The Arrow

There are no answers; only choices.

Archive for July, 2008

Little Britain in the South Park

Posted by thearrow on July 30, 2008

I can’t watch enough Little Britain these days and, with the last DVD of the second season due to arrive in my mailbox this weekend, I’m contemplating the prospect of having withdrawal symptoms after that. I think about the sketches while walking on the street or riding the bus and I chuckle all the time. I try to suppress my laughter because it’s hard to maintain a normal-person appearance when you just laugh out of the blue. If at least I was reading something, I wouldn’t have any qualms about laughing.

During last night’s LB marathon I probably laughed the hardest as I watched the two guys dressed as old lay-dees tasting and ranking jams and pastries at some country fair. One of them kept throwing up whenever she heard that the jams had been made by gay, black, Indian people, or even people that came in contact with the aforementioned categories :). Hysterical. The stream of vomit pouring on the victims was endless, to put it mildly. It didn’t make me laugh that hard because it was their funniest sketch necessarily, particularly since I’m squeamish and covered my eyes to avoid seeing the vomit action, but because of the inevitable association with South Park’s Stan, who threw up on his girlfriend every time he saw her because he was nervous.

Which made me think about other similarities between the two shows. It might be a bit like comparing apples to oranges, since one employs people and the other is a cartoon, but I can’t resist the analysis temptation :). They both make fun of things most people are uneasy making fun of, for fear they might strike the wrong cord, they’re both “shamelessly puerile” (as Little Britain was aptly described on the Netflix DVD jacket), and they both squeeze a lot of extra laughs by exaggerating.

Most importantly, though, they’re both a little bit of an acquired taste that ends up becoming an addiction.

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Posted in fun | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

White Noise

Posted by thearrow on July 27, 2008

With my home Internet connection down for a few days, I’ve been enjoying some unplanned but much-appreciated quiet time. There was no reason to turn the computer on, so I took a break from the hypnotic screen and cooling-fan noise, and rested both my eyes and my brain.

Everywhere I go, there’s a constant droning of air conditioning and computers — another thing that was really hard for me to get used to. In fact, I only got used to it in the past two years or so. This is especially a problem at the office, where there’s no way to turn the A/C off and where I’m trapped in front of a screen 9 hours every day, in a windowless room. At the end of the day my brain is dead. At home I turn the A/C on as infrequently as I can, but the computer’s cooling fan is still buzzing in my head. I think I’ll start keeping it off two evenings every week or so. The turbines in my mind continue to whir if the computer’s on and I end up being tired all the time.

I’m grateful that I live in an old apartment building, though, and I can turn the A/C off completely. I can only sleep if there’s no noise at all, but here houses and apartments are heated and air-conditioned through a ventilation system, so there’s no escaping the noise. The first two months when I got here I stayed with a couple of friends and it was very difficult for me to fall asleep since air was circulating through the system all the time. I may not have the strongest sense of smell, but boy do I hear a pin drop a mile away.

Aside from my personal sleep challenges, though, I think ventilation is very bad for your health because of all those tiny dust particles it spews in the air continuously. My personal theory is that this is why there are so many people suffering from allergies in America, even in cities without any industrial activity, like DC. Yes, we have pollen in industrial quantities, but that’s seasonal. Here some people have bouts of allergy year round. After staying with my friends, I lived for a year in an apartment with water radiators like most Romanians have and I loved it. It’s such a great way of heating a place; I really miss it.

I know, I know: you can’t have it all. If I could combine what I like about America with what I like about Romania, I would make the best country in the world. For me, of course :).

Posted in American culture, health | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

I Pressed the Button

Posted by thearrow on July 25, 2008

Now I’m trying to breathe deeply and not get up for fear I might faint. Precious came with a hefty price tag, but I didn’t go over budget too much and I was just dying to have it :). The bad part is that it’s going to ship between August 20th and 27th. I’m leaving for NY on the 27th. [insert panic face here] I really hope they’ll be faster than that! I know they usually give very generous estimates so that people don’t have unrealistic expectations. I’m counting on it.

Later edit: I changed the shipping option, so now it looks like it’s going to be delivered between Aug. 20-28. I’m optimistic; I think I’ll get it before I go on vacation.

Posted in dream | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Tomorrow is the Day

Posted by thearrow on July 24, 2008

When I press the BUY button to get My Precious. I think I’ll have it by next Wednesday or so. Meanwhile, I think I’ll take the office one with me over the weekend again :). I can’t spend too much time away from it…

Posted in dream | 8 Comments »

Someone to Learn From

Posted by thearrow on July 21, 2008

Perhaps not surprisingly any longer, I’m writing about my boss again :). Surprisingly, though, this time it’s positive. He drove me nuts last week with some very strange behaviors, but now he came back to planet normal and I feel I shouldn’t only complain about him since there are a few good things I really appreciate and I’d like to mention.

He reviewed a boring press release I wrote and added some really nice oomph to it. His edits are always the part I’m looking forward to after I belabor some unfortunate piece of text because pretty much everything I learned about writing I owe to him and my big boss, both of them superb editors. And, of course, my heart sank when I saw the bloodied pages. He tried to cushion my shock very nicely (another thing I appreciate) and said it was good, he just moved things around, etc. He’s always modest about his input, which is yet another great thing, but, as usual, he had better ideas about what to highlight, not just incredible language skills. The text becomes so much clearer and easier to read. It also sounds deceptively simple; if you looked at the report it’s about, with its tons of data and charts, you’d know what I mean :). This is dry economic stuff that he somehow makes enjoyable.

And, as usual, I feel like an idiot for not having seen things in that simple way :). The most frustrating part is when I do think about going in the direction he’ll choose, like in this case, but somehow I’m not convinced it’s good. Why, oh why didn’t I do it?? So when he explained his edits, I expressed my frustration at not thinking of those things before he does. The nicest part was him consoling me: I know how it feels, I’ve been there :).

So he might act weird and forget to keep me in the loop with things I should know about, but he’s always respectful, never patronizing, and, in general, someone I can learn a lot from.

Now that I set the record straight, I can go to bed :).

Posted in work | Tagged: | 5 Comments »

And More Frogs

Posted by thearrow on July 20, 2008

I finally posted the frog pics I took this March at the National Geographic.

http://picasaweb.google.com/simonne.c/Frogs

Later edit: I fixed the link; didn’t realize it wasn’t working.

Posted in photography | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

More Georgetown

Posted by thearrow on July 19, 2008

I stayed close to home because it was very hot and humid today, but I’m happy I got more Georgetown pics. Hope you’re not tired of the place yet :).

http://picasaweb.google.com/simonne.c/Georgetown

And yes, The Precious is really neat. I can’t wait to get one to call my own. I should finish the research and opinion gathering soon and hopefully in two weeks I’ll get my hungry hands on it.

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