Saturday, November 29, 2008

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Home: Day 1

I'm in St. Paul, Minnesota for the next 7 days. Woohoo!! Time to eat my weight in mint M&Ms and awkwardly converse with elementary school classmates of yore.  Inspired by my friend Jenn's Celebration of Silence project, I decided to do my own photo essay.  7 days at home, 7 images that mean "home" to me.  Happy holidays!


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

SC247's Siren Call

Confession: I haven't been to Scrabble Club 247 in over a month.  

The truth is, while I love a competitive word game as much as the next girl, I just can't muster up the energy or mental dexterity to play Scrabble for FOUR HOURS every Wednesday night.  Especially since I spend the 8 hours before that wrangling rug rats.  I'd get to SC247 and start spelling out animal noises.  What does a cow say? That's 'MOO' for 8 points, Gloria! Suck it!

So I haven't been going.  However, I haven't completely given up on SC247, and I'm happy to say that SC247 hasn't completely given up on me.  Just last week a fellow Scrabble-r invited me to go to a Jeopardy-watching party.  The e-mailed invitation hinted that "spontaneous Scrabble might break out afterward."  Then, today, I received the following e-mail from one of the club's founders.  Note the rampant sarcasm and intellectual disdain ... SC247 might be my kind of club after all.

Big break through!  Watch our club average score levitate soon!

The information in this Utube clip will certainly revolutionize club play across the United States and Canada.
Luckily, I found it before the other scrabble clubs have come across way will Minnesota dominate Wisconsin evr again once our Club 247 players see the secrets this scrabble genius has unlocked here!  Swallow your pride, John O.... this guy
should write scrabble books!

Click on the link below.... and be ready for the jaw dropping conclusion!


Scrabble shit talking!  I love it!


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Avenue Q

Sunday night ended with me leaning against a bar, drinking a beer and discussing the intricacies of breast augmentation with a drag queen named Veronica Cummings.

 The evening began much more innocently.  My sister K just turned 20, so B, K, and I celebrated by getting tickets to Avenue Q.  The show was so great!!  If Rent and Sesame Street were to meet and make sweet sweet love, Avenue Q would be their slightly off kilter progeny.  The musical stars puppets and live actors, and features such classic songs as "The Internet is for Porn," "It Sucks to Be Me," and, my personal favorite, "What Do You Do With a B.A. in English?" 

 The story follows Princeton, a recent college graduate, as he navigates his introduction to the “real world.”  We witness the na├»ve young puppet deal with issues common to many in their mid-twenties; the pain of crushed hopes and dreams, the pros and cons of casual sex, and the bitter shame of having to borrow rent money from your parents because it turns out your English degree only comes in handy when you can no longer afford toilet paper.  Tell it like it is, Princeton, tell it like it is.

Before the show started I ran into S and J, two people I recently met here in Madison.  S is the cousin of a good friend of mine.  A few weeks ago we got set up on a blind-friend-date, an event comparable to a blind-date in that it was complete with multiple wardrobe changes and palm sweat (at least on my end).  S brought her roommate J along when we met for drinks, and the three of us had a great time.  It turns out that J knew somebody that knew somebody that knew the cast of Avenue Q, so they invited me to go out for drinks with everyone after the show.  The practical, Miss Marie side of me said you're exhausted already and you have to work tomorrow and you're not particularly socially adept even at the best of times so don't go and be all awkward.  Party Marie told me to shut the hell up and say yes because it's not everyday that I get the chance to steal a fancy puppet.  So I agreed to go.

Let us sidetrack for a moment here to ponder the wonderful things that can come from saying yes.  I've made it a practice in my adult life to say yes as much as possible, especially to things that are outside of my comfort zone.  Want to sing karaoke? Yes. Want to be a part of this anti-war dance? Yes. Want to move to Australia without a job and no money and nowhere to live? Yes yes yes.  I've made it a practice to say yes when I can and then see where it gets me ... and while nobody ever again needs to hear me try to turn "Papa Loved Mama" into a ballad, "yes" has gotten me to some pretty great places.  

On Sunday it got me to Club 5, Madison's premier gay dance club.  While fog machines churned and disco balls spun, I learned the minutiae of puppetry from none other than Robert McClure, the actor behind Princeton's angst-filled journey.  He told us about puppet-camp, where stage actors were trained in the art of puppet manipulation.  "You'd figure the first step is opening their mouths so that it looks like they're talking," he said of the puppets.  "It's not!  The first step is drawing the puppet back, so that it looks like it's inhaling before it speaks ... there are millions of mannerisms to learn before you even get to talking."  

I learned puppeteering tips from Robert McClure, I drank Pepto-Bismol colored drinks with new friends, I danced to techno-remixes of old Cher hits ... I even got a high five from Lexy Fridell for a well timed Mariah Carey joke.  I had a weirdly wonderful time.

