Wednesday, November 30, 2005


After nearly a month of listening to the same playlist while running, I need some new tunes. I'm looking for songs that are poppy or danceable, but not too fast or too disco. Can come from any genre. Think along the lines of Amerie's "1 Thing" or Martina McBride's version of "Never Promised You a Rose Garden."

Any suggestions?

One Down

I sent in the last pieces of my application to the University of Wisconsin yesterday. Two more to go: University of Texas is due in two weeks; University of Kentucky isn't due until February, but I might as well get it done now. I have two interviews scheduled at UT next week. The whole process has just gone on for too long. I want it over with already. But then begins the LONG wait until March when I find out whether I've been accepted anywhere.

Prayers, lighted candles, and sacrificial offerings will be much appreciated.

By the by, sending things overnight has gotten hella expensive. I sent two envelopes via FedEx yesterday---one to UW, one to someone who is providing an extra reference for UT and UK---and it cost me nearly $60!

I'm excited about the programs, but I'm still questioning whether this is the right thing. Is this just an escape from an unhappy situation? Is this is cop out because I'm afraid to pursue other things (like writing)? Should I be applying to library school instead? Is this really what I want?

I keep telling myself that, worst case scenario, I drop out after a semester or a year. Or just get the master's degree.

And then I start thinking about living on a grad school budget and trying to pay off my credit cards and student loans and the whole thing gets very overwhelming because, let's face it, I'm not doing very well at living on a fulltime salary. And I'm supposed to talk to a group about "living simply." Ha!

But it looks like I might be able to cut out my monthly Napster bill thanks to Crystal, who pointed me to Pandora, which is kind of a like a personal juke box. You put in a song or artist you like and it creates a "station" that plays similar songs. And it's free! At least, it's free if you agree to ads.

And if I start getting too bummed, I'll have a moment of zen watching the baby panda at the National Zoo (thanks to Kim). The second cutest thing in the world (after Rowen, of course).

Oh, and I think that Rowen might be part Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. The markings match (although her coat is definitely from the lab side of the family), as does the personality. And it would explain a lot---like why she wants to play fetch 24/7 and why she gets so depressed when we stay indoors and don't play. Although, Tollers are supposedly easy to train. And, well, Rowen . . . let's just call her special, okay?

Have I rambled enough for today? Probably so.

Monday, November 28, 2005


I admit that I read the celeb tabloids. And I like 'em. I know that they are trashy and inaccurate and shallow. And I still read them. Now, I do have my standards: I stick to the glossy weeklies (US, People, Star) and never touch the crazies (National Enquirer and its ilk). But I will read, and even purchase, gossip magazines.

When I do purchase them, they eventually make their way to the lunchroom. And that's where the point of this post begins. Because, see, I've repeatedly had the following encounter with various coworkers:

SCENE: Coworker is sitting at the table with a tabloid in front of her, flipping through the pages.

Me: So what do you think of Jessica and Nick? (Or Tom and Katie or Brad and Angelina---you get the idea)

CW: Oh, this? I was just flipping. These things are so trashy. I don't normally ever read them. But it was sitting here and I forgot my New Yorker/Atlantic Monthly/War and Peace. I don't know why anyone would ever read these magazines. Who cares about these celebrities? I don't even know who you're talking about. Jessica and Nick? I was just looking at the pictures.

Whatever. Just admit that you were reading the magazine and that you are as interested as the rest of us in the celebrity gossip.


Weekend Roundup

Ahhh. Four whole days of nothing in particular to do. Four whole sunny, warm days reminding me of why I chose to move to Austin. Four whole days of not being at the office. Four whole days of freedom.

It was glorious while it lasted.

Even if it was mostly uneventful.

Thanksgiving day was relaxed and fun and exactly right. I went to my friend A’s house for dinner, and I somehow managed to take only one serving of each item and stopped eating before I got uncomfortably full and I even only ate half of the piece of cheesecake she served for dessert. So proud of myself! After dinner, we talked crafts and watched Shrek 2, which I hadn’t seen before. I love, love, love the scene where they play “I Need a Hero.” And Puss in Boots is hysterical. Every time he made with the big kitten eyes, we all went, “Awwwww.” But I realized just how annoyingly persnickety I’ve become when I found myself upset that Princess Fiona’s diary was tiny when Shrek was reading it and normal size when she picked it up, and no, it wasn’t just a perspective issue. The animators screwed up.

Through the weekend, I did some light housecleaning and discovered that I do indeed have kitchen counters and a dinette table.

