Day 3

Filed under: — Aprille @ 1:29 pm

We’re on the third and final day of Trivia now–only 10.5 hours left (give or take). I slept a lot last night, really too much compared to the amount others got. Denny and I were sleeping on a fold-out couch in a spare room, and when we woke up, another being was snoozing at the foot of the bed. I think it was human (though it could have been the dog, I guess), but I have no idea if it was male or female, friend or stranger. It was completely covered in blankets and made little noises occasionally, so I think it was alive.

I guess we should just consider ourselves lucky that it didn’t crawl into bed with us.

Sample question: What substance did Calvin Coolidge enjoy having rubbed on his head while he had breakfast in bed?

Answer: Vaseline

I bet that made his dudju greasy.


Update on main wedding website

Filed under: — Aprille @ 7:18 pm

In my free moments here at Trivia, I’ve made a couple of updates to our registry info on our main wedding website. I also added a link to it on this page.

I wonder if it’s confusing that I have a wedding category on the blog (which is just little wedding-related updates as assimilated into my regular life) as well as the main wedding site. Oh well. Only…lemme count on my fingers…six more months and I’ll scrap the whole thing.

Holy crap, I’m getting married in six months. I can’t believe I’m sacrificing an entire weekend when I could be talking to caterers and tent rental services. Augh.

Trivia day 2

Filed under: — Aprille @ 1:01 pm

It’s about 1 p.m. Saturday (I realize this is not necessary for me to tell you, due to the time/date stamp on this post).

I got a good night’s sleep last night, which is a benefit of having a big team; there are enough hardcore people to stay up all night that I can sleep. This is good because I am firmly opposed to ever seeing a sunrise. They are very depressing.

The contest is going well so far. Denny invented a slick little program that calculates our points. He is smart. I also enjoyed playing with the dog. I ate some Cheetos. I can only make short, declarative sentences.

Sample question: The 1984 invention with patent #US4429685 is used to grow what?

Answer: Unicorns


Filed under: — Aprille @ 12:51 am

It’s 12:49. Do you know where your trivia are?

Question: At what British university can you earn a graduate degree by playing Grand Theft Auto, Metal Gear, and Madden Football?

Answer: Sheffield Hallum University

That was question 15. Only about 320 more to go. Oh my.


I am a destruction machine

Filed under: — Aprille @ 4:20 pm

I can rip wallpaper off a wall like nobody’s damn business. Seriously, this is a great untapped talent of mine, and lo and behold, I enjoy it. Last night I half-watched/half-listened to The Parent Trap on TV while I stripped wallpaper. It’s immensely satisfying. The only problem is that my hands get VERY pickled from all that vinegar water.

It’s weird. When my fingers get soaked in lots of water (and vinegar, in this case), they look raisiny. When grapes get too little water, they look raisiny. What gives? I think if I stuck my fingers in a dehydrator, they would look like beef jerky, not raisins.



Filed under: — Aprille @ 1:56 pm

…or lack thereof.

Last night Denny and I began the considerable task of removing wallpaper from our kitchen/dining room. So far, it’s not so bad. Of course, we’ve only done part of one wall, but it’s coming off pretty well. We decided to go with a 3:1 water:vinegar mix as a solvent, and it’s doing the trick quite nicely. The people at Lowes recommend some chemical spray that I’ve heard works well, but we thought we’d try the vinegar thing first, just because I’d rather not coat my kitchen in chemical glue dissolver, know what I mean? Yes, all you snooties, I’m aware that vinegar is a chemical, but I figure if I can put it on a salad, it’s not too big a deal to have floating around my atmosphere.

The only bad news is that I accidentally ate some wallpaper paste. It was gross. I thought it was part of a cookie. I was way off on that one.

We picked out some paint chips, too. We hope to use those colors in the kitchen/dining room when we’re done de-wallpapering, assuming we have the energy. I’ll do my best not to eat the paint.


I just washed down a vitamin with Diet Coke

Filed under: — Aprille @ 3:13 pm

I had weird wedding nightmares last night. I dreamed that our wedding reception was being held in my parents’ backyard, and there were intermittent very strong storms. There were occasional breaks in the storm, and I kept thinking, “I have to take advantage of this calm weather to have the first dance,” but I couldn’t find Denny. Also, every time the weather got bad, people went inside the house and I changed out of my dress. Then, when the weather cleared up, I felt a sudden, extreme need to put my dress back on and go dance, all the while trying to figure out where Denny was.

