Friday, June 29, 2007


I went at lunch with a friend from work to the Apple store on Michigan Avenue. He was going to wait in line for the iPhone, and I wanted to get a shuffle. I've wanted a shuffle for a while and figured I should get it before the whole world went nuts for the iPhone.

I have an iPod, but it is a really old one - huge by today's standards, two-color screen - and I want one I can run with easily without dropping it. Hence, the shuffle.

All Apple stores are closed today from 2-6 in preparation for the release of the iPhone at 6. We tried to leave earlier but got stuck with work, and I didn't get to the store until 1:45. The line was already out of site and an Apple employee and a security guard were manning the door. So, we walk up, and she tells us they're already closing. I told her I knew what I wanted, and was hoping to beat the crowd, and she just said they were already shut down. Instantly, I'm f'ing pissed. Now, I know that's a little ridiculous. My timing sucks. But I didn't want to go to any Apple store this weekend, and I really wanted the damned thing. My friend repeats that I know what I want - just a shuffle (which I had left out) - and a manager overhears. They call me back. I get the shuffle. The Apple employee apologizes.

*phew* for a minute there? I was afraid that my love of Apple might be tainted. I mean, I have never really had a negative customer experience there, and I have always loved any product they've produced. It would stink if their Next Big Thing ruined my love of them. It would have made pining over my friend's new iPhone really tough.

The upside of him getting an iPhone is that I will be getting a new Razor. True, everyone on the planet has had one for like two years, but I haven't, I hate my phone and I really didn't want to give T-Mobile any more money. He got a free Razor for switching to AT&T, and won't need it after he gets his new toy, so I get it (I'm paying him a little something, though he is so nice he wouldn't take much). So, I'm happy. Woo-hoo! New toys for me!

He's currently waiting in a line that, when I left him at the back of it, stretched from the front door, around the corner, down the block, around that corner, and about 1/2 way down the next block. Granted, they have parts blocked off, so no one is blocking streets or alleys, but man. I couldn't do that. Of course, I'm happy with a new phone that is two years old.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

I've Had a Revelation

You probably don't watch professional wrestling, but you might have heard of the recent tragedy involving Chris Benoit. Google News reports over 2,200 stories on it as of tonight. This isn't really surprising, as horrific crimes are often the subject of intense media attention, even when there is no new information to report.

I can't say anything about what happened. I am a fan of pro wrestling, but I can't say that I have any particular insight on why someone who seemed completely normal would snap and kill their family and themselves. However, I am totally fascinated by how the mainstream media is approaching this story. They seem to have no concept at all about what they're reporting on.

Vince McMahon canceled Monday Night Raw this week and instead aired a tribute to Benoit. The WWE only knew that Benoit and his family had been found dead, so there was no reason to think that Benoit himself was responsible. All of the people associated with the tribute talked about this man who was their friend, who they respected, and who they would miss. Throughout his career he had made a lot of friends and won a lot of respect for being a talented wrestler. I'm not trying to defend him, only to explain why the WWE gave him a tribute - no one would have ever thought he was capable of what he did.

Now the WWE is on the defensive, because there is no easy explanation. They issued a statement commenting on the media's speculation on how steroids played a role in the incident. I would link to it for you, but the WWE has taken down all reference to this from their site. You can, however, check out the Today's show site and see the video of McMahon's interview with Meredith Viera.

I was all about Meredith when she replaced Katie Couric. However, now I have to say, I think she's just as dumb as Katie. She quoted their press release, which said that steroids were not and could not have been involved in this crime. Now, that's a little strong, but if you had read it, you would understand that the point was that this was not a crime caused by "'roid rage." Whatever caused it, it wasn't sudden, uncontrollable rage. Meredith wasn't quite getting that. McMahon said "There was no way of telling this man was a monster. No way of knowing that whatsoever. He was a mild-mannered individual." She responds with "In anyway does pro wrestling contribute to the creation of monsters?"

Really, Meredith? This is what you're asking? Not, were there any indications that he was unwell or if he did anything out of the usual or any other question of any relevance. No, you have to ask if McMahon is creating monsters.

