Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Things that turn 30 this year

1. Several friends, and of course myself.
2. Garfield the Cat
3. Arby's Beef n Cheddar (coincidentally my favorite sandwich there, and the thing that inspired this post, since I got a coupon in the mail)
4. Louise Brown, the first IVF, or "test tube" baby

Oh, Indy!

For some reason, this makes me happy. I guess it's that, even though this is a marketing opportunity, it's a marketing opportunity that calls attention to the power of fans, no matter where those fans are or how much money they have in their pockets.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

In which she returns from the Badger State.

Well, I'm back in BG after a most successful trip to Wisconsin. The occasion was a celebration of the first birthday of my niece, and since I hadn't seen her or my sister and brother-in-law since December, it was, to say the least, kind of a big deal.

I decided to speed things up this trip by getting an I-Pass for the tolls; I got Illinois' I-Pass rather than an I-Zoom (Indiana's version) because the I-Zoom wouldn't work in Illinois for three days after getting it supposedly, and I'd much rather zip through Illinois tolls than the one in Indiana anyway (although Indiana's toll is huge now, at $6.75 on 80/90). It would have been speedier going out to Wisconsin except that the guy who sold it to me talked to me about poetry for about ten-fifteen minutes, as a result of me saying I was a poet after he complimented my name. Anyway, I made it.

The party was Fairy Princess themed, and on Friday evening and Saturday morning we spent some time getting everything ready and taking pictures. There were festive silver strings hanging from the big pine tree, which sits right over the awesome sandbox my brother-in-law had finished the day before. There were stars hanging from the patio table. There was princessy music playing from a hidden stereo, bouncy balls and bubbles and sidewalk chalk for the kids to play with, and a whole line of party bags along the stone wall. My bro would be at the grill cooking brats, and there were lots of sandwiches, salads, and cookies indoors. And Baby Ruths scattered over the tables, in honor of the Baby's name.

The Baby, I think, had a wonderful time, greeting her guests, smiling, and playing with the kids who helped her open her presents. She also had a great time smashing her piece of cake to crumbs and getting frosting all over herself and her sippy cup, with of course the requisite chorus of flashbulbs from the adults.

As for me, well, I ate too much and enjoyed the merriment.

For the remainder of my stay, I hung out with my family, played with the baby a lot, particularly her new set of musical instruments, and also had the chance to go shopping with my sister a few times, at the mall and at Kohl's. This was particularly enjoyable because we don't get to hang out much as sisters, and it kind of reminded me of when we used to go to the mall ages ago, in high school. We had trouble with jeans, but found some nice tops and skirts in Kohl's, on sale. It was awesome to get that chance to chat and laugh, and thanks to my big brother for supervising the baby's naps so we could slip out.

On the baby's actual birthday, I went with sis, bro, and baby to the NEW Zoo north of Green Bay, and had fun showing her the animals and watching her stare at them. She particularly liked the emus, and waved to the giraffes as they came just feet away from where we stood. My sister even got to pet a giraffe. The zoo is small, but the perfect size for a family with small children, with big animals like lions and a bear and more unusual zoo animals like bobcats and some truly massive bison.

It was hard to leave, especially with my niece smiling away with her four teeth, and crinkling her nose when she laughs. Even Poe, the cat who is my archnemesis, was friendly to me, since I bribed him and Topaz (who loves me) with Pounce treats whenever he was feeling prickly. It was a great trip!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008


Update 1: The dog.
So, here is the plan I formulated, after reading everyone's input (and thanks, by the way. I needed your indignation and facts to spur me on!):
At Meijer the other day, I was intrigued by a sale on an item called Poop Patrol. Poop Patrol is a black and purple plastic pooper scooper, and it was on sale for 9 dollars. After consulting with my neighbors during a lasagna dinner (Laura and Ashley, it was awesome), I purchased said item, dolled it up with a bow (white ribbon with gold trim and purple butterflies, naturally), typed up a letter and put it in a card envelope, and on Sunday placed the gift on my neighbors' porch addressed "M's owner, roommates, and residents of 334." The letter touched on the issue of poop in the yard, this being illegal, and our desire simply to have this cleaned up, rather than getting the law or landlords involved (though I did email my landlady and tell her what I did). I peeped at the porch periodically, and by yesterday it had been taken in. The poop is still in our yard (and fortunately, no fresh piles, only decaying old ones), but I feel that I have done my best, in a classy fashion, to help get our yard cleaned up. I thought it was pretty clever, actually. Fingers crossed. Beyond this, I think the landlady is simply going to have to clean it up, or get Greenbriar to do it.

Update 2: The Mist
So, I wrote a while ago about how I was disappointed by The Mist. I read the trivia on imdb about it, and learned that the ending was made up by the director, and that Stephen King wished he had thought of it. I checked out the ending in an anthology entitled Dark Forces today, and I will say (particularly to Mrs. White) that it is worth reading the last six to ten pages or so to see the original ending, the ambiguity of which I enjoyed much better than the pointlessness of the current ending.