Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Nerd Alert

I think I may officially be the nerdiest person on earth.

I was at the bookstore today. While there, I thought to myself, "I wonder if there are any new and exciting grammar books."

Yes, I really did.

But it gets nerdier. Because there was indeed an exciting (and newish) grammar book:

I actually got excited by, bought, and plan to spend my afternoon reading a book on the history and lost art of sentence diagramming.

All hail the Queen of the Nerds.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Thursday Thirteen: Quizmaster Edition

1. Why am I not allowed to dispose of my dog's poo in the regular trash collection? Because I live in a condo and don't have a private backyard, I have to bag Rowen's poo each time she goes. But I'm not allowed to simply throw the bag in the trash. I'm supposed to flush the poo down the toilet. Which is, sorry, gross. And often not feasible given the, um, . . . composition of her poo. Not to mention the various leaves and twigs that get picked up in the scooping process. But aside from the logistical difficulties of flushing dog poo, I just don't understand the reason for it. Dog poo certainly can't be any more hazardous to the environment than a pile of dirty diapers. And it doesn't save on plastic---I would still have to ditch the scoop bag every time. Anyone got a good reason why I can't dispose of my dog's poo in the trash? (This is a Madison city requirement, not just a condo rule.)

2. Why am I in grad school?

3. Why is it so hard for people to figure out that they need to let people OUT of the elevator BEFORE they get on the elevator?

4. Why must teenage girls always walk with a minimum of three across?

5. Why do I procrastinate on paying my bills even when I have the money in the bank? I know I'm going to get late fees and calls from bill collectors. But still I put it off. Why?

6. Why are all other electronic gizmos getting less expensive but televisions are getting more expensive? Even the most basic 13-inch TVs are at least $100!

7. What is wrong with Britney?

8. Am I ever going to have another date in this lifetime? Or should I just accept the celibate life? Seriously, folks. I broke up with my last boyfriend nine years ago! And please don't make me tell you how long it has been since I've been on a date. Admittedly being single is a thousand times preferable to being with my last boyfriend, but still . . .

9. What color should I paint the accent wall in my living room? I'm trying to find just the right shade of reddish-brown or brownish-red with a hint of orange so that it looks kind of exotic and earthy next to the buttery yellow without looking like I'm opening a McDonald's in my home.

10. Why did I ever think it was a good idea to paint my living room to begin with?

11. Would it be wrong to shave Rowen? I love my dog, and I love sweaters. But the two loves do not mix well.

12. Which movie should I see this weekend: Michael Clayton, Rendition (Reese!), or Into the Wild?

13. What should my Halloween costume be: cowgirl or pirate? In other words, should I buy a cute pair of cowboy boots or a cool pair of black knee-high boots?

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Thursday Thirteen

It's been ages since I last posted, and now I'm going to semi-wimp out by posting a Thursday Thirteen. But really, that's all my brain can handle right now.

1. Because grad school? It's insane. And sometimes I really wonder if the nonstop craziness is really worth it. This week, I've been ready to quit so many times. And I'm not even halfway through this term. But I've spent the past two weeks---including weekends---doing (almost) nothing but work, and I really just want a day---or even just an evening---when I can watch a movie or knit or go to the park with Rowen or whatever without the constant guilt and stress of knowing that I'm going to regret it and really ought to be doing schoolwork.

2. One result of all this craziness is that three weeks after starting to paint my living room, it is still only 5/6 finished. Thanks to some HUGE help from my friend C., the front hall, back hall, and most of the living room are now an absolutely gorgeous shade of yellow. I love the color! (Lighthouse by Benjamin Moore, in case you were wondering) But I wanted to paint one wall and the understand of the kitchen island in an accent color---something in a reddish-orangish-brownish color---a sort of cinnamon or rust color, maybe. But in the past three weeks, I haven't even had time to think about picking a color, nevermind actually painting those spaces. Or repainting the bookshelf or the end table. Or putting pictures up on the newly painted walls. Or doing any other sort of home decorating. So six months after moving in, I'm still semi-moved in.

3. Of course, the reality of not having any free time has not prevented me from indulging in the delusion that I could, maybe, someday have some free time. And when that time comes, I need to be prepared with plenty of fun reading material. So even though I can't even find the the time to finish an Entertainment Weekly, I've bought several books in the past few weeks, including

* Five Roundabouts to Heaven by John Bingham
* Songs Without Words by Ann Packer
* Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
* Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
* No Good Deeds by Laura Lippman

I also checked out Madame Bovary from the library because I keep running into references to it, and although I know what it is about, I've never actually read it and I feel like I really ought to read it.

4. And, even though I have no time to knit and I already have no fewer than four works in progress (including my sister's wedding afghan, which is now more than a year late), I bought a new knitting book, The Yarn Girls' Guide to Simple Knits, and immediately cast on for a sweater. I'll post a pic if I ever actually finish it.

5. Another thing that I'm not doing is running. I was doing so well---3 miles, 3-4 times a week. And now it's been nearly two weeks since I've run. Bah!

6. I have been better about practicing yoga, though. Every morning, I at least do a couple of sun salutations. And I think that my practice is about the only thing keeping me sane at this point. I'd like to take a class once a week, but, well, see 1 - 5 above.

7. Poor Rowen is totally neglected. She's lucky if she gets to go the park once a week.

8. My friends tried to get me to take bellydancing lessons with them. I tried one lesson, because I am intrigued by the idea of bellydancing. But the class is on a Tuesday night, right after a 2.5 hour seminar class, and I just have so much else going on right now. Plus, the class was really crowded. I'd estimate at least 60 people were at that first class. Even if half of that drops . . . I just prefer a smaller class so that I can actually see the instructor and the instructor can see (and correct) me.

9. The leaves are already changing color here. I can't believe it's October already! And we've had fantastic weather---warm and sunny. And, of course, I'm not getting to enjoy any of it. I'd love to drive out to some of the state parks that are a just a little ways out of Madison, but . . .

10. On a happier note: I baked cookies last night! I had to do a brief presentation in Swahili today---basically, I had to talk extemporaneously on any subject of my choosing for 3-5 minutes---and I had no idea what to talk about. So I baked cookies to give myself something to talk about (and to distract the professor and other students from what I was saying). The cookies weren't my best, but they were still super yummy. And I think I did okay on my presentation, too.

11. My Swahili class is my hardest class this term. The professor is a tough grader. Which has me worried. Not only because I'm a terrible perfectionist and hate to see anything but As on my transcript, but also because so much rides on my GPA. I have to keep an A- average just to stay in the program. And my GPA affects my standing for fellowships, grants, and teaching assistantships. So I have all this stress about this class---and it's not even the language I'll actually need for my fieldwork! But I can't take courses in the language I need, so I have to take a "related" language.

12. I have managed to see one movie recently---watched over the course of several nights, though. I'm totally hooked on the Nick & Nora Thin Man series, and I just finished Shadow of the Thin Man, which is my favorite so far. Mostly because Asta (their dog) has so many completely adorable scenes.

13. I've also gotten hooked, via DVD, on Bones. Even though I object to portraying anthropology as a science and anthropologists as socially inept, culturally ignorant, intellectually arrogant freaks (although the latter is probably a little more accurate than I'd like to admit), I can't resist a slickly produced crime drama (unless said drama involves David Caruso or Vincent D'Onofrio, in which case, I really really can resist). I'm even rethinking my position on David Boreanaz. I couldn't stand him on Buffy or Angel---too much brooding and an absolutely unforgivably bad attempt at brogue. But as a non-brooding, non-brogueing tough guy FBI agent, he's not so bad.

Anyway, I should get back to the books. *Sigh*