Friday, December 12, 2008

Aaron Sorkin DVDs

I really like Aaron Sorkin. This is not uncommon among people like me (Americans who watch a lot of tv and consider themselves smarter than most other Americans who watch a lot of tv).
What might be more uncommon among people like me is that I don't own all of the DVDs in the Sorkin collection. Sure, I own the West Wing Seasons 1-4 (before the kidnapping/shark-jumping fiasco). I also own The American President, which is one of those movies with a final scene that you can watch over and over again (like Dirty Dancing and My Cousin Vinny and A Few Good Men, another Sorkin classic).

But I don't own either of Sorkin's single-season tv shows: Sports Night and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. And yes, I know that Studio 60 wasn't very good. It pretty much jumped the shark in the second episode when Sorkin actually tried to write comedy sketches. Jokes are not his forte. Witty banter? Yes. Slapstick? Definitely not. But I still watched all the episodes when it aired, and I'll still watch them repeatedly if you buy me the DVDs.
I actually discovered Sports Night after both the West Wing and Studio 60. Now that I've seen Sports Night, I think I'll be able to understand all the references to that show in the other two shows, which will either deepen my appreciation of Sorkin or else it will annoy me.
Either way, I want these DVDs.

Sports Night - The Complete Series Boxed Set

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip - The Complete Series

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


I work in an office. That means I sit at a desk all day reading things and typing things and waiting for other people to read things and type things. I also work in an office with free food. That means I sit at a desk all day that is about 50 feet from a jar of homemade brownies and a fridge full of soda. I don't do a lot of walking during the workday, except from my desk to meetings and food.

My last job was working in a stockroom. I carried a pedometer with me for a few months, and I averaged about 15,000 steps in an eight-hour shift. The only way to walk 15,000 steps at my current job is if I walk back and forth between my desk and the kitchenette continuously. That would mean I'd be getting food about 250 times in a day, which would probably cancel out all the walking.
Don't get me wrong, I like my current job a lot, but I do miss getting exercise at work. People who know about these things say that I'm supposed to walk 10,000 steps per day. I seriously doubt that I'm walking that much right now, but I'd like to walk more. 

Sure, I could just walk more, but how would I know if I'm walking enough? A pedometer, that's how.
This Omron pedometer is great because it will measure steps from inside a pocket or a bag, making it far superior to the orange one I had to clip to my belt. 
With my new pedometer, I will know when I hit 10,000 steps. More importantly, I'll know when I haven't hit 10,000 steps and I should probably walk more (in the opposite direction of the brownies).

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Beginner Sewing Machine

I aspire to be crafty. I read about crafty things on blogs and in lady magazines. I've tried knitting, needlepoint, and homemade thank you cards. So far, nothing has really stuck.
But sewing will definitely stick. Why is sewing different from past attempts at crafting?
  • I have past sewing experience: see, for example, window treatments in a certain West Village apartment or that time I fixed the cuff on a pair of pants.
  • Sewing leads to useful outputs (pillows, quilts, clothing, etc). My limited success in baking is attributable to my love of eating baked goods. So I will be successful in sewing because I like pillows and quilts and clothing.
  • A sewing machine will actually save money in the long term. Think of how much I'll save if I can do my own alterations or repair ripped things or make playclothes out of curtains.
  • Sewing is less messy than many other crafts. (This argument is geared toward the person who lives in my apartment.) The worst case scenario for sewing is a pile of cloth and thread. Compare that to oil painting or screen printing or anything involving glitter and a glue gun.
This is going to be awesome. I'll start sewing, discover my secret talent as a fashion designer, start selling my wares on etsy, and make millions of dollars. Then you can say "I bought [fill in blank with my fancy designer name] her first sewing machine."
In addition to the sewing machine, I'll probably also need a book on how to sew things with it.

