Thursday, January 31, 2008

Celebrity, vol 3

Clue: She has a talk show and she puts a lot of sluts on it.

Answer: It's Oprah....this is an infamous clue in a CP family game.

Inquiring Minds

I'd love to use one of those cool polling widgets, but this survey requires comments/explanations.

When I was filling out my list of fours, I was listing the cool places I'd been and then I felt like I needed to throw in something bland to keep me humble. So I thought and thought, and came up with Kansas. Not that there's anything wrong with Kansas. Sure, it's flat, but Manhattan KS is nice, and my cool-mo-D glasses are styled by a company in Kansas. So Kansas is fine by me, and I have been there, so it was really just saying.

But this got me thinking. If you were trying to come up with the most boring state in the US, which would it be? And why?

I mean, surely even wild, unruly Alaska and whacked-out CA are boring to SOMEONE.

So, what do you think?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Theory

Obesity is the root of all evil. Just ask the media. Soon, I believe they'll be blaming fatties for global warming. All that friction from thighs rubbing together and all.

Update: A quick google shows they have already started: read this!

Culture Gap, vol 1

Today I got up and made coffee and toast and decided to watch BBC Breakfast to wake up. One of their reporters was a nice man who was obviously a Thalidomide Baby (arms), and who had one eye that was mostly shut. We didn't see him doing the slow power walk so common in the news media, but he did everything else. He even picked things up and showed them to the camera.

Can you imagine this on Good Morning, America?

Way to go, Britain!

Touched by an angel, vol 2

CP emailed me this, but I don't actually fill these out and then clog my friend's in boxes with them. Instead, I blog them as a tag and infect the blogosphere, where people like to share these sorts of intimate details with complete strangers. So here goes.

Various sets of four things about me that you may or may not know
in no particular order


Four jobs I have had in my life
1. Radio DJ
2. Receptionist at Fishing and Hunting News
3. Telemarketer
4. Designer/layout specialist for the Cato Institute (I was a contractor who couldn't say no)

Four movies I would watch over and over:
1. Dirty Dancing
2. Annie Hall
3. Hairspray
4. Little Miss Sunshine

Four places I have lived:
1. Decorah IA
2. St. Paul MN
3. Seattle WA
4. Milton Keynes UK

Four TV Shows that I watch:
1. Torchwood
2. Friday Night with Jonathan Ross
3. Psych
4. Crossing Jordan

Four Places I have been:
1. Oman
2. Zambia
3. Wales
4. Kansas

Four of my favorite foods: (how cruel that I only get to list 4)
1. Korean bibimbop or bbq preceeded by lots of kimchi
2. Sushi
3. Meatloaf
4. Nachos

Four places I would rather be right now:
1. New York
2. The Midwest (on a Chicago/MSP/IA trip)
3. Vietnam
4. Seattle

Four things I am looking forward to this year:
1. Starting my new job
2. Running a 10 mile distance run
3. Getting a new apartment and settling in
4. Going to Brazil, and Zambia, and Hong Kong, and....

Now it's your turn. Surprise me.

Celebrity, vol 2

Clue (from about 1994): "She has a TV show, she dresses like a man, and she thinks she's funny but she's not. And she sounds like she lisps."

Monday, January 28, 2008

Celebrity, vol 1

Clue: "She's like Aunt Jemima. Except she's white."

ANSWER: Mrs. Butterworth - although the brown bottle sometimes confuses people into thinking she's one of those offensive "mammy-doll" things, she is rumored to be a matronly, anglo grandmother type.

In reality, I'd say the clue may not be true, but that's not the point. It was said in a game, and we got it on the first guess.

Insanity, wave 2

Shortly after registering for the Great North Run, I found out that a planned trip to Zambia with some friends conflicted with the run. So instead of doing a half marathon the first week of October, I'm now doing 10 miles the last week - the Great South Run. And I'm training with my co-coach from the SOM, and, since we've effectively motivated each other through the MBA, I think we'll be a good match to go from lardass to distance runner together. (Not that he's a lardass. But he does smoke.)

WOW

Can you imagine being the guy that lost your company $7.2 BILLION dollars? Which is worse, I wonder? The shame of gigantic financial loss, or the shame of revealing that the French banking industry isn't as advanced as it seems?

Either way, that would suck.

Mon Dieu!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Listen up, punters - vol. 2

FYI, untucked-overly-pressed imitation Ted Baker shirts, dark wash jeans, pointy toed loafers and buckets of cheap cologne or Lynx body spray just aren't as sexy as they used to be.

All by myself (don't wanna blog)

Sometimes blogging politics make me feel like I'm in junior high.

