tiaras optional

"My only argument is with those who do not view the world as cynically as I do." Michael Korda

Friday, July 29, 2005

Search terms

I am pretty darn excited that someone was searching for “sienna miller fur vest” and my humble little blog was one of the top ten results. Just doing my part to make the world a better place, people.

Good times

It’s been a kinda busy week, and I’m recovering from some kind of stomach bug (fun fun fun), but it’s been a good time.

On Wednesday, I stopped by the latest blog happy hour at St. Ex. I got there kind of early since I had to leave by 7. I was sitting at the bar, wondering if I was the first one there, or if there were tons of fellow bloggers there, but I just didn’t know what they looked like. It turned out to be the former. In walked a friend of a fellow blogger (henceforth FOFB) who I had met before. We were chatting, and she asked the bartender if they sold cigarettes there. He said no, and then told her that he didn’t have any because he doesn’t smoke because he won’t support an industry that targets the Third World. Ummh, ok. Nice argument, but it’s hard to give up AN ADDICTIVE SUBSTANCE just for your political beliefs. Nice to see that self-righteousness never goes out of style. (And we prefer the more neutral term" developing world," thanks). FOFB and I went downstairs to see if anyone else was there, and some nice young men were happy to give her a cigarette and light with no political commentary. I had a very nice chat with FOFB. Unfortunately, I had to leave before things really got going, but I got to see Kathryn and Rock Creek Rambler, and I met one of the Two Girls in DC. Sadly, I missed my chance to schmooze (oh, who am I kidding—I’m really not much of a schmoozer) with the Cleveland Park Men’s Club, the Butterfly Network, Circle V, the Boy, DC Cookie, and lots of other no doubt delightful people.

From St. Ex, it was on to Buck’s for a delightful birthday dinner for Mary Ann. Also in attendance were Lord Kissington, Ward, June, the prof3ssor, and two other people whose nicknames I have not decided yet). I had the shrimp and grits, which was to die for, but the bits of steak I tried were equally amazing. Good food, good wine, good company. There’s not much more you can ask for.

Yesterday morning, I checked out a possible wedding site, which I really liked. Things are looking better with the whole wedding thing, and I felt marginally less stressed than I have been for the past few weeks. Last night, I was at Soussi for the Lao-Lao’s (it’s all pseudonyms, all the time around here) birthday. It was another great time, and I got to wish him a happy birthday and see a couple of friends I hadn’t seen in a while. I had vague plans to have people over to sit on the roof tonight, but the current weather situation isn’t looking so good, so my Friday night may be wide open.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

No more sympathy

Ok, I felt sorry for Sienna Miller. It sucks to have someone cheat on you, particularly in such a public fashion. (Although, given all the rumours about Jude’s previous affairs and the partner swapping during his marriage to Sadie Frost, maybe Sienna should have been clued in to his less-than-conventional definition of fidelity.) But now, with all the statement-releasing and de-ringed finger-waving in front of the paparazzi, it seems that Sienna is trying to eke out every last second of her fifteen minutes of fame. Because, really, what is she famous for, other than being Jude Law’s fiancee? And now she has been spotted getting cozy with Orlando Bloom (although I have some doubts as to whether that is actually Orlando in the pics. Discuss?). We are so over her. (Actually, I was way over her months ago.)

And while we’re on the topic of celebrities, I have a very important plea for Britney Spears. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, WOMAN, WEAR A BRA. Those pregnancy boobs need some support. Please.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


My dad and stepmother are out of town for a week. I am looking after their house while they are gone. I’m not actually staying there since they only a few minutes walk from my place. I stop by once a day to check on things and empty the dehumidifier, which fills up in about 3 hours (mystery moisture source somewhere in the house apparently). At this point, I am not really sure why my dad still asks me to look after his house, considering all the disasters that have happened while it was in my care.

1. I was staying at the house one very frigid January and the pipes froze (incompetent plumber had put the plumbers smack up against the outside wall of the house). The water had to be turned off for three days, and I was stuck, unshowered, in the house with a cat who wanted nothing more than to gnaw on my flesh (R.I.P. Leo). I found a case of Pellegrino, which I used for the necessities. Brushing your teeth with fizzy water is quite an experience.

2. Another time, my keys decided not to work. No, the locks hadn’t been changed. The keys just wouldn’t work. While trying to figure out this conundrum, my boyfriend at the time managed to set off the burglar alarm. It was the most horrifying thing I had ever heard. It was bad enough to wake the dead. I had visions of bodies popping out of the ground, a la Poltergeist. The only upside: the alarm turns itself off after 20 minutes. Did I mention that the neighbors hate me?

3. Once I was sharing caretaking duties with my stepmother’s nephew. When my dad and stepmother returned home, they found a strange substance plastered to the kitchen wall. They assumed one of had had a cooking accident. Ummh, no, that was the cat. He didn’t like being left in the care of either of us apparently.