I watched many, many DVDs. Homicide: Life on the Street is and always will be the best show that ever aired on television. And it’s fun to play “Hey! It’s That Guy” while watching because so many of the guest stars have gone on to become bigger stars (Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Rock) or have been on The Wire and Oz. Undeclared, so far, is better than Freaks & Geeks, but the episodes seem to be out of order so that things are happening in a weird jumbled chronology. And the stunt casting (Ted Nugent, Adam Sandler), while perhaps fulfilling many a fanboy’s fantasy, is bothersome. Alias: Season Four is living up to its reputation as a stinker. Although I love that Greg Grunberg is getting more screen time because he is so adorable and funny. But he's no Bradley Cooper. Gilmore Girls is awesome. I want to live in Stars Hollow and be best friends with Lorelai and Sookie and work at the bookstore. Fame is hysterical in its 80s-ness. Coupling, the UK version, is Friends without the U.S. censors. The first couple episodes were uneven, and the laugh track is annoying. But overall very funny.

And while I was watching those many, many hours of DVDs, I was knitting away! I finished the fourth panel of the afghan. One more to go. But I took a break from it to start on one of the scarves---the one for my future brother-in-law. It has a cable pattern in it, which makes it a little difficult, but I’ve only made one small boo-boo so far. And I’m about a quarter of the way through it. I finally figured out to use stitch markers to mark off sections of the pattern so I don’t have to count so much. That is helping tremendously.

I also started on Case Histories. I’m about halfway through and loving it. Although there are so many intertwining stories that I sometimes feel like I need to start a chart to keep them all straight. I keep getting names and dates confused.

And, because the weather was fabulous (80s and sunny), Rowen and I went to the dog park three of the four days. We only had one bad incident in which a human was being stupid and Rowen was being a puppy and the park was its usual chaos so the whole situation got bad quickly and no one handled it well. And I’m not excusing what Rowen did---she was naughty---but if you only want to be with perfectly behaved, calm dogs and don’t want to get dirty or be bothered, then stay in your own backyard.

I stayed far away from the stores, except for a stop in the bookstore for a magazine fix: ReadyMade, Bust, Cooking Light, and Time (which has an excellent and necessary article on how bad things still are for the survivors of Hurricane Katrina). And thanks to the magazines, I now I have three more books on my wish list and I'm trying to decide whether I should allow myself an end-of-year book splurge before I cut myself off in 2006. Added to my list:

Super Crafty by Susan Beal et al.
Bazaar Bizarre by Greg Der Ananian
Knitorama by Rachel Matthews

Now, today, it’s back to work and routine and other people’s personality disorders. Yucko.

Better Than Being Pigpen

Inspired by Poppy:

Charlie Brown

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

More Thanks

I need to add: I'm thankful that I (most likely) won't be killed because of my ethnicity or my religion. My government, as screwed up as it is, won't pay and arm mercenaries to loot and burn my home. I probably won't be gang raped, beaten, and left for dead, and if I am, I won't be arrested for reporting it and I won't be shunned by my family and community. I won't have to watch my family and friends be shot, beaten, raped, and mutilated. I won't have to go hungry because it is too dangerous to leave my home.

Not everyone is so lucky.

Weekend Plans: Thanksgiving Edition

This weekend, I will be thankful for

* A four-day weekend!
* Thanksgiving dinner with my friend A and her family.
* A possible blogger encounter.
* Four days to play outside with Rowen.
* Obedience class. Rowen is getting very good at Stay while I walk in circles around her, and I’m getting very good at giving belly rubs when she jumps on the bed.
* Arts & Crafts. The plan is to finish the afghan this weekend. Then I’ll go back to the cross-stitch for my aunt. And I’ve started trying my hand at notecards. All in all, I have plenty to keep me busy.
* Almost being done with the first grad school application.
* Brunch with a group from Meet in Austin on Sunday.
* A large stack of books, with Case Histories on the top.
* A large stack of DVDs, no thanks to Netflix, which is increasingly evil. Yet, for some reason, I haven’t cancelled my subscription. Discuss this among yourselves while I go to the video store to stock up.
* Corn pudding.
* Going to bed early and getting up late.
* Having finished my Christmas shopping, so I don’t have to go anywhere near the stores until 2006.
* Elastic waistbands and oversized sweatshirts.
* The treadmill at the gym.

I'm Thankful for Unintentionally Hilarious Yet Accurate Photos

I usually try to keep this blog PG. But, well, . . .

Run, Katie, Run

Cruise has also revealed that he has bought his own sonogram machine so he can follow the baby's progress.

You know, that's just creepy. Really.

A Quiz!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Random Thoughts

To fill the time and the space . . .