Monday, December 8, 2008

KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker Attachment

I like to bake. I like to eat baked goods. But there's one thing more delicious than baked goods: baked goods a la mode. And that's what I'm missing. The ability to make things a la mode.

For that, I need an ice cream maker. But I don't have the counter space for another appliance, according to my husband. Enter the KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker Attachment. It's basically just a bowl that you freeze with a paddle that stirs ingredients until they become ice cream.

That's all it takes, apparently, to make things like candied bacon ice cream and coconut pinkcherry yogurt. And of course, plain old vanilla ice cream to top of a warm brownie or a slice of homemade apple pie.

Do you really need more reasons to buy this for me? Really?

KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker Attachment

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Upside Down Tomato Garden

I like to garden. My past attempts have all been unsuccessful. There was the cactus in my dorm room, the herb garden on my West Village windowsill, and the Chia pet I had when I was five. I attribute these failures to the fact that all of these plants were indoors. Indoors means no rain, which means plants are entirely dependent on me for sustenance (which is also the reason the fish tank in my Brookyn apartment didn't work out so well).

I've discovered the secret to urban gardening: outdoor space. Now that I live in San Francisco, I have a patio, which means I have unfettered access to rain. Now the plants I have are harder to kill. I still have to water them, but they're less likely to die in the off chance I forget. In fact, I think they're stronger than other plants because I haven't pampered them.

I think I'm ready to grow my own food. I will start with tomatoes, because home-grown tomatoes and delicious, and because this Upside Down Tomato Garden was featured in SkyMall.

If you buy me this tomato garden, I will grow tomatoes on the bottom and herbs that complement tomatoes on the top. Then I will invite you over in a few months to enjoy some spaghetti and meatballs (or tofu balls if you're one of those vegetarian people). Unless there's a drought. No rain = upside down dead tomatoes.

Upside Down Tomato Garden

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Yak Pak Mystery Bags

I love surprises, even though I can't stand waiting. For instance, I love when my husband plans a surprise for our anniversary, even though I will comb through his browser history in order to find out what it is.

I've recently learned that my purchasing behavior also trends toward surprises. It turns out that the best way to get me to buy something is to tell me I'll have to pay for it before I find out what it is. That is what drew me to the SomethingStore, and it's why I just purchased a set of 3 mystery bags from Yak Pak. I have no idea what my $15 will get me. That's the whole point.

Note to online retailers: fewer titles and descriptions, more graphics with giant question marks.

The Yak Pak deal is not strictly a part of the 2008 Holiday Gift Guide, but it would be an acceptable present for me nonetheless.

Yak Pak Web Special: 3 Bags for $15


I just got an email from Yak Pak customer service. I am rescinding my recommendation out of spite.

Dear customer:

Thank you for contacting us here at Yak Pak. In reference to your order, we'd like to provide further explanation about the status. Your order, as well as a lot of other web orders, has been delay because of the reason the demand was much higher than anticipated and unfortunately we ran out of WEBS-001. It may become available in the near future. At this moment I will go ahead and cancel your order. The credit card authorization will be release in 3 to 5 working days. It depends on the bank. Once again we are sorry for this inconvenience.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Nintendo DS games

I am pretty smart. However, television advertisements tell me that I am getting stupider. The fact that I believe them serves as proof that I am indeed getting stupider.

Something must be done.

My plan is to tackle my impending idiocy with video games. Brain Age will help me train my brain in minutes a day. Brain Age 2 will do the same thing, but in different minutes. And Mystery Case Files: Millionheir will make me smarter by allowing me to hone the detective skills that television police dramas tell me are so important.

So buying me these games these games is kind of like an investment in my future. It's like donating to a worthy cause. It may even be tax deductible.*

I should mention that I do not currently own a Nintendo DS, so you will need to buy me one before you buy me these games.

Brain Age
Brain Age 2
Mystery Case Files: MillionHeir

Nintendo DS Lite (Onyx)

*It's not.

Cyber Monday

If you haven't bought my Christmas present yet, today is an excellent day to get cracking.

