Thursday, December 10, 2009

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Been busy

The last few months have been crammed full of work and fun. Here are some of the highlights:


I defended my dissertation proposal in August and am about half-way through data collection (no thanks to the shameless nappers who mock me)











I got 16 internship applications out on October 31st and, more importantly, put together a fierce Amy Winehouse costume for Halloween.











Colin was lost, and found, over the course of a cold 24 hours in November. The experience had a profound effect on Mat and Colin's love for each other...









Despite the fact that conferences make me anxious, I had a great time at ABCT this year and enjoyed an awesome tour of NYC complements of Jason.










We went to Michigan for Thanksgiving and failed to take a single good picture.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

I'm supposed to be working on my dissertation, but The Onion is more entertaining...


Difficult To Tell If T.J. Maxx Hit Hard By Recession


CHICAGO—While a majority of the nation's top retailers have reported a decided slump in 2008, economists studying the declining consumer markets are still unable to determine if discount clothing store T.J. Maxx has been affected by widespread recession.

Financial analysts, observing more than 100 locations nationwide, cited large quantities of off-brand and wildly scattered merchandise as evidence that T.J. Maxx has either been devastated by the economic downturn, or is carrying on as usual in spite of it.

"The state of this store does not in any way correspond to our standard criteria for judging long-term viability," said economist Graham Stinson, referring to Chicago's Fullerton Avenue branch, where more than half of the fluorescent lights are burnt out. "For instance, the canvas bins heaped with broken stemware in aisle six may be a sign that T.J. Maxx is on the verge of complete bankruptcy. Either that, or it's doing perfectly fine. It's impossible to say which."

Further evidence of T.J. Maxx's imminent foreclosure or, possibly, its wholly unaffected condition, included reports of shoppers rummaging through barrels of lamps up to their shoulders, multiple sightings of bras stuffed into children's shoes, the impromptu sale of in-store display cases for cash, and an excess of golf-based giftware.

Although economists were able to make firsthand observations of customers rifling through overturned clothing racks, their requests to analyze the company's financial records were met with confusion. Stinson and his team were eventually provided with a water-stained folder of handwritten receipts, but failed to make use of most of the data due to its ripped, soiled, and often indecipherable state.

Compiled interviews with customers also provided little insight. Many reported seeing "Cash Only, No Refunds" signs posted in every store and recalled having to climb over sacks of winter coats to reach clearance bins of mix-and-match earrings, leading economists to believe that the discount chain may be suffering after all.

"They must be doing really badly if they're selling this crap really cheap," said Lake Forest, IL resident Brian Crowe, carrying an armful of L.A. Gear sneakers to his car. "You've got to take advantage before this place shuts its doors for good."

Others, however, see T.J. Maxx poised to have a very lucrative year in 2009.

"That place must be doing pretty well," frequent customer Mark Rankin said. "I just saw some guy walking around with an armful of L.A. Gear sneakers."

With only one checkout lane remaining in most stores, some financial experts speculate that the retailer can no longer afford to employ workers. A two-week study of a Cleveland-area location did, however, turn up some minor evidence of a workforce, including the sighting of three folded shirts and a number of individuals smoking and playing Uno in the break room.

"Our analysis of T.J. Maxx's workforce was inconclusive, as we were never totally sure anyone was actually employed there," economist Libby Archer said. "Although, I suppose the lack of a distinct uniform could be a sign that they're doing well enough to move to a more upscale, boutique-type image for the store. That woman I saw drop a load of 20 sweaters onto a table of hats might have been the lead salesgirl."

"She did tell me to get the fuck out of her way," Archer added.

Economists were, however, able to locate a single store manager after months of searching. James Boucher, who runs the domestic department of the Smyrna, GA location, was found weeping in the middle of a sock aisle and was unable to comment on the store's current financial status—a sign that may suggest the overall mood at T.J. Maxx is more dire than previously thought.

"Oh, Jim is crying all the time," said possible coworker Anita Rouse. "He's been breaking down in tears once a day since he started here nine years ago."

