3/12 Ellen had multiple technical problems getting the puzzles ready at the NYT, which she blames on the new KenKen layout.
KenKen-related NYT layout responsibilities continue to cause massive headaches, mostly due to the fact that I have no understanding of InDesign and zero skill or experience in layout. This is supposed to be temporary until a more seamless template is set up, which won't be a moment too soon. This is not related to the recent layoffs.
3/21 Ellen is being humbled by Frank Longo's "Vowelless Crosswords" book. All spatial cues go out the window without the vowels. Quite a workout!
A friend sent me this book (due out in June) and I devoured it. It's amazing how hard it is to see word patterns when the vowels are missing and all the usual cues are gone. This wonderful book features tough, wide-open grids, and the puzzling entries invariably make you go "aha" once you figure them out.
3/21 Ellen has a TON of work to do (not to mention taxes), but will go see a trashy movie before buckling down to it.
I still have that ton of work (and taxes). I blame the lack of progress on the Internet. Oh, and a certain book of vowelless crosswords.
3/21 Ellen saw "He's Just Not That Into You" and really liked it (once again showing her mainstream taste).
I had to run an errand in the Lincoln Square area and while I was in the neighborhood, saw this movie. While it only got 43% on Rotten Tomatoes, I enjoyed it. Justin Long is cute.
They showed the trailer for "All About Steve" (both movies feature Bradley Cooper) which, uh, doesn't look like the best movie ever made. The trailer completely ignores Sandra Bullock's character's crossword career, but an umbrella appears to play a prominent role. The movie was supposed to come out in March, but IMDB now says September.
3/22 Happy bday to childhood neighbor Rick, classmate Marilyn, pop culture maven Sars, and Todd whose mother swears she had him at age 12.
My record for FB multiple birthday friends is 5, but I have more friends now so we'll see if that holds. There's a strong probability of shared birthdays, but it still looks like an amazing coincidence when it happens. I'd like to write about Facebook as high school (especially as it includes people from actual high school, including the first two birthday celebrants), but no time now.
3/24 Ellen did laundry and changed the sheets and... oh wait, this isn't Twitter?
Laundry! And I even put away most of the piled-up backlog of clean items (I tend to leave everything in the cart and pull clothes from there), and washed the mattress cover.
Previous statuses complained about the new Twitter-like FB format, and I still don't like it - especially the inability to see who your friends are friending, and the discontinuation of the Live Feed. People have been voting, commenting, and joining protest groups galore, but no FB response other than being able to hide results of annoying surveys.
3/27 Ellen wondered why some of her friends cared so much about "Les Miz" (doh!).
Excited "M I Z" statuses came in quick succession from former co-workers A, E and A2, and I had no idea what this was. A and E are Mizzou grads, and A2 is also from the St. Louis area, and breaking sports news items finally made it clear.
3/30 Ellen congratulates nephew Joel, who is now part of the Muhlenberg College class of 2013
Not only that, he received the maximum Commitment to Excellence scholarship award. It seems like yesterday that Joel was a tiny baby, and now he's off to college. The more I hear about Muhlenberg, the more I like it. Who would have thought an officially Lutheran school in Allentown, PA, would have a thriving Jewish population (approx. 1/3, with Hillel the largest student organization)? Strong theater program, too. People seem very fond of the place, with half the class accepted via Early Decision.
Joel's other choices: U. of Denver, Ursinus, Clark, U. of Miami, American, Roger Williams, and Quinnipiac (some with merit aid). He visited (and in some cases, re-visited) all but the last two, and would have been happy at any of them.
No statuses mentioned the following:
*I gave up on "A Woman in Residence" by Michelle Harrison after 40 pages, when I realized I didn't want to read about medical issues and gynecological procedures. I'm probably not being fair to the book; just not what I was in the mood for.
*I saw another movie not yet out that I'm not sure I can talk about, since we filled out market research questionnaires. I reserved through a theater club with a service charge, finding later I could have gone through the TV organization for free. Oh well. More later.
*Fun with customer service - a credit card travel bonus promotion on a mailing addressed to me had an enrollment code that linked to someone else's credit card (I definitely typed it in correctly). After multiple phone calls getting switched to multiple people and being cut off a few times, I'm hoping it was resolved (and they need to look into the addresses and codes being out of sync). Otherwise, I will TRASH them on this blog and they will be sorry they ever messed with me. Hear that, guys? (putting up dukes)
*FreshDirect - uh oh, the ice cream (more specifically, diet frozen yogurt) was kind of melted today. Looks like it's time to boycott frozen goods again for the summer. Or just TRASH them on this blog! (re-putting up dukes)
*Ocean Spray Diet Cranberry Pomegranate is really good. Good enough to make me less upset that I have a hard time finding my beloved Minute Maid Light Raspberry Passion juice.