Thursday, February 28, 2008

Lookin' for LOLKiddens on the Internets using the Googles

Henry was in Baltimore Tuesday night on another leg of his spoken-word tour. I live in Baltimore. I bought tickets. I went with a friend this time, sparing Winifred from his stories, and as Henry explained the process it took for him to visit Syria, he said, "...So I got on my Internets," and a small tremor of laughter traveled through the crowd. Well, I know it's not really said like that, he explained, delving into how Internet is a singular word, but Bush, well, Bush adds an "s" to the word and Henry thinks that's "just so cute" that as a tribute to Bush he has joined the fray and says "Internets," too. And whenever Henry said "Internets" he giggled, just the tiniest bit. Then, just for fun he said, "Googles" and whenever I hear "the 'net" or "Internet," I hear Henry Rollins giggling, "I got on my Internets and used the Googles."
Really, you've got to have a sense of humor, or the next 10 months will pass excruciatingly slow.
ANYWAY here is a semi-relevant e-mail. About words.

Hello Girls,

One would think that a presidential candidate who has a degree from Harvard, who is widely touted as being very intelligent, and has several debates already under his belt, would be able to properly enunciate the word, "Clinton". A five year old girl pronouncing "kiddens" is one thing, the deliberate enunciation of "Clinnon" is extremely irritating.

Love, MOM

I'm the one who wasn't about to say "kittens." I'm better now.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

I See

The entire body of an e-mail sent last night:

There are two very appropriate uses of the word moist. One is as is moist ocean air, the other as in the moist crumb of the cake.

Love, MOM

I'm not sure what prompted this, but I can confirm that for a time, Biscuit and I were mildly obsessed with the word "moist" and how gross it sounds.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

It's ON!

My Aunt, who the sisters, my roommate, and I, refer to as "Aunt Ina," is a warm, gentle woman who had been providing her co-workers with cookies. The moniker is occasionally confusing as The Real Ina may be on at any given time, and finding her on Food TV often results in Biscuit proclaiming excitedly, "Aunt Ina's On!" and though I know she means Garten I sometimes think about my Aunt, living in Middle America Where Cookies Are Not Appreciated.

I worked for Target one summer, stocking the shelves with toys and sports equipment during the day. This has been my only job that included a break room, but if one of the women I worked with had made a plate of cookies and left it out during the day, she would have returned the next morning and found it covered in thank you notes; cards from the store, cards from Hallmark, and scraps of napkins inscribed with sonnets would cover the plate. I know what you're thinking. You think that the 1,000+ Target employees weren't used to hospitality. HA! Once a week, and usually more, the management team shared goodies. Often the overnight team was plied with pizza and goodies, and more often than not, the overnight team made an effort to leave the morning employees more than stale remnants. We were spoiled with surprise presents in the form of liter bottles of soda, fresh veggies, and warm cookies. Still, we loved it, it made our day, and homemade cookies would have changed the efficiency of our perfect store tenfold.

These people are fools. Just look at what they did! In an e-mail she sent last week (personal details have been omitted):

Okay, I am giving up taking cookies to work. we brought in desserts today for Valentine's. I brought in a container of my delicious heart shaped sugar cookies with cinnamon hots on them. Other desserts included pumpkin cake, cherry pie, red jigglers, berry lemon bars, Rice Krispie treats, large decorated chocolate. chip cookie from the store and a package of fat sugar cookies from marsh that iced with red sprinkles. People raved about those cookies! "Oh, I love these cookies!" and "These are my favorite!" About 3 people asked who made the heart sugar cookies and I said "I did. Have one, I make good sugar cookies." I did not count them but I don't think any were eaten, if so, only a couple. Bought those too thick cookies from Marsh were a hit! All the desserts were left for tomorrow so I'll see if any disappear tomorrow. I would have brought them home because I have eaten all the ones I kept here, but who knows who touched them and how clean their hands were. I didn't want to bring them back in the home. I have made oatmeal cookies, oatmeal rolled cookies, p.b.cookies, and now sugar cookies, and have not been met with the reception I would like, so I am done baking cookies for that office. My p.b. cookies are also extremely tasty but it seems that people like store boughten ones or choc. chip. I do not usually share choc. chip as when I make them I make dough balls and freeze them and make only 4 at a time.