Here's my revelation: Professional Wrestling is to men what Romance Novels are to women. Millions of people enjoy both and yet the mainstream media and just about anyone you run into will deride them as stupid and providing unrealistic expectations in people. Romance novels are accused of creating unrealistic expectations in their readers (which implies that romance readers are so stupid that they base their expectations of reality on the novels they read)*. When someone hears you watch wrestling, they usually says something along the lines of "you watch that? It's so fake." Yes, I know it is fake. When you watch Law & Order, do you think that the murder victims are really dead? Do you think Uma Thurman is really a karate expert and can hold her own against 88 ninja-like assassins?

Mainstream media has the hardest time understanding this. It's entertainment, it's right there in the name. It is essentially a soap opera played out in and around a wrestling ring. The athleticism is real (for most wrestlers, anyway, I have no explanation for Mick Foley's continued presence. He looks like a flight of stairs would kick his ass), but everything else is fake. When they punch each other, they pull the punches. When they're in a "submission hold," they're really just resting. Sometimes, they really get hurt, because it is a dangerous job. I mean, you can't fake jumping off of a thirty-foot ladder. You can learn the best way to land, but gravity doesn't pull punches.

In the article on the Today Show site, they mention Mr. McMahon's recent "death." They talk about how the WWE publicists "claimed" the FBI was investigating it. Um... hello, Today Show? It's FAKE. It's a story! The WWE website is an extension of the show. It's like Margene's blog on HBO's Big Love site. Margene doesn't really exist. "Mr. McMahon" is a character played by Vince McMahon, and his death was part of the story. McMahon doesn't frequently do interviews and whatnot, so you never see him out of character. It's still a character.

To suggest that pro wrestling creates monsters is not only stupid, it's insulting. We know what we're watching is fake, it's only the idiots who think they're too smart for it who think any of it might be real. They're entertainers. They are playing characters. The entertainers who work for the WWE aren't that different from boxers, high school/college/Olympic wrestlers (actually, Kurt Angle, who now wrestles for TNA is an Olympic wrestler), fencers or any other athletes who participate in sports where the goal is to physically dominate your opponent. No one suggested that boxing creates monsters when people found out that Mike Tyson was beating his wife. It is generally acknowledged that Tyson is a little crazy and he wasn't seen as a reflection of the sport as a whole. So why the insanity over professional wrestling?

Mr thinks that this may be the beginning of the end of professional wrestling. That every bad thing anyone ever associated with wrestling has ever done will start to come out and USA will be forced to cancel it. I hope he's wrong. I hope they find out what happened to Chris Benoit so that the many people who looked up to him and called him a friend can find some closure. But I really hope that this one person - who, it seems to me, clearly suffered a severe psychotic break - doesn't define and bring down all of professional wrestling.

*There are many other stupid things that people accuse romance novels of, but I think this is most insulting to the millions of people who read romances.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Catching Up

I got back from Atlanta late on Monday night. I've been relatively lucky with flights for a long time, so I guess I was due for a little airport snafu. My flight was supposed to leave Atlanta at 6pm, and we didn't start boarding the plane until just after 9.

It was a little exciting - apparently, if we were five minutes later than we were, the flight would have "gone illegal" and they would have to cancel the flight. Exciting!

So, I was somewhat worthless yesterday, but now I'm back and trying to get organized. I went with Mavis yesterday to get her measured for her bridesmaid dress and get the shop all set up for my other maids to call in. I didn't realize how late I am in getting all this set. It takes twelve weeks for the dresses to get in. So, in order to be on time for the wedding and get alterations (because, even though they take exact measurements and make the dresses from scratch [I picked the color combo, so it has to be from scratch] they still make them to whatever their sizes are and bridesmaid dresses ALWAYS need altering) they'll have to all call in, like next week. Thankfully, I think most of them are all over it. I think the dresses will look nice, and be flattering to all of them. Compared to the creature of a dress Mavis is sporting this weekend (she's very popular with brides), my dress is awesome.

I also finally got to try on the shoes I've ordered from Zappos. I haven't told you, I think, how much I love Zappos, but someday I will. I love them. Seriously. Shoes make me really really happy, and they let me both shop in my pjs and get shoes almost instantly. Anyway, I've been ordering and trying on potential wedding shoes. Here's the thing: I don't want to pay a ton for wedding shoes because 1. They will most likely be white and how often do I wear white shoes? Almost never. 2. My dress goes all the way to the floor and even has a little train, so unless I pick up my dress and say "check out my shoes!" (which is highly likely), the shoes aren't that noticeable. But, I want them to be comfortable, and I want to dance in them all night long.

