This Girl is a Better Scout Than I Ever Was

23 March, 2010 at 2:29 pm (Miscellaneous, Nostalgia)

Confession: I was a Girl Scout. For a very long time. Like, long after it was okay to be a Girl Scout. And I’m okay with that; I’ve accepted my nerdiness.

But being a Girl Scout for so many years left me with a fondness for Girl Scout cookies that will never go away. So every year, if someone is selling, I’m buying. Caramel deLites (they call them ‘Samoas’ up here); Peanut Butter Patties (called ‘Tagalongs’), and Thin Mints (you can freeze them!). I don’t need the cookies, they’re definitely not diet-friendly. But still.

Anyway, this year, a coworker emailed out that his daughter (a six-year-old Daisy) was selling cookies. Well, they were delivered today – along with a handwritten Thank You note.

She signed the card 'From The Daisy'!

Adorable! And much more considerate than I ever was as a Scout.

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My First Thespian Experience

19 January, 2010 at 6:51 pm (Miscellaneous, Weekend Update)

My good friend Dan is a playwright (or, as he prefers, a writer). I met him soon after I moved to New York, and over the past year or so, he’s been trying to get me in something he’s written. First, it was just a reading – that fell through. Then, a couple of months ago, he asked me to read for a character in a short play he’d written. The play was only about 10 pages long, and would be just one of a short play “lab”. I read it, and liked it, and before I could talk myself out of it – I agreed.

And I have to say…it wasn’t bad! The play was only about 15 minutes, and my part was sort of as a narrator, so it was really almost more of a storyteller than actor – I sat in the middle of the stage and talked to the audience, and then interacted with the other two actors as they came and went from the stage. There were only two performances, and as it was just in a small black-box theatre, the sold-out crowd was still only 60-80 people. But was I nervous? Well yes, yes I was. Though I think the process of rehearsing/learning lines was almost more nerve-wracking than actually performing the thing! But it went well (if I do say so myself). I did flub a line on the 2nd performance, but (according to the director) I covered it and nobody could tell.

But yeah, the whole experience was pretty fun. It was neat being part of the process, and nice to meet new people (I obviously know the writer and also know the director, aka Dan’s roommate, but I didn’t know the other two actors before we started). I can’t say I’ve caught the acting bug full-on; I am definitely not quitting my job to pursue a career on stage. But would I do it again, if asked? Absolutely.

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I Have My Own Name, Thanks

22 December, 2009 at 11:53 am (Michelle Obama, Miscellaneous)

Looking up some info for work, and I found out something interesting:

1. First Ladies of the U.S., both current and former, are all honorary chairs of The Kennedy Center.

2. Of those first ladies, the three most recent (Michelle Obama, Laura Bush, and Hillary Clinton) go by their own first names; the rest (Barbara Bush, Nancy Reagan, Rosalynn Carter, and Betty Ford) all go by their husband’s names (Mrs. George Bush, Mrs. Ronald Reagan, etc.). See for yourself. Interesting, no? The times are a changin’, it seems. Good!

Actually, Mrs. George Bush is my mother-in-law

Oh, and another random fact: most of the rest of the board for the Kennedy Center was either appointed by the President or designated by an act of Congress. Who knew?

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Walking In A Winter Wonderland

20 December, 2009 at 12:22 pm (Christmas!, Miscellaneous)

As pretty much everyone knows by now, the East coast got hit with a pretty big blizzard last night. Knowing it was coming, I rushed around yesterday and did ALL the shopping I needed to do before Wednesday – gifts, groceries, etc. I wanted to make it so that I could have the option of not leaving my apartment again before going to Jersey for Christmas!

Good theory.

Well, technically, I didn’t HAVE to leave my apartment today. And honestly, I’m glad that I took care of everything – this is the kind of weather which makes running errands a pain. But this morning…well, for some reason, I was up at 6:20. It’s as if I was a 10-year-old, trying to see if I’d get a snow day from school. I laid around for about an hour, and then thought, “screw it” – I was up for the day anyway. I looked outside, and saw this:

Looks funny because it was taken behind the screen on my window


It was still and quiet outside, and I was wide awake – no WAY was I going to sit and not go see the park while it was still freshly covered with snow. So I got bundled up and out I went. Now, my apartment is across the street from a pond in the park, so I basically stuck around there – and the pics are all from my iPhone, hence the quality. But still – it was SO nice to go out and walk around! I discovered a couple of things:

1. The only people who go out at 8:00 on a [Sunday] morning after a blizzard are people with dogs and people with cameras.

