Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Boo. Shocking Suburban Yard Excitement.

When I came home from work yesterday, I would have parked in the driveway except for this ginormous blown-down tree. Here's a tally of how much Tom owes me:
  • On Saturday, I told Tom he should move his car from its normal parking spot or I would probably burn a hole in it. He begrudgingly complied. He was very "busy" upstairs playing with his computer. I noticed his sour look despite my welding helmet, which really does a number on your capacity for astute observations. I crank it up to the max-14 total-darkness setting. Which is why I have a tendency to weld thumbs and fiberglass autobodies. Tom re-parked completely over on the bleeding edge of the driveway. He knows this.

    Later that afternoon, we went to the City for a long weekend. Which meant Tom's car was still parked way over there when the tree fell down. And crushed the exact spot where Tom's car has normally been parked every single day since forever.

  • After I paused in stunned surprise and quietly google-eyed the smashed oak blanketing our driveway with tree carcass, I came to understand that Tom's car, although unscathed, was totally stuck back there. I also beheld the sleety snowy wintery mix and the impending darkness.

    So I went inside, put on a pair of purple track pants, my ski hat, my ski gloves, a parka and work boots and I cleared out a wide swath. I hauled a massive bonfire-sized pile of big slimywet branches off the driveway. I clocked myself in the head with a dangling trunk stalk. I tore a page out of Andrew's book and sawz-alled a little bit. Just so Tom could drive out his car.
Currently, I am contemplating various payback opportunities.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Pitfalls of Complimenting Household Appliances

While vacuuming:

"Wow, look at this little Hoover go. It really sucks!

...I mean, in a good way."


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Minor Literary Glitterati John Hodgman

We were ten minutes late for the 7pm appearance of John Hodgman at the Barnes and Noble on Union Square. Luckily, John Hodgman was also late. At first, I was happy we didn't miss anything, but then I started to wonder how many Karma points I had redeemed in the transaction. This bothered me until I found two shiny pennies on the street on the way home and I knew I was square with the gods.

To keep the mostly pasty-white and bespeckled geekmo crowd occupied until his tardy arrival, Hodgman had commissioned an opening act, a folk singer named Jonathan Coulton.

Later, we learned that Jonathan had been born feral and raised by woodland creatures in Connecticut, but outwardly he exhibited few traces of his seedy past. Except his buckskin shirt and Davy Crockett hat. Initially, I enjoyed Coulton's songster antics with an air of flighty inattention, but when he recited all the U.S. presidents in precise historical order, I realized the act was a potential Learning Experience.

John Hodgman is a minor television celebrity: the PC guy on the Mac ads. He started out as a freelance writer, which is largely how he wound up reading from his latest book at the Barnes and Noble. His almanack, The Areas of My Expertise boasts an information-packed ensemble of complete world knowledge arranged in useful order. Hodgman claims to have performed some research in preparation of the book, but it was scant, haphazard and largely accidental. Most of it, he made up himself.

In the TV ads, Hodgman comes off as a self-effacing moonfaced nerdnick. In person, he's more of a moonfaced smacktalker. Mainly it was a Woody Allen sort of funny affair, but every so often I kind of wanted to beat him up. Undertones of meanie sharp-tongued pantywaist color me slightly violent, apparently. I mean, it's a fine line between comically conceited and just conceited.

Tom and I were too cheap to buy the hardcover and too lazy to stand in the book signing line. We picked up Hodgman's first book, now available in paperback. Then I pitstopped into Gap Body because I needed to buy underwear, or so called "gatkas" when you are speaking with your litvisch bubby.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Touché Tushey

What if you were riding on the train with your husband, or anybody really, sitting in one of the butt-to-butt two-seater benches. The window on the left and a metal arm rest on the right sandwich you both in place pretty squishy-like.

And what if somebody rolls up and asks if they could sit down between you.

"Excuse me, could you shove over a bit? I can get in there. I know I can get in there." They try to Vulcan mindtrick you into believing they can mash their whole self into the two-inch sliver of unoccupied space on the bench seat.

Maybe they'd like clench their hiney cheeks together in an effort to appear less horizontal. You'd be like, say what? and get all scowly-eyed and intractable. Or maybe you'd pull a New York and pretend you didn't hear anybody talking in hopes they just silently give up and go away.

I ruminated for an hour over this possible circumstance. I have to plan out my reaction just in case.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Photo from Party Scores High on Awesome Meter

A photo of Michael and Tom at the Festival of 504 Lights last Saturday came out great, some even describing it as "amazing." The picture, part of a larger work-in-progress by the visionary self-portraitist Michael, was taken at approximately 11pm and represents the zeitgeist of that twilight hour... the time betwixt the first cocktail and the one right before a hard-nippled gentleman of the hands-on variety started whipping out his junk in the backyard.

"Michael spent an inordinate amount of time in the planning and conceptual phases of the photograph," said bystanders close to the shoot location. "He said he strove to achieve an allegoric representation of the unbearable lightness of being."

Experts are divided as to the artistic inspirations underpinning the photograph. The largest opinion pool posits that both the choice of subjects, the pose and the moodiful lighting closely emulates the famous Charles and Georges Durand-Ruel painted in 1882 by Pierre-Auguste Renoir:

"I have never seen this painting before," claimed Michael vehemently. "Art history is not a required course for pharmaceutical technicians."

As for the future of the photograph, it has already captured significant acclaim amongst Michael's clatch of Facebook friends. While clearly the standout shot in the album, other notable pictures include several of the fabulous party's hosts, Andrew and Tracie, looking both chic and casual glowing beneath the light of 504 candles.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

The Battle of the Carpet Hair Booty

Subsequent to The Giant Green Chair Catastrophe of 2002, I am fully onboard with the notion that bringing home measurements and fabric swatches is a worthwhile pursuit. Things look different in real life than they do in the store. Which is why I asked Rick, the excitable carpet salesman, if I could take a slice of #63 Honeydew Flotaki carpet to test it out in situ. To my dimay, Rick claimed he didn't have any Honeydew for take-out. What a pill.

Yet I was not to be deterred, launching immediately into a persuasive and rational dissertation on why Rick should spare me a square. Certainly he could count on me to return it. I have a well-deserved reputation for bringing back carpet swatches, even when nobody wants them back and is frankly surprised when I show up with a pile of matted pile. I made it clear to Rick that I'm a relentless, guilt-ridden greenie and carpet is made from a petroleum derivative.

Rick remained steely-eyed, limp wristed and completely unmoved by my unimpeachable logic. So I resorted to whining and he must have realized this could go on for a while. In the spirit of teamwork and because he probably had plans that evening, Rick came up with a Nobel-prizewinning compromise. He got himself an Exacto knife and cut off a selection of carpet hairs, which he handed to me bouquet style:

I carried my little bundle home like the carpet hair stalks were made of gold.

So how do you think the carpet will look?

Here's another angle so you can get the full effect: