Sunday, December 30, 2007

Release the Kracken!

It's not like I sit in front of the PS2 thinking, "Boy, what this game really needs is a good Clash of the Titans reference." Still, whoever cast Harry Hamlin as Perseus in God of War 2 is a genius.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Attend the tale of... ABBA?

Look, I'm not saying the 7:00 showing of Sweeney Todd at the Ziegfeld was full of homosexuals, but the first note of the Mamma Mia trailer got applause....

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Holiday Decorations Gone Wrong #10

Okay, look, I know that Christmas is supposed to be a religious holiday, but there's just something of a mixed message in these centerpieces (?) being sold on Delancy Street:
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"Happy Holidays! Wishing you and yours a slow, agonizing death."


This guy is in a bar on 45th Street. 'Cause there's nothing I want more when I'm drinking than a creepy old man staring at me all night.
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Friday, November 30, 2007

Hee

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Insert Richard Gere Joke Here

(And insert "insert" joke here.)



From Cute Overload.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A Word From Our Sponsor

Responding to comments and clarifying...

Yes, MCM, that actually solves the mystery of the non-commercial-commercial break in NPR's podcasts completely. Thanks! (I still think Ira Glass sounds silly saying sponsor tag-lines though.)

And I didn't mean to imply that fast-forwarding through ads is BAD. I certainly don't watch commercials on my DVR because I feel morally obligated to support the fine people who pay for my programming. Mostly I'm just lazy. I was talking about all the griping about how networks' websites and Hula.com and the like make you watch an ad before your video starts. I mean, hey, if users can find a way to skip that, more power to 'em. I just don't blame the content-providers for trying to get paid is all.

On the "DVRs are cool" front, I recently caught the tail end of an ad that had a banner over it saying something like "Press A on your remote for more information." I hadn't been paying attention and it went away just after I looked up. When I rewound, it was gone, so whatever it was it was live and presumably would only have worked for the brief time the message was on the screen. It has nothing to do with fast-forwarding, but it's a pretty cool way of making things more interactive and therefore more interesting. I'm certainly not in the market for a car, but if I'd seen the banner in time I would've pushed the button just out of curiosity!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Playing Catch-Up

Sorry I've been so absent lately. Lots of stuff going on...or, for a good chunk of time, absolutely no stuff going on, which stressed me out far more than lots of stuff would have. I've been thinking about blogging and my three remaining readers a lot though. So here, in brief, are some of the things I thought about blogging about, finally blogged about.



Annoyed as I get by holiday overload, I'm totally willing to compromise and accept the concept of the "holiday month" that's apparently taken hold. Y'know, October is Halloween Month, November is Thanksgiving Month, December is Christmas Month. Valentine's Day gets short shrift 'cause it falls in the middle of February, but I feel fine about that. But the brilliance of this scheme is that nothing overlaps. We finish Halloween and start on the turkey. Then the sales usher in Chrismukah (technically the last Friday in November, but I like to shop so I'll allow it).

But these pictures were taken at my local Duane Reade (NYC's drug store ├╝ber-chain for you out-of-towners) on September 29:
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September!! Seriously, people. This is NOT OKAY.


And speaking of the seasons, can I just say that I HATE daylight-saving time (Grammar Girl tells me that's the correct way to write that)? Or maybe I love daylight-saving time; I'm never sure when we're on it and when we're off it, which is one of the things I hate about it. But mostly what I hate about it is the way it's now dark when I get out of work at 6 pm. I guess because 6 am seems a wholly unnatural time for me to be awake anyway, on the rare occasions that I am, darkness feels quite normal, but a pitch black early evening just depresses me.


Speaking of work (you liking these segues?), I have a new temp agency. Reason #1 to hate them is the fact that they've only managed to get me one day of work (and it was low-paying reception work at that). Reason #2 is that they make you mail in your timesheet, but don't provide a postage-paid envelope for it. I don't know if this is actually standard, but it's 2007. If you still require an original timesheet (as opposed to a faxed or online version) to release my check, and don't provide direct deposit, I think the stamp should be on you.


And speaking of checks, does anyone hate the Visa Check Card ads as much as I do? You know, the ones where the store is like some sort of machine and then someone tries to pay with cash and everything comes to a crashing halt? I love my debit card, I really do, but last time I checked it's not magic, or even all that futuristic. What's up with these people in these ads who just swipe and keep walking? No PIN? No receipt? No putting of purchases into bags? Barring especially math-impaired cashiers, I don't think my debit card is actually any faster than cash, however convenient it may be. Not that commercials are meant to be good reflections of reality, but for some reason these just drive me batshit. Maybe it's the misappropriation of Danny Elfman music.


Speaking of commercials, why do people keep bitching about them? Have DVRs really made us into people who expect something for nothing? I know I'm weird but I kinda like commercials. Even though I've been time-shifting my TV for years (working at night and knowing how to program my VCR and all) I still forget to press fast-forward more often than not. And I do still watch live TV, especially these days when I'm home during the day while Boy is at work and the hours of Law and Order on TNT call my name. Or I use the commercial break the way our forefathers did, to get a snack or pee. And every once in a while I see something entertaining, or I'm made aware of a new product I might actually want to buy or TV show or movie I might want to watch. Though more likely I remember halfway through the break that I don't have to watch Sarah Jessica Parker prattle on about her skin and skip ahead. Where was I going with this? Oh yeah, free rides. With all the new online video options, I'm seeing a lot of reporting that says they're "free...with a catch." Yeah, that's kinda how it works. Personally, I'd rather watch an ad or two than pay $1.99 for a TV show (normally "free" on my TV) on iTunes. Does any "free" content not have ads? The "free" podcasts I listen to have sponsors. Even the classiest websites have some sort of advertising. Ira Glass saying "When you get into a Mercury, it gets into you" at the end of This American Life is utterly ridiculous. But that's what makes it freeeeeeeeeee. Suck it up.

Speaking of (extra-bad segue) NPR... since I only listen to them in podcast form, can someone who listens on the actual radio please explain the bizarre musical interludes that seem to be a part of all NPR shows. They sometimes seem to last forever, and never seem to serve a purpose. Once in a while I guess the music relates to the story somehow, or is a show's theme song, or provides a transition between two pieces, and I can see how in a live show the anchors might need a breather, but This American Life is recorded, and most weeks Ira Glass doesn't really have to do much on-air, and it's public radio so there's no commercials, and yet Ira says, "Blah blah blah, when This American Life continues in a moment," as if he were going to a commercial, and then...music. Usually bad and/or annoying music. Carefully chosen, I'm sure, by some music geek who thought that "Summertime" on a toy piano was the perfect tongue-in-cheek piece to accompany the story about wildfires (I'm making that up), but... why? Why waste my time? Why make me listen to "Summertime" on a toy piano? You don't have commercials, so why not keep just keep going? It's worth noting that my friends who are amazed that I still watch any TV live, who will start recording a show and walk away if they happen to want to watch something currently airing, are the same friends who are obsessed with This American Life (in fact, are the ones who got me into it), and they have never once complained to me about this colossal waste of their time, during which there's no possibility of any useful information coming their way, of which there is at least a small chance during a commercial break. They're reading this, and they know who they are, and maybe they have a good explanation. Is it different on the real radio than on the podcast? Do tell!


Speaking of...nothing connected at all... my new phone takes surprisingly good photos! (From a wedding we attended at a 13th-floor penthouse on West Street.
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Friday, November 09, 2007

Is it wrong...

...that I'm kinda excited about the writers' strike because I'm way behind on the DVR list and my Netflix Queue?

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Get'cha Head in the Capades

In a few hours, I'm seeing High School Musical: The Ice Tour at Madison Square Garden.

If you think I'm crazy... well, I can't argue with that, but consider the response of Faustus when I asked him if he wanted to be my date for this cultural milestone:
"OH MY GOD YES! I guess this means I have to Netflix the movie now. I still haven't seen it."

At least I knew what I was getting myself into. Mostly I'm dying to see how they pull off the basketball number. Though the email I got yesterday from the Garden that suggested I might also enjoy The Wiggles Live! Race to the Rainbow concerns me a little bit.

This may be the gayest thing either of us has ever done. And Faustus has done, well, a lot.

I'll report back if we survive the arena full of screaming children.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

[Insert post title here...]

So... This past Monday was - drumroll, please - National Punctuation Day! How did you celebrate? (Did you even know it existed?) I'm sorry I failed to point out this momentous occasion on the day. I meant to, but things got busy at work. I wish I could think of a way to work square brackets into this post; Any ideas?

Monday, September 24, 2007

Stay tuned for scenes from the next 90210

As much as I love TV, I tend to view it as a largely disposable medium. Or rather, a disposable delivery method. This is true of movies I watch at home too. There are very few shows to which I give my undivided attention. When I'm home, I'm just easily distracted - by my laptop, by Boy, by the cat, by folding laundry, whatever. Same thing if I'm watching on my iPod - I'm on the subway or at the gym, generally. And so I miss things, and when shows are complicated (which I like, don't get me wrong) I might forget things, especially in the months between seasons. Maybe it's just that I'm getting older; even with shows for which I do drop everything (yeah Battlestar!) my mind is somewhat sieve-like.

All I'm saying is, would it have killed Heroes to do a "Previously on..." and help me out a little??

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Aren't you a little fat for a stormtrooper?

When did George Lucas get a sense of humor? Sure, there have been countless Star Wars parodies, but tonight's freakin' sweet Family Guy used the real score and sound effects, and even some clips from the movie. And, yknow, it was on network TV and not on YouTube, so they pretty much had to have permission. And there's a similar episode of Robot Chicken coming up later in the season.

I'm not complaining or anything. If there's anything ripe for loving parody it's Star Wars, it's just weird coming from the man who made The Phantom Menace is all I'm saying.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

First TV Thoughts of the Season

I do so love this time of year. The smell of dying leaves, and the dying souls of exploited children.

Some early, while-its-still-airing thoughts on Kid Nation....

This is the BEST SHOW EVER.

Re: sleeping on crappy mattresses in dusty wooden cabins - have none of these children been to camp before? And if not, what made them (or their parents) think it was a good idea for them to go on this show?

I'm of the belief that kids today are over-diagnosed and over-medicated (you might say that every 11-year-old has ADHD), but some of these guys seem to have genuine anxiety problems. Did their parents just want them out of the house for a while?

The kids I'd most want to smack in real life are the ones I most enjoy watching. The fast-talker, Boston accent girl, and the little "I have a dream" (of pancakes) boy. I look forward to watching them fall apart and fight over the conch.

It's tough to buy into the whole "no adults" thing when there are clearly crew-people everywhere, and producers pulling the kids aside for one-on-one interviews all the time. It would be much more convincing if they'd set it up Big Brother style.

The town council takes orders from a ghost in a book!


Also, Back To You is pretty terrible.


Edited to add: They're doing a Survivor-style challenge to ESTABLISH A CLASS SYSTEM. BEST SHOW EVER!!

Because I wasn't spending enough time in front of the computer

I'll admit to being nervous when Bravo (owned, of course, by NBC, which is owned by Universal, which is owned by GE, which is probably owned by malevolent aliens) bought Television Without Pity, but proof of the good that smart, snarky people can do with a corporate budget (and corporate servers) arrived today.

TV Big Shot is like Fantasy Football for TV nerds. I say that having never fully understood what Fantasy Football is, but I think I'm right... You're given a bunch of fake money, with which you buy real TV shows for your fake network. You win points based on the real-life ratings for your shows, and at the end someone wins real money.

I don't think I'll do very well (I've already blown half my money by buying two shows I don't think will last but that I expect will have very good premieres this week, before learning that when you add a show you don't get points for it until the following week... if I have one complaint it's that some of the rules are hard to find, often hidden in blog post comments) and I may lose interest, but right now I'm a little obsessed.

If you start playing let me know so I can add your network to my "Spy List." Mine, of course, is Radish One.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Pish Posh

I haven't watched BBC America in a while, since Coupling ended and What Not To Wear and Changing Rooms got old. I've been spending time there again lately, thanks to new (belated) Doctor Who and Torchwood addictions, and the now have these bumpers before every show advising viewers to turn on their closed captioning because of the "funny" British accents.

Does anyone else find this insulting to all involved? I certainly find it condescending. Sure, I'll be the first in line to call Americans stupid, but I'd like to think that most of us can still recognize English. Especially those of us watching BBC America. I mean, if you've tuned in to Graham Norton you can handle a lot more than a dropped H. And what must the narrator (who sounds like Eric Idle, but I don't think if it is) have thought when given this copy to read? He should really be saying, "You lot have buggered up our language so much that you can't even understand us anymore, you stupid gits."

I'm really not the sort of (American) dork who generally slips words like "git" and "buggered" into my speech. But if it proves to BBC America that I don't need any sodding subtitles, then so be it.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

No, Nature didn't kill me. Neither did Theater.

I'd planned, as I always do, to write more from "theater camp." There was certainly plenty to blog about. I even took some photos with the specific goal of posting them. They're still in my phone. The problem isn't so much that I'm busy when I'm up there (though I am), it's that my whole routine is different. I barely watch TV, barely read, barely listen to podcasts (the latter two by virtue of not having any commute or gym time to speak of). When I come home it takes me weeks to catch up on TV, reading, podcasts and the gym, plus digging out my normal life and quality time with Boy and Kitten. So I lose momentum and it's hard to get it back.

But I'm here! And it was a pretty great summer, especially after my professional pitfalls last spring.

I'm working an office job right now which gives me occasional staring-at-the-screen downtime but rarely enough to formulate a substantial post. Plus, I'm working for friends who actually read this blog, so how would that look? As I often do when I start thinking about the blog again but can't quite muster up anything to say, I've been mucking around with my template. I added fancy widgets to the sidebar that tell you what I've shared on Google Reader, rented from Netflix, or purchased from iTunes, and I did a long-overdue update of the links. Does anyone still read this thing? Meh, when was that ever the point?

More to come soon. I just wanted to say hi and welcome myself back.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Proofreading Orange Alert!

From an article on NY1.com:

A reported steam pipe explosion in Midtown sent plumes of smoke into the sky this evening and caused the evacuation of buildings in the area, but officials say it is not terrorist related.
...
Officials say the attack is not terrorist related.


If it's not terrorist-related, isn't it not an attack?

Monday, July 02, 2007

iMpractical

This may shock you, but I don't want an iPhone. Sure, I think it's shiny and pretty and I definitely want to play with someone else's for a while, but I don't want my own for 4 reasons.

1) I love my iPod with its 80 GB capacity and I'm not ready to give it up.

2) I use both my iPod and my cell phone so much that I'd be terrified of losing both to a dead battery.

3) I use a lot of third-party software on my Palm, and equivalent software doesn't exist for the iPhone (yet).

4) AT&T's coverage is terrible in NYC, so even if I didn't have a contract with Verizon that includes my soul and my first born, I wouldn't switch.

Oh, and 5) who has that kind of cash?

I want one even less after reading this article about how the potential of the admittedly amazing technology is no where near being reached.

So I'm quite happy to wait for it to all be better. Looks like I might be waiting quite a while! Good thing the new Treos look so sexy!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Where's Waldo?

If you know me, and have sharp eyes, you might be amused by this clip. The rest of you... sorry.

Jellicle My Ass

If you have any doubt that cats are a force for good in the world, click here.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

I've Misplaced My Water Cooler

I'm back in NYC for the day, and I saw in the subway an ad for HBO's new series. I don't have HBO, but I could always get it if I wanted to watch the new show. Only problem is I don't know when it's on.

I'm oddly put off by the fact that the ad simply says that the new show premieres June 10 "following the Sopranos finale." There's no time. Is it really such a given that everyone watches the Sopranos? Because I don't. I know it's very good, but I've just never been that interested in it. And the Tonys are on tonight.

Sure, it's not that hard to find out what time the Sopranos ends if I want to watch John From Cincinnati, but why should I have to do research, HBO? I'm offended by the presumptuousness.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Carded

I've written before about how being at Undisclosed Location Summer Theater surrounded by interns and apprentices can make anyone over 30 (or over 25) feel very old, so one of the positives is that bars in rural New England are also much more likely to card everyone who walks through the door, just as a matter of policy, and who doesn't like to occasionally allow the delusion that someone actually thinks you might be 19? So I was delighted last night when the doorman at the local pub asked for my ID.

Until, that is, he handed it back to me and said, "Oh. Sorry."

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Aren't you a little furry for a storm trooper?

So Boy and I were sitting on the couch watching a show about Star Wars on the History Channel, and the cat flopped down between us and did something especially adorable.

So I said to the cat, in the way people say silly things to pets, "You are strong in the force of cuteness."

Boy was silent for a moment, then quietly said, "You're full of kittychlorians."

Then he giggled at his own joke for a good five minutes.

We're such dorks.

Spin Cycle

A few days before we went on vacation, sings went up around the building saying that the laundry room would be closed for "total renovation" from May 14 to May 21. We didn't have the best laundry room, but at every shareholders' meeting they tell us the building is strapped for cash, so I'm a little baffled by the choice to do a "total renovation" of something perfectly functional, and of course I worry about the prices going up, because even if they do, I'm far too lazy to go to the laundromat.

Anyway, not the point. The point is, it wasn't finished on the 21st. When we got back from Mexico, new signs said that due to "scheduling changes" (really? changes? you really thought it'd be done in a week?) it would be done on the 29th.

It was not.

And really, that's all okay. That's the nature of construction, right? They tore up the floor, they got all new machines, put in a new sink… it's not a small project and when I walked by to snoop the workers did not appear to be the swiftest or smartest. But why not be realistic about it? We have two laundromats within 2 blocks, it's not the end of the world, just say, "Hey, this is gonna take three weeks," and then we'll be psyched when it's done in two-and-a-half, right?

Today, this memo was in the elevator: "CONGRATULATIONS THE NEW LAUNDRY ROOM IS OPEN AND READY FOR YOU TO ENJOY."

Congratulations? Enjoy? Whee! I can't wait to enjoy doing my laundry! Even when they don't do anything specifically wrong, I just want to smack the people in our management office.

(The new laundry room is pretty nice though....)

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

So Long And Thanks For All The Fish

Us at sunset.


So that was a vacation. No wonder people seem to like them so much!

I'll be 32 years old in about 2 months, and until now I'd never taken a real vacation as an adult. We didn't take many when I was a kid, either, since my mom was spending all her disposable income to put me through private school from age 4 through 21 (that selfish bitch). The last trip I took with my mom, not counting some Thanksgivings with her Midwestern relatives, was Disneyworld when I was 12. But before that our family trips were mostly educational. It was all Boston (Freedom Trail), Washington DC (Smithsonian, monuments), and Mystic Seaport (um, fish, boats).

I got some fantastic opportunities in high school to take a few group trips (two through school, one through my YMCA camp – don't ask about the Jewish kid from Manhattan at the YMCA camp) to cool places I never would have been able to afford to go to on my own (or with my mom). Amazing, but not a vacation in the real sense. I've traveled for work, and to friends' weddings, but those don't count either, even when I hit a museum or two.

So when Boy and I decided it was high time we took what would be the first grown-up vacation for both of me, and our first as a couple (five-and-a-half years in!), we tossed out the long list of cities we'd like to see and friends we want to visit, and found ourselves a tropical paradise.

Actually, K and MAK found it for us. When MAK posted photos of their Mexican vacation on his blog in December, we decided to copy it wholesale. In the end, we wound up at a different resort in the same chain a few miles away, but it was the same basic idea.

There are certainly hipper, younger, and gayer resorts than Iberostar, but we weren't interested in partying or making friends. We were interested in thinking as little as possible, and the Paraiso Del Mar fit the bill beautifully. Food available basically 24 hours a day, alcohol available basically 24 hours a day (though a bit further from the beach after 5), no real need to schedule anything. We did a couple of trips outside of the resort (ack! schedules!), including swimming with dolphins, touring some Mayan ruins, and a tequila tasting, but mostly we lay around the beach, and when we got tired of that, we lay around the pool.

I checked my email once, at a cost of 30 pesos (about 3 dollars) for 15 minutes, and decided it wasn't worth doing again. I used my laptop only to journal and pull photos of my camera. Once off the plane, I didn't use my PSP. I used my iPod occasionally, but only for music; no video, no potentially stress-inducing political podcasts. I actually... read a book. We did turn on the TV in the room at bedtime most nights, since I like some background noise to drift off to. Just like at home, CSI and Law and Order are on pretty much all day long (in English, with subtitles).

My wonderful state of relaxation was pretty much shattered by our cab ride home from the airport, but I guess that's life in New York!

I took over 350 photos (things I don't miss: film cameras). Even whittled down, it's far too many to post, so if you're interested you can click here for the full photoset. Here are some of my most favorite favorites (click to see full size):

Walking through the resort:
walking through the resort

The pool:
...but it was pretty!

A rainbow around the sun. How cool is that?
So cool...

Dolphins!
Dolphins!

Ruins at Tulum:
Tulum


Although I never post photos of myself here, here are some self-portraits:
By the pool:
Self-portrait by the pool.

At the beach:
Self-portrait on the beach.

At the swim-up bar:
Self-portrait at the swim-up bar

On a raft:
Self-portrait on a raft.

With a monkey:
That's my head under that monkey!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Wait, Simon, tell us again - Is it a singing competition?

I've only voted on American Idol one or two times since it's been on the air, but I'm voting tonight. Blake is cute and charming, has teeth whiter than Seacrest's, and that beat-boxing thing is cool in a guy-from-Police-Academy way, but he can't can't actually, you know, SING.

And I know Jordin's really young and she doesn't have the greatest stage presence, but her voice fucking ROCKS. That Cristina Aguilera song? Come ON, America!

I need a vacation from getting ready for my vacation.

I got up at 7 this morning, did 2 weeks' worth of laundry, got my hair cut, took out all the trash and the recycling, cleaned the apartment, did the dishes, and figured out what I need to pack.

Getting ready to go on vacation is exhausting. How do people with jobs do it?

Monday, May 21, 2007

Also...

...my cat likes to sleep in ridiculous positions.

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Signs of the Times

As long as I'm blogging photos, here are some more low-res phone pics I've had lying around for a while:

Ice melting in February:
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A dry cleaner that apparently uses toxic chemicals:
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Also, they slay vampires.


I love the mix of spanish and english, and the neon behind it:
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Paint with all the colors of the wind

You guys! I got my first ever comment spam! It's like my blog has finally arrived! I'm not even going to erase it. I will cherish "Manifest Destiny dictates a white-man's prophecy" forever.

So how will I celebrate this milestone, as well as my general lack of exciting or fun blogging recently? With a post about my apartment, of course! Okay, I know that's not so fun or exciting. But I've certainly made you all skim domestic tales before, and I'm proud of this particular project. I've been meaning to blog more lately, really I have. I keep thinking of things to write, or even starting to write them, and then I lose my momentum. Which I guess means the blog is fizzling again, and that's okay. I like knowing it's here for when I decipher Morrissey.

We're going to Mexico for a week on Wednesday, and then a few days after we get back I'm off to Undisclosed Location Summer Theater again, so I don't know how much I'll be posting. Maybe I'll get some writing done on vacation, though I probably won't be able to post it until I get back.

Meanwhile, look at what I did...!

So when we moved into our apartment, everything was freshly painted a lovely bright white, which made painting colors very easy and meant we didn't have to do any maintenance on the walls we didn't want to paint over. Unfortunately, it turned out the bathroom hadn't been painted properly at all, and the walls have been peeling and cracking pretty steadily since we moved in. With a bunch of time off between gigs, I decided to finally do something about it.

Between the two of us, I'm definitely the more handy around the house. This is not saying much. But as Boy puts it, I get the idea to do a project, and then do some research to figure out how to do it. I have no innate home improvement skills, but I know my way around Google.

I figured I'd have to strip the whole room so I'd have a clean slate to paint over. But hey, it's a tiny bathroom, and half of it is tiled, so how hard could it be? I asked someone at Home Depot what I should use to strip the room, and he said that was a needless amount of work and I should just peel off the bad areas, spackle them, and then prime everything. Great! Even easier!

So I prepped the room, got my putty knife into position... and half the wall above the shower came crumbling down. It was sort of amazing, really. And gross. Apparently a lot of water had found its way behind the paint, and, well, let's just say things were growing and living back there. Nasty, but also it told me that the whole project was totally worth any amount of work. I'm one of those people who peels labels off of bottles, so I had fun dealing with the peeling paint.

Then I spackled, and waited for it to dry. Then I primed, and waited for it to dry. Then I painted, and waited for it to dry. Then I went to Home Depot to get more paint, 'cause duh dark colors need two coats. Then I painted, and waited for it to dry. Not a very good story, is it?

Pros of painting a bathroom: Small room, lots of tile and porcelain; Lots of things to stand on (bathtub, toilet) so you're not just trapped on the ladder; All the tile and porcelain is very forgiving if you drip. Cons of painting a bathroom (at least my bathroom): Not much ventilation; only one light source, so you're always casting a shadow on your work; always has to remain at least somewhat functional while you work; when you're done, you'll spend a lot of time in there without much to look at besides the walls, so you'd better do it right!

It was sort of an exhausting project. Because the room is so small, I thought it would be quick and easy, but there are a lot of corners and things to work around and I'd never painted a ceiling before. And lots of time literally waiting for paint to dry. I panicked a little about how dark it is, so I decided to replace the light too, which we'd talked about doing ever since moving in. I always thought it would be a big project involving wiring and stuff, but I realized (duh) I could make a big difference by just changing the cover on the bulb and leaving the fixture intact. 10 seconds, 7 dollars. And once everything was back in the room, it broke up the color and made it all work. We chose the same color we did two walls of the bedroom in, because there's already so much color in the apartment, and those two rooms seem to go together (and are next to each other). I'm still obsessing over spots I missed or didn't do perfectly, but I'm about to bring the last of the paint down to the storage room, so that should put an end to that.

Anyway, it's a boring story, but look at the photos!

Before:

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During:
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After:
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One without flash:
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One showing the bedroom (also without flash):
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Saturday, May 19, 2007

Leader of the Plaque

I've been going to the same dentist for as long as I've had teeth. I took a brief break from him when I had a dentist in my building who took my insurance, but then I moved and my union took away our dental coverage, and I never liked the new guy anyway so back I went.

My dentists' office is a time capsule of New York in the mid-70s. Right down to the 300-year-old hygienist and, unfortunately, the equipment. I mean, it's not really that unfortunate - it all works, and obviously the parts that go into my mouth are new and sterile, but I think if I were a new client I'd run away and never come back at my first visit. They don't take credit cards. There's no computer. Until recently, the answering machine used tapes. Two big ones. It's funny actually, when things break and need to be replaced, they look completely incongruous, like the new cordless phone and digital answering machine on the receptionist's desk.

Anyway, I feel fine about all this, seeing as how I've only ever had one cavity (and that happened during the period with the other dentist!) and my teeth are in generally good shape, clearly the old doctor (how old? I have no idea) has been doing something right with me for the last 30-ish years.

When I visited last week I felt strangely compelled to take some pictures with my phone.

View from the chair:
051607_13271

The thing hanging down is the tooth-polisher-thing, and I'm pretty sure that with another attachment it's also the drill. Is it always two-in-one like that? I think if it were being used to drill holes in my teeth I'd find it much less benign!


X-Ray:
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X-Rays:
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Tray:
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Does anyone know what the thing with the cotton is? It's always been there, but I don't remember anyone ever using it for anything.


051607_13421

Friday, May 18, 2007

How can you say I go about things the wrong way?

The Smiths' "How Soon Is Now" is one of my favorite songs ever, and I've heard it dozens of times, but I never actually thought it made any sense. This didn't bother me at all. I mean, it's arty 80s pop, it doesn't need to be coherent.

But today I was painting my bathroom (long story) and it came on the radio, and in a sudden flash I realized I'd had it wrong for all these years. It was like I was hearing it for the first time.

Of course "I am the sun and the air of nothing in particular" doesn't make any sense. Because it's "I am the SON and the HEIR."

It's very odd feeling this stupid and this pleased with myself simultaneously.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Lost in Transition

So y'know how tonight's Lost was a drawn-out, tedious waste of time that served only to set up the season finale? That's what two of the next three years are going to be like, people!

Also, is it me or is Jack getting kinda pudgy? I mean, he's still in way better shape than I am, but it's not my job to take my shirt off on national television.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

I don't want to be right

Email received this morning from twoenns:

From: twoenns
Subject: is it wrong...
Date: May 9, 2007 11:21:11 PM EDT
To: Adam875

…that at work today we laughed at the fact that the “Spirit of Helen Keller” Gala is featuring a silent auction?

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Seriously?

This post did NOT make me happy. I'm invested enough in Lost that I want to see how it all ends, and I've thought the last few episodes have been great, but three more YEARS of this shit? When I heard the producers wanted it to have a clear and definite end point, I figured one more season, two tops. How are they going to drag this out for another 48 episodes? That's over 35 hours of Jack being a douchebag. 35 hours of reading subtitles. 35 hours in which the plot won't move forward AT ALL. So. Tedious. I have better things to do with my time. Like, um, watch Battlestar Galactica.

I do like how my take on this news is the complete opposite of the EW writer's.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Morning Musings

I'm awake earlier than intended, thanks to my carbon monoxide alarm telling me its battery is dying (I guess I should be glad to know it's able to wake me up), so I'm flipping through the tv guide on the DVR, and I noticed this description for an episode of Teletubbies: "Spilled custard; cows and calves; toast; walking dance." Sort of poetic, no?

Then I flipped over to NY1 and caught this brilliant story. The Daily News is a rag, but I'm so happy someone thought this was newsworthy. This is the second day in a row I've found someone on the internet who thinks just like me.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Aren't the English supposed to know better?

I haven't been following Idol this season, but this morning on the news I heard a clip of Simon Cowell saying, "I think you have a very good tactic at the moment: Wear as least amount of clothes as possible."

Wear as least amount of clothes as possible???

Simon! Were you sneaking some of Paula's rum and Coke? Wear as little clothing as possible. Wear the least amount of clothing possible. Wear the least clothes possible, I suppose, though it's clunky.

Just because you're calling someone a talentless whore doesn't mean your grammar should suffer!

Monday, April 02, 2007

She finally understands irony!

Even though (like most people) I haven't exactly followed her career much, I've had a dark soft spot for Alanis Morissette since the first time I heard "You Oughta Know."

After seeing her version of "My Humps," I kinda want to build a shrine to her honor and worship at it every day.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Get Your Face Full of Goo!

Oh my fucking god you have to click here right now and watch this.

I know the 60s were weird and all, but, but...someone thought this was a good idea? Do you think anyone actually bought it? If so, did they have fun? I'm just... I don't know what to say... Watch for yourself.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

In the subway, dumb things are overheard by two separate, but equally important groups...

The other night on the subway home I spotted a family of four with Playbills from the Broadway show I worked on in the fall. So naturally I eavesdropped on their conversation.

"Hey," said one girl excitedly, pointing to an actor's bio, "that girl was on Law and Order!"

Add that to my list of ways to spot a tourist who has just seen her first Broadway show.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Fun With Playlists: Party Like It's 1999

I keep having ideas for blog posts and then not writing them. I really do want to get back to it, I swear. I'm starting to have something like free time again, so I'm optimistic. Is anyone still reading? Hello?

I've got some new music to write about (I'm completely obsessed with Mika, and have recently stumbled upon some really cool 80s covers), but every year around this time I pull out an old mixtape (metaphorically, of course; it's now a playlist) that I made in early spring of 1999. It's full of mostly up-tempo (though not necessarily upbeat) songs that are great for walking around the city, and it managed to embed itself so nicely in my consciousness that I find myself playing it every year when the weather really turns nice.

With all the talk about the death of the album, what I realize I'm really sad about is the death of the mixtape. Sure, we can still make playlists, but... I don't, really. I have a list of whatever my favorite things are right now but when I tire of a track I delete it. Even though I had a Discman in 1999, I made mixtapes for myself all the time, just out of necessity, to have a bunch of songs with me on the go. Don't get me wrong, I love all our smaller-than-a-cassette-with-a-bazillion-times-the-capacity digital players, but I do miss how those tapes would stick around, preserving a little slice of musical life. Enough so that when I ditched most of my old tapes a few years ago, I made iTunes playlists of some of the more memorable ones.

Listening to it yesterday as I enjoyed the perfect weather, I remembered each song and why it was there. Most of them didn't have any deep meaning, but I knew, for example, that the Romeo + Juliet and Scream soundtracks had barely left the top of my CD pile for two years. That I had recently picked up Prince's Hits 1 and 2, and was discovering what lay beyond Purple Rain. That I had tickets a few months later to the Culture Club reunion tour (which was fantastic, by the way). That the WB was entering what would turn out to be its career high point. That I had seen Cruel Intentions with Maren a few weeks earlier, and was surprised to find that the movie was actually good, and the soundtrack was sort of brilliant. Shuffling doesn't tell me those things.

While I was writing this I actually started to make a playlist in the spirit of the old one, but the whole way in which I listen to music has changed. I don't keep the same three albums in rotation for weeks or months on end anymore, and I almost never listen to the radio, so it's rare for music to have the same associations with a particular time or place that it used to. There are exceptions, of course, and the trade-off is I shuffle through my whole library, and enjoy my "Discovery Downloads" and podcasts and listen to a much wider variety of things. But I kinda miss those 110-minute tapes.

Anyway, here it is...

Every You Every Me – Placebo
from Cruel Intentions...this will be a trend.

Down By The River – David Rhodes
from Peter Gabriel's Plus from Us, a collection of tracks by artists who had backed or collaborated with him on Us. I'd spend ages looking for this rarity whenever I was in a used record store, and when I finally found it it was...hugely disappointing. I love love love this song though.

#1 Crush – Garbage
from Romeo + Juliet.

To The Moon and Back – Savage Garden

Walking On The Sun – Smashmouth
One of the few tracks on here that doesn't hold up for me at all. Seriously, what were we all thinking?

1999 - Prince
Duh.

Jimi Thing – Dave Matthews

I Don't Want to Wait – Paula Cole
Not that I need to defend how much I still love this song, but in I think 1994 I saw Peter Gabriel live and Paula Cole was his backup singer. That's her on the Secret World Live album. She's amazing. I stumbled on her first album one day during college, and bought it just because I loved her voice on the PG disc. It was dark, angry, and beautiful. Then the second album came out, and it was much cheerier and more commercial, but no less satisfying. And she was still a total unknown and I felt very smug about how I was into this singer/songwriter no one had ever heard of, and she was singing something like pop music and not lesbian neo-folk (not that there's anything wrong with that). And then Dawson's Creek happened. It's still a great song.

Birds Fly (Whisper to a Scream) – The Icicle Works
A cover of this 80s obscurity was on the Scream soundtrack. The original is better.

This & That – Michael Penn

Transylvanian Concubine – Rasputina
Druscilla's party music on Buffy. Also just cool.

Move Away – Culture Club

Ballad of Cleo & Joe – Cyndi Lauper

Time To Change – The Brady Bunch
The filler song, collateral damage in the death of the mixtape. Two minutes is too long to wait for the tape to auto-reverse, but too short for most songs. The Silver Platters to the rescue. This would have been the end of Side A.

Sour Times (Nobody Loves Me) – Portishead
Still the only Portishead track I own. Still love it.

To You I Bestow – Mundy
Another from R+J.

Jukebox – Ani DiFranco

Heroes – David Bowie

When You Were Mine – Cyndi Lauper
Played into my Prince kick and my Cyndi Lauper kick!

Don't Fear The Reaper – Gus
Scream again.

I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man – Prince

Secretly – Skunk Anansie
Cruel Intentions again.

Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money) – Pet Shop Boys

Talk Show Host – Mundy
R + J

Trip On Love – Abra Moore
Cruel Intentions - told you it'd be a theme.

I Want You – Savage Garden

Bittersweet Symphony – The Verve
Yup, Cruel Intentions. And the end.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

It must be bunnies...

Tonight I'm going to a Rocky-Horror-style screening of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer musical episode.

I spent hours this morning trying to pick out just the right ironic t-shirt.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

It's funny 'cause it's true

As Boy pointed out, this t-shirt walks a very fine line between ironic and obnoxiously accurate. But either way, I must own it.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Label Maker

I'm not sure who I love more right now: The prop department on Grey's Anatomy who made a fake bottle of Knob Creek and called it "Door River," or the director/editor who gave it a close up.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Oscar Stream of Consciousness

Everyone else live-blogs the Oscars, why not me? Might help me be less bored. No promises for you though.

Does Ellen's stylist think we don't know she's a lesbian and need to be reminded?

I already want to punch Abigail Breslin.

I was bored by her on American Idol, and I'm conflicted about Dreamgirls, but Jennifer Hudson looks GOOD (sans jacket).

Shouldn't Martin Scorsese at least pretend to be interested?

"Without blacks, Jews and gays, there'd be no Oscar." Yay Ellen.

Did Nicole Kidman not like being the most beautiful woman in the world? Is that why she cut off her nose?

"This is the Oscars?" Um, THESE are the Oscars.

Jack Black and Will Ferrell together... Wow, TWO actors I'll never understand the appeal of!

I want to punch Abigail Breslin less now. But if I punch Jaden Smith and he happens to knock her over when he falls, that would be okay.

Short films rely on the little guy and... Gwyneth Paltrow?

Bank of America, the bank that shows you the future. If this were Lost or a Stephen King book, all those people will go slowly mad. Think it shows any of them dying in a bank robbery?

Yep, I still hate Ellen's pimp suit and 1973 bar mitzvah shoes.

Ooh, muting the presenters for sound editing. That joke never gets old.

I'd be less bored (and presumably less snarky) if I had seen more of these movies. And if I hadn't hated the one Best Picture nominee I did see.

I hate the set. But not as much as Ellen's outfit.

If anything had to win for Little Miss Sunshine (and beat Eddie Murphy) I'm glad it's Alan Arkin, who is one of the nicest men I've ever met. And speaking of Little Miss Sunshine, I want to punch Abigail Breslin even less now, 'cause bringing a Curious George doll to the Oscars is cute enough to melt even my cynical heart.

I need to wake up... 'cause these best song nominees put me right to sleep!

I like Cameron Diaz's dress, but it looks very awkward. How does she walk around and sit down?

Dude, it's snowing! Like a lot. When did that happen?

Is Abigail Breslin computer-generated? That explains a lot.

I like how this show is about celebrities more than awards, and people who have no prayer of ever winning an Oscar get to present just because they're famous and good-looking. What? Ben Affleck HAS won an Oscar? I will never not think that's weird.

I have to love a montage that has this many clips from Bullets Over Broadway, Moulin Rouge and Sunset Boulevard.

I do not have to love a montage that goes on for this long.

Ooh, an Alcoholics Anonymous joke! That'll help me like Tom Hanks more. (Speaking of which, time for more wine.)

I love that they made Helen Mirren say the full title of Borat.

Cat has curled up on the couch next to Boy, which is impossibly cute and very distracting.

The iPhone commercial must have cost a fortune for the rights to all those clips.

Nice dress, Emily Blunt! Anne Hathaway not so much.

Yay Meryl Streep! (In spite of your jewelry.)

Where do you think they found four Helen Mirren lookalikes? Is there an agency for that?

Okay, Oscar-winning costume designers should dress better. Oh, she's French. Nevermind. I'm really surprised Dreamgirls didn't win that.

Yay, Ellen changed! MUCH better!

Is Pilobolus cheating when they use props?

Ernie Sabella, a monkey and an elephant. The hell?

Sorry, I dozed off a bit during that foreign film montage.

The Snakes on a Plane joke made all the Pilobolus we've had to endure worthwhile. And nice George Clooney / Lesbian joke, Ellen!

I remain conflicted about Dreamgirls, but considering I want to punch Abigail Breslin and I haven't seen any of the other nominees' movies, I guess I was rooting for Jennifer Hudson. And her genuine surprise was VERY endearing.

The Babel clip actually made me want to see it. People keep comparing it to Crash, and I wanted to punch Crash even more than Jaden Smith.

Is Jerry Seinfeld auditioning to host next year?

Hee, "Tipper."

I'm all for Ennio Morricone (or however you spell it) winning an award, but this is SO BORING.

I don't know why I feel compelled to watch the Oscars, really. I watch the Tonys because it's my industry, I've watched the Emmys for the last few years because I like Ellen, but I'm not really into award shows (clearly), and it's so rare that I've seen more than a couple of the nominated - OH MY GOD CELINE DION! WHY?? WHY?? WHY??

Even Morricone looks bored.

Is Celine Dion about to be arrested? What's with this lighting?

They didn't get a translator? Seriously, no one knew he didn't speak English?

The GM commercial with the robot makes me sad. Great puppet work, GM ad people!

Too bored to even blog.

Ugh, Little Miss Sunshine. Look, I'm quirky!! Bleah.

Dude, you just won an Oscar for writing and you said "funnest???????"

I actually feel kinda bad for Beyonce, having to share her one real moment (and song she co-wrote) with Hudson. Oh, okay, she's diva-ing out now.

