Friday, September 28, 2007

The Goo Report: The Future Is Apparently Not Women

CNN: Dashing our dreams for the future, one flying car at a time.

Even though we won't be flying around in magical cars, at least in the future, we can let the computers think for us, and if my results are any evidence, Dennis Kucinich will reign supreme! Get your prayer flags ready for fun in a peaceful, nonthreatening way!

How did you celebrate National Punctuation Day?

It's not so much a problem that the bartender served a shot of Pinesol; that was just misguided. No, what really chafes about this "barmaid" story is the "ungodly hour" of the prankery. Had it been earlier, it wouldn't have been nearly so egregious.

Wrapping up the women's World Cup- Greg Ryan: Worst. Women's coach. Ever. "Hope Solo? Eh. She'll get over it once she gets off the rag. Damnable women." Hope Solo: not making it easy. "Briana. What a bitch." Briana: "I'm so tired. And old. I will just hang out here in this box while these women play a game around me." Leslie: "Don't worry ladies; I'll help! I can do stuff, too! Watch me score! I have a scrunchie!" Shannon: "Dag. I'm outta here." Entire USNWT: "Da.g We're outta here." Marta: "I make kicking with ball and now am dancing of samba! I am to play better than you and making of better story- I was being poor, bitches! Still having braces! Weeping for future, America!" Yes, weeping. Sunday: Go Brazil!

Fine, fine, babies and fathers can fight on a level playing field. But until they come up with something as snuggly as cat hair, boys are still doomed.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Comfy Cozy!

Now that fall is here, it's time to think about comfy cozy warm things. And what better way to keep you warm and snuggly than curling up with your very own pet teratoma?

Wait, what's a teratoma?

Well, you know how you hear those stories of the grody tumours that have eyeballs and teeth and hands and whatnot? That's a teratoma. A fun little google search should provide you with hours of morbid entertainment with the added bonus of keeping those pesky coworkers far, far away from your desk for a long time to come. Actually, my coworkers would probably find it a fitting mascot; after all it is a neoplasm. Maybe I'll whip one up for the next board meeting.

Tip o' the hat to Making Light!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Immeasureable Appreciation

"This trial has not been about religion or a vendetta. It was simply about child abuse and preventing further abuse. I hope that all FLDS girls and women will understand that, no matter what anyone may say, we are created equal.
"You do not have to surrender your rights or your spiritual sovereignty. I know how hard it is, but please stand up and fight for your voice and power of choice, I will continue to fight for you."
I can't talk about Elissa Wall without getting choked up. The respect I have for her is so great that I'm not even sure how to convey it in words. But on behalf of the child abuse survivors everywhere, who know precisely what such a trial does to a family with religious convictions, thanks.

Fair is Where You See Bull Testicles

I've never really liked hunting, partly on principle- it doesn't seem right that one gets a big ol' gun while the quarry just gets its wits. But I do appreciate that this sign takes that into account:Sure, you're hunting the shortbus kids, but at least you have to slow down are restricted to using just a crossbow. That's legit.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Shot in the Head, and You're to Blame; You Give Safeway a Bad Name

Hey, wanna see my apartment building?

If you look in the background of the photo accompanying this story, you can see it.

First and most importantly, our best wishes go out to the victim in the hopes of her recovery. But now it's time to ban together as a neighborhood to catch the perpetrator, a black women. With dreads. And blue jeans. That narrows the field of suspects considerably.

In an effort to help out, I've cooked up two plump and juicy conspiracy theories that conveniently suit my personal agenda and also shed light on how this sort of thing could happen in my front yard, so to speak. Well, actually three, if you count "This isn't actually that unusual and I batted nary an eyelash last night when the sirens screamed down the block as they are wont to do every seven or so minutes, but that's another story for another day" as a theory.

The woman who shot the other women in the head was driven to the edge by truck idling. See, every Tuesday evening, right in the middle of rush hour, the big CVS 18-wheeler idles (engine ON) in front of the CVS at 1700 Columbia Road and unloads its wares for two hours, give or take. You'd think it would be the black smoke from the exhaust spewing forth into my windows that would piss me off, but no, it's the
It's the most maddening sound in the entire world; a deep, rumbling white noise that bores inside your skull, making conversation or hearing one's thoughts an impossibility. DC has laws against excessive engine idling, and defines excessive as more than three minutes. But the police don't care; they have real crime to solve. And yet, I challenge them to come and endure this noise for two hours and then try not to go out and shoot someone in the head. It's a Sisyphean feat, which is why there was a woman shot in the head on the 1700 block of Columbia Road on a Tuesday evening.

