Thursday, July 27, 2006

Stolen from LostInTexas

I'm back from possibly the lamest bachelorette party in history. Seriously. One bottle of wine split by three people and home by 11.00.

Any my sleep schedule is seriously screwed up right now, so I'm not energetic but not sleepy. So I'll do a meme.

A is for age: 29. One month to go!
B is for beer of choice: Sam Adams or Tooheys
C is for career right now: Soon-to-be perpetual student
D is for dog's name: Rowen. And someday she'll get a little brother or sister whom I'll name Riley.
E is for essential item you use everyday: Toilet paper.
F is for favorite television show of the moment: "Without a Trace" or "L&O: SVU." All-time fave is "Homicide."
G is for favorite game: Taboo. I'm insanely good at this. My own unofficial favorite game is "Hey! It's that guy/girl" played while watching movies.
H is for home town: A small town in southern PA
I is for instruments you play: None. I used to play the piano.
J is for favorite juice: Cranberry
K is for whose butt you want to kick: Oh, so many. Let's start with the airport employee who wouldn't let me check in for my flight because I was three friggin minutes past the check-in time (I arrived at 6.13 a.m. for a 6.40 flight). And whoever is responsible for bringing back skinny jeans.
L is for the last place you ate: Sabatino's. An excellent Italian place in Baltimore. So much for my pre-wedding diet.
M is for marriage: Someday. In the far distant future. I hope.
N is for your full name: Neveryoumind.
O is for overnight hospital stays: Only when I was born.
P is for people you were with today: My parents. My sister and two of her friends for dinner.
Q is for quote: "Some days you have to look reality in the eye . . . and deny it." Garrison Keillor.
R is for biggest regret: Not doing an overseas exchange in high school.
S is for status: US citizen
T is for time you wake up: Varies. I try to get up by 6.00, but really more like 7.00.
U is for unique quality: None.
V is for vegetable you love: Almost all of them. Spinach is probably my favorite.
W is for worst habit: I'm so, so very nosy.
X is for x-rays you've had: Gosh, lots. Teeth, obviously. Both times I broke my arm. When I had surgery on my wrist. When I sprained my ankle. I think there have been others, but I can't remember.
Y is for yummy food you ate today: For breakfast, I had something my mother made that was somewhere between scrambled eggs and an omelet, which I made the mistake of calling "egg stuff" and will now never live down. For dinner, I had mozzarella sticks and eggplant parmesan and cheesecake. Oh my! And now I'm trying to resist crab chips.
Z is for zodiac sign: Virgo.

Friday, July 21, 2006


Ladies and Gentlemen,

As of 2 p.m. today, I am no longer a productive member of society.

I'm free. I'm free. I'm free.

I'm also soon to be very broke and carrying large debt. But I'll think about that later.

For now, I'm going to do a happy dance.

Because I'm free!

Thursday, July 20, 2006


You asked. I'm answering.

Where did you grow up (what part of the country)?
Mid-Atlantic. It’s a bit complicated because I grew up in PA, but the very, very southern part (my parents live 1 mile from the Maryland line). I went to elementary school in MD, but had all my afterschool stuff (ballet, scouts, etc.) in PA. Baltimore was the closest major city, so I identify more closely with there than with any cities in PA.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a writer, although the type of writer varied through the years. In elementary school, I specialized in tall tales, bald-faced lies, and other assorted fictions. I was a master storyteller. Just ask my mother! I once told her such a convincing tale about a schoolyard fight that she actually called one of the other mothers to ask if her son was okay. Except that there hadn't actually been a fight, so the other mother was very confused. Hee!

In junior high, I went through the required overwrought poetry phase before settling into journalism. In high school, I was all about journalism and wanted to be a war correspondent for the New York Times.

What are your hobbies?
Knitting, cross-stitch, collecting assorted craft goodies for projects I’m going to get to someday, reading, watching movies and television shows on DVD, daydreaming.