I've had her peanut butter cookies. They are amazing. I mean, the nerve of some people. This e-mail was preceded by others, all detailing the process and selection of which cookies to bring. Aunt Ina was also responsible for organizing this sordid holiday affair, and supplied party supplies out-of-pocket. I say, remove the pink napkins from the whole lot of 'em! She also put a lot of detail and thought into getting and arranging platters, which I think further proves her personality likeness to Garten. A woman who will arrange a meat tray is a woman who can plan. I am not a woman who can arrange a meat tray.

All of this talk about cookies makes me hungry. Winifred was here on Saturday because she missed me, I think? And she brought cookies, which are pictured above with a bottle of Bubble Up, which she shared. We don't have Bubble Up in Baltimore, and Aunt Ina sent a private reserve to her sister for Valentine's Day. I was hoping to expound on the weekend days ago but I think that will wait until tomorrow. Thankfully the oatmeal and fizz has gotten me this far!

Oh! Lest my real job stumble over here, I should add that there are often days where people crowd around the table and fill themselves on food. One day, a day I was called in, my friend and I brought lunch to find out that there was lunch downstairs! We waited for the crowds to go before us as we are terribly awkward and nervous people, and then our supervisor urged us to go now before it was too late. We ambled to the kitchen downstairs where a giant turkey and ham were joined by homemade mac and cheese, vegetables, cookies, fresh baked rolls, and fudge cake so obscenely large that only Ms. Trunchbull would dare conquer (though someone must have, it was almost all gone). We arrived maybe ten minutes after the lunch announcement and as we hemmed and hawed the office ladies hovered so they could reclaim their wares. Previously, one day in the summer, everyone gathered outside to eat fried chicken and picnic fare just because it was summer. I'll make sure Aunt Ina's lousy co-workers never darken my workplace doors.

I'm going to bed, disgusted. If I move to Middle America I'll think twice before sharing my Jell-O salad.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Last night's politically themed e-mail, minus two paragraphs about colored sugar and sugar cookies.

Hello Girls,

Captain, I keep forgetting to tell you that there is a new character on Friday Night Lights--for the last 3 weeks. It is LOGAN, from the Gilmore Girls. He is the same creep, with the same, I want to smack the grin off your face, smile he had for the Gilmores. He plays a Christian with a radio talk show. Has a rich ranching family. Ish.

Captain, don't forget this Tuesday you will, for the first time in your life, be able to vote for a woman for President. This may be your first presidential election, and you are young, but voting for a woman is HUGE, and a right for which women have fought for FOREVER. Think of your grandmothers, who of course never voted in Russia, taking their grandchildren out of class into the voting booth with them. I can only assume they would have been delighted to pull the lever for a female. I pray this golden opportunity will not be your last. Dress properly.

Democratically Yours, MOM

P.S. Suckabee was just on the newscast. Dad: "He looks crazy. Look at his eyes." He looks CRAZY." (Let me point out how many idiots say how "down home" he looks!) You have to love your Dad's ability to cut right through the crap with a perfect one liner.

Some personal details from her day were cut out of this re-posting. They were irrelevant to this post, so I think you'll understand.

