Friday, September 29, 2006

Kinky Friedman is the new George Allen

So, at one point, not too long ago, I was somewhat pro-Kinky Friedman.

Now, I think he might be the latest George Allen.

Racial slurs? In favor of a law overturning Roe v. Wade?

I am willing to admit when I am wrong.

I was wrong.

I am so over Kinky Friedman.

Revolution or evolution?

I meant to blog about this earlier in the week, but the trip to New York distracted me a bit. Better late than never, though . . . .

Anyway, this week marks the fifteenth anniversary of the release of Nirvana's Nevermind, which, supposedly, is a record that changed music forever. To commemorate, MTV News ran an article where they asked various current artists about Nirvana, and whether they thought any modern bands would have the same effect. (Seriously, though, the list of artists is pretty lame. Panic! At the Disco, Fall Out Boy, and O.K. Go are somewhat defensible, but really, couldn't they try just a teensy bit harder?)

I was in my junior year of high school when the album came out, and yeah, I loved it. It really was -- still is, actually -- a great album, and so different from just about everything that was out there at the time. And yeah, it influenced a lot of music that came afterwards. But I think that the people who say that it was this monumental revolutionary new thing, completely different from everything that came before, are a little full of it. I think music was changing, and Nirvana was a symptom -- not the ultimate cause.

That's like those people who look at Bill Haley & His Comets as the origin of modern Rock n' Roll but fail to see the bigger picture out there -- all of the other sources and influences that merged together over the course of a number of years. Or currently, it's like blaming the whole boy band thing on the Backstreet Boys or the current state of pop music entirely on Britney Spears. Yeah, they're a part of it, but they're only doing what they're doing because some music industry guy somewhere decided that what they happened to be doing was going to be the next big thing.

It's the whole creationism versus evolution debate, just in music.

Some music may be revolutionary, but as an art form, it is constantly evolving, constantly changing. That's why they don't play chamber music at bars. Seriously.

I mean, that's why you occasionally laughed at your parents' choices and why most people cringe at the thought of having to sit through an opera or the ballet. (My mother loves Johnny Mathis and has a scary collection of Engelbert Humperdinck 8-Tracks.) That's why your parents yelled at you to turn the volume down, and refused to play that song in the car. (Or how my mother absolutely adored the Motley Crue posters in my bedroom when I was a teen.)

And that's why your theoretical future children will probably hate your CD collection. (But not my live U2 collection. No one could possibly hate that.)

Psychotic mosquito

My feet were bothering me since I got home from the airport yesterday. Before I took off my shoes, I thought I might have a rash.

Turns out, I had a psychotic mosquito.

It bit me 11 times on my right foot and 7 times on my left foot. I am miserably itchy.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Blog Voyeurism

I'm beginning to think that these new anonymous blogs where people post their secrets, or confess to their sins are a bit unhealthy. At least there's some intrinsic artistic value to PostSecret -- but these others are just plain voyeurism.

They make me feel so dirty.

And, at any rate, I could probably find something more productive to do.

And honestly, I'd feel better about confessing my sins to Stephen Colbert. I should probably do that before sundown on Sunday, though.

The Big Time

So, I was really excited that last week's post about Maxim's list of TV's least appealing ladies was mentioned by Wonkette.

But I had no idea that it was in the print edition of last Friday's Express until Caroline told me about it.

Here it is:

Oh what? You actually wanted to read it?

Wow, me in print! I'm so excited.

Update: All this, and we missed the story about how Nancy Grace caused some woman to kill herself. Apparently, she's the new Jenny Jones.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Virginia might be for lovers, but New York is for shoppers

I'm still in NYC -- I fly home tomorrow afternoon. :(

I just got back from dinner with my family in the courtyard of this lovely little French restaurant in what I think is technically considered SoHo, but really, who knows? The neighborhoods just sort of blend into each other here. Like last night, when I went for drinks with a friend at a pub in what I think might have been Chelsea, but could have been anywhere.

I love this city. I could spend my entire life here and still only scratch the surface. There's just so much. Like on Sunday, how the little pub where I ate lunch with my Grandmother just happened to be where O. Henry allegedly wrote The Gift of the Magi.

The only place I've been that has even come close to the sheer magnitude is London. I could live there, too. Heck, sometimes I wish I did.

When I go back to D.C. from here -- or in the old days, when I used to go back to Florida -- everything else just feels so small -- so utterly provincial -- in comparison.

And it's not that I don't like D.C. -- I really do. But there's just something about New York.

Maybe it's because I was born here.

There is one serious problem with me in New York -- it brings out some of my worst tendencies. Like how instead of being all serious about my seminars, I wound up taking a little detour to do a little bit of shopping in the department stores along 5th Avenue.

And I was a bad, bad kid. I may have only bought a few things, but one of them happened to be a Calvin Klein suit. But hey, it was on sale -- and it doesn't have to be altered. (Sale. Mmmm. My favorite four letter word.)

Oy Gevalt!

I'm in between meetings at my very important conference (12:15 = lunch), and just had enough time to run upstairs to my room to check the ol' e-mail.

Then I read this, and had a bout of maniacal laughter. It seems that newly-Jewified Senator George Allen is now refusing to schedule meetings on Yom Kippur.

Sure, George, go ahead and repent for your sins NOW. I'll be sure to look for you at synagogue Sunday night and Monday.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

I am very bad at packing

All right, so I'm up here in New York, sitting in a hotel room watching TV. I got up here first thing this morning -- after a wonderfully strange day of Rosh Hashanah services, a silly fun lunch, and dinner with my uncle, aunt, and 4-year-old cousin, followed by an evening of traditional post-Rosh Hashanah karaoke.

Yeah, we're weird.

So, because of the confluence of these events, my packing was somewhat haphazard -- or at least more so than usual. I knew I had to pack four days of work clothes, and pretty much just threw them into the suitcase. I left almost all of my toiletries at home because you can't bring anything on planes anymore, and besides, in Manhattan, there's a Duane Reade on almost every corner.

I also took three books, in keeping with my rule.*

I landed at LaGuardia and took a cab to the hotel. On the way, I called my Grandmother and Aunt, so that I could meet them in the city for brunch. Once I got to the hotel and checked in, I started unpacking -- mostly to minimize my ironing, but also to pick out what I was wearing to this evening's business event.

I then realized that I had forgotten to pack pyjamas. Or for that matter, anything that would suffice, since everything in my suitcase was business casual, and I was wearing jeans.


