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Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self. - Cyril Connolly
Saturday, December 31, 2005
The Calm Before the Storm
Wow. It's only 3:00, and the house is clean, the table linens are ironed, the food is prepped, and I can relax for an hour or so before I have to put the roast in the oven and guests get here.

For the last 4 years or so, I have thrown a huge New Year's Eve bash for upwards of 30+ people. Last year's party was just so-so, mainly because I just wasn't really into it, and also because a lot of key people were out of town last year.

This year, I decided I'd rather celebrate with my closest friends and neighbors, and when my good buddy L. from London decided to hightail it over to our side of the pond for the festivities, I decided that it was more important to have a quality celebration as opposed to quantity.

So....there is an enormous crown roast of pork with apple stuffing in the outdoor fridge (i.e the grill). According to the recipe - it should look like this when it's done, and I have to say, the butcher did a superb job tieing the roast together. So far, so good.

There is an awesome restaurant in Sedona, Arizona called the Heartline Cafe, and I loved it so much, I got a signed copy of the chef's cookbook. In it, there is a very simple recipe for braised red cabbage with hazelnuts and goat cheese that is just to die for. Yummy. I'm making that, along with the usual mashed potatoes with roasted garlic and a pear/blue cheese/pecan salad with a shallot/bacon vinagrette.

Good food for some great people in my life. I'm sure there will be copius quantities of good wine to accompany the feast, and then I'm not sure what we'll do. Play some games, hang out for the ball to drop, or head downtown for the fireworks. Whatever we do - it will be a nice night for sure.

Hope you're getting to spend it with your friends and loved ones too - Happy New Year everyone.
posted by Broadsheet @ 2:56 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
Friday, December 30, 2005
Quotations that said it all.......
In anticipation of a weekend full of "Year In Review" lists and montages, Mark Liebovich over at the Washington Post gives us a preview with a review of Quotations That Said It All . . . So, in reverse order, we have:

6. "Let me start by telling you this: I have never used steroids. Period ."

5. "Matt, Matt, Matt, Matt, Matt, Matt, you don't even -- you're glib. You don't even know what Ritalin is. If you start talking about chemical imbalance, you have to evaluate and read the research papers on how they came up with these theories, Matt, okay? That's what I've done. . . You don't know the history of psychiatry. I do."

4. "I took a poo in the woods hunched over like an animal. It was awesome."

3. "They all behave the same. They all look the same. It's pretty much a white Christian party."

2. "What I'm hearing, which is sort of scary, is that they all want to stay in Texas. Everybody is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. So many people in this arena, here, you know, were underprivileged, so this is working very well for them."

.....And easily, the number one, most jaw droppingly doozie of a quote: "Brownie, you're doing a heckuva job."
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:43 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Thursday, December 29, 2005
Birthdays and Breakfast of Champions
Tuesday was my Dad's birthday. We celebrated by taking the entire clan to see King Kong and then went to a really nice little Italian bistro for dinner. There are roughly 5 restaurants that don't qualify as fast food / chain restaurants in my entire hometown, so finding a nice little Italian place (that serves wine) for 11 people to celebrate is no mean feat.

I'd have to give Kong 2 thumbs up. If you are willing to suspend all disbelief for 3 solid+ hours, it is a rip roaring adventure flick with something for everyone. It is a bit gory / scary for the little ones however. I myself disliked the bug attack sequence and had to hide my eyes for large portions of it. Squeamish need not apply.

After movie and dinner, we went over to my brother's for cake, ice cream, and some games. Scattergories is a lot of fun, and very good game for a large group with a wide range of ages. In trying to come up with something that begins with the letter "J" and refers to a term used in exercise - I came up with the obvious answer. No, not Jog - Jiggle. I don't know about you, but in my world, "jiggle" comes to mind whenever I think of exercise.

My Dad's birthday is the same day as the birthday of my college roomate's mother. I always ask about her because she's a neat lady with a lot of spunk. She did not dissapoint this year either. When I asked E. how E. Sr's. B-day was, she replied "we celebrated mother's birthday yesterday by using her new waffle maker and having scotch for breakfast."

