Sunday, September 30, 2007

AT&T Ad - Wes Anderson Rocks

This is my absolute favorite new thing:



No matter what I'm doing, or what kind of mood I'm in, I burst out giggling when I hear "Philawarepragicago".

Preparing You For October

Monday is Day 1 of October.

1) Change your calendar - my kitchen calendar is from the Lonely Planet, and October is "New England".

2) Check your horoscope - AstrologyZone

3) Put a sweater on - the high is going to be 57.

4) Start shopping for a Halloween costume. If you wait too long, all that will be left at the costume shop will be Naughty Nurse, Naughty Schoolteacher, Naughty Girl Devil, and that holey sheet that Charlie Brown had to wear.

5) Pick out a pumkin


6) Carve him into a Jack O'Lantern. I know it is supposed to be "jack-o-lantern", but when I Googled it, I inadvertently spelled it as if it were some sort of cavalier Irishman.


You could just carve the pumpkin into some semblance of a leprechaun, and then name him Jack O'Lantern.


What would you suggest for October preparation?


Saturday, September 29, 2007

Everything Old Is New Again

Barbara Grizzuti Harrison said "There are no original ideas."

I think about this, frequently, when I'm writing. Or shopping. Or listening to music. Or watching movies or tv.

The "no original ideas" theory is particularly true of television programming. I am totally okay with that, as there were several shows I was very emotionally attached to, that were unfortunately taken away from me just like that 5 lb peanut butter-filled chocolate egg Grandma gave me for Easter, and so what if I wanted to eat the whole thing before breakfast cancelled. Deep breath. It's okay. They're basically back. Kind of.

"Alias":


Is now "The Bionic Woman".




"Friends":


Is now "How I Met Your Mother".


"Sex & The City":


Is now "Cashmere Mafia"



I've only seen one of the three shows (How I Met Your Mother), but have very high hopes for the other two. Recycling should be widely embraced, in all manners of the word.

Effing Facebook

Buh. Stupid social networking site. Kerry signed me up for it, and I, begrudgingly, edited my profile, and added friends, and tagged myself in photos, and joined networks, and wrote on my wall, and... Sheesh! It's exhausting keeping that crap up!


(how's THAT for a dedication?)

just composed an Ode in my honor, on his blog. And, as he points out, we do have much in common. Including the inability to resist flattery. Loves it! Loves the flattery!

Does anyone remember that car commercial where the family is driving along a cliffside highway, in a mini-van or some such other un-sexy automobile, and the voice over says "Remember the compliments...forget the insults." Kind of funny, as I find it quite effortless to insult a mini-van. The sentiment was awfully profound for a car commercial, but that phrase stuck in my head, and I have to remind myself to actually do just that. Forget the insults. Remember the compliments.

Stop reliving the basketball game in 8th grade where Chandler Ford was standing up in the bleachers yelling "You're UGLY" at the top of his lungs. No, no, NO - baaaaaad memory, delete! Delete!

(And if you think I'm going to post a photo of myself at age 13 for proof, you have been slurping the Crazy Soup today fo' sho'.)

Dwell on the time that one guy said you had the "wit of the editor-in-chief, and the beauty of the girl on the cover". Compliments do not get much better than that. Unless he was referring to the Big Game Fishing Journal.

So the warm fuzzies will always be welcomed, and frequently drawn upon, in order to bury the Junior High memories. We all have them, and they must be squelched. Heavy in the squelching department are any comparisons to attractive celebrities - no matter how unlike them I might actually be.

(Ed. note: Most annoying are those girls who gush things like "Oh my God, people are ALWAYS saying how much I look like Angelina Jolie! It's embarrassing! Hahahahahaheee! I mean, EVERYONE thinks so, and it's so weird because she's like one of the most beautiful women IN THE WORLD!"

Where did I leave my stun gun?)

Anyway, my complaint about stupid Facebook, is that they now are charging money for their Virtual Gifts. Like, you click on "send so-and-so a gift", and then this selection of completely pretend, one-dimensional gifts pops up, and you click on the one you want to "Gift" to so-and-so. It's PRETEND. It's NOT REAL. So it was all fun and games earlier on in Facebook's life, when it was free to do this: Kerry gifted me a puppy in a box, I gifted Yvonne a "Happy Birthday" balloon, etc.

