Sunday, December 30, 2007

Quote of the Day

"This game has gone on long enough. I propose that we elect Janny as a member of the carpet."


Quote of the week?

"With the Magic Bullet, clean up is a snap, and you don't even smell!"

Friday, December 28, 2007

Things You Sit On (alternately, things that can be flushed)

A toilet

An embarrassed person

A surprised game fowl

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Yay I'm Unemployed!

There are some good things and some bad things about living the improvised life. A bad thing, for example, would be when you lie down on the couch at three because there's nothing else to do and then wake up all hot under the couch-blanket at six with lines all over your face from the pillow. On the other hand, it's kind of a warm-and-fuzzy thing when you pull black beans out of the cupboard, one remaining tortilla, some salsa and some cast-aside cheese from the fridge, and make a delicious dinner of pan-hardened cheesy chips and beans topped with salsa. Right now I'm working on making a cupful of ice cream out of some milk and a glorp of raspberry torani. Although maybe it will take a long time given the amount of milk... ice cube tray, do you think?

Friday, December 21, 2007

Project?

Always prone to the power of suggestion, I decided yesterday afternoon that I would follow an online set of directions for how to make unique and colorful Christmas gifts. Otherwise known as "doing a craft," which made up much of my young life at church. This craft, however, is completely voluntary and seems unimaginably cool to me, so it's all ok. I purchased the required materials yesterday evening, and began the process this afternoon. There are currently about six bulbous, soggy masses hanging from various parts of my house: the tv stand, the ceiling fan pull-string, the banana tree. Hopefully by tomorrow they will be finished and ready to put to use. If they turn out well, I will post pictures, I promise.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Sugar Headache

Parties are wonderful things, but I need to learn to control my intake of candies while celebrating. Particularly my intake of Sour Patch Kids, which I could refer to as the Food of the Gods.

I wish that you could live in my apartment, all of you, for a week or so each, so you could hear the neighboring sounds of our little corner of the world. We are fortunate to live on the top floor, and therefore don't get the requisite rolling-of-the-bowling-ball noises that come with downstairs living. The neighborly noises we get are much more pleasant.

Somewhere to our right lives a cat, an often despondently vocal cat, who cries piteously for attention and love. Now that we've figured out what it is, it's kind of sad but also kind of reassuring to hear: "at least he's not dead. He's got his health, and that's the most important thing."

To our left and down the hall a little ways there lives a clarinetist. A very dedicated clarinetist, who doesn't play twenty-four hours a day, but probably closer to ten than to one. At all hours of the day you can sit still and listen and hear him playing something or other. While we sometimes wonder how he can play that much without getting bored and finding something else to do, we enjoy living nearby, because it makes great background noise. Someday we will figure out which apartment he lives in, and go introduce ourselves to him. For now I will simply fall asleep to the soothing sounds of the clarinet, and thank my lucky stars we didn't move in next to a drummer.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Foux de fa fa

by Flight of the Conchords.

Because I apparently can only have a serious post at the top for a couple of hours at a time.

Feeling Thanksgiving-y

Today, in an attempt to make as much money as possible before graduating, I worked for the disability resource center on campus, helping administer finals for their students. It was humbling to see the different people coming to take tests- for some it was obvious why they needed assistance with their finals, but many others looked just like anybody else on campus, and I wondered how many difficulties the people around me have that I have no idea of.

I helped a girl with a final for a class I'd taken last semester, reading the questions aloud to her and then taking down the answers she dictated to me. She was very nice, and I don't know exactly what her situation was, but it was a little heartbreaking to read the question to her and look and see that the point of the question was lost on her. Simple strategies that I use, like skipping over extraneous words to get at the basic question that is being asked, seemed to be impossible for her to grasp. I wanted to put my arm around her and parse each of the sentences so she could understand what question she was meant to answer, because I could tell from the things she said that the information was floating around in there. She just couldn't figure out what information to give me to write down. The fact that I had taken that exact class, with that exact professor, so recently made it that much worse. I felt myself biting back answers to the questions; I wanted to remind her of readings that would help her, or tell her, yes, you're on the right track. But all I was there to do for her was read and write.

Is this what it is like for people? Are there many people who have this struggle on a regular basis? I never realized how hard these things could be, these things that come so easily to me. I feel guilty for never having appreciated how easy my life has been up to this point. This afternoon was definitely the hardest thing I've done for a long time. I don't know whether I could do that again if I wanted to.

That's when I learned that there are two versions of that song, and one of them you don't want played at your wedding.

There's just something about having wonderful people, rich and famous people, telling you about their shortcomings and mistakes. It's comforting and a little gratifying to know that they're just people, too, even though they do play a mean 12-string guitar.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

One More Thing

Ha! You thought I was done with my Christmas listing. But you were wrong.

Yesterday as I was running around a lot in the drizzly rain, I thought to myself, "you know what would be great to have? Like, some sort of cross between a pretty shawl and a poncho, just a short one that goes to mid-back, so when it's rainy I can have a little covering, that if I'm carrying papers I can hide their tops under it, and maybe it would have two really big buttons to one side. I think it would be some dark color like black or brown, and made of material- not knitted yarn. Something sleek and dignified."

I don't know if such a thing even exists, but I was thinking about it yesterday. You know what? Maybe I shouldn't ask for this. I probably wouldn't wear it much, except maybe if it was more of a long shawl I could wear it to church where it gets cold and it could be nice to wrap myself and my arms in it. But if it was more like a shawl, that would make it less useful for in the rain... Except it doesn't usually rain all that much here...

Ok. I want a nice shawl, made of material, a nice black or brown or other neutral color to wear to church, and maybe when it's raining too.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Storytime

Ah, Christmas. The time of memories. Of family. Of precious tokens of love.

Remember that time a few years ago when I was working for Taco Bell? Remember how at Christmas they have a tiny tree on the counter that everyone brings an ornament for? Remember how I wanted to bring one with my name on it, so I brought my very favorite one, a faded pink ball that my great-grandmother had hand-painted my name on when I was born? How on Christmas Eve, after the work party, I was closing the store with my manager and decided to take down my ornament to keep it safe in my car, and how at that moment it slipped from my hands, and I was bitterly crying before it even hit the ground because there was nothing I could do? Do you remember me crying in the Taco Bell bathroom on Christmas Eve for a quarter of an hour over a shattered piece of glass, while my manager swept up the shards?

I do.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Feverishly Tired

Ok, aside from it now being three days of rain (apocalypse on its way, maybe?), I'm so glad that Saturday is over. Generally, Saturday is my best friend, but when early morning wake-up times are paired with evening-time boring musical performances, I know it's going to be tough on me. My only condolence for today was the promise of waking up at the sinfully late hour of nine o'clock tomorrow.

I know, I'm so bad.

Meteorological Bliss

It's amazing how surprising it is to have two days, two whole days! of overcastness and rain. Is that even legal? Are we allowed to have that much pleasantness in such a short period of time?

Today as I walked from my last class of the day to home, I decided to really take advantage of the rain and take my shoes off. Seems like everyone was enjoying themselves- as I walked around a corner I got a distinct whiff of pot and saw some guy loping off down the alley behind a sorority. Lots of people that I passed on the street looked up and smiled, said hi conspiratorially, as if we were all in on some secret. A secret about the weather!

Friday, November 30, 2007

This is a picture I did not take...

of the church building where I'm currently parking my car for free while I'm at school and work during the day. However, because there is no such thing as a free lunch (or in this case, parking spot), the church is located a good twenty minute walk away from any building on campus, which means I get a nice walk in every morning and afternoon. Anyway, back to the picture. This picture I did not take is of the steeple of the church, rather tall and stoic-looking, up against the grey, swirly, all-day-long overcast sky that drizzled on us fairly continuously today. The greyish-white of the church steeple blended in just enough with the greyish-grey of the clouds to make kind of a quietly beautiful sight. Alas, no camera. Double alas, even had I had a camera on hand, the picture would have turned out very blah due to the very little light available and the lack of contrast between the subject matter and the background. I guess it's all for the best.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Copping Out

I feel bad for doing a picture post so late in the month- I've made it twenty-seven days with words, and I decide I can't do it anymore? Well, not really. It's just that today is the first day in a very, very long time that I have been able to just relax at home in the evening, no work to stress about until tomorrow afternoon. So I want to enjoy it, and talk with my roommates, and just hang out. So you get to enjoy this picture I took of a pretty pretty butterfly on pretty pretty purple flower in Las Vegas. That's right, I did take pictures over Thanksgiving, and I'm showing them here. Who knows what tomorrow will bring! More pictures? a return to words? No one can tell (not even I).

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Helpful Hints

In case you're ever in a group musical class-type situation, with one teacher and many instruments, here's some advice from my fellow guitar classmates:

Make sure you don't practice anything during the week. That way you can learn lots during class time.

When the teacher asks for a volunteer to play something, do anything but raise your hand. Instead, pick your nose, text your friends, or play your instrument quietly to yourself for twenty minutes while no one else raises their hand.

If by some mysterious chance, somebody volunteers to play, don't listen to them. Don't pretend to listen to them, either, and definately don't let anyone else listen. Play loudly over them to make sure a healthy cacophony is maintained in the classroom. This way everyone remains equal in your eyes and those of the teacher.

I'm not sure if you understood that last one, and it's important and bears repeating. If it looks like the teacher may be listening in concentration to a fellow-student's playing, stand up and play with all your might. But play a completely different genre than the class is for. Preferably an overplayed radio song. This will make you rise in your teacher's esteem for your guitarry prowess.