Friday Night Lights is irrelevant too, except that I HATED Logan. He was condescending in the way he treated Rory, always calling her "Ace" but never really believing she was capable of being anything but his sidekick. In the end, I was right, he wanted her to give up most of her dreams and settle in California; at one point he argued there was a writing job somewhere near him, even if it wasn't what she had worked so hard for. He bargained with an avocado tree, and while I can agree that picking and eating avocados in my backyard sounds like a dream come true, never at the expense of my individual freedom, jerkface. I was always on Team Jess anyway. Partially because I'm defensive about the boy I dated when I was sixteen, who had a lot in common with Jess (except in the end we broke up because he was dumb and not "bad") but ultimately because, hello, he's smart, nice, makes his own living, and writes a zine. (The final ending though, free and single, is still preferred in the Stars Hollow Universe.) Matt Czurchry is cute but he's forever tainted as playing Logan Huntzberger.

Oh, and for those wondering, this is my second election. I voted for Kucinich in my first primary and Dean Kerry in my first Presidential election. Not that you're surprised.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

This is a Post That Isn't About Politics

By popular demand I am hear to talk about Lent. Huzzah, it's time to buckle down and fast by giving up something for six days, reveling in the sin every now and then to feel guilty about relenting, guaranteed pizza once a week, plus at much gloating as possible. I mean suffering piously! I'm sorry, do I sound sarcastic? That's because I went to Catholic School.
So did my parents, who instigated this family-wide weeklong discussion about today's day of fasting suffering, Ash Wednesday.
Ina (if I may identify her commentary), wondered what we think about the regime of Ashes, going to work as a marked person.
The King was raised to believe, Winifred says, "That is the point--you are supposed to be marked, proud to be a Catholic, and go out to convert others."
I think that's total crap. First, I was only ashed in the presence of 400 other blackened foreheads. Second, Catholics are
so not into conversion. Or, my Catholic upbringing wasn't. Ashes were about who was the Most Catholic. Outside in public, it made me a marked girl. I was already wearing a uniform though, so really, at that point the stares weren't noticed anymore.
Let me tell you about my version of Lent: First, everyone in school had an ashed forehead after the school wide mass. Inevitably my small forehead was ashed by the priest with the biggest thumbs, smearing a thumb print from one end to the other, covering my skin in ash.
Sacred ash. I spent most of the nineties with fringer that covered my head and tickled my eyelashes and as a result, was targeted during pre-scheduled bathroom breaks as "hiding God." I was also a smudgy fidgety kid and, wouldn't you know, 3/4 through the sermon I really needed to itch my forehead? And get black dust all over the pew? Sorry Jesus, but my forehead itched! Talking about it makes my hairline itch.
Scratch scratch scratch. Oh, that feels good!
By recess, laps around the asphalt kickball field meant that my ashes had slowly disappeared, as had the most athletic and/or dedicated boys. Of course, they were
so pious, but I was still asked, didn't I believe? It's a sin you know, to wipe off your ashes. It's like wiping off Jesus. Ew, can you believe a nine year-old would say that? Like I really want to think that Jesus is in the cinders on my face.
In the excruciating weeks leading to Lent in third grade we went around the room and announced what we wanted to "give up" for Lent. We were told that we would give up something
important to demonstrate our Love for Jesus who spent 40 days and 40 nights in the desert without water or food, deep in prayer, or, in fisticuffs with Satan. Satan does a lot of third-grade style taunting, suspiciously similar to my pious classmates, and Jesus, you know, doesn't give in and stuff. This month of waterless fasting in the desert is never mentioned in his List O' Miracles, which is unfair. I mean the guy didn't die from dehydration. How long will I make it in the desert without H20? Maybe Jesus drank his own...nevermind.
