Monday, October 30, 2006

It's not too late for a Halloween costume

Friday, October 27, 2006

How cool is this?

This guy took pictures of himself for 8 years everyday to document the aging process. It's like the video equivalent of trying to eat just one potato chip - you can't pull your eyes away from it. The wierd part is watching the moustache and beard grow.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


Sometimes, I wonder if a tree had a say in what happens to it...wouldn't it have a wanted a more noble death than to be turned into a Delia's catalogue?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Doggie's goin' on a diet

It is confirmed. My dog is overweight.

I’ve been saying this all along, but would anyone listen to me? Nooo-hooooo! All I would get was, “Oh, stop it. She’s a dog!” But I swear it wasn’t me associating any personal body complexes I have with my dog. She really was overweight.

When we first got her, she was only 28 pounds. She is now 41 pounds. That is 13 extra pounds of dog sitting on my lap whenever I try to get comfortable on the sofa.

Zoe when she was skinny

She was quite runty and sickly when we first took her on, so I was glad to see her gain weight and her health vastly improved. Aside from those first few months over two years ago, she hasn’t been sick since. While she looks great now, there is most certainly a jiggle to her wiggle and dog’s got a few extra pounds on her she needs to shift. And this has been confirmed her vet as of today.

I blame my parents, then I blame myself. I blame them because whenever she stays at their house, it’s an all-out Food Party. There’s food on tap everywhere. She could become positively drunk on food. Because my parents’ dog is funny about food – he has to have someone sitting by him while he eats – they leave food out for him all the time, hoping that one day he’ll become normal and just eat. My dog does not have this problem. Oh no. She just digs in. I know their dog is confused by her interest in his food. No sense of propriety will force him to defend what’s rightfully his in that bowl; he just stares at her with some level of interest, before walking away. If dogs could shrug their shoulders, that’s what he’d do.

Then there’s the table food problem. The problem being my parents like to give table food to the dogs. Zoe knows there’s no chance of food magically moving itself from my plate to the floor right in front of her, so she doesn’t even try. My parents, however, have become accustomed to her eyes boring holes into their head as they eat, and so they will toss her the odd morsel of sometimes the most unimaginable things. Nuts. Tortilla chips. Potatoes. Leftover gravy (i.e. grease) from stews poured over their kibble. If it’s not that good for us humans, then it can’t be good for dogs. But they continute to regard her as a Canine Disposal System, then wonder why I complain she’s fat.

Zoe as of Sunday - don't let appearances fool you

Then it’s my fault for leaving her there so much. I don’t want to get into it, I have enough guilt over this already.

My dog is the champion chomper and has come to expect unlimited portions of food to be her inalienable right. She inhales her food without tasting it. Kind of like me. So it looks like we’re all going on a diet in my little family, as we’ve all gotten a little sloppy. C and I can handle this, but having never been denied by us, I think Zoe is in for the shock of her life.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Not Fronch Fry, Fronch-ify

Since getting back from France, I have been Fronch-ifying certain words, as they do sound so much better that way.

For example, the word “budget”. Such an ugly word, alas one that comes up in my everyday vocabulary, i.e. “I am on a budget, therefore I eat McDonald’s.” But Fronch-ify this word and voila! You instantly have a much better sounding word and half the shame associated with clipping coupons.

Friend: M, are you free on Thursday for dinner?

M: Alors, I am on a bood-jhay, therefore I will stay at home and heat up a delectable can of Campbell’s Creamy Ranchero Tomato soup for dinner.

Doesn’t that sound so much better?

On the other hand, Fronch-ifying an unsavory word - like “pervert” - disguises the word so that you can relay distress signals to your friends in a discreet manner. For example, this past weekend I was in Florida with a friend. As we floated in the ocean with our flotation devices, I noticed something not quite right about a gentleman standing about ten feet away from us:

M: Um…A?

A (smiling into the sun): Yes?

M: There is a pair-vair taking pictures of our bikini’ed bottoms with his underwater camera and smiling a little too widely for my liking.

A: (No words, just an expression of horror before sprinting across the water faster than Mark Phelps.)

True story.

If you’re not sure how to Fronch-ify a word, I would suggest two things. The first would be to rent the movie “Better Off Dead”. Not because it’s a cult film that stars a young John Cusack playing a hapless Lane Meyer and made him what he is today, but because of The Mother, as wonderfully played by Kim Darby. Poor woman, she's had an illustrious career in film prior to this movie and all I can remember her for is playing Lane Meyer's mother. But when you effectively murder the French language and American-French cinematic relations in the Eighties within the same movie, that empts out any Oscar-winning work you may have previously done.

