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Archive for June, 2010

Upping the ante

I had always intended to offer a prize for Truth or Fail, but the stakes just got a little higher. CSN Stores has kindly offered to give away a $70 gift certificate to the winner! If you’re not familiar, they offer everything from dining room furniture to health & fitness equipment to pet goodies to shoes (yes, please!). (You can check all the items out here.)*

So, not only will you have bragging rights for how incredibly intelligent you are (or, that you’re a phenomenal guesser), but a little extra dough to spend, to boot. Double win.

The contest will run until midnight this Thursday, and I’ll announce the winner (and the answers!) on Friday. So if you’ve only guessed for a couple of them, feel free to stop back and fill in the rest of your answers. No partial credit, folks.

Here’s the contest, if you missed in the first go round – Truth or Fail – and, just to get you a little more in the mood, I offer you another fun Truth or Fail video – with a dinosaur theme!

Good luck!

*A few little fyis from CSN – some products may require shipping charges or, for any Canadian readers, international fees.

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I promised…so, can you pick out the truth? Or will you fail?

Here we go!

1. The Wright Brothers’ first flight in 1903 was 1 foot shorter than the length of the cargo bay of a C-5 Galaxy cargo plane.

OR

No NCAA basketball team from a school located in its state’s capitol has ever won the national championship.

2. The majority of polar bears are left-handed (or, left-pawed).

OR

A dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s.

3. Regular milk doesn’t have as much protein as Chocolate milk.

OR

The body doesn’t absorb cold water as well as it does “luke-warm”/hot water (closer to the body’s natural temperature, 98.6).

4. It takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile, but just barely.

OR

Though many people think that the tongue is the strongest muscle in the body, it’s actually more accurate to say that the jaw muscle is the strongest.

5. In certain countries there are specific laws when it comes to naming your children – in Germany and Iceland you can’t name your child anything that doesn’t indicate the child’s gender.

OR

Argentina has no such law, and after winning the World Cup in 1986, the tournament in which Diego Maradona had what’s known as the “Goal of the Century” there was a record number of both boys and girls being named Diego after him.

6. Donald Duck was, in fact, banned in Finland, but not because he doesn’t wear pants. Certain officials at the time didn’t like the fact that Donald and Daisy weren’t married. The ban was short lived, as they were eventually overruled.

OR

In local elections in Iceland, the campaign promises of one candidate included building a Disneyland. He won.

7. Johns Hopkins University has been asked, in the past, to join the Ivy League.  They have, however, declined because they don’t want to share their research grants or give up the ability to grant lacrosse scholarships.

OR

The term “Ivy League” used to refer only to the sports programs of those schools, because they were Division I.

8. President Harry Truman’s middle name is just S. Therefore, it’s incorrect when it’s written out with a period after the letter, like so: Harry S. Truman.

OR

President Warren Harding was arguably one of the worst presidents in U.S. history, but he had still planned to run for office again, because he felt that he could learn from his mistakes.

I think these are good for now. If we need a tie-breaker, I have a few thoughts. So, have at it, and whoever guesses the most correctly, wins!

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When I had my birthday earlier this month, I was excited about turning 25. I was excited to get that much closer to no longer being carded (still wishful thinking), and excited to start in on my list of goals.

The boyfriend had his birthday last Thursday, and I knew he was looking forward to it, too, but for different reasons. You see, he’s excited because the older he gets, the more he’s allowed to be a crotchety old man. He wants to be able to wave his cane, and yell at kids to get off his lawn. He wants an excuse to be both cranky and senile.

But what he wants most is a Rascal.

And what kind of girlfriend would I be, if I didn’t at least explore the possibilities?

So, last week, even though I already had his present ready to go, I did a little googling, and came upon this site. And a little more exploration led me to this:

Win a free Rascal? No purchase necessary? Seemingly no age requirements? I’d be the best girlfriend ever!

So I entered.

