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Dec 18th, 2014 - 11:46 pm - The loose ends (2014 edition)
mcsweeney's circus
Good evening Lj readers,

how are things? Here they have been decorated.

Here is today's schedule :

* From the desk of Geoff

Things have been well here. Busy, too! This particular time of year is full of activity as Christmas and other holidays happen, and in general slightly more so in the retail world (where I work). Around town, recently all of our remaining Peet's coffee stores closed down. P was (and elsewhere, still is!) a sort of Panera-esque coffee shop that, interestingly, was the company that essentially first help Starbucks get its start. As familiar as any other place ; I noted they carried a bit more tea selections than these sorts of cafes' (closer to 8 selections rather than, say, 4 at most places). I did visit twice before they left the Midwest market.

* "new" car (part 1 of 2)

A while ago, my unique car (a Chevy Spark)'s engine began acting up. One of the cylinders was alas misfiring. The car ran of course, just slower and shaking some. Thankfully still under warranty, I brought it in to the dealership who informed me - although there was just an extra part which had gotten loose in it - the entire engine (!) had to be replaced. The dealership provided me with a (free) rental, woo! The 'new' vehicle is a black Chevy Cruze and comes with a variety of features my temporarily-being-fixed regular car did not : keyless entry, power locks, satellite radio, car mats, a trunk etc. (note : really. My actual car, inherently, has none of these things, lol). I visited Bowling Green earlier today, to say hi to my friend Eric and give him some early Christmas gifts. It is always nice to be able to try something new.

* "new" car (part 2 of 2)



My temporary vehicle outside of the local Trader Joe's.

* Utne Reader poetry (2014)

Recently, long-running alt-magazine Utne Reader featured a handful of poems in contention for their annual pick. Reproduced here are a handful of lines from two in particular which struck me :

[] How to Be Thin as a Lie
Don’t eat, but when you do eat, don’t swallow, but when you do swallow,
don’t enjoy it, but when you do enjoy it, don’t mean anything by it.

- Rebecca Bridge

[] Butter

When Death departed, I stared at the butter
Until it took on the form of a monster.

- Victoria Goodgion

Read more here!.

* Misc. other

Some other small things, for which I am thankful : reasonably-cool weather for December. enjoying movie Violet Tendencies (starring Mindy "Facts of Life" Cohn!). moving my exercise equipment to a more-handy location. perfecting ramen soup. Google Play generously giving everybody a free copy of the first Lord of the Rings movie.

Okay. Have a good night!

Take care,
* Geoff
Dec 4th, 2014 - 01:04 am - Separated into two
random image 5 - Winter twilight
Good evening Lj readers,

how are things? Here they have been somewhat busy.

Here are today's growths :

* From the desk of Geoff

Things have been well here. A few days ago I was walking our dog Tavin. We were just getting to the entrance of the street (, where we usually turn around) when a car came around the corner. It caught my attention as it was going faster than usual and managed to dislodge a stop sign pole from the ground (!) and fling it a few feet ahead. It was turning the corners all wrong. It then promptly ran into some of the neighbor's mailboxes (on a wooden holder all together), dismantling them. It narrowly missed us, thankfully, and continued down the street. Had our neighbors, who were just getting into their car and pulling out of our street's free public parking spots, pulled out they would have run into each other too.
The person driving was my neighbor friend Steve's next-door neighbor, who was, I believe on a medication with unusual side effects. A police officer did come and cite him. While we waited I chatted with the neighbors some. Later, the neighbor did apologize and fix the mailbox holder, so that wasn't too bad. Quite a time!

* Holidays 2014 (part 1 of 2)

Welcome to December! This year I had a chance to try two new things, decoration-wise. I asked my occasional-roommate Graham to buy a Starbucks Advent calender, whose designs usually change 100% from year to year but whose style last year was so popular, they repeated it again in 2014. It's a magnetic board with 25 tins of various sizes. There are a variety of designs on the lids, and a chocolate / sea-salt graham in each one! The 25th 'day' even has a $5 gift card in it. It's customizable and re-usable.
The other new item was the lights on my tree, which I try to switch around each year. This year's was a rainbow! (pink, orange, green and blue). I could have put purple lights on as well, but I think it would be too much lol. All of the bulbs are LED, though nicely.

* Holidays 2014 (part 2 of 2)



A picture of my tree with the lights off. Usually not as 'sparkly' as this ; the camera adds a little bit of glare.

* Movies

Courtesy the library, I was able to watch two good films recently. Maleficent was one ; Disney's re-imagining of the classic Sleeping Beauty tale. Angelina Jolie stars as the titular character, a fairy who befriends a human with "difficult" consequences. A good combination of adult and kid-friendly material, the moral lessons in the movie are understood without being either simplified or overtly explicit.
The other one was Mood Indigo ; a fascinatingly-creative movie. Based on a novel, the movie was directed by Michael Gondry, who did The Science of Sleep, Be Kind Rewind, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and others. So many ideas in one movie! That the fantastical material is live-action is all the more unique. The plot is difficult to distill, but essentially is a doomed romance set in a version of Paris with a magic house, a mouse, "fate" as a series of typists, an amazing cook and an increasingly-difficult path followed. Audrey "Amelie, from the movie of the same name" Tautou stars.
Both films are recommended!

