Monday, June 30, 2008

Being Healthy is Not Just a Trend

For a long time I think the majority of the population considered "being healthy" a fad.
Low fat, no fat, low carbs, etc., were looked at as short-lived games for folks trying to create some kind of counter culture. Then it was Yoga, Pilates, McDonald's Apple Dippers and Whole Foods stores. What? We are all supposed to run or bike or at least walk for 30 minutes 3 times a week?? But, at some point the trend grows from a small group of different-thinkers and just engulfs the majority because the undeniable truth of it completely overwhelms us.

Smoking is one of those things that I think happened exactly like that. Smoking was cool for about 2000 years. Well, at least in modern times, actors and politicians and your parents smoked. And then some people started whispering that smoking might kill you. But that was probably just some hippies out in California, right? But then people were protesting that restaurants separate smoking sections or that smokers should refrain from lighting up directly outside a building's entrance in every state. Of course there was tons of guffawing from both sides--some folks felt like non-smokers should just get over it, and then multiplying statistics about second hand smoke and deaths from lung cancer surfaced. At some point...we all just agreed that smoking wasn't good for us--that it wasn't just a health nut trend to quit. Its just plain smart.

Rita Rubin blogs about these truths everyday on the USA Today Health blog "A Better Life". This is the place where you can get straightforward news from a journalist who knows whats up in the world of health and who actually writes about topics of general interest (HIV, The Tomato scare, alcoholic energy drinks and birth control to name a few from the last week or so).

Getting healthy and knowing about health issues isn't trendy--its mandatory. Keep up the good work Rita.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Weekend Snapshot.

Blogger drinks margarita from sweet Slurpee Straw.
Blogger enjoys delightful iced coffee though killer metal hot pink Slurpee straw.
Blogger relaxes on Sunday night, revising articles, drafting a short form piece, sporting a Rosetta Stone T-shirt and sipping ice cold tap water from the most bitchin' straw on earth.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Theres No Politically Correct Way to Say This

Thank Chocolate there are Brits out there who truly respect tradition! I'm glad to see that the Doody family, at least as of 2003, were still enjoying one of the island nation's true delicacies:

"The nation knows that the Cornish pasty, Yorkshire pudding, haggis and fish and chips are great British dishes, but all too often the faggot is left off that list," said Janet Doody.


Did she say "faggot"?

Yes, in this strange but true article from the BBC the Doody family from Wolverhampton was crowned The Faggot Family in a national competition. Doesn't the teen aged son look ELATED?

(Post Script: What could make this article better than the fact that their last name is Doody? Haha, I just can't stop typing Doody.)

Thanks to Lara for the link. A truly good find.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Dupont Lives Up To its Reputation

Several times a week I pass through the Dupont Circle Metro station and NOT ONCE has anyone ever told me they could get someone to meet me for sex. Apparently it happens all the time:

WASHINGTON (Map, News) - A Metro station manager and a Metro custodian were arrested on prostitution charges after an undercover transit police investigation found they arranged sexual trysts for money from inside the Dupont Circle Metro station.

At one point the employees used the Metro loudspeaker system to facilitate an illicit sexual arrangement, according to police who arrested the pair last week. Sharon Waters, a Red Line station manager, told an undercover police officer at the Dupont Circle station June 4 that she could arrange meetings with local prostitutes for him, according to court documents. The officer returned to the station at 11:45 p.m. June 11 and met with Waters, who told him she was organizing a “sex” party in the Washington area for a $100 cover charge, court records show.

Yeah. Its happening. In Dupont. And I wasn't propositioned even once.

Whats wrong with me? (Feel free to answer in comments.)

Check out the full article here. Props to Life Student for the link.

The Summer of 400

Those of you who enjoy Thatmakesmenervous for its non sequiturs and completely arbitrary content know that it isn't a blog that displays (or is meant to display) any sort of literary writing. But you all may also know that I'm more than half way through an MA in writing, so I should have developed some skilz to show for it, right?

So, fans, here it will be: I'm teaming up with an old friend (the honorable K. Hula) to explore short form writing this summer, and because she's currently in Japan (and then I believe Chicago and Boston over the next 6-8 months) we have decided a deadline oriented blog might be the answer for us.

Look for some cross-genre short form writing (all pieces 400 word or less) on our new blog at We shall begin posting on Monday. Are you ready for this?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Old Kids on the Block (really creative, right?)