For your shopping pleasure, here are some bargain blogs I read regularly:

The deals are really great this year because the economy sucks.

If only you could pay your mortgage with 'free shipping' coupons.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Sunscreen wipes

Some people are built to be outdoors. They are outdoorsy. They like to hike up big hills and cook over campfires and poop in the woods. I am not one of those people.

I am the opposite of outdoorsy. I am indoorsy. I get sunburned and mosquito bitten whenever I leave my house. In fact, it is kind of shocking that my ancestors lived outdoors just 10,000 years ago.

As a result of my evolutionary deficiencies, I very closely follow developments in products that promise to protect me from nature.

For instance, last year I purchased a box of Vitamin B1 patches designed to protect me from bug bites. These patches were no match for the combination of my mosquito-loving skin and Trinidad's wet season. They allegedly worked for several Amazon reviewers, but definitely not for me. I wore up to four patches at a time, but I still looked like I caught a weird tropical pox.

I'm going back to Trinidad in January and I'm ready to try again. Not with the patches. Those were a disaster. This time I will target my other enemy: the sun. These sunscreen wipes may prevent me from dying, making them an excellent gift.

If you buy me these sunscreen wipes, I will happily send you a picture of me at the end of my Trinidad trip to show you how well they worked. This could be gratifying, or it could be hilarious. Either way, you win.*
MD Skincare Powerful Sun Protection SPF 30 Sunscreen Packettes

*The photo will, of course, replace any Christmas present I may have been planning to buy you. You're welcome.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Bread Machine

I like to bake. My specialties include cupcakes, banana bread, and various types of cookies.

But bread eludes me. My first attempt at a rustic loaf ended with a frisbee-like disc of semi-leavened food product. Apparently there's a difference between yeast and rapid-rise yeast; the two are not perfect substitutes. I found that out the hard way.

So I tried again, this time with sandwich bread. It went better with the rising and the proofing. The dough was even the consistency I wanted it to be--doughy. The resulting loaf, however, did not live up to the hype of homemade bread. It tasted a lot like flour and water combined to make something with a bread-like look and feel. And while that's exactly what bread is, somehow it's more delicious when other people make it.

I could try again, but instead I will just declare that I want a bread machine. I picked this Panasonic one from Amazon, but in reality you should buy me one off Craigslist or eBay. For some reason, a lot of people seem to be getting rid of perfectly good bread machines at any point in time.

Their loss is my gain. Imagine non-frisbee-like rustic loaves, fully leavened and completely delicious. Sandwich bread that both looks and tastes like homemade bread. Pizza dough I've been planning to make for a while now but so far have been too lazy to attempt. Healthy bread made with whole wheat flour, flax seeds, and organic water.

This is such a good idea that I'm resisting the urge to make a joke about sliced bread and more recent occurrences that are better than it.

At least one of the loyal readers of this blog may be thinking that we do not have enough counter space for a bread machine. That is a lie. There is space beside the Kitchen Aid mixer and that's where we shall put it.

I am powerless to resist. Bread machines may be the best thing since sliced bread. Are you happy now?

Panasonic Bread Machine

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sony Wireless Headphones

I work out. Not a lot, but sometimes. I bought an elliptical machine so that I would work out more.

It's awesome. I wake up a half hour early, put on Army Wives, and work out while I watch television.

The only problem is that a half hour early for me is usually between 5:30 and 6am. This is a problem because my living room/workout room shares a wall with my bedroom/sleeping husband room. And to hear my bad tv over the sound of the elliptical machine, I have to turn the volume all the way up. My husband does not like that.

So this post is geared primarily toward him. If you happen to sleep in the room next to where I work out very early in the morning, you may want to buy me these wireless headphones.

Our neighbors would probably like us more too.

