Saturday, March 31, 2007
Thursday, March 29, 2007
The Bad Ass who will scratch your face off is a real princess when it comes to his vittles.
I was complaing to Julie about it today and she goes, "Well, it could be a good thing. If you were feeding him Iams, he could be dead."
She said it so bright and cheery it cracked me up.
My dad, meanwhile, is convinced that one of his hunting dogs, Moochy, was killed by the tainted dog food. Poor Moochy.
Sunday, March 25, 2007
It's always an entertaining and relaxing trip to my parents' house. When I got there my mom had beans and cornbread waiting on me (Mmm, I love beans and cornbread) and my dad had the posters all framed I'd asked to him to frame.
While I was there I read in the Chronicle-Tribune that a subdivision (Vinyl Village) is going up a block away from my parents' house, which is deeply disturbing to me. They're planning 227 plots with houses ranging from $90,000 to $180,000. I don't know who they think can afford that in Marion since all the factories shut down, but I'm sure they have it all figured out.
"This is an outrage!" I announced as I read the paper. "It's going to ruin our working class neighborhood!"
"I thought it was a good thing," my mom said. "Maybe our property value will go up."
"Next thing you know they're going to declare our house 'blighted' so they can build a Meijer here," I said.
"Good," my dad said. "We'll sell it. I've been wanting a place where I can have a pool table."
So much for my outrage.
And now, a photo tour of the weekend:
My mom at Aunt Sue's Tea Room. It's our favorite pre-shopping spot. I bought two pairs of shoes during our adventure. Perhaps those dreams will end now.
We rode bikes around the neighborhood on Sunday. I love these bikes. They have big seats so your butt doesn't hurt as bad when you're done riding. And I made out with a tire guage too. Pretty exciting.
My dad in what he calls "The Office." Any wrench, tool, saw, drill press and color of paint you could possibly need is right here. And it's decorated with pictures I colored when I was four. So it's also fancy.
Ahh. Now isn't this nice? My dad finally got around to fixing his truck that got totalled. He pulled the front end out by tying a chain around a tree and the front of the truck. Then he put her in reverse and voila. And he added this sweet wood bumper. He's very proud.
Kid you not, while I was there some man came to the front door to ask my dad if he wants to sell it.
"Why would anyone want to buy that truck," I asked after he left.
"Who wouldn't want to buy it!" my dad said.
"What are you going to do with it," I wanted to know.
"I'm gonna put a headlight in it and haul gravel."
"That bumper is pretty awesome," I said, taking a photo of it.
"I'm tellin' ya awesome."
"Do you haul that much gravel," I asked.
"Sometimes," he said. "It has a radiator leak. I figure if it breaks down I'll just have your uncle Don come get me. I live on the edge."
Once a summer when I was a kid we'd go to the gravel pit and get rocks to spread over the driveway. When one load was spread we'd go get another. We did this about four times in one day. I used to love going to the gravel pit.
The windshield wiper fluid pointer thingy is still turned the wrong way from the crash. So when you hit the fluid button, it squirts it straight up into the air. I laughed so hard I nearly peed my pants at Lowe's when my dad showed me this. You can sort of see the wiper fluid shooting up in this photo.
The squirting truck from the front.
I came home to this. Forget the trash. Poor Cassius had gotten a plastic bag stuck around him. It was caught over his head and under his front leg.
My dad framed these posters I got from Rob's Pop Rocked show for me. I told him they wanted $120 to frame them at Frame and Save and he said, "So much for the 'save' part."
He's astounded it costs so much. He likes to hear me say $120 so he can say, "Really? REALLY? For what?"
"I imagine it's because the frame has to be custom made and the glass has to be custom cut," I tell him.
"It only costs $2 to get a piece of glass cut," he tells me. Then he says, "Really? $120 bucks?"
If you need anything framed, let me know. My dad does it for cheap. And he's obsessively particular about his woodworking, so you know it will look good.
My favorite place to eat in Marion, Rosie's Little Italy. Or as I prefer to call it, Rosie's Real Italian Shithole. It's two blocks from my parents' house, but we usually drive anyway. (The Tall Drink of Water and I made up a jingle for Rosie's a while back. Maybe I'll make a video of us singing it the next time we eat there.)
