Nicole In A Nutshell

October 31, 2008

Yet another voting bonus

Filed under: Issues In The News — by Nicole @ 12:49 am

People seem to love these things, so I am happy to report that everyone who displays an “I voted” sticker on Election Day gets a free special Krispy Kreme (a/k/a Kracky Kreme) donut.

All that sugar from the free Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and the Krispy Kreme donuts will keep you rolling well into the night to watch the returns come in. Fingers (and toes) crossed that this thing goes the right way!

Oh, and since it’s officially the 31st at the time of this writing, Happy Halloween!!! Be safe and rock out.

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October 29, 2008

Make it count!!!

Filed under: Uncategorized — by Nicole @ 12:58 am

As a child, and then as a teen, I couldn’t wait to turn 18. Oh, it wasn’t because of the military eligibility or the right to destroy my lungs legally, it was because I wanted to vote. Yes, I was one step away from being the kid in “The Breakfast Club” who creates a fake ID so as to cast his ballot. When I finally got my chance, it was glorious. I felt like part of the process, and damn was I proud to be an American (yes, a REAL American – fuck you, Psycho Sarah!).

Fast forward to the 2004 election. After the massive debacle of 2000, I thought it prudent to do all that I could to fight back against the forces that had thrust upon us the disaster that was the first term of the Bush presidency. As such, I volunteered for Voter Protection in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, an area that had been significantly targeted by fraudsters in 2000. Of course, as I was going to be in beautiful Reading, PA on Election Day, I had to get an absentee ballot. That’s where things went horribly, horribly wrong.

I took a train from the city to my suburban voting district and went to the Board of Elections to procure my ballot. I was told that as an “inactive” voter, I had been “purged” from the system. I wasn’t sure what was more shocking – the fact that they claimed I had been inactive (maybe they thought that my vote for Nader in 2000 meant I hadn’t voted at all) or the premise that one can be booted from the system despite having registered and having gone through all the proper channels. Aghast, I left the Board of Elections, mouth gaping, steam escaping from my ears, and likely looking like the female version of Bruce Banner as he transforms into the Incredible Hulk.

When I went into work the next day, my colleagues asked if I had voted. I told them the story, and they asked if I had filled out a provisional ballot. I said no, and that I had not been offered one. After some rather rudimentary research, I found that I was entitled to a provisional ballot at the very least, and that the Board had violated the law in not proferring one. Plans were then made for another schlep to the ‘burbs.

I went back that afternoon and demanded to speak with the person who was running the show. A bitchy blonde woman came to “help” me and I explained the situation. “Well, what do you want me to do about it,” she asked. I told her that I wanted the right to cast my vote, and she said I had no such right. I asked for a provisional ballot and she sneered. I asked why I had not been given one the previous day, and she had no response. I said, “Do you realize that you are in violation of federal law?” She said, “Yeah,” and literally THREW THE BALLOT IN MY FACE!!!

Needless to say, I was pissed. After exercising my freakin’ right, my next move was to contact my U.S. Representative. Her office was very helpful and an investigation was launched. The Board of Elections was informed that they had acted improperly and that they would need to follow procedure in the future.

As a former disenfranchised voter, I still find it bitterly ironic that I was going to protect other peoples’ rights, yet mine had been duly stomped upon. I raise the issue now, because this is still happening.

People, I implore you to be conscientious about this situation. The Bush administration has done whatever it could to erode them over these past 8 years, but you still have some rights, and they must be protected at all costs! Therefore, I hereby provide to you, courtesy of the Daily Kos, this handy-dandy guide to handling voting issues:

10 Commandments to help blunt efforts to steal or intimidate your vote.

Never allow intimidation!  Cast your ballot!