I used to feel pressure to be witty on this blog. One of the clever ones. One of those blogs people came to daily, knowing they would get a chuckle from some pithy observation. But I failed. Many of the cool kids have link dumped me. (And thanks, by the way, to those of you who haven't!) I guess I don't post enough pictures of Samantha Brown naked. If only I had a crazy mother-in-law to secretly film, perhaps I'd be more popular. Sigh.

Rather than wallow in the fact that my patent uncoolness has finally bled to the internets, I've decided to make rejection liberating. I have more time for blogging now, and so I'm updating my links to the sites I actually read, I'm going to have a play with the look and feel of the site in the next few weeks and work on some new series to organise my thoughts. I vow to make this blog more interesting. Something truly link-worthy, so the next time I get an invite from the in-crowd I don't show up wearing polyester and carrying a board game. I mean, if someone's doing the shunning, I prefer it be me.

I'm even going to start responding to comments effective Monday morning.

But I want one more day to pretend your comments are fan mail to my celebrity. And I'm still going to blog with my sunglasses on so that I'm not recognised. (FYI, my sunglasses are very, very stylish, even if they don't have the right prescription anymore.)

Touched by some angels, vol.1

Bubs and Mz. Bubs over at Sprawling Ramshackle Compound are some of my favourite people on these here internets, and though it's taken me some time to get around to it, when they tag me for a little self-reflection, I jump. (NB....Since my titles this week seem to tend towards bad pop-culture puns, I'm making a new series title for tags (NOT memes.)) This time round, I'm to tell you all about 5 things I didn't imagine for myself 25 years ago (or at 25, whichever seems more appropriate.) So here goes.

1. First off, I guess I didn't imagine I'd live abroad. Or, more precisely, I imagined living abroad but didn't imagine that I'd ever do it. I'm not the sort to join the military - one sure fire way to get sent to foreign soil - and though I toyed with taking the Civil Service exam and trying to get into diplomatic service, my strong left-leaning politics convinced me that that would be too temperamental a position should the wrong party get too powerful. (Seems I was psychic.) I guess I am living proof that life takes its own course, and good things come if you just pay attention.
2. I didn't imagine I'd be single. I'm not a dater but, frankly, I'm a catch. On the plus side, though, if you'd asked me if I'd like being single at 40, I wouldn't have imagined that I'd like it as much as I do, so it's working out for me.
3. Getting an MBA was the furthest thing from my mind. In fact, I bet I didn't actually know what an MBA was. I was an English/Art History major and enjoyed my slacker life. A walking/talking Reality Bites was I, complete with smells-like-teen-spirit-tortured-soul Ethan Hawke types in my social circle. But I was less annoying than Winona.
4. I imagined myself thinner. Which is why I'm going to train for a half marathon in October. That will give my BMI a run for its money. (HA!)
5. I never imagined that I'd feel so young, even as I am getting older. I know I've matured and gained perspective and learned to manage my life much better than I did at 25 (or 25 years ago), but I still feel 25. And I still say thinks like "awesome," and regularly use "rock" as a verb. (And "rockin'" as a gerund.) "My bad," however, will NEVER be uttered by these lips, and slutily dressed teenage girls often get reproachful looks from me, so I guess I'm not quite as down with it as real kids are these days.

I tag you. Tell me your innermost secrets.

Anger

Normally, I don't get all that upset about celebrity deaths. I'm sad for a moment, but then I move on. I mean, I don't know them. I don't know if they were nice or not, if they were smart and funny and kind or any of the other stuff that makes me like a person.

And though the news of Heath Ledger's death made me sad, it wasn't any different than any other tragic death of someone in their 20's. Sure, there's that creepy Mary-Kate Olson link to make it a bit more sordid, but that makes me say "EW!" and so I'm ignoring it. Not to be crass, but we've managed without River Phoenix, we can make it through this, too.

What makes this death upsetting for me is the mean-spirited evil it's brought out in the homo-phobic conservative movement. Chris talks about that mummified asshole John Gibson's bad jokes here. CP talks about those lunatic picketers here. And if you spend any amount of time reading about his death, you find someone claiming that he was struck down by a righteous God because he played a gay man in Brokeback Mountain. It boggles the mind that people could be so stupid and hateful. I mean, seriously. How small minded and mean must you be?

So God leaves evil terrorists killing thousands alone, but hunts down an actor who once portrayed a gay man and forces an overdose? Well, watch out Tom Hanks, not to mention Eric McCormack. Sean Hayes and Nathan Lane, you've got a double whammy because you ARE gay...so run for the hills. Does God's wrath extend to lesbians? If so, the producers of The L Word had better up their security budget.

This whole thing sickens me. SICKENS. ME. Get some priorities, God.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

I can see clearly now


I had my eyes tested this week. Since I turned 40, my eyes have gotten progressively worse, especially where reading is concerned. Although none of my glasses had fallen from fashion, the lenses were obviously not right. My company pays for eye exams once a year with a mobile clinic that sets up in the parking lot, and so I bravely made an appointment to be told exactly how old I really am.

