Monday, December 29, 2008

Psssst

This guy is "inspired by lotteries, lying and elderly people." Just thought you ought to know.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

To a Mouse

I ran over a mouse today in the parking garage. I didn't even see it, but I definitely heard my wheel going over it when I pulled into my spot, late for church. I was curious as to what could have made that scary popping/crunching sound, so I briefly glanced under the car as I got out and locked my doors. I didn't see anything, and scurried off to sit in the back of the chapel on one of the hard, overflow chairs next to some guy I don't know.

After church I came back to my car and had the time to make a full inspection. There it was, the broken remains of the mouse. At first the damage didn't look too bad and I wondered if I could maybe revive and keep it at my house. Then I reached under and picked it up to examine it in better light, and saw that yes, the end of its life had come. The casing was cracked and in some places gone altogether, the batteries crushed and viewable through the gaping hole in the top, and the buttons would not push. Oh well.

I set it aside next to the wall in front of my car before driving away. I just wonder, though, who leaves a perfecly good mouse just sitting on the floor of a parking garage? A nice, wireless one, for that matter? Seems kind of careless, if you ask me. Was it one of those situations where they got it without knowing what they were getting into, just because their child asked for one, and now they realize they don't want to deal with it, and so let it loose in the wild? That's so irresponsible, especially when other people would have been willing to adopt it and give it a good home.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Aaaaaaauuuuugggghhhhh!

Can I take a moment to tell the entire world how mad I am at my sister right now? Yeah? Ok. Here it goes.

I am so mad at my sister right now! She's made my life pretty miserable the past couple of days by keeping me up far later than I should be up last night and again tonight, during a time at work when I really should be getting a lot of sleep, and not only that, but now my little heart is broken, and it's all because of her! She must've known all along that if she introduced me to Wonderfalls I would become addicted and obsess about the characters and be forced to watch episode after episode until I'd gone through everything on youtube (when I SHOULD have been sleeping), and THEN I would find out that not only will it not work out between Jaye and Eric, but that there won't even be a chance for it NOT to work out, because the freaking show only had one season! How can I live knowing all of that? It's almost too much to bear.

I could kill her. If I fall asleep at work tomorrow and get fired, I hope she knows it's all her fault. I feel like I am maybe in emotional distress right now.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket

Please tell me it's ok to go to a party, spend three minutes inside the house saying hi to the hosts, and then going out to the front yard to watch a meteor shower alone in the dark, ok?

If it helps, I saw thirty-five shooting stars in the space of an hour and a half, just staring at one section of sky. Can I just say I had a lot of important wishes to make? Because man, that house had way too many people in it.

Maybe the stars were defective, though, because my very first wish, while I was on my way there, was that I would have a good time at the party. Except, maybe, my wish actually came true.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Lunch break of awkwardness

So I've already eaten around the outside of my not-cooked-too-well tamale, and decided to brave the outside world to pick up a manual that I should have picked up days ago, and I'm wearing my ill-fitting university t-shirt because it's casual friday, so of course who should I meet but my friend whom I haven't seen in months, who's been out living it up in Sweden and being a fancy PhD student in speech and hearing sciences. So of course he waves me over to say hi and as I'm maneuvering around chairs outside the student union I put my hand down onto the back of a chair, except it wasn't so much putting it down on the back of a chair as it was putting it down into a fresh glob of bird friendliness, and right as it starts to ooze between my fingers he outstreches his arms for a hug. Not to make things more awkward, I pause, wipe my fingers off as best I can onto a different chair, then turn back to him for the hug, being sure I don't actually touch him with that hand. I'm not sure if he realized what was going on, or if he just thought I was insane and maybe a little OCD.

Of course, the awkwardness went both ways, because he had something stuck between his teeth that he was trying to get out throughout the entire conversation that ensued. Aren't we classy.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Perhaps we shouldn't look too close at my unconcious self

Two bits of information that were very important that I spread to the world when I woke up from a dream of watching the turbulent ocean at dusk just now:

1. The correct spelling of the word churl and its near cousin, cheauxrl.

2. Although this has no bearing on the righteousness or evilness of hairy people, naturally hairless people will all end up in heaven because hairlessness is an indication of innate perfection. The destination of the hirsute is up in the air.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

What's my name again?

Do you think it's possible that something that's an inherent part of my personality could lead me to do some action on a daily basis that could be the reason why I have a terrible short term memory? No, I'm not doing drugs or spending my afternoons hitting myself in the head with a mallet. At least, not that I remember.

I only ask because during the past year (almost!) of working at my current job, I've noticed that my short term memory isn't up to snuff. I'll be standing in my boss's office, and he'll tell me something I need to do in the next hour, I'll say ok, and go off to my office to do that thing. But somewhere in the six feet between his office and mine, I forget what I'm doing and then I'll remember two weeks later (sometimes earlier, like when my boss asks me why didn't I do that thing).

So I was thinking about this tonight, while I was sitting on the ground listening to the same song over and over, wondering why I have a bad memory. Then I thought, maybe it's because I've trained myself only to remember stuff when it's repeated six or seven times in a row! Maybe my compulsive/addictive personality is to blame for my woes at work! Of course, I'm not a scientist, and have not thoroughly thought through this idea of mine. Perhaps a controlled experiment with mice and a cardboard maze is in order?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Maybe I should remove my blue shower gel from the bathroom, while I'm thinking about it

My roommate has this big bottle of "Frozen Daiquiri Shower Gel" that's been sitting in the shower for a long time, maybe even as long as my neverending bottle of shampoo.

I have problems with this!

Where do these things come from, anyway? No one would go to the store and buy "shower gel" for themselves. They would buy soap. This stuff is masquerading as liquid soap, when it's just some pink viscous material. It must have been given as a gift, but again, WHY? Why would you give someone you love a bottle of fake soap?

Frozen Daiquiri? If I "washed" myself with a daquiri, I'm pretty sure I'd come out of the experience sticky and smelling like oversweetened syrup, like my apartment after my roommates' famous margarita parties. Gross.

FROZEN Daiquiri? Aren't those types of drinks, by definition, frozen? Unnecessary adjectives! (see also: flame-broiled Whopper, sinful chocolate cake, and young children).

I'm pretty sure that technically, the flavor of a daiquiri can best be described as "pink." Can't we just call it Pink Shower Gel and get it over with?

Why is it in the shower still? This type of product is best dealt with in one of three ways: immediate disposal (either by garbage can or by re-gifting), storage under the bathroom sink to assuage guilt until spring cleaning, when it can be thrown out, or usage for one week or one application (whichever comes first) followed by disposal or storage under the sink. There is no need for this bottle to be sitting in the shower for more than a few days, really.

Monday, December 1, 2008

I Blogged Every Day in November and All I Got was My Roommate Winning Some Scented Oil

I think I just found the perfect Christmas gift for someone to get me. For someone that loves me exactly $17 + shipping, and not a penny more.

In other news, holy cow tonight we did something fun! Ok, it was pretty dorky and cliche, but we did a photo scavenger hunt, and we ran around the university, sneaking pictures of dudes playing DDR (man, they were good. They must have no lives), and walking up to older couples to ask if we could take a picture of them hugging (they were suspicious of our intentions: "so, where exactly are these pictures going to end up?" They hugged in the end, and it was way cute. Go old people!)

The most awesome part? Our group won! We got pictures of everything except the bursar's office (because it was so far away) and... a class schedule? I think that running around for an hour once a week, taking pictures of anything and everything might be a good idea in general, especially if you get to walk up to two mean-lookin' toughs to ask if you could take a picture of their bald heads for a scavenger hunt. The one guy actually looked a little freaked out and didn't want to be in the picture, but his friend was pretty cool.

UPDATE: Holy smoking bananas, not only did I find the best shirt ever, but I just saw the most hilariously sweet song on youtube! Who in the world comes up with this stuff? It's so bad, but also so so good!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

I Hate Being Martha

We had a friend over for Magic Bullet Shakes! tonight, which should have been fun and relaxing and a good time to catch up. However, about five minutes before he arrived, my roommate reminded me that there were some dirty dishes lying about the kitchen, so I set to work getting them into the dishwasher so we could pretend that we don't live in filth. I was still working on this task when our friend arrived, so everyone else sat around on the couches and talked and laughed while I cleaned. Finally our friend addressed me: "well, you're just a regular Martha over there, aren't you?"

Cue the resentment! First I resented my roommate for making me feel too guilty to stop cleaning once the company arrived. Then I resented everyone that was just sitting there when they could've helped out with the cleaning. Then I resented our friend for mentioning it, and also, according to that analogy, he's kind of calling himself Jesus. Then I resented the fact that everyone else was happy-why wasn't I? Then I resented myself for being so resentful.

Sheesh, it's hard enough for me to enjoy entertaining people and having conversations to begin with, do I really need all that extra stress in my life?

On the plus side, my shake tasted really good once I made it, and I kind of got over my resentfulness before everyone left, so I was able to socialize with people in a more pleasant way for some of the evening.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving Calories Burn-Off Program


Thanksgiving day: spend all day cooking. 'Nuff said.

Friday after: bike ride! After last Saturday's 66 miles, 20 miles seems like a piece of cake! Except that there was this nasty hill that made me want to faint and die, and then when we came back down the hill it was so fast and bumpy that by the end of the hill every part of my body was itchy as all get-out. Why does coldness + vibration = itch? The world may never know.

Also: walk around campus for a good hour, taking pictures like you always meant to. Yay!

Saturday after: hike up the steepest trail you can think of, go all the way around the canyon via ridgeline (cold, windy ridgeline!), then come back down the second steepest trail in the canyon. Freeze your fingers and arm fat off.

Also: take pictures of your hiking buddies' cute baby and also the frost you found on the leaves at the top (FROST!)

