Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Happy Census Day!

How is this day different from all other days? I mean... How many people were living or staying in this house, apartment, or mobile home on April 1, 2010? Go forth and respond.

Need some help filling out your form? Never fear, funny people are at your service. Yes, for the second installment in my pretentious census-in-american-culture series, I bring you census comedy classics!

The Three Stooges get 4 cents a name and find some creative uses for those oversize clipboards.

SNL. Christopher Walken isn't good with numbers.

Stephen Colbert values his privacy.
The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
United States Census 2010
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorHealth Care Reform

Last year in Jerusalem

Hey, it's passover! I haven't done anything to mark it yet, so now's as good a time as any to start posting about my birthright trip.

I'll start at the end. We visited Jerusalem last, as in a proper pilgrimage. We arrived at night, the 3rd stop of a typically loooooooong birthright day. We traipsed around the old city and made our first visit to the Kotel (the wall.)

Security checkpoint. "The chief rabbis of Israel have ruled that walking through the metal detector system does not violate Shabbat or festivals."

Overlooking the Kotel. Noa, our tour guide, checks an English translation in her trusty bible. (My notes tell me she was reading from something in Kings. Presumably for historic perspective, as Noa was always fairly irreverent. You probably can't tell it from this set of pictures, but those of you who have been on the same trip know how very very secular it was. Wait til I get to the hippie rabbi who called Bob Dylan a prophet.)

Wine for the blessing.

We could barely keep our eyes open for the tour of the subterranean excavations of the wall under the Muslim quarter, even though our guide was this excellent orthodox lady who'd made aliyah from Philadelphia, where she used to give tours in colonial garb.

According to my notes, we pulled up at our hotel after midnight and breakfast was scheduled for 7:30. Have I perhaps mentioned the torturously long days??

Stay tuned for more Jerusalem.

Monday, March 29, 2010


Coming out of a three day weekend full of hibernation, genealogy, and hanging out with my mom. Just popping in to say yello and share a picture of the chickens from down the block.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

We clean up real nice

Just saving my good name. Don't mind me.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

It's finally census season!

Yesterday I kicked off the first day of spring in style, with singing AND jam... more later. But most importantly, Census 2010 is in the air! In case you haven't known me for the better part of the last decade, or were perhaps living under a rock somewhere, I served as a "Non-response Enumerator" back in 2000 and remain a huge census nerd. This year both Steve and I turned down census jobs, but I can still join in the propaganda campaign. There's always a few troublemakers in the news, but in my experience everyone in the real world was welcoming to me and proud to be counted. And I mean EVERYONE, from college professors to teenage mothers to recent immigrants (legal and otherwise) to condo board members to black guys hanging out on the street corner to lesbian homeowners to everyone confused by the lack of a "latino" ethnicity bubble.

The first installment in my ongoing series celebrating the impact of the census on American culture:

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Break out the tiny cakes!

It's another birthday for my better blog half! Previously unreleased photos!

River walk, Austin, December 09

Mad photography skills, new year's eve
(The making of this picture, in fact.)

KT - I have a whole set of birthday stuff for you, but it would be totally breaking tradition to have sent it on time, plus it's more of a passover theme anyway. Natalia will entertain you until then. Play some games for me! Maybe you can find Jonathan and get the gang back together for a round of charades!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

For no reason, other than the fact that they make me laugh

While I'm on a roll, and mostly to distract you from that picture of our living room below (if I ever die spectacularly, please don't let the paparazzi get ahold of that picture), here's a little more fabulous photoimagery:
R and the delightful old bird who asked him to dance when we went out to the Coupland Dancehall for Bill's birthday. Tragically, I managed to be in the restroom for the actual asking and much of the actual dancing, but fortunately, Alexa had the presence of mind to steal a shot for posterity.

Here's another one that my brother posted a week or two ago and which I am shamelessly reprinting here because it seriously never gets old. Maybe you need to be related to a math nerd (or, I suppose, a cheerleader) to appreciate it to its full extent, but probably even if you're not it's still good. Never a dull moment in Court 5.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I spy with my little eye...

