Monthly Archives: March 2008

List Obsessed: Looking for recomendations

My obsession with lists goes back to fifth grade.  Our teacher, Mrs. Seaney, had us keep journals.  She would give us a daily journal prompt to respond to. If we didn’t like the prompt, there was a list of other activities we could do.  One of them was to make a list.  I thought that making lists would be an easy way to pass the time and fill up my allotted page in the journal.   I made lists of future children’s names, different ways to spell MY name (I’m still obsessed with writing my own name over and over), types of cars, etc.  

As an adult, I’m still somewhat list-obsessed:  lists of things to do, lists of stuff to buy, lists of repairs I want to make on the house.  My Netflix queue is a list of movies I want to see, Amazon keeps a list of books I want to read.  I can also use these services to list the movies/books I’ve already seen/read.  Even my favorite blog posts are lists: qualities I want in a guy, things that suck, things that rock, books I never finished. I like other people’s list-making blogs.  And, just like in 5th grade, there are journals sold that focus on list writing as a way of self-discovery.

 coverI saw this book on Amazon and wondered if it was worth it.  I really feel like I should compile all my lists somewhere, but I’m a little too lazy most days to do it.  

Anyone have any good suggestions?  Is this book worth it or is there another way to make productive use out of list making?

Unfinished Business

middlesexcover

OldSchoolCoverFridaycover

Unfinished Business

So, I’m a reader, right? I learned to read at age 3 and ever since I’ve listed “reading” as one of my favorite hobbies. I have a built-in bookshelf in my living room, I work for an organization devoted to literacy and I’m even a member of a book club.

There’s only one problem—I’m a reader, but I’m not exactly a devoted reader. I don’t always finish the books I start. I was thinking about this today while I was at the bookstore. I was looking for my next book club title, when I saw a bunch of familiar titles and thought “why did I never finish these?”

For some of them, I simply didn’t like the book. Others I abandoned because something more interesting came along or I just didn’t finish “in time.”

Whatever the reason, there are over 20 books on my shelf right now that I’ve never finished (this doesn’t even count the books that I’ve never even started…that’s a whole other issue).

Here they are, in no particular order:

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When the Levees Broke

On to my day.  Not a great diet day.  Too many carbs.  Boredom is the enemy of dieting. I’m eating entirely too much food and not exercising enough (or in the case of this week… not at all)

I *finally* got around to watching Disc 1 of the Spike Lee documentary on Hurricane Katrina When the Levees Broke. I’ve had it for over a year.  Seriously, since February 2007.   Just like the first time I tried to watch it, I fell asleep about halfway through the first act.  But this time I actually finished it.  Probably because I’m going to New Orleans next week.

I’m ashamed to admit it, but I somehow managed to skim over the horrendousness of Katrina.  Yeah, I knew it happened, but I wasn’t really engaged in how much these people struggled (and continue to struggle). I think I gave $20 to save the displaced pets, but didn’t really think about the amount of human suffering.  I guess that was Spike Lee’s point.  While all these people were literally fighting for their lives, other people in America (most notably the president) were going about their lives as if it were business as usual.

Stumbling around the blogosphere

Well, I finally broke down and started this blog last night. Still trying to find my way through. I can’t seem to pick a page theme and I’m not quite sure about the widgets yet. What’s more is I just copied and pasted old mySpace posts over as “classics” but I didn’t do it in any discernable order and they don’t have a consistent style. Maybe I’ll fix that later. Maybe not.

I’m also trying to figure out a direction for this blog. It seems as if the most succesful blogs are focused around one central theme. Hell, there’s a guy who did esentially the same thing as my “things that rock” list and turned it into an entire blog called “things I love.” (see blogroll– I’ll figure out how to hyperlink eventually).

So do I choose just one thing– like this somewhat lame daily diary– and stick with it? Or do I just allow the categories to help make sense of things. When I started this blog I thought that it would give me a place to express all kinds of things that I can’t through mySpace… more of my personal thoughts/feelings, maybe some character sketches, good old-fashioned $hit talking. But maybe the randomness makes it less compelling. We’ll see.