* Which do I want more: M&Ms or a waistline?

* I finally made a wishlist on Amazon to help my family with Christmas gift ideas. I'm not happy about it. Because I can't help thinking that it is sad when my parents, sister, and I know each other so little that we can't figure out what one another would like for Christmas. Even so, I've been checking the wishlist every day to see if any of the items on it have been bought.

* I set up a "store" on to sell some of the journals that I've made. I check that every day to see how many people have looked at the journals. No one has bought any.

* I don't want to do any work this week, but avoiding the work is just making the time go by that much slower.

* I'm thinking about trying a detox diet. Thoughts? Recommendations?


Bdogg was right. This is the slowest week. Evah.

I can't even come up with anything to write about.


Monday, November 21, 2005

Is It Naptime Yet?

A Question

So almost two months ago, I was having dinner with a friend and the subject of the holidays came up and she invited me to have Thanksgiving dinner with her family at her house. I'll be an orphan that day, so I accepted.

I haven't really had any contact with this friend in the meantime---just a couple of voicemail messages back and forth. No mention of T-day dinner since that one conversation.

It's now three days until Thanksgiving. Would it be rude of me to call her and ask about the dinner? I've always been taught not to invite myself and I don't want to put her in an awkward position. But I also don't want to spend the day alone. Should I just make other plans? Call? E-mail?

What would you do?

Friday, November 18, 2005

Weekend Plans: The Puppy Powered Edition

I did not sleep well last night. Some strange dreams that I can barely remember and lots o’ bumps in the night. The only good thing about last night was that when I got up at 2 a.m. to check on one of those bumps, Rowen jumped into the bed and burrowed down at the bottom, where she stayed long enough to get my toes nice and toasty warm.

For lunch I had a plate full of Thanksgiving carbs---hash browns, potato salad, a roll, cake. So now I need a serious nap. But I can’t leave early because I’m already behind on hours, and I can’t look forward to a nap at home, because I know if I take a nap, I will not want to go to the gym afterward. Not that I want to go to the gym without the nap, either.

So time to think about a weekend full of naps. Except that I actually have some plans for this weekend.

Friday Night
* Running. Maybe. Really, at this point, I’m not sure I have the energy to get out of my chair, other than maybe to curl under my desk.
* DVDs. If Netflix comes through. Supposedly, I have episodes of Fame!, Alias, and Gilmore Girls on the way. Now, here’s the thing. I got an e-mail a week or two ago regarding a class action suit that has been settled with Netflix because they failed to meet their promise to deliver movies within 24 hours. But they still aren’t doing that! What gives? Netflix continues to annoy me. But I’m too lazy to drive all over town looking for DVDs that the stores may or may not have.
* Sexy men. If Borders has the new People on the shelf. Yesterday, they still had the one with Kenny Chesney on the cover.

* Making up hours at work. Yawn.
* Meeting two of Rowen’s siblings at the dog park. Just thinking about Rowen times three makes me need that nap even more.
* Obedience class. The first day of intermediate level. I just hope my lazy parenting doesn’t make her look like the slow kid in class.
* Maybe a movie, maybe not. I’m behind on my Christmas knitting. I had wanted to have the afghan done by now, but I’m only done with 3 of the 5 panels and I still have the assembly after that. So I might stay in to work on that. I’m aiming to finish it during Thanksgiving weekend.

* Running. Absolutely.
* Finishing my statement for my first grad school application.
* Walking with Rowen. I’m kind of hoping that the combo of playing with her sibs and going to obedience class will wear her out enough that I can get away with a short walk. I know: Not likely. But a girl can dream, right? And this is really no more farfetched than my dream of Bradley Cooper showing up at my front door wearing nothing but an apron and carrying a German chocolate cake on a day that I have magically become a size 6, had my hair done, and am not wearing my threadbare flannel pj bottoms with a stained t-shirt from college and granny pants. Totally within the realm of (absolutely never, ever) possible.
* Church.
* Pax Christi meeting.

Pumpkin Polenta

Which is much tastier in reality than in theory.

Recipe is from Everyday with Rachel Ray; I made the veggie version. And it turned out scrumptious. I totally cleaned my plate. Easy to make, but the polenta can be messy because it tends to splatter when boiling.