Finally he showed up, and he had hair exactly like Fabio. I said, “I can’t dance with someone who has Fabio hair!”

That’s when I woke up, I think.


Misheard song lyrics

Filed under: — Aprille @ 4:49 pm

Wow, I was way off on a certain Talking Heads song that I thought was called “Busted Avalanche.” Anybody have a guess as to which song it actually is? (I know; I just am curious as to what people might speculate.)

This is the danger of listening to music the way I do, on constant shuffle mode. I have no idea what songs are called or what albums they come from. Heck, there are a lot of songs in my collection that I couldn’t even tell you who the artist is.

*yawn* Somebody’s got a case of the Mondays.


Wedding vake!

Filed under: — Aprille @ 5:42 pm

I accidentally wrote “vake” instead of “cake” in the title of this post, but I think it’s funny so I’m keeping it.

Anyway, we had a meeting with a baker today (the fabulous Jamie of DeLuxe bakery, which sadly does not have a website). She’s about our age, and she seems very cool and hip. She also seemed very enthusiastic about making a nontraditional (aka non-boring) wedding cake for us. We showed her some pictures from magazines of cakes we liked, and we looked through her portfolio, and we came up with some ideas. There was one cake that we really liked and she thought she could do well, so I think that’s what we’re going to go with. The picture shows it with apples and green dots; I think we’re going to use peaches (to make it more in-tune with our late summer wedding) and yellow dots.

Original picture from magazine:

How Photoshop and I think/hope it will come out for us (only, y’know, consistently lit):

Yippee! I’m excited. Plus, we got to taste her cakes, and they are absolutely delicious, none of that sugar-bomb sawdust stuff that you often encounter in wedding cakes. They’re really moist and tasty. I think we’re going to have two flavors combinations: it will be half almond-apricot with white chocolate mousse filling, and the other half will be chocolate with milk chocolate mousse and raspberry filling.

Oh, man, now I’m getting married for sure, if I get to eat that cake.


An overdue Friday Five

Filed under: — Aprille @ 8:56 am

I forgot to post the Friday Five last week, even though I mostly did one. So here we go:

1. If you have to bath in a tub full of jello, what flavor would you choose, and would you sneak a few bites of the jello?

Cherry jello, of course. It is the greatest of the jello flavors. I eat a single-serving container of cherry jello almost every day with lunch. Yes, I would sneak some bites of the jello if I was sure that I was the only one who had been in it. It is gross to eat someone else’s used jello.

2. If you could be a superhero for a day, whom would you choose to be? Would you fight crime, or would you use your hero-for-a-day to just do evil things?

I think I would be Aquaman. I have always enjoyed entertainments of the underwater variety–swimming, snorkeling, body surfing, etc. But I have never had frequent enough access to the ocean that I’ve been able to advance to next level in any of those pursuits (scuba diving, surfing, etc.). As Aquaman, I wouldn’t need any special expensive equipment to enjoy those activities, and I would have the inherent talents that would make training and practice unnecessary.

So no, I wouldn’t fight crime OR do evil things. I’d just hang out with the fishes and the ocean mammals. The seals would tell me their secrets, then give me a kiss. If someone asked me what they said, I would reply, “My lips are sealed.”

3. One day while digging in your back yard you discover an old toaster. Do
you A) bury it cause you hate toast or b) run to that bagel store cause just the thought of something toasted makes you hungry?

This reminds me of the time I found a stapler on my parents’ lawn back in high school. It’s a really good stapler, and I use it to this day. Because of my positive experience with scavenged office supplies, I’d have to go with the bagel option. I mean, why not? I enjoy bagels. Wait, does the toaster have dirt on it? I like cream cheese on my bagels, or possibly butter, but not dirt.

4. Upon washing your hair one day in the shower you discover 4 ticks imbedded in your scalp. Who would you call to tell first?

I think I would call the Internet to find out if this is something I can take care of on my own. Here’s how our conversation would go.

