Friday, September 30, 2005


I've been tagged! Yay!

Really, it takes so little to make me happy. Thanks, Bearette24!

What color is most reflective of you? Blue

How did you get the idea for your journal name? I went through several names before settling on Nothing Special. I think it reflects me and what I write in my blog.

What time were you born? No idea.

What song are you playing now, or wish you were playing? Not playing anything right now. But now that this question has put the thought in my head, I'm trying to decide what I want to listen to.

Has the death of a celebrity ever made you cry? No. I've cried about the deaths of well-known people, but I wouldn't consider any of them to be "celebrities." I cried for days when Pope JP II was dying.

What color underwear are you wearing? White. Comfy ones in case I decide to go to yoga tonight.

Do you want a baby? No. And I know people don't believe me when I say that, but I really don't want a child of my own. It's not that I don't like children, but I don't want the responsibility of my own child.

What is your pet's name? Rowen

What color are your bedsheets? Sage green.

What are the last 3 digits of your phone number? 714

What was the last concert you attended? Oh gosh. Oh, I remember! It was a benefit concert at Threadgill's in Austin. June, I think? Greezy Wheels was playing, among others.

Who was with you? No one. My coworkers stood me up. *sniff*

What was the last movie you saw? The Upside of Anger **Edit: I was wrong. Actually it was Wet Hot American Summer. With Bradley Cooper. Sigh**

What food are you craving right now? Something sweet. Maybe peanut M&Ms.

Did you dream last night? I think so, but I can't remember any of the dreams I had.

What was the last tv show you watched? Do DVDs of TV shows count? In that case, Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

What is your fave piece of jewelry? My silver cross necklace.

What is to the left of you? A wall with a bulletin board with work schedules on it.

What was the last thing you ate? Amy's organic macaroni and cheese.

Who is your best friend of the opposite sex? Don't have one.

Who last imed you? I think Joe F.

Where is your significant other right now? I wish I knew. Lost in the woods somewhere?

When was the last time you cut your hair? May. It probably needs to be cut again, but I kind of like it when it gets long and shaggy.

Are you on any meds? Yes

Do you have a mental disease? Disease? No. Disorder? Probably.

What shirt are you wearing? White v-neck t-shirt from Old Navy.

What time is it? 2.13 p.m.

What color is your razor? Blue

What's your favorite shopping store? L.L. Bean

Are you thirsty? A little.

Can you imagine yourself ever getting married? Yes.

Weekend Plans: The Heat Wave is Over!

I never thought I’d be so excited to have temperatures in the low 90s. And I plan to celebrate the fantastic weather by . . . spending most of the weekend indoors.

Friday Evening
* I should go to yoga. But I’m tired. And cranky. And I’ve been a lazy bum all week so why stop now. I think this will be a last minute decision.
* I have to return some books to the library. Even though I’m not finished with them. But they are due and I can’t renew again. So I’ll return them and then request them all again in a week!
* I’m going to try to finish Collapse before it is due back at the library next week. The pace is picking up---60+ pages on Montana got me off to a slow start, but the chapters on the East Polynesian islands were interesting---and I’m about a quarter of the way through. Well, a quarter of the way through a 500+ page book.
* I’ll have some food-type thing at some point in the evening.

Plans are a bit fuzzy right now because certain people won’t make a decision (yes, Lopez! and Chamizo, I mean you). But among the things that I plan to do at some point this weekend:
* See Serenity. You should see it, too. More than once, if possible. Even if you don’t like sci-fi/action. If you have ever liked any show on the WB, go see Serenity.
* Visit the library to search for articles by professors at the universities to which I am applying so I can kiss their butts in my personal statement. Basically, grad schools prefer to admit students who are interested in the research that their faculty is doing. So I need to find out what specifically the professors are working on and tailor my statement to that.
* Run.
* Take Rowen to the dog park and for a walk or two.
* Pay bills.
* Clean the bathroom.
* Attend a religious service.
* Continue reading Collapse.
* Study for the GREs. Especially geometry formulas.
* Fill out grad school applications.
* Make up a couple hours at work.

So not the most fun weekend ever. But maybe I’ll get to see the sun next weekend.

Sorry for the blah tone this week. I’m in a bad mood after getting an e-mail from someone who just puts me in a bad mood. And I don’t know why I don’t just ignore her e-mails or why I reply to them. And it wasn’t that she wrote anything specifically mean or annoying in her e-mail, but she irritates me anyway. I have several people in my life like this---just an e-mail or a conversation with them gets me into a foul mood. Know what I mean?

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Maybe I'll Be Struck Blind First

Lindsay Lohan is set to bare all for an upcoming Vanity Fair cover. The 19-year-old Mean Girls star, who has been the subject of weight loss shock stories in the US media for the past year, is keen to show off her healthy figure - and she has chosen to get naked for the style magazine. (IMDB)

Why exactly did I renew my subscription?