Sony Wireless Headphones

Monday, November 24, 2008

Cake-Sicle Pan

Food always tastes better on a stick. It's like wrapping something in bacon: you just can't go wrong. Apples are tasty, but caramel apples are delicious. Hot dogs are good, but corn dogs are way better. Why? Clearly it's the stick.  

Yet few have dared to apply this solid logic to baked goods. Enter the Cake-Sicle pan, a market solution to the shortage of dessert on a stick options.
The Cake-Sicle pan allows you transform ordinary batter into the holy grail of baking: cake on a stick. You can then coat your cake-sicles with chocolate and sprinkles (see photo). It also works for brownies.
Does this mean you could have banana-bread-sicles? Chocolate-chip-cookie-sicles? Blueberry-muffin-sicles? I don’t know. The only way to find out is to buy me the Norpro Nonstick Cake-Sicle Pan. The answers to these and other baked-good-sicle questions can at last be answered. 
Seriously. I want.

Norpro Nonstick Cake-Sicle Pan

Saturday, November 22, 2008

2008 Holiday Gift Guide

It's that time of year again. The time when every blog and magazine and television talk show puts out a holiday gift guide of scented body lotions and fashion-forward cuff links.

The mistake they all make is that they attempt to create one-size-fits-all lists. They try to cater to the greatest common denominator by compiling a collection of innocuous bath products and mail-order cheeses and, of course, random crap. Have you ever received a guillotine cigar cutter or a friendship treasure ball? It was probably on a holiday gift guide somewhere.

The 2008 ShopVicariously Holiday Gift Guide will fly in the face of convention. It will not contain generic gifts for everyone on your list.

It will only contain gifts for me. 

If you plan on getting me a Christmas present this year, it had better be either (a) on this list or (b) as awesome as or more awesome than the things on this list.

Friday, November 21, 2008


I am risk averse. I don't like to gamble. I don't like extreme sports. I don't even like ferris wheels.

I am also cheap. I hoard Bed Bath & Beyond coupons like there's no tomorrow. I routinely read bargain blogs. I will not pay full price for clothing. I never make an online purchase without checking Retail Me Not first. I'm not cheap about big things (food, travel, presents, etc), but I will stand in the toothpaste aisle at Walgreens comparing ingredient lists to determine if there's really a difference between my preferred brand and the generic.

So it's somewhat odd that I like risking money on wacky schemes that may or may not pan out. I play the scratch-off lotto. I buy domain names with plans to get rich quick. I impulsively spend small to moderate amounts of money on things that no normal person would ever buy.

I think that's why I am so obsessed with the SomethingStore. It's a brilliant idea. It's the kind of idea I'm tempted to claim to have thought of years ago myself but never followed through on (I'd be lying). Here's what the website says:
"An idea: Offer the good people of World Wide Web something. Let them not know what it is until they receive it. After all, if anything can be sold on the Internet, why not something? Is it dumb? Or is it brilliant? Something in between? We couldn't decide; here is SomethingStore so you can decide."
Brilliant. And only ten bucks.* Don't tell my husband, but I recently purchased my very own Something. It turned out to be a karaoke microphone that I have no use for, but I will certainly try again.

In totally unrelated news, you may be getting a karaoke microphone for Christmas this year. Please try to act surprised.


*All sales are final.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Kitchen Aid Mixer

Frequent readers of this blog may recall that I am secretly a 35-year-old housewife. While I am not good at cleaning, crafting, or cooking, I am not not good at baking. Not to brag, but I am actually not bad at baking.

How can someone be a terrible cook but a not-terrible baker? That's like asking why someone can be bad at furniture design but good at putting together stuff from Ikea. The former involves talent, skill, and intuition. The latter is just doing what the instructions tell you to do.

Sure, really good baking involves improvisation and understanding ratios of ingredients and some vague notion of "science," but I never claimed to be a really good baker. I am a solidly not-bad baker. That just involves following instructions, and frequently a standing mixer. Hence the post about Kitchen Aid mixers. They are awesome.

