Wednesday, August 31, 2005


First of all, this was not my choice when a rental movie discussion was had last night... but when Christine said, "Can we rent Alexander and make fun of it?," I had to say yes.
This movie is bad bad bad. It's so bad, after about 45 minutes, you can't even make fun of it anymore. Angelina has this crazy accent - basically, she just talks slowly and rolls her Rs - and everyone else has some form of British Isles accent. But they're not all high British! Oh no! I definitely heard Scottish and Irish and some others that were non-descript, but still bad. Then there's the make-up. We think that some make-up artist was reaalllly good at "fixed gouged-out eye effect," because at least three people had that sewn-up-skin-over-the-eye thing. It was disturbing and hilarious all at once.
Not to mention that the thing was boring. Alexander had conquered a whole bunch of places at a very early age, and you never got any of that: no sense of distance or time or conquered-ness. Oliver Stone could take a lesson from the Mel Gibson Braveheart School of Ancient War Filmmaking.
Redeeming factors: Angelina Jolie, Jared Leto and Jonathan Rhys Meyers are super hot, especially in those flimsy togas.

Alexander - D

Coach Fall Line

Have you seen Coach's new fall line? To die for. Oh, if only I made scads of money, I could have the tweed Soho satchel with suede, velvet and rhinestone trim. Sigh.

Coach Fall Line - B- (the prices are outrageous)

Monday, August 29, 2005

Creative Memories

Who loves scrapbooking? I do! I have been on a real kick the last few days, trying to finish up my Interlochen scrapbook before I move on to the college years. It's way fun.

I love Creative Memories products. They are top of the line, the highest quality out there. Unfortunately, they are only available through a consultant, so if you need a new album or some refill pages, you have to get in touch with someone in your area to place your order. I need instant gratification, so I get very impatient when waiting for my consultant to get back to me. The products are worth the wait... but I'd rather not wait. Also, CM is a little pricey. Again, worth it, but with my current income, I have to watch how many stickers and pens I order. Good thing they have a wish list section.

Creative Memories - B.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Afternoon Delight

Today I had lunch at Afternoon Delight, on Liberty in downtown Ann Arbor. It's just a little lunch spot on a main drag, with nothing special about the interior, and I like that. I don't like that the nametags of the wait staff said things like "Hello! My name is Audrey Hepburn."

I have been craving potato pancakes for a week or two, and they did indeed have them as a Sunday special. They were good, but not incredible - too much onion and the potatoes were chunky, rather than shredded. I also had a mocha cappuccino shake, and it was pretty tasty. Afternoon Delight does a lot of things with frozen yogurt, so if you like berries and muffins and other light-ish taste treats with yogurt, then this is your place.

Afternoon Delight - B

Saturday, August 27, 2005


Hollander's is one of my favorite stores in Ann Arbor. They have all sorts of delightful paper goods, like cards, stationery, handmade wrapping paper, and upscale scrapbook supplies. Hollander's also has a "paper school" where one can make paper and books.
I don't really need any more correspondence supplies, but with my gift certificate from the Newcomers Club, I had to stop in and see what Hollander's had to offer me. I left with some gorgeous notecards at a 20% discount, as well as a magnet and tiny handmade Post-It pad for free. I love free!
I hope that Hollander's never gets too big for its britches, but I feel it could easily go that way. As long as they stay relatively small with quality products for the discerning paper enthusiast, it will continue to be one of my top spots in Ann Arbor.

Hollander's - A-

Friday, August 26, 2005

Whole Foods Market

Whole Foods Market is a huge grocery store that specializes in organic and health food. Sounds great, right? I wasn't all that impressed. First of all, it's HUGE. Too huge. I don't want to have to install a global positioning system in my cart just to find my way to the frozen foods. Next, as you might expect, the prices are higher than what you would pay at a regular grocery store. I'm trying to watch my spending, so Whole Foods is probably not the place for me to do my weekly shopping. Also, there were a lot of kids in the store. I love kids, and I love babies, I really do, but the store was full of moms and kids, wailing and screaming and invading my space (a small girl touched my butt, and I didn't like it).
Of course, it's not all bad - Whole Foods has an enormous prepared food bar, where you just go and pay by the pound and walk out with almost any variety of salad or cooked vegetable or meat you can think of. Healthy convenience food is always good. I got lunch from the hot bar, and it wasn't very good, but I like to think that I just made a bad decision - some of the food looked really, really good. Also, they have a lot of free Ann Arbor/Detroit magazines. It's nice to keep up on what's hip in my new town.
I imagine I'll go back - it's right on my way home from school, and I should eat healthier food. Next time, I'll take a compass.

