Monday, August 30, 2004

Jessica Simpson is not human

I'm watching the MTV Video Music Awards that I TiVo'ed last night, and I've reached the conclusion that Jessica Simpson is some sort of cyborg. Watching her odd machinations up on the stage, she reminded me of some sort of pleasurebot from a sci-fi novel. Even her obviously pre-recorded singing was just plain weird, full of oddly-pronounced vowels issuing forth from her perfectly glossy, over-accentuated mouth.

I also realized that I haven't seen the majority of the videos nominated for awards. I'm sure that next year I won't have heard the songs, and the year after that I won't have heard of the artists, and then I'll just be in my rocker on the front porch waving my cane at passers-by, screeching in my rickety-krickety old lady voice, "You goddamn kids stay off my lawn!"

Oh look, there's Cristina Aguilera, being all '20s? '40s? Some indeteriminate old-timey jazz era. That's so cute. I'm not 100% sure, but I think that Nelly wasn't really playing the piano. Hm. That Nelly. He's an enigma.

One last pressing matter -- what the hell has P. Diddy done to his hair?!?! He thinks that "there is nothing hotter or sexier than a Miami fiesta." Mase thinks the "youf of America" need to vote. Poor Alicia Keyes forgot to put on a very necessary bra.

I'm so frightened. Beyonce's hair may eat us all.

Update: Ok, I lied. I said one last pressing matter, but this show is such a train wreck I cannot stop. Ashlee Simpson just encouraged her co-presenter Tony Hawk to do some skateboarding tricks on the stage. While he did a few perfunctory runs up and down the ramp, runs SO perfunctory that even I in all my skateboarding ignorance could tell they were lame as hell, Ashlee screeched into the microphone, "HELL YEAH! THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT." That's what I'm talking about.

New car + new dog = disaster

As some of you may know, I bought a new car last month. It's a shiny red Volvo s40, and I'm doing my best to keep it shiny and new for as long as possible. You may also know that we recently got a new dog, a goofy, slobbery bundle of love who squirms and wiggles with glee when you pay him the slightest bit of attention. So I took him with me this morning to run some errands, and he was happy as a clam on a towel on the back seat as I went to the bank and to the UPS Store to ship my dad's toiletries case, which he inexplicably forgot at our house (the Stanimal never forgets!). So we're bopping along Forest Lane, Buster panting and grinning and taking in everything whizzing by. Cars are the Most! Fun! Ever!

And then he barfed. Buster barfed in my new car, on the leather, right where the towel ended. Buster yakked up his entire breakfast, slimy half-digested kibble dribbling down the side of the backseat. And then he started to eat it. So there I am, steering with my left hand while frantically grabbing for my dog's collar with my right hand, screaming, "No!" as I try to prevent him from gobbling up his own vomit. I pulled into an Exxon station and cleaned it up with Kleenex as best I could while Buster gazed at me mournfully from the other end of the seat. Not fun, I tell you. Not fun at ALL.

Saturday, August 28, 2004


After being awoken at 7:30 this morning by the cat mewling as though he was so starved he was contemplating devouring his own tail, the Saturday of Stan began with a bang. As of 2:15 this afternoon, the Saturday of Stan has consisted of: (a) eating breakfast, (b) watching some Olympic women's handball, (c) the Stanimal helping BK mount the Polish posters in our dining room so that they do not wrinkle, and (d) BK and my dad taking two hours to clean out the gutters on the house, which, my father estimates, hadn't been done for approximately 3 years. HELL YEAH.

During this time I (a) read dooce's blog, (b) watched some Olympic women's volleyball, (c) ate the leftovers of my birthday dinner, and (d) followed the dog and cat around the house with my camera, hoping to get a picture of them looking cute together. Yeah.

I'm sure everyone needs a moment now to contemplate the pathetic inadequecy of their own lives as compared to mine, so I'm going to go ahead and log off while we wander down I-35 to Waxahachie. Don't blame yourselves.

Friday, August 27, 2004

The Stanimal arrives!

My dad arrived in Dallas today to help me celebrate my birthday. He seems to approve of our house and did not tell us that we live in a squalid dump, so that's encouraging.

