Thursday, August 09, 2007

Today I realized that this blog is primarily inspired by two things:

1. Nick Hornby's "Stuff I've Been Reading" column in The Believer: Once a month, Mr. Hornby divides books into two categories: "Books Bought" and "Books Read". Sometimes his list of purchases overlaps with what he's actually completed, and sometimes it doesn't. However, it is generally thoughtful, funny, and usually includes at least one book about music or pop culture. I imagine that his column is very popular among people like myself who buy books and neglect to read/finish them.

2. Mindy Kaling's "Things I've Bought That I Love" blog: As it turns out, Mindy's character on The Office and I share more than just a name; in fact, we share a love of frivolous impulse buys. Sure, some women love to shop, but fortunately for her readers, Mindy can afford to buy things that exceed the budget of the ordinary twenty-something. Regardless of the amount of designer licorice she buys, her writing cracks me up. Also, because she punctuates entries with "like" and is overly excited about items like tv blankets, you can't help but imagine Kelly gushing about these things to Ryan. I imagine this blog is very popular among people like myself who miss The Office dearly and need a fix until the new season starts.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Yesterday was the kind of well-rounded, post-work day that makes going into the office tolerable. After a hellish day at Cohesion that included numerous phone calls both on and off the clock, I was ready for the usual Thursday Office night, but my aunt called and wanted to do dinner instead. We went to this posh place called by Plaza Frontenac called Brio. Brio is essentially a haven for wealthy old people (the amount of capri pants I saw was appalling), but the food is delicious and it was nice to catch up with my Aunt Marilyn. (Our previous couple Office nights were canceled due to scheduling conflicts and since the new season starts in September, the usual urgency wasn't there.)

After dinner, I went home to find that Nick and Sharon (my brother and his girlfriend who needed a place in St. Louis to crash for a few nights) fixed a bunch of random things in my apartment! (My screen door, a broken toilet seat, other issues that are vaguely characteristic of a crack den, etc...) It was so considerate! I thanked them 10 times over, and then Andy came over. We decided to take a walk, but on the way out of my parking lot, he noticed a ton of books in the dumpster behind my apartment. After some successful dumpster diving, we found six perfectly good books, including: Best American Short Stories (2006 edition), Babylon Revisited and Other Stories, various Chekhov collections, and a new copy of For Esme--With Love and Squalor (by JD Salinger). When I ran back inside the apartment to express my excitement, my brother observed, "Well, 'One man's trash...'" So true, Nick. So true!

After our walk, Andy and I met a handful of his friends at Bar Louie for happy hour around 9. Of all the bars in CWE, I can't say that I would choose Bar Louie as a favorite (the epitome of the accessible martini bar, complete with guys who wear too much cologne and women who don't wear enough shirt), but it was an enjoyable evening, nonetheless. Their peartinis were delicious, and Andy's friends are really personable and great to talk to. (I actually enjoyed a conversation about politics!)

In short, it was a fun night, despite the fact that I capped out around three drinks. I needed a day to remind me that after five, I still have time to salvage my day, and I think yesterday was a perfect example of that. Sure, work is filling my weeks with mundane tasks and useless skills, but I still have plenty of hours to do what I want, and these hours will keep me sane.

Thank you, Thursday of random awesomeness.