Whole Foods Market - B-

Thursday, August 25, 2005


I will read whatever you tell me to, Legolas.

Orlando Bloom READ Campaign - A+

Tim and Erika

This is me with my friends Tim and Erika at Interlochen graduation. We look the way we do because we know we only have 24 more hours before we don't live in the dorm anymore.

Tim is good to have on your team. He is very crafty when it comes to finding secret things on the Internet. Also, he will bring you bagels to work when you are just too tired to get them yourself.
Erika is my "fun friend." We have had lots of good times shopping, getting lunch, and going to the chiropractor. Additionally, Erika is usually up for a body treatment of any kind, be it a manicure, pedicure, or sauna. Not many people can hang with me when it comes to spa time, so I really appreciate this about her.

I miss Tim. He moved to North Carolina. He never calls me, and I think that sucks. I miss Erika, too, just not as much - she only lives an hour away, and she calls pretty regularly. Good friends. Good times.

Tim - C+; Erika - B+

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Newcomers Welcome Service

I had some misgivings about Gretchen from the Newcomers Welcome Service coming over, but once she got here, I knew I was in for a time like no other. Gretchen brought me lots of good information about the Ann Arbor area - map of town, phone book, listing of classes at the community college (Stylish Dressing, here I come!), that sort of thing. But after about ten minutes, Gretchen brought out the gift certificates, and that's when the fun really began. Seriously, she brought me over $275 in gift certificates: free oil change, free dry cleaning, free gifts at all kinds of stores, free dinners at really nice restaurants, a free massage certificate, free car wash, free coffee at two different businesses, coupons for the grocery store... it was a sight to behold. She just kept taking out more and more stuff. It was like Christmas.

I was recently chastised for giving too many A grades, but this totally deserves it.

Newcomers Welcome Service - A

Tim Horton's

I was very disappointed with my Tim Horton's experience last night. I used to love Tim Horton's - I got their chicken stew in a bread bowl about once a week when I lived in Saginaw. Unfortunately, Traverse City doesn't have a Tim Horton's, so last night's excursion to the one in Saline was my first in many years. I was excited at first, but when I got there, I realized that they no longer have chicken stew on the menu! It was heartbreaking. I ordered the cream of potato bacon soup combo, and was under the impression that I would be getting a donut and a dinner roll (mmmm, carbs), but I didn't receive the roll. Also, the soup was incredibly bland and the donut did not have the spark of, say, a Krispy Kreme chocolate dipped glazed. The price, though, was incredibly good - soup, donut and medium drink for $3. All in all, it was an unhappy dining experience and I doubt I'll be going back soon.

Tim Horton's - D+

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Dell Inspiron 6000

Thanks to Dell, as well as UPS, my computer arrived today, over a week earlier than I expected it. So far, I really like it. For one thing, it looks good, all sleek and silver. For another, it seems to have everything I need and then some. I'm sure it will take some figuring out and getting used to, but I am very very happy with it - and very happy to be back to you, my readers!

Dell Inspiron 6000 - A

Saturday, August 20, 2005

The Big One

Just wanted to let all you faithful blog readers know that Nate and I are making our big move to Ann Arbor this weekend, so I will most likely be entering sporadically for the next week or two, until my new computer arrives. In the meantime, keep your head up, and keep reaching for the stars!

Clay Aiken - Jukebox Tour

The Jukebox Tour is the must-see show of the season! Let me tell you what, this was a great show. I had awesome seats, the energy of the crowd was very high, and there were no picture restrictions! Oh, and Clay was fabulous, too. Clay made his mark by singing covers on American Idol, so he just went for it on this tour and sings about 95% cover tunes, including the full-length version of some his best performances on AI. His renditions of Solitaire and Unchained Melody were so good, they defy description.
There were a couple highlights of the show for me: he sang Mandy by Barry Manilow; right after that, he asked for some events of the '70s andI told him that my parents named for that song (yes, he answered back with some sass that he wasn't actually talking to me!); and at the very end of the concert, he said that we were going to play Stump the Band, and he took my friend Scott's suggestion for Bohemian Rhapsody. Scott and Clay are new best friends now.
I must mention Clay's back-up singers, Angela and Quiana. These girls are so good. I mean seriously good. They each sang a song or two by themselves, and one of the absolute best parts of the conert was Quiana's version of "I Will Always Love You." Watch out, Whitney.
If you like Clay, you will love this concert tour. If you don't like Clay, you'd probably be entertained anyway, so go - but don't buy the thong at the merchandise counter.