I typed in all my information, kind of laughing as I did it, because really? A Rascal? And I figured that would be the end of it. But those employees must be on top of their customer service game, because a mere couple hours later I got a phone call at work.

Hello, this is Chuck from Electric Mobility, and I just wanted to speak with you about your Rascal needs.

I got so flustered about admitting that I wanted a Rascal for someone under the age of 40, that I told Chuck I’d have to call him back. I didn’t get to it, and he called again on Friday. Persistent little sucker.

I suppose that I do owe him a response, but it’ll have to wait until I scour that site for any hidden age requirements. Just because all the videos show old people in these Rascals, doesn’t mean they can’t be enjoyed by a younger generation, too.

And who knows, maybe instead of a birthday present, it’ll turn into an anniversary gift.

But no promises. Yet.

P.S. Truth or Fail is still on its way, with a TBD prize for whoever gets the most correct. So if you have a fun factoid you’re sitting on, now’s the time to share!

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Sometimes I think I may actually be an idiot.

Sometimes I have all the signs right in front of my face, and I still hesitate on my next move. And sometimes this frustrates people, for good reason, and sometimes I don’t know how to adequately explain myself.

Perhaps because there is no adequate explanation.

So sometimes I make mistakes, by leaving things undone or unsaid. And sometimes I feel like an apology doesn’t quite cut it, but it’s all I have. And then, sometimes, I can’t stop dwelling on whatever dumbass move I’ve made – or haven’t, as the case may be.

Sometimes I’m an idiot, and I really wish there was a pill for that.

On another, lighter note, please continue to leave your own Truth or Fail in the comments – here or yesterday’s. They’ll go up next week.

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I am someone who likes to be right. I am also dating someone who likes to be right. In fact, when Liz Lemon said, “What? You just want to sit here and be wrong?” when told that she should have just let something slide for the sake of small talk, we were both on her side.

So, to that end, we love games with right and wrong answers – like Jeopardy and bar trivia, online quizzes and now, Truth or Fail.

You see, the other night the boyfriend sent me a video, calling it addicting. The premise was that you’d be presented with two “facts” and you had to choose the truth. It didn’t really sound like anything I’d get addicted to…until I started playing. Because each time you click on whichever item you think is the truth, the video tells you whether you were right or wrong, but then asks you another Truth or Fail. And of course I had to continue to find out if my choice was right. Otherwise, how would I know how smart I was?

Go ahead, give it a shot:

How’d you do? The first fact was one of my favorites.

(I also just found a Harry Potter version, while I was writing this post. Which may have delayed me a bit, because I obviously had to play.)

In any case, I’m pretty sure that everyone has a few tidbits of trivia stored away, whether they know it or not. That fun little fact that they use as a conversation piece. So, if you do, list in the comments the two “facts” that you’d contribute to a video like this (remember, one has to be false), and we’ll see if we can get a little round of Truth or Fail going next week.

For instance:

1) The majority of polar bears are left-handed (or, left-pawed).

2) A dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s.

Leave yours in the comments, and we’ll see who the smarty pants-es are. Ready? Go!

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There are plenty of times that I get frustrated with my job – the people, the bureaucracy, the day-to-day blah – but today’s not one of those days. Because whenever there are BIG sporting events on, the office management comes through. During March Madness, we had screens set up in the conference room showing the games. We had an office-wide bracket pool going as well.

Now, we have the World Cup. Because they understand that there are about seven of us (okay, okay, maybe ten) who feel that they must see this game between the US and Algeria. We’re not content to follow this one on ESPN’s GameCast, or just listen on the radio. And we could leave for the bar, but having it on in the office is much more convenient.

So, in just a few minutes, we’ll gather in the conference room, pick a good seat, and get ready to cheer or curse, yell at the players or yell at the ref, and take an early break from work for 90 minutes (plus stoppage and half time).

And if our shouting distracts people who are actually being productive? Well, then maybe they should have thought about that before they decided to skip the game.

Note: If you want a little more background on the Cup so far, Marie has a lovely recap.

