Sunday, September 25, 2005

i woke up with the power out

So, there was a pretty big storm last week to officially end summer with a bang. And some blowouts. No power at my house for two days. It was inconvenient, yes, but also kind of fun. It definitely got me out of the house. I took some pictures of storm damage around our neighborhood. Yeah.

I guess Fiona Apple's album is finally coming out. Hooray! Also, here is a fascinating article about birth control and other related things. It's five years old, but good.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

i, i, i

I haven't been posting lately because I've been too busy playing with my new ibook. Annnnnnd my new ipod. Yes, I have given in! I've been trying to transfer files, and generally get maclimated, so to speak. The mac thing is going fine, but I've been really annoyed with itunes and also my ipod somewhat (even though it is lovely to run with). Change is good, but I hate it sometimes. Buying all of this was a trip cause it ended up costing about as much as my car (before mail-in rebates). Man, technology! Insane.

Anyway. As a rare treat to my loyal readers, or loyal random stopovers, here's an mp3 for you.
Mirah and Friends - Oh! September
Summer isn't over yet, you see. To me this song is a tribute to that pre-autumn time that is just lovely. So what if the random singers don't have the best, on-key vocals. It's fun.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

martha! martha! martha!

I'm not one to really believe in "guilty pleasures". Most people have certain songs that are guilty pleasures, but this is silly. Yes, it's true! "Since U Been Gone" is my most listened to song according to my audioscrobbler. Yes, it's true that "Behind These Hazel Eyes" is pretty high up on that list too. It's true that if you check that page in a week, Pat Benatar will definitely be on the list of most listened to artists for the past week. But I refuse to make excuses for liking any of these songs, and I will not refer to them as guilty pleasures - because I do not feel guilty when I enjoy them so much.

I will admit one slightly guilty pleasure, and that is Martha Stewart. Martha, you brought out the DIY in me when you pranced around your immaculate house making chandeliers for a small dinner party. I love you for that. But I hate the way you recommend that I buy my wire cutters from this fabulous wire cutting store in the outskirts in Maine. I hate that your version of DIY is so expensive - isn't the point to save money? I hate that you are so smug, so pretentious, so ...better than everyone else, clearly. How could we expect anything less? Even in prison you were a class above the rest, I am certain.

So I've been watching Martha's new show the past two days, and it has been...interesting. Yesterday was a bit of a mess, with Martha punctuating every other thought with "uh" or "um". It was almost fun, knowing that she doesn't have style and grace at all times. Today was much improved, and now I am somewhat hooked. Maybe it was David Spade having to explain the foreign concept of tater tots and how to cook them to Martha. Maybe it was the audience, who looked collectively hideous in their crocheted ponchos. It's probably just Martha, though. Martha, I love that you made nachos for your cellmates [in the microwave, even!!]. I love that you consistently screw up your guests' names at least once. I love that you have taught the art of t-shirt folding two days in a row, even if it only shows that you are a better folder than everyone. You are welcome addition to my daily routine, as long as I can snicker at you while I watch.

Friday, September 09, 2005

adventures with new toothpaste - a story with pictures

For whatever reason, I have always been partial to Aquafresh toothpaste. My brand loyalty is so strong that other brands of toothpaste literally scare me. Unless there is some huge emergency, I only brush my teeth with Aquafresh brand toothpaste. [A huge emergency would probably have to include not brushing my teeth for 3 days and only having Colgate or something else available. Confession: sometimes when I drink too much and end up staying at a friend's house, I do not brush my teeth. Even if I brought the requisite supplies! There, now you know.] There's something about the red, white, and green paste that is comforting. I treat my tubes of paste right, directed for best results, I only squeeze from the bottom. See this picture? This is a huge no-no with me. If my tube of toothpaste looks like that, it is only because someone else has used it and in the process was disrespectful to the glorious paste.

Now you that you know about my finicky brushing habits, I can tell you about my adventures in trying a new toothpaste. It's still part of the Aquafresh line ot toothpastes, but new to me. I decided to try the Extreme Clean EmpowerMint toothpase, now with whitening! I was unimpressed with the fancy packaging which had too much orange, but I wanted something with whitening and it was all I could find. Take a deep breath. Here we go.

After opening the overly sophisticated box, I was not at all surprised to find the silver, space-age looking tube of paste. They're pulling out all the stops here! And there is no comfort in the red, green, and white stripes. In fact, there is no red at all. I was worried but moved onward. I removed the cap, and my worst fears became realized: the paste was ORANGE AND WHITE AND HAD NO RED OR GREEN WHATSOEVER. As you can see, I was wary of this unwelcome change. The fact that it now matched my toothbrush did nothing to help.