Me: Hello? Is this the Internet?
Internet: Yes. I’m terribly, terribly busy, but I always have time for you, darling.
Me: Rad. Thanks. So…hey, I have this problem.
Internet: What could possibly be wrong, my sweet? Too rich? Too thin?
Me: Neither, but thanks for the suggestions. No…see…I’ve got these ticks on my head. I think they’re imbedded in there.
Internet: That’s truly vile.
Me: Yeah, I know. I’m not proud of it. It’s pretty weird, too, considering I haven’t been in the woods since like 1997.
Internet: You are a disgusting human being.
Me: You’re pretty hot and cold. Geez.
Internet: Set your hair on fire.
Me: Listen, I’ve gotta go now.
Internet: Never call me again.
Me: *click*

Then I’d call Denny, who would sensibly take me to the hospital or something.

5. What is your favorite chocolate covered food? If they covered hamburger in chocolate, would you use ketchup?

My favorite chocolate covered food is probably toffee. Although I actually prefer the toffee part to the chocolate part, so maybe that doesn’t count. I like chocolate but don’t (usually) deeply crave it like a lot of people do.

If they covered hamburger in chocolate, I would put a little pink bow on top of it and take a picture. Then I would put the picture on my desk and tell people it was my baby.


More coffee for me, boss / Cause I’m not as messed up as I want to be

Filed under: — Aprille @ 4:03 pm

Hey, guess what? Tomorrow there’s supposed to be an all-day Regents Meeting. That means that tech reps from all three Iowa public universities congregate and talk about topical tech issues. It’s kind of interesting, especially because it was scheduled for Iowa City this year, so it would be convenient for me. And yet, work is so wacky busy right now that there was no way I could sacrifice an entire day at my desk. Oh, also, my supervisor had mentioned something about me doing a presentation, which would be no big deal if I hadn’t been so swamped this week that I hadn’t prepared anything at all.

So anyway, guess what state is going to have bad weather tomorrow, and thus, the meeting is canceled? That’s right, this state (Iowa, in case you forgot).

I never thought I’d be this excited about the opportunity to sit at my desk and answer the phone all day. I think it’s because the one thing I hate more than answering the phone is having a lot of phone messages to return.

That reminds me, I have some phone messages to return. Till next time, this is your protagonist signing off.


What shall I have for dinner?

Filed under: — Aprille @ 5:05 pm

I made a Ven diagram. I love those. I would reproduce it for your entertainment, but it would not be entertaining if you don’t care about course management systems at the University of Iowa. And you probably don’t.

In other exciting news, my head has cleared up. Perhaps my cold is over. I wish I could say the same for Denny.

OK, time to go running like the little sporty-pants I am.


I haven’t had Cheetos in months

Filed under: — Aprille @ 7:16 pm

Whew, what a day. I didn’t even have time to do all my work, much less dink around updating this website. But now I’m sitting all snuggly-style in the basement in front of the TV (American Idol season premiere, doncha know) and I feel much better.

Of course, I’d probably feel even better if I had exercised tonight as I planned. I was just too beat by the workday, though. Exercise generally improves my mood once I’m in the middle of it, but it can be hard to drag my butt to the starting point.

Oh, Fitness Made Simple says the “Fitness Celebrity Dead in Tsunami” rumor is false. Thanks for the heads-up, James.


Bridesmaid dress

Filed under: — Aprille @ 1:32 pm

I was chatting with my mom on the phone last night, and I realized that I hadn’t ever shown her the bridesmaid dress I settled on.

Well, here it is.


My analysis of famousness

Filed under: — Aprille @ 10:58 am

I was thinking while I was riding in the car last night about famous people. In my estimation (and this whole thing is just my opinion, mind you) there are three levels of famous people: ones who are much more respected than they really should be, once who are approximately the right amount of respected, and ones who are not respected enough. Here are some examples from each category:


