Friday, May 8, 2009

Psst, Over Here

So, if you like this blog, you will probably love this one. Mostly because this is the one I'm going to be updating far far more frequently.

That one's about running, so you can still come back here for the occasional nonsensical rant that has nothing to do with my triathlon/marathon training. But if they taught me anything at BlogHer, it was pick a theme. And, duh, running is is.

See you over there.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Lead by Example

Tonight for dinner I had a cupcake. Now I'm making a cake to take into work tomorrow. That's why I'm head of the wellness committee at work, folks!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Rugby Porn

Via Cesybabe in a Jezebel comment, comes this amazing eye feast.

Now, I'm not that in to objectification...except when it comes to rugby guys. Because, and I say this from experience, they would do the same to you. Also, because, rugby guys are generally crazy smokin' hot.

The summer after college my roommates and I used to sit around reading rugby magazines in our underwear in our un-air-conditioned apartment (it was as hot as it sounds, literally and figuratively). And then one night we all went over to the soccer house, but I got sent home because it was decided that I couldn't handle the orgy that was about to take place. But that's a whole other blog.

Anyway, I got a kick out of it, and I thought my rugby-loving readers would too. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 16, 2009


30 page views but no comments, Skillet fans? Thanks for nothing.

See you guys on Friday!

Monday, April 13, 2009

My Mom Thinks I'm Cool

Occasional reader Donna, from Pennsylvania, writes in via text message that she "tries" to read my blog because "it is like talking to you, but I don't miss anything when I laugh."

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Live Blog; Wes on the Radio

Wes and the Skillets on WRYR tonight. You can listen through the WRYR website. Rebroadcast Monday from 2-4.

9:02 Overlong intro

9:13 Andy (host) makes good point about going to see local artists as a way to save money during recession. It's cheap! Small bands are better than the radio!

9:15 The Beastie Boys are from DC? Still no Wes

9:18 Here they come!

9:19 Sad and Proud!

You must read this blog for my insightful commentary.

Wes sounds different on the radio. His vocals are a little out front, but that's how I like my music. Well, this is a little too prominent, but they still sound pretty good.

9:24 Blind Mind. Totally forgot I was doing this for a minute. Vocals mixed much better here. Is Arch doing sound?

9:27 Andy is asking them to play more than 5 songs because they sound so great. He says they'll thank him later. He's right. It sounds phenomenal.

9:28 Oh, calling them on the country stuff. Skillets is kind of a country name. Andy calls them "funktry" which is a pretty good categorization. He's definitely a fan!

9:29 Costa Mesa up next.

9:31 My siblings admit via Facebook chat that they are NOT listening. I have no siblings.

9:32 Not an excuse, Michael: I am in my common room and they are watching a video, I can't

9:33 Someone just cleared his throat. My guess is Arch. Is Bryan singing??

9:35 CD release show Friday, April 17 at IOTA!!!!

9:36 Oh Wes, no one falls asleep during Costa Mesa. People love it. I'm taking notes. I will compare this version of It Won't Be Long to the one on Tradition.

Fun fact: Wes took my tambourine, which I've had since I was like 10, to the station tonight. I can't wait to hear it.

9:37 Ooh, now the vocals are a little low, but not bad. Everything is a little muted. Could be my computer speakers. I'm going to hook up to the stereo. I'm a huge dork.

9:40 Full band is there (but I knew that). They're rocking acoustic tonight.

9:41 My cell phone is dead and Wes unplugged our landline, so I won't be able to call in. Alas, my blog remains in obscurity. Andy wants them to play at Galaxy Hut.

I don't think Wes planned a sixth song. Here's another from Tradition. Old School. (It's called Spoken Word)

9:42 Now I get why you might publish live blogs in reverse chronological order.

9:46 Guitar trade! Now he's talking about Wes's sweet Martin guitar. His is not new. (some people on the show recently had brand new Martins)

9:53 That wraps up the live portion. They ended with Casting Stones.

Friday at IOTA! Drink!

9:54 Echo and the Bunneymen. I think Kate likes them. Bummer for her. (Her computer sucks)

9:58 My ire for Amazon is distracting me from the blog. Oh! They're talking about their shoes! Wes loves shoes. You read it here first. Let's guess is that Arch is in the Merrils and Wes is in the boots. Bryan in Saucony? I don't remember the other shoes. Sorry, Dave.

9:59 Yeah, Wes is kinda gonna love this live set. He may not love this blog.

10:00 Andy regularly calls them the Wes Skillet and the Tuckers, which is a good name for a band.

10:02 Arch is kind of bad ass, you're right, Andy.

10:05 Recorded tracks start. Wow, good crescendo at the beginning of What You Stole. And hearing this now I'd say the live mix was almost as good as this. I think they really did capture some of their live magic in this record. But they're still better live. Come to IOTA! Drink!