This is not the first time that I have done this. At my last job, I once had a week of depositions in Charlotte, and when I went to unpack, I found that in my attempt to pack the perfect multipurpose pair of black shoes, I inadvertently took one each of two different pairs -- both of which were for the left foot.

As my otherwise-wonderful 93-year-old grandmother said when I told her the story, "For a smart girl, you're awfully silly sometimes."

Thanks, Grandma. Love you too.

So, after a lovely brunch, I had to run to try to find something pyjama-ish, go to the drug store to stock up on three days worth of mini-size toiletries, and get dressed in business attire for the evening.

I managed to find something. It's nothing great -- and about three sizes too big -- but it'll have to do until Wednesday.

Still, you gotta love Manhattan.

*Two books in the carry-on -- in case I finish one -- and an extra one in the suitcase, in case I lose my carry on, lose both books, or finish them both.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Insert witty comment here

According to Forbes, for the first time, all 400 of the richest people in the world are billionaires, not just regular ordinary old millionaires.

Originally, my punchline was going to be "I suppose that's why I didn't make the cut," but I've reconsidered.

In light of today's news, the appropriate joke is "But at least they can still afford to buy their coffee at Starbucks."

Carry on.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Hating on smart girls

Leave it to Maxim to post a list of T.V.'s least appealing ladies -- with a slide show.

While I can totally get behind Nancy Grace being number one -- boy, do I agree with their note about her being "the unboinkable trifecta of unattractive, unlikeable, and fiercely judgmental" -- I am completely offended for Tina Fey.

Maybe it hits too close to home. I mean, like Tina, I'm a smart girl -- not to mention a smartass. And my glasses look sort of like hers. Come to think of it, I wear my hair like that almost every single day. Heck, on Monday, I was pretty much wearing this exact outfit.


Maybe I need to find a new role model.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Learning something new today

The history of the yellow legal pad.

In 1888, Thomas W. Holley, a 24-year-old paper mill worker in Holyoke, had an idea for how to use the paper scraps, known as sortings, discarded by the mill. . . . Holley's notion was to bind the scraps into pads that could be sold at a cut rate. Convinced he had a winning idea, he founded his own company to collect the sortings from local mills (Holyoke was then the papermaking capital of the world) and began churning out bargain-price pads.

The legal pad's margins, also called down lines, are drawn 1.25 inches from the left edge of the page. (This is the only requirement for a pad to qualify as a legal pad, though the iconic version has yellow paper, blue lines, and a red gummed top.) Holley added the ruling that defined the legal pad in the early 1900s at the request of a local judge who was looking for space to comment on his own notes.

(Via Boing Boing.)

Related contest: In the comments section, guess how many legal pads I currently have on or in my desk. Closest number without going over wins. (Possible prizes include a PH4H bumpersticker and a legal pad, or, if you're a member, 25 BlogExplosion credits.) Bonus points if you also guess how many are legal size (vs. letter size), and how many are actually yellow (instead of white).

Deadline is noon tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Just one more question about George Allen

I know, I know. Two George Allen posts in one day is at least one too many. But I can't ignore the new revelation that -- gasp! -- George Allen is actually Jewish!

No way!

But wait a second -- how come Wikipedia knew that George Allen's mother was of Jewish ancestry before he did? Hell, even I knew about it last month.

Now he claims to "embrace and take great pride" in his Jewish ancestry?


As Justin pointed out, he was initially insulted that someone would possibly think he was Jewish.

Maybe that's because he doesn't like Jews. Or maybe he's just concerned that his Jewish ancestry might cost him a presidential bid.


Either way, it just means the same thing -- George Allen doesn't know his tuches from his kepele.*

*I'd use the yiddish word for "elbow," but I don't know it. And not like it really matters -- he's supposedly Sephardic anyway.


If you think my large shoe collection is outrageous, you have no idea. 108 pairs of reasonably priced shoes doesn't even rank. According to the Washington Post, some local women have hundreds of pairs of shoes that cost hundreds of dollars.

While I have tried on shoes that cost over $200, I'd never allow myself to pay that much.

Retail is for chumps.

The Mechanical Contrivium: Trivia About Dara

Ten Top Trivia Tips about Dara!

  1. In the 1600s, tobacco was frequently prescribed to treat headaches, bad breath and Dara.
  2. Antarctica is the only continent without Dara.
  3. A bride should wear something old, something new, something borrowed, and Dara.
  4. There are more than two hundred different kinds of Dara.
  5. If you drop Dara from more than three metres above ground level, she will always land feet-first.
  6. The moon is 400 times closer to the Earth than Dara, and 400 times smaller!
  7. Czar Paul I banished Dara to Siberia for marching out of step.
  8. You can tell if Dara has been hard-boiled by spinning her. If she stands up, she is hard-boiled.
  9. During the reign of Peter the Great, any Russian nobleman who chose to wear Dara had to pay a special Dara tax!
  10. If you put a drop of liquor on Dara, she will go mad and sting herself to death!
I am interested in - do tell me about

Even Pennsylvanians Hate George Allen

I would think that the Philadelphia Jewish Voice would be directing its vitriol at their own Senator Rick Santorum, but no, they've apparently got it in for Senator Macaca himself, George Allen. The article catalogues a number of non-macaca examples of Allen's "'Good Ol' Boy' intolerance" -- and, perhaps more significantly, cites sources.

The facts show that in the not-too-distant-past, Allen compared his opponents to Hitler and accused them of supporting Iraq in the first Gulf War. He also made fun of welfare recipients, supported Pat Robertson, white supremacist organizations, and mandatory bible study in public schools -- all the while displaying a noose in his office and a Confederate flag in his campaign ads.

Not to mention that he was allegedly mean to his sister and committed vandalism in his adolescence.

Oy vey.

Of course, the article also notes the run-of-the-mill right wing stuff like opposing homosexuality and abortion rights. But hey, if you weren't already bothered by that, the rest of the stuff probably doesn't matter that much to you anyway.

I really want to say something positive about Jim Webb now, but right now, I think he's doing just fine running on an "I'm not George Allen" platform. But can he win? Polls are saying it's close -- significantly more so than it was before Macacagate -- which is not saying much.

Avast, Mateys!

Today is September 19th, and you know what that means -- it's the official Talk Like A Pirate Day!


To celebrate, take the "What Kind of Pirate Are You?" quiz and find out your pirate name.

I am:

What Is Your Pirate Name?

