28 September 2007

ANTM: The Girls Go Green

I forgot to post this on Thursday, but this week's ANTM was interesting, if I'm allowed to use the word interesting loosely. What is it with all these "girls from the 'hood" with the chips on their shoulders this year? There was almost a bitch fight between Bianca and Lisa, and eventually Lisa started crying and cursing. Bianca is obviously threatened by Lisa and overcompensated for this by telling her she was a terrible model, and I'm pretty sure that she said something about her being "one step away from a plus size model," whatever that means. I could eat most of these girls. Bianca is not really Top Model material yet, and whether or not she chooses to learn during this competition might have something to do with not worrying about what the other girls are up to more than worrying about her own actions. Still, I have to admire her scheming ways...apologizing to Lisa because she's "strategizing." What a conniving bitch. You know I mean that in the best way: from one conniving bitch to another.

The disappointing lack of courtesy and grace continued when every. single. one of the girls ragged on Heather because of her autism, and I could practically see the thought bubbles that read, "Well, crap -- I can obviously beat this girl because she has a disability. She'll probably get the boot this week" Except Victoria, of course. See, Victoria is "smart enough" to get into Yale, which means she's smart enough to tell the camera things that imply that she's above everyone else, like how she doesn't get involved in the cat-fights. The problem I have with Vicky's tactic is that saying things like that out loud negates the social grace involved in not getting involved, but alas, that is the trap of the reality show cameras. Besides, I kind of like Victoria. Aside from the fact that she's on Top Model, she seems to be pretty down to earth. And Heather is going to bitch slap a lot of these girls week after week because the camera LOVES her, and she has Asperger's which may make her socially awkward, but given the diagnosis, not linguistically or cognitively slow. Other girls? Excuses, please?

The competition this week was a ten-minute shopping spree at Old Navy. The girls had to find something "high-fashion" and piece it together to be judged by Tyra and the panel. Saleisha won the competition, and could very well win the Top Model designation. She's certainly got my tentative early pick.

The theme of this week's photos was smoking's cruel side effects. The girls did one pose in a glam getup, looking into a mirror that was (photoshop) reflecting their second pose, where they were made-up to represent the horrible disease that was caused by their smoking.

Ebony and Mila were the bottom two models this week. Ebony lost her sparkle after being told that all the other girls hate her, and Mila couldn't stop laughing at her post-radiation chemo get-up.

Partially because of her uncontrollable hysteria, and partially because she seems vapid and unable to absorb large words -- forget basic concepts -- Mila gets sent home.

26 September 2007

Casting Calls for the movie of my life

Phil and I used to play a game with Teresa when we were freshmen at MIT, mostly when we should have been doing p-sets. We would ask each other, "Who would play so-and-so if they ever made a movie about your life?"

Sometimes I still try to cast people in the movie of my life. I don't even remember what we decided back then because we were very different people, although I do remember Teresa telling us that if we ever cast Sandra Oh as her character there would be all sorts of hell to pay. For the past two years, I have said that Phil would be played by Adrian Grenier in my movie, but I'm pretty sure he's the only one I've ever nailed down.

For a while now, I had cast John Krasinski as J. He's tall, he's got the right haircut, he's smart and witty...it's a pretty good fit. J's nose is more defined, and his eyebrows are more manageable -- plus he's got the Bon Jovi lips, but both of their eyes are expressive in similar ways, and I could see it happening. At least until a few weeks ago when I saw Death at a Funeral.

I tried to Google Kris Marshall, and none of the photos do this decision justice, with the possible exception of the one to the left. There are obviously some serious problems with this casting decision. First and foremost, he's British, and I'm not convinced he could do the Western PA accent justice. The accent is key to the role. But he's got the wit. He's got the charm. He's got the brains. He's definitely cute. Most of the time. I think he looks more like J than John...most of the time...it could work.

Anyway, that was my utterly useless post for today, brought to you by not-enough-coffee.