Thursday, March 22, 2007
This photo is from a somewhat awkward office party we had today for an outgoing intern.
When she came back into the office (she probably went to the bathroom or something) we were supposed to yell, Surprise! But instead we all just kept sitting there. Someone finally told her this was her "party." Then there was a smattering of "surprise" said throughout the room.
The party featured County Time Lemonade, Hawaiian Punch (delicious) and cookies. For the first ten minutes or so we all just stood around in a circle staring at each other. It was pretty awesome. It makes me laugh just thinking about it.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
I dreamed of a single pair of bright indigo winter boots, with a few inches of matching indigo fur at the top. They were tall and had seams sewn into the shiny boot material, creating little blocks all around the upper.
"These are the boots I searched for all winter," I thought.
Perhaps my recurring shoe dreams are about more than my desire for awesome footwear.
I Googled dream symbolism and got a few returns, including "shoes represent your approach to life." This must mean my approach to life includes colorful flats, heels and boots. Maybe I'm practical.
Or this, "To see new shoes in your dream suggests that you are overconfident in your success. Alternatively you may be on a life path that is unfamiliar to you."
It's certainly not the former because I'm hardly successful (read: widely published, respected and rollin' in it) nor overconfident about my minimal success (I got a job and healh insurance), but it could be the latter. My life path has always been a mystery to me, even as I'm in the midst of it.
Other interpretations are that shoes are symbols for direction in life, of being grounded, positive changes and, thank you Freud, sex.
Saturday, March 17, 2007
Instead of green beer and drunken revelry, I went to the ballet tonight.
The Tall Drink of Water won tickets to Bolero and More, so after an appetizing (but slow) dinner at Fusion Martini Bar in Hebron (I was there for a story), we headed to the ballet.
I appreciate the skill and athleticsim of ballet dancers, but I've never been much of a ballet fan. I saw A Midsummer Night's Dream a few years ago and enjoyed it, but the experience was somewhat esoteric. Besides, I don't need ballet dancers to act, I just want to watch them dance.
But hey, we had free tickets and I'd read that Bolero is more of a contemporary ballet than a traditional one, so I thought I might like it more.
Well, I loved it. Absolutely loved it. There was some of the traditional "acting:" The male lead would rush up to the female and touch her arm, she'd act bashful and flit away. That kind of stuff. But mostly they just danced, and it was exquisite.
The women were wearing long-ish halter dresses, exposing their chests, and I could see their pectoral muscles stretching across their sternums. They were all so dazzling and lithe. I envied them, wondering what I've done with my life. I always have that moment when I watch gifted young athletes.
I may have appreciated the men even more. The sheer power behind their leaps and mid-air kicks was incredible. And their butts, Hel-lo. Like Marine haircuts - high and tight.
There were many mischevious and unexpected moments of playfullness during Bolero, but the biggest cheers rewarded the infinite turns and pirouttes the dancers did. At times they were more figure skater than ballet dancer.
My favorite part, though, was the "More" from the title.
I didn't know what it meant but after Bolero ended, about 10 minutes later the curtain lifted a final time and the stage had been stripped bare. The drapes were up, the lighting exposed and company and young dancers were everywhere, clinging to ballet barres and sitting on the stage. For the next 15 minutes or so, all they did was show off. And it was awesome.
I've been playing around with FlickR all afternoon, uploading photos, etc. I ditched FlickR for Shutterfly (cheaper and less cumbersome, I decided) over a year ago, but I'm giving FlickR another shot. I have found that downloads are much faster on FlickR than Shutterfly, but there remain a few annoyances:
1. No (free) direct export from iPhoto. Currently I'm using FlickR UploadR.
2. Rotating can be a hassle. The automatic rotate doesn't always work.
What I'm digging:
1. It turns out, I was wrong before. (Big shocker, there.) But FlickR isn't anymore expensive than Shutterfly.
2. It's made me excited to share photos again, which I got out of the habit of because Shutterfly took so long.
3. I have a new sharing site, FlickR.com/photos/GinasBlog.com . I also have a Shutterfly site, but I fell out of love with it a long time ago.