10:09 The Skillets kind of cover the Allman Brothers in Casting Stones. I know nothing about the Allman Brothers, so I had to have someone point this out to me. But now Andy is talking about how the Rolling Stones and U2 "rip off" bits of other songs all the time. In a nice way.

10:12 Skillets will now all list their influences. Bryan is last, which means everyone else will take his. That's what always happens to me. Haha, that's the second time today that Wes has been asked about his southern accent. Do you think he should take a class?

Wes's influences: Allman Brothers, Ben Harper, Jack Johnson, Marley, Hendrix
Arch: He doesn't know. He can't remember, but says recently Ben Harper and stuff "with that sort of groove" soulfulness and diversity, good adjectives for the Skillets
Andy's about to compare them to someone questionable...Jason Mraz. Wes likes him, he'll probably take it. That wouldn't make no sense, Andy says. Unlike the Vivian Girls with M. Ward, I say.

Liz Phair opened for Jason Mraz? The music business is sexist!

Liz Phair is sexy? C'mon, Andy. The music business is sexist!

Wes saw Jason Mraz for his 30th birthay.

Dave: the Police

I have wasted my weekend. THat's a side note. No offense to the Skillets

Bryan: Tells Dave there's a new Doves CD. How did I hear of them? From those guys? Medeski Marti and Wood, Master Sounds, Jeffrey Foucault, Kaki King, Leo Kottke (I knew he would say Kaki King), Soulive

I hate jam bands. Sorry, it's my love of structure. Structure! Play a song! (If you write a jam-bandesque essay I'll call you on it too.) Does that even make any sense? This is even more self indulgent than a regular blog.

10:21 Friday at IOTA! Drink!

10:22 Song #2 Let It Ride. Just let the CD play. It's kind of awesome to hear this on the real radio. I have chills (yes, I'm pumping my computer's audio out of my stereo speakers)

10:25 DIY, not DYI. Oh Arch, you're not the only control freak.

10:26 The cover art work is gorgeous. Jackie Jouvenal is awesome.

10:28 Andy is saying really nice things about the band--how professional their stuff is, and how the owner of the Black Cat still likes to see that.

Oh, Umbro, yes of course Bryan is wearing that.

Oops, I fed Wes some bad info. He just said Obama is throwing out the first pitch, but apparently not anymore. Also screw Chicago, Obama. You don't live there anymore.

10:32 I'm not paying that much attention now. I googled my friend's boyfriend's articles. He works for a big deal newspaper.

10:34 The Scorpion and the Dove

So, I feel like you could use this blog if you started listening to the rebroadcast and/or a recording on the hour. Then you could just read along or fast forward to my witty repartee using the minutes. I guess that would also work with some sort of timer/clock. You know what I mean.

10:37 I really can't tell the difference between this version and a live version. By which I mean, I usually like the live version better. In other words this sounds great! And so did their live stuff earlier.

10:38 Andy wants to hear Costa Mesa with all its bells and whistles (aka harmonicas and fun guitar tricks)

10:43 Andy is trying to rank his favorite songs. Costa Mesa is up there, I told you.

Someone called in! Friday at IOTA! Drink!

Good advice: You should never make fun of zombies.

10:45 They managed to dig up a copy of Tradition (I have a few handy). Here's the recorded version of It Won't Be Long.

Replay tomorrow at 2!

10:47 It won't be long...until the music starts. It Won't Be Long

Ok, my dad is right. Arch does make the band sound totally different. But I have fierce personal attachment to Tradition: Wes gave me a copy when we were courting.

I used courting in a sentence!

I just looked at this blog on my page. It's out of control. Must learn to insert jumps right now.

10:52 Plugging Jackie's art:! Check it out. Dave, Jackie is not whack.

I could totally do a radio show. You just bring everything back to yourself. Know who's good at that? Me!, not wesskillet! Wes, go buy that domain RIGHT NOW!

You can find local music listings in the City Paper, as I told the sound man for Flight of the Conchords today.

10:56 First concert they paid money to see? Bryan: either Allman Brothers or Better than Ezra
Dave: Lollapalooza with his college-aged brother and his hot lady friends Dave is cool!
Arch: Tom Petty
Wes: Charlotte radio station Weenie Roast, but he has seen WuTang with Rage Against the Machine (when he was 17 so he says it still counts)
Andy saw Johnny Cash and Iron Maiden
My first concert that I paid for with my own money was Sugar Ray and Orgy. Womp wahhhhh

10:59 Last song, the aptly named Good to Go
Scorpion and the Dove

11:01 Tomorrow I will learn how to put in a page jump. My brain isn't reading too well right now. Plus I have to be in Silver Spring at 8 tomorrow :(

11:06 Overlong outro coming up?

11:07 Thanks for having them!
Friday at IOTA! Drink!

