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


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


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


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


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.


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


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.