Clay Aiken - A

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Bolthouse Farms Perfectly Protein

This is good drinkin'. Perfectly Protein is a soy vanilla chai (it sort of tastes like egg nog) chock full of nutrients and goodness. When consumed icy cold, it is a delightful drink for any time of day. Sometimes I forget how much I like it, and I'll go months without having one, and that's bad. I should drink one every day... and so should you! If you aren't a chai fan, I also recommend the Strawberry Banana flavor. I haven't tried any of the other Bolthouse varieties - they're a little too exotic for me, but if you're into carrots and mangoes in beverages, you might like those as well. FYI: Perfectly Protein is thick and sweet, so those of you with sensitive stomachs might not like it. Also, I've heard it can cause gas. Forewarned is forearmed, but I love it!

Bolthouse Farms Perfectly Protein - A-.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005


Last night I had dinner at Musashi's with my friends Kris and Peter (that's us on the left). Musashi's is a Shogun-style restaurant - you place your order with a waitress, and the cook comes to your table and cooks your food right there in front of you. I had never eaten at a place like this, so it was pretty cool to me. I had the "Geisha Special" - New York strip and shrimp. It was really tasty, and the vegetable assortment that went with it was delicious as well as unique. We also ate some delightful sushi, as well as edamame - boiled salted pea pods - that was outstanding. Finally, we were served the most amazing cake I've ever had, and you know that I love cake. The frosting was perfect and the cake was moist, flavorful and had a wonderful texture. I would go back just for the cake.

Happy Birthday Kris, and thanks to Pete's parents for footing the bill!

Musashi's - A-.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Toll House Bake and Break Cookies

There are few things quite so delicious and satisfying as a homemade chocolate chip cookie right out of the oven. However, if you're strapped for time and still have a hankering for that warm chocolatey goodness, look no further than Nestle Toll House Bake and Break Chocolate Chip cookies. Heat up your oven, pop in as many cookies as you want, and in 10-12 minutes, you have a delicious cookie that tastes like homemade... without all the fuss! Yes, they're not quite as good as homemade, but they sure hit the spot, especially with a glass of icy cold milk on a rainy day.

Toll House Bake and Break Chocolate Chip Cookies - B+

Monday, August 15, 2005

What the...

I ask all of you to go to my post titled "When Concert Merchandise Goes Horribly Wrong" and read the comments. This is the second time I've gotten "kudos" from anonymous bloggers that then encourage me to go to a website about hair loss, ceiling fans, buying a car etc. I don't get it. Has this happened to any of you other bloggers out there?

Anonymous praise - A-
Anonymous website solicitation - D+ (it kind of freaks me out)

UPDATE: I can delete those comments... yay! A+ to Blogger for the power of deletion!

When Concert Merchandise Goes Horribly Wrong

That's right - it's a Clay Aiken thong.

Who thought this was a good idea? Something tells me that it was some crazed marketing team member, and not Clay himself, that came up with Clay Aiken lingerie to be sold at his summer concerts. I know that some of Clay's more fanatical fans like to throw panties at the stage, but this is going a bit too far.

Clay Aiken Thong: F

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Gap Curvy Fit Jeans

Hooray to Gap for introducing their Curvy Fit Jeans! The Curvy Fit Jeans are made for women whose "waist is smaller than their hips..." and we all know that that's me. These jeans must be a huge hit, because when I got to my friendly neighborhood Gap, I had a hard time finding my size, but once I found it, I knew that these were the jeans for me - the waist/hip fit was just about perfect. Unfortunately, Gap did not have the "ankle" (translation: short) length in stock in the store, and the online selection is limited, so I bought some that were too long and cut off the bottoms and am currently washing them to get that lived-in frayed look. If you, too, are a curvy female, get these jeans - they rock!

Curvy Fit Jeans - A
availabilty of Curvy Fit Jeans - B-

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Yard of the Week

Sometimes, suburban life kicks ass. My parents' neighborhood association holds a "Yard of the Week" competition every summer. Actually, it's not a competion - it's a recognition. So they say. Anyway, every Saturday, a new yard is selected as Yard of the Week, based on criteria such as green grass, nice flowers, few brown spots, no weeds in the flower beds or grass growing up through the sidewalk, and most importantly, no basketball hoop in the driveway (part of the neighborhood covenant). That's a picture of my dad, being weird as usual, after his yard was recognized as Yard of the Week in 2003. Notice the lovely even greenness, as well as the delightful color of the beds.

I happen to know this year's Yard of the Week judge, so last night I went for a tour of the neighborhood to help select YOTW. Let me tell you, there are a lot of subtleties involved - it's sort of like a wine tasting. Color is good, as long as that color isn't brown. Small weeds in the flower beds are bad. Side yards aren't judged, but if they could detract from the overall aesthetic of the yard, one should take some care with those as well.

