Friday, 26 December 2008

oops, we did it again

Oh, hi, Internets! We hope you all had a good holiday. We're having such a good time with all of the Christmas presents littering Collective HQ that we forgot to post. Again.

So. Internets. What did Santa bring you? Also. How many cookies did you eat? Also. How are you today? Also. We love you. Also. Can we have the cookies you didn't eat?

Thursday, 25 December 2008

I want an official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle!

Jennie Dear Santa,

Well, it's Christmas, and let's just assume you already brought me everything I asked for. You can rest assured that, even if you brought me nothing, I already have more than I possibly deserve. I spent Christmas Eve wrapping presents, baking, watching movies (What's Eating Gilbert Grape, A Christmas Story, Little Women), eating pizza, drinking wine, and hanging out with Joe. Really, what more could a girl ask for?

I suppose I do have one favor to ask of you, Santa. I'm supposed to go to my parents' house for dinner later, and my mom told me she already made dessert, but could you please make sure she's not offended that I'm bringing my own? See below.

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Thanks bunches! Happy Christmas, Santa!



Wednesday, 24 December 2008

If you believe, it can happen.

My dearest Santa,

As you know, this is the year I asked for no presents. This news was met with much confusion and consternation from at least one of the three mothers-in-law (my apologies to the second of three mothers-in-law for the unexpected and very inappropriate interrogation), but really, I have everything I could possibly want.

The cutest kitten in the whole wide world, for example:

Also, the greatest friends in the whole wide world:

And an INSANE Caps win over the Rangers last night:


But if I really, really, REALLY have to ask you for something, Santa, could you please, please, PRETTY PLEASE change all this rain to snow? That way, I won't have to fly all the way up to Buffalo to do this:


Tuesday, 23 December 2008

All I Want for Christmas - In Poorly Written Haiku Form

I want you and me
to be in the same place at the
same time forever

I want ice cream bars
to still taste really good despite
freezing cold winter

I want a puppy
a kitten, a brown bear cub,
and an elephant

I want an expense
account for unlimited
Old Navy and Gap

I want to write these
without having to count words on
my fingers, it's hard

I want world peace and
no more fighting, hunger, or
hate. I've got hope, you?

Monday, 22 December 2008

Santa's coming! Oh, my God! I know him! I KNOW HIM!

heatherDear Santa,

It is very hard for me to think of what to put on my Christmas list this year, mostly because I have everything I need and more stuff than a reasonable person could want, including about three copies of my favorite books, plus all my favorite TV shows on DVD. Oh yeah, and the most affectionate, supportive, loving family ever.

This has been a pretty good year for me, Santa, because I got to backpack around Europe, and I'm going again this week. Also, I got to write a lot, and I finally turned 30, and I got a new puppy and a new president, and basically it was just like out of a dream.

It wasn't all Swiss chocolate and puppy kisses, though. I mean, I wasn't exactly what you'd call "good" for some of the year. The election brought out a bit of a monster in me. Also, I signed up for a Wackopedia account to edit some of the Gossip Girl book entries because they were poorly written and inaccurate. That was the low point. I stopped myself pretty quickly. I only edited a few verb tenses.

Anyway, Santa, I only have two wishes for Christmas this year: please give my nephew everything he asks for (within reason, no one likes a spoiled little jerk), and please have one of your elves log into my Flickr account and tag all my photos. The task is too daunting now to even consider.

Yours affectionately,

Heather! Anne!

Friday, 19 December 2008

Phone it in Friday: Dropped Balls and Christmas Baubles

Hello, friends. It's Friday. The Friday before Christmas. We had grand plans for this week's Phone it In, complete with prizes and charities and stuff. Unfortunately, Worst. Day. Ever. Week. hit us like a stocking full of coal. Some of us are up to our mind-grapes in software conversion. Some of us are doing top secret government work. Some of us have sick family. Some of us have been working for 34 solid hours with no sleep.

You know what would cheer us right up, though? If you'll post some of your favorite holiday scenes in the comments. Or tell us a story.

Here's one for you.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

The three words that best describe you are as follows, and I quote, "Stink. Stank. Stunk!"

