Sunday, 30 October 2011

That’s life. One minute you’re on top of the world, the next minute some secretary’s running you over with a lawnmower.

Hiiii, guys! So maybe you've noticed Collective HQ has been a little disheveled lately. Some of us are moving and some of us are traveling and some of us are saving the world and some of us are getting chomped up by our careers like little dots in Pac-Man. So we're going to take a tiiiiny vacation. We'll be back some time in December to celebrate the holidays with you. If we DON'T come back it's because Google really did kill Reader and none of us could go on living.


Monday, 24 October 2011

Warewolf bar mitzvah, spooky scary!

Last week's Collective topic was: What are you putting off doing right now. Get it? Because I was supposed to post about what I was putting off doing, but what I was putting off doing was writing my Collective post? Is that even a joke? Is it like that time Alanis Morissette got confused about irony and then got stoned and made out with Carrie Bradshaw, and no matter what, that had to be better than every single time that Carrie Bradshaw made out with Aidan Shaw because he is the worst person on earth? Does anyone have any idea what the heck I'm talking about? ME NEITHER.

Anyway, so this week's Collective topic is: Halloweiner stories!

And here's mine:

Once upon a time, a family went on a train ride to a pumpkin patch.

The greatest aunt in all the world tried to help the greatest nephew in all the world pick out the greatest pumpkin in all the world.

Like usual, the nephew was all, "I can have one? Awesome. I'll have two."

But they were too heavy and so he just got one.

But even carrying one pumpkin is exhausting for a tiny, little lamb. Good thing the greatest aunt in all the world was there to carry him back to the train.

The end.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Phone it in Friday: Wait, do we still do this?

How is there not a mashup between BNL's ("Oh, okay, they're BNL now?") Who Needs Sleep?:

And that episode of The X-Files where those soldiers can't sleep. It's called SLEEPLESS. It is relevant to our interests.

Anyway. What do you guys do when you can't sleep (besides cry and curse the world)?

Thursday, 13 October 2011


Jennie   We close on our house on Friday. FRIDAY. FRIIIIIIIDAAAAAAAAAY. That's tomorrow, for those keeping track at home. I keep saying it but it still doesn't feel real. I mean, it did a little earlier when I transferred a gajillion dollars from savings to checking to cover the down payment on Friday but still. No keys, no reality. Or something. I don't know.

I feel on the verge of hysteria, if that makes sense. I'm a planner, a list maker, a collector of worries and what-ifs, so for the next two weeks, I'm afraid I will be totally balls out crazy, even though I don't have any balls to get out! What? I don't know! When I get like this I just feel bad for everyone around me because I am in Planning Mode 24/7. Yes, that's right, even if I'm sleeping (HAHAHA AS IF I CAN SLEEP), I'm making To Do lists or something equally boring in my dreams. Which pisses me off, because who wants to waste dream time PLANNING? I don't. If you do, great, you can have my list-making dream. Throw me back into that dream I was having about Iron Man saving me from aliens, PLEASE AND THANK YOU.

Anyway. I have a sneaking suspicion that I won't be sleeping well until we're in the new house. And even then, I won't sleep well until every last box is unpacked. Until then, I'll just continue waking up at 3 AM, sure I forgot to call someone or do something important and I won't be able to fall back to sleep and I'll lie there and get angrier and angrier at Joe, who never seems to have trouble sleeping, and I'll count the hours until I have to get up and then I will cry all the tears ever teared because I'M JUST. SO. TIRED.

So that'll be fun. At least I know all of you will be awake, too, and AS YOU MAY BE AWARE from, like, life and stuff, misery loves company so HELLO COMPANY I AM MISERY.

Here is a picture of a baby penguin:


Wednesday, 12 October 2011

What's fixed can always be broken.

Timely, this, for I've not slept in many nights, and tired I am. When one shares one's bed with another the insomnia is doubly stressful, for not only does one fret about not falling asleep, one also frets about keeping the other awake. Oh, I am weary, and since seven this morning a steady stream of contractors has marched up and down my stairs, and all last night I thought with relish how I'd like to blow this house to smithereens.

So that's how you can spend your wakeful nocturnal hours: taking a sledgehammer to these hateful, hated walls.

Monday, 10 October 2011

wynken, blyken, and nod one night sailed off in a wooden shoe

AbsI've never been a napper, even when I'm exhausted beyond belief, so when it gets dark out and I'm all situated I fall asleep pretty painlessly.

Unless, of course, I've done something stupid.

Like drink Diet Coke after 2 pm.

For the longest time I thought that the caffeine didn't affect me? Like I didn't feel the difference I thought? And then I entered a period of my life where I was having the hardest time falling asleep and I don't think DC is entirely to blame, but it certainly wasn't helping. So I stopped the night time consumption and things seemed to get better. And now, when I break my rules, I don't get tired for hours ad I lay in bed BEMOANING my situation.