Bloody Bess Richards-Ye love to gouge out the eyeballs of yer captives and keep them in a jar by yer bed as midnite snacks.
Take this quiz!


Make A Quiz More Quizzes Grab Code

You are 59 %Treasurer, have 57% Seafairability, crave 54% Bloodlusting, and lust 36% in Wenchwanting!
Henry Every, or Jonathon Avery, or Captain Bridgman, or Long Ben, you were the most idolized pirate of your time. You were the Micheal Jackson of piracy. In more ways than one. While the plunder you picked up in the Red Sea and the ease with which you sailed off is legendary, so is your 'relationship' with fellow pirate Thomas Tew. I understand: you're on a ship for months at a time with no women in site... it drives some pirates to blood thirsty killing, and some to... boys. There. I said it. You are an amazing pirate, a legend in your own time! It's just your personal life that bothers us other pirates. We're fine with the boys, I mean when you've been on the ocean for a matter of months even the stoutest cabin boy starts to look good... it's just that, do you have to slice open every wench in every port you attack? Some even have all their teeth still in, and a good wench is hard to come by, even in the best of times!

Update: Check out this site that translates anything into pirate speak. (Or, as it were, "Check ou' this site that translates anythin' into sea dog speak. Aargh!")

Final Exam

Disclaimer: I rarely find forwarded e-mail jokes amusing enough to share. But this one is great, although admittedly, I have seen it before.


COMPUTER SCIENCE: Write a fifth-generation computer language. Using this language, write a computer program to finish the rest of this exam for you.

HISTORY: Describe the history of the Papacy from its origins to the present day, concentrating especially, but not exclusively, on its social, political, economic, religious and philosophical impact on Europe, Asia, America and Africa. Be brief, concise and specific.

ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING: You will be placed in a nuclear reactor and given a partial copy of the electrical layout. The electrical system has been tampered with. You have seventeen minutes to find the problem and correct it before the reactor melts down.

MEDICINE: You have been provided with a razor blade, a piece of gauze, and a bottle of scotch. Remove your appendix. Do not suture until your work has been inspected. You have fifteen minutes.

PUBLIC SPEAKING: 2500 riot-crazed aborigines are storming the classroom. Calm them. You may use any ancient language except Latin or Greek.

BIOLOGY: Create life. Estimate the differences in subsequent human culture if this form of life had developed 500 million years earlier, with special attention to its probable effect on the English Parliamentary System. Prove your thesis.

CIVIL ENGINEERING: This is a practical test of your design and building skills. With the boxes of toothpicks and glue present, build a platform tha twill support your weight when you and your platform are suspended over a vat of nitric acid.

MUSIC: Write a piano concerto. Orchestrate and perform it with flute and drum. You will find a piano under your seat.

PSYCHOLOGY: Based on your knowledge of their early works, evaluate the emotional stability, degree of adjustment, and repressed frustrations of each of the following: Alexander of Aphrodisis, Rameses II, Hammuarabi, and Gregory of Nicea. Support your evaluation with quotations from each man’s work, making appropriate references. It is not necessary to translate.

CHEMISTRY: You must evaluate a poison sample which you will find at your lab table. All necessary equipment has been provided. There are two beakers at your desk, one of which holds the antidote. If the wrong substance is used, it causes instant death. You may begin as soon as the professor injects you with a sample of the poison. (We feel this will give you an incentive to find the correct answer.)

SOCIOLOGY: Estimate the sociological problems which might accompany the end of the world. Construct an experiment to test your theory.

ENGINEERING: The disassembled parts of a high-powered rifle have been placed on your desk. You will also find an instruction manual, printed in Swahili. In 10 minutes, a hungry Bengal tiger will be admitted to the room. Take whatever action you feel necessary. Be prepared to justify your decision.

ECONOMICS: Develop a realistic plan for refinancing the national debt. Trace the possible effects of your plan in the following areas: Cubism, the Donatist Controversy and the Wave Theory of Light. Outline a method for preventing these effects. Criticize this method from all possible points of view. Point out the deficiencies in your point of view, as demonstrated in your answer to the last question.

ECONOMICS II: Describe in four hundred words or less what you would have done to prevent the Great Depression.

MATHEMATICS: Derive the Euler-Cauchy equations using only a straightedge and compass. Discuss in detail the role these equations had on mathematical analysis in Europe during the 1800s.

POLITICAL SCIENCE: There is a red telephone on the desk beside you. Start World War III. Report at length on its socio-political effects, if any.

EPISTEMOLOGY: Take a position for or against truth. Prove the validity of your stand.

RELIGION: Perform a miracle. Creativity will be judged.

ART: Given one eight-count box of crayons and three sheets of notebook paper, recreate the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Skin tones should be true to life.

PHYSICS: Explain the nature of matter. Include in your answer an in-depth evaluation of the impact of the development of mathematics on science.

METAPHYSICS: Describe in detail the probable nature of life after death. Test your hypothesis.

PHILOSOPHY: Sketch the development of human thought and estimate its significance. Compare with the development of any other kind of thought.

GENERAL KNOWLEDGE: Describe in detail. Be objective and specific.

EXTRA CREDIT: Define the universe, and give three examples.

Monday, September 18, 2006

The least surprising news of the day

Willie Nelson was caught with drugs.

Fun game

How fast can you type the alphabet? Took me about 6 seconds on my first try.

Actually, my new high score at Finger Frenzy is 5.08 seconds, but who's counting?

(Thanks to The Pink Diary for this.)

Ask Dara Anything! Round 2

I'm at a loss for something interesting to blog about. I was actually on the verge of posting the list of songs that made it onto the mix CD that I burned Friday night, but I thought that would (a) bore people and (b) cause me to be made fun of. So, instead, we're going to play another round of "Ask Dara Anything."

Rules are the same as last time.

Go ahead, ask. You know you want to.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

The goofy apple doesn't fall far from the silly tree

I'm not saying anything about Miami losing to Louisville, because, inevitably, it'll wind up about Florida State losing to Clemson. {Sob.}

Instead, I'm going to blog more about my mom. Or, in particular, the weird conversations she and I have.

Yesterday, I wrote about how different we are -- which is completely true. But in some ways, she and I are very similar. For example, we have similar senses of humor. And when she was younger, she wanted to be a writer.

Most importantly, she and I are both talkers. If not for work and other commitments, I think we could talk on the phone for hours. Sometimes we do. And when we get going, we talk about the most random stuff, in the most random stream-of-consciousness way. If you were listening in today (I'm talking to you, NSA), it probably made your head spin -- and not in a Lukas Rossi kind of way.