Jennie When I was little, my sister and I had this old video tape chock full of Christmas specials. I think my parents recorded them when they were on TV so we could watch them over and over. Here are some snippets of what I remember:

I heart the Peanuts gang, even though Linus is kind of a know-it-all.

And then:

And this:



That may not be the EXACT version I saw when I was a kid.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Please, sir, I want some cheese.

What's going on? Where am I? How did I get here? Internets, I will not lie to you when I say I have absolutely no idea what's going on this week. All I know is that after nearly two years of working billion-hour days I walked into the office yesterday at 6:30 a.m. sharp, completely unconcerned at the early hour because this week, THIS WEEK!, was going to be a stressless, easy-going week full of award ceremonies and holiday parties and lots and lots of cookies. But do you know what happened? DO YOU? My phone started ringing. And it wouldn't stop. And now my week is full of fucking meetings and briefings and OH MY GOD I HATE THIS WEEK.


Hey, remember this?

That's pretty neat. And then there's this:

Which is on tonight! But by far, the very best Christmas movie is this one:

In fact, my work email is being a dastardly SONOFABITCH so in lieu of finishing off that bottle of Jameson I think I will watch it right now.

Bah humbug.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

The country of Shakespeare, Churchill, the Beatles, Sean Connery, Harry Potter, David Beckham's right foot, David Beckham's left foot, come to that.


We've been having some pretty high-level, business cat meetings here at Collective HQ about something extra-special we're doing for Christmas. However, now is not the time to tell you what that is. Friday is the time because Friday is the best time. Now? Now is the time for me to show you my favorite two parts of Love Actually. Since I have a hard time with favorites, it is very helpful that one of my favorite movies is also a Christmas movie. Two for the price of one! Booyah!

One of the reasons I have a hard time with favorites is because I feel like if I say something is my favorite that means everything else is less-than-good. Obviously that's not true, but it still hurts. One time we ranked Pixar movies in order and it literally caused me pain. I'm a wimp. All that to say, these are my favorite parts (the parts that my friends call me when they come on), but I love all the other parts too. Even the parts with the naked people. Scandal!

(0:00 - 5:30)

"It's a self preservation thing, you see." And then Dido comes in and he zips up his collar.

Not included in the video is later when Emma Thompson says:

Karen: Imagine your husband bought a gold necklace and come Christmas gave it to somebody else...
Harry: Oh, Karen...
Karen: Would you wait around to find out if it's just a necklace, or if it's sex and a necklace, or if worst of all it's a necklace and love? Would you stay, knowing life would always be a little bit worse? Or would you cut and run?
Harry: Oh, God. I am so in the wrong. The classic fool.
Karen: Yes, but you've also made a fool out of me, and you've made the life I lead foolish too.

What is your favorite part of Love Actually?

Monday, 15 December 2008

You know I love Christmas, I always will

heather We're working some behind-the-scenes magic at Collective HQ this morning. Please standby for Holiday Awesomeness. In the meantime, enjoy one of our favorite Christmas songs.

Friday, 12 December 2008

Phone It In Friday: Sing-Along Edition

We really, truly missed hanging out with each and every one of you. So here's just a snippet from Saturday night:

jovi from kat on Vimeo.

But what we really want to know is what song would YOU have played on the jukebox? Let us know in the comments, and we'll do our best to sing along!

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Babies are assholes: true or false

Jennie Collective archives contain many things, such as original artwork and, of course, all of our posts, but what you may not know is that they also include the following, collected on our trip to Chicago:


archives 005 archives 004

Funny Trivial Pursuit cards:

collective christmas 040 collective christmas 043

For those who cannot make out my blurry photos (blurry on account of drunk), allow me to BLOW YOUR MIND.

QUESTION: What did Otto Titzling invent?
ANSWER: The brassiere.

True story. You would have stolen it, too. Anyway.