Note to MPDC: an ounce of prevention is worth 8 pounds of human head on the sidewalk.

Whenever something like this happens, our illustrious Ward 1 Councilman Jim Graham straightens his bowtie in a very grave manner, promises that all necessary action will be taken, and then rebukes the venue where the shooting occurred. Club U, 1919, Kili's Cafe, Solo's, and mebbe H2O (though the people who go there are pretty rich, so don't hold your breath); you shoot 'em up, Jim Graham shuts 'em down. What you probably don't know is that Harris Teeter is slated to open up just down the street. AND, according to the Post, "Graham said he hoped the Harris Teeter would "inspire Safeway to do better" in the neighborhood."


There's one overarching common denominator here: JIM GRAHAM. Is it reasonable to conclude that Graham, in an effort to speed up the opening of the Harris Teeter1 - which is already long past due to open - conspired to have a woman shot in the head so that the UnSafeway (a.k.a. Soviet Safeway, depending on who you ask) would be shut down?


Let's see if he can do anything about those idling trucks before we castigate the man, though. He lives a block away from me and you never know who he'll come after next2...

1.Which, to be fair, is a wholly pleasant shopping experience.
2. In the interest of full disclosure, I voted for Jim Graham (don't remember if I had a choice) and will likely do so again. I like the cut of his jib, and I'm sick of the rotten onions at the UnSafeway, too.

Nesting Nightmare

"You're nesting." So my friend smugly informed me a week or two ago, when I told her of my upcoming plans to paint the apartment. "What?" I stammered. It sounded awfully, painfully domestic.

"Yep, you're nesting. Next thing you know, you're going to have a mortgage and babies!" I knew she was just teasing, but it messed with my mind considerably, to the point that I started to doubt the home decor plans the Object and I had labored over for quite some time. Every home decor guru out there says that painting is the cheapest and easiest way to snazz up your house. They do not warn about the side effects of vibrant colorful walls, but really, they should. Something like this would have been useful:
"WARNING: Applying this product to your walls may cause it to appear as though a tragic Smurf-Oompa Loompa massacre went down in your house, further causing the man in your life to curl into a fetal position, sucking his thumb in a post-traumatic stress induced coma and shivering that he is 'so cold, so very, very c-c-c-c-coooooooooooold.' "
In reality, the paint job was a lot worse than that and we kind of hated each other for a little while (apparently, nesting makes you not terribly excited to nest), but at least a warning would have been nice. In an effort to cheer ourselves up, we got out of the house, but that only made the situation worse, since we started seeing the color pattern everywhere - and not in places that we especially wanted to reflect our collective personalities. "Look, the Sudanese restaurant has the same color scheme; apparently, we're kind of tacky and smell vaguely of burnt goat!"

After a myriad of helpful suggestions (which would have been much more helpful before we started painting), we made the house look a little less like the site of a nuclear accident in an Easter egg factory and so we decided to host a housewarming. Planningwise, Saturday was out, so that whomever wanted to could spend their sunny Saturday afternoon atoning (Of course, we had no idea that we would be spending the day atoning for our own house sins, but that's neither here nor there).

We also wholly underestimated the drawing power of the NFL, and so only our friends who live very close by and/or actually like us and aren't just there for the food showed up. One showed up with "friendship bread" and a baby, which was delightful to no end, especially when they started to show the baby's tricks. Two of our friends are getting married to each other in two weeks, and they had very different looks on their faces when the baby came in the door, much to the amusement of everyone (except the groom-to-be). By far the biggest hit of the night was when Lionel "swaddled" the baby, and all the guys got very excited at the baby's similitude to a burrito. "Can you bowl with her?" someone wondered. "Absolutely!" Lionel beamed with paternal pride.