I’ve also noticed that shorter is generally better when it comes to blogs, so I’ll stop this here and post the other things I’m thinking about as separate entries. Oh, and I need more pictures. All text is lame.

Thoughts on Weight Loss

(this “classic” post is especially sad considering I’ve actually gained weight since then… but I’m sure weight issues will be prominently featured in this blog, so I’m posting it anyway)

First published: Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Thoughts on Weight Loss

Thoughts on Weight Loss

I’ve been trying to write this blog for a while, but I just don’t know how to start….. First of all, let me make something clear: This blog is not about how to lose weight, nor is it my way of trying to weasel compliments out of my mySpace peeps (although compliments are always accepted–word!). What I’ve wanted to write about is how other people react when someone loses weight…


Here’s the deal: over the past couple of years, I’ve lost some weight. I lost some last year for my brother’s wedding in Jamaica, then gained some back over the winter and have recently lost some more. No big deal, right? Well, apparently it is…. I could be overly sensitive (wouldn’t be the first time), but it seems like lately weight loss, losing weight and my looks are the only thing people want to talk to me about.

Now I’m not talking about my good friends, really… mostly co-workers and casual acquaintances. People who I don’t necessarily talk to on a daily basis. But that makes it worse. I mean, how often do you–in your everyday life– talk to casual acquaintances about your weight, your body and your eating habits? Probably not much. Before I lost weight, I NEVER talked to people about these things, but now they find it perfectly acceptable to talk to me about it.


Don’t get me wrong…. the vast majority of people just say something like: “you look good” or “you’ve lost weight, haven’t you?” but I’ve also had a lot of people say really strange/inappropriate things to me like:

“So, what are you doing to lose all that weight?”


“Exactly HOW MUCH weight have you lost?”

“Hey, look, there goes the skinny ——“
(which made me literally want to crawl out of my skin)

“Congratulations”

(this one really weirded me out ‘cuz it took a while to figure out why I was being congratulated”Although I think most people are generally happy for me, I’ve been feeling some backlash lately. One woman even went so far as to tell me how before I lost weight I would wear a lot of dark, monotone colors and now I’m wearing a lot brighter colors. Well a) it’s summer… I always wear brighter clothes in the summer b) I’ve always thought I had cute clothes and c) what business is it of hers, anyway? This is the same woman who told me I’m much more ‘confident’ now so I guess I should take it with a grain of salt.

I’ve also found that some people, even though they act happy for me, seem to be using my weight loss as a comparison for theirs. That’s not healthy and it makes me feel bad. Like: “wow… if only I could lose as much weight as you.” It’s not a competition, people. JEEZ!

So, since I’ve been rambling on and on, here are the most commonly asked questions, and my responses.

“Have you lost weight?”


Yes, I’ve been losing weight for probably 2 years now. I started really trying before my brother’s wedding last July. I lost some weight for the wedding, gained a little back and then lost some more.

“How much?”

This question drives me crazy.

First of all… I honestly don’t know how much weight I’ve lost and I don’t care. I don’t own a scale and haven’t been on one in at least 6 weeks. I can tell you that I’ve dropped 2 pants sizes and many of my old shirts are now falling off of me, which is enough of a barometer for me. I could care less what the scale says.

What I find interesting is the reasons people ask me this in the first place. From my experience, this question sounds like: “so, exactly how fat did you USED to be?” Or they’re also trying to lose weight and are using it as some sort of comparison. I’m really not interested in either of these things.

And, sometimes, “How are you doing it” or “what diet are you on”?

I think people are looking for me to tell them I’m doing it with Weight Watchers or LA Weight Loss or some other canned program. They’re looking for the magic answer so they can go tell people: “well, so and so lost 45 lbs on weight watchers” or something.

I won’t go into the details because I have no desire for people to comment on whether or not they think I’m eating ‘right’, but I’m just eating less and exercising more. I also had a 6-week period there where I was under a lot of stress and—for the first time in my life—it caused me to LOSE weight instead of gain it. But keeping it off is due to old-fashioned diet and exercise. I wish there was a magic answer, but there’s not. Sux, doesn’t it?