It cost nothing, because it WAS nothing.

So, I was so giddily pleased with my Ode, and I happened to be on Facebook (uploading photos from Kimmy's "Buh Bye" evening), and I thought "Excellent! I'll send Landis a Gift!" And then I picked out, quite naturally, a virtual cupcake. And I thought I was being all hilarious and was like "It's a CUPCAKE - get it? A CUPCAKE!" Ar ar ar. Then, when I clicked on "send", up popped that dreaded screen that I'm supposed to be grounded from. You know, the "enter your credit card information here" screen.

I didn't even check to see how much the NOT-A-REAL-CUPCAKE would have been. It's the principle of the thing. I was so offended, that I just clicked away from that screen, and came straight here. To the happy place. The happy blog place, where I can do this stuff for free. Charging real money for pretend cupcakes, my ass.

So, Landis, here you go:


I would like you to please give one to Tim, as he must just be rolling his eyes about this whole thing. Bliends. Really.

I would also like to offer the remaining cupcakes to everyone who has been so great about commenting on the little blog, and letting me know when they've enjoyed the posts, and blabbity blah. You know what I mean.

Now, I'm going to try to link some of these blog posts to Facebook. Apparently, that is another feature that I don't think they're charging for just yet...

Friday, September 28, 2007

Training for the MENS - Episode 3

Today's Episode will be a Two Part Training, involving Two Different MENS Examples:

1) Kevyn (of Kevyn & Stacy), both of whom I have never met, but think they are adorable.

2) Jason (of Jason & Suzie), both of whom I have met, and think they are adorable.

KEVYN:

Kevyn & Stacy were preparing to watch the Best TV Show Of All Time, when Kevyn asked if he could get Stacy anything from the kitchen.

In and of itself, that is pretty awesome. Kevyn was not sitting in the brown velour La-Z-Boy recliner, belching, while demanding that his "woman" bring him another half-keg of brewski. Rather, he was enlisting his inner-Mr. Belvedere, and offering an unbeatable service: snack-bringin' from the kitchen.

Stacy had a hankering for some Nutella.



(Ed. note: if someone could remind me to never use words like "hankering", or "jonesing", I'd be eversograteful.)

Kitchen was sans Nutella. Kevyn said "No problem, I'll pop up to the grocery store and get you some".

I'm not even paraphrasing. That is izzackly what he said. IZZACKLY.

Wait for it...

JASON:

Suzie had to go meet Jason for some coffee or dinner or some such nonsense. When she arrived at whatever location (my details are fuzzy on this, because the rest of the story is just so much more important)...

Jason was waiting there, with Suzie's packed suitcase (courtesy of some crazy unfamiliar packing by a sister-in-law or something - again, details fuzzy, eye on the prize), and airplane tickets. And if I'm remembering the story correctly, which I'm probably not, I don't think Jason even told her where they were going until they got on the plane.

I wanted to say "until they arrived at their destination", but then I was thinking "Oh, come ON - Suzie would have cornered one of the Flight Attendants, or some poor, unsuspecting 8 yr-old, in line for the bathroom, and said "someone had better tell me where this plane is going, before I wrap these headphone cords around your necks".

So, when they boarded the plane, Jason explained that they were headed to the Maldives.


The MALDIVES FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!

EPISODE 3 RECAP: THOUGHTFUL GESTURES, GOOD. WELL-PLANNED SURPRISES, GOOD. NUTELLA & MALDIVES, GOOD. KEVYN & JASON, GOOD.

Smith Tower's Wishing Chair

I'm doing a partial-poach of a blog post. My friend Kim has a great "I met my fiance on the internet" story. In a nutshell, they "met" on OKCupid (which has some totally funny quizzes that you can do, and you may completely ignore the dating aspect of the site...you know, if you're the kind of person who puts absolutely no effort into meeting boys, but spends all her time finding out important things like "Which Classic Dame Are You"? - and it may or may not have been Katherine Hepburn), and Henry lived in England. Kim flew out to England to visit him in November 2006, and the rest is history. And in the history is this very cute tale.

