“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”
--- Douglas Adams

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Word to Your Mother. Love Your Sisters and Brothers. And Love Each Other . . . .

Over the years I've had a few Christmas rituals. Just me, no family involved.
Here they are in no particular order other than this is the order they came into my head.
  • Since about 2002, when I got it as a gift, I've been reading Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris at least once every holiday season. It makes me laugh out loud every single time.
  • When I'm driving in the car alone* I play the Holdiay CD from the Barenaked Ladies on volume 11 and belt out every song at the top of my lungs. *I also do this when my baby is in the car. She can't talk yet. She's won't tell. Also, when she's in the car I don't turn up the volume. Wouldn't want to hurt her little ears.
  • Every time I hear the song Christmas Wrapping by the Waitresses I sing along as well. Every year I tell myself I'm going to learn how to play it on my ukulele and it'll be my "go-to" song when I'm at holiday parties. People would say "C'mon, Andrea. Sing us a song and play your ukulele" and I'd whip out my uke and sing a great rendition of the song. (clip from youtube below. it isn't an actual video from the song but in my 3 minute search it's the only one I found without a stupid commercial before it)

  • When I worked for The Food Whole a long time ago in another life we used to get $25 gift cards as a Christmas gift. With my gift card I would buy a big block of Torrone and a bottle of super meaty cab. I would enjoy both all by myself, in front of a movie that Hubby would probably hate, something weepy and romantic comedy-ish. I don't do this one anymore. Not super bummed about it, though. Life evolves. Things change.
  • One tradition I totally miss, I fear is gone forever. I had this cassette tape. On this tape was "Feel the Warmth of Kevin and Bean's World of Christmas." Kevin and Bean were (and are) DJs from a SoCal radio station KROQ. When I was 20 I listened to them. When I was 20 they had a little Christmas special and made an LP during the special. I had a tape of it. I loved it. It  had the cast of Twin Peaks singing The 12 Days of Christmas.  I can't listen to the recording anymore. I blame progress. You can't stop progress. Cars no longer come standard with a cassette tape deck. Also I blame myself. I lost the tape somewhere between moving out of the flat I shared with roommates and moving in with my boyfriend (now Hubby). I miss it. I wish I still had a copy.

  • Time goes on, however. just as Toyota no longer makes a car that comes with a cassette tape deck.
    I have to create new traditions and rituals.
    It's OK though.

    Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Adminning - Book Review

Last week or so I was having a conversation with someone about the profession of Administrative Assistant. I started walking out of the room when she said that she knew all about how to be someone's assistant because she spent a summer answering phones, then wished I were walking faster when she ended with stating that career admins have no ambition to be or do anything else. Clearly I was speaking to someone who didn't know what she was talking about.

I'm an Executive Assistant. I know it's hard work. I know it takes the ability to be resourceful, adaptable, helpful, crafty, diplomatic, secretive and efficient. I also know that sometimes it's a thankless job. An Assistant's job is to make the Executive look good. Think of a duck. A duck looks peaceful and at ease above the water, but under the water its legs are moving furiously to get from  point A to point B. The Executive is the duck on top of the water. The Assistant is the duck under the water.

The person I was talking to was only seeing the top part of the duck and had no interest in learning about what was under the water.

Continuing with my theme of reading books that were turned into popular movies, I just finished reading The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger. I enjoyed it. Unlike the last book I read (Forrest Gump), I liked the book a lot better than the movie.

The book is about a young woman named Andrea who recently graduated from college. She wants to be a writer. She takes an admin job at a fashion magazine in the hopes that working as an EA for the editor in chief of the magazine will be the most excellent resume fodder in the world and will be her ticket to her getting any writing job she wants.

The job is a soul-sucking job that she hates. Her boss asks her to do all sorts of crazy things like finding a recipe for that one dessert at a restaurant she really liked last week or researching how many ears of corn grow on a stalk intended for commercial sales, or locating a lost laptop left behind with the TSA at airport security, or get a table for 7 at French Laundry for the day after tomorrow (wait, those last 3 things are things I've done in my current job, the answer for the corn is "one" by the way). The difference between her and me is that I work for pretty nice people, the woman in the book worked for a mean mean person.

In the end she quit her job by telling off her boss, and yes, working for this woman made for fantastic resume fodder and it opened tons of doors.

I can't imagine working for someone as mean as the boss in the book but I did sympathize with the character Andrea. I totally rooted for her and I cheered her on the whole way through.

I didn't like her friends in the book. I thought the movie characters were better.

Overall, I liked it.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Fifty Shades of . . . I'm such a sucker. - Book Review

I'm such a sucker. I know I said I wasn't going to do it, but I did. I read the second and third books in the "Fifty Shades" trilogy. So frikkin' stupid. 

I wasn't looking for good literature. I wasn't looking for good sex scenes. I was looking for a fun, mindless story. I didn't get any of that. All I got was pissed off. Not that I'm the big expert on the Pacific Northwest or on kink, but I think the author got her information about the area and the subject matter from a combination of Wikipedia and Craigslist.

In my review of the first book I wrote that I wasn't going to read the second and third books because I knew what they'd be about. Turns out I was mostly wrong and the second book did have more of a story than the first, but it was still stupid and it irritated me. Where the second book irritated me, the third book downright pissed me off.