So, next time you see me, feel free to tell me how amazing I look (‘cuz, well—you know—everyone likes to hear that sometimes), or compliment me on my stylish duds, but leave it at that. Talk to me about something else…. Music, movies, work, gossip… ANYTHING but the fact that my body looks different than it used to. ‘Cuz, frankly… I’m sick of talking about it.

Mr. Right . . . Not Mr. Right Now!

First published: Monday, May 21, 2007

Mr. Right… Not Mr. Right Now!
Category: Romance and Relationships

So, for those of you who know me (and some of you who don’t), you know that my track record in the love department isn’t exactly stellar.  I’ve dated a lot of  “Mr. Right Now” types, meaning that they were fun for a while, but definitely not “keeper” material. 

To try to remedy this, I’ve made a list of characteristics Mr. Right should have.  Obviously, some of these traits are more crucial than others (like, not having a wife/GF/significant other) while others are more like icing on the cake (will let me eat off his plate).

So, here, in no particular order are the traits I’d like to see in the future Mr. Cari Rich:

  • Doesn’t have a wife/girlfriend/significant other  (Crucial!)
  • Is college-educated
  • Has a job
  • Respects women
  • Can get along with my family
  • Is tall-ish
    (preferably 6′ or taller, but I’m willing to bend on this one)
  • Isn’t an alcoholic/drug addict
  • Likes my dog
  • Is comfortable going out w/my friends OR staying in
  • Isn’t intimidated by me
  • Adventurous—likes to try new things
  • Likes to travel
  • Smart
  • Isn’t sleeping with/married to/dating one of my friends
  • Caring
  • Good cook
  • Well-read (or at least *has* read a book!)
  • Is handy around the house; knows how to fix things
    (I still need some blinds hung, BTW)
  • Good fashion sense… but not too much
  • Doesn’t cheat
  • Isn’t a player
  • Calls when he says he will (I realize this is a near-impossiblity in the male species, but it doesn’t hurt to try!)
  • Is proud of me
  • Is not hung up on appearances/looks, but takes care of himself
  • Good kisser
  • Sexual chemistry (hey—I’m honest, it’s important!)
  • Enjoys music
  • Is financially responsible
  • Is ambitious
  • Is outgoing
  • Is affectionate in private & in public
  • Doesn’t have kids or an ex-wife
    (again, negotiable, but it’s ideal if there’s no baggage)
  • Someone I can learn from
  • Confident
  • Wants a family
  • Is open-minded
  • Loves me for who I am
  • Is not judgmental
  • Likes to dance
  • Has an even temper (‘cuz we all know I don’t!)
  • Likes to dance, but doesn’t have to be a GREAT dancer
  • Has talent
  • Has a decent body… doesn’t have to be perfect, but should take care of himself
  • Isn’t looking to change me
  • Will take out the trash
  • Has hobbies
  • Isn’t too clingy
  • Wants to get married– but not immediately
  • Has morals
  • Is 35 or younger
  • Has a good relationship with his family
  • Is hard-working and dependable
  • Has manners
  • Fun-loving
  • Will let me eat off his plate
  • Is supportive
  • Gives me compliments
  • Remembers my birthday
  • Doesn’t rely on me for his emotional/physical well-being
  • Can be sensitive, but is typically strong
  • Will laugh at my cheesy jokes
  • Thinks I’m the greatest
  • Has a license AND a car… doesn’t have to be a nice car, but I have no desire to drive anyone around!
  • OMG– I almost forgot:  He *must* be funny!
  • Will make a good dad one day

That’s only a partial list…. You don’t think it’s too much to ask, do you?   What other traits should I be looking for that I’ve missed?

So now it’s up to each and every one of you—my mySpace friends—to be on the lookout for Mr. Right, so that I don’t fall for yet another Mr. Wrong!

Crashing Through

Crashing Through
Category: Writing and Poetry

Crashing Through

So, I’m in a book club with some people from work (yeah, yeah… I work for an organization of English teachers, what did you expect?) and our book this month (my pic) as called Crashing Through: A True Story of Risk, Adventure, and the Man Who Dared to See by Robert Kurson. It’s about Michael May, a man who had been blind since the age of 3 and had his vision restored in his mid 40’s. The book is wonderful, well-written and clearly very well researched.