Somehow, we wound up on the conversation of baby names. I was mentioning some of the unusual names that some of my friends had used or were considering for their kids. We also joked about a lot of the kids my age with hippie parents who gave them names like "Rain" or "River."

She made a comment about how naming her children was a very diffcult thing to do, because she had to worry how the name sounds, what it means, and whether the kid will be made fun of, etc. So, she didn't think unusual names were such a good idea.

I laughed at her, and noted that she chose a name for me that is not very common.

"Oh, but Dara is a beautiful name," she protested.

Again, I laughed. "Taste is subjective, Mom. When I was a kid, I hated it because it was different. I swore I was going to change it."

She was a little surprised, and asked me what I would have chosen as an alternative. I told her I didn't really have anything picked out. But then I jokingly said that it would have been something girlie like Cloud Rainbow.*

My mom laughed at me and said, "Well, I always accused you of having your head in the clouds."

I mentioned this to Inbal tonight at the Jon Stewart show.** We laughed about how Cloud Rainbow, Attorney-at-Law would look on a business card.

So, now I've decided that Cloud Rainbow is going to be my new alter-ego. Like, whenever I do anything really girlie, I'm going to blame it on her. For example, "This nail polish is very pink. I wanted to go for something a little more subdued, but Cloud Rainbow convinced me to try it anyway." Or -- more likely -- "I only needed the one pair of shoes, but Cloud Rainbow convinced me to buy all three, since they were on sale!"

* This was a joke. Anyone that knows me knows that it was a joke, because I am not -- and never have been -- particularly girlie. Unless you are comparing me to my sister, who continues to be the most tomboyish girl I have ever met. Next to my sister, I am a complete princess.

For this reason, I also joked to my mom that we should rename my sister something with the middle name "Potato." Just because.

** As for the show, it was very funny, but Merriweather Post isn't the best venue for a comedian.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

History of Dara, part 5

I have a strange relationship with my mother, always have. I know she loves me and would do just about anything for me -- and I feel the same way -- but personality-wise, when I was growing up, she and I tended to be like oil and water. She was very overprotective -- some would say controlling -- and I was very independent.

I was also somewhat of a Daddy's girl, which I think bothered her. For many years, she was a stay-at-home mom, and, to some extent, I think she expected some loyalty. But instead, according to the family mythology, starting at a very early age I would say things like "Daddy's home now, you can leave," and drive her to tears.

It was bad when I was in high school.

Even now, after I've been out of her house for all of these years -- since I was 17 -- I still have problems getting her to let go of some things. For example, she just won't let me have my birth certificate, even though I've asked for it a bunch of times. She always says she'll do it, but conveniently forgets, or ignores me, or something. It's clearly psychological -- like she needs to keep it, just to prove that she's still the mom.

Lucky for me, I haven't run into a situation -- yet -- where my driver's license or passport hasn't been sufficient.

Anyway, she always talks about all of these things that she's kept from me, over the years, but rarely lets me see them, and even more rarely, lets me have them. She always says she will, but like the birth certificate, it just never happens. And, trust me, I ask.

Last Thanksgiving -- my birthday -- I was visiting them in Florida, and she pulled out this giant box filled with stuff that I didn't remember. One of the things was a Mother's Day essay I had written for her in elementary school. I didn't remember it -- or pretty much any of the cards or things I had given her throughout the years. I did, however, remember making the paper flowers in art class.

She then told me about some story that she had found from when I was a kid. She didn't show it to me. But she promised that she would get it to me.

As usual, nothing.

When I was down in Florida a couple weeks ago, she mentioned the story again. I asked her for a copy. She said she'd look for it at some point. I assumed she had forgotten, but this evening, after a lovely dinner with some friends, I got home and found a letter. It was a photocopy of the story.*

Based on the handwriting -- relatively neat printing and no cursive -- I most likely wrote it in first or second grade. And I illustrated it too.

Here it is, for your viewing pleasure.

It's got all the elements of a great sci-fi horror movie: Gigantic lizard monsters, space ships, martians -- and most importantly, candy bars! I should have sold the screenplay.

*Actually, it was a copy of the the story and a check completely unrelated to anything of mine. I think she just sent me an extra page, but I'll have to talk to her tomorrow to confirm.

Friday, September 15, 2006


Thank {insert nondenominational religious deity here}, it's Friday! My back hurts from packing up my office, moving, and unpacking. And, my head hurts from pondering over the results of Rock Star.

But at least the week is almost over. This weekend will feature several of my favorite activities, including sleeping and baseball -- but most notably, it will feature Jon Stewart at the Merriweather Post Pavillion.

Since I'm dangerously close to being brain dead, I'm going to drink some green tea, and finish my work for the day.

In the interim, here are two tests. Enjoy!

1.) What Number Are You?

You Are 7: The Enthusiast

You are outgoing and playful - always seeing the happy side to life.
You're enthusiastic and excitable. You love anything new.
Multi-talented, you do many things well... and find success easy.
You prefer to keep things light with others. Opening up is hard for you.

(Hmm. Interesting.)

2.) What's Your Religious Philosophy?

You are Agnostic

You're not sure if God exists, and you don't care.
For you, there's no true way to figure out the divine.
You rather focus on what you can control - your own life.
And you tend to resent when others "sell" religion to you.

(No shit.)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Is George W. Bush the worst president ever?

According to Gene Weingarten, there are three other candidates who might have been worse: James Buchanan, Warren G. Harding, and Franklin Pierce -- who, coincidentally, is W's great-great granduncle.

Maybe it runs in the family?

The Vanillafication of America

I just got back from grabbing lunch at the local Au Bon Pain for another round of eating and blogging at my desk.

The Thai Chicken Salad is quite good. Not as good as Cosi's Shanghai Chicken Salad, but, during the renovation, a worthwhile substitute.

Anyway, I digress.

When I go outside to run a quick errand, especially on a rainy day like today, I rarely notice my surroundings. I have a "get in - get out- get on with it" mentality about a lot of things. Today, though, for some reason, I looked up, in the middle of Metro Center. And I noticed that the Hecht's is finally, incontrovertably, a Macy's.

Yes, we all knew this was coming. And yes, the inside of the store has been, more or less, a Macy's for some time. But they finally changed the signs -- or at least the awnings -- to reflect the change in ownership.