Faithful blog reader Natalia is coming to town for South by Southwest later this week and will be staying with us for a couple of nights. In honor of her visit, I am posting a current "Before" shot of our living room. (Please note that there is no "After" shot. I am trying to shame us into cleaning before she gets here.) Now, since there's nothing more fun than shame, let's take this opportunity to play a little I Spy. Can you spy... empty oatmeal container that is inexplicably being stored in an unwashed crock pot?

...two used roasting pans? (Bear in mind that this is our living room, people, not our kitchen.)

...B&Q's down comforter, which we borrowed from them during a cold snap in December and still haven't managed to return?

...three different grocery bags in various states of unpackedness?

...not one, not two, but six (6) individual pairs of shoes, all strewn on the floor within perhaps five feet of our shoe shelves?

...a copy of Atlantic magazine on top of three empty yogurt containers on top of a cookbook on top of an (I can only presume, since I haven't seen it properly in at least a week) unwashed 4-cup measuring cup? (Please note that the cookbook is doing double-duty by also holding a notice from the IRS and a pair of earrings.) (definitely unwashed, this time I'm sure of it) karate uniform?

Now, don't you all (with the possible exception of M&R, though I hear rumors that they've cleaned up their act in recent years...) feel better about your own homes? You're welcome. I'll try to take an "After" shot later this week. If I can't... well, may God help us all.

Also, a little link roundup for you. (Am I turning into an Actual Blogger? Heaven forfend!)

Link the first: Don't you wish you lived in the live music breakfast taco capital of the world?

Link the second: Oh wait, no you don't, because then your State Board of Education would do this. Seriously, go look at this list. It's hilariously awful. Below are a couple of my favorites, but really the whole thing is this bad. News of the Weird, eat your heart out.

...Religious conservatives stripped from the high school sociology course a standard having students "differentiate between sex and gender as social constructs and determine how gender and socialization interact." Board member Barbara Cargill argued that the standard would lead students to learn about "transexuals, transvestites and who knows what else." She told board members she had conducted a "Google search" to support her argument. Board member Ken Mercer complained that the amendment was about "sex." The board consulted no sociologists during the debate...

...The board removed Oscar Romero, a prominent Roman Catholic archbishop who was assassinated in 1980 (as he was celebrating Mass) by rightists in El Salvador, from a world history standard about leaders who led resistance to political oppression. Romero, they argued, wasn’t of the same stature as others listed in the standards: Nelson Mandela and Mohandas Gandhi. One board member argued that “he didn’t have his own movie like the others.” He quickly reversed himself — the film Romero, based on the archbishop’s life, was released in 1989 and starred actor Raul Julia in the title role...

Link the third: Okay okay, I know this is a family-friendly blog... but seriously, what???? (My boss sent this to me and her sister, whose only response was "Um, okay, I can see how maybe gay men might like this, but then what purpose would that serve???" Snicker.)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

This week in bikes

Shifting. This has been my biggest issue with my bike, and it turns out to be the easiest to adjust. On my 3 spd it just means screwing a chain tighter or looser. Hey, I can do that! Now it shifts like butter. Also, I got my hands nice and greasy for the first time in class, like a proper mechanical person. Of course, this was only from poking around the dirty dirty wheels while replacing broken reflectors, which really shouldn't count.

Ooh, if you haven't heard the news yet, google maps offers biking directions now! Score!!

Sunday, March 07, 2010

"Any big plans for the weekend?"

The cashier asked me on Friday while he rung up my purchases.
"Did you SEE the chips and ice cream?"
I was mostly joking, but apparently there was a little too much truth in it because he gave me a pitying look in reply. Ouch. So much judging.

I miss the days when N and I used to religiously watch the Oscars. It kind of takes the fun out of it when you haven't seen ANY of the movies. I saw exactly... 4 movies in theaters last year. Star Trek and Moon with N, and Harry Potter and Sherlock Holmes with KT and R. Apparently I really come out for the big franchises, hmm? I did really want to see the Hurt Locker but never got around to it. I have NO plans to see Avatar, 3-D or otherwise.

