This will all be on the exam.
Thursday, June 30, 2005
So, Sabrina the Teenage Witch (aka Melissa Joan Hart) is pregnant. When did she even get married?
I feel really old. And pathetic.
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
Folding Fitted Sheets
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
I'm mainly posting today out of a need for discipline and continuity. Staying out of Shelob's web, obeying the Pall, and investigating grad schools are keeping me busy (anthropology!) and slowing down my posts. I'm debating getting a wireless card so I can do more of this from home, but the money always seems to be spent before it is even in the bank. Besides the usual bills, coming up I've got a trip home, fees for the GREs---and possibly a GRE prep class, application fees, and Rowen's random vet needs. And I'd like to take a bookbinding class this summer or fall. The siren song of the credit cards is calling me even as the waters rise around me.
Beyond my busyness, there just isn't much to share. Tom Cruise is still insane. The Republicans are still idiots. Michael Schaub is still a beautiful man. And Utz Crab Chips are still awesome.
P.S. I'm still waiting for my Free Katie t-shirt. Remember, my birthday is coming soon!
P.P.S. In lieu of the shirt, you could just sign me up for the Chip of the Month Club.
Friday, June 24, 2005
Let’s see if I can distract myself from thinking about my missing house keys for a few minutes by planning my weekend.
* Hobby Lobby for more craft supplies.
* DVDs---if I can find my mail key, that is.
* And finishing a cross-stitch pattern.
* Early to the dog park. Rowen, my perfect puppy, has warts in her mouth. And the warts can be contagious. So I’m supposed to keep her from swapping spit with other dogs. Which means no day care and no obedience classes. I’m hoping that if we go early enough to the dog park, we won’t encounter many other dogs.
* More craft supply shopping. Hobby Lobby or Michaels, if I don’t get to one of them on Friday night. And a paper supply store.
* Moving Forward: A Progressive Agenda for Austin’s Future. Talking to a bunch of other progressives about how we can improve our city. Keynote Speaker: George Lakoff, who wrote Don’t Think of An Elephant. Let’s hope that he is a better speaker than he is a writer.
* Evening at home to watch DVDs and work on a book cozy for Max.
* Early to the trails or dog park. Before the heat gets too unbearable for Rowen. Have I mentioned lately how entirely adorable and wonderful my dog is?
* Crafts! Assembling journals, knitting a book cover, framing pictures.
* Latin Spice aerobics class at the gym.
* Making a treat for the Monday morning meeting at work.
Well, so I’m still obsessing about my missing keys. Everyone say a prayer to St. Anthony for me.
As always, anyone in the vicinity is welcome to join me for any activities.
Thursday, June 23, 2005
God Bless Canada
Don't ya just love living in the greatest democracy in the world? Land of the free and home of the brave. Where you have the right to free expression without the fear of government oppression. Oh, yeah, never mind.
But, still, this is the land of opportunity, where you can work hard, save your money, buy a piece of land, and build your home, secure in the knowledge that your personal property can't be capriciously taken away by the government.
Well, not so much.
Books on the Go
I've been known to pay exhorbitant overweight luggage fees so that I wouldn't have to abandon a single paperback and I'm still mourning the loss of 25 kilos of books that were lost by the Italian mail system. So I feel that Jessa Crispin is a kindred spirit.
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
We don't need no stinkin' First Amendment. Freedom of expression is so pre-9/11.
I've always thought burning the flag was a silly action anyway; if you want to fight for your freedoms, wouldn't you wave the flag as a symbol of those freedoms?
But what do I know? Other than that I need to get the heck out of this country. Canada, anyone?
I'm really wanting to bake some cupcakes tonight.
Really, the title of the post says it all. The blog is beginning to atrophy under my own apathy and the Pall. Not even Tom and Katie can pique my interest of late. A hoyay Yankees pic barely raised my lips to a smile. Unfortunately, the rest of my life is under the same dark cloud, especially my writing. Or lack thereof. I haven't written anything other than in my journal for nearly two weeks. I've found all sorts of other diversions---cross-stitching, knitting, making journals, eating, watching Buffy DVDs---and rationalizations ("I'm priming the creative pump." "Thinking about the story is really the same as writing it.").