Another instance of something sort-of unique about DC becoming just like everywhere else. I've heard it referred to as "the Mallification of America."


As most frequent readers know, I spent my adolescence in Florida. One of the great things about malls in Florida was the Burdines, "the Florida store". While you could go into Burdine's and buy generic mall stuff, it was also the go-to place for tacky Floridian stuff with palm tree and/or flamingo logos. Kitsch heaven.

Burdines is now Macy's.

And let's not forget about Pittsburgh.

At my last job, I had to travel a lot, and I often got to stay in downtown Pittsburgh. One of the most interesting things about downtown was the plethora of seemingly local historic department stores that I had never seen before. Alas, Kaufmann's -- once owned by the family that hired Frank Lloyd Wright to build Fallingwater -- is also now Macy's -- as is Lazarus. If I recall correctly, they were about a block away from each other.

I'm sure at least one is now closed.

I hate the fact that everywhere I go, there's a Macy's on one corner, a Starbuck's on the other, and a McDonald's across the street. It's boring. It's depressing. It's VANILLA.

Not me. I'm a Jamoca Almond Fudge or Coffee Heath Bar Crunch kind of girl.

Something strange is afoot in Wisconsin

I have several friends who have, at some point, lived in Wisconsin. Everything they tell me makes me believe that it is a very peculiar place. I mean, it has America's drunkenest city and Taxidermy & Cheese.

Plus, Justin keeps putting them in his Crazy State Rankings.

So maybe someone can explain this story:

Per the Wisconsin State Journal:
Grant County Sheriff Keith Govier said he believes Alex and Nicholas Grunke, twin brothers from Ridgeway, and their friend Dustin Radke of Dodgeville drove from Ridgeway Saturday to take Laura Tennessen's corpse from the grave.

But The Smoking Gun tells a slightly different tale:
SEPTEMBER 6--When Nicholas Grunke last week spotted a newspaper photo of Laura Tennessen, the Wisconsin man apparently became so smitten that he plotted a rendezvous with the 20-year-old woman. But the photo Grunke saw accompanied an August 29 obituary of Tennessen, who died in a motorcycle accident. Undeterred, Grunke allegedly plotted with his twin brother Alex and a friend, 20-year-old Dustin Radke, to rob Tennessen's grave so that he could have sex with her corpse.

Are there no cute live women in Wisconsin? Is there nothing better to do there? Or was this beer-induced craziness?

At least they have the Packers. Oh, wait -- the Packers suck. The Brewers? Well, at least they're not mathematically eliminated from the wild card race . . . yet.

Fun with fake voicemail

Not only can you read Dwight Schrute's blog, but you can also listen to his voicemail -- 1-800-984-DMPC.

They did a similar thing a couple years ago with Harvey Birdman: Attorney At Law (yes, I love Adult Swim) -1-877-MAN-BIRD -- where, among other options, you can hear Peter Potamus sing "Take it to the Limit."

Funny, funny stuff.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Project Mindf*ck

Tonight on a very special Project Runway:

  • Vincent and Angela return to try to get back on the show!
  • In the process, they resume annoying everyone and get sent home anyway!
  • Laura makes a dress without a v-neck -- and wins!
  • Michael's model is accessorized brilliantly!
  • Uli makes a sundress out of patterned fabric!
  • Jeffrey's dress looks like it's for a rock show!
  • Kayne doesn't follow directions -- and gets sent home!

Other than the mindf*ck with Vincent and Angela, this was the Most. Boring. Episode. Ever.

Maybe it was the black and white theme. Maybe it's because every single designer does the same thing every single week.


Update: I love it when they mock.

Rock Star follow-up

As usual, I was so right -- and yet, so wrong -- about tonight's Rock Star finale.

It was like watching a car crash.

First to go was Magni -- not enough of a band leader, too much of a band member. Next, Toby -- not "edgy" enough. And then, unsurprisingly, they picked Lukas over Dilana -- blaming the fans.

Eh, whatever.

Coincidentally, the new band got together to play the new original songs they previously played with Toby and Magni. Needless to say, I liked them better with Toby and Magni.

I guess I won't be buying the Supernova (or whatever) album. But I'd consider buying anything released by Storm, Magni, or Toby. And I already downloaded Ryan's song from i-Tunes.

So, there you go.

F*ck 'em.

Update: Forget about my thoughts and just read TVGasm's recap.

What Kind of American English Do You Speak?

Your Linguistic Profile:
40% General American English
35% Yankee
20% Dixie
0% Midwestern
0% Upper Midwestern

"If they take my stapler then I'll set the building on fire..."

Today, I move offices . . . again. This is my fifth office since November, although, some of that had to do with the job change. But still.

I'm beginning to feel like Milton from Office Space:

Bill Lumbergh: Milt, we're gonna need to go ahead and move you downstairs into storage B. We have some new people coming in, and we need all the space we can get. So if you could go ahead and pack up your stuff and move it down there, that would be terrific, OK?

Milton Waddams: Excuse me, I believe you have my stapler...

At my last job, people changed offices infrequently. I was there for five-plus years, and the only reason I moved (after two years) was that a window office had finally opened up. Granted, it had a view of the 3rd Street tunnel, but I took it anyway -- broken old furniture and all. Then I stayed put for over three years.

Now I'm moving again, although instead of moving down the hall, I'm at least moving to another floor.

I need to go finish emptying out my desk drawers.

Tonight's Rock Star love

Tomorrow, they announce the winner of Rock Star. Therefore, tonight is likely my last blog on the subject. Unless they really screw up the decision. Then I might have to rant. But other than that . . .

So, I'm going to approach this like the lawyer I am. It's a closing argument, of a sort. I'm going to show you the evidence, give you my analysis, and let you take it back to the jury room to deliberate.

So, to begin, I just need to state for the record once and for all that Dave Navarro is awesome. MTV News had a great article today about all of the different projects he's working on right now. And damn, the boy can wear eyeliner better than most women.

Love him.

On the other hand, there's the band. We can't really call them Supernova anymore, can we? They're just a weird mix of personalities. Tommy Lee is like a giant silly puppy dog, Jason is like a geeky technical music nerd, and Gilby seems like a slightly edgy soccer dad. I'm also not entirely convinced that they have any kind of cohesive sound as a band -- each song they performed seemed so different -- but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. When all is said and done, if it sucks, I don't have to buy it.

So, on to the actual show. First, it was Ryan's encore. He's clearly not right for the band, such as it is, but he's got something about him. I've said that before.