I hit up 3 thrift stores yesterday and was totally frustrated in my attempt to find ANY clothes. Then I realized it was probably for the best - I'd become like the people I'd mocked on Clean House who had to buy new stuff when they lost it in their mess. I watch that show largely because it makes my average clutter look positively spotless, but now I found myself shopping to replace some favorite shirts I'd lost in my heaps of clothing. I cleaned my room instead, and now I have something to wear tomorrow.

Joe is 10 months old! Good lord, he is dangerously cuter every day. I mean, just look at that! (Stolen from Inder's blog, where you can find more irresistible photography.)

He's also just plain dangerous, a big squishy missile immediately seeking out the most off-limits item in the room. His favorite toys are electronics and beer bottles. (I didn't say we let him HAVE any of those things...)

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

not about children, singing, or jam

(welllll, then it must be about bikes or books)

Back from my second bike class. Adjusted my brakes, with lots of hand holding (or more literally, tool holding, because I am a giant girl who can't use a wrench.) Conveniently, there's another guy with a really similar bike (3 spd Raleigh) who has a better idea of what he's doing, so I just make him tell me what to do. So, on the way to class, I finally broke off my front reflector in the always epic struggle to jam my bike into the back seat of my car. Bad news, I totally cut my thumb on the broken piece and necessitated the first ever use of my first aid kit (which has been sitting in the trunk of various cars since 2003. Good thing bandaids don't expire.) Good news, my bike now actually fits in the back seat of my car!

Also, I can't stop watching this random britcom on hulu! So much talking about books except actually talking about everything else. So much excellent insecurity. It's a total soap opera where every character is more ridiculous than the last, but the actors keep coming up with hidden depths. Like I said, can't stop watching.

"I cannot bear Allende!"

(Check out the first part of this scene to about 1:40, it's brilliant. The rest is a bit spoilery and out of context.)

those meddling kids

My life is awfully cute, but pretty mundane to report. Thanks to the amount of time I spend with people ages 0-7. Witness.

8:30 This morning I was recruited to fill in for Read Across America Day (in honor of Dr. Seuss' birthday.) Task? Read to children. (This is probably the job you think I already have, but usually I'm stuck listening to children read to me! Which, OK, also has its charms.) I finally got to share my copy of Gregory, the Terrible Eater.

2:00 Dear 3 students in my last class of the day: Woe. You have no idea how directly your behavior correlates to my craving for chips and cookies.

3:15 Fortunately for my mood, Joe and I often share an after-school snack. By which I mean I taunt him with my chips and cookies while he munches puffed corn and tries to feed it to the dogs.

Extrapolate upon this montage, insert jam and singing... and This Is Your Life.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Some "File Under..."s for the new decade

THINGS EATEN THIS WEEK, QUESTIONABLE: Rancid butter, yogurt that expired over a month ago, homemade bread that was still gooey in the middle

HOLIDAYS, QUESTIONABLE: Um, happy Texas Independence Day, y'all.

CANDIDATES, QUESTIONABLE: The primaries are today and Governor Good Hair has been running incessant commercials against his main opponent... apparently "voting with Washington since 1993" is what serves as effective mudslinging in Texas. Adopted home state, you will never cease to amaze me.

SPEAKING OF VOTING...: Please don't tell any of my politico colleagues that I didn't get around to voting. That's not even a joke. I am literally not telling anyone I work with that I didn't vote; they would be genuinely horrified.

KATHY GRIFFIN NAMEDROP, BEST: Johnny Weir to Larry King, as per here

TECHNOLOGY, FAILED ATTEMPT TO KEEP ABREAST OF: I'm guessing that nobody else who reads this blog needs to utilize two dvd players hooked up to each other in order to properly watch movies on their tv. (Please don't be fooled by my use of the word "properly" into thinking that all our movies don't have random and incomplete subtitles that show up sporadically at the bottom of the screen and we can't figure out how to get rid of. Because they do. Oh yes, they do.)

Okay, that's enough filing for now. Happy March!