Friday, November 28, 2008

This is my grown-up Christmas List

1. A non-reactive pot that will hold at least one gallon of milk plus the volume of a human hand (including about 5 inches of arm). A nice pot, that doesn't get all scratchy or weird. No non-stick or aluminum or anything. I would prefer the two-handle variety over the one long handle.

2. A vespa! No, not really.

3. A wii, though, would be nice. I like non-shooting type games- mario things are fun, like mariokart or paper mario or something like that.

4. Hmm, the only thing I really want besides those things would be somebody to pay for jeans that I would pick out, and somebody to pay for the lock on my drivers' side door to be fixed. Other than that, I'm sure I'll love anything you want to give me.

5. Ok, I lied. There is something else that I want, but I feel selfish just thinking about asking for it. Please read my mind, figure out what it is that I want, and wrap it up for me in shiny green wrapping paper. I will love you forever, but also feel guilty forever, because I really don't need it, and probably won't use it with enough appreciation to deserve it. I mean, really- just don't buy me anything nice, because it'll only make me feel unworthy. Perhaps I just need some sessions with a shrink to figure out my self-esteem issues? Get me that instead :)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving, Everybody! (also, wow- 500 posts)

What a momentous and amazing day. Think how grand life would be if every day your sole purpose and intention for the next twelve hours was to make something delicious to eat. Just think about it for a minute. There would be no war, no crime, no economy problems. Just a lot of happy people. If you spent every day making good things to eat, you would not only be satisfied from making something with your own bare hands, but also satisfied from being well fed.

May we all spend more days like this, and less days in strife and stress.

Here's a little favorite moment from the day for you:

I'm getting the turkey ready to put in the oven, washing it off and picking out stray feathers. My mother says, "Oh, you're going to be such a good mom! You're bathing it tenderly like your firstborn son!"

"Well, I don't want it to have nasty junk all over it when I eat it later."

My sister, joining in on the conversation: "Just like her firstborn son!"

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Hurrah!

My coworker seems to think that everyone else takes just about every Friday afternoon off. If the phone doesn't ring for more than ten minutes in a row on a Friday any time after lunch, she usually remarks something along the lines of "well, I guess everybody's already gone home for the day. We're the only ones left."

And I think that she really believes this. Today, however, we were both pretty sure that a lot of people had left after lunch, or at least by three. Around 3:45 I was beginning to mildly wonder how I would spend my last hour at work- I was admittedly tired and antsy to be home, and there were only a few of us left in the office.

You know what's even better than knowing you only have to work until three the day before Thanksgiving? Thinking you have to work until five, then suddenly being reprieved at four. It's like a beautiful gift bestowed upon you by your boss. And really, I think it's better for everyone- believing that you have more time that you have to be there, you're probably more productive during the hours you do work than if you were sitting there counting down the minutes till you get to leave early, and the end of the day catches you by surprise and puts you in a good mood for the rest of your day. Plus, your boss gets to look really kind and merciful, even if he was planning on sending you home early all day.

Of course, if all that extra time you gain is eaten up by a massive kitchen-cleaning frenzy, the moment is kind of bittersweet.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Mmm-Mmm Good

There is something magical and thrilling about inviting one's friends and neighbors to dinner at one's home. It's like, you're going about your life, your home is just that place where you spend all your non-work time sitting on the couch and surfing the internet, then suddenly it's a warm, inviting place filled with amazing people and delicious foods, and everyone's happy to be there. How marvelous is that!

What's even better is when you get to show off your skillz in the process: your skillz of not being able to time the food to be ready at the same time, your skillz of not being a good conversationalist, and your skillz of ignoring the filthiness of the chinchillas' cage which should have been cleaned on Saturday except you were home for all of ten minutes on that day. The food was truly delectable- I got to make another galette and my roommate made the most lip-smacking sweet potato pie I've ever tasted. I did get to clean the bathroom, so my goal for the week has been completed! Now who's going to clean the kitchen and wash all the dishes I dirtied in the process of making dinner?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Things I am Thankful For

- I only have to work three days this week!
- I didn't get killed or otherwise run into during the race on Saturday
- Butternut squash
- My great neighbors that let me borrow their games and also come play the games with me.
- My camera, and technology in general



- and tiny dinosaurs visiting destruction on vacant lots!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Ding dong merrily on high

A long time ago, in galaxy far, far away (alright, it was only Saskatchewan), I had some roommates that were more different from me than most of the other roommates I've had in my life. Not just that they were Canadian, but that in general, they weren't my type of people. We found that we were still able to live together quite well, and we really liked being roommates; we all brought something special to our arrangement, and we did have certain things in common. Things like deciding that we would have dinner together at the table most nights, and we liked to play Pretty Pretty Princess together, and on several occasions found ourselves playing Mario Party till five in the morning and talking about whatever it is that people talk about at five in the morning.

But there were some things that we could never get over about our differences. We had more than one fight regarding whether the correct term was "colored pencil" or "pencil crayon," and I never accompanied them on pub crawls (or the more frequent "dorm crawls" where they would fill up a commuter mug with their alcoholic drink of choice and then stroll up and down the dorm hallways to the various parties that were going on every weekend, stopping back home every time their drinks got low). Probably the biggest difference, though, and the one that caused the most grief, was that of holiday music. I tried to play Alice's Restaurant for them on my American Thanksgiving, and after about five minutes they made me turn it off. We also had our differences of opinion on what constituted Christmas. I go for the more traditional stuff, like old English carol-type music, while their idea of "traditional" consisted of the Chipmunks' song "Oh Christmas Don't be Late." I would play some song for them and they would say "that's a Christmas song? It doesn't sound Christmassy to me," when to me, everything about it screamed Christmas. Now I kind of wonder- is there something special about "my" Christmas music that makes it sound Yule-ish, or do I just think so because that's what I grew up with?

I guess this is all just to say that, although I am usually a "Christmastime starts the day after Thanksgiving" person, I've started early this year. I don't know, it just seemed right tonight to put on the Chieftans' The Bells of Dublin.

Testing, 1 2 3

Ok, so the ride today was pretty awesome, and this year my dad and I were able to finish at the same time, with an amazing high-five right before the finish line. Although I did beat him by a split second.

Fun fact on the weird things adrenaline does to my body: it makes my thumbs hurt! During the first three or four miles of the race, my thumbs hurt like no other, as if I had been using them to pedal a hundred-mile race, rather than what I was really using them for, namely holding my hands on the handlebars during the first ten or fifteeen minutes of a race. Thankfully, the bizarre thumb malady wore off fairly quickly, and I was able to finish the ride without further digital incident.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Oh boy Oh boy Oh boy

In about ten hours, I'll be standing around the starting line for a bike race (well, it won't be a race for me, but you get the idea. They will be timing me), waiting to begin a long-ish journey. Hopefully I will make it without incident and without running out of steam too early on.

I am excited for two reasons: most importantly, wow, it'll be a great accomplishment and it's somehow more exciting to ride with a million other people riding around you. It's like a strange mobile community, slowly changing as you pass some people by and others pass you by. The finish line is a great place to be, and hopefully this year my father and I will cross at the same time. (Funny story, last year we crossed maybe an hour and a half apart, because towards the end of the route he lost a couple of spokes and couldn't go any further. I had to go on to the end by myself, then drive back to where I had left him sitting around on the side of the road, and switch out our back wheels so he could finish the ride.)

The other reason why I am so excited for this race may seem a little odd, but, my bathroom is filthy! For the past several months I have been spending every Saturday morning (prime bathroom cleaning time) training for the ride. I have let it take over my Saturday life because frankly, riding bikes is much more fun than scrubbing a toilet. This means that whatever cleaning I am able to squeeze in isn't really... of a thorough nature. I am looking forward to being able to devote some time and effort into keeping house (other things too will be cleaned, such as my bedroom, the kitchen, my office at work- the possibilities are endless! I may even clean my car!). There will be much loud Beatles-playing and singing along as I chisel away at the built-up grime and nastiness, and, dare I say it? I will open the windows and air out the house!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Surprise!

I love it when I go on a hideous 2-hour shopping trip in which my list consists of "giant hand sanitizer, pants, pastry blender, lunch foods?" and I come home with 1.5 of my desired items (pants, and a small hand sanitizer). I love it even more when I come home from such a trip and find some random guys sitting on my couch, watching a basketball game, with all my roommates in their bedrooms.

This raises some questions in my mind. Who let you people in? Why don't you watch the game on your own tv's? Why did you choose my house, instead of other people's? Is it just because we've got this great tv, or is it because you like to be around us in particular? Most importantly, how long will this game last? Because I want to hang around in my pajamas, and they're pretty old and threadbare and you probably don't want to see that.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

This was really more interesting in my mind

I know this is probably one of the least interesting things I can do to an audience, along with letting you know what I had for lunch, but let me tell you about the freaky dream I had last night.

Ok, first, I dreamt that I went to work with my hair all wet, up in a towel. Freaky! Then, I get to work, and my boss calls a meeting with everybody from the office, as well as a friend of mine that I'm not even sure why he was there. So weird! Then! Right as we're sitting down for the meeting, me with my wet towel hair, the girl whose life I ruined yesterday charges in, yelling and chasing me around and I'm trying to hide somewhere so I can quickly un-towel my hair and brush it and pretend to look professional. Stressful! Then, she disappears and in her place a bunch of people from another office come for a meeting with us, but they keep wandering around the front desk and touching things, and I'm trying to herd them like a bunch of sheep, to get them back to the conference table where we're supposed to be meeting, and the whole thing is a fiasco because I still haven't brushed my hair! What a terrible dream!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Nyargh!