There was still a job to be done - this teeth brushing thing. I put the paste on my tongue as I usually do (to smash it into the bristles so it doesn't lose fall off the brush), and NOOO! It tastes like dentist toothpaste! I am even going so far as to post this horribly unattractive picture of me to show my disgust. I put up with the taste and started brushing anyway, and it started this weird foaming stuff. According to the box:
Its dynamic foaming action seeks out hard to reach places - even the back of your tongue - fighting the sources of bad breath.

I can tell you that this is bullshit. There is no way this magical foam is going to crawl to the back of my tongue without some assistance from yours truly.

I managed to finish brushing with only a little gagging. I then remembered a tip my friend told me once - certain toothpastes are ADA approved and have a little symbol on them. I knew that my beloved red and green Aquafresh was, and I even dug an old tube out of the trash to confirm it. [Aww, just look at it - it's so cute and unpretentious. Sigh.] I checked all over the new fancy tube, and there were no ADA markings of any kind. Maybe it's too new to get approval, but this pretty much settled it for me: Extreme Clean "EmpowerMint" toothpaste SUCKS. But I'll probably still use it until I can finish this blasted tube.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

concert calendar

You could read this guide, which contains 10 concerts that will supposedly ROCK YOUR WORLD! That is, if you're into super predictable lists containing mostly sold-out arena shows. What else are they going to add? The Rolling Stones? Bruce Springsteen? I hear they're good.

Or you could browse through my list. It's actually pretty predictable as well, if you know my taste in music at all.

Sufjan Stevens - 9/18 @ First Ave.
This is a must, and I am praying that it's not sold out yet. I always assume that shows do not sell out, but sometimes they do. I will cry and kick myself if it is.

Sigur Ros - 9/24 @ the State Theatre
It's a little pricey, and has assigned seats, and no one I know wants to pony up the money to see them even though they are spectacular live. We'll see what happens.

Architecture in Helsinki - 9/29 - @ 7th St. Entry
They're playing the same night as the Arcade Fire...hah. But the Arcade Fire is sold out, and I am somewhat over them. Whee.

Mates of State - 10/3 @ the Triple Rock
With Hockey Night opening! Sweet! Both very fun, very cute bands.

The Decemberists - 10/21 @ First Ave.
I'm actually not super interested in seeing them again, but I know it's only because the Fine Line is stupid and overcrowded. They always put on a good show.

The New Pornographers
- 10/22 @ First Ave.
Given the choice, I would definitely see them over the Decemberists. Speaking of which, I still haven't heard Twin Cinema yet. I'm way behind.

There's a few more that piqued my interest but I'll leave it at that for now. So much to choose from!

Monday, September 05, 2005

it doesn't really feel like a holiday...

There's the good and the bad about extreme media saturation. On the one hand, I am at least constantly aware of the problems that are happening right now. It's difficult to be willfully ignorant when it is shoved in my face. On the other hand, it has made me completely numb and overwhelmed. As a former sociology major, I find this disaster fascinating for all the wrong reasons. It's been pretty central in my mind for the past few nights, to the point of losing sleep.

And of course there are the rants. I love the Internet because it allows anyone with the right access to complain about whatever they choose, whether it be broccoli or President Bush. But at the same time I don't feel that just because a certain site has more traffic means their opinion is any more valid than another's. I'm choosing to link to this one in particular, and not because it is the one I agree with the most (this is not to say that I disagree, either), but because it provides some musical context to go along with directives. Just an idea.

Part of the problem is that I am still woefully unemployed, which makes it easier to get caught up in all of this. Luckily I have found a few distractions. One was going to the Minnesota State Fair finally. [Pictures from my adventures here.] I've also been doing lots of Sodoku puzzles. I tried these before but was driving myself insane because I was missing out on a crucial part of the instructions (the 3x3 part). It makes a lot more sense now, obviously. I've also been running more and that feels good.

To close, a quote of seemingly unknown origins.
A society is ultimately judged by how it treats its weakest and most vulnerable members.

(whoops, spoke too soon...) Ah geeze I almost forgot! Editorial Cartoons. So succinct, they help clear up some of the media clutter wracked in my brain.

Thursday, September 01, 2005


Race, class? No Matter. We're all in this together.
[Please note sarcasm.] I feel this is a much better read than over-analyzing the looting/finding photos.

And now for the creepy prediction articles: Drowning New Orleans, New Orleans is Sinking, and Gone With the Water. This country would be a lot better if we lived by the Boy Scout's motto: Be Prepared.