Vegetarian Pumpkin Polenta with Spinach and White Beans

2 Tbs olive oil (RR recommends extra virgin; I used regular, cheapo stuff)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 14-oz can white beans/cannellini, rinsed and drained
3 c. vegetable broth
2 Tbs unsalted butter
1 14-oz can pumpkin puree
1 c. quick-cooking or instant polenta
1 Tbs thyme (RR uses fresh; I used dried)
Salt & Pepper
1 c. Pecorino Romano
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 10-oz boxes frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1/4 tsp nutmeg

**You could probably omit the cheese to make it vegan (and swap magarine for the butter, obviously), but for me, the cheese made the dish.**

1. Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet; cook the onion and garlic over medium heat for about 3-4 minutes.
2. Stir in the white beans and spinach; heat through.
3. While the beans and spinach are heating: In a large saucepan, bring the vegetable stock and butter to a boil.
4. Stir in the pumpkin; return to a boil.
5. Whisk in the polenta and stir until it thickens (about the consistency of cream of wheat or grits), about 2-3 minutes. Watch for splatters!
6. Remove the polenta from the heat; stir in the thyme, salt, pepper, and cheese.
7. Season the beans and spinach with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
8. Spoon the polenta onto plates; top with spinach and beans. Garnish with parsley, if you so desire.
9. Eat.

Next on my recipe list: Pumpkin Pie topped with Cinnamon Struedel; Spiced Pumpkin Bread.

And I'm trying to find pumpkin leaves so I can make a relish that we used to eat in Malawi: pumpkin leaves, tomatoes, and onions sauteed together.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Where Did I Go Wrong?

Unfortunately, the literary establishment has yet to recognize the genius of trashy British chick lit. Which means that according to this test, my Literary Quotient is a woeful 5.* In my defense, I have another 5 of the books on my shelf; I just haven't read them yet.**

My library card is going to get a serious workout.

* Life of Pi, The Blind Assassin, Middlesex, The Hours, and Alias Grace. All of which were excellent and I highly recommend them.

** The God of Small Things, Gilead, Runaway, The Corrections, and In America.

Running Report: Week 11

Well, so for those who aren't as obsessed with my life as I am, Friday didn't turn out so well and I didn't go running then. But by Sunday, I got my butt back in gear.

Sunday: 2/3 walk-run intervals at the usual 15 min/12 min paces. And it felt good!
Monday & Tuesday: Quick 1 mile walks with Rowen.
Wednesday: 2/3 walk-run intervals. Dragged but didn't totally suck.

AND I'm still doing my 8 Minutes in the Morning workouts. Hurting like crazy today because yesterday included pushups and today had arm lifts. Pushups are my personal hell.

Still waiting for the needle to start moving in the other direction, though.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Operation Fug

So I know that I should be grateful that Jessica Simpson took time out of her hectic shopping schedule to visit kids in Africa and to promote Operation Smile, which is a very worthy cause.

But did she really think this was an appropriate outfit to wear while visiting an African village?

Because first of all, she's in Africa, not at a powwow. Second, that's gotta be way hot, temperature-wise---boots and a long-sleeve turtleneck? Third, um, did no one read the appropriate dress section of the guide book? A skirt that short is going to get the girl a reputation---and not in a good way. And finally, would it have killed her to try to respect the simplicity and poverty of the people's lives? This is a charity mission, not a fashion shoot.

Say what you will about Angelina,* but at least when she goes someplace, she dresses simply and appropriate to local standards.

And, yeah, I'm touchy about this.

* I actually have great respect for the work Angelina Jolie has done for humanitarian causes, even if I question her adoptions and love life.

I Said, Brrrrrr

It's cold in here
There must be some Toros in the atmosphere
Ice. Ice. Ice.

Break it down now . . .

So autumn---real autumn---finally showed up in the form of a cold front last night. I was all sorts of snuggled under my covers last night and did not want to get out of them this morning. But a certain puppy, who is ab-so-friggin-lutely adorable, was insistent.

Right now is my absolute favorite weather: just cool enough that I need a vest or a light sweater over my t-shirt, but sunny and only a little breezy.

Rowen is also loving the weather; she bounced through her whole walk last night. And she's being extra cuddly at night. Especially when I leave the window open and the wind rattles the blinds or rustles some paper. She gets all worried and presses herself as far up in the bed and as much in my lap as she can, looking at me with those big brown eyes that say, "You'll protect me, right?"

I spent the morning finishing my Christmas shopping. My sister was the last one on the list. She's both the easiest and the hardest person to shop for. She knows exactly what she wants and she makes a list---which includes catalog number, size, and color. So, in theory, all one has to do is pick something off the list and order it. Except . . . sometimes the things on her list go out of stock. And then it is SO stressful to find something because she is so picky. And because if she doesn't like what you got, she will let you know right then and there. So I dread gift shopping for her.