24 September 2007

Hub on Wheels Ride: Cycling for Technology

On Sunday, J and I rode 50 miles around Boston with a co-worker of mine for the benefit of the Digital Bridge Foundation, a completely nerdy and very worthwhile cause.

I'm not going to lie, 50 miles was painful. At one point, I told J I was holding him personally responsible for any. more. hills. When all was said and done, though, there were several feelings I had, and none of them needed to be iced. First and foremost, I was really proud of myself. I know that I did not keep up with the guys the whole way, and I visibly held them back at least twice, but it was only twice. In 45 miles.J and I even rode there and [part of the way, for me - I live twice as far as he does!] back.

I felt a real sense of accomplishment, and it was very cool to share this with J. I had a lot of fun, I got to see parts of Boston that I never would have seen, otherwise, and I won a $50 zipcar credit at one of the booths. I also finally went out and bought the shorts with the padded butt, and let me tell you -- they may look stupid? But my butt?...It has never been more comfortable. Never again will I laugh at nerdy cyclists in their nerdy cyclist clothes. Now I just need one of those shirts with the pockets on the back (although you will notice I made up for this on Sunday by wearing my Nerds 22 Ever T-Shirt...).

20 September 2007

ANTM - Cycle 9 Premiere

Last night, J suffered through his first episode of America's Next Top Model. He was a good sport, but I don't think he'll be making the mistake of coming over on Wednesdays anymore. I don't know why this show is so addicting for me. I remember exactly when I first started watching it, and it was only because Alisa would have it on the TV every Wednesday. I'm not deliberately being aloof about this -- I honestly only watched when Alisa and Ben did. At first. Now I could make all the excuses in the world, but the truth is that this show has the power to suck me in like no other reality show ever has. I've watched the occasional episode of Project Runway, and from time to time I enjoy Extreme Home Makeover or Trading Spaces, but none of them has the ability to draw me to the TV on a weekly basis.

Last night, 30 girls boarded a cruise for the cycle premiere, and only 13 emerged as contestants for "The Future of Fashion." The winner will receive management and representation from Elite Model Management, a $100,000 CoverGirl contract, and a cover and six-page spread in Seventeen, which seems underwhelming given the winner used to be featured in Elle.

I was, as usual these days, unimpressed by the girls. Sometimes there is something in one or two of them that tugs at me, but this time not a single girl resonated with me off the bat. Hopefully there will be some redeeming qualities as the season progresses, but I'm skeptical. One of the more brilliant moments was when one of the girls stated that she wanted to be on the show to do something that matters...to give back to the community -- by being on America's Next Top Model. What a contribution to society! She is so selfless. I hope she wins.

The final 13 girls:
Ambreal, 19, from Dallas, Texas
Bianca, 18, from Queens, New York
Chantal, 19, from Austin, Texas
Ebony, 20, from Chicago, Illinois
Heather, 21, from Valparaiso, Indiana
Janet Mills, 22, from Bainbridge, Georgia
Jenah, 18, from Farmington, Connecticut
Kimberly Leemans, 20, from Ocala, Florida
Lisa, 20, from Jersey City, New Jersey
Mila, 20, from Boston, Massachusetts
Saleisha, 21, from Los Angeles, California
Sarah Hartshorne, 20, from Heath, Massachusetts
Victoria Marshman, 20, from New Haven, Connecticut
My only regret is that Marvita (the girl with the sweet mohawk) did not make the final cut. True, she did not cry like the other "punk-ass" girls, which made her even more awesome in my book, but they really did a number on us with her story. During her interview, Tyra commented on how "a lot of bad people had done a lot of bad things [to her]," and, on National television, Marvita explained about the sexual abuse, rape, and homelessness. Then she didn't make the cut because they didn't see her as "high-fashion." Way to capitalize on that sob story, Tyra.

And is it just me, or were a lot of the girls whiny little bitches last night? I watched the first three cycles on VH1 a while back, and was astounded by how nice the girls were to each other. Yes, this is a competition, but they were all there for the same reason and there was a mutual respect amongst the contestants; a mutual respect that has been sorely lacking in recent cycles. I think they're just deliberately picking the bitchiest girls they can find these days so that there will be drama in the house.