Sometimes I think about my job, and how much I would love to go work at a bookstore or maybe even the Taco Bell I worked at just out of high school. Ok, maybe not the Taco Bell, but perhaps the bagel place. That was a pretty sweet gig- I went there, I sliced bagels and made sandwiches all day, made some lattes and stuff, then went home. The only bad part about that job was the way I came home reeking of garlic every day.

The bad part about my current job is that sometimes I have to ruin somebody's life. I hate that! Today I ruined someone's life over the phone (speakerphone!) and she yelled and screamed at me, as if it was my fault and as if yelling and screaming would get anything done. Newsflash, sister: yelling and screaming is at best a waste of time, at its worst it might make less-patient people even more unlikely to help you. Why don't people realize how incredibly counterproductive that kind of a response to bad news is?

The sad thing is that I really didn't want to ruin her life at all. I wanted her to be happy and un-ruined. When it became clear that I had to ruin her life, I would have been so happy if she had listened to what I had to say, took a deep breath, and said something along the lines of, "wow, I'm really frustrated and angry at this situation. What can I do to fix it?" Because then I could have told her the two approaches to fixing the situation that I had figured out with my boss, and she could have started working on them. Instead, she yelled and screamed and demanded my boss' boss' phone number before hanging up on us. And her life is still ruined.

Monday, November 17, 2008

America at its best

Awhile back I mentioned that my favorite cookies in the world are just about gone, that I spent an entire evening searching the local stores for whatever was left over. About a week later, I spent an afternoon with my mother, searching for cookies in the stores around her side of town. We went into all the nastiest places, the places I generally avoid like the plague. The 99 cent store! Big Lots! WalMart! None of the evil places had the cookies, but we did hit a jackpot of about... five? six? packages at Target, which almost made up for everything.

Spending time at the dollar store-type places, though, I got to see some amazing things. Things like... a big Elvis guitar with popcorn in it! A steal for only $10! If you're not an Elvis fan, then you most likely still like beer. Except it's popcorn, not beer! Silly you, thinking there would be beer in there.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I'm a Phoney

Man, I love pretending that I'm good at things. Really, all you have to do is choose a pastime that none of your friends is professional at, and then do it a bunch until your work is passable. People with think you're amazing!

Like biking. I'm not great, I'm not in shape, I'm not really fast, but I can plug away and do 70 miles in one go. So I'm cool! People think I'm superwoman!

I play about five chords on the banjo, but you only need three to play about 75% of all singable songs, so I look pretty good, and people seem amazed at my talent.

I only know two stiches of knitting and one of crocheting, but my willingness to patiently crochet an entire blanket earns me credit among my friends who know more than I do, since they've only ever made scarves.

Right now, my galette is in the oven, smelling marvelous and looking more better than I thought it would when I initially turned out all the ingredients on the rolled-out pastry. The pastry seems to be oozing some butter (I guess I didn't cut it in quite enough) but is otherwise divine. I suppose I shouldn't count my chickens until they're hatched, but it's looking pretty good right now.

I think that my next project will be the bagpipes. I will learn to play a few songs on the bagpipes, and will force everyone I know to listen to me belt out Amazing Grace.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

I Ride Bikes

Today on our training ride (52 miles, with heinous headwinds no matter which way we turned) we were going uphill when we got stopped by a red light. It was a three-way intersection such that we could have kept going without it being dangerous, going across the top of the T, which is a habit of many bikers around town. Being the good citizens that we are, we stopped and waited for the light to turn. Lucky thing, too, because the car that pulled up next to us as we waited was a cop. He rolled down his window and shouted, "I'm surprised you guys didn't just keep going!" I yelled back to him, as the light turned green, "But that would be against the law!" It was pretty funny at the time, I thought, but as I consider it now, I wonder if he was really kind of annoyed, because maybe he was deep down wanting to get someone in trouble, wanting to yell at someone for something, and we could have been an easy target. I guess either way I'm glad we stopped.

Later on in the ride, I ate a bug. Well, almost. A bug appeared in my mouth, even though I didn't notice it fly in or anything, it was suddenly just there. I bit down on it lightly, because I cannot control myself, and the bug released this terrible taste, this taste of essence of old man in a suit. And it lingered! The taste lingered in my mouth until like fifteen minutes later when I stopped to eat a luna bar (raspberry and chocolate, quite tasty but had melted as it sat in my pocket against my back, gross). I guess the moral of the story is keep yer mouth closed unless you want to taste old man taste.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Oh, the humanity!

Wow, folks, I saw a (kind of) fight today on my way home from work! I was riding past the spot where I saw the barefoot frisbee league the other day, except today it was football, shirts and skins. As I coasted by, I noticed that there was a shirt who had a skin in a half-nelson, and suddenly there's guys from both teams rushing and yelling to try and break it up.

Do people actually do this? Do they get into physical fights where one of them could do serious damage to the other, all over a friendly game of football on the mall? I guess I've just lived among such nice people, such civilized people, such rational people, that I've never encountered an actual fight amongst friends. Siblings, yes, but not friends. It was fascinating, and although the whole thing was over almost before it got started, it left a strange taste in my proverbial mouth. I guess I'll try to be more kind and patient, because I sure don't want to be those guys.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Things that I have enjoyed in the last four days:

Armwarmers on my ride to work in the morning.

I saw what appeared to be the Barefoot Frisbee League out in full force on my way home from work.

Looking at pictures of Saskatchewan on flickr, and watching Beatles videos on youtube.

Hearing my friends' hilarious stories of their first kisses.

Catching the chinchillas after letting them run around the apartment in the evening.

Eating apples with peanut butter and homemade cheese.

The prospect of swing dancing and cake-baking tomorrow evening.



Things that I have not enjoyed tonight:

Dang hiccups.

Blogger's font sizes not working the way I want them to.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Yum!

I'm suddenly feeling very into Autumn this year. How amazing is this season? It isn't blasted hot anymore, and it's getting to be a fun part of my morning putting on the arm-warmers so I don't freeze myself on my ride to work. Autumn also means sitting on the couch with a blanket because the apartments haven't switched over from air conditioning to heat yet, and listening to fall-y music. Cozy!

Awhile back my roommate experimented and bought a spaghetti squash. Neither of us had ever had squash of that kind in our lives before- we've done some family research and it turns out that my mother has a deep and abiding hate for squash of all but the yellow, cucumber-shaped variety, while my roommate's mother likes squash, but just "never bought it" when my roommate was growing up.

The spaghetti squash turned out alright, although it was strange and stringy. Then we proceeded to try other squashes, and we've found that butternut squash is truly an amazing and beautiful thing of beauty. It's so orange! And so good just roasted with salt and pepper put on top! I don't even feel like it needs butter, although I'm sure it would be delicious with it. We've had three squashes in this format thus far, and now I'm wondering about the possibilities of cooking it with other stuff, too. I just came across an amazing-looking recipe for a butternut squash and caramelized onion galette that looks so delicious I will need to try it soon, and I'm also considering the ubiquitous-sounding butternut squash ravioli. Come to dinner next week at my home, also known as Chez Pretension!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Maybe Not

In the last 24 hours I've overeaten exactly... four times. With some snacking in between, I guess. Dinner last night was something we'd looked forward to for several months, so when we got there and saw that the portions were more than we should handle, we just kind of went with the flow. And then breakfast! It was so tasty, and breakfast is the most important meal of the day, right? Lunch was just a mistake; all the components of the meal were small, but I guess all of them combined were kind of more than expected. Dinner was provided for us by some very nice church ladies and I didn't want to offend by being the only one who didn't eat two servings. It was a social responsibility.

Is this something I can blame on society? I really want to blame society for this, because certainly someone else taught me to ignore my body's needs and to practice absolutely no self-control. Right?

Monday, November 10, 2008

I really do like my neighborhood, though

Just a quick note as I'm on my way out of town for the next 18 hours or so: If you're looking for the place to be tonight, it's crazy night at the Walgreen's parking lot. Homeless? Yay! Want to leap out of a car as it cruises past the door of the store without stopping? You'll be in good company! Feeling like riding your bike conspicuously close and staring at people loading their bags into their car? Go right ahead! Just try not to run me over when you're parking your car over the line between two handicapped spots so you can sprint into the store with your engine still running.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

All I Want is a Room Somewhere

We have a couch here in our apartment, well, actually we have one leather couch and one black futon thing. We like to have couches for sitting and napping on, and because sometimes when we have all of our favorite people over it is nice to be able to seat folks comfortably.

Unfortunately, both couches are feeling their age- the futon is pretty much flattened into a pancake of discomfort. The disgustingly old foam cushion that once gave a foam-o-phobic friend of ours fits (true story!) is no longer doing its job, and the back of the futon sags like an old lady's knee-highs. The leather couch, although still amazingly comfortable, is sadly scratched and water-spotted beyond any semblance of the fine furniture it once was, and a few of the cushions are so worn out that the seams have split open, revealing the stuffing inside.

Basically our couches look like we got them cheap off some hillbillies. I'm pretty sure the futon thing should be easy to fix- just buy a new cushion thing, problem solved. The real couch, though. It is comfortable, so we don't really want to part with it, but it is ugly as sin, so we don't really want other people to see it. We're thinking of getting a slipcover for it, but the very word (slipcover!) just sends thoughts of grandmas and poor folk through my mind. And where does one go to obtain such an item? Truly, the only place I can think of to look for one would be WalMart, and that seriously doesn't help my fear of grandma/poor folk associations. Any other ideas for our couch?

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Brave New World

My roommate don't really do a whole lot of fast food, and when we do go out for food, it is more often than not of a Mexican variety. Which is what made last night so special- we went to McDonald's! Not only did we eat McDonald's food, but we actually dined in. Such an activity I haven't participated in for many years, and I think we both agreed that there is a good reason for that.