My most recent excuse for not writing is my job. I spend all day in front of a computer trying to defunk a pile of manure. By the time I get home, I don't want to sit in front of a computer or do anything involving words.
So my latest grasp at the straws is that perhaps I need to try a whole new job field. And because I enjoy futile shouts into the abyss, I'm once again going to ask for your opinion. What type of job should I get? The parameters are as follows:*
* Can't keep me away from home for more than 9 hours at a stretch, unless I can take Rowen with me.
* No editing or writing positions. That would sort of defeat the point.
* Salary or pay must be steady and enough to afford a one-bedroom apartment in Austin (if I hadn't just signed a one-year lease on my apartment, I would be seriously considering downsizing to an efficiency), car insurance, gas, food, and minimum payments on my credit cards.
* Must offer health care. Paid vacation would be nice but not essential.
*That I wrote that sentence shows how much I need to get away from academic publishing.
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
If anyone is still reading---and still cares---let's have some speculation on what happened to Katie during her missing days.
I Am So Annoying!
I really can't think of anything worth sharing. So here:
MSN Careers posted a quiz to determine whether you are an annoying coworker. Take it yourself here. See my answers below. And, yes, I am a really, really annoying coworker.
1. You make provocative statements to "foster dialogue" or needle others.
How about badly delivered snark?
2. You often find yourself delivering a discourse consisting solely of buzzwords and catch phrases.
More and more.
3. You make up nicknames for all of your coworkers and refer to them only by these names. (e.g. "Good job, Chachi!", "I'm going to have to disagree with you there, T-bone!")
Only mean names and only behind their backs.
4. Your office is completely decorated in your children's pictures and artwork.
Change “children’s” to “dog’s” and I’m in. Which is probably even more annoying than the original statement.
5. You have plastered your cubicle with photos of yourself taken with famous people.
If I ever met anyone famous, heck ya!
6. It is your trademark to recite rhyming or other cutesy messages as your voicemail greeting.
Nope. No way. Never.
7. The questions you ask at meetings are preceded by long monologues of your views and accomplishments.
Hee. But, no. I'll leave that to Shelob.
8. You routinely eat odiferous lunches at your desk.
I would if I could.
9. You bring in dishes that you tried to cook, but didn't turn out quite right as "special treats" for your coworkers.
10. People seem tense -- even panic-stricken -- when they see you coming their way.
11. Others back away from you as you speak.
Or suddenly remember that urgent task that they must return to immediately. Yeah, you know who you are . . .
12. You send flurries of e-mails to the rest of the company telling them what you are doing. (e.g. "If anyone needs me, I'll be in the bathroom.")
Safe on this one.
13. You vigorously chew or pop your gum.
No, but I do enjoy slurping my drinks and speaking with my mouth full.
14. You wear strong perfume or cologne.
I prefer to go without perfume. Or deodorant. Or showering.
15. You assume your coworkers are fascinated by your personal problems and exploits.
You mean they aren’t? But, yeah, they get the full rundown on a regular basis.
16. You interrupt others while they are speaking or are deep in conversation.
17. You are moody and don't care who knows it.
If they would just share the Xanax, we wouldn’t have this problem.
18. You often give others assignments as they're walking out the door for lunch or to catch the train home.
I can honestly say that I would never intentionally do this.
19. You borrow staplers, scissors and tape from others' desks and forget to return them.
All. The. Time. My office is the black hole.
20. Your dialogue with others often end with the other person shouting "You are so annoying!"
So far, not so much. But I expect that to change soon.
Friday, June 17, 2005
Only ten more days until my next three-day weekend! Until then, I’ll have to make due with my paltry two days. Among this weekend’s activities will be lotsa reading (thanks to Tina, Eric, Sandy, and Conde Nast), some writing because I’ve been very, very lazy all week (I blame the lack of a/c at work), some journal assembly if Kinko’s gets my blocks done, perhaps cross-stitching, and definitely spending way too much time contemplating my choices in life.
* Yoga! And this week, I won’t wimp out.
* Hair repair. I’m going to attempt to fix my botched highlights with a general brown rinse. Fingers crossed that all my hair doesn’t fall out.