Monday, November 26, 2007

In Case You Were Wondering

Christmas lists get more and more guilty-feeling as I get older and my taste (and needs) get more expensive, but. You know, here it is.


Ooh, how 'bout an adjustment or a massage?

My walls are a little bare right now. Maybe something to liven them up?

Eh, I'm really not sure how much more stuff I want right now. My apartment's getting kind of full. I should really probably throw some stuff out, now that I think of it.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Curse you, Dario Fo

One of the banes of my existence this past four months or so has been the world of Italian theatre. Not that it's necessarily bad, but my professor has strange and unpredictable taste in plays, so it's always a gamble when you go to open a new reading assignment. Two of our last plays were by the same author, and the first one, while not spectacular, was pretty ok. Not hideously vulgar (like some plays we've had to read), kind of funny (it describes the Pope blessing people he passes while downhill skiing), it is one of my more favorite plays from the semester. All jazzed up from the first one, I move right along into the second, expecting more of the same. I could tell from the style that it was definately the same guy writing, but somehow it just wasn't funny. The play didn't seem to go anywhere, there were several dumb false endings that a six-year old could have come up with, and the final real ending was hopelessly cheesy, and not in a good way. I kept waiting for the play to hit its stride, to start being entertaining, but it just slogged its way through to the end, remarkably unfunny the whole way through.

Although we don't have any other plays assigned to us by this author, I almost feel compelled to read just one more, as a sort of tie-breaker, to see which play was more reflective of his work as a whole, and which play was the accident. But that will wait until perhaps the end of the semester.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Holiday Synopsis

Ugh. It's cold (relatively) outside, it's windy, the air seems to be even drier than it is at home, the water is hard. My hands are about to fall off my wrists and leave little flaky, wizened stumps at the end of my arms. If I don't gnaw the skin right off my knuckles before that.

I know, I know that nobody cares what I had for lunch, but I'm a little awed by the fact that in the past four days, I've eaten more meat, and more kinds of meat, than I probably have in the past month before that. Hamburger! Turkey! Ham! Pork! Lobster! Chicken! That's more than one meat per day. Also desserts on a grand scale. I'm almost looking forward to coming back home, where I eat small, college-scale dinners at home and dessert (if there is one) is a couple of those wafer cookies, you know, the kind that taste like cardboard with creme in the middle, the ones that come in packages of pink, yellow and brown? I think that the nontraditionalness of this Thanksgiving has been made up for by the vast quantities of food eaten.

There has been much visiting with relatives, and much talking about them later once safely in the hotel room. I love my family. And I can't wait to get home.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Black Friday?

Didn't venture out to shop today, but spent all daywith relatives from both sides of my family. I got to hear the story of my aunt and uncle taking home a live bobcat in their car, and discovering upon arriving home that the animal had expired during the ride. Only at that point did their passenger turn into an object of fright for them. My relatives are strange people. With the other side of the family this evening, we ate another Thanksgiving dinner that couldn't be beat, then ran around geocaching with my cute little cousins. Relaxing is tough work. And now, for a word from my 9-year old cousin:

....or maybe not. He's become suddenly shy, after efy6rfy (oh wait, there he goes!)

Sadly, only when I ask him to type something does he refuse to touch the computer. I guess the old adage works for blogging, too never work with children or animals.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Stranger in a Strange Land

It's amazing and somewhat saddening to see how many people spend Thanksgiving sitting in the casino, pressing the buttons on video poker machines. Of course, in order to know that, I had to be in the casino myself, but nevermind about that. It was a special exception to the general rule. All things considered, it's been a great holiday so far. I got to spend time with my relatives, I ate turkey and stuffing, I spent four hours in the car, I got to wear a jacket and scarf. Yessir, I'd say it's been a most satisfying Thangsgiving.

And boy howdy, Las Vegas just keeps getting bigger. Wider and wider, soon it's going to need to buy a new belt.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Holidays

There's something exciting about going out of town for Thanksgiving for the first time in your life.

There's something disheartening about getting home from school and realizing you still have to pack, like, everything.


I'll be interested to see how traffic works this weekend, having only traveled once for a holiday, and that being by air. Hopefully all will go well, and I'll get maybe some fun pictures? And if you're lucky I may even post some of them next week! Have a happy Thanksgiving, and remember all that great stuff you have to be thankful for. What a wonderful holiday.

Hmm...

I just noticed a loophole in the system- my blog is somehow not in the same time zone as myself. This means I can post well into the next day and still have it count for the previous day. Although I am too tired to take advantage of this tonight, it is useful information for later. Not that I'd want to take advantage, but just that sometimes midnight comes around a lot faster than you'd think. And I wouldn't want to screw up my record for Nablopomo.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Slight Reprieve

It's an amazing thing when you're mercifully given the day before Thanksgiving off work, especially when you're going out of town that night and you still haven't packed.

On the plus side, I just finished the final draft of my assignment that's due tomorrow, and I don't have to be on campus until noon. Holidays are wonderful.

And yes, I nearly forgot to post tonight, and that's why this is such an uninspired post.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Liiiiiiive Braaaaiiinnnnnnssss

It's been a long time since I've waited till such last minute to write a paper, I figured I'd end my college career in style, not technically pulling an all-nighter (still have not accomplished this feat), but going to bed around midnight and getting up at 3:30 to finish. It is now nearly seven in the morning, and I can tell you it's no picnic typing up a paper while fighting the hiccoughs for an hour and a half. Now I know why I do this so little. Because getting up that early makes me lightheaded and I want to vomit.

Instead of vomiting, I will trot off to work and then to school, because rent doesn't pay itself, and because I want my stinking degree. Perhaps I'll be more interesting/funny/awake for tomorrow's post.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Uh, Meme?

I'm not all up ons the internet lingo, but I think what this means is that I've been made to be a participant in a blogging-type chain letter. Which, frankly, is not my kind of thing, so I'll do the seven "random" things about myself, but I refuse to link to a bunch of other people I don't know. Basically, I will only follow the rules that I feel like following.

So. Random stuff about me.

1. I play the banjo! Tonight we had a hootenanny which turned out quite well.

2. I own two chinchillas. I enjoy rodents as pets; my favorite in terms of cuddliness would have to be rats.

3. I'm kind of sad that I had my appendix taken out when I was ten, because I recently heard that they've finally found a use for it.

4. According to my mother, all of my friends are ugly.

5. Io parlo italiano, ma non bene.

6. I've had 1.33 bikes stolen from me- 1 in Vancouver, BC, and .33 last week at home.

7. I have a painting of a green monkey with a red background over my TV that everyone who comes to my apartment comments on.


Aren't you glad we've had this opportunity to learn boring facts about my life? Let's not do this again, ok?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Code

Bicyclists have funny little codes, like, if you're on a bike and you're wearing the hilarious clothes, you're suddenly part of a secret society. You pass a bike going the other way, they briefly lift their hand as if they were secretly acknowledging your mutually privileged status. If a biker passes another biker changing a tire or sitting on the side of the road or whatever, not riding, they always ask to make sure you don't need anything. Why is this? Drivers of cars don't do this. Any hand gestures between drivers are generally less positive, and yet the drivers have the same kind of relationship as the bikers, don't they?

Today I found out that there's other stuff, too. Stuff that doesn't come out until a race. Like when the cop at the intersection stops you so traffic can go the other way, everyone starts yelling, "Slowing! Stopping!" A chorus of "stopping!" "On your left" and "car!" are also common things to hear. If there's debris in the road, like gravel or a water bottle, it is pointed to by EVERYONE and yelled out (" gravel!" "bottle!") by a few. There were also a couple of "biker down!" moments today, the news quickly spreading down the field. I guess all those 'race day' calls are simply to make everything safe for the ten thousand people riding the same course at the same time, but I still don't get the little secret wave, which occurs every day.

Friday, November 16, 2007

I Wish I Were Old

Waiting for the concert to start, the couple behind me discusses.

:"Did I ever tell you of a girl I knew in grammar school? Her name was Violet McDonald. Tall, blonde, not much to look at. I saw her years later in the suburbs. Beautiful! A Swedish dream!"

;"...they're late."

:"They're always late."

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Bang Head Against Wall

You know you've chosen the wrong class to take when your research project leads you to believe that a dissertation in another language is a Great Source! The most information you can find! The most relevant scholarly material, and actually, the only scholarly material, out there on your subject.

You know you've chosen your roommates wisely when one of them can translate the most important bits into English for you.

But seriously, if you happen to know of any scholarly approaches to the corrido (a type of song popular in Mexico) that can be found on the internet, I'd be appreciative. And yes, I've already checked out corridos.org.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

What Next?

My computer's power cord dies this weekend. $72.

Not 24 hours after purchasing a new cord, the rear wheel of my bicycle, my vehicle for getting almost everywhere during the week, is stolen. Dollar amount yet unknown.

I predict that my car will blow up in 45 minutes, after which I get fired from my job.

I believe that either I am being punished for some unknown crime, or something incredibly wonderful is about to happen to me and the universe wants to maintain equilibrium.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Fascinating

So, we all know that In-N-Out Burger has scripture references printed on the underside of their cups, the one I see most (because it's on the soda cup) being John 3:16. The text of this verse states,

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

Now, that's cool and all, that a wildly popular, yet still family-owned, burger joint thinks it's important to put scriptural reminders on their packaging. I like it. It's a nice little touch that makes me like In-N-Out, because their beliefs aren't hidden, but neither are they jammed down your throat (no pun intended). My roommate just came home from a long weekend, and threw down her duffel bag, backpack, and shopping bag that she keeps stuff in.

