Orange Pedi!

Momster and I got together yesterday and spent lovely girls day out in the Square. I've owed her a pedicure since her birthday last August! Bad daughter! Bad! Our pedis were scheduled for 1:30 at Thairapy, so she gave herself plenty of driving time, arriving at our apartment just after 11:00. She didn't even need my help parking the car! I hope that now that she's seen how easy it is to drive here, we'll see her more often.

Shannon walked with us to the Square, and continued on down Lincoln to Addison and Halsted where he and the Rev were going to meet to have lunch and do some thrifting.

Momster and I had a buffet lunch at Essence of India (YUM!!!) and arrived for our pedicures 10 minutes early. This gave me time to dash to the cash station at the Jewel across the street for gratuity cash (I didn't realize they couldn't just add it to the credit card).

We used to go for pedicures about 3 or 4 times a year, and now we go about once or twice a year, so the pedicure was a real treat for both of us. We were seated side by side so we could chat and catch up.

The finished product!
My first pedi of the year just has to be ORANGE!!!, of course!

After the pedis we walked in our Beech sandals (we're such chicks) up a block and a half to The Chalkboard for some tea and scones. For what we got the bill was ridiculously high, but it was also really good, so I'm not complaining. We also got fantastic, 4-star service from an amazing waitress whom I'd never seen there before. She wouldn't have been out of place at Gabriel's or Va Pensiero. In addition to being an awesome server, she looked a little like a blonde Tilda Swinton who, when she dyes her hair red, looks a little bit like David Bowie circa 1974, so I took to her immediately.


Tilda Swinton:

After tea, we went shop-browsing through the square (namely Merz and The Book Cellar) and returned home just a few minutes ahead of Shannon and the Rev. We (minus Shannon, of course!) had some coffee, chatted for a while, looked at pics from our trip to Yorkshire (I'll be downloading some of them to my blog this week!) and then Momster and her cute toes decided to call in a night. After she left, we watched a couple of episodes of Flight of the Conchords, a show we started watching this week via NetCrack. Rev had never seen it before, and we were thrilled to introduce him to Bret and Jermaine. The first episode we watched, "Sally Returns," was only okay, but that was followed by "Bowie." Turns out Jermaine does a pretty amazing Bowie impersonation, despite the 2-foot height difference, New Zealand accent, and two small brown eyes (Bowie only has one brown eye).

Peepster had sent this to me early last week, and now that I've seen the episode, I can share it with you all. I actually prefer this stage version to the TV version, even though they're not wearing shiny silver space suits:


Scrabulolus Dance of JOY!!!

Thank God for the ability to take pictures of your current computer screen view. Thank you Shannon for taking this pic (above). It challenges even the beauty of the moors.

I had to get that pic ASAP as I have a feeling it will change within the next few hours:

Peepster immediately challenged me to a rematch.

It is not easy playing the Peepster. Two games in a row he won on THE LAST MOVE after I'd been ahead for, like, 5 weeks. It's demoralizing. And it hurts my head trying to play my last "v" on a full board. I find myself wondering, "Hmmm....If I put it here maybe..."vinsulubrious" COULD be a word...I think I heard Giles say it once on Buffy the Vampire Slayer...?"

I didn't do so well against Mugsy. 438-252! OUCH! AND I got to use the word "bergere" in that game! I thought I was home free when I played "bergere!" I was all, like, "HA! He's going to see "bergere" and it'll be all he can do not to wet himself. Mwah-hahahaha!" Then he played the word "it" for like, 78 points in his next move.

For a dramatic change of tack: I still challenge that "fi" is not a word. It is "Finland" or "fee" or, if you're referring to The Sound of Music, "fa." Therefore Mugsy should totally have forfeited, but whatever. I'm not bitter or anything.

Of course, if you just took out "fi" the score would have been a FAR more reasonable: 433-252.



Land of the Ferret Leggers

OrangeMoJoJo's blog will be quiet for a spell as we'll be out tramping the moors of Yorkshire in search of the King of the Ferret Leggers. Who better to toast Umberto with?

Lord I miss you, you stinky weasel!!

