Thursday, May 31, 2007

Vantage From Steven's Chair

I've been loyal to Steven for two years now.

I never let anyone else cut or color my hair - unless I do it myself - and the times I have strayed have gone horribly awry. Serves me right. Steven, with his dark blonde hair that doesn't stop until the small of his back, is perfect. When he's blow drying my wet locks to reveal the full genius of his color and cut abilities, the other women in the salon compliment me.

"Your hair cut is so cute." And, "I love the color," they say.

I smile proudly at Steven, who barely notices their compliments on his work directed at me. I have nothing to do with what he does. He tells me I look better with cool rather than warm blonde hair, I believe him. He tells me I need layers, I let him cut layers. He told me I should "let it go," and I did. Maybe too much. The first thing he said to me tonight was, "Look at your long hair, you hippie!" I hadn't seen him since February.

When we first met my hair was short. Now it's so long I can put it into a ponytail. His hair has remained the same, though I think his beard is graying more.

Tonight he told me he hasn't gone anywhere on a vacation in seven years. I asked him where he wants to go.

"I've been looking for a nudist colony," he said. "But the one I looked at kept saying how family friendly it is."

"Hmm. Naked families don't sound like much fun," I told him. "What type of nudist colony are you looking for?"

"The kind with young, athletic gay men," he said.

We agreed that sounded like a pretty fun nudist colony.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Season So Far

The Reds might be last in the league, but I'm first in helmet sundaes.

I'm 6 of 7 in chocolately, caramelly, sprinkley goodness this season. But starting my next game, off I'm off helmet sundaes and on Lemon Chills. They're less filling and I need to save room for nachos. Because Barry Bonds might be inching closer to the homerun record, but I'm closing in on my career jalepenos eaten in one season. I don't want to blow it now.

Here are a few photo highlights from some nice seats the Tall Drink of Water and I had a few games back.

Now I realize Mr. Redlegs is this season's show stopper. He's back from mascot banishment or whatever. But let me tell ya, he's scary! He has about a million teeth. A million perfectly straight, perfectly white capped teeth. This photo doesn't fully illustrate his set of giant, chiclets-like choppers, but trust me.

In other mascot news, did you know that Gapper makes a squeaking noise? Yep, he sure does. He was riding around with Mr. Redlegs here on a tractor and some little kid came up and wanted to chat with him. Gapper chatted by making a bunch of squeaking noises.

Also, this Bat Boy was giving this kid the stink eye. And you can see all of the scary teeth on the Mr. Redlegs patch on his jersey.

Saturday, May 26, 2007


Why Penguins Attack

Today I went to Newport Aquarium to film CiN At The Movies, a little Web ditty I film and edit for that includes Tabari reviewing a movie and me adding a movie trailer in the middle and a blooper of Tabari at the end. (I suspect Tabari doesn't like the latter, but it's pretty hilarious for me.)

We filmed at the Aquarium because Tabari was reviewing Surf's Up, yet another penguin movie.

So we're filming with these three tropical penguins, which are cute as hell, in a new exhibit that let's anyone willing to pay $15 the chance to pet and hang out with the penguins for 20 minutes or so. (I'd totally pay $15 to do that.) The penguins were raised by humans and are hand fed lobster every day, so they're very people friendly and kind of waddle around to their keepers and guests, kind of like a kitten or a puppy.

What was particuarly adorable is that the keepers use cat toys to entertain them. Just sticks with colorful things at the end, and the penguins waddle over and nose them and get excited when they see them. They're also fans of red lights from laser beams, which they chased all around.

Well, one of the penguins waddled over and attacked me as I was packing up the camera. Ok, not really attacked me, but came over and poked me on the side of the leg. I thought it was pretty awesome. (It must totally love me, I thought. It wants my attention. Probably because I petted it so nice like.)

After it happened, one of the keepers distracted the penguin and gave it a talking to as you would a baby. Like, "Hey Paula, We do not attack people, do we? We love red lights and lobster and cat toys. Yes we do!"

Turns out, much like the penguins enjoy chasing around the light beams, they also chase around any spots or discolorations on things. So that little tattoo of a sun I have on the side of my ankle was ripe for a poke from a penguin.