I don't approve of wearing one shoe for the ceremony (you should definitely wear both. ha! seriously, folks. I'm here all week) and then changing to slippers to dance at the reception. My dress will be altered for the shoes with heels, so why would I want to switch and get it all gross? Plus, I really think flats are way less comfortable than a modest heel.

So, I ordered a ballroom dance shoe, which is actually more expensive than I was planning on, and some more traditional wedding shoes. The wedding shoes are super cute, and I could totally dye them later to wear again. The problem, is that I'm not so sure they will be comfortable. They might kill my feet. The ballroom shoes are insanely narrow. Like, I couldn't even stand in them because my foot wouldn't go all the way in. Like Cinderella's step sisters trying to force the glass slipper on. Ridiculous.

I'm going to try the wedding shoes on again tonight and try them with hose and such to see if I can make it work. The ballroom shoes are definitely going back, but I'm going to try again with a wider shoe. I'll keep you posted.

On the garden front, the nocturnal creature was actually a squirrel - Mr caught him in the act. He's now become more bold and is destroying the pots on the deck. He only attacks certain stuff though, and it isn't flower-specific. Like he keeps attacking one of the pots in which I've planted marigolds, but none of the others. I am sort of at a loss as to how to stop him. Any suggestions?

Friday, June 22, 2007

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Finally, the Bathroom

Ok, people, you're going to have to bear with me here, as I am not great with Blogger and pictures. Specifically, there are a couple that should be portrait and for some reason I can't get them un-landscape. I trust you can use your imaginations. Or tilt your head to the side.

Behold: the bathroom as the previous owners left it to us.

Note the circus-like stripes, the shitty furniture and the lack of matching woods. The cabinet over the toilet and the vanity were very close - but still not quite matching. What you can't see in this picture is that the finish was coming off of everything that was "metal." The handles on the vanity doors, the faucets, and the drain of the sink. Also unpictured - the giant crack in the toilet tank. Upon further inspection, we realized that it wasn't a crack - at some point, the tank was dropped or hit with something and a big ol' chunk was knocked out. Don't worry though, it was super-glued real good.

The tile. It's a lovely gray shade that looked perpetually dirty. The damn tub was installed incorrectly, causing the waterfall in my living room (I have pictures of that, somewhere, too. I'll see if I can add them) which instigated this whole thing.

The day after demolition. This is the shop vac they used to soak up all the water that was under the tub after the idiot sent to work on my house (one guy was great, his assistant the first day was very nice, but a bit of a knucklehead) removed something in the tub without turning off the water main or even finding out where the water main was, so my ceiling got wet. Again. After we'd had it fixed.

Anyway, this is the original tile. I would have preferred it to the "updated" stuff that was in there.
Oooo! Our fancy new bathroom. This towel hook costs about $25 . But, it's part of the Kohler bathroom set, and it makes me really happy to have it. I love the paint color and our tile and the shower curtain. Sorry, I couldn't get this picture to rotate. Also, they installed a curved curtain rod, which makes the shower seem HUGE when you're in it. You know how sometimes the steam from the shower and the regular air in the rest of the bathroom make the curtain billow in and get in your way? That doesn't happen with the curved rod and I love it. This is my attempt to show you the bathroom as a whole. There's the lovely trim in the shower, and the granite, which you can only see in the reflection, and the picture we found at Bed Bath & Beyond and it just happened to match all the colors we chose. The towel does not match. I've registered for bathroom stuff that matches. I'm hoping to get it at my shower this weekend (because towels I can take back from Atlanta, dishes I'll have to return and re-buy).

Here's a close-up of the glass mosaic. It was taken right after they installed, so it still has some grout haze on it.

Isn't it pretty?
So, I'm leaving Friday morning for Atlanta. I won't be back until Monday night, so I don't know when I'll post again. Probably tomorrow. And Friday morning before I leave. But after THAT, it won't be for a while.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

True Love

One of the vendors who works with Mr's company has been screwing a lot of stuff up lately. In an attempt to keep their business, they offered Mr box seats to the Sox game this coming Saturday. This seems to happen a lot. I have to go out of town, someone offers him something awesome for when I'm gone.