* DVDs. I still haven’t watched Ravenous and I have Disc 4 of Freaks and Geeks, which I’m not sure why I’m still watching because it stopped being good half way through Disc 2. And last weekend I finally bought a used copy of Summer Catch---baseball, cute boys, Marc Blucas covered only by a sheet in the all-important area---it’s the perfect movie.
* Knitting. I’ll have to wait until next week for the deluge of Tom and Katie Getting Married magazine covers.
* Orientation at the gym. In which some ubertanned and muscled woman weighs me, measures me, and then makes me cry.
* Dog park with Rowen.
* Obedience class with Rowen. Once again, I did not do her homework with her. And she just can’t be trusted to do it on her own. And because of my neglect, she’s become retarded and turned into a cat.
* Matinee of Mad Hot Ballroom and dinner with Sandy, a coworker and the wife of a coworker. My mother’s response: “Well, it’s better than going out with the husband of a coworker.” I think my mother thinks that I’m a lesbian. Not that it isn’t a valid lifestyle choice. I can’t seem to explain to her that even though I like boys, they don’t much like me.
* Gym. I’m not committing to a specific activity yet.
* West 6th Street Artist’s Market. I didn’t go last week because Rowen let me oversleep and I got to the gym late and then Rowen had an upset tummy and I didn’t want to leave her alone and I got lazy and well . . . .
* Some combination of the aforementioned activities.
* Calling my dad to wish him a Happy Father’s Day.
The Meaning of Work
Does work have meaning? Should it? If so, how do we find it? And how many Utz chips are in a 3-lb pound?
Discuss these and other mysteries of life.
For a Peak at the Ring
And a reminder of how bad Katie is at faking a smile.
So it happened. And this time, I'm citing a legitimate news source.
And does anyone else find it a little conspicuous that only Tom is quoted in the story? In fact, the story doesn't say anything at all about how Katie reacted. It doesn't even say whether she said yes. Say it with me: Tom Cruise is a freaky cult Svengali.
Thursday, June 16, 2005
Red Alert! Red Alert!
Yet another reason to hate Paris: Tom and Katie are rumored to be announcing their engagement in Paris tomorrow.
Michael Schaub continues to make me love him.
**After two days without air conditioning at my office, I no longer care if the powers that be at work find this blog and fire me. Or at least my brain is too fried to contemplate the consequences.
Click and scroll down to the second item.
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
Speaking of Hyenas
BLANTYRE, Malawi - Police and wildlife rangers tracked down and killed a rabid hyena that mauled to death nine people and injured 15 in rural Malawi, officials said Wednesday. Full story.
The school where I taught (in Balaka) was several hours away from the site of the attacks. Our students were terrified of hyenas, mostly because hyenas are thought to be evil spirits from the underworld. Malawians are very superstitious. Our town's entire market (about the size of three city blocks) was moved from one side of the street to the other because someone found evidence of witchcraft on the original site.
A Cautionary Tale
Things have been a bit bleak in my world, so I thought we could all use a good laugh. At my expense. ‘Cause that’s the best kind.
So I’ve been a bit bored with life lately. Moving to Austin wasn’t the life-changing adventure it was supposed to be. I’ve been attempting to alleviate the boredom in various ways along a constructive-destructive continuum.* On the constructive side, I’m working on a novel and making craft projects. On the destructive end, I’m binge eating junk food and testing my credit limit. And then there was last night. Last night I did the worst thing you can possibly do when bored: I tried to color my hair with a highlighting kit.
These kits apparently work for some people. They are able to get stylish chunks or subtle wispy highlights. These are the same people who can shape perfectly symmetrical eyebrows and paint their nails without a single smudge or bubble. I am not one of those people. I loathe those people. Because my eyebrows always wind up lopsided and my nails always look like they were painted by a blind five-year-old with palsy. So in my hands, a highlighting kit is a disaster waiting to happen. And you would think that after nearly 30 years, I would know this.
You would be wrong. Somehow, I convinced myself that this time, I would get it right. I would have pretty strands of blond framing my face and wispy highlights all around. The box made it look idiot-proof. Unfortunately, it wasn’t Lisa-proof. Because instead of chunks or wisps, I have spots. I look like a hyena. Or Paris Latsis.