I love NKOTB, in fact this is a billboard I got all inappropriately excited about in Times Square last month. I had to take a picture.

But Lyrics like this: "I was like, 'Hey girl can I get your number?'" from one of their new songs "Summertime" kiiiiinda turn me off.

If you haven't seen it:

Can't we just go back to the old days?

Are these guys too old to be a Boy Band?

(Just FYI--these are the New Kids' birth years: Jonathan: 1968, Donnie: 1969 Danny: 1969, Jordan: 1970, Joey: 1972)

Thanks to Lara for the embedding help. I dont know why youtube hates me so much.

Hard Times for Cyclists (especially in SS)

Have you ever been out riding your bike and somehow lose a bike path or lane from right under your tires? Maybe it becomes a parking lane, or a sidewalk. Maybe it just flat out disappears. Its not just you, it happens all over the world, and some folks from The Slate got out there to document some of the stupid bike lanes cyclists encounter.

Come on local DOTs! You can't just placate cyclists by painting on some wonky lines hither and thither about a city! I always worried that it was just me who couldn't follow paths. Luckily this video (embeded below) shows one reason why I have a hard time riding in my (not-so-bike) friendly neighborhood of Silver Spring, MD.

Have you had any nasty bike lane experiences?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Cathy Alter Friday!

Have you all read Virgin Territory: Stories from the Road to Womanhood by Washington D.C. based writer Cathy Alter?

If you haven't gotten around to reading this collection of first person accounts about important moments in the lives of women you have less than two weeks to do so before her next book arrives on the scene!

Cathy's new book is a hilarious memoir called "Up For Renewal, What magazines taught me about love, sex and starting over." Visit her website for more information about the book and to read an excerpt.

If you happen to reside in the D.C. area you can even pop by the Barnes and Noble Bookstore on M Street in Georgetown on July 8th where Cathy will be reading and doing a little Q &A. If you are lucky, you might even have a chance to meet your friendly neighborhood Nervous Blogger that night too.

Because you will be so in love with both Virgin Territory and Up For Renewal, and you will have been so enthralled by Cathy's ease and hilarity when you saw her speak at B&N, you can tune in on July 10th to The Today Show on NBC where Cathy will be appearing live from New York in full color!
Take my word for it. Read it. Seriously. Do it.

Full Disclosure: Cathy is not only a wonderful writer and a really groovy person, she also teaches in my writing program at Hopkins. I'm guilty of bias--but I would never recommend a bad read!

Thursday, June 19, 2008


You all know that I'm a sucker for any new coffee related item. I love Starbucks because they keep coming out with new stuff even though my inner hippie me says "Damn the Man! Support Independent Coffee Houses!" But, hippie-self, do independent coffee houses have this???

I saw this beast the other day in a 7-11 and just had to have it. I had a lot of homework to do and i thought this giant energy drink would be the perfect tutor. Granted, it was kind of expensive (I think it came to 2.69 or something) but its 15 oz! and Its coffee AND energy! And, in fact, its quite good. You can find a comprehensive review here.

My only qualm is that SBux is seemingly copping a feel on its one branding by calling this a "doubleshot," when in fact they already make a smaller beverage that's meant to be espresso and cream and comes in 6.5 ounce cans (left). Kinda weird, right?

Has anyone else tried this new energy drink? Any thoughts about it?

Friday, June 13, 2008

How far is too far...when it comes to safety?

There is a joke that spans a few episodes of the short-lived Fox sitcom Arrested Development that involves a one armed man hired by the overbearing patriarch of the family to scare his kids into making the right decisions. The man's one-armedness comes into play when the kids are forced to see the results of their actions--forgetting to leave a note about where you are going, for instance, inexplicably results in the man's "arm" torn from his body in a gory display of squirting blood and the father's warning "That's What Happens When You Don't Leave a Note". Sure. Its hilarious. But is it true? Does fear cause us to make good decisions or change our ways?

In high school I took part in what was called a "Pre-Prom Assembly" where all the Juniors and Seniors (amounting to about 1800 kids) sat on the bleachers and watched a terrifying reenactment of a car-crash. In the scene, 4 students (including me) were placed in a mangled car before the "audience" arrived and then proceeded to act out the ultimate prom nightmare: in all our prom finery-tuxes and gowns- we have crashed our car into another car. Our 17 year old driver is drunk. All passengers are injured. One may be dead. The person in the other car is lifeless on the ground. The ambulances arrive and use the jaws of life. The driver is arrested...It was frightening. And maybe it got the message across about how dangerous it could be to get behind the wheel. How it REALLY could be YOU or your best friends.