Super Absorbency:

collective christmas 048

And best of all, an original trivia game made up by our own Heather Anne. Which you can now play. Right now. Except for some questions because SOMEONE crossed them all out so they're hard to read and then she crumpled up the paper so they're even HARDER to read.

archives 003 archives 002

CATEGORY 1 - Potter

1. When does Harry see Voldemort first?
2. Who is the only Potter character based on a real person?
3. Name 6 (I think) Animagi.
4. What is Albus Dumbledore's full name?
5. Who is the best Potter character? (note: according to Heather Anne)

CATEGORY 2 - Swear Words

1. What word doubles as "donkey?"
2. What word doubles as "poo?"
3. What is the best quote in Love, Actually?
4. Make up a swear word.
5. Babies are assholes: true or false.

CATEGORY 3 - Movie Quotes

1. "She needs to sort out her priorities."
2. "Somewhere in the middle of all this I fell in love with you."
3. "F-O-X."
4. "From the first moment I met you, your arrogance and conceit, your selfish disdain for the feelings of others made me realize that you were the last man in the world I could ever be prevailed upon to marry.
5. "You wear stupid things your mum buys you, tonight's another...classic."

CATEGORY 4 - Currency

1. Who is on the $20?
2. Alexander Hamilton is the hottest president on currency, correct? (I think, I can't really read it)
3. What is the best color of currency?
4. can't read it
5. can't read it, but I think it's something about National Treasure

I wish Collective archives contained a picture of the cannibal we met or our waiter, Dooglas Dorsey, but

I should really document the cannibal thing so we have it in the archives and so HERE.

Hokay.  So.  There we were, just sipping our drinks and eating our cheese and this guy was all, "are you guys from Minnesota?" and we were all, "PSHAW no," and he was all, "OK, cool.  Did you guys meet on Myspace?" and we were all, "eff you, NO," and he was all, "OK, cool.  Do you think humans are white meat or dark meat?" and then Heather looked at me and was like, "I can't listen to this conversation anymore," because that's when his girlfriend started talking about how they Googled that question and it came up with this cannibal website where they tell you how to cook humans and that's when I started looking around the bar for things to use as weapons because WE WERE SITTING NEXT TO REAL HONEST-TO-BLOG ZOMBIES.  True story.  Sort of.  Then the zombie pulled out his cell phone and it had like an old-timey radio antennae on it.  He was an old-fashioned zombie.  

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Trivial Pursuit: Retard Edition.

The greatest idea I had all weekend was NOT the 30 cans of PBR.

Multimedia message

Nor was was it having hot dogs delivered to that one dive bar that DIDN'T smell like b.o.

It wasn't even all that cheese I picked out at the grocery store.

Nope, my greatest idea of the weekend was suggesting to Heather Anne that maybe she should go over and ask that nice little boy and his father if she could have a ride on their sled.

Which she did:

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Walk Behind Me and I'll Start a Parade

AbsFirst, some miracles. It was really REALLY cold when I arrived on Thursday night. I was staying with my brother on the north side before the rest of the team arrived and in the two blocks we had to walk from the El stop to his apartment my face froze and it hurt so much I couldn't move or talk or even cry. It was three degrees. Friday morning proved to be more of the same and I tried to twist and tangle my scarf into a full face mask.

After Jennie and I got Kat and Heather at the airport, we had to find our way to our swanky apartment with parking included. This involved procuring a garage censor from a doorman and then locating the garage on the other side of the building. We split into two teams--Heather and I would locate the doorman and then meet Kat and Jennie at the garage entrance. We jumped out of the car into the three degrees and Heather dropped dead with a fast thwump thud. I was worried for her health and she ducked into my back, shoving her face between my shoulder blades hoping for shelter. I made her run. I think running is the only reason why I survived this weather when I was a kid. House to car, car to school, never stop, run, run, run.

It was cold is what I'm saying.

But! Miracle time! On Saturday, our Day in the City, it wasn't three degrees. In fact, it was a balmy 30 degrees. THIRTY! That's practically roasty! And so we were able to walk around the city without wanting to die.

The other miracle?

Snowflakes. Each one is different, did you know?

As they fell on Saturday morning I was amazed to see their details trapped in my scarf. They looked just like the fake ones with all the symmetrical points and each one really was different. Miracle!

Our hats are pretty awesome. I bought them in early November from a vendor at a work conference and have been anxiously awaiting the day we could all wear them. And that day was better than I could have ever imagined.

I mean, have you ever seen something so cool in your entire life? The answer you're looking for is no.