Amazon Fail

Whoa, Amazon. Whoa, whoa, whoa. This is absolutely not ok. Hortense from Jezebel is all over it. I'm not sure what's going on or how it's going to pan out, but it looks like I'll be using from now on. Updates here.

An Easter Ode to Catholic Guilt and the Washington Post

As you all know, I kind of love the Washington Post. But I kind of hate its ridiculously short billing periods/generally confusing payment structure. For example, my online account currently says that my account is paid through 11/28/2008, thanks to the payment that I made on 3/19/2009. And that I have a past-due amount of $20.03, and if I pay that, my subscription will be extended until 9/21/2009. Really? Only 20 bucks to have the paper from April to September? What a steal! But where did the payment I JUST MADE go?

The only reason I subscribe to the stupid print version is because I feel guilty about the impending death of print media. I'm a writer, so I feel the need to do the best I can to slow print's demise. Even though I usually end up recycling my paper and reading it online anyway. And even though I absolutely hate the feel of newsprint and the marks it leaves on my fingers (my skin crawls thinking about it).

Of course I also subscribe because you have to call a person to cancel, and my guilt prevents me from doing that. So I tried to just stop paying, but as you can see, that's not really working out for me.

Oh, and I had this journalism teacher who used to make us read the Post everyday, but he would always complain about what a shit paper it was. But that was before Date Lab.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Internet Is Old

I came home tonight to find an email with the following subject line waiting for me in my hotmail: Hotmail Team says "thank you" for being with us for 10+ years.

Some of you probably have a similar email in your long-dormant hotmail accounts, but I found this email because I still check my apparently 10-year-old hotmail account every day. Several times a day. Yes, that's right. I still use the email address that I signed up for when I was 16.

"That's Right!" Hotmail enthusiastically tells me at the top of their firework-bedecked e-card. "You came to the internet too late to get a decent email address and too early for people to reject the idea of 'screen names' and use their email for professional purposes. And you continue to cling to that screenname--which wasn't even based on a real nickname--out of a combination of nostalgia and inertia, despite the fact that our service really blew until about 6 months ago. And for that we thank you."

And actually, hotmail is right. Lizard was never my nickname. Lizbo was. But thankfully I had the presence of mind to realize that "Lizbo" might not be the best internet handle. I would feel silly putting tha tat the top of my resumes. And what kind of blog name is Lizbo Writes?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Swimming = Hard

Holy fucking shit. Swimming is not easy. I went today for the first time in years to start my triathlon training (I do the other sports almost every day). I tried to join a master's swim club today, and I got back a snooty email from their membership guy telling not to come out (and wanting to know if I could do a flip turn despite the fact that his website explicitly states that you do not have to know how to do a flip turn). At first I was indignant and pissed off, but now I have to admit that Marco was right.

I swam 100 meters in like 4 and a half minutes, and then I almost died. I wasn't wearing a heart rate monitor, but I would estimate that my heart was beating at roughly 300 beats per minute. I swam a grand total of about 300 meters.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Alexandria Police Want You to Telecommute

I clicked on this article in the Washington Post about the arrest of a boyfriend-girlfriend pair of home invaders in Alexandria for a few reasons. 1) To make sure Wes and I hadn't been arrested yesterday (I did have two glasses of wine at pub quiz) and 2) to see where exactly in Alexandria people were being robbed.

And although the article is about how the pair was caught, I'm left feeling more worried than I was before I started reading. The story is about how this boyfriend (26) and girlfriend (19, yes, I'm making an editorial comment here) would go to people's houses during the work day and knock on the door and when no one answered (because we all have to work to afford to live in Alexandria), the couple would break in.

Now, they were caught when they broke in to a house where someone was home before the resident had a chance to open the door. She called 911 when she heard her window breaking, and the police arrived in time to apprehend the fleeing suspect. That's the good news.

The bad news is the take-away lesson:

[Sgt. Fard, head of the property crimes division,] said residents can protect themselves by being aware of their surroundings and not opening the door of their home unless they are expecting somebody. Otherwise, if someone is knocking, he advised residents to talk through the door to find out what the person wants.

"If something seems suspicious, call police," he said.

Really, Sargeant? I'm pretty aware of my current surroundings and nothing seems suspicious because I am at work. How can I possibly know if someone is breaking into my house right now when I am not there. Wasn't that their whole plan? And wasn't it foiled when someone did try to open the door?

My tax dollars at work.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Repeat, Bitches

Trivia tonight at Solly's to benefit my old rugby team. Now, not to say anything bad about rugby players, but I'm pretty sure I have an advantage as someone who no longer spends her weekends smashing her head into other people.

Okey Doke!

(Katie is an international pub quiz champion. I feel like I should mention that.)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Making the Right Call

Is it too harsh to say I’d like to do my entire career as a rugby referee again?

