Friday, February 29, 2008

New Thing #341: Abzorbant

Being in a Big Fat Greek wedding means getting to witness every drop of cultural meaning behind it, and getting to participate in a lot of it. Tonight at the rehearsal dinner, after the bride's father had presented the couple with a bottle of Widex and her mother gave her back the cap she wore on the way home from the hospital (that she would wear on her wrist as a hanky during the ceremony), I learned to Zorba dance. We would do this as the grand entrance at the actual wedding, but they wanted to make sure we knew what we were doing, so we pushed back a few chairs at Athens Market Taverna and went for it. There was a lot of looking at feet, stepping on toes and poking each other in the ear, but eventually we all got it. And in the pop-cultural tradition of Greek Weddings, anyone with an S at the end of their name knew exactly what they were doing, and the rest of us looked terrified. But what fun!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

New Thing #340: Bachy

Since I was 22, I have been in four weddings. Twice I was Maid of Honor. I'm currently in California for the fourth one, and tonight will head to my fourth rehearsal dinner, after having attended a fourth shower and bought a fourth bridesmaid dress. But bachelorette parties? I've somehow never been to one. When BFF Ange got married, half the bridal party was under 21, so we had a shower and a lunch instead. When I MOH'ed my brother's wedding, the bride was Austrian and unfamiliar with the concept. For wedding number three, I couldn't get there until the night before the wedding and missed out. So tonight I went to a bachelorette party in honor of high school buddy Andrea. Ten of us went to Shout House, a piano bar in downtown San Diego. It was loud, crude and full of booze- essentials for a bache party. Andrea was a good sport about sucking down shots with dodgy names (one from between the piano player's legs) and about sitting on the piano while they sang versions of cliche wedding songs packed with sex euphemisms. It was entirely stripper-free, which was totally fine with everyone.
Happy wedding, Dida!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

New Thing #339: I got it

This is something I've been meaning to do forever, but whenever the opportunity arises, I've always either forgotten or lost my nerve. So today while buying pants at Express, I gave my phone number as 867-5309. I claim special ownership to this number because while I'm pretty sure nobody ever felt compelled to write anything about me on a bathroom wall, I am a Jenny. You'll notice that if you simply say the numbers verbatim, the song doesn't immediately come to mind. So when the cashier asked for my phone number, I had the flash of brilliance I'd been waiting for and instead of giving an old work number, said "sure... 646? 867? 53? 09." My apologies to anyone who might actually have that number, but come on, I bet a nice lady from Express is the least threatening person who's ever called you.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

New Thing #338: Hat baby, hat baby

I wear hats to work a lot. The atmosphere is relaxed enough that this isn't a problem, and it's amazing how many minutes I can shave off my morning routine by slapping on a newsboy cap or beret instead of actually trying to sculpt something presentable out of the hot mess that is my head in the morning. Today I wore a different kind of hat. A more functional hat, if you will. I wore and drank from a beer helmet. I hooked a St. Paddy's-colored cheap plastic hat up to two bottles of Naked Strawberry Banana C and sucked up a total of half a bottle through the musty, taste-destroying plastic tubes. Then I had to rush the thing out of my office and down the hall to the bathroom while it leaked smoothie onto the carpet in the hallway. I then stood at the bathroom sink chanting "please don't come in here" to the deaf ears of the general female population at work while I rinsed chunks of smoothie out of the tubes. You would think that I would have had the foresight to just pull the tubes out of the hat and take them to the bathroom instead of the entire contraption... but you'd be wrong. Luckily nobody walked in on me, but it was almost a shame that they didn't. It's not every day you get to explain to someone why you're washing banana out of a bright green beer helmet at work.

