Jan 29, 2009

heard at work

Posted by Mary |

I need a universal translator.
--Co-worker #1
I speak Klingon.
--Co-worker #2

I'll give you two guesses as to which one was me.

I've been a Shakespeare slacker this year. I still haven't been to any of the Bardathon. I am going tonight for the midnight reading, which means I am going to spend the night at a friend's house and will be very tired at work tomorrow. Bardathon was much easier when I worked until 1 a.m. at the newspaper and could just wander over and join the late-night/early-morning readings without worrying about being at work for 9 a.m.

I'll also be going back on Saturday when they will take a brief break from Shakespeare and focus on one of the masters of modern playwriting, Tom Moran. (Tom, you owe me $2 for that.) He wrote Friar with a Crowbar last year, and I'm going to be ditching a baby shower I'm hosting in order to attend.

OK, I'm not really ditching the shower, just taking a break for Tom's play. And it's not so much a shower as it is a henna party with a whole lot of Indian food and a Bollywood. Because I'm not so much a baby person as I am an "I love Rachel and Bollywood and henna" person.

Jan 25, 2009


Posted by Mary |

First I lapsed on the posting front, and then apparently my blog had a meltdown. Apologies. Everything should be right as rain now.

I was at brunch a few weeks ago and a friend started asking me what I had on the line. It seems that as the token single person at the event, I was expected to regale them with stories of wild nights. For obvious reasons, I can't post all my sordid tales here (Hi Mom!), but I can share this: I have a personal ad online. In that personal ad, I make it clear that my dates need to be capable of intelligent discourse. I go so far as to put the phrase "Spelling counts" in the headline. And in response I get e-mails like this:

ok im [name] lol no i have no idea what bollywood is but did you mean dollywood i know what that is lol anyway i like you profile and agery with you on a lot of things you have in there i dont think this massage is to clever but o well i cant spell ether but i do hope to here back from you evin if its a no i dont think your my tipe at lest i will no than so thats enuf now hope to here from you soon.........oh and sorry about the bad spelling and tipeing

Words fail me.

Friday was the Snow Ball at the Marlin, hosted by Sweating Honey. There is nothing better than a band playing in white tuxes in a basement bar. Except getting dressed up to go to the ball!

I finally found a man who can break my will on the dance floor. I have a touch of a dominant streak, and I tend to try to lead. Tristan just took control and spun me until I gave up. I like to think he was just clearing the path for all the men I danced with afterward, as I finally let them lead.

On Saturday, I stopped back in at the Marlin where the band was playing once again, but this time not in tuxes. As per usual, I was still dressed up. After a quick martini, Dara and I headed out to Garrison's house for Portia's goodbye party. She is heading to Texas for a year to attend midwife school. The party was one of those bizarre series of people and events that cannot be fully explained, but suffice it to say that by the end of the night we were throwing ping pong balls, there was a potato in the refrigerator with a phone number written on it, and I kept singing Dio every time someone mentioned the Chili Driver.

Now I'm trying to figure out how to make up my sleep deficit and still manage to attend some of Bardathon, which started this weekend.

Jan 12, 2009


Posted by Mary |

It's 5:30 p.m. The work day is over. I just noticed that my shirt is on inside out. I'm going to go to the gym and see if I can put those clothes on properly.

And on a side note, it is FINALLY warming up. I try not to kvetch about the weather too much, because I do voluntarily live in Alaska. But just so you know, today was the first day since December 27 that it has risen above -30.
Yesterday: -40
Today: -4

Jan 6, 2009

dawn of the noobs

Posted by Mary |

When I hit the gym after work yesterday, it was uncharacteristically crowded. I have always been a morning gym person, so I kind of wondered if it's normally that busy. Then I realized that I was surrounded by New Year's Resolution type people. There were certain cues.

Step one when going to the gym is wearing the proper attire. The woman on the elliptical wearing woven cotton pajama bottoms and one of those spaghetti strap tanks that touts built-in support? The guy running laps in over-the-ankle hiking boots? These are not the normal denizens of the gym.

Step two is, of course, proper gym behavior. Go in the same direction as everyone else on the track, even if it is 15 steps shorter to go the other way to get to the stairs. If you are walking, use the walk lane. If you are walking with a friend, you'd damn well better be walking close to each other, not spreading across 2 lanes.

And for the love of God, leave your kids at home. I get it: They're precious and babysitters are expensive. But while you are well adjusted to the rhythm of life with a child, I am not. I do not like your abrupt stops in the middle of the track to let the child climb out of the baby stroller and walk all by itself! While you may be able to stretch in a state of zen while your child runs in a circle around you, that child is actually physically running into me, and it's pissing me off. And if you do bring your whole family to the gym, please use a locker room. Do not leave your coats and boots in a massive pile upstairs. The dance floor is closed for refinishing, so there is only a tiny, tiny space for everyone to stretch upstairs. Your outwear is not cool.

Rant over.

Jan 5, 2009

moderate success

Posted by Mary |

Turns out it was just an issue with Blogger. I couldn't make any changes to the XML without getting an error message, but I now have dates. Well, I have dates for one post per day. If there's more than one post, only the top one gets a date and the rest are left blank. So there's still something to work on.

Jan 4, 2009

what i did on my vacation

Posted by Mary |

The first step to throwing a successful party is to select a theme. Initially I was drawn to A Very Jewish Christmas, mostly because I wanted to make latkes. But then I remembered how yummy moussaka is, and so it became My Big Fat Greek Christmas.

Grating nutmeg for the bechamel sauce.
Hazelnut rosemary jam thumbprints.
Living proof that more adjectives = tastier food.

Tom had already created some festive art a few days before.
A very seasonal Ms. Pacman design for the coffee table.

And the holidays wouldn't be fun without friends.
Christi, who stopped by to tell me she is moving to Cambodia.

Stefan came for the sauna and stayed for the meal.

James and Dara.

Before we gorged, we saunaed. It's both a verb and a tradition.
Dara returns.

And after the meal, we kept up another sacred holiday tradition - the anti-Christmas movie. In this case, Top Gun with RiffTrax.

And of course I lit a fire. This will be a common theme.

Since Christmas is one of the Seven Major Holidays, I can once again treat you to images of James at a high level of drunkenness.

It gets better.

The day after Christmas, I went to visit with Rachel and Glenmore before he headed off to Iraq. On the way home, I stopped at the store for some supplies. This would prove key in the days to come.

First up: I needed to make some gifts for Tom. And what better says "I used to love you but now we're just friends" than Skittles vodka?

Step 1: Put Skittles in jar.
Step 2: Pour vodka into jar.
Step 3: Shake jar.

Actually, I lied. The Skittles vodka, while clever, was not the best possible gift.
Bacon vodka FTW.

Remember how I said that fire would be a prevalent theme and that it was fortunate I went to the store? On December 27 my car stopped starting. Or maybe is started stopping. I'm not quite sure, but one thing was clear: I was going nowhere fast.

To be fair, Fairbanks had fallen into a bit of a cold snap. If one considers -40 cold. Personally, I consider it to be the magical moment when Fahrenheit and Celsius collide. I brought my battery inside overnight to try to warm it up, and put it back in the car the next day. No dice. I resumed my work of starting fires, keeping fires going, running space heaters to try to thaw the pipes, etc.

Now, I had already broken my wireless router before Christmas. Since the house was hovering around 50 degrees but my bedroom was considerably warmer, I decided to bring the modem up there. Big mistake. That is when the entire Internet went bye-bye. Fortunately Bob left me with a lot of TV. I have now seen all of Heroes. I can see how it might be addictive, though when you watch it all back to back, it gets tiring to see certain characters continually flop between two positions.

By December 31, the situation was starting to get a little dire. I was running a little low on food and a lot low on morale. Even though it was his birthday, Tom agreed to go buy me food, get me movies and come over to my house. The cupboards were getting empty, but I was not without a few tricks.
Even when I'm running out of food, I can still
rustle up the ingredients for some birthday cake.

Maybe even a triple-layer banana rum cake with chocolate
peanut butter frosting and crushed honey roasted peanuts.
See? Adjectives do make things sound better!

Tom graciously brought over burgers from Brewsters. We hooked my thawed battery up to his car and left it jumping for a while, then tried reinstalling it in my car. No dice. The car was frozen solid.

Back inside, we decided to take a culinary journey to India. Or at least drink some Indian sodas I had in the cupboard.

First up: Spice soda. The label seemed to have cumin seeds on it, but we didn't let that deter us.

We should have.

Tom, being an optimist, noted that we hadn't actually puked yet. I realized that this stuff was worse than Unicum.

Next stop: Masala Soda.

And our third stop was me desperately swigging water. Tom couldn't believe it was worse. It tasted like cumin, with cardamom - but not enough to be tasty - and ginger - but not enough to settle my stomach.

It's worth noting that Tom Moran refused to finish the drink. And that man will eat anything.

Finally, on Jan. 1, the temperature rose to a balmy -26. I spent about 3 hours rotating pans of hot coals underneath my car, then reinstalled the battery and finally achieved success. The temperature is back down in the -40 range, with no hope of warmth anytime soon.

new look

Posted by Mary |

The kinks are not all worked out. Namely, I cannot for the life of me get the date to show up on my posts - only the time. What good does the time do? I want dates! If I can't get it working, I may revert to my old template and go back to the drawing board.

Sigh. I just wanted to finally have valid XML code.