Did you know that Forever 21 also has John 3:16 printed on the bottom of their yellow bag of shame?

Monday, November 12, 2007

Endless Frustration

I certainly love Apple. I love it like everything else I've had since childhood (except my giant calves. Those I do not love so much). However, I have a qualm with my 2003 iBook (well, two, if you count my annoyance that it didn't even come with solitaire): my power cords keep crapping out on me. Yes, that is power cords plural. The first one lasted about two and a half years, then finally gave way to the constant pressures of bending. Imagine that! Expecting a CORD to BEND! A replacement was obtained, a slightly different type from an off-brand. That one only has lasted two years, and two days ago suddenly died as well.

Now, I'm all for the sleek and stylish design of Apple products, the whiteness and all, but I am for the first time in my life jealous of those Dell users with the giant ugly plugs for their computers. You know, the big utilitarian black boxes with the honking three-pronged plugs made out of titanium. Deep down inside of me, I would like to have such an unelegant thing to plug my computer into, knowing that it will forever and always fulfill its purpose of powering my favorite piece of technology.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Let's Do It; Let's Fall in Love

Why why why do I ever think it's a good idea to put on a weepy movie when all my roommates leave town for the weekend? It's not even eight o'clock and I want to hang myself (no, of course not really- just figuratively).

On a less depressing note, I've been reading my Elements of Style by Strunk and White, and it's amazing. How is it that a book on grammar can be so engaging? It's nearly a page-turner!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Three Weddings and a Transvestite

As much as I am for the institution of marriage in general, and for the happy marriages of my friends in particular, I'm getting a little tired of attending receptions full of old people and spending my evenings wandering the aisles of Target, Club Wedd registry in hand.

Let's space it out a little, guys, ok?

Friday, November 9, 2007

But Jackalopes Can't Open Doors

Interestingly enough, I am staying at my parents' house tonight, two weeks before Thanksgiving, but will be out of town for the holiday.

Fun conversation between my friend and I as we drove through the middle of the desert this evening:

"Beware of yetis!"

:"What? What are yetis?"

"You know, yetis. Like the abominable snowman."

:"Oh. Well I know what those are, but why should we beware of them? They need a place where it's snowy and cold."

"Well, you never know what will pop out of the dark desert suddenly. You've got to beware."

:"But there wouldn't be a yeti. There must be a different strand of them. A different type of yeti, that isn't all hairy, and with smaller feet."

"You mean like a satyr? But if they're all naked on top, they'd get sunburnt. They'd need to have hair on their shoulders, and no hair anywhere else. Like a pig."

:"Can't we just say 'beware of jackalopes?'"

Thursday, November 8, 2007

15. Fill the Gaps

This might be a little ambitious, and I will therefore get partway through and then end suddenly because of my hatred for posts longer than a window's length, but when I read this prompt I immediately thought of my computer. My computer and I have been through a lot during the past 4 years, and I'd like to tell a few stories about it.

I remember getting the computer, pulling it out of the Apple box and turning it on for the first time. I vowed never to drink water near it or slam the lid or type with dirty hands. It was so shiny and white, so pristine.

At some point I read a funny passage on lileks.com about a handwritten "IOU Blanks" looking like "Lou Blanis," and how that would be a great name for a character in a book. I bestowed that name onto my computer, and to this day the screensaver that pops up is nothing more than the words Lou Blanis, with a silver Apple icon underneath.

Lou has been taken on road trips, to play movies and tv episodes with the audio fed through the car stereo. As we drove through the god-forsaken west half of Alberta, we blasted a Red Hot Chili Peppers concert through the car, giggling to ourselves as the bassist drooled on himself in a musical stupor.

During a lonely weekend in Parts Unknown when my roommates were out drinking with friends, I sat at home and meticulously colored the backs of all the translucent keys with fabric paint. I mixed up the M and the W, though, so they're the wrong colors. This only irks me when I really think about it, about how that stupid W is the same color as that stupid S, and there they are, in their adjacent same-colored matchingness.

Some of my favorite memories with my computer are from that time in Parts Unknown, that time when I was a junior and had lots of big important classes with big important papers to write. I learned early on that it was impossible to write a paper in my own apartment, where my bed and fridge and tv were, so I found a few other places to go. I found that to write a ten-page paper, I needed a pint of chocolate milk, sold in a mini-gallon-jug shape in the dorms' convenience store. I would walk downstairs in my big hoodie with my computer, buy a chocolate milk, then head to one of three places: this big pit-like area in the middle of the Education building, which was lined with carpeted benches, the completely depressing tiny room with three old computers in it on the 4th floor of the dorms, or the top floor of the library, where the space-age couches and table were. I generally preferred the library because there weren't too many people in the periodicals, and because the couches were so cool, and because the fifth floor afforded an amazing view of the flat flat city, and looking through the window at a snowstorm at night is such a comforting feeling. I would sit and type, looking out of the window every so often. Every time I finished a paragraph I rewarded myself with a drink of my chocolate milk- straw sticking out the top of the jug. I'm sure I looked like a lazy hog, sitting on a couch for hours on end, guzzling chocolate milk, but the papers got written.

My computer is older now, it has a hard time doing multiple things at once. It's no longer pristine and white; it's all fingerprinty and smudged grey and it's got an "I Voted" sticker stuck under the option key that's also fingerprinty and smudged grey. I've typed with dirty hands, but I never did spill water on the keyboard. It's had a pretty full life, and I hope to keep on with it for a while longer. Here's to you, Lou.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Volpitza (!)

Ugh, folk dancing is hard work.

Yay, folk dancing is really fun!


While I truly enjoy the experience of group dancing and moving to the sounds of accordions, violins, etc, it's pretty intense stuff. I'm having a great time learning to do fun little hand-clappy dances, little grapevine dances, little polka-y dances. Who knew something so dorky could be so fun?

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

19. Give us your scraps

I wasn't feeling particularly inspired tonight, but Maggie once again has caught my interest. Here's some flotsam from my computer and my notebooks.

In a file marked "Saskatchewan Verbal Weirdness," we have this gem: "I've got a friend who was done her finals last week, she's back home in Nipawin already."

Then we have a classic example of my constant planning/fretting:


In my little orange notebook, I've got this, which I have no idea where I got it from, but it's excellent: "Justice too long delayed is justice denied." -Martin Luther King

And then this amazingly telling list:
-hang artichoke
-crayons
-fishbowl + succulents
-sox? for monsters?
-eating pan for chinnies?
-pot rack solutions?

Monday, November 5, 2007

Halloween Came Late This Year

After a lovely and unexpected nap in the music building's unused lobby, accompanied by some amazing classical guitarist, I head down to the basement for my piano class. I'm still a little early, so I go to use the restroom. I enter a stall, close the door and glance into the toilet to find the LARGEST COCKROACH ON THE PLANET hanging out in the bowl. Unable to scream, I simply exit the stall and use another one. Upon a later retelling of the story, I am chastised by my roommate for not flushing him, for leaving him to be found by some other hapless person.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Meta-Blogging and Stars

My roommate is much more observant than I am, and she often asks me after some fun event or awkward moment, "will this be on the blog?" Sometimes I just want to say, "yes! How do you think I will word it? No, wait, let me get a pen." She'd probably do a better job of writing my blog than I do.

One thing that she didn't think to put on the blog recently was the drive we took last night out on the east end of town, straight out into a lovely little pass that overlooks the city. This place is great for many purposes- for drunken parties, for make-outs, for dry ice bombing and for stargazing. The first two I have unfortunately never accomplished out there, but I can attest to the greatness of that area for the last two activities with personal experience. Last night we just sat on the trunk of the car, shivering a little and looking at all the stars. It's truly amazing how much difference a little 10-minute drive out of town can do for how many stars you can see. There's like, a kajillion of them. We had fun trying to find constellations, and then when we could only find Orion and Casseopia, making up our own constellations (meet the Obese Goat With No Legs and the Short Fat Pencil). We didn't have a whole lot of time to just sit there, since we were both very tired, it was late, and she still had work to do at home before going to bed, so we only stayed out there for maybe 15 or twenty minutes, but it did wonders for our moods.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Sighting

The other night, as my roommates and I sat in class together, a young man sticks his head in and asks if he may join the class for the evening. He stays and participates in class, remarking that he's just "passing through." Who passes through anymore? I thought passing through was for vagabonds in the 30's, going from town to town, looking for work. I am vaguely fascinated, but after class I have nearly forgotten about his existance. Then we press through the doors, into the parking lot. Why, that's a strange vehicle. I don't believe I've seen one of those in our parking lot before.



The upshot of this story is that we got three Weeny Whistles and a look inside the magnificent Weinermobile. It does not have a sunroof, but there appears to have a nice bun-roof. He drives from city to city, doing appearances and events, and he gets to see all of mainland America. Lucky him! If you see him in your town, say hi to our friend Jeff for us.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Donations in my name can be made out to the Human Fund. Well, just write the checks out to me. I'll make sure they get used appropriately.

I was mailed an invitation to my commencement by the Dean's office of my college. I guess I've got to do this thing. Is it normal to feel like you want to vomit? When you think about it, graduation really is going to change my life. I've been a student for 17.5 years.

