Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year!

It's New Year's Eve. To celebrate, a lot of people like to focus on the year that was, with things like "Best Of" lists. Like CNN's Word of the Year. Or even better, Rolling Stone's list of the 10 Best Movies Of the Year, which left off my favorite: Stranger Than Fiction. (Also check out their list of the 25 Best DVD's of the Year.)

I will do no such thing. Instead, my celebration will consist of drinking some bubbly and thinking about how awesome 2007 is going to be. (My recommendation for an inexpensive sparkling wine, which was introduced to me by a wine critic at a wine tasting class: Cristalino rose.)

Cheers!


Saturday, December 30, 2006

Radio Silence

I know, I know -- I've been absent for the past week.

I could have blogged while I was in Florida, but I didn't.

I could have blogged when I got home, but I didn't.

Instead, I spent time with my family. On my trip to Florida, I watched three movies.

I even read a book.

Since I got home, I cleaned my apartment and went grocery shopping. And I watched another movie last night.

Today, instead of blogging, I watched the first season of Entourage on DVD.

But really, this should just be seen as a practice run for two weeks from now, when I go to Morocco. Because, in all likelihood, there will be no blogging then either.




Saturday, December 23, 2006

Friday, December 22, 2006

Cost-Benefit analysis

I know I should be sleeping, but staying up late to watch Jimmy Kimmel Live in order to see Gnarls Barkley play their cover of the Violent Femmes' classic Gone Daddy Gone was completely worth it.

I'm sure I'll pay for it tomorrow when I'm tired and grumpy all day.


Thursday, December 21, 2006

An Observation

It is very time consuming to label 915 blog posts.



Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Notice anything resembling OCD here?





Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and Internal Revenue Service join forces to battle extravagant celebrity culture

It's official: Thanks to the IRS, celebrities will no longer be getting those fancy Academy Award gift baskets.

Accordingly, Ed Norton made this pithy comment:

He said, "A lot of us have talked to the Academy Awards producers about this and I think they're actually going to scuttle the gift baskets and that kind of stuff. I mean the gift baskets, worth amounts of money that a low income family could live on for a year, (are given to) people who have so much already. It gets depressing. You sit there, going, 'This is an embarrassment.'"


Note to self: (1) Find Ed Norton. (2) Give him a kiss.



Travel tips for dummies

I think I would have been somewhat very extremely annoyed if the airport security line I was standing in was slowed down because some doofus decided to send her baby through the X-ray machine.

If the line was long, I might have thought about punching her.


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Look what I made!

Ladies and Gentlemen, may I introduce -- for the first time anywhere -- my sock monkey!



Cute, no? The kit said it would take an hour, but it actually took WAY longer than that.

Anyway, he needs a name. Any suggestions?


Sunday, December 17, 2006

Cookie recipes

As promised, here are the recipes of the cookies we baked earlier today. They all came out great!

Snickerdoodles

Ingredients:
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
8 tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar, plus three tablespoons
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. Mix shortening and butter. Add 1 1/2 cups sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

  3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

  4. Add flour, baking soda, and salt, and blend until smooth.

  5. Mix 3 tablespoons sugar with cinnamon in a small bowl.

  6. Roll the dough, by hand, into 1 1/2 inch balls.

  7. Roll the balls in the cinnamon sugar.

  8. Flatten the balls into 1/2 inch disks, spacing them evenly on cookie sheets.

  9. Bake until light brown, but still moist in the center, about 12 minutes.


Gingersnaps

Ingredients:
1 stick butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1 egg
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground cloves
4 tablespoons granulated sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. Cream the butter with the brown sugar until light and fluffy.

  3. Add the molasses and the egg and beat until smooth.

  4. Add flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves, and beat until well blended.

  5. Pinch off a little of the dough and roll it into 1 inch balls. (Tip: Dip fingers into warm water first.)

  6. Dip each ball into granulated sugar, and place sugar side up on baking sheet approximately 2 inches apart.

  7. Flatten into 1/2 inch discs.

  8. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until cracked on top.


Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 12-oz package chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

  2. Mix butter, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla until creamy.

  3. Mix in eggs, one at a time.

  4. Mix in flour, baking soda, and salt.

  5. Stir in chocolate chops and nuts.

  6. Roll into 1 1/2 inch balls.

  7. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown.


Saturday, December 16, 2006

Two quick points

  1. If you are surprised that Trey Anastasio (see: Phish) was arrested for driving while on drugs, seriously, dude, you should stop doing drugs. What should surprise you, however, is that there was no marijuana involved.


  2. Judith Regan got fired over the O.J. book. Ha ha ha ha ha. Ain't karma a bitch?


Friday, December 15, 2006

First Night of Hannukkah

Since my folks are a thousand miles away, I like to get myself little presents for Hannukkah.

For the first night, I got myself this:



Yep, kids, I'm making myself a sock monkey. Just because.

(And, for the record, my presents for nights 2-5 are CDs.)


Chrismanukah Cookies

Tomorrow afternoon, I plan on baking cookies -- and Debby has agreed to be my sous chef. It's all part of my annual celebration of Chrismanukah.

For years, I've made cookies at this time of year, and now, the season wouldn't be complete without them. The association started in high school -- either my junior or senior year. Whenever it was, it involved boredom and a decision by my best friend that we just needed to do something. (Of course, this same kind of boredom involved us planning a McDonald's kids birthday party for her for her 18th birthday, and making goodie bags for her 20th birthday that had kids' toy plastic sherriff's badges.) I don't even remember what kind of cookies we made, but it started a tradition: Baking cookies and watching The Life of Brian.

Our freshman year of college, we hung out in my parents' kitchen and did the same thing. That year, my mom helped us, and we made shaped sugar cookies. Unfortunately, the little men and women shapes kept breaking -- so we put the body parts on in, uh, interesting ways. (Depending on the batch, they were x-rated or horror movie victims.) From then on, my siblings and my mom were involved, too.

One year, when I was in law school, we found a hippo cookie cutter and made "Happy Hannukkah Hippos" -- iced gray, of course, with blue lettering. (We couldn't actually fit the whole "Happy Hannukkah Hippo" on each cookie, so we abbreviated them "H.H.H.") My best friend's now-husband thought we were insane (but he married her anyway).

One of the sad things about moving away from everyone was the loss of the tradition. Still, I usually bake cookies to take to holiday parties. And two winters ago, for New Year's, I went to go visit my best friend and her husband in New Orleans where we spent a little bit of time baking.

Look back here tomorrow, where I'll post our recipes.


Thursday, December 14, 2006

A haricut, or "changing my life"

Just about every day, I follow pretty much the same routine: I wake up, I go to work, I have lunch, I go home, I eat dinner, I go to sleep. In between these bellwethers are the mundane details -- like work or hobbies -- my normal, every day activities.

Today, one of those activities was to get a haircut. I was just going to get a trim, and I explained to the stylist that it didn't really matter what she did to it, since I generally just put it up in a ponytail. The stylist was offended by that -- something about hair being a versatile accessory. So, somehow, she convinced me to cut it shorter -- mostly by promising me that she could cut it stylishly, and that it could be styled in five minutes in the morning.

She was so excited. About halfway through, she started telling people that she was "changing my life."

This is when I knew I was in trouble.


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Soundtrack To My Life

I saw this meme somewhere a couple days ago and thought it was cute, but for some reason, I held off doing it. Today, though, since I was already tagged with one meme, I thought, "Heck, might as well do another."

The rules:
  1. Set your i-Pod/MP3 player/wherever-you-keep-your-music to shuffle.