Monday, February 25, 2008

New Thing #337: M C Jenscher

I am not a born fine artist. My doodles of hummingbirds and 3-D boxes and g-clefs that have made their way into many a class (or work) notebook don't count. They're ADORABLE and should totally be in the Museum of Cute... but in this sense they don't count. Tonight, though, with the help of a tutorial, I drew M C Escher's impossible triangle. It was completely a cheat, and I felt a little bad doing in minutes what it took Mr. Escher much longer to achieve, but to create something on paper other than a one-dimensional cartoon character, or my autograph, is kind of an awesome feeling. And it will make my next meeting much more interesting.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

New Thing #336: O(nce)scar

Tonight I ran a gambling ring. It's a lot less tough and a lot more legal than it sounds. I headed up my office's Oscar pool (the first ever, methinks) and after making it back to New York just in time, got to score ballots and tally points while watching the subdued yet enjoyable show. The winner was officemate E, who won not by picking the highest number of winners, but by having the highest point tally at the end (different categories had different point values). She won a whopping $18 on her $2 investment.
The best part for me was being reminded of "Falling Slowly," the hauntingly beautiful Best Song winner from Once, to which I have already listened about 10 times since the end of the telecast.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

New Thing #335: Shovelcraft

As you know by now, I grew up in Southern California, where the worst weather can usually be described as "lots of rain" or "kind of cold."Conditions that don't even have a real name. So snow? It still kind of freaks me out, even after having lived her for more than six years. The first time I had to actually live in snowy weather, as opposed to having gotten to ski in it for a weekend or play in it for a day, I was sort of thrown for a loop. I'm still getting used to the notion of walking through a park full of fluffy white drifts in work clothes instead of in ski gear. Today, though, I shoveled snow. It's one thing to dart from my apartment to the subway to my office after somebody else has already done the dirty work, but homeowners in the suburbs don't have much of a choice. One of them was happy to hand over the shovel for a while this afternoon, and despite having dashed from a show to a rehearsal to another show then to a train to Connecticut, I somehow found the energy to make the driveway clear enough to not stall a car, dirty a sneaker or confuse a chipmunk.

Friday, February 22, 2008

New Thing #334: Practice, practice

In one of my many "things you should do in New York because we say so" emails this week, something caught my eye: the words "Rhapsody in Blue" written in close proximity to the words "Carnegie Hall." None of this really qualified as New; I've seen Rhapsody in Blue, my favorite piece of music ever (which I have easily listened to 500 times in my life) played live before, and not only have I seen something at Carnegie Hall before, I performed there when I was 19. But when companion Erin and I arrived at our seats, we were pleasantly surprised that we had somehow ended up in what are usually $200 seats, procured for practically nothing (thanks, snow storm!). So I sat in a fancy box in Carnegie Hall, practically right over the pianist's shoulder. It was a college symphony, so most of the audience were family members of a bunch of talented kids from Texas, all of whom we were nose-to-nose with, sitting in what Erin referred to as "Bond girl seats" in one of the world's most famous performance venues.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

New Thing #333: Where?

Remember how the nerds in Sixteen Candles (John Cusack and Darren Harris) wore underwear on their heads when the Geek dropped by with the passed-out hot chick? I always thought that was sort of hilarious, so tonight I wore underwear on my head. It felt and, aside from the leg holes, looked no different than a soft hat. I picked a stripey pair for maximum fun, and nearly forgot it was a sort of uncouth hat choice until I left to pick up some dish soap. Getting stared at in public is nothing new, but usually it's because of toilet paper on my shoe, or because I'm carrying a giant stuffed tiger, or because I somehow left the house wearing both a sneaker and a high-heeled boot.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

New Thing #332: Promptness

In all my time working in TV and radio, being on TV and radio and watching and listening to TV and radio (presumably in that order, but with me you never know), I have never had the joy/obligation of reading from a teleprompter. Yes, I have often made gentle fun of people whose heads appear to move along with the lines of text, and sympathized with those who have gone wacky-eyed from looking at the tiny screens for so long (ask me about my three eye surgeries) but I have never actually been one of them. So today during video training at work, I jumped at the opportunity all our cool technology presents, and I read from a teleprompter. Trainers Karen and Zachary were good sports about letting me take a few extra minutes of their time, and Z pulled up some newsy-sounding story from for me to read. (Ironically, we weren't able to actually capture the video, because of the fanciness of the technology and the unfanciness of this blog).