The high society that was gathered in that restaurant could not be beat. From the worker around the corner from the front door, smoking a joint next to the newspaper stands, to the man in big fat John Deere suspenders (they make those?) to the confused-looking man who parked his bike inside the dining area, between two tables, to the man who (I only heard about this later from my roommate) went to pull his waistband up on his pants and brought the underwear right on with it. We were in fine company, let me tell you.

I guess none of those things is really all that bad, and I wouldn't bat an eye at any one of the people separately, but all in unison, all just slightly more uncouth than the norm, the difference seemed more pronounced.

There was this one lady, though, who was dresed nicely, looked clean and intelligent, who was sitting nearby, eating alone and reading... her journal? notes from a conference? somebody else's journal? I don't know, but she seemed pretty nonchalant about her incongruity in the place. She seemed like an alpha in the midst of gammas, but she didn't seem to mind. I guess I'm just glad I'm a beta.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Lame-O Belated Halloween Post




Somehow jack-o-lanterns are always scarier a few days after Halloween than they are the night of. When I tried to pick them up with a trashbag each punkin just kind of, uh, liquified through my fingers. Moldy chunky punkin liquid. It was like running your hands through a big bowl of cafeteria jello cubes, only less sugary and more... furry.

The hilarious thing is that we only carved the punkins the night before Halloween, and by, let's see, Sunday morning, they were already in a nasty state. I finally had the time to clean them up Monday after work, and that was pretty much Too Late. I tried scrubbing the leftover punkin puddles with bathroom cleaner and a green scrubby, but the stains remain.

The weird thing is that we don't really live in a humid place where I would expect that kind of fast forward rotting to take place. In fact, to find a more arid home, we'd have to move to Yuma. I am absolutely sure that moving to Yuma could never be an answer to any of my problems, so my only conclusion has to be that moldy, liquified punkin is not actually a problem to begin with.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The minds of not-so-super villains at work, inconveniencing me

Yesterday after work I got the surprise of my... week... when I stepped onto the pedal of my bike in the act of initiating movement on my commute home, and I found myself nearly eating my handlebars after a huge CA-CHUNK! Some me-hating villain had clicked my bike up from 3rd gear into 7th during the day while I was in the office, and I can only guess but I'm pretty sure they did it while cackling in a sinister manner before walking off to go kick a puppy. What kind of antisocial, sadistic fiend makes such a passive-aggressive move against a person they don't even know, knowing that they will not be able to witness the consequences of their action? What are they thinking? "Hey, I'm kind of surly right now, I think I'll set a trap for a random person who will be mildly freaked out and have their ride home ruined in about six hours." I guess that's what they're thinking, but if I was feeling surly, I'm pretty sure I would just walk around glaring at people and get huffy at slow-walking pedestrians.


For dinner tonight we went to our favorite local sandwich place and bakery. They make their own artisanal breads which is just a fancy way of saying they make breads that are beautiful to look at and beautiful to taste but just you try and eat a sandwich made from those crusty breads which nearly rip your teeth out of your head. We were cold today so I got a hot sandwich, and if there's anything worse than a crusty-bread sandwich, it's a toasted crusty-bread sandwich. I now have a million little lacerations all over my gums and the roof of my mouth, so I guess no swilling orange juice for me tonight.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Happy Guy Fawkes' Day, everybody!

Remember, remember the fifth of November;
Gunpowder treason and plot.
I think there's no reason that gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.


I think this year, today, might be the first time that I've actually remembered *on* the fifth of November. All too often I realize on the seventh or the tenth, and by then it is TOO LATE. I've been wanting to have a bonfire all day, but I (sadly) live in an apartment with no backyard of my own, and (even more sadly) am too tired to pick up and drive out to a part of the desert where a bonfire would not be minded. Perhaps I can build a tiny fire on a plate here in the apartment? Yet another reason my roommate would have to think I'm not quite right in the head.

For those of you who have the time and the opportunity and the desire, here's to a great bonfire!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

PS, Hurrah.

I applaud you, John McCain, on your gracious concession speech. Thank you for not being bitter and embarrassing us. You fought hard, and you lost, and you're alright with that. Thank you.

I applaud you, Barack Obama, on your stirring victory speech. Yay, we won, and wow, we've got work to do. And you made us feel even more confidant that you're the man to look to for getting that work done. We support you, and we look forward to the next four years with hope.

Tragedy

Alright, so today I read this which led me to this which led me to spending an hour and a half of my life driving around to five different grocery stores to buy $24.14 worth of Peanut Butter Gauchos and $3.99 worth of Striped Shortbread (also $3.59 worth of Hydrox- had to see what the hype was about).

Which leads me to this:





I truly do believe in acting in a rational manner during crises, and I feel that in the current economic situation our best bet is not to panic, but to act carefully with our money on an individual as well as national level. I also beliee in gaucho shakes. I think that based on the situation with Mother's cookies, I acted in a perfectly acceptable way.

Monday, November 3, 2008

I dunno, I guess I'm idealistic

I pretty much tend to be non-passionate about politics, and I think justly so. I am too lazy to really research things well enough to earn the political passion, so I am generally content to watch others get worked up about things and debate and such.

This election season I have gotten more (more than nothing doesn't really have to be much, though) involved and thoughtful about what and who I am voting for. I have opinions, woo! My opinion is that our nation has a chance to do some really great things tomorrow, and I hope that we do. I feel like for many, even though times are kind of rough currently, right now is a time of great hope and promise.

I was riding my bike to work this morning, and listening to my iPod, and this Bob Dylan song kind of struck me as being pretty relevant for this week:

Oh the time will come up
When the winds will stop
And the breeze will cease to be breathin'.
Like the stillness in the wind
'Fore the hurricane begins,
The hour when the ship comes in.

Oh the seas will split
And the ship will hit
And the sands on the shoreline will be shaking.
Then the tide will sound
And the wind will pound
And the morning will be breaking.

Oh the fishes will laugh
As they swim out of the path
And the seagulls they'll be smiling.
And the rocks on the sands
Will proudly stand,
The hour that the ship comes in.

And the words that are used
For to get the ship confused
Will not be understood as they're spoken.
For the chains of the sea
Will have busted in the night
And will be buried at the bottom of the ocean.

A song will lift
As the mainsail shifts
And the boat drifts on to the shoreline.
And the sun will respect
Every face on the deck,
The hour that the ship comes in.

Then the sands will roll
Out a carpet of gold
For your weary toes to be a-touchin'
And the ship's wise men
Will remind you once again
That the whole wide world is watchin'.

Oh the foes will rise
With the sleep still in their eyes
And they'll jerk from their beds and think they're dreamin'.
But they'll pinch themselves and squeal
And know that it's for real,
The hour when the ship comes in.

Then they'll raise their hands,
Sayin' we'll meet all your demands,
But we'll shout from the bow your days are numbered.
And like Pharaoh's tribe,
They'll be drownded in the tide,
And like Goliath, they'll be conquered.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Help!

The last six albums I've imported into my computer have been from the following years: 1992, 1985, 2006, 1966, 1964 and 1964. The most recent one, from 2006, doesn't really count, though, because it's just some Weird Al. I'm trying to rationalize by telling myself that it's just that no music made today is as good as earlier stuff, but really, deep down, if I'm completely honest, it's really due to my own sudden Beatlemania. I rented and watched A Hard Day's Night, which was pretty silly, and then when I turned that one in I saw that Help! was back on the shelf, so I checked that out and proceeded to watch the entire movie 4 out of the 5 nights I had it rented for. I start almost every day by playing "Rain" on youtube while I get dressed. My roommate is I think starting to worry about my sanity. She came home one evening to find me sitting on the couch, watching one of the movies, stood in the door, and announced, "you know, this isn't going to help your obsession much," before passing through the room.

At this point I feel fine about my obsession. If it goes on strong for another 6 months, maybe I'll worry.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

NaBloPoMo Day 1: I didn't forget!

On top of my regular job and my regular social life and my other regular duties, for the past few years I've spent a fair amount of time proctoring tests- the SAT, ACT, LSAT, PCAT, GRE, you name it, I've proctored it. The great thing about this gig is that all you have to do is give up a Saturday morning, and be willing to stand around and look stern, and they give you money for it! It is a wonderful way to make a quick buck.

This past Saturday, I worked an exam, something to do with engineering. As I walked up and down the aisles, one of the examinees motioned toward me with a question. I walked up to him, and rather than tell me what he wanted or what was the matter, he simply pointed to one of the questions, something with graphs and symbols and terms I didn't have a clue about, and then pointed to something he'd written down in the book, which I also didn't understand. He looked a little confused and also triumphant, which is the only thing that made me realize that he believed the question to have some serious flaw in the way it was printed. I let him know about the comment form he could fill out after the test, and walked away, chuckling to myself.

I'm not sure that the people taking these tests realize that we (the people administering the test) have absolutely no background in the content of the test. I don't know if they think that high-caliber engineers spend their Saturdays watching people take tests, or if they think that we're a team of experts that drive around the country, administering that one test to every hopeful engineer, but it's always kind of funny and sad when you have an interaction like that and you see it dawn on them that you don't know the first thing about what they're being tested on.

If you think about it, it makes sense- the examinees aren't allowed any help on questions about the content of the exam, so why in the world would the test be administered by people who could possibly give such help? I like to think of it as like hiring blind men to guard magicians' secrets, or staffing a harem with a bunch of eunuchs. We are valuable in our impotence.

Friday, October 24, 2008

There She Goes Again

Yay silly meme! I kind of like this one, actually.

1. Put your music library on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. YOU MUST WRITE THAT SONG NAME DOWN NO MATTER HOW SILLY IT SOUNDS!

