Archive for October, 2010

Beautiful Web Design

Friday, October 29th, 2010

Yesterday I was reorganizing my Firefox bookmarks (I know). What I liked best, other than the satisfaction of restoring order to (relative) chaos, was clicking my way through a folder called Design. It is, predictably enough, where I toss the urls of sites whose design I admire—and will perhaps some day emulate.

Want to see some? Here:

Cheree Berry

Zeptonn Lab


Justine Ashbee

David Hughes

Carolina Chocolate Drops


Mr. Toast

Alice Supply

Yeah, I’m into color. And cuteness. And cartoons.

ETA: I can’t believe I left out this one.

For Your Immediate Queueing

Saturday, October 23rd, 2010


It’s a beautiful movie, sad and hilarious.

I’m offering a 99% guarantee that you’ll finish with happy tears.

Assuming a 1% readership of robots.

Or people with shriveled, meany-beany hearts.

It’s Kind of a Funny Story

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

Is a good movie. Why aren’t people seeing it?

It’s a little too easy—a light-ish comedy about depression and other emotional illness—but it’s also smart, funny, compassionate, and endearing. Plus, any movie that establishes a causal relationship between the pressure to achieve and depression is a winner in my book. I give it a Well Worth Seeing.

During our screening in Santa Cruz, the fire alarm went off about half-way through. We strolled outside for some air and were snugly back in out seats within 10 minutes. Nice leg break. They should do that more often—absenting any actual fires, naturally.

In other news, we continue to hate our toaster oven. I attempted online research with an eye toward buying another but was beaten into near-hopelessness. All I want is a new model of the old one—a 4-slice jobbie that toasts quickly and well, plus has oven settings.

What I learned online is that so does everybody else. And it doesn’t exist. Apparently in the years since I last bought a toaster oven, the manufacturers have entered a feature war, resulting in the introduction of options nobody needs and the elimination of common-sense functionality.

Could that be . . . a metaphor for something? Maybe it’s just a metaphor for technology.

It is kind of wonderful how almost everyone in the world now seems to hate her toaster oven. Solidarity forever!

Girl Meets Boy

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

As most of you know, John is a dyed-in-the-wool feminist, and I discovered feminism in high school. So we’ve put in our fair share of hours subverting gender roles, or at least not worrying about them, and our relationship is pretty free of gender assumptions.

Sometimes, though, the stereotypes invite themselves to dinner. As in last night, when we were lying in bed.

J: I just saw the coolest thing on the Internet.

M: What?

J: It’s a video of Improv Everywhere doing a Star Wars thing on the subway.

M: Yeah? What’d they do?

J: Well, it starts with Princess Leia. She enters a car, and she’s all decked out in the white robes and crazy hair. And she’s reading Gallactic Rebellion for Dummies.

M: That’s cute.

J: Yeah, there’s a guy next to her who clearly thinks it’s funny. And then at the next stop, a bunch of Storm Troopers get on.

M: Whoah, Storm Troopers?

J: Yeah. And they say, “We’ve got one!” Like, they found her, and now they have to take her to Darth Vader.

M: Right.

J: So then at the next stop, the doors open, and there’s Darth Vader.

M: Whoah.

J: I know. It’s so good. And then they play out the scene, just like from the movie.

M: What happens?

J: They take her prisoner.

M: Wait—they don’t kill her?

J: No.

M: How do they not kill her? It’s Darth Vader and a bunch of Storm Troopers! She’s totally defenseless!

J: [In a hushed, reverential tone.] Sweetie, the Force.

Toaster (Oven) Defeat

Saturday, October 9th, 2010

This morning at breakfast:

J: Do you want a piece of toast?

M: I don’t think so, thanks.

J: I only needed one piece. But I couldn’t stand to turn on our ginormous toaster for just a single piece of bread, so I made two.

M: I know, I hate our toaster.

J: Yeah.

M: I take full responsibility for having chosen it.

J: [Silence.]

M: Well, I take 90% responsibility. You were there. You said it was okay.

J: They don’t make any small toasters.

M: They do! They have them on the Internet.

J: They’re ugly.

M: Yeah, but I don’t think I care anymore. I just want to be able to melt cheese in a reasonable amount of time. Without having to run a generator. Or listen to that godforsaken ticking!


J: What if I spray-painted the plastic parts of our old toaster in a pretty shade of pink?

M: It’s not the col—WHAT?

J: [Giggling.]

M: [Hysterics.] We still have—?

J: [Hysterics.]

M: [Barely getting the words out.] I told you to put that toaster on the curb!

J: [Doubled over.] There’s nothing wrong with it!

M: [Tears arcing from face.] It’s 15 years old and disgusting, and it doesn’t even work!

J: [Grasping stomach.] All you have to do is hold the door closed when you turn it on!

M: [Howling.] Sometimes! And sometimes that doesn’t work, either! And the creaky hinges! I hate the creaky hinges!

J: [Silent wheezing.]

M: [Silent wheezing.]

[Gradual return to calm.]

M: It’s on the side of the house, isn’t it?

J: [Nodding.]

M: Yet again, I have been thwarted by the silent, guileless subversion of my husband.

J: Welcome to marriage, Sweetie. With me.

M: Yeah, I don’t need to be welcomed. I’ve been here a long time.

In Which John and I Discuss the Bible

Sunday, October 3rd, 2010

Yesterday at breakfast, John was lamenting the sorry state of his little soygurt tubs: i.e., can’t recycle them, can’t pawn them off on the Depot for Creative Reuse, can’t stand to see them go to landfill. The following conversation ensued:

M: It’s hard to be perfect. We live in a post-lapsarian world.

J: Yeah? Huh. When did the lapse happen?

M: When Eve ate the apple.

J: Wow. That was a long time ago.


J: And in only the first generation! You’d think we’d have gotten a little more of a grace period. Eve and Adam were the first people!

M: I have news for you.

J: Yeah?

M: Eve and Adam were not the first people.

J: Right.

M: That’s a myth.

J: Right.

[We resume eating.]

[Five minutes later.]

M: Can I ask you, though? What the fuck is up with that story, the Garden of Eden? What are we supposed to get from that? Ignorance is bliss?

J: Well, I think it might be a little deeper than that.

M: You eat from the Tree of Knowledge, and then everything sucks?

J: Isn’t it the Tree of Good and Evil?

M: I think it’s the Tree of Knowledge.

J: Maybe it’s the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

M: That sounds right.

J: So, it’s about a mindset. It’s like, the animals are one way; they live outside morality. But when you view the world in terms of good and bad, it’s a different state of being.

M: Huh. Well, that’s true, certainly. That’s actually kind of poignantly, Buddhist-ly true. But what about the serpent? The serpent’s an animal.

J: Yeah, not really. It’s standing in for a bunch of things. It’s not actually an animal.

M: You know, I think you’ve just provided me with the most palatable reading of Genesis 3 that I’ve ever heard.

J: Yeah?

M: Yeah.

J: I’d like to read the Bible, actually, some day.

M: It’s pretty good.

J: Yeah?

M: They’ve got some good stories in there.