Vote Kim for President

The second thing would be to a use “le” in place of “the”. Instant Fronch-ification. Le Big Mac. Le cockroach. Le driveby shooting. All vastly improved by the use of a French definite article.

Monday, October 16, 2006

The candy of danger

You know when you’re sucking on a Tic Tac or a mint or something and you accidentally swallow it before it’s done? And you think you can feel it’s lodged in your chest somewhere - even though it’s a half-finished, tiny little Tic Tac? So you’re just sure that it's going to come back and choke you in your sleep?

Even though it’s technically in your esophagus and not your airway, it doesn’t matter, because you feel like you just can’t breathe right. It's grown arms and legs and suctioned itself to the walls of your insides, and hell no, it won't go! So you're nervous about it until your next meal, thinking maybe that the food will push it down into your stomach. And you would do that now, just had lunch and the Tic Tac was meant to freshen your breath after lunch, so now you feel like it could kill you.

Yeah, I know that feeling too.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

An American M in Paris

"I present to you La Tour Eiffel!"

Up close and personal

I thought New York could be bad, but Paris was worse when it comes to the velvet rope mentality. The Louis Vuitton store on the Champs Elysees makes people wait in line to get in the store and don't even think of messing with the Fronch bouncer posted out front....

"You, with le fanny pack - you are so not getting in!"

At The Louvre, he's on the outside looking in

Yeah, I feel your pain buddy...

The Holy Grail is not at the Louvre, it's here in this patisserie

Poor unsuspecting cheese realized only too late that the Cheese Monster that is Moi was about to hit them...

"Mon Dieu! Run, Brie, run!"

Pere Lachaise cemetery, current home to Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde, Proust, Modigliani, and scores of other cultural icons

If you ever have trouble finding Jim Morrison's grave - like we did during our visit - we found the signage to be very helpful

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Highs and lows

I'm back from England and France, for which I'll post the pictures with commentary later or tomorrow. Because those fell by the wayside when I got the news that:

After only two and a half months on the job, I've been promoted and got a raise


A plane crashed into a building in my neighborhood, only several blocks aways from mine.

Talk about a double-edged sword.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Going out with a bang

In spite of the fact that I'm flying long-haul to England tonight and then we're off to Paris tomorrow, I had to have a few drinks last night, didn't I? We had a work event and the bar was on the company dime. And because I wasn't going to be the only going down, I took my manager with me. For drinks at a bar around the corner after the event.

So when she showed up at work this morning, and then had to immediately lie down on a couch in the president's office with a wet rag on her face, that was not good. Not were the echoes that followed me around all day of "What did you do to her?" like I forcibly poured the drink down her throat.

As for me, given the current state of dehydration I'm in plus the 6-7 hours of flying I'm about to do, I will be shriveled up like a prune by the time I see C tomorrow.

"C, it's me M! You know...your wife?!?"

Monday, October 02, 2006

Where in the world is M?

I have been lax in my posting responsibilities. I thought about posting an Exhaustion Diary somewhere along the way, in lieu of my Hangover Diary, but after reading what I wrote I came to this conclusion: I finally understand why Berlitz is such a popular method of breaking the enemy down.

In the meantime, Chicago was a bust, I had to share a room with my manager, and then I got home on the flight from hell. Remember Planes, Trains, and Automobiles?

Almost, but we didn't share the bed - I don't love my job that much!

And I realized that the bit of Chicago that I did see, which was the view from our hotel, wasn't that much different than the one I had the week before, working an event at Lincoln Center. One had a lake in the back, and the other had trees but otherwise, they kind of...well...look the same.

Chicago, with Lake Michigan in the back:

New York, with Central Park and 5th Avenue in the back:

This was my Vanilla Sky moment. If I don't do something, I too will get lost between two realities and convert to Scientology. So to prevent this from happening, I will be in Paris this weekend. Oh, yes.

That's right, I leave for England on Thursday and then I'm onto Paris on Friday for the weekend. That should be interesting. It will be my first time in that city, but I've heard it's near impossible to be an American in Paris without having your waiter fire off an anti-American rant directed at you and treat you like shit. But as long as they serve me my hunk of cheese on top of a freshly baked baguette, with a side of pate, I really couldn't give a fark what they have to say.

So pray for me and hope that I last amongst the Fronch peoples. And for your viewing pleasure, I will do my damndest to find the French equivalent of that German I saw on the beach in Greece. That and perhaps some more lessons learned by the time I come back next week.