And what do I do? Where do I direct my rage?

First I use the excuse to do stuff on Heather's list that I normally might feel too guilty doing. Like watching a lot of TV or starting a Stieg Larrson book when I know both things will keep me up much longer than I actually would be.

If the conditions aren't right for that or I feel above it then I tell myself I should be doing all the stuff that I say I don't have time for or I'm too tired to do. Because staying up is the gift of time. So I try to tackle my work email but it's too haaaaard and I tell myself I should do laundry or clean the bathroom or take a shower but the thing is, I'm not less tired now, I'm just still awake. So they still feel impossible. And so I throw myself back into bed and turn the lights off again. And make myself wait 20 minutes before fiddling with my phone some more.

And then I go back to my vices. To playing on my phone. To finding some show on Megavideo I haven't mainlined yet. To reading a scary scary book. Eventually I fall asleep for a few hours and then I have wake up and act as though I've had a full night's sleep. Because adults are supposed to foolishly stay up all night for fun. And that's what it becomes. Instead of suffering the consequences of my bad decision, I just make it worse LIKE A MORON!

But I'm not the only one, right?

You’re cozy and warm in your bed, my dear. Please go the f*!k to sleep.

I hail from a family of Olympic-caliber sleepers. It's my grandpa's genetics, I think, the way we Hogans can sleep on planes and trains and hot air balloons and on the floor and on the couch and occasionally at traffic lights. When I was but a wee lass, I was too terrified of burglars to even shut my eyes, but my dad finally stuck a fan in my room as loud as a jet engine, and after that, I became a champion sleeper too. I don't just like to sleep; I've got to sleep, or else I am the absolute worst and you'll end up punching me in the head before lunch time.

I gave up caffeine (again) about six weeks ago, and so I've been sleeping better than ever lately. Except for last Saturday night. See, last Saturday night I took some kind of time-release nasal decongestant and every time it time-released (like every seventeen seconds) it jolted me into wide-awakeness. I knew as I was lying there that this week's Collective topic is: What do you do when you can't sleep? And probably I should have just gotten up and written my post, but I couldn't, because the thing I do when I can't sleep is get angrier and angrier and angrier and ANGRIER AND ANGRIER AND ANGRIER.


And then, instead of just being mad at the night, I start getting mad at everything. TV shows that ended when I was like 11. Third books in trilogies that didn't live up to the previous books' hype. Companies that discontinued my favorite snacks. Commercial jingles that get stuck in my head. People who cut me off in traffic back when I had my learner's permit a hundred years ago. Just ... everything. All the things.

Anyway, last Saturday, I finally just got up and went for a hike so I could take some sunrise photos, and while I was waiting on the mountain bike trail for the sun to do its morning thing, I made a list of things it's worth staying up all night to do:

1) Make out
2) Read Harry Potter
3) Re-read Harry Potter
4) Or maybe read other excellent books
5) Midnight movies
6) Marathon TV
7) Explore new cities
8) Pub shenanigans
9) Night time kayaking, mountain biking, hiking, etc.
10) To win any kind of competition

Otherwise, brain:

Thursday, 6 October 2011

"Taste bud orgasm"? Sure, OK.


2011 has been a real quest-y year for me. Mostly it's been about the quest of keeping my genetic predisposition for anxiety from clobbering me every time I turn around. Or, like, lassoing in my ADHD. But also I have been on a journey to find The Perfect Sandwich. And I haven't been passive about it, either. It's not like I'm sitting around waiting for The Perfect Sandwich to fall into my lap. I've been out on the street asking people where to get The Perfect Sandwich, and then visiting that place to see if they're right. (They're usually not. Subway, sir? Really? Punch yourself in the face.)

So earlier this week, I'm in a restaurant in Queens that only serves grilled cheese sandwiches and beer, and I ordered myself a grilled cheese with Gouda with black bean hummus, guava jam and pickled jalapeƱos. It was — I don't even know how to describe it. Wait, yes I do: It was a taste bud orgasm. And not like, "Thanks. That was nice. Hand me the channel changer, will you?" But more like, "Just give me a second; I think I might be paralyzed from AWESOMENESS." You know?

It was maybe the most delicious thing I have ever put in my mouth. I had to pep talk myself to finish it because halfway through, I nearly had a meltdown about how I didn't deserve something so perfect.

So anyway, my current favorite sandwich is this guy:


Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Abigail's Top Favorite iPhone Apps

My homescreen where I have the most often used apps organized.

AbsIn honor of today's forthcoming iPhone announcement (!!!), I figured I talk about my favorite apps. There are over 20 apps I access on a daily basis and while I can't live without some of them, I can't recommend them all either so this definitely is not an app tour. It's a Schilbo-curated list.