  1. Call and make sure your voter registration is in order TODAY.  Fix problems by the end of the week.  Especially in swing states and states where GOP leadership has passed new ID laws.  Help the elderly in your area verify their rights to vote and help them get to the polls.
  1. Bring copies of your birth certificate, SSI card, drivers license, and utility bill envelopes addressed to you at your address.  Also, bring someone who can vouch for who you are.
  1. Make sure your Drivers License has your voting address on it.  Pay the fee and get it updated BEFORE NOVEMBER 4th.  This may not be necessary; however, it is becoming more important these days.
  1. Verify the location of your voting booth.  Make sure you know of any last minute switch-a-roos.
  1. Students – Vote Early!  Or get your stuff in order so you can vote.  Go home if your college is giving you problems.  Voting this year is really important enough to even miss a couple of days of school if you have to.
  1. Report any/all efforts to intimidate voters in your area.
  1. Bring a note pad and pencil and write down the names and descriptions of anyone giving you a hard time.  Also, bring a camera or cell phone and take their pictures.  Heck, video tape the whole thing.
  1. Call your local TV stations if problems present themselves.  It’s amazing how people will back down if they think they will be on TV misbehaving.
  1. Look for legal representatives that should be on site to insure a fair election.  VOTE!
  1. NEVER BE RUDE OR ANGRY.  Be patient AND persistent.   Negative behavior will only harm all of us.  No matter how unfair and unjust your situation may become, win the hearts and minds of those who are giving you a hard time.  Invite them to walk in your shoes and ask them “If you were me right now, and your right to vote was being questioned, what would you do to fix the problem?”  Then ask them to help you fix your problem in that manner.  BE NICE!

October 25, 2008

Oh cold/allergies, I wish I knew how to quit you

Filed under: Good Times — by Nicole @ 8:13 pm

Yup, still sick. This sucks. I am posting on a damn Saturday night, missing a friend and loyal reader’s birthday celebration (sorry C – I owe you a drank) and wishing I could stop coughing. In honor of the night I should have been out having, and those of you who will be drinking tonight, I am posting a list of interesting cocktails I’ve recently come across. Please feel free to add your own concoctions in the comments, and check back as I plan on adding to the list in the future. Now, for your drankin’ pleasure:

Bellini With A Kick (from www.jennsylvania.com)