4. About three years ago, my dad suggested I make the house look “lived in.” I took this to heart and had a party. It was fun and as far as I know, nothing got broken. I was completely busted upon their return, because I had forgotten to remove the three bags of ice from the fridge.

5. Two summers ago, I walked into the house and went to turn off the burglar alarm, but it indicated that there had been a breach in sector 7G or something like that. I was completely freaked out and could not figure out how the hell anyone had gotten into this extremely well-guarded house. It turned out to be totally not my fault, just a short in the wiring that the system saw as an intruder. Still, I sat outside on the steps waiting for Lord Kissington to show up since I figured there was an axe murderer waiting in the basement for me.

6. Last summer was my first time taking care of the dehumidifier. This is pretty simple. You pull the water tray out, dump out the water, put the tray back, and the machine starts running again. This worked for a couple of days, and then the machine just refused to reset. No matter what I did. I had visions of them coming home to a junglesque sauna. It wasn’t all that bad, but this one was definitely my fault—I had dropped an important part of the water bucket when I was dumping it out. Ooops.

Some of these things weren’t my fault, but I do seem to have bad karma where this house is concerned. Seriously, would you want me watching your place?

Monday, July 25, 2005

How did I get here?

It’s fascinating to see what combination of search terms brings people to this site. I’ve noticed that several visitors got here by searching for info on Mary-Kate Olsen’s boyfriend. For example:

pictures mary kate olsen boyfriend kite surfer
pic of Stavros Niarchos III
Stavros Niarchos surfer

I enjoyed this particular combination of terms:

kate bosworth dickhead

I would like to state for the record that I have never called Kate Bosworth a dickhead. (The dickhead in question was actually John Bolton, and a commenters referred to him as such.) I guess someone thinks she is though.

Blah di dah

It was kind of a dull weekend. It seemed like everyone I know was out of town, so Lord Kissington (as Brian is to be known from now on) and I just chilled. Yesterday, we went to the (relatively) new movie theater next to the MCI Center to try it out. I think it’s great in theory that they have revitalized the Chinatown area, but in reality it kind of sucks. The building housing the theater and various shops and restaurants is a god-awful mishmash of about six different architectural styles. It’s ghastly. And the area has become really generic. We went down planning to get something to eat before the movie. I had my heart set on Matchbox, but it’s closed on Sundays. Don’t restaurants usually close on Mondays? We decide to do the next best thing and try Ella’s, but no, they don’t open until 4 on Sundays. It’s 3:45, but the movie is at 4:45, so we would be cutting it close if we wait for them to open. So we head back to 7th Street to decide on another option. Only there are so many tourists milling around that it takes us 15 minutes to get back there. I don’t have to deal with tourists much in my area, so sometimes I forget how annoying they can be. I stormed down the street, in “get the fuck of out my way” mode, but they were just everywhere. It was now 4, and the only choices we had that were open were crappy chain restaurants. No thanks, I’m not really dying to eat at Ruby Tuesday’s or Fuddruckers. We ended up having a sandwich at Potbelly. It was a little depressing. It’s such a drag when you have your taste buds all set on something, and it’s snatched away from you (spoken by someone who’s obviously never gone hungry in her life).

We saw Fantastic Four, and I thought it was pretty good. His lordship wasn’t quite as into it, but he didn’t hate it either. We both agreed that Jessica Alba looks good, but isn’t exactly convincing as a scientist type. The villain, Dr. Doom (why are comic book villain names so dumb?) is very one-dimensional. Really, the most interesting character is the Thing, the only one of the four who gets stuck with his freakish powers all the time and actually has to learn to deal with everyone being horrified by him. Anyway, on the summer movie scale, I put it below Kingdom of Heaven and Batman Begins, but above Star Wars.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

I got nothing

I don’t know why I have had so little to say for the last week. I’ve been busy (trying not to scratch the 60 mosquito bites I got last weekend and trying to convince myself I'm not going to get West Nile virus), but more than that, I’ ve been really uninspired. The only idea I’ve had in the last couple of days was a post about how I lack a green thumb and kill all plants I come into contact with. And really, even just typing that sentence, it feels dull dull dull, so I scrapped that idea. Maybe it’s the midsummer doldrums, or I’m just overwhelmed by the heat. This kind of weather does out me into a bit of a funk.

Enough navel-gazing.

I have come to the interesting conclusion that wedding planning makes me feel like my head is going to explode. I now understand completely why people elope. All this work for one night—all I can say is, I better have a damn good time at that party. Once you get engaged, suddenly, you are the “bride.” Every time I talk to anyone lately, they ask me how the wedding planning is going. Most people are surprised at how little I have done. This really shouldn’t be surprising to anyone who knows. I am lazy and well known for my procrastinating skills. But people seem to expect that I’ll overcome all my bad personality traits and suddenly become this fantastically well-organized bride person. Somehow, I just don’t see that happening, people. Once a couch potato, always a couch potato.