So. All 25 of us announced our intentions. Chocolate, candy, pizza (this elicits gasps, as pizza is Friday's lunch in the cafeteria
and dinner at home as it is a meatless entity that can be consumed and enjoyed when land based meat is forbidden). Eventually a smartass announced brussel sprouts or homework and we collectively suffer through a lecture about how this is not a way out of something but a way to suffer for Jesus, and we all suffer for someone else's sin.
I spent seven years in the front of the class where I was forcibly placed with the most talkative and simultaneously least motivated student, going last in these "discussions."
"I'm going to do something nice," I announced fearlessly, "instead of giving up something easy." This does not go over well with a former nun. It does not go over well in second grade with the almost nun, and years later, still falls into a dangerous category. I am breaking the rules! I am a thinker! No wonder I declared myself an anarchist in eighth grade.
"It doesn't work that way," I'm told one year, "You have to give up something. For Jesus." I argue that my mom says it's okay, and isn't this a more positive thing to do? Looking back that was
very Lisa Simpson. Because we have an endless amount of weeks to consider, this continues until the teacher relents. Meanwhile, one of those athletic boys says, "I'm going to be nicer to my little brother. He looks up to me and sometimes I think it's annoying." Do you know what happens? Everyone think this is so nice. He basks in fake piety and he begins to glow in the praise that is showered. He becomes a hero.
In high school I am best friends with one of those people I have to sit next to in the front row. For many years she gives up "soda," distinguishing diet/caffeine free, root beer, and orange from Coca-Cola and Mr. Pibb. She suffers vocally, constantly, while I use my spare change on Fridays to buy a Cherry Coca-Cola every Friday when we talk around the corner for pretzels to celebrate the weekend. In high school she suddenly changes from soda to Ketchup because, "she needs it on fries." She is loud and raucous about this, convincing that the more we know, the more she is redeemed in the eyes of God. My senior year she tells her boyfriend that she is giving up sex to instigate a fight. He is Jewish and disturbingly devoted. She misses her morning classes on Ash Wednesday to go to Church and when she arrives during lunch, she is gloating, puffing her chest, making conversation about her ashed head. (Later, she accuses me of lacking integrity for not missing spanish and math to go to class. I tell her that mass starts at 6 and she didn't need to miss class.) When she meets the lunch table the sexually active girls are dying to know what her boyfriend, in a high school forty minutes away, thought. They met in the parking lot for a rendezvous between classes.
She's angry. He said, "That's okay. I respect your religion." This infuriated her so she punched him in the shoulder sand said, "You're supposed to be angry!" He didn't understand, and she confessed that she just wanted him to get mad. This hurt his feelings and he sulked the rest of the night. The irony, that she is an Awesome Catholic, but engaged in an absurd amount of premarital sex, is lost on her. I stop giving up serious things that year, realizing nothing will top TV in eighth grade, that there's no effort needed anymore in doing nice things, that doing nice things for Lent obscures doing nice things
because it's the right thing to do.
In college, Charlotte suggested I give up really outrageous things. Biscuit and I considered the following: knives, pre-marital sex, smack, words ending in [letter], studying. Nothing beats the year Charlotte gave up utensils, so we stick with smack. It's counterproductive because we never used smack anyway.
This year I thought I'd convince people into sinning. I tried to convince Winifred into brewing beer, as it is a male dominated business, but she doesn't drink beer and is uninterested. On campus I saw one forehead, and she looked bored. She was bored because she was going to class.