And the truly sad part: This probably won't be the last time I do this sort of thing.
Thank goodness for bandanas. And Tom Cruise. Because he's still crazier than me.
* It was only a matter of time before I began writing like the academic journals that I edit.
Monday, June 13, 2005
The Sounds of Silence
The hammer has been brought down. A pall has been cast. The land is in mourning.
And, no, I'm not talking about Katie's conversion or the verdict in the Jackson trial.
I'm referring to a partial hiatus from the blog. My postings will likely be few and far between for a while as I decide whether to risk losing my job or suck up getting an Internet connection at home.
In happier news, Entertainment Weekly sent me another issue even though my subscription ran out two weeks ago (which I'm still trying to figure out, seeing as I didn't subscribe until September. wHatever.) And it's the issue with Tom on the cover!
Even better news: The Orioles are leading the AL East. Go Baltimore!
Friday, June 10, 2005
Any of my Austin-based readers should feel free to join me for any of the activities listed. I’m just saying.
* DVDs. Including Ravenous. Thanks, L’il E. I think . . .
* Magazines. And because I’m just short of having a bazillion magazines in my apartment, I’ll be stopping by a bookstore to get a few more.
* The second half of the pan of brownies that I scarfed yesterday.
* Dog park with Rowen. Hoping that Mel and Winnie Pooh will join us.
* Obedience training with Rowen. We haven’t done any of our homework. We’re so going to be the slackers in the class.
* Crafty-type stuff. I got a whole bunch of books to unbind and turn into journals. So I’ll probably work on that. Plus some knitting.
* Rewriting the op-ed that I want to submit to the diocesan newspaper.
* Curling into the fetal position as I realize that my dream of being a writer is dying a long, slow, painful death.
* Reading something entertaining.
* Swimming in the morning. I’m not even a month into my gym membership and I’m already starting to slack. And I’ve actually gained wait since joining. Of course, the aforementioned brownies might have something to do with that.
* Picking up more t-shirts at Old Navy.
* Browsing through the West 6th Street Artists’ Market while feeling poor and untalented.
* Paying bills.
* Returning to the fetal position.
Ask . . .
And ye shall receive.
Well, some of the time, anyway.
So there's mucho news on Tom and Katie and seems as though I let my EW subscription lapse a week too early. I guess I'll just have to leave work early to snag a copy before yoga tonight. Here's a round up of what's online:
EW's interview with Tom Cruise in which he steadfastly refuses to say anyword other than "happy."
Defamer's obsessive coverage, including info on Tom and Jessica Alba that was taken down from the E! Online site.
Ted Casablanca's obligatory mentions. And I'm sure it was a total coincidence that the Tom bit came right after yet another hoyay blind vice.
Katie Holmes Pictures is a treasure trove of goodies.
That should keep ya'll satiated for a bit.
And I must add: I love Alexis Bledel (third item). Even if I'm hating Rory.
I love this.
And if my readers love me, they'll take up a collection to buy me a shirt (a ringer jr., medium in mint/avocado, please).
Jennifer Weiner is my hero. Especially after I attended a writing critique group on Wednesday, at which one participant said the premise of my story made him want to slit his wrists and then questioned my reading habits. Because I'm writing a fun story about a woman who is neurotic about being single when her 10-year high school reunion comes around. Which apparently doesn't meet his criteria for worthwhile and creative writing. Although a poorly written warmed-over vampire story does. And yes, I'm being cranky and bitter. But at least I'm entertaining.
And in case he's reading this: IMDB has 347 hits on vampires; 21 on fountain of youth.
And because I'm seriously worked up about this: Why is it okay for men to write and read purely entertaining books but women are put down for the same thing? No one would ever criticize a man for reading Tom Clancy, but I'm supposed to be embarrassed to read Anna Maxted. A man can write a spy thriller or a vampire story and no one questions the worthiness of the work but if a woman writes about what interests her, her story is trite. Why is that?
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
Scientology Worked for Me! Part II
By posting about something other than Tom and Katie, I've managed to attract a few undesirable readers. So let's see if I can scare them away with some more Tom and Katie news.
Seems our Ms. Holmes has not only sworn off combing her hair and using any adjective other than amazing, but also given up her faith. She's now singing the praises of scientology.
