Archive for the 'Random Musings' Category

Jan 05 2012

This is not a New Year’s Resolution

Published by under Random Musings

I miss writing. I was an English major, after all, and over the course of my education I became so adept at cranking out ten page papers that I didn’t realize that the ability to communicate on paper (or screen) is a cultivated skill. Something to be appreciated and nurtured. And when I graduated, all that time for writing fell victim to the demands of real life.

And then we started this blog. It took me a while to get going. Eight months of traveling meant eight months that I could practice my writing. And I think I got better. Maybe? I tried. And then I stopped again. And now it’s three years later.

The point is: I want to write more. I need an outlet. I was originally convinced that I’d need to start a brand-spanking-new blog because this was our travel blog for people who want travel stories and information, but hey, I still remember the admin password and it’s my blog so I’ll write what I want.

This is not a new year’s resolution. I’m not one of those people that’s all “I hate new year’s resolutions” because I don’t and I make them. Last year, I resolved to be able to do the splits by the year’s end. Still can’t do the splits. This is more of a I-think-this-will-make-me-happy-and-a-better-person-so-let’s-try-to-make-this-a-part-of-my-life thing. I’ve been trying to keep a bedside journal, but came to the quick realization that writing by hand is slow and makes my hand hurt. #firstworldproblems

I’m not going to set any tangible goals like “I’ll do this once a week!” because this is not a resolution and I know that will end in failure. BUT I am putting this out there, in a public forum, for people to read or not read, which might make me feel a certain amount of accountability.

I guess we do need to blog about our adventures this summer through Argentina and Bolivia, so maybe that’s a good place to start. We’ll see.

5 responses so far

Feb 22 2009

The Short List

Published by under Random Musings,Travel

Do you know what Brittany and I do when we’re bored?

1. Eat
2. Talk about what we should eat next

But this lazy Sunday afternoon we were pretty full from lunch, and we already knew what we would be having for dinner…so we found ourselves in unusual and unsettling territory. Of course, there do exist rarely employed alternatives for just such emergencies:

3. Talk about the places from our trip that we miss
4. Fight to the death

Oddly, there are no other options. Because I’m afraid of Brittany’s unusual strength, I quickly started asking her which places from our trip she misses the most. Before long, she was beautifully and safely distracted at the computer, reading our old blog posts and breathing sighs of reminiscence. And instead of fighting to the death, we talked about which blog entries are our favorites, now that we have the benefit of hindsight. We each have our own peculiar favorites, but it wasn’t hard to agree on the ones that make us both smile. For those of you who prefer to walk on the CliffsNotes side of life, please enjoy the following short list…our own hand-selected “best of the best.”

In no particular order:

  1. Trekking in Thailand with Johnnie Walker
  2. An Unexpected Meeting in Cambodia
  3. Our Greek Music Video
  4. Top 5 Tips for Not Looking Like an American
  5. Brittany Gets a Tempting Marriage Proposal in Laos
  6. Ben Eludes the Policia in Seville
  7. Ben is Caught by the Policia in Barcelona
  8. A Photo Journey in Chiang Mai, Thailand
  9. Won’t You Take Me to Monkey Town?
  10. The Motorcycle Diaries in Vietnam

One response so far

Feb 19 2009

A year ago I was in Thailand. Sigh.

Published by under Random Musings

So I’ve had this project at work for the past few months. And by “this project” I mean a P.R.O.J.E.C.T. One of those life-sucking, eyeball-gauging, hair-pulling projects where you work non-stop at every single moment, and even in the moments you’re not actively working on it, you’re thinking about how you should be working on it, and you can’t sleep because you’re trying to solve the problems of the project as you lie in bed, despite having to wake up at 5:30am to work on the project, and because you’ve invested so much time in it you become obsessed with the perfection of the project, even though it’s impossible to achieve perfection, mostly because this project involves working with Internet Explorer.

Let me break it down for you: INTERNET EXPLORER IS THE SPAWN OF SATAN.

I won’t go into the technical/boring reasons why IE is the devil. Basically: you can work for hours on a website making sure everything pretty and perfect and functioning, and then open up the site in IE where it looks like you threw up all over the page. It’s time to lodge formal complaint.

DEAR the 65% of my employers’ readership that obstinately continues to use Internet Explorer for their web browsing needs:

You are putting me in an early grave. Get with the times. You know how Tinkerbell taught us that every time you clap your hands you save a fairy’s life? Well, every time you download and switch to Firefox, a shriveled-up, sleep-deprived, comatose web designer somewhere in the world can avert their glassy stare from the computer monitor, stand up from the office chair, and LIVE. Do your part, people.


I haven’t had to work or think this hard since…well, ever. But, over the course of the past week, something has changed: I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I can feel a faint breeze. Do I detect the slightest scent of roses in the air? A few more days’ hard push and maybe, dare I say, the worst will be over?

And once I’ve sufficiently recovered, I just might redesign EAMD. Because I hate myself.

3 responses so far

Feb 16 2009

Jon and Kate Plus Product Placement

Published by under Random Musings

I record the following shows on my DVR:

  • Lost
  • The Office
  • Flight of the Conchords
  • Jon and Kate Plus 8

Jon and Kate Plus 8 is the newest addition to the lineup, and even though I was late to this bandwagon, I jumped right on like the best of them. I’m not the least bit ashamed to sit down and watch four episodes in a row, but thanks to all those who have asked with one eyebrow raised ever so slightly. When I turn on the DVR and find episodes waiting for me, I have to stop everything and check in on to see what those little kids are up to, and whether or not Mady is finally going to get what she has coming. Seriously, that is one annoying kid, and this is coming from someone whose only interactions with her are tempered by the glorious mute button.