It's no secret you were my favorite ferret - the best I've ever met. I'm so thankful you went peacefully, in the care of your grandbipeds, who adored you as much as I did.

Ford Presents:

The 2009 Asphalt Annihilater and Asphalt Annihilater Flatbed:

I guess they just couldn't handle how environmentally proactive they'd been with the Escape Hybrid SUV, huh? Looks like they got twitchy and overcompensated. The pendulum thus swung FAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRR into the opposite direction....

....then flew off, probably killing a baby seal.

Way to go, Ford! I think the owners of your vehicles should be made personally responsible for repairing the streets they drive on from beginning to end as, thanks to you and your ilk, they are TRASHED to hell. You can't blame "everyday wear and tear" and "winter" on the size of the potholes drivers have been making some minor streets like, say, Milwaukee Ave. all but undriveable. And I don't agree that the city should have to pay for repairs to cars damaged by potholes - I believe people who buy monstrosities like the Lincoln Navigator, Hummer, Ford Excursion, and anything made by Dodge should be footing the bill - and they should start coughing up NOW before the Asphalt Annihilater hits the streets.

We'll begin with these minor roads and go from there, shall we?

Western Ave. (don't forget where it becomes Asbury in Evanston!)
Lincoln Ave.
Foster Ave.
Milwaukee Ave.
Lake Shore Drive
The Kennedy Expy.
The Edens Expy.
Lake Cook Road
Clark St.
Oakton Ave.
Ashland Ave.
California Ave.
Montrose Ave.
The Skyway
Stony Island
90 through Indiana
94 through Indiana
Belmont Ave.
Chicago Ave.
Green Bay Road


Not Enough Just To Stand and Stare

Inspired by my extremely clever sister-in-law, I've begun a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela this week. No, I'm not writing from a wifi-equipped Starbucks at the border of France and Spain; I'm trekking along a virtual pilgrimage where I get to move forward one stop for each pound I lose for a total of 30 pounds. Mere's journeying to Mordor where she gets to destroy the One Ring to Bind Them when she loses the final pound - how cool is that?!?

I've chosen the pilgrimage to Compostela because it's "one of those things I want to do before I die." I don't know why, just do. Doing it virtually may be the only way I'm able to take the four+ months it requires. As an added bonus, I wanted to lose 30 pounds and Shannon and I found a map that breaks the journey down into 30 stops (the map below has fewer than 30 stops - I chose it for my blog because of it's stunning ORANGE!! color). I had to lose 7 pounds just to start my journey at St. Jean Pied du Port and I've already made it to Roncesvalles.

Yesterday I read about Zainab Salbi who founded Women for Women International in 1993 after she read about rape camps in Bosnia and wanted to do something about it, wanted to help. The goal of her organization is to make women in conflict go from being victims to being survivors to being active citizens in their communities.

So.....how does this tie in with my pilgrimage....? Every week I fail to move forward to meet my weight loss goal (1 pound/week), I'm going to make another donation to Women to Women International and Planned Parenthood. I only wish I could do more than send a check. Anyway, though my intention is to lose one pound per week and I'm off to an excellent start (thanks to the inspiration and support of Shannon and my fabulous trainer, Karen at Galter!), if I do fail to go forward a dot on my virtual journey, I won't be able to beat myself up and feel too badly about myself.

This morning, instead of listening to my morning-commute podcasts, I switched my iPod to Pink Floyd, and one of the most moving rock songs ever written: "On the Turning Away." The declaration at the beginning of the last stanza, "No more turning away," always makes me ache with a desire to DO SOMETHING!!! Somewhere between reading about Salbi yesterday afternoon and listening to Pink Floyd's album, A Momentary Lapse of Reason this morning, I decided to make turn my failure to lose a pound from a personal failure to a positive action. Mind you, I will donate to these organizations whether I lose or not, I'll just have to fork over my "mocha/book/zine cash" if I don't.

I realize Radiohead is the band of the hour, but nobody's surpassed Pink Floyd since 1982 in my opinion.