Here is what Charlotte had to say, with more clarity and less words:
I try to respect the idea that leaving the ashes on one's forehead is a way of a) showing deference to the sanctity of the ashes themselves and/or b) a way of keeping one's thoughts centered on the meaning of Ash Wednesday throughout the day. However, I cannot shake my irriation with smug people who sport the ashes to show just how observant they are. Having read about many a saint, I always thought that one should examine oneself for scrupulosity. I'm pretty sure that Jesus told people to fast in private.
I am of course uncomfortable with evangelism. Where is the difference between showing pride in belonging to a group and letting other people know that they are not part of it?
I do think that it is all too fitting that a nun would think that a good way to bring people into the faith is to tell them that we all must remember that we will return to ashes.
Way to pull people in with misery. Wouldn't the pancakes or donuts be a better sell? God created pleasure here on earth -- it's yours to enjoy before you turn to dust? And while you're at it, maybe you should share your pancakes with someone else who may not have any, because she's on her way to dust herself?

My grandmother is the most obedient and devout Catholic I've ever known. She and my grandfather are not ones to bend the rules, but that doesn't mean that she wasn't quick to remind me that the rules can be bent. Out with my friends at the skating rink Friday night and accidentally ate a hot dog? Eat a chicken nugget at a friend's house? Pick another day and go without. It's a system of check and balances from the most devout woman to grace the planet. Take that, third grade!

Finally, this is what Winifred had to say this evening. She said it was unpromted, so I'm thinking whenever she thought, "Wow I could go for a piece of chocolate between meals," she prayed for strength so as not to break the fast between lunch and processed fish square from McDs, to show reverence for Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, Amen. (I just ate three Hershey kisses! They melted all over my molars.):
Hello Girls,
Here's the deal: If Easter is the very highest, most important holy day of the year--and it is in the Catholic church, then Lent, the preparation time for Easter, ought to be a joyous time. Perhaps one can reflect in a joyous atmosphere.
Love, MOM

Happy Lent, Ya'll! Have a good time suffering. If you need me, I'll be over here, snacking between meals and eating meat by the pound seven days a week.

Thank God, the Wait is Over

E. Asselbeck has "returned," or at least appeared again, on The View. While her involvement is mentally devastating to 98% the world's women containing a functioning brain, I managed to live in happiness while she co-hosted these last few weeks. I floated in a simple, uncomplicated life, unknowing that she has returned to her stomping grounds of oppression.
What's more devastating is that I didn't know until I saw her in a clip on The Soup (I was serious about round-ups and countdowns people). I've been dormant, waiting for Winifred to reference Asselbeck or at the very least, Sherri Shepherd's infuriating lack of knowledge (first the world was flat, now we elect a new president every year). Winifred hasn't commented about Shepherd, probably just so I can stew some more, but has finally opened up, albeit briefly, about Asselbeck:

Obviously Senator Clinton won the state of New York without Asselbeck's vote. When Asselbeck went to the polls to vote this morning, she was given a Democratic ballot. She got to the booth, realized there were no names on it for her to vote for, and had to go back to the desk. She was peeved. I was amused. You'd think she'd take it as a sign.
Love, MOM

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


I’m a woman who loves a good list: making lists, reading lists, Top Tens, Best Ofs, Clipdowns, Countdowns, 50 Reasons Why, and a glossary overview of [property or principle] sets my heart aflutter. As such, I’m liable to tune in to Countdown with Keith Olberman on a Friday night whipping up the brownies and my nightly routine is not crawling under the covers with a book and a soothing stereo, but the remote and my buddies John and Steven.
John and Steven alleviate the nightmares Keith has implanted while angrily reciting the day’s news. I didn’t watch Keith last night because the local news is already too devastating (babies over bridges and homicidal teens) to know just what exactly Bush did today. I’ll catch up later tonight, and then I’ll come down from the anxiety with irrelevance.

The WGA strike has been devastating; before the writers stood up for themselves (FYI: I’m totally behind them, gooo writers!) I had set a schedule for myself at night revolving around a talking dead girl and Nate Fisher The Lawyer. This is monumental as I spent almost an entire academic year devoted to reality television in the interest of college journalism. I was once bereft without Stewart and Colbert but today I feel empty and used from their comedic tactics.

