Monday, November 25, 2002
Better living through chemistry? In cleaning my house for a party yesterday, I realized that I have what might be considered an unhealthy amount of household cleaners. Let's see: Windex for glass surfaces and cleaning the metal things on the gas range, Clorox Clean-up for the nasty bathroom gunk and anything that looks slimy, Murphy's Oil Soap for the hardwood floors, Lysol Household Disinfectant for the bathroom floor and any walls that might need freshening, Resolve Carpet Cleaner for not only carpet and couch stains but also for tough laundry stains (it works!), some super-strong stuff in a bottle with a green label that makes me lightheaded for cleaning the tub, Goo Gone for dissolving sticky stuff, All's version of Oxy Clean for miscellaneous fabrics, and Orange Clean for everything else. And then there's Tide for the laundry, Palmolive for the pots and pans, Electrasol tabs for the dishwasher, and antibacterial soap that smells like Jolly Ranchers near all the sinks for hand washin'. The scary thing is, if you asked me to give one of them up, I don't know which one I'd choose. (Definitely not the Orange Clean.)
Oh, is my house clean? Nah, not really. My roommate leaves crumbs on the floor, slimy dishes in the sink, and hair in the tub (though she's getting better about that). And we don't use the above-mentioned products all that much. I just have them.
I'm leaving for home tomorrow to see my family for Thanksgiving and show my very cool Uncle Mitchell (who is very cool) some Photoshop tricks. Back in December! Which is like a few days away. No wonder it's so cold.
Saturday, November 23, 2002
I also tend to avoid chain restaurants, but last night I went to an Applebee's for the first time in five or six years. I remembered it being kind of gross; icky cafeteria-style food and bad atmosphere. But my friend wanted to go there, and I wanted a margarita, and it was near his house, so we went. And I'm a little embarrassed to admit that it was actually okay. Not great, but much improved over my last visit. The ambiance was better, the drinks were good and reasonably priced, and the food was decent. I don't think I'll rush back, but I won't avoid going there at all costs like I used to, and I will definitely stop making fun of the place. But it makes me wonder how much they paid to a consultant to tell them how awful they used to me.
Friday, November 22, 2002
I went to the women's section at Target, but the white tshirts were like eight or ten bucks each. Not bad, I guess, and they're more at the Armani Exchange, but it's just a white tshirt. I've had tshirts printed, I know what they cost, and it's much less than eight dollars. So, I wasn't interested in spending a whole lot for a plain shirt, and I didn't think there was anyplace cheaper to get them (not anyplace I'd want to go, anyway).
But then I thought about the cost of women's undergarments as a whole, and then I started thinking about the cost of women's undergarments as compared to men's undergarments. You know how it stacks up. So, I walked over to the men's section and bought a package of three Hanes v-neck undershirts for six and change. They work just fine.
Thursday, November 21, 2002
Tuesday, November 19, 2002
Sunday, November 17, 2002
Friday I went to check out Fountains of Wayne in Chicago. They were great, and the lead singer looks a lot like David Hyde Pierce, so it was like Niles Crane was on stage playing nerdy power pop. My only quibble with the show is that they sounded virtually indistinguishable from their recordings. And it was really late. But other than that, good rocknroll. Recommended: Fountains of Wayne and Utopia Parkway.
Thursday, November 14, 2002
Last night I videotaped a panel discussion for my boss. It was held at a private dinner club where everyone was very polite and they graciously waited on you hand and foot. It was strange, but actually kind of nice. The panel itself was boring, but what I did find interesting was our server. He was in his late 40s, I'd guess, and his name was Bonney. He didn't say if that was a nickname; maybe his parents are British or Scottish or something. He was one of those very genuine and obliging and friendly and polite people, more like a fictional character than a real person. I understand that a person needs to be this way in order to work at a place where people pay a lot of money to join and then pay a lot more money to eat, but this Bonney guy was really good at it. So rather than the panel I was asked to tape, this is what I remember from last night.
Auto Focus was deceptively boring. Skip it.
Monday, November 11, 2002
Saturday, November 9, 2002
I did, however, see Real Life last night on the recommendation of a friend, and it was quite good. It's about a camera crew that follows one family around for the purposes of making a feature film about their real life. This isn't all that inventive in 2002, but when you consider that the film was made in 1978, the concept is impressive. And it's funny: Albert Brooks is good for more than a few laughs, Charles Grodin (with hair!) is so deadpan, and the visuals, including a space-helmet-like camera that the camera-men wear, are great. Forget 8 Mile and go rent this.
Friday, November 8, 2002
On a related topic, I am somewhat ashamed to admit that I have become part of the current cinematic frenzy and have already purchased my tickets for a showing of 8 Mile tomorrow afternoon. I wasn't going to, but I just think the theatre would feel so empty without...oh, forget it.
Thursday, November 7, 2002
Came down the stairs after a shower tonight and heard -- guess what? -- a bat squeaking somewhere in the front room of my house. I immediately ran to the kitchen on the other side of the house and called my neighbor. She, along with her husband and another guy down the street, came over and searched while I cowered in a corner with her two kids. They found nothing, which means I get to be paranoid all night. Yay.
Before all that, I was at the gym. I hadn't planned on watching the Country Music Awards, but it came on the screen while I was on the treadmill, so I watched the first ten minutes. Based on what I saw, I think they should rename it the Country Pimps and Hos night. Take Shania Twain, for example, and her cowboy disco reject band. I really don't know what to say, except that the skank factor of Ms. Twain's attire rivals that of Britney Spears. What's with all the leather and skin-tight stretchy mesh? I understand wanting to ride the coattails of MTV-ish sluttiness, but when country music tries to get all bootyliscious-like, it's really disturbing. Shania, baby, you're not a ho, so stop shaking your can like you're someone's baby's mama. The hooker look barely works for Christina Aguilera...and she is kind of skanky.
Tuesday, November 5, 2002
Watched Igby Goes Down the other day. On the whole, I thought it was very good and worth a look. Susan Sarandon, Jeff Goldblum, and that Culkin kid are all excellent.
Sunday, November 3, 2002
What is blowing me away musically these days is Demolition, the new Ryan Adams CD. I don't know why I held off on buying this for almost a month after it came out. I guess it's because a lot of the reviews I read were kind of mediocre, so I didn't feel compelled to rush right out and pick it up. But I've been doing housework to it all weekend, and I think it might be my favorite one by him yet. With one or two minor exceptions, it's a very crisp collection of pop songs, neat and well-crafted.
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