I became a ref for a lot of reasons: I loved rugby but wasn’t very good at it, I’m really good at following rules, and the best referees have been known to get free trips to Fiji and other glamorous locales where rugby rules.

My first game, officiating over two teams of high school girls brand new to the sport was brilliant. They loved me, I loved them, and all the other refs at the tournament patted me on the back and welcomed me to their world. I felt the sun smiling down on me as I shook the girls’ hands after the game, congratulating them and telling them they did a fine job. One girl stayed late to talk to me about reffing and my playing career, and I applauded myself for being such an outstanding role model. It was a few hours before I realized that I’d spent the entire game calling her team by the wrong name.

Of course, high school girls aren’t the only ones who play rugby. Most players are men, the big burly ones of stereotypes, many of whom have been playing at least since I was a high school girl.

Once I got into a fight with one player over some of my calls, calls I proudly stood behind until the end of the game, when I didn’t call a minor infraction just to get back at him. The teams that day were criminally unmatched: PAC a national powerhouse, and Rocky Gorge a bunch of past-their-prime enthusiasts whose website proclaimed “Win or lose, we still booze.” I can still see the ball falling from the hands of the PAC player and landing on the ground in front of him. I can still feel the eyes of everyone on the field as they turned to see what I would do. I did nothing. I let them score the try, despite the infraction, then I whistled to end the game and beat a hasty retreat.

It was a long time after that before I returned to reffing, but as a favor, I volunteered to ref a men’s college game. At least college men were, for the most part, younger than me. At the beginning of the game, a senior ref asked the captains how it felt to have the prettiest ref in the union officiating their game. The two boys looked at me, then back at the ref, confused.

It only got worse. I awarded an undeserved try, then, just in case anyone on the pitch was still on my side, I called it back. When the game was over, a player who had been three years behind me in college came over to pat me on the head and tell me to stick with it.

I never reffed again. And if I ever get to Fiji, I’m pretty sure I’ll be paying my own way.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Who's a Big Winner?

The Bohinkas are. Tonight Katie, Gimmy and I repped the gang at Global Justice trivia. And we WON, bitches. With a little help from the table next to us, we won the tie breaker to win round 2. We got a $25 gift certificate to ACKC, which was probably the best prize of the three gift certificates.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I Entered an Essay Contest

For a blog called Lizard Writes, you were probably wondering where all the writing is. Other than on this page, of course. And the answer, for a long time, has been there isn't any! Until now.

A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon the Bethesda Literary Festival website. Usually I find things like this the Monday after they happen, but this time, I had more than a month before the festival! (I did, however, miss the Bethesda Dance Festival that was held that weekend. Can't win 'em all.)

Anyway, the contest was to write 500 words on one thing in your life you'd change if you had the chance to do it again. I wrote about my illustrious career as a rugby referee. Obviously, it's not the most deep essay topic, but it really is an experience that I have a lot of regrets about. And I don't think I would go back and like, tell my grandmother I loved her one last time, because it would be too sad to relive that again unless I could Quantum Leap in and out, and that wasn't specified in the rules. Plus, I tried to make the essay kind of funny, and humor is my strong suit. Obviously.

So if you would like to read the essay, leave a comment and I'll post it. Katie's already read it, so if you don't tell me you want it, I'll figure you weren't going to read it anyway. Also I need to prove I have friends and things like that.

Come on, people, don't make me write an essay about how I regret telling you I wrote an essay!

Is It Weird

That I want to go to this? Writing and Yoga

(Usually when you have to ask yourself that question, the answer is yes.)

Whatever, bitches, it's my birthday.*

*May 12 is not my birthday, but it is part of my weeklong birthday celebration, which will culminate with the 2nd Annual Abingdon Drive Ice Cream Social. Mark your calendars.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I'll Never Be Happy Again

We were thisclose to being Cinderellas. I keep waiting for someone to jump up and say, "But you see, I have the other slipper."

But I'm afraid that the Cinderella metaphor doesn't match up perfectly with basketball after all.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

If This Is Real ...

Like really a 9th grader and not a comedian, then give the kid a book deal already! Actually, give whoever wrote it a book deal. It's the funniest thing I've read in a long time, and I just finished When You Are Engulfed in Flames, which is hilarious.

(h/t to Kate, of course. Why should I come up with my own stuff hers is so good?)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Cookies! Finally!

So, if you've had as hard a time as I have this year finding Girl Scout Cookies, DCist comes to our rescue! Check out the cookie locator. You can thank me later. With Thin Mints.

Who's Dancing Now?

We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming of smugness and self-congratulation to bring you some exciting news. AU is in the NCAA tournament!! For only the second time in the school's history! We beat those rat bastards from Holy Cross--something we could never do when I was a student--to get there. And we (I share fully in this victory) shot 71% from the field in the second half. How's your alma mater doing? (Smugness on!)