The Smith Tower was built in Seattle in 1914 and was the tallest building on the West Coast until the 1960s. You can read all about it here.

(view from Smith Tower)

At the very top of the Tower is an observatory, and in the observatory is a chair that was given to Mr. Smith by the Empress of China.

I imagine the chair to look something like this (but it probably doesn't):


The legend goes that a single woman who sits in the chair and wishes to get married will be wed within a year. One day in June 2006, when Kim was feeling particularly low, she looked up and saw the Smith Tower and remembered hearing that legend. She knew it was silly, but it was a beautiful day and she thought, "I'll just go take a look at the view and if I get a chance, I'll sit in the chair and feel like an idiot for a few minutes - it couldn't hurt." Needless to say, she sat in the chair and felt like an idiot.
(Ed. note: Idiot-schmidiot - dating in Seattle is ridiculous.)

Kim was recounting the story last night, and explained that she had gone up to the observatory by herself, and that all the staff people totally knew what she was doing when she sat in the chair, and were watching her (and prolly judging). Whatevs, staff peeps, Kimmy's got a ring on her finger. She and Henry were engaged in June 2007. That Chinese Empress was not messing around, and probably meant to say "Single lady will be at least engaged, if not wed, within one year".

Naturally, Kim has turned into one of those couplie girls who now wants all of us to be parts-of-couples as well, so she's been yelling at us to "GO SIT IN THE CHAIR!!!"

I've got some free time this weekend. The invitations will go out next September.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Silver Lining Is In My Pants

Doesn't that sound naughty?

Hating today. LOADS.

Must focus on happier things. Find the silver lining, blah blah:

1) Chai-as-breakfast (loves my Starbucks peeps at California & Fauntleroy - they are FAB and always remember my drink order).

2) Happy Outfit today (after wearing jeans for three consecutive non-Fridays himself, boss finally agreed to allow us to do likewise):

Gray cashmere Cynthia Steffe tunic sweater that I found for $10 at Marshalls. You heard me, $10. Photo below was reasonable facsimile of said tunic sweater, although is not same. Also is not gray, but very similar style.





And Paper, Denim & Cloth inky dark skinny jeans - also purchased at Marshall's, for $50. That's right, $50. $50 is not quite as exciting as $10, but is still exciting due to fact that Friend Allison recently went jeans-shopping and the least expensive pair at Nordstrom was $170. $170 is a far cry from exciting. Although idea of spending $170 on jeans does induce heart-palpitations. Heart-palpitations are pretty exciting.



Have happily accessorized outfit with mulberry-colored pashmina-as-scarf (office is like meat locker), and mulbery-colored Via Spiga open-toed heels (office is like meat locker, but pedicure looks really good - would be shame to cover up. Shoe photos on home computer - could not find reasonable facsimile photo on Google).

Whew! I feel better already. And my Marshall's coups reminded me of a theory I have:

There is a completely crazy lady who sits in that back room at the Marshall's with the Red Clearance Sticker gun. At random times throughout the week, Crazy Red Clearance Sticker Gun Lady will dial the numbers down to "15" or "10", or even "3"* and then go nuts stickering the price tags of clothing items (I swear to God I got a great pair of wide-leg, chocolate brown Limited corduroy pants for $3).

I imagine Crazy Red Clearance Sticker Gun Lady to look a little bit like Mango:

But more conservative, possibly in an ivory sweater-set, pearls, and a gray wool A-line skirt. After all, it's Marshall's, not Forever 21. But she is still totally crazy, with wacky red lipstick lined way around her mouth, and she lives in a large cage, decorated with very discounted Marshall's furniture, like those leather ottoman cubes and decorative coffee tables.

She also has a crazy twin sister who lives in the back room at TJMaxx, because I found a Laundry red jersey, full length, spaghetti strap dress, complete with Crazy Red Clearance Sticker, for $15. I may wear that tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Pick A Lane - Vol. II

As with my life choices, I also have difficulty picking a lane when blogging. You may or may not have noticed this.

