Friday, November 30, 2007

BLARGH!@!

OH MY EFFING GOD. After not seeing a cucaracha in my apartment since that one time, today I have to go and FIND A GIANT CENTIPEDE CRAWLING ON MY BED. I was not in it at the time, but I don't care. I haven't had to kill one of those since my freshman year of college, when they would endure many rounds of battle before they finally died (and sometimes come back to life), so when I saw it making its way across my pretty yellow plaid comforter, I had flashbacks and was completely freaked until I realized there was no one else who could dispose of it but me. So, as I "OMIGOD"-ed my way around my room (there is no better way to wake up my dormant helpless girly side than by introducing critters into my living space, I swear), I managed to chase it off the bed with the phonebook, and then it started crawling up my dresser, and I knocked it off with a shoe, and then because I have such terrible aim, it fell on the floor and I managed to squash it against the dresser and it was all just so, so disgusting. I can't even bring myself to pick up its carcass because if college taught me anything, it's that these things are never dead when you think they are. So I'm going to go to work and hope it's still dead by the time I come home tonight. Otherwise, I'm sleeping in the hallway.

Hold me.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Oh, Just Call Her His Ho Already and Be Done With It

So, there's this commercial for these special make-your-own Rudolphs at Build-A-Bear, and I'm completely weirded out that you can also make his "special friend Clarice." Special friend? Like, why can't they say "girlfriend"? Oh, excuse me, "doefriend?" Are they trying to pretend that cartoon reindeer don't have the hots for each other or something? I mean, I was 6 years old and the fact that they liked each other in that way didn't escape me and it didn't scar me for life or anything. I'm sure today's children, with their thongs for 5-year-olds and Grand Theft Auto: Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood know what's going on too.

"Special friend." Pshaw.

Because I'm Curious

Someone from my office has been catching up over here lately. Who you be? Yer freaking me out, yo.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

My Not-So Grown-Up Christmas List

So, when I was at the old Bischer homestead this weekend, I went in search of my grandma's kitchen chairs to refinish for my new/old table. This required making my way around on my hands and knees through our übercreepy crawlspace, which hasn't been entered since, like, a time when the idea of the Yankees making the playoffs was a joke. In my quest to dig out the chairs (and not die at the hand of a stealth murderous lunatic making a home amongst the dust) I came across this envelope I'd fashioned out of hideous 1970s wallpaper for my dad for Father's Day, circa 1982. Inside the envelope was a variety of things, like my teeth for the Tooth Fairy (man, was that a blow after 30 years), report cards and standardized test scores. And a letter to Santa. Oh, yes, I ripped that sucker open, because, nothing says Blog Material like a 6-year-old's material hopes and desires.

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I think the North Pole is somewhere near Missouri and Oregon, if memory serves.

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As you can see, copy editing is CLEARLY in my future.

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Okay, let's ignore the fact that there are only 6 items listed here, because, really, the numbers were just there to show off my impressive ability to write numbers. And let's focus on TubTown -- because that gift rocked my world. Maybe it had something to do with my fascination with The Love Boat, but a cruise ship/seaside community that hooks onto your bathtub? Man could you come up with some crazy plots after washing your hair with a bar of soap. And you can't find it ANYWHERE now, even eBay. Oh, sure, there are re-incarnations of it, but nothing like what I had.

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Oh, yeah, and Speak and Math KICKED ASS. Santa, if you are checking up on me, forget the toaster and shower curtain, I would like another one of these, plese.

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If by "good girl" you mean "No, I won't open all my presents before my mommy and daddy wake up on Christmas Day out of consideration for their sleep needs, and this is what happens when you teach kids to read their name and tell them someone impartial is giving them presents," then yes, I was a "good girl" that year.

I don't know about this year. But I'll be waiting for that Speak and Math.

Because a Yankee Named Johan Would Rule. And Other Reasons

Must keep reminding self: They're only talking. "Talking" is what 7th graders called "dating" and we all know how long that lasted.