What is your favorite childhood memory?
A tough question! My most vivid childhood memory is of being in my room (which at various times was painted yellow, blue, and a rather neonish melon), sprawled on the bed with a Nancy Drew mystery and a glass of milk. Also probably memories of our two trips to Pipestem Park in West Virginia and going to see “A Chorus Line” when I was in third or fourth grade. It was the first musical I saw and started a lifelong love of the theater.

Who is your role model?
I don’t really have one role model. I pull different things from different people. Probably the closest I have to a role model is Madeleine L’Engle.

If you could magically fix just one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Just one thing?! I guess I would want to be less lazy, because that would help fix a lot of other things!

If you were able to ask Rowen one question, and she would be able to understand you and give a reply, what would you ask her?
I would ask if she’s happy with the life I’m providing her.

What is your middle name?

What was your favorite year in elementary school?
First grade. I was still going to the local public school, so I was with the same kids I knew from kindergarten and from the neighborhood. And I liked my teacher, Mrs. Schmidt.

What is your favorite dessert?
Don’t make me play favorites with my desserts! How about a peanut-butter-filled brownie sundae.

Anything else anyone wants to know?

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


I'm stealing this idea from French Toast Girl (whose blog I found through Poco Cocoa) because I have a million things going through my head and none of them seem to form a coherent post. And because I'm feeling semi-comatose after a very filling farewell lunch with my coworkers to celebrate Friday being my last day as a productive member of society. Somewhere between the "Mile-High Peanut Butter Pie" and the large, neon-green drink that could strip paint, I lost the will do to anything more than lay on the couch and watch Law & Order reruns.

So here it goes . . .

1. Recommend to me
* a movie
* a book
* a song, album, or musician

2. Ask me three questions (and this time I'll remember to answer them!)

3. Post this on your blog so we can reciprocate

And now I'm going back to my coma.

(Three more days! Whoopee!)

Friday, July 14, 2006


With everyone around me marrying or procreating or talking about marrying and procreating, I'd like to take a moment to thank Dawn Yanek for coming up with a list of reasons why it's better to be single.

Look Who's Got Her Crankypants On

Yep, that would be me. I'm still not sleeping well and I don't know if I can stay on the crash diet for another two weeks. And my mood is not being improved by work.

I love editing. I really do, even though you wouldn't know it from all my gripes about work. I really love editing when I'm taking something---an essay, an article, even a brochure---that someone has put a lot of work and effort and attention into and just giving it that extra polish to make it really shine. I love editing when it's a collaborative effort between a writer and an editor.

I hate editing when I'm cleaning up after someone who is too lazy, arrogant, or careless to create something worth editing.

I love hunting for the rare error in an otherwise impeccable reference list; I don't mind reformatting references when the author has used a different---yet consistent---style; I hate fixing references that are sloppy, incomplete, and inconsistent.

I love tightening up a well-written passage, putting a stray comma in its proper place, and suggesting a rephrasing that takes a sentence from solid to super; I hate having to rewrite something that is unsalvagable or having to "touch up" something that really needs rewritten.

Imagine you are splitting dishwashing duties with someone. He offers to wash the dishes if you dry them. Except that he just rinses the dishes quickly under the water and hands them to you still covered with bits of food and grease. Would you accept this? Would you quietly rewash the dishes and then dry them? Would you give them a quick swipe with the dishtowel and put the still-dirty dishes back in the cupboard?

This is what I face with my current proofing job. It's obviously a first draft---and not a very well-written or careful first draft at that. I have a choice between investing a lot of time and effort to clean it up properly or giving it a quick swipe before passing it on. And when the author obviously couldn't be bothered to put in an effort, I'm not inclined to bust my butt on it, even as it chafes me to turn in something less than my best effort.

So I'm cranky. And on deadline. Not a good combination.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

On the Pile

So I think I’ve mentioned my paranoid tendencies. And my recent problems with sleep. So what would be the worst thing I could possibly do? Well, watching a Stephen King movie would definitely be near the top of that list. Not a movie exactly---the first two episodes of his summer series, Nightmares & Dreamscapes. Cree-pee. Cats and kids are seriously freaky. Combining the two? Yikes! Makes me glad I’m a single gal with a dog.