TravelGretta? When the hell does she talk about travel?

Sometimes. She talks about it sometimes. In between the glittering television show commentary, all-important vignettes about shoes, and random celebrity-related musings.

Oh. And don't forget when she waxes poetic on food. Although it is usually less waxing, and not so poetic, but really more drooling, while lamely poaching food photos from Google, and pretending that is blog-writing.

I should probably have separate blogs for each topic, although that would be absolutely no fun when I try to combine the topics, and tie them all neatly together with a moral or life-lesson or something (Ed. note: I don't think I have ever actually done this). Since I am usually limited to my brief breaks at work, the posts are a little on the half-assed side. Apologies.

Imagine what she could do if she really applied herself... (said every one of my teachers, 2nd through 12th grade).

The Bachelor

Last night (in addition to "The Biggest Loser"), I watched "The Bachelor", which I had taped on Monday,



and a documentary on PBS about the poor treatment of black factory workers, in Mobile, Alabama, during World War II.


Guess which one made me cringe more?

I'll give you a hint:

  • Girl taking off shoes and showcasing webbed toes.

  • Girl donning yoga pants under satin gown and showing that she could put ankles behind head.

  • Girl singing "The Yellow Rose of Texas", acapella, and off-key, while presenting own yellow rose to Bachelor...
OOPS! Did that give it away?

Why do I continue to watch this show? Why? I did manage to successfully avoid the last season, with Bachelor-Andy-someone. I think I watched the first two episodes, and Andy seemed so very uncomfortable in front of the cameras, that I was too embarrassed (on his behalf) to continue watching, and thus decided to use my time more wisely. I'm not really sure what that means, exactly, as I most likely just found another TV show to watch...probably "Sunset Tan".

But I digress. I might stick with this one, as Bachelor-Brad seems to have a good sense of humor, and did eliminate most of the girls I found to be annoying and ridiculous - one who actually took out one of her chicken-cutlet breast pads and placed it on the coffee table while slurring something about how "sweeeeeet" Bachelor-Brad was.

Bachelor-Brad is also from Austin, Texas, and I just love that laid-back, slow, drawly thing those boys have going on. (See notes on Pretend Boyfriend, Luke Wilson).

So, I guess I'm "excited to take this journey" with Bachelor-Brad and his ladies. Groan.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

OHHHHH The Shoes

I could not be more excited about this. Seriously.

Whassat? More About My Sister's Wedding?

I knew you were dying to hear more about it.

Ellie & Pete's Wedding Weekend By The Numbers:

Weddings - 1 (also the number of wedding cakes that were 1 hour late, and caused minor panic with Bride)

Inappropriate, lecherous uncles in attendence - 2 (remember to send copies of Emily Post for Christmas. "How'd you all get such great asses?", maybe not the best conversation opener during the cocktail hour...)

Unfamiliar faces - too many to count. I'll guess 23. (I'll also guess that 23 really isn't too many to count, unless you're a toddler.)

Headaches incurred, trying to remember unfamiliar faces' names - more than too many. Probably 24. (See above for explanation of "isn't too many".)

Occurences of cousin Lars telling us he was "zipped"* - 27 ("Zipped" being Lars' synonym for "drunk" - completely unrelated to the condition of Lars' pants. Although, they were zipped as well.)

Times everyone mentioned how groom's brother, Andy used to have a crush on bride's sister, Jessie - 34 (Andy was incredibly good sport, as any normal person would have snapped after 10th mention of crush).

Glasses of wine consumed at wedding - no idea. It was "just the one" glass, that was repeatedly filled by the nice catering staff. I was pretty "zipped" as well.

Times I was asked to "help with the dishes" over the course of the weekend - ZERO! Hooray Mom!!!

Someone add all those numbers up and make some sort of clever math problem with them. I was told there'd be no math with blogging.

Monday, September 24, 2007

It's All About Family

My weekend was full of this:


And this:



And this:


And this:

And this:


And this:



Britney Spears' weekend was full of allegations that she gets drunk and stoned at home, while her sons are in the house.

I win.

Today's Guest Blogger - Miss Sally

Bettye muller $390. Marked down to 294. Then 117. I got em for 48 :o. Blog that!

