Tuesday, December 30, 2008

fonts personified

Choosing the right font to match your document is crucial in setting the document's tone - as any writer or any person who has clicked on the option-filled MS Word font drop-down menu will tell you. I always loved cycling through all my font options but never took the time to imagine what the font world would be like. Thankfully, these guys did:

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

the dawn of christmas ave - a brief history

Though the exact spelling of Christmas Ave is often debated (there are two significant camps - 'ov' vs. 'ave'), the origin of Christmas Ave is very certain. Christmas Ave occurs but once a year - on the 23rd of December, one day before Christmas Eve.

Christmas Ave is a day for celebrating, a day to eat, a day to drink, and specifically a day to mock the gullible.

Its origins date back to 1880, when the Irish were not satisfied with the vacation they received around Christmas. They wanted another day off and another day to drink. So they started a PR campaign to bring Christmas Ave to the forefront of their employers minds. They complained of discrimination, religious persecution and soon enough they had frightened their employers into believing that Christmas Ave was a legitimate and legally respected holiday.

So raise your glass, and toast the Irish. Merry Christmas Ave, everyone!

(author's note: Christmas Ave is but a folk's tale of a holiday and is not legally recognized in the United States. Please feel free to celebrate its spirit, but the author is not liable for any shenanigans resulting from your pursuit of the Ave as a recognized holiday.)

Monday, December 22, 2008

coolest gift ever

...if I owned an iPod/iPhone. Check these out:

Dots gloves
$15 at dotsgloves.com
It’s a serious, serious problem, one we’ve all dealt with and that may have driven some of you mad. Yes, we’re talking about the impossibility of using iPhones or iPods while wearing gloves. Enter Dots Gloves. They’re warm and cozy like regular gloves but have the genius touch of tiny little rubber buttons attached to the fingers so you can scan your screens.

Find more gift ideas at http://www.washingtonian.com/articles/shopping/10390.html

Thursday, December 18, 2008

soundtrack discoveries

I have long been a known fan of such gloriously audio-flavored soundtracks as Juno and Rushmore. I am always hesistant to endorse entire soundtracks, but both of those have my vote.

I don't know that I'm ready to endorse this one, but watching Dan in Real Life the other day on Netflix introduced me to a quirky pop singer I had not heard of - Sondre Lerche. (the movie was actually surprisingly not terrible - Steve Carell definitely has talents outside of obvious comedic roles)

I've spent a lot of the past few nights listening to the audio available on his website, but I've pulled out a few songs here from YouTube for your audio pleasure. Another one to check out is "Everyone is Rooting for You." (disclaimer: all songs detailed here only appropriate for those in a no-fuss quirky pop-listening mood)

Sondre Lerche #1 - My Hands Are Shaking

Sondre Lerche #2 - Dan in Real Life - Wedding Scene
(duet with Regina Spektor - of whom I've been a fan since Weeds - at the end of the film - the song that got my attention and made me look him up. SPOILER ALERT - do not watch this video if you would rather not see the ending.)

paying tribute to bearfoot

As Arlinda commented on my Mama Tried post - I was first a fan of Bearfoot Bluegrass. Saw them at a show at the Birchmere sometime last year. They are a much younger band than Mama Tried and possess not one banjo - a shock for the stereotypical view of the genre. However, they still impress with their masterful mandolin-violin combination and sweet harmonies.

I like so many of their songs but chose to highlight just two here to try to you give a feel for them. The first, Molasses, is a little more of what you expect from a bluegrass band - an upbeat tune. The second, Billy, is an acappella one that always makes me stop what I'm doing when I hear it.

I am FAR from knowledgeable in bluegrass but enjoy these two bands - but don't ask me to pick a favorite.

Bearfoot Bluegrass #1 - Molasses

Bearfoot Bluegrass #2 - Billy

they can't be serious

Burger King has released a BURGER-infused scent for sale.


Read more about it here.

two minutes of hilarity

After seeing MILK last night (btw - amazing), I was reminded of the seizure-inducing humor of this video:

a holiday classic

Acappella holiday spirit, anyone?


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

way better than tv: ted.com

Ted.com has a lot of really interesting and inspiring things on it but this amusing one fits my mood at the moment. (click the image)

You can spend hours cycling through the talks on ted.com and you should. You're better off for it. Go ahead, turn off the TV.

About TED: TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from those three worlds. Since then its scope has become ever broader. The annual conference now brings together the world's most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes). http://www.ted.com/

in case anyone was wondering...

The national Christmas tree is worth it.

...the Capitol Christmas tree - not.

(please note the string of lights don't even make it up to the top of the tree. I think I like Charlie Brown's Christmas Tree better.)

new life goal: become accomplished spoons player

Inspired by:

and just need to follow these:

Step 1: acquire spoons?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

recent convert: all songs considered

check it out: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=97939029.

One song I can't get sick of is White Winter Hymnal by the Fleet Foxes. Listen. Now.

crab cake pursuits

I have long held the opinion that Clyde's serves the best crabcake in the District, though I don't doubt there are some I have not tried. I came across this RECIPE today and think it might just have to be attempted. I'm not sure my kitchen can handle this level of deliciousness.

(Serves 2)
It is important to pick over them crab meat gently to remove excess shell and cartilage. This is one of our most requested recipes.

1 lb. jumbo lump crab meat
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tblsp water
2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
1 tblsp Dijon mustard
1 tblsp chopped parsley
4 saltine crackers

1. Pick the crab meat over to remove excess shells and cartilage.
2. Combine the mayo, Old Bay, parsley, mustard and water until smooth.
3. Add the mayo mixture to the crab meat and mix, being careful not to break up the lumps of crab meat.
4. With your hands, break up the saltines into crumbs and mix into the crab mixture.
5. Form into four patties and pan-fry, or broil the cakes until golden brown.


new diversion: bluegrass

Mama Tried performed on the Kennedy Center's Millenium Stage last night. They were sweet - fast-paced banjo and mandolin bluegrass might be my new favorite way to unwind the stress of the work day. oh, and did I mention - free?

Check them out: http://www.kennedy-center.org/programs/millennium/artist_detail.cfm?artist_id=RNDYBRTMAM

how i will start paying my bills