Hot times in DC: Part 1

Hey, Boston!  Did you miss me?  I was down in DC last week, visiting a special dude and hanging out with my awesome DC colleagues (I couldn’t wait another two weeks to see them at our work retreat!).  Despite the sweaty weather (September much?) and ridiculous amount of walking I did (negated by the delicious food I ate), I had an awesome time in our taxed but not represented capital.
I dare you to find something I didn’t do in DC last week, but at the top of the long list of the things we did do was visit the Spy Museum.  Ignore the critics – that place is awesome.  Overwhelming, but they stacked the coolest parts at the beginning so I didn’t so much mind being exhausted when  I got to the McCarthy era exhibit after 2.5 hours.
The best non-James Bond thing at the museum was this video, which I have already watched about five times.  Made for the Lincoln Museum, it shows the progression of the Civil War and its boundary disputes in just 4 minutes (1 second equals 1 week in history).  Check it out and prepare to be captivated.  For something so simple, it’s terribly moving – it gave me a new perspective on how it must have been to live in those times, on those borders.
[Check it out now, because every time I try to link here the video stops working!]

The case for the Oxford comma

I like to use the classic example my mom once taught me, in which a will was to be divided equally between three daughters – “Jessica, Mary and Emily” – and this was interpreted to mean that Jessica got half and Mary and Emily got to split the other half.  If they were a couple, you’d write it like that, right?  But in the end, I think this might be a better the best way to explain the problem with removing the Oxford (aka serial) comma.

Jeff Bishop, via the Language Log

Now, how can I share this with my clients without getting yelled at…?

What’s on your plate?

Remember when you first learned about the food pyramid, and it looked so appealing with the fats and oils on top?  This shape was supposed to tell you how you were intended to… layer?… your food and illustrated a few items in each category.  However, I distrust it because I’m not taking nutrition advice from someone who thinks a tomato is a vegetable.  Seriously, people – it’s a fruit.

Then, the pyramid shifted a bit, and turned into a mountain of food, all yours to climb:

But this version really gives you no useful information.  Should I start each day with grains and end with meat and beans?  Make sure my veggies don’t touch my milk?  Eat one slice of… blue each day?

Continue reading

Music Monday: I Believe

In case you missed it, the hot new Broadway show this year is/was the Book of Mormon, written by the guys who brought you South Park and Avenue Q.  I’ve only listened to the soundtrack so far, as the show is sold out until the apocalypse of so, last time I checked, but it’s pretty great stuff.  I especially love it as a musical dork because the intro contains lyrics and music that at once remind me of:

  • South Pacific (this could totally be the intro to Balai H’ai)
  • The Sound of Music (the entire opening sequence is ripped from “I have confidence”)
  • Avenue Q (the same over-exaggerated slightly-cartoony sound)
  • Hairspray (undertones of “You can’t stop the beat”, etc)

Some of the other songs are rather offensive, but this one is much safer than most if you accidentally break out singing it at your office.  Not that that’s ever happened or anything.  I also really like the one about Joesph Smith – the “All-American Prophet,” the blond haired blue-eyed voice of God.  (Which sounds exactly like something pulled from “Footloose”.  Oh, Broadway and your non-original but always lovely musical tendencies.)

My favorite – “I believe that God has a plan for all of us; I believe that plan involves getting my own planet.”

Lights, camera… Boston!

My life has been feeling a little more glamorous lately.  It may be my snazzy new haircut or the glow I get from running through the park at my 7:00 (AM!) boot camp, but I think I also owe a little bit of it to Ryan Reynolds and Kevin Bacon.

These boys, and good old Jeff Bridges (sorry dude – you were neither my Footloose hunk nor my 2 Guys, a Girl, and  Pizza Place crush) are getting ready to film a movie right across the street from our little old office in downtown crossing, Boston!  Just beyond the now-barren Borders (wah) they’re doing work on buildings, including the one right under us, and getting ready to film a new movie starting tomorrow R.I.P.D.

I learned all this from the very helpful workman who gave out waaaay more information than he was supposed to – maybe he was excited about Ryan’s arrival, too.  Though even before we had the specifics, we knew something was fishy when the convenience store across the street suddenly (and I mean in less than 24 hours) looked like this:

Um, hello 2011?  I may have a record player, but I know no one is stupid enough to open a VCR repair shop where a bustling convenience store used to be.  Now this one, on the opposite side of the street is more believable, especially in this economy:

See that white building, to the right of the green awning?  That’s my entry way to the office.  Yep.  I;m practically a part of the set – and now I have a much better incentive to get up and stroll into that part of the office between my bajillion meetings.  Just to show my dorky side, I want to say that I love that they’re consistent with the building numbering – this really is 25 Milk Street.  Now, I’m trying to decide if it would be acceptable to create a Yelp! account for this fictitious (but documented!) locale.

This is the best celebrity dorkiness I’ve enjoyed since I attended that Wheel of Fortune taping.  I’m loving every minute of it, even before the stars show up.  I’m out of town for tomorrow’s taping, but I hope to catch them later.  Have you run into these dudes or any other celebrities in Beantown lately (or elsewhere)?  Spill!

Have you heard the news(ies)?

It’s a fine life – even finer now that the 1992 classic musical Newsies is being made into a Broadway musical.  The film stars Christian Bale as a newspaper delivery boy fighting back against an increase in distribution rates.  Good times, especially as he belts out off-key showstoppers like “Santa Fe.”  I especially love the big dance scene in “Seize the Day,” which was my Music Monday not too long ago.

Check out a clip from the production below, and join me in asking – what took you so long, Disney?

What do you think?  Will you go see it (with me!) when it comes to Broadway?

More info available at

PS: On a related note, can we get Hollywood to stop re-making awesome musical movies and move toward a version of Fiddler on the Roof that I can watch in one sitting?  Thanks.

You go, girl

You know that person who is so smart, so great, who just gets it – it being the change we need in this state/country/world?  The one who has no hidden agenda, who has no legacy to uphold, who is just a good person even before becoming a politician?

She just announced that she’s running for Senate.

I’ve been a huge fan of Elizabeth Warren since she thought of the idea of the CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) around which my last job was centered.  In the fight for financial reform, she perfectly melded the arguments of economics and the middle class family, and presented the problem – mortgages that are allowed to “burn your house down” while toasters get super strict regulations – and the solution – oversight much? – in a way that we could act on.  And when we did finally create the CFPB, we were both there to celebrate.

I am so excited that I’ll get to support Elizabeth Warren in her Senate bid.  We could use more people like her in Washington.

PS: Anyone who feels the same way is welcome to come crash on our couch a night or two in return for some days of canvassing!

PPS: “The ragged edge of the middle class” is my new favorite phrase of the day.  Check it out.