I no longer look up movie times on the regular internet on a computer (or in the newspaper, but I haven't looked them up in the newspaper since 2001). Flixster tells you the movies and show times for nearby theaters as well as the theaters on your "favorites" list. You can view trailers, Rotten Tomatoes ratings, and box office figures all within the app. You can even buy tickets within the app if you're really nervous about getting a seat.

This health and exercise app has exercise tutorials, workout logs, routines, food & calorie tracking, weight & measurement tracking, etc., etc. It does everything and takes your data to show you beautiful charts. Since my health drama of this summer I've been on a strict diet to keep my tummy happy. This app has been super helpful in tracking both what I've eaten and what shape my body is taking. I've used the fitness stuff in the past too and it's super easy to log in 45 crunches or look up a good arm workout (I'm currently not supposed to be active so I haven't gotten to use this part recently).

I've always loved the concept of Goodreads--a place where you can review and track books you've read and see other reviews including insight from your friends. But I found the website clunky and annoying. Now that they have this easy click through app, I'm more involved. I've finally deferred to using their to-read-shelf function instead of keeping a google doc with that info. Plus, you can barcode scan a book when you're at the library or bookstore and instantly see what people are thinking (kind of like checking Rotten Tomatoes before renting a movie).

Bet you didn't know Chipotle was my favorite restaurant. OH WAIT, of course you know that. Chipotle's online app will tell you where the nearest location is but will also let you order and pay online. The order interface is super easy to use and regularly on my work trips we pass around my phone so everyone can put it their own order. The app can save all your credit card info securely so you don't even have to have your wallet handy to place this order. When you arrive at the store they have your food waiting for you so you get to skip the line, plus everyone's names are written on their burritos.

I rarely pay attention to sports but am almost surrounded by people who do. And since I understand the need for information, I'm happy to use my magic phone to look up scores, penalties, start times, and other important sports details. This apps has every type of collegiate and pro sport and more features that I've ever been able to even explore. I usually just use the score check feature, but a few years ago I was able to use their play-by-play posts to keep up with an Angels World Series game. It only lags about 20 seconds behind TV and works in a pinch when you're sitting in an auditorium unable to actually watch the game.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

She would like to go out with you for texting and scones.

Jennie Since I didn't get to babble about television last week and since one of my favorite things to babble about is television, I'm using this week's topic (Current Favorite WHATEVER) as an excuse to babble about my current favorite television shows. I don't know why I keep writing television instead of TV...what am I, fancy? I don't think so.

Also, I like to make lists. So here is a list of my current favorite TV shows and by current favorite, I mean shows currently airing even though my ACTUAL list of current favorite TV shows would include Mad Men and Friday Night Lights and whatnot but since those aren't ACTUALLY CURRENTLY AIRING, I left them off of my list, which I think makes this the first time I've never cheated at making lists and omg can you believe this sentence hasn't ended yet? 


1. Downton Abbey

I'm so excited this show is (almost) back. I watched the first season on Netflix Instant because Kat told me to and I watched it all in one weekend, probably putting off other important things I was supposed to be doing, like laundry and cleaning and showering, but it was worth it. 


2. Doctor Who

Although I'm not as emotionally invested in the travels of the 11th Doctor as I was in the 9th and 10th (I hardly ever cry until I can't see when I watch the Moffat-era episodes also I'm not the biggest fan of the River Song storyline YEAH I SAID IT), I'm still completely obsessed and feel very sad face that the latest season is over. I very much enjoy Matt Smith's antics and am looking forward to next season's Amy-and-Rory-less shenanigans. Still:


That's me right now.

Also, Joe and I just had a long discussion about why we prefer Davies-era Who to Moffat-era Who but still like the Moffat episodes of Davies era Who the most and I thought about sharing all of it but didn't want to alienate everyone who has no idea what I'm talking about right now.

3. How I Met Your Mother

This show feels like I'm hanging out with my friends. Even when it's bad, I still find it comforting to watch. Sort of like Friends. I no longer give a shit who the mother is, only that Barney marries Robin and they have lots of scotch-loving babies.

4. Community

Community makes me happy in ways I can't describe. So I'm not going to try. When I watch Community, I feel like this: WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

5. Parks & Recreation

I think Parks & Rec is a more consistent show than Community, and still I think I like Community more. On most days. On days after episodes like The Fight, Parks & Rec is my favorite shows of all the shows.


6. Fringe

We finally caught up on past seasons and are now watching the show live, which probably means it'll be cancelled soon. SORRY. That's just what happens. Much like How I Met Your Mother, even when I don't like what the show is doing (omg Bellivia wtf), I still enjoy watching it. (I also love The Soup.)

I've also been watching The Secret Circle, mostly because I double heart loved the books when I was but a wee tweenager. I tried watching Ringer (NO) and Revenge (VERY YES) but haven't watched any other new shows because those are the only ones TiVo recorded and I do what TiVo tells me. Duh.