It ended up being the perfect housewarming - chill and intimate - and helpful, too. Our friends, noticing the disastrous walls, were happy to offer their home improvement suggestions, which they guaranteed will improve the quality of our lives. I'm pretty sure we can work some of them out:
  • Move the coasters to the ledge (near where guest was sitting)
  • Keg of root beer
  • TV always playing High School Musical
  • Armchair in living room (for guest to sit in)
  • Make one wall a chalkboard
  • Pinatas full of quaaludes
  • Velociraptors
  • Bathroom faucet pours peach-basil sangria
  • Move party food to coffee table (near where guest was sitting)
  • No fat chicks
  • All parties hosted by Mark Summers
  • Teach cat to sing
  • As soon as you enter apartment, you are in black and white

Monday, September 24, 2007

Living Vicariously

Instead of it being Monday morning in front of your computer, wouldn't you rather be on a plane to somewhere, well, not here?

Fakation time.

Let's roll.

Remember how much we all loved the signs in Montreal? As it turns out, Ireland has even better signs. Check out the Bibliophile. I enjoy both the cigarette warning and the no bird-watching in hell sign; I just wish that they alluded to the burning in hell on the cigarette packages. It would be so delightfully Irish Catholic- "Sister Mary says yer gonna feckin' burn in hell if ye smoke these, and don't let's get started on tha bird watchin, ye blighted lot of sinners, ev'ry last one of ye louses!"

Germany, what have you for Oktoberfest? "Just in time for Oktoberfest! Now ladies, I know you've all been wondering to yourselves 'Hmmm, what kind of dirndls are in fashion this season?' Here is the answer you've all been waiting for -- Die Dirndl-Trends 2007!"

On to Amsterdam (among other places chronicled by Dark Roasted Blend), where Pirates Knocked Up Shrek! and you're forbidden to feed your children to dinosaurs.

Some people are into the whole medical tourism thing, I'd like to start getting into the whole medical oddities tourism business. So let's make a quick stop in Korosten, Ukraine, where we can see a baby without a mouth.

Finally, let's make one last stop in Spain to see all the crazies with their crazy first names.

See? It's like you don't even have a job.

Friday, September 21, 2007

A Fitting Funeral for Summer

In general, I am no fan of the Home Depot: no matter how many happy environmental initiatives they implement, just by the fact of their mere existence they can never mitigate all the badness they're wreaking on the environment .

And yet, I'm seriously tempted to leave work early today to mourn the last two days of summer in style: with a drunken watermelon spigot.

I even have a watermelon sitting on the counter at home.

Universe, are you trying to tell me something?

Sigh, summer, I'll miss you. And next year, I'll be back in full fighting form, ready to take on all the waves and rocks you have to offer.

Until then, let me offer a Public Service Announcement: Let me speak from painful experience and caution you that unless you want the sort of gutrot to make even the Taco Bell chihuahua wince, you definitely want to share watermelcohol beverages among a lot of people.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Well Tharrrrrrrrrrr Ye Go!


Ahoy tharrr, intarrrrrrnet mateys!

QUESTION: What be the first thing to suffer when you be needing to plunder an unexpected program meeting?
ANSWARRRRRRRR: Bloggaaaaaaar.

These be the pinnacle of the meetin', a summarrrrrrrrrrrrrry:
  • 'Tis important to talk over the MicroARRRRRRRRRRRRRNA
  • 'Tis a chore to find the suitable panel of speakARRRRRRRRRS for the plenARRRRRRRy presentations
  • While we value diversity in the submission of abstracts, it best not be at the expense of quality science, something to take into account when considering science from the same labARRRRRRRRRatory. And if ye be a scalliwag who does not disclose the abstracts as a reviewARRRRRRR, well, them that die be the lucky ones.
Yeargh. Pirates be not made for conference rooms.

In prepaaaaaaration for the meeting, I wanted to avast meself of some entarrrrrrrtainment. But alas, all that presented its lousy face was a wordsearch akin to this:
I'd sooner whittle me pegleg into timbers than pARRRRRRRRticipate in that pARRRRRticulARRRRRR treasure trove of bullocks. The only propARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR wordly treasARRRRRRRRRRRRRR hunt tis a little like this:

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

You Didn't Even Realize the Women's World Cup Exists, Did You?