That's my girl!
posted by Broadsheet @ 1:17 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Cat gets 'Lucky'
There is no punishment or hell harsh enough for the low life that did this. Whoever did this went to more trouble trying to get rid of the cat than just dropping it off at the nearest shelter.

Glad the story had a happy ending.
posted by Broadsheet @ 12:04 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
That sound you just heard??
That would be the sound of the housing bubble officially bursting. And oh, yeah, the virtual price of my house just decreased 28%. Happy New Year.......
posted by Broadsheet @ 12:01 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Dear Santa
I got an e-mail from my friend PJ this morning. In it, she attached the note that one of her daughter's left for Santa Claus"

Dear Mr. Clause:

Thank you for the gifts. I know I will love them. You are the best. So is Rudolf. Please tell him I think so. Please sign on the dotted line. And please don't take this note. I want your autograph.

Love, K.L.
—---------------

He politely signed, " S.C."
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:13 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Monday, December 26, 2005
Marry Kreesmiz Leenda!
At about 9:00 AM on Christmas morning, my cell phone went off. I only heard it just as it was going to voice mail because I was out in the kitchen getting the first cup of Christmas Day coffee.

I absently dialed my voice mail, and after picking up Christmas greetings I had missed on Christmas Eve from a friend in London and my friend Mark, I suddenly hear: "Leenda!! This eez Sergei calling from Vladivostok, Russia! Marry Kreesmiz u С Новым годом!! (and Happy New Near!)" He went on to wish me and my family a happy holiday season in Russian and then said "OK, bye-bye!!".

It was the cutest thing ever. He still had my cell phone number programmed into his phone from his trip to visit Baltimore back in October. By my count, if it was 9:00 AM on Christmas morning here, it must have been about midnight in Vladivostok, and Sergei was probably saying "За ваше здоровье!" a lot whilst trying to achieve this feat, which, while keeping you "sober", may be worse than the resulting hangover had you not followed the "instructions".

Anyway, hope you and yours had a wonderful day yesterday - we did!

posted by Broadsheet @ 10:17 AM   1 Editorial Opinions
Saturday, December 24, 2005
In this week's issue of Separated at Birth?


Pope or Palantine?? You decide!

posted by Broadsheet @ 8:58 AM   2 Editorial Opinions
Thursday, December 22, 2005
Elrod
I can't tell you how sad I was to read this in the paper this morning. I had the honor and rare opportunity to meet Elrod Hendricks and spend some time with him just last Sunday. He was the guest of honor at our Holiday Children's party. A party he had not missed in 11 years, but it was my first time in the new role. I spoke to him and then had the honor of introducing him to the kids. He gave a wonderful motivational talk about his years in baseball and his outlook on life. He was a real gentleman and it was a privilege to meet him. He was kind enough to sign a very personal autographed card for my nephew, a huge baseball fan, for Christmas. It will be all the more special a gift now.

Rest in peace Mr. Hendricks.
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:24 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Saturday night shenanigans
In case anyone cares what I was up to on Saturday night. ACW posted photos! Not my most flattering profile, I know. We had blogger smack down trivia at Snay's. I'm not sure you can get any geekier than that, but we tried our best.

I'm not sure just how geeky we are when one of us, who shall remain nameless, when pondering the answer as to the largest creation of hummus ever made by Lebanese as measured by the Guiness Book of World Records, asked "I didn't know they made hummus outside of Scotland?".

Ummm - yeah - we're a bunch of smarty pants - we are. Pondering a 3,000 pound HAGGIS just about had us all in tears, however.
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:55 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Toxic spill in second China river
First benzene and now cadmium. What is perhaps even more worrisome than China's apparently lax environmental safety controls, is that they are simply letting this toxic waste travel downstream and out into the Sea of China. The long term, downstream effects of this type of environmental spill may not be realized for a long time to come.
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:25 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Imposter!!
There can be only ONE.

UPDATE: Well, the haircut, hair color and attitude of my alter ego are pretty much spot on, so what the hell? If Salon is willing to steal my moniker, then I'm willing to "borrow" their image.