[This is the place where I should put some clever segue to connect this to my weekly reading. Except that there really isn’t any connection. I just wanted to share.]

Finished: Fun Home by Alison Bechdel. Not sure how I feel about this one. Lots of people seem to love it. I’m feeling meh. Maybe I really do need to go back on the happy pills.

Currently Reading: Then again . . . I did finally find a book that held my interest. That kept me up past my bedtime. That I only put down because my eyes wouldn’t stay open a moment longer. A book with well-developed, interesting characters. With likable characters! With a quick-moving narrative that has just enough twists to keep me hooked but not so many that I feel nauseous. A book that makes me laugh aloud and then breaks my heart. What is this miracle book? Power Play by Francine Pascal. (Thanks, Frema!)

Also still reading Somebodies and Nobodies. And Fuller is definitely trying my patience. Because really, this would have made an interesting essay. But as a book, it’s getting very redundant. And in trying bolster his argument, the author is overreaching. Big time.

I’m also on another magazine binge. The most recent Vanity Fair arrived. And really, how trashy is Hillary Swank? So her husband had a substance-abuse problem. Three years ago! And, gee, she conveniently decides the world needs to know just in time to promote her upcoming movies. But I’m sure it was just a coincidence.

And the August Elle came yesterday. Assuring (?) me that the retro-80s trend (leggings with oversized sweaters, ankle boots) isn’t just for crack-addled starlets.

I’ve also got Ode, Utne, Harper’s, Runner’s World, Atlantic, and many others piling up. Including two knitting magazines. Because I have so much time for new projects. Speaking of which, perhaps I need to start doing a regular magazine round-up?

On Deck: All Rise is still waiting. And the more I read of Somebodies and Nobodies, the less enthused I am to start this one. I am eager to start Body Hunters by Sonia Shah.

Added to the Pile: I almost didn’t add anything! The review book is one I had requested back in May and just now showed up. And the other two are books I had taken out from the library and decided that I really needed to own instead.

For Review
Alentejo Blue by Monica Ali

For School (Sort of)
Nuer Dilemmas by Sharon Hutchinson
Perspectives on Africa ed. by R. Grinker and C. Steiner

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

A to Z Meme

A meme from Crystal!

A: If you were an ANIMAL, what would you be?

I’d like to be a dog. My dog, specifically. Because she is adorable and energetic and outgoing and quirky and (almost) everyone loves her. And because she is completely spoiled and gets to sleep all day.

But if I answered this more literally---as in, what animal am I most like---probably an opossum.

B: What BOOKS are on your reading list?

The shorter question is, Which aren’t? But see my On the Pile post. Which will be updated tomorrow.

C: COMPULSIVE about anything?

I don’t know if this is really compulsive or just picky, but I like utensils to be organized correctly in the drawer. It drives me to my last nerve that people at work just shove all the utensils together even though the utensil holder is CLEARLY DIVIDED into areas for each type of utensil. I also don’t like my food to touch, but I’m getting better about that. I check the front door lock and latch about five times every night. I hate being late and will give myself a huge pad of extra time to make sure that I’m not.

I’m sure there are other things, but I can’t think of them right now.

D: Do you DREAM in color? Do you remember your dreams?

Yes and yes. I occasionally have dreams so vivid that I can’t shake them for days. And I’ve woken up crying many a time.

E: What snacks do you usually EAT?

Right now, I’m being saintly and only snacking on unsalted, roasted almonds and Dole frozen whole-fruit bars. But when I’m not crash dieting to satisfy my mother and sister---and because taffeta is just not forgiving---I snack on M&Ms, cheese, mixed nuts, granola bars, cookies, ice cream, microwave popcorn, pudding . . .

F: A few of your FAVORITE things.