  • 1 part vodka
  • 1 part St. Germain elderflower liqueur
  • 1 part champagne
  • 1 part white peach juice nectar
The Lilly Pad (from the Gramercy Park Hotel Rooftop Bar) – note: I have no idea what measurements we’re dealing with here, but I do know that this one is damn tasty.
  • Tequila
  • Lillet Blanc
  • Lillet Rouge
  • Apple Juice
  • Touch of agave nectar
The following recipes are from www.drinknation.com:
The Panty Ripper (not to be confused with M’s patent pending “Panty Dropper”):
  • 1 oz. coconut rum
  • 1 tsp. cherry juice
  • 2 oz. pineapple juice
Wanna Fuck?
  • 2 oz. Curacao, blue
  • 1 1/2 oz. Schnapps, peach
  • 1 1/2 oz. Vodka
  • 2 oz. Cranberry Juice
  • 1 oz. Orange Juice
  • 1 oz. Pineapple Juice
Get Laid:
  • 2 oz. Curacao, blue
  • 1 1/2 oz. Schnapps, peach
  • 1 1/2 oz. Vodka
  • 2 oz. Cranberry Juice
  • 1 oz. Orange Juice
  • 1 oz. Pineapple Juice
Superman:
  • 1/3 oz. Rum, coconut
  • 1/3 oz. Schnapps, peach
  • 1/3 oz. Triple Sec
  • 1 splash Grenadine
  • Fill with Pineapple Juice
Dan The Weather:
  • 1 1/2 oz. Vodka (Absolut)
  • 1/2 oz. Liqueur, raspberry (Chambord)
  • 7 oz. Cranberry Juice
  • 7 oz. Pineapple Juice
Big Easy Martini (shout out, NOLA!!!):
  • 1/2 oz. Liqueur, raspberry
  • 1 1/2 oz. Southern Comfort
  • 1 oz. 7-up
  • 1 oz. Sour Mix
Pixie Sticks:
  • 1 part Schnapps, peach
  • 1 part Vodka, blueberry
  • 1 part Cranberry Juice
Fruity Jungle Juice (this is a party favorite to be prepared in a big ass punch bowl):
  • 1 fifth Everclear
  • 1 fifth Sour Cherry Pucker
  • 1 fifth Tequila, white
  • 1/2 bottle Vodka
  • Fruit Punch
  • 2 chunks Apple
  • 1 bottle Cherries/Maraschinos
  • Grapes
  • 1 chunk Pineapple
  • Ice
  • 3 chunks Oranges
  • 3 whole (Cut into chunks) Pears
The Goddess:
  • 1 oz. Southern Comfort
  • 1 oz. Tequila, white
  • 1 oz. Vodka
  • To taste Orange Juice
  • To taste Pineapple Juice
8 Ball:
  • 4 oz. Vodka (Absolut)
  • 4 oz. Liqueur, raspberry
  • 4 oz. Rum, coconut (Malibu)
  • 4 oz. Schnapps, peach (Puckers)
  • 1 splash 7-up
  • 1 1/2 oz. Cranberry Juice
  • few drops Grenadine
  • 1 1/2 oz. Sour Mix
Bar Slut (shut up!):
  • 3 oz. Vodka
  • 2 oz. 7-up
  • 2 oz. Cranberry Juice
  • 3 oz. Red Bull
Candy Cane-Tini:
  • 1/2 oz. Schnapps, peppermint
  • 1 oz. Vodka
  • 1 piece (Mini candy cane) Candy
Cherry Popper:
  • 1 shot Sour Apple Pucker
  • 1 shot Sour Cherry Pucker
  • 1 shot Vodka
  • 1 splash 7-up
  • Fill with Cranberry Juice
Crazy Jew (l’chaim!!!):
  • 1/4 oz. Schnapps, blackberry (Black Haus)
  • 1/4 oz. Schnapps, apple
  • 1/4 oz. Schnapps, peach
  • 1/4 oz. Vodka
  • equal parts Cranberry Juice
  • equal parts Orange Juice
Drag Queen With An Attitude:
  • 1 oz. Vodka
  • 4 oz. 7-up
  • 3 dashes Cherry Juice
  • 1 1/2 oz. Orange Juice
Girls’ Night:
  • 1 part Hpnotiq
  • 1 part Rum, coconut (Malibu)
  • 1 part Sour Apple Pucker
  • 1 part Vodka (Stolichnaya)
  • 1 part Pineapple Juice
  • 1 part Sour Mix
Sex On A Pool Table:
  • 1 part Liqueur, melon (Midori)
  • 1 part Schnapps, peach
  • 1 part Vodka
  • 1 part Pineapple Juice
  • 1 part Sour Mix
  • 1 whole Cherries/Maraschinos
Sex In A Jacuzzi:
  • 2 oz. Schnapps, raspberry
  • 2 oz. Vodka
  • 1 oz. Cranberry Juice (Ocean Spray)
  • 1 splash Orange Soda
  • 1 oz. (unsweetened) Pineapple Juice
  • 2 oz. Sprite
  • 1 oz. Orange Juice (Tropicana)
Starry Night:
  • 2 oz. Vodka (Absolut)
  • 1 1/2 oz. Curacao, blue
  • 4 oz. Lemonade
Titzilla:
  • 1 oz. Rum, light
  • 1 oz. Triple Sec
  • 1 oz. Vodka
  • 6 oz. 7-up
  • 1 splash Grenadine
  • 4 oz. Sour Mix

I haven’t tried all of these, and most of them were picked based on name alone, so please leave any feedback in the comments. Don’t drink and drive (or text or dial)!!!

