30 September 2010
29 September 2010
27 September 2010
A Monday treat. A collection of bits from my favorite podcasts.
- Fantastically satisfactory.
- Congratulations! You just made things worse.
- Henry VIII to his wives. "I thought we should spend some time apart. When I said 'we,' I mean your head and your body."
- You're coming down with a nasty case of shut your mouth.
- It's a YP (your problem) not a MP (my problem).
- There is a time and a place for poetry. And it's in the 19th century in an opium den.
- Gone spoon loony.
- He's the genius that no one claims he is.
- He puts the 'moron' into human species.
- He puts the 'violations' into ethics violations.
- Looking at Putin and Ahmadinejad together, you really have two world-class cartoon baddies there ... They couldn't be more threatening if they were meeting in a lair on top of a volcano.
- It looks like you put on your makeup while riding your bike along a canal.
- I'll have two plates of not that.
- That is hardcore crazy from the get go.
26 September 2010
Tennesee at NY Giants -- Giants. The Giants play in New Jersey, home of Newark. However, New Jersey is the diner capital of the world.
Pittsburgh at Tampa -- Tampa. Florida has a state butterfly, a zebra longwing. Pittsburgh was very close. Pennsylvania has a state dog, the Great Dane.
Cinncinati at Carolina -- Cinncinati. Cinncinati had the first ambulance service (1865).
Cleveland at Baltimore -- Baltimore. No contest. John Waters. (Before movies at the Uptown he used to come on the screen. He'd tell everyone that smoking is not allowed, while alluringly enjoying a cigarette.)
Dallas at Houston -- Houston. A suprisingly easy choice. Houston is the home of the Johnson Space Center, location of NASA's Mission Control Center. And Dallas has the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders. [eye roll]
San Francisco at Kansas City -- Kansas City. The Missouri state reptile is the three-toed box turtle.
Detroit at Minnesota -- Minnesota. I'm a bit suprised at this pick. But the facts speak for themselves. Detroit is the most stressful city in the U.S. Minnesota has more miles of paved trails than any other state.
Buffalo at New England -- New England. I wasn't inspired by either of these but eventually chose New England, home of the world's smallest suspension bridge.
Atlanta at New Orleans -- New Orleans. On a Sunday morning I saw a palm reader on Jackson Square, right outside the cathedral.
Washington at St. Louis -- Washington. The team has a player named Clinton Portis.
Philadelphia at Jacksonville -- Jacksonville. This must be the week of going against type. I chose another Florida team due to the fact that Jacksonville is the 15th least stressful city in the U.S. Pittsburgh is the 12th most stressful.
Oakland at Arizona -- Arizona. The state is home to these cities: Bagdad, Boneyard, Surprise, Why and Tuba City.
San Diego at Seattle -- Seattle. Our book club pick for this month, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, takes place in Seattle. The book is quite good.
Indianapolis at Denver -- Indianapolis. Indiana was the first state to include free public schools in its constitution. Also, tomato juice was first served as a beverage at French Lick Springs Hotel (1917).
New York Jets at Miami (MIA) -- Miami. It's the biggest melting pot in the U.S. Also, hanging over from last week, I love the idea of a competition between football players and art hounds (MIA is short for Miami and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts).
Green Bay at Chicago -- Green Bay. Middleton, also in Wisconsin, is home to the National Mustard Museum.
23 September 2010
I'm in a football pool at work. I couldn't care less about football but I enjoy making picks using my own criteria. And no, I don't base my picks on colors or logos. Jenni does but she's a designer and has the cred to do this.
We nicknamed the pool the Pixie League due to a mis-hear on the part another pooler. "Picks league" does sound a lot like "Pixie League."
The first week I didn't get my picks in on time. I wasn't thinking and thus thought my picks had to be in by 5 p.m. on Sunday. But I'm an American, conscious and do know that Sunday afternoon is full of football. I was ridiculed, rightly, for this.
Week two pick criteria is below. I was in the top 3. I sincerely hope that that unnerves those who are taking this seriously.
- Pittsburgh vs. Tennessee -- Pittsburgh. For a number of factors but it boiled down to MONEY magazine's top cities list. Pennsylvania has two cities in the top 100. Tennessee has just one.
- Miami vs. Minnesota -- Miami. On the pick form Miami is abbreviated MIA which is the abbreviation for the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. The idea that the MIA (arts one) would play against the MN Vikings delighted me to no end. Also, I can't stand the Vikings. Pay for your own stupid stadium!