Running Report: Week 4

I suck.


I didn't run one inch this week. On Sunday, I bailed because of a twingy back. On Monday, because of a foul mood and a scratchy throat. On Wednesday, because I was tired and the rest of the week was a bust so why bother.

I suck. The only thing I accomplished this week was finishing off a package of pre-fab cookie dough in three days.

But . . . It's finally cold here! Well, relatively speaking. It's currently 70 degrees (F), which feels downright artic compared to the 105 degrees we had yesterday.

So maybe the cooler weather will encourage me to run. Maybe.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Wednesday Rant

From E!:

Laura Bush making a special guest appearance on an episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, filmed Tuesday in flood-ravaged Biloxi, Mississippi, that will air in November, according to the Los Angeles Times.

George and Laura Bush really have no shame. While George continues to screw over the poor and vulnerable in the gulf coast region by signing over billions of dollars of relief funds to his big business cronies and issuing executive orders that exempt said cronies from paying even minimum wage or adhering to federal guidelines for hiring practices, Laura is prancing around a feel-good television show that is building a house using private funds.

What really burns me is that the Bushies know that a large portion of Americans will (wrongly) think that the house is being rebuilt by federal funds under the supervision of the Bush administration. But the Bushies have never been big on the truth.

Conservative? Yes. Compassionate? My ass.

How much you want to bet that the family getting the new house is black?

Hump Day Giggles

Amy Sedaris as a penis! So not safe for work, but so very, very funny.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

I'm Cranky

This week has not had a good start.

I was already cranky from Friday and Saturday because I had to break up with my imaginary boyfriend (cheating I could maybe forgive, but repeated fugly fashion and a quasi-mullet are just too much) and because the Netflix DVDs hadn't arrived yet. I'm really, really getting tired of the slowdown at Netflix. I used to get the new rentals within three days---and usually two days---of returning the previous rentals. Lately, it's been taking a week or more. Grrr.

I was supposed to run on Sunday morning, but my back was bothering me on Saturday and I really didn't want a repeat of my massive back spasms from about 6 weeks ago. So I skipped and did some gentle yoga instead. That bummed me out because I finally was getting back into the habit of running a couple times a week.

Then, that afternoon, I took my second GRE practice exam, and I improved on the verbal---but I actually did worse on the math! The geometry problems did me in.

Yesterday started out okay, but as I've already whined, it quickly deteriorated after two professors declined my request for a reference (still haven't heard from the third). Then I started to feel crappy and just felt crappier as the day went on. Scratchy throat, scratchy eyes, general fatigue. So I skipped running again last night. Instead, I tried to take a nap. Rowen decided that she needed to nap with me, which seems sweet, but the repeated paw pokings into my stomach and chest were not so sweet. I threw her off the bed three times before finally conceding defeat. I ventured out to the grocery store for some dinner and ice cream, except the store didn't have my favorite ice cream, so I settled for pre-fab cookie dough. Then to the video store for some brain candy, except the video store didn't have Season 3 of Alias (damn you, J.J. Abrams!). I settled for Desperate Housewives, Disc 1 and Wet Hot American Summer instead. WHAS is hysterical and makes me love Bradley Cooper even more and it's not nearly as porno as the title makes it sound.

I tried to end the day on a positive note by going to bed early, but my stomach didn't agree with that plan (damn you, cookie dough!), nor did my brain. I laid in bed, fully awake, thinking about the role of faith during times of transition in my life. The whole thought process was very strange, like I was rehearsing a witness for a retreat. Then, when I finally got through that, Rowen went into high gear. Which is sort of my fault for not having a backyard where she can burn off her energy and not taking her out for exercise last night (But c'mon, I was feeling icky and it was 105 degrees!).

So this morning I'm tired and cranky and generally annoyed with the world, although specifically annoyed with Austin drivers and the people who keep coming into my office without any chocolate for me.

And I don't anticipate things getting any better today/tonight. After work, I have an appointment downtown and then it's straight to a meeting at church. The meeting is two hours long, which is much longer than a meeting that takes places every other week really should be. And it's not even that we have so much to discuss or do. We just have a few members who really, really like the sound of their own voices and organizers who think we have to include everyone and every topic on the agenda every single time.

So Rowen isn't going to get any exercise again today, which means that she'll be bouncing off the walls again tonight.

Monday, September 26, 2005

On the Pile

Today hasn't been the greatest of days, but at least it has one thing to redeem it: New books came today!

Added to the pile are the following:

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
For some reason, I kept resisting this book. Maybe it's the cover. It reminds me too much of Anne Rivers Siddon and Jacqueline Mitchard and that whole oversentimental, woman-in-midlife genre. But the book has gotten good reviews, so I'm adding it to the pile.

Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
We should all read more literature from Africa.

Timoleon Vieta Come Home by Dan Rhodes
This involves a dog and a sad ending, a mix that I'm not sure I should be reading, but I'm a masochist, so . . . I'll just take an extra happy pill that day.

The European Dream by Jeremy Rifken
I'm not sure why I'm reading a book to tell me what I already know: Europeans have a better quality of life than Americans do. I think I just like that the author has the same last name as Sloane. I wonder if they are related.

Tip of the Today

Today's handy advice: If you want to apply for graduate school, don't wait 7 years after undergraduate! And don't major in Communications.

I wrote to three professors to request a recommendation, and out of two replies so far, I'm 0 for 3. One replied that she remembers me and would like to highly recommend me but is on sabbatical and leaving the country in two days. Another replied that she remembers me, but doesn't think her recommendation would be creditable because I only had one class with her and it wasn't in my major field. Can't say that I disagree.

Unfortunately, the three professors to whom I wrote are the only ones that (a) I can remember the names of, (b) I can locate, and (c) I wrote research papers for. Somehow I don't think my creative writing professor or martial arts instructor would be appropriate references (although, for the record, I got an A in creative writing; I took martial arts as Pass/Fail and passed).


Friday, September 23, 2005

It Gets Worse

Not only is my imaginary boyfriend stepping out while wearing some god-awful fugly tux-type thing, he's worn the same fugly thing before.

I think I need to find a new imaginary boyfriend.

Say It Isn't So!

OMG: My imaginary boyfriend is cheating on me with my imaginary best friend.

*Okay, so even I have to admit that he looks like some mafia pimp from Jersey in this photo. But check here and here. See: He is a hottie.

A Desperate Plea

Gawker is adding a comments section to its site. But, the comments are by invite only. And I'm about 110% certain that I'm not on the invite list.

So here's the thing: I need someone who is on the invite list or knows someone who is on the invite list or who knows someone who knows someone who's hairdresser's boyfriend's sister's son's babymama is on the list to invite me.

Not that I have anything even remotely interesting to say, but I wanna be on the list.

Weekend Plans: Hurricane Rita Edition

Warning: Long and Ranty

For once I was going to have something exciting and new to write here, albeit mostly against my will. I was going to spend more time out of my apartment than in it. I was going to get a life, if only for three days. But . . .

M was supposed to fly into Houston yesterday and drive to Austin. We started rethinking her plans on Wednesday, mostly out of concern that she wouldn’t be able to fly back out of Houston on Monday---or possibly at all next week. We were also starting to hear reports about major gridlock on the roads out of Houston. My media training (I worked in PR before becoming an editor and thought about becoming a journalist), however, has made me skeptical of such reports. You only hear the very worst stories. Yes, it would probably take M longer to drive than usual, but she could still make it in a reasonable amount of time.

Then, Thursday morning, we realized that the reports weren’t exaggerated. Friends and coworkers were getting calls from family members who weren’t able to get out of Houston because of the gridlock and gas shortages. People were on the road for more than 10 hours just to get a few miles outside the city limits.

Added to that, the car rental companies had no cars left; those that hadn’t been rented by evacuees were being requisitioned for emergency services. So had M come, she would have been trapped in Houston. And that’s if she even made it. Airlines were canceling flights, and airport workers weren’t reporting to work. Not that I can blame them. The evacuation orders were given two days ago, but the airport wasn’t scheduled to close until noon today, which doesn’t give those working at the airport a lot of leeway for getting themselves and their families out of the area.

Here’s a clue to FEMA: Before you order an evacuation, have a plan for transportation employees. Work with the airlines (and bus and train systems, if applicable) to create disaster plans for cities with high air traffic or major hubs so that the airlines are able to redirect resources to get the most passengers out in the shortest amount of time (yeah, it sucks for the people stuck in Chicago because their plane or crew got sent to the emergency site, but they aren’t fleeing an oncoming hurricane). Then, within 24 hours of the evacuation order, shut down the airports entirely, take federal control of the airport and staff it with national guardsmen and FEMA workers, or have planes standing by with guaranteed transport for employees and their dependent family members.

Anyway, back to our story, given that M may not have been able to get to Houston and wouldn’t have gotten out of Houston had she gotten that far, we decided that it was best if she rescheduled her trip. Which means that my plans for the weekend are null and void. And still partly up in the air, because we still aren’t sure what Rita will do. Right now, it seems most likely that Austin will get a few rain showers on Saturday, with some light wind. If Rita swings further east (and I pray to God and all the saints that it won’t, both for the sake of New Orleans and because we need the rain here), Austin may not get anything. If the hurricane pulls a total surprise move to the west or if it (as some have suggested) spins off into several storm systems once it gets inland, we could get more rain and slightly higher winds. For all our fancy satellites and computer models and what not, we still don’t control nature.