In other, significanly less great, alumni news, see Kate's post on the bleak future of the QHS band. Let me use a simile related to AU's awesomeness to explain how stupid it would be to cut music at Quakertown. The band at Quakertown shoots about 80% from the field at all times. They are incredible. And about 10% of the student body participates in band. The football team on the other hand, and let me put this delicately, blows. It shoots about 30% from the field at all times like a certain Jesuit university with an inappropriately named sports team. (Turns out, despite what I learned in Catholic school, the Crusades were decidedly not awesome, Crusaders!)

And the football team, unlike band, is only open to members of the male persuasion. And, if Varsity Blues has taught me anything, it's that football will corrupt the hell out of you. When's the last time you heard about marching band hooligans gang raping their fellow students to impress new recruits?

I don't hate football, and I don't advocate cutting it. But if you're looking to save money, I'd think that you should at least think about cutting programs in the order of whose participants have, as students, fathered the most children. And not the most successful program in the history of your school, aside from girls' cross country.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Under a Luna Moon

Kate nails Lunafest with her review. But she fails to point out (though I guess it should be obvious from the context) that everyone there was a yuppy mom. Who else would do something called stroller strides? And for the record, I will be an awesome yuppy mom. I'm already obsessed with sports AND reading. Two things that all hyper perfect children have to participate in. I also enjoy the occasional beauty pageant...*

*No I don't.

Luna Moons

Sunday, March 8, 2009

You're Not the Boss of Me

So the other day I was taking some Facebook quizzes (I should live in Paris), and I came across one called "What Kind of Wife Are You?" Despite the fact that I am not a wife, I do think that I would be pretty kick-ass at it, and not in a scary desperate-to-get-married-and-make-babies kind of way, but in a stuck up, condescending, over-it-all kind of way. Like I could be a wife if I wanted to be, but I'm not, but I'm still good at it.

And of course, my suspicions were confirmed. According to some Facebook app, I'm totally a good wife.

But this isn't just another blog about how great I am. There are plenty of those already. This one is about my favorite favorite question on the quiz.

It said something like your husband comes home and tells you to quit your job. Your response is.

Now, before I tell you what I said, I have to qualify my response by saying that most of the answer choices were a little absurd and some kind of mean. One was that you'd tell your husband that there was no way you could afford to quit your job on his "puny" paycheck. But my response was "laugh in his face," mostly because the idea that Wes or anyone would say that to me is facially absurd. I'm not saying I'd never quit my job because my nonexistent husband asked me too for a really important reason. But if he told me to, well, either he'd be kidding, or we'd soon be going through a real divorce.

Mmmm Mmmmm, Good!

Last night for dinner I ate popcorn, french fries, and a cupcake. Afterward I felt greasy and queasy. I'm a grown up!

I'm counting this as the fourth installment of things that kinda make be barf, because they literally did. Also, I can't believe that I have a cupcakes tag.

Tina Fey gets me.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

I'm an Idiot and Other Thoughts on Running

So after recovering from the awesome flu of death, which sidelined me for 9 days (!), I started running again on Wednesday. Immediately after my little 4-mile jaunt downtown with Katie, she and I went to an inversion workshop at Lululemon. I can now totally do a headstand and a handstand, and yes, I would love to show you.

But then I went for my usual Thursday morning run and my hip HURT. Now, I've been having left hip/glute/hamstring problems for some time now--since about September of 2007. I've briefly seen a massage therapist and chiropractor about it, but mostly I just kept running and complaining. Hip pain that started at mile 9 played a big part in my MCM meltdown. But this is bad. I'm not sure what set it off--I don't remember falling on it when doing inversions, though I do tend to fall left. And for the record I do remember falling and hitting my back (twice, once on the door knob at home) and hitting my head once really hard. But my hip?

I thought I figured out the cause of the pain several times. I've certainly temporarily improved it, but now, after a year and a half, I've reached the point where all running hurts. And I just took 9 days off. Ibuprofen worked until it didn't (ahem, marathon day), weight lifting is making me jacked, but not in the right places, yoga has loosened me up, and all this has made me faster to the tune of a sub-47 minute 10k, but my legs still hurt. So I'm going to go to the doctor.

Of course I don't want any anti-inflammatories (very bad for your stomach) and God forbid a cortisone shot, and I'm not a huge fan of the natural remedy of not running, but maybe something can be done. Because I cannot crack 3:40 with this kind of pain, and if I don't do something now I'm not going to be able to run a marathon at all. Eight miles was torture this morning, and I'm supposed to do 14 tomorrow, but I highly doubt that will happen.

In other better running news, Jezebel had a post up about women marathoners, which led to some awesome discussion in the comments and a neato facebook group for Jezebel-reading marathoners. And at the risk of sounding like the creeper I am, Jezebel-reading marathoners are probably all my soul mates. So anyway, one of them writes a great new blog on running. Check it out.