In other birthday-themed news, BK bought me this fab retro Waring blender! Methinks I see margaritas in my near future. I also got the third book in the Tales of the Otori series by Lian Hearn, so that might bump Clan of the Cave Bear on the old reading list.

For a real cap on the birthday weekend, tomorrow we might drive down to Waxahachie to see my old high school stomping grounds. I hear Hatchie is quite the bustling metropolis these days -- a Home Depot and everything! If that's not a sign of being the real deal, I don't know what is.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Fellow ruminating Slav!

bronze medalist
Originally uploaded by *Karo*.
A big Polish shout-out to my friend Cynthia, who passed along this photo of a fellow ruminating Slav. "What do you think she's thinking about," asks Cynthia. Pieorgi, of course! Duh.

One interview down

The UTD interview went fairly well this morning, I thought. The only miiiinor problem is that the program that interviewed me doesn't actually have a spot available. Yet. They're in the process of getting funding for a new position, they say. So I'm supposed to get a call next week to hear how that process is going -- guess I'll know more then. It would be nice if something worked out; I think what they have in mind sounds like a good fit for me.

I finished up The Amulet of Samarkand last night. I thought it was a little weak -- it didn't have that certain, as the French say, "I don't know what." The djinni, Bartimaeus, reminded me of the angels in the His Dark Materials trilogy, though -- very sassy. He was by far a more interesting character than Nathaniel, the 12-year-old protagonist, who was rather prissy and annoying (although that might have been the point). Supposedly the second book in the series features more Nathaniel and less Bartimaeus, so I'l look be on the lookout for a used copy. Definitely not one to buy new.

I 'spose next in line is The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jane Auel. It's one of those book that I've seen everywhere for years, so I figured I'd give it a shot. Can't beat $2.50 on eBay! (That's two fiddy, of course.)

And now, I'm off to the pool. Might as well soak up some of that "vacation" time while I still can, cause some employer is about to snap me right up, right? Mmm, look at that clear blue water ...

Monday, August 23, 2004

Good times, they are a-comin'!

I have an interview Wednesday at the University of Texas at Dallas. Omigod wheeeee!!! The thought of being back with the nerds of academe makes me rub my dry hands together in glee, Burns-style. I didn't know what to do with myself at The Workplace that Shall Not Be Mentioned -- it was like being back in high school again with people with "social skills" who "knew how to dress." Bah! Give me your twitchers, your large vocabulary mavens!

So we'll see how that goes. I'm not even 100% certain what the actual position is. Uh, yeah.

BK and I watched Taking Lives last night. I'd give it about 2 out of 5 stars. Way too gory for my liking, and the plot twists weren't particularly twisty. Plus, the plump-limped Angelina Jolie had this perpetual smirk on her face throughout the entire movie. Ever since that whole vial of blood thing with Billy Bob, she's rubbed me the wrong way. BK, on the other hand ... I don't think there would be a way she could rub him that would be wrong.

I started reading The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud today. I'd never heard of it before, but I picked it up when I was at Target this weekend, based on the cover reviews. I'm an unabashed cover-review whore. If The New York Times liked it, then it's the book for me! Kidding. Sort of. Plus, look at the little goblin thingy on the cover clutching said amulet. He's all, "I'm cunning! I'm smirking!" Reminds me of Angelina Jolie, come to think of it ...

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Ciudad? See you, dad!

Ciudad had by far the best food we've had in Dallas so far. The Restaurant Week menu consisted of:
  • A smoked chicken soup with corn
  • Beef tenderloin served over roasted tortillas with a mole sauce
  • A moist chocolate cake with vanilla and caramel sauces, served with a scoop of homemade ice cream
Mmmm. We tried the ceviche (good) as well, and had some uber-yum cocktails. Even the mojito BK ordered was delish, and everyone knows what a disaster that can be in the hands of most bartenders.

I bought myself Elton John's Greatest Hits yesterday when I was at Best Buy buying the Garden State soundtrack. I can't decide if that makes me a huge nerd or not. Far be it from me to deny Elton's genius though, so I'm going to go with not.

