• mallorean
  • stiff"
  • pledged"
  • Buffy"

Wednesday, January 31, 2007


Super Toilet

Okay, seriously....

Is this awesome, ridiculously creepy, or both?

YOU CAN WIN a "pimped out john" from Roto-Rooter. The toilet has a Philips 10-inch flat panel LCD TV, an Xbox 360, a DVD player, a laptop equipped with robot arm,an iPod docking device equipped with a toilet-paper dispenser, a TiVo, a fridge with a beer tap, a magazine rack, a bike-pedal exercise system and an electric cup warmer/cooler. Go to the link above from now until April 2 to register.


It sure seems like a lot is happening.

Good morning, Internet!!

My dad mentioned on the phone this morning that the super bowl is Sunday. The super bowl?! Who is playing? I completely missed this. Last year I was IN THE ACTION (ie, Pittsburgh). The place was a mad house. I think I mentioned last year, three cars ran into the telephone pole in front of my house that night! Fireworks, fires in the street, screaming, yelling... it was amazing. Thinking about the super bowl makes me miss Pittsburgh quite a bit. It was so different than anything I'd experienced before. Where I live now is fine (well, you can't find any decent Chinese food at all), but it's nothing like living in a quirky city like Pittsburgh.

But at least here I can get people to visit me! Everyone thought Pittsburgh was lightyears away (also freezing, dirty, and a death-hole... but they were quite wrong!). A friend from my hometown is coming up today to go to this:

Matthew Barney: Artmaster

Matthew Barney and Guggenheim Museum curator Nancy Spector will discuss the influence of Joseph Beuys' art on the evolution of Barney's work, which includes the much-loved (and much-loathed) films "The Cremaster Cycle." Seats are first come, first served, so get there early. The Hirshhorn also has a Webcast planned if you'd rather not leave home.

ยป Hirshhorn Museum, Independence Avenue at Seventh Street SW; 7 p.m., doors open 6 p.m., free; 202-633-1000 (L'Enfant Plaza)

Yeah, so... there's that. But before he goes to wait in line for tickets, we're going to lunch! That is, of course, unless I get sucked into some horrible meeting. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

In other news, I spoke with a friend the other night about nursing. She is still in undergraduate school in a nursing program and she's graduating in May. She's trying to decide where to work next year, etc. I asked her why nursing, and she talked about having an interest in discovery and working with people. We discussed nursing vs. something like an Masters of Public Health degree. We also touched on many of the stereotypes about nurses (that they're unintelligent, couldn't cut it to become doctors, uneducated, or that all they do is change bed pans). It seems like most people just have no idea at all what nurses do. I'm glad I haven't mentioned my interest in this field at all to my parents yet; I don't think I'm quite ready to go there. But I am extremely happy that I have been able to talk to someone in nursing in almost every section of their career... someone just starting out, someone who's been in the field for 3 or so years, and also a seasoned pro with a master's degree. I count myself extremely lucky.

So I'm just clicking my heels today. I still haven't managed to wake up at 6am to go to the gym. My excuse today was that the week is almost over, and I should really start making a new schedule for myself at the beginning of the week. I'm a master at smooth talking myself.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007


Evaluate Diets

I got impatient about my diet question, sorry.

WebMD offers a section that spells out what different diets have to offer


I hate to gripe, but some days I just can't help it. 

Let's say you're leaving your apartment building at the same time as two other people, one female and one male.  You take the elevator down together (you don't know them, though, so you don't talk to them... no one talks to eachother in your apartment complex) and you exit to the right, the side exit from the building.  The side exit takes you into a corridor and the door is heavy, but you like to walk fast and so you're the first one through the door.

You go through the door and hold it, the young woman was right behind you and the man right behind her.  Normally when you a door for someone behind you, they'll grab it themselves once they get there.  Well, not this woman.  She wasn't going to grab the door herself at all (and, I'm not going to pretend this gripe is about a hypothetical 'you' anymore.. it's about ME!).