How is it only November 27? This offseason is taking WAY too long already.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Die, Onions, Die

Nothing good can come of onions. They make you cry (if you're not wearing contacts, anyway) and they stink up your living space (and anything else in their wake) after you've cooked them. If I actually wanted that, I'd find myself a sleazoid boyfriend or something. And what kind of masochistic recipe calls for four onions anyway? Never again.

Friday, November 23, 2007

The Early Bird Gets Christmas Cookies for Everyone!

Before today, I never understood why people felt compelled to get up at 3:30 a.m. on Black Friday so they could go get trampled over in pursuit of some random discounted product. But that was before I saw that Kohl's was going to have quite possibly the love of my cooking life, The Kitchenaid Stand Mixer, for the way, way decent price of $129 after a mail-in rebate. Melissa had one in the old place, and I miss it so. But, I'm no fool. I'm not going to wake up hours before the sun just so I can make Christmas cookies and cakes more easily. Nay, I slept till 6:30, was out the door by 7, and after having to find the Mixer under some lady's coat (she had placed all her junk on top of the display while she hemmed and hawed if she needed it or not. Like, if you have to ask yourself, don't bother. I have an utter distaste for the people who get these things and don't have an appreciation or even a use for them. Don't make a freaking mixer a status symbol, you know? /rant), I was out of the store by 7:20, home by 7:30, and back to bed.


You complete me.

The awesomest part is that when I woke up again and was fixing myself a leftover sandwich, my dad was flipping channels and what should be on the Science Channel? A How It's Made about the Kitchenaid Stand Mixer. And then, Ina Garten used hers (in which the numbers on the side are worn off because she actually, you know, uses hers) to make some creme brulee on The Barefoot Contessa. Like, the gods were telling me I made the right choice. Not that I needed to know it.

Also, the name Classic Plus is part of it, which means it could be a relation of the MovinCool Classic Plus 14. Which means it has a soul, yo.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Because It's Tradition Now

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Enjoy your third-annual viewing of the awesomely ugly Bischer turkey platter and have a terrific Turkey Day. I at least know June will be happy to see it.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Boss Has Left the Mouse-Infested Building

Scrooge, admiring his old boss Mr. Fezziwig in a vision of the past: "What a marvelous man."

Ghost of Christmas Past: "What's so marvelous? He's merely spent a few pounds of your mortal money, two or three perhaps. What is that to be worthy of so much praise?"

Scrooge:"You don't understand. He has the power to make us happy or unhappy, to make our work a pleasure or a burden. It's got nothing to do with money."


It is only fitting that I mark the departure of the head of the copy crew with a line from the Dickens classic A Christmas Carol, or one of the celluloid versions anyway, seeing as how Art may be the only person under the age of 50 who knows what I'm talking about when I quote it. Yes, Art is leaving us. It's all terribly depressing and we're all still kind of in denial about it. So much so, we all decided to go out and get obliterated last night to celebrate...his not leaving.

I'm remembering things in pieces, like Elizabeth asking Web Guy Mike if she could run her hands through his healthy head of steroid-induced hair, Art, Art saying a dirty word not once, but THREE TIMES (which I think stemmed from someone bringing up Production Guy Jeff's reasons for watching Ghost Whisperer), the copy department shot (the drink, not by a gun or something), Rana and I visiting the jukebox and picking Art inside-joke songs "Working for the Weekend" and "This Old Heart of Mine" and then only the latter song being played, in which Art could only hear the bass. Art holding himself up by railings, or at least I think that's what he was doing, and declaring his hatred for parades, an outing to the local karaoke bar, which we still have yet to get Art to do (he'd headed home at that point, hoping he wouldn't pass out and end up in Bayhead -- ingesting some granola bars apparently helped this to not hoappen), putting Elizabeth in a cab because I, with my woman's intuition and such, thought that she was sober, but Jason realized she needed a nicer way home than the subway.

The awesomest part? It wasn't even Art's last day. No, it's today. Shyeah. Alka-Seltzer.

And our new boss? That'd be Jason, with Elizabeth promoted to second-in-command. I asked them if their first order of business could be to get the copy department a hot tub. And a disco ball. I think I can totally sway them....