What is kind of scary:
1. The inordinate amount of time I can blow uploading photos, tagging them and writing cutlines. Really, now. All Saturday afternoon?
BTW - The above photo of my dad I took at the art museum when they were visiting last month.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
"How long have you been a blood lady," I asked as she snapped a rubber band around my upper arm.
She said she'd been a phlebologist for nine years, but only two years at this doctor's office. You must like it then, I said.
"Yeah, I like it. It's not the worst job I've ever had."
"What was the worst job you've ever had," I asked.
"UDF," she said without hesitation. "I worked there when I was 19, at a UDF in Loveland, where I grew up, and I hated it. I didn't even quit. I just walked out one day and said, 'BYE!'"
She said "bye" with such conviction and loathing that I laughed. "That bad, huh?"
"Oh, I thought it would be great. 'Everybody loves ice-cream! UDF will be fun! Ice-cream!' But no. I'm not very big. I'm about 5'2" and that ice-cream is hard. And it's hard to get it out of there. I'd be leaning into the case, my legs dangling in the air, pushing and pulling."
She leaned onto the desk/chair combo I was sitting at and kicked one leg up behind her to illustrate.
"I hated it," she went on. "Then a little kid would throw his ice-cream on the floor and the parents would just laugh and be like, 'Oh! Hahaha! Can I get another one?' Or they'd complain their shake was too runny."
She wound up and pretended to throw a runny shake.
As Sandy went back to my arm and pulled the needle out, I laughed and told her the frozen dessert business sounded brutal. "I'll start being even nicer to UDF employees," I said.
"They make you think it will be fun. At the training, at UDF U, that's what they call it, UDF University, you practice making UDF size dips and shakes and everything seems fun. Ha! The joke was on me."
So the next time you're enjoying a UDF Frosty Malt, think of Sandy. Because somewhere between that sweet shake and the clerk who made it is something so awful Sandy chose to handle biohazzard instead.
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
One was a pair of red peep toe flats, another was a copper colored platform heel.
It was a good dream.
Monday, March 12, 2007
Here's a taste of those I wrote about with a link to the Q&A I did:
Radio Free Neport: Sociologist, musician and blogging veteran. Dave blogs about stuff that matters, like the impact of race and class, socioeconomics and bands that never made it but should have. Read the Q&A here.
Rockin' Hejabi: Nur Jemal, mother of three, musician, Florence resident and Muslim. She writes about what life is like behind the scarf. Read the Q&A here.
The Last 10 Days: I've already posted about how much I love Chris's blog and Web site. He took a self-portrait for the story, and of course I love it, too. Read the Q&A here.
The Nati: No one loves Cincinnati more than Joe Hansbauer. And somehow he finds out about these great things before anyone else. Read the Q&A here.
What I Wore Today: I love this blog and the accompanying FlickR page. Kasmira, who spent 4.5 years in the Marines, takes a photo of what she's wearing each day and posts the picture. She never told anyone about the blog because she didn't want people to think she's shallow or silly, but I think if I had to wear camouflage for four years, I'd start this blog too. Read the Q&A here.
The Naked Vine: Looking for a great $10 bottle of wine, then Mike is your man. Read the Q&A here.
BONUS: Ronson's head makes a special guest apperance on the cover. Scroll and see. (This offer expires Wednesday.)
Saturday, March 10, 2007
Went to see Zodiac Friday night. Eh.
All of the reviewers I trust loved it, so I was expecting great things. It wasn't that great.
For one, it's an hour too long. Coming in at over 2.5 hours, the last hour-and-half of the movie is Jake Gyllenhaal running around being annnoying. It's the same scene 40 different ways. Jake digs around the library, begs cops for information, pisses off his wife. Then Jake digs around in some police files, begs interviewees for information, pisses off the cops. This ad nauseum.
I've seen Jake in three different movies (Zodiac, The Good Girl and Brokeback Mountain) and he's annoying in every one. I can't decide if he's just playing annoying characters or if he is in fact annoying. It's starting to seem like the latter.
I imagine casting agents realizing they need someone to play an irritating, neurotic weenie and saying, "Call Gyllenhaal, see if he's available!"