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Nissan Thermos



I consider myself to be something of a water bottle connoisseur - I always have one on me and have at one time owned most of the greats including the classic and updated Nalgenes, Klean Kanteen, Kor, and the good old plastic Evians. Although I have made good use of the aforementioned bottles, I'd yet to find the bottle. As such, my ears perked up when, while on the cruise, Maggie claimed to have found the "perfect" water bottle - the Nissan thermos ( http://www.amazon.com/Therrmos-Nissan-Stainless-Backpack-Bottle/dp/B000K604P0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1248100604&sr=8-1 ). Though I was intrigued, I'd been down that road before: someone takes a casual sip from their newest sporty accessory then casually mentions how their life has been revolutionized by the bottle that is getting cooler and cooler the longer you look at it. Skip to two months later after you've invested in the bottle for yourself only to find that the lid doesn't stay on and the bottle doesn't stay upright. Suffice it to say I had my doubts. But Maggie made drinking out of that thing look like so much fun - I had to try it. I've had mine now for about a week. After much contemplation and experimentation, I feel I am in a decent position to review it. Here are my thoughts:

In my opinion, when evaluating the quality of a water bottle, one should consider how it compares to others bottles in terms of the following domains: 1. mobility, 2. topple potential, 3. spillage, 4. sippage, 5. content, 6. appearance, and 7. price on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 = comparable to the best, 1 = comparable to the worst).

1. Mobility: This term simply refers to how cumbersome or easy it is to travel with the bottle. Without any improvements, I'd say the Nissan scores about a 6. Mobility is the bottle's greatest weakness. There is no easy finger loop or strap for carrying it, which means you basically have to carry it by hand. The Klean Kanteens ran into the same problem and ultimately ended up selling an alternative top to address the issue, although the desirable cap must be purchased separately ( http://www.amazon.com/Klean-Kanteen-Sport-Cap-2-0/dp/B0026QD0RG/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&s=sporting-goods&qid=1248100844&sr=8-6 ). Unfortunately, Nissan offers nothing at the moment to facilitate mobility; as such, I fashioned a water bottle sling out of Velcro from Mat's drum kit and an extra strap I had lying around (see picture). With the sling in place, I'd say the Nissan earns about a 9 in mobility - darn near perfect (if I do say so myself)!

2. Topple potential: Simply put: how likely is it that your bottle will topple over? Unfortunately, the Nissan is a bit top heavy, which means it doesn't take much to knock it over. It fits in the cup holders in my car, but the cup holders aren't deep enough to keep it from falling over. The Nissan is definitely not as bad as the Kor bottle when it comes to topple potential (if you look at the Kor funny it goes flying), but it isn't nearly as sturdy as the Klean Kanteens. Unfortunately there is no easy fix for this problem:( As such, I give the Nissan a 7 when it comes to topple potential.

3. Spillage: Related to topple potential, spillage concerns the potential for leakage. In other words, will the bottle dump water all over you when you go to take a sip and/or if toppled over will it spill water? As this is one of the few factors that can result in public humiliation on account of the water bottle, I consider this a very important category. I'm happy to report that the Nissan is very sturdy and I've yet to experience much if any leakage upon drinking or spilling. It's probably equivalent to the Klean Kanteen on this front; I give it a 9.

4. Sippage: In other words, is it pleasurable to drink from this bottle? In many ways, I consider this the true test of a bottle's quality. If it has a sturdy top, that enables you to quench your thirst without choking from a cascade of water, you are in luck. Again, the Nissan provides excellent sippage. I'd go so far as to say that it is one of the most enjoyable bottles to drink from on the market today. I consider it superior to Klean Kanteen and Kor, and far better than the wide rim Nalgenes from back in the day. Final score: 10.

5. Content: Basically, the effect the bottle has on the water or other liquid you are using it to transport. This is where the Nissan blows all other bottles out of the water (pun intended) as it is a THERMOS. Water stays cool, while tea and coffee stay hot. You cannot gauge the temperature of the content by the outside (i.e. if you pour something hot into the bottle it will not scald your hand when you pick it up). I think any water bottle would be hard pressed to beat a thermos when it comes to insulation. As for the effect it has on the taste of your water, again, the Nissan is unmatched. I found that even Klean Kanteen sometimes imparted an alkaline after taste on my water. My final score for the Nissan is a 10 when it comes to content.

6. Appearance: This is pretty straight forward - how pretty is your bottle? Unfortunately, Nissan isn't the sexiest bottle on the market. Klean Kanteens are getting increasingly stylish and even Kor now has a range of colors to choose from. The Nissan looks like... well, it looks like a thermos. It now comes in espresso, in an addition to the standard silver, but it's definitely lagging behind the competition when it comes to appearance. Final score: 7.