Monday, November 19, 2007

It's Kind of a Force of Habit Now Anyway

A-Rod hit .314 and led the majors with 54 homers and 156 RBIs. But he flopped again in the playoffs as the Yankees lost to Cleveland in the first round. He went 4-for-15 (.267) with one RBI against the Indians, is in an 8-for-59 (.136) postseason funk dating to 2004 and is hitless in his past 18 playoff at-bats with runners in scoring position.

Aaaaaand post-season stats have what, exactly, to do with the regular-season MVP award?

Aaaaaand I'm A-hyphen defending again. Am I allowed to do that yet?

It's That Time of Year Again

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I know Christmas is still a good month and five days away, but these things take time, yo. So, if you want a Chicken Holiday Card, e-mail your address to kabsy77@yahoo.com, and let The Chicken bring you some cheer. And no, he doesn't like figgy pudding.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

No Paul McCartney for "Ebony and Ivory" But...

I've just come home from the Stevie Wonder concert at MSG, and I wish there was some way to bottle up all the joyous and positive feelings oozing from the Garden and carry them around my neck, so as to sprinkle it on people and situations that are sucking in the future. Man, was it a good show. Probably the most boogeying down by a crowd I've ever seen at a concert, and good lord does Stevie still sound great. And also: Tony Bennett. And Prince. I mean, where else can you be having an awesome time at a show with a mustic legend, only to have two more (extemely different) music legends join on stage? Even the quiet middle-aged dude sitting next to me freaked out when Prince came in on guitar in "Superstion". And I thought the dude in front of Dexter was going to go into convulsions of delight when Tony Bennett appeared to duet on "For Once in My Life." Like, surprises like that RULE, man.

It was also nice that he did a full setlist, as opposed to the "sampler" shows I've seen in recent years where older artists only tease you with part of their songs and call it a night after an hour and a half. This was two and a half hours of great-sounding fun. I may be spoiled for other shows from here on in.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On. In My Living Room.

So I'm not sure if I should be freaked out by this or not, but every now and then my living room will start to shake slightly. Like, the walls will rattle and my picture frames and vases start to tinkle and my couch starts to vibrate and The Chicken runs to the doorway to protect himself. I'm beginning to wonder if I live on a fault line or if the PATH trains run under my apartment building or if Zuul is inhabiting my refrigerator and I'm going to have to have a rendevouz with the Keymaster at some point.

Now, I live two floors above a laundromat, and I know washing machines have a habit of making things shake sometimes, but don't you think that would have to be one hell of a spin cycle for me to feel it two floors up? And I've heard the neighbors doing the deed and that doesn't account for much except awkward. And it's not like there's construction going on, and oh yeah, why don't I get it anyhere else in the apartment? At least in my old place, if the walls were rattling, it was due to Chewboken making his way from one end of the apartment to the other.

Man, if only Unsolved Mysteries was still on the air....

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Analogy of the Day

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If anyone other than Steph and Tonya understands this, I will be impressed.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I Want to Believe

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This is Derek Jeter. All alone. On the top of my computer. Where his onetime confidante and sleepover buddy once sat too. Said buddy was the normally pricey-ish Hallmark ornament I got at the ridiculously discounted price of $4.99 like a week BEFORE Christmas at the Monmouth Mall, in Yankee Territory N.J. Because a year ago, no one wanted Alex Rodriguez's squatting ass on their Christmas tree, or something. Because he was unclutch and could do nothing for his team. Anyhow, he joined the Captain on my screen (remember when they weren't speaking? God, that was a rough time) and there he sat until a few days after the Game 4 Announcement, when I got sad looking at him and relegated him to Headless Jason Giambi Ornament Territory: his box in my filing cabinet.

Today there are rumors that he is coming back, meaning peeling the tape from his feet and shoving him back into his cardboard womb and leaving him amongst extra moist towlettes and salt packets may have been a premature act on my part. However, I refuse to believe anything until I see it.

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So, A-Rod. Are you in, or are you out?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Between This and the Scrabble, I'm Outting my Geekdom. And I Don't Care.