At the end of the day, a lovely yard was selected, and the judge had to get up at 5:30 AM in the pouring rain to take the sign out of last week's yard and move it to this week's yard. It's a stealthy process that brings the community together... and isn't that what neighborhoods are supposed to be about?

Yard of the Week: B+.

Thursday, August 11, 2005


One of the things I love about coming to visit my parents is Sonic. The folks that own Sonic are from Oklahoma City, so there's a Sonic about every other block (kind of like Starbucks in Chicago). Sonic is great because it's a drive-in - carhops bring you your food!

Sonic's food is cheap and nasty, yet oh-so delicious. I tend to order a chili dog and tater tots with a cherry limeade. Today, my tots and limeade were wonderful, but the Sonic people forgot to put my mustard and onions on my chili dog, which makes me sad. However, I'd rather have a Sonic chili dog without all the accoutrements than a chili dog from anywhere else.

Come down South, and have some Sonic - you won't be sorry!

Sonic - B+.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Entertainment Weekly

I was planning on writing an entry on how great Entertainment Weekly is... but then I didn't get my new issue. What gives, EW/postal service? I count on you to deliver the week's entertainment news no later than Wedesday every week. I'm a SUBSCRIBER, dammit, and this is how you thank me, by not delivering my magazine!?
But let me be honest: if this week's cover story is about the new Dukes of Hazzard movie, then I don't really need it delivered at all.

Entertainment Weekly (and the post office) - D.

UPDATE: This is just a review for THIS week's EW! I LOVE EW! I'm just unhappy because I didn't get it before I left for Oklahoma. Also, I am not all about the Dukes of Hazzard movie; once, I said I wanted to see it, but only for Willie Nelson as Uncle Jesse. So friends, never fear - one of these days, I'll review a new issue and give Entertainment Weekly the higher rating it deserves.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

More About Moving (and Packing)

I hate packing. It has to be at the bottom of my list of "fun things to do on my day off." I tend to overpack boxes, so that they're very heavy, and I always end up needing something that I've packed at the bottom of a box. Also, right now I'm packing not only for my move, but for my trip to visit my parents, so I have to figure out what things I need for the next two days, what things I need in Oklahoma for a week, and what things I can pack for good for the next two or three weeks. I hate this. I'm excited about moving, because it's going to be great, but right now, the idea of packing any more stuff makes my ass pucker.

Packing - D

Monday, August 08, 2005


I love Target so much. Target is like an upper-class Meijer (my brother once said "let's go to Meijer and get some milk, some cigarettes and a new couch") - you can't get everything you need there, but you can basically get everything you WANT there.
I love the set up of the Target in Traverse City. When you walk in the door, the first thing you see is the greeting card section. I LOVE cards, so I thank Target for putting them right where I have to walk by and peruse. Immediately behind the card section is the candle section, followed closely by the scrapbook/office supply section. Again, it's stuff that I love, so walking through on my way to the things I have to buy becomes tons of fun.
I think the best section of Target is the bedding section. Target always has some fun and funky bed sheets that are relatively inexpensive, and there's usually a sassy throw pillow or two to complete the ensemble... presto! You just updated your bedroom for less than $40! We should all thank Todd Oldham and the ladies of Swell for pumping some cool into the Target bedding collection. I've never purchased clothes for myself at Target, but one of these days, I'll end up buying something, and you'll get to read all about that as well.
Things I don't like about Target: no couches for sale; the toy section is laid out weird and a lot of the toys are creepy; the snack bar doesn't have cola-flavored Icees, only cherry and blue raspberry. I can overlook these things, however, for a $9 DVD and striped dinner plates.

Target: A


I had a hankering for some pizza this afternoon, so I went to Sbarro for lunch, and they delivered exactly what I expected - cheap, greasy, unexciting pizza. I wouldn't say that Sbarro is quality eating, but I got what I wanted, and really, what more do you need?

Sbarro - C+.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

New Bathroom

Well, here's a photo of my bathroom. After three years without a bathtub to call my own, I am very excited about the tub... I plan on spending lots of time with my bath salts and candles. Please note the sassy green tile and coordinating shower curtain, as well as the large cabinet above the toilet. Overall, I'd say I'm pretty happy about it.

Bathroom - A- (points off for a slow sink drain).

Friday, August 05, 2005

Moving Moving Moving

I'm taking a carload of stuff to my new apartment this weekend, as well as attending a wedding (Nate is a groomsman... mmm, tuxedos), so I'l be away from the blog for a few days. In the meantime, here's a floorplan of the apartment for you to enjoy.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

And Another Thing...