YESSUM!!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Ellie Gets Hitched

For my sister's wedding on Sunday (I abhor the word "nuptials" and refuse to use it in a sentence. Except right there - that sentence - where I said I wouldn't use it.), I am going to be wearing THIS in "Ruby Red". I would prefer to wear THIS (also in Ruby Red), which is what my OTHER sister gets to wear. Bridesister did not want us to wear the same dress.

I'm sure she is being diplomatic and hoping to avoid the inevitable media coverage* and resulting "Who Wore It Best" polls. But since both dresses are Ruby Red, we will have something like this:

Who Wore Red Best?!


And to be in fair competition, my sister and I will have to grab the microphone and belt out a few bars of "Red Hot Mama" so that voters can experience the full effect.

Bridesister will be covering face in horror, thinking "I thought the microphone was just for the toasts?"

*When I say "media coverage", I mean my father, standing off to the side, with his 1962, 50-pound, 35mm camera, with lens cap still on, shouting "Goddammned kids - hold still - where's the focus on this thing?"

What's For Dinner When We're Cranky?

I had a brutal day at work yesterday, and rushed home for some Happy Time with four glasses a glass of wine, and this:


Humboldt Fog cheese is the most magical cheese, of all the magic cheeses. It makes everything better.

Awesome

I don't have time to post right now, but cannot bear to look at O.J.'s face much longer. So I just Googled the word "awesome" to see what images came up:





This one is courtesey of Dave's Daily.

I swear I'm not high.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

O.J. Simpson

FILE UNDER: CRAP I DO NOT CARE ABOUT

(Ed. note - 1995 verdict encouraged Self's decision to move to Seoul, South Korea for one year. Vehemently disgusted with U.S. Justice System; felt that daily classes of teaching "Hello" to Korean children would be far more satisfying than viewing Slasher Simpson's Freedom Parade. Was correct.)

Travel! See?

Yahoo has a feature entitled Scouting Report 2007: The Best Places You've Never Heard Of,

to which I naturally (and competitively) responded "Oh I have SO heard of those! Probably. Maybe. Let's check..."

Okay, out of the 10 that they listed, I had actually only heard of one. But I've also been there, so that should count for more, no? Are we being graded on the curve? What percentage of this goes toward our final grade? Does attendance count?

The winning place: Jomsom, Nepal.


I did what was known as the "Jomsom Trek" when I spent a month in Nepal in November of 1998. I'm totally hardcore. (Ed. note: amongst Nepal trekkers, Jomsom is considered the candy-ass route).

I actually did have to be a little hardcore, when the friend I had gone with dropped a bit of a bomb on me. It went a little something like this:

We had just purchased our trekking permits, in Pokhara, and were all set to start the trek the following morning. Friend and I had done "independent" stuff in the afternoon, and then met up for dinner:

ME: Hey, this Khukaro ko Masu is fantastic...do you think they forgot my Diet Coke?

FRIEND: Um, I'm leaving tomorrow.

ME: I know - we're going to have to get up EARLY to make that bus!

FRIEND: No, I mean, I'm going home-home.

ME: Hanh?

So, while Friend profusely apologized, amidst much crying, and embarrassed forehead-in-hand gesturing - explaining that she just wasn't physically or mentally prepared for the trip, blah blah - I was thinking "you have GOT to be kidding me", and "who DOES that?", and "oh crap".

All the guidebooks expressly stated that you should not trek alone. Bring a buddy. Where's your buddy? Got your buddy?

Nope. My buddy decided she'd rather fly back to Kathmandu, and wait for 3 days until there was an available flight back to the U.S. - you know, filling the 3 days with yoga and such.

So, to shorten an unbearably long story, involving a humor-free trekking parter (met on bus on Day 1 - he would just stare blankly when I would make random jokey comments. Which was all the time.), numerous blisters, sporadic overindulgences of Twix and Snickers bars (we were trekking 10 hours a day - I ate whatever I damned well wanted to eat), a heavenly oasis of a guesthouse - run by a Nepalese man and his French wife who was a pastry chef (cake was ordered with every meal), various pleasant British couples as trekking partners, and an overstrained left knee...