Melissa Etheridge got a PowerPoint -- sorry, Keynote -- presentation and Dreamgirls gets a gospel choir. Favoritism, anyone?

Lesson to adaptors of Broadway musicals: If you write THREE new songs you will cancel yourself out and lose to a hot lesbian.

Is it wrong that I just went "Yay, Death Montage!"

Oh, Ellen, NO! One good outfit out of three? That's unfortunate.

I wish Helen Mirren looked more surprised. And I don't like her dress. But I'm glad she won, even though I was sort of rooting for Meryl Streep. Not like she needs another one, but I really liked Prada.

See, Forrest Whittaker, surprised and touched. Take a note, Helen Mirren. You're a great actress, you can at least fake it!

George Lucas looks like a bullfrog. Funny bit though!

Diane Keaton looks GREAT. Can you tell I've lost steam?

Ok, it's over and I'm sleepy. Yep, that's my punchline. Blame the Oscars for removing my will to live, let alone be funny.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Why do we always come here? I guess we'll never know...

Sorry to keep posting links in lieu of actually, you know, writing something, but this is awesome:
5 Freaky Muppet Videos (via Video Dog)

Be sure to check out the links, not just the embedded videos, or you miss gems like an apparently stoned Debbie Harry dueting with Kermit:


It's probably the worst rendition of "Rainbow Connection" ever, which makes it all the more spectacular.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Mr. Sulu, Warp Factor Whoa!

Who says it's bad to be gay in Hollywood? Coming out is the best thing to happen to George Takei's career since Star Trek.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Curiously Confusing

Apparently, I need to clarify a few things about chocolate-covered Altoids due to the slew of comments on yesterday's post. Yes, around here, two comments qualifies as a slew.

First of all, Tim, I am sad for you. I'll give you raisins and Altoids, but you don't like dark chocolate or cinnamon? Dessert must be very hard for you. And you'll never know the wonder of my world-famous Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies.

I, on the other hand, love dark chocolate and cinnamon Altoids (but not peppermint or spearmint ones - bleah). The 'toids are covered in the chocolate, which melts away, leaving the normal cinnamony goodness behind. So no, it's not bad for your breath - at least no worse than the sugar in Altoids always is.

Now I'm on a quest for the ginger ones....

It's hard out there for an entourage

I really really liked this article on Salon.com about all those people who get thanked at awards shows. I'm both one of those people, and as a freelancer in the arts, one of the people who sometimes needs those people (I'm the luckiest... nevermind). I still think an overlong acceptance speech is boring and a little bit tacky, just 'cause it's bad entertainment, but it's nice to be understood a little.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Curiously Bingeing

I bought a tin of the new dark-chocolate-covered cinnamon Altoids this afternoon, and I ate so many of them so quickly I actually feel fat. From Altoids. I think the secret ingredient might be crack.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

In Honor of Vajayjay Day

From the New York Times: What’s in a Name? Controversy.

I don't know, I think The Hoohaa Monologues has a nice ring to it.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Fries!

I hate that I find this as funny as I do.

Frak!

Faustus linked to me so now I have to come up with something clever and quick so new readers don't first meet me via the lengthy post about my career. Shit! Ummmmmm..... shit!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Behold the Power of Musical Theater!

Pop culture and musical theater junkie that I am, it's no surprise that I Netflixed High School Musical to see what all the fuss is about. What is surprising is how much I enjoyed it!

I'm always quick to shoot down people who criticize musical theater not because they don't like the style, but on the basis that it's unrealistic for people to burst into song. Well, it's also unrealistic for Superman to fly or Cylons to get pregnant or Denise Richards to be a rocket scientist or Tom Cruise to be a heterosexual, but we accept the fictional worlds in which those things happen, so why not one in which people sing? Using music to tell a story is as old as storytelling itself. That said, I find it hard to suspend my disbelief when people are singing about musicals being lame, or when the skinniest jocks in the world are telling their friend he's not butch enough because he likes to bake, while dancing around the cafeteria. But, really, one shouldn't look for realism in a Disney Channel TV-movie musical, and anyway who cares when the songs are this catchy?

I love that in the end (um, spoiler alert? really?) musical theater brings everyone in the high school together, across class, race, social and sexual lines. And not even the show, just the auditions! Okay, it's not like any of those lines really existed to begin with – this is clearly the wealthiest public school in America, where no one has sex, the jocks are smart, the nerds are pretty, the drama club president is the queen bee, and it's not weird at all for her to star as the romantic lead in a musical opposite her own gay brother (sorry, did I say gay?). The drama teacher can complain all she wants about sports being all anyone cares about in the school, but it's hard to take seriously when they do two original musicals per semester and the science club has a roof garden. It ain't Stand and Deliver. It's not even The Breakfast Club.

Boy observed, somewhat gleefully, that Disney is "making kids all over America just a little bit gayer." In all seriousness, I love that they might also be sparking a new generation's interest in an art form that people have claimed was dying for 20 years now (clearly, it's not), even if the songs aren't really showtunes, modern or otherwise. But I was surprised at how much I liked the music! I like plenty of smart music, but sometimes I just want a stupid infectious pop song, and I haven't found a lot of good ones lately. I expected HSM to be much more bland, but they're actually some of the best-crafted fluff since "I Want It That Way."

It does disturb me a little that I have the same taste in entertainment as my six-year-old niece, but at least now we'll have something to talk about the next time I see her.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Hey Apple

Honestly, I don't know why you don't consult me on these things! Look, here's what I want: I want an iPhone PDA. I want to have iCal on there, and Pocket Quicken, AvantGo, Vindigo, Scrabble, and all the other shit I have on my Palm, only pretty and shiny like OS X. And get rid of the iPod part, unless you can make it 80 gigs. Oh and I want it on Verizon. You can do that for me, right?

Thanks,
Adam

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Pictures came and broke your heart

You guys, I just watched FOUR HOURS of VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of the 80s. Four. Hours.

I have this weird urge to put on a skirt made of rags, find an abusive pimp and dance badly until he backs down.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Free Money?

Well this is fascinating!