October 23, 2008

Musings from a sickie

Filed under: Issues In The News — by Nicole @ 8:33 pm

Not feeling so creative today, as I am suffering from the allergy attack/autumn cold that would not die. Whatever is stuffing up my sinuses seems to have leaked into my brain and sucked every thought right out, save “Man, I hope I’ll be able to breathe again soon.”

In the meantime, allow me to share with you two things that stood out during my seven hours of internet surfing (a/k/a my workday). The first hails from one of my favorite writers, one of the funniest commentators on society I have ever read:

“I look at these people and can’t quite believe that they exist. Are they professional actors? I wonder. Or are they simply laymen who want a lot of attention? To put them in perspective, I think of being on an airplane. The flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart and, eventually, parks it beside my seat. “Can I interest you in the chicken?” she asks. “Or would you prefer the platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it? To be undecided in this election is to pause for a moment and then ask how the chicken is cooked.”

– Author David Sedaris, on undecided voters

Ain’t it the truth?

The second outstanding find of the day comes in the form of a rather stirring image. I realize that it may be deemed controversial, but it sums up my feelings on the issue as succinctly as any words I might say:

 

Separate but equal is never equal. Do the right thing, California.

Separate but equal is never equal. Do the right thing, California.

October 21, 2008

The $64,000 question

Filed under: It's All About Me — by Nicole @ 6:40 pm

I found myself, unsurprisingly, extremely bored at work today. Having finished my current book and exhausted my regular blog library, I logged into an online dating site that I haven’t checked in a while but on which I still maintain a profile. Within seconds, a guy IM’d me and asked me what I was looking for, sex or a relationship. 20/20 hindsight tells me that I should have cut off the convo right there, but out of boredom, curiosity and an attempt to get some insight into the anonymous male mind, I wrote back. I responded that I am, in fact, looking for a relationship and that the casual thing isn’t really working for me. Undeterred, this “gentleman” offered up the prospect of being “friends with benefits” as he was not looking for a relationship (mind you, I did not and do not know this fool’s name, yet he wants to be friends+). I kept the conversation going for the aforementioned reasons, and noticed that among the many inappropriate questions he asked (despite the fact that I said I was on my WORK computer and didn’t want any randy exchanges), the most persistent question had to do with the precise measurement of “the girls”. Actually, it wasn’t so much a question as a repetition of the phrase “cup size?” with punctuation that indicated that he was seeking information.

Now, I must state for the record that I am wary of online dating. It makes me nervous. But I also realize that anything is possible, so I choose not to limit my options and engage in this internet lovin’ in a sporadic manner. That being said, I doubt I will find Mr. Right on my computer screen. However, I can say unequivocally that the first conversation between my soulmate and myself will not involve an inquiry into the size of my rack. Am I right, ladies? And fellas, would you fall in love with a girl whose first round of questioning involved a query regarding the inch tally of Mr. Happy? Methinks not.

Therefore, I am now stating and implementing the following policy regarding brassiere interrogatory.

a) You find yourself in the middle of La Perla or Agent Provacateur and want to make sure that the beautiful gift you are about to get me will fit like a glove. Give me a call and I’ll gladly pass along the digits.

b) You are one of the lovely people from the laundry service who so faithfully pick up and deliver my clothing and intimates when I need you.

c) You are reading the label after having been lucky enough to remove said bra from my person. At that point, however, I’m thinking we’re probably past measurements as a matter of import.

d) You get me drunk. I tend to be real chatty under the influence.

Sincerely,

Tits McGee

October 19, 2008

Ticketmaster can suck it

Filed under: bitchin' and moanin' — by Nicole @ 3:37 pm

One of my all-time favorite bands has amazingly decided to reunite and will be playing a run of 3 shows in March for the first time in years. Upon hearing this news, I immediately reserved a hotel (mind you, one that was 6 miles from the venue, as the rather well informed and tech-savvy hippies had already managed to fill up every hotel within walking distance of the arena) and went through the band’s semi-complicated pre-sale online ticket request process. In my haste and excitement to submit my request, I managed to fuck up my order and was brutally rejected out of hand. Alas, I had to suck it up and wait for the tickets to go on sale via the evil empire known as Ticketmaster.