So, it seems I have a whole weekend to bitch about the incompetence of the government. Another clue: If you order an evacuation of an area with nearly 2 million people, you should be able to predict that there will be major gridlock and shortages of such necessities as water and gas. Again, once you decide you need to order an evacuation, have a plan. Get ahead of the problem. Start sending convoys of military fuel tanks in a constant stream, pulling from other areas of the country if necessary (yeah, it sucks if people in Oklahoma have some shortages, but they aren’t fleeing an oncoming hurricane) to ensure that gas stations along the route have a sufficient supply (and to monitor price gouging). Set up portable toilets along the roadside. No, they won’t be pretty after a while, but its better than developing toxicity from holding your bladder for too long or having to crap in the median. Also set up roadside assistance areas to distribute water, oranges, and cracker packs, as well as basic medical care. Need a model: Look at any major marathon.

And, yeah, I know that it is easy for me to say this after the fact and from a comfortable position outside the situation. But, then again, I’m not an expert getting paid to figure this stuff out, either.

And I don’t think the problem is entirely with the government. There are better evacuation methods---pre-assigning people by zip code (with first preference for the elderly and sick) to bus convoys with staggered departure times and varied routes going to tent shelters set up at nearby military bases, for example---but we in the general populace would never accept these methods. We want to take our own cars and our families (or friends) and as much of our material possessions as we can pack and go to a place of our own choosing at a time of our choosing. We’re more worried about ourselves than the big picture. Even if it means that we sit for hours in gridlocked traffic and that some people can’t get to safety. As long as those people aren’t us.

So this turned into yet another long rant. But, hey, isn’t that what blogs are for? Maybe if you are really (un)lucky, I’ll repost my suggestions for getting through power outages.

Back to the topic of this post, my plans are loosely as follows:

* Yoga. I went last week after almost two months off, and, well, I have newfound appreciation for Bearette24. It hurt more than running.
* DVDs and knitting. Thinking that we were going to have a rainy weekend, I stocked up on DVD rentals: the last two discs of Alias: Season 2; The Upside of Anger; Oz, Season 1, Disc 1; Buffy, Season 5, Disc 3; Gunner Palace; and The Fire Next Time (which I'm interested in because I've been reading Collapse and the author writes about how Montana is dealing with all sorts of environmental, economic, and social changes). Half of the DVDs are from Netflix, so they may get bumped to next weekend.

I, once again, have hours to make up at work. Then . . .

If it rains: I’ll be curled up in my chair, with my DVDs, the pile of library books, and some craft projects. I also have more GRE studying to do, and I should start on the actual applications and get together the recommendation forms and envelopes to send off to the people writing those for me (so far, I have two who have said yes!). In the late afternoon, I’ll go see a movie with Lopez! (if she still wants to) and maybe get some dinner or hang out at the book store.

If it doesn’t rain: I’ll do mostly the same, except that I’ll take Rowen to the dog park and maybe find someplace outside to study/read.

* Running in the very early morning.
* Church a little later in the morning.
* Taking Rowen for a walk or to the dog park, depending on the temperature outside.
* Writing some very overdue thank you notes.
* Books, crafts, and DVDs.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Running Report: The Running from Rita Edition

Really, I think Austin just feels left out. Because that's the only way to explain how worked up people are getting about the hurricane that isn't going to hit us.*

On to the Report! I'm in Week 3.

Sunday: 2/3 run-walk intervals for 25 minutes. One small hill. Still not the most fun thing I've ever done, but didn't suck quite as much.

Wednesday: 1 mile at 13:20 pace on treadmill while watching Fox News reporting on an emergency plane landing at LAX and wondering whether they would really show a live plane crash. A circuit on the weights. I am a weakling. Returned to the treadmill where Fox News was still waiting for the plane to land. 5 minutes of fast walking with a small incline. The plane landed safely. I'm sure Fox will find someway to give Bush credit for that.

*Yeah, I know I'm talking about it as much as anyone else, but I have so few things to talk about. And one of the symptoms of ASD is fixation/obsession on a topic.

Absurd Link of the Day

I spent four years in Alexandria, VA, which is the Land of the Association. There is an association for every possible profession, interest group, and random collection of people, and most of them have their offices in Alexandria. At one point, I had a job interview set up with the National Association of Truck Stop Operators. They have a magazine.

So I don't know why I was surprised to find ut that there is a World Toilet Organization.*

*This link is brought to you in honor of Liz.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

I'm It! Again!

Yay! I think I get disproportionately excited when someone tags me. Once again, I'm tagged by Bearette24, who, as usual, has much more interesting things to say than I do and has yummy looking recipes.