Welcome to the one, the only, the original rag = Broadsheet. The new image is a good update for the new year, and my first blogiversary is coming up. Stay tuned for more changes over the Holidays when hopefully I'll have time to fix URLs, update the blogroll, and tweak the template. Like other bloggers, I am considering leaving Blogger per se, and moving to my own domain, but my programming skills to support such a move, are not all that - (New Year - cough - resolution - cough.)

However, last year I took the plunge to begin a blog, and I taught myself the basics of HTML programming with a lot of trial and error. I never bothered with a book, I just read the encoding script of most web pages for a few weeks and figured it out for myself (thank goodness for "cut and paste!"). Once I figured it out, I haven't looked back. I know the quality of this blog has suffered significantly since I took the new job back in July, but hopefully, I'll make a more concerted writing effort (New Year - cough - resolution - cough). I may even take a class in creative writing (New Year - don't hold your breath - resolution - don't hold your breath).

PS: Besides, I've never really looked much like the roof of the British Museum, and even though I liked the photo when I took it last year (and still do!).... A lot has changed since then. A lot of things for the better.
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:30 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
PSA - Defenders of Wildlife
Hey internet! I'm throwing up this link that was passed on to me by my friend E. out in Colorado, who works for the US Geological Survey. Go HERE and take action to stop the Endangered Species Act from dissapearing.

In September, the House of Representatives passed Congressman Richard Pombo's (R-CA) "Wildlife Extinction" bill, which would gut the ESA. The fate of the Endangered Species Act will ultimately be decided in the Senate. Help us ensure that the Pombo “Wildlife Extinction” bill does NOT become law. Send a message to your Senators now!

Make sure your kids have the opportunity to catch frogs and snakes. Be a tree hugger - sign the petition.
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:17 AM   3 Editorial Opinions
Monday, December 19, 2005
Bad Puppy
Ok, so the folks over at Slate magazine, don't want us to adopt puppies at Xmas, but do they have to be punished like this? With little children watching no less? Perverts....

posted by Broadsheet @ 12:18 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Rudolph - Unzipped
Yesterday, my day was spent hosting a Holiday Party for over 200 children and their parent's and families. Not just any children, mind you, but our patients. Kids in wheelchairs, braces, body casts and halos. Kids on crutches, with canes, with artificial limbs, and plenty of kids running around on their own power because we were able to make a difference and heal them.

I had to call Security to unlock a storage room next to the auditorium so that Santa, Frosty, Rudolph, and the Elves could change into their costumes without little kids running in to them in the restroom. I was late getting to the podium to introduce Orioles legend Elrod Hendricks because I was busy unzipping a sweaty nineteen year old kid out of a terribly heavy, hot Rudolph suit. Housekeeping was called when an overly excited 4 year old decided to toss all her Xmas cookies on the floor, right next to the Oriole Bird mascot, while he was signing autographs.

The party is sponsored by the grateful parent of one of our kids and underwritten by Starbucks and Hollywood Video Stores. They do a superb job, and the food and gifts for the kids and their siblings were in great supply. Each kid got a large gift bag from Santa, with gifts especially selected for that child. They also got a HUGE stocking full of little toys and candy. The patient's siblings all got stockings too, and there was a "Take a Book" area, where kids could pick out their favorite books to take home with them. Thank goodness for volunteers. Our Child Life Specialists did all the organizing. I really just had to show up, introduce people, play emcee, and keep things moving. The kids had a ball, and I came home after 6 hours, more exhausted than I have ever been in my life.
posted by Broadsheet @ 11:22 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Saturday, December 17, 2005
News from Baghdad
In an email I received this morning from my friends at the US Embassy in Baghdad, they report that they were very happy with the turnout from the elections, and have high hopes that things will begin to gel in a direction that might allow us to make a dent in stabilizing certain areas and ultimately allow for troop withdrawal. But hey, not so fast, they caution.

A. reported that she had to don her flak jacket and gear and dive under her table when some celebratory gunfire got a little too close for comfort yesterday. After things calmed down, she discovered a number of bullet holes in her trailer and in the sandbags piled next to it. But, she said, in an absurdly positive note, it's the first time something like that has gotten so close in months, and it was "happy" gunfire! "Happy Gunfire" - that's what she said.