After a particularly inebriated Friday night, I managed to awaken on time on Saturday to attempt the ticket purchase. At the stroke of 10 (am!!!), I made my move. I did as asked, deciphering the stupid distorted words that they now use to outwit scalpers (because that works so fucking well) and awaited my fate. I was informed that my wait time would be 15 minutes or more. Then, as if magic were on my side, my wait time decreased to 7 minutes. My optimism rising, I waited with baited breath. This positivity was short-lived, as my wait time skyrocketed back up to 15+ minutes. I paced, I crossed my fingers, and I made a vain attempt at patience. It was, in the end, all for naught. After ten more minutes of incomprehensibly fluctuating wait times, I was informed that the tickets I so desired were unavailable. I retreated, a broken woman, to my couch to sulk and nap, cursing Ticketmaster and the scalpers who I knew had ganked a loyal fan’s coveted tix.

I recall, several years ago, that Pearl Jam summoned up the cojones to sue Ticketmaster on antitrust grounds. As someone who inexplicably excelled in my antitrust course, I understand the fundamentals of AT theory and cannot see how, in any good conscience, that litigation did not move forward. In my mind, there is no better example of a monopoly than Ticketmaster. If someone out there has a viable argument to the contrary, I’d love to hear it. In the meantime, I have only two words to sum up this experience and my take on the company in question:

FUCK TICKETMASTER.

October 16, 2008

Today’s assorted political matters

Filed under: Issues In The News — by Nicole @ 8:28 pm

It’s scary because it’s true.

On a more positive note, I heard THE best comment of the political season today. A friend said to me, as I made the comment that our political views are somewhat divergent: “I already [absentee] voted for Obama. I may be conservative, but I’m not crazy.” We liberal pinkos welcome you with open arms, Z!!!

And on a much lighter note, a treat for those who do their civic duty this year: free ice cream!

Free Ice Cream for voting

More info is available at http://www.benjerry.com/features/i_voted/index.cfm?utm_source=chunkMail101408&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=chunkMail101408

Big ups, Vermont!!!

October 15, 2008

Liveblogging the final debate

Filed under: Issues In The News — by Nicole @ 9:13 pm

Let the games begin…

9:12pm – John McCain is a dick. Stop fucking interrupting, old man. You had your turn.

9:17pm – Good to see that Obama laid out a plan for intelligent, responsible, realistic spending. A freeze is not only unrealistic, but harmful to the Americans McCain keeps calling “friends”.

9:21pm – I think my brain just exploded. “Senator Obama, I am not President Bush. If you wanted to run against President Bush, you should have run in 2004”. Are you fucking kidding me?

9:28pm – Great question about the negative campaigning, Bob Schieffer. Obama’s right in that “Americans don’t care about [the candidates’] hurt feelings”, but I noticed that McCain didn’t address the fact that people at his rallies are screaming “kill him” and “terrorist” and dropping n-bombs left and right. Repudiate this!

9:32pm – Nice. Obama mentioned “kill him”, etc. McCain didn’t repudiate squat. You’re proud of your rally attendees? There’s a big difference between policy protest and death threats, asshole. Wipe that shit-eating grin off your face.

9:40pm – Obama’s answer to the Ayers question in short: “Boo-ya!!!” Ditto re: ACORN. Oh, and did somebody say Charles Keating? No, didn’t think so. It’s a little thing called integrity. Look into it, John.

9:42pm – Sarah Palin is a role model to women and reformers? I think not. Stepford Sarah is, in the words of the brilliant Ms. Betty White, “one crazy bitch”.

10:01pm – Oh no! Sister called from the airport on her way to Paris and I missed a chunk of this fiery debate. I’m pretty sure that nothing was said that’s going to bring me over to the dark side.