I have written anything about celebrities in ages, so with the whole Jude Law/nanny scandal, I really can’t keep myself from commenting. Please check out the cover of this week’s issue of US Weekly. Please tell me this image is photoshopped. If not, I think we have an explanation: this couple is not meant to be. Sienna, you cannot marry a man whose HEAD IS TWICE THE SIZE OF YOUR’S. I think we should all be grateful to Jude’s roving eye for finally pushing US regulars Brad/Angelina, Jessica Simpson, and Lindsay “Skeletor” Lohan off the cover, if only for a week.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

I'm a dork

I’m a dork. I freely admit this. But I am a dork in a very specific way. No BiMonSciFiCon attendance here. No dressing up as characters from videogames. No Elf ears hidden in my closet. But I do like trivia. I rage at Trivial Pursuit (Genus edition only, not the dumbed-down new version). I fall within the range of what I like to call “hipster dork.” We dress well, we hang out at dive bars, and we know a ridiculous amount of Simpsons trivia (bonus points if you get the above Simpsons reference). Luckily for me, I found a fellow dork to wed. This works out well, since we don’t have to hide our dorkiness from each other. We can let it all hang out.

For example, what I like to call the Battle of the Books. A few years back, the Modern Library published a list of the 100 greatest books (in English) of the 20th century (*). It’s a somewhat subjective list, of course, but it’s not a bad place to start if you’re looking to read some modern classics. When I first discovered the list, I had read about 16 of the 100 books. I am now up to 27. Not bad. Well, it would be if it weren’t that Brian has read 31 of them. Here’s the thing: I’m not just a dork; I’m a competitive dork. This whole list competition started about three years ago, not long after Brian and I started going out. I got all crazy and was trying to read everything. At a certain point, I reached critical mass and couldn’t read another well-written word for a while. I started a couple of books on the list and just couldn’t motivate myself to finish them. I went through a phase of reading nothing but mysteries and thrillers, definitely of the beach variety. During that time, Brian pulled ahead. Then a few weeks back, I picked up a book on the list, not because it was on the list, but because I had always wanted to read it and it had been in my to-read pile for months. This got me back in the game. In the last month, I have read six books on the list. I read three of them in a four-day period (I have to add here that I was sick over the 4th of July weekend, which gave me lots of reading time).

The list is both a competitive pursuit and an incredibly valuable thing to spend time on. I’ve read some wonderful books, and some of the ones I had read before I ever saw the list are among my all-time favorites.

Here are a few of the highlights:

Lolita (list ranking = #4) by Vladimir Nabokov. Yes, it’s about a dirty old man. But once you get past that, it may be the most beautiful book ever written in the English language (and it was written by a nonnative speaker). I took a class on Nabokov in college. It was amazing. (And I had a wicked crush on the professor, but I like to think that my love of all things Nabokov isn’t just based on that.)

Appointment in Samarra (22) by John O’Hara. O’Hara is often overshadowed by his contemporaries Fitzgerald and Hemingway, but this story of a man’s disintegration and inevitable fate is probably my favorite book of all time. It’s not exactly uplifting. (The list isn’t really big on uplifting.)

Brideshead Revisited (80) by Evelyn Waugh. Just brilliant. I won’t say anything else, except to point out that the rather low ranking is ridiculous, particularly given that Waugh’s far inferior Scoop is #75.

The Bridge of San Luis Rey (37) by Thornton Wilder. I just read this one, and I’m surprised I hadn’t read it years ago. The story of five people who die when a bridge collapses in 18th century Peru. Amazing.

Wide Sargasso Sea (94) by Jean Rhys. One of relatively few works by women on the list, it’s the backstory of Jane Eyre. Who is the mysterious madwoman and how did she come to be locked away.

I’m not sure who’ll win this game in the end, but I’m certainly getting a lot out of it.

*I should add that there are plenty of people who think the list is a crock, and it's certainly rather arbitrary. However, I do find it useful.

Bad sign?

Is it a bad sign when you look in the mirror and realize that you put your top on inside out? Luckily, I noticed this before I left the house this morning. Sigh.

Thursday, July 07, 2005


I have been pretty quiet lately, and I had big plans for a long post today, but I’ve put them on hold for the moment because of today’s events. I love London, I’ve spent several wonderful vacations there, and I feel a sort of spiritual kinship to the city. I have friends living there now, and I don’t know if they are ok. I don’t think any of them would be in the affected areas, but I don’t know for sure. One of the bomb blasts was between the Kings Cross and Russell Square tube stations, a route I travelled several times in May. The bus explosion occurred near the hotel we stayed in. In May, I walked all over London feeling totally safe. The fear of a terrorist act should be ever present, but I tend to think of safety in a street crime sense, no doubt a consquence of living in a city with a high crime rate. And London felt safe. But these horrible attacks are a reminder that we’re never really safe anywhere. What a world we live in.