But I digress. Zodiac is like two different movies, the first being pretty interesting, with longer, character developing scenes and great period-piece shots of the 1970s. My favorites (of course) were those of the San Fransico Chronicle's newsroom pre-computers and cubicles. You can almost smell the smoke and the ink.
The second half, though, is an editing nightmare of short, clipped scenes, none of which lead to anything or that you can really sink in to.
Besides that, I wanted to walk out after the second killing in Zodiac. I thought after the first the worst was over. It wasn't. The second killing scene was horribly gruelling and painful to watch and I hate watching things that are gruelling and painful. My world is plenty scary, I don't need it in the movies.
Since the Zodiac killer was never found, the movie is about how he briefly terrorized the San Francisco valley and the men who became obsessed with catching him. It's also a movie about how their obsession destroyed them.
If you believe the movie, the hunt for the Zodiac killer played a role in destroying the marriage of the San Francisco Chronicle's former cartoonist, Robert Graysmith (Jake Gyllenhaal), who becomes obsessed with the case and eventually pens two books about it. (The movie is based on these books and is really Graysmith's story more so than Zodiac's. I suspect the title "Graysmith" wouldn't sell many movie tickets, though.)
The Zodiac killings (of which there are five that can be definitively linked to Zodiac) also apparently destroyed crime reporter Paul Avery, sending him to the bottle for comfort. Though really, he seemed pretty fond of the bottle even before Zodiac came along.
Which brings me to a few good things about movie. Robert Downey Jr. (who plays ace reporter Paul Avery) is as weird and entertaining as he always is. Sporting a wickedly awesome goatee, Downey delivers the best lines and is perfect as the schmoozing, boozing reporter.
And Mark Ruffalo, how have you never caught my eye before? Meow!
He's awesome as police inspector David Toschi, and I loved every close-up of his mop of curly black hair, strong jaw line and full sideburns. (Call me.)
On the flip side of this, I was forced to endure Chloe Sevigny's sour face. (Chloe, why the long face?) There are few actresses I can't stand to look at, but she and Scarlett Johansson are two of them. (Though I do appreciate Scarlett in the new Justin Timberlake video.)
But the best part of the movie was a brief scene with Gyllenhaal and an old man who sells coffee and doughnuts in the lobby of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Gyllenhaal walks over to the old-timer and asks, How is the coffee today? The old man says nothing but points to a sign behind him that reads, "Hot Coffee. Delicious As Hell."
Reading the paper this afternoon, the Tall Drink of Water told me that in addition to the Red's bobblehead days he's already told me about, there will also be a Marty and Thom dual bottlehead.
"A duel? How will that work," I asked. "Like, people will come in, get either a Thom or Marty and then fight other people for the one they really want?"
"Yeah. Only the bobbleheads fight," he said.
Pause... I sit thinking about how this would work, imagining me holding up my bobblehead and pretending to fight another bobblehead owner, our bobbleheads face to face in faux combat. In this fight I am on the main level, near the consession stand.
"No, a dual bobblehead," TDW says, letting me off the hook. "Like the Marty and Joe one I have."
Thursday, March 08, 2007
Yesterday I had to check my Gmail account about 30 times to see if I was one of the chosen few lucky enough to try to get Opening Day tickets this morning.
I wasn't, but the Tall Drink of Water was. It was a very big deal.
He came over to my house last night with his overnight bag, burritos, a laptop and an assortment of talismans. Because he's in Columbus this morning for work, he knew I'd have to log on and try to get the tickets. He was very worried I'd fail in some way. He even considered calling his brother in Florida and having him do it.
"I'll set everything up on your computer before I leave, lay it next to you in your bed with my credit card so that all you have to do is roll over. Then I'll call you just a few minutes before 9 and wake you up and I'll sit on the phone with you."
He told me this last night about five times.
Bleary-eyed and tired, I watched him sit my computer on the bed this morning - open and with his credit card on it. "It's all ready," he said. "All you have to do is click the link. I'll call you just before 9."