Why is it that some guys know how to wear cologne, and others don't? Take my friend Scott. He wears Eternity for Men, and he smells delicious. Yes, you can smell the scent, but it's not overpowering. And Charlie takes fragrance shopping very seriously, and changes his fragrance every so often to stay "fresh," but he never smells like a dirty pimp.
Then there's the guy I was sitting next to when I was writing about Neopets. He smelled... well, gross. Overpowering. Like an old man (and he wasn't an old man). Nauseating, actually. His cologne choice was so bad, I had to leave that computer and come down to a different computer to write this, just to get away from him (also I didn't want him reading what I was writing - I'm not THAT much of a bitch). How is it that he doesn't know how bad he smells? Is it possible that his natural odor is worse than that of his cologne? Did he not have time for a shower and just splashed on a little extra today? This needs to stop. Men, listen to me - use your fragrance sparingly. Girls say that they like the smell of men's cologne, and "it smells like boy" is a complement, but please, go easy on our little noses.

Too much fragrance - F.


I used to really love Neopets. I would play every day, feeding my pets, buying them toys, reading them books, and after care and feeding were through, I would play Neopets games like Korbat's Lab, Meerca Chase, and Evil Fuzzles from Beyond the Stars. Neopets is fun, and a really great way to waste time, but it's not very constructive. I mean, the games don't really exercise your brain, and you don't interact with people, and they can be kind of addictive (I would play for hours while I was working at the front desk). Plus, Neopets is SO 2000. I'm glad I have a new computer hobby to occupy my free time - keeping up with the Joneses is very important to me. If you're not into blogging, and you just want to play some lame games, then by all means, Neopets is the way to go... but I'd really suggest taking a walk or reading a book or something.

Neopets - C-.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Project Runway

Oh, how I love Project Runway. I think it's the best reality show EVER. I started watching during a marathon one Sunday, and I was hooked. The fighting! The fashion! The catch-phrases - can you get any better than "Carry on!?"
For those who have never seen this gem of a television show, here's the basic premise: twelve fashion designers, all with different strengths, training, and styles, come together at the Parsons School of Design in a fashion competition - every week, they are given a "mission" to complete a certain piece of clothing within the week's theme. Whoever wins the week is given an automatic pass through the following week. Whoever loses is out. The final three left standing get their own shows at Fashion Week in New York, and the ultimate winner gets a bunch of money, a contract with Banana Republic, and a spread in Elle. So simple, and yet so fabulous.
I think the producers of PR totally put a new spin on a medium that's growing old quick, and I cannot wait for season 2 to see how they top themselves... of course, how can you beat Jay, Austin, Kara and Wendy?

Project Runway - A

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Le Couperet (The Ax)

The Ax is the latest film by Costa-Gavras... honestly, I hadn't heard of him before this, but if that means anything to you, then there you go. The Ax is the story of a man who was terminated from his job in the paper industry and, two years later and still jobless, decides to truly eliminate his competition. He sets up a false post office box, reads the replies to his "ad" for a job, and rates the responses, ultimately deciding that there are six men more qualified than he for any job - so they must die. He sets off on a killing spree to ensure that he will be the only - and therefore best - candidate for any job that might come his way.

It was a good movie. Good, but not great. One of the deaths was kind of disturbing to me, and the pace was painfully slow at times. It was a dark comedy, for sure - there were some very funny moments - but it was definitely more dark than comedy. I think that the marketing team of the Traverse City Film Festival dropped the ball on this one by marketing it as a comedy. At any rate, I enjoyed it, but I think it should have been saved for rental.

The Ax - B-.

Monday, August 01, 2005

10th Annual Friendship Tea

Sunday was Nate's mom Beth's 10th annual Friendship Tea, and it rocked the house. About 20 ladies were here, eating yummy treats (that's a picture of my lemon cookies, on the cake plate I got Beth for Christmas ) and sharing stories about friends. I have to say that if you have not experienced a country tea, you don't know what you're missing. It is really pretty fun to sit around in your finest clothes, complete with hat (note the picture of me and my friend Erika), and eat tiny food. Along with the lemon cookies, cucumber sandwiches, chocolate covered strawberries, smoked salmon on baguettes, buttermilk cake, cranberry scones, herbed deviled eggs, turkey and honey mustard on blini, and apricots with lavender-and-pistachio-infused goat cheese were served. You know you wish you'd been here.
One thing takes down the grade: no tea at the tea! Raspberry lemonade and coffee, but no tea! I'll work on that for next year.

Friendship Tea: A-.