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I heart the 90s

Thursday, December 20, 2007

I heart the 90s!

A friend of mine recently told me that bloggers shouldn’t worry about audience, they should just write what they want and hope people like it. Since maybe one day I’ll be a *real* blogger, I figured I’d try that approach and post a few things I’ve been thinking about… I can’t tell you how many times I’ve started to write something and thought “Why would anyone want to read this?” Maybe you don’t, but here it is anyway…

I heart the 90’s

So, I’ve been watching VH1’s 100 Greatest Songs of the 90’s because a) I love VH1 b) I love the 90’s and c) I’ll watch *any* kind of countdown show… there’s just something about having things in rank order that is appealing to me. But I digress…

I’m totally digging the show ‘cuz I know at least 98% of the songs and find myself jumping on iTunes to download the tracks. But… it’s also making me feel old. Did you realize, for example, that it’s been FIFTEEN years since Tom Petty’s “Into the Great Wide Open”? It seems like only yesterday that I was lusting after Johnny Depp in that video. Some things never change!

Although the show hasn’t wrapped yet, you can find the full list here. No surprise that “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is the 1 song of the 90s. Although I’d argue there are much better Nirvana songs, I’d say they made the right pick. It’s such an iconic 90’s song that if they’d chosen anything else, I would have been shocked.

However, I take issue with their choice for 3. Although the Backstreet Boys kick-started the whole boy-band craze, I think “Nuthin but a G Thang” would’ve been a better choice. I don’t know *anyone* who didn’t have a copy of The Chronic back in the day… and Dr. Dre’s influence on hip-hop and music in general is undeniable.

As I look through this list I see so many songs that bring back so many memories that it’s hard to pick favorites, but my top 5 favorites would be:

  1. Smells Like Teen Spirit, Nirvana: First time I heard this song, I was hooked. I was in 7th grade and listening to ZRock late at night. Most of the time they played hard rock music, but after about 10 p.m. they played “weird” stuff. Stuff with a completely different sound. I remember writing down the name of this song and buying the single the next day. I’d then listen to it on my Discman (remember those?) all night until I fell asleep. I never really knew what they were saying or what the words meant, but there was something about the raw emotion on that record that really resonated with me… and still does to this day.
  2. Enter Sandman, Metallica: Bow-now-now-now-now…ba..bow-now-now-now-now. Just the opening baseline of this song makes me wanna bang my head and get out the black eyeliner. I think I was in 5th or 6th grade when this song came out and only ‘grits’ were listening to heavy metal. This song was just so HOOKY, though. It allowed everyone to have a bit of a rebellious side. This song is also in heavy rotation on my iPod and makes a kick-ass workout song.
  3. You Oughta Know, Alanis Morrisette: This song came out the summer before my senior year in high school when I thought I knew it all about boys. Red and I would drive around screaming “Do you think of me when you FUCK her” as loud as we could and really thought we knew what angst was…. Lord, to be that naïve again. I still listen to this song when I need some old fashioned scream therapy.
  4. Losing My Religion, REM: Again, no flippin CLUE what this song meant… but it had a great hook and the lead singer was flailing around in the video. While singing about flailing around. I still listen to this song every time it comes on the radio or on my random shuffle.
  5. Jeremy, Pearl Jam: You know, I was such a big Nirvana fan that I didn’t really pay attention to Pearl Jam until probably college. But that video for Jeremy is burned into my brain. Years before the whole Columbine thing, these guys really had some powerful imagery. And Eddie Vedder is just cool.

So, those are my picks. I’m not saying they’re the most influential on music or that they’re necessarily even the best songs, but they definitely represented the 90’s to me.

Honorable mentions go to: Under the Bridge (Blood Sugar Sex Magic is still one of my all-time fave albums), Baby Got Back (reminds me of detassling corn with Kevin Morris & Josh Bryant… plus, gets booties shakin’ on the dance floor to this day!), Nuthin’ But a G Thang (Adam & Josh’s apartment in HS… need I say more????), and Whatta Man (Salt N Peppa at their best!)

