Saturday, March 29, 2008

Holy Hangover, Batman.

Something here just doesn't add up. You would think that my pseudo-viking blood + four years of training at a public university in a college town where most weekends there really isn't much to do besides drinking unless you're willing to submit yourself to some lame, dry, campus coordinated activity would have me in better binge drinking shape than I am now... Nope. After last night's shit show which (I believe) involved probably downing an entire bottle of chenin blanc and a bit of fancy red wine a colleague gave me as a gift yesterday with dinner, two or three g&ts (one of which was sipped out of a shattered glass which was broken in an all-too-enthusiastic toast) and a shot of fishermans at the nearby Bodega, finally topped off with an enormous, extra-strong Pusser's Painkiller at Salon 39, I am feeling like absolute crap. We're talking toads-in-a-hole for breakfast with an After Eight for a breakfast dessert (honestly, when else, besides utmost hungover states, do people really feel the need to eat dessert after breakfast?!) followed by my lying on the couch in silent misery, shivering as my body tries futilely to metabolize the alcohol coursing through my tiniest veins and kickboxing my liver.

Lesson learned - I can't drink like I used to? I guess that's probably a good thing. Binge drinking is completely unattractive. Time to lady-up and stop acting like a co-ed heathen. Maybe.

Hmm, well, this post started with the intention of being a longer and more profound look at my inner thoughts about my personal drinking and drug 'hobbies' from my highly hungover perspective, but I've decided I'd rather assume the recovery position than blog. Sorry.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Thursday Things

Good afternoon, blogosphere. Some things that have caught my attention today...

1. Science Confirms The Obvious 2008 - Unathletic kids are unpopular at school! Caffeine combats sleepiness! Long ambulance rides make you more likely to die! Teenagers drink to have fun! Loneliness sucks!

2. Dlisted: DIY Paternity tests! - How ghetto can you go? I agree with Michael K that this ranks high on the Embarrassing Purchases Scale. I'd be way more embarrassed to buy this than, say, condoms or even an at-home pregnancy test.

3. KEXP 90.3 FM - This is an awesome Seattle radio station that was recommended by some new friends (Steve and Sarah) I recently met while I was in Ireland. The broadcast live online (even in Denmark! A lot of U.S. radio stations don't let you listen to them online if you're overseas) and I've been listening to it for the past two days at work.

4. The New York Sun: Are We Really That Ill? - My abnormal psychology professor in undergrad once said something that has really stuck with me. In regards to mental illness, he said "We all have something. It's just a matter of what and how much."

5. The Local: Swedes engage in Easter sweets binge - I think it's amusing that the Easter candy advice being given to my neighbors across the Øresund Sound is that "It is best to eat everything at once and then let the teeth rest." Hmmm... Moving up on the 'Eating Disorders That Plague Sweden' list, Compulsive Over Eating and/or Binge/Purge!? :)

6. The IRS is on YouTube - Something tells me 'IRS' isn't a common YouTube search term. I wonder if you could cite the vids in a bibliography. Oh, is that as bad as citing Wikipedia?

7. Most unlikely place for a stripper? - Yeah, I'd say funerals rank pretty high on that list. I hope my funeral is just as fun!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Blogging By Number

Wasting time at work, and because my gmail is currently experiencing 'Temporary Error 502' and I can't log in. Oh, the horror! (Um, yeah, I guess I'm also completely ignoring the possibility of actually doing meaningful work which would likely benefit both my company and my professional development. Oops.)

(top) Five ways to waste time at work (basically, in order):
5. My RSS Feed
4. Online (window) Shopping
3. Gmail/Gchat
2. Blogging (ta-dah, here I am!)
1. Facebook (Scrabulous!)