There are different ways to hold a door.  You can (a) stand inside while pushing the door open with one arm, you can (b) go through the door and then turn around and hold it for whoever is behind you, or you can do the (c) "I'm in a rush, but I don't want to slam the door in your face" type of hold.  This is when you go through the door but stick your arm out behind you, just barely holding it open a few seconds longer for someone who is right behind you.  This type of hold is not meant to be like a (b) hold. 

Basically, do I look like a door man?  We're all dressed in our work clothes, clearly going to work, clearly trying to catch the metro, clutching our oversized purses and/or lunch bags, so why (why why why why!) do you expect me to hold the door for you?  Am I hitting on you? NO! 

I'll throw in another gripe while I'm here.  Metro people, why do you stand up in your seat/make the person on the outside get up to let you out/start shuffling towards the exit before the train has even stopped moving?  Maybe if this were Europe (or New York?) where the train moves fast and doesn't wait for people to get off or on, but it's not!  In DC, the train couldn't be any slower.  Does it really take you that long to stand up?  Because it takes me about 5 seconds, and I don't think those 5 seconds are going to cause me to be stuck on the train unable to get off!  Just leave your ass sitting down until the train stops moving! 

I THINK I'm done...

But, I love bread....

I did not get up with my alarm at 6am this morning and go down to the gym, but I did

a) Set my alarm for 6am
b) Lay out some gym clothes the night before
c) Wake up (accidentally) at 5am and feel ready to go

I'd say that all in all this is some progress.

I was looking at that site that I mentioned yesterday again (Hungry Girl), and I read about how the site's owner lost almost 30lbs. Apparently, she gave up flour, bread, pasta and starches. I really don't know much about weight loss, and obviously it worked, but is it safe to eliminate an entire food group from your diet?

I know that tons of people lost tons of weight using Atkins. But I also know that particular diet can cause gout and other things that come when you're stuffing yourself with bacon and beef jerky. Does anyone know a little bit more about the value of eliminating flour/bread/pasta/etc. from your diet?


Monday, January 29, 2007


Cake and Ice Cream Plug

I recently found a neat new website at hungry-girl.com. The website posts all kinds of food news and tips, looking for low calorie snack options, etc.

I think I found the site while searching for low calorie Starbucks options. They also posted about Edy's limited time American Idol ice cream! It sounds slightly ridiculous, but Take the Cake really is the most amazing new flavor of ice cream. If you've ever enjoyed Birthday Cake Remix from Coldstone Creamery, then you know that cake ice cream is spectacular (and this is a hell of a lot cheaper and lower in fat and calories than Coldstone).

Go try it!




So this morning has started out completely awesome (cackle cackle).

So far today, I almost passed out on the metro.  I had tunnel-vision (everything looked far away), I had a hard time breathing, I was sweating, and my head started to feel light (I've passed out before... back in high school usually during some nice hot summer sports).  The metro was totally packed, and I had to squat down to keep from falling over.  I was really embarrassed, but it was much less embarrassing then falling on someone.  Hooray for Monday.

Friday, January 26, 2007


Hearts & Kisses

Blogging community, help me out!

My boyfriend and I have a great relationship.  Really, every day we're kind and considerate to one another, we have tons of fun, we laugh constantly, we have similar quirks and obsessions and we are humbled and take quiet joy in the warm love we share. 

BUT, Valentine's Day has never been our strong point.

Part of it started by just being snarky kids in high school, thinking we're "above" such trite and silly things.  Besides, how special of a day can you REALLY have in high school AND on a school night?  Part of it started by having just spent lots of money on one another on Christmas.  And another part is probably to appease single friends who disdain the holiday and to always be the " p.c." couple (ie, no pda). 

I want to start a Valentine's Day recovery.  It's really a day for us isn't it?  And why the hell shouldn't we celebrate us? 

Should I take him out to dinner somewhere fancy?  Should I cook a special dinner at home? 
I'm out of the Valentine's loop.  Any help is appreciated :-)

When the cat is away

Well, pretty much everyone is out of the office today.  I got here nice and early so that I can scram nice and early.