I'm totally glad I got it now.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

We're Going Places (We're Optimistic)

My new Cincinnati Transit Map (For Optimists) t-shirt was a huge hit this week. Its nod to Cincinnati's beloved neighborhoods with a wink to our lack of mass transit is brilliant. And one of my favorite bloggers, Chris Glass, designed it.

If you live in Cincinnati, you can get it in O'Bryonville at Mica, or you can get it online at Wire& (Mine is a women's large, if that helps you pick a size.)

What is particularly fun about wearing the shirt is that everyone wants to know what "line" they live on. Ooh! Where's Oakley/Covington/West Chester? What line am I on?

I sometimes couldn't tell if people actually thought there might be a secret transit system that sped past their house or if they were just really excited about the shirt. Maybe they thought it was promotional and that there soon would be a line. Either way, it was entertaining. (If you can endure people staring at your chest while looking for their neighborhood.)

I live on the Red and White Striped line right now, but by the end of next month I'll be living on the Red line. Everyone knows the Red line is superfast and waaay more scenic. ;)

Sunday, May 20, 2007

One, Two, Three Strikes You're Out

First Thom said Johnny Cash isn't Rock n' Roll. To which Marty responded, "He's in the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame. "

"Yeah, but that's more of a music hall of fame, not Rock n' Roll. The Beatles are Rock n' Roll. Johnny Cash isn't Rock n' Roll."

That was one.

Then later he said he doesn't understand anyone who lives in Ohio who isn't an Ohio State fan. And he wondered why more Cincinnatians aren't crazy for Ohio State like they are in Cleveland. Seriously, Thom?

That was two.

I told the Tall Drink of Water I'm not sure how I feel about Thom, especially after that Johnny Cash comment. I could let slide the Ohio State thing, maybe it was just a dumb comment. (TDW says Thom makes a lot of dumb comments). But I'd be willing to wager Johnny Cash has more rock and more roll than anyone in ol' Thom's CD collection.

Make no mistake. Cash might be more of a country music legend, but it's all in the attitude, son.

You got one more...

On a baseball related note, Marty said Brandon Phillips is hot right now. Shoot. He's been hot. (Call me, B.)

Dodge Stratus

Big time stuff.


I'm destroying the planet as I type this. What I need is a few more planets.

I scored only slightly better than K-Hud. I like to think it's because of my superteeny, studio apartment. I like to think that to make me feel better about living in a superteeny, studio apartment.

Get your own footprint, yo.

Friday, May 18, 2007

I Admit

I thought the ballet was all tutus and tiaras. But tonight at Twyla Tharp, Plus, there was none of either.

There are two choreographers I can name. Twyla Tharp is one, Bob Fosse is the other. (Twyla was born in Portland, Indiana, about 45 miles east of Marion. I just found out this by Googling her. Portland must be very proud.)

The Tall Drink of Water suprised me with tickets, so off we went to the Aronoff Center. Twyla's piece, Baker's Dozen, was first, with music by Willie "The Lion" Smith. I think people should call me Gina "The Puma" Daugherty.

The dancers wore flowing white split skirts and white tights. The men wore all white faux tuxes for Baker's Dozen. There were three pieces total and none of it looked anything like what I thought ballet looked like.

Before I saw Bolero a few months ago, I thought the ballet (mostly the Nutcracker) was boring. I'm embarrassed it took me so long to see it as the beautiful, interpretive, jazzy thing I saw tonight.

UPDATE: Enquirer contributor David Lyman says it much better than I do in his review. It's exactly what I would have written if I were capable of writing a decent review.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Three (Unrelated) Stories

Ray and Susie spent the night last night. I'm the stop-over on their way to Kentucky, where they'll be taking in a short vacation visiting my sister, my brother, my dad's childhood friend, Hawk, and then finally relaxing for a day or two at Natural Bridge.

They're taking their usual July 4 vacation early this year. Junie, one of my dad's hunting dogs, is pregnant and he needs to be there when she has her pups.

A few conversation highlights from their short visit...