Monday, February 23, 2009

I'm Aware

I'm getting over the nastiest flu I've ever had in my life. It was really awful. I haven't been sick in years, and I've never been sick for as long as I was. I missed an entire week of work. All I did was sit on the couch. I couldn't even eat. I can't wait to see how much weight I lost! I think it's at least five pounds! If I had to be sick, at least there's a silver lining.

Also it's eating disorder awareness week.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

One of These Things...

Is definitely not like the other
Fuck you, Amazon. I'm still in my child-bearing prime. Is it only women trying to have children who need a small, convenient way to carry books with them at all times? Or who have chosen children over designer handbags? I personally lack an interest in either.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentine's Day Really Makes Me Barf

Apparently, only the third in a series of things that make me throw up in my mouth a little bit (I swear there are more than three, I'll get on it)--the mother of them all, Valentine's Day.

Now, believe it or not, my intense dislike of Valentine's Day has nothing to do with weddings--I hated Valentine's Day even back when I used to admire wedding magazines at the checkout. But I guess my dislike stems from similar factors, like consumerism and fakey-fakeness.

Here are just some of the reasons I actually puke on Feb. 14. Actually, no lie, once I fainted on Valentine's Day. That one wasn't so bad.

First, it's a totally made up holiday. From what I understand as a good Catholic girl (meaning I do believe most of the stories of the saints), no one's really sure that St. Valentine even existed.

Second, roses shouldn't cost $80 a dozen. I don't even really like red roses. When I tried to break up with my high school boyfriend he sent me a dozen red roses (which only cost like $30, fyi) so now they just strike me as kind of desperate and clingy and sore-losery.

Third, I hate contests that are set up so that you can't win, and I feel like Valentine's Day is really one of them. You love me? Prove it. No, really, prove it. I need $80 roses and an overpriced dinner and probably a gift and if you forget to do either then that means that you don't love me.

Fourth, that reminds me. My high school boyfriend used to make me exchange real gifts at Valentine's day. Like one year he bought me a phone and I bought him a razor. But one year he gave me a gold-dipped rose. I'm not kidding.

Fifth, you should show your love for your partner everyday, or at least on Fridays, not just one day a year.

Sixth, my very first boyfriend dumped me three days before Valentine's Day so that he could give a rose to my friend. Ouch. Actually, that turned out to be an ok Valentine's Day, but it's the principle.

Seventh, last year, Wes, Katie and I tried to get some Indian food in France, but they were only serving a prix-fixe menu for like 45 euros or something and there was no vegetarian option, but we didn't know that until we'd already sat down and got an aperitif, so we felt like we couldn't leave. And all the couples got a rose, but I didn't. And I suspect that someone else got my engagement ring in their shrimp masala. What other explanation could there be?

Eighth, when Wes buys me Godiva chocolates for Valentine's Day, he expects me to share them with him! But he waits until I've already eaten the merely delicious ones and asks for the super delicious ones and then makes fun of me when I don't want to give them to him.

But there are some good things about Valentine's Day. One, it's really close to Wes's birthday, so we get to celebrate that. Two, my dad always sends me candy. This year it's a box of Mrs. Fields chocolates, and that will get its own blog post. And three, Wes gives me Spanish cards that he has translated hilariously and he doesn't peer pressure me into giving him grooming tools or accepting ugly tchotchkes.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Post: Agent of Conservative Propaganda

I wanted to hate this weird article on marriage, but it kind of made me laugh.

But then I wanted to make a joke about Bush's stupid marriage initiatives, but that just led me to this disappointing page. Obviously I haven't yet gotten that far in The Audacity of Hope. I already have a more lasting bond with my partner; it's called a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage, and it means that we can't break up without transferring big bucks amongst ourselves and possibly out to some lawyers. And isn't that what marriage is all about?

Saturday, January 31, 2009

So, Marathons

I just registered for the San Diego Marathon. It's on May 31, so training officially starts tomorrow, which means that I will no longer be able to talk myself into missing Friday morning tempo runs. (Though in the winter, it's always cold, so it doesn't matter if you run at night or in the morning, unlike in the summer when I had to run in the a.m. So maybe I can keep skipping...)

Anyway, yay, marathons. I'd like to PR for this one, but I have to let the Boston obsession rest. Of course that's just a ploy to trick myself into actually running a BQ. I'm definitely excited for the trip and for losing my holiday weight, so that's some motivation. And I think I finally figured out why my hips hurt so badly--they never move laterally anymore. So I'm going to work on that and get more massages this time around and everything will be great.

The only bummer about this race is that it's a Rock 'n' Roll race, and they've given me cotton t-shirts at the last two I've done despite their $$$ entry fees. I'm pretty sure this one has a technical tee, otherwise I wouldn't have done it.