I like, but don't love, his original song. And, as always, he's a little bit of a spaz during his performance. But he's hot, so I'm cutting him some slack.

Love him. I might even download something from his album. But what I'm really waiting for is Storm's song from last week -- which was the best original song of the entire show.

And now, for the performances:

First is Toby. What can I say? Boy knows how to work a crowd. I'm not entirely sold on tonight's perfomance of Karma Police, but his original is, once again, the bomb. He's just so much fun to watch and to listen to. While I'm not sure how he would fit in with Jason, Gilby, and Tommy musically, I'm sure that the tour bus would be, um, interesting.

Also, it was pitch perfect for him to play with Magni tonight -- although, if I were Magni, I'd beat the crap out of him for writing on my head with permanent marker.

Love him. He's perfect if the band wants to go in an old school hard rock direction -- like if the Killers somehow blended with Guns N' Roses.

Next is Lukas. He's rumored to be the predetermined winner. If that's true, I probably won't be listening. He reminds me a lot of the new Depeche Mode album: I really wanted to like it, and some of it is really good, but mostly, it's whiny, annoying, loud, depressing, and occasionally unintelligable. But enough about that. Lukas's mumbling distracts me, and I think his look is WAY overdone. You can be rock n' roll without being a walking, talking cliché. I think he's a little alternative for the band -- more Fall Out Boy and less Green Day, but hey, if that's what they think'll sell records . . . more power to them.

Tonight though, he gave us his all. His performace of Coldplay was very good, and this was the best performance of his original -- you could actually understand the words.

Eh, whatever. I guess he's right if the band wants to go in that direction, whatever it is.

Next is Dilana.

Dilana, Dilana, Dilana.

I went from loving her, to hating her, and back again. I'm still not convinced that she can write.
Tonight, I loved her performance. Maybe it's because she brought all the boys up as her backing vocalists? Or maybe it was because her performance of Roxanne was flat-out amazing. And even though last week I thought that her original song was the weakest, this week I liked it more.

The long and the short of it is that even if her song isn't that good, she definitely makes up for it with her performances -- she brings something different every single time. Clearly, she would be the most visually interesting with the band.

Plus, she's a girl.

Hmmm. She's right if the band wants to go in a Concrete Blonde or Pretenders-meets-heavy metal kind of direction -- with a little bit of Stevie Nicks thrown in for good measure.

Finally, there's Magni. Everyone always picks on Magni, saying he's boring. I disagree. I mean, you don't get to be the 10th most popular singer in Iceland by being boring.

I think he's a great singer, a great performer, and -- of everyone -- seems to be the most musical. He also seems the most like a "band guy" -- not a solo artist. Actually, that might be some of what everyone thinks is boring -- he just fits in with the band so well.

Every time he plays a classic rock song, his performance goes up a notch, so tonight, it was not surprising that he did a phenomenal job with Hush (click here for the video). And even though Dave said his original wasn't that memorable, I really liked it.

Unfortunately, last night's version wasn't posted on YouTube, so this'll have to do:

Love him. He's good if they want to go in an Live or Wallflowers kind of direction. Plain no-frills alternative rock music.

And, as an extra added bonus, he'd generate a big following in Iceland. Big in Iceland. I'm sure that's high on T. Lee's agenda.

So, if it were my band, I'd send Lukas back to Canada, Dilana back to the underworld, and pick Magni or Toby. Actually, I'd pick them both. As long as they keep playing these:

Now it's in your hands. What do you think?

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

News (allegedly) breaks, and I scoff

Various sources are reporting that Britney Spears had her baby this morning. (Allegedly, the second Federfetus is another boy, for those who care.) Apparently, this is big enough news that I can't get the US Weekly website to load. But have no fear: a press release has been scheduled for later today. (Note that E! News is skeptical because People hasn't posted it yet.)

What this really means is that -- whether or not the news is true -- Britney gets more (and better) press coverage than the President -- whose speech didn't even make the front page of this morning's New York Times. We live in a peculiar world.

While everyone was being somber and serious yesterday . . .

. . . Mayor Barry struck again!

D.C. Council member Marion Barry was detained and ticketed by the Secret Service early yesterday, after uniformed officers stopped him near the White House for running a red light and detected the smell of alcohol. . . .


The officers administered a field sobriety test and took Barry to the U.S. Capitol Police station, where he was given a breathalyzer test.

Mazur said police could not get an accurate reading on the breathalyzer, so Barry was asked to submit to a urine analysis, which he refused.


. . .The former four-term mayor accused federal authorities of trying to "embarrass and discredit me."

Actually, Mr. Barry, I think you've been doing a fine job of embarrassing and discrediting yourself. And after everything, I doubt that anyone's buying a conspiracy theory at this point.

Life experience quiz

How much life experience do you have? I have this much:

You've Experienced 76% of Life

You have all of the life experience that most adults will ever get.
And unless you're already in your 40s, you're probably wise beyond your years.

That's kind of sad, actually.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Changing the soundtrack

I went to go watch football with some friends tonight, and we flipped over to watch the President's speech. Note that I said "watch" because that's what we did -- we muted it and listened to Wesley Willis's "I Wupped Batman's Ass" as the soundtrack.

It was quite silly. Kind of like this, but more surreal.

Then, thanks to Justin, we listened to various selections from Dictionaraoke during much of the rest of the second half.

The Redskins still lost, but not like I really care. I only root for them when it's good for my fantasy score. And, it was kind of fun to watch the cameras focusing in on Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes sitting in the owner's box with pained looks on their faces as they pretended to care. Good show.

Things that are cool

I always plan to write about all of these interesting things, and I never get around to it. So, the list just gets longer and longer. . . . So here are some cool links that you should click on:

History of Dara, part 4 -- the 9/11 edition

As I've indicated in some of the prior posts, I've often kept journals in the past. I'm very inconsistent about it, though. When I was younger, in high school, I'd write almost every day for a couple of weeks, and then wouldn't write anything for months at a time. The entries got more and more sporadic when I was in college, and then law school. When I first moved up to D.C., I vowed to be more consistent about it, but it took me about a year to keep my promise. So, on September 10, 2001, I started a new journal.

I wound up ripping out my first entry, because it seemed so inconsequential in light of the next day's events.

Anyway, on September 11, 2001, this is what I wrote:

History happened today -- the plane crashes into the World Trade towers and the Pentagon.