Last year, I went home for a party my parents were throwing. They both turned 60, and celebrated their 20th anniversary that year. The weekend of the party? Mr & I had tickets to Elvis night at Sox Park, and the guys from Broken Lizard were in town promoting Beerfest (which I highly recommend. It isn't an intelligent film but it is very, very funny)- you could play drinking games with them and win something...

Anyway, so now I'm going to Atlanta for a bridal shower, and he gets offered box seats for the Sox.

He gave them to someone he works with, because I won't be there. He knew that I would really want to go and be sad and a little jealous that he got to go without me, so he gave them away.

That's love.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Sorry, Rabbit

My apologies to the bunnies. They were not responsible for the flower carnage. It was some sort of nocturnal, evil creature. Probably a raccoon. The good news is, the mulch we put down seems to have convinced them to torture some other garden. Or, there are no more flowers left on the dahlias and they went to find greener pastures. Either way, the garden is making a recovery, woo!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Some Letters

Dear Bunnies,

Aren't the new flowers pretty? Mr did such a good job laying out the flower bed with the white and purple petunias (I think...) and the dahlias. I love dahlias. They're so pretty, with the big round flowers with a million perfect petals. And these dahlias are such a rich, beautiful red.

I did not buy them and plant them as food for you. Please stop eating my flowers. While I'm sure they are delicious, they haven't even been in the ground for a week yet. They're annuals, so they won't be back next year, and you're really ruining my enjoyment of them. Aren't you supposed to love Hostas?

Please notice the massive hostas lining the garage and the front walk and in various other places around the yard. Feel free to eat the hostas as much as you like. They're awesome! Plus, they came with the house and I'm not crazy about them. Please, eat the hostas. Give my Dahlias a fighting chance.


Dear Dude who works out a lot,

Wow. You must be at the gym all the time. It's clearly paying off, what with your massive pecs and rippling biceps. I wish I could spend some serious time in a gym, but I'm having a hard time finding one convenient to me. But I digress.

I think you're dedication to your health is impressive. I like that you're putting your best foot forward, however, I think maybe in your gym obsession, you have lost sight of the ultimate goal: to look good in clothes.

I know. You spend a lot of time working on those pecs and delts and whatever, and you want people to know that you are in top physical condition. However, wearing a polo three sizes too small makes the wrong impression. See, when I saw you, the first thought I had was "wow. He works out a LOT." Had you been wearing clothes that fit you, I would have thought "Wow. That guy is hot." See the distinction? You want people to think that you are just really put-together and attractive, not that you spend all your free time working out (even if that is the case). Trust me, clothes that fit will not hide your physique. You'll still look strong, but you'll also look sharp - a total package.


Dear Ladies who commute,

Doesn't the walk from the train suck? My office is a little over a mile from the train, so I know it can be a hike. This, however, is no excuse for those shoes. I know you don't want to trek all over downtown in high heels. Even if your office is only two blocks from the train, I understand. Hey, maybe you never wear heels. That's cool too. But please, please, stop wearing those ugly "comfortable" shoes. Just because they are black leather does NOT mean that they are office-appropriate. Really, there is no situation where those are appropriate.

See, you don't have to wear the shoes you walk to the office in while you're in the office. You see all those ladies in nice suits or slacks with sneakers on? They don't wear them in the office. They have another pair of shoes, something really cute that goes with their outfit, but isn't so great for long walks, tucked into their bags. They get to the office and they change their shoes. They change back before they walk to the train to go home. It's a great system. Try it.


Tuesday, June 05, 2007


Hank wants you to know that if this were his blog it would be way more interesting. He'd bring you fun stuff everyday, like this picture of him and the only toy he hasn't completely destroyed. See how sweet he is? It's no wonder I'd rather sit on the couch with him than work.

It's finals time. I have to expand a unit plan and write a research paper on The Divine Comedy.

In the meantime, I won't be posting, though I keep having ideas of stuff to write, because I don't want to write the stuff I have to write.

The unit plan is coming along. I'm supposed to expand a plan I already did, which shouldn't take long because I did more than I was supposed to the first time around. However, I've discovered that I can't just half-ass it, probably because I recognize that I very well might teach this unit plan sometime in the near future.

The research paper has me worried.

Expect something slightly more interesting after the 13th (when the last of it is due).

In the meantime, check out my new glasses! (comic-book style).

You can't really tell, but the frames are sort of amber. I think they're groovy.