Here is my tentative 2009-10 marathon schedule.
May 2009 - San Diego
November 2009 - New York or Philadelphia
May 2010 - Ottawa

I love Ottawa. Kate and I were supposed to run a marathon there after I did my first one, but that didn't pan out. I think because she decided to move to France or something like that. I really debated between Ottawa and San Diego this year, but my friend is moving to SD, so I went with the free place to stay.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Kickin' It Homeless Style

I'm just spending my Friday night at the homeless shelter where I volunteer (and you should, too). I just met the newish staff person and, sorry Kate, she's now my favorite staff member*. I saw that she was looking at Ravelry, the online knitting mecca I'm just learning about, so I told her that I could crochet and was teaching myself to knit. Well it turns out she's an extremely avid sock knitter, so she showed me a bunch of stuff that she's done and all kinds of knitting resources that I had no idea existed. It's really amazing to me what an art form knitting really is and that there's SO MUCH out there. I haven't even hit the tip of the ice berg.

She also gave me the rest of her Arizona Tea Arnold Palmer Lite, which is a little sweet for me. Although I was raised on iced tea instead of milk, I guess it's possible to lose your taste for it after two years of only drinking unsweetened tea. A very sad day.

Anyway, in the spirit of link love and giving props where props are due for cool socks, here is Chele's blog (that's how she identifies herself on her blog). Check out the entrelac socks. I might have to try a pair of those after I do my first pair, of course.

*Though Katie did feed me crepes and mulled wine tonight, so she retains her status as my favorite sister. But she definitely did not text me back with the password to the shelter's computer. Good thing I remembered it.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Give Me My Money Back, You Bitch

So, I'm finally getting around to watching the Ben Folds Five MySpace Reunion Show. (And by watching, I mean listening to as I type this--it's a concert, what's there to watch? Prove me wrong, Ben, prove me wrong!)

Anyway, when I found out about this the day before it happened I cried because I had to miss it. And I am enjoying this show immensely through the magic of MySpace. And I just bought tickets to see Ben Folds at GW in a few weeks.

But I don't really like Ben Folds anymore. There, I said it. I don't have his new CD, and I don't want it. And if you know me, you know how crazy this is.

There was a time in my life when I loved Ben Folds. I mean, weirdly loved him and his band. I could blog for days on how much I loved Ben Folds Five, but I'll sum it up here by saying that I once dated a guy solely because he appreciated Ben as much as I did. And at one point I knew every word to every song in Ben's catalog--both released and unreleased. And I once stalked Ben down four blocks in NYC to meet him. And I name my blog posts after their songs.

I have actually met all three members of Ben Folds Five, albeit at distinct times. Darren held the door for me at Iota and I still talk about it.

But seriously, check it out. It's hard to get excited for this shit.

Darren Jessee, on the other hand, is not only a gentleman, but also still a genius. He continues to make incredible music, and if you're not already listening to Hotel Lights, you should be. He's actually playing in Philly on Feb. 13, which is the night I'm going to see Ben (and Rufus Wainwright is playing in Philly on Feb. 14--I've made a terrible mistake!) .

BUT, Hotel Lights is also playing next Tuesday in Baltimore. Kate? Good thing I saw this before I set my car on fire.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Weight Ain't Nothin' But a Number

I ate a lot of chocolate today. I can't really quantify the amount. It doesn't matter. All that matters is that I will never, ever, buy a 17.8 oz bar of chocolate (with almonds!) again.

I Hate Having a Car

I hate having a car for a number of reasons.

1. The DMV. I know it's a cliche, but in my experience the agency isn't really going out of its way to refute its reputation. When I moved to VA I spent 2 hours standing at a window while the most meticulous employee in the history of employment entered my information letter by letter, repeating each one back to herself (I have a really long name and a really long address) and still managed to mess it up twice. The kid who had two $500 fines for driving without a license and without insurance left before me. I'm not kidding.

And in DC they once froze my account because my tag reminder (not even the tags themselves!) had been returned due to an incorrect address. Except my tags weren't returned. Miko Benton, who fraudulently used my address the entire time we lived there, had her tags returned. "Why would you mail me a renewal reminder in February if my tags expire in January?" I asked the woman at the DMV. "I don't know," she said, "but you have to prove your address before we can give you a duplicate title." And by duplicate title she meant the title that I had to pay $28 for despite the fact that the city never mailed me an original title.!

2. My trunk doesn't work. And why did I need a title? Because some asshole ran into my car while it was parked outside my house and totaled it. I still drive the car though, but the trunk does not work and it looks like shit.

3. $$$ My car has 166,000 miles on it, which is pretty impressive for a Chevy. I pay about $30 a month in car insurance, but I only put about 5,000 miles on it a year. So I really hate to put any money into it, because it's going to die sooner rather than later, and it's already been totaled so I've been paid for it. But now it needs to be inspected and one of the turn signals is out, but Chevy made it damn near impossible for a mortal to change the bulb in their daytime running lights. Now, I appreciate the fact that my light lasted for 12 years, but seriously, I wouldn't mind changing it myself. It's not too much to ask.