Five dresses I liked while I was e-browsing today:
5. I absolutely love strapless baby doll dresses, like this bi-colored Bailey 44 one and
4. this Jill Stewart one. But
3. this sleek one shoulder by Tracy Reese and
2. this Black Halo one grabbed my attention as well.
1. Also, this swiss dot dress from J.Crew. I just love swiss dots, even though I don't yet own anything in the material. I'm still kicking myself for not buying that awesome white swiss dot halter dress with ruffles that J.Crew made last spring. :(

Two designers I've recently discovered and like:
2. Loeffler Randall
1. Lorick

Two interesting news stories:
2. DCist: More Metro Stations to Get Red LED Lights -
The red lights apparently grab more passengers' attention, according to Metro general manager John Catoe.
I think this blip on new Metro lights is interesting because 1) red light is very flattering and makes everyone look better. I'm sensing a rise in something that will soon be commonly referred to as "metro goggles." (p.s. - beer goggles effect explained, complete with mathematical formula! I carry this formula around in my wallet. I don't trust myself. Just kidding. I don't, and I do.) and 2) for obvious reasons, I feel like these new roseated metro stations will remind me of the Red Light District in Amsterdam, except deep underground. Sketchy. Maybe Amsterdam Falafel in Adam's Morgan (see this post for an interesting bit about currency acceptance) has something to do with all this metro red light implementation... I just hope guys stumbling home at (what ridiculously early time does the metro stop running again?) 12:30ish don't mistake girls tottering around in high heels for hookers. They're not. Well, not all of them any way.

1. The Super Mario Multiverse (sidebar: I seem to link things from an awful lot and with increasing frequency in my blog. This is (quite possibly shameful?) evidence that I am a huge dork, isn't it?) - I think the idea of parallel universes (universi?) is so cool. What a trippy and intriguing mind fuck.

Three of the best bottled waters:
3. 1 litre - which I'm drinking right now. Delicious water, and such a cool design. It actually inspired me to include my favorite bottled waters in this blog post. Wow, I'm really bored at work.
2. Volvic
1. Fiji
(side note: Evian sucks. Seriously, I think it is absolutely disgusting. I abhor it.)

Five completely random things I've been thinking about and would perhaps like to blog about in the near future, taken from recent notes in my paper notebook (yes, I actually carry a paper notebook sometimes. I'm not all blog.):
5. "After the first glass you see things as you wish they were. After the second you see things as they are not. Finally you see things as they really are, and that is the most horrible thing in the world." - Oscar Wilde on absinthe.

I recently saw a story on BBC news about Dessau, Germany. Apparently it is the possible building site for a pyramid. That's right, a pyramid. Like the ones in Egypt. Like the ancient Egyptian pyramids, it would also hold human remains. The cremated ashes of people would be contained in each stone and it would be build over years. (However, I imagine strong interest in the project would speed up building time considerably). You can reserve stones for when you die. Weird.

While reading The God Delusion I read about physical (P; what something does, following the laws of physics), design (D; what something is designed to do, may go against natural laws of physics), and intentional (I; what something wants to do) stances of things (beings). The intentional stance (recognition and adherence) saves time and is vital to survival, according to Dawkins, though sometimes we impute intentions when there actually are none (on a computer, car, for instance). These stances generally seem to function in the higher order manner of I-->D-->P. The interesting "problem" I see with the intentional stance is that it seems that it almost necessarily leads to dualism. It seems this way because if monism ruled there could only be a physical and design stance. But then, this leads me to continued ponderance (made that word up) of the concept of free will and the illusion of free will...

Craic vs. Hygge vs. Gezzelig.

1. Hypochondria and Socialized Healthcare... my thoughts on this hypothetical scenario.

One thing that's bugging me today:
1. My tights got mysteriously snagged on something underneath my desk. It's the tights monster.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Mr. I-Change-My-Rap-Name-Practically-Every-Fortnight (c'mon, you know who I mean...) vs. The Late, Great TUPAC SHAKUR

I heard mention of this on the radio when I was driving on the wrong side of the road and car in Ireland this past week. For obvious reasons (seriously, driving on the right side of the car, on the left side of the road is surprisingly mentally taxing), I couldn't listen too closely. I Googled for recent news on the Tupac Shooting Scandal and found this...

God, I fucking knew it. I've been saying it for years, most commonly whenever I hear the Tupac-Biggie collaboration Living to Die:,0,4451053.story

An excerpt (bold mine):
It was a portentous moment in hip-hop -- the start of a bicoastal war that would culminate years later in the killings of Shakur and rap's other leading star, Christopher Wallace, better known as the Notorious B.I.G.