But I was armed with the specifications for two items from the L.L. Bean catalog---one for her birthday, one for Christmas (they are three days apart). The first I got without a problem; the second one was no longer available in the color she had selected. Yikes! I called my mother and we conferenced for about 20 minutes, going through the catalog together to figure out what else K might like. Without the list, we were both paralyzed by fear of picking the wrong thing. I eventually ordered a different sweater, but with a knot in my stomach and the thought that "She can always return it."

Of course, while I was on the L.L. Bean Web site, I had some coupons and a gift certificate to use, so I got myself a pair of black pants, a purple cardigan, and a white long-sleeve t-shirt. I'm eyeing a pair of cute mocs and fleece scuffs. Maybe next month . . . Those scuffs would be very nice to have when I'm taking Rowen out on these cold mornings.

And as the topic of the day seems to be last night's dinner: Orzo with spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, and garlic shrimp, "sprinkled" with parmesan cheese and olive oil. (I don't have a digital cam so you'll have to imagine it.)

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Blame Poppy

She got me started on the quizzes with one on her blog.

You are a Believer
You believe in God and your chosen religion.Whether you're Christian, Muslim, Jewish, or Hindu..Your convictions are strong and unwavering.You think your religion is the one true way, for everyone.

The Movie Of Your Life Is An Indie Flick
You do things your own way - and it's made for colorful times.Your life hasn't turned out how anyone expected, thank goodness!
Your best movie matches: Clerks, Garden State, Napoleon Dynamite

You Are a Dachshund Puppy
Loyal and playful - with a good hunting instinct.You sometimes go a little crazy and need to chase down a rabbit or two.

Strong AND Sensitive

Ladies (and gents if that's your bent), get yourself a Brawny Man!

Turn the volume (and the lights) on low, click on "Innocent Escapes," and try not to fall out of your chair.

I've Done a Bad Thing

A very, very bad thing.

I broke my promise about not buying any more books. But I did it for medicinal purposes. So that's okay, right?

On my way home from the evil, awful, horrid GRE, I stopped for some comfort food (brownie, German chocolate cake, potato latke) and brainless reading (US and People). But while I was in the bookstore, feeling like my entire reality had come crashing down around me (I used to be smart!), I decided that I needed more than glossy magazines to make me feel better. I needed a book. A fun book. Something to remind me of all that is absurb and silly and good about life. And something that wouldn't tax my poor, suffering brain too much.

So I got Bloodsucking Fiends by Christopher Moore. Lamb had me laughing outloud so hard that my sides hurt and tears ran down my face. Practical Demonkeeping made me smile and kept me turning the pages even though the writing was not particularly good. The description of Bloodsucking Fiends:

Jody never asked to become a vampire. But when she wakes up under an alley Dumpster with a badly burned arm, an aching neck, superhuman strength, and a distinctly Nosferatuan thirst, she realizes the decision has been made for her.

Making the transition from the nine-to-five grind to an eternity of nocturnal prowlings is going to take some doing, however, and that's where C. Thomas Flood fits in. A would-be Kerouac from Incontinence, Indiana, Tommy (to his friends) is biding his time night-clerking and frozen-turkey bowling in a San Francisco Safeway. But all that changes when a beautiful undead redhead walks through the door ... and proceeds to rock Tommy's life — and afterlife — in ways he never imagined possible.

Perfect for what I needed. So I bought it. Even though I knew it was a very bad thing.

I also got another book out of the library: Bad Behavior by Mary Gaitskill. Because Jennifer Weiner recommended it.

Saturday, I hit the craft store for a combination of Christmas shopping (yarn for two scarves---one will be a dark heather blue and one will be in the Giants' colors---plus needles, a cable stitch holder, crochet needles for finishing and tassles, and a stitch counter) and retail therapy (some stamps, a multicolor ink pad, fabric strips for knitting, foam sheets for I don't know yet). Fortunately, everything was half off.

So do you think I can submit the bills to my insurance plan?

Saturday, November 12, 2005

The Verdict

Verbal: 650
Quantitative: 600

Very, very disappointed. Cried on the way home. Cried at home. Curled up in a ball and snuggled with Rowen. Went to bed early. Still feeling kind of wrung out this morning and did NOT need to come into the office on a Saturday to find an e-mail from the department director titled "CYA" and scolding me for not enabling my manager's personality disorder.

Really, really want to just crawl back into bed for the rest of the weekend.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Running Report

Is this week 10? I can't remember and I can't deal with any more numbers. I'm also a bit spun from dealing with a sickly dog. Rowen ate something bad that is either obstructing her bowels or just upsetting her tummy. In any case, I spent the morning dealing with that. She now has some icky pills to take. I hope they work, both because I want her to feel better and because I don't want to spend $300 on x-rays and lab tests.