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

New Thing #331: Window of Opportunity

For almost a year now, I've been wanting to throw something out the window. Yes, I threw money off a roof and it was awesome, but throwing something out a window has a bit more of an air of desperation, as well as a much cooler word. Tonight I defenestrated a paper airplane. I have always sucked at paper airplaning, so this was another chance to get it right (with a little help from my beloved Wikihow, where I learned to make a Delta Wing Paper Airplane). I racked my brain for a time in the past when I threw something out a window- dorm keys in college? Candy at nerd camp? My violin? A small relative? And I couldn't think of anything, but in case some memory of defenestration (as opposed to interfenestration or antifenestration) slipped through, I decided to up the ante by setting a paper airplane free out the bathroom window. I can count the paper airplanes I've made in my life on one hand, so I know I've never thrown one out a window. I did it in the dark bathroom into the backyard, just feet away from where the recycling goes. I almost wrote "help me!" or "I am a monkey!" on it to add some excitement, but something happened where I didn't.

Monday, February 18, 2008

New Thing #330: Watcher in the Woods

The state of Connecticut is conducting some sort of Bird Census, and the monitoring is left up to the residents of the state. During my Relaxing Weekend in the Woods, I decided I would pretend to be a Connecticutian, and I bird-watched. Armed with an Audubon Society Bird Dictionary and some cool army binoculars, I searched the trees and the skies for the species the state is interested in keeping tabs on. I'm not sure I was able to contribute anything to the survey. I saw a lot of squirrels, tons of leaves, a boot and what was either a cat or a sawed-off Mountain Lion, but only one or two birds, one of which may have been a Sharp-Tailed sparrow. Either than or an emu. Either way, there is something supremely therapeutic about sitting in a woodsy area on a chilly afternoon, hoping a birdie might be friendly enough to show his face so you can write it down for the state. Even if he doesn't, it's some time well spent.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

New Thing #329: Beep beep. Yeah.

I haven't owned a car in seven years, and along with the absence of paranoia that came with owning a car in California that had been hit-and-runned, broken into, ticketed, dinged and fender-bent came the blissful disappearance of the stress associated with maintaining it. But my boyfriend does own a car, and as someone who rides in it a lot, it's polite to help him take care of it. So today I changed windshield wipers. Since it rained an average of half a time a year when I drove in California, I never actually changed the wipers on my car in the four years that I drove it before moving to New York. Oil? Yes. Wiper fluid? Sure- just because it doesn't rain doesn't mean it doesn't get bird dumped-on every once and again, and my car only held about a thimble of it.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

New Thing #328: Run, Baby, Hair*!

In preparation for one of my last things, which will show its glorious face on March 22 (open to all! If you're in the New York area, please come! You have no idea what I'm talking about because I don't want you to yet! Details to come! Save the Date! Save the Whales!) I taught and directed musical theatre song arrangements to a group of people. This went better at some times than at others, and my total lack of experience showed more during the tricky numbers than during the ones so easy a five-year-old could (and almost always does) sing it. When rehearsal was over, I did two back-to-back Blue Man matinees then ran like a crazy woman to Grand Central and hopped a train to Connecticut for Relaxing Weekend. Then I spent three hours on Saturday poring over the pile of songbooks from which this hot madness will spring. This is probably the most confusing post ever, especially if you don't know my nerdy background or haven't talked to me about what I've been wanting to do for the end of this project, but trust me. It will be awesome. March 22. Nerds. Singing. Disco ball.

* I stole this title from Alan F's Gchat status message. This disclaimer is in case he notices.

Friday, February 15, 2008

New Thing #327: Dollar Day

A lot of people have suggested this, and it sounded like one of those nerdy things I could really get into (like I need another nerd obsession), I tracked a dollar bill on Cute little onesey L80779175 (Lenny for short), who I picked up at the Guy and Gallard next door to work, was new to wheresgeorge, and I'm hoping that whoever gets him down the line will check up on where he's been. I almost put "Puppy Comedy Club" as the spot where Lenny and I first met, but why lie?
He's looking at me. That's creepy.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

New Thing #326: Floor Your Love

Since it's Valentine's Day and I love Kevin, I kissed the ground he walked on. Creepy? Yes, we both thought so. Subservient? Possibly, but he did something really awesome for me. Would I do this again literally? Probably not. I'll give him a back rub instead.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

New Thing #325: Too Spoon

If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that I love music. And if you've known me personally, you know I've accepted the fact that I am not a born instrumentalist. I've been singing since before I could talk, but playing something? Not my forte. But I'm always willing to give something a try, so tonight I played the spoons. I used this tutorial to create some old-school Appalachian song stylings, but ended up just playing along with saxophone practice, and later some Devo.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