Here are the lyrics to On the Turning Away. Though I love the song, the lyrics do stand alone:

On the turning away
From the pale and downtrodden
And the words they say
Which we won't understand
"Don't accept that what's happening
Is just a case of others' suffering
Or you'll find that you're joining in
The turning away"

It's a sin that somehow
Light is changing to shadow
And casting its shroud
Over all we have known
Unaware how the ranks have grown
Driven on by a heart of stone
We could find that we're all alone
In the dream of the proud

On the wings of the night
As the daytime is stirring
Where the speechless unite
In a silent accord
Using words you will find are strange
And mesmerized as they light the flame
Feel the new wind of change
On the wings of the night

No more turning away
From the weak and the weary
No more turning away
From the coldness inside
Just a world that we all must share
It's not enough just to stand and stare
Is it only a dream that there'll be
No more turning away?

I've also included a video someone had made for the song. The creator of this video chose to open with Carl Sagan (bless him! I miss Cosmos!) talking about how very isolated we are on this planet.

I like to think that means we should take care of eachother.


PopStar Who

I have to apologize to Shannon for singing N-Sync's "Bye Bye Bye" every time Jake appeared in last night's viewing of Dr. Who, Season 2, but seriously, tell me this kid doesn't belong in a boy band:

Andrew Hayden-Smith (Jake)

"Bye Bye Bye" has been in my head since seeing Doctor Who Season 2, Episode 5, and at the click of a button it can be in yours, too!



"Cat" was mine.

Last Thursday I quietly joined Facebook only so's I could follow the Zenprov threads, and within hours a few of my friends found me. I hadn't allowed for Facebook to scan my email contacts - too invasive! - so I was surprised anyone found me. I didn't realize that even if I had switched off that email scanning feature, the email address I used to sign up would be put "out there" so people who had allowed for their email contacts to sync with Facebook could find me within SECONDS of creating an account.

Long story short, I thought I'd been all incognito and secret-like when BAM! Evan added me as a friend....

....and immediately challenged me to Scrabble via the Facebook "Scrabulous" application.

I'm not great at Scrabble, but I thought it would be far more challenging than my default online game, Backgammon, which I grew weary of long ago but I still play because I'm BORED. There's too much luck involved in Backgammon, not enough skill. Playing Scrabble would force me to think alot harder, methought to meself, so I accepted Evan's challenge.

As we started our first game, and on a whim, I checked out his previous scores:

Joshua R. Won by Evan H.
Tracy J.
Won by Evan H.
Abbe K.
Won by Evan H.
Joshua R.
Won by Evan H.
Rebecca S. Won by Evan H.
Rachel B. Won by Evan H.
Beth B.
Won by Evan H.
Josuah R. Won by Joshua R.
Rebecca S. Won by Evan H.

Joshua R. Won by Evan H.

Abbe K. Won by Evan H.

Danny G. Won by Evan H.

Beth B. Won by Evan H.

Joshua R. Won by Evan H.

Let's just say....This should have been a clue. But no! I saw that one win by Joshua R. and optimistically thought "Right! Bring it on, indeed!"

Anyone who's spoke to Evan for 3 minutes would know that attempting to beat him at Scrabble is a silly undertaking. He's got the vocabulary of Umberto Eco..... And Wade Davis. Yeah! Like, if Umberto Eco and Wade Davis had a baby, and they both had equal influence on the development of that baby's vocabulary and speaking ability, that baby would be Evan. I'm not lying when I say that I've actually gone home from rehearsal and looked up a word or two from a conversation we had or a scene we were in because I didn't want to appear stupid. Though, in retrospect, the blank, glazed look and dribble of drool from the right corner of my mouth probably gave me away every time.

Anyway, I lost two games of Scrabble to Evan H. Badly. Like, I think about how badly I lost and I cry a little bit, and blame dust in my contacts when someone at work asks if I'm okay. But APPARENTLY I am a glutton for punishment, because I currently have 16 games of Scrabble going, and I've finished (and lost) 14 others.....

But I just WON MY FIRST GAME and nearly broke 300 (292) to boot! YEEHAW!!! (23 points) My worst game was against Mike R. He scored 627 to my 123.

I'd decided not to blog again until I won my first game, and now I have! I've won my first game! Let the inanity resume!