1. Delve into your blog archive.
2. Find your 23rd post (or closest to).
3. Find the fifth sentence (or closest to).
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.
5. Tag five people to do the same.

My plans for this weekend are as follows:

If anyone is interested (and I know you are not), here's what I planned to do during the weekend of April 1, 2005.

And if you are really interested (and I know you really are not):

Eric and his wife are still feeding my magazine habit, although fewer and further between. Today they brought me Mental Floss and US (the pre-Preston one with preggy Brit on the cover). I'm over my girl-crush on Eric's wife.

I wound up not going to the Oscar Romero memorial or to see Bride & Prejudice.

I was very disappointed in both Freaks and Geeks and I'll Sleep When I'm Dead. F&G turned out to be just a hipper version of Life Goes On; Clive Owen would not make a good Bond.

And five months later, I still haven't posted my thoughts on the meaning of "pro-life." Nor have I finished the pillow or mended the clothes. I have, however, vacuumed the rug. At least a couple times.

Singin' in the Rain*

Me, M from DC, and 65,000 strangers who I hope to God will bathe between days are attending this big three-day music festival called Austin City Limits, taking place this coming weekend. I'm stretching beyond my usual misanthropic shut-in routine to attend on Sunday; one day of blistering heat, drunken crowds, and second-hand buzz is my limit.

I actually was starting to get a little excited about it. A couple of groups I had heard before and wanted to see. I also found some groups that I previously hadn't heard but, after listening to them on Napster, have decided that I might like. My wish-list for the day: Eisley, Rachel Yamagata, Rilo Kiley, Jeff Black, The Decemberists, Wilco, and The Black Keys.

But . . . now it appears that instead of blistering heat, we'll have pouring rain and possibly high winds thanks to Hurricane Rita. So now I have to decide which of these groups do I want to hear enough to stand in the cold and rain. Any votes?**

Of course, hurricanes being what they are, my worry could be all for naught and we could be standing in the blistering sun.

*Not the most clever title---or, really, even clever at all. And in case you hadn't figured it out, there really isn't much of a point to this post except me thinking in writing and wanting something to post.
**Do you hear that? Yep, it's them crickets again.


Sharon Olds will definitely be allowed on my private island.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Stop the Insanity!

Because, really, with the exception of Frasier, has there ever been a good spin-off?

Negotiations for a "Raymond" spinoff revolving around Garrett's woebegone character, Robert Barone, his wife and in-laws are said to have heated up at CBS during the past two weeks, sources said Monday. Full Story

As an aside, whatever happened to Susan Powter?

My Personality Disorder Solved

I swear I'm developing ASD.

" . . . these disorders are characterized by varying degrees of impairment in communication skills, social interactions, and restricted, repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior."

"They seem indifferent to other people and often seem to prefer being alone. "

". . . have great difficulty in sustaining a conversation. The "give and take" of normal conversation is hard for them, although they often carry on a monologue on a favorite subject."

"A slight change in any routine—in mealtimes, dressing, taking a bath, going to school at a certain time and by the same route—can be extremely disturbing."

Or I'm just becoming a grumpy old maid.*

*Go figure: A Google image search on "old maid" brings up pictures of Paris Hilton, Pamela Anderson, and Jennifer Aniston.

Monday, September 19, 2005


This gets my vote for Tackiest Wedding Ever:

Follow the link and check out the rings.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Weekend Plans

It’s a Friday afternoon and I’ve just returned from my second lunch of the day. And we have a gossip trifecta: Kate caught skiing, Renee and Kenny caught frauding, and Gwyneth caught sticking her nose up the Queen’s %&#. Let’s face it: Ain’t nuttin’ getting done the rest of today.

Weekend plans are sparse because I’ll mostly be fitting two weekends of hermitting into one. Next weekend, I’ll be pulled out of my hovel, and I know it will be good for me, but much like taking vitamins, going to the dentist, and balancing my checkbook, I’d usually rather dig myself a deeper hole than pull myself out of the hole.

Friday Night
I should go to yoga. But I probably won’t. And I probably won’t do anything else redeeming, either. Well, maybe I’ll take the dog for a walk. And I have some cookies to drop off for some friends who are hosting family members displaced by Katrina.* But I’m mostly going to watch the second season of Alias and work on a pillow that I’ve been knitting for approximately 482 years.