The pink mixer is by far the best. The reasons include funding for breast cancer research and, more importantly, pinkness. I am not a huge fan of pink, but I am a fan of funny things. Nothing is funnier than receiving a pink mixer as a gift and knowing that my husband can't do anything about it. Except watching someone fall down. Nothing is funnier than watching someone fall down. Unless that someone is injured. A pink mixer is funnier than a seriously injured person.

Speaking of things that suck for my husband, I am still not good at the cleaning after baking.

KitchenAid Artisan Series 5-Quart Mixer, Pink


I've gotten some questions about this post. Apparently the hierarchy of funny things was a bit unclear. Here is a list of things ranked in order of funniness:
  1. Nothing
  2. Person falling down (not injured)
  3. Pink mixer
  4. Person falling down (seriously injured)
I hope this helps.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Lady Mags

If you learn anything about me today, let it be this: I am a 35-year-old housewife. I may technically be 10 years younger with a full-time job and an incredibly messy apartment, but don't let that fool you. Deep down, I am a domestic goddess. It's my fun job and my friends and my jet-setting lifestyle that are keeping me from realizing my full potential. knows the truth. They're always recommending things like Good Housekeeping magazine and bundt cake cookbooks and body pillows. Bed, Bath, & Beyond knows the truth. They're always sending me 20% off coupons in the mail, knowing that I secretly want to run out and buy a bundt pan and a body pillow. Even my husband knows the truth. He was the one I dragged to the craft store in Queens in a needlepoint emergency, and the one whose kitchen table was covered in homemade greeting cards after the rubber stamp fiasco of '08.

The place where my housewifery is most apparent is in my magazine selection. Many years ago, when I was in my early twenties, I read US Weekly and In Touch. But now that I'm many years older and more mature, I've graduated to lady mags. That's right, I subscribe to O Magazine and Real Simple. I read Martha Stewart Living at work and Better Homes and Gardens when I'm on an airplane. I even picked up Ladies' Home Journal last time I got a haircut.

And you know what? I'm not ashamed. Where else would I find out that Nars makes the best multitasking makeup? Who would tell me that wide-leg trousers and pencil skirts look "dumpy" with flats? Where would I learn how to repurpose ice cube trays as desk drawer organizers or how to make cranberry chutney from scratch?

I don't actually ever plan to become a housewife, but a part of me will always wish I had the time and the discipline to make my own candles and read books about how to live a fuller life.

O, The Oprah Magazine (1-year)
Real Simple (1-year)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Trivial Pursuit Genus Edition, 1981

You probably think you're pretty smart. The fact that you're reading this blog means that you probably are. As a pretty smart person, you are probably good at trivia. You probably know, for example, that the capital of Mozambique is Maputo, and that Julie Andrews won the Oscar for Best Actress in 1964 for Mary Poppins

But how smart are you really?

Trivial Pursuit's 1981 Genus Edition will test your alleged intelligence by asking you to recall the following:

  1. What's the international radio code word for the letter Z?
  2. What's the largest lake in South America?
  3. How many bulls are killed in a formal bullfight?
  4. Which of Hitler's deputies parachuted into Scotland to negotiate peace terms?
  5. What does FM stand for?
  6. What's a group of bears called?
  7. What were broccoli and cauliflower developed from?
  8. What does a pluviometer measure?
  9. What does the J&B stand for on the scotch?
  10. What's the largest gland in the human body?
  11. What Persian astronomer-poet wrote a celebrated collection of quatrains?
  12. What was Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's name before he became a Muslim?
  13. What time does Wee Willie Winkie run through the town?
  14. Who preceded Walter Cronkite as anchorman on The CBS Evening News?
  15. What does a brandophile collect?
  16. What industry was Benjamin Braddock advised to enter at his graduation party?
But anyone who is pretty smart can answer those questions. The great equalizer of the original Genus Edition is that it asks you to answer questions about politics, sports, and pop culture circa 1981. For example:
  1. How many grooves are there on each side of a 45 rpm record?
  2. What country's name is abbreviated CSSR?
  3. What is Margaret Houlihan's nickname?
  4. What's the capital of West Germany?
  5. Who launched his ill-fated drive for the White House on The Summer Brothers Smothers Show?
  6. What was the Montreal Expos' home before they moved to Olympic Stadium?
  7. What company is the world's largest user of silver?
  8. Who is Captain Mark Phillips married to?
  9. What three countries border Finland?
  10. What board game asks you to create a success formula from money, fame, and happiness?
  11. What does VDT stand for?
  12. What country is the BRD?
  13. What city has the tallest building outside the US?
  14. Who holds the NFL record for most touchdowns in a season?
  15. What British colony has a famed jad emarket on Canton Road?
  16. What newspaper has the largest Sunday circulation in North America?
A few tips may help you win this game:
  • If the question is about a country, the answer is usually the Soviet Union.
  • Avoid Entertainment questions (the pink ones) at all costs.
  • If you get a question with a superlative (tallest, best, most), you are screwed.
  • History questions are a pretty good bet, because most history occurred before 1981 anyway.
  • If a history question asks something you don't know, the answer is probably something to do with the Soviet Union.

Trivial Pursuit Master Game Genus Edition (1981)


(1) Zulu (2) Lake Maracaibo (3) Six (4) Rudolf Hess (5) Frequency modulation (6) A sleuth (7) Cabbage (8) Rainfall (9) Justerini & Brooks (10) The liver (11) Omar Khayyam (12) Lew Alcindor (13) Eight o'clock (14) Douglas Edwards (15) Cigar bands (16) Plastics

(1) One (2) Czechoslovakia's (3) Hot Lips (4) Bonn (5) Pat Paulson (6) Jarry Park (7) Kodak (8) Princess Anne (9) Norway, Sweden, and the Soviet Union (10) Careers (11) Video Display Terminal (12) West Germany (13) Toronto (14) O.J. Simpson (15) Hong Kong (16) The New York Daily News

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Army Wives

I have terrible taste in television. Sure, I watch the shows that you watch--30 Rock, Mad Men, Entourage--and I  casually reference them in conversation with normal people.  But I also watch the Real World/Road Rules Challenge. I TiVo America's Next Top Model. I watched Studio 60 long after the rest of the world realized it was terrible. If there's an elimination-based reality show on Bravo, no matter how ridiculous the premise, chances are good I love it.

And there's a special place in my heart for anything on Lifetime. During one of those wonderful please-don't-take-my-baby movie marathons they had a woman-on-the-street interview segment before each commercial break. One of them featured the following exchange (I am not making this up):

Person with microphone: And why do you watch Lifetime?Southern-looking over-groomed twenty-something: Because I'm a woman.

That's how I feel about Lifetime. So when I found out about Army Wives, the Lifetime Original tv drama, I set my TiVo immediately. It's great. It's like a combination of M*A*S*H and The Facts of Life. All the women are sassy and full of salt-of-the-earth wisdom while they struggle to maintain normalcy in the midst of hostage situations and explosions on post.

If you like The Real Housewives of Orange County and Top Design, you won't be disappointed with Army Wives.

Bonus points because watching it makes me feel patriotic. Hate the war, love our troops.

Army Wives: The Complete First Season

Monday, June 23, 2008

Downy Wrinkle Releaser

Dear Downy Wrinkle Releaser,

I've really enjoyed getting to know you again over these past few months. We had a thing in high school for a while, when you were new to the market and your ads were all over daytime tv, but then we fell out of touch. We both had other things going on. You were no longer widely available on drugstore shelves, while I went off to college and started wearing thrift-store t-shirts every day. I thought I had outgrown you.