Here's a conundrum:

MLS does not make DC United jerseys for women. If I want a Ben Olsen jersey, I'd better be ready to look like I'm swimming through both the red and black sea, which isn't very American.

Also, the U.S. Women's National Team is badass.

Well, wait just a sec. To be fair, the prize thus far for badassery in this cup goes to Kim Jong's 11. It's not every team that can be shoved unfairly into the most difficult group of the Cup, unseat the dominating world champions, and still dazzle the world with their athletic prowess. But somehow I have a feeling that wearing a North Korea jersey isn't going to sit well at games.

Anyhoo, the USWNT: badass. Who could have guessed Kristine Lilly would overshadow Mia Hamm as one of the greatest players in the history of the sport (including men). Plus, the USWNT away jersey is solid gold soul and made in sizes and shapes appropriate for women. But I cannot get a Ben Olsen jersey if I get the USWNT jersey.

Or can I?

What if I got the USWNT jersey, but put Ben Olsen's name and number on the back? That's better than getting a Democtratic People's Happyland We Swear We Voted For Him and Did We Also Mention That We're A Republic of Korea jersey, right?

Friday, September 14, 2007

Ouchy Is Just A Place In Switzerland

It's easy - for a cynic like me, anyways- to scoff at those so-called inspiring stories of human triumph. What those stories often don't talk about, and completely unprepared me to address when I became injured, was that not only would I be dealing with the the physical pain, but also trying to figure out a huge lifestyle shift and change in my identity. Before I was hobbling crutches, I was superdynamicawesomebionicwoman. I spent my weeknights running about five or six miles, and my weekends rock climbing or surfing. Running was a habit; a daily ritual that allowed me an hour or so of clear, uninterrupted introspection, release, and movement. It was a mental signal that the workday was over and that the evening had officially begun. I would come home feeling accomplished, invigorated, and ready to deal with the world- I mean, if you can run six miles in 50 minutes, there's a lot you can accomplish, right? It was the foundation of my self-confidence.

Once I was on the crutches, I was just a crip, which was really hard- I'm past the age where it's funny for the li'l white girl to flash gang signs. Well, that and not only was I not the powerful athlete that I once was, I also had a lot more free time that I had no idea what to do with myself. I didn't even know quite when to shower- I was so used to coming home and rinsing off after a thorough workout, but suddenly I wasn't sweaty anymore- did that even mean I was dirty? It always kind of baffled me why people shower in the morning- who gets dirty in their sleep? As I adopted the habit, I realized it was little more than a placemarker, a time to get clean because that made as much sense as any other time.

My body started changing, too. I lost almost ten pounds- awesome, right? Except that it was about ten pounds of pure muscle. My measurements are probably about the same as the were before, but I feel different. Not to sound boastful, but I used to have an ass that looked quite cute bouncing around in a pair of jeans. It's almost completely gone now. Clothes fit completely differently, and I haven't figured out quite how to wear them in this new body. My friends and the Object assure me that I'm still adorable, and I'm sure I am- but I just don't feel like me. Let's not even get started on how not being able to wear most shoes has vastly limited my wardrobe option.

At the core of this is my self-identity, which has taken a beating. I was fairly easygoing before the injury, and used exercise as my large means of controlling stress. After the injury, I fell apart at the tiniest things. In one particularly memorable moment, I burst into wracking, heaving sobs when the Object threw tomatoes into the wrong dish that we were cooking for dinner.

Dealing with a complete overhaul in self-image is a lot of work, but in a cruel twist of the cosmic universe, chronic pain is controlled by the limbic system. The limbic system is also project manager of stress and emotion, and when you throw chronic pain in there, it throws the whole system into crisis mode, so that all of them are more difficult to control. Because pain management is a field that has not been widely studied until quite recently, so not only do a lot of medical professionals actually understand what's going on, they aren't even aware. The head of orthopedic surgery at George Washington told me that because pain didn't "travel" in a certain way, the pain I was describing to him couldn't exist. Since I'm pretty goddamn sure I'm not just making stabbing pain up, my pain must be incredibly cosmopolitan, since it can travel in all kinds of new and unheard of ways. I'll buy it a fucking SportSac rolly luggage bag if it just gets the hell out of here, but for the time-being, it's made a happy little home in my body, so don't tell me it's not real, figure it out and make it go away!