One of the two days, I will get up early and go running. I have some hours to make up at work because I have very little leave time left and I need to save some of it for next week. Then I’ll probably take Rowen to the dog park. On Tuesday, I bought some pretty paper to use for journal covers, so I may make a couple journals. I also need to clean up the craft room so that my friend has someplace to sleep when she arrives. I might finally go see Wedding Crashers because I have a crush on Bradley Cooper or Just Like Heaven because I have a girl-crush on Reese Witherspoon. JLH is playing at the Alamo Drafthouse, so I can watch a sappy Reese romance while eating cheese fries. For the evenings, DVDs and knitting. I’ve still got Vera Drake, and I’m halfway through Hoosiers.** I also picked up Season 1 Disc 1 of Nip/Tuck, His Girl Friday, and Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen. And I still have the stack of library books that I’ve now renewed. But the Austin Public Library lets you renew only once, so I only have three weeks to read them.

I know, I know. I lead such an exciting life. Try not to be jealous.

*Before you go ordering my halo and wings, I made the cookies because I wanted them, but I also want to fit through my front door, so I can’t keep the whole batch. Some went to work, some are going to friends. Plus, wings make my ass look fat and the last thing I need is halo hair.
**For some reason, I really like sports movies. Even more than I like the actual sports.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Running Report: Week 2

Sunday: Ran another 13:20 mile on the treadmill at the gym, then a circuit on the weights and 10 minutes on the elliptical machine. Didn't suck nearly as much as the time before. Apparently a wild greens salad with salmon makes a better prerun meal than potato chips do. Who woulda thunk?

Thursday: 4/1 run-walk intervals for 15 minutes, then run 1, walk 2, run 2 for the final five minutes. Every footfall was worse than the one before it. I think I have to swallow my pride and go back to the basics (i.e., 1/1 or 2/3 intervals). I also may have to dig into my savings for a new pair of runners. My arches hated me even more than my thighs did.

Rest of the week was a lazy, lazy waste.

I *Heart* Michael Schaub

My crush on Michael Schaub goes on and on.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

It's a Boy!

Britney Spears has given birth to a baby boy. Contrary to predictions. the baby does not have three heads, 16 toes, and orange skin. Later this afternoon, the Surgeon General will announce revisions to recommendations on prenatal care to allow Cheetos and Red Bull.

Lindsay, Lindsay, Lindsay

Remember when you had that unique curvy, red-head look?

What happened to that look? First it was Lindsay Catrall. Now you're trying to be Sienna Lohan.

Although, really, either look is an improvement on your homage to coked-out Olsen.

On the Stack

I need to put in some serious reading time. I have nearly 2,000 pages of library books to read.*

American Dream by Jason DeParle (409 pp.)

Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld (403 pp.)

Collapse by Jared Diamond (560 pp.)

The End of Poverty by Jeffrey D. Sachs (384 pp.)

Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch (220 pp.)

Plus I have two biographies/analyses of C. S. Lewis and The Way of Peace, of which I have to read the first chapter by Sunday for a Pax Christi meeting.

* Some of these are repeated from prior weeks. Okay, most of them are. Also, I excluded the index from the page count for a more accurate number.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Things That Are Annoying Me

Someone put on her crankypants this morning. And that someone is me. So really anything that exists other than my bed, chocolate, and chai tea are annoying me today. More specifically:

Anyone who gets between me and my Starbucks.

Editors who don't have the courtesy to tell you that your op-ed has been dropped even though they told you two months ago that it would be in a particular issue.

The 39% of the United States who still think that Bush is doing a good job.

People who "help" you on a project and then return it half-done. These are same people who remind you---daily---of how busy they are even though they volunteered to help.

My own lack of a spine.

Houseguests. And I know I should be grateful that my friends want to visit me (and I hope a certain someone isn't reading this), but I'm just not a good or gracious hostess. I wish I were.

My normally perfect puppy who decided that her favorite chew toy last night would be my hand. And by "last night," I mean at 1 a.m., 2 a.m., 3 a.m. She also decided that because she was awake most of the night, I should be also.

That I feel guilty about putting my puppy in her crate at 3.15 a.m. so that I could get a couple hours of sleep.

Having to work for a living.

Update: I have to add to the list people who would put children in cages. These people annoy me most of all.

Friday, September 09, 2005


There's a lot of anger and outrage and frustration with how the crisis in the Gulf coast was handled. And justifiably so. And most of the media coverage and water-cooler talk has been about the failures. I'm as guilty as anyone of dwelling on the negative.

So I wanted to share this story, which has me in tears at my desk at work:

There were no lab tests or X-rays — critically important tools. Doctors were counting drips in intravenous lines to make sure patients got the right dose. Bystanders squeezed oxygen bags every 5 seconds to keep patients alive.

"You ask anybody and everybody that's willing to pitch in, and they wanted to," Hamm said. "There were lots of very young physicians doing a lot of heroic things."

Full Story

Weekend Plans: The Guilt Edition

Well, I’ve edited a whole four pages since coming in to work this morning, so time to take a break and plan my weekend activities. Nothing too exciting; I left my hovel last weekend for a trip home and a visit with friends and family. After all that socializing, I need to recover.