19 September 2007


Looking through my old emails today, I found this:
From: Briar

J's response? (At my place, as I was standing over his shoulder watching him type)
let them eat cake ... and plastic cups ... AND DIE ... omg ... lolz^8... better yet, to the NINTH *explosion*
I'm fairly certain we were both tired at the time, but that makes it no less funny.

17 September 2007

Barnes & Noble just doesn't like my face

I ordered this book from Barnes & Noble.com the other day because I had a gift card and it was on sale.

I was given a shipping estimate of October 1st. You can imagine the rageahol that ensued, but fortunately, the package shipped today. I figured their estimate was a little bit generous, but maybe it's kind of like when the hostess tells you it's going to be an hour, just because you're pissing her off and she doesn't like your attitude or your face (why yes, I was a hostess in high school).

I am going to knit so many cables when I get this book. Or I'm going to let it sit on my shelf for a year before I put it to any use. Either way --because it was on sale.

Aside from B&N's LIES, last week was a really rough week for me. Remind me what that was like next time I forget several doses of my meds in one week because the concept of preventative medication, like so many other concepts, has always been a difficult one for me to grasp.

Monday Madness - Week in Review

What was your biggest challenge this past week?

Trying to find balance in an otherwise unbalanced and disorganized place in my life. It was a really tough week, emotionally.

What was your biggest accomplishment this past week?

I finished one of J's Dashing mitts. It has zero mistakes, and aside from the one or two nitpicky things I notice because I'm a perfectionist, I think it's perfect.

What was the most exciting thing that happened in your life this past week?

I got to visit MIT Lincoln Lab, see where J works, plus the machine shop, the airplanes, a "big-ass" radar, and some infrared cameras.

I also went to IHOP.

What one thing made you the happiest this past week?

Spending time with J. Watching King of Kong was pretty happy, too -- it's hilarious and I highly recommend it.

12 September 2007

One Thumb Up

J gave my pair of Dashing mitts one thumb up. He wasn't a fan of the fingers. So I will be making his without fingers.

10 September 2007

My ANTM Submission

I am having the time of my life over at Ravelry. Being the uber-geek I am, I positively DROOL all over things that categorize and organize other things for me. Nevermind that I had to turn my room upside down to take pictures of yarn, or that I haven't really made time to do anything else (hello, laundry?). It is such an inspiration to see all the beautiful knitting other people are doing, and to share my own work in a forum that is designed for just that. Even though I read an article about how bad the Internet is for allowing people to form "friendships" without getting close, rendering our generation incapable of having real friends -- well, I like the community.

The only completed project I hadn't yet photographed was my latest, which is a pair of dashing mitts. I was going to do some fancy Photoshop work, and I used my air conditioner as a tripod (yes, I do have a tripod, but I am also extraordinarily lazy), but I think that the un-Photoshopped photo is just fine (did I mention how I'm extraordinarily lazy?). The photo above is the result, and I'm so proud of the way it shows off my fingerless mitts, my new favorite earrings, and the fact that I am sexy as all hell. Also, that I am a dweeb.

It's really not that bad, guys. Hair grows back.

The other day, my waxer told me that if I wanted to save money, I should shave my legs -- not try to wax my own eyebrows. I'm going to tell myself that every morning for the next month while I pencil in half of my left eyebrow.

07 September 2007

Even the Humpback whales use sippy cups

[From my unpublished archives, dated 31 August, 2007]

Zach, from the archived threads at WhaleASK, asked:
Some friends and I were talking about whales and the subject of drinking came up. People (and I assume other land mammals) have to drink water pretty frequently or they will dehydrate and die. How do marine mammals take in water? Is it absorbed through the skin somehow? Is it ingested and absorbed some other way? Are they "drinking" all the time, or does it only happen part of the time? How do they deal with the salt content of the water?