I asked my dad if he's ever regretted leaving the little town in Kentucky where he grew up or if he ever thinks about moving back there one day.

"Nah," he said. "You have to drive 10 miles just to get a bottle of pop."


Then we chatted about my dad's boyhood friend, Hawk, who my brother Elgin was named after. (Thankfully my dad didn't name my brother Hawk.)

Apparently ol' Hawk has a live-in girlfriend who's half his age. Hawk told my dad she didn't want to go out with him at first because he is so much older than she is.

"You're old enough to be my dad," she told him.

"I might be," Hawk said. "What's your mom's name?"


My dad also told me about a teacher who suspended for making a racist comment to a student.

"He called a Korean kid porkchop," my dad said.

Long pause...

"Why would he call a Korean kid porkchop," I said finally. "How is that racist?"

"Because, you can't call Korean kids porkchop, Gina," he said.

Another pause...

"Wait," my dad interrupted. "He didn't call him porkchop, he called him chopstick. That's right!"

Then I crumpled into laughter.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Heading home. Reds game just started.

Rock city.

Dueling iPods. Mine is better. Seriously. It is.

This is a medium?

Road food.


Spontaneous road trip. Here we come Ikea!

Monday, May 07, 2007

1234 Tell Me That You Love Me More

This article from the New York Times on indie-girl Leslie Feist is nice. It's well written, offers great background on her music and captures the spirit of her new album.

But this video is better.

I've not stopped singing this song since I first saw it. I love the primary color clothes and the strange, sing-songy lyrics. And I like the dancing and clapping. And I dig that it was done in one-take.

Now who's getting wordy...

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Not Training Is Money

Do not challenge the Tall Drink of Water to an endurance race. His cardiovascular system will eat you up and spit you out.

His final chip time for the Pig this lovely Sunday in May was 4:14:16. The clock time was 4:18:01.

Rob finished about minute behind him. They didn't find each other until after they'd crossed the finish line, so TDW did those long miles alone. But it didn't seem to phase him. Not too shabby for someone who hadn't intended to run. And he even beat his first-time marathon time, with less training. Take that, Pig!

At mile four, TDW ran past me yelling, "Have you seen Rob?!"

"No, I haven't seen him yet," I screamed back.

About minute or so later Rob ran past: "Has Paul passed you yet?!"

"He just came by, a minute or two ago! He's just ahead of you!"

They never caught up to each during the race, but I was able to get this nice photo of the two of them post-race through the spectator fence.

Here are some more of my images from the road.

Look at the unit on this guy.

I saw this nearly naked fella twice. The first time at four and again at 21. The first time he sailed by, soaking up the glory and shock of his "outfit." When I snapped this picture many, many miles later, he was struggling. He tried to point but was too weak. Sad!

At mile four Big Bri made a hilarious scene by running over to Jen, his girlfriend, and I, threw his arms into the air and yelled "WOOOOO!" Then he planted a big sweaty kiss on Jen. As she wiped the sweat and salt off of her face, the guy standing next to her said, "You must really love him."

Gretchen always looks so smooth when she's running. This was around mile 21 - definitely suffering time - yet she was smiling and waving. Final chip time: 3:55:25. Yay, Gretchen!

Man, this guy isn't going to be able to shower for a week it's gonna burn so bad. Yeeouch!

TDW just getting warmed up at mile 12.

With the last five miles to go, I shoved a few gummi bears into TDW's hand as he went by, kissed him and said, "You got this. No problem."

I would have given him more gummi bears, but I had started to eat them from my sweatshirt pocket as I cheered on runners and waited. I decided to pick them off one-by-one by least desirable color - Green gummi bear, you gotta go! Orange gummi bear, see ya! - and save the best flavors (red and white, of course) for him.

At the finish he said, "Those gummi bears were delicious. I wish I'd had more."

I'm a bad girlfriend.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

My Man: The Maniac

While the rest of those fools taking off tomorrow morning to run 26.2 miles were training in the cold, my man was taking it easy on the treadmill at the gym watching Monday Night Football.