7. Price: Can you afford it? The Nissan is pricey (about 30 dollars on Amazon). That said, it is a thermos and they are typically more expensive than standard water bottles. Given that Klean Kanteens run between 15 and 30 dollars, I actually think the Nissan is a pretty good deal. Also, they offer a lifetime warranty - which I've found in the past to be invaluable when dealing with water bottles as mechanical tops often break. The mouth piece is stellar and, as a thermos, it is already insulated, so you shouldn't need to purchase anything beyond the bottle (unless of course you decide to go for a sling). As such, I'd say it is well priced. Final score: 8

Final thoughts: The Nissan is a great bottle. Thermos is definitely the way to go. It would be much improved if it weren't so top heavy and if it came with a sling or strap, but, relative to the competition, this is a great bottle!

Final grade: A


Colosseum


This past week we twice had the opportunity to play Colosseum - once when Mat's friend Mike was in town and then again over the weekend with Maslow and Katrina. Colosseum is a Days of Wonder game that has been well reviewed (according to the sites I viewed when trying to find a good board game to get Mat for his birthday). In general, I like this game - the aim is to put on the best "performance" over five rounds. Each round has five phases in which players either 1. invest, 2. bid on necessary performance components, 3. trade components, 4. put on a show, and 5. tally points. My critique is that 5 rounds each with 5 phases is a bit cumbersome. I have found it difficult to plan far enough in advance to make the most of the later rounds, which are ultimately the most important. I think the game would be much improved with one less round, although Mat pointed out that doing so would require some tweaking to the overall design. In general, this is a game I'd recommend! B

MJ Tribute (despite finger)




Busted finger...


Mat's friend Jason was in town last weekend. He and I are remarkably similar with the exception of one glaring distinction - he requires very little sleep. I decided to take the Jason challenge when he was staying with us, which entails going to bed after him, waking up before him, and drinking... well, there's no point in trying to keep up with him on that front, so the challenge in this domain is really just to function on very little sleep while also sipping on something during the evening. I was sure I'd beaten him on Saturday morning. I of course ended up totally disappointed when I learned that he wasn't still in bed when I came down stairs that morning, rather, he was making small talk outside with the neighbors while finishing up a book he'd started that morning while waiting for me and Mat to wake up. At the end of the weekend all I had to show for myself was a broken finger thanks to some hardcore Wallyballing. Suffice it to say I lost the Jason challenge... AGAIN!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Cruise Pics

Dominica, then ice skating on the ship




















More of Dominica













Me and Mat in Aruba

Weird Al Remembers Michael Jackson

Filed under: Michael Jackson

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Legendary pop music parodist Weird Al Yankovic has written a touching remembrance for Rolling Stone about the passing of Michael Jackson.

Yankovic, who parodied both Beat It (Eat It) and Bad (Fat), reveals on the magazine's website that Michael was a gracious man who didn't mind being poked fun of and was an avid fan of Weird Al's movie UHF.

Writes Yankovic:

The first time around I pursued Michael Jackson about a song parody, it was a shot in the dark. We're talking about the most popular and famous person in the known universe, and here I was, this goofy comedy songwriter. He not only returned our phone calls, but he approved it. He thought it was a funny idea. Then when we did the second parody, "Fat," he was nice enough to let us use his subway set for the video, so he's always been very supportive.

The first time I met him in person was long after I had gotten permission to do "Eat It" back in 1984. There's a contract somewhere that has his signature next to mine, proving that we are the co-writers of "Eat It," which is surrealistic in and of itself. The first time I actually ran into him was backstage at one of his concerts, this was maybe four years later, when Even Worse came out with my second parody, "Fat." I went backstage, and he was seeing a lot of people, but I brought along a gold record of Even Worse to present to him, and he was very gracious and thanked me for it and said some nice things. After the fact, I thought, "That's probably the last thing Michael Jackson needs, another gold record for his storage locker." Seeing him in person was amazing, it was otherworldly. He was and continues to be so iconic, it's hard to even conceive of him as a human being. He always was bigger than life.

Our second meeting was a TV show taping. He was performing "Black or White," and I remember Slash was onstage and I talked to [Michael] briefly afterwards. He told me he would play my movie, UHF, for his friends at Neverland Ranch, and he was very soft-spoken, very quiet, but always very friendly to me.