Books, of course. And magazines. Chocolate. Ice cream. Utz potato chips. Teen rom-coms (my dad calls them Clearasil comedies). Dogs (especially Rowen!). Bodies of water. Cheese. Gossip. Comfy pajamas. Naps. Pretty paper and craft supplies. Office supplies.

G: Who or what makes you GIGGLE? Do you have a good sense of humor?

I think I do. Rowen makes me laugh at least once a day. Christopher Moore novels. Homestar Runner. Go Fug Yourself. Seth Green. The Daily Show. Lots of other things.

H: Major HOT button.

People who are rude or act entitled. Thoughtlessness. People who don’t follow the rules.

I: I am . . .

So very tired.

J: What is your dream JOB?

Getting paid to do what I do on my blog---read, write, find fun and interesting stuff to share with others, research.

K: Also KNOWN as . . .

Lisa is a nickname. If you really want to know for what, e-mail me. (I’m not embarrassed about my full name, but I do try to keep some anonymity online.) And my dad used to call me (and sometimes still does) Pumpkin.

L: I LOVE . . .

My family. Rowen. Learning. A good night's sleep.

M: How do you feel about MEETING people? Do it all the time, or rarely? Parties or one-on-one?

Meeting new people is very nerve wracking. Although I do seem to do it a lot. I prefer to meet people in small groups (3-4 people) with a mix of people I know and don’t know.

N: What’s the story of your NAME? Were you named after anyone?

My mother got to name my sister---and named her after my maternal grandmother---so my father got to name me. And as far as I can tell, he just picked a name he liked. He tried recently to tell me that it’s a family name, but I had the family tree in front of me at the time and had noted that there are only two other people with my name, going back nearly 200 years. So . . . I got my nickname because my mother didn’t like the name that my father chose. She wanted to name me Lauren. So when they were looking for a diminutive of my full name, she went with the one that was closest to what she wanted and barely related to my full name.

My name has caused me no end of problems. Because most people don’t link my full name with my nickname, I’ve had to explain time and again that both names are for one person. And my last name is rather unusual. And even though it’s all of two syllables and is pronounced just as it’s spelled (and vice versa), people can never get it right.

O: Observe what’s around you right now. What do you see?

A big ol’ mess. I’m at work and I have many things going on at once and I like to have things out where I can see them. I’m a big fan of piles. In front of me is a project I’m working on, a book to review, two cans (Atkins Advantage [lunch] and Diet Dr. Pepper), a list of what I need to order for my roof rack, an empty water bottle, my computer screen, a pile of blank paper, my phone, a rolodex that I’ve never used in two years, a stack of disks that I need to consolidate on CDs, a CD case, and a picture of Rowen.

P: Who are the special PEOPLE in your life?

My family. Rowen (Shut up). My blog friends. My imaginary boyfriend.

Q: Any little QUIRKS about yourself?

This is at least a week’s worth of posts alone. See the compulsive stuff above. I prefer to be barefoot or in flip flops. I’m very weird about food. In addition to the not touching---I like certain foods, particularly fruits, only on their own or in certain circumstances. I like strawberries. And I like strawberry shortcake and strawberry jam. But I hate strawberry ice cream. I like blueberries, but I don’t like them in pancakes or muffins. I like raisins, but I don’t like them in cookies or bread. And so forth . . . I have to wash my face and brush my teeth first thing when I get up. I don’t like to do anything else first. I hate when people talk during television shows or movies. Even though I shed as much as my dog, I’m completely grossed out by loose hair. Especially in the drain. I put everything in piles. Until I had Rowen, I hated getting kisses from dogs; she’s changed that. I strictly follow the arrows in parking lots.

I could go on and on.

R: What do you like to do for RECREATION?

Read. Watch television or movies. Knit. Cross-stitch. Play with paper. Play with Rowen. Walk.

S: Do you SING in the shower? In the car? For friends?

Not in the shower, but I’ll sing little bits of stuff as I’m puttering around my apartment or in the car. I only sing for friends at karaoke. And, of course, at Alamo Sing-Alongs!

