has finally been completed and we'd been told that one of our new owners/board members would be in the office today through Friday. "please dress appropriately and make sure your desk is tidy" etc.

so, it made sense that I should get up later than I'd planned, take a longer shower than I meant, and leave the house later than I'd planned (frankly, it was a miracle that I found my board-meeting-black-jacket at all). obviously I would be unable to find my laptop case, even though I swear I saw it yesterday.

and naturally, two major customer things would break while I was on my way in, so that the second half of my journey was spent on my mobile phone (don't worry, I used the speakerphone).

so of course I would drop my laptop onto the concrete surface of the parking deck while simultaneously talking on the phone and fishing in my purse for the access card to get into our building.

and, as you would expect, I dropped it on one of the corners that's the top edge of the screen when it's open. then it bounced sideways and impacted again. my stomach turned over. I've just had this laptop for a few months, and it's been my favorite computer ever since the first week.

I was expecting a crack or two in the screen at best. at worst, a hard drive crash and a spiderweb of cracks in the display.

but, so far, the only evidence of trauma is a few wonky keys, which were happy to snap back into place. I'm running a hard drive check now, but it looks okay.

according to IBM's website, one of the features of this laptop is a shock absorber:

The ThinkPad HDD Shock Absorber helps protect your hard drive and prevent hard drive failure due to operational shock and other common types of shock events. Like an automobile bumper, it absorbs some shocks to help prevent damage — whether the system is turned on or off — and provides up to 30% more protection than the system case alone.

the television commercials aren't kidding. I've seen other laptops take lesser falls (onto carpet from less height) which turned them into expensive doorstops. I didn't mean to field test this feature quite so dramatically, but I'm overjoyed that it did so well.

and after all that excitement, the German(s) won't even be here until tomorrow. scheiße.

13 June 2005

radio radio

That button away to the right of here. You're going to need to sign up for a FREE account here to listen to our playlist but it's worth it. The site is tres user-friendly and you don't even need to own the songs you want to play back.

If you want to get access to a few extra tools (the site explains what they are so I won't) you can make a one-off or regular donations of as much or as little as you want. I'm not begging for them, but I think it was worth parting with a little cash for.

12 June 2005

smarter than the whole of the internet

Yes, folks, that would be me. See here to see how.

You may all send t-shirts to me, or find some other way to better express your unfettered adoration of the superior intellect that wrote this post.

I thank you.

09 June 2005

You can't go home again, but they just might let you look around a bit.

Wednesday night we had the unusual pleasure of taking my grandmother to dinner. She was in town to spend the night with my parents so Mom could take her to the airport early in the morning. We went by to pick her up and found her drinking Canadian scotch with my father. When we told her where we were having dinner, she clapped her hands in delight and said "Oh, I used to live in that neighborhood!" and tried to convince my father to come with us. Alas, he had already eaten, and was organizing his fishing equipment for the weekend, so he declined her enthusiastic invitation, despite her promise to show us the house they lived in when Mom was born.

She finishes her drink, and off we go. She insists on sitting in the back seat, which meant that she generally doesn't see intersections coming up until it was too late to turn at them. She mentions that her drink earlier has made her a little silly feeling. We refrain from saying "yes, we noticed." Eventually we got to the right neighborhood. This is more or less what the conversation sounds like at that point:

GS: Now what's this street?
D: Fourth Street
GS: No, that's not it, keep driving... what's this next one?
J: Third Street
GS: Ummm, I don't know, try turning right.
[we turn right, go all the way down, turn twice more to circle the block, when we pass Third again, she wants to keep going]
GS: How about this one?
D: Second Street, and probably the next one is First Street
GS: No, keep going... what's this one?
J: This is First St.
GS: no, keep going.... turn right at the next one.
[we turn at the next street]

We kept exploring for a while, with no success, and when we wound up around the corner from the restaurant, I suggested we eat and then try again. Our waiter was very tall:

GS: You're very tall, how tall are you?
W: Six-eight.
GS: SIX-EIGHT!! Goodness!
[Waiter smiles tiredly.]
GS: That's very tall, six-eight.
W: What can I get you to drink?
[She's still gazing at him in awe, but manages to order a mojito anyway. He leaves. She turns to the people that have just sat down at the table next to us.]
GS: Did you know he is 6'8"?
[They look at her blankly but politely.]
GS: That waiter, did you see him? He's 6'8"!
Them: Oh? How tall are you?
GS: 5'3"
Them: I'm sure he would seem very tall if you're only 5'3".

[D and I are trying not to laugh out loud at this point, barely managing only by avoiding looking at each other.]

Her drink comes, and she settles down a bit; we speak of this and that, some of family stuff, some of not. We feast on South American tapas (black bean hummus, ceviche, paella, red pepper-garlic shrimp, mussels in coconut milk, followed by pastel de tres leches and churros). Fantastic place, terrible lighting, but we'll go back and take pictures next time when we sit outside.

We resume the search by going over the same neighborhoods, either she doesn't recognize them, or she thinks we missed it the first time; I'm not sure which. This time, we go farther down the main road and turn onto another busy street. Luckily at the first light, she recognizes the cross street.

A block down that road, she points out the house she lived in when she was very little, recognizing it by the huge stump in the yard. It was a giant oak when she lived there, but the placement and size are enough to jog her memory. Her mother and father moved soon after that to the next house, the one we've been trying to find all this time.

Happily for all of us, she's able to navigate to the second house from there. We miss it on the first pass because she says it's over the hill. It turns out that it's not over the hill, but she recognizes it once we find the mailbox on the second pass.

GS: I want to go ring the doorbell, will you come with me?
J&D: [looking at each other] Um, sure.

We walk up to the door, noticing there's a Jeep 4x4 in the driveway, but it looks like there's another car usually parked closer to the street. She rings the doorbell and we wait. No answer. She rings again, with no response. We're just about to walk away, when a *very* expensive SUV pulls up, and a man in surgical scrubs gets out. We shuffle around and try to look harmless and un-Jehovah's witness-like and the crazy woman I call my grandmother greets him in her cheerful old lady voice. He returns her greeting very amiably, but is obviously puzzled by our sudden appearance on his front stoop.

She explains who she is and why we're there, and, as he reacts with what appears to be geniune enthusiasm, goes on to say she would love it if she could see inside the house. We continue to try to look non-murdery and also slightly like we don't know her at all, never seen her before in our lives. We have introductions all around, he is Keith, an anesthesiologist at a respected hospital here in town, and has lived in this house around five years.

My great-grandparents bought the house in 1943 and lived in it until the early 70s when they moved to Lake Burton to live year-round. My grandmother lived there as a teenager, and as a college student. When she and my grandfather were married, they lived there for a few years until they could afford to buy their own house. My mother and uncle were born during that time.

He gives us the full tour. In the living room, she turns to me and says "Your mother learned to crawl on that floor." They talk for three-quarters of an hour about the house and the changes that have been made since my great-grandparents moved out in the seventies. It is a truly lovely house, full of what a realtor would call character. There are trees in the backyard that my great-grandmother planted. One of them is enormous, it must have a circumference of at least fifteen feet. Keith tells us he and his friends were estimating that it was well over a hundred years old. After exchanging email addresses and mailing addresses, my grandmother promises to send him pictures of the house; I suspect she'll wind up corresponding with him for a while.

We were, and still are, amazed at how gracious Keith was. He had just come from a shift in the operating room; we didn't even give him time to use the bathroom, eat, feed his cat, hide the porn, etc. before traipsing all over his house, peering into every nook and cranny. He said all the right things, like "I just knew good people had to have lived here before me, I've had such a good feeling about this place since the first time I saw it."

Then again, he thought the tree was very old. Funny how people can be wrong about things.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?