I considered parodying "Black or White" around that time. Michael wasn't quite so into it, because he thought "Black or White" was more of a message song, and he didn't feel as comfortable with a parody of that one, which I completely understood, and in a way, he did me a huge favor, because I was already getting pegged as the guy who did MichaelJackson parodies, and because he wasn't so into it, I decided to go with Nirvana, which wound up revitalizing my career. I don?t know what kind of career I would have today if it hadn't been for Michael Jackson. In a very real sense, he jump-started my career. "Eat It" basically changed me from an unknown into a guy that got recognized at Burger King.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Matt and Nat

A follow-up to my previous entry on leather: Matt and Nat has always been fashion forward when it comes to their selection of NON-LEATHER purses. Their line is 100% vegan and, if I do say so myself, it is to die for (no pun intended). For more info check out the following link. Their prices run a bit high, so double check with ebay if your wallet is as tight as mine...

Monday, June 15, 2009

Watchmen

So I finally got around to reading Watchmen and I must admit that once I started it was hard to put down. That said, I was very disappointed with the ending! Dr. Manhattan's inability to figure things out sooner was totally unbelievable, even if he was momentarily unable to see into the future (that was admittedly an incredibly dorky statement). Despite the ending, I enjoyed the story and really liked the illustrations. I cannot wait to go as Rorschach for Halloween!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Ch Ch Ch Changes...

The Washington Post is reporting that Michelle Obama has released a statement saying she does not wear fur after Carla Bruni released a similar statement to PETA. This is a huge step forward, although it is important to note that in her statement Carla Bruni made the erroneous, albeit far too common assumption, that animal skin used to produce leather is always a biproduct of the meat industry. For more information regarding how your leather is actually procured, please see the video following the article. The video is disturbing, but not nearly as disturbing as the fact that millions of people will refrain from educating themselves about the realities of this industry because the truth is too upsetting, yet will continue to buy leather as if what they're buying is some how exempt from the truth they consider too horrific to even acknowledge.

Michelle Obama and Carla Bruni: Down with Fur!

One day after French First Lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy told PETA that she no longer wears real fur, Michelle Obama made her own animal-friendly announcement.

"Mrs. Obama does not wear fur," deputy press secretary Semonti Mustaphi said.

Obama and Bruni-Sarkozy - who have met twice in recent months - are both widely known as celebrity fashion icons as well as prominent political wives.

PETA pushed Carla Bruni-Sarkozy - who was photographed wearing what appeared to be real fur - in particular to donate her coats to the homeless.

"I do not wear, buy or own fur or animal skin other than leather or skin of animals raised for feeding purposes," she wrote to PETA, adding, "I am not a vegetarian, and I don't find it illogical to wear skins of animals whose meat is eaten."

Could a Carla Bruni nude PETA campaign be in the works? Here's hoping!

Michelle O.Bruni-Sarkozy Picture" style="padding-top: 5px; padding-right: 5px; padding-bottom: 5px; padding-left: 5px; border-top-style: none; border-right-style: none; border-bottom-style: none; border-left-style: none; border-width: initial; border-color: initial; ">

FUR REAL: Don't expect Michelle or Carla to don mink coats anytime soon.

Unlike Carla, Michelle wasn't targeted by PETA, which says the wife of Barack Obama is "known to be fur-free," according to PETA's media coordinator, Amanda Schinke.

Still, the mother of Malia and Sasha followed suit with the former supermodel, releasing a statement that fur will never be part of the First Lady's famous wardrobe.

"For Michelle Obama, respecting animals is part of the social progress that she and her husband are working so hard to promote," PETA Senior V.P. Dan Mathews said.

"By officially rejecting fur, these two style icons will make people around the world see fur for what it is: old-fashioned and cruel."


The Skin You're In


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Shining Trailer

This was brought to my attention several months ago. I sincerely hope Jef and Jason check it out -


Maybe if I lie real still I can make it to the plane...

Baby Minds packed a bag and was all set to go see her friends Monti and Dahlia in Seattle. She was crushed when Mat took the bag but left the Minds -

Perez gives PETA a shout out -

Perez Hilton's site, which boasts an average of between 2 and 4 million unique visitors a day, came out in support of PETA's faux initiative. Way to go Perez (a phrase that Duke psychology students the world over recognize as the highest complement)!

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Earlier we mentioned how French luxury goods maker Hermes breeds their own crocodiles on Australian farms for the sole purpose of killing the crocs to make purses.

Not to mention that it can take three to four crocodiles to make one bag, which can sell for almost $50,000!

So we figured it was only a matter of time before PETA spoke out about the craziness of breeding crocodiles for fashion.