Extra note: If you don’t really care about the World Cup, well, then you’d probably appreciate this Simpson’s video that the boyfriend showed me this past weekend (I couldn’t find the complete video, so you get two parts, same episode):

Update: Goooooooooooooooal US! For the win! In extra time! My throat may hurt for the rest of the day from screaming, but it’s totally worth it.

Did you watch? Did you cheer? Will you watch them play on Saturday? Gotta love the adrenaline rush…

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Quick note: a few of you asked which books I had left by the wayside, regarding my 25 for 25 (which I’ve turned into a tab – see above – or the link), so I’ve added the list. If this doesn’t keep me accountable, I don’t know what will.

Now, to the matter at hand – this most recent wedding. Since this was my third one this season, I figure I’m pretty much an expert at this point. And, as an expert, it’s my duty to share the knowledge. So, instead of a recap, I offer you a few helpful tips I’ve picked up, that I plan to use for my own way-way-in-the-future nuptials.

1) Have a photo game plan.

If you want to take family photos before the ceremony, set a specific time, and make sure all relevant people are aware of it. If the festivities are running a few minutes early or late, don’t worry. But if you say 1:30 and the photos aren’t taken until 3:00 (and then the same photo’s taken again after the ceremony), don’t be surprised if there are some cranky pants.

2) Keep it short and simple.

I understand that there are certain traditional elements that might extend the ceremony – a unity candle, breaking the glass, self-written vows – and that’s fine. This is more of a personal preference anyway (though I do plan on incorporating some of those traditions into my own ceremony). But the Minnesota wedding was the shortest I’ve ever been to – 23 minutes, give or take. (Yes, we timed it, because the boyfriend and I made an over/under bet for 35 minutes. I won.)

3) Two words: Open Bar.

Imagine getting up there only to be told that it’s cash only, and the ATM in the hotel where the reception’s being held is broken. If it’s an issue of cost, have a limited selection of wine and beer. But still try to keep it open.

4) Again on the bar – if it’s going to be open as soon as guests arrive at the reception, have at least some small hors d’oeuvres as well.

It can often take a while for the wedding party to get from the ceremony to the reception. They have more pictures to take, need to decompress, or want to just soak up the feeling and significance of what just happened. And they should. But, without snacks, this all means that there could be a very long time between the beginning of the cocktails and the consumption of food – and that’s never good.

5) The band or DJ can make or break the party.

Now, I prefer a live band, but to each his own. The important part is that they know how to set the tone. They have a lot of responsibility to play songs that will get people out on the dance floor, and keep people going. A good band/DJ will make you want to keep dancing even when the lights come on. And if they do their job right, then they won’t have to resort to playing the Cha Cha Slide.

Unless that’s what you request.

Keep in mind, these are only a few of the pearls of wisdom I’ve picked up over this past wedding season. I won’t go into dress code, location, guest list, or toasts (this time), but don’t think I haven’t learned a little something about those VERY important topics as well.

I’ll just save them for the potential part II – when the next set of weddings rolls around.

What would you add to this list? And, thinking of the best wedding you’ve been to, what made it the best?

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Well, I’m back, and have left the Minnesota accent mostly behind me. (Though, it is still fun to drop a “don’tcha know” every now and again.) And I will have photos, videos, observations, and lessons learned from this most recent wedding up shortly, but first things first.

While I was away, I got an email from a friend, who knows me all too well, with this subject line:

There’s hope for you and Jayson Werth yet!

Talk about piquing my curiosity.

I haven’t been shy about my obsession crush on the Phillies right-fielder. He’s definitely the player I would most like to meet. And I may have entertained the fantasy of what it would be like if he actually did speak to me while I’m stalking watching batting practice. He’s also in my Top 5, so, you know, it’s allowed.

I'll use any excuse to put this photo in a blog post.