- Arizona vs. Atlanta -- Two friends live in Atlanta. And I really like the city. It's quite beautiful. In Arizona it's hot, it's a desert landscape (not too cozy).
- Baltimore vs. Cincinnati -- Cincinnati. The football league overlord wrote Cincinnati as Cincy. I chose it despite this black mark on the city. We were on a family trip in D.C. and in traffic. A woman pulled up next to us, crying, and asked, "Do you know how to get to Baltimore?" Also, there was a huge oil spill in Cincinnati in the 1970s. Marathon Oil handled it so well that no one remembers it. Unlike the Exxon Valdez fiasco. Both companies' actions are frequently used as ueber-examples in crisis communication courses.
- Kansas City vs. Cleveland -- Cleveland. Our weather in MN is becoming like that of Kansas City. And that is not a good thing. Granted, it's not their fault. I do give in to one 'girlie' pick this week and it's Cleveland. In the 1980s their quarterback was Brian Sipe. Easy on the eyes.
- Chicago vs. Dallas -- Chicago. It would be tough for any city to win against Chicago. Museums, great walking city, friends Paul & David used to live there, great eats. Dallas is in Texas. Their separatist state of mind is a mystery to me.
- Philadelphia vs. Detroit -- Detroit. Detroit is the city with the big reputation here. One the one hand its nickname is Detroilet. On the other, Jude's husband, Bill, is from there. So it can't be all bad.
- Buffalo vs. Green Bay -- Green Bay. I love that the team is owned by their fans. And one of our student workers is from there. And he's a spectacular writer.
- Tampa vs. Carolina -- Tampa. Whenever I think of Florida I think of the northern part. There it's scrubby and blah. No deciduous trees and I get a bit fidgety. However, Tampa does have Busch Gardens. It was close though. Charleston is one lovely city.
- Seattle vs. Denver -- Seattle. This was a toughie. Two of my favorite people in the world have lived in either Denver or Seattle. Seattle does have the advantage for its culture. And, it is the home of the first Trader Joe's I visited. Took a taxi across town to a go to a grocery store.
- St. Louis vs. Oakland -- Oakland. I didn't have strong feelings, or facts, on this one. I picked Oakland because of its proximity to San Francisco. And St. Louis has the hot, humid weather that now seems to be our lot in Minnesota.
- Houston vs. Washington -- Houston. I'm taking a politically correct stance on this one. Even though it means choosing a Texas team. The Redskins is just a terrible name.
- New England vs. NY Jets -- New England. New England contains Boston. New York is neighbor to Newark, NJ.
- Jacksonville vs. San Diego -- San Diego. Again, Florida just doesn't do it for me. San Diego has a great zoo. Although we did lose my brother, Steve, there when he was 5 years old.
- NY Giants vs. Indianapolis -- NY Giants. Although NY is in proximity to Newark, Indiana includes the city of Gary. Enough said.
- New Orleans vs. San Francisco -- New Orleans. Although the crime rate is higher and the summers can be oppressive, New Orleans still wins based on its architecture and Cafe du Monde. And the city could really use another break.
17 September 2010
Today's Note from the Universe is a good kick in the pants for me. I've been whining a lot lately. That's annoying and I want to switch back to "glass half full" thinking.
You know, almost anything you feel you "have to" do, like cleaning and washing, can become a chore, even a drudgery; while those things that remain optional, like Disney World and Twister, can seem far more inviting, even fun.
So, Maria, as you go down the path of life, particularly when it seems you must force yourself through the motions, it just may help if you pause and give thought to the countless souls who'd give most anything for the option of even your "chores."
Life... it can sometimes be like one of those really, really "good problems," huh?
16 September 2010
I'm not usually in the market for things on the steepandcheap.com e-mails. But I still read them. Every day. The latest deal on climbing or camping equipment -- or whatever -- is accompanied by a clever commentary about something unrelated. Today's commentary:
I met a guy last weekend who talked a lot about martial arts. Wouldn't drop the topic. It started to weird me out a bit, but I smiled through it. He said that martial arts trains you to get in tune with your senses. During training, he'd close his eyes and hold his arm against his partner, and then the guy would ask him which leg he moved, and he'd know -- based on his senses. He argued that when you meet someone, you get an impression and know if you like them -- this is based on senses, we've just been trained to repress them. His martial arts was helping him tune them back in. The entire time I sat there nodding and thinking, "Man, what are you getting from me right now, because I think you're insane." Perhaps in time, his martial arts skills will tell him these things.