On a happier note, I have some running to report!

Friday: 3/2 walk-run intervals at a 15 min/12 min pace for 30 minutes, plus 3 min cooldown.
Sunday: 2/3 walk-run intervals at same paces for 30 minutes. Felt tough but doable. Sore in a good way afterward.
Monday: Skipped.
Wednesday: I really, really meant to go. But both my brain and my body short-circuited last night and I just chilled at home.

I'll be back on the treadmill tomorrow, either running in celebration or running out my deep depression.

Prayers, good thoughts, and sacrificial offerings will be much appreciated!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

I Have a Boring Name

A meme from Poppy Cede: Google "[your name] needs" and post your favorite 10 results.

1. You need a flat, fishes need the sea. Lisa needs a tree. Lisa looked all around, but all the trees were gone.

2. Ethics Report 20 Oct 83 how Lisa needs to handler lower conditions. [This Lisa would never use such awful English!]

3. Lisa Needs Help! One of your fellow TACH'ers has a BIG TIME problem!!! Will you help Lisa out? [I don't know what a TACH'er is, nor did I know I was one.]

4. The new band Lisa Needs Braces will be debuting next Saturday, June 19.

5. LISA needs to more clearly communicate to clients how they can benefit from LISA membership.

6. Here's what Lisa needs, according to the great oracle of google . . .

7. Lisa needs to give it up. [Numbers 6 and 7 were Google results from a blog that had this same Google exercise. How very meta!]

8. Lisa is mean . . . Lisa needs BOOT CAMP . . . [Lil'E?]

9. Lisa needs to find more.

10. She needs a reality check, this Lisa.

And then there were the hundreds of Simpsons sites: Lisa needs braces.

Whiney Wednesday

I'm tired. And cranky. I've been cramming math into my head and I'm stressed about the GRE and I can't sleep because I'm having weird dreams about math and the cast of Homicide: Life on the Street. I've lost the ability to spell or edit. And my dog is sick and woke me up sometime between 3 and 4 in the morning to take her outside. And I can't even be mad at her because it's not her fault.

I'm fed up with rude drivers who think that they are more important than anyone else on the road and have no consideration for anyone else's safety. I'm tired of people who don't use blinkers, who run red lights, who talk on the cell phone while driving, who don't know how to merge appropriately. I'm tired of people who don't use common sense, like yesterday, when I was driving in rush hour traffic, and I left a space between my car and the one in front so that I wouldn't be blocking an intersection in case an emergency vehicle needed to get through (which is what you are supposed to do), but some woman saw a way to get an advantage for herself, so she pulled into that spot and blocked the intersection. And how would she feel if a member of her family needed medical attention and the ambulance couldn't get through because someone was blocking an intersection onto a main road? (She then proceeded to gesticulate wildly because our lane wasn't moving---there was a van stalled several cars up---so she created a hazard AND got to her destination later than if she had stayed in her own lane. Gah.)

I hate rude people in general---people who have no awareness outside of themselves.

I hate my job and a little part of me dies every day that I'm here. I don't know what I'm going to do if I don't get into grad school.

I really hate people who don't scoop their dogs' poop. Because when I'm outside at 3 in the morning with my sick dog, I really don't want to have to negotiate a shitty minefield. And there are times when it is unavoidable---when your dog has diarrhea and the product just isn't scoopable. Or you think your dog is done, so you scoop the poop and tie the bag closed and then she decides to go again and you don't have another bag with you (although you should then make a mental note of where the poo is and pick it up the next time you go out). BUT I can tell that there are serial nonscoopers taking their dogs to the grass behind my apartment. And that just creates an unsanitary condition for my dog and a nuisance for everyone else. You are not so special that you can't stoop down and pick up your own dog's poo.

I'm annoyed with people who, when you run into them somewhere, are all effusive and friendly and huggy, but always have to rush off somewhere and can't be bothered to pick up the phone to return your calls.

I'm freaked about the GRE and about getting into grad school. And I'm sad because I realized that no matter how I do on the GRE on Friday, I don't have anyone to commiserate with or celebrate with. At least no one in person.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

I'm a Big Dork

So I made a quiz, too! All but one of the answers can be found on my blog.

Take my Quiz and then Check out the Scoreboard

Monday, November 07, 2005

Arts & Crafts

These are pictures of some of the journals that I've made. The first two are simple ring-bound journals. The last picture is of five children's books that I gutted (I know, I know---how could I?!) and rebound with blank paper. I cheated a little on those by taking the paper to Kinkos to get it perfect bound.