10:04pm – This poor bastard “Joe the plumber” has no idea what he has gotten himself into. Wait a second…is he the infamous “Joe Six-Pack” we’ve heard so much about? By jove, I think he might be!

10:09pm – Way to squirrel around the Roe v. Wade question, douche. You want to judge on qualifications, and don’t believe in a litmus test, but you don’t think anyone who believes that Roe was right is qualified? Go fuck yourself. In a very uncomfortable place. Like in the back of a Volkswagen.

10:15pm – Good work by Obama differentiating “pro-abortion” (which doesn’t exist) and pro-choice.

10:25pm – I absolutely LOVE how McC keeps linking Palin and autism. It would be a better point if the link was accurate – her kid has Down’s Syndrome. Try again, crankypants.

10:27pm – “My friends” tally in McCain closing statement: 1. Nice display of restraint in that one minute speech.

10:31pm – Sweet sassy molassey – glad that’s over.

10:32pm – Oh, Cindy. Somebody needs a new stylist. Did you not know that your dress would meld into the color of the carpet, making you look creepily like you were growing out of it?

10:33pm – Michelle, as always looking chic and fabulous, and not like a walking billboard for Botox.

Well kids, that’s that. Would have been better with booze. The moral of the story is this: get your ass out there and vote! It’s the role and right of the responsible American. Make sure you’re registered and know your polling place. If you don’t vote, you’ve got no right to bitch!!!

Saving you money, one post at a time

Filed under: Shopping — by Nicole @ 9:44 am
Tags:

As the holiday season approaches and the shopping mania sets in, I for one am always on the lookout for bargains, sales and extra savings. You, my beautiful and loyal readers, can look forward to discounts aplenty, as I intend to share the wealth (no pun intended…ok, a bit intended) on this here blog.

First up: Ann Taylor LOFT. On top of the extra 25% off all sale merchandise that they are currently offering, there is an online promotional code that gets you $25 off any purchase of $50 or more. I just got 3 dresses for $40.97 including shipping!!! The code is: 89400012 Disclaimer: It wouldn’t go through when I tried to check out online, so I just called up 1.800.DIAL ANN and placed the order over the phone with the code.

Next up is Saks.

Happy shopping!!!

October 13, 2008

Bounce this!

Filed under: Uncategorized — by Nicole @ 7:20 pm

So some friends and I go out on Saturday night, and everything was going swimmingly. Pre-game at a super cute apartment, delicious Korean dinner and great wine, and then it’s time to rock out. We head to a party at a hotel bar, only to encounter a massive line outside. On the other side of the doors, there is a much shorter line. We ask the husky genius in the black suit with the requisite earpiece what the difference is between the lines, and he doesn’t seem to know. Not wanting to wait on a ridiculous queue with a bunch of B&Ters, we decide to meet up with some other friends at a new bar downtown. One of my girls has to use the facilities, so she just walks right through the front door of the hotel, and actually goes into the bar in question to use the potty. Upon her return, she reports that the bar is far from crowded. None of us can understand why this increasingly snaking line exists, but by then we’re way over it and jump in a car to head downtown.

Upon arriving at venue #2, we encounter a mini-line at the door and a pimptastic bouncer, complete with fedora at a jaunty angle, and his compatriot, the snotty blonde bitch with the clipboard. There’s all sorts of commotion and inquisition over the issue of reservations and crowding, and we are flabbergasted by this nonsense. Finally, our friend who is already inside works it out and we sail past the door Nazis, expecting a claustrophobic, packed-to-the-rafters, shove your way to the bar kind of space. Yeah, not so much. The place was half empty, and it took under 5 minutes for our entire party of 6 to get drinks and a table with seating for everyone.

So, my question is this: what the fuck? Is this a power trip thing? An attempt to seem “scene-y”? A curious situation where businesses are disinterested in making money? Thoughts???

P.S. Despite the entry drama, a good time was in fact had by all.

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