My mind is blown. Never in my life did I think I would find myself being completely absorbed in a graphic novel (considering the last time I read a comic book was when I was like 9, and that was about the proper care of goldfish, and I was strangely obsessed with it -- I know), so much so that when it was over (all 1332 pages of it), I'd actually be majorly bummed. But that is what happened after finishing Bone this evening. Knowing that I adore Harry Potter and anything with a bit of childlike whimsy, Jason lent it to me a little over a week ago, after going on and on about how awesome it was. I wasn't sure what to expect, since all I know about comics, particularly serial/epic ones, is stuff like Spider-Man and his ilk. But this story is so NOT like that, and I feel completely oblivious now, as I used to think that because anything had the word "comic" in it, it was probably about superheroes. The characters in Bone are vivid and brave like you'd expect, but they are relatable and likeable and even downright folksy -- and none of the main characters have over-the-top superhuman ability. Their quest is peppered with adorable side characters, and even some strangley hilarious villains and damn if there weren't some emotional moments. There's nothing overtly sexual about it (the main heroine, while pretty, isn't busting out of a 42 triple-D-cup bra or anything), so kids can enjoy it, and there's some nice lessons about friendship and loyalty. Sometimes, that's all you really need.

It's also made me realize what a great medium for storytelling it is. It uses dialogue to tell the story, but the detail in the drawings key you into what's going on below the surface. I don't know how I never noticed this before, but it's making me regret not learning how to draw better. And that I don't have a badass dragon looking out for me.

I don't know what I'm going to do now, but I have to say, The Kite Runner sure as hell isn't going to live up to this.

Pht is a Word?

Why, yes of course! If you're the sonofabitch "robot" I was playing against on Scrabulous, that is. Who needs a vowel? Or Merriam Webster for that matter?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sunday Bets

Horses wearing pretty colors! Shady, angry men shouting at televsions! Hot dog meals for almost 10 bucks! Convertible toilet/urinals in the ladies' bathroom! What did KB do today, you ask? Why, visit the Aqueduct racetrack of course! AND I WON, BITCHEZ.

But let me backtrack. It started when somehow we got on the topic of horse racing at work, and Production Guy Jeff told us about how he has a friend of a friend who owns a horse that was racing at Aqueduct this weekend. It was off of this that Jason (who, although being from Kentucky, had never been to a horse race, but he'd been reading a lot of Charles Bukowski and it had make him curious) and I (who have a strange love for horse racing) decided to make an outing of it.

First off, it's not that hard to get out there -- it's just a ride on the A train (though we took the wrong branch at first, missing the first two races as a result...which spared me from making a bad bet on a horse named Stud Muffin -- because that is quite the awesome name right there) and the stop is right off the park. It was chilly outside, but most of the park is indoors, and you can even view the horses in the saddling area from inside, which is nice. But good LORD is it a peckerfest. I mean, when I went to the bathroom and saw the toilet was shaped weird (with no seat cover), and realized it was that way to be man-pee friendly, I feared for a minute that I had strayed into the men's room by accident. I guess they may have to use for it as a men's room again at some point, being that women are totally outnumbered there. Or at least they were today. And while everyone was well behaved, you could tell that, like racetracks everywhere, you're going to get some, uh, characters. We were by the guys literally yelling at simulcasts from Churchill Downs, and then you've got your typical loud-mouth New York types, which, sprinkled with a gambling addiction and possibly some alcoholism, gets you someone you don't want to mess with. Or a "shmuck" as the grouchy guy behind us grumbled at one point, in response to a dude yelling at the horesman trying to catch a runaway horse (the first one I bet on, of course) before the third race.

Anyway, escapee horses aside, the betting part was good. Jason had been worried about placing bets, being that it was his first time, but he caught on quick and managed to win some money off picking horses to "show" (although his Tavern-on-the-Green-priced Nathan's lunch put a dent in his fortunes), and I got a little bolder than I usually do, betting a quinella and picking a few horses to show instead of just my usual $2-dollars-to-win bets.