I count myself lucky- after working for a few months with a good physical therapist in DC, he saw that I wasn't really progressing and had the self-awareness to admit that he was at a loss on how to help me any further. That's got to be pretty hard for any medical professional, a field in which, by necessity, one needs to be incredibly confident in his work. He referred me to the "Mayo Clinic of Physical Therapy", to a specialist who has been at the forefront of back pain and the SI joint. When I began seeing the new specialist back in April, I appreciated that not only was he frank with me that the journey to recovery was a long, difficult slog, but that he understood the difficulty of the emotional and mental impact, and he had a plan. I don't mind working, as long as I know there's a goal I'm working towards.

As I keep working on my physical therapy and progressing through treatment for my back and hips, there are the inevitable setbacks. The days that I am in excruciating pain a fewer and far between, but what I didn't anticipate is how much more of a betrayal it would feel like when I still do have those painful days. I'm pretty lucky in the support that surrounds me when I have a hard time with myself. Not only do I enjoy my job and find it a distraction from the pain, but my boss and team are incredibly supportive of my doing what needs to be done to get better- it's not every organization that will work with you to assess how to manage time flexibly so that you can dip out early a few times a week. My friends are perfect- since the gauntlet of quotidian physical therapy exercises takes place over several hours, they're content to bring over a six-pack, let me cook them dinner, and shoot the shit while I'm working.

And there's no way I can express how having the Object as a partner helps, despite the fact that this has been incredibly difficult for him, too. He's lost his climbing partner and now lives with a woman who every so often turns into a snarling beast. But he knows when to bring me a handful of pills and a mug of tea and has become a champion at not taking it personally when I blame him for ruining my life, despite the fact that all he's done is leave his socks around the house. And that's just what's at the very surface.

But still, there are really hard days, like today. My abs are so sore from the PT exercises that they feel hot to touch and are visibly swollen. Because of all the muscle tension on my right side, it feels like none of my bones are sitting in their joints the right ways, so I can't get comfortable in my own skin. A few weeks ago, I slacked off on my physical therapy, and paid the price in pain, quite literally. But for the past several weeks, I've been as assiduous as ever, and I still want to jump out of my muscles and walk around with just my skeleton.

On these days, I like to think of people who have it worse off than I do. This can be a Catch-22, though. The first problem is that because I work with outreach to developing countries, I think about things like incurable diseases a lot. And I actually feel really positive about the work I do; that it impacts the world in a real, positive way. So while that's reassuring, that's just the shit I do everyday. Then there's children in Darfur with the big gassy bellies much bigger than my swollen abs who will probably be raped and killed anyways- and then I feel resigned to living in a cruel world and just accepting the pain I have, completely unmotivated to keep working hard to try and get better. That doesn't work much either.

Which brings me back to the inspiring stories. Those are supposed to work, right? But they're so formulaic and ultimately boring. And if I'm an inspiring story, I'm at the really sucky middle part that you only read to enjoy the end. Boooooring and irrelevant.

OK, except that football player who thought he was paralyzed and is now getting better; that's pretty sweet.

And this is the magic of the internet: the place where you can always turn to find people worse off than you, but not so bad that they'll make you feel bad about yourself. And that's where I am. It's become my own little prayer: Universe, grant me the serenity to accept the pain I'm in, the courage to keep working on getting better, and the wisdom to know when to turn to funny pictures on the internet.

And so, without further ado, I present you The Goo Gallery of Ouch:

Wrong Place, Wrong Time Ouchy

I'm Stuck Ouchy

A Little Air Please Ouchy

Don't Put BenGay on That Ouchy

Implausible Ouchy

The Seasonal Ouchy

The At Least My Hips Don't Look Like This Ouchy

Except that those are my hips. And no, the x-ray isn't crooked. I have to get another MRI now. You have a good weekend.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Please Note That Ann Coulter and Eva Herman Are Blond-Haired, Blue-Eyed Nutters

So the Ann Coulter of Germany is in a flap because she's pissed off that the hippies killed good ol' fashioned family values, which were espoused by the Nazis, natch. Her argument is disturbingly short-sighted, not because of the whole Nazi thing, but because she has been blinded as to the true nature of Adolf Hitler:
Family values my ass. A whole lot of suffering and about six million Jewish, Romansch, homosexual, American Indian friends and families probably could have been saved if only Robert Smith and Ian Curtis had been born a few decades earlier.