4. I'm pretty sure I have an oil leak.

5. And getting your oil changed anywhere but at Jiffy Lube is a huge pain in the ass. I hate Jiffy Lube. I know they're marking their services way up. And guess what, no, I don't want you to fix my turn signal or my oil leak. I'm going to let the guys at Old Town Liberty do that. Then they'll have to let me pass inspection.

6. I live in a place where I don't really need to own a car. Does it take longer to take the metro everywhere? Yes. But can I look smugly down at those people who insist on polluting the environment because it's more convenient if I take the metro everywhere? Yes.
I lived in a warmer climate I would get around exclusively on bicycle and public transportation. As it is I am seriously considering taking my oil leak money and buying a fucking bike-riding parka and then setting my car on fire.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

It's Alive!

My cell phone survived! I can't believe it, but it's true. Is it wrong that I didn't want to tell anyone that it was ok because I liked being unreachable?

Looks like I'll never have an enV2. On the plus side, I totally wiped out on my bike the other day and broke my pedal, so I at least have to (definitely) buy one of those, if not a pair of cycling shoes.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

RIP My Cell Phone

This* morning, as I was packing my work clothes up, I noticed that my chosen shirt was a little wrinkly. "Well," I said to myself, "Self, now would be the perfect time to bust out that new steamer that Wes's parents gave me for Christmas."**

So I pulled out the steamer, filled it with water, entertained thoughts of plugging it in in the kitchen, but instead went over to my usual ironing spot on the kitchen table and plugged it in there. While I waited for it to heat up, I went and started drying my hair. I came back a few minutes later to see my little kettle-like steamer spitting out a long, vigorous trail of steam. So I picked it up and steamed my shirt to good effect and put the thing down back on the table and turned it off. Then I went back to drying my hair.

When I came back to the kitchen to get ready to leave, I heard this weird, crackling sound, which sounded like static or like my cell phone slowly drowning itself and all its circuits. I had put the steamer down next to my phone, and while I realized the thing was putting out steam, I had no idea just how wet that steam was. Pretty much everything that was on my table was soaked, including my bike-riding winter hat, the fiction issue of the New Yorker, and the Pottery Barn Kids catalog. Now I'll never know what furniture is in season for privileged 4-year-olds!

Anyway, I cursed and grabbed the phone and ran into the bedroom where I tried to dry the still-crackling phone on the still-sleeping Wes. "I steamed my phone!" I yelled. "What?" he said. "I steamed my phone! Shit! I can't get the battery out!"

I rubbed the thing against the blanket a few more times before I could get the battery door off, but I'm pretty sure the damage is done. I actually dropped that phone in the toilet once and managed to save it, but it definitely wasn't making that frying noise that time.

So, Verizon got me. I'll re-up for another two years. At least the LG enV2 is on sale. But the real tragedy is that I just learned how to use predictive text, which I think is the most fun ever. Will anyone judge me if I still use that, despite the fact that my new phone will have a full Qwerty keyboard? Let's just say no.

Also, as I was trying to put away the steamer, I managed to spill some more water, but this time it landed on my umbrella. Liz 1, Steamer 1. But then it pinched my finger. Liz 1, Steamer 2. Those things are no joke.

*I worked really hard not to make this word "so".
**Remind me to write another blog about how at Christmas everyone seems to think I'm a housewife/someone who would use a steamer/quesadilla maker/stand mixer.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

2009: In Which I Make No Excuses but Tell Plenty of Lies

Happy New Year! Lizard Writes returns from an extended holiday vacation with some updates.

Ok, A number 1, Wes and I made a sweet, sweet Christmas video blog (vlog, if you will). And I can't figure out how to post it. I know, you have no reason to believe me, and I didn't think to like, hold up the newspaper in it or anything to prove that I made it last week, but it definitely exists. If you come to my house, you can watch it. It does have our Christmas tree in the background, for what that's worth.

At some point I will figure out how to convert it into an uploadable format. So look for it in June or something (no excuses!).

Second, this article. Duh. It's no secret that I <3 style="font-style: italic;">Washington Post Magazine, and want Tom Shroder's job, but I don't usually read the "Editor's Note." Today I did, and all I have to say is that I would like the last 3 minutes of my life back. Or is that not how to be funny? I'm not saying anything that anyone who read that essay would find too surprising.

(I like Dave Barry, but he doesn't often make me laugh out loud. Writing humor is hit or miss (see, e.g., this blog). I wouldn't explain my reaction to it the way Shroder does, though.)

Third, I like this song. It's playing on Shuffle Songs now. Thanks, NPR!