The night ended with me leaning against a bar, drinking a beer and discussing the intricacies of breast augmentation with a drag queen named Veronica Cummings.  "I want mine to look exactly like yours," she said.  "Can I feel them so that I know what consistency I'm going for?"

That, dear readers, is when I explored the benefits of saying "no."


Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Big Reveal

Here are Dad's costume concepts ... the excitement is palpable!!!

1) Chick Flick
2) Canada
3) Peninsula
4) Annapolis



Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Last night B and I watched the elections results roll in from the comfort of our living room.  Rather than join the throngs of Madisonians celebrating in the streets, we camped out with some chinese food and a bottle of tequila.  We planned to take a shot every time Obama won a swing state.  The idea was that if Obama won we would be deliriously drunk and happy, and if he lost we'd be sober enough to make the 10 hour drive to Canada.  We abandoned that plan after Obama took the New England states so quickly; there's a fine line between tipsy jubilation and passing out before the victory speech.  

ABC was our station of choice for election coverage, both because that was what was on when we powered up the TV, and because my secret shame is that I think George Stephanopolous is a hottie.  The absolute joy and hope that I felt last night as I watched America elect Barak Obama as our next president in no way affected my ability to be snarky and judgmental with regard to the election coverage.  Though I enjoyed every flip of George's feathery hair, ABC let me with a few questions and comments ...

1) Why did Diane Sawyer stand up and walk around the studio every time the camera was on her?  Was she the only anchor who had pressing questions for the analysts? Was ABC using Diane Sawyer's sexy legs to boost their election night ratings?  If so, well played ABC, well played.

2)  Who the hell was in charge of making sure that the remote microphones worked?  Fire that guy. 

3) Thank you, John Berman, for your brilliant and succinct commentary.  "Iowa ... is a state."

4) Did anyone else hear Oprah making fun of crackheads?!?! "We will even take the drug addicts' vote."  Okay Oprah!  It's an exciting night, go on with your bad self and let the facade crumble!

5) Who told Sam Donaldson to play fast and loose with the metaphors?  
Sam: It isn't over until the fat lady sings ... 
*awkward pause*
Sam: Or until anyone ... sings ... anyone of any ... svelte ...
*music swells, ABC cuts to logo*
Later he started babbling about Jimmy Carter and vinegar with "sugar mixed into it."  His co-commentator just pursed his lips and looked embarrassed.

6) What freaking 9% of people thought that our economy was going in the right direction under the previous administration?  Who are you people?!?!? WHERE are you people?!?! I have some questions I need to ask, plus I need to borrow a few bucks.

That being said, I am so, so proud to have participated in the process that resulted in Barak Obama's election.  I am proud, I am hopeful, I am joyful, I am moved to tears by the promise that this man brings to our nation.  God bless.

Living in hope,

Sunday, November 2, 2008


Rather than dish out $50 for a slutty skeleton costume, I decided I would spend ZERO, count them, zero dollars this year and compile a costume from items in my closet and any cardboard B could scrounge up from Target.  I would like to dedicate the resulting magnificence to my mom, who once crafted a She-Ra crown for me out of rubber bands, cardboard, glitter and paste-on-jewels.  I loved that crown.

My Halloween, as usual, was two-fold in that I needed a costume for preschool, as well as one that I actually wanted to wear.  My preschool-appropriate butterfly actually came out pretty well ... I maintain that teachers of young children could change the world given enough cardboard, feathers and unfettered access to a hot glue gun.  I may have been a bit overzealous in my costume construction; by the time I finished my freaking wings it was 1:00 am and I had feather tufts spray glued to my face.  

For my non-work costume, I wanted to do something that reflected certain aspects of my personality, namely my totally lame sense of humor.  Last year I thought tying a pair of Doc Martens around my neck and going as a "pair-a-docs" would be the epitome of hilarity; that gives you a fair idea of what I was aiming for.  After B caught me perusing a website devoted to "Punny Costumes" and vowed he would never let me live it down, I decided to seek advice from our family's most consistent (if not constant) source of word-play.  Yes, I unleashed the beast and asked my dad to come up with some costumes.  Below are the illustrations of his ideas; they came in the mail yesterday.  I understood #1 and #2, but I couldn't figure out what the hell #3 was supposed to be.  B got it right away, much to his horror ... we have endless family arguments about who is going to inherit Dad's sense of humor.  I almost didn't post #4 because I think it's a new low, even for Dad.  I had to call him and beg him to explain, and even then I didn't really get it.  Any guesses? 

#1)  #2)

#3) #4)

I didn't use any of Dad's costume ideas due to budget and time constraints (how was I supposed to construct that pen-in-book contraption?), but I appreciated the effort.  I ended up going as "Not-invited,"  a costume that was cheap, semi-funny, and had the additional bonus of being easy to remove for baby-snuggling and beer drinking.  Happy Halloween!