And, indeed, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has released a statement. The animal lovers say:

The thought of purposely breeding and killing crocodiles for an outdated, overpriced handbag should make any fashionista's skin crawl. If Hermes really wants to be a leader in the fashion industry, it should stop killing animals for cold-blooded vanity and use cruelty-free mock croc and fake snake instead.

As Pink—who recently provided the voice of a computer-generated crocodile in PETA's "Stolen for Fashion" commercial—says, "Killing animals for their skins is so disgusting that it doesn't make me want to befriend designers who use them."

Faux is in!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Saw this on Perez this morning -

And felt the need to share. Nothing beats a good old time out, except, of course, a walky talky/rotary/were we really supposed to believe that thing fit in his pocket cell phone.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

My Losing Season

I've been a Pat Conroy fan since high school when I first read The Prince of Tides. Although I'd never been disappointed by any of Conroy's stories, I'd had more than one person warn me that his attempt at non-fiction in his autobiographical "My Losing Season" failed to fill the big shoes of his fiction. I had thus avoided the text many had warned was so depressingly real it failed to inspire anything other than disappointment; that is, of course, until I found myself without anything to read while the spine of this book mocked me from it's bookshelf. I broke down and read it and while I agree that the story pales in comparison to Conroy's fiction, the writing and style is classic Conroy and I believe any fan of his work would enjoy spending time with his words in the context of this novel. To be critical I would argue that Conroy's narrative is a bit difficult to follow as he weaves the reader in and out of his life's story as though we have an intuitive sense of when things happened to him and where. His love of basketball is both inspiring and exhausting as he discusses the play by play of each and every game his basketball team won and lost in his senior year of college. While the story is at times weighed down by a jargon familiar only to those who share an intimate relationship with the game, the insights and language Conroy uses in interpreting this time in his life makes wading through the details worth it. I also found it a treat to read about how an aspiring writer stumbled upon a love affair with words, while simultaneously trying to appease an abusive father and survive the plebe system of the Citadel. While this story is neither as exciting, nor endearing as the ones he pursues in his fiction, it is real and genuine and as such achieves something his former novels failed to accomplish - a story made grand by its simplicity. He reveals the humble and delicate details of a poet struggling to be anything other than what he was when what he was turned out to be one of the rarest and most precious voices in modern literature. Long story short (too late) if you like Conroy you'll like his Losing Season.
B+

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Sometimes grown-ups over think things...



You'll notice that gender is not integral to the construct of marriage; at least not according to Grover:)

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Up!

I'm not quite sure what our animated movie kick is about, but we saw another over the weekend and this one is by far the best film I've seen in a while. All I knew about the movie was that it involves an old man and a lot of balloons and I think this is a good level of information to have going into it. I don't want to risk giving away anything for those of you who've yet to see it; suffice it to say the story is tight, it appeals to an adult audience as well as children by integrating relevant themes for both demographics, and the writing is smart. As with Coraline, this movie has a 3-D version available at some theatres. As with Coraline, we ended up seeing the non-3-D version, which I consider astounding considering my childhood fascination with 3-D media...

Solid A bordering on the ever rare A+

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Coraline

I must say I thoroughly enjoyed this film.  In my opinion, it had several good things going for it:
1.  A secret passage is central to the storyline.
2.  Unlike the majority of children's movies (think The Lion King, The Little Mermaid,  Beauty and the Beast, even Wall-E) this one avoided the ever cliche love story.  I don't care how many different ways Disney can package and sell it, there's just something awkward about a children's movie that revolves around a love story.
3.  Although I didn't see it in 3D the movie has a 3D version that was apparently wildly successful at the box office.
4.  The protagonist is a young girl who successfully channels Dora the Explorer and Punky Brewster.
5.  It is absolutely beautiful to watch.

Despite my warm and fuzzy feelings for the flick, several things still managed to bug me a bit:
1.  The movie clearly stole stuff from Alice in Wonderland - including the psychedelic cat - without ever acknowledging the theft.
2.  I found some of Coraline's dialogue to be a bit unnatural (granted she is a walking clay model, but still, a girl has got to have her standards).
3.  Buttons for eyes are scary. Period.
4.  There is a very awkward scene in which two over weight female characters are shown performing in nothing but their underwear.  The breasts of these characters are bizarrely grotesque and it just seemed... weird... or something...
5.  I know I should match my 5 pros with 5 cons but, to be honest, it would be a stretch for me to come up with any further critiques.