  • Jim Morrison and the Doors: Dying young does not make you talented or interesting, Mr. Morrison. Your music is dull, your songwriting is weak, and you are overromanticized. Your gravesite in Paris smells weird because of all the hippies. (I swear I did not make a pilgrimage; I was there to see Oscar Wilde’s grave and Jim Morrison’s was right there.)
  • Charles Dickens: God! What a bunch of drivel! Baroque obnoxiousness does not a good writer make. Dullsville.
  • Impressionism: Did you know that Degas, Cezanne, and Matisse all suffered from very poor eyesight (source)? They painted that way because they couldn’t see. My father says he didn’t used to like Impressionism either, until he got older and his eyesight grew poorer. I am still waiting for that day. In the meantime, I wish they’d just focus their eyeballs. Note: I am not condemning the artists, because I like some of Matisse’s less floaty stuff. Still…Impressionism? Pleh.
  • Britney Spears: I was going to put her on this list for being yet another marketing victim with more PR than talent, but last night I had a dream where she and I were friends and she was really nice. So maybe she’s OK. I’ll give her another chance.


  • Oprah Winfrey: this woman gets it done. I admire her hard work, intelligence, and mostly good taste. She is also a testament to the fact that good lighting and good styling can do wonders. However, I do sort of resent the fact that women have to be beautiful on top of everything else in order to be really successful; nobody cares that Regis Philbin is toadish looking. Still, Oprah is a self-made creator of an empire and makes her own damn rules.
  • The Beatles: I am not a huge Beatles fan, but I do admit that they had probably the largest impact on 20th century music of anyone. I admire how they were able to grow and develop. Plus it’s hilarious that Paul McCartney sold all their songs to Michael Jackson. Juiced, Paul McCartney!
  • Ernest Hemingway: the greatest American writer, in my opinion and the opinions of many others. He can sock it to me in one sentence. Are you paying attention from beyond the grave, Charles Dickens?
  • Pablo Picasso: he reminds me of Eminem. When people talk about how Eminem is morally repugnant yet artistically talented, they act like that’s a new thing. Picasso was a misogynistic jerk with phenomenal talent for a good chunk of a century before Eminem came along. Does the violence in Guernica glorify war, criticize it, or simply depict it? Does Eminem’s music do the same thing for the violence experienced by the modern urban poor? I don’t know for sure. I do not think Eminem is on the same level as Picasso, but on the other hand, he’s young yet. Picasso revolutionized western art, and even though he was a despicable human in many ways, his contribution remains.


  • Eudora Welty: Yeah, she won a Pulitzer and everything, but it’s a damned shame that many people have only heard of her from a reference to her belching skills on The Simpsons. I’ve been reading her collected short stories, and oh my lord, she is a good writer.
  • The Beach Boys: Pet Sounds is often regarded as on par with the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s, as it well should be, but the Beach Boys did more than that. Their soaring harmonies and piano/guitar rock helped develop a California sound that one can still hear traces of today. These are not just party boys, people. Not that I have a problem with party boys, within reason.
  • Johnny Depp: Is anybody else a little tired of “look at me, I’m Sean Penn, I’m so stormy and mopey”? Johnny Depp has all of Sean Penn’s sensitivity with eight times the humor and a much lighter touch. Give this man an effing Oscar already.
  • King Toad, aka Jamal River: I tried to confine this list to people everybody’s heard of, but if you haven’t listened to King Toad, you’re missing out. Please download the free samples he makes available on his site, and after that buy his albums. Jamal has an amazing knack for writing a catchy pop song that grows more and more interesting every time you listen to it.

OK, that’s quite enough of my opinions for one day.


Two sickos in love

Filed under: — Aprille @ 12:50 pm

Well, just as I’m getting over my cold (which, by the way, landed smack dab in the middle of the Busiest Workweek Ever), it looks like Denny’s coming down with one. I bought supplies to make chicken soup.

We went out to dinner last night to Givanni’s to celebrate finishing the tough week and accomplishing various goals, and we looked into their rehearsal dinner possibilities. So far, these are our contenders:

1. Devotay, a cute little place downtown that specializes in tapas and other Mediterranean/Iberian delights.

  • Walking distance from where people will be staying
  • Very tasty food and wine
  • Intimate, charming atmosphere; since we’d rent the whole place, we wouldn’t have to feel weird about making speeches and stuff potentially within earshot of strangers
  • Local business


  • Expensive
  • Base price does not include wine
  • Menu may be a bit exotic for some of the group

2. Givanni’s is the “upscale” branch of the Mondo’s family. It’s an Italian place with a mix of traditional and semi-creative food.