And here’s why: Colbert was engaged in a playful feud with late-night host Conan O’Brien. Colbert was promised that if #$%uckabee won the primaries he could serve as Vice President. Colbert believes he “made #$%uckabee,” while ‘O Brien claims that because Chuck Norris with his Walker Texas Ranger pull, thus making Colbert, so Stewart steps in and says no, He made O’Brien, and finally O’Brien says that’s it, we’re going to fight. Fisticuffs! This brings me much joy. So much joy that I stay awake to watch Late Night with Conan because the fisticuffs don’t come out on Comedy Central.
And then I realize I’ve been betraying The Good Word of Winifred because this is all over #$%uckabee! #$%uckabee interrupts the fight claming—wait, is there anything in your mouth right now? Juice? Animal cracker dust? Pasta maybe? Swallow.—that this great nation made him. Hold on while I find a barf bucket. Feeling nauseated I turn off the television and go to sleep, hoping the world will spin a little slower.
I was already feeling bad about my accidental betrayal, until I realized that today is Super Tuesday (Maryland votes next week, so while I was paying attention to politics it hadn’t quite clicked.) when I sat down in front of a bigscreen TV tuned to CNN’s all-day-all-night-all-the-time-with-Anderson-Cooper SUPER TUESDAY COVERAGE. Oh, God, I felt sick. Not only had I betrayed my beliefs in the name of humor, but I’ve been played. The fight was staged the night before Super Tuesday. For votes!

My head is so heavy, the pain so excruciating, that I need both hands to hold it up. Typing this, you may imagine, a grievous task. I’m in a sea of sadness. I am bereft. I am drowning in waves of doomful regret.

COMING SOON: It’s Fat Tuesday, Let the Sinning Begin!; Ash Wednesday; Reasons Why Ina Garten Reminds Me of My Aunt or Reasons Why Even Biscuit Calls Ina Garten “Aunt Ina.”

Sunday, February 3, 2008

I Hope You're In Your Sunday Best

Because once you read this e-mail you can skip church, Amen, and go to brunch.

Sent last night to her lovely daughters:

Hi Girls,
Ina claims that whenever she brings in cookies to work--or has brought them in, no one likes them. This is the case of classic family cookies, such as the rolled oatmeal cookies. So she stopped. This week she cleaned out her freezer and found a Nestles brownie breakup. She baked them and put them in the kitchen there. Someone asked her who made them. She replied--boldfaced--"I have no idea." The nurse said, "They are delicious." I teased her for lying as she so rarely lies. Then I asked her if she had told Grandpa that her hospital has golf cart type vehicles to transport patients etc. She went to the hospital pharmacy to pick up a prescription and an old man, a volunteer like Gramps, told her to hop in. She said she could not tell him because he does not know she has a prescription--blood pressure. I said she had to because he would love to have such a cart at his hospital. So she said, "Well, I guess I could rearrange the details." !!!!! So none of you have to lie again--just rearrange the details.
Love, MOM

The point here, said the Word of Winifred, is to rearrange the details. My Aunt, whose real name isn't Ina, doesn't lie. I'm still shocked that an office would be so unappreciative, because not only does Aunt Ina remind me of Ina Garten, but she does make tasty baked goods. That's crap. Let's discuss over hash browns. I'll see you at Ihop in five.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Happy Day After Groundhog's Day!

Illustration from Cat and Girl.

Groundhog's Day was frustrating to me in my early digits until I realized that six weeks of more winter was the same thing as six weeks left of winter. Oh, you mean either way it's six weeks of unbearable cold and unfulfilled snow days? Gee willikers, I wish I hadn't wasted my angst on an oversized rodent. Now it's closer to a sad realization that this cold has only lasted 31 days and not 31 weeks.
I think adopting New Year's Resolution for the sake of following in line is completely bogus. So do the perfect Quimbys--Charlotte spent a month traversing across Europe, so there's nothing left anyway, Emily is a modern day superhero, and The King has already talents in wit, smarts, and responsibility--leaving Winifred and I to grasp at qualities to better ourselves while our family scoffs.
Or they should. I doubt anyone scoffs at Winifred, except me (today she called and asked if I was watching the America's Next Top Model marathon and I scoffed and said, "No, I'm watching Real Housewives of Orange County).
It's not the bettering of one's life that is bogus but the need to adopt it on a predetermined date. Instead of, you know, right now. You think, I should de-clutter my life! So instead of cleaning up two weeks before Halloween you wait until January 2.
Winifred decided to keep her mouth shut. ("This year I will keep more opinions to myself.") There was also some tie-in about being nice to people with different opinions, by which she means, when someone says they're going to vote for Obama because they hate women, she'll only launch a verbal counterattack for ten minutes instead of 60. This was a crushing blow for someone trying to blog about her but 33 days into 2k8 and she's failing miserably. (This is the 39th post on The Gospel if its any indication.) See, look here:
I just heard on the news that Caroline Kennedy has
endorsed Obama! This was a POOR time to make such an
asinine resolution--though I really meant it more on a
non-political scale.
But wait, there's more!
Having read Suckabee's quote I realize this is the worst possible year to enact that type of resolution. How ridiculous to have made it. I will attempt just the kindness aspect of the resolution.[Editor's note: the other Quimbys have taken to "#$%uckabee"]
Seriously. Given that I write three other blogs and can't keep my mouth closed, I think we both lack the genetic infrastructure to support closed mouths. Winifred will persevere, but I remain victorious!