Here's this guy who can't let go of his past so he beats every woman who looks like his crack-whore mom, then he marries this young woman and controls every aspect of her life. She walks around in total fear that she's going to piss him off because he's got a fragile soul.

I think what pissed me off the most is that the lead female character lets the lead male character control her and boss her around and she doesn't have the balls to make decisions for herself. Sure, there are a few times where she shows some independent thought but it's always with the price tag of  "I wonder if  I'll get in trouble for this." I'm not addressing the sex stuff in the book. Whatever makes them happy in that area, well, who am I to argue? I'm not going to judge them there. I'm addressing the regular life stuff.

The girl totally lived her life in fear of pissing off her boyfriend-turned-husband. Sometimes, I'll admit, she lived her life in the hopes of pissing the guy off, but it still made me mad. What kind of life is that? That's no fun. Doesn't say a whole lot about the girl. 

Overall, all the characters in the book were people I didn't like and I'm glad they are not real people.

I Just Couldn't Embrace the Ape - A Book Review


Congratulate me. I finally made the switch. I got rid of my Blackberry and joined the real world and got myself an Android phone. I feel much smarter. Now what with my new smartness and all, I have two things. One is a budding addiction to Temple Run and the other is access to The Girl's Nook on my phone. Yes, I know I have Nook access on my computer, but I don't like reading books on my computer. And yes, I know that I could have had Nook access on my Blackberry but I didn't like how the program worked on that phone.

I've read two books so far. One is Princess Bride, but we all know that I read it before and disgraced myself at Powell's Bookstore in Portland. You can refresh your memory on the incident here.

The other book I read was Forrest Gump. I can't decide if I liked it. I know that books and movies often differ. Sometimes characters are combined and scenes, descriptions and back stories or omitted adapt a story for the big screen, but most of the time, the spirit of the book is still in tact.

The book Forrest Gump and the movie Forrest Gump were almost exactly, but not quite, entirely unlike each other.
In the book, Jenny marries someone else, Forrest's mama never sleeps with the school principal to get her son into school and she doesn't die. Forrest doesn't wear leg braces as a kid or run across country multiple times as an adult. He does get shot in the buttocks, though, and he does meet a few different Presidents. He also plays football starts a shrimping business.
Also, in the book, but not in the movie, Forrest becomes a professional wrestler, plays chess for money, lives with cannibals and goes into outer space with a male orangutan named Sue, who becomes his closest friend and confidant, which is probably why he has to drop out of the race for the Senate.

While the movie was a heart warming story with cute little catch phrases, the book has none of that. I found it hard to finish the book because it just kept getting more and more hard to believe, and not in a fun way.  Plus it was written first person in the voice of Forrest. That took a little bit of getting used to.

I didn't like it very much.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Peter Dinklage - 1, Regina George - 0 - a dream

I have more dreams than what I write about. Some aren't interesting. Some I can't remember enough to piece together a story, and some have subject matter that I don't want to put out on the internet. I have to have some secrets, don't I? I don't know if it was the pregnancy and baby hormones that had to work their way through my body or what, but my dream life kinda took a nap of its own the last few months. It's just now starting to come back.

 I had a part in some kind of play. Something Christmas-y and Dickens-ish. I was in a dance number with Regina George (not the Rachel McAdams who played RG, but RG herself) and some other girl I don't remember but she kind of looked like Stephanie Tanner (but not Jodie Sweetin). The day of the dance I asked the two girls to go over the dance with me. I had forgotten it and just needed a little reminder. Regina George told me she wouldn't go over the dance with me and that I was a loser and if I didn't know the dance I was just going to have to take my lumps and make a fool out of myself on stage instead. Then the other girl started yelling at me telling me that I was right on the cusp of either being cool or not. If I knew the dance and performed it well I would be cool, but because I didn't, I had made my choice. I wasn't cool, or pretty.

I knew I was cool, though, because right before all that happened, I was sitting in a large room surrounded by all the people trying out for the play. Peter Dinklage came up to me and sat down. In my dream we knew each other a little bit. I can't say we were friends, but I knew if he walked into a room and needed someone to make chit-chat with, he would usually come up to me, and I would usually come up to him. We were sitting at a table drinking beer out of fancy steins and some guy came up and sat down with us. He and Peter Dinklage knew each other, but I didn't know the guy. The guy started telling a story and during the story he started swearing up a storm. Peter Dinklage gave him the most evil eyes I've ever seen, then looked at me with super apologetic eyes. He told the guy not to swear in front of me because it was disrespectful. I was about to tell Peter Dinklage that I was a big girl and although I didn't like the swearing, I could handle myself. I decided not to say anything because I thought it would be disrespectful to Peter Dinklage. He was, after all, standing up for me.

Having Peter Dinklage as a casual acquaintance gives me way more street cred than being in a Dickens-type dance number with Regina George and Stephanie Tanner ever will.

Welcome now my friends to the show that never ends

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Nice Pictures - Where'd you steal them from?

Some of the pictures in my blog were taken by a photographer called Julie Michele. Some of the pictures were either taken by me or someone I know. Some of the pictures were ripped right from the internet, mostly from google image searches from photographers to whom I may or may not give credit.

Rest assured I make no money from any of it.