24 February 2009

in other words, my dog would be a cat

Who knew that dogsitting was a life lesson?

From 2009 0221 Dogsitting Chloe

I dog sat Doggie Chloe while her mommie was on vacation. I loved having a dog in the apartment again, but when Mocha has stayed with us, B's always been the one to take care of here. After a week of dogsitting, this is what I now know:

1. A dog's personality is a reflection of her owner's personality. Chloe reminds me so much of her owner. Chloe is sweet, affectionate, neurotic and lacks discipline.

2. I am not ready for responsibility. My entire weekend was planned around Chloe's walking, bathroom and feeding schedule. When I went out on Friday and Saturday nights, I'd walk her before I left at 9pm, and when I returned at 2 or 3am, I'd walk her again. I'd then get up at 8am and walk her again.

3. Dogs are messy. Chloe is 9 years old and incontinent, especially when she's excited. There were times when I was petting her and I'd notice a pool of yellow streaming out from underneath her while she tried to snuggle closer so I could pet her more. I spent a lot of time cleaning up dog pee and mopping my floors. Chloe peed in my room, on the living room rug and on the kitchen floor.

4. Dogs are cute. I wore my Puff Rider jacket every time I walked the dog, and after a while, Chloe came to associate the jacket as play time. After we got in from an AM walk, I put my jacket on the arm of the counch and went to fill Chloe's food and water bowls. When I returned turned around, I noticed Chloe had moved my jacket. She was sitting on the couch with the jacket piled into a comfy dog bed under her. She cocked her head to one side and looked at me as if to say, what? It's comfortable!

5. If dogs' personalities are a reflection of their owner's, I'm scared to know what sort of personality a dog of mine would have. It'd be some bizarre combination of anal retentive persnickitiness and mellowness. It would need tons of personal space and only want affection when it wanted it. The rest of the time, it'd lay around and sleep a lot. In other words, my dog would be a cat.

08 February 2009

Goodbye Silver Fox

Goodbye Silver Fox.  Here's why things will never work for us:

1. I eventually figured out that you are close to 20 years my senior, and when I jokingly mentioned you were twice my age, you got offended. Let's call things as they are and admit that you are not as young as like to pretend, and you are not good at pretending.

2. You made me go outside an admire your new BMW on our first date as if I cared what sort of car you drove.

3. You drink too much and then start shouting random Rolling Stones lyrics even if they aren't playing at the time.  We were at Crispo for dinner, and every few minutes, you'd get up and start belting out Rolling Stones lyrics even though there was no music and we were in a sit down restaurant.

4. You drink too much and then start telling me that I'm not going to do any better than you because you're extremely good looking, very successful, tall and in the best shape of your life.

5.  You drink too much and then imagine yourself friends with everyone. We went for drinks at Cibar, and you proceeded to yell Rolling Stones lyrics across the bar at the British DJ and explained that you two were great friends.  Later, the DJ asked me what was up with the annoying guy who kept yelling Rolling Stones lyrics across the bar, because every time he was at Cibar, that's all he did.

6. You told me you when to Yale at one point, and when I started to ask you about it (because I know people that went to Yale), you explained you attended a high school gifted program at Yale University one summer.  We both know that is very different from "going to Yale."

6. You enjoy hanging out in the meatpacking district and spend most of your weekend evenings there.  The one night I got to pick the bar, we ran into Heather Mills at the Rusty Knot.  When she left, you told me that you two were part of the same social circle in the Hamptons, and Heather has thrown herself at you numerous times, but you weren't interested.  At this point, I'm certain you had drank too much.

7. On our second date, you tried to get me to go home with you, using the very convincing and original rationale that you are very good looking, successful and tall.  I went home alone.

8.  On our third date, you upped the ante, and in addition to good looking, successful and tall, you also told me that you really really wanted a girlfriend, and if I went home with you, you'd take me shopping.  I went home alone.

9.  The morning after our third date, you sent me an email with a subject line: let's consummate our friendship tonight.  intimacy is very important to me."  In the body, you had attached a picture of two women in various stages of undress.  That's when I finally picked up the phone and politely ended any interaction with you by telling you that despite your height, success and good looks, we were in different places in life.  You agreed and told me I was boring.

Well, it's a good thing that I'm wishing you a goodbye then, Silver Fox!

This'll be useful for dating

Girls, rejoice. Gone are the days you're forced to have an awkwardly uncomfortable conversation with a guy who thinks he's super suave but is actually a jerk. This set of cards will do the work for you!
Order yours here.

07 February 2009

Happy Birthday, K!

K has an important birthday this month! We celebrated her new decade with dinner at The Park.

Even better news is that she's recently engaged. Congrats to K!

06 February 2009

Best episode of 30 Rock this season

For just the starting scene with the laid off investment bankers alone.

Alec Baldwin playing both Jack Donaghy and the Generalissimo totally makes it my fave epi of all time!


Oldies but goodies

I love stories and shows that can weave historical facts into an interesting plot.

Last year, I watched New Amsterdam because the central character was 400 years old. He came to North America with the first Dutch settlers and watched the small settlement grow into today's New York City. He would get these really cool flashbacks of historical New York. There was a particularly cool sequence where he took a picture of Times Square every year and lined the pictures up on a wall so he could see how Times Square had changed over time. I thought the concept was awesome, but the show got cancelled. Most shows I really like get cancelled. I think it's an indication of how out of touch I am. (Ahem, when will they make an Arrested Development movie?!?)

This year, I've been watching Life on Mars for similar reasons. The hero in Life on Mars is a present day policeman who gets hit by a car while pursuing a suspect and wakes up to find himself in 1973 (he's actually in a coma in 2009). The show works very hard to make sure all the props are consistent with the 1970s, and the show is often shot in industrial parts of Brooklyn where signs of progress are less apparent. It's pretty cool.

Finally, I thought I'd share The New York Public Library Digital Gallery -- it's cool because you can type in a street in Manhattan, and it'll show you all archived pictures of that particular street corner over time so you can see how it's changed.

Here's a picture of a street near my apartment that was taken in 1933.

Here's a picture of what it will look like this fall once construction is done on the glass building.

Check it at http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/dgkeysearchresult.cfm?num=72&word=13th=

05 February 2009

Remember this Rube Goldberg?

It was only like the coolest ever.

There are no computer graphics or digital tricks in the film. Everything you see really happened in real time exactly as you see it.

The film took 606 takes. On the first 605 takes, something, usually very minor, didn't work. They would then have to set the whole thing up again. The crew spent weeks shooting night and day. By the time it was over, they were ready to change professions.

The film cost $6 MILLION dollars and took THREE months to complete including full engineering of the sequence.

It's TWO MINUTES long so every time Honda airs the film on British television, they're shelling out enough dough to keep any one of us in clover for a lifetime. However, it is fast becoming the most downloaded advertisement in Internet history. Honda executives figure the ad will soon pay for itself simply in "free viewings" (Honda isn't paying a dime to have you watch this commercial!).

When the ad was pitched to senior executives, they signed off on it immediately without any hesitation - including the costs.

There are six and only six hand-made Honda Accords in the world. To the horror of Honda engineers, the filmmakers disassembled two of them to make the film.

EVERYTHING you see in the film (aside from the walls, floor, ramp, and complete Honda Accord) is parts from those two cars. When the ad was shown to Honda executives, they liked it and commented on how amazing computer graphics have gotten. They fell off their chairs when they found out it was for real.

Oh. About those funky windshield wipers. On the new Accords, the windshield wipers have water sensors and are designed to start doing their thing automatically as soon as they become wet. It looks a bit weird in the commercial.

Click here to see the commercial: http://www.albinoblacksheep.com/flash/honda.php

Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?

The following is an actual question given on a University of Washington chemistry mid-term. The answer by one student was so "profound" that the professor shared it with colleagues, via the Internet, which is, of course, why we now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well.

Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?

Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law (gas cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed) or some variant. One student, however, wrote the following:

First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which they are leaving. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving. As for how many souls are entering Hell, let's look at the different religions that exist in the world today. Most of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there is more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell. With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially. Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle'sLaw states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand proportionately as souls are added.

This gives two possibilities:
1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.
2. If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.

So which is it?

If we accept the postulate given to me by Teresa during my Freshman year that, "it will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you", and take into account the fact that I slept with her last night, then number 2 must be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and has already frozen over. The corollary of this theory is that since Hell has frozen over, it follows that it is not accepting any more souls and is therefore, extinct... leaving only Heaven thereby proving the existence of a divine being which explains why, last night, Teresa kept shouting "Oh my God."


Gawker picture of the day: adorable snowman

This picture is so cute, I'm both horrified by its cuteness and fascinated with it at the same time.

A child enjoys the Sapporo Snow Festival, along with some two million other tourists, in Japan; image via Getty

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04 February 2009

Goodbye Silly

Silly, my mother's gray cat, passed away last night. He'll be missed.

Is it laying, or is it lying?

Many years ago, I used to be a tutor at my college's writing center. I noticed there were a few grammatical issues that consistently confused writers. The first was the use of active or passive voice. The second was the proper placement of commas and apostrophes. The third was the proper use of the words lay and lie.

I realized today that I no longer remember when it's appropriate to use forms of to lay and to lie, so here it is:

Lie / Lay / Lying / Laying (from http://www.grammarmudge.cityslide.com/articles/article/992333/8992.htm)

Lie is an intransitive verb (one that does not take an object), meaning "to recline." Its principal parts are lie (base form), lay (past tense), lain (past participal), and lying (present participle).

[Lie meaning "to tell an untruth" uses lied for both the past tense and past participle, with lying as the present participle.]

Lay is a transitive verb (one that takes an object), meaning "to put" or "to place." Its principal parts are lay (base form), laid (past tense), laid (past participle), and laying (present participle).

The two words have different meanings and are not interchangeable. Although lay also serves as the past tense of lie (to recline) – as in, "He lay down for a nap an hour ago" – lay (or laying) may not otherwise be used to denote reclining. It is not correct to say or write, "I will lay down for nap" or "He is laying down for a nap." The misuse of lay or laying in the sense of "to recline" (which requires lie or lying) is the most common error involving the confusion of these two words.

> Once you lay (put or place) a book on the desk, it is lying (reclining, resting) there, not laying there.

> When you go to Bermuda for your vacation, you spend your time lying (not laying) on the beach (unless, of course, you are engaged in sexual activity and are, in the vernacular, laying someone on the beach).

> You lie down on the sofa to watch TV and spend the entire evening lying there; you do not lay down on the sofa to watch TV and spend the entire evening laying there.

>If you see something lying on the ground, it is just resting there; if you see something laying on the ground, it must be doing something else, such as laying eggs.

03 February 2009

She said WHAT?

Et tu, Miley?

After hearing about my latest He said WHAT episode, B suggested we introduce Mr. Foot-in-Mouth to Miley Cyrus. It seems like they have a similar sense of humor.

Um, is this a scam?

New York's Bailout Begins in Times Square

On Tuesday, February 3rd and Wednesday, February 4th, New Yorkers can simply visit the Bailout Booth in Times Square, where visionary entrepreneur "Bailout Bill" will be giving away cash bailouts, starting at $50, to EVERYONE who walks up.

02 February 2009

He said WHAT?

I just got back from a snowboarding trip to Jackson Hole. I had an awesome time and will write more about the week in a bit, but first, I wanted to post a "He said WHAT" entry.

The day our entire group was to arrive in Jackson, WY, flights were delayed by a winter storm. The half of the ski house I didn't know ended up catching the last flight from Salt Lake City to Jackson. My friends (the other half of the ski house) were either delayed for the night in Chicago or were going to arrive the next day. It was just going to be me and five guys for the night.

It was late. We were tired. Someone asked me what I did for a living. I explained I was unemployed. Out of automatic politeness, I asked what he did for a living although I could care less since an occupation doesn't make a person. He responded, "I work for the Japanese government" while pulling on the outside corners of his eyes and making stereotypical slanty Asian eyes. I kid you not.

When my mouth dropped open in disbelief, he explained he was joking, "I'm just kidding. My ex-girlfriend is Chinese, and she used to make all these jokes about Chinks, Asian eyes and stuff. She was so racist."

When I'm in uncomfortable situations, I have two visceral reactions:

1. Run away. When that's not possible, I

2. hide behind politeness and act as if I'm completely unaffected by the situation.

I'm sure it's a combination of my cultural upbringing as a female in a traditional Chinese home, my parents and my natural desire to please people. It's taken a lot of work for me to be comfortable with expressing myself in potentially confrontational or hostile situations.

It was a lot like learning how to drive. Sometimes I'd step on the gas a little too hard and my extreme emotional reaction wouldn't match the situation. Other times, I wouldn't step on the gas hard enough. My tepid reaction would be overruled or dismissed by others, especially those that spoke louder than me, had stronger personalities than mine or made more demands than I did. I definitely have feelings of anxiety when I know I have to have a very direct and frank conversation with someone, but it gets a little easier every time I do it.

When Mr. Slanty Asian eyes used the word Chink and told me it was okay for him to make offensive gestures because he knew one Asian person, I worried that he was indicative of the rest of the people in the ski house (fortunately, it wasn't). If I had been less tired, I would have pretended to laugh it off, but I had been flying for 12 hours. I was too tired to care or to pretend. I didn't care if I was the only person in the ski house that night who thought making slanty Asian eyes and using words like Chink were offensive. I didn't care if my response was going to open me up to more ridicule and stereotypical Asian jokes for the rest of the week. I spoke up, "Wow, that is so offensive. I can't believe you just did that."

01 February 2009

Change is a-coming!

What the eff?!? I can't decide if this is awesome or not.

For more action shots of Obama making some change, go to http://tigerfist.org/vat/whaa.html.