He was planning to run only the half. No need to overexert himself. Except the Tall Drink of Water on Friday decided to just go ahead and sign up to run the whole thing. I expect men in white coats to bust down the door at any second and commit him.

As for training, he's run 118 miles (according to his Nike+) since January, including two, 14 mile long runs. Most marathon training programs have runners doing many longer runs, including 18, 19 and 20 milers.

According to a basic training program I just looked up, he should have run 435 miles in the last 18 weeks.

Please, TDW scoffs at 435 miles. He says "YES!" to 118 miles.

I'm of course fascinated by all of this. I may have even had a part in encouraging him to run the whole thing. (My motivation is having someone to track and root for at different spots along the course.) But honestly, toward the end, I tried to be the voice of reason for him.

To reason - reason being, You're ill prepared and are going to suffer unimaginable pain - he would say, "It doesn't matter how much I train, the last 10 miles are going to suck anyway."

What could do I then but offer my support. "I'll go with you to get your new bib number!" I said.

TDW will run with Rob tomorrow, who has been very dedicated in his training since January. I'm curious to watch how this plays out.

Will Rob leave TDW in the dirt at mile 16? Will TDW persevere despite his inadequate training? Will Rob crash and burn while TDW somehow pulls through in the clutch? Ahh... Good stuff.

He and Rob are running at a 9:45 minute mile pace tomorrow, which will put him at the finish line at 4:15 if he can keep with it. TDW ran the Pig in 2004 in 4:23 without much training that year either. I think with Rob there, he can do it.

I imagine things will start to get interesting around mile 16. We already know he can hang with Rob for 14 miles because they did the two 14 milers together. Beyond that is uncertain. Those long, ugly last 10 miles on Eastern Avenue is where the Pig made him suffer the first time.

He couldn't even walk it was so painful. "I walked after a water stop to get a drink and it hurt more to walk than run, so I just decided to keep running."

Here come the men in white coats...

I'll be blogging from my camera phone along the way for CiN, so do Click Here for photos of bloody nipples, tears, cheering and the sun coming up in Cincinnati on Flying Pig Marathon morning.

Extraordinary Machines

Some people get excited for birthdays, Christmas, New Year's. Me, not so much. I don't think too much about any of those. It's too much pressure. ("All riiiight! I'm gonna be having a fun time at exactly midnight. YES.")

But there are a few occasions where I go absolutely insane with excitement. Election Day is one. The Olympics is another. And tomorrow, the Flying Pig Marathon.

The first Pig, in 1999, I had recently moved to Ohio. On race morning I woke up at 5 a.m. and drove to Wendy's to get a breakfast sandwich before heading down to watch the race. Wendy's was closed. No matter, I drove from Hamilton to Cincinnati, and, not really knowing my way around downtown, parked in the dark somewhere and proceeded to find a spot to cheer on runners. (I'd be curious now to know where I was exactly.)

I've watched every Pig since then minus one, and that was because I was out of town. Usually I go by myself and most years I've known no one in the race. But the few times when I have known people, I am a maniac crowd supporter. I will and scream and holler and make a scene and go completely insane. It's a good time.

I was chatting with my old college friend Sandy Bressner this week (she's always Sandy Bressner, never just Sandy), who lives in Chicago. She was telling me how every year she wakes up at the crack of dawn to watch the Chicago Marathon. She has it all mapped out so that she can see the runners as many times as possible. ("I run to the L, then run to the next street, scream as they run past, jump on the L again...")

Which is exactly what I do, only minus the L. We laughed about how we both well up with tears as the runners pass us, especially toward the end, when they are suffering so much. The ones who are running in honor of someone else choke me up every time. And as they make that last turn on the course toward the finish line, I can barely contain my emotion. It's incredible to watch.

The human body never ceases to amaze me. The punishment it can absorb and then become stronger.

Perhaps it is because we are so vulnerable - that our skeletons are on the inside rather than outside, that our flesh is so easily pierced, that our bodies become ravaged by old age and disease - perhaps that is why watching thousands of people running down a street elates me.

Look how remarkable, I think. How resilient. So strong, so fast, so efficient.

What extraordinary machines.