Before the doctor even got out those goofy 1/2/3/4 test lenses, I told him that there was no way on God's green earth I was getting bifocals. None. He made that "no lines are impossible to detect" argument that I countered with, "I would know, and that's the problem." So we settled on two pairs of glasses. As suspected, my reading prescription has gotten stronger, but my distance prescription is actually slightly weaker. I elected to have distance lenses put in my preferred pair of current frames and purchased new ones for the readers. When I'm in the states, I'll have the rest of my old frames replaced with updated lenses to give me some choice.

I believe in fashionable eyewear, preferably not the kind you can buy just anywhere...the kind that gets you compliments on your glasses. I mean, if you're gonna wear glasses, wear glasses for pete's sake. So here is my new pair.



Friday, January 25, 2008

Somewhere, my baby must be smiling at me


It's the only explanation I can think of. Because March 25 - 29th, I'm going here.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Insanity

Today, I registered in the open ballot for this.

I must be high. But just in case I get in, the training has begun.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Listen up, punters - vol.1

If you're going to buy a sports car with an engine that roars and pass me at high speeds in residential zones to prove your manhood, please don't sit like an old woman at the roundabout, waiting for an engraved invitation to merge.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Back again

Sorry for the lack of posts. I've really just had nothing to say. I think the holidays and the flu and business at work and planning and then hosting orientation for the new crop of MBAs has zapped me of any thought, creativity or interests. It's not that there's anything wrong, exactly, it's just that I'm kind of exhausted. But I appreciate all your messages, and I'm sorry I haven't written back. This lack of communication has spread to emails, phone calls and everything in between.

Orientation for the new folks went very well. They were all terrified and nervous and excited at the same time, and it brought back a lot of memories. It is impossible to imagine that only two years ago that was me. I'm a different person now. More confident, more capable, more intense...and it really moved me to see that glimpse of the old me. I was the lead orienteer, which meant I got a different colored t-shirt and had to talk a lot. I was seen as the alpha, which, of course, I enjoyed immensely. One team actually wanted me to come approve their work on one of the exercises like that somehow made their success more important. My friends Simon and Jeff, who were their team's leaders, quickly explained that this sort of sycophantic bullshit would not be tolerated. (Personally, I think they were just jealous.)

When we left on Sunday afternoon, it started to sink in that this really was the last time we're all going to be together for awhile. It's over. And though we won't miss the schedule and the late-night assignment writing and the stress and the general insanity, we are going to miss each other. A lot. I got three texts on Sunday night from melancholy friends and I sent a few myself. I guess we're lucky that the world is now our oyster AND we made some amazing friends that we can take with us for life, too. But that doesn't make the transition easier.

So now it's onwards and upwards. I have started my job search, and have put together a schedule for mandatory job research and application time in my evenings and weekends. Goal is a new job by April. Have contacted an agency in Chicago, am going to contact ones in New York and Seattle, and will handle London with both an agency and by myself. Plan to call the careers office tomorrow to get contacts at three consulting agencies here in the UK, as well, because I think I'd be a fab management consultant. It's time for the rubber to hit the road with this degree.

The other women from the MBA have now all decided to start dating. They are all planning on going to a speed dating/wine tasting thing in London next week and are demanding I attend. I'm not necessarily against it, but I just have no desire to date right now. I mean, I don't know where I'm going to be living and working in six months, I've just got my time back to myself, and it all just seems like a lot of hassle for nothing. I've told them to count me out for awhile so I can figure out what's going on.

Next on tap...figuring out in which European city I should meet my friend Brad for a long weekend in March or April (suggestions welcome), hiring a personal trainer to motivate me to move my lard ass and spending the £100 of gift certificates I got as a Christmas bonus at work. And blogging more. I miss you guys.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The way to my heart

So you know I love you. And I'm happy you read my blog and I love reading your blogs and now that I don't have to study all the time I may even start commenting, heaven forbid.

But Madame Leiderhosen, man, she wins. She sends caramels. Delicious, mouth-watering to-die-for caramels.

Thanks, Madame L.

Survival


Here's a picture of my new best friends. If only they looked like Mark Ruffalo and told me jokes and read me books and rubbed my feet. Get on that why doncha, GSK.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Hi

I'm back in England and I am getting a cold. I feel like crap and it physically hurts to hold my head up. Oh. And my nose is dripping and I have a sore throat and itchy inner ears.

Time went whizzing by in the US. I'm so sorry I missed some of you. Between weather and emotions it was a pretty stormy trip. I had good quality time with my family, though, and that's what really matters, especially this year.

I'll be back soon with a proper post, but right now I need Lemsip and a nap.