I'm still perfecting the ring-bound ones; the rings are too small, so I couldn't fit much paper in and opening the covers and turning the pages is kind of difficult.

Note: I tweaked the first photo a bit to get the detail of the texture to show up, but that made the pink a little brighter than it actually is.

Picture Day!

I got three rolls of film back today. I won't bore you with all the pics, but here are a few I wanted to share.
First Up: Puppy Power!

Unfortunately, most of the pictures from the doggy Halloween party didn't come out well because I had manual focus turned on instead of autofocus. Bah!
I'm doing my trick; now give me a treat!
Luke, someone is smelling my butt.
It's 110 degrees out---and you want to go for a walk?!

Are we done here yet?

Four More Days

I have four days to cram into my tiny, tiny brain all the math that I ever forgot or never learned.

I'm freaking out. And freak outs require massive amounts of sugar and grease. The week of the GRE is not the week to cut down on sweets and sodas and Sonic tots.

So maybe I'll start eating healthy next week.

Friday, November 04, 2005


Well, it seems the search for a new imaginary boyfriend is on again. We only started dating (in my dreams) a few weeks ago, but US reveals that Bradley Cooper is cheating on me with one of his costars:

Who says mixing work and romance is a bad idea? Kitchen Confidential's Jaime King, 26, says it has worked out just fine with her costar Bradley Cooper, 30, since the lovebirds met on the set of the Fox series. "We help each other out," the former model told US at an L.A. benefit for the Step Up Women's Network on October 25. So what's the best thing about the Wedding Crashers star? "He's just sweet in his being, just how he is," she gushed. "And how he treats me is pretty, pretty sweet."

And I just can't compete with a size-2, busty blonde.


Talk Among Yourselves

Who is more likely to be caught taking Vicodin with a rubbing alcohol chaser: Katie or Ashlee?

And who makes a creepier Svengali: the Minister or Maverick?

Weekend Plans

Four hours until the weekend! Today would have been such a great day to play hooky, but I have very limited vacation time and I’m sure that The Bride will be claiming all of it.

* A nap. I’m so dragging today. Not sure why.
* Gym. Probably running because my arms are very sore from the 8 Minutes workouts and I don’t think they could handle Naomi’s Yoga on Steroids.
* DVDs. I have an excellent selection for this weekend: Alias, Season 4, Disc 2; Gilmore Girls, Season 3, Disc 1; Homicide, Seasons 1&2, Volume 2; and Fame!, Season 1, Disc 1. I plan to play the title sequence of Fame! over and over while dancing on my furniture until my neighbors puncture their ear drums or call the Nice Men in White Coats. Or both. Oh, and how excited was I to discover that Coco is on Veronica Mars (which I just finished the first season of on DVD and loved and now I’m really reconsidering this whole not having a television thing).
* Knitting. I’ve fallen behind schedule on the afghan, in part because the stitches slipped off the needle when I had two sections of the third panel done and I had to rip the whole thing up and start over and now there’s a big boo-boo where the color change happens in the middle of a row instead of at the beginning.

* McKinney Falls for a walk with Rowen.
* Studying for the GRE. I mistakenly thought my GRE was today; it’s a week from today. So I have one more week to cram all the rules on exponents and averages and quadratic equations into my itty bitty brain.
* Writing: application essays, a review of Goodnight Nobody, an op-ed. All of these need written tout suite. Related: The diocesan newspaper finally published an op-ed I wrote on Hurricane Katrina. Yay!
* Cutting paper. I’ve made two journal covers (with varying degrees of success) and now I need to cut the paper down to size to fill them.

* Gym. I hope. I think this is going to be a busy day.
* Dog park.
* Art from the Streets.
* More writing.
* Church.
* Post-church meeting to plan for a Hunger Banquet. I am not looking forward to this. Mostly because we don’t even have a reason to meet. And because the person who runs the meetings goes off on very long tangents. I appreciate her enthusiasm for social justice, but she really needs a lesson on how to run a meeting. I want to be involved, but these endless, pointless meetings are really turning me off to the whole thing.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Running Report: Week Nine

And there's actually some running to report!

Friday & Sunday: An easy 30 minutes on the eliptical machine to make sure that my upper-respiratory system was up to doing cardio.

Wednesday: 3/2 walk/run intervals for 30 minutes at a 15-min walk pace and 12-min run pace. On the treadmill with some newly downloaded tunes on my mp3. Didn't totally suck, but I'm sore today.