I don't have anything exciting planned for the weekend; just not being at work is exciting enough.  Although, this was a pretty good week at work.  Another co-worker and myself designed new business cards for the company and they came this week.  I think they look great.  I was able to lend my "skills" to a few things this week that turned out well and made me feel good.

My boyfriend's parents were supposed to come up this weeknd so that we could all go to a play.  Boyfriend didn't buy any tickets, so that plan is a bust... he cracks me up.  I'd really like to see "Wicked."  Unfortunately the shows near me are sold out.  I suppose I could go to New York; boyfriend and I always talk about visiting up there.

We went out to dinner on Tuesday night.  Nothing fancy, we were just having some fun.  We talked about what we would do if had the chance to go back to college.  Some things I mentioned include going to more plays and/or student productions on campus, visiting friends from high school at other colleges, not minoring in Philosophy, taking art classes, skipping class to do something else (I never skipped... maybe once..), staying up later, and the list could go on.  Between the two of us, we would never get any sleep with all the things we want to do.

Don't get me wrong, we did A LOT in college.  We were always busy and never had enough time.  We were also pretty much always having a great time.  I wouldn't trade the moments I had.  I could live in a perpetual state of college.  Most people say they didn't appreciate something enough while they had it, well I appreciated every day of college and it still wasn't enough. 

In other news, the last three or four times I've had Chinese food I've either felt sick afterwards or not been able to finish it.  Now, I LOVE Chinese food, and keep in mind each time I've had it it has been from a different restaurant.  I don't know what's going on, but I hate it!

Thursday, January 25, 2007



Did I mention that I (accidentally) deleted over 1,000 of my emails!?

Apparently when using GMAIL if you delete your SENT folder, it deletes every message that you've ever replied to!  Never delete your sent folder!!

For a pack rat like me, this was devastating!

you and me and me and you

Once you don't blog for awhile, it almost seems like a hassle. Too much time has past, too many things have happened, and it would just take too much damn time to write about it all. Also, I got a little afraid of my blog this week.

Basically, I found that I was a little more 'searchable' than I had previously thought. A few things came to my attention that really started to bother me. Particularly, someone I had known and was friends with years ago had posted some things that I stumbled upon.

I got angrier throughout the day. Maybe it wasn't anything illegal, but it wasn't fair and I didn't like it. But, I hadn't seen or spoken with this person in many, many years. If I opened up the flood gates what would happen? I thought this person would tell me to, "Eat sh*t and die."

But, I mustered up some courage and emailed them. I kept it very light, very casual, and very kindly just asking them to remove names so that it wasn't so searchable (because of employers, whatever, etc). What I got back was probably the longest email I've ever seen. The words "bat shit crazy" come to mind, but the posts were removed.

I can't go into any more detail (for very obvious reasons). It's unfortunate. Everything that's going on lately, everything I'm excited about, it's all not for public eyes. Maybe if I made this thing friends only (giving out some special password?).... something.. I'm not sure.

The point is, it was a huge deal for me to email this person. I've been scared of them and scared of what they might say for years. I've been scared because I never really understood why the relationship soured and I always wondered what I had done. There was a time in my life when either I attracted 'interesting' people or I went after them. It's most likely the latter.

The awesome part of the last couple of days was this passed weekend. Two great friends came up (one of them was the friend with the home theater), and they brought wii, ps2, xbox 360, and a projector. We we projecting the wii onto my balcony blinds (which worked surprisingly well), and we had the ps2 going on the tv. It was quite possibly the most wonderful nerdy heaven I could ever imagine. We barely left the apartment, we stuffed our faces, and we just played games until we passed out.

Some people take their friends to bars or maybe even museums when they come to visit. I take mine to the living room. But I think it's safe to say, it was the best weekend I've had in... I don't even know. Such great friends and great times.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


Happy Hump Day

Do you ever wake up feeling like you never went to sleep? Yeah...