The ambush at the Quad remains a source of fascination and frustration to music fans and law enforcement officials alike. No one has ever been charged in the attack.

Now, newly discovered information, including interviews with people who were at the studio that night, lends credence to Shakur's insistence that associates of rap impresario Sean "Diddy" Combs were behind the assault. Their alleged motives: to punish Shakur for disrespecting them and rejecting their business overtures and, not incidentally, to curry favor with Combs.

The information focuses on two New York hip-hop figures -- talent manager James "Jimmy Henchman" Rosemond and promoter James Sabatino, who is now in prison for unrelated crimes.

FBI records obtained recently by The Times say that a confidential informant told authorities in 2002 that Rosemond and Sabatino "set up the rapper Tupac Shakur to get shot at Quad Studios." The informant said Sabatino had told him that Shakur "had to be dealt with."

R.I.P. Notorious B.I.G. Tupac, I'll see you 'round College Park. (Maryland, not Georgia.)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

So SaRadar

Things that have interested me recently:

1. According to DCist, Amsterdam Falafel in Adams Morgan now accepts Euros! This is strange and interesting to me. It's incredibly strange that a falafel join in D.C. accepts Euros, considering they aren't even accepted in all the countries of the EU! It's interesting though, economically. I wonder how many people they can scam into buying their falafels in Euros, in turn running away with the (currently excellent) exchange rate? At any rate, it's an appealing way to get rid of foreign currency that you forgot to spend in duty free or buying booze on the plane over international waters.

p.s. Billy's Antiques on East Houston Street in Manhattan accepts Euros, Canadian Dollars, Great British Pounds, and regular old U.S. dollars.

2. The Vatican lists seven new deadly sins, here and here. The new deadly sins include: 'bioethical' violations (such as birth control), 'morally dubious' experiments (such as stem cell research), drug abuse, polluting the environment, contributing to widening divide between rich and poor, excessive wealth, and creating poverty. In addition to the regular, traditional seven deadly sins (pride, envy, gluttony, lust, anger, greed and sloth), we probably all commit at least one of them regularly. Our souls are all doomed. Bishop Gianfranco Girotti, head of the Apostolic Penitentiary, the Vatican body which oversees confessions and plenary indulgences, said that

“You offend God not only by stealing, blaspheming or coveting your neighbor’s wife, but also by ruining the environment, carrying out morally debatable scientific experiments, or allowing genetic manipulations which alter DNA or compromise embryos.”

Oh really? That offends God? Having just finished reading The God Delusion, I can only wonder what Dawkins has to say about all this. I'm guessing a forum debate will likely ensue.

3. University of California at Berkeley's Research on Color and Language would probably interest Wittgenstein. Researcher Paul Kay aims to determine if babies, who have not yet developed language skills, process color recognition using the left of right hemisphere of their brains. It has been proven that adults use the left, but this is also the hemisphere most of us use to process language. It seems Kay is essentially trying to answer a Euthyphronic question scientists and philosophers have been toying with for years: 'Is something red because we say it is, or do we say it's red because it actually is?' I think speculations about color, perception, etc. in ourselves in relation to other people is fascinating.

4. LAist and Satan's Ice Cream Truck. Listen to the freaky sound clip.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Weird things

Today was a strange day. I've decided to document the strangeness in my blog so I can look back and laugh at it later.

(I am also bored, waiting for water to boil so I can whip up a culinary masterpiece for dinner. Okay, maybe not a culinary masterpiece. You got me on that one... But, at the very least, something edible. Point being, to use a common colloquialism, a watched pot never boils. Better to blog instead. That crazy pot will be boiling before you know it!)