Just heard an update -- hundreds might be dead in the Pentagon. I drove by earlier and saw it engulfed in fire and smoke. Everyone was all worried. Mom, my aunt, my siblings -- all worried and tried to reach me. But I was in court in Greenbelt this morning and barely heard anything. Just a peep before I left about a hijacked plane out of Boston. Then, when I got to court, heard about the NY attack. Never thought about the Pentagon, though, until I was getting evacuated from the courthouse.

I metro under there every day. I was even under there on my way home tonight. If I was late for work, I could have been there when it happened. Scary -- but the worst thing about it was hearing the fear in Mom's voice on the message she left. This had to be hardest on her -- being so far away and not being able to reach me.

My apartment smells like smoke. My throat and eyes are burning. I am less than ten blocks away from the Pentagon, and there still are sirens and flashing lights going back and forth.

On the news -- they're saying that this is one of the dates you'll remember forever -- like the millennium, the fall of the Berlin Wall, Tienemen Square -- which I remember. Others -- the assassination of Kennedy, the space landing, and Pearl Harbor -- clearly, I don't. But the images live on and are immediately recognizable.

Hopefully, all this will make sense one day.

What I didn't write about was how Judge Mannes wanted to get through his morning Chapter 13 docket before acquiescing to the evacuation, or how after being evacuated from the federal courthouse, I had to walk down to the Metro -- about a mile, in heels -- and then sat for a long time, while officials decided whether -- and if so where -- the trains were going to run. Initially, I couldn't even catch a train back in to Virginia. So, I spent the intervening time with work friends up in Cleveland Park, watching events unfold on tv.

For a long time after that, I was scared of getting stranded at that courthouse without a car, so when I had to go out there, I always drove. But about a year later I moved even closer to the Pentagon -- now I'm only about 5 blocks away. I still metro under there every day. Most importantly, though, I still haven't been able to make sense of any of it.

Saturday, September 09, 2006


We're on the verge of something momentous here at the blah blah blog-- the 10,000th page view. As I type this, the counter sits at 9,951. So, unless the site crashes before then, or some other unforseen event occurs, sometime tomorrow, someone will be visitor # 10,000.

Not to discount the importance of the other 9,999, but 10,000 seems very important. It's a round number. And it's big. But mostly, it's a round number -- and thanks to the OCD, I really like round numbers.

Anyway, thanks to everyone who reads my crap. 'Cause it's really about that. I mean, when I started this online journal thing back in February, I really didn't expect to enjoy it as much, or to find the wherewithal to continue. But I found out that I really like the dialogue aspect of it -- the blog as a conversation with the readers -- but mostly among the commenters - -with me as a sort-of moderator.

So thanks. The first 10,000 have been fun. Can't wait to see what the next 10,000 have to say.

Update: Here it is, the 10,000th visitor:

According to Site Meter, the visit came from San Francisco at 8:05 p.m. on September 10, and was referred here by Above the Law.

Back to basics

I decided to revisit something from my past this weekend -- my natural hair color.

For years -- since I was sixteen or so -- I've played around with the color. Originally, it started as temporary shades of red. Then, one time it was burgundy. Another time it was black -- which was hideous.

Once I started working, it was various shades of professional looking brown, but usually much lighter than my own very-dark-almost-black-brown. Then, 3 years ago, I started playing with highlights -- getting various shades of blonde, caramel, and auburn streaks in my hair.

Unfortunately, after a couple of months, you could always see my roots.

So, when I woke up first thing this morning to head out to the salon, I decided to be me again. And after an excruciatingly long day, I am. But even though it's my natural hair color, it feels very unnatural. Kind of weird, huh?

Friday, September 08, 2006

First Mel Gibson, then George Allen . . .

. . . and now, Arnold Schwarzenneger:

"She maybe is Puerto Rican or the same thing as Cuban," the governor said. "I mean, they are all very hot. They have the, you know, part of the black blood in them and part of the Latino blood in them that together makes it."

On tape, no less.

Ignore the prior post might be funny, but it's nowhere near as weirdly interesting as

Weird fun site of the day

Check out

Celebrity News

While we're all glued to the internet on the Britney Spears baby watch, there are a couple other interesting stories to note.

First, Paris Hilton said that all the media attention on her recent drunk driving incident hurts her feelings. I didn't know that she had feelings, but that's besides the point. It's okay for her to use the media to manipulate her way from rich heiress to talentless celebrity, but it's not okay for the press to report the news of her arrest?

Paris, STFU and deal. I'm sure you'll forget all about it in ten minutes when you buy yourself the next pink-and-sparkly toy. And, while you're at it, count your blessings. Some of us have to actually work for a living.

Second, check out Bill Maher's article in Salon about how mocking President Bush is his patriotic duty.

Amid all the 9/11 anniversary talk about what will keep us safe, let me suggest that in a world turned hostile to America, the smartest message we can send to those beyond our shores is, "We're not with stupid." Therefore, I contend -- with all seriousness -- that ridiculing this president is now the most patriotic thing you can do.

I love this dude.

Finally, and least importantly, check out the Washington Post Express's timely piece on Dawson's Creek: Where are they now?, because, in all the Suri Cruise madness, people have really forgotten way back when Katie Holmes dated Joshua Jackson, and not just in the Joey-dumped-Dawson-for-Pacey way.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


This might be the funniest celebrity video ever -- but I keep wondering whether this was before or after Ben Affleck was in rehab.

(thanks Defamer)

Things I learned today

Other than actual interviewing skills, the most important things I learned at my workshop are that, when your mock interviews are going to be videotaped and critiqued, you should (1) always wear makeup and (2) don't wear anything with a relatively low neckline. You really don't want to see yourself looking like a pale ghost with bad skin and distracting cleavage. Ick.

Holy Grail test

I'm taking a very interesting interview skills workshop today, so you'll pretty much have to carry on without me.

So, take the Holy Grail Test. And post your answers in the comments, if you so choose.

Category 4
You scored 90 Monty Phythones!
You've found the grail! Congratulations

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

History of Dara, part 3

In case you couldn't tell, I've been having a lot of fun with the "History of Dara" posts. They've given me a chance to revisit some stuff that I haven't looked at in years. So, I'm going to try to do one a week, for the foreseeable future -- or until I run out of publishable material.

This week's blast from the past is from a Humanities class I took my first semester of college. It was taught by a graduate student named Dennis who had long hair -- which was something I really dug back then -- and seemed like this really nice, sensitive, artsy guy. Of course, I was seventeen at the time, so I didn't stand a chance.

