A Tasty, Philanthropic Roadside Sighting -- Yesterday in the Wendy's drive-thru (and I shall post on my abiding love for the Frescata Club sandwich erelong, mark my words) I was behind a white Camry with RI plates very similar to this. That is, Mr. Potato Head was staring me square in the face...urging me to fight hunger...with potatoes! Well, not really -- the Rhode Island Food Bank is offering these plates and Hasbro, RI juggernaut and owner of Mr. P-H, has joined in the good works. Of course, from another car you can't read the little sign he's carrying and it's all a little odd, but for a good cause. Mmmmm, potato head.
You're so cute, headless USB bear! -- Behold, the confluence of crafting and computer technology, with a dash of black comedy. Bwa ha ha!


"Steal her ideas and rephrase them in your own prose, because there is nothing teachers like more than knowing that students can write well but have no original ideas." -- To quote Dr. Julius Hibbard, it's deliciously satirical! Fed-up uni prof gives today's lazy undergrads some tips on successful plagiarization and cheating. Having busted one student this spring for lifting a whole paragraph out of an obscure Globe op-ed, and one last fall who liberally used direct quotes from my lectures and conferences with him as his own thoughts, I chuckled darkly. (via Kottke)


I'm not wearing a veil, I don't have a diamond ring, and I'm more worried about thunderstorms than hangovers, but still -- this is my brain on wedding. Particularly that little shriveled Work Lobe. :P Only 17 more days, people...


Swimming! Soccer! Ballet! Oboe! CORN SYRUUUUUUUP! -- I've been resisting the much-ballyhooed Dunkin Donuts smoothies because I figured they must be loaded with calories, like DD's other "summery" drinks. At 360, it's somewhat better than I thought -- but it's all sugar, 69 grams worth of straight up sugar, invert sugar, and good ol' high HFCS, aka "The Diabetes Maker." If they replaced the sugars and "neutral base" (mmmm!) with orange juice and frozen real fruit, maybe sprinkled in some wheat germ, the thing might actually be nutritious...but not as easy to extrude into the waiting maws of Massachusetts. Drink up!

Never visited a barrier reef? -- Well, thanks to global climate change, you may not ever be able to. Scientists are trying to petition the UN World Heritage Sites Committee to acknowledge the damage to the barrier reefs in Belize and Australia, the world's largest, from increasingly warm and acidic ocean water, thanks to good old pollution. Oh Al Gore, save us!
"So there I was, waiting in line with a transvestite hooker and her pimp at the Dominican pork truck in Washington Heights. I thought to myself, it’s moments like this that remind me how much I love driving a yellow cab." -- Taxi! Check out Famous Fat Dave and his delicious blog of eating and cabbing his way across New York. Click the "Jersey" and "Reader Favorite" categories in particular...and the impromptu cricket match at the airport taxi lot!
Time for a silly meme, doncha think? Via FluidPudding:

I AM: getting married in exactly 20 days. 20 days, people! And yes, that's pretty much my identity these days: Excited Yet Cranky To The Point of Being Totally Over It DIY Bride Lady. Tra la!
I WANT: another massage and Japanese soaking tub session like the one Nat and I enjoyed on Friday night at Urban Oasis in Cambridge. Mmmmm, pressure points.
I WISH: I had a more comfortable chair in my cubicle.
I HATE: the usual suspects.
I MISS: having the whole summer off.
I HEAR: one of the many bizarre ringtones of my coworkers. This one is the phone burbling and a voice saying, "HELLO, MOTO!" over and over. God.
I WONDER: if I will ever find a job that puts my degree to good use without smothering the rest of my brain.
I REGRET: not studying abroad when I was an undergrad, figuring I'd "have time later," a-ha ha ha!
I AM NOT: able to touch my toes at the moment, ow, back.
I DANCE: irregularly.
I SING: in the car.
I CRY: at the weirdest commercials sometimes.
I AM NOT ALWAYS: as absorbed in what I'm reading as it may appear to some observers.
I MAKE WITH MY HANDS: a very nice "Here is the church, here is the steeple."
I WRITE: online more than offline.
I CONFUSE: chocolate for perspective all the time.
I NEED: a new pair of summer shoes. The ones from LLBean aren't going to do it, they make a weird PFF PFF PFF sound when I walk. Gah.
I SHOULD: probably be calling about 7 different wedding vendors right now. [Twiddles thumbs]
I START: no wine (or blazingly urgent task) before its time (which is just a tick before way too late).
I FINISH: this post and pass it on to you, if you like.