* Misc. other

Some other small things, for which I am thankful : having faith. a great supply of extra firewood, courtesy my neighbor (thanks, Chikako!). finding contact info from a college friend I hadn't seen in literally 14+ years (!). cauliflower. being able to nicely get an earlier appointment at a local car place (the wait was normally a month).

Okay. Have a good night!

Take care,
* Geoff
Nov 13th, 2014 - 08:21 pm - Blues and browns
Auryn
Good evening Lj readers,

how are things? Here they have been nicely spaced out.

Here are the wood piles of the day :

* From the desk of Geoff

Things have been well here. I was able to recently visit 4 independent coffee shops in Columbus (well 3, technically - I got an unrelated stamp at another location) as part of a city program to encourage local business. If one got a stamp at each of the businesses (on a card), you could stop by the city's visitor center and get a free shirt. Earlier today, I did! It's a nice gray tee.
With November, the sun is going down earlier and the evenings are cooler. It's a good time to organize for the holidays, and in general to straighten up inside a (warm) house / apartment.

* The Wexner collection (part 1 of 2)

Courtesy a weekly promo the museum has, I was able to recently see the latest collection at a local gallery for free. In an interesting "reversal", the campus art center's current exhibition is of traditional / classical artists while the city gallery (the Columbus Art Museum) has provoking and 'modern' art (it is, essentially, usually the opposite).
The Wexners, for whom the campus center is named after, brought out their personal collection for display, which included a room (!) full of Picassos. Some other artists, including one of the many casts Degas made of his well-known ballet dancers, were also on display.

* The Wexner collction (part 2 of 2)



Garcon Bleu (blue boy), a 'rare' work of a male subject by Pablo Picasso, was among the many works displayed.

* Starbucks for the holidays

The local Starbucks have updated their stores and menus with all new items, from their popular annual Advent calender to several new cups to 99 (yes, 99!) new gift card designs to new menu items. They have also fazed out Tazo teas and are bringing in (much sweeter, in many cases) replacements from Teavana. Gingerbread and eggnog lattes are available nationwide, though both were regional. Right now the company is working on making both flavors available everywhere. Ohio should be getting the 'rare' one (eggnog, in our case) in a few weeks.
As a collector of ($0.00 balance) gift cards from them, I was quite glad to see so many new designs! I picked up a total of 48 new cards, including one for each letter of the alphabet. I have around 121 cards in my (organized) collection now. Woo!

* Misc. other

Some other small things, for which I am thankful : our work (Big Lots) having a 2nd employees-only 30% off time. enjoying two new movies (Journey to the West and Maleficent) courtesy the local libraries. using my smartphone's camera as a way to 'write' myself notes. steamed / microwavable vegetables. listening to jazz music on Sundays.

Okay. Have a good night!

Take care,
* Geoff
Oct 19th, 2014 - 12:09 am - Seeing double
Autumn colors
Good evening Lj readers,

how are things? Here they have been leafy.

Here is the mug of the day :

* From the desk of Geoff

Things have been well here. Courtesy Roku, the wonderful AppleTV-esque device I was inspired to purchase earlier this year after my friend John got one, I've been able to see some off-the-beaten-path movies as well as a few I objectively knew about, but just never got around to.
My friend Eric recently came in to town to visit, and we watched the 2009 movie Big Gay Musical (which is, in fact a real musical!). BGM tells the story of two gay guys - Paul, who is debating the pleasures of the spirit vs. the flesh (i.e. should he date everybody, or settle down?) and Eddie, who is still closeted to his parents. P & E are the leads in a 'big gay musical' being produced (entitled Adam & Steve), whose various acts essentially mimic their lives. In all a fascinating grab-bag combination of music, eye candy and the occasional witty line ("... a can, Eddie!" - for those who have seen the movie). Some interesting trivia is that the main leads actually are all professional Broadway actors!

* List : less-successful media partnerships

[] Sanford & Sons of Anarchy
[] Mork & The Mindy Project
[] The Fresh Prince of Taco Bell-air
[] Midnight in the Olive Garden of Good & Evil
[] The Manhattan Project Runway
[] Betty White Castle
[] Downton Arby's

* Schacht farms (part 1 of 2)

I recently visited nearby Pickerington on a day off from work, swinging by the Clover machine Starbucks in the area, walking in and investigating a paranormal area in the normally-peaceful Pickerington Ponds park nearby, and also stopping by a local farm (indeed, also inspired by my friend John, who was visiting the Bob Evans farm with our friend Brian that day). I'd never been! Schacht Farms is a nice "u-pick-em" farm essentially across the street from the park. They had a good selection of kale and other in-season greens in large areas in the field, as well as a pumpkin field, tall corn husks and even a (now-dried) pea plant section. I ended up buying some butternut squash from them (a great deal - large ones were $2 and buy 1, get 1 free!). In all a nice afternoon.

* Schacht farms (part 2 of 2)



Farming ground textured with dried pea plants.

* Misc. other

Some other small things, for which I am thankful : red tea. being able to take advantage of Southwest airlines semi-annual sale (I got a round trip ticket to Nashville for $52! -plus some 'mileage points' spent). re-watching Twin Peaks with my neighbor friend Steve. a good coupon to a local fancy French eatery (the Refectory). exploring German Village in the rain with my friend Scott recently.

Okay. Have a good night!

Take care,
* Geoff
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