IF SOMEONE SAYS "IS THIS OKAY?" YOU SAY?
What Made Milwaukee Famous (Flogging Molly)

WHAT WOULD BEST DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONALITY?
Look For a Grandma (from the Safety Kids album)

WHAT DO YOU LIKE IN A GUY/GIRL?
Selfless, Cold and Composed (Ben Folds Five)

HOW DO YOU FEEL TODAY?
Cotton Fields (Harry Belafonte)

WHAT IS YOUR LIFE'S PURPOSE?
I Ain't Got No Home (Bruce Springsteen cover of Woody Guthrie)

WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO?
Be Still My Heart (The Postal Service)

WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS THINK OF YOU?
Albuquerque (Weird Al Yankovic)

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT VERY OFTEN?
Daria (Cake)

WHAT IS 2+2?
Amity (Elliott Smith)

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR BEST FRIEND?
Lord Only Knows (Beck)

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
I Fought Piranhas (The White Stripes)

WHAT IS YOUR LIFE STORY?
Below the Gallows Tree (The Weavers)

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?
The Rebel Jesus (The Chieftans)

WHAT DO YOU THINK WHEN YOU SEE THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
Believing is Art (Spoon)

WHAT DO YOUR PARENTS THINK OF YOU?
The Picnic (Much Ado About Nothing soundtrack)

WHAT WILL YOU DANCE TO AT YOUR WEDDING?
No Woman No Cry (Bob Marley and the Wailers)

WHAT WILL THEY PLAY AT YOUR FUNERAL?
Something (The Hippos)

WHAT IS YOUR HOBBY/INTEREST?
Pirates Who Don't Do Anything (Not sure who this is)

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SECRET?
How Bizarre (OMC)

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR FRIENDS?
Out of Jail (They Might Be Giants)

WHAT'S THE WORST THING THAT COULD HAPPEN?
The Rest Will Follow (...And They Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead)

HOW WILL YOU DIE?
Between the Bars (Elliott Smith)

WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU REGRET?
I Could Have Lied (Red Hot Chili Peppers)

WHAT MAKES YOU LAUGH?
What a Good Boy (Barenaked Ladies)

WHAT MAKES YOU CRY?
The Things We Did and Didn't Do (The Magnetic Fields)

WILL YOU EVER GET MARRIED?
Mars, the Bringer of War (Holst)

WHAT SCARES YOU THE MOST?
Wild Honey Pie (The Beatles)

DOES ANYONE LIKE YOU?
Secret of the Easy Yoke (Pedro the Lion)

IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME, WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE?
Femme Fatale (The Velvet Underground)

WHAT HURTS RIGHT NOW?
St James Infirmary Blues (The White Stripes)

WHAT WILL YOU POST THIS AS?
There She Goes Again (The Velvet Underground)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Things I've Youtubed Recently

- Satellite of Love (Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain) (also Orange Blossom, Shaft, Fly me off the Handel, and pretty much anything else by them)

- Sweet Caroline (Neil Diamond)

- If You Want to Be Happy for the Rest of Your Life (Jimmy Soul)

- Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa (Vampire Weekend)

- Weekend War (MGMT)

-How Six Umbrellas Took Off Their Hats to Show Respect (Carl Sandburg)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Another crazy random happenstance to tell you!

Man, if you want inner turmoil and general bad-feelingness, you need to come and spend a lunch with me. Like that time I created a bird revolution with my sandwich, or that other time I ran into a friend on campus, had a great conversation, and left feeling like I was the biggest jerk on earth, my lunches are fraught with tiny crises.

Today, for example.

I go to my favorite on-campus cheap-food place, the pasta-and-garlic-bread restaurant. At some point maybe a year or so ago, they started offering "Vegan Sauce" as one of their options, along with the regular Meat Sauce/Marinara/Alfredo triumvirate. Out of curiosity, I asked for it one day, and saw that all it consists of is marinara with some mystery... pebbles... mixed in. Like, you're standing there, and they get out this bowl and pour some marinara in and scoop in these whitish-yellowish breadcrumb-looking pebbles, mix it up with a whisk, and plop it on your penne. I must say, it's quite delicious. I don't know what the pebbles are, or how they enhance the marinara sauce, but they do. I like it, so I always get it now.

There was a server girl I'd never seen there before today, and when I asked for the vegan sauce she dutifully made it the way she should. Then she reached for the garlic bread, stopped herself, and presented the plate to me sans bread.

"No bread, right?"

I haven't really been on top of my game recently, I think I'm coming down with a cold, so I just kind of stood there, looking at her, saying, "uhhhhh...." In my head I was wondering if maybe they had some policy that the vegan sauce no longer comes with bread because it's already got those expensive extra pebbles in it, so maybe I shouldn't say anything. Finally I asked, meaning to be sheepish (but I think coming across as rude-ish), "the bread comes with the pasta, right?"

At this point I began to get an inkling of what was going on. "Well, it's just that usually when people want the vegan sauce, they... don't want... the bread."

Ah hah! Suddenly I'm being judged because I asked for this health nut protester lunch, with a side of unhealthy brick o'butter. I wasn't sure what to say except that did want the bread, and walk away quickly. By this point our conversation had slowed up the rest of the line and people were starting to pay attention to what was going on. I wondered what they thought of me- did they think I was a vegan and also stupid for not knowing that there is butter all over the garlic bread? Did they think I was a selfish jerk who wanted to get as much food as possible jammed into the low, low price of a plate of pasta? Did they think I was a total idiot who doesn't even know what vegan means?

All I wanted was lunch, but what I got was lunch with a side of guilt for ordering vegan food when I am so obviously not vegan.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

How to make my day

I'm standing around the deli counter waiting for the very slow deli man to give me fried chicken and coleslaw for dinner when a woman wearing a nametag (engraved, not like, "Hi! My name is Zoe") and pushing a young girl in a cart comes up to the counter.

"Excuse me, are you really familiar with the store?"

Deli man says no.

"Oh. Well, do you happen to know where the polenta is?"

Deli man says he knows what it is, so try looking in the baking or hispanic aisles (huh?).

The lady seems surprised as well, but starts off in that direction. I lean over and tell her she might try the spaghetti aisle (since that's where it is. I think about polenta a lot, although I've never used it, so I conciously look at it every time I'm in the spaghetti aisle).

She scoots off, obviously in a hurry (I wonder what she needed it for? If she was the type that made things with polenta, she would either a- know where it is already or b- not even be shopping at my grocery store. Maybe she was having a fancy dinner party and trying to impress her guests? Maybe her mother in law really likes it, and has descended on her home without warning?), and I continue standing around the deli counter waiting for the man to give me my chicken and coleslaw.

A minute or two later, another employee hurries into the counter to ask the deli man if he knows what polenta is. After a brief argument, employee #2 leaves and I am assured that the rushed lady is leaving the store polenta-less. Deli man finally gives me my bag o'chicken, and I head off toward the spaghetti aisle, just to make sure I was remembering right.

There it is, the polenta! I wonder briefly if she wanted the sun-dried tomato kind, or just regular. I pick up a tube of the regular kind, and head off in search of the lady. I hadn't gotten a good look at her to begin with, but I remember that she had a nametag and a blonde daughter, so that's something at least.

By the time I find her, she's in line at the checkout, unloading her groceries onto the belt, and talking to the lady behind her. I sneak up next to her and hold out the tube.

"Did you find the polenta?"

She immediately brightens, and asks in wonder where I had found it. She'd looked up and down the store for it and had given up hope. She gratefully takes the polenta and says to the cashier,

"See, she found it!"

I walk off to my regular cashier, pay for my chicken, and feel better than I have all day.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Let's All Celebrate!

Happy October 9th, everybody!

You're probably saying to yourself, "yeah, October 9th is alright, but what has it done for me lately?"

Really? Are you really thinking this? Because if you are, maybe you've forgotten some key events in the history of the WORLD. Events like...

-Leif Erikson landing in Canada, pretty much discovering the Americas, in 1003.


-Slavery being abolished in Costa Rica, in 1824. (woo!)


-A 13 kilogram (est.) fragment of the Peekskill Meteorite lands in the driveway of the Knapp residence in Peekskill, New York, destroying the family's 1980 Chevrolet Malibu (1992).

-The 1835 birthday of Camille Saint-Saens. How would you feel if the Carnival of the Animals had never been written?

-Or try the 1900 birthday of Alastair Sim.

-And last, but not least, on this day, 68 years ago, our own beloved John Lennon was born.

And what better way to celebrate such a momentous occasion than to attend the John Lennon Birthday Bash and Beatles Singalong!



It was pretty amazing, let me tell you. There were prizes for best costume (this one guy won all three prizes, because he was the only dressed up. But he clearly would have won anyway, because he was wearing one of those Sgt. Pepper costumes? The icky pink suit thing? Yeah, we think he might have been on drugs, or maybe he wasn't a native English speaker, because the questions he answered on stage were definitely not the questions being posed to him by the emcee. Hilarious!), and dancing on the stage while the videos played and the non-dancing audience sang their hearts out.

The only problem was that after an hour or so of singalong, they stopped the music and put on some documentary about John Lennon, which my friend and I were having none of. If there is no singing along, there is no reason to be there anymore, so instead we drove off in her sporty little car, and blasted some non-Beatles music to sing along with.

One funny thing, though: in the video of Instant Karma, (I'd never seen it before!) there's an incredibly uncomfortable-looking, be-suited man trying to play the tamborine but not really seeming to know what to do with it. Also: Yoko Ono is crocheting... blindfold? Once we'd gotten a chance to look closely and she really WAS doing what we thought she was doing, my friend shouts to me over the singing, excitedly:

"She's making a political statement!"