  2. Press play.

  3. For every question, type the song that's playing.

  4. When you get to a new question, press next.

So here it is -- the soundtrack to my life:

  • Opening credits: All My Life -- Foo Fighters
  • Waking up: Daughter -- Pearl Jam
  • Falling in love: Vacation -- The Go-Go's
  • Fight song: Sober -- Tool
  • Breaking up: Don't Stand So Close To Me '86 -- The Police
  • Making up: All Eyes on Me -- Goo Goo Dolls
  • Life's okay: Rags to Rags -- Eels
  • Mental breakdown: The Boxer -- Simon & Garfunkel
  • Driving: Cool -- Gwen Stefani
  • Flashbacks: Where The Streets Have No Name -- U2
  • Happy dance: The Indoor Type -- Lemonheads
  • Regret: Angels of the Silences -- Counting Crows
  • Final Battle: With or Without You -- U2
  • Death scene: Wild is the Wind -- Bon Jovi
  • Final credits: Love is Blindness -- U2


  • Man, I have a lot of U2 on this list. And as a whole, the outcome seems a little too much like some boring romance that ends poorly. Still, I can be thankful that at least no embarrassing boy band songs came up.

    Since turnabout is fair play, Ryane, I tag you -- along with anyone else that wants to do it too.


    Six weird things about me

    This morning, Ryane tagged me to disclose six ways in which I am weird.

    This is a hard challenge -- not because I'm not weird, but mostly because it's hard to narrow it down to six peccadilloes. And also because I don't want to repeat anything I disclosed earlier.

    1. Even though I am cold all the time, I absolutely hate to put on the heat. I would rather pile on layers of clothing and walk around wrapped in a blanket. So, most days, that's what I do.

    2. I am so bad at math that, more often than not, I count on my fingers.

      Yes, I am a tax attorney.

    3. I love Christmas -- and not just the lights, the trees, and the presents. Remember though: I am, for all intents and purposes, Jewish. Yet, for some reason, I love Christmas so much so that, in high school, I used to tag along with friends to midnight mass.

      I still bake Christmas cookies (generally gingersnaps and snickerdoodles, occasionally shaped and decorated sugar cookies), and I always send Christmas cards. One year, I even made a mix CD to send out to all of my friends in lieu of a card. (My friends still, on occasion, remind me how awesome it was.)

      I really want a Christmas tree. For years, I've been trying to justify it to myself with the whole line about it really being a pagan symbol to celebrate the winter solstice, but for some reason, I can't pull the trigger. This year, I almost bought the Charlie Brown tree.

    4. I have this compulsive need to keep busy all the time. As a result, I can't just sit in front of the TV -- my hands need to be doing something.

      I think it's sort-of like how a shark will die if it stops swimming.

      So, I pick up little hobbies to keep me occupied -- like knitting, or blogging, or -- several years ago -- scrapbooking. And then, out of the blue, I'll drop it -- with no warning. So, be warned. I might eventually get bored of blogging and stop.

    5. As noted in previous posts, I tend to be obsessive about things. Not just because I catalogued my shoes, or because I arrange my clothes in the closet in color order, but how my movies and -- most importantly -- my CD's are in alphabetical order.

      At one point, I organized them by genre, but at some point, the collection got too large -- and some artists are hard to pigeonhole. Take a look at what they look like now:



      I also know that exactly five discs are not in the picture -- because they are in the CD player. They are Pet Sounds (Beach Boys), Taking the Long Way (Dixie Chicks), The Ultimate Collection (The Jackson 5), and Anthology (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers) -- both discs.

      And for the record, on the bottom left are my collection of concert recordings (mostly U2, courtesy of Furthur) and on the bottom right are box sets and mix CDs. More on those at a later date.



      But the weirdest thing:


    6. I don't organize my books. At all. I just put them on the shelf.


    So, I should tag other people to do this now, right?

    Mad's already done it, though -- in haiku form. And I'd tag Inbal, but she never blogs anymore anyway. So, I guess I designate Justin, Scarlet, Needtsza, and Evil Spock. Oh, and anyone else who wants to do it.


    Tuesday, December 12, 2006

    Education Victim




    I just got out of my mandatory D.C. Bar class for newly-admitted attorneys where they teach the baby lawyers how to be an upstanding and ethical (cough, cough) member of the legal community.

    I took pretty much the same class in Florida 6 years ago. Only there, it was two days long.

    Lucky for me, New York didn't require a class. Otherwise I'd stab someone.