It's been an eventful few days, though. On Saturday morning I shadowed a friend of mine from college at a hospital. She's a labor and delivery nurse. Unfortunately, no babies were delivered that morning; we were assigned to induction. But I did learn how to put in an epidural (which looks so horrible and painful that I found myself thinking, "Kids?! Who wants kids!?") and a catheter. Oh, and I got to wear scrubs... which is, of course, a bonus. The four hours I was there went by very fast, and I was pretty exhausted by the end. Women about to go into labor need a lot of attention, especially ones where you're trying to induce the labor. We were on our feet the whole time. But really, I could see myself doing it.

My friend used to work in oncology, then she switched to labor and delivery 2.5 years ago. She said there are lots of stereotypes... oncology are the depressed nurses, labor and delivery are the stupid, happy nurses, apparently. Okay, you're not dealing with people who accidentally sawed off their arm or had a heart attack, but women in labor really do need some intense care. I'm not saying it's harder than surgery or anything, just that I don't agree with the stereotype.

So, I signed up for one of the nursing school prerequisites at a local community college. It's distance learning, so this one is online. There are no online classes or anything, just spend over $100 on a book to teach yourself, search desperately for that old graphing calculator, and then pay over $200 to have a piece of paper to show schools 'yes, I took this course.'

I also saw Children of Men over the weekend. I'm not really sure how I felt about it. It was a pretty horrible future. And some of the story I don't think was explained well enough, or at least I didn't buy into it. Maybe if someone can convince me I'll change my mind.

But the next day we rented Little Miss Sunshine. I did like this movie. Sometimes it felt like a knock-off of parts of other movies (Donnie Darko, The Royal Tenenbaums). A friend told me they felt the characters were unnecessarily quirky. That may be true, but I still enjoyed it.

Off to another uproarious day of work (har har har)! Oh yes, and I've gotten hooked on The Office (the American version).

Friday, January 12, 2007


Take Note!

Well here it is, from Fortune

100 Best Companies to Work For 2007

Full list
Google 67 Medium 6,500
Genentech 25 Medium 9,979
Wegmans Food Markets 8 Large 33,737
Container Store 14 Medium 2,866
Whole Foods Market 15 Large 37,806
Network Appliance 33 Medium 3,553
S.C. Johnson & Son 0 Medium 3,400
Boston Consulting Grp. 15 Small 1,434
Methodist Hospital Sys. 5 Medium 9,424
W.L. Gore & Associates 9 Medium 4,945
Cisco Systems 3 Large 27,493
David Weekley Homes 19 Small 1,622
Nugget Market 1 Small 1,099
Qualcomm 17 Medium 8,860
American Century Invest. 1 Small 1,783
Starbucks Coffee 15 Large 109,873
Quicken Loans 19 Medium 3,512
Station Casinos 27 Large 13,957
Alston & Bird 6 Small 1,598
QuikTrip 0 Medium 7,833
Griffin Hospital 6 Small 1,098
Valero Energy 12 Large 18,730
Vision Service Plan 3 Small 1,968
Nordstrom 6 Large 48,374
Ernst & Young 6 Large 24,995
Arnold & Porter -8 Small 1,292
Recreational Equip. (REI) 16 Medium 8,522
Kimley-Horn & Assoc. 23 Small 2,173
Edward Jones 2 Large 30,326
Russell Investment Grp. 12 Small 1,206
Adobe Systems 33 Medium 3,604
Plante & Moran 11 Small 1,501
Intuit 6 Medium 6,889
Umpqua Bank 8 Small 1,435
Children's Healthcare of Atlanta 7 Medium 5,256
Goldman Sachs 6 Large 12,542
Northwest Community Hospital 7 Medium 3,299
Robert W. Baird -2 Small 2,080
J.M. Smucker -4 Medium 2,853
Amgen 21 Large 13,554
JM Family Enterprises 8 Medium 4,452
PCL Construction 19 Medium 3,020
Genzyme 10 Medium 5,920
Yahoo 26 Medium 6,840
Bain & Co. 11 Small 1,370
First Horizon National -6 Large 12,491
American Fidelity Assur. -2 Small 1,358
SAS Institute 2 Medium 5,239
Nixon Peabody 2 Small 1,511
Microsoft 13 Large 44,298
Stew Leonard's 5 Small 1,899
OhioHealth 7 Large 10,836
Four Seasons Hotels 10 Large 11,584
Baptist Health Care 0 Medium 4,095
Dow Corning 8 Medium 4,052
Granite Construction 7 Medium 4,662
Publix Super Markets 6 Large 136,863
PricewaterhouseCoopers 8 Large 28,463
Pella 9 Medium 9,331
MITRE 3 Medium 5,759
SRA International 21 Medium 4,861
Mayo Clinic 4 Large 39,457
Booz Allen Hamilton 8 Large 16,691
Perkins Coie -1 Small 1,519
Alcon Laboratories 4 Medium 6,460
Jones Lang LaSalle 26 Medium 7,812
HomeBanc Mortgage -2 Small 1,312
Procter & Gamble 2 Large 34,142
Nike 5 Large 13,664
Paychex 9 Large 10,911
AstraZeneca 1 Large 12,263
Medtronic 8 Large 21,648
Aflac 7 Medium 4,326
American Express -4 Large 29,145
Quad/Graphics -1 Large 10,099
Deloitte & Touche USA 9 Large 34,011
Principal Financial Grp. 3 Large 13,075
Timberland 6 Small 2,016
TDIndustries 4 Small 1,345
Lehigh Valley Hospital & Health Ntwrk. 12 Medium 7,838
Baptist Health S. Florida 4 Medium 9,446
CDW 8 Medium 4,293
EOG Resources 17 Small 1,181
Capital One Financial 59 Large 19,047
Standard Pacific 25 Medium 2,856
National Instruments 6 Small 2,294
Texas Instruments -7 Large 15,274
CarMax 10 Large 12,553
Marriott International -1 Large 124,350
Men's Wearhouse 4 Large 11,508
Memorial Health 10 Medium 4,685
Bright Horizons 4 Large 14,164
Milliken 1 Medium 9,500
Bingham McCutchen 4 Small 1,618
Vanguard 6 Large 11,410
IKEA North America 21 Large 11,157
KPMG 4 Large 21,042
Synovus 4 Large 12,474
A.G. Edwards 1 Large 15,794
Stanley 6 Small 2,309