Plus, I'm still doing the 8 Minutes in the Morning workouts. I'm hurting in a very bad way from the push-ups yesterday. And my abs are less than happy after the leg pulls this morning (which makes my coughing fits just a little extra fun this morning).

But my Path to Pretty has to get seriously fast-tracked: My sister wants me to try on bridesmaid dresses while I'm home at Christmas. Never mind that I get in at MIDNIGHT on Thursday (which means that I won't actually get to my parents' house until the wee hours of Friday morning) and I have only three days to relax, be jolly, and hang out with my family (and never mind that I see my parents for a total of about two weeks a year, whereas K lives 30 minutes from them, and I see the rest of my relatives exactly once a year and I won't get to see any of my friends). Never mind all that. I have to spend my Friday before Christmas shopping for a bridesmaid dress.

Bah humbug.

Oh, and did I mention that she's floating the idea of LIGHT GREEN dresses? A color which does not look good on any Caucasians, really, and looks horrendous on me.


So here's the plan: I'll join the army but then desert right before our first weapons training and get thrown into a military prison for a few months, thus preventing me from being in the wedding.

Because if I simply fled the country, K would send a bounty hunter after me.

The Running Tunes
Ready to Run (Dixie Chicks)
Wide Open Spaces (Dixie Chicks)
Piece of My Heart (Faith Hill)
Here for the Party (Gretchen Wilson)
Pony (Kasey Chambers)
I Never Promised You a Rose Garden (Martina McBride)
Shine On (Rascall Flatts)
I'm Going to Take That Mountain (Reba McEntire)
Something More (Sugarland)
No Fear (Terri Clark)
I Like It, I Love It (Tim McGraw)
Where the Green Grass Grows (Tim McGraw)

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

On the Pile

I seriously need professional help. And possibly strong medication. I went to the library last night to return two overdue books and pick up two reserved books that had come in, and as I was checking out, the library volunteer looked at her screen, arched a brow at me, and said "You know that you have 12 books out" in the same tone of voice that a bartendar would say to a drunk, "Are you sure you want another?"

And, actually, I have 14 books checked out from the library:

Awake at Work by M. Carroll
The Power of Intention by W. W. Dyer
Collapse by J. M. Diamond
Paradise by A. L. Kennedy
Invisible Acts of Power by C. M. Myss
Perfect Health by D. Chopra
Ayurveda: A Life in Balance by M. Tiwari
Wicked by G. Maguire
Lolita by V. Nabokov
Intuitive Eating by E. Tribole
8 Minutes in the Morning by J. Cruise
Case Histories by K. Atkinson

And just added yesterday:

Affluenza by John DeGraaf
Writing With Intent by Margaret Atwood

Wicked is due back on Friday, and I'm not even a quarter of the way through (although I am enjoying it, even if it is hard to keep some of the details straight---where is Gillkin again?). I read bits of it aloud to Rowen before we turn off the lights.

Oh well, I'll have to write down where I stopped and rerequest it . . . I wonder if there are 12-step meetings for book addicts.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

It's Bipolar Day!

I woke up in a rotten mood because I hadn't slept well thanks to my own overindulgence in candy and Rowen's craziness.

I forced myself into a slightly better mood when I saw the sun starting to shine.

Then I stepped on the scale. And my mood plummeted into the netherworld. My weight has gone up. Again. Damn holiday candy. But I did go to the gym twice this past weekend. And I've been doing my 8 Minutes in the Morning faithfully. Gah.

I need to get serious about losing this weight, though. I'd like to lose 10 lbs by the time I go home at Christmas. And my sister got engaged over the weekend, so I'd like to take off another 30 between Christmas and her wedding so that I won't look like a total cow in a bridesmaid dress. All of which is totally doable, if I would just stop sabotaging myself (my nutritionist and my therapist agree that I have "rebel" attitude toward food that is getting in the way of losing the weight).

So that has me in a rotten, foul, horrible mood.

But I put on the zen meditation music for the drive in and my mood began to improve. And the first half hour at work wasn't too bad.

Then things went downhill. Again. I have two coworkers who seem to think that it is in their job descriptions to make me feel stupid and inept. And they do that part of their job well.

So now I'm pouting in my office and power-eating candy corn while feeling the fat rolls growing around my waistband. Poor me.


I'm gonna live forever. I'm gonna learn how to fly
I feel it comin' together. People will see me and cry
I'm gonna make it to heaven. Light up the sky like a flame.
I'm gonna live forever. Baby, remember my name.

How excited am I?! The first season of Fame is on DVD. And it is now at the top of my Netflix request list. Yay!

Growing up, I so wanted to be Holly Laird. And I had the biggest crush on Christopher.