Friday Night
What I Should Do: Go to the gym for yoga or a run. Put on a load of laundry. Curl up with a library book that is due in a week.
What I Want to Do: Take a nap. Watch a few episodes of Alias and indulge in my growing crush on Bradley Cooper. Take Rowen for a walk just before it gets dark. Watch a few more episodes of Alias while eating leftover Chinese takeout.* Go to sleep early.

What I Should Do:
Go in to work to make up a few hours and catch up on some way overdue editing. Take Rowen to the dog park. Go grocery shopping. Clean the bathroom, kitchen, and Rowen’s crate. Change the sheets on my bed. Finish an op-ed that’s overdue. Read the library book. Go to the UT game party at E’s house.
What I Want to Do: Sleep in. Take Rowen to the dog park. Get brunch at Starbucks. Sit on the balcony and read a different library book. Nap. Go to the bookstore to read the gossip magazines. Watch I Capture the Castle** while working on a cross-stitch.

What I Should Do: Take Rowen for a walk. Go to the gym. Pay my bills. Give Rowen a bath.*** Finish the laundry. Study for the GREs. Make a dessert for dinner on Monday. Go to mass. Call my parents.
What I Want to Do: Take Rowen for a walk. Take Rowen to the groomer for a bath. Take a nap. Find a coffee shop where I can sit outside, sip an iced tea, and read. Pick Rowen up. Snuggle with my soft, clean puppy. Make a dessert for dinner on Monday. Watch more Alias while finishing the Chinese takeout leftovers. Snuggle with my puppy again.

*I ordered Chinese takeout from my regular place last night. Part of my order wasn't delivered. Just as I was getting ready to call the place to tell them that they had forgotten part of the order and ask if they can adjust the charge to my credit card, the phone rings. It’s the delivery man. He said that he had forgotten a second bag his car (I don't eat that much, but to reach the minimum order amount I have to get a week's worth of food) and that he could either bring it to me or give me credit on my next order. Well, this isn’t some big chain; it’s not much more than a hole in the wall. They don’t keep your phone number and address in a computer so that they recognize you the next time you call (which kind of creeps me out, especially when the answer the phone saying your name). And I only order from them about once every 3 or 4 weeks. The chances of me getting my credit are slim to none, and slim’s on the next train out of town (thank my father for that bad joke). So I ask the guy to come back. The restaurant is only about a five minute drive from me and he’s probably going to pass right by my apartment on his way to or from another delivery. Well, he gets all mad at me and starts in on what an imposition it would be to make another delivery. All I want is what I paid for and I’m not even asking him to go way out of his way. So why is it that I feel like a total bitch?

**Not exactly a great movie, but it’s got Marc Blucas and the kid from E.T. in it.

***I love the place where I took her for boarding: wide, open spaces for her to run free, play with other dogs, swim, and roll around in the dirt. And at $10/day, I can’t complain about the price. But would it have been so hard for them to hose her off before I picked her up? She is nasty dirty.


So I worked with Kevin for two years. And I knew that he was a good photographer. Somehow I never knew that he was an amazing photographer and artist. But another friend/coworker told me about Kevin's Web site.


Amazing what we don't know about the people around us.

Little Bits of Random Stuff

I'm going to try really, really hard not to be so angry and depressed today. But I make no promises, because I no longer even try to predict the depths of evil to which the Bushies will descend.

Although I'm trying to pull myself out of depression, my dog seems to be getting worse. She's still all sorts of loving and sweet and laps up any and all attention that I give to her, but she hasn't eaten in two days and is more mopey than usual. Granted, she's a total drama queen. But I'm getting worried.

Even though most of my attention has been on the nonstop Katrina coverage, I have poked into the gossip sites enough to do insanely well on the Radar Gossip Quiz (10/12). Poor Tara. She's too trashy even for E!.

And finally, stealing from Poppy Cedes, which is a way more interesting blog than this one:

Logical Infiltration and Sabotage Android

My cyborg name is kind of accurate in a wannabe sort of way. Get your own here.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Why I'm Not a Journalist

Because I wouldn't want to make the decision whether to show the dead bodies in New Orleans. I get the reason not to: I wouldn't want a picture of a family member or friend floating dead in the water to show up on the front page of the newspaper or on a newscast. And if I could believe that this is FEMA's real reason for asking journalists not to take photos of the dead, I could maybe respect that. But I think we can all agree that the leadership at FEMA*---and the Bush administration---doesn't give a damn about the people. They want to control the public image of the crisis.