From the January 22, 2007 issue


Thursday, January 11, 2007


If You Don't Have Anything Nice to Say About Reality,

It has been a very difficult week. And since I can't talk about it (most of it is work related) I haven't felt like saying much of anything at all.

I did have some exceptionally strange dreams last night, and then they merged into the same dream. In the first dream, My mother kept going on about cockroaches. I'd seen one or two, and I was on edge. She said they were all coming from my room because I never keep it clean. But when she was removing a light fixture in the kitchen it was filled with the things. It wasn't my fault. I kept waking up every 10 minutes twitching and thinking that these things were crawling on me. Not a great way to start a morning.

In the other dream I went into a store. In reality I'd never been to or heard of this store, but in my dream I thought that I used to go there all the time in 9th grade. It was sort of like a Hot Topic store, with chains and t-shirts with gothic letters on them. I found a section of wigs. I put on a blonde, short-haired wig (with loose curls, like those made from using rollers) and looked in the mirror; I saw myself completely as an old woman. After I turned away from the mirror I started making a joke about it. I was walking around and talking like I think and old lady would talk, pretend to hobble and have a hunch back... but I wasn't really sure if I was pretending or not. Finally a store clerk came up and told me that I just had to try this other wig. This wig she gave me was medium length, sleek and smooth, and silver (not in an old person way). When I put this wig on I felt beautiful, confident and very cool. I don't know what happened after that because I woke up after noticing a cockroach by my boot.

I don't know what all this means, but it was very vivid. I've heard that dreams are the time for your subconscious mind to work out all the things that were too much for your conscious mind during the day.


Monday, January 08, 2007


Just like old times.

This was a great weekend - and the first one we actually stayed home for instead of traveling up and down the east coast.

We have also picked up a new television show on dvd obsession. And unfortunately for us,
this show hasn't been canceled yet. We've never been obsessed with a show in realtime, and we're a little nervous about it. Get ready for it... the show is 'Battlestar Galactica.'