Monday, October 6, 2008

Missed Connections

We took the same Mexican Folk Music course, I always sat next to or behind you. You thought I looked like someone from your high school, I thought you looked cute. We talked to each other each class, but I never learned your name; your left hand is like a lobster claw and you always kept it in your pocket when walking around. We should have been friends.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Dichotomy

Have I ever told you about the poodles?

The metaphorical, but also actual, poodles?

No? Yes? Well, I'll tell you again and then you can decide if you've already heard my thoughts on these poodles.

There are these two poodles that live near the university, where I work. Often, when I am on my way to work, or also on my way home from work, I see these two poodles. One of them is black and the other is white, like if they were standing facing one another it would look like some strange negative reflection of a poodle. They often are standing facing one another, because they seem to be big fans of playing tug of war with each other. They also fight every once in a while.

It's like a daily reminder of the struggle between good and evil.

Which reminds me! Speaking of opposites, and good and evil and such, so, two things that are opposites are two things whose attributes oppose one another, right? Like up and down, or in and out. Since they oppose one another, surely one must be inherently good and the other must be inherently evil, right?

Here's my logic: let's take up and down. Say we could talk to God, and ask Him which He would choose out of those two. Then let's say He chose up. And anything God chooses must be good, right? So wouldn't down, being the exact opposite of up (which is good), necessarily be evil? I'm not talking about how in a particular situation one might be good and the other evil, but in general. Like, overall, which one is good and which is evil. In which case, is it possible that good and evil are really just based on God's personal opinion? Like, what if He just likes walking up stairs and not down stairs?

But then again, aren't good and evil based on what God tells us they are anyway?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Friday, August 29, 2008

Park time

Sitting on a grassy knoll today after work, reading (how spoiled am I? Spoiled enough to stop at the park on my way home and read for an hour, that's how spoiled), a woman and her two daughters play and frolic near me.

They've found a lizard, and the girls seem to be taking turns holding it and shoving it in their good-natured and even playful mother's face. They're all laughing, then suddenly shrieks of panicked giggling break out. Mom is standing up, dancing in place, feeling around in her skorts: "I can't feel him anywhere! Where could he have gone?! Do you see him? He must have run away, right?" Right after this hopeful question she got her answer, as a little greyish-brown streak ran down her leg and was caught by the older daughter.

"I think it's time to go home, now."

Friday, August 22, 2008

Winning Spam Subject Lines

Paris Hilton Lectures on Dickens and Dostoyevsky : what sick and twisted mind came up with that? Was it some sort of childish play on words that went horribly wrong?

Britney Spears: Picking her nose! : I can see a four-year-old kid thinking that must be the funniest joke on the planet.

Christmas Replica Watches: the perfect timepiece for... August. And what aspect of Christmas is replicated by these watches? Is the wristband chilly? Does it smell like pie? Is there a little bow on top?

Angelina's Newborn Twins Marry Each Other: riiiiiiiiiiight.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Another Lunchtime Guilt Trip

Today I thought I'd get a nice bagel sandwich and eat it out on the bench where I usually eat my sandwiches. Simple, innocuous kind of lunch, I thought.

I thought wrong. As I began to eat, I noticed a tiny bird standing by my foot. Feeling generous, I tossed a little bagel crumb to it. The crumb had barely even left my hand when 27 (not an exaggerated number- I counted them) more birds converged from every direction, all staring at me expectantly. Sheesh.

So then I decided not to throw any more crumbs at all, so they would go away. Right? Wrong. They just sat there, looking at me eating my sandwich, collectively not moving a muscle.

"I know! I'll just throw a whole bunch of crumbs, so many of them will get something, and I'll stay entertained!"

After awhile of these shenanigans, with a horde of birds surrounding me, I heard one bird chirping in a painful way, louder and more continuously than the rest. I must've been throwing the crumbs too fast and too chaotically, because one bird had chomped down on another's little toes in the confusion, and wouldn't let go for the world. The poor victim couldn't do anything but try to hop away on one foot and scream his little brains out while the other bird held on tighter and pulled back. Frantically, I waved at the birds and scared them enough that the overeager one let go his hold and hopped away.

By this point I had one bite left of my sandwich, which I ate in a hurry so as to get away from the scene of destruction and disharmony I had just created. As I sheepishly chewed, some guy walked by, too close to me for the birds to remain. They scattered, and he said apologetically, "I'm sorry- I just ruined all your birds."

But I think that I had already done that.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Who am I?

I just don't even know anymore. Today has been a day of sudden introspection, and I don't like introspection. In fact, I may say that I generally avoid metacognition as much as possible.

In the past 24 hours, I have:

a) been called "hot" while wearing my new jeans. Perhaps I should take them back?

b) had a second dream where I was being charged a lot of money for not much food. In the first one I had to be somewhere in a short amount of time, and the expensive food was taking hours to be made. Last night, I was walking down a street in the dark, and stopped into a cool-looking cafe. Upon receiving the chocolate shake I ordered, I was told that it cost ten dollars. I paid, because I didn't know what else to do (the shake was good), and then the owner handed me a grocery bag full of meat. Like, a bunch of packages of bacon and brats and kielbasa. I feel like these two dreams mean something, I even have an idea of what they mean, but come on! Expensive food dreams? My subconcious is weird.

c) had a conversation that made me question who I am. I thought I knew, but I guess I was wrong. Am I a jerk? Am I selfish? Am I maybe more shallow than I thought I was?


Sheesh, all the important things I thought I knew about myself are being challenged all at once. Maybe now is the time to move to Oregon and live on the coast as a hermit.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

News of the Jews, and Happy Birthday to Me!

Walking to the car after work, Richard nods toward the lanky, Cobain-haired guy in yarmulke and prayer shawl strolling our way. He seems puzzled about the fringe coming out of the bottom of the guy's shirt.

Not sure if he saw the yarmulke, and hoping he won't say anything embarrassing out loud, I give him a preemptive whisper, "he's Jewish," and wait till we're out of earshot to explain. I hate it when I see people talking about me and pretending they're not; I couldn't care less if they badmouthed me in my absence, and even saying rude things to my face is better than pretending I'm not there at all. Once we are safely far away, I begin to explain about the knots in the fringe on the four corners of the shawl and how they have special significance, and how suddenly I have no idea what that significance is anymore. I used to be intelligent, really I did. Anyway, in case you don't know, there is a special significance to the knots in the tassels. Now you know.

In other news, I just realized this week that our next door neighbors, the ones with the big slobbery dog and the blanket tacked over their window so the dog won't bark at passersby? They're totally Jewish. I don't know how I missed it for the however-many months we've been living next to them, but they've got a nice little mezuzah on their doorpost. I told my roommate in excitement as soon as I noticed it.

"Really? A mezuzah? That's great! I love the Jews!"

"I know!"

We'd taken some online prejudice test a year or two ago, in which it was revealed, I believe, that I have a slight preference for black people, and she has a stronger-than-mine preference for Jews. Anyway, hooray for us, I guess.

In other news, I turned another year older a few days ago, and got to celebrate by eating mounds of (delicious) Ethiopian food with my parents, sister, and grandpa and his wife.

We also celebrated with three separate cakes: one very Richardy ice cream sandwich cake for work, one lucious fake Macaroni Grill lemon dream cake from my excellent mother, and one surprise (there's already a cake in the fridge) chocolate cake by my cooking experimenty roommate, who thankfully didn't put any flax or oatmeal into it, but did put lots of cocoa and cream and other lipsmacking ingredients. There was so much cake that I was forced to (sadly) send the remainder of the lemon cake home with my sister, and keep the chocolate cake for Sunday night when we had a smaller, impromptu birthday party with a couple of friends and lots of pictures and talking till deep into the night.

I'm still trying to recover from the past few weeks; with all the vacationing and celebrating and dinner-eating and movie-watching I've done recently, I haven't had a moment to hang up any laundry or go grocery shopping or, you know, sleep. My bedroom currently is beginning to look like my bedroom circa my early high school years, which will have to be fixed pronto, as my roommate will be returning from her hometown in the next couple of weeks after a summer-long absence which spoiled me greatly. Shoot, I'll have to clear off half the bookshelves and shove all my clothes back into one side of the closet again.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Back to real life


Wow, it really has been awhile since I've had the time and energy to think about my site. Sorry guys, if there's anyone even still here.

I spent the past week in heaven, which also goes by the name of British Columbia. Super, natural British Columbia, as their signs announce. It's a shame I never took a picture of one of those signs so I could photoshop it to say Supernatural British Columbia, which would have been awesome.

So after a grueling journey home which involved delayed flights, lost luggage, and a ride in the dumpstermobile, I got home last night and didn't really get out of bed until this afternoon. Also, I have this thing with my fingernails? Where if I have nothing else to do I just start picking and picking and soon they're all gone? So with the eight(?)-ish hours in the airport before getting on to our first flight, I'm typing this up kind of painfully on my poor little denuded fingertips. Maybe I should start wearing mittens all the time.

Anyway, back to real life, I got to catch up with my roommates and some friends tonight while eating a messy-but-made-by-me tortilla (the best of all omelets) and playing Scrabble, where we all learned that my roommate "has a niiiice cushion." It's good to be home.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Dang.

I keep writing things that end up being too personal to publish. Like what I wrote just now? It totally helped me understand myself better and work some things out in my mind (one of my few bursts of meta-cognition!), but there is no way on earth I'm putting those thoughts out there for the whole world to see.

So again, I'm forced to leave you with something uninsightful and dashed-off.

Here we go: I like this band (alright, so I don't even know if I like the band or not. I've listened to two songs by them, and I liked those two songs so much that I just played them over and over and over like probably 30 times since last night). But doesn't the guy in the video look like Elvis? No really, please go take a look and let me know if he looks like the King. Because I feel like maybe I'm going a little crazy?