Anyway, today started off like any normal day. I woke up, took a shower, ate breakfast and drank a huge cup of coffee so that I would have a head start on my daily caffeine intake and not have to subject myself solely to the disgusting coffee we brew at work. I went to work, responded to a few emails, updated the website, wrote Mike a long email, read through my RSS feed, and knocked back a cup of gross work coffee. The Asian man that delivers fruit on Mondays and Wednesdays arrived around 11 and we chatted for a bit. He's going on vacation to Hungary soon. Apparently he has family there. I told him about my upcoming vacation to Ireland and how I'm a bit nervous about driving on the left side of the road. He told me he has only been driving for a year AND he drives in Copenhagen, where the threat of hitting a wary, self-righteous, or just plain dumb cyclist is constantly imminent. His magi-like Asian wisdom, along with a delicious apple from the crates of fruit he brought, gave me confidence and hope. I'll be okay in Ireland.

Since I had, in actuality, just been waiting around at work all morning for the fruit to arrive, my work in the office was done for the day. Around 1pm I left the office for the rest of the day to go on an "adventure" to the suburbs of Copenhagen to hang up fliers and posters and such advertising for people to become a host family or roommate for our students. Today was gorgeous, and warm! I pedaled off to the suburbs, excited to be out of the office on such a nice day.

Once I was in the suburbs, I got the distinct Dorthy-esque feeling that I was not in Kansas any more... The 'burbs of Copenhagen are, in terms of retail opportunities, very different from the city. I guess it's this way in any city... I just haven't really been out in suburban areas for awhile, so I'd forgotten. On my way to grocery stores, malls, laundromats, etc. to hang up my signs, I saw stores with words in their names that are remarkably different from anything you ever see in cosmopolitan Copenhagen. Words like 'afro' and 'tattoo.' Hmmm... strange.

The next strange thing that happened at my journey happened because I decided to take a break from my biking to actually walk around one of the grocery stores in which I was hanging a flier. I chose Aldi Marked (which is a German discount grocery brand, but I'm pretty sure they have stores in America and I've definitely seen stores all over Europe) because I haven't been in one for a very long time. I don't think there are any in my area, so I decided to check out their selection, just for fun.

Aldi is mostly unremarkable, and actually quite ghetto. They don't have any name brand things. It's very strange. It's almost like going to a dollar store. One thing they did have though, which struck me as extraordinarily odd, was Trader Joe's brand prunes. WTF? How did Trader Joe's prunes (lots of cans of them! not just one odd one that could have been placed there as a joke) end up in the Danish suburbs? Strange.

On my way again, the next hour was unremarkable, spent tacking up fliers and, at the places that didn't have cork bulletin boards, being ghetto (and, ahem, resourceful!) and peeling bitsy bits of tape off other people's announcements to hang my own (note to self: next time bring tape. I only brought push pins this time around. But, in my defense, some people used what looked like half a roll of packing tape to hang up a piece of paper. Overkill!).

In a mall where I was dropping off some posters, I got distracted and bought 3 scented oils from The Body Shop (Satsuma, Exotic, and Sailboat, if you're curious), a box of Celestial Seasonings Peppermint Tea, and a couple of basic shirts and a 'spring scarf'' from H&M. Noticing that it was already 6pm and that there was no way I'd be "working" this late if I was still actually in the office, I saddled up on my bike again and headed for the gym.

Now, I like to think that I have become an excellent cyclist, since I bike nearly every day. I can do all sorts of tricks, including squeezing through tight spots (like between two trucks), doing a 'one-footed-oh-so-graceful' moving dismount, and I can bike with no hands for short, straight periods of time. Well, something happened today which made me doubt my skills. Taking off from a light, I somehow scratched my knee on the hook of my bike basket. Not only were my tights ripped and run, but I now had to ride the rest of the way to the gym while my knee was bleeding. Cool. Way to go, slick.

The gym was fine. Nothing really out of the ordinary, save for the normal people that annoy me there (which I elaborated on in a previous post). There was, though, one guy that made me chuckle. The sport of handball is really big in Denmark. It's probably second to soccer. This one guy walks past me while I am on the treadmill, wearing a black zip up workout jacket. Because I'm running and listening to music and have nothing really better to to except look around, I stare at the front of his jacket and see its for some handball team. Nothing special there. It was only when it got past my treadmill and I could read the back of his jacket that I laughed. On his jacket, where the player's name is usually printed, was what is presumably his handball nickname - The Hand of God. Excellent. I love it.