Last month in California a high school in California went even one step farther to prevent drunk driving. Uniformed police officers entered 20 classrooms and notified students that classmates had been killed in a drive driving accident. Real students. The students were not present. The students were hysterical. As would be expected. It was a hoax--an attempt to scare these kids straight. But they weren't immediately notified of this. I don't might be a little much for me. Do you think it was over the top?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Random Kitten (Miller) Snack

This is a kitten that was born to a a cat of a friend of a friend (of a friend, maybe) to a family of equally cute kittens. That's right. She's in some one's hand. Shes just that tiny.

This sleeping pup is the latest photo of my moms Miller dog. This is his latest accomplishment. Hes ridiculous.

MySpace Gangstas

I'm totally down with social networking websites for several reasons. To begin, I like posting pictures of my new hair cuts or my cats doing cat things on the Internet for all to see. Second, I like any situation where I can type-chat rather than actually have an interaction with real human beings. Finally, I like being a private investigator into other people's lives. Apparently everyone I knew in high school is married now, almost all the kids we thought were gay are, and many of those who are not married or gay are extremely happy with their fancy car, the Chicago White Sox, a significant other they call "My Baby" or "Babes" or even "bebe", and are apparently really happy about those things. I have nothing bad to say about all these folks--and in fact I'm super happy that they are happy. But, i digress, this post isn't about the 20-Something Southsider. Theres another MySpace subspecies that I have to mention. Sometimes, when I'm clicking through my friends on MySpace I find people, usually friends of friends, that think they are "Gangstas." For some reason Facebook doesn't have as many of these 'members'. I suspect this is because for a long time one had to have a school email address (usually college) in order to join-- and many "gangstas" have chosen to get their schoolin' on the street rather than in the classroom. Its funny for so many reasons, but mainly because a lot of these people live in suburbs where, I can imagine, its kind of a chore to really get any gang-action happening. I also think that many young people who live in suburbs live with their folks-another place that isn't too "bling" friendly. Either way, I love these folks for all their efforts to stand out in a playa-hatin' society. This awesome website I was just blessed with through a co-worker, I guess called "The Best Article Every Day," recently had a post on this phenomenal phenomenon called "5 MySpace Morons." Check it out for 5 prime examples. Seriously. Its awesome. If I had any cash or a "grill" I would try to change my MySpace profile to reflect this trend...PS: My Gangsta name would be John Cougar Bitch Ass. What would your Gangsta Name be?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Deceit at its best...

I just picked up this information from and it totally disgusts me: It seems that the website is actually an ANTI-CHOICE site. That's right, by masquerading as a safe place to visit by women who actually are seeking help it promotes its anti-choice stance with such helpful information such as:

"Abortion- How Much Will It Cost? The ultimate price, your baby's life, your self esteem and maybe your life.The financial cost can be very little to a lot. Rarely discussed is the hidden costs after the fact."

"Abortion- What Is it? Abortion is human intervention that does not allow a developing child to be born. It is the death of another less developed human being."

And one more winner:
"Imagine feeling safe and the next moment someone is killing you and you can't get away or cry for help."

For a lot of women, in different situations, abortion is an option. Its subversive, manipulative people like whoever put up this site that are trying to cheat women out of their own right to choose what they do with their bodies. Just disgusting.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Don't Leave Racy Pictures on Your Digital Camera...

...just in case you lose it, and some one is nice enough to help you find it.

I've talked about PostSecret before--the website and subsequent books of confessions/secrets folks write anonymously, but I just found a new pretty interesting site for Found Cameras and Orphan Photos. On this site people post photos from found digital cameras or memory sticks in hopes that someone will recognize a face from the picture and the camera/memory stick will be found! There are also a few posts of old photographs that have been found (moving into a new home, or from a second hand purchase) in hopes of getting the original back to the owner. I just that deserved a little shout out, especially for those of you who have lost a camera! In my own experience, I once picked up my high school prom photos from a drugstore photo counter and took them right home. When I got there, so-so-s0 excited to see the prom pictures, I found pictures of someones large family BBQ and camping trip. These were eventually swapped for the Prom pics, but it took a few days and put a lot of stress on my 17 year old self. I hope those folks got their camping pics back!