I debated on a couple of ideas before Christmas. I thought I might "use more condoms" after accidentally watching a Tila Tequila special on MTV. "From now on, I'll use more condoms," a Frat boy solemnly promised, and I wondered why he wasn't using them regularly to begin with. Given that I'm a chaste woman, I thought this was especially ironic. Then I thought that I might "do less smack!" as Biscuit gave up smack for Lent one year (she's not Catholic or an intravenous drug user). Neither of these can be repeated to Winifred so I decided that I'd try and lessen my envionmental impact. I have 365 days to change my ways and a year and a half of residual guilt from buying an Ikea plastic bag and intending to reuse it on my consumerist-based shopping trips.
I'm a little smug when I say I've made serious progress.
I decided I'd start right away though. I made serious efforts to read the following books:

1. The Green Book: The Everyday Guide to Saving the Planet One Simple Step at a Time
by Elizabeth Rogers and Thomas M. Kostigen. Unfortunately with a forward by Cameron Diaz (and William McDonough) short essays from Martha Stewart (pretending I’m Martha: Well I have SOOOO many horses I fertilize all of my organic vegetables—enough to cater my HUUUUGE parties—myself!), Owen Wilson (pretending again: I was like whoooah duuude the environment’s not popular so I’ll tell people I’m not sensitive to those issues when they ask about my Hybrid from Toyota! It’s cool now though because I’m in this book!), Ellen Degeneres, and other MTV-friendly celebrities.

All of it is made from recycled paper, which I think I like the most because it seems ironic and counterproductive to buy a book about saving paper among other strategies. That said, I'm never getting an electronic book because the collector in me needs to savor the space bound novels take, and my love for reading type and paper will never be satiated by pixels, no matter how revolutionary the technology becomes. I knew it would be easier to read a book that waters down the facts (though this is trying: the solutions are calculated without mathematics for readers but instead , "Every additional ten pounds per traveler requires an additional 350 million gallons of jet fuel per year, which is enough to keep a 747 flying continuously for ten years.") Still, the other small tips help me make small gradual changes. I'm already turning off the sink when I brush my teeth, my thermostat is low, and I dry most of my shirts on a rack instead of in a dryer.

2. The Live Earth Global Warming Survival Handbook: 77 Essential Skills to Stop Climate Change by David de Rothschild

The truth about this book is that I found it in Daedulus on clearance when I was supposed to buy Harry Potter during Harry’s midnight sale. It’s also the truth that I liked the book’s design: as an instructional manual for the globe’s untimely doom the illustrations mimic flight disaster plans and I think that is so cool. But the results of Live Earth are so head scratchingly frustrating—the amount of energy output and trash produced is dumbfounding—that I feel dirty owning it. I went to last summer’s Oregon Country Fair where everything was recycled and vendors did not offer plastic utensils. Silverware was used, washed at the nearby high school, and returned clean for another use. I like that the tasks are rated by time, personal financial impact, overall global impact, and effort, but I hate that the last twenty or so items are impossible (#68 Buy a Camel), that the least frugal have the least effect (#47 Install a Windmill; cost has declined 90% and I love wind power, but it's not happening Rothschild), and the residual hipster-related guilt.

aforementioned recycle center

Speaking of guilt, this cause is increasingly popular. Ew. Today's Washington Post style section listed environmental friendly alternatives to Valentine's Day (may require log-in) and American Eagle is taking up the cause with hand bags urging to recycle and ride bikes. See?