Her husband B. is less optimistic about long term stability in Iraq. The fact of the matter is that only a dictator as horrible as Saddam Hussein was able to keep the fragile fabric of Kurds, Shiites and Sunii-Arabs woven together through constant fear, terror and military control. Once we leave, there is a huge likelihood of civil war amongst these groups, despite all the niceties of a democratic process and political infrastructure. You can institutionalize government, and make policies forever, but you cannot institutionalize culture, religion, and years upon years of traditions, values, and history.
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:32 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Re-Visiting
So, back in October, when Nicole Kidman and the rest of Hollywood came to our street and filmed a Halloween scene in early, unseasonably warm temperatures, they were adding colored leaves to the trees, and lots of faux decorations to make our neighborhood look festively appropriate.

Last night, they came back. Only this time, they had to add green leaves to the bare trees, make sure that any hint of all the ice and snow we've been having in unseasonably cold temperatures is removed from sight, and remove all Christmas decorations, so they turn back the calendar a couple of months with old pumpkins, mums and straw strewn everywhere.

It looked like they were simply re-shooting one scene. Most likely the trick or treat scene, because they had limited filming to just one block, and were focusing in on one particular house. I was on my way out to a party at 6:30, and it looked like they had been set up for a while. They were still going strong at midnight when I got home. I thought about walking over and looking around, but bed was a much more appealing option at that hour.

I didn't see the celebrity and makeup trailers parked anywhere, but they would have been gone at that hour, so they may have just been getting some background or filler shots.
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:21 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Robert Novak leaving CNN
This would be the sound of that other shoe dropping. No fair guessing which network he's going to, but it's supposed to be "fair", and oh, um, "balanced" too.
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:10 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Friday, December 16, 2005
Bush Admits WMD Were Irrelevant to Invading Iraq
This post over at Think Progress is just mind boggling.

If we didn't go in there thinking that the WMDs were a direct threat to the US - why the hell did we?

This makes me more sad than angry.....
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:11 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Thursday, December 15, 2005
Herding Cats
Planning the invasion of Normandy, or organizing the Olympics would have been easier.

Last night was another round of BBHH, aka Blogger Bitches Happy Hour, aka Girls Night Out. Organized by Zenchick, at one of my
favorite pubs, it took no less than 58 emails (as evidenced by gmail and Zenchick) to get all 10 of us together for eats and drinks.

I haven't laughed that hard in months (largely because my rib is now healed, but still..). We need to do this more often, but getting 10 or 12 independent, outspoken, busy, funny women to agree on anything is an exercise in comic frustration to begin with.

And men? Who needs 'em! Besides, then Wayne would have to share his new found harem, and I really think he liked the fact that we took over the back room in his pub on a weeknight (that, and we're good tippers).
posted by Broadsheet @ 4:57 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Police whack giant snow penis
You gotta call 'em as you read 'em. Again with the easy post headlines. Can't wait to see how this affects my Google and site meter standings!

"Now we're going to get snow penises popping up all over town,"...

Many scholars, of course, trace the origin of the modern-day yule log to ancient pagan totems to virility and sun-god worship.

"We just did it because we were really bored, and we thought it'd be funny. It was huge."
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:59 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Oh the weather outside is frightful
Brrrrr.......should have stayed in the car this morning! At least the seats are heated in the car. It was 48 degrees in my office this morning!! A coil on the roof of the building was knocked out in the cold weather last night. The kick started it, and it's beginning to warm up slowly, but it also seems to be somewhat intermittent. I can't see my breath anymore, but I'm a long way from toasty.....

More coffee.....
posted by Broadsheet @ 12:33 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Stem-cell pioneer's findings in doubt
On the way into work this morning, NPR was doing an article about this topic.

I just about drove off the JFX as the commentator repeatedly mentioned the name of the researcher whose pioneering work in stem cell research is now under investigation, Dr. Woo Suk Hwang.

Why yes, yes he does.
posted by Broadsheet @ 11:45 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Colin Farrell admitted to rehab
In today's News of the
Inevitable.


Money, fame, good looks and drugs just never seem to mix well do they?
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:26 AM   1 Editorial Opinions
Monday, December 12, 2005
Took, Took, Tookie, goodbye
A lot of celebrity friends do not grant, or equate to, redemption. Only one place can grant that - and he's about to face the truth. Whatever it may hold for him.