That ends up being about 78% of my entire life. That's a lot of life. It's pretty much all I know how to do, is being a student. Not that I want to be an eternal college student. They're pretty pathetic, not to mention I'm not really a fan of writing papers and going to class. But then again, will I really be a fan of going to work every day, all day? We'll have to work on this situation.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Nablopomo

We're trying this again. Let's see if November 2007 gets any better.


To start things off, I'd just like to talk a very little about why I like where I live. I like where I live because only in this part of the world do you get to see a mariachi walking and playing across campus, with a slowly growing crowd following them, holding pictures of loved ones. I don't necessarily celebrate el Dia de los Muertos, but I'm glad somebody does, and I'm glad that I get to see it. I'm also glad that sometimes our neighbors would hire a mariachi to play for their parties, and we could casually go on a "walk" back and forth past their house to listen. I'm currently taking a class on Mexican Folk Music, and while I've found one genre that I decidedly do NOT like (banda sounds like Disneyland-employed Germans on crack), most of it is amazingly cool. I'm glad that I can live at the intersection of two cultures.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Good Question

A group of friends stands around, exchanging phone numbers by calling each other and saving the call history:

M, typing: "Fabio, what's your last name?"

F: "I'm pretty sure I'm the only Fabio you know. Why do you need my last name?"

M: "..."

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Breaking News!

The blue glove has mysteriously vanished, and the empty can of Hormel chili has been joined under the bus stop by an empty can of Vienna Sausages. The far-from-train-tracks hobo strikes again!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Bike Thoughts

There's some stuff, some debris, some once-but-no-longer drifting garbage on the streets that I take to and from school every day. There is a small chunk of what looks like a dipstick that I ride over daily, which is fortunately flat and doesn't puncture my tire or otherwise impede my riding. There is a blue glove, somewhere between the surgical and dishwashing categories. There is an empty can of Hormel chili, which makes me wonder why a hobo was in that bus stop so far away from the railroad tracks. This stuff, this debris, has been on the street for at least two months, in the exact same places in the bike lane and under the bus stop bench, and I begin to wonder if that street is some kind of dead end in the garbage tide, where stuff can go to but not get out of.



Along this same route there was a dead dog for a day. He didn't linger long- maybe his owners came and buried him, or animal control scraped him off the road, or perhaps there was a very content vulture in the neighborhood, I don't know. While his corpse was quickly gotten rid of in one way or another, his stink of death remained for a good two weeks.



It occurs to me that the students at my university must not understand that there are rules to the intermingling of bikes and pedestrians. The rules basically are to be aware of your surroundings and not act like a jerk, but perhaps I can flesh out my thoughts a little:

1. Know where you are. If the sidewalk is painted to look like a little street with yellow lines down the middle, you are in the bike lane. Also know when you are. If it is between ten till and the hour, there are so very many people out and about, all trying to get from one place to another.

2. For pedestrians: Do not walk down the middle of the bike lane. This is not a place where you belong, and you will eventually get yelled at or run down by a cyclist who either didn't expect you to be there or has had people walk in front of them all day long and finally lost it.

2a. For pedestrians: When crossing the bike lane, as you must in order to get from point a to point b, do not change your pace. Do not hesitate at the border of the lane and dart at a time that seems good to you. The bikes know you are there and want to cross, and can easily avoid you if you walk steadily across without weaving or speeding up. The cyclist is likely counting on you to continue in your path (see Newton's Laws), so when you walk partway into the bike lane and suddenly stop, their plans of riding behind you are thwarted because now "behind you" is where you are still standing. Stopping in a pathway generally makes everyone around you, cyclists and pedestrians alike, annoyed at you.

3. For bikes: Do not ride in areas that are marked with big crossed-out bicycles on them. These signs mean you should walk your bike in this congested or otherwise-unapproved for vehicles area. It might not make sense, but it is much safer when everyone knows that everyone else is more or less going the same speed. Especially when you go through dark underpasses.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Scrabble Pride

Ahem. Tonight? I won Scrabble. With some great words, including:

Emote

Turban

Borzoi


If I were prone to using superlatives to describe myself, I might be tempted to say I'm the best.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

This and That

Again with the stories from walking around campus!

Walking down the mall, I am accosted by a sorority girl and frat guy, holding a big empty water cooler jug partially filled with change.

Sorority Girl, perkily: "Do you have some spare change to support breast cancer?"

Frat Guy, as I dig through my pockets: "Actually, we suggest that you kick the s*** out of breast cancer, rather than support it."