I made it back to Pokhara alive, in 11 days (there and back), when it probably should have taken me 12 or 13. I was stubborn, and slightly fussy toward the end, and wanted very badly to escape having to trek with this creepy, aging British hippy who bore a strong resemblance to Randy Quaid.

Not Dennis. And oh my God I just found this photo:


That woman was not on the trail, but would have provided a fantastic distraction and aided in my escape. (Ed. note: actually Randy Quaid in photo -not creepy British guy - but resemblance is uncanny - particularly in Randy's psychedelic mumu.)

I rewarded myself by then flying to Ko Samet, Thailand, and spending a solid 7 days in a beachfront bungalow, swimming, sunning, reading, and stuffing myself with banana pancakes and the best Thai food I've ever eaten. Of course, there, they just call it "food" (wanh, wanh, wanh).

And can you guess who I saw, lumbering down the beach in his revolting blue Speedo?


That's right. Can we go back to talking about Britney now? My travel stories are too scary.

(Ed. note: successfully avoided creepy British guy, but was then Secret Squirrel-cautious for remainder of trip.)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Pick A Lane

I love the demand to "pick a lane", particularly when it comes from one of my favorite blog-friends. Bliends. My word.

Landis is such a cupcake, and I so love that he occasionally pretends I resemble Eva Longoria. (Am very confident that Ms. Longoria would be none-too-pleased with the comparison. insert Simpson's character, Nelson's "HA HA" here.)

I'm also madly in love with Landis' dogs. I run around showing people photos of the dogs, and saying things like "Aren't my dogs just the absolute cutest things you've ever seen?" I use the word "my" loosely. I covet those doggies like I covet last season's Bottega Veneta platform sandals:


So "pick a lane" came up with my Biggest Loser post, when Landis informed me I cannot spend time both sobbing on the treadmill, and fixating on pumpkin chai and muffins. I am here to say "oh but I can".

I loved the movie "A Room With a View":


And "Malibu's Most Wanted"


I loved the memoir "A Cambodian Odyssey"


And the pretend memoir "Bridget Jones' Diary".


I will stomp around in my black suede Dolce & Gabbana loafer-pumps, and then charge into my black rubber Reef flip flops when the resulting blisters start to throb. (photos of shoes on home computer - many apologies - use your imagination - they are black shoes).


A lovely formal evening at the Ballet, with Michelin-rated dining experience? Or raucous Cubs game with beer and hot dog?

Yes, please.

I cannot be restricted to one lane. As I have explained before, I am mildly claustrophobic, and need to be able to move about life's highway freely and easily.

I think, if I use my directional as required, I may do this and lead a well-rounded existence. Now leave me in peace, so I may finish my lunch of cottage cheese and strawberries. I'm having Ben & Jerry to dinner tonight.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Vanessa Williams Got Fugged

The Fug Girls hated Vanessa's dress

And even after reading their always-hilarious diatribe, I still love the dress. LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT. You can't see me, but I'm jumping up and down while shouting that.

I just saw SO much blah-black on the carpet, and was wondering if there had been some fatal disaster of Katrina-like proportions, and the celebrities were showing their respect?






The black dresses were still very lovely, and well cut, etc. But I just loved the feather dress. It made me happy. I'm like a 7 yr old that way. I look at something and go with my knee-jerk reaction, which, in this case was "OH - SAGE FEATHERS! PRETTY!"

Seriously. Just like a 7 yr old.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

My Emmy Fashion Awards

Best Earrings - Marcia Cross


*****************************
Best Shoes - Joely Fisher

*I am very sad I can't locate a photo of these, but trust me, they were FUN.

********************************
Best Dress (tie) - Minnie Driver & Vanessa Williams


If loving color, and feathers is wrong - I don't want to be right.

****************************************
Best Low-Key Hair - Debra Messing



******************************************
Best Fancy Hair - Eva Longoria

********************************
Best Overall Look - Chandra Wilson
The hair, the makeup, the accessories, the dress, the attitude - she's adorable, and was my absolute favorite.