UPDATE/CLARIFICATION: Before everyone jumps all over me, I have extremely mixed feelings about this whole thing. But, in the end, I don't think the support of celebrities or people in high places should influence this type of decision (regardless of how I feel about its premise to begin with). Other death row prisoners have certainly gone to their fates as redeemed people with less attention. I believe they made a movie about it? (fictionalized of course). And as much as I dislike Gov. Schwarzenegger, I would not wish the burden of his decision as to whether someone lives or dies, on my worst enemy.
posted by Broadsheet @ 11:33 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Most expensive toys of 2005
So, I'm perusing this article on Forbes.com about this year's most expensive toys, and I see a Mercedes SL Convertible listed for a mere $16,000! WTF?!

OH - the TOY version is a mere $16,000. The grown up version retails for closer to $100,000.


posted by Broadsheet @ 11:13 PM   2 Editorial Opinions
Ultimate Soccer Mom
This woman gives new meaning to the term, "soccer mom".
posted by Broadsheet @ 12:47 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Second night of riots hit Sydney
France I can understand, but Australia? Shame.
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:41 AM   3 Editorial Opinions
Saturday, December 10, 2005
Xmas List
ME: Dear Younger Sister, what do you want for Xmas??? I'm shopping this weekend, so get your request in early!

REPLY: I'd like an oval LaCrueset baking dish, body powder with a light citrus scent, a long cardigan/duster like the navy blue one I have, but different color, a cashmere v-neck pullover like the rust one I have, but in a different color. Size ** or **. Or, a sugar daddy who would buy me these things and not want much in the way of committment.

Meh.
posted by Broadsheet @ 11:57 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Brazil nun 'shot in self-defence'
Two Brazilian thugs accused of killing a 73 year old nun execution style, are claiming self defense?? Gimme a break.

A woman who was well known to everyone in the community for YEARS as an advocate for land ownership by peasants rather than corporations. She might have been a thorn in their side, but I find it cowardly of them to claim they felt threatened enough to kill her.
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:38 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Friday, December 09, 2005
HDTV Still Fuzzy for Consumers
This article captures my parents perfectly.....

*...nearly half (49%) of HDTV owners surveyed are not taking full advantage of their HD televisions, as defined by receiving HD channels and having special equipment to watch HD programming (including an HD set-top box, a CableCARD, and/or an antenna).

* Close to one in four (28%) of HDTV owners reported that they did not get any special equipment from their service provider to watch HDTV channels because the picture quality was already improved with the purchase of an HDTV.

* 23% of HDTV owners did not invest in special equipment to watch HDTV channels because a message at the beginning of the programs they watch tells them that those programs are being broadcast in HD.

* Nearly one in five (18%) reported that they believed the HD television would give them high-definition channels without additional equipment.
My folks have had HDTV for over a year now, but still watch the same channels they always have, not the HD feed channels.
posted by Broadsheet @ 11:25 AM   1 Editorial Opinions
Thursday, December 08, 2005
I read the news today, oh boy
Yeah, Imagine.

25 years. One of those times where you remember exactly where you were and with who, and how helpless you felt. I was too young for JFK, MLK, and Bobby. I was almost too young for the Apollo Moon Landing had it not been for my Dad and his insistence to stop at a distant relative's house on the way home from somewhere to watch it on live TV. I remember my father's excitement and the importance he prescribed to the event, but almost more than that, I remember the candy dots on paper that the grandmother of my cousins shared with us.

I vividly remember the Challenger disaster. I was in a hotel lobby on a coffee break at a conference for my first real job after college. Mid-morning. Everyone gathered in the hotel lobby for a coffee or a smoke. Shuttle launches were a yawn by then, but as we watched the mid-air explosion live, and slowly realized something awful had happened, we all kind of lost any sense of priority for the rest of the day. I sat in the lobby of a nameless Hilton in Pittsburgh, and mourned American heroes.

On the morning of 9/11 I was in my office, when things suddenly became a blur as we activated our woefully inadequate emergency preparedness plans to accommodate all the burned and injured victims we expected from the Pentagon and even perhaps from NYC. By 2:00 in the afternoon, it was clear that there was no one to save, and our teams would not be needed. I went home at 4:00 and sat in front of CNN for the next few days crying.