Better late than never with the Summer Blockbuster Kickoff Ticket Stub!

* X-Men 3 -- What's not to like about mutants? I'm no comic fanboy, but I've enjoyed the installments of the X-Men movies well enough, and this one delivered competently. That's saying plenty for hacktastic replacement director Brett Ratner, who keeps things moving along nicely. The story gets a little sidetracked in half-assed teenage drama, a la The O.C., and there are oddly few battle sequences, though most are well done -- especially the appearance of Kitty Pryde, who can outsmart and dematerialize big galoots like Juggernaut. There are also some riveting moments of metaphorical grace: the image of Archangel (or Gayngel, as we dubbed him) soaring over San Francisco bay, or of the tormented Jean Gray/Dark Phoenix caught in the swirling vortex of her own id. It wasn't as funny as it's predecessors (except for Wolverine) but it got the job done. Hey, it's a comic book. Many extra points for the gratuitous shot of Hugh Jackman walking away from the camera in snug leather pants! (B)

* The DaVinci Code -- This cinematic whipping boy was not half as bad as I expected, which was pretty bad, considering the book is like a Choose Your Own Adventure for adults, with all the choices pre-made for you. With low enough expectations, it might even seem like a great movie -- emphasis on "seem," because it's at least 30 minutes too long for a romance-free one-track McGuffin chase. Tom Hanks (and I had no problem with the hair) and the Amelie girl traipse around Paris and London, following cryptic clues about art, secret societies, the Catholic church, and whatnot, pursued by a dyspeptic Jean Reno and apparently rabid Paul Bettany. Each set piece works well, and the interspersed flashbacks were surprisingly effective, but there's just too many of each, they start to blur together. Some of the switcheroos are clever, others are at a sub-Word Search level (the cryptex spells WHAT?), so take your fun where you can get it. Incidentally, I can't understand the religious controversy over this thing -- the whole "Who was Mary Magdalene?" bombshell is soft-pedaled at best, with the whole movie ending on a bit of a "maybe so, maybe no" whimper. I think this might actually have made a better Sunday night miniseries than a feature -- again, the power of low expectations. One extra point for Ian McKellen in a semi-Gandalfian turn as wise old mentor, complete with not one but two walking sticks! (C+)
"Married gay couples are not masterminding terrorist bombings. They are not refining weapons-grade uranium nor are they running up federal budget deficits." -- You don't say? Nice crisp Globe editorial cuts through the pathetic charade of moral righteousness on display by Bush & Co. this week, trotting out a Constitutional amendment proposal like an old tired racehorse that just won't run. Frankly, if I were a member of the vaunted evangelical base the GOP is ostensibly trying to woo, I'd be pretty disappointed in this example of "leadership" on a "values" issue. Even Newsweek quoted an inside source that Bush "doesn't give a shit" about gay marriage -- and I hope he doesn't, because there are about 9,000 more pressing issues to deal with. Happy Gay Pride Month, Shrubster!


"Intelligent design? For that you can't beat Restoration Hardware. I love it. If I didn't live in heaven, that's where I'd live, Restoration Hardware." -- Listening to the word of God, not Pat Robertson. More where that came from here, via Margalit!
How quickly a week goes by...when you're incapacitated by lower back pain! -- Those mysterious little muscles and ligaments, how we take them for granted when they are not spasming all over the place. Thank god for ThermaCare, buy some today! That is my offering to the back karma god -- getting married in 4 weeks, can't spend any more time hobbling around than absolutely necessary.