Lyrical Intervention

First Published: Monday, December 10, 2007

Lyrical Intervention
Current mood: excited

Lyrical Intervention

So, tonight I’m headed to Indy to see Cross-Canadian Ragweed. If you haven’t heard of them already, check ‘em out on their website or their mySpace. Alhough probably classified as country, I’d say they’re more like southern rock. My brother introduced them to me and I’ve been listening to them ever since.

I’m totally in love with their songwriting. You know how sometimes songs come on and you think they’re talking directly to you? There are just certain parts of the song that mirror your own life experiences or somehow resonate with you? Well, when I was first introduced to them, there were tons of songs I felt that way about.

Now, before you all organize a mass intervention, please realize that it’s the spirit of the lyrics that resonates w/me, not the actual experiences themselves. For example . . . I don’t routinely get drunk by myself, I’m not popping pills or taking drugs, nor am I nearly as obsessive as these lyrics may seem… but I’ve definitely had my moments–ahahah!!

Same old story
Same old town
Same old me
Same old hangin’ around
Same old people
And the same old cars
Same old lines
And the same old bars
– From SS 10

I got drunk by myself last night
They say it’s no way to make things right
I just didn’t have anything better to do

If everyone wants to be together
I guess no one would be alone
Life’s a lot of tradeoffs in the end

One thing that seems always true
When I’m hung over makes the sky turn blue
A rough night for me will make a hell of a day

–from Proud Souls

What is love?

There’s more than just one answer
Love’s a golden wedding ring
If only love could be the cure for cancer
Then the world would hear you sing

–From Johnny’s Song
(this was actually Ryan & Jo’s wedding song)

Well it sure didn’t take too long
I woke up this morning she was gone
And the note that she wrote
Didn’t say Dear John

Said goodbye sucker I’m gone

And now I’m wishing for some drugs or a shrink to console me
But I’m never getting over Joely

– From Crazy Eddie’s Last Hurrah (which is actually a Reckless Kelly song)

Could you try to keep it down I was up kinda late last night
Yeah, I’m feeling like I usually feel after I feel alright
I don’t wanna hear another word about morning
I can’t take the light
Could you try to keep it down I was up kinda late last night

–From Late Last Night

I got a one hundred-dollar bill
It’s all shiny, crisp, and clean
And it’s burning a hole in the pocket of my jeans
I think I’ll spend it on some pills
Instead of gasoline
I don’t see any kind of fun in coming clean
–from Look at Me


She picked up the telephone
All she heard was dial tone
She really thought she heard it ring this time
She said what am I thinking I must be only dreaming
Or maybe it’s the hundred times he’s crossed my mind

Just tonight

She said maybe I miss your lovin’
Maybe I miss your kiss just a little bit
Maybe I miss your body lyin’ right next to mine
Maybe I miss your touch a little too much

–From Alabama

Okay, well… that’s enough soul-searching for one day. Check ‘em out… For reals!

Currently listening :
Live and Loud at Billy Bob’s Texas
By Cross Canadian Ragweed
Release date: 09 July, 2002

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You know… Juno

First Published: Saturday, January 05, 2008 via mySpace

You know…Juno
Category: Movies, TV, Celebrities

You know… Juno

Okay, so it’s January 5 and I still haven’t posted my 2008 New Years Resolutions yet, but I totally intend to…like, maybe tomorrow.  In the meantime, I’ll just tell you that two of my resolutions are to see more movies and to write more, which is why you’re now reading a blog about a movie…

I’ve been anticipating Juno for a while now.  It was “playing in select cities” and then was supposed to open “nationwide” on Christmas Day.  Well, I guess when they say “nationwide” they mean “everywhere but here,”  ‘cuz when I went to go see it on Christmas, it wasn’t playing…ugh.   So, when I found out it was opening Jan 4 here, I was pumped!

For those of you living under a rock w/o cable or commercials, Juno is the story of an awkward/geeky 16 year old girl (Ellen Page) who gets knocked up by her equally awkward best friend/boyfriend Pauly Bleeker (played by Michael Cera of Arrested Development fame).  Her plan is to have the baby and give it up for adoption to a couple of childless yuppies (played by Jennifer Garner and the DELICOUS Jason Bateman). She befriends the Jason Bateman character as they bond over punk music and slasher films, tries to come to terms w/her baby’s daddy and just basically deals with crazy family life, including her Step-mom Bren, played to perfection by Allison Janney (West Wing).