New Thing #324: Moment for the woods

Ever since I moved to New York in the summer of 2001, I've been getting hit up on a semi regular basis by People With Clipboards. Sometimes they want you to save babies, sometimes they want you to buy comedy club tickets, and sometimes they want you to sign a petition granting Smurfs legal emancipation. New York is a crazy place. But more often than not, the clipboard holders want me to "take a moment for Greenpeace." I've become almost an expert at avoiding them, simply because I don't like the soliciation part. I'm all for saving the enbironment, but let it be on my own terms, man. Despite my almost militant refusal to take a moment for anything associated with clipboard people, today in the East Village I took a moment for Greenpeace. And I didn't say yes just because in nearly seven years of avoiding these people, I've pretty much run out of excuses. I said yes because in nearly seven years of avoiding these people, I've pretty much run out of excuses, and because I find it hypocritical to complain about a government that currently doesn't do much the environment if I'm not doing something myself. I am now a semi-reluctant recipient of monthly emails and updates on the baby polar bear I appear to have symbolically adopted, as well as a tax-deducting contributor to stop companies from ripping down forests all willy-nilly in the name of making Kleenex.

Monday, February 11, 2008

New Thing #323: Ice Try

Ah, the things you miss out on when you grow up in San Diego and your childhood winters consist of... wearing long sleeves and not going to the beach? As often? Aside from never having had a proper snowball fight (hurry up, sticking snow!) or a white Christmas, I also never got to play around with liquids in freezing temperatures, so today I made a popsicle outside. Well, am making. I filled a water bottle part way with orange juice and stuck a chopstick through the cap after Kevin drilled a hole in it. Then we put it in the trunk of his car, where tonight's teen temperatures will surely get to it (I wanted to put it on the fire escape, but he pointed out that it would blow away and that his trunk gets plenty frosty). So tomorrow on the way to work I will have a fruity snack to enjoy on the way to the subway.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

New Thing #322: Oh So Quiet

In honor of Oscar season, Turner Classic Movies has been running past award winners almost nonstop. And I, also in honor of Oscar season, have been watching a lot of them. I like to have a movie on in the background when I'm home writing, so it's been nice to have stuff like Lawrence of Arabia keeping me company instead of my usual train-wreck go-tos like The Day After Tomorrow and War of the Worlds (I seriously love me some bad disaster movies, ESPECIALLY if they star crazy people). Today, I watched Wings. This was significant for two reasons. First of all, Wings was the first-ever Best Picture Oscar winner, and second, it's silent (and has nothing to do with the bland '90s tv show starring Crystal Bernard). Other than having watched about three minutes of The Phantom of the Opera once just to verify that Andrew Lloyd Webber did indeed rip off the organ cadences, I'd never seen a silent film. So what better way to get started than the only one ever honored with an Oscar? I really liked it (despite not getting much done while it was on- having to read the dialog takes a fair bit of concentration). It centers around a couple torn apart by World War I, both of whom are dead by the end (it seems like I just spoiled it for you, but you sort of figure that out in the first five minutes). One of my very favorite things about it was a portly Army character who constantly touts his American flag tattoo, which we only ever see in blurry close ups of him flexing his muscles, which ripple unrealistically every single time. TCM followed Wings with the silent film Sunrise, the creepy story of a guy who kills one lover and attempts to redeem himself by protecting another (who I think was a relative of the first). For chits and giggles, we put on Bjork's Medulla as a replacement soundtrack. There's nothing like watching an old movie star drown another old movie star to the beat of Icelandic a capella beatboxing.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

New Thing #321: Let them (not) eat Cake(y)

A couple of days ago I talked about how inspired I am by my filmmaker friends, and to day I got to watch some of them in action. Improvisers Kirk and Dyna have for several years been teaming up with filmmaker Bill to create these wonderfully creative, thoughtful short tv show episodes for outlets like Channel 102 and Super Deluxe. My favorites have been My Wife the Ghost and Cakey! The Cake From Outer Space. The latter is still in production and today I appeared in a scene in Cakey.
The premise was that the eponymous cake brings to life several literary characters right there in Duncan's bedroom. Some stuff happens then we have a dance party. We were all dressed in costumes of sort of a vague literary-historical persuasion, and most of us could have been representing more than one genre or era (Dyna, for instance, could have been either Christopher Columbus, or one of those non gender-dependent Shakespearean characters that often has to be played by a girl in public school theaters). I wore my wench costume, and decided I was either some sort of pirate concubine, or a very pale Aldonza from Don Quixote.
There was also a gorilla.