T: What’s at the top of your TO-DO list?

Well, I should be finishing some work! I also need to get flea and heartworm meds for Rowen, order my roof rack, change my address for a bunch of things, finish a freelance project, and finish the afghan for my sister.

U: Any UNUSUAL experiences?

Not sure what this question means. Um . . . I was the trading post manager at a boy scout camp for a summer. I spent a year in Malawi. I’ve gone bungee jumping and skydiving. But none of those things are particularly unusual.

Oh, I know one! While I was in Rome, I got to sit at the altar level for a canonization. Afterward, another girl and I “accidentally” wandered into St. Peter’s while it was still closed to everyone but the dignitaries who had been at the event (mostly Spanish royal family). When then really accidentally wound up in the private courtyard behind the basilica and almost went into the VIP party (we left because we very obviously were not dressed for the occasion and figured the Swiss Guard would catch on when we got to the entrance).

Other than that . . . I have a very ordinary life.

V: VEGAS, Vienna, Venice…How far have you traveled? What’s your favorite city?

Probably the furthest distance-wise has been Australia. The furthest culturally was Malawi. My favorite cities: Brisbane, Auckland, Rome, Seattle, DC. I loved Brisbane so much that I extended my trip to Australia for a week so that I could spend more time there.

W: WINTER, spring, summer, fall…what’s your favorite season? What makes it special?

Definitely the fall. I love having crisp, sunny days when I can be outside all day---hiking, biking, just hanging out. And I love cold, rainy days when I can bundle up in a sweater and duckies and splash in the puddles and then go home to a cup of tea and a blanket.

X: EXes…things you don’t do anymore (but did, once).

Gosh, so many things! I used to love to go to the theater and the ballet. I haven’t done either for ages. Bike riding. Sailing. Book readings. Running (regularly, that is). Yoga. Book shopping! Dancing at clubs. Drinking at bars. Dating. Writing fiction. Swimming. Travel (my poor passport has an inch of dust on it!). Going to concerts. Hiking (real hiking in the Shenandoah, as opposed to walking on the trails around town). Photography. Journaling. Volunteering. Mentoring. Sleeping through the night. Taking long bubble baths.

Wow, I’ve gotten lazy and boring!

Y: Any secret, deep YEARNINGS?

I don’t know how secret or deep they are. But I’d like to write a novel. Move to Brisbane or some other coastal town. Get married. Run a marathon. Have a weekend cabin in the woods. Relearn French and Italian. Wear a size 8 again.

I have a secret desire to be a librarian, but we all know that I’m in denial about that!

Z: ZERO to ZENITH. Where are you in your life? Still growing? On an upward (or downward) curve? Just skating along?

I feel like I’m on the SooperDooperLooper. At this moment, I feel like I’m on an upward curve and still growing. But ask me again in 10 minutes and I’ll be convinced that my life is going downhill and the best is all behind me.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Fear and Loathing in Austin

Several times over the past three days, I had ideas for interesting, witty, fully-developed coherent posts. But this is not going to be one. Because at 9.30 this morning, I hit a wall. Figuratively, of course.

I’m not quite sure what happened. The morning started well enough. After weeks of fitful nights, I had a decent night’s sleep. With Bearette’s endorsement of Lora’s suggestion, I tried melatonin and zonked right out. Of course, the two glasses of wine with dinner probably helped. As did being very sleep deprived from Saturday night. Or, more accurately, Sunday morning, as I didn’t actually get to sleep until close to 4.00 a.m. And not for any fun reason.

Have I ever mentioned my phobia of intruders? Not just a general anxiety. An honest-to-goodness phobia. The smallest bump in the night will have me up until the wee hours with all the lights on and a knife in hand. I’ve been known to sleep on the couch because, for whatever reason, I feel less vulnerable there than I do in the bed.

So you can imagine that I was none too pleased to get a notice from the apartment management that we are having a mini crime spree. In the past two weeks, two cars have been broken into and an intruder entered an apartment. Not cause for calling out the National Guard, but enough to freak me the heck out.