The hideous bag is intended as a 3-in-1. The last looks cute in Easter baskets of lapsed Catholics, Amen.

Whenever I feel dirty I read The Simple Family. I don't have kids and Rachel (who I do not know) is putting in far more effort than I am, but I need to see someone eschew this corporate smiley face plastered among recycle signs, flowers, and unicorns.
Ultimately, I've recycled more (there's no pick-up here, so it just piles six feet high) and bought more biodegradeable chemicals. I've had a 70% Ikea Bag increase, and today I told the checkout girl at Target that I didn't need a plastic bag for my detergent and handed it back. She was dumbfounded but I had one less thing to throw away and lose sleep for at night.

Ultimately when it comes down to it, I'm going to vote for the candidate protecting my rights other the candidate who wants to use paper over plastic, proving I'm not ready to move to Oregon. (Ha, GET IT?)


I finished The Road early this week. The day before I finished it I read it at the bus stop, and then on the bus, and then walked the few blocks to my apartment while reading (and did not trip). The King is reading now so I am holding my comments to myself. He is reading before he goes to sleep at night, and that, I think, is a bad idea.
I used to scoff at my roommates who had bad dreams as the result of the books they read before bed, and then I read The Road and dreamt I was in Portland, arguing with my ex boyfriend/BFFOMGZ on a train platform. "The world has ended," I said, "You don't need to buy a train ticket!" We were both wearing backpacks, the kind bike-riding serious hikers have, that tower over your head and hangs far past your butt. In the Real World I'd topple over but in Dream World I was kicking major ass with my backpack, which had camping knives and pots, and maps, and some random tools. Our families were okay but we were joined by several annoying friends who totally brought us down in our quest to escape and save the city. Which had sky scrapers. Portland doesn't have sky scrapers!
This dream would have been awesome, if it hadn't followed reading The Road, and wasn't two months after the most AWESOME apocalyptic dream of all time.

Following no books, movies, or discussions (which occur often between Biscuit and myself), I dreamt that The King and I set out in his car to go on some vague errands. We had to return in the late afternoon because, "my mother was making a casserole." This is your tip that things have gone awry as Winifred, while a master in the kitchen, is not Mrs. Cleaver and does not make casseroles in a dress. In fact, she doesn't wear dresses at all, but in Dream World she was wearing a dress, with heels, and making a casserole.
Around 3 p.m. we had to pull over because the road was full of zombies. We knew we had to get home, ("Captain, we need to get to Mom! She made a casserole! What if she's in danger?!") and we took miscellaneous items from the path to get home. I think at one point we both weld an axe. As a spoiled suburbanite turned almost-city dweller, I've never held or swung an axe. I mean, please. There was also some trashcan lids, tree branches, and boots. We swung boots and defeated zombies. I am serious. Eventually the Army came over the hill, and some people ran away because they thought, you know, the Army would take care of it.
The King and I groaned as Major Jerkface was of little help at all. Eventually we had fought the several miles home, clearing a path, making it easier for the Army, and made it home.
Where Winifred had finished her casserole and taken her oven rack and hit a zombie upside the head. She was tapping her foot as she scolded its body for getting in her business, who did he think he was?
The King and I were embarrassed then that we rushed home.
And then we got in her car and drove to the movies. Afterall, we'd done all the hard work, it was time for a reward.