And so I also get the reason to show pictures of the dead: so people can understand, can really grasp what happened. We can read about decomposing corpses being eaten by rats and the elderly slumped dead in their wheelchairs. We can hear the projected numbers. But for most people, those facts are too abstract, too far removed from anything they could imagine. The tide turned against the war in Vietnam when people started seeing the coffins coming back and the mutilated bodies of those who were "fortunate" enough to survive. People began to understand what war is really like. We react to images differently than we react to words. And we kind of need that reaction---horror, outrage, disgust---right now.

I'm glad I'm not the one who has to decide.

On a related note, although television reporters somewhat redeemed their profession in the past two weeks (I can now forgive Anderson Cooper for running out of gas in Bosnia, and there was a guy on NBC and MSNBC who just rocked and I wish I could remember his name. Chris something? Not Chris Matthews), why is it that the most insightful and compassionate coverage of this is still coming from the gossip blogs?

Update: His name is Carl Quintanilla, which is kind of close to Chris Something.

* I want to be clear that I do believe there are many, many hardworking, compassionate, and brave people working for FEMA. The blame for this is on the leaders who did everything but lead.

Pull Your Head Out of Your &*%

"While Cheney spoke, a passer-by hurled an expletive at the vice president. 'First time I've heard it,' Cheney said, when asked if he was hearing a lot of such sentiments."

The expletive was "Fuck you, Cheney." And it was caught live on CNN.

And of course he's never heard such sentiments when he's spent his entire vice presidency at his ranch in Wyoming or at an undisclosed bunker.

Here's the full story.

Running Report

So I'm procrastinating at work today. The week off work made me even less motivated rather than rejuvinated.

I'm also distracted by major guilt about not giving my dog a big backyard and lots of playmates. She came back from doggy camp last night, and I tell myself that she's just tired, but really I think she's depressed to be back. For a week, she could run free all day with ten other dogs on three acres of farmland, not to mention go swimming in the pool as much as she wanted. Now she's back to spending her days in a crate in my apartment and her outdoor adventures involve me and a five-foot leash.

Anyway, to return to the subject of this post, I'm adding a new feature to the blog: a weekly running report. There was a time when I ran regularly. Last night was the first time I've run in about four months. But I've decided to get myself back on the running wagon and I have two goals (besides getting myself out of my funk):
* To lose the 35lbs I've put on since moving to Austin
* To run the Freescale half marathon in February 2006

Considering that last year at this time, I had started training for the FULL marathon, my second goal isn't all that ambitious. Yet somehow, now, the half seems just as impossible as the full.

To keep me (mostly) honest, I'll be posting a weekly report on my running progress. Let's start with last night: I ran one mile. On the treadmill at the gym. A very slow 13-minute mile. Most people can walk faster than I run. And my legs are hurting today. In my defense, I did do some weights after the run and I didn't stretch well because my blood sugar crashed, mostly because I didn't eat well yesterday (a fruit bar for breakfast, a Starbuck's muffin for lunch, and a couple bowls of potato chips). So I skipped the stretching and made a beeline for Krispy Kreme, averting a total meltdown but undoing any good I had done at the gym.

I'm Back

Did ya miss me?

Fine. But can't you just lie and say that you did?

Anyway, I've returned from the East Coast where I put on ten pounds while eating crabs and birthday cake, watching nonstop Katrina coverage, visiting friends I haven't seen in several years and meeting their children/fiances/boyfriends, reveling in how happy my friends are with their children/fiances/boyfriends, and watching the continued downward spiral of the Orioles. I also got some GRE tutoring from my mother, who oh-so-helpfully noted, "This is the stuff I teach third-graders." Thanks, Mom.

I had meant to post while I was away, but I forgot that my parents are the only people on earth who still use a dial-up connection that moves at the speed of frozen molasses.

But I'm back now and full of ranting and raving re: the Bush administration's horrible, criminal handling of the crisis in New Orleans. I applaud the charitable actions of so many people, but we can't forget the inexcusable neglect that led to a humanitarian crisis in our own country nor should private donations substitute for the federal government's responsibility.

Back off my soap box for a moment, I'll just mention that Tuesday (Sept. 6) marked the 10th anniversary of Cal Ripken Jr. breaking baseball's Iron Man record when he played in his 2131 consecutive game. He went on to play another 501 consecutive games before breaking his streak. He played for 16 years without missing a game. Go learn more.

What's Not in the Headlines

If you can tear yourself away from the Katrina coverage (and I'm having a hard time doing that myself), Project Censored lists the top ten stories ignored by the mainstream media in the past year, including

* that more than 100,000 Iraqi civilians had been killed as of November 2004; more than half were women and children

* continued stripmining for coal in the United States despite the overwhelming evidence of the irreversible ecological damage this method causes

* legislation initiated and signed into law by the Bush administration that restricts the public's access to government documents while increasing the goverment's reach into your personal information

* the United States' role in the oil-for-food scandal

For the details on these stories and the complete list, go here.