    Monday, December 11, 2006

    Losing my edge

    This weekend, I did something I haven't done in a long time: I babysat.

    When I was in high school, I babysat a lot. My parents didn't really think that I should have a real job (something about it distracting from my schoolwork), so that's what I did to make money. And I was pretty good at it. But like a lot of teenage girls, all of a sudden I realized that just didn't want to do it anymore. Nothing about the kids, or the work -- I just woke up one day and decided that I wanted to reclaim more time for my social life. So I quit accepting jobs, except when I was really really destitute (and couldn't manage to hound my parents into giving me money).

    Since then, I've occasionally watched the kids of family members or friends, but nothing real serious. And essentially that's what I did this weekend -- I watched Bo's baby so he and his wife could go to a holiday party.

    The baby was very good (all things considered). He only really cried at the beginning (when he realized his mom wasn't there) and at the end of the evening when he was tired and grumpy. In the interim, he and I walked around the Pentagon City mall, where we were joined by several of my friends. Then we went back to my apartment, where the baby amazed us with his crawling and playing with toys. And then, when he started to get grumpy, I tried to put him to sleep

    At that point, the baby was inconsolable. Everyone -- including my 3 friends that were sitting in my living room -- says that you need to let babies cry, otherwise they won't go to sleep -- but I just couldn't do it. Apparently, I've grown into a softie. So I sat there in my dark bedroom with the baby, holding him until he finally fell asleep.

    Of course, he was out for fewer than 10 minutes when the phone rang -- loudly. All that work for nothing.

    And a day and a half later, I'm still amazed at what a wuss I've become. I mean, I'm supposed to be this emotionless, analytical, business-minded lawyer, right? Right?

    Sadly, I'm starting to think that I'm really just a hard candy shell with a gooey marshmallow center. Next thing you know, I'll be watching chick flicks and crying.

    Friday, December 08, 2006

    "BlackBerry Orphans" are whiny brats

    I just read this interesting article in The Wall Street Journal about so-called BlackBerry orphans.

    As hand-held email devices proliferate, they are having an unexpected impact on family dynamics: Parents and their children are swapping roles. Like a bunch of teenagers, some parents are routinely lying to their kids, sneaking around the house to covertly check their emails and disobeying house rules established to minimize compulsive typing. The refusal of parents to follow a few simple rules is pushing some children to the brink. They are fearful that parents will be distracted by emails while driving, concerned about Mom and Dad's shortening attention spans and exasperated by their parents' obsession with their gadgets.

    ***

    The household tension comes as gadgets like BlackBerrys and Treos -- once primarily tools for investment bankers and lawyers -- have entered the pantheon of devices, including the TV, the personal computer and the cellphone, that have forcefully inserted themselves into the American home. . . . The problem has only gotten worse as more devices combine phone and email. Since people rarely leave home without a cellphone, even events that were once BlackBerry-free are now susceptible to office email.

    ***

    One of BlackBerry's biggest defenders, Jim Balsillie, the chairman of Research In Motion, says children should ask themselves, "Would you rather have your parents 20% not there or 100% not there?"
    Now, for the record, I've stated before that I hate being tethered to my BlackBerry. I do, however, respect the concerns about BlackBerry-ing while driving. A co-worker of mine recently got in a car accident on their way in to work, and may or may not have been checking e-mail at the time. And lord knows how many times I've yelled at a certain friend to put down her BlackBerry while driving -- even if we did need an address or directions. (Let the passenger do it.)

    Still, I feel absolutely no sympathy for the whiny upper-middle-class children who complain that their parents are distracted by the BlackBerry while sitting at their soccer games or dance recitals or whatever. Jim Balsillie is completely right: Deal with it, Junior. I mean, at least your parents are managing to be at your event -- all while earning enough money to pay for your extracurricular activities, send you to that fancy summer camp, and pay for you to spend five or so years finding yourself at some small liberal arts college before heading on to grad school.

    It must totally suck to be you.