Because I am a late comer to the Jon and Kate party, I have mostly been catching up on old episodes from the past couple of seasons. And one night when I was out with friends, I mentioned how much I was enjoying the show to my friend James. He scoffed,

“That show is just one big advertisement now.”

Which confused me. Granted, I had only been watching old episodes, but I hadn’t really noticed anything like the uncomfortably forced product placement that seems to be permeating network shows these days. Until tonight. I caught a rare NEW episode tonight, which was exciting for me at first, because as I sat down on the couch, I felt like I was finally on the same page as all my fellow fans.

And then the show started with a big white moving truck backing up into the Gosselin’s driveway. Off the truck came boxes and boxes of appliances for the new house the family has apparently just moved into. The little kids were excited by the commotion and ran through the house screaming, and everything seemed like just another day on the best little show in the world.

But then, instead of simply installing the boring appliances and getting on with the show I was here to watch, the camera cut to Jon and Kate sitting in their chair and discussing the specifics of their new washer and dryer. That discussion went pretty much like this:

Kate: “I just love our new washer and dryer from Whirlpool! They look so beautiful sitting side by side in the laundry room.”
Jon: “Yeah, aren’t those the Duets?”
Kate: “They sure are, Jon! We had some in our old house and after that amazing experience, I knew the Whirlpool Duets were the ONLY washer and dryer I’d put in the new house!”

I kid you not, as this point the camera cut to ZOOM IN on the Whirlpool Duets logo on the washing machine.

Now cut to Kate in the laundry room with her newly installed Whirlpool Duets.

Kate, talking to…nobody?: “My Whirlpool Duets are so small that they fit perfectly in the room and they’re so easy to use, but they still have tons of options! I can even wash ALL of my kids’ jeans in ONE LOAD! What other washing machine can do that? They make laundry a joy! They’re like having little friends in my laundry room!”

I swear to you that she called them her “little friends” in the laundry room. And until that point, Brittany and I had just been sitting there asking each other if this was for real. But once Kate crossed the “little friends” line, that was the last straw. We turned off the TV. I want to watch Jon and Kate Plus 8, not some thirty minute commercial for Whirlpool Duets!

Sadly, it looks like James was right. Maybe the rest of the episode was better, I don’t know. It just wasn’t worth sitting through any more of that charade to find out. I realize that companies are sticking their products into shows in order to still get their message in front of people like me who DVR my shows and fast forward my way through the commercials. But my show is only thirty minutes long, people! Does the product hawking have to go on for SO LONG? Instead of all that awkward adspeak, allow me to offer a better suggestion:

  • Open the episode with the little teaser about what today’s episode is going to be about
  • Roll the opening credits and theme song
  • Now, before anything else happens, have Kate walk right up the camera and yell, “Buy a Whirlpool washing machine or I’ll send Mady to come live with you!”
  • Proceed with show

That would improve my life because it would only take four seconds of my show, AND I bet Whirlpool would sell a lot more Duets. Think about it.

29 responses so far

Feb 10 2009

Is this real life?

Published by under Random Musings

By now I’m sure you’ve seen the YouTube video sensation entitled “David After Dentist.” If not, then please go watch it because it’s far more entertaining than any of the things I ramble on about.

Anyway, my favorite quote from the video has to be, “is this real life?” I don’t know if I’ve watched the video too much lately or what, but I had my own “is this real life?” moment tonight.

I saw a story on Digg about Heroes star Hayden Panettierre doing whatever it is that celebrities do, and the reference gave an unexpected kickstart to a memory hiding in the back of my brain. My mind was suddenly flooded with images from a story involving Hayden Panettierre…but I had one problem. I couldn’t remember if I had seen this story on TV, online, or if it had all been a dream. The only way to know would be to ask someone.

Brittany was washing dishes when I walked up to her cautiously:

Me: “Hey…Brittany?”
Brittany: “Yes?”
Me: “Is Hayden Panettierre actually a man?”
Brittany: “WHAT are you talking about?”

Definitely a dream then.

Actually, I still had some reservations that the story MIGHT have been real life, but these were put to rest when a Google search for “is Hayden Panettierre a man?” returned no relevant results. Now that I’m 100% convinced the story was allll just a dream, here is how my dream went:

Hayden Panettierre is up for some kind of acting award, and when she shows up to the award ceremony, no one recognizes her. This is because she is actually a married man. He is short and balding with beard stubble and a wife, and the network filming the awards show explains that he puts on a wig and makeup each week to become Hayden Panettierre. He has obviously been doing this since the days of Raising Helen or whatever her first movie was, and he enjoys the unique ability to be a famous actor who is able to go out to dinner without being recognized.

I wish you could have seen the man in my head who is Hayden Panettierre. But even as shocking as the story was, I had clearly forgotten about the whole thing until a random Internet reference jogged my memory. Stranger still, now that the memory is back, I’m actually having a hard time accepting a world in which Hayden Panetierre is NOT a balding, stubby, middle-aged married man.

Are you SURE this is real life?

5 responses so far