It was the only class I never skipped that semester. I got an "A." Then again, that wasn't unusual for me -- I went to a big state school.

Anyway, one of our assignments was to write a "dada" type poem -- something random. I had written a bunch of found (or collage) poetry when I was in high school -- where you cut words out of a magazine -- and was inspired by that idea. But instead, I took three words from each song on the first two Pearl Jam albums -- a noun, a verb, and an other -- put them into piles, and drew one from each for each line of the poem. The result was something sort-of like Justin's Blog Explosion Poetry.

Here it is:


Lonely insomniacs convince
Manipulate deadly madman
Backwards fleeting nightmares
Haunting dream thread
Never complaining moon
Admit twisted story
Neighbors standing afraid
Dissident ponders wrong
Simple tension gathers
Memories return forever
Diagnosed wicked direction
Tracing bottomless disaster
Greets nemesis nautiously
Lunatics breathe disgrace
Countering defective opinion
Question superior initiatives
Chases servile circus
Cried lifeblood end
Deny safest thoughts
Powermad contemplating revolution
Abused listless god
Abduct weak clone
Personally working mischief
Sold oneway bomb
Jumping mace filth
Shot middle surface
Shattered order slammed
Stab clean glass
Rearview enmity tattooed
Backstreet windowsill drawing
Troubled visions fade
Shove rain astray
Deserve clearer moutnaintops
Running against lifetimes
Trust precious mission
Emancipate loaded retribution
Freezing pieces congregate
Polish a thousand mirrors
Plight eradicated on impact
Candle flashing bright
Faith alone laughing
Unite towards amends

Actually, now that I'm looking at it again, it kind of reminds me of a nonsensical spam e-mail. I guess I was ahead of my time.

Can you say "overly litigious"?

Passengers are suing Air France because, on a flight, Bonnie Tyler performed Total Eclipse of the Heart for the co-pilot, making them feel unsafe.

If I had been there, I'd probably feel unsafe too. I mean, that song might put the entire crew to sleep, and then who'd be around to land the plane?

Don't Drink the Water

Another reason not to drink the local tap water: it's turning fish into hermaphrodites. From today's Post:

Abnormally developed fish, possessing both male and female characteristics, have been discovered in the Potomac River in the District and in tributaries across the region, federal scientists say -- raising alarms that the river is tainted by pollution that drives hormone systems haywire.

The fish, smallmouth and largemouth bass, are naturally males but for some reason are developing immature eggs inside their sex organs. Their discovery at such widely spread sites, including one just upstream from the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, seems to show that the Potomac's problem with "intersex" fish extends far beyond the West Virginia stream where they were first found in 2003.

The cause of the abnormalities is unknown, but scientists suspect a class of waterborne contaminants that can confuse animals' growth and reproductive systems. These pollutants are poorly understood, however, leaving many observers with questions about what the problems in fish mean for the Potomac and the millions of people who take their tap water from it.

If you haven't seen it yet . . .

. . . check out the article from the Post's Sunday Style section on the lost art of being a macho action hero. In short:

Where have all the action heroes gone? They certainly haven't gone to be soldiers; no, they've gone to be sensitive, not so much in the touchy-feely way, but in that way that strikes at their essence.

They no longer dominate.

That's really what the action hero had in spades, and, according to the script, it made other men fear, respect and obey him; and it made women fear, respect and obey him. (You'll note that love had nothing to do with it.)

Rock Star Update

I am wrong about Rock Star so much that I shouldn't even try. But here goes:

Best cover performance of the evening was clearly Lukas. And not just because I love Bon Jovi. Even though I generally don't like his singing, he did something different -- memorable -- with the song. Toby's cover of Mr. Brightside was good too -- but nothing special. Other than that, I wasn't particularly impressed with any of the covers.

And as for the original songs, Storm kicked ass. She was phenomenal, for the first time in the entire competition -- but she was only slightly better than Toby. And I still have to give some props to Magni for writing a pretty good song in a language not his own. Dilana and Lukas did not impress me at all with their songwriting.

Since next week is the finale, I don't really think it's really about the individual performaces of the songs anymore. I think it's going to wind up being about who can bring the whole package to the band. Songwriting, performance, personality -- and consistency. I think that's why they got rid of Ryan last week. So, for me, tonight, it was Toby.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Drama Queen?

My brother called me from Reno, NV last night. He had just checked in to a hotel there after his trip to Burning Man and a side trip to visit one of our cousins who's currently staying in Lake Tahoe. He decided to call before shaving off what he referred to as a month's worth of beard. After jokingly referring to his event as "Hipsters in the Desert" -- which he didn't find funny -- we then began discussing his long drive from Chicago to Nevada and the lack of interesting things along the way, followed up with a brief update on the last two weeks of family news. Somehow, this turned into his criticizing me for allowing too much drama in my life.*

"Dramatic pot, meet dramatic kettle," ran through my head, but I kept it to myself.

According to my brother, this so-called drama is because I purposefully put myself in uncomfortable situations that I could avoid. He's somewhat right about this.

I know that it's caused by a tension between doing what I want and doing the right thing -- and that generally, I choose to do the right thing, which is almost never what I want to do. Of course, my brother is the opposite. He always chooses to do whatever he wants, propriety and consequences be damned.

I don't know which is worse.

*Personally, I don't think there's a whole lot of drama going on. If it was, this blog would be way more interesting.

Monday, September 04, 2006

It's going to be a good fall!

Florida State 13, Miami 10.

I should probably thank Andy for calling me to offer moral support during the game -- especially when I got nervous during the first half and turned it off -- and for not making fun of my angst too much.

Now I can get back to thinking about fall tv and which sweaters match which boots.

No work today!

Man, what a day at the ballpark! First Ortiz pitches 8 innings of no-hit baseball, then he hits a homer, and then he gives up a single and a homer to Albert Pujols. Still, the Nats won -- and they've now won 5 in a row. It's things like this that make me love the game.

Next up, it's grocery shopping, more of Veronica Mars season 2, and at least part of the Florida State - Miami game. I'm sure I'll have to turn it off at some point because I'll get too nervous. I'm much better when the first game of the year isn't, potentially, the biggest game of the year.

Some of my friends were trying to plan some game-watching event, but this sort of game is the type where I'm best left alone. Unless they'd like to hear me threaten to throw up, turn off the tv, pace around the room, and --potentially -- throw things. Then it's lots of fun.