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Defining Moments

Awhile back one of our high school student workers turned 15. Coming from a good Mexican family, she invited us all to her Quinceanera.

My coworker and friend, let's just call him Richard, has never heard of this word before (not surprising, since he is equally unfamiliar with a lot of English words such as pithy, glib, and astute), and after learning the correct pronunciation, goes on to ask what the heck it is. The young lady in question didn't seem to be entirely clear about the deeper meanings of the occasion, only that it's a big fancy birthday party for when you turn 15.

With some interjections from our boss, Richard learns that it's a kind of "becoming a woman" type of celebration. This apparently latches onto his brain, because the next day, he shouts to me from his office a few feet away,

"When did *you* become a woman, ViolaSaint?"

There's an awkward pause for a moment while I try to figure out a diplomatic answer to this question. I finally say that I can't remember the exact day. My officemate, an older lady, lets loose with a loud cackle.

"That's not the type of question you ask people!" And then, a moment later, "When did you become a man?"

And this is where a typed-out narrative of the conversation really is lacking, because you miss the comic timing of the whole thing, but Richard pauses, and we can tell he's thinking.

"Fifteen!"

...

My officemate and I look at each other.

...

" 's when I started to shave."

Sunday, June 29, 2008

No longer a post about my deepest regrets

Alright, so I had written out about three quarters of a post on events from my life that fill me with regret. Then I realized two things- first, that many of these events are food-related and from the first six years of life or so, and second, that the few that don't fall into that first category, I'm not sure if I really want to spill my guts that much. These aren't terrible secrets, but they still have a pretty strong impact on my emotions when I think about them (as do those food-related ones. Oh Penguin's frozen yogurt, why did you have to fall to the ground before I could enjoy you?).

So that you won't be left hanging for fascinating insight into my life, though, here are a couple of tidbits:

The one roommate who really holds our apartment together is gone on a three-week journey, and in her absence thus far (about a week) the dishes have only been done twice, the vaccuum sat in the middle of the living room for two full days before being put back where it belongs, and my bedroom has become a filthy pigsty of a place. Her influence on me must be considerable, since it's not like she goes into my bedroom all that much or says anything about the care I take of it.

I went to the local indie theatre last night with a friend of mine to see the Goonies. That's right, we paid money to see it, and I must say, that is the screamingest movie that the eighties ever produced. Fortunately, we got to see it in the theatre with the couches in it, so we were at least comfortable while the characters yelled at each other for 114 minutes straight.

My roommate is currently standing in the kitchen, whistling "Deck the Halls" and microwaving a washcloth full of vinegar.

I guess that pretty much sums up my life at the moment. Any donations made to help me get over my frozen yogurt regret would be greatly appreciated. There is, fortunately, a Penguin's nearby to help me deal with my childhood trauma.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Open Question

Which is worse:

a) Throwing away frozen yogurt that you paid good money for just because it kind of tastes like dirt, or

b) Eating a big thing of frozen yogurt that tastes like dirt, just because you paid good money for it?


On a related note, is there something about chocolate cherry frozen yogurt that just tastes like dirt all the time? Because that's the second time that's happened to me, from two different establishments.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Property Recall

When we were young, my sister and I believed that clowns would sneak into our house at night and steal socks out of the drier. The clowns would then sneak back to their circus tents and use the socks as powder puffs to apply their outrageous makeup. That really seemed to be the best explanation of why we so often could only find one sock when getting ready for school in the morning.

What I really want to do today is share a photo essay of all the cool things I saw yesterday at the Summer Solstice festival- the stiltwalkers, the musicians, the fire-dancers. Unfortunately for both of us (me, and you, the internet in general) my camera-to-computer cord has gone missing. I suspect various roommates for various reasons.

Maybe the one who went to her hometown for the summer accidentally packed it up with all of her stuff? Maybe the roommate that goes on wild cleaning sprees where afterward she doesn't even remember what she did? I have no reason to suspect the final roommate, but I will anyway so she doesn't feel left out.

I hope to either find the cord or buy a new one soon, as my plan for the summer is to take more pictures again. While I'm looking for the cord maybe I will find my banjo chord book, which has also been missing for a few months now.

Anybody have any suggestions on where to look for these things? I've already looked under the couch and on all of my shelves, so I'm pretty sure neither object is in those places.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Small triumphs of the day

For the first time in at least five months, I woke up before my alarm went off, stayed awake, and felt good. Like maybe I had rested in the hours I was unconcious.

I went to the grocery store after work so that I would be prepared to make dinner tomorrow night. I got myself a little pint of chocolate milk to make up for the utter disappointment that was the homemade chocolate milk yesterday evening.

In a fit of temporary insanity, I followed my roommate into the gym this evening, and sweated up a storm while reading the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe for an entire 50 minutes. Book + bicycle= awesome.

I managed not to murder various people I came in contact with today, although I was tempted to. Why are there so many jerks and morons in the world?

Saturday, June 7, 2008

In which I realize that my footwear is inadequate

The other day on my way downstairs to get in my car and drive to the office (ugh, that feels so... manly. How was your day at the office, dear?), I saw this guy, wearing the spikey shoes and holding the cool tree-hugging strap, making his way down the palm he had just pruned. I had to drive my meek little Civic cautiously around his big green truck that was parked in the lot. His big green truck with a cherrypicker.

Man, I wish I was that guy.

Or how about the UPS man? Ever since I was a young girl I've had this dream of being the UPS man when I grow up. Something about wearing that neat brown uniform, driving the big brown truck, bringing joy to lots of people, just is so appealing.

I've also had vague dreams about working in a bakery, making bread and decorating cakes and making delicious things for people to enjoy with their friends and family.

I don't want to seem like I don't appreciate the nice job I have, the salary that is more than I need for the lifestyle I live, my coworkers who are entertaining and pleasant to work with. I just feel like somehow, I'm not working hard enough for my keep. I want some sort of employment that I can actually say what I've done- I trimmed 15 trees, I delivered 65 packages, I fed hundreds of people today. Instead, I guess all I can really say about my work is the hours I was there, sitting at my desk, doing stuff. I got there at 8 in the morning. I took an hour for lunch, where I ate for about 7 minutes, read my book or napped outside for 45 minutes, then checked my email for 8 minutes. I turned my computer off at 5 o'clock and walked out the door at 5:01.

Wow, that really wasn't meant to turn out so depressing. I just wanted to tell you about the guy with the spikey shoes, wouldn't it be cool to be him?

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Cake, part III

I know it seems like all I talk about lately is cake. Which is true because all I really do that is interesting is make cakes. I seem to have been made the official Birthday Cake Baker at work, and summer is going to be pretty busy. Last night I made a funfetti cake, but only because that particular kind was requested. Otherwise I would have definately made my own from scratch, as those are easier to make delicious and interesting.

To make this box cake interesting I made it a two-layer deal with vanilla pudding between the layers, and orange frosting with a dark-orange spiderweb-like icing creation on the top. Basically I wanted to mask the true nature of the cake. And it worked! When my coworker first saw me holding the cake plate he called out in righteous indignation: "That's not a funfetti cake! A funfetti cake is made in a 9x13 pan with white frosting and funfetti sprinkles on top! You've put us all on!" And then I felt very guilty because he was completely right about what a funfetti cake is and I had clearly not made one when I had sworn I would. I spent the morning nervously worrying that the birthday coworker would take one look at the cake and burst into tears at the unorthodox format it was in.

She liked it. Phew.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Cake Update

Alright, so the cake actually turned out marvelously. The only bad thing about it is that when you try to slice it, it's like one of those Ginsu knives commercials where they cut through a brick. On the first pass the knife just stuck in the first layer and the whole cake migrated off the cake plate and onto the table. It was hilarious to watch, but the hilarity was a lot better once we all had a slice and realized that the cake was delicious. Like a big, big brownie. It's just big and hefty cake. I liked it so much that I'm making it again today instead of the cake I had previously planned on making for my mother's birthday. I shout hooray and tip my hat to my friend Carrie that gave me a new recipe.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

My Day, a comedy in three acts

I'm trying to get back in the groove, here. Let me see, how did I do this before? Did I just type out whatever was floating around in my mind? We'll try it.

So.

Today when I was driving to work I saw this guy with an eyepatch, and I thought he looked pretty cool.

And I think I have lockjaw, because my left... jaw... really REALLY hurts when I try to open my mouth all the way, but my friend Carrie kindly reminded me that I couldn't have lockjaw because lockjaw is really just tetanus (brief interlude here to google "tetanus" because I've never typed it before and was struck by the fact that it contains the word "anus," is it really spelled that way) and since I had a tetanus shot just last year when I stepped on a sharp and rusty piece of outside metal I probably don't have lockjaw. So I just have some unexplained left jaw disease that's probably killing me as I sit here typing.

And I baked a cake tonight, but I'm not sure how it turned out. My same friend Carrie gave me the recipe and told me it was easy peasy but that the frosting is no good so just buy some at the store. I only realized afterwards that the store frosting really tastes like chemicals in a jar. I hope no one is offended by my chemical-cake tomorrow at work.

And OH! I had told a different friend that I would go to $4 yoga with her tonight, and I very definitely did not go. I was busy making a bad cake and watching The Emperor's New Groove to do anything healthy and active.


Is that how it's done? This Blogging thing? I don't think I got it quite right, but we all know that practice makes perfect. I hope.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Psst!

Hi internet! I've missed you, kind of. I guess working full time just makes a person not want to do anything else afterwards. Which is sad.

What is NOT sad, though, is that I bought a dress today. A dress! Not a shirt and skirt, but a dress! A cute one! One that is brown and ivory and was not expensive at all and it was the only one in the store and it was my size and I feel good in it!