    Thursday, December 07, 2006

    Grammy Predictions

    The Grammy nominations were announced this morning, but rather than discuss who should or shouldn't have been nominated, blah blah blah, I'm going to announce my picks. Well, at least for the categories that I listen to, or know something about, or care about -- or whatever. Because, in all honesty, I know nothing about Polka or Hawaiian music. And, as a disclaimer, I'm willing to admit that my only qualification to make these picks is that I buy a lot of albums, so I'm as likely to be wrong as much as anyone else. But still, everyone is entitled to an opinion.

    Here's mine:


    1. Best Short Form Music Video

      8th Of November -- Big & Rich
      When You Were Young -- The Killers
      Here It Goes Again -- OK Go
      Dani California -- Red Hot Chili Peppers
      Writing On The Walls -- Underoath

      To me, this is an easy choice. I've seen all but one of these, and honestly, the only one that stood out at all is OK Go. I mean, I devoted an entire blog entry to how awesome this video is. If it doesn't win, it was robbed. Best. Video. Ever.

    2. Best Country Song

      Every Mile A Memory -- Dierks Bentley
      I Don't Feel Like Loving You Today -- Gretchen Wilson
      Jesus, Take The Wheel -- Carrie Underwood
      Like Red On A Rose -- Alan Jackson
      What Hurts The Most -- Rascal Flatts

      Alright. I admit it. I occasionally listen to country music that is not the Dixie Chicks. And I really like two of these songs -- I Don't Feel Like Loving You Today and What Hurts the Most. But neither will win. Heck, if Carrie Underwood won the Country Music Award (or whatever the heck those things are called), she'll probably win this too. Maybe Gretchen Wilson will win something else.


    3. Best Country Collaboration With Vocals

      Who Says You Can't Go Home -- Bon Jovi & Jennifer Nettles
      Tomorrow Is Forever -- Solomon Burke & Dolly Parton
      Calling Me -- Kenny Rogers & Don Henley
      Midnight Angel -- Rhonda Vincent & Bobby Osborne
      Love Will Always Win -- Trisha Yearwood & Garth Brooks

      I just put this in so I could vote for Bon Jovi. Whatever.


    4. Best Country Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal

      Not Ready To Make Nice -- Dixie Chicks
      Heaven's My Home -- The Duhks
      Boondocks -- Little Big Town
      What Hurts The Most -- Rascal Flatts
      Leave The Pieces -- The Wreckers

      Love the Dixie Chicks. Love the Wreckers. Like Rascal Flatts. I think the latter will win this one, though.


    5. Best Alternative Music Album

      Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not -- Arctic Monkeys
      At War With The Mystics -- The Flaming Lips
      St. Elsewhere -- Gnarls Barkley
      Show Your Bones -- Yeah Yeah Yeahs
      The Eraser -- Thom Yorke

      I have no idea why Gnarls Barkley is in this category. They won't win, will they?


    6. Best Rock Album

      Try! -- John Mayer Trio
      Highway Companion -- Tom Petty
      Broken Boy Soldiers -- The Raconteurs
      Stadium Arcadium -- Red Hot Chili Peppers
      Living With War -- Neil Young

      I love the John Mayer Trio album, but it's blues, not rock. I think the Raconteurs will win this, because they're critical darlings. And it's a pretty good album.


    7. Best Rock Song

      Chasing Cars --Snow Patrol
      Dani California -- Red Hot Chili Peppers
      Lookin' For A Leader -- Neil Young
      Someday Baby -- Bob Dylan
      When You Were Young -- The Killers

      This is one of those categories where I like each song for completely different reasons, so none of them stand out. I sort of hope that Snow Patrol win this one, because they're like nothing else out there right now. But I can't get When You Were Young out of my head lately.


    8. Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal

      Talk -- Coldplay
      How To Save A Life -- The Fray
      Steady, As She Goes -- The Raconteurs
      Dani California -- Red Hot Chili Peppers
      The Saints Are Coming -- U2 & Green Day

      See #3 and substitute "U2" for "Bon Jovi." No, seriously, even though the song was supposed to benefit Katrina victims, I don't think it'll win. I love How to Save a Life, but it won't win either (too "pop"). Coldplay is so last year, so give my vote, again, to the Raconteurs. And it's a great song.