When John was shot, I had just come back from the library after studying for Freshman finals and found my dormmates huddled in the lounge sobbing. This was before cable, CNN, etc...

Nowadays, I would have gotten a call or text on my cell phone with breaking news.

If ever there was a day that could be labeled as "The day the music died"...

And with all apologies to Don MaClean...

One can only "Imagine"

Imagine there's no countries,
It isn't hard to do,
Nothing to kill or die for,
No religion too,
Imagine all the people
living life in peace...


Thanks John - you will not be forgotten.
posted by Broadsheet @ 11:36 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Yuletide Joy
Our President hosted the Sr. Executive staff to a Holiday luncheon today at Tio Pepe's. Lunch started at noon, and I got home at 3:00 pm. Did you know they make an awesome sangria at Tio Pepe's? People stopped using their indoor voices after the second pitcher.

I think the other people were happy to finally see us leave.

I also think I need a nap.
posted by Broadsheet @ 3:17 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Cabin fever as Yotel checks in at airports
This gives new meaning to the term"layover".
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:43 AM   1 Editorial Opinions
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
'Gay wedding' man dies of cancer
May he rest in peace. At least he passed away happily, knowing that he was loved, and surrounded by proof of that. He was also a pioneer.
posted by Broadsheet @ 1:35 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
Fender Hello Kitty
I just may have to get one of these for my niece for Christmas.
posted by Broadsheet @ 1:24 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Monday, December 05, 2005
Separated at Birth?
Uncanny - isn't it?





Meanwhile, for reasons that defy all sanity and logic, Rachel Ray is getting yet another TV show, PLUS multiple guest spots on Oprah.

This woman is on TV more than old "Law and Order" reruns. I can't take any more EVOO!!!
posted by Broadsheet @ 5:49 PM   4 Editorial Opinions
A Cats Christmas
I dragged out the Christmas decorations over the weekend. They aren't much to be honest. Mostly candles and some really festive ethic table runners and placemats that a friend from Romania once gave me.

There is no Christmas tree. I have two young, rather rambunctious cats, and this is almost certainly what I could expect if I ever dared to put a giant scratching post covered with shiny things in the living room.
posted by Broadsheet @ 5:38 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
The City of Self-Deprecation
The WP has an article in today's paper about the campaign to "re-brand"Baltimore.

In typical fashion, Wonkette riffs on the article.

I especially liked: "Baltimore: Duck!", and "Baltimore: Got Some Real Bargains, Housing Wise".

How about "Baltimore: Where Snowstorms Signal the Appocalypse", or "Baltimore: The City That Can't Handle Snow".
posted by Broadsheet @ 12:42 PM   4 Editorial Opinions
Dancin' in the Dark
Nightmare on 41st street......

So there I am with all the other panicked people on the day before a snowstorm in the Superfresh at the 41st street plaza in Hampden at about 6:00 last night. I swear, I have never seen "snow panic shopping" like the denizens of Baltimore. It was my own fault for waiting until the end of the weekend to do my major grocery shopping for the week. I had put it off in favor of finishing a good book, and now I was paying the price.

I will never understand the mentality of people who park a shopping cart smack in the middle of an aisle, with no room to get another cart past on either side, while they obliviously wander away, and peruse the aisle at the far end, or even head to another aisle completely, while traffic piles up behind their abandoned cart. And don't even get me started on the little old ladies whose cart speed is best measured in feet per hour, when you're trying to speed down an aisle that has the one item you need.

After enduring this rodeo of the damned for about an hour, I stood in line 4 carts deep at the check out line along with the rest of the cattle.

Another pet peeve about grocery stores: I try to put my items on the belt in like groupings to make it easier on the bagger. You know, frozen foods go together, canned goods, fresh veggies have their own pile, and then I load all the household items like soap and toilet paper together. Anyway, my checkout girl last night just likes to play with your head when it comes to unpacking groceries. I found People magazine in with the snow peas, and soap in the bag with my frozen pot stickers.....Argghghg.