And I will wear it to church on Sunday, and to my friend's wedding next week, and probably a lot of other places too, because I like it that much. But first I need to buy shoes that go with it. My shoe options unfortunately range from snow boots to old navy $2.50 thongs to crocs, to some black pseudo-heels, but alas, not brown heels. Which is what I think is what this dress requires.

Thus completing my transformation to "working girl." I guess my definition of working girl includes having a job and having brown high heels.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

A Few Things I Cannot Stop Thinking About

There's this Catholic high school near where I live, and whenever I drive by it at night, the red digital scoreboard is lit up. No other lights are on, and it glows eerily by itself. I kind of feel like Satan is having an invisible football game out there.

I have thought so much about the Titanic recently, more than ever before in my life. When I come home from work, I'm all hot and out of breath from riding my bike against the wind, so I go straight for the freezer and pick some solitary ice cubes out of the tray. They stick pretty good, so I get a long time to think about how the Titanic sank because too many ice cube tray-like compartments got ripped open. I think about this every single time I see an ice cube tray. So basically I get a nice two-minute-long Titanic reverie every day after work.

I watched Persepolis tonight, and now I feel guilty about feeling vaguely aimless in my life since I didn't have to flee my war-torn country with no parents to guide me. I have no excuse!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Pools of Sorrow, Waves of Joy

Alright, creepy guys in Missouri parks aside, I don't think I was meant to eat that catfish on Thursday.

I awoke this morning to terrible nausea and an overall sense of Not Wanting to Move. Each step I took, even each shift in weight, made it clearer and clearer to me that I should not be standing, or even awake, for that matter. I promptly called in to work and returned to bed, entering an uncomfortable, as well as guilt-inducing, repose from which I would not stir for another four hours.

As much as I profess not to like the whole idea of Working, the unpleasant fact that you are expected to be there, day in, day out, whether it's a nice day out or not, sick days are far, far worse. You not only feel bad because your body is revolting against you somehow, but you also feel bad because you are in a way throwing a wrench into your office's plans for the day. Even if you improve as the day goes on, you still have the soul-crushing guilt weighing on you, making it impossible to enjoy the free time you have unintentionally gained.

By three o'clock, I felt lively enough, and once dinner-time came, I was persuaded to a birthday dinner for a friend at the local Krishna place and vegetarian restaurant. We sat in the courtyard, eating buffet food and listening to the guitar man alternating between the Beatles (late-ish ones, Across the Universe and Mother Nature's Son, etc) and James Taylor. The evening could not have been more perfect.

Except that my coworker was there for the party and certainly must think now that I was faking sick to elongate my weekend.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Friday, Friday

I'm not really sure what goes on in my office when I'm home for the evening. It must be pretty exciting, though. My chair is always really staticky, and shocks me every single time I sit down or stand up or shift my weight. The janitors have rolly-chair races, maybe? And there was a footprint on my desk next to the keyboard this morning. I don't even know what that means.

On an unrelated note, why oh why did I order catfish? Really? Catfish, at a restaurant where I could have eaten a nice big salad, or a delicious steak, or even a hamburger? Who orders catfish, anyway? I've now realized my folly, and I see that the only way to eat catfish is when there is no menu to choose from.

I watched a movie tonight! And I started reading a book the night before! They both were (are) amazing! I'm glad to have taken the recommendation of both August Rush and Life of Pi. Although the part about the weak and starving guinea pigs was a little bit sad.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

I'm Not Sure How I Feel About This

Alright, so first, I follow this link from Dooce. It is very thought-provoking and a little sad and makes me feel weepy and wanting to love my life more.

Immediately afterward I get Rick Rolled. By the Muppets. All that emotion that had welled up inside me, suddenly transformed into something else. Something that I can't quite explain or understand.

Huh.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

I love to cheer and sing in the theatre

There's just something about going to see a cult classic in a theatre that makes the funny come out in everyone.

Tonight we saw Labyrinth, that famously bad movie from the eighties with goblin puppets, David Bowie and a baby. Here's a few of my cherished memories from the evening:

-that part where 15-year-old Jennifer Connelly is about to eat the peach given to her by the dwarf and someone warns her, "wash it first!" in a way that makes me wonder if he has OCD.

-my friend says, in a rather Ralph Wiggum-esque way, "a Muppet just swore!"

-the entire audience, every time David Bowie's be-stretch-pantsed lower half comes in view, lets out shouts of horror and pain. Every single time.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Maybe if I was Fabulously Rich, I Could Go Naked and No One Would Care

I went to the mall this past weekend, because I'm stupid, and had somehow forgotten that not only do I hate the mall in general, but I hate it extra hard on weekends.

The mall on Saturday is the place where large families with many unruly children go. The mall on Saturday is where old people go to walk slowly in front of you. The mall on Saturday is where teenagers in love go to make out in public and accidentally link their tongue rings together.

Although I found the overall experience unpleasant and time-consuming, the trip did yield some good things. One good thing is that I now remember how much I despise the mall, and will not go there again for a good 6-9 months, hooray! The other good thing was that I actually found some clothes, which is why I went in the first place, to buy clothes for work.

Someday, when I am fabulously rich, I will have no need for shopping for clothes; I will hire a personal tailor who will design and create clothes just for me, so that I will always be well dressed and happy. And for now, well, I have two new shirts, so I don't need to go shopping again for a while.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

This is What I Do on Saturday Nights

Seeing as how I turn on the TV once every three months or so, I couldn't say if this channel is always like this, or if it's just some show, but I found the coolest thing today! It's some sort of Arts channel, and it shows music videos! Instead of rock, pop or hip hop, though, it shows clips of opera, ballet, silent films, classical music with visuals of paintings.

What caught my eye was the Bolshoi Ballet performing Romeo and Juliet sometime during the 1950's. Pretty good, and easier to swallow as they breezed through the thing in maybe 15 minutes, showing brief clips of the most important parts.

Right now they're playing a piece of a 1926 German version of Faust, the scene in which Faust signs the pact, and let me tell you: Mephisto got some wicked glowing eyes. I may just have nightmares tonight. Augh, I think they just actually jabbed the quill into the actor's wrist so he could sign in blood.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Wow

Garfield Minus Garfield is kind of poignant.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Spring Is Here, Spring Is Here

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Spring smells amazing.

For the past few weeks I've been noticing a lovely flowers smell on my ride home from work, through the hip and jealousy-inducing neighborhood just east of campus. I also take as many opportunities as I can to spend my lunch break under that happy grapefruit tree, sometimes partaking of its bounty and sometimes just watching the woodpecker punch holes in the fruit.

I only wish I had more time to enjoy it.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

At Least I'm Saving Money

I think I'm having some sort of Elijah and the cake episode in my shower- I keep using my shampoo, but it somehow never runs out. I've been working on this one bottle for... let me count, eight months now, and there still seems to be plenty left. Same goes for the laundry detergent that's probably a year old by now. It's not like I bathe and do laundry infrequently or with small portions of these cleaners. I don't know where it's all coming from.

My educated guesses thus far include product pixies and/or wormholes that lead to entire dimensions of shampoo and detergent.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

My Five Favorite Senses

See: a black poodle and a white poodle growl and writhe as they play tug of war with a knotted rope in the early morning.

Smell: each street has a distinct smell as I ride home- one smells of burnt marshmallows, one smells of a thousand flowers, another smells of grape Kool-Aid.

Hear: my friends play Tchaikovsky, Debussy and Glinka, and they sound amazing.

Touch: I bought some delicious woollen yarn to make into a scarf and purse, and maybe a hat.

Taste: one of my prouder baking moments, a chocolate and orange birthday cake turned out better than expected.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Omen

The foam on my hot chocolate tonight briefly formed a rabbit in full flight.

This either means that I will get a raise shortly or I will lose all of my belongings in a house fire. Perhaps it simply means, "tomorrow you will go out for lunch and get some delicious tacos."

I'm pretty sure it's that last one.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

I Finally Watched It.

How is it that I never heard about the one redeeming virtue of the Pirates of the Caribbean 3, that Keith Richards is Johnny Depp's brother?

I'm kind of disappointed that 3 was even more terrible than 2. Really, how can that be? My time is valuable, people! Don't make three movies badly when you can simply make one well!

As the ninja says, just as there is no honor among pirates, there is apparently no honor among filmmakers.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

There's also this really patriotic song about 9/11

So I'm sitting there at work. I'm cut-and-pasting stuff from excel tables into a giant database. I've been doing this for four days straight, and the end is almost in sight. I'm tired.

And my officemate has the radio on.

During the past month I've become intimately acquainted with country music, or rather, COUNTRY'S BIGGEST HITS! From what I've observed, country has about 15 hits, which they play through every two hours or so, with some non-hits mixed in for flavor. After that, they repeat the process. I've counted, and on some days I have heard the same song four times.

The point of this post is not to bash country music, because all in all, it's not that bad. There are catchy songs, and even the bad ones are somehow better than the bad songs on rock or alternative stations. Bad rock is just bad, you want to turn it off. Bad country is kind of entertaining, like MST3K- somehow, it's so bad that it's good.

The point of this post is that, I've thought about this for pretty much all day today, so I think I'm right about this, 90% of "daddy-daughter wedding dance" songs are country. Think about it, recall the various wedding receptions you've been to, and you will see that I am right. In fact, the only non-country ones I can think of would be "Sunrise, Sunset" (which would be harder for most people to do, since it's a waltz) and "Father & Daughter" by Paul Simon (which isn't really easy to dance to, either).

Here is one kind of awful one that fits the genre. This one was probably written with the express intent of it being a wedding song. They are both, from what I can gather, COUNTRY'S BIGGEST HITS!

And this is a song that is not country at all, but is fantastic, just in case you need to get the country taste out of your mouth after that. Cleanse your palate, if you will.