_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Home haiku

I formally became the owner of a condo today, which is very exciting and slightly scary. It's in Mount Pleasant, only a few blocks from where I've been living. I love the neighborhood, which is quiet and leafy, but also near all the urban amenities. I move on Thursday, and will probably post a couple pictures at a later date.

Because I realized that I would not be able to smash a bottle of champagne across the bow of my apartment and roll it off the dry dock into the water, I gave some thought yesterday to a proper ceremonial christening of my new place. I decided to move my Magnetic Poetry kit into the apartment first thing after getting the keys and compose a poem in recognition of the occasion. I mentioned this plan to three different people, and two of the three said "Ooh, ooh, a haiku?" -- which I wasn't specifically planning on for the format, but it seemed a good fit:

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Moving Miscellany

Sigh -- I hate moving. Every time, my reaction is "How could I possibly have so much junk?" And now, I'm moving to a much smaller place with very little in the way of storage, so it's forcing me to think a bit more carefully about what I actually need. I've already donated/recycled/thrown out several hundred pounds of stuff, and this weekend I've been juggling Craigslist buyers for some of the bulkier things, like the futon in the basement. As for moving the things that I'm holding onto, a big step for me: I've hired movers because I ended up having to move on Thursday, and am loathe to cajole friends to show up for uncompensated manual labor after work. At least this way, none of my friends will end up being crushed by the sleeper sofa while trying to heft it up to my third-floor apartment.

Craigslist is always an adventure. A lady who bought my chair and ottoman said that she recently sold something on Craigslist for $500 and the buyer tried to pay her with $500 of Starbucks gift cards. And some of my email interactions with potential buyers make me despair for the state of written communication. Missives along the lines of "im looking 4 futon how is it would you take $40" not only make it hard for me to take you seriously, but can also make it legitimately difficult to figure out what you are trying to say.

Also, a squirrel ran into the back yard this afternoon carrying an entire doughnut in his mouth. Perhaps he snuck into the post-worship coffee hour at the church up the block. He lugged the doughnut with him up onto the top of my (soon-to-be-disposed-of) car -- I think he was looking for a safe place to stash it.

Oh, and that reminds me of a squirrel I saw outside work last week: He found a discarded paper napkin, which apparently smelled enough like food that he wanted to take it with him. He proceeded to stuff as much of it as he could into both cheeks, but it didn't all fit. There was a big bulge of white napkin hanging out below his mouth, and as he ran away he looked like a squirrel wearing a fake Santa Claus beard. (I tried to get a picture, but failed.)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Doughnut authority

After fellow-Doughnut-Quester Alex sent a report on his visit to the Brindle Room (verdict: very good), I tried Googling "best doughnuts in NYC." Doughnut Plant was first on the list of search results, as it should be. But I noted with satisfaction that our Doughnut Quest 2010 report was the 10th search result! Yep, looks like we're noted authorities on doughnuts.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Pink and blue

I was in Target this evening, and found myself in the pharmacy section, looking at earplugs. (I don't need earplugs, so why this happened isn't clear.) These two packages were on the shelf:

I saw the bright pink package and asked myself, "What makes a set of earplugs specific to women?"

"Probably the fact that they're pink," answered a cynical part of my brain. And then I noticed the package to the right, which looks pretty much identical, but they offer "XTREME" protection and have a somewhat macho name. And they're blue.

A glance at the back of the package makes it clear that they're made by the same company, and are almost certainly the exact same product in different colors. The kicker, of course, is that the women's version is $4.19, while the male version is $3.79.

(This isn't quite as egregious as another pair of gender-specific Target products that I noted on Facebook a while back, the boy and girl cookie molds seen below. Note that where the boy has a "#1" trophy, the girl has a handbag. Sigh.)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

She blinded me with...

This new set of cookbooks, Modernist Cuisine, seems to have a number of very useful reference materials, but they're inconveniently trapped within what appears to be several tomes' worth of a very strange ideological framework.
A not atypical recipe step reads “Cavitate in an ultrasonic cleaning bath for 30 minutes."

Monday, March 07, 2011


A package of chicken gizzards and hearts (well, okay, mostly gizzards) was abandoned on a random shelf in Giant, away from the meat section. Perhaps the potential buyer was disheartened when s/he noticed the disclaimer about gizzards?

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Around DC

While syncing my phone for a long-overdue software update, I uploaded a few pictures I've taken with it around town over the last few months.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Songs of the Moment (An Occasional Feature)

> Talking Heads - I'm Not in Love
> LCD Soundsystem - I Can Change
> Crystal Castles - Vanished
> Uncle Tupelo - Graveyard Shift (and here's them performing the song on local TV in 1989)
> Con Brio - Gibberish
> Arcade Fire - We Used to Wait

Check out that video for "We Used to Wait," it's a video capture from an interactive site the band set up, thewildernessdowntown.com. And if your computer is relatively zippy, go try out the site yourself -- it uses Google imagery to make a custom music video for you based on the address at which you grew up. Very cool.