Thanks in advance,
It just so happens that J and I were discussing this very topic last night, Zach. Evidently, whales take in water using sippy cups. Not even whale sized ones. Normal sized sippy cups.

Doesn't it blow your mind?

Internet People!

Internet People! - The Meth Minute 39

Found at Pop Candy.

06 September 2007

My Life Was Incomplete Without Tokyo Police Club

I already posted today, but I wanted to post again to talk about how fucking awesome Tokyo Police Club [mp3] are.

I bought their EP almost a year ago, and I still listen to it with as much enthusiasm as I did when it was fresh in my collection. If you have not had a chance to listen to A Lesson in Crime, I highly recommend it. (I'm listening to it now, as a matter of fact)

They are indie rock kids after my heart. Their story is absolutely adorable, also -- only the drummer is old enough to legally imbibe; the lead singer/bassist postponed college after one semester to go full time with the band, but the passion in their music and the raw, driving sound in their songs is enough to convince you that they made the right decision. Besides, how much cuter does it get than childhood friends starting an indie band? Not much cuter.

I remember visiting their webspace last year when I bought the EP, and there was some homemade HTML page that read, "Please buy our album -- we're starving indie kids and we need to eat!" NOW, they are totally web 2.0.

They anticipate releasing an album in February.
“We are hoping to have the album out in February. It would be nice to have it out then, but it’s just a tentative date. If it takes 10 years to write this album, it will take 10 years. We aren’t going to compromise or compensate.”
In the meantime, buy that EP and wait eagerly on the edge of your seat, and if you happen to be in any of these cities, you can catch them on tour. I saw them a few weeks ago for a second time, and I swear they will not disappoint:
Oct. 3, 2007 WaMu Theater at MSG - New York, NY
Oct. 7, 2007 Schubas - Chicago, IL
Oct. 8, 2007 Schubas - Chicago, IL
Oct. 9, 2007 7th St. Entry - Minneapolis, MN
Oct. 11, 2007 Pyramid Cabaret - Winnipeg, MB
Oct. 12, 2007 Louis' Pub @ SU - Saskatoon, SK
Oct. 13, 2007 Starlite Room - Edmonton, AB
Oct. 14, 2007 The Warehouse - Calgary, AB
Oct. 16, 2007 Sugar Nightclub - Victoria, BC
Oct. 17, 2007 The Plaza - Vancouver, BC
Oct. 18, 2007 Neumos - Seattle, WA
Oct. 19, 2007 Doug Fir Lounge - Portland, OR
Oct. 22, 2007 Beauty Bar - Las Vegas, NV
Oct. 23, 2007 The El Rey Theatre - Los Angeles, CA
Oct. 24, 2007 The Glass House - Pomona, CA
Oct. 25, 2007 Popscene - San Francisco, CA

Sock Wars 2007

I have decided to do something utterly nerdy (and awesome) and participate in Sock Wars 2007!

Even though I have a terrible track record when it comes to knitting socks, and tend to be a slow knitter, maybe having a real goal to work towards will give me the oomph I need to finish a pair of socks in a reasonable and timely fashion.

Then again, maybe I'll get shot down in the first round.

05 September 2007

Choose Your Own Adventure: Relationship Edition

This article from Wired posed some interesting questions about the internet and relationship styles. It linked to a study done at the University of Illinois, which claims that "simulated relationships can provide insight into real ones."

Here's a funny excerpt from the Wired article:
I took the study's survey myself and found my fictional partner so immature, and the assumptions the story made about my emotions so inaccurate, that in most cases neither of the options was anything close to what I'd do. Nor did I have the option of "dump his ass and move on," which should have been listed at the end of every scenario.
Like Regina, I was surprised by the outcome of my relationship "adventure," because I also would not have chosen most of the options in real life that I was forced to click in this survey. Not only did I find my fictional partner to be immature, but the responses I leveled at him were also lacking in substance.

In the end, I was given results that have been drilled into me since I started therapy. Does this mean I'll finally listen? Probably not, but it was interesting to see that one random online survey agreed with my therapist.