Long story short - it's sure to please - A -

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Impedance Test

Last Thursday I had a catheter put in to measure non-acid reflux.  This procedure is called an "impedance test"and it is not fun.  The first step of the procedure involves having a rather large tube pushed through your nose, down your esophagus, and into your stomach.  You feel simultaneously like you are going to vomit and choke to death.  When the nurse first started working the catheter through my nose I jumped off the bed, started dry heaving, and pulled the catheter out.  She looked mildly annoyed and said we'd have to try again.  After much gagging and resistance on my part the catheter was in.  I couldn't really talk and it hurt like hell to swallow.  The nurse had me take sips of water while she monitored the flow of liquid into my stomach from a computer.  After that, she took out the large catheter and inserted the small catheter pictured here via the method describe above.  The method met with the same reactions from me (namely dry heaving and cursing).  I had wore the catheter for 24 hours and then had it removed.  I carried a little monitor that received information transmitted from the catheter and they had me document the time at which I ate and/or had symptoms.  Of course this happened to be the only 24 hours in months that I've not had nausea.  We haven't received the results yet, but I don't know if I have it in me to swallow the catheter through my nose again...  After the procedure I told Mat that I thought the nurse was a sadist.  He said he didn't know what I was talking about and that she seemed very patient.  It seems that having a catheter shoved down your throat through your nose changes your perspective of people;)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Yoga for IAR

Every month my yoga studio donates all of the proceeds from one class on Sunday to a specific charity.  In June, the Independent Animal Rescue (IAR) will be the featured charity.  I'll be teaching the first class on Sunday, June 7th. from 2:45 to 3:45 pm.  Classes are by donation and open to the public.  If you can't make it out on the 7th, come by on any Sunday in June for the 2:45 class and help support IAR!

I Know This Much is True


I recently finished Wally Lamb's "I know this much is true".  I have been avoiding it for years having been less than impressed with his first book, "She's come undone".  I'm happy to report that Lamb's latest is brilliant.  The first chapter introduces you to the narrator's schizophrenic twin brother.  As a student of clinical psychology I cringed to think of how the author would dramatize, exaggerate, underestimate, and unrealistically portray the reality of schizophrenia.  To my surprise, Lamb did his research and provided a clinically accurate portrayal of the disease and the deleterious effects it has on those coping with it.  Therapy, as it was explored in the context of the novel, appeared true to form and the detail Lamb uses to depict the mental health system is startling on point.  In short, although Lamb failed to create a believable female protagonist in his first book, he was triumphant in his attempt to characterize an equally as complicated narrator in this latest text.  Although Lamb's work resembles Hugo's in length, his story telling is more akin to Lahiri's and, as such, I think most would find the length tolerable.  My only qualm with Lamb's latest is the ending.  I won't spoil it for those who've yet to enjoy it, but suffice it to say that the "happily ever after" conclusion was jarringly discordant with the rest of the story.  I'd give this one an A-

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Star Trek

The new Star Trek movie has several awesome things going for it: 1. script, 2. Spock, 3. special effects. It also managed to seemlessly explore some of my favorite topics - time travel, zen like discipline, the pros and cons of defying authority - without getting bogged down by any complicated details. I am seriously contemplating hitting up Toys R Us to buy the action figures for the new cast:)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Litter box solutions

Of all the things to write about after my hiatus, I am choosing to go with litter boxes.  Elms has developed a habit of peeing just outside the box (or in the bathtub).  Which means I've had to develop the habit of cleaning up after her every day to avoid a catastrophic cat mess... in any case, Mat suggested that we try putting just a little bit of litter (barely enough to cover the ground) in their boxes and changing that out once a week.  I have always put about a good foot of litter in there, so I scoffed a little at the suggestion, but, wouldn't you know it, Elms has taken to the change!  Mat's brother Joe, who actually suggested the litter trick, also recommends the following litter in addressing the aforementione problem: http://www.petchefreno.com/order.htm.  I've not yet tried it, but I'll be sure to report back once I do -

Friday, February 27, 2009

Check out the following link

to support the aformentioned event!

It's been forever!

But I'm back at it.  I promise to be more consistent this time!

I dedicate this first post to the fabulous people at the Independent Animal Rescue.  They are organizing a wonderful event in an effort to raise some much needed money.  Please, please, please consider donating if you haven't done so already!
video