Friday, February 8, 2008

New Thing #320: Iron Sheet

I've always been somewhat cavalier about the maintenance of my bedding. I wash it, I might fold it and put it away, but mostly I just put it on the bed. And since its livelihood involves so much rumpleage, I don't worry too much about keeping my sheets, duvet or blanket smooth. But what if I did? Today I ironed my sheets. My mother and grandmother do this habitually, and the beds in their respective houses do look unusually lovely. And now my bed has joined their smooth, pleasant-smelling ranks.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

New Thing #319: Year of the Shoe

I should have been wearing red today, and my boss shouldn't have had to work, but I didn't and she did, even though it was Chinese New Year. But I did get to celebrate. Courtesy of a friend of Kevin's who works at an upscale shoe boutique owned by a Chinese family, I went to a Chinese New Year party. Because it was held in the store, much of the festive decor consisted of shiny silver and gold sneakers, high-tops with rats etched into them, and bright turquoise, embellished ballet flats. And that was just in the building- at the curb, there was a cozy white limo with a dragon on top and most of the Spring line inside. Halfway through, the staff shot off confetti cannons and handed out red envelopes, one of which contained a ticket for a free pair of shoes (neither of us won this, but our envelopes did come stuffed with cash!). The best part was walking through SoHo in the chilly night air and getting to feel that New Year's glow all over again.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

New Thing #318: Ash Me Anything

I went to a Catholic college, and since I'm not Catholic, I always felt a little left out during those times of year when Catholic pageantry would be at a fever pitch. I especially noticed the divide on Ash Wednesday, when I would be one of the only people without a smudgy forehead. It was like a one-day fad accessory, one that didn't didn't depend on how cool you were, just whether or not you'd been born into a fervently religious family. Mine was more the grape-juice-Communion Protestant variety, so today I got ashes on my forehead.
When I realized that today was the Wednesday, my first thought was to go get Ashed at St. Patrick's Cathedral. Apparently a lot of people had the same thought, because the line was wrapped around two blocks. I headed instead to St. Bart's on Park, an Episcopalian church with no line. I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do when I got to the priest- the few people ahead of me were a mix of crossers, non-crossers, genuflectors and standers. When it was my turn, I just sort of stood there with my head bowed.
All the priest said was, "Remember that you are dust, and that dust you shall become" as he touched my forehead. Well that's true no matter what your religion is, so I reverently said "Amen" and went back up the aisle. (And before you get in my craw about "mocking" a religious practice by not taking to heart the symbolism behind the ritual, let me remind you that experiencing a different religion is a very important part of tolerance.)
Not five minutes later, I was standing on the platform waiting for the 6 when a guy my age approached me. "Excuse me," said impatiently. "What's this" he thumped his own forehead agitatedly, as if he were trying to supress something that might pop out of it, "that I see everyone walking around with?"
"It's Ash Wednesday," I replied.
"Ash Wednesday?" I would have given him more information if he'd asked for it, but he didn't. And it certainly wasn't "everyone" who was walking around with ashes. Once I left the 50s, I saw maybe one other person with ashes, but I didn't get a lot of strange looks, nor any more questions.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

New Thing #317: Holiday in my Mind

I tend to get a mad case of the February blahs, so to combat it I wore a bikini to work. I drew the line at actually parading around in it, but it was a fun alternative to normal underpinnings, especially since the sides of the bottoms and the halter tie of the top peek out from under my jeans and sweater. That's somehow more socially acceptable than my underwear doing the same (probably because most of my underwear doesn't have a kicky blue-and-purple retro flower print). Every time I looked down and saw those little flecks of color, it was easier to imagine that the clouds and fog outside were simply a marine layer instead of a semi-permanent dreary winter sky. Right before lunch, I put my iPod on the beach mix I made for a friend last year:
Holiday in Waikiki/The Kinks
Heroes and Villains/Brian Wilson
Wouldn't It Be Nice/The Beach Boys
Miserlou/The Lively Ones
Good Vibrations/The Beach Boys
Kokomo/The Beach Boys
Working My Way Back to You/Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons
Beyond the Sea/Bobby Darin
Under the Sea/Sebastian the Crab
Somewhere Under the Rainbow (Wonderful World)/Israel Kamakawiw'ole
Waterloo Sunset/The Kinks
Bongo Bong/ Manu Chao
Finn/Tori Amos
I also voted today for Barack Obama, but I'm not counting that as a New Thing because I've known for over a year that I'd be voting for him, and because voting is a responsibility we all have!