About the hats: they are made by women in Nepal who were rescued from the sex slave industry. They are fleece-lined and toasty warm in addition to be super cute. They make a lot of other stuff too and if you want to buy some, you can at RansomWear.

We got asked that a lot and the Collective kept deferring to me, the buyer. But that kind of question is always hard for me, because if I don't have an easy answer like Target or Old Navy or a thrift store I don't know how to explain to the asker that they too can get them, but it does take an extra step. So my answers ended up being really rude. For example, "Nepal. Scoff." Or. "The internet. Ever heard of it?"

Kat and Jennie and Heather kept trying to steer my out of idiot territory, and we slowly developed a rationalized way to answer the question. We reached successed on Saturday night when we had this exchange outside the Threadless store (approximation/dramatization):

Lady: OMIGOD! Your hats! They're amazing!
Us: Thanks!
Lady: Where did you get them?
Me: They can be purchased online but I got them elsewhere.
Kat: They're made by women in Nepal who were rescued from the sex slave industry.
Me: I can give you the website if you want.
Lady: That is so cool! I got my niece an animal hoodie for Christmas, and I've been having secretly jealously ever since. This is perfect!

The end. Photos are from Kat.

I hope someone writes about the cannibal we met.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Abigail bought us hats. They were made in Nepal.

heather My favorite thing about traveling with The Collective is that I never have to plan anything. I just get on a plane the day someone tells me to get on a plane, and Kat!, Abigail!, and Jennie! take care of the rest. When I landed in Chicago on Friday, I texted to say, "Landed. Waiting on further instructions."

Not knowing is kind of like magic.

Like, when we showed up at our apartment, this was the view:

And in the morning it looked like this:

And this:

Jennie! bought me Harry Potter Clue for my birthday.

Wall-E watched over us while we played. (Jennie always won.)

We visited The Bean.

And saw a big monument dedicated to Saddam Hussein.

We had some cocktails high above Chicago at the Signature Room at 95th.

And some delicious pizza from Geno's.

A lot of other things happened, too, but the rest of The Collective will tell you about that. I'm just here to set the stage.

My Collective Christmas Flickr set.

Friday, 5 December 2008

Phone It In Friday: Welcome!

You've seen our little spaces at Collective HQ, so now it's time to show us yours. What super awesome something are you bringing to the clubhouse?

Thursday, 4 December 2008

the appropriate question is WHEN the hell are they?

Jennie The best thing about Collective HQ, aside from the Big Buck Hunter and the Scrabble and the art and the thermal detonators and a time machine and the cat bartender is that, at any given moment, it exists in four places at the same time. And sometimes it even exists in OTHER places, like DC or Philly or Chicago and right now, for one time only (God willing) it exists in a hotel room in Rockville, Maryland. See:

hotel room

The best part about the Rockville corner of Collective HQ is that there is a flat screen TV playing Futurama right now. Unfortunately, since I have been staring at payroll testing reports all day, I need to spend some quality time with the TV and so THE END.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

It's a neighborly day in this beauty wood.

You can tell a lot about people by the contents of their fictional HQ, and the Collective is no exception. For instance, not only do we have the best stocked bar north of the equator, we also have a bartender on staff full time:

black eyed susan

This tells you that we are fabulous hostesses, and also maybe alcoholics.

Vampire Weekend is our house band:

This tells you that we love music, and also maybe cute boys.

We also have a closet full of thermal detonators:

This tells you that we are really big nerds, and also maybe homicidal.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Mind the Gap at Collective HQ

Since Collective HQ is huuuuuuge, we have a lot of stuff just lying around. I mean you have to be careful or you might actually get injured tripping over stuff. Kat tries to keep things tidy, but we're not an easy bunch to keep tidy. Like right now there are snow boots and Christmas decorations and Heather's Wii tennis rackets and Scout's ears and Jennie's Threadless t-shirts and all of Winston's toys.

We spend a lot of our time in front of Big Buck Hunter. I'm not very good at it, but it's still awesome. And Kat is REALLY good at it, which makes it fun to get schooled.
Gun Wielder

And did you know we have matching pajamas?
four days! yay!

Plus, I mean, we're on the Floo Network.

Really, you should stop by.