But, like everything else worth getting excited over, it’s not the 20 second plot summary that makes it worth seeing.  So, without further ado, here are the Top 3 reasons you should go see Juno:

3.  The characters are great. 

Juno is your typical “non-conformist” teenage girl.  She plays guitar, likes the Stooges and is clueless about pregnancy, boys, and–well– just about everything.  When she tells her dad she’s pregnant he says: “I just thought you were the kind of girl who knows when to say when.”   She responds with: “I don’t know what kind of girl I am.”  Which sums her up nicely.

Then there’s Juno’s bff/bf/baby’s daddy Pauly Bleeker, who spends most of the movie in ridiculously short running shorts and has whiter legs than I do. He’s madly in love with Juno, but really doesn’t know what to do, so he just leaves her alone to fumble through pregnancy by herself.  He offers to go w/her to a sonogram appointment but she tells him no because… well… she wouldn’t want him to waste the donut holes he bought for a stupid dr. appointment.

 The adults in this movie are really the scene stealers.  Juno’s parents are kinda crazy/kooky, but are super supportive of Juno.  When asked if he ever had a dream, something he knew he was BORN to do, Juno’s dad says; “yeah, heating and air conditioning.”  ahahah!   And her step-mom Bren is equally as interesting.  She’s a nail technician/dog lover who takes her youngest daughter Liberty Bell (yep, that’s right) to “Ice Skating for Tots” and dresses her up in tutus.  My guess is that there was more to this storyline in earlier drafts of the movie, but you only get a glipse of it here.  Even though Bren seems fairly disinterested in Juno, she really gives the sonogram technician a real tongue-lashing when she suggests that Juno wouldn’t be a good mom.

The adoptive couple are played to perfection by Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner.  When you first meet them, they’re the picture of suburban bliss– Garner artfully arranging hydrangeas in a crystal vase, Bateman with his buttoned-up collard shirt and sweater.  Then you find out that Bateman (can’t remember his name in the movie to save my life.. and it was only a couple hours ago) is a former rocker who secretly wants to live the rock star life again.  I had a crush on Jason Bateman back in my Teen magazine days and now I’ve re-kindled the crush.  He’s so funny, witty and downright YUMMY in this movie.  I heart him.

2.  The writing is outstanding

I kinda hate it when people compare movies/books/whatever to other stuff ‘cuz if you hate the original that they’re referencing it will turn you off.   So, it is with much trepidation that I say this movie kinda reminds me of a mixture between Napoleon Dynamite and Little Miss Sunshine.   There are some super “boss” quotable lines in this movie a la Napoleon (without all the ridiculousness and dancing).  And the quirky humor and the lovable/not-so-lovable characters remind me a lot of the family in Little Miss.  Regardless, the writing in this movie is top-notch, especially the teenage dialog.  I wish I had 1/10 of the wittiness, snarkiness and sarcasm that Juno has in this movie.

But, the Number 1 reason to go see this movie: The music is AMAZING!

I read something online last week about how the soundtrack for the movie is supposed to be the “next Garden State” (for the record, loved the Garden State Soundtrack…but didn’t really “get” the movie), so I was expecting to hear some good songs.  What I didn’t expect was how central to the movie they would be and how much I would want to rush out and buy the CD.  I haven’t bought a CD in probably 5 years, but I’ll be getting this one on Tuesday when it comes out.  If they would have had the CDs for sale in the lobby, I would’ve bought them on the spot!  It was just so amazing.  You can see the song list here.  I may have to download a few from iTunes before buying the disc!

So, there you have it…my 3 reasons why this movie was so good.  And, I’m a little closer to accomplishing at least a couple of my resolutions this year.  So, do me a solid and go see it!

Oh, and btw– I also really enjoyed Waitress, which I saw last week on DVD and Knocked Up which I saw a long time ago.  All movies about women who don’t want to be pregnant, but all vastly different.

Don’t try reading too much into that, okay??  ahahah!