Okay, well gee. Long post. My water is totally boiling. Off to play Emeril Lagasse or whomever. Being away from America has made me really out of touch with current tv food personalities.

Hasta la vista.

The Burberry Game, Automatic Win!!

I have previously alluded to the fact that Burberry is taking over the world in my Adventures at the Airport post and, before that, in my Burberry & Denmark post.

I think I have also mentioned The Burberry Points game, though never fully explained it. The rules of the game are, simply and essentially, as follows:

1. If you see someone wearing Burberry novacheck, you can call points on the article of clothing. If someone else in your group has already spotted the Burberry and called the points, it cannot be called again. That person has been played.

2. Generally, you get 2 points for regular Burberry things, like scarves. For couples who are both wearing something Burberry, you get 5 points. You also get 5 points for 'rare' clothing with novacheck (skirts, ponchos, etc.), and pet clothing. Accessories, such as umbrellas and purses are generally worth 3 points.

3. Spotting someone wearing A Burberry Burkha (yes, you read that correctly) constitutes an automatic win.

4. Assuming no one spots a Burberry Burkha, the first person to reach to a pre-determined number (such as 50), wins.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Hillary Clinton Frats Hard

Was United States Democratic Party presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton ever in a sorority? It wasn't mentioned as far as I could tell from a quick Ctrl+f of her Wikipedia entry, but she's looking strikingly sorostitute at a campaign event on Sunday, March 2. I'm loving the sunkissed highlights, bright colors, and chunky necklace, though pearls are always the best choice, Hil. She would be fratting almighty if her outfit were rounded out with some reds from Murray's. Her and Bill have real estate in Nantucket, right? Regardless, her most fratccessory by far is definitely that iconic red solo cup. She's totally drinking Fratty Light and telling all those reporters that keg stands are nothing to be frowned upon. Our nation's youth needs more freedom. Lower drinking age, legal marijuana... There are worse things, people! Frat on, Hil.

So SaRadar

In effort to combat my emoness, I've decided to post some things that are currently on my radar and not twinged with the emo glow. Sure, doing actual work (I'm at work) might distract me from my emo state, but likely not, so I'm doing this instead. Plus, I'm salaried.

1. Copenhagen Cycle Chic on what it means to be a cyclist in Copenhagen. In Copenhagen, everyone cycles. It's not just a sport or a hobby for "enthusiasts" or a hippie method of commuting. We don't wear spandex or special cycling shoes. Hell, most of us don't even wear helmets!

2. Kate Spade Tarrytown Maria Clutch. $215. Comes in pink (shown), black, yellow, and orange. Boarskin leather, 14k light gold plated hardware, and SEERSUCKER lining!! Cute. I want.

3. Artomat Art Vending Machines. Artists from around the world contribute original works of are for these art machines made from retro-looking, converted cigarette machines (check them all out on the website). There are 82 locations around the United States, the one closest to me being at the Whole Foods in Tenley Town. The vend price is $5 and artists get $2.50. Pretty cool idea.

All Emo and Whatnot

Monday afternoon and I'm feeling pretty emo for a number of reasons I don't really want to go into here, mostly because I'm not quite sure who reads my blog. I'm apparently looking pretty emo too... about three minutes ago Lincoln poked his head into my office and told me I looked "deflated." Swell. To be brief, I dwell too much on things. I especially dwell on things from the past but I've also known my mind to wander to the present and future. People, places, experiences... dwell, dwell, dwell. Why can't I just get over things and move on with my life? Other people seem to be able to get over things and forget about them. Set it and forget it, Showtime Rotisserie style! (lame late-night infomercial reference) I, however, tend to analyze and reanalyze things to a point of overanalysis, become frustrated and force myself to put whatever it is on the back burner of my mind for a bit, only to eventually have something trigger it back into my consciousness, restarting the cycle. I hate it. I also don't know how to fix this problem or stop the cycle. Maybe I'll be emo forever. Man, that would suck. But yeah, it's a down slide kinda day and the fact that it's currently sleeting outside isn't helping. :(