But of course, the best moments came from when we strayed from the odds to pick winners. For instance, I picked a horse named Tamberino with 12-1 odds because I liked his name -- and he won me 22 bucks! And Jason picked up his first "win" in the last race, when he bet on a horse named Golden Manna because the name tickled him. Like, you see all these hardcore bettors with pens, studying programs with the intensity of a NASA engineer, but dudes, you can win for liking the weight of the jockey or the pretty star on the horsie's forehead or inadvertently betting on the wrong horse. Like I did. Having been so dizzied by Tamberino's win (and feeling saucy enough to do a $5 dollar bet), I went to place my next bet on a horse named Hammock (because that name RULES) and gave the wrong number to the bet taker. I didn't notice it until we were standing by the paddock and I realized I was supposed to bet on the No. 2 horse, not the No. 4 (the not-as-awesomely-named Red Zipper). When I saw Red Zipper's odds were similar, I stuck with it, mostly for fear of looking stupid to the bet taker, the whole time telling Jason that Hammock, with his awesome name and equally awesome dual-colored tail, would probably win just to piss me off. But lo, as the horses start coming down the clubhouse turn, who should start making his way to the front but Red Zipper. And then he makes it across the finish line first, leaving Jason and I to just be like "duuuuuuuude" and me to wonder if I'd been possessed by some long-dead mafia relation in my moment of misbetting.

All in all it was an excellent way to spend a Sunday. Combine this with a fabulous Bad Movie night on Friday (A Stranger Among Us, which, GOD IS IT TERRIBLE. Thanks mostly in part to Melanie Griffith and some gift-wrapped-in-suck dialogue) with the Hoboken Crew and a shopping quest with Ken yesterday (in which we saw Santa at the mall and were like IT'S NOT EVEN NOVEMBER 15), and I'd say I hit the trifecta for a lovely weekend.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Two Layers of Stripper, One Day of Sanding and Three Coats of Paint Later...

Before:

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After:

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Voilá! I know this progression has had you all riveted. And next up: The Chairs.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Blah

I've always been majorly hyper over-aware of everything that surrounds me. I think it's a curse sometimes, because by noticing everything and putting two and two together, you start to dread things before they inevitably happen, and then it does, and it sucks. It's like informed paranoia, but you're right. Unless it's good news that you figure out... but then it sucks too because sometimes it's nice to be surprised, you know?

I can't figure out if ignorance is indeed bliss or if this curse of mine helps me be prepared.

I do know this year has had some big-time suckage moments, though, and I am SO over it.

"It’s better to be hurt by someone you know accidentally than by a stranger on purpose."

So, I totally didn't love last night's episode of The Office because I'm not exactly sure what they're doing with Jim. I know, I know, he's finding himself or what have you, but last night kind of forgot the character a bit. Remember the Jim from Office Olympics? The one who could motivate the staff because he was on their level, especially for a fun event? And now, just because he's been made Michael's number two, he starts behaving like Michael? So much so that Phyllis calls him that? I don't know. It felt kind of forced to me. I can't tell if it's the show or me watching it in a new location that's making it weird.

I did like Dwight's arsenal hidden about the office, particularly Mr. A Knife and the blowgun in the toilet. And Michael fashioning his pants into many useful outdoor objects. THAT seemed vintage Office to me.

Oh, and in my own office last night, we were all convinced Rana was going to get killed by the Chinese food delivery guy, complete with jokes about stealth knocking and knives from Jack's 99-cent store, and it was awesome. Lesson learned? Always have enough cash on hand for a good tip, even if they won't let you use your charge card. Otherwise, you live like a mafia man for the rest of the night, thinking "this is it" whenever there's a knock on the door.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

In Which Suzanne Whang is The New Bob Lorenz

So my new obsession is HGTV. It's kind of a passive obsession, as it's not like I sit and think about it all day, but when I come home at night, it's pretty much the only channel I watch. And what shows are the ones that I love the most? Why, the ones where people are trying to sell their homes, of course. No, I don't get it. I RENT an apartment, am nowhere near close to buying anything, so what do I need to know about proper "staging"? And yet, here I am thinking, "Why in the name of god do you have exercise equipment blocking your front door if you want to sell your home, you idiot?"