Not my usual type of show, but the boyfriend got a season of it for Christmas and we've been hooked since first putting it in. It's about how humans created these machines, the machines rebelled, then they evolved, and now they're blowing human civilization to hell. And I highly recommend it.

Other than watching nonstop Battlestar, I was taken out to dinner Saturday night to The Melting Pot, my favorite restaurant. It's too expensive for me to go more than once every one or two years, but every time I go I have a great time. It seems like people either love or hate this place. My dad once exclaimed that he didn't think it was right to, "spend so much money on food you have to cook yourself." But it's an experience. You have to like your company and just take joy in being there for awhile.

I got dressed up in a little black dress, but damned if almost everyone in the restaurant wasn't wearing jeans. When did jeans become acceptable in fancy places? When did jeans take over? I feel like when I was little, jeans weren't as accepted as they now. I'm not really complaining because I never dress up and jeans are pretty much all I wear (except for at work... stupid dress code), but I was just surprised.

Happy Monday (grumble).

Friday, January 05, 2007


A Few of My Favorite Things

That is, a few of my favorite Christmas presents. Now that the holidays are over I have to get my kicks somehow...

That's right, someone loved me enough to get me the Williams-Sonoma SNOWMAN pan! Just wait until I have a chance to try out this baby. I'm sure it will bring hours of cake fun (if it's anything like the pumpkin pan)!

Yes, it's fiesta time at Seredne's! So bring over your entire family because my boyfriend's mother gave me enough Fiesta dinnerware to feed 'em all! (This isn't even all of it... lots of bowls were in the dishwasher.)

What you're looking at here is a recipe book that boyfriend put together for me. These are the divided sections he made, and there are tons of plastic sleeves for me to slip my favorite recipes into!

This doesn't need much explanation... The Cake Doctor is going to help bring me death by cupcakes!

It's kind of hard to tell what's going on here... don't pay attention to the weird crab, the hanging good luck elephants, or the bust of Thomas Jefferson. The featured present here is the glowy purple ball. It's from IKEA, and when it lights up it's awesome!

Unfortunately, this one isn't REALLY mine. I bought it for my boyfriend, but it's very worth mentioning! It's a calendar called 'Extraordinary Chickens'... I knew he had to have it! All the chickens are posed with dark, regal backgrounds. They are truly extraordinary chickens.
And sadly I can't take a picture one thing - my new Canon Powershot A540! This will hopefully mean more (and better) photos!

Labels: ,

Thursday, January 04, 2007


Why-Oh-Why Does My Father Send Me These Things??

For a Fresh Start to 2007, Try Setting Your Sins on Fire
January 4, 2007; Page B7

A few hours before midnight on New Year's Eve, 200 people lined up at a church in West Palm Beach, Fla., and set their sins on fire.

It's a ritual dating back centuries, and it's being embraced more widely each year in spiritual circles. People write down their regrets, fears and shortcomings, then light the paper to symbolize a spiritual cleansing. Many churches offered such "burning bowl" services this New Year's, and people are marking other life transitions, from weddings to prison paroles, with similar ceremonies.

At Unity of the Palm Beaches church, each parishioner was handed a piece of flash paper, which burns instantly. Real-estate developer Mitchell Schwartz says he wrote about tempering urges such as envy, and he felt a certain release when his flaming paper "just vanished." He likened it to a ship on the horizon. It was there, and then it wasn't. He visualized his shortcomings disappearing in just that way.

As a piano tinkled, speaker Lori Woodley encouraged congregants to write down "whatever is blocking you from becoming all that you are, in all your greatness." Clutching their papers, people of all races and ages walked to the front of the sanctuary, where they touched their lists to a candle. Each paper flashed and was gone.

