Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Who you callin' a pygmy, chimp?

With a free afternoon in San Diego last week I did what any sane Kentuckian would do in January -- I spent it outdoors in the sunshine. I went to the zoo.

There I learned that this world-renowned zoo, famous for its collection of monkeys and apes, LIES TO VISITORS. There is no such thing as a pygmy chimp. The real name for the animal they have is bonobo. Bonobos are no more related to chimpanzees than humans.

I learned all of this when I asked a man for directions. I held out my map, pointed to the icon marked "pygmy chimps" and asked "How do I get here?"

"You are here!" he shouted. "These are bonobos. There's no such thing as a pygmy chimp."

"But the map says ..." I tried to say.

"Well, let me explain it to you," the man began.

Forty minutes into the lecture I told him, "Thank you but I need to get over to the tortoises before the zoo closes," and escaped.

The bonobos were cute. They looked just like little chimps.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Scrubbing bubbles

Since the oldest child started college this semester (could you please choose some classes that don't require 13 books?) we've had to analyze our spending habits.

Eating out - less frequent
New carpeting - delayed
Backyard landscaping - not this season
Flat screen TV - dream on baby

But nothing else compares to the major sacrifice of:

Cleaning service - fired

What this means, of course, is that I spent the morning cleaning the bathtub. And I feel I need to share this experience with you.

No matter what product I use, or how much elbow grease I employ, I still see dirt on those non-skid strips on the bottom of the tub.

While I very much appreciate the bathtub industry for caring so much about my welfare (because if I fell in the shower I'd break my right hip and crush my wrist and everyone in my life would suffer right along with me, I promise) I do not enjoy sharing my bath with millions of dead skin cells embedded in the sandpapery surface on the bottom of the tub.

Why is it that professional house cleaners can handle this challenge and I cannot? It is a conspiracy?

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Top Bully

Over at Eek's place she has a very funny post about the shaved-head episode of Top Chef (I especially like how she referred to the cooks as 'cheftestants').

But what she doesn't mention is how disturbing it is to watch some of the cooks (yes, I'm talking about YOU Ilan and Cliff) bully Marcel. "Mean Chefs" is more like it. It's gotten way out of hand.

Wikipedia says: "Bullying involves the tormenting of others through verbal harassment, physical assault, or other more subtle methods of coercion such as manipulation."

If we were in middle school we could all see why Marcel would get picked on. But why has the show decided to focus on this behavior? It's crass and not at all entertaining. I feel bad for Marcel. (Note to producers: Human interaction under stress is fascinating. Allowing your contestants to do THAT [won't spoil it] is not.) At least some of the judges are also disturbed by this.

(Sigh) I'm still hoping that Elia will stop falling apart long enough to win the title of Top Chef for this season. Cliff, Ilan and Sam: I have lost all respect for you guys.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Today I went to Costco for the first time

This was all new to me. I usually shop at my neighborhood grocery where the distance between the produce and dairy departments is about 12 feet and you can barely get your cart down the aisle. Costco's shopping carts are larger than my car. They have to be. Every item there is sold in incredibly large sizes or packed in multiples.

I don't know about you but I am not accustomed to purchasing 10 pound containers of dishwasher detergent and 36-can cases of Mountain Dew. ("Honey, let's get the 72 oz tube of KY 'cause it's only $1.49 here at Costco.")

I bought a one-year membership but I don't think I'll need to go back that soon. This trip I bought 14 tubes of toothpaste, 120 cans of tuna, three gallons of mayonnaise, and a bushel of Cheerios. The package containing 75 rolls of toilet paper was just too big for my car.

Monday, January 8, 2007

Gravity leaking

Somewhere between the odd smell they detected today in Manhattan and the fortune I got in a cookie not so long ago I find I've developed a mild case of anxiety.

Like the not-distinct odor and the un-fortune, I can't really describe what this is, but it's troubling all the same. I'm not sure if there's anything to be worried about, but I have started preparing, just in case.

It's just that I don't feel quite ... prepared. I feel as if there's a test coming up for which I've forgotten to study. Or that I've finally noticed the shoe almost ready to drop. I'm certain that a quiet day can easily incubate a tragic storm.

If you don't hear from me, you can assume the worst. But if blogging is allowed in the underworld, I'll let you know.

Monday, January 1, 2007

New year, new look

I upgraded my Blogger account and decided to switch templates for the time being. As soon as my account clears the queue, I'll be able to use all of the promised new features.

You say you want a resolution?

Instead of New Year's Resolutions for myself, this year I've decided to make some for everyone else.

For the children: Cut down on the drama
For Babycakes: Learn to cook like an Israeli (use the new cookbook)
For my friends: Party on. Invite me, I'll come with a bottle of wine
For my employer: Give everyone an office with a window
For my coworkers: Read my mind
For my fellow bloggers: Write like you mean it
For my readers: Leave part of yourself behind - comment!