February 2010

I learned two interesting things about Tetris this week.  Thing 1, the music to Tetris is actually the music to a Russian folk song about a traveling salesman.  Thing 2, I can play Tetris online for free!  I can’t believe I have had internet for this long and have never thought to look up Tetris (the website is tetrisfriends.com).  Whenever I feel the dull ache of life I just set up some Tetris 1989 and skillfully yet barely move my fingers to victory.

In related news, remember that episode of “The Simpsons” when Homer finally got to use his years of Tetris to repack their station wagon to fit a new purchase?  I had that same feeling when my friend Nila had questions about the sequence of “the Office” and what things she missed by watching episodes out of order.  My fall 2009 spent watching every episode of “the Office” was finally validated.  I hope to someday come to the rescue through Tetris.  Or my master’s degree.

Also, when I find myself thinking “woe is me” or “only in my life” things I for some reason add the words “Tyler Perry” in front of them.  For instance, “Tyler Perry’s Why Do I Have So Many Pets?,” or “Tyler Perry’s I Keep Forgetting to Remove the Pizza Stone from the Oven Before Preheating It.”  I have not actually seen a TP play/movie so I don’t know that these are relevant associations.

I was watching “Steel Magnolias” for the first time this weekend (I know, I know, how could I not have seen it before, etc?  I was nine when it came out, it wasn’t a priority at the time since it didn’t involve Donnie Wahlberg) and the opening credits listed “and Sam Shepard,” which was a surprise to me since I thought his use as someone who comes in during the final 30 minutes of a movie was a recent thing, and it got me wondering when he became a literary device.  He’s like a deus ex machina at this point, just showing up in movies like “Up in the Air” or “the Big Lebowski” to bring the plot home.  I spent most of the movie trying to figure out who he would be — Annelle’s exhusband, Jack Jr. as a grown up ending the story with “and that’s how I got to be named Shelby,” or the man who would sweep Weezer off her feet.  At the end of the movie I realized that I mistook “Sam Shepard” (who played Truvy’s husband) with “Sam Elliott,” thus ruining my entire movie experience.

For real though, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Sam Elliott in a movie where he was a regular character.  It’s like male screenwriters/directors when editing their scripts think if they can’t use a Kinks song maybe they can write Sam Elliott into the same scene.

Also, here is the picture of the tinga (Mexican pulled pork w/homemade chorizo!) that Richard made.  Everytime I think it’s useless to keep subscribing to Cook’s Illustrated (any cooking magazine repeats itself after one year — how many “what kind of pots should I buy?” or “Introducing Kale” articles does one need?), Richard makes something like this that makes it worth it.

Internet access at work has been revised and a lot of my favorite sites have been blocked.  I feel personally responsible.  I knew that our usage was monitored and studied and reported and then blocked, but that didn’t stop me from checking all of my pal’s blogs 40 times a day. Oh well.  In retrospect, I shouldn’t have done a lot of what I did at work, such as multiple online searches for “silent choking.”

Anyway, now during my downtime* I have written an outline for a British miniseries.  Recently Susan and I watched “North and South,” which was predictable but at least was about unions like my other favorite British miniseries, “Newsies.”  I’m calling it “Hartlepool Station,” and all I have so far is that it’s about two people.  She is prideful and raven-haired and he is played by an actor who was previously not considered handsome.  Maybe I’ll flip the script and neither of them will have or want for money and no one dies suddenly of things like “furrowed brow” and “surprise.”  I’m hooked already!  I wonder if they will get together in the end?

They will.

*I hope that if my coworkers ever stumbled upon this that they know that I don’t actually sit around doing these things.  I feel weird even mentioning work.  Don’t fire me.

I have had the David Wallace-penned “Suck it” jingle stuck in my head since last week’s episode of “The Office” (or rather, it was a misremembered version that turned out to be a White Stripes song), but AP has kindly found and posted the song so that I can sing along to the real thing.  Thanks, Pal!

Burgerphone has been nominated as a “best kept secret” on the RVA News Internetties!  The Internet Awards is kind of like the Oscars except not in any way at all.  I’m only nominated thanks to Susan.  I can’t help that my BFF is my biggest fan.  I don’t imagine that my bjournal is interesting to anyone who doesn’t like stories about dog blood or me, but vote for me anyway to boost my spirits.

A three-day weekend is ahead, and may not include snow but might include Richard making corned beef,  an SRK movie in theaters, and the Olympics.  I’m glad that the Olympics is in Canada, so the Today show won’t have any reason to get Bon Jovi to perform.

What the crap, snow? Before last weekend my daffodils were coming up for an earlier-than-normal bloom but now winter has dumped all over the place.  So they’re dead now, thanks (however when some of the snow melted the other day I could see that the giant dandelion patches and those weird onion weeds were still alive, go figure).

February is dead to me.  I am only hanging around so that I can work on my garden in March.  I have “plant Spinach” in my planner for the first week of March (not because I need to remind myself but because I had a lot of free time while at work and writing “plant spinach” gave me something to do).  My mom & I are taking turns helping each other in our gardens.  Though my mom is sure to be more useful to me than I will be to her, unless it actually is helpful for someone to talk really fast about the dynamics in “the Office” and tell pointless anecdotes about other people’s children.  In that case I am super helpful.

This is what my garden will look like in April

I know I’m always going on and on about how much I love Netflix* but this time I mean it.  A million new titles have been added to the instant library, including:  “Singles,” “Newsradio,” and, sigh, “An American Tail.”  I haven’t seen it in years, and previous attempts to rent it have ended in the movie being quickly unavailable.  I wonder if it’s as good as I remember.  Sometimes you watch movies again after 15 years and the five stars you remember as a child turn into a hot mess of a 40-year-old, American-accented Kevin Costner pretending to be a 24-year-old British hero.  I think of “AAT” at least once a day (any display of open-mindedness leads me to think to myself, “I’m widing a fewine”).  When I first saw that it was available to Watch Instantly I spit up on myself like a baby and then tried to think if I should break work rules and make personal phone calls to all of my loved ones to spread the news.  I sent text messages to Justin and Susan instead, and tried to think of the most dramatic way to tell Richard when I got home (though I think all I did was shout “PEABO BRYSON” and punch a hole into the wall).

Also I have decided to drive Richard crazy by watching the “Going Steady” song from “Bye Bye Birdie” every day. I can’t not watch it now that I can watch it all the time.

*I love Netflix.