Besides, if you're talking family values, Russia has the way forward: giving couples the day off for well, coupling, and giving people who have a baby 9 months from that day a prize! I'm a little tempted to leave work today; I know I'm ardently against having my own kids, but that was before a prize was involved. I want to win! And in a perfect world, the prize would be $10,000, a baby-sitter, and a guide to the perfect day perusing New York bookstores. I would even take the money and just go sit in Books of Wonder, the greatest place on earth.

Is it perverse not to want children but to want to own a children's bookstore?

And while we're on the subject, this is the best explanation of why every female between the age of 13-63 should have Plan B sitting in their cupboard.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Nothing Is Still Something

"I can see why people from New York come to DC and think it's so clean."

So I commented to the Object on our Vampire Weekend. In the 90 degree heat and humidity, DC may be stifling, but New York is straight-up fetid. The height of the buildings crowding the sidewalks turns the sidewalk into a graveyard for dead air, and with green spaces few and far between, doorways reek of stale urine. It's a filthy city whose residents have decided is the greatest place on earth and spend their time bullying you into admitting that the grime is charming, unique, and special, an idea that makes the hot air blowing up from the subway grates seem refreshing.

As we strolled through Washington Square Park, the Object countered, "Yeah, but I can see why New Yorkers come to DC and think that it's boring and the people are ugly." We had decided after the long bus ride and in light of the blazing sun, we'd rather spend the afternoon doing nothing in the park. To our left, a group of Hamptons exiles lounged in their hideously expensive beach chairs, reading Oprah's latest book club pick. On our right were a small group of friends practicing their sword fighting for the stage. A group called SPARK had set up several massage tables, and were waving their arms over the people lying on them. A woman noticed my curiosity and asked if I would like an energy adjustment. "We're offering them free today as a public service." I balked, being the sort of person who likes my aura more or less unprodded. I moved on to watch the ballers in the bocce court, enjoying the scene until the yipping of the dogs in the chihuahua run across the path became more obnoxious than the designer outfits the overgrown rats were dressed in.

We paused at the plaza with the chess tables, taking in the scene until I told the Object I was ready to move on. "Nooooo!" He whined. "I'm pretty sure those guys are going to fight! With big bike chains!" Indeed, two decrepit old men were having some sort of territorial war over the unwritten rules of chess table proprietorship. At one point, the greasy Italian man stood up and whipped from his neck a huge chain, the kind you might see associated with a tractor trailer in winter, and rattled it, taunting the greasy black guy. This held the Object's attention for a considerable amount of time, but I was distracted by the disheveled middle-aged woman wearing only a ratty white shirt and big pink granny panties curled up in a fetal position on a tall, narrow ledge. She sang to herself as she rocked back and forth, and I marveled at how she had the wits not to tip herself off her precariously balanced position, as though she could perfectly balance her nuttiness.

When it became clear that the two men were just posturing and the chain rattling was probably an everyday affair, the Object and I moved on, perusing the wares of the Saturday market vendors. Passing by one table, we did a double-take in unison. "Is that what I think it is?" The Object asked. An energetic young man introduced himself and confirmed that yes, the works of art that we were looking at were indeed portraits of the sock puppet world he had created. We spent at least a half an hour sorting through the characters, getting their full stories from Marty. "That's Puppyface 5000. He's from the future, where barking is the new opera." I have been wanting a puppy lately, so we bought several portraits for ourselves and a choice connoisseur of art back in DC.

At another vendor's table, I saw a gorgeous Italian leather fringed bag. As I considered whether I loved it enough to pay full price, a couple argued in front of me until the man passed out at my feet. His companion kicked in the general direction of his limp body, slurring her words as she called him a worthless drunk. I decided on the purse, and the Object and I moseyed out of the park. We headed in the general direction of his uncle's rent controlled apartment above the New York College of Dog Grooming, our afternoon of doing nothing over.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Try to Remember the Kind of September...