2. I don’t know if it is because of the holiday season, or the snow, or the shared camaraderie of being some of the few out in the park together at such a unique time, but everyone was SO friendly. Like, saying-hi-as-passing-each-other-on-the-sidewalk friendly. It was odd. But nice 🙂

Anyway, here are some of the pictures…



It's hard to see, but these are ducks that live in the pond, using the one small bit not frozen


This pic isn't pretty - I've just never seen Central Park West so empty during the daytime

So, first snow storm of the season! And I’m not certain, but I think it may be the biggest snow I’ve ever experienced. And now, a day inside – enjoying Beatles Rock Band, wrapping presents, and watching Christmas movies. I love this time of year!

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Keanu Reeves is Immortal

1 December, 2009 at 3:13 pm (Miscellaneous, Strange Stuff, This Can't Be Good)

So there’s a new theory going around the interwebs: that Keanu Reeves, beloved film actor, is actually immortal. Or maybe a vampire. Or maybe both. The proof? Well, here’s part one: Keanu from 1994 looks essentially the same as Keanu from 2008:

But wait! There’s more! Keanu also bears an uncanny resemblance to this man, French actor Paul Mounet, who died in 1922:

I know! Shocking!
And people are going all out with this theory. First, this [short] video:

And then there’s the post by this guy, about how not just Keanu Reeves, but two other actors from Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, are also immortal! Of course, George Carlin actually did age, and also died recently (OR DID HE?!) – but who’s counting? Honestly, at first I thought this guy’s blog was a joke, but he seems to be taking it verrrrry seriously. Bogus, indeed.

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Happy Birthday, Blog!

3 September, 2009 at 9:29 am (Miscellaneous)

I realized late last night that I’d started the blog exactly one year before, on September 2, 2008. Obviously I went to bed instead of blogging about it – so I’m doing so now, quickly! I’ll blog much more soon…I’ve just not been into it the past couple of weeks. I have a long weekend coming up, and I’m sure I’ll be blogging then. I mean, I still haven’t blogged about that Britney Spears concert…

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Find Evan Ratliff

20 August, 2009 at 6:05 pm (Miscellaneous)

Okay, Wired Magazine has an unique “open source” game going on – they want you to find one of their writers.

Evan Ratliff

Evan Ratliff


Evan Ratliff wrote a story for Wired about people who choose to “fall off the grid”, to disappear (it’s an interesting read, and you can do so here). So now, as a sort-of companion piece to that story, Evan himself is disappearing. For 30 days (August 15-September 15), Evan is going to leave behind his home, family, friends – everything. The challenge is to find him; if you do, you get $5,000. And that’s Evan’s motivation for staying hidden: if he’s found, then $3,000 of the award money has to come out of his own pocket, from his fees for writing the story.

So what’s really interesting is that the magazine is hosting the ‘hunt’. They’re helping provide clues (though nobody at the magazine knows where he is, either), the sort of things a private investigator would have access to – credit card purchases, license plates, etc. The challenge is for others to investigate and find more info. The whole thing is fun – well, to me. I’m a big nerd. But really, it’s pretty interesting – and completely original.

So! Want to follow along? You can here:

– The original post about this ‘game’
http://www.wired.com/vanish/ : the wired.com blog about the search
http://findevanratliff.blogspot.com/ – a blog someone else set up
– On Twitter: @nxthompson, @EvanOffGrid, and @EvansVanished

Have fun playing detective 🙂

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Nifty iPhone Trick

16 July, 2009 at 3:27 pm (Miscellaneous)

My friend Desi sent me a link to an easter egg for the iPhone…follow a few steps, and you can get emoticons for your iPhone! Use them in text messages, notes, whatever. For example:
iphone
Am I a big nerd, and way more excited about this than I should be? Absolutely 🙂

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50 Movies for 50 States

6 July, 2009 at 12:12 pm (Miscellaneous, Movie to Watch)

Rotten Tomatoes has put together a list of 50 movies that best represent each of the 50 states. It’s fun to look at, if you have the time. You’ll never guess what they selected for Oklahoma

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Happy Canada Day!

1 July, 2009 at 9:31 am (Miscellaneous)

Happy Canada Day!

Now go, eat some poutine

I lived in Quebec one summer, and never could bring myself to try the stuff

I lived in Quebec one summer, and never could bring myself to try the stuff

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