I tried to be rational. I double checked that I had set my car alarm. I checked the locks on all the windows. And then I curled up into bed and turned on a movie, hoping that would cover up the night bumps while I fell asleep. I even invited Rowen onto the bed for a little extra snuggle security.

But as soon as the lights were out, rational left the building. The bumps were louder and more menacing than ever. Both Rowen and I were a bundle of nerves, with one or both of us going to check the front door every half hour or so (although Rowen was usually happy to let me do the security check while she hid in the closet).

We finally both passed out from sheer exhaustion. And then the alarm went off a mere three hours later.

Hence the melatonin for last night. I desperately needed some sleep. And thankfully got some. So I started the day almost as planned. I intended to be up and out the door for a run by 6.00 a.m.; that turned into being out the door at 6.40 a.m. But out I went. And then my plan for a 30-minute run was revised to a 20-minute run when my legs threatened to sever themselves from my body after 10 minutes. But 20 minutes is better than what I have been doing, aka nothing.

After the run, I registered for my fall courses. Navigating the university system has become a lot more complicated in the (almost) decade since I was in undergrad. Back then, to register for classes, I would study the course catalog, circle the courses I was interested in, narrow it down from the thirty or so courses I wanted to take to the five or six courses I could take in a term, fill out the registration form in the back of the catalog, get up at some forsaken hour of the morning, and with caffeine in hand, stand in line at the registrar’s office.

These days, everything is online. Which has its advantages: fewer dead trees, no lines, no subjecting anyone to my haggard early-morning self. But, as with most technological advances, it has serious downsides. One being the need to navigate the labyrinth of thousands of Web pages to find the information you need, rather than flipping through a 80-100 page catalog. In the old-school, print catalog, you had everything you needed in one place---the course description, the course number, the list of sections, the scheduled meeting times. Not so with the online version. You have the descriptions on one page, the schedule on a different page (conveniently not linked from the descriptions). As for the course number---we’ll get to that.

And the print registration form isn’t picky about who fills in it’s neatly labeled fields. But with the online registration, once you have managed to find the right page, you need two user IDs, two passwords, a DNA sample, voice-print identification, a magic wand, and a secret knock to get in. Then you face a new page with a whole lot of buttons, none of which are labeled anything obvious, like “Add a Course” or “How to Use This Ridiculously Poorly Designed System.” So you go with trial and error and find yourself on a page that is titled “Add,” which you assume means “Add a Course” and the designer was just too lazy to type those extra two words. One of which is all of a letter long, but whatever. You see a field labeled “Course Number.” And you, being the smart soon-to-be grad student that you are (read: big ol’ nerd), have your list ready. Because you carefully copied the course numbers from the catalog---and double checked them---because having to find the catalog and the courses again would require some heavy-duty prescription medicine. So you enter the first course number and click on a button that you think might add the class, although you aren’t sure, because there are four different buttons labeled “Add” and they each take you to a different place. This particular one takes you to a page that says “No such course number.” Resisting the urge to chug a bottle of rum, you go back to the course catalog. You triple and quadruple check the course number. You go back to the registration page. You try again. You get the same damn message. You go back to the course catalog. (And thank you, Mr. Gates, for Windows. Because if I had to do all this in one screen, that rum would’ve been chugged. And chased with the cheap-ass beer that was left in the fridge.)

Then, as you stare at the course listing, it hits you: The university hired the same guy who designed the roads in Austin. There’s not just one number for each course. That would be way too easy! Instead, each course has a catalog number AND a registration number (as well as several other numbers, which I haven’t determined the purpose of other than to see if a head can actually explode). Not that the difference between the two numbers is indicated in any way anywhere in the course listing. Seriously, the university could do away with the GRE and just ask applicants to try to register for classes. If you are smart enough to figure out this system, you’re in.