I never stopped thinking about you, though. Sometimes I would look for you on the shelf at Duane Reade or Google you to see if you were still around, but nothing ever came of it. I even experimented with other wrinkle free sprays, but that's all it was. It never got serious; they were just too expensive. Not like you.

Then fate brought us back together. I remember that day three months ago like it was yesterday. I was meandering down the aisle of the Smart & Final looking for fragrance-free dryer sheets and there you were, just as I had remembered you. It had been a long time, but I couldn't stay away.  bought you and brought you home with me and we've been together ever since. You were there for me on my first day of work and at that conference where I stuffed all my nice clothes into a duffel bag. I really feel like we have something special.

I'm going to say something now and I don't want you to feel like you have to say it back. I've wanted to tell you this for a while, but I was afraid of how you'd react. I know it seems a little fast, but, well, I love you.

Downy Wrinkle Releaser (travel size)
Downy Wrinkle Releaser (full size)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


I have a very grown-up appreciation for Newsies. I won't lie. When I was younger, I had a thing for Christian Bale, with his slightly-above-average singing voice and post-adolescent good looks. Who didn't? But now my love of Newsies is a mature love that has nothing to do with the singing, dancing young men I loved so much when I was 12. That would be gross (and probably illegal).

Now I appreciate the artistry of the film. The choreography. The historical accuracy. The uplifting message that a rag-tag group of newspaper boys could take on the establishment and win. This movie is a must-see for anyone who is fascinated by turn-of-the-20th-century New York politics or who appreciates musical theater as an art form.

I just found out that Christian Bale was 18 when Newsies was made. I can now officially say that he is dreamy in this movie. Totally legal.

Newsies (Collector's Edition)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Catch Phrase

I love board games of all kinds. I also tend to befriend competitive people, so I'm always a little scared to play games like Risk and Settlers of Cattan with the people I know. Get together games (Taboo, Apples to Apples, etc.) tend to be a safer bet. More yelling, but less silent seething anger at someone who attacks Australia or corners the market in wheat.

Catch Phrase is the best get together game ever. At it's most basic level, it's a combination of Taboo without rules and Hot Potato without potatoes. The electronic version is best.

You and your overly competitive friends divide yourselves into two teams and sit in a circle of alternating team members and pass around the game (which is roughly the size and shape of a panini). When it's your turn, you read the word or phrase on the screen and try to make your teammates guess it by any means necessary as the game beeps progressively faster in a crazy-making way. When your team guesses correctly, you pass the game to the next player as the beeps get closer and closer together and start to eat your soul. The team left holding the game when the beeps stop is stoned to death.

For example, if the phrase on the screen is "Great Wall" you might say something like "This is a man-made object that can be seen from space," or "This is a miles-long structure in China." Or you could just start shouting "BLANK BLANK OF CHINA" over and over again as the game beeps faster and faster and your teammates grasp for answers: "People's Republic?" "Communist Party?"

Sadly, I can never play Catch Phrase with that group of friends again.

Hasbro Electronic Catch Phrase Game - Second Edition

Monday, June 16, 2008


I am an excellent roller skater. Very few people know this about me, not because I am modest, but because I have had trouble finding ways to work this fun fact into conversation.

boring person at party: Blah, blah, blah, my cousin's wedding.
me: I am an excellent roller skater.

Now imagine, if you will, me at the same party wearing heelies. When I find myself in a conversation that turns boring, I could turn and gracefully roll away on one heel. The boring person would then understand not only that he is boring, but also that I am probably an excellent roller skater (which I am).

Other times I have wished I was wearing heelies:

  • airport terminals without moving walkways (see Charla from The Amazing Race)

  • airport terminals with moving walkways (how awesome would that be?)

  • times when the Trini tries to make me walk up giant hills for exercise (when I get tired, I can just roll down the hill and he'll never catch me)

  • when around children (to make them jealous)

  • when being chased by cops who are not wearing heelies

Did you know that they come in adult sizes? They do. Best thing ever.

Heelys Adult Glitter Skate Shoe