Who knew those guys could make intelligent witticisms?

~~~~ ~~~~ ~~~~

It's been a good weekend, with a hootenanney last night (accompanied by steak!), the regular Saturday cleaning today (accompanied by chicken curry!), and friends coming over tomorrow morning for breakfast made by our amazing and talented friend (stuffed french toast! crepes!). Apparently the thing that boosts an activity up the scale from "fun" to "amazing" is food.

Tuesday I make my debut performance on the guitar, playing Au Clair de la Lune for my professor and classmates. Get my autograph now, before I become famous!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Hallucinization

Today while sitting in the front pew in church, trying desperately to pay attention, I frequently wondered why instead of looking up at the speaker I was slouched over to one side, drooling on myself. Why instead of seeing the familiar wooden pulpit with a be-shirted and -tied man behind it, I saw an endless sea of hominy.

I should start getting to bed earlier on Saturdays.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Let Me Be Brief

I'm pretty disappointed that I haven't had my camera with me, or even batteries in my camera, for the past month or so. I've seen so many stunning visuals that I would love to share with the world, but will never be able to. Although I'm glad you can't see the bread of ugliness I just made for a bake sale on campus, because I'm kind of disappointed in that, too.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Day of Folly: My Own and Others'

First thing this morning I am sent to pick up a form from a woman in another office on campus. Not only do I unintentionally make up a new name for this woman, but when I return to my office I find that I've gotten the wrong form.

In a class where the rows of desks are far too close together, I accidentally fall all over this nice music theory major I'm trying to scootch past. At least it ends in an interesting conversation, rather than angry words.

Riding across campus on the way towards the library, I see this girl. She is wearing a dress that would best be described as a Slutty Grandma/ Circus Tent amalgam. It is a thing of horror, but I cannot look away.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Blargh, the Cold

My nose alternately pours snot like a faucet and feels sealed up with bricks and mortar. I can feel my pulse in my forehead. My soft palette is all sore. I can only cough weak little wussy coughs because I haven't the energy for big, rollicking coughs. I have a steadily-growing pile o'kleenex next to the couch and my sbeech souds subthig like dis.

When my roommates ask me how I'm feeling, what am I supposed to say?

"Gee, I feel great, other than being sick!"

"Man, I sure feel like crap, thanks for asking"

"unnngh.... *little coughs and a whimper* "



On the plus side, I got to stay home from work and most classes today and play Paper Mario while lying on the couch. Surely that makes up for not being able to breathe through my nose for more than 48 hours now?

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Hostessing

We have some friends of a friend staying with us for a few nights, and they are overly apprectiative to the point that I can't tell if they are mocking us or they live very deprived lives.

"Wow, your apartment is so big and open!"

"You guys are soooooooooo nice letting us stay with you!"

"Oh my gosh you UNFOLDED. YOUR. FUTON. for us?!"

"Holy smokes there are TOWELS?!!"


While it was admittedly harder than it should have been to rustle up three extra towels for them, really the rest of the stuff didn't need to be commented on. Am I this exuberantly grateful when I'm the houseguest?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Dear Nose and Eyes:

I'd appreciate it if I could spend an entire day, snot-free, itch-free. It's really off-putting to have the girl at the front desk continuously rubbing her eyes with her wrists like a dog or a two-month-old, and I could really use the extra money I'm spending on toilet paper for something else, something like food or rent. The allergies, they are killing me. I'm about ready to do something drastic, like actually buying pills or even looking into acupuncture like my friend suggested a year ago. Please, no more allergies! Riding my bike to school is a chore, reading anything is miserable, even dance parties have to be interrupted in order to blow my nose. This has to stop.

Hugs and Kisses,

Violasaint

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Thoughts on Not Going to Work

It's amazing how wonderful a day off work can be. It's so much more productive and good-feeling than a Saturday, and so much more relaxing than a holiday, and so much more appreciated than any other day.

Today I leisurely cleaned my room, did laundry, cleaned the chinchilla cage, sold old clothes and old movies and old books, bought some new-old pants, bought some groceries, obtained a new bike, ate a delicious dinner with friends, and watched a Bollywood movie. So many things I did!

The only issue now is going back to work tomorrow.

Friday, August 31, 2007

A Shockingly Serious Post



A girl at my university killed herself last week. I read it in the campus newspaper, that she hung herself in her dorm, just after the first week of classes.

I'm not sure how to react to this news. My first reaction is to say, "so? I don't know her, I don't live in her dorm, this doesn't affect me, so what's to react to?" Then I feel a little guilty because no man is an island and all that, and because sheesh, have I no sympathy at all? This guilt is fleeting, though, and leaves me in search of something else to think about this situation.

Overall, I'm just confused when I hear stories like this. What's to die for? You're a college student, you've got friends and classes to go to and maybe your life isn't perfect, but whose life is? I can kind of understand a person wanting to end it all because they've gone bankrupt and want their wife and five children to have the life insurance money or something like that. But what is there for a young, vital person to kill themself for?

I know, I've read Suicide and know all about anomie and the feeling of disconnectedness that occurs around the late teens and early twenties. But hey, I've been in a state of anomie before, and all it did for me was make me feel like my head was a little floaty and I was more distractable by pretty colors and shiny objects for a while. If anything it made me stick to my schedule more because I didn't really have the creativity or willpower to do anything I hadn't done before. But maybe different people are affected differently? I'm not sure. I sure am sorry for that girl, though. She had so much to look forward to, so much left to do with her life, and now she can't. I'll see if I can do anything extraordinary for her today, since she can't. This weekend I will celebrate my life.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Kids These Days

I don't know what my problem is, but recently I've been talking less and less like a normal human being, and more and more like a crotchety old woman who is indignant at the whole world.

This week marked the beginning of the semester, and as such we had numerous concourses of freshmen in and out of the doors of our office, trying to see advisors RIGHT THIS SECOND because their little scheduling problems are the most urgent issues facing the world of today. Part of my annoyance is due to the complete lack of respect they show for everyone they encounter, and another part is due to the fact that none of their stories are unique. I've listened to the same story over and over today, maybe a hundred and fifty times today. I'm going to listen to it again a hundred and fifty times tomorrow, and then again the day after another hundred times. Perhaps by Friday the sob story of not having the exact classes I want will lessen to about fifty, but that may be wishful thinking.

I wonder if this is how nurses feel at the end of the day, or lifeguards. Sheesh, here I have to go save another life, because another person did the exact same stupid thing that I've been telling people not to do all day long. And then after saving countless lives with little to no thanks (because it's your *job* to do that), you just can't get to one in time because you're busy saving somebody else, and then the dying one gets all mad at you, like come on, man, where were you? Why weren't you there to coddle me and save me when I did something stupid?

Or they yell. I get that a lot these days, too.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Ah, Wedded Bliss


The wedding was a happy occaision, the bringing together of two very silly families. It was very entertaining, knowing both families, to see them all meet for the first time, and guess what was going through their heads about their new in-laws.

While my hair did not beautify itself during the night, I was able to wrangle it into shampoo-commercial hair, all smooth and wavy and kind of elegant looking, if I do say so myself. I ended up making the 1.5 hour drive to the wedding site with the groom and his groomsmen, who were his old buddies from elementary school days (???). They've grown in slightly different directions during the past few years, though, which was good for me. While the groom is, as the bride puts it, a "loveable dork," the groomsmen are pretty cool and hilariously funny. We spent most of the time joking and laughing and having as grand a time as you can have in tuxes and a bridesmaid dress in 105 degree weather. I also helped them decorate the getaway car (are bridesmaids allowed to do that?), adding serifs where necessary to make their manly handwriting more readable. Little hearts and foofy borders around the "Just Married" were also left up to me. The bride and groom drove merrily away, probably glad to be rid of their micromanaging mothers (both of them! such bad luck) for the week.


About two hours after that reception ended, the one for my roommate began on the other side of town. That one was an absolute joy, as I was only a guest, and could come and go (and eat delicious wedding food) as I wished. Hers was a little more fancy and formal, which was appreciated after the chaos of all the family members earlier in the day. The happy couple looked very sharp, and more happy and relaxed than I've seen either of them for several months now. There apparently was a bouquet toss, but I had snuck out early, ready for some pajama time at home.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Ahoy


Sigh, two weddings this weekend, and important as they are I almost wish I could ditch them and sit by the pool for two days instead.

What was my friend thinking, asking me to be a bridesmaid? I don't have a bridesmaid body, and I absolutely do not have bridesmaid hair. Being the smart person I am, I decided to begin experimenting with hairstyles an entire 12 hours before I'm expected to be ready at arms. Hopefully some miracle will occur in the night and I will awaken perfectly coiffed in the morning.

Meanwhile our kitchen is slowly filling to the brim with little tubes wrapped in ribbon, the favors for my roommate's wedding, which will eventually (by tomorrow evening) be filled with... almonds? m&m's? I'm not really sure how that's all going to work out, but I did tie fifty little bows onto fifty little lids this afternoon. Fifty painstaking bows out of wire ribbon.

I'm very much looking forward to the beginning of the school semester.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Gather Ye Rosebuds


This summer has been a rather exciting and exhausting mix of bridal showers, weddings, pool parties, receptions, impromptu dance parties, bridesmaid dresses, packing boxes and a textbook apparently written for ten year olds. Throw in my job and trying to wash dishes once in a while and maybe feed the chinchillas every week or so, and I'm having a hard time flossing nightly. Also remembering my name.

Fortunately for me, work has recently turned into a part time affair, and my summer class is one day from being over. With my newfound free time, I've found that there is a lot more to do at home than I once thought. I've been doing some packing here and there to make things easier in a couple of weeks when I move, so now I cannot watch movies or read books because the media was the first to be boxed up.

All of this stress and work leads to a cranky me, which is why I am so looking forward to my five-day weekend coming up; I intend to drive far away, set up a tent, and do some hiking and relaxing in one of the most beautiful parts of this country. Circumstances beyond my control threaten that I may not get this holiday that I've been looking forward to and needing so much. Hopefully that possibility does not come to pass, because if it does I may just go insane.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

#59: Go Places

I think I've reminisced once or twice before about my youth. This time it will be different!

My Backyard: a descriptive essay by ViolaSaint