Anyway, she had scanned all but about one bag of items, when suddenly, the power in the entire plaza went out, plunging the entire store into total darkness. The reaction to this was similar to that of a crowd watching fireworks "oooooh", "aahhhhh". After about 10 seconds or so, a backup generator kicked in with some minimal lighting, but all the checkout counters were down. Someone came on the PA system and said that a transformer at the 34th street substation had blown and they were working on it ASAP. Power was expected back in about 10 minutes. Well, 10 minutes came and went, and now I'm seriously considering abandoning my shopping excursion from hell. Finally, the manager came around and they were able to manually reboot the cashier computers and scanners off the auxiliary power. The only good thing to happen, was that my information had been saved in the computer and we didn't have to rescan the entire cart.

I escaped out to the car, but it was weird driving through a mostly dark Hampden on the way home. I had left the house around 4:45 to "run to the grocery store". I finally got home around 6:45...
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:33 AM   3 Editorial Opinions
Saturday, December 03, 2005
Just call me Imelda
How is it that after spending 2.5 solid hours cleaning out my closet and creating three, huge lawn and garden bags of shoes, belts, old purses, and clothes to take to Goodwill, that there are still more than 40 pairs of shoes, boots, sneakers, sandals, flipflops, clogs and slippers in my closet? Men need about a half dozen pairs of shoes: black, brown, dress, athletic, boots, and maybe one other. Women? Hell, I've got a half dozen pair of black shoes alone: sling backs, pumps, mules, loafers, and an assortment of heel heights ranging from comfortably frumpy to, "3 hours max" before they cripple me (but they're hot!).

I was ruthless. I threw away stuff from the 80's. Sweaters with shoulder pads that would make Joan Collins proud. Loud belts, more T-shirts than I can count from events I don't even remember, shoes that were so old they were almost back in style. Power blouses from the yuppie years. All gone.

You can actually see the bottom of my closet again, and I can close the doors without having to stuff the clothes inside like an overstuffed suitcase.

Now, all the sweaters are neatly folded on the shelf, and I have two wicker baskets full of neatly folded scarves and shawls. There is even a basket full of baseball caps that were once strewn in the mayhem on the floor.

I did a thorough scaling down of all my clothes and household goods when I moved into this house and gave away a LOT of stuff. Even had a yard sale. The problem is, that was 7.5 years ago.....

Oh well, I also found a bunch of stuff I'd forgotten about, and even found my good binoculars that had gone missing last summer. They were stuffed in the bottom of a beach bag.

Feels good to be organized again. Let's see how long it lasts.....
posted by Broadsheet @ 3:57 PM   3 Editorial Opinions
Blue House
Hey internet. If you live in or near the Baltimore metro area, then make SURE you stop at THE hottest new store in town. Blue House located at 1407 Fleet Street in the Inner Harbor East, just down the street from Whole Foods. You won't regret it! Need something really unique for that special someone for Christmas? You'll find it here! That is, if you can resist the temptation to redecorate your own house or buy things to make yourself feel better just by having beautiful, functional, well designed, fair trade, items around the house. And you can have a cup of coffee and a snack in the cafe and feel good about it at the same time.

I had the distinct pleasure of attending the opening gala there last evening courtesy of my dear friends, the store's owner and entrepreneur extraordinaire David, and his adorable better half.

The place is stunning, and the inventory is remarkable. Really. David is enormously gifted with a strong eye and instinct for good design and this place reflects it perfectly. The evening was a real celebration of all the hard work, hopes and dreams that went into pulling off something David has been planning ever since I've known him.

We were especially lucky to be treated to an intimate performance by Natalie Douglas. Easily the best ticket in Baltimore last night without a doubt. Hearing her perform live is a real treat. Go buy her CDs!

So - get yourself to Blue House: Home, Coffee, the Stuff of Life. You won't regret it.
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:30 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Thursday, December 01, 2005
Fruit bats spread Ebola virus
And we're worried about a possible mutated bird flu that hasn't happened yet? This is the real deal and already well documented in its virulency.
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:10 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
Deal nips lawsuit over showing breasts to ape
Hmmmm -Gorilla Nipple Fetish. Sometimes, this blog just writes itself....
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:07 PM   2 Editorial Opinions
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