  • Walking distance from where people will be staying
  • Wide variety of choices; everybody will find something he/she likes
  • Decently priced; base price includes wine


  • We’d just be renting the mezzanine, not the whole place; other customers could presumably eavesdrop
  • While not a chain, it’s part of a larger group that I’ve heard isn’t the most scrupulous. I’d rather support a true local business.

3. Atlas is a medium-casual downtown place with pretty creative, internationally-inspired food. We haven’t gotten a quote from them yet.

  • Walking distance from where people will be staying
  • Diverse yet thoughtful menu; people could probably all find something they like
  • (Presumably) less expensive than previously mentioned places–TBD
  • Local business


  • Rather casual; may not impart the atmosphere we’re looking for
  • We’d be renting a room, not the whole place, so same disadvantage as Givanni’s

4. Venuto’s is a newcomer to the Iowa City scene–in fact, it’s not even open yet. It just moved from Mount Vernon. We’ve heard good things about it and always meant to try it, but by the time we got all the way to Mount Vernon, there was no way we could skip our very favorite place, the Lincoln Café (unfortunately not a contender for rehearsal dinner for a variety of reasons). So anyway, Venuto’s has moved to Iowa City, and it’s in a really cool space (formerly Gringo’s, of the lovely space but crappy food).

  • Walking distance from where people will be staying
  • Since they’re new, they may be willing to negotiate a good deal. TBD, of course.
  • Local business


  • Totally untested–can they handle it? Is the food good?

So, as you can see, much has yet to be determined. In other news, we made an appointment at DeLuxe bakery to talk about possible wedding cakes.

I swear, we’ll get a wedding together yet.



Filed under: — Aprille @ 12:47 pm

Danny sent me this cool link. It’s a wacky music video made by an extremely dedicated uncle for his nephew.

I hope one day someone makes such a cool video for my future baby.



Fitness Celebrity

Filed under: — Aprille @ 10:12 pm

You know those commercials for “Fitness Made Simple” starring “Fitness Celebrity” (whatever the hell that is) whassisname? I always hated those commercials. I resented them for inventing a fake celebrity (a la Paris Hilton), I didn’t like the guy’s haircut, and I think it’s weird looking when people are that chisled anyway. But…

This self-proclaimed Fitness Celebrity is name is John Basedow and it’s looking like he got killed in the tsunami.

Crap! I didn’t like his stupid commercials, but I didn’t want him to die. It makes me feel like I should be more careful about the commercials I criticize. I mean, I bet there are people out there who think the commercial I did for Gypsy Magic is pretty lame. I think it’s awesome, but then, John Basedow probably thought his commericals were good too.

Who’s next, the “Where’s the beef?” lady?

Oh, double-crap…

Celine Dion is weird

Filed under: — Aprille @ 4:19 pm

I’m home watching Oprah right now, because I woke up with a cold and am not feeling so hot. I’ve still got two busy days at work ahead of me, so I hope having the afternoon off will help.

Not that I exactly took the afternoon off; I worked from home all day, but I actually got a lot done because I wasn’t interrupted by the phone all day.

Anyway, Celine Dion is the guest, and it’s the weirdest dynamic. Do they have **APPLAUSE** signs on Oprah? Celine will say something that’s really not interesting at all, and the audience will simultaneously and seemingly spontaneously burst into applause. Huh? I think it’s just a tone of voice she uses. She’ll say a sentence very authoritatively, with great flourish, and people seem to think it’s cheer-worthy.

This is a valuable skill. I must spend the rest of my days studying Celine Dion’s speech patterns and learning from her mastery.


Slippy slippy ice

Filed under: — Aprille @ 3:52 pm

Denny and I took the bus today, because it seemed safer than trying to get the car down the slick driveway. Ice storms rule. I liked the bus because I saw a cute baby.

So, MacWorld looks like it was pretty cool. I wasn’t able to watch it because I’ve been in workshops all day, but I’ve been updated on the highlights.

An iPod-ish thing for $99, which is pretty cool. I really enjoy the random feature on iTunes, and it looks like it works with a similar philosophy. Apparently it holds about 240 songs and plays a random selection. Nice.

There’s also a purse-sized G4, which starts at $499. OK, it’s slightly bigger than a purse, but not a whole lot.


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