    9. Best Dance Recording

      Suffer Well -- Depeche Mode
      Ooh La La -- Goldfrapp
      Get Together -- Madonna
      I'm With Stupid -- Pet Shop Boys
      Sexy Back -- Justin Timberlake & Timbaland

      Still trying to figure out how Depeche Mode wound up in this category. Give my vote to J.T.


    10. Best Pop Vocal Album

      Back To Basics -- Christina Aguilera
      Back To Bedlam -- James Blunt
      The River In Reverse -- Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint
      Continuum -- John Mayer
      FutureSex/LoveSounds -- Justin Timberlake

      I really like the John Mayer album, but it won't win. And James Blunt is annoying. And as much as I like Elvis Costello . . . It'll be between Xtina and J.T. I think Xtina will win.


    11. Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals

      For Once In My Life -- Tony Bennett & Stevie Wonder
      One -- Mary J. Blige & U2
      Always On Your Side -- Sheryl Crow & Sting
      Promiscuous -- Nelly Furtado & Timbaland
      Hips Don't Lie -- Shakira & Wyclef Jean

      I didn't like the new version of One the first time I heard it, but it's starting to grow on me. Just the same, I think it's going to go to Promiscuous or Hips Don't Lie. I vote for the latter.


    12. Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal

      My Humps -- The Black Eyed Peas
      I Will Follow You Into The Dark -- Death Cab For Cutie
      Over My Head (Cable Car)-- The Fray
      Is It Any Wonder? -- Keane
      Stickwitu -- The Pussycat Dolls

      Just for the record, My Humps is a seriously dumb song. I think it's going to be between The Fray and Keane. I don't care which.


    13. Best Male Pop Vocal Performance

      You're Beautiful -- James Blunt
      Save Room -- John Legend
      Waiting On The World To Change -- John Mayer
      Jenny Wren -- Paul McCartney
      Bad Day -- Daniel Powter

      I'd like to see either of the Johns win this one. Mostly because I'm sick of James Blunt and Daniel Powter.


    14. Best Female Pop Vocal Performance

      Ain't No Other Man -- Christina Aguilera
      Unwritten -- Natasha Bedingfield
      You Can Close Your Eyes -- Sheryl Crow
      Stupid Girls -- Pink
      Black Horse And The Cherry Tree -- KT Tunstall

      There is something about each of these that annoys me. KT Tunstall is the least annoying.


    15. Best New Artist

      James Blunt
      Chris Brown
      Imogen Heap
      Corinne Bailey Rae
      Carrie Underwood

      Since this is the kiss of death, I sincerely hope that James Blunt wins this. He is whiny and malnourished-looking.


    16. Song Of The Year

      Be Without You -- Mary J. Blige
      Jesus, Take The Wheel -- Carrie Underwood
      Not Ready To Make Nice --Dixie Chicks
      Put Your Records On --Corinne Bailey Rae
      You're Beautiful -- James Blunt

      Please, God, let the Dixie Chicks win this. This song kicks ass.


    17. Album Of The Year

      Taking The Long Way -- Dixie Chicks
      St. Elsewhere -- Gnarls Barkley
      Continuum -- John Mayer
      Stadium Arcadium -- Red Hot Chili Peppers
      FutureSex/LoveSounds -- Justin Timberlake

      I can think of reasons that any of these artists can or should win this, or why they won't. I originally was tempted to say Gnarls Barkley would win this, but honestly, they're all about the song, not the album. I hope the Dixie Chicks win.


    18. Record Of The Year

      Be Without You -- Mary J. Blige
      You're Beautiful -- James Blunt
      Not Ready To Make Nice -- Dixie Chicks
      Crazy --Gnarls Barkley
      Put Your Records On -- Corinne Bailey Rae

      When I close my eyes and think of the theme song to this year, it's Crazy. Not only is it awesome, but it can't be classified into any one genre. If it doesn't win I'll be surprised.



    So, there you go. My list.

    What do you think?