But anyway, the article that came along with the email went a little something like this:

Last May, Jason Phillips, the bullpen catcher for the Seattle Mariners, spotted a lovely lady in the stands. He felt like he had to make a move, so he wrote his name on a baseball and tossed it to her.

Unless you’re completely cynical, with a heart of stone, you have to admit that that’s pretty cute – if only slightly cheesy. But sometimes cheesy works.

So, when I got this email and read the article, I immediately showed the boyfriend. I also started thinking about where I’d have to sit in order to be visible from right field, and reminded the boyfriend that Werth was already on my list, so it had to be okay if he pulled a Jason Phillips. His response?

Well, of course. Every relationship has issues that they need to deal with. Some people can’t communicate, some people have a girlfriend who’s married to Jayson Werth. Plus, just think of all the games I’d get to go to!

Suffice it to say, he’s fully on board.

Now, the Phillies will be in town for two more series before the regular season is over, which, taking into account my schedule, as well, translates into 4 more chances to get a ball tossed my way.

And maybe even get to cross off the bonus on my 25 List.

At the very least, though, it’s 4 more chances to attempt take photos without my hands shaking. And that’s got to count for something.

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In 24 hours I’ll be en route to wedding number three of this season in the lovely Minnesota.

(Quick side note: I thought that three was a lot, particularly in the span of a couple months, but I’ve learned that I’ll have 5-6 next year, from January to June. Yowza.)

But, unlike the previous two, this is a family wedding. My nephew is getting married. And yes, that feels weird to type – even though he’s only a few years younger than I am.

We’ll be visiting a part of the family that I haven’t seen in years. And I love them, I really, truly do, but I know that I’m going to need all my energy to keep up. This is the always-on, go-get-’em, sleep-what’s-that?, chatty, don’tcha-know part of the family. My dad’s kids from his first marriage and their subsequent families. And the last time I remember hanging out with ALL of them – all the nieces and nephews (4) – we all looked like this:

I’m the oldest here, holding “baby” Kyle – now 14. My brother’s directly behind me, with the long hair that was so popular at the time. And next to him, the nephew that’s older than he is, that’s the one getting married. As for the two girls in the photo, the one on the right just graduated high school, and the one on the left just recently turned 21.

(I bet she’ll be a blast at the wedding.)

But all of this? It makes me feel old. Much older than turning 25 did.

And you know what would make me feel even older? If I couldn’t keep up with my energetic, party animal 40+-year-old siblings and their spouses this weekend – which is, unfortunately, a distinct possibility.

It would really just be embarrassing.

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There’s nothing quite so disconcerting in the morning – as you’re walking around, getting ready – as seeing men outside your windows.

Especially when you live on the seventh floor.

Particularly when you tend to get ready in the buff. (I mean, that’s part of why I live on my own in the first place.)

The thing is, I’d seen the cables and window washer-esque things along the side of the building for a while now. But never any men. And management, up to this point, has always let us know when that kind of maintenance is going on. You know, so we can be dressed.

The caption for this photo said, "It’s not often I look up to see someone outside the window of our tenth floor apartment..." Exactly how I felt...

This time? Nothing. And if I’m being honest, it wasn’t just disconcerting, but a little scary, too. I live in a studio. There aren’t many places to hide, save the bathroom. And camping out there makes it extremely difficult to put my lunch together.

Once I realized, however, that whatever they were doing to my windows was resulting in dust and debris being blown inside my apartment, those feelings morphed into straight pissed off-ed-ness.

I may not dust or clean as often as I should, but I really don’t need any help making my apartment messier. And I don’t need you (yes, you, maintenance) breaking my window frames so that flies can get in and hang out. Or knocking out my window screens so that keeping the windows open isn’t a viable option when I’m not home.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the building and the management, and I’ve generally had a great experience. And I’m grateful for everything you’ve done until now.

But please stop fucking up my windows.

And, while you’re at it, a little heads up would be nice next time. I pay good money to have my own apartment so that I can walk around naked as I please, and I’ll be damned if you take that away from me.

Just so we’re clear.

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