Congregants were also given envelopes and a second sheet of paper, to write out goals for 2007. The sealed letters were collected and will be mailed to them in November, so they can consider their progress. "Be ostentatious, gaudy, incredible," said Rev. Ken Williamson. "Scare even yourself. Write that thought down -- the one that made you say, 'No, I can't think that. No, I can't have that.' "

Travel-tour operator Nina Fogelman, 56 years old, included lots of specifics in her letter, including the dollar amount she hopes to earn this year. "If I tell my car's GPS that I want to go to the East Coast, it won't know where to send me," she said. "But if I give an address in Brooklyn, I'll be taken there."

I attended the one-hour service to report on it, and since I have few New Age tendencies, I didn't intend to write out my flaws at first. But I did, and it was a soul-searching exercise. I wrote about how I lose my temper with my three daughters, how I don't fully appreciate my wife, how I love them all completely but show it too sparingly.

The service also led me to think about comedian Rich Vos, whom I recently interviewed. He told me he chides optimistic revelers when he performs on New Year's Eve: "People always say, 'This will be my year.' Well, what about the last 40 years? What makes you think that, all of a sudden, everything's gonna turn around for you?"

Perhaps what makes us so optimistic is the human need for hope, and the innate yearning to improve. When New York cantor Judith Steel performs marriages, she has couples write out their shortcomings. During wedding ceremonies, as she holds up the burning papers -- "I feel like I'm the Statue of Liberty," she says -- she asks guests to look at their spouses and forgive each other.

Eliot Weinstein and Marcy Aronson were married by Cantor Steel last year, but they didn't share their lists with each other. "What we wrote was sealed away, for no one else's eyes," says Mr. Weinstein. "It made it more sacred." The couple had been together for a decade. "Eliot knows my shortcomings, so he knows what I wrote," says Ms. Aronson, but burning the papers "was like a new start."

Cantor Steel was born in Germany, and in 1939, at age 14 months, was a passenger on the SS St. Louis. That ship, carrying 937 Jewish refugees, was turned away by Cuba and the U.S. It returned to Europe, where many passengers, including Cantor Steel's parents, died in concentration camps. Cantor Steel was hidden by a French Catholic family.

"What I've learned from my life," she says, "is that it's good to remember your past, but you can't dwell on it." For her, the burning ceremonies are a reminder that "we need to concentrate on the here, the now and the joy."

Write to Jeffrey Zaslow at jeffrey.zaslow@wsj.com

200 Calories

Ever wondered what 200 calories looks like represented by various foods?

I hadn't, either. But this link is strangely interesting.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


Your Dose of Creepy

Do your friends send you links with photos of abandoned amusement parks?

High Fives All Around

New Year's Eve is supposed to be one time out of the year where you just go nuts. Respectable people can get wasted and barf on their neighbor's shoe. You can sorta be drunk in public. You can stay out the entire night. Nothing is open, and the whole country is doing the same thing.

But every New Year's Eve I feel an incredible lameness wash over me. It's usually the one night of the year where the last thing I want to do is anything. Last year boyfriend and I had a good excuse not to go out; it was his first year of his hellish job and he basically freaked out. This year, humorously, he was also freaking out but it was because he bought a car. Most of the weekend was spent at car dealers playing the haggling game. He bought the car on New Year's Eve day, and I think as it grew closer towards evening "funtime" he was moving in and out of his "shit, I just wedded myself to an expensive car payment for the next X years" coma.

So he wasn't going to argue when I said that all I wanted to do that night was watch Ace of Cakes. But, obligations.... guilt... we went out.

First we played a few hours of wii in our favorite home theater to warm ourselves up. Then we made it over to a party where, in a truly sly plot, we helped our friend and his crush realize their feelings for one another. At around 2am, we went back (you guessed it) to play more wii until 4am.

Most New Year's Eves I find myself thinking about the future... where I'll be, what I'll be doing, etc. Usually I have a scene in my head for what the future looks like; I'm a big daydreamer. I really didn't have anything this time, though. I wasn't sad or anxious about it. It just was, if that makes any sense. So I'm not sure how I feel about 2007 yet, except that it feels rather freeing. I don't have a formula for this year yet, but I do have some tools to work with that I hope will make it great.

Happy '07

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


New Year, Boyfriend got a New Car