I think I'm going to try to drag BK out furniture shopping today, cause our living room is still as bare as a baby's bottom. I'm obviously missing some sort of standard female gene, though, cause the thought of it just makes me want to go back to bed and pull the covers up over my head. There's just so much of it. And it's so permanent -- what if you pick the wrong thing? There's no returns! You're just stuck with it, for years. I'm still hoping we can order from the Room and Board catalog. I'm partial to this couch, in charcoal gray, though.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Rockin' the Honda CR-V

Well, it was time for BK to get a new car cause the lease on his Passat was up. He'd decided that his criteria were (1) decent gas milage and (2) the ability to become king of Home Depot. This of course put him right in line for either the ever-so-swank Toyota RAV-4 or the also-stylish Honda CR-V. Being the oddly thrifty man he is (namely, being ok with cranking down the A/C and leaving lights on all over the house but yet not wanting to spend more than $20k on a car) the CR-V was right up his alley:
Though the dealership had 10 days to get all the paperwork ready they, of course, did not, so we lost about two hours of ours lives waiting around.

In other news, BK has been quite the handyman around the house lately. After bounding out of bed at 7:30 this morning (?!?!?) he started working on yet another leaky outdoor faucet that we have around the house. Apparently this one wasn't quite as easy to replace as the others have been, because after 3 visits to Home Depot and a whole lot of sweat and toil, we've got no water in the house and no working faucet. He's gone back to the Depot yet again, and I really hope that 4th time is a charm, cause I'd kind of like to take a shower before our reservations tonight at Ciudad, one of Monica Greene's restaurants here in Dallas. She also owns Monica's Aca y Alla in Deep Ellum, which we've become big fans of. I made these Restaurant Week reservations last month, so I really, really, really hope that we get to go.

Searching for sushi

The search for good Dallas sushi continues. Before going to see Garden State last night (swoon, but more on that later), BK and I went to eat at Oishii, which was written up in D Magazine as one of the better sushi places in town. Unfortunately, I was as underwhelmed as I have been by almost all Dallas sushi I've had, which I would largely categorize as kinda mealy and too rich. My sushi benchmarks are the California Roll and the Spicy Tuna Roll, and right now my top choice for those is, oddly enough, Little Katana, a tiny sushi bar outside on Macy's on the first floor of the Galleria. I'd go read my book there and eat while I was working for The Workplace That Shall Not Be Mentioned.

It's official. I've got a ginormous, teenage crush on Zach Braff. Garden State was good: great acting, funny in parts, poignant in others. I'm going to go buy the soundtrack today in a flailing attempt to be hip, but we all know how that's going to end. The Hollywood gossip machine speculates that Braff and co-star Natalie Portman are dating; great -- now I have to hate her Ivy League-self even though I don't really want to. Bitch.

Friday, August 20, 2004


BK and I are going to go see Garden State tonight. I've been eagerly anticipating ogling Zach Braff without his, uh, scrubs on for some time now. You can check out Salon's interview with Mr. Braff, or take a look at his blog. Appears that he's cute, funny, and smart. Honestly, what else could a woman want?

Definitely one for the laminated list.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Books, books, books

I've been keeping Half Price Books in business since we moved to Dallas in early June. I'm finally catching up on my reading since I don't know anyone in town. Here's a sampling of what I've churned through so far:
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
Atonement by Ian McEwan
Morality for Beautiful Girls by Alexander McCall Smith
The Kalahari Typing School for Men by Alexander McCall Smith
Dooms Day Book by Connie Willis
The Other Side of the Story by Marian Keyes
Across the Nightingale Floor by Lian Hearn
Grass for His Pillow by Lian Hearn

Buster King -- man no more

Originally uploaded by Karo.
Well, that face pretty much says it all. For the sake of not populating Dallas with Buster-spawn, we had the newest member of our family S.N.Y.P.'ed today. A fine how-do-you-do that was.
Update! Minutes after I posted, Buster showed his gratitude at being made a cyber-celebrity by gleefully peeing on the hall carpet. Awesome.

The blogging stampede

The blogging stampede mowed me down some time ago. I could see them coming over the horizon, first little dots, then growing larger, finally laying me flat on the dusty ground of the internet. I've managed to pick myself up and now stand here gently hacking remnants of dirt into my hand as I watch everyone else gallop away into the distance. Blogging always struck me as awfully self-indulgent. But hey, I'm not working and I've found myself living in Dallas . What else am I gonna do?