On my walk to work this morning in our nation's capital, I noticed with no little amount of surprise that most of the flags I saw were flying high at full staff.

On my way home from work this evening, I noticed with no little amount of bemusement that many of those same flags had been lowered to half staff.

Never forget!

Kooky Konfederos

So browsing around for Toucan Sam pictures the other day, I noticed that cereal cartoon characters used to be a lot cooler. You be the judge:

Tony the Tiger

Toucan Sam



They went from charming and lovable to looking like they're hepped up on steroids. Maybe that's what you get from all that vitamin enrichment. But one thing you have to say about cereal over the years is that it's become considerably less racist:

Fascinate yourself this gloomy morning looking through some amazing vintage pop icons from food, which pretty much all goes back to graphic designer Dan Goodsell, the creator of The Imaginary World and the co-author of the book, Krazy Kid's Food.

Monday, September 10, 2007

A Consolation Recipe

I have an apology offering for the lameness of the Goo: the recipe I concocted last week for peach-basil sangria, which may or may not be a direct contributor to my addle-brained state-of-mind recently. It's a crisp, refreshing cocktail that makes the overripe last days of summer feel ten degrees cooler.

When I'm cooking, I rely mainly on my senses, eyeballing the ingredients to make sure it's a good ratio, smelling and tasting the food until it's tweaked just the right way. This means I don't do a lot of measuring, which really ticks some people off. I've tried to include some metrics in the recipe, but more than the measurements, you have to be like Toucan Sam and follow your nose- it always knows.

Whatcha Need
  • Ripe (err on the side of overripe for fuller flavor) white peach, thinly sliced
  • Ripe yellow peach, thinly sliced
  • Ripe asian pear, thinly sliced
  • Ripe honeycrisp apple, thinly sliced
  • Big handful of freshly chopped basil- a cup? two?
  • 2/3 cup of raw cane sugar
  • 1 cup of water
  • A few hefty squirts of lime juice- maybe 1/3 cup?
  • Pinch of sea salt (since it's so mild, the contrast makes the sweetness of the fruit pop. If you don't have sea salt, don't bother with the salt though, since other salts tend to dominate the flavor to quickly)
  • Bottle of rosé
  • Gin- at least six shots, more depending on your taste. Bombay Saphhire works the best in sangria whatwith all the floral overtones and whatnot
N.B. I sometimes use Stirrings Simple mojito juice and cut down the sugar amount. It works quite well.

Whatcha Do
  1. Eat one slice of fruit to fortify you through the process.
  2. Make a simple syrup: take half of the remaining slices fruit and put them in a pot with the water (or juice), lime juice, sugar, four shots of gin, sea salt, and about 3/4s of the amount of basil you chopped. Bring the mixture slowly (read: medium low heat) to a boil as you muddle the fruit and basil into the mixture with a wooden spoon. Then turn the heat way down and let the mixture simmer- the longer you let it simmer, the more the flavors work. Make sure to stir frequently; sugar burns the second you leave it alone. I usually let it simmer for about 20 minutes.
  3. Strain the syrup into a bowl or cup and let it cool down for a bit. Your neighbors should be floating on the sumptuous aroma waves wafting out of your kitchen window at this point.
  4. Pour the wine into a pitcher, add a few more squirts of lime juice, the remaining fruit, the simple syrup mixture, gin (I usually add three hefty glugs worth or a six-count; this is why my friends like me) and the remaining chopped basil. Let the whole thing rest in the fridge for a little while so that the flavors settle in.
  5. Serve over ice with slices of fruit in the cups; makes about 4 tall glasses' worth. Your friends will forgive a multitude of hostessing sins, from dust kitties to overbaked nachos - so long as you keep the sangria coming.
  6. Let me know what you think and if you guys want more recipes for Gooey goodness.

My Preciousssssssssss


I know.

I have read your emails; heard your complaints, and watched the sitemeter plummet.

For well over a week, the Goo has not been terribly fun to read.

I am aware of the sitch. And I will remedy it.

Not today, though; I'm still too sleepy from my Vampire Weekend. But tomorrow, I promise I'll tell you all about it- from the New York College of Dog Grooming to the group offering free public energy adjustments. In the meantime, entertain yourself trying to guess what the White House has come up with now to justify the war in Iraq. I'm thinking it's not long until we start hearing something about a ring...