Monday, February 4, 2008

New Thing #316: I Screen

Many of my friends are normal people who moonlight as creative geniuses. They're musicians, improvisers, singers, dancers, crafters, and filmmakers. It's that last group that impresses me the most, because it's the art form that I understand the least. And I'm not talking about big-budget movie making. I mean these small, brilliant 5-minute movies that they shoot and edit inside of a week, that then make the rounds on YouTube, Funny or Die and Super Deluxe. A few years ago, I enlisted one such small-time film genius to help me with a video project of my own. I wrote, directed, cast, acted and coordinated; he shot and edited. That sounds like a small set of responsibilities, but since the film would never have existed without friend and his skills, it was HUGE and invaluable. The most impressive thing was watching him edit the thing on Final Cut Pro as if he were playing one of those plastic numbered tile games. In less than two hours of me telling him vaguely what I wanted, we had this gorgeous, perfect-in-my-eyes piece that I proudly used in a stage show I was doing at the time. I have since sort of poked around on Quick Time Pro and Windows Movie Maker, neither of which have the panache or professionalism of FCP. Then last week, to my utter surprise, the Web People at work told the editorial staff we'd all be learning it to help with online video stuff so today I started learning Final Cut Pro. I practically salivated through the two-hour lesson (and not just because my company has a brand-new video studio complete with green screen). It inspired me (even more) to get a Mac later this year. And a video camera slightly more sophisticated than the video option on my Sony Cyber-Shot. So look for mini-musicals starring me and my mirror on a very tiny screen near you.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

New Thing #315: Don't be a Chicken

You know that idiom "walking on eggshells?" It means to treat an uncomfortable situation delicately or tentatively. We've all done it at one point (or a zillion, if you've lived with as many non-confrontational roommates as I have). But only figuratively, right? Well tonight I walked on eggshells literally. It was messy and it hurt, but was still less awkward than dealing with my sophomore year roommate after she heard me telling someone about how she used to use my microwave to dry her thongs. But back then, I merely walked on eggshells, while now I also dance on them.

New Thing #314: Questionairess

I guess I'm on a "be nicer than usual to strangers" kick, because today I was able to tick something else of the list of suggestions from other people, something that had to do with reaching out. At friend LeMar's nearly year-old suggestion, I asked a cab driver about his family. I've had this idea in my head throughout the duration of the project, and I picked this particular cab driver because it was a long ride and because his last name was Singh, and I had a friend with that last name in college. Not that one has anything to do with the other. It just seemed right. I asked him where he was from (India) and whether he had kids (three). He seemed a little taken aback by my curiosity, so I didn't probe him for too long, but I did get out of him that he lives in Queens, likes it okay, and his wife is a math tutor. Then he dropped me off and I gave him a big tip.

Friday, February 1, 2008

New Thing #313: Smells Nice

Several people have left suggestions about paying random strangers compliments. Since I don't say so when I get a suggestion for something I've done before, nobody has any way of knowing that I love complimenting people. If someone's wearing something I like, I often tell them. Not always, but often. Especially in elevators. I figure that it's a private enough environment to have a conversation, but also ephemeral enough a situation that they'll be away from me before any discomfort starts to sink in. But I did want to find a way to make a New Thing out of being complimentary, so today I complimented a stranger on her perfume. I didn't set out to do so; I was just on the lookout all day for something unusual on which to compliment someone. Then on my way downstairs to get my 4pm snack, I was in the elevator with an older lady who was wearing something that smelled like summer. So I just said, "whatever you're wearing smells fantastic." She was receptive and appreciative, then the elevator hit the first floor and we went separate ways. I do hope it boosted her mood, as all compliments should*!

*I still don't like it when strangers "congratulate" me on being skinny. Just so you know.