There was a lot of pressure. Knowing he'd be so disapointed if he didn't get them, I vowed to click harder and move my curser faster than anyone in the hopes of beating them to the punch. I imagined thousands of Cincinnatian's doing the same thing at exactly the same time, all of us with our game faces on. Some probably even wore lucky shirts and hats.
But then I was really tired when he called and the cat was purring next to me, making it nearly impossible to feel very competitive. So I clicked the link, logged in and waited to see if I got in.
"Please choose your tickets," the screen said. I sprang to life.
I had 1 minute and 33 seconds to fill out the form, so I hung up on TDW so I could concentrate. Then I realized I didn't know his address. I called him back. No answer. Damn. I filled out other stuff and called him again. Got it. I opened my eyes wide to shake off the sleep and concentrate on his credit card number. Got it.
I clicked Continue.
"Sorry. But you have incorrectly typed in your phone number. Please use 9 digits with no spaces."
Ack! I typed it again.
"Sorry. But you have incorrectly typed in your phone number. Please use 9 digits with no spaces."
What!? @!%! I just did that!
I did it again, this time leaving checked what the screen checked automatically. No time to refuse email announcments or text messages!
"Would you like to print your tickets now (recommended) or do you want them shipped to you?" The screen asked.
I thought I was being clever. I thought if I printed them now there was no way they could take them back from me. I'd have proof that I got them. So I paid (well, technically, TDW paid) an extra $2 to print them immediately.
"Are you serious," he asked when I called back to tell him the good news. "Now I can't save the ticket stub. I always save the ticket stubs."
"Oh... Well, you can save these. They'll just be paper ones," I said hopefully.
"It's not the same," he told me.
"Oh yeah? Well, in addition to your paper tickets, you'll also be getting text messages from the Reds."
Then I smiled a little.
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Oddly, one of them is a realtor in Northern Kentucky. I know this because we used to be listed side-by-side in the phone book and I'd occasionally get calls from people looking for her.
Statistically, Gina is the 397th most popular name in the U.S., and there are 41,996 people in the U.S. with the last name of Daugherty.
But as for both, there are 21 of us.
When I was little I wanted my name to be Cindy. My brother's girlfriend was named Cindy and I used to whine to my mom, "Why didn't you name me Cindy?"
I think I liked the s-sound because I also always rooted for Cincinnati teams on TV, whether Cincinnati was playing or not, and I thought when I grew up I'd be Stevie Nicks. (Though that could have been because of her awesome clothes.)
How many of you are there? Find out here.
Sunday, March 04, 2007
Saturday, March 03, 2007
My old friend Yvette had twins last week. She is now the very proud mama of four children (three of them girls) all under the age of two and a half. And I've never seen her happier. Welcome to the world Alysse and Trace.
I even got to hold them.
Here's mom with Alivia.
New best friends, me and Alena.
Friday, March 02, 2007
Over the last few weeks I've spent hours reading Chris Glass's blog and Web site.
It's embarassing how many pages I've clicked through. It feels very stalker-esque and unseemly. I even walked around my office telling my coworkers to read it and then quiz me. Like I said, pretty embarrassing. But it's such great stuff. I started looking at the photos first but it was his lyrical posts about everyday life that drew me in. It's really kind of magical when someone can turn an ordinary day, everyday, into something thoughtful and enjoyable.
I started reading his blog a few weeks ago after I began working on a cover story about local bloggers. I was reading Dave Purcell's Radio Free Newport when I found a link to Chris's site.
Working on the story has been such a pleasure. It's reminded me why reporting is so great and rewarding. You get to meet and talk to people you might actually want to meet and talk to.
I spent two hours at Mammoth Coffee chatting with Dave. We didn't even notice the place closed around us. Finally, the owner had to tell us they had cleaned up, baked their goods for the next day and were ready to head home. Chatting with Dave was more like catching up with an old friend than an interview.
My last interview for the story was with Chris. When I left the office I jokingly said (even though it's totally true) that my ambition was to end up in the background of one of his photos. So when he asked to snap my picture just as we were leaving I thought, "Sweet. I'm totally gonna end up on his FlickR. I'm famous."
Well, I'm not in the background as I'd imagined, but even better than FlickR, I make an appearence on the blog I love so much.