Friday, September 07, 2007


Which would you rather participate in: Hipster Olympics or Goth Aerobics?

By the way, some people expressed confusion about yesterday's post about the Hipster Olympics. Perhaps I should have included some background to give you the full funny- it's a loving homage to Monty Python's Upper Class Twit of the Year. For your enjoyment:

2 Legit

I had a few friends over last night for peach-basil sangria (my new favorite drink in the whole world) to prepare for the Midlake show. Lionel called around 7:40 to say that he'd be over in 20 minutes or so. He showed up at a quarter to nine, flush faced and excited from the side trip he took...


That's right. M.C. Hammer was one of the "three internationally renowned performers" featured in the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities' DC Grooves outdoor concert series. Now, Lionel has been waltzing around with a look of accomplishment on his face lately, having recently become a father and whatnot. But nothing could compare with the look of pride that he wore as he described how, during a lull in the show, he called out in a voice that echoed round the Woodrow Wilson plaza, "Please Hammer, don't hurt 'em!"

I know you're asking the same question I did: Nope, no parachute pants, nor did the flygirls wear kneepads. Apparently they're not proper couture befitting of an internationally renowned superstar.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Hobos Are the New Unicorns

How much fun would cheerleading at the Hipster Olympics be?1



Let's alienate! Let's obfuscate! Fuck modernity!

Who has a goddamn cigarette?"

1.Not much.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Too Good To Be True?

Here are three goings on of late:
  • So this makeup company is about to launch its line at Nordstrom, and as a publicity stunt, they're offering all their makeup for $1 today. I haven't ever used this product, and on the front page, they show a girl go from fresh-faced, freckly girl-next-door to girl-with-lots-of makeup-on. It makes me nervous when the before picture is better, so I can't really vouch for it. But still, makeup for a dollar.
  • We had a baby shower for my coworker, who informed us about the latest trends in baby fashion. Apparently for the 0-3 months crowd, one can buy hip hugger (it's never too early to turn that mushy potato figure into an hourglass!) track suits with DIVA bedazzled all over it. I can't wait for the SLUT version to come out.
  • Every morning, my landlord puts out a goodie bowl full of root beer barrels, Atomic Fireballs, or something of that ilk. It's nice to have a little pick-me-up as I start my walk to work. Lately, he's taken to putting individually wrapped packages of Ritz crackers out. This morning, I commented to the Object that such a small gesture really brightens my morning. He said that our landlord probably feels the same way. "How do you mean?" I asked. The Object replied, "Don't you think he says the same thing about you? 'Nothing like a little cracker to start the day right!' " Womp womp.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

And That Was My Weekend

What do you keep by your bedside?

You might want to reconsider.

See, the Object and I have a lamp on either side of our bed, a stack of books, some extra blankets, a few Nalgenes (we'll get to that) and well, a bottle of For-When-the-Mood-Strikes-Us.

Now, Kitty has this little game he likes to play. It's called, "Hey humans, pay attention to me!" While it's pretty much his favorite game to play, I actually don't like it that much and will go to great lengths to ignore it, especially when he plays the Nocturnal Creature variation of it. And so Kitty has developed an even more fun game, called, "Hey humans, if you don't pay attention to me, I will be naughty!" In playing this game, he has developed a penchant for delicately tipping over liquid filled containers. The Object went through three martini glasses before he figured out that no open containers shall be left unattended so long as Kitty is alive. We keep our drinks with us, or in a Nalgene.

This is what we have been reduced to.

You'd think I'd have this game figured out by now. But no, we left out the bottle of For-When-the-Mood-Strikes-Us. Kitty decided to play his little game of it, and to his delight, discovered that the bottle was open, and its contents spilled out all over the floor. Ever the helper, Kitty decided to lap it all up, and then spent the better part of Caturday in an alcohol sodden coma (isopropyl=rubbing alcohol) at the emergency vet.

A few thousand dollars, some active charcoal, and an i.v. drip later, everyone is fine.

But let this be a lesson to all of you, because there is no look more scolding than the one the vet gives you when you explain that you inadvertently poisoned your favorite furry companion with lube.