I mean, I've always liked House Hunters, but now it's branched into Find Your Style and Curb Appeal (again, something I don't have to worry about IN AN APARTMENT) and My House is Worth What? and Deserving Design (which is actually heartwarming). I think it's because while I'm not big on people makeover shows (because most of the time, the people are content with how they look, which is rare these days, and then others ambush them to get made over and make them have "style." Which is more important than liking yourself as you are, apparently.) I love seeing homes get re-done. Especially if the people have suffered with ugly kitchens that they can't afford to redo and finally get to take a sledgehammer to it, or can't figure out what to do with an odd piece of furniture and then some designer comes in and makes it a butcher block/shower combo or something equally interesting.

Or maybe it's because baseball's gone and TV sucks right now (I'm pretty much only watching The Office and 30 Rock these days) and seeing a home get fixed gives me some sense of control (or at least, vicarious control) in this crazy world we live in. I don't know. I suppose there are worse networks to be addicted to. Like QVC.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

L is for the Way You Look at Me

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Come back, Andy. Pretty please?

So Bad, it's AWESOME

I love making fun of bad movies (which is probably why I adore Mystery Science Theater 3000 so much -- remind me to do a post on that sometime). So I've started something called Bad Movie Saturday, which entails having some friends over to watch some really awesomely bad movies so we can just sit and snark on them. The first movie we watched was the Tori Spelling/Kellie Martin classic Death of a Cheerleader, in which no one has actually done any cheering at a game, Locke from Lost doesn't like you if you're not popular, despite being the principal of a high school, and Valerie Harper does some serious rosary praying to a kitchen timer. Also, Tori Spelling is stabbed to death. So you can see why I'd pick something like this.

I'm looking for recommendations, to keep this new tradition going on as long as possible. So far, I've got No One Would Tell, in which Fred Savage beats Candace Cameron to death; A Stranger Among Us, in which detective Melanie Griffith (bwah!) hangs out with some Hasidic Jewish people; The Last Dragon, which I've never seen, but I'm told is crazy bad/funny; And Xanadu, which goes without saying.

So fire away. What bad movies tickle your funny bone?

Saturday, November 03, 2007

In Which I am a Stripper

So guess how I've been spending my weekend? Stripping! Stripping the paint off my new/old table (yes, I found one -- the quest is over), that is. Oh! You thought I was taking my clothes off? Well, that's not happening since my apartment building's heat isn't working and it's, like, cold out. And in order to use the paint stripper, you have to open the windows real wide and you have to put more things on your body so you don't get, like, poisoned or something. You think I'm kidding? The side of the can warns "This product will expose you to chemicals which are known to the State of California (but not to the other 49 states, apparently) to cause cancer and reproductive harm." And while I can't protect my ovaries, I've been wearing rubber gloves and goggles and boy do I look hot, y'all.

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No, I won't tell you where I hid the body.

Anyhow, what a MESS. I don't know who the dumbass was that painted a vintage, 1920s/30s table red, since IT DOESN'T EVEN MATCH THE TOP OF TABLE -- as Rana said, it looks like something out of Santa's workshop. Also, as I'm stripping it, I'm noticing there was some neat green (MATCHING) detail work below the red, but it's too much of a mess for a novice like me to restore it, so I'm just going to paint it white. My kitchen now looks kind of like a murder scene with all the red dripping here and there and the smell of the stripper is getting to me a bit. I suppose this is what happens when you are DIY, but it's keeping my mind off the drama in Yankeeland, so that's a plus.

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Before...

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...after two coats of stripper. YEAH.

Oh, and in other news, Melissa informs me that Chewboken moved out today. For reals. And my nextdoor neighbors just moved out and for a good few hours I was terrified that he was moving in, but I think it's safe to say he's not, so thank god...

Thursday, November 01, 2007

"I Gave You Things You Couldn't Even Pronounce!"

I talked about this song a few years ago, before YouTube was a gleam in our eye, and now I can post the video here. Awesomeness abounds, especially at the end when that bitch is "cold busted":