    Goodbye, old printer

    So, I bought a new laptop computer a couple weeks ago. I finally have it (and the Slingbox) all set up, ready to go -- and I realize that my printer doesn't work with the new system.

    You see, for years, I've had the same crappy old Canon printer. For $60, it got me through the end of law school, my master's program, and six-plus years of living in D.C. -- and it still works fine -- even though nowadays the photo ink cartridges cost almost as much as the printer did nine years ago. But alas, it's not a USB printer, and the new computer doesn't have a port for an old-fashioned printer cable.

    So, since the printer has essentially become an oversized paperweight, I finally gave in today and ordered a new printer -- complete with copy, scan, and fax capabilities. I guess that means that I'm getting rid of the old flatbed scanner too.

    Jews on Gay Marriage

    Yesterday, Conservative Judaism decided to take a somewhat liberal approach to gay marriage (and gay rabbis): It's allowed, but it's up to the individual congregation to decide to accept it. As explained by The New York Times:

    In doing so, the committee left it up to individual synagogues to decide whether to accept or reject gay rabbis and commitment ceremonies, saying that either course is justified according to Jewish law.

    “We believe in pluralism,” said Rabbi Kassel Abelson, chairman of the panel, the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards of the Rabbinical Assembly, at a news conference after the meeting at the Park Avenue Synagogue in New York. “We recognized from the very beginnings of the movement that no single position could speak for all members” on the law committee or in the Conservative movement.

    I've said it before, but it bears repeating: Not only is this openminded and fair, but it's the right answer.

    Wednesday, December 06, 2006

    Another harsh reminder that I'm not a kid anymore

    Guess who needs reading glasses?

    Sigh.

    I thought I'd have more time to prepare myself for this eventuality.

    Next thing you know, they'll be telling me that I have arthritis or osteoporosis or something that only old people get.

    Fuckers.

    Tuesday, December 05, 2006

    Baby, it's cold outside

    This time of year, all I want to do is sleep and drink cocoa. It's cold, it's dark, and all of the fake-Christmas-y cheer annoys me. My office is so cold that people are wearing their winter coats all day.

    This is just about the only time of year that I miss Florida. When I was down there two weeks ago, I could -- and did -- go outside without a jacket, scarf, and gloves. (I just had to wear a polartec fleece vest in the house because the air conditioning was on so high.)

    We moved there from New Jersey during the summer when I was twelve. That winter, our first winter in the newly-constructed house, we actually had to turn the heat on for one night -- Christmas Eve. Unfortunately, so did everyone else, and the entire neighborhood suffered a brown-out.

    So, the next morning, after opening up all of our presents in front of the T.V., the family packed itself into the station wagon and went out for breakfast at the Bagel Land in a nearby strip mall. (An aside: Unlike the house in New Jersey, the Florida house did not have a fireplace in the family room. So, in our family's homage to The Night Before Christmas, our stockings were always carefully placed in front of the T.V. in order of our ages -- which, coincidentally, is also alphabetical.)

    The Bagel Land excursion became a sort-of tradition. You know, one of those things that happens more often than not, but on occasion, there are exceptions. Like the one year when I was in law school, and I somehow managed to catch (on video) my dad making pancakes and dancing around with the dog.

    I miss the weather. I miss the bagels. And every so often, I even miss my family.

    Monday, December 04, 2006

    Random sports news

    Florida State might have had a crappy football season,* but maybe they'll have a pretty good basketball season.**

    Even though they've lost to Wisconsin and Pittsburgh, they somehow managed to beat Florida today -- but that's probably because the Gators have mono.



    *Emerald Bowl? Really?


    Friday, December 01, 2006

    Pop Quiz

    Bored on a rainy Friday? Take the How's Your Vocabulary? quiz.

    Your Vocabulary Score: A+

    Congratulations on your multifarious vocabulary!
    You must be quite an erudite person.


    Or, for more of a challenge take the Does Your English Cut the Mustard? quiz.

    Your English Skills:

    Grammar: 100%
    Punctuation: 100%
    Spelling: 100%
    Vocabulary: 100%