And I am feeling very smart, indeed. Because I did manage to register for my classes. I think. Three of classes were marked as “closed,” but the program coordinator assured me that I could still register for those classes. But she doesn’t seem to like me very much and this could be part of the exploding head experiment. But I think I am registered for the following courses:

* Cultural Anthropology: Theory & Ethnography
* Political Anthropology
* History of Anthropological Theory
* Anthropology and International Health

So with a good night’s sleep, a run, and registration completed, I thought the day was off to a promising start. But apparently I peaked before breakfast. Dang it.

Friday, July 07, 2006

So That's Where All the Good Ones Are!

A little something to get you through your Friday afternoon.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

On the Pile (or Not)

Kids, listen up: Television is the devil. Really and truly. And TNT is the worst of it. Because TNT does this thing. It runs a gajillion episodes of the same show in a row and it doesn’t include a commercial break between episodes; the end credits of the previous episode run under the opening of the next episode. So it just becomes this continuous stream that lulls you into watching, like, ten hours of Law & Order repeats that you’ve seen three times before. Last night, I got sucked into three and a half hours of Without a Trace. I was only going to watch one episode while I ate dinner, but then the next episode started before I could get to the remote and I was sucked in. And then that one was the first of a two-parter and I couldn’t not watch the second half. Fortunately Rowen started doing her potty dance halfway through the fourth episode or I’d still be on the couch now.

So I haven’t exactly been reading a whole lot lately. Not that I can entirely blame television. There’s also my complete inability to focus on anything for more than about 12 seconds, a condition I attribute to lack of sleep and lack of food. I’m not used to being on the ground floor and all the noise that goes along with it. And I’m totally paranoid about intruders (could have something to do with the Law & Order overexposure). Every bump in the night has me totally wired. And my upstairs neighbors are very bumpy. So I’m exhausted.

As for the lack of food, well . . . I don’t even know. I thought I was being strict but not unreasonable. But perhaps . . . The scale seems to think that I’ve lost 14 lbs in the past week. I think the scale is wrong. I think I would have noticed if I had lost 14 lbs. And I don’t think that’s even possibly without violent illness involving massive loss of bodily fluids. I once lost about 15 lbs. in 48 hours when I had the stomach flu, but that was after turning myself completely inside out in a way that made malaria feel fun. And yet somehow, through the magic of taffeta, the bridesmaid’s dress seems to be shrinking faster than I am. I don’t get it.

And then there’s also the freelance work that I took on last week, back when I thought I had some sort of willpower I could exercise over the television. Back when the thought, “Ten hours a week isn’t that much extra work,” didn’t make me laugh so hard I could cry.

So, yeah, not so much with the reading. I had grand plans to get lots of reading done during my four-day weekend. And I picked up lots of books. I even read the first two or three pages of several books. But then I decided that I was tired and hungry and really just needed to lay down and watch one more episode of CSI before I really got to business. Really.

Finished: Big surprise---I didn’t finish a single book. Even with four days off work. I suck.

Currently Reading: Fun Home by Alison Bechdel. I think I might actually finish it tonight. Somebodies and Nobodies by Robert Fuller. Also started Perspectives on Africa, which is a really interesting collection of anthropology writings on (duh) Africa. Unfortunately, I didn’t start it until Saturday and it’s due back to the library tomorrow and it’s nearly 800 pages of not-very-easy reading so I’m thinking I’m not going to finish it before then.

On Deck: All Rise by Robert Fuller and My Dirty Little Book of Stolen Time by Liz Jensen.

Added to the Pile: What was that I wrote last week? You didn’t think I was serious, did you?

From the Library
Reading the Vampire Slayer by Roz Kaveney
A Contract With God and Other Tenement Stories by Will Eisner

For School
Facing Mount Kenya: The Tribal Life of the Gikuyu by Jomo Kenyatta
Argonauts of the Western Pacific by Bronislaw Malinowski
Naven by Gregory Bateson
Gift: The Form & Reason for Exchange in Archaic Societies by Marcel Mauss
Tristes Tropiques by Claude Levi Strauss
Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History by Sidney Mintz