From age since-I-can-remember to age almost nine, we lived in a blue and red house in Southern California. The backyard of that house was amazing, with a garden, a swingset with the steepest slide imaginable, and a pepper tree. Oh, also the grounding wires for the power line ended up in our yard. And a big pile of peppers and leaves and other random tree litter. When it rained, the porch would flood, and when it was dry enough my sister and I would spend the afternoon making mudmen (think tiny snowmen without the snow) and setting them on the brick wall to dry. My mother has multiple photos of my sister pushing me on the swing in the swingset, I guess that was either a favorite pastime or she just liked the way pictures like that looked. The January (?) before we moved, there was an earthquake that gave both my sister and I post-traumatic stress issues, and I remember during the weeks afterward we cleaned the house. One of my duties was sorting the stuff from the game closet, and I recall sitting outside in the backyard, sorting monopoly money while watching the dust billow around the mountains during an aftershock.

From age nine-ish to age, uh, 20, my backyard had a pool. A pool with a waterfall and a rock in the middle where we stood and pretended to be the Karate Kid. For a certain number of years the backyard was where our dog Jack lived, and we had to spend every Saturday walking around the side yard, picking up his droppings and being disgusted. We tried to do a garden in this backyard, but were largely unsuccessful. We grew a few things, but it proved impossible to keep the dog and the rabbits and the quail out of stuff, so most plants never got a chance to live before they were destroyed. For much of my youth in this house, the backyard was less a place to play than it was a portal to the wash behind our house. Stand on the waterfall and climb over the fence and you were into a wild, parentless territory where you could explore and make forts and hope they weren't discovered and messed up by the neighborhood boys. We found an old discarded christmas tree down there once, and set it up with flowers and other plants as decoration.

The year I was twenty, my backyard wasn't a backyard. Living in the dorms, when I looked out my bedroom window I saw a driveway where the snow accumulated, and beyond that, the gym. During the winter I would stare across at the people running on the track, and during the spring I watched the teenage boys practicing their mad skateboard skillz on the walkway beneath. Don't worry- I didn't spend all my time staring out the window. I spent my fair share of time actually in the gym (about an hour every weekday) as well as in class and walking around the lake that was on the other side of the dorms.

My current backyard was so full of promise when we moved in a year ago, and has been horribly underused. It is very large, with a clothesline, a tree and these big sheets of rusty corrugated metal put up like a strange privacy screen. There's a little patch of brick that has a fun L-shaped bench around it, and the yard would be so perfect for backyard camping and barbeques and beach parties without the beach. However, in the Fall this nasty grass grew in it, grew a foot tall, two feet tall, three feet tall! And then in the winter this three-foot-tall grass died and we've had three foot tall hay in our yard since then. We could have and should have ripped it out or mowed it or something so we could use the yard, but we didn't. Our landlord was apprised of the situation finally, and has hired somebody to do something about it, but this somebody came about a month ago and chopped it all down and raked it into piles and decided that it'd be too hard to take the piles away, so I guess his job is done. No progress has been made back there in the past three weeks, except for this one evening when a friend and I felt like doing somthing useful and bagged up three of the piles. We're moving again in a few weeks, and our window of opportunity with this yard has all but closed. Unless the magic yard fairy comes and blinks away the hay tonight, there is very little chance of our ever having that barbeque of our dreams.

On Campus Today

A woman walks toward the student union with two girls, maybe six years old each:

Woman: "Do you know where we are?"

Girl 1: "We're at COLLEGE!"

Girl 2: "No, we're at cartilage!"

Girl 1, giggling: "We're going to cartilage!"

Woman: "No, we're at college. Do you know what cartilage is?"

Girl 2: "It's it's it's it's..."

Woman: "It's kind of like bones, only softer. It's in your ears."

Girl 1: "Ooh, the squishy stuff? I have cartilage in my ears!"

Girl 2: "You have cartilage in your ears. And you have cartilage in your nose. You know where else you have it? You have cartilage in your BOOB!"




Wrong squishy stuff, kid.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Marching Fourth in July

One of the best holidays, I think, would be Independence Day. You get to stuff yourself full of hamburgers, play all day, lay around in the park while the symphony plays rousing music, and watch things explode. If you're lucky or daring, you get to be in charge of making things explode. While I didn't have an opportune moment yesterday to use my contraband firecrackers, I did get to do all the other things in the above list.


There's no more American sight than a stranger in a patriotic shirt, waiting to board the shuttlebus to the park. We Americans refuse to walk!


The symphony's excitingly lit tent:


This is the picture you get when you set fireworks off yourself, with only one chance at getting the shot:


And this is the picture you get when you have fifteen minutes of continuous, professionally produced fireworks:

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Frustration


Rather than explaining the coolness of this picture, and giving a witty monologue about the summer solstice festival where we saw the alien-giraffe people, I will simply let it stand as a monument to that day. The picture will also stand as a monument to my frustration at not having a simple, useful Photoshop-like application in my computer. You have no idea how long it took me just to crop the blonde lady's head out of the picture.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Smell

Our couch suddenly smells like B.O. It isn't really bad or really strong, but every once in a while a hint of B.O. wafts its way up to my nose. This isn't a huge problem for me because it is one of the commonly agreed-upon bad smells that I am very tolerant of, but I'm not sure how the rest of the household is going to react. For the past hour since I first noticed it, I've been going over in my mind who has recently sat here, and I've not come to any conclusion. The only people who have used the couch in the past 24 hours are people who I'm familiar with, and who have used the couch before without incident. This leads me to believe that either some person was having an uncharacteristically smelly day, or we have the ghost of a hobo haunting our living room, lying on our couch and eating beans out of a can.

That would explain why we have so much trouble with the can openers in our house.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

For Rent

I've become a jealous home-renter. Although we plan on moving somewhere smaller in August due to a general lack of roommates, I feel very angry and defensive whenever a car slows down in front of our For Rent sign to take down the information. This is *my* house! *I* live here! I'm Not Gone Yet!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

On the Rez

Invited to the reservation by a friend working there for Americorps, we headed out in search of adventure and excitement. We found there:

--a couple sitting by the side of the road, selling $8 watermelons out of the back of their truck. Excited by the idea of purchasing fresh fruit, we pull over. "These look good. Where do they come from?" The man looks at the crate in the truck, turns to us and says flatly, "Texas."

--a skinny horse and its skinny foal. We drove past them on the road, where they were roaming freely in search of weeds big enough to eat. In fact, we drove past them at least three times, as the map we were given was very much not to scale and labeled poorly.

--the cultural center, finally. It ended up not being in the town we thought it was in originally, which caused great confusion. Once we parked and walked in, most of the celebratory activity was over. However, they still let us into the museum and gave us paper fans, programs, and cheap plastic visors for coming. We looked at some nice (contemporary) art by the people of the nation, and watched a half-hour long video on traditional basketweaving, filmed at least fifty years ago. It felt odd- watching this movie with a bunch of people from the tribe, while the narrator calls them "indians" and uses a tribe name that they no longer associate themselves with. I wasn't sure whether to criticize the old movie, or be respectful of it since they were showing it at their cultural center.


The drive home was somewhat more squashy and uncomfortable, as we added two watermelons to the five people already in the car, but the conversation was sparkling and dinner at a Mexican food stand on the South side of town was excellent.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

My morning dialogue with my hair

Me: Hair, be straight.

My hair: No thanks.

Me: Hair, be straight. I will turn up my straightener to eleven.

My hair: I prefer to be snarly.

Me: How about if I put some hair goop in?

My hair: How about if I turn into a triangle? I can do that real good.

Me: Please, hair! I beg you, be straight!

My hair: What's in it for me?

Me: I'll put more hair goop in and run my fingers through you! I will love you forever!

My hair: Are you sure you don't want one side wavy and the other side stringy?

Me: Yeah, I'm sure.

My hair: How about this: I'll pretend to be straight now, but throughout the day I will gradually poof into a triangle again.

Me: I'll take it!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Feeling Lucky

I'm home from Texas, I have a dice in one pocket and a penny in the other. Surely my Tuesday will be filled with joy and good luck.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Greetings from Texas!

While the weather has been perfectly lovely this week, I've decided I could never live in a place with humidity. The blessed coolness and the giant green trees and the beautiful Riverwalk (it's like Europe, in Texas?) are all tainted with the fact that the crooks of my elbows and the back of my neck are sticky and weird continuously.

It's raining today in San Antonio, which is lovely and wonderful- the rain has been going nonstop since about midnight last night- and completely foreign to me. Never have I seen rain rain for so long without stopping. Unfortunately, we took the opportunity to splash in puddles on the street just now, completely forgetting that duh, nothing ever gets dry here. Thus, we will be going wedding dress shopping with damp knees and wet hair. They will love us there, I'm sure.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Certainly I've posted more recently than that?

Finals are over, hurrah, and I made the dean's list, yippee.

I went to a training session for one of my summer jobs, and excitement galore, I got a free ($0!) shirt.

I've been getting lots of hours at work, so I'll have actual money to pay my landlord with, rather than the pound of flesh nearest the heart I usually have to give. This newfound money will also fund my extensive travels this summer.

In three hours I leave for a big, big state. You might even call it a Great State, if you were so inclined. I'm very excited about this, as I've never actually seen the state before, aside from the inside of its airports. I am also excited because I get to skip a week of work in order to do this.

Maybe I should go to bed? I'll probably feel like a steamrollered pile of crap in the morning either way, but maybe if I sleep a little, I won't feel like one right now as well.

But I need to take a shower, so I can pack my shampoo.

Plus, I can sleep in the car, after eating the (apparently) obligatory doughnuts and orange juice for breakfast. Except thinking of that combination leads me to believe I'll be more likely to puke than to sleep after such a breakfast.

One good thing about beginning the trip at 4 in the morning is that the car doesn't start out blisteringly hot. Hurrah!

Now I'm just prolonging taking a shower and getting to bed. Bad idea.

I think I hear my roommate snoring in the bathroom? Perhaps she shouldn't stay up so late, either. See you in a week!

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Baby Steps

I may have said this before, but I'm very excited and proud of myself for my monumental achievement. I had a dental appointment this December, and as the hygenist wrenched at my teeth with various picks and brushes, she made the same remark that every hygenist I've had has made since I started going to the dentist as a child. She stated that everything would be so much easier if I flossed, like, ever.

Each time previously, I've always noodded penitently, but inwardly thought, why torture myself with that horrible painful string every day when I can just have you people get rid of it twice a year? I'm not entirely sure what made the difference this time, maybe it was the cool plastic flossing wand she handed me on my way out the door? For whatever reason, I decided to start flossing every day. I've done pretty good so far, in that I started doing it on the first of January and I've only missed two days since then. I know that I've got a lot of work to do, and that this is only the beginning, but I'm just so proud of my accomplishment so far. Here's a quick chart to show the progress I've made:

Years spent flossing (blue) vs not flossing (purple)

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Apparently all I'm good for is lists

Another one, just to catch everyone up. Tonight's theme? Ways to know you've had a good night.

1. You're exhausted.

2. You got dinner, dessert and into a club, and only spent two dollars

3. Your mouth still feels a little funny from the atomic wings you ate, and don't even think about rubbing your eye with those fingers

4. You found a picture book in the grass

5. You're sweaty and smelly

6. You have gunpowder residue on your hands

7. You had two dates to the formal dance you weren't planning on going to

8. You hope that guy didn't think you were coming on too strong when you tackled him and knocked him down in the parking lot

9. You still can't figure out why that biker woman at the club had a stuffed lapdog on a leash

10. Oh yeah, you think you did well on the final you took in the afternoon

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Musical Selection

I heard these things on campus today, all within five minutes of each other:

-campus radio, blaring rap across the mall

-a guy playing the digeridoo (sp?)

-the hare krishnas, doing their thing

-a campus tour guide, singing the school fight song for some very bored looking teenagers and their parents

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Please, no photographs

I had to delete that last post and replace it with itself because I'm a moron and didn't have comment moderation on. Please, from now on, don't leave incriminating evidence such as names in your comments. I'm sure it was an honest mistake. Thank you, and good night.

Here it goes again (again)

Finals this coming week and the week after. The last time the word "finals" will be a terrifying thing to me, I hope. Next semester won't count, because next semester will be full of unicorns and chocolate cupcakes and poppies blooming all over the place.

Before I crawl into a hole for the next two weeks (the same hole I've been in for the past two weeks?), I thought I'd leave you with some thoughts.

1. Today while walking around the neighborhood in a luxuriously relaxed manner, my roommate and I witnessed white people in the park (?) playing cricket (??). This reminded me of Hitchhiker's Guide and the many books that I would like to read, but currently have absolutely no time to even consider doing so. But seriously, cricket? Where do these people think they are, Britain?

2. I hate this time of year. I hate it 80% because of the nasty insane allergies that make my life a living hell from March till October, and 20% because during the day it's sweatily hot and at night it's the most beautiful temperature imaginable. What do we do? The house gets too hot to think during the daytime, and stays uncomfortably warm even when we open the windows at night, but it seems silly to turn on the air conditioner when it's so nice out half the time.

3. We've got the windows open right now, and awhile back our college-guy neighbors drove up, radio blasting. As they opened their doors, the music briefly assaulted our ears. It wasn't hip hop, it wasn't rock or death metal. It was something I never would have expected.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Yes, I'm Still Alive

During the past fourteen days, I've done the following:

-written three papers
-spent three hours interviewing my roommates for an upcoming paper
-spent about six hours reading backed-up readings to prepare for a midterm
-taken one midterm
-driven six hours (highway time), plus minimal city driving
-met my roommates' parents and younger sister
-seen the most amazing playground in the state
-eaten ice cream with my parents
-watched two movies (both in class)
-gotten my hair cut about five inches? maybe more, maybe less.
-received 25 emails offering me prescription drugs I don't need
-gotten angry at walgreens for not bypassing my insurance's time hold to get me the one prescription drug I do need
-made three slices of cheesy toast in the toaster oven, my new best friend


You will note that nowhere on that list have I mentioned feeling guilty about not updating my corner of the internet. This is because I've been so busy with these other 13 events (give or take sleeping, eating, and going to class and work) that I pretty much forgot it existed. As a gesture of goodwill, I'll dig through my recently taken photographs and find a good'un for you to view.











Boxer!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Huh.

Strangely, my bestest friend of all time, Uffish Thought, has crappy taste in music. Let me rephrase that, because it's probably not true. Uffish has divergent taste from me. I have come to realize that when she suggests that I go and listen to something by such and such an artist, 7 and a half times out of ten I will not really enjoy it much at all. I've accepted this strange fact and moved on with my life.

Which is why I was so surprised the other day (ok, a month or two ago) when she told me to listen to Regina Spektor, and I listened to it, and liked it! Even more crazy is that that exact same night, I went to my sister's house to photograph her process from girl wrapped in duct tape to girl with a homemade dress form. Guess what cd was playing when I got there? Yup. How funny how that happens sometimes!

So I'm going to play the game here, and suggest some music to the internet in general, via Mimi Smartypants. Psapp, which awesomely enough, has an arcade game where you are a cat on a renegade mission to collect keyboards.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Adventures in Ghetto Groceries

Being a starving student, I've learned a few tricks of the trade when it comes to grocery shopping.

1. Buy the dollar wheat bread: what you lose in nutrition, you gain in sheer number of slices!

2. Buying certain foods in bulk: cereal (Malt O Meal cheerio knock-offs!), peanut butter, giant blocks of pepperjack. The uglier the package, the more you save.

3. Oreos cannot be cheapened. If you can't afford name brand, you don't buy the cookies.

4. When the store has a ten for ten dollars sale on anything you're likely to eat, stock up! You will be thankful for the 15 boxes of brownie mix someday.

5. A $1 bag of house-brand pretzels can be a lifesaver, providing "lunch" for days on end.


The reason I bring all of this up is that the other day I rode my bike to the store in an effort to be green and thrifty and also because it was a nice day out. I ran into a few issues with this trip, though. The issue of milk (not to be confused with the issue of blood) was easily remedied: buy a half gallon, so it will fit in the pannier more easily. The issue of bread was more perplexing. If I bought my usual dollarloaf, it would surely be wadded into a big doughy ball by the time I got it home, smashed in with all the other groceries. But I was out of bread! Whatever to do?

Enter my good friends, the tortillas. Yes, slightly more expensive. Yes, will make fewer sandwiches. Their one redeeming quality (besides being tasty!) is that they are infinitely flatter than a traditional loaf. Satisfied with my wisdom, I placed the bag into my basket and strode off in search of a huge tub of raisins.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

In Which You Hear About My Childhood

1. We used to live in a large-ish town/ smallish city, and our house was up against the hills, with just the railroad between us and the big grassy slopes. We walked a lot more then- we would go up and walk along the railroad tracks when the trains weren't going by, we would walk to the school and play on the playground, we would walk through the neighborhood and down to the Thrifty to buy ice cream cones at the ice cream counter there. I liked the mint chocolate chip ice cream, and we would sit on the curb outside the store, eating our cones before we walked back home. I remember going on afternoon walks around the less familiar streets in our neighborhood, while one or the other of us kids learned to ride a bike. I kind of miss those days, when we had the time to take walks just for fun.

2. Also during that little-kid era: we had an ugly little barbeque, one of those dome-shaped ones that looks like a UFO. Sometimes we would cook marshmallows on it in the backyard at nighttime, and sometimes we would sit out late at night watching meteor showers. And oh! When it rained, our patio would flood and we would call it Lake Smith* and when it wasn't raining we would play in and around the big old pepper tree that grew in the back corner of the yard. We had a garden that sometimes grew tomatoes and we sometimes made mudmen (like snowmen, only we lived in a snow-deprived region) and set them up to dry on the brick wall, and after the earthquake we used the bricks that fell down to build mansions for our tiny troll dolls. We also had a horribly dangerous swingset that wasn't quite embedded in the ground enough and the slide had an upsetting slope. Our backyard was a magical place.

*last name changed, but you get the picture

3. Our family used to get together with another family fairly often, and we would all sing folk songs with the parents on guitars and the kids singing for awhile, until we as kids got bored and went off to play games elsewhere in the house. The parents would continue singing for awhile, but would end up just sitting around talking. I know this because once the singing stopped, we would all sneak back into the computer room, which was attached to the living room by long cutouts in the top of the wall. We would stand on the back of the couch and peer over, listening in on the conversation of the adults. It generally ended up not being very interesting to us, but it was still thrilling to spy.

Friday, March 2, 2007

James and Hal

Let me tell you about the two guys that I've spent the most time with during the past few days.

Hal and I spent an afternoon in my room. I followed him around, blocking him from going through the door or going into the closet or under the bed. When he bumped into me, he turned around and went off in some new direction. Hal is my sister's robot vaccuum, and I adore the little songs he sings. I wish I had a Hal of my own.

James, on the other hand, is a real person. He is, in fact, our old man neighbor, the one who sits out on his porch all day every day, watching the world go by. I spent about an hour with him on Tuesday afternoon on his porch, just sitting there talking, and then another hour on Thursday afternoon. On Thursday, we went inside and talked in his living room, eating banana muffins the Desirable One had made earlier. He told me about his youth, growing up in Mississippi on a farm, how his grandmother raised him because his mother died when he was very young. He told me about all of his family, about his uncle who built the church up the street from us, who was its pastor for a long time, about all his children and his grandchildren, about how his daughter (granddaughter? I can't remember) was the first black cheerleader at my University, about the other neighbors on the street. He knows everyone, because he's always out there on the porch. While we were sitting there talking, I had to wait three times for him to wave to people driving by or walking along that had something to say to him. James is amazing. My roommates keep telling me to bring a tape recorder with me when I go to talk to him, because he says some interesting stuff, and it's usually a good idea to record the things old people say, because who knows how long they'll be here. Looking back on the past six months that I've lived in this house, I feel bad about all the times I just waved and said good morning to him on my way to school, and never came to talk to him. Partially because he's lonely in that house by himself, but mostly because now I know how fun it is to sit and talk with him.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Sociology Rockstar

My head doth ache,
My hand doth shake,
I have a naughty pen;
My ink is bad,
My pen is worse,
How can I write well then?


As you may have noticed from the scarcity of updates during the past month or two, I have other things on my mind. Things like school. Things like the toughest semester I've had yet, with all upper division courses. Fifteen hours of work a week plus fifteen hours of school plus various other responsibilities like church and worrying about finding an internship equals me being one tired cookie.

The past seven days have been incredibly busy, what with school and work and going out of town on Saturday and researching for and writing two papers. If there is one thing that I hate about my major, it is the abundance of written work necessary. Sometimes I fantasize about being a math major, and simply having to solve problems all day long, with nary a paper in sight. Alas, it's too late to switch with a clean conscience, as after this semester I will be finished with the requirements for my major. But you know that if any of my scientifically focused friends offered to switch homework for the rest of the semester, I'd take them up on it without a thought as to what such a scheme would do to my GPA.

A friend of mine, who will be graduating this May, told me of her plan to burn all of her papers and notes that she has been accruing over the past four years in a happy bonfire. I think I may be obliged to do the same, especially since my December graduation will make for a better time to have a nice warm bonfire.