So, looking at some Signs of Cult Involvement:
Sudden change in dating relationships---Check
Spending a lot of time with a new religious organization---Check
Dramatic change of residence---Check
Glassy stare in his/her eyes, seems “spaced out,” or not quite there---Check
Drastic change in dress---Does no longer combing one's hair count? Then, Check
Hyperactivity centered on the group/leader agenda, which seems to supercede any personal goals or individual interests---Oh heck yeah
I could go on. But, well, I think we all know that it is only a matter of time before Katie reaches the critical stage.
For the Record
I would just like to state, for the record, that should I ever have a date, and should that date turn into a second date, and should that then eventually turn into a marriage proposal (a remote possibility, I know), I absolute do not want an engagement ring that costs one million dollars.
I don't care how rich my husband-to-be is (or I may be at that far distant time). If any man spends a million dollars on a piece of jewelry for me, I will leave him. Immediately. If anyone has that much money and wants to use it for me, please, please, please, build medical dispensaries and schools in developing countries, build houses for the poor, endow a library, distribute microloans to impoverished women. Do not spend it on a useless decoration. Please.
This is what started my rant. And this.
And, just in case my future husband is reading, this is the ring that I want.
Why is Tom's hand always, ALWAYS on Katie's womb? For the guys who read this, do you feel the need to touch your wife or girlfriend's tummy that often?
And no, Katie, there isn't anything in your teeth. But, honey, it's called a comb.
Full size pictures
I Am A Feminist
And so is Michael Schaub. He lives in Austin. I really need to start stalking him.
My Girl Crush
Let me repeat: I love Jennifer Weiner. More today than yesterday, and still more tomorrow.
Tuesday, June 07, 2005
Participation Is Part of Your Grade
Most of my readers (i.e., 4 out of 5; Ethan gets Brownie points!) have been major no-shows in the comments area. I've decided that this is obviously because my posts are so witty, insightful, and sophisticated that you feel that nothing you could post would be worthwhile.
This is probably true.
So I thought I'd help you out a little. Visit TVgasm's Snark-O-Tron 8300 to whip up some snarky comments of your own.
Go on. You can do it. You, too, can be a snarker. I know you can. You have the heart of a champion.
I am a sick, sick puppy.
Scientology Worked for Me!
Looks like those brainwash . . .er . . . training . . . er . . . orientation (yeah, that's the word!) sessions at the Scientology Celebrity Center are working for Katie. But is anyone else just completely freaked out by Tom? Seriously. Look at him and tell me the words "evil cult leader" don't apply. And am I the only one who thinks Tom bares an uncanny resemblance to Tony Robbins?
Monday, June 06, 2005
Yeah, so . . .
It's this sort of day.
I think I may love songwriter John Prine:
Your flag decal won't get you
Into heaven any more
They're already overcrowded
From your dirty little war
Now Jesus don't like killin'
No matter what the reason's for
And your flag decal won't get you
Into heaven any more
His anthology is so going on my wish list.
Thanks to Bookslut.
Friday, June 03, 2005
I’m really wishing that I had another three-day weekend, because I’m on this creative kick and I have more things that I want to do this weekend than I can possibly fit in. Or afford, for that matter, so . . .
The usual. I’m loving my yoga class with Naomi. She totally kicks my butt, yet in a really peaceful way.
* Outdoor fun with Rowen. I’m not sure if that will be at the dog park or if we will venture further out, possibly to McKinney Falls or Pedernales Falls. I’d kind of like to do some photography, but Rowen will have more friends to play with and free-roaming privileges if we go to the dog park.
* Trip to Kinkos to get the pieces of a journal covered and spiral-bound.
* Hunting for more craft supplies, including a frame for the cross-stitch that I finished this week and stuff for making journals (my latest fad).
* Working on any of my various projects, which now include my novel, two op-eds that I’m submitting (fingers crossed), several knitting projects, cross-stitching, the embroidery kit that I picked up last weekend, and journal making.
* Reading. I’m not sure what. I’m feeling drawn in more directions than usual right now and nothing is entirely enthralling me.
* Swimming and church OR an outing with Rowen. As I’m writing this, I’m thinking about doing the dog park on Saturday and one of the Falls on Sunday morning.