In the meantime, you and I will suffer together, achey heads and all.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Nightmares Return?

I used to have nightmares all the time when I was a little kid, and then they gradually went away, leaving me to simply have very strange dreams. I don't think I've had a true nightmare for several years.

Strangely enough, the past two nights, I've had unusually bad dreams- one in which half cat, half bird, half alligator type animals (150% terror!) hunted me down in a mountain village, and one in which I plummeted to my death in an incapacitated airplane. The airplane one actually woke me up out of fear. If there's one thing I hate, it's falling out of the sky at 4:17 am and then realizing that I have to go to the bathroom.

Friday, February 16, 2007

When I Grow Up

I'm telling you all this because if I tell it you, it'll give me some responsibility to actually do something. Like that time two years ago when I explained about my desire to go to Parts Unknown? So it really helps. I'm going to Career Services for the second time on Monday, trying to figure out what I'm going to do once I graduate (and possibly before I graduate, as well). Wish me luck: I took an interests inventory, and it told me I should either be an air traffic controller or a cheesemaker. I didn't even know "cheesemaker" was a career option.

And another thing! Here's something I haven't told to the world at large, although I have bragged about it to anyone who remotely seems like they'd be interested. One of my new year's resolutions was to floss at least three times a week, as per my dental hygenist's angry directions in December. I'll have you know that I have flossed all but two days this year. That's right, folks: forty-five days of flossy goodness. I feel so righteous.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Weekend Update

Plumbing situation: worse. We decided to call our landlord today, as only 3 of us were able to use the showers before sludgey water came back up the drain. My last roommate and I were obliged to bathe at a friend's house 45 minutes before church started.

As an added bonus, neither of our toilets work either. When we tried plunging one toilet, water came up into the other toilet and both showers. We don't think that's a good sign. Until the plumber comes and fixes everything, we'll just have to hold it or make friends with our neighbors.

Huzzah! Landlord just called to say the plumber will be here within the hour. Hopefully they will be able to fix it immediately upon arrival.

UPDATE: The plumber came, fixed the problem, (temporarily) and told us he thinks it's roots. Yay! That means the landlord has to pay for it. Which is good, because I'm perpetually broke these days.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

I May Already be a Winner!

Today we got a call from Hunca Munca, who has been married for a few months and therefore no longer lives with us. She wanted to go on a walk. We wanted to eat ice cream. To satisfy both of our desires, we went and got blizzards from Dairy Queen, and then walked from our house to the park in our neighborhood. The park in our neighborhood where, unbeknownst to us, a Harambee festival was beginning.

Let me tell you, it is such a delight to stumble upon a free concert. We excitedly sat down, and pretended we weren't the only white people in the park while we listened to the jazz, R&B and soul music. We sat there, drank in the culture and the pure joy exuding from the musicians.

A woman came around, handing out strips of raffle tickets. A percussionist from one of the groups walked up to us, handed us a flier, talked animatedly to us, then wandered off to help set up the stage. The raffle started. A woman won some free pizza coupons, a young boy won a t-shirt. I won a vhs copy of the Official Earth Wind and Fire documentary, and two tickets to the local racetrack. I'm pretty stoked. Winning is an amazing thing.


PS. Um, plumbing issues? Ick. Sewagey water coming up out of the shower drain is NOT something I'd ever considered I'd have to deal with. This means a call to the plumber on monday. We are busy people. We work. We go to school. We do not have time to have a plumber over.

Another Culinary Masterpiece




This is what happens when you think you're smarter than the cake mix. Lesson learned: never use a mix again. I never liked them anyway. Now I have a reason.

The upside? They still taste fine.

Friday, February 2, 2007

18. Spill Everything

Well, I like the idea of this suggestion, but I've recently become very streamlined in what I carry with me- my wallet (not very interesting contents: one debit card, one credit card, driver's license, school/work id, library card and two insurance cards), phone, burt's bees lip gloss and notebook, all crammed into a pannier stuck onto my bike. Instead of investigating my bag, therefore, I'll tell you what's on my desk. Well, my half of the desk that I share with my roommate.

Here goes:

1 photo album, half full

2 picture frames

1 ceramic bowl, broken in half

1 camera+ connector cord

1 jar o' coins

3 head scarves

1 toque

1 pencil case

1 pencil jar, containing a rainbow of sharpies

1 basket full of various toiletries

1 belt

1 pair of pruning shears

1 ac car adapter

1 insides of a music box, plays Ding Dong the Witch is Dead

12 rubbings of sidewalk imprintations from on campus

1 moleskine notebook

1 empty container of Rx pills

1 burts bees tinted lip gloss

1 extra screw from my bunk beds

1 printer, Lexmark Z600 series

1 unopened bottle of emetrol, purchased after it would have been useful

2 smorkin labbits

1 lint roller

1 glass, purchased for 50 cents, depicting the 9th day of christmas

1 holiday Jack ball

1 mini stapler, orange

1 ziploc full of various unrecognizable hardware

1 travel floss

3 packages of airplane peanuts

1 albertsons vip club card

2 bandaids

2 bobby pins

1 empty tea box

1 grocery bag full of unused balloons and tape

1 pair of binoculars

1 handkerchief

1 notebook full of notecards

1 passport, 1 student visa, 1 used ferry ticket

1 mouse

1 bottle of advil

1 deck of uno cards, 1 deck of set cards

3 necklaces

13 pixy stix

6 tootsie pops

1 address label from approximately 14 years ago

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Phrases Googled by the Professor During Class

Gary Busey

Falun Gong

Vic DiCara

Bling Cross

Bling Cross Bikini

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Things It's Maybe Not OK to do at Work?

Eat a chewy bagel that must be ripped apart with the teeth, at the front desk

Spread cream cheese with the index finger

Stare blankly at blond freshman when she asks a dumb question, inwardly stick a pin in the freshman voodoo doll

Hope the staff meeting lasts longer than expected in order to thwart students wanting to see their advisors

Realize that thwarting students would really only create more problems, scratch that last one

Watch the phone ring a few times before answering in order to avoid the appearance of eagerness/ lack of more important things to do

Take unattractively large bites of bagel because no one is watching

Write about it on my blog

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

I would say that Hell had frozen over, but that's way too cliche

Here we go, proof that all that stuff about "global warming" is a complete fallacy.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Actual Word-for-word Descriptions of my Hair's Personality

Like a dancer

Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz

Irish Whore

A 1940's Starlet

Wild Woman of Borneo

Ironically, we'd thought about it, too

This comes from kottke.org, also known as "that one site I go to when there's nothing else to do at work."

I want to donate my own water buffalo! If I only had the money...

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

I Remember

Today I rediscovered why I like my field of study. It is not because I like helping people. I'm too lazy for that. It is not because I like to understand why people do stuff. I enjoy ignorance a lot, actually.

The real reason why I love my major is that I can start the day off with a good dose of emotionally moving, nigh-spiritual instruction (in this case watching an episode of Eyes on the Prize, the part about Birmingham and the water hoses and police dogs and the march on Washington), and wrap the day up with a lighthearted and pretty non-sacred look at world religions (today my prof. said enthusiastically, "Step one! Go out and find an innocent virgin so you can slaughter her and spill her fertile blood on the ground").

And really, that's what sociology is all about: diversity. The diversity of human experience is something I find fascinating, especially when you see all the stuff that we do have in common. That is probably why I wanted to slap my business major friend who bragged that he had graduated without ever having taken a class on diversity in the workplace. That, and because he qualified that statement with the reason that "women are the cause of all sorrow, so much more so women in business."

Monday, January 8, 2007

#35: Show Some Skin!

Huzzah, my first MightyGirl-inspired post! I figured I'd go in chronological order here, just to keep things organized.




Here we have my face. More specifically, the barely noticable (in the picture) pock mark a little bit above my eyebrow, exactly parallel to the dark part of my eyeball. This is from when I was four and had the chicken pox. We flew to Missouri (why? because we're crazy!), and my mother put a giant floppy hat on me so the stewardesses wouldn't notice and eject the plague-ridden four year old from the plane. I don't remember having the pox, but I do remember the flight. It didn't occur to my four year old mind that the plane landed in a different place than it took off from. I thought we simply went on an hours-long joyride through the sky for fun, and came back to the same airport.




This scar comes from not too long after the pox, maybe around five or six years old. We lived on a cul-de-sac, close to the opening, and down towards the other end was a single man with an immaculate lawn. He owned a spazzy little dog, a basenji named Bordeaux. Bordeaux was always chained up in the front yard, and when I would ride by on my big wheel, his owner would step on the chain to keep him from chasing after me down the sidewalk. One day, as I rode by, I decided that I could get by without waiting for my neighbor to step on the chain. I was wrong.

One of the neighbor ladies saw the attack, and swooped me up and carried my bleeding self to my house where my mother laid me on the floor by the front door and wrapped my arm in a towel. When we got to the hospital, I was pretty tired and cranky (and hurting). All I remember about getting the stitches is that the doctor kept calling me "Punkin" which annoyed me a little. But he was piecing my body back together, so I really had no room to complain.




Ah, the obligatory appendectomy. Mine happened when I was ten. I was sick for a week, and we thought I just had the flu or something. Once my mom realized that my whining was really too much just for the flu, we went to urgent care. They didn't know what it was. They sent us to the hospital. They thought they might know, but to make sure we should go to the other hospital. Cue the drive across town in the middle of the stinking night, moaning child lying across the back seat, writhing in agony. Finally, like ten hours after we initially went to seek medical help, they found out what it was. It was appendicitis. Or rather, it had been appendicitis until a few days before, when it turned into a ruptured appendix. For the longest time, nobody could tell what was wrong with me, then suddenly I'm sitting in the hallway and some tech comes up to us and tells us he's there to get me ready for surgery. Let me tell you, I wasn't happy about that. However, I was very happy after the surgery when I was introduced to the pediatric ward's rolling nintendo machine.




You'll have to use your imagination for this one, because you can't actually see a scar here. What you can see, roughly, is my eye. Sometime between late middle school years and early high school years, I had a picnic with my family in the park that adjoins the high school. One of my favorite things to do in parks, to this day, is to swing on the swings, and I did that happily during that picnic. A few days? weeks? after that evening, I noticed that there was a little brown spot on my eye that wasn't going away, that I couldn't wash off, that didn't feel like some dirt stuck on my eyeball. I watched it for a few days and when it continued in not disappearing, we again went to urgent care. They tried washing it out a few times, then referred me to an opthamologist who told me a tiny shard of metal had gotten into my eye and rusted there. We figured it must've come from the swings, then moved to the more important matter: how to get rid of it? It proved to be a most interesting experience, as the doctor got a tiny little drill and some blue eyedrops out, and proceded to grind away part of my eye. It is incredibly hard to sit still and not blink when a man is right up in your face, grinding away your eye with a drill. It didn't hurt, but it definately wasn't my idea of a fun way to spend the day. I did get to wear an eyepatch to church, though, which made up for the whole ordeal.