* Grocery store.
* More arts and crafts/writing.
* Swim for the Reef fundraising concert, which includes Austin’s best band ever---the Greezy Wheels! I just hope that they play the song about Father Bob and the monkey. I like that song.
Also, either this weekend or next week, I’m going to start a massive clean out of my clothing and may also attack some of my other closets. I’m feeling the need to rid myself of clutter. I get this urge about twice a year when I’m just feeling completely overwhelmed by everything and I cope by dumping huge amounts of stuff into trash bags to start over with a clean slate and swear to a life of simplicity. And then I start collecting junk all over again. Mayanga.*
*My God (in Chichewa)
"Most of us take public spaces for granted until they disappear and we have no place to go. A new movement is now emerging to reinvigorate public life. To make contact with others, to create quite moments, to celebrate the joy of living in the city. An ode to streets, parks, squares, cafés and other places to meet."
This is what I miss most about Rome and DC. Both cities have fantastic public places---parks, squares, sidewalk cafes. What I like least about Austin is that it so lacks these things. So I need to find someplace with Austin's attitude and DC's public spaces. Any suggestions?
So despite your complete indifference to my previous pleas for input, I'm once again turning my decision making over to you.
It's just about the time for me to renew my magazine subscriptions. For those of you who either know me or have been following along for more than a week, you know that I like magazines. My current subscriptions incude
* Entertainment Weekly
* Vanity Fair
* Runners World
* Yoga Journal
* The Atlantic
I also regularly buy
* New York Review of Books
* US Weekly
* In Style
* The Oxford American
* Cooking Light
* Utne Reader
And then there are the handful of others that I pick up occassionally because its a new title or has an interesting cover story.
Please note that neither subscribe nor buy equates with read. I have a growing pile of unread magazines that date back as far as last August.
Of these magazines, I actually read Entertainment Weekly, Bust, US, In Style, and Ode cover to cover. I read parts of Utne, Sojourners, Runners World, and Yoga Journal. I skim through the front matter and pictures in Vanity Fair and eventually do read most of it, although I'm months behind. The rest, I have very good intentions of reading but rarely ever open.
So here's where you come in. I need you to vote for the ones to which I should subscribe in the coming year. Feel free to suggest new ones that I've missed.
Thanks for your help in fostering my codependency!
Thursday, June 02, 2005
More Things I Want!
My shopping urge continues and has moved into the Funky Accessories That I Love But Would Only Wear Once phase.
Wednesday, June 01, 2005
I keep looking for something interesting or witty or cool to post. And I'm coming up empty. And even I'm starting to get bored with the nonstop Tom and Katie postings. So I decided to fill out one of those online dating forms for my own amusement.* Here are my answers.** Feel free to comment or post your own answers.
I am a: woman
Location: Austin, TX
Country: United States
Star Sign: Virgo
Relationship Status: Single
Have Children: No
Want Children: No
Weight: Not a chance
Eye Color: Blue/Gray
Last Great Book I Read: All the way through? We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed Along With Our Families. Started but didn’t finish? Status Anxiety (Botton) or Amazing Grace (Kozol)
Most Humbling Moment: Returning from Rome seven months earlier than planned
Celebrity I Most Resemble: Chelsea Clinton during the awkward years
Best or Worst Lie I’ve Ever Told: I once lied during confession. I didn’t think any of my sins were bad enough, so I made one up.
If I Could Be Anywhere at the Moment: Small coastal town outside of Brisbane (I can’t remember the exact name of it), enjoying the Wednesday Afternoon Gentleman’s Sailing
Song or Album that Puts Me in the Mood: Sara Evans, Cassandra Wilson, Allison Krause, or an original mix that shows creativity and a sense of humor
The five things I can’t live without: my puppy, a journal, my passport, sunshine, running shoes
In my living room, you’ll find: much puppy hair, puppy toys, piles of books and magazines, knitting projects in various stages of completion, much empty space
* Really. I swear.
** Questions carefully edited because some of my coworkers read this. Actually, only my coworkers read this. The answers are honest, though.
I Want! I Want! I Want!
I'm in a shopping mood, but for the most random, silly things.